Thursday, December 8, 2011


I found out the best news yesterday. No, not a referral quite yet. But ---- our dossier is at the orphanage! Yes, we have made it to location where our son is at (or will be). This in itself is a victory folks! (Two years in the making). I have been in the clouds ever since I heard the word.

Just to think of the sweet nuns looking over our pictures and reading about our life and our family all the while holding our precious son and loving on him for us. I envision the Holy Spirit whispering into her soul that this is their child. Yes, he is the one. I feel this moment and it is sacred.

Thanks for praying. My bold prayer is that we will see his sweet little face before Christmas.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 6th

Well, we are here. No referral. But we are still here. We have heard some good news lately....our agency is still working to confirm this information....but word on the streets is that they are NOT going to follow through with six month deadline thing. This is good news! I rejoice with the timeline going back to a "when" and not an "if" kind of scenario.

I've been keeping busy, which thankfully, keeps me from thinking about things too much. I worked part time at our church for the last month and half in community impact with seasonal ministry stuff. (i.e..... Thanksgiving baskets, food drive, etc..). I just finished that job last week.

And...we've been updating our home study, which expires at the end of this month. This is something that I dreaded doing. I mean pit in my stomach, update information not being touched for a couple of weeks, kind of dread. So hard to endure so much again not knowing if we are any closer to our boy. But I look at my girls and I think of my son and there is nothing that I wouldn't do for them. So, on with the home study update it is. A few more medical appts. this week and a meeting with our social worker and we are updated. Thank goodness.

I feel like we are close.


Monday, November 7, 2011

one month

I haven't posted any blogs in a while. It's hard to put into writing what I have been going through. Welcome to the battlefield of adoption. I haven't really had the energy or desire to blog. That being said, a few of you have checked in on me and are wondering what is going on. That means soooo much. It's like a warm fuzzy to the heart to experience the care and love come through the form of questions about our life and journey to our boy.

Yesterday was significant. One month from yesterday, December 6th, will mark our six-month deadline to be matched with our little one. Four more weeks! I am excited and confident that God will match us with our child. I am not worried. I am not anxious. I am not scared. I am not overwhelmed. (I have done enough of all of this in the past). I am EXCITED for God to make clear to us the outcome of this journey.

If I've learned one thing about myself and living this life is this: it is not about me. It is all about HIM! To live life and bring Him glory. It is not about me and my desires, and my heart, and my passion, and my heartache, and my comfort--- it is about serving Him and bringing Him glory and honor that He deserves. Through all the junk that we've been through I consider a privilege that God would call on me to step it up for Him.

I would just ask that you pray! Pray like never before. For my son and the other children in the world that are waiting to be held in their mother's arms. Pray that I would see his face soon. I am ready to hold my baby. Really ready. Beyond ready. :)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Still here

Yep, still here. Still waiting.

I went to Bible study last week and had a few women, who I only know by their first names, tell me that they are checking in on our adoption story on this blog. I can not tell you how much that meant to me. I feel honored and grateful that people care. One sweet friend asked if I get tired of people asking me how things are going. Although I wish I had more to tell them, it is so nice to be thought of and have people sincerely interested and willing to ask a potentially water-works kinda question. :) The waiting has been pretty brutal since Melia started 1st grade. It is so quiet around our house. Too quiet. I feel like I have an open wound in my heart.

The good news is that people are indeed receiving their referrals!!!! Things are moving and we are really hopeful. What an exciting time. We have no idea where we are in the "line-up". We do have our approval letter and feel that we are close.

I am trying not to get my hopes up but that is soooo hard. Last month I had a really big peace about September. I just knew we wouldn't see his face in August. Hard to explain, but I just had a really strong peace about September. And now the last week of September is here and no Jojo. I am getting more and more teary with each day of September leaving and October 1st on the horizon. I am not trying to box God in or rush our story. I am thankful for the peace that I had in August. I pray that peace returns if this is not our time.

I know that one day we will see his face and it will be so worth the wait! Thanks for reading and caring.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the big 6

How can it be? My oldest is 6! Six years ago, I entered the crazy world of mommy hood. What a wonderful, hard, emotional, happy, tired, energetic, soul filling 6 years it has been. This year Melia declared she would like to have a friend party, in addition to a family party. No boys allowed! Just girls and sparkles and yummy cake to eat. How did my girl grow up to know that girl parties even existed? :) Her wish was granted with a Hello Kitty girl party at our house in the afternoon. Followed up by an evening family party at a nearby park. Melia felt sooooo loved and celebrated and I was pooped. (It was so worth it)!

