Saturday, December 24, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The Christmas season is all about gifts. It started many years ago with God giving the human race His greatest gift....His son. Since that time we have celebrated this season with gifts, giving and receiving gifts. We are so often asked, "So what do you want for Christmas?" or "What are you giving so and so for Christmas?" So to follow along with this theme, this post is about gifts. I have been asked what I want for Christmas. I really don't want anything. Well, anything you can fit under a Christmas tree......I would love for time to slow down, for all the orphans of the world to have homes, for those I know who are suffering with illness or sadness from loss to have joy and peace and wellness, for my 5th child to be home with us nestled in her little pink crib. But I am very blessed and need nothing. I have a roof over my head, food in plenty, health, a loving family, a husband who provides for us and loves God with his whole heart, and 5 amazing kids. It is these 5 little, well some of them aren't so little anymore, souls I want to write about today. Please forgive my "Mommy-gushing" in the next few paragraphs.... but I love these "gifts" with abundance God has blessed me with!
My First Gift........Julia.
God blessed me with this child first. Thirteen years ago. She came into this world with eyes wide open, ready to take life on. She was born on her due date and today she is still quite punctual. She showed me how to love with "Mommy love". She put up with all my first-time Mom "stuff". She was the one who exposed my heart to a love so deep and like no other. She is and always has been sensitive and kind and loving. She loves her family and is a great big sister to all the kiddos. Julia came to me as a 7 year old and asked me to please pray with her to have Jesus be her savior. Her heart has been dislocated for the orphan and has started a cake charity and gives her proceeds to orphan causes.She is smart. She is mature and responsible and incredibly dependable. She is artistic and athletic. She is hardworking and doesn't quit until the task is accomplished or she has met her goal. She meets life head on and with full force and lets nothing stop her. She loves a good challenge. She makes me laugh. She is my friend and my "right-hand man". I love this child and the young lady she is all too quickly turning into. I love having her around and homeschooling her...she is so easy! Math is her favorite subject. She loves her friends and time spent with them. Julia is my electronics help when "Wilma Flintstone" can't figure all this technology out! Have I mentioned she is beautiful too.......inside and out! Oh how I love my 1st gift, my sweet Julia Irene!
My second gift.....Sam.
This sweet child stole my heart 9 years ago. Oh what a cuddle bug! He loved to be held...and fed! And still loves a good cuddle session. He has one of the kindest hearts I have ever known and is fiercely loyal to his family. He is mature at times beyond his years. He loves to read, do Legos, play with his friends, watch football, laugh with Julia, watch movies and eat popcorn, and play some serious soccer......boy is this kid good!!!!!! He is smart...oooh is he smart! He is a great little writer and an artist too. His imagination astounds me! And he is handsome! His laugh will make you laugh and brighten your day. He came to me as a 6 year old with tears in his eyes and a pleading spirit saying he really wanted to live "with Jesus in his heart". I see God move in him daily through his beautiful, kind heart. He has taken on the role of big brother with a lot of class.To parent this child has been so very easy and enjoyable. I love watching him learn and grow. I love this freckled-face, blue-eyed, curly-headed little boy with all my heart!
My third gift.......Jaida.
This gift, brought to me from half a world away, is such a light in my life. Jaida is my baby...at least for now. She is loved by us all. She brings such joy with her personality, her antics, her non-stop chatter and her lovable little self. This child started off not wanting anything to do with me and is now my big ole Mama's Girl. She is smart, funny, clever, imaginative and playful.She is quite sensitive and tender-hearted. She loves playing babies, Barbies, house, cars, basketball, school and beauty shop....boy has she done some gorgeous hairstyles on me!!!! She loves anything girly and pink and sparkly....and she loves her some high heels, the taller the better! When I look at her sometimes, I melt. I can't imagine my life without her or our family without her. She was my easiest baby, so content. She adjusted to having a new brother invade her world with very little resistance. She adores Xin and they are best buddies. I am so proud of her and can't wait to see her step into her new role of "Big Sister"! Jaida opened my heart to a world I did not know before she became my daughter. She showed me how very easy it is to love a child placed into our family by God himself from a world unlike mine. I truly adore this child and love her with every fiber of my being.
