Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waiting Wednesday

It's Wednesday again! Can you believe it?!

I am so running out of things to list for our Waiting Wednesday posts! So today, I decided to do ten things I highly doubt you know about me. I know, I know who cares! Right? Oh well, after this you can't say you don't 'know' me anymore! Ha!

1. I am a private/shy person. I had a major internal battle when I first started this blog. Truth be told, this blog has helped me to become more 'open.' It's helped me share my feelings and to let my guard down, so-to-speak. It has challenged me in more ways that I ever thought it would, which is a good thing. :)

2. I am a peacemaker. At heart. I HATE confrontation. I hate to rock the boat, stir the pot, or whatever else that causes friction. Hate it. ALL. It gives me anxiety just thinking about it. Whew.

3. I tend to be a realist. I look at the realistic side of things. That's my anchor. However, I find that this is hard to have when faith enters the mix. Think about it, it's really hard to have faith when you have a realistic mindset. The two are like oil and water. So I have learned to NOT be so realistic and trust faith a little. It has been successful in many occasions.

4. I'm left-handed. So is my little Abram. We complain about right-handed scissors and notebooks that have the rings on the left-side. Well, I do because he's five and doesn't really realize these things yet. But, you bet-your-booty that I am going to let him in on the ways of the right-handed world. Yes, sir! (ma'am)

5. I started young. I met my hubby when I was still in High School and was engaged my Senior Year. Was married the summer of my Freshman year in college (I was 19). Had Kaleb two years later when I was a Jr. in college. And was pregnant with Abram when I graduated college.
What . . . ? I wanted a family. Really bad. Wouldn't change a thing.

6. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Corporate Fitness and a minor in Business Administration. Who cares!? (I was running out of things to put, so since the last one was about being married and pregnant twice while in college, I thought I would put this one in.) Have yet to use the Corporate Fitness, BUT - I am using the Bus. Admin. Yay for me. :)

7. My hubby and I are in Business together with his parents, my mother-in-law and father-in-law. It's a family-owned business and I am the Office Manager/Treasurer. (This is where the Bus. Admin. comes in.) I cut checks and do the book-keeping side of things. I love budgets, numbers and all that good stuff. It fits me and I LOVE it.

8. I was a tom-boy growing up. My dear Mom tried to dress me up in frilly, lace-y, dresses and it just didn't stick. They were itchy. I didn't find my girl-y side until I became a mother of boys. Go figure. I still have a tom-boyish side to me, though. I love to go camping and shooting with the boys and I've been to the spa once in my life.

9. I love to cook and bake. I love trying new recipes and things I have never cooked before. I get bored with the same' ol thing night after night. I also like trying new restaurants and new things. I love different and for things to be changed up once in a while.

10. I LOVE being a Mom. Love it. I love being home. I love being with my children each day. I consider being a Mom an awesome privilege. A huge blessing. I'm not perfect at it, but I try my best. I consider it an honor to help direct and guide these precious beings into life. My Heavenly Father entrusted me, little 'ol me, with these little people. And for that I am forever grateful.

Well, that's it. 10 things about me. Just for fun. Hope you have a GREAT Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waiting Wednesday

As the wait drags on, I am reminded of what we have been through from the beginning. So today I felt led to do 10 things that the journey of adoption has taught me. Here they are:

1. Patience. I put this at #1 for a reason. This one has been the hardest for me. I am NOT a patient person, by design - or so I thought. Am I as patient as I ought to be, sadly no. Am I more patient than I was 18 months ago? YEAH. This journey has given me a grand opportunity so exercise my patience muscle.

2. Faith. I would be lying if I didn't say my faith has been strengthened. Alot. When we were waiting for our referral, there were times when I wondered if the day would ever come that I would "meet" my daughter for the first time. It did. Now sometimes I wonder if she will ever be home. I have faith that she will. God has proved to be faithful throughout this entire journey.

3. Trust. Now, you might be saying, "faith and trust are the same." I thought they were too. But I go@gled them and they are in fact, different. Faith is believing the unseen. Trust is believing in spite of the evidence. I don't have trust in the process, the governments, the agencies. I have trust in God, in that HE is responsible for getting her home. He is responsible for approving her EP in His timing. I have trust in HIM and HIM only.

4. Love. Beginning this journey I knew about love. I knew it was powerful and deep. The love that I feel for this little girl is nothing I have ever experienced. Eventhough I have never met her, I love her just as much as my boys. She's my daughter, and I love her deeply. Everyday that I am away from her tears at my heart. If my boys were far from me for a long period, I miss them. Same things goes for Joye. The thought of missing her first birthday also makes me sad.

5. Knowing that everything works out for the good. Romans 8:28 is one of my favorites. "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." 'Nuff said.

6. To Listen. Listen to Scripture. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Listen. When everything around me is doubtful and uneasy, I stop and listen. I choose not to listen to the world. I choose to listen to Him. I have learned to stop talking, and listen. When I stop and listen, things become a lot more clear.

7. To be thankful - no matter what. This one is a tough one as well. It's really hard to be thankful when things don't go the way you planned. I NEVER thought that I would be waiting this long. NEVER. But I am thankful. I never imagined that my daughter would be over a year when she came home. But, I am thankful. I have to be. Because ultimately I am thankful for His provision, His timing and His process. None of it may make sense now, but it might later on.

8. Surrender. I have ab-so-lute-ly NO control over this whole thing. I thought I did, and boy was I wrong. I tried with all my might to control, but I just ended up exhausted and defeated in the end. Then, I surrendered. I have to say, life has been a lot more peaceful since then. I realize how much energy I wasted by trying to do it my way. As hard as it was to relinquish control, I'm really glad I did. I have used surrender in many more things in my life, and it really works. Valuable lesson for me.

9. Confidence. Not confidence in myself, but confidence in that this whole thing is going to turn out ok. I didn't have that when we first started. We had just lost the baby and my faith and confidence was shaken. Really shaken. Is Korea our country? Will we have the money? What if, what if, what if?

I now have confidence that we are where we're supposed to be, doing what we were meant to do and believing in the One who made it all possible. Confidence in Him.

10. Fulfillment. If you would have told me five years ago that we would be adopting a little girl from South Korea, I would have told you you were nuts. Literally. Literally nuts. Adoption, really? What? Where-the-heck is South Korea? Eventhough it would have sounded crazy five years ago, nothing feels more right. I truly believe that I was created to be an adoptive mother. I know, I don't have her home yet, haven't done the bonding thing, and haven't answered the tough questions about birthparents. I know that nothing about this is going to be easy. I know that. Parenting isn't easy, homeschooling isn't easy, marriage isn't easy. But I love all three. I was created to be a part of all three.

Is Joye our last child? Maybe, but I doubt it. God has broke my heart for those who don't have a mommy and daddy or a family. No one to tuck them in, bandage their boo-boo's, cuddle them when they have a bad dream. I am truly fulfilled in knowing that my Heavenly Father hand-picked this journey for us. I believe fulfillment comes with obedience. If HE calls us again, I will follow.

Happy Waiting Wednesday to all you waiters. With each WW post, I know that I am that much closer to bringing my baby home. And be encouraged, because the same thing goes for you! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Curriculum Questions

I have had a few questions regarding what curriculum we use. There are literally millions to chose from. When Kaleb was just about 4-years old I started researching all the different curriculum that was offered. Thankfully, Chad's cousin had Homeschooled her children and gave me tons of magazines to look through. Plus she had some GREAT tips on what curriculum she used and that helped a bunch.

As I looked through all of the information out there, I became very overwhelmed. "Which one is best for my little guy?" I prayed ALOT, asking for guidance in where to go. I felt led to homeschool, but I wanted guidance it which curriculum that was best for us. Then, I received a flyer for a local material showing for Abeka. I thought I would give it a try. I really wanted to get my hands on and look through the material. I just couldn't make a decision by looking from the computer. I had heard about Abeka many times before.

So I went to the showing with an open mind. Let's just say I left the meeting completely convinced that this was an awesome program. We still use Abeka today. I started out thinking that we were just going to use on a year-to-year basis. As of now, I see no reason to change. Here's what I love about Abeka:

Everything is Scripture-based; Spelling tests, readers, and all of the ethics of teaching. The do-your-best mentality is weaved throughout each assignment. Plus, they start with the basics that were taught when our grandparents went to school. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

When I was is school, it seemed like (looking back) that everything was taught in sections. Like Time, Money, Adding, Subtracting etc. Abeka ties everything together. For instance, they teach counting by fives. Then when he gets that down, we learn the clock and that minutes are counted by fives. Then we learn the nickel. The principle gets cemented in their little minds. The way they do things makes perfect sense to me. That's why I love it!

I have heard many people chide Abeka because it's tough, structured and "too much work." I don't find that. I love it. I believe it prepares them for the world and the hard work that we all know is out there. I find it a great tool for teaching boys to develop a great work ethic.

Again, everyone is different. That's what makes this world great and diverse. :)

Now, I haven't used their (Abeka) Bible program, because it was a little on the pricey side. So I went with Alpha and Omega. We're switching next year, I didn't care for their Bible either. Next year we are going with The Explorer Series. It really gets into Scripture in detail and I read a review of Bible curriculum's and that is what the reviewer liked the most. I like it too.

Please feel free to email me with any questions. jbaxter0619(at) yahoo(dot) com

Sorry for the very long and very detailed post to such a simple question. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waiting Wednesday

I love Homeschooling. I love being home. I know many families can't stay home with their children and I understand that. Homeschooling is SO perfect for our family and here are 10 reasons why I am so thankful for it:

1. Being able to monitor what exactly my precious children are learning. Notice I said monitor instead of control. Big difference, no? (not really)

2. Being able to pray over each lesson and start each day with prayer.

3. Being able to find the right curriculum that fits each child. Although both boys are using the same curriculum, IF the need be I could research and change it, if I wanted to.

4. Having the freedom of adjusting school to our schedule. Like this year we allotted an entire month (we actually thought baby sister was going to be home before we got done with school, what were we thinking) to adjust to having a little one. Now we'll be done April 16th.

5. Doing school in our Jammies.

6. Sometimes we start at 8:00 sharp and sometimes we start at a little after 9:00. No biggie, it all gets done, eventually.

7. Building a strong foundation. This scripture that is painted on the wall of our homeschooling room helps me to realize what this is all for. "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:11. Building a foundation strongly rooted in Christ.

8. Being able to do lessons in the morning and then having the rest of the day to play, meet with friends and go places.

9. I am re-learning right along with them. I just recently found out how interesting History is and now enjoy re-buffing my math skills. Who knew you could do this at thirty-years-old?

10. Watching them learn and seeing their progress from year to year.

Again, I DO NOT judge those who Public School. I know each does his/her own and what is best for their family. This is what is best for ours. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be their teacher.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fashion Friday

In light of all the clothes that I have accumulated and the fact that they aren't doing anything - yet. Kara and I have decided to pull out some of our favorites and put them to good use. They have to earn their keep, right?

Because I have seen the adoption wait string out in front of me, I have relented to buying 18-24 month clothes. I am just not sure how big she will be when she comes home. SOME of the stuff I have is 12 months, but very little. She was a little peanut, well littler than my boys, when she was born and so I wonder if she will be petite. I have only received one update and she was below the 'normal' weight and length for her age. Anyway, I can get by on the few outfits I have and then always get more later.

Here are some too-cute jammies that I got for her. Can't WAIT to snuggle with her in these. :)

Every Fourth of July, we go to a local celebration called Cherry Days. It's called that because the cherry trees are usually weighed down with ripe cherries. Chad and I have gone every year since we first started dating. So that would be . . . thirteen years, this year. Every year we say, "by this time next year. . . " Last year we said "we should have baby sister by then." If I don't have her home by the Fourth of July Celebration I am going to cry. A good meltdown/breakdown cry.

See the little cherries on this adorable dress? What-the-heck am I going to do with THIS if she's not home? Huh? Tell me! (Sigh) Anyways, this was the first 'dress' that I broke down and finally purchased. And it's a 12 month. So she has to be home. Has. to. be. Can't use it for next year.
(She will - gotta think positive, gotta think positive!)

(Above) is the little bloomer-type pants that go with it. And (below) is the dress in it's entirety, cute huh? I though so.

I got this cute-little-thing on sale. Brown . . . pink, had to get it.

Well, that's it for this week. Those are my favorite's. I can't wait to see my girl IN all of them . . . soon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

(late) Waiting Wednesday

(almost missed it - again)

Anyway, here are 10 things that I have been doing lately to keep my mind off of EP! :)

1. Spring Cleaning.

2. Organizing Joye's closet. There is LOTS of pink, by the way.

3. Tax stuff. Nothin' like some good 'ol fashioned tax stuff to keep the mind busy. Ick.

4. Listening to TobyMac. He has a new album out, you know. It's awesome. I can drift away and forget about the wait. Only for a moment, though.

5. Homeschooling. Six weeks to go. My intention was to get done early, that way we would be ready for our Travel Call. Yeah, now what am I going to do?

6. Thinking about setting up Joye's crib. I was going to do it once we got I600 approval, but I think we'll wait until we get EP. :)

7. Memorizing this Scripture:
"Humanly speaking it is impossible. But with God everything is possible." Matthew 19:26

8. Praying, with #7 in mind.

9. Stalking the Holt BB, to see if any other Eastern families have any news. Sad, I know.

10. Realizing that nothing can take my mind off this wait, indefinitely. I just have to keep my eyes on Jesus and pray for patience as we make our way through to the end of His perfect plan.
I know this will all be worth it when our sweet girl is home, safe in our arms.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Waiting Wednesday

These Waiting Wednesday's really sneak up on me. :)

I missed last weeks'. :(

So here are ten things that I am very thankful for:

1. A Savior that lovingly died for my sins. And no matter the sin, if I ask, it is immediately forgiven.

2. A loving Husband and best friend.

3. The two beautiful boys that I wake up to every morning.

4. Homeschooling, and being able to be home with those two beautiful boys everyday.

5. I am so-very-thankful that it's getting closer to spring. I love that it's getting warmer, even though March can be one of the snowiest months for Colorado.

6. A loving and supportive family that we are so-very blessed with. Love 'em ALL!!

7. Our beautiful daughter. I am SO blessed to have her and to be able to be her mother for the rest of her life.

8. Adoption. I am so thankful for Adoption. Even though the bureaucratic red tape, increased waiting times, and overall up's and downs are extremely difficult, I am so thankful to be on this journey.

9. A roof over my head. I know it may seem menial, but there are SO many that are without homes in the world and even a place to call their own. Especially in these hard times.

10. Food. Again, I am so thankful that I am able to go to the store and purchase food for all of us.

Do you have time for a story? It's a short one.

Our Pastor was in the process of adopting a little girl (10 y.o.) from Haiti when the earthquake happened. They were VERY shook up, to say the least, when the news broke. Anyway, she was one of the first to come 'home' after the quake. They have sent us updates letting us know how they are adjusting, etc. One thing that stuck with me was that this little girl was so enamored by the fact that groceries were so plentiful and came in bags. I really don't think she has ever seen such a thing - living in Haiti for the past ten years, I highly doubt it. When they come home from the store, she is just amazed at the sight of all the food.

Something I take for granted.

I take all that I have for granted. And that is what makes me so-very thankful.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy. . . Sad

Happy 10 months to my little, sweet Joye! I CANNOT believe that she is 10 months already! I had to do the math a couple of times, just to make sure. And the ticker in the sidebar confirmed it as well.

In two months she will be a year old. (Sigh)

THAT makes me sad. Really sad. Will we see her in the next two months? I don't know. I hope so, but honestly it would be a miracle. Could it happen? Absolutely! Is it realistic? Unfortunately, no.

I'm preparing my heart that she will be a over a year old when she comes home. BUT our Heavenly Father is still in the miracle-making business, and so I DO have hope in that.

However, I am thankfully happy that she is a part of our lives, even though she's not physically here yet. And I am happy that we are on this journey, and that she is so stinkin' adorable!


On the paperwork side, if you haven't already noticed in our timeline, we are NVC in AND NVC out!! YAY! Now, all of our 'stuff' has made it's way to the US Embassy in Korea! When we were logged out of NVC, the very nice lady said that it had been sent to the Embassy that day. So it's official, ALL of our United States (or stateside) stuff is completed! Whew.

Now what?

Well, now that our stuff is at the US Embassy, our P3 (or packet 3) is compiled and then given to the Agency (Eastern Social Welfare Society) in Korea. Once they pick up our P3 from the Embassy, that is known as 'P3 out.' I was going to call and see if we are P3 out, but yesterday was a holiday in Korea, so I will call maybe today or tomorrow.

Beyond the 'P3 out' is where we are currently stalled. And will be for a while, I'm afraid. We have quite a few family and friends following along with us on our journey so I am going to take a moment to explain this part of the process.

Hang on. It's kind of confusing.

When we signed the oodles of paperwork (back in November), stating that we intend to adopt Joye, called acceptance, all of that information was sent to Korea. Usually after that, Eastern (Korean agency) will begin to prepare our EP or Exit Permit. This allows Joye to leave Korea. So normally once you are in the P3 stage, your EP is waiting for you. That's not the case for us.

Currently, there is an EP backlog. Families from last year are still waiting for their childrens' EP. This backlog is what lodged our typical 3 month wait (from referral to travel call), to a 6+ month wait. Eastern (Korean agency) has MANY US agencies it deals with. So it is unclear how exactly they are processing these infamous EP's. One can only guess. 'Word on the street' is that July/August EP's are currently being processed. It differs with each US agency. We are a November Acceptance, so that's where we stand.

SO, now that our P3 is at Eastern (or should be soon) we will wait to hear for the glorious day when we are submitted for EP. Please pray that The Ministry (people that are responsible for approving EP's in Korea) will push through and grant them quickly. There are SO many of us waiting on this step. Many who have been waiting for EIGHT months to bring home their baby. Eight . . . Months! Please join us in praying these sweet children home!

Once we hear something, we will let everyone know. Otherwise, we will be on our knees praying for a miracle!