Sunday, December 2, 2012

No Words

So, I know I am the worst blogger ever. I have sat down multiple times to try to write about my time in Africa, but the truth is I have no words that can express my experience. All I can say is it was nine weeks I will never forget. I wish I could tell you Gideon's story but I feel like that is his story to share one day, not mine. So, Mom and I returned home on November 9th and were welcomed by friends and family. Gideon did so well on the planes home. He was the star of each flight. We spent our first weekend home with Mom and Dad and my brother Matthew, Laura and their 4 children. Gideon had a blast with his cousins and fell in love with his Grandpa. We took him to the doctor the next week and he weighed 25 pounds and 30 inches long. The doctor thinks he is probably closer to 14 months old rather than the 10 we originally assumed. He is doing so well. He isn't crawling yet but he is trying so hard. He is a very vocal baby, he jabbers all day long. He can say mama, dada and bye bye but mainly just jabbers.

I am in love. I feel like I was made to be his mommy. I couldn't have asked for a sweeter baby. I wish each of you could meet him because you would see what I am talking about. He loves everyone he meets and wants everyones attention.

I am changed. Mom and I both are. I want to find a way to help the mothers I met over there who are working so hard to provide for their children, I want to help the lady who runs Gideon's orphanage and uses every bit of money she has on those children, I want to adopt one of the older children who may not be "attractive" enough to be adopted. I want to hurry up and get my nursing degree and go over there and help the people take care of themselves so they don't attract the many diseases that are so rampant.

This is my little man! I know cutest thing ever.

Thank you for your prayers and support while I was in Africa. Gideon has some physical therapy he is about to start and in 3 months we can start working to finalize his Adoption in the States and he will become a U.S. citizen!

Keep checking the blog, I'm going to try to figure out how to help some of the Ugandans I met while there. It will probably involve selling some of their goods and getting them the money. 

Also, we still have Adopt Africa T-Shirts for sell and all the money goes to pay for our adoption. If you order one I will be sure to get it to you before Christmas!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We are Here!

Well, right now I'm sitting in our hotel and Gideon is down for his morning nap. We got here on Sunday around 1 in the afternoon and went straight to pick up Gideon. They brought him out to us and he was just a little stunned. He smiled at Jeff and warmed up a little. We took him home and he really started getting comfortable. He is an incredibly happy baby. He laughs and talks constantly. He is very underdeveloped for his age. He can't roll over yet or crawl. He is a very fast learner though. We have been working with him and he catches on so fast. We are teaching him to put his arms out to come to you and to try to kiss you. He said bye bye today. He is really good at copying the things that you do. We are staying at a really nice little place that is gated. We can't leave the gates because we don't have custody of him yet so we are really confined. The lady that works with our lawyer comes by each day to make sure we are ok and to see if we need any food. Everyone is really nice here and making us feel very welcome. We have court next monday so right now we are just playing with Gideon and trying to learn a little of the local language called Lugandan. We have do know some of the language for court. Jeff and probably mom will go out and get him some cultural toys to take to court so we can show the judge we will not forget his heritage. On Thursday we will go to the Lawyers office and meet with them so they can prepare us more for court.
We are absolutely in love with our baby boy and can't believe he is actually in our arms! He loves his daddy and just lights up when he walks into the room and somehow he knows I'm his mommy I just can't figure out how. He absolutely loves his Daisy.

He is having some physical problems. His neck has really been bothering him and we just can't figure it out. So please pray that we can figure it out and help him.
Also pray that court goes well and that the Judge likes us!
Pray that we don't go crazy being confined in this place!

This picture was taken the first night after he had a minor meltdown. I guess he realized he was with strangers but he finally let me rock him to sleep in my arms. That is the only time he has let me do that. He is not used to being held but now wants to be held all the time! He loves to snuggle and love.

