A sparrow when I'm broken, and eagle when I fly.....

Welcome to my world. I am an ordinary wife and mom who has been extraordinarily blessed by an amazing husband and house full of beautiful children. My prayer is that you will be somehow blessed by our family's story. It is a tale of God's grace and forgiveness...His loving kindness and patience with us His children as we strive & struggle everyday to bless His name with our lives

Saturday, January 31, 2009

time for change

Okay. I feel done with being glum. When depressed I am quiet and being quiet makes me more depressed...stupid. I am done with being quiet. The sun peeked through a couple days this week and it was awesome. Didn't warm up all that much but still an improvement. There is just something about the sun shinning on your head that makes your step lighter and the world a better place.

It is hard that the boys didn't pass court last week. We were disappointed but not terribly surprised. Many court cases are not passing the first time nowadays. The Ethiopian adoption court is getting much pickier about a lot of stuff including the paperwork for court. This is good in the long run. Everyone wants a finely tuned and precise system for adoption in Ethiopia. It is the best for the children and the families. Now that all these wrinkles and new document requirements are being ironed out the time to get through court is taking longer and cases backing up. That is why when a case doesn't pass first time, it takes weeks to get rescheduled. For our agency it is about six weeks out, other agencies may be more or less according to their case load. This delay for us means the boys are at least another three months delayed in coming home. In our case it sounds like it was a minor paperwork issue and missing signature on one document. We we were told it shouldn't be an issue to resolve quickly. We just have to wait for next available court date March 5th. Some families I know have had four court dates. We are counting on passing next time!

There is lots of projects around here to work on to keep busy. The most fun "work" is doing things to get ready for two more little ones. I am also turning over a new blogging leaf....I am bound and determined to post more often and get more writing done. One goal I had this year was to send out a birthday post for every child this year. In my "quietness" on the blog I have already missed five birthdays this month! Oh my. So rather than give up already in January I am just going to catch up and keep up with my blogging goal. Be prepared for a string of birthday posts

getting ready to go out on date with my sweetie Mike, dinner AND a movie!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

bad news

Neither Assefa nor Gezehegn's case passed court today. Their cases were rescheduled for March 5th. So sad. More later

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Please Pray

My friend Lisa is in Ethiopia bringing home her daughter Eden. She is waiting for Eden's visa to be able to come home...please pray it comes tomorrow so they can be home soon. Lisa and her family live in our community. Her daughter Eden is best friend's with Edelawit. Edelawit is the little girl whose referral we lost due to paperwork issues in October.

I found out our waiting toddler Gezehegn is ill. Gezehegn is three years old but looks much younger because he is Down Syndrome. I am guessing he is about 18 lbs. He crawls but isn't walking yet. If we pass court tomorrow then Gezehegn will be Judah Gezehegn Feser and be coming home in a month or so. Please pray this precious boy doesn't become dehydrated and is able to keep his temperature down. My heart is breaking to know he is ill and I can't be there to take care of him. I am so thankful my friend Lisa (an RN)is there to try to keep an eye on him for me.

Thank you!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Still Among The Living

*Okay, I am taking the step to write a blog entry after several weeks of silence.* Sorry guys. I am embarrassed to admit that I have been in a "funk" which is nicer sounding than "I have been depressed". I have sympathy for others when they are depressed. When I am depressed I have no patience for myself and feel like a total mental case failure. So, there is my confession. I think there may be a tiny glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel and I am blogging about it to take a step in the right direction. I do know from reading all the books on grief I can get my hands on, that the 7-10 months mark after a death is a very hard time for people. Not sure why that is? It just seems like most of us dealing with a loved one's death really "crash" around that time. Mike and I still miss Jonathan constantly. For me I am a bit surprised my grief is still so raw now nine months after he died. The holidays were a trial getting through remembering Jonnie here with us last year. My whole life then revolved around him and fighting his illness. The bone marrow transplant was an ever looming target ...an event that could heal him or kill him. In my depression I feel like I lost myself when Jonathan died and I can't find "me" anymore or ever again. Then I feel so stupid and self centered thinking that. I know logically that there is no "me" to be found, just "Jesus" to be found. He is the only thing that gets me through and keeps me trying to get better, be better....for the kids and Mike. I do know that I never felt better than the two weeks I spent last month in Ethiopia. Loving on our baby boys and all the other children in the orphanages was as fulfilling as anything I have ever done. It was as close to "finding myself" as is possible. Of course I am sure that having to leave our boys there was pouring gasoline on the whole grief work. When I bawl out my longing for Jonathan there is a whole lot of tears thrown in for missing Gezehegn and Assefa.

