Sunday, July 31, 2011

july, and all it's chaos.

We are still alive and kickin'! We've been a little overwhelmed with life and have had to put the blog on the back burner for a few weeks. I'm sure you all knew we were totally overwhelmed and hopefully understand.

First off, congratulations to us (oh and Steve & Colleen) as we became first time aunt and uncle and cousins this week!  We cannot wait to meet our niece, Liv--9lbs 5oz--born on Tuesday the 27th!

Let me give you a glimpse into what's been happening stateside for Norah and me, in Germany for Wrigley and David, and in Korea for Evelyn.  I've decided to break this post up since it got a little long.

Stateside: The week of the July 18-22, Norah and I had some pretty drastic transitions and I know it's just the beginning of all the exciting and trying changes around the corner (I'm grateful that Norah is clueless)!

On the 18th the first moving company came to pack up most of important/expensive items that would fly over to Germany via airplane.  The items we sent were mostly essentials and high value items since they would be arriving before our actual SHIPment of house hold goods.  After that day of the movers, we packed the Jeep and headed to our new temporary home with some wonderful friends!

Tuesday-Thursday the second moving company came and packed up everything else that we are bringing to Germany.  These items were wrapped in brown paper or packed in boxes and fit together like puzzle pieces onto these very large wood cases and sealed before they left the house.  At some point the cases will get loaded onto a ship and make their way to Germany and our new home!  The companies moving our goods have to deliver them by September 26th so... we might be in an empty house for a while!

Finally, on Friday a third moving company came to take the few items we were not allowed to bring with us overseas, like our washer & dryer, elliptical and random kitchen appliances.  These items will be stored until we return to the states.  By Friday I had spent so much time at the house without much to do so I was ready to hand the keys over to the landlord and be free of that responsibility!  Norah did well during this trying week but it was obvious that she just wasn't getting the parental attention she needed.  She spent most of the days with different friends and that's just not something she's used to.

During that same week I showed the Jeep to two different interested parties.  God has been so faithful in taking care of us and last week one of those people decided they wanted our Jeep.  I, of course, cried because I LOVE that Jeep and also, it's just another step toward leaving Spokane.  It's bitter-sweet really.

Prayer requests for Norah and me: please pray for Norah during this strange time that she's loved more than enough and that I am able to spend extra special time with her as we wait.  Pray also for my heart, that God would continue to keep me tender and leaning into Him.  Also pray that I can sort through my many conflicting emotions... I might have to cry it out a little to get all these changes processed :)  Thank you for your encouragement and prayers.

I'll post the Germany update very soon!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

proud mama.

I know this picture is flipped and backwards but I took it from the computer since I'm sans a camera but... 
happy birthday Evelyn
This was the DELISH cheesecake I made back on the 14th to semi-celebrate Evelyn's birthday!
I thought you'd like to see.

Monday, July 18, 2011

a heavenly place.

We were honored to spend the 4th up at Priest Lake, ID with our dear friends the Hooks!  We had a blast reading, hiking, eating, talking and taking a quick dip or too in the mountain ice water :)
Norah and her bestie Clara kicking in the water. I love how these girls find such simple things SO joyful and they just giggle and laugh together!
Amy and me soaking in the sun and trying to get into our book-club book for the month, Jane Eyre... it's only around 600 pages!
Just a mini hike near the water on Priest, it was perfect!

Norah kept ocupied by eating the whole time :)
The boys got up around 4:30am or something insane like that and summited this beautiful mountain. I think they were trying to make up for the fact that they planned to hike Rainier together this summer and because of Germany it's not going to happen :(

Just across the water and past the island is where the cabin is!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

8 weeks down.

whenever we go through something hard in our lives or something i just want to get through i like to celebrate how far we've come!

