Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rick Warren on Orphans!

When Children Pray!

Remember last Sunday (Easter) the title of my post was "why cry mom?". I cried all the way through the Easter service and confused my sweet Grace. I had to explain to her what happy tears meant.

So this sunday we are worshiping. I am standing and singing etc. I look over and Grace has her head down, hands folded sitting in the seat and is mouthing a lot of words to God. She has no clue I notice her. She is praying for a long time (probably at least 10 minutes). I am thinking, I wish I had my camera but that would ruin the moment and distract her. I am so touched by her praying but continue to worship. I wonder if she is praying in Amharic. I think about how sweet it is that God hears the prayer of the child's heart. I think of how He probably cherishes the prayers of children so much more than ours even. I know all prayers are important but still I can't help but think the children's prayers have a special FAST PASS to the ears of God. I imagine He is inundated with loud cries from powerful men and women and somehow can still make out the sweet sound of the whispers of a child sitting in the church and focusing so strongly on talking to Him.

So, we finish worship and during welcome time the kids go to sunday school. I walk the girls to their classes. I am holding their hands. Grace says, "Mom I pray". I said "Great". She said "I say thank you Jesus"...I said "That is wonderful sweetie"...She says "I say thank You Jesus for my mom and dad"...UH OH Here come the well of tears from Mom again. I said "Thank you sweetie. I thank God for you too." Wow! I leave her at sunday school and then have to go to the bathroom to cry and check my mascara again before going into church. AMAZING....

You never know what God is doing inside the hearts of your young children. And it is really hard for me to know especially since there is still a language barrier. But everyday their English gets better and I learn more.

THis week I learn that their grandmother would give them a lemon to eat when they were sick and they would feel better. I learned that their mom loved garlic, would eat the skins on potatoes, cooked a fish after fishing for it once and that their great great grandmother had cows that would give milk a rooster and two dogs.

I also learned that Grace knows two tribal languages besides Amharic and English.

They have told me that they do not want to keep their African names as their middle names instead Grace now wants her middle name to be Hannah (after Hannah Montana) and that Ella would like her middle name to be (Beautiful Deanna) Grace Hannah and Ella Beautiful Deanna are settling in with Jared Michael....(we still have to fill out the papers before we make the new names official ---HA!).


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A day in the life!

I start the day having to calm Grace down and explain to her that she gets to pick her own husband one day. This comes after Andrew told her his friends Patrick and Nolan are coming over. Not knowing the matrimonial sensitivities of his new sister he starts to tease her about having her marry one of them one day. She cries. I explain to her that if she wants she can remain single forever and that she gets to pick her husband and doesn't have to get married until she is 45 if she wants. I explain to Andrew that in Ethiopia some girls are married off at 10 years from their families sent off never to see their mothers again. And they get pregnant around that time and end up in the hospital etc. Andrew is mortified, Grace thinks the boys coming over are her future husbands..i calm everyone down.

Grace and Ella go to have their TB tests checked. They are positive and now they have to get chest xrays at the health department and probably meds for 9 months. They can not infect us or anyone.

On a plus note, Matea's eyes are working well. Her vision is now 20/25 and there is a possibility that she will be without glasses soon...YAY! (soon means months or tops a year).

Mark and i are starting a forum called GOD MENTIONED on yahoo. You are all welcome to come over with prayer requests, miracles or just funny GOD INSPIRED tidbits...We are still tweaking it and will send out official invitations soon but consider this an advanced invitation.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Mom...Why Cry???"

I couldn't help it...I just cried and cried during our church service today. And Grace kept staring. I had to explain to her that I was crying because I was happy. We told them about waiting for them and that we were so happy they were here in America. I also explained what communion was. I also couldn't believe I was standing next to my African children who go to the same church as 25 Ugandan orphans (African Children's Choir) and that Jared was in sunday school with Naty ( who was once his bunk mate in the orphanage in Ethiopia). I also cried because my kids just happen to be able to hear the ACC sing and dance "OH HAPPY DAY, " during worship. How extravagant is God to these kids? I can't believe that across the aisle are my Ethiopian friends who can speak to my kids in their native language. I am overcome with emotion. I never ever in my life even knew an ethiopian person before in my life.

