Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday night ramblings...................

So, everybody got a perfect 100% on their spelling tests this week, aced math, we turned the propane heater on for one night, used the wood stove for one night before the temperatures jumped back up to the high 70s daytime/50's nighttime, we cheered like crazy for the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series,compared BJ Upton and his base- stealing ways with our Isaac who has that reputation in baseball too, but also cheered for the Phillies: no real committment to either team but both were deserving of the honor of being the winner, we thought.Being big basketball fans we also watched lots of NBA basketball too and cheered BIG TIME when our favorite Phonix Suns beat our least favorite team, those San Antonio Spurs.(and winced when the Hornets beat them the next night........) Unbelievable as it was, Naomi turned 7 yesterday! Almost 47 inches tall and almost 41 pounds, our beautiful baby is NOT a baby any more. It is official. We had her favorite chicken and dumplings for dinner with chocolate cake iced with real whipped cream for dessert and today as we sat at the orthopedic doctor's office waiting to get the cast of her broken leg, we realized we never took a single photo of Naomi IN the cast! Sigh............well I never said anywhere that I was good or prompt with a camera!She was adamant that she didn't want to bring that cast home either: she just wanted a REAL bath when we got home.
Everyone was excited to see that I'd found more photos of Keren Jubilee and Levi Matthew in an other adoptive family's shared album, and Jael was happily showing off hard copies of the pictures at school today.Add all that to we are starting a new breeding sesaon with the goats and you have a pretty thorough over view of what was stirring in the "soup pot " this week.
In the air all around us is the anticipation over the election. Never have I been so drawn to and so compelled to pray for our country, and NEVER have I been more concerned ! As I listen to people's comments and opinions I am amazed at just how far reaching the consequences are in American citizens blowing off history classes in school with comments like" History is so boring." "WHAT DO I NEED THAT STUFF FOR?"
There are a lot of people voting for candidates and concepts about which they have NO understanding.for the present and even less for the future. Added to that the falling away from Righteousness which is so prevelant, I see a nation in dire immediate need of a New Awakening but short of that , needing a huge measure of God's mercy............through at leat one more election. "Oh generation SEE THE WORD OF THE LORD ..."
Jeremiah 2:31 a is my prayer

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

news from Liberia

We sent some small gifts to Junior (Levi) and Diamoh (Keren Jubilee) last week to another mom traveling to Liberia to go and get her daughter this week. She has been sending updates though her husband who is manning the home front. PRAYERS FOR MATT AND JANA!!!!!!!!!! He has reported back that the mini Cabbage Patch doll we selected for Diamoh was a BIG HIT with her and the other little girls! Horray ! There Minis are a series of 4-5 inch tall dolls and the one we found had great pony tails to brush and beautiful dark dark skin! Can't wait to see photos of our daughter and her first gift from us! It helped me to know that the size 6 clothing I sent to her was big. She and Naomi must be the same size!!! Diamoh is 6 and Naomi is about to trun 7 day after tomorrow. Junior liked his matchobx cars and Jana tells me he is "all boy" and loves to play soccer, and that he appears to be about 9........All GREAT NEWS THERE. His new sib brothers are all very athletically inclined and were hoping their new brother would fill out the "home team" ! While it isn't US being with our new children, any news and any connection is precious so we are very very grateful!!! Maybe the mail will bring us a finger print apointment slip from USCIS today?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

An Adoption anniversary and some Adoption day dreaming

SIX YEARS AGO today I was in Cambodia, preparing to finalize our new son Noah's adoption with a Giving and Receiving Ceremony on the 24th. He was 5, I had taken our then 8 year old daugther Jael with me and my long time best friend Jennifer came with us too. We had only met Noah a day earlier and we were just getting to know each other some. It was a wonderful experience which I look back on often and happily. Jennifer and I had shared a lot over the years...I was her midwife for several of her children, she followed my footsteps in to nursing, our friendship has spanned over 20 years and a lot of moves and experiences. The only "downer" was that coming home from that trip, a delayed plane caused us to miss my youngest daughter's first birthday. She is the baby we had adopted from Vietnam earlier that same year.I remember thinking how I was glad it was her first birthday and she had no idea what a big deal we make of birthdays in our family. WOW!! Four more adoptions later, today I am day dreaming about the children we will adopt early next year.Keren Jubilee aka Diamoh, and Levi Matthew Cooper aka Junior..........................another mom who is traveling to Liberia for her new daughter graciously offered to take small packages to children at the orphanage for other waiting families. The outfits, photo album and little Matchbox cars and mini Cabbage Patch doll are on their way to the hands and eyes of our new children RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How I wish I could see their faces when they see OUR FACES, our house, our animals in the photo book. Will they be excited? Scared? Unphased? Curious? Will they want to keep looking at the faces to memorize details, look for clues in the faces as to the personalities of the owners of the faces? Will the clothes I bought them fit? Will they be able to keep the toys or must they be put up quickly?
Will my new son and daughter have any idea how we are anticpating their arrival, how very much they are wanted, and already loved? Heavenly Father, please be preparing all of our hearts to welcome each other in, with trust and realistic expectations , and may no one feel disappointed or left out. Multiply Your love in our hearts over and over again so that Charlie and I have more than abundant Resources to lavish on all of our children, cause each of them to receive our love and each other's love freely.............. Like it was written of Mary and her Baby Jesus. I am "pondering all these things in my heart".

