Having someone to love is FAMILY. Having somewhere to go is HOME. Having both is a BLESSING.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Miss Mess! Adoption Update

Finally we have more news worth sharing. We are sooooo ready to settle into normal life. In between going to campmeeting and getting Daryl to and from his missions trip as well as squeezing our neices wedding in there, we have been running here and running there for this adoption. Our home study is complete but there was soooooo much paper work to fill out and all of us had to have physicals done and more paper work filled out to prove that we were healthy enough to care for a toddler. Then Nevaeh had to have a physical (with paperwork) and another immunization. Updated clearances for Mark, Daryl and myself had to be run and water testing had to take place. Interiviews with the adoption counselor doing the homestudy took more of our precious time. Our regular caseworker continues her couple visits a month, the charge case manager visits each month, and now that we are considered pre-adoptive, we have to have the adoption counselor visit every month until an adoption is finalized. I have to tell ya', it feels like my home has turned into Grand Central Station. You surely know that the phone is also ringing off the hook most of the time. I've heard people saying that they can't believe where the summer is going and I feel like saying, "Summer? What's summer?" I have to say, "I'm exhausted!"
July 20, Monday morning, another permanency hearing for Nevaeh took place. We did not have to be there as we were represented by our case workers. Samantha called me today to give me the scoop. There's good news and sort of bad news . Every time something good happens, the devil throws another boulder or pothole in our path. Apparently, he intends to fight this thing to the end. That being said, I need to beg you one more time to pray for our family and this need. I really am so tired that it's hard to even pray. I'd have to admit that I'm stuck somewhere between a wimper and a sigh. I have not lost faith in my God. I still believe that He is in complete control but I am feeling weary in well doing. I also know that there is a "Be not..." in front of that weary in well doing when I read it in my Bible.
"Dear God, please hold on to me because I'm so tired I can't hold on by myself."
And I know He will as He always does.

Finally Home!!

At the airport waiting for Daryl to arrive!

Miss Happy Face

We stood back and pointed Daryl out to Nevaeh. When we put her down she ran over to Daryl and wanted up.

Nevaeh acted like she couldn't believe he was real. She kept rubbing her hand back and forth just below his neck. She stared at him a lot.

Daryl's luggage was soaked clear through. Daryl was telling his Dad about the storm and downpour at his layover. Obviously his luggage was out in it. Fortunately, nothing was permanently damaged.

Waiting to be picked up.

We stopped for supper at the Cracker Barrel.
Daryl said that he wanted something besides fish, chicken and rice!

The older gentleman in the yellow shirt, sitting just behind Nevaeh stopped on his way out to comment that Nevaeh was sitting there like Your Most Royal Highness!

Rob was so excited about having Daryl home that he wanted to decorate and have a family party. He is responsible for the doodads! Rob even baked a Cocoa Cola cake for our party. Yep!! There were presents too!

Checkin' out the cake!

Cool baloons

These guys were so tired but we HAD to have cake anyway! Really, I think it was around 10:00 PM. After a two hour ride to the airport and a two hour ride home, anybody would feel tired.

Then, Daryl was led to his new bedroom. Did he like it? You bet he did. It was so much fun getting it ready. He and Robert actually changed rooms and then the rooms had to have a makeover, of course. Robert likes cowboys, ranching and horses while Daryl likes wildlife and hunting. The brown walls are painted to look like brown leather. I especially enjoy this style of painting.

Two facing walls are "brown leather" while the other two facing walls are painted plain creme. This balances out the walls. Since the carpet it blue, I painted the ceiling a slightly lighter shade of blue but kept it in the same blue family. This balances out the color of the whole room. In time, I may add a wallpaper border on the creme walls at the ceiling if I find something just right.

It was so much fun to personalize the room for Daryl. I ran out of time, so I still have to paint that white register behind the desk and the closet doors need a fresh coat of paint.

Daryl love, love, LOVED the new rocker made from hickory limbs and since this room is a little smaller, it was a better chair choice than the lazy boy he had in the other room. The reason we changed rooms is that Robbie is willing to share his bedroom with another "foster brother" someday. Daryl is almost 16 and rather likes his private space which is okay. It just made more sense to have a smaller room for one guy, and the larger room for more than one guy.
What does Rob's room look like, you wonder?
You'll have to wait till another time. This is Daryl's time!
Boy! Am I ever glad to have my boy back!!!

