Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Day to Remember . . .

Well .... of any days that I am NOT home to get that infamous call .... you guessed it ... TODAY! After some tracking down of me and 3 kids in town, David was able to reach us and I made it to our social worker's office in the town I was in (I did have this plan, just in case!!). Everything is kind of a blur right now. Partly because of just the awe of "this day" anyway ... but also trying to put the pieces of our precious daughter's life together. All that she's been through ... it's almost more than this momma's heart can stand.

What a JOY it is to see her smiling face and know that she is now healthy and well. Such deep joy ... yet such sadness over all we've lost with her. Wow .... but we have a whole life to enjoy together.

I will write more later. I just wanted to say "Hey everyone!! it finally happened! and we have a 12 month old precious child of God waiting for us on the other side of the world!" The day finally arrived ... the timing in every detail of her life and our journey is just almost unreal.

And I'd like to give a shout out to all you amazing families that have traveled recently. I know ya'll have more pictures of our sweet girl!!! .... so FYI she got to the Gladney home last November and would have been in the older baby house I do believe. Please email me and we'll figure out how to get pics. Thank you SO MUCH.

More to come later. Oh, and I'm sorry, but I cannot post a pic of her on the blog until we pass through court ... so you can pray for that!!! ... it'll be a very hard wait. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Well well, we made it to 21 weeks of waiting!

We're not really into breaking records!, so I hope that we don't do that with this adoption wait. Ha! :) But it is definitely a time that God has been using and it is certainly not a fruitless time! We are are rejoicing in who HE is and all that HE has done and will continue to do through this adoption journey.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Psalm 145:3
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Salty Tears - Yet Trusting Him

Today was an odd day ... I had like 20 min. alone with no other person (or personS) was around. I've realized as our older kids have gotten, well ... older ... that my "alone time" is more and more scarce. Normally this is just fine. I thoroughly enjoy time with my boys while sis is napping and we can do "older people" stuff.

But lately I've realized just how numb I'm becoming. If I so much as wear half a frown, my little girly is asking ... "MOMMY!, WHAT'S WRONG???". Well honey ... I have NO idea what tomorrow is gonna bring for 20 and a half weeks now and it could make a momma's heart go bonkers! (be assured, I do not tell her this)

So what happened when I finally had that alone time? T-E-A-R-S. Tears??? Okay, they are much more salty than I ever remember. Made me realize just how long it's been since I've had a good cry. This is a good thing to do once in a while by the way. :)

Anyway, an old Twila Paris song came to my mind. It's one that so often would through the years when I'd be facing an especially trying time. Perhaps you know it. It was clear back at our MBI days that we saw her in concert. Seems ages ago ... gee, I guess it was!

Tonight after everyone headed to bed I did a search for it and found this video. What's even better is that she goes into another great song next that is truly the cry of us waiting families .... "Do I trust you, Lord?". There are so many unknowns wrapped up in adoption, especially international adoption.

I have nothing profound to share ... just that I am SO thankful that my heavenly father knows right where I'm at. He knows that I trust Him, even when I don't have answers. And when I struggle to trust Him ... all I have to do is look to Him and He'll show me how.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

20 Random Things

So ... here we are! 20 weeks of waiting for our referral. As I contemplated what to share with you, I decided it was fitting to share 20 random things with you. Some of these are things we've learned a long the way ... some are truths from God's Word that bring strength.

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." - John 14:18 Sometimes he asks us to join Him on such a process. What a ride adoption is!

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." -Psalm 68:5 It's not about us, but what God does through us to bring this all about.

I've learned that when our family works as a team, the possibilities are limitless! This journey has truly been a family endeavor!

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope." -Psalm 130:5 "I/We" cannot make this happen! It is only the Lord and we must wait for Him to bring it to completion.

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" -Matthew 25:40 At times we've gotten so weary on this journey. There have been times my perspective got out of whack. When we stand in Ethiopia I want to have NO regrets. The weariness will all fade away when we see first hand the needs before us.

I've learned that God's ways are SO far beyond mine! ... He's used complete strangers to join us on this journey and help it come to completion.

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." -Proverbs 16:3 Wow!, when God calls you to do something, He will make it succeed. We've seen His power and provision in the day-to-day ... we'll never forget it.

"God sets the lonely in families." -Psalm 68:6 How joy-filled we are that He is about to do that again in our family.

"Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth ..." -Isaiah 43:66 We never dreamed years ago that this would become a reality in our family.

I've learned what a blessing it is to go to bed tired at night, knowing that what I did that day truly mattered to God, even if no one else ever knows about it.

God said, "My presence will go with you. I will see the journey to the end." - Ex 33:14 As hard and long as this is .... we are NOT alone!!! How I have to remember that daily right now.

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." - Psalm 31:24 My courage has crumbled so many times. This verse brings much comfort.

I've learned more about what really matters in this life. Wow!, we Americans can really get things messed up concerning priorities!

"Children are a gift from God." -Psalm 127:3 Adoption, or even having a larger family, is not all that popular in today's culture. God's word is clear.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11 My heart rejoices when I read this verse and think of our soon-coming child. God has a plan of hope & a future for her. What a privilige it's gonna be to get to see that lived out.

I've learned that God IS enough, no matter what your situation. I would not have signed up to learn it in the ways He's allowed, but trust His heart and know that He knows best.

"Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we aks or think ..." - Ephesians 3:20 Wow!, have we seen this!!! Thank you God!

"Before they call I will answer, and while they are still speaking I will hear." -Isaiah 65:24 God hears us! .... and He hears the cries of the waiting children. They are HIS and He cares!

