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Off to Franklin!

Richard and I are packin’ up the van and heading to Franklin, TN to join 600 other conference attenders with a heart for adopton! I’m so excited to be among these people…and to even meet some precious friends I have met through adoption blogs also with our agency! YAY! I’m also helping during the conference by volunteering my photography services (http://www.georgialane.com/) as a donation toward the conference. I’ll just be snappin’ away and capturing all the fun…and putting together a fun little slideshow of the amazing weekend after! So…stay tuned! http://www.togetherforadoption.org/

P.S. When I find some time…I have GOT to post a picture from my crazy day yesterday!!! As it got better in the afternoon—I took the kids out to ride bikes, enjoy weather and I grabbed my camera to snag some shots of them. I was clickin’ away when I saw Frank put something dark in his mouth? What on earth? Well, he sure was making a cute face…so I continued to snap and then it hit me again—WAIT…HE PUT SOMETHING IN HIS MOUTH! So–I ran to do the fingersweep…and found a little protein in there. AN EARTHWORM! AHHHH…disGUSTme! It repulsed me to get it out as much as the thought of it being in his mouth! The joys of boys!

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Beautiful Mess - October 2, 2009 - 8:02 am

Enjoy the conference!

an earthworm? WOW! That is crazy! Boys are great!

"A day in the life…" and your adopting?!

OK–it’s only 12:30pm…our big Wednesday only half over. So is my cup half full or half empty? (I’ll go ahead and apologize for the long post…it’s been one of those days!)

Today was my day to get my adoption physical. We have a precious MD who had volunteered to give Rich and I our physicals to cut down on costs—only I had to do a few seperate things at my doctor b/c I’m the lady of the house and our particular home study physicals require a few extra things that I didn’t quite want the MD at our church doing. So…I ventured out this a.m. for a 9:30 appointment–and Richard had agreed to help with Miss L and Baby F as they are both home with me on Wednesdays. The “plan” was to meet me at the doctor so I could painstakingly get through the portion of the physical that the MD at our church wouldn’t be doing. So…I have heard over and over that adoption isn’t for the faint of heart—I’m hanging in there…but today (the first part of it) has definitely felt like a test of whether or not we can add to our family. Have I passed??? Hmmm…I’ll let you faithful blog readers be the judge of that. So…for your entertainment—here’s a peak of our morning:

