Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We Survived!

The past 9 days while Steve was in China were some of the hardest parenting days I have been through  in the 2.5 years I have enjoyed being a mom....I'm sure I'll have worse days ahead but it was a trying week for us!  Steve left on Sunday, Sept. 16 and the picture below says it better than I ever could!

If that is not one of the saddest pictures of  my son that I have ever seen, I'm not sure what is.  He was absolutely distraught saying good bye to Steve. It was a mixture of tears, yelling, angry words, empty threats and to top it all off "DADDY, I'm too yittle to take care of mommy all by myself, I NEED YOU!!!"  It was pitiful and I'm so glad I did not see this picture until after Steve got home!

Caleb cried off and on throughout the days following....and also hit one of the most rebellious stages of his two years of life at the same time.  I was really thankful for some good friends and community who stepped in to help - thank you Ross and Renee, Michelle, Marty and Holzman family specifically - couldn't have done it without you!

Needless to say, we were THRILLED this past Monday when Steve arrived home in time for dinner!!

It has been such a relief to have daddy/husband home, to have someone else to talk to and bounce ideas off of, to have someone to "tag team" the difficult moments and ask how to handle things!  Welcome back, hunnie! You were so very, very missed around here!!  

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and for Steve while he was gone! The trip went really well and Steve really enjoyed China!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Missin' Dad

We heard from Steve, he made it safely and is doing well.  He has really enjoyed his trip so far and says the part of China they are hiking and traveling is beautiful (he says he is bringing us with next trip!) and he is enjoying the other guys on the trip a lot too. Things are going well so far and they are having a great time.

We are missing daddy a lot - this trip has been harder than India.  Caleb cries for him frequently and doesn't understand the concept of "7 more days" very well. The time seems to be going slowly but we've had some great offers to hang out with friends this week.  I have a birth that I will be supporting tomorrow and Caleb will stay over with Michelle, which he is really looking forward to.  He has been a little under the weather so we've been trying to pump the vitamin C in every form we can and drink plenty of fluids.  I'm trying to as well so I don't get anything from him!

We can't wait to have our daddy home but it was good to hear from him and know he is having a good time.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

20 Weeks!

Our little tummy baby turned 20 weeks some time in the past few days, according to the tracker on my phone.  This pregnancy really is going fast and it is hard to think that if you believe in due dates (which we don't) we are almost "half way" to a baby in our arms!

"Showing my toys to the baby" - C

So, is it a girl or a boy? That's the big question everyone wants to know these days!  We had hoped to do a 20 week ultrasound this past week but the birthing center that I really, really hope I am able to give birth at (hinging on if we can get a discount there or not) up in Seoul was booked until the end of September so we are going to wait until after Steve gets back. We have an appointment for end of September to do the "big" ultrasound.

What do we think?  The first month of pregnancy, I was pretty convinced it was another boy.  Everyone seems to share that girl pregnancies and boy pregnancies are very different and judging by the first weeks, they seemed the same.  I was blessed again to not be extremely sick (mostly just tired and not hungry) and it reminded me a lot of Caleb's pregnancy.  But as time has gone on, there have been more differences.  I get a lot of headaches with this one, I seem to have zero memory this time around (something I never experienced with Caleb!)., I have worse acne, I'm more emotional, all I wanted to eat the first 12 weeks was junk food (not like me, although Steve enjoyed having chips in the house again! All I wanted with Caleb was citrus fruit), and probably the biggest difference I started noticing was that I am carrying really, really high.  The way my belly is growing is so different than Caleb (who was always very low). So if there is any validity to the old wives tail that boys are carried low and girls carry high then this is definitely a girl. Another difference is that with Caleb I felt him moving earlier, with this one I think I am just now starting to feel baby moving for certain...and not nearly as much as Caleb.  But that could just be a personality this point, it'd be pretty nice to have a quieter child...Caleb is all movement, high volume and activity right now...we could use a little chill baby around this house!

