Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So Many Good Things

Things are cranking right along here as we approach Christmas and the new year. We've been so busy I haven't had as much time as I'd like to really reflect on the meaning of the season. But that's okay because so many wonderful things are happening.

We've been to a couple of charitable events in the past few weeks. We've attended two events for brain tumor support on behalf of a client. And we've been to two events (on behalf of another client) to promote yoga for at-risk children. In addition to these events, Greg and I have been furiously shopping for children we've sponsored. The first child was a young boy who resides at the Casa Shalom Orphanage in Guatemala. We also purchased supplies for the New Life Nicaragua Orphanage in Nicaragua. Plus we sponsored two local children through our church's Joseph's Storehouse program and four local children through a client's charity participation. Most of the gift requests were for gift cards but one little girl asked for a bike. Let me tell you, Greg came home last night with the greatest bike and helmet for this little girl. This little gal isn't going to want to stop riding this bicycle. Greg did a fabulous job picking it out. It's a purple BMX-type bike replete with trick foot pegs on the front and back. It's awesome! But oven more awesome is our God-provided ability to support these children. It is through God's blessing that we're able to do this. The things we have are merely on loan to us from God. So it's important that we share his resources wisely and abundantly with the world around us.

Something else that's been amazing are people's attitudes this holiday season. People have been polite and considerate and happy. Yes -- happy! With the state of the economy being so dismal you would think people would be bitter and mean-spirited. But we haven't found this to be the case. People have actually been cheerful. It's a beautiful thing. It has rejuvenated my hope in mankind. It's almost as if people are realizing "by the grace of God, go I." And it's true. A turn of events (be it bad health or job loss) could put any one of us at risk for losing our homes and our possessions. And I think people finally see that possessions aren't the be all end all. They can be taken away at a moment's notice. If there is one good thing to come out of this recession, it just might be that people have finally realized that we truly do need each other.

And the last but certainly not least of all things I want to mention in this post is my husband. You will never believe (well, since most of you know Greg you would believe it) what Greg did for me this weekend. First, he gave me the most splendid foot massage EVER Friday evening. Good golly, I was in heaven! But it didn't stop there. We had a lot of shopping to do Saturday in preparation for a BBQ we hosted Sunday. After returning home I had some landscaping to tackle in the backyard. It involved some pretty heavy lifting and maneuvering. I toiled away for about four hours. By the time I was done I was covered from head to toe in potting soil and dirt and could barely stand up because I had stooped over for so long. To boot I accidentally doused myself while watering the new plants and was freezing as the temperature was dropping. I quickly tip-toed through the living room en route to the bedroom to change when Greg stopped me. Acting as a decoy he commented on how dirty I was and then lead me into the bedroom to change. He had candles lit, soft music playing and had drawn a delicious hot bubble bath. I couldn't jump in fast enough! But -- it didn't stop there. He brought me water, a glass of wine and cooked dinner! Don't ask me what I did to deserve a man like Greg. But boy-oh-boy do I thank the Lord above every-single-day for him. He is my rock and I love him!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Psalm 31:14-15
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say; "You are my God." My times are in your hands...
God pointed me to this verse this morning. He not only placed this verse before me, but he also told me to commit it to not only my memory, but also to my heart.

You see, God has been doing some pretty amazing things to my heart as of late. As you all know, I have been struggling and searching for answers as we progress toward the latter part of this adoption journey. The closer we get, the wait is almost unbearable (for me) at times, especially since joining the AWAA Yahoo chat group a couple of months ago. I see so much pain and heartache flowing through the postings as families do not pass court, referrals are not made, court dates are met and then postponed for sometimes months at a time and even the deaths of two infants in the transition home. I clearly perceive (and feel) the anguish of these families as they post these stories.

But God has been speaking to me over the past couple of months. He has been telling me to wait and be patient. And when I refused to be patient (the waiting part I have no control over) He sent His Holy Spirit to break me down. But as He did this, He told me exactly what He was doing. He told me that in order for Him to bless me, I needed to break. I needed to give up my will. I needed to turn it over to God so He could prove faithful and be glorified in this process. That happened on a Sunday in church a couple of weeks ago. I felt as if I were being crushed but crushed in love. God's mercy and love were right there with me. At that point I turned it all over to Him. The wait. The anger. The frustration. I was broken.

Fast forward a couple of weeks to this morning's devotionals and prayer time. He placed Psalm 31:14-15 before me. But he spoke to me in doing so. He said, "I ordain your trials and tribulations. I do this so that you can see that I am utterly trustworthy and devoted to you."

I have never felt more loved in my life...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Waiting is hard!

