Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I want to write about all we learned in Africa, but it will have to wait. Today I am only posting pictures--and they are great ones! These are off of Rachel and Arielle's Blog, two long-term volunteers at Amani Baby Cottage. These girls are AWESOME! Thanks for the pics!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We have made it safely home and are slowly adjusting to the quick pace.
I am posting some pictures from our trip. Once we are caught up on sleep and I fight this cold, we will write more.

yikes! scary hair!

learning the art of balancing

Here's tech support!

Tell this stork to hurry up and deliver our babies!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

We have never been so thankful to be an American. After landing in JFK Airport and going through Customs, we were greeted by an offical who said, "Welcome Home!"
Todd said he wanted to reach across the counter and kiss the guy--we were so happy to be "home" in America.

We are still travelling...we are now going on 49 hours since we first boarded our plane in Uganda. We made it to Salt Lake City Airport lastnight and found out that we had missed our connecting flight by about 40 minutes. Once again things did not go as hoped or as expected, but God continues to reveal himself to us in the midst of these circumstances. He allowed us to form a relationship with another travelling passenger--a divine appointment to accomplish His purposes. We also got to stay in a very nice hotel for a very minimal price. It was wonderful! And the pillows were so cozy and soft... I think I raved about the cozy bed and pillows for 1/2 hour.
One thing I can say for sure...our appreciation for life, family & friends, and things has definitely changed. We are so richly blessed, rich indeed.

After we reach home, we will post more pictures from our trip and write about some of the lessons we have learned from being in Africa.

Thank you for coming alongside us in this journey! God is writing an amazing story...and it's not over yet!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

God is good ALL the time!

God does not always answer our prayers as we hope or expect...but God is always good and He will do whatever brings Him the most glory. We will not be bringing our babies home this trip. But we know God has a day appointed and it will not be delayed. We are not discouraged. We are confident that we are in the middle of His will and our responsibility is to be willing and obedient. We delight in Him. He has so richly blessed us and we take comfort in knowing that He loves C & K even more than we do. He is the Father to the fatherless. We will wait in excited anticipation for the day to come when we will be united as a complete family.

Lord, we pray for continued health, safety and protection for our family while we are together and apart. Please appoint a godly lawyer to fulfill your will of helping to bring these babies home. Give us strength as we wait for the day to come and may we experience You, Lord, to the fullest. We love you Jesus and may your name resonate in our lives. Amen.

It took a MIRACLE to get this posted!

I am welling up with tears as I read through all the comments on our blog. God has so abundantly blessed us with friends and family. We are overwhelmed by the love and encouragement and prayers you have offered on our behalf. Thank you for believing with us that God can do exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or imagine. You have been a balm to our weary souls.

So much has happened since we last posted which explains the delay in our writing. We know God works all things together for His glory. Todd and I can already see how this is happening. God is uniting Todd and I in a much deeper way than we have ever known. We have had to dig in God's word together, pray fervently together, and wrestle with incredibly difficult situations. In the midst of such trying circumstances, we have had an incredible amount of laughter. Our God is so good.

