1. PregnancyAs of today I am at 17 weeks! I have experienced a lot more fatigue with this pregnancy, although my energy is better now that I'm in the 2nd trimester. I was able to go for a doctor visit and ultrasound a few weeks ago. Praise the Lord, the baby is looking healthy and everything is normal! I also had good hemoglobin levels--something for which I am very grateful after the efforts we made to raise them following Hosanna's birth. Approximate due date is October 10th!
I'm not big on doing belly-shots, and since I don't have one for this post, here's Abby's perception of pregnancy instead. This made Josh and me laugh so much! :D
2. Going to AmericaAfter birthing three babies overseas, we finally decided to see what it is like to have one in the U.S. :) Actually, after much prayer and discussion, we felt God was leading us to make a trip back home. However, we kept tripping over the question of when to fly. Joshua will be busy all summer with our annual Carpathian Mountain Outreach project here in Ukraine, and waiting until September to fly our whole family together seemed a little late in the pregnancy for safety.
As it turns out, one of my very best friends is getting married in May and I was invited to be part of the ceremony. She lives in Houston, where my parents are also located. So, we decided that the 3 girls and I will fly to Houston on May 15th in time for the wedding, and then spend the rest of the summer hanging out with my folks in Houston, while Joshua stays in Ukraine.
We are SO excited about getting to spend some time with family!! The downside is, of course, that Joshua and I will have to be apart for over 3 months, so you can pray for us! (Thank goodness for Skype!) We know it will be difficult, but we also know that Joshua will be super busy and often absent throughout the summer. It makes more sense for me to be where I can have help, family, and a bit of R&R, besides the fact that I'll be arriving in the U.S. in plenty of time for the birth.
Joshua will join us as soon as he can, right around early September. We plan on having the baby in Ft. Worth, which is where his parents are located and also our amazing sending church.
The girls are talking non-stop about our trip; they cannot wait until take-off! One of the things we are looking forward to the most (beside the obvious of being with loved ones) is simply getting to be outside. Having a backyard to play in. We are nearly giddy just talking about my parents' yard, kiddy pool, sand box, chickens and puppies, zip line, and trampoline. :)
3. A Surprise GuestOver the years of being in Ukraine, many friends and family have come over to visit us. But because it is a long, expensive trip over here, not everyone who would like to come is always able. A few weeks ago, we were occasioned great surprise by news of a coming visitor...(drumroll please)...
After 11 years of praying for her son overseas, hearing of all the people he meets and ministers to, sending box after box of needed items, and in general helping him and us in just about every way possible, she is finally able to come and see for herself the place he has been all this time.
Countless times she has fielded the question, "When will you go visit Ukraine?" "When God shows me the right timing, I'll go!" has been her answer. A few weeks ago, when she heard of our plan for me to fly home solo with 3 children, she said, "I think this is God showing me His timing." ;) Her travel dates allow her to spend a few weeks with our family, and correspond exactly to fly her home on the very same planes with me and the girls. God is so good!
"...For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Matthew 6:8