We recently received a package from J.B.,a friend of ours in Uganda. (I have written about him in previous posts from when Lacey and I were in Uganda. He is the pastor of the church I went to in Jinja, he took Lacey and I to a village to distribute our suitcase full of goodies to the kids, his wife, Grace, cooked many yummy meals for me, and he and his whole family blessed me tremendously. We love JB and his family!)
So when we opened the package, it was full of African outfits for each of our children. For any of you that have had to buy clothes for others, you know how difficult this can be. Imagine being in Uganda, buying African clothes for American kids you have never met nor seen in pictures! And all the clothes fit perfectly! Everyone loves their individual outfit and is very appreciative.
So, ever since we received this package, I have been thinking about how important it is for me to get a picture of the kids in their Uganda clothes. This is almost a daily thought. When I woke up this morning, I thought, since Jaden and Kellen are on Christmas break now, and everyone is home this morning with no plans of having to go anywhere, this will be a great day to get pics done. So I made a quick chore list for each of the kids with the last one being--change into African clothes.
Everything was going well until I had the camera out. All of a sudden the whole morale of the group went downhill fast! So I reminded them how fast pictures will be if everyone just cooperates and smiles!! This is how the next 20 minutes went:
Me: Everyone stand over here, ok smile, look at me! Christopher, put your shirt down. Jaden no bunny ears for this picture. Look! Smile! Uhh, that would have been good, but Katie you weren't looking at Mommy! Again...Sage please stand on two feet, Jaden, relax a little bit, that doesn't even look like a smile anymore...Click! That would have been good, except I can see your undies! Come one everyone, this doesn't have to take soooo long. Please just LOOK AT ME! SMILE! NOW! Sage, please stop looking at your reflection in the TV. Jaden please stop making funny faces. **Now comes bribery** Everyone look at me, smile and you will get a cookie! (Everyone gets excited and shouts "cookie") click, but now Christopher is sooo excited at the idea of cookie he can't stand still. Jaden has had it...there are no more smiles, he keeps raising his hands in the air, like he's had enough. I'm irritable and grouchy and just keep clicking the camera anyways. Kellen keeps running from his spot to the camera because he wants to see the picture I just took! I know I am nearing the end of every one's sanity, so I try to muster up some enthusiasm and announce that this is the last picture. Everyone give me your best smile! Click! Ok...that would have been the last picture, if Sage would have had been standing on TWO feet, if Jaden was smiling, if Kellen didn't have his arms wrapped so tightly around Katie and Christopher that it looked like they were in a choke hold, if Christopher didn't have his arms in the air, and if Katie didn't have drool down the chin! Augghhh! Let's try this again....Augghhhhh!!!!
And all of you are wondering why you haven't received our family Christmas picture in the mail yet! HA!
So, in the middle of posting the above pictures, my friend Megan, popped in to say hi while on her lunch hour. She and I were downstairs, when we heard a sudden crash and the sound of things breaking or at least hitting the floor. We ran upstairs to find our Christmas tree laying sideways! Ornaments were everywhere. And there were two guilty hoodlums standing next to the tree! This gruffy mom (you are getting a great mental picture of me today!) sent them all to bed. Megan and I tried to lift the tree back into a standing position, which did not work well. As we are lifting and holding and the other is fixing the base, we realize part of the base broke. We notice this, as the tree is in the upright position, I am just letting go of the tree, and Megan is down on her knees looking at the base of the tree. This picture explains the rest...
When this happened, I said, "Megan, are you OK?" She muffled out a "yeah." So I said, "then hold on, I have to run and get my camera!" She graciously let me take this picture. We had a good laugh! If it were not for her being here at that moment...who knows... God knows how much we can handle, and then I guess, he sends in reinforcement!
