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Monday, April 26, 2010

May 17th

Oh, what a glorious day it will be!

God willing, on May 17, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. we will be summoned into the judge's chambers and will finalize Miss G's adoption. Finally!

I keep looking at G and thinking how much her birth family is missing by not having her in their lives. She is a beautiful, sweet, and perfect member of our family. It pains me to think of having my children taken away, raised by some stranger. Of course, I know her history. I know what her birth parents have done, and they are in no way fit to be parents of these woven-by-God children. They have had many, many chances, and to leave these kids in their care would be nothing short of a disaster.

I am so looking forward to completing our more answering to social workers or adoption agencies, just raising our kids like "normal" parents!

In other news, I am so excited about a new adventure Superman and I are undertaking. We are starting an adoption network at our church! I can't believe that there are over 10,000 people who attend any given weekend, and there is no network for families who have adopted. I can't wait to see how the Lord works in this group, and how it grows over time. I have so many plans and ideas of where I would like to head...patience, I suppose. =) For those of you who are part of adoption groups, do you have any tips or words of advice for me? Right now I'm reading " The Adoption Network," by Laura Christianson. It's an excellent resource given to me by a friend--one I never even knew existed!

Homeschooling is going awesome. We are planning on wrapping up our school year the last Friday in May. Can't believe it's coming up so quickly!

Monday, April 19, 2010


This week with no t.v. and VERY limited Internet has been insightful.

I've missed reading blogs and catching up on what people are doing on Facebook, though. Our laptop sits on a desk in our family room, so it's accessible and convenient. In order to ensure that I stay away from it, each morning (after I've checked e-mails and briefly checked in on my regular Web sites and such) I close the laptop and leave it that way until the girls are sleeping in the afternoon. I then pop it back open, quickly check e-mails, and do any Internet research that I need to get done, and close it back up until Superman gets home.

I've realized what a habit it was for me to just "pop on" the computer throughout the day. Because it is so convenient right here in the family room, I would check e-mails all day, check in on Facebook, and randomly search for answers on Google. Not having the computer readily available has forced me to engage with our kids when I would otherwise just let them continue on about their business. We did three jigsaw puzzles this week. And in doing that, I discovered that M-Dog is quite the little puzzle master! I never knew he was capable of doing actual jigsaw puzzles. Kind of sad.

Speaking of M-Dog, he turned 5 yesterday! I can't believe it's already been two years since he and N came to us. He has come so far in that time. His language has progressed leaps and bounds, even though he is still far from where he needs to be. As a matter of fact, his speech therapist just assessed him last week, and he is still ranking very very low compared to where he needs to be. On a scale of 1 to a 100 of where other 5-year-olds are verbally, he is at a 4. Yes, you read that right. But, that's ok. I know where he was, and I know where he will be. It's just a matter of time. Here he is on his new Hot Wheels bike:

The other morning, I sat on the couch, gazing through the steam of my coffee to the beautiful day outside. The sun glimmered through the trees and the freshly sprouted green leaves seemed to scream, "SPRING!" It made me thankful to have the t.v. gone, and the computer closed. My life has seemed so simple this week. And even though I miss reading people's blogs every day, I feel like a better mom.

Now I'm off to catch up on everyone's blogs...Monday is, afterall, blogging day!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What Hinders Me?

This weekend at church, our pastor gave an excellent message on "living with hope in times of crisis." I'm not in crisis mode right now. To be honest, I sometimes wonder why things have been so smooth for us...I keep waiting for that tragedy or major hiccup to occur. Pessimistic, I know. But I often feel guilty when I think about the incredible {funny} husband I have, the healthy children we have, the comfortable home and great yard we have, the quaint town we live in. I don't say that to brag, but to honestly question why we have been blessed this much.

We have often struggled with how to provide our kids with opportunities to help them be "well-rounded" (i.e., sports, music lessons, vacations, etc), while also ensuring they "suffer" enough to help them be empathetic, appreciative, contributing members of society. How do we justify giving our kids private tennis lessons for $120/month when that could feed and clothe four children in another country? How do we rationalize going to Chuck-E-Cheese and spending $30 when that could be food in a hungry child's belly?

I know there's a balance somewhere in our children opportunities and experiences while also showing them compassion for others. But the balance is what's hard to find.

Back to our pastor's sermon. He had a guest preach with him--a man who is on staff at our church who has been to more than 60 countries helping people. He was arrested while smuggling Bibles into China. He has put himself in harm's way on more than one occasion in attempts to spread the Good News. His words truly touched me. And near the end of the sermon, the pastor read a verse. Hebrews 12:1--"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses {in reference to Hebrews 11, which describes so many who lived out their faith in amazing ways}, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

I don't know how many times I have read that verse. Dozens and dozens at least. But for some reason, it had a whole new meaning this time. Let us throw off everything that hinders.

What hinders me? Oh, so many things...

The computer
The television
My own self-doubt
My yearning to be the "perfect wife" or "perfect parent" {and my failure therein}
Household duties
And so, so much more...

But what really stuck out for me, what I really felt like the Lord was whispering to me as I sat in my seat was this:

"Shanti, get rid of your television. Stop wasting your time on the computer. Engage with your children and seek what it is I long for you to do."

So, that's what I'm going to do. Kind of. I am canceling our cable. And we don't have one of those "government-issued" antennas, so for now, we won't have any t.v. And I'm only using the Internet when our kids are sleeping. I do plan on making exceptions, since I use the Internet as my phone book, map, and encyclopedia for homeschooling. But must wait. must wait. And must wait...until Mondays. Mondays are my new blogging days. I'll keep a running tab of thoughts that pop in my head throughout the week, and Monday will be my day to write them all down online.

I'm giving this a try for a month. I'm doing my best to "throw off everything that hinders" in an attempt to allow the Lord to speak to me. Maybe I won't hear anything. Maybe I'll be completely frustrated and feel cut off from the world. But I have to give it a try. I need to know that I truly am here and available for the Lord to work through me. If I use up all my down time zoning in front of the television or surfing the 'net, I will never hear the Lord speaking to me.

So, friends, I hope you understand. I hope you don't feel as though I am abandoning my post.

But I do pose this question to you: What hinders you? And can you let go of it?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tomorrow we're one step closer... being the official mommy and daddy to this adorable girl.

Tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., we will sign final papers for Miss G. Final. Final. Fi-nal. Gosh, I like the sound of that!

I can't even begin to say what it feels like.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our First Year of Marriage...Bliss? I Think Not.

I realized as I started writing this post, that I already pretty much covered what I wanted to say in THIS post.

I was a different person back then. I know it's cliche, but it's true. It's amazing how much a person can change over time.

It's pretty embarrassing, really, to think about how I used to be. We all have our skeletons, of course, but if ya'll would have seen me, really truly seen me, the way I acted when we were first married, I would probably be too ashamed to face you.

Thank goodness for changed hearts.

I'm glad we didn't do a reality t.v. show when we were newlyweds. I would probably be living my days in some hole, withdrawn from society, humbled beyond words. Hmmm...maybe that isn't such a bad thing.

In other news, Easter week flew by, and was filled with fun family time and a lot of Wii (we just got Super Mario, that game is fun!).

I'll be posting pics soon!

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