The Lord is our Portion

The Lord is our Portion

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis the Season...what we have been up to

Just wanting to recap some of the things we have been up to lately...
 
One of our family traditions is to take our kids to the Christmas store usually at the end of Oct. or in Nov. when it is not so busy (note to self- do not go in Dec. AGAIN)  each of our kids pick out a new ornament to hang on our tree and someday we will give them a box full of ornaments when they have their own homes. It is always fun to see what they choose.  When we pulled up to the store lil guy shouted out "look at the man with the big clothes" we all laughed at that one...too cute.
 
Had to get a pic with "the man with the big clothes"
So the new ornaments we ended up coming home with were a pirate, a lion, three different cats on jingle bells and a fortune cookie...when we came home we decorated our tree. 
We got this for our new lil one
We celebrated hubby's birthday...(his 29th AGAIN!!!??)
He was off that day so he went to the movies with blessing #1 to see Skyf*ll (such a guy thing)
later we all made him a special dinner and he had his favorite banana splits with homemade ice cream instead of cake. The next day the kids all went to stay the night at Grandma and Poppas for the annual tradition of going to "grandma's lighted parade" and homemade waffles for breakfast. We did our traditional Christmas shopping outing.
We love you!
 
We have been busy playing...
 
having a blast in rice pool...
fun playing restaurant
 
playing with our nativity...
We have also been making cookies, preparing for Christmas orchestra and choir concerts, watching favorite Christmas movies and crafting.  Blessing #1 has been working on completing his applications to colleges.  
 
Blessing #2 and I...well mostly blessing #2 have been usy sewing our Christmas pj's. I just love her for so many reasons...but I just love the joy in her face as she is blessing us with her talents and sewing abilities...I love her giving servants heart. 
love her smile-she is so beautiful
 

 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dreaming....of our new little one

Dreaming of a little face we have never seen,
Hearing a heartbeat of a child we have never held, 
Our arms are aching to hold our new little child
and imagining the smell of him or her,
Crying tears when we are missing our little one
Excited to get the call...
Yet grieving the story that is yet to be told,
Yearning to go to the country where we have never been
We are longing to know the little blessing God has planned for our family
Lifting prayers to our Father who knows
our hearts loving an unknown face...
  Unknown to us...not to God - He already knows our child's story

One amazing part of the adoption journey is missing someone you have never met...

We are being knit together with our heavenly Fathers plan for us -
making His plans the desires of our hearts...


 
This Christmas song says it all....grab a tissue! The lyrics are below-
 
Merry Christmas by Third Day
There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow

But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
And we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
And prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep, I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas
 
 
 

 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Black Friday Blessing

I was not going to venture out shopping the day after Thanksgiving, however one of my crafting daughters saw that flannel was going to be 75% off and has been wanting to make us all PJ's for Christmas morning....Daddy couldn't say no - so off goes this Momma at 5:30 in the morning with blessing #2 & 3 to J*Fabrics.
 
We got flannel for us all to have "matching" PJ's for our annual Christmas morning picture in front of the tree...but I spotted the cutest flannel I just "HAD" to have for my lil in China.

just way too cute!
 I bought enough to make her a quilt and maybe a ruffled skirt...and if she ends up being a he - well then my big girls will get cute PJ pants!
 
While getting the fabric cut the Lord so blessed my heart  (especially seeing we have been dealing with an unexpected change in our family requiring weekly therapy for one of our littles & adding more demands to my already full days at home - I have been feeling super stretched and kinda defeated lately) SO anyways...while the lady was cutting the fabric we were chit chatting, this other employee walks by - stops and says "what cute fabric!" So I agreed and mentioned that we were adopting from China and what I was gonna do with the fabric if it ends up being a girl. The one lady says, "Congratulations that is wonderful, I love hearing that someone is gonna get a nice home and to know they will have a family".  I mention that this is our 2nd adoption we have a son from Ethiopia also...with that #2 & #3 walk up she looks at them questioningly I explain we have 4 biological also.  With that she gets all excited and says "Oh bless you - no wonder I saw diamonds in your crown!" The other lady who has been quite goes "Amen!". 
 
 I LOVE HOW THE LORD SHOWS UP WHERE AND WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT! 
 
