Friday, July 31, 2009

And the news gets better!

We have travel dates! We take Steve to the airport August 8th (at "oh dark thirty") and he and the three will return Friday August 14th! The two little kids will be at Bible camp that week and I will be picking them up at 1:30, which gives us plenty of time to get to Milwaukee to meet their flight! And my parents might possibly be able to join us at the airport to greet everyone! But, either way it is finally happening!

We are still pulling together the in country money, but God is never late. We know that if we have to borrow it, our other grant is coming in on the 14th, so I am sure that somehow we can get it figured out.

God is in control and has been so generous in His provision for these three children, we are so grateful! I am going to be finishing the final touches on the boys' dormitory this week - I guess I am thankful that there isn't much for me to do at work this week - so I won't get many hours, but I sure will put the time to good use. I look forward to working with the kiddos at home to get everyone ready for this huge change in our lives. Everyone is so excited, but they also know that this will change things, and any change, even good, is difficult. I just can barely wrap my head around it that this part of the journey is nearly done. Then comes the real journey - raising these kiddos (as it is with all of them).

We did get some feedback on A's doctor's appointment. They altered his insulin dosages, so it should be better, though I cannot wait to get him in to our doctor and really get on the road to having a handle on his health.

Speaking of diabetes - Kiley went to camp for five days (with her older brothers) but not a diabetes camp, a regular camp and did great. She had two low blood sugar episodes which isn't too bad considering all the activity that they were doing. And only one high blood sugar!!! God is so good. This is a good step for her and her independent (someday) management of her condition. All three kids had a blast - gotta love Spencer Lake Bible camp. We are already trying to figure out how we will save to send all eight next year if they decide they all want to go! Certainly Mom or Dad would go along as a counselor for the newer kiddos - most likely. Zeri had a blast and I can see his confidence soared as he really was independent of the family with lots of kids and adults and his personality just shone! Alex worked himself into a cold or something, but has talked nonstop about all their adventures. It was a wonderful experience for all. I look forward to seeing how they have been impacted spiritually too. Right now they are zonked out exhausted, so it will have to wait!

Thanks for all prayers and for watching this endeavor!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Many praise reports today!!!!

Well, you heard about the birth certificates, and there is more good news!

Yesterday:
After all the stress of A high blood sugars and no one over there seeming to be able to do anything or get the paper we need to get the kids home, well, I spent a lot of time emailing and explaining how serious this is. The medical report we got Tuesday morning was absolutely alarming to the parent of a diabetic kiddo.

Today:
We have an Embassy date of August 11th, nothing sooner could be gotten, but at least we have a date.

Amanuael goes to the specialist within hours (from now) and they are considering hospitalizing him until we can get there. We shall just have to see.

So, we are rushing to get the funds for travel and fees over there.

Another blessing - actually a huge blessing! We were awarded a grant from A Child Waits for nearly all of our airline ticket costs!!!! Praise God!!!! They are sorting out how to get it to us ASAP so we can buy those plane tickets.

So that puts us down to needing two or three thousand dollars for all that Steve might need while over there (and fees and what not)!!!! Amazing!

God is rarely early it seems, but He certainly is never late.

And then we got home from soccer tonight and got the mail, and in it was a check for $200 from friends at church who hadn't heard today's news, but had heard yesterdays!!!! Praise God!

I am going now to write a thank you note!!!

So, things are moving very rapidly, finally, here. Please just pray for our children's health and this entire whirlwind. I haven't even been able to send photobooks yet - that is on tomorrow's list!!!

That is a quick update. I ended up going out to the Bible camp where the three oldest are this week - needed to do an insulin pump site for Kiley. I got to see all three briefly and all are having a blast! We really miss them over here and will be glad when they are home. Turns out that the two younger kids will be at camp the week Steve is gone and will be back before we pick him and the kids up at the airport! God has worked it all out perfectly!

Also, got this quote from another family who is traveling the same week as Steve:

Sometimes I’d like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He could do something about it. But I’m afraid God might ask me the same question. -Anonymous

Makes you stop and think, doesn't it???
Thanks so much,
Christy

Praise God!!!

I am sitting here looking at the needed birth certificates for all three children!!!!! Tears streaming down my face, wanting to scream and shout but Steve is on the phone with a customer.

