Monday, December 28, 2009

We have travel dates!


So very excited!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We passed!!!!!!!!

They are ours and we are theirs. (One day before we expected it. Amazing)

Gabriel John Kibrom and Ana Grace Feven are now Laubachs!!!!!!!!

Yahooo!!!!!!!!! Praising God.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Court Postponed

Court is postponed until Thursday. Praying custody will be granted.

Friday, December 11, 2009

May it be to me as you have said...

I don't know that I'm worthy to compare myself to Mary, the one who carried the Savior of our world in her womb, but I can't help but reflect constantly on the words of this song and the parallel in our lives at this time. Others wiser than me have written on this, so I hesitate to even try...

In December of 2007, at the hope of bringing Gabriel from Guatemala home, I first locked into the words uttered by Mary as the angel Gabriel came to her and told her she is to give birth to Jesus. I remember for the first time really, being able to put myself in her place. To be able to somewhat grasp her emotions. When we first learned of Gabriel in Guatemala, adoption was not on our radar. It truly was a divine message that we were to follow God through this child. We didn't know what it meant. We didn't know if it meant he would be our son, but we knew we were to follow God as He took us on a journey that involved this little boy. So very many things have happened since and today, two years later, we wait for the homecoming of not just one child, but two. As we wait, I continue to reflect on the particular words of the song:
Do you wonder
As you watch my face
If a wiser one, should of had my place
But I offer-all I am
For the mercy-of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me
I stand amazed at Mary's answer to Gabriel's words to her: "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38) Oh to have a heart like Mary's. To have a response to the Lord's Call, no matter what He says, "May it be to me as you have said." I know the Lord has chosen me to have these two children. I know He's not surprised by anything or thinks maybe He should whip up a back-up plan should I fail. He's All-Knowing. Yet, I can't help in His presence to see my unworthiness. I suppose this exactly where I should be for I truly can do nothing without Christ.

As the celebration of the birth of Jesus approaches, I long to keep Him the focus of our time, our spending, our energy, everything. But I confess. I fail. I buy things we don't need. I expend energy to please man rather than Him. I pray that I can focus on Him. On the gift of His love. Help me, Lord, I pray. I am not worthy of your love, yet you give it anyway. Freely. No strings attached. Help me to love you. Help my unbelief. Help my insecurities and sin. Show me how to love like you.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." Colossians 3:3,4

Sunday, December 6, 2009

He is...

He's BIGGER than I thought He is...
He's kinder than I thought He is...
He's more powerful. More gracious. More Beautiful.

He's not only more gracious. He is GRACE. He is MERCY.
He's not only better. He's GOOD.
He's not only powerful. He's ALL-POWERFUL.
He not only knows a lot. He's ALL-KNOWING.
He is HOLY. He is INFINITE. He is TRUTH.
He is LOVE.
The heavens can't contain Him. He breathes the stars into the sky. He knits us together in our mother's womb. We can never go anywhere He isn't.


I've only caught a glimpse of who He really is.

Go ahead, ask Him, "Who are you, Lord?"

Thank you, Lord, for answering when we call. Thank you for showing us who you are. We make you so small. We enlarge ourselves in our minds. Forgive us for our arrogance. I pray for you to continue to show us who you are and in turn, whose we are. May we TRUST You and you alone. Amen.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Beautiful "Waiting" Quote

I found an amazing quote on another Momma's blog. You can check them out HERE

"Waiting on God isn't to be viewed as an obstruction in they way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn't simply about what I'll receive at the end of my wait. No, waiting is much more purposeful, efficient, and practical than that. Waiting is fundamentally about what I'll become as I wait. God is using the wait to do in and through me exactly what He's promised. Through the wait He's changing me. By means of the wait He's altering the fabric of my thoughts and desires. Through the wait He's causing me to see and experience new things about Him and His kingdom. And all of this sharpens me, enabling me to be a more useful tool in His redemptive hands."

Many people have mentioned to me over the last year that they could never do it. They could never wait this long for their baby. There have been many times over the last few years that I cried out to God, begging Him to tell me what He was doing, why we had to wait so long, why the change of direction. I came to a point when I realized I loved the Spiritual Wait. The wait that is described in the above quote. I seriously dislike the wait that I create in my own mind, giving God timelines and expectations from my little view of Him. I found, too, that this WAIT does not only apply to adoption but many other areas of my life. It seems that there are times in our lives when we can learn something more of who God truly is, more readily than other times. God reminds me often that everything is about Him. Adoption, Family, Friendships, Selling Homes, Careers, and yes WAITING.

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Romans 11:36

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dove Families Passed, Update on the Babies, and Shower

At least three Dove families passed court this week, two of them just finding out today. What a week they've had! Still waiting to hear from and praying for the other family.

We received a photo and medical update on Baby Girl and Baby Boy. They're doing well. They look cuter than ever. We are so ready to have them home.

My dear friends at work had a "babies" shower for us this week. It was such a surprise and so wonderful.

We have little over a week for our court date. We invite you to pray with us that all of the paperwork is in place, and we can pick up the babies as soon as possible.

On another note, I've been totally inspired by a little girl who has raised over $20,000 for her family's adoption. She has totally got my gears rolling on how to help other families who want to begin the adoption process. Check them out here: 30 Day Journey of Hope


Friday, November 20, 2009

Court Date!

December 15.


So thankful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


They're coming home. No, not our babies, but ours will be home soon.

