Friday, August 31, 2007

The End of Our Strength

Years ago, my dear friend Mitzi gave me a devotional book that I have come to love very much. It's called Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman. Because of our remodel, my beloved copy is packed away, but a few weeks ago I found a paperback version at a bookstore and bought it, knowing that when I unpack my original copy, I can pass this one on to someone else.

It's been a challenging week here and if you too, are facing difficulties or uncertainties, then I would encouraged you to read today's devotion:


The End of Our Strength
by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

How important it is for God to keep us focused on things that are unseen, for we are so easily snared by the things we can see! If Peter was ever going to walk on the water, he had to walk, not do both. If a bird is going to fly, it must stay away from fences and trees,trusting the buoyancy of its wings. And if it tries to stay within easy reach of the ground, it will never fly very well.

God had to bring Abraham to the end of his own strength and let him see that with his own body he could do nothing. He had to consider his own body "as good as dead" (Heb. 11:12) and then trust God to do all the work. When he looked away from himself and trusted only God, he became "fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised" (Rom. 4:21).

This is what God is teaching us, and He has to keep results that are encouraging away from us until we learn to trust Him without them. Then He loves to make His Word as real to us in actuality as it is in our faith. --A. B. Simpson

I do not ask that He must prove
His Word is true to me,
And that before I can believe
He first must let me see.
It is enough for me to know
It's true because He says it's so;
On His unchanging Word I'll stand
And trust till I can understand.--
E. M. Winters


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then He loves to make His Word as real to us in actuality as it is in our faith. So true!

Earlier in the week there was a possibility of Ashleigh's husband John leaving immediately for Iraq. There was uncertainty as we waited to find out what was going on. We prayed and God chose to keep John home for now.

On Wednesday evening I found out my mother needs to have an angioplasty with a stint put in. My mom will be in the hospital overnight, so I told her I would come to Alabama to be with her. If you think about it, please be praying for my mom. She was going to call today to schedule the procedure.

Yesterday morning I had a routine mammogram. Afterward, I left the office and ran some errands. A few hours later while driving home, I received a phone call from a very kind woman, informing me that the radiologist found what looks like a "dense mass" and that it's "probably nothing", but they want me to come back in for another mammogram. Sensing the worry in my voice, she told me to "please try not to worry or panic--we see this all the time and it usually turns out to be nothing". Okay. I'll try not to panic. Umm, yeah. I had pulled off the freeway and immediately called Rande. We prayed and agreed while the waiting until my second test will be hard, we must stand on the promises found in God's Word and the Truth that we know. And that is this:

That God is faithful (Lamentations 3:23, 1 Corinthians 1:9). He is a very present help in time of need (Psalm 46). He is my refuge in time of fear (Psalm 91 ). We can rejoice, even in the midst of our trials, because He IS God and He hears our prayers and gives peace "which passeth all understanding" (Phil. 4:4-7). None of this takes the Lord by surprise (Psalm 139) and we can trust Him to work this out for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28). And my favorite verse when facing difficulties:

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness..." 2 Corinthians 12:9

So now you can see why the devotion for today was perfect for me and I hope it was an encouragement to you too. I don't know what is ahead (my appointment is next Wednesday). We are praying that whatever the radiologist saw on the film will indeed be "nothing". I am praying I can go to be with my mom when she has her procedure. And I am laying it all at His feet...

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Blessings to you all and may you have a wonderful weekend!! : )

Thank You!

A few weeks ago Haus Frau at Lula's Hardt graciously bestowed this lovely Nice Matters Award upon me--thank you so very much! Any niceness you see in me through my blog is truly the Lord Jesus living in me and to Him be the glory! : )

I had a hard time finding consistent "rules" for passing on the award to others--there are many variations. So I am not going to play by the rules, because I am not sure what they are! Which actually is fine with me, because while I am honored to receive these sweet awards, it's always so difficult to then choose people to pass the award on to, when all of you mean so much to me!

So I'm passing this award on to all of you who stop by my little corner of the blog-o-sphere and whom I've gotten to know by stopping by yours--you are all some of the nicest ladies I've met (even if it's not in person!). I appreciate you and thank the Lord for each one of you! : )

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Remodeling Update...

