Monday, April 23, 2012

Little Man Monday

Good Evening, Sweet Thing!

Tonight, your dad and I are having a relaxing night in. I sure wish you were here!  We are waiting for our homemade pizzas to finish baking. While we wait, we are eating jelly beans. I know, I know. We will tell you not to spoil your dinner with jelly beans. But... we'll probably let you eat them before dinner some nights too. Like tonight.

Dad and I have been keeping ourselves quite busy lately so it's nice just to have a night with the pups, to chill and to restore. When you arrive, we will have several weeks just to be at home and get used to each other. We understand this may take time, little one. We'll have weeks of pizza at home. And yes, maybe even some jelly beans. And when the time is right, we'll head back out into the wild world outside of our home. But never fear, sweet thing. We will always come back home to you. We will always make time for you, for make believe in the living room or the latest Disney movie. We may get busy but we're never too busy for each other or too busy for you.

Your grandma is coming to visit tomorrow. She's been visiting lots lately and we love it! With my new job, we won't get to go to their house often for a whole weekend so it's a good thing your grandparents come our way often. Grandma is bringing some curtains for our house. Grandma is quite the talented seamstress. Unlike me. If you need your pants hemmed, I will duct tape them. When Grandma comes into town, she'll actually sew them back up. Good thing we have her huh? I have a feeling she's going to make you some cute clothes.  I'm hoping for some darling hats for your darling head:).

Love you, Little Man! I think the pizza is almost out of the oven!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

5 Months DTE

The time seems to be sneaking up on me these days. I guess that's a blessing. It's officially been five months since our dossier was sent to the beautiful lands of Ethiopia.  In one way, it feels like we just sent it off. In another, it feels like we've been waiting a super long time and we have so long to go. And so, this month's verse:

Isaiah 46:4 "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he. I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

Yes, I may have a gray hair or two by the time we bring home our imaginary child. God didn't promise us this would be easy. Or short. Or painless. But he did promise he would sustain me. Carry me, even.

It doesn't get much more hopeful than that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Little Man Monday

Hi Little Man!

We had quite the weekend! I watched your grandma run 13.1 miles and your dad stayed with your grandpa. They did manly things like hauling wood and grilling food. I have no doubt you would have been right beside them, enjoying all the boy-ness of it.

Dad and I just finished dinner and a tv show and we are getting ready to head to bed but I have to tell you what just happened. Your dad stuck his head out the back door and even now, there is still a wisp of sunlight. Summer is on its way, buddy! I am so excited for the warm weather and walks downtown with the puppies. When I originally dreamed you, you were here to share this summer with us. Of course we know that's not going to be the case now. It doesn't make me long for that dream any less--to have you join us on our walks downtown. To keep you up past your bedtime just to enjoy the last of the evening.  To catch fireflies.

It doesn't matter when the day comes. We'll be excited. And until then, Little Man, we will be busy praying for you and making preparations. We love you dearly!



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The New Plan

You know how sometimes you want to say something but the timing's not right? So then you can't really think of anything else to say because the only thing that comes to mind is the thing you can't say? Kind of like the mole scene in Austin Powers? Yes? That's been me for a while now. The timing is right. on...

Last summer I did something amazing. Fun. Different. Illogical.

Some of you may have read a couple of posts about was a pretty big deal in my life. I became a children's ministry intern for my church's summer program. Some of you may call it VBS. We call it Kids Club. Whatever you call it, I was the oldest intern in the history of our church--most of the other interns were in college. A couple were just graduating from high school. I was 27.  And I loved every second of it. I would work my full-time university job, jump in my car, and zoom to church where I would spend my afternooons and evenings. I got to oversee the fun work of helping kids learn to love Jesus and have a blast while doing it.  I was exhausted every night. And I was thrilled.

So here's the thing--my dad is a pastor. I've seen what it looks like to have ministry as your vocation. But for me, well, I had never, ever thought about full-time ministry. It just didn't occur to me that this might be something I liked, let alone something I might be good at.  In fact, I really just felt lucky they let me be a part of the coolness at all.  The flip side of my dad's vocational ministry was my mom's life of volunteer ministry. She's always worked tirelessly to support my dad and our church as a volunteer.  I kind of thought that would be my life, too--a cheerful volunteer. And it has been my life up til now.

I started serving in the nursery when I was about 12. I loved it but for some reason I never saw it as ministry. Or a career. I just loved babies and I loved my church--they both needed help and I was there to provide the service.  I served in the nursery providing care and activities for children age 0-5 until I left for college.

When I went to college, I found my current congregation and joined about two years later.  Funny enough, I put off becoming a member because "I wouldn't be there that long." Little did I know. Ha!  I began serving in preschool-aged ministry the minute I joined and served until I left. When I returned,  I immediately volunteered to serve again. All this to say, I always loved serving with the younger kiddos and absolutely loved seeing and building the foundations of a relationship with Jesus in those little ones.

But. During Kids Club, for the first time ever, I fell in love with the idea of ministry as a career. I left each day, exhausted and completely excited about what was going on in the lives of not just the kids but the volunteers. And in my life, too.  And I kept thinking how amazing it would be if I really got to do this. This ministry thing. Full time.

It is with the utmost joy that I get to announce I will be joining my church's children's ministry team full time beginning May 1. I will be the Early Childhood Director, overseeing the volunteers, programming, and curriculum for children age 0-5. I feel incredibly humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to serve my church family full time in this role.

