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, January 27, 2012

Mama's Arms

My Sweet Naomi,

Did you ever get to sit in your mama's arms and rock and cuddle?  Did you ever get to run into her arms in the middle of the night when you were scared?  Did your mama ever scoop you up and hold you when you fell and scraped your knee?  Did your mama ever wrap you in a blanket and hold you until the storm passed?  Did your ever run into her arms giggling in excitement when she returned from being gone?

I hope that you got to sit in her arms and hear her heartbeat, sometime in your little life.  I don't know what has taken you out of her embrace and led you along a different path.  I don't know how long it has been since you have last seen her, or even if you ever have.

I don't know who's lap you sit in to rock and cuddle.  I don't know if you have someone to run to in the middle of the night when you are alone and scared.  I don't know who cares for your bumps and bruises when you fall.  I don't know if you have someone to hold you and tell you that the storm will soon pass.  I don't know if you have anyone's embrace to run to after a long day.

What I do know, sweet girl, is that this mama's arms are ready and waiting!  I can't wait to feel your heartbeat blend in with mine as we cuddle on the couch.  I can't wait to rock and cuddle, with you on one side and your sister on the other.  I can't wait to scoop you into my arms and kiss away your scrapes and hurts.  I can't wait to calm your fears through the storms of life, in a way that only mamas can.  I cannot WAIT for you to run into my arms, after being apart!

I do not know the path that is bringing you into my life.  I do not know the circumstances, the hurts, and the change.  I do not know your name or what you look like.  BUT - I have been blown away at the place you have already taken in my heart.

I knew that we would have to wait to meet you.  I hoped and prayed that God would begin to weave a Mama Love for you into my heart.  As God only has a way of doing, He has BLOWN me away with an unending, yearning, mama love for you!  For you my daughter that I have never met, I love you!!  I love you with every breathe that I breathe and every beat of my heart!  I ache to hold you in my arms, as I have already begun to hold you in my heart!

Until these MAMA ARMS can hold you,
I TRUST and PRAY that God will hold us BOTH in HIS loving arms!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

5 Months and Waiting


Today marks our 5 month DTE date!  Our paperwork was sent to Ethiopia and we officially began the waiting game on August 19,2011 - 5 months ago!  We were told when we applied with AWAA that we would "most likely wait 5-8 months for a referral - probably the shorter end of that because we were requesting an older child."  Well, you don't have to be around international adoption for long to realize that there is no such thing as "likely" or "normal" when it comes to wait times!  Things have really slowed down on all levels in the Ethiopian adoption world.  Please continue to pray for the Ethiopian courts, the US Embassy in Addis, the USCIS Office in Nairobi, the Kilil office in the Southern Region, the medical staff and in country staff caring for the kids, AWAA workers here in the states representing our family and paperwork.  There are so many hands and hearts involved in matching up and bringing children to their forever family.  Prayers are NEEDED!

As much as I am excited to finally be in our "expected" time frame - I am not expecting much to come from it.  God knows where our daughter is and He is preparing her heart as much as He is changing and growing ours!  He continues to shape and mold us - ask more of us - use us - love us - lead us!  I cannot wait to see my daughter's face - to see if she is coming to us by herself or with siblings!  Will the call come this month?  Next month?  In 6 months??  We do not know what the future holds, but we DO know WHO holds it!  So, in the mean time - please keep praying for our family and our sweet daughter who is SO very far away!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kisses from Katie - A MUST Read!

In a mere 24 hours from first picking it up, I finished reading all 264 pages of the book Kisses from Katie written by a loving and daring young woman who was willing to say "Yes!" to God's plan for her life!  It is a MUST read!

To give you a taste of Katie's passion and her heart - here is a snipet from her book!
(It is a little long but well worth it!)

"Adoption is wonderful and beautiful and the greatest blessing I have ever experienced.  Adoption is also difficult and painful.  Adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption.  It is the Gospel in my living room.  And sometimes, it's just hard.

