Sunday, October 23, 2011

my coffee addiction

Full disclosure... I haven't actually contributed to the chip-in over there on the right corner of my screen yet for my friends and their two lovely girls waiting for them.

I WILL. But, I haven't yet.

and then I think... perhaps that is what other people are thinking.

I WILL. Someday. Soon. But, right now I don't have the extra money.

So, hopefully I can inspire a few people to contribute with this post.

We live within a tight budget. There's not a whole lot left over at the end of a week. We find ways of doing fun things... driving on up to Keene, New Hampshire for the Pumpkin Festival on Saturday.

But, we packed snacks so we wouldn't spend gobs of money for food. And it ended up being a almost free evening away and a ton of fun for our kids.

Every part of me wants to hand over every penny we have to families adopting. So, here I am trying to figure how we can tighten our belts some more and give more.

And then I think, if I want to see that fund over there on the right side bar GROW for these girls. I must model some of that giving.

Here's my thought...

I love coffee.

I mean. I REALLY love coffee.

I drink it at home.

I drink it at work.

I drink it in the car.

I like Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

I LOVE Starbucks coffee. OHHH.. what I wouldn't do right now for a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte right now.

With whipped cream.

Thank you very much.

But, my coffee addiction has a draw back...

Coffee costs money.

I make my own at home most of the time. But, I'm ashamed to admit how many times I stop and get coffee to/from work, to/from the grocery story, to/from kids' activities.

Pretty much... to/from anywhere.

I'll find an excuse to get coffee whenever I can.

I have a certain amount "budgeted" for coffee. It's not much. But, it's a little something.

and the fact that I have money budgeted for coffee... but not something budgeted for giving to orphans.

Yea, see I'm all sorts of messed up with my priorities.

So, I'm thinking. Do I NEED to buy coffee to-from everywhere.

The answer is a solid NO!

So, here I am committing to you.... in an effort to spark a little something in my friends out there to consider finding their own coffee-like addiction that they may want to forgo for a couple weeks so they can contribute....

I'm committing to cashing in my bi-weekly coffee fund for something WAY better!

WAY, WAY, WAY better.

and that's sayin' something...because a hot Pumpkin Spice Latte is pretty darn dreamy.

But, these two girls. They need A FAMILY!

a coffee? I don't need a coffee.

So, watch the fund grow as I contribute my coffee fund each week for as long as I need to.

and maybe even longer.

Is there something you'd be willing to "give up" for a couple weeks or months so you can make a contribution?

It sounds ridiculous that I am even considering my coffee-hiatus.... "giving".

It. is. totally. ridiculous.

But, it's what I got right now and I'm tired of sitting back and just saying "soon" I'll contribute.

The time is now.

Maybe next I'll give up my iPhone addiction.

Ok God. I hear you... but now you are pushing it.... my iPhone!? Gasp!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Help Bring TWO Girls Home

Good friends of ours are in the final phases of paperchasing to bring home TWO very special girls in China.

They are 10 and 13 years old. In China, that means... the oldest is close to aging out of system. I shutter to think what would happen to these girls if V and S hadn't stepped out in faith to bring them home.

Thank God, this family does not live in fear. They live in faith.

My dear friend, Jessemyn, wrote about this family so very beautifully, so instead me writing what she writes so much better, I am just going to plagiarize and post her words here. Hope she doesn't mind. You can also read it on Jessemyn's blog HERE!

Please, if this story moves you, consider chipping in to their cause (see top right corner of my blog). ALL the proceeds will go to V, S and their beautiful family to bring their girls home. $15,000 seems like a lot... but I know it's NOTHING for our God.

So, here's Jessemyn, my guest blogger today...

I am so excited to share with you about a very special family. For safety's sake, I've omitted their true names, but I promise....they're real people with a very real need.

Earlier this year, God began to put adoption on my dear friend V's heart.

It made no earthly sense.

They already have two beautiful, well-behaved, easy-going girls. I mean, why mess with that, right?

Their schedule is busy, with S working more than full-time so that V can homeschool their daughters.

Money is tight.

But friends, V pressed forward. Instead of listening to the reasons it seemed crazy, she asked her husband. And his response? "What took you so long?" (Don't you just LOVE that?!)

They fell in love with a 10 year old girl with cerebral palsy that the world had given up on.

and quickly learned that her best friend was also waiting for a family. Together, they would soon be past the legal age for adoption in China (14)...aging alone in a country where physical deformities are shamed and love is withheld.

How did the H's respond? They filed paperwork to adopt them BOTH!

You see, this family doesn't live in fear. They know that God is bigger. And those reasons that seem to say the idea of adopting is crazy? God showed them that they were some of the very ways God has PREPARED them for this journey.

Instead of worrying that their amazing daughters will be hurt, they choose to think their daughters will be fabulous role models and wonderful friends for their new sisters.

Because V is already an at-home mom, these girls that are developmentally delayed will have the benefit of one on one instruction and the blessing of growing as slowly or quickly as they need.

