Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the real treasure

we didn't get the beach house. we didn't get the big boat. we got a family. and that's the real treasure."

one of my mom's friends recently sent us a newspaper article about a family in her city who adopted a sibling group of 4 from ethiopia. they already had 6 other children -- 2 who were adopted internationally.

i cried at this last line. it is nothing poignant, but it says so much.

i struggle all the time with feeling envious about what others have or what they are doing with their lives. i wish we could travel more. i wish i had lots of money to make the rooms in my house pretty and well-decorated. i wish we didn't have student debt. i wish i had more cute clothes. i wish i could go out right now and buy jamie the new guitar he wants.

i wish.

i wish.

i wish.

in these moments of weakness, i think that we spent our money all wrong when we decided to have kids, and especially when we decided to adopt. but then i see a picture of my kids, and i have to agree: maybe we won't have the life the world says we should, but we will be blessed beyond measure because of this family God is creating.

and quite honestly, we don't go without much. we have great house with food and books and fun toys and clothing. we have seen so much of the world. we both have college and graduate school educations. we make enough to pay our bills, give to our church and others, and then some.

we could probably stand to lose a little more.

as we (hopefully) grow our family in the future -- maybe even by adoption again -- and as our kids grapple with not having every single thing they want, i hope we all can say: we got a family. and that's the real treasure.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


we were submitted to the embassy this morning.

we expect the embassy will want to interview those involved in our children's cases.

please pray they are easy to contact and are able to provide the information the embassy needs to approve our cases.

please pray the embassy is merciful and quick.

this is the very last step of a long, long journey.

we are so close.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

thoughts as we continue waiting

we are hoping to be submitted to the embassy on tuesday. i feel like i will go crazy if we have to wait another week. it has been almost 2 months since we last held our kids, and sometimes i look around and wonder if it was all a dream. thank God for pictures to remind me that, yes, we were in fact there.

ephraim weighed 11 pounds (at 13 months) when we last saw him. in these last 2 months, he's gained 6.5 pounds. he is actually starting to look chunky. he has been through so much. he had measles and pneumonia before he was transferred to our agency's transition home. when he arrived at the transition home in december, he was still malnourished even though he'd been in the care of an orphanage for nearly a year (clearly, i'm not a big fan of people who believe an orphanage in a child's birth country is better than a family elsewhere). he was sick and very weak. i hope that one day he will see how God has delivered him and believe. i also hope he will humor me when i claim "survivor" by destiny's child as his theme song.

ruthie turns 4 in june. she is starting to look like a little girl and not a toddler. one of the things i've loved most about adopting a child that isn't an infant is immediately seeing ruthie's personality. even before we met her, the pictures showed a girl full of spunk. she is a great combo of jamie and me -- such a testament that God providentially destined her for our family, knowing she would fit perfectly.

she is also quickly becoming a sweet big sister. when we decided to adopt 2 kids at the same time, we knew that one big advantage would be our kids coming into our family as "buddies." they'd forever have someone else who looked the same, who came into our family in the same way -- someone who could sympathize with all the messiness that adoption can bring. it amazes me that our kids were once perfect strangers, and now they are forever bonded as brother and sister. ephraim has been alone so much of his life, and all i could think when we passed court was that he was legally not alone anymore -- he had a family. it has given me great comfort to see ruthie love him well while we can't be there. i've prepared for ruthie to struggle when they come home in giving up some of the "mommying" she has done for ephraim, but for now, i'm so thankful they have each other.

it is bittersweet to watch your children grow up from afar. it is a back and forth -- feeling thrilled that your child is gaining weight, becoming healthier, etc. while also feeling sadness that you are missing it all. early on in our adoption, i remember skipping over the sections of books that talked about the grief of adoptive parents. it seemed to me that since we hadn't lost children previously to miscarriage or struggled with infertility, we weren't bringing any grief to the process. what i've realized is this process creates grief. honestly, i don't know how people get through it without God. as of late, i have had to consciously commit to submitting myself to God's timing in all of this, believing that he does know best. it doesn't appease the grief, but it certainly purposes it.

please pray nothing would delay us in submitting to the embassy on tuesday. and pray the embassy would be merciful and quick with our cases.