Invited to walk on water

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Travel Vaccines make me want to run. Looking back though the door.

 Carry your candle, run to the darkness.
Kathy Troccoli  "Go Light Your World"

Travel Vaccines
I called to schedule our travel vaccines again.  It's like an act of faith for me.
It's been over a year since we initially received them.  We want to be ready for our miracle.

Some of our kids get excited about shots because vaccines always mean a gratefulness celebration with ice cream and Oreo's.

Liam doesn't get excited at all...not a speck.  (It didn't help that last time he got shots the nurse came in before preparing the vaccinations and asked him to show her his arm so she'd know how long of a needle use.  It looked like he was going to faint. I went speechless and couldn't stifle my nervous laugh.. It just busted out and got spit on Liam. (Awful.)

Alyssa is his opposite.  She sings all the way to the shot clinic and tells the nurse "thank you" afterwards.

Liam and Alyssa
Simple vaccines always trigger my heart to glimpse back to places I've been and people I've loved beyond this comfortable culture we are currently raising our children in.

 Amongst a treasury of childhood memories, I especially and deeply ache as I recall a special friend- a sweet boy who lived near our home and warmed my heart like sunshine.  We were each around 11 years old.  I loved being near him because he was always positive, cheerful and selfless.  He melted my heart with his unquenchable smiled while his frail, crippled, little body suffered.   He was beautiful.  I'll never forget how his broken hearted mom agonized over her only living son because of all he SUFFERED from polio while knowing a vaccine had been available-
yet out of their reach.

It's not right.

If you are a Medical Research Scientist, Medical Dr, or Nurse, thank you for being a hero.
for sacrificing years- even decades of your life learning to save lives.

It's a gift to live in our wealthy culture with healthcare that most in our world
can't even dream of.  

It's easy to loose sight of those who suffer just beyond our socioeconomic doors.  

Because of those I've seen and known outside our culture of abundance, I ache knowing that as we take our children to the shot clinic, other children outside of our socioeconomic doors will die unnecessarily from the same diseases my children have received vaccines for...

before we even get back to our car. 

It's not right.

Before I even finish typing this sentence, others will unnecessarily enter devastating bereavement simply because there was not access to uncontaminated water.....or a medical clinic,....or a hospital... a medical doctor...antibiotics....a mosquito net....shelter or

Precious children, siblings, parents....are dying, grieving, suffering....unnecessarily 
while just out of our sight 
(but sometimes, not out of our reach.)  

Daring to peek beyond our barrier is hard because the pain is piercing and numbers of those in need unfathomable.  

It feels too big.

But helping even ONE is everything to that ONE.

Discouragement can rob us the gift of delivering an answered prayer.

What if my friend had been given just ONE polio vaccine?  Just ONE?
He could have lived longer.

There are many great organizations that bring vaccinations, medical care, food, water, shelter, and education, to those in need. 

Compassion International has a good reputation.  This link describes needs they are addressing:
Compassion International link

World Vision is another one of many.  Here are links to two of their programs: 
World Vision Clean Water Program

Compassion International and World Vision both have incredible child sponsorship programs!

Thanking God today for abundant life saving resources.
Praying today for unfathomable multitudes of children and parents who needlessly suffer. 
Praying today for the people who are giving and bringing and going and serving those in need- one precious life at a time.  Praying for more ways to connect our abundance to those in need. 

Is there a One we can bring hope to today?

Keep Changing the World by Mikeschair and Lecrae

Something here is wrong
there are children without homes
but we just move along
to take care of our own

There's so much suffering
Just outside our door
A cry so deafening
Oh, we just can't ignore

To all the people who are fighting for the broken
All the people who keep holding onto love
All the people who are reaching for the lonely
Keep changing the world

Take a look around
Before the sun goes out
What's lost can still be found
It's not too late now

It only takes a spark
To make the fire burn
So reach inside your heart
And let this be the start

Link to official YouTube video

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tiny miracles along the way help us to look up.

Friday, March 22, 2015

Someone gave David tickets for our entire family to Aquatica Sea World Waterpark last week!  This was a huge gift early in the week and the kids were filled with excited anticipation!!!  The only problem was that the tickets were for one specific day- March 22.  All week the weather forecast was RAIN for that day.  Rain was forecasted for the day before and after as well.  So, the night before we prayed for God to keep the rain from the park. 

As I awoke early on the big day, it was raining hard.  My heart was heavy from discouragement as we are in between tasks we can do to get our adoption completed again for Mohale.  This is hard on a control freak whose heart is aching for a child out of reach.
I turned to my iPhone Bible app and began to read.  Here is what jumped out at me...

It was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;  
it was Your right hand, Your arm,
and the light of Your face, for You loved them. Ps 44:2-5

There is nothing I can DO at this point except
be still and know that He
(The maker of the Heavens and the Earth; the One Who Loves us beyond comprehension)
is God. 
Ps 46:10

Hope began to fill my heart again- like gentle, warm rays of sunshine beginning to dispel clouds on a cold rainy day.

