Monday, April 27, 2009

I Don't Know A Whole Lot of Anything!

Ephsians 3:14-21
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
************************************************************************************

These past couple weeks I continue to remember and read God's promises. It's the one thing that continues to remind me Who is in control.
I started thinking about some conversations I have. They go like this:

Friend: "so how's the adoption going ? Have you heard anything yet?"

me: "it's going, we are waiting" (At this point I contemplate, do I tell them the whole story about what an open case is, MOWA is and all the other things that have slowed our process down?)

Friend: "when are you going to get them"?

me: "I don't know"

Friend: "weren't you supposed to have them by now?

me: "yes, we didn't pass our two court dates and now it open and we are waiting for them to process our paperwork."

This is how it typically starts and it usually continues on with more details. Now don't get me wrong.....I so appreciate and am thankful that our friends, family and others care about our adoption. I want them to ask or be interested. (I can just imagine...the next couple weeks, no one asking me about the process for fear it is too hard for me) :)
The point I am getting at is this. Throughout the conversation it becomes very clear that I don't know a lot about what is happening and I don't have really any answers to their questions.
I started to realize that I don't know a lot about anything, such as:

* I don't know when our case will pass and when Jonathan and David will come home.
*What will the boys be like?
*Will they bond with us right away, or will it take awhile?
*What will our traveling be like?
*How will they respond to the girls? Or how will the girls respond to them?
*Will this process be difficult for the girls individually with all the changes?
*Will I have enough strength and stamina to care for 4 kiddos instead of two?
*How will our family identity look like? I know we will be changed forever and what will it look like?

As you can see from this, I was worrying. Yep, I admit it. Then I began to see that being in a place like this in our lives is, well, a good place to be. I can't rely on my own resources and abilities to make all the above come to fruition. It all belongs to God. He is the only one who can get us through this journey and continue to change us into His likeness. It reminds of the the verse that says, "for from Him, through Him, and to Him are all things. to Him be the glory forever. Amen" (Rom 11:36). This whole adoption process is been and is from God, everything that happens comes from our Sovereign God. So we rest in the promise that whenever our sons come home is in God's perfect time because all comes from Him. Through all this He will get the glory and all will be pointed back to Him. That is our heart's desire and prayer.
So it's ok not to understand fully or know our future, because we have someone more capable than us who is in control, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Boys Room is Ready!!

I finally got the time to clean up and finish the boy's room. I still am going to build a two level shelf that will fit under the window for bigger toys and things. After getting clothes put away and things sorted, I have not gone in a lot. It makes me miss them and I am trying to keep my mind on the things that need my attention. The girls love going in and playing with some of their old toys and new ones. It's like they have two playrooms....and two to pick up!! :) Hopefully we will hear something within a week or two.








Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Series(Part Three) How to Keep Yourself From Going Crazy While Waiting

Take Out Pent-up Energy on Demolition!!


Ok, it is not necessary to pummel an old oven, but that is just what Jason and our friend Brad did. We are renovating some of our kitchen, to keep us busy in this waiting period!! Here they had taken out our old oven and thought it would be fun to be boys for a few minutes. It was hilarious to watch. I commented to Jason, "the neighbors must all be watching us and thinking we are crazy, especially since Jason is a professor and preacher"!! BTW....that is what I love about Jason. We owned a "wimpy" little sledgehammer and Jason quickly traded it out for Brad's bigger and cooler version of a sledgehammer




Brad taking a swing. He has been a huge help to us in our renovations. (more to come on this subject matter!!)




Gracie getting in on the action. She is using Jason's "wimpy" hammer!! :)



Jason....do I need to say more??

video


This morning we just heard great news from one of the other family's with an open case. They finally passed. We are rejoicing with them and hopeful that ours is not too far behind as well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Series(Part Two) How to Keep Yourself From Going Crazy While Waiting



DO SILLY THINGS!!

I know it sounds crazy, but I find that being silly with my girls, or Jason helps keep things light and my mind off of, well......waiting. So with all serious aside, here are some pictures that the girls and I took yesterday to prove our point, it really worked!! I should preface here that I don't go around being mopey all day. God has really helped me see the bigger picture....His Will and His perfect timing.
It started when Gracie was doing her chore, emptying out the dishwasher. I got out the camera and we decided to take pictures of funny faces!!