It's been quite awhile since I've posted anything. There are a couple of reasons for this. I guess first and foremost it's because we've been busy. Thanksgiving was last week. We spend the holiday with our friend Wendy's family. Her mom cooked the most wonderful traditional Thanksgiving fare. Yum! The four day weekend was delightful. Well, for me at least. Poor Greg woke up Saturday morning with a bad sore throat. This turned into a full-blown, raging cold by late Saturday afternoon. He's been a real trouper though. He's still battling it but it hasn't kept him down.

It was nice to get caught up on sleep and get a jump start on putting up Christmas decorations. I splurged this year and did something I've wanted to do since moving to South Florida seven years ago. I ordered our Christmas tree from a tree farm in North Carolina. It was cut last Wednesday (by the owner himself) and FedEx'd to us. We received the tree Friday morning. Wow! Was it ever worth it. The only way the tree could've been fresher is if we would've cut it down ourselves. It is perfectly shaped and wonderfully fragrant. Greg jokes that he is going to put all the furniture in the garage so we can just have the tree in the room because it's so big. I love it!

To go back to my opening paragraph, the second reason I've not written is that I kind of have my head buried in the sand as of late. I've been so down (for lack of a better word) over the adoption. The wait time is like the Energizer Bunny! It just keeps going and going and going. I swear there is no end in sight! Without any referrals in October and only five given in the last week of November, it seems as if America World is NEVER going to get caught up! There are 14 families ahead of us on the Yahoo chat database. Eight of these famlies are waiting for infant boys just as we are. At this rate, it doesn't look like we're going to get a referral until January. I had high hopes that we'd at least receive a telephone call around Christmas. But alas I don't believe that to be the case now. It's hard. I try to be patient. I try to wait on the Lord. But I feel as if my (actually our) life has been on hold for the past 15 months. I know God has a plan. But sometimes it's hard as a mere human to wait for His plan to unfold. IYesterday I received my travel immunizations. Yikes! I received six shots--three in each arm. I received the shots at 3:30 PM and by 6:00 PM my triceps began to feel as if I had a strenuous workout. When 9:00 PM rolled around and I crawled into bed, I couldn't lay on either side. And forget trying to wrestle with the covers! I felt like my arms went 10 rounds with Mike Tyson! Don't be alarmed. This is a typical reaction caused by two of the vaccinations. They are feeling somewhat better today. Greg has no idea what's in store for him. Sssssshhhhh.... don't tell him... The secret is ours.

Isaiah 41:9-10

..."You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Well, here I am at the conclusion of another busy weekend. It's passed by in what seems like the blink of an eye.

I didn't leave my office until about 7:15 Friday evening, but that's okay. I'm looking forward to the holidays and if spending a few extra minutes here and there in the office allows me to eventually spend a little less time in the office in the coming weeks, then that's the price I'll gladly pay.

Saturday, Greg and I golfed (independently) in a charity golf tournament for Jupiter Christian School. Although Greg and I used to be avid (which is actually an understatement) golfers, I've kind of lost my love for the game. This is really attributed to a shift in priorities. As we get closer to the end of this adoption, I've just had so many other things on my mind. Plus I've easily been able to find other things to spend my spare four to five hours per weekend on. But I must say I had a really enjoyable time participating in Saturday's outing. One of the members of my golf foursome -- who was actually the reason I agreed to participate in the outing -- was my friend Wendy. I seldom get to spend time with Wendy, but the beauty of our friendship lies in the fact that despite great lapses in time, we can virtually "pick up where we left off". Wendy is a gem of a person with a heart of gold. She always has a smile on her face and a positive outlook on everything. Additionally, she has the quickest wit of perhaps anyone I know. I really had a terrific time!

Saturday evening Greg and I attended the Jupiter Christian School dinner auction as guests of our friends, Maria and Dom.. Maria was the major organizer of this year's event and she did a fabulous job. The food was fabulous as were the setting and atmosphere. We had a truly enjoyable time with our friends. And not only that, we were also the successful bidders for a year's membership at the Palm Beach Yacht Club. I look forward to sharing many wonderful dinners there with my wonderful husband during the coming year.

Although the above-mentioned events are fabulous ( sorry, but I LOVE the word fabulous) in and of themselves, I participated in the most meaningful event this afternoon. After a truly inspiring service at church this morning I stayed afterward to tag clothing we parishioners purchased for residents of Casa Shalom orphanage in Guatemala. As I tagged and folded I found myself scrutinizing each and every child's information card. The cards included a photo of the child and they really spoke to my heart. I prayed to God to look after these children as I folded and tagged their items. This was a special undertaking in that we were able to obtain an information card for a specific child residing at the orphanage. We were then tasked with purchasing an entire outfit for them--pants, shirt, shoes, underwear and socks. But it didn't stop there -- we were also asked to hold on to the card in order to pray for the individual child. So as these items are packed and our pastoral staff prepares to hand-carry them to the children at Casa Shalom, I blanket them all with prayers and blessings.