6:30 – Hubby is off to work for a big conference call at 7am. Ahhh…my helper is gone…
7:30 – Wake up call for P, L and F…today is P’s late start morning b/c of chapel. Shower. Get dressed. Everyone dressed and pressed. Out the door by 8:15.
8:25Oh no! Today is P’s share day at PreK. “Oh P—we have to cut out 3 things you like to eat!” Grab Southern Living. “P, don’t you love cookies like this? Oh…oh P—what about fries like these??? You love those…RIGHT?! No? Are you SURE? Ok, ok—P…what about this? You want a picture of cheezits? There isn’t one in this Southern Living Issue. You have to have cheezits?”
8:27 – Run to recycle bin–pull out empty box of cheezits…cut out picture of cheezits. Ok…we have 3 foods for Parker to share. Cookies. Fries (you DO like them P!) and Cheezits.
8:30 – Everyone buckled in van.
8:35 – Everyone waiting in van—mommy can’t find her wallet from yesterday’s craziness (had 3 sessions yesterday…just 3 b/c my 4th agreed to move to Thursday…had to take Rich’s truck to 7:30 one and babysitters to 11am one and my van to 3:30 one…WHERE DID I LEAVE MY WALLET?
8:40 – Still can’t find my wallet! Call Richard. “Did I leave my wallet in your truck? No? On no. Someone must have stole my wallet out of your truck. I know I left it in your truck. You are a last minute meeting at 9:30 – Phone cuts off. Didn’t charge iphone. Looks like I’m taking L and F to my doc appointment now.
8:45 – Gotta go so P isn’t late for 9am chapel. Van may have left tire marks on corner as I whipped out of neighborhood. “Is everyone buckled up?!”
8:59 – “Hurry Parker—just jump out here…yes 6 cars back…hurry before carpool is over”
9:10 – Looking for AT&T store so I can buy a iPhone car charger so I can call Rich back. Great. No wallet. No cell phone. Realizing I don’t have a $$$ to pay for my doctor appointment…no driver’s liceanse…no insurance card and no $ to get me out of the parking deck…2 kids going to the OB with me now that Rich can’t meet me…nice. No AT&T store. Wait…why am I looking for an AT&T store if I don’t have a wallet!
9:15 – Sitting in traffic on Hwy 400.
9:30 – Get to doc office. Open up back of van…NO STROLLER in back of van! Where is my stroller? Run in doc office with 3 year old holding my back pocket…11 month old on hip…and car seat in hand! Car seat? No stroller and need a place to put baby during my physical. EEK!
9:40 – 10 minutes late for appointment. Get on elevator. L:”Mommy can I push the number?” Me: Yes L, push 4. Too late. We’re 10 minutes late and we have to stop at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors first. Obviously we need to work on numbers.
9:45 – Ask to use checkin phone to call Rich…I need him to fax my insurance card, driver’s liceanse, and yes–I’m here for an adoption physical…thought I’d add more to my plate:)
10:00 – I get called back…with L, F and carseat.
10:15 – F in carseat…train L to feed F in dressing room so they both aren’t scarred for life from mommy’s physical. F screaming…applesauce all over the place…L loving playing mommy. Doc says “this is for an adoption physical….me: “yes…can’t you clearly see I need more children?” doc doesn’t know if I’m serious but laughs anyway.
10:25Miracle. Nurse pops in…hands me an American Express card and $20…”someone brought this by for you”. Was it Jesus or Richard? God bless my husband’s heart! My day offers hope. Frank still in carseat screaming…Laney is tired of playing mommy…doctor: “my husband’s partner just adopted from Ethiopia…but they had older children” Well, can’t you see I’m crazy…we thrive on crazy. We are crazy. Today isn’t normal. Don’t have my wallet. Don’t have my hubby sitter for 30 minutes as planned. Don’t have a stroller. But…I’m still smiling—so, yes, I must be the type that is crazy enough to have 3 under 5 and says “We should adopt!”
10:45 – Check out…Laney pushes the right buttons in the elevator this time to get to parking deck. Things are on the up and up…that 2 for 2 now.
11:00 – I have money to get out of parker deck! $15 back. Sweet. Dispite penny pinching to save, save, save…I think we need to treat ourselves to a little happy or two.
11:15 – STARBUCKS. BANANA WALNUT BREAD. I needed a pick-me-up. F is sleeping! Poor baby. L says she needs a pick-me-up too. Of course you do dear.
11:25 – Krispy Creme…donut with chocolate on top. Krispy Creme always makes things better.
11:40 – Spot AT&T store. Buy much needed car charger. Ahhhh…my phone back.
11:45 – We are actually early to carpool! Coffee, banana nut bread and donuts. AHHH! We survived! We’re 3 for 3 now. The sun is out. Fall is here. L is playing matching game on iPhone, Frank is in my lap clapping while I sing…ahhhhh….deep breathe.
12:00 – P hops in. Donut waiting in his seat. “WOW mommy! What’s this for?!” Don’t ask P! Oh if he only knew how crazy our morning had been since we dropped him off! “Eat and enjoy sweet boy…and sure…before lunch…today is a special day!”

Yes, this is a day in the life—maybe not typical…but just one of those days that we all have where we can feel defeated before it is half way over. There are so many things to do for our adoption and adding the overwhelming checklist on top of our already crazy schedules often feels daunting. I am reminded though that my life is not my own!!!