I don't know exactly what happens next, but I promise we will post updates as soon as we know!!

Praise God

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Please pray!!!

Hi all,
If I could ask a favor, please pray for our A, the diabetic child. We got new medicals again and things have gone drastically from bad to worse. And we are still waiting on one paper. The secretary who usually does it has taken the week off, and our agency is trying to find someone else to do it. At this point, if we can pull together all the travel funds rapidly, we are considering sending one of us over there to administer medical care until we can bring them home. It is very bad, and the fact that it is getting worse... Their medical care there is very bad, nothing we can even relate to. Please pray for his health, for the stupid paper we need, for protection for his organs and extremities and everything.

I don't know what is going to happen next.
Christy

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Greetings from fair!!!

Hi all,
We have completed two full days of showing animals, one more showing day to go and then just general care and fun for the rest of the weekend. It is a bit difficult what with caring for the animals at home and the ones at the fair. It means double duty, plus all the extra work of carting things for the ones at the fairgrounds. We promised the kids an overnight at the fairgrounds so that is upcoming too. We always put up a tent to give us a base to work from - a place to rest when it is needed, a place to store coolers and food, and a place to collect everyone and even store show clothes. So, things are on the move.

Overall the kids have done very well. We have several reserve champions, and an overall champion, and several top blues as well as lots of blues, reds and some whites and pinks. I think there are two trophies so far, but I am a bit bleary, so I am not sure - there may be more. The kids have earned what they got.

I love fair, it is a great time to build relationships with friends from 4H and the community, make new friends and get to know our area. We have made a lot of good friends and this is our time to get to spend time together. Unless you experience this, you just really don't get it - I never did until we did it. It is hard to explain and show.

Wow, I think this post is really showing how tired we are. One more goat to milk at home, chickens to lock up and then back to the fairgrounds. We will be up late tonight (last night it was after 12:30 before we were done and in bed) and up early tomorrow to get chores done before the kids show (today it was up at 5:45). The kids are dying to get back to the rides. They showed rabbits from 9 until nearly 2:30 (or was it three??) and then were free to take part in all the rides and fun of the fair. I love living in a small town! The kids head out in groups and stay in groups (that we really like) and Mom and Dad bounce between them all. It is really fun, but it is taking everyone's strength.

Turns out we left the coffee pot on this morning when we left, so I am going to fill up something huge with all that was in the pot!

I would like to have more coherent thoughts soon and put together a more thought provoking post. I will post photos of the chicken washing process as soon as we are home and settled back in.

If you could pray with us, we are awaiting the call that the needed paper from the office in Ethiopia is in the hands of the adoption agency. Once that is in place, they will be able to advise us on travel dates. Could you please pray with us that this paper will be completed - we were hoping for it each of the last two days, and there is no word yet. We are very anxious to get the children home and begin the makings of our new life. I know God's hand is on it all, that He can see what all is the best for everyone and for his purposes.

Love to you all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Found this quote from a mom...

This came from the blog Amy's Humble Musings:

There was a post in my sidebar this week that I thought was important for modern mothers. Danielle Bean writes:

I am a mother of eight, but it’s not because I am Super Mom. It’s not because I was born with some rare gift that makes me capable of mothering a large family. It’s because this family God has seen fit to give me has shaped and changed me into the person I am today. It’s because God sends challenges and then follows up those challenges with the graces you need to get through them. Always.

I can live this imperfect life with eight imperfect children, not because I am awesome, but because God is.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Wonderful fatigue!

You know how it is when you are tired and run down but you don't really feel like you have done anything to have earned that tiredness? Well, today is not that day!

It is the first day of the County Fair here, and our crew is busy! There was working at the horse barn, getting tack stalls set up and decorating done. Then it was off to show all their projects that they have all done over the last year - these are tangible things such as photography, artwork (drawing in our case), jewelry making, collections, models, etc. That needed to be done in a timely fashion, because then we had to send a couple of the kids back to the house to pick up the guinea pigs and cats that were entered for the showing in the late afternoon! A few hours of that, while we also worked in the 4H food stand rotating through (different family members at different times) for most of the afternoon and evening. Steve took the two oldest to their soccer game just as cat judging began. It went on until nearly nine (the cat judging, not the soccer game). And then it was load up the cats and guinea pigs and think about dinner. (The kids do not like to eat a full meal before a soccer game as they feel it affects their performance, so we end up with really late dinners.)

