Monday, January 31, 2011

Tickets are booked!!!

We got the travel approval late Friday night, and finally booked tickets today! 
We have been praying about taking the kids to Colombia from the start, we know how life changing the trip to Guatemala was for them and really wanted them to see Luisa's birth country as well.  But, this trip is different than our trip to Guatemala in many ways and we realized it would not be possible for us to do this trip without someone to help watch the kids when we go to the various meetings.  We had a friend who also was praying for someone to come with us and she gave us the name of someone she thought would be a great fit for our family.  Well, God certainly has had his hand in this because when we got in contact with Mary Ellen, she was not only willing and able, but excited to tromps through a foreign country with our brood! 
Mary Ellen has spent time at Lily of the valley orphanage and fell in love with the sweet kids just as we did when we were there, and since we have many kids from Lily in our church she has made the trek up from Kentucky to see them.  On one of her trips we were able to meet her, but we are excited to get to know her on this trip! 




So, we all fly from Chicago to Bogota on Saturday Feb. 12th, spend the night in Bogota and fly out to Bucaramanga on Sunday.  We will get settled into our apartment on Sunday and on Monday we will get LUISA!!!!
We were getting anxious to book our tickets as we watched them go up in price daily while we waited for approval to book them.  Then we got approval late Friday night, and of course, the travel agency was closed, so we had to wait over the weekend.  By the time we booked them today they were higher than what we had hoped to pay and debated on whether or not we should be taking the kids.  Then God sent us monetary gifts from 2 different families TODAY, and someone else gave us an envelope with cash in it on Sunday!  We felt that God was covering the difference and we decided to go for it!  Just another way we have experienced His love through the graciousness of His people!  We are all very excited to finally meet our little Lucy, and so thankful to those who have helped make this possible!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sanctity of Life...

Sunday was Sanctity of Life Sunday.  We were blessed with the opportunity to share Luisa's story with our church family.  Ryan spoke on the value of life, especially one little life that has changed our whole world.
He used the story of lepers in Jesus day, and how Jesus responded to them. (Luke 5:12-13)  He had compassion on them, he touched them, and he healed them.  The same actions are required of us today, we are to have compassion on people that society casts off, we are to reach out to them and touch them, and we are to heal them, or pray that God would heal them or offer them the life saving medications that they so desperately need.  We are not to be like the shepherds God talked about in Ezekiel 34. 

...‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured....


He talked about the faith steps we took as we set off to do what we felt God was calling us to, even when it did not make sense to do it.  About how we are to say "YES LORD" even though we have no idea how things will turn out.  Too many times Christians take 'safe steps' rather than 'faith steps.'  If everything we do can be accounted for from a human perspective then what difference is there between us and the rest of the world?  He also shared Psalm 40:1-5
 3 He has given me a new song to sing,
      a hymn of praise to our God.
   Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
      They will put their trust in the Lord.
 4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
      who have no confidence in the proud
      or in those who worship idols.
 5 O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
      Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
      You have no equal.
   If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
      I would never come to the end of them.

Then it was my turn to share a bit of Luisa's story (I condensed the story I have posted on the blog under the header if you have not read it before and are interested.) Then we shared the vehicle story and how God has been funding this adoption.
We also shared the Truth Pandemic video with the congregation and God blessed us with an amazing doctor from Grand Rapids, (who is a friend of a friend) that came up to share as well.  He did an incredible job explaining HIV/AIDS and how it is, but more importantly how it is NOT transmitted.  The reason we say it was such a God thing is that, we had asked our dear friend who is a nurse, to share the medical side of HIV, as we felt people would be more inclined to believe a 'professional' than what we, the adoptive parents would say.  She said she would be willing to share...BUT GOD...laid it on her heart to have her dear friend the doctor share, and (at the last minute I might add) he was not only willing, but also able to come up and share. And what a complete blessing he was.  Only God could have orchestrated that the way he did! 
We are so thankful for our church family, their love and support has been amazing!
*And no, we still have not heard anything from our agency...so we still have not booked our flights!  But, I checked today and Spirit Air has a sale going on the flight we will probably take so this delay could be a good thing?(IF we hear something SOON!)  We shall see... I will post as soon as we hear anything!  Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finally, Good news!!!


We got word today that our article 5 letter was received and sent out and we have a tentative presentation date!!  They set our presentation date (date we get Luisa) for February 14!  Which is Valentines Day, which is also Dylan's 13th birthday(I am about to pass out typing that...I will have a TEENAGER!!!  What in the world?!!?  How did that happen...but, I digress)  We are going to get our girl!!!
It is not set in stone yet so we can't book our flights, but we at least have a date!  {We have requested it to be earlier, so we shall see, but, I guess we will take what we can get!}
Just wanted to share our good news, we will keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

no travel news yet...

so goes international adoption!  But, we do know that we are waiting *ultimately on God,* for our article 5 letter to be issued, then a travel date will be set.  All other hoops have been jumped through!  We are getting close...I will post as soon as we hear anything!

