The goodbye, Part 4

Missed any of these 'goodbye' posts?
Part 1 is HERE
Part 2 is HERE
Part 3 is HERE.
And Part 4 is right here:

And that was that. Our time with her was suddenly over.

My mom headed home, the kids scrambled about to play, and Mark was holding Addie, so I asked him if I could slip away for awhile. I just wanted a bit of solitude with which to think without interruption. So I got in the car and drove away. I made a few stops- some errands for stuff we needed for Addie, but while I was in the car I cried and talked to God.

He's very understanding, He is.

When I glanced at the clock at 11:15, I wept in earnest. She would never come "home" to our house again.

It was a little later that day that God did something, in His great compassion, that eased the ache in my heart a little.

The phone rang. Mark answered it, and passed it off to me.

A woman was on the other end, and she introduced herself, and as she did, I *knew* who she was. And she confirmed it: she was Baby's new foster mom.

She had seen my note, and at the bottom of it I had included my phone number. So she called me, out of the kindness of her heart, to let me know how Baby was. She told me when Baby had last eaten (and how much), what she was doing at that moment (in the bouncy seat at her new foster home), and how Baby had been smiling and cooing for her already. I was able to tell her how dear this little girl was to our family; how much we loved her, how we hoped she would love her as much as we had.

Then I took the opportunity to ask a few questions, such as: How many other foster children did she have? She answered, "I do one at a time." And then- (and dear readers, I *so* cannot wait to tell you this. I wish I could do so in person)- she told me that she was in her seventies. YES, that's right. I did not mistype. SEVENTIES, people! This is what she told me about that:

"My daughter is a foster parent, too, and she has been involved with training other foster parents. And here I was, a seventy-something granny, off to play bridge three times a week. One day my daughter came to me and said, 'Mom, I know of something you could do with your time that would be so much more meaningful.' And then she encouraged me to become a foster parent. So I did! And I've never looked back. At the end of each day I know that I have done something of value."

I was so touched by her words. And then she said this, "So when you think of Baby, you just think of old granny, here, rocking her."

She shared a bit more about some of the other children she'd fostered over the years (two of which her daughter ended up adopting; they loved them so much!), and then she said that she'd call me again if she had any further questions, but not to worry about Baby a bit. She would be able to keep her for a month or several, as long as was needed until the birthparents were ready to take her back.

I offered a tearful thank you, and told her how *much* her call had meant for my heart. It was so good to "picture" where Baby was, and to know a little bit about who was caring for her.

And now when I think of her, I can imagine her snuggled up in the arms of a loving, doting seventy-year old grandma.

Is your heart as incredibly blessed by that as mine was?

And-- isn't God so wonderfully kind to prompt her to call me, to give me that peek in to where she is now; to remind me of how He has continued His care of this sweet Baby?

Oh, He is good.


Next up: I'll be closing this series with Part 5, which will entail some final thoughts on this chapter of our lives.

And then I suppose I'll return to "regular" blogging. It's been so long since I've written a "normal" post that I forget what I write about on this here blog. I'm sure I'll come up with something. It may just take me a bit to get back into the regular swing of things.

Thank you, dear readers, for sharing this journey with me, for offering such encouragement through your comments and emails, so many prayers, and so much love. I am so appreciative.

The goodbye, Part 3

For The goodbye, Part 1, click HERE.
For The goodbye, Part 2, click HERE.

Are you guys getting bogged down with all of these foster care posts? Sorry. Bear with me. I want to get this all down somewhere and I happen to be a much faster typer than I am a writer (if I were detailing this all in my journal. Plus, then I wouldn't get the photos, too...)

Now, for Part 3...

We had been up with Addie throughout the night and several times I wanted to go in and wake our foster baby, but I didn't. So at 6:00, when I heard her waking, I turned to Mark and said, "It's 6:00. In less than three hours she'll be gone." And I cried some more.

I fed her her morning bottle, the last one I'd give her, and she fell promptly asleep again in my arms. I left her in bed with Mark and went to gather her things.

