Friday, July 25, 2008

Jesus and Presents

I was reading something to Grace about Jesus recently, and this is what she said:

Grace: Jesus loves Gwacie!

Mommy: Yep, you're right.

Grace: Yes, and he will come to my house, and give me hugs, and give me lots of pwesents!

Hmmm. I guess we need to work more on the theology of Jesus.

But there is a reason that Grace associates "love" with "coming to my house, hugs, and presents." During the last two months, we've had the Pearsons, Pastor Kevin, Bibi and Babu, the Hillside team of 9, Kristen, Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Brandon visit us. Not to mention Josiah, Christa, and Lotta--students who recently stayed with us.

Welcome to the Medina B & B. You're guaranteed at least a mattress on the floor but we might make you cook your own breakfast.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So I Guess This is Going to Be a Long Labor After All

With Grace, this "labor" stage (from approval to bringing her home) took 4 months. However, our lawyer has told us that we beat all the records...no one else ever had to wait that long.

Regardless, finding out that it may take longer than "a couple of weeks" to bring home Josiah isn't all that surprising. I've found that with adoption, it's best to keep your expectations really, really low. Then you can't be disappointed.

One social worker has been transferred to a different city. Another one has been sick for a week. And today we found out that all the social workers are going to some 16-day conference beginning August 4th. Which means that if our baby's paperwork isn't completed by August 4th (which isn't looking likely), then we wait until everybody gets back from the conference.

Such is life. For now, I will just enjoy the simplicity of having one child instead of two, and pray for God's protection over my little boy's heart and mind. In God's sovereignty, when the time is right, Josiah will come home.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Week 2

HOPAC Kids' Camp 2008!


About 50 kids came...what fun!


The songs and accompanying dances were their favorite!


Craft time


Thanks, Hillside team! HOPAC kids don't often have much to do during the summer...so this was such a treat for them! Thanks for impacting their lives with your wonderful example!


On safari last weekend


This was such a special team for me...I've known Pete, Patty, Sarah H., Brent and Sarah for years and years! And how wonderful to get to know Robbie, Stacy, Ian, and Trevor as well! You all were such a blessing...come back soon!

Friday, July 11, 2008

3rd Annual International Youth Camp!

Youth Camp is always a highlight of the year for us and our students! Our good friend Kathy and we created it three years ago for students from HOPAC and from the schools where Kathy works. This year, a team from Hillside Church in San Jose came out to run the camp. As always, it was a huge amount of work and planning, but incredibly worth it! Everybody had a fantastic time.

Sakina, Kathy, Sarah, Angel and Yasmin

Isaac, Gil, Josiah, and Sam


Nishma, Paridhi, Lydia, Sonali


Discussion times


Great games in an amazing setting!





Go Giraffes! (That was my team!...but we didn't win)



Josh, Isaac, Benji, Josiah, Lucy, Savannah





Christina, Bernice, Robert, Sam, Kasha

Thanks, Hillside Team! You have been amazing!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Imagine I Am Nine Months Pregnant...

....and that I will give birth in just a couple weeks!

Except that the baby will be 8 months old.

And Tanzanian.

Okay, so the analogy is breaking down. But you get the idea.

We did choose a baby! His name is Christian. He is one of 5 available babies at this orphanage, ranging from 2 months to 9 months old. Christian is about 8 months old.

Very sorry to disappoint my readers, but we're not going to post pictures of him yet. Or give the reasons why we chose him. We have learned the hard way that things are still uncertain and we don't want everyone to get attached to him only to have it fall through. Our social worker still needs to collect some paperwork on him. Best case scenario, it could take as little as two weeks. Pray that we will be able to proudly introduce him to you soon!!!

Thanks so much for your prayers! We are definitely excited but guarded...and still feeling kind of "twilight-zoneish." But did I mention that we are excited???

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happiness is....

...getting your adoption approval letter in the mail!!!

Yep, we got it. Finally. Actually, from the way things have been going, I am pretty shocked. It seems like the social worker kind of skipped over a couple steps that I was expecting to take longer. But I'm not complaining.

We have been approved to adopt a baby from the Mburahati Orphanage in Dar. According to our lawyer, there are at least 4 available baby boys at this orphanage. On Tuesday we will go there with her to check things out. Please pray that God makes it very clear which baby should be ours, because it could come down to us "choosing"...how do we do that? I have no idea.

Once a baby has been chosen, it could take as little as two weeks for us to bring him home. :-)

Hooray!