The following pictures are a collection from the entire day.

The dessert table. Yummmm.

Girl power

Good buddies

Nana and farm Papa

Josh's sis and fam

Mormor and Papa

Good ole' Caleb

Opening presents

My older sis and her fam!

A couple of my sweet nieces who are the same age.

One of her biggest wishes for her birthday came true. No, not Jojo.... the new American Girl doll. She wouldn't take her dress off for three days.

Good - bye Kitty

Party was not complete until all nails were painted.

Sprinkler under the trampoline was a big hit.

My girl chose some great friends for her party with wonderful moms to hang out with!!!

Oh hurt my heart...where is the time machine to freeze time?

I love you Melia. You have my heart. I'm thankful everyday to be your mom.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

keeping a grip on hope

I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks and there is a lot to let you in on.

I did meet with Angie from ANLM and hand over a check to help feed the street kids of Kigali. So Awesome! Thank you again for your generosity. For $15.52 a month you can feed a child. Such a small amount that has life changing affects on young lives.

We did have a garage sale and raised almost $1,000 towards our travel costs. How cool is that! It was a one day blow out sale where we were wheeling and dealing. I was kinda of stressed out. It's little ways in life I can tell that I am stretched tight on the emotional spectrum. This was one of those moments. We got the whole sale ready and then the morning of, I was thinking I can't do this. I can't talk and bargain and deal with people today. I had a freak out moment. Thank you to my big sis for coming over and handling the sale (along with Josh) while I went inside and "hid" for a bit. Also, a big thanks to my pal Shauna for coming over and helping get things ready the night before. You have a gift girl with organization and garage sales! :) Thank you to my mom who took the girlies for most of the day so I could have complete focus on making money.

This last week has been really tough. I haven't blogged because I really don't have words at this point. We heard from Rwanda that we have six months to be placed with a child and if we aren't matched in those six months then our case will be "closed for good". I read recently scripture from The Message that sums up how I feel, if I had to try and articulate it.

"I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all - oh, how well I remember- the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every m
orning. How great is your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I got left. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God".
Lamentations 3:19-24, 26 (The Message)

I would just ask that you keep praying. God is in control. We are confident of that!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the numbers are in...

We made it to the bank last Friday. I had to wait until Josh could go with me because the weight of the coins was too much to carry by myself. :) Are you ready to read the results of our "Change 4 Rwanda" coin collection?

$1,388. 79

You read right. Wow. That's a lot of change! (some of you also collected some "paper" change) :) To your generosity and kindness for caring and taking the step to get involved - I say thank you! We are blessed beyond measure.

I am meeting with Angie from Africa New Life this afternoon to give her a check towards the feeding the street kids in Kigali. Angie also handles church partnerships with ANLM and I can't wait to hear all about that! I have a lot of questions.

We hit the one year mark yesterday of our dossier being in Rwanda. I am sooooo grateful that we received our non-objection letter prior to yesterday. My heart is hopeful.... I now find myself having a hard time falling asleep at night as I think about the day starting in Kigali. I think is this the day they will send my boy's picture to me? And of course this leads me to praying and thinking some more, etc..... And every morning I wake up and check my email first thing to see if today is the day our lives change forever?

Next up...our last fundraiser (hopefully). A garage sale this weekend! Good thing I have lots to do to keep me busy. :)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No objection!

We got our non-objection letter this morning! Wow. All that waiting and there it is. I could just stare at it and read it again and again.

Crazy thing is that it was issued on May 6th. We didn't officially see it until this morning but we have been approved since then! How nice to be waiting for a referral and not even know it. :)

The letter did not indicate how long we can expect to wait for a referral. (aka placement with our son) :) From others we have heard that it can be anywhere from 1 to 3 months. Who knows? God does. Yes.

We're on deck!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

no guts no glory

We did it! We came, we saw, we conquered. Okay, more like I huffed and puffed my way through a beautiful 13.1 mile course this morning. It was a hard run for me. I knew by about mile 5 that I was going to need to dig deep to finish this race. I knew I would finish but I had to take it one mile at a time. :)

We have to collect a couple more jars and then I will post the final count of change that came in. Thank you from the depths of my heart for choosing to care and participate in our fundraiser.

