Friday, August 27, 2010

Generations of Grace

Tomorrow we are going on our first little overnight "road trip".  We are going to Florence to see my Mama Dot and Papa, and to celebrate my Mama Dot's 92nd birthday!  I am excited for several reasons.  The first reason, and most obvious, is for the children to meet their very large family!  Secondly, and a bit selfishly, I guess, is that I want my grandparents to meet their newest great grandchildren before Mama Dot and Papa are called home to Jesus.  Papa is 94, and his health is declining fairly rapidly.  Randy and I are the last of the 4 grandchildren to bring children into our family. 
After we celebrate with the family, the 4 of us are going to stay in a hotel in town and spend time as  a family.  The children are excited about swimming, and Randy and I are excited about NO alarm clocks!  Our prayer is that we would get there safely, have a great time, and that the children arenn't too overwhelmed, or overwhelmING!
I think we'll have a good time:)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Tuggles and Giggles"

When we go to bed at night, Katherine likes to, what she calls, "tuggle".  She loves to "tuggle" with mommy and daddy.  Before long, she's fast asleep, even after insisting she is NOT tired!  Tonight she and I were "tuggling", and she said, "I love you to the stars and back".  Then I responded that I loved HER to the MOON and back".  she said, "no ya don't".  So I asked her, "well, how much do I love you?"  Her response made me smile.  She said, "Yeah, you do love me that big.  I love you that big too".  I then told her I loved her all the way up to Heaven.  Her reply, "I love you all the way up to Jesus, and I really like Jesus!"
 Then, the giggles started.  I told her, "I love you more than a new pair of shoes, and I really like new shoes..."
She and I both started giggling at that moment, and when she gets going, she can't stop!  So then daddy came in for some Katherine time and I went in Will's room for some Will time.  Before I knew it, she had dissolved into a puddle of giggles again!  Apparently daddy had whacked his head on her headboard.  She told him, "I knew you were going to do that, but I didn't tell you".  she told him, "Mommy is better at tuggling".  Daddy said, "Yeah, well mommy is a lot shorter than daddy and fits in your bed a whole lot easier".
Another advantage of being short.  Whoever said, "Short people got no reason to live...." was obviously mistaken:)

Friday, August 13, 2010


I cry at everything.  Yes, I'm a leaker!  I cry when the National Anthem is being played, I cry over music that moves me, and some say (which is false by the way) that I would even cry at a grand opening of a grocery store! 
During our journey to parenthood, however, I've been amazingly dry eyed- until last night.  Randy was paying for my birthday present, a really cool bike so I can keep up with our very active children!  As he was doing that, I was looking around at some frames.  Frames, of all things!  Then it hit me.  Our "Family" frame will look totally different now.  All I could imagine was filling up all those frames with their neat sayings etched in, just filling every square inch of wall space with frames- our life in frames! Then it hit me- WHAM-O! 
So that's what did it.  Frames.  Rectangualrly  shaped pieces of wood.  I'm crying in the frames department of Sears.  Crazy, huh?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You Are Our Samuel

You Are Our Samuel
by Randy McKeithan

You are our Samuel
Cried for to the throne of grace;
Heaven has heard our longing hearts,
In God we stand amazed.

In prayer you have been lifted up,
In faith our hopes made true;
A blessed joy to have you home,
In our loving family through
The amazing grace of God
That has brought you to this day.
Only God could place you here with us,
My Christ, You are The Way.

I've poured my heart for wisdom,
Help me, Abba, to be their dad.
Son and daughter you are cherished,
In God's love may your days be glad.

Your mother looked at your photo,
longing to hold you near;
To cradle you with loving warmth,
Do you know that you are dear?

Oh, how we've waited for this hour,
You in our tender care.
Truly you are a gift from God
We wrap you tightly in prayer.

for as you rise and walk and play,
You're treasured every moment, every second of each day.
And every night as you lie down,
And drift to peaceful rest,
These parent eyes will look on you
And know we're truly blessed.

You are our Samuel
Cried for to the throne of grace.
Heaven has heard our longing hearts,
In God's love we stand amazed.

