Our Family 2014

Our Family 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Let's Wrap This Up!


State Your Claim GIVEAWAY to benefit special needs adoption, including OUR FAMILY.

I am headed home with our little guy tomorrow and still need $5,350 to cover the remaining adoption costs.

You can donate directly to our family donation page on A Little Something Extra Foundation to be eligible for the drawing. (We are listed as the H Family under "urgent need")


(If you are on a mobile device you will find it easier to navigate via the desktop view)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

And 'D' Makes 10!

Some [better] late [than never] updates...

Been back with my boy for one week. I am so thankful to be here with him and very thankful for the time I was able to be home with my family. As much as I really love this city (and I have made many new friends here), I have to say that this has been the most complicated adoption in-country. Thankfully there are not roadblocks, nor are there doors we are looking to kick down, just obstacles that slow the process.

Last week we had a scheduled court hearing on Friday. Unfortunately, due to different judges here in this district insisting on different things, my petition for court was not as this judge had wanted. Today we were able to have our hearing (I'd say "again" but the first hearing never actually happened though we all showed up for the hearing and were before the judge in the courtroom), however, the hearing before mine ran late and apparently the judge had somewhere he needed or wanted to be. All went well but we are scheduled to come back in the morning for the final decision...and then the judge was out the door in a flash. *sigh* A bit frustrating to say the least.

My facilitator was congratulating me but I am not ready to celebrate. Honestly, I am not sure how much I will be able to feel like I can truly celebrate tomorrow even with a decision in my favor. While I have always been told that the time to celebrate is when the wheels of the plane lift off the ground, headed for home, I've always felt comfortable enough to celebrate some with the ruling of the court. I am bummed that I will be more hesitant to do so this time.

I am not excited to be away from my family for an additional week due to the delay with the court hearing. I am not excited about the additional costs that were added to the process because of the extra week. I am not excited about the funds that still do not exist or the not knowing what will happen from this very moment forward. However, God has been incredibly good to me. He has surrounded me with American (missionaries and another adoptive family) and Ukrainian followers of Christ who encourage me. I just cannot put into words how grateful I am for the time of worship, bible study, prayer, and fellowship I get to have while I am here. I feel like the Lord is teaching me SO MUCH through this small but mighty church here. They are such an inspiration to me.

Some of you have watched our journey over the past 9 months kind of twist and turn with where we thought the Lord might be leading us (onto the mission field overseas), but the Lord showed me my 1st mission in my home town, lead us overseas for our son, and now has me here learning more about missionaries. Over the past week I even got to befriend some wonderful people here from the States on a short term missions trip. Never having been on one myself, I feel like God has used them to show me some things as well.

It just blows my mind how God uses everything, how He confirms that He has been and still is doing a work in my heart and life to become a true servant of His. It is my greatest desire.

So while the adoption process is somewhat slow going, it IS going, and God is using this time to grow me in ways that I probably haven't truly even been able to process yet.


This update now comes 2 weeks after the above.

I have our son! Our adoption is complete and we are now waiting for the final documents in order to leave the country.

This has been quite the journey. It seems with every victory in this adoption came some lever of disappointment. It has been so frustrating that I can't just enjoy the blessings God has bestowed upon us because some difficulty, delay, or pressure comes coupled with it. At this moment though, I have joy. Our precious boy is sleeping beside me and never has to go back to the orphanage again.

It's been a loooong day. I am praying prayers of peace over my little guy and for a good nights rest for us both. I am hopeful that tomorrow things will be a little easier on him; he had a BIG day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Headed Back For My Boy!

The past week has been anything but boring. We were first assigned a judge that insisted that adoption as a "married single" would not be possible. Of course that is incorrect and we have all of the approvals to support this but it was evident that this particular judge was not going to budge. We then heard that all the judges in this particular district would say the same...thankfully that was incorrect. We have now been assigned a judge who is willing to hold the hearing and has agreed to schedule it quickly, as soon as we have the central approval in hand.

Speaking of the central approval, the law states they have 10 business days to complete this but apparently they have been taking a few days longer. With this knowledge we have planned for me to travel early next week to hopefully have a court date by the end of the week!

God is so awesome! It really was looking like a good possibility that we would have to wait an additional 2-3 weeks for court and that my husband would have to travel for the hearing. I was feeling discouraged knowing that there are so many things I wanted to be home for with our new little guy starting in July. Praise God this now seems very possible again!

