Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Six Months......

Six months ago this Saturday (Christmas day) these six were together for the very first time. It is sometimes hard to believe that we have been a family of eight for half of a year and then at times I feel that we have been together forever. When I think back six months ago from today I remember the joy, anticipation and excitement of what was ahead and it seem like just yesterday. It seems like only yesterday that I also sat on the ground in front of our Christmas tree alone and literally cried out to God to help us bring our precious kids home and that was a year ago today.

I remember last year on this day having a very hard day. A day where hope was hard to hold on to and my heart hurt in a way that it had never hurt. To know that our son and daughter day after day were hurting , alone and longed for us to come was sometimes unbearable. It was such a joy to go in November to spend time with them but that made my longing for them so much greater. To think that our family in a few days would be celebrating, eating , laughing and loving on each other with out the twins seemed so unfair. I knew that I needed to spend some extended alone time with God as I wrestled in my heart with where He had us. He was there as I sat on the ground sobbing and asking Him why over and over. He heard every why, collected every tear and wrapped His arms around me as I cried for over an hour at His feet.

Fast forward to this morning where I went to the same place and instead of tears of pain I sat in the same spot and cried out in sheer joy. I am sure that He caught every tear this morning that fell from this thankful mother's eyes. My why's this year were not why's of waiting but why's of me? Why God have you blessed me beyond measure? Why have you chosen us? Followed by a great time of worship. If you were anywhere near our house you may have heard me praising Him at the very top of my lungs as I sang some of the same songs that I tried to sing last year at this same time yet at a very different place in life.

I am so thankful that my Father is with me whether I hurt or rejoice. That He longs to hold me, catch my tears, rejoice with me and comfort me as my heart aches. I simply can't imagine life without Him. God is good All of the time- For those of you who are hurting this Christmas- Draw near to Him, tell Him your hurts and allow Him to be the great comforter. For those who are blessed beyond measure- Take time in the next few days to carve out an hour and just worship Him. I promise you will be glad you did!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Had a Dream........

Each night at bedtime Garrett usually shares a story or two (or ten) with me as I tuck him in. I love listening to him share his life with me and always wish we had more hours for bedtime tuck-in. I cherish this priceless time with my son and I am so thankful for it. Tonight was no different yet I was overwhelmed with what he shared with me. During our devotion time tonight we talked about God's power and how He provides for our needs and so maybe this sparked his memory of what he shared with me tonight.

He shared that after David and I had visited him last year that he had a dream while he was sleeping one night in the orphanage. He told me that he dreamed that he was in America and had fallen into some water and could not get up out of the water. He then explained that his daddy came in the water and pulled him up out of the water and saved him. He then went on to share that after David rescued him they played and played all day together.

As he gave great detail to me of this very vivid dream tonight, my eyes once again were overflowing with tears. My son had been given a very real dream of just what was happening in his little life and he really had no idea that his life was mirroring this dream. He still has no idea the decisions Werke has made, the orphanage staff has made, the Ethiopian Govenment has made, and our family has made for him to be here with us right where he belongs nor does he understand the impact of each of those decisions.

As I left his room tonight I thought about the 147 million kids who are fatherless tonight. My hope and prayer is that they would be able to experience this very dream and see it come true in their precious lives just as Garrett has. I stopped and prayed that daddy's all over the world would see that their are millions of children in need of someone to jump into the water and rescue them.

What about you? Are you willing to jump in and allow God to use you to be His hands and feet to a child who needs a daddy or mommy?

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you- John 14:18
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows- this is God, whose dwelling is holy- Psalm 68:5

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

At this very moment........

At this very moment a year ago I found myself here in our study. I wasn't sitting at this desk typing on the computer but instead down on my knees in the floor. David and I were literally wailing as we cried out to God on behalf of our son and daughter who were half a world away.

We had just received one of the most troubling phone calls of our entire adoption process and we both were not sure how much more we could take. We knew that God had called us to the task of adopting Tizita and Geremew and had confirmed that time and time again yet on this day last year I wasn't sure that my heart could take much more. As David held me in his arms in the floor of our study I said to David, "I am tired of Satan continuing to get in our way. How much more?" David had no response except to call out for God to protect our kids and our hearts.

Our friend Nicco had just called to share with us that Tizita and Garemew's birth mother had gone missing. Nicco had traveled over to the island on the previous day to bring Werke (Tia and Garrett's birth mom) over to the mainland to appear in a lower level court to continue the adoption process. He had given her money for her hotel, food and transportation and left her at the hotel with detailed directions on where and how to get to court the next morning. Nicco had to leave from Zway and return to Addis that evening but he felt confident that she would get herself to court the very next morning.

On the afternoon of December 1st, Nicco received a phone call from court in Zway asking why Werke had not shown up for her court date. He had no idea why she had not gone and he tried to make several phone calls to locate her to no avail. The hotel had not even seen her since the day before and this had Nicco very concerned. He had called to ask that we pray for her to be located safely and quickly.

My mind raced as we hung up the phone with him. I knew that Nicco had given her money for her expenses and I am sure that amount of money was more money than she had ever had at one time. Did she run with the money? Had someone hurt her and taken the money? Did she just decide that she didn't want to attend court? The questions went on and on in my mind as I was kneeling on the floor with a puddle of tears gathering in front of me.

A few short weeks prior to this day I had been holding our precious twins- We had been laughing, playing, coloring, and painting together all with the promises that we would be back soon to bring them home. The thought of this not happening was more than I could comprehend. I knew that without Werke, Tizita and Geremew would not be adoptable and would spend years as orphans.

I spent the afternoon crying out for God to once again move a mountain that was bigger than I could see over. Praise God He did and Werke was found quickly and she was safe. Tizita and Geremew's oldest sister Ahitu had become very sick on the island and Werke needed to go back over to the island to help with her. She was having a series of seizers and needed her mom to come home quickly to care for her. Werke had no phone or any means to call Nicco to inform him of what was happening and why she would not be in court.

When Nicoo called to let us know we were relieved yet concerned for Ahitu. To make a very long story short..........Our amazing friend Nicco took Ahitu in for several months. He brought her into his home in Addis and provided for her to get the medical care she needed. Nicco is by far the most selfless person that I have ever met and to think that he not only worked step by step to allow us to bring our kids home but he cared for their family in ways that are simply unheard of. Can you imagine bring a sick teenage girl into your home? Providing all of the medical care both physically and financially? He would tell me how he would help her put lotion on her hands and feet because she was so ill she couldn't, he would get up with her in the middle of the night while she was sick and make sure that she took all of her medicine right on time.

The wailing in our study turned into a picture of care, compassion and grace. Nicco's actions when he found out the situation simply challenged my heart. Am I willing to go out of my way for the needs of another? As God answered my prayer to find Werke He started stirring in my heart...... I had to ponder what I saw Nicco doing and wonder if I would have done the same-
What about you? Are you willing to look beyond yourself to the needs of others?

~Today Geremew's middle name is Nicodemus after our friend Nicco. I look forward to the years ahead where Geremew can understand just how selfless Nicco has been for him and his family and I pray that Geremew will follow in his footsteps to care for the needs around him daily~

Matthew 25:34-45

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’