The overall results were quite good for the first day of fair - a couple red ribbons (second place) and a ton of blue ribbons (first place) and even one Best in Show! One of Kiley's cats took best in show and she was thrilled. It was a close run for Merit, and Faith was just barely beat out for that with her little kitty. She took it very well and was very pleased with her blue and the recommendation by the judge that she show her cat at an upcoming show, and that she would do quite well.

Tomorrow is entry day for chickens and rabbits - so we will be washing rabbits, trimming nails, cleaning ears and brushing them out. The chickens will then be washed - heard of "mad as a wet hen"? Yep, they mean it.

Chickens hate to be washed, plus, their ears are just holes in the sides of their heads and you don't want to get water in their ears - rumor has it they can get really sick. So, picture this: four black five gallon pails all lined up in a row. One with soapy water, one with "bluing" which is to make the white birds very bright white (honestly, it isn't bleach or anything like that, just another shampoo), then the next two are rinse pails.

You take the chicken first in line, hold it by the neck/head and feet and gently dunk it in the water, holding its head above the water, and dunk it up and down, and swish it side to side. Maybe do a bit of spot scrubbing if you have any extra hands. Then you do the same in the respective other buckets.

Needless to say, said chicken is not really happy at all about this. It can get quite interesting.

Then said chicken, now very angry, is put into a carrier/cage to dry and for transport to the fairgrounds. Again, not a happy chicken.

Multiply this by eighteen (or nineteen, I keep losing count - the kids know and I have the registration paperwork). I will make sure Steve has the camera tomorrow so we can try to put something visual behind this story.

As long as we have lots of time, and all of us have a good sense of humor, it is actually pretty funny. Maybe what is most funny is that we even do this at all. I was dumbfounded our first year when they told us to wash the chickens before we brought them in to show. Do what? How do you do that? Ugh.

So, we are praying for a lovely day tomorrow.

Anyway, back to the start of this post. We are tired. Tired in a good way. Tired because we did a lot on a day that was the beginning of a fun but very busy. It is a week of lots of labor, the culmination of the work of the entire year for 4H kids. And parents. We are tired and know that today it is well earned.

Upstairs it is very quiet. Generally it is a bit noisy for a little while after we send everyone to bed - the kind where mom and dad call up stairs for everyone to go to sleep. "Guys, we said go to bed - what part of "go to bed" would cause all the thumping/giggling/etc we are hearing??". But tonight, it didn't last more than a few minutes and it is absolutely silent now! I would guess that all five are sound asleep.

So what am I doing up?

Writing this.

Guess I should go to sleep too. I know that it will only take moments.
Goodnight. May you all sleep the sleep of those who have earned it, the sweetest kind! However you earned it.
God Bless!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For this child I prayed....

I love this saying. I see it on adorable baby photo frames, decorative plates with little tiny footprints, all over. And each time it makes me mist up.

I think of all eight of our children. I think of how each one came to our family and how each one grew in my heart.

See, the secret is, that although three of our children grew also UNDER my heart (in my womb), each child grew in my heart long before I could touch him or her. In some ways the adoption journey is like the pregnancy journey. You wonder about all sorts of things. What he or she will sound like when you first hear their voice, what things they will like, which family member they will most resemble is some way, what they will grow up to be. All of that. I dream about the three children we are soon to bring home in some of the same ways that I dreamed of my birth children before they were born.

But this time, again, they come to us as little people with developed personalities and history and experiences. These histories can be difficult at times. I cannot tell you the times I have listened to my boys relate experiences that make me just want to cry. No child should have memories of things like that, should have experienced some of what they have experienced.

But, we are so grateful that they are here and work to teach them that they are stronger because of what they experienced. They lived through things, and they have moved on.

To watch them now, to see their strength, their joy, their resilience, and who they are becoming - all of the children, all five that I can currently see, that is the greatest blessing.

No matter whether a child is born into a family and remains in that family, or whether life throws them into a whirlwind and they end up in another family, they are who they are. I want them all to know that they belong, and they do. I watch our birth children struggle with their own issues and know that each child, no matter their history, will have their own set of struggles in life.

If as their parent, I can give them some skills to deal with these struggles in a positive and persistent way, then I think I have given them a good gift. No one is immune from struggles.