And that, my friends, concludes another fabulous week in the DuBose family adventure...

Peace and blessings to all...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Way to go, Dolphins! Dolphins????

I had the pleasure of attending a Miami Dolphin game yesterday with my lovely hubby, Greg, and my TFF's (that's Truly Fabulous Friends), Wendy and Mark. What a wonderful day!

As a life-long, die-hard Pittsburgh Steeler fan, the weather was a bit warm for my traditional football taste. I'm used to tailgating in Sorels and woolen underwear. Speaking of tailgating, Wendy and Mark hooked us up! We had cheese and crackers, all-natural all-beef brats, yummy Fire & Ice salad and scrumptious sweet potato pie with praline pecan topping! Gosh I'm hungry just thinking about it! Oh, and not only did they hook us up in the food department, but Wade gets a special shout out for putting up with us as our chauffeur. Thanks, Wade!

The Dolphins won (narrowly) which made for a great game. The energy in the stands was infectious, which makes me think I just might have to become a Dol-Fan. But don't worry, Big Ben, Troy and Hines. I will never forsake you! Now, where IS my Terrible Towel????

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wow, what a week!

We've been unbelievably busy here in the DuBose household this past week, hence the lack of a post. Although our lives are always full of work and home-life responsibilities, this past week has involved a lot of extra-curricular activities as well. Here is a brief recap.

Halloween - What a night! As expected we had a steady procession of trick-or-treaters beginning at about 5:45. We saw some great costumes and some "what-were-their-parents-thinking" costumes. The pinnacle of the latter being a group of five teenage girls dressed as Native American Indians. Whoa! Let's just say they didn't spend a lot on the fabric...

Saturday post-Halloween - Again, what night. We went to a client's costume party. We had a fabulous time and met some fabulous people. I'm pleased to say we won 2nd place for the best "Couples" costume.

Sunday - A truly fabulous day. Our pastor delivered a wonderful message at church. We came home and just chilled for the day. Greg watched his Miami Dolphins (who actually won another game) and made us a most scrumptious dinner of honey-garlic glazed beer can chicken on the grill. Mmmmm... good!

Tuesday - Again, what a night!!! My dear friend, Todd, and his friend (our new BFF), Sarah, drove up from Miami to watch election results. Todd lives in Las Vegas and "Sarah Montana" lives in, well - Montana. Both Todd and Sarah will be in Miami on business for two weeks. We are honored that they would drive 96 miles (each way) to spend time with us. Todd and I have been friends for almost eight years but we only see each other every couple of years or so. It goes without saying, this night was doubly special for me!

And finally, it is the weekend. I love Saturdays! I've always like the weekend, but the older I get the more I find myself LIVING for the weekend. This "living" usually begins late Friday morning as I start counting down the hours until the end of the work day. I, like most people, am physically spent by the end of the week, with nothing left to give. Additionally, I don't think I'm acclimated to the end of daylight savings time yet. I was exhausted by yesterday morning, as evidenced by my forgetting to turn the water off in the pool .. (Although I'm not certain why I'M the one who has to remember to turn it off since there are two adults residing in this household... Plus, I didn't put the hose INTO the pool. But, I digress...)

I'm concluding this post with a photo of our new "vanishing edge" pool.
Happy Saturday to all, and to all a great weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

When creating this blog it was not my intention to make it a spiritual blog. But that's the unconscious turn it's taken. So I'm going to let the Holy Spirit lead me when/where it chooses.

The above verse really spoke to me during my morning devotions. It gave me pause because I don't know anyone walking this earth that wouldn't benefit from that scripture. Who isn't weary from work, chasing/chauffeuring children and running a household? And who isn't burdened by the current state of the economy, the war(s) we're fighting and presidential campaign rhetoric? I know I'm weary and burdened. (So sorry, Greg! You're always the vent on my pressure cooker. Know that I love you for putting up with my steam. :-* )

So to all of you who are also weary and burdened--take a moment to reflect on the above verse (and the continuation below) and drink it in. I think you'll find it to be refreshing. It might even renew your spirit. That's what it did for me.

Matthew 11:29-30
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Clearly, Bella has read this scripture before. She has no problem finding rest.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Love It!

We had record low temperatures here in South Florida this morning. It was actually in the 40's. That's the coldest October weather I've experienced in the seven years I've lived here. Gosh, I am loving life! I always get a little homesick this time of the year. Friends and family in Pennsylvania and Ohio always talk about the brisk temperatures and changing leaves. (It actually snowed in Pittsburgh today!)

