I hope you will visit my ministry website: http://ajourneyoffaith.net .
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The past two weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the love of friends. As I have mentioned, we don't have any involved extended family, so friends are more than just "fun to play with". No ... friends are a true gift from the Lord.
Since the actual trip plans came upon us so quickly, my friends threw together a last-minute shower, in order to fill the kids' dressers before their arrival home. Shower invites were sent out on Monday the 14th, and on Saturday the 19th, 23 friends set aside their afternoons to bless me beyond measure. We got wonderful new clothes, fun new toys, school backpacks, art supplies, school books, scrapbooking supplies for the Africa albums I am going to make for each of the children, food for the trip, etc... But ... even more than the presents ... I am blessed by the love that each of these friends have, not only for me, but for these children that they have not met yet.
Several friends have told me that their daughters can hardly wait to meet their new friends, Sarah and Rachel. Yes, there are children ready and waiting to invite my children into their lives.
Several friends have told me that they are surprised, themselves, that they already feel bonded with Jacob, Sarah, and Rachel. One dear friend turned around at the end of our church service on the 19th, gave me a big hug, and with tears in her eyes said, "I can hardly wait to meet "our" kids."
One friend told me just today that going to the shower made it "real" to her. She can hardly wait to meet the children. She is excited to invite them over to her farm, to see her animals.
Two friends have recently told me that they, too, are seriously praying about adopting. They, too, sense the Lord's leading in this new adventure.
Four friends have told me to post their phone numbers for the children to call whenever they need anything while we are gone. In an email just today, a sweet friend said, "We want to do anything we can to help with the children, so that you and Jim don't have any worries while you are gone." She went on to list 4 specific ways that they could help, including driving our children wherever they might need to go. She can even leave work for a few minutes if she needs to get our kids someplace.
In the past ... when Jim and I have left for just a few days ... I have arranged play dates for all of the younger kids for every day that we are gone. This time ... I have nothing arranged. I am not worried at all. I know that the Lord has this whole trip in His hands, and that He will be in charge while we are gone. I am blessed by my "big kids", that are taking on so much responsibility, with JOYFUL attitudes. And, I know that one of the main reasons that they are so confident that things will go well, is that they, too, are blessed by our dear friends that are walking this walk with us.
THANK YOU ... Friends ... You are a Gift from our Father in Heaven ... Jacob, Sarah, and Rachel will be blessed to have each of you in their lives.
As I was tucking the little guys into bed last night, we were discussing the fun aspect of being "just like twins" with their new sisters. They are so excited for it.
Josiah (age 7), however, mentioned that it would be different, because there would be one white twin and one black twin. Then, being the deep thinker that he is, he very seriously said, "We need to paint Dad black."
While it is quite the funny thought ... the tender heart behind the thought was saying that he so wants his new sisters and brother to "fit in" with the family, that obviously it would be better if Dad was just black. Then, people wouldn't wonder why we had a black twin and a white twin.
Too precious ....
Due to the amazing wonders of technology, I was able to sit and visit with my children today. No ... not on the phone ... on the computer.
Some dear friends of ours arrived at Beacon House this week, to meet their children. ( www.blaskebroadcast.blogspot.com ) Ashlie is a good friend of Carissa and Lindsey's, and they all happen to have the same amazing laptop computers, with built-in video cameras. Just after I woke up this morning, the girls excitedly called me into their room to "iChat" with the kids. It was amazing! We visited for over 45 minutes, until we reluctantly had to say good-bye so that I could drive the girls into town for their college classes (they had long since missed the bus).
This was the first time that we had actually spoken with the children. We have a great video of them, speaking to us; but, they had never even heard our voices. The kids have spent the last 3 days (since Ashlie arrived) bombarding her with questions about our family. They show her their scrapbooks and say, "Tell me more about ________." (THANKS Ashlie, for loving on our kids!)