Many have asked about Katie's health. Right now, she is doing well. We have had many ups and downs since bringing her home in April, and know that this will be the norm throughout her life. It is hard to get used to the fact that blood transfusions, hospital stays, and increased risks of complications will all be normal for Katie. My heart breaks and I have tears flowing as I write this. I want my daughter to be healthy. I want her to be able to play in the snow, to go hiking in the mountains... We know that God has chosen her for our family and that we would not be complete without her. I remember just a couple weeks ago when Kellen was in the ER getting an IV started...he was crying and saying how much it hurt...Kellen and I talked about how often Katie has to get an IV and how it helps us to understand what she goes through and to have a deeper compassion for her. Why Lord does she have to have Sickle Cell? Why does she have to experience such pain? A dear friend of ours, who is in his 20's, also has Sickle Cell. He lives in the same town as us, and is from the same town as Christopher and Katie in Uganda. (God has blessed us so much!) He is in the hospital with complications right now, and I ask you to pray for him. That God would heal his body, give him strength and that God would receive the glory. It is hard for me to watch what he is going through. The pain is so great. My heart aches for him. As I watch him, I can't help but think that this may be Katie some day. I feel so helpless. I want to stop the disease and not allow it to wreak havoc on her little body. But I can't. We live in a fallen world where there is sin, pain, and suffering. My eyes have to be fixed on Christ, the One who gives us hope, who forgives us for our sins, and gives us life everlasting. One day, there will be no more tears and no more suffering. Thank you Lacey, for sharing this song and video with me and for giving me a fresh perspective. click here to view
I am flooded with emotions right now, there are tears falling onto my keyboard, and I am reminded by another song playing right now, "...that You make everything Glorious..." We are not alone. This is not in vain. Everything will be made glorious in His time. I also think about how hard it is to watch my child suffer and to feel helpless, and then I am reminded of God watching His only Son suffer on our behalf. God loves us so much. I am overwhelmed. Thank you Jesus. Click here to view another
I am determined to post tonight. I have sat down a couple other times over the last couple months and have really struggled to convey my thoughts. My thoughts are still jumbled, but I guess jumbled thoughts are better than no thoughts, right?!?
I will highlight some happenings from the last couple months to get you up to speed...
There was Halloween...we are not big fans of Halloween and we don't "celebrate" the day, but we do get dressed up and go to a Harvest Party hosted by a local church. I only included this so you could see the picture of our night out! Take a good look...Christopher, not Katie, is the pirate this time!
Then we had Kellen's birthday. He had a party at the bowling alley and we had a ton of fun. Kellen requested a particular cake that he had seen in one of my magazines from over a year ago. The moment he had seen this cake, he knew it was the one!
Todd got his first elk! I am sure I am leaving lots of details out on this one, so you'll have to talk to Todd to get the scoop!
The African Children's Choir was in town and it was amazing! Those kids are incredible. If they are coming to a city near you, GO! You will be in for a treat. I was emotional during the show, thinking about all that God has brought us through to unite Christopher and Katie with our family. What a fun night and we got to experience it with some dear friends!
Sickness...this could be a whole post in itself. We have had 4 with pink eye, 2 with strep throat, sinus infection, bronchitis, ear infection, emergency room trips for croup/severe breathing difficulty, emergency room trip for an inflamed hip joint which was thought to be a bone infection, impetigo, bacterial infections, hand surgery, and an allergic reaction to the antibiotic for the strep throat...and this is all in a 3 week period!
Jaden lost his two front teeth!
My sister has moved up to Montana and is in her 9th month of pregnancy! We are preparing for the birth of her little boy. We are happy to have her so close! My parents are living with us until they head back to Uganda, and the kids are loving their time with Grammy and Grandpa. Add 5 kids to the mix and a couple of dogs, and we have a full house! There is never a moment lacking in adventure. Our days are full and a wee bit busy! or crazy! However, you want to look at it!
Our life is full of blessings, and as we approach Christmas, we are so thankful that God has united our family. (Last Christmas we were longing to to have C & K here). God has accomplished a lot over this past year. As we go through dry times, it helps to look back and remember all that God has done. Today, I started reading our story from the beginning just to be reminded of our faithful and sovereign Lord. Even at times when I can't feel or see Him in the day in and day out, He is there. It has challenged me to look for glimpses of God throughout my day--even in the mundane activities or routines. I want to be in awe of God. I want to be aware of His presence.
Thank you Lord for never leaving us. May our eyes be fixed upon You, Lord, this Christmas season.
Welcome! Todd and I have 3 biological children and have adopted a son and daughter from Uganda, Africa. This story is about God's love, His faithfulness, and His sovereignty. We were not expecting to adopt, but God gave us a desire so that He could fulfill it. Our hope is that He receives the glory. To read the story from the beginningclick here!
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"Faithful is He who called you and He will bring it to pass." 1 Thessalonians 5:24