Wednesday, December 29, 2010

naptime...or concert?

josh's falls asleep during the four second process of laying his head down on the pillow.  but my mind just doesn't shut off as quickly as his does so i end up going to sleep way later than him each night. 

clearly, izzy is my child (evidenced by the fact that a) she never sleeps and b) she loves christmas carols).  

15 minutes after going down...

45 minutes after going down...  (my favorite part of this one is toward the end of the song when she belts, "with a jelly, happy soul...")  hee-hee.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

if you could have just heard the squealing

a drum set from nanny and pop for his birthday and a red electric guitar from grandpam and papaw for christmas...if anybody's looking for jack, you'll find him on cloud nine.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

no, you didn't get left off the mailing list

i love every part of the christmas card process.  i love taking the photo, designing the card, and ripping open the box when the man in brown delivers the cards to my door (ok, i can't stand addressing all of the envelopes, but that doesn't sound very cheery, now does it?).  but last year as we were saving up money for our adoption expenses, we made the decision to forgo the paper card portion of the season in lieu of a cute little online ditty that we could share with all of our family and friends.

but then the christmas photography rush came, and our plans never made it past the first thought.

well this year, i'm proud to say that while i don't have any witty year-in-review letter to share with you like i had hoped to, i do have a picture.  on a card.  on the internet.  whoo-hoo!!!!

(you can click on the card to make it big enough to actually read.)

since the christmas letter didn't make it to fruition, i thought i would link back to a few of our favorite posts from 2010.  some make me laugh, some make me cry.  but they're all a part of our story.

january.  the month i was really funny.  i don't know what got into me (or, more importantly, where it's gone since then), but january's stories make me giggle.  the new year started out with a bang (and not necessarily a good one) that i documented through song here and here.  i wrote a blurb about our not-always-so-reverent family worship time, and for you fellow adoptive-mommies-in-waiting, "god's voice in the waiting" is a must read.  while the baby we really want home isn't here yet, we did add one member to our family early this year.  she's a gem.  and yes, i did dress her up for the photos.  :-)

the "overheard at our house today..." posts are true reflections of what goes on in the house of the five lewis crew.  this one makes me crack up every time i read it (as long as i'm not trying to eat at the same time).  and although this conversation with myself wasn't technically an "overheard" post, it's definitely telling of some of the real parts of life around here. 

july 30 was one of the best days of our year while august 13 was the worst.  i could link into so, so many other posts during the weeks following judah's death - moments i forgot, days that i ugly-cried, the gift of answered prayers - but this is the day i want to remember and celebrate the most. 

what a year it has been!  the blessing of a beach trip with friends and a mountain trip with family, the scares of a car accident and a hospital admission, and the pain of growth.  we've climbed to the mountaintop and we've tumbled into the valley.  it's our story, and we're trusting the lord to bring about great good for us and great glory for himself through the events of this past year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and much love to you all!

Monday, December 13, 2010

in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit

jack:  izzybell, do you know christ?
izzy:  yes.

jack:  do you know jesus?
izzy:  yes, i do.

jack:  do you have a head?
izzy (giggling):  yes.
jack:  well then, hold your nose...i'm gonna bathtize you!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

the sixth stocking

every year we hang the stockings across the mantle on our fireplace as we decorate for christmas.  and for two years now, we've hung six stockings -- five for us, and one for him.  last christmas, i hung the sixth stocking with a heavy heart as i accepted that not only was he not going to be home with us for the holidays as we had hoped but that we weren't even close to the day when we would finally hold him.

we were over a year into the adoption process but what seemed like an eternity away from our baby. 

2010 has proven to be quite the year for our adoption journey.  if we were disappointed with the slow pace of 2009, we've been sometimes overwhelmed with the heart-extremes of 2010.  on june 26, judah entered this world, a child born out of unimaginable circumstances but loved by the mother who spared his life.  on july 30, we learned he would be ours.

i know this photo by heart.  i stared at it and several others like it for what seemed like hours when we got our referral paperwork.  his tiny five-pound frame, his bloated belly, his big brown's all etched in some sweet place in my heart.  he was ours.

but within a week, our agency had contacted us to let us know that he was sick.  it didn't seem serious at first, but within a couple of days, judah was fighting to take even his next breath.  on august 12, our family did what we had done every other day, and we prayed for judah's life...but even more than that, we prayed for god's glory.

judah died the next day.  august 13 will forever and always be a day of extreme emotion for me.  on one front, i lost my child that day, and unimaginable pain accompanies that loss.  several very loving and well-meaning people have said, "well at least you didn't have him home yet" or "at least you hadn't held him yet."  i totally get where they're coming from, but what you have to understand is that the lord had been growing an intense love for that baby in our hearts for 21 months at that point.  holding him or not holding him...he was as much a part of our family as i am.

the other side of that story, though, is that judah, by his death, was fulfilling the name we gave him in his life.  at the moment i learned that my baby had left this world, he was bowing at the feet of our savior doing what my soul longs for.  to praise

but there was another tapestry being quietly and intricately woven at the same time as this one.  on october 12, i remember seeing a different baby's face for the first time on my computer screen, and in a way, being afraid to fall in love with it.  even now, three months after judah's death, the tears fall freely.  but something happened when josh and i looked to see this baby's birthday.  yes, june 26 was judah's birthday, but as the lord would so sweetly have it, it was also the day that micah was born.

as the weeks have gone by, i've surrendered my guarded mind to my bursting heart, and i've fallen madly in love with the baby we've named "who is like our god?".  the lord has proven himself sovereign, faithful, loving, and merciful during these past two years, so a name that reflects the lessons of this journey seemed perfectly fitting.

so why all of this now?  this morning we received news of our court date in ethiopia.  in 56 days, we'll finally hold the baby we've prayed for for so long.  in 56 days, we'll be melting with love for the baby our arms have ached for for two years now.  yes, in 56 days, we'll meet our son, micah.

a couple of people we've talked with throughout the day have asked specifically what they can do for us as we prepare to travel.  and at this point, we really would ask you to be in prayer for logistics.  separating parents from children, dealing with multiple countries, languages, and airlines, and attempting to weave our way through seemingly endless red tape is enough to make a person crazy (crazier, perhaps).  our journey to this point has been anything but smooth, and while we're not expecting a perfect move from point a to point b, we are praying for peace, and we're asking the lord to quickly reunite our family (all six of us) for our joy and for his glory.

we'd really love to have a little one home with his stocking next christmas.  :-)

in love he predestined us for adoption as sons through jesus christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved.
eph. 1:5-6

Saturday, December 4, 2010

this hurts my heart and makes me miss a baby in ethiopia

**make sure to pause the music at the bottom of this page in order to watch the video**