I'd packed most of it the previous night, but there were her blankets in her crib, the soft dolly of Ella's she'd been sleeping with that Ella wanted to send along with her, her bottle. I tucked a note into her file that I'd written the night before, to her next foster mom, including her eating/sleeping schedule, the things she liked (like her bouncy seat) and the the things she disliked (like her pacifier). I also wrote a note to her birthmom and taped it to her bottle. I knew they'd give her a bottle at their morning visit and I wanted to somehow tell her that I wasn't caring for her baby anymore. Just two days before she'd pulled me aside after a visit and said, "We want you to know that we think you're doing a great job caring for Baby. Thank you." It seemed strange for her to find out from the social worker, but not hear it from me, so I taped the note to Baby's bottle. It read:
Dear -----,

We said goodbye to sweet Baby this morning.
We have loved this little girl of yours, and are sad to see her go. (On Monday night we were able to go pick up our little girl, who we're adopting.)
We have been praying for you, ----- (foster baby's father), and the girls, and hope you will all be together again soon.
I'll miss your sweet baby girl. She is so dear to us.
God bless each of you,


My mom had come over to say goodbye, and she cried with me, on and off throughout the morning. Mark took pictures. I held Baby. And then all of a sudden the social worker was at the door, as she'd been dozens of times over the last several weeks, and I tucked Baby into her infant seat, kissed her cheek, the kids said goodbye, and handed her off.

I watched them walk out to the car. Mark and Ella had gone with to carry her things. And then I turned, looked at my mom, and burst into tears. My heart was so heavy. I was going to miss this little girl SO much.

The goodbye, Part 2

[For Part 1 of The goodbye (to our foster baby), click HERE.]

Now, for Part 2...

I got off the phone and just stood there. Our foster baby was in my arms; in the sling. Someone asked me who had called, and was it about Baby? And I replied, "Yes, they found a new home for her... " Then I burst into tears and left the room, carrying our foster baby with me. We sat in the rocking chair as I cried and prayed.

It was all so sudden. I thought I was going to have two more days, now I had less than 24 hours, and for most of that she'd be sleeping. And now, with people streaming in and out of our home, I had to process all of this news. Honestly, I wanted everyone to leave so that I could just grieve, but I didn't have that luxury. After awhile I stopped crying and went back into the living room to rejoin the company. Thankfully, no one asked me any more about the phone call.

A few hours later the visitors had cleared out, I hopped online to write this post, and I began to pack up her things. She had so little, really.

I thought then of all the things she loved that she couldn't take with her. The bouncy seat, the sling, us.

One of the things I had prayed faithfully for since she'd been with us was that she wouldn't have to go to another foster home. I didn't want her, in the span of the two months of her life, going from her mom, to the hospital (she was admitted there with RSV) and all of the nurses who cared for her there for those weeks, then to our home, then to another home, and who knows how many others before returning to her birthmom. I didn't want that for her. But now it had come to that, and I could do nothing about it.

I wished, that day, that we had the resources to help this family. They needed a home, our foster baby's father surely needed a job. I remembered how my grandpa, so often over the years, had welcomed in people like this who were in need. He'd give them a job at his place of business, he'd welcome them into his home (they had a full basement they used for these types of situations), and he would help them get back on their feet.

I wished we could do something like that for this family. Can you imagine? Here. We found you a job. We found you a place to stay, and we won't charge you rent until you get back onto your feet. We want to help, we want you to succeed at this business of being parents to these little girls. Because we love Jesus and because HE loves you. Can you imagine the lifeline that would be for this family? But we had none of that to offer. (Though, maybe someday. I'm certainly adding it to my list of huge prayer requests.)

Later that night, before the kids went to bed, we all gathered around this precious baby and prayed over her. Every one of us said a prayer. I remember Isaac's prayer was something like, "Dear Jesus, I pray that you would bring Baby back to our house again to stay, and then if she has to go again that she would be able to come back again someday."

They were sad to see her go, but more concerned at mama's tears throughout that entire day. They kept coming over to me and saying, "Are you sad that Baby's leaving?" My response: "Yes, honey. Mama's very sad. I'll miss her so much. I love her very much."

At bedtime I fed her a bottle, rocked her and sang her her nighttime songs, and then I tearfully put her in her crib, hoping she'd be up often throughout the night so that I could spend extra time cuddling her.

She slept through the night, until 6:00. :(

[To be continued...]

The goodbye, Part 1

I've been putting this post off for a few days because of the fact that it makes my heart ache. It has been nearly a week since our foster baby left us. I have so many thoughts and emotions piling up that I barely know where to begin.

But I'll try.

It's been an unusual week, in that there has been great sorrow and great joy.

I am missing her, very much. When I see a picture of her my eyes fill up with tears. When I walk past the bouncy seat, pull on the sling, walk into the room she was sleeping in, I remember her. When I'm out and about in town, I pray that I'll see her. When my mom or a friend asks me about her, I burst into tears. When we arrived at small group on Thursday night and at church on Sunday, it felt like we'd forgotten something. She should be here with us. When Mark and I sat on the couch last night and talked, we spoke of her, and we both cried. As 9:00 am nears, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I think: "This is when the social worker would be picking her up for her birthmom visit." And at 11:15 on those same days, my heart leaps and I think, "They'll be bringing her back any minute, now." But then I remember: She's not coming back at all.

That has been hard to swallow. She won't be back. She was in our lives for a season, a very short season, and that was it. When Mark and I were talking about this a couple of weeks ago, we were referring to this season with her as a chapter in our lives, and Mark said, "If this were a book I was reading, I'd wonder why the Author had included this chapter."

Why now, of all times, in our lives? Why this particular baby? Why just this one short month? Why does it all seem so unfinished, so untidy? We're still sorting it out. Especially me. Mark loved her and cared for her, but he is a logical man. When she was with us, he held with him the thought, "She's not my daughter." And that helped him. Me, on the other hand? I loved her and cared for her and truly saw her as one of my own children. So I feel a deep sense of loss that she's no longer with us.


I'll delve into more of all that later but for now I'm going to give the play-by-play:

Tuesday was our first full day with Addie. Our foster baby was also with us. I wanted to keep her indefinitely, but our agency had been pretty clear from the beginning that we could do short-term interim foster care, but that when we got a placement, that "short-term child" would have to go. Mark was also concerned that it might be a little much for me, longer-term. So when I picked her up from her birthmom visit on Monday, I spoke with her social worker and told her that we would keep her until Thursday, which would have been the full 30 days they'd originally asked of us.

As I spoke with her social worker, I thought she'd be going back to her birthmom, as that was the original plan. But the social worker, taking in the news that the little girl we were going to be able to adopt was ready for us to pick up, said of our foster baby: "Well. She has no place to go. She can't go back to her mom, yet. They don't have a home.... I'll have to find another foster home for her."

I felt sick.

One of the things I'd prayed for since Day 1 was that she would be with us until she was able to go back to her birth mother. I wanted that for her. (For me, too.)

And now, this.

Anyway. A day later, it was Tuesday. Both babies were with us.

We didn't get much sleep the previous night, what with the two of them getting up at different intervals for feedings (it felt like we had twins!) Our day was full of visitors: family and friends, wanting to see Addie and congratulate us.

During one of those family visits, the phone rang. It was our foster daughter's social worker, and she said, "We found another home for Baby."

My heart sunk.

And then she said, "The new foster mom can't come and get her Thursday, but she can be there tomorrow morning after her scheduled visit with birthmom, so we'll do the transfer then."

I was silent, processing this.

And then, shakily: "So 9:00 tomorrow morning is the last time I'll see her?"

She said yes, and told me to gather all of her things and they'd pick her up in the morning.

[To be continued...]


If you're reading this post, glance over in the sidebar and see if your name and link-to-your-blog is there.

If it's not, and you'd like it there, leave me a comment and I'd be happy to add you! (And Amy, that includes you when you get your blog up and running.)

I know there are some of you who read here semi-regularly and I haven't yet added your information on the sidebar. I'd like to, and I figure this is easier than me searching through all of the comments to find out who isn't listed.

