OK, last week a picture of the kids dressed up for Halloween was in the local paper. Today an article ran about our adoption story. It seems rather odd that anyone would find us newsworthy. We feel pretty normal. The kids are enjoying it, though. Anything I can do to stir peoples hearts towards adoption is worth it, I guess. So here it is... our 15 minutes of fame....
There are some men on TV that just get to me. They may not be the hottest guys, the best looking. Sometimes it's just something about them. Sometimes it's the look in their eyes when they look at their woman, the way McDreamy looks at Meredith.
Sometimes they are just hot. Derek (Shemar Moore) from Criminal Minds, for instance, man oh man. He is something to behold.
While McDreamy and Shemar Moore are very attractive in their own way, they can't hold a candle to the one that makes me smile every time. He makes me shake my groove thang, improves my day, and has given me the most entertaining 20 seconds ever on TV. He is the only one that is permanently saved on my DVR. Behold my all time favorite (on screen) leading man:
Oh boy... here we go. I'm airing all of my dirty laundry (literally), because in my quest to share some tips with my fellow adopters, I'm afraid I've created an online alter ego that does not represent reality. I've had people comment that "they could never do what we're doing". Nothing could be further from the truth, people. Nothing. God has not gifted me with more patience, better housekeeping skills, or any other gift than any of you. God chooses average people to do His work every day. Less than average people many times. Moses had a speech impediment, Paul had a "thorn in his flesh". Me? I'm a procrastinator big time. I'll doodle around on Facebook instead of sweep the floor, I'll not clean out the closet because, well, because I want a Coke right now.
You know our handy dandy Mudroom/Computer room/homework room? The one we created because our front closet couldn't handle all of the jackets and backpacks. The one that would allow us to use the front hall closet for guest's coats and the such. So much for that theory, this is our front hall closet (keep in mind, all pictures are actual unretouched photos, taken TODAY).... We moved Nathan downstairs into what used to be the computer room, and made it his room. The problem is, we haven't put doors on the poor boy's room yet. It is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. And because there are no doors, the little ones use it as their play room, jump on the bed, drag out his video games, and strew clean and dirty clothes everywhere. Then I feel bad for him, and let him slide instead of clean it up. This is his room:
This my friends, is what is currently living under my chair in our living room:
Now, you may be thinking "well, okay, she may not be the best house cleaner ever, but at least her kids are always well fed and happy". Not so much. Friday night we had popcorn FOR DINNER. Seriously. And this is how we usually see Jorah, in all her sweet 2 year old tantrumness: So, as you can plainly see, our life is not all sunshine and roses, smiles and laughter. But we are living life together. We are trusting God, and doing the job that He has given us to do. I may not have sparkling floors or 'have it all together', but this is our reality... and I wouldn't have it any other way.
(Now, please know that I will probably never look any of you directly in the eye again. This is humbling as all get out.....)
Having 9 kids share a bathroom has been working so far. This is what 9 toothbrushes look like. 9 sponges in the shower: We keep their towels hanging in their rooms. That alleviates the "she used my towel" argument. Everyone has two personalized towels (thank you to my friends Lauren and Penney for those) that way we know whose towel is laying in a wet heap on the carpet. One hangs in their room to use, the other is in the closet. When we wash towels we hang the clean towel up in their room, so they always use the one hanging up. This greatly decreases the number of towels washed weekly. This used to be our formal dining room. Now it is the mudroom/computer room/ homework room. We painted stripes, put up wooden boards, hung hooks and initials, and put some shoe totes down. Our hallway closet just wasn't cutting it. To the left you will see Mom's mailbox. That is where the kids put all papers that Mom needs to see or sign. (Yes it's overflowing right now). But it works. This post is in answer to those of you who have asked me "so what seems to be working well for you?".
These last few FAQ posts, I fear, have given you a false impression of me and our home. I've received very nice compliments. Thank you for those. Being complimented is always nice. Alas, my conscience will not allow me to keep you in the dark to the 'real side'. Therefore my next post will be titled "What isn't working". I will post pictures.
