Monday, May 30, 2011

Going to Uganda!

That's right...I'm going to Uganda next week and I couldn't be more thrilled!

Since we probably won't be getting a court date until at least September, I just couldn't wait that long to meet these girls that I will soon be calling daughters.  I thought it would just be impossible to go since ticket prices dramatically increase during the summer and June is just a crazy travel month for Thom. Fortunately I was able to find inexpensive tickets during the one week in June that Thom would be home, and a friend who wanted to go as much as I do.  

It all happened so fast and even though Thom and I have always considered ourselves very spontaneous people, I still can't believe I'm going!  My mind has just been full of thoughts of meeting the girls for the first time, hugging them and seeing their sweet faces in person, learning who they are and their history, experiencing their culture and seeing first hand this beautiful country I have heard so much about.

I have so much to do before leaving (although I am almost all packed) but everything seems to be falling in place thanks to some pretty awesome friends.

                                So excited to meet these girls!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the deep end of motherhood

Today has been hard.

It all started yesterday when I had a harder than usual day home schooling.  Fortunately those days are few and far between but when it happens it's enough to bring me to my knees.

These are the days where I wish I'd had more patience,  offered more grace,  saw the world through the eyes of a child and spent less time cleaning and more time dancing and laughing.  I begin to doubt my abilities to be a good mother to the children I have and now I begin to wonder how I can possibly be a good mom to the girls we are adopting.

Bringing these girls into our family is not something that I have taken lightly nor is it a transition that I expect will be quick and easy.  I just want to love these girls well.  They have been through so much already in their short lives and experienced so much loss that I just want them to know how special they know what unconditional love feels like.  I think often of each of their mothers and how I want to honor them by being a good mother to their children.  I think of the kind of person I would want to raise my own children if I was no longer here.  Of course, I would want the most loving, compassionate, patient, joyous, kind, and gentle person I knew.  First of all, it sounds like I wouldn't even choose myself to be their mom (gasp!) and second of all, all these traits sound an awful lot like the fruits of the spirit.

So there's my answer...more of Him and less of me.

I know this.  I know I am not alone in this journey and that I never have been.  The problem is that I know me.  I know that there are days when I make a choice to do this myself instead of leaning into Him who has guided me every step of the way.  Those days when I forget who I am and what I was created for are the days when I fail miserably. 

I have had some amazing women on this same journey offer me beautiful words of encouragement today and it has been such a gift.  It just shows me even more of God's goodness and grace.

As Thom said today, I just need to hold my breath and dive into the deep end of motherhood! 

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory..." -Ephesians 3:20 

big sigh of relief...everything is going to be ok.

                                                      Our sweet P and G

btw.....P is doing much better from her burn.  I think it just looks worse than it is but she doesn't seem to be too bothered by it, thankfully!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

emotions! emotions!

The last couple of days have been a roller coaster of emotion!

Yesterday we walked in early to the USCIS office in Durham and had our finger printing done.  Me, being a big rule follower, was a little concerned that we would be given a hard time for coming in 3 weeks before our date, so I already had lined up what we would say if we were turned away.  Thankfully we didn't  need to say anything because they could not have been nicer! Whew...what a relief!

That excitement was short-lived.  As we were pulling out of the parking lot, I got word that some preliminary blood work was in for the girls.  Initially it looked like both girls could possibly have Hep B and that our youngest tested positive for Sickle Cell Disease.  The Hep B doesn't bother me as much as the possible diagnosis of Sickle Cell does.  That just sounds like a really nasty disease.  I have done so much research on both diseases today that I think my head might explode! Thankfully after speaking with a professional here it looks like there is a good possibility that neither has hepatitis and hopefully our sweet P doesn't have Sickle Cell.  It is still too early to know right now and I won't feel 100% better until they are here and seen by our doctor.  But I am feeling very encouraged!

The crazy thing in all of this is...I don't care!  Whatever path God has chosen for us to go down, I am ok with it.  When I heard they could have either of these diseases my first thought was "we need to get them treated". Thankfully we are a hop, skip and a jump from some of the best hospitals in the country. They will be in good hands here.

Also, in the middle of all of this, I found out that P fell and burned her face and shoulders with her porridge yesterday.  It really made my heart break knowing she was hurt and I wasn't there to hug her.
Thankfully she is doing fine today.  

If money was no object, I would be on the next plane to Uganda as we speak.  I just can't wait to hug them and kiss their sweet faces!

They're beautiful and I can't wait to introduce them to you!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy :)

These last few days have been so exciting!  We have been able to skype with our girls a couple of times, which was just so amazing!  It is one thing to see pictures of them but to be able to speak and interact with our daughters and to see them with huge smiles on their faces just filled us all with so much joy!  It was almost as good as being in Uganda....almost.

Today we got another surprise.  We got our biometrics (finger prints)  appt. in the mail.  This is the last step here before getting our court date in Uganda.  We did not expect to hear anything for at least another 5-6 weeks, so this is kinda huge :) Now we just wait for everything to be done on the Ugandan side.  Background checks, bloodwork and finally a court date!

My hope all along has been to have them home by Christmas.  Anything before that will just be icing on the cake!  The experiences of the past weekend have made everything seem so real and makes us all the more anxious to get them home.

But, we will be patient.  We know that everything is in God's perfect timing.

To those of you who are praying and supporting our family through this...

                                    THANK YOU!

 It means more to us than you will ever know!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

the waiting game

I am so happy to have my computer back after a small (large) coffee incident :)

Now to catch everyone up....

Our home study was approved and we sent in a copy along with our I600a to USCIS.  Now we wait to hear from them so we can be finger printed.  Last week I made approximately 132 copies of documents that need to be notarized.  These documents will be in our dossier that will be sent to our attorney as soon as we hear back from the USCIS with our finger printing appt. 

In the mean time we wait.

That is so hard.  We think about them all the time!  It is so hard not to jump on a plane just to go over and see them.  We got letters from them on my birthday and it made my day! We have sent presents over and are anxiously waiting to hear back.  

Our girls keep talking about all the new things they can't wait to show them....their new room, the  beach, tv, wii, phones, toys, bikes, scooters, pizza, ice cream, dress up, american girl dolls, hot chocolate, our dogs Tahoe and Rossie, our cat Gracie, their little brother Alex and the list goes on and on.  Seriously they add about ten things each day just out of the blue.  I love it!

I think of these things too, but being a mom, I think of so much what are they thinking, did they get enough to eat today, are they hungry now, are they sleeping, are they excited, are they nervous, do they lie awake at night missing their mom and dad (I'm sure they do), do they have anyone to dry their tears and hug them when they are sad, will they except me as their new mom, will they like it here....

The anticipation of one day meeting these girls face to face is sometimes more than I can bare.  They already have become a part of our family and have taken up a permanent place in our hearts.  God has grown my heart so much more than I ever imagined.  

Isn't love such a beautiful thing?