The Lord is our Portion

The Lord is our Portion

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy 18th Birthday… Another adult in our home!

So our sweet spirited 2nd born turned 18 today and is an adult now! Blessing #2 is my right hand girl and is always wanting to help. I can’t believe how quickly times goes by! She has begun applying to colleges and we are excited to see what the Lord has planned for her…ever since she was 8 she has had a desire to be a missionary to Ch**a.  Joy radiates her whole being when she is making something for someone, whether it be a sewing project, crocheting, drawing, cooking/baking or any other craft - she is a giver.
 
Dear Blessing #2- We thank the Lord for you! You were our sweet 1st bundle of pink. We praise God for His protection over you by bringing you safely into this world and healthy (and BIG! 9 lbs  3 weeks early!) We love your tender heart and remember how you used to cry in the movie Bambi when you were only 2 1/2 or 3 years old. You have brought much joy into our lives and those around you. We thank God for all He has done in your life and are so excited to see where He leads you! We love how you beam with joy as you are doing things for people around you. We are blessed to have you as our daughter.
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18 Things Your Family Appreciates About You:
1.sweet
2.tender hearted                                                                          
3.meek
4.creative
5.kind
6.genuine
7.caring
8.self motivated/diligent
9.practical
10.servants heart
11.loving
12.artistic
13.disciplined
14.gentle
15.clever
16.playful/imaginative/fun
17.generous
18.leader
We had a nice day celebrating Blessing#2. Started out with her choice for breakfast with homemade blueberry muffins, sausage and smoothies. Later in the day we had an early dinner with the grandparents-we are so fortunate that both sets grandparents live close enough to celebrate and share in our kids special events. Then Blessing #2 went home with my parents so grandma (an artist) could help her put together her art portfolio to show colleges.
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

21 years ago I married my best friend

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we celebrated this past weekend at an Ethiopian restaurant- hubby was so sweet he called ahead and ordered injera made only with teff so I that I could eat it! The food was great it tasted just like in Ethiopia (thanks Mom for keeping the kids all weekend!)
Wow! 21 years ago today we were married… Couple years ago we passed the mark of being together longer in our lives than we had lived separately. Its been wonderful so far!  We have had good and bad times-mostly good! So thankful each day that we get to walk this path of life together. Excited to see what the years ahead bring. Praise God for His grace, goodness and faithfulness to us in our marriage.

Thought it would be fun to list 21 things we have experienced together in our 21 years of marriage:
1. I was saved 1997
2. Hubby was saved in 2004
3. had blessing #1(even though at 18 I was told there was a chance I could never have children)
4. had blessing #2
5. had blessing #3 (even though after #2 I was told shouldn’t have anymore children)
6. had blessing #4 (umm yeah…see above)
7. adopted from Ethiopia blessing #5
8. adopting from China blessing #6
9. We were both baptized along with our oldest 2 children in 2004
10. Hubby has had 6 different jobs
11. I quit working while pregnant with blessing#1-never worked since
12. Hubby started his own business doing engineering contracts at home
13. went through post partum depression once
14. felt God calling us to homeschool in 2003 (have been doing it since)
15. went to Ethiopia -twice! (will go to China soon!)
16. our best family vacation was 2 weeks in Florida
17. have been to Niagara Falls in every season (love it there)
18. went on a cruise before having children
20. bought 3 houses
21. have had 13 different cars

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Dear Hubby, I am so thankful the Lord has put us together and that I get to be called your wife. Serving you and seeing your smile, hearing you laugh (even with your strange sense of humor) brings me joy. We have had so many good memories and some tough times but there is no one else I would rather be able to go through those with than with you! Thank you for always wanting the best for our family, working hard, also for being so kind and patient with me. I look forward to growing older together! LOVE YOU I!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy 19th Birthday

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Blessing #1 turned 19 recently…this year his birthday was a little different due to the fact that he is away at college in another state (that will be another post). We actually celebrated with him twice- once at home as a family then again when hubby and I moved him in the dorms we got to take him out for a birthday dinner (actually three times if you count the goodies we left at the dorm and the gifts his sisters mailed to him!). Even though it was different this year it was still special. 
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Dear Blessing #1-You are our gift that made us parents. When I was 18 due to some medical issues I was told there is a chance I would never have children. Dad and I were so excited when we found out we were expecting our first child.  After 27 hours of labor and three hours of pushing, my body went into shock  I also  began spiking a 105 degree fever (we later found out was due to an infection from internal bleeding) so I needed to have an emergency C-section. You were born totally healthy and huge 10lbs 1oz, 21 inches long and 15 inch head!
Son, we rejoice that you have an unquenchable desire to love and serve the Lord with your whole being and life. We are so humbled and blessed to be your parents. We love how your testimony challenges us.  Our relationship has changed now from us directing you, and it so neat to watch you making decisions, being such a responsible young man, and following the Lord’s leading on your life. Thankful to see all that the Lord has done in your life this far and excited to see what the Lord has planned for your future. 
Here are 19 things your family appreciates about you Blessing #1- we love you bud!
1   love for Lord – your testimony – theological
2   fun to be with
3  loving/loveable
4   caring-thoughtful
5   handsome
6   good sense of humor
7   playful
8   easy going (like Dad)
9   peacemaker
10  calm/patient
11   brilliant
12  talkative
13   the girls are thankful you would eat their meat if they didn’t want it! (they really miss you!LOL)
14  diligent
15  helpful
16  charming
17  genuine
18  kind
19  good teacher

Friday, September 6, 2013

We have a new lil daughter – the call!!!