I've learned to embrace the incredible gift of a friend ... even when we're miles apart and in some cases have never even met in person! God provides what we need ... how I needed this! and God knew. I am so humbled by how He cares for us.

And lastly, I've learned that with God all things are possible. I am right now living out all the "reasons" why I thought I could never endure an international adoption. And I guess that's still accurate .... "I" can't!! ... but with God! .... it is the only way I make it through. How faithful He is.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Moments and Miracles

One thing I've found to be so challenging along this journey is to keep living in the here and now, while eagerly anticipating the future. I know you fellow adoptive families can all too well relate. I truly don't want to miss these moments with my children or my husband ... yet truth be told, it is a daily challenge. Steven Curtis Chapman captures this so well in his song "Miracle of the Moment". Below is the video for you to enjoy. God is always at work ... even when we don't have all the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly together in front of us. He is the master designer and He is in control. My mind can be consumed of "what ifs" and "if onlys". May you see the miracle of the moments today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Week 19

We're at 19 weeks of waiting for our referral, with nothing profound to say about it. That's about what the temp was in the cold North today as well! ... well, maybe we reached that. Brrrrr.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Special Night!

What a special night we enjoyed at the Steven Curtis Chapman concert. We have really appreciated what he and his wife Mary Beth are doing with the Shaohannah's Hope ministry. So, to get to say thank-you in person, was a special privilege. The journey of adoption can sometimes be a lonely one. Not always will others understand what God is doing in your life. How neat it was to see SCC's two sons with him in concert and see a glimpse of what God is doing in their lives.

We enjoyed a wonderful evening full of worship and "pink lights"! Naomi would squeal with delight every time the lights flashed pink! She was not so sure of being on stage when it was time for that. It is our prayer that others got to catch a glimpse of what it looks like to step out in faith, trusting God to do what we might see as impossible. It's so not about "us" and so all about HIM.

If you're familiar with the Show Hope project then you know that at each concert they pass buckets around and collect change, which when all put together makes a tremendous difference to "Show Hope" to orphans. We were blessed with being a recipient of that last night. We have seen time and time again how when people work together, so much can be accomplished. What a joy it is to know we're one step closer to meeting the needs of this adoption. We can hardly wait to meet the special little one that this has all been about.

What a journey this has been. When we stepped out and answered God's call to adopt again, we honestly had no idea how we'd get there! (humanly speaking) All that we could see where mountains and obstacles. Adoption is a daunting task. The paperwork alone could wear a person out. But throughout this whole process God has continually reminded us of the "why" and "who" this is about. He's taught us great truths about His heart and what He sees as important. He's poured into us strength when we were tired and weary. Last night was another wonderful example of His faithfulness, as He ministered to us through songs and helped us to know once again that we are not alone. We are just so grateful to so many people who have joined us on this journey and has helped to make a difference in the life of one more child.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Week 18!

Eighteen weeks and a whole lotta M&M's later ... here we are. Maybe we should make a beautiful cake like this while we wait! Hhmmm ... nope, we have too many other things to do! We'll have to stick with getting our chocolate fix from M&M's. Hopefully I won't have to find an image for week number 19 or 20!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hidden Blessings

I have to say .... we began this "blog thing" to have a place for family/friends (since so many are SO far away from us!) to be able to keep up-to-date on the adoption journey. Well, what I didn't realize would happen is that God would bring special people into our lives that are walking their own journey of adoption! People like Becca. Now Becca didn't know I really do not care to play "tag" again .... where you get to tell all sorts of things about yourself. I'd rather crawl under a table. :) But I will try to be a good sport and play along. My family would be laughing ... I don't "do" sports! Thankfully this game does not involve running!

8 things I'm passionate about:
My family ... let's see Hubby, 3 amazing boys, 2 special unexpected daughters ... see I'm up to 6 already!
The life-sustaining truth of God's word

8 things I want to do before I die:
Do my best to raise up some amazing kiddos!
Live my days with a focus on eternity.
Tackle a couple of writing projects that I'm afraid to start.
See my children all walking with the Lord.
Run a little coffee-house with my husband.
Pursue my interest in photography.
Get to enjoy my beautiful multi-ethnic family consisting of many grandchildren!
Go somewhere alone with my husband (like for longer than a 24 hr. period of time!), who is my closest friend. :)

8 things I say often:
No more M&M's Naomi. (yes, she's an addict)
Stay on task!
Have you done your jobs?
I love you more than ...
Okay - I quit ... I know I talk plenty!, maybe I should be more aware of what I say! Ha. :)

8 shows I've recently watched:
Hhmmm ... don't watch many shows ... too busy making cards and other things for our project! :) When I'm not doing that .. here are a few things I like to do:
Spend time with my husband (especially when it's all quiet after the kids go to bed).
Drink coffee in one of my favorite mugs with just the right amount of creamer.
Have friends over.
Hear from a long-distance friend.
Play games with my kids.
Get visits from family.

8 artists I never tire of listening to:
No one specific ... sorry, I'm kinda boring. I love music though!

8 things that attract me to my friends:
Seeing them seek after God.
Shared interests.
Their desire to grow.

8 things I learned in 2007
That God would lead us to bring home a child from Ethiopia.
That my husband truly loves me in sickness and in health (ishy health stuff in 2007!!)
That God would truly meet all of our needs.
God knows our heart, even when the world may not.
That being in my 30's is really a great thing!
That marriage can just keep getting sweeter.
That my boys are half-grown!, I better enjoy them!!
That my view of what's important has changed a great deal.

Okay, sorry for boring you. Now what happens next is you torment someone else with this job. I will give Kimberly the joy ... another special waiting mom whom I appreciate so much. And sorry for complaining Becca ... I'm a tish cranky waiting for that call! :)