Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  Today as we celebrate with family and friends, may we not forget the real reason for the season.  Jesus was born today.  Thank you God for the gift of your son.  While we unwrap way to many presents and eat way to much food I pray each family takes time to thank God and also acknowledge the wonderful gift we have received.  Better than any gift that is wrapped under that tree!

Praying that this is our last Christmas as a family of 3, next year may there be one more little Ethiopian in this picture!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Grinch Party


It is Grinch Party day! This is one of Daniels most favorite holiday traditions.  What is a Grinch Party you might ask? It is such a fun night. Here are some things we do!

Dinner:



Dinner consists of  Roast Beast (Ham), Who Hash (potatoes), Green Grinch Beans, Who Pudding (pudding cups), Grinch Kabobs, Grinch Pills (M&Ms) and cookies, Rolls and Grinch Floats







Activities:

Coloring pages.  Ornament making and my favorite new activity this year an indoor snowball fight. Oh and we managed to get all of us in one selfie!











Best time ever!  The kids all eat way to much junk food, we watch the grinch and Papa falls asleep on the couch.  Every year!  We can't wait until next year.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas is always the hardest part of the wait

Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  But when you are in the adoption process it is the hardest time of the wait.  Everyone is shopping, family get togethers, stockings to hang, but in my heart I know while I am going through all these fun traditions a part of my heart is still in Africa.  There is one stocking missing, there is one set of little feet that won't be coming down the stairs Christmas morning, one little face that won't be looking up smiling at me with Daniel while he sneaks just a little more icing from the cookies.  As much as I love this season and this time with Daniel I can't help but stop and think each day about the little boy that I have yet to meet.  Is he safe?  Is someone holding him this Christmas?  Is someone loving him?  Will anyone tell him Merry Christmas?

This is probably the 3rd time in this process I have posted this video but I listen to it every year and cry.  I can't wait for the year that I get to have both my boys under the Christmas tree.


Next year will be the year our family is complete for Christmas.  Until then I will keep praying for the boy that we will meet someday.  May God keep him safe until he is home.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

video

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

3 Years Waiting....

Well we have officially been waiting for 3 years now.  3 long years waiting for our son and brother.  In our hearts we know that God has the perfect son for us his plan is always way better than ours.  Doesn't make the 3 years waiting any easier though.

This process is so different than Daniels.  So many people ask all the time since we have already adopted once shouldn't it be easier.  The reality is things change constantly.  So far just in this process the wait times and processes have changed 2-3 times already.  The changes are in the best interest of the children, which also extends the wait times.  There are many things we have had to do or learn about that are way different than what we did the fir

Looking back I am sure we will see God's movement in this time of waiting and if we don't I know it was all for his glory in some way.  This next year will be the year we get to see who God has picked for our family.  I just know it, for those of you who are ready and are in a season of waiting here are some scriptures and words of wisdom that I am hanging onto:

Colossians 1:17
"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together"

Patience isn't always learned through the accumulation of trials, but through accepting the trials so patience can have its perfect work

John 14:1
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God: trust in me.

There are many more but today this is what I am hanging onto.  God will bring him home this year!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Goodbye Carmen

With broken hearts we had to say goodbye to our family dog Carmen today.  Even though it was the best for her, it was the hardest thing we have ever had to do.  She was almost 11 years old and a faithful friend.  Mark and I got her about 4 months after we got married so she could keep me company when he worked late.  She was the best companion and the best dog ever.  She will be forever in our hearts and missed so dearly.  Daniel says she is up in Heaven with great grandpa running in the field.  

We love you Carmen and we will miss you.  Enjoy the forever sunshine and bunnies to you can chase until we see you again.




Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween

Happy Halloween!  It is still not our favorite time of year so this year on Halloween in leiu of trick or treating Daniel has chosen to go eat at his favorite place at the moment Panera.  I will be nice and warm while everyone else is cold and wet and sugar filled.  Seems like a great trade off to me!  Daniel did dress up for school and for the Pumpkin Race at the track.  He did not like all the other costumes at the track so we only went to one or 2 trailers and then sat on my lap under a blanket (head and all) while I helped pass out candy.

I have to say I am really not mad that Halloween isn't a favorite!  Here are a few pictures of my favorite superhero!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The moment you realize the world is broken

So Mark came home today to a surprise, someone had broken into our house.  It is one of those days that you will never ever forget!  Luckily Daniel had a dentist appointment so we were not the first ones home.

I was at my brothers when Mark called.  Of course the first time, I hit ignore because I was talking and I will just call him in a few minutes when I leave.  Then he calls again, by the third time I figured I should probably answer.  As soon as he said "We have been robbed" I thought he was joking.  Haha. Joke is on me!  He was not.