The main reason I cried and cry about my family is that I cannot believe that God has blessed us with each other. I was a woman obsessed with my self involved business of music. I never ever thought I would have a successful marriage but always wanted one (even though the stats are very dreary for children from families of divorce like myself). I always wanted kids but never thought God would bless me. Now I have 6 beautiful kids. And as we talk about Christ's resurrection, I think about the death of my children's parents and the fact that they are now in a happy family in the middle of North Carolina surrounded by black and white people worshiping together. Talk about life resurrected...I am staring at it in the eyes of my kids. I guess I was just feeling God's grace and blessings today. "Why do you love ME GOD...I feel so unworthy and yet I am so blessed." AMAZING....So, I explained to Grace that my tears were tears of joy.

After church at 2 we had a potluck at our friends the Spivaks. It was awesome. And then we went to Mirembe House to bring dinner to the kids out there at 6. This is the house our church bought for the African Children's Choir. They live in this house in the country when not touring. So my friends Jerry and Terri (who's daughter Marie is on the road with Invisible Children), Heather and Andrew (adopting from Ethiopia), Lindsey and John (my newlywed friends), and Sommer Wisher and Todd Fisher from Lifepointe Church (with the chrisitan ice cream truck..hA!) all brought dinner out to the ACC. Again, mommy cries as my 3 Ethiopian kids play with other African kids 20 minutes from my house in NC....How is this possible? They are jumping on the trampoline together, playing soccer, playing frisbee and eating chicken together.....WAAA....Happy tears....Then we all head back home as if this is so natural almost oblivious at how remarkable it all is.....HUh????

Great Easter..Thank you God..

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Why Adoption is Christian....

I have just received this comment from JOHN regarding my last post. I have to disagree that the business of adoption is UNCHRISTIAN. And I also feel compelled to mention that while I am obviously passionate about adoption, I certainly don’t discourage sponsorship or other means in support of orphans. We ourselves sponsor 5 children internationally. However, while adoption may not change the world it will change the world for that child and is CHRISTIAN…and I will not back down from believing what I KNOW is a concept that is sanctioned by GOD.

Here is John’s comment in response to my post on ‘advantages of adopting older kids”:

"The folly of this adoption business, unless you are doing it for your own selfish reasons, would it not benefit more of the millions of kids if you were to spend the money in the source country, rather than spending an awful lot of money to look after few kids in America ?If you ask me, you are introducing inequities and resentments to the unlucky once who were not selected.I find the whole business unchristian,Before you critisize, I do my bit and sponsor quite a few orphans in their own countries."

Here are a couple of biblical quotes that show the Christian precedence for adoption:
James 1
22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Ephesians 1: 3-Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[c] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

11In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory….

It should come as no surprise that the two times Paul referred to God as Abba are also the times he described our adoption by God. God sent his Son to redeem us, and God sent his Spirit to confirm his love in our hearts to create a bonding with our Heavenly Father, enabling us to come as children before him and say "Daddy."

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing...they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come. Isaiah 35:1,2a-4a

A father of the fatherless... is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families.. Psalm 68:5a,6a

Jesus was himself adopted by Joseph
Moses and Samuel were adopted
Mordecai adopted Esther

We cannot all adopt children and I cannot possibly change the circumstances in all of the countries that house the 100 million orphans of the world. But in believing the Word and what it says…I chose to DO what God has called me to do personally in adopting His children (more specifically the 4 I have adopted). I do think we also need to try hard to change the world so that one day there will be no more orphans. In the meantime, we need to take care of the children who are suffering while "waiting on the world to change" (John Mayer). I also will be bold enough to say that He is calling many that have to fight and battle to DO what the word and God is calling them to do to adopt. It doesn't help them to acheive GOd's will when they are attacked with people who tell them they are unchristian in adopting. Sponsorship is another option. Missions, helping to change governments is helpful too. But Adoption is a very very Christian concept and one I feel a need to defend for my Lord.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Advantages to adopting sibling group!

