Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Immeasurably More

Our story has become, well....known.  And I've thought for several days how to post, if I should post.  Even the blog has had it's 15 minutes of fame.  But I feel the need to address what's been going on.
I think it started with Klove. Someone notified them about our story.  And they called the house while I was in the restroom.  Glamorous, I know.  Not a soul was here but me.  Which is ultra uncommon but I was reading resumes while our house was being inspected.  So they were stuck with a few minutes of me.  That short interview was done weeks before it aired so I really kind of forgot about it.  We started school and were getting into the groove of real life.  While at the health department (dealing with the fact that someone gave my children the wrong immunizations..that's a whole different story!), Fox was getting in touch with me.  Apparently Klove led to Fox which led to CRAZY!
I'll be honest, I find it funny!  I mean, you have to laugh when the words "Uh babe, Good Morning America called today" come out of your mouth.  We are just normal people.  Like really normal.  So this stuff makes me laugh.
It is also extremely humbling.  I am receiving comments from all over the world from people just like us--normal people who adopted siblings.  Or foster and are adopting.  I've said many times that we are not the only people who have ever done this.  In fact, there are many who have done harder, more admirable things.  
So why is all this craziness happening?  I honestly don't know.  But we have decided to allow some of it for some reasons I wanted to talk about.  1. The kids are good with it.  That was extremely important to us.  They don't completely understand why we are receiving this attention of course.  To them, this life feels as normal as they know.  They are intrigued.  2. Scott and I and the kids all think that this may be some awesome outlet for God to do some really cool things.  
If I have learned anything in the last several's that my timeline and my ways are NOT God's.  I would have done things differently in Peru.  But God knew what He was doing.  Often I would do things faster, but then things go exactly the way God wants and it's better.  I have a very new and different understanding of "immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20) because I could not dream up the way this story is going!!  
We are praying that God is glorified and that He uses us.  Whatever that looks like.  I may never know. But if one person chooses to act in faith on something they were afraid of, it's worth it.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thrown to the Wolves

Usually, I drink my coffee slowly and thoughtfully, requiring me to microwave it several times because I get distracted.  This morning, I am chugging my coffee as I drive around to the parade of schools, desperately needing it to wake me up and not wanting to miss a drop.  An IV would be easier!  I am the kind of anxious-tired that I can only relate to those first few weeks when you bring your infant home and you keep thinking, "I can't ruin him/her" :)  Good pressure.  I also feel that early baby joy when you can't believe they are yours and you marvel at the gift.  I cannot imagine a better situation with 5 new kids.  I mean it, these kids are fabulous.  And God has created an incredible sense of family that only He could create.  You can't manufacture this stuff!

We started school this week: 2 in elementary, 1 in middle school, 1 at the freshman center and one in the high school.  I never thought that driving away from a 17 year old would be tough.  But I felt like I was truly throwing him to the wolves--High school in the U.S., teachers that don't speak his language, profanity he has never been around, PDA at every corner.  I think it's different when you spend years raising her younger kids; they're differently prepared for public high school.  Not to say that I loved that Logan was exposed to all kind of nastiness but I knew she was equipped and ready to be a Christian at school.  And she was a rock star!  My Peruvians have such an innocence that made it feel weird to push them out and say "Go survive! I hope you figure it out!"  All week, I keep thinking about how in Genesis 16, Hagar calls God the God who sees me.  My prayer is that our kids would feel seen and loved by that personal God.  That God would fill in the gaps that Scott and I can't fill or don't even know there is a need to fill.  God sees them, at their school, in our house, in their head.  I am so grateful He meets them where they are and meets their needs.

Fortunately, no one fought me on going back the second day.  My middle schooler in fact, is rating her days at 9's and 10's on a scale with 10 being the best day of her life.  So I guess she's enjoying it! 
Some of them come home with their brains hurting.  Which I totally get because Peru made my brain hurt.  (Not to mention that I now can't speak Spanish OR English well because I'm so language confused in my house! But that's another story)

So we've almost survived our first week of school.  I'm pretty sure I am more excited to sleep in tomorrow than they are!  The 3 year old had better cooperate! :)  Laney turned 3 this week which is unbelievable.  Our college student started class this week.  That girl, by the way...I am so grateful for! She cleans, baths Laney, does laundry...before I've even thought it needed to be done.  My husband is constantly asking me what he can do...and it's not like he doesn't work 2 jobs or wear 5,000 hats.  I have cooked 2 meals this week that someone else prepared so that all I had to do was throw them in a crock pot.  We have received more than 1 anonymous gift in the mail. We have friends bringing one kid home from school.  We have cousins loving on the kids and making them feel like there is someone in this world that they don't sound stupid to when speaking English.  I could go on and on...  It takes a village--and I LOVE my village! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Well, it feels like we've been back a month and it hasn't even been 2 weeks yet!  We are doing extremely well.  We had a Christmas extravaganza as soon as we got back, introducing the kids to the clan of Sterlings that now totals 26 and the smaller group of Malones.  The kids were overwhelmed by piles of gifts which they have never experienced before.  But they smiled and goofed around with cousins and handled things very well!  We spent the following week sleeping in, meeting friends, playing in the snow, and eating meals together.  It was truly fabulous.  Christmas vacation at it's best.  Logan and her boyfriend choose to be around more than we would ever expect and the kids adore them!  Pearce just trash talks his way to their hearts.  And the girls have loved Logan from the very moment they saw her!  God has been very good weaving this family together.
Meanwhile,  in a crazy, only-written-by-God story, we have a buyer for our house and are buying another.  NEITHER house is on the market!  So nothing like introducing kids to the U.S. and then moving!  Fortunately, we are starting school where the new house is so that we don't have to switch schools.  Lots of change happening in our household.  The kids are sweet and really love our cramped house we are in right now.  When we explained the new house and the whole buying/selling situation, their biggest concerns were about whether or not the TV's go too.  Oh, and if we get to take the carpet.  Conversations you didn't expect to have: that carpet is stapled down and that we can get new in the new place.  Funny!
Vacation is about to end and a new school routine is beginning.  We are spending this week getting enrolled and assessed for school.  School supplies and many frustrations are to follow, I think. We've been told to give the kids a couple weeks.  And after visiting all of the buildings, I can see how it will be chaotic and frustrating to the kiddos!  Lots of English, lots of new faces, and many new expectations.  They are smart and have great attitudes so I know they will do well!  Not to mention the many fabulous principals and teachers from church or from the past that have helped tremendously!  Just gotta ride the bumps out in the beginning.  Prayers appreciated! :)
I will keep posting as we walk this new journey.  Maybe some for myself.  But more than anything, I want it to be known that when God asks things that seem too big or too uncommon, that HE makes things possible.  It may not be Peru and it probably isn't 5 kids, but God has BIG plans for you too.  And if my ramblings help you say Yes, then ramble more I will! :)  A Ginny Owens song that I LOVE (and sang often in Peru) says "He never said it would be easy, He only said I'd never go alone".  He has been so good to us and blesses us continually.