Well, we are getting closer to the end of our remodel--finally. After 2 1/2 years, we are more than ready to be done! It's been a really long adventure and one that Rande and I decided we will never do again. Never. And I can really say it--never! : )

Rande and I are not fix-it type of people. That's why when we decided to remodel our home, we hired a contractor to handle it. We knew when we started there would be delays, but we never thought 2 1/2 years later, we'd still be living with most of our stuff in storage. We are tired. Very tired. We've been so blessed by those who have come along side of us to help finish the job and even though we aren't fix-it type of people, I'm very proud of my husband and the fact that he's learned to hang doors, do some electrical work and this week, install bathroom cabinets.

Ahh, the bathroom cabinets. They were special ordered from the big home improvement store (you know, the one where the employees wear orange aprons) the first week in June--just before my surgery. We were told it would take three weeks (the cabinets were for two bathrooms). Well, we just received them last week. They kept coming in damaged and had to be re-ordered (3 times). Crazy, I know. And it's because of this and other delays we've experienced, that after a long talk, Rande and I decided to hold off on remodeling the kitchen right now (we've put new lighting, flooring, paint, ect...). We put new counter tops in seven years ago and bought new appliances then, so it's fine. We just don't have the stamina to keep going. We need a break--like a two or three year break.

We are hoping (Lord willing) to be finished by Thanksgiving. We still have a lot of work to do on the bathrooms, some more painting and the flooring throughout the house, but I'm getting excited about putting our home back together and decorating. Soon. Very soon! : )


Fun Times...

We had a great time at the bluegrass festival this past weekend. It's always so good to see our "bluegrass friends" and spend time listening to great music. The weather was perfect--until Sunday morning when it poured rain for about two hours. It was actually sort of fun because the Gospel hour was held under a parachute covering, which made it feel more intimate, as everyone crowded in to stay dry. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:


Because we didn't get to the festival until Friday, we had to camp in the "boonies".


Troy saying, "Get me out of this stroller!!".

Cuteness!


Lighthouse Bluegrass Band--sharing the Gospel through bluegrass music


Troy was also part of the entertainment, as he danced to the music.

I'm gonna get you!

More cuteness!

Zach (playing the fiddle) jammin' with friends...

Friday, August 24, 2007

We're Off!


Well, this bluegrass-lovin' family is off to another festival!

We're heading to San Diego for one of our favorite bluegrass festivals of the year. (You can go here to see exactly where we'll be.) And because it's in San Diego, that means we'll be seeing Ashleigh, John and our precious little Troy. (That's the best part of all!) It's going to be a great weekend of music and being with family and friends.

The camper is loaded up and my guys are ready...so we're off!

Have a great weekend everyone!! : )




Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wanna see something really cute?

Then you have to go to Ashleigh's blog and see the pictures of Troy's first visit to his Grandpa's fire station! I know I'm Troy's Grammie and my Fireman's wife, so I'm obviously quite biased. But I can't help it, the pictures are really cute! : )

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Happenings...

Thank you all for your prayers regarding Zach and his strep throat. He is doing MUCH better! In fact, after a two week break from his fiddle (due to the week at camp and then being sick), he's playing as I write this. I sure have missed that sound! It's a good thing he's practicing though, because tonight he starts up with the orchestra he plays in and he's expected to have last session's songs in tip-top shape.

The beginning of orchestra marks the beginning of getting back into the swing of things for the new school year. I've been busy today getting things organized for our homeschool group that Rande and I coordinate. Paper work, phone calls, planning field trips and Moms Nite's--it's all coming together. I've also been emailing back and forth with my niece as we plan a baby shower for Ashleigh. It's been a busy, but very productive day. I like that. : )

My plan (Lord willing, of course) is to spend the next few days getting our school year planned. It's so different doing this now that I have an older student, compared to when my kids were younger. It's actually so much easier now! We include Zach in much of the planning, as we did with Ashleigh when she was in school. We'll go over the courses he's doing (some we require and then his chosen electives) and the standards/grading for each course, then he'll figure out his own schedule (more of a routine) for each day. This works out best, because he knows what works for him to balance out his academics and his music in order to get it all done each day.

It's going to be a different year for Zach. Ashleigh isn't as close as she's been in the past, and his two best friends are leaving for college and the Marine Corps. When I think about all that, it makes me a little sad for him, but I also know that the Lord is faithful and will use it for good in Zach's life.

It's also an exciting time too--we've been talking a lot about different colleges, SAT's and realizing Zach is in the final stretch of his homeschooling years. We have no idea what the Lord has in store for him, but we know it will be good! : )

I do hope you all are having a good Monday! Don't you just love Mondays?! I sure do!

