Thursday, October 31, 2013

Final trimester

Well...the end of this paper pregnancy is near. There are many signs that make me aware of this. I seem to be gaining weight (from a growing baby...ok maybe it's just stress eating) hips hurt- particularly my right one (perhaps something I should have checked out). I feel the need to cry a lot at random times for no particular reason (must be the hormones or maybe it's just my crazy).  And I have never wanted my house to be cleaned up so badly. Nesting. Of course if you've been to my house ever recently then you know that my desires for a clean house aren't always made a reality because...well...children.

The countdown is on! I made a paper chain the other day for our trip to Uganda. Matthew LOVES taking off a link each morning. We leave in 15 days! YIKES!

We are busy these days getting everything ready to travel, trying to do some normal things to keep life less chaotic for the kids, and trying our hardest to spend time with people before we are gone for 2 months (pretty tricky with a constantly busy schedule-ugh), Christmas shopping earlier than normal, etc etc etc...

Please keep praying for all the last minute details to come together, for our trip and all that is involved with flying with children, for us to stay healthy, and that everything we need/want will fit into our suitcases and miraculously only weigh 50 pounds each. My parents are coming to visit before we go and since my dad is used to packing for overseas travel- I'm going to stick him with the job. Haha. Don't tell him please or he won't come visit!  

Here's a few pictures from our trip to the pumpkin patch this week. My boys were too busy having fun to pose for pictures. I did the best I could. A family pictures was clearly not a priority for them. :) I do have some handsome men though!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Court Date!!

Monday morning, October 7th I woke up to our court date! November 21. That is Adam's birthday and what a great birthday present!
We are excited. But to be honest I was kind of disappointed at first. I really had my heart set on being there in October. It seems so far away to be able to be with our little boy.
My natural tendency is to analyze a situation and as quickly as possible find all the negative aspects. I found myself doing this Monday morning. Instead of being thankful for knowing exactly when I would meet my little boy, I decided to channel my thoughts to any problems there may be with this plan that was not mine!
I realized that I was sad. I was sad that it would be longer until we got to meet Jonathan. I was sad that we would be gone from home/family during all of the holidays. I LOVE the holidays and all the tradition in them.
I was crying in the kitchen as I made breakfast for Matthew (Andrew was still asleep). He asked me why I was crying- so I told him. He told me, "It's ok Mommy. We just need to be patient until we go get Jonathan. He has a nice place to live there and friends to play with while he waits for us." Honestly what I wanted to scream was "SHUT UP!" because he was saying the exact same things I casually say to him when he asks when we will go to Uganda. Tasting your own medicine is not very delicious. Haha. It was a good gentle reminder for me though. Patience.
I am so grateful to the Lord for what happened next. As I loaded the kids into the car I realized what I was doing! This may not sound like a big deal, but this was a big step in maturity for me. Typically my sadness leads to negativity which usually leads quickly to anger/bitterness. As I put Andrew in the car I heard quietly in my spirit... sadness is fine to feel, but how you deal with it will make all the difference. Don't choose sin.
I was headed to preschool chapel at Matthew's school. I decided that if we would be gone during holiday's then I would have to redirect my thoughts away from self-pity to planning fun ways to celebrate overseas. Immediately I got excited about that idea. I have spent MANY holiday's away from America and family through out my life. I KNOW from experience that it is not miserable or the end of the world.
If you have followed our story at all then you know as well as I do that God has proven Himself as MORE than faithful enough to us and has worked in HIS perfect (and rather speedy) timing. It's rather infuriating how quickly I lost sight of that when I didn't get my way. I'm grateful for how God has been preparing me and growing me for that moment and how the Holy Spirit enabled me to deal with it in a God glorifying way.
At chapel I ran into a good friend with a son (an adorable adopted little brown baby!) in Matthew's class. I shared the news with her and got to talk through what my heart was struggling with. She was so encouraging to me to take my thoughts captive. Then she shared something with me that I hadn't thought of yet...that further reinforced God's perfect timing to me.
She told me that last year at the church's staff retreat I was talking to her about how overwhelmed I was with where to start to move towards adoption. Literally during the middle of our conversation another staff member walked in and told us about how she had just come from the hospital from spending time with the two families that were at our church from Uganda for heart surgeries. The translator was a social worker and that I should talk to her. That was the beginning of our journey in Uganda. My friend started crying...and clearly so did I- even though I didn't know what was coming yet. :) She told me that right around that time would've been when Jonathan was conceived. HIS timing is perfect! Praise God!
I spent all afternoon eating chocolate and surfing Pinterest. I think that is clearly the natural course of events when one is sad. I found all sorts of fun and exciting ways to celebrate holidays in Uganda. I got SO excited that we would be a family of FIVE celebrating Jesus in a different country! What a special opportunity that not many people would get!
I am a part of a support group of adoptive moms. I'm not sure how else to label it- but it is just friends that get together every other Monday night to share the weight and joy of the journey of adoption together. I was excited for this before it started, and it was a real answer to prayer. Adam and I prayed when we started this process that we would have adoptive buddies. Kind of like a friend that you're pregnant at the same time as...but with adoption. We didn't see that prayer answered right away and pushed on alone. God brought at (once again) the best time- this group of ladies to me. Three of us are traveling within a month of each other to pick up our babies. These ladies love Jesus and orphans. They have real fears, real love, real laughter, and real tears that we all get to share. This group met on Monday night. I thought it was so gracious of God to give me the news on a day that I got to go unwind with these friends.
I told the ladies that night that I feel like my pants have been blessed right off of me in this process. My day started in sadness and through the grace and mercy of the Lord I went to bed excited to know when I will see my son, and not wrapped up in my own selfishness.
Please pray with us as we purchase airline tickets next week. Pray for good prices. Please pray for the judge that we have been appointed to for our case. Pray for favor for us with him. Pray for our family as we will have to be split up for part of our trip because it is too long for Adam to stay the whole time. Pray for me as I pack up everyone for 2 months worth of overseas living. In 50 lb. pieces of luggage. Yikes. Pray for the boys as they know change is coming, but have no sense of timing in that. Pray for Jonathan as we only have 40ish days until we meet him - for health and good care. Pray for Adam as he gets details together at work for his time gone. Pray for the leaders that will be serving in his absence and for the students that he cares so much about.
I'm going to get the boys a snack now and then make a paper chain count down! YIPPEE!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Divine Hiccups

