Tuesday, November 29, 2011

From almost the highest a low point

In all fairness, for those who don't know me, I have faults.....BIG ONES. Last night (or this morning) was no exception to that rule.  

I have discovered, over the course of a couple of weeks, that although I am (indeed) a girl....I do NOT speak, however, teen girl.  The hair flipping, the giggling over things I have no clue about, the obsession with matching, the drama, tears, stomping.  I mean.  Wow.  Really?  There are so many bigger issues in this world (ie orphans, poverty, starvation), yet the fact that Bug didn't win at Dance Party was the biggest thing that ever happened....E.V.E.R.  

Peach, sent me an email (from her bedroom to the living room) stating that she wanted a cellphone.  Everyone else has one, why can't she.  WWWWWW HHHHHH YYYYYYY can't she?  I simply told her because she was 13, was homeschooled and had no life outside of me, that she didn't need one.  Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say.  As tears welled up in her eyes, she stomped stomped stomped to her room and slammed the door.  I walk in there, she is severely pouting and I tell her, again, the reason that she doesn't need one and that when she turns 16 and is driving, then we will certainly oblige.  She goes on to tell me that young kids have them and that she wasn't "in fashion".  She is right, there are really young children who have a phone.  There is no reason for them to have one other than they want one (most kids anyways, there are some legit reasons to give a young child a phone).  I told her that her worth is not of things in this world, but in Who lives in her.  That she is called to be set apart and not "in fashion" with the things of this world.  I was really having a moment.....she didn't care LOL.  That's okay.  I planted the seed.

Then, there is the RADish.............her mouth.................there are no words for her mouth.  I told her, last night to go and take a shower.  She has been taught, since moving in with us, that the bathroom door MUST BE SHUT when she is in there using the toilet or bathing.  Period.  The end.  Whelp......I walk up to my bedroom, she is in the shower and the door is WIDE open.  I slam it shut, to make a point (yes, that was childish, but it so gets under my skin).  She comes out and this is our conversation:  

Me:  "what is the rule, for the door, when you are in the shower?"  

RADish:  "it is to be shut."  

Me:  "was the door shut?"

RADish:  "yes, it was cracked."

Me:  "does 'cracked' mean shut or does 'cracked' mean open?"

RADish:  "crack means open, but I shut the door."

Me:  "no, I shut the door.  Why do you choose to be disobedient in the you know the rules."

RADish:  "yes, I know that the door can't be open when I take a shower. I just like it open, so I leave it cracked."

The conversation goes on and on until I can't take it and i send her to bed.

Then, there is this morning...we are sitting in the line, at school and Boo says that his throat feels "dry and hot as a jalepeno".  :/

I glance in the back and D is wearing SHORTS.  I asked him what he was thinking and it is the normal "I don't know".  This incident happens after he has been signing my name to his homework and lying to me about not having any.  Hitting children at church and biting other children.  Losing his book because he hid is so well.  Lying through his bitty teeth.  Bear in mind, D is 7....just in an effort to not lose what little sense I have, this morning, I bring him home and he is missing school.  I'm fed up with his behaviour and in an effort not to go overboard, I simply sent him back to bed.....I can't even begin to deal with him until 9 or 9:30.  

So, with the knowledge of God's grace and love for me (even when I'm rotten); I still screw up. I still have moments of insanity where I want to run down the road, buck naked screaming at the top of my lungs.  There are days when I realize, why, I'm can't live in this house without being medicated. LOL  I'm blessed to have a Father who loves me, regardless.  Who has seen my faults and still chose to send His Son to die for me, so I can live with Him forever.  I am blessed.

We are still waiting on word from  ET about whether or not we are cleared for travel.....praying....believing.....

Blessings from my looney family to yours.

Monday, November 28, 2011

3 Hurdles down....1 to go

So, with this being the beginning of the week....I've been in deep thought over the purpose of my existence.  LOL...not really...that just sounded good and deep :)

The beginning of the week is Sunday and we were blessed to spend it with our church family. Our pastor has been teaching Jesus + Nothing over the last 10 weeks and I feel as if years of my life have been peeled away to reveal truth.  Truth in Him.  I am free.  No longer in bondage to sin and the "red letters" of the Bible are put in their perspective places.  It is truly a blessed thing to go where I am loved and to be taught truth and freedom.

The first person I see, is a lovely lady, Jenny.  She is in a wheelchair and some would classify her as "special needs."  She is special alright, but she 'needs' for nothing.  She is a beautiful example of God's love and faithfulness.  I squatted down to hug her and she patted my hand.  She said "what's going on."  She knew that I wasn't in Ethiopia (obviously).  So, I told her about the BM interview and that if it went well, we'd hopefully travel this week.  If it didn't or they needed more papers (they meaning the Embassy), that our stuff would be sent to Nairobi and it could be months before we could bring Abinet home.  She smiled and said "what God brings you too, He will be faithful to bring you through.  He WILL finish what He started, in His time and not yours."  I hugged her, loving how God spoke to me using her.

