After Chloe's bath the other night, I told her to wait a minute as I wanted to brush her hair. When I was finished brushing, she just kept standing there and I told her she could go now to which she replied, "Mom, I need you to warm my hair." Warm her hair - that was new to me, I wasn't sure what she meant so I asked her to explain that to me. She held up her hand and moved it all around her head and said, "That thing that blows air in my hair." The HAIR DRYER!!!! I love it - so yes, I did "warm her hair"!!!
One of the "larger" qualms we had with Joe changing jobs was losing a very sizeable grant that his employer gave for adoption. AND, being the planner that I am, I had PLANNED on that grant to help us reach our goal for this adoption. I saw it as a huge deal and was really praying that God would work that into something like a signing bonus with Joe's new job. But no, God didn't choose to work that way and Joe still took the job, and I saw it as a way to sit back and watch God work. He's moved mountains for us before - I know He can do it again. SO - in my "sitting back" time, I got the mail and there was a letter from Shaohannah's Hope. Shaohannah's Hope is a wonderful adoption grant that people can apply for to help with financial aspects of an adoption. We applied with our first adoption and were declined as they had run out of money, but I thought I would try again this time. The letter was very thin - I assumed it would be another rejection - but it doesn't take a thick letter to let you know you were chosen to receive money!!! Yes, God provided for us again!! AND - it is more than the grant would have been from Joe's previous employer. That is how I love to see God work and then I love to share that news with others BECAUSE, we CAN NOT do this on our own!!!! We need God's big hand, and I'm glad He's there to guide us and help us.
The other thing that really touched me about this is that yesterday we received a newsletter from Shaohannah's Hope in the mail and it had staggering statistics - 1,140 couples applied for a grant last year. Only 480 were chosen to receive a grant. Shaohannah's current adoption assistance fund total - $1,500,000. What's needed to assist every qualified applicant each year - $3,420,000. Staggering - reminds me again of how even if people don't feel "called" to adopt, they can be used by giving financially to organizations such as these - there are lots of families that are "called" and need the financial help!
It's here - the BIG DAY!!! Our little one is 3!!! I can not believe it - when I look at her, I think we just brought her home yesterday but I love her so much it feels as if she's been here forever!! We have been richly blessed - she is such a ray of sunlight to all of us. Chloe's birthday does make me reflect a bit though - I think of a birth mom across the world who is also thinking of a little girl born three years ago today - one that she does not have the opportunity to watch grow and one that she probably wonders about often. I wish I could tell her that our little girl is growing like a weed, loves to sing and dance, and is THE BEST hugger I know. I wish I could tell her that I am more in love with this child than I was when we were given her in Hunan, China - and I didn't believe that was possible. I wish I could tell her how grateful I am that she carried this baby and didn't chose to abort her. I wish I could reassure her and let her know that Chloe is loved beyond her imagination. I wish I could give her a hug and tell her that I am grateful for a big God that saw fit to let us have this little one ~ so that we can love on her and experience life through a little girl's eyes. Happy Birthday my little one - we love you!
Did you miss us?!?! Yep, we had to be very sneaky - we didn't want Stef to know that we were heading her direction!! SO - we packed everybody up and headed to Grandpa and Grandma's on Thursday night. The plan was that Joe and the kids would stay there and Becky would fly out to Stef's surprise party! We all had a ton of fun - AND got a lot done this weekend!!!
Mr. Brian tagged me - I think he's trying to keep me thinking over here - this may be a challenging one!!!
4 things about me:
*I am a "smell" freak - I can smell EVERYTHING - my stomach is easily turned by smells too! It's not always a blessing!!!!
*I love lists, calendars, my OUTLOOK - LOVE it all - it reaks of organization - I LOVE IT!!!
*I am a horrible perfectionist - it is amazing that I have not driven myself crazy by this point in my life. I must say, I think it's more of a curse than a blessing!
*If I lose something, I will turn the house upside down until I find it - I can not STAND not knowing where lost things are!!! Crazy, isn't it?!?!? 4 habits I have:
*I have to put lotion on my feet every night - I've done it since junior high - I always thought my husband would appreciate my soft feet - I don't even think Joe has noticed!!!!
*I CAN NOT go to bed until everything in my whole house is picked up and put where it should be - I am not exaggerating here - if we pull in at 10 pm - I still unpack ALL the suitcases before I go to bed myself.
*I am a hair twirler - don't worry - just my own!!!
*I count the dashed lines on the road - STOP LAUGHING - it's a horrible thing - I have to force myself to look away and stop counting!!!
4 things I discovered within the last 4 years:
*AWESOME things are "made in China"!!!
*Sometimes God has to teach me things OVER and OVER and OVER - and I still may not get it!!
*Like Mr. Brian so wonderfully said, "Sometimes change is good."
*I would have really "missed out" if I'd never had a daughter - there are just some fun things I never would have gotten to experience!!!
4 things I want to try or do in the next 4 years:
*Go to China one more time to complete our family - however, at this rate - it may be longer than that!!!
*No Joe - I DO NOT WANT to run in a marathon, but I do need to walk more - my exercise routine STINKS!!!
*Teach 3 boys to drive - that is amazing to me - can it really be?!?!? I will see if I can handle teaching them - that may be Joe's job!!
*Catch up on my photo albums - OK, I listed it, it's a pipe dream, but at least I'd like to try!!
Want to play along??? Just let me know - I want to read your answers too!!! (It makes me feel like I'm not as strange as I think I am!!!)
This is all her doing - I did not help AT ALL. I didn't even try to fix her hair or straighten her skirt - I just took the picture!!! The princess attire just doesn't quit over here - from head to toe and everything in between!!!
For those of you that know us well - you know that the whole reason we moved out here was Joe's job about 8 years ago now. Joe's work has been ALL about paint!! He started painting while we were in college, painted while in seminary, and also began working at the store he bought the paint from - but now selling the paint! It wasn't long before that store offered to send Joe for some training and he would begin running their computer systems for the paint stores. THAT is what brought us out here - another paint company wanted a computer guy and Joe was it. SO - about 3 months ago now, a TOTALLY different company contacted Joe about applying for a job - but WAIT, NO PAINT involved in this job - that was almost scary for us!! After a few interviews and much prayer, Joe has decided to take the job. He said it well - it is sad and yet exciting. It is a great promotion for him as he will now be a manager - something he has hoped for for some time, but wow, is it ever hard to leave behind a GREAT job of 8 years - all the people we both have grown to love and a wonderful job only minutes from home. I guess another good thing about this job change is we don't have to move this time!! Joe's drive is longer, but not by that much. Just wanted to share this tidbit with you all - we would love your prayers as this is a real "step of faith" - something Joe has never done before, but something, I AM SURE, he will be good at. (He starts his new job after we get back from our Adoption Group Reunion in July. )
You all asked what happend after the phone call -well - I got home and the boys were all playing with Chloe - yes, let me repeat that, playing CANDYLAND (or some kiddie game) with Chloe. I daresay I have the sweetest boys on the face of the Earth. They are so good to her!!! She owes them!!! When I told them how impressed I was - they told me that it's easier to play with her and keep her busy than to let her loose to get into trouble!!! I could be convinced to share them out for hire - they work for video games!!! :)
We are pathetic, aren't we!! We go all the way to China and take a picture by the statue!!! We couldn't help ourselves!!! Oh yes, and one of THE ONLY times Joe didn't have his camera around his neck!! (unlike the statue!)
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do. ~Deuteronomy 24:19