Monday, January 28, 2008

16.5 weeks and hanging on God's Word

Well, we are at the 16.5 week waiting time (but who's counting). Barf (to quote a fellow blogger)!

I have been wanting to compile the promptings, nudgings and words from God, and doing so while we go through this nerve-wracking wait definitely strengthens my faith. I highly recommend it.

Anyways, here is a compilation of some of God's guiding through this process.


Nudged to bring Mohamed into our home. After he was here, I realized we could love a child that was not biologically ours.


In the refugee camps riding in a HOT jeep in the Sahara Desert, felt God nudge me to open our home to adoption. At that time, the thought was quite unnerving and I had a voiceless argument for several minutes, trying to rationalize my way out of what I thought God just told our family to do. I believe His step 1 of the plan was to pursue bringing Mohamed back for school, since I just so happened to meet Jon about an hour later and he challenged us to look into bringing Mohamed back to our home for a long-term commitment. Jon was the amazing man who spent countless hours traveling and facilitating bringing Mohamed back to the States for us.


Mohamed lives with us, then returns to Algeria and we begin to wonder if we have room for one more.

Dec. 8, 2006 - Farmboy and I go to Carrabba's for dinner and he asks if we are going to adopt. It was kind of an out-of-the-blue question, but another step.

I Cor. 16:8-9 "...because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me."

This is a great door, but the enemy hates adoption and plan on him opposing us.

February 2007

Felt I had no "time" to adopt, as I was spending way too much time running and doing aerobics classes to keep in shape. How could I have new kids in the home? Certainly they would interfere with my work out sessions, "my" time. In a matter of 2 weeks time, could not run because our dog hurt her leg (couldn't leave the house running without her, she would just flip out and that would be sooooo mean) and our health club was sold. I believe God orchestrated this to force me to give up exercising (at least the obsessive part of this). This has been incredibly freeing.

March 2007

Zech 7:9-10 "Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow and fatherless...."

Hebrews 11 - what an amazing chapter on faith, so many verses were confirming and comforting.

II Tim 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

GREAT to know since adoption is certainly not for the timid.

March 30, 2007 - Went to our first physical needed for the dossier. Our doctor was not available, so we were scheduled to meet with a doctor that has adopted 5 kids himself. What a coincidence!!!

April 2007

Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."

Hebrews 13:6 says, "The Lord is my helper." I get fearful about bringing these kids, these strangers, into our home. But God calls us not to be fearful and how awesome since He is our helper.

Well, as I was reading through the New Testament, was looking forward to reading James next and focus on giving God control of my tongue. Thought this would be little break from all the scriptures that keep pointing us to adoption. Well, I forgot about James 1:27.
"Religions that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...."

We had a thyroid/lymph node scare. Healing?

May 2007

Hebrews 11:24-25 - although I knew Moses was adopted, really realized it as I read this passage.

The last part of James 1:27: "...keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Sometimes the adoption "expert advice" can be utterly terrifying. I don't want to be polluted by it, but trust in what God is calling us to do.

III John 5 "Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you." Again, as I fear about bringing these "strangers" into our home, God speaks truth.

Well, I finished the New Testament, skipping Revelations for now, and felt led to read the Psalms.

This passage is huge comfort for me:

Psalm 16:5-8 "Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 35:23b "Contend for me, my God and Lord." He is the one fighting for us!

Psalm 37:7-15 Instead of typing this one all out, in a nut shell, I believe God is reminding us that the enemy is all about trying to thwart our desires to serve God, working overtime to attempt to discourage us and steal our hope, plotting against us. These verses are God's answer to the enemy. God's plans cannot be thwarted. Really, all the enemy can do is discourage us, he does not have the power to change God's sovereign ways.

June 2007

Psalm 48:12-13 "Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation."

Basically, I am writing this post because of these verses. I want to look and recognize God's handiwork with our adoption, and share it to our next generation to bring God glory.

July 2007

Psalm 68:5-6 "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families...."

This is another huge promise to me. How awesome that He is the one setting these kids into our family.

