Our Story

Our Story
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.
~ Kristi Larson ~

Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart - but in it!
~ Fleur Conkling Heylinger ~
Adoption is not the call to have the perfect, rosy family. It is the CALL to Give LOVE, MERCY, and PATIENCE.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Movin' On UP!

So excited to have courts opening back up!  There has been a lot of talk today with families getting their court dates for mid-November.  Referrals are starting to pick up again too, after being quiet for close to 3 weeks - after the whopping 17 referrals back in August! 

So excited to see today that we moved up the Referral Wait List again!  We are techinically ranked #4 - BUT - 2 of the families don't match directly with our request - SO - we are sitting in #2!!!  The family that is ahead of us matches up to us only if there is a 3 yr. old. referral.  If there is a 4 yr. old - we just might be next - YAY!!!

I try to remind myself that this list is not complete - it only includes the families that are part of the chat group!  But regardless - we are moving closer to seeing our sweet daughter's face!

Please continue to pray for our sweet daughter!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We Predict, We do NOT Schedule

The message at church this morning was all about "hope".  It was about being hopeful with the knowledge of what God HAS done, what God has promised TO do in the future, and what God IS doing currently in our lives.  There was one part of the sermon that truly hit home.  The pastor was giving an analogy of a geyser in Yellowstone National Park.  It is bigger and grander than Old Faithful - but it is not very faithful.  You have to wait and wait and even then the geyser is unpredictable.  The pastor said that once the geyser went off it was well worth the wait.  The message next to the geyser said "We predict, we do not schedule!".  This is exactly what God asks of us.  God promises lots of things, but not always in our timing.  We are commanded to put our hope in Him, but we cannot schedule Him - GOD IS GOD!  His timing is perfect.

Many people have been checking in and asking how our adoption is going.  I just keep telling them that we are just waiting.  The wait for an infant girl is close to 18 months.  The wait for an infant boy is a little less than that.  The wait for a toddler is undecided and unpredictable.  We were originally told the wait would be 5-8 months - probably the shorter end of that because of the age we are requesting.  The tentative family list has us down as #5 on the age category that we are requesting.  Out of those 4 families before us, some are requesting boys, or sibling groups, or a 3 yr. old but not a 4yr old.  It makes my mind spin trying to figure out when we could receive a beautiful picture of our sweet daughter. 

I have complete hope that God knows exactly where our daughter is.

I have complete hope that God will keep her in His arms until we can hold her in ours.

I have complete hope that God will guide us and be with us while we wait.

I have complete hope that God is in control.


So with God's perfect timing and plan in mind...

"I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him.  May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."  ~ Romans 15:13

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sweet Blessings!

As I sat in church yesterday amidst the beautiful African music, my daughter Leah crawled into my lap and asked me to read her Bible to her.  Like most 4 year olds, her Bible is more like a child's picture book and not a whole lot like scripture.  I was trying to listen and participate in the service but Leah was adimant for my attention.  She opened it up, grabbed my cheeks and said "Read it Mommy".  As I looked at the sparkly pink pages of "The Sweetest Story Bible - Sweet thoughts and sweet words for little girls" I read:

The Lord your God is with you.

He is mighty enough to save you.

He will take great delight in you.

The quietness of His love will calm you down.

He will sing with joy because of you.

Zepheniah 3:17

It was Leah's gentle hands upon my cheeks turning my eyes to the page but it was God's gentle guidance leading me to a word from Him. 

I need God with me more than ever as I ponder and wait on His timing. 

He is ohhhh sooo mighty.

It is hard to believe that He takes delight in me - a gentle reminder. 

His love is in the quiet, the still small whisper of reassurance, the warmth to know that He is in control, that He knows best.

He sings with joy because of me - when I should be singing with joy because of HIM!

I hold fast to the truth of scripture that this verse was meant just as much for Naomi as it was for Leah and I on that day!

Sweet girl - God is with you!

Sweet girl - He will save you  - I pray now for your salvation!

Sweet girl - He takes GREAT delight in you!

Sweet girl - His love will meet you in the quiet and give you calm and peace!

Sweet girl - He sings for joy because of YOU!

Heavenly Father I come to you on this day with your words on my heart.  Be with my baby girl as she is so far awayHold her and be with her!  Draw her close to you and never let her go!  I pray for her salvation, that in the midst of her life you would make yourself known to her.  Continue to make yourself known to me, through the still small voice, the gently touch, the persistent nudging to do more, to love more, to give more, to see others through your eyes!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Glimpse

The kids and I were given an opportunity to get a glimpse tonight - the first glimpse we got was a glimpse of being the minority, as Naomi will feel often once she gets home.  We got the opportunity to attend a church service at a local church that is made up of mostly African people.  There were families from several different African countries and some caucasians as well.  We arrived a little bit early to find that we were the only fair skinned people in the room.  There were lots of stares and glances our direction.  They were followed with hesitant smiles and kind eyes - but I'm sure they were wondering if we were in the right place.  I never felt so aware of my daughter's fair skin and bright red hair.  As we waited for church to start - there was someone at the front of the room leading prayer - I say leading prayer because everyone was praying.  Not only was everyone praying but they were praying loudly, all at the same time, and most of them not in English.  My kids couldn't help but sit and stare.  They were translating the speaker's prayers into English so we kind of knew what was going on.  As we got closer to service starting the pew started filling up and we weren't the only white people in the crowd anymore - a handful more showed up. 

The music began and it was amazing.  We were given a glimpse into the beauty and grace of African music.  Most of the music was in Swahili and when they sang verses in English it was hard to understand through the accent.  But the music was beautiful - it lifted my spirits!  I prayed that my daughter would be surrounded by such beauty, such rhythm, such awe inspiring praises to God.  They invited all the new people up front to introduce us and then prayed over us.  It was amazing standing in the front of a group of complete strangers, from Africa none the less.  They said that they would pray over us and that God would know what needs we had and where our lives needed touched.  As I held my daughter Leah in my arms and felt them lay hands on her head and heard the sweet words of prayer over my children and my family, I knew God was holding Naomi up in that place.  I knew that He was watching over her and holding her in His arms, just like I was holding Leah.  The sweet prayers were as much for my children here as they were for her there. 

The kids got bored after a while and started getting whiny and fidgety - the service was pretty long lasting a little over 2 hours.  All in all it was a wonderful experience and I have no doubt that we will return.  It was a glimpse into the culture and heritage that our daughter is a part of, that we are now a part of, that God is a part of.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Melkam Addis Amet

September 11, 2011 is the start to a new year in Ethiopia - Melkham Addis Amet or Happy New Year! Their celebration is known as Enkutatashe. Today ushers in the start of 2004 in Ethiopia! 

Here is some interesting info about the Ethiopian Calendar!

Ethiopia still retains the Julian calendar, in which the year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 days and 6 days in leap year. The Ethiopian calendar is 8 years behind the Gregorian calendar from January to September and 7 years behind between September 11 and January 8.

Enkutatash means the "gift of jewels". When the famous Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive jaunt to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her bolts by replenishing her treasury with inku or jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since this early times and as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard at every village in the green countryside.

It is bitter sweet celebrating the start of another year in my daughter's home country, while we remember the day that shook America to the core 10 years ago.  So, as I say Melkham Addis Amet, I also say WE REMEMBER and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

God Found Us You

My dear sweet friend, Chandra (Home with Aidrea for a couple months now), got Naomi and me a book to read together once she gets home.  It brought tears to my eyes and made me yearn for the day I can hold Naomi in my lap and read it to her. A small glimpse into the conversation we will have one day about the prayers and tears that led her to her forever home.  Thanks Chan - Love ya and thanks for letting me love on your sweet daughter while I wait for mine!

God Found Us You  -     
        By: Lisa Tawn Bergren
        Illustrated By: Laura J. Bryant

When a little fox cub climbs into bed, he asks his mom about how he came to live with her. As she tucks him in, she tells the miraculous story of his arrival---and assures him that he made her "the happiest mama in the world." A tenderly told tale that captures the blessings of adoption.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor of Love

A fellow waiting family suggested that we spend Labor Day weekend remembering the Labor of Love that is bringing us our children.  We were encouraged to pray for our daughter's birth family.  As I pondered the double sided emotion that adoption brings, it made me sit back and examine the emotional journey that will bring her to us.  As I sit anxiously awaiting a phone call informing me that my daughter's picture is awaiting, a mother somewhere is thinking of her daughter that she gave up.  A daughter that she loved dearly but wanted to have a better life.  If life circumstance had only been different, maybe she would still be holding her sweet daughter in her arms and tucking her in at night.  As I await the picture of her sweet face, I hold fast to the truth that I will get to look into her beloved eyes for the rest of her life.  There is a young woman somewhere that will only get to hold on to the memories of her daughter's smile.  Adoption is a two sided journey - joy and elation for the adoptive family and sacrifice and hope from the birth family.  I prayed for my daughter's family a lot this weekend.  For her mom and dad, any siblings or grandparents that may be missing her joyful face.  I pray today that God would intervene in their lives and draw them to Him.  That they would grow to know God's grace and accept His salvation.  That my daughter could see her family again, at Heaven's gate.