Jacob and Sarah were filled with questions, while Rachel sat back, quietly, for awhile. But, when I spoke directly to her, she was glad to answer. Whenever I stepped out of the room for a moment, the children begged Carissa and Lindsey to "Go find mom." Oh ... they were so excited to talk to their Mama.
Jacob repeatedly asked, "Where is dad? I want to talk to dad." But we had to explain that dad was at work and we would set up a chat time for later in the day.
Carissa & Lindsey took the computer for a walk, and gave the kids a video tour of the house. They each got to see their new bedrooms, and they asked us to show them their winter coats (they are quite concerned about being cold when they come). When the girls pointed the camera outside, the kids got soooo..... excited to see all of the snow. They said, "We want to come play in it right now."
Lindsey played the guitar for the kids, and Hosanna played them a song on the piano, to which Jacob responded, "That is beautiful." in his most precious British accent. Then Jacob had to show us that he knows how to walk on stilts. He even did a little dance on his stilts, and later asked Papa if Papa could make him some stilts when he gets home.
Jeremiah, Ben, Hosanna, Josiah, and Elijah all had a chance to say "hello" also, which the kids LOVED. We are no longer just pictures of a family somewhere ... we are THEIR family, in THEIR new home, anxiously awaiting their arrival.
They asked me about details of our time with them. When will we arrive? (Monday) How many days? (5) Where will we stay when we come? (At a Guest House) Will they stay with us? (Yes!) Will we travel to the North? (Yes.) Will we take the plane to the North? (No. We will hire a car driver.) And ... precious Rachel ... "When can we come home to Washington?" (Very soon.)
While we were talking to the kids on Lindsey's computer, Carissa connected with Cassie in Oregon, on Carissa's computer. Then, we held the computers up to each other and Cassie could see the children and talk to them. Crazy! As soon as we hung up, Cassie and Ashlie then connected, and the children got to iChat with Cassie for about 45 minutes. Afterwards ... Cassie phoned me and screamed, "Mom ... I got to talk to them!" Yes ... we are EXCITED!!!
While Cassie was chatting with the kids, she phoned Papa on the phone, so that he could chat with them over the phone and through the computer. Then, he rushed home at lunch, connected with Ashlie, and had his own visit with all 3 of the kids. Sarah even cried, as she doesn't want to wait any longer for us to come. Ohhh .... we don't want to wait any longer either ... we are counting the minutes ...
We will be forever grateful to the most unexpected gift that Ashlie gave to us today ... the gift of really meeting our children. Amazing! While she could have been spending her time with her own new brother and sister, she was, instead, taking the time to bless our family more than we could have imagined.
Later this afternoon, Ashlie's dad and one of her brothers stopped by and we felt a little bad that they haven't yet "met" their kids, because they don't have one of these fancy computers at their house. I assured them that we would set up a time real soon that Dave and the 3 boys could come over to iChat with their mom, Ashlie, and their new brother and sister.
I also informed Carissa and Lindsey that Mama and Papa would definitely be needing to borrow one of their fancy laptops to take with us, so that we could regularly video conference with all of the kids at home, while we are gone. I am sure it will really be good for Josiah and Elijah to be able to chat with us. Yea!
After taking the girls into the big city for school, I spent 5 hours shopping for all of the "last-minute" stuff ... shoes & boots for Jacob, Sarah, & Rachel (since we just got their sizes) ... pajamas, socks, and undies (the stuff we didn't get at the shower) ... AC adapters, hand sanitizer, etc ...
So ... it was a very looong day ... but extremely satisfying.
Tomorrow ... I get to start packing.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
You can't imagine how difficult it is to pack clothes and shoes for the children to wear in Accra, and on the way home, when we have not actually seen the children. We have many pictures of them, but when they are together, we can only compare them, size-wise, to each other. We have sent dresses to the girls, and shorts and shirts for Jacob, which fit them okay. But, now we must buy long pants, jeans, and shoes, which are more difficult to size correctly.