Leaving the university I've called home (and work) for about nine years now is bittersweet but I will never really "leave" Mizzou. I mean, Jon Hamm said it best, right? ZOU. Forever. Just, you know, not in a working capacity for me. For now.

Yes, I have a degree in higher education. And I feel that education has served me well. I am very much looking forward to seeing just how much preschool kids and college kids have in common. My guess is they're probably more alike than I imagine. Ha!  In all honesty, though, I really do love college kids and get to be a part of their lives still in different capacities.

It's funny. This whole adoption slow down has been a bummer, to be certain. I will tell you this, though. If I had an infant at home now, like I originally thought I might when this process started, I don't think I would have even considered changing jobs.  But God is so, so sovereign and knows so much more than I do. Lucky for me, he only reveals things to me on a need-to-know basis because I probably couldn't handle it all at once.  I don't have a baby at home right now to shepherd in the Lord . But I have several hundred kids and families to love and share Jesus with instead.  And you know what? It wasn't my plan but for me, for now, it's better.

To those of you who have already shown your support, I say a huge thank-you. To those of you who are just now hearing, please pray for me, my amazing co-workers-to-be, and for the ministry workers at your own church. I know we all need it.  It's completely humbling to think I get to do this, to be a part of this ministry thing.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Little Man Monday on Tuesday

Hi Little Man,

I got home last night from work and planned to write you a letter. A beautiful letter--about Easter and our Savior and his love for you that was sparked before you were even a thought in your birth mother's head, let alone in my head. But my computer was at work. Whoops. Little Guy, you will learn this soon enough about me so I will just admit it now: I lose things. I tend to find them again but I am forgetful. So that favorite toy you always need? We may leave it at Grandpa and Grandma's by accident sometime. Or we may pay for a milkshake and forget to grab it from the restaurant. Yes, this is life with me. I suppose it's best I admit it now.  So the computer stayed at work last night. Forgive me for writing Monday's letter on Tuesday, will you?

Easter really was a delight. We usually go to your grandparents' house but we stayed in town to meet with some friends and help with children's ministry at church. You know what, IC? God blessed us right where we were. No surprise, really. He always does. On Friday's service, we ran out of chairs in our auditorium so we stood in the back with friends. I heard the words reminding me of God's sacrifice for us. It was so meaningful and during all this time, I could see our little friend Elise. She's from Ethiopia, just like you are. I was thinking of her when my friend Jenna leaned in to me and reminded me that you, soon enough, will be home. In our arms.  I long for that day and it was so nice that in the midst of remembering the Lord's promise of redemption he also reminded me of how he's working in and through your story. It won't be long, IC. Even if it's a few years before I gaze into your deep, beautiful eyes, in God's timing, that's not long at all.

Your dad and I spent two services on Easter morning with the kiddos. We got to hear the glorious story of our savior first and then we saw it twice through the eyes of a child your age.  R is for rescuer--and Jesus certainly was our rescuer.  I pray you grow up knowing that promise.

On a lighter note, Easter is a time here in the US where we tend to dress in our nicest clothes to show that we are celebrating Jesus' resurrection. Let me tell you, Little Man, I have plans for you. Plans, I say! Suspenders, tiny sunglasses, adorable pastels, mini bow ties. Oh you are going to be just darling on your first Easter! No, I haven't bought anything yet since we don't know how old you'll be. Don't think I haven't considered it, though. I know it's not about the clothes. After all, clothes do not make the man. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about that first Easter portrait with your dad, you, and me, all dressed in matching garb. It's going to be a fun time.

Oh Little Man, time marches on. Good thing, too, because every day brings us one day closer to meeting you. I love you and pray for you earnestly. Let's chat again soon.



Monday, April 2, 2012

Little Man Monday

Hi Little Man,

Happy Monday! Little man, this week is big. The biggest. This Sunday, we celebrate Easter. This week we focus on preparing our hearts to remember the road Jesus walked when he died for us. Each of us. It's hard to even think about how major it was for our savior to take our sins and let us be with God forever. It's the coolest thing and I hope I get many years to share with you the importance of this weekend. Because as big as it is, I need constant reminders. I can't wait til we can share Easter together and celebrate the beauty of Jesus together.

Along with Easter, we have a dear friend, little N, who is sick. Little N is probably right around the age you will be when you become a part of our family and she is so very sick. Anytime something happens to a friend of ours who is around the age you might be, I think of you. I long for the day N feels better and you are home and we'll all play together and praise God for the miracles he's done with each of our families.

Little Man, we have some dear friends who are going to keep your room warm for you this week. Actually, your grandma will be there on Wednesday and then our friends will come on Thursday. I am so excited to spend some time with them. They've been so supportive of our journey to you and I know they can't wait to meet you! It will be fun to talk about you with them and share our dreams for your life.

Little man, there are weeks I don't write you letters but there is never a day that I don't think about you. It's constant. You are always in my thoughts and in my heart. Oh! I almost forgot!! Your grandma and I went to Chicago last weekend and I picked up a little something for your room.

Isn't he sweet? He's in your room, waiting for you to come home. He and your penguin will be friends and wait patiently for you until you arrive. They may gain some more friends along the way.

I love you, Little Man and I am praying for you.