Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Give Thanks

I know everyone is making their "Thankful List", but here is mine anyway. I wouldn't dare rank my list of things I am thankful for, so in no particular order, here we go...

1. Jesus Christ, my Savior
2. The Christian home I was raised in; the Christian home I have now
3. My Godly (and handsome) husband Tim
4. My beautiful and long-prayed-for children and the hope of more to come
5. My country (in spite of its faults, it is still the best...not perfect, but great...etc)
6. My church and our new pastor and his family
7. My house is warm, sturdy, and leak free
8. We have two vehicles that are currently running.
9. I can homeschool.
10. I bought groceries this week even though there was still food in the house.
11. My family and I are healthy.
12. Our closets overflow.
13. I have all five of my senses.
14. Music
15. Breezes
16. Bats (Okay, that's for Colton. We've been studying them, and he thinks they are the coolest.)
17. All of creation, really.
18. Sleep
19. Friends
20. Our neighborhood

Every night we have family prayer time just before going to bed. As we have taught our kids to pray, we didn't want them to sit down with their updated Wish List and run through it. So, we've really not taught them yet how to ask for things. What kid needs to be taught how to ask for something he wants!? Instead, we focus on being thankful. Even if they don't feel like praying, we prod them to at least say Thank You for one thing. I prompt Eli this way..."Dear Jesus, thank you for..." and then I encourage him to think of something on his own or I suggest things like being thankful for his brother or for something he got to do or for friends visiting.

This past Sunday our pastor challenged us to begin our prayer time with thankfulness and thanking God for everything we could think of. I looked at Tim and mouthed, "We'd never get the kids to bed." It's true. The entire Internet would be depleted of space, if I listed everything that I am thankful for present and past. The list above is a mere sliver of how my heart thanks God. I truly try to thank him in "all things" as the Bible says.

I don't always understand his ways, but I do trust that he is always in control and can work any situation to our good and His Glory. I don't understand why my years in education were miserable ones, but I'm sure there was a reason for that experience. Maybe it has simply made me a better homeschooling mom and more understanding of my husband who is still in the educational trenches. I don't understand why my dad had to have cancer or why he is already in Heaven, but I do thank God for showing us a miracle when He healed the cancer, and I thank God that Dad lived 14 more years after being given about 6 months.

I don't understand why Tim and I have such a desire to be generous to others and yet our bank account won't exactly support the habit. Or why we have the desire to open our home and our hearts and our lives to two little girls, and yet the funds to make it happen aren't exactly pouring in. But God's ways are not our ways. We have human minds that are limited to understanding things in this world. As long as we live on this earth, we can never completely understand God's ways. We know Him and love Him, but there is always more to Him. I'm glad He's the one in complete control...I know I don't want the job.

Oh! I just thought of a new one. I'm thankful for bloggers. It has been so cool to follow blogs of other people I know (and stay caught up) or to read blogs of people I meet (as a quick way of getting to know them) or to find blogs of people in various stages of adoption (so I can learn from their experiences or ask questions).

So, thank YOU for reading this and have a sincerely thankful Thanksgiving. And even after the turkey is gone, try a little experiment. Thank your spouse for even the little things. ("Thanks for getting the kids' coats on them." "Thanks for getting the mail.") Teach your kids thankfulness by expressing thanks to them ("Thanks for picking up your towel." "Thanks for coming when I called you.") When you are comfortable saying "thank you" at home, try randomly thanking people each day outside of the home. Thank the janitor at work for keeping the bathrooms clean. (You didn't have to do it!) Thank the store clerk when she gives you your receipt. Ladies, please thank a man if he opens a door for you! Encourage them to continue showing courtesy. Just think, if we spent our time being thankful, would we have as much time to criticize?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Starting the Paperwork

It looks like we are going to change agencies after all. We will be using Christian World Adoptions as our placing agency and Heaven Sent Children as our home study agency. I believe this will be better since HSC is local, and CWA is a lot less expensive (but still with plenty of credentials, experience, etc.)

I have been working on the paper work sent to us from HSC. I hope to finish it by Thanksgiving. We are still short on the fundraising, so I'm not sure when I will be able to send it in. I had wanted to finish the homestudy before applying with CWA so that we could go ahead and start applying for grants, but it looks like we may have to also show that we are clients of a placing agency when we apply for those grant.

I know the entire adoption process is mostly about waiting, but I'm getting so impatient about waiting to start waiting. It is so frustrating (and almost down right depressing) when I realize that we began researching adoption over 18 months ago. If we had started something then, we might actually have a referral by now, or better yet we might have our girls home. Why does it have to be so difficult just to get started? I keep praying that once in the process things will pick up--fundraising will be easier, maybe I'll be doing some medical transcription by then, the process will miraculously not be as lengthy or difficult by then, etc.

Please pray that I will be able to stay focused and get each step systematically completed as quickly as possible.