1 week apart from my spouse and that's another week i'll never have to do without him again!
8 weeks waiting for evelyn's EP - praise the Lord we're not just starting that 8 week wait and hopefully we're nearing the end.
11 months ago (almost) to the day that we first applied to adopt (God is faithful and fast... when He wants to be)!
1 year & 3 days ago we first stepped foot in Spokane... at this point last year we hadn't even found or moved into the house we are moving out of this week!

that's about it :) i just wanted to celebrate with you some of the hard stuff that's passing by!  happy weekend y'all!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

a very special BIRTHday.

dear evelyn,

we are so excited to wish you a happy birthday baby girl!  we are longing to be with you and celebrate your precious life.  instead, today you get to be with your loving foster family, hopefully having a joyous tol (korean first birthday) to celebrate being alive!

this week i've been thinking a lot about your birthmother and her sacrifice for you.  i hope we can always honor her and remember that she choose life for you when things must have been tough in her situation.

even though we can't celebrate with you today we will soon!  it's crazy how you've wrapped us around your chubby little fingers in the 4 months since we first saw pictures of you.  we praise God daily for the opportunity to be your dad and mom and celebrate the gift of adoption.  we cannot wait to meet you and brag to everyone about how amazing you are.

happy birthday my beloved, you are cherished today from afar and we love you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

beef & bulgar burgers.

We made these beef & bulgar burgers (with slightly less bulgar than the recipe calls for) a few weeks back and we all loved them!  Each of us had two - Norah probably only ate one and a half but obviously they were delish!  Such great flavor.

Since our propane on our grill is used up for the move we cooked them on the stove top and they were still just so great!  I hope you can try them and love them too :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

i wait for you you LORD, my soul does wait.
i wait for you LORD, my sould does wait.
and in your Word, i hope, my soul does wait.
more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning
my sould waits... for your LORD.
Psalm 130

and, though our family is spread so far apart we know the truth of this song and verse...

where can i go from your presence?  
where can i flee from your spirit?
if i go up to heaven you're there,
if i make my bed in the depths you are there!

if i rise on the wings of the dawn,
if i settle on the far side of the sea, 
even there your hand will guide me your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:7-10


God is teaching me so much.  So much about hope, which spurs on patience, and peace that is only found in focusing on Him and that all things be for His glory.  And, through this process I am being pruned and though that might be painful and sometimes ugly - in the end, I pray to bear more fruit and bring Him all the glory!

Today I stood up in church in much need of prayer and some friends came around me and I shook and cried out to the Lord to continue his pruning and help me to be stripped of all that is not of Him and not for Him.  I am so thankful to know that I don't stand here alone, though at times it feels that way. Praise God!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

let's press on.

Today was harder than I thought. I guess David's departure from Spokane just hit me hard.

On the way to the airport we were reminded of our agony when David left for Iraq and were thanking God that he's not on his way to another deployment.  His deployment was really really hard - this is hard in a similarly heart hurting way but for different reasons.  It's always sad to be apart, God meant married people to be together!, it's hard to be alone for David and it's hard to be a single parent for me.  There are many emotions on top of him leaving that make me emotional - not having Evelyn home yet, have Wrigley leave too (he's always been my constant companion even when David is gone), and this was just a step toward our official move away from Spokane.

Tonight, our family of four will be spread out over three countries - crazy.

When we were getting David and Wrigley checked in I started to cry pretty hard. The agent that was checking David in told us in a very casual voice, "That kennel you have for your dog doesn't meet our airline standards".  Ummm, what?  We got it especially for this flight... but wait, we checked to see if this kennel met the regulations of the airline David was originally flying on, not this one. Since last week his date of travel and therefore changed airlines and we didn't think of checking to see what the pet standards were.  We asked what we should do and the agent says, "well, you can hop on over to Wal-mart and buy one or we can see if we have one here you can buy."  That's when I started to cry and then I think the agent didn't know what to do so she stopped making eye contact.  In the end, they had a better kennel for Wrigley there and it was only $60 so hopefully we can figure out a way to return or sell the other new one we bought.  Phew!

Our last week here together was wonderful. We went on a really great date, saw most of our small group, ran errands, celebrated the 4th with the Hooks and chilled at home.  We are so thankful for all we've been given.  Now, we just need to press on... I need to get organized and packed and moved and David needs to find us a wonderful home in Germany!

And because I love me some pictures... here's a few from this week :)

Our date ended beautifully with some amazing ice cream!

And this, this is where we get to have our small group in the summers :)  David and Joel were about to jump from the "high dive"

a last chance of sorts

In less than 24 hrs David and Wrigley will be long gone!  It's so exciting and honestly so sad too.  David is such a stellar hubs, he's even mowing once more before he relaxes so I won't have to - thanks Babe!