And if you'd rather not be associated at all with my ramblings over here, that's fine, too. *grin*

Getting ready

Isaac, getting ready to be a daddy:

And Adelia, getting ready to praise God at tomorrow morning's Easter service:

Bringing Adelia home, Part 3

Missed Part 1? Click HERE.
Missed Part 2? Click HERE.

And here's Part 3:

Addie had her first doctor's appointment yesterday and is doing great! She's already at 7lbs, 13 oz. (Which means she's eating well and gaining weight, so we're thankful for that.) She is beautiful, attentive, engaging and, like all newborns, sleepy!

If there's anything else you'd like to know, or any details I've missed (and I'm sure I have..) I'd love to fill you in or answer any questions you have. Just ask your question in the comments and I'll reply to those in another post.

Over the next couple of posts I'll share more about saying goodbye to our foster daughter.

Bringing Adelia home, Part 2

[Missed Part 1? Click HERE.]

Okay, where were we?

Driving home.

We arrived at my mom's house and carried in the babies. The kids were exuberant about seeing their little sister for the first time.

Ella wanted to hold Addie, and she only gave her up for a few minutes to my mom, who was just as anxious to hold her.

And then we went home. There was a baby gift waiting for us on our doorstep from Auntie Shelley and family. Shortly after we arrived our friend stopped by with the bassinet for Addie to sleep in. (And a gift for her and a plate of freshly baked snickerdoodles for us.) Then Auntie Amy came over for a visit:

And then we headed off to a less-than-restful night's "sleep" with two babies. ~grin~

Here's Adelia, all tucked in for a couple of hours of sleep:

Stay tuned for Part 3.

Bringing Adelia home, Part 1

I'm sitting here in a quiet house with Addie in my arms. Mark and the kids are still sleeping (it's 7:20! Where is my early riser? :)).

So I think I have a few minutes to give you an update.

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, for your love and your prayers. As I tearfully read through your comments over the past two days, I have been so full of gratitude for the ways God has used this blogging community to minister to me.

Thank you.

Okay, where do I begin? Let's back up to Friday of last week. We had been for a visit to see Addie on Monday of that week, and then on Friday we called for an update. They told us she was 7 lbs, 2 oz, and that they'd taken her off of the NeoSure formula, which she was on to help her gain some weight. They said again that she wasn't ready to come home. They weren't giving any sort of time frame of any sort as to when that may be. All we'd heard was that most babies are at the center for 1-3 months. (We were obviously hoping for the one.)

On Monday Mark had the day off and we were making plans to leave town to go see Addie again. Mom was taking the kids for the day (bless her!) and Mark, our foster baby and myself would be going. My sister was going to meet us at the center and watch our foster baby for us in the waiting room so that we could visit Addie together this time. (Like Rebecca did for us the first time... thank you!)

The phone rang and it was Jennifer, our contact at the center Addie was at. I thought she was calling to confirm our visit for that afternoon.

She said, "Has anyone called you this morning?"
Me: "Uh... not this morning. We got a call from the guardian ad litem last night."
Jennifer: "Oh, good. so I get to be the one to surprise you.
Do you want to come pick up baby today?"
Me: "Are you SERIOUS?"
Jennifer: "Yes. We're ready to release her to you guys today. When can you come down?"
Me, hollering: "Really?!?! I'm so excited!" Then I turned and repeated what she'd said to Mark, who was standing beside me, and the kids, who were in the living room, listening.
(Jen's response to my "I'm so excited" comment was: "I can tell!" Maybe it was the shouting in her ear that gave it away.)

So then we began preparing to pick her up. Car seat? Check. Clothes? Check. Bed? Yikes! Our foster baby was sleeping in the crib. I called our friends and asked them to drop off their bassinet for us for Addie, and we made arrangements to do that. And then we called a bunch of people to tell them the news: "We get to bring Addie home today!"