I am just reminded and sometimes haunted by the faces of the sibling groups still at Layla and in Ethiopia. In just a little over a month I cannot imagine our lives without our 3 new kids. I also cannot fathom what life would have been like for them had we not come forward to take the leap to adopt all three of them. THe reality of the situation is that there are 4.6 million orphans alone in Ethiopia. Statistics from Unicef show that although Ethiopia is a popular country to adopt from , only one onehundreth of 1% of the orphans are adopted or around 4000 ish a year. Of that one one hundreth of one percent...most people chose to adopt infants...more specifically female infants...this narrows the percentage of the older single adoptable children into the next miniscule percentage. Sibling groups would be the next group that would be attractive to adopt (3rd on the list of the one onehundreth of one percent) that group there are few brave families willing to adopt more than two and beyond that sibling groups of 3 or 4 kids stand even less of a chance..AND it is the exceptional family that choses a sibling group where one or more of the children are age 10 or older. Beyond that there are the special needs children who either have HIV, HEP B, or have other issues...many of them may never enjoy life with a family. With our first adoption we adopted an infant female. I can say that at the time I had many fears regarding older children. BUt I guess once you have adopted once you get a little (or with some people a lot) bolder the next time.

These are the advantages that I personally have experienced from having adopted an older sibling group:
No potty training (with the exception of teaching them to put the toilet paper in the toilet), when one doesn't understand you at least one of the children will be able to figure it out and interpret for you, the kids stand a better chance of remembering their language because they have eachother to speak with, the older girls in Ethiopia have so much joy in helping in the kitchen, kisses every morning, watching as the kids discover TANNA MATANNA (Hannah Montana), there are never left overs (this is an advantage because I was always the one who had to eat them), always someone to play with (this was our son Andrew's observation), the oldest will keep the younger ones in line (you just may have to teach them better techniques than kicking, slapping and hitting as a means of discipline), the kids can share all of the firsts with you (Mom ...look the moon has a cross in it)...or "this staircase is moving... HA!", watching the joy in their eyes when they discover hot water coming out of the faucets or ice from the refridgerator..., having to rely on God and watching as He shows up...seeing Him more everyday...praying more everyday....believing more everyday....Praising God with your children in church.....knowing that you are the one the children have been praying for for over a year to come and get them...and seeing how God made it possible...

There are still children praying at Layla tonight..Some of these kids are 14 or 15 years old and worry about their little brothers and sisters and their own future. Specifically we pray for both Tsions that we know at Layla who are waiting with their siblings...but there are so many others that I haven't had the pleasure of meeting......Please pray for them tonight.....they are praying that someone somewhere will COME.....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

False Alarm!

What a week this has been! Last Thursday the girls had their physical. I asked that they be retested for HIV and Hep B just to confirm the negative status. They had tested negative in Ethiopia so I wasn't worried. Jared's test continued to be negative. I had to come back this week for TB test etc. The Dr. brings us into the room and tells me.."well we have some really interesting stuff to discuss". I am thinking "okay....get to it." She tells me the girls are HIV negative but the tests show them positive to HEp B....I said "what? how can that happen?" It is a sexually transmitted or blood born virus. You can get it through scabs and sores too..there was chicken pox and impetigo at the orphanage.. THe girls were negative on 12/6/06....So, she says it could be acute which means they have it now or it could turn chronic which could mean liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver potentially. She says they probably were infected at the orphanage. In either case she says she needs a few days and we will discuss after they do more tests on the samples. This is all not making sense to me...but Mark and I are in love with the kids and decide to research because we will need to know how to parent HEP B kids. We learn that it can only be contracted through blood (but also bloody toothbrushes, nail clippers). We know we are all vaccinated etc but are very nervous about the kids future health. So, the next day the doctor's office says they can't tell us anything yet. I continue to research on day two I find a website where I personally can interpret the test results. I then find another one on at the CDC. According to my interpretation the girls have been infected in the past 6 months but are no longer infected which means they are now immune and do not have the antigen in their system since that part of the test was negative. I see this interpretation on two sites.. but I realize I am not a doctor and wait. The next day the Dr. calls to tell me that she has good news and basically tells me what I already know from a little research on the internet...and that is that the girls do NOT have HEp B and that they are immune just like I am immune from getting shots. I am simultaneously relieved and very annoyed when this doctor who has been in practice for 25 years gives me this news. I am thinking..."why didn't she know this?" and "hasn't she ever seen Hep B markers before?" AND I am wondering why she sat me down to discuss that there was no way that the girls do not have it just two days ago...SO it infuriated me and now Mark and I are bringing them to a Doctor who has experience in international adoption. We have been at this practice for six years. We are thrilled that our girls are healthy. She also told me that she thinks that the nurses mixed up the blood tests for thyroid and the reading for Grace was wrong so she needs to be retested because the child who looks like she has some thyroid issues is actually Ella. AND Jared had his ears looked at today again by the ENT. His infection is clearing up and he does indeed have two punctured ear drums along with 40% hearing loss....this can be fixed either when the infection clears up or with surgery. SO, we have to keep an eye on him...He may also need a hearing aid to get him through the beginning of kindergarten because the surgeries have to be done on two different days six weeks apart....All of this medical info is exhausting but the plus side is knowing that your kids are extremely healthy now (NO doubt) and that even if they were we would have all loved and prayed them through it......Whew>>>!!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Familiar Vegetables!

I remember my Grandma Jones preparing an impromptu Saturday afternoon lunch. We would drop in and she would go into her cellar canning closet and grab a jar of beans, frozen corn from the downstairs fridge and some beets. She had planted and canned all of these the previous season. There were also jars of homemade jam of blueberry and raspberry. We would sit down to lunch and there were those beets that I had refused to try when I was really little. They were just too strange. When I became 10 and a little more courageous I tried them. I ended up loving the taste of beets. As I grew older, beets ended up becoming one of my favorite vegetables. Eventually, a Pavlovian effect grew in each time I taste them I am transported back to Grandma Jones' kitchen in Illinois. I immediately feel happy and like a child standing next to my grandmother in the kitchen of her sweet pink house. I feel happy and at home. I also feel healthy with the first bite.

Today, I took both Ella and Grace to Whole Foods Market. We stepped into the produce section. For some reason, I was pulled in a very hard way toward the beets. The girls followed me with the cart. First Grace said "mom I don't like"...then Ella says "Mommy , I love I love , I love! Mommy me I love"...I could relate to Ella because I had the same passionate feeling for them. Grace says "No mom...tongue RED"....I laughed and said..."You know beets? Did you have these in Ethiopia." They both said .."Yes mom" and I said " Did your grandmother make them for you.?" and they said "No my mom made." Right then I felt very sad....I was standing in front of the girls planning dinner with them. I wonder what it would be like if I was sent to a far away country when I was little. Would a familiar vegetable bring excitement to my heart too? I wonder if the mere sight of a beet when I was 6 would make me jump for joy in remembrance of a home I had to leave (even though I hated the taste). Would I immediately remember my mother? I wonder if upon seeing the beet I would also remember my mom's smell when she was cooking the beets or if I would remember how my grandmother used to let me play with her dolls when she was peeling potatoes. For myself, I miss my grandmother when I think about her kitchen and her cooking. I long for my grandmother and I had the privilege seeing her live a long life. Her life was not cut short and our time together although it wasn't long was blessed and not cut down by tragedy. The simple things (like standing in the kitchen next to the women you love cooking vegetables) are so important and we take them for granted way too much. I am alive..healthy, breathing and planning on making beets for a side dish with my daughters tonight. Ella, Grace and Jared's mom Bayoush never lived long enough to have a conversation with her 10 year old and 6 year old on whether they even liked beets or what they would want to eat tonight. WOW! We then walked over to the Sweet Potatoes...they both squealed...I said "sweet potatoes in Ethiopia too" They said "yes...." So tonight we peeled sweet potatoes and made beets together. When push came to shove Ella spit out the beets and said "OOOO YUCK"...she'll learn to like them again or maybe when she grows up she will love them simply because they remind her of me.... I am feeling a bonding with Bayoush as I try to get them to love this great vegetable.....My children are teaching me to savor everyday and to not take for granted the simple things like choosing vegetables with your children.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Matea!

