Friday, March 29, 2013

House Building

A couple weeks ago I thought this post would be some pretty big news for us. It quickly disappeared into the background when we saw our sweet son's face. But, it is still what we're in the midst of right now so here goes...

We're moving!!  Better yet...

We're building!! 

See that hunk of land being pushed around? That's the site of our new home!

I love old homes. I like the creaks, I like the wide door frames and huge trim. I like the character and stories and layers of wallpaper. However, I grew up the daughter of a builder. And I'm now the wife of a builder. So, the odds of one of them letting me get away with a remodel was pretty slim. And, let's face it, there's a lot to be said for something new, clean and fresh!

We built and moved into the place we are now a couple years ago. It was an adventure we went on with dear friends. If you know where we are at right now, you know that we live literally *thisclose* to them. It has been wonderful. We love having such special friends so close. Our kids have twice the friends and twice the play space, I have someone I can run to when I need an egg or a prayer. She's always willing to offer up either. And, our evenings are spent together on the driveways. We always said we'd be here two years and then we'd probably build again. As the time grew closer we began to hint around about where the other might head to. I was terrified they were ready to put some distance between us. Thankfully, they had the same fear and it was quickly clear that two side-by-side lots would need to be found before we could move. After a couple options fell through, we continued to pray that God would open a door and make it clear it was His will.  And boy, did he!

There's a neighborhood in town that we just adore. It is manicured, and homey and lovely. It is also PRICEY. The lots there just weren't even close to feasible in our dream plan. So we continued to look. Our friend's heard about a sheriff's auction coming up that auctioned off foreclosed on land in our area. As "fate" (I bet God cringes at that word) would have it, there were two lots in our dream neighborhood in the auction. So, we talked about how high we'd be willing to pay, prayed, and sent the boys to win us some lots. I anxiously awaited hearing what would happen.  Then I got the text. $125.  Huh? Surely he's missing a number or two in there, right?  Nope. God made it clear. Here was our new home site. After a processing fee, we each got a lot for just $133.00. Total. I had spent more at Walmart that morning. We're still in shock. But crazy happy. 

That brings us to this....

Our foreman. She's tough on those boys!
This is our foundation. Our friend's foundation is just beyond the dirt pile in the back.
I hope we can handle being so "far" apart!  ; )

Getting ready to pour the walls.

Lots of little inspectors.

Sometimes you just need some mid construction site comfort.
Enjoying our new views.
Exploring our new yard.
The night they poured the walls our two families headed to the lots with our lawn chairs and some pizza. It was a beautiful night and a little peek at what we have to look forward to when we're living here!

Is there anything better than a construction dirt pile?

House-watching, pizza party!

The walls are being poured in the background! Our house is on the back right of the pictures.
Our friend's home is on the back left side.

What is it about boys and rocks? He could have thrown all night.

We're super excited. And I'm crazy overwhelmed. There are SO MANY decisions to make! Yikes! But, all I keep picturing is bringing our little boy into this new home designed with our new family of 6 in mind. Then I can't wait to get it complete!

I'll be updating on our progress! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Referral

Fifteen very long months after we anxiously mailed our dossier to our adoption agency, the moment we've been waiting for has happened.

We've seen our son!

He is perfection. He is a gift. He is mine.

A momma knows, doesn't she? When we look at that line on the pregnancy test. And then the fuzzy skeletal outline from the sonogram pictures. And the moment the doctor places the stretched out wriggling baby in our arms. THIS child is mine. That's what this e-mail was for me and in some ways more. I waited so long and dreamed day after day and pleaded and prayed for the little boy across the world experiencing trauma and loss and fear. I ache that he had to go through that but know that without it we would not meet. And that would not be God's plan. His plan is for the wide-eyed, chubby-fingered, short-legged little boy in the picture I carry with me everywhere to be mine.

I wish I could share him now but it is not time yet. We still have to pass court in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But I promise you he is the cutest. Seriously.

