Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We passed court!!


There were many times over the past 9 months that I thought we would never be able to say this...We PASSED court today! Praise God!! The next step is our case will be submitted to the US Embassy for them to do their investigation to assure the kids meet their definition of true orphans before they give us clearance to bring them home. Thank you to all who have been praying for us during this process. Ryan's visit with the kids is going really well. I'll let you in on some comments from his trip so far:

Rahel is even more beautiful in person than she is in pictures.
He connected really well with them when he brought them to the guesthouse on day 2.
Eyasu used him as a monkey bar today.
They laughed out loud and smiled really big when they saw pictures and video of Evie.
Rahel shows everyone pictures of her little sister all the time.
Eyasu, our 4 year old little boy, wants a pink room.
When he told them that I loved them and missed them very much...Joseph said he misses me too! (Awe...break my heart!)
He has been able to talk with Solomon alot.
He asked each of the kids individually if they are happy and they all said yes and he asked them if they wanted to come and live with us in America and they said yes!!
One of the boys at the orphanage that is about 10 called Ryan papa the whole time he was there the first day and he didn't know what to say to him. (This breaks my heart...this young boy is a total sweetheart!!)

Ryan says he is diligently journaling so he will have even more to share when he returns!! So stay tuned.


Friday, November 11, 2011

odd or even

I know I just blogged a few days ago and I'm not due for another one for a couple months, but something's on my mind.

To give you a backdrop I'm reading Humility by CJ Mahaney. I should say I'm being wrecked by Humility by CJ Mahaney. I commend it to you if you struggle with issues of pride...and if you don't struggle with pride then you REALLY need to read it. I'm convinced pride is the ultimate foundation of sin. Just before I typed that last line I was googling for a quote on pride to make myself sound smart. (sigh) Anyway, I'm just giving you some insight into what's been going on in my life. I am not entirely sure what it has to do with what I intended to write here but it's what started coming out when I started typing. ...making the connection...making the connection...

This is like dial-up...

Mahaney gives some practical ways on developing humility and slaying pride. Some really good ways. One of the things he says is important is looking for and pointing out "evidences of grace" in others. In other words, we should look to intentionally see the imago dei, God's image imprinted on others. The Bible is quite clear on this matter and I won't go into a ton of background here. If you want more on this read the Bible and Mahaney's book. I need to get to what I came here for before I lose you.

I've been trying to see God's grace in others over the past week. It's quite alarming when I begin trying to turn your snide thoughts and snarky comments into life-building exhortations. I've started just by doing it in my head. Practicing. Lest I open my mouth and look like a fool (see pride).

I'm making the bridge. Are you walking with me?

This will sound at first like an aside. I promise it ties in. Let me be really honest. A time or two I have gotten frustrated at waking up in the middle of the night to a crying baby. I have snapped at Jessica once or twice. (I am tempted to type "due to lack of sleep" or some other excuse) There is no excuse. Really. There's not. Don't get me wrong I consider God's grace daily! I am immensely grateful for Evie. But it's easy to lose sight of God's grace. I forget to be thankful for things sometimes. My pride gets in the way. I like my sleep. And God's grace slips my mind. I've had Jessica all to myself for more than half my life. God's grace moves to the back and my pride and jealousy steps forward.

I've now started looking for evidences of grace, even Evie and Jessica. It's pretty easily found in them, the ones you love most. In the twilight hours one morning I was feeding Evie and praying for her:
Lord, thank You for her lungs and breath that wake me up. I ask that she would use her voice to lead others to You, to speak truth, and to stand up for the oppressed.
Thank You for her digestive system that seems to only make messes out of one end or the other. I'm not sure how her digestive system will honor you, but You made every bit of her and I pray she honors you with her whole being.
God, I thank you for her hands that always seem to get into the spit-up. Lord, may her hands always serve others and bring praise to You.

This may sound odd or even funny, but I need to give thanks for these things. Maybe you do too. I must preach these things to myself in order to keep a proper perspective. An amazing miracle happened in the Old Testament, one that often goes unnoticed. As the Israelites marched through the desert for decades God caused the Israelites clothes and shoes to not wear out! Can you imagine that?!? My shoes don't last 2 years, much less a deacde! Much less 4 decades! Do you think they gave thanks for their shoes? I don't think I've ever said "God, thank You for my shoes. Thanks that they stay in good shape." I forget the grace that's been given to me. I don't thank God often enough. I'm going to do better.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'll be wrecked

I don't have tons of news, but I do have important news. Plus it's been a while since we've written anything and several of you have asked. Thanks for caring and keeping up.

I will be traveling to Ethiopia to go to court the end of this month. November 29th is our court date. Jessica will be staying home with Evie because we are not ready to leave her and go that far away yet and we certainly would not get on a sixteen hour flight with her. A great friend, Dr. Donnie Williams is traveling with me. He's not really a doctor, but I just made him one because he deserves it for this. It's not that I need someone to go with me, but it sure beats traveling alone! So, we'll be flying over the day after Thanksgiving and returning on the first Friday in December.

I finally get to meet our kids! I can't even play the video of them in my memory without tearing up at their voices calling me 'papa', so I'm quite sure I'll be wrecked when I see them. It's a swirl of emotion as you can probably imagine. Nervousness and excitement.

Well, a little about Evie. She probably weighs close to 9 pounds now and is great with nonverbal communication. All she has to do is sit back in her carseat while I carry her and she quite effectively informs me that I need to workout more. Jessica picks up on her cues far better than I. Jessica knows her so well. My heart is glad to watch Jessica mother. She is so good at it.

One last thing. Different people have asked about or commented on the fact that we are still adopting even though we had a child. Yes we are. For several reasons. God had placed a love for these kids deep into our hearts before Evie was born. Also, adoption has been the plan for a long time now. We were not adopting out of loneliness, guilt, obligation, or altruism. We are adopting because we are called in scripture to love people the way Jesus loves people. How does He love us? Up close and personal. Regardless of race or status or past. Deeply. So deep in fact that He gave His life to make us His. That is what Jessica and I are called to. To give ourselves fully and completely, not to a cause, but to children with names. David Platt said (at least I think it was him) orphans are forgettable until you know their names, see their faces, or hold them in your arms. There's so much truth in that. Before the dawn of time God knew your name and He had a plan from the beginning to make you His. Not because of anything special about you, but because He is good.

Caring for orphans and widows should be on the hearts and minds of all of God's children because were it not for adoption none of us would be His.

Thanks for reading.