Our foster baby was at a visit with her birthmom that morning, and when I went in to pick her up, I spoke with the social worker. I mentioned that I knew the 30 days up on Thursday, and so, was she going back with birthmom on Thursday sometime? I went on to say that we'd gotten a call from the center saying that we could go and get our little girl, so we were heading to get her that day. The social worker stood there, quiet, and then said, "No. She's not ready to go back. Birthmom doesn't have a home right now so we can't send her back yet." I was stunned, literally. What? What were we going to do, then? I did not want to ship our foster baby off to yet another foster home. Sheesh. She's only 2 months old, poor baby. And I love this little girl. But.... our agency had told us already that when we got our placement we'd have to find a different place for our foster baby. I made arrangements with the social worker that we would keep her through Thursday, which would give them 3 days to find a new home for her.

And then we drove to pick up Addie.

When we got to the center Jennifer checked out our car seat, took the clothes we'd brought for Addie, and plopped us down to watch a 30-minute video on drug-affected babies. (Great video, but as you can imagine we were sort of anxious to see our baby girl! We'd only seen her two times, ever.)

The previous day, when we'd thought this was just going to be our hour-long visit, we had arranged to meet the guardian ad litem for Addie. (For those of you who don't know the term, a guardian ad litem is a court-appointed guardian whose role is to represent the best interests of the child through the investigation and court process. It is the GAL's job to investigate the facts and take a position in court on legal custody and placement.) So, we had arranged to meet Addie's GAL at the center. She joined us after the video and we began to talk. (And we love her, by the way.)

Then a nurse came in to go over Addie's medical stuff, and FINALLY they brought in a very-cute Addie.

We tucked her in the car seat, said goodbye to everyone, and while Mark carried out our foster baby, I carried out Addie.

And we drove home, stopping twice: once to feed our foster baby, once to feed Addie.

[And now my early-riser is up. As well as the other two. So, I'll leave off there for now but will be back sometime soon for Part 2. And more pictures, I promise.]

Oh, my heart

Thank you for your sweet words of joy for our family. I have much to tell you, and pictures to show, too. We are thankful to God for our sweet Addie. My heart is so full.

My heart is also sorrowful today.

This little one will be leaving our home tomorrow morning. A day early.


She will be going to another foster home, as her birthmother has no home yet to bring her home to. They need a longer-term placement for this precious baby girl. Another 30 days, maybe 60.

Tonight, I will fold up her tiny outfits- the ones Ella and I shopped for together. I will tuck them into a bag. I will pack up her diapers, her formula, her bottles, her little flowered socks. When bedtime comes, I will put her jammies on and feed her a bottle and rock her and sing to her. I will pray over her. (And tonight I hope she'll wake up for many of middle-of-the-night feedings so that I will have lots of time to cuddle with her.)

I will write a letter to the next foster mom, all about this little girl we love so much. And I hope she will read it carefully. And I pray that she will love this girl as much as we have.

And tomorrow morning, I will wake her up, change her diaper one last time, choose her clothes one last time, pray over her one last time, and then, a little before nine, a social worker will come for her.

And she will leave our home.

Certainly not our hearts.

Oh, I will *miss* this little girl. I love her so!

My heart is really aching, friends. Please do pray. I don't want to say goodbye.

The Salad

So, tonight I made The Salad for dinner. You know, the one I was pining after in the middle of the night?

It was quite good. Crispy, fresh, packed with veggies (er, as salads usually are...) and the dressing so good I nearly wanted to drink it. I followed the recipe to the letter (except that I chose not to go with the hot pepper option). And, Rebeca, you'll be happy to hear that I used REAL ginger. First time ever purchasing that. And you were right. It does make a difference. And Amy, I'll be tossing the rest of that chunk of ginger in the freezer. Thanks for the tip!

The only change I will make to the recipe for the next time around is with the pasta. About two minutes into my salad I decided that linguine, in my opinion, is not the best choice for this salad (although the recipe does in fact call for it).

Now, this may be a personal preference thing but I'm going to tell you my rationale: When you're eating a salad, you poke it. You stab at those veggies with your fork. But then throw some linguine into the mix and then you have to do the twirling fork motion. Either I was eating linguine (by twirling it), or I was eating the veggies (by poking them), but never both in one bite. And really, what's the point if you can't get all that goodness into one mouthful? So. Next time around, I'll be using spiral noodles.

