Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Great Sunday

What a great Sunday. God was AT our church this morning! It was an amazing time of worship and the LORD spoke directly to me through the speakers message today. I was blessed and again reaffirmed in our calling by God to adopt and I know that we are in God's will as we are travelling down this road to minister to orphans.

A few days after we lost our referral for Emma and Joshua, we received a call about a "possible referral" for our family and we were given some vague background information about the family situation of these children. We HAVE NOT gotten a referral yet and we are truly praying that God opens or closes the right doors and shows us if these are the 2 children HE has chosen to join our family, WITH CLARITY!!!

We have many many questions that I am unable to discuss on this blog and we are praying for God's wisdom and guidance for us over the next few weeks as we do wait for the official referral. We are also really lifting up BFAS, our agency, that God will bless, protect, and give them wisdom also.

Yesterday we got 4-5 inches of snow here in Kansas and it was really cold. :( YUCK!! Anyway-- It's nearly April and we are soooooo ready for Spring. Looks like nature is ready for Spring too. These daffodil's bloomed one snow storm too early though.........

One more week until Spring Break!! YEA! After much debate and deliberation, we have decided to take the PLAN A spring break vacation trip. We're going to Texas to visit our families. Joel really really really wanted to take the PLAN B option and bake in the sunshine on a beach in Destin, Florida. (OKAY folks, I agree that Plan B sounds like a NICE idea initially....but, that option would have meant 41 hours of driving (4 kids, dog, and cat all in a TRUCK pulling a camper) over a one week vacation and THAT is just NOT what Momma considers a VACATION! Don't take this the wrong way-- I love camping with my kids- but not 20.5 hours from home!!!) So, WE finally made the decision and we are really looking forward to the 9 hour drive south, some warmer weather, some time on the farm riding four wheelers and tractors, fishing and playing with the 14 cousins and having a GREAT time with our extended families! It'll be AWESOME and I can't wait!!

Check out what Madilyn, my 11 year old, made yesterday..... she did an amazing job and I'm going to finish up here and teach her how to put on the binding to this little American Girl Doll Quilt! :) Didn't she do a GREAT job on this???

Hope your day is GREAT everyone!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blessings and Battles

HERE is a Blessing...introducing our new niece, ANNA CLAIRE NEWSOM, 7 pounds 15 ounces,born healthy on Tuesday March 24 at 0521am to Jonathan, Maci, and big brother Noah!! Here's a sweet face I can't wait to meet in person. What a miracle from God!

We're praying here today, fervently. This scripture has been my lifeline today......

Phil. 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

This is a spiritual battle: We've seen no adoption movement over the last few weeks. There have been some major set backs for our family (and others) and my heart goes out to those who are hurting and disappointed. I recently shared with you that I felt our family has been under attack by Satan in an attempt to challenge our focus, our motives, and shake our resolve to be obedient to Christ's calling for our family to adopt orphans. We are standing firm in trusting our God. I must now also say that I feel like our AGENCY has also been under an attack by Satan. They have faced MANY challenges in recent weeks and months in Ethiopia: the staff/families/clients of this organization truly need to collectively pray that God would put a hedge of protection over the efforts of these sweet people who God has called to minister to the orphans of Ethiopia. PLEASE join me in praying for BFAS. That God would protect their work, their motives, shield them with the full ARMOR of GOD and that HIS GLORY would be revealed in every orphan that is set in a family through this agency. There is victory is Jesus!!

On the home front....all is going well. I've done better about letting the toys be out and about this week and have enjoyed some extra sweet moments with my kiddos! (It was worth the mess!!) I did nearly have an anxiety attack last night when I opened up my mail and the "yearly standardized testing materials" for our home school had arrived. I panic for two reasons. Reason #1: These tests are hard and I worry that I haven't prepared my kids well enough for them. I don't even know some of the answers and I have a college degree. Reason #2: Testing is SO MUCH extra WORK for me and the kids! (BTW--Yes-- I do realize that I don't HAVE to test them yearly, but this is one way I hold myself accountable for my children's education on a daily basis....I remind myself that they will be tested and they really DO need to know this stuff!!! It helps me stay motivated and keep plugging along!) SO--- even though I panic every year...the kids always do fine and I'm always encouraged when I get their scores back and I see that they ARE learning in our homeschooling efforts, and I can prove it. :) I'm not going to test for another few weeks....don't worry I'll ask for prayer when we arrive at that time because it is stressful for me as a mom and as a teacher!! Again, God's word to me today has been in Phil. 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Teachable Moments

I am convinced that we are surrounded by teachable moments as parents, every day- all day. I've been really convicted this week that as a mother, I really need to focus on using these real life moments to teach our children about Jesus' love for us, about His grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, self- control, patience, etc. The fruits of the spirit that should pour from Christians in moments of trial and challenge. But instead, I often find that I'm so BUSY (yes, Burdened Under Satan's Yoke) that I lose the moments of teaching because I'm in a hurry to get it all done. I'm not patient in that moment, I don't always use kind words when I get frustrated, I don't exemplify Christ's love with my actions and reactions. I'm not patient when I should be and so on.......