As a parent, it's hard not to know when your daughter took her first steps or what her first word was or what she looked like in kindergarten.  It's hard not to know where she slept and whose shoulder she cried on and what the scar on her eyebrow is from.  It's hard to know that for ten years yours was not the shoulder she cried on and you were not the mommy she hugged.

As a child, it's hard to remember your biological parents' death, no matter how much you love your new mom.  It's hard to have your mom be a different color than you because inevitably people are going to ask why.  It's hard that your mom wasn't there for all the times you had no dinner and all the times you were sick and all the times you needed help with your homework.  It's hard when you have to make up your birthday.  It's hard when you can't understand the concept of being a family forever yet, because your first family wasn't forever.

Adoption is redemptive response to tragedy that happens in this broken world.  And every single day, it is worth it, because adoption is God's heart.  His Word says, "In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will"(Ephesians 1:5).  He sets the lonely in families(Psalms 68:6).  The first word that appears when you look up adoption in the dictionary is "acceptance".  God accepts me, adores me even, just as I am.  And He wants me to accept those without families into my own.  Adoption is the reason I can come before God's throne and beg Him for mercy, because He predestined me to be adopted as His child through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace.

My family, adopting these children, it is not optional.  It is not my good deed for the day; it is not what I am doing to "help out these poor kids." I adopt because God commands me to care for the orphans and the widows in their distress.  I adopt because Jesus says that to whom much has been given, much will be demanded(Luke 12:48) and because whoever finds his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for His sake will find it (Matthew 10:39).

God was showing me His heart and His Word in new ways right there in the life I was living through the children I was serving.  Armed with this new sense of who He is and who I was as His servant, I continued trying to give myself away in every circumstance.  I wanted to do God's work, let Him display Himself through my life, and change my world as much as possible every single day.  Most days, that didn't include anything other people would find impressive.  It simply meant being faithful to the people and the responsibilities God had given me."
~ from Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

Pretty amazing for a young woman who moved to a 3rd world country at the age of 19, founded an organization for over 200 children to attend school, and adopted 14 young girls as her own, all to make a difference for God's kingdom!

Take My Life...

This mornings sermon was on trusting God and letting him use you for his glory.  The sermon was about Paul and based out of Philippians.  Even in the midst of being in prison, God used Paul to inspire and further the kingdom.  At one point, the pastor told a personal story of faith.  God had asked them to move away and take a new job, a lot of things didn't make sense but the hardest sacrifice was for their son to leave his friends and school as his senior year was beginning.  They knew they were in God's will, no matter how hard or scary the future seemed.  In hind sight, they could see God at work as they followed God's plan for their life.  The pastor said, "Would I ever recommend you moving your teenager away from all that he loves at the start of his senior year? No!  But would I recommend that when you hear God calling you to do something that you better listen?  Yes - in fact I would say that is the only safe place to be!"

Over the last year, God has invited us on a journey that is anything but easy, anything but comfortable, anything but ordinary.  But God is revealing a little bit of HIS heart, a little bit at a time!  He continues to shape us and mold us!  He continues to ask us to give more, love more, feel more.  He keeps asking us to sacrifice OUR plans, to give up OUR dreams, to put aside OUR fears.  In place of OUR desires, He has given us peace and blessing beyond measure for what our future holds...for HIS plans for our family, for HIS dreams, and HIS desire to use us in ways we cannot even imagine.

Following the sermon, we ending by singing a song that has become a cry of my heart these days!

Creator God you gave
Me breath so I could praise
Your great and matchless name
All my days all my days
So let my whole life be
A blazing offering
A life that shouts and sings
The greatness of our King

Take my life and let it be
All for You and for Your glory
Take my life and let it be Yours

Heavenly Father ~ May we continue to be a blazing offering to your will for our lives!  May we walk this journey graciously, with faith and love.  Take our family and use it for your glory!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shirts for a Cause

We have been excited and blessed to see our shirts make their way from our living room into the homes of those supporting our adoption.  My favorite was this week when a student ran up to me at recess and said, "Mrs. Krohn, guess what I am wearing today?"  He unzipped his coat and held it open and said, "Your shirt!!".  I love love love seeing them - especially the kid design "I'm a CHILD of GOD!"  It doesn't get much better than that!

