Saturday, January 18, 2014

Changing My Mind

Over my forty plus years, I have seen how my likes and dislikes change over time. As a child I hated broccoli and zucchini. At some point in my teens, I made a conscious decision that I was going to eat vegetables so I might as well find a way to enjoy them. At first, I faked it pretending to like them on the outside but gagging them down with each swallow. Over time, I found I was gagging less and enjoying them more. Today, I love those vegetables. It is such a simple example of how, our minds can be retrained to think differently.

Once an avid non-coffee drinker, a young girl I was mentoring at church, opened up a whole new world to me with a simple white chocolate mocha. My conversion experience was partly due to the fact it was so very delicious. A stronger factor than its yumminess though, was my desire to bond with a high school girl who most likely felt she had nothing in common with me. What I had once thought of as bitter nastiness has changed to warmth and comfort. I now cannot function properly without a cup or two of coffee each morning.

In school I always was a hard working student, earning good grades even in subjects I disliked, like history. History felt like some cruel form of torture to me. I would at least try to stay awake through the lectures, try to do the assigned reading, and tried to prepare for the daily quizzes. All of my efforts were made with hope that I could earn a decent grade out of the class. I never anticipated I might possibly enjoy this subject.

Fast forward fifteen years later. I am homeschooling three of my children. We are using a literature based unit study curriculum for US history. Ya, the history I hated with a passion in high school. Reliving and relearning US history with my children opened my eyes to a subject I had long given up on. I actually had fun teaching history. I think my children enjoyed learning history. I'm grateful I did not let my own doubts and previous boredom with history deter me from diving into a curriculum that made history come to life for all of us.

When I was in high school, many of my friends took up long distance running. They made running look effortless, without pain, and boasted of a rush or high that came with running long distances. I not being a runner, decided to support our team and hang with my friends as a track stat. I helped with timing, measuring, and recording of the team stats. I had a great time.  So the following year, I decided I could have even more fun by joining the team and running as well. I did like being on a team with all my friends but it was a lot of work. It is not effortless or painless. I never experienced the runners high everyone else boasted of plus I was the worst runner on the whole team. My very best efforts felt like failures. I typically ran a 7:00 mile and my best mile time ever was 6:25, at least a full minute slower than every other girl on the team. During practices, my teammates always left me in the dust.  I ran out of fear that at any moment Coach would drive by in his white pick up truck, hang his megaphone out the window and yell, " pick up the speed, McAndrews!"  Needless to say, after high school, I hung up those track shoes, grateful to never have to run ever again.

Again fast forward...our Texas home church family is doing a Bible based Couch to 5k, called Run for God. Had we been living in TX still, I would have signed up immediately just for the fellowship. Since we are now in CA though I felt off the hook. Which in a way saddened me because at the end of the 12 weeks of training is a 5k race that benefits a very sweet couple's adoption. I was messaging one of the organizers of the program on a totally unrelated topic one day, when she encouraged me to participate in Run for God. I was armed with an arsenal of excuses but none could stand up to the argument that I haven't left my couch in years and get winded climbing my stairs. I am way too young to feel this old! I knew I needed a change. So I am once again going to change my mind. I will enjoy running. I have decided if I think of running like it is a dance, I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have my interval timer programmed, the iPod on shuffle, and magical running shoes. I have let go of the mindset that a 6:25 mile is pitiful. I have let go of the fear, I will let my team mates down. The only way I could do that is by not showing up and going back to the couch. At the end of the twelve weeks, I plan to fly to TX and participate in the benefit race.

If you would like more information for that race, it is at this link: Waiting 4 Dallas 5K. The money raised from that race will go toward the adoption of baby Dallas. We are so very familiar with the high cost of adoption but know all our efforts are so worth it once our children are home.

So would you like to join my team?  I need folks who can encourage me and support me. Prayers and notes of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking for personal sponsors for race day. Every person who sponsors me, regardless of amount will get their name written on my race T-shirt. You will go with me as I train and race. Also,  for  every person who sponsors me at least $25, I will send you one of our custom adoption t-shirts. So you would be helping me get healthy while helping us raise the necessary fees for Daniel's adoption. You can donate to our tax deductible account on Reece's Rainbow or PayPal to Remember to leave t-shirt size and shipping address either on paypal or in the blog comments.

As a parent, I have sacrificed much for my children. Parents seek ways to insure their children have the things and experiences they need to grow into mature, loving, compassionate, responsible people. My hope is that my children will now witness mommy taking care of herself. I have done a poor job modeling regular exercise to my children. I want them to learn stewardship of these bodies we have been given. In addition, I have Daniel coming home soon and it would be nice to not be winded chasing him up the stairs. So I am changing my mind. I am making exercise a priority in my life. Maybe it will be my next side of vegetables, cup of coffee, or history adventure. Maybe not, but I will never know if I don't try.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

They're Back!

I have had several folks ask me to do another order of our adoption T-shirt. If you missed them last time, they're back! T-shirts are made from 100% preshrunk cotton and are available in sizes youth M-XL and adult size S-XXXL.  $23 includes shipping. Paypal to with payment, t-shirt size and shipping address. We need to sell at least thirteen t-shirts to place an order.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Getting a Little Closer...

I know it has been a while since my last update. I apologize for the silence but am guessing the holidays kept you just as busy.  Things are moving along well with Daniel's adoption. We were fingerprinted in November for our immigration paperwork. The time line to gain approval had been climbing in recent months so we were prepared to wait the 60-90 days they warned us it may take. This is the stage of international adoption that makes me nervous; not because I worry we will be turned down, but because our government offices can be quite inefficient and unsympathetic to an adoptive parents's desire to move through this stage as quickly as possible. With Phoebe's adoption we were stuck in this stage for ten months! I truly felt our family was kept hostage during that wait. I can now look back and realize His timing was perfect, but when you waiting to bring home a child from the other side of the world, any wait, especially a ten month wait is too long.  I am so happy we will not have to endure that torture though. On New Year's Eve we received in our mailbox the official approval from US immigration. Praise God! We only waited 39 days!

So what does this mean? Well, the short answer is, we are one step closer to bringing Daniel home. We now have all the important documents gathered to send our dossier to China. There are a couple more steps required before China will actually receive the dossier, but these should only take a few more weeks. Once our dossier is notarized, authenticated, and sent to the Chinese Consulate in Houston, TX, it will be on its way to China!

Thank y'all for your prayers and support. We appreciate each and every one lifted on our behalf. The Lord has truly blessed each step of this adoption. His provision and peace has showered our family throughout the process. We look forward to updating you as our story to Daniel unfolds.