February 26, 2010

Despair

Here in the United States we view poverty in terms of a line. You're either above or below the poverty line. Go below and there are institutions to sometimes help give you a leg up. Are those institutions perfect- NO! But they exist and they help to ensure that children in the US get hot meals at school whether they can afford them or not and make sure that families who can't afford it, can get baby formula and baby food.

The Congo is a very different story. 85% of people in DRC are unemployed. The average person only makes around $300 per year. I've heard people say that it is all relative. But the thing is that it is not all relative. Things in Congo cost just as much as they do in the US. A can of baby formula in Congo still costs $20. If that can of formula were 7% of your income and you knew it would only last a week, would you buy it. Absolutely not. Same goes for beans. The week that I was in DRC, a 50 pound bag of beans cost $75! Which means that per year, you could buy 4 bags of beans for you family and it would wipe out every single dime you had.

I can't even begin to describe the poverty that exists in Congo. It is everywhere. I have studied the Congo and the conflict intensely for over a year and a half and nothing prepared me for what I saw. When you get out of the car, street children run up to you. They knock on your car window begging you for anything you might have. The problem is- if you give, you will be swarmed with children, many of whom are expert thieves. A skill they've learned out of necessity. There are also street children being pimped out as salespeople. Everything in Congo is for sale. These children will walk up and down the line of bumper to bumper cars selling everything imaginable- an ink pen, a Kleenex- anything that might make them some money. Then they have to take this money back to they "employer" who may or may not give them a little something for their sales efforts. Children here are exploited to the nth degree. It is a sad reality.

On the 3rd day of my trip, Cami and I visited an orphanage. The orphanage was a government run orphanage. Really all this means is that the government sends children here. It doesn't actually do anything by way of sponsoring resources. That is left to what tiny amount locals may be able to give, or what NGO's may happen to bring by. Which, from the looks of things is very little.

We drove up to the orphanage. There were no walls around it. There was no door to the orphanage. Children spilled out onto the street. Young girls sat outside on the street, maybe hoping to escape the sweltering heat inside the orphanage, while men in their cars drove by. It is only a matter of time, until these girls will sell the only thing they possess (themselves) to survive. As soon as I opened the door of the car, a tiny little girl, maybe 18 months old, ran up to me and grabbed me by the hand. This little girl had been out playing on the street, unsupervised. And streets aren't what they are here. Down both sides of the streets, everywhere you go in Kinshasa, are big dug out trenches. With no sanitation system, this is where waste and garbage end up. These roadside latrines are exposed and you have to step over them to cross the street. All of this seeps into what little drinking water there is in Congo, furthering the rampant diseases that exist here.





This little girl, her name was Eron, pulled me by the hand into the orphanage. I walked over the latrines and stepped inside the building. It was dark, and smelly and hot. In Congo you can sweat through your clothes in about 30 seconds. There was no running water, no electricity. Loose and broken up lumber was lying around haphazardly with nails sticking out of it. There were children everywhere. All ages. All of them dirty. The little ones were all covered in urine and feces. The older ones were covered in dirt and sadness that permeated out of their bodies. The sight was so overwhelming, I almost couldn't take it all in. Or maybe I didn't want to take it all in. My heart broke into a million pieces looking at those children. They are all alone in the world. No one wants them. In a country with 5 million orphans, they were nobodies. Fogotten children. The ache in my heart was palpable. It felt hard to breath. I knew at the time that crying about the sight before me, would do no good- I'd have to save that for later. So I strengthened my resolve and became determined to love on these kids, even if it was only for a little while.

With the donations that you all made, we brought 250 kilos of beans and countless cans of baby formula to this orphanage.

The day that we visited, there were 103 children being "cared" for at this orphanage. There was one pot of rice, no beans, no formula, no water. The children there were starving. We did our best to help those children have some fun in the midst of the horror they were living. We blew up so many balloons our mouths were in a permanant pucker. It made me sick to my stomach to think that my children have balloons around the house all the time, but for these children, getting a balloon was the most exciting thing in the world. We took a soccer ball, too, and the boys went wild. They were so grateful and excited and they kicked that ball around and laughed and for that moment in time- they got to experience childhood.




All the while, Eron never left my side. I felt such overwhelming love for her. I think about her still almost constantly. My heart aches for her. My heart smiles for her. She is a beautiful daughter of God. But she is being fed to the lions. In Congo- school is not mandatory. It is a priveledge- one very few children get to enjoy. Which means that very few children will ever get the advantages they need to get out of the cycle of poverty they are in. I wonder what will happen to Eron. I wonder if she is supposed to be a Terry. I wonder if the ache in my heart I feel for her is God trying to tell me something. I wonder if she is hungry and if she is thirsty. I wonder if she is crying and there is no one there to pick her up. I wonder how much longer she can survive in the hell she was born into.




Nearly all the children at Lisanga were sick with something. Cami and I walked to the upstairs of the orphanage where the children were supposed to sleep. For over a hundred children there were maybe 15 beds. We looked around and in one of those beds, we saw a teenaged girl we were certain was dead. Cami walked over to the girl who was soaked with sweat and burning up with fever. She was completely unresponsive. But her heart was still beating. She was dying with malaria. The one mama at the orphanage told us she had malaria and that they had given her some medicine once, but the girl did not get better, so they left her there to die because there was no money to get her any more medicine.

Miles got malaria the next day while we were in Congo. Within hours of him coming down with a high fever, I was able to go to the pharmacy (you don't need a prescription for drugs here) and buy the antimalarial medication he needed for $2. Two whole dollars. And this girl and thousands of others like her will die every week from malaria because there is no one who cares enough to spend $2 to save her life. We also saw this tiny baby girl who was dying of malaria. The picture does not do justice to how frail she was. Every single bone in her body jutted out. She was drenched with sweat, wrapped up in a plastic bag for a diaper and being cared for by another child who couldn't have been older than 9.


Holding that little dying baby is one of the worst moments of my life. I came back to my cozy life and yet I can't stop wondering if that little baby is even still alive. How do you live with that? How do you come back to a life where there is a grocery store on every corner and a school where my kids go for free and clean water to drink? How do you step back into your "real life" when there are so many people whose reality is just trying to survive. I don't know all the answers. I do know that when I look into my little Congolese child's eyes, I see hope. And sometimes hope is just enough to carry you through.


To see more pictures from this orphanage- click HERE.


 

February 25, 2010

14 hours my foot

I used to get so mad at the faithful bloggers who would blog every single day during the adoption process and then drop off the face of the earth once their little darlings were home. Seriously- I would curse them through my computer screen saying things like ,"But wait! We need to know how the transition is going- what kind of issues are your going through? What in the world can I expect when my child comes home?"

Alas- I have become one of those people! Sorry folks for the anemic blogging. Miles is doing amazing. He fits into our family like a glove. He is attaching well and bonding like a champ and coming out of his shell a little more every day! But the boy does NOT sleep. Like at all. Really. I read this morning that a 12 month old needs 14 hours of sleep. Miles is sleeping maybe 6 or 7- if we're lucky. No naps at all. Did ya' hear that- NONE! And sleep at night is a series of 45 minute naps. Which means that sleep for the mama is a series of 25 minute naps by the time the bottles get made and the diapers get changed and the poopy pajamas get thrown in the wash. And another weird sleeping habit? Miles will not under any circumstances sleep in the crib or the pack and play. He insists on sleeping on the floor. No blanket. I don't think he slept on the floor at the orphanage so I am not sure what that is about. We've tried co-sleeping, lights on, lights off, singing, swaddling, just about everything imaginable! And somehow he still stays awake around the clock. I get that he is still doing a whole lot of adjusting, but I am totally welcoming suggestions here!

Aside from the fact that he is turning us all into walking zombies, oh my goodness, the boy is adorable. He is so calm and giggly. In every way possible, Miles was always meant to be a part of this family. It is so much fun to watch him with Sadie and Noah. I just look at those 3 kiddos (through my toothpick propped-open eyelids) and count my blessings- for they are plentiful!



