Friday, August 29, 2008

The call that changed our lives forever...

I wrote this earlier but somehow it just got saved instead of published, so it is just going up today...

4 years ago today we got a phone call.

I will never forget this day. The days leading up to AND on this day I was especially unsettled and wanted our baby BAD. I was searching the internet frantically, making phone calls to try and find new avenues of adopting in Japan, trying to get Rocky to do the same, and grieving because several friends had new babies and my arms felt soooooooooo empty! I had no idea what a suprise God had in store for us.

Rocky had to go out for dinner with a pastor that evening. I was at home alone trying to pass the time, when the phone rang. A man on the other end of the line asked for Rocky and I said he wasn't home. Then the caller just said, "Please have him call Mr. Tsujioka when he gets home, right away." and he ended the call. I grabbed a note pad and began to write "Call Tsujioka" when I realized that name seemed very familiar. My heart lept and I jumped as I began to realize that this was the director of Pro-Life Japan, whom we had applied to adopt through. I called Rocky's cell phone and told him to GET HOME, NOW!!!!!!!!!

He was only 10 minutes away by car. Those were the longest ten minutes of my life. When the pastor he was meeting with drove up outside, I couldn't stand to wait in the house for him to come in. I was out the door and on the street practically pulling him out of the car. The pastor wanted to exchange pleasantries and chat but I was having none of it. I dragged Rocky away and into the house and wouldn't even let him set down his things.

I sat as close as I could trying to hear what Tsujioka-sensei had to say on the line, but I couldn't hear anything. Rocky had a note pad in front of him, and he wrote the Japanese character for "girl" on the note pad. He wrote a weight and some measurements and that is when I knew! We had a baby girl. A precious little 5 day old baby girl! They talked for several more minutes and he hung up the phone and said, "Her name is gonna be Hana!" I cried and he laughed and we both just sat in awe!

We had to wait four more days to have her laid in our arms. Those were the longest four days of my life. But oh, what a special day this was! And time has flown by so quickly! We are so blessed!

I was so restless in those days and I think that somehow my heart already knew that she was out there, and she needed her Mommy! I am so blessed and still can't believe God chose ME to be her Mommy! Thank you Lord, with all my heart!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sneak up!

Well, it is confession time! (this is a fitness update, and it is for my own accountability so if this stuff bores you then no need to read on)...

Upon arrival in America, I proceeded to jog 3 times the first week, once the second week, and once the 4th week, and that was about all I was able to muster in the fitness department while we were there. BUT I did pretty good with portion control and food choices for most of the trip and did not gain a single pound.

We got back and I worked out a little, especially when we got our new elliptical trainer. Then, we got SOOOOO busy. Camps, hosting minsitry team, two week tour, etc (with days here and there in between). Two things happened...

1. I had very little choice on what, when, where and how much I ate. I often was being served as a special guest and felt I should eat it ALL.

2. When I did have the chance to workout I kept telling myself that I'd just get to once and then have to go a week without and so I'd get sore for no reason and have to start all over again whenever I had time again.

SOOOOOOO, I ate too much and couldn't/didn't work out.

And the end results is 2 extra kilos that found a way to SNEAK UP on me. ugh

I imagine I probably gained a LITTLE in the states but lost muscle so it didn't start showing on the scales till I gained even more in the two months that followed.

SOOOO what am I going to do about that. Radical back on the wagon program!

I started tonight, hit the elliptical trainer for about 15 mintues (taking it slow here cause I am still trying to fight off a cold). From tomorrow, I start a new 9 day cleanse. I have filled my body with so much JUNK in the last four months, I am cleaning house and getting back to the good ways of eating good healthy stuff! This time, I'm cleansing all alone. Rocky is having a simple little minor surgery (repair work on the caboose, if you know what I mean, if you don't then keep thinking on it). In Japan, that'll land you in the hospital for 10 days. Yep, 10 days. In America you'd be out in an hour. But that is how they do things here. So since I am only cooking for the munchkin and me this week (and she is sooooooooo easy to please) then I'm gonna cleanse! I'll need to feed her a.m. and evening cause she gets lunch and snack at preschool (except on weekends). So I'll have a light dinner with her in the evening and do my shakes the rest of the day.

The cleanse starts tomorrow. Here we go!

And once again I'll be detailing the experience over on my Isagenix blog (IF you are intersted).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Home at last!

I don't know if I have ever been so happy to set my suitecase down! Whew! We survived! We've been home for TWO days and I feel like I need another month to recover. But WHAT A SUMMER. Well, and throw in the Spring too! Wow, God is soooooooooo awesome!

I unpacked the suitecase and we put it AWAY today. I mean, we are talking, WAY up in the top of the closet, cause we don't have to get it back down for a LONG time! I wanted to burst out in song and dance! I am so tired though, opted for a smile instead.

Turns out, I had to preach on Sunday. I was needed and so I agreed to do it. I knew about it on Thursday evening and we had a conference Friday and Saturday a.m. I had to drive us home Saturday evening. In other words, NO time to prepare. First time to "preach" in Japanese and I had ZERO time to prepare. But everyone raved about it. I HAD to be God taking control of my mind and my words because at that point I had nothing left mentally and physically. Yet my Japanese was smooth and everyone was totally blessed. I love when God does that!

We met so many families on this trip who have adopted. It was SUCH a blessing to meet so many. One little boy, about 10, loved Hana so much. He wanted to keep her. His little family was precious. I am so excited that God keeps allowing us to meet other families with adopted children, and I hope we can stay in contact with them. These kids will have so much in common as they grow up. It is exciting to see the number of people adopting expand, but also gives me a bit of pause. It means our next baby will take that much longer to finally get here, cause there are MORE people applying. God has His perfect timing for everything though.

I feel a crafty mood coming on. I have not gotten to do any creative, crafty, home-making kind of stuff in ages. I am gonna go for it. I think Hana's baby dolls need some clothing. The two cabbage patch kid dolls that were mine from my childhood, had on some REALLY old clothes when I pulled them out for her. I put on some of Hana's newborn clothes, but they don't fit. Since then they've gotten filthy. She loves changing her dolls clothing. so I'm going to make some clothes. I made up a pattern for a shirt and shorts for the little baby boy. I took an old mans dress shirt and made the shirt and shorts for her today. She was so excited. I'll have to get pics.

well, I'll sign off for now. I am sure I will be writing a LOT in the coming days and weeks cause now, I HAVE TIME!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

jet lagging?

I do not know what the deal is, but it is 7am and I have been awake for almost 3 hours already. I could NOT sleep. So I gave up and came to get on the computer. However, even though there is wireless internet here, it is painfully slow compared to what I am used to. I am soooooooooo spoiled!

We are in Toyohashi now. Just finished 3 days at church camp. It was awesome. I love this church family. It is our second time to minister here. They are truely family. And there are tons of kids in this church. These kids are awesome. I was so touched watching them play with each other and play with Hana at camp. And during TWO HOUR long worship services that all sat and listened intently. They sing the songs, talk to adults and are so sweet to each other. You might be thinking, what is so awesome about that? But in Japan, this kind of well adjusted, happy and active pre-teens and teens are a rare sight. Most of them are pretty withdrawn around adults and it is rare to see more than 4 or 5 kids in a church. They don't have any grand youth program/kids program at this church, nothing flashy at all. It is just obvious this is a group of adults that loves each other and loves on those kids and most of all loves Jesus, and it shows.

The pastor here is a riot. He is a 12 year old running around in a 60-something year old's body. Last night he started a water gun fight with all the adults who went to eat dinner. Luckily I was inside giving Hana a shower, and only got sprayed through the slightly cracked bathroom window! But Rocky came in pretty wet, and he said that sensei at one point started filling buckets and dowsing people! At camp, sensei was barking at everyone from a balcony once. During dinner last night, we laughed and laughed together. He (and the rest of his church) are just full of the joy of Jesus Christ!