Another adoptive mom was at Beacon House this past week, and she graciously got out a scale and tape measure, and lined the kids up. She is back in the States now, and phoned today with the details of her sizing research.
After writing down 5 measurements for each child, I got out my own scale and tape measure, and lined up Elijah, Josiah, and Hosanna. We had a pretty good guess that the girls were fairly close in size to our little guys ... but were shocked to find out how close. Basically ... we have 2 more sets of twins at our house (actually ... they are closer in size than are their big sisters, who are identical twins). Elijah weighs 6 lbs. more than Rachel, but every measurement is within 1/2 inch. And, Josiah weighs 4 lbs. more than Sarah, with every measurement, also, within 1/2 inch. Even their shoes sizes are the same. While Hosanna and Jacob are the same age, Jacob is considerably smaller. However, by comparing his measurements to hers, we were able to better determine correct clothing sizes.
So, how do we determine which of the new clothes will fit the girls ... we ask the boys to play dress-up. Elijah looked especially cute in the bright pink corduroy pants. We all had fun, and determined that, yes, the clothes that we received at the shower last weekend will fit. Whew!
I can't wait to have these 2 little sets of "twins" together ... I'm sure they will keep us on our toes, but we are so excited for them to grow up together. From what we have already heard about the kids' personalities, they match up perfectly there also.
While Rachel is 6 months older than Elijah, I had already determined that we would raise them as "twins" rather than as "who's older?" Being that they have both been the "baby" of their respective families for the past 6 years, I think we'll let them both keep that designation.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Yes ... we are headed to Accra. Yea!
We will be flying to New York on Sunday morning the 3rd and arriving in Ghana on Monday morning the 4th. We will spend the day with the children on the 4th, and begin the "paperchase" on the 5th.
We are hoping and praying that we will be able to get our I600 approval and Visas by the 18th, so that we can fly home on the 19th. However, we are going with the full realization that if the approval does not come in 2 weeks, Jim will fly home and I will stay in Ghana with the children, indefinitely.
The next 10 days will be CRAZY BUSY, pulling everything together. But, we are excited!
#1 That God would give us the energy and keep us healthy (I've been fighting a bad cold.) so that we can accomplish all that needs to be done in the next 10 days.
#2 That things would go smoothly for us at work, as we are starting a new semester on Monday. The last 2 weeks have been extremely stressful at work.
#3 That God would grant us favor in the eyes of the DHS officer in Ghana, and that he would approve our I600 paperwork without asking for an investigation of every document.
#4 That the Lord would prepare the hearts of our children (here and in Accra) for the huge transition that adding 3 children to our busy household will bring.
#5 That the Lord would truly bless our time in Accra with our children, as we have 2 weeks to really get to know them, before transitioning home.
#6 For safe travels, both there and back.
#7 For health, safety, and good relationship times for the children that we are leaving at home.
#8 For finances ... we continue to find out about more unexpected expenses. Just today ... we were expecting to pay $1,000 per child for the plane flight home. However, in the past month, that cost has gone up to $1,500 per child, which adds an unexpected $1,500 ($500 per child) to our budget. This is, of course, on top of the $3,300 we paid today for our 2 round-tip tickets. Sooo... we are praying for continued guidance with every financial decision. (Obviously, since plane tickets for the children aren't an optional expense ... we pay what we have to pay.)
Thank you all so much, for walking this journey with us. Your prayers and support have meant more than you could imagine.
You may not "hear" much from me this week, as I am running around getting ready. But, we will be taking our laptop with us and posting from Accra. So ... stay tuned!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I'd like to introduce you to our eldest son, Gregg. He is currently serving the U.S. Army in Baghdad. And, he is a bit concerned about his mom and dad's upcoming trip. In his words (from his blog) ...