Today I ask you to join us in praying home this family:

Sweet. Praising God!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10

One year ago today Jim and I attended our first adoption class. Today we wait for a court date to bring our babies home. Awesome. Today we are sending the first photo to our babies. Here we are...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Story of "The Call"

So...I never ever left home without my phone and made sure I knew where it was at all times. During work, it sat on my desk b/c I wouldn't be able to hear it otherwise. However, on this particular day, I took my students to computer lab and a last minute distraction (there are many in first grade :-) caused me to go to the lab without my phone. So, I'm in computer lab, and I look out the door and see my husband standing in the doorway. I seriously thought I was dreaming for a minute. I went to the door and my first words were, "This better be a good thing". He started smiling and said that "Yes, it is a good thing. We got the call." Screeeeeeeeech. Hold up! What?! The call?! I thought I would get the call. I was quickly going through the last half hour in my mind and realized that I left my phone in my classroom, so I couldn't have gotten the call. So, then I said to my husband, "Please, please tell me I'm not dreaming." These last few weeks have had me a bit on edge, waiting and wondering, and I wasn't certain of reality for a brief moment. (Yes, I'm pretty much on the edge of clinically insane at any given moment.) So, I blubbered something to the computer tech. aide that we got the call and I remember her saying "Go. Go." I kept asking if my kids would be okay, and again, she was like, "Just Go!" So, Jim and I went to my classroom and with shaking hands, crying, smiling, blubbering, we pulled up their faces. Oh. My. Goodness. They were/are so absolutely beautiful. I know. Parents have to say that, but they are. They really are. So, that's it. Jim got the call. It was absolutely amazing. Praise God!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What's Next?

For those of you who don't hang on every adoption timeline or read every blog of anyone who has ever adopted from Ethiopia, you may be wondering what will happen next? Well, a lot of things are happening behind the scenes in Ethiopia and with our agency. Basically, we are waiting for a court date. If both babies pass court (while we are still here in the US), we'll travel to pick them up after that time. Several other families who received their referrals weeks before us, received a court date of Nov. 30. I have no idea when ours might be. I can't wait to see our babies, but I also know we have A LOT to do before we pick them up. HOWEVER, if someone told us we could get them tomorrow, we'd be on a plane to Ethiopia tonight :-)

Continuing to praise God and stand amazed at His truly awe-some nature and work...

Monday, October 26, 2009

"The Lord has done great things for us..."

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." ~Psalm 126:3

Jim received the call today at work at about 12:30. He came to my workplace by 1:00. We saw their faces for the first time a few minutes thereafter.

She is 4 months old.
He is 3.5 months old.

Words can't express the thankfulness and awe we have for our Lord. They are absolutely beautiful.

We can't share information on the internet as of right now.

The Laubachs

Jesus said...

"...You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed."
~Luke 10:41-42

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Are you a little bit Christian...a whole lot Christian...what are you?

Last evening, I had the pleasure of meeting a young lady that only God could have placed in my path. Through a series of small happenings, she and I had a conversation that only God could have orchestrated. She is 22 years old, and she was born with a chromosomal deformity. (If you're reading this, and I've botched it, dear one, please forgive me.) I wouldn't even mention this, but her mother explained to me that because of this, she literally is the only one in the world with this difference in her chromosomes. The only one in the world. Wow! And I met her.

So, we were sitting at the table, and everyone else was in a different section of the house. We started talking about different things: shopping, which we both agreed we don't like to do, past stories from her life, etc. I mentioned something to her that led her to say to me, "So you're a Christian?" I replied with, "Yes, I'm a Christian." She kept on. So how much Christian are you? A little bit, just some, or a whole Christian?" Ummmmm...I literally sat there and pondered the most reasonable and truthful response for a couple of seconds while she stared at me, waiting for my reply. I finally responded with..."Well, I would love to say I'm totally devoted to Christ, but I know that there are parts of me that aren't." There. It was said. It was out in the open. What parts are not totally devoted? I don't know. I will certainly be praying about it, and asking the Holy Spirit to take all of me. I once read, "Don't ask how much of the Holy Spirit you have, Ask how much of the you the Holy Spirit has." So today, once again, I pray that I would be totally surrendered to anything God places in front of me. That I would obey out of Christ's love for me. Not because I'm obligated to do so, but because I want to. Because I want to follow Him more than I want to follow anyone else.

Thank you, Lord for this sweet girl you've placed in my path. I pray that you would cover her with your love and mercy and show her that you are the only one worth following. May both of us live a life completely devoted to you. Amen

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 6, 2008...

I wrote: "Lord, I cry out to you today. Show me your way for my life. My heart feels so burdened for orphans. My cry to you is that you lead me, Lord, into the ministry of caring for orphans. My cry to you today, Lord is that you will bring us our child quickly. That Jim's heart will be wide open. That our hearts will beat for orphans. I am calling upon you, Lord, to show me great and unsearchable things which we do not know. I'm calling on you to show us treasures hidden in secret places. I'm calling upon you Lord because you tell me to do so. You tell me I do not have because I do not ask. I come boldly, Lord, asking these things in accordance with your will. I am asking, seeking, and knocking, Lord. Please open the door. I submit my mind, my heart, my spirit, my will to you. In humble adoration of your greatness, your love, your mercy. I proclaim you are the Lord of Lords. You are my savior. You are my counselor. You are my Father. Amen

Today, October 23, 2009, the Lord is showing me that He indeed is opening doors and gates that no one can shut.

and Jesus said, "Did I not tell you if you would only believe you would see the glory of God?"
~John 11:40

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SHOW HOPE (continued)

I walked into work yesterday and my friend jokingly came to me, shaking her fist, saying "you and your darn Show Hope devotional." I gave it to her quite a while ago, and apparently she's started to read it. If you've not read it, it's great! It's distributed by Show Hope, Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman's organization. Count the cost before you read it because you will definitely be stirred to do something for orphans when you read it.

11 months ago, Jim and I went to our first adoption class. When I got home I wrote many things in my journal. Panic was pretty much the underlying theme. However, I also wrote this: "Now faith is being sure of what we HOPE for, certain of what we do not see."~Hebrews 11:1 Then, immediately after that I wrote SHOW HOPE.

