a seed of faith

Jackson, tonight I had the incomparable joy of hearing you ask Jesus to save you.

Who knew that a conversation about wildcats in South Carolina would turn into a redemptive conversation that would lead to you wanting to follow Jesus? I sure didn’t anticipate it as I painted the swing set and you sallied back and forth on the red swing below. But Jesus knew. He knew you’d want to know if bears lived in North Carolina and if wildcats lived in South Caroline. He knew I’d tell you about my Pop-pop’s stuffed wild cat that was mounted on his wall when I was a girl. He knew you’d ask if my grandpa was in heaven…Jesus knew it would go like this:

You asked me if I was going to heaven and I said yes. You asked what heaven is like and I told you it was the best thing you can imagine, but better than that because God was there. Then you wondered what hell was like and I explained it’s the worst thing you can imagine, and worse, because God isn’t there. You asked what was in hell I said fire and darkness.

You asked again I was going to heaven and why I was. I answered, “Because I have asked Jesus to save me from my sins and I was sorry and repentant for my sins. I asked Jesus to save me because I knew I wanted to follow him all the days my life.” And then Jack, you said, “Mom, could you help me do that too?” I said, “I would love to.”

So later in the evening you and I prayed together and you asked Jesus to save you. I’m so glad Jack! So glad that God takes conversations about Wildcats and turns them into redemption. So glad that you want to follow Jesus. Dad asked you why you wanted to go to heaven and you said “to be with God.” I can’t think of a better reason, because He wants you to be with Him forever. He made the way for you to be with Him forever!

I love you, Jackson and my deepest prayer is that you will follow Jesus all the days of your life. God has begun a good work in your heart and I know that he will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. I pray that this seed of faith that God has planted in your heart will grow to be a mighty, strong oak with deep roots. Sink yourself deep into Jesus, Jack. He loves you and promises to be with you all along this journey of life. He is FOR you. Chase after Him with every bit of your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Love, Mom

Photo by jomegs - Google Chrome 7292014 114601 PM.bmp

a recap – three months and some change

whoa. It’s been a full three months since I’ve touched this blog. :( Which makes me sad. Life has been busy, needless to say. Adoption paperwork/stuff, living life, trying to balance myself, our marriage and the joy of three kids. And at the end of the day when I have a few minutes to spare, I don’t tend to write…because BRAIN CELLS.

Brain cells which have been eaten alive by five year old boy questions. Seriously, it’s like the Spanish Inquisition around here EVERY DAY. Which is great, because I am glad he’s so hungry to learn, but some days I feel like handing him Siri to answer the barrage. :-P

But I do really love my life, with all its quirks and hiccups and exhaustion. And coffee. About a month ago I felt like the post-partum fog and blah lifted – praise be! That six month mark…its a beautiful thing.

May brought SPRING, our first niece/cousin, Jack’s last day of preschool and his first success at reading, and Jack’s first t-ball game. June held my birthday (32-what?!), Kyle running the Grandma’s Marathon in under 4 hours, and our sixth Backyard Bible Club. July has flown by with family get-together’s, the Fourth, a boat excursion, Jack’s birthday, and a quick trip to Duluth for the Park Point 5-Miler and Walk. August is upon us in days!

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Jackson turned five on the 17th and I can’t believe we’ll start kindergarten in a few weeks. I have one…exactly one item of curricula ready. Er, purchased. But not really ready. Yeah. Need to get on that.

Taylor is just a riot. Every day she makes me laugh and brings a smile to my face with the things she says and the ideas she has. Her favorite things lately have been riding her new pink bike that our kind neighbors passed along from their daughter, and popsicles. Oh and fruit snacks.

Grant is quite simply our Mr. Sunshine. His smile (sporting two teeth and two more on their way!) lights up every corner of every room. I can’t get enough of his roly-poly legs and his fat, dimpled elbows. He has tan lines in his arm and wrist fat rolls. I mean, REALLY?! It’s just too much. He’s juuuust starting to scootch around and be mobile. I foresee crawling and pulling up being not far away.

On the adoption front…we’re THIS close to being done assembling our dossier! Just waiting on some paperwork from our doctor’s office and a revision of our home study before we apply to USCIS and send our dossier to be translated. I hope by September, our dossier will be filed in that beautiful country called Haiti. Then we wait. For a time period only God knows the length of…patience and resting in His promise of knowing what’s best for us will be the name of the waiting game.

