Friday, December 19, 2008

I'll be HOME for Christmas!!

We're driving to Texas this afternoon. The suburban is packed out....loaded down.... gased up......ready to roll....all we lack, is buckling in the kiddos!! YEA!!! The kids have been counting down for DAYS and now by the hour!! They are so excited, even if it does mean a 9 hour drive in the car!! They love being with our families in Texas and I am so thankful for those strong relationships even though we live far away. It is an answer to prayers for me. I've always worried that our kids wouldn't have "roots", a place to call "home", strong extended family relationships-- since we move so often with the Army and live so far away. But..... God has given them a strong sense of belonging in Texas and --Pickton, Texas is where they will tell you they are "from". They can't wait to spend time with the extended family.....and they know every single person by name and that is amazing because we have a HUGE extended family!! I'm once again-- thankful that God has blessed us in this way. He's so good, all the time.

The last few days have been cold and icy here and today it is going to be 75 in TEXAS!!! I can't wait for some of that "warmer" winter weather!! It will be so nice to watch our car thermometer rise as we drive south!! YEA!!

On the adoption front== all is going well. Our completed dossier was sent to BFAS on Monday 12/15/08. They received it on Tuesday 12/16/08, and it's going to be state autheniticated today 12/19/08. They told me via telephone that it will hopefully be authenticated in Washington DC on Tuesday of next week and be on it's way to Ethiopia before Christmas day. YEA!! We will be officially waiting for a referral when the paperwork is in Ethiopia. It could be 1-2 months, it could be sooner but no matter what......I'm confident that God's in control. I've done the paperwork that I can control and the rest is out of my hands and I trust God's in the middle of these plans and the process. Right now-- we're feeling patient. Next week or month--- tune back in because I may be going crazy with anticipation!! Adoption is actually a very emotional journey.....elating, exciting, draining and overwhelming at the same time!! I never knew what waiting families went through to adopt!!

My quiet time this morning refected on these scriptures.... 1 John 3:1-3
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

Well--- I am going to close and finish getting ready to leave for a few weeks. Although Joel thinks I'm a little OCD, I have to get the house totally clean before I leave.... I hate coming home to a mess!! haha!!

Merry Christmas to you all......
Blessings, AMY

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

So last night I was both a worry wart and a prayer warrior all in one. The "cold front" moved into Kansas yesterday afternoon with meteorologist promises of freezing rain, an ice storm, and single digit temperatures for the next 4 days. Well--- today for us, is an important day so this weather was stressing me out. Since last week, we have been scheduled to go pick up our finalized approved homestudy document from the homestudy agency (a one hour drive from our home) at 1130 today. At 230 this afternoon, we also have an appointment at the US immigrations office for our fingerprinting for our I-600A, which is dependent on having the homestudy in our hands (and this is an hour away, the OTHER direction, too). SO--- this weather was impending doom for me since it was going to be bad weather until Friday, which is when we are scheduled to leave town for a two week holiday in Texas. So I prayed and worried and prayed and worried. I was so worried that if we don't get this done on Monday=== it probably won't happen before Christmas. I prayed that the Lord would hold off the weather, or at least the ice- until after our appointments this afternoon if it was His will for us to get our paperwork to the agency before Christmas. Well- It got down to 4 degrees in the night and it did snow some--- but there was no ice and no road closures this morning. I just called our agency to make sure they were in the office today in spite of the cold weather and when the sweet receptionist answered the phone, I nearly started crying!! Thank you LORD for being faithful to us yet again on this journey. You keep showing yourself to me in both big and small ways. By the way--- guess what the weather forecast is for tonight?? 70 % chance of snow and ice mix with high temperature of 9 degrees and low of 2. :) Isn't that awesome?? God held the worst of this storm off until tonight- I am sure. :)

The scripture truths that I am pondering for today:

Exodus 14:13 "Moses told the people, "Don't be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue you."

Ephesians 1:10 " This is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ- everything in heaven and on earth."

Psalm 9:1 "I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done."

Hope your day is blessed. I'm going to bundle up, load my kiddos in the car and go pick up our homestudy now!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rejoicing For Our Friends

Here's our most recent family Christmas photo.....I was so impressed that we actually captured a picture with all 4 children smiling and looking to the camera at the same time!! WOW- that is amazing!! I finally finished sending out our Christmas cards yesterday and am feeling relieved to have accomplished that goal!! I love to send out a family photo and update with our Christmas cards because we have so many friends that we don't keep in touch with very often, but it is a lot of work!! Anyway--- here's my beautiful family. I am so blessed!!

