Monday, May 31, 2010


We may not have had an official court date yet but a piece of my heart has taken flight and now resides in a transition home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The second I saw her face smiling back at me on that Waiting Child List, something began to grow.  I could not shake it.  Now that we have accepted her referral, it is like one of my kids has gone on a sleepover and the house just doesn't feel the same.  Someone is missing.
I find myself thinking of her all through the day...I look at the clock and figure what time it is there.  I wonder if she went to bed like a good girl or if she gave the nannies a run for their money.  I wonder if anyone has let her sit in their lap today.  Is she getting hugs?  Do they tell her she is beautiful?  Has she had enough to eat today?  Does she have a baby doll?  Has she been told that, somewhere in America, there is a Mommy and Daddy who love her and 4 siblings who are dreaming of her...that she is no longer and never again will be an orphan?
DJ was so excited to tell his friends about her, even though she is another sister!  :)  Katie has been writing little sister's name over and over again and talking about her constantly. Gracie makes sure everyone knows that little sister is going to share a room with her.  And Drew?  Well he tells everyone he sees, stranger or friend, that we are getting little sis.  They talk about her, they plan, they imagine what she will be doing at different points throughout the day when she comes home.
Me?  I am doing my best to focus and keep my emotions under control.  Tomorrow we get the cover sheet notarized for the dossier, then head to the state capitol to have it certified.  Then, all that paperwork that has been in progress for the past 7 months gets placed in the hands of Fed Ex and sent to Virginia.  We are still waiting on our fingerprinting appointment for is on June 21st.  Once that is finished and we get our 171-H we will FINALLY be ready to get a court date in Ethiopia.  Daddy and I have to travel over there for court where we will meet little sister and get to love on her for a few days, then we have to head back home and wait for the embassy investigation to be complete before I can head back to pick her up and bring her home.  All of this could  take 6 months, but oh how I pray it will be faster.  LS (little sis!) needs to be home asap...and I can hardly wait to hear her voice and kiss her sweet face.
All this is to say, I could easily be stressing and worrying about her right now.  But I am choosing to trust the Lord's timing...that He is with her right now even though I am not.  I know He holds her in the palm of His hand and has protected her life thus far.  He has ordained the moment she will be in our arms and safe in her bed at home with a full belly and "Jesus Loves Me"  fresh in her mind.  I have to focus on the end result and methodically plod through each step knowing that each step brings us closer to her.  I pray for her all through the day.  I stare at her picture memorizing each detail and wondering what her voice sounds like.  I long to hear her little African accent mingled with the twang of her siblings.  I dream of that moment when I step off of a plane with her on my hip and walk into a room filled with family...her family.
Her life is about to radically change.
And we get the joy of being used by the Lord to help bring that about.  If only every child who waits could have that same hope.  It is going to be amazing to see how the Lord uses this...uses her to impact our community for Him.  There is something about a face, a smile, that made the worldwide orphan crisis suddenly very personal.  I was already passionate about adoption, about reaching out, loving, and giving in order to provide hope to every child, but the burning in my heart has now reached a whole new level.

Because, suddenly, she is my child.

That they all may be found,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If my heart had wings...

Three years ago, in a remote village in Ethiopia, a little girl was born.  She was given a name that means "she is beautiful."
And beautiful she is.  She is also going to be my daughter.

Did I mention that God likes to put our family on really tall rollercoasters?  You know, the kind that make you feel like you are going to break out of the harness?

He is nothing if not consistent!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Watch THIS


I went to my first homeschool convention and curriculum fair last week and I am happy to report that homeschooling moms do, in fact, wear capris and lipstick!  So I guess that means I will not need to break out the denim jumper in order to, y'know, fit in.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


So it was many days ago that I asked for your comments...
What is your ultimate goal for your children?

All of your comments came back to one thing...for our kids to love God, to serve Him, to be fully satisfied in Him.

And I could not agree more.

Now let me start by admitting I am SO flawed as a parent.  I am a sinner saved by grace and any good behaviour or godliness they may exhibit comes directly from Him.  But I also believe that we, as parents, can do much to point our children to Jesus.  We cannot guarantee their salvations, nor can we guarantee they will not "rebel" or struggle with their faith as they grow up.  But we can cling to God's promises and do our very best to live with no regrets.

Five years ago, my oldest child prepared to start kindergarten and I had that lump in my throat, that feeling that a season of life that had been oh, so sweet was drawing to a close.  I turned to my husband and voiced the concern of my heart...

