Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Puddle of Giggles

I'm proud to say that I am the parent of a child who, tonight, laughed so hard she peed in her pants, and on the floor, and a little on her sister. That's right.

This one

couldn't quite contain her bladder because of the crazy antics of

this one.

Well...she IS pretty funny.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Approved and Waiting!

It's official! We are formally approved and on the list of waiting families at our adoption agency. That means that we could be placed with a child somewhere between tomorrow and next year. We are just settling in for the wait now and would love your prayers as we enter this part of the journey.

Today when we left the agency they gave us a few papers with some information and in the middle of it all was a poem called Pregnant With Time by a woman named Gina Widholm. Her words were a good reflection of my own feelings and I wanted to share the last few lines with you.

I rejoice!
Yet my body does not blossom with proof

I am pregnant with time, and
Your date is undetermined, though not in God's mind
If you came sooner, you are not premature for you already were.
If later, you are still young
Your days have been counted carefully under His watchful eye
though I could not feel them ticking inside

You seem a shadow to me,
but I wait expectantly for reality to arrive
And though I will not greet you lying down
Pangs of longing contract with faith:
that your untimely birth was for my sake,
and my barrenness for yours.
I am not ashamed either way.

Man, those last few lines give me such a lump in my throat.

Thank you, God, for this journey. We wait with joyful expectation of what is to come.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When You Gotta Go...

Well, we are finally back from camp and slowly but surely settling back into a routine. I'm not sure my kids will remember how to entertain themselves again anytime soon but I can't really blame them. The first few days back have been kind of a shock to me, too. We got so used to having something to go and watch, or being able to go to the pool, or having live-in friends to talk to and play with at any time, that we are all having to readjust.

I think this was the best assignment that we have ever been on. The schedule was crazy and the pace was nuts, as usual, but the people were amazing. And really, that's what makes or breaks an assignment. We made some really neat friends and felt such such a kinship with these other folks, who are doing what we do in their own towns and it was such an encouragement to us. Plus, we had a whole lot of fun, as you can tell from the previous post. :)

One of my favorite stories from camp is that, one night, while we were at dinner with all the campers, I, sort of, lost Bella. Now, let me just say that at camp you never really lose a child. They are always somewhere, with someone we know, probably getting spoiled. But, she was gone. I had seen her move in the direction of the bathroom and so I went to look for her there. (as a side note: Bella became completely obsessed with going to the bathroom by herself and washing her hands by herself, like, a million times a day. I am thankful for her responsible personal hygiene, but am more than a little nervous about the constant hand washing. The counselor in me wonders why she feels the need to wash so often, screaming, "Me Self!" anytime I tried to help. Hmmm...a post for another day, perhaps)

I walked in the bathroom, which had about five high school girls in it (who were all working on their hair, by the way) and had the following conversation.

A: Anyone seen a tiny child come in here?
High School Camper: Twoish? Blonde?
A: That's the one
HSC: Yeah. She's in here. (she says pointing to a stall) And here is her chicken (she says handing me a half-eaten drumstick)
A: Oh wow. Thanks. Sorry about that. (taking the drumstick)
HSC: No prob. (laughing)
A: Bella, are you okay in there? (opening the stall door)
B: ME SELF!!!!! OUT!!!

Oh Brother! It's possible that my kids are entirely too comfortable around high school students. Then again, I kinda love that. I love that they so easily make people feel like a part of our family...even if that means those people have to hold your chicken while you go potty.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Few More Pictures

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't include pictures of Loren and all of his personalities here at camp.

First, there is Wham!pire, an 80's pop band that is hoping to stage a reunion concert here at camp. You can see in this first picture that Bella was a little unsure about seeing Loren this way. She'll learn soon enough. To Hope, of course, it's nothing new.

He also plays one of the Neckbeard Brothers, Cornelius Neckbeard, to be exact. The Neckbeard Brothers are hillbilly inventors who do various infomercials for things like, the "Cooking with Copenhagen Cookbook", the "Don't Die Diet Pill", and the "BeardWow." Bella's favorite line is, "You may be askin' yourself, 'Self, what are the Neckbeard Brother's gonna be featuring today on the show other than those luxurious neckbeards?'." They stroke their beards when they say this and Bella strokes her chin right along with them. So cute!

And finally, there is Angus McHeartless, the evil Scottish bagpiper who is out to destroy Wham!pire by stealing their keytars and replacing their fun, 80's pop with all bagpipe music, all the time. Oh the horrors! I loved this little interchange with Hope the first week.

A: Let's go girls
H: Where are we goin'?
A: We're gonna go see daddy be the mean guy.
H: (with a scared face) Is he gonna be mean to us?
A: No, Hopie. He's just pretending to be mean, remember?
H: (lightening up) Oh! Okay! Let's go!

He's quite a chameleon.


I promised pictures and so here they are. The first ones are of us hanging at the pool and the hot tub, which is where we spend a good majority of our time. Hope is such a little fish and is swimming all over the place. She would spend every spare minute here if she could, but we make her get out occasionally to eat and sleep. For the first week and a half, Bella pretty much stayed on the top step except when she was heavily coerced to leave in the arms of someone who could touch the bottom. And this is with floaties on and a death grip on whomever took her into the deeper waters. All of the sudden, today, she was all over the place (due, I think, in part to a visit from a younger friend who was swimming all over the place...there's nothing like a little peer pressure...thanks Becky, Paige, and Brooke for coming to visit!). She even asked me to take her floaties off so she could jump to me and go underwater. She was so brave and I think it's here to stay. She was loving life away from the top step.

These pictures are from Western Night...which, is affectionately called, the Night that Never Ends. It begins with a tableau (think, a live photograph...everyone working at camp is dressed in western gear and is frozen in various western scenes, a gun goes off and the picture comes to life, another gunshot and they are frozen again), then dinner, a carnival, a square dance (yes...high schoolers square dance and they LOVE it!), the opera (a forty minute show that ties up all the various storylines throughout the week), an all camp dance party, and free time until midnight. Whew! It's a lot of work for Loren, but it is so fun for us to be a part of and the girls have enjoyed it both weeks and have gone to bed exhausted but with smiles on their faces.

It really is like an alternate universe here...especially for the girls. It's a lot of work, but I am excited to see it all through their eyes and to get to talk with them, often, about why we do all of this. I am amazed to see Hope's heart begin to be filled with compassion for those who don't know Jesus. It's something that we pray for all the time and seeing the fruits of that is an unbelievable blessing.

We are halfway to the end of this assignment and, even though it's been great, I feel like the real richness of it all, for us, it yet to come. Please continue to pray for us as we struggle though all the demands that come with it. And, as always, keep the students in your prayers as they hear about Christ.