However, I do have a friend in-country right now who has been waiting WELL OVER the 10-business days for her central approvals. There is a rumor that this problem may possibly be related to adoptions of older "healthy" children, which our little guy is not, but there is always a possibility that these delays could happen to us as well. We must continue to pray.

Having thought I would end up having to wait a few more weeks, I have been very chill about preparing to leave again, as far as making and freezing up meals for my family in my absence. That takes a LOT of work. Somehow I need to figure this out again, though I do not see a full uninterrupted day ahead of me before I fly. :(

Tomorrow I will head to the Secretary of State Office for apostilles. I never enjoy doing this 1.5 hour trek to the state capitol, hanging for 15-30 mins, then making the 1.5 trek back, and then rushing to the DHL office. There are 2 documents that need to get a head start to my little guy's country for the adoption process.

So my flights are booked and I am continuing to move forward in faith...but we still need 12K to do this. What is left in our adoption bank account will last me no more than 2 days! Of course 10K of that needs to be ordered from the bank in advance in clean, crisp bills; this means that we need the money NOW. I wish I could say that I am joyfully, skipping forward in faith, totally trusting, but it's not so easy. I have anxiety that is currently causing me a throbbing headache. Please pray for God's complete provision!

God willing, by this time next week I will be sleeping peacefully (I hope) in my little guy's hometown; perhaps just a few hours later I will head over to see my little guy and hug & kiss him like we've been apart for year! And maybe, just maybe, by the end of the week, he will officially be my son!! Please God, make the way!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I Miss Him

I miss him. I cannot spend much time thinking about him or looking at pictures because it brings me to tears. I want my baby boy home. For now we are still waiting to hear about a court date. Earlier in the week my in-region facilitator let me know that he had met with the judge and that she indicated we would hear of a court date in a few days. I am hoping that tomorrow will finally be that day.

Airfare is up for my one way there (hoping to fly the first week of June) but it seems ticket prices go up even higher by the end of the month. I've decided I will just purchase a one way ticket there then when we are more certain of our return date, I will book us both one way tickets home.

It feels so good to be home. It's nice to be surrounded by my family and taking care of my own kids rather than having my teens and husband fill in for me while I miss out. I just wish my little guy was here too.

I am hoping and praying that I will hear of a court date soon and will travel in less than 2 weeks but the thought gives me anxiety. We still need $12,000. God has provided thus far and has always provided in the past but I could really stand a phone call or a check in the mail that says, "I got the rest of it covered for you." I really could use that peace right now.

Next week will consist of me making 3 weeks of meals to freeze for the family once again. I hope some play dates and things will happen for my little girls because school let's out after next week (with the exception of 3 half days) and that is going to be rough on my teen girls (the boys work full time). It really bothers me they will need to fill in so much but I am also hopeful my husband will be able to take some time off. Maybe the big girls will have the opportunity to spend the night with my parents a time or two to go shopping, watch a movie, and just chill. It really upsets me that I have to leave everyone for so long. :(

Please pray with me that we will hear of a court date very soon, that it will be for the first week of June (so much my family needs me home for in the beginning of July), and that God provides the remaining funds...oh, and peace! I really could use some peace ;)

Thank you SO much to each and every person who has given to us in any way and for each and every prayer said. Without you all, I would not have even met our precious boy. So, thank you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Leaving My Heart in Ukraine

We are waiting on the signature of the Mayor and I will then be able to head home to wait for a court date. Praying we will receive this signature today!

My flights are booked, my bags are packed, my heart is heavy. I know I need to get home to care for my husband and other children, and I am aching to get back to them but at the same time my heart is breaking as I am preparing to leave my little guy here. I pray my court date will be in 3 wks from now and no later.

I love this little one so much already. He is such a sweet and precious child who loves getting kisses from his mama. I pray the caregivers will encourage him in my absence and help him to understand, as best as possible, that I have not left him and will be back. My heart hurts so much.

God has been so good to us. I will update the funds tracker once I am home but believe we are down to needing approximately $10,500 more to complete this adoption! Praying for God to continue to chip away at that mountain!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Met my handsome boy!

Met my handsome boy!

To say that I am head over heals for one precious little boy would be an understatement. He has stolen my heart and keeps it safely in his pocket ;)

On Monday I was finally able to meet my new son (prayerfully, he will be our son legally and officially before too long). He is absolutely precious. I am truly impressed with how he seems to grasp the concept of getting a mama and being taken home. I assume he has seen this happen for others and had many questions. He is quite inquisitive.

