Sunday, September 29, 2013

Trusting God in All Things!

We have had quite the crazy week here. I am beginning to think this is the common theme in our lives! That's okay. We would be bored out of our minds otherwise. 

The week started with church on Sunday morning. Then I had the privilege of being invited to a JJ Heller concert at a local church on Sunday afternoon. It was such a sweet time. Becca and I went and had a terrific time. My sweet friend, Heather, and her daughter met us there and we spent the afternoon listening to some of the sweetest music. 

Another sweet friend opened the concert with her group The Janes. Here is s short sample of one of their songs.
video
This particular song is a lullaby that JJ and her husband, Dave, wrote. It was absolutely beautiful!!!
video
Monday was speech therapy with Mariah. 

Tuesday was a doctor appointment with Kyle to get his allergy shot. I usually do those at home but the first shot from a new prescription has to be done in the doctor's office. 

Wednesday morning was the speech testing for Mariah at our Board of Education to see if she qualifies for speech when she turns three. We have no official word on her results but the SLP told me she cannot imagine her not qualifying. Evidently her receptive speech is excellent yet her expressive speech is pretty minimal. Then I went to the grocery store! We had church again on Wednesday evening, so dinner was super rushed. 

Thursday was low key. I consider it successful if the kids are fed, medicated, and school completed! Notice no housework was mentioned. 

Friday was Jeremy's day off and I babysat a little guy for a friend in the morning. Jeremy took the van for an oil change. 

We went furniture shopping during nap time. I have learned something about myself as I age. No salesman is able to talk me into something if I have experience that tells me better. We are looking for a kitchen table that will seat all 8 of us. He desperately tried to sell us a table with all kind of grooves in the wooden top and upholstered chairs. I told him first of all it would be hard to clean mashed potatoes out of those grooves. Secondly, I HATED the fabric used on the chairs and I didn't want fabric at all! He tried to tell me that we could use our vacuum attachments to clean the table top (YUCK!!) and the seats could continually be recovered! HELLO!!!!!! I have six kids! I have no time to re-upholster 8 chairs. He obviously does not do the cleaning at his house. I did not let him even get the words out of his mouth! 

This is the set we are leaning towards. Not my absolute favorite but it is okay. This is at a different store.
We are also looking for a new bedroom set for our girls! Again, nothing there struck our fancy. This set is at the same store as the dining set we are leaning towards. I really like this set.
Friday evening we took the kids to the local elementary school to play and for our older kids to run.
She just enjoyed playing.
The kids enjoyed playing with her.
Even on the tire swing.
Especially on the rock wall.
Such a great Daddy!
They all enjoyed themselves.
Evidently Ben disappeared while I took photos. He is the one running!
She even made a new friend, Macie.
This is pretty much how she slept all night! She was tired.
We have arranged for a private Spanish tutor to come and teach the kids Spanish each Saturday morning. Yes, school on Saturday. She was here for 1 1/2 hours and the kids ended up loving it.

I went grocery shopping and spent the majority of my Saturday working on shopping and reorganizing my kitchen. Kroger had Campbell's Soups on sale this past week, I usually buy store brand! Here is my  crowded pantry that I joking say most would call a stockpile.
Top shelf is snacks, chips, crackers, and most paper products.

Second shelf is baking supplies on left and pasta/rice on right.

Third shelf is soups on left and tomato products on right.

Fourth shelf is canned beans, drink mixes, and  a few canned fruits (pineapple, pears, peaches, mandarin oranges).

The floor holds our bottled water on the right and onions and potatoes on the left. As well as paper towels.

Larger families require large food budgets. Even on vacation at the beach we ate out once. It was lunch and we will never do that again. Our menu at the beach was this.....nothing spectacular!

*Stuffed shells (Becca and I made at home and took to the beach to bake)
*Sloppy Joes, french fries, and veggies
*Baked chicken marinated with rice and veggies
*Rigatoni with garlic bread
*Pizza (frozen pizza we bought at Walmart there)
*French Toast (yes, breakfast for supper)

There is much concern over government processes the past few weeks. If the US government shuts down that certainly affects international adoptions. The US Consulate will likely not issue Visas for our kids to come home from China. Also, the immigration approvals may not take place. From what I have read, it seems like if you paid for a service, they will proceed as normal. It was not entirely clear what would shut down and which program would remain in operation. Please pray that Congress can come to an agreement and approve a budget.

Today is day 44 of our wait for our first immigration approval. We are so close. Then our paperwork goes over to China for their approval (LOA). Then a few more smaller approvals after that. This mama is a wreck but it is not in my control. God knows best and it is all in His timing. I need to tell myself that quite often.

Our hearts are aching to have Selah here. She needs a family to love her as she has never felt before. She needs to know and be introduced to the Savior! How sweet will it be for us to watch our two China girls accept Christ as their personal Savior!!!!  

It is entirely possible to love someone you have never met. We have now done this twice. It really is a beautiful thing. 


Habakkuk 2:3 (NKJV)
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Vacation

This past week was so much fun for our family. After much debate, Jeremy and I decided that we needed to keep our promise to our kids and take them to the beach. It was not a decision we took lightly by any means. Our decision was made back in March. At that time we had no idea that God would be expanding our family again. 

We rented a condo and left on Saturday morning to North Myrtle Beach. Mariah struggled for a good part of the trip. She is not cut out for life on the road! We pulled into our condo and introduced Mariah to a beautiful creation by our God.....the beach. We giggled as we watched her attempt to walk onto the sandy shore. She was very unsure of how to walk. It was really cute.

We spent a lot of time on the beach. We made sure we put lots of sunscreen on the kids but Jeremy and I got a little bit of sunburn. 

The kids had so much fun making sand creations.

Here is their alligator.
Then we helped them a little with a sea turtle.
Lots of sandcastles. It seemed that The Lord of the Rings was the theme of many castles.
And another.....
And another....
And another.......
Then we had night walks on the beach.........
Playing together (one can dream)!
Exhaustion....
More exhaustion.....
Finally......
 Sea Creatures......
 Love notes....
Another love note......
Sunrise......
Another......
And another......
 How it all started..........
Where we are now......
It was truly a wonderful time together as a family. The day we chose for our family pictures was quite windy but will have to do. Nothing like asking a complete stranger to snap our photo.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Crazy Busy!!

It has been quite a while since I have blogged. There just came a time where there was so much on my plate that I simply did not have the time. I'll try to catch you all up on the inner workings of the Kaminski Clan!

We have been working so diligently on adoption paperwork. We finally have an approved home study that underwent a review for Hague compliance. That is a huge accomplishment! 

The process is similar to a tennis match. The approvals bounce back and forth between the two governments until we finally have our approval to board our flights!

In the process of waiting these past couple of weeks, our agency was working on getting an update for us. As I was on the phone with my social worker an email came through. Our wonderful agency, Lifeline, was successful in getting an update for us on our sweet Selah.
We are thrilled to know that she is aware that she has a family pursuing her and she is happy about that!

As my mom and I were both looking at her photo my mom noticed she has a necklace around her neck. Then I realized that it is the necklace we sent her in her care package! We sent her a jade necklace on a red silk rope. 

We also know that she does not like "fat meat" and "green onions". 

She knows very little English, just a few phrases.

We also received some updated measurements.

We were thrilled!!!! In fact, I was useless the rest of the day. We were over the moon excited to see our girl.

I've also been a little tied up with some grant paperwork. Here is a sample of my "Grant Notebook". So I like to be a tiny bit organized.
Oh my goodness!!!! This is so much work. I feel like we are applying for another mortgage. Here are just a few that were mailed out recently.
I was able to apply for three online! And right now I have four more ready to go to the post office in the morning.

There are two more after all of these that I cannot apply with until we receive approval from immigration.

I took Ben to the Fedex drop box and on the way there I noticed something in the middle of the road. It was a very lightly traveled road so I checked my mirrors and put the van in reverse. Ben was baffled! I backed up and opened my car door. This is what I found.........
Mr. Crunch is his/her name. My kids could not be happier. Evidently Ben thought I was going to back the van up and try to run over the poor turtle! Why would anyone do that? Sigh!!!

When Jeremy got home we showed him our new temporary "pet" then we gathered in the kitchen to open this sweet card.
We have been financially blessed by a few families already. This is how it happened with Mariah's adoption as well. Was this adoption God's will? Without a doubt!

I received a phone call the other morning from someone very dear friend who also wants to help us bring Selah home.

I love to watch how God works! I love that our children get to witness how God moves those mountains! It makes our faith real to them. Honestly, it makes it more real to me. At times, I think our kids have more faith than me.

Just this week I received an email that we were awarded our first grant!  Our agency offers a small grant to ministers. Why are we so amazed that God would make the way for our sweet girl to come home? God owns the cattle on a thousand hills! This adoption is easy for Him! He's got this!

As I have been teaching the kids in history and science this week........we are trying to wrap our finite minds around the fact that all God had to do was speak everything in existence. His very words made it all happen! Are my financial concerns too much for Him? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!

My words fail me as I fumble to make an attempt to express our appreciation for what you all do for our family. I am honored that you pray for us and our sweet Selah. We are humbled that you would make such a financial sacrifice for Selah.

I love that our Chinese daughters bring smiles to your faces as you see God's beautiful plan of adoption walking the halls of Fellowship or gracing our pages of Facebook.

When you see us or think of us, we covet your prayers. This adventure is nothing shy of miraculous. But our daughter needs prayer as she is preparing for a change in her life that will shake her to the very core. 

We still plan on traveling in the next three months. Oh my! I just wrote that and it leaves for very little time. 

Thank you for your gracious hearts and sweet spirits! We are a very blessed family!


 

Psalm 107:1
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!