Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I am defintely not one for New Year's Resolutions. Something about resolutions and goal setting has always given this laid back mama the heebie-geebies. The thought of setting a goal and having steps to accomplish said goal, either makes me want to take a nap, or panic, or eat lots of candy.

However, come New Year's Eve, I always feel a little left out with no resolution to share. So, last year, I prayed that God would give me a word for the year. That is about as much as I can handle goal-wise. One word to set my focus. One word to fall back on and mull over.

For 2010, He gave me HOPE. This was a cool challenge for me as my grown-up self is not prone to hope- more likely to doubt or fret, than hope. When faced with an unknown outcome, I chose to hope for the better outcome instead of expecting the worst. And you know what- I loved it! It truly did change my outlook and more often than not- my reason to hope was founded after all.

This year, I will be holding onto HOPE, but adding PEACE. I started praying for my new word for the year last week and PEACE kept coming to my mind. My devotional reading for today was also about peace which just confirmed it for me.

One thing I do with my "word of the year" is look up every reference to it in the Bible and choose my favorites. I haven't done that yet with PEACE (though I am looking forward to it!). I will leave you with my favorite HOPE verse this year:

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lovely Locks

Today Evelea cut her hair to donate to Locks of Love. She is nine years old and this is her second donation- way to go Ev!




Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

May the Peace of Christ dwell in you richly... from our recently expanded family to yours...



Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Happy Report

We received more good news today! Our wonderful nurse, Kathy, got Therese an appointment with our cardiologist. You can imagine the anticipation we have had for this appointment! We really had no idea what kind of heart defect Therese had.

Well, now we know she has Coarctation of the Aorta. This is a very treatable defect!

Next month, she will have a two hour MRI of her heart and blood vessels in her brain (sometimes this condition also effects the brain). This MRI will also determine what kind of surgery she will need. She will have life long blood pressure, but that is treatable.

We are SO SO grateful for this diagnosis. Our doctor said that this will be a "cakewalk" compared to what we have been through with Carter.

Our little girl has a hope and a future!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home!

Friends-
My apologies for not updating this sooner. Though Erika and the girls are home, things have been a whirlwind...and Erika is still recovering from the trip (which is why I'm still at the helm of the Sol Train).

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then the following images are epic. I will say this, though: all is well. We are loving each other and having a lot of fun. I'm sure Erika will be offering more updates soon...















Monday, December 13, 2010

Solgos Girls on the Move



Friends:

Please keep praying that my girls might come home early. With God's speed, they might be able to leave as early as Thursday. The next flights after that are Sunday or Monday. Whatever the case, they're earlier than thought...and we want 'em!

For your enjoyment, I'm including some excerpts from some of Erika's recent emails:


I saw an x-ray from her tuberculosis check and her heart is HUGE (in more ways than one!). I feel a little scared now. She looks so healthy (except her cough), but reading [the medical report] has scared me and I wish you were here to process this with me! But, I am okay. The Lord has brought her this far!
Church was so cool today. Evelea made it through the 3 hour service. Tomorrow (Monday) we go to Ouga to do some business there and we'll stay there. Love you so much and miss you more than ever. Give S and C huge hugs and tell them how much their momma misses them. I can't wait to have a rocking praise party when we get back!!!
* * *
We are going back to Ouga today. Another adoptive family is coming and they need our space here. We might return to the orphanage over the weekend. Pray for us in Ouga, we will miss Ruth and the other girls here. Here is a funny story- apparently Therese learned this English phrase from a toy here- she blurts out multiple times a day- "it's my home computer". Totally cracks us up!
We had her good bye party last night. Incredibly touching. I have it all on video. The girls here video taped our first meeting, we'll get that eventually.
Evelea has been so amazing here. If she is not a missionary, I will be shocked. She is not afraid of anything! We went to a party at someone's home yesterday. Very primitive and we had to eat some very unusual food, very. She ate it and did not let on a bit how gross I'm sure she thought it was. Even with swarms of flies attacking us, no problem for her. Amazing.
No kidding, I could barely sleep last night (and every night) because of all the noise from the local bar and the braying/squealing/honking of donkeys. Yup.
* * *
Good news. We ended up getting lots done today! Poor Therese had to get 6 shots and didn't bat an eye. It was a crazy, crazy clinic. I would have rather died than get a shot there, but yet I had to let her do it so we can get out of here! The attorney says we'll be done tomorrow and I can almost believe that.
Therese fell asleep eating dinner tonight. Your mom made pasta in the mission kitchen with the GF pasta we bought. Yum.


And, finally, for your entertainment, the following is a video clip that a short term missionary took; when she learned from Ruth that Therese was being adopted, she contacted us and sent this clip and these pictures.


video


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Getting the Picture

It's late...and I miss my girls. All three of them (and I wonder, "how can that be if I've never met her? How can I miss my Therese if I never had her in the first place?" but I do.)