My legs are sore but my heart is filled with joy!

The few pictures from the today:

Melia waiting for me to finish.

Melissa and her kids. Melissa trained with me and was such a HUGE encouragement! She ended up getting sick with some yucky respiratory junk, so she became the race day photographer. (All these pics are from her camera). Thank you Melissa for all your help and love. You are AWESOME!!!!!

I can see the finish line. I'm almost there.

What a hunk!

Shannon (best buddy since college) ran with us, sporting the orphan awareness t-shirt.

Thanks to my mom and dad who had the girls spend the night.

Just missing our boy.

We did it!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


What's your dream? What secret longing do you wish for? It can be goofy or serious. Where and how do you dream? Some dreams are too embarrassing to tell anyone. Some are too hard and scary to venture out on. What if your dreams seem impossible?

What if God called you to be obedient to your dream and do all that you could to make your dream a reality? Would you still give excuses? Or is the saddest part of it all is that you don't have dreams.

I'm a concrete kinda gal, despite my big crazy dreams. I like to be in control and I most definitely have a plan of attack for every project. Well, almost every project.....

When I was praying and wrestling with the idea of adoption one thing that struck me was that I didn't have the whole plan of attack figured out. I didn't know how we were going to pay entirely for adoption process. I knew it would be hard and scary and stressful and ya know what..... it didn't matter. Because God is in control and I am not. I don't have to have ALL the answers. I can trust Him to provide and guide and give strength. Worst case scenarios don't matter when God calls. Hard times don't matter when He says, it's time to step out and and step up.

I have received a few jars back from people who are part of the "Change 4 Rwanda" campaign and wow, I have been blessed. I wasn't expecting that in the midst of this "hard" part of waiting for our little guy. I feel so richly blessed by your generosity and willingness to dream with us and be apart of our journey. Truly, an oasis of joy and comfort from the Lord through you in these hard, grueling days of waiting. I feel so deeply thankful.

Dream big! You won't be sorry. Have you ever asked God if He wants you to make your dream come true?

I dream of my son. I also dream of being a dancer (but don't tell anybody)!!! :)


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Light the Streets Video

Take a couple of minutes and watch this video. Warning: you may never be the same!

Light the Streets from Africa New Life Ministries on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

life lately

Happy Easter. Happy Spring. It's almost May!

We had a great Easter weekend! Having both sides of the family in town makes for joyous holidays. I've been especially emotional with Easter this year and thinking about all that Jesus went through for me. I feel such a deep sense of thankfulness and love for all that He endured and SUFFERED for me. Me. Wow.

Little family photo at my sis's place. We were outside between the rain showers to do the Easter egg thing. A big thank you to my sister and bro-in-law for getting a new Golden Retriever puppy for their kids. Now, I can send my kiddos over to auntie's house and get their "dog" fix. Awesome.

Spring soccer is in full swing. This time around Josh is coaching Melia's team. To say that Melia loves soccer would be an understatement. She plays outside every chance she gets. On game day, she insists on keeping her uniform on once we are home and begs us to play with her for the rest of the day in the back yard. It's been fun to see her improvements from the fall when she first set foot on the field.

Running update!

Yep, still huffing and puffing away. Does it ever get any easier? I don't think so. Melissa is a good buddy that is running with me. She is a constant source of encouragement, fun, and most importantly accountability. I can't tell you how many times I have run in the cold, dark, rainy, windy weather with this chick. The plan is for Melissa and another good friend, Shannon, to run the half marathon with Josh and I for orphans in Rwanda. And of course for our little guy. We now have a TEAM that will be pounding the pavement to raise money and awareness. How cool is that!

How is the change collecting going? I am so proud of you. There are approximately 7,000 street kids who walk the streets in Kigali, Rwanda and have no place to go and no food! Try going one day, or even skipping one meal, with nothing to eat and see how you feel. It's horrible! 10% of whatever we raise goes directly to a program that feeds these kids. Thank you for all the coins you are collecting! I have a deep gratitude for each and every one of you. I pray that your family will be blessed by helping us with this campaign. You're helping me get my boy home. I can't thank you enough.

Just completed a 10 mile run. We just had to take a picture.