On October 31st, Noah gathered his animals to himself to search out sustenance enough to last through the entire flood. Otherwise read as - On Halloween Emma came home from a party and was tackled by a pack of wild animals, Stella, Beatrice, Elias, Jamison, Ishmael and Jorah. We went Trick or Treating and got enough candy to last through ANY trial, pestilence, plague or flood. Cast of characters: Emma-Noah, Stella- Bee, Beatrice-Ladybug, Elias-Dog, Jamison-Elephant, Ishmael- Giraffe, Jorah- Cow, our friend Aiden-lion. Nathan and his friend Caleb helped out the little treaters until they were worn out, then were released to do some tricking of their own. Hope and her friend Paige sock hopped their way through Paige's neighborhood. Hope sent me this message from Paige's: Sorry, can't come home.... in a sugar induced coma... As are we all, as are we all........
My new friend, Angela, asked how I divide up chores and other household duties now. Angela has 2 sweet little ones at home now, but I see a houseful of munchkins from all over the world in her future... near future.
Answer: Well, our basic theory on chores is that we are a family, we share a home, therefore we all need to work together to make this home run smoothly, while remaining at least slightly on this side of chaos. We want our kids to learn responsibility, and helpfulness.... but I don't want to be a dictator, and have little soldiers for kids. I'm finding that it is pretty easy to fall into mean military Mom mode. I'm working very hard to find the balance between having routines and expectations, while still having a happy, relaxing, safe harbor home. I think that the key to this is for the kids to all know what is expected of them, and when it is expected of them. In come our chore charts. On our refrigerator are 6 chore charts, 1 for each child in school. They are laminated. When they complete a task they mark it off with an Expo marker (conveniently located in a magnetic pen holder on the side of the fridge). I wipe off the charts each night. Right now, we are all getting used to the charts, so no consequences for missing jobs, they just get a reminder for now.
Here is our fridge:
Here is Nathan's chart up close (click on it to make it bigger): Everybody pitches in after each meal to get the kitchen and table cleaned off. Even the littlest ones help by wiping off the chairs. Everybody pitches in cleaning on the weekends as well. I just take a look at what needs to be done and divvy up the chores. In the past, I've tried to chart specific chores for each child. That just doesn't work for me very well, because one person's job is always the toilet. That's not fair. Then we tried alternating weekends. That didn't work, either. Either we forgot what weekend it was, or someone wasn't home to do there's, or we were too busy one weekend. 'Clean Sweep' is making a loop through the house, picking up anything that belongs to you, or you got out. It's not all that detailed or all inclusive, but for us, Keep It Simple Stupid works out really well.
So, I think that's it in a nutshell. It's been working pretty well. So far, so good! Thanks, Angela, for the question!
Here's what we stay at home folks have been up to while everyone else is slaving away at work or school:
Running lots of errands (some may call it shopping, but that's just a technicality). Going on Thursday fun outings with some good friends; parks, Williamsburg, Malls... it's all fun! Having Munchkin Movie Mornings. They love them some Veggie Tales! And their absolute favorite.... dress up time! Ishmael thinks he is hilarious with a wig on, and I have to agree. He'll wear those itchy things for hours at a time. (Steve thinks I should draw the line at the pink leotard, though).
Aah, rough is the life of a Mother of Preschoolers. Really....
(Especially the 2 hour nap time they will have this afternoon)
Asked by a sweet friend, Katie, whom I only knew a short time before she had to move away. : ( What are my best money saving tips? What questions did we ask ourselves before adopting? What are my best recipes?
Answer part 1: Money saving tips? Being that I am a great lover of all things shopping, and Steve says we should put on our bib overalls and live off of the land, I'm pretty sure I should refer all money related questions to somebody far better at it than me.... Dave Ramsey. His system takes some discipline, but really, truly works.
Answer part 2: Questions we asked ourselves before we adopted: 1) Could we afford it? 2) Could we TRULY love a child not bone of our bone? 3) Could we TRULY loves a child of a different race? 4) Could we TRULY love a child that may have some "needs"? As it turns out, all of those questions were completely irrelevant. No matter how God places a child in your arms, his manner of growing your heart to love them remains the same. I will say that becoming a transracial family makes you a little conspicuous. We had never really been noticed before. Adopted a child from another culture requires you to be willing to become part of that culture. Adoption IS expensive, but in our case The Lord took care of the money issues in truly remarkable ways. Once you see that little face, all of your questions are irrelevant (or at least were for us). Once you see the need.... well, then you know the truth.... there is ALWAYS ROOM FOR ONE MORE!!!! I would say the only question that truly needs to be asked and answered is this... what would God have you do? Our answer came in this verse:
James 1:27 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
(Katie, I do not really LOVE to cook, beyond LOVING to eat, and LOVING to feed my family. I don't have any remarkable recipes, but when I come across some, I'll be sure to post them, okay?)
We just had a completely fantabulous day at the pumpkin patch! We loaded up the kids, along with 2 of the kids' friends, and 2 of our friends, and headed to the farm. The major highlight of this farm is the mountain they have built out of dirt and mulch. It's big. Majorly big. Like 2nd story window big. They've installed slides down the sides, and the whole thing is fairly safe and just innocent fun, until. Until your husband decides to sit halfway down the side of the mountain and encourage all of his children to take a running start and leap OVER him. DOWN the hill. By the grace of God, no children were injured during this picture shoot. A good mom would have intervened. Me? I whipped out the camera.
Flying McStud Muffin This is "my person", Beth. You know the one. The one you can count on, call about anything. The one that has your back, loves ALL of your kids and keeps coming back for more. (Oh, and her husband, Robbie is ok too). Hope and "her person", Paige.
All of the kids with their pumpkin picks.
This pic is just cute of Elias and Ishmael. I love it. And them. All is well in our world right now. Gotta love that. Gotta praise The Lord for that. Amazing what a big pile of mulch and a field of gourds will do for ya.....
Question #2, asked by my very best blogging friend, Fabu (who just brought home 3 gorgeous kiddos from Ghana) asked how I tackle the laundry, and if we think we may adopt one more.
Answer part 1: Laundry, schmaundry. This is what we are doing. and it seems to be working well so far. Each room has one laundry basket with the names of the room's residents written in Sharpie marker on the side. Also, the kids bathroom has a basket (because no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get kids to take their dirties back to their own rooms). Most baskets are for 2 people (Steve and I, Jamison and Jorah, Ishmael and Elias) but the older girls' basket is for 4 (Hope, Emma, Stella and Beatrice) and Nathan has a basket to himself (lucky guy gets a room to himself). Each day I find a basket that is completely overflowing and take it down to the laundry room. My goal is to get that load of laundry washed, dried, folded and back into that rooms basket before the kids get off of the bus (lofty goal). Each time I change a load, I put in another load. We can stay on top of the laundry if we do one complete rotation of laundry a day. The full basket of folded clothes gets put up into their prospective rooms, and the kids are responsible for putting them away after their homework is done. Why this system? Well, I've found that folding one rooms worth is tons easier that folding a little of everybody's. We only have a couple different kinds of socks to match, instead of 11. The only time this is different is the bathroom hamper loads. I'm willing to deal with this in order to keep that bathroom a little more orderly. That is how we do the laundry. I'm sure there are tons easier, more efficient ways to do it, but until Santa brings me my Whirlpool Duet, we will stick with the system.
Answer part 2: As to whether we are going to adopt one more....... hmmm depends on who you ask. The Hubster is sitting next to me and says "No", with a big grin on his face. Hope wants to adopt her best friend Paige, but her Mom would like to keep custody of her. Emma and Hope think that we need a newborn boy next. All I know is that we were "done" with 3, we were "done" with 5, so now I don't attempt to guess what the Lord has in store for us. I could see us being "done" with 9, but there is "Always Room For One More" in our home and our hearts so who knows..... it is exciting not to know. Will I ever completely feel "done"? I dunno.