I sat with my eldest birth daughter today at yet another endocrinology appointment (diabetes). I was trying to count how many of these we have done in the last six years since her diagnosis. Every three months for six years, would probably put us at about 18, with a couple more added in when she was first diagnosed and seen more often. It becomes routine, but not routine. She was all worked up because she knew that today she would have a blood draw. She only gets these once a year, and we have numbing cream, but she has been working herself up for this for at least a month, knowing it was coming. Most days she doesn't struggle with this chronic issue - it just is what is. But sometimes these appointments really bring home that this isn't normal, that this is difficult, that this really stinks. And we both know that this will likely continue for the rest of her life, though we are praying for a cure. This is what is. She could get hung up on the issue and be wallowing in self pity, but she isn't. She won't. Not that there aren't moments, but they are generally very brief. And we deal with it and move on.

We do this with all the kids. Life happens, crummy stuff happens to everyone. It just does. No one is immune, at least no one I know. So, we need to look for the good stuff. Deal with the bad as much as we must, and then move on. I know one lady who is in her sixties, still mourning for her crummy childhood and complaining about her mother and how things could have been different and how that would have changed her life. Not to say that I don't feel for her experiences and pain, but for heaven's sake, move on! Make good choices, learn from your bad ones, learn from you bad experiences and get out there and make a great today and tomorrow! That is all that we get. At some point we need to say, "yep, that stunk, but I don't want to keep reliving it". We can chose our todays.

For this child I prayed....

For each single one.

That they will be healthy and strong, that they will love deeply and long, that they will make wise choices, thoughtful choices that will lead them to fulfillment and happiness. That they will work hard and be satisfied, no matter what they do. That they will always let their past provide them with a foundation and strength and compassion and love. That they will be faith filled, that they will know the wonders of a true relationship with their Lord. That they will never sell themselves short, that they will try many things, that they will find the true meaning in their life. That they will be kind, giving, loving, and generous people. That people will walk away from meeting them and be blessed. That whatever they do in life, that they will do it to the best of their abilities, no matter what those abilities are. That they will love us as we love them. That we will always be a close family, that we will have those ties that bind lovingly.

Those prayers we say for our unborn babies, those are the same prayers we pray for our children who have come to us through adoption. Those prayers are the same. The children, well, we may not have seen those tiny baby toes, or seen them as little ones learning to walk, but we still prayed for them for each of those things. Those deep prayers of the heart, they are the same.

I looked again at photos of our children in Ethiopia, and just had to say "we have a daughter, we have a son, we have a son". I am still in awe.

Terrified at times, but in awe.

For this child I prayed... For Alex, for Zeri, for Kiley, for Amanuael, for Solomon, for Faith, for Tsion, and for Abenezer. They have all grown in my heart long before I could touch them. For this child I prayed..... And prayed.... And prayed.....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Families For Orphans Act!!! Please help!

Below is a forward from the NCFA:

Dear Friend of Adoption:

NCFA is pleased to announce that the introduction of the Families for Orphans Act (H.R. 3070*) and the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (S. 1359 and H.R. 3110), both of which are a result of NCFA’s collaborative involvement in the Families for Orphans Coalition.** Both proposed acts represent a potential victory for millions of vulnerable children from around the world who need a permanent family and for child welfare advocates who proactively work globally to address the permanency needs of children.

Introduced by Senator Mary Landrieu and Representatives John Boozman (R-Arkansas) and Diane Watson (D-Ca), the Families for Orphans Act would establish the Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development within the Department of State which would have the responsibility for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy advocating for the preservation of families and other permanency options such as intercountry adoption for orphans.

Spearheaded by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) and Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR), the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act simplifies the acquisition of citizenship for internationally adopted children and removes these children of American citizens from the immigration process.

More information about the Families for Orphans Act and the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act can be found at www.adoptioncouncil.org.

How can you advocate for these children?

We are asking all you to become actively engaged with your U.S. Congressional Representative and Senators by urging them to support the Families For Orphans Act and the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act. Your visit, telephone call, letter or e-mail can make a difference in the life of a child who is desperately in need of a permanent, loving family.

1. Come to DC on Wednesday, July 15th and participate in meetings on Capitol Hill to educate Members of Congress on the importance of both legislative proposals. This event is being organized by fellow coalition member Kidsave. For more information, please visit http://www.kidsave.org/pdf/Kidsave10thAnniversary.pdf.

