Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh, How I long for my baby girl!

We received these photos the day after I posted my last blog entry. Wow, God is FAITHFUL. I am so thankful for Tami taking these pics for me. They really lifted my spirits. We got a great update, too. Alesha, is doing really well. She is eating and sleeping good. She is able to push up on her arms when on her tummy, and she can sit up on her own with just a little support. Good job baby girl! These pics sure do make the NOC a bit easier in some ways, but harder in the sense that I am not there with her and everyday she is changing without me. I can't wait to have her in my arms forever!!!


Her eyes just melt my heart!

Absolutely precious. Look at that face!
"Look at me mommy, I can push up on my arms"

She looks a bit freaked out in this photo.
Looks like she has a built-in pacifier :-)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Change and Fear

After much discussion and prayer we have decided that we will be taking our boys with us to India to bring our precious Alesha home. Our boys have been in this process from the beginning and are just as invested in it as we are. As we weighed all the pros and cons of bringing them with us we concluded that the only reasons we were not going to take them was money (passports, visas, airline tickets, etc) and inconvenience (extra packing, planning, potential sickness, crabbiness, culture shock, logistics,etc) We have decided that these are NOT good enough reasons (for us personally) to not take them. They are old enough to make the trip and we believe that it will be a life-changing trip for them. They are REALLY excited to go to India. I think meeting Alesha for the first time as a family in her birth country will be a very meaningful and powerful experience that we will all cherish forever.
It is funny how you have things planned out in your mind of how things will look and then there is a change, whether it be big or small. Bringing our boys was NOT in my thought process or planning. As we plan and pursue this change I am confronted with the fact that I have a lot of fear. I am not exactly a person that gets jazzed to board a plane, I don't really like the unknown, I fear for my children's safety and health, will my daughter that I have longed for for so long like me?, and the list goes on and on. Change has always been difficult for me. It is funny that as I looked over this post how many times I used the word change (that is why I put it in bold). It seems that along with change comes an element of fear. Change, for me, also brings to light the level of control that I like to have. This entire adoption journey has really tested me in the area of control. There is only so much in this process that you can actually control. WOW, this is SO FRUSTRATING at times. I think that with the lack of control is where my fear comes in. It doesn't make sense. I know that I shouldn't fear, but I do. God is really working on me in these areas. I need to just let go and TRUST God and HIS plan. There have been so many times in my life where I have been fearful and not in control of a situation and God has always been there and seen me through to the other side. I am trying to keep my focus on His faithfulness during those times and REST in HIM during my times of fear. I guess when it comes right down to it I think that when I am in control I can do it better. What a joke! The God of the universe, the one who created me, loves me, gave His life for me, and has a plan for my life.....don't you think HE would know best? The answer is YES! I guess it is human nature to rely on ourselves instead of God. I know in my head that God will help me through this, I think that I need to allow God to penetrate my heart with this truth! I know that He is fully capable of bringing the additional funds we need, protecting us in country, caring for my precious daughter while I am not there, and working out all the details of our upcoming trips, and all the changes that will come as we settle in back at home. Please pray for me that God will flood me with peace and that I will ultimately surrender to HIM and HIS plan for my life.

I wanted to journal these feelings so that I can look back and have yet another record of answered prayer and to see God's faithfulness to me.

I read this poem the other day and it really spoke to me. Words to live by!
You Can, Because He Can
by Roy Lessin

You can ask the Lord
because He will not give you a wrong answer.

You can wait upon the Lord
because His timing is always perfect.

You can trust in the Lord
because He makes no mistakes.

You can hope in the Lord
because He holds your future.

You can rest in the Lord
because He is in control of your life.

You can lean upon the Lord
because He is completely faithful.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

ARTICLE 5 so Glad you Arrived!