"Okay. As most of you know, my parents are going to be going to Africa. But, they have no idea what that means. I mean, I am sure they have heard from friends, but still, just the same, they need someone like the guy in the picture. A grizzled old war vet knows what it takes to live and survive in a crazy world that is not anything close to the sweet little town my family lives in. I mean, really, I know they have been praying and have a ton of people praying about it. But, I think they should wait for someone to get home ... now I don't know who that someone is, but I have an idea. I mean, I love you dad and mom, but you two have no experience with "real" third world countries. Everyone can use a bodyguard, or at least someone who knows a little about protection. Not to say that God can't do a good job, 'cause I know all about His protection. It just seems like He has given you a son for a reason such as this. But, hey, I know God is our protector. Does not mean I can't worry ... they worry about me, so I think it is only fair that I get to worry about them."
And, in a comment he made on my blog from yesterday, he said ...
"Can't you guys wait until I get home ... I really am worried about you two. For one, it is a crazy place. Two ... I am a grizzled old war vet and you just might need me. Three ... what is it with my family and wanting to travel the world to crazy places with no idea what it will be like? Four ... did I mention that I am a grizzled old war vet and you could really use someone like me to make sure you two don't get in to tooooo much trouble. "
We love you Gregg! Thanks for caring enough to worry, but prayer is better.
Oh what a week it has been ..... every day hoping to be able to buy our plane tickets and make travel plans.
Today's Good News:
We got our Passports back, with their Ghanaian Visas. Yes! We mailed them overnight FedEx last Saturday; they arrived in Washington DC on Monday; they were processed on Tuesday; and they were sent back overnight on Wednesday. So, it is possible to get your Visas in less than a week.
Today's Bad News:
An email from Beacon House today recommended that we completely change our travel plans. It was suggested that one of us travel to Ghana to file the I600 paperwork, meet the kids, say "good-bye" to the kids, and come home to wait until the paperwork is approved. Then, the two of us could travel to bring the children home, hopefully sometime next month. As you can imagine, this news was heartbreaking.
So, the $110 that we spent on FedEx and the extra $60 we spent to have the Visas expedited, was basically a waste of money, since we were not in the rush that we thought we were in. Sad!
Please pray for wisdom as we try to make sense of the new game plan. It would sure be nice to know what rules this game is played by.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
We hope to travel to the Mole National Park
on our way to or from Bolgatanga.
The following wildlife can be seen at the park:
elephants, monkeys, gazelles, crocodiles, warthogs, hyenas, etc...
We also hope to travel to Cape Coast, to visit the
Slave Castle, which has a huge part in the history of Ghana.
Many friends have asked, "Do you HAVE to go to Bolgatanga?"
The answer is, "Yes. We HAVE to. We NEED to. We WANT to."
Our children were raised in a village outside of the city of Bolgatanga. This is their history; and we want to learn all that we can about the life that they have lived. We are looking forward to traveling the length of the country, to learn more about Ghana. We are looking forward to visiting their village, and meeting their extended family. We are looking forward to taking LOTS of pictures, so that I can make an African scrapbook for each of them.
So, where exactly is Bolgatanga? As you can see from the map, it is about as far as you can get from Accra, and stay within the country.
As I have done some internet research, I have found many pictures of the different types of villages that can be found outside of Bolgatanga. I have no idea what their village is like, but these pictures get me even more excited to really see this part of the country. There are many different types of housing structures.
What will the houses be like that Jacob, Sarah, and Rachel used to live in?
This is the Village Chief, holding court.
What will their Village Chief be like, when we get to meet him?
I'm looking forward to buying goods from the street vendors.
What type of lodging will we stay in?
Will we ride on a "Tro Tro" (village taxi)?
While we are hoping to hire a driver to drive us to Bolgatanga,
we may end up riding a bus like this.
I hope these pics have helped you to get some
idea of what our travels might be like.
Monday, January 14, 2008
While waiting patiently for news of travel plans, I thought I would share a funny story that will go down in our family history as one of our favorite funny cooking stories.
