Sunday, February 20, 2011

chariots of fire...

Update!!! Just got word that a very generous donor is going to do a matching grant up to $1,000, making it $2,000 for this event!! If you'd like to help us out, scroll down for instructions on donating!!


How many of  you remember this movie? Some of our "younger" friends may not, but it's incredible.

It's a true story about two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who is running for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who is running to overcome prejudice.

I mentioned last week that I'm running a half marathon. It's interesting to me that this this movie tells the story of these two men who are running for the "glory of God" and to "overcome prejudice". I believe that there is definitely prejudice within the Christian community towards adoption. I'm not exactly sure why, as it's a command straight from the Bible over and over again to "care for the poor and needy, the orphans and widows in distress".

I believe that it's the church that should be stepping up, and clearly the church isn't doing a very good job of it (however momentum is building). My hope is that though our adoption will save only 1 or 2 children from a life of extreme poverty, a lack of the most basic needs, most likely not learning of a loving Savior, or the love of a mom and dad, that through our adoption others will be moved to consider adoption or at the very least be moved to help financially someone else who is adopting. Adoption is part of the great commission, in my humble opinion. And as Christians, we need to step up to the plate.

Already the training has been very difficult, but I realize that there are two things that I will be running in front of. The thought of our child(ren), and the audience of One that has led me to this place.

Apparently, I'm an achiever (according to my husband). When I set out to do something, I do it with all that I am. When I first thought about this half-marathon, I thought it would be a great fundraiser. But as I've trained for this run, I've had to put my trust in The Lord that I'll be able to 1. run it fully and 2. do it without stopping. It's not easy to train when you have to run it on a treadmill due to snow, ice and freezing weather outdoors. I would appreciate a lot of prayer as I train these next 8 weeks... for strength, endurance and the will power to finish the race.

Also, I've been feeling convicted that I should be believing/ trusting that we will have our referral (our picture of our child/children) before I run the race. At this point, it seems like it might take a small miracle for that to happen, as referrals have been few and far between the last few months...but, if I can't believe God for this, where is my faith? It doesn't mean that He will answer this prayer to my liking, but He tells us that the we must have faith in order to please Him. If you could be praying with me for that as well, I'd soo appreciate it.

So now the details.

Half marathon = 13.1 miles.

Yep. You read that right. One. Three. Point one. Lidell ran 400 meters. That's a quarter of a mile.

We're fundraising for each mile that I run. Would you be willing to donate a dollar or two (or five!) per mile?

The run is April 17th. Please click on the "Chip In" button at the upper right of this page. ChipIn will allow you to make a donation via PayPal.

If you live in the area and want to come and support me at the finish line, I would LOVE that!! Thanks for the prayers and the financial support that this will provide in bringing our kids home.

Friday, February 18, 2011

one blessed mama!

yesterday was my birthday. I am now 30 years old. ahem. I mean I'm 30 again.

I have THE best husband in the world. I'm sure that I've mentioned this before, but seriously, he is. I love how he and our kids did very meaningful gifts this year, as we are scrimping and saving to bring our baby home from Africa. Even in spite of this, I didn't in the slightest feel that I was lacking on my birthday.

It started out with flowers and cards...

from Jonah

from Claire

from Maddie

In case you can't see the front of Maddie's card, let me read it for you... The Mom Book by Maddie Seevers. Now the kicker was what this "book" said. Each page had a drawn picture of she and I corresponding to the words. It said, " You feed me as a baby, you helped me learn to walk, you took me to school, you were at all of my birthdays, you were there with me when I got my braces, you love me. Dear Mom, I am so happy that you are my mom. Happy Birthday! I love you! Love Maddie.

Let's just say I was pretty much a bucket of tears.

...and it didn't stop there. Jeff made me a large sign that said I'm a fantastic mom, but in Ahmaric (the language spoken in our baby's birth country). How cool is that??!!

...and thanks to a birthday gift from a family member, we were able to go out to a favorite restaurant... on a date... without kids. Such a treat.

Today is our son, Lincoln's 2nd birthday. Yep. He was born the day after my birthday. He IS the best birthday gift ever!

We celebrated this morning with our annual breakfast-in-bed routine...

let's just say Elmo's a favorite!

Celebrating life is such a beautiful thing! I feel so blessed to have such an awesome family to celebrate! I'm hopeful that our baby will be home with us soon, and that we'll be able to start celebrating him/ her as well.

