Friday, February 29, 2008

Assaying Value

Imagine a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out all of it, of course!

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost whatever you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.


*One year - ask a student who failed a grade.

*One month - ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

*One week - ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

*One minute - ask a person who missed a train.

*One millisecond - ask the person who won an Olympic silver medal.

Value every moment you have, and count it a gift from God. Treasure it by sharing it with someone special - especially your spouse and children. Remember that time waits for no one. Yesterady is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

"Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Via "House to House/Heart to Heart."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's About Time

Yesterday, my baby girl turned twenty months old. That is not particularly significant, except for the fact that she has obtained a new skill that I just had to share. After twenty months of life, Kate has finally started sleeping through the night! I am recording this, so that when Kate is a mama herself and is complaining about how her children will not sleep, I can show her this post about what she put us through for nearly two, very long years!

Emma slept through the night at seven weeks old. I thought I had the sleeping thing down pat. Then came Kate. The first two months were long, as she woke every two hours for feedings. But that's normal, right? No big deal. But then three months passed, then four, and not only was she waking up at two am to eat, she was waking up to play, for a good two to three hours. And then she would crash at five am, right when the rest of the world was waking up. Around the time she was five months old, Kate and I started sleeping at my parents house. My mom and I loaded up on how to make your baby sleep through the night books, and we set out on a mission to conquer Kate's sleeping habits. Boss slept with Emma and the house kids at our house. We could never let Kate cry it out there, because the older kids had to wake early each morning for school. We started the plan where we lessened her feedings and would go in to soothe her, but not get her up out of her crib. After about three weeks, we had her sleeping until four am. A complete six hours every night. But all the charts in the books seemed to stop there! What about the mama's who like to sleep, oh, say eight hours a night? Or ten, or even twelve (okay, so I'm dreaming with twelve)? But no matter what we tried, Kate woke every morning at four am and would not go back to sleep.

This is how we have lived for the past year. Somehow, we have managed to get through it, loving relationships and sanity still in tact. Then, magically, last month things started to change. Kate slept in until six am. We were awake at four am, holding our breaths, but she has consistently slept from nine pm until six am for the past month! It is incredible. We are new people. Life is good! The trick has been monitoring her naps and not letting them run too long, and she is also done teething, so that might have something to do with it. So tired mama's, take heart. Stressful times do pass. Seasons change and babies grow up. Little girls play so hard all day, that they eventually sleep hard all night. And then the former tired mama decides she wants to do it all over again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Let The Games Begin

It is official. We have officially retained a fancy attorney! Mr. Attorney will contact our caseworker in the next several days, to send him the paperwork to get our home study started. Our seat belts are fastened and we are ready for the ride of a lifetime. We are coming Baby Z Number Three!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's A Go

Last night we had terrible weather (snow/freezing rain mixture that is still falling right now!) and I was worried that our appointment with the attorney would be cancelled. It was only clear for about two hours today, and those two hours were during the time we were driving to and from the appointment. Anyway, we made it there safely, and on time, and I was incredibly nervous. The office was fancy and distinguished, and I am not, so I was feeling very out of my league. Social workers have never intimidated me, but talking with a lawyer felt like a whole new ball game. 

Let me tell you about our attorney. He was so helpful, encouraging, and smart! He is only a few years older than Boss, and the whole thing was very relaxed. He put me at ease right away! He answered all of our questions and he said he would be glad to facilitate our adoption. When we started discussing fees, I had a few questions, because I was worried it was going to be way more expensive than we had initially thought. From doing research online, I was prepared for him to say his retainer fees were several thousand dollars. However, it turns out Mr. Attorney became a Catholic two years ago, and in order to stay out of purgatory (his words) he decided to reduce his retainer fees for adoption as a way to give back. He said he will facilitate the adoption and handle all of the legal fees once our baby is placed, for a fraction of the cost that I had been expecting. How generous! I am so thankful!

Anyway, we are going to pray, talk, and think about everything over the weekend, and we will call his office on Monday to set the ball in motion. I am so excited! I have heard that home studies can take around three months, on average, but we are a bit ahead of the game since we are already finger printed, back ground checked, and already have the adoption training for our job as houseparents. I am hopeful that we will have everything ready to go by summer, and then THE WAIT can begin.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Slow, yet Steady

