Failure to Thrive?

As I write this, I’m sitting at Panera immediately after Asher’s 9 Month well check. I’m trying to catch a few moments to myself and process after a few hard days emotionally. The latest wave to crash against me? Hearing the pediatrician mention the words “failure to thrive” in reference to Asher. I mean…have you seen this kid?

Is this the face of a child that is failing to thrive?

Asherbabyfood-HappyBrownHouse

Sure, he may be on the small end, but what those growth charts don’t tell you is that he’s been crawling and climbing for 3 months. He’s chasing an active big brother and would much rather play than snuggle up for an extended nursing session…unless it is nighttime and there’s nothing better to do. Those growth charts don’t tell you that he’s clapping, waving, and giving kisses. They don’t tell you that he’s been saying “Mama” and “Bubba” for 3 months. They don’t tell you that he’s recently picked up the words “Bye-Bye” and “Go-Go”. They aren’t able to tell you about the depths of his belly laughs and the shrieks of joy when he’s in the bathtub splashing.

Failure to thrive? Not the face I’m looking into.

Now, don’t misunderstand me…

I am concerned that he doesn’t have the rolls where he should. I am concerned that he’d rather play with his food than stick it in his mouth. I am concerned that he doesn’t have cheeks to pinch. I do recognize that his low weight could be an indicator to something medically wrong, but failure to thrive? Really?

I’m just not sure.

You see, I’ve seen the children that truly aren’t thriving. I’ve seen the empty eyes, the frailness, and the missed milestones. I’ve seen the orphan child that bangs her head against the crib rails or rocks back and forth to self-soothe when there isn’t someone to snuggle when she wakes up in the middle of the night.

Matter of fact,  I have a child that might be rocking in a crib halfway around the world this very second.

No. I just can’t accept the term “Failure to Thrive” in reference to Asher.

Low on growth charts? Yes.

Failure to thrive? No.

Not when there are 163 million orphans needing a forever family.

An Embassy Tale

And now, a fun story that will be written down in our adoption journal…

While we were in Washington, D.C for the 2:1 Conference, our Dossier paperwork was in the same city. I knew it was there and joked about wondering if they needed me to hand-deliver it somewhere to speed up the process. A day or two later, our GPS got us turned around due to an unexpected detour. We found ourselves driving on some random roads while the GPS recalculated very slowly. I was admiring the gorgeous houses and then I started noticing flags. Country flags. It dawned on me that we were driving through the embassies.

And because I’m sentimental, I typed in “Ethiopian Embassy” into the GPS.

Ethiopian Embassy

Not only did we drive past it, but I got out and took a few photos. Because really, when am I ever going to be standing in front of the Ethiopian Embassy knowing that my paperwork is sitting inside at that very moment? Never. Once in a lifetime thing.

So, yeah, I’m the weird lady that got out and took pictures of the Ethiopian Embassy and the flag.

Also, the Lord made the flag unfurl in the wind just for me.

Ethiopian Flag

Oh, sweet child of mine, we are coming. Momma and Daddy are coming just as fast as we can. We love you.

Dossier…Check!

I am beyond giddy to be able to announce that we are finally DTE status.

What is DTE?

Dossier to Ethiopia!

Our paperwork process has been a rather long one compared to some, but we are confident that God’s timing is perfect. We’ve had bumps in the road with our paperwork~sometimes it was our fault, other times we were at the mercy of the process and government entities.

This is a very big step for us. It means we are finally on the “waiting list”…even though we’ve already been waiting for a while in our minds. The dossier is a big stack of papers gathered from all over. It is basically our life on paper. Financial statements, birth certificates, medical letters, and pictures are just a few things that are included in a dossier. We turned it in a while ago, but it still had several stops in the United States before it got to travel over the ocean. We finally heard that it is on it’s final leg of the journey!

So, now…we wait.

Waiting is something that we’ve grown used to. Ok, I lied. Nobody gets used to it, but it is part of the process, so I wait. While I feel like our family is incomplete at this moment, I am comforted by the fact that God’s timing is perfect. He is in the details. And honestly, Asher is keeping me so busy these days that I am ok with waiting a little longer. Neither of us are ready for me to take two trips out of the country. So really, it is ok…talk to me in a few months and my tone might change.

My Favorite Family Portrait…

One of the pictures I didn’t share yesterday when I talked about the “My” Sight Word Book Jonah and I made together was this…

Family Portrait

Did you catch it? Look closely…

Did you see those extra bodies on the right hand side?

You see, even though our family TECHNICALLY looks like this (atleast for the next few hours/days until I give birth)…

family

Jonah sees it much differently.

When he thinks of our family, he already includes little brother on the way and sister from afar.

And that, my friends, makes this momma’s cup runneth over.

Because he gets it….he really gets it.

1 Thessalonians 4:9 ~ Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another…

Sunday Morning

Singing this today and reminding myself that God is in charge. While I’m anxious about adoption paperwork and trusting on God to provide the funds for His calling, I shouldn’t be. I’m trying to rest in His peace today and trust Him to guard my heart and mind….battlefields for my focus.

By the way, have you heard of Seeds Family Worship? I love the way they’ve put scripture to music to help families worship and memorize scripture together! We’re not talking boring or annoying kids music either, but something that adults enjoy, too. When you order one of their CD’s, you actually get 2 CD’s…one for you and one to share with someone that needs Jesus! Plus, you can listen to some of the music online for free!

Yearning

It’s funny to me how you can miss someone so much that you haven’t even met yet.

In these days leading up to little brother’s birth, I find myself yearning for ALL of my babies to be home. Not just little brother growing within, but also little sister from afar. It’s somewhat strange to be preparing my heart to bring both of them home, but at separate times. While I know the date, give or take, that little brother will arrive, we have no idea how long our Ethiopian adoption will take. At the same time that all of these unknowns are swirling around in my head, I know God has already written the date on His giant master calendar and my job is to wait and prepare my heart.

A Flower for My MommyPhoto Credit: bitzcelt via Flickr

Maybe it was all of the adoption questions we answered while on vacation or the pregnancy hormones, but I’m yearning for her even more these days. I’ve dreamed of her–never seeing her face, only her little brown hand in mine. Just the other night I was overcome with emotion at the dinner table as I glanced at our empty chairs, knowing they will one day be filled.

No, we don’t have a referral yet. We don’t have a picture to stare at. Not a name or a birthday to add to the calendar…but she’s ours. We’re already connected. God has already written her name on our family tree and on our hearts.

But I’m only at the beginning of all of this yearning…more is sure to come.

Jonah talks about her often, too. He asks questions about Ethiopia and wonders what sister might be doing at any given moment. We look at the globe and the distance that separates us for the time being. He prays for her every single night without prompting. He draws pictures of our family including “our girl,” as he calls her. He loves her so much already.

And I wonder…Will she every really know just how much we yearned for her and the very hope of her presence in our lives?

Adoption FAQ #5: Boy or Girl?

We really struggled with this decision. I mean REALLY struggled.

We originally said we were open to either gender. How could we choose? It felt like if we were to pick a gender, we were taking control of things instead of letting God work…and as we’ve already established, God is in charge of building this family regardless of our input.

Then we found out that I was pregnant with a little boy…and we started to revisit the gender decision.

Can I just be real for a moment? In some ways, a little boy would be “easier”. We’ve already got all the boy clothes we could ever need for hand-me-downs. We’ve got all the boy toys. And for very lazy reasons, I could buzz his Ethiopian hair with minimal effort or know-how on my part. But let’s face it, those are all superficial reasons to pick a boy.

And since I’m still being real…I have a strong desire to dress someone in pink, ruffles, and hairbows at some point in my life.

Through our interactions with The Mercy House, we started thinking about what life is like for a girl in a third world country. It isn’t pretty. The facts are downright depressing and make me ask God hard questions in the middle of the night. Rape. Prostitution for food. Back-alley Abortions. Yuck. Yuck. Sigh…

I knew what we had to choose.

All hair care tips welcome for African girl hair. :)