Sunday, December 30, 2007
This song was part of my prayer before, during, and after. I was so scared about having to leave them...so scared about the uncertainty of the future. But I so wanted to breathe in the whole experience...to etch it on my heart forever.
We didn't want to miss the miracle right in front of us...
Sunday, December 23, 2007
But I had to make it my own.
So I made a video for all my blogger/mommy friends.
ALL of you have impacted my life this year in some way. All of your photos were used WITHOUT permission. :-) They were mostly lifted off of your blogs...which have been a daily challenge and encouragement to me as we make our way through the trenches of motherhood. Obviously, I have new found respect and many new friends who are adoptive mothers. The first few seconds of the video chronicle the birth of a mother...whether it be in the delivery room or with a referral phone call. At that moment, the world starts to change. A mother holding profound power and influence in her hands. And you all do it with so much grace and strength and endurance. I am so grateful our paths have crossed through the wonders of the internet and otherwise. You give me strength on days when I don't think I can pick up one more lego, fill out one more form, make one more sandwich or deal with one more toddler melt-down. You likely have no idea how each of you has influenced me...how grateful I am for you...
(I lifted as many pics as I could--filling in with my family as needed. Some of your blogs would not let me...so many of you are not seen here, but still ever present in your impact.)
One heartbeat at a time, girls. You are changing the world...
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I’m afraid the Church is the missing link in a number of causes–not the least of which is the fight against HIV. The plight of the poor, the orphan, the widow, the diseased, the handicap–our neglect, my neglect, of them is nothing short of sin.
I overheard some people chatting about how it’s the ‘trendy’ thing now for churches and Christians to be all compassionate and care for ‘the least of these.’ They said we have swung way to an extreme in reaction to our absence in the past. It was one of those times where I almost jumped out of my skin. Is it possible to be too compassionate? Is it possible to be extreme in our love and effort on behalf of the forgotten? I don’t have to be a Bible scholar to figure out how important it was to God. And if it is ‘trendy’–so be it. And thank God that he opened our eyes. Why must we always have excuses? When Christians make arguments like this it simply justifies our distance. It makes it acceptable to keep our distance from pain and suffering. It makes it acceptable to guard our ‘comfort’ and ’safety.’ All in the name of not swinging too far with a trend.
Swung too far in love and compassion?
I don’t think it’s possible.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It’s official. My computer’s harddrive is crashing. Which is not good. But since we are only focusing on happy things today–it’s still under warranty. Meaning a little inconveniece and some seperation anxiety (me and my computer are tiny bit co-dependant), but in the end it will be fixed and it won’t cost me anything.
And we are closing on our house on Friday! That is huge! We will be paying for it for years, but happy things–it sold! In the middle of winter! And we can finally hang curtains at our new house. (i refused to do that until the old house sold). Yeah! Many thanks to the realtor and family that kept us afloat this past year.
In all seriousness, I have had a stranger and an old friend come into my life in the last couple days to provide tremendous support and strength in the adoption. I am always amazed at the people God allows to cross my path and the blessing that they provide. Honestly, we have moments of saddness and frustration when people we expected to join us in this journey have chosen not to. It has been a lesson in grace and constant checking of our hearts to ensure we are desiring only the approval of God. But more than that, we have been so surprised at the complete strangers and the distant and old friends who have risen and provided doses of bravery and strong, unashamed support. We are simply humbled and so grateful. It has carried us through days when we are extremely weary and questioning everything. And we have watched God provide in the most unlikely of ways. And we thank you. I hope you all know who you are
Friday, December 14, 2007
I've said it before--we have to constantly remind ourselves that the process is much the aim. During standstills, God is still moving. And I can still feel God's gentle and sometimes firm hand refining my heart so I can be ready. Ready in the best way to be mother to these broken children. My heart aches for the loss they have already endured. Sometimes I think it is too painful to imagine what they still will have to go through...it would just be easier to look the other way. To turn the channel. But I can't. We made that decision last year when we began this journey. We were done looking away. From now on, we are facing suffering head on with our eyes wide open. And we discovered that when we feel our hearts ache it is "pain that originated in the heart of God, not in mine."
