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.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Beyond Thankful this THANKSgiving!

Thanksgiving is always a time to sit and ponder all of the blessings that we tend to take for granted the rest of the year.  We try to slow down the pace and sit and enjoy those around us!  We eat yummy food and spend extra time with those we love.  This year, Thanksgiving seemed to sneak up on us!  We have been busy, busy, busy with adding two new additions to the family and moving just THREE days ago!  I honestly cannot believe that the day to give thanks is already here and gone and we are now heading into Christmas season!

I cannot even begin to put into words all that I am thankful for!  It is always difficult to really grasp all that God has blessed me with, but this year (as always) - - I am undeserving of all that God has given me - - and yet, so incredibly THANKFUL that HE chose me to walk this life!  I am blessed to share my life with an amazing man who loves God and his family!  I am blessed and thankful for GOD's amazing plan for my life and that HE doesn't leave us where we are - - He molds us and uses us...and for that reason we said yes....for that reason we went from being thankful times THREE last year to thankful times FIVE this year!!!
Last Thanksgiving I DIDN'T know....
~ We would be blessed with TWO amazing blessings from Ethiopia.
~ We would be getting brothers instead of a sister.
~ We would be expanding our family as well as our home.
~ While I ate turkey and pumpkin pie, my boys had little to no food to eat.
~ My boys were spending their last few weeks with their families, trying to make ends meet enough to stay together.
~ My heart would be FOREVER changed due to two brown eyed little boys.

This Thanksgiving....
~ My boys got to have turkey for the first time.
~ My boys had their fill and plenty left - they will never have to worry where there next meal will come from.
~ I pray that the boys' families in Ethiopia are safe, healthy, and have food to eat.
~ I am thankful for a home of our own - with space to roam - and warmth and comfort.
~ I pray that the boys' families have shelter and warmth today.
~ I am thankful for a God who watches over us and guides us to follow His will for our lives.
~ I am thankful for a God who can watch over the lives of our now extended family halfway across the world - may He bless them special today and may they know how thankful we are for their amazing love.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
Psalm 100:4

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 
Colossians 2:6-7

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 
Colossians 3:17

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Day at a Time - - they ALL add up!

Life has been crazy - but we keep pushing ahead...one day at a time!  One foot in front of another - one sunrise and one sunset - one day at a time has brought us to.....THREE MONTHS home with our precious 5 year old....AND....ONE MONTH home with our handsome ten year old!  I can't imagine my life without these two Ethiopian blessings and cannot remember my home without them in it!  As I have posted before - my house is LOUD and FULL and ROWDY.....but I wouldn't have it any other way!!

Days are not always easy - there are days where there are a lot of tears (Mostly MINE as I wade through the stress of all that my life entails).  There are mornings like this morning when Isaiah wanted his Mom, not me, but his Ethiopian Mom (he asked for her and said "today, my mom")....this mama's heart broke as I saw the longing in his eyes for her.  Some days Nahome is out of sorts and cries and whines about everything - he seems unsettled and can't seem to get a grasp on life.  There are days when Isaiah is withdrawn and quiet (mostly on the weekends).

BUT - - - there are a LOT of good days - - - the hard days are few and far between and most days we have belly laughing, boys wrestling, and giggles galore.  Our home is not the same - our family is not the same - our lives are not the same - and thank goodness for that....we are MORE because of this crazy journey that God brought us on.  We are MORE for the crazy BOYS he brought into our lives!  We are MORE....because we said YES!  I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the next few months!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blessings - Among the Chaos

People often ask me these days how life is going!  They say things like "Your life is SO exciting!" and "I just don't know how you do it!".  Well, both comments are right - our life does have a LOT of excitement these days and I'm with you in wondering how I do it - most days I am at a loss!!  Our life is Crazy and Insane and only God is providing the strength to get through!  There are ups and downs to any family but add a couple of adoptions and trying to buy our first house - the emotions come and go often!  I was reminded the last few days of the blessings that make up my crazy life and wanted to share a few of them with you!

These have ALL happened within the last week...

