Saturday, December 8, 2007

We found a house....moving in 3 weeks..

We finally have an accepted offer on a nice home in Florida. It is only a year old. The previous owners had a job transfer also and had only lived in the home for six months. He was a general manager for Lowe's so the house has lots of upgrades. The kitchen is awesome! I'm looking forward to working in that area with all the kids.

However, we're all going through the realization that we are really moving. Pack and load dates are scheduled for the day after Christmas. We expect to be celebrating New Year's in the new place. With that in mind I've found myself being pulled between being excited to be moving into a new place and very sad and weepy to be leaving our oldest three girls and their families.

Regarding the timeframes for the adoption.... since we don't know if we'll travel within the 30 day window it takes to establish residency in the new state, we'll have to get an updated homestudy done and our address updated on the necessary papers. We'll be starting that as soon as we get moved in so that we'll be ready when we get the call to pickup Abraham, Kindness and Diamond.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Looking for a home in Florida

Del and I are in sunny Florida now (have been for a week) looking at houses around Gainesville. Although it is beautiful weather, I'm having a hard time turning on the car AC in December!!! for pete's sake. We spoke with the kids today and they had about 6 inches of snow last night and then rain this morning that is turning to ice.

We've put in an offer on one house that was rejected last week. Then we put in an offer on another house on Friday night that is held by a relocation property. We're waiting for Monday morning to hear back on the status of our offer. It is a nice home with enough room for us. We're supposed to go home on Wednesday so getting an accepted offer is our goal. So pray for our success.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. A few things I'm thankful for are our wonderful bio kids and their families, our three Liberians waiting for us, our health and the health of our extended family and our farm buyer. We signed the papers to sell our farm yesterday and will travel Sunday to go househunting. The move date is set for after Christmas so the countdown has begun.

The adoption has been slowed down in the US Embassy in Liberia. Evidently the recent passport/visa issues in the USA caused the new consular's helpers to be delayed in getting to their new Liberian post. I did my civic duty along with many other parents adopting from Liberian and contacted my government officials, including the state dept., to find out if there was anything we as parents needed to do to advocate for our kids in getting the adoptions back up to speed. The number of families traveling to get kids per month has slowed by 2/3 since this summer due to a number of issues. This caused our case to be delayed, too. However, according to the lady in charge of children's issues in the US State Dept., help is on the way to Liberia and should be in place by early December. Good news!

So, our time line is first week in December - find a new home in Florida, December 26 - the movers come to start packing what we have left, New Year's Eve - be in Florida, January 2 or 3 - deliver household goods to new home.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

We Sold Our Farm!!!

We finally sold our farm!! Our renter that has been using our farmland came to us with an offer that we couldn't refuse. The closing date is set for November 26. After that Del and I travel to Florida to find a new home. We are full of mixed emotions for leaving behind our family. Yet we know that we will be visiting often. I have lots of respect for missionaries!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Grandma fell but she's okay

My 95 yo Grandma fell last Wednesday night. Thankfully she didn't break any bones but she did have a slight fracture to her spine. It was so slight that the doctors aren't doing anything for it. However, she did move to a nursing home on Monday. Grandma never wanted to go to a nursing home but she decided that she would since it would be a temporary rehabilitation. :-)
The nursing home is more of a group home where the residents can help with meals, etc., if they can. I think Grandma will do okay if she can help "take care of the old people" like she says. Grandma has been a great example of a Christian woman her whole life and she is still teaching us how to be faithful while growing older.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Please Go Away!

So here's the latest..... After hearing from 'The Buyers' on Monday, we gave them three options which included not buying our farm. They were supposed to respond by Tuesday evening which they did not. Wednesday morning my DH told our realtors to tell 'The Buyers' to "please go away" if they happened to call back because we were done dealing with them. That afternoon our realtor told us that they got to tell 'The Buyers' to go away when they called the realtors to try to make some more deals. 'The Buyers' were flabbergasted that we didn't want their business. I guess they didn't think stringing people along for weeks was frustrating or else, that we were so desperate to sell that they could do what they liked and we'd still sell to them. Surprise!

