I just put my tickets for Liberia on hold. My tummy is tight and my brow is hot. I'm nervous and excited and nervous some more.
Please be praying with us that I won't have to be gone for a full month (as has been requested by the orphanage) - I LOVE my husband and my kids and my bed and I just don't want to... well, ya know.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
My twins are the only people that I've ever met that have the honor of being 7 years old two years in a row... Since war babies weren't being born in hospitals, the girls didn't have birth certificates until we were filing for the adoption. So the orphanage took a guess and then we waited for about a year and took a more educated guess ;)
They'll be seven one more go around! Here's some pictures from their birthday (we were going to go to Zoo Lights but rain was in the forecast so we went out to eat instead):
Posted by Raquel at 10:03 AM
Monday, December 24, 2007
It's bizarre to think that there are people out there who don't have the cash for underwear, isn't it? It's bizarre to think that there are people who would consider it a blessing to have your used underwear. My good friend Ashley has opened up a challenge for others to get involved in. She pledged to donate 250 pairs of underwear if 20 people will donate 10 pairs each. The undies will be shipped down to an orphanage in Liberia where the kids have one pair of underwear each. One pair. Try whining about the poor gas mileage that your 2005 gets now!
Just think about if you only owned the underwear that you have on now. They are in tatters and, honestly, you're blessed to even have that one pair. When the nannies (or possibly the older girls) at the orphanage where you live have a wash day, you've got no underwear at all until those suckers dry out in the humid jungle climate. There's no target or walmart for you to pick some up at... for that matter you aint got the cash to pick some up anyway. Who will help you? With something as cheap and as simple as this?
Ashley told me that she needs some teenage boys underwear in particular. Join with me, guys. If it were you who didn't have undies, I'd get you some and I'd ask others to help.
Posted by Raquel at 2:29 PM
Friday, December 21, 2007
This morning we went and got Santa pictures and, to no surprise, my kids said some bizarre things to the poor guy.
Santa: What do you want for Christmas little boy?
Mr. P: I wonder what does Santa want for Christmas...
Santa: What do you want for Christmas little girl?
Miss B: A pony, a little doggy that fits in a purse, a purse for my dog, a doll house, some new dolls, clothes that are purple because purple is my favorite color, the parrot that talks to you at Costco - have you seen that parrot?, I'd like some new mittens too but my mom says that I have enough mittens, ooh and scarves with flowers (and on and on and on)....
Santa: And what do you want little boy?
Mr. O: I don't know you.
Santa: How about you little girl? What do you want for Christmas?
Miss F: A doll even though my mom says that I don't play with the ones I already have. But I like dolls.
Santa: And last but not least, what do you want for Christmas?
Miss Z: I wonder if you smell like beef and cheese... (she takes a big wiff)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
2. When I pour cream into my freshly brewed coffee and it coagulates on top
3. When I can't find ... hang on a sec... when I can't remember what I was looking for
4. Knowing that my husband is home, lurking around a corner waiting to FREAK me out
5. Glancing at the clock and realizing that I've spent an hour looking at excruciatingly random photos of Hawaii.
6. Looking in the mirror in a public restroom and realizing that I have yet to brush my hair today.
7. Speaking of public restrooms, those make me nervous... in a general sense. You never know what you're going to get, ya know? You may walk into a stall where someone has peed all over the seat, or one without toilet paper, or one where it smells as if someone has recently exploded in there. The entire affair makes me nervous.
8. The invisible mouse that I cannot seem to catch who is no longer leaving any traces...
9. Hugs. Hugs make me nervous. I am not a random-person-hugger. I'm working on it, but no go so far.
10. When my husband is being particularly and unusually nice...
10 1/2. Miss F told me tonight that she cut her hair some more even after I told her to please not do it ever again. She thinks she did, but she can't remember exactly when she cut her hair, or maybe she didn't do it again at all. She thinks she may have probably cut it on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. But for sure not Sunday.
Posted by Raquel at 8:47 PM
Monday, December 17, 2007
I've been slammed lately and so haven't been posting.