My fourth gift...Xin.
My fourth gift, not my youngest...just my newest gift. This gift was given to me in the most unconventional way of all my gifts....as a 4 yr. old. This brave little soul walked out of his old life and into his new world with nothing. He faced surgeries alone as a toddler with no one there to hold him or whisper to him that they loved him.This child has taught me and is teaching me more than any other I have. He has shown me what true sacrificial love should look like...love that loves through kicking, hitting, biting, tantruming. You know, the way Jesus loves us when we are not so lovable? He has taught me just how very far I have to go and how very much I need Jesus to get there. Xin is smart...wow! He learned the English language in about 30 days. He is determined. He is very creative and quite a good little artist. He loves to play with Jaida and whoever else will play with him. He feels most comfortable when around others. He likes Legos, books, cars, balls and arts and crafts. He is learning how to be in a family and has come quite a long way. He still has some pretty tough walls up but inside is a beautiful little heart that we can see is full of love and compassion. This strong little boy has a zest for life and new things and is not afraid to try anything. I know God has big plans for him and I am thrilled I get to watch them unfold. We are learning together how to be son and mother to each other. He gives me kisses and hugs genuinely now and accepts mine and asks for more. We have come along way, he and I and I am blessed to have been chosen to shepherd this child. I love this little boy with the crooked smile, happy eyes and determined spirit.
My fifth gift....Louisa.
I don't know this gift yet.I have only seen it's beautiful wrapping. This gift is still a mystery to me. I long to hold this child and hear her little voice and laugh. To smell her sweet baby smell and rock her to sleep. I do know that this gift has taught me much about faith. Faith that requires a big step of obedience without it making a lot of sense. Through this gift God has revealed himself so many times to me and it is has been amazing. I can't wait to see just what He has in store once she is in my arms. I have loved her from afar.... from the moment I saw her big brown eyes staring back at me from the computer screen all those months ago....I knew she was my Louisa. As we come to the home stretch of this wait for her, my heart races with anticipation and excitement.....and a little fear. I pray she will not be afraid, that she will feel our love and know us from a deep place inside, whispered to from God himself. Little one, how I look forward to being your Mommy and loving you through all life has to offer you.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Woke to an email from the American Consulate in Guangzhou, China telling us our Article 5 had been issued! This will be dropped off by courier to the CCAA(Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) for them to issue Travel Approval(1-3 weeks)! Once China gives us approval to travel we book our tickets!!!! Hang in there Lulu, I promise we are coming. We are about to "bust" with anticipation of actually holding our newest daughter/sister!!!!!!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Santa that my Dad made for us.
Our collection of Santas.
Coco our clever, funny little elf......
10 stockings, count them...oh my! The 3 pets have one too!
Al, our resident rooster, joins in the celebration also!
Our Lego village. Each year we add the seasonal item. It is so darn cute!!!
Our handmade manger scene (I love pottery)
We love wine and Will and I made these last year with our saved corks.They sit on our bar area.
So as you can see I have managed to put up some Christmas decor amid the warm un-Christmas like temps., the heart of Eagles basketball season for Julia, soccer finishing with a heartbreaking loss that went into double overtime and ended with PK's (3 to 2) for the U10 boys Bulls, pre-school parties, crafts and musicals, stalking my email for yet another approval, trying to work diligently in home school so we are a tad ahead when we depart for China and yes, NESTING! Remember that when you were pregnant? Did you do that? I did...both times and also with my adopted babies. So I have organized, cleaned, decluttered, and started packing Lulu's suitcase.We should get our Article 5 next Thursday. It will then be overnighted to the CCAA for them to issue Travel Approval!!!!!!!!! What a wonderful Christmas gift that will be...praying it comes right before Christmas! Hope you are enjoying this special time of year!