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Friday, July 1, 2011

From My Anna's ...

Hello from Orlando!! After a 14 hour car ride, lots of potty breaks, taco bell runs, justin beiber songs, and COUNTLESS rounds of laughter...we made it! You can just imagine our 12 passenger van bouncing down the interstate and maybe get a little laugh in with us :) We spent sunday at the water park (blizzard beach) all day, the best moments of that were probably watching maggie and emilys faces on the "teamboat" ride, not to mention hauling all the kids up what felt like mt. everest to ride it over and over and over again, and finishing it with a bucket (yes, literally a bucket) of icecream that we demolished in a matter of minutes, spoons in hand and ice cream all over our faces. The tournament started monday and the boys dominated!!!! I stayed home with the littles and we spent the day resting up and enjoying a lazy summer afternoon by the pool! Yesterday we went to a resort pool and then me and anna spent about 3 hours just getting around orlando but the kids are troopers in the car! Maggie kept askin' "where we goin'?!?!" After the boys game, they dominated...again, we headed off to the magic kingdom at about 4 and i was thinking, how in the world are we going to get to ride anything before it closes?!?! let me just say, i am never going back to disney without a fast pass...LIFESAVER. the big girls (me anna and gwen) took turns riding the big kid rides and watching j&d. the look on maggies face when she found out she was big enough to ride space mountain was priceless. i think i was more scared of it than she was, that girl is fearless!!! then we watched the parade, which we got to our spots 30 min early for but it was worth it! we had a great view...i held maggie the whole time, and there were stars in that little girls eyes as she watched the princesses come by, she waved and smiled, i have never seen her smile that much all at one time! standing under the castle and watching the princesses go by with a little girl who is having the best day of her life, thats a memory i will never forget as long as i live. she kept saying "i lub you mom, you da best mom ever" to Gwen. She gets it. She gets that she was once a little girl with no hope, no family, no love, and is now here with her family and is SO thankful. To think that this once shy, uncertain girl with little hope was now dancing in the streets of disney in front of  cinderella's castle as the fireworks were going off, she has such a bright future ahead of her! I also had the privlidge of traveling to Uganda with gwen on her trip to bring Joseph and Daisy home. When I think about walking the streets of Jinja with Joseph clinging to my neck, practically a stranger to him, carrying him the whole way home from Jinja to Nashville; and then I think about carrying his sleepy happy little body out of disney world, its such a parallel of redemption to me and what the Lord has done for me! Above all, He gives us hope when we have nothing to cling to but Him.  It's incredible to see how they have grown their own little personalities since they have been home and I am SO incredibly blessed to be able to see their "before" and "afters." Daisy said hardly two words when we were in Uganda, and now she is miss chatterbox. We spent the last 15 minutes of dinner at the restaurant last night giving each other zerbert cheek kisses, I mean it was comical. But joseph loves that and daisy loves to love her family and they are so happy to have their place where they fit in. They are transformed just as the Lord is transforming us from glory to glory! I LOVE this family like they are my own...love anna like she is my sister-she loves and cares for this family SO well and we laugh alot together, and gwen the big sister I never had!! Anna and I joke that sometimes we live the lives of 36 year old moms when we are really only 19 but there is absolutely no place I would rather be!!! This family has taught me so much, especially with adoption about how much it reflects the Lord's love, hope, and redemption for me!
Blessings,
 Anna Bliss

Okay, can I just say...how do I follow that!?!?! I guess my perspective is a little different than Annie B's (what I like to call her) because I have been with the Oatsvalls for about 8 years now, and I  can't believe it has been that long. AB and I have tons of fun watching each precious face grow older each year, but it is just plain sad sometimes!! For example, Emily's birthday was Monday the 26th. It's hard for me to believe that she is 7!!! I mean seriously it seems like yesterday that she came off the plane from China in her forever mother's arms. Emily is what started it all. When I say all I mean all that has taken place after: Maggie, 147 M.O., Joseph, Daisy, & only God knows what else! Gwen and I were talking about how Jeremiah's and Emily's birthdays are a little bit different than the rest, not to say they all are not special, but Jeremiah's is a constant reminder of how old everyone is getting now that he is a TEENAGER, and Emily's because she was the dynamite for the rest of the future of this family. Also, Emily's coming home was my first up-close-and-personal experience with an adoption process. I can still remember the days when it was just Jeremiah & Elijah. I was just shy of 12 but my heart was forever changed during that time. I remember asking Elijah who was going to sit next to him in the car and he would say, "Em-ily." Not to mention no one was allowed to sit there (by the restrictions of Elijah) because it was HER SEAT!! Because of my experience with Emily's adoption, I have a special bond with her and we always have. I love each and everyone so much but in such different ways. Emily is my "mini me." She LOVES to cook, paint, make crafts, and run errands & if you know Gwen Oatsvall, she gets nausiated just hearing the word Michael's or Joann's!!! HAHA. I will always start with Emily as the beginning of my "How did you get started in orphan awareness and adoption advocacy" story, and that is why she is so special to me. I can't wait to see what God does with the gifts she has been given and her sweet, loving spirit....Daisy's birthday is today and I can't believe it has just been a year since her and Joseph have been home. Speaking of Joseph he just kissed me on the cheek and said, "I lub oooh." His smile and laughter gives me so much joy and confirmation that the Lord is right here with me and of how much He loves me. Miss Daisy is my DIVA in every since of the word. She likes posing, singing, and being all dolled up! As AB said above, we were at the Magic Kingdom until midnight! Needless to say only one fell asleep in transit, and of course it was the baby. It was my turn to sit out and Daisy fell right to sleep in my arms. I carried her and sat with her until I put her into her bed with her cabina (bottom) straight up into the air. While I was holding her I just kept looking at her precious face. One of my favorite things is seeing children when they have fallen asleep. There is something special about seeing a child so peaceful after a day full of laughter, temper tantrums, and lots of fun. I was also holding her when we watched the parade and I was in such awe of God's grace and mercy on her life. From where she was a year ago to where she is now. Maggie is a character. She is 24/7 HILARIOUS because she is always herself, and as I like to say, "she marches to the beat of her own Chinese drum!" She is also so precious. While Gwen was gone in to Uganda every night when I was in the kitchen making dinner Maggie would come in and say, "I need a hug." My heart melted every time. Elijah keeps me on my toes and is a fireball full of energy and enthusiasm. Jeremiah is an awesome big bro to 5 and never ceases to amaze me on the football field or basketball court. Team 147 is kicking butt so far in the tournament and we are on our way to the CHAMPIONSHIP tomorrow!!!! Whoop Whoop!!!

I absolutely LOVE being apart of this family and cannot imagine my life without each one. God continues to bless me in so many ways in which I do not deserve, yet I am ever so thankful. I am thankful for Annie B and our friendship; we joke around that we will one day be the "Suzanne & Gwen" of the world! hee hee...Thank you all for supporting the Oatsvall Team through everything they do and loving each one of them!

Much Love,
Anna





1 kind words.:

mamamargie said...

Thank you, both of you, for being such a huge help to Gwen! What a blessing you two must be to her. And, I can't help but think, what wonderful things must God be preparing you to do in the future. Thanks for the post. :)