Question #1, asked by my Adoption Warrior Princess/Adoption Coordinator/Friend, Anita- How have my grocery buying habits changed, and did I change the foods I cook, amounts etc.?
Answer-Thankfully, thanks to my awesome friends from church (thanks, Jamie), we had wonderful home cooked meals delivered every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for the first month we were home. I mean good meals, too. I've been flying solo lately, and am managing pretty well, amazingly enough. Now, cooking and grocery shopping are not my 'thing'. I abhor grocery shopping. First you have to put the item in your cart, then onto the conveyor belt, then into your cart again, then into your car, then into your house, then into your pantry. After all of that, you are supposed to plan the meal, cook it, and clean up afterwards.... 3 times a day. Therefore, it was our habit to scrounge around in the refrigerator for meals for as many days as possible before going to the store again, which usually meant more meals eaten out than our budget could afford. Now with 9 kids, we not only 'shouldn't' eat out, we 'can't'. Therefore, I am playing The Grocery Game, found at www.thegrocerygame.com. It is a system that matches up coupons with the sales at local grocery stores. For instance, last Tuesday I bought $230 worth of groceries for $126, for a savings of 45%. The only catch is that you have to buy what is on your list, not what you NEED. Eventually you will catch up, and virtually be able to shop out of your pantry, because the sales cycle will have come full circle. After 12 weeks, you should be set on everything from peanut butter to toilet paper. I'm on week 4, and I'm enjoying the game aspect of it now, and enjoying the savings. So I shop at Kroger with coupons on Tuesday night (while Steve puts the kids to bed), and I go to Costco Wednesday night, while all of the kids are at church activities. At Costco I buy lunch packing supplies (lunch meat, chips, fruit, Capri Suns), fruit, detergent, rice, gatorade. My total grocery bill has gone up, but not exponentially, as you would expect adding 4 HUGE EATERS (these kids can pack.it.in) to our family. Also, we have eaten out WAY less. Usually pizza with coupons one night a week. Not eating out is the biggest savings of all for us.
As far as cooking goes, I've just been more diligent about planning for dinner in the morning. Lately the crockpot and rice cooker have been my friend. I put in some cheap meat, marinade of some sort, veggies of some sort, and let it cook away, making rice sometime in the afternoon. It's awesome!! Put out some fruit or salad and voila! I do make more food, but we are more careful with portions. We start with very small portions, then they can have 2nds, 3rds or whatever, but they have to eat what's on their plates first. This has kept us from wasting tons of food!
There you go, Anita. First question answered!
Anymore questions, anyone? Ask away! (And fill out my survey, so I know I'm not writing posts for 14 people)!!!
I know I promised an in depth, behind the scenes look at our home with 9 kids for my next post, but the Hubster took the camera to work and has yet to return it. Instead, I thought I'd open up the mic and give you guys a chance to ask me some questions. Do you have adoption questions? Organization questions? Scheduling questions? Agency questions? I know I have plenty of questions for some of my fellow bloggers, but feel like I shouldn't ask. I realize you may be a little gun shy, due to my previous post. But, please, ask away. Wanna know how Steve and I met, my views on the election, how old I am, my favorite food? I'm giving you permission.... what do enquiring minds want to know?
1) You sure have your hands full! What I say is "yes we do, and our hearts are too". What I think is, "man , that's a good one, I hadn't noticed, and I surely have never heard that one before". What I wish is that people would stop pointing out the obvious. If I look a little flustered or am carrying 2 kids and chasing down a third, please don't remind me how 'full' my hands are... lend me one of yours, or at least just give me a knowing (non-condemning) smile.