Slammed with a beautiful restoration happening within my family, slammed with mourning with my sisters in Christ who are mourning, slammed with a recent onslaught of mental attacks from the enemy, slammed with activity and projects - but to sum it all up I feel slammed with a sort of helplessness.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not bummed out. At all. It's almost like I'm in the eye of the storm (which, I might add, is a wonderful place to be!). For example, I spoke both on Saturday and Sunday to crowds of around 800-1000 people about how God is working in our lives through adoption. My stomach was tight and my palms were sweaty. It was a benefit concert put on by a large choral group in Olympia and when I was thanking them for giving their proceeds to further adoption support, I said "You guys ROCK."
Can a choral group ROCK?
I don't think so.
But what is so beautiful about the stress and the upset stomach is that I get to be a part of helping someone else. I get to testify about our growth as a family and thus our relationship with Christ. I get to be a part of peoples healing (I've had a number of adult men tell me very intimate stories of how they were raised in US orphanages and been able to show them compassion). I get to show others how much that God's love extends far beyond our own backyards and into the whole world. I get to be a signpost that says : Here's how we can help and grow and learn in Christ. I get to be an encouragement for others. I get to do the best that I can with what little I've got. I get to say, "If I can do this, trust me, so can you!"
I wish that we could sit down over coffee (if only I had a quarter for every time that I say that) and I could tell you about all of the unbelievably and beautifully broken people that I get to come into contact with and love on 'em. That the reason that I'm walking in the eye of this storm, rather than being thrashed around by it, is because of Jesus. I wish that the little table that we sat at together over coffee, would be in the eye of the storm. That you would get a brake from the madness that is so freakin' everywhere all of the time. That you would share with me about how your heart is doing, and I would share with you about how mine is doing. And we would laugh and cry and do our best together.
And so why do I feel helpless? I guess it's because I can't force anyone to take a breather. I can't force anyone to feel Jesus the way that I feel Him. I can't force anyone to read the signpost that says "All of this is for HIS glory." I can't make anyone experience this obscure and elusive feeling that I'm talking about. And sometimes, it just hurts to let people go. It hurts to watch them in the swirly tornado flying around and around while getting battered by the debris and by others who are there with them. It hurts to watch them put themselves through something that they so easily could avoid. It hurts to see them hurting.
I guess I need to work on letting the Holy Spirit work without getting in His way. It's hard for me to be quiet as Jesus was quiet. It's hard for me to shut up and let go of what I cannot control. It's hard for me to see prayer as an act of battle. But it's the next step, I think.
I'm ashamed to say that it should have been my first.
How elusive is that?
I guess it just feels good to write it out.
Posted by Raquel at 1:12 PM
Friday, December 14, 2007
Long time past - before your father live - before his father live
Before his father's father live - long time past
Before them big tree live - before them big tree's father live
That time God live.
And God look on the world - that He done make
And Him heart no lay down.
And He walk about in the town to see the people.
And He sit down in the palaver house to know the people.
And He sorry too much.
And God say "The people no hear My Word.
The people no walk My way. Nev mind.
All I can do is make a new country - and make new people."
And this time God's one small boy - Him small child
Hear God's Word, And the child grieve for people and for His Pa.
So he go for God's face and make talk for His Pa.
"Pa, I come for beg you," so He say,
"I come for beg you; Don't make the new world.
Don't lose the people what you done care for. I beg you.
Make it I go, I talk to people. I walk with people. Bye-m-bye
They savvy the way."
And the child go down softly softly and hold God's foot. (i.e.
So God look on Him small boy. And Him heart be very soft. And God
Left me now, but hear me good; If you go you must be born like a man
You must live like a man - and you must have hurt and have hunger.
And hear me good; men will hate you and they will flog you, and
Bye-m-bye they will kill you, and I no going put my hand there."
And the Child say, "I agree."
And bye-m-bye God call Mary to be Ma for the child.
Now Mary be new wife for Joseph and Joseph ain't touch Mary self.
So first time Joseph vex. But God say, 'Nev min', Joseph; this be
And Joseph heart lay down.
And God see one king who try for do good for all him people.
"Ahah, now I send my Son for be new king."
And God send star to call the king.
And in a far country, God hear a wise man call his name.