I sat down and friend #2 asked why I was there because she expected me to be gone too.  I told her of the situation.  She wept, hugged me and prayed for me.  She told me that it will happen and to be encouraged. Friend #3 came up...asked how things were.  I explained, again, the situation.....the worry over my job and the possibility of losing it because I don't qualify for FMLA and I haven't heard back from the adoption leave of KY.  She encouraged me, prayed for me and told me that it would be okay....those conversations filtered throughout the day, yesterday.  I was blessed.

I realized that during my worry, I wasn't RELYING on who can take my worry away and who can fix these little pesky problems (ie money for traveling, childcare for my kids, paperwork to be approved in Embassy, job issues).  Why worry when He has it all under control.  As to how it is going to unfold, I don't know.  But I can tell you, that we will have a story to tell.  We will have a testimony to someday help someone else.

Today, I decided to clean....really really clean.  In the midst of my cleaning, my friend calls and needs me to watch her wee ones while she pays some bills.  LOVE.  Of course, I said yes...bring them on.  I was blessed to dance and love on a beautiful 2 yr old and snuggle with a baby....bliss.  While I'm basking in a dirty house, watching this little toe-headed girl run through squealing and holding another sweet baby.  I long for Abinet.  To hold him and rock him.  To teach him and love him.

While my friend is here, I get a call...unsure of who it is, I answer and it is my work stating that my job is safe till Jan 1 and that I can take my leave.  One hurdle DOWN.  My friend is heading for the door and she says, so nonchalantly, when you travel, let us know and we will help with the kids as much as you need.  Hurdle number #2 DOWN.  As my oldest is helping my friend carry her girls to the car, she flits in with the mail.  Junk.  I flip through it and I find, wet, a check from the IRS for our adoption refund.  More than enough to pay off a couple of bills, fly to ET and back, and save the rest.  Hurdle #3 DOWN.  Now for hurdle #3....for the interview of Abinet's birthmom to go well and for the Embassy to have all they need and for us to travel to get our baby.

God, You know our needs, You have met our needs.  Let only You get the glory and the praise for what You are going to do tonight, tomorrow and as we fly out, this will hold our plane in Your hand. Praise You for what You have done and for the wonders You will still do, this week.  Preparing for rain :)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Preparing for Rain

Although it is clear that we aren't traveling on Friday :(  I am confident that we will be traveling in a week :)

In an effort to keep my sanity, I'm nesting.  I've cleaned the whole house, twice and I'm sure to clean it lots lots more before we actually leave because...well...I have kids and they are messy.  I mean *really* messy.  Even when they are clean and not here, they still, somehow/someway make a mess.

I have been cooking.  Some for tomorrow, since we are hosting Thanksgiving but most for the weeks to come when I may not have any brain cells left, after Abinet comes home.  I haven't done a 1/3 of what I want to do, but I have a wonderful start.

His bed is partly up.  His clothes are hung, but we are unsure of his size.  It is a process......

Tomorrow marks the birth of my first child....she is a beauty and I adore her.  She will be 16.  Sweet 16.  The age of dating, the age of driving, the age of getting small jobs.....16....where has the time gone?  Her gifts are bought, the tears are being held at bay and I sit in awe of the wonderful young woman that she has become.  She loves to read, knit, crochet, sign, sing, be goofy.  She is self taught in all those areas, including piano.  She was late in everything that she did...she was 9 days late in coming into this world.  She didn't crawl until she was a year old, didn't walk until she was 14 mths old.  She didn't cut her first tooth till almost 13 mths old.  She is always a day late and a dollar short LOL.  She did, however, learn the alphabet by the time she was 15 mths old, as well as, being able to spell her name.  She was reading books by the time she was 3 and she hasn't stopped.  Her heart is HUGE. She has a passion for missions and making God known to all who will listen to her.  She is big into Looney Tunes, Little House on the Praire and most recently the Mummy movies LOL

The day she was born, was the day I learned what true and unconditional love was.....I'm blessed to be her mom and I'm excited to see what the future holds for my precious precious girl.  Tomorrow, I will post a picture of her..............then you can all sit in awe of the gorgeousness that I get to call my own :)


Monday, November 21, 2011

As I Stew


not traveling on Friday
being denied for FMLA
personal issues
not having him home for Thanksgiving
having another issue come up at embassy
finding the birthmother to take her to the city for an interview
possibly a delay of 2-8 weeks

I am reminded in my verse o the day:

"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps."  Proverbs 16:9


to believe
to have the faith of a mustard seed
to rest in His assurance that He has it under control
to forgive
that Abinet WILL be home in a couple of weeks
that the birthmother is found is does her interview
that no other paperwork is required
to prepare for rain even when the rain doesn't appear to be on the horizon

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today is my last day work....for 10 weeks.  I'm off for 10 weeks.  What shall I do?  LOL...I shall prepare to go to Africa to get my baby.  I shall pack, plan menus, freezer cook, prepare for the holidays, love on my kids, go to the library, make a dental appt, possibly read a book.

