Thursday, December 21, 2006

Our son, Our name

Yesterday this precious little man got a new birth certificate and a new last name. Oh, how his mommy wants him in her arms! Won't be long now, Miguelito!

Friday, December 15, 2006

At Last...


I would have to say, last night was by far the hardest since this process started. Rock bottom! A night of agony, a lot of tears, crying out to God.

I woke up exhausted, went to a celebration Tim's boss threw to celebrate Tim's swearing in, came home and Tim and I crashed. We went to bed at 3:00 PM. We were both exhausted in every possible way. Just before 6, Tim got up and asked me if I was just going to sleep til morning. I thought "Yeah, til Tuesday or Wednesday morning," but we were interrupted by the phone.

It was our agency. Today Harrison was declared legally our son by the Guatemalan government! The longest and most dreaded part of the adoption is over. HE IS OURS!!!! We should bring him home the first week in February.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He out a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
~Psalm 40:1-3

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Be Still My Soul

Be Still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side,
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend,
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


This beautiful hymn was written in 1752 by Katharina von Schlegel and translated into English in 1855 by Jane Borthwick. And yet it is searingly relevant to my life in 2006. Never has a song so summed up what I am feeling, as this does today.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Just call me Mrs. Esquire

Well, it is official. As of 1:45 pm today Tim is an attorney.

There was a nice swearing in ceremony at the Maryland Court of Appeals. The courtroom was gorgeous, and six judges presided, decked out in the traditional garb. I wish I had brought my camera, but typically cameras aren't allowed in courtrooms, so we didn't bring one. (Of course they made an exception today.)

The speaker was the president of the Maryland Women's Bar Association. Then, the judge from our county spoke briefly about Margaret Brent, the first female attorney in the US, who happened to live and practice in Maryland. So all in all, it was a bit feminism heavy for the likes of me. But the judge did end his speech with a bit of sage advice for the new attorneys. "Never, ever, (dramatic pause) drink White Zinfandel. Life's too short to drink bad wine."

Then the candidates took their oaths and finally were pronounced attorneys. I cried. Tim has worked so long and hard for this, and it has finally happened. His dedication to this goal has been so inspiring, and over the past 3 1/2 years he has truly become my hero. I have never worked with such resolve for anything. I am daily challenged by the life I have watched him lead, and I pray, by the grace of God, I will be a fitting helpmate for him.

Thank you Lord, for my amazing, hard working man!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Psalm 27:13-14

I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

And now for a little controversy...

Oh, relax... It's not that controversial...

Tim and I have decide to use cloth diapers... yes, you read that right, cloth diapers! Now before you start raving about folding, pinning and rubber pants, not to mention the sheer eeeewwwww factor, hear me out...

Frugality. It is something I, new to the housewife scene, have been taking very seriously lately. I eat up every Frugal Friday posting I can find in Blogittyville. It has actually been quite fun. So a few weeks ago, I was over at Ladies Against Feminism and there was a great article called Babies On A Budget by Mrs. Tracy Lambert. Mrs. Lambert, a mother of eight, created a list of what is really necessary for baby and where money can and cannot be saved. But it was this comment that got my wheels turning.

We used disposables with the first seven. I wish I could reclaim the money that we spent diapering the first seven! Cloth diapers are not nearly as much trouble as I originally thought and much cheaper than disposables.

As I started reading around, I learned that the a family using disposable diapers, can spend $600 to $1000 per year. But a cloth diapering family (using top of the line diapers) will only spend about $400 per year. Plus, those same diapers will work on baby #2 and #3...

Hmmm... Just thirty years ago, cloth diapers were pretty common. In fact, my mom used cloth on me. Hmmm... Couldn't be that hard, could it? Oh, I'll end up in the ER, after accidentally stabbing Harry with a diaper pin... So I tried to dismiss it.

