Invited to walk on water

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

Alyssa's Birthday!


October 27, 2016

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

You are a beloved miracle...






You are a miracle-
A TREASURED GIFT

And we are deeply in love with you.



Someone got into the glitter<3

I love adoption. Children are worth a shattered heart. She was placed into our hearts and arms 6 years ago this week.
She came to us through the avenue of the Foster-adopt system. 

We do not deserve the absolute honor of being her parents. 

Adoption, from any source, 
 is most often a gift born from 
tragedy and a broken heart-

Never will we take lightly the pain of loss experienced by those who loved her first.

She is a priceless gift.

Loving our daughter is an immeasurable, undeserved, honor.  
Alyssa's story, like many, is one of beauty from ashes- 
and honestly, 
my heart was shattered in the process. 

Yet, I shudder at this thought- 

"What if we had listened to frequent, well intended, counsel that called us to play it safe?" 

She, like every child, is worth a shattered heart.  

What passion and risk is on your heart?  

(What unique desire is within?  Do you know that when you seek Him, He places desires within your heart?  Likely, that desire is there for a purpose...)

I can't help but to challenge again- 

 Turn from voices that call you back to safety and 
Run towards the One Who placed the passion within.   

Fear Not a broken heart.

He shines through our cracks-
Perfect hearts have no cracks for His light to shine from.

***
One year ago, we were in Africa- the final timing of they day we embraced Mohale was a miracle that Alyssa had prayed for-

Alyssa's birthday miracle last year:  Miracle

One year later, Alyssa and Mohale



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mohale! One year later. Beautifully broken. Undeserved honor.

One year with Mohale!


Today as we celebrate one year with Mohale,
My heart flashes back...

"Let's move forward towards adoption"

I recall that moment in 2009 crystal clear-
Tears dripped from my chin as David's gently spoken words sounded like a miracle.

His words felt like a miracle because,
timing was illogical by human standards- on so many levels-
We felt too broken. 
(that's a story for another time.)

Yet, the passion He placed in our hearts
called us trembling and broken out of the boat.

Again.

Today,
looking back,
I again shudder to think
"What if we would have stayed safe?"

TODAY WE CELEBRATE MOHALE:


One year ago today, it felt surreal.
We sat on a sofa at Mohale's orphanage on the opposite side of our world waiting to see his face.

It was a miracle that we were even there.
We'd adopted him 18 months prior.
 After 18 months of hurdles, hoops and red tape, we had been ready to travel to our son.  But our USA government required instead that our adoption of him be legally dissolved and started all over.

It took another full year to dissolve and adopt him from afar for the second time.
 The entire process took three years.

Anxiety?  Absolutely

Depression?  Yes.  Horrible depression.

Financially impossible?
Of course.

 Many told us to give up because
"If it's this hard, it must not be God's will."

But,
One year ago today, we celebrated, in exhilarating victory.
It felt really like a dream coming true- because it was.  

In Daddy's arms.  Oct 26, 2015 (Day 1)

Our boys had known each other barely one day and already were a comfort to each other.
Link: Joseph's adoption

He was placed in my arms one year ago today.  Mohale quietly sat as we gently adored him.  This son of mine was afraid and dazed at what was happening.  Can you imagine from his perspective?  We were strangers to him.  Only 2 1/2 years old, he clearly had no idea who we were as we drove away with him from those he loved and the only "home" he'd ever known.
Our frightened son had no idea of the fight for him that had begun long before he'd been abandoned in that ditch by a hurting and desperate woman struggling to survive-  long before he'd been brought to Beautiful Gate orphanage and loved by them as a priceless treasure.

Yet,
his adjustment has been far easier than most post-adoption adjustments.
Because of others who had also fought for his life- those who loved him at Beautiful Gate Orphanage Mohale's adjustment into our family has been remarkable.

Those who loved him within the orphanage
loved him fully as they prayed he'd someday have a family.
They loved him fully while praying that their own hearts would be broken.
Because of this kind of love, Mohale's young heart had learned how to love.
This kind of attachment in an orphaned child is incredibly rare.

Because of people who allowed their hearts to be shattered, 
Mohale's heart is whole.

Most treasures who have been abandoned and without parents at even an age as young as Mohale, struggle with attachment.

This little one, clinging to Mohale, was Mohale's "best friend" at the orphanage.  It is heart shattering that he could not come home with us.
Most orphans are UNADOPTABLE.
The beloved "Soldiers" at Beautiful Gate orphanage love on, speak for, care for and are family to countless "unadaptable" orphans.
The need is great.
Do u have it in your heart to support or care for unadaptable children?

Liam prayed for 4 years for these two little miracle brothers.

He bonded incredibly fast.  Somehow he knew we were his parents and his heart began to knit into ours within the first month.   This is nearly unheard of.
It speaks volumes about those who loved him passionately in the wait.
It speaks volumes about how they are changing lives of orphans- most of whom are not adoptable.

One year later, our "twins" continue to adore each other.
They are seriously double trouble

Costco is chaos- except for the samples.

He's bloomed into a brilliant three year old who loves hugs, laughs incredibly often and takes an interest in others.


7 miracles

Have you noticed that when you have a dream, there are voices that call you back to safety?

Have you noticed that our Jesus asks us to walk towards the broken?

(Fear not being broken- it is exactly where He calls us.)

We were told over and over by well meaning others that adopting was not wise.

