Friday, May 31, 2013

It's raining, It's pouring

Marc and I just had the longest conversation we'd had all week.  It's just been a crazy week.  We had company, sold a house, bought a house, got our adoption decree, he had his huge strategy meeting with the CEO to lay out the plan they hired him to make, he flew to San Fran and back in 24 hours, he interviewed perspective hires today...and now finally, he is on his way home.  We are both exhausted.  I laughed talking to him, he is so tired he cried and said it's the third time he's cried today.  Poor guy.  He cries over real stuff, but not usually from exhaustion...I put white wine in the fridge and we'll make sure it is a low key early bed evening and a restful weekend.

Moving, uprooting life is hard.  Living apart from your spouse, kids, dad, during the week days is hard.  Hard and yet as the storm rages, God provides.  It is a daily provision, spiritual manna.  Not too much by way of answers most days, but just enough to give us strength to get through it.

Last September when we first had inklings that our life here was being disrupted.  I felt impressed upon to really remember God's faithfulness and have continued to feel we need to focus on remembering all he's done and reminding ourselves of all he WILL do.  I have a special project brewing that I hope comes to real life fruition at some point.  For today, I just want to "remember" some of the blessings even this week of chaos brought to us.

Monday was stressful, but on our car ride to Chicago I had a really good conversation with my Mother in Law.  She was vulnerable and I love her for it.  It was a blessing, I stood in awe.  We have a history that I won't go into because it's the past, but this was clear evidence of God's work.

We didn't have lice...which based on my reaction would have been infinitely worse had there been actual existence and not just theoretical risk.

We had free hotel rooms for our Chicago craziness because Marc's temporary housing is paid for.

We had family in Chicago to watch our VERY tired kids while we looked at houses and composed an offer.

We got the house we wanted without stressing over it, held our hands open to whatever God wanted, but are so blessed that we got this one so we can just enjoy Sheboygan our last month here and not worry about further house hunting.

Today, I am SUPREMELY grateful for a messy house.  For the first time in months, I could leave dishes in the sink and toys out.  Didn't even sweep the floor.  I won't let it get disgusting, but just relaxing and not being "on" 100% of the time is SOO nice.

By far the GREATEST gifts this week have been my kids processing.  I never want to forget Ava's statement to me yesterday.  When I picked her up from school, I told her we definitely got the house and she said, "Christian is officially our brother, our house sold, AND we got the house we picked.  Isn't it amazing that God answered all our big prayers, Mom?."  She gave credit where 100% of the credit is due, I was so blessed to see her precious heart and her growing faith.

Chloe's processing is not really spiritual or nearly as profound but has made me smile.  For a while, Chloe has had a pretend world.  She lives in a pink house with her mom, Hannah (our babysitter), they have a pink dog named rosebud and a blue car and they eat candy.  Sometimes she is Chloe in this world, sometimes she is Abby, a dear friend of hers.  She loves to play this pretend and does so almost daily.  Today, however, she evidenced that she is processing the move.  She told me she is moving to a new house.  I thought she was in the "real world" so I acknowledged that yes she is.  Then she told me she is moving to a Rainbow House.  The Rainbow House doesn't have any spiders.  She is also getting a Rainbow car, but she'll keep her blue car too.

I guess imagination is her avenue of processing and it was so cute I wanted to burst.  I can't wait to hear more about this Rainbow house, for knowing her, it will continue to evolve.  No spiders sounds nice...I am hoping there are no cardinals either.  (Our little friend continues to live in our yard (15 months now) though the pecking has drastically decreased since we began madly spray for hornets)

They say when it rains it pours and this week has been all kinds of pouring rain....but soaking wet or not it's always better to dance in the rain;)

(Yes, I realize there is no cute antedote involving Phin.  He hasn't said too much about the move, but he did kindly flood my bathroom this morning by playing around with toilet paper and clogging the toilet and then continually flushing to try and fix it....all before 6am.  Try as I might, I still am having trouble being thankful for that.  Perhaps I can say,  um...I guess I am glad it wasn't overflowing with poop water just water and toilet paper?  But I am only mildly thankful...mostly still annoyed 12 hours assured he'll be plenty cute for a different day's blog post.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

He's Ours!

I don't know if I've ever been so exhausted.  I feel like I have been caught in a tornado and was just thrown back on the ground.

