Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Numbers

Boys: 79 (down 4)
Girls: 100 (down 6)
Siblings: 35 (down 3)

We were so happy to wake up this morning to our March  numbers.  And even more excited to see positive movement in all 3 lists. 

I can't help but hope that we'll see more movement in the months to come, that orphans find their forever family and make their way home.  I pray constantly for our little one; that he's safe and feels loved.  I pray that God will move in the world for the orphans, that the 163 million orphans in the world will find a family to love them. 

We hope, we pray, we wait... knowing that the end will be so worth the wait. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bead for Like - Take 3

Updated to add - Bead for Life give away ends on Friday, April 6.

This visit to Ohio brought our 3rd annual Bead for Life party.  I love Bead for Life, what they stand for, the work they do to help alleviate poverty for Ugandan women and give them hope.  Hope for the first time that they won't be hungry, their children won't starve and their futures are now bright.   

Thank you so much to all my friends and family that stopped by to check out Bead for Life and help women work their way out of poverty.  Spending time with you and sharing in some yummy food was such a perk!  And a special thank you to my mom and SIL Annie for spreading the Bead for Life love with their co-workers. 

To further spread the Bead for Life love two commenter's on this post will win a bracelet!  Leave a comment, any old comment and be entered to win!

Once you choose hope, anythings possible. ~Christopher Reeve

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday Gabe had an eye appointment at the Cleveland Clinic.

Today we are flying back to Houston. 

Tomorrow we are starting a new therapy treatment for Gabriel. We are hoping and praying that this will be the catalyst he needs to begin to walk independantly.  Tomorrow will be pretty intense for Gabe and then next week he'll start a series of casting to help his range of motion in his ankles. 

If you have a moment, would you pray for Gabe?  Please pray that this new treatment would provide good results and that his sweet spirit isn't dampered by his doctor's visit tomorrow or the casts he will be wearing for the next 3 - 8 weeks.  He's such a fighter and so fiesty... I never want that to change!

Thanks friends!

Gabe and his 'cheese' smile. So sweet.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hebrews 13:3

“Remember those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” - Hebrews 13:3

Jen Hatmaker's letter to Trayvon's Mom nailed it.  Completely nailed it. She says everything I was thinking when I read about Trayvon Martin and so much more. Take a moment to read her article. 

And then read this article by John Piper. 

Soon, hopefully sooner than later, I will be a mother to a brown skinned child and my heart just aches at the thought that he will encounter racism.  I know he will and I know we will have to have tough conversations about race, skin color, God and other people's hearts.  Until recently I didn't give it much thought.  I knew that we will encounter racism and that our children will face injustice because of their skin color.  But I tried to stay unaffected by it.  But it should be affecting us.  And it will be affecting us in the years to come. 

C'mon people.  What can we do to train up our children to stop the racisim that is burdening our society.  And what can we do about it now. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Who needs toys when you can play with the vacuum?

It's true.  Some (most) days Gabe would much rather play with the vacuum then the bins, baskets and buckets of toys he has in the playroom. On the other hand, he also loves when I vacuum, so our carpets are always clean!  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kisses from Katie

Luke 12:48 - But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
During our 6 months waiting there have been times we've been questioned why we're waiting to adopt a child from Ethiopia... and if I'm honest with myself, sometimes that question has snuck into my thoughts.  But I know the answer and it immediately resonates from the deepest recesses of my soul: God has commanded us to do this.  He calls for followers to care for the fatherless more than 65 times in the Bible.  While caring for the orphans looks differently for everyone, for us, it means adopting.  For some it means advocating for orphans or financially helping bring orphans to their forever home.  And for others, it means moving to a third world country and jumping right in.  Working in orphanages, teaching marketable skills, building churches, providing medical care and even adopting children there. 
Katie Davis, founder of Amazima, has moved to Uganda to help educate, empower and share the love of God with the people of Uganda.  She has also adopted 13 young girls.  Katie provides these girls with a home, a place to live, learn and grow.  For some she's the first mother they remember and for others, she helps heal the hurt of losing their families.  But for all of them, and the 100s of other children Amazima sponsors she provides hope and the knowledge that God loves them.  When asked why Katie, a young woman of 24, has adopted these children she answers:
"My family, adopting these children, it is not optional. It is not my good deed for the day; it is not what I am doing to 'help out these poor kids.' I adopt because God commands me to care for the orphans and the widows in their distress. I adopt because Jesus says that to whom much has been given, much will be demanded"
-excerpt from Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.
So even when the journey is long, the wait seems endless and my heart aches to be with our next child I'll dwell on Luke 12:48 and know that we are doing what we have been told to do.  And reaping the amazing benefits of having more children in our life to love.

