Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Adoption Update: No Change

Unfortunately, we do not have any new updates to give. Trust me, I wish I did. We are now almost eight weeks into waiting for a court date....well rather passing court because now we do not know when our court date even is. The waiting is not easy, but I am daily coming more at peace in the wait. I have been a harder sell than JT. It has really hit lately that God has played such an intricated part in every detail of our adoption......why would He stop now? We did get one new picture this week and possibly more to come. "T" is so cute. You all will just love him. We are very blessed and have not even met him. There is another family going this weekend to get their daughter who is in the same orphanage. She is going to check on him...shoe size, clothing size and such. I am very pleased! Please continue to pray for us and for him.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Welcome Home, Hollis and Hannah Feven~
Today I had the opportunity to welcome home two adopted little ones. JT and I went to the Louisville airport to welcome home William and Charis Brown with their new addition Feven, to be called Hannah. On my way home frome Louisville to Somerset, I stopped to visit my friends Curtis and Meredith. They brought home Hensley on January 1 and Meredith returned yesterday with their daughter Hollis. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and evening. There are some pictures below.
Me with Hensley left and Hollis right

William, Charis and Feven

Being greeted....

walking up to the 30+ people present to greet them!

Some of the waiting crowd

Chicago Wedding
JT and I traveled to just outside of Chicago for the wedding of two my closest friends my medical school, Lisa Foody and Jason Ryan. I was friends with each of them throughout school. They are two fabulous people with fabulous families. We had a great weekend and it was an enjoyable time. I was a bridesmaid and JT was an usher. I just wanted to share a few pictures from the weekend.
Me with bride and groom, Drs. Jason and Lisa Ryan Lindsey and I at the reception

JT and I....

Me and Lindsey Phibbs (another med school friend) being silly

Jason and Lisa

The rehearsal dinner decor

getting my hair and makeup "did"

Balloon Glitter

On Thursday night, JT and I met my friend Sarah and her boyfriend Zach for the balloon glitter on the river front. Here are some pictures from the night.

JT's cowork, Xavier, plays in this salsa band.... his little boy does as well. How Cute

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guest Blog...

JT had this idea after reading several other blogs. He asked our friend Paul Gibson to compose the first guest blog. Paul introduced me and JT. JT and Paul were roommates in colleges and Paul was my flag football coach...Enjoy

We live in a world that is located somewhere between Eden and the New Heaven and New Earth; a world where parents experience the sadness of miscarriages and children experience the loss of hope.

Recently, some friends of mine had the sad experience of suffering through a miscarriage. They expressed to me that their grief felt different than the grief experienced after the loss of a loved one. Instead of mourning the loss of what was, they were actually grieving the loss of what might have been. My heart was touched by their ability to express the reality that they lost part of their future; no little clothes were going to be purchased, the smell of baby was not going to waft through their house, and the warmth of a child snuggled up to their chest was not going to be felt. I feel for this family.

I was talking to J.T. a few weeks ago during the midst of walking with my friends through their miscarriage. As he openly dreamed about the day he and Natalie would fly over to bring Tedi home, the reality of Tedi’s situation hit me with force; there are millions of children around Tedi, including Tedi, who experience the grief from what might have been. They too suffer the loss of their future; no families celebrating at their wedding, no parents present to rejoice over their high school graduation and no loving presence to say, “I love you, you are mine.” My friends’ grief continues to be great (due to the miscarriage), but imagine multiplying that grief by millions and we begin to understand the emotional plight of being an orphaned child in Ethiopia.

Thankfully, the story of Scripture teaches us that we are headed back towards Eden; the end of the story looks very much like the beginning. God continues to redeem all of creation (back to Eden) through the power of Jesus expressed in his followers. As a follower of Jesus and a partner in the ushering in his redemption, I am called to help the widow, poor, naked, sick and in Tedi’s case, especially the orphan. Therefore, I surmise that helping Tedi overcome his loneliness and hopelessness is bigger than helping J.T. and Natalie adopt (which I deeply support), but it is also about growing one step closer to Eden.

