Friday, November 13, 2015

Here we go again!

 "So, do you think you are done adopting?!" A question we got a LOT shortly after we brought Stella and Ben home. My knee jerk reaction was, Oh, We are DONE! I had 3 babies two and under and was barely able to keep my head above water! There were lots of tears, and not just from the babies.

Fast forward 3 years and the thought of adding another was beginning to creep into my mind.  The physical exhaustion of getting three little ones dressed, fed, buckled up and diapers changed slowly began to fade. They all began to take on those responsibilities for themselves. And I began to have a moment of mind space to begin to wonder, Are we done adopting? Is our family "complete?" Should we fill that last seat in the van? Does Ben need a brother, because lets be honest, Ben could sing all the lyrics to Frozen, he could have a dance off with the girls and totally keep up, and he asks for and longs for a brother.

Almost a year ago, we thought we had found that brother. We had pictures, video and an open bed in Ben's room. But due to unfortunate circumstances in Ethiopian adoptions, the little one we thought was our son is from the south, and the south is slowing WAY down and hardly letting any children out to be adopted. That sweet little boy we thought was going to be ours, is not. At least not living in our home being raise with the rest of our children.   And that was confirmed to us in June of 2015.

So here we are now. It is November  2015. And that deep feeling of "Not being done" is still there. We are not ones to "feel" things for a long time with out acting on those feelings. So, the research has been done, country selected, the agency found, Application filled out and SENT.

Burundi, Africa. One of the smallest countries in Africa is where, God willing, our next son will be from. We have requested to adopt a little boy aged 2-4 years old. We are looking at a time line of about 18-24 months, So that means that our son is already alive and more than likely already living in an orphanage or a situation that is not able to provide for him.  Which is so heart breaking, but that is what is so beautiful about adoption, the redemption that is so resembling of our adoption story into God's heavenly family. We are able to Love because He 1st Loved us!

We  are so excited to provide a precious orphan a family, home and all the love we have!

And here comes a really awesome opportunity for YOU to be a part of our adoption story.

We are selling this pretty AWESOME  adoption t-shirt and Tank Top !  And YOU can purchase one for yourself, your friends and one for each member of your family! Knowing that the purchase of this t-shirt helped bring our little man home! These are pre-orders and we are doing a cut off date of December 1st so that you can have your t-shirts in time for Christmas gifts!

Order your shirt TODAY to help us celebrate the decision we have made to bring another child into our home!
The Gray T-Shirt comes in Kids, Men and Women sizes and they run a pinch small so order up.

The Design: We plan on naming our little man Leo, which is Latin for Lion, hence the lion. And the wording "To the ends of the earth" Is pretty self explanatory :)

The T-Shirt!


Kids Shirts



One more "ask" once you purchase a shirt or tank, would you SHARE this opportunity with your community? We would LOVE your voice in helping to bring our little man home!

Thank You for being a part of this journey with us! Your thoughts and Prayers are so appreciated! 

Many updates and stories to come!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Behind the free trip to Ethiopia...was a prayer.

Wow, What a insane week it has been. I hung my heart out for all to see and the responses and encouragement has been so good to my soul. But there has been some incredible things going on behind the scenes, my "glimmer of light in my heart" I spoke of in my last post has had some fuel added!

Just one week ago, I was listless in my heart. Nothing really made it feel "Alive" but I have been reading two incredible books.  

"Bloom" by Kelle Hampton
And Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

My heart began to leap out to the Lord again. I felt "Awake" again! I was so happy to know Him, to feel His Presence.  And I began to "Pray circles around my biggest dreams and greatest fears."
One of those huge dreams is Awake and Alive. And in October there is a group going to Kechene, Ethiopia. So I began praying for this trip! I prayed for boldness and confidence for the team leader, Keith. I was Praying God would move in the hearts of those who need to GO. Praying for fears to be removed and His love to be able to go shine is the dark places! You see, we were still 2 people short of this being a complete team. So I prayed BIG!
 I wrote it all down; my hearts desires, the times of my prayers, direct prayers, and I drew circles around them! Then that night, before bed I began to pray again for the team that was going in October. That peoples heart would be moved for this trip! And as I was praying I heard "Buzzz, Buzzz, Buzzz, Buzzz." It was 10:45 PM I finished praying and went to my phone, only to see that someone was texting me and they wanted to send 2 people to Kechene, for this trip in October!!! Awake and Alive decided one trip will be a contest and the other is a scholarship that will be split into 2.

