Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Could be Crazier?

Tomorrow is December 1st! Yay! I love Christmas and of course December 2011 is the month we get to meet our daughter, so we are so excited! This is really going to be a great month and I am trying to enjoy every moment, but I am also freaking out about all that we have to do in the next 2 weeks! We leave 2 weeks from tomorrow!!!!

Like I said, I love Christmas! But, I have to admit the busyness of Christmas can stress this mama out sometimes. So, throw in a trip to Africa right smack dab in the middle of everything and the stress increases just a bit. We will be gone Dec.15-21, so I am really feeling the pressure to have everything done by the 15th.

Tomorrow is December 1st and we don't have our tree up yet. We did pick it out and tag it at a Christmas tree farm, but we have yet to pick it up. I don't think we realized when we picked it out before Thanksgiving how hard it was going to be to find a spare hour to go pick it up. We have taken our Christmas card pics, but have not designed or purchased them. I am having doubts that we will get these out before we leave.

Ok, so what could make things even crazier than preparing for Christmas and a trip to Africa to meet our daughter? We are having a huge garage sale this weekend!!! We planned this a couple of months ago, before we had a court date. We are still trying to raise money for our second trip to Ethiopia, so we are having a garage sale this Saturday to try to raise some funds.

Thankfully, we have not had to do all of the planning and preparing by ourselves. Let's face it, that would be impossible. Many friends have donated their things and for that we are so thankful. We have awesome friends! Friends who let Justin borrow their vehicles to haul stuff, friends who give up their evenings to help us load and unload, friends who rented their storage building for an extra month just so we could use it, friends who gave up their one break a week from their kids to help sort and price. I love our friends!!!

If you are local and would like to donate your stuff or your time to help us, please let us know. If you don't want to donate, but want to shop, please come. We have a ton of stuff! The garage sale is this Sat. Dec.3rd at the ULM BCM.

If you are not local, but would like to contribute to our adoption, you are in luck. As if life isn't crazy enough, we are also planning another fundraiser, which I hope to be able to post about soon. You will have a chance to buy some awesome gifts from Ethiopia, so stay tuned.

So, as busy as we are, we are still taking the moments we have to enjoy this season with our precious boys.

Tis the season for hot cocoa with gingerbread marshmallows and whip cream. Yummy!!

Life is crazy for us right now, but life is also good. God is with us and he continues to provide for this adoption every step of the way. I am thankful for His blessings. I am also thankful for a hard working husband and kids who don't mind eating cereal for dinner.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Answered Prayer!!!

We are rejoicing today, because God answered our prayers for our little girl. I shared here about the 24 hours of prayer for Mia. From Monday at noon until Tuesday at noon family, friends, and friends of friends were in constant prayer for Mia to be moved to Hannah's Hope. We were so encouraged during this time and never doubted that God heard every prayer.

This morning I received this e-mail from my sweet friend Sarah, who is was in Ethiopia this week: MEREDITH!!!! SHE IS HERE!!! AT HANNAHS HOPE!!! Her documents were finished today and I got to watch her walk into Hannahs Hope! Can you believe it?!?!?! It is a miracle! And i got to be here to witness it!

Tears were streaming down my face as I read these wonderful words. I am so, incredibly thankful to all of you who have been praying for our daughter. I just know that the Lord wanted you all to be apart of her story, the beautiful story He is writing.

We also received 2 new pictures of her today. We have not received any since August, so this was quite a treasure for us.

We are very thankful on this eve of Thanksgiving. We praise the Lord, because He heard our prayers and answered them in a mighty way!

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." Psalm 100:4

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Toy Bowl

Last Saturday we watched Sawyer's team play in the Toy Bowl. It was the championship game for 5 year old flag football. They went in to the game undefeated, but ended up coming in second place for the year. This is the sign they ran through before the game.
Justin went down on the field to get some good action shots. Sawyer had so much fun! He is smiling in almost all the pics.
He really doesn't take himself too seriously out there, which may have annoyed the coaches some. But, he for sure enjoyed himself and encouraged his teammates. He was always patting everyone on the back and hugging his teammates after they made a good play.
I just love him. I'm not real sure that he will become a pro-football player one day, but he did have fun playing 5 year old flag football.
His team came in second place and were given silver medallions. Sawyer said, "I like silver better than gold, anyways."