Picture this…J.T. and Natalie, their closest friends, and family are gathered around picnic tables. The smell of burgers and brats and the sounds of Jimmy Buffett are in the air. J.T. is laughing his classic laugh over a story from college while Natalie flashes her classic grin as she playfully picks at a friend. The food is about to come off the grill, so all the parents call their kids to the table. Around the corner walks a short red-haired toddler with dirt all over her face, a very active four-year old boy who loves to crawl up in his mother’s lap to cuddle, a pair of young girls secretly hoping, “I hope we can sit at the big kids table today,” and a little boy with big brown eyes; eyes that appear as if they can penetrate a person’s soul. That little boy with big brown eyes runs up to his Mommy and Daddy and asks, “Mommy, Daddy, can I have two hamburgers today?” J.T. and Natalie respond with a hug, kiss, and the following words, “Of course you can, Tedi.”

When the above picture is lived out, that orphaned boy in Ethiopia will no longer be lonely, hopeless or hungry; he will be home. In a word…Eden.

~Paul Gibson

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cookout for Little Man

About six weeks ago, JT's cousin Brian and his wife Heather approached JT about having a cookout for us. Well, it all came together and yesterday they hosted a cookout for us at their home just outside of Louisville. Approximately eighty people showed up and we raised lots of moolaaaa...I don't even know how to spell that. God has truly, truly blessed us. Almost all of JT's family came in support of us. Several adoptive, both those with their children here and those waiting, from our agency and another agency came to support us. Then, several of my dear friends from high school, yes high school, made the trip. We are so blessed both in our adoption and those around us!
Me (not a flattering pic) with Hensley Hannah, left, and Bennett Gibson right

Hensley (http://curtisjhannah.com/) got ahold of some cake, thanks to JT's aunt.... His mommy was not there because she was in Ethiopia to get his sister, Hollis.

The Maynards (http://maynardmayhem.blogspot.com/)

Brooke and Bennett Gibson (http://mrandmrsgibson.blogspot.com/).... he got in a quick nap

My high school friend Kebra on the right with her daughter Laken and her friend Jenna. Her husband is a Louisville Metro cop....so he was tired from Thunder.

The Armstrongs (http://armstrongadventures.blogspot.com/)

Denise and Daniel, my sister in law and brother in law

Phillip Mullins, JT's best friend, and two of his girls, Amelia and Annie

Vince Monks and his girls.... they are adopting as well

My girl Jacqueline and her man, Chris

Jeremy and Danette McClain and Morgan

Me and my lil girl Stella Fox

Everyone enjoying the day

Our dear friends, the Fox family

JT and his buddy Camden Maynard

The Maynard boys swinging

JT and me with Bill and Joyce Wickersham....they are like grandparents to him.

Thunder over Louisville

We went to the River Bats game prior to Thunder (which we did not stay to see :-( ....However, we watched the game, went to the new O'Shea's and then came back to the park to hang out....It was a fabulous day!

What a beautiful Day!
JT and me at O'Shea's

The Cuban Missile was pitching....but it was not a great game

My dear friend Sarah and I at O'Shea's after the game

JT and me at the game

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Blessings....

After I wrote the post yesterday about the lovely old couple and their blessings, I went to bed and slept well. I woke up at about 430am hearing my stepmom getting ready for work. (I am staying with my dad...long story) I rolled over and checked my phone and saw two emails. I opened the one from PayPal. We had a donation of $1000. Yes, you read correctly: One Thousand Dollars. What a blessing. The person who gave knows who they are. I can not even explain the blessing they have provided. God really does provide when he deems something His work.

Then, JT met with some friends from his college days. She runs a boutique and sells the 147 Million Orphans gear. Well, she has decided to give her profit to help with Tedi's adoption. JT was able to speak the lady's group tonight at their church in Salem, Indiana. He shared our blessed journey with the ladies. He explained the change it has caused in him and in us. He really enjoyed his time and then the group said a special prayer for us and for Tedi... the proceeds from the shirts were several hundred more $$$. We are just blown away.

