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Monday, September 17, 2012

First Trip to Waynesboro!

    Last Monday we went to see our new home! It was also our last family ride in the truck because John sold it today, since we will have no use for it as House Parents, and we'd like to start an official "Adoption Account" savings. :)  We rented a U-Haul trailer and loaded it the night before with our bedroom furniture and books and a few other items we thought we could use there.  We left from Huntsville around 11:30am, with a happy baby.  Jonah sat rear-facing in his car-seat in the middle of the backseat, and I sat next to him, squished between the car-seat base and the door.  I was okay with this at first because we got in some great play time with his assortment of little colorful rattles, and soft animal toys which allow you to pull a leg and then it vibrates as the leg wiggles it's way back up. He wasn't too unhappy about the car-seat in the beginning. Then he fell asleep and took a great two-hour nap.  It was during his nap I began to feel a little silly for wanting to ride next to him because now I was uncomfortable, and found it difficult to talk to John without speaking too loudly and waking the baby, but I wasn't tired enough to sleep.  We had to stop in Tuscaloosa to return a redbox we had rented the night before, and the baby woke up soon afterward.  We stopped at a gas station to fill up and I fed him while John went and got us a late lunch from Milo's (this may have been outside of Birmingham or Tuscaloosa, I don't remember, either way the gas price in the background is a little sad).  I've enjoyed their tea before, but had no idea they had actual restaurants.  If you like hamburgers and fried chicken fingers, I recommend you try it sometime!  As I ate, John burped the baby and then had fun pretending Jonah could drive:

  When we put him back in the car-seat he was not very happy about it, and our playtime consisted more of me trying to make silly faces and noises to entertain and distract him from his car-seat straps.  His little face and whimpers seemed to say, "I hate this thing! Why are you always tying me down in here! I can't move! I can't look around! Get me out! Set me free! Please people!" I feel simultaneously sorry for him and annoyed at his whining.  This parental sympathy/annoyance/I'm-sorry-but-I-can't-help-it-and-you-should-just-get-over-it feeling just makes me want to go cross eyed and say Lalalalalalalalalalalalala!  It seems to be happening more often as Jonah develops his own little irrational opinion about things including the car-seat, he won't eat when I am talking, he won't eat when someone else is talking, he now fight the cover I use so I don't have to hide, and then his occasional afternoon/evening general fussiness.  Oh well. I'll get over it.  I am still so thankful for him, and love him to pieces! When he's not whining and fussy, he is the cutest thing and biggest blessing in my life, and I struggle to stop kissing him. Sometimes kisses annoy him too.  So, we drove for several more hours and finally arrived our new home around 4:30 or 5 pm.

     First impressions/thoughts/prayers: Whoa! It's HUGE! I get to live here!? I don't have to pay for this!? They're going to pay ME to live HERE and be a parent!? Sweet Deal! Thank you God for leading us when we had no idea what to do!  You're plans are ALWAYS better than our own!  I am so blessed! We must do the very best job we can to keep this place beautiful and homey for the kids who live here.  I can't wait to decorate! Thank you Lord for providing time and time again.  Thank you for providing more than we could dream, and leading us to your plan, your purpose instead of our own.  Proverbs 19:21:
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Thank you for giving me a husband who wants to help kids as much as I do.  Please continue to strengthen our marriage so we can be a strong family.  Please continue to lead us. Please teach us how to be the parents these girls will need us to be.  Please don't let us forget what a privilege and blessing it is to be here, no matter what situations come when the girls arrive.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you God! We don't deserve this. We doubted, we had no idea your great plans, your faithfulness! Psalm 86:15 -   
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
    Now, even if we didn't have a job right now, God would still be faithful.  We are just being reminded of it through this job at this time.

     We spent that evening unloading most of the U-Haul - when I say 'we' I mean John and our director because it was (surprise here's something unexpected) time to feed Jonah again.  Most of the wall space is empty, so I get to decorate it! It is also completely furnished though, so only our bedroom furniture really fits. There was a small debate over whether to unload everything into the first bedroom choice we had or the second choice.  The first choice was a room with a cubby type opening that was the space between two closets.  John thought this room had more space and we could put Jonah's crib in that cubby.  I disagreed but tried to be the sweet, submissive, Proverbs 31 type honorable wife and just went with it. However, after he fell asleep on the couch and I stayed awake unpacking a few boxes, I just kept going back down the hall to the second choice bedroom and moved furniture enough to realize we would definitely have more room in that one. In the morning John finally agreed, and this time he and I moved everything down the hall to the other bedroom.  A few days later on one of my facebook friends' wall I saw this sign:
1343317924934_3120298.png (420×294)

and I literally laughed out loud and told John about it.  In the end, all of our furniture (our bed and dresser, Jonah's crib and dresser, the glider rocker and ottoman, and John's TV stand) fit much more neatly into the second room, which also gave us 2 more feet of cabinet/counter space in the bathroom and DOUBLE the closet space! SCORE! I have to give John credit for driving all the way down there though, with no map or directions other than looking at it the night before, and not getting lost at all.  I have no sense of direction, and would have ended up in Oklahoma maybe.  We also got a little tour of Waynesboro, which at least has a Walmart! (I find it amusing how town-size in the south is measured by whether or not a place has a super-center). We left the next morning to return the U-Haul in Hattiesburg and have lunch with our dear friend and mentor who officiated at our wedding.  It was such a blessing to get to catch up and spend time with him. It is good to know older, wiser people who have wisdom and encouragement and a great example for us to follow!   Proverbs 27:9 - Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
    and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.

     Then it was a long, long ride home.

     John and I took turns driving.  While driving I daydreamed about different ways to put up Bible verses around the house, and thought and prayed about which ones to use.  I thought and prayed about the girls, the ones we will have, and the ones we just lost.  We got to speak with our social worker last week, who is the girls' new foster mom's social worker as well. She told us that the lady has adopted 2 older girls from a private agency before, and just recently began fostering for DCS.  She said she is a good Christian woman and the girls are doing well. That was good news.  People don't adopt if they're in it for the money.  We feel a little more at peace about their new home now.  As much as we are moving on, there are many little reminders of them still in our lives.  Mary's sippy cup I found under the seat in the truck, the pink bib I found in the bottom of the stroller, the butterfly pull toy from Madi's car-seat, the pictures on our phones, the way I see a kid's menu at restaurants and absent mindedly think about what I'd order for Mary and wonder if Madi has any teeth yet, when people ask where they are, all remind me that they're still alive, they're okay, but they're not ours.  I don't know who or when we'll finally get to adopt, or when we will get girls in the new home, but I can tell you that we will love them so much, because ALL children are a gift from God...

     My "Owl Love You Forever" shirt came in today, and I was reminded again that many parents never get to meet their children.  ( Owl Love You Forever Site  and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Site really broke my heart last week.) We've had the priveledge of meeting and parenting 7 other children this last year.  We do get to keep Jonah.  Life is precious.  We have a huge responsibility waiting for us down there in Mississippi with the lives we are going to be in charge of daily, and we are eagerly anticipating being a part of this ministry.  You can learn more about it if you'd like here: Mississippi Baptist Children's Village and keep reading this blog. :)

     We get to start our new job officially October 1st! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement on here and facebook.  We are thankful for our friends and family being so supportive!

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