Thursday, May 31, 2012

Life, Love, and 15 years of marriage

Where in the world has the time gone? I met Scott 18 years ago this week. We were both skinny kids in college, not knowing how God was going to write the intertwining story of our lives and use us to testify of His goodness. Today is our 15 year wedding anniversary!

Funny how with each passing year, we are taking on more of each other's personality traits. We have always worked good together as a team. Scott often talks to the kids about our family as "Team Crawford". We are definitely stronger and better together than apart. Scott is my best friend and love of my life. Words cannot express my gratitude for all Scott does sacrificially for our family.

We have been home with Jansen and Luke for 3 weeks now. We have had some incredibly wonderful times and some not-so-wonderful times. The boys fit right in to our family. Granted, they are louder and more rambunctious than we were used to, but the attachment and love is already visible and we are all growing together. God has miraculously completed our family with the addition of these two little ones.

The girls finished school on last Friday, so we are excited to be home more and are going to the neighborhood pool every day. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the girls have been with their little brothers. They have played with them and loved on them. They have done more chores than ever before. They have shown grace and love in a way that is an example of how I should live. And they have been a testimony to their friends, neighbors, and classmates to God's love for the fatherless. I am so proud to be their momma and cannot wait to see how God continues to work in their lives.

We have been to the pediatrician. Luke weighs 20 lbs at 28 months old and Jansen weighs 28 lbs at 47 months. They are teeny tiny, but are cute as a button. Early intervention comes tomorrow to evaluate Luke for services and we have many medical appts lined up for the boys in June. Luke will have an EKG, hearing tests, bloodwork, and probably an MRI, as well as seeing the ENT specialist at Brenners. Luke is making great sounds and a lot of baby babbling. He is such a pleasant baby. We pray that if it is the Lord's will, he will be able to get some hearing and learn to speak. Jansen has some speech delays that will be evaluated, as well.

We have been blessed by family, friends, and neighbors in so many ways since we have been home. This has been such a help as we transition. Visits from parents nearby and out of state, a welcoming party at the airport, childcare for the girls, transportation of the girls, gifts, meals, emails, calls, and prayers are just some of the ways we have been cared for. For this we are forever grateful and thankful. You know who you are. God knows, too, and I pray each one of you are blessed in a special way for being the hands and feet of Jesus.

A special thank you goes out to Jim Woodward, Vickie Turner, and Vonnie Bishop from Christian Adoption Services who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help us navigate this new world. A special shout out also goes to Nikki Esquivel and Laura Cross who have shown so much love and support to our family and have sweet blessings from the Philippines in their families, as well.

In just a few weeks, we will have the privilege of seeing face to face our sweet adoptive momma friend, Tanya Robinson, in the U.S. visiting from Italy. What an unexpected, joyous surprise!

How can one count all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on lowly me?

Jo Anna

Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message) "I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Challenge for Adoptive Dads « Empowered To Connect

We love the work that Karyn Purvis and the Monroes are doing for adoptive families. Tapestry is one of the best and most influential adoption and orphan care ministries in the country. If you don't utilize the Empowered to Connect resources, you need to. Michael Monroe throws down here:
A Challenge for Adoptive Dads « Empowered To Connect

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One week home

Well, we have been home one week and are getting into a regular routine. The boys are sleeping better and the hyperactive impulsive behavior is happening less often. Jansen is learning to listen when he hears his name and is exhibiting less jealousy towards his brother. Maybe boy toddlers are different than girls, or I am just older but the energy they possess is unlimited! There is never a dull moment in the Crawford house! We have found that rice, soup, pasta, and chicken are the most popular foods. The 4 most popular phrases used by Jansen at least 1,000 times a day are (in no particular order): What??? Where??? Huh??? Doot dat??? (what's that?) I am learning deep breathing techniques and to cherish my 5 minutes of silence in the bathroom! Luke makes a lot of baby babbling sounds and is a very happy little guy. He does, however, spit out any food he doesn' like. That's all for now! Jo Anna

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Brothers & Sisters in Christ

Today we had a unique opportunity to worship at Village Baptist Church here in the Philippines. The people were so welcoming to us! Scott was asked to give testimony of how the Lord has called all of us as Christians to care for orphans and widows, and specifically, how we have come to adopt Luke and Jansen.
The boys did amazingly well yesterday and today, even though we have separated them from all of their usual surroundings and given them new experiences. They have adjusted reasonably well despite our disrupting their schedules and routines. We love these little cocoa-skinned guys, and so do their sisters (FaceTime has allowed them to meet in cool)! We specifically would like to thank James and Margie Gordon for connecting us with their friends Dante Velasco and Manuel Resultay here in the Philippines. The coordination of transportation has been an amazing gift. These men have cared for us in so many ways and have been true brothers in Christ. We will never be able to repay them with the kindness we have been shown both by them and their amazing friends. We were also treated to an amazing meal at a local chinese restaurant and had the privilege of meeting Manuel's wife Joy and their daughter Hannah.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Famous Quotes from Our Adoption Experience

- "I am putting my foot down on the 'poop'" (referring to J's remarkable frequency of doing #2)

- "Can you 'Febreze' a child?"

- "What does *insert Filipino pronunciation of words* mean?"

- "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger...(repeat)"

- "I don't know why I said that, he can't hear me" (no disrespect to the deaf/HOH community, but you have no idea how many times Jo Anna and I caught ourselves talking to 'Lukas' (as we discovered he is known to all) despite his not even looking at us

- "We need to post a prayer request NOW for the plane ride home. I seriously cannot take 20 visits to those bathrooms. "

- "I feel like I (Scott) already need therapy"

- (last but not least, after our harrowing experience at the Ninoy Aquino Int'l Airport last evening) "How many inspections does it take to see there is no bomb in my shoes? Next time they will have to simply reach around to their rear to pull my sandal out..."

We hope to post more soon. Right now I/we need to get a little rest before we finish up the travel part of our journey :-)


Friday, May 4, 2012

We are Parents...AGAIN!

(NOTE: Due to recent changes in the Blogger platform, our formatting is not working. Sorry!) Random thoughts from the Philippines: Greetings! We are on day 4 of parenthood to 2 toddler boys. Everyone is doing well . The boys are down for a nap, so I thought I would give a short update, first on our experience here in Manila and also on the boys: *It is hot and humid! There is a thick smog here in the city that makes the city hazy and burns your nose when outside. *Almost everyone speaks English here :) *There are many employees at each establishment/business, employees are dressed to the T, and all the decor is very well appointed and modern in style. *We have never seen such an amazing continental breakfast. Hopefully Scott will post pictures soon. The number and varieties of food were simply amazing. *Luke was called "Lukas" at the orphanage. He is such a cute little wiggle worm. He is very, very inquisitive. He is nonverbal and quiet but loves to giggle. This boy can eat. He is a master with a fork and a spoon and can chow down with the best of them! He is walking very well. He loves to play with matchbox cars and likes board books. *Jansen's smile lights up a room. He is very loud and has lots and lots of questions about anything and everything. He often talks so fast that it is hard to understand him. The most common two phrases/conversations involve 1) going potty (which is at least once an hour while awake!) and 2)cars/airplanes. He loves to play, especially with Daddy. We have gotten a glimpse of some the results of his past trauma and wounds. He is asking for us to hold him when he is scared. We are seeing him beginning to trust us to meet his needs/comfort him. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to adjust and also for our long flight back to the U.S. The 16 hour flight was almost unbearable for me--an adult! I cannot fathom how this travel and time change will affect the boys. Jo Anna