Monday, July 30, 2007

Opinion's Please!!

I'm ready to start working on setting up and decorating Benjamin's bedroom. I want to make it cozy and inviting, but simple and not over-stimulating. I'm planning on using navy and cream w/ some accents of cranberry red and maybe a little hunter know...boy colors! : ) I want to use stripes and maybe a little plaids.

The problem I keep coming up against is what theme to use to decorate. Whatever theme I choose, I want it to just show up in a few accessories or artwork, but not be too much. Nothing seems to grab me yet. It was easier to pick a theme for a baby nursery, but for a two-year-old that I don't know yet it is more difficult. I don't want anything that could be too scary or unfamiliar to him. It's hard to know what might be meaningful or what he might enjoy.

Here's some thoughts that I've had:
1. In the most recent pictures we got of him, he was holding a matchbox car. I have been considering doing a car theme.

2. In some of the photos of the orphanage that I've seen, there are Winnie the Pooh paintings on the wall. I've never been a huge Pooh fan, but I like the idea of choosing something that might be familiar to him and soothing. I'm not sure though if the pictures I'm looking at are the big kids orphanage and not the baby orphanage where he is at. I was hoping maybe some of you who have been to Liberia might be able to help me on this one. Would Pooh and friends be familiar/comforting?

3. He also had a Mickey Mouse on his t-shirt, so I considered that as well.

I read a hilarious story on one of the other adoption blogs I read about a family who painted Nemo on the wall of the bedroom for their adopted son. They found him staring at the wall and asked him what he was looking at. He told his dad with longing in his voice, "I wish I could take that fish off the wall and eat it." Heeeheee.....This is what I'm trying to avoid....choosing a theme that might just make Benjamin hungry.....or evoke an emotion that I didn't even think about.

Whatever we go with it will be very little, just enough to be fun and dress up the room a little bit. So I'd love it if you'd leave me a comment and tell me your votes/opinions/other suggestions????

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I've Been a Bad Blogger

Dear Faithful Readers,
I have been an inconsistent blogger lately. I am sorry and hope that you, my faithful supporters, won't give up on me. : )

Something happened this summer. I have had a really busy schedule and also took three trips within two months, but I don't think I can blame my lack of blogging on busyness.

I think part of the problem was the unknown of when Benjamin will come home. I just couldn't maintain my enthusiasm or excitement any longer. I was just so tired of being in limbo. The easiest thing to do was to distance myself from the adoption world for a little while before I went crazy from impatience.

I also believe that fear has been another reason for my lack of blogging. I was up late one Friday night with my girl friends a few week back. I was emotional and tired and feeling overwhelmed by how busy I had allowed myself to become. Being the good friends that they are, they decided to have an intervention and make me promise that I would let go of some of the many things I had on my plate. The discussion came around to Benjamin and they talked about how I've been too busy to do any of the fun things of preparing for him. They pointed out that I hadn't even started decorating his room yet. I think because of it being so late, and the fact that I was already emotional, the truth came out. I blurted out, "But I'm afraid that he isn't really going to come home, so I don't want to get ready for him yet. If I stay super busy I don't have to feel how afraid I really am."

After all of my pregnancy losses and all of the stories on the AOH yahoo group of the families who have lost their referrals for varying reasons, I have been holding my breath waiting for my next "miscarriage." Now that the truth is out there, I'm trying to step out in faith and believe that my little boy will be coming home soon.

For all of you faithful readers, I wanted to let you know that we have finally done it! We have cleaned out the playroom! It is empty, the carpets have been cleaned, and many, many, many toys have mysteriously disappeared from our home. The toys that are left have moved into the girls' shared bedroom and they all have a home. The room is now ready to be transformed from a princess playland to a little boy's bedroom. Sometimes, I like to stand in the middle of the empty room and go, "AHHHHHH" It is such relief to let go of all of that toy clutter.

Well, thank you for not giving up on me. I'll try to be a better blogger from now on and not give in to my impatience and fear.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Benjamin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is July 24th, Benjamin's 2nd birthday! We all woke up this morning with Benjamin on our minds. I laid in bed this morning before I got up, thinking about him and wondering what his day is going to be like today. I really long to have him here with us.

The first thing my five-year-old said to her little sister this morning was, "Amy, do you know what day it is today? Today is BENJAMIN'S BIRTHDAY!!"

The girls wanted to send their own birthday wishes to their little brother:

"Benjamin, Happy Birthday! You are turning 2. I hope you have a good day!

Signed Your Loving Sister, Karissa"

"This is your big sister, Amy. I love you. I hope you come home soon and
quick. I wish you could come home soon and safe. You're turning 2! And Happy
Birthday. This is Amy."

Happy birthday, Benjamin. Your family loves you!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Please Pray for Spencer and the Wilson Family

The Wilson family lives here and they are in the process of adopting Spencer and Siah, two Liberian kids that are in the Acres of Hope program. They are an amazing family, and I've been so moved by their patience and faith throughout their wait for Spencer.