February 23, 2010

Adjusting

I LOVE being a mother of 3 but OMG I am sooooo tired! Miles wants to eat about every 23 seconds. He is running on a deficit I suppose. He went for his checkup yesterday and our pediatrician thinks that he is actually at least 12 months old. The boy only weighs 15 pounds, though. He is running a fever of 102 right now but is just happy as a clam. He is babbling and smiling and otherwise having a ball. I think he is adjusting really well. He is bonding great with all of us. He especially loves Sadie, who thinks that Miles is her baby. Noah is probably having the hardest time of all, but I think mostly this is because he isn't the baby anymore and he fit that baby of the family role so well.

I'll be back to posting about the week in Africa tomorrow- just a quick post today to say all is well and to share some pics of my lovies.



February 22, 2010

A million miles to Miles

I have put off blogging long enough. What once was such a wonderful outlet for me, has become a burden these last few days. The first week with Miles, who got malaria while we were in Africa, was crazy and new and exciting and wonderful and scary. The things that I saw in Africa will haunt me for the rest of my lifetime. I think that God has etched those images into my brain so that I will never for one moment forget to be grateful for all the blessings that I have. There are not words to describe what I have witnessed. There are not words to describe how deeply my heart has been broken for Africa. Africa gets under your skin. I just can't internalize it yet or make sense of it, much less put it to words. So- for now I am just going to focus on the good... MY SON! And I'll leave the rest for when I finally feel ready. I'll try to blog in chronological order starting from the beginning of last week and try to catch up as quickly as I can.

DAY 1: We meet.
I spent 20 hours on a plane. I have been in three continents and crossed and entire ocean. Many tears came that day. I cried leaving my Sadie and Noah and Kamron behind. I cried when the plane took off because I knew that my life would never be the same and I kind of liked my life before just fine. I cried when the plane landed in Kinshasa because I knew that within a few hours, I would be meeting Miles Dieudonne. My friend Cami and I navigated the Kinshasa airport like rock stars- and that is no easy feat. We asked a man in Paris if he had any tips for getting out of the Kinshasa airport alive and he said "Good luck."

We met Pastor Loma (Miles' foster father) at the airport. About three weeks prior to our arrival, Miles left the orphanage and moved in with the Lomas, who took great care of him and helped him get his passport. I was so happy to see Pastor Loma. Seeing his face brought about so many emotions.First- there was just the overall feeling of gladness that he was going to take us away from the crazy airport and then the amazing feeling of knowing that he was going to be taking me to my son! We drove in a taxi (more about the taxis of Kinshasa to come in another post) out of Kinshasa toward the Methodist-Presbyterian Hostel where we would be staying. Miles was going to meet us there. It was pitch black dark as we drove through Kinshasa but there were people everywhere. That is what sticks out in my mind about being in Congo- the sheer number of people everywhere. Thousands and thousands of people. All over the place. We asked Pastor Loma what were all the people doing. He said, "Some go for to drink the beer." That was as much info as we got about what the people were doing out on the streets.

After driving for what seemed like an eternity we pulled up to the gate of the guest house. While we were waiting for someone to come open the gate for us, a car pulled up behind us. Miles was in that car. I jumped out of our car. I saw him get out with Mama Josephine (his foster mother). She ran to me and hugged me over and over. I got a good look at Miles. The. World. Just. Stopped. I couldn't believe how small he was! He was just so tiny. At first I though that they had brought the wrong baby because he was way too little, but then I saw those puppy dog eyes and I knew that was my little guy. I wanted to run and snatch him up and love all over him, but I held back. I didn't know how he would react to me, so I took it slow. I rubbed his back a little while Mama Josephine held him. She kept telling him in Lingala that I was his mama.