The past week and a half has been increasingly insane.  I hurt my back in Haiti on the crazy ride on bad roads, but it was reaggravated around Mothers day and really bad last week.  I was teary, grumpy, and miserable trying to manage my kids alone.  On Tuesday my in laws decided they were coming for the weekend. Marc's grandmother in Lebanon just passed away and his mom felt she needed to be with her kids and grandkids.  On Thursday I went to pick them up.  Marc arrived TH in the middle of the night from a business trip.  Friday, my back was so stiff I was walking like I was pregnant...but we still managed to get all three kids out of the house for a morning showing.  We came home napped and just as we were relaxing, Marc invited strangers off the street to see our house.  Saturday morning was a repeat of Friday because said strangers came back with their Realtor.  Sunday we found out we'd been exposed to bugs on our heads, praise God, but did the whole cleaning and shampoo thing anyway to be safe, because lets be honest the mere mention makes you paranoid and itchy (I know all of you are now itching your heads...imagine knowing you'd been exposed...triple, quadruple checks may be negative, but no peace of mind until heads are medicated, furniture is sprayed, linens, stuffed animals, ANYTHING washed).  We also got an offer on our house on Sunday from the couple Marc had invited off the street, but they need to close by 6/28.  Monday, we had a memorial service with my in laws for Marc's grandmother.  We took my MIL in the evening to visit her friend in from South Africa.  We stayed in Chicago as their flight departed from there early Tuesday morning.  Tuesday after Marc was done with work, we looked at four houses and then put in an offer on a house.  Wednesday morning, we found out someone else did too and we were in a bidding war.  Exhausted, tired, overwhelmed I checked my email for news from our realtor when I received an email from our adoption agency.  This is the email:

wait for it… I just got a case status update for you.  Here’s the word from Sonia:

“for Christian I just received the adoption paper and I have to legalize them and Certification of Archives Nationales.”

Congratulations, Mama, Christian Willy ANEED is legally your son!
Caught in chaos, overwhelmed by life...and then nothing else mattered.  Nothing.  Life is in an uproar but once again, all that matters comes rushing in.  Like being in the eye of the storm, except my eyes were pouring tears;)  Christian is OURS, He is our son.  What more could I possible ask for???  My heart knew LONG ago that Christian is my son, but Monday the Haitian court system legal dictated it to be.  He has our name now along with our hearts.  Praise Jesus!!!

What does this mean?  We have a wait yet to get him home.  It could be as early as 6 weeks or as long as 16.  The court document will get "legalized" in the national archive, then we will apply for his Haitian passport.  Next, we have to get his US Visa, and finally an exit letter giving us permission to take him home.  Our final trip is literally just a pick up;)  I cannot wait to hug him and kiss him every single day, to have our family complete, all under one!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

5/1/13-Today, Christian turns 2.  For the next month, we have two 2 year olds in our family.  A fact I bet will tickle Christian immensely as he and Chloe grow up.  I can just imagine that the entire month of May could very well be spent reminding his "older" sister that he is the same age as her.  Perhaps 10 years from now it will drive me insane, today I am smiling at the thought, just anxious to have our little boy, and all the antics he'll bring with him, HOME.

My emotions are everywhere today.  There is a profound ache- missing Christian and feeling broken that we can't be with him to celebrate his life today.  Birthdays are a pretty big deal around here; it's hard to celebrate without the guest of honor!  Tears have certainly been shed.  Simultaneously, I also feel grateful, I feel joyful.  Unless something crazy happens, this will be the LAST birthday Christian spends in the crèche.  He WILL be here next year on May 1, Lord willing.  That is exciting, a blessing beyond words.  I am also just feeling grateful that we got the opportunity to celebrate early with him in April and that he seemed to "get" that it was something special, though language is a barrier and our traditions may be a bit different than he is accustomed to seeing.  It was a really special time and I am thankful God provided that experience to look back upon today. 
Unfortunately we didn't video singing and opening gifts, but here is a little clip of him playing with Marc and the kids...if you listen closely you can hear his voice;)

Yes, our Christian is TWO and he is not here, but we certainly are not letting the day go by unnoticed.  Birthdays are about celebrating and praising God for life.  We will celebrate this AMAZING little kid and praise God for creating our son and little brother. 

I asked the kids how they thought we should celebrate...they, of course, wanted cake.  We went to buy a cake and they were very sure that Christian would pick Elmo.  One of Christian's favorite toys is an Elmo phone I bring each time we visit him, so I completely agreed with their decision.  We grabbed Elmo party supplies and kids meals as a special treat...I even went to Wendy's AND Arby's.  Everyone got their favorite cuz it's a special day;)

Our friend Janan popped over for a visit, just in time to join our party;)

Birthday hats or unicorn cones?  Either way, they made sure to save an Elmo hat for baby brother (we'll see if it makes it until then.  I reserve the right to rebuy identical birthday hats, FYI;)

Our cupcakes...with a blue "2" candle.  This year they had to blow our Christian's candle for him....but never again hopefully:)
We sang to him...

The kids are drawing pictures for him that we'll keep in his baby book.  They saved an Elmo ring from the cupcakes for him and Marc and I will finish writing letters to him that will also go in his book.

It is certainly a day to celebrate.  This wonderful little boy was created two years ago and we couldn't be more thankful.  He is mischievous and so stinkin' sweet.  I can't wait until he's here stuffing a cupcake in his face, getting crumbs all over my kitchen floor and has his cheeks covered in icing...I can already picture his smile spread ear to ear.  I can't wait to hold his soft little hands and kiss his squishy cheeks.  I can't wait to give him birthday hugs and feel the way he squeezes me so very tight in return.  We couldn't be more ready for him to take his seat at our table...each day is one day closer.

Happy Birthday, Buddy.  We pray you will be able to realize in the depth of your being how very special you are to God and to us.