But, in the meantime, we are having fun with the ones we got here!  This is a video of Anaya playing tennis on the Wii.  It looks like she is having a dance contest or something, but no, it's just tennis.  Not sure where she learned to move her "booty butt" (as she puts it,) like that...she cracks us up!


video




Monday, January 10, 2011

the ride...

and what an *AMAZING* ride this has been!  I feel like we keep getting invited by God on these wild adventures, and while I don't always go with the right attitude, I am always so glad that I went!  We have been reminded time and again, this isn't about us, it is all about HIM, and what HE is doing, we are just blessed to be a part of it!  Something AMAZING happened this week, something only God could orchestrate.

A fellow blogger has a name for God that I just love.

They call Him: the Miracle-Working, Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God!! Yippee Jesus!!  


And I just have to say...That is what we are calling Him too!!!

When we started this adoption process we sat the kids down and told them there were several things we needed to pray for.  In fact, I blogged about it here.


Well, we have been praying for over a year now that God would provide the money for the adoption and an 8 passenger vehicle.  Jayden was specifically praying for money to just fall from the sky.  And truly, that has been happening.  {OK, so it's not from the sky, but you get the picture!}  


We have received several grants from organizations, gifts from loved ones and complete strangers, and of course money from our fundraisers.  God is providing the money we need for this adoption, and we are so incredibly grateful!  We just shake our heads and praise the Lord every time a need is met!


This weekend, we got an 8 passenger vehicle.  It is exciting and wonderful to know that we will all be able to ride in the same vehicle together once we get little Lucy home.  But, what is even more amazing is that the vehicle was GIVEN to us.  GIVEN.  Now, we were praying for a vehicle, and I imagined that God would provide a vehicle, perhaps someone would donate an old church van, I even settled in my mind that we could paint it black and that I was going to be happy with whatever he provided.... 

BUT GOD.


God provided us with an AMAZING vehicle.  Like, if I were able to pick any vehicle in the whole wide world, I would pick THIS vehicle. {In all honesty, when I first saw THIS vehicle a few years back I thought..."man, I would really love to have one of those!"}  Only God.  Only my Miracle-Working, Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God!! Yippee Jesus!!  God would do this.

MISSION 1:27 donated this vehicle to our family.  God moved on our behalf and used this wonderful organization to graciously deliver a miracle to our family!  They knew of our need, and God laid it on their hearts to respond to that need.  I can't say Thank you enough to them for their faithfulness to God!  There are no words that could convey how elated we are with this gift.  Saturday I just shook my head and kept saying "I can't believe this."  I think I was in shock.  Sunday the tears came, "so undeserving."  And today, well, every time I walk past the door and see this vehicle outside I think someone is here!!!  Then I say a prayer of thanks, offer my praise and ask a blessing on Mission 1:27.


It was so much fun for the kids to see how BIG our God is.  They were just as giddy as Ryan and I to know that God answered our prayers in such an amazing way.  They were with when Ryan picked it up and they kept saying that they felt like they were stealing it!  The God of the universe who made all things cares enough about us to listen to our prayers and then go on to answer in a BIG, AMAZING, EXTRAVAGANT way. God is Jehovah Jireh, our provider.  The one who takes care of every single need that we have.  We are so thankful for the way he takes care of our family.  And that he used our friends from Mission 1:27 is even more special.  We now get to sit back and watch how God will bless them for blessing us!  How awesome is that? 




2 Corinthians 9:8-11God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,

   He throws caution to the winds,
      giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
   His right-living, right-giving ways
      never run out, never wear out.
This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God. (The Message)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

blessed...

WOW!  What an amazing week this has been!  I promise I will unfold all of the details later in the week, but first and foremost, I want to share how God is working in Easton's life.

As parents our greatest priority for our children, is that they know and love the Lord.  We pray every night that they would grow up to be strong godly young men(and woman for Anaya!)  Wednesday night at bedtime, Easton was praying and he said "...and Jesus I want you to come in my heart...."  Then when he was done praying he said, "Mom, did you know I asked Jesus into my heart?"  I said, "I just heard that buddy, that is awesome!"  He was smiling bigger than life, it was so precious!  I talked with him to see if he knew what that meant, and he did, (as much as a 5.5 year old can!)

All of the boys have asked Jesus into their hearts and lives at an early age, and it just thrills our souls to hear them express their love and thankfulness to Jesus for dying for their sins.  We pray that they will all continue to "...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be glory both now and forever!  Amen!!"~ 2 Peter 3:18



Mark 10:14...He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.