I left there feeling so blessed and encouraged, that even though I may feel defeated - what I am doing does matter-to God.  He sees all I do and gives me the strength as I serve my family that He has blessed me with, as I devote time to my little who needs extra right now, as I home school, as I love and support my husband...it matters to God. 
Also I left there challenged and praying "Lord, let my service be pleasing to you...may you delight in how I serve the family you have blessed me with.  When I see you face to face may I hear the words "well done good and faithful servant" as I lay a crown at your feet."

Friday, November 30, 2012

Adoption Is....

"The gospel is not a picture of adoption,
adoption is a picture of the gospel."
John Piper
 
Hubby recently found this video and really appreciates the truths and encouragement John Piper gives, we figured it would be a great ending post for November National Adoption Awareness month.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

adoption - it is family


With this being National Adoption Month it has had us thinking about how much our family has changed since taking a leap of faith and following the Lords leading to adopt the first time - we are so blessed to have our little guy in our lives. Our little guy adds so much to our family that we never knew was missing before! 
I love reading other adoptive families stories and their reasons for adopting - majority of the time (besides the Lord leading them) was because they felt like someone was missing from their families.
That is so true and is exactly how it feels for us...it is not about saving or rescuing an orphan (although our hearts are broken for the fatherless) it is more - it is family
God puts that desire on our hearts ever so softly (sometimes repeatedly!!!)  and we take that leap of faith.  Then that desire becomes a longing-like you are missing something or in this case someone...
there are days when I picture my kids outside and in my mind I already see six children.  
Apparently that longing doesn't only effect the parents...the other day I was out shopping with our five, as we were loading the groceries in our van blessing #1 says to me, "It's weird I keep looking around cause it feels like we are missing someone, I guess I already think I have another sibling..." then of course he adds "another brother".
I love how the Lord truly does set the lonely in familiesDuring both - our 1st adoption from Ethiopia and this current one from China  - the Lord has united each one of our hearts to His plans for our family. Sometimes it has even been things one of our children may have said in conversation without even knowing that the Lord was working on my or hubbys heart toward adoption, that planted another seed for us.  It warms my heart to hear my childrens excitement, plans, dreams, and mostly the love and compassion they already have for their new sibling...that we don't even know yet.
It is not always easy...sometime it is quite H.A.R.D. but rewarding.
We all have grown in ways we never could have if we didn't step out in faith. Hubby and I have been stretched in ways we never imagined, we are learning even more how to show mercy and grace, to love even more unselfishly and unconditionally, we have learned new ways to parent, and to not worry what people think of us when we do what we believe is best for our child.
Our four older children have learned to have compassion, tenderness, grace - and to love when maybe they have not wanted to. The five of them bring us so much joy to watch them interact and the way they love each other...excited to add another to our family.
 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November - National Adoption Awareness Month

 
November is National Adoption Awareness Month as our family joyfully reflects on the blessings we have been given through adoption - we are also thinking about the grief and loss that goes with adoption.  While I am so grateful for our lil guys mother who loved him and didn't choose to have an abortion, I never want to dismiss the grief and loss she must feel to not have her son.  Or for the losses that our son-or any adopted child has experienced and questions they have. 
 
"In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ..." (Ephesians 1:4-6); we are so thankful that we have a God that has adopted us - who knows and sees all the feelings that surround adoption - who heals hearts - who loves us.
 

 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,

to give unto them beauty for ashes,

the oil of joy for mourning,

the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

that they might be called trees of righteousness,

the planting of the Lord,

that he might be glorified.

Isaiah 61:3


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday

 "Only one thing is worse than being lost...Being lost & knowing nobody is looking for you."
Amy at Lifesong for Orphans
 
Today is Orphan Sunday churches around the country help to plead the cause and raise awareness of the global orphan crisis.  There are millions of children considered to be orphans worldwide- one estimate being 147,000,000.  During our 1st adoption we met several families that decided to adopt because of something they heard at their churches on Orphan Sunday...now those children are no longer orphans but sons and daughters.

We realize that not everyone is called to adopt - however the Bible is clear that we are to care for them...what that looks like is different for each Christian but here are some practical ways we all can help orphans. 
 
