Monday, February 26, 2007

Baby Paraphenalia

  • Ok, all my mom friends out there:

I am starting to look at baby products. How in the world do you pick which things you would like to have? I don't have time to sit around reading Consumer Reports on exersaucers and bouncy seats! So how did you pick things out? Did you just guess???

I'd like to know your favorite brand/kind of each of these:



"travel system" (which I think is a carseat, stroller, carrier?)

pack and play

bouncy seat?




Thanks for your recommendations! It will help poor, clueless me. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The View From The Top

This week at work, we have been discussing a series of lessons, as yet unnamed, for Genesis, that focus on world awareness, or expanding our worldviews, or however you might choose to say it. This topic is of great interest to me. Perhaps it has prompted by our adoption. Our adoption process of researching various countries served to educate me somewhat on what was going on economically, socially, etc., in each place. Of course, my knowledge is very, very limited. But the little that I learned about places around the world, and my increasing knowledge of the state of Africa, has stirred something in me that I didn't even konw about.

Sure, I knew I would want to get informed about whatever country we ended up adopting from. First it was just for my future child's sake; I want to be able to share some of the beauty of the culture from which my child comes with him or her someday. But instead it has been something that has happened in me. God is raising my awareness of the "Bigness" of his world. I think God has used this process to hold my eyes wide open to the hurt and injustices all around me. It is so easy for each of us to assume that being a good Christian is to make our little bubble perfect.

I struggle with this. As I make my priorities out for my day, I think of how I am going to get my house clean before the devo, or how I am going to get the laundry done before my husband goes on a business trip, or how I am going to accomplish a few of the things of my list at work (I work at a church, so they are very Christian-y things on my to-do list, right?). I strive for order, for completion of the task. That is a good thing, I know, I am not saying it isn't; it's just... I don't know, I want what I do each day to extend a little beyond just me and my little circle.

I got rather sick of the overused and marketed "Prayer of Jabez" stuff in Christian stores. The whole "Enlarge my territory!" cry made me think of sales reps. But somehow those words fit what I am trying to say here. I want God to use me in the here in now, in my zip code, on my street, in the lives of my next door neighbors. But I also want him to use me in ways that outside my territory. That's why I give money to my church and organizations that are actively doing the work of God around the world. That's why Josh and I "adopted" Sandeepa, a little boy in Sri Lanka, from CCF three years ago. But these are just a start, I think. That's why I want to keep asking God to show me, to broaden my perspective and to see what is going on from his view from the top.

I feel like through all of this process God is teaching me something new (or additional is perhaps a better word) in answering the question, "What does it mean for me to be Christian?" Right now it means to love the people of Ethiopia and ponder how I can help them.

What has God been teaching you lately?

Monday, February 19, 2007

A room begins

Well, today we spent the weekend getting the baby's room started. We were somewhat prompted by the fact that it seems we are getting closer to the point of referral (us being matched with a child). We are able to view a list of families as they wait to be referred, and we are currently number 15. We began in November at number 46. The families are referred generally in order, but not necessarily. This past week several were referred that were actually close to us (in the teens), SO that definitely got me thinking I needed to get in gear. This does not mean we will get the call this week or anything, but it will likely be in the next month or two. Then we'll travel a 6-12 weeks later (hopefully more like 6!) to pick up our baby at the Care Center.

Here is the picture of the crib that Josh assembled this weekend. No mattress yet, so it looks really empty. Good job Josh! I am so glad he is good at putting things together.
I have been wanting to post a few links to blogs that I enjoy reading of others who are adopting/have adopted from Ethiopia. I thought some of you might like to see the beautiful children. See the sidebar for a few of these new links.
As I become more and more informed about Ethiopia, I find there are things I want to share with the people who happen upon my blog. I will begin putting one or two interesting links in each of posts about our adoption for sites like these:
There is a very unique blog that is basically about travel in Ethiopia. Click on the following for pictures and information about our agency's care centers there. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the center in Addis Adaba, the capital city. This is where the children who are about to be adopting are living.
Another link that interests me is that for AHOPE for Children. This is a home for children who are afflicted with HIV/AIDS. It seems to be an amazing organization. It is possible to sponsor children at the AHOPE and even to adopt them. This site would be worth a look... and a prayer for these kids.
Hope you enjoy these links.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Be Mine

I am inspired by my friend Julie who recently posted a nicely written explanation of why she loves her dear husband Charles. My husband Josh turned 30 on Saturday 2/3 and I thought a post dedicated to him was also in order, as well in honor of him being my Valentine. :)

(A few reasons) why I love Joshua Vernon West Ray:

Josh makes me laugh. This is true pretty much 24 hours a day; ok, not while sleeping, although the other night his sleep-talking was rather funny. I have always laughed at his jokes. Even when no one else does think he's funny, I do. But most of the time, other people are laughing too. We have certain ridiculous things that we say at our house that would make no sense to other people, but to me, are like side-wrenchingly funny every single time. I always wanted to marry someone who was funny, and who didn't think I was funny. This is because some guys wanted to laugh flatteringly at things I said, and let me be the funny one. NO, I did not want to be the funny one. I can be slightly witty, but not the main funny one, I said. So, Josh, well, he won that one by not thinking I was that funny.

Josh lives out his convictions. When he believes something, he is not wishywashy. He acts upon, usually immediately, or occasionally as soon as he can talk me into it. You may or may not know that Josh joined the Navy a little over a year ago. He did this because he felt convicted to do so. We are adopting a child this year. Both of us want to do this but Josh is the one who inspires me to really make active, at times risky, choices because of what we believe. These are just a couple of the examples.

Josh is always thinking about new things. Josh is an analytical person. He looks at a situation and thinks about how it could be different or better or more Christlike. I am always challenged by his ideas and it makes me think more, rather than just accept what I already think I know.

Even though my friend Buster told me that other people will not care to read this post, I think some of you might like it.

ADOPTION UPDATE: We have moved up some on the list. Still no referral, though. Thanks for praying!