The Family

The Family

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hmmmm.... just a thought

Saw this today on another adoptive family's blog and thought it was worth repeating here:

We will go before God to be judged, and God will ask us, ‘Where are your wounds?’ And we will say, ‘We have no wounds.’ And God will ask, ‘Was nothing worth fighting for?’
 — Rev. Allan Boesak

Yes, there are definitely things worth fighting for, and our two babies waiting for us to cross the ocean and get them are our battle right now.

Ten Reece's Rainbow families got their appointments today, and while I am thrilled beyond measure for them, I am also disappointed and saddened for us.  We have waited for SO LONG.  Most of those families had only been waiting since November.

I feel like this is a battle, just like going to China and getting Gideon was a battle.  We fought and God enabled us to win that one, and with God's help again we will fight and win this one too!  I know everything happens in His timing, and that it will all work out perfectly in the end, but waiting is hard especially when everyone else is rejoicing around you.

So please lift our family up in prayer today, and ask God to grant us a travel date SOON!  We would be most grateful.

And, while you are here, take a moment to look at this article from ABC News with Diane Sawyer on Reece's Rainbow and the special needs children living in Ukraine.

This is what we are about.  This is our battle right now.  This is one way we can show the Lord when our judgement day comes that we fought and fought hard for HIS children, for what HE would have us do.  We will not give up!  

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Belated Merry Christmas!

Hoping that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with family and friends!  And may many blessings come your way in 2012!!  It was a big year for us this past year, adding Gideon to our family and committing to two more.  I only hope that this coming year is as full of love, excitement and blessings for our family!  (though not TOO much excitement!)

Enjoy the rest of the holidays everyone!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Yup, it has been awhile since I have posted anything.  After Halloween everything seems to run together in one big blur!  We have been doing great though and hope you have been too!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with a house brimming with family, friends and children!!  And of course, an abundance of yummy foods!

 Here was my table decor for the occasion

 And a family tree with lots of memories!

 Our buffet table where we served ciders and appetizers.  And some great inspirational quotes were written above.  The ribbon was where everyone was to hang their card with something they were thankful for written on it.

 The funny boys table!

 One of the place settings

Dinner is about to begin!

 This was from earlier in the day when the kids were all cuddled up watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

 The teen table!

And all the in-betweens at their table too.

Besides Thanksgiving Day and all the festivities it brought, we had something else even BIGGER to be thankful for........ our sweet Georgia was baptized!!!!

 Ready to go!

 Walking in to our preacher Tommy Poarch

 Coming back out after her baptism!!

She is a new creature in Christ!

We are so proud of her and her decision!!  It is one she does not take lightly and that she came to after much prayer and discussion with us.  She knows that she wants to give her life to God and we feel blessed as her parents to be able to support her!

Now we are preparing ourselves for the next holiday... CHRISTMAS!!  The excitement is in the air as you can only imagine being in a house with 6 kids!  We have done lots of fun things so far like baking cookies, going to a couple ornament and cookie exchanges, decorating gingerbread houses, caroling at the nursing home, attending the town's annual Christmas tree lighting, driving to Mc Adenville (otherwise known as Christmastown USA) to view the Christmas lights, and of course, picking out and decorating our tree!!  Whew!  But it was all a ton of fun!!

 Making a gingerbread house at our homeschool group's Christmas party!

 Enjoying some snacks afterward.

 Christmas caroling at the nursing home.

 Going to see the lights is an annual tradition for our family!

The houses are all decorated with so many lights and done so beautifully!

 SO many lights!!

 The boys at the Harrisburg Christmas tree lighting-- the girls were at their ornament exchange and missed it this year.

 There were crafts to do too and Grayson made this adorable snowman!

 Going on a horse and carriage ride

 At the tree lot getting our tree!

 Strapped to the car and ready to head home!

