Friday, February 27, 2009

Show & Tell

For Show & Tell today, Ella Grace was supposed to bring something that makes her happy.

"Mom, can I bring my Nana?!!?"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Date Night

Sometimes when Mary Beth goes out with the girls I like to call up a few of the younger ladies in my life for a date night. It's good to know that the ol flowers, candy, and a chick flick will still get a guy lots of love and kisses!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Accomplishing the Impossible

Our paperwork is set to be mailed in this week! The state then has thirty (working) days to issue our license!! The end of this leg of our journey is near!

Someone asked me the other day how I "was going to handle another one?" Though it caught me off guard, it was a timely question; just a few days before I'd asked myself that same question:

We'd had a late afternoon visit to the doctor--Katie's ear tubes were draining and she was running a fever. A little background--in the first year of her life, Katie has been to the pediatrician's office 21 times! Nothing major is wrong with her, mostly ear infections, thus the tubes--which were put in December 29th. Mid-January she was diagnosed with a sinus infection. We were back at the doctor on this particular Wednesday (note here, Eric has class on Wednesday nights, so I was alone with our girls) because the antibiotic she'd been put on wasn't working. I was understandably frustrated when the doctor agreed and put her on different round of antibiotics.

Off the four of us went to the pharmacy...well, four pharmacies to be exact. It took that many before we found one that had the medicine she needed! By the time we got finished it was late, we were hungry, and this momma wasn't about to cook! We stopped by Firehouse Subs (again, it was Wednesday; kids eat free!) filled our bellies and headed home for bed. My thoughts were dominated, after this not-so-out-of-the-ordinary afternoon, with, "How in the world would this have looked with another kid in tow?"

Looking back, the reality is that it probably wouldn't have looked that different than it was. However, I begged my dearest friends to, "tell me I could handle it!?" Bless them; they did.

As I've thought more about it, though, I'm not sure that's where the Holy Spirit wants me...knowing "I can do it." I think the reality of the situation is that it seems un-do-able. It is un-do-able apart from dependence on Him. That sounds trite; not what I'm aiming for at all. The reality of the situation is that, as Eric and I have talked about it, we can't look back on anything in our lives able to say, "We did that completely dependent on God." That's a humbling thing to admit--we were both raised in Christian homes by Dads and Moms who loved us. Yet, we can't think of a time when we let ourselves depend wholly on our Heavenly Father? Unbelievable!

I'm reminded of the sermon we heard about the man with the withered hand. Jesus asked him to stretch forth his hand. Impossible. The language in Mark is that, as he stretched out his hand (obeyed), it was healed (he was able to do the impossible). We're trusting that as we obey, God will enable the impossible to be done once again.

So, "How am I going to handle another one?" I guess the answer is, I'm not. I'm trusting, for the first time in my life, my Daddy to give me grace to deal with each child He's gifted me with each day He gifts me with them--including the three I'm dealing with on this day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Our Sacred History

For the past several months, our Community Group has been going through the book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. It's a great read whether you're newly married or seasoned veterans! Eric and I have learned much from the book and from being able to read it with some of our closest friends!

In chapter seven of the book, Thomas encourages couples to spend some time talking with each other about which stories should go into their "sacred history" to one day be told to children, family, and friends. Our group took some time to do this last night and pictorially represent some of the events that have shaped who we are as couples. Eric and I enjoyed looking back on (almost) 10 years of marriage and seeing our story in the midst of what God is doing in His! Because this blog is primarily for my girls, I thought it appropriate to explain to them some of what has happened in the past 10 years of our lives together!

1. When we met, we were at different colleges. Our "initial meeting" was through an e-mail (Daddy went to high school with one of my good friends, "Ms. Rachel," from college). So, our first picture is of our Alma Maters' flag (Cedarville University and Grand Valley State University) with a computer between the two. The computer was one way that we stayed in touch during our long distance relationship. On a side note, we never lived in the same state until after we got married!

2. On July 24, 1999, we were married!!

3. After our honeymoon, we moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where we lived for the first two years of our marriage. We found a great church--Chapel Pointe, where we made many great friends! We also look back at our first tax return and see that our income totalled $12K! God provided for us in amazing ways during that first year (for example, we never turned on the heat in our apartment--we lived in Michigan!! And, no, we were never cold!)

4. During the third year of our marriage, Daddy took a position at Furman University, so we moved back to South Carolina, home for Mom! We visited several churches and ended up back at Southside--the church where Papa and Nana met and married and where Momma grew up! We started our small group--not so small these days!! And, we got bedbugs from the downstairs neighbors in our apartment building...oh, what a nightmare...that's why we don't say, "Good night, don't let the bedbugs bite" at our house! Daddy and I know what it's like when they do bite and it's not fun!

5. We bought our first home which we loved! We have so many memories of that house!

6. Our favorite memories from that house are bringing home our three baby girls! Ella Grace, Annabelle, and Katie--you are the best parts of our history together!

7. After Katie was born, we bought the house we live in now! It has a lot more room--I think you guys really like it here!

8. Our last picture is full of question marks! We know that bringing foster children into our homes will add to our history, but we don't know exactly how!

Loving each other is one of the best ways we can love you girls--and love you we do!!!

Mom & Dad

Friday, February 6, 2009

Waitin' & Wonderin'

We've had (and passed) several home inspections this week! We now begin the waiting game...we've filled out countless forms, answered the most personal of questions, invited the government in our business, gone through physicals and TB tests, and now we wait...and wonder!

All of our paperwork should be sent away next week!

Then we'll wait for our license to arrive!

Then we'll wait for the phone call asking us to take a foster child!

In the meantime we'll wonder! What will she be like? How old will she be? How will she fit into our life? How will our girls react to someone new living in our house, eating our food, and taking up our time?

We'll wonder, no matter her age, what she's gone through in her short life. We played the "what if game" last night, asking the question: What if we get a child that's Annabelle's age? She's two-and-a-half. Annabelle has so much personality. We know what will set her off; we know what will make her laugh; we know when she needs tough love; we know when she needs to be tenderly held; we know what she likes to eat and drink; we know the look she gets when she really has to "go!"; we know not to leave her in a room alone with Katie and that she's fine for hours in a room with Ella Grace; we know what toys she'll play with for 5 minutes and what toys she'll play with for hours. It's uncanny to think that we won't know these things about a child living under our roof, but that is the reality.

The truth of the matter is this (and, trust me, we're holding on with every ounce of who we are to what we know to be true right now): God will place each child in our home that needs to be here for the exact amount of time that He wants them to be here--for our good (and their good, and the good of our own children) and ultimately for His glory.

In spite of that truth, we of course, can't help but wonder what our family portrait will look like in the future??