i wish i could articulate the way things are going in my mind right now. do you mind if i ramble a little? i’ve spent the last year and a half growing so much personally and spiritually. it feels like i’ve been on a mountaintop and now i’m coming down. it wasn’t necessarily the adoption itself, but i think it was a launching point that put me in the midst of third world poverty and taught me so much about being a servant in a very real way. people i’ve met on the journey, organizations and projects i’ve learned about, and mostly the way that one person can change a life so easily… it was eye opening and exciting and really gave me a purpose. but to be honest, since jude’s come home i haven’t really had much time to keep up with all the adoption blogs and the projects and cool organizations and mission trips, all that’s going under my radar. that’s because i’m actually parenting the child i set out to adopt, the one that started the journey. i’ve even started thinking ‘what about the next one’? i just started sleeping through the night two weeks ago! it is NOT time for the next one! but i think it’s that thing that happens after a wedding. you spend so much time getting ready for the wedding, planning every detail, and then… you are married. you know, with the stinky bathrooms and the ‘what’s for dinner?’ and the ‘we’re out of milk’. actually married. and it’s awesome and everything, but different from planning the wedding. very daily. know what i mean?
so i had a little bout of the blues. just a tiny one, because God is molding and sifting me lately, constantly. you guys know i’m doing my thankful list. well, i’m actually loving that. it’s definitely changed my perspective, given me some passion for my daily life and really revitalized the daily for me. and i think i’m starting to understand something. changing the world is noble however you do it. motherhood is so undervalued, even by me, but i’m starting to see the world changing possibilities in laundry and snacks and nasty highchairs. follow me for a second. every need met and every moment loved brings those little closer to me, which puts me in a unique position to shape them gently when the time comes. and it’s fast approaching! i’m actually starting to see the beauty and fulfillment in my current life, not my someday life. and i’m learning that i don’t have to save the world single handedly today. i can invest in my children today and do what i gotta do here, and cheerfully if i can, and i’m getting there on that.
today we were talking about bravery and courage in my bible study. i’ve searched my mind and heart all week trying to see what radical thing that God would require bravery for. should i start a school? move to africa? adopt again? but i’m coming up empty. you know what God spoke into my heart? that i needed to succumb to a quieter kind of bravery. to lay it all on the line, my whole life. and it looks different than i thought. so far i’m only seeing laundry and snacks and nasty highchairs, but that’s what i’ve been called to do. to bravely mop the same floor. but there’s some stuff shifting. i’ll keep you posted. i can feel a breakthrough coming.
Next up is Dechu. Oh, guys, it’s hard to fall in love with a teenage boy. Unless you’re a teenage girl, and I bet you’re not. Older boys are the last to be adopted and last to be sponsored. Maybe cause they’re too cool to smile in a photo.
I bet he’d smile if he got a letter from a sponsor, though. And I do intend to document a smile from young Dechu when I meet him myself. If you’d like to sponsor him ($34/month), click here. And if you do, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you his painting. I can add a verse if you like. I kind of love it.
Our dossier is almost done! Like literally. We got our paperwork back from Homeland Security and that’s almost the last piece of paper. We’ll be mailing that puppy next week!!! And we’re at the phase where our referral could come at any moment… or in three months. We just have no idea. But I’ll let you know!
Like this one? Me too! She’s for sale in the shop. If you need a painting done, I’d love to make one for you. I’m painting like a crazy person trying to raise some more funds to be able to accept our referral when it comes!
It’s me after my attempt at running A (single, tiny) mile. Failed attempt. I am not a runner. Not an exerciser at all. If you are, go you, but I can’t wrap my head around it at all. Which is why me training for a half marathon is whacked out at best. Who am I?! I have no idea. I find myself doing strange things these days. I’m too young for a mid life crisis, so I don’t know what’s up. But the Chosen Marathon in New Braunfels lit a little fire. And I promised that this was my Year of Yes, so… yes, ok, I’ll do it.
The marathon is run along a the river in the Hill Country. That sounds a little bit wonderful if I have to run. If you want to train with me, let me know. I’m just starting Week 1, which is super easy. This kind of training is for wimps like me, so expect me to be slow and tired and ridiculously proud of tiny accomplishments. Two miles last night! Party! I’d love some company on the trail. The Marathon is an adoption celebration and fundraiser in a beautiful setting. I’m actually kind of pumped. Want to run? Here’s my schedule for wimps. And here’s more info on the marathon.
ok, folks, we’re starting to get into the decorating mind frame. we’ve got 2 young ladies joining the household here in the next year (hopefully) and they’ll need a cute room as all young ladies do. so i have super officially come up with the colors and concept. ready? i know you’re on pins and needles. i’ve expressed it in watercolors because that’s what i’m into these days. here goes.
so in real life it might look something like this. bedding in grey and white with a little mild yellow, dwell from target. pillows too. sheets from anthro. ok, probably in my dreams, but at least something in that blue yellow white color scheme. the blues, greens, and yellow dots on the side are yoyos. i am making a yoyo quilt for the foot of their beds. want to sponsor a yoyo? the walls are ivory and i think i’ll do an accent wall in a really soft greige. so that’s that. yellow, grey, white, blues. really calm but pretty. that’s what i’m going for. i’ll keep you posted as it comes together.
sorry about neglecting the blog. i went out of town for a few days and when i came back i got to work on my fundraiser and it’s been pretty time consuming. so… on the adoption front, we got a phone call yesterday saying that we are approved and accepted into the ethiopia program with awaa. we’re super excited. our first giant chunk of cash goes out today. it hurts but we’re excited about that too.