2) Are all of these kids yours? We don't get asked this nearly as much as you think.. I'm pretty sure that's because someone is calling me "Mommy", "Momma", or "Mom" at a rate of once every 10 seconds. You don't have to watch us very long to figure it out! My answer when asked, though, is "absolutely"!
3) Are they brothers and sisters? Now this one bugs the tar out of me, especially when asked in front of the kids. Because of course they are brothers and sisters! They live together, eat together, fight together and love together. They are true siblings in every single sense of the word. It undermines everything that we are trying to instill in them to even care which ones are blood related, so please don't ask... it truly does not matter!
4) How do your real kids feel about you adopting so many more? Another doozy. They are ALL my real kids. They all have 8 brothers and sisters. They all share a bathroom. They all sit rather cozily around the kitchen table. They all 'sacrifice' some extras. No one asked Jamison, Jorah, Stella, Beatrice, Elias or Ishmael if they would like to be adopted. We were very open about our desire to adopt with Nathan, Hope and Emma, but we did not ask for their permission. We are the parents, we are led by The Lord to lead this family. Incidentally, however, they are as passionate about adopting as we are and are already on us about who our 'next one' will be. They remind us that there is room for one more around the table and in our van.
5) What happened to their parents? I understand the curiosity, really I do. But this is one area that is private, each child's story for themselves. They will learn the entire story when they are older, and they can make the choice who to tell, and how much they will share with whom. Something about the children being orphans at one point in their lives makes people think that they should be able to know all of the details. It's true, at one point in each of their lives, they didn't have anyone advocating for them, anyone to protect them from danger. But now they do, they have Steve and I. In order for a child to be in an orphanage, or placed for adoption, something very traumatic and hard had to have happened in their young lives. Their life here will be hard enough (learning English, learning a new family, being in a trans racial family) without people whispering behind their backs about their pasts. So please just don't ask, it matters, a lot, to THEM but we just aren't going to be telling YOU. Please try to be understanding about this.
6) Where do they all sleep? I want to tell people that we have plenty of room, because, hey, they all sleep on mats laid out in rows on the floor. Or maybe that we believe in co-sleeping and they all share our bed. The question does carry with it a certain amount of doubt that we can adequately care for all of our children, or at the very least an amount of curiousness as to how big our house is (therefore how much money we make). Most of the kids do share rooms, but we have space for everyone. (My next post will be "What does a home with 9 kids LOOK like", so stay tuned).
Now most people are just curious. They ask questions because they are interested and care. They may come across as insensitive or rude. But I have to remember that they are not educated in politically correct terms. They haven't been made to attend hours upon hours of training to in order to be deemed worthy of raising their children. So I smile, answer their questions as honestly and forthrightly as I can. I know that we are a conspicuous family when we are out, but to us, this is normal, this is just our family living life together.
I was tagged by my BBFF (Best Blogging Friend Forever) Amy Fabu. Okay, in trying to come up with 7 fabulous, exciting or at least interesting things about myself I've made a discovery. I am boring. I am a total middle of the roader in all areas. I am organized, but not a neat freak. I'm sorta creative, but don't while away the hours in endless streams of artistic endeavors. I'm smart enough, but not nearly a Mensa candidate. I like to think I'm adventurous, but haven't done anything newsworthy. I wasn't exactly a tomboy, nor a girlie girl (I climbed trees AND made up roller skating routines to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"). I'm pretty athletic, but not outstanding. I plan sorta, and fly by the seat of my pants sorta. I'm part practical, part dreamer. I had an extremely hard time coming up with ANYTHING!!! But you know what? I'm okay with it. You know why? Because God created me in this particular way to be the perfect wife, mother and friend to all of the amazing people He has put into my life. If I had any outstanding talents, gifts, dreams or traits to speak of, this wouldn't be my life. I would be off curing cancer, winning Gold medals or writing the next Newberry Award winning novel. Instead I spend my days cooking roast to feed my family, watching the dishes pile up while I sing Eensy Weensy Spider AGAIN, put ice on boo boos, drive to gymnastics and the Doctors office, do loads upon loads of laundry and tuck 9 beautiful children into bed each night. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm rather glad I'm not 'good' at anything other than counting to 10, naming my colors, reading "Go Dogs Go" listening to the latest Middle School drama and changing diapers.
