Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fun in any kind of weather...

Well, while the adoption process wait continues indefinitely (we got word this week that wait times are increasing and that young sibling groups are especially hard to estimate), the weather around here has provided lots of fun for the Tappers. Last week was warm and rainy, but yesterday, we woke up to a dusting of snow! Check out the pictures of our fun. (Note especially the "after" picture in the center of the puddle-jumping collage! These kids meant serious dirty business!!!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hope for the Waiting

Last week, we passed the five month waiting mark! While there has been a considerable slow-down with referrals from our agency the last couple months, it appears that family matches will pick up again in the next few weeks. In fact, we learned that our agency gave out three referrals on Friday, and there is speculation that they are poised to make upwards of ten more calls in the next two or three weeks. Unfortunately, I do not have any clear indication of when our referral may come. If we were asking for an infant girl or boy, current waiting family counts suggest that our agency would not have a referral for us until March or April. However, requesting a sibling group may enable an earlier referral...I can hope!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Leaves to Rake

Today, we raked.

Naptimes are becoming less frequent in the Tapper household. Though not yet completely nonexistent, the afternoon times of quiet tranquility are no longer expected by this mother. So, instead of counting on an hour or two of "my" time, I try to be intentional about planning my day in such a way as to get the things I need to do (without kids) done during the times of the day when the children are happy to play by themselves and to enjoy other activities together. Sometimes, it even works.

Then there are those other days when you just try to make something work.

Today, we raked.
It was something we could do together. Even though it wasn't necessarily on my list of things to do today, it is the kind of activity that provides some measurable sense of accomplishment once you've completed it. It's a good energy-burner for active preschoolers. And all the romping and stomping and rolling and tossing that go together with raking made us laugh and giggle and take lots of pictures! It all also reminded me of a section from Mark Buchanan's book, the Holy Wild:

A leaf. Behold a single leaf. So fragile, it tears like paper, crushes in your hand to a moist stain, sharply fragrant. Dry, it burns swift and crackling as newsprint, pungent as gunpowder. Yet a leaf may withstand hurricanes, stubbornly clinging to its limb.

Hold it open in your palm. It is perfect as a newborn's smile. Pinch its stem between thumb and forefinger and hold it to the light. Eden bleeds through. Its veins are like bone work in silhouette. This single leaf, joined to the tree, drinks poison from the air, drinks it serenely as Socrates downing his cup of
hemlock, and refuses to return in kind, instead spilling out life-giving oxygen. This leaf tilts to catch the sun, its warmth and radiance, to distill the heat and light down to the shadows, down to the roots, back up to limbs. To shade the earth. To feed you and me.

A leaf. God makes these season after season, one after the other, billions upon billions, from the Garden to the New Jerusalem, most for no eye but His own. He does it faithfully, or else I would not live to tell about it, or you to hear.

Perhaps of all my many sins against heaven, this ranks with the worst: Until this moment, I have never thanked God for a single leaf.

Which is the problem with faithfulness: We hardly notice it. Faithfulness is, by definition, the predictable, the habitual, the sturdy, the routine. It is the evidence of things seen, but seen so often we've grown blind to them. It is the substance of things expected, expected so unthinkingly that we now take them for granted.

Today, we raked. And I am reminded to say, "Thank you, God, for leaves; for family to share them with; and for your great faithfulness which provides my strength for today and bright hopes for tomorrow."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Court Successes

For those of you following our adoption process, there was some wonderful news for two other families today. Held back from uniting with their children due to court closures during the summer, these families were also denied when court reopened due to changes in the paperwork requirements. However, today--a day earlier than expected--both families passed court! This is especially exciting for our family to watch as both of these families are adopting young sibling groups.

Check out the families at

Also, just because it is fall and beautiful in Maine: