Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shared Joy

What a great anniversary! Thanks to our friends who let J have an awesome playdate while Libby and I enjoyed a day-date before the NO MORE launch. Thanks to all the amazing people we met this evening. It was so encouraging to see friends (old an new) who have passion for the Kingdom of Heaven to transform the world around us. What an inspiring day!

Gracias,
Jeremy

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grateful for all the goodness brewing...


Wow! This month has been filled to the brim with occasions to celebrate and rejoice. We have dear family and friends turning the calendar on another year. Our church hired a warm and gifted couple to lead the kids-youth ministries. Through facebook and twitter, we witnessed one family meet their son in Ethiopia and another adoptive family travel with their daughter to meet her biological family. This week, our adoption agency sent us a letter approving our home study. Next Sunday, we raise a mug to 12 years of marriage. Good times.

ForNoMore.org has invited us to be a part of the work they're doing connecting generous hearts with Kingdom-building causes. We're honored and humbled to be associated with the No More Foundation. I love their battle cry: "No More! No More Hunger and Thirst, No More Orphans, No More Slavery, No More Walking Alone... not on our watch. We are the body of Christ, the HOPE of the world, and if God so loved the world... so should we!" If you're local, please join us for the NO MORE Launch Party on Sunday, July 31st from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Tampa Underground, 1300 East 7th Avenue, Ybor City. In August, check out their site for all the many avenues where you can walk out the passions in your heart. You can start following @For_NoMore now.

Some of our friends have been asking about the coffee fundraiser we're doing. So, I should probably give some detail on the AMAZING coffees you can enjoy, all the while helping us nickel and dime our way to China, right? Yes, I should. Rob Webb of Just Love Coffee is an adoptive parent who supports an orphanage in Ethiopia through the sales of his small-farm, fresh-roasted, certified Fair Trade coffee beans. He's opened up his expert procurement and roasting to other adoptive families in order to further support adoption all over the world. When you order a lb. of this delicious coffee, $5 goes towards our own China adoption. This adds up and makes a big difference. Is the coffee good? In my opinion, it should be sold for least $5-$10 more than it retails. It's up there with the highest quality, independent coffee companies. Rob Webb roasts your beans right before they ship, meaning the bloom in your french press is HUGE! The aroma is delightful and robust. Just Love Coffee doesn't use computer-set roast levels. They use their 5 senses and years of experience to capture the perfect flavor of each rare bean. Yes, this is mighty good coffee. J is a fan, as you can see.

Whenever the mountains between us and China appear far too high to climb, we look into the eyes of J and remember all of the miracles our Father creates, constantly, over and over. He causes to be. Let's pour a cup and celebrate that fact together.

Gracias,
Jeremy

Sunday, July 17, 2011

His first language is music.

Over the past 16 months, our home has been filled with every-increasing laughter. Our son is a fearless performer who loves to make his folks laugh. J is always on the move, entertainingly testing his boundaries. One of his favorite activities is to turn on iTunes and tap the keyboard furiously until one of his favorite tracks plays. J loves music. Now, I thought I loved music, but I don't think we ever played nearly as much music in our home as J demands. Along with laughter, the most common sound in our home is a drum beat.

J will dance to just about any style of music. The song could be a 30-second iPad commercial. The beat may originate from the laundry room dryer. It could be Carl and the band covering Muse. Often it's the Glee soundtrack or his daddy's Joy Electric collection. J will immediately identify just the right dance move and - boom - he is off! But, he doesn't really like to dance alone. At minimum, he wants our undivided attention on the joy he's having. Mostly, he wants us to get in on the act. The more idiotic we look, the wider the smile on J's face.

He connects with us over this constant activity. It's as natural to him as breathing. Every day, he gets a new groove and wants to find a new beat to which he can jam. Just the other day, J discovered that he could get both feet moving at the very same time. The sheer enthusiasm this new ability produced in our son should be bottled and sold for a mint. J keeps pulling me over to his "Elmo" drum set (as if I have any skill that he hasn't already surpassed...) He connects to everything through music.

As our family grows, we're going to be filling this home with a lot of different languages and I'm sure that in our zeal to bring our kids' birth cultures to life in the day to day, we're going to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. But, there is something so beautifully inspiring about the organic connections that develop as we attach to one another.

