Monday, July 30, 2012

Capture Gratitude: VBS, Weddings, Dentist appointments, and ANSWERED PRAYER

“There is no event so common place but that God is present within it, always hidden, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him.”  Fredrick Buechner 

The younger two boys took swim lessons at Lifestrokes this summer. It was a LOT more expensive than where we've taken them before - but I think Tobin got further in his first lesson at Lifestrokes than in six weeks at the other place. Plus = they LOVED it.

 I mentioned before we had a lot of dear friends getting married this weekend. On July 13, both Tobin and I got to be in this beautiful girl's wedding. What a joy.
 And have you EVER seen such a cutie ring bearer?

I'm sorry to all of the other volunteers at VBS, but I have the BEST job. I get to teach the Bible lesson to the 4 year old class (and to the 3 year olds, who are all children of volunteers...including my own little 3 year old this year.) I was so intimidated the first year I was asked to teach - I'm used to college students, but teaching the Bible to FOUR year olds?? As it turns out: I love them. Getting to tell them that they have a Father who loves them, who will never let go of them, and encourage them to trust Him? Gold.
 I also loved  driving a van full of crazies every day:
 And the kids had a super time. Micah enjoyed his first experience ("Go go Micah's class?") Luke volunteered with the Rec teams (and especially enjoyed the shaving cream day.) And Tobin was with great pals.
 We had an awesome closing program, with the tractor train, and tons of bounce houses. My kids would have been happy staying there all night.

Matt was out of town last weekend, and we had a VERY busy weekend as Luke's basketball team played in the Cornhusker State Games (which means his brothers got to watch the CARS movie all the way through more than 2 times as we drove back and forth across town.) We celebrated with a fun Saturday morning breakfast, carrying on a tradition my mom started. More on these coming soon!
Brother practice is working out pretty well, as long as I'm consistent in implementing it. And some brotherly love comes naturally. Here's Micah "helping" Luke mow the lawn.
 And of course these two are best buds.

160. FACING MY FEARS: AKA Taking Micah to the Dentist
Y'all. I have been dreading taking Micah to the dentist. An hour before we went, I actually got on the Ugandan adoptive parents group (my support group!) and asked for prayer and encouragement. I think I was having some post-traumatic stress from the blood draw we had to do on Micah the first week home. Plus, I knew that (without dental insurance) it was likely to hit our budget pretty hard too. Micah had visible cavities, though, so I knew we needed to bite the bullet.

Good news and bad news: The good news is that Micah LOVED the dentist. It helped a lot that he got to watch both big brothers in the chair first. And I should have known that my little oral-sensory craving boy would enjoy all the sensory input at the dentist. He especially loved the suction thingy (I'm sure that's its official name, right?) He actually liked that so much he wouldn't let go, the hygienist had to turn off the suction before he'd open his lips. :)

The bad news: I was correct about the amount of terrible going on with his teeth. That's the result of 2 years of no dental care, but mostly: volunteers who visit orphanages bring candy. The dentist said the damage was all done long ago, no amount of brushing and care we've done since then could have helped. Sigh.

I actually CRIED in the dentist office when they told me what all we need to do, and how much it's going to cost. (cue: embarrassment. I'm used to crying, but this was not an appropriate place or time!) I prayed with the boys as we left the office - thanking the Lord for the privilege of providing for Micah, that I'm attached enough to him to really worry about surgery and all that's coming his way, and especially reminding myself (and thanking the Lord yet again) that God provided almost $20K for M's adoption. He hasn't stopped caring for Micah, and He hasn't stopped providing for us.

I have NO reason not to trust Him. Speaking of that...


When I was in Uganda the first time, I met a precious little girl named Esther. We had prayed about being her family, but felt like the Lord said no. But I prayed and told Him that I didn't know how I could leave her there, so asked Him to please let her family come forward before I got there...otherwise, we would assume that compassion trumps feeling, and begin working toward her. Then we got matched with Micah...and a family did come forward for Esther, so when I met her a year ago this week, she was spoken for. As I predicted, I fell in love with Esther and was glad she had a family, so I could know for sure she was not ours. After we came home with Micah, this family went to Uganda for court, and for the first time faced the reality of Esther's needs. It was devastating, but they walked away from her.

I know that it's not about me - but my heart was broken. I tried to convince Matt that we needed to go back for Esther immediately - and he pointed out that we were in the throes of adjustment with Micah, and still had a ways to go before paying off his adoption. He was pretty sure we were not God's answer for Esther. I was comforted to know that the Lord cares FAR more for Esther than I do, and that others who were much more involved than we were had the opportunity to work behind the scenes toward another family for this precious creation of God.

Boy did the Lord have this COVERED. He wrote such a better end of the story than I could have guessed - beyond what I could ask or imagine for SURE. He brought the PERFECT family for Esther, and they are in LOVE. I'll let you go and meet them for yourselves, because my descriptions can hardly do them justice: Meet Esther's family here.

I've been praying daily (and at times moment by moment) for Jenny & Esther (and Jenny's oldest son, Sebastian), as they've waited on court papers, passports and visas. Last week I came home from VBS and did my daily facebook stalking...and saw that they were on a PLANE.

On July 25 I was THRILLED to read Jenny's facebook status...
We are HOME!!! Esther is still sleeping and slept through the entire airport reunion but her siblings had a blast kissing her and telling her about all the good times they will have!!! I feel like I'm in a dream! And my dream of avoiding the ER has come true too....the hospital can wait...we're having a family slumber party!!!!

Here is Esther a year ago when I first met her...

 And here she is now. :)
Seriously. Go check Jenny's blog to see Esther with her precious family (once they come out of the jetlag + I'm so happy to be back with my husband and kids = no blogging phase). It's amazing.

Words fail me. I am so thankful to get to see the end of the story - which is just the beginning for Esther. Praise Jesus!