Monday, September 26, 2011

Let's Go!!!!!

Well, today is the day!

The laundry is done.
The kids are all clean...a bath on Saturday counts, right? RIGHT?:)
The bags are packed.
The toilets are clean (because my mom always said you can't leave the house without scrubbing the toilets:)...well, they were, and then Zeke had to pee, ha!
The refrigerator has been  purged.
And the tasks to keep our lives on track here in America have been divied out to our sweet friends and family.

I can't believe it's here.

We fly out at 6:20pm and our checklist is finally dwindling to just a few last minute items.

This will be my last post from this blog until we return.
We'd love for you to continue to follow our journey to get Alethia on our password protected blog.  Just email or message me with your email address if you would like the password.

We'll let you all know when we're returning home.
We'd love to see you at the airport so you can meet our beautiful new addition!!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Because We All Need To Laugh Until Our Cheeks Hurt

For your viewing pleasure:) Either this truly is one of the funniest commercials I've ever seen in my life, or it just hits way too close to home, ha!

Friday, September 23, 2011

What To Expect When You're Expecting...#5 - Weeks 17-20

So, that little baby bump that would be oh-so-tiny when you woke up in the morning, but would grow with every meal you ate throughout the day will no longer fluctuate in size.  You are full-fledged, 100% showing now!

People will no longer come up to you asking if you've put on a little weight, but will instead ask when you are due.  That question will then immediately be followed by, "Aren't you adopting?!":)

Your absentmindedness will continue to increase. No surprise there.

The fact that you have problems brushing your teeth are now becoming a problem.  Invest in some mouth wash...please!

The fact that you are pregnant has finally begun to sink in, but let's accomplish the pick-up of #4 first:)

Your 5-year-old will continue to ask if you have gotten that baby out of your tummy yet.  He'll be ready to sweet that sweet wrinkly face.

Your 6-year-old will continue to remind you of how much bigger you are getting day-by-day, but the look on her face when she gets to feel the baby move is priceless!

Your 2-year-old will continue to be oblivious to the shrinking lap that he frequents on an hourly basis, making it more and more uncomfortable as he plops down for cuddle time.

Your 31-year-old husband will continue to look down at your growing belly and smile in sweet anticipation of its arrival.
Yes, I am definitely showing now.  You know that 4 pounds that I'd gained by the last little update?  Let's just say that I've gained, ahem, a little more by this check-up:)

We've had some issues regarding Malaria prevention medication for me.  I am unable to take the safer meds because I'm pregnant, and the one that I should be able to take (which can cause hallucinations and panic attacks) I'm unable to take because of my anxiety medication.  I've gotten several opinions and I've had to choose if I'd rather get Malaria or have anxiety during this process overseas.  You can definitely be in prayer for us over this issue.  I'm not worried about it, but Josh has seen the effects of Malaria first-hand and is a little, um, paranoid concerned.  Especially since my OB told me that Malaria can be deadly to a fetus, even if the mother comes out okay.  We're just running out of time to decide...

I'm still having bouts of nausea.  I'm pretty ready for that to be gone, but I still can't complain:)

The little flutters in my belly have turned into kicks and somersaults.  I love feeling little hick-ups, even though I'm not sure they are as sweet to the victim bouncing around inside as a result of them, ha!

So, I've reached the half-way mark and going strong.

Here's a quick 20-week belly shot for the scrapbook;)

Oh, and here's a quick "Thank You" to all my friends and family who have clothed this pregnant belly lately, since I still can't fit into any of my maternity clothes:)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm Gonna Miss...

The's my favorite time of year

Ice...oh how I love ice, and being that we can't drink the water, and ice is made from the water, ice is a no go for the next 6 weeks

My pillows...don't worry, I'm packing my favorite one, but when I'm pregnant I'm usually surrounded by nice, fluffy pillows

My bed...

Dependable internet and electricity...

My girlfriends...I've really been blessed with so many sweet friends that surround me and I'm going to miss them dearly

Dependable warm water

Familiar food

A washing machine...I'm really gonna miss this one:)

But I CANNOT wait for...

The familiar burning smell of Uganda...I know, it may sound weird, and I may regret writing this as I'll be pregnant this time around, but that smell brings back so many sweet memories

The beautiful land...

The crazy animals...I can't wait to show the kids all the monkeys in the trees and the lizards in our bedrooms:)

The unforgettable people of Uganda...

