Goodbye Ordinary

I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us. Isaiah 63:7

Thanksgiving Fun November 29, 2008

Filed under: Home Schooling,Kid Happenings,Life — Lori @ 11:10 am

The girls and I go to a monthly home school group that my wonderful, creative, energetic, enthusiastic, organized, fun, patient, thoughtful, and young at heart friend runs for all us moms.  She is the grandma of the group – literally.  She started the group with her daughter-in-law in mind as a way to help her to get started with home schooling and an opportunity to have fun with her granddaughters. 

She is amazing!  Not only does she plan, organize, and gather all the supplies that we need for the day we meet, but she also makes all of us a wonderful lunch.  We have had homemade stew and the girls get heart shaped PB&J or cheese & meat roll-ups, yogurt, applesauce, and homemade rolls on pretty little crystal plates and they drink sparkling cider out of little crystal glasses.  In other words, she spoils us all terribly!

The girls have really enjoyed this get together with the six other girls that attend and look forward to this each month.  There is a family that comes to our group  that has just brought home a one year old and a nine year old girl from Ethiopia.  Kalindi and Kira were excited to meet the baby at our last get together and a few days later met the nine year old girl whose homecoming had been delayed a few weeks because of a court delay in Ethiopia.  Kalindi is so happy to have a girl around her age who will be coming to the group.

Here are some photos of our last time together:

Our Indian Chief leading a game.

Our Indian Chief leading a game.

 

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Kalindi performing the Thanksgiving story with Squanto.

Kalindi performing the Thanksgiving story with Squanto.

 

The girls with their friend "I" and darling baby "M".

The girls with their friend

Finally meeting “E”:

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MercyMe – You Reign November 25, 2008

Filed under: Faith,Uncategorized — Lori @ 10:05 pm

I had posted the video for “You Reign”, but they stopped allowing it to be embedded.  Here is the link to watch it on You Tube.

You Reign by MercyMe

Even before there was a drop in the ocean
Even before there was a star in the sky
Even before the world was put in motion
You were on Your throne
You were on Your throne

You reign
Glory in the highest
You reign
Let creation testify
By Your name
Every knee will bow
And every tongue proclaim
That Jesus reigns

Even before Your hand made the heavens
Even before the breath of all mankind
Even before we had to be forgiven
You were on Your throne
You were on Your throne

Yesterday, today and forever
You are God who was, and is and is to come

 

What Being Thankful Means November 24, 2008

Filed under: Faith,Life — Lori @ 11:06 pm

I was reading a book recently about prayer and there was a section on the importance of giving thanks when we pray.  As I read the section I realized that I don’t spend much time thanking God for the things He has done for me – of which there are plenty, I might add.  If I am honest, when I pray I usually go straight to the, “Will you take care of this problem for me….”. 

The book mentioned the story in Luke of the ten lepers that Jesus healed.  Here is the text:

Luke 17:11-19   On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”  When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.  Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

In that time if you were a leper you were an outcast from society, it was a horrible way to live.  The author said that he was sure that each and every one of the ten men would have been grateful to no longer have to live the way they had been and would have been happy to be able to return home to their families.  However, only one of the lepers took the time to come back and thank Jesus for what he had done for him.  That is being thankful.  Not just being glad that God did something for you, but taking the time to stop and tell him how much you appreciate it and praising Him for it.

We are thanking the Lord tonight for an amazing answer to prayer.  Some friends have been waiting for six months to have their guardianship order signed for the thirteen year old girl they want to adopt from India.  Many people have prayed for this to happen.  Praise the Lord for this victory!  Kalindi and Kira are so excited to see their good friend again.

Take the time this Thanksgiving to thank the Lord for all He has done for you.  But, instead of just doing that on this one day, try to make it a habit of your daily prayer life.  It will bless your spirit when you recall all God has done.

Psalm 103:1-5 

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and all that is within me,
   bless his holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
   who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
   who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

How to Navigate a Blog November 22, 2008

Filed under: Blogging — Lori @ 1:50 pm

I have had a bunch of questions from people who are new to reading blogs.  I know a lot of you are old pros, but for those of you who aren’t I will share some basic blog information.

When I write a new “post” it is put at the top of all my other posts.  This is the first thing you see when you come to my site.  Older ones are pushed down and there is an archive of older posts you can access by clicking on a month in the archive section – a link which is in the right hand column marked “Archives”. 