I thought I would write an update on where we stand in the adoption process. I am pleased to write that we are making slow, yet steady progress! Last Wednesday was a bad day, and at the end of it I was feeling very discouraged. I had been making calls to different agencies in our area for over six weeks, and we had finally decided on two that had come highly recommended to us. The social workers at each agency had been researching how to do a home study as in depth as ours would have to be (since we have children living in our home that are in the custody of the state), and on the same day, both agencies called and told me that they would not be able to serve our family in facilitating an adoption. I was in tears, because all of my hope had been resting in them, and it seemed that we had no other options. In fact, I prayed that night that if adoption was not meant to be for us at this stage in our lives, that God would help me find contentment in my two wonderful daughters and in the girls that I work with. I started praying that my current situation would be enough for me. A little secret about me, I tend to get a bit obsessive about the things I am pursuing, and over the last six weeks it was like I had turned in to an adoption monster. I was scouring the Internet every free second I had and it was completely consuming me. I had the idea in my head that I had to be holding our baby by the end of the year, and if things didn't start working out, then my plan would fail. I completely forgot about His plan and His timing. So last Wednesday, my wise husband gently reminded me that while our quest for a baby was an awesome thing, if I didn't slow down a bit, I was going to miss Kate's toddler years and Emma's preschool years, and no baby in the world could replace that. He is so right, I just hadn't wanted to hear it. Ouch! That night I began praying for patience, perspective, and peace.

The very next day (Thursday), the children's home state case worker came out for a licensing inspection, and she told me that the state had approved the children's home adoption caseworker to do home studies for anyone that he could not hire or fire. That meant me! He was now allowed to complete our home study! And he has done them for houseparents before, so he knows exactly what he is doing! The only requirement the state gave, is that our home study would need to be facilitated by an adoption attorney. We were given the name of an attorney in our county who specializes in adoption, and we have an appointment scheduled for Friday morning. I am continuing to pray for patience, perspective, and peace, but I am feeling a bit more hopeful. It always seems as though when one door is shut, another opens. Please pray for us Friday morning! Not that things will work out the way that I want them to, but that they will work out in accordance with God's plan for our family. Please pray that we would find peace in the blessings that we already have, no matter the outcome of Friday's meeting. Thank you for checking in and for caring about our family.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Do You Know Where Babies Come From?

I used to write a lot about Emma's toddler tidbits, because one never knew what was going to come out of her mouth at any given moment. However, over the last year, Emma has developed a bit of a shy personality. So the funnies don't flow as freely as they used to. But recently she gave me some new material.

Today, while we were in the baby section of Wal Mart getting diapers for Kate, Emma asked me, Mommy, do you know where babies come from, because I do. My heart started pounding! Emma does live with four teenage girls, so I had no idea if any of them had filled her little mind with facts. I calmly replied, Oh really? Where do babies come from? Her answer, If a mommy wants a baby, she has to close her eyes, count to three, say POP, and God will place a baby in her arms! Whew! If only it were that easy! Emma did inform me that she was too young to have a baby. She said she is going to wait until she is old like mama. Good to know! I simply told her that she was right about the fact that babies do come from God. Silly girl!

A Few Of My Favorite Things

With yesterday being Valentines Day, I have been thinking about the things that fill my heart with love and joy! It seems I get so bogged down in daily life, that I forget all about the amazing blessings that are right before my very eyes! Blessings both big and small! So, in learning from Maria in The Sound of Music, I will simply remember my favorite things and then I won't feel so bad!

A Few Of My Favorite Things

* I love sleeping babies.

* I love that my daughters are becoming friends.

* I love that Emma told everyone she saw yesterday that Daddy was her Valentime.

* I love that Boss bought me diamonds! How sweet and thoughtful!

* I love that yesterday we sold our old home.

* I love hot baths and good books.

* I love the way that Kate belly laughs.

* I love talking on the phone with good friends who live too far away.

* I love sweet tea!

* I love when I get to see positive changes in the girls that I work with.

* I love living in the country.

* I love seasons.

* And lastly, I love that Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate love, joy, and happiness, falls smack in the middle of the dreariest month of all. What a gift.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Our Home

We have lived in five different homes in five years of marriage. We have lived in an apartment, a brand new home, a home that was one hundred years old, and two homes at two different children's homes. Each of our homes have had wonderful qualities, yet we have never lived in any one place long enough for anywhere to feel like home. From the moment we arrived at this quaint little home on one hundred plus acres, I have felt at home. Our home here is nothing spectacular, but it is home. I can't explain it. The living room is warm and cozy, the kitchen is bright and cheery with plenty of windows and sunshine, the rooms are just the right size, and the basement is perfect for future plans of a movie room. It is just what our little family needs, and I hope that many chapters of our story unfold right here inside these four little walls.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Children Won't Wait

I found this little piece of writing goodness while digging through an old box of papers and had to share. It is a bit lengthy, but has such a good message for us as mama's.