So that’s a quick recap…I hope it’s not three months before I open this page and thoughts spill out onto the keys and into words on this page.

 

 

 

My Kids Say Funny Stuff 4.0

He Said

“Push-ups are good for my body.”

Jackson likes to watch the news on an app on the iPad while he eats breakfast. We obviously only let him watch age appropriate news stories, but he’s right there seeing screen shots while we choose the ones he can watch. One particular story’s photo was of a certain medicinal plant. Jack said, “Oh Mom, let’s watch the one about marijuana.” Jaw drop. Then I realized that he’s been paying attention when Kyle has shown people video clips and photos of the very large marijuana grow his SWAT team helped dismantle last summer. Cop kids. :-O

We have tiger lilies growing in our front garden bed and Jackson has called them “Lion lilies” after asking me what they are called. Presh.

After a discussion about a nearby town called Taylors Falls and how it has the same name as Taylor, Jackson remarked, “I wish Jackson, MIssissippi was closer to us.”

He pointed to a picture of missionaries on our refrigerator and asked, “Where do those Christian-airies live again?”

We recently went to our favorite place in Minnesota, Duluth. and our cabin stay in a North Shore town called Lutsen is coming up in this week. As we left the shore of Lake Superior and headed south to our home on our recent visit, Jackson sighed and said wistfully, “I want to live in Dulutsen.” So do I, buddy!

She Said

After swimming in a hotel pool, shivering and needing to go potty, Taylor got big eyes when she sat on the toilet: “I have hot pee!”

Earlier this spring, Taylor’s Aunt Anna and future Uncle Tyler asked our family to be in their wedding (which is only a few weeks away now). Taylor was so excited to be the flower girl. She had a little conversation with Kyle about wedding roles: “I’m duh fwower dirl, you da fwower boy?”

“I’m two, How much you be?”

She had some especially stinky and serious gas – “Mom! I have fire in my butt!”

Taylor is Miss Independent these days. “I do it maself,” she says daily.

As she pulls her t-shirt down to reveal her shoulders: “See my big muffles?” Translated: Muscles.

Sweetest question ever: “Tan I div you a butterfwy tiss?”

On our way into one of our favorite river towns nearby, Taylor got so excited. “We’re almost to Taylors Falls! MY falls! I match.”

Jackson got some handcuffs for his birthday last week. Taylor asked him if she could play with his “lockers”, which is only slightly less funny than when she asked him for his “hookers”.

Jackson is Five!

 

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What day is today, Jackson?: My birthday!

How old are you? Five.

Who made you? God did.

Where do you live? in North Branch

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?  Go play at the playground.

What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Go to the store.

What is your favorite thing to do with Taylor? Play babies.

Who is your best friend? Reegan.

What is your favorite book? Trusty the Train

What character in a book do you like best? Thomas the Train

What is your favorite Bible Story? David and Goliath

What is your favorite thing to build? Towers

What is your favorite food to eat? Apples

What is your favorite thing to play? Hide and seek

Where do you love to visit? North Carolina

What song do you like to sing the most? Glory to God

If you could buy anything at the store, what would it be? Spiderman

What is your favorite animal? Horses

If you could buy someone a gift, what would you buy and who would it be for? I would buy a toy house for Reegan.

What would you like to be when you grow up? A police officer.

What do you enjoy doing outside? Playing football.

What holiday do you love celebrating? Fourth of July

What is your favorite work to do at school? Painting

What is your favorite restaurant? McDonalds

What is your favorite special treat? Popsicles

What do you love most about being a big brother? Taking care of Taylor and my brother

What do you want to do today on your birthday? Play mini-golf and eat at the Drive-In!

What was your favorite thing about being four? Going to the beach

What are you most excited about in turning five?! Playing with my friends.

Our Adoption FAQ’s

I’ve come to learn that people have lots of questions about adoption. I’m so glad they ask! I really love telling people about our experience, what we hope for, what we know, what we don’t know, etc. I’m also happy to explain that there will be questions we won’t answer, to protect our child’s privacy and history. But I thought I’d try to answer some of the frequently asked questions here. If you have other questions – please ask! I’ll try to answer them as best I can.

Why are you adopting? To add to our family. To put our feet to the command of Christ to care for the orphan. To spread the love God has given us. Because Jesus adopted us into His forever family. Because humans belong in families, not in institutions.

Why from Haiti? Because of a personal connection. Kyle’s life was forever changed by his experience in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Our hearts were drawn to adopt from Haiti then and we’re finally able to do it now.

