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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’


Yes, I’ve been a slacker. I was busy. I’m now tired, so what you are about to read is stream of consciousness. Parts of it will be out of sequence like a Quentin Tarantino film. Just roll with it.

Christmas was quite the drawn out extravaganza for us. Amie and the kids got an early start on¬† vacation. So we had our family Christmas before they left. We invited close friends over to celebrate for us and exchange gifts. It was great watching the kids celebrate their first Christmas with us. We aren’t sure what Christmas was like for them in the DRC. But they had a lot of fun opening gifts.

The human heart is amazing. The boys were completely content with their gifts. Ash spent the next day kicking his $2 ball around the house. Eli was more than happy with his remote control car and Legos. The girls’ depravity was on full display however. Jadon was envious of Eli’s remote control car- and expensive (from her perspective). Micah was envious of Jadon’s new dress even though she has plenty of her own.

Soon, they were flying to NY to spend time at Amie’s parents and meet more cousins, Aunts & Uncles and dogs than they could ever imagine. They had a blast getting to know everyone. In some ways if probably felt comfortable with all those kids around- like the orphanage. They did get a little snow before I got there and made some snow angels. They enjoyed opening a few gifts from their grandparents.

I arrived late after we waited for someone’s luggage to get on the plane in Chicago. Dan and Jeannine drove with Amie to the airport to pick me up. Since I was a few hours behind them body clock-wise, I drove home. We rolled into the farm around 2 am. The snow came after I arrived. Lots of it! They thought it was beautiful, but not excited about it being wet and cold. They really didn’t want to play in it. I did get to do some sledding with the older kids. Well, Micah just stood there wanting to go in. Their Uncle Rich, however, decided to take out the canoe. Pop-Pop pulled him up and down the hill with the golf cart.

It was our 11th anniversary of wedded mostly bliss. We made our now annual trek into Glens Falls to get some Thai food (perhaps you can spot the straw wrapper hanging out of my nose). On that trip we usually get supplies for Jadon’s birthday party too. I forgot to bring some of her gifts with me, so we had to pick up a few more. Just call me absent minded (thanks to low levels of at least 2 vitamins and a hormone). It was good to be alone after not seeing one another for nearly 2 weeks. Too bad it was Glens Falls, in the business district. Know what I mean, say no more. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

They had fun at the “Chinese auction” as well. But mostly there was lots of playing with cousins. On New Year’s Eve there was a big party at Trena’s. They have a Wii, and the dance game got a heavy rotation. And Micah was in her element. She quickly figured out what she was supposed to do and followed the dancer. She got rhythm, baby!

Dan and Jeannine came back up for New Year’s. Tonya’s family and their new dog also came up. So, it was a full house. And a big party. We had Jadon’s party a day early so Dan and Jeannine could be there. Robbie and Rachel had returned with their 4 kids, so we had 10 adults and 15 kids at her party. She mostly got stuffed dogs. She really wants a dog of her own. Though she loves Lulu, she’s basically my dog. And she can’t be taken on the plane. Jadon wants a dog she can bring on the plane with us, like a Pocket Beagle or Westie. Until then, Lulu will have to do.

I pretty much doubt the kids had seen temperatures anywhere near 10 degrees. But they survived, and I got to cook steaks on the grill in it. All in all a good time for all despite the occasional injuries and hurt feelings when they played. Amie and I started to watch Downton Abbey and got sucked in. Her parents switched from Dish to Direct TV and there was no longer a DVR so we prety much watched Netflix on the iPad. The kids used it to watch some movies too.

I left before they did because I only had one week of Study Leave. When I picked them up at the airport, Micah said she didn’t want to go home. She wanted to go to MeMa’s house. I told her she was not flying back, and that Noah and Naomi had gone home that day too. Besides, MeMa and Pop-Pop were about to head to FL.

Back at home we had yet another Christmas. Some friends from church had given us gifts for the kids. And one of Amie’s friends from NJ had sent us some gifts. So there was more celebrating for the Christmas that wouldn’t end.

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This Christmas season has been busy. But we thought it would be busier.

Since Amie and the kids jetted off to NY before me, we’ve already had our gift opening time. I love it when a gift is a “winner” and my child’s face lights up with utter delight. It is a beautiful thing. And I have to keep that in mind when one of their faces is scrunched in a pout or whine.

There has been cleaning and sealing grout since the builder didn’t seal it. One of my knees is bruised in this act of love toward my wife. The rest will have to wait until after Christimas. I’ve even started the process of re-financing our home. Lower rate and shorter length means we’ll save $$$$ long term. But that is stress.

What we had hoped to be doing now is planning a trip to the DRC to pick up “our” 2 kids. We hope they will be joining our family. We are not sure because the judicial process is moving slower than a slug on ice (can they move on ice?).

3 He heals the brokenhearted  and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147

We did get an updated picture of them. Sorry, we’ve decided to wait until the referral is approved to put up pictures. But they look quite healthy. Micah’s hair is growing back in nicely. Her disposition seems much better- our prayers are apparently being answered. Asher just seems like a big kid, and fairly laid back. The reality may be very different. But we are quite grateful that our hopeful kids are being well cared for in the orphanage.

This is particularly in light of unfounded accusations we heard about our agency. I’m thankful we didn’t have a knee-jerk reaction. So there is a word of caution for folks surfing the net. You hear lots of things out there. Take the time to slow down and ask questions. Our agency was very willing to address all of our concerns. The allegations made them aware they needed to do a better job communicating and developing an more accurate web presence.

We have heard about problems in other countries that may not have orphanages run by the agency. We don’t know if these stories are true. But, please, ask questions about who and how your prospective child will be cared for during the wait. That wait may be longer than you expect. The pictures, over time, show us kids who are doing well, and are well-cared for. We are grateful for the orphanage workers. They can make all the difference.

Next year? We anticipate having 2 more delight-filled faces when we open gifts. We anticipate having 2 more kids wanting to know about Jesus.

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