For the past 24 years, we have baked Sour Cream Coffee Cakes (in the shape of 15" Candy Canes) for special friends for Christmas. This year, I planned to bake about 20 of them.
Jim went to town buy all of the ingredients for our Christmas cooking, and I phoned him to remind him to buy sour cream for the Candy Canes. I instructed him to buy "six 2# tubs". He didn't write down the instructions, because he was driving, but he visualized "six large tubs of sour cream". When Jim came home, he arrived with six 5 # tubs. Yikes! We had 30# of sour cream and only actually needed 10 pounds. What do you do with 20 extra pounds of sour cream, when it only lasts for a couple of weeks? It's time to get creative.
A few days later we were to be traveling out of town to stay with friends. When we stay with them, we always alternate who is in charge of each meal. So, it was time to plan a few meals for 17 people.
Our son Joshua (a most excellent cook) recommended that we search recipes.com . This was quite a stretch for me, as I NEVER cook for company, an untested recipe. But ... I had to do what I had to do. I also would NEVER throw away an extra 20# of Sour Cream. So, through the internet I searched.
When we arrived at our friends' house, we all laughed as we shared the menu that we had planned:
Sour Cream Waffles
Sour Cream Banana Muffins
Sour Cream Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Sour Cream Enchiladas
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake
The amazing thing ... all of the recipes were such a hit that we had to give our friends copies of the recipes. So, not only was a fun memory made, but great recipes were added to our list of family favorites.
In the past week, we have continued to experiment with sour cream recipes, adding a fantastic layered mexican casserole to our list of favorites. And, we have made any of our old standbys which we need sour cream for: tacos, chili, enchiladas, etc....
If you need any good Sour Cream recipes, just let me know ...
There once was a little boy named Gregg. He always loved to play in the snow.
When he grew up, he learned to Snow Board. It became one of his favorite winter recreational activities.
But ... when he grew up, he also became a soldier. When soldiers are sent to war, they don't get to come home in the winter to play in the snow.
One day, after his 2nd long hot year in Iraq, Gregg began to daydream about snow. He knew that his little brother, Jeremiah, had taken up snow boarding. Wouldn't it be fun to go home and snow board with his brothers? Wouldn't it be fun if it would snow in Baghdad?
Snow doesn't fall in Baghdad. Snow hasn't fallen in Baghdad for at least the last 100 years. But ... can't you still dream about the what ifs?
Can God hear the dreams of a homesick young soldier in Baghdad? Can God still work miracles? Yes. God chose to show this young soldier that He heard his desires and wanted to show him, without a shadow of a doubt, that God can still work miracles.
Gregg woke up, unusually cold. He grumbled about the lack of heat. Until ... a friend ran into his room to tell him, "It's snowing!"
Yes, it snowed in Baghdad.
Another amazing thing ... news reports say that the war basically stopped for 4 hours while the snow fell. There were no bombs, no beheadings, no suicide bombers ... as the snow fell.
Maybe the Iraqis were wondering what God was doing. Maybe they all paused to wonder, "Who's God is making it snow?" Maybe they will realize how nice it was to have 4 hours of peace. Maybe ... oh ... sorry ... I guess I'm just daydreaming.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
We are still Happy, Happy, Happy ...
but we still need to Pray, Pray, Pray.
#1 The Passports for the children have not arrived yet. We cannot make plane reservations without the passports, and plane reservations need to be made 1 week in advance, in order to get the better rates (which are still outrageously high). Please pray that Beacon House would receive the Passports on Monday morning.
#2 We have to make a DHS appt., also, before plane reservations can be made. Please pray that the DHS officer will be available on the dates requested.
#3 We are FedEx'ing our Visa applications to Washington DC this morning. A nice blogging friend told us how to do it without having to have the plane tickets purchased first. Please pray that the processing would be smooth (we will pay extra for expedited service) and that they would be returned to us by next Friday.