We are rejoicing with so many of our adopting friends that have traveled this week to pick up their children!! God is so good. We are praying for them all and are encouraged and inspired as we see them faithfully follow God's guidance in their lives. SO COOL!! We are also excited because we know that some of our BFAS families received referrals yesterday......we haven't heard details yet but there are good things happening for orphaned Ethiopian children!! They are going to have forever families!! HALLELUJAH!! We know that the Lord's timing and plans are so much bigger and better than ours!! I am thankful that at least for today, I'm not feeling overwhelmed by worries of timing and logistics of our life. God is in control. I read this scripture during my quiet time.....

Habakkuk 2:3
"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."

We are so happy for our friends that have listened to God's calling in their lives, and so energized by knowing that God had a plan for them and that God worked out all the details for them, some slowly, some quickly!!! But-- all these things happen on a timeline that is God's alone.

Congratulations Marianthe and Jill. BFAS families that are travelling this week and those that got referrals this week--- PRAISE THE LORD!! As for us-- I'm thankful and feeling so blessed today as we just wait for God's perfect adoption plan to continue to unfold and testify of his goodness to our family!!

Happy Saturday,

Thursday, December 11, 2008


So today is a busy day for us. It will be busy, but good.

Joel D, our 2 1/2 year old is having surgery to put some tubes in his little ears. He's suffered chronic ear infections (11 in 2 years to be exact) and we're hoping this does the trick and he'll recover quickly and also not have so many earaches in the future. Please pray for him today. Please pray for the doctors and nurses that will be caring for him and for a successful surgery with no issues.

So today is also the day we are hoping to receive the official, done, all sorted and printed and notarized and did I mention, --DONE-- home study. We've now done all ths steps in an amazingly short period of time....our personal review is complete, our international agency has reviewed it and has approved it and it is now truly done!!!

Our dossier is complete now except for this final home study approval document and as soon as we go pick it up (hopefully on our way home from the hospital as the agency office is on our way) we'll drop it by a post office for overnight delivery to our international agency. YEA! It has been amazing to see God open doors, fix little paper trail issues, and make the way so easy for our document processing. I am in AWE of His will for us, His power to move mountains for us, and for His gracious and merciful love for us. I know we are right in the center of His plan for us right at this moment in time and I am so comforted and joyful and have complete peace in this place right now. This morning, I've been pondering this scripture in my heart.......
"And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What then can we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" +Romans 8:28-32
Hope your day is blessed. Please remember Joel Daniel in your prayers today. We'll keep you posted.
Blessings, AMY

Monday, December 8, 2008

My FAV Christmas gift this year

Just want to share. Joel's gettin a pair this Christmas. LOVE THE CAUSE!!!

Homestudy DONE!!!

Today was our final Homestudy visit. We should get the approved homestudy document in our hands tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest and then we'll add the homestudy to the above documents and we'll ship our COMPLETED dossier to BFAS, our international agency for state and national authentications! WHOOOHOOOOO!! My goal was to be done with OUR part of the paperchase before Christmas and God has provided. He keeps opening doors and making things happen!! It has been an amazing journey and we are excited! Thanks for your prayers during our homestudy today!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Childrens Hope Chest

Just saw this video on YouTube and wanted to share. Tom Davis is doing amazing things in Ethiopia. We are praying for his mission work there. I'll post a link to his blog a little later. This video is very moving.....we are so blessed and have so much to share with these children in Ethiopia. I just want to do more.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Brain Won't Turn Off

So I've been laying in bed for 1 hour and 36 minutes and I just can't go to sleep. I've tossed and turned and finally decided to get up and do some reading.
Part of the reason I can't settle tonight is that Joel and I had a conversation over dinner about our adoption. We are truly seeking God's will in our family and we want to make sure we are in the center of His plans. The question is, " Should we continue to pursue adopting 2 siblings from Ethiopia or should we adopt 1 child from Ethiopia now, with plans to adopt another child in the future?" We've discussed this before and some of the reasons we are considering this change in child preference is that adopting 1 child at a time is more likely to be quicker in terms of adoption processing. We are due to move this summer and it would really be simpler paperwork-wise to be HOME with our adopted child prior to our move. Another reason is for attachment and bonding time. Adopted children grieve and have experienced major traumatic life changes in their tiny lives......we have learned that many adoption adjustments and transitions are often very hard and challenging at first. One child struggling emotionally vs. two children struggling emotionally at one time is another consideration for us. This will no doubt be tough, especially on me. Not to mention, our bio kids will have some adjusting to do also!!
We feel the Lord has definitely called us to adopt 2 children--- we just aren't sure whether it's 2 at one time or 1 at a time, twice. Is that as clear as mud or what??? :)

So--- I couldn't sleep and I opened my One-Year Bible and started reading today's scripture and this is what the Lord had for me tonight.......