We all went into the guest house together. I just couldn't take my eyes off Miles. Once we got in I held him for a second but he still wanted Mama Loma. I expected this, but it still hurt just a little. The Lomas didn't stay long- they said it was easier on the babies to get acquainted when they weren't around. I was grateful for their understanding. At the same time, I wanted to ask them a million questions. I mean, here is this child that I know nothing about. How does he like to be held. How often does he eat? Does he like to be sung to? They walked out the door and I just had to figure it all out. Once they were gone, Miles seemed to warm up. Actually I should say that he tolerated me. Miles never smiled. He just seemed to want to study me. I just wanted to stare at him too. All the emotions I had felt for months just seemed to flood me. This child who had endured God knows what was finally safe and sound and all mine! It was very late at night and Miles was sleepy, so after about an hour of staring at him and snuggling him, it was time for bed. I put on his pajamas and held him until he fell asleep in my arms. And for that moment in time- all was right with the world.

The first moment I laid eyes on Miles (with Mama Loma),





February 21, 2010

HOME!

We are all home under 1 roof together! I am so sorry for the delay in blogging. I am just enjoying having all my family together at last. Plus- I am still trying to process all that we've been through in the last week. I'll be back tomorrow! In the meantime- I've been posting most of my pictures on facebook so check them out!

February 14, 2010

Gotcha!

I've got him!!!! He is absolutely precious. He doesn't seem scared at all and after a few minutes warmed right up to me. He is definatley a cuddler. So far he seems very mild mannered. I haven't seem him smile yet. Miles just seems to want to take it all in. Even though we believe he is probably around 10/11 months old, he is about the size of an American 6 month old. But developmentally he seems great. He is sitting up well and was interested in playing with some toys' We figured out that he could stand up (I was shocked) and he actually took several steps toward me!
He has 6 teeth. 4 on the top and 2 on the bottom. I brought size 3 diapers but they swallow him. I had better go try to get a shower before breakfast. Then we are off to meet the doctor to sign some paperwork. Then Miles and I will have the whole rest of the day to get to know each other! I'll try to post some pictures when I can figure out how to upload them from here.

February 12, 2010

How it feels...

Tomorrow at 6pm, I'll be getting on a plane and traveling for 2 days to get to my son. To say that I am a mix of emotions would be the understatement of the year.

First off, I am crazy excited. (And a little just plain crazy, too!) I can't wait to see Miles, touch him, hug him. I think part of me won't really feel like he is real until he is in my arms. I am so curious about what he's like. I wonder if he's as calm as he looks in his pictures or if he will be a wild man like his brother. I wonder if he'll babble in Swahili. I wonder how big he will be. Can he crawl? Will he be a good eater or a good sleeper? It is nothing short of strange to me. When Sadie and Noah were 7 months old- I knew every single minute detail of their lives. With Miles I know nothing, except that when I look into his eyes, I see sadness.

That sadness scares me a little. I look at his eyes and all I see is loss. In his short little life, he's lost both of his parents. He's been moved from his home. He's been abandoned. He was placed in an orphanage full of strangers and noise. And just when he was maybe getting used to that, he was pulled out and put into foster care. And while I know that his foster family is very loving, I hate that it has yet been one more transition for my baby boy who has known nothing but loss in his life.

And somewhere in the middle of it all, I feel guilt. While my head tells me that this will be a much better life for Miles Dieudonne, I can't help but feel guilty that I am about to pluck him from the only life he's ever known. I'll be taking him away from his country that is both the most beautiful and most tragic. I'll be so happy to take him away from the tragedy, but that is all part of his story- that is his country. I am afraid that I will be taking away a part of Miles that I can't replace. Nothing will look the same to him. Nothing will smell the same. Nothing will feel the same.

I can't even begin to put into words how immensely I love that little boy. I love him just like I love Sadie and Noah. I love him simply for his existence. I love him for the awakening he has stirred in my heart. But to him I am simply...a stranger. A stranger who is madly in love with him, but still a stranger.

When I see him for the first time, I wonder if he will want me or if I will scare him. I wonder if he will feel safe. I hope that he will feel loved and wanted. Oh so wanted. Miles Dieudonne Terry- YOU are wanted. I wonder what it will feel like in Congo to see all those little sick and hungry children who are not wanted. How can I turn my back on them? How do I look at my Miles while walking through the orphanages in Kinshasa and not feel guilty that we couldn't give them all a home? In so many ways I am rejoicing at the little life that will come home to be with me forever, while in that same heart beat I feel that I am condemning the others to a life of hardship, starvation and loneliness. It is the ultimate high and low.

