Celebrating Lasts

Today was the first day of my son's last year of high school...(well, actually, it was his second but he missed yesterday b/c he was hunting with his Dad).

Off he went with his lunch and leftover school supplies. Drove himself to school and back.
When it's time he will tell me all about his day and how he needs to go get all new supplies :)

We often celebrate firsts..first tooth, first steps, first day of kindergarten, first date...you get the idea, but we don't think about the lasts that are happening.  A few years back my Mom got me a book, Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury, that reminded me not to hurry through life wishing for the next stage :) I should have gotten this book back when my first 4 boys were little!
"I've watched you grow and barely noticed seasons as they pass. If I could freeze the hands of time, I'd hold on to your lasts."  (Kingsbury)

This is what I've been thinking about today with Nick and wanting to really slow down and enjoy the time we have together as a family. I think this time around with Micah I am finally learning how to do that!

Now about where we are in our adoption journey... :)

We are in the stage call paperchasing. We had our first visit with the social worker last week. She came to our home and visited with Nick, Micah, Randall and I. She was here about 2 1/2 hrs. She will be doing our homestudy. That is made up of financial statements, complete physicals, marriage/birth certificates, personal reference letters, police reports saying we don't have a police record :), proof of life insurance/health insurance and a whole write up from the social worker about us. During this time we also have to be watching a 8 hr. class on international adoption.

We have paid our first big fee to our agency and then when we complete our dossier (which is a whole bunch of paperwork as well as our homestudy) then a whole bunch more will be due. I will put a timeline what is due when up when I figure it out!)

I have lots of ideas for fundraising in my head so we will see comes out! :) We will be applying for grants after the homestudy is complete.

That's a snapshot of what is going on in our lives at this moment. Some other day I will tell you more about our boys :)

Please PRAY for us during this time. Thanks and have a great Thursday!



Hello again....

As I woke up this morning I was thinking of all the things I needed to write on the blog to tell you more about us and our journey. Then the day began with me picking up all the trash the dog had ripped up out of the outside trash can so I could wheel it out to the curb. After the second time of picking it up (yesterday I did the same thing) I realized it was my fault the dog got into it twice. I left it there and she was doing what dogs do...eat trash! Ughhhhhhh! I know there is a lesson in there somewhere :)

Rewind in our lives to several months ago...we have some very good friends who actually planted the seed of adoption in our lives (Dave... :)) They have some friends who were adopting from Ethiopia and also starting a ministry in Ethiopia for orphan and widow care. They said we should adopt too. We said no. :) From that point I started looking up Ethiopia--orphan care--adoptions, etc. I came across numerous blogs and ministries involved with orphan and widow care. One in particular was a ministry called Amazima with a young women who is in Uganda with 14 of her orphan girls. What she described broke my heart and because my eyes were opened I knew we had to help somehow. I believe God started nudging us and saying what are you going to do now that you know what goes on in Africa?
I found mission trips with Visiting Orphans that would visit Uganda and Ethiopia and was ready to sign up. Well, during this time I kept forwarding Randall all these blog posts until he said he couldn't handle anymore emotionally! :) At this point my heart was saying we should adopt. Randall's was not :) We were doing a lot of praying and researching. We had friends over who have adopted 3 sweet Chinese girls and asked them advice and their story. I was ready to sign the paperwork!
Finally, Randall and I sat down and watched our agencies dvd. He was ready to move forward! :) We called all the boys and told them as well as our families.
Another set of good friends told us about the Orphan Summit VI in MN in April that would address global orphan and widow care.  So off 4 of us went (3 wives and 1 husband--well, I mean 1 couple and 2 of us wives without our hubbies) What an incredible time of worship and more of our eyes opening to the needs not only abroad but here in the states. Coming home we all knew we needed to be a part but not sure where we fit in. This was also a time of questioning and sorting out what we heard.
At this point after talking with Randall and the other's that went we decided to pray more about adopting and if that's really the direction God was leading us at this time. I had to let go of my urge to push and prod :) and really pray about following my husband and have God lead him/us in this!

In June Randall said we could go ahead and fill out the paperwork. Yea! :) I know there is a lot of uncertainty and unknowns with adoption. We are just taking the first steps towards having a child who has no family to care for them to having a family that cares and loves them. Our desire is as God leads to follow. He knows best and is in control. His plans come about no matter our plans! We have certainly learned that but that story is for another day.....

I'm sorry this post is so long but hopefully it gives you a glimpse of where we are coming from.
Along with our 2 other good couple friends who have a heart for orphans we are praying about where we can make a difference..here and there. As we all agreed...we all can start with baby steps and help change lives. :)

PS..I don't want you to think we made the decision on our own feelings. We prayed, sought advice, read the Bible and did a lot of research. It's not a decision we have made lightly. :)
Also, I know there is GREAT need all over the world and in our own backyards as well. Our hearts are drawn to Africa as well as our community at this point and know everyone is drawn to different areas of need. I will say that I do feel strongly that God says it is ALL our responsiblities to care for the orphans/widows/ and least of these. How we all help is different according to the gifts He has given us :)

James 1:27 "This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."


Just starting out

Today is the day I decided to brave the blogging world and start our own. This is very intimidating and I want to have an awesome blog without having to figure it all out so please be patient as this evolves :)

A sweet friend (actually my son's new Mother-in-law) sent me a card several months ago. The front of it says, " I BELIEVE if Jesus calls me to get out of the boat, He is going to be there to help me walk on the water. If I start to sink, which sometimes I do, He'll reach His hand down and HE'LL LIFT ME UP." Joyce Meyer

This was one of those opportune cards because soon after this Randall and I started talking about adoption and orphan care.  I was ready to start the adoption process and kept teasing him about getting out of the boat! I guess we are the classic text book case where the woman is ready to bring home a child and the husband tends to think more logically and takes awhile to make the decision (I know there are exceptions to this). So for a few months we had this joke among us and some close friends about getting out of the boat. Wellll....he finally got out of the boat (after much prayer and discussion) and we are on our adoption journey to add a little girl to our family of 5 sons. :)

The inside of the card reads, " God will give you everything you need to do everything He has called you to do. You are in His hands and in His will, and there is no better place to be."

I will post bits and pieces of our life and adoption journey as well as pictures when I figure out how!
Until then...Have an awesome day! :)