That being said, here is my attempt at coming up with 7 interesting things about myself:
1) I change my hair color and style almost daily. I've been blond, brown, red, bronze, multi-hued and even orange at times. I've had it long, curly, straight, flippy, spiky, angular, bobbed and asymmetrical. The people that know me in real life don't even comment, or really even notice when I change it anymore. I love to peruse the hair color aisle at Walmart, pick a cool color, go home and see what happens. I usually end up grabbing the scissors afterwards to 'trim' my hair to match the new color. I think this is my creative outlet, my little rebellion. I'm currently under contract with my good friend and my daughter to grow it out, though. So currently it's neither cool nor trendy... ugh.
2) I'm an adventurous eater, I love to try new exotic things. I love all sorts of foods that other people consider weird. There are 3 foods, however, that totally gross me out. I avoid them like the plague. I've been dared to eat them and have gagged hard enough to have the darers relent and dare me to do something different. Those 3 foods? Melon, milk and peanut butter.
3) Growing up I got into 3 fist fights with boys. In 3rd grade I punched a bully in the gut for putting his PB&J in my Vegetable Beef Soup (I didn't get in trouble). In 5th grade I knocked a boy to the ground for trying to kick us out of our tree fort (his Dad came to our house and told on me, my Dad laughed in his face and told him to toughen up his wimpy son). In 11th grade Science class a football player kept knocking me in the head, so I stood up, told him to stop it, he got embarrassed and shoved me, I threw a punch and gave him a bloody lip, he bled onto his white pants (we both got lunch detention, because I should've acted more lady-like).
4) I've lived in 18 different houses. My Dad was in the Navy and we moved every 2 years. Then I married Steve, and he was in the Air Force. He has been out for 8 years, but I still get wander lust after I live somewhere for about a year and a half. We've been in this house for about 16 months, so watch out! We can't go far, though, because Steve owns a local business.
5) I've got the world's biggest forehead. People that don't believe me have been shocked and embarrassed for me when they finally see it (it's safely hidden behind bangs now). I got the high forehead from Mom, and the wide forehead from Dad. If I was a good blogger I'd show you a picture, but I can't bring myself to do it.
6) I attended 4 different colleges, and still haven't graduated. Charles County Community College, Towson State, MD., University of Oklahoma, and University of Central Oklahoma. I was majoring in Physical Education. I may finish one day, but have no real desire to go back.
7) Steve and I dated long distance for the entirety of our courtship. I lived in Maryland then Oklahoma, he was from Iowa going to school in Colorado. We dated for 2 years, but saw each other for a total of less than one month before we got married. I didn't question our decision at all, neither did he, our parents, or any of our friends. It was just so natural and meant to be!!
Ok, there you have my great list. Now I tag Lauren and April.
We survived the doctors office. We were definitely conspicuous, but only because of sheer volume and our colorfulness. The kids all did fabulously. It was Stella's appointment and she was a trooper until the shots (she needed 4), but that only lasted for a second. The Chicken Pox came in handy, as she would have needed the Varivax vaccine as well, but LUCKILY (?) she already had the Pox, so only 4 for her.
Elias and Beatrice are today. They know now that the Doctor means shots, so they aren't as eager to go as they were yesterday. School is enough of an incentive, however, that they are willing to brave it!
For those that are wondering: Stella will be in 2nd grade, Beatrice in 1st, and Elias in Kindergarten. We weren't going to put Elias in school yet, but he knows his numbers and letters, the sounds they make, and can sound out simple words. Couple that with his having lost 6 teeth already, and we are going to try it out. (Children in Africa do lose their teeth earlier than their American counterparts, but 6 teeth in preschool would still be VERY early). The worst thing that will happen is that he isn't ready, and repeats Kindergarten. Not a huge tragedy. We shall see how they all do. They are starting on Monday and are counting down the days!! I really think that they are going to thrive, and I'm looking forward to watching them blossom! ( I accidently just typed bosom right there... I'm really NOT looking forward to watching them do THAT!!!) Trampoline fun!