Though they won't always admit it, because mushy stuff is gross, these guys really do love each other and I think they both missed each other quite a bit. I know Rob just wanted everything to be perfect for Daryl's homecoming!

Before going to bed, Daryl had to get out his guitar and serenade us a little.
It was sure nice to hear that again, too!
I can't believe how much I just missed his voice!
He was singing for us in Spanish here. It was awesome!
Daryl said that he learned more Spanish in the month abroad, than he did in a year of book study.
We'll post some of his pictures later from the trip.
This, my friends, is just one of the many chiggar bites that Daryl got. They were really no big deal aside from the incredible itch but they look awful. Daryl also picked up a germ which causes an issue that makes you run for the facilities frequently. We were advised to take him to a physician, and since the need arose on a holiday weekend, we were told to take him to the ER. He was NOT thrilled about this, but the sooner, the better. As it turned out, his body did begin fighting and was able to resolve itself without drastic measures or IV medication. I am thankful for that!

This is Daryl, sharing in an evening service at our church. He put some of his pictures on a slideshow, and told about some of the places he had been and people he had met and things he had done. I truly believe that this experience has made an incredible impact in Daryl's life already and I think that as he continues to ponder his adventure, it will have a long lasting effect.
I know he is truly grateful for the opportunity to have experienced this trip and we thank you for your prayers and financial support. I know that Daryl is going to try to put together a powerpoint DVD to send to his contributors as his way of thanking you.

I know, I know. It's blurry but I got a new camera and nobody seems to be able to make it focus properly. Daryl sang for the church people in Spanish. He did such a good job in his service. This TLC trip has done so much for his personal confidence and has helped him with direction for his future. I love how God shows himself and proves his caring to young people.
I am so thankful to God for his leadership, his direction, and for keeping Daryl and his team members safe throughout this experience.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Family Camp 2009

'Tis the season for campmeeting,
At the end of June, our family (minus Daryl), traveled to Mendon, Ohio for annual conference and family camp. Mark holds credentials as an ordained elder of the Heartland Bible Methodist Connection of churches. Our Bishop is Rev. G. Clair Sams. For our family, this experience still feels new and so we are still meeting some people for the first time. It was nice to get to know a few people a little better--Leanna, her mother and some whose names I can't quite remember off the top of my head. Wow! God's family is so vast!!

This is the motorhome that we have been permitted to use for the past two years for camp and it has been a great blessing. Thank you, Sykes! It made camp easier last year, and with having a toddler this year, ----well, it made camp soooo much easier this year.

The driver

The copilot

The backseat driver
I am thankful that she travels so well.

This is my sweet and wonderful, what would I do without you, friend!
Kristin Paulus persuaded her husband (who loves me too!) to come and visit one day during camp. This was one of my highlights of the week. The visit was just way too short!

This was the very first time that Kristin got to hold my precious baby. Pictures are great, but they just don't always cut it, y'know. Sometimes you just need the real thing!!!

This is my Randalynn. Well, she really belongs to Kristin, but she's mine too.
My visit wouldn't have been right without her hug!!!!

This is Autumn Lauree'. I almost delivered her at birth, truly, but that's another story in itself. She shares my name. I love you, Skeezix!!

This is sweet baby Nikala and this visit was the first I got to hold her.
Your visit meant more than you'll ever know, my Kricket!

Then, this is my "little sister" Kim and her darling husband James! *whisper* He's so much fun to tease, but I really do love him! Kim and James came down from Indiana and spent part of the weekend with us. It was soooooo awesome to see you guys. Thank you, James for coming and bringing Sis to spend some time. I love you for it!

This is Jesse Keep and Rob. He's Rob's new friend. Spending time with Jesse was Rob's favorite time of camp this year.

When Mark asked me why I was taking this photo, I told him it was proof that I'm not the one always holding up a departure and it was high time I get me some proof!!!
This was taken Sunday evening just before we pulled out to head for home.