a bit political , and a recommendation

A friend shared this link to an excellent article on our current political/journalistic situation in the United States of America. Written by a Democrat, it is one of the best assessments of today's media that I have read . Pleae take the time to read it and share it with others? I sent the link to our local newspaper and asked if they would request permission IF THEY reprint the piece in our paper. We'll see if that flies , but I had to ask!!
PLEASE GO TO and see what I am talking about!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My heart WILL choose to say "Lord blessed Your Name!"

So, the water is fixed and I am so thankful for that, and relieved for Charlie who didn't have time to fix it again, or the budget-stretch to pay a plumber to fix his "oops". We are still playing catch up with the wash, got the sinks cleared and clean ...YAY!!! but didn't quite get to the floor mopping yet. Sunday night I was processing goat milk, took a step to one side of the kitchen island and slipped hard on a puddle of slopped dog water (THANKS Walter!!!!!!!!!!!) I landed so hard on my left forearm , I actually cried and I do NOT do that often.............. over pain. My standard "OH FIDDLE DE DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" just didn't cut it this time. I iced it quickly but pretty much that helped me realize I'd landed on my hip and my wrist too. I can't say I'm sure I broke something in my wrist, no swelling or bruising, but super stiff and painful. Come to think of it, feels a lot like my left arm, my shoulder and my hip do. Since I am so undecided on the broken diagnosis,that probably means its not broken. Remember I said I had a 100% accurate call record on broken bones when Naomi broke her leg? Good thing for more than two of us because Malachi fell pretty hard playing basketball Friday night as well and we are keeping a close eye on HIS wrist!!!! Anyhow........last night the hip, my shoulders and my wrist were pretty sore. Naproxyn sodium is good stuff...........God is better!
This morning I'm a bit stiff but I am feeling confident enough that I will go ahead and bowl with my league tonight. What's the worst that can happen, I can drop my average a few points?
Can you say "ATTACK"!!!!!!!!!?? Every day it has been some kind of something since we accepted our referral for Diamoh and Junior ,and things had started even a bit before that when we were still praying where and when and who. When I was drawn to the name Keren from the story of Job, I was not really planning on reenacting his story!!!! LOL!!!!
I have been singing that song "Blessed be Your Name" for weeks now and the lyrics are SO pertinent for me to life in this wonderful "pot " of "Smith Soup"!! "My heart will choose to say 'LORD BLESSED BE YOUR NAME'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
will continue to be my song, my stand , my claim and my challenge to the circumstances.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just another day in the paradise of Calico Acres Farm

When dear dh is trenching to lay new electrical wiring for the barn and chicken coop ,and he unexpectedly hits a water pipe, the potential to disrupt the whole day for everyone, maybe more than one just a day, is pretty great. We now have a new pond............. big unplanned, uninvited new pond, and the repair job on the pipe is not holding. I could not get the house cleaned today ,couldn't do laundry, and Saturday night showers................we are going to go visit all our grown children and local friends so as to not use up all of some one else's water.
NEVER a dull moment!!
Not a day has gone by this week that I have not needed to sing
LORD BLESSED BE YOUR NAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Music always helps me keep my spiritual balance and I can declare again, that no one has stolen my joy and I do not intend to give it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Friday, October 17, 2008

YES.......its them!!

