It’s the Little Things

Dear Jesus,  

Please, please make it rain soonly. I know You can do it.  You can do EVERYTHING.

When Peter saw the clouds in the sky this morning, he started to think about rain and couldn’t stop thinking about it.  He was so excited that rain was a possibility.  He prayed about it at breakfast and put on his raincoat.

When he spotted the first drops, he was ecstatic.  He ran outside and yelled, “Jesus answered my prayer!”

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A New Eby and a New House

Back in January, I had my tonsils removed.  After back to back episodes of strep throat, it seemed like the thing to do.  Person after person told me how horrible it would be- two weeks of torture recovering.  Who knew it was so different for adults than for kids?  Peter had his tonsils taken out last summer and he was good to go the next day.   All this talk of pain scared me, but I figured two weeks of agony would be better than continuing on with seemingly endless cases of strep throat.  So I went for it.  Not much more needs to be said, but all the stories were true.  It was ridiculously painful and it took forever to recover.  Needless to say, I had many sleepless nights.  And during those long nights, I got to praying.  The middle of the night is a fabulous time to pray when you have a large family.  It is quiet and still and perfect for talking and listening to God.  Now at that point in time we didn’t have any plans to adopt again.  We weren’t closed to the idea, but we were feeling settled and content with life as it was.  But somewhere in the middle of those long quiet moments with God in the night, He began to put another little one in my heart.  I began to pray for this little one, all the while feeling a bit crazy and wondering if I was just sleep deprived.  I told no one.  They would think I was crazy!  But God was stirring my heart.

A number of months later, in May, I mentioned the idea to Steve.  He wasn’t particularly feeling it, but he was happy to pray about it.  Then God began to work.  Gently and quietly He readied each of our hearts to follow Him into the unknown once again.  However, in June, when our whole family was on board and ready to take action, I began to worry.  This would really push us over the top.  We would need a bigger vehicle.  The minivan would no longer suffice.  Steve would want a passenger van and how embarrassing is that?!  But more than this, I was wondering how I would handle being a bit more smooshed in our house.  I felt selfish even thinking such a thing.  So very many people live in much smaller spaces than us, and God had given us a beautiful home.  But I felt crowded.  We loved our house and never planned on moving.  I had always wanted a house just like the one we had.  But adding another person made me wonder how my sanity would hold up.  I told God that I would love to be able to add as many children to our family as He wanted and not feel limited by the size of our house.  I was feeling a just a tad nervous, but even so, we were ready to follow Him wherever He would lead.

A couple days later I told my mom that we were thinking of adopting again.  She lit up and said that in the days just before, she had been thinking that we should swap houses.  She wasn’t going to tell anyone because she thought it was kind of crazy.  She and my dad had never planned on moving either.   But their house was perfect for us and ours was perfect for them.  So we spent the summer packing and moving both houses and beginning the journey to our new little one.

God has blessed us more than we could ever ask or imagine, and we are humbled.  We have been given a new little Eby to love (even though we don’t know who it is just yet) and on top of that, a new house to spread out in.  We are thankful and super excited too!

Celebrating Nathan’s Gotcha Day in our new house.  Can’t wait to have another Gotcha Day to celebrate!

Another Month and Then Some

Well, Mr. Nathan turned 16 months old in June. We celebrated, but never posted it. Now he’s about to turn 17 months, so I figured I’d better get on it! Here’s a picture of the girls with the chocolate chip cookies we ate in Nathan’s honor. Unfortunately, Peter was already in bed by the time we finished baking them. We used the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag.
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We LOVE cookies! And we can’t to eat them with Nathan and celebrate him in person!

Cookies and Stitches

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We celebrated Nathan’s 15 month birthday with amazing almond butter cookies made by Hannah and a trip to Urgent Care for Peter! Peter fell and hit his head and ended up with three stitches. But he got to have a lolly pop and a cookie with his dinner when he got home, so it all ended up just fine. There’s not much that can’t be fixed with a “pop” as far as Peter’s concerned. (“Pop” is his word for lollipop.)

Here’s the recipe for Hannah’s cookies. She added almond extract, which makes them extra fabulous!

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Is There Still Room for ONE MORE?!?!?!?!

