hangin' out with baby I.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A good friend from our church needed some morning child care for a couple of days and asked if we'd be willing to watch her little baby.

It was a rough job...but somebody had to do it. :)

Oh my goodness. Could he be any cuter?

 I really didn't get to hold him much, as everyone else wanted loooooong turns!

When David held baby I., Maple jumped right up and layed her head on David's shoulder.

Maple didn't move until Lily took the baby out of David's arms.

Please come visit us again, sweet baby I.
It was so much fun!
(Yana loved holding baby I., as well, but she didn't want her photo taken in her pajamas!)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

School was out for the summer on Friday, and I thought that it was time for a little relaxation. But, my sweet hubby thought differently! For him, summer means all sorts of projects to start (and hopefully to finish, as well).

A new tire swing was a quick project that everyone has enjoyed.

 Next came a fire pit. We've already used this quite a bit. The kids are lovin' the s'mores.

Then, today came a new window. David took a window out of a home that he was working on, and it was just the right fit for our house. When we moved in, there were all new windows...well, all except this one. And now, this one is new (to us!), as well.

Yana and Adam are great helpers!

Lily and Yana helped a friend with a project today, as well. This friend is making hundreds of duct tape flowers for her sister's upcoming wedding. So, the girls helped her out with a few of the hundred today.

Wow! I never knew that duct tape could be so beautiful!

And for my next project...I think that I'll make a plan to go to bed early. :)

How about you? Do you have any summer projects that you're looking forward to completing?

no regrets

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him.
Derek Loux

Dear ones, your love and prayers have touched our hearts in a deep way. We are so very grateful for each one of you. Adoption is messy. It is absolutely outrageous. It begins with loss and sometimes it ends with loss. But, it's also beautiful, and doesn't that describe what God has done for us in Christ?

Despite the pain, we do not regret that God lead us down this path. We still believe that it was God who called us to walk towards R., and even though we don't understand all of the reasons why we weren't able to adopt her, we do trust in the One who offers R. full redemption. We know that He is bringing beauty from ashes, and we know that He has amazing plans for R.'s life.

At this point, our biggest prayer is that our sweet R. would have a family of her own. Of course, we will always love her and a part of our hearts will always belong to her, but she still needs a family who can rescue her and bring her into their home and love her with hugs and kisses and blessings and playing and prayers and laughter. Please pray for this kind of family for our precious girl! She is beautiful and gentle and silly and sweet. Any family would be blessed to have her as their daughter.

Please know that we are doing well. So much of our grieving happend over the past two months and now we are simply resting. God is speaking. He is leading and guiding and we just want to follow Him. He is such a good Father. And even though it was costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous, I know that He doesn't regret that He adopted me.

Amazing God.

He's been preparing my heart

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On R.'s birthday (March 16th), I was home alone. I emailed a friend, telling her that I felt like it was a "goodbye day". I was grieving, although I wasn't even sure why. Yes, India was slow. Yes, the journey was difficult. But there really was no reason to believe that we wouldn't be able to adopt R.

I know now that God was preparing my heart.

A couple of weeks after R.'s birthday we were told that CARA denied our application to adopt due to our family size. We appealed the decision, with great hope in our hearts. A week later we were denied again. Our family then went into full gear, seeking out any avenue in order to change CARA's decision.  But it didn't happen. Their decision has remained the same.

Oh, the roller-coaster of emotions. In the past two months we have experienced feelings of grief, anger, sadness, confusion and pain. But through it all, our God has been faithful. And in the past two weeks, our gentle Father has reminded me of some things that give me great peace. They are not things that I can share or adequately explain right now, but they have allowed me to let this precious girl go. And they have allowed me to have faith that she will be cared for, she will not be forgotten, she will be loved with an overwhelming love.

So, to the One who has been preparing me for this time, I offer up all of my plans and dreams for our precious girl. And I entrust R.'s life to Him who is always faithful, who is all-together lovely, who is full of kindness and grace and who never forgets His promises.

two peas

Friday, May 18, 2012

in a pod

I had some time alone with each of these two today (lunch with Adam and an evening together with Grace) and was reminded of how much they are alike.

full of love

Oh, how I love these two sweet peas!

Would you consider?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You have to "meet" my wonderful friend, Kristen. She has an amazing heart for God and for orphans! Kristen has had a bumpy road in the journey to her sweet daughter, M., but she has finally received her official match!

Originally, Kristen was in the process to adopt from Nepal, but then Nepal closed and she lost all of the money that she had already paid towards her Nepali adoption. that she has her official match, she needs quite a bit of money (by Friday!) to pay her Ind*a fees. Would you consider donating to her adoption fund? Honestly, every little bit helps...even if it's just $5 or $10, it really does add up!

Kristen is also doing a fundraiser with Ordinary Hero. So, you could buy a t-shirt or donate a Bible for a child in Africa, and Kristen will receive a percentage of the donation.

Both the chip-in and the Ordinary Hero button are on Kristen's sidebar.
Thank you so much for helping little M. come home!

Blessed, blessed, blessed!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Oh my goodness! I am just so incredibly blessed of the Lord! Thank you, Jesus for my beautiful, beautiful children!

