Sunday, August 30, 2009

Counting Down

Just a quick update...we have gotten our flights and are good to go. I fly out on the tenth with Suzanne and Mike (who are adopting little Josie Love) and our friend Renee. Renee knows of Katie Davis's ministry and has wanted to help support her and all that she is doing. Because of that and the fact that she is just a sweet, sweet person with a heart for the Lord, she has agreed to go with us and help us document this most special occassion. She will be my "roomie" while we are there. I thank God for His provision once again!

We are still working out the details of taking care of three children, a dog, five classes of eighth graders, and a husband while I am away for potentially an entire month. I cannot tell you how blown away I am by everyone's concern and willingness to help. We have gotten a great interim teacher to take my place (and then Danny's while he stays with Asher) while I am gone. Wonderful neighbors and church friends are taking care of Belle, the beagle. Countless people are helping out with kids after school to make sure they get everywhere they need to be while Danny is coaching football. If any of you saints are reading this, please know how THANKFUL we are for you. May God richly bless you as you have blessed our family. It's because of you all that I can even go.

Besides making preparations, I have been an emotional roller-coaster. If any of you have adopted before, please let me know if this is normal. I vascillate between overwhelming joy and excitement to sadness for no reason at all. I cry at the drop of a hat. I think it's because I am acutely aware that life as we have all known it is about to change forever. When I leave in ten days, it will be the last time that we will ever be a family of five. That is an overwhelming feeling. On the other hand, we are bringing home our son! And the cycle begins again!

As we prepare to leave, please pray for traveling mercies, for no sickness, for bonding between me and Asher, and for all details to be taken care of. We specifically pray that no detail will delay our coming home in a timely manner. God is sovereign, and He has been before, in, and through this whole process. May He safely bring us all home!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We Got It!

I have been going ninety-to-nothing today, but I wanted to make a quick post...we got our court date! We go to court on September 14 and travel on September 10.

As usual, I had trouble sleeping last night because I was waiting to get "the call." With Jinja being eight hours ahead, I knew that their business day was winding down as ours was winding up. When the alarm rang and I hadn't gotten a call, I knew another opportunity had come and gone, and off to work I went.

I was beginning my first class when Suzanne (another mom adopting from Amani) rushed in the room and said that we had both gotten court dates...on the same day! My kids were so sweet and all celebrated with me. I have to admit I ran door to door, telling the good news. I was blessed by everyone's reaction of excitement and joy. It was a moment I will never forget!

However, in the midst of my celebrating, my heart is heavy for my dear friend Lindsey. She is still waiting on her court date. She celebrates with us, but I know we had always planned on traveling together. Will you please join me as I pray, pray, pray for her to get her court date SOON?! God can certainly bless both of our families in this way, and this is our heart's cry. Either way, we both want God's will to be done...His timing is perfect as is His love for us.

We're going, though! We're really going! Asher, here I come!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Asher Calls Me "Mommy"!

Dee Anne and Dan Proctor posted some video footage of their visit with Asher and Judah. It is so exciting to hear our little guy's voice...he has the cutest accent (I hope he doesn't lose it when he arrives in the South!). If you hang in there for the whole video, you will hear Asher call us "Mommy" and "Daddy." I cannot begin to explain just how these words make me feel. My heart is mush right now! I am so just thankful for Amani, for our friends who have visited and shared their stories, for our church and school family who have loved us so well and supported this whole journey, and for my teacher friends who have put up with me every day while I tell them one more Asher story. My heart is just full to bursting as I type. The Lord has blessed us so mightily, and we are thankful! Enjoy the video! (Be sure to turn off the playlist at the bottom of the page.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thank you, Proctors!

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about the Proctors who were going to Jinja, Uganda, and who were taking presents for the boys for the Doyles and us. Well, while I was checking my email at school, I received this video from them. Not really knowing what it was, I opened it up on my prep period. When the bell rang, this amazing video was still playing. As the students entered my room, I was weeping...quite a sight to see, I'm sure!

Just like Connie's quilt, this video is a testimony of how well our faith family has loved us and Asher. Dee Anne and Dan, thank you for putting this video together. Before long, Asher will be home and we will sit down and watch it as a family...thank you for that blessing! (To hear the video only, scroll down to my playlist at the bottom of the page and turn off the music.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gift from Connie

Today I received the most precious gift in the mail. Our dear friends, Connie and Mark Stowers, recently moved to Texas, but Connie has faithfully followed our blog and offered words of encouragement for our journey. Well, if any of you know Connie, you know she is also a quilter extraordinaire. I knew she had been working on a gift for Asher, but I really didn't know what it was, especially when she said she needed a picture. I couldn't imagine what she would need his picture for; however, I knew that if Connie had anything to do with it, it would be special. And indeed it is! Check out this fabulous quilt made by my dear friend Connie (double click on the picture to see larger image):

The quilt is made of the cutest fabric with jungle animals at the beach. Here are some of the squares up close (again, double click for larger image):

On the back of the quilt is this precious note from Connie (please double click picture if you can't read it):

I think this note is my favorite part of the whole quilt. First, I love the inclusion of our life verse for Asher: "The Lord your God is mighty to save." Second, I love the phrase "Child of the Covenant." Asher is now a member of the Keck family, but more importantly, he is now a member of God's covenant family. The significance of this phrase for his life and for my life brings tears to my eyes. Thank you, Jesus!

And thank you, Connie, for such a special gift. We will treasure this quilt for the rest of our lives. It is a testimony to God's goodness to us all for bringing our full family together. Hugs and kisses to you!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Truckin' Along

We still don't have a court date, but we are hopeful to get one next week. In the meantime, a dear friend found these pics of Asher playing with a truck...

I smiled from ear to ear when I saw these because I had just come home from the store with this purchase...
And so we all keep truckin' along until we can be together. The good news is that it shouldn't be too much longer!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From Teddy Bears to Picture Books

Yesterday I posted a picture that someone found of Asher receiving his teddy bear. Today Emily sent some more pictures of Asher and Judah with their picture books that we sent many weeks ago. I cannot tell you how EXCITED all these pictures are making me! I am ready to go and pick up our boy and bring him home and love him well!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Asher Gets His Bear!

I didn't even know this picture was out there in "blogland," but sweet Grace told me about it (thanks, Sandy, for posting it!). So, here is Asher with his teddy bear. I sure hope he likes it!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Labor Pains

We just found out that one of the families who is adopting at the same time as we are just got their court date...August 25! Can you believe it! That's in two weeks! While we did not think we would hear anything until after the judges come back from break, it appears that we could get a court date before that time. Soooo, stay tuned! A court date should be coming soon! Metaphorically speaking, the labor pains are beginning!