On Friday, Todd and I met Mama Gladys and Mama Edith at the Source Cafe for brunch. We found out the other day that they had never had ice cream so we told them we would be taking them out. They were so giddy--it was truly like taking little kids out. They got to order whatever they wanted off the menu--they chose fried chicken and chipote and soda. For dessert they got to pick out an ice cream treat out of the freezer. I had to explain all the different choices. They both decided on a drumstick. However they did not eat it right away. They wanted to take it home so they could share it with their children who had never had ice cream. They wrapped it up in a little bag and carried it with them for 45 minutes. We kept telling them that it would melt but there was no comprehension of this. Unbelievably the ice cream made it to their home. We were with Mama Edith when she shared her ice cream with five people--each person getting a little spoonful. They smiled and said "it's so sweet!" We were delighted.
We went to Mama Edith's village on Friday and Mama Gladys' village on Saturday. The hospitality was the most incredible thing I have ever seen. Todd and I were humbled almost to the point of tears. Along the way to Mama Edith's village, we stopped at a market to meet her sister who is a shopkeeper. Her sister welcomed us into her tiny wooden shack/shop. She dusted off the bench and laid her sweater down so we could have a nice place to sit. She then reached into her small pile of coins (her income from the day) and said, "what kind of soda would you like?" This women was going to spend over half her income to show us hospitality. We very politely decline and instead gave her one of our chocolate granola bars. She was very excited and thankful. We took pictures and had a great time. We have never seen poverty like this, yet the most beautiful smiles ever. One lady who spoke no english was very excited to greet us. She gave Todd and I new names--which I cannot pronounce--but mean "handsome" and "beautiful." All the children smiled, waved, and some would yell "Mzungu" which means "white person." I have never seen someone so excited to bring us to their home. When we got there, she pulled potatoes and tomatoes, and bottled water out of her sack (which she had bought along the way) and had her daughter prepare a meal for us.
At Mama Gladys' we met her children, her brother and his wife and their five children, and Mama Gladys' mother. They all live in this home. They each greeted us with hugs and handshakes and went on their knees bowing before us with respect. Her mother shook our hand and greeted us in her language for five minutes. When we asked Mama Gladys what she was saying, she said that she was still greeting us. Her mother even went on her knees many times. They prepared a meal for us and her brother took off work to meet us. These two experiences gave us such a different picture of hospitality and generosity. We are changed forever--may God bless these families and allow us to remember them forever.
On our way back to Jinja Town, Todd and I had to ride a piki (a motorcycle). He climbed on first, sitting snugly behind the driver, and then I had to sit sideways (because I was wearing a skirt) behind Todd. We went FAST. We were holding on to the underside of our seat holding on for dear life. We were flying over potholes where I was becoming airborne and letting out little squeals. Todd kept turning his head towards me so I could hear him saying things like...
Do you think insurance will cover this?
Now riding 70 mph on a Harley without a helmet doesnt sound so bad
This is just like motorcross, but with three people
I have never sat so close to a man in all my life
Our driver was inventing his own lane and driving so close that I could reach out and touch a dump truck and another piki at the SAME time!
We made it safely, but not to our destination. Our driver apparently didnt speak english and did not know where the Source Cafe was located. Thankfully we had done enough walking around...when we finally recognized a building, we yelled, "STOP, right here!" Our legs felt wobbly when we got off and our hands were numb and tingly--because we had been holding on so tightly to our seat.

Later on Saturday I got my hair done! I got hair extensions twisted into my hair which took 5 hours and 3 ladies working on it. I had been wanting to get it done for awhile, but what I was not prepared for was how painful it would be. It was five hours of perpetual, cringing pain. I cant say that I would ever do it again, but it's fun to have long hair and look part Ugandan! All the Ugandans keep telling me, "You look smart!" I will post pictures later.

On Sunday we got to go to church with Mama Gladys and Mama Edith to Liberty Church in Jinja Town. We were the only Mzungus and received quite a warm welcome. We had a great time. The praise and worship time was like aerobics and the entire service was like a marathon. We even had to go up to front with a microphone and introduce ourselves and give a mini sermon of praising God. We got a huge round of applause just for saying our names. Church started at 9:45 and we got out at 1pm. We got to give Mama Edith our little Bible (one of the Bibles you gave us, Lacey) because she did not own a Bible. It would take her a little over three days of wages to purchase one. They are very expensive. Mama Edith was very excited and appreciative to have her own Bible now.

Here we are on Monday. There is lots of talk about the Ebola outbreak. Pray for continued protection, health and safety for us. Pray that the airports would remain open so we can leave on Wednesday. We are ready to be home. We miss you so much.

Praise God with us for all He has done and is doing. Our God is good, All the time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