Here is Gracie's funny face!!


Allie's funny face. Stretching out the mouth seems to be the common theme....ouch!!


Gracie thought I needed some. Here is her shot of me!! Behind me we are redoing our kitchen counters....that's for another post though!!

Allie shooting a silly picture of me...again. Sorry if I look a little scary. This is me with no make-up!!


Here is Allie trying to cry(she wasn't happy about something). We decided to take pictures, it ended up being her "trying" to cry, but ultimately laughing. Then she wanted to see her picture of herself crying, which made her laugh more. It was quite funny.

She honestly is laughing in these two pictures!! Notice her blanket on her back? She has these two soft blankets that she endearingly calls her "bungles of joy," which means "bundles of joy." She loves her blankies and when she isn't happy, that is the first thing she grabs!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Waiting Continues...Keeping My Mind & Heart on Things Above

I usually try not to paste and copy emails, but Lisa says it so well. I pass this on to ask you to continue with us in prayer that these cases can be taken care of quickly. I am a detail-oriented person and this process has been frustrating and also a time in my life that I have to WHOLLY depend on the Lord. It is out of my control. It sounds weird to say this, but that is the best place to be...trusting the Lord. He is more capable than I and I am trusting in the One who can move mountains and cares for our boys more than we humanly can. Even as I type these words, it is still hard and my heart is heavy and the tears are on the edge of brimming over. Please keep praying!




Dear Cara,
I wrote to Hope adoptions this morning expressing the disappointment and anxiety that all the waiting families are having with no news. I shared that I understand they are having struggles as well, but that any information would be greatly appreciated. Below is the response I received from Grace. I know that their hands are tied, but with God we can move mountains.

No news, other than our staff in Ethiopia is asking the courts to order MOWA to give recommendations in these cases. No telling if it will work or not. SHe went to the courts Friday.
We have seen many open cases and patience is all I can recommend. An assigned date is much better emotionally, open cases used to be resolved in a matter of days but those days are gone I guess.
We are having at least 3 days a week of planned power outs with random power outs any time so communication this time of year is always tricky.
Sorry for no news again,
Grace



Lisa Prather, MSW
Nightlight Christian Adoptions
(formerly Carolina Hope Christian Adoption Agency)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Series(Part One) How to Keep Yourself From Going Crazy While Waiting


How have I been handling the waiting game? Sometimes well, other times with total discouragement. It's hard to connect the mind and heart sometimes to the truths you know. I thought I would share how we, Jason and I, are keeping sane and going through this time and trying to do it well. I don't want to fight God through this process, I want to be open to learn and grow. Usually hard times reveal my sinful tendencies. In some ways I welcome adversity, because they reveal so much of myself and how the Lord needs to deal with my heart. The adoption has not been the only difficulty in my life, as of late. The combination of several things has made me desperate before the Lord.
So why the picture of the cross? Because that is the first thing I do to keep myself from going crazy!! I lay my concerns at the feet of Jesus. Not only do I leave burdens behind, but I try to fill that spot with the promises of God's Word. What is emptied out has to be filled with something else. When my mind is tempted with worry or discouragement I cling to His Word and send arrows of prayer to heaven. I try to set my mind on things above. This week I am rereading these following verses:

1)Col 3:1-3: "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."

2)Rom 8:5-8: "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God".

Series(Part One) How to Keep Yourself From Going Crazy While Waiting? Keeping my eyes and mind fixed on the cross and on Christ.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The "Mountain" Gets Bigger

Dear Cara and Jason,
I received the below e-mail yesterday when I inquired with Hope out all the pending open cases. I have written back for more clarification to find out if they know when these people will be back at work, but I have not heard yet. I'll check again toward the end of the week.

We heard today that due to 2 of MOWA staff being out for training they haven't been able to work in any of the open cases.

The above email was sent to us yesterday. It is hard to articulate how I feel. One side of my brain reminds me that God's plans are perfect and that He can move mountains....and could move our paperwork through. The other side of my brain gets discouraged and frustrated. I know that third world countries don't operate like ours, but it is still hard to understand. Not getting details has been the most frustrating part of this journey. I am sure someday we will look back and not think it was such a huge deal, but right now it feels like a mountain. I will post if I hear anything, hopefully good news next time????

