Saturday, January 26, 2008

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE

We leave tomorrow morning (4:30 am to the airport -- YUK!) for the states. We will fly from Skopje to Zurich and then on to Atlanta. We are very excited about getting to attend the New Baptist Covenant meeting from Wednesday, Jan. 30 - Friday, Feb. 1 in Atlanta. See this link for details on the New Baptist Covenant meeting. http://www.newbaptistcelebration.org/

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and Former Vice-President Al Gore will all be speaking on topics that affect our world -- such as poverty, HIV-AIDS, environmental issues, race relations, and issues of reconciliation, justice and peace. CBF churches are very involved - alongside National Baptist congregations - in making a difference in our world.

On February 2, we will fly to Louisville -- where Amy & family will pick us up and take us to Jasper (their new home) which is about an hour away. We will be staying with Anna and Sophie while Amy, Christopher and Elijah travel to Ethiopia to bring our little Nathan home. They will be gone from February 9 - 20.

We are looking forward to some quality time with our granddaughters and loads of laughs, I'm sure. Anna has developed such a wonderful, dry sense of humor and has started to kindergarten since we saw her last -- so it will be so much fun getting to know her better. Amy tells us everyday about the funny things that Sophie does and says and how her little mind works is just amazing. What fun times are in store for us!!!!

We will be making contacts while we are in the states with some of our partners who are interested in coming to work alongside us this summer. In addition, we will be attending another reconciliation meeting before we head back to Macedonia on March 3.

We will do more posting after we arrive in the states (if we get the computer to cooperate -- HA!). I am notorious for having computer problems that no one seems to understand. HA! So no promises, but we will try.
Before we go, here are a few new pictures of Nathan, Elijah, Anna & Sophie to enjoy----



Latest Pictures of Nathan

Amy, Christopher and children at church

Anna and Elijah

Sophie

--And a picture taken at dinner last night when we all got together for a "Bring Nathan Home Celebration". These pictures were taken in our Skopje apartment (many of you have been to visit us here).

Back Row (left to right): Toshe, Maria, Sara, Jehona and Kathy
Middle Row: Brane, Margo, Arville, and Habibe
Front Row: Agim, Shelia and Darrell

Friday, January 25, 2008

"The Waiting Place"


Several times over the past year, we have had the occasion to consider the "state of waiting". Do we wait with anxiety, fear, encouragement, hope, or expectancy -- or at times, all of these emotions? It really does have a lot to do with one's state of mind while waiting that determines how the time will be spent.

A dear friend and colleague died this year, and for him, time went all too quickly, I'm sure. On the other hand, for Amy & Christopher - waiting on little Nathan to be with them - time has gone at a snail's pace. Whether we are waiting for a new job to come our way, waiting to get married and start a new life together, waiting on a home improvement project to be completed, waiting to graduate after long hours of studying, OR perhaps waiting to make a very important decision (that is called procrastination sometimes) --- this thing called "waiting" is difficult, at best.

I was watching the movie, "Fracture", several weeks ago, and the Dr. Seuss book, "Oh the Places You Go", was read outloud to a woman in a coma. This is an excerpt from the book:


Do you dare stay out?
Do you dare go in?
How much can you lose?
How much can you win?
And if you go in, should you
turn "left" or "right"?
Or right and three quarters or maybe not quite.
You can get so confused that
your starting's erased.
Down long wiggled roads at a breakneck pace,
And grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
Headed, I fear, to a most useless place:
"The Waiting Place"
For people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go,
For a bus to come,
For a plane to go,
For the mail to come,
For the rain to go,
or the phone to ring,
For the snow to snow.
Waiting around for a "yes" or a "no".
For a string of pearls or a pair of pants,
For wiggly curls or
another chance.***

For those of you still waiting for something -- don't forget that there is ONE thing we should not wait on any longer. Don't wait to give a word of encouragement to someone, to make a contribution to someone else's life, to listen, and to lend a helping hand.

One of the most encouraging things I have seen throughout this adoption process that Amy and her family have experienced is the overwhelming support that these parents give to each other. What a loving community. They are all waiting for their child(ren) to become part of their family, but they care about other families that are going through the same kind of experiences, as well. This has been such an inspiration -- and I am so glad that we have been able to know some of them personally.
Shelia



*** (I apologize for any misphrasing or sentence structure - I was writing the words from the film script and did not have access to the actual book, "Oh the Places You Go".)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A QUILT FOR A SPECIAL WOMAN

Amy wanted to give Nathan's birthmother a special gift that would also be useful, so she asked me to make a quilt for her. She will take it to Addis with her and give it to his birthmother in person. This will be a very emotional time for both Amy and Eyerusalem -- but very meaningful, too.

