Wednesday, March 30, 2011

{Way more than} 5 things on my mind..and an adoption update.

I've been gone for a while. This I know.

I have a very good reason:

My dog ate my laptop

I was convicted of a felony and sent away to do hard time

I have been training to swim the English Channel

I broke both my index fingers making it impossible to type

I lost my contacts making it impossible to see

Okay, okay...

You know that feeling when you're being taunted and there is nothing you can do about it? Yes, well, my blog has been taunting me lately....

Just laughing at my wordlessness.

Gawking at my inability to complete a coherent thought.

Mocking my attempts to excuse away my lack of motivation.

In effect,  I just didn't really know how to put everything into words.

I feel better now, thankyouverymuchforasking.

Let's see if I can even remember how to do this "blogging" thing =)

1.  Food. 

Lately, I have been on one heckuva Suzie Homemaker phase (no offense to any Suzie Workingwomen out there....or for that matter...homemakers in general). The Pioneer Woman and I would be great friends. I am sure of it.  Breaking out the list of my current cooking ventures:
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Grasshopper Pie
  • Lemon Noodle Bake
  • Burgundy Mushrooms
  • Fancy Macaroni (seriously fancy.)
  • P-Dub's favorite meatloaf (and I usually HATE meatloaf!)
  • And this weekend? Yummy homemade cinnamon rolls.....
Did I hear some say "oink"?

You should be ashamed of yourselves..... ;-)
  • I should also note that we eat a lot of fresh veggies in our home.

2.  Sewing. 

I cleaned up my sewing multi-purpose room (sorry, babe) and it looks really nice. I have been lately getting distracted and have about half a million addition to the 8 summer dresses, two aprons, three flower bows, and a tie-shirt that need to go out this Monday! Arghh...

But I love it. What can I say.

I am also super-stoked because I have been trying to create the perfect skirt for graduation in May. I had found several semi-close tutes that I liked, but nothing that was perfect for what I was looking for.

Thank you Elle Apparel for giving me hope this afternoon.

[Enter contented sigh here]

Wait...scratch that...

[Enter Must Finish a Project determination here]


Much better.

3.  School. 

We are still revising our almost 100 page report. This is our 1 millionth revision, I believe (but who's counting)

I am so mad I could spit.

I am now only referring to this project as the neverending paper. The neverending-puke-inducing-scum-between-my-toes-stupidest-thing-ever paper.

It doesn't make me feel any better to name-call though.

4.  Florida.

The husband and I snagged a deal that we COULD. NOT.  pass up on last week.

Two people round trip. From Little Rock (holla) to Destin. $120.

For both of us. 

Not each.


We are so excited! The plan is to spend a couple days at Panama City Beach (swimming with the dolphins), Drive down to Orlando to cash in our Universal Studios vouchers, and then head back up to Destin/Pensacola for a few beach-layin'/dolphin-swimmin'/ocean-snorkelin'/zoo-goin' fun.

Any pointers from friends who frequent the Gulf coast would be much-appreciated.

In fact I would offer to name our first child after you, but The Husband has banned me from promising that anymore.

At last tally, our child had 28 names.

Did I mention we are going to be gone over Easter? So, because we didn't want to miss Easter service, we have found a sunrise beach service that Sunday. Church AND the beach? Praise the Lord, indeed!!!

P.S. People who think you might take advantage of the fact that we will be gone? We have people house-sitting..and yes, they are packing. I wouldn't take my chances if I were you.

5.  Friends.

My friends, the Clovers, surprised me for my birthday. They--literally--drove 3 hours to have dinner with us and then drove home.

They are crazy people.

I told them it was a terrible plan.

That I never would have let them drive all that way for such a short trip. For dinner with me.

They said, 'yes', they knew I would never allow such ridiculousness. Which is why they didn't tell me.

I love them very much. And all their silliness.

6.  Books.

When the Clover family was driving home Saturday night, I was riddled with guilt that I was at home in my nice warm bed. So I stayed up until I got word they were home. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to start in on the reading binge.

And started and finished the first of my 6 books that came in Friday.

Apparently I missed reading.


7.  Adoption.

Finally. This is it. The big news. The reason you are still reading this montage of nonsense.  
Assuming--of course--that you didn't just skip to the bottom....

The adoption update.

And just to be clear. No, we don't have a referral yet.