We went through all the steps with the officer to file the report and interview the neighbors.  We know we won't get our stuff back.  They didn't take much, just our TV, Playstation, laptop and hard drive.  That is the most devasting part, the hard drive.  Our whole life was on there.  All our pictures from 2007 and up.  Memories that we won't get back.  I am praising God that I saved every email I ever received from Daniels adoption and am able to pull some of those pictures, etc. back off the computer again (when we get one).

Now what do we tell Daniel, will he be afraid?  I had left him at my brothers to go and see the damage.  So when I brought him home, of course he is going to notice the huge empty space where he used to watch Chuck My Truck. So Mark sat him down and talked to him, told him someone took our stuff.  Daniels very first question "Why would someone take our stuff, God says not to steal".  This is the best part of the story, my wonderful husband Mark looked him in the eye and said "Well buddy they probably don't know God"  He then proceeded to pray for the people that broke into our house.   Wow what a teachable moment.  I can honestly say with all my heart that all I was thinking was "Don't freak out in front of Daniel, don't show that you are now terrified to be in your own home" and Mark was praying.  Just one of the many reasons I love this man.

So today we were broken into, our lives invaded and temporarily turned upside down, but my son learned from his dad about grace.  How many people can honestly say 2 hours after finding your home broken into that you would stop and pray for those very people.  In my opinion this day and age, not enough!  I thank God every day that he chose that man to be my Husband!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of School!


I can't believe Daniel is starting Kindergarten.  Where has the time gone!  He is so excited and can't wait to ride the bus.  I pray that this year he learns so much and makes many new friends.  He lights up a room when he walks in and I can't wait to see what God is going to do in him and through him this year.

When Daniel grows up he wants to be a Police Officer so he can go as fast as he wants to and not get a ticket.  (Wonder what brought thought on!?!?!!?  I will never tell)



  Look out Elementary School, here comes Daniel! 

"In the same way let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven" 
- Matthew 5:16

Friday, April 4, 2014

Waiting is the hardest part

It has been a long week!  It seems like life is on hold and we are waiting for everything including the weather to change.  We got news last week that the wait times (for a referral) are increasing again.  Wait times are now 36-42 months.  Our wait is at the 28 month mark right now.  We were hopeful to receive a referral by the summertime but as I know all to well, my timing is not always Gods timing and in adoption the timing always changes.  I knew the increase was coming since there haven't been many referrals it seems for awhile and I have been here before, but this wait increase was harder to digest.  It feels like we have been waiting forever.  Daniel is getting older, we just celebrated his 5 year birthday last month (blog post update will come soon), he is starting T-ball and we register for kindergarten this month and all he wants is his brother.  He talks about him all the time.  It's so hard to wait, even though life is full of waiting.  I have spent some time with God this week begging him to help me be ok with the wait (or just bring our son home but one thing at a time).

I thought I would share what he has taught me in hopes that it might help someone else in the midst of their wait.  Just this morning I read this in my devotion:
Know, sisters, He will wait with you if you ask. He will sustain your faith. He will assure you that He is in control. He has a plan and it’s not ours to figure out. He will turn your restlessness into rest. Rest in Him.
All you have to do is ask, he will wait with you, give you peace and help you rest.  Just ask!  Simple yet asking him to help me wait is never the first thing that comes to my mind.

He also revealed in one day the following scriptures:
Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience - Colossians 1:11
Finding my strength in him.  He has this under control.  He knows the plan but yet my first reaction is complete devistation and my first thought is "this wait is never going to end".  Instead of "God you got this, give me strength to continue this wait"
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth - Psalm 121:2 
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see - Hebrews 11:1
When you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, look for His light and have faith in God.  He can see what we can't.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God: trust in Me - John 14:1
My heart has been breaking at the though of at least another year without knowing who our son is, without getting to see that face and hold that hand.  I am trusting in God - while I am not able to hold my son I know he has him in his hands. More importantly my trust in Him gives peace to my heart because he is holding me too.
Search me God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me. And lead me in the way everlasting - Psalm 139: 23-24 
I laughed out loud when I read this scripture.  Not because it is funny but anyone who knows me knows I can be about as anxious as they come!  At the moment I read this anxiety was taking over and I felt out of control.