All Because of a Case Of Strep Throat

Late in 2009, I had decided that 2010 was going to be THE YEAR- the year to change things, to get things done; the year to really make a difference.  I was hopeful for the chance to not only make a big change and a difference in my life, but to make a difference in the lives of others as well.
To that end, Randy and I started working on things as a family, and personally.  Together, we took the 12 week "Financial Peace University" course by Dave Ramsey.  It had a huge impact.  Personally, we both committed to better health and fitness for ourselves, and pursued avenues for that.

Still, I hoped beyond hope that our family would grow.  My prayer, my petition, my plea,  was that God help us to grow our family THIS YEAR.   I had a little talk with God, (we all know how those go, right?) and told him that if nothing was in "the works" by New Years Eve 2010, I was giving up my hope for children, was going to enroll in school for my masters, and start saving so Randy and I could begin some serious traveling.  I needed closure.  I needed not to torment my mind and emotions with, "maybe this month", or "that call is right around the corner".  I had to have a resolution, one way or another.

One evening, we were out to dinner with friends- our standing "double date" with our very close buds.  My cell phone buzzed, and I took the call.  Normally I would not have answered while out to dinner, but we were still in the car, so I did.  Randy, my friend Kim and I were in the car on the way to meet up with Kim's husband.  On the other end was my friend Pamela.  Pamela has  a heart for growing families by adoption, and instantly I knew what this call was about.  I don't know how, I just knew.
Pamela asked me if we had been re-considering adoption.  We had.  She then asked how I felt about older children and sibling groups.  My answer was that if we had been able to "create our own", we would have school aged children, and hopefully a "sibling group" of our own.  She proceeded to tell me the details of the situation.  It sounded interesting, but I would talk to Randy when we got home.  Of course, I was on pins and needles to have that talk all night!  After Randy and I talked, we called Pamela back and told her we were definitely interested.

Thus began the flurry of activity.  We got in touch with Pamela's friend Carri, who is the director of Special Link.  It's an adoption agency/clearinghouse that deals primarily with special needs and biracial adoptions.  We learned about the children- Will, age 8 and Katherine- age 6.   They were of Peruvian descent, but lived in the upstate, as we South Carolinian's call it, with a loving family and 7 other adopted brothers and sisters.  The family that had taken them in was older, and wished for more for these children than they could give.  The children were loved, cared for and protected, but their family just wanted them to have a younger couple who loved the Lord and could keep up with the demands of school aged children.  Things were sounding promising, and it looked like we might fit the bill.
Our First Beach Trip
The homestudy was scheduled and we went into motion.  Our wonderful and gracious pastor helped us find funding.  He knows our hearts, and our desire for a family.  It's such a blessing to have a pastor who knows you by name, and knows the needs of your family, without you having to say much.  Our pastor is that kind of Shepherd.  He is a man of God and seeks God's will daily. 

Then, craziness happened.  The week of the homestudy, Randy's identity was stolen, and someone had a little fun in a Wal Mart in another part of the state.  That was resolved, and we were able to have our homestudy done.  The next week, the family was here at the beach on vacation.  We were able to meet a good majority of the family, and finally meet Will and Katherine.  We had seen one picture, and were instantly in love.

Katherine steering the Shrimp Trawler
We met the family at a Greek restaurant after church on Sunday, August 1.  That week, we were able to spend time with the kids and do some "bonding".  We had so much fun going to the beach, the fun park, the movies, to our house for a sleepover, and to the Childrens Museum of the Lowcountry.  By the end of the week, that love was quite mutual, and the family with whom the children lived felt 100 % sure that we were the ones to raise these precious ones.

You may be wondering by now what a case of step throat has to do with our journey.  The night my friend Pamela made that initial call, she was supposed to be on a plane to Pennsylvania for a wedding, but her 3 year old son had come down with strep throat.  She was so upset that she couldn't go.  Later, her husband pointed out to her that if Matthew had not been sick, and she had been en route to the wedding, she never would have been chatting with Carri, and would have not known about this situation.  WOW.  I guess I need to send that couple a wedding present!

Currently, we are in a race to get everything signed.  If all goes well, we'll pick them up to come to their forever home on Friday.  To God be the Glory for the things he has done, and is going to do.