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Our case manager had called us last Thursday  to let us know that 16 children all in foster cares from the our agency’s recent orphanage one on one partnership were going to be logged into the Chinese data base in 2 months. In the meantime she could share files with us after they were translated into English which was suppose to take 2-3 weeks – and that we would just receive a soft referral at that point until they were in the data base. We were the family that had login date the longest open to either gender so we discussed the probability of her showing us 3 specific files, which hubby and I felt was best because we really want this to be God’s leading verses us picking a gender.

So at 11:30ish Tuesday morning we got“the call” from our case manager…we were normally going about our day the girls were doing their school lessons and lil guy was just starting to watch his one morning TV program. I was actually in my basement when she first called my cell – I could tell it was her from the Chinese music ring tone I have set – I ran up the basement stairs to have missed her call but immediately my home phone began to ring, I knew it was her…she never calls my home phone so I knew something was up. I picked up the phone and she asked me if this was a good time to talk (like I would ever tell her no!) which I of course said it was a good time. She then began to excitedly tell me that 4 of the 16  children were already on the database AND 2 of them were the files she wanted to share with me!!!! I had goose bumps all over the whole time she was talking! It was so cute how excited she was to call me- she said she only got 5 hours of sleep cause she couldn’t wait to call me first thing in the morning knowing how long we have waited and how excited we would be!  I love our case manager she is a huge blessing – also her heart for orphans and her love for the Lord is so apparent- she does not view this as a job but a ministry.  So she was sending the files over immediately for us look at and see if one of them was the baby God had for us.

I hung up the phone and by this time the girls had figured out what was going on and were equally excited. Before I even contacted my husband I got a text from one of my friends (who knew about the conversation I had with my case manager the previous Thursday) saying that she couldn’t stop thinking about us since Thursday and she is praying constantly for us! Later after talking to her, she told me prior to sending the text she had just been on her knees praying for us!! I LOVE how the Lord works in the body of Christ! So I then text hubby saying you need to call me because you need to come home. What seemed like forever he finally called – he was also shocked, nervous and excited…he worked it out with his boss so he was able to take the afternoon off. I also then called our son at college telling him that we got the call already and to please pray for us.

Once hubby was home we prayed together and began looking at the files. We are so thankful for the Lords kindness and goodness to us! We were kind of worried about having 2 files to look at and knowing that only 1 could be our child-it felt weird having to pick. However, we had immediate discernment, wisdom and peace and knew she was the one He had planned for our family. We read through the information first and then looked at the pictures, when we opened her picture I literally gasped it took my breath away-there she is the one that is missing from our family! I have read and heard that before about people who find their own children that they just seen them and in their heart they knew…I never understood that until now. Again we prayed and praised God for His direction, His faithfulness to us even when we are not, His love for her and us and how we could see His hand in this.

We then sent her file to our international pediatrician to review knowing in our hearts it really didn’t matter what he said – she was our new little daughter. Then we showed our girls their new little sister – they were so excited and happy. We texted our oldest son at college letting him know he has a new sibling and we set up a time to Skype that evening so we see his face when he saw the pic the 1st time.  After lil guy got up from his nap we showed him as he calls it “his new baby” he was so cute especially with how much he understands…so he is the big brother and wants to know what he can do to take care of “new baby”. We explained that mommy and daddy do most of the taking care so he has decided this is what he going to do: “teach her how to have happy face”, “I gonna teach her how to swim in our pool” and “I can help put her on swing and push her”. We called our case manager to let her know what child's referral we were going to accept but wanted to still talk with doc before making it “official”.

After we showed all the kids the pictures we decided to go celebrate for dinner at a Chinese restaurant – we don’t eat out often so this was a huge treat but the kids loved it trying different Chinese food and attempting to use chop sticks! It was cute they even had little chop sticks for lil guy.

When we got home from dinner and right after we put lil guy to bed our international pediatrician called. He had reviewed the file, all her medicals and pictures - everything looked good. In fact he was actually really happy with her medical and that it was one of the best he had seen in a long time! He felt everything looked excellent and gave us some ideas to help with our bonding. It was just one more confirmation in our minds that she was meant to be ours.

After we talked with the doctor it was time to Skype blessing#1 we emailed him her picture which he opened while we were watching him  which was great! Right away too he said, “aww, she’s so cute!” and he asked his room mate if he wanted to see which he also thought she was cute and said congratulations. We talked more and he is excited that it is a girl that God has put in our family.  Then next morning he called and mentioned how neat it would be if we travel sooner than the 6 months – if during his Christmas break then maybe he could go. (Oh how that would totally overjoy this momma’s heart because when we originally started process we were hoping to travel before he went to college and we really would have loved to take our oldest two. They both knowing that their time with the new baby would be short mentioned wanting to have that special/extra bonding time with their new sibling in China. Please pray that it could happen)

Before going to bed we called our case manager and told her we were going to accept the referral. She was so joyful and somewhat amazed how quickly we made our decision! We both agreed how good God is and I agreed that our daughter was so worth the wait! Twelve hours from when we got the call we fell into bed exhausted and full of joy after the day we had. We are so thankful for the Lords loving kindness, goodness and faithfulness towards our family. We are humbled that He planned for us to be her parents. Once again we are amazed and humbled with His perfect timing and reminded that His plans are always best. Even when it doesn’t seem like anything is happening He is in control. There is more to this referral story…which will come soon.

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.  Isaiah 25:1