Some of the Miracles we've experienced thus far:
~birth of our children
~our salvation
~me getting on a plane
~hearing from God
~going to Guatemala
~adopting 2 babies
~the change of our hearts over the last few years
~love of our family and friends

Monday, October 19, 2009

show hope

~the message our daughter wrote on our white board in our kitchen before going to bed last night.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Treasures Hidden in the Darkness

"And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness-secret riches. I will do this so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by name." ~ Isaiah 45:3

This verse has meant so much over the last year. When I first read it, I knew it was something special, but I had no idea until I reached Guatemala in July of this year.

At the orphanage, I met Baby C. He was precious, and he reminded me of Gabriel. We arrived at the orphanage on a Saturday, and we went to church on Sunday. A few of us had the privilege of helping to take the babies to church. I was holding Baby C. as we were preparing to go, and one of the helpers asked if I would like to take him. What?! Me? Absolutely! They put a carrier on me, put him in it, and off we went. I was on cloud 9. I felt like I had won a precious gift. During the service, there was an experience that nearly brought me to my knees. As I stood holding Baby C. and singing praises, there was a moment that all time seemed to stand still. I was singing (trying to sing-it was in Spanish), and I looked down at Baby C. He was staring directly into my eyes. We held each other's gaze for a few moments. As I stared into his dark brown eyes, I remembered a devotion written by Steven Curtis Chapman. He talked about seeing Jesus in the face of an orphan. I got it. I knew exactly what Steven Curtis Chapman meant. I understood the call to care for orphans just a little more clearly. It felt as though I was holding and singing to Jesus. Baby C. went home with his parents the week we were at the orphanage. I couldn't help but compare his story to Gabriel's, as he too, went home with his parents. There is such joy in knowing that God has allowed you into the life of an orphan, and even greater joy to know they are able to return to loving parents. I thank God for allowing me to see these hidden treasures.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jeremiah 33:3

"Call to me, and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things which you do not know."

One year ago today, while walking, God told me that our children are in Ethiopia. He said, "He is in Ethiopia. She is in Ethiopia." I wrote in my journal that I didn't know what that meant. "He is in Ethiopia. She is in Ethiopia." I repeated it several times to myself, wondering what this could mean. The boy seemed to be more prominent than the girl at the time, so I wondered if he came first, then she came. Later that night, while preparing for Hope Shop, a ministry at our church, I pulled out a shirt and read the front. It read- "You have one life to live-Do Something." I turned it around and on the back, there was a map of Africa. This lead us to serious prayer about adopting from Ethiopia.

A few years ago, Jeremiah 33:3, jumped off the page of the bible and in other books I was reading. I started to see 333 everywhere. At first it freaked me out a bit, but I continually asked God what He meant by this. A while later, he clearly showed me a vision of a tree and it, it read, "Ministree 333". My husband and I have prayed about this and we believe it's Orphan Ministree 333. God is so faithful when we call to Him. He does answer. I'll be the first to admit that it's not in our timing. But our timing is so feeble. So narrow-minded. We can't see what God is planning, but His tapestry is so beautiful.

As I look back to November of 2007, when we first learned of Gabriel in Guatemala, I stand in awe of God and the truly awe-some things He's brought about and let us see and experience.

Today, we continue to wait to see our babies' faces for the very first time. Today, we have waited 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days. I am so humbled and drop to my knees in gratitude for what God has allowed us to participate in, the furthering of His Kingdom. I don't know why He chose us. I really don't. But I do know it's by His amazing grace that we are able to do so. I can't believe that I get to be the mommy of 4 of His most precious gifts.

Thank you, Lord, for all you've done and all you've yet to do. Thank you that you never change. You are faithful and true. You bring about your promises in your time. Please grant us patience as we continue to wait to see our babies. ~Amen

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"It is not for you to know the times or the dates...

the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my the ends of the earth." ~Acts 1:7-8

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
~Proverbs 13:12

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Waiting Mommy's Prayer

Dear Lord~

If there is anything that I've not yet learned during this season of waiting, I pray that you would open my eyes and soften my heart to learn your truth. For I know that this season will never come again. Never again will I be waiting to see the faces of our first baby boy and first baby girl through adoption. If there's anything, Lord, anything at all to learn of you, and if there's any way to grow more intimate with you during this time, I pray You will do it.

In the name of Jesus~

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I found this on Gabe's and Anna's (I know, incredible names if you know our story) site this morning, as I contemplated our wait for our babies. It's an excerpt from another site, Raw Christianity. You can go HERE to read the whole article. It's great.

This is why, at the end of it all, we want to bring the children of the nations into our family. Not so that they can grow up and live the American Dream, but so that by God’s grace they can grow up and walk the narrow road. Running water, medical care, and a sound education are precious and valuable things. But seeing the glory of Christ, hearing the good news of salvation, finding reconciliation with God, and walking in a manner worthy of the incarnate Savior of the world is infinitely more precious.

This article spoke to the things on my heart in ways I have a hard time expressing.

Blessings to all of you waiting Mommies and Daddies!!!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

House for Sale

Yes. It's official. Our house is on the market. Our tractor is for sale, too.
Interested in a house and tractor? We'll make you fabulous deal :-)

But Why?The question we hear all the time

This is why:
In winter of 2007, we first started believing God was asking us to sell our house. At first, this was quite a blow. I did not want to sell our home, and Jim didn't either. Over time, we prayed about it, and came to understand that this is what we were to do. We first put a "For Sale by Owner" sign in the yard in April of 2008. Since then, we've thought we sold it twice, but neither worked out. So, last week, we officially listed with a realtor.

We're extremely excited to see what might be around the bend for us. We have no idea where we will live next. We know we want to stay in this school district for now. We know our goal is to be debt-free and for me to be able to be home with the babies. When we first started understanding that we would sell our home, we did not know this was in relation to adoption. We didn't begin the adoption of our babies until November 2008. Now, it's becoming clearer how some of the pieces are being woven together.

Some people think we're absolutely nuts, some probably think we're going bankrupt, and a myriad of many other things. The truth is that we want God to be glorified through everything. Whatever will bring Him glory through the sale of our home, through our adoption, and through our lives is what we desire to do. We are far from saints and fall short every single day. By God's grace, He sustains us.

