ginny’s first year in pictures

Enjoy this slide show.  I had fun putting it together.  This year has been an amazing journey.

Adoption match, meeting and loving Ginny’s birth parents, birth by C-section, trip home from Kansas, overwhelming baby shower from our church, constant care from friends and family, the month of RSV treatments, first tooth, first solid foods, first words, trips to Texas, Colorado and Mississippi, first time in a pool, first wedding, first birthday cake and many many more things I can’t even think of right now.

thank you Lord for your guidance and care. and Thank you Mel & Steve for trusting us with this precious gift.

enjoy!

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hither, thither and yon

Less than a month ago I posted about Ginny taking a few unsupported steps.  Now?

she is walking all over the place.

Until I got this priviledge of watching a person learn to walk I never really appreciated how complex it is.

It’s not just about walking in straight lines.  You have to manage all the minute balance adjustments that go with stopping, changing direction, turning, reaching, bending down.  It has really been wonderfully fun to participate in this process with Ginny.

The video below is just a small sampling of what we do in the evenings now: we play on the floor with Ginny.  Helping her enjoy the process of walking and continue to be challenged by it while keeping it fun.  So for all our friends who wonder why we have dropped off the face of the earth….well this is it.  We are in love with Ginny.  For us, there is no event, no movie, no party or project on earth  that compares to this simple joy.

Thank you Lord (and Mel & Stevie) for our beautiful baby girl.

sunday roast is in the oven

Acts 16: 22 – 26

22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.

When this passage is talked about or preached about people tend to concentrate on the moment that the chains fell off.  I want to point out something different.

Paul and Silas had been attacked.  I am certain that right before and during the attack they prayed to God for deliverance.  And in that moment, it looked to them like God didn’t answer.

Paul and Silas were stripped of their clothes.  I am sure they asked God to spare them.  Being without clothes in front of a jeering crowd is a horrific thought.  But in that moment, God let it happen.

Paul and Silas were beaten.  I am positive that they begged God to still the hands of the person holding the whip.  To change the heart of the magistrate who had ordered this.  But in that moment, from their perspective, God did not answer.  He allowed the beating to happen.

Paul and Silas were thrown into prison.  I need no one to tell me that they were pleading with God in their hearts, and perhaps out loud to deliver them. What possible ministry could they hope to have in a prison?  But in that moment, God was still silent.

Paul and Silas lay on the probably filthy floor of that prison.  Their skin flayed open, dirt, grit, sweat, blood, and tears all mingling.  They were hurting.  And the hurt had been going on for hours.  At some point they have to have beseeched God “please Lord, if you must leave us in jail, heal our wounds! Then our jailors will see your glory when they come down here and see that you are our Protector!”

Everyone focuses on the deliverance from prison and I too tend to forget that they went through a long process of hate, attack, fear, beatings, and pain. I cannot for one minute believe that the songs that night around midnight were the first time God had heard from Paul and Silas that day. The Sunday school image of a cheerful Paul and Silas with their limbs semi comfortably arranged in chains is just so wrong.  They were praying and singing hymns to God the bible says.  Do you imagine that they were singing “clap your hands all ye people”? Or something more akin to “the Battle Hymn of the Republic” ???

It would have been so easy for them to cry out to God “You let us down! You let Your enemies attack us, beat us and now you have left us here to rot!”  How many times do we go through trials  (infertility, joblessness, hate and harassment, ridicule) and when God doesn’t answer the way we were expecting we assume that means that He has abandoned us or that we did something wrong.  “Lord, I’ve prayed and prayed and you haven’t delivered me yet!”  But what if the reason was so that you could cross paths with someone further down the path?  Someone that needs to see you trusting in God.

On the other hand there is only so much we can learn from seeing others trusting God while they suffer.  I really think the reason God needs us to stew in a particular problem for a while is that WE OURSELVES need time to learn.  Time for the lesson of God’s sovereign care for us and over our lives to sink in.  Time for us to, in effect get spiritually tenderized.  No roast ever got tender by watching another roast cook. eh?

So it’s time for me to apply this lesson to myself.

No matter how much I learn from reading or hearing about other people’s lives and trials and tribulations, there will be things I can only learn from going through it myself.

I hold up pretty well in emergencies.  Quick disasters.  High heat, short cook time. Those are no problem for me.  It is the long drawn out situations  – like infertility, and learning to hold my tongue at work – those are my bugbears.  The ones that completely trip me up.  The slow cooker situations are the ones that get me in trouble.  I’ve always just accepted that I’m not good at them.

Recently I’ve been coming to the conclusion that I don’t have to be good at them.  I just have to remember that God IS Good at these long slow drawn out situations and learn to trust Him.

Also it finally hit me that the best way to tenderize my soul is to put it through a long, slow, low heat scenario.  The end result is a tender, gorgeous, tantalizing meal.  Much better than charred steak.

The scent wafts through the house on a Sunday afternoon…you know what I’m talking about.  A portion of beef, potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots.   Seasoned just right.  The beef was seared this morning, then put in a large pan and seasoned.  Vegetables were cut up and tossed in.  The whole thing is covered.  They have been cooking slowly in your mother’s oven or crock pot the whole time the family was at church.  And now the gorgeous aroma fills the house.

I want the aroma of my soul to fill God’s nostrils with that type of scent.  Warm, promising, delectable and oh so tender.  Just like Paul and Silas.

really first day of school

okay.  Thursday should have been titled “School orientation” not first day of school.

I discovered the difference today.

Thursday I got to go in with Ginny and play on the floor.