**I wrote the above part of this post over a week ago. I have been floundering in my grief and Mike has been a rock for me. The first of the year with Mike's support I made some changes that I am hoping will help my depression. First off both Mike and I have made major changes in our diet. We want to be as healthy as possible and it'd be nice to lose a little weight too. I am doing a modified Daniel Fast which is pretty much a vegan diet heavy on veggies and fruit. The hardest part was giving up my beloved Diet Coke and coffee. I am determined to get outside and walk everyday no matter how freezing cold it is. I know exercise outdoors is a real key to my sanity and mental health. I finally bought the book recommended too me many times in the last two years...Beth Moore's "Get Out Of That Pit". It is JUST what I need! Last week I felt that I needed a "real" fasting and prayer time for the week before our Ethiopian court date. It has been a "good" time for me. Good for me because what I really need is to get back to my meaningful dates and quiet time with my Lord. It is just too easy in depression it is to fall out of good habits like prayer and quiet times. I needed and still need a hard kick in the pants to get jump started in a positive direction. Radically changing my diet and ridding my body of all chemicals, gluten and sugars has been one helpful "kick in the pants". Serious prayer and fasting has been another powerful jump start. It has forced me to bathe myself in His Word and allow it too soothe my wounds. I ache constantly for Jonathan, my bones hurt and my eyes are always teary with longing for a little boy I won't hold again till Heaven. My heart still races in a panic to remember all the pain Jonathan went through. God's ever loving presence and the balm of His precious Word doesn't automatically remove my aches and pains and grief. The truth of God's LOVE and GRACE in His words to me do help me remember MORE than the pain of Jonathan's death. They remind me that His mercies are new every morning. They remind me that "Yes", this crippling grief will get better and God won't leave me here in this pit of despair.

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. --Psalm 40:1-3

Powerful words that I believe in and am choosing to count on as my own words of deliverance from a loving Father.

Thanks for visiting me in my walk in the "shadows" and the journey finding my way back out to the light.


Friday, January 16, 2009

More catching up and Maggie's new wheels!.

We have had a few changes the past month. Mike got a new-old job. He started this past week a "new" job with Energy Northwest(nuclear power plant). It is an "old" job as he worked for them before for many years. When Jonathan was gearing up for bone marrow transplant Mike accepted a job with Washington Group working on the Vit Plant (building a waste treatment facility). God answered many prayers for our family when Mike got the WA Group job. That job allowed Mike much more time with the kids when I was far away in Seattle with Jonathan. His brand new fellow employees at the Vit plant also donated enough personal vacation days to Mike that he was able to work part time and still get a full time paycheck for three months! That company was AWESOME to our family and we will always be grateful for his time there. I kinda knew my guy wouldn't be happy forever doing that kind of work though. He missed the challenges at Energy Northwest. We are happy Mike is back there and not at all ruffled that it is a $800 dollar a month pay cut for awhile.....Because of the temporary pay cut we have tightened up the budget. The only hard part was taking Solomon out of West Side Preschool. I really had been thinking Solly may have to stop preschool when the baby boys come home anyway. I knew loading up two babies to take Solomon back and forth to preschool would be a major pain. As far as the budget goes, it's not too bad. I know well how to live "poor". The only thing that really gets me now is not being able to practice "retail therapy". That is what I call shopping for the waiting baby boys. It is so hard to WAIT for them. Preparing and getting everything ready for their homecoming feels like I am doing SOMETHING to help them. Really the best thing I can do is pray more and keep learning to turn my worries for the babies over to the Lord. I want them home SOOO bad, so does Mike. Their court date is Wednesday the 21st...so we will know more in a few days about just when they might be home. My friend Sage whose daughter's court date was last week passed! Yahoo! Please pray Assefa and Gezehegn both pass court on Wednesday. As far as the "retail therapy" I am surviving. I know that God has never failed to meet our needs. That is miraculous! First off He always provides the money we need for the adoptions AND provides for all the children's practical needs. Right now I am saving for a good quality double stroller, and two more car seats. Gezehegn has enough clothes as he is about the same size Jonathan was. I am happy to be able to use Jonathan's cute clothes for Gezehegn. If it turns out that it makes us too sad to see Jonnie's stuff on another child, I will just get Gezehegn different clothes then. I really think we'll be okay with it. Assefa is size 6-9 mos now and I have VERY little for him. I am waiting till I know for sure when he will be home to buy anything for him. So...if anyone has hand-me-down boy's clothes size 6-12 months you know who to call.....we never turn down hand-me-downs!

Biggest Praise: Speaking of God always providing for our family's needs.....Thank you Lord for Maggie's new wheelchair!!! You may remember me whining and lamenting Maggie so BADLY needing new wheelchair. Well, two years and one month after we started the process for a new wheelchair....it was finally delivered! The wheelchair guy came and spent an hour or so adjusting it all to fit her. I cried to see her sitting in something that supports her body correctly and looks comfortable. The price tag was just under $7000. Praise You God also for medical insurance! You might also notice her braids....I did them myself! Usually the braiding is done by an older Ethio teen. My fingers don't work as well as theirs do with all that. I heard from another mom (Sage) about "yarn" extensions. I checked it out on You Tube and watched a few videos explaining how to uses yarn for hair extensions. It was easy! I used on Maggie some yarn we had laying around the house. It was black yarn with little flecks of colors throughout. She has had the yarn extensions in three weeks now and they still look perfect.

