Friday, August 16, 2013


Way (way, way) back in May, Maya and Isabella had their ballet recital.  Sierra, good mom that she is, blogged about it shortly after (here).  These girls are growing up way too fast.  It is so fun to see them working so hard on their performance, but even more fun is watching them have their own little (apparently very funny and serious) conversations.  They were obviously amazing little ballerinas and I was so proud of how they got up on the stage and did their thing with no fear.  I think I was more nervous for Maya than she was for herself!  I love going to performances and seeing the progression from the adorable preschool ballerinas all the way up the the girls that are graduating and going on to dance in college.  Maya (and Charlotte!!!) starts ballet in a couple weeks and I am excited to continue watching :)

make-up before the performance

Not sure what they were talking about, but I LOVE it!

showing off their moves

Maya was clearly thrilled to get her picture taken with me

I love this ~ I told the girls to press their cheeks together.  I suppose they did what I asked!

Charlotte wore her leotard to their performance.  Next year, sweet girl!

One of the only pictures of Sierra and I ~ we're usually the ones behind the camera!

Here is the video of the performance!  Maya is on the far left, Isabella on the far right.  I'm sure them being separated has nothing to do with them goofing off in class ;)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

On Running, and Waiting, and God

Here's where I out myself as a crazy person...

God speaks to me when I'm running.  No, really, that is where I got the "let's adopt a baby from a country a billion miles away" idea.  When I brought it up to Michael I prefaced it with "I don't want you to say anything yet, but..." and every time we talked about how it didn't make sense and it was too much (financially, emotionally) all I could come back to was that God told me to do it.  Not in an I-read-a-Bible-verse-on-adoption way, either.  I felt God when I was running.  I mean, there were other things that lined up to create the perfect storm of this desire, but it all started when I was running.  I even wrote a message to some of my very dearest friends asking them to pray for me as I felt the Holy Spirit moving in me but I couldn't figure out what He was trying to say.  All I knew was that when I laced up my shoes and strapped on my ipod (full of praise and worship music, which I'm sure is the choice of runners everywhere!), I would be in communion with God.  It's my refuge in this stormy life of picking up legos (which *must* procreate as there is no other explanation) and driving kids to ballet and soccer and the doctor and story time and making dinner every.single.night (for real, could we please take a night off of eating?  and the inevitable cleaning that accompanies making food?).  It's my chance to do something for myself that recharges me physically and spiritually.  And it is where I ask God what he wants from me and where I try my hardest to listen.  As my feet hit the pavement, step after step, I feel closer to God than I ever have.

Running is also where I try to give praise back to God.  I turn off my music and offer my full attention to Him (don't mind the lady who is simultaneously crying and talking to herself...).  I "stand" in awe of His creation, both within me and around me.  After years of struggling with body image and weight, I have come to a place of appreciating the health and strength He has given me.

We are almost to our 1 month DTE-versary, and let me tell you, the waiting is HARD.  I know that it is harder for those who have been in the process longer than us, and especially those who have pictures of their children but just found out that they will not go to court until after the "rainy season" or those who are waiting on just one more clearance so they can finally, after months and months, bring their child home. But, knowing there are others who have been waiting longer or endured more than we have does not make the waiting any easier. Friends and family ask me if there are any updates, and it's all I can do to not break down right then and there because I know that there will be no updates for years.  I am usually an optimist, but I am trying to be realistic and let me tell you, realistic is not a fun thing to be when talking about international adoption. As I try to figure out a way to make the wait go more quickly, God gently reminds me that, for now, this is His plan.  I try to tell Him that I did not sign up for this 4-5 year wait.  I try to explain what *my* plan for our family is.  At times I am at peace with the wait, and other times (like this week) I am wracking my brain and the google for what I can do to speed it up.  And, as happens again and again, God speaks to my heart.  I barely have to be on the treadmill for a full minute before I feel that stirring in me.  Today it came in the form of a song on my Pandora station and a quote that I read on a friend's facebook wall (don't laugh, God uses modern technology ;)).

Ok God.  You're hilarious.  Of course I place value on this child and am willing to wait for this as long as it takes, just like I did with the children we have.  Michael and I are no strangers to waiting for God's timing when it comes to children, as we struggled with a year and a half of infertility before conceiving our 3 perfect children one right after the other.  The problem is that I'm 1 month in to this wait and I am weary.  So then He offers up this song (courtesy of the best movie ever, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2") and it describes my heart and once again I am reduced to tears while running on a treadmill in the middle of the morning (stop staring at me gym-people!  it's totally normal to cry while you're running!). It was the "how can I love when I'm afraid to fall" and "I have died every day waiting for you" that did it, because that is how I feel.  I have heard too many stories of failed adoptions and country closures and bureaucratic slow-downs to feel secure in this adoption.  I feel broken inside both because I have a child out there whose face I have never seen and that I cannot protect, but that I love with all of my mama-heart, and because I know this child's story will involve, at the very least, the worst kind of tragedy I could have imagined as a child myself.  But as I say in pretty much every post ~ should be the theme of my blog ~ God's plan is bigger than my plan.  God's sovereignty is, well, sovereign.  I need to die to myself daily and cling to God.  Every moment brings me one step closer to His plan for our family, and as my header says, His Plan is My Hope.

Heart beats fastColors and promisesHow to be braveHow can I love when I'm afraid to fallBut watching you stand aloneAll of my doubt suddenly goes away somehowOne step closer
I have died everyday waiting for youDarling don't be afraid I have loved youFor a thousand yearsI'll love you for a thousand more
Time stands stillBeauty in all she isI will be braveI will not let anything take awayWhat's standing in front of meEvery breathEvery hour has come to thisOne step closer
I have died everyday waiting for youDarling don't be afraid I have loved youFor a thousand yearsI'll love you for a thousand more
And all along I believed I would find youTime has brought your heart to meI have loved you for a thousand yearsI'll love you for a thousand more
One step closerOne step closer
I have died everyday waiting for youDarling don't be afraid I have loved youFor a thousand yearsI'll love you for a thousand more
And all along I believed I would find youTime has brought your heart to meI have loved you for a thousand yearsI'll love you for a thousand more