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.