Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Dance!

Many people on the AoH yahoo group speak of doing the happy dance. Well, since receiving an email from Rachel in the Wisconsin office, we are doing the happy dance. This email went out to the AoH group, not us individually.

"I know that many of you are on the edges of your seats, as I am, awaiting referrals...However, earlier this week, I received a list of over 60 children who are in this process of being prepared for referrals. I am awaiting the final steps to be taken and then referrals will begin flowing over the coming weeks."

I get chills every time I think about it!! It seems that we would very likely be included in this batch of referrals. Soooooo exciting!!!!

Psalm 27:14: "Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord."

Psalm 37:7a: "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act."

Colossians 1:11-12: "We also pray that you will be strengthened with His glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God's holy people, who live in the light."

Prayer update: The McKinneys were able to bring their three children home! The Whites were able to bring Joseph home! He is having heart surgery next week. The Coverts are going to pick up Mercy and Joy this week! Our God is so good!

Monday, November 26, 2007


Yes, we are one of those crazy families!
These are the loves of my life, here on earth.
Scott, Noelle and Jake
God is soooo good! Thanksgiving went very well. We hosted up to 10 people, for up to eight days, and everything came together just about perfectly. My anxiety did not rear its ugly head, meals went as planned, accomodations worked out and activities were enjoyed. We toured a dairy farm, see above, and went to our cabin twice. I got to spend quality time with my sister in law, Rachel, and our daughters got to play. Noelle did great with Holly one on one. When it got to be three on one she kind of made a bee line for the bedroom and some privacy. They played so well that I am not sure that she was missed.

Micah (6), Holly (6), Naomi (4) and Noelle (11)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pink Hair!

I said I would post it when I got a copy. This is me and some of our small group, rocking at trunk or treat! It was so fun.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

On our knees

The power of prayer, James 5:13-18

"Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years! Then he prayed for rain, and down it poured. The grass turned green, and the crops began to grow again."

The children of Liberia need our prayers. The news from the embassy there is not good. The consular has reduced the number of visits she will accept. She is only accepting appointments from each agency twice a week. So one visit for Acres of Hope on Tuesday and one on Thursday. Each adoption requires two visits to her office. One for relinquishment from the birth family to establish status as an orphan and one visit to issue the visa to America. The second visit is with the adopting family. Essentially one adoption will be processed per week. It is not clear if this is a deliberate attempt to slow down adoptions or if the office is truly "overworked". There is talk of an additional employee joining the office in December which would hopefully speed things up again.

I do not share these things only in relation to our own adoption journey. There are so many families that are more affected by these decisions than we are at this point. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of their stories with you. I know many of you are prayer warriors and these families need our prayers!

The Coverts are adopting two girls that have experience caustic ingestion. This means they ingested lye and are therefore unable to eat properly due to the scarring of their esophaguses. Mercy is 13 and weighs 48 pounds. Joy is 8 and weighs 36 pounds. To put this in perspective, Noelle, who is quite thin, is 11 and weighs right around ninety pounds! They are hoping to travel in the next six weeks so that they can get these precious girls home to the best possible medical care.

The Horrocks family are adopting three children from Liberia. They are adopting two boys, Joseph and Nyemah, and a daughter, Ellie Kebbeh. Ellie has Potts disease and desperately needs to get to America for surgery. The surgeon in America has written to Liberia the severity of her situation. We need to pray for her health as she waits. We also need to pray that the Horrocks are able to bring all three children home at once. It is very expensive to travel and will be very hard for everyone if they need to make two trips. Think of the boys being left behind!

The McKinneys live in California. Katy started our 24 hour prayer watch. She and her husband Scott and their daughter Midge are facing unbelievable obstacles. They were evacuated during the recent fires. Scott is in the Navy and is to be deployed soon. They are in the process of adopting two boys and a girl. They had originally hoped to have the children home before Scott deployed. Now add into their lives more excitement: Scott and Katy have the chicken pox (from Midge's vaccination) and their home is being renovated due to termite damage. They are traveling to Africa November 21-30th so that they, especially Scott can "bond" with the children. Their prayer is that by God's faithful hand they will be able to bring their children home with them!

The White family is adopting Joseph. Joseph needs to have heart surgery and has spent a lot of time in the hospital. His mom is leaving to pick him up on November 13th. Pray for his health in waiting and in travel. Pray for no obstacles in the final meetings with the embassy.

The last family I want to share about has already brought their little girl home. Her name is Josie. She has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. The doctors say that there is a 50% chance she will not live past age 10. She is currently in the hospital as her seizures have gotten worse. Please pray for a miracle. Pray for wisdom of the doctors in the mean time.

Don't these stories just touch your heart. Let them drive you to your knees.

Psalm 61:1-4:
"O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help, for my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!"

Lord, give each one of these families your safety, your shelter.

(If you just read your story, I apologize for not asking permission first. I will be glad to remove it if it is a problem. I am so touched by each of your stories and know the best that I can do is cry out to God on your behalf and seek others that will do the same!)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

12 Extraordinary Women

Just finished my youth small group. One of my favorite things is meeting with this group of 7-8 amazing young women. We just started John MacArthur's study, "12 Extraordinary Women". We began tonight with the question "How does your life feel ordinary and how can it be extraordinary?" Having Christ in our lives brings the extraordinary into every day. It was a little sad to hear how even at 16 or 17 years of age they already feel the monotony of life. I pray that each one of us can see Christ throughout our day and through striving to serve Him our lives are taken out of the muck and mire and into His presence. This is one of the amazing things about this adoption process. It is extraordinary. And to walk in His will opens our eyes and hearts to the wonder of His plan!

Using Eve as a jumping off point we talked about everything from submission to politics. One of the verses that opened up lots of discussion was I Timothy 2:9-14:
"And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve. And it was the woman, not Adam, who was deceived by Satan, and sin was the result." That's NLT, the NIV says she should be silent.

We talked a lot about submission in marriage and in church. How this passage applies to leadership in other areas of our lives. How God has gifted each of us. How we are not inferior to men, but designed to be man's helper. MacArthur compares the relationship to that of the Trinity. Christ and God are equal, but Christ is submissive to God the Father. I am a pretty strong person. I can be assertive and when I am in social situations I have a tendency to be a leader. I do not hesitate to have an opinion and express it. But I praise the Lord that I do not struggle with submission in my marriage. I thank Him so much for the gift of a Godly husband that loves Him and loves me! It is not hard to submit in a relationship like that. I hope that I am able to be an example of how a woman can lovingly submit to her husband and how that does not resemble being a "doormat". I think that sometimes from the outside it sounds like that, especially to "the world".

It is so humbling to be in this position of leadership/mentoring. I feel inadequate and pray that I do not give misleading answers to their questions. Another thing that we discussed was the intimacy that Adam and Eve had with God in the garden. In another mentoring relationship I am in, we committed that this week we would spend quality time with God at least four of the seven days. For those of you that do not struggle with this, this may sound pathetic. But for me I have long been able to read lots of commentary and do lots of Bible studies but have never been able to have a sustained period of time where I consistently read God's word and prayed. Let this commitment be a new and unending season. The example of the women, and men, in the AoH group has been so eye opening for me. I thank you for your examples.