Oh. One other thing. Mark loved the salad (and agreed with me on the noodle choice, by the way) but is different than me in that salad is not really a complete meal in his book. The man needs some meat. So next time I may add some grilled chicken or steak.

The recipe on the whole, though? Definitely a keeper. And it made a TON. (Which is always a perk, I think.)

And that's all I have to say about that. Which is way more than necessary, I realize.


One week from today is March 20th. And March 20th will be thirty days since our foster baby has been in our home.

Which means she'll be leaving us.

Last week I saw a baby laughing. I'd say the little boy was about seven months old. He was sitting up, giggling a wonderful, hearty laugh. And his mama, knowing just what made him laugh, did the thing again and again and again, just to hear her baby boy laugh.

I wept over it, later, standing before my kitchen sink.

Because I thought of this sweet baby God has placed with us for a season. I did not even know this little girl three weeks ago. When a harried social worker showed up at our home and set down an infant seat in the center of our living room, I peered in at a chubby baby girl and had no connection whatsoever. She was a baby who needed a place to stay; someone to care for her.

In just three short weeks I have bonded to this baby girl as if she were my own. I adore her. I love to watch her little face, to listen to her coo, to see her response to my questions or songs. I love watching her little personality unfold. She is most content in my arms, she smiles for me, she tries out her new little voice on me, she fusses when I step out of the room, she nestles close to me in the sling and sleeps securely. When a worker from the state called the other day and asked, "Who does she seem to have a connection with?", the answer was easy. Me. She has a connection with me.

She thinks I am her mama.

There are moments I forget that I am not. I have to bite my tongue to keep myself from saying things like, "Mama's coming, sweet girl."

So that day as I stood with my hands in the sudsy water, remembering that laughing older baby I'd seen, I grieved. "I want to be there when she reaches that stage. I want to be the one who knows what to do to bring out that sweet laughter. I don't want to miss that."

And my next thought had the tears really falling: "Just who will delight in her like this? Certainly not her young, hardened mother. Or her father, who is on drugs and spends his time in and out of jail. Who will cherish her and delight in her?"

And as I cried, God very clearly said to me:

"I will. I will delight over her.
I am her parent, and I delight over her

I am holding onto that truth.

In the middle of the night

Did any of you read that "In the middle of the night" phrase up there in the subject heading and think of the book Madeline? Okay, maybe it was just me, then. [And for any of you who are puzzled, there's a part of the Madeline book that goes "In the middle of the night, Miss Clavel turned on the light and said, 'Something is not right'..." (or something like that) and just as soon as I typed that, I had the little singsong way we read that book going on in my brain.]

How's that for the most random beginning to a post EVER?

It is, in fact, the middle of the night. Which is why this post is titled as such. I was just up with our foster baby for her first feeding of the night. It's 2:01. And of course, now I am wide awake. Mark is snoring beside me. Even though we were just talking less than one minute ago. That man can fall asleep in one millisecond while I lay here for hours, awake, but trying, to sleep. But I've already mentioned that.

So you get random in-the-middle-of-the-night thoughts from me. I can't promise clarity or any sense of cohesion whatsoever, but I'm up and couldn't find my journal (because it's out in the living room and I don't want to get up to get it), and so here I am.

*I told Mark yesterday that our phone has rung more in the past three weeks than it has rung in the previous YEAR around here. I am hardly joking. 99% of those calls are from a social worker. Not just one social worker, mind you, but dozens of them, calling me for one thing or another because I have a foster child. Every day. Several times a day. There's Bonnie and Bobbie and Gayle and Tracy and Susan and Laura and Linda and Mary and Shelly and Leslie and those are just the ones I can name off the top of my head. (Because those are the ones I've spoken with the most. I've seen all of them, too. Because when they come to pick up our foster baby for her birthmom visits there's a new one at my door every time.) And I've got to say, they are the most disorganized group of women I've ever had the privilege of working with. It is really something. I would like to get my hands on the whole system in general and do a little cleaning up and fine-tuning. But somehow I don't think that's my calling, so I hope someone else will.

