Monday, May 25, 2009

A Warm Welcome

A friend snapped these pics when the children were meeting for the first time. I was close by, but jet lagged, and without my camera handy. I'm so glad she got this on film. Grace was adorable with Ava. For her, it's been love at first sight. For Thatcher it's taken some time, but he and Malachi have started chasing each other around, which is a great beginning.




We're doing great! I'm finally feeling better and have the house running smoothly again. That makes a huge difference. The first week home, I was sleeping most of the day due to some sort of parasite/bacteria/flu. I would just look around at all that needed to be done, and then hold the babies and rest. Thankfully my mom was here during that time and she was a HUGE help. I don't know how we would have done it without her. Also, Sean only worked half-days, so there were extra hands at all times.

We are just so in love. Malachi is winning over our hearts and getting sweeter every day. Now he comes up and grabs our faces to give us kisses. And he's probably down to 2-3 tantrums a day, which is an unbelievable improvement from our first week together. He is so happy at home, and when we go out (even just in the front yard) he puts up a wall. His pouty lip comes out and he won't let you know he's having any fun. We're just so thrilled that he's coming out of his shell, and bonding so well with us.

Ava is just the most precious angel I've laid eyes on. I really am in heaven. She is perfection to me right now. Today I was wishing I could just bottle her up at this age forever, so that I could enjoy her baby stage a little longer. She is so funny, always doing tricks. Whatever face you make at her, she tries to mimic. She started waving yesterday, and is just fitting right into our family. Whenever she fusses, big sister is quick to scoop her up. She has slept through the night the last 2 nights, and Malachi too. They're now taking naps, and sleeping about 11 hours at night. Woohoo! This is too good to be true.

Our friends are bringing us meals right now and that has been a huge blessing. We've just been able to love on the kiddos, introduce them to all kinds of new things, like swinging, swimming, popscicles, wrestling with Daddy, cuddling with Mommy. It's been so nice to just BE. Thank you to all who have served us, and for all of you praying. God is faithfully providing His grace for each moment.

Sean goes back to work tomorrow, so it will be a true taste of my new life. I'll let you know how it goes.....

Friday, May 15, 2009

Finally...

Greetings from Kelly & Sean in Ethiopia!

Well, greetings to you through their babysitter, Rhiannon.
They want you all to know that they praise the Lord for safely arriving in the country and delivering their two newest babies to them!

On Monday we received a call from Sean and rejoiced to find that the agency had already brought the children and turned them over to the Jacobys. As is to be expected however, the first day both Malachi and Ava were tenative and cautious. I cannot even imagine the difficulty of finally meeting your little ones, whom you have desired fiercely, spared no expense to reach, and waited with pent-up expectation to have and to hold, only to find that you must wait further still while they their hearts warm to you. All the intention and planning for that first, critical moment cannot make them leap toward you in love.

I could not help but think of the Lord. For in just the same way, He spared no expense. He spared not His only begotten Son. And yet even while we enter into the family He planned, purchased, prepared, provided for, and pursued with passion, we do not love or reach out to Him as we should. This relationship of ours is His glory and all our gain. How merciful and infinitely loving of God to continue with us in the same, unchanging passion though we fail to reciprocate what He deserves, though we fail to hold His hand as He holds ours! "For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Joy came today however, when Sean called again and described, with something like relief, that both children were finally, "clinging." Healthy, happy, rambunctious and clinging. Only the Lord could accomplish such a work and we pray that He continues as He brings all four, and their wonderful "Granny" home.

Everyone is eating well, though sleep is challenging. Ava has ended up in bed between them, every night. They also met the birth mother yesterday, the details of which I'm sure Kelly will fill you in on. To summarize however, Sean said, "It was very emotional."

Grace and Thatcher count down the days, approximately every twenty minutes. And more than once an outbreak of near hysteria has occurred as they realize, "Our babies will be home soon."

We ask that you continue in prayer. For health, safety, and united hearts. This adoption story ripples with the truth of the Lord to more souls than live in the Jacoby house.