Warren goes on to say this about the all too familiar feeling, "I was inadvertently cheating myself out of the consolation and comfort available to me through sharing in the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus."
Ours is really the tiniest, tiniest glimpse. Yet I am learning that I am not alone. It's His heart that is breaking...it comes from Him and is made endurable and redeemable through Him.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
And another one of our twins...as opposite as can be.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
But Quincy is getting ready for them. We overheard him several times in the last couple days when he is playing by himself. He talks to them and says things like, "OK, Zeke you hold this. Kora you stand here and I will be right back." ect. ect.
I have a feeling he will have days in the future when he misses the 'pretend' Zeke and Kora--who listened to everything he said and didn't touch his cars. But he is practicing nonetheless. Practicing to be a big brother...
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
So here we are...waiting. What are we going to do?
Actually today, I am a little overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done...which makes the waiting a slight bit more bearable. So for the next 2 to 6 months we will--
*Figure out the car thing. We need a car that travels 8 and stays within our pretty tight budget.
*Get their rooms ready. The room is cleared out, but that's it. My Dad is working on a bed to go with one that was given to us. I will be soliciting the help of decorator extraodinare (Candi--you may not know this yet...but you have a job) to bring it all together. I have no sheets, curtains, ect yet. So a lot needs to be done there.
*Learn to speak Krio. I am amazed at how much the kids understood when the Nanny and Pastor would reason with them in Krio. And then it scared me--"how in the world am I going to comfort and reason and communicate with them?!" They say a few words, but understand everything. So we have some learning to do... (Sarah Saunier--we need to visit!)
*Raise some more money. Ugh. The travel ended up being way more expensive than we anticipated. We were hoping we could just absorb travel costs into our budget. But that is not going to happen. You will likely see another thermometer for travel costs...
*Become a black hair care specialist--(Sarah B. from Colorado--this is your job). I need to learn basic care and then find a professional we are comfortable with somewhere close by.
*Learn how to make fried rice and all things rice. Zeke and Kora ate rice with veggies in it for breakfast and probably for most other meals as well. We currently don't eat a lot of rice. But I would like to have it introduced into our regular diet and be an expert at it by the time they get here. (Andy said, "It's going to take you 4 months to learn how to make fried rice?" Probably, honey. Thanks for asking).
*Pray a lot. Pray for their health and safety and hearts as they prepare for major life change. Pray for a speedy process. Pray for our family to be united and strong as we face the challenges ahead. Pray that Andy and I, our boys, Zeke and Kora--that we all would make much of God.
'In China this story is told. A river flows through a village, in it many babies had been thrown. The villagers worked hard to save some of the babies but they couldn’t get to them all. Many babies died.
One man asked another, “Where are these babies coming from?”
“Oh,” the other man said, “there is a strong man up on the hill. He is throwing the babies into the river.”
“What can we do then?”
“Someone must wrestle down the Strong Man.”
So yesterday, I went to Wal-mart. I had a cart half way full of groceries. I stood in line for a long time. I watched everyone check out. Then I just pushed my cart up to the lady when it was my turn. She stared at me. I just smiled at her. It was awkward and I couldn't figure out why. She glanced at my cart. And then looked back at me. Then it hit me, "Oh my gosh, what am I doing?" I apologized and quickly loaded my groceries onto the belt. What is wrong with me? I have forgotten how to shop at Wal-mart? How exactly did I plan on checking out?
Then driving home on the highway, I saw a truck on the other side of the road. I literally saw a big dump truck like vehicle with the back full of African teen-age men. They were piled in there, sitting and standing. As it passed, I looked in my rear view mirror to see that it was actually a truck pulling a trailer with a blue tractor on it. But my mind saw the former. So weird. (Before you start to worry about me, it is one of those split second things where your mind plays tricks on you. This was not going on for a long time... :-)).
