A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Angels and airplanes

We are so excited about the concert you are seeing advertised above!! It is a FREE concert!!! Absolutely free! They do pass a bucket, but there is no obligation - and they have a nice little coffee bar there! Steve was just on the phone with the band leader and they are adding more songs, and it is great because most of them he has been dying to sing anyway!!! For ages! So, this is a great big band concert, brass and all, with great vocals and wonderful praise and worship music. We had so much fun at the last two performances, the kids are counting down the days!

And airplanes... A dear friend left for Ethiopia this afternoon to bring home her little girl that she has adopted. Little S. is one year old and we are all so excited to finally meet her. The miracle of adoption will never get old, just as the miracle of birth never will. I keep thinking of where they are now, over what part of the ocean (actually, they might still be in Washington DC yet. I remember those flights, I was so nervous and excited and overwhelmed that there was no way to sleep, or at least get any real rest. How do you rest when you know that you are headed to the other side of the world to a child who will call you "Mom" who you have never met!!!! I don't know that I can ever put into words all the myriad of feelings that that trip entailed! I hope someday I can put our story into words and that they will truly express the miracles God has done!

Speaking of miracles, you should see the first floor of my house! We have a social worker from the State coming, as we are starting the homestudy process for adoption through the state of WI. Which means we would be adopting out of foster care, if things really do happen. To say we are hesitant going into it would be an understatement. We have been foster parents for six years, so we know a bit how the system works, and have had two potential adoptive placements fall through after we had grown to love the child. So, we have said that we would be obedient, because we do feel that God has placed before families the need to reach to the orphan, helpless and needy. You take that as you want to, but this is our personal belief for our own family. Plus, in all honesty, we love having a larger family, and generally, the more the merrier.

Anyway, since neither one of us can bring ourselves to consider fundraising and what not for international adoption again, we have decided that this is a step we will take. If God presents us with more steps to take, we will do so, but one step at a time. And this is the first one. So, anyway, the social worker is coming tomorrow afternoon.

Generally this wouldn't be a huge freak out time. We have gotten used to it. But, you have to understand, we have been doing a lot of harvesting. And I mean a lot! My entire dining room table (remember, it seats seven of us) was piled high on top with gourds, squash and pie pumpkins. Now, that wasn't so bad, but the entire underside was also filled to overflowing with the same! We must have upwards of 20 acorn squash, 30 or more pie pumpkins (and we have already cooked down 8 - can we say "pumpkin pie"?), and various and sundry other edible squash. And that doesn't even cover the four laundry baskets full of apples that were picked on Sunday that were also in the dining room, awaiting canning and what not.

Not a great time to have a total stranger coming over to meet you. What kind of impression would that make?? "Well, yes, we like to stock up, and well, you know, we will get it all cooked down in the next week or two, and what can be stored will, but really, how does one household absorb the quantity of produce that has come in the door in the last few days?" Ummm, not so much. And really, yes, we do have chickens out there on the lawn for eggs, and yes, some of those goats out there are our milk producers. And the sheep, well, their wool is in the basement, awaiting processing. Yeah, like enough people don't think I am nuts already. Did I mention we don't sleep much?

So, today was the huge "figure out how we were really going to store this quantity of food" day, and straighten things up (like we normally would in general if there weren't 500 pounds of produce sitting right in the way). We had plans, and thanks be to God, it all worked. We have been collecting pallets, they make great enclosures of fence fixers for the escape artist goats, so we love to have a pile around. They also, as it turns out, can be used to make the most wonderful storage shelving for our old basement! Four pallets later, and some very good shelving structure we have shelving to store all this in our always cool basement (as in cold, not as in fashionable). Everyone pitched in and the gourds/squash/pumpkins were all transported and sorted into appropriate spots on the shelves. And all the canning we have already done has been moved down there also (where do you store 11 quarts of pickles, 9 quarts of apple butter (so far), unknown quarts of tomato sauce, and whatever else we got done already?).

And then we could find everything that went hiding in the great harvest! You know what, one advantage of a large family is that when everyone pitches in, a lot gets done in a short time. So, we can find the table again - hooray as picnicking is getting really old, and the house is very restful. And when I cannot stand the thought of dealing with another gourd or apple or whatever, they can simply stay in the basement until I am ready to deal with them!!! Whoo-hoo!

I know the social worker will have no idea of everything we pulled off, and I really don't want to let her know, it would be too easy for her to think we are crazy, and enough people do that already. Part of me wants to crow about what we accomplished, and the rest of me knows enough to be silent - except for here! Ha! When we really make a difference like this, it gets us all fired up to do something else big. Can we say new henhouse? LOL! Maybe not this weekend, I still have all that produce to process!

So, here is to angels, airplanes, adoption, and the blessings of autumn. And let's hope the kids don't get tired of squash anytime soon. Really. I'm not kidding. What all can you put squash in? I'm thinking anything I can, no, not really. But maybe. I will have to take a photo of our overflowing abundance just so someone will believe me.

Anyway, if you could send up some prayers for my friend Anna and her trip and all, I would appreciate it. We know another family anticipating traveling soon, and send up prayers for them too. And come see the show! It will be awesome! And we will all be there!


gbmom2407 said...

Hello, wow your week is full! I am so excited for you all. I remember the last faster girl. God IS good and it will all work out. My mom collects squash and they last a long time. eventually she does get to cooking it and she freezes it in quart bags for the long haul. I wish I had your problem. We love all the produce and fruit. We have been freezing tomatoes (that I use to cook with all winter) but we have not been able to save anything else it all gets eaten! Hope your home visit went well.
Happy day

Kate said...

I'm happy to hear you may be adopting again... you have such a heart for your kids and I know any child in the foster care system would be blessed to call you "Mom".

I cannot imagine the amount of food you had to put away, but I admit I am envious of your lifestyle. I'd love to have chickens & a goat, too, but there's no chance of that happening in the suburban neighborhood I reside in (sadly). Good job at getting it all "hidden" in time for the social worker's visit!