Friday, January 29, 2010

Feeling (paper) Pregnant...

The past two days have been filled with a strange new feeling that I can't describe. I can only imagine that it feels something like what a woman who is "tummy pregnant" feels those first days. "Tummy pregnant" is a term Brandon started using on his own to mark the two different kinds of pregnant... love it and LOVE HIM! I feel like I know this incredible secret that I want to share with the world... oh wait I am :) I feel like others looking at me in the grocery store can tell something is different about me. I feel like surely I look totally different, yet still look the same. I have never been "tummy pregnant" and maybe this is not at all the feeling one has those first weeks before the growing belly thing happens, but in my little world, I feel like I am experiencing something I had only ever imagined!

a present~
When we got the letter from our agency we received a beautiful coffee table book about the Layla House. It retails for $50.00 on Amazon and the photos are breathtaking. More than ever I have fallen in love with the older "waiting" children. As I see the photos I am drawn to them. Will this be our only infant adoption? maybe? God continues to increase my heart for these beautiful children.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BIG NEWS!!!!!!!

DTE.... FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We got a letter from our agency today! We officially are waiting for our sweet baby to come home! We are paper pregnant!!! YES!!!!!!!! Our DTE date is January 21st 2010! We will be sending a letter with more information to our adoption team soon! I will begin working on it ASAP!
Thank you for all of your prayers. Now we just need to pray for lots of referrals!!!!
To God alone be the Glory!!!!!!

New news?

We have no new news about being DTE, though something tells me we are and just have not heard. The director and right hand woman of our agency are both in Ethiopia this week so those left behind have even more work and I know that me finding this out is not a priority. This is yet another opportunity to practice patience! To God be the Glory!
By the way, I had a GREAT weekend with the youth and leaders of our previous church. I was able to share quite a bit about adoption etc. and God is doing something that is blowing us away! I wish I could share more, but I can't, so use your imagination and praise God!
Yes, I am back in the blog world, but still not sure when I am heading back to FB? Trusting the Lord to guide me!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Because God is better than blogging

God has been working on my heart a lot lately and the time has come to fast from a couple of things that tend to take up huge amounts of time and pull me away from things that are BETTER! Facebook can be a great tool to connect with long lost friends, make new adoption friends, track with kids in youth groups far and near... BUT it can also be a source of constant attention and a huge time waster!
Blogging can be a wonderful ministry, source of accountability and friendship, a learning tool, etc, but it can also provide a opportunity to check out of reality and read for any length of time!
Therefore I am fasting from blogging (writing posts and reading others blogs) and facebook for a while... not sure how long...I think when the desire is gone to a large degree! I will continue to use the computer when needed for grant applications. I will continue to check my email and respond to emails when needed. I share all this with you as a form of accountability, and as an invitation to join me if you desire... because God is BETTER!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The documents arrived!!!

Thank you so much for your prayers friends and family! Our agency received the proper stamps, signatures, seals, etc on the forms yesterday and our dossier is being assembled for Ethiopia right now!!!! Once it is assembled it will be sent Fed-Ex to Ethiopia. Once it arrives in Ethiopia we will be officially waiting! Please keep praying! We know that God hears our prayers!

*On a different note* I learned yesterday that someone I went to college with, lived in the same dorm as, talked with and laughed with frequently, a dear sweet girl who happens to have almost the same name as me (our first and middle names are flip flopped) was in Haiti during the quake. She survived, but her husband died. They still have not found his body. Everything that happened in Haiti is beyond horrible... this just puts a more personal twist on it for me. This couple loved Jesus, so we praise God that heaven grew with his death!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Choosing Thankfulness!!!

This morning I have much to be thankful for. The first two could be seen as unpleasant, but I am choosing Thankfulness!
~Last night I came home from AWANA to discover our house was a bit chilly. I checked out the thermostat and soon realized our furnace was not working. We woke up to a VERY cold house today... why be thankful??? We were home when it happened! If it had been two weeks ago we would have been far away and pipes could have frozen causing major damage. Why else? It is actually warm outside (above zero at NIGHT) right now so the house didn't get THAT cold! Why else? A wonderful professional who happens to go to our church came this morning and fixed it in less than 10 minutes! The house isn't totally cozy yet, but my feet are starting to thaw!

~ A family who is using our agency got a referral today! They were DTE on April 20th 2009!!! We are still not DTE (still praying those two documents to the agency SOON) so why would we be thankful?? Things are moving along! There is one big list and referrals now will help us later! Why else? We know there are many babies in the care facilities now and referrals have been slow due to an HIV testing solution which is hard to come by. Each referral is a gift the the family and for the child... and we rejoice! Why else? When doing the math it seems there could still be a miracle and we could travel in late 2010 or early 2011!

