This blog is a chance for us to tell our story and shine the light on the God who wrote it.

It is also a place for me to bring into the spotlight the millions of orphans around the world who are waiting for the Body of Christ to fulfill God's command to "care for orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27)

Soli deo Gloria... (All Glory to God Alone).

6.19.2011

Thoughts From a Grateful Wife


Never have I loved this man more than I have in the past four years. Since that day when God began to answer our prayer – Break our hearts for what breaks yours. And how many times since have I heard him pray this even when the breaking has been so hard?



Then the honor and beauty of watching this man embrace an orphan child and choose to call him his own. And this son... yes, he bears the honor of his name- meaning “son of my right hand”- for he has a daddy who loves him to pieces and his place in our family is no less than the firstborn son.
And his heart continues to break and he doesn't protect it and I know there will be many more orphans who see the love of their heavenly Father through this man.


Just like I have.

About three years ago, S set out to find out what it would truly mean to love me “as Christ loves the church” (Eph. 5:25). The timing was opportune as my health was unpredictable. There was a new baby, we were now 'outnumbered'... and an often-sick mom. So he served. And he gave up a lot of things. He sought God when his heart was weary or frustrated by his circumstances. God answered, and more strength came and he is happy to serve.

At the end of the day he was tired. He would crash next to me in bed. I was tormented that I could not be strong and be the wife and mom I wanted to be... I thought I should be. I hated that the burden was all on him. I cried and he listened and grace happened. And all I know is that this man who fumbles for words spoke so loudly with his actions that even this anxious heart of mine could not deny the resounding theme of God's extravagant love for me. And it felt like I was standing under a waterfall of grace as I began to see more clearly that that love is not based on what I do but simply upon the fact that He has chosen to love me. Love is always a choice. There is a deep freedom in knowing you are loved when you feel you have nothing to offer.

I hesitated to post these words about my husband, because I promised myself that if I ever started a blog it would not be 'polished'. I previously had been very wary of all this internet stuff- blogging, Facebook, etc. I guess I felt like everyone posts all the good, and their lives seem far more glamorous or godly or whatever-I-am-not leaving me with a tinge of guilt or jealousy far too often. So this is always on my mind, and I want to be careful of this. In this case, when posting about S, though, I thought this- “We're never promised another day, he and I. And folks usually wait till someone dies to say all the wonderful things and I want to take these opportunities to say them now” Knowing all is a gift of grace...

S has his weaknesses, of course, and is far from perfect. He's frightfully forgetful. Every other day it seems, I find his dirty socks in some strange place, removing them this morning from my place at the kitchen table before breakfast. And, you know, I suppose I could go and on and on, but isn't that what we women always do and how I long to be the one that builds him up rather than tears him down.

So Happy Father's Day, S. You make me to smile.

6.05.2011

I Refuse

(This is basically how my scattered brain works... but a month or so ago I began to tell the story of how we came to begin this process we are in to adopt little M. Well, finally I have found some time to sit down and finish the story. To read the first two parts, click here and here.)

Through this season of prayer and seeking God through His Word, S and I had become convinced that indeed God was leading us to begin the process to adopt a little girl from China with 'special needs'. It was all so different than the process we went through to adopt B from Ethiopia. This time we were looking at photos of 'waiting children' and asking God to show us which one we should adopt. It felt so strange to make this choice and often we felt paralyzed and unsure of where to go from here.
We spent hours looking and reading and praying. Sometimes I wondered if we were taking too long, but now I can look back and see what God was doing in that time. Every child we looked at I wondered, "Could this be our child?" So with every child, my heart was opened to see them as a son or daughter, not just a picture or a statistic of yet another orphan that I could not help. With each passing week, I became more willing to say "Whatever, Lord. Whatever you want. I just want to love one of these precious children." And following this season of searching, my heart has broken more and more for children waiting for a family- their faces are etched in my mind, and I am totally confident that God will use these things that have happened in my heart for further use down the road.

Then one day I think we were just ready. And we saw this picture of M and S said, "That's her." We did not know much about her at all, and her special need was one we had not considered before. That night we put her file on hold in order to have it reviewed by an international pediatrician that could tell us more. When I was getting ready to go to sleep that night, I began to think more about little M's 'special need' and I thought maybe this wasn't something I was comfortable with after all. I just let my mind focus on her medical records and lost sight of some other things. My heart was heavy and I was worn out. I sighed and rolled over to turn on the alarm for tomorrow. As I did this I whispered out loud a quick prayer, "What do you think, Lord? Please speak to me." (Thinking that I was checking out for the night and the prayer could maybe be answered tomorrow :-) ) I pushed the button to check the volume on the radio and these are the exact words I heard-

He cries in the corner where nobody sees
He’s the kid with the story no one would believe
He prays every night, “Dear God won’t you please
Could you send someone here who will love me?”

Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
‘Cause nobody has shown me what love
What love really means


I had heard the song before but could not help but believe that God had answered my prayer directly right after I prayed it. So I prayed once more before I slept- Ok, Lord, I will love her. Just for who she is. I will not focus on her medical needs. Send me, Lord. I will go to her and I will love her and I am sorry that I ever looked at her as anything other than a child that needs a mommy.


After this I thought we were good to go, but there was still the need to speak with the doctor and try to understand more clearly all of the things that were revealed in her medical file before we could formally move forward. There is alot that isn't necessary to share here, but suffice it to say that our conversation with the doctor was difficult. We were already so attached to this little girl, and I went to bed that night in a heap of tears wondering again if we could really do this. (Later, God did some pretty stinkin' amazing things, and we were able to find out that the things that the doctor was most concerned about did not in fact exist!) But at the time, we didn't know all of that and it was time to make a decision.

Sunday we went to church with heavy hearts. What were we doing? Was this all crazy after all? Lord, we are here. And we so long for you. We so want to hear from you. You have been so faithful to us. In your mercy and grace, we are asking that you would speak to us clearly one more time.

Can I just tell you that we began to worship and every. single. song we sang spoke right to our hearts and right to this situation. And all of a sudden in both of our hearts at the same time we knew God was answering our prayer. Then after a few songs, we sang a song that was new to us and took us completely off guard. After a few verses, we both realized that we could not sing the words to this song (and actually mean them) and not move forward with this adoption. (I know this is getting long guys, but I had to include all the lyrics here so you would know what I mean.)

Sometimes I
I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone's alright
When I know they're not

This world needs God
But it's easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on
Like nothing's wrong

But I refuse
'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of You, oh God


So, if You say move
It's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
Show them who You are


'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

To stand and watch the weary and lost
Cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back
And try and act like all is well

I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse


'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I refuse
I refuse


As we sang this song, we both started to cry a little... then alot... then it was all too much and we had to sit down and do this funny holding each other and crying thing... and then we were seriously laughing at each other and at the situation. It was like God was right there with us saying "You asked me to show up. Can I make it any clearer?" I think we were crying because we were so overwhelmed by His presence with us- He felt so near- and because we were joyful. HE IS NEAR. That's why we can do this. He is always near.

So that's the story of how we came to begin this process to adopt little M. Honestly, I feel pretty vulnerable sharing about all of our weaknesses and doubts. But I promised God whenever I shared this story that I would be honest about who I am- weak and broken- so that it would be so very apparent who He is- gracious and strong and enough. Always enough.

"Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." (I Cor. 12:9- NLV)