Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Sweetness

We are enjoying our summer so far. I can't believe June is almost over. I know July is going to fly by, because we will be gone for much of the month. For the past two weeks we have been taking it easy at home for the most part.

We have been swimming a lot this month. We don't have a pool, but lots of our friends do and they are so sweet to share with us. The boys took swim lessons last week. It was not the best week for swim lessons, because it rained two out of the five days. Lessons were from 8-9 and the water was freezing, but they did awesome. I am a proud mama! They were both jumping off the diving board and swimming to the shallow end by day 3. We said goodbye to the floaties this week.

I am keeping two little girls on Tuesdays and Thursdays this summer. It is fun for me to have little girls around and the boys like having friends over. These kids are so silly and they make me smile.

Last Tuesday it stormed and we were stuck inside all day. I set up a tent and we went "camping."
We even had an inside picnic a.k.a. eating lunch on a blanket in our living room. Sawyer said it was an "in-nic" instead of a picnic. He thought he was pretty clever for coming up with that one.
The boys are also participating in the summer reading program at the library. Sawyer made a goal to read 100 book this summer. One of my favorite things about being a mom is reading to my children. I have been reading to them since they came home from the hospital. Now Sawyer is starting to reading to me and I love it. Jax told the librarian that he is going to read " a zillion milllion" books this summer. A "zillion million" is Jax's favorite number.

Yesterday we took the boys to see Cars 2. I didn't think it was as good as the first one, but the boys enjoyed it.

We also discovered the goodness of the double stuffed oreo blast this week. It was so yum, and Sawyer declared I was the best mom in the world for sharing mine with him.

We are enjoying our summer so far and I hope we have a "zillion million" more sweet moments.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Best Daddy

I happen to think that my husband is the best Daddy ever. I love watching him with our boys. He is pretty much their hero and that's just how it should be.
Today I asked the boys a few questions about their dad and recorded their answers. Here is what Sawyer (5) had to say:

My favorite thing to do with daddy is to take turns on the I-Pad.
My dad is good at helping me brush my teeth.
My dad likes to get on the computer.
My dad works on the IPad at church.
My dad teaches me to be good.
My dad likes to eat lots and lots of good, good food.
My daddy loves Me!
Jaxon (age 3) said:

My favorite thing to do with daddy is to give him hugs and to jump on the trampoline.
I like to fly kites with him.
I like to go with my Dad on a mission trip.
My dad is good at exercising.
My dad likes to get muscles.
My dad works at church.
My dad teaches me to jump on the trampoline high.
My dad likes to eat taco salad.
My daddy loves me, Sawyer, and himself.

Happy Father's Day, Justin. We love you!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Remembering, Wrestling, and Resolving

Every year around this time, I can't help but think about the two precious children who came into our lives one June. It was six years ago when we met two of the sweetest kids I know. I wrote about our experience as foster parents exactly one year ago. You can read that post here.

We were barely 25 years old when we committed to care for two little ones who needed a home. I am sure many people thought we were crazy, but for us it made perfect sense. We wanted a child and things were not going as we planned. We were waiting for God to answer our prayer for a child. We knew there were children who needed homes. We had the room in our home and our hearts to share with children who needed it. It made perfect sense to us. It was pretty much a no-brainer. We became foster parents.

It was an amazing experience. I have no doubt it was exactly what God wanted us to do. He used this time in our lives to deepen our love for orphans and to solidify our call to one day adopt.

Six years later we find ourselves in a similar place. Again, we are waiting for God to answer our prayer for a child, this time through international adoption. I find myself becoming uneasy with the wait. Part of it is that I am impatient, but the hardest part for me is waiting when I know there are children who need homes now.

I know there are kids in foster care who need permanent homes. I know there are children who will enter into foster care in the coming weeks who need a safe home where they can be nurtured and loved until they are able to return home. (We would absolutely foster right now if we could, but we can't at this time. I have asked.) I know there are precious ones overseas who are being overlooked because of their age or a disability. This absolutely breaks my heart. I am uneasy within myself and have began to question our decision to wait for our child in Ethiopia. A part of me feels like I am saying no to the many children all over the world who are available for adoption now.

This is something I have been wrestling with for a while now. As I was talking to God about all of this, He revealed something to me. I realized that I felt unsettled because things are not as they should be. In the perfect world God created, children would never be without families. There wouldn't be children in foster care or teenagers who are aging out of the system without families to support and love them. Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world, but in a sinful world filled with pain and loss. Things are not as they should be. Then I felt like God said to me, "Meredith, you are not the answer to these problems! I have not called you to be the solution. I am the ONLY solution. I am the ONLY answer. You are only called to lead others to Me, the ONLY one who has all the answers"

I realize this is probably not news to any of you. Of course, I am not the answer to the world's orphan crisis. I can do my part, but I don't need to feel guilty about every child that I am unable to adopt or care for. God knows exactly who our child/ren are. We have prayed about every decision thus far, like what agency to use, what country to adopt from , age parameters, etc. God has given us a peace and Satan loves to come along and make us doubt. We will continue to pray and will always be open to whatever the Lord shows us, but for now I am confident we are where we need to be. I'm done with the doubt and the guilt.

I love this verse I posted last year on this date. It still gives me hope and I'm glad God reminded me of it today.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 (The Message)
I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. "When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. "When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Sawyer's first t-ball season is officially over. He had his last game last week. I have loved watching him this year. His daddy was his coach and I loved watching the two of them.
This picture makes me laugh because if there is anything Sawyer learned this year it is where to line up at the plate. He never once forgot to draw that line.