Galations 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live in faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” This life we live is NOT ours…when I became a believer I surrendered MY WILL to live MY LIFE the way I WANTED. Last night after I put baby F down I sat outside and for the first time in YEARS and read a few pages of my Southern Living magazine outside enjoying the Fall weather along with the sound of my almost 4 year old and 5 year old playing INDEPENDENTLY. “WOW,” I thought. “We could have stopped there…with 2 kids just a year apart…and this would have been what life would have been like.” Nice. I started dreaming and had to shake my head out of this fantasy of such a relaxed life…and remember…

My life IS NOT my own.

If I truly believe in eternity and in the living God, then I also believe I will have eternity to rest, dance and sing praise to my Creator. This life is short. Too short to not live “in faith in the Son of God”. There are 147,000,000 orphans. Too many for me to sit around reading my Southern Living and enjoying the sound of 2 children playing in the background. How can I stand before my Creator one day and answer for the 147,000,000 orphans in the world while I sat back and watched…or worse ignored it. What does it mean to be crucified with Christ? What does it mean to crucify your own will? What does it mean to live a life for Him, through Him, living as He would live?

And the even more miraculous part is…I DO NOT want to sit and read my Southern Living magazine. As tempting as that may sound…it would be short lived. What if instead I get to one day sit on my porch and watch children run around laughing that otherwise wouldn’t have a home or family to love them. And even more—what will it be like to have my adopted children in my home and to realize there were 146,999,999 left behind that will never play soccer, build a fort or even have a daily meal? My life is not my own…

Help me Lord to live as you would. To not get caught up in the things of this world or my own flesh. Help me not to choose the easy path…but the road less traveled. To trust you in the big things…like coming up with the cost of our adoption…all the way to the little things…like losing my wallet and how in the heck I’m gonna get out of the parking deck. And to laugh when I later find my wallet in Laney’s school bag. Yes Rich…I found it. In Laney’s school bag…*I* put it there when I picked her up in my babysitters car after my 2nd session…working extra to help pay for our adoption…and therefore much busier than ever. My life is not my own. He will carry us through…WHEN we are doing HIS will.

Mamma said there’d be days like this…and yes…even among crazy days and possibly an already crazy life…we are adopting. There will be crazy days no matter how many kids we have…and we aren’t gonna let crazy days or how crazy we may look be our meter for what we can handle or if we can open our home to grow…because it will not be by our strength, but through Him. We are gonna keep our main thing—the main thing—keep our eyes focused on Jesus the perfector of our faith…and continue to run this race with perserverance. We are going to adopt a PRECIOUS child…who I am literally dying to get matched with…fly across the world for…and welcome into our hearts and home FOREVER…and we are going to continue to hold our hands out remembering that our lives our not our own and saying “My life is not my own…what can I do for your glory…use our family for your glory.”

1:30pm. All 3 children are napping. I have my wallet. I have my stroller back in my van ready for our next outing. And we’re setting off for a dermatologist appointment for Laney for a checkup. Just a check up. Life is good—and my cup is officially half full:)

XOXO,

Andrea

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Beautiful Mess - September 30, 2009 - 11:53 am

That is crazy and encouraging–LOL fun! Sorry to laugh but I know it is all going to be worth the craziness! You are an encouragement to me!

my favorite part: can't you clearly see I need more children;)

Hilarious!

Are These Kids All Yours? - September 30, 2009 - 3:14 pm

AMEN for days like that- make you appreciate the slightly slower ones 🙂 Oh praise God that you have answered the call of a little one who needs you, of God who wants all of our hearts to be open to Him, and of your willing testimony.

The Young Family - September 30, 2009 - 6:54 pm

Yes…days like this you see it is the Lord carrying you through!!! It WILL all be worth it in the end!

McAndrews - October 1, 2009 - 3:07 am

And you were still smiling at 6pm. Well done….