our morning view

at The Source Cafe

Christopher enjoying his ice cream

Mommy and Katie playing tickle bird

Mama Edith and Katie


children receiving their beanie babies


Christopher enjoying his first sippie


The pics did not load this morning so I will keep trying. We took the kids on their first outing this morning. It was so sweet because Mama Susan--head of all the Mamas--was so conscientious and thoughtful. She told us to ask the Mamas for clothes, we got to use disposable diapers, she told us they always have snack at 10am so she gave us "biscuits" to take with us, she told us how much to pay for the boda bodas, and she was very excited for C & K. It was truly like the Mom looking out for her children and knowing their needs, wanting to make sure we had everything we needed. So we left the Baby Cottage and waved down two boda bodas. This time I had to straddle the seat in a long skirt, balance and hold a child--it was as difficult as it sounds! But we made it and it was nice not having to walk up some long hills holding 20 lb. children. We took the kiddos to the Source Cafe and had them share their first bowl of chocolate icecream (I told you we are a lot like grandparents!). Christopher made a funny face at first, but then decided that he loved it. He kept his mouth open for refills. We have decided that he will eat pretty much anything--he just really likes food. Katie was very unsure of the icecream. She made a funny face and kept moving her tongue around. She had a few more bites and was drooling ice cream everywhere. She ended up leaving the rest for Christopher, which he was pleased about. Then my bowl of pineapple was brought out and Christopher attacked that. While Katie nibbled on the same piece of pineapple the entire time, Christopher gobbled the pineapple as fast as he could. The pineapple is the best you can imagine. It is so delicious and cheap! A big bowl of fruit salad costs 60 cents.
Oh...before I forget a funny thing happened yesterday...when Todd and I were taking our first boda boda, the driver told Todd, "You are heavy!"
Here are some unique things to Uganda that I have been keeping track of...
...bats, storks, geckos, red dirt, steering wheels on the right side of the car, boda bodas, pikis, people walking everywhere at all times of the day, toilets without seats, squatty toilets (holes in the ground), lots of bug spray, mosquito nets, delicious fruit, beautiful sounds of birds, mamas singing all day long, putting bleach in our water and using a filter to sterilize, goat and chicken sausage on menus...
Todd and I love it here so much we have talked about getting a vacation home here. It would be so awesome to be able to come here as a family every year and it would be great for Katie and Christopher to be reminded of their heritage. Don't worry, there will be room for all of you to stay!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Although we are grieving the loss of Todd's Grandpa Moore and we are on the other side of the world away from family, God has given us strength, joy, comfort and peace. We are doing well. God's mercies our new every morning.
We have some firsts to report...
Yesterday, Tues. Dec. 4, we went to Jinja Town for lunch, shopping, and some internet time. On our way back we took our first boda boda. For those of you who dont know the Ugandan lingo, a boda boda is a bicycle with a little seat on the back. This is a major mode of transportation. Women must sit side saddle, and men straddle the seat. It costs about 400 schillings a ride which is about 30 cents. There is nowhere to hold on except the bottom of your seat. When you get more confident, you can take children with you on the boda boda holding them on your lap while you ride. It was fun and I made sure my driver knew that this was my first time and I did not want to crash. We made it safely! WhooHoo--we did it! The next challenge will be a piki--a ride on a motorized bike. Those guys get going fast!