I am surprised how much he really does seem to be his age (he is 5). I am sure he is delayed in multiple areas but overall he seems like a typical 5 year old. He is very sweet, silly, and so far, only slightly insistent at times, but is quick to obey when redirected.  I have him say "please" and "thank you" (in Russian) and he does it. No manners, no reward but that's not been an issue. Just establishing proper behavior from the beginning because it will only make things harder for him later if I wait until I bring him home then change things up on him.

His Cerebral Palsy is pretty mild and appears to only affect his feet and ankles. He will need some forearm crutches and AFOs (braces), I'm pretty sure but I think the forearm crutches will not be for a long time. He walks on his tippy toes and not completely stable...sweet baby boy's nose is all scuffed up from falling. I just want him to be safe.

It is so incredible how God hand picks each person in our family, whether by birth or adoption. He really seems to be the perfect match for us. His personality and his special needs.

He likes to take things apart and then to try and put them pack together again over and over. He saw one of the groundskeepers sitting in the grass fixing the weed wacker (sp?) and he was oh so interested. He wanted to watch him and ask questions. I think Papa is going to have a little buddy following him around :)

He has taken such an interest in my iPhone that I decided to bring the toy phone I brought over, from my apartment to him to play with. I had bought a variety of toys since I had no idea how old the child or children we would be adopting were. The toy phone is probably advertised for babies 6-8 months old but he loves pressing the buttons and listening to the music. I tried tossing the beach ball with him today for a little bit but he kept stopping to push the buttons on the toy phone to keep the music playing. So I put music on my iPhone and he thought it was so cool how it kept playing music. I decided during our break (I am allowed to visit twice a day during specific hours) To download some Wee Worship music. I think he will really enjoy that.

Well, my stay has been extended another week but thankfully God has provided the funds for me to be able to do that and make the necessary changes to my return ticket home. I miss being with my family at home but also know it will be hard leaving my baby boy as I return home to wait for court. I'm not sure anything will feel completely right until we are all home together.

Can't wait to be able to post pictures; his precious little face will melt your heart.

I am blessed!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

An Update From Abroad

So sorry that I have not taken the time to update.

I am here and made it but not without delays. My first flight was late leaving me to miss my second and third flights. Many hours later I successfully made it my destination. I really can't complain, God really did give me peace even when those long flights typically feel like torture. I consider myself blessed.

My time in Kyiv was enjoyable. I spent time out an about with new friends (American families here adopting as well) and old (friends that live here in Ukraine).

My appointment at the SDA was very different than I ever remember. This is the second time I have adopted "blind" (not requesting a child I knew ahead of time) but the first time I had to blow through 7 binders of children to find a few prospective children to have the social worker call about (she checks to make sure the child is still available, no bio family coming around or Ukrainian family adopted). I'm not going to lie, it was hard. It was stressful and the hour (you only get one hour) almost seemed too short.

First of all, it is absolutely horrible to have basically just one lousy picture and a diagnosis to go by. The binders are sorted by birth year, and there is a separate binder for children who are HIV+. So looking for a sibling group for 2 boys could not be the main objective. I needed to find a boy who had a diagnosis we were approved for, in a region not currently under attack (actually I didn't rule out whole regions but did a specific town), that did not have multiple siblings available for adoption. I would not consider splitting a sibling group.

I was quickly disappointed to not be finding 2 brothers. Even the brothers I hoped to find were not in those binders. Not sure of the situation with that but trust God allowed that to be so because they were not meant for us. In order to have options I had to pull and set aside profiles of children I would consider even though I felt no initial connection to (I know, how does anyone have a connection in a situation like that? ...and that's what I was telling myself so I would remain open). Several of the files put to the side were babies. I'm not opposed to adopting a baby, as a matter of fact I would like to adopt a baby BUT not if we are only adopting one child this time. I just feel like a baby would be a disconnect from our current family setup. Although, it is funny that N did ask me on the phone last night, "What about my baby brother?" We'll see, maybe there is another child at the same orphanage that God is calling us to adopt as well.

Time began to run out and my facilitator said we needed to have the social worker start calling on some of the kids; I think she was getting impatient. There was ONE profile that I immediately said, "oh!" in an "Oh my goodness, he is so precious!" kind of way. Again, I felt guilty because it shouldn't be about a picture but his diagnosis is Cerebral Palsy and that was at the top of my list...and he wasn't a baby but still young.

