Tuesday, September 29, 2009

3 months home

3 Months ago today!

3 Months Later...

Wow. How did 3 months go by so fast? Here are the most common questions I get and the answers:

1.) How is he bonding?
Great! and not so good. He is like a mommy suction cup. If he is on my body, he is happy. If he is not, he cries real tears. When I am home he only likes to be fed from me. Anyone else gets a fit. He is a passionate little boy. So the great is that he very much is attached to me and loves it. The not so great is that my arms get a bit tired each day carrying around his 22 lb booty.

2.) How are the kids doing together?
Better than I expected. Emelia loves Levi. She is very helpful and patient when he needs me. LEvi also LOVES Emelia. She can get him to belly laugh doing the simplest things. Charlie LOVES Levi. He still thinks Levi is his personal stuffed animal. He will push LEvi over and lay on top of him saying, "cuddle Levi, cuddle Levi". Levi is, for good reason, nervous around Charlie. They love to take baths all together.

3.) What is Levi's personality like?
I love Levi, but I am learning to love him for who he is and not what I imagined him to be. I had already formulated ideas from his pictures and what other people said when they met him. When we picked him up in Ethiopia, he was very chill and easy. After we had been home a few weeks things changed. What I know now: He doesn't like to sleep. He is a busy boy. Love to beat on anything..toys, tables, people etc. Loves to eat- 22 lbs:). Loves his blanket. He is constantly moving.

4.) Do you love him the same as Emelia and Charlie?
Yes! Yes! Yes! That doesn't mean I don't get annoyed or frustrated at him. He can be extremely draining. When I went back to work, I ached for him the same way as my bio kids. I LOVE his smell. When he is sleeping I sneak in a smell him. It is different than Emelia's and Charlie's smell but I love it. He just feels like he fits and that he has always been in our family.

5.) Is it weird having a child with different colored skin? Do you get strange looks? What do people say?
This has been a bit problematic. I used to be able to leave my house un-showered in my pajamas (yes, it is true) and be unnoticed. I cannot do that anymore. Every where I go, people talk to me. They want to know where he is from, how long it took and how much it cost. Okay, it's not that big of a deal but I do have to plan for people to interrupt my outing for questions. I have had nothing but positive comments and interactions out in public.

6.) Is your family complete?
No. We are pretty sure we will adopt again in the future. Right now life it pretty crazy so we can't say exactly when. But we know that God has opened our eyes to see what a huge need there is across the world and that we can make a HUGE difference. Right now that difference is in Levi and other people that are considering adoption because of watching our story.
Last night Andrew and I were in bed talking. We had just been talking about the chaos in our lives right now. The fatigue, the busyness, the financial challenges, etc. I then said, "I think I want to adopt again." Andrew simply replied, "Me too." I was shocked. I thought Andrew would get a vasectomy and block all access to adoption blogs with the way the past few weeks have gone. I am glad that God has united our hearts and our callings.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A few birthday presents

Those of you who have already been to Ethiopia and enjoyed firsthand the coffee, will appreciate this coffee cup. When you get to the Union Hotel in Ethiopia you get to order how much coffee you want to take home with you. They ask you this question at a completely ridiculous time...right before you go meet your child. Well, I wasn't really thinking and I said 10. I thought I was getting 10- 1 Lb bags. Nope. I got 10 Kg or 22 lbs of coffee to return home with. We had a suitcase just full of coffee. This label is off one of the beloved coffee bags. The coffee is amazing, dreamy, smooth, rich, smoky....absolutely beautiful. I am not sure what I will do when we run out. This coffee cup full of dark Ethiopia coffee makes my drive to work at 430am so much better. Thanks Andrew for this wonderful present!

Remember those tomato plant pictures I posted? Here is a sample of what we harvest EVERY week from half the plants. The other half are cherry tomatoes. I currently have a love/ hate relationship with my tomatoes. I feel like I am drowning in them. Yesterday I worked from 5am-530pm, rushed home, put 3 kids to bed. My darling husband had picked the tomatoes for me while I was gone. So instead of falling into bed myself I peeled the skin off these tomatoes, chopped and froze them in bags (This picture is the left over ones I didn't peel and freeze). CRAZY! So many more to go. I have the high hopes of learning to can by next summer. Or maybe just not plant so many tomato plants.

As for the children. Not much good to report here. All 3 are sick. I was going to post disgusting pictures of each of there noses but I didn't want to scare off the 3 people who read this blog.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Write Amber a B-Day Message

Hi Everyone! It's your lovable little fuzz ball of a husband, Andrew here inviting you to a once-in-her-life-time opportunity. Amber's 28th B-Day is 9/23 and you get to write her a note!

click the comments link below to leave your message

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Take my life

Our community group (small group, home group whatever you call them) has been trying to figure out how to be missional, not individually but as a community. As I was praying yesterday about this issue, I came across this familiar hymn. It deeply encouraged me to look not to myself but to Christ.

Philippians 3:8 "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ..."

Take My Life and Let It Be

Take my life and let it by consecrated Lord to thee.
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love
at the impulse of thy love

Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice and let me sing always only for my King
Always only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be filled with messages for thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold
Not a mite would I withhold

Take my love my God I pour at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be ever only all for thee
Ever only all for thee.

Return to work:
On a sad note. I return to work tomorrow. I am more nervous this time than with the other 2 kids. Maybe because I have to be there by 5am. Ouch! I also have enjoyed being home so much the past 12 weeks. If you think of us tomorrow, pray for Andrew. He will be with the kids for 12 hours by himself.

Friday, September 11, 2009

One year ago

One year ago today we started our adoption. This very day we sent in our contracts and $. Crazy how fast it went. I due a due date calculator online and discovered our adoption was just a week and a half more than a pregnancy. He would have been 41 5/7 weeks.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Emelia!

My daughter turned 4 today. I always love replaying her birth in my head. Today I actually took the kids to the hospital for her to see the room she was born in. 4 years ago she came into the world at 11:58am. She is the one who made me a Mother.

A lot has happened in 4 years. From this:
To this:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

great books!

I have been reading and re-reading 2 really really really good books this past month.
The first being, Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community.

It is more of less about community being a lifestyle that demonstrates the gospel verses a group you attend one evening a week for 2 hours. This has been instrumental in our families approach to community and ministry. I had previously thought of participating in a community for my enjoyment. Selfish but true. This book and our church (Mars Hill) have been really challenging me in what community is really about. I am now striving to participate in community to serve the purposes of the gospel, for Jesus, for my love for Him. Not because it's a good thing, fun thing, or an obligation. I highly recommend this book!

The second book, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches.
I cannot do this book justice in a review. It is a must read for those pondering adoption, adoptive families and well every Christian. It clearly explains adoption in relation to the gospel. It takes adoption from a good thing to.... a biblical mandate.