1. PRAY FOR THEM- Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. -Matthew 7:7-8
2. SPEAK UP FOR THEM-Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. -Proverbs 31:8-9
3. PROVIDE FOR THEIR NEEDS-If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food…and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? -James 2:15-16
4. SUPPORT THOSE WHO SUPPORT THEM-and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds... -Hebrews 10:24
5. PROTECT THEM FROM HARM-The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked. –Psalm 146:9
6. VISIT WHERE THEY ARE-Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27
7. GIVE SACRIFICIALLY TO THEM-Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. -2 Corinthians 9:7
8. ENCOURAGE THEM TO PRESS ON- We urge you brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14
9. ADOPT THEM INTO YOUR FAMILY-A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God is His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families… -Psalm: 68:5-6a NIV
10. MOBILIZE YOUR CHURCH FOR THEM-Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. -Matthew 28:18-20
 






 

 

 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Please check out these adoption shirts!


One of my China adoptive mom friends has designed one of the cutest t-shirts! On the back of the shirt there are over 60 names listed of adopted children...OUR lil guys name is on there! They just accepted a referral of a special focus 21 month old little girl. Please check out their shirts and consider ordering one.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2 years ago... Referral Day!

 Two years ago we finally got the call we had been waiting 1 1/2 years for and got to see the face of our son that we had been dreaming about and praying for. 
 

With the Ethiopian program through our agency they work off a wait list to give referrals -based on each families parameters. We had known the Friday before that we were "unofficially" #2 on the boys list.  Also, we knew that on Oct. 18th there were 10 children brought into Hannah's Hope-our agency's transition home in Addis Ababa...so to say it was a l-o-n-g weekend is an understatement!
That Monday we tried to keep things "business" as usual...home schooling, errands, chores...anxiously waiting for either hubby's or my phone to ring-we even had special ring tones to know if it was our case manager calling!  Well it was getting close to dinner time -our agency is in a different time zone... I was busy getting dinner ready reflecting on all the referrals given out lately and assuming we were NOT getting "the call" while doing dishes the words from Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord..." kept repeating through my mind. 
And then it happened! The unique ring on my phone! It was our case manager!
 "B"ask "May I speak to Carrie?" (which was always funny to me! I was the only one who answered that phone!)
I said, "Hi B are you calling to tell me about my baby?" to this she replies, "Yes, I am! Is this a good time?"(like I'd say "umm no- can you call me tomorrow"!!!) so I started getting teared up and running through my house like a crazy lady trying to quietly get my kids attention! Which they were all excitedly jumping all around!  Hubby was at a college class that night! (Of course - and the only night that semester that he couldn't skip class!) So "B" offered to conference call him in! Yay! BUT that meant I had to handle the documents and picture downloads on the laptop alone...ahh yea-that is not my gift! Thankfully my son helped me get it all set.
So the call took over an hour to read through all the documents and hear the history, medicals and information regarding our son-we didn't open the pictures yet.  At the end of "the call" we need to let the agency know if we want to move forward with this child.  We had agreed that if we did get our referral while hubby was in class we would at least wait and look at the pictures the 1st time together and pray before moving forward.  So we told "B" we would call her back the next day. 
Waiting for hubby's class to get over so he could come home seemed to take forever! By the time he got home we prayed then reviewed the documents it was after midnight! Finally we opened the pictures to see this beautiful face! He took our breathe away...we knew he was the one the Lord planned for us!
Isaiah 25:1 Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.    
Our son~ his Ethiopian name is Temesgen- which means "thank you God"
 
It was so surreal...when waiting for your referral you imagine what its going to be like when "the call" actually happens.  We always assumed we would be together on the call-hubby was gonna come home from work...didn't happen that way. We had prayed many times during our wait for discernment and peace when we did get our referral.  While waiting for hubby to come home I was praying and I felt God wanted me to look back in my prayer journal. I pulled it out and the exact week that the Lord broke down my wants and desires and put in my heart His desires for us to add to our family through adoption was the EXACT same week his birth mom would have learned she was expecting! Wow...the Lords hand was in this no doubt about it.  That is where faith comes in...just take the leap to follow the Lord in His plans.
We were surprised with all the different thoughts and emotions we experienced.  We were extremely overjoyed to see him yet grieving the losses that goes along with adoption....that's how it is with adoption - there has to be a loss otherwise there wouldn't be a need. We were shocked at the weight we felt just looking at this little guy knowing we had to say yes or no....it wasn't that we ever thought of saying no but just the significance of saying yes...you just don't get that option when you give birth. We were (and are) thankful that God chose us to be his parents but humbled why us?  
This has been an amazing journey this far...not easy- but so rewarding.  One blessing is that we get to see a physical earthly example in our home of how our Heavenly Father loves us and adopts us into His family.  We are thankful that the Lord saw fit in His infinite wisdom to bless us with our little guy.

