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Days since DTE!

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ooooooooo Child!

Oh my heavens! I know God will bless us with an equally sassy little one! :) Preach it sister!!!!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do SOMETHING...


Its a good thing. Believe me when I say its a GOOD feeling. It means he/she is OURS. It means it is TRUE LOVE. It means it is RIGHT.



I have been teetering somewhere between happiness/pleasure and pain for the past two days. Right and left I have been bombarded with messages and God's tugging at my heart. Sermons from our former Colorado Pastor, Children's Hopechest sponsor program (and a DEAR Colorado friend Sarah, whom I just LOVE, who works there and is going to Ethiopia next month for Hopechest---check it out at http://www.hopechest.org/), confirmation right and left, videos of adoption friends bringing their babies HOME this week, more referrals from our adoption group, close friends who I have never met face-to-face who have become some of my best friends, and other little tidbits of information. One minute I am overjoyed by the happiness I feel and the next I'm crying my eyes out missing our child. I have asked myself time and time again how my heart could love and adore a little bundle of brown deliciousness so very much when I haven't even met him/her yet? I cried to Lee on Sunday and he hugged me. I asked if he missed our child and he said "yes." The answer to that question is simply: God gave me a heart for the child HE is entrusting to us to care for in this life. He/she is across the world waiting. The notion overwhelms me everyday!!! How could there NOT be a GOD when he joins families from across great distances?

I have had so many images this week of our happy homecoming, dreams of flying to Wichita and having a swarm of people to welcome us. Thinking of our child and LONGING for him. Again, I say it is a good feeling. A REALLY good feeling. To me, that just means he/she is OUR child and my mother's heart is kicking into gear.


I have been bombarded by statistics this week and have been greatly convicted by one fact. Not everyone is called to adopt or travel to third world countries. But we are called to do SOMETHING. Sponsor a child, send a donation for clean water for remote villages, or just pray. Serve your community, volunteer. SOMETHING. God's very heart is not to forget "the least of these." There are widows in Africa who have taken in 20 orphans to care for. Shouldn't we care for her AND them? God COMMANDS us (not asks us) to love and care for the widows AND orphans, and then he provides us with opportunities throughout the world to do just that. How can we sit idly by and watch these injustices happen?
We should pray a
VERY DANGEROUS
prayer...

"Lord, help me see the world as You do. Break my heart as your heart is broken. Help me to live radically. Help me to do SOMETHING to help these people."

Scary thought to think that God may just be having us step out in faith and do HIS work huh? Sure God could wave a magic wand and do it. But we're His "hands and feet." OF COURSE he wants US to do it! Why wouldn't He want us to step out from our comfort zone?????



So, I challenge you in love to do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. EVERYTHING. You don't have to adopt, but consider these statistics I just heard...I swear I will never be the same after having heard them. I can't sit back and do NOTHING.

NOTHING

is NOT an option!




There are 150 MILLION orphans worldwide. If only 7% of all Christians adopted just one, there would be no orphans left.



For every 2 Americans, there is 1 orphan in the world (US included).





There are enough orphans in the world to fill Denver's Mile High Stadium 8,823 times. That is 8,823 Denver Broncos games, filled to capacity!




This blog touched my heart. This girl says it perfectly. Life ain't easy, but we have it pretty dang good. Open your heart. Trust God and BELIEVE He will do amazing things.

Stepping out in FAITH only to have it be confirmed time and time again, is the greatest exercise in TRUST and JOY I have ever known....


Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Even when it's hard...

Often times, besides the cost of adoption, the thing that stops people from saying yes is, you know, because it might be hard.

People might look at you funny.

The way you live their life might be changed or interrupted.

You might have to give up something to make room for another.

And, what if the child God places in your home doesn't look, act, or fit into the image you had hoped for?

And, well, that would be hard.

And hard is something we avoid.

But can I remind you for just a minute how hard the price of our comfort is on them?



I often wonder where Christians came up with the idea that being a Christian resembled anything close to easy?

I often wonder how so often we miss the entire point of what Jesus is all about?

He is so much more than going to church on Sunday, memorizing verses of the bible, wearing a cross around your neck, and praying at the dinner table.


And can I just tell you something else?

Life is never going to be easy- regardless of how hard we try to put up those walls of protection, regardless of our attempt to make all the right decisions and all the right plans.

