Sunday, November 25, 2007

So Sweet...

I know. I take hundreds and hundreds of photos of my children here at home... and yet when I get a photo of Sara... I post it immediately. We cling to those links with her. Why? It could be that we worry so much about Sara. What does she think...? Is she wondering if we've come back home and forgotten her? The kids pray for Sara every night. They also include her in all their daily activities and routines. It's very sweet. Yet... she's 3000 miles away... and we worry about her constantly.

Linda just returned home from visiting with Ruth...and sent me this photo this evening. You can just LOOK at this and see why we have nicknamed her Sweet Sara.

Please continue to pray for Sara. Pray for her to understand that we are not forgetting her... we are missing her terribly. Also, please pray that her case be resubmitted to PGN... and for a quick approval. We need this child to come home - SOON. We are currently waiting for a Birth Certificate correction - and once we have that the file will be resubmitted.

Finally...please remember all those other children that are in the process waiting for approval... or COA's... or PRE-APPROVAL!!!

And tonight, as you go to bed... say a special prayer that God will prepare Sweet Sara's heart... and that she goes to bed knowing that we love her and want her home SOON!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So Thankful!!!

We are so blessed! Lest we forget or take it for granted, I want to jot down the many ways that our lives have been richly blessed.

Tim and I are so honored to be the parents of four truly wonderful children. Three are home with us now... and one is still waiting to join us at home. We love them all - and they each offer opportunities every day for us to be reminded of how God has blessed our family, enriched our lives and taught us His amazing grace and patience over and over again. We are so thankful to a God who knew far better than we ever could that these children would be the biggest and the best thing to ever happen in our lives... and that we have learned far more from them at times than I think they ever will from us.

We are also blessed to have families that love and support us. Without our families - we would not be the people we are today. I am especially thankful that I had parents that taught me about God and His love... that made it fun to go to church... and that showed me how to love other people unconditionally.

Church has always been a very big part of our lives. Not having a church home these past few months has been a very difficult and emotionally draining time for us. However, I am thankful that God has gently reminded me that his CHURCH is not the building where we used to attend each Sunday - but rather church itself is the body... the people. We are so thankful for those families that have pulled so very close together this year and girded us up with their love during what has been the most difficult and challenging time. Their love and those friendships are deeper than we can ever convey... and they truly are our CHURCH FAMILY whether we are together each Sunday morning, or not. For those families God placed in our lives - we are forever thankful!

We have so many friends that we are blessed to know... friends that we have met through the journey of adoption, friends that we have known our whole lives.. and friends we only know over the Internet. We have been loved and supported by so many of you. I know without a shadow of a doubt that we have been blessed by intercessory prayer on dozens occasions by many of you... because I know that without the power of God... even on days when I haven't reached out to ask for help... I didn't think we would be able to get through this journey and all the uncertainty that has plagued it. We are so thankful for that prayer....and want you to share in our thanksgiving that your prayers are being answered! God has been so good to us and so faithful...and we are so grateful for the friends that he has blessed us with!

We are blessed beyond measure with a home to live in, clothes to wear, food to eat, jobs that pay our bills, cars to drive, and even the extra blessing of pets to love and enjoy. So many in the world don't have these things... and we do not take it lightly that these gifts all come from God. We are so thankful to Him - and pray that we honor his gifts with our own giving to others.

Our family wishes each of you a WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING.

We also want to say Thank You to Linda... who is with her family in Guatemala this week visiting Ruth... and took the time to visit with Sara and send us a new picture! This is Linda's daughter Claire with Sara. THANK YOU LINDA!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Belated BOO To You!

Just a quick update of sorts...we got some new photos of Sara today. Our normally "tan couch" has been turned into a witch's lair...for some festive Halloween photos! I love it that Susana, our attorney, makes great efforts to get us such wonderful photos... and we get them almost like clock-work each month! All the parents here wait on pins and needles to see how they have the children "dressed up". It's really quite a "treat" for us... and it really does show us that they make great efforts there to make things fun and engaging for the children, too.

On a few other issues that I have failed to announce publicly...

The Rally's are HOME with their beautiful baby girl. I haven't gotten to meet her yet... but I hope that once the holidays are past... that we can schedule some time to get together with them. If Ruth will allow me... I will post a photo of her in the future. Thank you to everyone that prayed this family home!!!

As for Sweet Lucas... the judge ordered that he is to remain in the HOGAR where Sara is... and we are now awaiting his Abandonment Hearing. We are so thankful that he will be able to stay where he is... but we need to pray for a speedy hearing (in light of all the law changes...) and that his COA is issued QUICKLY!!! Thank you for everyone that emailed and asked about this.

As for the law in Guatemala and the possible passing of a "grandfather clause". This all looks very likely... but again... we still don't have the official word from the Guatemalan Congress. WE are so grateful to the many members of our Congress that took the time to listen to our voices and advocate for our children. A BIG SHOUT OUT TO JIM BUNNING AND BEN CHANDLER for being so responsive and supporting our family, and hundreds of others. (However....Mitch McConnell...I am sad to say did not support us. Anyone that would like to hear more about this... please feel free to contact me and I can give you an earful...or two. Or perhaps a POST for Mitch... along the lines of "Mitch McConnell is not my HERO"...) Please continue to pray over this. We have so many friends that are caught up in this turmoil... and we don't want to see any children left in limbo. I know that Sara will come home... we just had hoped for it to be sooner rather than later. But - for those of you that endured the 15-month WAIT to bring the girls home... we also know that things will happen in God's time. It's mostly just hard on those here waiting... so please say extra prayers for the families of all of the waiting children, as well.