Since David's leavin' on a jet plane and I'm closing up the shop here at our house I'm making this the last call for our adoption shirts!  I mean, if later on we're back and we have some left I'll let you know but... shipping from Germany to the states might get too pricey.  If you've been wavering about getting a shirt, or wanted to help bring Evelyn home, or just want to look cute - please buy a shirt (or some coffee)!  See this post for directions on how to place your order and what sizes are still available!  Thanks y'all.

Here is some shirtspiration for you :)
*If you have a picture in your adoption shirt, please send it our way!  We LOVE our support team!!
 Amy, Amy & Kathleen
Trying so hard to get a good family picture at Christmas
My friend Mellisa and her cutie Alice in CO
 My friend Becca, isn't she beautiful!?
 Joy & Disko - they bought the first shirts!
Nathan, Kim, Dad, Mom & Aaron

Thank you everyone for your strong support and for loving Evelyn before you even know about her!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

life goes on.

It's been hard to blog lately. We feel like we're in limbo between so many emotional and physical changes that it's hard to display how and what we are doing.  We've been talking and dreaming a lot about our upcoming year and all the wonderful changes that are about to take place.  Also, we talk a lot about how many times God keeps changing our plans and is pushing us to trust him amidst these changes and frustrating times.

Evelyn: Basically, there's nothing yet to update you on.  We've now been waiting close to 7 weeks for the EP to be approved.  The wait has been killing us.  It's really heart wrenching too not just because of the actual waiting but because each day that goes by means more separation for our family (David & Wrigley in one country and me and the girls in another).  Our assumption was that Evelyn would be home by her one year birthday and that's rapidly approaching. She almost certainly isn't going to be home by then but, God's been known to change our assumptions a few times.  Her birthday is July 14th.  Please keep praying that she stays healthy and that we do too and that we can bring her home very very soon.  There is some talk online about the Korean ministry not approving EP's until the end of July (this type of delay has never happened before and it really doesn't make sense) so pray hard against anymore delay.

The Move: Since the adoption has been delayed our timeline has changed.  David is leaving for Germany this week. It's going to be a good thing for all of us long term but it makes our more immediate life changes harder.  He and Wrigley will be able to get to Germany and hopefully find us a home.  David will also be able to cross paths with the attorney he is taking over for.  With our old departure date he was going to miss seeing the other attorney at all since he and his family are moving back to the states.

Because of David's departure, this puts a little extra work on my shoulders - not too much but it's still more than I want to do alone.  I will juggle single parenthood again while we have 5 days of 3 different moving companies come to our place and in the middle of that Norah and I will be moving in with some family friends so we can still sleep in beds :)  So, in the next week I'll have to get me, Norah & Evelyn's bags packed for our potentially two month hiatus from a dresser and home.  Phew, it sounds unrestful but I'm thinking FREEDOM!  Freedom from cleaning bathrooms, yard work and some dishes!  I will certainly miss my sewing machine, the comfort and quiet of our home, and our wonderful yard but... I'll have my girl(s)!
Two homes that we've thought would be ours in Germany have fallen through.  With the opportunity for David to be able to be in Germany instead of relying solely on internet and Skype calls we might be better in tune with what's available and right for our family.

In the midst of this wait we've had some wonderful times with friends here in Spokane.  We're thankful for the extra days to savour here and explore the beautiful surrounding areas.  We experienced our first Hoopfest - the city of Spokane shuts down blocks and blocks of streets so that people can play basketball!  There were almost 500 courts and 27,876 players!! Can you see all the courts down this street?  It was fun to walk around and see all the different ages participating in this once a year tradition!
A few weeks ago some very dear friends of mine threw me a baby shower!  It was a true blessing to have my girlfriends celebrate Evelyn's life and bless us with a few essential diapers, adoption books and some other special gifts just for Evelyn!  Here's a few of the ladies that attended:
 Andi & Bekah
 Carly, Jes, Amy & Amy
 Steph & Me

And, one more thing I wish I could show you... we got new pictures AGAIN for Evelyn.  She's growing up so fast and she's more beautiful each time we see her beautiful face. Her chubby cheeks are lessening just a bit and her thick black hair continues to grow!  We can't wait to show her beautiful face to you all.
Here's a cute one of Norah and her best friend Clara.  Each time we get in the car Norah says "Clara?" wondering if we're heading somewhere we might run into Clara.  It's a good thing Clara's mama and I like each other too :)


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