We are so proud of our little football player. Jaxon really wanted to play, but he will have to wait a couple of years until he is old enough.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prayers for Mia

My four year old son, Jaxon, has not been feeling well lately. He has a nasty cough and a low grade fever. He just isn't himself. He is having trouble sleeping, so I have been putting him in my bed to sleep for the past few nights. When my kids are sick I like to keep a close eye on them. I keep them close, so I can be right there if they need me. I am there to give medicine, cuddle, wipe away tears, bring them as many popsicles they want, and give plenty of kisses. That's just what mommas do when their little ones need them.

My youngest child lives in Africa. I have no idea how she is feeling most days. I don't know if she is scared, not feeling well, etc. Our agency is very good at giving immediate updates to the adoptive parents when kids get sick. Our agencies transition home (Hannah's Hope) takes excellent care of the children. I have heard nothing but good things about Hannah's Hope. Unfortunately our daughter is not at HH, yet.

When we first received our referral we were told that she would not be able to move to HH until we passed court. Soon after we were given some hope that she would be able to move before we passed court. Over 3 weeks ago, I was told that she would probably move in the next 2 weeks. I have been praying every day that she would be able to move to HH. I just know that it is a better place for her to be. I am not there to wipe her tears,give her kisses, and let her know that she is loved. All I can do is pray that she will be moved to a place that will give her the best care possible until we can bring her home.

This week I began to grow weary in my prayers. It is hard to pray and pray for the same thing with no results. I know many of you reading are waiting for prayers to be answered and it is tough. Of course, I trust the Lord and His perfect timing. Earlier in the week I felt the Lord telling me to share my burdens with friends who understand, so I asked some of my fellow adoption moms to pray for our daughter.

Friday night, my sweet friend, Leigh, contacted me to let me know that the Lord had laid it on her heart to start a 24 hour prayer chain for Mia to be moved to HH. She started an event on FB and friends (some whom I have never met) will be praying from noon tomorrow (Nov.20) until noon on Tuesday (Nov. 21).

I am honored that so many people will be praying for our girl. I have no doubt that God will hear every prayer. He moves mountains. He truly has already worked so many miracles and moved huge mountains in our daughters life. On August 17th we first saw her picture and began to pray that God would bring her a family. On December 17th, exactly 4 months to the day, we will get to meet, hold, and love on our daughter. The Lord answers prayers!!!

If you would like to be a part of the 24 hours of prayer for Mia, please let me know.

Friday, November 18, 2011

'Tis So Sweet

When I talk about our upcoming trip to Ethiopia and about all that is going on in our lives right now I usually use words like excited, happy, thankful, and blessed. These are all accurate words to describe how I am feeling. I am truly excited about meeting our daughter. I am so happy and thankful for the call to adopt God put on our hearts. I am blessed!

But there are a few other emotions I am feeling as well that aren't as fun to talk about; stressed, worried, and fearful.

Yes, I said it. I am stressed!! We have so much going on right now with preparing for our trip and the holidays and just life. I make to-do lists every day, scratch things off, and go to bed with a list longer than I started with.

I keep thinking, "I'm too blessed to be stressed." You know, I'd really like to meet the person who first coined that saying, so I could give her a good smack between the eyes. Hey, I'm just being real! I am indeed blessed, but I am also feeling stressed with a capital S.

The other pesky thing that has been creeping in is fear. Oh, fear, I thought I already dealt with you. God has been teaching me for quite a while now to trust Him in all things and to fear not. I faced my fears and said,"yes" to God when we accepted the referral of our sweet girl with special needs. God filled me with peace and I thought we could start a new lesson. Ha! I thought I could start writing a new chapter in the "things God has taught me through this adoption" book.