#4 Lodging. January 20th (the day we hope to travel) is the first day of the Africa Cup, which happens to be in Accra this year. It is a month long soccer event that will draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city. Therefore, nearly every spare bed in the city is already spoken for during the time we want to visit. Please pray that God would miraculously open up 2 rooms at a Guest House (Ghana version of Bed & Breakfast, without the Breakfast) for us. We need two rooms, because the children will be with us as soon as we arrive.
#4 Finances. Our in-country expenses are turning out to be several thousand more than we expected, with still many variables involved. Since we will be providing for the children's needs while we are there, we don't want to be thinking of our budget, every time they are hungry or something. While Ghana is a poverty stricken country, food, lodging, and car rentals are quite expensive (even to American standards). So, a little "extra" right now would definitely relieve some of the stress once we arrive.
#5 Car Rentals ??? you might ask. We need to travel to the opposite end of the country (12 hour drive) and we have 3 travel options: Plane (1 hour, but very expensive), Bus (15 hrs. with LOUD Nigerian soap operas playing the whole time), or Rental Car. We are very much seeking wisdom as to which travel option we should go with. Roads in Third World Countries are not known to be the safest. In Ghana, we are not concerned about hijackings, theft, etc ..., but about potential car accidents (whether on bus or in rental car). The car rental would be $600 plus gas (expensive). But, the plane would be $2,500 for all 5 of us.
#6 Traveling across country ??? you might ask. Yes ... we need to take the children to their village to say their good-byes to their grandparents and their brothers. We will also be meeting the Village Chief, with hopes of helping him to understand the positive benefits of adoption. Please pray for this meeting.
#7 Brothers??? you might ask. Oh my! We found out in November that the children have 3 half-brothers (same mother) that are in their late teens, early twenties. One of the brothers has been very close to the children, even keeping in touch during their 1 1/2 years at Beacon House. Our dear Jacob thinks/hopes that we will be able to bring his brothers to America with him. Please pray for wisdom for us as we navigate this touchy situation.
Okay ... now to issues on the homefront ...
#1 Child Care. While I was rejoicing yesterday that this was something I would NOT need to worry about for this trip, last night the "Big Sister in Oregon" option fell through. Yes, we have 3 young adults (ages 18 and 20) still living at home. But ... they have jobs and go to school. So, I will now need to line up almost daily play dates for the 2 little guys. Please pray for the very BEST place for each of our children.
#2 Work. Please pray for the energy to get done everything that needs to be done before we leave. Pray that I would know when to shut off the computer, lock the office door and come home to sleep. (Yesterday I sat in my office chair for 11.5 hours, only getting up 3 times to walk to the printer.)
#3 The Children. Please pray that they would understand mommy and daddy's busyness during this 10 days. Pray that we would know how to meet each of their needs, while still taking care of all that must be done.
#4 Travel Plans. Please pray for clarity, focus, and purpose so that we are not running around in circles trying to figure out what to do next. (I am a good list maker, I just need to know what lists to make and what to put on the lists.)
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
We know that God knows the plan ... please pray that we would hear Him clearly each step of the way.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Okay ... silly post title, but as I was trying to describe how I am feeling right now, I thought of this sweet little 2 year old friend of ours that loves to say, "Happy! Happy! Happy!" So, thanks "little Joshua" for this precious saying.
Happy! Overjoyed! Excited Beyond Belief! Praising Jesus! Thankful! Overwhelmed with Gratitude to the Lord!
Yes ... as you may have guessed ... we are making travel plans. We can't quite make the plane reservations yet, but we are hoping/praying that by tomorrow afternoon we will have seats reserved for January 20th. Yes ... that is only 10 days from now and I have so much to do that I think I'd better stay up for the next 10 days. Not only do I have adoption/travel stuff to do, but this is the 2nd busiest time of year at work (Sept. is busiest). As a school administrator, taking off for 2 weeks right at semester change has a few challenges.
