November 1- LAUGHING GAS! As people close to me know...I haven't been to the dentist in... well a long time. I had a cavity filled last time I went and it was a bad experience...so I just didn't go back. Not the best decision- but live and learn. Anyways. A tooth was hurting me and I knew it was time to visit the dentist again. I didn't want to go back to the the first place and found via suggestion of friends a new dentist. I went for my cleaning/xrays/consultation and had a FABULOUS experience. The staff was so friendly-every single one of them, my cleaning was great...I didn't even feel assulted after they flossed my teeth! They confirmed my cavities and I made an appointment to go back the next week to get it fixed. They told they had laughing gas and so I figured I would give the dentist another go and try it with laughing gas. I dreaded my appointment the whole next week but didn't cancel! (Big personal growth.) Let me tell you...I still love this new dentist. And I have an even bigger love for laughing gas. That was a MUCH better time than I ever expected. I shared with a few people my experience and considering it resembles a drunk girl that is embarrassing herself I won't share every detail with you. I did work hard to remember all of my crazy thoughts and made notes on my iphone before everything had worn off so I could tell Adam about the experience. You can think what you want about all of this... haha. Bottom line is- I am thankful for laughing gas. I had a much better dentist experience with it and will return again- not even with dread- but with anticipation. So shout out to Dr. Krantz. If you're in Jacksonville- go to them- they are great.
November 2- HOW OTHERS CARE ABOUT/FOR THE ORPHAN HAS BLESSED OUR FAMILY IN THE PROCESS. I had always heard that adoption takes a village. I know why now. It is true and we have the BEST village! Here are three stories that have overwhelmed my heart. I hope that you never think something is too small to do for an orphan. Be a part of a village...find one and join an adoption journey! Your heart will be blessed. Obedience to care for orphans can never be a bad thing!
Story #1- At the beginning (and all the way through) my good friend Kristi Russell asked me continually about our adoption journey. Through different things I shared with her she heard a need that she could help meet. I didn't tell her it was a need, but she was gracious enough to take on a labor of love for Jonathan's sake. The packing list our agency sent us had a LONG section of it dedicated to medical supplies we would need for our trip. I was overwhelmed with the cost and collection of all the items. Kristi called me one day and said that if we were ok with it she wanted to head up an effort to collect all of the list for us. I'm pretty sure I cried. It was such a help to know that I would not have to think about any of that list again. (My mind is always in a million different places these days!) I knew she would get it done! She helped with a letter that went out to Matthew's pre-school class to help with some items if they wanted. There wasn't much response from that, but Kristi still took care of it! She went to others she knew would have certain items, or that would be willing/want to help. There are lots of people that bought bandaids, clorox wipes, ibuprofen, and a bunch of other things that I don't even know about. I'm not sure who all sacrificed time and money to make sure we didn't have to tackle the list ourselves! I am so thankful for you if you were one of those people! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I knew even more when I saw the pile of items that it would've been much more stress to collect than I initially even thought. All of you bought one or multiple items for us that would've added up to a lot of money/time for us. These are the unexpected or uncalculated costs of adoption that can easily overwhelm. I am so thankful for Kristi's helpful and observant spirit. I very much appreciate her sensitivity to what was needed, and willingness to get it done. I know she is very busy herself, but she knew that this was a way that she could participate in caring for the orphan, and she made it happen! I am so thankful for those of you that used your resources and time to care for the orphan in a way that you may not think was that big of a deal, but is such a HUGE blessing. Here is the final product! As you can see...this was a large project!
Story #2- Diapers are always overwhelming to someone brining home a baby. For both Matthew and Andrew, people had diaper showers for us. It was such a blessing! The cost of diapers adds up FAST! This was another need I didn't ask someone to help meet...they thought of it on their own and acted. Blessing upon blessing! An elementary aged girl that is a friend of our family had a birthday coming up. She decided that she wanted to ask her friends to bring diapers for Jonathan to her party instead of presents for herself. You guessed it...I cried again. Will the waterworks ever end?...I don't think so! I have learned through other's acts of kindness towards us through out this process, that I am a selfish person. I am thankful for this lesson and have already started to look for ways to bless others like I have been blessed! Cassie...I am amazed by your selflessness in this, and your love for our family...all 5 of us! And thank you to your friends that I don't even know for doing what you asked and brining diapers to your party!! I will think of you often as I change Jonathan's diapers...which I'm guessing will be pretty frequently. Haha.
Story #3- A friend of mine has triplet girls who are AMAZING! For years she has shared with me sweet things these girls choose to do! They have always been a testimony to me. What should have come by NO surprise to me based on their history...they blessed my socks off by caring for Jonathan. At our gift card shower one of the girls gave us money for Jonathan. WHAT A SACRAFICE for anyone, but specifically a child! Adam and I both cried when we opened it. All three girls made the sweetest card for Jonathan that will forever reside in his baby book. Their mom told me a few weeks ago that they were making bracelets to sell to make money for Jonathan. I told her that this was so sweet! I had no idea where they would sell them or how they would make money, but my heart was so touched by their generous sweet idea. This past Wednesday night my friend told me that her girls wanted to give me something after church. I met them out front and they handed me a bracelet they had made for me with Ugandan colors like the ones they sold...
Cool huh?! And then they handed me an envelope...
Inside the envelope was $61!! YOU GUYS!!! These 7 year old little girls worked hard making bracelets and selling them. God blessed their sweet efforts with $61! That is a lot of money to me...I can't imagine to 7 year olds! They chose to do what they said they were going to do with that money and gave it for Jonathan! Yes...more tears were involved. I asked the girls what they wanted me to use the money on...formula to fill his tummy or diapers to keep his bottom clean. They giggled and squealed and said FORMULA! Haha- I guess dirty diapers weren't something they wanted to think about. I guess it isn't something I really want to think about either to be fair. :)
So- as you can see- these stories blow me away every time I think about them! I have been so excited to share God's goodness through the acts of others with you all! He is good and continually faithful. I'm thankful for those that were obedient to His prompting to be the instruments of His faithfulness to us and the fatherless.
November 3- GOD'S FAITHFULNESS. This month is National Adoption Month. A month for drawing attention to the need of the fatherless. I have been very aware of this month for the past few years, but am extra thankful for the way we get to participate this year! During National Adoption Month an orphan will become a family member!!! This is AMAZING you guys! If you were in my mind as I type this I would be yelling this at you! :) God is so good! He keeps His promises, even to the least of these. He is fulfilling His promise to Jonathan this month in providing for him a home in our family! We are so lucky!! God has been abundantly faithful during every tip-toe, step, and leap of faith we have taken in the adoption journey. Thank you LORD!