Action shot. There's no gym membership here baby. I think we were a bit loopy. :)

Well done. That was hard but we did it!

I would love to report something new and exciting about our little guy. There is no new word. Still waiting for our non-objection letter. We are at the 11 month mark! I can't believe it. The documents that they asked for after initially looking at our dossier have been in their hands for about two months now. Or maybe longer. I quit keeping track. Oh please let it be soon.....


Monday, April 11, 2011


The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster. There have been highs and lows and yet, we remain. We've had two birthdays in our family. We've welcomed home our sweet friends with their daughter from Ethiopia (yes!). Journeyed alongside friends going through a hard time. We still wait to hear any word from Rwanda.....

I'm getting really good at answering questions with, "I don't know". I love being asked what's going on and if there is any new news. I feel so loved and honored that people would care enough and take the time to ask not knowing what they may be stepping into. My answer has been a solid, "I don't know" for many months. Kind of a weird place to be. Unnerving one moment and surprising peaceful the next, keenly aware that I've never had any control in the first place so let go and let God work it all out for His glory.

We keep facing waves. Upon my yearly (okay maybe it had been a year and a half) doctor's visit my doctor felt a "mass" in my left breast. I had been having pain and was concerned so you can only imagine when the doctor agrees that something is indeed there and needing further attention. She ordered an ultrasound and since I am over 30 it is required to have a mammogram as well. Talk about feeling old! I'm 32. Just barely over 30, right? My doctor said that pain was actually good, usually breast cancer doesn't hurt. However, my mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor and she originally found it from experiencing pain.

Talk about scary walking into that appt. not knowing what you're going to find out. Ya know what I kept thinking..... God won't let me have breast cancer because I have to get my Jo-jo. Jo-jo is my son and I am meant to be his momma, along with my little beauties. One mammogram and ultra sound later, I am given the news that it is....JUST A CYST! Praise God. All looks good, no need to worry. Cue the mighty exhale.

Cheers to lumpy boobs and medical technology (got to lighten the mood). Puts waiting for my little guy into perspective. I don't know when I'm gonna get him but rest assured... I'M GOING TO GET HIM.


Thursday, March 24, 2011


Just got back from a couple of days spent with Josh's side of the family at the Oregon Coast. What a great time we had. (pics to come soon when I download off the camera). It is always good to be with family. And, I am in love with the Oregon Coast. Sure, it's grey and wet and freezing cold. But, there is nothing like it. I love to stare at the sea... watching the waves crash, and the sea move with the rising and lowering currents. It is awe-inspiring! The sea is a wonderful, amazing reminder to me of the power of my Almighty God.

It's been almost two weeks since all our necessary documents have arrived in Rwanda and we have heard nothing. I am screaming on the inside. All I can do is pray. A good friend reminded me today about how cool that it is that we CAN TALK directly to Jesus. So, when I say all I can do is pray really I should be so thankful and filled with awe that I AM ABLE to talk to my Creator and submit my frustration, hopes, fears, joy, etc... to Him.

Will you pray with me and for my son? Pray that we hear soon from the government. Pray that I will calm down. Pray that I will find joy and peace in this lonely, quiet time. Pray that I will cling even more to the perfect timing of my Jesus.


Saturday, March 19, 2011


I jogged 8 miles today. I like to use the term "jog" instead of "run" due to my speed. :) I won't be winning any races any time soon...but I will finish the 1/2 marathon race in May. Some of you reading this are thinking, what's the big deal running 8 miles? That's not very far. I can run that before breakfast. I am not one of those kind of people. I'm more from the thinking of , why would anyone want to go outside and just run? Run for no reason other than to challenge themselves and sweat like a dog? :) Now if you were to ask me to go outside and play soccer or volleyball, then I am your girl. But run..... no thanks.

Yet running is a discipline that I have come to enjoy. (Especially after my run is over). :) The focus, the determination, setting a goal, the cathartic breathing. I especially love running for my son and the orphans of Rwanda.

WE are doing something that is so important. In the journey of adoption I often feel powerless and NOT in control. We are all working together to do something that is SO POWERFUL. Yet, it is so simple. Help feed kids. I can't thank you enough for coming alongside us with this goal.

Since you're helping the kids of Rwanda, I thought it will be fun from time-to-time to share information about this wonderful country.

