Sunday, June 28, 2009

Good grief, but it is well....

I imagined this weekend going differently in my mind. Friday night we were home grilling hamburgers, I was watering plants and the kids were happily engaged with one another on the tramp. We were planning a fun weekend, a last hurrah so to speak before we got busy packing for China next week --- a day at the lake on Saturday with a paddle boat, and Sunday at Six Flags with good friends.

Accidents of course aren't planned and by their very nature change the coure of a particular moment. In an instance, our 12 year old jumped up (doing the most beautiful straddle on the planet) and came down sideways on her foot. She had the most terrified look on her face I've yet to see in one of my children and when she called my name I turned to see her foot very misplaced and flopping like a wet noodle. Doing what I do best in ER situations, I yelled for Billy. Doing what he does bes, 20 minutes later we were at the Emergency Room.

It's notable at this point to say that my 12 year old, whom I believe has the gift of intercession, prayed -- loudly -- over herself the entire car ride.....she thanked God that he was with her, that the ER was going to process her quickly, Dr's had supernatural wisdom etc. We've tried to teach our children than nothing has the power to save but the name of Jesus. We took some comfort in the fact that this lesson seemed to be sinking in. Infact, by the time we arrived in the parking lot, Victoria was calling angels to Hosanna's side and Ben was rebuking pain. "I think they've got it handled," Billy said.

In moments Hosanna was splinted, X-rayed, diagnosised and admitted to the hospital. "You've somehow gotten the best surgeon on the floor," her nurse said, "He just happened to be here."

We are heading to China in 10 days. We have summer plans. Hosanna has summer plans. I just got her father out of a brace, done with PT and off crutches for goodness sake. No one likes the thought of their child being put to sleep for surgery.

About midnight, Hosanna is settled in her hospital room (anxious, tearful and prayerful) and as comfortable as she's gonna get for the evening. Billy's decided to sleep by her side and I'm driving home to pick up Ben and Victoria -- situate them -- and be back at the hospital in the am before Hosanna goes back for the procedure. By this time, I'm tired, I'm worshipping to Chris Tomlin's "All my Hope is in You", feeling the ground rumble beneath our feet (in the emotional sense), pondering how we are on the right track, and thinking about who I can bless - what I can give - to knock the devil up side his head. Billy calls around 1am. We contemplate how we have 1 child in Germany, 1 child in China, 1 child in the hospital and 2 asleep in our bed --- maybe we are a litte over extended.

None of us really slept, but made it to the hospital just fine in the am. I look at my tearful child and attempt to speak courage into her heart, reminding her that God had answered everyone of her prayers to this point -- and these are the times where our faith really matters. I know she's grieving the loss of her summer dance and athletic programs already - I can hear it in her words. We decide to let Satan know that he will steal nothing from Hosanna, not a single good work that God has planned in advance for her. We remind Hosanna that dance and the teams she's on at New Life belong to the Lord; He'll provide wisdom.

Today, after surgery, we are safely at home. Our daughter, who is quickly growing into a beautiful, Godly young woman, is downstairs doing her Girl Time Biblestudy. She's a hardworker and will do fine with PT, making a full recovery I'm sure. Another surgery is in her all too soon future -- but she has a new level of courage -- and we've met our insurance deductible for the year!

Lots of people question how we are able to do all we do. We are hardworkers, but the truth is -- we simply have lots of help. Billys parents function as VIP's in our kids life -- and most of time it takes us, them and a few friends to run things around here. We are thankful for their help and that of good friends who without hesitation jump up and live this life with us.

God does not fail...all is well...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

13 days until China!!!

Ok, only 13 days until we leave for China!!! I sort of have a fuzzy headed feeling like there is so much to do and I don't know where to start. Or maybe it's that life as we know it is about to forever change. Whatever the reason for my fuzzy head -- the shopping is done, the TTD lists are whittled down and we are definately ready to get on with the show! In the meantime, what we are choosing to do is spend time relaxing and enjoying the four kids currently in our care who are out of school for the summer! And what a summer it's been!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rainbow over the Ramsdell home...

This is actually my neighbors house, but that rainbow went clear across the street to my house! It just didn't turn out so obvious in the pic.

Last Day of School

Ok, so here's a good story. This was going to be different summer for us. So...I wanted to start it off in a way my kids would remember. Thus, the water balloon war.

Billy and I spent the morning (and I do mean the entire morning) filling up 250 water balloons. If you have not done this in awhile -- it takes longer than you might remember! When the kids got home from school, I asked them to go sit on the back deck for a "Last Day of School Picture". I counted 1, 2, 3 and when they all said, "Cheese", Billy started drowning them with the balloons. They were truly surprised and throwing things at one another seemed to be quite therapeutic for our family!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thoughts on sending my child 1/2 way across the world....

This morning at 6am Billy helped drive our oldest daughter, Elizabeth Joy, and 29 other New Lifers to the Denver International Airport. I was secretly thrilled when they asked if Billy would drive them. I just felt better knowing her father would see her off as far as he could.

She couldn't be more excited. She enjoys hard work and being a member of a team. She is a leader and likes to push herself. She thives on adventure. Lizzie's extroverted, friendly nature makes her easy to get along with, and a friend to everyone. God's favor on her life opens doors for her. She talks about becoming a missionary. Her words were, "Mom, I just like the idea that the entire job is about growing the kingdom of God." I quietly think, "Whose child is this?"