And then last night, I was just kind of day dreaming and I had a sudden panic overtake me. "Oh my gosh, we left them there! We have to go back!" It was like it just hit me what had happened. We left our babies in Africa. While we were there, things were so crazy. We did not understand what was going on most of the time. We were just waiting for someone to point and tell us where to go and what to do. We were on edge waiting for the next instruction. So we didn't really have time to process and get real emotional. But now that we are home, we are having the time to sort through all that.
It was a fleeting moment of panic as I understand that this is all part of the process. But I did get that feeling of fear..fear that we forgot something very important.
I think it is safe to safe that Africa and our new kids have effected the deepest parts of me. And combining the two worlds that we now know exist is proving to be a challenge...
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
And this was right before we had to leave on Wednesday night. They had just handed out the remaining candy to all the kids. Kora actually came up to me and wanted to share hers..she would take a lick and then hold it out to me.
Friday, November 23, 2007
We arrived safely at home.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
At the airport, as they were going thru security, the security personnel opened up all their bags for a thorough inspection. The security person noticed that Andy had three pens in his bag. He turned to Andy and said, "You have three pens. Why do you have three pens?" Andy answered, "Well, er, I like to write a lot." "Sorry," the agent said, "You are only authorized one pen. I'm going to have to confiscate these other two."
Apparently, the rest of the trip to Senegal was uneventful. They should be home tomorrow. -- fed
*all italicized words above imply an African definition, as opposed to our understanding of those words in America
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Of course, they were bummed to say good-bye to Zeke and Kora---especially since they just could really say hello this morning. During the worship service with Pastor Samuel, Zeke fell asleep in Jody's arms while Kora danced in the aisles with the other worshipers. Between dances, Kora kept sneaking a peek at Andy and Jody and smiling. Andy sang "Give me Jesus" for everyone, preached a little and thanked them. He said he and Jody had fallen in love with Sierra Leone and looked forward to partnering in the future to build the nation and to bring in the Kingdom. Both Andy and Jody loved being in the worship service--so fun hearing praise choruses in English and Krio, so much enthusiasm.
After the service, Andy and Jody said a sad good-bye to the newest Landers. They'll leave for the airport in the morning, catch the flight to Dakar, then wait 10 hours til their 3 am connection to Atlanta, then home.
I talked to Jennifer from Hope's Promise this morning. She said that the US investigation that can kick in now that the court date has been met could last for 3 to 4 months. That will be a hard wait. God seems to working on this deal, so who knows.
Thanks again for your interest and your prayers. Is there any grouper in the Mississippi? I think Jody likes it. - fed
I could tell that they were giddy. "Oh, we love Sierra Leone. They're ours! Six! I can't believe it. It's crazy."
This evening, pastor and his wife invited Andy and Jody to their church service. Jody said everyone is excited to show them the church and the fellowship. Andy and Jody are thrilled to experience worship with newly-found brothers and sisters from Africa.
The sought for announcement! Click here
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Still no word on the court date. They will find out in the morning.
Jody told the following story--not sure if I got all the details right.
Apparently a man approached them on the beach wanting money for a "black magic" act. The Pastor warned him that he would not have the power he normally has, because Pastor and his friends (Andy, Jody and the nanny) were Christ-followers. The man proceeded with his act, chewing up beer bottles and swallowing the glass. Apparently, he swallows the glass, asks for money, and then throws up the glass later. Anyway, the Pastor was talking to him about the "competing powers," that God's power was greater than the dark powers, etc. The man then began to throw up the glass--it was obviously hurting him (unlike other times he has done it). Jody said she was afraid he might die -- or they might die or something. Anyway, she said, it was a bizarre cultural experience.