Tomorrow our daughter Matea will officially be turning three. For those of you who don't know, Matea is our adopted daughter from Guatemala. Today we had some friends over for cake and coffee to celebrate her birthday. It was so exciting and sweet preparing for this birthday. Our Ethiopian children have never had a birthday of their own and it was very special for them to see this first hand. Grace will be the first of our Ethiopian children to celebrate a birthday in June. She has already told us that she has a few school friends she would like to invite to her party . She turned to me during Matea's party and said "Mom...I very happy". It brings tears to my eyes. We can really take these celebrations for granted but seeing them through the eyes of children who never even really knew of their birth dates...this is just incredible. I see Matea in her princess dresses and I remember what is was like anticipating her arrival home. I think about the pride she has in being a Latina girl from Guatemala (she reminds people she is a GIFT FROM GOD from Guatemala). I think of how much she loves her family and home. I think of how natural it is for her to talk about her adoption already and not feel like it is anything but special. And I am especially touched to see how happy she is having three new siblings. Another extreme blessing was that Naty Price joined us today. Naty was also born in Ethiopia and remembers our children from living in the same orphanage with them. It was surreal and profound for me to see Jared and Naty with their arms around each other playing. And Matea with her friend Sarah who is also adopted...very sweet. After the party we took a walk in our neighborhood, had pizza and cleaned up.

We had an open house today in our old house. According to our realtor quite a few people came. But I will be happier if we end up getting an offer. Please continue to pray. I have to say though that as scared as I am about our old house not selling soon, I am to the point where I just have to surrender. Our new house feels so right, but I have to be some what detached even in this home. God has moved mountains to bring our family together. During Matea's adoption I watched as a courier had to travel 4 hours during mudslides and earthquakes to get the paperwork signed. We endured 3 trips to visit her not knowing even if she would be ours.
With our new three kids God managed to somehow bring three orphans from the village of Asela to an orphanage in Addis all the way to NC to our family. He also made sure that we had people from Ethiopia at our church to translate letters, a child at our church from their orphanage, relatives of our new church friends to meet us in Ethiopia to guide us and translate for our kids. He then made sure the children in NC and the children from Ethiopia all would blend perfectly into one family. He also has kept us all healthy through these transitions and helped us to bond remarkably so.....We are watching as he knits every detailed thread to this quilt we surrender and chose to believe that the one last piece of the quilt will come together in His perfect time....It is scary and hard to hold onto the faith at times but when miracles surround you it is important to keep the focus on the we will keep looking at our beautiful family and just PRAISE GOD!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Greater than the universe!

I am speechless and had to share..This is John Piper. (Please wait for it to load)

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Boys Eat...GO!" (gender equality?)

