Once upon a time....

Flash back to 1999, we were a family of four. Happy in our new roomy house and comfortable in our ways. A few years later, the Lord blessed us with an additional little package, little boy #3. Now we were a family of five and sure that would be the end. As time moved on, so did we. The Lord used the time that passed to open our eyes to His will. Several years ago, Bob and I individually heard the call to adoption. It has been a long "pregnancy", but during this incubation time, the Lord has brought us to where He wants us to be. Spring 2010, we traveled to Ethiopia where two little angels were waiting for the Lord's timing - to become our children. Now we are home and can't imagine life any differently! What a blessing to be in His will.

Galatians 4:5 says "God sent Christ to buy freedom for us, who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children." We are just following his model. A Perfect picture of salvation.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Praise the Lord!!

Just a quick, but super-important announcement: our big boy Levi accepted Jesus into his heart tonight!! The angels are rejoicing about the news of his second birth. This is why Jesus came into the world, to save us for God's ultimate Home.

Not a better Christmas present could we be given this year!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Give this Christmas away

As I am going about my morning, I am listening to Klove radio and there is a song playing that I have not heard before. So, I look it up on the Klove.com website and find that it is written by Matthew West. The song is titled "Give this Christmas Away" and it has really touched my heart. You can see the video for yourself at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2ulYpoNXCo. I have to tell you that hearing it touched my heart, seeing the video made me sob! The premise of the song is not just about giving things at Christmas, but about giving Hope. When it comes to the real meaning for Christmas, it too is about Hope. Jesus came as a baby and we celebrate His birth. But the reason for His coming, was to give Hope...an expectant Hope...that if we believe in Him, one day He will come and save us from eternal death and we will live with Him in Heaven.

Just the other night, Bob and I sat down to the computer and ordered some items to send to Beti and Nardos. We want to help pass the time that we are all having to wait and wanted to give them the opportunity to share with the other children at the transition home. We are also writing them a letter that we Hope will give them a connection to us as we wait to go and meet/get them. The letter is one of Hope...expectant Hope. Hope of a place and a family and the promise of belonging and acceptance.

God the Father sent us a gift also. He sent his son wrapped in cloths, placed Him in a lowly manger among animals, gave Him common parents to care for Him, invited stinky shepherds to visit His birth, and 33 years later allowed him to be sacrificed on a cross to offer us Hope. He even wrote us a letter - the Bible - that gives us a connection as we wait for Him to one day come and get us!

I pray that you accept His gift. See it only works if you accept the gift. In accepting the gift, you also receive the opportunity to share. Just as we Hope that Beti and Nardos enjoy sharing the toys in the package, I too enjoy sharing my Jesus with you. He is a gift that is not intended to be kept locked up and hidden. He is for sharing. So, this Christmas as you receive, remember to give Hope....Give this Christmas away.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Again with the waiting!

We just received word that our girls have officially started their medical testing. We had been projecting travel to be mid-January based on the approximate 8 week time frame necessary to obtain results from those tests and started measuring from November 17th which was when we passed court. So, give the new information and the 8 week estimation ... that puts us a travel late January (I am a perpetual optimist!) or early February. As hard as it is to wait, we are trying keep it in perspective and use the time for things like learning more Amharic (their language) and save up a little more money to cover travel costs.

The waiting also builds longing - which we hope is true for the girls also. I really want to make up a BIG package of goodies to send to them ~ and then I remember that there are countless other children there in their orphanage that may not have a "family" yet and it would barely cover the need. So, I am looking for other ways to meet needs while I wait.

This past Thanksgiving was the second one without my Mom or Grandma (they passed away in January and February 2008) and we chose to start a new tradition with our family. My Sister and her family were going to be out of town and the traditional family gathering wasn't going to happen until Sunday after Thanksgiving, so we joined in on an event that our church has led in the past. We helped provide the full traditional Thanksgiving meal to "residents" at the Hope Lodge in Kansas City. Hope Lodge is a beautiful building provided by the American Cancer Society and located near Bartle Hall in Kansas City. Persons who live more than 50 miles outside of the city and coming into KC for Cancer treatment can stay there for free. They are required to purchase and prepare their own food. So, a group of us from our church (we took our three boys) went down to Hope Lodge on Thanksgiving Day to bring the meal. We fed more than 70 people (not counting those from our church). Some transplant patients that were not allowed to go anywhere but the Lodge and the Hospital had their families come in for the meal. It was fantastic. Meeting that small need - togetherness and thankfulness - really touched my heart. But what touched me even more was that our own children - on the way home that day - said "that was fun - we should do that every year!"

As I sit here freezing my toes off (it's near zero degrees outside) my heart is warm. We went to bless others and were blessed in doing so. One of our pastors said that to bless is to cause others to give God glory. He so deserves it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

New pics!

Here are some new pics of our girls. Beti and Nardos have both grown and changed so much since the referral photo taken in April. We will have to check the clothing sizes, may have to exchange some items to have stuff that fits! I am sure you will agree - they are sooooo adorable!

Still projecting travel to be in mid-January.... much to do!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just waiting

Ok - so we passed court...you probably know that. We mailed a package to the girls (via our agency). We included a new baby doll for each girl and two (identical) photo albums filled with pictures of our family, the house, their room, things we like to do, and the dog. We expect to hear "any day now" from the orphanage via the agency. We should be receiving new pictures and measurements (height and weight). Shoe sizes - we hear - are a guessing game! So, while we wait, we have some paperwork to do and preparations for the boys while we are gone. So many people have been so very generous - giving us clothing, toys, and even a bed frame (complete with mattress and sheets). What amazing friends we have! I wish I had the time to list all of the ways people have extended love to us! A great friend of ours is making necklaces for us to give to the workers (with "thank you" written in Amharic & English) and more!

In our effort to reach out to others with God's love - they are reaching back! Around every corner, we meet God going about His business - the business of loving on us....and He offers that we can join Him. He invites you to join Him too!