the post i don’t want to make

This won’t go down as my favorite post to make, but it’s necessary.

As we wrap up our time here and look at where we are at financially it is evident that we need to do one final fundraising push.  A few unexpected expenses that have already occurred and a few that will occur this week have us in need of one more ask to complete our goal.

The good news is that we are almost home, and almost done with the paperwork, fundraising, planning, etc that has consumed so much time and energy these last two years. We get to focus that energy on our family and loving 2 more kids. That sounds so much better!

Thank you to all of you who have helped us so far. We are more than grateful. We wish we didn’t have to make this post, and we hope that you do not feel pressured to help.

Here’s the link to donate (tax-deductible) if you’d like to help out: www.adopttogether.org/theludwigs

Humbly,

Jess

how sweet he is

It has been decided that Owen has the sweetest blood in the family. Somehow he always ends up covered in bites when the rest of us are not! The other day I counted 13 bites on just his back alone. Still, he doesn’t complain. He says he is thankful for his medicine (Malaria) so that they don’t make him sick. He also expresses thanks every time I kill a mosquito. “If that one were going to bite me, I’m glad you killed it. Thank you.”

Aside

To the women who shopped for our snacks: THANK YOU. We had no idea how important those were going to be, but with zero control over our schedules, never-ending car rides, and the twins’ need to have food in hand 24/7, our lives would be MUCH more difficult right now without them. Last night in a panic I counted the number of fruit leathers we have left so I would know how many we need to limit ourselves to a week in order to make it. #thesearemyconfessions #thankyou

Word to those adopting who have not travelled yet. Bring lots of portable snacks. You won’t be sorry.

who is my neighbor?

I’m pretty big on hospitality. I love welcoming in the outsider, sharing the table, opening our home, and making sure people in general feel loved, valued, and wanted. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at this, but this trip has got me thinking, particularly about how I show hospitality those those I live in close proximity with- my neighbors. 

I’ve been learning a lot about what it means to be a neighbor from the people here. Being the outsider and the newcomer to the community, I have been astonished by the number of people who have showed up at our door, stopped cars mid-street to say hello and introduce themselves, invited us places (to meals, to their homes, to church, to their own restaurants), shared their stories (and asked us ours), helped us get settled (running errands, figuring out currency, carting us around the city), and who have just expressed a genuine gladness for our presence. 

I’m thinking about how, though I do those things in certain arenas of life and with certain groups of people, I do not tend to offer that kind of hospitality and warmth to the people who are my neighbors (meaning the actual folks who live on our block or our alley, not the general, all-inclusive “neighbor.” That one is easier for me). I’d like to change that. 

So far on my list of changes y’all can hold me accountable to: not being so entitled with our water and power supply at home (and here), walking more frequently as a discipline of slowing down and being more present, and now, showing hospitality to my neighbors.  Hopefully someone is writing these down, ha! 

Simply put, we might have come here to adopt, but it feels like we ourselves are being adopted. And this adoption feels more like an invitation- one that should be extended to others, so that they too can feel taken care of, known, and full of the hope that comes from having people with you on the journey. #joinme #everythingsgoingtobealright

reality check

It’s late and I need to go to bed, but I thought it should be documented that tonight I folded my first loads of laundry for 4 kids. 4 different sets of shorts, shirts, pants and pi’s. 4 little bodies that I get to dress and care for. A bit daunting at first (SO many small clothes to sort and fold and put away), but then, I remembered: this is a milestone I have been looking forward to for quite some time, and one that I have written about on this very blog. This means good news.

Feeling very thankful as I head off to bed…

sharing the load

It’s been a busy week of preparing, and we are fortunate to have a great crew of people who have volunteered to help us paint, shop, organize, repair furniture, build cribs, wash clothes… you name it! We are so thankful and we feel very taken care of and very loved. I didn’t get to take pictures of it all (shocker, I know), but here are a few I was able to get.

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introducing… your family.

When I mentioned to our agency that Macy was having a hard time with the wait, they suggested we put together some drawings and photos to send to “brother and sister” so that our kids could feel like they were participating in the process and so our new children could begin to get to know our faces.

Today I took the kids on a Starbucks date to work on our book. Needless to say, it was very meaningful and fun for them (and for me). Thank you Robin for the great idea!!
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20140715-001444-884038.jpg(a few of the pages from our family photo book, headed to “Basr and Sister” in Uganda)

 

embracing the longing

Last week Macy started to have a stronger-than-usual desire to do everything with her brother, Owen. I wondered if it was somehow related to all that is going on with the adoption and a few days later she confirmed (through the saddest, biggest tears you’ve ever seen) that, in fact, it was. “If they are really my brother and sister it’s not right that we are not together. I’m not supposed to be away from my brother and sister like this” she said. Once again, this sweet six year old put words to how we are all feeling. It’s just not right. Part of us is missing. “I’m happy that we get to help them, but I just feel so sad.” We get it Macy, we get it.

The sadness and longing hits each of us at different times. For Macy, it’s bed time that is the hardest. To help herself cope, she drew a picture of our whole family (“brother and sister” included) with the inscription “I mis you Basr and Sister.” She sleeps with it every night (when I just checked on her now she was hugging it in her sleep). I’m proud of her for that- embracing the longing, not trying to push it off or ignore it or justify it away. Figuring out how to exist feeling happy and excited about what lies ahead but also sad and longing for what is missing. I’m trying to do the same.

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(the folded picture carefully placed in ‘ready’ position near her pillow at bed time.)