And can I remind you that the greatest gifts in life did not come easy either?



When you claim to know the Lord and you call yourself a Christian you are not signing up for easy. As a matter of fact, I can almost guarantee you that God will call you out of your comfort zone, out of your ordinary existence and into a life that you never imagined for your self.

It will be a life that is all about HIM...a life that that glorifies HIM- not you.

So go ahead and love your God so much that you are willing to get out there, get a little crazy, not worry about what anyone thinks...

Get your hands dirty

SERVE

GIVE

LOVE

make your life COUNT.

You might get hurt, you might be uncomfortable, you might not be popular-you might not even recognize yourself when He is done...
but the one thing I can promise you that it will be worth. it. all.
SO...are YOU BRAVE enough to follow His COMMAND?
Do you DARE to do the 'impossible?'

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Grammie!!!

Today is my mom's birthday! I love her sooo much! She is special. Wish I could be with her. LOVE that my sis-in-law Erin recorded this video of my niece Maddie Grace. What an adorable smile! I know it melts Grammie's heart.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY-O!
I LOVE YOU BIG AS THE SKY!!!
video

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why you ask? Why oh why?

I knew they were coming. I had heard stories from other adoptive familes.

I didn't know when they were coming...nor did I know my response. But they came!

*Gulp*

Ah yes, the dreaded yet common questions. The questions that when posed, you hope and pray you will not be offended by and that you will have the right answers for. You hope you will be able to explain the plight of the orphans and if you're lucky, pop in a little witness for the King.

*Deep Breaths*


I felt that perhaps if I shared the questions and my answers, it might help you glean some more information about how one decides to adopt, and how we realize we've been blessed with what I truly believe, is an "adoption gene" and how God's plan to save the orphans can only reach fruition if we heed the call.

Ok, drumroll please.........


1.

"Why do you feel like you have to go overseas to 'get' a child? Why can't you just 'get' one from the U.S? Why is everyone rushing to 'get' children from other countries when there are plenty right here?"

*Deep breath*

Me: "We feel that we are meant to adopt from Ethiopia. Ever since I was a little girl I have always wanted to adopt an African child. Believe me, we have researched other options, and discovered that domestic adoption is equally as expensive and may take longer. Not only that, you have to wait to be selected by a mom, and it may take 10 years or more. Also, even if selected, the mom can change her mind once the baby is born. Foster care is a harder process too, and you must be ready to deal with a psychologically and physically abused child in most cases. You may just get attached and someone takes the child away again, or a family member may surface and take the child. Heartwrenching prospects. ALL children deserve loving 'forever families' but there are many more resources offered children in the U.S. not to mention that it is pretty much a given that U.S. children have clean water. There are almost 6 million orphans in Ethiopia. Their parents have given them up for a better life. They live in utter poverty in shacks and most don't have beds or clean water. Why not bring one home? Besides, each person who is born with an 'adoption gene' has a heart for a different group of children. Some want to adopt from China, others from Guatemala or Russia, some have a heart for children who have been sexually or physically abused, some for older children, teenagers, crack babies, etc. God just happened to give us a heart for Ethiopia. We love the third-world country culture and we think the Ethiopian people are beautiful. This is just our path."

Boy: SILENCE

*Sigh*

2.

"Why don't you just have a child of your 'own'?"

**DEEP DEEP DEEP DEEP DEEP BREATH***

(It takes a LOT to get me revved in this life, but this one makes my blood boil. Just being honest.)

Me: "Why is an adopted child not going to be our 'own' child?"

Girl: "Well, its not really 'your' child."

*Sigh. Quick Prayer. Deep Breath. Another Deep Breath*


Me: "I'm assuming you mean 'biological' child. You are right, but just because this child is not blood, doesn't mean he/she is not our 'own.' There is nothing further from the truth. Biological does not make a child any more real or loved or special than an adopted child."

Girl: SILENCE

*SIGH*

*DEEP BREATHS*

3.

"So, you are adopting because you can't have children of your 'own'? (there it is again) Why don't you just spend the money on fertility treatments? They are getting cheaper now and people are having more success with them. Wouldn't you rather spend the money on a child of your 'own'?"