Psalm 121:1-8 " I look up to the mountains-does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever."

Is that an amazing truth or what? Can you believe the timing of me reading that scripture? Our God is all knowing and all powerful. He gives me such comfort in the middle of my worries and I'm humbled that He speaks to ME through His Word. I'm so blessed that He knows my every need. I can relax because HE will watch over me, He never sleeps or slumbers because He is protecting me. He is watching over my life, He is my help, and He will not let me stumble.

Ok--- that's not it, though. I told you God is amazing....listen to what else He had to say to me tonight. The Proverb for today was this:

Proverbs 28: 27-28 "Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed. When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding. When the wicked meet disaster, the godly flourish."

I can go to bed now. I can stop worrying. I know the answer. I know that the Lord will show us the children He has chosen for us to raise and teach and love, in His perfect timing. I know that He will provide. If I will just give of myself unselfishly, I will lack nothing. I shared in an earlier post that I struggle with selfish motivations. I just want things in my life to be easy and comfortable. The Lord sees right through my selfish concerns and in this Proverb, He speaks directly to me,again..... that I should not close my eyes to poverty but be willing to be a living sacrafice- and have mercy for these little children.

I am humbled. I know I can't do this alone. I don't have the strength, but I am trusting and I have faith and I believe with all my heart that GOD WILL PROVIDE me with the strength I need when the trials come.

Please pray for us that we'll stand firm in following the calling God has for us, that we'll not waiver, and that we'll be strengthened on the journey.

Since God never slumbers and He's watching out for me.....I'm going to rest tonight.

Goodnight with Blessings,

BTW....I worked on our Dossier today and we are OH SO CLOSE to being done!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thansgiving Week

It's been a busy and eventful Thanksgiving week. What an amazing time to reflect and ponder the many gifts God's given to us that we have to be THANKFUL for.
We have been so blessed.
I am just silenced by my thoughts of all I have to be thankful to our Lord for. I can't count or list them all. I am so grateful for God's love for me, His provision, His mercy, His grace, His plan. Wow-- I am truly overwhelmed by God's goodness to me. I am so undeserving yet still so loved.
We are so blessed.
Our family enjoyed a safe trip to Texas for the long weekend. It was a long time in the car- 19 hours total driving time (9.5 hours each way) but it's so nice to live close enough right now to our extended family that we are ABLE to drive home for the holidays. What a blessing within itself. The time together was wonderful. This visit was also a time when we felt we should and could share with our extended family our calling to adopt. We were able to share with most of our extended family our adoption journey and the compassion we feel for the hungry, thirsty, and naked children of Ethiopia.

"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me." Matthew 28
Thank you Lord for our family's reception to our adoption and their encouragement to us in our attempt and obedience in following You. The positive response was not what I had expected. I was honestly very nervous to share our adoption plans with my grandparents and some of my aunts and uncles whom I believed to still struggle with some generational racial prejudices. I was so relieved by their openness to the idea of adopting children of color into our family. This was just another evidence of the work of the Lord in our family. This was just another blessing from the Lord to me this weekend. Thank you Lord.
Our adoption journey continues......this week we are working on paperwork for our dossier and our goal is to have ALL the documents compiled and ready to go to the notary by Friday. Please pray for the Lord's perfect timing in all our document processing as we are moving this summer. Many people have said, "Why don't you wait until you move to do the paperwork so it's not so complicated and time sensitive?" The answer to that question is......The Lord has spoken to us and has placed in our hearts a strong passion and an overwhelming sense of urgency to complete this adoption NOW and not later. We trust that His plan is greater than our plans and HE will provide the way.
So please join us this week in praying for God's perfect timing and also for God's protection and love to cover the needs of the specific children He will bring to our family.
Many Blessings,