I think sometimes the heart and mind do what they have to do to get through. I am trying to suppress the rest while letting the joy overflow and bubble to the surface. Because in 30 little hours I'll embark on the journey that will change me forever. In a few little days I'll be (oh my goodness!) getting a baby! I'll be holding that precious little child who has had the heart of our family for months. I can't wait to meet him. I can't wait to shower him with love. I can't wait to bring him home and begin our lives together. I can't wait to complete our family. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Miles homecoming is not the end. This is only the beginning...

*I will be trying to post from Congo, but bad connections and lack of electricity don't always make that possible. But check back- I'll do my best!

We're a little bit famous

Our local paper did a story about our family that ran in today's paper. It was so fun to see Miles staring at me from the front page! You can read about it by clicking on the link:
An Adoption For A Cause

February 11, 2010

What the what?

What's that you say? You're leaving in two days? Holy rusted metal, Batman...there's no time to blog...I'm going to CONGO!!!!

February 09, 2010

What's on my mind

4 MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to blog in snippets today because my brain is on rapid fire!

-Miles' appointment at the embassy doctor went well and he appears to be in good health!

-The heat index in Kinshasa, DRC today is 94 degrees. The wind chill in Kentucky today is 7 degrees. Poor kid won't know what happened to him :-(

-Sadie had to take a reading test yesterday. She said she "killed" it. She says that probably by the end of the school year she should be able to read Harry Potter all by herself. She is 6 and has some seriously lofty goals. Love that girl. I am also thankful that when she decided to make up and sing a song where the only words were "My tooter and my hooter" repeated over and over, that we were not in public.

-I think maybe that I should start packing today.

-I went to Target yesterday and bought one of everything in the travel size aisle. The older gentleman that checked me out, asked me where I was going. I told him I was going to Congo. His response-" They (I am assuming he meant the military) tried to send me there in the sixties and I told them 'no way'. They're killing people over there! They're still killing people over there aren't' they?" Dude- thanks for the reminder. All I wanted was to buy my travel size shampoo.

-I am loaded down to the gills with anti-fungals and anti-scabies medications but I am soooooo hoping baby boy won't need it!

-I am a little nervous about the lack of diet Pepsi in DRC. I may have to just live off of Excedrin.

-I am also nervous about the critters that will be living with me in Congo. There are rats and creepy crawlies in the Methodist Presbyterian House where I will be staying. I have been instructed to make sure and pull my bed several inches away from the wall for good measure. It makes my heart race just thinking about it.

-I got a copy of Miles' passport photo yesterday. It is the first photo we've seen of him straight on and it makes him look very different- except for the same sad eyes that break my heart every time I see them.

-I don't think that I've ever bought any baby stuff new. I am the queen of yard sales, eBay and consignment stores. However- with Miles, I just don't feel like I need all the stuff. He's lived this long without it all. All his hand-me-downs are in the closet looking super cute (thanks Crystal!!!) BUT I did splurge on one item for sweet little Miles. I have never had a baby sling for either of my other kids. I know that this is how Miles has been carried around his whole life, so I really wanted to continue that for him. I felt like it was the one thing I could do for him to try to provide some continuity. This was insanely important to me, so I sprung for a super good sling. I bought the baby k'tan, which I heard rave reviews about. I think I am going to LOVE it However- upon getting home with this sling, I have decided that it is the most complicated piece of machinery I have ever owned! Not to mention I had to go to a boutique store to buy it where the diaper bags cost $200 and the baby blankets were $75!!! Holy cow! Seriously- who buys this stuff? Do they not know there are starving children in the world?

- We are having some gorgeous snow this morning. It is perfect for snowman building, which we plan to do this afternoon.