**ETA: Some of you have asked how my stress test went. It went very well and the preliminary results show no blockages. (Thank you, Lord!) I will need to go back in to discuss all the findings with the doctor, but so far, it seems to just be my heart arrhythmia and nothing more. : )

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sick-y-ness...

My baby sixteen year old son is sick.

He came home from camp last Saturday with what we thought was just a hoarse throat from yelling and screaming all week ::smile::. He went to church on Sunday, saying he felt fine. But by Monday morning, he was coughing, congested, headache, fever (sounds like a NyQuil commercial, huh?) and just felt lousy.

I loaded him up with medicine, fluids and as much chicken noodle soup and applesauce as he would eat (which wasn't much). Tuesday he still felt horrible. By Wednesday his fever was gone, but he was still congested and his throat was still hurting. He felt awful and couldn't do anything but stay in bed.

Zach hasn't been this sick in a long, long time. He isn't one to want to lay in bed for days when he's sick. His "really sick" means he might be down a day or two--but that's it. I started thinking maybe this wasn't just a bad cold or the flu. Maybe we should take him to the doctor? I talked to my dearest, bosom friend Beth-mother of 6-and I talked to my dear friend Pam, who is the mother of 8 (her youngest-a girl-born just two weeks ago today!) and asked if they thought I should take Zach to the doctor. This wasn't a matter of insurance (thankfully, we have great medical insurance), it's just that it's been so long since I had a really sick child, I wasn't sure if we should wait it out or take him to the doctor. Both of my dear friends, mothers extraordinaire that they are, thought it might be strep throat and said it might be a good idea to get it checked out.

We ended up taking him to the doctor yesterday afternoon. Actually, Rande took him because I was an hour away having a three hour stress test for my heart. So...turns out Zach has a bad case of strep throat. He's on a course of antibiotics and gargling with salt water (fun, fun!). Poor guy! I just feel awful for him!

I also wanted to tell you all I'm sorry that I am so behind on my blog reading/commenting. Zach has had the laptop in his room all week and honestly, until I thoroughly disinfect it, I don't want to touch it! ::smile:: Our regular computer sits on a makeshift desk (due to our remodel) and it's not the most comfortable place to sit and read for long periods of time. But I'm trying to get around and see what's going on with y'all--I feel so out of it when I don't know!

Happy Friday everyone! May you have a blessed weekend!! : )

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

She's Back!

For those of you who are interested...

Ashleigh's blog is up and running again! You can go here to find out what's happening in her little corner of the blog-o-sphere. : )

Monday, August 13, 2007

Checkin' In...

Hi everyone!

I'm sorry I haven't posted or commented much these past few days. Honestly, I just haven't had the energy to do much of anything--except to keep my home running. I did go to church yesterday, which was wonderful. Our pastor and his lovely wife are on an Alaskan cruise this week, so Pastor Watkin's father-in-law preached yesterday. Bro. George and his wife are like family to us, so not only was it a blessing to hear him preach, but it was nice spending time with them too.

Zach came home from camp totally tired, but totally blessed and with fresh motivation to keep on keeping on--for the Lord. The Holy Spirit did a wonderful work in Zach's life this week, as well as the young men in his cabin. I know God answered this mother's prayer, and I am thankful! : ) The bummer is that now Zach is sick--he's been coughing and running a fever all day. Poor guy!

I'm sure some of you are wondering how Ashleigh and her little family are adjusting to their new home (she should have her blog up and running again soon). Well--they are doing GREAT!! Once again, the Lord has been so faithful to answer prayer and the transition has gone so smoothly! They love their new house, they are making friends and they even joined their new church yesterday. They were going to try out a couple of other churches, but honestly, there was no need. Coastline Baptist Church is where the Lord wants them to be and they are jumping right in! Another neat blessing is now Ashleigh lives close to two of her dearest friends, so she is able to see them MUCH more often. Believe me, we miss not seeing them all the time. But, this is where God has them for now and at least it's only two hours away and not clear across the country!

As for me--well, I'm still having the chest pain, although today it was much better. I am supposed to have a stress test done, but was having a difficult time getting into see a cardiologist that wasn't on vacation. Neither Rande nor I, felt it was a good idea to wait 2 weeks. So after talking to different people and praying, I was able to get an appointment with a highly recommended cardiologist. I am scheduled for a three hour nuclear stress test on Thursday.

