Friday, August 23, 2013

The Adoption

I don't know how much of this journey towards adoption from Uganda I have shared here, but just in case some of you don't know and are interested, here is a bit of how we got here:
(This was originally written as an answer to some questions written by another family interested in adopting from Bethel House)
  • Nate and I always planned for four children, and in our arrogance thought that maybe sometime much later we would adopt. I think for Nate it was a "when we are financially stable" kind of thing. After Bethany was born we expected to be able to have another child right away. This didn't happen. Instead of lessening my desire for a fourth child, waiting just reinforced my desire. I was so sure our family was supposed to grow. Nate's desire was not as strong--but He felt God's leading toward that as well. One day it just hit me--WHAT are we waiting for?---Why not begin the adoption process now? I was sure that Nate would shoot down the idea or at least put it off for a while, but after reading up on all the ways that money is available for adoption, he was just as excited about it as I was. Our desire to provide a home for children who might otherwise be aborted led us to domestic adoption. So we started the process and 6 months later we were officially a waiting family at Bethany Christian. A year later, our book had been shown many times. We realized that we would have to pay for and redo our home study because it had expired. At the same time, friends of ours, Troy and Sarah were gathering info on Bethel House in Uganda and then deciding to go and get their Ezra Derek. We heard about the many children at Bethel House Orphanage who were waiting for families. After several conversations with Sarah, again I felt that, "What are we waiting for?" feeling. With the cost at Bethel House, we had already raised enough to adopt one from there. So we switched from Bethany Christian to Bethel House and here we are. As to how our biological children and our adopted children will mesh, we are depending a lot on the wisdom of others. We have watched other families here on Lookout Mountain adopt and we are leaning on their experience! One family here on the mountain has 4 biological children and they are about to go back to China for their 3rd set of two siblings!! (For a total of 10 children!) We have done A LOT of talking about the boys with our biological kids ever since we chose them (not to mention the year and a half of talking about the baby we might adopt). Naomi, Jacob and Bethany realize that there are going to be challenges: the language barrier, the different color of skin, and the general havoc of adding 2 more children to the mix. They don't know the extent of those challenges (neither do Nate and I) and that's probably a good thing. We will deal with the challenges as they come. It would probably be better to ask Nate how he has overcome the fear of adopting because he is the one of us in this couple that has the healthy dose of fear--and by fear I really mean the ability to see and understand the difficulties. I usually just rush head-on into situations without counting the cost. My fears have all been related to the waiting!! God has taught us both to step out of comfort zones and it is a beautiful thing. We have been challenged lately by a thought from Pastor Hitchings from many years ago, "What are you doing in your life that would not be at all possible without the Holy Spirit?" We tend to only do the things that we deem possible and forget that our God is a God of the impossible. Impossible things like adopting two children from Uganda.

First Day of School

And we're back to school!
Naomi and Jacob began their school year with their first day at Hilger Higher Learning, a home school tutorial in Chattanooga. They are taking Science, Literature, Art, Creative Writing/Grammar, and Choir there on Mondays.
They really enjoyed their first day!
Naomi is looking forward to dissecting something in Science (the teacher assured them they would get to) and has most enjoyed her art homework.
Jacob really liked meeting new friends at Hilger and the fact that none of the work was too difficult for him. 
Both of the kids are going to do great with their Hilger classes!
I was not planning to start our other courses at home until Bethany goes to school at the beginning of Sept, but with Uganda coming up, I decided to go ahead and begin. It has been a good week.
We are studying Math, History and Spelling here as well as getting our HW for each Hilger class done each day. The kids are doing great with all of that as well. 
Bethany has been joining us for school and doing awesome! You should see her whip out an addition worksheet and read her little beginner books. She's going to blow kindergarten away.
I'm proud of all of them!

Summer's End

And so we've jogged our last summer jog,

played our last summer baseball
And had our last summer accidents...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

2013 Staycation

We were so blessed to have Daddy home with us this week!
We took a walk to one of our favorite nearby overlooks,
took a hike down to Glenn Falls,
went bowling, 

went to Ikea to buy a few things for the new boys,
(and some things for rearranging the rooms)
these are 4 $8 tables from Ikea lined up together and covered with paper--these will be a great place to store bins and play!
and went canoeing!
(see the deer?)

The place where we canoe, the Chattanooga Nature Center, also has a refuge for animals--
Red Wolves
Daddy also did a whole lot of painting! He painted all of the trim in the living room--including the mantel and bookcases.
Yay for more time with Daddy!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Announcing the New Family Members

Dear friends and family,
Many of you know that our family has been waiting to adopt 
for over a year. In the last year and a half we have learned 
much about God's power and love. We have also learned 
that His plans are often quite different from our own. We 
thought we would birth a fourth child, instead He showed 
us adoption. We thought we would adopt domestically, and 
after much waiting, He gently nudged us toward Uganda. We 
thought we were surely supposed to adopt just one, and He 
placed two boys on our hearts.
After seeing these two boys' picture a few months ago, we 
couldn't stop thinking and praying about them. Even when 
we don't understand God's ways, He is beautifully relentless, 
and we are very thankful that He has again withheld no good 
We have also learned that we can do nothing in our own strength. 
God's hand in this adoption is evident, but we need you as well! 
Would you pray for us? We need prayer for our travels, for raising 
the rest of the money and for bringing two very different children
 into our family. We are excited and scared and in wonder all at the 
same time.
If you would like to help us raise the $19,000 that we have yet to
 raise, you can easily go to Lifesong for Orphans and donate using 
our family account number: #2961.
Thank you so much for reading and supporting our family over
 these years of waiting. I can't wait until we're on the other side of 
this adoption and I'm typing about how wonderful it is that our Oster 
Five are our five children!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Look what the boy lost!

Camp G and G

The kids went to AL last week for Camp G and G

They started the week off painting hot rocks with crayons

They spent some time at Grandad's new lake house

And did experiments with Granna in the kitchen

Did some fishing with Grandad

Made stepping stones with Granna

And swam!

Ate waffles

Rode the Truck

Put the stepping stones out at Grandad's lakehouse

And swam!


And swam!

Fun times were had by all at Camp G and G!