Tuesday, July 28, 2009

adventures in vacation part 2.

we spent monday of our vacation week at lake hartwell which runs in both georgia & south carolina. we all had fun but the boys had the most fun of all! here's an idea of what grown men will do when suffering from heat exhaustion:

they thought it would be clever to swim to shore and make a raft for 5 people out of a large piece of styrofoam they found

they paddled with their feet and all the extra life jackets

then, in true "survivor" fashion, they one by one started selecting people to kick off the island - uncle matthew was first, and ryan was nearly second but managed to hang on at the last minute while my cousin josh fell in

there were now only 3 left - ryan, my brother, stuart, and my brother-in-law, jason (the one with the crazy, i will push you in, face going on)

yep, you guessed it- ryan was finally thrown in leaving only stuart and jason. i bet you have an idea of where this is going next...

this makes me smile, especially considering that little stu tried to annoy me during the whole previous day of traveling. what goes around, comes around little brother :)

the remaining champion and his many life jackets!!

while not the winner of the bizarre, man/floating piece of styrofoam competition, my sweet husband remained unscathed. he was still pleased with his performance and gave a big smile to the onlookers :)

adventures in vacation part 1.

two saturdays ago, ryan and i left the nest and traveled with our family to georgia for a few days. we had a great time BUT, in our family's typical fashion, a slow start to say the least!  we planned to pull out of town about 7:00 a.m. but had a few detours first. 

our first major frustration delay was the time consuming puzzle of packing 2 SUVs, 9 people, 2 puppies, 1 trailer, 2 kayaks, 2 kids' bikes, luggage, luggage and more luggage, tubs of food, laundry supplies and bedding, toys, books, movies, fishing gear, tons of soda and bottled water, etc.  ryan and i woke up bright and early and were waiting and waiting for the ridiculous family caravan to arrive.  **see below for said ridiculous family caravan (oh, and yes, i did blur out our house in the background for fear of a creepy stalker finding out where we live. and no, i do not drive one of those monstrous vehicles):

unfortunately, the caravan did not arrive on schedule. ahem, it actually did not arrive until 9:15! poor ryan had to sit through an entire episode of "so you think you can d@nce" that morning while waiting. when everyone did arrive, we did some quick rearranging and were off.  well not quite...

we thought we'd swing through mickey d's for a quick breakfast before hitting the road, but we must have hit at their fast food rush hour because we were there for an HOUR. we had to wait on our food and then send back everything that was wrong, only to wait some more. at 10:15, we went to fill up the cars and thought we'd finally get on the road.  wrong again!

at the gas station, my brother in law noticed that the tires on the trailer were not looking so hot. they both had a pretty bad case of dry rot so we needed to stop and get new ones. 3 1/2 hours after we were supposed to be leaving, we found ourselves parked at wa1-mart waiting to get new tires put on the trailer. we browsed the store, watched youtube videos on my dad's phone and waited.  finally at 11:30, all the tires were replaced and the rubber could finally hit the road.

after such a crazy start to the day, we would have expected nothing less than a long drive down, which is exactly what we got. there was a ton of traffic due to accidents and construction so we managed to turn our 8 hour trip into an all day affair. however, even though it was a nutso day, i would have rather spent it with my family than any one else!!

we're home

yep, we're back! and i'm happy and sad at the same time. i've got quite a busy week going here so it seems like the break is definitely over. i can't wait to update you all on all the fun stuff we did on vacation and some of the hilarious stories but those will have to wait for now. i'm going to be attending a great conference this week about afghanistan and am really excited! i went last year for the first time and God taught me soooo much about the wonderful afghan people, their resiliency and the work He is doing in their land. can't wait to see what's in store this year and to be encouraged. God is so much bigger than i make Him so a reality check is nice once in awhile. anyways, i really had my heart set on going back to a-stan in october with a short-term team but doesn't look like that will probably happen. i kinda forgot that we are in the process of this foster-to-adopt stuff so that doesn't really make going abroad for 2 weeks very conducive.

so, until later... have a GREAT day :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

out of range

we are off! this morning we're beginning our annual tour of the south...aka - camp meeting in northeastern georgia and then on to florida. unfortunately, since ryan is just starting his new job, we only have 1 week for vacation this year so instead of staying in georgia for a whole week and then taking a separate vacation to the beach, we're packing it all in 8 days! 

we'll head to georgia today to catch up with long lost relatives on my mom's side. while in georgia we'll hit up the outlets in commerce, georgia, spend a day on lake hartwell, hang out a lot on the porch swing, and enjoy having no cell service or internet access. it may not sound fun to some, but it has been the highlight of my summer for as long as i can remember! then, on tuesday morning, ryan and i will rent a car and drive to the sandestin golf & beach resort in destin, florida! we're meeting up with our friends josh & cheryl from church in sandestin and are gonna have a great time. they are hilarious so i'm hoping to burn some of the calories we'll consume in georgia and florida just laughing and having a good time with them.  

not sure when i'll have service to update so i'll leave you with some pics of our favorite vacations of the past and you can use your imagination!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

which way from here?

these days i'm wondering a lot about which way to go from here. i'm wondering if we are supposed to be straight up adopting a child from the foster care system or actually jumping fully into fostering and adopting if our foster child/children become available...

