Sunday, December 25, 2011

With One Voice

The prayers uttered from our kids after family devotions tonight:

Zeke: "Dear God, please help us get the VISA to bring Shabila home soon.  Give daddy a safe trip to go get her.  Let Shabila realize it when she comes home.  Amen"

Cai: "Dear God, lksjfoahwekefsido Billa home. lkajsdhfaowiefof.  Amen"

Areyna: "Dear God, I am sorry that I keep sinning.  I am SO sorry.  Help us all to have good attitudes tomorrow and help me to obey mommy.  And please help us be able to bring Shabby home very soon and give daddy and Shabby a safe trip when they come home.  And please help the adoptions to go through for all the other people and for us.  In your name I pray, Amen"

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Comes Early This Year

 Since Christmas lands on a Sunday this year our church is shaking things up a little bit.
We're doing church ON SATURDAY!
We'd LOVE to have you come join us Saturday morning for one of our 3 services:
8:40am, 10:15am and 11:55am

Make sure you come early to help with parking and get a good seat.
You won't want to miss the opener!

CLICK HERE for directions and additional info.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Celebrating In True Via Form

Yes, Monday was a day to celebrate!

We celebrated the quick communication from Nairobi about our case.
We celebrated the immediate "Approval" from USCIS instead of the request for more evidence.
We celebrated the fact that Alethia will be with us in just a number of DAYS!
We celebrated God's "YES" to our heart's plea. 

Oh so many things to be thankful for!

We all celebrated in our own ways, but you better believe that some good ol' "field sledding" would ensue as a response to the gratitude and excitement in our hearts, ha!

The only problem is that we are going to need to buy a bigger sled for the winter:)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Things That Seem Most Important

I am finding that the things that used to seem so important and urgent to me just are not so important anymore.

These used to be the things that would occupy the majority of my time, besides wiping bottoms and piling food on little plates, of course.

These things would call out to me, just begging for more attention.

Granted, some of these things really must be done and truly are important, but they just don't hold the urgency that they used to.

Things like paying the bills (I just got caught up on this yesterday for the first time since coming home), figuring out what is for dinner, checking the mail (shocking, I know), couponing (this one is definitely a necessity for our budget, but it certainly doesn't consume me like it used to), keeping the dreads out of Areyna's lovely locks and the mindless task of keeping up with laundry (don't get me wrong, I am beyond grateful to have a relationship with a washing machine again), just to name a few.

Then there are the things that go along with the season like making the perfect Christmas list, going to parties, or picking the most elegant Christmas card that has "my family written all over it".

And I can't forget the ministry stuff like, the "End Of Year Giving" (which totally got neglected this year) or promoting my family devotional as the perfect Christmas gift.

None of it just seems all that important to me anymore.

Granted, I am much more motivated since we got the news of our approval to bring Alethia home, but I still cannot shake the perspective that comes along with the past 3 months that we have lived.  I don't even think I want it to fade away!  I like where we are and who we have become.  I pray that we will continue to hear God's voice as clearly as we have, and that we will continue to seek him above all else, even when we aren't forced to hang on for dear life.

I think I've found my New Year's Resolution...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Keeping With Traditions

Josh started a tradition with our family several years ago.  Every year he buys each of us an ornament that represents the events of the past year.
Sometimes he gets frustrated because he can't the "perfect" ornament that he is thinks is appropriate.  For instance, this year he was looking for a Chicken ornament for Areyna and simply could not find one.  He opted for the Ballerina Barbie since Areyna can always find a way to get dolled up:)

Zeke got Green Lantern to add to his Super Hero ornament collection.

Cai was given a Mater.  I think anything to do with cars would have sufficed, ha!

Josh found the perfect ornament for Alethia and Me.  It was a home that said "Forever Family".  It is perfect!

Now that we know Alethia will be home in the next week or two Josh is on the hunt for the perfect ornament for her first Christmas with her Forever Family:)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Caption Please

Yes, this is my son.
No, he does NOT have pants on.
Yes he is wearing angel wings and a halo.
Yes, this mama forgot to bring "backup" clothes.
And YES, this is the kind of goodness you can expect at Journey Church!
I love my church!:)

BTW - How cute is my little "angel"?!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What To Expect When You're Expecting...#5 - Weeks 29-32

I am 32 weeks pregnant today.  I have 56 days left to be pregnant, but who's counting, right?!

I know that one can tend to get sentimental toward the end of a pregnancy, especially if they know it is their last one.  But...that just simply is not the case for me, ha!  Quite honestly, I CANNOT wait to be un-pregnant:)

Don't get me wrong or misinterpret what I'm saying here...honestly, some of you all jump to conclusions way too quickly;)

I KNOW that pregnancy is a blessing, believe me, I've been on both ends of the spectrum all too many times, but I also KNOW that I am little, that babies only continue to grow and grow, which only means that there is less and less room for my stuff inside my belly and this tends to make this mama downright grumpy uncomfortable...right.about.now!