My facilitator had the social worker call on him first. The news came back that all was good and his CP was pretty mild (not that it would have mattered to us). He asked me to prioritize the other profiles. I asked if there was any reason to call on any others if I wanted him...he said, "no."

Short of crying at the sight of his picture, I felt very much the way I did when I first saw A's picture. There just felt like a connection. A tug. Something different from the others. I believe because he is our son.

I traveled to the region and as I had been warned might happen ahead of time, the administration told me they would not approve me to begin my visits to the orphanage until Monday. Thursday and friday are holidays here, and on Wednesday they decided to make it a half day and only serve Ukrainian families, not those adopting internationally. So I have not yet met out son.

I was incredibly disappointed at first. Of course I am dying to meet him but I see God's hand throughout everyday. God is stretching me in so many ways and providing for me in each of those ways as well.

I have 3 more days of alone time. Time to spend caring only for myself (when does this ever happen?) and time pressing in to Jesus without distractions. I really don't like to think of having 3 more days alone even after just 1.5, it truly is taking me out of my comfort zone and causes me anxiety even to type it, but I am focusing on one moment at a time and trusting God to give me peace with every minute that passes.

On Monday I should get a better idea of what kind of timeline we will be looking at. At this point I believe I will remain here for an additional week. Time will tell.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Today is the day!

Today I am on my way! I am over the top excited and cannot wait to meet our boys. I still do not know what part of the country my children are in or even who they are but my heart is really set on 2 BROTHERS. I keep telling myself that I need to remain open to God's will, which may be just ONE, but I have to admit that adopting just one would feel strange. I just believe there are 2. Time will tell.

There is still a sibling group of brothers I have seen advocated for that I would love to adopt. I have ZERO information on them but know that if it is God's will their profiles will be placed before me when I am there. And if so, I REALLY hope they are not in any of the regions that have increased pro-Russian activity going on right now. That would mess with my head because I am REALLY wanting to avoid those places right now.
If you would, please continue to pray for God's provision (as you can see on our sidebar we still have a ways to go...and very little time to get there), Godly wisdom and obedience, and  peace & protection over me and my family that will be remaining at home.

I will try to post updates on here throughout my trip but mostly I will be posting privately to friends and family, though I would hope to later copy/paste most of it here to share with you...it just might not be in real time.

Below I have copied some scriptures off of a friend's Facebook wall. I think these are beautiful and powerful. What a wonderful reminder of the amazing God we serve!


(Deuteronomy 33:12) I will cover you all day long as you rest between My shoulders.

(Isaiah 65:24) Before you even call out to Me, I will answer you.

(James 1:17) Every good gift that you receive comes directly from My hand.

(James 4:8) Come close to Me and I will come close to you.

(Colossians 3:23) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

(Psalms 86:11-12) Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.

(Hebrews 13:5-6) For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

(Psalms 37:3-7) Trust in the LORD and do good. Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

(Romans 12:2) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will

(Isaiah 26:3) You will have perfect peace if you keep focused on Me.

(Isaiah 64:4) If you wait for Me, I will work on your behalf.

 (Psalms 18:2) The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Give The Glory To God!

Fairly often my husband and I will hear from people how amazed they are by "what we are doing." They wonder how we do it...caring for all the children, managing the household, taking what appears to be great steps of faith. My answer always comes back to Jesus.

First of all, the faith that we have comes from Jesus, I cannot claim it as my own. The ability to provide comes from Jesus, as He stretches every dollar and guides us in how to save and transforms our ideas on what we need and want. How we care for the children is never perfect but is through the strength and love that Jesus gives to us; managing the household is the same.

I believe that each one of us who is committed in our walk with Christ (and no it's not a perfect walk without distractions and lulls) gives our all to our family whether 1 child or 20. When God calls you to parent, by birth or adoption, He knows what we need, in every sense, to do it, and He provides. He provides the needs, the strength, and the love.

Through many of conversation, I get the feeling that people often miss their tremendous and important role in the Body of Christ. I have friends that are incredible prayer warriors. These ladies possess a gift I do not have but at times envy. I have had some appear blown away by our family and what God is doing through us but seem to miss the tremendous things God is using them for. We don't post pictures of them meeting every morning to intercede for others in prayer. We don't see the pictures and hear the updates about them on their knees crying out to Jesus with a burdened heart for the needs of others. Instead they are quietly in the background moving mountains with their obedience and faithfulness to pray. Someday when they meet Jesus face-to-face, they will begin to comprehend their incredible impact on the world, in the lives of others, and for the glory of God, but until then, they really cannot see it all. Without those prayer warriors where would my family be?