*GULP*

Me: We have had some fertility testing done, yes and we have some issues that may or may not be able to be fixed. We could pursue fertility testing but that is not our wish at this point. We prefer to not use artificial means to create a baby. We are just simply not fertility treatment people. Each person/couple is different and we do not judge anyone for their choices in this matter. This is just our personal choice and it is because we feel that it is not because we CAN'T have children but that God does not WANT us to at this time. He is preventing us from getting pregnant on our own, because He WANTS us to adopt. It is His will and we have accepted it. We believe in a God of miracles who can allow us to get pregnant anytime He wants. We believe it will happen when He is ready and we believe in our hearts that we'll have a biological child one day. For now, our main objective is to be parents. We don't care what package our child comes in, because we are all God's children."

MANY PEOPLE: SILENCE

*SIGH*

4.

MANY MANY MANY people: "Is your family supportive? Will it be weird to have a 'black' child? Do you think people will stare at you?"

*GULP* (Seriously? Have we made any progress in racial equality?) :) :)

Me: "We have no issues with our child being of a different skintone. In fact, we embrace it. We have done research and read books on transracial families and having a child of a different race doesn't phase us. If it were up to us, we'd have a rainbow family. The more people stare the more God can stir their hearts to ponder why we adopted, to wonder what our story is, and what God's plan is for the orphans. We LOVE adoption and so does God! He has a heart for the orphans. The more different our child looks, the more opportunities we'll have to share our story! We are very blessed that our families are more than supportive and want us to experience parenthood."


MANY PEOPLE: SILENCE


So...if you have been thinking any of these questions that is fine! We understand. We have prayed and researched adoption for almost 2 years now. We have accepted it and we know it may take our friends and family that long to accept it too.


DISCLAIMER: This post is not at all meant to sound angry or upset. It is purely meant as educational and hopefully to answer questions you or other may have asked or thought. It's all good...It's an interesting subject and we felt these questions should be shared. We are prepared for more of them and will embrace them as a chance to share with others about the miracle that is

ADOPTION

Friday, August 6, 2010

Praising God through the Storm


Well, we had homestudy #2. It was not easy, that's for sure. The subjects were as varied as you can imagine and included questions addressing such topics as family history and dynamics, hard lessons learned, health issues, domestic violence, criminal records and on and on. Although we were not as nervous as the first meeting, it was still nerve wracking. We learned a great deal about ourselves and each other. We also learned that nobody is perfect, nor are there perfect parents.

The next meeting will consist of questions regarding, past relationships, parenting styles and how we, as a couple, handle conflict. Those will be easier. We also need to keep working on our ginormous 250 page book and answer the questions (we work on it every night and we're only on page 50). We love doing it though, it has become such a bonding time together. In fact, the entire process has been a bonding time and has taught us more about our marriage than just about anything else we've experienced. Amazing!!!

This week was a tough week for me. I have been battling some sort of low-grade fever. I have felt dizzy, feverish and so incredibly fatigued. We go on Tuesday for our physical so I will get checked out. Some other things have surfaced and I had myself convinced this week that some awful disease was lurking! The hypochondriac that I am was pouring over symptoms and looking online, freaking myself out further. Thankfully, my loving husband has learned how to deal with me after four years. I cried and told him I was scared of what the blood tests would reveal, and that I want soooo bad for this adoption to go through, that I am afraid of something messing it up. It seems to have always been the most fearful part of this process for me. Satan really knows how to attack me with health stuff and I felt a great attack both physically and in my thought life. We know that this is how he works, attacking us at our most vulnerable. See, Satan wants us to turn our backs on God. He wants us to change our minds about how we feel about Him, when things don't go our way. Lee was wonderful, opening his arms wide, to fold me into. I am so thankful for him! He is so supportive. He is so on board with this and constantly reminds me when I want to spend money on our house, or a new car, that the sacrifices we're making, will be well worth not having new bedroom furniture or an SUV. He reminds me that God is good and that we will get to have experiences few others will ever have. He reminds me that God has chosen us to adopt and not everyone is chosen. He reminds me that life is good and nothing will thwart God's plans for us! And, he balances me out. My type-a, worrying personality is numbed and dulled by his calmness and wisdom. He reminds me constantly that "Fear is the opposite of Faith." How true! I am so grateful that God allowed me to have him for my mate! My heart bursts with love for him!!!


