Friday, August 2, 2013

july in our home

july saw our first trip to the midwest since esther was three months old.  july was also the sunset of our time with baby girl.  july also saw the beginning of more focused potty training for esther.  and, just like most summer days, are days were very full with activity this month.  full of blessings.  oh, and nesting, nesting, nesting...

we just got the professional pics from the wedding last month
over the fourth of july weekend we went to indiana.  we got to spend a lot of time with alex's mom and step-dad, as well as go to a conference at clearnote church, a church that alex used to attend in bloomington.  the weekend was fun and relaxing (with alex's parents) as well as encouraging and challenging (at the conference).  we spent some time with some of the pastors from the church and some church planters.  it is always refreshing to spend time with people who love the gospel, theology and the great commission, and are living lives shaped by these things.

baby girl stayed in california while we were in indy.  it made the reality of her leaving us a bit more tangible.  at this point, it is almost certain that she will be going back with her mother next week (ultimately it is a judge's decision, but there isn't much reason he wouldn't rule for reunification).  we have known this since sometime in february, so our hearts have had time to prepare, though it will be sad when the day actually comes.  esther will be so lonely without her favorite playmate!  i have much more peace and trust in God this time in comparison to the last time we were in this situation (i cringe to read my words from this post, especially that i know they would do better with us. God is good and kind, and has grown me a lot since then).  furthermore, we have a good relationship with baby girl's mom, and we will certainly keep in touch, though of course it will never be quite the same after she leaves.

the thoughts about her leaving lead to wondering about who will God bring to us next?  we will be open to another placement as soon as baby girl leaves, so it is possible within the next few weeks we will have another two members of our family.

two more members?  yes, you read that right.  we have prayerfully decided to take another sibling set of two kiddos under the age of two (this was the age of our very first two kiddos, before we took in their two older brothers).  there are a number of reasons why we are doing this, but basically it boils down to two things: 1.) we want to love as many kiddos in need as possible.  we feel like, by God's grace and especially since my mom lives with us, that we have the ability to care for one more than we currently care for. 2.) after much prayerful consideration, we don't want to take in any children older than esther. so this means we will have to be open to young kiddos, under the age of two.

this means we will have three kiddos under the age of two in our home.  i am absolutely positive that we will only be able to do this with God filling us with energy, patience and love.  we will not be able to do this on our own strength.  but with God's strength, we will not just get by, but do this well.   please pray that we absolutely would be filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

in preparation for the transition that will likely happen in august, i have been in full nesting mode.  anyone who hypothesizes that nesting is a hormonal instinct has never met an adoptive mama.  i nested before the arrival of our last two placements, and i am nesting again.  mostly i am trying to get things in order to make life easier once our next little ones come, so that i can focus as much as possible on attachment and showing them love, and not so much on housework.  so, i am deep cleaning each room of the house, running errands to buy things i know we will need when they come, and preparing dinners to put in our freezer for easy meal prep.  things like this invigorate me, and i am enjoying each day full of the work that God has blessed me with (yes, i do believe that all of our work is a blessing from the Lord).

potty training is another thing that we are doing to prepare for this transition.  its been hard but we have seen good progress.  to give a bit of background, though we've had 6 young kiddos in our home, we haven't had to potty train any of them.  esther is our first.  with her, we have chosen to we practice a form of EC where we put her on the potty for a couple minutes most of the times that we change her diaper.  so, she has gone on the potty at least once a day (but most days more) since we started when she was about 2 months old.  we probably could have had her fully potty trained by time she was 18 months, but i just didn't have the time to focus on that with baby girl in the house.  with baby girl spending more time with her mother, i finally have the time to devote to it.  moreover, it would be nice to have esther potty trained (more or less) before we get our next two kiddos.  we've had two in diapers for the majority of our time as parents; i would prefer not to learn what three in diapers is like.

so, a couple of weeks ago, we started doing diaper free time most of the day (while we are at home).  the first few days were awful.  accidents all over the place.  and i was starting to get frustrated.  while praying about it, i realized that part of my motives for potty training her were bad: pridefully i wanted her potty trained early to prove all of those people wrong who laughed at me for trying EC.  after repenting of this pride, I asked God to make things improve, recognizing that it was not in my power to do this.  things got significantly better that same day.  now, while we are at home, esther wears underwear and has maybe one or two accidents per day.  i usually put her in a diaper while we are out, as i see going on the potty in public as potty training 2.0, and we are still on level 1.0.  but the good news is, for many of our errands that are under 2 hours long, esther has been able to hold it.

so we are getting there.  and hoping for little to no regression when our family situation changes.

::sermons i listened to this month::

[the first three sermons are among my favorite sermons of all time.  i have listened to each numerous times.]

the centrality of the home by voddie baucham

under authority like christ by mark driscoll

doing missions when dying is gain by john piper

divine sovereignty: the fuel of death-defying missions by david platt

shocking youth message by paul washer

so that has been our july.  how was july in your home?

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