(Now, I may have messed this story up, got the facts wrong, misunderstood Jody's explanation ---like maybe the guy was juggling beer bottles and one broke or some more "Western" explanation. But then again, this is Africa and "the competing powers" are more visible there. We'll have to wait for Andy and Jody's corrections and/or amplifications.)
While playing with the all the kids, Andy and Jody were swept into a "Kiss me, Kiss me" game. All the kids lined up and and wanted Jody to kiss them (I think Andy got in line to). As Jody worked her way thru the crowd, suddenly at the end of the line, stood Kora looking up and saying "Kiss me."
I could tell from Jody's voice that she was excited to oblige. -- fed
If you'd like to hear Jody's excitement for yourself, click on the words Kiss Me when you get here.
Andy and Jody are about to leave for the House of Hope -- about a 30 minute drive or so over terrible roads. They have prepared a host of Kora Strategies to woo one little girl into their web of love (too poetic, but it's the middle of the night and I'm still asleep--fed).
Anyway, the core of the Kora Strategies is to "ignore her, don't show her any interest, pay more attention to the others in hopes that she'll warm up." ( I think I used that strategy in Junior High to win over a certain Mary Lou. It didn't work.--fed)
Jody is confident, however, that this strategy works with strong-willed women. Kora is her own person and is not going to do what everybody is asking her to do. (Takes one to know one.-fed)
If that fails, they hope to find a guitar so Andy can sing to her. (That strategy would have worked with Mary Lou....but then again I guess I'd have to sing as well as Andy. Oh well. - fed)
Andy and Jody will spend the morning at the House of Hope and then attempt to take the twins on an outing to the beach. Jody is struggling with the "bonding" thing with Zeke and Kora--knowing they have to fly away on Thursday or Friday.
No word on the court appearance--need to keep praying for Wednesday or at the latest Thursday morning. Flight leaves Freetown on Thursday afternoon.
Observations on Sierra Leone:
Intermittent electricity and water. Andy had some hot water yesterday in the shower. Water is also off and on--toilets don't flush and sinks don't really run that well.
Andy's back hurts; Jody has a slight cold. But they're fine really. It's very hot and humid there--some rain during the night.
They may go to the market in Freetown tomorrow to see it.
The town had a "fear crisis" yesterday where a rumor got out that gasoline was running low. Mad rush on the gas stations. Gas rationed out.
Jody said that they've commented to one another: "You think you're in a slum area and that you'll drive out of it, but you never do. The whole city is one big slum." Nevertheless, they love the people, the experience, everything.
No way to send pictures. We'll have to wait until they get back.
-- back to bed. fed
Monday, November 19, 2007
Jody called at 4 am this morning (12 noon in Sierra Leone). We had a terrible connection before we were cut off.
But I could make out the following:
Jody said they were going to find some lunch and that Zeke and Kora were wonderful, perfect, beautiful;
that they had spent the morning with them and they were perfect, wonderful, beautiful;
that Zeke fell asleep on Andy's shoulder and they were beautiful, perfect, wonderful;
that Kora was still a little afraid of them, but we'll go back this afternoon and they were
well you get the idea. fed
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Heard directly from Jody about two hours ago. They were in the hotel, Cape Sierra, in Freetown. Pics of the hotel on the left here.
They made it to Sierra Leone on the Bellview flight. Pastor N's brother met them there and they decided to take the helicopter to Freetown--despite warnings to the contrary. They were so tired, Jody said, that they didn't care if they blew up.
They actually like Freetown better than Dakar. Pastor was coming to get them this evening--Sierra Leoneion time and take them to see the kids. That might be right now as I post this.
Jody also wanted me to tell you that "men's underwear is hanging from their shower and there is a bucket in the bathroom with something in it, but they're not sure what it is or what it is for."
Fired Editor Update:
Jody called several times from Dakar last night .... 12:30, 1:40, 1:45, 2:15. They were waiting for the Bellview flight....the 2:15 call suggested that they were going to make that flight. Jody told me to stand by the phone. I asked her if I could sleep by the phone.
