Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Love love love having a 1st grader. I love how they write. And Cannon's drawings have become so much more detailed.
This weekend, this happened in our front yard. Ryan came in and got us to witness "my kide wos yalen at the skrl." Translation: My kitty was yelling at the squirrel.
Indeed, the cat was on the driveway and a squirrel was in the tree. The squirrel was saying "tik tik" and the cat was meowing up at the squirrel. Then Cannon says "I am in my boots." He was in fact in socks.
I love that he remember this fun unexpected part of our Sunday!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Well, the news has spread like wild fire thanks to the internet, bloggy friends and facebook.
This is the scoop:
Rwanda is currently suspending adoptions. The country has decided to become a part of The Hague Convention. The Hague Convention helps protect adopted children from any kind of trafficking as well as other things. This is ultimately a wonderful thing for Rwanda and the children that will be adopted. The timing just isn't so great for some of us. So this means, if you don't have a dossier in country by August 31 then you won't be able to adopt any time soon. Read more here...
The thing about this is, is that there is no way to know how long this may take. It may be a year, it may be several years, it may just be months. I was told that it took the United States 7 years to become a Hague Convention signatory. I have googled this stuff and really found no answers on how long it has taken other countries.
So what does this mean for the Smith family? We were planning on starting adoption #2 late this fall (from Rwanda). After being inside those turquoise gates and seeing the things that we saw, Ryan and I both knew that we would be back.
Right now it seems that God has other plans. I was a little upset with Him yesterday. We had our plan, I had a timeline. I knew what was going to happen and when. Then just like that, *poof*, all of it was gone. No plan, no timelines, nothing. If you know me, you know that I don't do well with the unknown. I do well with plans, guides, instructions, checklists. These things make me happy.
So now, Ryan and I are praying about and discussing what will be our next step. We both agree that there will be a second adoption. We both agree that a Cannon needs a little brother. I have been doing research on domestic adoptions. Did you know that African American boys are the least likely to be adopted. So maybe this is His plan after all. Maybe we are to experience an international as well as a domestic adoption. There are hundreds of thousands of children in foster care that may never be adopted or have a family.
So I ask that you pray for us during these next few months as we see where God leads us. We ultimately want for His will to be done, regardless of what we think is our plan. This will of course test my patience as well as my emotions but it will NOT test my faith. He is and always will be in control. He has the answers and will reveal them to me in His own way on His own time.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
When I read blogs like Katie's , a sense of worthlessness washes over me. I read what this young twenty something is doing in Africa and I feel that I am not doing enough. I see how she feeds and ministers to hundreds of people every week, and the most people I encounter is at the carpool lane or Walmart.
A good friend asked me what I do with all of the emotions that come with witnessing the orphanages in Rwanda and Mexico and then seeing the shrunken bodies of the sick and the hungry. It is a hard reality to swallow, every. day. As I sit in my comfortable life, these memories and images shock me back to their reality. Then to my reality that I am not doing enough. To my reality of what should I be doing.
I know that God has me here for a reason. He chose this place to be my home (for now) and He wants to use me. Some ways have been evident to me (our sweet little ornery Grace) and some ways I am still trying to figure out (daily life). I pray a lot as I see faces on the computer screen and as dreams take me back to the turquoise blue gates. There are days were I feel confident in my faith and in my actions, that I am doing what He wants me to do. Then there are days when I feel broken and useless.
I have a saying above our living room entry way. It is a reminder to me whenever I read it that He is in control and that He has a plan. I just have to let Him use me and be open to whatever it is He wants me to do, whether it be here or across the ocean.
Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see.
I really believe that God will take Ryan and I to the mission fields permanently at some point in our lives. I don't think it will be soon but when our children are grown. I do feel a calling to that life which is a very strange place for me to be. My pew sitter upbringing doesn't understand that "GO" mentality. Thank goodness He has changed me so in the last several years. I do feel blessed to have had my eyes opened to this life.
Until then though, I continue to pray daily of how God can use me. How I can be a tool for Him today. How I can be His hands and feet today. It is a struggle but I feel blessed to wrestle with it every day.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
hear it? The sweet hum of the pencil sharpener. The teeth zipping up the side of the backpack. The gentle rush of children running out to recess. School starts for us in just 12 days. 12 days until we get our routine back.
Me and my sweet little children were made for routine. We don't enjoy spur of the moment or a day full of nothing. We thrive on checklists and to do lists. We are planners and live for structure. These apples did not fall far from the mama tree.
Fall brings us (me) my sanity back.
This fall will be like no other. This fall will be busy and crazy and fun. This fall will push me to my limits. God has a plan for this fall. Can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Ryan and Kaylee are headed down to Mexico for a few days. Part of our heart is in Piedra Angular, a Christian community, that is down just over the border from Eagle Pass, TX. Crossroads Missions helped establish this community almost 10 years ago. Ryan has visited probably 9 times in the last 3 years. He is also on the board of directors for Crossroads. There are many people that we love in Mexico and they have Coca Light (which is my favorite thing in the whole food world, well besides ice cream and cookies and brownies and...)! The whole fam would be going except our little Rwanda darling can't travel outside of the US just yet.
Crossroads Missions works in Piedras as well as New Orleans and Kentucky. This is a wonderful organization that helps regular folks both be missionaries and to be loved on. You get a group of people to the mission location then they have a mission trip planned for you. For Mexico in particular, each person will spend time doing construction, loving on orphans, feeding the poor at a railroad track community, and providing meals for families at a hospital. No experience is necessary AND any age can go. The experience is amazing and it changes almost everyone that crosses past their gate. You get a different perspective on life and what God wants you to do. You serve the poorest of the poor and you get to love on them. They teach you about humility and faith. The teach you about family and about God.
If you are interested in a mission trip, please visit their site. It is very affordable and the amount of work you get done is unbelievable. God is ever present and you feel him with every breath. It is an amazing place.
Friday, August 6, 2010
G in her sister's old recital costume.
Grace has a pair of sandals that I got for her in March. When I bought the shoes, they were really too big. I thought, well, she will grow into them this summer. As of August 6, these sandals are almost too small. Her toes reach the edge as her heal is on the end. Not believing this, I measured, and her foot has grown almost an inch in 5 months. Wow!
The first few months we had Grace home she didn't grow very much. She stayed at 31 pounds from December until June. Her belly did go down from huge to just a regular toddler tummy over this time. But how summer has caused her to sprout! She has gained several pounds, has outgrown all of her 3t clothing, and has definitely grown in height! Maybe it is all the swimming that she has been doing!