Last night I made my first call EVER to a US Embassy. This Embassy would be in India and it was quite the experience. From dialing a very long phone number, to a weird ring tone, to being promptly greeeted by a very friendly heavy accented voice then to be put on hold and then promptly disconnected. At this point my husband and I were beginning to laugh a bit. I then called again and this time the first scenario played out, but I was put on hold for a very long time. During this wait I was able to listen to Christmas music that sounded like it was being played off of one of those wind up old fashioned record players back in the old was playing fa, la,la, la, la , la (wind up here as it was fading) to a louder FA, LA, LA and this was accompanied by static. We were laughing pretty hard at this point. As I waited on hold I was hoping that the rest of this call would play out okay. I was greeted by a nice man who I could barely understand and he said he could help me and then put his hand over the phone and carried on a conversation that I could faintly hear with another person that must have been sitting next to him. He then came back on and said that our Article 5 was sent to CARA yesterday. I repeated back what I thought I heard him say and he confirmed. I then asked if I would be getting an email regarding the approval and he said yes and I asked if it would be today and then the conversation blurred heavily at that point. Thankfully I received the confirmation letter today and all is well. I can only imagine what our Embassy appointment will be like when we are there in person.

I took the boys shopping yesterday so they could spend some of their Christmas money that was burning a hole in their pocket and found these adorable outfits while we were there. I haven't bought hardly anything for Alesha, because I don't know how big she will be or the exact time she will be home, but I couldn't resist these. I figured that I would just buy an outfit on her monthly birthday until I have her in my arms.

This is my favorite. I held it up to Luke and asked him what he thought.
He said "Oh, Alesha will look so good in that. She will look good in red."
I couldn't agree more. Our little princess already has an outfit with her name on it :-)

I love purple and this was so cute I couldn't pass it up.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year brings 10 Months of Life

On the first day of this New Year I am excited about......

our baby girl turning 10 months old.
knowing that our daughter will be home with her forever family this year!
seeing how each of our boys will change in the coming year
what God has planned for our family
continuing forming friendships with our neighbors
and much, much more

I cannot believe that another year has passed. This last year seemed to go by so quickly. Today I am celebrating not only the first day of a New Year, but the 10 month birthday of our precious daughter, Alesha! As the 1st day of every months comes I am filled with lots of emotions. First, I am so thankful that God has blessed us with our beautiful daughter. It sure has been a LONG road, but I am thankful to now see the precious face of my daughter. Second, I am sad that it means I have missed another 30 days of her life. Oh, how I wish she could be home so I could feed her her bottles, get her dressed, change her diaper, sing to her, read her stories, rock her, give her hugs and kisses, tell her how much I love her, watch her brothers hold her and play with her, and start making memories as a family of five. Third, and most important, I know that God has this entire adoption journey planned out and sees that big picture of how the timing will play out. We continue to surrender to His timing, even when it hard and doesn't seem to make sense.

It has been exciting to start talking about our travel plans to India, finish up our adoption eduction, and sharing our adoption experience with others. I am thrilled that the people we share our adoption experience with are so excited and can't wait to have Alesha home. It is refreshing to hear such a positive response. The one question I get right out of the gates is "Why does it take SO long to adopt? It doesn't make sense." My response has been you are right, it doesn't make sense. I simply state that there is a lot of paperwork and lots of government bureaucracy that you need to wade through and I have stopped trying to figure it out. I tell them that God led us to adoption and we are trusting in Him to bring our daughter home in His timing. It is frustrating and it breaks my heart that it is so difficult, because I believe that so many MORE people would adopt locally and internationally if the process didn't take years to complete.

As we bring in the new year we are still waiting for our Article 5 to arrive. It seems that since we accepted our referral the following steps of the process have gotten delayed by Thanksgiving, Christmas and now the New Year. I am excited to receive the email that says our Article 5 has been approved and we can move on to the next step.....the NOC. Until then we will wait and pray for our daughter that she will feel God's love through the wonderful ladies who are caring for her in our absence. We love you Alesha and you will be home soon.