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Friday, July 23, 2010

anniversaries, date nights, and orphans

Last night, we went on our fifth anniversary date. Woo-hoo!

Also, I should preface it with saying I was half asleep because my alarm clock has gotten set way off so I've been waking up at like 4:something in the morning and not realizing it till it's too late to go back to sleep. So I was half-asleep or half-awake (you decide), looking a little disheveled to say the least, and generally feeling very-un-date-night-esque. However, we had a good friend to watch the kids and off we went.

Nick knows date nights are hard for me. The first three minutes, I have small little panic attacks on top of panic attacks about our kids. They were in great hands, but I just feel this intense control-freak-selfishness that worries if I'm not there to put them to bed, will they be ok? EVERY night Glory rides my back to her bed and pretends to be Jesse from Toy Story. What if I'm not there? EVERY night Benja stands up in his crib waiting for me to kiss him and say, "goodnight prince". EVERY night Elias gets my lecture about not coming out of his room and we almost every night he comes out of his room doing something funny and instead of scolding him, I die laughing because it is HILARIOUS to hear what he has to say.

After my three minutes of fear, I'm fine. I know they'll be fine. We go on with our dates.

But datenights make me think about the 210 million orphans.
Who is tucking them in and making them feel loved and safe and protected?
What can I do to help?

So I'm going to keep writing about adoption, friend's who are adopting, fundraisers for adoption, and anything I can write about for now to do my part. Remember my friend Leigh and her great tshirts from last Friday? If not, check them out! Here are some questions she answered for me about currently being in the adoption process from Ethiopia.

Why Ethiopia? This is one of the hardest/easiest questions to answer. There is said to be around 5 to 6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone and while that number blows my mind there are hundreds of million of children all over the world that are waiting for their parents to take the leap of faith and begin this journey. For us it's really as simple as this: God called us to Ethiopia, it was never a country we had discussed and suddenly I couldn't shake the feelings that my children were Ethiopian. After a few weeks of praying Gray felt it too and we have never looked back, it was the right decision for us.

How many babies/kids are you adopting? We started off the process adopting a baby girl under the age of 36 months. I never felt right about that decision and always felt like we were supposed to be adopting siblings. Gray, the more practical of the two of us, wasn't convinced but thankfully after attending an amazing adoption conference, Together for Adoption, God changed his heart and we are now adopting two children of either gender under the age of 4. Just writing that makes me so excited (and a little dizzy)!

What is most exciting to you about this process? I am most excited about the normal mom-to-be things, I can't wait to see them, I can't wait to find out if they are boys or girls or one of each, I am so ready to decorate their room, buy their first outfits, simple things like that. I am also really excited about traveling to Ethiopia, we will go twice and I can't wait to get to know their country better!

What is the most frustrating part right now? Oh wow. hm...truthfully? The reaction we have gotten from some people from family members to strangers who happen upon my blog. We believe that this is what God has called us to and it's very hard when people refuse to support us on this journey for whatever reason. Of course it's harder when it's family or close friends but I have to say I do not love the mean emails from strangers either. As a disclaimer: most of our friends and family have been unbelievably supportive and amazing during this time. God has also blessed us with the greatest friends that are walking or have walked this same path to starting their family and we would be lost without them!

So there is a small little glimpse into Leigh & Gray's process of adoption. If you haven't already, go check out the t-shirts from last week and DEFINITELY check out their blog -
But first, in honor of my 5 year anniversary,
check out this awesome picture of Leigh dancing with me at my wedding.
(she's second from the right)


Billy & Megan said...

jessie, thank you for putting a plug in for adoption. we are adopting from ethiopia, too, & it is so amazing to see how God is raising up so many people to step in the gap for orphans. thank you for sharing, i'm going to check out leigh's blog now :)

kellybollman said...

Jess, could you maybe say "orphan" everytime you write about date nights...! I usually skim such posts and instead of praising the Lord for your marriage, dive straight into jealous ugly ugly pityparty mode, full-on. Oh, praise the LORD oh my soul, for lives that see the ONE TRUE THING. Your marriage is doing that! You are living like we were meant to live. Leigh and Gray are living like we were meant to live. IT'S THE GOSPEL. to every nation! every tribe! (even tribes in Boston!) I am blessed and I mean that deeply not tritely, to know you. I thank my Lord for you!!!