Sunday, January 16, 2011

Need I say more?

Our first day with Hiyab was nothing short of amazing. I cannot wait to share the pictures of her face when she first saw us. She recognized us from the book we sent and came running, grabbed us and said "Mommeeee, Daaaaddddeeee"! I cannot tell you how that feels! My heart is so full and moved with this experience. I have so much to share with everyone. We spent the remainder of our day taking pictures, well actually SHE took pictures and we followed. We played games on the iPhone - she loves technology. Then there was time drawing, writing, giggling, hugging and just getting to know each other. She is VERY bright! And I'm not saying that because I'm her mother, but the workers at Hannah's House shared this with me! She can read and write ANYTHING in English. She doesn't always understand, but she can read. She actually gave us a test today. You will be happy to know that when she graded it we got everything correct and she gave us a star and marked (and spelled by herself) EXCELLENT!!! She is sassy!!!! She is generous, loving and a little shy. She watches everything around her and takes it in. She is a total perfectionist!! Everything has to be just so-so. She is so beautiful and when she smiles her entire face smiles! One last story before I go... She had a piece of paper and began to write to show us her English skills. She wrote - Mammy and Daddy I love you, brothers I love you -

Are there difficulties in adoption - yes
Will you face some trails - yes
Are there struggles on the family - yes
Is it costly - yes
Do you get exhausted - yes

Mammy and Daddy I love you, brothers I love you - well, nothing else matters! Oh, friends if you haven't considered adoption will you? Good night from this side of the world. More to share tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Where in the world is the carpet??

Apparently Washington DC did NOT receive the memo that I was arriving. Michelle and Barack didn't even show up at the airport. You would think with my royal status that we would have had a band or something. Oh well, maybe next trip. Actually we have had a wonderful day of travel. Clear roads, we left and arrived everywhere early, talked with the boys several times and had an awesome pizza for supper. The plane was a llliiittttlllleee small, but I was snuggled next to Jerry. Funny thing on planes, they drive you crazy checking to see if your seatbelt is fastened (no small task for fluffy people) and then serve you alcohol (NO! We didn't purchase any!!). I think it would be safer to be chunky and free than drunk and strapped down. Our baggage arrived with no problems and we were shuttled right over to an awesome hotel room. We are about to call it a night and get a little sleep before the long trek tomorrow. Hope to finally meet some AGCI families tomorrow. Just a few sleeps away from seeing Hiyab for the first time!!! Until tomorrow- sweet dreams!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jerry, did you pack the...

Well, it has arrived - Ethiopia Eve! Let me tell ya, things are a-buzz in the Williams house. I am busy packing the things that we will never use but fear we won't survive without. Jerry is packing 9000 pair of underwear in every possible bag. The boys are, of course, eating. Jon is making ravioli to eat and reciting some of the Skit Guys material. Jake is eating some of the Ukrainian salo that arrived this week and asking a zillion questions. The dogs are busy following us to make sure that we aren't attacked by any monsters under the bed. Ahhhh, life before flying. Really, I love it - the excitement, the charge of energy, the wonder, the newness - its all great. I can't wait to make new friends, experience a new culture, and of course meet our new DAUGHTER. It is so overwhelming and joyous and scary and wild and wonderful. Who says adoption isn't filled with wonder and excitement! We are going to miss our wonderful boys. They have been such a huge help and it is no small thing to give your family up to God's plan to add a sibling. There is a certain amount of... well... uncertainty at how life will be after the new arrival. They have talked to us about some things that concern them. I don't feel like I should share these things, but know that they are walking through different emotions and cares with God's help and they look forward to having a new sister. The night will of course not last long enough to get everything done and we will be hustling kids to bed and throwing last minute items in the bag until the last moment. Strangely enough we have a peace in the midst of packing chaos. It is a deep sense that our loving, strong, gentle Father is ahead of us and is in total control of what is to come. This peace is marvelous and as we begin to let emotions well up in our hearts that would otherwise overwhelm us, the peace takes over and gently soothes those deep dark worries of the mind. Tonight as we pack our things and run through the house like wild people there is a small and beautiful girl on the other side of the world dreaming of the day her family will come to claim her as their own. May she have peaceful dreams and may the God of all peace and comfort be her constant Companion as she waits for us to arrive.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mom, its SNOWING!!!

