Archive for October, 2007

Just playing in the mud and doing other “brother stuff.” Click on picture to be taken to flikr and more pictures.

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So this morning I was in the kitchen, making coffee cake for a MOPS steering meeting, when this thought popped into my head…… “How do I determine or decide whether things are “good” in my life?” 

Let me back up a little bit.

Lately I have been struggling with…… Wait, I’m lying, I have been struggling with this for years, probably most of my adult life… not understanding why my life isn’t a certain way.  It is hard to explain in words, but I seemed to be perpetually disappointed with life.  I mean, not all the time, but regularily disappointed with how my life is.  Unless I am trying hard to see things differently, I am a glass half empty person.  And one thing I am realizing about myself is that usually that disappointment is focused towards God.  “Why he isn’t working things out the right way or why He is allowing things to happen the way they are.”  You may not see me as this person, but if I am really honest with myself and with you, since I am putting this out there for all to see, I struggle with this. 

When things are out of my control, which is pretty much how most of life is, I seem to struggle the hardest.  So, these last few weeks have been hard.  Ethiopian courts opened two weeks ago and I thought we should just sail right through, get on a plane to get “E’ and be done with it.  We are working on a new business venture and I thought it would all be coming to  fruition at the beginning of the month and then it would be smooth sailing.  We would get back to normal life, not this limbo land that we seem to be in all the time.  Funny, maybe this is normal life????? But non of these things have happened the way I have wanted them too and what happens to me? I get frustrated, uptight, and disappointed.  I have been a bundle of frustration for the last few days.

During my prayer time, which is also my early morning walking time, I have been talking to God about this situation and what He has told me is, “Traci, your need for control and to have your life “right” is completely undermining what I am trying to do.  You, Traci, are telling me in so many ways that you do not trust the plan I have for you.  You, Traci, think you know better, well, just look at some of the decisions you have made in your life.  Were they the best for you?  Why don’t you sit back and let me do the work.  Surrender you hopes and dreams to me.  Surrender you life to me.  Surrender this adoption and your boys to me, they are mine anyway. Surrender your desire or “need” for normalcy to me. Just TRUST me.” I have been hearing these things over and over the last few days and so this morning when I heard that questions, I had to answer.  I determine if my life is “good” based on whether the events or circumstances in my life are going the way I want them to.  Wow!  What a revelation to me. 

So as I lay my selfish nature out before the Lord, I am going to begin to train myself to surrender moment by moment my feelings of disapointment and dispair over circumstances.  Sometimes I might need to surrender daily other times I am surrendering minute by minute.  Do you have to do that too?

God has spoken to me through Ecclesiastes 3, the Time for Everything chapter, but particularily verses 11- 13. God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.  So I concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves a long as they can.  And people should eat, drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.  Amen?

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OK so last week on Oprah, yes I do watch occasionally, they highlighted a new cook book called Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld, the wife of Jerry Seinfeld.  I was really intrigued by the ideas that she shared and decided to check it out.  Basically the premise of the cookbook is to help take away the “pain” of dinner time and all of the, “you eat your veggies or else,” talk that goes on.  She suggests doing this by hiding their vegetables in their food so that they don’t even know.  She has a system of pureeing the fruits and veggies and putting them directly into the food.  Oprah loved the samples Jessica brought with her to the show, which means it most be good, right? You know if Oprah is doing it, it is the thing to do.  People, this is sarcastic ok, so no comments about me going Oprah crazy ok….???  With only a 3 year old and 18+ month old, we are already having the eat your veggie struggle and I feel tons of guilt about not feeding them all the things that they need.

Ok so I jumped in.  Saturday, I planned my meals based on this book. By the way, I always want to plan my meals ahead of time, but never do it, so don’t think I am super organized about this.  Sunday, I went shopping and bought way more veggies than normal, I came home and while Brandon was out playing with the boys I pureed broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, yellow squash, bananas, butternut squash, and a couple more I can’t remember.  Let me tell you broccoli does not look all the great pureed. Doesn’t smell to hot either.

This morning, I made muffins with applesauce and carrots snuck in… they were great.  At lunch I snuck in a 1/2 cup of cauliflower in their alfredo and whole wheat pasta dish and they didn’t even know.  In fact, Sean scarfed it up.  The weirdest thing of all, I put pureed spinach in brownies.. The boys loved them, Brandon said they weren’t sweet enough for him, and I thought they were good.  Only 133 calories and 3 grams of fiber in them, not to mention the nutrition of the spinach.  Jessica Seinfeld also advocates continuing to offer the veggies on the side as well.  I thought that was a good idea too.

Well, I will keep you posted on how the rest of the weeks food goes. So far so good. Plus I feel productive and my mind is not on the adoption all the time.

This is a bit like the book, The Sneaky Chef (can’t remember the author at the moment), which I checked out from the library a while ago and didn’t get a chance to use it before the

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Tail End…

While it doesn’t seem like it, we are actually on the tail end of this adoption.  We are currently waiting for our documents to make their way through the Ethiopian courts.  After they do, we will get an Embassy date and then a travel date. We are beyond excited and as I have said before……… the wait continues to get harder. 