J's tummy mommy told Libby and me about how important music was to her and her family. Before we had even seen his face on the sonogram, she extended an authentic wish for music to be valued in J's life. This language and the celebration of dance that it inspires connects J to his birth heritage and ties us into his story every single day.

We love to hear J's voice and can't wait to hear his thoughts through the many pathways of language. But, his native tongue of music will thrive as he grows and Libby and I will continue to fan that felicitous flame.

Gracias,
Jeremy

Saturday, July 16, 2011

J is gonna be a brother!

Even as I type this, my heart is racing with equal parts excitement and terror. Well, as you can see, our blog has undergone a major makeover, thanks to Designs by Jenn who did a wonderful job and was lovely to work with. If your blog needs a makeover, I highly recommend Jenn!

I'm sure you have also noticed an Asian theme......hmmm........is there a reason you ask? You betcha!! We are well into the process of our next adoption!! And Lord willing, we will be blessed with a daughter from the People's Republic of China!

We are now tightly strapped in for the thrilling roller coaster ride that is International Adoption. And my days have been filled with emotions ranging from sheer panic, joyful crying, anxiety attacks, massive frustration, and surprised relief. And I have come to acknowledge this: We are crazy and out of our minds. But we know that we know that we know this is the journey we are to take. Only God knows how this will play out. We are trusting in Him and His Sovereignty.

Please, Please, Please keep us in prayer as we need favor with government agencies, generous organizations giving adoption grants, and our community. We will be adopting a Special Needs child, so please pray for her and the care that she is currently receiving. God used our son's adoption to grow our faith in leaps and bounds. The way He provided the finances for J's adoption was nothing short of miraculous and now our faith has the opportunity to grow again. God is faithful. We are working and praying hard.

We have been so very blessed by the support of our family, friends, church community, and our ever-growing, large and mighty adoption community. Seriously, our little girl has so many people waiting to love on her----but the hubs and I are first in line!!!

"Little Ladybug, we can't wait to bring you home!!"

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laughter and politics



I haven't blogged in a very long time. There's a reason (besides the fact that I spend most of my day chasing this guy). We have some exciting news that I've been hesitant to blog about, but I'm gonna save that for the next blog.....he, he.

I wanted to talk about my little rockstar J for a bit before this blog starts the next chapter. So, how do I even begin to talk about J? He's amazing. I know every mom says that about their son. But I know we really got blessed my this boy. He's hilarious and inquisitive. He is super strong and super fast. If I let my roots grow out before breaking out the hair dye, I'm sure there would be a new crop of gray hairs. J is fearless and my nerves are paying for it. Things will be stacked and he will climb as high as he can.

As you can see from these pictures, we had his head shaved. He HATES to have his hair washed, combed, conditioned...etc. So we shaved it. These pics were taken by his Tia the day we got his hair cut. You can see in the first picture he's laughing. We were at a local park that has fountains and these three brothers ganged up on my son and were hitting the water so it would splash directly in J's face. They formed a semi-circle around my little baby to do this as they cackled and their parents looked on proudly. At first, my son did not like this at all and you could tell by the three boys' laughter and taunts to my kid, that these future delinquents were not playing nicely and knew it, but my son was resilient. Just as I was about to run over, J started to laugh.

Dealing with parents whose kids misbehave at playgrounds is new territory for me. And I wasn't sure how to handle it. Jax ended up getting sick of it and kept walking away from them and my husband tried his best to get him to play away from them, but they would follow. What are the rules? The parents didn't seem to mind that their kids were picking on a baby. As my blood boiled and I tried to find the words, the three kids glanced my way and I gave the mother of all death stares....the kind that would chill you to the core and I must say, they looked a little rattled. Am I proud about shooting death rays at children? No. But alas, I am guilty. And I fear what the future holds regarding playground politics and bullies. I pray I will have the wisdom and self-control to react appropriately. There's no escaping it. But just as I teach my son how to handle himself in those situations and how to play nicely, I will be reminding myself that I need to set an example and play nicely too....as I protect my kids. God help me.
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