This week the oldest of these two crazy kids, is able to start attending youth group at our church.
All this week and next Louis is up at church all day for confirmation camp. They do a lot of class time, and then they also do some fun group building activities with the older youth kids. Can you pray for my heart... it is a mix of weird emotions. Our youth group is made up of kids 7th-12th grade. My personal opinion is that there is a HUGE difference in maturity and what kids KNOW when they are going into 7th grade (especially a home schooled 7th grader) compared to a young man or woman going to be a freshman in college....I am really thankful that they separate the kids for most bible studies and small group type things.
Please don't get the wrong idea, that I want our children to live in a cave:) Or to never be exposed to things... We just really want to expose them to them in our time... And truly that has happened so naturally, it has been a real blessing.
I know that there will be plenty of things that he may not get to participate in yet... and we have had a lot of discussions about the fact that just because it is youth group... doesn't mean that there may not be some possible bad stuff being discussed by kids, things happening etc. We are not naive to those things at all. We will be watching closely Louis closely to see how it goes... in fact in 2 weeks Greg is heading to Grenada with the youth group on one of their mission trips for this summer. We just really want Louis to be a light to hold fast to his convictions and beliefs and be encouraged in them. We are praying that will happen.
I am just thinking how did we get to this point so quickly... IT IS CRAZY! I had the most amazing experience in my youth group growing up. It was a HUGE time of faith growth for me. Truly the kids were fired up for the Lord. I am praying that Louis will be exposed to that same excitement about our Savior there, that I saw in my youth group growing up and that He sees in our home. I made some of the best life long friends in youth group growing up... dear friends that I am still close to today. I know I am biased, but he really is such an amazing kid... such a tender heart, and such a strong faith. He has had such a fun week so far, and I am really happy for him.
On another note, I decided to be a part of the advisory board for our local MEND chapter. (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) I was really honored to be asked and so thankful that Greg encouraged me to do it. I feel incredibly strongly in their mission. Without MEND I truly am not sure how I would have coped that first year. They were one of my lifelines in putting one foot in front of the other to keep walking and functioning that year... They were a HUGE source of encouragement and support. I can't wait to see how God will use me to give back in some way to this group and to new moms and dads that are grieving the loss of their children.
As far as sweet baby girl goes... we know that we will still have her until at least the middle of July. The agency will give their consent to our adopting her next week I believe... and our petition to finalize the adoption is on file with the court. YAY! We will have had her 6 months and have done all of our post placement visits and such. There are still a couple more hearings that need to happen... Can I just say OH MY GOODNESS!!! It is amazing how things can be delayed, put off, etc in our court system. When it is your heart on the line and the hearts of your kids... all 5 of them... it seems to take soooooo long. At that point next month we will have had her with us in our home for over 7 months. We are praying the judge will really take that into consideration... she is bonded...she is safe... she is fully loved... she is attached... Would you pray with us for no more appeals... that is my prayer! I do feel a great deal of peace about it these days and I am so thankful to God for that. I know that is His work...but at the same time... I know this is far from over... In July we will finally get to do the hearing that was scheduled for March... so I am realistic that it may still be awhile... We will continue to trust Him with each step of this journey...
Oh, and we figured out we really do have tons of pumpkins growing in our garden... my neighbor reminded me that we had thrown our old pumpkins out there after Halloween last fall... Yay for pumpkins! The kids are thrilled... I am just hoping that they will be good in fall not that we have all these pumpkins full grown in July... no actually that would be pretty par for the course for this house:)