I want to come visit each of you in person and sit down with you and talk. I want to return emails in a prompt and polite manner. I desire to be a godly wife, mother, and friend. I want to do many necessary things....
But right now, I want to sit down with journals in hand and remember 2011. So I will never forget His faithfulness....
We rang in 2011 on the beach, per tradition, with the Clark family and my sister and niece. There is NOTHING like waking up on January 1st at the beach!
Only seven more days passed by in this brand new year when we realized that after 4 months of his file sitting at another agency, with no one stepping up to adopt him, our Keith became available on the shared list. On January 8th we locked his file....we received pre-approval from China to adopt him on January 14th!
At this time we also began fervent prayer for another little fella at New Day South...Kenneth. There was a slim possibility we might be able to lock his file as well, and bring both boys home. Alas, it was not God's will. Another family who was more paper ready locked his file. We still do not know who his family is (they live in Europe somewhere) but we still pray that his family are Believers and that Special K is being raised in a Christian home! And one year later, looking at lil' Crickett toddling around the place, we are so thankful God knows best!!!!!!!!!
This was also our first full month to be officially church "homeless". In December 2010 God called us away from our church home of 14 years and we felt scared, alone, confused...clinging to Him and also wondering where He might plant us. We had a plan in the back of our minds figured out...a new church plant here in our small town. It all made sense to us...and so we geared our thoughts and prayers toward supporting this small community church plant....
This was also a month of snow! We got about 4 inches (which for us is a blizzard) and we enjoyed it immensely. It was also the first time I realized how thankful I am for snow being RARE when I began to do all the snow laundry. Grins!
Carlie turned double digits this month also, and celebrated with her cousins at our house for a weekend sleepover!
We spent a week at Granmart's house, and a cook-out at Brad's house.
Quan got a new set of tubes in his ears.
Whew, I think that sums it up...and that's only ONE MONTH!
A scary trip to the ER with Kevin in which I was taught how to care for a child with a cold,
celebrating Valentine's Day with my sweet valentines...almost all of them.
a China reunion with the Boyds and Millers...we met in Asheville, North Carolina, because that's where a Panda Express was located so I could use the 4000 coupons I had for that restaurant. LOL!
a special 1-yr Gotcha Day Anniversary for lil' Kev. with his China buddies DQ & Emma and a lot of Chinese New Year decorating and fun!
The boys' soccer season started really heatin' up...
And in February we were waiting to be DTC. We were praying about adopting a 2nd child.
And we were continuing to seek God's guidance in our church home. We began visiting a church in downtown Birmingham and began praying if maybe the Lord wanted to plant us there instead of the church plant in Springville? (In January and February and March and April I drew a LOT of literal crossroads in my journal...each road pointing to different directions that we were praying about going...)
In going through old journals I am so thankful that God prompts me to journal memories, lest I forget Rob doing his best imitation of our Golden Retriever, Biscuit, when he's waiting to get out of his kennel on cold mornings in the garage. I am sorry I don't have a picture to post, but rest assured the picture in my mind of Rob on all fours on our living room floor is PRICELESS.
We went on a quick business trip to Atlanta with Rob. While Rob was working, we played at the Coke Factory and Fernbank Science Museum.
We began skyping with Keith this month!
Candie got her birthmark on her cheek removed completely.
Rob took Colby & Clay and a few other boys/dads on a quick weekend beach trip to celebrate Colby's upcoming 13th birthday. They did some serious praying and eloquent speeches and Rob presented Colby with a really big sword...in addition to the other serious stuff they did like eat a lot, ride go-carts, and play football on the beach!
We continued praying and fasting over a church home. We continued visiting the downtown Birmingham church, and also supporting the Springville church plant at its Saturday night fellowships. We also continued to feel very torn as to where God wanted us...
We got our CIS approval on the last day of this month...
I loved the way this month began...riding Thomas
and then celebrating my sweet friend Paula's 40th birthday--both in one day!
We celebrated Colby's actual birthday on the 4th, playing games at Fox's Pizza and then buying ridiculous plastic toys with all our tickets.