*We got to see Addie again yesterday. We packed up the whole family, foster baby included, of course, and drove the few hours it took for us to get to where she is. The kids aren't allowed to go in to see her, so Mark and I took turns in the waiting room. We get one hour. I let Mark go first, out of the kindness of my heart. Which I later regretted because of the fact that during the first half-hour, she was awake! Eyes open, looking around. And as Mark and I traded positions he told me he got to feed her her bottle. (So now you see what I mean about me regretting my kindness in letting him go first?) But when I got in to see her she still needed to finish 30 cc's of formula (Don't ask. The whole cc's thing? I'm confused. Someone enlighten me. That's maybe 2 oz? I could google that and find out for sure for you but I'm lazy. Lazy, just not sleepy.) Anyway, that last bit is the hard part, mind you, when she is zonked out and needing lots of encouragement to eat-- and I did it!!! She ate it all up, but took nearly our entire half-hour doing it. (She's doing a better job with the eating, too, by the way, they told us, so that's an answer to prayer!)

*Mark and I have said several times, but especially on the drive home last night: "We could do what they're doing." Not to undermine their care for her right now because I know they're doing a great job, but I wish they would just discharge her to us already so that we can do what they're doing and be bonding with her in the meantime. But I'm not in charge of that decision. Our prayer, though, is that she would continue to improve and that they will let her come home within the next couple of weeks.

*By the way, thank you all for your sweet comments on the "Introducing..." post. You are so kind. I really do feel like you are all friends. I just haven't had the pleasure of seeing most of you. I wish I could have you all over. Really. Every one of you. I'm just trying to imagine what that would be like and at the moment, all I can think about it what a state my house is in. What with the phone ringing every five seconds and the laundry (I'd forgotten how much more laundry you do when there's a baby in the house. Yikes!) all over the place, I'd have to do a major overhaul if you actually were all coming over. But I would feed you well, I promise, and amidst all the toys and clutter and my kids, we could chat, face to face. Now wouldn't that be fun? But the thing is, I'd want you to bring all of *your* kids, too, so I could meet them, and really there's not that much room in my house so I've got to come up with an alternate meeting place. I love you, and appreciate your comments, and I thank you for your friendship.

*Mark was off this past weekend and encouraged me to take each of our kids on a date. Great idea, and very needed, especially from this one right here:

::on our way out the door, isaac zipping up his jacket::

::mark snapped this photo as we were walking away from the house::

*I keep forgetting to mention this, but for weeks now, we've had crocuses blooming in our front flower beds. BLOOMING! That means SPRING! And our tulips are coming up alongside our front sidewalk. Mark got out for a bit in the garden last week and turned it over to ready it for planting, and I am WAY behind in ordering seeds. I keep meaning to sit down with Mark and the seed catalog (thank you, Rebeca. You recommended this seed catalog and I love it) and map out our garden and then figure out what we want to order and then start some stuff indoors (which I've never done), but that whole idea just hasn't come to fruition, yet. Maybe if my phone would stop ringing. Have I mentioned that my phone rings incessantly?

*What else? I know I had about 50 random thoughts flitting through my brain mere moments ago and now where did they all go? Oh, here's one: Just as soon as I can gather together the ingredients, I am so making this salad. That looks positively scrumptious to me right about now. Except for the fresh ginger part. Usually when I see "fresh ginger" on a recipe I cheat and sprinkle in the ground ginger. I just don't ever BUY fresh ginger. Do you? Am I missing out?

*If you haven't seen this blog, head on over there. It makes me weepy, in a good way. (Thank you, Amy, for steering me to that blog. I love it.)

*Beverly, welcome back from vacation!

*Cindy: have a WONDERFUL vacation!

*Mrs. M, I am praying for you.

Okay, I think that's it. And now that I've unloaded my brain, maybe I'll be able to sleep?

Just as soon as I give Mark a kick. Seriously. The snoring? Ugh. But I love that man, I do. He's the best. He'll even be up for the next nighttime feeding. That's how great he is. I am so blessed.


Adelia Hope

[For any of you who may be wondering... Adelia is pronounced like Amelia except with a "d" instead of the "m". But I imagine we'll be calling her Addie most of the time, anyway.]