In summary, we trusted that God would bring the right buyer for our farm in the right time when we let go of 'The Buyers'. Now we have a showing on Thursday evening with new people. How cool is that! Maybe these are the right buyers? We're praying for them, whomever they are.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Guess what?! They're back!!

Well I now know for certain God has a sense of humor! After Friday night we thought we were done with our buyers. So this morning I went to our homeschool group and told everyone the deal fell through. When I got home I found out the buyers had come back to the bargaining table. Oh well, more fodder for the blog.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More new pictures

Lessons in Patience & new pictures

Well, I guess God thinks we haven't learned our lessons in patience this summer because we are having more lessons. In case you're wondering what I am talking about..... the farm sale deal fell through over the weekend. We were disappointed and had to quickly cancel airplane reservations we'd made to go househunting. However, we feel relieved that we're no longer struggling to close that particular deal. We're regrouping this weekend and will let you know what's going on as soon as we figure it out!

On a positive note, we did get a chance to babysit two of our granddaughters for a couple of days and visit extended family at a birthday party. We hadn't seen some of my DH aunts and uncles for a few years so it was great to visit with them this weekend and renew family ties. The photo albums were flying fast and furiously!

Another positive thing was that we received new pictures of Abraham, Diamond and Kindness. The orphanage also sent orphan reports which told more about their character, personalities and physical details such as clothing sizes. We had a surprise when we found out that Abraham was actually 9 years going on 10 years old rather than the 7 years going on 8 years. It turns out their Liberian father didn't want the kids split up between two orphanages and told AOH that Abraham (or AB as he is known at the orphanage) was younger. Our youngest bio boy was a bit disappointed that he wasn't older than Abraham but he decided he could manage. Phew!

Here is a great picture of all three taken in the last couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Farm Sale update

Well, we have an accepted offer for our farm. Although, we're not going to celebrate until all the buyer's inspections are done and we find out the results. If the buyer isn't pleased, they can cancel the offer. We're a little concerned because the house is over 100 yrs old and the barn is also old. We've been restoring the farm but there is still much to be done. The buyer seems to want to continue to restore the farm but we aren't sure if the inspection is for their peace of mind or to negotiate the price, which we won't do ...... we will wait and trust in the Lord.

Our prayer request would be that the buyer is satisfied with the inspections and that the price stands as agreed. The inspection is next week.

This is our barn which authenticates our farm! I think it is beautiful!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Grandma's Teachings

This has been a busy week. The family is scattered across states for work and visiting. We got our oldest at-home daughter's passport as a backup in case we get the call to pickup the kids when we're trying to move. AND we got an offer on the farm last night. I wish I could say 'whoo-hoo' about the offer. It isn't what we were hoping for but then, does anyone get what they want in today's real estate market? So we countered. I'll let you know how that goes.

Most of the kids-at-home and I went to visit my dad, my sister and my Grandma B. at the beginning of the week. It was great. We stopped by to see my daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter Mattea on the way. Mattea is learning the army crawl. Lots of fun to watch her. My uncle from AZ was visiting Grandma so I got to see him, too. In fact, we took him to the airport on our way home.

My Grandma is 95, still lives at home, still drives to the Sr. Center and helps to take care of the "old people". However, her knees are bad and we found out in June that she has cancer. Grandma is a pillar of faith and makes sure to tell everyone often that she is so thankful for all the blessings in her life. Her daughter, my mom, died of cancer five years ago and was the same way. So it is easy to see where Mom got her great attitude. We were looking at old pictures and films with Grandma. What a treat to see all our relatives again. The other saying that Grandma uses is that 'each day is the Lord's day'. She says she wakes up and asks God what he has in store for her that day. I was wondering what to name this blog and I think I'll name it after Grandma.

