Friday, May 26, 2006

Our New Nephew

May 25, 2006
We're excited to celebrate the arrival of our amazing nephew, Timothy Asher! This "man-child" vivaciously announced his arrival this morning -3 weeks early- at 11:49 AM (Alaska time), weighing 8 lbs, 4oz, & 21" long, complete with lots of stretches and hitting the nurses! We are looking forward to being his aunt & uncle, and for our future children to have him as a cousin. Thanks, God, for your gift to our family!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


May 17, 2006
This morning, our phone rang with a teary phone call from a dear friend. He and his wife just received discouraging news today regarding their infertility treatments, and needed to talk, to pray, to cry. It was a blessing to know that I am married to a man that a guy can feel comfortable calling to cry and pray with him.

Our hearts ache for this dear couple. We're thankful for the empathy our similar experiences have brought us, but oh, how we wish our friends didn't have to go through this too. We long for God to bless them with children, just as much as we desire children in our family. We cling to hope.

I believe it is no accident that our life journeys merged years ago. They have faithfully stood with us during our times of heartache and loss, and celebrated each milestone wholeheartedly. We don't know whether this is a hurdle or a door for them, and we wait alongside them to see what God will do. Please keep this couple in your prayers today.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mother's Day Gift

May 15, 2006
When I arrived back at my office on Monday morning, I discovered that my Secret Sister from church had left me a gift for Mother's Day! She included the sweetest card along with it. In her note, she said that she had prayed about what to get me. I love that!

I unwrapped it right away. It was three children's books from the local Christian bookstore! (I love books!) There was the classic, I Love You Forever, along with a book/CD set by Joni Eareckson Tada (based on a song by Steven Curtis Chapman), and a book by Max Lucado.

I'm looking forward to having a little person to read them to. I think I'll have to practice I Love You Forever a few more times! I started reading it out loud to Calvin when I got home, since he'd never read it, but I only got about halfway through before tears stopped me. (That picture of the son holding his little old mommy is a tear-jerker!)

My Secret Sister has been such an encouragement this year. She's always blessing me with notes at just the right time. Thank you!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mommy Practice

May 12, 2006
Since we'll be camping for the weekend, this morning I was awakened by "breakfast in bed" for Mother's Day... however, it was served in a bit unexpected manner! I think I got some "mommy practice," as I opened my eyes to cranberry juice pouring down onto our bed, with Calvin standing there, holding a tray. He felt so badly about accidently spilling our breakfast, but we are able to laugh about it now!

So, while he cleaned up the carpet (from a juice trail he left while heading back to the kitchen!), I tossed the *ivory-colored* sheets in the washer, with a generous dose of stain-removing Shout, and bundled up the embroidered comforter to take to the dry cleaner's today. And, yes, I can appreciate that I was able to do this without a juice-covered, sticky-handed kid "helping" me! :) (Otherwise, our first step would have been the bathtub!) {hehehe}

Afterward, I ate my cold, but much appreciated, breakfast of homemade strawberry blintzes at the kitchen table. Then, I packed up stuff for our camping trip, and got ready for work.

When I arrived at work, I was greeted by a trail of Saltine cracker crumbs and a spoon sticking out of the heater vent in my office from yesterday. It brought a smile to my face, as I remembered the previous day's hilarity. I had a busy, 4-year-old boy (isn't that an oxymoron?) spend 5 hours with me in my office yesterday, while his mom was volunteering upstairs. He had fun trying out all my pens and pencils, telling me all about the girl he likes at preschool, pressing buttons on the copy machine, pretending a mailing tube was a "sword," and helping throw away garbage. I spent the day untangling him from kite string, keeping him away from the much-desired paper-cutter, wiping up ice cream, dodging bouncing balls and the errant fly-swatter... and getting some work done in between. I was exhausted when I got home... but I loved my day!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Voice Mail

May 6, 2006
While we were in Wal-Mart renting a carpet cleaner this morning, Calvin realized that he had a voice mail message on his cell phone. Since the "city of Wal-Mart" didn't have sufficient cell phone reception, he had to go outside to listen to it.

It was a sweet message from Roxanne, compassionately letting us know that the birthmother had chosen a different couple. She was so encouraging, though. We just feel God's joy and blessings flowing through her, every time we hear her voice.

It didn't catch me too much by surprise. This morning, as I was praying for her, I felt a nudge on my heart, saying, "This isn't your baby, but keep praying." So, I prayed throughout the time of her counseling appointment with Roxanne, and I'm so glad it went well.

We are so proud of this birthmother for making a tough decision today, and are so thankful that God blessed us with the opportunity to pray specifically for her this week; to "stand in the gap" as prayer warriors. We are also excited for the family that will be meeting their new son soon!

I guess our emotions in this situation are similar to that of an expectant couple who goes to the hospital, only to be told that it's just "false labor pains," and it's "not time yet!" We are holding on to the faith that God is forming a child just for us... it's just not time yet.

As the song goes, "Que Sera, Sera, Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see..." (I've been listening to this song on Pink Martini's "Sympathique" CD all afternoon!) I'm so glad that God holds the future in His hands, according to His divine plan.

This situation certainly alerted us of how unprepared we were to bring a baby home! It spurred us on to give a more focused effort to preparing (learning how to install the carseat, washing baby clothes, etc.) We've also made a list of the necessary items we will need for a newborn (and for traveling with one!). It was an awakening to our new season of life: being expectant parents. We've realized that it's not only necessary, but normal, for expectant parents to be anxious for their baby's arrival, and to prepare accordingly.

We have been so thankful that God has blessed us with a beautiful day today to open up the windows, and work on our spring cleaning. I also worked on sewing a quilt for a friend's new baby. We're excited for our annual camping trip next week... and for the days to come.