We also hear, "But, your house is beautiful. Why would you want to sell it?" I agree. It is beautiful. I love it here. But I think the beauty I find in our home is different than what it was just a few years ago. The beauty I see now is in the sunrises, the sunsets, the hawks, the herons, the fawns, the fox...the creation that God has planted all around us. I have enjoyed the luxuries of our home: air conditioning, garage, laundry room, space, etc. But God has not called us to comfortable. Nor, has he called us to acquire more and more for ourselves. I used to try and acquire more stuff. I would think, "Boy if I just had ________, then I'd be satisfied with our home." God has surely changed my heart, and a stubborn heart it is to change.

I was having a bible study at my house one night, and I remember one mother saying to me, "You're house is so beautiful. I wish my house...." and she went on to basically say she wished here house was more like ours. It broke my heart. It still does. I resolved that I never wanted someone to come into our home again, and see the outward beauty that our culture tells us is so important. I am starting to understand more and more the verse, " looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart."(1 Samuel 16:7)

I built our home on STUFF. I arranged it for beauty. I didn't arrange it for my family to have a sanctuary or a place for my family to just "be". I was and still am so selfish. With God's help, I pray that He will construct a new home, built on His desires. I pray that He will reconstruct my heart to fit what He has created me to be as His servant, a wife, and a mother.

Friday, October 2, 2009

May we soon be able to say...

"As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child and Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord."
~1 Samuel 1:26-28

Waiting for our precious babies...†

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another Family from Dove

Oh my gosh...oh my gosh...oh my gosh. Another family from Dove received their referral yesterday-two sweet babies. So happy for them. You can check them out HERE

Blessings to them and so excited for the rest of us waiting.

Praise and Glory to Christ alone.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

3 Months, but who's counting?

Ha, Ha, Ha! For anyone who's never adopted or in the process of adopting, you may not get the humor in the title. For those of you in the process, I'm sure you totally get it. Counting seems to be my middle name these days. Prior to adopting, I didn't know what day it was most days. Heck, I don't even wear a watch. Now, I can't wait for the 23rd of the month to roll around to say we've been waiting another month. A funny thing happened yesterday. I was out of school Monday and part of Tuesday with my two kiddos, as they were sick. When I returned to work yesterday, my first graders insisted upon seeing the pictures of the babies. They thought I had actually gone to Africa, gotten the babies, and promptly returned to work. After explaining how no, my kids were sick, it would take a long time to get to Africa and back, etc., etc. etc., one of my students said, "Ohhhhh right, Mrs. L, the babies are still in your belly." Oh boy!!! So, I thought we had it all cleared up, and about 10 minutes later, one of my little girls raised her hand and said, "So, Mrs. L. I want to see the pictures." What pictures, A. "You know, the pictures of you in Africa." I didn't go to Africa, A., remember? We just talked about that. Remember our whole conversation? "Well, I just want to see the pictures of wherever you were." I was at home. In (hometown). "Yeah, wherever, I just want to see the pictures." Oh geez. So, the kids again told me how they can't wait to see the babies and couldn't I just go get them. Never have I thought they were more wise. Only if it were that easy.

Monday, September 21, 2009


"Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" ~Jesus (John 11:40)
Not sure exactly all this means, but I know Jesus is speaking it over and over again.  

Monday, September 14, 2009

Families from Dove in Ethiopia

Three families left for Ethiopia to pick up their children over the last few days.  Although it's not our turn yet, it is truly awesome to see their children for the first time through photos and encourages me to keep pressing onward.  Seeing the photos is a visual reminder of what God has spoken in our hearts.  

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Yes, that would be the simple, one-word phrase that would best describe our lives right now. W-A-I-T-I-N-G

I had been doing pretty well until the end of last week. I fell off the wagon, the Patience Wagon, that is. Before I knew it, my impatience got the best of me and it turned into a full-blown pity party. Perhaps it was the announcement of a baby shower, or the sale of the home by someone else, I'm not really sure, but for a few hours, I took my eyes off of what God has promised to us, and started envying those around me. I feel like I've been pregnant since November 2007. That's like longer than an elephant pregnancy, right? (I'll have to ask a fourth grade elephant expert I know) It's not that I'm not joyous for those around me when things are happening in their lives. I truly am. I'm just READY. I'm ready for the babies. I'm ready to move. I'm ready to be a mommy to all four of my children. I'm ready to see what God has been preparing for oh so long.
After complaining to a few people these last few days, I finally cried out to God. 

And He said:
"Write this. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming-it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time."
~Habakkuk 2:2-3 (The Message)

So, I literally plan to write out the vision in big letters and hang it in our house.  Weird.  I know.  But sometimes the things God asks us to do, do not make sense.  I never ever in million years would have guessed two years ago that by this time in my life I would have flown to Guatemala (don't like heights), would have had my heart broken for orphans, and would have two babies on the way (at least at the same time).  So, though it may not make sense, I'll take God at His Word.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Let Me Tell You how an orphan changed my life...

The challenge given by Tom Davis is to have 500 of his friends/readers (I would be a reader.) Just finish this sentence: "Warner Bros. new horror movie Orphan proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. Let me tell you about how an orphan changed my life..."