Children Won't Wait

There is a time to anticipate the baby's coming, a time to consult a doctor, and a time to gather a layette. There is a time to wonder at the ways of God, knowing this is the destiny for which I was created; a time to dream of what this child may become, and a time to pray that God will teach me how to train this child which I bear. There is a time to prepare myself that I might nurture her soul. But soon there comes the time for birth. For children won't wait!

There is a time for night feedings, and colic and formulas. There is a time for rocking and a time for walking the floor. A time for patience and self sacrifice, a time to show her that her new world is a world of love, goodness, and dependability. There is a time to ponder what she is - not a pet nor toy, but a little person, an individual, a Soul made in God's image. There is a time to consider my stewardship. I cannot possess her. She is not mine. I have been CHOSEN to care for her, to love her, to enjoy her, and to answer to God. I resolve to do my best for her, for children won't wait!

There is a time to hold her close and tell her the sweetest story ever told; a time to show her God in the earth and in the sky, to teach her about wonder and reverence. There is a time to leave the dishes to swing her in the park, to run a race, and to draw a picture. There is a time to point the way, and to teach her infant lips to pray.To teach her heart to love God's word, for children won't wait!

There is a time to sing instead of grumble, to smile instead of frown. To kiss away the tears and laugh at broken dishes. A time to share with her my best in attitudes - a love of God, a love of family, a love of life. There is a time to answer her questions, all of her questions, because there may come a time when she will not want my answers. There is a time to teach her to obey, to put her toys away, the habit of Bible study, the joy of home, and the peace of prayer, for children won't wait!

There is a time to watch her go to school, to miss her underfoot, and to know that other minds have her attention, but that I will be there when she comes home to listen to the story of her day. There is a time to teach her independence, responsibility, and self-reliance. For too soon, there will be a time to let her go, the apron strings untied. For children won't wait!

There is a time to treasure every fleeting minute of her childhood. Just eighteen precious years to inspire and train her. I will not exchange this birthright for a mess of pottage called social position, or business or professional reputation, or a pay check. An hour of concern today may save years of heartache tomorrow. The house will wait, the dishes will wait, projects will wait, but children won't wait!

There will be a time when there will be no slamming of doors, no toys on the stairs, no quarrels, no fingerprints on the wallpaper. Then may I look back with joy and not regret. There will be a time to concentrate on service outside of my home.On visiting the sick, the discouraged, and to give myself to the least of these. There will be a time to look back and know that these years of motherhood were not wasted. I pray that there will be a time to see her as an upright and honest woman, loving God and serving all.

God, give me the wisdom to see that today is my day with my children. That there is no unimportant moment in their lives. May I know that no other career is so precious, no other work so rewarding. No other task so urgent. May I not defer it, nor neglect it, but by the Spirit accept it gladly, joyously, and by the grace of God realize that the time is short and my time is now, FOR CHILDREN WON'T WAIT!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Today I am frustrated. We have only been on the adoption journey for a little over a month, but it is going nowhere! I have spent the past month on the phone, calling agency after agency, trying desperately to find somebody to complete our home study. Everybody tells me the same thing. Let us check with our licensing specialist about your living situation and call you back. Only they never call back. I am currently waiting to hear back from a social worker with Graceworks Lutheran Social Services. She actually has been very helpful, however, she is also checking with her licensing specialist and is going to call me back. Same old story. But at least she is keeping me updated on what she knows. She said she is simply crossing all the T's and dotting the I's, though she is not promising anything. She informed me that licensing specialists are hard to get a hold of because they are always out in the field and are seldom at their desks, but hopefully we will hear something soon.

I wish it were simple. We want a baby and have love to give. There is a baby out there who needs love and a place to call home. A family. Why can't we simply be matched? How great would that be? I know it is not that simple. I am just dreaming! Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts. We will not quit trying until every door is closed.

Friday, February 1, 2008


When Kate turned a year old, we switched her over to whole milk. She hated it! So, Boss decided he would make her milk a bit more tasty by adding chocolate syrup to every single bottle he made. Talk about creating a sweet tooth! Now, my Kate doesn't say very much, but she has taught her little self how to say the word chocolate.

Kate is also at the age where she puts her hands where she shouldn't while I am changing her diaper. Last week I was changing a gross one, and before I could stop her, Kate reached down and swiped a finger through the mess. She held her chubby little finger up to her face and with a grin she said, Ummmmm Chocolate! She seriously would have eaten it had I not swiped her finger very quickly with a wipe. Seriously. That is my Kate.