I'm overall feeling pretty good. I'm really tired but I'm also really low on iron so now that I'm working on that, maybe my energy will start to pick back up.  I am still not very hungry throughout the day (although not nauseous so that's a plus).  To be honest, I don't think about this pregnancy or baby a whole lot.  Life is so busy, Caleb is reaching new heights of energy, volume, activity level and power struggles, the adoption takes a lot of mental energy and we continue to delve into all we have to learn about before our Ethiopian baby joins the family and the weeks go by quickly.  I need to make the time to stop and think of this next little one and focus on this pregnancy before it is done and over!  I have enjoyed that I'm now able to feel some movement occasionally and that has brought little smiles to my face and little reminders that there really is a baby growing inside!  Baby movements have got to be up there on the list of wonderful things in life.

Baby  sucking thumb at 12 weeks, our last appointment

Friday, September 14, 2012

A favorite place

This summer I felt like we became official citizens of Songtan:  We got library cards!!!

I have known for a while the building on the corner about two blocks from our house was a library but just assumed all the books were in Korean.  We even went in a few times, stayed on the main level in the "baby room" and looked at pictures in all the Korean kids books.  But this summer we ventured upstairs exploring and discovered 3 small bookshelves (pictured below) of English kids books!


Then it took us a while to go up to the front desk to ask about a card...see we figured there would be a big process and a form to fill out and well, we don't speak a lot of Korean so we weren't sure how that would go over.  But one day, we got up the nerve and they go the idea what we were asking about.  Turns out, they just needed our names, snapped a picture and made us a card!  We have been back a number of times and it is one of our favorite places.  Caleb literally could stay for hours (and we do) and then he begs not to's only with the promise that we can bring 3 books home with us to check out, that he reluctantly picks his three and heads downstairs.

I love that he shares our love for books and for reading and for libraries.  If you remember a while back I posted that one of the top ten things I miss about the States is libraries.  While this does not fully embody everything I miss about libraries back home, it certainly helps!  And gives us a little more reading material than we have at home.

And makes for a great morning activity with Caleb!

Hello Seoul!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Small Prayer Request & Some Praises

Prayer ~ The past few weeks I have been having horrible allergy attacks at night, typically around 1am-5am that are keeping me up for several hours a night, sneezing, coughing and trying to breath.  I think this is the worst they have ever been. They seem to improve significantly during the day (although not always completely).  I can't take any medications right now although a few nights I have just given up and taken half a claritin (half dose) and that has really helped (but I hate doing that and do so sparingly).  So I'm asking you to pray for this if you think of it!  It is really wearing on me to miss so much sleep every night and I find myself exhausted throughout the day...I would really appreciate your prayers for this (somewhat minor but annoying) prayer request.  If you think of it to pray during your afternoon (around 1pm-4pm your time in the States), that should be about the time it is really keeping me up.  Thank you for your prayers in this!

If you know any good natural remedies that might help, feel free to comment! I feel like I'm doing almost all I know to do!

Praise ~ We made it through our week without Steve while he was in India....He leaves in 7 days for China!

Praise ~ On a very happy note, the weather has finally cooled down and is absolutely beautiful right now. We are enjoying cooler evenings and mornings, can turn the fans off and wear a light sheet at night, can put jeans back on (thankfully I'm still fitting into non maternity so able to wear those a little longer while I figure out some maternity pants), and enjoying mostly gorgeous sunny (some rainy) warm (but not hot) afternoons. It has been great - I hardly want to be inside and try to find every excuse possible to be out and about soaking it up!  Praise the Lord for surviving the heat this summer with no air conditioning and without overheating!

Praise ~ And an even happier note, did you check out that thermometer on the right hand side?  It went up!! We passed the $7,000 mark - Praise the Lord!! So exciting! We had been sitting at *almost* $7,000 for so long, it feels great to make it past and to be just about one fourth of the way to our adoption funding need.  So happy - and so thankful to each of you who have (and are) donating and blessed us financially on this journey.  Praise the Lord for generous hearts, those who donated and those who will donate - I know He will bring in everything we need to bring this child home!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sweet Surprises

Several weeks ago I started receiving books...and notes....from friends.  Mostly friends back home. Friends who I miss a lot.  I'm told there are a few more on their way so if yours isn't pictured, don't worry!!  My sweet husband arranged with a number of my friends, to have them each send a favorite book for a "summer reading list" surprise.  And what a sweet surprise it was!!

I love to read and I miss many of my dear friends back home so this combination was perfect:  I felt so loved by each of you and it will be special to read books that you (for one reason or another) really enjoyed or recently read yourself.