Love all around.

I am way overdue for a blog update. Life around here has been busy this week. With both Valentine's Day, my birthday and our son Lincoln's birthday, we've had little time to sit and blog. But I've wanted to.

Blogging is soo therapeutic! Many of you understand, as you have your own blogs, in which to put down your thoughts and emotions.

In light of that, I thought I'd give you a sneak peak into our crazy life.

This is our kids on Valentine's Eve... "what?", you say. "Valentine's Eve?" I know, it seems pretty silly. But they were soo excited about Valentine's Day. They couldn't wait for the next day to make heart shaped cookies...

... to sit down to a nice dinner...

...and then to decorate said cookies....

We had a great time expressing love to our children with cards, little gifts and lots of snuggling. We also took time to read 1 Corinthians 13 and explained what true love is...being patient and kind, not being jealous or keeping a record of wrong... We talked about God's unconditional love for us, and how we can show that same kind of love to others.

We talked about how we all already have such a mighty big spot in our hearts to love our baby from Africa, that we have yet to meet.

I hope that you had an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones on Valentine's Day and share love with them. But more importantly, I hope that you know the love of the Savior, that trumps all other love. May you feel engulfed in His love today.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the same song sheet...

Please watch this video before you read on...

Do you know what fascinates me about this video?

First of all, none of these individuals are in the same place. They are all singing their respective parts alone. With no one else.

Secondly, they seem to be singing with as much purpose and passion as if they were in a real choir with a large audience watching them.

And the kicker? They are all singing off the same song sheet.

When all the parts are stitched together, it makes the most amazing sound.

KT and I discovered pretty quickly after we began this journey of adoption, that the song sheet we were singing off of, was different than any other we'd sung off before.

However, what we've discovered since, is that there are a multitude of people who are singing off the same song sheet. They are other adoptive parents and supporters, who, when you step back and look...

...are making some pretty incredible music.

Let's all sing a little louder.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

stalling no more.

I know that I put out a small teaser on facebook regarding our next fundraiser. I also realize that I've been stalling to fill you all in on the details. Why? Because I'm a bit terrified about it.

You're probably dying to know what exactly this fundraiser is that's got me tied in knots, right?

I realize why I've been stalling... If I don't put it out there, then I don't really have to do it. I can just take the "let's wait and see" approach.

Well, no longer. It's happening. I'm doing it.

We have an annual half marathon here in Toledo, The Glass City Half Marathon, in April. And well... ahem... I've agreed to run it and use it as a fundraiser to collect donations from sponsors so that we can collect the much needed funding to bring our sweet baby home from Ethiopia.

For those of you that haven't known me long, I have to explain. I actually did run a half (3.5 years ago) and it was AWESOME! I trained well. I was in great shape. It was a great run! I have however had another baby since then... and well, I'm 3.5 years older. ha! Let's just say... ahem, I'm not as fit as I was then. It's not as easy to bounce back from baby #4, as it was with #1,2 and 3.

I'm probably making excuses.... keeping the expectations low, so that if I don't do well, or am not able to finish (God forbid), I have an out. Nice technique, I know. Not very courageous.

All that being said, I would run 100 races if it meant bringing my baby home. So it begins... the long and painful journey of training.

In case you don't know how far a half marathon is, let me enlighten you... It's 13.1 miles. Yes, you read that right... 13.1! and don't you dare leave off that .1 mile. That's the hardest portion of the race.

Before Christmas, I was actually running 7 miles a few days a week, and then doing some cross training on the opposite days. Pretty good, I thought. sigh. Then the holidays hit. Lots of yummy food. Not as much time to workout, and train. double sigh. I was back to running 3.5. sigh.

In January, I was back up to 6 miles. Yeah. Then another week trip to my sister's. sigh. A whole week without running. It's like starting from square one all over again.

So here I am. It's February 6th. The race is April 17th. That gives me exactly 10 weeks of training. I can do this. And you, my blog readers will help to spur me on... because I know that you'll be watching to see if I follow through with this.

I'm sure that you're wondering if you can help... you CAN help me with this crazy fundraiser. First off, please pray for me as I train. Pray for strength and determination to do this. Also pray that we are able to get some great sponsors for this event. You will have an opportunity to sponsor me, as well, as soon as I get those details ironed out! I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Thanks for letting me talk this through. It's going to be great! Whatever it takes to bring our baby home.

Gotta go check out some training options...