With this in mind regarding what God has planned, I called Donna at AOH to see if she had any ideas where we were on the adoption schedule. Because of the difficulties a few families had with their adoption and because of the new US consular in Liberia all the adoptions have been pushed back about a month. So it looks like we won't have the kids home until January. We are on the October list for finalization, then it is about 6 weeks for a passport, and another 6-8 weeks for visa and traveling. Althought it seems like forever, we got our first referral in April so mid-April to January is not bad at all. Of course, we'll see what the Lord has in store for us all! I do hope Grandma B. will meet the kids. She was already passing around the pictures I had given her. Grandma has 21 grandchildren, 43 greats and 9 great great grandchildren, if I counted right! Our new three will make that 46 great grandchildren!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Erik's birthday and moving preparations

Yesterday was Erik's birthday. It is hard to believe he is 15 already. Erik chose to make his own birthday dinner of roast duck with portobella mushrooms and Pinot Noir sauce over barley, carrots with butter and brown sugar, and potatoes and onions cooked with Pinot Noir. Craig and I made a yellow cake to put candles on and served it with ice cream. The meal was delicious.
Erik was a little down, though, because he had hoped we would have already moved by now. Plus, we had helped our daughter Jessica move into a new apartment the day before so that was a reminder that we hadn't moved yet. After a good meal and some laughter, Erik was feeling better. We are all tired of being in limbo waiting for the farm to sell and being able to move on with our life. Lord willing, we won't have to wait too much longer.
We haven't heard any more from the agency about the adoption except that the kids are doing fine and Abraham is a great dancer plus a bunch of new pictures of the kids. I figure as long as we get new pictures, we're still on track to finalize the adoption and move onto the visa. Some families haven't been so fortunate. They are in our prayers.

More Kindness pictures

These pictures are about two weeks old.

Diamond photos

These pictures are from June and July.

New pictures of Abraham...

Abraham is the next Fred Astaire according to Donna.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Kindness pics

These are pictures of Kindness taken in June.

Happy Birthday, Kindness!!

Today is Kindness's first birthday. We look forward to celebrating more birthdays with her and the rest of the kids. We also celebrated Craig and Erik's birthday on Sunday with all our kids. My dad and sister and my inlaws were able to be here as well. It was a lot of fun. We had 18 for lunch. I had planned leftovers so we had plenty of food!
Our oldest daughters are saving our granddaughters' hand-me-down clothes for Kindness to use when she gets here. And last week we received a gift of clothes for Diamond (our middle one) from the S family. The S family had adopted a little girl, too, and passed along her outgrown clothes to us. What a blessing their gift was to us! Thank you girls and S family!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Family Time

Today we went to the used book stores to try to find books off the kids' reading list for schooling. The first store yielded a few books after much searching. The second store had TONs of books on my lists however, they were all in the vintage books pricing scheme. I love old books but I couldn't bring myself to buy them at those prices knowing that they would never last through the kids reading them. I'll have to keep searching or print them off an ebook site. We are starting school next week with the Robinson Curriculum method. We have used an eclectic mix for a while now but Del and I felt this method would be best for the kids and I as we add our three newbies to the family this fall.

Last night was Craig's twelfth birthday. It is hard to believe he is that old already! I am always amazed how quickly they grow up. We have three beautiful granddaughters that are changing every time we see them. It is so great to be a grandma. The only drawback is not being right next door. I'd love that. Now with the impending move with Del's work we'll be even farther away. I keep reminding myself that Abraham and Sarah moved so far away from their families and not once but a few times. God will provide and we will survive. I'm looking forward to Sunday when my dad and sister and all the kids (and their families) will be with us to celebrate Craig and Erik's birthdays together.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Welcome to our world

This is the first picture we received of Abraham, Diamond and Kindness when we got our referral. They are siblings. From what we know, their father brought them to the orphanage a few months after their mother died. He has other children and can't provide for the basic needs of these younger kids. Donna wrote a recent blog called 'Unconditional Love' about witnessing a mother bringing her children to the orphanage and how hard it must have been for her and the kids. It was very poignant.

We received our referral in April and are hoping for finalization of the adoption in Liberia in September. Then we wait another month or so for the kids to receive their US Visas to be able to bring them home. Add to this drama is the fact that we are also trying to sell our farm and relocate to over 1000 miles away. God is teaching us all patience this year!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

First try at blogging!

Our site is under construction. Please be patient as I get it ready to view.