2. In coordination with the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, we are suggesting a 72-hour sustained telephone effort by asking you to call Congress on July 21, 22, or 23 and urge your three Members of Congress (two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives) to become a Co-sponsor of the Families For Orphans Act and the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act. Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff and tell them that as a constituent you are requesting their boss’ support by becoming a Co-sponsor. You can direct the staffer to contact Senators Mary Landrieu (and Representatives Diane Watson and John Boozman for information on becoming a Co-sponsor (and to Senator James Inhofe for support of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act). For contact information on your representative please visit www.house.gov and for information on your senators please visit www.senate.gov.

3. Get the word out. Send this email to friends and family. Post it to your Facebook, My Space, and Twitter accounts, your blog, and personal Web site.

On behalf of the vulnerable children worldwide, we thank you for your time and your efforts. We can make a positive difference as we work together on behalf of children.

Sincerely,

Chuck Johnson
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Not only would this support and streamline the adoptive process, but it also would make obtaining American citizenship for our adopted children much simpler. It is a confusing process and needs to be simplified for the sake of families and children. Please consider supporting this!
Christy and crew - who will be on the phone with our legislators!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Not exactly our favorite email this morning...

CWAE’s Country Representative informed us this morning of the following:

The most shocking news is that MoWA staff went out of office and will be occupied with PBR discussion for the next two weeks, starting from today. The court will not either see cases until MoWA staff finish their discussion . This was also posted at the court today.
So the court dates we have between July 09 and 22 will be postponed to dates beyond July 22.
The new schedule will be posted at the court tomorrow . Not only that, those cases that were approved this week will not be processed since MoWA will be closed for the next two weeks .

We have spent the day grappling with what effects this will have on cases currently in the pipeline. As best we can understand at the moment, this means that …

• Only a handful of CWA cases, scheduled over the next two weeks, will be postponed until after MoWA returns to the office and can submit letters of recommendation to the court.
• Embassy dates for a number of families will be further delayed because letters from MoWA are required after a court decision in order to both secure birth certificates, as well as notify the US Embassy that the adoptions have been finalized.
• It is highly unlikely that there will be any new cases put on the court docket before the recess. We are hopeful that cases already in process will be heard. Otherwise, documents being submitted from now can only hope to be scheduled for hearing dates when court reopens in October.

This is distressing news for all of us. Case Managers will notify their families individually as soon as we know how this impacts each family.
Please be patient over the next several days as we sort things out and get back to you.

So, this wasn't the news we wanted for today. It means that our case is set back but hopefully only slightly. We are so grateful that the children passed court on Monday, otherwise it would be unable to be done at all before October!!!! So, we are very thankful! Hopefully this will only set us back just a little, that the "medical evac" status will enable MoWA to get the needed documents rapidly when they open again. In some ways this increases the anxiety - worrying that we will be waiting longer to get the kids home to medical care, but also gives us a tiny bit of breathing room as we prepare. We are not counting on it I we are fairly certain that God will continue to move things through as is in His plan (not necessarily ours).

We are off to the funeral now, so it will be a long day.

The entire family was able to see the family night of The Music Man and it was absolutely fabulous! I was so amazed. And to see my hubby dancing and all of that - wow! Yah think ya know someone!!! LOL! It was great!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Whirlwind

Hi all,
Well, the news is settling in a little as well as a few surprises. The children are ours and will soon be home! No dates as of yet, this last bit will be a wild ride.

We got birthdates and they place the kids as younger than we were initially told: 10 1/2, 9 and 8 - however these are most likely not correct. It is more likely that the original ages we were given are correct, this happens a lot in international adoption. We have decided not to worry about it at all - it would make no difference to us if we were told their birthdates were something ridiculous like three thousand years ago - the kids are who they are, the rest is just something to be aware of and to manage.

We are waiting to hear when the kids will be ready to travel. We have a travel agent who specializes in adoption who is all ready to help us book the best tickets we can get. We are exploring how to book these - praying that the reimbursement that we get will get here rapidly and in time to book those tickets, otherwise we will be creative. We have last minute things to arrange - paperwork with the state (and of course fees there), visas for Steve and all of that. He goes for his shots tomorrow.

