Monday, November 22, 2010

Out of the Proverbial Loop

For the past month my brain has been swirling with blog posts; blog posts that didn't happen. There are blogs I adore, but haven't had time to read. School has been busy. Right now I am taking English composition. I am constantly writing: essays, paragraphs, discussion questions, responding to discussion questions, etc. I am learning a lot, but also feel like all of this darn learning is cutting into my fun. I guess responsibility trumps fun (for now).

I remember this time last year I was feeling a lot of anguish because Mercy was not home yet. Oh how I ached for her to be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it wasn't meant to be. The old saying "Hindsight is 20/20" certainly rings true when I think about that. Her coming home over the holidays would have been a complete disaster. Thankfully God knew that and had my back, as usual. I love it when He saves me from myself.

I'm looking forward to enjoying the holidays with my amazing husband and kiddos. The Christmas light are all up, Thanksgiving groceries are purchased, and I've even put a good dent in the Christmas shopping.

Life has settled into a rather predictable routine at our house and most days it all just feels very normal. As normal as it can be with four kids anyway. My days are filled with caring for my family, school work and wondering what plans God has for me next. I am longing to return to Ghana. I miss the way I can focus on what's really important when I'm not stuck in my warm, cozy bubble. I guess I'm just crazy like that.

I hope to get caught up with everyone's happenings soon. Please say hello while you are here (I miss y'all). Wishes for peace, love, and a blessed Thanksgiving to you all!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Perfect Timing

My heart is heavy for many friends currently waiting for their children to come home. I remember very clearly the agony of waiting. The longing and having a hard time understanding why it was taking so long. The end is the close, yet so far away.

Over and over again I heard how God's timing was perfect. It was something I knew without a doubt in my head, but my heart had a bit more trouble digesting that statement. People would say it with the best of intentions, but it stung. I didn't want to hear those words because they echoed with triteness in my ears.

My friends, you WILL get the call. The pain of the wait WILL end and you may very well find yourself wondering why God thought you were competent enough to handle this in the first place. You may even contemplate why it wasn't dragged out a little longer (but I know you can't believe that now).

Take heart, dear ones, as the wait and setbacks are all part of the plan. Cry. Ache. Long for your children. Pray and maybe even beg. It's all good & necessary. God is in control.
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope." - Psalm 130:5

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Mercy Joy Salzwedel turns 7 today and she is certainly FULL of joy! She has hardly skipped a beat since coming home. She loves to draw, play outside & take HOT showers. She almost always has a smile on her face.

We are so blessed that you are home and we can celebrate with you this year instead of from afar. Happy birthday precious are loved!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Six Months

It's been six months since Mercy came home. I'd love to say it seems like just yesterday, but I am happy to report that it feels like a lifetime ago.

I struggled a great deal after she arrived with post-adoption depression. Thankfully it didn't last long, but it was quite miserable nonetheless. No one wants to work hard & sacrifice much to get their child home and then sit around all day crying feeling like you've just made the worst mistake of your life. I am SO thankful it's not that way now. So thankful!

Mercy has adjusted amazingly well. She is confident & bright and almost always has a smile on her face.

I have been so blessed by this process - the people I've met, the way God provided for Mercy to come home, the way my perspective has been changed by the places I've gone and the things I've seen. If I sit down and really try to soak it all in it just blows me away.

I'll conclude with a passage from the devotional "Hope for the Journey An Adoption Companion" from Shaohannah's Hope:
The adoption journey is not easy, but every hour of toil, every obstacle encountered, every tear shed, every sleepless night - all are but a shadow of the price that God paid for us. Jesus came to be a ransom for many, and if God was willing to pay that ransom for us, how much more will He be willing to lead us in ransoming His beloved children from their state as orphans? And it is His love that compels us onward in obedience, whatever the cost, for He who calls us is faithful. Our God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, who is rich in mercy and grace, who generously provides for all that we need, this God knows the costs we will incur, and promises to be with us and for us every step of the way. This is about faith in action. This is an invitation to experience God in ways we've never experienced Him before.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

He's Come a Long Way Baby

You wouldn't know it by looking at the picture, but the first few times Mr. B spent time with black children in our home he was a bit freaked out. Gasp!

My friend Sally came to visit with her two boys who were born in Ghana and to say he was a bit standoffish would be an understatement.