 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Sad Truth About Chocolate


http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/2012/10/the-inconvenient-truth-about-your.html
Ok so I love chocolate...as many of you know (even though I am NOT suppose to eat it).
Click here to read why you should make the switch to only buying Fair Trade Chocolate...

 
 
 
 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Heavy Hearted - with Hope

October was the month we first saw our lil guys face...more often than usual I find my thoughts wandering to Africa.  My heart is HEAVY as I think of his loving birth mother...how is she doing, does she ache for him, does she replay that day over & over in her mind, is she healthy and fed with access to clean water to drink?
 
Grieving for her as I look at my five wonderful blessings and could not EVER imagine having to make that choice- she made one of the biggest sacrifices ever imaginable...to love someone so much to let them go so that they may have a chance...  Humbled that the Lord allowed us to be a part of His  plan for our lil guys life. 
 
One thing I know for sure is that she has Jesus to get her through and we will all be in Heaven together -what a glorious picture that is! HOPE that only our Lord and Savior can give.  See one part of this story I will share is that she is a believer of Jesus Christ...during our meeting with her the one thing she really wanted our lil guy to know is "that her and her family are all strong believers in Jesus Christ" WOW! that was a huge answer to prayer...Thank you Lord.
 
If you could please pray for our lil guy and his birth mom. Thankful for the HOPE we have because of Jesus and for the truths in scripture:
 
Job 29:12  Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper.
 
Duet. 10:18 He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.
 
John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
 
Psalm 68:5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
 

Jeremiah 29:11 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.
 
Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
 
Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
 

WE LOVE THIS VIDEO!
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Out of the mouth of our babe...

Mornings are one of my favorite times of the day with Lil guy...when he wakes up I usually bring him into my bed with me for "snuggle time" sometimes we fall back to sleep or we just lay there, often we make pretend coffee for mama (he knows what his mama likes!), mostly we just talk and snuggle.  Yesterday morning he said one of the cutest things EVER- I was telling him that mornings are one of my favorite times of the day with him cause we get to cuddle together.
I asked him, "When you get bigger will you still snuggle with me?" 
Lil guy- " I little" 
Me- "Yes, you are my little baby."
Lil guy- "You my big mama."

Too cute! Hubby thinks that's great and has claimed it as a new nickname for me...ummm don't think so honey -but it was cute out of lil guys mouth.
 

Later at night while getting him ready for bed Lil guy asked me, "You happy?"
I said "Yes, I am with you- are you happy?"
Lil guy, "Yes."
Me, "Why are you happy?"
Lil guy, "Cause she's (points to 3rd blessing) happy."
I said, "What makes you happy?"
Lil guy, "Um, God...Zeezus (Jesus)
Me(tears in eyes),  "Oh, bless your heart."
Lil guy starts singing the song I have song to him often at night since coming home we call
Bless You song...
 
Adoption is not always easy, it is not a one time event - it is a lifetime, BUT it is moments like these that warms our hearts and makes it sooo worth it.  Thanking the Lord for putting Lil Guy in our lives.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weekend Family Fun


We had a busy weekend! Friday Hubby was off and we went on a field trip with a few of our home school friends to a planetarium. After we all went to a park to let the kids play - even my big kids will join in and play tag! One of the things I appreciate about home schooling is my kids do not have to be "too cool". After, we left the park for a meeting with our youth pastor to discuss college options for our 1st born (aaahhh- 1st born going to college and a new lil coming from China all in the same year...). Hubby and I were not Christians when we went to college so we really appreciate and are thankful for the godly wisdom and counsel we received for our son.

 Saturday we got up kind of early and went to my favorite farmers market.  While I go for the organics & healthy stuff the family goes to the bakery there and gets doughnuts (the super sweet good homemade bakery kind- that give you head rush from all the sugar!).  Actually that is how I bribe them to come...gotta let them splurge once in a while.  Anyways, after we headed to Gr**nfield Vi**iage for their fall days. 
 
They had a farmers market set up there also, field work and fall plowing demonstrations and historic cooking at several of the houses.
 
 
 


It really makes me thankful for my modern appliances and indoor plumbing with hot water! Our girls collected yummy recipes they hope to make soon.
 
My lil girl is growing up- so beautiful


My two goof balls!