Apparently, God is not done with me on this subject. I am currently doing a women's Bible study by Angela Thomas called "Brave." It has been really great. Last week the study was entitled "I'm Trembling Inside." This pretty much describes where I am right now. Justin told me that our pastor is starting a new sermon series about fear. This is really starting to become humorous.

I love our daughter and I know she is meant for our family, but I am also so afraid of all of the unknowns. I know I have been very vague about her special needs and I will continue to be for now. Honestly, there is just so much we don't know and won't know until she is home. Some days I try to imagine what our life will be like when she is here, and I can't. I just have no idea how our lives will be different and it scares me. I don't know when and even if she will walk without assistance. I don't know if she will do "normal" little girl things like play dress up, take dance lessons, and go to slumber parties. Often times, I fear that I won't have what it takes to care for her.

One thing I am learning is that God is never angry at me when I am scared. When my own children are truly scared, I can never be mad at them. I want to comfort them and try my best to help them not to be afraid. I hold them and tell them I love them. How much more does my Heavenly Father want to love me and hold me when I am scared. I have felt Him nudging me to tell Him what I am afraid of, to tell Him what it is I want for our daughter, and for our family. He wants me to hand over my fears to Him.

This week I got in a car accident. The boys were with me and we are all fine. No one was injured and I think my children actually enjoyed the little adventure. Talk about feeling stressed. This was not on the to-do list, for goodness sake. It really has reminded me of my vulnerability. It has reminded me how one little mistake can have big consequences. This, of course has brought out my fears.

Last night I was driving with the boys in the car. They were being loud and I was feeling nervous. I told them to quiet down and pray for us to be safe, because Mommy was feeling nervous after our accident.

From the back seat, Sawyer calmly and quietly prayed, "God you are with us. God we know that you are with us."

Such a simple and sweet prayer from the heart of my five year old son. God doesn't promise us that life will be easy. He doesn't promise us that all of our dreams will come true. He doesn't promise us that life won't get busy and that we won't go to bed every night feeling exhausted. He doesn't promise that we won't make mistakes that have ugly consequences. But He does promise to always be with us. He promises in His word, "I will never leave you; never will I forsake you."

I pray that in the coming months as we prepare to bring our daughter home, I will remember and find comfort in the sincere words of my eldest son. "God you are with us. God we know that you are with us."

Right as I was trying to think of a title for this post the song, "'Tis So Sweet" started playing on the Ipad. Oh, how I love the Lord's timing!! Let me leave you with these sweet words.

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise
Just to know Thus sayeth the Lord

O how sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to trust His cleansing blood
And in simple faith to plunge me
Neath the healing cleansing flood

Jesus Jesus how I trust him
How I've proved him o'er and o'er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust him more

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We arrive in Ethiopia one month from today. I can't believe it. I am so excited! I am also a little freaked out when I think about all that we have to do in the next month. Justin is taking off next week and we are planning to get Mia's room ready. Her room is currently the guest room, and we need to transform it into a sweet little girl's room.

My friend painted this for her room and I love it. It was a complete surprise to me, but I think it will be perfect for her room.

The verse is, "...and you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine." Lev:20:26

Mia's name means mine. The Lord gave us this name long before we knew who our daughter was. I didn't know at the time that our daughter was already living in an orphanage, that she had been there since she was 15 days old. I didn't know at the time that she was waiting for a mommy to say, "you are mine."

So many times I think about what her infancy and toddler years have been like and I just cry. Yes, adoption is a beautiful thing, but it begins with great pain. In a perfect world we wouldn't need adoption at all. Many times I have grieved the fact that our daughter didn't have a mother to nurse her, rock her, sing to her, read books to her, take a million pictures of her first year, and just give her the love that every single baby deserves. I hate that I missed these moments. I hate that these moments were wasted on an orphanage. It just isn't fair. My daughter deserved better than that.

But God is good and when I start to think these thoughts, He always reminds me that she is His daughter, that He was there to protect her and love her. He whispers to my heart,"she is Mine and I have been with her all along."

I am currently reading Katie Davis's book, Kisses for Katie. She wrote the following about being a Mommy and I absolutely love it.

