A friend of mine took this picture of Sam and I. It turned out really well and now my mom can see my hair cut somewhat. Thanks Dana. Looking at this pic, I can't believe how much Sam has grown up. He is such a handsome boy (not that I am bias).
Hello All, sorry for the silence. Things have been a bit busy here lately. Easter is coming and much more to do on the church calendar. However, Sweden is experiencing an early Spring so I thought I would try to do a ''10 Reasons You Know Spring is Coming''. I am refraining from calling it the ''top 10'' because frankly I am not that witty at the moment! Some of you may not understand the significance of some of the points, but if you have lived here,or had the privilage of knowing the culture, you''ll get it. For those of you who would like explinations, just let me know. So here goes my try...
10. The Swedish sky has turned from a grey to a blue (praise be to God!!!!).
9. People are actually out and about. (there is life here!!!)
8. People walk looking at the ground all the time in search of Tusi Lago (sp? - it's a spring flower here )
7. Clothes are coming in more colors than just black and grey.
6. You see tree branches with many color feathers in them for decoration. Cute idea and pretty, but it makes me laugh that adults do it. Looks more like a preschool art.
5. The Spring Witches are showing up everywhere (don't ask it's pretty weird).
4. The Swedes are all lined up, eyes closed, facing the sun (it reminds you of a sunflower field).
3. Kids can no longer sleep well because it is always light. (blackout shades are a must)
2. It snows, rains, and is warm and sunny all in the same day.
1. Those pesky seagulls are back, diving at everyone and protecting their eggs!
I hope that you were all greatly impressed by my list, just a few reflections that I had as I have been taking the dog for a walk. Sweden is really wonderful as it starts to shed it's winter clothes. I love to watch the changes. As Easter approached I pray that you all know the love of our Savior whom this season is for.
Meet our newest Superhero, otherwise known as "Larryboy". For those of you who know Veggie tales, you will understand (for those of you who don't you should, they are hystarical). This morning we were trying to get out the door when Sam ran to the closet and insisted that he was Larryboy. The pictures below are the results of his designer costume (note the socks on his hands and the brown cordoroys are really super suction ears). He states that he wants to help get the bad guys and have Jesus "switch their hearts" so they will be good! I think he is hilarious, and yes, I know, he is totally a pastors kid!!! I love the look of "don't mess with me on this first picture and the pose of "I'm sooooo cool" on the second.
Yesterday we were in the car on our way to bible study when he got very serious in the back seat. He said, "mom, I want Jesus to switch my heart". I'm thinking wow, that is so cool. Then he says that he wants to be a good guy because he was a mean guy before..."like a soilder" (he thinks soilders are mean because they have guns). "Now I want to be nice mommy".
I asked, "Do you love Jesus?"
"Do you love God? (he has said that he loves Jesus, but not God in the past)"
"Are you sorry for doing things that aren't good?"
"Are you sorry for not listening to mommy (had to get that one in there)"
"I think that is wonderful Sam, Jesus is really happy with you."
"I know mommy."
Talk about assurance of salvation! I know he is only four and will go through many questions about faith in his life, but I love that he thinks about Jesus and wants to do what he says. I pray it will continue. He is our future evangelist (go see him preaching on youtube).
I am sorry that I didn't get a chance to get on yesterday, but I wanted to make mention of something today. Years ago, when I was a nanny for some wonderful children (and you know who you are), an official day sprang up. This day falls on March 19th and it is officially, " Hug me, I'm German Day". You may ask, why this came about, well I will endulge you.
I had been sick and missed St. Patricks day with the kids, so on the day I came back I said to the oldest (she was about 11 or so), "kiss me I'm Irish". She gave me the strangest look and said back, "hug me I'm German". I think I laughed until I cried. She had no idea what was so funny, but then I explained. So from then on we have had the official, "hug me I'm German" day. So for all of you Germans, who missed this day, give someone a hug and don't forget next year.
Thanks Tori for the many years of laughter I continue to get out of this one.
Just wanted to say hello and recommend a movie. Last night I went to the movie store to rent Wall-E (at Samuel's request) and ended up renting ''The Bucket List'' also. Now renting a movie is always a toss up for me because I can look at the picture on the front, but since the text is in Swedish I am never really sure what the movie is about. I do try to read it and can make out a few things, but I am very careful as to what the front picture looks like (there is no back room in the Swedish video stores, it's all out for everyone to see). However, I figured since the picture was Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman we would be okay. It was a really good movie, sad though (ladies have a few kleenex around, but good). I recommend it. It has some great views of the Himalaya mountains (top of the world) and the top of Everest/Sargamatha.
