Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Speech.

Have you ever actually taken the time to watch it?  Take the time now.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What Weaning Means.

So, this is happening at our house right now...


Matthias is a little over 11 months now and I have started the weaning process with him.  It is a bittersweet time for sure, enjoying the freedom of him not being so dependent on me and grieving the fact that he is getting so big!

This may seem like a weird thing to post about on my adoption blog, but bear with me because I do have a reason.

FASTING.

I started fasting a little here and there in college.  My husband has tended to fast simply as a spiritual discipline, but my fasts have always been during times when I felt a pressing need to show my dependence on God.  Most of my fasts have been for just a day or two, no more than maybe three...except when we were adopting Nathan.

During the summer of Nathan's adoption, when we had submitted our paperwork but not been approved, I decided to do a significant fast.  I was struggling with the waiting and I needed (for myself) to stand before God and say, "Lord, I trust you in this.  I trust your timing.  I trust that you are working.  I trust that you  are caring for us through this all."  Just as I was trusting that he would care for my body as I fasted.  It was a private fast, so I never fasted when I was in public, but I did it for 11 weeks while we waited.  11 WEEKS.  I never went more than 3 days without eating anything, but it may have been just a single meal at that point and then another 3 days before I ate again.

And let me tell you, it was an amazing experience.

Did I get the answers that I was hoping for right away?  Uh, what part of 11 weeks is confusing?
Did I lose some weight?  Yeah, but that wasn't the point and it all came back.
Was I hungry?  Yes.  Sometimes.  But I hungered for God's hand to move in our family way more than the food that I was serving my kids.
Was it worth it?  Without a doubt.  Adoption requires so so much from you.  There is so much trust involved and a lack of control that can feel so consuming.  Taking the time to say with my body, "I trust you, God." was actually a relief.

But fasting can be tricky business.  And not everyone should practice it at every season in their lives, like when they are nursing for instance.  But when it is done, and done well, it is so good for the soul.

So, my time nursing Matthias is almost over and I am planning to begin fasting when he and I are through.  It isn't going to be as major as before, just one day a week when I am going to take the time to say, "God, I trust you with our hopes to adopt again.  I trust that you know each member of our family and that you care for us deeply.  And I trust that you will open the right doors and close the wrong ones as we seek the missing piece to our family puzzle."

And let me tell you, even the thought of that unburdens me.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Almost 11 months.

So yesterday Matthias was two days shy of 11 months...the age that Nathan was on the day that I met him.

All that I know about Matthias... 
  • the way that he loves to snuggle his little monkey when he goes to sleep
  • his crooked little grin
  • his love for a package of wipes
  • the fact that avocado and raisins are his favorite foods (though there isn't much he will turn down)
  • how he hums and sucks his thumb when he is sleepy
  • how ticklish he is
  • the sound of his cry and his giggle
...and so so many things more.

All these things that I know about my son, that almost no one outside of our family knows...

The things that have grown the love that we have for our sweet Matty...

I knew none of these things when I was handed my first son.  I had missed them all. I had to learn so much and it was confusing and scary for both of us. It was just so hard and as I look at Matthias and think back on Nate, it is bittersweet for sure.

And as I think about our desire to adopt a child a little older, age 2 or 3 or even 4. I know that there will be so much that we will have missed. There will be so much we will have to learn. It will be even harder and scarier and even more confusing.

But as I look at my amazing five year old son, I know without a doubt that it is absolutely worth it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The price of chickens and rabbits.

Have I mentioned yet that New Hope Homes has moved from Kigali up to Musanze?  Well they did.  Into a beautiful new home.

picture during new home construction by Chantal

One of the goals of the new home is to be as self-sustaining as possible, which I LOVE.  Growing veggies, caring for animals that provide meat, eggs, and milk...such good and important things.  For more on all that, you can read this post by Donna who is there right now.

Well, we wanted to support this effort, so once again we brought this to our kids and asked them if they wanted to help.  $6 per rabbit.  $9 per chicken.  I met with each kid individually, asked them if they wanted to donate rabbits or chickens, counted their money, told them how many they could buy and let them decide what they wanted to do.  We, as we always do when the kids donate, matched their donations.

rabbit huts, taken by Donna

Here's the thing.  This is EXACTLY what we hoped for when we chose to adopt internationally.  We wanted a place, outside of our cozy Kansas bubble, to connect our kids to the world.  We wanted them to love another place and have intimate knowledge of it.  We wanted them to care about other kids from a totally different culture and lifestyle who are still just kids like them.

Supporting New Hope Homes has been such a blessing for our family.  They cared for our son when we could not and now we are able to help care for his "first family".  It is an honor for us.  We help pay for school because our kids go to school and understand how important that is.  We bought the basketball hoop for the new house because we are Jayhawks and what better thing for us to do than spread some Jayhawk love?!  This summer we have been working as a family to grow our own veggies and support our local farms, so what better thing to do than help NHHs become self-sustaining?!

getting their Jayhawk on, taken by Donna

And to see how our children have embraced it...to watch them give generously and joyously...it is good for all of our souls.

This little idea of adoption, it just doesn't stop when the kid gets home...or at least it shouldn't.