"It's such a powerful name. Mommy means "I trust you." Mommy means "You will protect me." Mommy is for shouting when you need someone dependable and for laughing with you when you are excited; Mommy is for crying on and cuddling with when you are sad or giggling and hiding behind when you are embarrassed. Mommy is the fixer of boo-boos and the mender of broken hearts. Mommy is a comfort, a safe place. Mommy means you are mine and you are family."

I am so thankful that our daughter will soon know what it means to have a mommy. I am so thankful that she will be a part of a family for the first time in over 2 and a half years. I am thankful that God protected her and set her apart. I am so thankful that she is 'Mine".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Super Bros.

I almost forgot to post pictures from Halloween last week. The Super Bufkin Brothers decided they would dress as the Super Mario Bros. this year.
They both really wanted to be Mario.
Sawyer didn't want them to both be Mario, but he didn't want to be Luigi. Jax didn't care at all if they were both Mario as long as he got to dress as Mario. I finally just told Sawyer that either they could both be Mario or he could be Luigi.
So, he compromised and dressed as Luigi. I think he ended up being very happy with his choice. Jax said if Mia Grace was here she could have dressed like Princess Peach.
We went to our church "trunk or treat" on Halloween night.

This past weekend Sawyer designed Wii characters for our whole family including his little Sis.
It's Sawyer (cracks me up that he is the tallest), Justin, Jax (gotta love those shades), Me, and Mia Grace.
I have so much to do to prepare to bring our daughter home. She may not have any clothes or a room ready, but thanks to her big brother she has her very own Wii character.

Also, we booked our plane tickets to Ethiopia!!!! Woo Hoo! We are really going to meet our baby girl next month. We leave on Dec.15 and arrive back hove Dec.21. Christmas is going to be a little crazy this year. Actually, things are probably going to be crazy for the next few months, but that's ok. We are so excited to meet our daughter!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We got a Court Date!!!

I am sooooo very excited to say that we received our court date today!!! We are going to arrive in Ethiopia on December 16 and go to court on December 19. I am thrilled that we are going to meet our Mia Grace next month.

God's timing is so good and I just have to share about our call with you. Last week we started hearing about families from our agency getting court dates. I was very happy for them, but also started to get anxious. I prayed every day last week that we would get "the court date call." I never put my phone down.

Today I had a MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) meeting. Of course I took my phone, put it on vibrate, and sat it right in front of me. Well, our meeting just so happened to be about adoption. A friend that I was finally able to meet today, came to share about her adoption from Uganda. She shared a beautiful God story as tears streamed down my face. She showed a video of her husband and baby boy arriving home from Uganda. It was beautiful and all I could think about is that we are going to get to do that soon.

My home study caseworker was also there and she shared about how we can all help with orphan care in some way. It was really a great day and I could tell that many of the moms were very touched by the stories that were shared.

Then a friend asked me a question about my adoption and before I answered her I glanced at my phone to see K's name on the caller I.D. I jumped up, excused myself from the meeting, and ran out to answer the call. All the while I was thinking, I hope she isn't just calling to tell me M has an ear infection or something.

Then she said "I have an update for you and it's a good one." I shouted, "You do? Well, what is it? " Then she told me she had a court date for us and I squealed from joy and the tears started to flow."

After our brief call, I went back into the meeting and announced to all my friends that we had a court date. These are women who have prayed for us, cried with us, and rejoiced with us all along the way. They were clapping and cheering and some were crying and hugging me. It was so incredible and I will never forget that moment.

God is so good!!! Last week, I so badly wanted to receive "the call", but God knew the perfect time to answer my prayer. He chose the time that He would receive the most glory. It has been our prayer from day 1 that God would be glorified through our obedience in this adoption journey. It is our goal even more so than bringing home our daughter. We truly want God to be glorified and I love to see that He truly is. I even had a mom tell me that she was so moved and was praying about if God may be calling them to adoption.

I hope this encourages those of you who may be waiting on God for an answer. His plans and His timing are perfect and He truly wants to give good gifts to His children!!