Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gotcha Day- Year 1

A year ago today, this was our first photo of a beautiful but scared little girl. Amid the mass of paperwork and the translation, we were trying to take baby steps towards comforting her. She was sooo brave and from the very first minute we saw her we were awed by her!

By day two- we had a GENUINE smile! It was beautiful! It was really at that point that things relaxed and we began to get to know each other. I still wonder what she must have thought!

So, today after a year of small trials and many joys, we celebrate with what else- A CHOCOLATE CAKE! This little girl who came to us not sure about dessert has developed quite the fondness for sweets.

Lilly has also learned about God over the last year and has been very persistent in asking for her very own Bible (she was not content with her Bible storybook). So, inside of the fuzzy Bob the Tomato bible case is her very own Bible. One thing that has not changed since we brought her home is her fondness for red. Thanks to Veggie Tales we found a red bible cover that she calls Bob! She was EXCITED!

I asked the girls tonight if they remember what is was like before Lilly. None of us could remember- well, Emily did say that she remembered not having to share a room!

Miss Lilly,
You have made us so proud! We thank God everyday for you and your sisters and are so blessed! I know that there are great things in your future!
Lots of Love,
Mom and Daddy

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's A Boy!

Those are 3 words we have never said before. It was fun to say but now let me explain...
I recently went to a Natalie Grant/Jeremy Camp concert and it was GREAT! I love their music. During intermission Bebo Norman (we missed him) came onstage to discuss Compassion International. I had briefly heard of it before, but the timing of this was perfect as Jay and I have realized that we have not been serving even close to what we are able to do.
From what I understand, Compassion International works with many third world or undeveloped countries to provide aid to children around the world. In the foyer were MANY pictures of children that needed a sponsor. There is a lot more to it than that, but I haven't researched it yet. I just needed to choose a child's packet. My choice was easy, I wanted a boy and I found one with Jay's birthdate.
So, I brought home the packet and showed Jay. I then showed the girls. Their first question was, "Oh are we going to adopt him?" I wish I could say that we are, but NO! (He does have a family too)I just can't physically get it together right now to add to our family right now. I have to figure out how to be in multiple places at one time first! But, the coolest part of sponsoring a child is that we get a picture, AND we can send letters and photos of us to him. The girls can be an active part of the process.
BTW- This post is not at all about "tooting my own horn"! It is to try and bring awareness to others about organizations such as Compassion International. We are so blessed, but I often feel that we don't DO enough for others, especially the ones Jesus calls "the least of these." Our decision to sponsor a child is ONLY a VERY SMALL step to be more of a servant. We can do so much more! But just imagine of all Christians took a small step towards doing more???
Bebo said something that really stung, especially at a time that I get soooo frustrated with our government. He was talking about how he gets angry with other governments as well, but then he has realized something. "It is not the governments calling to do something, to help the poor, to take care of the widows and orphans. It is OUR (God's people)calling. It is US that should answer the call."

One other thing- someone at the concert mentioned IJM (?), an organization that helps stop the buying and selling of young children. Is anyone out there familiar with this or a similar organization?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

So much to be thankful for today...

For those that haven't heard by now, there was a gasline explosion last night less than a mile from our home. Something like that REALLY gets you thinking! So I thought a list would be very fitting for what I am most thankful for today.

1. Above all else I am thankful for a God that gives us peace during times of trial. I can not imagine how someone goes through daily life, much less a traumatic experience without faith in our one true God.

2. I am VERY VERY thankful for my daughters! They were quite the little troopers last night. They immediately obeyed without question when asked to load up and leave at 1:15 am in the night. My oldest was a rock, she had her sisters up and jackets on while I (frantically) discussed with our neighbors what we should do.

3. My husband is the BEST! He was 2 states away but as always, he was calm, reassuring, and supportive each time I called with an update. Then, he decided to leave at 2:30 am to leave and head home. What a sight for the girls to wake up in a friend's house and have Dad there with do-nuts.

4. Our friends are AWESOME! While discussing what to do with our neighbors, one of our best friends drives up and tells the girls and I to load up. We of course listen thinking we will go straight to his parent's house in the next town. Nope! Instead, as we work our way through the neighborhood, we stop at all of the houses to make sure people are awake and ready to leave. That's just the kind of guy he is! Then there are the friends that let us crash at 3:00 am at their place. There were 10 kids and 4 adults and it ended up being like a slumber party for the girls!

5. My community came together! I have wondered lately about our need for "roots" since we don't really live close to family. Well, we realized just how rooted in the community we really are. By 9:00 this morning we had at least 10 phone calls other than family and a ton of emails, asking how we were and if there was anything we needed. We had no damage to the house, so there was no need for physical assistance. That did not stop anyone! The next question was what could they do for the ones that did have damage to their home!

I wish it did not take things like this to bring me closer to God, but it did. I realized that my "stuff" is just stuff...people matter! With that said, please keep the 1 family that amazingly escaped the explosion. The mom and 1 daughter are still in the hospital with burns, but both are stable. Seeing their house completely gone, seeing and hearing the explosion, seeing the proximity their house and a couple of others...There is NO DOUBT that God's hand was with them and our neighborhood as a whole!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Last of the Firsts

This was Lilly's First Halloween...but it is also one of the last "Firsts" that we get to experience. It is hard to believe that she has been with us only a year, but November 10th marks one year from Gotcha Day.
It is so fun to watch her grow and experience things. Here is just a peek at some of the activities she experienced on Halloween...

She was a beautiful Snow White Princess!!!

Here Lilly is with a couple of her "best" princess friends. I loved the Belle wig because that little girl has very blonde hair!

She really liked the concept of Trick or Treating! The girl LOVES candy...just like her momma!

This is her bobbing for gummy worms in whipped cream at a friends birthday party. She did it like a pro and even I cringed at the amount of sugar she consumed!