Wednesday, November 23, 2011

10 years, a cabin and tee shirts.

Today my husband and I celebrate 10 years of marriage.  10!!!!!  I didn't think we would even make it through the first year, let alone 10!  But God is good, and this marriage is a testimony to that goodness.

We have had our fair share of struggles and there were times when I wanted to give up.  There were times I felt trapped.  There were times the phrase "till death do us part" would cross my mind and I thought "well, who is it going to be? Me or him?"  Marriage has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, but it has also brought me the most growth, countless blessings and more joy than i could ever imagine.  I can honestly say that this has been the best year of our marriage. So, what made this year different?  Well, that phrase "till death do us part" had a lot to do with it.  There was a death in our marriage, but it brought us closer rather then separating us.  I began to see my need to die to my flesh.  To die to my selfish desires and ambitions.  To stop focusing on what I thought my husband should do and focus on what I knew God wanted me to do.  Our marriage took a drastic change this past year, and I give God all the glory.  A lot changed when we took a class on biblical counseling and our hearts were rocked to the core.  The class changed the way the dealt with conflict, changed how we discipline our children, how we approached problems in general.  God used that class to put Mike and I on the same page again.   I look forward to what God has in store for the next 10 years.  I know we will still face trials, have ups and downs, fight, and I am sure I might want to throw in the towel a time or two, but I know that I have a marriage worth fighting for and that I have a husband that willing to love me even at my worst.  I pray that I continue to die in this marriage and that this marriage can be a testimony of God's goodness to those we meet.

My friend (and excellent blogger) Shaena, wrote a great post recently on how death changed her marriage as well, find it here and see how death can save your marriage as well.
I am beyond excited to be celebrating 10 years of marriage with my husband.  He planned a wonderful night out for us.  He took me to a new hotel in town that used to be an old psychiatric hospital - when I asked him why he chose that hotel, he said "because I am crazy in love with you...."(insert "Awwwwwwwe" here.)  We went to a fancy schmacy dinner that didn't have a kids menu or crayons AND we went to a movie that didn't have any animated fairies, animals or princesses! All in all, and wonderful time. 

We then got to spend some time up in a mountain cabin with some great friends of ours.  You would think my kids had never seen nature the way they were running around, exploring everything.  We got to go sledding, make snow angels, eat non-yellow snow and just hang out as a family.  It was such a treat and a blessing. 

We also received GREAT news that we were approved for an adoption fundraiser with an incredible company, Wild Olive Tees.  For every Tee shirt that people order from the Adoption Line (using our family code), we get money towards our adoption.  At the end of our fundraiser (it lasts 8 weeks) they will send a check to our adoption agency to go toward our costs.  This was a great unexpected surprise because we have been praying about how we would pay for our upcoming home study fees.

If you are interested in purchasing a Tee (or want to pass the information onto friends) go to Wild Olive Tees, order a shirt from their Adoption line and put in our family code SOLECKI1120 at check out. 

So, as you can see, we have a lot we are thankful for this Thanksgiving, and at the top of that list is 10 years, a cabin and tee shirts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dinner Drama

I'll be honest, I do not enjoy cooking.  I never really learned to cook or participated in the kitchen growing up, so my adult life has been spent trying to catch up and figure the kitchen out.

  It wasn't so bad when I had to cook for just myself - I could pour me a bowl of cereal and call it a night.
 After getting married, I would attempt to cook, but my idea of cooking was busting out a bag of pasta-roni and saying "voila!"  Once I became a stay at home mom, I figured I should try and figure this cooking thing out. I am now a decent cook (meaning, my food is edible, not creative, but it won't give you dysentery, so it's good.)  Little did I know that becoming a mother would not only be the catalyst for me learning to cook, but it would also turn me into a short order cook.

None of the girls like the same cereal.  Two like butter on their pancakes, one only likes syrup.  One likes grape juice, the other two hate it.  One likes soup, only one likes spaghetti sauce on their noodles, while another only likes butter, while the third likes certain pastas with certain sauces on certain days depending on the alignment of the planets and the phases of the moon.

Dinner is our hardest meal of the day.  I can pour three different bowls of cereal  no problem.  I can make different types of sandwiches or snacks at lunch with ease....but dinner.  Dinner is where the drama is.
Tonight's drama was brought to you by chicken and rice soup and sweet potato biscuits.  Two of the three children looked at dinner and then looked at me with disgust.  Soup?  For dinner?  Why don't I just feed them moldy dog poop, because it might as well have been the same! "But there are green things in it" (celery and peas)  "and it has white stuff" (rice).  God forbid they even take a bite before deeming it inedible and disgusting.