Why not a kid from here? We had to choose somewhere! And we’ll continue to do foster care and welcome kids from our area into our home as long as we have space to. If I could paint a picture of our future, it will always have kids coming into our lives from all kinds of places/experiences/locations/backgrounds. We want our home to be that place, Lord-willing.

What age/gender would you like? We understand the challenges involved with disrupting birth order, so Jackson will remain our oldest. Beyond that, we’re not specifying boy or girl or a particular age, just somewhere between baby-four years old.

Why does it cost so much? I wish I knew. I mean, I do know, but I wish it wasn’t this way. About $6000 goes to our agency – we’re paying them for their expertise, relationships with ethical adoption facilitators and creche/orphanage directors, etc. We also had to have a home study done and it has to be overseen and approved by a licensed social worker – that cost $3000. $14,000 or so goes to Haiti, some to the orphanage that currently cares for our child and some to their social services. I found this article helpful to explain some of the costs, and this is our agency’s cost breakdown sheet.

How long will it take? We have NO idea. Haiti recently joined the Hague Convention, and that will naturally cause some hiccups and lengthy paperwork processing wait times, etc. We are imagining it will be about a little over a year from now when we are matched with a child (receive a referral in adoptionese) and two-two and a half years from now when we finally bring that child home forever. Feel free to pray that it goes more quickly! This page is an extensive explanation of the Haitian adoption process – it still sounds like a foreign language to me, so if you think the same way, don’t feel left out.

Will you keep their Haitian name? We will in some way, shape, or form keep their name as part of their name. It may be their first name, it may be a middle name, but we want to honor and keep their heritage and identity with Haiti alive, as well as give them identity within our family with a new name. All of our kids have family names as middle names.

Do you plan to adopt again? Yes, but probably later. We are getting approved for two children, even though we plan on only one this time, on the off chance that when we arrive in Haiti we discover our child has a sibling we weren’t aware of or some unexpected situation arises. We only plan on adding one at this time, but we would like to add another child to our family in the future through adoption.

And yes, just like our other kids, this sweet one will be our REAL child. Our wonderful, given life by God, precious child. :-)

home from haiti – an adoption fundraiser

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Check out our Puelston Family Fundraiser for info on our upcoming silent auction fundraiser!

When: April 26, 6:30pm
Where: Grace Church Wyoming
What: Wicked awesome silent auction and dessert/coffee bar!

There are some really neat items coming in for the auction – beautiful artwork and framed photo prints, photography packages, signed prints from the DC Comics Batman artist, Twins tickets, gorgeous handmade items, locally roasted coffee, jewelry and much more! You can RSVP on our Facebook event or to my email as noted above. Hope you can come!

taylor funnies

Taylor has hit a new level of vocabulary and verbal proficiency that is just cracking us up daily. It’s like she’s 2 going on 10. I wish I had a voice-activated recorder lying around because very often she comes up with something or we have a conversation that is just TOO MUCH. And I really wish I could capture her inflection in writing, because she has this adorable up-talk in her speech that I can’t explain. It sounds like she’s inquisitive, but she’s not.

Here’s a meager sampling, since we’re dependent on my memory…

Recently, Grandma Char had plans to come visit, but the day she was going to come turned out to be a day of snow. The drive is an hour and a half in good weather, so she very wisely stayed home and rescheduled. Taylor asked me, “When Namma tuming?” I explained that she couldn’t come because of the snow. Taylor replied, ever the problem solver, “Her tood put her boots on and walk here!” Well… :-)

Trying to open the fridge: “I’m BIG! I’m OLD!” Unsuccessful: “I’m too wittle.”

In conversation with me: “Merember that, Mom?”

The other day, Kyle was at a meeting when Taylor woke up from her nap. It seems we have a bona fide Daddy’s girl on our hands. “Where my dad dough (go)?” “He’s at a meeting.” “OH! I YOST (lost) him?! Well, I miss him.”

“I ALWAYS yike to wear dose doves (those gloves).” (Always is a new qualifier of the week.)

“Mom, mom, mom, Johanna!” (I didn’t even know she knew my name. Then when I asked her if she knew that was my name she said, “Your name Mommy.”)

Me: Taylor, here’s your banana. Taylor: Thanks, honey!

Her version of “Who Let the Dogs Out?”:
Who let the dogs out? Wuff, wuff, wuff.
I don’t knoooow!

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