As of tonight we have sold 81 shirts!!!!!  But we still have 49 Shirts still in need of a home!  If you are interested in purchasing some or know someone who is, please let us know!  We are running low on some sizes so I will post here what sizes we have left, as of tonight!

Men's Design - M, L, XL

 Women's Design - S, M, L, XL

Kid's Design - XS, L ~ S and M (SOLD OUT)
We could not be where we are on this journey without the love and support of our friends and family.  Thank you for praying for us along the way and for stepping up and helping us raise some $ to bring our daughter home.  If you are interested in making a donation without a t-shirt order, please see the giving tab on the left column.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
~ Ephesians 3:20-21 ~

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The NAOMI Project

My brother has been posting on facebook that he is in the process of starting a new venture...something big...and life changing!  I assumed it was a new business venture....selling something...opening a new charter school, only run by people in our family - we have enough teachers in the fam it could be done.  He posted a glimpse into his new passion and I would NEVER have guessed what he's up to!!  For those of you that know anything about our history - God has moved MOUNTAINS in my family, especially with my relationship with my brother!  I am so thankful for family and am in awe of what God is doing in our lives!!

The much anticipated - life changing - venture that my brother has started  is called "THE NAOMI PROJECT~Helping Families Bring Their Children Home".  Tears flowed down my face as I read his outlook on the project and his hopes for the future!  Tears flowed down my face as I read that my family was the inspiration to this new passion that could lead to amazing lives changed.  I am in awe at how God is orchestrating a journey that none of us could have seen coming.  I am humbled to be a vessel for Him that is leading to a Kingdom difference.  I am sooo excited to see what the future holds for the Naomi Project and to meet the amazing people that will benefit and be blessed by it!

I recently read "Kisses from Katie" which is a MUST read if you haven't read it!!!  She talked about people calling her courageous and brave for the life she has chosen, for the path that she has taken.  She says that she isn't brave, in fact she is fearful often.  She said she is simply following God's plan for her life and she has chosen to say "YES" to whatever God has in store for her!!  She said it has NOTHING to do with her and everything to do with GOD!

People often tell us "Good for You" for choosing to adopt but it has nothing to do with that!  God has us on this journey, it is not a journey we chose but a path that HE chose for our family!!  It is so amazing to see my brother allowing God to use him to make an eternal difference - for choosing to say "YES" to a Mighty God. 

Hold on BROTHER - He's got BIG plans that will take you where you NEVER thought you'd go!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Today was a day of feeling like we are making some progress - in reality not much has changed but it was a smiling adoption day! 

We got news yesterday that the office that we have been desperately PRAYING for to start giving clearances has begun processing paperwork!  This means more REFERRALS folks!!  Hoping and praying that we are one of them - but either way - there are kiddos stuck in paperwork that need these clearances to get into their families' loving arms!

I went back to work today - first day back after Christmas break!  It was great to see my students and had a good day! 

When I got home...

~ Our TSHIRTS were here!!  I was so excited to open up the boxes and check them out!!  They look awesome!  We have LOTS still for sale so....PLEASE.....check them out! 

Our boys lookin' stylin in their new t's!

Also When I got home from school...

~ I took the last of my Oral Typhoid Pills - Josh, the kids, and I all got our travel vaccinations over Christmas break!  Daddy and the boys finished up their oral typhoid a day or so ago but my last one was saved for today after school!  We are ready - ready - ready to TRAVEL!!!


~ The kids' PASSPORTS were in the mail this afternoon!  Josh and I already had our passports but when we decided to take the kids with us on our court trip - we knew we needed 3 things - vaccinations (check), $$$ (hence the tshirt fundraiser), and passports (check, check, check)!!!

The last 4 1/2 months have been full of waiting - and there is more waiting in our future!  But today was a sweet day of reminders that we are getting closer to bringing our baby home!