There are really no words for this. Thank you. Thank you, though, is not even enough.
Amos' Story...
Another adoptive mom sent me the title of the song and I looked up the lyrics. Check this out....it is amazing and breaktaking. The title is Amos Story by Aaron Ivey. You can listen on YouTube. If you are adopting or you are not, the words of this are so fitting, so describe my heart and feelings of and for my son.

Another photograph to wrestle in my head
Another sleepless night on concrete featherbed
These thoughts of you like bullets to my soul
We’ve got to find a way to get you home

I’ll find a way to get you here
If it takes my fleeting breath
Another sunrise hits the ground
And it’s a dark lonely sight
Lightyears away I hope you know
There is somebody searching
For the way to get you here

I will get you here

Throw the clocks away and run out to the street

Food, Inc. buy
We’ll fly to distant clouds where it’s just you and me
A day will come when all of this is gone

The Battle of Midway buy

You’ve got to find a way to believe

I’ll find a way to get you here
If it takes my fleeting breath
Another sunrise hits the ground
And it’s a dark lonely sight
Lightyears away I hope you know
There is somebody searching
For the way to get you here
I will get you here

Close your eyes and dream of a better day with me
As angels hold you tight, may you sleep in peace tonight

So dream, dream, dream my child
Hear the whisperings of hope

It’s a song that you can sing, as you sleep in peace tonight

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blessing Others

I will not lie. I have a had a rough week. A friend is going to Ethiopia on Saturday but new agency rules will not let her visit my son because she with another agency. Our agency decided not to tell us about when our court date is but only when we pass....so our paperwork has been in Ethiopia since the end of February with no news. It is frustrating at times because I really want my son, my first child, only child, in my arms. JT has moved to Louisville to start his new job and I am still in Somerset. We moved out of our apartment and are each staying with our respective parents. All of this is stressful and frustrating, but yesterday I had an encounter I will never forget.

Through my work I have met a lovely couple. He is 88 years old and she is 81 years old. They have been married about four or five years, but will tell you they have 100 years of marriage between them. Each of their first spouses passed away and they remarried one another. From Cincinatti, they retired to Somerset. I have seen them twice at work. A coworker told me that they saw JT and me speak at our church. The day we spoke back in January was broadcast on TV, and because of snow, many churches were cancelled, so the couple saw our service. I never thought much about it though.

Yesterday they came to my office and I went to see them. Was he ever happy! He sat me down and explained to me how his son, who is now 54 years old, is adopted. We shared the blessings of his adoption and the blessings JT and I have experienced thus far. We discussed how when you hand everything to God, HE will truly bless you. He stopped me and asked if he and his wife could give us "a little something". I said that was their decision but I did not feel comfortable taking their money. Again, he stopped me to tell me this story..

From his perspective "when I was four, which was 84 years ago, my daddy and I farmed and sold produce in the summer. On our way home one day from the produce stand, we passed an old man on the side of the road. The old man was selling a bushel of old rotten green beans. My daddy asked the man if he would like to buy our last bushel for 25cents. The old man bartered and then admitted 'son, I don't have 25cents.' My daddy sent me to the truck to get our bushel of green beans. I handed the old man our crisp beans and daddy took the man's old beans. As we drove home, my daddy explained to me that God gave us the blessing of the good green beans and we did not deserve them. Daddy said 'when God blesses you, you are supposed to blesss others."

He then looked at me and said "young lady, do not turn down a blessing. God has blessed us and we want to bless you. Just do the same thing for someone else someday." His wife handed me a $500 check. I may never see this couple again, though I very much hope I do. I can not even tell you how blessed I was by this encounter. It completely changed my outlook, my week, and really my perspective. I know there will be frustrating days and days when this slips from my mind. But I will never lose this completely. This lesson, this blessing, has changed me. I want to be this couple. I want to give what God gives me, in love and in money.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More Pictures of Tedi's Bed

The Final Product

Vivian and Emily

trying to make it perfect

Texting pictures of their masterpiece

I think this happened a lot

Stella riding "Dora bike"

Vivian.... who I spent my day with