My heart is melting quickly! Like an Ice Cube thrown into Lava.  ("Lava" my kids new favorite game, don't step on the cracks momma there is lava down there, so we jump all the cracks every where we go.) God's love is so big for us. He is so big! And he wants to connect with YOU in these incredible ways too, he is there waiting. Make the effort! I promise he will not disappoint you!

So here it is guys, my heart is pounding out of my chest. Some one is going to Ethiopia for free! Awake and Alive is GIVING AWAY a trip to Ethiopia!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ice Cold and Angry.

This what my insides have felt like for the past 5 months. 

On February 17th 2014 I boarded an airplane in Ethiopia anxious to come home, with my husband, 5 year old daughter and 2 friends.

I boarded that plane in peace, and with a happy heart knowing that we had an incredible 8 days in Ethiopia with friends and that our daughter's experience was an incredible one. I was excited knowing in less then 24 hours I would see two other children Stella and Ben. I boarded the plane with out a care in the world.

But this flight.... has changed the entire fabric of my being.

I was fearless, full of faith. I had peace like a river in my soul, always. I could proudly tell friends and family that I do not worry. God has everything in control.

But then everything changed. An hour into the flight the oxygen masked came down, the lights went off, the plane began to descend, and a man was screaming in sheer terror over the intercom telling us to sit down and put our masks on. For 6 hours solid I sat in sheer panic, holding my husbands hand, looking into his eyes,  {wanting his eyes to tell me it was all going to be OK...but they didn't} with our 5 year old daughter sitting between us, believing that those were the last moments of my human life.
I have never looked death so directly and closely in the face. I had to come to terms with my absence in this world. I had to think about Stella and Ben becoming orphans again. I had visions of what my families reactions would be when they heard of our deaths. I prayed for such a violent crash that none of us would survive to have to see the others dead. I prayed Claire would feel no pain. I prayed it would happen fast!

But then we landed, with no warning, no "seats in their upright position, and tray tables locked." So... now what... Praise God! Praise him for saving and sparing my life, Claire's life, Darin's life, our friends lives!

But quickly I became dark. Sure outwardly I put on a happy face. But inside my carefree faith shriveled. My faith like a child was stolen. There is evil in this world. And I am ticked off about that! Why did God allow me to experience such a Light sucking experience?!?!

That flight changed me.
The inner me is no longer free. I am held captive by fear, worry and doubt.
I am questioning everything.

After the 1st wave of interviews I have been quiet in publically talking about the flight and all that has happened since the days following our being home because of my sheer embarrassment with how I have internalized this experience, I should be living life to the fullest, I should be loving every second of my time, feeling as if I have been given a second chance at life!!   But instead I find myself quickly overwhelmed, scared, sad, and disappointed that this experience got the best of me.

I still do not know why I had to experience that flight. But I do I know that one day I will. And I am only able to write these words now because, dimly Light is flickering in my soul. Just recently, I prayed again. Just recently, I was able to speak of Gods sovereignty. Just recently, I reconnected with the Holy Spirit.

It has been 5 dark months. I have been throwing a spiritual fit! I shut down, closed off, crossed my arms and pouted because I felt God left me alone in this experience. But recently I realized I am just mad. Mad that my easy-going spirit got a jolt of reality.

I have a new level of compassion for people who live in fear and worry. I am committing today to become BOLD again. I am committing to prayer again. I will shut down fear.

