"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.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
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
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
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?"
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
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.
PSALM 77:14 YOU ARE THE GOD WHO PERFORMS MIRACLES; YOU DISPLAY YOUR POWER AMONG THE PEOPLES.
Some of the Miracles we've experienced thus far:
~birth of our children
~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
Saturday, October 17, 2009
"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
"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
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 witnesses...to 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.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
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
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, "...man 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
"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
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.