~I am soo thankful for my time reading God's Word today (Well I am everyday). I read John 5. Why am I reading John 5? Our youth ministry was blessed to attend a District youth conference last weekend and we were challenged to read John 1 the final day and then to read one chapter each day for 21 days! It is exciting to be reading the same thing as the families in our church, but also to know that 3,300 other families in our state are also reading this chapter today! John 5:24 has always been one of my favorite verses! I praise God for those in our youth group (THREE) who crossed over from death to LIFE this weekend!
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life, and will not be condemned for he has crossed over from death to life." John 5:24

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Heart Breaking for Haiti!

As I read about the horrible earth quake in Haiti my heart breaks! Haiti is a place of such intense spiritual warfare, a place where many dear to me have or will travel as missionaries, a place filled with children longing for parents (and sadly that number has most likely increased). We have invited the Lord to plan our family. He knows where our children are and He will lead us to them. Today I wonder if one of our little ones is scared and alone in Haiti. I Praise God that He is the Father to the fatherless! I pray that He sustains life in Haiti so that people there could come to know Him! I pray that this tragedy would turn the island to Jesus!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Adoption Update/Status

Three weeks ago we sent our dossier to our agency. I think I did pretty well resisting sending them daily emails as I have waited to find out when our dossier will be sent to Ethiopia.

I finally went ahead and sent an email to our case worker and found out our agency is still waiting for documents to come back from the State Dept. and the Ethiopian Embassy in DC. Once these documents are received by our agency the dossier will be shipped via Fed Ex to Ethiopia. When it arrives in Ethiopia we will be officially waiting and we will be sending another letter with more detail to those who have requested letters on the blue sheet.

Please pray that these documents would be received by our agency SOON! From what I can tell, these documents left our hands on December 4th and December 8th. We sent them to the State Dept and to the Embassy. They need to be authenticated and sent to the agency. It is easy for me to wonder if they were lost in the mail and to be filled with worry and doubt. Please pray that I will constantly surrender this to the Lord and trust His timing and provision!

Hopefully, I will be able to update you all with exciting news soon!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas 2009 in photos!

Here is a glimpse of our Christmas Photos! The photos from Brandon's side of them family are small (due to large MP camera and blogger limits) but you can double click on them to get a better view!

At Brandon's Grandma's house!

Sweet Baby A has grown up and is now Happy Little A!!!

Enjoying the new book Grandma and I made! It turned out WELL and he really likes it!!!

Brandon's Parents

Brandon's Dad's side of the family!

Cousins and their babies...

The Family Shot

A's laptop! It is almost broken but still turns on! Perfect for a one year old!

Shelly and Great-Great Aunt Marvel

Shelly's dad's side of the family

Merry (Ganna) Ethiopian Christmas!!!

January 7th is Christmas day in Ethiopia! What a blessing it is to be able to celebrate Christmas twice! American Christmas day was filled with a church service and pouring rain... Ethiopian Christmas day was filled with SNOW!!!! It has been snowing since I woke up! We could get a foot of beautiful white snow! I have watch a Christmas movie, watched beautiful snow fall, enjoyed the sight of our Christmas decorations guilt free as it really is just Christmas day... I am not behind in taking them down at all! I also cooked two soups from scratch (split pea and spicy corn chowder/tortilla), shoveled snow, played games with my wonderful husband, and now taking a bit of time to blog... there is a football game going on. I will join him later, but I really don't know much about either of the teams, so I decided I could sneak away for a little blog time. Hopefully I will be able to post some photos of our American Christmas 2009! We didn't take any of Ganna, but maybe next year :)

A New Year...

I can't believe it is 2010! This is quite a hard transition for me as I want to write 1/7/0... and then I don't have enough room before the 0 the squeeze in the 1... how frustrating! The beginning of a year always causes one to wonder what the year will entail and to reflect on the previous year. My first entry last year talked about my 2009 motto of "2009, its not mine." The LORD truly did amazing things in our family this year and He alone deserves the glory! It is amazing to think that this time last year Brandon was in seminary and has now graduated. We didn't know where we would be living or working or when we could begin the adoption process. We had no clue if the townhouse would sell, and we had many other small and large mysteries. Looking back it is amazing how things just fell into place. Thank you Father for blessing us with such rich mercy, grace, provision and love in 2009. Please help us to submit to your will this year too! 2010... what exciting things will it entail??? I sure hope that this time next year I will be staring at a photo of our first "sour patch kid"... but God's timing is so much better... so I guess we will just have to wait and see!
Happy New Year!!!!