It was kind of sad, leaving today.  I made one girl cry because she was going to miss me so much.  I made another girl cry because I had a "talk" with her new fiance'.  I have made lots of friends, young and old.  The old ones will still be there, but the young ones will probably leave.

One thing I know, is that I will enjoy this time.........


Thursday, November 17, 2011


HE IS COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Praise be to God.  We are so thankful that He has opened our eyes, our hearts and our minds to adopting.  

Yesterday, I got a call at 9:15 am and it was immigration.  They said that they received our addendum, they received the mother's birth letter (blessings and prayers for her) and they received PART of my income verification, but not the one part that they need.  Ugh.  I jumped up, told her I was on it.  I called and was blessed to speak with the same person I'd been speaking to for the last few days.  I explained, again, the situation, she transferred me to her supervisor and her supervisor was on it like white on rice.  It was sent.

Got another call from immigration stating that the documents that were in hand were too faded to read.  She asked if we had the originals...which we don't.  I told her that I was on it.  I called my agency, Sheila called her right hand person (Angela)...and Angela worked her magic.  Made all the documents bright and shiny, rescanned them and we got them sent to immigration.  

I called immigration to confirm that everything was sent and I actually spoke to my officer (which is not so easy a task).  She has been WONDERFUL with our case and our family.  I asked her if everything was received and she said "yes, your packet is done."  I just kind of sat there and said "what packet, I don't understand."  She stated that it was our APPROVAL packet and that we were approved.  I just sat there, then I was loud and really really ugly.  All I could say was THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.  She was pretty pitiful too.  She kept saying "Oh, Brandi, please don't cry....please don't cry, your son is coming home, please don't cry."  I couldn't get out any more words other than "must go to husband."

I wanted to be so coy about the whole thing and attempt to not let the girls know till I told Big Daddy first. well, that plan went out the window.  I stood at the top of the stairs...screaming for them.  The blow up there asking what is wrong and I screamed WE ARE APPROVED...there was lots of yelling, crying, praising Jesus and hugging going on.  My next thought was  "he needs undies and socks...we have none."  It is amazing what can go through a person's mind.  I told them to get dressed, we were going to daddy.  That drive took FOREVER.  We finally got there (no coat and flip flops for one girl; no socks or teeth brushed for other girl; and I looked like I had been run over by a train).  I got into HR and asked to see Big Daddy.  The girl behind the desk said "this must be an look really upset" LOL  She even escorted me to a conference room.  Big Daddy walked in .....  I told was beautiful.

We have a tentative flight schedule, tentative keep the kids schedule and Big Daddy bought my boy some undies and socks ;)

Yesterdays verse of the day was Phil 1:6  6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  

This verse has filtered throughout the last 13 mths. It was first told to me by a precious lady in my Wednesday group.  She would say over and over that what God brought me too...He will be faithful to bring me through.  The night before we got an approval...another wonderful friend emailed me stating the same thing.  Before approval, I went to post something and that was my verse.  I knew yesterday would be the day for a miracle.

God has changed me...He has begun the healing in our family with our RADish, He has revealed that shortcuts are not His will and that I need to be patient and wait on Him rather than try and control the situation.  He has revealed to me that all things come together for His good.  He is good.

I am so grateful and thankful to Sheila at West Sands Agency. We've had our ups and our downs.  In the end, I truly believe that the Lord led us to this agency.  They have fought the good fight with us.  Giving up was NEVER an option for us and I'm thankful that she stood by us and advocated.  Thank you to Angela, the right hand woman who made our documents pretty.  Arise for Children and Lifeline for advocating and pushing. Woudneh....Betty....there are no words for the feelings I have in my heart for you two.  Thank you for loving on my boy while we have fought.  To all who have prayed, financially supported, encouraged and loved us while we cried.....I'm forever grateful.

God is off to pack.


Monday, November 14, 2011


It is so hard to FOCUS on things when my mind is moving in five hundred different directions.

We are, again, waiting on a piece of paper for our adoption.  It always seems to come down to 1 PIECE OF PAPER before immigration can look at our case.  This piece of paper is the LAST thing that we need and we have 4 days to get it.  It will take God's hand to move mountains (and people) and to find this one person to sign this one piece of paper.