Jaxon had fun playing in the dirt at all the games. They had 3 games a week, so that was a lot of playing in the dirt. Next year, Jax can join the team. Now, that will be fun to watch!

We celebrated our season with a pizza party at our church.
We have all made new friends this season. It was fun to just hang out and celebrate with our little ball players.

Sawyer was super excited about his first trophy! He told me that he needed a trophy cabinet now.
Last Thursday we went to closing ceremonies where all the players received medallions.
I had to get a picture with the coach and his favorite player. =)

The sweet team gave Justin a gift card, so after closing ceremonies he took the family to dinner.
One baseball season down, with many more to go. Love my boys!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June Numbers and Choosing to be Thankful

We got our June numbers this month. We didn't move at all on the girl's list this month, so we are still at #
We actually moved back 1 on the siblings list. This can happen if someone decides to be added to another list. So this month our sibling # is:

My first emotion was that of disappointment and discouragement. Of course, I pray that we will get closer every month to our girl/s. I felt let down and sad that this was not the case this month.

But, the Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me of how much I have to be thankful for. I can choose to complain about what I don't have and how things aren't going my way or I can choose to thank God and trust in His plan for us. I am choosing to be thankful for where we are in our adoption journey. I know God will use every slow down and every bump in the road to line us up perfectly with the child or children he has for our family.

Please join us in praying for big movement in the next few months. We pray that we would not lose hope, but cling to the One who loves us and knows the plans He has for us. He is always faithful!

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Friday, June 10, 2011

We Heart VBS!

We have had a fun-filled week of VBS. Our church did Big Apple Adventure this year. I was the preschool director and Bible Story teacher. We had 52 preschoolers this week, so as you can imagine I was busy this week.

I tried to get a pic of me and the boys all week. I finally got Justin to take our picture and as you can see Sawyer was not too happy about it. He was ready to go to VBS and didn't want to stop and smile.

This was a little better, except that Jax and I had our eyes closed.
I just love teaching preschoolers. They are so much fun. You never know what they are going to say.

They sang on stage today. While we were practicing, the kid behind Sawyer was singing at the top of his lungs. Sawyer thought it was hilarious!

One of the best parts about VBS is that the boys took great naps every afternoon. Yesterday, Jax fell asleep in the middle of the living room.

Today, the boys didn't even make it home. We all had a blast, but we are worn out!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Catching Up

Wow! It has been a long time since I posted on here. Where did May go? There are two main reasons I haven't posted in a while. The first is that this is an adoption blog and I just don't have much to say about the adoption. Just waiting, and waiting some more. Today actually marks 6 months of being on the waitlist. It really has flown by and for that I am grateful. To be honest, it has been hard for me to even think about the adoption without getting sad. We still have so much longer before we even know who we will be adopting. Uggh! I know I need to stay positive, but it's hard sometimes. I would really appreciate your prayers for me to have a more positive outlook on this adoption process.

The second reason I haven't posted is that we have been extremely busy. We have taken 3 road trips in the last month. We have been to 2 weddings, 2 high school graduations, 1 end of the year preschool program, and countless t-ball games. It has been a fun month with lots of time with our family and friends.

So, without further ado, here is the last month in pictures:

Our first road trip was to Shepherd of the Ozarks in Arkansas. Justin was shooting video for the wedding and we all went with him. It was such a beautiful place and we all had a blast. Jax, our animal lover, fell in love with the ponies.

The day after we got home, I turned 31. I celebrated my birthday with a lunch date at Olive Garden with Justin and Jax. We followed our lunch with delicious red velvet cupcakes. Yum! Then Justin took Jax home, so I could do some shopping by myself. It was perfect. We ended the day with a little t-ball action. I'm so proud of how well Sawyer has done this year and how great a coach he had (aka, my husband). It was a fabulous birthday Monday with my 3 favorite guys.

Then on Wednesday my mom came in for a few days. She was able to go with us to Sawyer's end of the year program. It was so cute!

Then we went to my cousin, Miranda's high school graduation.
I didn't have much planned the following week, so at the last minute I decided to go to Arlington, TX to see family and friends. Justin had to work, so the boys and I went on Road Trip #2.
We stayed with my in-laws. It was a nice restful week and we were able to see some of our old friends. Louisiana is great, but sometimes I just miss Texas. It was nice to go back for a few days and catch up with friends.
I drove back on a Saturday, just in time to go to wedding #2 of the summer.
Then, we spent Memorial Day at the lake with good friends.
Sawyer caught his first fish!!!! Can you see it?
Last Friday, we traveled back to Texas. Yes, I drove to Texas two weekends in a row and each trip was at least five hours each way. Oh, and my poor Sawyer gets car sick so bad. He threw up a total of 7 times in the car the past two weeks. I really wish I could find something that helped him in the car. We have tried everything, but if any of you have any ideas I would love to hear them.
Ok, so this time we went to Houston to see my cousin, Meghan graduate from high school. Many of our family members were there including my cousin Cameron in the picture below.
Here I am with my two beautiful cousins who are headed to college in the fall. I love these girls!
So, we came back the very next day. It was a super quick trip, but we had to be back for church Sunday morning. So, as you can see we have been a little busy. I think things may slow down soon, but not this week. We started VBS yesterday. I am teaching preschool Bible story. I love it! We have 51 preschoolers signed up this year.
Sawyer's last t-ball game was last night. He has had 3 games a week, since the end of April. Tonight we have our teams end of the year ceremony and Thursday we have closing ceremonies. I didn't know they did closing ceremonies for t-ball. Intense!

I'm so glad I had a chance to catch up with our blog. Now, I need to go pick up 5 pizzas for our party tonight.