November 21, 2012

The Last Few Days Before...

...Family starts to arrive!!!
Update: I wrote this post BEFORE my family arrived, but never uploaded pictures...therefor, it never got published.  More updates will be coming...soon.
This is pretty much my countdown.

November 18, We Are Thankful For:
Ryan:  Monster Trucks.  Apparently, he has found something new on which to fixate.  This morning (Sunday, for the record), he was desperate to wear his monster truck shirt (or fire truck...either would do).  We have 1 rule about getting dressed - they are allowed to pick their clothing (within reason i.e. weather) every day BUT Sunday.  Because on Sunday I like for them to look nice.  And I'm willing to negotiate on Sundays BUT we don't wear shirts with pictures to church.  Almost anything else is game.  But no monster trucks.  Plus, this Sunday I had a whole new wardrobe of adorable shirts and ties that I had picked up at a garage sale and I couldn't wait to dress him up.  But he threw a fit.  The only way I convinced him to wear what I picked?  I promised daddy would wear the exact same thing.
Seriously.  How many years do we have when wearing the same thing as daddy is cool?  Gotta take advantage of it while it works!
Allie: My Baby Bumble.  She has taken up Ryan's torch and is running it.  I'm seriously starting to wonder if my kids had a talk and decided that they would make sure a/the Bumble/caterpillar made it onto the thankful tree each day...
Me:  Children's Church.  This year, since the twins were of that age (as well as a host of other children who had grown up/started attending since we have come), I pitched in at church to teach the preschool Sunday School class as well as Children's Church during the service (every other Sunday so that I don't miss EVERY service).  While I felt it was a real need, and I truly felt God calling me to these ministries, I will confess that there have already been times when I have felt burnt out.  These Sundays have felt, especially this week, a little more like a drudgery or chore than something I was looking forward to.  Sunday School I have down to a science thanks to a slight tweaking of a kids Bible Study sent to me by cousin Lauren.  But Children's Church involves a wider age range of kids...which is difficult when that range is found in a smaller number.  There is one boy especially who I desire to reach, but who comes with a set of challenges.  Some Sundays I just needed enough helpers to keep him contained in the space.  I have been really paying attention to what really captures his attention and trying to always lean my lesson more toward his needs, and to give him a little extra of my time and attention.  This Sunday may have been a lucky coincidence, but it was the blessing and encouragement I needed.  He joined in the songs.  He listened to the story.  He not only participated in the craft (something I now ALWAYS do because he loves crafts), but he helped Allie and made an extra one for me.  He even played the game at the end (which made me nervous because last time he ended up getting upset and refusing to play anymore, but this time I tweaked the way we did his turn and he loved it so much he took 3 turns!!!).  Biggest breakthrough of all - he didn't try to run away once.  Sometimes all you need is to know you are reaching just one kid to make it all worthwhile...
A day of fun and rest.  Honestly, this past week I have really been trying to get my house in order.  For once I want to feel like I'm not putting up the Christmas decorations (which I LOVE) over clutter.  But I took the day off to relax (another nap!), enjoy friends (we went to a 40th anniversary party!), and just enjoy my family.
The twins helping me put together some of the food ahead of time to make Thanksgiving less busy.
Juicing oranges for cranberry sauce.
 Putting the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes...or eating them...they ate more than they actually put on...
November 19, We Are Thankful For:
Ryan: Tuck.  The turtle from Wonder Pets.  In all honesty, I'm not sure if this is actually what he was thankful for.  He was playing in his room and didn't want to come out.  Allie said she would take care of it and went running to their room yelling, "Ryan!  What are you thankful for?!"  She came back and said, "He is thankful for Tuck."  But that might have just been what she substituted for his lack of answer...
Allie: Baby Siddeley.  Working her way through her babies.
Me: Preschool time.  The month of October was somehow more busy than September and really threw us off our preschool routine.  At first, it was no big deal, but then the lack of structure started to show in the twins...and then in me.  I didn't like how our days were looking, and resolved to do a Thanksgiving theme this week.  A little less intense (we are getting ready to host the Thanksgiving meal at our place), but providing the few hours of structure that seem to make all the difference.