-Sadie told me yesterday that when she grows up she wants to be a teacher. I am so grateful for the teachers she has had this year- they have been such a positive light in her life.

-Noah says that when he grows up he wants to be Sadie. I think when I grow up, I want to be Sadie, too.



February 08, 2010

Where did your money go?

It has been about 10 days since our big r-a-f-f-*-& ended. (I think that I have to do it that way because a major third party money collecting machine is still monitoring my site for signs that I am running illegal gambling *sigh*) Anyway- I thought I'd give you the final breakdown of where your dollars went:

The raff&$ brought in $3580. I split that between Heartline Ministries in Haiti and OFA that will distribute that money through the Congo.

Heartline got $1790. I designated that this money be used in the way they saw would help the most people. I felt good about designating it this way since all of Heartline's administrative costs are covered by outside donations. That way 100% of your money got to the people in Haiti who need it!

In DRC: we did a previous fundraising campaign that raised $1500! Add that to the $1790 from the raff*& for a total of $3290!
Here is how I designated it:
$1250- for food and schooling expenses at the Jamaa Letu Orphanage (where Miles lived until 2 weeks ago when he went into foster care)
$1250- toward construction of the new boys orphanage at Jamaa Letu. The boys at Jamaa Letu currently live in this:

Each of these dark rooms houses 4 boys and any possessions they have. They are currently constructing a new boys orphanage that looks like this:

Your money will go to help finish construction and buy supplies to get this much needed and much improved facility up and running. If Miles had not gotten adopted this is where he would have grown up.

The remaining $790 I will take with me in cash to buy beans (about $75 for a 50 lb bag of beans) and other supplies for the 2 orphanages I will visit in Kinshasa. If we bought any more food than this, there is a risk that the beans will rot before they can get eaten and leaving too much food at any one place can bring about the possibility of corruption. I would have loved to have just plopped down $3000 at the oprhanage so all of those children could eat for months and months. Unfortunatly, this was just not a possibility. The need there is so desperate that that amount of money left with any one person just begs for curruption. I prayed on this decision for nearly a week before I wrote the check out last night. I felt like splitting up the money in this manner benefited the most children. Funneling it through an organization that we love and respect seemed like the most responsible way to get the money to the children. I also made the donation in the name of a Congolese refugee family who is trying to bring home their four granddaughters to the US. The four girls lived with Miles at the Jamaa Letu Orphanage. That money will be pulling double duty as it will also help those 4 little girls get home to their grandparents. And every little child that gets to go to a forever home frees up space in the orphanage for other children who need a place to go.

I just wanted you to know exactly how every dollar you gave was spent. (BTW- I covered all the fees charged by that third party entity that collects money securely, so that everything you gave went where it was supposed to go.) You all have helped countless people devastated by the earthquake in Haiti and tons of children in DRC. I can't thank you enough! Merci! Mesi! Asante! Melisi! (Thank you in the native languages of the people you have helped!)

If you'd ever like to give to any of these organizations on your own- you can do it directly through their websites as http://www.ourfamilyadoptions.org/or heartlineministries.org. You can also check out Corey's fundraiser helping Heartline Ministries.

February 07, 2010

So much excitement

I can hardly contain my excitement today. One week from this very moment, I will be holding Miles Dieudonne! I can't wait to see that first smile, to get those first cuddles, and to love all over him. I can't wait to tell him all about his daddy and his brother and sister waiting for him at home. I can't wait to give him that first bath. I can't wait to experience his birth country. I can't wait to deliver food and formula to the orphanages in Kinshasa. I am just all a-flutter (I don't think that is a word, but that is totally how I feel.) I'm just ready to be finished with this waiting phase and into the living phase! The excitement I feel about our new life as a family of five is overwhelming.

It's going to be great seeing Sadie and Noah meet their little brother for the first time. This whole experience is feeling very surreal today. It's like I've been thinking about, and planning for it for so long, that I am having trouble processing that it is really all about to happen! Yippee!