it seems like going into this i thought it would be much easier just to foster a child/children until they were available and then adopt. BUT, since we know that doesn't always happen, we're now not sure what to do. also, we recently heard through some friends who are also trying to foster-to-adopt in our county that their worker has told them there is absolutely no way they will be able to foster-to-adopt transracially. apparently, there are enough minority parents in the system now that they say our county's social workers will never assign a child of another race to our family (EVEN IF WE'RE A BETTER FIT!). for some people that may not matter, but it does to us. part of our motivation for wanting to become foster/adoptive parents was to eventually adopt transracially. while we know God is bigger than all of this and is ultimately the One appointing the right child to our family, this is another confusing blow.
there are so many children already available for adoption (including children of other races) that are pulling at our heart strings but we're not sure what God plans for us. it takes awhile to find a child, apply to adopt them, and wait to see if you're matched with them or not, so that path's not exactly a gravy train either. we've called on about 6 kiddos/sets of siblings and so far have only heard back from 3 of them, and they are all no longer available.
will you pray with us that God would make it clear which path He wants us to take? thanks!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

dogs or kids?

dear fenway and yawkey,

just because your father's away, does not mean you can do whatever you want and think you are going to get away with it. in case you forgot, it is a privilege to sleep on the floor in our room at night, not something we OWE you. with that said, it is NOT OK to wake up every hour on the hour to sniff each other, bark at imaginary things, and whine to get in bed with me. it is DEFINITELY NOT OK to slyly rip open the old comfort i've put on the floor for you to lay on and to proceed to choke on the stuffing just to get my attention. at 4:30 a.m. this is not cute, no matter how much white fluff is all over you. your father will be returning tonight, and there will be consequences.

with love,


Monday, July 13, 2009

stamp of approval.

i think i have started at least 4 posts over the past week and a half but have yet to be able to finish one. i have had a major case of the blues/writer's block/grumpiness/etc., all of which are not super conducive to blogging. anyways, i'll try to spare you all the glum details of the last few weeks, but lets just say, they have not been easy ones. my mom had to put our beloved family dog of 17 years, sidney, to sleep last tuesday. also, my mother-in-law had a series of biopsies done to determine if she had breast cancer (thankful, she does not!!!). finally, things have just not been the same without sam. it's hard to be together as a family and not realize that he's missing. the 4th was particularly hard. we shot fireworks at my sister's house, and on several occasions i thought about whether or not the fireworks would wake him up, only to remember that he wasn't there anymore. if you think of it, please continue to pray for my sister and her family, and also sweet baby sam. we're going on a week and a half without him and things still feel very empty.

i know i've shared about this before but in light of sam's return to his bio-mom, the reality of loving and losing a child has really hit ryan and i very hard. i think it's safe to say that last week i was actually questioning if i still wanted to foster-to-adopt or not. while we have been told all through this process that the main goal is for the kiddos placed in our home to be reunited with their birth family, hearing it at this point feels very different. we have tried to weigh our options carefully, and even began looking into adopting a little bit older children who are already free and clear for adoption. i think it's safe to say that we still aren't sure what the future holds for us. however, we do still feel very called to the children of the foster care system, but we're just not 100% in what capacity.

last week i was really struggling about our next step and God really has been speaking to me through these verses from Psalm 10: 17-18:

"O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror."
God has not forgotten the orphans and the fatherless, and i take great comfort in that. i also take comfort in knowing that His plans will prevail, not mine!!! we are just waiting for His guidance and direction, even in the small stuff...
so, on that note, today we got a call from our SW and WE ARE APPROVED!!!!!!!

yep, it's finally official :) although, ryan is currently in las vegas for work so we can't sign our contract with the state which allows us to begin taking placements until he gets back. we are planning to meet up with our SW thursday night to sign and hopefully get a few more details from her, as well as get some advice. we're leaving for vacation on saturday so we are really not in a position to accept any placements until after we return anyways. plus, we're really hoping that we can use our vacation as a good time to pray and meditate on what it is that God has in store for us. we just want to make sure that we are listening to Him, and not trying to convince ourselves that our plans are actually His.

anyways, that pretty much catches you up on where we are in this. sorry for the blogging silence, but believe me, you didn't miss much...just a bunch of sad ramblings :)

Friday, July 3, 2009


*sorry for the recent lull in posts. i have been working hard all week exhibiting at the north american christian convention, so have been getting home late at night and just haven't had the energy to write anything...

however, today i was off work to observe the 4th, and for that, i am soooo thankful because it was an exceedingly hard day and i'm glad i didn't spend it in the office. we had to turn baby sam over to his bio-mom this afternoon, so i was glad i could be at my sister's house with family. it was more sad than i imagined and we are all heart broken. my hope and prayer is that God will continue to guide and protect sam's life, no matter who is taking care of him. he's such a sweet baby and we got to spend a lot of time playing and cuddling before he left. when his bio-mom got there to take him, we all got to kiss and love on him one more time before she put him in his seat to leave. i couldn't handle seeing her drive away with him, so i went back inside but my sister said that he cried when his bio-mom put him in his car seat.

all i can think about tonight is that i hope he's happy and comfortable. over the last few weeks (since he started the weekend visits with his bio-mom), he's started waking up in the middle of the night multiple times, crying and wanting to be held. i'm sure he's confused considering he's never spent the night any where else besides my sister's and my mom and dad's house. i also hope that his bio-mom is committed to changing her life for good. i hope she realizes the type of support system she's taken these boys from and it will make her step up to the plate.

well, that's all i got for now. please pray for my family tonight as our lives all feel emptier. please pray for sam tonight to adjust quickly to his new surroundings. thanks for your prayers.