Since Jody hasn't called again, I assume they made it. Pastor is suppose to pick them up at the airport, get them to the ferry crossing (pics from fired editor's recent trip). As soon as I get word, I'll post more details. But I imagine they are making their way to the hotel. Thanks for praying. fed (aka fired editor)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Jody and Andy just called. They safely arrived in Dakar, Senegal. Unfortunately, their flight from Dakar to Freetown on Slok-Air was cancelled so they are booking on a Bellview flight that leaves at 11:40 Senegal time. They called me (the fired editor) at 11:39 pm to contact Jennifer. I called Jennifer and woke her up. She is calling Pastor N. in Sierra Leone. Will anybody get any sleep tonight? the fired editor
Ok, lets go in this door.
Now, you stand here and hold this, but don't touch anything.
We will take our malaria meds at 11:03 and 47 seconds.
Now don't bend the tickets.
Luckily, so far Andy just keeps laughing at me.
(comment from the editor: I thot maybe Jody's "control freakiness" might be because she's just nervous or scared or really excited. But come to think of it, Jody has been this way all her life. Jody's dad. PS. Pray for Andy. PSS. I may lose my editing job with this comment. If so, thanks so much for your love and prayers for these kids. Laurie and I couldn't be more proud.)
Friday, November 16, 2007
'Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.' (James 1:27)
Some final running around. Trying to have a relaxing evening with the boys tonight.
A friend last night said she was starting to panic for me because I was going to a war torn Africa without any adult supervision. :-) Although contrary to popular belief, we are THE adults.
We're ready. We can totally do this.
Another friend of mine who lives here received her referral this week for a little boy from Ethiopia (hotflawedmama.blogspot.com). He is very close in age to Zeke and Kora, and although he may likely be home before them, we can already envision those play dates. And we are thrilled! Congrats Zach and Tesi!
So I am going to take a long hot shower, try and sleep real good in my own bed, and then leave it behind for a short while. And experience a new place, a new people, a new world. Praying for the eyes of the Father as we embrace it all.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I am preparing a post entitled, "When Traveling to Sierra Leone on Very Short Notice, Do NOT Use This Company to Expedite Your Visas!"
It should be fascinating...
They have a couple hours to come through for me but up until now, they have not been helpful.
I have no idea what we will do if they don't show up. I understand there are possibly ways to buy them in country...but that just would not be good for my already anxious self. And the fewer things we have to do once we get to Africa, the better.
We shall see...
Otherwise, malaria medicine made both Andy and I vomit this morning. Not good since we will be taking it each morning for the next 50 days. We will try again tomorrow with some food in our stomachs...
We started malaria meds this morning.
We have 'piles'---but things are not yet packed. We are trying to carry everything on and not check baggage. Which means all liquids and gels must be in 3oz or less and fit in a baggie. That is proving to be a little tricky. We are going to have to ration shampoo... My sister sent some skirts of hers for me to bring...I didn't seem to have to many of those either. :-)
My mom comes today to get acclimated and she will hold down the fort with the boys while we are gone.
So we are clear: On this trip, we will spend a couple days with all the children in the home. We will focus, obviously, on getting to know Zeke and Kora. On Wednesday, we will take Zeke and Kora with us and appear in court. We will officially adopt them in the eyes of the African court. But the US immigration will not allow us to bring them home yet.
We will go back and get them in a couple months (hopefully) after they are receive their visas from the US Embassy.
We are so excited to be going. So excited to meet these little people. A little nervous. But mostly confident that God is doing something really amazing here...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
"I remember during the adoption there were times when I was tempted
to feel crushed by the weight of trying to think of some scheme to
try to come up with the money to pay for it. But when I gave up
control and manipulation and trusted Jesus to provide for what He
had whispered to Brad and I then life seemed much easier. I also
felt that man-pleasing spirit rise up in me that wanted people to
approve of us and what we were doing. I could feel the pressure of
trying to persuade people we really had heard from God bear down on
me. When I crawled closer into my Father's arms and was content to
let the adoption be "our little secret" that no one else understood
then I felt light and free again."
