Being Sheep

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep."John 10:14-15

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Leaving :)

Yup, we're leaving next week!! We can hardly believe it. We're going to be busy the next few days getting all of the packing finished and a whole bunch of other last-minute things. Keep an eye on the blog; once we get back I'll be posting about our trip and pictures. (I can't wait to be able to post pictures of Little N!)

Thanks to everyone who is praying for us as we get ready for and take this huge trip. Prayers for health and safety and that the initial bonding goes well with N would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

~J

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

T-Shirts!

Tonight we made some cute t-shirts for N's homecoming! They were super easy, but I think they're pretty cute. We used fabric spray paint and sprayed over a cut-out of Africa, then used a fabric marker to write the words. The first picture is the ones for our immediate family, and have the Amharic words for mother, father, and brother on them. The plain white ones are for our other family members (grandparents, aunts/uncles, whoever comes to the airport.) This was fun, and didn't cost very much either--we got the t-shirts for $2.50 each at Michael's!





Sunday, June 6, 2010

Didn't you want a girl?

I've heard this question or a variation on it several times since we received our referral of Little N. The truth of the matter is that when we first began the process, we wanted to request sibling girls. After discussion and prayer, we decided that we would be open to either gender, and accept whoever we were referred.

Once we realized that we would have to continue waiting for so much longer if we kept saying we only wanted siblings (as in, we would still be waiting for a referral now!) we decided to be open to only one child.

We were referred a healthy baby boy. :) It was totally not what we were expecting. We had been open to a toddler/preschool age child, and had also been open to many physical special needs. But S and I had talked much about the possibility of adopting an infant for our next adoption, because we both wanted to "do the baby thing" at least one more time. I guess we're doing it now!

We're so excited to bring N home, we really can hardly wait! Little boys are so much fun--cars and trucks, light sabers, sound effects, lots of jumping and running, and lots of dirt! What could be more fun? While we also would have been excited about a girl, I don't think we could possibly be more excited than we are now.

We're very open at this point to God's leading as to when we should adopt again, and where from. We have no definite answers right now, but we have some time to decide. We will most likely be adopting a slightly older child/ren our next time around, but like I said---we'll see. It may be a girl, boy, or sibling group. Who knows where God will lead? (Well, of course God does. But as much as I've requested some e-mails or writing in the sky from him about his detailed plans, he hasn't done so. I guess he wants me to have more faith or trust or something. Yeah, I'm working on that!)

Keep watching the blog; once we are home I will be posting pictures from our trip and of N, as well as journaling about our trip. Thanks for reading!

~J

Friday, June 4, 2010

Attachment---What will it look like once our child is home??

We have been so very blessed to have such supportive family members. Our parents have all been excited with us about our adoption, have helped out where possible, and understand that this isn't going to be just like bringing home a newborn from the hospital.

Unfortunately, we will be Little N's 4th home. Yes, in 8 short months he's lived in 3 other places. So far, all of his caregivers have come and gone... and the one he knew the best--his mom, never came back.

Regardless of the reason a child is placed in an orphanage (and most times, there is no other option!) a child can't understand what is going on. Babies and toddlers especially don't know why they're in an orphanage or that this new mommy and daddy they've never seen before are here to stay. (And while older children may understand that this is what everybody says---they don't necessarily believe it.)

N isn't going to meet us and think "Oh cool, I get to go home with two strange white people!" ;)

Because of his previous losses, and because he's got no real idea that we're his mom and dad and we'll always take care of him, our parenting is going to have to be different this time around.

While friends and family may want to hold him, we are not going to be allowing that right away. And when he is ready for others to be holding him, it will have to start very slowly--grandmas first, then other family, then other close friends, etc. And not for long periods of time.

We will be the ones to feed N. He needs to learn that we will provide for his needs, and that we're his primary caregivers--his mom and dad.

We'll be spending a lot of time holding him, rocking him, giving him bottles, etc.

While this may seem a little strange or a bit of overkill to others, I can assure you it's only being done for N's well-being. And our social worker has given us permission to blame her if others don't understand why they can't hold him right away. :) (For real, she did!)

I am so thankful for our friends and family who've supported us so much thus far. And I ask that you be patient with us for a while longer as we learn to be parents to N, and as he learns to love and trust us.

A good (and short) article that can give some more ideas on "Do's and Don'ts" for family and friends is here.

Another thing to remember is that we are completely fine with answering questions and explaining things for those who are genuinely interested. If you're confused about what we're doing and why, feel free to ask. And if you want to know more about adoption, it's one of our favorite subjects, so feel free to ask about that, too!

~J