Blessed to be their Momma



 

Hubby, 3rd, 4th, and 5th blessing all went on the train ride.  That is all the Lil guy wanted to do so he was super excited! 1st and 2nd blessing wanted to go to the gift shop to look around (I think it really was for the fudge samples) so that is where we went.
excitedly waiting for the train

what a beautiful smile-he was very happy to be on the train


Sunday we went to church.  I worked in the Toddlers room with Lil guy, this will be the 1st year that our family will not all be in church together ever, because at least one of us each Sunday will be serving somewhere during service.  Kinda different for us but we look at it as "training" for next year when 1st blessing is away at college.
 
On Sunday night 1st blessing completed his first college application...to be at this point with our son and to look back  and see all that the Lord has done in his life makes us excited to see what He has planned for his future.

monkey see - monkey do!

 
Also, on Thursday my sister and brother-in-law had their fourth child - a son.  So they now have been blessed with 3 sons and 1 daughter.  We are thankful that the Lord graciously blessed her desire to have a VBAC and He gave her the strength and ability to do so.  If you could pray for Quinn he will require surgery soon to repair a small cleft lip.
 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Adoption Tax Credit

Often we get asked what are some ways we can help orphans.....well here is one way you can help-


The Adoption Tax Credit has helped many families adopt children, some who otherwise may
not financially been able to adopt.  This tax credit has been a blessing to us as it helped us with our 1st adoption and has helped paid some of the fees for this adoption.  The current tax credit is going to expire on Dec. 31, 2012-so any family that completes their adoption after that date this valuable credit will not be available.
 
There are now bills in both the House (HR 4373) and the Senate (S 3616) - if you would please consider contacting your  Representative to co-sponsor HR 4373 and both your Senators to co-sponsor S 3616.  Below are links about the tax credit along with links to finding your Representative and Senators.
  
To find out more information

We encourage everyone to contact their two U.S. Senators to ask them to become co-sponsors of this bipartisan bill. You can find your Senators and their contact information at http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/general/one_item_and_teasers/contacting.htm

You can reach your Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol Operator at (202) 225-3121 and asking for your Representative's office. If you don't know your Representative's name, go to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and enter your zip code in the box provided.

Here is a link to a Action Alert letter from adoption agency for you to use or modify when you call your Representative: http://www.allgodschildren.org/AdvocacyAlert.pdf.

 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Blessing in the Mailbox

 After our home study was complete we were able to apply for a grant from Show Hope to help bring our new lil home.  We didn't apply for any grants with our 1st adoption, however we prayerful considered it this time because our new lil will have extra medical expenses after coming home.

 I got the mail and there was an envelop from Show Hope in there...I was excited and a little nervous-  I knew we wouldn't hear anything about the grant until end of Nov. but I was worried what if they already were telling us no to the grant award.  When I opened the letter it started out thanking us for applying, how it was a privilege to be a small part of our adoption journey, and they want to take opportunity to let us know they are praying for each family and these precious children...
That's when I lost it and began crying...I love being in the body of Christ where people who don't even know you are praying for you and your precious child! I love that people have a passion for the fatherless and will devote their time, energy, money, prayers, sweat and tears for the least of these.

Well the letter goes on to then inform us that we will be given Karyn Purvis resources for free! What a huge blessing! Let me explain this a little more in detail - we love Karyn Purvis and her resources for helping children who come from hard places heal.  Her book Connected Child is one of our favorite resources.  A couple times a year they offer Empowered to Connect conferences there was one a couple weeks ago and we wanted to go, but just figured with expenses to travel it was not a good time as we are trying to minimize all spending.  We discussed just buying the DVDs someday which would be less then travel costs.  Well the Lord totally blessed us with free DVD's!
So excited can't wait for them to come in the mail.

If you can please pray for Show Hope committee as they review all the grant applications, for all the other families who applied & their children who are waiting for their forever homes, of course for the 153 million children without families and finally for us as our grant application gets reviewed .  We know that the Lord will provide as He did with our 1st adoption.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Changes and Birthdays

This past month has been eventful for us...lots of changes & lots of emotions to go along with those changes.  Within this past month we now have an adult child, two new drivers, our 2nd born turned 17, we finished all our paperwork for our new lil from China and celebrated 20 years of marriage! Whoo! - I need a nap!

People used to tell us enjoy it while they are little because it goes so fast.  I never really believed them. Now I do it really does seem like yesterday that we became parents. We were told we probably would never have children so to be parents was a dream come true for us...and 12 months & 3 weeks later we were blessed again! (see doctors don't really know everything!!)