The red sticks to everything and can't hardly be washed out of your clothes, but there's just something about it that I love

The sweet kids in the orphanage...I can't wait to see their smiling faces

But there is one of those kids, in particular, that I can't wait to wrap my arms around and call "daughter".

There is so much to look forward to!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finding The Green Grass On Your Own Side Of The Fence

It's so easy to see the grass that is green in someone else's yard, but nearly impossible to see the green grass in our own yard.

Why is that?

I have a few reasons why this has been the case in my own life.

1 - Selfishness - we want all the good things to come to us.  But in this, we are forgetting that God knows what is best for us and He knows what we can/cannot handle.

2 - Comparison - we are always comparing our lives to someone else's.  But have you ever noticed that we always compare up?  There is always going to be someone richer, smarter, better, more creative than us...we need to stop comparing!  We only compare down if it makes us look better...Ouch!

3 -Perspective - we see someone's green grass and it appears to be perfect.  We are only seeing part of the story.  I've talked about this a lot.  A person's "profile" can look picture perfect, while their life's content can be crumbling apart.

Pastor Jimmy had some wonderful things to say about it here on the June 5th message.

Just some food for thought as I count my own blessings today. 

I want to play in my own green grass today!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Than Bags And Airplane Rides

It's no secret that we have been running full steam ahead this week trying to tie up all the lose ends here in America before venturing off to the beautiful land of Uganda to pitch our tent for a few weeks while we finalize our adoption.

Josh's parents offered to keep the kids for an extra few days after vacation so Josh and I could be free to run all the errands we need without having to drag them along.  I must say that I feel like I've been working 12 hour days this week(end) getting things done and I can't even imagine how much longer each trip would be taking if I had 3 kids to add to the mix.  So thank you, Meme and Poppy!

It's been kind of quiet around the house without those three.  Josh and I have caught ourselves waking up at night because we've thought we've heard one of them crying or kicking the wall with their feet:).  Weird.  I've enjoyed getting things done, but I sure do miss them...

But in this quiet house, while Josh is away working on his latest project, I've had a lot of time to think.  A lot of time to pray.  A lot of time to prepare.

I feel like during this part of the adoption process we can get so caught up in the details that must be done, like buying medication, packing bags and games and food and clothes and..., printing documents, emailing, faxing, signing, that we can miss a very important part of the preparation.

We are bringing another life into our family.  She is already a beautiful little 2 1/2 year old girl with very strong likes and dislikes;)  She has a place she calls "home", she has friends that she plays with, and caretakers that she depends on.  This is probably going to be scary for her when it really sinks in that she will no longer be at the only familiar place to her.

We have some big transitions just around the corner.

Our biological children have some big transitions just around the corner. 

Their toys are not going to be just theirs anymore.  Cai is going to have to compete more than ever for the love and affection that Alethia so passionately needs as well.  Areyna will not be the only girl in the family.  In fact she is going to be sharing a room with her little sister that will most likely eat her lip gloss and tear out her princess pictures.

We are also very aware of the strong spiritual presence in Uganda.  Unlike America, which is saturated with internet and technology that distracts us just enough to ignorantly look the other way, we have seen some very scary and very real spiritual warfare while in Uganda.  It is eye opening.  It can be hair raising and chilling.  We have been praying intently for our children's tender hearts and minds (as well as our own) as we venture overseas for the next six weeks.

I am less concerned about the dangers of this world but of the things that are unseen, yet all around us. 

My mind has been consumed with my to-do lists, yes, but more so for the changes that are up ahead. 

It is exciting!  Oh yes, so much so that words cannot describe my feelings. 

It is terrifying.  More so than I'd like to admit sometimes.

It is a picture of God's faithfulness.  Because I could not do this in my own strength...

To God be the glory...even in this!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not Me Monday

I never feel the need to impress my children.

Nope, not me!

Especially if it's as silly as gaining cool points for making up graceful mermaid moves in the pool.

Nope, absolutely not!

And most certainly not as a 19 week old pregnant mama in a strapless bathing suit.

Oh no, not this mama.

Because if that kind of impressing were going to take place to a 19-week preggers mama in a strapless bathing suit, the "audience" may get a little more than they bargained for while beautifully jumping out of the wave, pretending to lift up on the glistening rock as the water splashes down my back and tail fin.

But, hopefully if that were to happen, the only "audience" would be a very impressed 6-year old daughter, an oblivious 5-year old son and a very excited shocked husband, ha!


that would never happen to me.

Nope, not me!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not My Words

The words in this post are not my words...but totally worth your time!

If you are a mom who struggles with your identity as "just a mom" or if you are a mom at all you need to read this!

It's a very refreshing perspective about finding enjoyment and fulfillment as a "M"om, not just a "m"om.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Results Are In! We're Having Another Little Baby...

...with a sweet little face...
 ...and tiny little feet...
...and a perfect little figure...
...with no area of health concern at all...
who's sex we are going to find out in 22 weeks when it makes it's arrival!

I mean why not?!:)

Sorry to keep you in suspense,
but how sweet will it be to find out when we see him/her face to face.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The View From Here

I told you Zeke likes to be creative:)

Fun Facts For Friday - On Thursday

For some reason Zeke always puts his jammies on when we are getting ready for bed, even though he takes them off before actually climbing up his ladder to get in bed.  He likes to sleep in his undies:)  That's just one of the reasons I love that boy!

Another thing that makes me love him is when he bursts out of his bedroom in the morning screaming, "I need to get the smacko!!!!  There is a big red ant on the floor!"  The "smacker" is the fly swatter, but when it comes out of his mouth it is so stinkin' cute!

I love that Areyna is doing school with her daddy right now and cramming in today and tomorrow's lessons so she can be done for VACATION!  She is a self-motivated little girl and when she is determined nothing will slow her down:)

I love how Cai has started wanting me to cuddle in his bed with him at night.  I went in the other night because he has a tendency to kick the wall next to his bed when he is asleep and it scares the heebly-jeeblies out of me, especially when I'm alone!  So, when I went in to gently shift him in his bed he half-way opened his eyes, poked his pillow and told me "nite-nite".  He wanted me to lay down with him and cuddle.  *smiles* *melting heart* *contentment* *sigh*

I love how my husband knows me.  He has been so busy trying to tie up all his loose ends with the Journey Worship project and our ministry that he has been gone at all hours of the day.  He has been working so hard to help us get our family to Uganda.  Which leaves me to try to run around and get little details faxed, or bought, or copied, with all the kids.  We set aside last night as my shopping night so I could get a big chunk of things checked off our get-ready-to-go-to-Uganda list, because he knows I need that time.

So, when he got home last night he said through a big smile, "Why are you still here?!  Get out of here and don't come back until the kids are in bed!:)"

So I did.  I left them to their dinner plans I'd prepared and went on my merry way.  I had been perfecting my list of things we needed to purchase all week so I was ready.  I walked up and down the medicine isles making sure we had everything we needed for every possible ailment.  I may have stopped by the Starbucks in Target to partake in a Pumpkin Spice Latte too...ahhhh....

It was a glorious night of accomplishing things, having alone time and being in my favorite store;)

So now, we have our plane tickets (we leave in 17 days, by the way!), we have our prescriptions and antibiotics, we have every other kind of thing you could think of that you might need to live in Uganda for 6 weeks...except for...well, I guess I'll always have a few things I've forgotten, but it sure feels good to have the majority of the stuff checked off!

In other news, I have a very important baby appointment tomorrow!  Any guesses as to what the tie-breaker baby will be?  After bringing home Alethia we'll have 2 boys and 2 girls...hmmmm...what do you think?!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Times Before

We only have to mow the grass 2, maybe 3 times before...

We only have to go grocery shopping 1 more time before...

I turn 20 weeks pregnant right before...

We only have 1 more week of school (after we finish this week) before...

We have less than 3 weeks before...

We get one week of vacation before...

We only have 2 small group meetings before...

I only have to get 1 more prescription refill before...

I only have a couple of weeks to process the rest of this process before...

The Rolesville weather forecast will only apply to me for 19 more days before...

I only have 2 more baby appointments before...

I will only be able to ask 288 more questions to our agency before...

I will only change out the towels in the house to wash them 3 more times before...

We will only be going to the chiropractor 2 more times before...

We will only be running to Target or Wal-mart to get supplies for our trip 1,217 more times before...

We will only have 3 kids for 3 more weeks before...

We are only a family of 5 for 3 more weeks before...

...we leave for Uganda and become a family of 6!

Surely God is my help, he is the one that sustains me.
Psalm 54:4
Thanks to my friend, Jenn, for that great reminder this morning!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Password Protected Blog

Well, we are quickly working on checking things off of our list before we head to Uganda in 20 days (but who's counting:)!

One of the things we've been aware of that we have to do is password protect our blog.

