Maura: Birthday and Bike

Maura celebrated two significant events this weekend: her sixth birthday and her success at riding a “two-wheeler.”  She had several friends over on Saturday for a “Princess and the Frog” themed event.  Suzanne, as usual, made an excellent cake for the party.

The girls colored pictures, ate cake, blew bubbles, played with sidewalk chalk, had an Easter egg hunt (not often that you get to do that at a birthday party–Maura’s idea), and played on the swingset.  Quite a time.

After church on Sunday, Suz took Maura and her bike out to one of the local baseball fields.  We’ve found that a baseball field has been good training ground for learning to ride a two-wheeler: the infield is firm enough to ride on but much more forgiving than the street when the kids fall.  Not much later they came back home and Maura was eager to show off her new skills.

Six years old and all grown up.  (BTW, Maura picked out her own clothes today….. )

DTE today!! (“Dossier to Ethiopia”)

The long awaited important DTE date has come: 4-9-10!  Usually our agency, AWAA, sends the dossiers over to Ethiopia via FedEx, but in the email we received this morning they informed us that our paperwork will be hand delivered by some of their staff who are traveling there this weekend.  I love the idea that it will be handed over to the orphanage staff by loving, praying hands!

We are so blessed!!  I even got to do the DTE Dance with our friend and mom-in-the-adoptive-process, Deanne Mott, since she happened to be here when I got the email!  Woo Hoo!  Now to work on fundraising…… 🙂

Milestones and Anniversaries

As with most families, it’s been a big week for us. Besides the usual Easter activities and traveling to visit family, we have had a few other milestones. Since we have been so busy, I am cramming it all into this blog entry. ☺

Last Monday, Mar. 29, was our 14th wedding anniversary. We celebrated by going out for dinner at Jack & Jo’s in Mason City. We cannot recommend it enough! It is well worth the short 20-minute drive from Lincoln. John Means, the owner and Donald Trump of Mason City, showed us around his newest project—a building space across from the restaurant in which a chiropractor’s office and art studio will be located.

We also celebrated the long anticipated day of mailing off our “dossier” (9 months worth of paperwork, background checks, notarizations, autobiographies, medical forms, and a chunk of money!) to America World Adoption Association. They will double check it all, bring it to the US Embassy in DC to be certified, and then mail it off to Ethiopia! After it gets there, we will be put on a waiting list for a sibling group (boy 3-6 years and girl 0-18 months) and will wait on God’s timing to bring us together with them. We are officially in the 2nd trimester our paper pregnancy! We will be doing some fund raising and a lot of reading during this stage, but it will be a little more relaxing than the other 2 trimesters.

The Sunday before we mailed the dossier, we brought those important papers to church. Our elders prayed for us and for our paperwork, for the mother of these children, and for God to bring them to us to raise in His perfect timing. We are so thankful to be able to share this with our congregation so that they can be on this journey with us. They will have a big part in helping us to raise them in the Lord, and we can’t wait to share with our children how may people have been praying for THEM!  In fact, when we got home yesterday, we had a card in the mail from a home care group that has been praying for us, many of whom we don’t even know personally!  I love the community of God!

That Sunday was also memorable to me because it was Palm Sunday. It reminded me of the Easter Sunday just before our firstborn Erin was born. We had a very scary previous week in the hospital during my 29th week of pregnancy, being told Erin was going to be born and all the dangers that come with premature births. The doctors then ended up sending me home, very surprised that I had gotten better, thinking they may have even misdiagnosed my condition. They told me I could go home on bed rest and that I could attend church on the following Easter Sunday. I will never forget the overwhelming emotions I had as that service began with a rousing, organ-led “Christ the Lord Has Risen Today!” I knew I had come home from the hospital because of the prayers of the saints and I knew, to my very core, that Christ was indeed ALIVE! Incidentally, the doctors had not misdiagnosed me, and Erin was born by emergency c-section (along with a surprise emergency liver surgery for me) the following Sunday at 32 weeks. I know that because of the prayers of my brothers and sisters in several states, Erin was given a couple extra weeks for her lungs to develop, and He sustained and saved both of us from other possible devastating complications.

The song gift that God gave me this monumental Palm Sunday 2010 was “Hosanna” by Brook Frasier. I have always loved her spirit for the poor and lonely. The line in the song that has always grabbed hold of me is “Break my heart for what breaks yours.” I know it breaks God’s heart for there to be hurting and lonely people in this world, especially the vulnerable orphans and the oppressed, and I know it is our job as Christians to do whatever part God has called us to care for them in His Name. Lord, “give me your eyes” and “break my heart for what breaks yours.”

So 14 years ago I married my best friend, 10 years ago we had our first child, and this week we sent off the paperwork for our little Ethiopian blessings. This is a good month for anniversaries.