When we got back to ABC, we saw all the children playing on the lawn. Christopher and Katie spotted us quickly so we ran over to greet them. When Katie saw me, she used her friends and Mamas as leverage to stand up. She had a big smile as she look at me while I called her name. She then took her first steps!! The Mamas were hootin' and hollerin', and I was clapping. It was so special to see our daughter's major milestone!
We are still staying at Hotel Triangle and it is working out nicely. We enjoy our walk to the baby cottage every morning. We do not tire of the beautiful scenery. It is so lush and green, the birds and their music are beautiful, the lake is so serene-- it is a breathtaking view every morning. Todd and I are still waking up by 4 every morning fully rested. This morning we realized it is not because of jet lag, it is because:
1) we are in bed by 9pm every night
2) we aren't taking care of three kids everyday
3) the mamas do everything for us
So we have decided that we want to take a Mama home with us. I think I really would be a better mom and wife!
The food is delicious here and we are enjoying experiencing new things. We still have not had a rolex--something similar to a breakfast burrito that everyone raves about--you find them along the street in town. Last night we ate at The Gately, a restaurant and hotel right across from the ABC. We had heard good things but were not prepared.... We were the only ones there, we were ushered to candlelit tables beautifully set, a nicely manicured property in front of us with a waterfall, all overlooking the lake. Todd had tilapia coated in lemon parsley breadcrumbs...he said it was the best fish he has ever tasted. When we looked up at the awning over our table we counted 9 geckos dining with us! Dinner cost us 33,500 schillings--which is expensive in Uganda--$20.
It has been fun being the messenger of gifts. Friends in Montana packed our bags full of goodies for the kids, mamas, volunteers, and others. It has brought us such joy handing these things out. Yesterday, I brought playdoh to the toddlers. Rachel and Ariel, two awesome volunteers here, do school time with the kids everyday. For their craft time they got to play with the playdoh. When I brought it to them, all the children yelled, "Thank You Auntie." The mamas have loved getting wipes which are a rare thing around here. For some of the items I have prayed asking God to show me who, when and where to give the goodies. God showed me that there were needy children along our walk from the hotel to ABC every morning. They wave, shout hello, and smile big smiles every morning. That morning I brought along some beanie babies
and gave them dto five children walking along the road carrying their water. They went crazy. Todd thought I might get mauled by them. They were so excited. We took their picture of them smiling holding up their new stuffed animal. We then showed them their picture on our digital camera. They giggled when they saw themselves.
Christopher is extremely clingy to Todd. He only wants Todd and he absolutely adores Todd. He will cry, no actually it's scream, whenever Todd sets him down. The only time he will stop is at mealtime as soon as food is placed in front of him. He likes his food! This morning Todd and I are taking the kids to The Source Cafe for some spoiling time with the kids. They get to wear their "smart" clothes. "Smart" is a term used to say, "you look GOOD!"
Katie is smiling more and more everyday. She loves snuggling up next to me and gets very jealous when others get too close to me. She is a biter, and we think she always keeps her mouth open so she can be ready to chomp at a moments notice. It is like she is blossoming right in front of us. She is really coming to life.
Well, I have so much more to say, but we need to hop on our boda boda and get to town with C & K. I am posting pictures of Junior (mom's favorite who has the best smile), Weiss (Lacey's fav. little boy), Mama Edith with Katie (K & C's favorite Mama) and some other cute pics. Enjoy. We love you and Miss you. Jaden, Kellen, and Sage, we send you great big hugs and kisses. We cant wait to bring you here--you will love it! See you soon.
P.S Katie loves "Tickle bird" as you will see in the picture.
P.P.S Aaron & Ariel, tell them to do the best they can on the truck with $1000. Thanks.