"Maybe we should homeschool."

(crickets chirping)

"Now honey," he said in the "uh-oh she wants to build a compound in the mountains somewhere" voice, "that's not possible.  We just aren't a homeschool family.  We don't live that way."

I reluctantly agreed, but still I struggled.

Kindergarten came and went.  My son struggled.  We decided to have him repeat when we moved at the end of that school year.

A new school and a year older resulted in a much better year.  I felt like we were on the right track, but darn it I missed my little guy all day.  But, of course, my selfishly wanting him to be with me all day was not enough.

First grade...he had an amazing teacher with the perfect balance of love and limits.  I learned so much from her.  I still hold her as the standard when I think of great teachers.  She GOT boys, and understood that if they had time to run and sweat they might actually sit still and learn to read.  My daughter began kindergarten this year and loved it.

Second grade...another precious, godly teacher.  But this year he seemed to struggle more.  Sitting became harder, his athletic drive often got him in trouble on the playground.  He was counseled to play "fair" when the "squeaky wheels" demanded their time on the kickball field then whined when they didn't get chosen for their preferred position.  He at times responded in an unkind fashion, but I had a difficult time curbing those impulsive reactions when I was not there and could only talk to him about it after the fact.  But we were told these were typical growing pains of boys.  So we waited and prayed and tried to help him navigate these sticky situations the best we could.  I spent hours at the school helping, observing and trying to be present in his school life.
My daughter came home crying regularly from first grade, either because of a mean comment that stung (How has "girl stuff" started so young??) or just because she missed me terribly and wished I would homeschool her.  My heart ached.  I even told her teacher (the same awesome women that had taught my son) and said "but I am afraid I couldn't do it.  I don't even remember half of this stuff!"  Her reply?
"Oh, you could do it.  It's not that hard.  Why do you think we have all these books?  We have to relearn everything ourselves!"
My wheels were turning, but still my husband did not feel it was the answer.  So we pressed on.

Third grade for my son, and second grade for my daughter.  OH my goodness, the homework.  Sometimes 2 hours of it.  Is this necessary?  They need to play outside for crying out loud.  Daddy works long hours, and the necessary early bedtimes mean they get very little time with him during the week.  Is this really ok?  Is this normal?  If so, is it SUPPOSED to be normal?  My son begged, again to be homeschooled.  My daughter still came home in tears from insensitive comments flung her way and I began to see qualities in her that scared me...defensiveness, anger, insecurity, ingratitude.  How do I combat this when we have maybe one good hour of family time in a day and they are battling these things for 7 hours at school?  She would cry because I could not go on some of the field trips, but we have two small children at home and siblings are not allowed...period.  What is a mom to do when we have a large family and the pressures of school seem to be pushing the family to live separate fly in 6 different directions and see a family meal as an occasional treat and not a normal part of life?  It just bothered me to the core.  I felt myself becoming angry that "school" had to come at the expense of calm and closeness.  Add gymnastics, dance, and sports and, well things were just insanity.  There had to be another way.

But my husband just wasn't sure...just didn't see how taking that on could actually slow things down.

Then one day, an incident happened that caused great distress to our son.  We didn't find out about it until three days after it happened.  That was husband said "Let's do it.  We can try homeschooling at least this year and see how it goes.  If our kids are messed up we won't have anyone to blame but ourselves!"

I was shocked!  Finally, the Lord was moving!  But wait...that means we are doing this!  gulp.  Are we sure?  Suddenly I began to backtrack mentally....can I really do this?

But the answer, the peace flowed over me like rain.  Yes, I can.  WE can.  This is right.  The Lord is in this and has been gently pushing us toward this.  I don't know whether it is just for a season or for the long haul, but I have no doubt we are in God's will as we move forward.  And there is so much more joy and blessing to come!

I can hardly wait!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Oh I LOVE all your comments!  And I am right there with ya', sisters!  I am still working on WHY I wanted your input...and will share it very soon.
BIG changes are coming for us. It is all good, but so much to process and trust God to navigate us through.
But til then you can pray for us as we are sending off the I-600A this week!  Getting it notarized tomorrow and in the mail!  We are praying about timing...and watching the Waiting Child list like hawks.  Lord, please speak.  Please move and show us your plan.  Let us know when OUR child is ready for us, and let US be ready for that child.  You are on the throne.  Please keep us from trying to get on it ourselves!