I have no doubts that I will stumble. The power of evil masked in worry, doubt and fear is strong! But with God, I will be overcome fear.  I will not lose hope again. God is good, sovereign and he loves me. ...Wow, it feels good to get all of that out!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Biggity Ben is 4!

He told me that he has been waiting for this day for a whole year! And to that I replied "yes, buddy you literally have!"
 Eatin' his mac and cheese birthday lunch. Ha.

 So today is pretty darn special to my little man, and to me too of course! My only son is getting to be a big boy and he is pretty darn proud of it!

He tells me almost daily that he wants to grow to be as tall as the ceiling! To that I say, "you have to eat healthy and get good nights sleep and one day you might be able to touch the ceiling! But trust me buddy, I don't think you want to be as tall as the ceiling, because then you might be too tall for me to hold your hand!" That always makes him stop for just for a second and think, but then he continues to say he willy (really) does want to be as tall as the ceiling. OK, buddy whatever you want!

So it is a special day and some family is coming over to celebrate. So I started making my pulled pork at 8 AM.

Then we headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things we need for the party. Like a box of funfetti cake mix...but this distracted momma of three wild ones accidentally picked up the funfetti box of COOKIES!

Which I did not realize until we were home and unpacked. So I decided to search google and see what it takes to make a cake from scratch and guess what... I had everything it takes to whip a cake. So that is what I did...who am I?!?!

Lately he has been loving the Incredible Hulk, why? I do not know but he does. So the hulk came and helped me decorate the dinning room during nap time! Ben is gonna freak! It is going to be a great night!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It is so stinking easy...

"and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday." -
Isaiah  58: 10

Woooo, in my life that has been the Absolute TRUTH! My eyes have been opened wide! I have been to desperate orphanages, I hang out in a slum of one of the poorest countries in the world and have held hands, hugged and became friends to prostitutes and beggars. I have seen some of the most offensive, horrifying, and desperate living conditions in the world. And it makes my "night" (my bad days) undoubtedly shine like the noonday.

 But all I can think about in those seemingly desperate settings is "Wow, my friends living here have joy." And it is a Joy that can not be filled with money, TV, or other distractions! They are filled with Love, family, community! 

Every time I leave Ethiopia I make a commitment to live more communally, less materialistically. To live simply, like my friends in Ethiopia. I make a decision to come home with my focus wholeheartedly on the Love that our Father gives so unconditionally! And also to continue give generously to my friends in Ethiopia and to spend myself on behalf of them, because I know that that is where it is at!

And when I get home I try to do just that...

But, Dang It All! It is so stinking easy to fall back into wanting things you do not "have." To fall back Fast and sometime even MORE furiously then before! WHY IS THAT?!?! Why do we see what other people around us have and desire it SO BAD... why can't I constantly be thankful for what I do have and not just materialistically, but to be thankful for each and every one of my blessings... Why can't I settle on the fact that I am LOVED and I am alive and that is all I need!?!

Because, I know without a doubt that there is a constant battle for my heart.  And that battle is intense. So today, I choose Joy and a heart full of thankfulness! 

Will you join me today in being Thankful for what we do have and not desiring anything other then the Love of our Father?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Should I really be doing this?

Blogging again.

The things it takes to be a "good" blogger do not line up with who I am. 
 Organization. Thought. Consistency.
 I am not a photographer.  I might have a hard time actually finding time to write. 
And lets not mention the fact that my grammar is horrible! I mean honestly I should NEVER hit the {publish} button at the top of this page. But, I can not fight the unmistakable feeling that I should be sharing my heart again. 

Blogging was a great thing to do during the throws of adoption as it allowed for friends and family to stay up to date with our journey. But then the reality of having 3 kiddos at home and everything else that life had thrown at me took over. And so I stopped. 

But, here I am. Ready to go. Feeling refreshed. Excited to put it out there.  So follow, comment, and enjoy. I have no doubts that together were going to have ourselves a good time! 

Friday, February 24, 2012