Living overseas for an extended period of time, it is easy to begin to "feel" forgotten about...Not that you necessarily ARE but the feeling creeps in.  When you first move, you hear a lot from people (and you communicate a lot); you feel connected.  But as time goes by, you get busy with your new ministry, community and field and your friends get busy with their lives back home.  And time goes by.  It gets longer between emails (on both ends) and skype dates and life happens, things change, families grow.  It isn't bad or wrong, that's just life.  But it is easy to start to feel disconnected.  And to miss the friendships and people you used to enjoy.  These little surprises were a great way to feel "remembered" and in a small way connected.  Thank you to each of you who took the time to think of a book, buy one and send it my way.  And thank you especially for some of the sweet and thoughtful notes that came a long with them; I think those were my favorite part!  And a special thanks to that sweet and thoughtful husband of mine - he can't be beat!!

Looking forward to some great reading time ahead - and thinking of each of you; missing you and thankful for you and the ways you have been (and continue to be) a part of my life.  You are dear to me!  Love, Sarah

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

More on India

The Church showered them with gifts
Steve and Nelson are back and recuperating from their trip to India...It has been so nice to have Steve home and we are thoroughly enjoying daddy time. We had a great day yesterday (his first day back) just enjoying time as a family and hanging out at home.  Today he went back to the office all day but we still enjoyed waking up with him home, eating breakfast as a family, playing at the park before dinner and having daddy home for dinner before youth group.  We've heard lots of India stories and many ways Steve was impacted by the trip and things he did and saw.  They had over 200 pastors attend the conference and enjoyed spending time with other men serious about studying the Word and growing.

Steve teaching

Pastor Nelson teaching


They also had some down time to spend together and sight seeing.

Steve blogged some of his thoughts and additional pictures on his blog - check it out!

Stay tuned for his next trip to a neighboring country coming up September 17!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Steve arrived safely home!  Thank you to many of you who were praying for him while he was away - I know your prayers were answered!

We went with Michelle up to the airport to surprise our men and pick them up - they were expecting to take the bus home from the airport.
Watching for daddy to walk through the doors!


Okay, so I knew Caleb missed Steve a lot but I didn't realize just HOW much he missed him or how sweet it would be to see him "reunite" with his daddy.  He clung to him for the longest time, insisted that dad sit next to him on the drive home and then the whole hour and half drive home kept saying things like "I missed you so much daddy."  "I need you, I love you, I care for you, Daddy!"  And then this morning, first thing he asks: "Is daddy still home mommy?!?" He has been all about everything "Dad" all day and has thoroughly enjoyed the rough housing and "guy time."  It's been so sweet.

We are thrilled to have Steve back and it has been fun to hear about his adventures and all the Lord is doing in India, as well as see all his pictures and video!  I hope he blogs about it soon and when he does, I'll send you his way!

For now, a few pictures from his time away:

Thank you for your prayers during his time away!  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Adoption Fundraiser

Today our Church attended a local military yard sale as an adoption fundraiser.  Members of our Church donated items over the past two months so everything sold went directly to the adoption fund our Church recently began to help couples within the Church who are adopting and in need of financial assistance.  It is really exciting right now because there are now three couples (including us) who are pursuing adoption and there are a few others who have been starting to talk about the idea.

We had a lot of things donated and some really generous items too!  We had several families come out to help and several "little helpers" pictured above.

Kayla and Caleb taking a break from the heat

The weather had cooled down considerably but the past few days it has been warm again (although NOTHING like it was earlier this summer, thankfully!).  Today was another hot day and I think we all came away dehydrated and a little sunburned.

Of course Caleb found a lot of things he "really wanted" and it was hard for him to understand that no, we can't take them home with us!!   He also went around telling everyone who stopped by that he was "selling all these things for his adoption." 

We felt really blessed by all the things that were donated and people who helped support this event.  We raised almost $950 to begin the adoption fund at our Church and I think that is fantastic for one yard sale.  Looking forward to all the Lord will do with our Church in this area!  

*If you would like more information on donating to this adoption fund, please contact us and we can direct you to the appropriate person. If you would like information on donating directly to our personal family, please check out our "Donate" page.  Thank you for considering partnering with us!