This Mother's Day, I asked David to take some photos of me with each of my children. I love looking at these precious pictures.

Sweet Jadon, you lavish me with affection every day of the year! Thank you so much for your hugs and kisses! You are such a blessing!

 Precious Grace, I LOVE being your mama! You are a dream come true for me. Your gentle, loving spirit blesses me beyond what you could ever know!

 Oh my Lil! I am so grateful that you are my daughter. You are a fiery, amazing, precious gift from God! I LOVE you, sweet girl!

Yana, I prayed for years for you and God was so gracious to place you in my life. You are growing into quite the young lady! God is doing incredible things in your life!

Adam, I am blessed every day by your unrelenting pursuit of God and holiness! You are a treasure beyond compare!

And to my own beautiful Mom, I love you and miss you so much! Thank you for your life given over to love...praying that we can be together this summer.

Happy Mother's Day, dear friends! May each one of you truly experience the blessings of this special day.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

This is Lily's drawing of The Refuge House that she dreams of building for orphans in Ind*a some day.

Keep dreaming with God, sweet girl.
May He give you the desires of your heart!

precious friends

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We had such a fun evening with our friends, Chuck and Sandy, last night. Chuck is a precious friend from our church and Sandy is a friend whom we've gotten to know through Chuck. It's been way too long since they've been over for dinner!

Chuck and Sandy have such loving hearts. They really know how to show affection, and love to ask questions about our life and family. They have such a concern for R. They asked about her numerous times during the evening.

Our kids adore Chuck and Sandy and asked if they could come over for dinner every week. One thing is for sure...we're certainly not going to wait for months to have them over again!

Thanks, Chuck and Sandy, for being such a tremendous blessing to our family and our lives! We love you!!!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

When David and I were first married, I desperately wanted to get two cats. For years, I had wanted to have a cat, but since I was in college (and then graduate school), I didn't feel like I was in a stable enough situation to have a pet. So, within a year of getting married, we set out to find two special kitties.

We contacted a cat rescue and they invited us to come and meet all of their cats. When David and I saw these two beauties, we knew that they were the ones. Soft, silky fur. Amazing gray-blue coloring. Sweet dispositions.
And three legs each.


They were exactly the ones that we wanted.


When people asked about our cats (and their missing legs), I would respond, "Someday we may have a child with special needs, and I want that child to know that we chose these kitties. We think that they're perfect. They were exactly what we wanted. Exactly."

For those of you who know a little bit more about our sweet R., you'll understand why these kitties have a special place in her story.

Yes, our sweet girl is also just perfect.
She's exactly the one that we want.


field trip :)

We took a field trip to the Museum of Nature and Science last week and had a blast!
 Here's the whole crew.

Baby I. joined the rest of the gang...what a cutie!

David came as a chaperone...we love David!!!

The view from the top of the museum was incredible.

Finding our school on Google Earth.

After the museum, we finally had a chance to use the Cinzetti's gift card that my parents gave us for Christmas. Very yummy!! Thanks, Mom and Dad!!

Aren't these two cute?!

What a wonderful way to spend a day...good friends, lots of fun learning, and a delicious dinner. I'm so grateful for this special time.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Lord, be gracious to us! We wait for You. Be our strength every morning, and our salvation in time of trouble. The peoples flee at the thunderous noise; the nations scatter when You rise in Your majesty.. .The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. There will be times of security for you- a storehouse of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure.
Isaiah 33:2-6

This morning, we received some really good news...there is still hope that we can adopt R.! This was wonderful to hear!

But friends, what I really wanted (and expected) was a definitive answer. No maybes! I wanted a firm yes.

And as I was pondering this (and perhaps pouting, just a little), my friend Meredith gave me her Isaiah commentary to read. She said that as she was praying this morning, the Lord highlighted Isaiah 33 for me.

She couldn't have been more right.

I realized, as I was reading, that I have been treating the King as if He is the one who is supposed to serve my purposes. I have had expectations about timing, what I could handle, etc. and have told the Lord (in no uncertain terms) that I must have an answer soon!

But our God doesn't work like that.
"When the Lord is simply a talisman and human reasoning prevails, destruction follows. When the Lord is not only called king but treated as one, the result is the very deliverance sought by the former methods." (Oswalt, p 590)

My friends, He is the King of all Creation, and I've been trying to tell Him how He ought to take care of things!

This is not only ridiculous, it doesn't work. I can't get anything to happen. Only He can do that.
"He only needs to speak and the whole situation will be dramatically altered...why trust the nations in place of God, when it will take only a simple manifestation of his power to scatter them like chaff." (p. 593)

I have absolutely no doubt that our gracious King cares about R. more than I ever could. I also have no doubt that He is the only One who can bring about the miracle of her adoption. But, instead of demanding how and when this miracle will take place, I am asking Him to teach me what it means to completely trust Him in this. I am asking Him to help me learn to treat Him as the King He really is.

I want to do this His way,
with no expectations.
Except one.
I expect that He will act in accordance with His goodness, His loving-kindness, His mercy, His justice, His Kingship, and His Fatherhood.

And by His grace, this is the only expectation I ever hope to have.

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