I also wanted to take this time to thank all of you who have called or come up to us at church. Your support is such a mercy and I know it will be extremely necessary to the family once they're home.

"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." Romans 15:5-6

Grace and Peace!

Friday, May 8, 2009

PACKING AND MORE PACKING...

Okay, I'm so ready to be DONE packing and get this show on the road! If I have to open one more box of medication or stick one more thing in a baggie, I'm going to keel over and die. AAAHH. I'm over it! Now then, enough complaining. I think it's all packed. We had to omit a few things (like pedialyte - way too heavy) and granola bars (but we're already taking a slew of them) so I feel pretty good about it. I included a picture of our bags. HUGE! Our main concern right now is that our duffle bags will be allowed on Ethiopian airlines. They have a 62" rule (L,W,H combined) and our duffles are slightly over those dimensions. Sean weighed them at work and we managed to get them within the 50 lb mark. Please pray with us that all will go smoothly.

In our duffles, we packed the humanitarian aid items for Gladney (diapers, wipes, bottles, A&D, Purell, couple of new baby outfits), the 75 baggies full of stuffed animals and goodies, about 30 hand-made baby dolls (here's the newest addition from a neighbor), and backpacks full of fun things for our sponsored children.

In our suitcases we packed our clothes as well as clothing for Ava and Malachi, all in vacuum-sealed bags. Those things are so cool! The kids thought it was like a science experiment and were so sad when I had finished. Also, the meds for us and kiddos, and food. 3 families mailed us some small items to take to their babies and we're so happy to deliver them!


Our carry-ons have our important documents, travel pillows, diapers, wipes and toys galore. Unfortunately, Ethiopian airlines also weighs your carry-on, so my idea of stashing all the heavy stuff in those was OUT. But I MUST bring toys for A and M! We can't take them out and about much, so I'm bringing a couple of books, cars, rattles, bubbles, ball, and those cool Baby Einsten flashcards that have mirrors on one side. I think they're the Discover Me cards. So cute!

My Mom comes in today, and our sweet friend who will care for the children is coming as well. I'm in a bit of a funk- I keep looking around at things to do, and my body says "too tired", but my inner strength says "I think I can, I think I can...".

Tomorrow, we'll be heading out of d.c in the evening and all this packing will be a distant memory. Woohoo! I'm bringing some great music on my ipod, and my mom's bringing games on hers, so that should help us pass some time, and I bought the book from the Bottomlys entitled: "Ashes to Africa". I'm really looking forward to reading their story. This is a great time for me to recommend my new favorite cd. It's called "Sing Over Me" and is a mixture of worship/lullabies. I want to listen to it all day everyday. Check it out and see what I mean.

We will try to check in with our babysitter, and if she can find time to post, she'll try to add some updates. There won't be much, because we decided not to take a computer. We'll be sending her a few emails from Sean's Blackberry. I'm planning to journal and when life settles down around here (like next year : ), I'll post about our trip.

Again, thank you for ALL your prayers. The Lord has been so faithful, and we are encouraged by His presence every step of the way.

Oh, one last thing. Everytime we sing this song in church, I have a melt-down when I get to the second verse. Even when I'm on the worship team in front of our church- not pretty. But I love the song. It's by Bob Kauflin and is a Sovereign Grace song. You'll see, when you read the second verse, why it ministers to me so much. This journey has been long, but I knew the Lord's purpose was at work, and His mercy was sufficient...

A DEBTOR TO MERCY ALONE

A debtor to mercy alone
Of covenant mercy I sing
I come with Your righteousness on
My humble offering to bring
The judgments of Your holy law
With me can have nothing to do
My Savior's obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions
From view
The work which Your goodness began
The arm of Your strength will complete
Your promise is yes and amen
And never was forfeited yet
The future or things that are now
No power below or above
Can make You Your purpose forego
Or sever my soul from Your love

My name from the palms of Your hands
Eternity will not erase
Impressed on Your heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace
Yes I, to the end will endure
Until I bow down at Your throne
Forever and always secure
A debtor to mercy alone