and on the fundraiser front, i had this cool idea and a few other artists and bloggers thought it was cool and helped out. jessica rose of volume 25 did the awesome artwork. lots of my favorite bloggers are helping to promote it on opening day. but now i need YOU. yes, you. i need you to help spread the word. i’ve made a new blog and it’s not just for me. it’s for other adopting families too. it stands to be kind of cool. but the most important aspect is that it’s extremely viral. see, i need everyone to give me $1. but i need 30,000 people to do it. here’s the blog. it’ll tell you more about how it’s going to work. but we’re going to blast one family or project at a time. one each week. august 8th is opening day, but you can have a little sneak peek if you want. be sure and subscribe over on the right hand side. that will tell you when we have a new project, but to keep it simple we’ll just do one post a week on mondays. but still subscribe. and next week we’ll all hit it at the same time. i need you to blog, facebook, email, twitter, whatever that you gave a dollar. and that’s how it’s going to get big. there are lots of other bloggers and artists helping too. we just need lots of numbers. so spread the word. august 8th.
and about artistic domestic… sorry guys, but i better pack up for a while. i will continue to keep my domestic life artistic, but as for now i’m working on this adoption thing. i hate to bore you with it since it’s not really the topic of this blog. but then i don’t have much time to play on the pinboards anymore either. what started out as an interest in africa turned into a journey to save a child and that’s turned into a passion for all orphans. and well, that’s a full time job. so i’m taking my mad skills over to do some good. wish me luck. and give me a dollar next week!
ok, guys. here’s this week’s update:
we turned in our application with america world adoption agency yesterday. step one, check. we’ll know within 10 days if we’re accepted or not, but we’re hopeful. man, this week has lead us down some crazy roads. we thought we knew what we wanted. we thought we could see ourselves adding a 4 year old boy into the mix. but upon hearing more stories of waiting children we have found that we can see ourselves with any of them. a two year old girl that has a vision impairment, a 4 year old boy, 2 older girls. we’ve heard of these two sweet girls, 9 and 13, that have waited years for a mother. in two years the thirteen year old girl will be forced out of the orphanage and in all likelihood, into prostitution to survive. and ironically, she probably won’t survive. she’ll probably contract HIV, have a baby, and the baby will end up in the orphanage. we can see ourselves with those girls. i don’t know what that would look like. i would probably feel more like an aunt or sister to them, and adjusting to america as a teenager i’m sure would be difficult. but we’re up for it. so i guess the update for the week is…. we’re open to whatever situation God plops down in front of us.
in the meantime, i hate to interrupt your day with sadness ( i really do, that’s not sarcasm), but there is a crisis going on in my child’s homeland. and my child is there. they are relying on emergency donations of life sustaining nut paste and water to keep them alive through this drought, the worst in 20 years. if you have an extra penny, please send it to world vision or UNICEF to aid. it might be my own little one that you are saving.
i told you i would keep you posted on this adoption thing, so i’ll do that on saturdays. it’ll help document it for me too. i’m really bad about making albums and all that…
this week has been exciting. i’m really anxious and ready to get started. we received all of our introduction info and application. we’ve been working on the application and doing crazy stuff to get enough money to get the ball rolling. so this week we paid off our truck, leaving us completely debt free and still socked away around $1000. i started taking sessions again (did you know i’m a photographer? it’s true. need a session in houston or galveston? LOL.) brandon is selling a car that we never work on today. that’ll help. the agency wants to see a few thousand in the bank before they approve. so that’s where we are in the process. we hope to press the submit button this coming friday (payday, baby). if you want to help us speed up the process, just zip over to this page and there’s a handy dandy paypal button.
we’ve also started thinking about the long term fundraising. we’re going to be holding an art auction in the spring and have an original painting donated by michelle armas! i can’t believe it, really! that’s very exciting! i’ll show you pics when i get them. it feels so good to have people supporting us, i can’t even tell you.
as far as the child itself, this week we sort of determined that we would like a child off of the Waiting Child list. that means he’s probably got special needs. we don’t feel quite prepared for something that requires intense medical intervention, but some of the “special needs” are very treatable if that’s even necessary. some of them might have large birthmarks, vision impairments, or simply be over the age of 5, making them likely to never be adopted. well, we think 5 is plenty young for us! so pray for us, that our child is doing ok in the midst of a disastrous drought and that he’s feeling loved today. that’s this week’s update, folks.
So guess what? We’re expanding our little family. We’ve decided to adopt this time. And right now we don’t even know the specifics of whether it will be one or more. It feels crazy but more right than I can express. We have always been open to adoption, but this last week we really decided it was time. God makes his intentions clear and if you really listen and are willing, whoa, it’s a crazy ride! You should try it sometime. I highly recommend it. And now starts the journey of waiting and paper chasing and shamelessly begging for money. Oh, yeah…. can you spare a few bucks? Our little guy is coming all the way from Ethiopia and the process is going to cost us $30K over the next year! If you’re feeling the need to help out, send a little dough our way. I’ve set up a paypal account and any money you shoot this way will help out with all financing, big and small. You can send it to email@example.com . First up is the first installment of the program fee, $1500. And if you can’t help financially and you’re the praying type, send those our way too. We’re praying for peace in our children’s heart, the child that is already here and out there somewhere, the money to make this happen, and clarity on how many to go for. Here we go…