Monday, May 18, 2009

Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone

Well, Andreas said that I truely surprised him. I stepped out of my comfort zone and joined a temporary gospel choir. We sang two songs at a Spring concert in St. Jakobs Church on May 10th and then we sing one more time this coming Sunday, which is Swedish mother's day.

The really cute thing about all of this is that Samuel loved one of the songs that I sang and he continues to sing it. It is so sweet to hear him sing, "You are holy, holy, holy, I wanna clap my hands, stomp my feet, give you my voice and sing praises...." I am sure that God smiles and takes that praise as a beautiful fragrance. I will try to get him on video, but usually when I pull out the camera he starts performing and it isn't the sweet innocent praise. Let's just say he knows how to act for the camera, you would think we have taken a million pictures of him or something!!

I really tried to get the video of one of the performances on here, but it was too big and the slow internet wouldn't take it. So you will just have to settle for the few pictures below. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Beauty and Extreme Sports

The weekend of May 1st was an unusually warm weekend for this time of year, but wonderful. May 1st is a communist holiday that everyone in Sweden has off (just gotta laugh at the differences). We were trying to get to Stockholm to go to what is called "Jesus Manifestation". It is a time when 18 thousand people gathered to have worship services and intercede on Sweden's behalf. It is funny to think about the marches and fanfare of May 1st and the communism talk with the Jesus Manifestation of May 2nd. Quite different, but very poignant. However, we did not have enough money this month to make the trip, so we went to stay at our summer home for the weekend. On Saturday we packed up some things and hiked into the woods in search of a hidden lake Andreas had found last summer while Sam and I were in the States. It was gorgeous out in the woods and we did find the lake. So we spent the day there swimming, playing, eating and sleeping.

Samuel asleep in his pappa. He looks brilliant.

I really liked this picture of the black water. It is a little scary to go into because I didn't grow up swimming in lakes and this one is sooooooo black, but it was nice. Not nearly as cold as our swim a month earlier.
The first view of the lake. It was a small lake and probably pretty deep. Just a hole cut in the hill.

Cool pic of a rock formation. If you look closely you will see that the huge rock is sitting on small ones. It makes you wonder how in the world gravity doesn't roll the boulder down the little hill. But I like how it looked and the tree that bent over it. Samuel said that the stones look like a fish.
I was really excited about this pic. I hit the light just right. Scenes like this make you realize why Sweden has so many stories about mystical forests, trolls and such. It was a beautiful forest.

The video below is Sam doing the beginning of his extreme sports. He decided that it would be fun to jump off of this little cliff into pappa'a arms. So he did it with gusto! He scared me to death, but he really trusts his pappa because he kept doing it. It makes me worry for the future. Right after I took the video he did a perfect and beautiful "swan dive" into pappa's arms. I cannot believe what this child can do.

May 12, 2005 to May 12, 2009

I have many things that need to be blogged, but I need to first acknowledge the anniversary that we had yesterday. The picture above came to us on May 12, 2005. The first glimpse of our son, the referral. Our social worker, Don Smith, called me at work (Alta Woods UMC, in Mississippi) and asked if I had access to a computer. I told yes, and he said to look in my email box. This picture was waiting for me. Don reassured me that it was a boy and all the information that he had about Master Suraj Balack (which wasn't a lot). As in all adoptions we were then asked to weigh the information that we were given and say yes or no to the referral. I wanted to scream an affirmative yes, but Andreas didn't even know yet, so I waited. I got off the phone with Don and asked for permission to leave my post to get to my husband. Of course that was granted and I drove to see Eas. He knew something was up when I walked into his work (also a church secretary at that time). I told him that he was a father of a son. We looked at the picture together and I cried (of course). Then we did what every adoption social worker (including myself) tells you to do, we called up the doc that was helping us and asked her to look over the medical reports. With the little info that we had it was fine, at that time we also had only 24 hours to give an answer. So as we all know the answer was a huge YES!!!!

It seems amazing that 4 years could have gone by so quickly. We wouldn't actually be united with Sam until December 28th, 2005, but I wanted to acknowledge the day we first saw Sam. The picture below was taken this Easter, only a few weeks ago, as he was dressed in his Nepali clothes. He has grown so much and I cannot image my life without this little firecracker.

As for the new adoption, we found out that our paperwork was officially on Nepali soil yesterday, exactly 4 years from Sam's referral. Seems so appropriate. So now we play the waiting game to get logged in and processed to receive another referral, this time of a girl. I look forward to blogging on her 4th anniversary someday. Keep praying for us and all those waiting for their children. Please also pray for the children that are left where they are and will never have parents, they always weigh on my heart.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Some news about Nepal

Dear friends,

Andreas here. Rarely do I get on this blog anymore. So...hello to you all. All I have to share is this information about Nepal which pertains to our adoption. As far as that goes, we just sent in the last of the paperwork along with the required payment. This should conclude the Swedish side of the process and start the waiting game. Jolly good.

Here it is:
"Prime Minister Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal submitted his resignation to President Ram Baran Yadav today. The resignation came after President Yadav asked Chief Army Officer Mr. Rookmund Kata wal to stay in position though the Prime Minister had dismissed him. The Prime Minister’s resignation means paving the way for a new coalition government. These political changes are bound to delay and affect work at all government levels, including international adoption where the matching had just started.

Nepal signed the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and cooperation in respect of Intercountry adoption on the 28th of April, 2009. Earlier Nepal was a participatory country of Hague, with signing it has now become a Hague country. However, this now has to be ratified by the parliament before it is fully implemented. Hague Convention on Intercountry adoption is an international agreement between participation countries on the best adoption procedures with aim to uphold the best interest of the child and prevent child trafficking. Meanwhile more than 200 adoption applications from different countries have been registered at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and almost 150 children have been listed for intercountry adoption. Sources add almost 25 children have been matched with families and in the process of approval from the ministry."

Also, there is something about getting a good deal on travel and tickets, all the while helping a good agency, New Beginnings, with much needed financial help (albeit small):

You can help the work on New Beginnings when you travel. It’s simple, easy and the rates I’ve found have been excellent. The site was opened to help our adoptive families save money when traveling overseas, but everyone can benefit and the ministry of New Beginnings will receive a small portion of the Travelocity profit. In the non-profit world where “Every Little Bit Helps,” we’re grateful to those of you who remember us.

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