On a side note, Kisses from Katie is an amazing book, I encourage you to read it! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another Texas First

Until March 12th, we'd never been to a rodeo.  And as of March 12, we still have never officially been to a rodeo! But we did have a great time at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  While our tickets included rodeo seats and passes to the Zac Brown Band concert, a two year old in tow who doesn't like loud noises and being in crowded places made us consider all the possibilities and all of those possibilities kept us to sticking to the Livestock show and carnival outside. 

Matt took a half-day vacation and we left right after lunch.  Getting there early won us a great parking space and even though it was the first day of spring break for Houston schools, we definitely beat the crowds.  Gabe had all the time he needed to look at all the cows, pigs, horses and chicks.   Gabe really loved the cows.  His eyes became round as saucers when he saw them.  I don't think he could believe how big they were as they ambled up and down the aisles.  The smells were pretty big too! Right next to all the animals there was a photo opportunity with a Texas Longhorn, but there was no way Gabe as going to sit up there this year!
Trying on a cowboy hat.

Outside at the carnival was the onslaught of fried food, carnival delicacies and lots of BBQ. I had what could possibly be the best fried pickles ever but we did stay away from the frog legs at the next stand! Frog legs? Yuck!

The view is always better on Daddy's shoulders.
By the Live Stock show there was also a great petting zoo.  There were lots of animals in the pen but Gabe was partial to the goats.  I was partial to the potbelly pigs scrambling around and the llama's sitting regally in the center of the petting zoo.

And then we checked out my new car the big trucks just waiting to be purchased.  I'm pretty sure I could rock out driving a truck this big!

Here's to next years Livestock Show and Rodeo where we will actually see the rodeo, eat more fried food and hopefully get Gabe's picture with a Texas Longhorn. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Catching Up

It has been too long since we last updated with pictures of Gabe, so bare with me as there are a lot of pictures with this post!  We have been blessed with some amazingly beautiful weather that has prompted a lot of outside time soaking in the sun and chasing down a very busy toddler. 

Our backyard has turned into a bit of a swamp with all the rain (and bad drainage) so Gabe mostly plays in the front yard.  He loves his car, but he mostly loves pushing it down the driveway while I run after it.  At least I get some exercise and am rewarded with hearing one of the sweetest sounds, Gabe's laugh.
A few weeks back, Gabe had his third hair cut.  This was the first haircut where a lot of hair was left on the ground.  We love his golden locks but were tired of it always being in his eyes.  Gabe was a champ and the stylist claimed he looks like Justin Beiber.  I disagree, Gabe is much cuter. 

We had a family trip to the Children's Museum after church one Sunday.  Gabe showed his daddy all the fun things he does there and Daddy showed Gabe how pulley's work!

Because the weather has been so nice, we've been spending lots of time at the park.  Gabe loves to swing, he loves to slide and he is getting awesomely good at climbing on the jungle gym.  He is so tenacious that I'm not sure why I was surprised the first time he just pulled himself up and ascended to the top. 

 The downside of all this beautiful weather (and rain! yes, it's finally raining in Houston) is that Matt has a lot more yard work to do.  At least he has a cute helper!
Gabe has learned to cheese it up for the camera.  And I can't even begin to count the number of pictures we've taken like the one below. 
 When the sun has set or the rain is falling, Gabe can be found at the base of his book case, perusing his books.  He's gotten past the point of just pulling them out to create a mess but pulls them out one at a time and 'reads' through each one.  I especially like when he reads allowed. 
And that is a little snippet of what we've been doing while our computer has been away.  Our computer is still away, and had better be working like brand new when we get it back.  But Gabe and I are now in Ohio, so we could finally post some pictures! 

Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

6 Months Waiting

Today marks 6 months of waiting for our little one(s).  Half a year.  6 months plus 1 day since this is a leap year.  Right now, if we'd gotten pregnant in the traditional sense, I would be sporting a baby bump right now.  There would be an end in sight, a date in mind and names picked out.

However, God has called us to do something a little different. Adoption is not easy nor is it for the faint-of-heart.  I would have to say that it's not for impatient people but considering I'm not a very patient person, that's obviously not true.  Actually, I'm very patient when dealing with children and most adults, I'm just not good at waiting.  But I'm learning to wait, to be patient during the wait and to use this wait as an opportunity to grow in my faith. 

