We have had such a wonderful day today! We had a great service at church (awesome worship) this morning followed by lunch with our favorite lunch buddies @McAllister’s! Then we went off to Target to have some fun. I think we have bought ALL but 2 gifts that we need to buy and a WHOLE SUITCASE full of formula, diapers, and wipes to benefit the children’s home where she has lived the past 5 years.
I loved seeing everyone at church today and seeing everyone’s excitement for us…what a blessing. We feel like we are moving right along and SO READY to get on the plane!!! I have even written out medical consent forms for each person caring for my kids and have made a PLAN! Thank you for praying!
In nine days we will be on our way…so hard to believe after so much waiting.
Today Thomas and Chad are in the mountains at a dad/son hiking day…Lizzie and I went to a baby shower for a neighbor…and Samuel has done what he does best…ridden bikes and played cops and robbers with his friends.
As of yesterday ALL of our travel plans are complete with the exception of our hotel reservations for the last night there. We have begun planning and purchasing gifts for the kids, the orphanage workers, and the people at the adoption headquarters in the Philippines. Whew….
Tomorrow I am making a plan for all of our clothes so that what is clean won’t need to be washed again and I can plan mostly for the kids. I think I have the kids pretty settled for their week away from home and have started on a plan for the dog. I would also love to make another freezer meal or two to have here when we get home.
All of this keeps me busy and makes me feel like I am at the end of a pregnancy. Emotions included. I have even scrubbed out the refrigerator 🙂 I am feeling exactly how I did both times the night before I added a baby to our family. I felt sad every time that I was bringing another person in…not sure why because every time I brought a new person home it has been an incredible blessing. I think it is more a sadness that our family will never be like *this* ever again. It won’t be bad, just different. And I like how it is now. I know that I will like how it is later too! 🙂 I especially felt this way when Samuel came. We had been a family of 4 for 5 and a half years before he was born. Now we have been a family of 5 for 6 years. I know we will look back and remember before but also see the beauty of the now!
Looking forward to the craziness of the coming week! Welcome to my insanity.
Oh yes…we have plane tickets. We found out on Tuesday night that she had her medical appointment and had passed it…her visa interview is August 2. We booked our flights this morning, (on our 16th anniversary) to leave on August 8! We will return home on August 16. We are so happy there are barely words. I have started making all of my piles again like I did before I went to the Philippines last September. All in preparation for packing. Please pray for us and our children in these final ten days that we would have peace and calmness and as little anxiety as possible. =) Thank you for your excitement for us and your continued prayers.
What a weekend! On the weekend I had originally thought we could be coming home from the Philippines, God had something else in mind. As much as I would have loved to be getting off the plane, I can now see the perfect provision in His plans. I bought a last minute ticket to Beth Moore here in Charlotte and ended up finding out that only one person I know was going who didn’t have anyone to go with at the time. My awesome husband got us a room at the Hilton downtown…we were ready to have girls’ night away! Then I realized on Monday that another friend would love to go, so she got a ticket and we were set! We left early on Friday so that we could check in, get settled, and eat dinner before Beth got started!
It was simply incredible…Beth’s teaching really touched me as her focus for the weekend was HOLD FAST. She gave a lot of points that I know I will use in the future regarding the “hold fast” phrase, but her main point (and the one I intend to remember forever and always) is that God never let go of us…he is “holding fast” but we must choose day by day and sometimes minute by minute to hold fast to him! And by Hold Fast she means holding fast so tightly that nothing can pass in between the two. It is what makes life work…not a promise of fun or easy…but it works. I think HOLD FAST is my message to carry with me…but the message I also received for the “now” is part of our same passage we studied in Deuteronomy, it is Deut 10:29 and it says, He is your praise; He is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Such a perfect reminder to me in my waiting that God has done so many incredible things throughout the process of this adoption…why do I expect Him to forget us now? He WILL give us the desires of our heart and perfect timing of processing. I have stressed myself out so much over when we will travel that I continually forget who is in charge.
And then, after I arrived home I was blessed with an incredible evening! Our neighbors had me for dinner (Chad and the kids were in Georgia) and their sister-in-law is Filipino. She taught me how to make two dishes, Lumpia and Adobo and then gave me all the “pantry” ingredients that she had bought at the Asian market. She had also bought some snacks that she knew Vanessa would be used to and gave us a little stockpile in our pantry…we ate a delicious meal and left enough uncooked Lumpia for me to freeze to cook after Vanessa comes home. I already have another freezer meal!! Both families were genuinely excited for us and enjoyed teaching me how to cook a few things. What a tremendous blessing and a FUN EVENING!
In addition to that, the kids had a great weekend in Georgia celebrating Chad’s Papa’s 90th birthday! They had a fun weekend swimming in the pool and celebrating.
On the adoption front, we don’t know anything new…when we know anything, we will be on our way. 🙂 I am thinking of calling the embassy again tonight although I am not sure they will be able to tell me anything. I will let you know as soon as I do.
At the advice of my sister I have started a list of things I have to do/arrange before Chad and I can travel. I did it yesterday and have actually checked some things off! I spoke with my case worker earlier this week and he is talking to the ICAB again on Friday morning to hopefully get our dates a little more in stone. We are mere weeks from travel…that is so hard to believe! The way it is looking she should be home before the beginning of school and more importantly, before her birthday. I was really struggling with the thought of missing that. I mean really. struggling. I know God’s timing is perfect and all that stuff I have said before, but on this one, my heart was not understanding on the same level.
Speaking of my heart…I am so excited to be going to see Beth Moore here in Charlotte on Friday and will be staying in a hotel downtown with 2 other awesome ladies from my church! One of the few perks of Chad’s travel schedule is free hotels =) I am really looking forward to a time of refreshment from Beth at a time when I really need it and am so scatter-brained I can barely pray! Thank you all for sticking with us!
Ok…now that I have revealed her name on the blog I guess it time to post a photo. I am one of the few people who do NOT have photos of their adopted child on her blog…so here she is….she is stunning and beautiful and lucky for me, she posts new photos to FB all the time. We are not supposed to communicate but I scour through and savor every single photo. I have even created a file for her…but soon, very soon, she will just be part of every file in my pictures section.
Oh friends, I cannot wait. It is so hard to describe this feeling, but it so close to the feeling I had during the last few weeks of pregnancy (thankfully without the elephant ankles). I am so ready for her to be home and begin our new life with her as a daughter in our family. She is already part of all of our conversations as we can no longer think of anything in the future without her there, but…we are ready for her to be here in person.