As it rained, we loaded our big van and prepared for a day at the waterpark.  It rained all the way there.  Yet, as we got close to the park, the rain drops stopped.  At the park, sun began to break through the clouds.  We spent the entire day there until 5:00.  The weather above us was BEAUTIFUL while rain clouds were all around in the distance.

After an incredibly fun day, we walked back to the big van with happy, laughing children, amazed at this discreet, loving fingerprint of God's reality and love.  Just then, a single rain drop landed on the asphalt in front of my foot- the first raindrop I had seen at the park all felt like I was seeing His signature and hearing His voice with my eyes.  Deep within, this thought embraced my heart: 
If He can stop the rain, He can bring Mohale home-
 because He loves.


Then to top it off, friends of ours could hardly wait to tell us their story that had been unfolding at the same time.
They had also needed it to not rain near the same area of this waterpark.  The husband had a concrete pouring job there.  His coworkers had encouraged him to cancel.  He told them he'd prayed for the sun to come out and then in pure faith kept the trucks and workers scheduled- inspite of the advice of others due to the pouring and forecasted rain.  In the early morning he arrived on the job site which was right next to this water park.  The sun came out.  He and his crew noticed clouds all around, yet blue sky above them.  They poured the concrete.  Our friend competed the job and received a much needed paycheck for the needs of his family.   

God puts His desires into our hearts. We step out in ridiculous and even uncertain faith. Then He accomplishes outcomes. It's no mistake that both of our families desired sun that day- both prayed for sun in spite of what the forecast said- and God had this planned out all along.  Both families needed a boost of faith. 

 Unexpected sunshine in the center of a rainy season causes us to look up.  

If we wait for perfect conditions before stepping out of the boat, we miss out on miracles that so powerfully reveal His precious, personal love.

You are loved. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Visa update 2

Our agency emailed me today that after the USCIS processes the DS260, the USCIS will again conduct an investigation on Mohales adoptability. Then they will file a letter stating such. Then, his adoption can be pursued. I suppose that's when we will get his updated referral. We'd hoped to travel in June. Now I see that can happen only by a miracle. Praying for that miracle. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

VISA update

The U.S. Dept of children's affairs just called. She walked me through re-submitting the updated visa application. 

Now we wait for the U.S.C.I.S. and the U.S. Embassy in Johannesburg and the government in Lesotho to work together with our adoption agency on the next steps. This is my foggy understanding of the road ahead:
• An investigation will be conducted on Mohale's legal adoptability. 
• A medical clearance will be done on Mohale. 
• Finally, if the above obstacles are cleared, we will get his updated referral to our family for adoption. At that point of course we will accept again. 
• A visa approval for Mohale can be given. 
• Finally we will be able to travel to finalize the adoption, pick up his visa and bring him home. 

There are a lot of hurdles to pray through again. But. This ship is moving.  We don't know whether this could be days, weeks or more months of waiting. Praying for a miracle of June travel.  Thank you for continued prayers. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day when I stand Under the light of Grace...

(No news yet on Mohale...but Happy Mother's Day!)

Mother's Day under the light of Grace...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE unexpected surprises!!!

This unexpected TOTAL SURPRISE came in the mail today:

Along with this:

Whoever sent it, please know it caused my heart to swell with gratefulness and emotion.  
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this- all SEVEN beloved treasures are named!

 Thank you!!
Grateful for this powerful gift of faith and encouragement all in one!!!

I'm not taking it off.


As Mother's Day approaches, I've been contemplating: 

Why in the world am I dreading mother's day??

And this came to mind:

Under the black light of PERFECTIONISM
Mother's Day is a reminder that I'm not measuring up to the perfect mom I want to be for my kids- Instead, they likely will all need counseling someday...(I've already warned them.)

Guilt and motherhood.  Because of perfectionism, they typically go together.

Perfectionism, instead of grace, results in sticky, discouraging, sleep-depriving, mommy guilt.

I'm  DEEPLY, indescribably GRATEFUL to be a mom.  Looking at each of them today causes my eyes to tear up with love and gratefulness- I could burst.  How did I get to be the one honored to love and raise these six (soon to be seven) treasures?

Then there are too many days when tears well up from discouragement-
because I feel not so good at this motherhood thing...


Perfectionism is a thief.  Perfectionism steals joy, underscores comparisons, and replaces freedom with false guilt.  It's yucky.  Perfectionism causes me to feel
OVERWHELMED at every turn.  

Yet, perfect parenthood is a lie.  There AIN'T NO SUCH THING.

Being a perfect mom is impossible. 
Yet grace frees us up to savor the chaos and laugh along the way.


Perfectionism condemns me for the times I lock the bathroom door and cry into a towel...

Grace savors the sweet times the kids and I spend laughing at our mistakes.


Perfectionism causes me to grieve what I am not able give or be for our kids.

Grace fills my heart to overflowing as I watch the beautiful, generous people they are becoming as a result.  


Perfectionism tempts me to pretend to like cooking and baking even after being up all night with the baby. (I actually don't like being in the kitchen even if the baby slept.)

Grace let's us have a blast driving through Del Taco for lunch and McDonalds for warm chocolate chip cookies again this week. 


Perfectionism disables all joy because I spoke impatient, grouchy words before listening.  Again.

Grace let's me savor how forgiving and grace filled our children are from all the practice!


Perfectionism causes me hide our messes in the closet.

Grace results in laughter when someone opens a closet door and chaos falls to the floor.
Grace doesn't hide messes.


Perfectionism shouts out the times I've asked God WHY he doesn't make me perfect because our treasures deserve the BEST.

Grace rejoices and celebrates that they do have the BEST...
THEY have the BEST HEAVENLY FATHER who shows grace and redemption.  


Grace sets us AND our children free to be OK with being imperfect.  That's redemption.

Grace frees us to LAUGH and ENJOY fleeting messy, unorganized, unplanned moments with our rapidly growing children...

Even if moments before we blew it again.  

This mother's day, I'm enjoying freedom!  Enjoy freedom with me. Enjoy that it's OK to not be anywhere near our picture of the perfect Mom because we have a Perfect, Redeeming Father who is crazy in love with us and our kids... 

(even when we are blowing it again.)

His light shines best through brokenness into a world that needs real hope.

It's safe to be REAL. That is when hope is seen.  He holds our children SO CLOSE TO HIS HEART as He directs our steps- one hour at a time- on this journey of parenthood.
He prefers imperfection and brokenness to write the most beautiful stories.

ISAIAH 40:11
Like a shepherd, He will care for his flock,
    gathering the lambs in his arms,
Hugging them as he carries them,
    leading their mothers to good pasture.

Being REAL with our kids (and everyone else) is a gift.  Being perfect is poop.

Enjoying Mother's Day Wholeheartedly!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Movement and Hope!!

Two blog posts in one day!!  One hour after I prayed the prayer mentioned in my last blog post, our agency called me.  As usual, our agency showing up on caller ID caused my tummy to flip out.  
(Yet, somehow, I had a feeling this was going to be good.)

Our agency director had just gotten off of the phone with the USCIS.  Our USCIS officer told them this morning that we do NOT need to fill out the i800 form for Mohale again.  We originally completed that application in February 2014.  It turns out that we do not need to apply for this a second time!!!  That saves us several weeks.  

Therefore, the next step is for us to jump ahead and resubmit our visa application for Mohale (DS-260.)   We originally submitted this last July 23, 2014.  At that time we were told to expect travel approval within about two weeks.  However, five months later, in December, the US told us they could not issue a visa for him because he was already adopted by us.  Due to child safety regulations, visas are only given before a completed adoption.  Therefore, it was mandated that his adoption be dissolved so a visa could be issued and then he can be readopted by us.  Finally, last Tuesday, Mohale's adoption by us was dissolved. 

Today, Leora stayed home from Science co-op and cared for our thee littles so I could get this visa application form filled out and submitted again.  However, when I got online to do it, I was not able to open the form because the system still considers it submitted from last July.  I left a message with our helpful USCIS officer.

(Update May 7, 2014:  The USCIS officer just called and said she is working on getting the form cleared out so we can redo it.  She is uncertain of how long this will take.  This step could take several weeks. However, she is certainly working hard with others in other departments to get this done.  Grateful.)

Please pray with us!

(Because the facts sound so crazy, I want to say:  Although the delays have been hard and I've fought discouragement and panic, we signed up for this.  We were told when we signed up for the Lesotho program in early 2013 to expect glitches and delays.  They told us we would be the first Americans to adopt from Lesotho since HAGUE accreditation and therefore, our agency and both governments would be learning together with our family.  Although it's taken an additional 10 months so far to sort out, this is the only glitch we've hit.  Everyone we've interacted with has been up-front with us, helpful and clearly concerned for children.  We pray that the result is a flood of children who need forever families into homes who long for them.)

Centurion faith

Centurion Faith

As I was quickly reading my Bible in the dark of morning (before littles awake), the story of a Roman centurion stood out to me.  A centurion is a military official.  As I read, my friend Anna texted they are praying with "centurion faith" (Anna's blog link)  Coincidence?  No way. It was a tiny miracle to bolster my discouraged heart. This morning, by His grace, I prayed with "centurion faith."  Here's the story from the book of Matthew about the Roman Centurion and his faith:

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith...
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. Matthew 8:5-10, 8:13

Lately I've been reading my favorite parts of the Bible- the books called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I'll never tire of these because they are accounts of the life of Jesus written by these four men who knew him.  I especially love the quotes of his actual words- the One who gave all out of love for the least of us.  It's all about True Love and His heart for those of us who are a mess.  If you are in need of True Love, here are links to the first chapter of each book.  There are arrows on each page to the next chapters...