Thursday, February 24, 2011

Their Story

We are often asked about the twins and their lives in Africa.  What happened to the twins' mom?  Is she alive?  What about their dad?  Do they have siblings?  Why were they put up for adoption?  Were they starving?  Are they sick or have a disease?

We do know some of the little boys' story.  We will get to travel 6 hours by jeep to the hut in Ethiopia where they were born when we go on our second trip.  We will get to sit down with birth family and ask them questions.  They will get to ask us questions.  We will get to look into the eyes that loved these little boys before we did.  I can not image how that will impact us.  I'm not sure how to prepare for this precious time.   I've been thinking about what we want to ask ... what we want to know about the first years of our little boys' life.  I do know that I want to gather as much information as I can get.  And then I wonder how do I prepare for the time that we will need to share this information with the boys?

We are being told that often times "the story" changes after we get in the country.  That because of language barriers and cultural differences ages may not be documented correctly or that things might have changed since the day our boys were brought to the orphanage to when we will visit with birth family for example.  As I do my best to prepare to gather as much information as I can, I know that there will be some unanswered questions.  Questions in my heart ... questions that I know the answers about when I think about the babies that grew inside me and that I was able to be with the very second they entered this world.  I will trust that we  know what we need to know, that we will find out what we need to find out.  I'll leave the "unknown's" in the arms of Jesus, the only One that knows the whole story.

It kind of feels like putting a puzzle together.  And what is so cool is ...  God has already shown us pieces of the puzzle to confirm that these boys are our boys.  Who else but God could knit a family together ... bringing children to us that were born on the other side of the world!

Although we do know parts of the twins story many have suggested we keep their story to ourselves.  Not because it is a bad story that we don't want to share, but because we want to be able to share what we know about the twins story with them first.  Then, as the boys get older, they will be able to share their story.  So, if you see us and ask some of these questions, know that when we do not give you the answers it is not because we trying to keep some "big secret" from you, or don't trust you with the information, or are not close enough to you to share.  We are just respecting our little guys.  We want them to know and understand that our family is a safe place for them, which starts now before we've even held their little hands.

"I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety."  Psalm 18:1-2

Friday, February 18, 2011

Plans for hope and future

It was about a year ago that Ryan was in Haiti and I was at The Christian Alliance for Orphans conference with some friends.  God was working on our hearts on those days, just like He still is today.  Ryan being in Haiti and me attending the Christian Alliance for Orphans was part of the Lord's leading to the two precious little boys that we are awaiting a court date for right now.  Like I've shared before here, I believe adoption began with God.  I'm so thankful and blessed by how God is bringing two more son's into my life.  God has also been speaking to our hearts that taking care of the orphan and widow has many facets. Adoption is part of that, but it is not limited to adoption.   God has shown me that it is really about adopting His dreams.  Jeremiah 29:11 says - "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  I believe adoption is one of the ways that God uses to give back hope and a future.  But is not about me/us "saving" a child.  I'm not in the mind set that we are saving these two little boys.  They have lost much on their way to us - my heart breaks for all that they have lost and are about to lose as they journey across the world to us.  I will safely put that in the hands of the only One who can bring redemption - Jesus Christ. We are often told how we are doing a such a "good thing" by adopting.  I appreciate the kind words and know that the hearts from which those comments are made is only to encourage.  However, I know in the depths of my being that these two little boys are going to bless our family far more than we could ever bless them.  You see, as we are walking through this process of adoption, some days (okay many days) seem to be filled with mixed emotions.  I am so excited, so happy and my heart is simply elated with joy to have the honor of loving on and raising all my kids, and now these two little boys.  I can not wait until we pass court and I can say they are legally ours!   But, learning more about the story of the "orphan" - specifically these two little boys' story breaks my heart.  As we "step into" the story of orphans and see that lives that have been lost, hope that has been shattered and dreams that have been stolen due to poverty it puts me on my knees asking my God what I can do about it -  How can I be His hands and feet?  How is God wanting to use me to show the hope and future that He has for everyone?