I will keep that sweet sad-faced pair of photos and ponder them in my heart, but I will also rejoice over the smiling faces of our children in the photos I have posted now!! Today is SUBMIT THE I 600 -A DAY for our new 171 H !!! After being sidetracked all week by other important matters, it is a releif to have all of those documents asesmbled and in their traveling clothes: envelop addressed to USCIS! To celebrate, we are planning to go visit a pumpkin patch this afternoon with some friends. It is a totally glorious October -in-Oklahoma day to see things be accomplished (yes even that nasty refrigerator in the garage is clean!) and to enjoy God's beautiful autumn weather!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Well, I am nearly 100% sure that I have new photos of both Junior and Diamoh , by way of an adotpive dad who was in Liberia until last week bringing his daughter home. Today they shared over a hundred wonderful photos of the children and orphanage where our Junior and Diamoh are living right now. I KNOW I identified Diamoh pretty quickly, the little boy in one photo with her most likely IS Junior, but he looks so differently in the smiling happy faced photos I saw today as opposed to the very sad faced child in the other photo, that I don't want to say YES that IS my son,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and have it turn out that he is by slim chance, NOT. They are wonderful photos and it was very excting to open them and say THERE THEY ARE.OUR CHILDREN!!!!!! I needed that bit of "up news" to balance out the news which came later in the afternoon. Naomi's DNA viral load count which has been dropping rather impressively the last four or five times we've drawn lab values, made a pretty substantial leap. We knew this was very possible and so we've kept that thought in our minds; I just frankly didn't want to hear the doctor's nurse tell me that Naomi's Hep B virus has mutated and isn't responding to the chemotherapy. We have upped the med dose, and scheduled an ultrasound of Naomi's abdomen and liver next week. I am thinking that since her baseline blood values are so very good, that her liver is just fine. IF there is something going on, she is in the best physical condition to face a problem. HOWEVER, we are believing that God will heal her completely IF that is what brings the best honor to His Name in the situation. She has always been His child, on loan to us and we have trusted the Lord with this precious child every day since we began her adoption journey. Hearing some "bad news" doesn't change anything in the Big Picture. It seems that my theme song for this season of life is "Blessed be the Name of the Lord" and I find myself defaulting to, or choosing to sing.........."My heart will choose to say ' Lord BLESSED BE YOUR NAME'" and there is incredible peace in laying all my human-ness at the feet of the Father in trust that He Who has never left us or deserted us, continues to keep His hand on each of us, and especially Naomi right now. How thankful I am that Naomi is here in our family, in the USA , where she is loved and cared for and where we can get excellent medical care for her whenever its needed, adn where we can pray openly for her and share God's presence in her life anywhere we choose!! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Monday, October 13, 2008