All of our adoption expenses have been paid for (thanks to Brandon’s super hardwork and some much needed and appreciated help from a few family and friends) (yes, I know I help by being home with the boys).  Now all we have left are the travel expenses.  Recently I have had a few people ask how they can help.  I have told them pray, pray, pray that E’s paperwork clears the courts quickly, but they also wanted to donate some money.  One person was concerned that she couldn’t help very much, but I assured her that every penny is helpful.  So for the tail end of this amazing adventure we are starting an Every Dollar Counts Drive (yes, I did “steal” this idea off of someone elses blog, so thank you to that person.)  I have been thinking about doing this for a while, but haven’t had the courage.  But heck what do I have to lose now.  If you are interested in donating to help bring E home, click the button on the right side of this page.  You will be taken to a secure Pay Pal link where you can make a donation. 

Our estimated travel and related expenses are around $5,500 dollars. The plane tickets for E, Brandon, and me are around $3500.  E’s visa and medical expenses are around $500 and our food, accomodations, and travel while in Ethiopia for 7 days is around $1500. 

I know that many people are annoyed when they receive a “plea” for financial donations and so I am risking bugging a few of you out there, but I do believe that there are more people out there who would like to help but just don’t know how.  So this post and this drive is for you.  Thank you in advance for joining with us to bring E home.  What a wonderful testament it will be to the community of love that he will have when he arrives home. 

For those of you who have already donated THANK YOU.  Please keep praying!

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So I don’t know that the old adage,  “No news is good news,”  applies here.   I pretty much feel like no news really stinks.

I am feeling pretty down today.  It doesn’t help that I have what I think is the flu, but waiting is so hard.  I knew I had to wait during the court closure and had prepared myself for that, but now that the courts are open, I can hardly contain my impatience. 

Basically, for those of you who don’t know we are waiting for our case, our documents, to make it through the Ethiopian courts.  All of our paperwork has been completed and sitting in Addis Ababa since the end of July, waiting for the courts to open.  After our paperwork goes through the court and we are approved to adopt baby “E,” we are scheduled for an Embassy appointment for which we have to be present.  So this court stuff is pretty important.

We got a call from our agency last week.  Julie, my caseworker, told us to be prepared for 3 to 5 more months.  You can imagine my dispair over that one.  I know they are just trying to prepare us for the worse, but honestly people after this much time a little movement towards bringing “E” home would be nice.  She also told me that they often don’t tell the families when they have court dates since things can change so quickly and they don’t want families to be disappointed if something falls through.  I think I would rather know what is going on and have things change then not know anything at all.

Part of the problem is that our agency has only worked in Ethiopia for less than a year and this is the first court closure they have worked through.  They don’t know what is going to happen and they want us to be prepared. 

Also, since I read a bunch of adoption blogs, I am seeing that several families have already made it through the court this week, which makes it hard.  I am happy for them, but really wanting it to be us.

 Please continue to pray for us. Pray that I won’t check my email 20 bazillion times a day and that I would be patient with God’s timing.

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lost your child in a public place?  I did and let me say it is an experience I NEVER want to have again!!!!

My friend (has a three year old boy) and I took our boys to the children’s museum in downtown Salt Lake.  It is about 3 stories high and feels like equally as wide.   Everything is hands on and the kids LOVE it.  They can ride a life-size horse, feed pretend chickens, collect eggs, runn a grocery store, put gas in a car (pretend gas), anything you can imagine that a kid would love to do… they have it.  The boys were particularily interested in the Robots exhibit (remember the RObots movie?).  Well, we were in this exhibit, Sean and my friend’s son were watching another boy play with a robotic arm.  I turned around to help Sloan with a project he was doing at a table. I swear I only turned around for one minute, when I heard my friend say, “Traci, where’s Sean?”  I looked over to where I thought he was and he wasn’t there.  Now I don’t usually panic, so true to form I stayed calm, told Sloan to say with my friend and started to look for him.  He wasn’t anywhere inside the exhibit.  After about 3 minutes or so, which felt like 10, I started to get a little nervous.  All I could think of was some crazy taking him into the bathroom or carting him off and acting like he was there child, and then I began to lose it.  I ran into the men’s bathroom. Let me tell you when you can’t find your child you will go ANYWHERE.  I started running around until I found one of the workers.  She told me to describe him, which I did and then she passed the word around to the rest of the staff through her nifty  little headset (thank God for nifty little headsets).  By now, I am about to FREAKOUT!!!!! This lady (not a museum) worker comes walking up with my son in her arms.  He must have know something was up, because he took one look at me, yelled, “Mama” and practically jumped into my arms.  He put his head down on my shoulder and just looked at me.  The woman explained that she had found him at the top of the stairs and looking at the exhibits below.  With an added look of disdain thrown my way, as if to say, “What kind of mom lets here baby walk away”, and then she marched off.  Now if it had been any other circumstance I might be tempted to tell her off, but she found my baby and I am guilty of letting my child wander off. 

I don’t have some great moral to the story or anything spiritual add.  I am just really really glad I found him.  My children are my most prized work.  They are everything that is meaningful in life.  They are the reason to the question, “WHY?”  I thank the Lord for placing angels around my child today and reminding me how much I need Him to hold my boys in HIS loving, protective embrace.  Especially as one of our boys is thousands of miles away and I can’t protect him.  Obviously, I can’t even when I am with them.  Thank you Lord.

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I am beginning a new series called  Wordless Wednesdays………… I am stealing the idea from someone else’s blog. I would give credit where due, but I can’t remember whose it was on. Click on the picture to be taken to flickr. Enjoy.

That’s all I have to say about that!

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