I want to be free to embrace this trip and this whole process. That has been hard sometimes when I feel disapproval and the need to convince everyone. But as the Jenny said, freedom and peace comes when I simply obey, crawl into my Father's arms, and let it be 'our little secret."
I can feel myself getting sick. I have been drinking orange juice and airborne all dayand pretending it isn't happening. Also not helping...
Add that to the hovercraft crashing and our failure to get a price and or confirmation on our last leg of flights and what you have is a tense Jody.
Let it be said...6 days is not enoegh time to plan your first ever trip to Africa.
We were certainly willing to do it and would do it again. But I know I would be sleeping more if visas were in hand and bags were packed for a couple days before loading...
So when we fly into Freetown, Sierra Leone. We get off the airplane (puddle jumper that has brought us in from Dakar) and then we have to get on a helicopter, hoovercraft, or ferry to get across a channel of water. On the otherside is the city from what I understand.
Anyway, the ferry apparently can be delayed and take a really long time to cross...plus being jam packed with people. The helicopter has had problems recently because it was flying even though it didn't meet codes ect.
So yesterday, we get an email from our agency saying, "We suggest you take the hoover craft over to the city. It is a little more expensive, but is your best option."
And I kid you not this morning we get this email, "The hovercraft caught fire on the sea yesterday and sank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone was rescued, thankfully. Pastor said so now that is not an option! (Ya think?)"
We'll likely take the ferry....Don't worry about us...but possibly say a prayer or two.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
They are Crocs. ALMOST cute for Crocs, right? But light and practical and comfortable. Will be worn without socks.
This is the only pair of shoes I am taking...I can pair them with my skirt for court or to run around with the kids at the home.
(I actually saw them on another blog of an adoptive mom who was traveling soon to Africa. I'm a copy cat. Because clearly, I can't think straight. And the proper shoes was not something I could come up with on my own.)
Monday, November 12, 2007
So if you want to hear the boring details of my frantic preparation for travel...you can read about it at our family blog-- jodylanders.wordpress.com
Once we leave, I probably will be sending updates to this site I believe. I'll keep you posted on that. For now, I'm rambling over at jodylanders.wordpress.com.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I booked tickets to get us to Dakar, Senegal. Am working on getting us to Freetown now. We will leave Saturday. Be gone one week.
I called many of my family and friends and starting delegating...you figure out what time the bank closes, you figure out where i can apply for the visa, you figure out what phone i can use while we are there, you figure out when you can get here to help with the kids, you call the airline to ask about adoption rates, you listen to rant for a second ect. ect.
Craziness. Once I get the logistics in order, I will relish in the fact that we will be holding our babies in just over one week....
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
We will not be headed to Africa next week. It will be a little longer before we are able to meet and hold these precious kids.
Besides being frantic, and panicked, and pretty pathetic all week, I did realize--I am not afraid to travel to Africa. It can't come soon enough. I would do anything. I really do love these babies more than I know how to express.
So we will wait.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
They don't know...but my arms ache for them....
But yes, we received a $105 donation this morning, putting us at exactly $20,000.
We again are so very grateful. We are amazed at your generosity and God's faithfulness. I cannot tell you the weight it lifted knowing we can pursue the next several hoops in getting Zeke and Kora home without having to fret about the financial strain. It's huge! We know how very blessed we are!
Thank you. Really. Thank you all.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
But we won't know for sure...which means we can't really do much for preparation...until the end of this week.
TIA. This is Africa. (which basically means none of should hold our breath on this one...).
Monday, November 5, 2007
But I got an email this morning that made it sound like we could be traveling next week. Now, I am kind of wondering if it is a typo or something. Nonetheless, it is making me a little crazy and I am clearly losing it.