The massive reorganization at the house is coming along - we were blessed with bunkbeds last night - I had let it be known that we were looking to buy a set and we were gifted them by a family who wanted to help - praying for God's blessings for them for their kindness!!! A piece at a day. The hunt is on for two mattresses and one boxspring and then all is ready as far as beds. I have a sawzall and now just need the chance to try to use it!! LOL! Then plastering and painting where we took the wall down, then moving all the boys' furniture.

Just in general we are overwhelmed. Preparations for the funeral are coming along and family is coming in from out of state, so things are busy there also. My strategy is to focus on one thing at a time, otherwise I just won't get anywhere. I know at some point the grief will set in, but it hasn't yet. I find it surreal that Grandma is gone. There has barely been a moment to even think about it for any length of time. It will hit soon, but I am just trying to keep going.

The Music Man opens on Thursday night - same day as the funeral. Steve and Alex will of course be tied up with that. Two of the children will go with Steve's mother and sister to the last rehearsal - which is actually a run of the show, just with family and friends. A couple days later I will take the other two children with me and my parents to see it ourselves. I have no idea when as of yet but am looking forward to it!!! And we have to do the last preparations for fair!!!!! I hav two weeks, two weeks. Breathe.

I cannot wait to show photos. I know that legally I can as the children are now adopted, but I think we will wait until they are on the plane coming home. I don't want to take any chances at this time.

I will try to post a more profound post soon, but just don't have the brain cells right now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A day of loss and gain, and it is only 8AM!!!!

We got a call this morning in the predawn hours that my grandma, who has been in poor health for some time, passed away. The family is working on the celebration of her life, and so there is a lot going on. I am grateful for her sake that she is at peace that she went rather easily and that all three of her daughters were able to be there.

And on another note, in the middle of phone calls about all of the above, we got a call from our caseworker. She sounded very astonished, but called to let us know that we are now the parents to EIGHT children!!!!! The children in Ethiopia are legally adopted! All three went through without a hitch this morning!!!! Unreal! Praise God! I am still quite stunned and experiencing quite the mix of emotions! They are working like crazy over there to get things ready for us to travel - again, it looks like it could be as soon as two weeks! Breathe, breathe, breathe. I will post more later, but I just wanted to shout out a quick update for those that have followed this - hey, I can post photos and names now!!!! They are our children: Amanuel, Abenezer, and Tsion!!!!!!

If you know anyone who wants to help us bring to this to its wild conclusion, we would be grateful for any help - our heads are in a whirlwind as we try to rapidly get this all in order!

LOL! Praise God!
Christy
mom to the group of eight!!!! (I need a name for group or something, that rhymes at least sort of with eight!!!)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sawzall anyone?

I have no idea if I spelled that correctly and just simply didn't feel like looking it up. Oh, well, it is early.

The next project, along with continuing the fencing, is getting that wall down to make the boys' dormitory. It should go easily, but as we all know with renovations, that doesn't mean a thing. The fencing is about 1/3 up - small incident yesterday put things a bit behind schedule, plus the discovery that the ground is layers - a nice topsoil, with gravel down a foot or so, and then another foot or so down it is sand - just like beach sand!!! Huh. I don't think part of it has ever been farmed, it is down in a meadow area, but there is just no way to know at this point. Interesting to wonder how it all ended up that way - wondering if all the land around here has this makeup?

We are trying to keep the momentum going, so I am looking to borrow or rent a sawzall, though likely in reality, unless I think I can handle it myself, it will have to wait until next weekend. Hubby and eldest son will be having every free moment tied up from Sunday until July 16th with the Music Man production at St. Norbert's University. I am so pleased for them, we all will attend at some point during the week long run and are looking forward to it! And then comes the fair, and then camp, and then soccer tournaments - oooh, I just cannot think that far out anymore, it makes my head spin.

Wonder how a sawzall works? Think I can manage it on my own? Hmmmm.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Update

Hi,
I am taking a moment to update, in between putting in new fencing with the family, washing dishes and laundry, and generally doing a ton of stuff. We had both taken the day off in order to go to a visit with several other families, but at the very last minute it got cancelled. No way to get back on the schedule for work at that point, so it was a surprise day off. And boy are we putting it to use!!!