Thursday was only for an hour and I got to stay with Ginny.

Thursday we got to follow her around her classroom with a camera like paparazzi (or completely crazed first-time-parents)

Today?

Today we had to walk her to her door and barely got a chance to snap three quick photos before she was off to play….

Today she didn’t look back.

Today I had to walk away and not check back in on her.  There is no one-way viewing window here like there is in her nursery.  I had to go four hours without knowing if my Ginny was having a good day, or was having a meltdown or something in between.

Today Martin had to practically wrestle me to the car to get me to leave her.  I hadn’t thought it would be so hard to do.  I knew I was coming back very shortly.  I knew she was in good hands.  I’ve left her with my mom for 8 or more hours at a time, why was this so difficult?

then it hit me – I can’t call.  I can’t check.  I can’t call the director of the school and have her go poke her head into Ginny’s classroom whenever I feel like I need an update.

I guess I have to grow up now.  ick.

Anyway, here are photos from Ginny’s first actual day at the Early Learning Program

bye mommy......I'm going THIS way

bye mommy......I'm going THIS way

sweet baby girl....can't I have one more hug?

sweet baby girl....can't I have one more hug?

learning to share

learning to share

We got a great report when we came back to get Ginny.  She didn’t have any conflict issues, or separation issues.  She ate her snack and her lunch.  She was happy to see us.  There is at least one other adopted child in her class, which is very good news.  And…the teachers said that Ginny spent a fair amount of time trying to comfort the other kids who were upset.  She patted them on their backs and made cheerful sounding chatter at them.

Isn’t that sweet?

and best of all – Ginny was super tired and CUDDLY for the rest of the day.  So I got lots of huggses and ticklins in to make up for being deprived all morning.

ginny’s first day of “school”

Just a few short pics of Ginny on her first day at the ELP (Early Learning Program) at our church.

This is a two day-a-week, just 4 hours a day program that will allow Ginny to interact with other kids more, and get to play with toys that we don’t have around the house.  She will also get to hear Bible stories in a group environment and get to play on playground equipment that we don’t have at home.

key things about her first day:

  • She seemed to enjoy the toys and she is very good at sharing voluntarily. Not so good if the other kid just comes up and grabs.
  • Ginny has no idea what to do with crayons, glue sticks or little bits of colored tissue paper.
  • She is the youngest in the classroom, but she doesn’t seem too far behind and in some ways is more advanced than the other kids.
  • We enjoyed meeting some other parents and kids.
  • and the biggest advance for the day?  Ginny left her bow alone and kept it on for a WHOLE HOUR !!!!!

Enjoy:

oh we learned our lesson finally.  We don’t put her shoes or her bow on till after we arrive at our destination.    The shoes go on while she is still strapped in to her car seat and the bow goes on right as she is being lifted out of the car seat and is thus distracted.  This strategy seems to be working.

Photos from the party

As promised -here are photos of Ginny’s Birthday Party.

And for those who don’t do the youtube thing.  Here are a few single pictures from the event.

We played this fun game where one person has to guard the treasure chest full of party favors and other people have to try to steal them…without getting caught.  The catch of course is that the guard is blindfolded and only has two pillows as ammunition to throw at the interlopers.

Stephen guarding the "treasure"

Stephen guarding the "treasure"

Ginny...approaching the treasure

Ginny...approaching the treasure

Everyone played.  If you tried to grab treasure and got caught, it became your turn to guard.  Loads of fun and works well even in a confined space.  What makes this game non-dangerous even for little kids is that the squishy pillows we used were thrown at the interlopers.  Never used to HIT.  so no one gets hurt.

Then we brought out the cake.  The full video of that is on my previous post, but there are also slides in the slide show (above) that weren’t in the video that you need to see.  I think this is my favorite.

sharing the cake

sharing the cake

Or maybe this one where she is offering cake to anyone else who might want some.

cake anyone?

cake anyone?

Ginny voluntarily fed me, my mom and Martin handfulls of her cake.  And then started offering cake to anyone end everyone.  Oddly enough there were no takers.  I just don’t understand why!

After cake, Ginny was taken away to be bathed.

Proud Papa & sugar-stuffed baby

Proud Papa & sugar-stuffed baby

While Ginny was being bathed, the rest of the party goers helped themselves to cake and we played pictionary.  then Ginny returned, cleaned and with a bow on.  Ready to demolish wrapping paper.

clean Ginny. complete with bow.

clean Ginny. complete with bow.

Before you see a photo of all the presents I have to say something.  Most of you know that my husband lost his job. Actually his entire department at our university was cut.  So we are currently on a very tight budget.  Knowing that, the following pictures may seem somewhat shocking in their…um…excess.  The truth of the matter is that we bought most of this stuff spread out over the last 12 months.  As we saw stuff on sale that would fit Ginny later in life…we bought it.  Then about a week ago I started pulling it all out of the various hiding places and wrapping it…and oh wow had it added up to a mound of  STUFF!  then you add the gifts that our guests brought and the whole pile just looks positively obscene.

Honestly, she is not as spoiled as this.  I promise.

Now swear to respect me in the morning and I’ll show you the photo.

are you ready?

okay.

here goes.

Ginny's pile of loot

Ginny's pile of loot

Like I said, obscene isn’t it?

She spent a long time opening presents (including stuff from her birth-family whom we love!!!!), playing with stuff, reading cards, and giving hugs.

Eventually the last guest was gone and it was time for the bedtime ritual with daddy…..

brush teeth and say "good night!"

brush teeth and say "good night!"

Good night my sweet baby girl.

May God bless you, all your days.