I also recommend a movie called ''Blindsight''. It is more like a documentary. It is about a group of blind teenagers/adults from Tibet that go up into the mountains with a professional climbing team. It is interesting to hear about the beliefs of that region. Some of those same beliefs exsist in Nepal because there is a large Tibetan population.
We have had a Spring-like day here and Samuel and I have enjoyed it. He took his first ride on the scooter that Uncle Johan and Aunt Emma gave him for Christmas. A few wipe outs, but over all he did really well. Right now he is unhappy because he was told to clean up the disaster that is call a room. Have a feeling this may deteriorate because he is tired. I think early bedtime will come tonight.
Darcy will be sooooooo proud of me I made two posts today. My birthday was a nice one. I went to Scootis din bootis with Sam (otherwise known as gymnastics, hoppis o skootis in Swedish). Then I relaxed until my party. My poor husband was a little stressed, thank you love. He had downloaded some country music to make me feel like I was back in Kentucky and made a slide show and a quiz about me. It was fun. We had about 20 people come, there were a lot of people that were sick and couldn't come also (for all those people you can come and get some cake so I don't eat it all). Sam had several friends here, including Naomi (look at older posts). She played with Sam as much as she could. When it was time to leave Samuel gave her a big hug and then a kiss on the cheek, well she hugged and kissed him back - too cute. Her dad wasn't so happy about it so we will have to keep our eyes on those two.
Thank you for all of you that did come to the party and for those who called or emailed me to say happy birthday. It was very appreciated. My birthdays have always been hard here in Sweden. In Kentucky it was always Spring by my birthday and here it is still dark and cold, but the past two years have been pretty good. So thank you all for helping me make it special. Especially my wonderful husband.
There are a few pics below of the party. Enjoy.
Åsa, Naomi's mom, at the buffet. The pink roses were from mom and dad (beautiful). This is our tough Polish/Swedish friend Mats (I like to call him by his Polish name,but I can't spell it) The sleeping one is Zoe, his daughter.
Samuel playing with Nikhil (friend) and Hannes (second cousin).
Around the table, I have no ideo what I am doing.
I think I may be playing with a balloon here. Or maybe that is my son, trying to get it in the picture. Samuel struggled a little bit with the fact that he was not getting the presents. But overall did really well. It is funny to listen to the kids play and to see which ones are bossy and which follow. Samuel stood up for himself quite well and in Swedish also! Andreas said he was really proud of him.
Again thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes. I have to go a pick Samuel up now.
Okay, there are days that I still stuggle with the length of this adoption. Yes, even me when I can sit here and look at the amazing child that I do have from Nepal. Even me, the international adoption social worker, that helped other couples through these times. Yes, even me that knows and trusts the Lord that all will come to pass. So let me tell you what picked me up a little, or at least made me laugh.
This morning I received a message from my good friend Cydil Waggoner in Wilmore, Kentucky. Cydil is an amazing photographer (she took the really good ones of our family this past September). She had been to a photography seminar with a teacher named Vicki Taufer. Vicki and her husband Jed are waiting for a referral (otherwise known as a beautiful child) from Nepal (small world). Cydil told them about my blog and Vicki stated that they had been reading it (hey there Vicki and Jed). Then Cydil gave me links to there Vlog, as they call it. So I checked it out. Thank you Cydil, Jed and Vicki! The video of the bat capture made me roll! (clic on the title of this post to go to the vlog) I had a similar experience in Jamaica, but it ended with the bat coming straight at my face.
So in the big scheme of things, thank you for the laughter. It helps not to take things quite so seriously. Whether any of you see it or not I thank God for the little ''earnest'' that He put there for me. I needed it. So now, I will continue with the paperchase that we are working on.
Today we have a lot of phone calls to make (which means Andreas has a lot of phone calls to make, the phone is still very hard to deal with for me) and on Wednesday we have another meeting with our social worker to finalize the second version of our homestudy. Our homestudy will go back through the social work committee on March 31 and then go to translation. Funny that everything is done in Swedish and then has to be translated to English, yes my world does seem a little upside down now and again. Hopefully all paperwork will be done by the time translation is finished and all will be sent to Nepal at that time. Still hoping that we get a picture this year and can pick her up next year. Realistic, but far.