The truth is that our town is just not that diverse. There is a bit of Asian culture, but predominantly you see people with Hispanic heritage. There just aren't that many African American families here (much to my dismay, but that's a whole 'nother post). So in his defense it was just something he hadn't really had the opportunity to become familiar with. It was different and he didn't know what to make of it.

Fast forward almost six months and it is so beautiful to see him not give a second thought of it. Mercy is his sister...his buddy. I really didn't know how they would get along and thought he would probably be the most disgruntled with her arrival. When she gets dropped off at school in the morning Mercy always hugs him and says, "See you later little buddy". He hugs her back and tells her he will miss her and that makes this momma's heart pretty darn happy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How Do You Miss Someone You Don't Know?

I often wondered how I would feel if and when I got the news that my father had died. It was three years ago today when I got the call. I remember reading the funeral home online guest book and feeling like it was the first glimpse I was getting of his life. People sharing kind words to which I could not relate.

I have but one memory of time with my father. I was in my early 20's and visiting family in West Virginia when we met. I was young and immature (even though I didn't think so at the time) and I was meeting my father who was really just a stranger who shared my DNA. I couldn't really take it all in. I was numb for the most part and simply trying to wrap my brain around the encounter with people I was to call father, sister, grandparent, aunt and uncle. I didn't & couldn't understand the significance of the opportunity until many years later.

Honestly, if it weren't for a Facebook status I wouldn't have even remembered it was the anniversary of his death. So today I will mourn just a bit, not for the father I didn't know, but for the possibility of a relationship that never was.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Value of an Education

As you may or may not know, there is another precious girl in Ghana that stole my heart. Her name is Rebecca and she would like very much to go to school.

We have so many options for school here in America - public, private, Christian, home school, alternative schools, etc. We are blessed that if we cannot afford private school that a public education is FREE for everyone. The only way for Rebecca to go to school is to pay for it and I'm hoping you'll join me in making this happen. Her tuition for the year is around $400.

She lives in a wonderful foster home that wants to send her to school. Can you imagine having to decide between sending your child to school or eating?

I am committed to contributing and raising the remaining funds needed for Rebecca to go to school. You could give up just one latte - $5 would make a difference! I hope you will join me and make the dream of an education happen for this precious girl.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Great Day to be FIVE!

Mr. B turned 5 today. Oh gosh, I love that kid! You know I love ALL my kids, but he is the BABY and so there is just something special about that right now.

He is moody, demanding, silly, athletic, loving and so much more. He is the tiniest little peanut of a five year old, but thinks he has the strength of a lion and that he can do anything. He has attitude, but loves his mama like no other (and for right now I will just keep lapping that up, thank you very much).

He loves trucks and heavy equipment and will correct me if I call something the wrong name. How dare you call a front end loader an excavator, mom! He loves sports of all kinds. I'll admit he likes older girls in bikinis a little too much for a five year old and I fully expect that may make him a bit of a handful when he is a teenager.

He is Mr. B. He is five. He's my buddy. Happy Birthday precious boy!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back to School

I would say our first week back to school has been a success. The kids all love their teachers and I have somehow managed to get all four of them to three different locations on time. Mr. B only has school for 3 hours, four morning a week. That has been great so I have quiet time to work on my homework. I think we are on track to have a great school year!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August, I Barely Knew Ye

August was so jammed packed with "stuff" that we barely had time to think. I envisioned a lazy, relaxing month, but instead felt harried with a nonstop pace. I looked back at my calendar and there was one day that didn't have anything on it. One. stinkin'. day. I'm guessing that day actually had something too, but I probably forgot to enter it.

Delaney had play practice every weeknight for a production of Willy Wonka Jr. Before that ended tennis practice started at the high school every day for a couple of hours.

Mercy and Keaton started soccer on Sunday afternoons. They are both doing great and have really nice coaches this year.

All four kids had open houses and registrations to attend for their respective schools (along with piles of paperwork and forms).

Doctors appointments, car appointments, a wedding, a day at the lake, a day trip to Green Bay, a weekend in Madison. Yada, yada, yada....

Anywho, since I didn't think I had enough on my plate, I decided that it was high time I went to college. I never went after high school and I certainly did OK for myself, but it has always felt like something I should do. When I applied for financial aid it came back that a pell grant would pay for the whole enchilada so it was pretty much a no-brainer. I've taken my placement test and registered for classes that start tomorrow evening. I'm going to give it my best shot and see what happens.

So that was our crazy August. I'm looking at the September calendar and it looks WAY more empty. Thank God. I guess you could say our summer vacation went out with a bang!