Have you found Rwanda on the map yet? Doesn't it seem small?! Rwanda's 10.2 million people live in an area smaller than Maryland. There is an estimated 1 million orphans in Rwanda. The high population density is due partly to a tradition of large families, and partly to Rwanda's highland location as a place of refuge for people fleeing the colonial-era slave trade.

French, Kinyarwanda, and English are Rwanda's official languages. English was added in 1995 to accomodate refugees from English-speaking nations. All Rwandans speak Kinyarwanda. It is a tonal language that has the same alphabet as English except for the letters q and x.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I didn't quite make the eight mile mark today. I jogged six. I think I could have done a couple more but I ran into a time crunch. I wasn't too sad that I had to stop either. :) Melissa (my jogging buddy) and myself are back on our schedule and will attempt (oh, I mean definitely get it done) eight miles this Saturday.

Maybe I should take up Melia's latest fixation: JUMP ROPING! What a great energy burner that you can do indoors or outdoors. This girl NEEDS a way to burn her energy when it's raining buckets outside here in the great Northwest.

Seriously, have you tried to jump rope lately?...... it's hard!

We heard that our documents DID make it to Rwanda yesterday and were hand carried by our in-country case coordinator to the PEEPS that need them.

As we go to bed, people in Rwanda are starting their work day and I am finding it hard not to lie awake each night and pray that they are processing our documents. If I wake up in the night for whatever reason, I find myself thinking about the people that hold my documents and asking for today to be "the day" something happens.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

runners are no joke

Are you a runner? I have a ton of respect for you. Running is no joke!

I've been training for my half-marathon for a little while now. IT.IS.HARD. (think a lot of huffing and puffing & sweating) :) Maybe the middle of winter is not the best time to start training for a big race. The great Northwest produces a ton of rain. I really don't mind running in the rain. Since, I do not have a gym membership, I've been doing a lot of that lately. It's the wind that gets to me! Wind and rain combo are killers.

I was suppose to run an 8 miler this weekend that I have yet to run. We've had storm upon storm... I keep looking outside and see the rain going sideways and think, I can wait for a break. And then the break doesn't come. Tomorrow I am biting the bullet no matter what.

wish me luck-


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

spin cycle

Yesterday our caseworker called to say that the additional documents that we completed had been authenticated in Washington DC and are on their way to Rwanda. Yes. They are suppose to arrive within two weeks but our dossier, sent way back in May, arrived in one. I hope for a speedy plane. :)

Then she lowered the boom that I had heard rumors of amongst other (Rwandan mamas) blogs the day before. Rwanda has made a new rule: all adoptive parents must NOW be PRESENT in court to sign the formal act of adoption document. This document previously was allowed to be signed by our power of attorney. Therefore, parents became legal guardians of their children while still in the states and then traveled once they had an embassy appt. This new rule likely means that we will have to travel twice. The gov't is still working out the details.... so the questions that swarm in my head, (do both parents have to be present?, why this rule now?, how does that work with an embassy appt. in another country?, etc....) will hopefully be answered in the next couple of weeks.

I know God's in this but I'm kinda spinning.


"Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.... See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me."
Isaiah 49:13 & 16

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Change 4 Rwanda

We have saved, we have worked extra jobs, we have received donations and we are almost there. We are close to our total money goal for bringing Jo-jo home with us forever! We are grateful and oh so thankful for you and your enthusiasm as we expand our family.

I've been trying to think of a creative way to raise funds for the last costs of our adoption. The costs that kind of sneaks up on ya: shots that insurance doesn't cover, int'l medical doctor to read our referral review, in-country costs, etc... etc.....

Josh and I are going to run the Keizer Iris Festival Half-Marathon on May 22nd. Would you be willing to sponsor us in this run?

Change 4 Rwanda is our jar campaign to bring about awareness of orphans in Rwanda and bring our Jo-jo home to us! We're asking you to step it up and collect change in a jar from now until race day, May 22nd. We have a decorated jar for you to collect any amount of change that you can.... be creative here - change from your pockets, change from can/bottle returns, change from a jar or cup you already have, change from the sofa???, change from co-workers or friends, the possibilities are endless....

Who wants a jar? :)

Melia is holding "Jo-jo's giraffe" and Kylie is holding a jar for our fundraiser.

My mom bought this stuffed animal for Jo-jo and we routinely hug and kiss it. I actually sleep with it every night. Someday, it will be in the arms of my son.