Today was my last Sunday at church before I hop on that plane on Saturday for a journey that I am sure will change me forever. I think that I have mentioned before that I teach our high school Sunday school class. Those amazing teenagers had a prayer time for our family this morning. They prayed for my safety, for Kamron's peace of mind, for smooth transitions for our sweet child, and for the people of Congo. There is just something so beautiful about hearing young people pray out loud. Their faith and their prayers were so moving to me.

Our community has supported us in so many ways- this is one of my favorite ways:


All I can say is "WOW!" Goodness and happiness just abounds!

- Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'- Matthew 25:37-40

February 06, 2010

For my girls

There were so many women who commented on my post about my sweatpants. I think so many times, we all get bogged down. Life piles up on us. We feel defeated. As mothers, as women, as people- we so often wonder if the things we do really do matter. I sometimes wonder if it matters that I draw little hearts on Sadie's sandwich bags, or if I make the school treats from scratch, or if I take the time to hand write a note instead of email it. Most of the time, it all goes unnoticed...or so we think.

This video has been passing around my "Congo Mommies" this weekend and I loved it so much, I wanted to share it. I had so many of you in mind when I was watching it with tears coming down my face. YOU are not invisible. The love you put into it does matter, even if the person you're giving that love to, doesn't mention it. It ALL matters. If you've got 5 minutes, I think you should watch it. Then go...and keep building your cathedral.

February 04, 2010

Get your win on

Here are the winners!

For the Melissa and Doug Clay and Play...
Cate from cateandsean.blogspot.com

and for the Just Love Coffee Giveaway:
Kathy who wants to try the African Blend and the Valentine's blend

Can you ladies email me your addresses so I can ship this out to you?

And lucky me... my Mamaw saw on my blog that my coffee maker was broken and she showed up at my house with a brand spankin' new one yesterday! Now- I'm off to order myself some coffee to support my friend Debbie! Thanks Mamaw!

There are scrambled eggs in there

In my brain that is. Or maybe it's oatmeal. Or cream of wheat. Or some other substance that can only be described as "mush". I have officially entered that phase of mush for brains in this whole process. I marvel at the ways that this adoption has been like a pregnancy. The overall forgetfulness is vaguely familiar. I've gained weight just like I was pregnant. I've nested beyond all reasonable logic. I've had that restless at night, can't sleep thing going for a while. Yep- I am pretty sure I've done this all before, but somehow I expected things to be oddly different with the adoption vs. the pregnancy. However, they are eerily similar!

Yesterday I sent my sweet Sadie to school in 2 different shoes. I thought it was spirit week- and the "spirit" activity of the day was to wear 2 different shoes. (I have still not figured out how this promotes spirit or unity, but whatever!) So off to school she went with one snow boot and one tennis shoe and a big ol' smile on her face. In the afternoon, as soon as she stepped off the bus she informed me that spirit week was last week (we missed the whole thing!) and that she wore 2 mismatched shoes for no good reason!

Speaking of Sadie- I think she has seen me researching a lot of African American hair care websites lately. There are tons of pictures on these sites of gorgeous little girls with their braids and puffs. The other day Sadie approached me and asked if I would put her hair in a "million" ponytails like all those little girls. I don't think that she realized that she doesn't have the kind of hair that will do that sort of thing. So we made an attempt and girlfriend ended up with this Medusa like style. Fortunately, we didn't have to go anywhere looking like this!



Back to the mush again...I am pretty sure that most of my inability to think cognitively could be solved with a few organized lists. But I just can't bite the bullet and make a list. You see, my darling husband is an obsessive list maker. He always has been and I have always made so much fun of him for it. I wouldn't think it was weird if he made things like to-do lists, or grocery lists. But I find these little lists all over the house with titles like "Greatest Defensive Tackles Ever in University of Kentucky History" or "Potential Recruits, Standings, and Rankings". I am pretty sure that he has missed his calling in the ESPN world. He makes these lists of completely arbitrary things that don't have any impact on the real world whatsoever! And don't get me started on the lists he makes of rock and roll songs. Or bands. Or guitars. So I have made fun of him for years and years about his compulsion to continually make lists. So if I go and start making lists to help me organize this trip, it will go against the years and years of ridicule I've dished out. Then I would have to apologize, and well- that is just something I am not prepared to do! (I've just decided that I am a really crappy wife!) We got interviewed this week for our local paper who is going to do a story on our adoption and info about the DRC!!! The nicest lady ever is writing the article, but she said maybe one of the funniest and truest statements ever about my relationship with Kamron. As Kamron walked out the door to go back to work, she said, "He's really got his hands full with you!" I LOVE it. That totally sums us up. I am the flighty one. Kamron is totally grounded.

