Invited to walk on water

Invited to walk on water
sisters and brothers waiting on one more

Friday, January 30, 2015


Friday, January 30, 2015
As we chart the course to redo the last year of adoption paperwork so we can adopt and bring Mohale home, another hoop has been cleared...

I800a approval came today!!!!

This is USCIS official permission (again) for our family to adopt a child from another country!!  

PLUS, we were beautifully shocked that in the same envelope was Mohale's i800 approval (again)- That is official permission by the USA for specifically Mohale to be adopted by us!!!  Our first time around we filed for the i800 approval after we had our i800a approval and it took several months!  

It is "provisional" until we pick up his VISA in South Africa!   I'll be calling our agency on Monday to find out what the next step is.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Family memories at mealtime

This week I read a creative idea to encourage positive family meals and memory time together.
So early in the morning, the five artists began sanding the finish off of our dinner table...

Then we covered it in a layer of primer and finished it off with chalk board paint...

Even baby J likes this idea..  Clearly he's a gifted artist;)

Easy peasy. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

I800a extension requested. Waiting some more.

January 19, 2015
On December 2 we learned that the USCIS required Mohale's adoption be dissolved and that we redo all of the paperwork that had taken well over one year to do.  This was because forms had been completed and accepted out of order.   So, the first step was to get our home study updated and sent into the USCIS in hopes of receiving permission again to adopt internationally.  Last week we sent that in. The deadline is tomorrow- January 20, 2015.   Today we are praying that that gets into the right hands and that we receive i800a acceptance quickly.

Im not certain what the next step will be this second time around.  Waiting and waiting and waiting.  Hurry up and wait.
Precious Mohale, we are fervently jumping though every hoop requested as we ache for you.  We are so grateful that you are in God's hands and being loved on by beautiful people in this wait.  You do not know we even exist- but you are so loved.
This stage of adoption reminds me that we were loved and our adoption eagerly and painfully pursued by God before we ever knew about Him.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Baby Joseph's Birthday! Thinking of his other mom...

January 16, 2015 Joseph is 1!

He likes pancakes:)
Birthday pancake by Daddy:)

My heart soars today with the honor of being his mom. Words don't exist to describe my love for him.  It's an honor that I will never take lightly. 
One year ago today, his mother's suffering heart was further shattered. Broken. One year ago we were unaware of our son's life or the pain he and his mom were in.  His body struggled.  Horribly.  Her heart broke.  Again. 
Today as I hold Joseph close, my eyes well up with tears of grateful love for him and all he struggled and all he has overcome so far.  As he laughs and reaches for my face, I know that his first mama hurts. This day- his birthday- the wound in her heart throbs. This day hurts deep. Love hurts. Adoption is born out of tragedy.  Pain surrounds it.  It is the result of our imperfect world.  
Dear first mom of our son, know that he will always be your son too. No fluffy lie or court changed birth certificate changes the truth. Your three babies will love u. They are safe and happy and whole as you move forward to grieve and heal. They will know the truth because truth sets us free. Dearest mom, we pray daily for you. I love you like a sister...we are bound forever through our beloved children.  I pray that your heart heals enough for you to meet them while they are little. But if not, I believe they they will know and love you as adults.  Even more than this, I pray that you will know the One who gave His life to adopt me. I pray that the day will come that you will also be adopted by my Jesus. Oh dear first mom, oh how healing His love is!!  Just as your heart broke when your infant children left your presence, God's heart broke when He gave His son to be the payment for all of my mistakes. And yours too.  Dearest precious mom of three of my beloved children, He who loves you so much that He died for you is our Redeemer and can turn even this into beauty out of ashes. You are loved.  This is a beyond painful chapter- but it is not the end of the story...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

John Piper on Risk

If our single, all- embracing passion is to make much of Christ in life and death, and if the life that magnifies him most is the life of costly love, then life is risk, and risk is right. To run from it is to waste your life.  John Piper Risk is Right. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reviewing His year

December 31, 2014
This year was miraculous.  This year, a dream planted into our childrens' hearts and our hearts began to materialize.  Three years ago, after our precious youngest daughter's were adopted, our oldest children brought us their entire "pony fund" savings and asked us if we could use it to adopt again.  That began our journey to adopt two more children.  In 2012, as the county seemed to close it's doors to an adoptive placement of two for our family because we have "too many children," we chose to adopt from Lesotho, South Africa.  (The need there is so great due to an HIV crisis that has left an estimated 200K children orphaned. ) Because we are the first American family adopt a child from Lesotho since they became HAGUE accredited, we were told they were unsure of the wait time to be matched with a child but to expect it to take at least until late 2014.  We asked for two special needs children. They told us that would increase our wait time.  Honestly, I wondered if the desire we had to adopt two more was hope against hope.  

December, 2013:

One year ago as our children posed for the above picture, we had modest hope that just maaaaybe we would learn of two little ones in Lesotho with special needs who would be in need of parents.  We all had it in our hearts to adopt two.  I have no doubt that we all seven desired two little boys because God knew two little boys would need a home.  We assumed two would be from the same place.  (and our son really hoped for two little brothers who look like his little sisters...How's that for a specific desire that God put into a child's heart?)

Two weeks ago:

One year ago we had two extra nameless stockings hanging over our fireplace in hopes that someday, two more children would be home.  I had no idea as I put away those stockings that within one month I would be holding the newborn biological brother to our precious little girls- born right here in San Diego County.  I had no idea that a few days after that, my phone would ring and the african adoption agency would send my heart back over the moon with news of 11 month old orphaned baby boy in Lesotho, Africa named Mohale, who needed parents.  Mohale's picture on my email further melted our hearts hours later. I had no idea that we'd spend months doing more paperwork and insane amounts of money desperately hoping to bring Mohale home, only to have the entire process, including our adoption of him, dissolved at the requirement of our USCIS just days before Christmas.   I had no idea that unexplainable peace would sustain my aching heart when that would happen. 
I had no idea last New Year's Day that exactly one year later I'd be putting away those Christmas stockings again- folding up the sixth stocking that now belongs to our newly adopted 11 month old son... 
Christmas morning 2014:

This New Year's Eve, I folded up our seventh child's stocking- hoping we will have him home by next Christmas....
And as my heart aches for little Mohale, far out of my reach in Africa and out of my control, I remember my Shepherd's words...
Be still and know that I Am God. Let Me write your story...