I chose bold African colors because I know how much African women love bright, cheerful colors (at least that was true of the women I knew in Burkina Faso). I set the bright colors against a black background so that they would stand out even more. The quilt is hand-pieced and hand quilted. Then I made this multi-layered panel that is sewn on the back of the quilt so that she could remember the future she is giving to her son and his forever family.

Here is the finished product with the label sewn on the back:











Shelia

Thursday, January 17, 2008

WE ARE GRANDPARENTS AGAIN !!!!!


THE PROUD GRANDPARENTS

As you can see by this posting, Nathan is officially a Breedlove -- making us grandparents for the 4th time !!! We are so thrilled that the court date worked out this time. Amy and Christopher are making final plans for their trip to Ethiopia -- and very shortly, we will be in the States for a conference and to stay with the girls (Anna & Sophie) while the rest of the family travels to get baby Nathan.



So what did I do while waiting for this important news to come today?? Kathy Smith and I took Habibe to McDonalds for lunch and a LONG visit. I even documented Habibe's first McDonalds cheeseburger. She loved it !!!???!!! I read on Amy's blog that she played in the snow with the kids --- WELL, I went to McDonalds --- anything to not have to WAIT on a call. HA!
IN SKOPJE, MACEDONIA ---- -----


AND WHAT WENT ON IN JASPER -- -- -- --


THE BUILDING OF A WELL-DRESSED SNOWMAN
When more details are available I will post them. Thank you for all your prayers and support while we have been in this "Waiting Game". We hope you are rejoicing with us today.
Shelia & Arville

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

JUSTICE, EQUALITY, AND MARTIN LUTHER KING



My husband and I are involved in issues of reconciliation, justice, and ending poverty. We live and work in Skopje, Macedonia, where ethnic tensions have tended to escalate at given times in Eastern European history. On his birthday, I recalled the legacy that was left by Martin Luther King in the realm of justice and reconciliation by reading some of his speeches. It was amazing to me how many of his orations need to be re-made in 2008 --- around our world.

Here is one of those speeches that he made on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before he was assassinated. He declared "eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism". We still are in need of these words today.

Five years ago [John F. Kennedy] said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." [applause] Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin [applause], we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. [applause]

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Pictures of Nathan Have Arrived



Here are a few new pictures of Nathan that were sent to Amy this week by another couple returning from Ethiopia with their baby daughter.






I made the comment to Amy that Nathan seemed to like wearing a hat because we had seen him in hats several times. Then she sent this picture !! Maybe not so much. HA!



The second court date for Nathan Mussie to become an "official" Breedlove is this Thursday, January 17th. We will post the news as soon as we hear something. Even though we are only 2 hours from Ethiopian time - we will have to wait for Gladney Adoption Agency to open in Fort Worth, and for Amy to get the news and then call us. So it will be at least late afternoon in Macedonia before we post anything.

Shelia

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"Future of the Family" Kindergarten New Year Celebration


Their First School Party (didn't know what to think at first)



But then the fun began

Here are a few pictures of our school party on December 31st. The children wore their very best clothes, came just for the party (no school that day),

they danced traditional Albanian dances together,






ate wonderful chocolate cupcakes made by Kathy Smith,



and received their presents from us.


Kathy, Habibe, and Nixhebe with the children


Opening their presents



Everyone had so much fun (including the teachers and staff)!!
Kathy, Habibe, Advije, Nixhebe, and Me (Shelia)

The school has 40 students who are chosen from hundreds of families who cannot afford to send their children to kindergarten. Through this small school, we minister to these 40 families in a personal way -- through joys, sorrows, disappointments, struggles, and celebrations. This special day was one of those times of celebration. It was a great way to end the semester and begin a new year. The children were so excited that many of them could not sleep the night before. It is an understatement that their first school party was a BIG HIT !!!

Video Clip of the Children Dancing To Albanian Music:

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Court Delay

Just an update. Amy & Christopher did not pass court today, so it has been delayed until January 17th. So we continue to wait. We will let you know on January 17th about the status of the adoption, and the possible travel plans for Amy, Christopher and Elijah - as well as our travel plans. We have a conference to attend and are still hoping that the travel dates will coincide so that we can be with Anna & Sophie and attend the conference -- all during the same travel dates.

Shelia