Side Story: I heard about this ministry called Africa New Life Ministries. This is an organization that helps the people of Rwanda through teaching of the Gospel and acts of compassion. They have various ministries, one of which, is for the street kids of Kigali, Rwanda. (Our orphanage is in this city). There are approx. 7,000 street kids in Kigali. No one watching out for them. No mom or dad to hug and kiss and keep them out of trouble. ANLM has a program where these kids can come twice a week to their property and be feed, wash clothes, and enjoy a little peace in their hard life. After watching this video an idea popped into my head.

Why not help raise money for this program? Let's raise awareness and help do something for these kids! 10% of whatever we raise will go directly to this program!

Street Children Project from Africa New Life Ministries on Vimeo.

The goal is to stay at the guest house on the property of ANLM and we will video/take pictures of our time there (and the kids) so you can see exactly where a portion of your money went.

Besides playing a pivotal role in the life of my son, you will be used by God to touch the lives of hundreds of kids who will know the love of Jesus. I am so excited about this! Would you be willing to take a jar?

Follow my blog as we train for the run of a lifetime...first 13.2 miles in Keizer, then our journey to Rwanda.

Here we go... Blessings!

Friday, March 4, 2011

patience is a virtue

My heart is aching today. BADLY.

The additional documents that we needed to complete are currently in Washington DC where they will be authenticated with the Rwandan embassy before heading over to Rwanda. I was feeling so encouraged last week. I still am encouraged. I feel like we are finally getting somewhere and drawing closer to our little sweet baby boy. Not hearing any new news for a week is fine. Adoption tests even the most patient person and I do not consider myself patient in any way. Patience has turned into a serious discipline for me. One that I have to routinely practice giving to God.

The ache is back today in a powerful way. Drawing closer gives you the sweet thought of having your child in your arms. Loving him and kissing him and playing with him and never letting go of him. I dislike very much being on the verge of tears at any given moment. Right here and right now I am (again) giving my heart to my God who graciously allows me to draw close to Him. It is all for His glory.

My heart is stirring for the orphans of Rwanda. I am working on an idea that I will blog about in my next post. I am going to call on all of you to help defend the cause of the orphan. (I'll give you a hint..... something that has to do with the "change for Rwanda" tag on the right hand side of this blog.)

Are you ready?


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

all my heart

I am extremely filled with joy at this moment. My heart is full. I am so thankful for each and every one of you who has stood with us on this journey. I've never been so thankful for our friends and family. You have supported us spiritually through prayer, giving of your time, giving of your things (garage sales), giving financially, giving emotionally to listen and respond. As someone who does NOT like to ask for help or appear to vulnerable to many, you have lived and breathed what it means to be apart of the body of Christ.

I am so profoundly moved. It makes me want to be a better person. It makes me want to love others more and help others in a way like I have never felt before. You have helped me when I can't help myself. You have encouraged when days are dark. You have cheered beside me on the mountaintop.

I am different then when I started this chapter a year ago. I am more patient. I am more willing to embrace and completely surrender. I am more aware of my need for my Savior. You have had an influence in shaping me. You have been an example of what it means to love unconditionally. You have been an extension of Jesus. I will live bigger and better because of you.

You are powerful. You are real. I am grateful to God for allowing me the privilege to walk life with you.

Thank you with all my heart.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

love month

I am loving February. We got an email today from the peeps in RWANDA! They are analyzing OUR dossier and they need a few more documents. Okay. We don't have the non-objection yet to adopt from Rwanda. BUT our dossier is sitting in front of their eyes! Wow. 9 months of really no word and viola, we hear something. February 24th was a good day.

We busted our butts today and got all the necessary paperwork up to our agency. I'm talking printed out, copied, notarized, state certified, and driven up one hour north to our agency's office. Can I get an "Amen" for a productive day! (A huge thank-you to my mom for watching the girlies so some serious movin' could happen.)

These documents should be off to Rwanda very shortly and then....and then....hopefully a quick response of non-objection.

With God ALL things are possible!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

little by little

Just a quick update to let you all in on a bit of news. Our number is getting closer!