Just last night, I had a sinkful of dirty dishes, 4 loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded, toys were scattered, and it was past bedtime and of course, there was ANOTHER moment. The kids came in all at once scrambling to tell me what had happened that they were upset about. They were scared by the issue and they needed my full attention at that very moment. I could tell that this situation with one of their friends had been very traumatic for them and even though I was internally struggling and not wanting to STOP my work, delay bedtime even more, and talk about the situation right then and there- I needed to. I really just wanted everyone to go to bed so I could get done with my chores and I could go to bed,too!! BUT....I realized that the Lord was giving me an opportunity to talk with my kids about some very serious issues and I've been praying for the Lord to help me meet each of their needs emotionally this whole week. I needed to focus on the eternal and not my present tiredness or my messy house (which really drives me crazy-I'm pretty OCD about keeping my house straight!)

So, I did sit down with the whole Newsom Team. Joel and I spent about an hour and a half talking and teaching our kids through this situation and yes, my dishes were still there when we were done but I was so thankful that I had left them in the sink for that time together. Let me just tell you what JOY I had in my heart over the conversation we had as a family about loving and serving other people that are hurting. It was priceless. The Lord gave me such a beautiful glimpse into the hearts of my children during that time and opened doors of conversation that strengthened not only them, but me! I went to bed utterly exhausted but so happy that God had shown me that the lessons my children learn are MUCH more important than my desire to keep a clean house. SO--- here's my testimony and accountability notice for all of you bloggy friends.......I'm really gonna try to live a little messier in my house this week and I'm going to focus on keeping a clean heart instead! I want to really BE THERE for my children and train them in the way they should go! I don't want to look back with regrets of time lost because I was picking up the Lego's for the tenth time that day, or sweeping my kitchen floor, AGAIN. I'm going to try to chill out and enjoy these teachable moments as they come! :)

Proverbs 22: 6 "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

Romans 5:3-5 " We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-- they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love."

Deuteronomy 11: 18-19 "So commit yourselves completely to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again."

PS--- We have no more updates on our adoption yet.....we are waiting for another referral of siblings. Please pray that God guides and directs us to the two children that are going to join our family!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It's been a week since I posted. Sorry for the lack of updates as Lots O' Stuff has been going on and finding the time or words to explain has seemed too big of a task to tackle. Until now..........

Thursday we received some not so great news regarding our adoption. We actually lost our referral for the two siblings we have been calling Emma and Joshua. (Big Tears) The orphanage our children were living at was apparently involved in some questionable and most likely unethical actions which resulted in our children being "double referred". The good news is that I was told by our agency that these two children DO have a home to go to with another agency/family. The bad news is that it won't be OUR home. :( We are super disappointed. Not devastated-- but very disappointed. We are trusting God's plans for these children but we are sad because our hearts had grown attached to their photos and the idea of these two sweet faces joining our family. Just so you all know and there are no questions about the integrity of our agency, BFAS has NOT been involved in any wrongdoing and this happened because of the wrongdoings of the director of the orphanage in country. BFAS has been great through this all. Very supportive and kind through the wait for medicals, has communicated with us about the problems they were encountering as best they could, and we ARE now awaiting another referral of siblings. God has clearly called us to adopt, and we know that satan hates when we are obedient to the Lord and he attacks from all angles. My friends, we are being attacked..... but we are NOT defeated. We BELIEVE and have FAITH in our Lord and His plans for us. We are STILL trusting God's words to us and know that in obedience.....we are called to sacrifice and suffer for Christ's sake through any and all trials. Just as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10 "Since I know that it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

We are standing firm in God's truths and promises to us and we are proclaiming them (over and over)......

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Hebrews 10 :23 "Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise."

"No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." --- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In the midst of this "bad" news on the adoption front, God has blessed us beyond measure in other areas of our family life and our praises this past week have been numerous.....

Our first praise: Our oldest daughter, Madilyn Marie, turned 11 on Friday and we celebrated all weekend long!! I was especially blessed to have a full day of girl time with Madilyn on Friday. She and I spent the day shopping, had lunch and even had a pedicure (thanks Aunt Amberly!!)! It was so special!! This was followed by a sleepover with 2 of her girlfriends and lots of giggling, movies, popcorn, a scavenger hunt and ice cream cake! On Saturday night we celebrated again by going to STIX for the Hibachi grill experience!! We all agreed with Joel Daniel-- "More fire, please!!!" That was a fun experience for the whole family!!

