I love Father's Day. I love any chance really to honor Jeff for the incredible dad that he is to our kids. He has taught me so much about how to be a Godly parent. His patience is unbelievable. He shows grace instead of anger. He is playful, yet demands respect. He loves whole-heartedly, fiercely even. He provides for us always, and does so with a thankful heart. Even though he keeps the thermostat in our house so high (Because he's "frugal" like that, y'all), he's definitely the best there is around!
Jeff, I love you. I love watching you with our kids. I love how you play tea party and barbie dolls with Ellie, then turn around and play Halo on X Box with Bryan. I love how you support our kids with your words and your presence. I love that you put God first, us second and your work third. I love that you love me so well, and you show our kids what a great marriage should look like. I love that Bryan has learned to open doors for me (okay, he's learning!), and Ellie is learning to look for a man like you one day (A LONG TIME from now). You bless me so much. You bless our family so much.
I can't let this opportunity to give some love to my dad go by either. My dad is wonderful, plain and simple. He's passionate for his family. He worked hard when I was growing up, but he always had time to play with us too. One of my favorite memories of my dad was Monday nights when we'd drive together to piano lessons. On the way, we'd crank up some music (usually Southern Gospel, but occassionally some Kenny Rogers The Gambler:)) and we'd sing our hearts out. I loved that time, one on one with my daddy!
Now, I get the joy of watching my dad with my own children, and what a blessing that is! I love how he teaches Bryan things like fishing and working. I love that he sings with Ellie and lets her play with her doctor kit with him. (Poor guy has had so many "surgeries" from Dr Ellie since she's been home that it's a wonder he's still around!) I love watching his face light up when they come in the room, and knowing that he finds joy just in being with them. I think the thing I love the most though, is listening to him tell stories to them. From Vietnam stories to his infamous "Big Toe" story, his stories cannot be beat! Our kids love them, and so do we! Dad, I love you so much. Thank you for leading our family the way you do. Thank you for pointing me to Christ in all things. Thank you for still calling me your little girl. You bless me so much. You believe in me, and I still look to you for wisdom. I love you, Daddy!
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one other dad in my life. My father-in-love (Because "law" just doesn't cut it!) was an incredible man. I regret that I didn't have longer to get to know him, but his memory is etched in my mind forever. I'm so thankful for the few years I did have with him. Wayne was a great man, and he raised a great man (aka, my husband!). I loved Wayne's laugh most of all. He totally cracked me up when he would get tickled about something and just laugh. He had one of those full laughs that was infectious. I loved him so much! I also loved how he would make their dog Sheba sit in time out with him on the couch! hah!
But there was also a serious side to Wayne. He was a great encourager and a man of prayer. I remember so well after I had lost a baby to miscarriage, Wayne would call me to check on me and tell me that he loved me. He would tell me that he was praying for me, and then he would actually pray. Those prayers brought healing to my life, and I'm so grateful still for how he loved me during that time! I miss him a lot, but I see glimpses of him in Jeff and even in Bryan from time to time. He left a legacy that is beautiful.
No doubt about it.. .my Heavenly Daddy has blessed me with some pretty amazing dads here on earth! thanks be to God!
I have been married to my best friend for 24 years. We have an 22 year old son and an 11 year old daughter. I am overwhelmed by how much God blesses me! My desire is to be more and more like my Creator every day.
10/30/07- orientation meeting with home study agency 11-12/07- gathering documents for home study 1/28/08- home vist #1 2/1/08- immigration application and finger printing 2/5/08- home visit #2 2/22/08- accepted by placement agency (Adoppt, Inc) 2/27/08- received completed home study 2/28/08- home study received at USCIS office in Louisville 3/20/08- received I-171 H form! 3/26/08- KY state seals received for all dossier documents 4/4/08- dossier sent to Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco for Vietnam Embassy authentication 4/8/08- dossier received in San Francisco 4/22/08- received confirmation from the Consulate General's office that our dossier was sent to Vietnam on 4/21! 4/28/08- dossier received in Vietnam; sent for translation 5/19/08- received word that our dossier was logged in sometime last week. WE ARE OFFICIALLY WAITING A REFERRAL NOW! 8/8/08- officially told we will NOT be getting Ellie from Vietnam 9/1/08- Deadline for referrals from Vietnam... none for us. 9/3/08- requested our dossier be sent back to us; researching other options for adoption; getting info on changing our home study and USCIS forms; LOTS of prayers on where God wants us to go next 9/8/08- Approved by Celebrate Children International to begin the process of adopting from Ethiopia! 9/15/08- Ethiopia contract and fees sent in. Our homestudy has been amended, and we are waiting for our amended 171H form as well. 9/30/08- received our amended 171H! 12/20/08- saw picture of a little girl; waiting for more info. 12/27/08- received video footage of little girl; waiting on medical info to make our decision. 12/30/08- received word that she is healthy 12/31/08- dossier returned to us with US Dept. and Ethiopian Embassy seals! 1/1/09- received complete medical evaluation on child; we will accept referral!! We have found her! 1/7/09- signed the papers to accept the referral of our Ellie. 4/9/09- re-fingerprinted for our 171H, as they are about to expire. STILL waiting on a court date... 6/5/09-Ellie has been moved to the Transition House in the city! Still no court date assigned 6/9/09- Court date assigned for 6/18/09!! 6/19/09- court date reassigned to 7/2/09 7/2/09- PASSED COURT!!! Awaiting travel dates! 7/29/09- Embassy date appointed for 8/11/09. Tickets purchased to travel on August 7th!!!!! WOO HOOO~~~ 8/7/09- left for Ethiopia! 8/9/09- met Ellie face to face for the first time! 8/15/09- HOME at last!!