Thursday, December 30, 2010

i've flipped

After making some switcheroos with a few gifts, I managed to scrounge up enough dough to get an UltraHD Flip camcorder. I have to say, it's pretty darn cool.

Things I like:
1- It's super light.
2- It's super small - fits right in my pocket.
3- It's super easy to work. I recorded without even looking at the directions.
4- It's super fun.
5- It's super fast and easy to upload.
6- It gives me the illusion that I am a young Spielberg.

Here's my very first video, starring the "always emotionally raw" talent of Matt Smith.

Monday, December 27, 2010

unshaken...a book worth reading

I just finished this book and was really stirred by the author's personal account of the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010.

Dan Woolley was actually trapped underground for nearly three days, in the pitch dark, under Haiti's collapsed Hotel Montana.

This book is different in that Dan shares with us two stories at the same time. One of course is all about the struggle being trapped underground, wondering if he'd ever make it out alive. The other is about the early part of his marriage and the intense struggles his wife Christy suffered through her years of depression. Although both stories are very different, both situations required a rescue.

Great, fast-pace read, with an important message for the reader.

Here's a video teaser about the book.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

adoption day.....holla!

So after 2 years and 7 months, the Lord added two children into our family...permanently. Or, as David puts it, "fowevah and evah".

Welcome David Josiah and Jayda Hope into the Smith family!

I have learned so much these past years through the process of foster care and adoption. I've learned about compassion and mercy. I've experienced the ongoing unknown and possibility of loss. I've learned (and am still learning) how God is truly the only one we can totally trust in and He is worthy of our trust. I've been the recipient of so much care and love by so many in our church family. I've seen my self-righteousness rear its ugly head and I've seen how God has amazingly put a love and care in my heart for the birthmother. It has been a full two and half years! This journey was so different than that of our international adoptions.

Just the night before, I was remembering the first moment I met D. He was with two social workers in a conference room, dressed in overalls, quietly standing there, seeming afraid. He was just 14 months old and I'm sure confused as to where he was and why. I knelt down in front of him and said, "Hi buddy! You're our number one!" He just smiled, shyly. When we decided to become a foster family, I imagined having lots of children come and go. I imagined a wall in our basement filled with pictures of children we would have the privilege of caring for until they went back home to their birthparents. I never anticipated adopting our first foster children. D was our number one, but I imagined numbers 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7...child after child coming and going.

Wendy Gill wrote the following in a card to us:
Who would have imagined stepping out in faith and obedience to God would end like this!

I never imagined it, that's for sure! God's goodness and blessing to our family has really overwhelmed me.

The official adoption ceremony took place on Wednesday, December 15th. Friends and family gathered to celebrate the big day with us. Enjoy the pictures below:

Judge Whitfill really makes it special for the children. Underneath his desk is a box full of stuffed animals and each child gets to choose one. David chose Pluto and Jayda chose a stuffed bear.

Judge Whitfill holding the children after signing the final adoption petition.

Amanda and her children...all sporting hand-knit hats. How cool!

Family and friends on the other side of the court room. What a great crowd!

Judge Whitfill, our family and the proud grandparents.

“The joyful news of the gospel is that God the Father brings us to share in the loving communion that he forever enjoys with his eternal and natural Son through the work of his eternal and natural Son in our place and in our stead. Through adoption God graciously brings us to participate in the reciprocal love that ever flows between the Father and his Son. Not only is this the very heart of adoption; it is also the very heart of the gospel.”

- Dan Cruver

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

this is why i love new york

Number one...and in no specific order: Rickshaw Dumplings. It's a neat little eatery that serves up fresh steamed dumplings, delicious soups and chocolate dumplings for dessert.

Number two: Washington Square in Greenwich Village is just a cool place. It was pretty empty when we walked through, except for the small army of squirrels that were chasing us. Yes, they were chasing us.

Number three: The Empire State Building at nighttime at Christmastime specifically. Just beautiful.

Number Four: Bryant Park at Christmastime in the evening. I love this park. It's become one of my must sees anytime I visit the city. There are great little shops they set up during the winter holiday time and they are so unique.

Number Five: The famous tree at Rockefeller Center. I mean, can you go to NYC around Christmastime and not see this?

Number Six: Seeing numbers one through five with a good friend! Plus, Times Square is exhilarating each and every time I walk through it. Don't we look silly in our hats?

Friday, December 3, 2010

"God painted your face red so that you could be my daughter."

From that first sentence, my heart melted and I sat sobbing and reading through this article written by Christina Dubell.

Adoption is a beautiful picture of the gospel. I never tire of hearing Dan's story and how it all began with a sermon one Sunday at Perry Hall Middle School.