When I write a post I will mark it with certain categories.  There is a list of my “Categories” in the right hand column and if you are interested in a certain topic, you can click on that word and automatically a list of those marked posts will be there for you to read.

There is also a section in the column on the right that lists “Some Background”.  These are pages that give background so that if you don’t know our family – or were not on my email list for the past two plus years – you may not have read this information.  I know when I go to someone’s blog I may be interested in the person and their story, but I have to search around and read a bunch of old posts to figure out what they are talking about!  I thought this would make it easy for people to quickly access the back story.

I have a section in the right hand column called “Blogroll”.  These are blogs that I visit on a regular basis.  The blogs I have listed vary in topic and content.

There is also a link in the right hand column to subscribe through Feedburner to receive an email everytime I post a new message.  If you like to keep track of blogs with RSS, you can use that link that is at the top of the website.  You can choose to be kept informed of posts and/or comments.  If you don’t know what RSS is or how to use it, here is an explanation for you.  A short explanation of RSS is that you can have a list of updates on sites you are interested in, but it is not emailed to you – you access it from your “Favorites” pull down list when you are on the internet, but you would choose the tab at the top marked “Feeds” instead of “Favorites” or “History”.

To comment on a post, you just click on the “comment” link at the end of the post.  If you haven’t signed in before you just have to give a name or nickname and your email address.  No one but me will see that email address so don’t worry about your privacy.  You can also click on the “comment” link if you just want to read comments.  It will tell you if anyone has commented on that post.  Please do comment!  Even if it is just to say, “Hey.  I read your post.  Enjoyed/hated reading it.  You are the smartest person on earth/biggest idiot I ever heard.” 🙂  You don’t have to leave some lengthy, witty, insightful comment, but it would be fun to have a dialogue with you!

I appreciate all of you who come here to visit.  Keep coming and please do invite others to come as well.  The more the merrier!  If you have any questions that I didn’t answer, why don’t you see if you can leave it in the comments?  It will be a test! Ha

 

Unique English Usage November 20, 2008

Filed under: Adoption,Family,Home Schooling — Lori @ 4:28 pm

I keep forgetting to write down and share some of the cute things the girls still say.  Reading a blog of a family who has recently adopted siblings from Ethiopia I was reminded of some of the language hurdles that I thought we would NEVER get over.  One of those was to stop referring to themselves in the third person. 🙂  I would say that was pretty much gone after about six months and about a million reminders by me whenever they did it.

The other day Kira was saying something to me and I just answered her without correcting what she had said.  I find that I often just translate in my head and don’t even realize that what was said is wrong.  Anyway, Kevin says, “Did you hear what she said?”  I had to stop and think and then realized he was referring to their mutual mistake they make when saying that they “forgot it”.  The way they both say it is “got it for”.  It is so funny when you realize that they say it all the time and I just answer without a thought. 

The other phrase that they often mix up is “Yes, I am.”  They will say, “Yes am are!”  I am actually pretty impressed that they are doing as well as they are.

A part of speech that I think they must not have in Hindi are articles.  I have to remind them to use a, an, and the.  They see no need for those words.  Even when I want them to repeat something I say they will leave them out.  They also do not want to use the words and, or, and but.

One of the early words that Kevin and I enjoyed the girls using was “lotassa”.  They would use it when they were referring to a lot of something.  They STILL use that word.  I am pretty sure they made it up.  I like it.

For those of you who have adopted kids from India, the girls still use the head tilting back and forth and blinking of the eyes when they talk sometimes.  It is an Indian thing, I guess.  I actually wish that they would keep some of those cultural quirks.

When I think about all that the girls have had to learn, I am really amazed at how well they are doing.  We can talk about a lot of things that we couldn’t in the beginning.  We are able to talk about feelings, memories, thoughts, and ideas.  The girls are making great strides in learning about telling time and the idea of dates and calendars.  We have a long way to go, but they just had no concept of this at all to begin with.

The girls and I are enjoying school.  We had worked on some things last spring, but it became so stressful for all of us that I backed off and we just played educational games and worked on language and jus getting them to feel settled here.  It took them some time just to figure out how to find things on their own to occupy their time.  They have no problem with that now!  We had a fun, relaxing summer taking swimming lessons and learning how to ride bikes.  They were very ready to begin school this fall and although it was a bit rough at the start, we got in a flow and I am pleased with how it is going.  We are able to complete all that we need to do each day by lunch time and then do things around the house or run errands in the afternoon.