I am grateful that I've been blessed to be pregnant just one more time (even if I DID give all our baby stuff away a month before we found out we were pregnant again, ha!), I'm thankful for a healthy pregnancy, especially spending so much of the time in Uganda, and I'm excited to see if this growing bundle in my belly is going to be named  Jude Warren Via or Talitha Hope Via!

In fact, I was so antsy to actually do something to prepare for this little guy/gal that I went ahead and set up its sleeping quarters:)

So, the countdown continues.  Here is my 32-week pregnant self for a few kicks and grins!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Not Me Monday

We did not completely sleep through our dentist appointments on purpose this morning.

Nope, not us!

I have not been crying so much over the past few months that every time my kids hear me sniffing they automatically think I'm crying again and quickly run to wrap their arms around me to comfort me.

Oh no, not me!

Josh did not accidentally pour egg nog in his coffee instead of half-n-half.

Nope, we're always totally aware of our surroundings:)

We would never put off Christmas shopping until the very last minute just because we don't want to think about it...bah humbug

Oh no.

I'm always done with my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving even comes around...oh wait, we were in Uganda!

Cai would never get so acclimated to the Ugandan lifestyle that he continues to call all motorcycle-ish vehicles a boda:)

I would never continue to get pregnant after knowing the inside scoop about the lack of muscle control in the, ahem, "bladder area", that would cause you to pee in your pants EVERY.TIME.YOU.SNEEZE.

Nope, not me!

I never put myself in awkward situations and I would NEVER pee in my pants!

I would never put off unpacking from a trip.  Nope, I always delve right in.  Unless that one last suitcase contained a sleeping bag, toys and sweet memories of my daughter that is living 8,000 miles away, because that really might make me have one of the afore mentioned crying episodes.

And I already told you, that just isn't happening around here:)

Love you all!  Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Tree For Alethia

Josh and I decided that, given the fact that Christmas is less than 3 weeks away, it was time to get in the Christmas spirit.  It's not like we were trying to be the Grinch, but it is just taking us a while to morph back into normalcy.

We decided that Josh had had plenty of time to soak in the Fall season, 3 days to be exact, and that it was time to dive right into the next, ha!

We took the family to a tree lot here in Rolesville in search of the perfect Christmas tree.  Not only did we find the PERFECT tree for perfect spot in our living room, but I spotted another perfect little tree:)

If you read my letter to Alethia last night you'll know where I'm going with this.

Knowing that Alethia couldn't be here with us this Christmas we had a choice to make.  We needed a fresh new perspective and, although this may seem silly to you all, we decided to dedicate a little tree to our sweet daughter who is on the other side of the world.

What we have begun to do is print out little love letters, notes of encouragement and prayers on Alethia's behalf to hang in ornaments on her little tree.  We are fully aware that she won't have a clue what any of this means for a few more years, but we want her to know that she is loved and thought of by so many people all over the world and that our journey to get her has impacted so many of you.

We don't know the ending to this chapter we have been living out, but we do know that God is good and He has a perfect plan.  We do know that we have been placed in Alethia's life right now, and I think these letters and prayers will be quite a treasure for her as she grows up, no matter where she is!

So, if you would like to participate we'd love to have you write something for her tree.  You can email them to us or leave it in a comment below or hop over to our adoption blog and write it in any of the comments there throughout the season.

Many of you have commented throughout the journey and we'll be trying to compiling some of those as well, but feel free to keep them coming!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Slow Motion

I feel like I'm standing in the middle of a whirlwind.  I'm staring at life scurrying all around me and I can't seem to keep up.  I don't even think I want to keep up.  I kind of feel like our lives are standing still while shoppers are getting ready for Christmas and people are rushing off to work.

It's kind of strange to explain.  No, we're not wallowing in self-pity, nor are we depressed...we are just indifferent to life right now.  Things that used to matter so much all of a sudden seem so silly and irrelevant.

Josh made it home to the rest of us (minus Alethia, of course) but we are together, again, as a family.

We are slowly getting back to life as normal, but normal will just never be the same as it was before September.  We don't want normal to be the same.

My mom is here to help us gather our lives back together here and she let Josh and I get away for a coffee date this afternoon.  Josh and I both agree that we are so not feeling this Christmas season.  Sure, we know it's more than the gifts and Christmas trees, and we will always come back to the true meaning of Christmas, but life goes on outside of our family and the extended family continues to live life as normal.  But for Josh and I, this Christmas is different.  We both looked at each other saying that we agreed that this year needed to be different...somehow...we just don't know what that "different" needs to be yet.

Living in Uganda for 2+ months really makes you reevaluate wants vs. needs and things that are truly important to you and your family.  We don't want to quickly forget the life we lived in Uganda, or the way those people served and gave of themselves from nothing.

Anyway, as I creep back over here to the life we left behind, we want to be forever changed!

We are continuing to keep our adoption blog going.  Feel free to grab the code on the right to link to our adoption journal to share our story and to help you remember to pray for our sweet Alethia.  We'll be keeping you up to date on any new information on our case as it comes.

Thank you for holding us during this time of transition:)