Monday, May 7, 2012

27

27

Twenty-seven is the number of days my friend Jen has until she meets her son Asher. In less than twenty-seven days, Jen and her husband Trent will fly to Thailand to meet and bring home their precious 18 month old son. They have longed for him for years. Loved him since before they knew his name or his face. And listened to the Lord’s calling that adoption is the right step for their already family of four.

A friend of ours has been helping Jen count down the days to meeting precious Asher by organizing Jen’s friends and family to each take a day in the final 100 count down and today, May 7 is my day. I’d love to have some help from you in helping Jen count down the days. If you’re a skimmer and find yourself skipping over the next section, please check out the last paragraph for how you can help (and no, it’s not financial).

Jen is someone I have looked up to for several years as she sings on our church’s worship team (her voice is amazing) and her husband volunteered in our 2 year olds class. But two years ago Jen stood out to me in a more personal way. Soon after I had Jace I attended our church’s mom group a few times. Jen was so welcoming and sweet, not being afraid to get to the heart of how mothering was going for me. She made me feel truly known and cared for. As I entered my journey of motherhood, there were several women within our church that I looked to as specific kinds of role models. Jen is one of those women. Maybe it’s the literature-loving-story-telling-witty-humor side of her that I’m drawn to. But something about her stood out to me as a woman who held onto the professional side of her personality even after becoming a mom. Although she’s home full time (and does occasionally sub in the school district), I felt like I could look to her as an example of someone who maintained who she was pre-parenthood while also embracing her role as a mother. I wanted to be like that.

Since then I’ve gotten to know her better through hearing her teach at one of our women’s retreats and sat at the same table at Bible Study. My respect for her continues to grow as she shares her struggles as a mom—what frustrates her, drives her to her knees, makes her want to scream—and how she combats those moments with prayer, reading the Bible and respectable books, and looking to the support of those around her. As she describes her son and his passionate will, I find myself thinking that I’m getting glimpses into Jace’s future. And as she describes her daughter’s meeker personality and how the sibling relationship is affected, I find myself hoping that I’ll be as intuitive to the individual needs and personalities of each of my children the way Jen is.

And now as she embraces the role of forever mother to a precious child who doesn’t share her language, hair color or ancestral heritage, she loves this 18 month old as if she carried and nourished him for nine months within her and then bore him into the world. So as they’re 27 days away from meeting this little one I ask that you would join with me in praying for Jen and her family—for peace for her oldest’s heart; confidence for her middle one; and comfort for Asher as his world is about to change in ways he didn’t expect or ask for. But most of all, for wisdom for Jen and Trent as they continue to make monumental and ordinary parenting decisions.

And in a tangible way, could you help by suggesting iPad aps that a little 18 month old Asher may enjoy on the long trip home to America? Keep in mind he doesn’t know English. Or if you have traveled home with a newly adopted child, are there any other tips or suggestions you could make for the flight home? Jen has been a diligent mother in reading blogs and books galore, so I know she has done her research. But maybe one of you has an idea for the trip that she hasn’t heard yet.

Thanks so much for helping me celebrate Jen’s last 27 days!

7 comments:

  1. Well, someone put this on record to use for my obituary. ;) This means the world to me, Jill, and I'm humbled beyond belief that someone would dare to look up to me--all glory to God! Honestly, in this motherhood journey I've learned how earnestly we must seek Him to save our children from ourselves! ;) I'm blessed to know you, so this is a two-way street of admiration, friend. :) Thank you so much for this! I'll never forget day 27!

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  2. Well, we don't have an ipad, so I can't recommend any apps. Though I know our daughter had fun playing with a curious george game her grandparents had on their ipad (sorry, I don't know the name of it). And Jen, I am so glad to have the privelge of knowing you as well as you were also the first person to welcome me into our church's mom group when I first became a stay at home mom. I will definitely be praying for you and your family as the day draws closer. I am so happy for you guys to bring your son home!

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  3. Peek-A-Boo Barn - the child taps the doors to the barn, it opens and there is an animal that make the appropriate animal sound and then a child says the name of the animal (English or Spanish). Might help him start learning the English name of farm animals.

    Wheels on the Bus by Duck, Duck, Moose - can download just about any language to sing the song (might want to bring earphones for this one).

    Baby's First App - ABCs and 123s - also goes through colors and shapes

    These are just a few of my youngest DDs favorites.

    And... I'll be praying for Jen and the family.

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  4. Line Art, Tesla Toy and Laser Lights are all fun, interactive apps that kids seem to like (and adults). You can touch the screen with one, two or ten fingers and different patterns are formed.

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  5. How exciting! I aspire to keep my pre-mama part of me too (sucking at that currently, though). I love it that you have someone to look up to in that regard.
    And I LOVE to hear adoption stories. There is something in my heart that beats faster to hear about God matching kiddos with their (not-biological) parents. Such a miracle!
    Also, practically- ipad suggestions- Piper Jane is about 18 months old and loves Curious George and the PBS app. Also, she doesn't have a very long attention span, but does love short show episodes (like Word World). Those might be helpful as well. :)

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  6. Thank you, Jill for your kind words for Jen. As her Mom, of course I believe wonderful things about her, but it blesses me beyond words to hear affirmations from those around her.

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