But my wheels didn't stop turning. Cloth has to be way more comfortable than PAPER! And what is in those disposable diapers anyway? So I did some research. CHEMICALS! Chemicals are in those diapers. Dioxin, Tributyl tin, Sodium Polyacrylate Gel (banned by FDA for use in tampons), not to mention chlorine and chemical fragrances. I challenge you to Google some of these chemicals. Check out the FDA warnings and then tell me why we are sealing them against our babies' skin 24/7.

Now despite my DH's jokes, I do not consider myself a Crunchy Con but when it is estimated that Americans use 18 million disposable diapers per year, I think a case could be made for good stewardship here.

So I started looking for cloth diapers. Guess what I found. No folding, no pinning, no rubber pants. These are not my mother's cloth diapers. They are easy to use and adorable! We have decided on Fuzzi Bunz. These diapers, called All-In-One's, have three parts: a super-soft fleece layer against baby's skin, an absorbent cloth inner layer to pull moisture away and keep baby dry and a waterproof outer layer to keep mommy dry. And did I mention they are adorable?

So, in summary, here are the benefits to cloth diapering:

~big time money savings, especially if you plan to have more babies
~cloth, not paper on baby's skin
~no chemicals on baby's sensitive bits
~significantly lower instance of diaper rash vs. disposables
~a few less diapers sitting in our landfills
~the new cloth diapers are just as easy to put on as disposables
~all diapers are gross, these aren't as gross as you think they are
~very hip, all the celebrities are using cloth now
~and finally, God chose the exact moment in time when His son would be born, so in effect He chose cloth diapers too. :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Not Your Average Christmas Song



I have never been a huge Third Day Fan, but this song...Wow! All I can say, through my tears, is Wow. If you have heard it, you know why. If you haven't heard it, you should.

"Merry Christmas" by Third Day
(last song on the CD)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

i heart christmastime!


We put the tree up and did some decorating last Saturday. My DH thinks it's better that you can't see are all my hot pink and lime green ornaments. We agree to disagree!

Decorated for a whole week... Now if I could just make some progress on those Christmas cards...

The Real Slim Sadie


Here's that adorable little doggie that I mentioned in my last post!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Faith

My heart just aches tonight for the many friends that are hurting. We are on a journey of faith together.

Faith has been an issue for me. True faith... Not telling God what to do and expecting Him to deliver, but actually leaving the decisions up to Him and trusting His hand to protect and provide, where ever He leads. See once I figured out what faith wasn't (hocus pocus), I was scared to death about what it was (surrender).

When I surrender, He can lead me places I don't want to go. When I surrender, my comfort zone is gone. Oh, I have been through periods of surrender before, but the stakes were never this high. Of course, God loves me too much to allow me to avoid His will indefinitely. And so He has brought me to a place where I have nothing but Him to rely on. Only from His hand will I receive what I need.

Even though none of what is happening to me and to my friends seems to make sense, (Why would God allow this or that? What possible good can come from my baby living in an orphanage?) I just have to remember His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

I was thinking about this today holding my little dog, Sadie. I love my little Sadie, as silly as it sounds, she brings so much happiness to my and Tim’s life. Today was a gorgeous day here in Maryland, in the 70’s all day. New carpet was being installed in our house and their were so many ways that my little doggie could get into trouble or get hurt. So I made her stay outside. She could run around in the yard or relax on the porch, but she could not come inside. Well, this made her miserable! She just wanted to be in... She barked and cried and whined. She looked so pathetic. I felt really bad for her, but I just couldn’t risk letting her inside.

So I went out for awhile, let her jump into my arms and I hugged and kissed her. I could offer her my comfort, but I just could not give her what she wanted. Even though she could not understand, I knew better than she did and I could not let her go in. Her little doggie brain is never going to be able to grasp why I make the decisions I make for her, but even still, I love her and must make good decisions for her.

