Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Rest of Life

I don't want anyone to be under the false impression that all I do is sit around my house and brood about the adoption. To be completely honest, I try not to spend too much time thinking about it at all (keeping the mind busy). But also, I have a great and full and wonderful life.

Hey guys, can I take a not-goofy picture of you?

And since everyone everywhere is talking about back-to-school, I thought I would gush about Back-to-Homeschool!

Yep, I said 'gush.'

Why? Because even though it's hard and busy and time-consuming and mentally challenging, I still love it. I love spending time with my kids, helping them learn. I love watching them grown and develop. Although, I would honestly love to let another person focus on all the character training, it is part of my responsibility.

And I love what we learn. We have a full docket this year and I want you to hear about it. I've spent a great deal of time thinking, praying and planning for this year--and you should know. (Part of it is because for some, homeschooling is still not a legitimate form of education. I want you to see that for me, and many others, we take this stuff seriously.)

So this year we're learning:

Olivia at her desk.
  • All about the history and geography of the 19th century (read: 1800s--westward expansion, colonialism, slavery and the civil war, industrial revolution). I could go on and on about how much I love history, but, I refrain. . .
  • Writing, grammar, spelling, journalling,
  • Bible study on Missionaries and the Gospel of John
  • Chemistry (at the kid's request--and I'm a bit excited.)
  • Art--following the Impressionist and Modern artists of the last two centuries
  • Math--all kinds of math. Seriously. Three levels of math. Math that I now have to actually read the teacher's manual in order to know how to conceptually teach it.
  • And Kindergarten--who could forget all the fun stories and hands on projects of Kindergarten. I'm thrilled to be in Kindergarten for the 4th time in my life. I'm enjoying it much more now!
  • Josh at his desk
  • P.E.--yep, gotta have that component. You have to learn the rules to games like basketball, soccer. And you have to learn to run laps!
  • Oh, and field trips! I'm super excited about all the field trips we have scheduled for this year!

Lest you think it's all about academic work, it's not. It's also about:

  • Working and living and being together, A LOT!
  • Helping each other out in times of need.
  • Learning to work independently.
    Katie at her desk
  • Life skills--working in the kitchen, personal responsibility for your own stuff, cleaning, laundry, errands, running a household.
  • Oh, and fun! We try to have lots of fun together!

Homeschooling has just become part of our lives, how we live and shape our family. And for all the struggle, it has been good. Our family has grown, I've grown (probably me the most of anyone).

And now for the obligatory pictures!

I took this pics on our second day of school. (why not the first you ask--mostly because we hadn't gotten our new back-to-school outfits and we all look sorta sloppy.) As it was, not everyone was particularly thrilled about pictures. (Can you tell?)

3rd Grade
2nd Grade
School Photo

Finally, a great picture of my goofy kids!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Status Report Mr. Spock. . .

This blog has been silent a lot lately. 

So I thought it was time to break silence with a bit of a status report. 

But let's back up a bit to see where we are. Exactly 17 months ago, Eric and I decided to go forward and begin proceedings on a sibling adoption from Lesotho. We are still currently waiting for there to be a matching meeting where our dossier will be matched with a waiting sibling set. We have no idea when this meeting could be. It could be next week, could be next year. 

About 10 months ago, Eric was asked to consider applying for a new job. He did--got the job and started it at the end of April. 

Since these two things have happened (or not happened), our lives have been turned completely upside down. There really is no other way to describe these past few months. We've combined the major, life-changing actions of job change with the emotional up-and-down process of an adoption. We have been totally changed, yet I have a difficult time explaining exactly how. 

About the time that we were considering the new job, I heard a song that changed my perspective. This job came with a significant cut in pay. As we were struggling with what that would look like, I heard this song (Choose song #7--Enough) by Shaun Groves. 

The text is from Proverbs 30:7-9 and reads like this:

Two things I ask of you, Lord;
    do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
    give me neither poverty nor riches,
    but give me only my daily bread. 
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
    and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ 
Or I may become poor and steal,
    and so dishonor the name of my God.

And in that moment, that was my prayer, that whatever happened we would have enough. Primarily, at that time, my concern was money. Just enough money to pay our bills and pay adoption expenses. (Side note: my dad once told me that such prayers were foolish--now I understand what he meant, not to not pray them, but that they often have results that we could never imagine.)

But instead in these months of transition, waiting, uncertainty, and change, God has given us only enough of everything. 
  • Enough failure to make us dependent on Him and each other;
  • Enough (barely) sleep and coffee to make us function;
  • Enough hope (but not much) that someday this adoption will actually happen;
  • Enough friends and family supporting us to know that God has hands and feet to carry us when we need it; 
  • Enough money to meet our requirements (but my definition of enough seems to be more differ slightly from God's).

And we've been fortunate to have our eyes opened that in some powerful, life-changing ways, he's given more than enough:
      -More grace and forgiveness than I have ever deserved
      -More blessings in the form of the love & joy of my family than I had ever realized

So what's our status? To be honest, we're hanging in there. Some days are smooth and easy, some days we want to throw in every towel we have, hunker down inside our home and close our ears and eyes to the world, some days we want to quit--because waiting is hard and emotional and there are no easy answers, no clear paths and life was easier then. 

How are we going to make it? Simple, we wait--wait for God and his provision and timing and grace. We wake up each morning and thank God for the day that we are given and use it to his glory, whether in the workplace or in our home. We pray for ourselves, our family, and our kids waiting to come home. We keep our eyes open to the magnificent ways God blesses us in every single season, day, hour and minute (even when we don't always understand). 

And we will remember, no matter how we feel, that God is a good God

All the time.