Friday, March 16, 2007

Jasper Speaks:

So, for all of you who have been asking, we are now registered at Babies 'R Us and Target. We plan on going to Wal-Mart tonight. My mind is a big mushy mess of baby junk. There is SO MUCH stuff out there. So much of it is expensive! I am really hoping we will get the stroller, car seat and crib. The crib is a big ticket item so it probably won't happen but we actually went on a gun shooting spree like we did when we got married. Registering is all about your "wishes" right?

Tonight we are going on a farewell to DINK (Double Income No Kids) date. Nothing fancy. Just dinner. Then registering. We are way too much fun!

So, we are now caught up in a whirl of "babydom". I told Kendra if we got everything we registered for, we will have to move. I asked the registry girl at Babies 'R Us if we could register for a bigger apartment. She said, "No", and didn't seem amused. Maybe she only does baby humor.

Today is the daytime parent teachers conferences. Historically this 8-12 slot is our slowest. I want to finish the book I am reading. Usually I do lesson plans but I am a little uninspired. Spring break is only four hours away. That is nice. Then it is a week off with the wife and (GULP!) kid.

We are planning on spending the day with Jackson tomorrow and Sunday. Should be fun and a good test drive. Of course we have to call the foster mom first and arrange it. Our social worker tells us she is EXTREMELY deaf so we will see how that goes. Kendra is calling from work. The whole office will hear her yelling at this sweet old lady! Classic!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jasper Speaks:

So Reality Check went really well last night. The praise team did a great job. You guys just keep getting better!

We have a half day today and then we have parent teacher's conferences until 7:00PM. Usually in the spring in our district the parents who actually come dwindles to a light trickle so I will have a lot of time to plan the rest of the year. That is good. I like to be prepared. It makes me a better teacher.

I need to say again that I love my Small Group guys. Andy sent me a very encouraging email yesterday. They all rock. It makes me proud to see all three boys so active in leadership in our group!

We think that Jackson will be coming to us on Monday. We do not know for sure but are very anxious. Tonight when I get off work, we are going to Babies 'R Us to register. That can be fun! I love using the scan gun! There are lots of things we want/need and can't afford so we will see how that works.

Being a daddy is going to be a big change. I just keep praying that God will help me be a parent like Him. I want to be loving, forgiving, and patient. As I begin this endeavor I am realizing what a great example God is for me. I am praying that years of experiencing God's love for me will translate fully into how I love Jackson. It is all still pretty surreal to me. This time next week, he will be a permanent part of our lives. It is cool, scary and wonderful all at once.

Tonight I am going to get a salad from Jack In The Box and then going to get a HUGE soda from Quick Trip. I love Quick Trip. It is a gift of God to me! MMMMMM ...


Jasper Speaks (Update):




Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Jasper Speaks:

So, here is the big life changing news. We are getting a baby boy. For keeps. He is coming to us free and clear for adoption and we will be moving forward very quickly with that. It is amazing and crazy and incredible all at once. We have chosen the name Jackson and how quickly we have fallen in love!

God has been incredible in moving in this. You see, this is the baby the agency first told us about when we were licensed about eight months ago. He was a newborn at the time and had some health issues because he was a preemie and had a birth defect with his intestines involved. Every month or so we would get an update from our social worker saying they were trying to get an "adoption staffing" together for him. An adoption staffing is when all the interested parties in the baby's life get together and review home studies and pick the family that will be the best for the baby.

The last one was on February 22. We purposely did not tell anyone about the staffing in case it fell through. We didn't want to answer a lot of "what did you find out" kind of questions. On the 22nd, we were very nervous all day as we awaited the word. I prayed a lot that God would work things out in the best interest of the baby. About 3:30 that day we got an email from our licensing worker telling us they had decided to give the baby to another family. The main reason the other family was chosen was because they had a stay at home mom.

We were really hurt and had just about given up on the whole process. If you look back at my post on February 23, like the addict I am, we had great pasta and I ate a pound of M&Ms that helped me gain four pounds overnight. But God had been teaching us a lesson for a few months that we were forced to put into action.

