Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mother/Daughter Retreat

A few weeks ago the four girls and I went to Pine Valley Bible Camp for their FIRST annual Mother/Daughter Retreat Day. I chose to go just for the day because, well, four girls with one mom, seems exhausting to me, and it was much cheaper just to go for the day. (just sayin') One of the reasons I wanted to go were some of the ladies that were going to be there, Judy and her daughters Melissa and Jennifer. Judy was one of the speakers and Jennifer led worship. Melissa brought her three daughters adopted from the Ukraine and I was able to visit with one of them during our afternoon time at the pool. Delightful young ladies!

 Well we woke up early so we could make it in time for breakfast. We had about a half-hour drive ahead of us and hair to do. After breakfast we headed up to the opening session. After the opening session there was a breakout session time and I took the girls to the hula workshop. They had fun learning the hula and wearing grass skirts. Since they were taken care of I went to a class about Mother/Daughter blessings.

We met back up again for a tea which was also our lunch. We had little croissant sandwiches, cherry tomatoes with cream cheese dill filling, cookies, fruit, and some other yummies. All the girls from the hula class went up and did the hula for all of us. It was so cute! After our bellies were full and we were dismissed it was free time. Three of the girls chose to swim in the lovely pool and Addis chose to stay in and make a lei. After the other girls had swam for a few hours they were ready to try something new. Mulu had made some friends so she went off with them and their mom to some relay races and I went with the little girls to make leis. Anna was more into the hot chocolate making and Adah was directing me on what to put on her lei, but she clearly wanted me to do it since it was too intricate for her.

After our afternoon fun we had a great dinner and then session time again. The girls by now were totally fascinated by the crafts table where they were making all kinds of fun things. I had a relaxing and quiet time knowing they were occupied and just steps away from me.

We fellowshipped afterwards before heading home. The girls were now visiting with new found friends and I was able to visit with the wonderful ladies I had gone to see. We arrived home about ten o'clock, tired yet so happy for the time we were able to spend together and with our friends. It was time well invested in my daughters! I wish there was also something for moms and sons. Anyone?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Speaking Engagement & Isaiah's Baby Dedication

Steve & I were invited to speak at South Peoria Baptist Church this past weekend about our adoption experience. We took the four girls with us since the boys had other activities they were already committed to. We started off with prayer in a side room with Pastor Hayes and a representative from Arizona Baptist Children's Services who was also going to speak.

We spoke at both services with the second service being quite a bit fuller than the first. The girls sat in with us and did great. They were a great testimony for the ministry of adoption. We had them go up with us so the people could put a name and face to the story my husband was about to tell. All five of us girls went and sat down while Steve told our story.

He did a fantastic job. We were also able to share a video that we had downloaded from the internet. We contacted the man who made it and he gave us his full blessing. I wasn't doing so well with the video I was trying to make. I was getting pics up but couldn't get the music to snyc with it. His was so much better anyways. This is the video we played.

After Steve was done talking Pastor Hayes called me up and asked me some questions. I wasn't ready for that! One of the questions he asked was what advice I could give other moms. Thinking from the adopted mom standpoint I told the ladies to put one foot in front of the other and do the next thing. If God had called them to adopt/mother then He would help you take the next step, the next hour. We are just called to obey. He'll help us!

The second service started and this is when Isaiah, our grandson, was getting dedicated. We went up on stage with Nathan & Sarah since we as Christian grandparents will be held accountable for his walk with the Lord also. We are to encourage his parents and him to help him know the Lord.  

When the dedication was over we spoke again and Steve did an even better job than the first time. He was such a natural you wouldn't know it was his first time speaking on adoption. We had several people come up to us and ask questions. One mom wanted to know how I did it all. She only had two and was overwhelmed (been there done that). She was older (so she thought) I was five years older than her when we adopted our youngest two and am now nine years older than her adopting a three year old.  I enouraged her to be open, be faithful, seek the Lord, and He would direct her as to building her family.

One of Nathan's friends was joking with Steve when he came off the stage that his wife must have slipped Steve $20 to say what he said about babies.  He told Steve that he threw him under the bus because all the excuses he uses with his wife on why it's not time to have children, Steve had just addressed. At the end of his talk he simply encouraged the couples not to wait to have children because children are a blessing. He told them that if they waited until their ducks were in a row, they would never be in a row. If they waited until they had enough money. They'd never have enough money and so on. I'm hoping that we stirred some hearts towards growing their family either through birth or adoption.

We ended the day off with a church bbq and visiting with the couple who was there for Arizona Baptist Children's Services and family and friends that had come for the dedication.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Anna!

Sisters help the celebration!

 Loving the whole idea that we are singing just to her!
 Anna and her doll that speaks Spanish so she has no idea what she says. oops!