As you saw from the last post, things have really changed. We have not been able to get any more medical information, but our concerns have really gotten things going. The children will have a court date next week, but we don't know when - I suspect they are squeezing it in. Then the agency is going to be rushing things, getting a "medical evac" so we can get the kids home rapidly. It could be very fast, possibly as soon as two weeks from court date - a huge, huge, huge difference from the travel dates at the end of September that we had been expecting!!! Terrible to NEED this to happen like this, but wonderful that it CAN.

So, the current status is that there are a flurry of things going on - many emails and contacts with the adoption agency, getting an adoption bond, clarifying where things need to do with the state, talking to the travel agency, calling our medical specialists for the two kids that need them, and trying to stay calm and rational in the midst of all the unknown - and July is our busiest month with Steve and Alex being in The Music Man that runs July 9 to 16, the kids at county fair the week of July 19 and then three kids going to camp the last week of July (if we can still afford it by then), and soccer tournaments the first weekend in August. And now possibly Steve travelling to Ethiopia to bring the kids home.

The wall is not yet down in between the two rooms that are being made into the "boys dormitory".

The new bunkbeds are not here yet.

We will be having to figure out how to reserve tickets without having the cash in hand as we still have to get that from where it is parked, and praying that it can come rapidly.

Breathe, breathe, breathe.

Both the neurology clinic and the endocrinology clinic have been alerted to our situation. The hardest thing to get them to understand is that we have NO information like they are used to, and we still won't have it when we get back. As soon as we have travel dates we will schedule appointments for those kids at their respective clinics so we can get good medical care started.

We have talked to the travel agency and our costs are going to be in the ballpark of $5600, though we are going to certainly get more precise prices once we know when we need to actually really travel. We know that we will have an adoption reimbursement from an employer that will more than cover that, but given how rapidly this is happening, it is unknown if we can access that as soon as we might need in order to reserve tickets.

Please pray! If you know anyone who might want to help, please let them know our situation. I know it is all temporary, but it is what it is.

Things are looking good for getting things moved along quickly and possibly even have the kids home yet this month, though everything is variable. So, we are praying for health for the kids and for things to move as God wills. I know by next week we will know more and just see how this shakes out.
Thanks!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Please pray!

You all know that we are awaiting a court date on the three children in Ethiopia - well we got an update on the boys today, and the older boy, who lives with diabetes (as does Kiley) is having trouble medically. His labs were not normal and indicate that his diabetes is not in good control at all. We are panicked as that means that he could be at high risk for a diabetic crisis in short order. We are begging the adoption agency to move things quickly, to beg for early court dates and early visa dates. At this point we are looking at a court date possibly the third week in July and then travel likely ten weeks after that - this is simply too long given his medical condition!!!! If you could send up prayers for A and for the quick movement on this entire issue, I would be so appreciative.

The way we handle these things and the way things are handled there are very different. I am absolutely terrified as I look at all the numbers, they are not good. This can have an impact on A not only today, but the consequences for the rest of his life are significant. Complications from diabetes are the long term issues, I am personally afraid of the more short term threats medically. I so would appreciate any prayers and support. Tonight I am terrified. I know what it is to live with this, we do it day and day out, but to not be able to make things better, it is horrible..... I know we serve a big God, a huge God who can protect A from everything and keep all the kids safe. I know that, but this mama is scared and I cannot do a thing to help him. I look at our medical cabinet full of what I know he needs and there is nothing I can do. I could send things, but would they use it, would they know how to use it???? It is all so different.

So, thanks for listening, I hope to have updates soon - the adoption agency is on it intensely as I was a bit forthright about the medical situation and the potentials. They have promised to get me more information tomorrow and work hard to move things on. I know that they will, they have been amazing. But we are now stuck in bureaucracy between two countries and the entire process. Will they look at this particular child and his particular needs? I don't know.

On the upside - I took the kids strawberry picking tonight and we filled six ice cream buckets! A long night later and we have lots of jam and five gallon bags of fresh frozen strawberries. What a crew! We had so much fun, made such a mess, ate so many strawberries! It was great! And they want to do it again!!! Well ,the last jars are cooling (1:30 AM) and I am heading to bed - I sen the last of the kids to bed at midnight. Amazing what we can all get done, but I am just done in!

Thank you so much, and for the opportunity to vent about our current situation. Thank you for any prayers and support!