"Your hearts are too broken for this. What about your children that you are already responsible for?  What will this do to them?  How will you have time for them all?  You will be too tired! What about the cost?  You will never be able to pay for it.  What about retirement?  Isn't this too much pressure on David?"

7 miracles
These questions, concerns and more were directed towards us often at each adoption.

Yet, instead, our world became deeply rich.
We've watched our childrens hearts grow in faith as miracles unfolded.
We've watched their broken hearts be comforted and impassioned for those close to His heart.

We've watched them embrace a world view beyond our current comfortable culture.

One year later- Emma and our 7 kids.  

Our children (and our young friend Emma,)
have become forever changed by passion for Mohale and Joseph.
Our oldest children were forever changed by passion for their little sisters.

Each is naturally fervent about people in need.
Each is amazed at the Love of One who suffered out of love for us.
They do not want to live comfortable and safe in a world that is not.
They each advocate for risk on behalf of the One who Loves.
Each one is undeterred by the thought of risk.

Mohale,
Our lives are beautiful because of you.
The love I have for you, my son, is beyond description.
I do not deserve this honor and I pray daily that our Shepherd loves you through me.

The love within my heart for you has been there longer than I can remember-

Truly,
the One who created you for a purpose
allowed and prepared me for the undeserved honor of being your mom.
Gratefulness within is vast beyond my ability to describe.


My heart cringes painfully at this horrible thought-

"What if we'd given up as so many suggested?"  

"What if?"  

First Fall together

What risk have you considered stepping out towards?

With all of our adoptions (and risky biological pregnancies)

Storms came.

We sank often.

I sobbed oceans of tears and begged God to explain cruel suffering to me and still have no answers.

Buckets of tears were shed and countless nights of sleep lost.

Yet, the One who pulled Peter up from under the waves
also pulled us up-

We experienced a closeness to our Creator that can only be experienced
after a fall.

Miracles are only experienced when they are needed.  Dare to step out to where miracles were needed.

Because most of us are not rich and feel stressed by finances, Ive got to say-
we had NO MONEY for this adoption.  

The miracles of provision to pay for this have been crazy mind blowing-
unbelievable and only explained by supernatural.
(Ive got to do an updated post on those!)

What passion is within your heart?  

Can I encourage you?
He invites us to walk on water towards Him-
The ONE who carried a cross for our adoption invites us to follow Him back into the valley where His redemption is craved...

Dare to step out of the boat...

What obstacles shout at you to turn back?  
What lies are being spoken to you?  

Can I encourage you?  
Turn from the voices that call you back to safety and continue to walk on water towards the One who placed the passion within.

Be willing to be broken.  
These treasures are worth indescribably more than a shattered heart. 

He was shattered for us.   Let's be willing to be broken.
He will be closer than ever in brokenness:
Phil 3:10
Ps 34:18

Shattered hearts and lives in His hands are the most beautiful kind.  

And we can only experience miracles 
when we step out where miracles are required.

Dare to walk on water-
towards Him.

Link to the post from Lesotho when we met Mohale:  Gotcha

Link from a month later- a few days after we got home:  Thanksgiving

Link to his adjustment process: Post adoption Adjustment

To read through the entire trip click here 2015
At the bottom of each page, to read more, click "older posts"

Link to Joseph's adoption:  Joseph's adoption


Monday, October 3, 2016

Happy Birthday Ianna! How can she be 16?

October 2, 2016

Ianna Rose is 16!  


Sixteen years ago, God's Grace flooded our lives. 

In a season where marital discord had crashed in to our young marriage, leaving us with shredded hearts,
Ianna was born. 

"Ianna" is a Gaelic name that means
"God's Grace."  

Grace was changing who we were and certainly nothing seemed more precious than true 
Grace from God. 

I don't deserve the honor of being her mom-
yet isn't that the way of our Shepherd?    

After learning that our unborn baby was a girl, I’d dared to pray she'd have a lot of red hair-
I ached to know He was listening in that painful valley.

Was He smiling as He designed her DNA to her broken mother's prayer- Or perhaps as He directed my heart to desire hair like this for her?  Either way, it was another time where He was saying,
“I’m here- even noticing your shy whispers and timid prayers- I’m here-  Redeeming- teaching you to love the ones who are broken.  Fear not.”  





For 16 years, a day hasn't passed where gratefulness and pleading for His grace to parent His children has evaded us.  Ianna, came into our arms, making us parents, bringing joy and amazement, healing and new awareness of His vast, intimate, powerful, graceful, love.  Becoming a parent has revealed more weaknesses in myself than I'd already seen.  Becoming a mom has been proof to me that God directs and redeems.  
A lot. 

 Ianna, I love you beyond my ability to express.
And now, I'm blown away by the gift of your wise, humble, discerning, business minded, creative, selfless, grateful, compassionate friendship.
 The honor of raising you has been a gift beyond anything I could have dared to dream.  Your life is a brilliant example of beauty from ashes.  Looking at you, and the beauty that has grown around us is a brilliant reminder that not a shard or crack from our mistakes is out of His reach.  He directs and He redeems and He loves to lavish His love upon His children- in good times and in broken times.
Fear not this world.  Fear not making mistakes.
You run towards Him and the dreams He places within your heart and watch Him direct your every step.  He hears every detail of your heart.  He’s going to continue to astound with His love for you. 
Happy Birthday iannađź’• from your grateful, abundantly wealthy-hearted, honored beyond my wildest dreams, mom.

Philippians 1:3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for you with joy…