Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ
2 Peter 3:18

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Section on the Blog

Today I got a little bit of disheartening news regarding the adoption.  Nothing awful, nothing we weren't honestly expecting (in one way or another), but something a little dissapointing.  I realize that's about as vague as it comes, but I'll post more about this at a later date.  Just know that we're fine, we're definitely still adopting, it's all in God's hands, and we're so thrilled that He's in charge and not us.

So, that brings me to the new section of the blog.  Sometimes you just need a good laugh.  So I've added a new collection of blogs and sites that always bring a :), a : D, or a good ol' LOL.  You can find them on the side column under "Need a Good Laugh?".  They are just the kind of snarky humor I LOVE!  Warning, you are leaving my "G" rated blog by clicking on these, so at times, the content may not be puppy dogs and care bears- but I promise you'll laugh!  So the next time you need to get out of a funk and turn your frown upside down (oh yeah, I typed that) click on over and let me help!!

Here's to a great day!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

September Issue of Metro Christian Living

Be on the look out for this article in this month's Metro Christian Living!  A lot of you probably know the Schmelzer family and know about their upcoming adoption.  I'm so glad that Alison got the opportunity to write this article about adoption for the magazine (and amazed at what she got in in her word limit).  I'm just completely plagiarizing it so that I'll always have a copy nearby.  She speaks so plainly and clearly about the call to adopt and I could not have said it any better myself.  Enjoy- but don't forget to pick up a copy of the magazine, you'll get so see the cute pics of their family and be inspired by the many other articles.  (Just tested my links and found that the magazine is now fully online- find the Schmelzer article, turn back one page.  My parents have been published!!  Way to go Mom & Dad- I had no idea I was going to see you two there- what a fun surprise and what a great article!)

“A Baby Changes Everything”

Our family is on a journey. It is a faith journey with our heavenly Father that is going to change our lives and the life of a child…forever. This all began with a God-given season of "holy discontentment". I was no longer content to live a life of complacency, and I began to feel that God was about to call us to do something BIG! However, I was unsure of what His calling would be. During this time, God led me to the blog of a Tennessee family who had adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia. My first thought was, “They are so sweet to adopt, but we could never do that.”

Then I heard God ask, "Why not? What if I asked you to? Do you trust Me? Do you trust MY plan for your family?" And I sat at my computer and wept. He was breaking my heart for orphans, and I knew His calling was beginning to unfold. God had already chosen our fourth child...and she would have beautiful brown eyes, brown hair, and brown skin. But were we willing to take that big step of faith and trust His perfect plan?

At first, I was scared! I knew absolutely no one in our community, church, or the entire state of Mississippi that had adopted from Ethiopia! As I began to pray, I felt very alone and the doubts and uncertainties continued to creep in.

But God soon revealed something profound; we were supposed to be obedient to His calling to adopt from Ethiopia, no matter what! Whether or not our parents approved, our community accepted, our finances allowed, or another local family ever adopted an Ethiopian really did not matter! God was leading us to this child, this was His will for our life, and that was the only thing that mattered!

As we continued praying, God began to blow us away. It was truly one of the most amazing times in our life. Confirmations from Him began to pour in, one right after another. As we started to move forward in obedience, all the fears and uncertainties were replaced with joy and excitement! With every step forward in the adoption process, we grew more confident in His calling. We claimed the following verse from Hebrews over our adoption journey: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see."

We are putting all our faith in God, believing that adoption is a beautiful picture of His love and redemption. He sacrificed His only Son, so we could become His adopted sons and daughters. Psalm 68:6 says, “God sets the lonely in families”, and we know He will one day set our baby girl into our arms…and into her forever family. This baby changes everything. Our lives will never be the same, and we would not want it any other way!

As we now work on adoption paperwork, we are so thankful to be on this journey to bring our daughter home from Ethiopia! But we do not believe our journey ends when she is home. God wants us to encourage others to seek His will in adoption. My constant prayer is that God would continue to call Christian families to bring orphans from all around the world…home!

I am confident of this: God has a plan that is greater than ours, and it will bring Him glory! The question is, will we be obedient to His calling and be a part of what He is doing? Oh, how I pray we will all respond with a big “YES”!

"...once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

Monday, August 23, 2010

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To . . .

I believe I've blogged on this before, but I have been yet again caught off guard by my children's generation's McDonald's toys.  Miller and I walked to our local Mc D's this morning while our tire was being fixed.  The poster in the window made the five year old in me drool.

Take a stroll down memory lane with me.  I didn't spend a lot of meal times in McDonald's as a child but we did go there as an occasional treat.  A happy meal.  What a treat it was.  Cardboard box with punch outs to play with for hours on end or to turn the box into some sort of house.  Equally cardboard hamburger with the tiniest bits of onion possible so that there was no way to get them out of the blob of mustard you hated even more than the onions or their pickley cousins.  But it was all worth it for THE TOY.  After wrestling with that fully BPA filled plastic bag a quality item would come spilling out into your joyously quaking hands . . .