This journey has been so hard. Much more emotional and draining than I could have guessed. If I had known then what I've lived now I wonder if I would have had the courage to obey as we did then. Obedience is so hard. What seems clear one day is hazy the next. Adoption has been that way for me too. Both our domestic and international adoptions have stretched me. I've had to sacrifice so much of what I thought I wanted or even more so, deserved, to answer the call. But, I can also honestly say that there has been a new kind of joy found in that obedience. I see joy in recognizing God's hand in building our family despite my desperate attempts to do it on my own. I see joy in unabashedly loving a little girl with crazy curly hair and a passion for dance, reading, and her sisters, despite the fear of losing her one day. And I see joy in watching God's hand in this Congo adoption. As the funds have been raised, and people have stepped forward in faith to support us, and as God has shown us continually that we are on the right path. 

"I think a lot of us have a very limited concept of joy -- we tie it to what makes us feel happy. But real joy goes even deeper, and it's not always found in obvious places. Instead, it hides in corners, waiting to be discovered when we sacrifice our desires for God's desires." C. Thomas Davis
I'm still learning about this type of joy. One that is settled and deep and a part of who I am, and not a joy that can be blown away by one negative moment in a day. More than the joy of  what the world tells me should make me happy, but a joy so rooted in God's will for my life that it cannot be shook. I have no doubt that my little boy in the picture I clasp will have so much to teach me about joy. And, I pray that as we experience the joy of raising him that we are able to heal his broken heart and the wounds of a year of pain and show him the joy that can be found in Christ's beautiful plan for him as well.

We continue to covet your prayers as we are so far from done with this adventure. The hardest wait is just begun. The wait where every day my son gets one day older without me. Oh, sweet little boy, we're coming for you!

Friday, March 8, 2013

She Knew

She knew she was blessed and highly favored.
She knew that she was worth far more than rubies.

She knew and desired to see her Father's glory
and marvelous deeds declared among the nations.

She knew to be generous and willing to share, laying up treasure for herself
 as a firm foundation for the coming age.

She knew she was strong and courageous in her character and in her actions.

She knew not to believe the terrible lie that the enemy spoke.
She knew God loved her.

She knew that she was here for such a time as this. 

She knew that she was a new creation;
the old has gone and the new has come. 

She knew that when her affections were set on things above,
nothing could steal her joy.

She knew that she was clothed in strength and dignity.

She knew that her esteem was rooted in the fact that she was God's workmanship. 

She overflowed with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
and she knew that nothing could steal that hope. 

She knew that integrity and honesty were her viture and her protection.
She knew His strength that gave her contentment in any and every situation.

She knew who she was in Christ.
And she dared to dream big.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Warmer Days

Before the big snow storms we had some really, really nice days.
Here's what took place then... 
Our Kindergarteners had a "100th Day" Party on the 100th day of school. (duh) They had to create something using 100 of an item. We decided to make them drive 100 nails into a board making their name. Because child labor laws are fun to flirt with and the sound of 5 year olds hammering for an hour is so soothing. Ahem. Hindsight is 20/20.

Taryn's name wasn't long enough so some hearts were added to get the full 100 nails.
The 2 year olds got this amazing picnic table and benches for their birthday. I'm so in love with it! And the kids are too. We ate lunch at it any day that was nice enough and played on it in-between.

 Brecken and her sweet next door boyfriend snuck off to the backyard once and this is where I found them. Just talking away. 

This wagon was in our side yard one morning last year. We put it out at the curb every night for months hoping it's owner would come claim it. But, we've still go it. It has been a blessing holds a lot of little ones.

Just after Christmas Aven finally mastered walking. Just before 17 months. My other girls were at 10 and 11 months so it felt like forever but she's always done things at her own pace. I didn't mind because it made me feel like we had a baby around for a little longer. Now I feel baby-less and I don't like that feeling. 

We knew we were spoiled by this nice weather so we took advantage. I'm sure missing it now as the wind is bitter and the snow mounds at every corner look as though they'll never melt! Oh spring come quickly!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Trophy

Taryn's basketball league finished up a couple weeks ago. They didn't have a very winning season but it was their first year together and they sure fought hard.

After the final game they had a short awards ceremony. Taryn had said she really hoped they won that game so she could get a trophy. I didn't let her in on the secret that everyone gets a or lose.

On the way home, in a confused voice, T said, "Why did I get a trophy when we didn't even win?!?"  Sign of the times, baby girl.  : ) 

I'm not sure if she'll be up for another round next year but it was a fun side activity this year! Great job Lady Hornets!