Friday, April 25, 2008

One Step at a Time

Well, we took care of a good chunk of paperwork today and dropped it off at FedEx Kinkos this morning. It was "fun" to do this with the kids who were not too happy about waiting patiently while we filled out the forms at Kinkos and got some things notarized, but as you can see, they were all smiles as they held up envelopes going to Gladney, the Department of Homeland Security, and our Dossier helper (I'm sure there's a more official title, but that's what I know to call her). So, we're one step closer.

Josiah is sitting on my lap as I type this and I asked if he would like to share something on the blog. He wanted me to tell you that "Everybody should love Jesus." Couldn't have said it better myself.

Eager for a homecoming,


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Richness of our Father

It's 3:15 in the morning on April 16th and I can't sleep, partly because of a little boy's asthma that called for a breathing treatment in the middle of the night and partly because I am overwhelmed by thoughts of gratitude and awe and need to get this out in words. Yesterday morning I read in 1 Corinthians 1:5, which says, "For in Him [Jesus] you have been enriched in every way . . ." little knowing what the day would hold. To be clear, Paul's words here refer to the spiritual gifts that have been bestowed on every follower of Christ, but I was caught by the word "enriched" yesterday and took time to reflect on how unending God's generosity is for His children. This is not, "God wants you to be happy, healthy, and wealthy" crap. This is "God has everything I need and a limitless supply of it, so why worry about tomorrow or the next day or the day after that."

So why am I up at 3:30 (now) in the morning reflecting back on 1 Corinthians 1:5? Simply because we got to see the richness of our Father on full display yesterday. A couple of posts ago I mentioned that we had hit our first speed bump in the adoption process (seemingly before it ever started) and were trying to rejoice in our trials. We thought we were still a week or so away from the resolution of that trial, one that carried a great deal of uncertainty as to whether we would be able to move forward at this time or not with our dream to bring more kiddos into our home. And then I received a wonderful email from a lady at Gladney with the title, "Good News" and suddenly we were past the speed bump and on a collision course with adoption #3.

That would have been enough to make our hearts full, but then God decided to do a day-night doubleheader on us. After sharing this news via email with the friends who are walking most intimately with us through this time, I had a chance to spend time with some of those guys last night for a routine meeting with a little extra celebration to it. They celebrated with me, said they had been praying for that issue to be resolved and praying for how God would have them support us when it was time to take steps forward in this process. They then proceeded to hand me an envelope with enough cash to get us over the speed bump of the first financial obligation in this long process. To those guys I want to say, whatever my outward reaction was last night pales in comparison to the overwhelming sense of gratitude that has me in tears now. How in the world do you say "Thank You" to friends like that, and how in the world could I possibly express enough gratitude to the God who already knows where the rest of the money will come from? He has greatly "enriched" us and continues to do so on a regular basis in a way that leaves me baffled and astounded.

So, to our little one who is perhaps already waiting for us in Ethiopia, we can't wait to meet you, to introduce you to your brother and sister, to introduce you to our friends who love you so much they would sacrifice financially to help bring you home, and most of all, we can't wait to tell you about the Father who already knows you, knows every hair on your head, knows your name, and who generously shares the riches of His knowledge, wisdom, grace, and provision with you, today and forever.

"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?' 'Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?' For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:33-36 NIV)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Prayers of a Child's Heart

Josiah and Selah are both pretty excited about the prospect of a new brother or sister to add to the family, but more than that, we want them to develop a heart that is burdened for the poor, orphaned, and helpless. So, we have been discussing what boys and girls in Africa have to deal with on a regular basis. Here's a prayer, word for word from Josiah last week after a conversation with Brandy in the car on their way to school.

"Dear Jesus, thank you for reminding me about boys in Africa and girls in Africa that don't have mommies and daddies or food or soap or trash cans or any toys like checkers or memory and awesome food like bananas and yogurt, but not peach yogurt but strawberry yogurt and pizza and cheeseburgers and candy and thank you Jesus for my new brother and sister and help them to have food and soap and thank you that we are going to adopt them and help them to adopt soon. And dear Jesus, Amen."

Not sure why soap and trashcans stand out in Josiah's mind, but grateful that he's developing a heart that considers the needs of others. We join him in praying for his new brother or sister and asking the Lord to protect and provide for them wherever and whoever they are.