[…] SO–today was ONE of those crazy days. Like…one of those I had about 2 years ago and I posted the comical run down here. […]

Richard and I are heading back to "school"…

One thing at a time…now that we’re done with our homestudy paperwork, we just have our physicals and our parent education to knock out…and well some educating before we can say Adios to our homestudy. SO…we’re officially being educated—and this should make for lots of interesting time together (have you ever had to sit in a room and be serious with Richard or I?! Or better yet, take an online course with both of us in the room trying to pay attention and listen…I’m worried about failing here!) So…we have to complete these online courses before our home study can be approved…and we need our home study approved so we can get homeland security approval…and we need homeland security approval to complete our dossier…just one of the many things that will make up our dossier. So…off to school we go…here’s a list of our online courses we have to complete—um…asap, be tested on (no cheating Richard!) and receive credits for…

Adoption Education, LLC Training Courses
– Attachment and Bonding
– Behavioral and Mental Disorders
– Culture and Identity
– Effects of Institutionalization
– Effects of Stress in Early Life
– Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
– Malnutrition
– Prenatal Exposure to Drugs and Maternal Smoking
– Sensory Integration Disorder
– Special Regional Considerations
– Travel and Transition
– Waiting Parents and Lifebooks
– Eyes Wide Open Completed Workbook and CD

Got that?! Any one have Cliffnotes I can borrow;). OK–Richard and I didn’t go to college together so this should be fun! My sister reminded me today that I need to see everything as an opportunity rather than another thing to get done or do. This is all for an absolutely BEAUTIFUL end result!!! And important to do too! OK…now finding time to get all the courses in;).

And speaking of end results…if you haven’t heard the ring tone I’ve assigned to AGCI in my cell phone you have to totally check it out in my previous post and boogie with us:). Parker and Laney do a dance that I am sure the African community would love! Actually…if you ever saw Can’t Buy Me Love and remember the African Anteater Ritual Dance…their version of dancing to my cell phone is pretty close…I’ll have to video that one and put it on my blog for sure!

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Are These Kids All Yours? - September 28, 2009 - 8:59 pm

Oh yes, the classes….well they are great, and sooo much fun. Ok well maybe not really fun, but they are informational. So just remember to get as much out of it as possible. Just don't let them scare you either. Jason & I always say if everyone read and believed everything they ever heard about adoption- no one would do it!!!!

Top 5 Big Things for this week…

1. 4 photography sessions on Tuesday (EEK! 4?! Yes, 4. But Andrea, I thought you only shot one a day. Why yes, you are right. But with my crazy paper work chase balanced with kids being sick, doctors visits. little sleep and reschedules due to a week and a half of rain…I overbooked myself for Tuesday. It has happened before—once. But that made 2 in a day–not 4. Forgot to write one down and already had 3…and now I have 4 sessions on Tuesday…the *ONLY* day I work of the week…so it should be a busy one. Have a EVER shot 4 full 1 hour sessions in a day? Nope! Do I think I can handle it? Do I have have to answer that question? Ummm–email me on Tuesday night and see if I still have a pulse. EEK!

*UPDATE:) Ahh…my new favorite client and new VBFF just moved to Thursday! YAY! Ok…now only 3 on Tuesday so I can breathe and will do hers on Thursday while the older 2 are in preschool and grab a sitter for a couple of hours for Frankie baby. This at least helps me breath!

2. Adoption Physicals on Wednesday! Lots of tests…and you all *KNOW* how I feel about needles! But this will ALL be worth it in the end! AND Laney has her monthly dermatologist appointment Wednesday afternoon too. Ahhh…a day of doctors!!! Praise the Lord though that she doesn’t have MSRA like they thought before and we’re just going for checkups!!!

3. OCTOBER! My favorite month of the YEAR! I always wanted an October baby just for October birthday parties! Hmmm…who knows–maybe baby #4 will have an October birthday?? Or maybe October will be the month we celebrate a “Gotcha Day” instead?? Regardless, October is my FAVORITE month of the year and it starts THIS Thursday! Yippee! (Now…gotta get my calendar out to start planning our pumpkin patch trip, carving day, and all that Fall fun!)