One more thing to share...I have found these WONDERFUL adoption friends online. They are all adopting from our agency and every last one of them are Christians. What an amazing support they've all been and the prayer is amazing! I have seen mountains be moved in this group in the months I have been involved. One of my friends Debbie lives in Boise and we email almost daily. I was chatting with her on facebook last night and she validated that Satan is indeed, attacking this endeavor. She reminded me that with my eyes on God, Satan cannot win!!! She prayed over chatting as I sat and wept. I cried, and had one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. She supported and loved and prayed over me so intently, I have never seen/felt such a prayer! I cried and rocked like a baby, and felt as though I was a child held by Jesus. I raised my hands to heaven and praised Him, through and despite this storm I've/we've been in this week! I truly experienced what it is like to praise God no matter what! I felt like a child, shivering and weeping, scared and broken, yet comforted and able to sing Hallelujahs to Him! I told him that no matter what, even if I couldn't be a mother, that I would still love Him and whatever His plan was. What a night! I cried myself silly and then slept peacefully, wrapped in His keeping. Today when those scary thoughts entered my mind, I quickly prayed and said "God, this is yours." What a great day today was! How truly in awe I am that when we are most weak and broken, God does His very best work through and in us. And, while not gone, my fever was lower today. SATAN BEGONE!



Thank you for letting me be transparent here and share this journey. I am pasting my Debbie's powerful prayer. Do you believe in divine appointments on the Internet? I do! Thank you my sweet friend! What a blessing you are to me!!!



Oh, Lord,
We come to you with praise. We thank you for all the ways in which you have blessed Kylie by giving her adoption connections right there in SLC. We thank you that you have made the HS meetings go well, as you help them make more and more steps closer to their child. I thank you that you have filled Kylie with a freedom to BELIEVE and a joy to celebrate her progress in adoption. We come to you now, and ask you to fill her with that JOY and BELIEF once again. Surround her with your angels, Lord. Cover her in your love. Protect her from the enemy's attempts to deflate her, make her feel ill and tired, and defeated. SHE IS NOT DEFEATED! She is your PRINCESS. A child of the ALMIGHTY ONE! Remove her from the snares of the enemy and place her upon higher ground. YOUR higher ground. Let this planting on holy ground be more than temporary. Let it be where you keep her planted the remainder of this adoption and beyond. Remind her daily how very much you desire to LAVISH your love upon her. Open her heart to BELIEVE and fill her so full of YOU that there is no room for the enemy ~ or his fear. We don't want to have doubt, unbelief and fear, Lord, and we thank you for forgiving us when we do. We lay this path to parenthood in your hands, for we KNOW your plan for us is GOOD, and we know that we can TRUST you with our desires for our children and family. You are a BIG God. NOTHING is too hard for you, Lord. May Kylie be able to keep her eyes on YOU so strongly that all attempts of the enemy are void. We also ask you to protect her from any illness, Lord. Help her to be healthy as she journeys to her son. We ask you this, in Jesus' name. Amen!

May you sleep especially well tonight, and awaken refreshed in the morning.

xoxooxo

(Can you see why I sobbed?)

Please pray that all goes well at our appointment on Tuesday! We will have a wide battery of tests done (together) and pray all the results are normal. Please also pray for my friend Debbie, her dossier just arrived in Ethiopia! She is now officially on the wait list for a child! We're praying for a lightening fast referral!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mom and Dad's quick visit and Madison's video debut!

After visiting Brad and Erin, Mom and Dad came through Salt Lake for a little time with us (VERY GRATEFUL B AND E are in Montana now, so we're closer and Mom and Dad can visit us on the same trips!) We escaped to the Unita mountains for a little R and R and to show the folks where we camped. We stopped first at a little place I had seen, called "Yolk on Main" and it was such a YUMMY breakfast!!! Here's a sampling of the scenery at Mirror Lake.

Yolk on Main in Kamas, UT
Lee and the canoers

God's creation!

The Toones

Me with my wonderful parents!

Lee and the in-laws

Us at a waterfall


AND NOW...

Madison Grace is really growing! Check out this smile!


She can sit in the Bumbo!

She already has her camping gear now!


And now...the cutest video ever! She is really smiling and kicking now. :) I think I have watched this video like 10 times already! (Ok, so maybe more like 20)



video




Next post: Homestudy appointment #2!!!