On Sunday we all loaded up and went to church. The kids have been so bored, and dying to go ANYWHERE. All of the books and experts suggest you cocoon at home with the kids for at least a few weeks. They all begged to go to church, what are you gonna do, say no? Every single one walked right into class and had a blast. In service, the Pastor surprised us by calling us up and praying for us at the end of service. Elias just grinned from ear to ear. Beatrice was a little shy, but they all handled it like champs. After church they took naps, then we made caramel apples, dipped in chocolate chips, sprinkles or Heath Bar. All that junk is ok as long as you eat it with apples, right? It was a really good day and felt manageable and normal really. Normal feels really good right about now! Now we are off to the first of the new kids Doctors appointments to get up to date on shots etc. for school. They are itching to go, they beg every day!! To go to school, that is, not the Dr.!! I'll be flying solo with 6 little ones at the appt.... wish me luck!!
So far today we are dealing with the Chicken Pox (Stella), 2 with ringworm (Jorah and Ishmael), one with excema everywhere (Jorah) 2 colds (Jorah and Ishmael), one bloody lip (Jorah), one bloody nose (Stella), 3 splinters (Jamison, Elias and my friend Beth), one forgotten P.E. uniform (Hope), and 157 hugs, 93 kisses, 9 loved kiddos and one happy, worn out Momma!!! (The kids in Ghana when they were illness and splinter free!!)
We are leaving on a jet plane in a few short hours. We will try to post while there, but who knows? I'm so excited and overwhelmed, I can hardly stand it. I am the most blessed human on the face of the earth right now. Truly, truly blessed!!
See ya in a few days (with Stella, Beatrice, Elias and Ishmael)... see, I told you, blessed!
1. Listening to kids giggle in the other room together. 2. Singing praises in church when the goose bumps come. 3. Tucking my kids in (when no one is spending the night somewhere else). 4. Drinking a cold Coke... anytime. 5. Breaking out the Christmas decorations. 6. Walking into an air conditioned room, after being outside in the heat. 7. Having one of my kids randomly say "I love you". 8. Watching the season premier of Grey's Anatomy with my BFF Beth. 9. Catching Hubby's eye from across the room when something happens that only we 'get'. 10. A good back rub. 11. Arby's Jalapeno Poppers. 12. Having a clean house. 13. Falling to sleep in a thunderstorm. 14. Having a good hair day and cute toenails at the same time (been a long time for that one). 15. Seeing the faithfulness of God in a real way. 16. An organized closet. 17. Getting into a car with a full tank, when you thought it was empty (Thanks, Baby!). 18. Hearing about someone being pregnant or adopting. 19. Naming babies. 20. Going shopping with a gift card. 21. Putting on a sweatshirt, pj pants and socks at the end of the day. 22. When the kids are patient with each other. 23. A new school year with clean binders and sharpened pencils. 24. 4 shining happy faces waiting for me in Ghana. 25. Getting the call that says we can go get them!!!!
We got our final passport! I'm all in a twitter and smiling like a fool right now. We will know tomorrow when our travel date is. Probably either next week or the week after. Can you believe it? Our kids are coming home. Aaah, I'm so happy. Thank you God, thank you. I have lots to do now, but how are you supposed to get stuff done when you are twirling?
I'm a Jesus lovin', husband adorin', stay-at-home Momma to 9 cutie patooties; 3 tummy babies ('95, '97 and '98), 1 adopted Domestically ('05), 1 through Foster Care ('06), and 4 home from Ghana (Sept. '08). We always have room for 1 more around here. That means you too, so thanks for stopping by!