A wonderful conversation with our adoption agency.  If you ask (even if you don't), I will tell you that I LOVE our adoption agency.  Not only are they organized and informative and very kind, but they pray for us, for all their families, daily.  That means so much.  They have been doing a great job of communicating with all of their families - especially those on the waiting list...because waiting is hard but information (usually) helps, and because Uganda is an ever-changing program.  The last e-mail was...disappointing.  We didn't move up on the list, and the tone seemed to imply that things would get slower before they moved faster.  Disappointing doesn't even begin to describe the range of emotions. The whole process is a bit like finding out you're pregnant - but not knowing when the baby will be born.  It could be 9 months, it could be a year, it could be two...but "Congratulations!" now enjoy the just gets hard sometimes.  Our social worker always follows up with a call...that I usually miss because I can't find my phone.  She has apparently realized that Lucas is more reliable and called him first, and then me at home.  We talked about how it is going slow, and how that is hard.  Apparently, Lucas (wanting to know the options), had asked about switching to other countries, etc.  She wanted to encourage me in whatever we felt was God's will for our family.  In all honesty, I truly still feel that God's will is for us to adopt from Uganda.  I don't want to wait.  I don't want the wait to get longer.  I don't want to hear the twins talk about how they will have a new brother or sister for their birthday, and hurt because I know they won't and I don't want their enthusiasm to be clouded with disappointment...or mine.  I don't want to wonder or worry about my other children half a world away, completely outside my care while we are here, being a family, in a warm house with plenty of food and lots of love - especially when I know its possible that they have none of those things.  I don't want the process, the waiting, to be difficult or hard because difficult and hard things - while often good - are not fun.  But I have had Uganda children in my heart since I went there almost 10 years ago.  I took care of those babies and toddlers and held them and fed them and played with them and loved them and said, "Someday.  Someday I will come back and take some of you home."  And that someday is now a reality.  I've waited this long.  I can wait longer.  Especially when I know that the timing is in the control of the one who Holds us all in His hands.  God may change the plan - He often does - and call us to adopt someone else somewhere else.  We are open to the possibility.  But until He does, I will wait - even though I don't want to.  It was such a comfort and a relief to have someone say, "I know it's hard.  We are praying for you.  We are working for you.  I will support you however you need.  I'm in this with you and we will do this together."   Seriously, I'm thankful for and I honestly love Lifeline!
A relatively easy bedtime.  They were super tired.  They aren't feeling 100%.  And they want to be really good because Papa is bringing their new beds.  So it wasn't a surprise that bedtime was pretty easy.  Just a nice respite.
They found a ball of's worse than having a cat!
November 20, We Are Thankful For:
Ryan:  Monster Trucks and Trains.  See...part of the reason that I think Tuck was Allie's answer is because he holds true to a theme...
Allie: My Seahorse.  That she sleeps with.  She loves her seahorse.  She doesn't play with dolls very often, but her seahorse is her baby.
Me: Lots of cleaning.  I know I've been doing a lot of cleaning lately.  You probably think it is for Thanksgiving.  It isn't.  I mean, I like to have the house clean before people come, but everyone coming is close family and has seen my house worse.  Really, I'm trying to get everything cleaned (and organize, and deep cleaned) so I can put up Christmas decorations.  Before kids, I deep cleaned everything before putting up Christmas decorations.  I loved having my house super clean and beautifully decorated.  Since kids, I have sort of stumbled from fall through the holidays, "Wait, it's Halloween?  Wait, it's Thanksgiving?!  WAIT, It's CHRISTMAS??!!"  Suddenly, it would be time to put up decorations, and I wouldn't have the house anywhere near as clean as I wanted, and I wouldn't have the time to get it there.  I would go into the already busy Christmas season feeling cluttered and behind.  This year, I have been planning since September - determined to ENJOY the Christmas season by planning ahead and being prepared.  Starting with cleaning and organizing like crazy.  It still isn't where I would like it (and I like to start putting up decorations Thanksgiving night...), but it is SO much better than past years.  So after almost a full day of cleaning and scrubbing and organizing, I'm calling it good and moving on!
My parents are coming!  They are on the road!  They will be here tomorrow!  I can't wait!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a fun Thanksgiving and a wonderful dinner. It is always a blessing to spend it with the Ryans. We prayed for your adoption progress at church today. :) It will happen in God's time. Patience is hard for everyone. I'm having to have patience waiting for Poppy to get home. It drags at the end. Time always goes by faster if I have to work. Work has been slow and so is the time when Poppy will be home. Hugs to all, Nana