We are #73 and read a blog of a family who is #55 and their dossier is currently being reviewed for a non-objection letter. We are getting closer. I hold on to this hope that we are out of the longest of the waiting...hearing nothing....growing impatient....learning to daily give it all to God.....sad....long days.....kinda part. Guess I shouldn't be over the daily surrender thing. :)

Feel like I've been tied up and I've been fighting with all my strength to get out of the ropes that entangle me and be free. At last, when I realize I can not free myself, I give way to pure exhaustion and lay there very still. I'm open and I'm listening.... sweet surrender.

Thanks for your prayers and continued support. Keep praying.

Friday, January 28, 2011


One year ago today we were sitting in the office of our adoption agency making the call of adding to our family official..... we have a child in Rwanda. We went through two notebooks of details on what we needed to do to put together our home study documents and our dossier documents. In addition to the classes we needed to take on line and a thick workbook that needed to be completed. Wow - has it only been a year since that all happened? In many ways it feels like it was three years ago. I was so overwhelmed and excited. I remember looking at Josh when we got in the car with our binders and said to him, "what do we do first?" My mind was on overload.

We got to work!
Fingerprints, passports, required documents retrieved (i.e. criminal checks both state and county, employment verifications, guardianship statements, copies of birth & marriage certificates, etc....), FBI checks, Adoption parent education classes, medical appts., interviews (4 total) by social worker, country specific information, fundraisers, etc....

Fast forward to May 31st when our completed dossier was registered in Rwanda. Now we wait. We quickly realized that the waiting game was going to be tougher and WAY longer than we had thought.

The end of this month marks 8 months of waiting. I'd love to say that I've waited well. Reality says this has been one tough year. It's true though, in the hardest times, that is the best time of growth. I have grown deeper in my walk with the Lord. I hope that I am a better person and have a deeper sense of strength and character than I did a year ago. My aim is to glorify my God. I have learned a lot about the Sovereignty of God. I'm learning to surrender to His will and timing. That can mean some pretty "ugly" days for a stubborn, control freak like myself.

Thank you for your kind words and your prayers. Your support matters and affects us deeply.

Enough of all this heavy stuff, I will leave you with a funny but oh so true story.

The other night Josh was walking down the hallway to check on the girls in their room before he and I called it a night. I was in our bedroom and I heard him make a funny little noise. I asked if everything was alright and he said he wasn't sure. What??? What is going on? I stood in the doorway of our room in our L-shaped hallway. Josh said I think a mouse just ran past me into the playroom. Where did a mouse come from? There have been no "signs" of a mouse? Really, are you sure?

To say that rodents scare me would be a grossly exaggerated understatement. I loathe rodents! I hate them. They turn my stomach and I squeal like a little girl if I see one. Call me a baby, I don't care. Yuck! Can't stand them. Soooo... now I am kinda freaking out. Josh turns on the lights and is checking the room and YEP, we have a mouse that is now behind the dresser. What do we do???? I could run a half-marathon at this point with all the adrenaline pulsing through my body. I go and put my boots on. Josh leaves wimpy me there on post and goes to the garage to retrieve his big work gloves and a broom. Say your prayers you nasty rodent.

Josh closes the door and barricades himself in the room. He had to cover up the little space underneath the doorway. No pesky mouse was leaving that room alive. I'm still standing in the doorway of our bedroom and the playroom is directly in front of me and the end of the hallway. All is quiet and then "Whack, whack, whack" Josh is swinging that broom and I am jumping up and down. Get that sucker. He needs to die for invading our territory. :)

Josh starts moving the stuff he had placed in front of the door so I think yes, the mouse is dead. Hooray. All of the sudden....... that darn mouse comes flying out from under the door running for his life. STRAIGHT AT ME! I figured this little guy was a goner so to have him shoot out from under that door took me by total surprise. This is the part where I so wished I had grabbed the video camera. I would have won the grand prize on America's Funniest Videos because I came unglued. No explanation will do it justice. I yelped, turned, and jumped for our bed. Of course I didn't try to stand my ground and stop this mouse from running through our house. I didn't even stand there long enough to see where it went. Down the hall? In another room? Towards the front living room? Guess what....we have NOT found the mouse! To this day there are no "signs" of our furry pest and no traps have been touched. I'd like to think that he ran in and ran back out to where ever he came from and is long gone.

sidenote: Josh did hit the tar out of that mouse. It "played" dead and then when he moved the stuff from the door it jumped up and ran. Can you believe it!

The mouse ran out and the chicken remains...ME!