Our beautiful tree before the decorations

Last but not least, we had one more celebration this past weekend-- a surprise birthday party for my honey who turns the BIG 40 on Friday!!!!!
We successfully pulled off the surprise with the help of many friends and our kids.  I think it was the first time on record that I REALLY surprised him!  He is usually someone who can guess what is going on, or the present you are about to give him, a mile away.  :)
We had the house packed with friends and lots of yummy food as well.  And only after I told him that our pipes had sprung a major leak and that our dining room was flooding was I able to get him home for the party!! ;)

His friend Steve played a big part in the surprise, keeping him out all afternoon so the kids and I could get everything done.  Thank you Steve!!

And happy early 40th birthday to Tim!!!!

So I think that has caught everyone up to speed on our past couple months so far!  We are ready for Christmas and all the joy and wonder it brings for us and our children. 

We are still hoping to travel to Eastern Europe in the early weeks of January too.  All our paperwork updates are there including our request for an appointment date sometime the week of January 10th.  That is our daughter's birthday when she turns 5 and after that we have no need for the "list" anymore to go and get her.

Pray that our request is granted.  There have been some difficult things going on in her country which was the main reason I decided to make my blog private.  Glad all of you are still following along!  We will keep you posted with any updates.

So for now, Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!  Enjoy this last week of fun and cheer before the big day!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Time is Flying By....

and we still don't have our babies.  :(

BUT.... we did get some encouraging news recently!  The country where they are located is accepting dossiers again and will hopefully start issuing travel appointments in December for people like us who have been submitted for what seems like an eternity.

However, we still need for that special needs list to be approved before we can go.  If it isn't approved in December, at least we KNOW we can travel in January, because our daughter will turn 5 then, and after that it doesn't matter anymore.  YEAH!

Continued prayers for the whole situation, and mostly for the kids while they wait, are always appreciated.  We know that God is strengthening our resolve and patience through this situation.  We know that everything is done in HIS timing, not ours.  We know that there is a reason that we will go when we go, whenever that is, even though we might never know what that reason is.  Everything in this life happens for a reason, and is part of His plan.  We have to trust and find solace in that.

So as the time goes on, we try not to dwell on the fact that we are not there NOW.  We take each day as it comes and are busying ourselves with life which is always bustling in the Rowe home!

Most of our kids have recently completed their soccer tournaments.  It has been an exciting past couple of weeks around here with all the playoffs!!  The only ones left playing still are Evan and Gideon who just beat a great team tonight with a 2-1 win!  On to the last game of the season tomorrow..... let's see if they can win the championship!

Georgia had her soccer party tonight and received her trophy.  She did so well for her first year playing and she loved it!  We are very proud of all our kids and the great jobs they have done this season!

This weekend the kids are gearing up for another fun 5k run with their Dad!  It is the annual Santa Scramble 5k held every year right before the Concord Christmas Parade.  All the kids are running in this one and cannot wait!

I myself am headed out of town this weekend, leaving Dad to tend the troops on their own.  *smirk*      
My sister-in-law is expecting her first baby early next year and her baby shower is this weekend!  Yeah!  I am co-hosting so off I go for a girly couple of days.  I am sad to miss their 5k, but I am sure Daddy will send me pictures and updates!!

We are also coming up on Thanksgiving week soon and we will be hosting the family and some friends at our house this year which should be lots of fun!  There will be 12 kids here at the Rowe house so look out!!  :)

We will definitely take time to count our many blessings, as I hope you will as well.  God has richly blessed our family and continues to do so, and we are grateful beyond measure.

In the words of W.T. Purkiser......

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving"

What an amazing thing to remember at this time of year.  Be grateful for those blessings He bestows upon you, and USE them in a way that will make Him pleased that He bestowed them on you in the first place.

Happy Fall everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Busy, Busy October!

Happy Halloween everyone!!  I realized this morning that it has been awhile since I had posted anything, and that there was SO much to catch up on as we have had a very full month of October.  So as I sit here sipping my coffee with pumpkin spice creamer (yum!) and nibble on an Almond Joy I snuck from my daughter's treat bag, I thought I would take a minute-- or 30-- and catch everyone up on our goings on.

First let me start out by saying that with regards to our adoption, we are unfortunately still in limbo.  No news of any kind as to the special needs list that was supposed to come out two weeks ago, or when the country in EE-- which is presently re-vamping their adoption processes-- will open back up.  We have been told December at the earliest, perhaps January instead.  So we are at a standstill right now, which is extremely frustrating.  The saying "no news is good news" does not apply here.  We would love to hear something, anything, about what is going on over there as we sit here and try to be patient, waiting to travel to our babies.

Prayers for that, as always, are greatly appreciated!

So, on to the things that have kept us busy, and my mind otherwise occupied, this past month.

As you know, our daughter Schuyler turned 13 on October 19th-- a very big milestone!  Well, our son Evan turns 16 on November 22nd-- another very big year to celebrate!!!  Thinking we might be gone to Europe by the time his birthday actually rolled around, we planned his party early this year so as not to miss the festivities!  So, we had two parties for two children in two weeks.  Craziness!  But, a ton of fun. 

Evan got to start the day by playing paintball with his dad, brother and a few friends.  Then it was back here for some hot dogs and hamburgers, a bonfire while roasting marshmallows, and a movie.  He really enjoyed his day and I think a fun time was had by all.

Next up was another big day for Evan-- he got his braces off!!  After two years he is braces-free and has some beautiful, straight teeth. Yeah!!!



This past weekend was another full one-- it was supposed to be even more full than it turned out to be but because of wet weather our soccer games were cancelled.  Can I have a teeny tiny "yeah!"??  So we got to hang out at home during the day on Saturday which was great, because the night before we did this......................

Every year for over a dozen years the Lewis's have had a Halloween party which all the kids from our church have attended.  This year we went with our Greaser, Vampire, Cowgirl, Baby, Nerd and Lego block!  It was a blast, as always!!  There were hot dogs, games, a bonfire, hayride and of course, trick-or-treating for the littler ones 5th grade and under. 

Grayson and I on the hayride!

Just some of the candy to be given out!!!

So of course that was a late night, which is why I was super glad it rained all night long and soccer was cancelled the next day.  Because, on Saturday the kids still had this to do............

Yep-- a 5K race!!!!
The annual Jack-o-Lantern Jaunt!!!

Five out of our 6 kids, and Tim, decided to run this!  Kierstyn opted to sit this one out on the sidelines with Mama-- she doesn't enjoy running as much as the others and is saving her get-up-and-go for the Santa Scramble in November.  :)

Off they go to sign in and pick up their goodie bags complete with race day t-shirt!

Signing in and getting the chip for their sneaker to record their time as they cross the finish line.

Ready to run!

A glimpse at some of the trophies.

It was FREEZING out there as we stood and waited to line up.

 Finally!  Ready, set....


You can see Charlotte Motor Speedway in the distance.

Gray flying by halfway through!

Schuyler and Daddy keeping pace together.

They started coming in....Gideon first of our clan...

Grayson second.....

Then Evan....


Next Schuyler....

And last but not least Daddy, who opted to take it easy on his leg. 

They all had strong finishes and we were SO proud of them all!!

Grayson and Georgia were especially happy!!
Grayson placed FIRST in his age group and
Georgia placed FOURTH in hers!!
Yeah to all my babies for such strong effort!

After the race was over, we headed off.  But never ones to sit still for too long (haha!) we dropped Georgia at a Girl Scout sleepover, the three teenagers at a Halloween party of their own, and took our last two with us to a bonfire at a friend's house!  I know, we are crazy.  No, we just have crazy busy lives which blessedly are filled with friends!  For that we are grateful! 

It was soo weird heading to our friends' house with only two kids in the car too!  Strange for us!!  :)

So today, I am getting off this computer and heading into the kitchen to bake up some yummy treats for tonight-- some decorated sugar cookies, frosted pumpkin spice cookies, and pumpkin dip!  There will be lots of ghouls to feed tonight as we head over to another friend's place for pizza and trick-or-treating! 

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!!!