Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holding two precious kids!!!

Well, Carrie has been in Africa since Tues at noon. She'd received no return calls/texts from the adoption director over there until this morning and she just called to tell me how her FIRST encounter with Jackson and Mykah went!!! How exciting this moment is! How I wish I could have been there with her to welcome them into our family!!! I just pray a peace is upon their little hearts and that they felt so desired in their momma's arms like they've never felt in life! What a day...

Carrie said she thinks the two of them together are easier to hold than Gracen! Time to get some of momma's good cookin' in those children!! Apparently need to get Jackson to a dentist in a bad way too! :( Just wanna zip 'em back here and start taking care of them!! How exciting it's going to be when Colin and Maddie wake up in the morning and I get to tell them that their momma got to hold, squeeze, play with and love on their brother and sister!!! They are going to be SO EXCITED to hear this news!! They have been praying all week that mommy gets to see Jackson and Mykah soon!

So, from here Carrie will be able to make day trips to see them and will be able to pick them up , take them on adventures and then take them back to the orphanage at night. This goes on until the director gives her the okay to keep them. Hopefully this will be fast, but some time for them to meet her on their stompin' grounds hopefully will give them a little time to adjust. Then there's just paperwork and meetings to get through and we're hoping it moves along.

We have been able to talk on the phone a few minutes a day, but the internet connection has been shady at best. She was able to get off some low resolution pics of the kids that Melanie had taken and Jackson and Mykah are BEAUTIFUL!! My mom got here Tues as well and things are settling in just in time for me to leave for two weeks on Mon!! I don't know where I'd be without her stepping up like's what family's about, you know!?

Pray for all the kids as they are adjusting to so much- Jackson and Mykah to this white, red-headed, blue eyed beauty of a momma that has a heart so huge they will never see then end of it. Colin, Maddie and Gracen as they go through 2 weeks of life without their momma and daddy (I head to San Antonio on Mon for an Army course).

Also for my mom as she takes care of things and keeps the Elliott B&B running. (thanks to all that are stepping up in this time to help!!! It will make the UNdoable, doable!!!)

I'll try to get up some pics of Carrie's first visit once she's able to get some my way!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Friendly Skies

I have arrived on African soil. I left Saturday at midnight and it is Monday night (I think). I just keep thinking "I am much too young to feel this old". That good ol' country song. Actually it was all very uneventful. I met up with Jeremy and Dawson (the father and brother of another sibling group that are being adopted) in Atlanta. We were met by a local missionary here in Africa and taken to our hotel. Now 12 short hours from now we will be back on a plane to our final destination. In many ways it doesn't feel real. Yet, the more I hear about this little ones, there is no doubt that I would travel to the moon and back to get to them.

Please keep praying. I am hoping to be able to spend time with them soon and especially on Thanksgiving. SO much to be thankful for!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Carrie's on her way!!!

I just returned from Dropping Carrie off at the airport. It has been an emotional day. The thought of bringing home your two new children that we have prayed over for years and long to hold and love- AMAZING!!!! Thinking of your wife leaving you for possibly two months, our kids here without their momma and to miss being there to get the kids at the orphanage and those first few weeks to bond and attach to them- OVERWHELMING and HEARTBREAKING.

We have so many people stepping up and surrounding us to help us. My mom is flying in from Turkey for goodness sake!! :) I cannot thank those people enough. The thought of me also leaving for the first two weeks of Dec for an Army course in TX, makes me feel ill!! Is it just me, or will it be as hard as I think on the kids? It will no doubt be an emotional time for them these next weeks while we wait with every ounce of us longing for a phone call or to hear the "Skype Ring" on the computer!! I'm sure they (I!!) will have their (my) moments and meltdowns, but they will be okay. We will be okay.