Kevin had a cardio check up in which there was no change in his heart/lungs/shunt...another stable report, and for that we are so thankful.
Katie Lyn had a camp-out reunion with her CampFire Girls club...we picked her up on a Sunday, headed to Montgomery for Clay's soccer game, and then kept going south to my mom's house in Mobile! We headed to the beach condo the very next day for a few nights and days of beach fun (just me and the kiddos) and some schoolwork too.
More soccer, and more soccer.
Then another trip to Mom's, this time with our Clark family in tow, to celebrate Mom's 75th birthday. It also happened to be Easter weekend! We stayed at the beach condo for our first Easter on the beach. It was a short weekend, but packed full of sand, fellowship, egg-dying, more fellowship, and plenty of FUN!
Two days after Easter, we were matched with our 2nd child....lil' Crickett...residing at New Day also...a story only God could write.
And the very next day, the tornadoes came. Devastating. 60 of them, ravaging our state in one day. Life would never be the same for so many people.
And the very next day after that, we were DTC.
April...a month of good and bad...and still we were church homeless--praying and seeking--
May began with such deep sadness tagging along behind the grief after the April 27 tornadoes. A little boy on Lifeline's list who we had advocated for...Paul...died from a cold that went to his lungs. His little heart was just too weak.
Just a few days later, another precious child waiting on her family in China, passed away from complications due to a virus. Esther's little heart was also too weak. It was a very very hard, trying time...waffling between asking God why and resting in His sovereignty. It was also a time where our fires were lit to do something more for these heart babies waiting in China....
When Kevin's birthday rolled around later this month, we had a big ol' blog party to celebrate his life and to give to a little heart baby boy at New Day, Roy. In honor of Kevin's life and in memory of Esther and Paul. Yall showed up BIG at that party and God was glorified!!!!!
Also in May, we went BACK DOWN SOUTH again! This time, for Kylie's graduation from University of Mobile. It was another chance to stay at the beach again...especially since Rob had an out of town business trip. It was me and the kiddos again and Kylie..for a few nights before we had to be back for our last dance class before the recital!
And then....recital time!
And to end this extremely busy month, we celebrated Kimmie turning SIX!
Memorial Day weekend we spent moving kids around in different bedrooms to make room for Keith and Crickett. Kimmie and KK got a day bed/trundle and a new room. Carlie and Candie got a bunk moved out leaving just one bunk bed in their room so they had space for their dolls. Colby and Clay moved into the playroom. Quan and Kevin and Keith would bunk together in the man-cave downstairs, and we changed the crib sheets by our bed from blue to pink for Crickett. :)
May was ALMOST over, but we finally got a log in date!...and that very last Sunday, we visited a church we never had before. A small, family-integrated, way-out-in-the-country church. Different. Unique. Simple.
Yet it was about an hour drive from our little town. Too far. "God," we continued to ask, "where do you want us to be?" (let me insert a little something that has nothing to do with the year-end re-cap: finding a church is not hard in these parts, yall. you can throw a rock and hit a ton of churches in a 5 mile radius of our home. if we didn't feel like the decision was that serious, we could just eeney, meeney, miney, mo and pick a church. But the decision IS serious. we consider finding a church as serious as finding a family. because to us, church IS our family. leaving our previous church was NOT EASY. it was a loss in our lives, in our children's lives. so it was very important for us to find where God wanted us. and we really wanted to find it fast. but God doesn't move on our timetable, right? nor does He move in the direction we expect....)
Also let me just add...I am finished with May for the 2011 recap. MAY! Yall, it has taken me DAYS to write this! I began on Dec. 30!!!!!! I would just give up, but Rob keeps asking me everyday if I've finished the post yet. Then he told me I just needed to not be so wordy. The NERVE! (grins) So I'm posting this un-finished. June through December will come, oh yes it will! (I know in the back of my mind I am thinking, 'yeah right'...but I'm really going to try.)
And since I'm not wordy, let me also add that I cannot believe that Keith and Crickett are not in all these months of 2011....oh yall...they are SUCH a CEMENTED part of our family now, I just can't believe they haven't been with us forever...
ok...June thru Dec coming next....