*Also on Thursday my package w/ our check and notarized material arrives to AGCI (our agency)…and we start on our dossier (final paperwork collection before we get put on the wait list!). How fitting…the first day of my favorite month we get another step closer to our baby! AND on Thursday…my rocking 17 Bible study girls come over at 7:30! LOVE OUR GROUP!!! They are the COOLEST girls and with the most PRECIOUS hearts…I feel SO blessed to have each of them as friends and accountability in my life!!! (YAY…now I really can’t wait for Thursday!)

5.  And FINALLY…FRIDAY—we take off for an adoption conference in Franklin, Tennessee with our entire crew! I’m the photographer for the conference and we’re so excited to be a part of it! http://www.togetherforadoption.org/ It is going to be AMAZING to be among so many other families who have a heart for the orphans of the world and who have taken the plunge to grow their family through adoption. We are attending these breakout sessions at the conference:

-Implementing a Balanced Orphan Care and Adoption Ministry in Your Church
-Transracial Adoption and the Multi-Ethnic Family of God
-A Wholistic Church Campaign for the Fatherless
-Wholistic Care for Orphans

We’ll be staying with Richard’s aunt and uncle in Columbia, TN and scooting back and forth to the conference with Mr.Frank in tow. He’s not on bottles just yet—so he still has to go where I go…can’t believe he’ll be 11 months this Thursday too! Parker and Laney are going to get to stay behind in Columbia and Richard’s aunt and uncle are both so excited to have them for the weekend while Rich and I (& Frank) go to this conference to learn how we can better impact the orphans of the world.

OK…so that’s it for this week;). One day at a time in the Young household! I doubt I’ll be blogging this week…so if you don’t hear from me—you know why! I’m sure I’ll have a funny story after Richard and I get our physicals on Wednesday…and did I already say that this is the LAST thing left to do for our HOME STUDY!!! YAY! One step down…now the dossier to go!

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Kristi J - September 27, 2009 - 9:29 pm

oh, my…you're gonna be in Franklin?? That's just one minute down the road…Ok, so you have to come meet LL and the gang!! Do you have a free minute?? too fun!! kristi

The Young Family - September 28, 2009 - 6:40 am

YAY!!!!!!

Frances - September 28, 2009 - 8:32 am

My name is Frances Worthington and we are adopting from Uganda. We will be at the conference this weekend too! Hope to see you there. Our blog is http://www.theworthingtonjourney.blogspot.com

See you there!
Thrive!
Frances

The Young Family - September 28, 2009 - 11:46 am

About to email you Frances!!! Would love to meet up at the conference!!!

Jehovah Jireh!

This post is gonna be short and sweet as it’s been a loooong week. Richard was out of town Monday to Wednesday night…then Parker tossed his cookies 6 times today so he was home from school with me and baby Frank. I had completed everything for our homestudy and it’s time to mail in our first big chunk of change. When I say big chunk…it’s a really big chunk. I was specifically praying that enough orders would come in and we’d have all we needed by this Friday…and as soon as the sun set tonight (Thursday) every last penny we needed came in. I just wanted to give the Lord praise in this post for being our Jehovah Jireh! I am humbled and amazed how He has already provided, led and given us confirmation that this is His path for our family—how He continues to have His hand on this adoption! I’m even more amazed in the miracle of adoption…how my heart feels and how things keep panning out. You always here people talk about “the miracle of childbirth” but I’ll have to say there is something uniquely, miraculous about “the miracle of adoption”! Trusting God for what is ahead and to always be our great provider…

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Kim - September 25, 2009 - 2:59 am

What a beautiful post honoring our Great Provider! And AMEN to the "uniquely, miraculous" journey through "the miracle of adoption".
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Beautiful Mess - September 25, 2009 - 6:31 am

Praise God! That is so encouraging!

Are These Kids All Yours? - September 25, 2009 - 5:44 pm

We have a song here at camp about Jehovah Jireh. It sooo reminds us of how God is our Provider. Amazing to see your journey & celebrating with you!

Kristi J - September 25, 2009 - 11:38 pm

yayyy…praise God…He is so good 🙂 kj