Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fishing, Family, and Friends

So, after Billy's parents left San Antonio we began to pack for 2 seperate trips. Billy packed for a fly-fishing trip to the San Juan River in NM and Libby and I packed for a trip to see my family in SC. Billy had an amazing time on the river with his friend, "Steve the Fireman". They both caught an incredible amount of beautiful trout. Billy said he's appreciating his time on the river more and more as he gets older. He came home feeling refreshed and wishing he could fish like that every day. He promises to get some proof of caught fish (a.k.a. photos) from Steve. When I have them I'll post them.

Libby and I flew across the nation to be pleasantly surprised by cooler weather. Our first evening in SC we celebrated my brothers birthday. Each day after that was full of adventure as we met with friends and family - many of which I have not seen in quite a long time. The long list of people we had a chance to see are: my mom and dad, my sister, brother-in-law and niece, my brother and sister-in-law, Mema, baby Matthew, Aunt Marsha, Aunt Jenny, Cousin Arlyn, Alli, Jennie, all of Becky and Taylor's friends, Pepa and Ann, and Mrs. Carol. Libby and I stayed at my sister's house. Kuddos Jason on all the remodeling you've done! It's lookin' GREAT!
Libby is blossoming so beautifully. She is becoming less and less intimidated by a crowd and she's starting to call people by their names and engage in "conversation" and initiate games. She just seems so happy and free these days. Her smile makes her whole face beam - like it's coming from deep within. She is starting to try and sing the words in songs, she's saying several full sentences ("i see you" or "i guess so" or "i see mommy and daddy"), and she's counting (kinda -if 1,2,3,11,12,9,10 can be called counting).

One particular reason for going to SC was that some dear college friends asked me to meet them there to have a reunion of sorts. Alli, Jennie and I have not all three been together since my wedding - in 1999. I spent Friday morning being extremely nervous about 1: leaving Libby for 2 days and 2: seeing friends I had not seen in so long - after lots of life changes. But Libby ended up being an angel for my very pregnant sister and the time with my friends was WONDERFUL! I had no idea it was possible to talk that much in such a short perioud of time - but we did! We talked until 1AM Saturday morning and then woke up early and started talking again. We had a delicious breakfast in downtown Charleston and drove to N. Chas to visit CSU for old time's sake. I can't believe 10 years have passed since that season of our lives. Time flies. Each of us is a mother and involved in ministry in one way or another. It's amazing to see how God has protected and blessed each of our lives all these years. God is so faithful, so good. And, by the way, I have some beautiful friends - inside and out!

Libby is doing great in her new Kids Day Out program. She cries when we first leave her, but from day one at this new program she has taken her naps, eaten her food, played well with the other kids and not cried at all! She knows this place is different. She comes home with crafts and a sheet that tells us what/how she did for the day. And she comes home happy! Billy went with me to drop her off the other morning and he could tell a difference right away! So we are confident we did the right thing by moving her to this program and we are so grateful to the Lord for providing us with that alternative. I feel like a new woman because after having 2 successful days of Libby going to "school" I now have a clean house and I'm getting caught up on office work. LOVE THAT!

A few things to be praying about:1. Yesterday my dad, Dennis Graham, had a strange sensation that really worried him. He said it felt like he might pass out and he thought it might be a heart attack. He went to his doctor and the doc did the EKG thing and there was no sign of a heart attack. However, the dr. could not do the stress tests because of some ridiculous insurance issue. Anyway - please pray that my dad can get the stress tests done ASAP to make sure there's not some kind of blockage. While my dad feels like there may have been other, less significant things going on - I am certainly concerned that he might have a blockage. Please pray for his protection as he waits for the appropriate tests.

2. Billy's grandfather fell and broke his hip last week. Pray for his healing and pray for Billy's family as they are having to care for him and work through some really difficult issues concerning Papa's bills and healthcare.

3. My sister should be having her 2nd baby girl any day now. If she doesn't go into labor by Oct. 5 the dr. will induce her. Can't wait to see that precious baby (and know her name!)!

4. I am coming down with a cold/brochitus (sp?). Please pray that my cough and drainage would come to an end so I can sing next week in Wisconsin.

We are home for a few days. Next Wednesday Billy is supposed to drive to Dallas to teach a couple of classes at Christ for the Nations (a worship institute). Then Thursday we fly to Wisconsin (yep, that's a first!). We are looking forward to that trip - can you say cool weather!! YES!

Some of the pictures posted include: (in no paticular order)

Alli, Jennie and I reuniting!

Libby at a park with Taylor's friends

Gigi helping Taylor and Libby put together a puzzle

Papa showing Libby how to fill a bird feeder

Aunt Becky looking beautiful at 9 months pregnant

Libby and Taylor in the grocery story "car cart"

Mema (who refuses to look at the camera!) and I

Libby throwing a good fit while trying to get a photo with Kelly and Carissa

Libby in our house reading a book - thought my family would like to see the inside of our home.

Taylor with her arm around Libby

Much love to all!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Busy Week For the Feet

This has been one busy week! Libby went to a birthday party for the first time. Isabella turned 3 years old. She is an adopted Chinese girl. I wasn't able to get a picture of the birthday girl, but I did manage to capture Libby, Maliah and Ava together at play. Precious!

