Friday, May 31, 2013

Micah Singing

I found this in an old email and I couldn't help but posting.  Based on the date, Micah was around 2.5 years old (about how old Anna is now).

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Thursday, May 16, 2013


Here recently, I've been washed in a sea of peace.  And if you know me well, this is a long way from where I used to (usually) reside.  Especially as we've been on this adoption journey for over 2 years.  Our agency hasn't made a Ugand*n referral since last September.  We were promptly moving up the list every month last summer, my heart starting to make plans, stock piling items to take with us when we would go for 6 weeks (you know, pepto and cliff bars, Spark and travel bottles of shampoo, long dresses (oh wait..I just like to wear those!), etc.).  But then 3 months went by with no referrals, and my dreams of traveling this summer were dashed.  Then 4 more months went by with no referrals.  And though around Christmas time, it hurt to know we might spend a 3rd Christmas in 2013 without our fourth child, this peace began to form.  And most days it's there.  There are the days when the peace has left the building (not spiritually--I understand God's spirit is always there, some days I just choose sin and choose not to tap into His powerful presence that has everything I do need), like when my children can't say a kind word to each other, or our schedules get too busy, or I allow myself to not focus on being quiet in His presence, but, I can always find it again. God lavishes me like I don't deserve, every day.

So today, a friend posted this link: Top Ten Signs you are a Waiting, Internationally Adopting, Mom.  I thought it was cute.  Most of them don't apply to me (oh, but #3, I can get awkward with a stranger in no-time flat), and then I start questioning myself: why don't most of these apply to me?  I've heard of these secret facebook groups, but even in my insane amount of time (i.e. read: I need to time myself as it can turn into a serious situation as I am working on self control, I click to read one blog post and 8 posts later it's beyond my bed time) spent there, I still haven't really searched or found one.  I have a few blogs I read of other Ugandan mommas, but most of them are home now and I'm enjoying reading about their life with the children, bio and adopted.  Their struggles, and their small triumphs, but mostly how God teaches and grows them every step of the way.  I feel like my days go on pretty casually (as far as waiting in adoption--my life is crazy town, but I love it).  Don't get me wrong, we talk Uganda a lot, my kids ask weekly if we are going 'tomorrow.'  We pray for our brother, his caregivers, his first family.  There are nights when the heartache of not knowing where he is now and what his life has encountered seizes my heart and I can barely utter a word to God about this little boy that has a piece of my heart.  But in all of it, I know that God knows.  He sees me, but most importantly, he loves my son, me, my kids, my husband.  He loves us with a love we will never fully even appreciate this side of heaven.  Adoption is born out of pain, a tie broken, suffering, trauma.  I've been attending a group of local women from my church (and surrounding churches) for over a year.  We have speakers about brain chemistry, attachment, bonding and tons of other information.  I know in my head what is to come.  It won't be easy.  I'm not just forming my family how I think is the cool new thing.  My heart has broken for this country, as well as every orphan, American, European, Asian, African, South American.  It was nightly pleading with God....are you sure??  And every time, what followed?  Peace.  Eric and I are right in obedience to Him, and it is a peaceful place.

I know that God led us to our agency, and he is very present there.  There are other agencies making referrals.  Do I want to switch?  NO.  Our agency is above par when it comes to adoption ethics.  They spend countless hours (much to the horror of some adoptive parents, I'm sure) and dollars researching the 'orphan hood' of children that are referred to them.  To make sure they are, in fact, orphans.  There have been so many blog posts recently, I think born out of the recent Summit Conference, about adoption ethics, and are evangelicals actually making the child trafficking WORSE (read a few here, here, here (well, I was going to post one, but it got taken down!)).  We are 'creating' orphans, and I can't stand for that.

The human part of me reads these posts, and prays that we are still able to adopt.  Uganda is going through a transition, similar to that of the 80s for us here in the states.  Going from orphanage/institution care to foster/home type care.  It is a huge movement, needing many more social workers and investigations into families before reunification.  I am on a 'secret' facebook group regarding this, so see, I am involved.

Ok, this post is already too long, but I need to get it out of my head.  I just read a short, funny post this morning and my head started churning.  I didn't mean for it to get this long.  I could write page upon page about everything I've learned, about IA (international adoption), Uganda, orphan care, etc.  But what I wanted to reiterate in this post was, Peace.  I know God is in control. I know it's hard to hear sometimes that this is 'God's timing.'  Some people know, but don't want to hear it.  But I cling to it.  If it was my timing, I wouldn't have this peace, I'd probably be up to my eyeballs not knowing what to do because I rushed into it instead of being led by Him.  Isaiah 26:3-4 has been constantly on my heart, and it was one of the first verses God brought to my remembrance my first early quiet morning in Uganda last summer.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Looking back

Mother's day always has me reminiscing on the baby-hood of my (not-so-) babies.  I have a 2, 4 and almost 7 year old today.  Yet, I still remember them as the day we came home from the hospital.  I couldn't sleep after Anna woke up needing to go potty at 6 this morning.  She had no problem going back to sleep, but I couldn't, so I got up and finished a book I was reading.  Then, I got on the computer to send an email and saw this gem on our desktop.  This was approximately half of Cara's lifetime ago (I'm not dramatic at all!), when she was 3.5 and in Ms. Kathy's ballet/tap class.  Look at those precious rolls and cute little chunky curls on her head.  I cannot believe she's reading chapter books and about to finish the 1st grade now.

Or of this little man finally learning how to walk at almost 14 months!  Now he is a strong willed 4.5 year old gymnastics star!  With enough grit and personality to keep this momma guessing.

And our poor 3rd born, we are horrible at videos, but I did find a few of these when she was just 2 months old.  Now she's a feisty 2.5 year old, asking to be a 'ballerina like sissy' dancing around the room.  

I am blessed beyond measure at God choosing me to be these precious one's mom.  And we have one we are daily praying for, but have yet to meet.  God, guide my spirit today, thank you for blessing me, and I hope I am a blessing to my mom and mother-in-law as much as my children are to me!!

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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Store Envy

I'm in the process of helping my friend Tonya set up an easy to manage website for all her beautiful hand-crafted items she brings back from Uganda.  She sells these at trade fairs, and consigns some at boutiques, to help raise funds for her Kirabo Seeds non-profit.  She's heading there again soon and will coming back with a new crop of beautiful items.

I thought it would be best if I set up a store first, to make sure it was easy to use, edit, and FREE as they have claimed!  I consolidated what we have left in the way of beads and t-shirts, and created our very own Newsomes4Adoption Store Envy storefront.  I have sent Tonya a little more money and she has graciously agreed to buy some more for me to sell to raise funds for our adoption.  I am so excited to see what she comes home with and get it on our site.  She has also offered us her 2 bedroom apartment that she keeps for when she travels there, for an amazingly low rate. This will save us almost $2,000 in travel expenses when we do travel!  I calculated airfare for 5 there and 6 coming back and the last expenses we should have (Eric and the kids immunizations, the last two agency fees, the lawyer fee both there and here, visa and passport for our child, our visas, shipping and certification of our dossier, transportation while there, etc).  From what we have in savings and what we still have left in our Lifesong account for those that donated a tax deductible donation, we have about $4,200 left to raise.  Can you believe it?  We started with a few hundred dollars, and through prayer, petition and the Holy Spirit moving, God has turned that into over $26,000!!  We are so thankful!  So, take a look at our store and then check it out again in late May and we will have updated beads!

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