In 2007, the Lord brought the face of a little boy and the name of a little boy to me in prayer. This little boy was an orphan in Guatemala. The Lord led me to him through many people. My husband and I prayed for him, fervently. Through a "Seeds of Change" devotional by Show Hope, our prayers changed from "Lord, please let us adopt him, to "Lord, please let him go back to his family." In July of 2008, Gabriel went home with his family. It's difficult to put into words how this little tiny boy changed our lives. Gabriel's face gave us motivation to continue on when we thought we could go on no more in prayer for him. Through Gabriel, the Lord opened our hearts little by little to His work in orphan and adoption ministry. Just last week, Jim and I returned from a trip to Casa Bernabe, the orphanage where Gabriel lived for the first 18 months of his life. Christ is the center of Casa Bernabe. I still stand in awe that God would allow me to go and spend one week with such precious children. What a blessing. It was very clear to me on the airplane (first flight ever!) that the Lord was orchestrating this whole thing because in my own power, my feet would have stayed on the ground. While at Casa Bernabe, again, through small whispers, the Lord showed me over and over how He has orchestrated the last two years and His invitation to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. The Lord's vision of Gabriel, has led us to the adoption of our son and daughter. We are currently waiting to see their faces for the first time. We know without a doubt that God has these two precious treasures waiting in the wings. So amazing. So, this little orphan (temporarily, praise God) has totally changed our lives. The Lord used this "angel", Gabriel, much like Gabriel, the angel, visited Mary to tell of a wonderful birth that was about to take place. For us, it's the birth of a calling in orphan/adoption ministry and our two children. For Mary, the birth of our savior.

Thank you, Father, for the birth of your son. Thank you for speaking to us, Lord. Thank you for choosing to work through us. You amaze me. I love you, Lord. Amen.

You can visit Tom Davis' blog @

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I've been holding off posting for a while because honestly, I don't know how to put the experience of Casa Bernabe into words. As my husband would most likely say though, "You'll sure try." So...It was beyond wonderful. God exceeded my expectations in ways that are truly indescribable. There were no huge, mind-blowing happenings, but it was a continual run of God doing amazing things through small experiences and low whispers. The team I was with was incredible. Honestly, you just could see the Lord radiating from them in everything they did from playing with the kids, cleaning the toilets, caring for sick members, doing the dishes, using the machetes and pick-axes in the garden, everything. The baby house, Casa Angelitos, was everything I expected it to be and then some. The house mother was wonderful. I seriously can't imagine caring for 20 infants, age 0-2, day in and day out. Wow. What a servant's heart. The babies were just wonderful. I loved walking in each day, touching each one, saying Hola Baby, and cuddling one or two. (or changing diapers :-) There are so many things to write about, but I can't sort my thoughts, so I'll just say that God is definitely in that place. You could sense the protective bubble around the orphanage. Jim and I were not ready to come home. We actually wanted to send for Cole and Jules, and of course our babies. We will definitely be heading back for a visit in the future as a family. Thanking God for allowing us the opportunity to go.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Training and Guatemala

Two exciting announcements: Our "referral and travel" training is set for July 22, and we are leaving for Guatemala. We will be staying at an orphanage in Guatemala for the next week. It seems so surreal to be going to CB. This is where it all began, Gabriel, orphan ministry, the adoption of our babies. I wish I could find words to express some of the emotions. For now, I'll just stand amazed at God's perfect love.

Today we remember the birthmothers and birthfathers of the precious children we will meet. The following is Jason Upton's, "Father to the Fatherless"

"You will make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand there are pleasures forever."
~Psalm 16:11

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Proverbs 31:8-9

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly;  defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. ~Revelation 2:14

In praying about how to be God's ambassadors for children in the world, my husband and I learned of this acronym from Shaohannah's Hope: P.R.A.Y.

P. Preservation (preservation of the birth family)
R. Reunification (reunite abandoned children with their birth families when safe and possible)
A.   Adoption (for those orphans who can not be reunited)
Y.   Youth support (provide support for orphans who wait or who may never find a (earthly-added by me) family and post-adoption support)

John 14:18  I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Lost Children: Waiting to be found

These children are in Ethiopia, waiting for their families to find them...Are they waiting for you?
You'll have to read the post about the children and scroll through the "snippets" of photos and read their descriptions. Find them here:

Friday, June 26, 2009

One Week

We've officially been waiting one week.  One week closer to our children.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gotta love this...

For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;  I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.  Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I LOVE YOU, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.  Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I WILL BRING YOUR CHILDREN FROM THE EAST AND GATHER YOU FROM THE WEST.  I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'  BRING MY SONS FROM AFAR AND MY DAUGHTERS FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH-everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, who I formed and made.  Isaiah 43:3-7  (Go to your bible, start @ verse 1 and keep's awesome.)

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 However, it is written:  "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him" -but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.

Bring them home, Lord.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In case you didn't hear...

Our dossier arrived in Addis Ababa @ 7:40am on June 23.  Yep, that's today.  Actually, according to my computer, it's 7:40am, US time, right now.  We are now OFFICIALLY waiting for the call.  Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Paperwork to Ethiopia..soon...praying

Each step of the adoption process brings about a whole new set of prayers.  It's amazing just when you think you've jumped over another hurdle, there's another just ahead.  So, this week's hurdle, or a more positive phrase, "stepping stone," is to pray for our paperwork to be sent to Ethiopia.  When I spoke with Kari @ Dove on Thursday, she said that our dossier was returned to them from Washington, DC (a good thing) and it should be sent to Ethiopia in the next few days.  So, I'm praying it's this week.  When our dossier reaches Ethiopia, we will be "officially" waiting for the referral of our children.  Can't wait!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gabriel the doll

Check out Gabriel the doll made with love by Elizabeth Sterling 


"Until I commit myself there's a hesitancy - a chance to draw back. But the moment I definitely commit myself, then God moves also and a whole stream of events erupt." --John Maxwell
(found on the blog:

What's Happenin' Here???

On the adoption front: Well, first, we're waiting for our paperwork to make it's way to Washington, DC and reach it's final destination-ETHIOPIA. I've read now several times that once you receive your referral, the hardest part of waiting begins. What?! Because waiting for paperwork has not been easy. BUT, it's worth it, right?.

We're heading to Guatemala in a few weeks to stay at Casa Bernabe for a week. We are quite excited.

We've now heard of two other families in our area who are and who have adopted from Ethiopia, so we're looking forward to meeting them. We're very excited about our children knowing other children from Ethiopia.

