Dec 29, 2013

Uncle John and Aunt Rachel got married!

Can you tell he's happy?
Rachel was gorgeous!  And her little helpers are pretty dang cute, if I do say so myself!
My heart is so full, so there's probably more to come.  Most of you know that my brother has had to deal with a lot, and most of you know he's handled it so wonderfully.  And most of you know that I'm crazy about him and I think he's just the very best.  He's so great, and Rachel is awesome.  They suit each other so well.  They seem so happy together, they keep each other on their toes, and they make one another laugh.  They both are believers and they both are counting on God's strength to make this marriage work.  I'm SO very happy for them!  Sharing their happiness yesterday was a pretty special blessing. 
P.S.  Lucy was a flower girl for the first time.  She did pretty well, but there was no time (or inclination) for napping in all the hustle and bustle of getting there and getting ready (and she's usually a bit off her game without a nap).  She walked down the isle with the adorable Silas.  She was pretty preoccupied with him all day.  "Where is my boy?"  "Have you seen my boy?"  "Let's go find my boy."  She made it down the isle, but then got really disinterested as the preacher spoke about love, so she wandered around the stage a bit and then said, "I'm hungry!" several times (loudly and urgently).  I did some whispering/bribing about cake, and she just collapsed into a puddle of white dress and pretty hair and wailed.  Yikes!  I directed her to Nana, so she wailed on over and got a little comfort and a little space and seemed fine.  I saw her throwing elbows to get back to the isle to walk up again with her boy.  She rushed our there and grabbed his hand and strutted proudly back up the isle.  Thank goodness Rachel is a gracious and laid-back bride!  

Dec 22, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas Card (that you didn't get)

My JoyBelle.

My big girl at the candlelight service.  Very special.

Dec 18, 2013

beauty in adoption

I have thoughts swirling around about adoption.  All the time.  Every day.

Adoption is a gift in so many ways. 

If you've even glanced at this blog, you'll know that I consider my Lucy a precious gift from God and that I'm blown away by how very much I love her.  She's such a joy.  She makes every day more special, more sweet, more full of sparkly wonder.  I am so thankful for her.  She IS the gift of my adoption.  Getting to share my life with her and be her mom is the gift.

There are other baubles of beauty in adoption, though, aside from the obvious one (my daughter).

One of these is a gift of awareness.  I think almost everyone delights in their children.  But with adoption, the delight is deepened into a joy and a gratefulness that is hard to describe.  Ordinary moments, like Lucy giving her Uncle high-five kisses and hugs through the car window, squealing with happiness on her Pap's shoulders, and huddling in with Nana, making giggly plans, shout to my brain, "It is good!  She is cherished!  The dangers and hurts looming large over an orphanage crib have been covered, filled, overwhelmed with love.  Not just my love but a torrent of love from friends and family.  It has been made right!"  I honestly believe it's a taste of heaven.  Where all our tears will be wiped away and the broken things restored and the love of our Father just overwhelming us.  What a precious thing that adoption has brought into focus for me.

Every time I take her to the doctor all pitiful and come out with medicine and hope that she'll soon feel better, I am deeply grateful.  Every time.  I think about Mamas in Ethiopia, where there is 1 doctor for every 37,000 people and I wonder what they do when their precious ones get strep and the 40 minute wait doesn't seem so bad.  I see how beautiful it is to have access to health care and I literally thank God for it.

I generally dislike cooking, but seeing my daughter chomp down berries and chicken and sweet potatoes and tomatoes (her favorites) causes that grateful feeling to well up again.  I can feed her just what her body needs to grow and be healthy.  Fresh, healthy foods are available and, this is key, I can afford them.  I think about a sweet boy from Ethiopia and how his birth mother couldn't feed him and chose to let him live by giving him to a family who could, and I am so desperately grateful for red tomatoes and blueberries and endless isles of groceries.

These small moments of perspective and gratitude are part of me now, crashing into my normal days.  They have changed how I see myself and God and the world.  They are (another) beautiful thing that adoption has brought into my life.


Dec 12, 2013

Lucy tells the Christmas Story

Part 1
Part 2
I'm so proud of this lovely girl and her sweet heart.  Merry Christmas!

Dec 8, 2013

The Official Christmas List

"Lucy, what do you want for Christmas?"

"Books!" she answers with a smile.  "And sun.  And trees."

This is my daughter.  :)

Dec 2, 2013


Today Lucy and I decorated for Christmas.

Her first Christmas, we had a tiny tree, and the Christmas before that I hadn't bothered with one.  Last Christmas we had a big tree, which I decorated while she was napping.  I knew that this year would be different.  My big helper had big plans about decorating.  In fact, as soon as she woke up this morning, she told me, "I dreamed 'bout decorating our tree.  In my bed!  I did!"

(Then we played a game she invented (on the spot) called Odananulu (?).  She graciously explained the rules for me while she got it set up.  "You get your basket and you bring it over and you mix it up...."  Basically, you dump out and take turns throwing the contents of your basket of panties at each other.  Fun times first thing in the morning!)

We set up the tree, and I got breathless oohs and aahs as I added each section of the tree and real joy at turning on the lights.   She helped decorate and really favored one section, which is dripping with bling :)

We put up the Nativity scene, and she scooted up her rocking chair right next to it and the tree and just sat admiring it all and doing some "reading".

We were putting other little decorations around, and I noticed a cute manger with a missing leg.  I asked Lucy if it had broken off.  She was  a little evasive, and finally suggested, "I don't know what happened.  Maybe you should ask the wise men."

When someone asked her what we'd done today, she replied excitedly, "We Christmas-ed!"

When we were getting ready for bed, she sighed happily and said, "We had a great day today, didn't we Mama."

I could not love her more.  She is such a blessing from God!