Here in Mississippi we are blessed that usually snow is a highlighted event in our lives. Our memories of snow are those of snowball fights, small snowmen, bowls of snow cream, snow angels, and days out of school. We don't usually deal with shoveling the white flakes of joy because we rarely get that much coverage. I mean really, we have to have several days of cold weather to "freeze the ground" before the glittering flakes will even stick and stay past a few short hours. But this week it happened - we had frost with a fog that hovered over it one day and as anyone over the age of 65 knows, that means SNOW. If that fact were not enough for you, then maybe this will change your doubting mind - the snow is coming from TEXAS! That should do it, I mean what other scientific information do you need. If the weather front moves up and over Texas then Mississippi WILL be covered in a winter blanket for several days. Schools have already canceled classes because, let's face it, even us mean, old school teachers enjoy a good bowl of snow cream. The boys are all excited and have been out in their PAJAMAS to make the first snowball of the season. Jake is excited because he remembers the snows of Ukraine and not only does this bring back pleasant memories of the beautiful Ukrainian hills covered in snow, but he knows it will not last near as LONG! So let me set the scene for you... Jerry goes to the back door, swings it open and snow gently blows in the door, Jake yells for Jon to come and see. Jake, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, runs outside with my phone to video the snow falling in the back lights for Abby to see when we travel. Jon bounds up the stairs in his pajama pants and no shirt or shoes and out he goes. Jerry with house shoes on and "warm up pants" (don't ask what he is warming up for because I don't know, nor to I want to know) his t-shirt and camo cap head out to see how much snow is falling. I haven't showed him windows yet because I am afraid he might escape. The boys are running in and out and in and out to warm their naked feet and happily yelling "MOM, LOOK, MOM CAN YOU SEE IT, LOOK IT IS SNOWING!!!" That is when it really hits me - Abby has never seen snow. She has no idea what snow is or what to do. I am kind of concerned that when she watches the video she STILL will not know what to do. According to our video you should be partially naked, shoe-less and yell a lot. So many people have totally supported us with our adoption of older children, but some have questioned our decision because they aren't babies and we would miss so many of those "first" moments. Like their first tooth, or word and such. To be honest, that is something I often think about... mainly I wonder what it was like and wished I could have those moments to share with them to bring us together with memories. That is when I realized one of the small blessings that we would have with Abby, we would have a "first snow" with her! Now, I like being just a little different... and having a different set of "firsts" is right up my alley. The first time she gets a kiss from us, the first time she visits McDonalds, the first time she sees her brothers, the first time she sleeps in her room, the first time she sees her room... so many things that are "firsts" that will be awesome to see and take in and absorb. Then to have an older child that can one day remember these "firsts" and share her thoughts and feelings with us - it is a special blessing! So I say bring on the snow and memories, and the family and the love! Happy snow cream to you and yours!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


13 DAYS!! Only 13 days until we meet our daughter for the first time! WOW!! I can't believe we are this close to leaving. So very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very (there are 13 if you didn't count) EXCITED!

It is difficult to process everything. I have the same flow of emotions every time - excitement that trails off into total FEAR! I go from total excitement to shaking fear of the unknown. The image of seeing her for the first time and moving lovingly toward her and then the she turns and runs screaming into the bush! Crazy? YES. But then again fear is what satan uses to keep us trapped. Last night I was trapped by lack of sleep and a snoring husband. Everything was pouring through my mind. So as my hubby snored like a freight train I went to the Bible because there is NO HOPE in stopping Jerry's nasal challenges. NO, I am NOT saying that reading the Bible will put you to sleep. Although, it does soothe and remind you where your burdens need to be dropped off. In moments like last night God has shown Himself to be so gentle and caring and last night was no exception. Luke 12:32 - "Don't be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom." WOW - LOVE IT!! He didn't tell me what would happen, or what to expect, but He told me NOT to be afraid. I can do this one thing... and it solves everything! Whatever happens, I don't need to be afraid. So tonight my project is searching the Bible for any references for SNORING!

