Friday, June 25, 2010

My Little Fish

Here is Sawyer swimming. He really started swimming good on Wed. and he looked at his teacher and said, " I can swim now, so I don"t need swim lessons anymore." He is a stinker!
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I was so happy with how well Jax did. He didn't even want to get in the water 2 weeks ago.
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I am so proud of my little swimmers!

Prayers and Praises

I decided that I want to document the prayers that the Lord answers during our adoption journey. We know we will encounter challenges and I want to focus on the good things God is doing in our lives.

Praises
1. When we attended the adoption conference back in February, we knew we wanted to adopt, but didn't know where we wanted to adopt from. We prayed that God would show us clearly where our baby was. We felt He was calling us to adopt from Africa and now we know that Rwanda is where our child is waiting for us.
2. We knew from the start that we wanted to use the Louisiana Baptist Children's home.Thankfully the agencies were able to work together to make this happen.
3. Our application was accepted!
4. Last month I began having some unusual vision problems. I went to several doctors and was diagnosed by the opthamologist with uveitis or inflammation in my eyes. I have been through a battery of tests in the last month and everything has come back normal. My eyes are back to normal and I am feeling great!
5. We have received amazing support from our families and friends!
6. Our photography fundraiser is off to a great start!

Prayer Requests
1. We are currently trying to decide what other fundraisers to do.
2. We are beginning our home study next week. Pray things will go well and that we will be diligent with getting things done (paperwork, etc).
3. My eye condition will not return.
4. We had a tough week last week (car in the shop, a visit to the e.r. for my husband, a toddler who refuses to nap, several broken household items including computer.) Pray that we will not be discouraged, but to push on toward our goal of glorifying God in all we do. Justin is fine by the way. He just had a mild concussion. We are praying for a less eventful week this week.

I plan to update this list at least once a month. We truly appreciate your prayers!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Application Accepted!

Last Feb. we attended an Adoption for Life Conference. This is where we first sensed God calling us to adopt from Africa. We came home from the conference excited to start the adoption process. First, we had to choose an adoption agency. We were able to meet Amber and Troy, friends of Jon ad Kelsey's. They have an adorable son who was adopted from Ethiopia and are in the process of adopting a daughter. They used All God's Children International and highly recommended the agency. We decided that we wanted to adopt from Rwanda and wanted AGCI to be our agency.
AGCI is located in Oregon, so we had to find a local agency to complete our home study. We knew from the start that we wanted to use the Louisiana Baptist Children's home. At first it didn't look like this would be a possibility, but thankfully the agencies were able to work together to make it happen. This was a huge answer to prayer!
We found out yesterday that our application was received and that we have been accepted into the Rwanda adoption program at AGCI. We are so excited to finally get started! We should receive our orientation packet the first of next week. Once we sign all of the necessary paperwork, we will officially begin on our adoption journey.
We are thankful for the prayers God has already answered and look forward to what else He has in store for us.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Five Years Ago

In June of 2005 Justin and I became the foster parents of two of the sweetest children ever. Sebastian was four and a half and Lilith was 7 weeks old. I will never forget how overwhelmed I felt when the social worker handed me Lilith who was screaming at the top of her lungs. She was not a happy baby that day. I will never forget watching Justin and Sebastian instantly bond and thinking that Justin was going to be a wonderful father. (I was right by the way.) We knew we were doing what God had called us to do by opening our home to these two children, but we had absolutely no idea what He had in store for us. We didn't know how long the kids would live with us. We didn't know what would happen to the parents and if they would ever get their sweet babies back. We didn't know if I would ever be able to become pregnant. We didn't know, but God knew.

He knew that we would not only fall in love with the kids, but also with their mother. I will never forget the first time I met her. It was probably one of the hardest moments in my life. We had taken the kids to the CPS office to visit their parents. The social worker told us that their mom wanted to meet us. I was so nervous as we walked back to the room where she was playing with the kids. Sebastian started screaming when he saw us, because he knew that he was going to have to leave his mom and go home with us. His mom, Chelsea looked so sad and so helpless. I don't know how I looked, but I know I felt sad and helpless. At the time, I had no idea how important Chelsea would be in my life.

When I got home I noticed that she had written me a letter. She expressed her thanks to us and her desire to clean up her life, so that she could get her babies back. We continued to send each other letters each week. Justin and I prayed with Sebastian every night before bed and never once went a night without praying for his mother. Every night I would listen to that sweet child pray to God for "mommy to get better, so we can be together again." I am ashamed to admit that there were times when I was unsure that would happen. I knew about her history and how hard it is to beat a drug addiction. Sebastian, however never doubted that his prayers were being heard. The Bible tells us to have faith like a child and this was a perfect picture of just that.

Chelsea did everything she needed to do to get her life clean and the kids returned to her home about a year later. Five years later I am amazed at how the Lord has transformed her life. She is a now a child of the King and serves Him with her whole life. She married a man who loves the Lord and their children with all of his heart. They also have a third child now. She wrote these words 2 days ago on facebook, "AHH! So, today was my 5 years clean!!!!!! AMAZING!!! 5 years ago today I NEVER EVER EVER in my short legged life, thought I would be exactly where I am today! 5 years ago, I had my children taken from me, a metal baseball bat being swung at me, cops escorting me, and my life becoming more and more empty. Because I let all my past go, I was able to open my hands up for my future! THANK YOU JESUS!!!"
I can't tell you how happy it made me to read those words.

Last December we all met at Chic-fil-a, so we could vistit. We watched our 5 children play as we visited and shared how God was working in our lives. Five years ago when we started the journey I would have never imagined doing that. First, of all I didn't know that we would be able to have two precious children of our own. Secondly, I didn't know that Chelsea would not only beat her drug addiction, but would be involved in church and serving God whole heartedly. I didn't know, but He knew. We give God all the glory!

We now find ourselves in uncertain times again as we begin the adoption process. We don't really know what to expect of this entire process. We don't know exactly how we will pay for the adoption. We don't know when we will get our child. We don't know, but God knows. The Lord reminded me recently to pray with childlike faith, "Sebastian like faith" when I come to Him with my concerns and requests. I am certain that five years from now I will be able to look back and see How great God's plan was.

Jeremiah 29 (The Message)
11 I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 12"When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. 13-14"When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed.