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. : )


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...


Sibling bonding in the little, tiny pool...


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!

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


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

Get more out of the Web. Learn 10 hidden secrets of Windows Live. Learn Now

Sunday, September 07, 2008


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!

See how Windows connects the people, information, and fun that are part of your life.

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. : )
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. : )