After adopting Peter earlier this year, I felt deep inside that we would adopt again. Yet, I came up with a lot of excuses why we shouldn’t. Then on October 8th we were asked by our adoption agency (America World) to run a booth at the Steven Curtis Chapman concert in Modesto. I thought that this would be a great opportunity to have fun with my girls so I agreed. Steven Curtis Chapman has adopted three time himself, and he and his wife started an organization called Show Hope that helps raise funds for adoption. Here’s a link for one of the songs he played that night- “When Love Takes You In”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwY-BUJgRhw

During his concert, Steven addressed all my excuses and I knew then that God was telling me it was time to start the journey of adoption once again. I got further confirmation of this on the way home when the girls said that we should go get a brother for Peter. Sarah, of course, was already ready to go. So, in the words of Samuel, “Here I am Lord, send me.” Here we go again! There is always room for one more! 🙂

Our America World booth at the concert

Our America World booth at the concert

DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA!!!!!

As the only guy in a household of four girls I find that sometimes things can be a little intense (for a lack of a better word). Let me give you some examples. Why does someone always have to use the bathroom right when we get in the car to go somewhere? You would think that they would have thought of that before they made the trip to the car. You would think that a movie would get boring after watching it 5 million times. Not my girls. How many words do you think a little girl says in one day? Trust me- it’s a lot!

Where am I going with this? Well let me tell you. I have found that the ups and downs of the adoption process bring out the best and not so best in my girls. Let’s just say the verse, “Be anxious for nothing” is very difficult to follow in our household. Waiting for a referral was hard, but waiting for the Travel Approval has proved be the hardest thing to wait for in the whole process. For days my girls would come home from school and ask, “Did it come yet?” (referring to the TA). When I would respond “No, not yet,” the mood of everyone would change instantly. You would think I just told them their dog died or something. My wife would be high with anticipation every morning in hopes that today would be the day we would get the call. By around noon she would drop to the depths of despair, knowing that it was now too late in the day to get the call. What drama!!

Yet when we did get the call this last Friday, Sarah and I both bursted into tears. It was like a huge weight on our shoulders had been lifted. When we went to the school to tell the kids I think you could have heard their shrieks of joy a mile away.

All my girls wear their emotions on their sleeves, and I would not have it any other way!!! Get ready Peter. Here we come, drama and all!

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Feeling Torn

Well, we are now officially waiting for our TA (travel approval)! On Tuesday, December 18, our Article 5 was issued. I still don’t really know what the Article 5 is, but I do know that it puts us one step closer to Peter. It also means that our wait for the TA began on the 18th. As I said in the last post, the TA wait takes 2-4 weeks, and we are of course hoping for two. After that, we’ll be off in no time!

Finding myself so close to going to get Peter and so close to Christmas at the same time, I’m feeling a tad torn. I love Christmas. I love this season of preparation. I love everything that we do to get ready to celebrate Christ’s birth. But this year, my heart isn’t completely in it. I am loving the celebrating that we are doing, but at the same time, I find myself in China holding Peter. Being completely “here” is a bit of a struggle. And yet, how fitting that this time of preparing our hearts and home for Peter comes when it does. We are yearning for him as we wait and prepare. And I find myself longing for Christ more deeply now than I have before during this season of anticipation.

So I am doing my best to celebrate this time of waiting and festivity.

Snowmen made by the girls

Snowmen made by the girls

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Our traditional family cookie day!

Clothes for Peter (6-12 mo.)  It makes me happy to look at them.

Clothes for Peter (6-12 mo.) It makes me happy to look at them.

Mary loves our Santa kneeling by baby Jesus.  It plays "Away in a Manger".

Mary loves our Santa kneeling by baby Jesus. It plays “Away in a Manger”.

Hannah made gingerbread men on the day we got our tree.

Hannah made gingerbread men on the day we got our tree.

All the medicine and such for the trip.  You never know what might be needed!

All the medicine and such for the trip. You never know what might be needed!

Star ornaments made by the girls.  They're a lot harder to make than they look!

Star ornaments made by the girls. They’re a lot harder to make than they look!

Peter's first pair of shoes.   These make me really happy!

Peter’s first pair of shoes. These make me really happy!

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Merry, Merry Christmas!

Peter’s Rabbit

I love to knit.  And I especially love knitting things for the girls.  Few people truly understand the excitement and joy to be had in a newly handknit item.  But the girls are right there with me.  They themselves love to knit, and they love to peruse patterns, trying to decide what they want me to knit for them next.  They take turns, and most all of the time, I am working on something for one of them (among other things).  I don’t know if  Peter will join us in our enthusiastic appreciation of the handknit.  But if he doesn’t, it won’t be for lack of our trying.  Peter’s first handknit is this rabbit.  After searching and searching for the perfect pattern, I decided on this bunny designed by Susan B. Anderson.  The girls and I love it, and I’m hoping Peter will too.  This bunny is going to China with us for sure, along with the hat Hannah is knitting for him!

Hurray for handknits!