Sunday, December 28, 2008

2005 - 2007

This day is not only a special day for us, but it is Viktor Kjernald's (Samuel's cousin's) birthday. So two brothers (Andreas and Johan) became fathers on the same day 2 years apart. Happy 1st Birthday Viktor. (pictures will come, when Johan shares them with me)

Below is the beginning of our family.

Samuel and Mommy on December 28th, 2005

Samuel in Nepal 2005

Family 2006

Samuel 2006

Family 2007

Our Family 2008

This is our family in 2008. Samuel is a vibrant, smart, very active boy with a personality that would make anyone like him. He fills our days will laughter, activity and sometimes frustration. We wouldn't have it any other way. We thank Jesus for our precious boy and pray that we can raise him to love the Lord that gave him not only our family, but His own.

When we picked him up

In honor of the third anniversary of us becoming a family, I am reposting the video of two becoming three. We are and will always be so thankful for our beautiful son. As he continues to grow and bless us, we will always remember this special day in December of 2005.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting a Christmas Tree

Finding a Christmas tree here in Sweden is not the typical, go to the nearest plant nursery and pick out your favorite. No, here it is a tradition to steal the tree from some one elses land (but don't get caught). What we do is go out to the house in the woods (the one we use to live in) and search the land that belongs to Andreas's grandparents, uncle and father. So we don't stick closely to the stealing tradition (makes me wonder how many other people come to our land and take trees).

So on a snowy weekend we went in search of our tree. First we had to get Samuel to actually walk through the snow and not crawl (slows the process down just a little, not to mention the moose poop that is out there). Then we tried our best to find a tree that didn't look like a Charlie Brown tree (with no avail). Yes, I am doomed to a Charlie Brown Christmas once again. You can see straight through the tree, but it is pretty! I picked out the tree this year and Sam and Andreas cut it down. (the pictures below and in the reverse order, but enjoy our adventure).

Andreas accomplished the cutting and tying it to the car.

Sam and Andreas cutting the tree.
Before the cutting.

Sam rolling in the snow, and who knows what else.

Samuel taking a little sleigh ride down our hill, he liked the down more than the up (imagine that).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One Step Done (Finally!!!!)

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Today the board of social workers in Alingsas approved our homestudy!!! After a year of trying to get a homestudy done, it is finally finished. I have to give credit where it is due. The Alingsas Kommun (county) did a really good and fairly fast job. The slow down was the other Kommun that we were living in until the end of August. They did not want to do anything with us. Our social worker went up to bat for us and is getting the approval papers to us on Thursday. This means on Friday we will be mailing a package to our agency in Stockholm asking to be a pilot family for their new Nepal program!!!

I know that these steps are taking a lot of time, but I am so thankful for a little movement with this. I am praying and hoping that they will let us be a pilot family. We fit that program well and I am hoping to be able to help them with the program. That would give me a foot in the door of the Swedish adoption arena, which I would love to have.

Thank you Jesus. I feel like I should be writing a song or psalm to Him, like Mary's song or Zachariahs praise when he could finally speak. However, I don't even know what words to use, but here is my try:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Creator of all that is good and wonderful;
Knower of all things;
Lover of your people;
Thank you.
You put direction on the hearts of your children.
You show us the beauty of our own adoption into your family;
and you encourage us to build our family out of that image.
I trust you.
I trust you with the child that you have provided.
I trust you with the child that you will provide.
I trust you through my frustration.
For you are fully trustworthy.
All of your promises will come to pass.
I love you.

There is my feeble attempt, but from the heart. I am surprised I can write from my heart on this blog, but I think it helps that I don't actually have to face any of you when you read it. I hope to be hearing something about our acceptance (hopefully) sometime after the new year. Thank you all for your prayers and support. This will still be a very long process, but every little step helps. As Prof. Lauter calls them ''earnests'' from God.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Chance to Catch Up

The next three posts are pictures from this fall since Samuel and I returned home from the States. I haven't been good at posting, but I wanted to get these on so that my family and friends could enjoy them. Samuel seems to be changing by the day. It amazes me how he has gone from a baby to a young boy so quickly. I was just looking at pictures of him from last year and he still had a baby face, but now he is very independant and is all boy. Part of me really misses the baby, but I am excited to see him grow and embrace life, which he does to the fullest. Please pray for Andreas and I as we parent him and teach him to love Jesus. I truly believe that he can do amazing things for the Lord. We may have an evangelist on our hands!

Samuel has just finished his first semester of pre-school. He goes 3 days a week for 3 hours. His Swedish is definitely better, but of course he is picking up things from the other kids. We do not allow weapon toys in the house nor does he watch violent films, but Samuel builds guns and swords and his lego men fight all the time. Today when we went to the toy store he started playing with the guns and when I asked him why he liked the guns he told me that they were to kill the bad dinosaurs!? What in the world? Somehow it just happens!!! He is all boy.

Of course while in the toy store he also asked me for every toy that wasn't pink (according to him pink is ONLY for girls). So now we are also trying to find a way for him to enjoy the gifts, but realize that the celebration is for Jesus. Not very easy in this consumer's world. However, he is so sweet when we talk about Jesus's birthday and he insists that the 24th pocket on his advent calendar is a gift for Jesus and not him.

I hope that you enjoy the pictures below. We miss you all, especially during this time. Know that you are in our prayers and thoughts. And like Prof. Lauter always told me, I am sucking it up, and serving Jesus.


Crazy boy! Need I say more?

For his birthday he received a bike, which he loves to ride and does really well with. However, this is a cheesy, "mom's got the camera", smile. What a ham!

Pappa and Sam on his first bike ride.

For his birthday, Nonna (my mom) bought Samuel his own computer (kids of course). He likes to pull it out on the coffee table and act like he is working like Pappa. I love his little feet on the shelve under the coffee table. He is so funny.

This is just Sam and me being crazy. We have sticker glasses. Pretty cool huh?

This is the top of the church nestled in amoung the town (black roof). If you stand on the look-out and see the town you would think we were nestled into a valley in Pennsylvania or another state that is similar.

Our church in fall.

We have a wonderful canal that runs through the town. It empties into a very large lake on the edge of town. It really makes the town feel quaint.

Our street in fall.

Per (Andreas's cousin) and Hannes (Per's son)

Hamming it up with his gifts during his Swedish/Nepali birthday party

Looking very Nepali and handsome.

Mommy and Samuel looking very Nepali at the Nepali restaurant.

The Nepali restaurant in Gothenburg that we had Samuel's birthday party at.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thanksgiving In Sweden

November 23, we celebrated a traditional Thanksgiving at the church. It was wonderful! We had 25 people there, lots of children and really good fellowship. After the meal we had a short service in the church and then down again for dessert and of course we added a Swedish touch with a fun fact quiz (Swedes love to put funny quizzes into their parties). Looking around the room during our meal was really cool because we were truly and international bunch. We had several Swedes, and Americans of course. However, if you looked around you would also see families from the Congo and Ukraine, and of course we cannot forget our little Nepali. So all in all it almost felt like I was back at Prof. Lauter's house for Thanksgiving. Thanks to Sue Lauter we had lots of the traditional foods (thanks for the recipes mamma sue).

I have added a few pictures below. I had to get the pumpkin in at the end also. There are some traditions that have to stay even though you are in a foreign country and I love carving pumpkins (even though my Aunt Judy is way better at it than me).

We miss and love you all. God bless you and know that we are thinking and praying for you.