That recap I just gave of our daily schedule sounds very neat and tidy.  Why is it that I never feel like I have enough time in a day?  Could it possibly be that I am not as disciplined or as good at time management as I should be? 🙂  I love reading this blog about a family who has eleven children (four of which they have adopted) and how they live their life.  She seems so together and organized.  As fun as I think it would be to have a bunch of kids, I am not sure that I have the ability to handle that.  At least not eleven! 

Right now, we are enjoying these three girls the Lord has given us and are open to possibly adding more with the Lord’s urging.  We’ll see what the future holds.

 

Update on SS November 18, 2008

Filed under: Adoption,Family,Life,Uncategorized — Lori @ 3:55 pm

The girls and I went to the SS office after I saw my surgeon to check my hand.  As a quick aside, it will have been four weeks tomorrow that I had my surgery and my hand is doing well.  The doctor says that I can expect weekly progress, but not daily progress like I saw in the first three weeks.  I am happy that I can now use nail clippers to clip the girls toenails, open the refrigerator with my right hand, pull up my pants :-), and use a knife for cooking.  These are all recent accomplishments!

Back to the reason for my update.  I prayed for success on my way to the office.  I got a different person than I have ever worked with before and she was really nice.  She seemed interested in the girls and asked personal questions about them.  She was actually an immigrant herself – she told me she came here when she was fifteen.  She said she was impressed that the girls hardly have an accent after being here such a short time – she still has her accent.

She accepted the birth certificate, adoption decree, adoption certificate, pediatrician’s letter, and the girls green cards as ample evidence of identity and citizenship.  She said the paperwork goes through immigration (USCIS) before a number is issued and it can take up to eight weeks.  Please don’t stop praying!  Pray that the paperwork will be satisfactory for immigration and there will be no hangups.  But, it sure felt good to leave that office knowing I shouldn’t have to return any time soon.  Thank you Lord!

The song that goes with the following verse came to my mind after the SS office victory:

Isaiah 55:12  For you shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills, shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

 

Good for the Soul

Filed under: Adoption,Life — Lori @ 11:10 am

There is nothing so good for the soul than to hear a sweet six year old singing to herself in the shower. 🙂  Kira often sings to herself when she is doing things.  This morning when I went in to give her a towel it just made my heart smile to hear her singing happily to herself in the shower.  It gives me joy when I see contentment, security, and happiness on my girls’ faces.  God is so good to give me these glimpses just when I need them.

You can pray for me as I head back to the Social Security office for the fourth time.  I will admit that one of those trips was my fault – I forgot an important piece of paper that I thought was in the pile.  Kevin took me the first time armed with the form filled out for each girl, their newly arrived birth certificates, and their adoption decrees.  At that visit we were informed that this was not enough identification for them and that we needed to get a letter from the pediatrician stating their names, birth dates, our names as their parents, and the last time they had been seen at the office.

So my second trip was to head back with the letter and everything from the first time – only to arrive and realize that I hadn’t put the letters in the stack with everything else!  So, I ran home and grabbed the letters and went right back only to be told by a different employee of SS that what I had was not enough.  He said I needed a U.S. passport for the girls or immigration certificate that proved they were U.S. citizens.  I was SO frustrated.

That evening at home I went online to CIS to investigate this certificate (N-600).  It costs $420 per child to file.  I was really hoping I didn’t have to do that!  I looked at passport information.  You need a SS# to get a U.S. passport.  Huh?  Then I went to the SS website.  I checked the requirements to get a SS# for a foreign born adopted child and I really think we have all that we need.  So, I am now armed with the printed list of requirements – just in case I need to let the next SS employee know how to do their job – and threw in the mailings from CIS regarding the girls’ citizenship even though it has their old birthdates on them.  If I need to explain and prove the birth date change I also have the letter from the pediatrician for the court to change their birth dates and the original filing for the adoption which explains this.  All of this so that Kalindi would not have a Christmas Day birthday and Kira’s wouldn’t be in November!  Hindsight.

I hope that I can come home this afternoon and report that I have successfully negotiated the nightmare that is government bureaucracy and that SS cards will be in the mail for the girls!  Wahoo!  Then I can change their medical insurance information (names, birth dates, SS#’s) and quit looking like an idiot every time I pick up their prescriptions or call to make a doctor appointment because I am trying to remember what name I need to use and what birth date to give.  I will also know that come tax time I have everything that I need to claim the little sweeties AND be able to start claiming our adoption tax credit.

 

 
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