Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm gonna miss this...

I'll never forget the first time I heard this song. I was driving down the 210 when it came on the radio and as I listened to the lyrics, I started to cry so hard I was having trouble seeing the road. It wasn't just that the song was beautiful...what made it so emotional for me was that it brought back a flood of memories. I was the girl in the song...always longing for the next step, looking ahead and not enjoying what I had in the moment. And my dad would always tell me to slow down...someday I would miss those experiences. I remember thinking how crazy he was...only to understand now exactly what he meant.

I do miss those times at home as my parent's daughter. I miss homeschooling and singing together as a family. I miss taking care of my little sisters and doing fun projects with them. I miss the late night talks with my mom and cooking together in the kitchen.

And now that I have my own daughter and we're about to add 2 more children...I know I'm gonna miss these times of just Boo and me together. I'm going to miss just the two of us sharing a laugh or dancing together. I know we'll make more memories together with her brothers...But I know I'm going to miss this season with our first child and life as a family of three.

So, Papa...if you're reading this...I finally got it. You were right. I miss it...I miss you...I miss our times together. And I am making the most of the time I have each day with my little girl and I'll do the same with my sons. And one day, I'm sure I'll be telling them the same thing you told me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's all perspective...

I just want to place a disclaimer here...this post is not a criticism of anyone's personal experience in Uganda, nor is it a direct reflection of any one conversation. This is simple my thoughts on a general thought process and something I have personally been walking through. My apologies if anyone was directly offended by this.

So, in preparing to head to Uganda to adopt T & M, I keep being told how sparse and hard the living conditions are. As I would get in contact with person after person who had been there, most of them had the same story. In fact, so many people were saying the same thing that I was starting to panic wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into. I mean how hard is the 5 weeks going to be? Am I going to just want to cry myself to sleep each night and dream of America? My imagination was just going wild with all the possibilities.

Then, I met another military wife who had been there alone adopting their two blessings and she sent me a picture of what the rooms actually look like. My heart leapt! It was going to be paradise! I guess it's just perspective....

You see, when people talk about "sparse" or "rough" living my mind instantly goes to my time in Thailand living on the border with Burma in refugee camps. Having little to no electricity, sleeping on a bamboo floor in a hut with chickens roosting underneath. (After being woken several mornings in a row at 4am...I was ready to start learning how to kill chickens.) Bathing in a COLD mountain river or having to pull buckets of water up from an even colder well and bathing publicly with everyone watching you. Having no connection to outside world through the phone or internet. In fact, one time it took a 5 hour trip to make a 10 minute phone call.

I am thankful to report that my time in Uganda will not be like that. Sure it will be different and things won't be as reliable as they are here, but at least I'll have electricity most of the time, there is a hot water in the shower most of the time, I can have internet in my room most of the time, and I'll be sleeping on a semi-soft bed off the floor without any animals underneath my head. In fact, it will be much like the "resorts" we used to go to in Thailand when we needed a sanity break from the camps.

I do want to clarify that I'm not putting down those who felt it was hard...it probably was for them. But I've realized that it is truly all a matter of perspective. Thankfully, for me the living conditions will not be hard. There will definitely be other parts of this trip that I already know will challenge me. And without those experiences, the trip wouldn't be as effective because in those times of stretching I learn so much about God, myself, and the world. So here's to an exciting adventure ahead!

What my room might look like in Uganda...I tried to find one of my pictures from Thailand to have a visual comparison, but they must all still be at my parent's house. So, you'll just have to use your imagination.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stuff & Swashbucklers

In this journey of adoption there are moments of crazy stress and pushing to get all the paperwork together. You have a huge list of things to collect and get signed...and many times that list seems never-ending. And then, one day you actually have it all done and are able to hand it off. Your desk seems unusually clean and your to-do list drops off to nearly nothing. It's a bit disconcerting at times because you quickly realize how much of your daily focus was on the adoption process and getting the list done, and suddenly there's nothing more you can do but wait.

I hate waiting...(imagine me saying this with a Spanish accent for all you Princess Bride lovers)

As you may have deduced, we are in that part of the process right now. Our dossier (think ridiculously huge stack of papers) was sent away to Uganda yesterday and now we simply wait to hear when our court date will be...which will determine our travel date to pick up the boys. It was quite amazing this morning to look at my desk and see that it only had 1 manila folder on it...not 6. And I keep feeling like I have something that needs done or someone to call only to realize that it is all done.

Since I hate waiting...I have been keeping busy prepping for the boys' homecoming and our upcoming trip. I have been collecting all kinds of fun stuff to take with me to keep them active and trying to finish up their room. Each one will have his own backpack filled with cool stuff to ignite their imagination and creativity. I've also discovered the little men's clothing sizes, so we're starting to fill their clothes drawers as well...(thank you Aunt Paula & Anna!)
One of the cool things I came across in my shopping yesterday was a foam/rubber swashbuckler sword for only $1. (Again, think Princess Bride: You killed my father...prepare to die!) Anyway, I thought they were perfect for our little men and the Major would love them too. I quickly found out that I made a HUGE mistake in only purchasing two. Within minutes of showing them to the Major, he handed one to Boo and they were off battling it out together. Soon they were attacking me and I had nothing to defend myself with...so, I'll be back at Target soon to purchase three more: one for each member of the family. I am looking forward to many sword fights with our kids!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

General update on life as we know it...

I know things have been silent on my end for quite a while now. That is not because there isn't a TON I would like to write about. It kills me to not be able to share openly about each step...but I'll make it and will share everything soon enough once we're home as a family of 5!

We have been so busy lately prepping for so many things in the making. I have finally gotten T & M's room just about finished and am starting to put together all the fun stuff to take with us to Uganda.

We recently received new pictures of our little men and I wept as I looked at the beautiful boys who will be my sons. God has been so good to our family and I am anxious to hold these little ones in my arms soon.

In the meantime we're also busy preparing for my little sister's wedding. I can't believe she's old enough to get married, but I am so thankful for the man she is marrying. They will be extremely happy and I look forward to being able to discuss "wifey" things with her soon.

The Major and I recently went to a Brooks & Dunn concert at Universal Studios Amphitheater. It was a ton of fun...but even more so, just being together. We haven't been very good at being consistent with our date nights and special outings, so this was a long time in coming for us. The only bummer was that it rained that evening, so we couldn't ride the Harley there. Otherwise, it was a night full of good music and fun.

Boo is doing well...still growing like a weed and really making huge developmental jumps. She's nearly running around the house now and has gotten her fair share of fat lips and bruises. She is starting to identify body parts now and is slowly starting to say words. I know she knows more than she is letting on...her comprehension of what we're saying is astounding at times. She also recently became the co-owner (with her brothers) of a new table and chairs for them to color on and do art projects. Mommy is already very thankful for a place to make messes without destroying the house. She is starting to get the hang of coloring. We have figured out that markers are her best medium since the crayons end up getting eaten. YUCK!

So, as you can see we're doing well...just extremely busy and looking forward to some major changes in our lives soon.