Our 1st blessing turned 18 - we have been so blessed to have you as our son. Your love for the Lord and hunger to know more about Him is a blessing and humbles us, along with your burden for the unsaved. We love your excitement for learning- I will never forget the summer when you were 8 and I told you to stop reading the encyclopedias and go outside and play!  How much you love and care for your siblings and that you are a wonderful role model for them.  We appreciate how you are able to see both sides of an issue, you are wise beyond your years.  Also, how you are able to explain things to others is a gift.  You have your fathers sense of humor....not sure if that is a good thing or not! (just kidding).  It is so exciting to see the Lord working in your life and can't wait to see what this next year brings.
Meeting Dad for b-day lunch at Mexican restaurant
getting sung to by the staff- too funny...see how red he is!
Our 2nd blessing turned 17- sweet 2nd born you are such a gift in our lives.  We are so thankful for the wonderful, caring, helpful, loving and beautiful young lady you have become.  It warms our hearts to see how much you love the Lord and desire to know Him and serve Him, also your burden for the unsaved and that the Gospel is shared to all nations.  We are thankful for your willingness to help around the house with your servants heart.  It brings us joy to watch you working hard on some sewing project, which usually is a gift for one of your sisters!  We love how you are patient with your siblings.  Thank you for being my right hand lady.  We are so grateful to the Lord for the good work He has done in you and excited to see where He leads you.


such a pretty young lady- happy with her earrings from Africa

Here is the final stack of paperwork for our new little....wonder if it will be a son or a daughter????
Feels so good to have all the paperwork done and mailed! I think the next paperwork we have to do is after the referral!

Only time you see my man smiling so big when writing a check!
Is when it involves a new lil to love on!
we cruised on our paperwork this time! 2 months to complete
home study documents and dossier!

For our 20th my parents were so sweet to take all 5 of our sweeties for a whole weekend.  We had a wonderful stay-cation...the traditional gift for 20 years is China....going to China this year counts huh?  We took all the kids to Grandma and Poppas Friday. Some of the high lights of our weekend were going on a real date - an early dinner at  P.* Changs Chinese restaurant and then went to a Christian comedy show, sleeping in both mornings (luxury!!!!) strolling around a tourist attraction town that has great chicken dinners, uninterrupted conversations and just spending time together.  So appreciate our time together and it is so good for marriages...this was the 1st time we have been without any of our kiddos for a year and half since we brought our 5th blessing home from Ethiopia ...Thank you so much Mom and Pops~ Luv ya!
20 years still happy and in love!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

20 years ago today...



Twenty years ago today I married my best friend. We were young although - we thought we were  wise and knew it all! So thankful for all the Lord has done in our lives since that day.  I am blessed and humbled to be married to such a wonderful, loving, hard working and godly husband and father.  His example of selflessness and willing to put us before himself is a true example of how a man should love his wife ( Eph. 5:25-33 and Col. 3:18-21).  He works so hard for our family and never have I ever heard him complain - even when I can see how exhausted he is!  In celebration of our 20th here are just 20 things I love about my man! 
 
1. loves God-desires to follow Him
2. selfless-thinks of others before himself
3. compassionate / loving
4. leads our family
5. works hard for our family
6. wants the best for his family
7. encourages others
8. protects us
 9.  patient
10. kind
11. smart
13. enjoys spending time with our family
14. giving
15. easy going / calm
16. funny-helps me to see funny in life
17. dreamer- love dreaming together
18. grounded-helps keep me grounded
19. sees the best in me
20. loves me for who I am
 
 
Thanks Babe for these past 20 years!  It is amazing looking back at all we have done and been blessed with.  It hasn't always been easy...life never is- BUT God is so good and faithful!  I am so grateful and blessed to be on this life journey with you I couldn't picture my life any other way-looking forward to many more years.  LUV YOU I!
 



Monday, August 20, 2012

Thank you Jesus



"East To West" by Casting Crowns

Here I am, Lord, and I'm drowning in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don't want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight
I know You've cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I've never sinned
But today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I start the day, the war begins, endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in
Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

I know You've washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I'm not holding on to You, but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me

Jesus, You know just how far the east is from the west
I don't have to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
One scarred hand to the other
From one scarred hand to the other

http://vimeo.com/7423352