I mean check out the craftsmanship and attention to detail.  You can almost tell which McDonald's character each one is supposed to be.  Well they didn't look exactly like this at first of course.  You had to put it together and hope you did tear the small pieces to shreds when pulling them off the plastic frame that held them all together.  I mean I distinctly remember these priceless items.  Even at five I kind of think I had to be thinking "what a rip off" as I rode home with my Hamburglar helicopter on the floor of the Buick because it had already lost a propeller.

Fast forward to this morning . . .

Um.  That's right.  Not only do they now have girl and boy toys, the girl ones are MADAME ALEXANDER DOLLS.  I had to gaze at Madame Alexander dolls through glass cases or crane my neck to look at the top shelf of friend's rooms.  Never in a million years would one of these come tumbling out of my happy meal (that now has white meat chicken nuggets, apple slices, and a milk).  What's next?  Faberge Eggs in the Cheerios box?

McDonald's, you've come along way baby!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Where Have You Been All Summer!?

Sorry to have left you hanging with the beginning of baseball season.  Below are a few posts to fill you in on our summer.  It was quite eventful, full of fun, super hot, and went by fast.  All of the above would be reason enough for me to get behind on blogging.  But truthfully, there's another reason I'm so behind.  You see, every time I have sat down at this computer for the past several months something else has been on my mind and heart.  I have been pounding away at the keyboard, surfing what seems like the entire internet, and done more stalking on strangers' blogs than I care to admit.  All of this effort has been at times exhausting, many times rewarding, but always getting our family a little closer to the beginning of a new journey. 

Towards the end of the summer we announced that we have begun the process of international adoption!  

We have been truly amazed and blessed as the Lord has led us to this place.  It's not something we were seeking, but for many many months now adoption has been rolling around in our hearts and minds.  This spring it finally got to a point that every sermon preached, every conversation, every scripture read, every television show or movie we watched somehow was revealing the message of adoption and that our family was to pursue this path.  We slowly began to read, research, read some more, and question.  International, local, foster?  What country? Infant, toddler, or child? Girl or boy?  What agency?  God are you sure . . . us?! 

The answer came and came clearly.  Yes, you.  International.  South Korea.  Older infant/young toddler.  Let Me surprise you with a girl or boy- you will meet them through Holt International.

Right now we are working on our home study and have our first meeting with the social worker next week.  We are reviewing profiles of babies on the waiting list with Holt Korea and learning a lot about pediatric medicine!  Our best guess is that the newest "Seoul" will be joining our family sometime in 2011.

We covet your prayers as we traverse this path.  To God be the glory for all that He has done thus far.  It's been wonderful to be on the front row watching as He works in mysterious ways.  We look forward the majestic show ahead of us!

Many have asked if we'll have a blog for the adoption.  You're looking at it!  As progress is made and announcement worthy events take place, you can find them here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Miller- 2.5

Miller at 2 and a half . . .
LOVES babies- this doll was her great-great aunt's.  She gets to give it one kiss and pat every night before she goes to bed and before "Sophie"(and her porcelain head) go back up on a very high shelf
Is full of smiles, giggles, cuddles, love, and cuteness and has discovered "her princess"- Snow White!
Constantly keeps me on my toes and laughing- here she has taken Jack's bed, turned into a boat?, put her baby in with her and is feeding her peas.  I'm not sure how she comes up with it- but she's very good at entertaining herself!

Is potty trained- and she needs her privacy (sometimes)!
Can make a HUGE mess in no time flat.  This was about ten minutes AFTER her bath- she found ONE Oreo!
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Happy 4th of July!

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Summer Vacation

Wilson found out in about April that there was something called "summer vacation". He was immediately fascinated by this seemingly unending break from the rigors of 4 year old preschool. A plan needed to be formed. We had to shoot down a few preliminary plans (chicago, disneyworld . . .) before he hit on Memphis. Before I even had a chance to call our family there he was telling friends that "in a few weeks I have a big summer vacation. If you try to call and I'm not home, I'm probably in Memphis. My aunt lives there and she has a pool." Fortunately, our Memphis relatives could squeeze us into their schedule! We spent time at the zoo, the children's museum, the botanic gardens, and playing with our baby twin cousins. And, of course, swimming! We had a great time and made some very fun memories for the summer.

I highly recommend the botanic gardens if you are in the Memphis area and need a kid activity. We were there for several hours and could have stayed longer if I'd brought lunch!
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Summer in a (very small) Nutshell . . .

Mom had a Birthday!
Jack got a new bed
We played in water whenever we could find some
We started renovations in our kitchen

Played a little baseball
Played with water while watching baseball!
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Cousin Time!!

We had a great time playing with all of our cousins over the summer.  And we found out that we're going to have a new baby girl cousin in January- congrats Aunt Amy, Uncle Brad, & Matthew!
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End of the Year

Wilson had a wonderful last year of Preschool- he will definitely miss his old school. Mama is relieved that little sister is just in time to take his place so I don't have to say goodbye to it yet! We had a fun end of the year party with all the 4yr classes. It was a great opportunity for them to see each other before going their separate ways for Kindergarten this fall.
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