Evidence #1--I lost half a loaf of homemade bread. How, how does one lose such a thing?
Seriously, I cut a piece this morning. Ate it.
The house has been empty all morning. Andy took the kids and I have been cleaning.
And now I cannot find the loaf of bread anywhere. And the house is totally clean. I have searched the trash can to make sure I didn't accidentally throw it away--don't worry, not to recover it, but to ease my mind.
This is literally driving me crazy!
i started making a list about travel arrangements...if for some crazy reason we are going to Africa next week. There are 3 million things to do--fill malaria meds, apply for visas, book tickets, learn to speak krio, arrange childcare, pack ect. ect. And so what do I do? I think I need to go to Wal-mart. I go to Wal-Mart and buy new mop tops (because clearly I should first mop the floors again) and folders (because I obviously need NEW folders to arrange all my needed paperwork for court). I don't know why these things made me feel in control of my life...because I'm still not.
I can't think straight. My mind is racing. And I can't find my bread!!!
*Updated: Andy came home to find me in a tizzy. I was so upset about the bread which was really just indicative of my shrinking brain. He found it! In the freezer. He found the remaining quarter of the bread in the freezer... Losing it, people. I'm losing it.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I mindlessly sang those words this morning in the car to the song as it played over the radio. But I stopped for a second to try and soak in the truth. "Breathe it in. Breathe it out. This is the only moment we can do anything about."
I have been consumed the past couple days trying to control things...trying to educate myself and be so pro active in order to ensure a favorable and speedy outcome in our adoption of Zeke and Kora. It can be so overwhelming to try and control the future...maybe because we can't. Maybe because we are not supposed to.
This moment is what I can control. Today is what God has given me. I don't know what the future holds. I don't know how soon Zeke and Kora will be with us. I don't know what we will have to do, what we will have to surrender in order for us to bring them home.
But this I do know--I am a different person because of this little boy and little girl across the ocean. I can see the transformation of my own family...I can see the boys' eyes opened to a world that they would not otherwise know. For Andy and I, we are literally watching as our hearts expand and our self dies. As I look back at my full car, I can see this moment. A moment where a family in the middle of America is on the adventure of their lives. I can see how little God cares about our comfort and our safety. I can see how much God cares about our heart and our transformation...at any cost.
This moment. Breathe it in. Breathe it out. We are in for a ride. And the process is as much the aim as the safe arrival of these precious babies in our home.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Which means, no court date for us this week.
It's all part of the deal. I knew this wasn't going to be easy.
Our agency worker sent me this quote...
"Prayer is the most aggressive, pro-active, offensive, invasive action one
can take in any situation. Prayer reaches into the spiritual realm and
accesses all the power of heaven for the circumstances of earth."
(Jennifer Kennedy Dean)
Which to me was kind of like the surgeon telling us over Quincy's post-surgery, and still broken body, "Say your prayers and I'll be back tomorrow."
I hated that. I wanted to scream. "No, you fix him! You make him better!"
But again we find ourselves in a place of forced surrender--we have no other options. We have no control.
Prayer is the only action we can take at this point. And so today, as it should be with everyday, we will start and end there.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
That's why adoptive parents understand God's passion to adopt us. They know what it means to hunt, to set out on a mission, and take responsibility for a child with a spotted past and a dubious future. If anybody understands God's ardor for his children, it's someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us.
God has adopted you. God sought you, found you, signed the papers and took you home.'
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
We are truly, truly humbled and so very grateful for all of you who have joined us in the last 20 days. We feel a huge burden lifted as the financial fears and strain no longer loom as heavy.
We know how very blessed we are. We know that we are not doing this alone. And we know when God resources a call, he uses people like you all.
We promise to tell Zeke and Kora someday about all the people that loved them and helped to bring them home.
Thank you. The words fall so shamefully short to expressing our hearts. Yet we don't know how else to say it. So, thank you.
So here is the birthplace of our babies...