And money being tight? This family already knows how to pinch a penny. It's been amazing to see how God has honored their faithful walk, by providing much of the needed expenses for their adoption already.

But they still need more help. The cost to adopt both of the girls will be over $40,000! God has provided nearly $25,000 already. Yeah, God! But their adoption will be finalized soon and they still need $15,000. Let's help raise the last $15,000!

If their story moves your heart,
If you can't adopt but feel a burden to help others who can,
If you want to offer hope to some of the least of these,

Click the ChipIN Button at the top right of the page.

Who do you know who might also be moved to help? Your friends? Your church? A MOMS club? A book group?

Join in! Every little bit will help!

Thank you isn't enough...but really...I know these girls will thank you...

just as soon as we get them home!

Friday, October 14, 2011

In the weeds

I'd love to say that we have life under control. I'd love to say our house is clean. That the laundry is done. We make every appointment and we are never late. And there are no dirty dishes in our sink.

I'd love to say all these things.

The truth is....
We are in the WEEDS!!!!

If you ever have been a waiter or waitress you probably know what I'm talking about.

For those of you that have never heard the saying "I'm in the weeds", let me explain...

Being in the weeds is when you can't think past the moment you are in. If you do think past the moment, all the stuff that lies ahead causes your brain to spin out of control and you can't make any sense out of it. It is when you feel an extraordinary amount of stress to keep up. And even more stress KNOWING that you are NOT keeping up. When you disappoint people that are counting on you. When you barely get to the things you HAVE to get done, never mind the things you want to do... like send a get well card, or a cook a friend a dinner.

There are moments when you are in the weeds, when you really, really, really want to just run out the front door and leave the weeds behind.

Being in the weeds isn't a whole heck of a lot of fun.

But, lately it's where we are. Actually, maybe it is where I am. Luckily, Steve handles the weeds better than me. Always has.

If you could SEE my kitchen right now. If you could have heard me SCREAM at the top of my lungs (to the point of my throat hurting) "ENOUGH!!!!!!" when my kids were bickering this morning.

These are things I am not proud of. But, I feel like I should share... life isn't all roses. It never is. For anyone.

Then we have this whole other thing that causes our weeds to be a bit thicker. Balancing work and life. HA!

I'd love to meet someone that does this balance well. Actually, I think I have but it's certainly not me. I fail at it often. It seems the scales are constantly tipping from one side to the other.

When the kids are sick for several days in a row. Life wins.

And then there are times when I become a bit obsessed with a project at work, or the emails that come through my phone. Work wins.

And this too causes stress. And more of a feeling of living life in the weeds.

I guess I don't have much of a moral to this story except to make sure I keep it real with my friends in bloggy world that I SO don't have it all together.


At. All.


I'll even share a little secret.... sshhhh.... you don't have to have it all together to adopt a child!!!!!! Nope... not even a prerequisite. The social worker when doing your homestudy does NOT ask how clean you bathroom is! Crazy huh?!

But, although I fully admit there are times when I would LIKE to run out the front door and away from the weeds.

I won't.

Some may say "well, your crazy life... you kind of brought this all on yourself".

Four kids. Yup. We did.

But even when I'm living life in the weeds instead of a rose garden.

I wouldn't change a single thing.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beauty in all things.

Vermont. Beauty.

Children. Beauty.

Family. Beauty.

Friends. Beauty.

All different versions of beauty. Each of these picture show's God's handy work in our lives.

As you can see we had a BEAUTIFUL weekend with our friends L, S, and Z. We are blessed with much beauty in our lives. Including these very special people.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

By Day and By Night

So far, since she has been home, Grace has experienced about three full out night terrors.

And I mean TERROR.

I’ve spoken with many Moms, of both biological children and of adopted children. All kids seem to have them. My bios never did, but I know many that have.

But, I also know that they happen with more regularity in children that have been adopted.

By day, Grace seems to be doing SO well. We are so grateful that her adjustment has gone so well.... so far.

By day, that is.

By night, when these terrors occur, she is absolutely and completed TERRIFIED.

Of what? We will never know.

There is NOTHING like that kind of scream.

And. It. Is.


As you try to console the inconsolable you start thinking about all the things that might being going on in that brain of hers. And more importantly, what is going on in her heart.

Then you start questioning your parenting decisions.

Time out?

Daycare/family care?



What have we done wrong, what have we done right?

You name it.

Last night for a ½ hour when my daughter absolutely could not be comforted…. I thought of it all.

I don’t know if we have it all right. Actually I KNOW we don’t have it all right. But, we are doing the very best we can. With as much information, resources and support we can.

I guess I must take comfort in that.

But, regardless, that doesn't take away the ripping pain through MY heart as she screams.

I continue to pray for her healing heart. I suppose I will pray that prayer all my life.

and tonight, specifically, I pray for my Gracie to have nothing but the sweetest of dreams.