Since Blogger does not have that option we have created a Wordpress blog so you can follow our journey.  I won't be posting on there until our trip is underway and you will need the password to read the content once our trip has begun.

You can go ahead and get familiar with the new blog so you know where it is.  I'll also leave a link on here when we make the trek overseas so you don't lose contact with us!

Leave a comment below with your email address or find us on Facebook or Twitter to request the password.  You can share it with your friends and family.  We'd love to have you come along!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fun Facts For Friday - This Is A Good One

Where to begin...

My mind is moving 100 miles a minute.  I can hardly write as fast as my brain is working to put a post together.  It's been like that since we got the phone call.  Sleep has been nearly impossible!

What phone call?

If you follow me on twitter you already know, but for the rest of you, we got some BIG news this week!

We have a court date!!!!!!

I still get butterflies in my stomach when I say it, or think it, or write it...

October 5th is the big day!

We are working on booking our flights and it looks like we'll be traveling sometime around the 25th or 26th of September.

Wait, isn't it September NOW?!?!  We don't have long to prepare...ahhhh...

My prayer is that I don't over-complicate this whole thing.  I want to keep it simple.  It is going to be an adventure for sure.  It's not going to be a glamorous 6 weeks.  It's not going to be a smooth 6 weeks with every day mapped out the way I like it.  There is going to be no schedule, no normal, no familiarity, but it is going to be good.

Last night Josh and I sat down to start making a list of things we need to do.  It turned into making a list of all the lists we need to accomplish before leaving:)  That's just the way I roll.

We have all but $2300 in hand to reach our $33000 adoption goal!  We have a few short weeks to watch the Lord unravel this feat, which is no problem for Him...I know this full well.

In other news...I had a baby appointment yesterday and had the scare of a lifetime.  It was just the standard check-up, you know, pee in a cup, blood pressure and iron check, weight check (I've gained a total of 4 pounds this pregnancy, oh boy, ha!), and then the measurements and heart beat check.  Everything was going smoothly until she pulled out the little doppler thing and tried to find the heartbeat.  And tried...and tried...and tried... I could tell she was getting concerned by the look on her face, and the fact that she called out in the hallway for the ultrasound machine.  She said I wasn't leaving there until she saw that heartbeat.  After turning on the machine she searched around for what seemed like 5 minutes and then we saw it!  The head, the sweet little feet...and the heartbeat just beating away.  Relief, exhausting, thankfulness.

Josh has been away most of this week working on a recording project so the kids and I have been looking for ways to spend our extra alone time in the evenings.  The night after we got the Court Date news I decided I wanted to check something off of my list, so we treked out to Target to get a little backpack for the littles.  Zeke and Areyna already have bags that follow us around everywhere, but Cai and Alethia needed a little bag to bring their fun treasures on the airplane.  Cai was very particular while picking his out:)

Alright, it's time for me to get going here.  We've got a lot to do today.  WE'RE GOING TO UGANDA!!!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

And She Shall Be Called...

Names are important to Josh and I.

It takes us FOREVER to come up with baby names, and after one of my best friends gave birth to a little boy after being promised that it was a girl, I never 100% believe the ultrasound technician when they tell us either way.  We always have a back-up name "just in case":)

So, choosing a name for our Ugandan daughter has been no different.

Yes, she already has a name.  A beautiful name!  We are used to calling her by her birth name. 

We have checked with reliable sources, thanks Andrew, to find the background and meaning to her birth name.  It means, "Lively Life".  A beautiful name for a beautiful girl.  MY little girl!


But to us, we are bringing her into a new family.  A new life.  A new season. 

You know when a new convert from the Muslim religion to Christianity changes their Muslim name to a Christian name?  Well, that is kind of how I am looking at it.

We are bringing her out of her Orphan state and giving her a loving family.  She is going to become ours.

Honestly, I've kind of struggled with the whole name changing thing, for some reason.  I guess I just felt like we were changing enough on her all at once, and changing her name was something that was hers.  Something that was familiar that she could hold on to.

But after Josh spoke his feelings toward the name change to me I've agreed that this is important to the whole transition into our family.

We've always loved the name we chose and are still working on a middle name, wanting to stick with her heritage and roots somewhere in there.  So now we are trying to mentally make the transition from thinking of her as Shabila to our Alethia.

Alethia is Greek for Truth,  and we pray that she will  know the Truth and that she will boldly shine the light of that Truth to others!