Another praise: Joel's parents came back for a visit on Saturday and brought Grandma Newsom for a visit. She is a HOOT!!! At 83, she climbed our 32 stairs to get into our house for 4 straight days without a stitch and she had lots of great stories and wisdom to share with us!! We had a very special time with her and were so blessed by their efforts and long drive to spend time with our family. We feel so loved and very full of joy for the precious memories we made over the long weekend!! It was good.

Another praise: Joel had some medical testing done on Friday for a suspicious knot that an initial doctor visit had deemed too suspicious to not do further testing. The doctor thought it was possibly cancerous. The spot was found to be nothing but a calcification and not a cancerous tumor after all!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! Thank you Jesus for my husband's health!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Another praise: We are anxiously waiting for the very soon-to-be-delivery of a sweet baby girl, Anna Claire, into the Newsom family We can't wait to have another niece/cousin!!!

So, in the midst of our sorrow--- there has been joy. God is good. All the time.

"It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening." -- Psalms 92:2

"I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen."

Thanks for all of your prayers on our behalf! Keep them going up!!


Saturday, March 7, 2009


Psalm 27:13-14 "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. WAIT for the Lord; be strong and take heart and WAIT for the Lord."

So another week has passed and we've had no movement towards bringing our 2 precious children home from Ethiopia. It's been 7 weeks since our referral and waiting for medicals. It's normally NOT this long of a wait for medicals. Apparently, there are some issues involving the orphanage that is caring for our children and that's why we are still waiting. Please please please pray that GOD MOVES these obstacles and opens doors for these children to come home to us soon!

Last Sunday, a sweet friend with a quiver full of kiddos wanted to share this scripture with me, Psalms 27:13-14. Amongst the craziness of our after-church fellowship and even with all of our children running around with extreme donut sugar highs, we read this together with tears streaming down our faces. God speaks in such sweet and profound ways. What a blessing. I've been pondering this scripture all week and every time I read it, the word WAIT jumps out at me like it is in bold print in my Bible. The word WAIT is not in bold print in my Bible but my heart is once again clinging to God's promise to me of His goodness and knowing that this sweet friend was sharing what the Holy Spirit needed me to strong and WAIT on the Lord. WAIT.

We have felt God's presence so much through our adoption journey and I know that we are waiting for HIS perfect timing. We began pursuing this adoption because we felt God speaking to us that NOW was the time to move forward. There was no doubt that God was speaking to us then and this week, there is no doubt that God is calming me and saying WAIT!

Although the last 7 weeks have been painful in waiting, I have really felt God opening my heart to truly LOVE these children during this time. I long to hold them in my arms and cry with them over the pain and anguish they've suffered. I can't wait to love on them, to play with them, feed them, protect them, teach them. I'm over the top ready to be a parent to these 2 children. I have also seen God stretching our children's hearts to love Emma and Joshua and welcome them into our family. I have also witnessed my sweet husband's love for these two children on the other side of the world grow beyond measure. This is the same guy who was angry with me for talking about God calling us to adopt only 8 months ago!! His fervent prayers for all of our children, especially Emma and Joshua moves me to tears. So, while the WAIT has been hard and I'm ready for the process to move forward with our adoption, I'm also thankful that God's been working on our hearts and bringing us closer to Him through it all.

By the way--- an update on Joshua's "leg deformity"......
We did receive some video clips of our children (thanks Nguyet!) earlier this week(YEA!)and we did confirm that our Joshua can, in fact, walk. His left foot is fully formed but it is turned inwards at the toe, pretty severely, but HE CAN WALK! Can't wait to bring him home and get him the medical care he needs. :)

PLEASE pray that God removes the stumbling blocks that are keeping Emma and Joshua's paperwork from moving forward, according to His will and also in His perfect timing.


Monday, March 2, 2009


In an attempt to try to get caught up on my scrapbooking, I've been looking for easy and simple ways to get my scrapbooking done! BFAS recently made their first online scrapbook using so I went there to check it out today and it was super super easy and fast! The thing I liked about it most was that there wasn't a huge delay in uploading photos....they were there instantly! The pages are cute, too. Not sure how "printing" them out works.....that's my next bit of research! I'd like to be able to make the pages online and print them out to slip into the books I have already. We'll see if that works. I'm going to try to get caught up on the 3 years or so that I'm behind on my scrapbooking-- I'll let you know how it goes!!

No adoption news yet....As a testimony to God's Glory-- I'm faithfully anticipating an email this week with "MEDICALS" in the subject line!

Matthew 21:21 “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Blessings--- Amy

My first online scrapbook....

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Jackson's Birthday
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