So, I checked my email one last time, hoping maybe I'd get some news from Erika. Instead, I got an email from my mother-in-love who apparently went all 21st century on me and checked Google images for pics of the orphanage. So I followed her footsteps...and stumbled across this video footage on Youtube.

The first clip is a celebration of some sort, which is being held in the main courtyard of the orphanage (Ruth, who runs the orphanage, explains it in the next clip, which I included just so you can get to know her a bit). I searched frantically but didn't recognize Therese, but I still got a feel for where my girls are right now. I thought that maybe some of you might want to see it.

The third clip is long and rather boring...unless you take it as an opportunity to get a more thorough picture of where my girls are. Even then, it's still "boring"--informative, but boring--which is, surprisingly, overwhelming. Look closely: did you notice it? Right. There's nothing there!








Friends, please pray for my girls (and for my mother, Gail, who is with them). There might be a chance that they can come home early--and I think all of us would take practicality over the sentimental Christmas Eve return! Pray, especially, for Therese's health: apparently, the nurses stopped administering her heart meds some time ago (we don't know why). I also got to read a copy of the medical report that wa written in 2006. Today, I received some good advice (and encouragement) from one of Carter's docs. But he was a bit concerned about her ability to travel. Specifically, he's concerned that the limited oxygen levels in the plane will exacerbate Therese's cardiomyopathy.

Thank you, friends, for your love and prayers. And a special thank you to those of you who have called us, braved the elements for us, or are cooking for us!

Blessings. And good night.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Girls In Africa

friends:

I've commandeered this blog for the time being so that I can bring you...

UPDATES FROM AFRICA!

(after that rather annoying multi-post on facebook, I thought I'd give this a try; the following is from Erika's most recent email update)


Right now we are in Yako at the orphanage. We only spent one night in Yako in a missionary hostel. Now, we are at Ruth's house in the orphanage compound. It is very homey in a Africa like way! On Monday, we will return to Ouga, and may return here later in the week.

Therese LOVES your picture. She will call you Papa. You too will get
along great! All the bonding stuff is going really well. She is very
response to our love and loves us back. The nurses here haven't been
giving her her heart medicine, SO, that is interesting and a bit scary.
She used the toliet for the first time today!

Today, we played all morning with the babies. So sweet, but it makes
you sad. Evelea is wonderful with them. This afternoon, we went to the
only thing to see here in Yako, a Barrage, a man-made lake, and we took
a walk. We took a wild ride in the back of a truck- Africa style!

Guess what? Ruth says "KoKoKo" when entering someone's home- just like
our Precious Ramotse! (from The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books and TV show)

We are near a mosque, so we here the call to prayer multiple times a
day. love that at 4 am.



Therese and Evelea are sharing a room. So sweet. They are getting
along wonderfully and I have no doubt all our kids will get along
great. She is eating lots of new foods and is liking everything. I
don't think we have to worry about food at all once we are home.
Seriously, if you can, practice a little French. That will be the
hardest part. She writes in cursive, that is all they learn.

Tomorrow we will go to an Assembly of God church here- can't wait!
Can't wait to see our girl dancing there!

I think that is about it. Keep praying we can come home. I really hope
to know on Monday. I can't imagine what we'd do for the "extra" week if
we need to stay.

I LOVE YOU so much! I miss you like crazy!!! When we get back to Ouga,
we might be able to Skype, so you may want to subscribe.



I really love you all and can't wait for us to be together!

Erika

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm Off!

I leave tomorrow to go get my girl! I hope she's ready!

My heart and mind are too full to write more tonight. My friends and family have been SO good to me. God is protecting us and I feel Him at my side. My children, oh, my children- I love them so much. My heart is aching that I will miss two weeks of their little lives. And my husband, he has put my needs first this week and helped me so much. I could not do this without my home team- I love you all!

I can't wait to tell you all about it when I return. I'm off to experience a miracle.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Drawn from the Water

I can't believe I haven't blogged in so long. It's almost like I am having so many emotions each hour, I don't know where to begin!

I am profoundly joyful to be bringing home our daughter. One less orphan in the world and one more spot filled in our family table. She is SO welcome here.

I am profoundly sad to leave be leaving Sitota and Carter at home. I will miss them so much and I am worried about how they will do without me for so long. I reconcile this pain by remembering that the only reason I am leaving, is to spare another child from a lifetime of this kind of grief.

I am profoundly inspired to share with other families the message that they, too, can participate in the miracle of adoption. Really. Tell me what is holding you back- I can guarantee I have had that thought and may be able to help you through it. I'd like to share this beautiful video with you. Once you see it, you will be responsible. There are countless ways to help orphans. Countless. But don't rule out adoption. It is not for special families. It makes you special.

Please watch this.

"It Began with Bale" from Drawn From Water on Vimeo.