I'll be honest with you. I have been a tad bit discouraged the last few days regarding all these health issues. And I have felt bad about being discouraged because I know others who suffer daily with illnesses or other health issues. But for someone who usually only sees the doctor for yearly exams, this past year I've seen more doctors, been to more hospitals, had more issues--than ever before! In fact, I started this blog (exactly one year ago tomorrow) while I was in bed recovering from what would be the first of many hospital visits. But after the messages I heard yesterday at church and time spent this morning reading Psalms--I can see God's hand in all of this and I am encouraged by what He is doing in me through these trials. And it's not just me--but God is doing a work in my family too. Jesus is faithful. He is good. All the time.

So that's the happenings around here! I hope you are all having a good week so far! And thank you again for your prayers! Hugs to you!! : )

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Never a dull moment around here...

I'm telling you--sometimes it seems like it's always something....

After a wonderful lunch and spending time with Ashleigh, John and Troy at the park yesterday (they had come up here to take care of some things), I started having sharp chest pains. At first I tried to ignore them, but after two hours, I called the cardiologist I had seen back in April (when I was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia). Of course they told me to go right to the ER. I did not feel like I was having a heart attack and I wasn't panicked, so I drove myself (Rande was working and Ashleigh and her family had already left).

To make a long story short, they ended up admitting me! As thankful that I was for the fact the doctor wanted to monitor my heart, I wanted to cry at the thought of another hospital stay. Rande could not leave work because there was no one to relieve him, so Ashleigh came back up to stay with me until I got settled in my room. After blood work and other tests, the doctor released me this afternoon and I need to follow up with the cardiologist on Monday. He thinks it's either the arrhythmia or something going on with muscles around my heart. We are thankful the Lord answered our prayers and that it's nothing serious and that I got to come home today!

I feel totally fine otherwise, but I'm going to stay home from church tonight. It's been a long 24 hours!

I hope everyone is having a good week! Looking forward to catching up with you! : )

Monday, August 6, 2007

Nothing Like Being Spontaneous!

Thanks to everyone for your sweet comments regarding my adoption story--and all the birthday wishes for Rande and I. Y'all are the best!

Rande just got home from work and we had a long list of things to do today....

But the weather is absolutely gorgeous (it actually feels like fall, which for the desert in August, is unheard of!). Zach left for teen camp at Camp Ironwood this morning--so Rande and I are ditching the list of "things to do" and heading to the local mountains for the day! We're taking our dog and my camera and we're driving the Jeep with the top off. Woohoo!

So I'll see y'all later! Happy Monday!! : )

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Another Birthday!



Yep, our birthdays are only one day apart--which for us means, for one day we are the same age! But today is Rande's birthday, so he is officially the older one now! : )
I want to wish a great big Happy Birthday to my best friend and my love!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Somethin' I've Been Meaning to Tell You...

I've been wanting to write this post since I began blogging almost a year ago. I've wanted to let y'all in on this part of my life because it's such a big part of me--of who I am today.

And yet...it's such a balancing act when blogging. We try to be real and transparent as we share our lives with each other, at the same time, trying to be cautious with the details because the bloggy world is so public.

But now it's time to share with you, my bloggy and real-life friends, a little story about me. (Actually, it's not little, it's quite long!) And because my story begins exactly 41 years ago today--now seems as good a time as any. : )

****
Forty-one years ago a little baby girl was born in a hospital overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in Orange County, California. After the birth, the baby girl was immediately taken from her mother and placed in the hospital nursery to be cared for until her adoptive parents came to take her home two days later.

You see, the baby girl's birth mother was only 18 years old. She was young, unmarried and living on her own. The birth father was a surfer from Australia and his only concern at the time was to follow the call of the ocean and find the perfect wave. It was 1966 and there weren't a lot of options for unwed mothers. She knew she couldn't raise a child on her own--and she couldn't go back home. I'm sure she could have found a doctor that would have rid her of the predicament she found herself in, but instead she chose to give her baby life. And I am thankful she did--because that baby girl was me.

"I will praise thee [God]; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works;
and that my soul knoweth right well."
Psalm 139:14


My parents (I will refer to my adoptive parents as well, my parents ::smile:: and my birth mother as "F") took me home two days after I was born and raised me as if I had been their very own from day one--because in their eyes I was a special gift from God, chosen just for them. And when I was six years old, they told me about my adoption. At first I was a little upset and confused, but I will never forget my mom taking me in her arms and assuring me that while she hadn't "carried me in her tummy", she had "carried me in her heart" long before I'd been born.