Finally... our family is very THANKFUL for the many family and friends that we have that continue to love, support and encourage us. You have all been such a blessing to us!!
Joseph Addison once wrote: "Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joy, and dividing our grief."
Thank you for traveling along with on on all of our journeys... and for helping us to double our joy!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Our Rachel... from Tug to Princess

Rachel has dubbed herself the Princess of the House. We all tolerate it... and occasionally McCaleb will play along and be her Court Jester...but for the most's really Rachel that is the Court Jester. She is quite a piece of work. I'm not sure where the personality has come from... but it is coming out FULL BLOWN and it's hilarious. She is a handful... and since she just turned 5 years old... I want to write down some of the things that she does or says now that crack me up... because I know that they will eventually fade away.

Rachel and her Quirks:

When we first came home, Rachel was 15 months old. She loved TIM... and would hold onto his finger... and lead him around the house doing lap, after lap, after lap. I nick-named her TUG. I called her Tug until McCaleb came home. McCaleb couldn't say Rachel... so he started calling her "Turtle". I love it when he calls her Turtle. I cried the first time he called her Rachel. (Seriously) Sadly, she is starting to request to be called Rachel. McCaleb can say Rachel now... so it's beginning to fade, but I will hang on to the bitter end, kicking and screaming...

Some of the funny things she says or does:

May I have a drink of Wogger? (aka: water)

She got a camera for her birthday from us... she calls it a CRAMMA.

We gave her a Birthday Tiara and a Wand... she calls it her Magic Swan.

She sees the police - and she screams... "Look, the com-pleese!"

Her new favorite thing to say - "I'm just kidding". I hear it about 500 times a day. And no, I am NOT kidding.

She has turned into a picky eater. I don't mean she won't eat ... she just picks through the food, trying to identify all ingredients. Her current favorite is Weeds... also known as: Parsley.

All dresses are called "Princesses" or "Cinderellas".

Her favorite number for a while was Eleventeen.

She cannot carry on a conversation - OR HEAR - if the TV is on. PERIOD.

She loves to be tickled... all three of my kids do... and she will line up for hours and let you tickle her over and over and over...
She calls Ketchup - CHECKUP or DIP DIP.
Some of the Amazing things she can do:

She can say the ABC's backwards almost as well as she can say them forwards.

She can count to 100, with a little coaching at 80...currently called Eighty-teen.

She is already reading...because Ali is reading...and she thinks she is just as big as Ali.

She has amazing rhythm... and we catch her dancing all the time.

She has an uncanny ability with animals. She can pick up all of Millie's feet (the one-eyed bird dog)... she can get Maggie to do tricks... and she can call any of the horses over to the fence. Picabo loves her.

She shares her things selflessly... I think this might fade eventually... but it's a blessing right now.
She is also very mechanically inclined...she can take apart and put most things together without any help.

She is a whiz at puzzles, mazes, and extremely competitive. (EXTREMELY)

She can do most anything on the computer - and shuts it down and turns it off all by herself.

And... she can actually take pretty good pictures.

Now, please don't get me wrong. Rachel loves to get dressed up... and she loves to walk around the house in her high heel shoes and talk on her Princess cell phone. But this kid basically loves to do anything - and she does it all FULL THROTTLE.

She went Snow Tubing with Tim, Kelvin and some of the kids from church this year... and they could not go fast enough for her. She is the first on up (most everyday) and on Saturdays, she gets up first so that she can beat everyone downstairs to help Daddy with the animals. She strips off her zippie or her gown, puts on coveralls and boots, and feeds the dogs and the horses.. and chases the occasional chicken. Tim says she can squeegee the floor in the garage just as quickly and just as well as he can... and if JD won't eat, she feeds him by hand. She loves to go flying with Tim... and talks about airplanes almost as much as he does. She even takes his magazines and puts them in her basket to read. She loves to play with her dolls... but give her a train set and a few hours... and she is completely occupied.

BUT...the best thing about Rachel - is that she loves her family. She is always looking to make sure everyone is being treated fairly... and she will be sure to tell me every day that she loves her brother and her sister. She has been a Daddy's girl for so long... but just lately she has started coming over to sit in my lap and love on me. At first it caught me off-guard... but I have been eating it up! She is such a sweet little girl.

For her big day - she asked to go to school to see HANK.. (that's another post in itself)... then to come home - have TACOS for dinner... and to watch a movie. She is very unassuming... and easy to please. Oh... except for the birthday cake. She wanted a princess cake she saw in one of my Pampered Chef books. And Mommy had to make it. WELL...she opened and played with the PINK Barbie doll that matched the icing... so we had a little mismatch with the cake colors. I think she was "tickled pink" with it, anyhow. And... since I was very sick and had a fever...and upper-respiratory infection... I think that it turned out pretty good - considering all the little fingers that played in the icing. :)
Happy Birthday Rachel! You are 5 Years Old!