Thursday, November 29, 2007

Memory Lane

Our Thanksgiving break included spending a few days in Texas with some old friends and some time visiting some of our favorite places. We even drove past the old house where we lived when we were first married. For 6 years I have craved a certain dish from my favorite Mexican restaurant in Ft Worth. You can only imagine my disappointment when I found that they no longer serve it. On a good note though, they still serve warm, hand made flour tortillas! We also went by my favorite bakery so Ryan could have a "Texas Best Cinnamon Roll" ... they had cinnamon rolls, but no longer had the big ones they used to serve. After we had driven by our old house, we stopped in the park behind it and let the kids play for a long time and I couldn't help but think about all the times I pushed Ryan around that park in his stroller and then watching him ride his little tricycle around it when he was 2 or so.

What we did find good though is that our old friends are still the same and we enjoyed every minute we had visiting with them. We spent one evening with friends who are also Ryan's god-parents. On another evening we had dinner with the pastor who married us, his wife and some friends from our old church. What an enjoyable evening! Seeing people like that and just picking right back up where you left off is just wonderful! It sure made me miss our time back in Texas.

On our way up to Oklahoma we stopped in Denton and went by the little chapel where were married over 12 years ago. We couldn't find a parking place but I took the kids on a short little tour of it while Brian drove around. What a happy day remembering some of the milestones in our life.

Here are some pictures of the little chapel where we were married. It is located on the campus of the Texas Women's University and it was chosen mainly because of it being centrally located between us and our family in Oklahoma. But, it is a beautiful stone building with fabulous stained glass windows. I still remember Janet playing the piano before the ceremony started and singing the song that has "Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place. I can feel His mighty power and His Grace. I can feel the touch of angel's wings - I see glory on each face. Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place". Now that I'm tearing up ... it's time to post the pix.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Arkansas State Capitol

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday by visiting a couple of more state Capitols for Ryan and also visiting with old friends in Texas & then were blessed to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Oklahoma.

We visited the Arkansas State Capitol on November 17th & they already had it decorated for Christmas. There weren't any formal tours being given but we were given a guide book and were able to tour it at our own speed. It was interesting to read that even back in the late 1800's that there was already political shenanigans. There were issues with contractor kickbacks and such and it took a while for the building to be completed. One of the things I read noted that "this project was conceived in sin"! I need to go back and read through the brochure but I think it took 15 or 16 years to complete. Another item to note, it was built as a replica of the US Capitol.

He's now visited the following State Capitols, we have a lot more to go to reach his goal!
Missouri (we visited this one on the way home)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Considering Adoption

I've had writer's block lately & w/ some other things going on - just haven't gotten around to updating our blog. Hopefully after Thanksgiving I'll have some cute/funny stories to share on the munchkins.

Until then, I want to share something that I ran across while we were in the process of adopting Emma. We had experienced some issues where our paperwork was lost by the local USCIS office not just once - but twice and I had been worried about getting everything found and back on track. I'm not sure who wrote this because it was posted on one of the many adoption groups that I read so my apologies for not being able to quote the author. I've updated the name though with Emma's name because it fits so well.

"Shortly after Emma's first birthday, God granted her the unspoken wish of every orphan's heart; a loving family. It is the Father's intent that these children be entwined within the limbs of a family tree. He holds the hand of each lone child, while reaching with the other to families around the world. If it is in the purpose of God's work to join your hand to that of a child, He will be faithful to complete it. God's great faithfulness will be true as you step into the fields of the fatherless. Therefore, walk by faith, wait in hope.”

Friday, November 9, 2007

Joe Huber's

Several weeks ago we spent the afternoon at Joe Huber's (a family fun farm in IN) with a couple that was in the same travel group as us when we adopted Emma. The girls were in the same orphanage together. It was a lot of fun watching them play together and I was tickled at how brave they both were to go into this barn thing and go up a ladder and then down a long, long slide! The boys had fun playing with some contraptions that toss apples out into this big pond as well as another one that shot corn cobs - WAY up and out!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Lamentations 3:21-23

"This I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness".

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

16 Month Mark

Today marks the anniversary of us being logged in for 16 months now for our next adoption. We would never in a million years dreamed that the adoption process could have slowed down so drastically. But still we wait and keep on waiting ...

In regards to paperwork for this adoption, our US approval to adopt from China expires at the end of this month so today I mailed in the necessary paperwork to secure a new approval.

The CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) updated their website on Sunday showing that the newest batch of referrals covers from 12/1/05 - 12/8/05. I can't help but wonder, just how long will it take to get through 7 more months of referrals? When will we see a picture of our baby's face? The only thing I know to do is just to keep on praying for our baby that if she is already born, that she is being cared for and loved and if she's not yet born, that her birth mother is taking care of herself and therefore of the baby.

Friday, November 2, 2007

"That's Why We Praise Him - That's Why We Sing"

One thing we've discovered with Emma is that the child LOVES to sing! The problem though is that she gets stuck on one song and wants to hear it over and over again. That's fine when it's just the two of us in the car but is more of an issue when it's all of us and 3 of us want to talk while 1 of us wants to sing. But, it's always a good thing to hear your children make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

Emma's "new" song is one we sing at church & also have on a cd, it's called "That's Why We Praise Him". The lyrics go along the lines of:

That's why we praise Him
That's why we sing
That's why we offer Him
Our everything
That's why we bow down
and worship the King
'Cause He gave His everything

Anyway, it will absolutely bring tears to your eyes to listen to her singing from the heart. She'll be playing in the floor and just singing. Lately we've had a few problems with Brian's older boys and it seems like the last few days had been particularly trying. When Brian & I went to buckle her in her car seat the other morning she was singing this song as he and I were talking and as he closed the van door you could still see her little mouth singing and she just had a look of complete happiness on her. It's one of those moments you just want to hold on to and remember every time you have a bad day. It seems like it just hit us both at the same time how content she is and how trusting she is of the world around her. If only we could keep that outlook forever. Brian reminded me that that is what Jesus meant when he said the kingdom of heaven is as a little child.