What about those gifted to serve? Where would my family be if we were not surrounded by gifted servants? I see it in their teachers and therapists most. My family is beyond blessed for such servants of Christ; without them our family would not flourish or function the way it does.

Teachers of the His Word are of such great importance to our family; this not only includes pastors, children's ministry workers, and youth leaders but also family friends and many times, other home school parents. We need to surround ourselves with God's Truth and it will never be possible for us to do that on our own. Our own spiritual needs are greatly fed by these very people as well. We should never take for granted these much needed teachers!

There are those who encourage! We are constantly up against the enemy and the deceived people of this fallen world. You may be surprised at how many people have discouraging things to say about families like ours who have many children and who continue to adopt children with special needs. You encouragers keep us going and remind us that Jesus is on our side.

And I certainly cannot leave out those who give. Without those who are generous with what they have been given and use what they have to further the Kingdom of God and desire to see God's work completed make things happen that otherwise could not. God uses people to help provide. He draws the Body of Christ together and moves hearts so that we join in our efforts to overcome the financial obstacles this fallen world has placed before us to redeem lives and make orphans into daughters and sons. What the enemy uses for evil, God will turn around and use it for good.

We all play each one of these roles at times but we generally are gifted greater in one area over others.

We are the Body of Christ. Only together can we be the hands and feet of Jesus. Adoption is NEVER just about one family adopting; it's about the Body of Christ loving the least of these.

So when you look at our family and feel any sense of amazement, give the glory to God. It is His hand touching hearts and the Body of Christ that make this possible; we just happen to be one of the families He has chosen to place these children in but without YOU many more orphans would remain and die alone even if you never adopt.

Give glory to God!

PS God provided the remaining funds for trip 1!! Praise to the King!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Flights Booked!!

I have flights reserved and made adjustments to our financial spreadsheet that brings incredible news!!

We have decided that since my travel buddy cannot be away from her responsibilities at home for the length of trip one, the added expense of bringing a travel buddy, and the fact that God has given me peace about traveling alone, that I will be traveling solo for trip 1.

Today I learned that the exchange rate for hirvna from USD has plummeted! This is of course terrible news for Ukraine but will bring some of my in-country costs down, mainly just for transportation and food as apartment rentals tend to still be charged in USD.

Calculating in the exact costs for my tickets, we have are down to needing almost exactly the cost of my airfare (off by just $4)!! Isn’t that crazy. We need just $1,327 to have my expenses covered for trip and I leave in 3 weeks.  I am thanking God for all that He has provided thus far and have faith He will continue to do so and cover my flights as well.

I am sooooo stinking excited; this never gets old!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Packing to go!!