August 2007

Read the book Breathe by Keri Wyatt Kent (which I really recommend, all about making space for God in our hurried world). Anyways, she talked about how fear can lead us to busyness and directed us to read Isaiah 43:5. I caught my breath when I read the whole thing.
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west."

September 2007

John 1 - Jesus invited the disciples to follow him, although they did not know where that would take them. Us, too....

Oct/Nov 2007

Worked on the Believing God study by Beth Moore. So many truths, too many to mention, but so powerful.

December 2007

I Thess 5:24 "The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." We are pursuing adoption because we believe God has called us. How comforting to know he will faithfully be with us throughout the journey.

January 2008
OK, two of my blogging buddies referenced this verse, and I just had to add it it my compilation of the VERY WORDS OF GOD that have given me strength.
"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

Saturday, January 19, 2008


OK, I realized I just posted today, but this is hilarious and had to share. Those of you on your own adoption journey, you will especially understand. Thanks, Denise, for passing this one on.


Adoption by Accident Author: Unknown

Have you ever noticed that you hear all the time about "accidental" pregnancies, but never about couples who experience "accidental" adoptions? Can you imagine:

- --Honey, sit down. I have some news for you.
- --What is it?
- --Well, I don't know how to say this, so I'll just come out with it. I went out to the mailbox today and ... well, we got an I-171H.
- --A what?!? An I-171H? As in, we're going to have another baby?!?
- --It looks that way.
- --But how? We've been so careful! I put away all the blank I-600A forms. Didn't you hide our homestudy update?
- --Of course I did. But don't forget, there was that one night ...
- --What night? (Pauses) Oh, that night. But it was only once. We were just messing around. I didn't print clearly. I didn't even use ink! (Pauses again) But it was kind of fun.
- --(Giggles) it was, wasn't it? I'll never forget how cute you looked getting your fingerprints.
- --So now we've got our I-171H, eh? But that doesn't always mean you'll adopt, does it? I mean, shouldn't you see the agency or something, make sure everything's okay?
- --I already did.
- --And?
- --I'm five documents along.
- --Five documents! And they're all notarized, certified and authenticated okay?
- --Just great. There was one small scare when the agency couldn't see the notary's middle initial, but it showed up just fine under the magnifying glass.
- --Thank God. And you honey? Are you feeling okay?
- --I'm feeling fine. As long as I know you're happy about this.
- --Happy? I'm thrilled! It's always a shock at first when something like this happens, but of course I'm happy!

Our first birthday of 2008

Once the new year comes around, within 2 short weeks we have the chance to celebrate our youngest's birthday. This year, he wanted a mohawk for a gift. Hey, how could I not resist plowing through his hair with my clippers.

For the family party, both sets of grandparents were able to come, along with his aunt, uncle and cousins on Buttercup's side. Even though his cousins are 4 and 3, he really has a blast with them. In fact, he often says, "I want a boy Aaron's age and a girl Sarah's age so I can pester them." How sweet....

He got great presents that fit him -- Action.

Here they are: a baseball glove (hopefully he doesn't lose this one, too) a skateboard, a new football (I guess the other 5 or 6 we have weren't just right), 20 Questions, another hoodie sweatshirt (this time a soccer one) and a watch (now he and Grandpa L. are completely synchronized again).

For the cake, he wanted a Bengals cake and he got it, sort of.

Wow! I can't believe our youngest is 8!!! At least he still likes to snuggle with me every night. Wonder how long that will last....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Nothing on Earth is as beautiful as you

I was driving into work this morning and was struck by an amazing sunrise. Maybe I was just struck to SEE the sun... this is Michigan in the winter after all.

We look so hard for God I think sometimes we neglect to see HE's been here all along. One of my favorite verses is Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. "

We had the chance to skip LOTS of stones out West this summer... Can you imagine God placed each ~skippin' stone~ there for US in advance.

