Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Can I call you mom?"

Oh my gosh, I am in such a tizzy! I just got an email from my sweet "son" who lives at Kolfe orphanage in Ethiopia.

You probably remember "B" from my many posts...his sweet smile has been plastered all over my two blogs, my office, and my house ever since I met him last April.

On Monday I received awesome news from a woman who also has a son at Kolfe - she informed me that she had her son Solomon set up an e-mail account for B. I was so excited that I quickly fired off an e-mail to him tellling him who I was and how much I love him. I asked him if there was anything he needed that I could help him with, I told him that I was sending him a package soon, and I told him to study diligently. Mom stuff, really.

But I have to be honest, it sort of felt like when I was 12 and wrote to Michael Jackson. He seemed so unreachable and I felt that chances were slim that I would actually get a reply. This wasn't my first attempt at trying to reach him.

But God is so much bigger than my doubts.

Today I woke up to the greatest e-mail I have ever read:

Hello Erin,

How are you doing? I’m so excited to hear that someone thinks about me every day in America. Wow how GOD plan is awesome!!! This is really amazing. Erin I remember you very well. I have still the poster that you give for me. I thought that you are forgetting about me before. I didn’t know that I have a place in your heart. I couldn’t believe when I read the message you send for me. I am so excited God because of God chooses you for me. I didn’t have an email address before. Solomon got for me this email address. Even I didn’t know why he did this before. I want to thank him. He is such a good young man. He is Just a role model for all kolfe boys. If he didn’t get for me this email address how can I found you?

Erin can I call you mom? I want you to be my family forever. I need clothes and shoes, exercise books. And pens for school. These are the problem I have but primarily I need some money that I pay for the Internet. There is no internet connection in Kolfe. I use internet cafĂ© by paying 20 cents for one minute. I am a student so; I don’t have any means of income. Even I wrote for you this message by the help of Solomon. He prints your message for me and gives for me the money to write for you. I need to talk to you at least twice a week. What do you think?

Erin school is going too very well. I am study hard to get good result than before. Thank you for your advice. I want to grow by God words and also Good student that proud his family. Erin know that you also a big place in my heart and I love you vey vey very much. R doing very well. I told about you for her and she is very excited. She also sends for you her love. I love you and miss you so much. I will talk to you soon until then the grace of our savior Jesus Christ be with you and your family.


Um..yeah. Crying.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Season Closer

A few weeks ago we headed out to Fort Foster to collect some beach sand for Amelle's community project.

Since it was a beautiful fall evening, we loaded up the truck with our bikes and decided to take our time.

It was likely going to be the last time we visited our favorite spot until next year.

Fort Foster is just as beautiful in the fall, as it is in the summer. The trees were ablaze and the groundwater only made the rides more adventurous.

Hanging on for dear life...don't you know that there are sharks in that ground water?



Anyone want to guess how this adventure ends?

Mind you, this thing is twirling around at the speed of light.

If you answered, "with a shower", you are correct.

This is our Disney.

I love it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Junk Posse

One of my RLC friends, Amy Bottomly, asked me to post this in support of her 2nd Ethiopian adoption. I'm so darn compliant, aren't I?

Seriously though, how cool is it that you can buy something cute from Etsy AND help someone adopt at the same time? Yep, pretty darn cool.

Tracy at JunkPosse makes amazing necklaces. She is currently donating 30% of the profits from a select group of necklaces to the Bottomly's Ethiopia Adoption Travel Expenses. Here are some of the necklaces.
Really great necklaces! If for some reason any of the above links are marked sold out, you can click on the JunkPosse store link right here to find the necklace listed again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Verse of the Day

Every day Dirt & I get a verse via e-mail; a guy from church sends them out to everyone in our church. Today's verse:

"....those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31


(see below)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Isaiah 40:31

I should have known something special was going to happen at church today. Mainly because I wasn’t going to go.

I missed zumba yesterday morning and thought about going this morning. We didn’t have the kids; I was thinking that Dirt could sleep in and I could just scooch over to zumba and feel good about having worked out today. Sure, I’d miss church, but that’s okay, there is no mandate that I have to go. We didn’t have any commitments at church and I was almost positive my favorite pastor wasn’t going to be preaching anyway. And so it was, a quasi-plan.

…until 8:15 when Dirt arose and asked me if I was ready to leave. My pajamas and morning breath told him I wasn’t. I suggested that he run to D&D and grab a coffee while I prettied myself up (translation: brushed my teeth and put yesterday's jeans on). We were sitting in our normal church seats by 8:40.

I noticed Dirt reading something in the bible during the offering and asked him what he was looking up. He told me that this morning, in the Dunkin Donuts drive thru line, he was behind a car with a license plate that said, “FAITH”. They also had a license plate holder that had two scripture references, Isaiah 40:31 & Hebrews 12:1-3. It was curious because it was obviously “custom”. Dirt was curious about what they were, so he was looking them up.

Church was good; good worship and good preaching. I was pleasantly surprised that my “favorite pastor” was preaching. I didn’t think about my earlier, thwarted plans at all. I never even mentioned zumba to Dirt – he didn’t need to know my unholy intentions.

After church a woman approached me and introduced herself. We had met once before. She had actually given the mother’s day message – which was pure perfection. She was a woman of tremendous faith, which resonated through her message. She encouraged women to support one another and to link up with a spiritually mature woman who can be sounding boards and support to us as we go through life’s trials. She told us about her special someone who challenged her faith and supported her through the loss of her teenage son years before. I remember looking over at her husband as she spoke, he quietly wiped tears from his eyes. I was wowed.

Just last week I was reflecting on her message and I expressed to Dirt that I needed to find a spiritually mature woman to “adopt me”. I don’t really have anyone in my life that I can go to about Christian stuff. I have Dirt, but he can only give me so much. First, he’s my husband, so he’s in everything with me, which doesn’t always lend itself to the best perspective, and second, he’s not a woman, a wife, or a mother. I need a Christian woman who is all of those things. Someone who can speak to me with biblical wisdom. But where do I find one of these?

I suppose I could actually go to one of the women’s events at church and hope to meet someone. There is no shortage of women’s conferences and bible study offerings. But I never do. I'm not real social, I guess.

So when this woman came up to me, put her hand on my back, and suggested that we get together for lunch some Sunday after church, I smiled and accepted. I couldn’t believe it. It was the Lord.

My eyes welled up the way they always do whenever I see God doing things in my life. I smiled as we settled in to Sunday School. Then something else really cool happened. In the middle of Sunday School we looked down at the handout and saw it in black and white: Isaiah: 40:31. This was the same sentence that Dirt had seen on the custom license plate holder an hour prior.
Um, do you know how many sentences there are in the bible? Only like a zillion. When the Lord picks one and puts it in front of you twice in one hour, you pay attention:

30Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

This was His message to us this morning.

Wait for the LORD.

So we wait for Him, but not alone.

Thank you Lord.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's Wrong with Me?

I don't even want to talk about this. So don't ever, ever, ever mention this to me again, mmkay?
Halloween 2009. I actually had the kids costumes together in advance and I felt pretty good about them (translation: they were not plastic store-bought crap).
But on Halloween, I wound up being horrifyingly unorganized, and therefore, failed to get any decent pictures of the kids in their uncrappy costumes.
Before the night ended, I did manage to get a few shots. These are seriously the only pics I have of the kids, and they are wrong on so many levels.
Here's Michael Jackson. His white sparkly glove is in his pocket. I told you I didn't want to talk about it.

Here's my cute little kitty cat. Her collar is out of whack and her wiskers are almost completely wiped off. I hate myself.

Here's the Bride of Frankenstein. I am undeserving of my camera.

Here's the whole gang. We went trick-or-treating in Hooksett with my friend Monica and her crew. Good times. Bad pictures.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday. I'm not sure what that means for me; every Sunday is Orphan Sunday ...and tomorrow will be Orphan Monday, then Orphan Tuesday. The desire to help orphans doesn't wan. The burden doesn't get lighter.

That's not to say that there aren't days that get so heavy I throw my hands up in the air and say "I want out!". I want to forget what I saw, I want to forget that there is an orphan epidemic and go on living my life in ignorance. But that's when my Father steps in and wraps His arm around my shoulder reminds me that they're His children, not mine. And I remember how much of a privilege it is to be a small part of His mighty work, and how much I have learned about Him and about myself through the eyes of these little ones, and I feel thankful that I'm walking in obedience, even though it hurts my heart.

Orphan Sunday from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Of course I am thinking of BAM today, he has taken up permanent residence in my heart. During church this morning, I begin to miss him (sort of an odd feeling because I have only met him once - but I think most adoptive parents can relate to loving a child whom they have not met. The heart is powerful). I don't really know what to do with these feelings, so I look over at Dirt and tell him that I'm sad that BAM doesn't live here with us. He already knows this, and he knows that he can't do anything about my sadness; it's in the hands of the Lord.

Today I'm working on putting the final touches on a package that I'll be sending to BAM, via my friends Sam & Wendi Henry, who are going to Ethiopia next month. I so wish I could go with them. Some days it takes every ounce of willpower I have to not impulsively purchase a ticket. (Christmas gift idea alert, hint, nudge: RT plane ticket to Ethiopia) ;-)

I am kind of stumped about what to pack in an envelope to send to a son who is so far away. The envelope seems so small, and I want to send him everything. Of course the mother instinct keeps prodding me to toss in a pair of clean underwear and socks, but that might be awkward. So I revert back to things I think he'll like. Though the envelope is filled to capacity, what I've put inside it hardly feels sufficient.

Here Wendy shows BAM photos of our family. On this day, neither of us knew that he would become part of it.

There are millions of orphans in the world, will you do something this week to help one of them?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I'm Restless

...probably words that Dirt fears; but it's true. I'm ready for a change ...or even a leap. I don't know what that all means - stepping up, stepping down, left, right...I don't know. I just have this nagging feeling that what I'm currently doing isn't working and something has to give.

So I'm restless as I wait on the Lord. I'm asking Him for direction, guidance & wisdom and I'm looking forward with anticipation regarding what He has in store for me.
Hopefully it's not just a new hairdo, although I may be heading in that direction as well. (hold your applause please).

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Are You Ready for Some Football!?!

Today we had a little father/son (daughter) flag football game in the backyard.

The weather was pure perfection, and a flag football game was the ideal activity to get everyone outside.

What a blast! I just went through all 400 photos that I took and every shot depicted people smiling and enjoying themselves.

Good times!

I don't know who actually won. It sort of feels like everyone did.