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Second Time Not A Charm

We found out this morning that we didn't pass our 2nd court date for the same exact reason as last time. MOWA didn't get their recommendation to the courts in time. The good news is that they left our case open and as soon as they approve the paperwork, it will go directly to court. This same situation happened with a couple other families and they are still waiting after two weeks, but are hoping to get in through this week. So we could get it through as quickly as a few days to a few weeks. Pray that it goes quickly. Thank you all for your prayers. We really do feel them and are encouraged by all the support and love through this process. I will keep you all updated as soon as I know something. Besides, then I will be able to post pictures of our boys!! BTW....they are the handsomest boys in the house and I can't wait to brag on them!! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trusting in the Lord!


Ps 26:2-3 "Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness."

Ps 36:7-9. "Your righteousness is like the mountains of God.....How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light dowe see light.

Ps 37:7,8,11 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him....Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil."

Ps 37:23-24 "the steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand."


It has been a difficult weekend. I am so thankful for God's word. When I get overwhelmed with the many things happening in my life, I lay them at the cross. I rest in Him. He knows my weak and feeble flesh and yet He loves me no matter how far I fall short.
" Thank you, Lord, for being my steady rock, my fortress and my shelter. You have planned my path perfectly and I trust You".

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Senior Moments

Want a good laugh? I am what I would call fairly young and I have been having senior moments since I started having children. The Lord knows how we are but feeble humans in flesh and mind. It is refreshing to laugh at ourselves. Thank God He is perfect and able to carry us. I know I went on a rabbit trail......so enjoy the below article.

ps. I came across this on www.girltalk.blogs.com This is a great blog for women and girls. It always challenges me in MANY ways!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our New "Awlins" (Orleans) Trip

We decided to go on a weekend trip/summer get-away before the boys arrived. We traveled to New Orleans with good friends Josh and Beth Bryant and their family.
Jason is hanging out in the hotel room with Josh and playing DS with Spencer and Fields.
Chicory coffee and beigets at the famous Cafe Du Monde. Cheers to a good time!!
Yummy beigets with lots and lots of powder sugar.
This guy was cool to watch. It reminded me of some future robotic dude. He is reaching into his pockets to give suckers to the kiddos.
St. Louis Cathedral established in 1720. The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States.

The river walk in New Orleans by the mighty Mississippi. It was absolutely gorgeous weather. We did A LOT of walking. The girls did a great job.
"Hey girls, pay attention....please smile" This is about all I was going to get!!
We walked about 3-4 blocks of Bourbon Street in the morning.....just to say we had seen it and walked quickly through it! :)Hurricanes come as easy as the liquor in the French Quarters. I thought this was an interesting sign. Jason and I really enjoyed the French Quarters. We were struck with how people lived and looked forward to getting drunk. How sad that this may be the only purpose that they live for.....a good time. We came away having had a great time and heavy in heart for the lost. It is an interesting city. The culture and history and variety is as deep as it is wide. There is so many things that you will never find anywhere else. New Orleans is a city unto it's own. Along Jackson Street are painters and artists selling their work. It is really interesting to see Cajun and french cultures and the bayou influences. Louisiana is a beautiful state and as we have moved we have enjoyed each state's beauty. God is amazing and creative. His nature screams such amazing creativity and beauty and wonder. Even the less attractive things in nature have beauty.

We all thought it was fun to watch this huge barge full of storage containers. We were speculating were they were traveling to and what was inside.
The French Quarters was so cool with their iron rod balconies and narrow and tight houses.
The Natchez steamboat.

Louisiana Superdome for the New Orleans Saints. This place has quite the stories to tell with Hurricane Katrina.
I thought this Wal-greens was pretty cool. Never saw one like this before!
Gracie, Allie and their friend Annalise looking at the "Nemo" tank at the aquarium. They had a lot of fun looking at all the sharks, penquins, fish etc...
Another beautiful balcony!

Please pray for our impending 2nd court date on April 7th. We are praying that we pass. Other families haven't passed their 2nd court dates for various reasons not related to them, their paperwork or their agency. Waiting on third world countries can proven or test our perseverence. God has given us a peace that transends our ability or understanding. I am feeling a little apprehensive this second time, but I am leaning on the Lord. His timing is perfect and good. So keep praying with us for our precious boys, Jonathan and David.