Sunday, January 24, 2010

Welcome Home!

I will get Chris to put some pictures up, we are still all over the place, but I felt I should write something to update everyone. Tomorrow, marks one week home! Everyone seems to be adjusting well. We can't believe how well Mykah and Jax are doing. The are warm and friendly and don't seem to know a stranger. Bed time was interesting where Mykah would just scream for a while and Gracen and Maddie didn't really know what to do with that, but she seems to be relaxing. We took the kids to see the doctor on Tuesday and did some labs and a physical and everything looks fine. We will go back in a few months to recheck some labs and follow Jax's height and weight. He is currently in size 12 month clothes. Dinner is interesting, trying to get 5 kids to sit and eat and use their manners. Let's just say it will never be boring. Colin last night told me that we need to adopt another brother, so I guess he is coping pretty well. We alwas did say we would have 6! Mykah asks me whenever I go somewhere "Mom, are you coming back". That is tough and I wonder what is going through their minds. Jax goes to the dentist on Monday and it looks like he is going to need a good bit of dental work, but it will come.

Chris' mom leaves on Monday night and Marlene leaves on Friday. They have been a HUGE blessing as we settle back in. I don't know what I will do when I need to cook dinner and do dishes again :) Chris has been studying for an exam that he has on Saturday and then he has the first two weeks of February offf and we are really looking forward to some family time. We will also be spending some time with a few families that are considering adoption. That is very exciting!

All in all, we are doing well. It is great to be home and the only thing missing is that our dear friend Melanie is STILL trying to get home. Please pray that by some miracle, she would go to court this week and make it to her brother's wedding the first week of February.

I will write more this week and truly want to say THANK YOU to those that made all of this possible!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jackson turns 3!!!!

It has been an interesting week. I met with the lawyer to sign the paperwork on Tuesday. He was hoping to make it to court on Wednesday, which then turned into Thursday. I am not sure on the details, but he was told to come back on Monday. Monday is now a holiday, which brings us around again to Tuesday. How quickly an hour appt. can turn into a week-long ordeal in Africa.

We are hoping to go to court on Tuesday, Jan 5th, and we need your prayers.

1. That we go to court on Tuesday, Jan 5th, all the paperwork is in order and the adoption is
2. That I am able to get birth certificates and passports by Thursday, Jan 7th. Usually this takes
3-5 days.
3. That I am able to get a bus to South Africa on Thur, Jan 7th, and make my doctor's appt on
on Friday, Jan 8th.
4. Pray everything goes smoothly in South Africa and we make our 17 hour flight to Atlanta on
Thursday, January 14th.
5. Pray for Chris to have wisdom in getting the kids' tickets as prices have skyrocketed ($1900
each) since I purchased mine back in Nov ($800 each)!

In all honesty, this has been an emotionally draining process. The kids back home (Big one included!) are ready for me to come home (not to mention Pam!!) and I am more than ready to be with them. It's hard to believe that when all this is said and done, I will have been gone for over 8 weeks. Chris is going to meet me in Atlanta. It will be the first time that he will meet both Jackson and Mykah!! What a moment that's going to be. We are going to spend a couple of days with my mom, her husband and my Grandmother and then fly back to Hawaii.

We are having a "Welcome Home" party for the kids in Atlanta on the 16th, and would love for you to drop by if you live in the area (more details to follow). I doubt we will be flying anywhere soon with 5 kids and we felt it would be a good way to spend some time with friends and family before heading back to Hawaii. (Thank you Linda, Lindsey and Mrs Bowyer for hosting this!)

We did wrap up the week on a couple of positive notes. Melanie's children did NOT need to spend the weekend with their birth father, and that was an INCREDIBLE answer to prayer!! We truly appreciate all those that prayed against this. Also Jackson turned 3 on January 1st! He loved every minute of his special day. His toothless grin shows that! He unwrapped his coloring book and crayons and you would have thought he won the lottery!

It was a great reminder that no matter how difficult this journey might be, it is worth every minute. Not only are 2 childrens' lives going to change forever, but there are 5 other Elliott's who will also never be the same!! This journey has taught me so much and I am not even sure how to process most of it. I have felt extremely powerless throughout the time I've been here. It's been difficult, but in many ways, it has been a good reminder of how these children have felt all of their lives. Mykah and Jackson's mother passed away in November of 2008, and like many children here, they have been raised by other children and some of their extended family since that time. A little over a year later and here we are. God was working back then to bring us all together. I know He will complete His good work. The Lord knows how much our hearts long to be together as a family, and no matter how things may appear, He remains in control and I can rest in Him (as hard as that can be at times with someone with control issues :)

Thank you to everyone that has been walking this journey with us! We look forward to continuing to share the stories as the real fun is about to begin!!