Gideon just woke up so I better go. I'll post again soon!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dear Gideon

Daddy and I are starting to get ready for our trip to see you. In a week and a half your world is going to change forever. You will be introduced into your forever family and Mommy, Daddy and Daisy will take care of you while we are in Africa. You will have to say goodbye to your home, your 26 friends, and your sweet caretakers. We know it is going to be overwhelming and we know that these people are all you have ever known and you have a deep bond with them. It breaks my heart that you, at such a young age have had to go through being moved around so many times. I promise that this is it. Once we get you, we will be your forever family. So, I pray with all my heart that you adjust well. That you feel the immense love we have for you. We will always have pictures of your caretakers and friends and one day I'm sure we will take you back to visit.  I wish so badly that we could take some of your friends home with us, if it was possible we would take as many as we could. Maybe one day later we will. In your pictures I see how much the other kids love you. I see that they take care of you like you are their little brother. So, little Gideon we will get through it together. We are going to have so much fun playing and exploring Africa. We love you and can't wait to get our hands on you.

 Love, Mommy and Daddy

Our hearts are overwhelmed with sadness for the other children in the orphanage. I feel like that bad person in the movies who comes and picks the younger cuter baby and leaves the older ones. I do know that God has a plan for the other kids and that they may have sweet parents picked for them. That is my prayer.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Baby Name

So, I'm finally out of the daze I was in when we found out. Today I really started working on his room. When I finish I'll post a picture. We are going to put scripture on his wall. This is it:

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.  Zephaniah 3:7

So, we have been going back and forth on the baby's name for a while. Originally we were going to name our son Jeremiah. Jeremiah is Jeff's favorite prophet and we both just like the name. But when we got the referral we found out the orphanage named him a biblical name: Gideon. I really wanted to keep his name. To me these sweet ladies have literally been by his side from near death until now he is a thriving baby boy. They named him Gideon and I wanted to honor those ladies and keep his name. So we decided to for sure call him Gideon. Now we just had to decide on a middle name. We went back and forth, but finally decided on Matthew Gideon. If you know my family Matthew is my middle brother and a great person for our son to be named after. My brothers have all named their kids after each other which I think is so great. If you know me you know how much my brothers mean to me. They all play a different role in my life. Brian is the oldest, he is my protector and I have always been his little girl, he has always had my heart. Matthew is the person I call when I'm upset. He is the one who comforts me when something is wrong and who has always given me Godly wisdom when I needed it. He and Laura have also been a huge support during the last several years.  Jarred is my bud. I love going home and staying up all night with him just hanging out. I would do anything for the men in my life. 

So Matthew Gideon Audirsch. If Gideon turns out half like his Dad and his namesake he will be an incredible man of God. 

I will post a picture of the room soon! I have a church shower next week and I am so excited. I can't even begin to express the love and support we have received from our church family. It is more than we could have ever dreamed of. 

Oh yeah, I have a feeling Gideon will mostly go by G Man, G dub, little G, or whatever else Jeff comes up with! 

P.S. Jeff parked in the Expectant Mommy's spot at Kroger tonight. haha

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane...... Going to get G man!

Yes, we leave in less than a month! We will leave on September the 10th to go to Uganda to get our baby. I can't believe it is here! I really didn't think our court date would come this fast. Today I have been in a daze. It feels like the day we got our referral, I am literally so excited I don't know what to do. Finally, the day I get to hold my child is within my grasp. I have been dreaming about this for so long. This morning I got up and pleaded with God to get us to Africa soon. I had no idea I would check my email and would already have a date!

So this is what will happen. We will go to Africa and meet G and spend about 5 days just getting to know him and bonding with him. He will probably get to stay with us at our hotel. We will probably play with the other children at the orphanage and hopefully site see. We want to get a good feel of Uganda and plenty of pictures for G to look at when he gets bigger. We will then go to court on the 17th of September. The Judge will have all our paperwork and witness reports and he will look through them and also look at how we have bonded with the child. We will come back within a few days to the court ruling. Since Jeff has 2 jobs, he will leave after court and my mom and I will stay behind with G. After the ruling mom and I will stay for who knows how long. It could be 2 weeks it could be 2 months. We will be waiting for the government to get his visa so we can take him to his embassy appointment. After we go to his embassy appointment we can then bring him home.

We appreciate your prayers during this whole process. Please continue to pray that travel and court goes well. We still have a lot to go through before we get to bring G home.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy 7 Months G man!