Last week, we thought it was going to be easy because we thought we "knew" where the one person was.  Guess what, they got there, in Africa mind you, and she wasn't there.  The people in Sodo "think" that she is in the next village.  How far that village beyond me.  If she is there...beyond me.  If this paper doesn't come in, a denial will be made.  If this person is found, this paper is signed, this paper is emailed, then if our income matches, we will get approved.

We so wanted him here by Thanksgiving.  It is still a possibility, but the window of that possibility is closing everyday.  I'm still holding onto hope.....

While we wait, my mind is always thrashing on work.  It is *so* busy, right now.  There are *so* many things to do and *so* much going on within the ranks of our management, that it is daunting.  I keep telling myself to sign up for FMLA for when we leave for Africa, but my days mesh together and once I remember, it is usually at a time when I'm not at work or corporate is not there because it is 9 pm at night.  I have, however, told my manager of my plans.  That's one step.  Now to take the other steps.

The last week, or so, our RADish has been *very* difficult.  I can't put my finger on it.  Maybe it is the holidays.  She seems to get a bit more nutso around this time, so once the busyness of the season calms down, she will too. She is driving me a bit crazy with her antics.  She can be very in your face and she is REALLY demanding a lot of attention.  I have to parent her differently from the other children because she is different.  She requires more energy, more thought, more creativity.  She is an exhausting child and since I've worked so much, preparing for the holiday season, my brain power is nil.  I'm so glad the neighbors don't turn me in to social services when they see her running around the house screaming, thrashing and crying.  I just let her do her thing.  Once she is over it, she is over it.  It is almost like a blacking out period, for her.

Then there is the whole kid turning 16.....can't even discuss that.

Focus.  Focus on what is important.  Focus on God's promises not to harm us but to prosper us.  Focus on the fact that He loves my kids so much more than me and He has a purpose for everything.  Focus on the fact that everything He does and ordains, works together for my good.

Focus Focus Focus.

Claiming His promises.  Believing that the one piece of paper that has to be signed by one particular person and then emailed to immigration will happen TODAY.  Believing that APPROVAL will happen TOMORROW.  Believing that Embassy has already reviewed our case is waiting for our 171 to give us a date.  Believing that he will by home for the holidays.

Standing on His Promises.  Praying believing it has already happened.  In fact, will call corporate today to set up FMLA and we will be putting Abinet's bed up tonight.  I'll be stocking his dresser tomorrow night and I will even pack our bags.  I'm that certain that we will be getting an approval and a quick Embassy date.

I have many things to do.........

Focus.  Believe.  Claim.


Friday, November 4, 2011

It's been a few days

since my last post.  I've been so busy at work that I have little time when I'm at home.  The busiest time of the year is coming up and work has been a madhouse.  There have been many many customers (some nice some not), there have been many employees vomiting (some pregnant some not), there have been many call offs from employees (some legitimate, some not), there has been tension at home some days and some days there has been nothing but niceness.

I'm tired more days than not.  I miss my boy more than words can say.  I had a "comin' to Jesus" meeting with Jesus, Himself, yesterday on the way to work.  I realized that I had a lot of anger and unforgiveness on my heart.  That, in itself, has made me very temperamental.  I always think that I don't have an issue with anger and unforgiveness because I've forgiven a lot of people who have done really really bad things to me.  I didn't realize, however, that in a little room, in my heart, there I had stacked lots and lots of hurt feelings towards people in my life.  I have been hurt by person 1, I stored that hurt in my heart.  I have been hurt by person 2, stored that in my heart.  It came to a head, as I was going to work.

I forgave many people, but most of all, I forgave God.  I have been so angry with Him because of our adoption and how things were "not" progressing.  I have no reason to be angry with God.  He is all knowing and He has a reason and a purpose.  I know that, in my heart has been singing a different tune.  He already knew that I was angry with Him and He has been patient with me, allowing me to waller in my anger until enough was enough.  Yesterday, He had had enough.

I feel like a ton of bricks has been lifted off of me.  For the people, who have said mean things to me, I have forgiven.  For the people at work who are less than thrilled of my new position, I have forgiven.  For my Heavenly Father, I have forgiven.

Forgiveness isn't about the other person.  It is about my healing and doing as my Father has done for me.  He gave His Son for me and my sins.  He forgave me, He owns me, He loves me.  He is Abinet's Protector.  He loves him far more than I could ever love him.  I miss him...I want him home.  I have to keep reminding myself that God isn't done yet with this process.  He is holding back for a reason.  I may never know that reason, but I do know that it is done with love and for a purpose.