We have meet people from our agency over the internet that will be in Uganda at the same time as us. One of these people is already over there and is adopting a little boy from the same orphanage that Jonathan is at. She had told us that she would take pictures of Jonathan for us so we could have more than the one we got at the time of our referral. I checked for any news from her obsessively as soon as I knew she was in country...even when I knew it was a ridiculous time. Haha. I was so excited to get new pictures of our little boy.

At 4 o'clock on Friday morning I woke up with terrible hiccups. They hurt...and were loud...and weird. I have never woken up with hiccups before. I got up to get some water and figured...why not check for any news?! I said...obsessively. 

I had a message on Facebook from the girl in Uganda that she had sent 6 minutes earlier. 6 MINUTES!  She was asking for my email address to send me the pictures she took. I responded immediately, hoping that she would still be online. She WAS! We got to chat for a few minutes. She told me that our little boy is very happy. Such good news. She also told me that he peed all over her when she held him. Haha. She told me she had sent the pictures and...our internet stopped working. My heart was racing. I was rechecking my email every half a second. I had to go downstairs and reset the internet. It was close to an eternity as I waited for all the right lights to start flashing on our internet box and for it to start working! And then there he was...cute little Jonathan. He looks so healthy and big! He looks so much more grown up. I went back upstairs and woke Adam up to show him the pictures. Then texted them to some people because I couldn't wait until the real morning time. I figured it would be a nice surprise for them to wake up to. 

As usual...when it rains it pours. The agency sent us a few more pictures from the social worker later that afternoon. We went from having one pictures to having 9! We can't post pictures but please ask us when you see us...we are more than happy to show anyone! 

As I was trying to fall back asleep after I got the pictures I realized something amazing. We sent our adoption application in on May 6, 2013. Jonathan was born on May 18, 2013. If he was anything like Matthew...we could've sent in our application on Jonathan's due date. Matthew was 11 days late from his due date. Jonathan was born 12 days after we applied. AMAZING!

I'm thankful that God woke me up with the hiccups so that I could connect with our friend to get more pictures! He really does work in some strange ways. Just another part to add to the incredible story God has written for our little boy.