new cast, new dishwasher, new dog, new name

There is truly NEVER a dull moment for the ingredients of Smith Soup.The pot simmers , the pot boils, things get stirred up, things cool off a bot, but NEVER does the pot grow tepid or lack in flavor!
With this week we saw Naomi get run into by our youngest horse, our dishwasher leave its last dish uncleaned, and yes , as if acquiring a Saint Bernard on Sunday was not enough, Malachi brought home a sweet stray he found while working his midnight power washing job! The half-cast on Naomi's leg was replaced with a full cast: toes to ankle, after the orthopedic doctor examined the x-rays and found that not the ankle, but the tibia bone in Naomi'a leg was broken!! She was not happy to be walking out with a different cast instead of the "its all good" diagnosis she was hoping for, but today she is quite nearly fine! The swelling is down, the bruised areas which were many, are all protected by the cast. She managed quite well at a wedding Friday night and again today while playing at nearly everything she desired to do! I am thankful that we got it diagnosed and that the doctor saw the break. Sweet baby was coming in from play and the wind grabbed the door behind her and slammed it on her left hand though. Two very bruised and sore fingers were the subject of prayer and ice for the rest of Sunday after noon!!!! The dog: oh my , all I can say is, DO NOT expect an accurate or coherent conversation with my husband if you call him at 1 AM and wake him up. The converation between Charlie and Malachi went something like " Dad I found something tonight! Its fluffy." Charlie," Is it a rabbit?" " No dad, but it needs a home really bad!!" "OH GREAT!!" Malachi claims that if Charlie was really asleep, he should not have answered the phone and hence any action taken after a conversation with him is NOT the fault of the listener. That said, Malachi of the very dry sense of humor and immense love or strays, brought home a very fluffy, very matted sex-unable-to-be-determined-due -to-matted-fluff- Australian Shepherd pup, about 7 months of age. He said to me, "Dad said 'THAT 'S GREAT!!!' when I told him I found something I wnted to bring home." Spin and interpretation I tell ya!!!!! Anyhow, its a girl, she is now bathed and de-matted, we are brushing her teeth to combat the dumpster breath, and she is here, at least for now and sort of answering to "Emma", or "Bosco" depending who calls her. My new dishwasher is in and running and only took three trips to Lowes, one deeply cut finger and one flood of the kitchen floor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Leah was very happy to run a load of dishwasher dishes to finish of her dish week. Naomi's oral surgery for the extraction of the 4 really bad molars will wait until after the cast comes off. Her lab work for mthe latest Hep B check up has come back within normal limits but the real indicator test won't be back until Tuesday. That test will let us know how much medicine Naomi needs to keep taking , if the viral load counts are still on a decrease, if further tests will be needed or if she is "sero-converting": which means her body is developing antiboidies to the disease and is fighting if off and out. So far that has not happened and she still has active Hep B. Trustfully she will not have started to develop immuities to the medication and it is still bringing her viral load numbers down.
On other news fronts, our new son is probably going to be named LEVI, maybe LEVI MATTHEW, but not Samuel Elijah. Charlie told me he has decided that Samuel is NOT right, he does not like Levi Elijah, does maybe like Levi Matthew, but IF I want Levi, he tells me that I have to sacrifice Elijah. (I can't have BOTH, ie TWO boys ; - ) Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Jael ever the prankster interjected that since his name right now is "Junior" , her new brother's name should leave the Junior part in place and just add "Asparagus". WHO but a 14 year old Veggie Tales fan would think of THAT?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At church yesterday as we are studying the book of Mark, we were at the point where Jesus had called his disciples, and had given them incredible authority in His name. Charlie quipped to me that "even Jesus only had 12.......maybe we should have stopped there???" with a wink and a grin. HE KNOWS BETTER than to "scripture bait" me!!! When I popped back with "Jesus also told them that they would do more and greater things than they had seen Him do" he cracked up in the middle of church, telling me that, yes he should have known better.........
"I love you Lord and I lift my voice to worship You oh my soul REJOICE Take joy my King in what You hear May it be a sweet sweet sound in Your ear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Something for Junior and Diamoh

Tonight was one of those special little times. I went shopping for a few little things to send to Junior and Diamoh! Another mom who is traveling to Liberia for her daughter has kindly offered to take things to the children of newer waiting families! Not wanting to take up very much space in someone else's limited luggage allowance, I found an outfit for each child which can be rolled up tiny and since its Africa and warm, well clothing is easy and light weight!To add to what I bought, the boys picked out some of their best Hot Wheels cars to send to their new brother; they wanted to share. The little girls are looking for something small and special for their new sister too! We are selecting photos for a family photo book too. Not just "our referral" or a photo on my computer wall paper screen, Diamoh and Junior are OUR CHILDREN...........I picked out things I hoped they would like and which I hope will fit................our first gifts for our new children! Noah asked me tonight when they would be coming home and he was very disappointed that it won't be before Christmas. I think we are READY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Naomi and Chuck . and life on a farm.........

Because it had been a quiet day with "only " a visit to the oral surgeon with Naomi to set up her surgery for 4 really bad teeth to be extracted, and my only unusual challenge was trying to find a way to get exception to policy for the surgery....... a YES to general anesthesia and a NO to local: the"standard policy for less than 6 teeth being taken out at once, regardless of patient age or condition" So a pretty quiet day, until it was time for Jael and Naomi to go feed the horses. Chuck, our 3 year old gelding got a bit ever- excited at the sound of feed in a bucket and ran up to the girls so quickly that he didn't see Naomi (we think!) and he nearly ran into her whole tiny self!! As it was, quick thinking Jael grabbed her little sister out of the way, just in time for Chuckers to "only" step on Naomi's leg! Cleaned up, iced, elevated, motrin given, and prayers said , I was able to assess that there was mostsurely a break in there somewhere. She is black and blue up to her knee, and all across the foot itself, her ankle is quite large. Knowing our small ER department, I knew that it was pointless to make a late evening visit for something unadmittable and hence which our insurance would not cover. We waited until yesterday morning to go see the doc who sent in a very skeptical PA. Naomi was toughing it out and walking, albeit gingerly, on her foot. HOWEVER.............I have not yet in all my years of gauging breaks versus sprains or whatever, missed a call. I have gone in when I knew something was not broken just to get that verified for the sake of my athletic kiddos and to establish a health history, but so far, 100% accuracy in my calls. YES, there is a break the x-ray shows, and a bone fragment floating around in her ankle area as well. Sweet Naomi was crushed that it was broken; she did not want to see another doctor. Now sporting a half cast and on limited activity levels, she is better today about it all. Friday we will see the orthopedic doctor and get further assessment and plans of action.
This is her week for doctor stuff for sure!! Tomorrow she has to see her peditric gastro-enterologist for her twice yearly assessment and lab work for her Hep B.
We decided to put off the oral surgery until the foot issues are resolved, as well as the insurance issues. I cna't imagine that it is not "standard" policy to allow a small child to be asleep when they remove 4 crumbling molars which are going to need cutting out and stitches. I am very thankful for insurance in any event buthave to question the logic of anyone who would not even offer that general anesthesia option for a child, even in a business which is all about making money and saving money. They will let me have 3 rounds of attempted in vitro fertilization at 100 % and my tiny daughter can't go to sleep for oral surgery. Where is the financial efficienecy in THAT?????????????????????????? But I digress...........
The new dishwasher was purchased yesterday and will go in this week sometime.
Just one more day in Calico Acres paradise. God IS GOOD ALL THE TIME and my heart WILL choose to say "Lord blessed be Your Name!"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another new ingredient, but not a child!!