Many of you have asked if there is anything you can do for the orphanage. We are planning on carrying some extra luggage that can be LOADED down with goodies that they are needing. I will post a list later as I am waiting on an update list.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy (boys stop playing football in the living room) Thanks (Jerry, will you please tell the boys to stop) Giving (STOP IT NOW OR THE TURKEY DIES)

It's Thanksgiving at the Williams house which means one thing - FOOTBALL. Yes, we are a football family and we bleed MAROON AND WHITE! GO DAWGS. Ahhh, can you hear those cowbells ring? As I type this post Jerry has switched the TV no less than 1 million times waiting on the Egg Bowl to start. What is the Egg Bowl those of you NOT from the Magnolia State may ask? It is the battle between Mississippi State University and their beloved bulldogs and the team from the north, ole miss (notice all lowercase letters). Jerry is afraid that the game might start without him hearing the brilliant commentary. You know things like "Well Joe, if they want to win this game the will need to have a strong defense and quick offense and score some points." DUH, do you think! I hate it when they spend 30 minutes stating the obvious. So, I was thinking about what I was thankful for and I decided to post about three things that weren't the obvious. Please don't think that I am not truly thankful for the blessings of our home and food and such. I am often overwhelmed at just how much God has blessed our family, but I wanted to think of things that were not so obvious, but unique to me. So here goes...
I am thankful that when I was a child and prayed and asked God to make me like Snow White so the animals would come to me that in many ways He did. We love animals and they add so much joy and happiness to our family. Pogo has helped Jake to learn the roles of a parent and why discipline is necessary and that it is pleasant to give and receive affection. This weekend little Pellet got into the garbage and ate something that required a visit to the vet and some meds and several hours of worry, but she is much better.
I am thankful that after almost 2 decades our best friends from college are STILL our best friends. We had a house full of laughter and fun and children this weekend. We would have never imagined all those years ago what our lives would have been like or the adventures we have had together over the years. We have came a long way from the Ripley house with one bedroom and watching Aladdin for 1000 times because it was all we had.
I am thankful for my iphone. Seems superficial, but in this age having the capability to communicate with the world has been precious to me. On that phone I can contact my sweet hubby anytime or place, I talk with my children every morning on our ways to school, on that phone I heard our referral for Abby, then on Thanksgiving Day I checked the email on that phone and there were new pictures of Abby. I have obsessed over each one enlarging and looking at every pixel of her precious smile.
Three things that mean a lot to me. What are your things? God loves us in such unique ways. He knows us so intimately and loves us that way. His love is not just a blanket love for mankind, it is a unique and personal love for us by name. So as the Egg Bowl kicks off, the dogs are piling up around us, my boys are getting totally engrossed in the game, my iphone by my side and I'm thinking about plans to head to our friends over Christmas break - we say Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours - GO DAWGS!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oddly Familar

This feels oddly familiar. Here I am again typing my thoughts while waiting for a plane trip to meet our new child. So much has changed and then again so little has changed. Jon was born 13 years ago, Jake was adopted almost 2 years ago, I still look amazingly young for my age (insert laughter) and Jerry is still sitting in his chair watching football! Really, life has been a whirlwind for several years. One day we were minding our own business, then WHAM - Jon was born. Life rocked on for almost a decade, then WHAM- we met Jake. Life came to a screeching crawl for 3 years, then FINALLY - Jake's adoption was complete. And now... we are setting up plans for a January flight to Ethiopia to meet our sweet Hiyab. A GIRL! Who knew there were so many types of hair bows!!. What hasn't changed is our heart for family and adoption. Actually, I was just sitting here thinking about how I could just stay at home, raise my kids, adopt more and help other families adopt. Who knows what God has up His sleeve. Anyway, we are here again, both familiar and unfamiliar. International adoption, but to a new continent. A child to add to our family, but a daughter this time. Re-painting rooms, one is now "cuddle" yellow. Thinking of a packing list, this time there will be no snow or ice. Booking coach seats on at least 3 flights.... actually this part hasn't changed, but if fasting really works we should be sitting in first class (Jerry, put down that hamburger!!!!!) Oddly familiar - yes, but still excitingly different, and still in love with the journey!