These pictures were taken when she was two weeks old, on our first visit with her. We aren't yet sure when she'll be able to come home with us. When we asked, we were told, "She's nowhere near ready yet." At this point she is needing encouragement for every ounce of formula she takes in, and before discharging her they'd like to see her become a better eater and gain some weight. She's a little over 6 lbs right now. Isn't she beautiful?


This is the passage God laid upon my heart when I sat with Him the other day:
But now, this is what the Lord says-
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...
Do not be afraid, for I am with you
God has silenced the fears and what-if's. He has brought peace to our hearts not with an audible voice or a miraculous sign (though I certainly prayed for that kind of clarity!), but in a myriad of gentle, whispering ways: a verse here, another there, the words of a hymn, a portion of a book, and in a name.

And so we press on, trusting that this child is the one He has chosen for us, and knowing that He is faithful no matter what lies ahead.

Thank you for prayers.

Please pray for us

We need it.

Some new information has surfaced which has brought us some hesitation as to whether or not we should adopt this little girl.

We want what God wants, here. And we're praying, seeking, waiting on Him.

Yesterday we were able to see this baby for the first time, for one hour. As you can imagine that makes our decision even more difficult.

Specifically, please join us as we pray for:

*peace. That if we are supposed to move forward, God would grant peace to our hearts. And that we would be joyful as we move in that direction. And if we are supposed to let this go, that we would have peace about that, too.

*unity. That Mark and I would both be of one mind on the matter.

*wisdom, clarity. We really want to *know* beyond a shadow of a doubt what it is God desires for us to do. So that we can move boldly forward, or not.

*rest. I could use some. I am a bit of an emotional wreck, and I would love to be of sound, rested mind at this time of decision making.

*you can also pray against fear and all the "what-if" questions that have been raised. We don't want to make a decision based on fear or the possibility of certain things happening in this situation.

*lastly, please continue to pray for this precious little girl. she is beautiful, tiny, and is having difficulty eating.

And anything else God leads you to pray for, that would be appreciated. :) And please-- if God gives you a verse or some word of knowledge, give it.

Thank you, dear friends.

I'm stepping out, here, for a few days... trying to turn off the "noise" and listen.

In the meantime, we are heartened to know that you will pray.

Breakfast Burritos

Mark is always doing a last-minute hunt in the kitchen for a quick on-the-way-out-the-door breakfast. Which works out great if we have muffins or fruit or yogurt, but sometimes we don't.

Several months ago I came across this recipe for breakfast burritos, and last week I tried them for the first time. That recipe makes a *huge* batch, so I halved the recipe and made a few slight changes. I'll give you the halved recipe, here:

Breakfast Burritos
18 eggs
1 1-lb package sausage
1 32-oz package frozen hash brown potatoes (shredded)
1 4-oz can diced green chiles (*orig. recipe calls for more)
1/2 medium yellow onion
shredded cheddar and/or monterey jack cheese (*orig. recipe calls for only cheddar cheese)
salt and pepper to taste
burrito size flour tortillas

Scramble the eggs.
Cook the hash browns according to package directions.
Chop up the onion and add to hash browns as they cook.
Cook the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
Grab a big mixing bowl and add the hash browns, eggs, and sausage. Mix thoroughly. Add the green chiles and any salt and pepper you'd like.

Take out your flour tortillas, sprinkle cheese down the middle and then some of the egg-hash brown-sausage mixture on top of that. (You can add however much you'd like. I used a couple of big spoonfuls.)

Fold the burrito, short ends first. Wrap each burrito individually in foil and freeze.

If you want to eat them: take them out of the freezer the night before and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator, toss them into a 350° oven (we use our toaster oven) for about 20 minutes.
This halved recipe made about 24 burritos.

I've been heating these up for Mark in the mornings and he is quite appreciative, and I am thankful he's getting a hot breakfast and some protein at the start of his day.

And-- what I like about this recipe is that I can change it up so easily. Think of all the possibilties! Change the meat to bacon, ham, or whatever meat you have handy. Add tomatoes, olives, peppers, salsa, spinach, pesto, or any number of other ingredients.