Monday, July 28, 2008

Goodbye Grace

It was time to say goodbye. We hugged one last time, and then our daughter A--sweetly holding Elizabeth Grace (“Ella”)--climbed in the taxi. They and L's mom were taking an early train the 2 1/2 hours back to their home. L would take the rest of us to the airport, and then catch a later train.

I couldn't say anything, for I feared sobs would flow instead of words. We all knew it would be months until we saw each other again. Yet the time had come to part from our darling daughter and the precious child she had delivered just two short weeks ago.

As we all stood there on the steps of the hotel, that still, small voice whispered strength into my heart. "Her middle name . . . that's the only way any of you can do this."

Grace. Elizabeth Grace. Yes, that’s the only way.

I've heard a couple good definitions of "grace" over the years. One is "getting what you don't deserve." That certainly is true, especially about the grace God gives us in the gift of His salvation.

But there is another explanation of the grace that our loving Lord poured out on us on those hot steps last Saturday morning in Asia. "There is a grace ambulance," someone once told us, "that races to us to give us everything we need so we can do everything that God has for us to do."

Thanks for praying for our family these past 3 weeks. All of A and L's friends said "tell them not to come, it will be too hard on you to have all that company right after having the baby." We were concerned, too, for we did not want to be a big burden on a new mom and her hubby, especially since we’d be in a country where we couldn’t communicate on our own.
But God blessed us with a wonderful time together--our family, L's parents and the new little family of A, L and little Elizabeth Grace. As A put it, "I wouldn't have had it any other way." Neither would we.

More Unapologetically Gpa Pix

The whole clan together in Asia

Dad enjoying daughter

Gramma Woodlyn, A holding Ella, Aunt Joanna

I love my Momma!

Sleeping Beauty

Monday, July 21, 2008

G'parenting Thoughts

A few months ago Rhonda Stewart, my wonderful Exec Assistant, also became a grandparent for the first time. Here's some thoughts she sent us when we joined the gparent club.

I don't think I have added my Congratulations to y'all yet, so "Congratulations!" She is beautiful.

I guess by now you have discovered that Grandpa Curtis is right - "There's nothing like it!"

I think maybe we are blessed with grandchildren to remind us of that overwhelming feeling of new and unconditional love that we just can't get enough of. We've been married "forever;" the kids are just about all grown up and don't need or want so much from us and hopefully we've taught them just about everything we know by now; we've loved our Father and been loved by Him since we can remember. . . We've just gotten used to loving and being loved. Sometimes, instead of "We can't get enough," it's "We've had enough!"

And then - this beautiful, helpless, little perfect creation comes along, and -suddenly we feel these wonderful feelings that we forgot we had - the anticipation, joy, delight at the tiniest things, overwhelming - can't get enough of it - LOVE. Like we had when we were dating our future spouse, or when our babies were born and growing and learning, or when we first came to have a personal and close relationship with our Father. It's been so long and we've gotten so used to loving and being loved that the love and wonder we feel for this new life seems like something we've never felt before.

I guess we need a reminder of that kind of love - a rekindling of that love for our spouse and our family and a new realization of just how much our Father loves us - the kind of unconditional, overwhelming, amazing love He has for us.

"There's nothing like it!" is true. We have (and probably make) more time for them, we don't usually have to stay up all night with them, we aren't actually responsible for them 24/7, we have a little money with which to spoil them, etc. It's great!


Uncle Phil has come up with a new name for our family -- "Ella-copters." All because we hover so much! Here are some of my favorite hovering pix, plus there are lots more in previous posts!

Aunt JoJo reads very first book to Ella

Steve and Derinda whisper some family secrets about Ella's dad!

Gramma whispering family secrets about Ella's Mom!

See, I CAN hold her without making her cry!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Due Date Activities

So what do you do on the baby's due date when the baby's not ready to "do"?

Starbucks Breakfast

Breakfast of Champions?

Go sight seeing

Check-up at The Clinic

Trip to Handmade Cloth Shop

Eat at Hot Pot Restaurant

Enjoy (?) Chicken Feet Soup

Play games back at the hotel

Monday, July 07, 2008

Baby Wait: Keeping up with A

9 minutes, 21 seconds. That's what A & L told us was the walking distance between our hotel and where they have been staying the past 2 weeks as they wait for little Ella to arrive. So when we started out on this short jaunt the first time, I realized I had subconsciously made some incorrect assumptions about A's 9 month condition. I found myself surprised. No, not surprised. Pleasantly shocked.

Walking out into the 95 degree heat, we had to hustle to keep up with her! She took off down the street, and all us non-pregnant people didn't have time to dilly dally, and certainly no time to catch our breath!

As I marveled at her good health and good spirits, I thanked the Lord for a strong daughter supported by a strong husband. Both of them have taken all this in stride. This culture of walking everywhere is paying great dividends as she waits out these final days? . . . hours? . . . minutes? . . . until little Ella arrives. My heart sings with joy with yet another confirmation that God designed both A and L to do exactly what they are doing.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Baby Wait Update

Thanks so much for continuing to pray for our kids in Asia, and the delivery of our new granddaughter. We leave our house at 4 am Saturday to go spend time with them, and little Ella still has not arrived! Our daughter, A, has been having contractions for over a week and a half. She and L, our son-in-law, have been staying at a hotel in the hospital city, since they live 2.5 hours by train away from their hospital. So keep praying!

My mom must have the inside scoop on this baby communication stuff. Here’s what Great Grandmother Jane wrote to A and L. I guess she must have interviewed Ella in utero via skype or something. All in the midst of all the flooding that has taken place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where my parents live.

Now, for the really exciting news! At present our little Elizabeth Grace (Ella) has decided to kick back and rest up for her journey into our world. Wondering why? Here are some reasons why we think she is waiting (no particular order of importance):

1. She's content in her present environment to lay back and gain some weight. She's part Danish you know and is attracted by weight gain.

2. She's waiting for her Gramma and Granddad to get there because she's heard they are special people in her life.

3. She's heard baby showers are fun and she'd like to witness at least one first hand that's put on in her honor. [They missed a shower because they left for the hospital city early. They will probably have it after Ella is born and they return home.]

4. She's all snuggled in where she is and wondering if that arm cradling and rock-a-bying are really all they're cracked up to be.

5. She's not all that excited about having to wear clothes. 6. She's practicing her gymnastics getting ready for the Olympics.

7. She really would like to help cook but she's afraid she might have to help with the dishes.

8. Her Mom is walking all over so she is being gently rocked in her special hammock most of the day. What could be better than that?

And last but not least:

9. She'd really like to go to Iowa but she hears it’s just too wet at present.

As you can imagine, we can hardly wait to give a big hug to all 3 of them!


Mike Jorgensen