And it will no doubt be hard on Carrie working through the government to get our kids, living with them the first few weeks as they attach to one another and being in Africa and traveling by herself (anyone that knows her has to just laugh at that, right!) But even as experienced and amazing she is at traveling, she was never MY WIFE during all that and I feel so vulnerable letting her go out on her own for such a huge trip without me! I am her knight, it is MY duty to protect I pray the angels of God keep her surrounded and watch over her. May mighty hosts of his armies travel with her.

But to everyone reading this, I cannot tell you that I have ever in my entire life felt any more dead on in the center of God's will for my life, my marriage and my family. And I cannot tell you the overwhelming joy and confidence that this brings in the moments of recognition of His will and purpose for me/us. It doesn't make it easy and it's not that it isn't a complete challenge to keep making EVERY decision by faith, but I find the strength in courage to keep going ahead without waivering as we push forward to get these children.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see," (Heb. 11:1).

When I look at all that is happening and see the struggles that we are facing, I can get through them because the things that are at the center of all we are doing are making eternal impact. The things that seem to cause the most struggles as we strive to make these decisions and to drive forward seem more and more temporal. I think of all those that have come through the Elliott house since we got married and am reminded of how impacting our home can be. We talked yesterday about how we never thought of our home having such an open door, but it always has and these have always been some of the most impacting stories of how the Lord has used us as a couple and family (you all know who you are! :). And now we have the opportunity to bring in two more and make our family bigger- a new son and daughter, sister and brother.

They are what it is all about and they are amazing. I cannot wait to hear Carrie talk after she's seen them for the first time and to hear her stories as they adjust to being with one another. And most of all I cannot wait to have them in their arms, the arms of their Daddy!!
It is good.

Friday, November 20, 2009

24ish hours

I am leaving tomorrow night at 10pm from Hawaii. I then leave Atlanta on Sunday evening for an overnight flight, spend the night at a hotel painted in primary colors and then fly on to my destination and arrive on Tuesday. I keep thinking, "I am too old for this" :) , but I know that it is a trip of a life time. People keep asking me if I am scared to travel by myself. I answer "If I can get 30 kids to Timbuktu and back, I should be fine". God knew what he was doing all those years ago preparing for this moment. I am sad to be leaving Chris and the kids, but I am looking forward to my time there. It is truly bittersweet.

So, here is what we know. We have been assigned a girl who will be 4 either on Christmas day or the 26th. We need clarify that, and a boy who is turning 3 on January 1st. They are brother and sister. We can't wait to meet them although we have looked at the picture a thousand times and have prayed for them for years. I was told to prepare to be in Africa for 8 weeks, so I have the luggage to prove that I am ready. My 4 page To Do list is now down to one and we are meeting with the adoption agency at 9am to wrap up some final paperwork. I know that God is moving and He is working in mighty ways to care for these orphans. I always felt it with my other 3, but I really believe that these are HIS children and we have the privledge of walking with Him to raise this children in the "way they should go".

I can't wait to meet them. See their personalities. Learn what makes them tick. I am sure all of this is incredibly overwhelming to them. I feel nervous and excited. I can't imagine what they are experiencing.

We have some dear friends that are there now and they were able to meet their 3 beautiful children yesterday. I know that our 5 little ones will have this special time to grow as an extended Ohana (family). Others, that my children will have throughout their lives that can relate to this experience like no other. God truly is a God of the details.

I hope to have e mail while I am there and I will be updating the blog as often as African internet will allow. In the meantime, we are soaking up time together before I leave. We are celebrating Thanksgiving today and will be decorating the house for Christmas. Colin has his first swim meet tomorrow morning and I can't wait to see him swim the 25 meter freestyle :) He will be the only 5 year old there. I will paint Maddie's nails and hug and kiss that sweet baby Gracen who is getting closer and closer to being a toddler, but I am further and further from admitting it :)

We are so THANKFUL for all those that have made this adoption possible. God does have a heart for the orphan and it has been incredible watching Him use his people to change the lives of two little ones. Please keep us in your prayers and I hope to post pictures soon!