Saturday, February 28, 2009

Special Delivery

We received Jackson’s monthly update this week. He has grown so much! He no longer looks like the baby he was in his referral photos. He looks like a little man. We are so grateful that AWAA has implemented this policy of sending monthly updates. This policy began the week we received our referral. Prior to this, families usually only received information on their child if their child was experiencing health issues. I couldn’t imagine going months without knowing your child’s progress and development. What a blessing these updates are!

Yesterday I sent a small package to Jackson courtesy of a family who departs next Friday to pick up their son. Obviously luggage limitations are an issue so you can only send a one-gallon food storage bag. In reality this is well within reason. At only three months of age it’s not as if there are a lot of things Jackson could use. There are of course many things he needs, but I cannot send bags of diapers, cases of formula and bottles of vitamins earmarked specifically for Jackson. Nor can I send clothing and expect the transition home nannies to keep track of what belongs to Jackson as opposed to what belongs to the other infants. So I am more than fine with the one-gallon food storage bag restriction. Jackson will receive a small, soft blanket, a plush rattle and an outfit Tempal purchased and sent him.

I am so thankful that God provided the means for this family to take Jackson’s care package to him and am overwhelmingly grateful they are willing to deliver it and take a few photos of our beloved son. I can’t wait to see the pictures!

And just think… Tomorrow is March 1st. As of tomorrow I can say, “By the grace, favor and blessing of God we will bring our son home ‘next month’”. This will be poetry to my ears.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This is a test of my new mobile blogger account.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Words to Live by

Isaiah 30:15 and 18

15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation.
In quietness and trust is your strength…”

18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!

I came across this scripture during my devotionals Sunday morning and it has been speaking to me ever since. I find such great peace in these verses.

Rest. Salvation. Quietness. Trust. Strength. Gracious. Compassion. Justice. Blessed.

Who doesn’t want these things in life? Who doesn’t want these things in every waking and sleeping moment of their life? I know I do. And the older I get, the more apparent this becomes to me. I want to rest. I cherish my salvation. I want to be strong in the blood that was shed for my sins by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I thank God for his tender mercy and grace. I thank God for his compassion that flows over me like a river. And I want to be blessed. Don’t get me wrong. I am already blessed beyond measure. But as I wait to get our little guy home, I pray for God’s favor and blessing on the final stage(s) of this adoption process.

These are definitely words worth living by.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to One of the Most Amazing Women I Know

Today happens to be the birthday of someone very near and dear to me. Today is our daughter’s 27th birthday. Happy birthday, Brittany!

Let me begin by asking you, “How did you get to be 27?” Last I knew, you were a kid riding your bike, playing basketball, softball and homerun derby. Next thing I knew, you were in high school and working at Dunkin’ Donuts. Then came graduation and on to college. You worked hard in college, juggled multiple jobs, yet graduated at the top of your class. Now you’re married and living halfway across the country. I honestly don’t know where time has gone. The years have flown by.

But enough reflection. This is about celebration—a celebration of you. You are an amazing individual. We are so proud of you. You have accomplished so much in life in your 27 short years. I applaud your courage and tenacity. You are not afraid to be your own woman and to live your own life. And although I miss you terribly, I am so very happy for you.

You could’ve used every familial and socio-economic excuse in the book to settle for mediocrity (or shall I say idiocracy) but you didn’t. Instead, you put your nose to the grindstone and took the world by storm!

God blessed me tremendously by allowing me to be your mother. I am honored. And Jackson is going to be equally blessed in having you as his big sister.

So happy birthday, my dear, sweet daughter. I encourage you to continue to dream big, to continue to take risks, and to never take no for an answer. You are loved beyond measure! Thank you, for allowing me to be your mom.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting There... Slowly but Surely

We are now under two months until court. Okay, not by much. We have 59 days until our Ethiopian court date. But I do feel we're making forward progression.

We had to have our Home Study updated as it expires March 7, 2009. This required new new local law enforcement background checks as well as state-level law enforcement and CYS background checks. We also had to do an interview with our social worker. Initially it was daunting (to me) to to go through this again. In addition to the time required to initiate and complete this update, I was also fretting over the associated costs. But then again, no one said this would be an easy endeavor.

I'm just happy we're finally moving forward. Now, if I can just lock in the air travel we'll be set to jet. Literally... And that's a great feeling!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Countdown Continues vs. the Coundown Begins

We received our tentative travel dates today. Providing we pass court April 10 we will travel April 25 to May 3rd to bring Jackson home.

This is 78 days from today. The practical side of me says that’s not a lot of time. I have so much to accomplish in 78 days. I need to finish the nursery. There are still necessities (diaper, formula, baby clothes) to purchase as well as items we need for the trip in case of illness or emergency. But the emotional side of me says 78 days is an eternity. I look at the photos of Jackson we received with our referral and my heart breaks. He was only seven weeks old in those photos. He’s already two and a half months old. He will be five months old when we finally get to hold him in our arms. (I know, you’ve heard this before, but I can’t stop thinking about it.)

It’s human nature to want to be with someone who needs us. And he needs us. I’m certain the AWAA Transition Home caregivers are loving Jackson and nurturing him as I write this. But let’s face it, there are a limited number of caregivers and so many children who require their time and love.

Please, God. Please let us get there just as soon as possible. Jackson needs us.

James 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Mention of Gratitude

I’m taking a moment to express my gratitude to family and friends who have supported us in our adoption process from the get-go.

Over the past 16 ½ months I can honestly say I’ve only encountered two people (personally) who were not onboard with our decision to adopt. One person is a close family member and the other is a friend I’ve had for many years. Their primary argument is that I am too old to take on this responsibility. Now, don’t get me wrong. We’ve had some devil’s advocates along the way. Just about everyone told me initially that our life is going to change dramatically. Really? I had no idea…. (wink, wink) Of course our lifestyle is going to slow down a bit, but I’m a-okay with that. The tradeoff cannot even be measured on the same scale. Sorry, I digress…

Seriously though, I do want to say thank you to all of our family and friends who’ve been so supportive. This post was actually prompted by our friend, Cory. It appears she’s become a “blog stalker”. That’s an affectionate term tossed around the AWAA Yahoo chat group for people who monitor blogs for news of all-things-adoption. I was surprised to say the least that Cory popped back in to read my blog. Her subsequent email was so simple, yet uplifting. She really buoyed my spirits. She gave me a breakdown of hours (as opposed to days) until we get to hold our precious Baby Jackson in our arms. Her lighthearted yet tender words of encouragement really spoke to my heart. She went on to remind me that our friends and family are pulling for us and that she is indeed praying for us. I can’t possibly ask for more in a friend.

So thank you, Cory. And a warm, heartfelt thank you to all of our friends and family who are pulling for us, praying for us, cheering for us and loving us. And please know, you are all loved in return.