Today is your 7 Month birthday. Your dad and I bought you your first few little outfits yesterday. Dad picked out a spiderman shirt for you. We are so excited to meet you. We wish we had been there the first 7 months of your life, but we promise we are coming to get you soon. The past 2 months of waiting have been the longest of our lives. We think about you all day everyday. I wonder what you are learning to do. They told us you smile all the time and that you are very interested in all the other children in the orphanage. I wonder if the kids play with you and teach you things. I wonder what it is like to be the youngest of 27 children. So many things I can't wait to find out for myself. Dad mainly thinks of ways he can fix your hair. He wants you to have a cool hairdo, so I'm sure some of his students will be coming over trying to braid your hair or do something crazy with it.

Since we saw your picture that day 2 months ago we have been getting ready for your arrival. Last week we put your bed together and started getting your room ready. It is going to be so great. Your Daisy got me a rocking chair to rock you in at night. Sometimes I just sit in your room imagining you being here. I can't wait. But I mostly can't wait for you to meet your family. They are all so excited to know you. Your cousins ask me all the time when they get to meet their baby cousin. You will have 7 boy cousins and one sweet girl cousin. When we get to Africa I will show you pictures of your family. There are so many people who love you already. I wonder what you are going to think of Saint. He is our 110 pound German Shepherd, but he is just a big baby. He loves and watches over your little cousins so I know he will love you too. He will probably lick your face all the time and when you get here we will probably have a little German Shepherd puppy for you to play with. So many big changes, but I know you will do great. Me and you will get through it together.

We love you little G man. We are coming to get you as soon as we can. I hope maybe you are getting a little extra love today as you turn 7 months. I know you have some very sweet ladies who love you and have been taking care of you since you were tiny. I'm so thankful for them. They have done what I couldn't do.  Hopefully this week will find out when we get to come get you.

Love you,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Waiting Children

So, for some reason God gave us G, he won't even be a year old when he gets here. We will get to experience a lot of the fun baby things we never thought we would experience. We were expecting a 3,4 or 5 year old but for some reason G came up and he was matched with us. The lady who found him said, "he must be a miracle from God". I think he is our miracle. But my overactive brain and bleeding heart have been consumed with all these older waiting children in orphanages all over the world. You see, when people adopt they usually ask for babies. So babies get adopted and older children stay living in the orphanage. They don't get the chance of a loving home because of their age.

I am already preparing myself for this when we get to Uganda. I'm going to get to know these children and want to bring them all home, and after spending possibly months with these children my heart is going to break having to say goodbye. Jeff and I know G will not be our only adoption, we aren't sure yet where God will lead next, it could be foster adoption or another international adoption but we both want to save as many as we can (or at least I do), sometimes I think Jeff thinks I'm a little crazy. But he also refuses to look at the waiting children from our agency because he knows he would want to adopt them all too. I know God is convicting me to adopt older children, perhaps an older sibling group one day. But for now, G has to be my main focus. He deserves my commitment to him and him only for a little while.

I have been so encouraged to see so many friends adopting. God has really put it on the hearts of so many people in the past few years. The southern baptist convention is really emphasizing adoption and foster care. If you are reading this blog you are probably wanting to keep up with G and his arrival. I am thankful for that. I love having so many people going along with me and encouraging me on this journey. Adoption is not for the faint at heart. We still covet your prayers as we get our court date and go to court. There are a lot of hurdles to jump over before G gets to come home.

But today I am asking for you to commit to pray for all the children in orphanages all over the world who are waiting. Older children who are usually not desirable to adoptive parents. Maybe you can pray and ask God to lead you to pray for a specific area of the world. As you probably know American has tons of children in foster care needing homes and Africa has children on the streets with nothing to eat and the Ukraine has children sitting in cold orphanages where they get no love or care from anyone and China has a major need for adoptions for special needs children. The list goes on and on.

God is very clear in scripture that we are to care for the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. So I ask you to pray about what you can do to minister to orphans. You can simply pray that these older children find loving homes. You can search your heart and ask God to reveal if he is leading you to adopt an older waiting child. I promise, God does amazing things with your heart. Five years ago I would have told you I didn't think I could love a child that wasn't my biological child enough to adopt them and now I want to save every kid I can.

My good friend Terah wrote a great post on the Foster care system in America- please check it out-

Also, some good friends wrote a book on how you and your church can get involved with helping orphans. The book is called Orphanology by Rick Morton and Tony Merida.

Bethany Christian Services also has lots of cool ways to help orphans in the U.S. and across the globe.