Rescued

Rescued-something about that word fills my heart with gratitude and makes me swallow hard.  Maybe it’s because I’m a woman and have dreamed all my life, as most little girls do, about being the princess in the movie that gets rescued by the heroic prince.  I know, I know, there are some women that fight for women’s liberation and equality blah blah blah.  Not this woman!  I love being “handled with care,” getting to go first in line, having my door opened and not having to lift heavy things (unless I want to).

Once I was walking my dog near our home in Scottsdale and out of nowhere a huge German Shepherd was in front of me growling and barking at me and my little yorkie poo.  He was getting closer and closer and all I could do was scream.  Suddenly a man jumped over the high fence next to me and chased the dog off, made sure that I was alright and hopped back over the fence.  He rescued me!  I was so relieved.  

This morning, during worship at church, I was flooded with emotion as I thought about how Jesus rescued me from Hell.  Just like when the German Shepherd was trying to get me, there was nothing that I could do (at least I couldn’t think of anything!) to save myself, I needed to be rescued.  Jesus is my heroic prince!  Even before I loved Him, He loved me.  He gave His life for me.  He provided everything that I would ever need when He went to the cross on my behalf.  I’m so thankful.

Some people say that Wes and I rescued Rivaldo and, in a way I guess we did.  However, that’s probably not how we’ll explain it to Rivaldo when he is old enough to ask about being adopted.  What we ARE making it our life’s mission to make sure that he understands is that he was rescued by Jesus.  He is loved and valued, he can have peace and health and that he can do everything that God calls him to do because of this great rescue.  

I love that kid like crazy!!!!Image

    

 

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It’s O-V-E-R

It’s official, there is no sense in pretending anymore I’ve come to grips with this reality and I think that you should all know about it.  I knew it was happening but I didn’t want to admit it to anyone.  It’s not like things like this happen everyday.  We all think that this will never happen to us…until it does.  This is nothing to be ashamed of but I have to tell someone.  The truth is…my heart has officially been stolen!  This amazing little boy has COMPLETELY captivated both Wes and I and we don’t want to even think of how boring life was without him.

Even now as I type this long overdue (sorry Meredith) post, I can hear his sweet little voice singing a song while he eats his macaroni in the other room.   He really has made my life (ya know how you say, “That made my day” when someone does or says something nice? Well, this is that times a billion!)

Here are just a few of the things that he does and says lately that melt my heart and make me smile…sometimes, many times, laugh out loud.

  • When I give him an answer that he doesn’t want to hear, he pretends that he can’t hear me and says, “huh mommy, what you say?” while he is cupping his ear.
  • Sometimes when I tell him something he responds with, “Really mommy really?”  (He got this from me.  When a car pulls out in front of me or someone does something stupid, that is usually my response “really?”  I figure there are way worse things I could say right?)
  • Every morning when we are on our way to school/work we say our prayers and he always says, “thank you God for my mommy, my daddy, my school and my church.”  It is usually followed by very random things like the pajamas he wore to bed the night before and his bike (he has only rode his bike a handful of times since he got it for his birthday in November and it has been cold since then but somehow that bike makes it in almost every day).  Regardless, how sweet is it that he thanks God for mommy, daddy, school and church!
  • His facial expressions are soooooo animated.  He definitely knows how to “work it” with mommy and daddy.
  • He loves his daddy!!  It’s so sweet to watch them play.  They play “pillow bomb” with all of the pillows on my bed and they have dance contests.  Rivaldo is the reigning champion.  🙂
  • If I ask for too many kisses he tells me, “no more kisses for you mommy.”  I have found that this only happens after about 15-18 granted requests.  (seriously, I could kiss his little face all day if he’d let me)

Every day there is something new and I constantly find myself wondering what it will be and looking forward to finding out.  I love him so much and I’m so thankful to get to be his mom.  So…the cat’s out of the bag…

 

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Seasons

As we move into the season of fall, my favorite season, I am realizing more and more that life is all about seasons.  I have found that in the seasons of life, you can actually be experiencing several seasons all at once.  One area of your life could be experiencing a season of joy while another area is experiencing a season of frustration.  The Bible talks about seasons in Ecclesiastes 3, 1 To everything there is a season,  A time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; 3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; 7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; 8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.” I think this covers every possible season there is!

Here are some of the seasons that I am experiencing in my life simultaneously right now:

  • A season of joy-Joy because I have a wonderful husband and an amazing son.  My life feels super complete right now.  I love waking up every morning to a little voice saying, “mommy where are you?”  I love teaching Rivaldo new things and watching him learn.  I love how much Wes loves Rivaldo and Rivaldo loves his daddy.  I love Sunday afternoons when we all 3 take a nap together (even Duncan).  Life is good!
  • A season of potty training-Rivaldo is doing really great going pee pee in the potty.  However, when he is playing outside at school he doesn’t always want to stop playing to go potty, #2 that is.  When he poops in his pull up, I get a call to come change him.  (he is supposed to be potty trained in order to be able to attend his pre-school so they don’t change diapers but they let him come anyway-this is the best pre-school in our town and very hard to get into but I had such favor with the owner and they saved him a spot!)  We pray every day on the way to school and included in our prayer is, “Rivaldo is growing in wisdom and stature and he knows when he needs to go potty and he tells his teacher so he can go in the potty.”  If you ask him where his pee pee and poo poo goes, he will tell you every time, “the potty.”  It’s just a matter of actually putting it there EVERY TIME.  He is getting it though!!
  • A season of receiving-This isn’t exactly what you may be thinking.  For the last 12 years since Wes and I have graduated from Bible school, we have been “giving out,” sharing what we learned at Bible school with anyone that would listen.  We have worked at different ministries and churches in many different roles but this year has really been a year for Wes and I to re-focus and be on the receiving end again.  Don’t get me wrong, we are still giving our gifts and talents and serving on staff at a church however, I still feel like we are the ones receiving…like we’ve gone back to some of the basics that we have forgotten or ignored over the years.  You would think that receiving would be much easier than always being the one giving.  But you’d be wrong.  This season is just as challenging because its so foreign to us after being the “givers” for so long.  It’s a whole new way of living and thinking.  It can sometimes be hard not being the one making all the decisions and plans.  We have to remind ourselves of what season we are in and that it is, in fact, just a season.  We won’t be in this season forever.  Also, when you are on the receiving end, you’re responsible for what you receive.  We are being stretched in our faith and challenged to grow…which is great but not always easy.
  • A season of how?- One of our goals is for me to be able to be a stay-at-home mom but that isn’t possible right now.  So, we are in the process of asking God how.  We know that He gives us the desires of our hearts.  This seems like a big one…but seriously, after the whole adoption process that we just went through, I have no doubt that He has a perfect plan.  Plus…Wes is already asking about baby #2.  Hurry up God!!!  🙂

These are some of my current seasons.  What season(s) are you in?

This is from our walk this morning! It's starting to get cold!!!

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Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Ok, so there hasn’t been any trains but the Edward’s family has been on the go!  We planned a long weekend in Scottsdale to introduce Rivaldo to everyone at E3 that has lived this journey of adoption with us, literally since day 1.  After all, it was on our first trip to Haiti with E3 that we met Rivaldo and decided to adopt from COTP.  They believed with us every step of the way.  We had so much fun visiting everyone!  We even stopped by Medicis, where I worked in Scottsdale, to visit (thanks everyone for all of the treats and Meredith for arranging it all!).  Rivaldo got to play in his first splash pad  & go swimming at the hotel pool!  We stayed the first couple of nights with the Larson’s, who we miss so much!  Rivaldo got to play with Jack, Tyler & Lina!

We stayed one night at the Hyatt, which has a great pool, beautiful grounds and live music.  Several of our friends came over to swim with us and then we sat outside and listened to music (though Rivaldo and Adi were the real entertainment of the night) while we got caught up on each others lives.  Then, on Sunday morning we got to attend E3 church!

On Saturday night while Wes was hanging out with some friends, he got a phone call that his cousin had passed away very unexpectedly.  So, as we made the long drive back to New Mexico we were already making plans to fly to North Carolina for the funeral.  (Rivaldo is seriously the BEST traveler in the Edwards’ family-I was informed of this several times as we pulled over-not for the 2 year old-but for me.  I won’t name any names as to who informed me of this but honey thanks for stopping all those times for my potty breaks)  We had planned to take Rivaldo to North Carolina at Christmas, under much happier circumstances, to introduce him to Wes’ family and New Covenant Church…but that wasn’t the case.  We got home from Scottsdale super late on Sunday night and boarded a plane to North Carolina early Thursday morning (just enough time to unpack one suitcase and pack another-only this time with much warmer clothes!)

The visit to North Carolina was really good.  Rivaldo brought some much needed joy to everyone’s hearts.  He is such a happy boy!  He got to meet his cousins, Kennedy & Phillip, and his Aunt Kristie & Uncle Darian.  The day before we left I saw a sign for hayrides, a corn maze and a pumpkin patch!  If you know me, you know that I absolutely LOVE things like this.  So, I convinced everyone to go (ok-it really didn’t take much convincing because Wes has a super fun family!).

Rivaldo playing with Kennedy & Phillip

Rivaldo's favorite toy! He loves to play the guitar like daddy. So glad that grandma and pap had one at their house too!

Wes & Kristie on our hayride

Pap and his grandsons

We finally found our way out of the corn maze (there was a map that no one told us about that would have came in handy)

After the hayride, we had cookies and cider!

Taking a break before the pumpkin patch

Everywhere we went he was sweet and gave hugs, high fives and knuckles to our friends and family-he is such a social butterfly.  He did so well meeting all of the new people but, I’m happy to say, mommy and daddy are still his favorite! His new thing lately is to say, “Mommy where are you?” if he can’t see me, even if he knows I just walked out of the room. I love hearing his little voice. Rivaldo is such an amazing little boy!  We love him more and more each day and our life is so complete with him.    I really love being Rivaldo’s mommy!

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Life as we know it…

Life as we know it, has definitely changed!  Why didn’t anyone tell me that being a mom was so amazing?  (Ok-I know at least one person that told me repeatedly (you know who you are).  Part of me believed that it was true because I knew how much I loved her kids but part of me (just a tiny part) thought, “misery loves company.”) Regardless, you were right!!!  Even when Rivaldo wakes up in the middle of the night, I can’t help but smile at his sweet face.  Today he pooped in the bathtub (it was a total accident-he told me, “potty” but since he had already gone 3 TIMES I thought he was just telling me about going potty…not saying he had to go again).  After bleaching the tub and all the toys that were in it and giving him another bath…I still wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world!

He is adjusting so well, better than any of the books I read said he would (an answer to our prayers!).  He is talking and singing.  He fully understands English and speaks English very well.  He also speaks Creole (which is so adorable) but he is now saying the English words for things that he used to say in Creole.  He loves his mommy and daddy very much and is learning to love our dog, Duncan (he pet his head tonight which is a big deal since he has only pet him on the tail before).  He is very smart and loves to be clean (God knew I would appreciate this!).  He is a little peanut, only 22  pounds, and loves to have fun and be the center of attention. Wes and I are amazed by how much we love him and how well he fits into our family.

We are so thankful for all of the prayers, kind words, gifts and support that we have received over the last several weeks as we left to pick him up and throughout this transition (especially my mom who drove from Oklahoma to meet her new grandson and cook us dinners and lots of other things to help!) !  I am happy to report that everyone is doing great! 

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Spoken For

Even before I knew that we were adopting Rivaldo, I loved the song, Spoken For, by Mercy Me.  It’s about adoption…to me anyway.  I remember one day crying in my car as I sang the chorus:

Take this world from me
I don’t need it anymore
I am finally free
My heart is spoken for

Covered by your love divine
Child of the risen Lord
To hear you say “This one’s mine”
My heart is spoken for

Just thinking about how wonderful it feels, as a child of God, to be “spoken for” and to know that He really does say, “wait a minute, this girl is mine” when the enemy tries to mess with me.  I love that feeling!

This song has so much more meaning to me over the last couple of weeks since we got Rivaldo.  After just one afternoon with Wes and I, Rivaldo seemed to have a new outlook on life.  I put him in new clothes, I put shoes on his feet (such a big deal in Haiti), I washed his little face and I held him A LOT…I did everything that a new mom would do for her new baby.  When we took him over to play with the other children, the nannies and the children all marveled at his shoes and new clothes.  Rivaldo loved all of the attention, but I could tell that something had changed, he had a bit of an attitude.  Not in a bad way, but an attitude that said, “I’ve been spoken for-someone picked me.”  He didn’t want Wes or I to pick up, or even touch for that matter, the other kids…we had to be ALL his.  Though I was a little sad when he wouldn’t even respond to the kids calling his name as we passed by, I absolutely loved that he felt so special and secure.  I think I know how God must feel when we walk with that same “attitude”…with our chest out and our head held high knowing that we are completely loved and that we are spoken for.

Just a thought as I drift off to sleep tonight…

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He’s Here!!!

Ok Ok I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted…I’ve been a little busy.  First let me tell you that WE HAVE RIVALDO!!  He is napping in his bed as I type this post.  Now for the details…

I got an email from the US Embassy in Haiti on Friday, August 5th that said they were done with our file and I would be hearing from the Consular section of the embassy very soon with his Visa date (what we were waiting for in order to book our flights).  By the following Tuesday when I still hadn’t heard anything from the Consular section I called them(I couldn’t wait any longer…I’m not sure what “very soon” means to you, but it wasn’t soon enough for me).  After several attempts to get through, I finally got through and they gave me his Visa apt. date AUGUST 10th!!!  Yahhoooo!!!  We were so excited!!!  We booked our flights to arrive on the 11th (everything on the website indicates that the Visa prints in 24-48 hours after the apt.).  We had so much to do to prepare to leave (even though I had been packed for weeks, I still had to wrap things up at work and clean the house like a mad woman-I can’t bring my new baby home to dust bunnies!)

On Wednesday, August 10th we boarded our first, of many, flights to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (after a quick stop in Dallas).  We spent the night in Fort Lauderdale (yeah right, like we slept!) and headed to Haiti on Thursday.  We had to fly into Port Au Prince and ended up staying in the sweltering airport for way longer than I wanted to (5 hours!) but we finally made it to COTP!  Rivaldo was taking a nap with the other kids when we arrived.  I wish that I could say that the moment he saw me he came running to my arms saying, “mommy and daddy you’re finally here!”  However, let’s remember that he is only two and a half and he has only seen us twice. Wes thinks that he did recognize me (and he might have recognized me from the picture book that we sent him-who knows for sure).  Regardless, after 30 minutes, he didn’t want me to put him down!  We played with him and his friends the rest of the afternoon but Wes and I were acting as regular volunteers (ok…as “regular” as possible).  Rivaldo slept in the baby house with the other children but was so happy to see us the next morning. Over the next couple of days we moved Rivaldo into our room and he wanted no one else but Wes and I (mostly me-but I’m the mommy so Wes didn’t mind).  It was actually kind of sad because, for the first couple of days that he was with us, Rivaldo didn’t want to talk or play with his friends from the baby house.  We kept taking him over to play and to listen to the nannies beautiful singing in the morning and evenings.  Obviously Rivaldo didn’t understand what we understood…he wouldn’t have the option of playing with his friends or hearing the nannies praise in just a few short days.  As the days went on Rivaldo realized that when we go over to play with the children we weren’t going to leave him there.  Once he understood that, he began to get down from my arms and play when we went over.

We ended up getting stuck in Haiti for an extra 4 days (a whole other post of it’s own!) but in hind sight, we were thankful for the extra time at COTP.  After a tearful goodbye and 2 completely full days of travel (Rivaldo was the best kid on ALL of our flights and I’m not just saying that because I am a new mommy) we are home safe and sound.  He is adjusting so well, better than I even thought possible.  There are so many stories that I want to share…and will soon, but I just wanted to post a quick update for now.  I promise to post stories and thoughts and feelings and sweet moments in the next few days.  For now, know that we have our boy and we couldn’t be happier!!!  Enjoy the pictures!!!

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