And God say to the wise man, "I send my Son to be new wise man;
Go now with the star." And the star call. And the wise men follow.
And by the waterside - men lay down to take rest.
And they hear fine music in the sky like all the stars make song,
And they fear. And all the dark make bright like day.
And the water shine like fire. And no man can savvy.
And they hearts turn over. But God's angel come,
And God's angel say, "Make glad, all people,
God's child be born in Bethlehem."
And the star come low and stop. But when they go for mansion house
The star no be there. And when they go for big man's house,
The star no be there. And bye-m-bye when they go for hotel,
The star no be there gain - "Ahah, the star be by the small house
Where cattle sleep! " And it was so.
And they found Joseph and Mary and the small child fold up in
And the king bring gold for gift
And the wise man bring fine oil
And the country people bring new rice.
And they look on the God child
And every man heart lay down.
Posted by Raquel at 8:06 AM
Saturday, December 8, 2007
- A pair of plastic crayola scissors just don't make an even cut
- It will make your mommy sad/mad
- When it's only a 1/8" - 1/4" it cannot get braided in
- Someone is guaranteed to notice your untold secret
- It leaves a strange patch of fluffiness in the front/center of your forehead
- It defeats the purpose of trying to grow your hair out
- Your mommy won't trust you with scissors at school anymore
- It makes for memorable family Christmas pictures.
- You should regret it (even though you don't)
- Your mommy will not be able to help herself from noticing it and mentioning how it was a bad choice over and over and over... even though it doesn't bother you in the slightest.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The invisible makes itself known to my husband first.
He wakes up and makes coffee before work 3am Mon-Fri. The house is dark on his first venture out to the kitchen because most of his morning routine takes place in the bathroom. Just a quick walk to the stove to start the water for coffee in a house that he knows by heart. He rounds the corner and movement catches his eye. His breathing stops, his body still... all that he can hear is the banging of his heart. He remains stationary until he believes that he was just imagining things but the doubt still remains. He slowly makes his way to the teapot. One foot in front of the other, his eyes are wide open and his adrenaline pumping. He reaches out to turn on the burner and he quickly leaps to safety.
The next day, the invisible reveals itself to my boys.
Little O and I go and pick up Mr.P around noon from half day kindergarten. Once we're home, I fix them lunch and then they goof around until naptime. This day was just like any other, we followed out routine as usual. After lunch they were playing with some action figures along with my to-be-recycled pile near the back door. Batman (Mr.P) would occasionally yelp at Spiderman (Little O) and a fight would ensue. The shark would hide in a Cheerios box and scare both of the superheroes, to which they would retaliate. Asteroids (legos) would shoot down from the sky and blow up the world.
I sat, checking my emails, at the computer when suddenly I heard them both screaming and running towards my room. This was not a Batman or Spiderman scream... it was a couple of high pitched squeals that tend to induce fear into those that can hear them. I turned my head to see what they were running from. They slammed the door and ran to my side. They too had seen the unthinkable.
Then, my little brother was next.
We sat on the couch, chatting about no-no topics (religion and politics) as usual. Our talks always grow circular and move quickly, following tangents and sudden brain storms. We spoke of Iran, nuclear weapons, Carter, fair elections, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, the term WWJD (what would Jesus do) vs. WWJWUTD (what would Jesus want us to do), is morality possible in government, Islam the religion vs. Islamic control, and corruption. I was passionately giving my opinion on Aidid Jr when my little brother took in a huge breath. He placed his hand on my shoulder, signaling for me to stop my tirade. I congratulated myself on making a good point (what a reaction!) before noticing that he was looking behind me. Slowly, I turned my head. My little brother stood up and slowly backed away from where he was looking. Too stunned to say anything, I searched for what he had seen. Again, I saw nothing.
I think that this invisible thing understands that I would snap it's body in half if I ever saw it. It knows better. It knows that I have no compassion when it comes to invading my home and causing terror. It knows that I am out for blood. To the death.
And so it hides from me.
But I will find it! I promise you that. I will find it and I will conquer it. Little mouse, prepare to die.
Posted by Raquel at 12:35 PM