God bless and hold you in his grace and laughter, laurie
p.s. I have had some comments about my () marks that I do. Think of it like this, when you are having conversations with people, there are things that you say and then things that you think, but don't say. The words in the () are the words that I am thinking, so you get a little of the world inside my head. Yes folks, I have extra conversational pieces going on inside my head (don't ask, but I think it's a social worker thing).
Yes, it has finally happened. Today is the last of my younger 30's and tomorrow I have officially reached mid'30's. I have to laugh becasue I think it makes my mom feel older than it makes me feel. Have I really grown up? Can this be true? I sure don't feel like I am mid-30's or at least I don't feel like I thought I would when I was a teenager or in my 20's. It is amazing what seems old when you are a child compared to what seems old as an adult. I am sure to Sam I will be ancient when he realizes what age is. Andreas is throwing me a birthday party with a lot of friends and family. I will post pictures of that as soon as possble (just for you Darcy).
This past week has been an interesting one. Sam and I have been cooped up in the house most of the week because he didn't feel good. Anyone that has been around Samuel understands that he is not the cooped up sort of kid. Needless to say we were starting to drive each other crazy (that is not an exaggeration). Finally by Thursday he was better and today he went back to pre-school. That did a lot of good for the both of us.
During our time of sickness Samuel was watching a Veggie Tales video and asked me to sit with him on his bean bag. The pictures below show the result of that. This is how Andreas found us and I woke up as he was taking the pictures. It was quite sweet. When he woke up he looked at me and the first thing he said was, "I'm better". This is the child that fights a nap with all that he has. I gladly go into the nap with no problem what so ever (funny, huh?).
For those of you paying close attention, yes I have cut my hair. I have fringe again (otherwise known as banges). I haven't had those since I was in high school. Andreas wasn't sure what to think of me at first, but I think he will keep me afterall.
Please continue to pray for my mother in law. She is healing from her finger accident, but it is still painful and has more things to go through before it is all over.
Quick adoption update. We are working on paperwork and and hope to get all of it sometime in April. Still trusting the Lord that Nepal will work and this will happen. I actually bought a few girl clothes at the second hand store the other day. I couldn't help myself, they were brand new and very cheap. It made me realize how much I look forward to having a little girl (even though I am a bit scared of girls). We appreciate all of your prayers as we continue on this long journey.
I have a friend that told me I needed to post more often, so here is today's post.... Everyone is sick (for the most part). We could use your prayers and a whole lot of patience with each other. Also please pray for Andreas's mamma. She almost severed the tip of her left pointer finger the other day. It has been sewn back on, but she is in a lot of pain and we are praying that she will not get an infection.
And pray for my mom, with the financial situation in the States, my mother has lost about half of her income and next week will find out if she losses the other half. A lot of people are being hit hard right now, so I guess the title of this post is pray. The Father knows better than all of us what each one needs.
For all International adoptive families, homeschoolers, etc. I have a great resource for you. This is a new company that specializes in teaching guides, webinars and other materials that are country specific. It is specialized for different age groups, from children to adults. http://www.mybigblueplanet.org/ is the website. There is also http://www.mybigblueplanet.info/ for international companies that could use training services.
These sites were started by Kim Haney. She is a mother of 6, 3 of which have been adopted from Russia. She is also an accomplished lawyer, child advocate, home schooling mom, great friend, and a women seeking God's purpose in her life.
I am thrilled to see how this site has come into being. It is a new site so she would like to hear from adoptive parents, homeschooling parents and others about what countries they would really like the information on. She can always learn about and add countries to her educational materials. She is also doing webinars that are country specific and can be used for 2 hours *I think* of the educational hours that adoptive parents need to meet Hague requirements. I highly recommend this site, the material and the webinars. I am thrilled because she has a lot on Nepal, which is hard to find at this time.
So check it out and tell all of your friends, put links on your blogs. Then give her some feedback as to what you would like to see developed for other countries, etc. (I don't often endourse anything, so this is really good stuff in my opinion).
I have also added links on the right side of my blog that are helpful resources in international adoption.