Blessings...AJL (soon to be mother of four-YIKES! and a big, huge WOWIE-WOW-WOW-THANK YOU GOD.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009


We received a beautiful piece of mail today. I literally screamed when I opened the mailbox and scared my family half to death. Our I-171H came in the mail today. It's the paper we've been awaiting since our fingerprinting on April 13. It took about 6 weeks, and it could have taken as long as 12. Yeaaaaa for us.

The next step will be for Jim to make a trip to Harrisburg this week to have two documents authenticated at the state level. (Actually, I better check on this. We both may have to be present.) Then, everything will be sent to Ethiopia, and we will begin our wait for our referral of our two precious babies. We get asked a lot if we know who they are. We don't-yet. But God does. Just as He knew Cole and Julia would be perfect for us, He has two other children waiting in the wings. Amazing, isn't it?!

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it tarry, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
~Habakkuk 2:3

Monday, April 20, 2009



Some would gather money Along the path of life,
Some would gather roses, And rest from worldly strife;
But, I would gather children From among the thorns of sin,
I would seek a golden curl, And a freckled, toothless grin.
For money cannot enter In that land of endless day,
And roses that are gathered Soon will wilt along the way.
But, Oh, the laughing children,
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to heaven I can take them in with me. -unknown

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Baby Girl

As I reviewed our home study document yesterday, I found that in the homestudy, it states that we "are interested in adopting one boy or possibly one boy/one girl sibling group" Well, we are interested and know we are to adopt a boy and a girl, sibling or non-sibling group. So...this had me a bit concerned, and I emailed our agencies to let them know of the error. I've been assured that all will be fine, and the necessary changes will be made.

You may or may not know this, but when we found out we were pregnant with Jules, it was a TOTAL surprise. I remember my grandma McWilliams was at the house when the doctor's office called, and I promptly told them, as I held my 13 month-old son on my hip, that "NO, that's not possible..." And I was SURE of it. Kay, my midwife, called me back later, and again I told her it wasn't possible. I was nursing, on birth control, and had not yet had a period since the birth of Cole ( I know, too much information) Anyway, Kay assured me, that yes, I was indeed pregnant. Wow! So, we began an emotional roller coaster of disbelief to excitement. When we went in at 5 weeks for an ultrasound to be sure everything was okay, "Kay looked at us and said that she wasn't sure this pregnancy was going to happen. What?! Something looked odd in the ultrasound and when they looked at my bloodwork, the numbers weren't where they were supposed to be. I was also bleeding a bit, which also added to the concern. I really don't remember how many days it was, but we thought we were miscarrying, and there was nothing more anyone could tell us. Well, as you know, all turned out well...Jules is healthy. Praise God. I tell you all of this because reading the homestudy yesterday reminded me of this. Early on, we began praying about the possibility of adopting two children. It seemed like an incomprehensible task at the time. The thought wouldn't go away, and Jim and I both know by now that when God places something in your mind and then in your heart, you better pay attention to it. So, we finally settled on the fact, that yes, we are to adopt two children at this time. As I drove home yesterday, after talking with our adoption agency, I thought, wow, this is just like Jules. Not even imaginable that we'd have her, excitement, devastation at the thought of losing her, pure joy at the sight of her. So it is with this little girl. I can't explain to anyone any other way than to say, think of one of your children, anywhere in the world, you would do ANYTHING to go get them and bring them home.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, "Give them up!"
and to the south, "Do not hold them back."
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made."
~Isaiah 43:5-7

80s for Orphans

Announcing a Totally Rad 80s party...

We will be hosting an 80s for Orphans night at our home on June 6. We've not yet determined the time, but it will begin late afternoon-early evening. We will have at least one band, hopefully two, and some acoustic music as well.

We are asking everyone to bring an appetizer to share. We will have hot dogs or bbq available. It is BYOB.

This is a fundraising event for our adoption. To bring two children home from Ethiopia, it will cost somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000 dollars.

All are welcome, including children.

Start thinking of your costume. Here are some ideas: off-the-shoulder "Flashdance" sweater, Miami Vice apparel, crimped hair, mullets, big hoop earrings, leg warmers (old cut-off sweater, polo shirt (raised collar), sunglasses...

Find a photo: Find a photo of yourself from the 80s (BIG hair, mullets, racing stripes in the side of the hair)
(If you weren't in school in the 80s, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about...just bring one from your school days)

We'll send out an official invite via email or regular mail in the future.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Baby Chair

This is the rocking chair that we salvaged from my Grandma's attic. Jim refinished the chair as a present for me, and he and I upholstered the cushion. I love it! Beside the chair, is the wardrobe that was given to me when my great-grandmother passed away. Now all we need is a baby room and BABIES :-)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How Soon???

The most common question we are asked is "How soon will the babies be here?" So, we launch into our very long answer of...Well, first we need to complete our dossier and send it three places: our government, our agency, and the Ethiopian government. I don't know in what order that occurs except that Ethiopia is the last stop. Then we begin our wait to be matched with our children which is a typical 4-6 month wait. However, it has been shorter for some families, and it has been longer. It seems that it's not been much longer than 6 months for most families. So, if you compare it to a "regular" pregnancy, we may be in our 2 trimester in just a few weeks, or we may be in our third. How's that for an answer?! We are telling everyone that our prayer is that they are here for Christmas.

We are now scheduled for fingerprinting in York on April 13 at 9:00AM. We received our letter from Homeland Security stating when we need to be present. Yes, this is a work day, but when you get this appt., you go. Each of us have had a criminal clearance done, a child abuse clearance, and a letter written by our local police department stating that we are in good-standing with them. It's amazing what you go through to prove you are safe to be parents. I'm thankful, though. I may not be in the majority with my appreciation of the abundance of background checks, but my opinion is, the safer we keep our kids, the better.

