Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: Captivating

Let me just start by saying: I loved this book. John and Stasi Eldridge do a fabulous job of delving into the mysteries of being a woman and encapsulating the true desires of women as pertaining to self-image, relationships, and the way we are viewed by others.

One of my favorite sections in the book expounds on the common lie that women have bought over the years: that we are simultaneously "too much" and "not enough". We feel we are too needy, too emotional, too weak, too much work for guys to really get to know us. On the other hand we never have enough time, never enough grace, and no matter how hard we try at whatever we do, we won't feel that it is good enough.

I love how the Eldridges embrace the natural femininity that so many of us have squelched over the years, and encourage women in every stage of life to rediscover the hopes and dreams they once held, before the harsh realities of “real life” caused us to store them away for safekeeping.

I highly recommend this book. It is a well-written and interest-catching book, and you will come away encouraged to be a stronger, more empowered woman of God!

Court Date!

We found out that we are going to court for baby M on May 17th. If we pass, we will be traveling to get her 8-12 weeks later. But... since only 50% of families pass court on their first try... well, we just would appreciate prayers that we will be in the 50% that PASSES! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hallie is 5

Today was Hallie's fifth birthday. Dan had a late meeting tonight, which is totally unusual for him, throwing off our traditional b-day dinner plans. (And my attempts at pushing the celebration off till tomorrow were soundly defeated. Anyway.) Dan was able to come home a little early (before leaving again) with Hallie's "big" present.... a fish! She has been asking for a pet fish for awhile, so her daddy got her a bright purple beta fish. She named "her" Pumpkin... and she frequently trots over to the side table where Pumpkin resides to "check on her". Here's hoping the little guy lives a long and healthy life!! :)

On a side note, as you may have seen on my facebook post, Will wrote Hallie a cute birthday message with sidewalk chalk. Although he missed a few vowels ("hppy" and "brthday"), he nailed "your"! When I asked him how he knew how to spell the word "your", he replied that he'd just seen it around and remembered how it was spelled. Wow. Not to brag, or even that I think it's a "good" thing, but that kid is so much like me in this area! Genetics are scary stuff.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Adoption Stuff

Hey all-
Just thought I'd post a bit on the adoption, timelines and stuff. :)

But first, one thing I am thrilled about is: last week, some friends of my brother and sister in law found out about M and happened to be traveling to Addis TODAY. They offered to take a care package to her, so I was able to quickly dig our some baby clothes, a few toys, and throw together a cloth "baby photo album" and send it for them to take to M. I am hopeful they will get some new pics for us also! We are so grateful to these unknown friends who are taking a little bit of love to our baby girl who is so far away.

Ok, so now that we have officially accepted our referral of our baby girl M, we are waiting for a court date. (Due to confidentiality reasons, we cannot post pics or her real name in a public forum until after we pass court.) After our agency received our acceptance letter (on 3/30) they moved forward to request a court date. We will be notified of this court date roughly 2-5 weeks later, which is anytime between now and May 5.

Currently, court dates can range 4-8 weeks after the referral has been officially accepted, putting our potential court date somewhere between 4/28 and 5/26. Roughly 50% of adoptive families pass court on the first issued date, while 50% of the cases will require a second court date for successful completion. Second court dates can be issued 1 to 8 weeks after an initial court date (so... [my brain is rebelling right now..] IF we don't pass court on the first try, our second date would fall between 5/5 and 7/21.) Once we have successfully passed court, it can take 2-4 weeks to process post court paperwork. (Short end: 4/27, long end: 8/18.) Once this paperwork is completed, we can anticipate traveling 4-8 weeks later. Short version: Earliest possible travel date: May 25. Latest: September 15.

I am wanting so badly to be hopeful that we will pass court on our first try, and that everything will move easily and quickly and we'll have her home for the whole summer... but I feel like if I hope too hard I will jinx it all. (Terrible theology, I know.) I'm just scared to get my hopes up, I guess. Anyway, we will be hearing about the date for our court hearing between now and May 5th, so I am just keeping focused on that. It's the next step to bringing our sweet baby girl home! I've joined our agency's yahoo group, and have seen more families than not who passed court on the first try and then traveled shortly after, so we are not without hope.

Though sometimes.. the unknowing and uncertainty of it all just GETS to me... sometime between next month and the FALL we'll be traveling!? I feel like yelling, "Are you kidding me?! Can't you do a LITTLE better than this?!" And that attitude, as we all know, is so helpful. *sighs and rolls eyes* Patience, patience, Sarah...

If you think of it, please pray that we pass court on our first try. As soon as I know the exact date, I will post it and keep you all updated on anything else! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Book Review: Will The World End in 2012?

I just finished reading the book Will The World End in 2012? by Dr. Raymond Hundley. At 184 pages, it's a fast read. The author examines the top 10 theories as to why the world is supposedly going to end in 2012, or more specifically for some theories, on Dec. 21, 2012.

Each chapter begins with a (slightly cheesy, IMO) scenario in which that prediction occurs in real life. And although there are 10 theories, as the author notes in the eleventh chapter, (entitled Final Evaluations), only four of the theories hold any scientific credence whatsoever (Writing as a Christian, the author includes Christ's return to Earth as a plausible theory.) The remaining "realistic" three reasons for the earth's demise include:

-- massive solar flares hitting Earth, triggering earthquakes, tsunammis, etc. This theory is backed by the best scientific evidence. Scientists at NASA and other respected institutions are expecting a peak of solar flares in 2012; the question is whether they will do any damage.

-- a malfunction of the particle collider in Europe (unknown probability, obviously.)

-- super-volcano eruptions (including the one under Yellowstone) due to the Earth's core heating up (also of uncertain likelihood)

I was personally annoyed at how the author gave credence to some really outlandish theories. I suppose the goal was to include every possible 2012 theory, but as I read, I found myself mentally checking off the truly ridiculous theories as rubbish before the author even gave his conclusion at the end of each chapter.

In conclusion, I found this book to be somewhat interesting, but I did not feel it left me as a reader any wiser or informed than I was before, (except for gaining useless knowledge about wacky 2012 theories.) However, some people are apparently really weighed down with worry and fear about 2012, so for them, this book would probably provide a much-needed dose of reality!

In conclusion (again), my personal opinion is that Jesus did not say "Watch and pray," and "No one knows the hour or the day" for nothing. Christians who adhere to the belief that the world is ending on 12/21/12 should (IMO) maybe read their Bibles a little closer. :)