Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For All Adoptive Parents or Workers

A friend and wonderful adoptive mother, Amy Kinnell, has started a grant organization in KY. She started this organization with two other moms, but now is on her own due to busyness. However, the organization is Hope for the Children. You can go to or you can call Amy at 859-576-4370 (for some reason I cannot get it to link at this moment). In order to raise some funds so that grants can be given they are selling these wonderful t-shirts. The kids t-shirt is pictured below. The adult t-shirts say: 143 million orphans in the world (on front), Can you hear their cry (on back). It makes me choke up to think about it. The kids shirts are $10 and the adult are $15 or 2 for $25. I bought two of the kids shirts while I was home (one for Sam and one for our daughter to come). It is so cute to see Sam in the shirt. We talked about what it said and he really likes it, except when he "reads" it he says, "I love to be adopted". That is so amazing to watch him show off this shirt. So for all those who can, please purchase a shirt or two and help those who are struggling for funds to pay for their adoption. It is a blessing to help other and your help will reach farther than you ever thought possible.


A New UK Fan

While in Kentucky, Mamma Sue bought Sam this University of Kentucky t-shirt. Sam is so proud of it. He pulled it out today and said, I'm wearing this one mom. He is just starting to learn what UK is and why we root for them. My family would be so proud.

Trip to the US of A pt. 1

I realized as I downloaded my pictures today that I really didn't take that many pictures and several that I should have taken, I just don't have any of. For those I don't have pics of, I am sorry. I stayed with my wonderful Aunt Judy and Uncle Marty. They spoiled me rotten (thank you). They cooked for me and made sure I got the food that I missed. I also got to spend quite a bit of time with them. I really enjoyed staying with them. Being with them also ment that I had access to my grandfather all the time. He lives in an apartment in Judy's house. So I got to eat most dinners with him, go to church with him, and go down and talk to him whenever I wanted (except during his naps). It was really good to be there with him. He is one of the main reasons I went home. I love listening to his deep voice and his great laugh. He has been the father figure in my life and the image of a life of deep love for Christ and Biblical studies. He wrote a book about 60 years ago that is still in print (Methodical Bible Study). Just last month, the second book about Biblical studies was sent to the publishers. Popo (my granddad) and Dr. Bower have been working on that one for a while. We will see what the publishers have to say. Popo is also working on other things that Andreas is very eager to see. Sometimes it amazes me to put Andreas up to Popo and realize that I married someone like my grandfather. Makes sense, and the Lord knew what a blessing it would and is to me. As always it was really hard to leave Popo, it always makes me feel like a little girl again, wanting the safety of his arms. I miss him already. I also got to spend a little time with my mom. Wish that could have been more, but she has to work a lot.

Another couple that I spent some time with was Nathan and Cydil Waggoner and their wonderful daughter Ellie. Nathan and Cydil are also in the adoption process for their second child from Albania. Cydil is an amazing photographer and Nathan can do just about anything technical. We all went to college together, but have formed a stronger friendships since after graduation and through our common ground in adoption. Together they run the WGM student center in Wilmore. They are truly amazing people. You can link to them through my blog. Thank you for your time (even though you don't have a lot to spare). It was so good to see Ellie and how she is flourishing. I will be praying for #2.

Below is Tim and Cathy Bickert's olderst son, Jonmark. He is great and is growing up too quickly. I love his sense of humor and of course he the oldest face of Tim Bickert.

I was able to spend time with Sue Lauter (mamma sue). Andreas and I lived in there basement for two years and Mamma Sue was such a blessing during that time and since. She is a great image of a Godly woman and grandma to a lot of children (including several in Africa). If you are in Wilmore and ever get a chance, go meet her, you will be happy you did.

I was able to go down to Mississippi and see and good friend Kim Haney (can't believe we didn't get a picture together). Kim is the founder of "My Big Blue Planet" (it is linked on my blog. It is an educational program for adoptive parents and kids around the world to learn about the world). I can never fully explain the extent of her dreams for Big Blue, but the Lord is moving is great ways and hopefully there will be children that are able to do more and go farther for the kingdom through this program. It is also good for adoptive parents to learn about the country that their child comes from. As well as Big Blue, Kim is a lawyer, is working on her second PhD., has 6 children (3 adopted from Russia), homeschools and has time for her friends. Yes, she has more energy than most of us put together and she is smart to boot. Kim I am so excited for your future as you follow the Lord's leading. Thank you for being a good friend. Below is Taylor. Kim's third oldest. The pictures I got of the kids were over-exposed but you could see this one good enough.

This handsome man with me is my cousin Matthew Seitz. Yes, girls he is single and a man of God. I will give out his number for a small donation to our adoption fund... (just kidding, but it would be a good fundraiser).

While in Mississippi I was also able to go to Celebration of Adoption. It is the annual event for the agency that I use to work with (New Beginnings, and yes, I am wearing a sarhi). I listened to Micheal Reagan (son of the late Ronald Reagan) speak and I was able to meet up with the contact that helps our the New Beginnings adoption program in Nepal, Bobby Adhikari. Bobby has done amazing work for the Lord in Nepal and is so helpful and hopeful for the orphans of Nepal. Bobby it was great to see you and I hope to see you soon again when we pick up our daughter. Thank you for the amazing work you do for the Lord. May the Lord continue to bless Nepal with a large harvest.

Trip to the US of A pt. 2

Sorry that the pictures are not great on some of these, but it was hard light. I was able to spend some time with friends while I was there. Below are some of those friends. The first one is a crazy man by the name of Andy Bowen. He and his wonderful wife are missionaries to Paraguay with WGM. He is a language teacher so the missionaries in the country can learn to speak the local dialect. He also disciples and wears many other hats that I could never explain enough to do justice. He is a good friend and I always enjoy his humor when we hang out. He was a little angry at me one day because I kidnapped his wife, but I think he forgives me now.

This picture is Tim and Cathy Bickert. They are holding their youngest Ethan (they have 3 other boys also. I will try to get them on here too). Tim is our "hunter" friend. He took Andreas out hunting with him once. As they were getting all of the gear on Tim started spraying something on Andreas' shoes. When Andreas asked what it was, Tim calmly replied, "Racoon pee, to keep the human scent away." Now I don't who actually has the job of retreiving the racoon pee, but I am pretty glad that is not my job!

This beautiful family are the Spencers. William Spencer (Spenc) and Heidi went to college with us. We have always felt a special friendship with them and tried our best to stay in touch with our many moves. Spenc is a chaplain in the US Airforce and Heidi is an amazing writer, but right now has taken the wonderful opportunity to stay home with the little ones. They have Lauren, Samuel, and Thomas. Thank you for coming to see me you guys. It was so good to be with you.

I love this picture. This is Timmy. He is the youngest son of Andy and Lizet Bowen (and has a personality similar to my Samuel's). As I said before the Bowen's are missionaries in Paraguay with WGM. When they went back to Paraguay 4 years ago. Andreas and I thought we may never see them again. So it was a special priviledge to be with them again. I am sad to say I didn't have a good picture of Lucas their other son. I need one Lizet, send it to me via email.

This is Lizet, a wonderful mom, wife and friend. Lizet, you never cease to amaze me in all that you do and handle in a day. I was so sad that we didn't get to say a proper goodbye, but I will take that as a telling sign that we are not to say goodbye and we will see each other again. I can never explain how much I miss this woman, but I am thankful to God for the times that I can be with her.

Cathy Bickert and her son Ethan. You're so pretty Cathy (inside and out), thank you for your time and sharing your heart with me. I always learn how to be a better friend when I am around you.

Trip to the US of A pt. 3

I was able to spend some time with the family that I use to nanny for. I love this family and hope to know them for all of my days. There are 4 kids. The one below is Tori or Tore, as she likes to be called. I am really proud of this young woman. I started nannying her and her brother when she was 6. She is now 16. That makes me feel a bit old. He mom would say I am old. I had the priviledge of seeing Tore play volleyball for her school, Bluegrass Baptist Christian School. She is really enjoying herself, loves the Lord and wants to do mission work in Haiti with orphans. She is awesome! The kids that I don't have pictured are Mark who will is almost 12, Chris who is 9 and John who is 7. I love you all very much and will bring Sam back with me next time, promise. I also was able to have lunch with their mom Shawn Taylor (International adoption pediatricain extraodinare, you can link to her on my blog). We had Vietnamese food. It was really good, I mean it. So if you have a restaurant in your area, try it, really wonderful food.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yet Another ''Mom Moment''

Sorry for the lapse in writing to everyone. I was able to go home to the States for two weeks and visit with my family and some friends. It was sooooooo good to see you all. Samuel and Andreas stayed in Sweden and so I missed them terribly. However, I am home now and Sam keeps coming up to me and telling me that he missed me and he loves me.... so sweet. We have been hugging and kissing a lot.

I have a great Sam story for everyone. Something that you see in movies or on sitcoms, but never really expect it to happen to you. Let's start at the beginning of our day yesterday. Samuel had a vaccination which was so sad. He kept telling me that he didn't want the nurse to give it to him (of course all kids don't want a shot). I was holding him and she stuck it in his shoulder. He cringed his little face and then turned silently into my shoulder and sobbed quietly. It broke my heart! He was trying to be such a big boy, but it really hurt and so the tears came. I just held him and told him how proud I was of him for getting it. In a few minutes he was back to normal. The next thing was an ear infection. He has had one for about a week now and we called the hospital that specializes in his treatment (due to his lack of ear drum). They had us come in immediately (which is an hour drive). So we left at 2 got there at 3 and were in the doc's office by 3:30. They had to do a lot of cleaning and of course wax removal. He was so good, but little tears rolled down his cheeks at one point and he calmly said, ''that hurts a little''. So after all of that we rewarded him with candy (which is normally just a Saturday treat). We came home and when I was cooking dinner I asked him to go clean up the legos (big and small) in his room. He was actually doing that quietly when I heard a whimper come from the hall. I looked out the kitchen and saw him standing there with blood all over his shirt, face, arms, and nose. We have been working on him not picking his nose, so I assumed he had done just that. I calmly led him into my room and got some tissue from the bathroom to clean him. As I start to wipe his nose he says, ''mommy, it's still in there''. I asked him what was in where?. He said, ''the siren is in there still''. As my mind is racing to figure out what he is talking about, he points to his nose and said again, ''the siren is still stuck in there.'' I am sure the look on my face must have been really weird when I asked, ''are you telling me that you have a lego stuck up your nose?'' Now as a person I saw the humor in it all, as a mom, I saw a hospital visit coming! So I had him blow as hard as he could and after a few times the lego ''siren'' came out. Thank you Jesus. While I was trying to clean him up Andreas came in and I told him what happened, he just started laughing out loud. A laugh that I had been trying to hold back so that Sam would see that he shouldn't do it again. I still love that Andreas lightened the whole scene though.

Today I said to Sam, ''now we know to never stick legos up our noses.'' He replied with an innocent face, ''why not mommy?''. So I went on to explain it to him again. He really is a smart boy, so I am a little worried that the blood (which was plentiful) didn't tell him that what he did was not good! Is this a boy thing? I think I will talk to him again tomorrow about it, I really don't want to have to visit the hospital one of these days when it really won't come out!

Moral of the story, don't take for granted that your kids really may not know not to stick stuff up their noses. Always a good point to discuss!

Sorry about not having pictures this time. I will post some of my trip next time. There is a little adoption news. Our agency has sent 6 dossiers to Nepal up till now. Just the other day 3 of the couples received referrals. Unfortunately we were not one of them, but some movement is good. We also found out that those couples will travel this fall to pick up their children. So the time between referral and travel is relatively quick. Keep praying, there are so many waiting (both children and parents).


Monday, October 05, 2009

Adoption Update

For all of you who have asked about our adoption, we are still waiting. I am actually doing really well with it. Having a child as we wait, knowing the process and most of all a God that has calmed my heart has done wonders for me. I do have moments when I see girl clothing or I see a picture of a Nepali child. I yearn for my little girl then, but overall I am good.

However, Samuel has not been happy with the wait. The other night he asked Jesus to get mad at the Nepali people because they were taking so long to let us have his sister. I tried not to laugh and cry at the same time. He has also come out with spontaneous prayers the he loves his sister and would like her to come home soon. Luckily he has no concept of time, so we are okay at the moment.

Right now is the most holy hindu holiday in Nepal, so nothing is going to happen now. I remember waiting throught October for Sam and being very anxious for their holiday to end. We will see how they work through the end of the year. I am thinking next year at this point. I realized the other day it had been a year since we started our homestudy. At a year with Samuel we were bringing him home. Back then it seemed so long and it was really nothing. Now it is so long and I am doing okay. Seasons change and we change from our experiences through God. Praise Him for His faithfulness!

Andreas and I had a weekend to ourselves. Samuel spent the weekend with his grandparents. So we headed for the woods on Saturday to take a hike. This is the view of our favorite lake from the top of a hill. We found 3 liter of tagsvamp and 3 of kantereller on our walk (mushrooms). We also found a moose antler. It wasn't a huge one, must of been a young bull moose that lost it, but it is cool. Hey, Bickerts if you want it let me know maybe I can bring it home for you. This is the first time that we found an antler. We have always wanted to. Who knows why, just a cool thing I guess. At least we didn't run into the moose at the same time. However, Andreas reminded me that if we did, we had a weapon! Not really comforting! We did see a mamma moose and her calf and traces of the bull moose, but other than that not really eventful. I did get stuck in a bog for a minute. It is a weird feeling to go through the moss and not be able to get you foot back out. Andreas had to pull me out because my other foot was sinking too. Needless to say, I was a little gooey when we got home. But it was such a nice hike. We hiked about 6 to 7 American miles.
This is a type of mushroom, but you don't eat it. I just thought it looked like art. Soooooo cool.

A man and his dog!

Denmark Pt. I

Well, Andreas hadn't had a day off in a month and so he decided it was about time! So we took Samuel and Farmor to Denmark on the boat. We took our car (which is a new car by the way) and loaded up so that we could dock at Fredrickshavn and drive to Skagen. Skagen is the very tip on Denmark (actually a glorified sandbar) this is were the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea meet (Andreas says it is not really the Atlantic, but I am too tired to look it up). It is really cool because the ocean comes from two different ways and crashes into each other. Never knew that happened. It was pretty cool to walk out on the sandbar until the waves came at me from both sides. It almost makes you lose your footing. Anyway, we had a great day. It was warm and sunny and perfect. Sam loved the big boat and all the entertainment. I love that a trip like this is a day trip for us. One of these days Andreas and I will take our bikes on the boat and bike the whole way just for fun. (that sounds so European, don't worry I am still an American girl). Enjoy the pics below.


On the boat getting ready to leave.
Farmor's friend, Alva, lives on the bay and so she waved to us as we passed.

In the children's lounge, Samuel was able to meet Curious George, or Nicke Nyfiken in Swedish.

Needless to say, they had a great time.

Sam was so excited he was dancing with his pez dispenser.

Demark Pt. II

I was actually in a tank top and rolled up jeans in September at the ocean. I know for some it doesn't sound amazing, but remember we are in Scandinavia, it is amazing!
This church was not as interesting as we thought it would be. It is build on the sand dunes of Denmark. Shockingly enough (notice the sarcasm), a sand drift made it to the church and eventually covered most of the church. They tore down most of the church but left the tower as a landmark. I was really looking forward to seeing the church covered in sand. It could have some real theological significance, but alas, it was just a tower.

Love this picture. The light in Skagen is famous amungst some artists and there is special art dedicated to this area.

This was before Samuel got soaked for the second time in the day.

This is after he got soaked. Daddy is so great to give Sam his sweatshirt and carry him back to the car. Behind us is where the two oceans meet. You can actually walk out quite a ways it is not deep for a while. When you get onto the beach and start walking to the tip there are two World War II bunkers that the Germans used. It was eerie and a little strange to see them (of course they are covered in graffiti now, but it is easy to see what they were). I didn't get a picture of it, but it makes you think about what an awful time that was in history.

Demark Pt. III

In case you were wondering, it was a little windy.

Thanks mom for the butt shot. I wanted to see what it was like to be in between the waves as they came from different directions. Cool, but a little weird too.
Mom in her Skagen light.

That is the same lighthouse that I posted a close up of before.
This is a cool story. As we were docking we saw this yacht docking after us. Andreas made some remark about it was probably a Russian billionaire or something. Well, on the way back to our boat Andreas looked up the name of the boat on the internet. Turns out it is for a Russian billionaire. The name of the boat is the Eclipse. It actually has not been delivered to the owner yet. As we drove past we could see the plastic on the railings and windows. It must be out for a maiden voyage to make sure all is well. It was made in Germany and will be the biggest private yacht in the world (as you can see). It actually comes with it's own submarine (why, I don't know). Andreas read about the whole boat and it is extremely overboard if you ask me (no pun intended). You can look it up on the internet if you are interested. Let's just say he could feed a large country with what he is paying for this. The Russian man is the 11th riches man in the world. It's all a bit suspicious if you ask me!

Samuel's Kid Party

Okay, here is some backlog on the blog. After Sam's family birthday party on Thursday, Sept. 10th. We were going to have a kid party on Sat., Sept. 12. However, on Friday Sam's preschool called me to say that he didn't feel well. When I got there to pick him up I quickly realized that he had developed a fever. So the kid party was cancelled. We finally arranged it on the next Friday. It worked out well. Samuel had a great time. He had about 11 kids come and of course he loved being the center of attention. (boy is he in trouble when he gets a sister). I especially want to thank Jennie Weaver for her wonderful cake creation. I have posted Jennie's cakes in the past and Samuel has wanted one of her cakes for his birthday (even though he doesn't really eat them). So Jennie graciously made him the wonderful Veggie Tale cake below. It meant a lot to Sam.

Now that Sam is 5, he has taken to saying things like, "when I was 4 and a little boy..." or "now that I am 5 I can..." It has been very interesting. He has learned to ride the bike that Farfar and Farmor gave him and he loves being in his new preschool now that I am in Swedish lessons. He also is way to good at Swedish for his own britches. He is now correcting my Swedish and finding words for me that I cannot. It is a very humbling experience. Overall his is doing really well, now that he is 5!!!

Enjoy the pics below,

I am a knight of Alingsas, don't mind the girly ribbons and nevermind that my castle is a tent, it is my domain!

Legos, legos and more legos!!!!!

We had the party in the church, that way my house wasn't destroyed (I had the clean the church anyway). There were also boys and girls at his party (Samuel's choice).

Jennie is so talented. Sam still won't eat the characters (for those of you who don't know Veggie Tales from left to right are, Junior the asparagus, Larry the cucumber, and Bob the tomate). They looked exactly like the characters too.
I love the expressions on the faces.