You see, my fascination with Facing The Giants was tested. In that movie, the main character, Grant Taylor, says time and time again, "We are going to praise God when we win and we are going to praise God when we lose". That night, after we found out the baby would be going to another family, Kendra and I prayed that prayer. Perhaps it was half hearted at that moment but by the next morning, we began to LIVE it. Though we were sad, we were praising God that He still had a great plan for our lives and the life of the baby we thought we would never know. We were doing our best to rejoice in the situation.God had taught us that He is always in control and we began living that out. We moved on with our lives and found things to praise Him for even though the child we wanted would have to wait to come later.

Last Wednesday, I opened my email in between classes. There was an email waiting from our licensing agent. She said that the family who had been chosen to take the baby had some issues and decided that they could not take him. Then she asked, "are you still interested". My heart skipped a beat and I immediately called Kendra. She hadn't received the email and when I told her what it said, she was as shocked as I was! we wrote back and said, "absolutely we are still interested". The baby's social worker was contacted and we missed church that night to meet with her.

We learned all about his background and saw a picture of him. We scheduled our first meeting with him for last night. at about 6:25 or so, Jackie and the baby arrived. She left us alone with him for an hour or so and we quickly agreed this was the one. If all goes well (and there is no reason to suspect differently) he will come to live with us early next week. The adoption will be finalized in about six months. His is beautiful. We will post pictures here after March 28, when the Termination of Parental Rights is complete. There is very little chance that the mother will contest that. God has dropped him into our lives with very little issues legally.

Please pray for us as we continue to praise God when winning and when losing. It is all part of his perfect plan. We have learned so much about God and His power and love. We have learned so much about trusting in His plan. It doesn't always end in this fashion and we are going to do our best to rejoice when things don't work in this way. But for now we are basking in the glow of a new baby boy in our lives, Jackson Grant Rains.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Jasper Speaks:

Small Group was GREAT last night. It is steadily making Monday a highlight of my week. I am still basking in the glow of D-Now. Last night we talked about how great it all went.

I am speaking at Reality Check tomorrow night. I really like the sermon. I am hoping that it will speak to everyone.

Tonight is an important night for us. More details will come. Just please pray for us for now.

My diet wasn't destroyed by D-Now. That is a great thing. I ate a little more than usual but when I got on the scale today I had lost another pound in spite of the D-Now food rush! That rocks!

I must say that I am quite the lover of Cherry Coke Zero. I would like to take stock out in the Cherry Coke Zero company. Mmmmmm ...

Yeah, small group is crazy ... wiener dog.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Jasper Speaks:

So, more woes in my school district. Our Superintendent was indicted for embezzling money into his retirement account. Fun. Oh well, in most respects it doesn't affect me. Just kinda sad is all.

This will be a short week mostly. We have Parent Teacher's Conferences on Thursday and Friday. Not a lot of parents show p for those especially in the spring. I actually take advantage of the day and get a lot of work done. I should have the rest of the school year planned and ready to go by Friday afternoon.

D-Now was really good. The Senior High Guys group was just great! I love hanging out with students! It makes my heart get all happy!

I did go home and CRASH yesterday afternoon. Ahhhh ... sweet sleeper bed! It was nice. I was completely out of it and slept more soundly than I have in a LONG time! Ahhhhh ... I like sleep. Sleep is good.

Tonight is small group. Good times! Next week is spring break! Also, good times. I like spring break!

Beautiful weather ahead this week. Betsy should leave more often!


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Jasper Speaks:

D-Now. Good. Great times. Sleeping outside. Not for Jasper. Almost froze my butt off. Then I was smart and came in an hour and a half before they all gave up. I think they only came in because the police were on to them.

Seriously a good ending Bible study. Can't wait for small group Monday. This isn't really a new thing. I love it every week. It is awesome!

Now it is time to go home and crash. I convinced Kevin to fill in for me as a greeter so I can skedaddle right after the service. Nice. I love my small group boys. More later! Gotta' run to church!