God’s purposes are not for me to understand His plans: His plan is for me to understand Who He is.
- Ann Voskamp

(love me some Ann Voskamp)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Still No Computer

Our computer is still in the lovely hands of the Geek Squad at Best Buy.  Actually, it's not in the hands of the Geek Squad we left it with, but in the hands of their fellow squad members where ever they shipped it too.  After the viruses were cleaned off, Gabe and I went and picked up the computer and brought it home.  Only to find that while the viruses were gone, the computer still didn't work.  Ugh! 

After returning the computer to Best Buy, then re-returning to sign paperwork, Best Buy called with the news that it was a hardware problem and they needed to send it out. 

Hopefully, it's still under warranty. 

Thankfully, Matt lets me use his work computer at night.  Another reason I love him...

Unfortunately, we probably won't have it back for at least another week. 

Fortunately, Gabe and I will be visiting Ohio at the end of this week and won't need a computer.  Woot woot!

All of this written to inform our family that it looks like there won't be any pictures of Gabe and his awesome-self any time soon.  And that we're hoping for some snow when we're in town!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Promise

He who calls you is faithful, He will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24

This was the verse that our pastor preached on this past week.  And it continued to play in my mind and on my heart all week.

The story behind the verse: In verses 1 - 22,, Paul commands us to pursue a holy life. To affirm that command, he gives us a promise; a promise from God.  A promise from God?  If you can put your faith in anything, surely it would be a promise from God.  Right? 

As this week has progressed, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 seemed to apply to many of the situations I was presented.  I texted it to a friend who is making some life changing decisions, I prayed it over a friend who's father recently passed away and I keep repeating it to myself as we approach the 6 month waiting mark.

While we question the wait, when other's wonder why we're waiting on a list when there are so many waiting children, at the times anxiety makes the wait seem unbearable; we will remember 1 Thessalonians 5:24.  I will repeat it, pray it and most likely get wall art made of it. 

The greatest thing about this verse is it is fits everywhere.  Everywhere! Is God calling you to adopt? change jobs? move? volunteer somewhere? embark on a new adventure? 1 Thessalonians 5:24 will remind you and encourage you that He is faithful.  He will do it.  No matter what.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Attn: Grandparents

This is a note for Gabe's grandparents up in Ohio and New Jersey.  Our computer is with the Geek Squad so there won't be any picture posting until we have it back.  Most likely, we're talking about 3-5 days... I apologize for the inconvience as I know that is the only reason ya'll come here. C'mon, you know that's the truth!  No need to click refresh in hopes of seeing new pictures of Gabers... please forgive us, [smile]. 

But believe me when I tell you, he's just as cute as ever!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's not what you do...'s how you do it, that you do it and the heart that you put into the job at hand.

Before moving to Houston I never felt poorly because of our family decision that keeps me working at home and Matt working outside of the house.  And i still don't feel poorly...I just need to vent!  Staying at home works well for us and there is no way I could not not be at home with Gabriel full time.  Not only are there 4 therapy appointments a week and lots of work to do at home, I just can't imagine not seeing all of Gabe's firsts, not shepherding his heart day in and out.  This is what works for our family and I respect other peoples decisions about what works best for their family and encourage people to do what's best for their situation.

That being said, in Ohio, there doesn't seem to be a stigma about being a SAHM.  Up north, my friends are probably divided evenly between SAHM, work-outside-the-home moms and work-outside-the-home-part time moms.  But here in Houston, it's the complete opposite; from church to the therapy office I have felt the cold shoulder and disdain filled looks when people ask what I do for a living.  Most of the women I've met work outside the home at least part of the time... and the women that do stay at home, seem almost embarrassed to admit that they are a SAHM.  I hate that we as women (and I'm sure men as well), feel so defined by what their ressumee says, that we forget about what's important. 

Recently I read an excerpt of The Indwelling of Christ.  In it Major Ian Thomas wrote "It is not the nature of what you do that determines the spirituality of any action but the origin of what you do."   And while I know many professions don't scream loudly 'spiritual work', it really doesn't matter what you do... accountant, mechanic, CEO, nurse, waitress, teacher or even SAHM... it's the heart of you work that matters.  It's that you do your job with love that's important, not what your job title reads.

This has been on my mind for awhile.. thanks for listening [smile].