Music is a big outlet for me, God speaks through songs on the radio, in my ipod, etc. all the time.  When I need to feel closer I love to get in my car, turn up the radio and worship him like know one is watching. I was listening to Mandisa on my way to work one day and her song "Press On" came on.  I was struggling that morning with the wait and why is it so hard when all we want to do is grow our family. Deep in a me me me mood.  Well the lyrics go something like this:
When I'm alone, when I'm afraidWhen I have had all I can takeLosin my grip, I start to slip away
When I can hear the voice of doubtInside my head screamin loudStrengthen my faith and help me say today, today
I will follow, I will press onEven when the walk feels longYour hands hold me togetherYour love is with me foreverThrough the broken, through the victoryI will praise you through it allAnd run hard til the race doneI'm gonna press on, press on! 
How many storm have I been through?How many lead me right to You?Using the pain, the hardest days for my good, my goodSo, what do I fear, God you are with meGuiding my steps todayThrough the mountains, valleys, sun and rainLord, lead the way - lead the way! 
I will follow, I will press onEven when the walk feels longYour hands hold me togetherYour love is with me foreverThrough the broken, through the victoryI will praise you through it allAnd run hard til the race doneI'm gonna press on, press on! 
One step in front of the other, No lookin back, no looking back! One step in front of the other, I'm gonna press on, press on! 
So I am pressing on following God and his plan.  One step in front of the other until the wait is done (which in adoption one phase of waiting means another one is starting).  I am so grateful for God's love, guidance and most importantly patience as it takes me awhile sometimes to remember He's in control!

28 months waiting - 8-14 more to go!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Moving along, slowly

Good news from Ethiopia - they are not shutting down!  There will eventually be process and procedure reform.  At this time things are progressing as normal.  Slowly.  I just got off a conference call with our agency and there were 5 referrals last month and 2 so far this month.  Praise God!  More children are receiving clearances and some more have moved into the transition home.

On the unofficial list we are about number 32.  This means there could be mystery families that are ahead of us that have not logged into the chat group or facebook group but this gives a general idea as to where we stand.  With the timeframes we are seeing right now, we are praying for a referral by the end of the year.
Will you join us in prayer.

God has done some great things through our adoption community lately.  Mountains are moving and children are one step closer to their forever families.

Meanwhile, we are preparing for Daniels 5th birthday.  Yep I said it he will be 5!  Not really sure where the time has gone.  In a few weeks we will also celebrate the 4 year anniversary of passing court for Daniels adoption.  Time really does fly.  Daniel is so excited to be 5 that he is already planning on what he will do when he is 6.  The latest venture he will take is reading books he put aside for his baby brother, when he is 6.

Keep praying - we are praying our baby boy home one day at a time!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

10 Day Update - Ethiopia

Today was the day the we were hoping to hear something from the Parliament regarding the direction of International adoption and how they would like to proceed where the care of orphans is concerned in Ethiopia.  Unfortunately no announcement was made today from Parliament and it could take another week or longer.

While this is frustrating, AWAA has noted they have heard some positive feedback from officials over the last few days and some regions have acutally completed clearances for children waiting to be adopted.  This is good news in itself.  We will have to wait and see what happens. God is moving in Ethiopia and I believe he is hearing all of our prayers.

Please continue to pray and I will keep you updated as to where things stand.  Though we were hoping for more news, any news of movement is an anwered prayer today.

I have been praying over a couple of scriptures that have given me comfort while we wait that I have listed below:

"The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble they will never fall for the Lord holds them by hand." - Psalm 37: 23-24

"The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength" - Isaiah 58:11 NLT

"Wait with hope, hope now, hope always." - Psalm 131:3

As Daniel always says "God can do anything mom, because he is God"

Monday, January 6, 2014

Update on Ethiopia - Fasting and Prayer

Last week our agency had a conference call to update all of us on the current "scare" of Ethiopia shutting down International adoptions.  While the agency feels strongly that a shut down won't necessarily happen there will be some kind of reform.  What that looks like at this time no one really knows.  We do know that by January 13th, next Monday we should have some answers on what is happening.  Here is a blog post from our agency - they are doing a 3 day fast in prayer for the outcome of this decision in Ethiopia:

http://adoptedbydesign.typepad.com/blog/

Please join all of us as we wait and pray.  On my way into work this morning I was listening to my Sidewalk Prophets CD and the song Help Me Find It came on.  Here are the lyrics, it really hit home today:

I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own

I don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting
I’m finally letting go

I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
I will trust in You

[Chorus:]
If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can you help me find it
Can you help me find it

I’m giving You fear and You give faith
I giving you doubt
You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone

Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath
You’ve never let me go

I will wait for You
You’ve never failed before
I will wait for You

[Chorus]

I lift my empty hands (come fill me up again)
Have Your way my King (I give my all to You)
I lift my eyes again (Was blind but now I see)
‘Cause You are all I need
[Chorus]

 The lyrics to this song are a perfect reminder as we sit and wait that God is in control.  We need to turn to him and let him Help us find peace in his will.  He can move this mountains we just have to pray, trust and wait.  Will you please join us in praying and fasting on January 9th - 11th?


Praying our baby boy home.  Hopefully 2014 will be the year.