Difficult Thanksgiving

My Lord, My Sovereign Savior,

All praise and glory and honor to You. Every day Your creation and all its creatures give honor to You.

I am a very blessed man, and my family a very blessed family. We have never deserved Your grace or mercy, but You have chosen to show it again and again and again. We are not royalty in any way, but You have called us chosen ones, ambassadors, Your children by choice, not accident.

Thank you that You have given my family a royal heritage in Christ. Thank you that I am not the first to follow You, but that I was preceded by generations of men and women who loved you and called You Lord. Thank you that we were blessed to spend time and have memories with many of them before You brought them to their real home. I know this world has never truly been home for them, but now, in tears, we are overwhelmed that they now are in Your presence. That they aren't as they were here, broken, pained, discomforted, and longing for home, but they are as You have always intended them to be: strong, joy-filled, healthy, young, and free. They will never again know pain, or tears, or sadness, or lonliness. You loved us enough to keep them here a little while, but You loved them enough to remove them from their pain and give them new and forever health and joy.

Thank you for my Grandpa Moore and my Grandpa Collett, and the many before them. Thank you that they chose sometimes a more difficult path because it was right. Thank you that they worked harder than many because they loved their families. Thank you that they let us know how much they loved us. And thank You for the legacy they leave behind them. Sometimes we recall it too late, but they were mindful of it all the time. Thank You for their wisdom.

May we always be working to perfect the legacy that they have left behind in Christ, so that our children, and our childrens' children, and the many who have been our friends will all one day stand together at our Saviors feet as faithful and blessed. May each day of our lives tell the story of the gospel which now unites them all in heaven.

Lord, this is a difficult thanksgiving because I miss my Grandpa. I love him. We all do. But knowing that You do even more brings peace to our souls.

Yours forever with anticipation of our reunion in heaven, and in Jesus' name,


Monday, December 3, 2007

Now I know what it must feel like to be a grandparent!

I say that because Todd and I are coming to visit the children when they are on strict routines that work well, and all we want to do is spoil them. The poor mamas have had to deal with more fits and crying because we keep distracting the kids, they dont want to participate in the "normal" circle time, when we put them down they cry, and when we go in to tuck in our babies all the other babies start yelling "auntie and uncle". The mamas are so gracious and actually encourage us to show this special love. So all this to say...Mom, go ahead and give Jaden, Kellen and Sage some extra M&Ms!!!
We are doing very well. We are having such a great time and are continuing to soak it all in. I have so many thoughts to share that today I will do it in a list format...
* We are still amazed at the things Ugandans balance on a boda boda (a bicycle). We saw a couch strapped to the back of one!
* When we were flying to Africa and passed over all the very, very dry deserts, it made us think of when Moses led the Israelites through the desert and God provided their food and drink for 40 years. It gave us a whole different understanding of the magnitude of that miracle.
* When we saw the Nile River it made us think about baby Moses being placed in a basket floating down that river.
* There are 37 mamas that work here on day and night shifts. These are very godly women that shower the kids with the love of Jesus. They sing ALL the time. There is so much joy in this place. They always greet us with smiles and hugs and are so appreciative of us being here. They are so happy that Chirstopher and Katie have a family waiting for them. They do an amazing job. Mama Edith is especially LOVED by our kids. They are crazy about her. She is the only one that are kids will even think about leaving our arms for. It is so comforting knowing how much these mamas love on our children to meet their physical and emotional needs when we cannot be the ones to do that. Please lift the mamas up in prayer and pray a special blessing on them.
* We are eating so well here. For breakfast we eat at hotel Triangle. We eat omelettes loaded with diced vegetables, mango juice, slices of fresh pineapple, slices of papaya, watermelon, bananas (which are sweeter and better than ours), bread with butter and jam. For lunch yesterday we had rice, potatoes, cooked cabbage, and beef stew. Mama Cook is an excellent cook and the food was delicious.
Our kids eat porridge in the morning and a hard boiled egg. They have snack at 10am which were "biscuits" a hard rectangle cookie like Nila Wafers. At lunch and dinner they eat potatoes and beans, or stir fry, and the kids eat everything even all their vegetables. I am pleased with the amount of nutrition they are getting. They have a snack at 3pm which consists of chunks of fresh fruit.
* We never see the kids drink anything though and are a little concerned about Katie staying well hydrated with her sickle cell anemia, so today we gave the kids sippie cups from home (different than the kind they typically use) and filled it with water and a Propel drink mix. It was hilarious watching their expressions. Christopher, aka Chubbers, could not get enough. He kept downing the drink, which tastes like lemonade. We finally had to take it away because it looked like his tummy would explode. We saw our first temper tantrum! Katie who is much more cautious and timid, was a little unsure, but she continued to drink, make a funny face, and then smile. We then played bubbles with all the kids--they loved it! And then we realized that because of the sippies are kids had su-sued (pottied) and were leaking through the diapers.
*Christopher has been glued to Todd. He only wants Todd, he reaches for Todd, he goes anywhere Todd goes. When we were playing with bubbles, Christopher was in a real dilemma because he wanted so bad to chase and catch the bubbles but he would not leave Todd's lap. When Christopher goes to me, he immediately reaches back for Todd and will fuss and lean out of my arms until Todd takes him. I am delighted to see this connection.
* Katie is mainly in my arms. Whenever she sees me she lights up. Yesterday the kids had awaken from nap time, but they have to stay in their cribs for awhile. Todd and I kept peeking in her room, and she would smile everytime she saw our faces. She cries anytime I put her down or hand her over to the mamas. We are having so much fun with them and will soon take them out on their first outing!
* Christopher is busy and likes to get in things and is very curious and adventurous. He is not afraid to push someone out of the way so he can have Todd's attention. He is fascinated with birds right now and yesterday we got to hear him say "bird" and point!
* Katie is much more reserved, cautious, and hesitant. She can be moody too, so as a girl, I think she will fit into the Moore household well! She has given us many smiles and giggles. She loves to be pushed in the swing. She also likes to be tickled and have her feet massaged--what girl doesn't??
* Erryn thank you for the clothes you have let me borrow--they have worked out great. Siouxanne loved receiving her goodies and families and volunteers loved the chocolate. We have been able to share baggies, and possibly some Malarone and pepto. We were able to give some gatorate packets to someone yesterday. Everyone is looking at us as being ultra prepared and full of resources--all thanks to you!!
* Ariel, thank you for the clothes. It is so nice not having to worry about what to wear each day. I am staying very comfortable. The kids loved the bubbles, I wish you could have seen the excitement in their eyes and voices. The mamas and volunteers were excited too. We are still waiting to disperse some of the toys.
* Lacey, I wish you could be here to experience this and to see all the kids. I have no doubt that you would have a little boy picked out in no time. It might actually be dangerous if you wouldnt know how to say no, and you might end up as a family of 12! I will have pictures of Weiss soon.
Mom, Junior and Weiss seem to be good buds. He has an incredible smile. Yesterday they were sitting in the hammok with Todd pretending they were on a boat and that they couldn't fall into the water. Melody kept pikcing flowers and leaves and carrying them in a frisbee saying "auntie, here's another flowe.r" She also told me she wanted to hold my hand as we walked. We had fun playing ring around the rosie, and our circle kept growing bigger and bigger.
Jaden, You would love the green grass. There is so much room to run and play. Yesterday the boys were having races to see who could run the fastest. The tree house is really cool. The weather is beautiful, sunny and hot. Great weather for playing outside.
Kellen, you would have so much fun with all the kids. They love pretending--yesterday the kids were under the treehouse playing "kitchen" since all the kitchens here are outside. They also like running around playing with balls and hula hoops. You would make so many friends. Also, there are so many babies that like to be held and cuddled, you would be great at that.
Sage, you would love all the animals here. There are chickens and baby chicks that run around, lots of birds, geckos, and dogs. You would have so much.
* Yesterday, we got to be part of a send off for a family. They were going home with their two Ugandan children!! The volunteers, mamas, children, and families all gathered around. We prayed for them and sang "You are Worthy, You are Faithful." It was emotional and awesome to celebrate with this family. God is faithful and He keeps his promises.
* Pray for our lawyer here. We just found out that she has not returned any calls and is proving already to be unreliable. Amani needs to have a reliable lawyer. Pray that God would direct the right lawyer. We cannot move forward until then.
This has been one long entry, so I should probably sign off now. As you can, a lot happens in one day!
* Christopher and Katie were weighed today. Christopher is 22.2 lbs. and Katie is 20.8 lbs. They feel and look totally different though. It is amazing was two pounds can do at that age.
Love you and miss you.