I couldn't be more nostalgic. Yesterday, we looked at Elizabeth's baby pics as a matter of fact. I remember being pregnant with her like it was all too recent. Billy and I were only married about 5 months when I took the test. Positive. He was at work -- making pizzas -- about 30 miles away. So naturally, the first person I told was a close college girlfriend. We immediately drove to surprise Billy with the tinest pair of athletic socks the world had ever seen. This was Billy and I's "signal". It was a Friday night -- and Pizza Hut was slammed. I'm not sure Billy could even make it out of the kitchen, but somehow I got the point across.

On June 22, 1995 (14 years ago, today) -- at 12:30pm -- Elizabeth Joy Ramsdell entered the world. She's been on the go ever since.

For 9 months we had prayed for a name. We believed that God saw this child and her future. We believed that God knew what He had to say about her -- and her name would be a sign, a source of faith, a vision for God's origional purpose for her life. It would reflect the way He saw her. Elizabeth means 'Consecreated and Set Apart for the Lord'. For the past 14 years we've prayed and reminded ourselves, her, Heaven and hell that she was created for God's purpose and plan...she is set do that which God would have her do. She is a "joy" to her Heavenly Father, us and others. We believe God is opening doors for her to bring joy to the impoverished around the world as well.

I've always had a suspicion that one day, her name (consecrated and set apart to the Lord) was going to have to mean something to me as a mother as well. So today, I open my own heart and mind up to what God is calling my daughter to do. I release her to accomplish the good work God has planned in advance. I also smile, bc in a very little while, I'll call her dad's cell -- just to make sure he got her on the plane safely. We'll continue to hold her hand and walk beside her as long as we can. ;)

Life in the Fast Lane....

This past week has been a series of amazing celebrations for the Ramsdell Clan. Some may speculate that we didn't plan very well. (June 18) First, our 15th wedding anniversary! I'm so blessed to be married to Billy. It was been a journey that I couldn't have imagined. On Thursday, he picked me up and took me to a quaint picnic in the middle of a rose garden in a beautiful part of Colorado -- complete with my favorite sandwhich, wine and ice cream! It was wonderfully special and I totally loved it! We ended the day with Billy's parents and a Chili Dog at a local ice cream parlor. Perfect.

Next we celebrated Elizabeth's 14 bday (actually on June 22)! A beautiful day at the water park and gourmet burgers at Red Robin were the ticket. She requested her own camera and loved the red one we picked out. About 10 male waiters came over to sing her a happy bday song -- and Billy loudly informed them all that she was only turning 14. She's grown into this amazing young woman and we are sooooo excited about her future. Tomorrow morning at 6am she'll leave for 10 days in Germany. She can't wait.

Celebration number 3, Father's Day (June 21). So far -- this has been a quiet day soon to be filled with steak, car shows and Oreo cookies.

In the midst of it all, we've finished shopping for both international trips, Germany/China. We meet a 2 1/2 year old (same age as Eli) and were shocked how small they are! We've bought plane tickets, attended church events, went swimming, shown the house, and set up toys and a bed for our newest family member.

We are LOVIN this summer!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Today, we have plane tickets in hand! We leave at 6am on July 8th from Colorado Springs airport! We will be going through San Fransico, California to Beijing, China. We tour a couple of days and then fly to the capital city of Eli's province in Henan. We hope to get Eli on July 13th. We fly to Guangzhou and then to Hong Kong where we'll leave for the US on July 24th. Bc we'll be "flying back in time" -- we'll arrive home at 4pm on July 24th. Can't wait!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Father's Heart - SPREAD THE WORD

Billy Here --

Hello everyone, as we prepare to journey accross the big ocean, please help us by doing a few things.

1. Spread the word about the blog. If you know others who know us, let them know about our journey and send them the link. The love we feel for Eli and other Orphans is contageous.

2. Pray for us. We need intercessors to stand in the gab for us over the next month and 1/2. We will be sending our daughter to Germany this weekend then preparing to leave for China over the next few weeks. There are many exciting and demanding things going on in the RamFam so please pray for our Protection, Energy, Health/Safety, Finances and Wisdom to make the adoption work for Eli and glorify God along the way.

3. Check us out on Facebook as well. Shanna is up to date and I am not, but we will keep some version of pictures and updates posted.

I have a longer blog for later, but for now, thanks for your support and love.

The Father's Heart,
Billy Ramsdell

Monday, June 8, 2009

Watch Out China, the Ramsdell's are on their way!!!

Today, we got a phone call from the adoption agency. They have our Travel Approval in hand!!! They would like us to fly out on June 24th, but we've found ourselves in need of delaying just a bit. So, barring any problems with our appointment at the U.S. Consulate, we will fly out July 8th and be gone for 16 days!

We are surrounded by lots of people in various stages of adoption right now. Many times it has felt like we were fighting on behalf of our little boys destiny -- trying to get him home. My friend Jamie (a fellow adoptor, courageous and true) said that lots of people think that adoption is all teddy bears and hearts ---- really, it's mostly blood, guts and glory. I'm sure that's what Jesus would say too. I certainly couldn't agree more. Tonight, I find myself with renewed energy to fight awhile longer to bring Eli home.

Count down to China......30 days.......