I don't think we will be able to attend The Christian Alliance for Orphans this year.  We don't know when we are will be traveling to Ethiopia for court and are not making many plans these days due to that.  But, I know that it will be an awesome couple days for all of those that get to attend.  Being with a group of people that are coming together for the purpose of defending the orphan and widow and fight against poverty is an amazing place to be.  You can check it out here.  

Christian Alliance for Orphans from New Vision Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


We're still waiting ... waiting for a court date.  I guess there is one thing about 5 children in our home, we are not "bored" while we are waiting for our little boys to be with us.  And, I would have to say, as we are doing things these days, there is not a day that I don't wish those little guys were here to experience life with us!

Zachary has been doing what he loves most about winter.  Snowboarding!  He just got home from a trip to Colorado.  He says it was epic!  I love that boy ... oh, maybe I should say young man??

...because, as we are making a room for two little boys and thinking about diapers, car seats, booster chairs and cute little teddy bears like these cute little ones we found ...

The mail box is starting to flood with letters like these ....

Yikes!  Am I old enough to have a child that is ready to seriously look at colleges?  Really??  The reality of Zachary finishing up his 10th grade year and then only having his junior and senior year left is setting in more everyday.  The mailbox flooding with letters from colleges push that thought process even a bit farther.   Yet we are still thinking about diapers and little teddy bears.  Yikes!  Am I young enough to be have a set of 2 year olds in our house?  Life is exciting!  Really, I am so excited about these next chapters of our lives!

And,  I made my first Ethiopian meal for my family.  I gave Doro Watt, Misr Wot, Tsebhi Sga/Key Wet and Injera a whirl.  It was so fun to make.  I thought it was super yummy.  A few in our house thought it was a bit "spicy". Our scandinavian blondies who like bland food might need to acquire the taste of Doro Watt and Injera.

Monday, February 7, 2011

God Stories

I am just simply amazed at the stories that God writes.  There is much awe and amazement as God stories unfold.  I pray that my heart is always positioned to be expectantly waiting for God stories to keep unfolding.  My God is in the business of doing amazing things, things beyond my comprehension.  It just seems like as we have been walking down this adoption journey, there are so many things in this world that hurt and are discouraging.

Ryan and I are just finishing reading Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing to SEE.  It is an amazing book of God stories.  I'm in awe of the Chapman's faith even in really, really hard circumstances.  I'd suggest reading it if you haven't.  Through the laughter and tears that have been shed reading this book, God has shown himself in amazing ways.  A Mighty God! 

I love watching God stories that are unfolding with our friends.  Lives being touched. God being glorified.

And, check out this story of redemption.  It has been such a blessing to follow this family as they journey through what God has called them to.

My mom had a heart attack a few weeks ago.  It was a really hard week as we spent it in the hospital with her, but God, who is the business of redeeming and restoring is at work.  My mom is doing great today and that story is still being written in my family.

Today I have a friend that is at an appointment for some major medical issues going on right now.  Her faith and trust inspire me.  Please pray with me expectantly that God will heal her body and reveal the God Story that is being written for her right now so she can share it with many.

Yesterday at church something stood out for me.  A young lady shared something very simple, but it hit me so profoundly.  Anywhere in your life that you have lost Hope is an area that is believing a lie.  Sometimes, I feel like I buy into believing in a lie.  It's then don't feel like I am able to see the God Stories that are being written.

So, today as my heart aches to bring home two little boys that God has called us to, I am going to put my trust and hope in God as He continues to unfold His story.  He is in charge of all the details.  I'm learning that I could not write the story remotely as amazing as He will.

Residing in the truth today.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Drawn from Water

Did you see that you get a free T shirt with the sponsorship of a child that lives at Drawn from Water?

Check it out here.