I had trouble uploading pics and I couldnt flip them, etc.
Also, this post was very long so I am not going to proof it...hope it made sense!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

How much joy can be in one place?

We are here!!!!!!! Yesterday we arrived in Entebbe around 3pm, paid for our visas, and then exited through a tunnel of people. I felt like it was the paparazzi...people had their faces pressed up against the glass looking into the airport, and we had taxi drivers trying to convince us that we needed them, not our driver, to take us to Amani. We had a hard time convincing them otherwise because our driver was not there. We were a little panicked, but the taxi driver let us use his phone, and we were finally united with our driver--and we got the best one there is. Abdulla, was very kind, generous (he stopped at the grocery store to buy us bottled water--which was his own idea), and answered our million ongoing questions. Half the time we were in silent awe just soaking everything in, other times we couldnt stop talking. It is so fun experiencing everything in context, not just through pictures and stories. Putting the smells, the sounds, and the scenery all together creates such an experience. It is incredible here. It took us about 4 hours to get to Amani from the airport because of traffic. Along the drive, we saw the funniest thing...there are shops everywhere...and one of those shops had art for of the giant paintings was of an American flag and Bill Clinton!
We pulled up to the gates of Amani Baby Cottage around 7pm. We were told that they would keep the babies up for us and wait for our arrival. We pulled in through the gates, and were greeted by many excited mamas who were so welcoming. The name given to me by all the mamas is "Mama Christopher" or "Mama Priscilla" (Priscilla is Katie's given name at birth). There is another Katie in Baby 1 Room so they have to call her Priscilla. We had one of the other families video tape us walking into the baby cottage. We went into Baby Room 2 where Christopher was sleeping with 10 other children. The mamas flipped on the lights, pulled up the mosquito netting, and lovingly yanked Christopher by the arm up out of his sound sleep and said, "Christopher, your Mama" and put him in my arms. He was adjusting to the light and trying to figure out where he was. He had his little hand gripped tightly to my shirt. I immediately started kissing his head and cheek and held him close. He laid his face against my chest and shoulder, just snuggling. I had tears of joy sliding down my cheek. Then the mamas brought Katie to us (she sleeps in a different room) and handed her to Todd. She went right to him. After soaking it all in, and loving every moment of it, Todd and I traded kids. And then we saw a very specific answered prayer. Katie reached for Todd. So there was Todd holding both kids. It was the best picture in the world. He then started bouncing them up and down, and they loved it. They were laughing, smiling, giggling, and loving every second. We were laughing in delight. After an hour, we put Christopher and Katie back to bed, and I got to stroke Katie's head and rub her belly, as she fell asleep. We then left for the Hotel Triangle where we are staying. It is gorgeous here. Our room looks out over the lake and we went to sleep to the sounds of frogs and crickets and awoke to birds singing and roosters crowing. We had a great breakfast and walked to the Baby Cottage. Again we were greeted with big hugs from all the mamas and were ushered into Christopher and Katie's room. They immediately came to us and gave us big smiles and giggles. The kids wake up at 6:30, get bathed and put back into their cribs. They then get ready for breakfast at 8am. Christopher eats his porridge out of a "big boy" cup. We were amazed to see 11 kids under age 2 drinking out of cups and there were no spills! In Katie's room she was getting ready for her porridge out of a sippy cup. When she gets excited and wants something, her legs start bouncing and she starts flapping her arms. We left to go put our stuff upstairs in the living quarters (which are very nice) and returned downstairs later for play time. When I walked in, I was literally attacked by children. I think I had four or five on me all wanting to be held, climbing up my shirt and back. Katie wanted to be held, and then when Todd walked in she crawled over to him. When we walked into Christopher's room, he was already sitting in their snack circle. He immediately got up with a smile and walked over to Todd with his arms reaching up, so he could be picked up. We are enjoying every second. Both C and K look very healthy. Christopher is walking and is strong. Katie is thinner, more petite looking, and is standing and walking along things as she holds on. She has a mouth full of teeth and resembles her sister Sage--because the exact same front tooth is chipped! Her skin and hair is soft and smells so good. Her cheeks are so kissable. Christopher is more solid and his hair is thicker. He is so cuddly.
I had wondered what it would feel like as their mother. Would it be an instant bond or would it come over time. The way I can explain it is when you are in the hospital after the delivery of a child, and they place the newborn baby in your arms. It felt like that--instant love, attachment, and bond. I could not stop kissing them. They are my children. We wish Jaden, Kellen and Sage could be here. They would love it. The kids would have so much fun with them. The toddler room is a high energy room, where every single child came running up to us yelling Auntie, Uncle, and giving us hugs, wanting to be held, and saying, "I want to go home with you." Break my heart, maybe we can get one or two more?!? Just kidding, I will just start picking out ones for Lacey, Erryn, and Ariel!! Lacey--Weiss is a cutie. He was climbing the triple bunk bed this morning in his tidy whities. His underwear was a bit big, though and it kept falling down, he had to keep reaching behind as he climbed to give them a tug. He is adorable. The kids are all so loving, and they love Jesus. All the mamas are so good with the kids and teach them about Jesus. It is such a great place. The scenery is beautiful. I wish you could all be here with us experiencing it alongside us. We will have lots of pictures and video to share. We are still trying to figure out how to download that stuff. Hopefully soon! We love you, and miss you, but God has us in His hands. We are safe and well. Keep praying for health (my stomach was really upset yesterday just from the travelling and lack of sleep) I am feeling better today.
Jaden, Kellen, and Sage, thank you for your notes to us. I loved getting them on the computer. Thank you for your prayers. God is answering them. We will bring you each a surprise. Have fun with Grammy! Make sure you give her quiet time! Thank you for watering the tree and I am excited to find your hidden pickles. Have lots of fun, we will be home soon. Oh, we also found our picture that we made for the babies this summer hanging up. Katie held the picture and she pointed to Jaden, Kellen and Sage's picture. They love you and cant wait to meet you.
Lord, thank you for your awesome power and love for us. You are so good to us and lavish us with blessings. We love you and praise you for your beautiful creation of people and nature. May you be glorified. Amen.
Sorry if this post was a little jumbled and hard to read, I am a bit overwhelmed!
Love you and miss you!