Thank you, everyone for your prayers this week. Your prayers are so vital, and so appreciated!

Friday, May 05, 2006

New Life

May 5, 2006
Well, it was the real thing! Roxanne called this afternoon to give us an update. The mom gave birth to a baby boy on Wednesday night through a difficult delivery. She's now home resting, and the baby's grandma is caring for him. She has not named her baby. (But we know that God already has a name for him!)

She has an appointment to meet with Roxanne tomorrow morning. Hopefully, this mom will be able to recieve the counseling she needs, and be able to consider her options. As of yet, she has not chosen an adoptive family for her son.

Our hearts and arms just ache for this new mother... to hug her and pray for her during this difficult time. So many changes, decisions... life.

Keep praying!

Loads of Blessing

May 4, 2006
God has blessed us again! Tonight, we received a huge load of firewood rounds, and a refrigerator! God answered before we even really asked. We were both concerned about how we were going to get enough firewood for this next winter, and also wondering how much longer our noisy refrigerator would last. But, we hadn't talked much about it. Well, God answered through people we don't even know! (They were clients of a friend who needed to get their house/garage emptied out before it sold tomorrow.) They also gave us several pressure-treated 2x4's and a big bag of potting soil! (Yes, God heard my dreams of expanding my flower garden!)

We decided to pass on the blessing, and asked one of the guys from the church youth group if he wanted to help load firewood, in order to earn money for next year's youth group trip. He agreed, and was a wonderful worker! We really appreciated his help.

It took several hours to get everything loaded and unloaded. Our neighbor from across the street helped haul the refrigerator into our kitchen. We'll work on cleaning it and getting it plugged in tomorrow.

Calvin finally convinced me to wash the little jammies, diapers, crib sheets, etc. that we've been saving, so I put in a couple loads to wash while we were unloading the truck. It is so amazing to fold those tiny T-shirts and socks, and to imagine God forming a special someone little enough to fit inside them!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Interesting Update

May 3, 2006
We decided to give Roxanne a call, to see if she had an update for us. She had an appointment scheduled for this morning with the pregnant woman who has our profile book. However, her mom called Roxanne to cancel the appointment, because they were heading to the hospital! They weren't sure if it was false labor or the real thing yet... although she's only a couple days away from her due date.

They hadn't mentioned if she had chosen adoptive parents yet. But, that's not a decision she needs to be worrying about while she's in labor. If she wants to continue making an adoption plan, she can pick that up again after her baby is born.

Roxanne said she would give us a call if she has any other updates for us. She is supposed to go up to Seattle tomorrow to meet with the other regional caseworkers. (And then she's planning on taking her dad- who has Alzheimer's- to the zoo on Friday.)

I received this verse in my e-mail today, and I keep re-reading it.
"It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ,... he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone." -Ephesians 1:11 (Msg)

Carseat Installation: A Contact Sport

May 2, 2006
Since it was a beautiful evening, we decided to open up the car, and learn how to install our carseat. We were flipping through two detailed instruction books (the car manual and the carseat manual) to determine the best way of installing it.

While we were both crammed into the car, trying to haul the heavy seat around, adjusting buckles, referring to manuals, etc., suddenly... WHAM!... Calvin's elbow made contact with my nose! Ouch!

We hurried inside to put an ice pack on it, and it seems to be doing fine now; just slightly sore. Who knew carseat installation was a contact sport? Oh, well. At least we got some first aid practice while we were at it.

And, yes, about an hour or so later, the carseat installation was complete. Good job, Calvin! He's planning on calling the fire department later on to schedule a carseat inspection, just to make sure it's correctly installed.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Meeting Roxanne

April 30, 2006
After spending a wonderful weekend with Calvin's family, we left town much later that we had intended, in order to get to our meeting at the adoption agency. It really looked like there would be no way for us to arrive on time, and we didn't have the caseworker, Roxanne's home phone number. (Although we did leave a message on her office voice mail.) As we rushed down the freeways, we were wishfully praying that God would get us to our appointment with Roxanne on time. Amazingly, He did! We pulled into the parking lot just as the clock clicked to 4:00 on the dot. Thanks, God!

When we arrived, Roxanne was outside the building, and met us at our car. She was embarrassed to tell us that she had forgotten her office keys, and asked if we would mind just talking on the porch with her! So, it was a blessing that we arrived on time, since there was no way for her to answer the phone. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we didn't mind being on the porch at all; especially after a long road trip!

It was nice to get to know Roxanne a bit better, and for her to learn more about us. She is such a sweet lady, and seems very competent to handle our adoption- she has 5 kids! We told her about my job future, and she didn't even bat an eye. She said we would just have to update our financial information before we finalized an adoption, but it would be no problem! We're praising God for such a positive response!

Roxanne told us that she has been meeting with a birthmom who has been looking at our profile book! The birthmom has taken it with her to consider further, along with a few other ones. We were excited to hear that she has been looking through it, and to be able to answer the questions she had asked Roxanne about us. Then, Roxanne told us that she is due FRIDAY, with a baby boy! Wow! So, Roxanne has been really encouraging her to make a decision.

Roxanne then confirmed with us that we are prepared to leave for about a week at a moment's notice... just in case we get a call about a baby being born (even if it's not this one)!

We feel such peace about this situation. We completely feel that God is in control, and He has brought this information to us for a reason. Right now, we feel like it is so that we can pray for her. It is unusual for us to know ahead of time that a birthmom is considering us. (The caseworkers don't call everytime a book is looked at.) So, we have grabbed ahold of this opportunity to pray for this very specific birthmom and baby. Please join us as we pray this week.

"Spread out your petition before God, and then say, 'Thy will, not mine be done.' The sweetest lesson I have learned in God's school is to let the Lord choose for me." - Dwight L. Moody