~ Daddy cleaned the bathroom - and I only had to ask once!!!  Sharing a bathroom with 5 kids (four of which are boys) about has me going INSANE!!!  SO ready for our 5 bedroom house with THREE full BATHROOMS!!!

~ Leah was helping explain to Nahome what a stop light was on our way home!  She very kindly was explaining the difference between green and red and was a little confused as to what yellow was!  He was listening intently and nodding his head!  This is progress for our "twin" five year olds!

~ Nahome, who carries around a grin from ear to ear every day just because, was SO excited to go to "Church? Candy?" for Halloween.  He beamed as we walked through the rooms and candy was willingly dropped in his bag - he burst forth with emotion when we walked around the corner to the end and a BIG room with 4 JUMP HOUSES was awaiting him!!!  He inhaled a breathe of amazement and shouted "THIS IS SO FUN!"

~ Noah keeps Isaiah company in the back of the van and lately they have been serenading us and belly laughing all the way home from school!  The other day Noah was holding a rabbit foot key chain (don't ask me where it came from - something called the abyss of the backseat of the minivan of which I try to avoid).  He was pretending it was a microphone and belting out the song lyrics to "Give Me Jesus".  Isaiah was singing along with him, when he wasn't giggling his head off that is.

~ Jarod is a thinker and a planner and likes to be in control!  We moved him up to the front seat to ease the chaos of 3 boys sitting squished together in the back of the mini.  I have LOVED getting to visit and talk with him on our way to and from places.  He tells me about his day and the book that he is reading for school!  After our very first stop on Halloween, he offered me the ONLY candy that was in his bag so far because we had been talking about our favorite candies and it happened to be mine!  Love seeing his giving spirit shine through!

~ Isaiah is starting to show a little bit more of himself lately and I LOVE to see it!  There have been quite a few things I have been blessed by this week....hearing him ask to pray for dinner in Amharic.....having him tell me his favorite color is red because it is the same as Jesus' blood....having him sing old time worship songs that he learned in the orphanage....listening to him give his first public speech in front of all of the 3rd graders and parents (he even used a microphone)....him showing me a verse in his Amharic Bible that I needed so very much today (He was SO proud that it was in his brother's book of the bible too - Nahum!) "The Lord is good.  When trouble comes, he is a strong refuge. And He knows everyone who trusts in Him" - Nahum 1:7

Many of you know that we are in the process of buying our first home and are supposed to be moving soon!  We were supposed to close on our house yesterday and it is still unknown if and when the deal will come through!  I have been stressed and consumed with worry that we will lose our precious home that we want so very badly!  We absolutely fell in love with it and feel it will be a perfect fit for our family!  When I start to worry and stress lately I try my best to stop and TRUST in the God who has the perfect plan.  It is NOT easy but I am doing my best.  I have been working hard to put things into perspective and be Thankful and feel blessed for what I DO have!!!

We have been blessed to be able to put a roof over our children's heads, had wonderful neighbors, and plenty of room for the kids to grow and play!

We have been blessed with the means and opportunity to HOPEFULLY venture into a new home where we can make new memories!

We are BLESSED that we have a home to go to ...

Union Beach

Floodwaters from Superstorm Sandy surround homes in South Bethany, Delaware

People look at one of many homes badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy is pictured in the Cosey Beach neighborhood of East Haven, Connecticut

People stand among the burnt-out remains of homes in Breezy Point, Queens, New York

Emergency personnel stand in front of a tree that fell on a house after being toppled by winds from the remnants of  Sandy in the east end of Toronto

It didn't JUST hit our beaches...

Hurricane Sandy revs up into a 'superstorm' that threatens much of America's east coast

A man  sweeps the muddy water from his small business in La Plaine, Haiti, as residents try to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

I am reminded today of all that God has done for me and my family and all that He IS doing for us!  No matter what our future holds - I know that we have each other and that as long as we hold on to God, He will provide and take care of us!!  I will choose to PRAISE Him, no matter the outcome!

"Praise the name of the God forever and ever,
for he alone has all wisdom and power." - Daniel 2:20
(Another verse my son shared with me, that was underlined in his Amharic Bible!)