Spencer is a true orphan who has been living in the Firestone Hospital in Liberia since he was an infant. Acres of Hope and the Wilson Family long to see him able to be a part of a family instead of being a child raised in a hospital, but for some reason, the hospital has fought them and will not release Spencer. They have been waiting for over a year now.

When Patty Anglin, the director of AOH returns to Liberia in August, she is going to work hard to get Spencer released for adoption and home to the family that loves him. Please pray for her efforts and for the Wilson family as they struggle with a wait that is unknown in how long it will be.

My heart broke for Rachel Wilson, when I read this paragraph on her blog today:

When she (Patty Anglin) went with the Petersons to pick up Mama/Ruby from Firestone, Spencer ran to her. She picked him up and he put his hands on her face, making her look
him in the eyes and asked, "Grandma, when is it my turn?" I broke down when she told us that and my eyes are stinging with tears again in the retelling of it. She told him that God has his timing and that neither he nor she has forgotten him. It all just tears my heart out. He wants to come home, friends. My one consolation through all of this has been that Spencer is happy where he's at and oblivious that anything is wrong with his current situation. Now I know that is not the case. I'm undone.

Please pray for this little boy and his waiting forever family. I am so impatient to have Benjamin home and my wait has been nothing compared to what theirs has been. Please pray for peace and comfort for Rachel and her husband, Aaron. Spencer deserves to be in a home and in a family that loves him, instead of growing up as a ward of a hospital. There is going to be a giant celebration when this little boy comes home.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A Day in the Life of Benjamin

I just got an email on the yahoo group about what the routine is like at the orphanage. It was so neat to see written out what a day in the life of Benjamin is like. It makes me feel close to him and will make it so much easier to structure our life when he gets home.

The kids get up around 7 and are in bed at night by 7:30. His daily routine includes two baths a day because of the heat, playtime, preschool, and three meals a day. Each night before bed there is an evening devotion for the kids. I love knowing that he is hearing about Jesus on a daily basis and getting a good spiritual foundation. I'm also glad to know that naps are still a daily part of his day! I think I'll join him for some of those when he gets home. : )

I'm so thankful that my little boy is not in an institution somewhere, but is in a home, with predictable structure and lots of love. He's getting fed and cared for physically and spiritually.

It's midnight here, but he should be waking up in about an hour there and starting a new day. It is such a gift to know basically what he will be doing throughout that day. Right now, I can just imagine him fast asleep. I can't wait for the day when I can sneak into his room and watch him sleeping in person.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

My Philosophy of Life

Hey e-friends......I'd love to have your feedback on this. I am participating in a six-week fitness competition at our health club and as part of our team building, our coach has asked us to write out our philosophy of life and then share it with the team. I thought I'd start here and get your feedback before I share it with my fitness team. Would you comment on what you like, agree with, disagree with, would change, etc. I'd totally appreciate it. I'm just curious what others think of what I am thinking. Here it is:

My Philosophy of Life:

Wow. This is such an interesting question and exercise. I guess I define “philosophy of life” as my purpose in life, the answer to why I am here, and the legacy I want to leave. It should be the driving force behind all that I am, choose, say, believe, do, etc.

I believe the purpose of life is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. My life should be so characterized by love, that I put “skin on Jesus” and point other people to Him. Jesus said that His true disciples would be known by their love. He didn’t say they would be known by their religion. So I want to leave a legacy of love, not a legacy of being perfect, or following some set of rules out of duty, but to live a life that is marked by love.

A lot of people think they are giving me a compliment when they say “Becky, you are so religious,” but to me that isn’t a compliment at all. I see religion as man’s attempt to approach God on our own terms and traditions and rituals, when what God wants is relationship and to accept Him on His terms. In order to do that, I need to study the Bible and really live it, not cafeteria-style, picking and choosing only what I like or agree with, but the way God, the Maker of all, said it should be. It would be so much more of a compliment to me to say, “Becky, you are a friend of God.”

So, I want to not just know about God, I want to know Him, and I want everything I do, including my fitness journey, to be about pleasing Him and pointing other people to Him. When Matt talked about this journey being the “Path of Most Resistance,” I guess that is the philosophy I have most recently embraced. I think it will refine my character and make me more like Jesus. I also know that if when people chose to follow Jesus they were exempt from the trials of this life, the heartache and pain, then no one would choose Him for Him, they would choose Him as a “get out of jail free card.” So, lately, my mantra has been “Pain is not the Enemy.” It produces in my life the good fruit that I want others to see, it makes me more like Jesus who embodies everything I want to be, and when other people see that because I belong to Him, I’m carried through the tough stuff, that will bring other people to Him.

So, I guess my philosophy of life boils down to these values: Jesus, family, other people, love, and following the narrow path less traveled.