Saturday, January 29, 2011

no more silence...

It's been quite some time since I've put out a blog post. I've been quiet for too long. For those of you who know me, you know that this is not in my make-up to be quiet... even for 5 minutes, let alone a week! But the time has come for me to once again speak my mind:)

Until this week, things have been moving very slowly at our agency. We've all been waiting with baited breath for a few referrals to come through, for families to pass court successfully, and for those waiting for their Embassy dates, to pass with flying colors.

It's been a difficult couple of months as only a handful of families have received their referrals (pictures and info on their child). I don't know why, but I just grew silent during this time. Obviously being a mom to 4 kids and homeschooling, might have played a role in my absence. But I wouldn't be completely honest with you if I didn't say that the silence at our agency has been deafening. I've been trying to remain positive and hopeful through this whole process. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done.

This journey has been teaching us some amazing things about trusting in our Savior, the Maker of the Universe. Seriously, I don't know why I even question His faithfulness. He's shown it time and time again. So each day I rise asking The Lord to fill my heart with a new song. I ask Him to help me to be faithful to Him. I tell Him that I want to honor Him with my life. And I do really well... for about 5 minutes. lol. Good thing that He's a forgiving God!

His faithfulness was seen this week as not 1 or 2, but 5 families received their referrals!! Two of these babies were 4 months, and 4.5 months old respectively! Another baby boy was only a teeny weeny 7 weeks old! My excitement for these families was overflowing to the point that it almost felt like WE received our referral. God is soo faithful! As always, I'm eager to see who He has handpicked for our family, yet I'm at peace knowing that it will be in His perfect time, in His perfect way.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

voted off the island.

If you don't blog, you should. It's very cathartic.

I just had to share that I think I've been voted off the island.
The island of "someone else will do it."
The island of "I don't have the money."
The island of "I'm comfortable."
The island of "what will they think?"
The island of "what about my retirement fund?"
The island of "I'm scared."
The island of "how are you gonna pay for college?"
The island of "I'm numb."
The island of "I can't do that."
The island of [fill in the blank]
What island are you being voted off?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

let it snow!

You're probably wondering what we do to keep the winter blues away, right? We need something to keep us occupied as we wait (patiently) for our referral of our precious child/children. So, what do we do?

We go sledding!
Several inches of snow fell on our very soggy, grassy ground yesterday, so we felt it was important to take advantage of it!

We were out the door and on our way to the hill by 9:30am. It always amazes me how long it takes just to get out the door... I think we spend more time preparing than we actually spend sledding!

of course we had a blast...

... well, most of us did.

I hope that you are also enjoying the winter weather... enjoying the many blessings that The Lord has given to us. And looking forward, hopeful for the future He has intended for us. I am reminded of one of my favorite verses in the Bible:
James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Friday, January 7, 2011

smiling for Him

Claire and I were at her piano lesson the other day, and at the end of the lesson her teacher asked her why she's always smiling. "In fact", she said, "everyone in your family smiles. All the time. Even your baby brother... Why is that?"

Claire of course just smiled. But her teacher asked again, "really, why is is that you all are smiling?" I encouraged Claire to share with her why it is that we do indeed smile.

*A little disclaimer. We aren't ALWAYS smiling. We do have our off moments, hours, and sometimes days. We wouldn't be normal if we didn't.

Now, I have no idea where this sweet teacher's heart is. I don't know if she knows the Lord. I don't know what she believes. But I was excited to answer her question.

It was if she was begging us for an answer.  It reminded me of the verse that I had learned long ago...
1 Peter 3:15 NIV But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
My sweet 7 year old was a bit timid to respond, although I know that she knew the answer to the question, and she knew what I was hoping she'd say in response to the question. I didn't want to put her on the spot, so I answered for her. "Well," I said, "It's because we have Jesus in our hearts!" What a great moment.  Mrs. H didn't jump up and ask if she could know that same joy, but she did listen. And I'm quite certain that a seed was planted. It was so cool to be a part of that. I love it when we are used by Jesus to share His good news with others! I WANT to be a testimony for Him. He knows that many days I fail... big time. And yet, He's patient with me and gives me another chance, again and again to shine for Him.

We have soo much to smile about. So much to be thankful for.

May that seed that was planted take root and grow. My prayer is that He would send workers into the fields to reap the harvest that has been planted.

May we keep smiling for Jesus!

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    a new beginning

    So I had every intention of posting this next post on New Year's Eve, but clearly THAT didn't happen.

    I know that we've been absent for over a week from blogging. It's not that we haven't wanted to, it's just that we've been super busy with lots of family in town. Which of course included lots of Christmas celebrations, awesome food, and great conversation. Please excuse our delay and excuse the fact that this may seem like old news since I wrote it 3 days ago:)

    Happy New Year! It's hard to believe that it's New Year's Eve 2010. Where did this year go? Our kids are all a little bit older, a little bit taller and hopefully a little bit wiser.

    In looking back at 2010, I can definitely say it's been a year of great change for us. Our adoption journey really began in January of 2010 as Haiti was devastated by a horrific earthquake. That was the event that really pushed us into action to start on this amazing adoption journey. After taking a few months to look at the financial aspects, as well as dutifully  researching all kinds of different agencies, we finally landed on our awesome agency, America World (It wouldn't be right if I didn't put a little plug in for them).

    I have been amazed at God's incredible faithfulness to us through this whole process. The financial aspect alone looked almost insurmountable, yet we have had the funds that we need at each designated time that it was needed.

    We were able to send our dossier to Ethiopia on November 19th, a day that will live in infamy... at least for us! Now we wait...

    We've been told that our wait could be anywhere from 4-6 months, at which point we'll receive a picture of our little baby/babies.

    But then we will wait again for our court date (a couple of months). We'll then travel to ET, meet our little one/ones and pass court.

    Then it will be another wait... we have to leave our child/children there! ( I can't imagine how hard this will be), come home for another period of time (a couple of months), travel back to pick them up and FINALLY come home to our family.

     I've heard from soo many other adopting mamas how very difficult this road of adoption can be. In fact it's been said, "Adoption is not for the faint of heart". And yet, God never said that life would be easy. The truth is that if it WAS easy, I'd probably not learn anything along the road.

    I'm so thankful that The Lord placed this great longing on our hearts to step out of our comfortable American lives, and do something to "help the least of the these".

    We are eager to ring in 2011 as we continue to plan and prepare to bring more kiddos into our family. To say that we are excited would be such an understatement. God is doing some amazing things in Jeff and I, and I'm soo thrilled to be a part of it.

    Tonight before the "ball drops" in New York City at midnight, we will sit down with our kids and have them write out their goals (both personal and spiritual) for this next year, as is tradition in our family. We also have the kids write out what they think they'll be doing in 10 years. It's soo fun to save these and pull them out 10 years later to see what funny things they wrote. I know this first hand, as we did this as kids in my family growing up.

    After the kids are in bed, Jeff and I will sit down and write our goals, both personal and more importantly our spiritual goals for the year. I'm amazed at how our shift has really changed from more selfish endeavors and dreams to more eternal goals.

    I think I really am beginning to understand the verse found in Matthew 6:20-21
    20 Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars.21 It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
    Of course, we have a long road ahead of us,  but I'm trusting in my Savior who put this desire in our hearts. I know that He does have great plans for us!

    May you and yours have a healthy and happy New Year!