The fact I was adopted was never anything we hid, but it wasn't something we talked a lot about. There was no need to--honestly, none of us thought much about it. I wasn't overly curious about my birth parents and even when I was going through my rebellious teen years and my home life was not the greatest--I never thought, "These people are not my real parents!". Never.

I remember once when I was a teenager, a friend who was also adopted, telling me she just had to find her birth parents because she felt her life would be incomplete until she did. She said it was like the missing piece from a puzzle. While I could understand and respect her feelings, I just didn't feel that way. I was content with not knowing about my birth parents. Even when I found my adoption papers a few years earlier and my birth mother's name was right in front of me, I didn't have a big curiosity. But I did remember her name. Which was a good thing because years later, somehow those papers were lost.

My 16th birthday was the first time I remember actually giving much thought about my birth mother. Sixteen was a milestone birthday--I wondered if she ever thought about the baby she had given up sixteen years earlier. Did she think about me every year on August 1st? I mean, surely you wouldn't forget the day you gave birth to a baby, right? I wondered if I looked like her--or did I look like my birth father? These were just passing thoughts though. I was sixteen and had other, more pressing things to think about--like my social life. : )

I got older, got married and had my first baby--a girl! As Rande and I marvelled at our precious little girl, Ashleigh, I couldn't help but think about my birth mother. I couldn't imagine how hard it would be to give birth and then hand over my baby to someone else. For the first time, I had compassion for the woman who gave birth to me and the sacrifice she made.

Ashleigh was very sick her first few months of life. The question of family health history came up time and time again. Of course, I had no health history. My parents (divorced by this time) both suggested maybe we should look into getting some information--not only for Ashleigh, but for me and any other children we would have. My mom and dad both said they would support me if I wanted to find my birth parents, but I knew they were saying that because it was the right thing to say. There was no doubt it would be very hard for them. But it also scared me. It would like opening a can of worms. So I just let it go and went on with my life.

Fast forward to May of last year--by this time we had 15 year old Zach and Ashleigh had just given birth two months earlier to our first grandchild. Both of my children, at different times, had expressed curiosity about my birth parents. We know a lot about my mom's side of the family--they have a great southern heritage and I am proud to be a part of that family--at the same time, there was that little pang of reality that there was another history. A blood history.

So with the birth of Troy, Ashleigh's curiosity about her birth grandparents grew. One day, out of the blue, she called me on my cell phone as I was driving Zach somewhere:

"You were born in _____, right? At _____ Hospital, right?"

"No, it was _____. Why?"

"Because I was just searching online to see if anyone is looking for you."

Ashleigh was filling out my information (and my birth mother's name) on some random adoption search site she had found. I was a little apprehensive about her doing this, but what were the chances of her finding any information? I mean, I'd known people who had spent years and a lot of money to find their birth parents or the child they had given up for adoption. It wasn't that easy.

Thirty minutes later, Ashleigh called me back, breathless:

"Mom. I just got two emails back from this adoption search site. They have all the information on your birth mother--her date of birth, when she got married and her husband's name, how many children she has and their birth dates. And your birth father's name. And mom--there is a phone number."

I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. My heart was pounding. Think. I had to think--and pray.

"Ashleigh, who are these people? How did they get this information and so quickly? And for free!? How do we know they are legitimate? I really think you need to email them back and ask them some questions."

She emailed them and found out they were indeed legitimate. They had full access to public records and because they are only interested in helping birth parents and adoptees find each other, they do it for free. Amazing.

Okay. Now I have to be honest here. We were freaking out. Totally. By this time Zach and I were home, so I called Rande who of course, was working. Now he was freaking out. John was at work too, so Ashleigh was keeping him informed. We were all freaking out!

Ashleigh asked me if I wanted her to call the phone number. I just didn't know. It was so scary--so big. So I thought about it for a second and said, "Sure, go ahead and call." As soon as we hung up, the reality of what I had just said hit me like a ton of bricks. What was I thinking?! Did I really want to do this? I had spent my whole life not knowing anything except my birth mother's name--and being okay with it--to finding out I had siblings and my birth father's name. It was almost too much to bear emotionally.