At camp we watched a video about Christianity in China. AWESOME! The persecution they endure from the government actually serves to spread the Gospel at an alarming rate. What happens is, people get arrested for meeting in house churches. That weeds out "nominal" Christians right from the start. Then those who are passionate about their faith and on fire for Christ end up being forced to run from authorities and spread out to avoid arrest. They go from town to town spreading the Gospel until they are discovered and then they run again, spreading the Gospel even more. There is no way to know how many Christian's there are in China, but is a LOT! Amazing how God uses what man thinks is going to put a stop to the power of His Word, to only make it even more powerful! But of course it really put the existence of the church in China and the hardship they endure at the front of my mind. I find myself thinking about them and praying about them constantly right now.

And it breaks my heart for the Japanese. They are politically free to choose to following this incredible Savior and so many of them are so appathetic it is hard to get them to even think about the need for God for even a second. What will have to happen to wake up the souls of the Japanese people??? I'm not sure I want to know...

So I recently read The Shack... OH MY GOODNESS! All I can say is, you HAVE to read this book. It IS fiction, and in that you have to take some of the "accuracy" (of the theology) of it with a grain of salt. But all that aside, and keeping in mind that it IS fiction, it is powerful. It totally says about suffering, exactly what I learned through Dad's death and our journey of infertility (which we are still on, by the way). This book, you just have to read it. Even if you disagree 10,000% with the theology of it, the message is powerful. WOW. I can't wait to read it again.

The Olympics. I am missing like 90% of it being on the road right now, and further more being in Japan. Nothing against the Japanese, but the media here ONLY covers Japanese participants. I have seen a tiny bit on the tv here about the US swimmer who is doing so well, but otherwise can't get any coverage of the US. The coverage is really very poorly done. Like last night, I was watching the mens track and field hurdles race, and the guy in lane one disappeared from the race after they left the starting blocks. The Japanese media totally ignored it, and filmed the race to the end with shower the winner for 2 seconds, and then zooming in on the Japanese runner (who came in fourth) and interviewing him, and then going on to something else. I am dying to know what happened to that lane 1 runner. Ugh! Most of all, in the summer Olympics, I LOVE gymnastics and diving. Probably won't get to watch much of that either, and of course, the coverage would only be of the Japan teams anyways. So that's sort of a bummer. I would love to have a satelite TV right now, and about two weeks with NOTHING to do (HA, in my dreams!). I want Hana to see it too. *deep sigh*

Well, I better go ahead an close for now. Some little munchkin is going to come stumbling out of her room any minute now, and I just heard the washer finish my load. We are staying in an AWESOME furnished apartment provided by the church we did camp with by the way. Praise God for wonderful accomodations, with nice beds, a fridge, a washer, AND air conidtioning! Off to hang the clothes out to dry!

hugs and blessings,

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Buzy Beez...

Whew! What a summer we are having. It is hard to say for sure, but I am tempted to label this the busiest summer we have ever had! (but I don't have the greatest memory, so it probably isn't!)

We got back from the states and had a busy but normal schedule for a couple weeks, in the midst of getting everything ready for the CMA girls! They were here last week and it was an AWESOME week! Man we love those guys so much and we were so sad to see them go. They walked out the door and in walked Rocky's brother and his family. They were here till yesterday and we spent lots of time with them. Last night I was so tired I didn't feel like moving a muscle. This morning, I still don't feel like doing anything but I have to get up and get going! I prepare for our church's Friday cafe this afternoon. I'll be at cafe all day tomorrow. Saturday is a planned fun day with friends. Sunday we will have morning worship and TWO meetings that afternoon. Monday I have to get ready to go on tour for two weeks! Oh my, I shouldn't have typed all that out, makes me feel even more overwhelmed! ahhhhhhhh

Anyways, all that to say we are so busy. I love busy summers, but I look forward to them being over too. August will be gone in a flash. I will hopefully have time to share some pictures of all our adventures soon!

Hope you are having a great summer too!