We continued the week with a play date with Libby's friend Taylor. They were so cute with their sunglasses!

After an interesting experience and a little parental intuition regarding Libby's original Kids Day Out program on Tuesday, we spent Thursday switching to a new location/program. I think Libby will be much happier at the new program. We visited the new program on Thursday and took some pictures of the room, Libby's teachers and the children so Libby can look at them over the next week while we're in Charleston and be ready to jump into class when we return.

Tuesday night with the Somalis went very well. It was the smoothest night in a long time from an administration/supervising point of view. For those who know the long story, you'll be happy to hear that the 4 new older girls who joined the group recently seemed to fit in better and make some great progress. The night overall was an answer to prayer.

The fun event for the week has been a visit from Gammy and PaBoots Foote. They came in on Thursday afternoon and we haven't stopped since. We celebrated Gammy's birthday Thursday evening at Macaroni Grill. Friday we took a trip to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and had a blast watching Libby feed and be mesmerized by the animals. PaBoots was a hoot with the zebras! And Libby lovingly sat in Gammy's lap for most of the ride. The ostriches freak me out - period - always will! Gammy and PaBoots brought a few special gifts for Libby including a "Little People Campers" toy set and a Mr. Potato Head set. Libby is REALLY enjoying her grandparents. She has been in hyper-high-gear since they arrived. It started catching up with her today and she took a 2 hour nap! Today Gammy and PaBoots did some early Christmas shopping for Libby while Libby played with every toy in the store that was within reach. Tomorrow Libby will be VERY, VERY SAD when Gammy and PaBoots head back home. She is really going to miss them.
Today, our social worker made his last visit to the Foote house. We just finished our 12 month post placement report - the final report China requires!!! YEAH!! All DONE!

Monday, Libby and I will fly to Charleston to see my family - including my very pregnant sister - while Billy heads for a fly-fishing trip with a friend. By the end of being with Billy's family and then my family Libby is going to think she rules the world and I have a feeling the week after our trip to Charleston will be full of tantrums, exhaustion and reluctant settling in. We'll see!

Until next time,

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Few More Pics (to go with first post)

Picture descriptions:
1. Libby with the Martine Kids during our Gotcha Day Dinner at Ming Court
2. Maliah and Libby laughing

Thursday, September 6, 2007

You Have To Catch Up In Order To Follow

This being our first blog post, I thought it wise to catch everyone up on the Foote path. Since the beginning of time (it seems) I've been posting monthly on Libby's site: But her site is full as she has been in our arms for a full year now. And it never seemed like Libby's site was the place to fill everyone in on the rest of our family story - our passions, our weekly ins and outs, our struggles, our hopes. So here we are - finding a place to post it all - Libby's life, family life, ministry life - you'll find it here.

So - here's the latest on Libby. Sept. 4 we celebrated Libby's 1st. Anniversary of Gotcha Day - the day we received Libby in China. Actually, we didn't get to celebrate on the 4th due to ministry travels, but tonight - the 6th. we had dinner with the Martine family (whose daughter, Maliah, is from the same orphanage). It was such a wonderful evening celebrating the most thrilling experience of holding our girls for the first time. We got some amazing photos of our girls together - holding hands and even a cute, toddler kiss. So precious! The Martine family is beyond amazing. The Lord gave us our friendship through adoption and now the Martine family is integral in almost every facet of our lives. We are so grateful for the gift of their friendship and we look forward to Libby and Maliah growing up together.

This morning was Libby's first day at Kids Day Out (a.k.a. school). She did fine until they tried to lay her down for a nap and then she lost it. They called me at 12:30 saying she had been inconsolable for an hour and I needed to come pick her up. Poor thing! I think she'll get used to school soon, but it may be a challenge for a while.

Itinerant Ministry News: We traveled to 5 different camps this summer which included trips to south TX, west TX, CO, TN and PA. Since the summer ended we've been to FL and NM. Several events canceled on us for the fall and, honestly, that was tough to take. The phone isn't ringing like it used to. We're asking the Lord to show us what He's doing and what He wants us to do. For now, it's a waiting game, but if things don't change by this time next year we will have to take a step back and reevaluate our ministry on the road. We realize there are a lot of dynamics to this situation and the majority of those are out of our control. So our ministry on the road is completely dependent upon the Lord and that's not a bad place to be.

While our time on the road may possibly dwindle - one thing we know for sure: God is giving Billy some incredible songs. Billy knows this is a true gift from the Lord and we are asking God to show us how to use these songs and get these songs out to the global church.

Ministry News at Home: During our wait for Libby, I read an enormous amount of books on missions. Through those books I began to feel that I was called to foreign missions, but I also knew that call was not on Billy's life at that point. So, obviously I struggled with the desire to do foreign missions and the inability to go. One day, an Iranian man was praying over us and he said, "the Lord is about to bring the nations to you". We had no idea what that meant.

So - let's stop there. It's late and you've got to be tired of reading last year's history of our lives. We're caught up for the most part - so now, you can Follow the Feet!

Other sites: