Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Whole New Year...

Hi friends! I'm sitting here typing this on my new laptop! (Gotta love those Christmas sales!) Hubby & I have talked about it for a while and he tried (unsuccessfully) to get one for me the day after Thanksgiving, but finally found a great deal online - no early morning trips and long lines necessary. : ) But, oh, where do I really start? Last Monday morning, as I was sitting down for breakfast with Lowell, he said he had a secret he needed to tell me before Christmas. He was quite serious. I said, "Okaaayyy..." and braced myself for whatever he was about to say. (Are you worried that I'm about to divulge his secret out here on the world wide web?????) Turned out to be that his sister and family (the ones who live in Thailand!) decided at the last minute to fly home to CA for Christmas and they were arriving in town the next day!!!!! He was the only one that knew. It was SO MUCH FUN to surprise his parents Tuesday night when they all got here. We hid the boys in over-sized duffel bags and Christmas carolled at their house and then told them we had a couple of early Christmas presents for them. : ) They both thought we had dogs hidden in there but were extremely ecstatic to find their grandsons and parents hiding behind the bushes. Like I said - SO. MUCH. FUN! So memorable. We'll be talking about this one for YEARS, I'm sure. : ) (Sherry, I'll try to get some pictures up here soon. : ) The next days were filled with Christmas Eve service preparations and Christmas celebrations with Lowell's family and 2 with my family and lots of (oh my goodness - so much!) delicious food, a trip to the snow (for everyone except Timothy and me) and to top it all off, we - just Lowell, Mik, Toby, Timo & myself -went to the coast for 2 nights. It was beautiful and a nice, quiet change from the full schedule of the weeks before. Honestly, on Friday I was thinking back on the weeks before and could hardly remember what happened in between Dec. 14 & Dec. 21st. I thought Mik's bday (12/13) had just happened the weekend before and then realized it was 2 weeks ago and what in the world happened since then????? I am PRAISING GOD for getting us through this month the way He did. I had so much fun (could be the theme for this month!) leading worship on Dec. 21 and coordinating the Christmas Eve service for our church and in spite of the added load of responsibilities (TIME!) we were more ready for Christmas (in regard to presents being purchased and wrapped) than we've ever been before. I KNOW it was because God knew what was coming and that I would be madly cleaning Monday and Tuesday and everything else. He took care of everything in so many ways that I don't have time to describe. I guess I won't likely be posting again here in 2008. : ) I love starting new years looking ahead and wondering what God is going to teach me about. And I'm looking forward to sharing more with you as the weeks and months come and go faster than I can get a handle on. : ) This life is quite a ride! I'm glad to be sharing it with you. : ) And I'm glad God's holding on to me so I can throw my hands up in the air and scream with the twists and turns knowing I'm secure in His grip. FOREVER. “This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”- Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 Are you ready for the new thing He's going to do in your life in 2009??? Happy New Year everyone!!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

(This is a poem I wrote last Saturday morning and sent out with some pictures to friends and family.  Most of you who are reading here probably got one, but in case you didn’t…  here it is!  Merry Christmas!  Things have been fun and crazy around here…  More info to come soon!)

 

08’s almost gone, 09’s drawing near

Much is the same, but Timothy’s here!

Born 7-07-07 (what a birthday!)

God brought him to us and he’s ours, here to stay!

 

In March, just a picture, a name & a promise

With July came a phone call! “Can you come in August?”

Mikaela & Toby would soon meet their brother

Surely we have a God who is like no other!

 

To Bangkok we flew as a family of four

August 24th, watched Kamin come through the door

And then, what adventure!  Elephant rides,

Cousins to play with, a new name to decide

 

Finally home from Thailand, a family of FIVE

A new toddler and jetlag… By God’s grace we survived!

Now Mikaela is 8, thriving in 2nd grade

And Toby is 5, still at home he does play

 

Lowell still works for the Housing Authorities most every day

But when he comes home, he’s ready to play

Melissa is grateful for all of God’s grace

As she serves at home and at church—what a pace!

 

And our youngest son? Mr. Timothy Kamin

Such noise does he make

Such joy does he bring, he fits right in!

Life is often crazy and full to the brim

Of lessons and love straight to us from Heaven

 

As we look to the future only one thing is sure

If we rest in God’s hands we will be secure

So in all of our stress and in every mess

Jesus, help us remember: WE ARE SO VERY BLESSED!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With Much Love,

Lowell, Melissa, Mikaela, Tobiah & Timothy

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

YIKES!!!!!

Christmas is NEXT WEEK.  You are all probably more aware of it than I am.  It seems that every year I feel like I can’t think too much about Christmas until Mikaela’s birthday          (which was last Saturday) is over.  We had a lot of fun celebrating her birthday (party on Friday with a bunch of screaming happy girls that involved lots of glue and glitter) and ended with a trip down Christmas Tree Lane on Saturday.  Then Timothy was dedicated at church on Sunday morning, which was very special. 

 

I’m also leading worship at church again this week and helping coordinate the Christmas Eve service (for Christmas Eve of course)…  so blogging has once again been bumped off the “to do list”.  Because you do, after all, want to get a Christmas card/letter from us, don’t you?  (If you don’t think I have you address, you can email me and at least I’ll email you an electronic version. J)  I’ll probably post whatever we end up writing (because I can’t stand to send out a picture/card without a letter) here on the blog, whenever it gets written – which had better be soon if I don’t want people to get them after Christmas!

 

OK.  I’ll stop rambling.  Just wanted mostly to say HI and I hope you’re more prepared for Christmas than I am!  But prepare your heart, if nothing else, because that’s what gift Christ wants from you more than anything.  J

 

Blessings,

 

Melissa

 

Friday, December 05, 2008

GLORY!

Hi Everyone!  Long time, no blog…  I know!  I don’t like using the word “busy,” but I have been BUSY!  There’s just no other way to say it!  If you read my last entry, you might recall I said I had some opportunities to share come up (though come “down” from God would be more accurate).  One of those involves leading worship at church (a couple weeks per month) and that by itself is taking up a bunch of time I wasn’t aware that I had.  I have also been occupied cleaning up after Timothy who has learned how to climb onto tables and drag stuff ALL OVER THE HOUSE (oh, and I’m trying to keep him off the tables, too.) especially when I’m trying to get ready for worship practice.  Sooo, thankful as I have been, I haven’t found much time to blog about it.  Or anything else.

 

But at the moment, I’m having an issue I thought you might be able to help me with.  AND I’m hoping to catch 2 birds with one cage (because that sounds nicer than killing 2 birds, don’t ya think?)  Tomorrow morning (in oh, about 12½ hours) our church is having a women’s Christmas Tea and I’m helping coordinate the program part of it (because I’m too lazy to decorate a table and would MUCH rather talk and sing than cook, thankyouverymuch).  I get to introduce the theme of the morning and also introduce the theme of our women’s retreat (coming in February 2009!)  Trouble is, I haven’t written anything out yet.  And I’ve learned that I ramble a lot more and sit down afterward thinking “why in the world did I say THAT?” when I don’t write out my thoughts before I get in front of a microphone.  But I was having trouble figuring out where to start writing…  which is why I’m “talking” to you.  I thought maybe if I tried to explain what I’m talking about to you, I’ll feel less pressure and catch both birds (have the intro’s written and a blog post, too!)  So, after that RIDICULOUSLY LONG intro, here’s what I think I’m going to say about our theme “The Glory of Christmas”.


A week or so ago, my son Toby told me he had figured out why the moon was normally in the sky at night instead of during the day.  It had something to do with the moon not shining brighter than the sun.  I let him finish his explanation and then I tried to explain to him that the moon doesn’t really have any light of its own.  The only light the moon has is a reflection of the sun’s much brighter, more brilliant light.  The moon is a reflection of the sun’s glory!  Many times in the Bible, glory is talked about in a way similar to light.  In talking about a new heaven and new earth, Revelation 21:23 says “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”  I think light is amazing .  You can see a source of light like a light bulb or the sun, but you can also see light reflecting off something else.  Think about it for a second.  Look around and see if you can see any light.  What you will see is either a source of light or light reflecting off of something else. 

 

God’s glory is the same!  We see God’s glory in 2 ways:  By experiencing God (through His word and  Spirit as He reveals Himself to us) and by seeing His glory reflected in the world He created and in the people He has created in His image.  We were created to reflect God’s glory!  When Jesus was born, an angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds and “The glory of the Lord shone around them”  Then a GREAT host of angels appeared with the first angel praising God and saying (say it with me): “Glory to God in the highest!”  And after the shepherds hurried off to see the baby, they returned “glorifying and praising God.”  God’s glory was shining and being proclaimed like never before that night in a manger and the hills of Bethlehem and today we are celebrating the Glory of God that still shines when we celebrate Christmas today.

 

(And that’s all you get for now…)  J

Friday, November 21, 2008

Me and My Big Mouth : )

Boy. I am amazed at how quickly God answers my prayers sometimes. Remember what I wrote a couple weeks ago time about wanting Him to deal with my ungrateful, whiny attitude? WOW. Did He EVER answer! (It’s always the best when I’m asking for things He’s prompting me to ask for… like He already has something wonderful to give me and He can’t wait for me to think to ask for it on my own – so he helps by making me see I need it, so I’ll want it, so I’ll ask for it, so He can give it to me already!) (Did you get that?) So. The night after I wrote that post I watched the week 6 video session of Believing God by Beth Moore and boy, was she ever fired up!!! She was talking about God's word being alive and active in us and about us needing to USE OUR MOUTHS to speak the truth and tell the mountains in our lives that were in the way of God's will for us to "MOVE IT!" (I wish every one of you would do this study because it is just so powerful and full of truth. God has been speaking to me SO MUCH through it!) As I was listening to her, I just knew God was giving me the answer to my prayers. He was telling me exactly how to break the power of the whining. Not just by praising Him, but by deciding and declaring that with God's strength I WAS GOING TO BE GRATEFUL and telling ungratefulness to get out of the way and out of my heart! I decided I was DONE with complaining and DONE letting it steal so much energy from me. And God agreed. : ) Throughout the next days He showed me verses and truth about how many things were hard for me just because I thought they were hard and about what He really wanted me to be doing with my big mouth. (And in case you don't know me in person, I do have a big mouth. Quite literally!) God also showed me that one of the reasons I was complaining and feeling sorry for myself so much was that I was believing Satan's lies that I was defeated or would never be victorious in certain areas of my life. I had to reject and renounce that lie and start believing and declaring that I was going to be victorious because in 2 Corinthians 2:14, God says so! ("But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.") God and I still have a lot of things to conquer in my life, but I feel like for the first time in a LONG time, I am living in victory over my old bad attitude. I'm continuing to choose to be grateful and refusing to complain and feel sorry for myself. And the most amazing thing has happened. Not only to I feel entirely different, but God is opening doors for me that have been closed for a long time. In the last 2 weeks He has scheduled me for several upcoming opportunities to use my big mouth to share with others at church in worship and teaching. And even though I'm still not sure how exactly I'm going to have time to do it all, God is doing something new in me and I absolutely believe the doors are now open because I have stopped complaining and living in defeat. Here is my new job description. : ) Colossians 3:15-17 says this: "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." I could go on and on... but am going to save it for next time and stop before you fall asleep. Or before I do. : ) With a Thankful Heart, Melissa

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Awww.....

Our social worker is coming over tonight for our 2nd (out of 4) post-placement visits. He has to see how things are going and write a report that gets sent back to Thailand along with some pictures of Timothy so they can see he really is alive and well.
So this morning I was taking pictures. Because I wanted them to be really current. (right.....) Aren't these kids just too cute?????

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to work on the questionnaire we're supposed to have filled out to submit tonight... you know... before I can be accused of procrastinating.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I Think I'm Back (& I Have a Disease)

Well, I think I'm back... But I'm not making any promises! : ) What I DO know is that I miss blogging and am feeling ready to start talking to you all again! (Even though I'm still not really sure who some of you are... Feel free to delurk anytime!) I do expect there will be some changes around here, though. For one thing, I don't expect to be talking so much about adoption quite so often. While I'm still a HUGE FAN of adoption and how our family has been blessed by being allowed to adopt Timothy, at this point it's not the huge focus of my life that it was a few months ago. As of tomorrow, Timothy will have been home for 2 months (wow!) and in many ways it feels like so much longer. He belongs with us as much as any of the rest of us do. I'm sure I'll still be talking about adoption some, because I definitely do still think about it, BUT I'm hoping that I will be thinking about a lot of other things, too. Especially about God and Truth and the Truths I'm learning from God. For example... Yesterday I determined & declared that I HAVE A DISEASE. I'm still attempting to diagnose it, but I know that the symptoms are: selfishness, self-pity, grumbling & complaining, woe-is-me-ing, whining (OH, the WHINING that goes on in my head!), sighing, depression, blah, blah & blah. Your basic ungratefulness, I suppose. I've tried praising God and counting and thanking Him for all the uncountable blessings in my life. But it doesn't really fix how I'm feeling when I'm feeling bad. It often actually makes me feel worse, because on top of the selfishness, self-pity, etc. (see list above!) I then add GUILT & CONDEMNATION for feeling that way when there are SO many people in the world and even in my neighborhood with REAL problems and not just laundry piles and hungry children and sticky kitchen floors. There are so many people who are really suffering in the world. I AM NOT ONE OF THEM. I HAVE NO EXCUSE. SO. Yesterday, I discovered it was 3 weeks before Thanksgiving and I asked God to PLEASE HELP ME learn how to be thankful and show me what in the world is going on in my heart that is causing me to be so ungrateful. And He has already been showing me that it's even worse than I thought. It's like a cancer that has been effecting decisions I make and how I feel even about having to make decisions (wah!). And you know what? Surprisingly, I am already feeling more thankful and praising God because I've been in places like this before. Often, when I get to a place where I'm feeling the grossness of something in my heart that I hadn't really noticed before, it means 2 things: 1. God is exposing it because, 2. God wants to deal with it and free me from it! Hallelujah! So if you decide to come back and visit me again, hopefully you'll hear more (among other things) about what I'm learning about being thankful. Actually, I'm sure you will. Because God very strongly desires that I be thankful and I know that since I'm asking and it's something He agrees with, HE WILL DO IT. And I'm gonna thank Him when He does!!! See ya again soon. (It's nice to be back.) : ) Y, Melissa

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

AT LAST!

We interrupt this blogging break to announce that after 2 months of coaching and coaxing and dirty hands and knees, O (Timothy) has started walking! He's been taking steps for a few weeks now, but strongly preferred crawling... until this weekend! video Yay! (And now... back to the previously scheduled blog break... back soon!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Know, I Know...

I said I wasn't going to be blogging right now, and even though it looks like I am... I'm not. I'm just sharing an incredible video with you, whoever you may be... because God loves you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen - For Now...

OK, So here’s the deal. For the last week and a half I have been planning on writing about some of the exciting “firsts” that have been happening with Timothy. It started with his first steps on 10/2 (finally! though he still strongly prefers crawling), his first hour left with “babysitters” (Lowell’s parents – we went to Taco Bell and OSH. Woohoo!) and our first post-placement visit with our social worker (where Timothy decided to show off and walk farther than he had ever walked before.) Since then the list has gotten even longer… we’ve experienced his first trip to the fair, first trip to the Dr., first cold days… and some other things I can’t remember. I’ve also thought about some profound things regarding adoption, my spiritual walk right now, life in general and who knows what else that I wanted to blog about. BUT have you gotten to read about any of these things????? Have I actually written about any of these things (before now)????? Unfortunately the answer is NO. Today I even thought of some ridiculous ways to tell you what I’m about to tell you: The BLOG is taking another vacation! I thought about writing a letter to the blog (“It’s not you, it’s me. And yes, there is someone else and his name is Timothy.”) but, well, that was just weird. And I KNOW that I had another silly idea, but I can’t even remember what it was – even though it was being thought about less than 6 hours ago. (Another reason I haven’t been blogging… I think of things when I’m not at the computer and then when I’m at the computer can’t remember what they were.) It’s bugging me that I keep thinking of things I want to write about and keep not finding the time to write. K All of the extra time I used to use to blog has disappeared into the black hole called “I have 3 children now.” BUT, ever an optimist, I am determined not to abandon my beloved blog and handful of devoted readers forever. J I am hoping to be back, full of insight and stories in a few weeks. Sometime in November maybe? I was thinking of taking the month of October off, but realized today that October is already almost halfway over. (Huh???) So maybe it will be until Thanksgiving – because you know there isn’t going to be much going on after that and I always (HAHAHAHA!!!) have Mikaela’s birthday preparations, our Christmas shopping, family newsletter and baking done by Thanksgiving. (Yeah…. that’s the optimist in denial.) So December should be the perfect time to start blogging again. J Well, whatever happens, for now I need to stop being frustrated for not writing and just set it aside for a few weeks. This season is so new to me. Not only do I have another child that I’m still getting to know and learning to love, but for the first time in 2 and a half YEARS I do not have “The Adoption” to be obsessing about and procrastinating about and preparing for. It feels very strange. It’s been on my To-Do list for so long, I’m wondering now what’s going to fill the space (besides diapers and nap-resistance.) I know God is doing some new stuff in my heart and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you after I’ve had a bit more time to listen to Him (without thinking about the blog.) Feel free to comment away – they’ll still end up in my inbox. Love you all and see you soon!!!!! Love, Melissa

Monday, October 06, 2008

Once you lock it, you're OK!

My husband is an avid, very talented Do-It-Yourself-er. He is amazing! And I think he might need one of these for his birthday coming up this month.

It's always so hard for me to think of what to get him. But not this year!!!!! : )

Happy Monday!

Monday, September 29, 2008

And I quote...

As I pulled Toby up onto my lap this afternoon, I asked him, “When did you get so big?”

His answer?

“Last night. I think… I did.”

So there you go. J

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Since I haven't had much time to write lately...

Here are some pictures taken in the last couple of weeks. We sent some back to Thailand and I thought I'd post some here too. Most of them are of Timothy, since he's a bit behind in the picture file. But I have a feeling, most of you want to see him at this point anyway!

I have several others things I'm really wanting to write about, but the time is eluding me. Actually, time in general is eluding me. But then, time has been eluding me for as long as I can remember. So you see, life is just back to normal. : )

Enjoy!

Loving the piano...

Daddy is DETERMINED to get the little guy to walk someday soon... Timothy is determined NOT to be in a hurry!

But every once in a while he'll try standing...

Yay!

Sibling bonding in the little, tiny pool...

Brothers!!!

Mikaela walking him around... She's such a great big sister!

Mommy and son with food on his face

What you don't love me yet??? Well, if I just smile at you, you won't be able to help it!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yes, We 're still alive

Slowly getting over jetlag and trying to find a new routine... I have 2 boys sitting on me at the moment (though one of them doesn't stay anywhere for long) and it seems that this time is as good as any to try to post something. I used to write in the evenings after my kids were in bed, but this last week I've been so tired when 8pm rolls around that it's all I can do to make sure I have bottles ready for the night wakings and eventually fall into bed.
It's not like that all day long... I'm not too tired during the day anymore - it just hits me hard in the evenings. And during the day I'm feeling pulled in so many directions trying to take care of all the kids and the house (and myself?) that all the time I used to use for blogging is needed for other stuff at the moment.
But I'm not giving up or going to let myself get discouraged. As of today, we've only been home for a week... I was talking with God this morning about how to keep from being negative about the crushed cheerios on the floor and the piles of laundry and the little boy who doesn't want to sleep anymore and my grumpiness. He reminded me that "the joy of the Lord is my strength" - not the joy of life... and I have to keep my eyes on Him and not just try to look on the bright side of my circumstances. Sometimes that's enough - but not always.
Matthew 14:22-32 tells this story... (Jesus had just fed 500 men + women and kids with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, by the way.)
"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." "
We have just come through an amazing few months. This morning as I read through a list of things I was asking and trusting God to do regarding our trip to Thailand, there was not ONE THING I could point to and say God didn't answer. He was challenging me then to believe Him and the challenge remains for this portion of the journey. Will I get overwhelmed by paying attention to the waves and the wind or will I keep my eyes on Jesus? That's my challenge for today... To keep my eyes on Him and keep listening to Him and believing Him so I don't sink in the cheerios and laundry and dishes, but knowing all along that even when I doubt and start to fall, that I can cry out to Him to save me - and He will every time.
Blessings to you all!
~Melissa

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Home at last...

Well, we’re really home now. And really jet-lagged! Especially Timothy… Lowell and I took turns with him last night as he was up and fighting sleep and grieving last night from 11pm until about 4:45am when he finally slept for a few hours. But at least we know that we’re home, even if he doesn’t understand it yet. I just thought I’d let you all know we’re here and I’m going back to my once a week (or maybe twice if I really have something significant to say) blogging schedule. I probably won’t post again until this weekend sometime. Lowell is going back to work tomorrow for part of the day and Mik is going back to school and the boys and I will be here getting used to our new version of life. I miss Wicky (the amazing lady who did our laundry and dishes in Bang Saen) and Carmen and Andy and Connor and Isaac (who were happy to help entertain Mik and Toby and Timothy) but I know we’ll survive and the worst of it will be over soon (or someday anyway!). The suitcases will get unpacked and put away and we’ll get settled and little O will be back to his happy self once he gets his days and nights straight. I’m grateful for the time we spent getting to know each other in Thailand before we came home. While it certainly added to the number of transitions, it also helped us see what we have to look forward to once we’re settled and definitely made the trip home easier than it would have been otherwise.

Thanks for all of your comments and prayers and for caring about us. J

Love, Melissa

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast." Psalm 139:9-10

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Phew!!!

We made it to California!!!  My brother Greg picked us up last night at the airport after two flights that went quite well (under the circumstances!) and we all got some sleep last night, though I'm sure we're going to all want to go to bed early tonight.  Timothy is doing well and was great on the planes.  Especially since they got us bulkhead seats for the long flight - he slept quite well once I put him on the floor at our feet.  None of us got sick this time (yay!) and we are so happy to be going HOME!!!!!
 
It was quite a long trip...  over 24 hours from when we left Carmen's house to here, and it took a LONG time to get Timothy's ticket from the airline and then to get through Thai immigration  - but we made it out of Thailand and back into the USA.  The kids all did really well - even when our patience and energy was all drained by the lines and waiting and flying at the end.
 
I'm looking forward to being home and Timothy learning to feel at home there.  We've moved around quite a bit since he joined our family, and every time things change, it's a bit hard for him - mostly when he needs to be sleeping...  so I know finally getting settled will be good for all of us.
 
Well, he's waking up so I'm gonna go for now.  Thanks everyone for your prayers!!!!!  Thanks God for getting us so close to home!!!
 
Love, Melissa
 
 


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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Finally!!!

Three things... Finally...

1. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm using a computer with a fully functioning exclamation point!!!! : )

2. We're finally going home! In less than an hour we should be on our way to the airport. the plane leaves Bangkok at 1:10pm Monday (11:10pm Sunday night in CA) and we layover in Taipei for a few hours again before landing in San Francisco at 7:50pm Monday night. Our flight actually leaves Taipei at around 10:00pm Monday and we land a couple hours "earlier" the same day in CA... so very strange! thanks for all of your prayers! We know God is taking care of us and no matter how crazy the flights are, we'll make it.

3. Kamin has a new name!!!!! His new name is Timothy Kamin Ens. I love it for several reasons... Lowell picked it out, it has the name his birth mom gave him (Kamin) in it, it has the nickname his foster mom gave him (O as in TimOthy) and it means honoring God - and something about being energetic like the Timothy in the Bible was. Fits him very well. : ) It even sounds good in Spanish. : )

So I'd better finish running around gathering the loose ends. See ya all on the other side!!! Yahooooo!!!!!!!!!

Love, Melissa, Lowell, Mikaela, Toby & Timothy!

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ahhh..... and AWE!

Praise God!!!! Our trip to Bangkok went so smoothly today I am absolutely in awe. There is no explanation for me other than that God was blessing and looking out for us. We were in and out of the embassy in 45 minutes this morning with instructions to come back at 3pm to pick up Kamin's passport and visa and other documents. That left us with over 5 hours of free time, so we went back with our social worker to the Holt Sahathai Foundation office and got to see a the other women we had worked with last week and the place where they do so much for so many children here in Thailand. They are such gracious, wonderful people who had a big role in the wonderful start Kamin had to his life here. It was a treat to see them again and have lunch with Pat before heading to a shopping center to stock up for the last time before we head home on diapers and formula.  Then we went back to the embassy and Kamin's paperwork was waiting for us, ready to go!!!! He fell asleep on the way home and the whole day made me feel better about the trip home. I am actually starting to look forward to it instead of dreading it...
There was ONE funny thing that happened... As we were waiting for our driver on the sidewalk just down from the embassy, I asked Lowell to take a picture for me of a sign. it's a guy campaigning for governor of Bangkok... saying something like he can see the problems and will take care of them. Funny thing is the guy is known for being pretty corrupt - and owning massage parlors. Interesting politician. Anyway, Lowell turned around and took a picture of the sidewalk leading up to the embassy - really not exciting at all, except for us b/c we had just gotten Kamin's visa, but it became apparent quite quickly that the guard did not approve of us doing this. He started waving his finger at us and all of a sudden there were 2 guards and their supervisor walking toward us. The guy in charge asked to see Lowell's ID and said we couldn't take photos and even though he deleted it from the camera, the guy wanted to take Lowell's passport so he could copy it and make Lowell sign something saying he wouldn't take any more photos. So, our driver pulled up, Kamin and I got in the car while Lowell followed the 3 security people back into the embassy where they searched for a piece of paper for the copy machine, copied his passport and made him write on the copy that he wouldn't take any photos of the embassy. By the time we got back from driving around the block, he was outside waiting for us. It seemed so silly. But now all of the rest of you know NOT to take pictures of the guards or the entrance to the US embassy in Bangkok if you don't want any trouble with the security guards! They are very serious about their job to keep the embassy safe. : )
It's hard to believe we only have 3 more full days here before we head home. I am so grateful for the time we have spent here. We have learned so much about Kamin and what he likes, what he eats, when he is tired, what he likes to play with, etc, that the trip home is going to be so much easier. Not easy, but easier. I realize I haven't told you nearly enough about him - and I'll try in my next post. But I found myself today thinking back on all of my anxiety and fears about what this trip would be like and how he would adjust and I feel SO differently now - because before I was worrying about a child I didn't know yet. And now, I think about this little boy I have grown to love and think, "That was YOU I was worried about???" and I'm not worried anymore. Wondering about all of the adjustments and the flights, etc, but not about an unknown child anymore. Because now he's not just a picture on the computer I stare at and wonder about... now he's my son. And I am in awe.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Prayer Request...

Hey everyone... If you wouldn't mind, would you join us in asking God for some help? We're getting picked up tomorrow morning (Thursday) at 7AM to go to Bangkok to the US Embassy to hopefully get Kamin's visa. So we can all go home next week. Specifically we're asking God to keep us safe as we travel, for there to be no interference from the protests in the city, for an uneventful, quick processing of our paperwork and that it would be done within a few hours or at least within the day. Our older kids are spending the day with their aunt and cousin, so they won't have to be there and be bored, but it's a little strange to be separated from them for that long at this point. I'm also praying God will help me to not be overwhelmed with all the little details I'm afraid I'll forget... diapers, bottles, formula, snacks, toys, extra outfits, etc. necessary to keep a one year old happy through his naptime(s) in a strange crowded place. I'm depending on God's grace... and I'm a bit tired. But I'm glad my husband is with me and we have family here (so amazing...) and God is with me. And I know we'll make it... Off to bed... Thanks friends. : )

Love, Melissa

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

California Dreamin'

It was the strangest thing... When our flight (the one I will never forget and the passenger next to me will never forget - in part because I had to try so hard not to be totally sick while smelling the seafood pasta he was eating and in part because I was only successful for about an hour... poor guy... he was very sympathetic, though) (Sorry... I know you didn't reallly want to hear about that again, but praise God, so far there haven't been any other illnesses or ailments except for Mik catching a mild cold and the bizarre spider bite on my leg the day we got to Bang Saen...) (OH, you still want to see a picture? Well, I took one last night because it was starting to look much better and didn't want it to be totally better before I had photo documentation... but didn't want to scare anybody until it was obviously getting better (and believe me it looks much better now)... but here it is:
It was the strangest thing... My knee was itching a little bit as I was hanging up some laundry and when I looked at it, a vein or artery (Sandra, do you know?) running across my knee (for about 4 inches) was swelling up larger than a pencil diameter - sort of like a vericose vein. Freaky... I thought it was a mosquito bite that happened to hit a blood vessel and make it swell up, but there wasn't any itching later like a normal one. but the blood vessel (where the bite was?) did turn into a really big nasty bruise that Carmen was kind of worried about for the next couple of days as it changed colors. At first I was worried and took some benadryl right away, but it only felt like a bruise and didn't get red and by the next day it just looked like a bad bruise. Since it wasn't getting worse or spreading or hurting anymore, I figured it was fine and it seems I was right since it's just going away. But it made for a bizarre memory anyway. : ) Not that you care...
So did you notice (assuming somebody is still reading) that I never finished the sentence I started at the very beginning of this post? What I was going to say was that when that flight landed in Bangkok, the song "California Dreamin" was playing on the airplane sound system. It was so wierd to hear when we had just arrived here. But the thing is, that now I'm really starting to think about what it's going to be like when we get home, and about how we're going to get home. Stuff like that. My heart is moving back home already. And you'd think by now that I'd have this trusting God thing down after all He's done for us, but of course, it's still a challenge and always will be. i guess that's how my faith will continue to grow. : )
It's been a full week... Sunday we went to the Open Zoo and fed the animals and pondered how lawsuits must not be an issue in Thailand because it was oh-so-hazardous in so many ways... But lots of fun. : ) We were about to go on the elephant rides when a tropical downpour sent us scurrying back to the car. Oh well. At least we got a couple of pictures with one of them.
And sunday evening, Kamin got to go to church with us. : ) He also go to try Kraft Mac n Cheese for the first time, but he didn't like it. He did like church though - especially the music. He was tired by the end, but it was a special thing to get to do... to get to go to church and worship God for the first time while we are still here in Thailand with Thai believers means so much to us. And i think it will to him someday too.
Thursday we are finally scheduled for our US Visa interview at the embassy in Bangkok. We'll probably leave the older kids here and hopefully the crazy protests won't be a problem for us. (there were 20,000 people protesting this morning...) Saturday we move in with the Owen's and Monday we fly home. I'd say more, but the little guy just woke up. Have a great day everyone. : )
Melissa
Editted to add: Wow... I just read this again and it's about the rambliest thing I may have ever written. I was a bit tired and Kamin didn't give me a chance to edit it, so I'm sorry. Hopefully you didn't mind too much. : )

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fun at the pool

After Kamin woke up from his nap this morning, Lowell took him down to the community pool where Mikaela and Toby were swimming with their aunt and cousins.  (I stayed home and did the dishes and laundry in a quiet house all by myself.  Ahhh...)  As you can see, Kamin and his daddy are getting along very well.  : )  In case you don't know them...  in this first pic in the background from left to right is Toby, cousin Connor, the back of Mikaela's head and Lowell's sister Carmen.  Andy is taking the pictures.

While we are all having lots of fun, our sweet little boy is definitely starting to miss his old home.  He's been fighting going to sleep (which he didn't do at first) and has woken up a few times very, very sad.  We suspect he's dreaming about the home he loved for the last eleven months and missing his family there.  It's so sad, but we know it's part of the process and better for him to cry and grieve the loss than not to.  You can pray for him that he'll get through the grief and that we'll know how to help him and comfort him.  All in due time, we know.  (And yes Mom, we know this too shall pass.)  : )

Friday, August 29, 2008

Kamin's Video

Here's a super short video from our hotel room... : )
If you watch it several times, it will seem longer. : )

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pictures....

So here we go.  First attempt for pics.  And, yes, he is smiling a lot more these days....

Lowell's Post

I promise... pictures are coming today... (exclamation points) : )
Here's Lowell's post about the visit on Monday... written Tuesday morning:

This may be one of the very few times I (Lowell) ever post to Melissa's blog, but she graciously allowed it today! Yesterday, August 25, 2008 (Thai time), we got to visit Kamin's foster family and home. Quite an experience! The day started with Kamin coming to the hotel with the social workers, then us, them, and the other two adopting families from Norway went to a "western" mall, many stories high, and lunch there in the food court. Much like Macy's I would say...

After returning to the hotel, we brought Kamin up to our room for a bit, and enjoyed playing again. He was very tired by this point, and struggling to not let sleep keep him from monitoring these strange people that had dragged him around all over the place! We left soon after with the social workers in a van for the foster family's home, and Kamin finally fell asleep in Mel's arms. Toby joined him soon after, but Mikaela seemed to enjoy the 1+ hour van trip to the house, east of Bangkok just outside the city.

We drove down a very narrow street, and stopped in front of a small cement path leading down between two houses. As we got further, we saw Kamin's foster mom standing there, and he saw her too. He was quite eager to jump into her arms, and we let him go from us for the last time. He was handed around to different family members while we met with the family, and we enjoyed the time, although with some sadness since we knew big changes would be taking place very soon in his life. We sat down together in their living room, and the foster dad joined us, along with one of the granddaughters, then the other a bit later. We asked a bunch of questions, they asked some of us, and the foster mom was asked if she had any concerns about Kamin leaving with us. She said no, since she could see how we were with Toby and Mik - a very gracious comment since she had just met us. Guessing after having 11 foster kids, she can size people up quickly! We gave out our gifts, then walked around a bit to see the property. The family has a rice farm, raises rabbits, and seemed to love our little guy a whole bunch. Tears were shed by us all, yes, including me, and we said goodbye way too quickly. In the van on the way home both Mel and I stated that it seemed like a blurr, and that not enough time was to be had there, but in thinking about it further, realized there probably would never be enough time.

The ride home seemed quick, and we celebrated our last night together as a family of 4 with Burger King, but with high anticipation of today, when Kamin joins us for good. Not sure I am ready to be the daddy of 3, but guessing God is pushing me that direction, so I figure I will just do the faith fall into His hands on this one. Kamin joins us at 11 am this morning, or so, and we will spend the day together for the first time as the NNnnn's family. More soon!

(Sorry, but have been unable to upload pics from the hotel - hopefully will get some on the blog in a few days from Chonburi.)

Lowell

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Bye, Bye Bangkok

Hi there everyone. (Hmmm... this is going to be a challenge... I'm using the Owen family laptop and the exclamation point key doesn't seem to work. How do I write this without being able to end my sentences with multiple exclamation points??? Well, you'll just have to believe me that they're there in my head.) I thought I was going to write a really long post tonight, but it turns out that I'm tired (surprise, surprise) and need to go to bed. I should have more time tomorrow so I'm hoping to write more soon. But here's a little info for you while you wait... It's been a really good week. Kamin (or O or whatever you'd like to call him... we haven't settled on a forever name yet...) was placed in our hands for good on Tuesday and Wednesday we were approved by the Thai board to keep him. Monday we got to go visit his foster family and it was so incredibly special. Lowell actually tried to post something here that afternoon and we didn't discover until a little while ago that it didn't work. sorry... If we can find it in his yahoo sent box we'll still post it... but we can't get in until we get on the other computer that has a functioning "one" key. : ) Our meeting with the Thai board on Wed. almost got cancelled because there is some serious political unrest occuring currently on the streets of Bangkok -- some not too far away from where our meeting was. The night before our social worker called us and said we might not have it but in the morning said we were good... The meeting was short and sweet (thanks in part to kamin's stranger anxiety... he didn't want me to sit anywhere close to the board members) and ended with the head lady asking Toby and Mikaela if they wanted to keep Kamin and saying that if we wanted to, we could keep him. : ) Today we were supposed to have our visa interview at the US embassy, but they called us last night and said they don't have all of our paperwork yet (but we've been told it's on its way) so we got to skip that meeting and checked out of our hotel in Bangkok. (We'll have to make a day trip back next week for the visa.) we are so glad to be out of there and to be in a place where we have space for nice walks and the kids can play with their cousins. We're staying in the house right next door to Lowell's sister. Their neighbors are out of town and very happy to let us use their place so here we are. It's been great and feels a bit like a honeymoon for us all, though Kamin is a bit unsettled with the change and the new people. But hopefully it won't be too bad. I still think it's going to be really good for us all to be together here for a while before going home--if for no other reason that he and lowell can bond more, since that's been a slower process (understandably), before Lowell goes back to work when we get home. Kamin is an amazing little boy. He's definitely going to keep me on my toes more than either of my other kids did... He's a lot of fun and we're all loving each other more every day. He has amazed me with how well he's done through all this. I think it's very largely due to Mikaela and Toby being here. He was used to being around other kids so it's been good. I'm definitely feeling the stretch of having a new one and not getting to pay as much attention to the older kids, but I know it won't be like this forever and we'll make it. Well, that ended up being longer than I expected... though there's still much more I'd love to tell you about and hope to soon. I'm too tired to try to post pictures right now but Lowell probably will tomorrow. Maybe I'll even include a picture of the mysterious bite i got on my knee this afternoon that made an artery or vein on my knee swell up and turn into a big bruise. Very strange. I guess it's all part of saying goodbye to Bangkok and hello to Bang Saen. : ) Goodnight everyone... ; ) ~Melissa

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"The Best Day Ever"

I'm going to try to figure out how to even begin to describe the last couple of days... I'm sure it will take some time to process it all... but it's been so very good! I actually wrote something to try and post this morning but we never got that far. But what happened after is what you all want to hear about anyway! : ) This morning at around 11:00 we finally got to meet Kamin! It turns out his nickname is "O". : ) Very cute... When they first brought him in to us (with 2 other children being adopted by families from Norway) he was hesitant and a bit unsure of us, but when he started to fuss, the social worker (a young lady) asked if I wanted to hold him and he came right to me! He wasn't exactly happy, but he held on pretty tightly. for the next couple of hours he was in my arms almost the whole time and preferred it if I was standing and walking with him. He ate some lunch with us and let me feed him his bottle and toward the end in our hotel room actually wanted to get down and crawl around on the floor. We could tell that he hadn't gotten a long enough nap in the morning and he almost fell asleep several times, but he was pretty determined not to give in. I am so incredibly grateful that he let me hold him (Lowell was a bit jealous - but he did get him to smile the first time) and I'm also glad I have the baby carrier since another day like today might just make my arm fall off. : ) It turns out the two granddaughters of his foster parents who live with him are 5 and 7, which explains why he was so comfortable with Mikaela. : ) there were several times she came to give him a hug and he very obviously hugged her back. she said after he was gone that today was the best day ever. : ) I'm on a deadline here if I don't want to pay much more for the computer and I want to try to post a picture... Tomorrow we go visit the foster family after another outing. So far so good!!! Thanks for all your prayers and thanks God for answering to wonderfully. : )

Friday, August 22, 2008

We're here!

I have to hurry because we are getting ready to leave the guesthouse where we stayed last night and I need to pack up our stuff, but wanted to let you all know we arrived with all our stuff Friday afternoon (praise God we got on the earlier flight to Bangkok so had a much shorter layover in Taipei.)  and are having a wonderful time with family here...  Lowell's sister and her husband and kids (the Owen's) met us at the airport in Bangkok with bouquets of orchids and we all piled in their SUV, loaded our luggage on top (which caused andy to get a ticket) and headed for lunch and to the OMF guesthouse where we stayed last night.  Unfortunately, I had a hard time enjoying much of anything yesterday since I got really sick on the second flight and it lingered through the streets of Bangkok & most of the evening.  I've never been sick on a plane before but there was a lot of turbulence.  Hours of it!  Definitely getting some Dramamine before our trip home.  I was SO SO SO glad it was our trip there and not back.  It would have been much harder to feel so awful and have to take care of Kamin too.  But today I feel so incredibly much better!  8 1/2 hours of sleep and ready to go!
We're going this morning to visit the hospital where Kamin was born and then on to the Amari hotel where we'll meet Kamin tomorrow morning!  It's finally starting to sink it and I'm very excited - though wondering how it will go and hoping he's not too traumatized by his new loud family!  
It has been so fabulous to be here with the Owen family.  The kids have all been playing together and we feel so spoiled and BLESSED!!!    
Well, I had better go.  Hopefully we'll figure out how to post from the hotel and you'll hear from us again soon.  
Thanks everyone for all your prayers and emails and comments.  It's nice to know people are thinking about us.  : )
Love, Melissa

Saturday, August 16, 2008

99 Hours left... (But who's counting?)

That’s how much time I have between now and when we pick up Mikaela from school Wednesday on our way up to San Francisco where we’ll catch our plane to Thailand! Wow!!! We still have a lot to do, but God has helped us get lots and lots done already and I’m feeling shockingly calm at this point. (That could change at any time, though!) J Here are some highlights of the last week and a peek at what’s coming in the next few days:

Last weekend we had a yard sale! Got rid of some stuff and made a little money. The kids sold lemonade and it was a nice way to pass the morning.

Thursday was a very good day! We FINALLY met with a real, live, helpful immigration officer at USCIS! He had our file on his desk and said he thought he could get it approved by Friday morning. We were amazed and so grateful! And he did it! I knew all along God was going to work it out somehow and was so grateful that He did it before we left. J Our physical file now has to travel to New Jersey to the National Visa Center and then on to Bangkok, but it should be okay. At the worst, we’ll have to make a second trip to the embassy there (I think.) We’re SO GLAD that saga appears to be over!

And when I got home from running around that day, my new Ergo baby carrier was waiting for me! Here’s a picture of Mikaela modeling it. She’s had a lot of fun playing with it. It’s so easy to use! (Especially with stuffed animals.) Hopefully Kamin will like it. But we bought it (huge thanks to some very generous friends!) from a site with a money-back guarantee so if we don’t like it or he doesn’t like it, we can send it back.

This weekend we’re hoping to finish shopping (for munchies to get us through our 7+ hour layover in Taipei, Pepsi for our house-sitter and stuff like that) and start packing clothes and all the other stuff we’re dragging along with us. Tomorrow morning will be our last morning at church as a family of four and I’m sure it will be an emotional one for me. Our church family has been so supportive of us through the last 2 ½ years and is so excited to meet our little guy!

Monday is Mikaela’s first day of second grade! I’m glad I’ll have a few days at home with Toby before we go and that she’ll have a few (meaning 3) days to reconnect with her friends and her new teacher before we leave.

I also have to mention I am SO grateful for how God worked the timing of our trip. It’s perfect for us in so many ways. It’s the best time for Lowell to be away from work. We were able to enjoy most of the summer without panicking about getting ready. We didn’t have to try to adjust to a new schedule with school and then start all over again after the trip. That’s huge for me – because transitions like that are ALWAYS hard for me. So to really only have to transition from summer to life after the trip instead of summer to school to life after the trip is a HUGE blessing! It also made the decision to keep Toby out of school for one more year easier than it would have been otherwise. And lastly, to only have 4 weeks to obsess about things (when we already had lots to do so I couldn’t obsess about it exclusively) instead of 2 months has really been so much better for our family. I think it would have been really hard on the kids to have had me so distracted for even longer (because I know I would have been!) I see so much of God’s grace in this. Even in the I-600 thing. God took care of it and stretched and strengthened our faith in the process. It’s no wonder He let it happen that way.

In case you’re wondering, we drive to SF Wednesday, fly out at 1:35am Thursday morning, stop in Taipei after 13 hours in the air and wait there for almost 8 hrs (unless we get on standby for the earlier flight) and after another short (less than 4 hrs) flight arrive in Bangkok Friday afternoon (about 24 hrs after leaving San Francisco.) Sunday is the day we meet Kamin and Tuesday he comes to stay with us for good! Wow!

Well, I walked away from the computer a couple of times since I started this and now have 98 ½ hours left so I think I’ll say goodbye for the moment. Hopefully next time I post we’ll be just about packed and ready to go! Keep praying for us!!!!! J

Melissa

Monday, August 11, 2008

This is a test...

First of all this is a test to see if I can post something on my blog without too much pain and frustration using my husband's fancy wi-fi phone. If I want to keep you all updated about our journey in Thailand, this might be the only way (part of the time) since we don't think we're taking a laptop. But you certainly aren't going to get long detailed stories this way b/c I'm not so fast typing with my thumbs.

Beyond that, though, this time of preparing to go meet our son and bring him home has also been a test for me. We are having trouble with our local immigration office and haven't been able to get any information at all about the status of our I-600 application. It is quite frustrating. I also tend to get overwhelmed about the amount of things I want to accomplish before we go (like getting packed!) But it's not so much a test of my abilities as it is a test of my faith. Will I believe God will do everything I always say I believe He will do? Will I believe that He is faithful and will take care of everything as I trust Him and let Him lead me? I have been depending on and finding new strength from so many promises in the Bible this week and will continue to in the weeks to come. God has been so good and even though He's not making it easy, I know my faith is growing because of it.

So this is also a test for God. Will He once again prove to me that I can trust Him with everything? Will He prove to me again that He is more than enough for me? Will His grace be enough? Just a few days before we got the call about our travel date, I started an online Bible study by Beth Moore entitled Believing God. I thought I would finish it before our trip and that it would be encouraging while we waited to go to Thailand. I had no idea that in a few days we would find out we were going much earlier than we had anticipated. But God knew and He knew how much this Bible study would encourage me now and when we get home. And I absolutely believe He is going to pass this test and will once again prove that He has been answering our prayers and preparing all of us for this adventure in ways we couldn't ever imagine.

We leave for Bangkok in 10 days. I actually just figured that out. I've been saying "a week and a half" but somehow 10 days seems like even less! YIKES! We haven't started packing and still have to buy presents to take and figure out the immigration thing, but God reminded me the other day that when I trust in Him with all my heart and don't depend on my own understanding and wisdomer and I acknowledge Him in it all, He promises to lead me and help me. And I know He will.

I just have to mention a couple more things because I don't know when I'll be posting again... I've been getting emotional a lot lately. Like when I bought milk at Costco and the date on the carton was Aug 21... The morning our flight leaves. And watching the Olympics opening ceremonies! I am loving watching the incredible beauty of that Asain country and it seems extra special because of our family's now permanent connection with Thailand

Well, I guess writing here wasn't so bad after all. : ) Maybe you will get long drawn out descriptions of our days... If I'm awake and the kids are busy. Keep praying for us! It's going to be quite a week...

: ) Melissa

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Well, I tried to post something!

I used my husband's phone today to try to write something for my blog - for practice in case we end up travelling without a laptop and want to post something via wi-fi on his phone - but for some reason it won't connect with some network or something. So it's stuck in his phone's outbox instead of being here for you to read on my blog. I'm so very sorry. In the meantime, can I entertain you with the fact that in 10 days we will have said goodbye to our dogs and our home and be on our way to the airport in San Francisco? We went shopping for presents for Kamin's foster family today and I'm starting to get excited about packing. (I can't believe I just wrote that.) But I'm working hard at convincing myself that it really isn't too early to start packing. Because part of my brain thinks there's lots and lots of time still. But I have learned that listening to that part of my brain is dangerous and leads to procrastination and chaos and unnecessary stress and frustration. Of course, I still normally believe the non-packing part of my brain. But hopefully not this time!!!!! And hopefully you'll get to read what I wrote earlier sometime soon. Because it will give you much greater insight into how I've really been doing... : ) (Not to mention that I worked really, really hard typing on that tiny little keypad!!!!!) : ) Melissa

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Travel Update!

In case you’ve been wondering…

· Toby’s birthday party Sunday: simple, done and fun!

· Plane tickets: obsessed about and finally purchased this morning

· Other documents prepared and being sent to Oregon and on to Bangkok tomorrow

· Meeting Thursday with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services to figure out what’s going on with Kamin’s visa

· Lots of praying and praising and thinking this all seems impossible but knowing with God everything is possible.

And this weekend? We’re going camping. Because it was planned a long time ago to go with some good friends and their kids and it will be good to be in the mountains one last time without a toddler, spending time together and taking a break from the preparations, paying attention to my kids who are getting less than normal right now since I’ve been staring at plane ticket options for days at a time (or so it seems) (I’m so grateful for our local grandparents!) and breathing a bit before this rollercoaster starts up again next week.

So now you know. : ) And I’ll say it again… God is good!

Melissa

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast."

Psalm 139:9-10

Friday, July 25, 2008

And I thought I was excited about an update... WE FOUND OUT YESTERDAY WE'RE TRAVELLING TO THAILAND IN AUGUST!!!!!

I am in shock and so, so excited and a bit in a daze... (Lowell keeps saying I'm "so pregnant"... meaning I'm doing things like putting conditioner on my hair (in the shower) before rinsing out the shampoo. Stuff like that.) Yesterday our adoption agency called and asked if we had plans for the last week in August... (AUGUST, PEOPLE!!!!! DO YOU KNOW HOW SOON THAT IS?????) We are scheduled for the August 27 board meeting in Thailand where we will be approved to adopt Kamin! We were expecting to travel the end of September at the earliest, so August is a total surprise. Goes to show you just never know what's going to happen! We were matched with our little boy in March and typically people travel 6-9 months later. We are travelling after only 5 months. WOW! Apparently God thinks it's time! : ) We'll probably fly out of Fresno Thurs. 8/21 and we'll meet him the first time Sunday the 24th. You can pray that our immigration application for Kamin gets approved quickly. According to the processing times found online for the USCIS office, we need a miracle. : ) But that's what God does, so I'm okay with that. I'll try to write again soon with more details. I just wanted to share our excitement with you all. You are definitely a part of our adventure! : ) But if you don't hear from me again right away, it will be because I'm working on travel documents and getting mixed up about things like shampooing my hair and not sleeping at night and staring at his pictures and walking around in a daze saying things like "I can't believe we're leaving in less than 4 weeks!!!" and trying to figure out what to do next. YAY and THANK YOU GOD!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We got another update! Yay!

We were surprised yesterday with another update on Kamin! It's so amazing to me how much he changed in the 2 months between the updates! As of the end of May, he was sitting, crawling, pulling up on stuff. I'm betting he's walking by now. But what made me the most excited was that they said he likes music! : ) I was so excited to see that!!! While I know almost all kids like music, I'm still happy that he likes it enough that they would bother mentioning it in his progress report! My kids and I marvelled at seeing a picture of him holding pictures of them in a little photo album we sent back in March. So surreal to think he's looking at pictures of us and maybe listening to our voices on the CD we sent later! Mikaela and Toby also said it looks like he's turning into a little brother. So sweet. : ) When I was tucking Toby in last night, he wanted to know why we couldn't go get Kamin and bring him home already! Anyway, I just thought I'd share with you all!!! We're still not posting pics on the web, but if you email me (or just leave a comment if I have your email address already) I can send you a picture if you want to see one. I keep staring at the pictures trying to burn them into my memory... I'm glad I won't have to do that forever! : ) Melissa

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thank You & Thank You!


First thank you... to all of you who commented or emailed birthday greetings to our son. You are all so sweet and even though the comments have not made it into the journal yet (see below) they will!!! And they will be cherished forever... : )

Second thank you... To God and to my husband who managed to recover the files we thought might be lost forever when our hard drive decided to stop working and start crashing on Tuesday. Ahhh... The little file called "Recovery" created from our backup files brings new meaning to the term "Celebrate Recovery"! : ) Our pictures from the last several years aren't lost!
On the other hand... I did spend less time on the computer this week and that wasn't a bad thing. Though the house is not so clean that you would know. And I had something really thought-provoking to tell you all about that I had been pondering... but it too has apparently not been recovered from some crashed file in my brain. So for now, this is all you get. Until my brain is recovered.
OH!!! I just remembered what it was! I was going to talk about little girls and romance! I'll try not to forget between now and next time. And you'll get an extra week's worth of pondering. Scary, I know.
Last thing. Yesterday Toby said it was "sweltering." Learned that word from WordGirl, he did. PBS, you are amazing. : )
Have a swell, sweltering week, wherever you are!!!