Beyond this, we can live in the anticipation that life eternally will be even better! I love these words in Jeremy Camps version of the song - Beautiful One: "Powerful so powerful your glory fills the skies. Your mighty works displayed for all to see. The beauty of your majesty awakes my heart to sing - How marvelous, how wonderful you are.... You opened my eyes to your wonders anew. You captured my heart with this love. Because nothing on Earth is as beautiful as you."

Posted by the one apparently called Farmboy

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


We are at 13 + weeks waiting for a referral and it is getting hard. I remember reading others' blogs and how every time they heard the phone ring, they thought, "Could this be THE call?" Well, I am starting to think that when the phone rings. I do know God's timing is ultimately best, and need to trust that, but, boy, do I want to know who our children are!!!

Here is a great quote that comforts me, challenges me every time I read it:

What are you waiting for today?

May these thoughts encourage you to make it a “Productive Delay:”

"Waiting on God isn't about the suspension of meaning and purpose. It's part of the meaning and purpose that God has brought into my life. Waiting on God isn't to be viewed as an obstruction in the way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn't simply about what I'll receive at the end of my wait. No, waiting is much more purposeful, efficient, and practical than that. Waiting is fundamentally about what I'll become as I wait. God is using the wait to do in and through me exactly what He's promised. Through the wait He's changing me. By means of the wait He's altering the fabric of my thoughts and desires. Through the wait He's causing me to see and experience new things about Him and His kingdom. And all of this sharpens me, enabling me to be a more useful tool in His redemptive hands."
Instead of focusing on what we’re waiting to receive, let’s turn our gaze to God and ask Him to make us “a more useful tool in His redemptive hands.”

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Our New Year's at Manna

Bob and Kristen, friends of ours from the snowy north, just purchased a cabin already named "Manna" by the previous owners, and invited us and another family to spend NewYear's with them at Manna. What a blast!

We spent Sunday and Monday nights there and it was perfect weather for sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, hiking, whatever. We also enjoyed playing games in Manna and eating all kinds of the typical "hanging out" munchies.

All the boys, CJ, Action, Kevin and Lucas, enjoyed riding on Bob's "tool" (yeah, right, Bob, sure it's a tool, totally necessary and definitely not a "toy"). Actually, it was extremely helpful to haul all our stuff up the driveway since our cars couldn't make it up the icy path.

Z girl and Kelli hanging in the loft, probably playing yahtzee, scattergories, or something like that.

OK, our kids had more hot chocolate this weekend than in their total previous lives, thanks to the industrial coffee maker with round-the-clock hot water.
Dear friend Laura and Buttercup relaxing.
Chuck and Buttercup getting ready to snowmobile. Yes, everyone went a few times, but this is the only close up shot we have.
Getting ready for 2008 with Charades....

.... and Apples to Apples - new Bible Edition (thanks, Cheryl)

We packed everything in, even a birthday party. Wow! Forty-one! Bob, I can't imagine how it must feel, me being only 38 and all.

Finally, sadly, we didn't get to engage in the incredible American tradition of watching the ball drop as there is no cable at Manna, so the kids improvised with a ball of masking tape that they dropped on 2008. This could really catch on all over the world....

We also had a visit by a guardian angel while CJ was driving the snowmobile and Buttercup was hanging on for dear life. All in all, this was definitely a wonderful way to bring on the new year.

Friday, January 04, 2008

My Utmost For His Highest

OK, I am really behind in the My Utmost book, but I read the entry for Oct. 21 today and love this quote:

"It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God -- but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people."

This IS the challenge.

So, when I question what big thing I need to be doing for God (as if He needs anything from me), I see God is calling me to be obedient and do everything He puts before me, big or small, in a grateful, peaceful, joyful, exceptional way....such as hanging with the kids, keeping up the house, supporting Farmboy, taking the kids to their various things, and being open to opportunities, conversations He puts before me with the people I come across in these various situations. No, this isn't a new thing I learned, but it is a reminder I need today.

Of course, the Holy Spirit is the key ingredient, the amazing power, to be able to do any of this. I am not foolish enough to think I can muster up exceptionalness on my own.

There, some deep thoughts with Buttercup