A couple of months ago, our hearts were being changed. We could feel it. But the stress of "paperwork" and pretty much the idea of changing N-E- thing was so overwhelming that we pushed our silly thoughts right to the back room. Locked them up and then sealed the room with cement so as to never be faced with such things again.

God never cares how much cement you place between you and His plan.

We knew that He was changing our hearts towards older children. But, we really REALLY didn't want to acknowledge it.

With the chaos of the last month in adoption-land. Specifically Ethiopian-adoption-land, we were faced once again with with the the deep-rooted changes happening in our hearts.  We committed to pray, to seek His will in our lives, and of course, to repent. well, you know, for the cement. and the padlock. and the unwillingness to bend.

In the last month, we have started seeking the wisdom of others. Mainly for practical issues, but also for those best and worst case scenarios. The "what-ifs" in life that are useless to examine and impossible to ignore.

If you are better at ignoring "what-ifs" then you are a better person than I am. Of course, if you have never had to staple the hem of your pants back up then you are a better person than I am too.

The bar is set awfully low.

For me, it was about changing my expectation. I had a crib in the garage. I had made  slaved over a crib quilt. We had read/watched Happiest Toddler on the Block. Checked out educational preschools. Collected clothing, toys, highchairs, etc...from friends and family.

A baby/toddler?

We could handle that.

We had an idea of what to expect. Yes, we had settled our minds around what that would look like. We were confident we could do it. We could parent a baby/toddler.

But a 4-6 year old? Well, we really had no idea what that would look like.  How it would all work.  What we would be able to learn....If we could even learn anything....

I mean if I am being completely honest. I was uneasy about so many practical things--but to be clear, never scared of it. How long would it take to learn English? Would I need to quit my job and home school? Would a 5 year old cuddle up to bond with his/her mommy?  How hard would it be to attach? How do you "cocoon" with a 4-6 year old?  How much more overwhelming would those first days/weeks/months be for him/her? Would they understand any of this? Could we convey our protection and love the way we could with a baby?

This was a huge shift. Everything we were comfortable with? was changing.

Even how we refer to our child was changing. Instead of Baby Smith, we have starting calling him/her Little Smith.

It's a new world.

We are totally in the dark about how to parent a 4-6 year old.

In fact, we are completely incapable of doing it on our own.

Which is probably exactly what God had in mind when He first started lighting this next section of our path.

So, to answer the questions:

1. Yes, it probably means we could get a referral sooner rather than later.

2. No, it does not necessarily mean our process will speed up any (in fact, we may need extra EXTRA prayers for the long duration expected waiting for a court date)

3.  We have additional costs that will be incurred to update all of our information (though that doesn't have to be done before we could get a referral)

4.  Yes, we are trying to learn more Amharic than we probably would have.

5. The 'denim diaper pic of each of our kids' idea is probably out the window, too. =)

6. Fundraising still continues. The costs haven't gone down, in fact they are more now and we have to consider the additional costs associated with Little Smith flying home.

All in all, we are praying for the system reforms  to happen faster than they are currently expecting. We want our process to move speedily through the system so we can get home with Little Smith as soon as possible. Since we are going to accept referrals for up to 4 years old, with the current process expectations, it could mean we bring home a 6 year old.

We want to bring Little Smith home sooner than that. 

MUCH sooner.

Your prayers are so incredibly-greatly appreciated, you truly have no idea!

*Ashley Lou*


Randee said...

I am excited for you guys and just SO interested to see the child you will be matched with! I am definitely praying that it is sooner than it could be :)

Ashley said...

Wow! That is a big change. I'm glad you are being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and His leading. I will continue to pray for you guys! (And I have a TON of stuff for your upcoming fundraiser!)

Matt and Sarah said...

Wow! I am so excited for you guys as well! It is hard to write when He is doing so much in our hearts (my post this morning was very similar to yours....yours sounds a whole lot better than mine does though!). Praying for you guys!

The O'Neal Family said...

awesome Ashley...I am so proud of you guys for keeping your eyes and mind open to listening to Him!

Erica said...

Awesome! The Lord has really been speaking to my heart about making some (minor compared to yours) changes as well lately, and I've just been seeking earnestly to be sure I'm hearing him right. Thank you for your example of obedience!

Anonymous said...

When God calls you to a task he will always equip you with the mean to accomplish it. My daughter's former youth pastor shared those words with me and they just seem to ring true this time also.
Now the hard part stand strong, and know you have lots of people praying for you guys. Elizabeth B

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