Pardon the crude analogy, but... How much more wise are the decisions my Lord makes for me? And how much more does He love me, than I love a dog? Even when I cannot see any possible reason why things are happening as they are, I have to trust Him. I have to trust that He sees and understand things that are beyond my comprehension, and He takes all of it into consideration as He makes the best decisions for ALL of His creation simultaneously. And still when we question Him, He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

This is faith, when all you can see is darkness, and you cannot comprehend where you are going or why you are there, still trusting His hand.

JAMES 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance has it’s perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Divine Mix

Philippians is my book right now, meaty stuff. Tonight I was meditating on 3:7-14 - we've heard these verses a million times, but the truth is so tangible it lifts the soul. Especially verse 9 & 10 for me right now.

"...Not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death..."

God is stripping me, and forcing me to live by faith. When I would much prefer to rely on "my own righteousness." When I feel like I cannot take another breath, from the crushing pain of being without my beautiful child, I have nothing but faith, nothing but Him. It is the epitome of bittersweet... Oh, how my heart aches and yet the Father is so near, a constant source of comfort and reassurance. It is not quite like anything I have ever experienced before. It is tangible. Agony and pure joy coexisting.

Though my son is so far away, my Father is so very close.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What we need the most

Give us this day, Lord,
Not the miracles our human hearts long for,
Not the proud but brief satisfaction of saying to doubters,
"I told you so!"
But give us daily bread, only that which
You see will truly nourish us in our pilgrimage toward home.
~Elisabeth Elliott

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pain is okay

So, it has been awhile, but I have an excuse: the only thing I have wanted to write about, was something that I have to be very careful writing about here...

I miss him so much. The wait feels unbearable most days, and I seem to cry at the drop of a hat lately. The diaper aisle at the grocery store is my new favorite.

What God has been showing me is that my pain is in the center of His will, and if I want to embrace His will, I will be embracing the pain. No coping mechanisms, no hiding from the pain. It is actually quite freeing. This is not supposed to feel good. It should hurt. Something would be really wrong, if I was fine, if I met my son, hugged and kissed and fell totally in love with him, and now months later, I was just fine. No, I have never experienced love like this before, and so, I have never experienced pain like this before. When God called me to adoption He called me to this. The process certainly did not take Him by surprise.

I am not saying that I can just sit around and wallow in my pain. (Not that I don't have my moments.) But I must press on, daily (or even hourly) laying my pain at this feet of Jesus. Like Paul with his thorn, I plead that my burden may depart from me, that the wait would end. But like Paul, I know that His grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in weakness. And I am not in short supply of weakness, so there is plenty of room for His power.

I was praying the other day and I realized, each day God gives me enough grace for that day. When I start thinking of tomorrow, I become faint of heart, but when I live in the grace that God has provided for today, I am okay.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Collect

This was the Collect of the day Sunday. Definitely something to meditate on.

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
~BCP

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tomorrow is Election Day

READ! READ! READ!

If you are only half as disillusioned as I have been lately in regards to politics, you should read John Piper's article and then...

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Big News!

The results are in...

After almost 4 months of an agonizing wait...

At 5:00 pm today, the results of the Maryland Bar came in...

TIM PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Baby's First Halloween


My nephew, Brayden... the cutest frog I have ever seen...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Check it out...



Sesame Street will be celebrating National Adoption Month by airing 2 episodes (11/6 &11/7 at 10am), in which Gina travels to Guatemala to adopt a baby boy.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wait by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
"Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate hangs in the balance,
And you tell me to wait?"
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And I grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give you all you seek and pleased you would be,
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still... "Wait."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Discretion


The heart of her husband safely trusts her... Proverbs 31:11

As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion... Proverbs 11:22

Given some disappointing news in regards to the timeline of our adoption last week, I have purposed to take the upcoming months to grow as a wife, without the stresses of my job or of motherhood. My goal is to focus on my husband and to learn to truly be a helpmate. The first verse above has been inescapable in my heart over the past few weeks. What does it mean, "the heart of her husband safely trusts her." Of course, fidelity, the knowledge that I am wholly his.

But what is fidelity really? And am I guilty of infidelity? Webster says it is, "the quality or state of being faithful." Hmmm, off to faithful... At faithful, I find words like loyal, constant, staunch, steadfast and resolute. Good words, but how do I flesh that out.

Here is what I have been thinking about fidelity and my husband's safe entrusting of his heart of me. Fidelity involves all aspects of my being. There is no area that is unfaithful to him. My husband should be confident that my heart is true to him, my mind is true to him, my speech is true to him. Fidelity of speech is what has really been driven home in my heart lately.

When I say I must have fidelity of speech, it involves so many things. Foremost, I believe fidelity of speech involves DISCRETION.

My words must never tear him down or belittle him to others. How can his heart safely trust me, if I am telling my girlfriend his weaknesses, who then tells her husband his weaknesses? All men have weaknesses, and no spouse is perfect and all fulfilling. But does a husband's heart feel safe when another man knows the specific areas where he is not fulfilling his wife? And let's be honest, does a wife want another woman to know the areas where she does not fulfill him? What a grieving breakdown in the intimacy, the sanctity of the marriage! It is just so easy to seek comfort in a friend, instead of graciously accepting a husband as he is and working with him and the Father to improve the marriage.

But there are still other areas, where I must consider fidelity in my discretion of speech. Like it or not, wherever I go, I represent my husband. People make decisions about him based on the things I do and say. If my words are honest, pure and life giving, a level respect is apportioned to him. However, if my words are unreliable, crude or slanderous, he is disregarded and pitied.

I have noticed that truly great men, have women who understand this principle. When I look to great historical and political figures, so often, their wives lived life as an ambassador of their husband and thus brought him greater respect and honor. These great women were ever mindful that their words and actions were an indelible reflection of their husband's worthiness.

Imagine a first lady, with an uncontrolled tongue, would her husband ever see a second term?

I think of my own pastor, a godly man of strength and character, and I see the reflection of this in the discretion of his wife. She is truly a testament of his faithfulness to the Lord.

How does any woman expect greatness from her husband, when her speech is constantly undermining his authority? How can she expect him to lead others, when his own wife does not regard his leadership or support his vision?

For me, discretion is probably my greatest struggle and I know it will most likely be a lifelong battle. My heart is so grieved when I think of the dishonor I have brought my husband through my indiscretion. But with resolve, I must press on, no matter how insurmountable my sin may seem to me.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...

The past two days have marked a new phase for me. They have been the first real steps into my new life. Yesterday was my last day at the university. Today, I am officially a housewife, a soon-to-be stay-at-home mommy. Holy cow! And if that wasn't enough, today we got rid of my super hot and sporty turbo beetle and got me a mom-mobile. I am the proud new owner of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Eek! Safe and roomy and definitely no turbo engine. It's DARK BLUE, not ORANGE. Tim keeps telling me to remember that I didn't trade a bug for a boring SUV, I traded a bug for a whole new life, for a baby!

I sat in the Jeep tonight and imagined a car seat in the back, a cooing Harry fiddling with a toy. So bring on the changes, I'll take em. Gladly!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Baby News...

Well we got some great news this week.

When we traveled to meet our baby, three other wonderful couples went traveled with us. Tim and I so enjoyed getting to know these couples and spending such a very special time in our lives with them.

Well, earlier this week, we all emailed each other new photos of our little ones and talked about the part of the process that we are currently in. We were all in the same waiting phase. Until yesterday. One family got approved yesterday and another family got their approval today. From the point of this approval, families typically wait 4 to 6 weeks to bring their babies home. It is so exciting! There is no telling how much longer we will wait, but this is definitely a good sign.

Babies for Christmas!!! Keep praying!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Welcome to my blog




Hi Friends,

There is so much going on at Casa Fitz... little news, big news, so here is the place for the updates... intertwined with all of the random Charlotte musing you expect!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006