Last week friends in the adoption community whose dossiers were submitted within days of ours received word they were registered. No news out of the SDA for us. Monday came, no news. Then Tuesday, still nothing. But TODAY...today we not only learned we were registered but we have a travel date!!!! I am over the top excited!! God willing, in 3 weeks I will be headed to Ukraine to find our boy(s)!
While I have been waiting, I have dove back into His Word and pressing into Jesus, as I always should, though honestly I have let the world distract me from my intimate relationship. I am so thankful I am back to feeding the spirit within me.  I also read a book about Gladys Aylward (an incredible missionary) and have another downloaded on iBook to begin. I love being inspired and reminded of God's faithfulness! I can honestly say that I have peace and for today, the fear has left me. I am packing my tool box of spiritual Truth to bring with me when I travel. Should God bring me to Ukraine, I must be equipped to share the Gospel and to comfort those He places before me. This is not just a mission to adopt children but the whole journey will be a mission that I must be prepared for. I am excited to be used for His glory!
I am waiting for confirmation on ticket fares but last I heard it looked like we will need roughly $2,800 for the 2 initial round trip flights; unfortunately this is a little bit more than I had previously calculated. I have not punched the numbers back in to my spreadsheet but I believe we need roughly another $3,500 to be fully funded for TRIP 1.
I am going to post Paypal links to our t-shirt fundraiser from our previous adoption (we still have plenty left), I hope you will consider making a purchase. Of course our PayPal link for donations is also posted on the right sidebar should you feel led to help us with this part of the journey. I hope to have our flights booked by this time tomorrow, so I am stepping out in faith for the remainder of the funds. Please pray with us that God will provide in His perfect timing!
Ever wonder what this crazy faith in Jesus is all about or just need a beautiful reminder? I have organized the following scriptures as a bit of a spiritual strengthening project that I would like to share with each of you.
The lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But
the lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the
garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit,
you are sure to die.” (Genesis 2:15-17 NLT)
She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she
wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it.
Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.
(Genesis 3:6 NLT)
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death
spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (Romans 5:12 NLT)
“You must not have any other god but me. “You must not make for yourself an idol
of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the
sea. “You must not misuse the name of the lord your God. The lord will not let
you go unpunished if you misuse his name. “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it
holy, as the lord your God has commanded you. “Honor your father and mother, as
the lord your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the
land the lord your God is giving you. “You must not murder. “You must not commit
adultery. “You must not steal. “You must not testify falsely against your
neighbor. “You must not covet your neighbor’s wife. You must not covet your
neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else
that belongs to your neighbor. (Deuteronomy 5:7, 8, 11, 12, 16-21 NLT)
Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And
you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. (1 John 3:15 NLT)
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I
say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery
with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27, 28 NLT)
For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality,
theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy,
slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they
are what defile you.” (Mark 7:21-23 NLT)
God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as
people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. (Romans
5:20 NLT)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 NASB)
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that
everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his
Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
(John 3:16, 17 NLT)
Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called
out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They
wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed
stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and
taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick
and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him,
they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him
away to be crucified. (Matthew 27:27-31 NLT)
Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw
dice to decide who would get each piece. It was nine o’clock in the morning when
they crucified him. (Mark 15:24, 25 NLT)
Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of
righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.
(Romans 5:18 NLT)
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is
true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned;
we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously
declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed
us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for
sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his
life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he
held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking
ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this
to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he
declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. (Romans
3:22-26 NLT)
Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other
person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19 NLT)
"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged
already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of
God. (John 3:18 NASB)
So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s
wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting
in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:21 NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace
with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our
faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we
now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
(Romans 5:1, 2 NLT)
Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No,
because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So
we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. (Romans
3:27, 28 NLT)
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of
the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. (Romans 6:14 NLT)
Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born
again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3 NASB)
“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does
not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and
only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the
world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were
evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their
sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others
can see that they are doing what God wants. ” (John 3:18-21 NLT)
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who
suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he
has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have
seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his
invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse
for not knowing God. (Romans 1:18-20 NLT)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings
salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For
in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by
faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by
faith.” (Romans 1:16, 17 NIV)
God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could
adopt us as his very own children. (Galatians 4:5 NLT)
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy
and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own
family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to
do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:4, 5 NLT)
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ
we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also
share his suffering. (Romans 8:17 NLT)
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with
inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts
as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you
strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should,
how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the
love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be
made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
(Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT)
And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey
the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry
judgment.” (John 3:36 NLT)
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation
will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ
Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39 NLT)
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I
was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick
and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will
answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty
and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked
and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And
the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the
least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40 ESV)
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all
that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the
age.” (Matthew 28:19, 20 ESV)


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Steps of Faith

With the Russian Military building up on the borders of Ukraine there is a real prospect things could get nasty and quick. As much as I have been praying for Ukraine I think when my husband showed me a map of Ukraine and the Russian soldiers build up it finally hit me. If Russia invades it won't be what we saw in Crimea...they will make a direct line to cease the capitol. EVERYTHING will instantly change.

My heart aches for all the people of Ukraine but I would be lying if I said that the faces of my friends, "Flower," and countless orphans don't flood my mind at the thought of the prospect of war in Ukraine. Then to think that I could be there when/if it happens is a whole other level of concern.

Right now I have been reminded in my spirit, that all I can do is pray...not just over the situation as a whole but to be sure I am holding tight to Jesus and His word. If God wants me to stay home and trust Him for the answers that I will not have as to why He led us this far to put on the breaks, then that's what I need to do. But if God is telling me to "go" and continue to trust Him with every step, regardless of the outcome, then that's where I must be faithful as well. Also, of equal importance, that God keep mine and my husband's heart aligned with His. Right now we aren't feeling differently but we need to be in agreement when it is time to board the plane.

