Friday, February 26, 2010

Email sent out Feb. 26,2010- update

Hi family and friends,
I thought I would send out an update on how things are going. Since the kids have come home in August, our lives have been hopping. Allenni, Andrew and Isaiah have for the most part adjusted fairly well. Andrew has had the most trouble adjusting to this new life. Allenni is taking it all in stride and Isaiah acts as if he was born here. Of course you always have adjustments to make when new people are added to the family. Personality clashes, more energy, more noise, more laundry, more cooking, more cleaning, more whining and of course, more laughter and more love. It seems like we have been in a whirlwind for sure and somedays I just feel submerged under water and want to come up to breathe!
Through it all God has proven himself faithful and has continued to give us strength, wisdom and love to share. We can say God is good even on the days when we feel overwhelmed or didn't handle a situation like we would have wanted to.
Life has been quite busy since coming home with the kids, but it has been a good busy.
We went on a family vacation and conference to VA Beach and Williamsburg, VA in September. Duane and I were trained to become Beyond Consequences Trainers to help adoptive parents. While there we learned a lot about helping our kids emotionally. After 3 days of intensive training we enjoyed a week in Wiliamsburg with the kids.
We kicked off our homeschooling that week after and I must admit it was stressful getting everyone on a daily basis to do what they were supposed to while teaching several different grades all the while Isaiah was on the loose!
After much prayer and seeking what to do from God because I felt like I was being spread too thin and no one was getting good attention or focus in school and not many were cooperating, we felt peace to put Andrew, Eli, Allenni, and Graham in public school.
With Allenni and Andrew not having much schooling in their previous life, we opted to put Andrew in the 4th grade and Allenni in 2nd. Eli we put in 1st and Graham in the 7th. They started this past January. They are all doing really well. Andrew and Allenni get help with their English on the side. Since the rest of the teens are too close to graduation and we have an adjusted school plan for them, we felt like finishing out their schooling at home was the best idea. Seora, Ben, and Nathaniel turn 18 this year and Maggie just turned 17. We are focusing on finishing their credits needed and vocational training. With the little ones not here, I can focus more closely on their education, though Isaiah in himself is a one man tornado and is ever getting into things he shouldn't in a flash.
In October, Duane and I enjoyed a week in Pagosa Springs, CO thanks to airmiles and timeshare. It was great to reconnect with each other and paint, read and chill out.
Christmas at our house was great with lots of people! For the family Christmas present, we went on a cruise to Mexico. We totally enjoyed ourselves with Duane's parents and his sister. Duane and some of the kids went to see and climb some ancient Mayan Ruins. We followed that with 4 days at the beach. The kids loved Christmas and asked lots of questions about Jesus and Santa Claus. Duane's sister came down and bless her heart got the stomach bug so it was not the greatest day for her.
New Year's week my mom and dad and sister along with my grandmother and my african brother and his family came down for several days and we had our Christmas celebration. There were 21 people in the house!!!!
At the first of January, Duane and I took a few days and went to Destin, FL which happened to be the coldest they ever had there but had to leave early as we got word that my grandmother in a matter of a few days had gotten sick and died.
Duane dropped me off in Birmingham and I flew to NC to attend the funeral. It was very hard for me. I loved my grandmother dearly. I was so glad that she had been able to come visit several days before.
So as you can see we have been on the road this year but it has been great making family memories.

In January, I found out that I had won the DIANA award and so Duane and I attended the ceremony here in town along with Duane's parents.
That spurred some articles in our local papers which you can read at the links posted if interested.
http://www.timesdaily.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100221/ARTICLES/2215019/1004/living
and
http://www.courierjournal.net/article.php?article_id=4404
So here it is February and I can't believe how time has gone by already.
We just got back from a long weekend with the kids in Memphis where we got to see some old friends and eat Corky ribs. We continued on to Branson. Our family friend Song went with us and we totally enjoyed having her along. The kids went to the Titantic Museum and we all enjoyed a day at an indoor water park!

I am headed to Pattaya Thailand for 9 days with 2 other women to visit some missionary friends and minister where God would have us. Our friends work with others in ministering to girls caught in the sex slave trade industry. I am not totally sure why God is sending me there but for months now I have had the urgency to go to Thailand. Come to find out, the missionaries there had been praying for some time for God to work it out for me to come. Going over there was actually a suddenly and was not planned until January.

I ask that you cover me in prayer as I go It is a spiritually dark place. I will be gone March 2 -11. Pleas pray for Duane and the kids back here in the States. I am sure they will be fine. Nine days is nothing compared to how long I have been gone before. Duane is very supportive of this all and I am very thankful for a husband such as he is.
I have had several people ask me, "Are you going to adopt?" NO! We've asked God to hold off for a while. LOL! Our hands are full! Thailand only lets you adopt if you live there. But I am going to see how I can help the orphan girls who are slaves in this terrible industry. I have been praying that God will let us shine his furious love in such a desperate place. My heart aches for those girls who seemingly have no hope. I hope we can shine a ray of hope at life to at least one of them. I hope to blog from there and you can follow me on my trip to Thailand at http://oneeggshortofadozen.blogspot.com

Last year, our year was consumed it seemed in getting our three kids home. As I look back at all that took place in 2009, I am in awe at the incredible works of God, not only in my personal life but in the lives of others. He has given us our kids, just like I knew He would. He even opened doors through our adoption for others to be adopted. God is incredible and we will always speak of his great love and wondrous works.

I have finally had a little bit of time to finish up my blog about our trip to Africa, so there are new stories and new pictures. I am on the last leg of the story and hope to have it finished in a few days. You can catch up by going to http://oneeggshortofadozen.blogspot.com. Other happenings of our family are kept on http://oneeggshortofadozen2.blogspot.com

We look forward to see what God has in store for us in the year 2010. Mine and Duane's deepest desire is to know God on a deeper level and to experience the furious love that he offers us, so we can be vessels of that love, poured out on others. We have realized that nothing else is important on this earth other than knowing the Father intimately. We want to daily seek Him. We continue to pray for complete healing for all of our kids that comes from the trauma, fear and abandonment they experienced as younger children. Theirs is not an easy road to travel but we know Jesus is the abundant life and the healer and that he has great things in store for them. This keeps us going when the times are tough. We appreciate all your prayers. They are deeply felt.
Blessings to all of you,
Duane and Melissa Carter and kids

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