Monday, November 30, 2009

Tis' the Season

The Christmas trees are up, stockings hung and decorations abound. The Fink's are in full holiday mode and we can't stop smiling. Not only are we celebrating the season and all that it involves, but this is the first year that Charlotte is home with us. Last year she was a distant hope, someone that we prayed for despite not knowing whom she was and this year she is a definitive reason of why we are so blessed. As a family we have so much to be thankful for, so much to cherish and so many reasons to want to bless others. As we approach the chaos that can surround Christmas, we are planning to take the time to stop and truly appreciate what this time of the year represents and to appreciate where we are and trust that where we are going is above and beyond our greatest dreams.



Friday, November 27, 2009

Thought

Sometimes the unthinkable becomes thinkable. A true test of dignity is how one handles these situations when they appear. Human nature will depict a typical reaction but the faith that lies within one's heart defines their truth.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Charlotte Walks

We had predicted for Miss Charlotte to begin walking by Thanksgiving. In the past six months she has gone from lying completely still on her back to flipping and army crawling across the floor to walking while holding our hands. As she officially turned a year and a half last weekend she decided to take six independent steps. Our little angel is not one to dissappoint so on this milestone she began walking and in the days following she has become unstoppable! Charlotte has continued practicing her newly developed ability and as we approach her first Thanksgiving, she will have the perfect stage at her disposal to make her walking debut in front of a loving and adoring audience.




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Child's Heart

As I worked on the computer last night I over heard my eldest daugher Sophia, who is six, singing to our youngest daughter Charlotte. The songs song were those learned in Sunday School. Eventually both girls fell peacefully asleep. Fast-forward to this morning at breakfast...Sophia was sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a bowl of Reese's Puffs cereal and suddenly announced to me that she had had a dream last night. In this dream she said that she talked to Jesus and asked Him into her heart. She also said that she planned on sharing this in her morning meeting circle time at school. I am in awe of her love and brought to tears over her heart. God has created something unique and beautiful in this little girl that I have yet to see in another individual. I am so thankful that I am able to be her mommy in the best and worst of times and forever.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Six Months Home...

We have officially been home with our beatuiful daughter Charlotte for six months. I can't believe that half of a year has passed so quickly. During the process it seemed as though an end was never in sight and if you caught a glimpse of it, something happened to push it further back. However, our daughter is home and she is with her family and we with her. The life that she lead in Ethiopia will always be somewhat of a mystery to me. I can compose different scenarios in my head of what she saw and felt and did; We have even been blessed with a video that her birth mom, Almaz, made for her along with a video of her days in the care center. This is all we have and this is what we take forward with us to ensure a visual continuation of her past and the monumental point in our lives wherein we began our future together. I am in love with this little girl beyond my own comprehension. She is a determined, stubborn, compassionate, comical little princess and our lives were not fully realized until she was with us. As we currently venture through the process of bringing home a son from Ethiopia we are constantly reminded of the course we walked to Charlotte and as we look into her smiling face we are certain that there is an end to what appears to be a neverending story.


In Ethiopia (8 months old)

In our arms (11 months old)


In costume (17 months old)

                              Home (Almost 18 months old)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Change.

When is all you can handle not enough?  In a world filled with such despair and hurt how can I be
"doing" enough to deserve my life? I realize how blessed I have been and feel so fortunate to be given a heart that craves change. One that longs for opportunity to make change. I pray that someday when my children are old enough to understand Ethiopian culture and the history from which they have come that I will be able to explain, to show and to encourage them to cherish their roots and change those things that may still be in need of change. I pray that their ways will touch more people than I could have hoped for. I feel honored to be adopted into Ethiopian culture through my daughter and very soon through my son. I hope to be a vessel for the people of Ethiopia and for Africa. My heart is connected and always will be. Amen.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Weekend for Grown-up Happenings

All I can say is that apparently I needed a weekend of adult interaction more than I realized. Sophia and Etienne spent the night at Papa and Sandie's leaving us with one child, Miss Charlotte, which after having three kids is like a cake walk! The weather was abnormally warm for the midwestern state of Wisconsin therefore we walked, AJ, Charlotte and I. It was a peaceful walk, a walk of reflection and actual conversations with topics that went beyond kids and work - it was perfection.

Now before I offend anyone who may not yet have been blessed with children, I adore all three of my kids above my own comprehension but little breaks now and then gives us a clear mind and more focused parenting skills; Being able to sleep until 10am may have aided in my clarity as well.

The walk was blissful and later in the evening AJ's sister offered to watch Charlotte and we went out! We used to go "out" all of the time but now we would categorize ourselves more as "home bodies." However, we were hardly home bodies this particular weekend. We had the pleasure of having dinner and drinks with two of our most favorite couples, couples who were gracious enough to write Letters of Recommendation for the adoption. We talked, laughed, ate and drank until we were all caught up and more cozy at our little table than I am with my most favorite blankie and comfy couch at home. It was refreshing. The evening ended with a toast to our son-to-be and a date written in our calendars to all get together again.

The relaxation extended into Sunday as we casually woke to a quiet house and our little baby girl. We made it to church on time and were able to take in all of the booths and displays offered as it was Harvest Fest at Elmbrook. It was above anything that I could have hoped for. We met missionaries from different parts of the world and those from Africa as well. Charlotte saw a display from Uganda and immediately reached for the straw broom and water jug as if she recoginzed these items - I believe that she vaguely remembers them from her time in Ethiopia. I was nearly brought to tears throughout the sermon as they discussed orphans of the world, human trafficking and generally those in need. I am excited to become more involved in an adoption group beginning and to have our son in my arms now more than ever.

Sophia and Etienne came home exhausted but happy and I resolved that in essence this was a weeked filled with freedom from the kids that ended up leaving me with an even greater desire to hold them near me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Diary of an Adoptive Family

In order to document the journey to our Ethiopian son and the joyful chaos that is our life, we have begun a family blog. Inspiration came from none other than The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Three years ago, when our family consisted of my husband, our daughter Sophia and son Etienne, we as in AJ and I, decided to take a trip to Europe with a focus on London and Amsterdam... It sounded like a good idea at the time. Needless to say our then almost two year old son was less than thrilled with our decision. He was determined to make his complaints heard, especially in the Anne Frank house where he demonstrated both an award worthy tantrum and a diaper explosion that salvaged nothing. Unfortunately, this is what I recall most in remberance of our tour of the Anne Frank house. Luckily we decided to purchase her diary to read at a later, kid-free moment in time if one should happen to arise. As almost four years have passed, I have finally been able to delve into the diary and thus have been so inspired to create this blog. Coincidingly,  it so happens that we are currently in full adoption mode as we await Gladney approval and our chance to be placed on the coveted Waitlist for Referral. It's a matter of months now until five becomes six, so I had better finish reading Anne Frank's diary at record pace.

Balancing Act

Married with three kids and another on the way, I find that more often than not juggler fits my "job description" more aptly than Mom. I often find that I can become so overwhelmed with the structure we have created as a family and the semi-order that follows, that I miss those little moments in a day that matter the most. I am striving to balance life not in an attempt to accomplish my daily goals but in an attempt to fully enjoy each moment sincerely.
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