This past week there were families that had their dossiers submitted 1 and 2 days before me that found out they were registered. Our dossier has not yet been registered or rejected. The previous group of families received not only their registration confirmation but their travel dates at the same time. With all of the current timeline averages it appears that 1 of 2 things is most likely to happen this coming week (as long as there are no issues with our dossier)....we will likely either receive confirmation of registration early in the week and receive a travel date the following week or we'll have no news until the end of the week and receive both registration confirmation AND a travel date at the same time. In either scenario it also seems likely that we would receive a travel date for the last week of April! That's just a few weeks away!

I am so thankful for the reminder from a close friend that because I will be breaking this adoption up into multiple trips, I do not need all the money before trip 1. It's slightly nerve wracking to think I would still have quite a bit of funds to pull together between my referral trip and court BUT there is also some peace in that. I have written over and over how God has provided AS WE HAVE NEEDED IT and truth is I don't NEED to have all of the money for trip 1; so we need to just focus on what we do need.

For trip 1 we need airfare for me and my travel buddy (not feeling inspired to travel alone during the threat of a Russian invasion and will be taking another adoptive mom and dear friend with me), food and lodging for up to 2 wks, in-country transportation (taxi &/or driver, trains &/or bus), and a portion of the facilitation fee. I have calculated that trip 1 will cost roughly $8,000. This means we are just $3,100 shy of what we need to travel in approximately 3 weeks.

I am so incredibly thankful for the donations last week. With the sale of our china dinner set (had it for like 13 years and used it maybe twice), some savings here and there, and donations, we brought up our adoption funds by over $1,000! Thank you so much! I kid you not, when one person gives ANY amount, God multiplies it! I see Him do it time and time again.

So with just $3,100 from the goal in 3 weeks (rather than focusing in on $21,100 in 3 weeks), I am feeling a bit more comforted. Is it really any harder for God to provide $21,100 than $3,100? Not at all! But remembering that in the past He has provided as we have needed it, it's a great reminder that He can and will still do the same.

I am hoping to have a fundraiser put together soon as we are exploring options. As always, your contributions of any amount are GREATLY appreciated.

Please keep praying for Ukraine!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Not Sure What To Do

I know Jesus IS the answer...He always is. I know sometimes fundraising is necessary, we need to be proactive, but I also know that we've have had many times in our previous adoptions where I felt like we MUST do fundraisers only to find that in my quiet time with God I'd believe He wanted us to stop trying so hard and just trust; so we would stop the fundraisers and do just that. Amazingly, He would absolutely provide. There was no magic formula, and I couldn't even go back and calculate how it all happened (because it never really seemed to add up) but He provided!

Here I sit today and again faced with, "So, should I be doing something? A fundraiser? Applying for grants? Applying for loans? Begging for a chunk of change?" and there is absolutely no impression upon my heart to really do any of that...but in my flesh I feel like, "You have got to do SOMETHING! Money won't just fall from the sky," especially when I see so many other adoption fundraisers going on around me. I *think* I'd even be happy if I believe God was impressing upon my heart to "be still," but honestly I can't hear squat over my screaming flesh.

The key (and I am doing a bit of self talk here) is to always be walking in the Spirit because I can't go wrong. God will not punish me for having faith. We will not allow me to miss out. Waiting on him is not disobedience. If He tells me to jump I will do it.
As hard and stressful as fundraisers are, and they are, there are adoptive families busting their tails (been there, done that), I wonder if it is harder (or maybe just a different kind of hard) to just sit and wait on God.

Seriously. I should be a professional at this now. Our last adoption was so easy in the sense that my faith was stronger...maybe because I was busier, or maybe because I needed the money in much smaller increments in over a years time not a ginormouos chunk in just a few weeks. But He provided AS WE NEEDED IT. I could remind myself, "I don't need it today," and when I did need it, I had it. Hard to do with $22,000.

In 2 of our adoptions we received nearly as much and more than this in a moments time. I'm thinking the odds of that happening again are probably pretty slim. Of course, I was certain the odds of that happening EVER was pretty slim before too...and there was NO POSSIBLE WAY I could have ever dreamed it would have happened as it did.

Is fear the lack of faith? Yes, but I know my God and I know that He WILL provide if this is to happen. He doesn't need to provide today, I don't need it today, but I sure would be glad if He did. Patience is obviously not something that comes naturally for me.

I just don't understand how I can have had God provide over  $130,000 in adoption costs in the past and feel so unsettled about $22,000. In God's economy that is not even a drop in the bucket. I'm looking at the mountain and not at my God. I sure would love some encouraging scripture and prayer.

Thanks! <3