What's a mom to do? So , growing up in an all female family...and in the 70's. I remember the days of ERA and Gloria Steinem's reign (I won't address her recent comments in the media). And I always liked thinking of myself as someone who expects equal respect etc. And I am the first to say that in some ways I think women are superior in their ability to multi task by pushing out a baby, while on a cell phone making a real estate deal, while organizing the week's meals all in the same breath. That being said, in the past several years I really really also see a huge value in servitude and for myself I love to cook and take care and serve my husband. I like to try to emulate my grandmother and cook for the family and the guys....My new daughters are really really into cleaning. They have made it clear that the kitchen belongs to the gals. We have enjoyed bonding over sweeping, washing, scrubbing and wiping the counters and floors. Today, after breakfast I noticed that both Andrew and Jared just left their plates there and were already at some other part of the house. The girls very joyfully and innocently cleared their plates and continued to clean. You could hear them humming because they literally find joy in the task. I said to them "wait the boys didn't clean their plates" Grace says "it's okay mom....boys eat...go...girls stay clean." It was such a clear and simple true observation and yet I felt I had a dilemma. Do I correct them and say "no boys should always clean up too after themselves" but then I don't want to have to reteach them somewhere down the line what serving their family means. Do I get on the boys case because I don't want them to grow up to be guys that expect to not clean up after themselves all the time? Is it so bad to want to clean up after the guys? So, I decide to continue to encourage the girls to be their joyful selves and just clean. But also, remind the boys they need to clean up after themselves too. The other day Grace cleaned up Andrew and Jared's room. I explained to her that it was really really nice that she did that but it wasn't expected. Tonight Andrew made dinner with the girls. The girls were speed peelers with the potatoes. I have never ever seen anything like it. They explained that they used to peel with a knife in Ethiopia. I really enjoy this time with them. They are all off of school for three weeks.....we took a long walk in the neighborhood today. They all screamed and Grace left Matea in the stroller to face the MONSTER BLACK DOG......a poodle on a leash. So, they all have DOG issues...."ME NO LIKE BLACK DOGS (scream scream run run)" This was actually something that was written in their initial reports. Jared is having a really hard time and still dealing with anger issues when he doesn't get his way...and (another gender equality issue) somehow responds more to Mark then to myself with discipline. He sort of ignores me and will actually says "NO" right to my face....this really gets me upset. He will simply whole heartedly disobey I am really working on it and remembering that according to the studies on children with PTS(post traumatic stress) that we actually have to have time in and remind him that we are not going to leave him. Apparently , some children like to test you to see if you will take off and leave him And also...only one couple showed up to our open house yesterday...uugghh! We still are really nervous about having two mortgages and business picking up....but we are believing and counting our blessings...Mark, Sam, Andrew, Grace, Ella, Jared and Matea....good health, a multitude of friends and the best extended family in the world.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Tonight I am in NYC. I will be here until all Sunday morning. I am not in Times Square and not near any federal buildings (I am making that disclaimer to give my mom so comfort). Anyhow, the kids are doing very well. Although, I had to really discipline Jared again yesterday because he was started to not obey again. BUT he is extremely sweet otherwise. He had his ENT appointment today and we are now on ear drops (cipro) for two weeks. The Doctor will then revisit it. The doctor isn't sure but MAY see a punctured ear drum on the left side. He said he can't tell because of all of the fluid. However, all other test are normal. I had thought the doctors had taken a CBC test but it was just a test for HEP and retest of HIV which he is negative on all...SOOO he will need to take another blood test....The girls have their physicals on 3/13. AND for the next 3 weeks all 5 children (with the exception of Sam) are tracked out....SO...we have to find things to entertain them and give eachother (Mark and I) opportunities to work and continue to unpack the house....I don't like year round school a whole lot especially when one of my children is in traditional school.

This week my cousin Nora visited. We really enjoyed having her here. She ordered italian and i didn't have to cook. Plus, she brought a million sweet treats for us. Jared enjoyed both Nora and her husband Ron.

I actually have enjoyed my quiet time here in my hotel room tonight. But I had 3 meetings today. Tomorrow I have 4 meetings and will be back in my hotel room around 8 to enjoy the solitude. I then work on Saturday night and fly back on sunday morning.....with very little sleep.

Our house still hasn't sold and we have only had 2 people look in the past couple of weeks with the exception of the open house which hasn't warranted any success yet. But we are having another one on sunday so keeping our fingers crossed. Starting on 4/1 we have to be paying two mortgages....

Thank you Janine in Rockford for the most wonderful gift and encouragement etc. I will plant the wheat...

Overall, I am trying not to worry so much about the house not selling or our finances. I am trying to look at the big picture. We are healthy...our family is adapting really really well, our new house is beautiful and we are living one day and counting our blessings...believing God will provide and concentrating on practicing faith which means pushing through doubt etc....