Here is Maggie in her new wheels....

Here is Daddy showing Maggie her new yarn hairdo in bathroom mirror. Maggie's hair doesn't grow on the back of head and never has. Her head is always against the ground, headrest, etc...so she is rather bald in back. Having pretty hair to style on front of head means a lot!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

silly me....

Oooops, Sage's daughter's court date is not tomorrow....but Friday the 16th. I was thinking Wednesday...Ahhh. Now you have THREE days to pray for it.


Sorry for the disappearing act. I have been in a funk. I keep trying to write an eloquent post but creativity is escaping me...so here is a update from the last month. I got home from Ethiopia Dec 19th safe and sound (minus my luggage though, it made it home a week ago) I came home from Africa just in time to miss the worst travel weather ever as the northwest was hit with TONS of snow and freezing temperatures. Roza and Mulu came home from Job Core for Christmas which was awesome. They had to grab a Greyhound in small windows of time when the mountain passes were open. Their orthodontist made a special trip to his office to adjust their braces and they made it back through the passes to get back to school on time after Christmas.

Our Christmas was quiet....just the way we like it! We ate a homemade Chinese food feast, our holiday favorite. The roads were so bad we couldn't go to church or do the extended family visits, but that was okay. I did miss seeing adult kids and grand kids but plan for visits with them soon. I think the weather is only this bad every ten years or so. We decided to enjoy the forced solitude. Thanks to Wishing Star and Jefferson School we had some wonderful gifts to open. All the kids had a new outfit and shoes and a toy to play with. Our generous Wishing Star sponsors Mary Anne and Jim moved mountains to get our gifts to us by Christmas. They even enlisted a Fed Ex Santa! Five of our children attend Jefferson Elementary School. Different people "adopted" different kids in our family from the "Angel" tree at school and while I was still in Ethiopia many gifts were delivered. Our children were overjoyed with all their gifts and the outfits and shoes were a HUGE God-send. Thank you everyone!

We don't buy much at all (or anything some years!) for Christmas presents. We try to make each child's birthday special, but at Christmas and Hanukkah time just don't have enough money for many gifts. We do have some fun traditions though. At Christmas time we like to go out to eat. The only other time we EVER do this is when we do a readoption for child in U.S. court system and go out to celebrate. We always go to Ole Country Buffet. The kids may eat anything they want. I had to stay home with Maggie this year but the rest of the family had a blast. Do you think going out to eat only once a year is often enough to teach children how to behave in a restaurant? I am hoping it is!

We also plan for "family gift" to go to out to see a movie on the BIG SCREEN! Mike took the teen kids to Benjamin Button and I later took "littles" to Tale of Desperoux. Both movies were wonderful. But I am NEVER taking Maggie to a movie again. Every time we have ever tried she just comes undone as soon as the lights go out. Maybe it is just too much stimulation? Who knows. It just isn't worth it to put her through it. Poor girls cries bitterly whenever she is left behind. She knows when she is missing out on something. But some things are just too very hard for her. She had to stay home from Ole Country Buffet because we couldn't get wheelchair through snow.

This year Mike planned a new fun thing for a "gift" for kids. He took them to the Dollar store and let them chose five things! (next time I am think $3 would be enough) They all agreed it was the "most funnest, beery best fun thing in the wooorld"

Snow and ice are all gone and kids are back in school. I need to start walking again everyday and dragging myself out of bed in time for a date with the Lord before family rises...Hopefully the "funk" I'm in will lighten up. I seem to be living in the past too much. My heart and head is on last year this time with Jonathan still here and all the stuff he lived through. I pray our new baby boy's pass court the first time...Jan 21st and will be home soon! That would help the greatest sort of "funk" to lift!

Don't forget...God is always good, even when life doesn't feel good.

Bye for now....More to come (promise!)
P.S. Please pray for Sage and Steve's court date for their waiting 4 yr old daughter in Ethiopia which is happening tomorrow! Pray tonight as when we are going to bed..the judges and court folk are getting up in Ethiopia. Sage is my new goodest friend who I got to meet and bond with on my trip to Ethiopia recently.

P.S.S. If Sage's daughter passes court this week, and our boys pass court next week....well then...Sage and I could maybe travel together again. THAT would be cool.

P.S.S.S. Jody...you lovely young wife and mommy who is my darling daughter-in-law Holly's friend....you are a blessing! Can't wait to meet you someday.