We've (or should I say, I've) started thinking about names for the children. Julia rattled off two names, first and last, that we will name them, and she was serious. Jim and I are not so sure, but it will become clear. We know we want to keep part of their birth names, as this is the only thing they'll own.

It's all very exciting, and we are getting more and more excited. We have had an offer made on our home, and we are waiting for the family to sell their property. Where will we go??? Not certain on that either. The Lord will provide.


Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
~Hebrews 10:23

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's a boy! AND It's a girl!

Grandparents, you may want to sit down. We have decided that yes, we will adopt a boy and a girl. The age range will be from 0-12 months. They may be biological siblings and they may not. I told Jim that perhaps we'll be thinking differently on our LONG plane ride home from Ethiopia with the babies:-) Cole and Julia asked to watch videos of them when they were little yesterday. I can't believe how little they cute, so funny. But, it made me SO excited to go through that age again. We were able to spend time with our nieces this past weekend at my sister, Melissa's wedding. (Congrats, was beautiful.) The girls are so sweet and SO funny...all three under the age of three. Again, it's just such an awesome reminder of the joys of what is to come. And yes, it also reminds us of the struggles, too. We're expecting it, though. Jim and I thoroughly enjoy our Sunday naps, which will most likely dwindle away, but it's worth it. When we tell people we're adopting from Ethiopia, and babies at that, they tend to say one of three things: "Wow"...quickly followed by..."NOT ME...I'm done with those days!" or "Wow"...that's great!" What made you choose Ethiopia?" and finally..."What do Cole and Julia think of it?" We've asked ourselves the same questions early on...Can we do babies again(we're not getting any younger)? Can we, a family with white skin, raise a child with black skin in our community? What will Cole and Julia think? And there were many many more questions.

But, no amount of questioning or fear can stand up against God's leading you to your child. If you knew your child, the child you have now, we're all the way across the world, wouldn't you do anything and everything to go get that child and bring him/her home? That's exactly how it feels when you know God has called you to adopt.

In addition, the statistics are literally staggering. I'm not a numbers girl, so I won't attempt to explain in numbers, but there are young children who live on the streets with absolutely no one. If that happened in this area, there would be people flocking to take the children in. I wonder if we don't understand what's happening to these children and many more around the world because people just don't know. When I see the news, the stimulus bill is the top story every single day. It just blows my mind. There are children dying because they have no one...nothing. And our top stories are about the stimulus bill and a woman who has 14 children and can't take care of them. Have you ever noticed that most stories in the newspaper or on the tv, stir some type of negative feeling inside of you: fear, worry, anger. What if all the good that happens in the world was published as much as the bad? How would our lives be different?

I pray that God gives us a vision for the children of the world, who have been orphaned..who have no one. I pray that we can be the hands and feet that serve them.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ponder this...

Sometimes I 'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it..but I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Missing Watoto Choir

Well, it seems that C has a burden on his heart for the children of Watoto. He made them a picture today. It looks great. It depicts all of them singing, and he's labeled Fred, Davis, and Brian, the three who stayed with us. He wrote: Dear Fred, davis(no capital-teacher's nightmare), and Brian, thank you so much for singing for us. It was a lot of fun staying with us. When I'm older I want to come to Watoto. Sinserly, C It's so sweet. And J made her own card and notes to go with it. One says, "you guys are the best. I will miss you so so mach (that's much, for all you non-first grade teachers) from J

I have prayed for others to come along side me and carry this burden that I have for the children of Africa. I am SO thankful that my kids "get it". I don't have to explain it to them, and they don't look at me like I'm half nuts. If we would let C, I sincerely believe he would go to Uganda. This is the boy who was afraid to rock climb last night. There was something about the boys that you just can't explain. It was more than their politeness. It was more than their hugs. Perhaps it was their spirit. They had such a spirit of thankfulness and love.

Secretary Needed and other stuff!!!

Jim and I did indeed send our contract off to our agency and well, it will be promptly sent back to us. We missed initialing one section. We looked over several least I did. Oh well. We'll initial it and send it back. We're waiting on one of Jim's clearances that failed to come through, so I doubt we can do much more without that anyway.

We emailed our agency this week and told them we'd like to proceed as though we will be adopting two children. We need to do two more trainings and one more meeting if we decide that God has two children for us at this time. You know, if you physically carry your children, you make none of these or two, girl or boy, girl and boy, etc. Some people might like that. I'm just trying to be sure my connections are clear. I don't always trust my own random thoughts, but God is faithful and true. He will reveal exactly what we are to do in perfect time.

I've been thinking a lot about getting a new camera as photography is a growing passion in my life. But then again, so is spending time with my kids, my husband, playing guitar, singing, I just pray that God connects all of these things and that they're all done for His glory alone.

Good News...we'll no longer be getting free Internet. How is this good news, you ask? Well, I've been asking (really begging) Jim to get high speed Internet for months, and he reminds me that it is now FREE. I really want it to do our trainings, post some pictures to this blog, and just do some other things with it. So, he gets a notice this week that BU will no longer be supplying Internet...yeah for me.

Jim realized last night for the first time that we're going to need a van. Seriously, I have been talking about getting one for two years-maybe three. I always tell him that I've been thinking about something for years, and he one day he comes up with a "novel" idea. Ahhh...such is the difference between my husband and I. I love him so much!

Well, my quiet time is over. Noise is about the house.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Contract Sent

We sent our official contract to Dove. The next step will be to have our home study completed. We need just one document, which we should have received weeks ago. Apparently, they have no record of it, and we will need to reapply. We should receive it in about two weeks. The next step for us will be to receive our dossier packet and complete lots of paperwork. From there, it will need to be reviewed by several people here in the US and then sent to Ethiopia. At that point, we will begin our wait for our referral. We should be able to complete and send our dossier back in a few months.

There is a family who is adopting two children through Dove who are currently in Ethiopia picking up their children. You may want to check out their blog as they lay everything out by dates and show pictures of their children. Their blog address is:

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Apparently you can subscribe to this blog. It doesn't cost money. It just means that you will be notified via email when I post.