Our sweet daughter Esther suffered the loss of her puppy, Peyton Manning the Corgi this week, after we optimisitcally thought he would survive the car accident earlier in the week. Dear Charlie tried CPR, everything he knew to try when Peyton began to be unresponsive but to no avail. Esther was crushed at the loss of this dog as we have lost several dogs this year and she has also lost several friends to tragic accidents this year as well. God stepped in so quickly and seamlessly; this kind of took my breath away! A friend emailed me to ask (the next day) if it was too soon for Esther to want to think about another dog, and IF NOT, would Esther want either a mixed breed dog or a year and a half old SAINT BERNARD? She had a friend who needed to re-home these two pets over city pet number ordinance violations she had no idea she was committing and if Esther wanted either , she'd be willing to help get a dog or dogs to us. WELL! Shannan is in north Texas and we are in central Oklahoma! What a sweet offering she had made ! The best part was that she had NO IDEA that Esther has talked about getting a Saint Bernard since she was about 5 or that her boy friend told her he'd get her one when he found out about Peyton Manning !!!!!!!!!!!!When I asked her , I don't think I knew that eyeballs could get so big! YES YES YES she decided after a bit of thinking it over. This afternoon Shannan, her son Jacob, and "Barney" drove 2 1/2 hours and so did Esther and I to meet and facilitate the adoption of Barney from Jamie to Esther to begin his new life as Esther's long awaited "Walter". Shannan and I have been internet friends up to this afternoon. Today I was SO blessed to spend wonderful face-to-face fellowship time with my friend, and all because while one little dog was coming home a little too slowly from a fishing trip, another dog was needing to find a new jumbo sized dog-loving family. IS that not just God caring for detail?!!
I knew that Walter was a big boy when we met him, but I had NO IDEA how big until we got him home and introduced him to our 65 pound Golden Retriever and all of a sudden the Retriever who has been our BIG DOG for 4 years seemed VERY VERY SMALL! Walter is probably at least 150 pounds ! He is adorable and sweet and very well mannered and so far so good as far as he and Aslan making friends.
I still don't have a working dish washer, but I am believing that the right bargain is waiting forus this week! Praising God for His new mercies on us today, and for His blessings!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

New ingredients are being added to SMITH SOUP!

YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going to be parents again........we were blessed to be offered a referral for a precious brother and sister in Liberia and after much prayer and talking and more prayer and talking, we officially asked to go forward with the adoptions of Junior and Diamoh, whose names will be Samuel Elijah and Keren Jubilee SMITH!! He is 9 and she is 6. Charlie and I and the kids, have talked back and forth about and prayed that IF we adopted again, we would hope for a sibling pair in this age/gender arrangement for about two years. Naomi, almost 7, who has been adopted "over" in birth order and has wanted a little sister to be added to our family is thrilled ! Every time I smile at her and call her "big Sister" she just melts! Our boys have been asking for another brother in their age bracket: younger end, as well. We are praising God for the way in which He opened and closed doors to guide us in this path. God knew that when "I" thought we should be "ready to get the process moving" that our children were NOT ready for us yet!!!! Thank You Father for prevailing over so many details! We trust You for the next steps and dedicate the children to YOU even as we begin the process to adopt and bring them home. Prepare all of our hearts to receive each other in love and without fear or rservation. Thank You Father for our new children Samuel and Keren Jubilee!!!