Lots of people have been emailing me asking if I am planning on blogging while I'm in Africa. I am going to try to do that during Miles' nap time. But I don't want to take a second away from Miles to do it- so if naps don't go well or if he's not adjusting well, don't count on it. I'll be journalling the whole experience, so if I don't get to blog while I'm there, I'll post my journal when I get home. Either way- you'll get to go on the journey with me. We have felt so supported through this whole thing, that I would hate to deprive you of hearing about my experiences in Africa. After all, by being a part of our lives- this is your journey too! Just be prepared- and by this I mean have tissues handy because I am expecting to be an emotional wreck! I have heard that the connection in DRC makes it difficult to upload photos to the blog, so if that is the case, I'll be uploading all my photos to Facebook. So if we're not facebook friends and you'd like to follow along, send me a friend request. You can look me up by my email address meganterry01(at)aol(dot)com. Leave me a little message and tell me who you are so I don't think that you are a total stranger.

Don't forget- both giveaways are ending tonight. I'll post the winner after I put the kiddos to bed.

9 more days...

February 03, 2010

By the numbers



10- days until I jump on a plane with my girl, Cami and head to Africa!
11- days until I am holding my little munchkin (can we say best Valentine's day ever!)
26- cans of formula to deliver to the orphanage
8- days I'll be gone
2- kids I'll miss terribly while I'm in Africa
1- husband who is so selfless in letting me be the one to have this experience of a lifetime
2- days until we take our last little mini-trip as a family of four
5- caregivers and sitters making this whole thing possible
17- days until Sadie and Noah meet their little brother
3- the number of kiddos I'll finally have all under one roof on February 20th!
3546- emotions I am experiencing
1- Great God who has walked us through our fears on this journey
1- Amazingly adorable little boy who has transformed my heart in ways I never imagined.

February 01, 2010

Giveaway Number 2- Just Love Coffee


I love socially conscious shopping. I also love caffeine. So for this giveaway I've mixed those both up into this Just Love Coffee Giveaway. Just Love Coffee is a company that helps families raise money for their adoptions by allowing families to set up a virtual store front to sell coffee. All their coffees are fair trade (so it helps coffee growers in impoverished companies.) WIN/WIN/WIN! I love those kind of situations!

My friend, Debbie, is getting ready to bring their beautiful little girl, Naomi, home from Ethiopia. They have a Just Love Coffee store going to help them raise those last pennies they'll need to cover their adoption expenses. I've been wanting to buy some of her coffee for a looooong time, but y'all, my coffee maker broke about 6 months ago and for some reason I've never bought another one. (I get all the caffeine I need from my diet Pepsi addiction anyway!) So instead of buying coffee that I can't brew- I am going to buy coffee for YOU! 2 bags to be exact.

To enter this giveaway, just click on this link:

http://www.justlovecoffee.com/TheWeeks

Take a look around and pick out whatever 2 coffees you'd like to try should you win the giveaway. Then leave me a comment and tell me what they are! If I were choosing I think I'd try the Fair Trade African Skies and the 100% Honduran.

This giveaway will end at 8pm on Thursday night (2/4)- so hurry and leave me a comment! I'll use random.org to get a winner. (Yes- you can enter both giveaways!)

And if you wanted to be really nice- you could buy some of Debbie's coffee and help them get little Naomi home! And if you wanted to be extra nice- you could click on the link to the left to become a follower of this blog. (It won't earn you extra chances to win- it just strokes my ego a little!) Good luck!
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