Work? you may be asking ... Yes, I am the homeschooling mother of 13 children and I do have an outside job/ministry. Five years ago, I made an appt., with our local public school superintendent and shared with him a vision that I had for creating a program to support homeschooling families. My dear husband and I were hired by the school district to create and direct a new school. This is our 4th year of classes and we now have 160+ students and 18 staff members. I am the Program Coordinator and Jim is the Lead Teacher. While we offer classes 5 days per week, each student only attends 1 or 2 days per week for Supplemental Enrichment Classes. Their parents are still their primary teachers. My own children attend the classes 3 days per week (as will our 3 new children). On the other 2 days per week, I stay home and homeschool during the day, while Jim is running the Middle School and High School Program. Then, he comes home and holds down the fort, while I do the administrative stuff at the office in the evenings. So, how do we support a family of 15 on a teacher's salary? ... only with the Lord's most creative provision.
Okay ... back to the adoption ... somehow the Lord got our adoption paperwork processed in less than a month, when many of the offices were closed for 2 weeks for Christmas. It took 7 weeks for our friends' finalized adoption paperwork, and it wasn't during the holidays. Go figure! After we had dinner at Phil & Amanda's last week, we figured we were at least 7 weeks out before travel plans could be made. That is the way of adoptions ...
Today ... Final Adoption Decree received at Beacon House. And, a quickly made Drs. appt. so that Jim and I could each get 3 immunizations. Guess I'd better get all of my typing done tonight; my arm is supposed to be pretty sore tomorrow.
Tomorrow ... WHEN (please Lord!) Beacon House receives the children's passports, we can immediately make our plane reservations. As soon as the reservations are made, we pop our Visa application into overnight mail to Washington DC, so that they will be returned in time for us to travel next week.
Packing lists are being made:
Camera (I dreamed 2 nights ago that I got to Africa and had forgotten my Nikon D70.)
iBook (so that I can post to all of you blogging friends)
Paperwork ... paperwork ... paperwork ...
$$$$ (oh my ... I have never carried much cash before)
Shopping lists are being made:
DEET mosquito spray
Hot Pot for boiled water
Gatorade Crystals (recommended by doctor, so we don't get dehydrated)
iPods (ordered last night) for the LOOOONG plane ride
Shower plans are being made (Adoption Shower ... not bathroom shower) ...
which means that Wish Lists are being created:
Clothes for the Kids (we have 3 new dressers to fill)
Dolls for Sarah & Rachel
Balls for Jacob
Well ... it is now past midnight here in the Pacific NW, which means it is morning in Accra. Romana and I have just been emailing back and forth. Sooo ... TODAY is the day that we hope to get the final "OKAY!"
We'll keep you posted ... in between work, shopping, packing, ...
One of the craziest things about getting ready for this trip ... we don't need to line up any babysitters for the kids. We don't have any extended family involved in our kid's lives, so lining up childcare for out-of-town trips has been mighty crazy in the past. But ... we are leaving the kids home alone. (Probably good that I never watched the movie by that name.) The 2 little guys are going to go stay with big sister in Oregon, and the other 6 kids are going to do the "home alone" thing for 2 weeks. It sure is GREAT to have responsible young adult children that we can trust, not only to take care of themselves, but to take care of their younger siblings, also. Thanks LORD for all of the wisdom and guidance that you have given us as we have raised these "kids" up to love and serve You. Wow! What an amazing privilege we are being given, to raise 3 more kids up to serve Him!
Off to my list making ...
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
We have been out of town for a couple of days, so I will post more and add more pictures tomorrow. But ... for tonight ... I'll share a photo I just received.
This was in my email inbox when we got home tonight: a beautiful picture of Sarah, Rachel, and Jacob, wearing the clothes that we sent for Christmas. We are so appreciative of all of the photos that we get from Beacon House.
Blessings to each of you in the New Year!