As I waited to hear back from Ashleigh, I started searching the internet myself to find anything I could. Almost immediately, I found pictures of one of my siblings. It a strange thing to go through life never looking like anyone--so to see a picture of someone I was related to by blood was amazing. Next I found pictures and information on my birth father. Remember I had mentioned at the beginning of my story that he was a surfer from Australia? Well, it turns out he's a well known Australian surfer from the 60's. More about that later.

Ashleigh called me back and said she called the number, but the answering machine picked up, so she just hung up. She thought it was a land line phone, but it was actually a cell phone. She called the number again 20 minutes later, still no answer. But this time, after she hung up, she got a call back. The woman on the other line wanted to know if Ashleigh had just called her cell phone number:

"Umm, yes. Yes, I did. Hi. My name is Ashleigh and you might think this is a very strange question and that I'm crazy. But did you give birth to a baby girl on August 1st, 1966 at _____ Hospital?"

Silence. Dead silence.

Finally, "Maybe. Why are you asking?"

"Because if so, that baby girl is my mom."

At that point "F" (as I'll call my birth mother) asked who Ashleigh was again and how did she get this information. Ashleigh explained it all and then F admitted that yes, she did indeed give birth to a baby girl on that date, at that hospital. Then the tears began to flow.

Can you imagine? I cannot imagine how she must of felt getting that phone call. I know now that she was shocked beyond belief. She truly thought it would never happen.

From this point on in the story, I need to be more vague, as to protect the privacy of everyone involved. There are people in F's family that do not know she gave a baby up for adoption--and she has not felt the timing right to tell them yet. My mother (my dad passed away in 2003) knows about all of this, but it's a very sensitive subject, as you can imagine.

After the initial phone conversation between Ashleigh and F, they talked a few times over the next week, before F and I actually talked. I'm so glad it happened this way! It gave me time (and I am sure F) to let it all sink in. Honestly, I was a wreck emotionally. I was confused by how I felt--all those years of not really wanting to know about my background--and now I had a huge desire to know everything I could find out. I could see the Lord's hand in all of it--obviously this was not a "random" site Ashleigh had found--God led her to that site. But it was still difficult to navigate through my many emotions. I also had to figure out how and when to tell my mom about F.

I can tell you this: God is faithful! In the year that has passed, F and I have become very good friends. We talk and email often. We are a lot alike, which is very interesting to both of us. It's also pretty amazing the ways in which our lives have actually intersected through the years (through people and places). F is a wonderful person and I care about her very much. But she is not my mother. My mom is my mother. As F has said, it was my mom who was there when I scraped my knee or when needed a hug. And my mom says she will be forever grateful to F for giving her the opportunity to be a mother. Each one--my mom and F have a place in my heart and life, but they cannot replace each other. Does that make sense?

F and I have not met in person (but I've seen lots of pictures!). Since she wasn't looking to be "found" and out of respect, I feel like the relationship needs to go at her pace. I truly have no expectations and leave it up to the Lord and F as to the timing of things. I have the information I wanted--medical, pictures, ect.... So if things remain as they are, I'm ok with it.

Now about my birth father: I have not contacted him, because I have felt it was enough just dealing with my relationship with F. However, I think the time may be coming soon. I am praying about it. I was able to find information on him through the internet (surfing articles, ect...) but only one decent picture. Well, last January Rande and I were in Barnes and Noble each looking through our respective sections of the store. Now, I have to tell you this--we dated in high school, Rande surfed and we hung out with the surfing crowd and practically lived at the beach. We both love the ocean and it's something we have missed greatly since moving to the desert. Anway, Rande has always had an interest in surfing photography, so he was looking at the surfing magazine section at B and N. He came across a magazine and recognized the name on the cover--it was my birth father! Inside was a 14 page article (with lots of pictures) on the life of my birth father! Can you believe that? Needless to say, we bought all the copies they had of the magazine! Through the article (and a picture) I also found out I have another half sibling.

Then this past Sunday, after going to church with Ashleigh and John, we went to lunch at the beach. Across the street from the cafe where we had lunch was a surfing museum, so we headed over after we finished eating. Well, guess what we found? Yep, more information and pictures of my birth father!

Isn't God so good? I am amazed at how He has led us on this journey. And it's still evolving. That is why I am completely trusting Him and the way it all turns out. Only He knows.

So on this, my 41st birthday, it is a blessing to know that yes, my birth mother did think about that baby girl each year on August 1st. : )