Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
(Allie's "breakfast" on the plane. It was some sort of chicken and rice porridge.)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young--
a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
Even the sparrow has found a home. Those of you who know our story know that the sparrow has a special meaning for us. Emma was our sparrow. Sparrows are not looked at as being very valuable to the world but they are very valuable to God. Emma was not considered valuable by the world's terms but to us and to Him she is a treasure. She has found her home and now she is waiting for us.
This verse was another blessing from God for me today. He always knows just the right way to bring me comfort. I know that He is telling me that Emma has found her home and it is alright to feel the joy of bringing Anna Grace into our home. Until we all find our way HOME.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Dean woke me up and we read it together and started discussing the next couple of weeks and what all we need to do to get ready to go to Vietnam. We got in touch with our agency and were very shocked to receive an email telling us we can schedule our flight to arrive in VN this Sunday!! We are leaving on Friday to go to pick up our daughter!!
We are so happy and overwhelmed. We thought we would have a little more time to prepare. And did I mention we are out of town?! We are leaving tomorrow to drive back to FL so we can pack and head to VN on Friday.
Our heads are spinning with all of the details and lists but our hearts are filled with gratitude that God has blessed us so much. I have said before that I don't know how you could go through this process without faith and I still believe it. We have seen the hand of God working in our lives through every step of this journey and though I am nervous and anxious about the details to be worked out, I know that He is going before us.
I don't know how much time I will have in the next few days so my next post may be written from VN! Stay tuned...
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
We have had company with us for a couple of weeks and we had to say goodbye yesterday. Our friend, Carly, stayed with us before she and Dean's cousin (her husband), Ben, moved to Tallahassee. Carly has been a part of our lives for almost three years and we are sad to see her and Ben move. They are family, though, so that means we will always be connected. Tallahassee is not that far so we will see them often.
Still, it was hard to see them go. I was talking to Dean about how they say when you go through a loss you never get back to normal. You just find a new normal. I told him I can't seem to find that new normal and he pointed out that Carly and Ben were our new normal. I had never thought of that before but it is probably true. They filled the empty time and space and now that they are gone I feel restless and lost again. Weird, huh?
I'm so thankful for relatives who are also our friends!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Today Anna Grace turned five months old. Five months without a mommy and a daddy and a big sister. Five months living in an orphanage. Five months.
I was going to post a blurb about what a five month old should be doing now but I just can't even make myself look in "the book" to see what she might be doing. I just want her here. I want to see for myself, not in a book.
Anna Grace, I pray that you are safe and healthy. I pray that you have someone to hold you close and love you. I pray that you are a happy baby. I pray that you are held in the arms of Jesus.
I remember when Emma was born and she spent such a long time in the NICU and we had to leave her there each night. I had such a hard time leaving her but I would mentally picture myself placing her in the arms of Jesus to rest. I find myself doing the same thing with Anna Grace. I cannot be there to hold her but there is someone who is always there.
I got a call yesterday from a very good friend. My friend, Brenda, had a daughter with the same condition as Emma. Hailey passed away almost nine years ago. She was seven years old. Brenda was my mentor in the early days with Emma. She had already been walking this path for four years when Emma was born. Brenda would listen to me, counsel me, and coach me through the rough times. I remember the first time I met her, I was so full of apprehension. I wanted to meet her yet I really did not. Emma was still a baby and I knew seeing Hailey would be hard because it would make everything seem more real. I would see my own future when I saw Brenda. I did meet her and it was emotional, but it was good.
Three years later, Hailey passed away and once again I knew I would be facing my own future when I walked into that funeral home. I wanted to go for Brenda but I was so scared to face that reality of death. I did go and it was hard, but I was glad I went.
Six years later, it was Emma's turn to go to Heaven and Brenda called to tell me that she was out of the state and couldn't be at the funeral. Imagine my surprise when I saw her walk through the doors of the funeral home. She had come home early to be there. I remember just holding each other for the longest time. She had always walked the path ahead of me and seeing her was such a healing balm to my soul. To see someone who truly understood was a gift that night.
And talking to her yesterday was just what I needed. There is something about talking to someone who knows your pain, who shares your story, who won't minimize your hurt because it makes them uncomfortable. Talking to Brenda reminded me for just a while of who I am and who I was and who I want to become. Thank you, Brenda. I love you.
One of the things we talked about was the overwhelming feeling that our girls are still with us. At times when we need to have them closer, it seems God provides us with visual and spiritual reminders that they are fully alive in Him, and it comforts us and gives us the motivation to keep walking the path before us. Even though it is hard and it feels like we are all alone, it is our path to walk and the destination is worth the journey.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
(We are going to cover that outlet by her bed so don't worry about it)
The blanket on the rocker was made by Dean's dad. The rocker is 40 years old. It is the one my dad bought for my mom when she had me.
This is the blanket I am working on for her. I am going to hang it on the wall behind the rocker. I need to get to work!
Here's what it will look like:
I will post more when the room is finally completed!!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Things are moving along in our preparations. We have our paperwork renewed and certified and authenticated. We have our Visas. I am working on the shots and packing lists. We are thinking of ways we can get that last bit of money needed for the trip itself. We have been fortunate so far that we have not had to go into debt doing this and we want to keep it that way. We have the money for our plane tickets but there are several fees to be paid there and hotel and food of course. I would like to have money to buy some things made in Vietnam for Anna to have as she grows up. I saw one person had bought a small gift to give her daughter on each birthday until she was 18 and a gift for her wedding day. I thought that was a neat idea. I would like to sell my bracelets but I am not very business minded so if any of you have any ideas of how I could go about that, your help would be greatly appreciated!!
I know I am not keeping up with the posting every day thing but that is a little more depressing than I thought it would be. Sorry.