One or Two???

We had our meeting with our Agency on Monday and all went well. We will continue to have meetings on average once per month. We found out that at this point, we must decide if we will put a referral in for one or two children. We thought that we would be able to put in for either and whichever came first, is how it will be. Not so. So, we've been praying. Neither of us are certain. We have our physicals this week, and then we'll send the remainder of our paperwork to our agency. At that point, our homestudy should be complete and sent to our other agency in Oregon. Then, we must sign an official contract with our agency in Oregon and they will send us another packet of paperwork. This paperwork is called the Dossier, and this is what will be sent to Ethiopia. When this arrives in Ethiopia after being approved here in the US, we will begin our wait for our baby or babies. It is on average a 4-6 month wait for your referral to go through. When we get the referral, our agency will call us and let us know the referral has arrived. We will receive pictures and any information they have on the child or children. At this point, the child is not our child. We must go through court to adopt our child(ren). We will travel to Ethiopia to pick up our child(ren) and go to court there. We will also readopt our child here in the US. Many people have asked "Why Ethiopia?" Here's my best attempt to explain: Gabriel, as some of you know, was the little boy in Guatemala, who God clearly led us to. We prayed for him for about 8 months. In July of last year, his parents came to get him. Yes, were disappointed but mostly we were overjoyed. This doesn't happen often that parents actually come back to an orphanage to get their children. During this time of praying for Gabriel, God did some amazing things in our hearts. God showed us His heart for caring for orphans and adoption. It became so clear how both are part of His plan for us as followers of Jesus. While I don't think everyone is called to adopt, I do think that all are called to care for orphans...along with the poor and widows. So, we started praying for a specific country. I, at first, was drawn to China, especially cleft palate babies, which is quite prevalent there. For a healthy child in China, the wait right now is 3 years. Jim was drawn to Haiti, but the process in Haiti is quite difficult, and I really didn't feel drawn there at all. I had Ethiopia in the back of my mind and when Jim mentioned Haiti, I knew he was open to adopting a child who is black, so I asked about Ethiopia. We prayed about it, and it became clear that we would adopt from there. The specifics of that are fairly long, so won't go into that. When I first prayed and Gabriel Jonathan's name came to me, I saw a little curly, haired boy, about the age of 9 months to a year old. When we saw Gabriel of Guatemala, I knew it wasn't the same face I saw during prayer. However, I knew that their skin was the same, so I figured perhaps my connections :-) were off. As I look at the boys and girls of Ethiopia, it could be that this is the little boy I saw. Along with Gabriel's name, there was another name that I received, too. It was Anna/Ana. I've prayed about it for a long time. I thought maybe she was Gabriel's mom, or a a girl in Guatemala. When I asked someone at the orphanage about an Anna, she said there are a lot of Annas there. So, is Ana our daughter? Not sure, but her middle name is Grace.

Well, that's a lot of information, but I think it covers most of the questions we're being asked.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

80s Party in the Works!!!

Just a head's up for all you 80s fans. We are planning to have an 80s party in late spring to benefit our adoption. There may be a few bands performing. We are planning to have it here at our house. Grab your hairspray, ladies and guys,...start growing those mullets. Mark Alexander claims he's already on his way to having one. (Side note: We were reading about Martin Luther King, Jr. in class the other day, and one of my boys came up later and asked to borrow the Michael Jackson book. I had NO idea what he was talking about until he said it was the one we were reading earlier. Can you imagine his parents' surprise when he tells them he was learning about Michael Jackson in class?! :-)

Meeting Scheduled

Our Meeting with Dove has been scheduled for Monday, January 19 at 4:00. :-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yeah...we are scheduling our meeting!

I seriously cannot imagine how excited parents must be when they get their referral call. We received an email today telling us our agency would like to schedule our interview. They are based out of Oregon, so it will be a phone conference. We have completed our home study with our agency in Williamsport, and hopefully it has been or will be soon sent off to Oregon to our agency doing the international portion of the adoption. This interview will basically get the ball rolling for the next steps to bring our baby or babies home. If all goes well with the phone interview, which I expect it will, we will start preparing more paperwork to be sent to Ethiopia. Yeah!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Our family had the pure joy and honor of hosting a gentleman and two boys from the Watoto Children's Choir last evening. I honestly can say, the experience was amazing. There were surreal moments, when I thought, "this can't be real". It just seemed too good to be true. We started by going to see them at a church in West Milton last evening. Jim and I had a difficult time holding it together throughout the concert. Julia usually stares at me when I cry, which is a lot, so I tend to hold it in a bit. The choir spoke so loudly of what has been on my heart for over a year, but I feel as though I had no way to express it. They expressed it loudly and clearly. I could not get over how beautiful they were...inside and out. They said please and thank you to everything. They are THANKFUL to go to school, have shoes, a warm bed, and a mom who cares for them. They know what their lives were like before Jesus rescued them, and their not afraid to tell about it. They asked "Uncle Brian", their chaperone who stayed with us, if they could play downstairs. They asked if they could watch tv. They were simply amazing. Brian was such a kind soul. He mentioned that he helps to lead worship in his church in Uganda, which has approximately 20,000 people...yes, I wrote the number correctly. Can you imagine?! He said there are satellite churches (I forget exactly what he called them.), so they're not all in one building. But, he said there are 2,000 people who will come to one church in one day over a period of hours. Jim handed him my guitar after he told us that he plays during worship. He made the guitar sound beautifully. I guess I can't blame it on the guitar any more...and He likes Jennifer of my favorite singers. He said that they use the same music that our praise band uses, which surprised me. Brian led us in some worship songs..."Majesty", "You Are My Strength"...He was such a humble, yet courageous soul. Words simply can not express my gratitude to the Lord for allowing our family to participate in such an awesome experience! In James 1:27, God tells us to visit orphans...I guess the Lord even rejoices in having orphans visit us :-)