I say "this is what we are eating, eat it or go to bed hungry".  After all, I did spend ALL day making it!  (ok, I made it in the crock pot, but it did take all day, so it counts, right?)  Well, child one gobbles it up happily and is done before the other two can even summon the courage to take a "nibble".  Child two, after much reservation and trembling of lip finally eats half a bowl.  Child three....well, child three sent me to my neighbors house to deliver some stuff so there wouldn't be a SWAT situation at our home.  She cried.  She gagged.  She negotiated.  She begged for mercy.

Me?  I gave up.

The Bible says that man cannot live on bread alone...this child is challenging that verse as she primarily lives off of goldfish crackers.

Now, this particular child has always been difficult.  We fought and fought to get her to eat different foods as a baby/toddler.  Apparently she is much smarter than us, because we have lost every battle.  But I am determined to win the war.  We decided that we didn't want to make food an issue - so we made the rule that she had to at least try the food before she decided she didn't like it, and if she didn't like it, fine, she didn't have to eat it, but that was it.  There would be no substitutions or snacks.

Sounds reasonable, right?  Surely she would get hungry and eat what she needed to eat. WRONG!  This child has the amazing ability to turn off her hunger signals and wait till morning. 

UGH!  And you know what kills me?  She eats a handful of foods, and yet SHE is the healthiest of us all.  She never gets sick, has no health issues, has lots of energy and is growing just fine.

So, anyway, back to not liking to cook...

tomorrow we order out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And baby makes 6!!!!!!!

Well, there is big news coming from the Solecki home....WE ARE ADOPTING!!!!!!!  I know, crazy right?  As if I aren't frazzled enough!  But this has been something God has been orchestrating since I was 16 years old.  So how did we come to the decision to adopt?  Well, let me tell you...

Once upon a time, I was 16.  It was a long, long time ago, I know....but it's true.  I was 16.  And I was in Romania.  I was on my first mission trip overseas and had the opportunity to visit children in orphanages while there.  My heart was broken for these children... Many sat in cribs all day with the only interaction being a caretaker bringing them a bottle a few times throughout the day.  There was no one to hold them, play with them, read to was one of those life changing moments...being 16 it gave me a whole new perspective on life.  In that moment, a seed was planted and though the years it would grow into the burden we have today to bring another child into our home.  

Both Mike and I have been fortunate to travel overseas and both of us have spent time in orphanages in other countries.  Adoption was something we talked about from day one...maybe more me than him, but it was talked about.  I was able to go to Romania again when I was 20 and spend more time in the orphanages and it only confirmed my desire to adopt one day.  I was also blessed to nanny 2 little girls adopted from Korea while in college and some of our closest friends have adopted.  All these experiences have shaped our heart for adoption over the years.

When we had Autumn, we knew that she would be our last biological child.  After a complicated pregnancy, difficult labor and post pregnancy complications, I was good to retire the ol' uterus.  When Autumn was 9 months old, I had to have surgery that confirmed that the old factory was to be shut down.  God was so gracious to prepare our hearts beforehand.  When we heard the news that we wouldn't be able to have any more kids, we were 100% ok with that.  What, no more gaining 45 pounds?  No heart burn, leg cramps, stretch marks, swollen feet and 18 hours of labor?!?!?!  I could live with that.  Especially because we knew...we knew that one day we would adopt, and had we had a 4th biological child, we would not be as open to adoption.  (lets face it, these little people are expensive!)

So, fast forward to January 2011.  God started to move.  My heart for adoption began to ache.  Me and the girls all got the stomach flu and I spent my recovery watching the show '16 and Pregnant' (don't judge).  I told Mike that maybe God wanted us to intervene in a crisis pregnancy.  We began to pray.  A week later, a young woman I know found herself pregnant...

While we obviously didn't adopt that child, God used that incident to push us forward into this decision.  We prayed, we met with our good friend/adoptions counselor, we prayed some more.  We researched adoption programs, we met with the adoption agency, we had a core group of friends pray with us/for us and at the end of the summer we felt that God wanted us to step out in faith and take the plunge.

Originally we wanted to adopt from Thailand.  With my involvement in Five Stones International, we wanted to adopt from a country with a high incidence of human trafficking.  After some research and a pre-application we were told we had too many kids and too little money to adopt from most Asian programs (including Thailand).  The country we did qualify for was Uganda...the same country our adoptions counselor and long time friend had recommended for us.

So, Uganda it is. 
We are so very excited to add another child into our home.  (We haven't specified a gender - we figure you don't get to choose when you are pregnant - but the girls are hoping for a sister).

We are excited to see what God does.

We do not have a bank account full of money ready to fund this adoption, but we know that God can provide.  We feel that if this is His will, the money will come.  Nothing is to big for Him.  So, here we are,  stepping out in faith and about to embark on a journey of a lifetime and we hope you will come with us!
We covet your prayers!  We hope to use this blog as a platform to keep you all updated and involved in the process.

If you feel led to contribute to our adoption, you can make a donation in our name to our adoption agency Adoptions Plus.