Thursday, March 31, 2011


Spring looked a lot like summer today: crystal clear skies and mercury in the 90s.  Except unlike summer, our Disneyland passes weren't blocked out!  So off we went with my mom to enjoy a glorious afternoon at the happiest place on earth...     

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It just feels like I've been blogging

Though I haven't actually posted anything in a while, my blog and I have been spending a lot of time together.  Since I'm not into scrapbooking, journaling, or any other means of documenting our family life, I publish my blog each year in the form of a book.  The first year my mom did it for me as an incredible Christmas gift.  She painstakingly arranged it, had it printed, and then bound by a real publisher.  It's beautiful.  Since then, I've done it myself using Blurb.  The result is less professional than that first book, but considerably easier. It works and looks a lot like Shutterfly or other photobook sites, with the added advantage of "slurping" the text, photos, and even comments from blogs almost automatically.  They don't offer a lot of pretty backgrounds or papers, but I think the plain black and white format I used highlights the content well.  It's also relatively inexpensive compared to other sites.  My latest photo-heavy creation was $70 with shipping for 130 pages.   The FedEx guy delivered it yesterday and I'm thrilled to have my little "journal" sitting on my table top - not just my laptop.  So now you know where I've been.  Don't you think you need one too?! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring!

So today doesn't really feel like spring - we had such torrential rains all day that we were drenched to the bone between church and the car, and passed five car accidents between church and home.  But last weekend was glorious!  The kids insisted on swimming, despite the fact that the pool still isn't warmer than 60, chasing each other through the sprinklers, and sunbathing on the patio.  Anyone else ready for pool season?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Whole Story - Leaving

(Thank you all for bearing with me! I'm getting there!  This is part 8, so if you would like to catch up, just click on the titles for An Intro, Getting There, Meeting Ernest, Still Day One, The Choice, Annie, and Lystra)

Almost immediately after meeting with Lystra that eventful Thursday morning, we decided we needed to further express our concerns about adoption Ernest to the orphanage director, Annie. She rather coolly welcomed Danny, my parents and me into her living room, where we sat down to a discussion that would forever alter our lives, and the life of a precious little boy.
While being careful not to implicate Lystra and further compromise her position at Kondanoni Children’s Home, we rehashed the obvious: Ernest is not at all the healthy, thriving little boy Annie had so vividly described to us. We reminded her of our responsibility to the children God had already blessed us with, and the tremendous level of lifetime care Ernest would demand. We expressed our doubts whether we would be able to adequately provide that for him. We admitted just how incredibly exhausted we were, both physically and emotionally. We asked her if we might be able to take some time to go to Lilongwe to rest, get counsel, be comforted by our friends, and try to determine what God’s plan was in all of this.
I was in tears. Danny was in tears. My mom was in tears. I’m pretty sure even my dad was in tears. Annie was completely void of emotion. She sat there with as much interest and expression as she might have been if we were discussing the weather. Now it’s one thing to see a woman cry and not respond with some level of compassion. In my opinion, it takes a completely different level of callousness to fail to react to an obviously broken man. Yet Annie’s only response was to continue to maintain that there was nothing at all unusual about a 3 year old who doesn’t even babble. She said “it’s your decision” as if it was no big deal for anyone either way. Nevermind the fact that we’d travelled halfway around the world to joyfully welcome a new member of our family. Nevermind the possibility that a little boy would grow up without the love of a mama and daddy.
We expressed again our desire to step back from the situation – at least for the weekend, since our court date wasn’t until the following Monday - to give ourselves the best opportunity to make a wise choice. Annie agreed, but quickly pointed out that we owed her for two night’s lodging in the orphanage guest house. The four of us stepped outside, Danny pulled out $120, and he and my dad went back inside to settle up with Annie.
It is for that particular part of the encounter that I’m grateful I was not present. As Danny handed her the money, she angrily insisted “You know what your decision is going to be. If you choose to drag this out, you’re just going to cost me more money!” As he’s stated since, it’s hard for Danny to hold his anger in check on the freeway, let alone in the face of the woman who has put his family through so much unnecessary pain. Yet God graciously held Danny’s tongue in that moment. He begged her not to press us for a decision, but ultimately told her that if she was going to insist, our answer must be “no.”
Within moments, we had Kondi’s car packed to the gills. Lystra came over to give us a tearful send-off. We hugged her, hopped in, and made the painful drive down the dirt path away from Ernest and our dreams of what might have been. God’s grace had sustained us thus far, and we had no doubt he would carry us safely into the loving arms of our dear friends just 150 miles away. 

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fun in Seattle, by Alyssa

Hi, my name is Alyssa, Laura's daughter. For my birthday in November my Gaga and Papa got me a plane ticket to Seattle. This weekend we left. This is who went: my Aunt Sasa, Gaga (my grandma), my mom and I. One of my favorite things we did was going shopping. One of my favorite things I bought was boots for the snow (kinda like Uggs) from Fred Meyer, of course! Now here are some pics we took!

Room service!
Mama's old house
Mama's favorite restaurant - the one our bird is named after
We really liked our sundae