Don't get me wrong--I love Florida. But change is good! It was nice to break out a sweater vest and blazer this morning. It's the little things that mean so much.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Life is Amazing

The purpose of today's post is simply to say how appreciative I am of the beautiful world around me. When I look at God's creation I am speechless in its vast beauty and diversity. I took the photos below in a span of approximately three minutes in my backyard this morning. How amazing! Each specimen is beautiful in its own right and serves a purpose, working in concert with its surroundings.

Matthew 6:28-29
28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Definition of gratitude: noun - a feeling of being grateful for gifts or favours

Have you ever noticed that sometimes in the thick of things it's difficult to see the details of a situation as they unfold? I think this is something everyone has experienced at one time or another, for better or worse. It happens to me all the time. I get so swept up in the day-to-day workings of life, that I don't fully appreciate things for what they are or for what they represent. I experienced this scenario in a big way this past Thursday.

I was mindful and appreciative of the little things that happened throughout my day, but when I really stepped back that evening (while laying in bed, waiting for sleep to take over) I really saw -- in my mind's eye -- what had happened.

I received several telephone calls and emails Thursday from people who just called to check in. They were mostly from people who hadn't heard from me in a couple of weeks and were reaching out to find out what was going on with Greg and I and with the adoption. As I stated in my initial post, last week wasn't necessarily a good week for me. I learned that we are at a temporary standstill in our adoption. And not only that, we were hit with a $4,000 (+/-) increase in our adoption fee. I was feeling a little self-pity last week and these telephone calls and emails gave me an opportunity to vent. (Sorry to those of you who reached out to me. :-* ) I was moved with each of these individual "contacts", but it wasn't until late that evening that I truly realized what transpired throughout the day. The people who called and emailed did so because they truly CARE ABOUT US. What a lovely thing! And what a lovely, moving gesture. And not only did these people reach out to us, but they offered their support in various ways. And I didn't get it at the moment of contact, but boy did it hit me over the head when I looked at the entire picture. These beautiful people offered themselves to us. I mean, really offered themselves -- in very meaningful and substantial ways. These offers ranged from "just thinking about you" to "we'll be praying for you" to "we'll stage a letter writing campaign for you" to "we'll help you with the money if you need it" to "you're going to spend Christmas with us this year because we know it's going to be difficult for you and you need to be with people who love you". Talk about blessed!!!! And I mean blessed, over and over and over again. And let me tell you -- I was really down last week. I was feeling tested in my faith. And I was praying for God to strengthen and increase my faith. And he sent people (angels on earth, if you will) to bolster my faith. What an awesome God! He is faithful! And he is great -- ALL THE TIME! (Phillipians 4:6-7 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.)

So thank you my beautiful "family of friends", for that is what you all are. You are our family. And we do NOT take you for granted. In fact, we are full of gratitude that you have been placed (albeit strategically) in our lives.

In closing, the following verse came to mind as I reflected on Thursday's experience. It is a scripture from one of my devotionals a couple of weeks ago. And low and behold, our pastor (Rick Whitter) referenced this scripture in this morning's service. It beautifully states the importance of relationships in our lives. And I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Okay -- here we go

I've wanted to start this blog for months now, but just haven't had an opportunity. I've been so busy with a myriad of activities and responsibilities. To illustrate the types of tasks I've been undertaking let me tell you what my husband just said. He asked me if I could stay "old-fashioned" "so I could churn up some ice cream." But in all fairness, my prince redeemed himself immediately by throwing me a reduced fat, sugar-free fudgecicle while saying, "Even bloggers need energy." I love this man!

To bring everyone up to speed, Greg and I are in the latter stage(s) of an international adoption. We're adopting an infant boy (birth to 12 months) from Ethiopia. As of today it has been six months and five days since we sent our Dossier off to Ethiopia. (Not than I'm counting, of course.) According to our agency's initial estimate, we should have received a referral in five to seven months. But due to Ethiopia's recent two-month (August/September) court closure, the court is inundated with adoptions. Subsequently this has caused an overflow in our agency's orphanages and transition home. We learned last week that the agency will not provide any referrals to waiting parents until they get children out of the orphanages and transition home and to the States with their families. They're hoping this will change in November, but as we learned early in this process, all bets are off. Anything can happen. The one thing we've learned during this ordeal is that we are in control of nothing and everything is subject to change at a moment's notice.

BUT, we are resilient and of strong faith. So I will continue to sit on my hands (as I used to tell daughter Brittany so she wouldn't get into trouble) and wait. After all, patience is a virtue.

Habakkuk 2:3
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.