Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Is He the One?"

This morning I was reading in Matthew 11 as I work my way through the Gospel of Matthew and came upon the interaction that Jesus had with John the Baptist's (JTB) disciples where they asked him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" I love how Jesus replies: "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor." There are a lot of layers to this whole thing, but my point in sharing this is that we have been blown away by how the Lord has provided for us at every turn in this process, especially financially. Adoption is no small undertaking financially and we didn't start this process because we had an abundance of extra cash laying around. We started this because the burden we had for the orphans of Ethiopia was far greater than the financial restraints of our situation and we were confident that the Lord would provide for us if this burden was truly of Him. As we prepared to accept the referral and get the ball rolling on next steps, the Lord once again provided exactly what we needed to be able to take that next step with confidence in His calling. If you want to hear the full back story on that, it's pretty remarkable, so just ask me when you see me.

Nevertheless, I look forward to the day when my son says, "Is He the One?" referring to Jesus, and I'll be able to tell him his adoption story and say, "Son, here is what I have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the good news is preached to the poor, and orphans are given homes. He is the One. Follow Him." We found out last night that our son's name means, "My messenger." I pray now that his life will testify to these great truths and that the gospel message will go forth proudly from his lips.

The other layer of this story that's worth noting is the discouragement of JTB as he sat in prison. We have some really close friends, the Fournets (http://fournetfamily.blogspot.com/) who are "imprisoned" right now by a longer than expected wait to bring their kiddos home and I'm sure there are many who I don't know who are discouraged by the same thing. I've been so encouraged by Beau and Natalie's determination to reflect often on what they have "seen and heard" as followers of Christ even in the midst of this heartache. The truth that "He is the One" is the greatest comfort in times of trouble, the greatest purpose in life, and the greatest hope for the future.

Join us in praying for the Fournets and reflect often on what you have seen God do in your life and in the lives of others.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Moment




At exactly 3:00 today (according to the iPhone records), Brandy called me and greeted me with, "Where are you?" Her tone was too excited to be anything else, so I think I said, "No way!" in response. Regardless, she had just received the call from Natalie, our case worker, that we had a referral, but Brandy hurriedly loaded the kids up and brought them up to the office so we could get on the phone together and see his picture for the first time together as a family. As I waited for her to get to there, I bounced around the office like a school kid telling anyone and everyone I could that I was about to "meet" my son for the first time. As usual, Jim Wimberley, my boss, prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and for the salvation of my little boy while others cried and hugged me. As soon as Brandy got there, we got on the phone with Natalie and she emailed several pictures along with his information. He is AWESOME!! He is 14 months, in good health, weighs about 20 pounds and is about 30 inches tall. We fell in love, all of us. Brandy cried. Selah asked where the pictures were of her baby sister (she's almost as anxious for the next one as her mommy is). When we heard that he was suffering from some eczema and "asthma-like" symptoms, Josiah's face lit up and he said, "I have eczema and asthma too!!!" Connection made, although a strange one, but it was cool to the little man. I sat in awe!

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around, celebrating with anyone who was close to us, calling family and friends, thinking of baby names, and enjoying a great meal at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Queen of Sheba, with our friends the Tuckers. They received their referral a month and a half ago, and as we compared notes, we discovered that our boys were both from the same area, both placed in the same orphanage in that area, and both traveled from that orphanage to Gladney's foster home on the same day!!!! Crazy!!! By the time all is said and done, these two little guys will have traveled all the way from their little area in southern Ethiopia to Richardson, TX together . . . within blocks of each other. Mind-blowing!!!! We hope their journeys home won't be too far apart in time.
Everyone asked the same question today . . . "When do you get him?" There are a ton of variables in play, so the following information is educated guess at best based off of "normal" situations (which there are none of). Essentially, once we accept the referral, we wait 4 to 6 weeks to get a court date set and then another 6 to 8 weeks before the actual court date. Assuming we pass court the first time around, which is no guarantee, we will travel within a few weeks of that to go and pick him up in Addis and bring him home.
Lastly, I can't help but draw one parallel to my Heavenly Father in the midst of this. I was just thinking about how giddy (no other word for it) I was when I got the news, how my heart raced, how I practically skipped around the office looking for anyone to share the good news with, and how I know my face must have beamed with pride every time I mentioned, "My son." And I can't help but think about that day when my adoption that had been preordained before the beginning of time came to be in a moment of faith when I received His Son's sacrifice for me as means of eternal fellowship with my Father in His forever family. To think that His heart leapt, the Creator of the universe, for me is unfathomable!!! As great as this adoption day is for my son, I continue praying for him and all of my children, that they will experience an adoption day far greater than any I could offer with a far greater reward and inheritance from the Father of all the fatherless. He is Yahweh, the Great I Am, the Ancient of Days, the King of all Kings, and the Lover of my soul. "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:36).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday, Selah!



We have had a jam-packed weekend full of celebration where we could squeeze it in around Selah's battle with a cold. Poor thing scored her first full-blown cold of the season which was also accompanied by 4 days of rain and cold to postpone her birthday party for a week. It worked out kind of nicely and we're hoping for good weather next Saturday.





We were able to celebrate a little over the weekend with Mawmaw and Pawpaw (my parents) and made a trip to The Magic Time Machine on Saturday night for Selah's birthday dinner. She dressed up in full blown princess garb for the occasion and was fascinated by all of the characters, although her exposure to Heath Ledger's Joker provided great motivation to shorten our visit. Brandy reminded me that the last time we went to the Magic Time Machine (in San Antonio) was the night I proposed to her (no, it was not a part of the proposal plan). Here's a few more pictures of our time there.





Selah and Snow White


Selah, Daddy, and Cinderella


The rest of the princesses

After a busy Sunday, I took a vacation day today on Selah's actual birthday so we could all spend the day together without her being sick. So, we had some waffles for breakfast this morning, made a trip to the gym, and then tried out Amazing Jake's (like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids) for pizza, games, and rides. Here's a few pictures from our time.


Riding in the Space Ship





A Spin on the Carousel


Putt-putt golf lessons



We wrapped up the day by giving Selah her brand new bike and taking a few family laps around the park across the street. It was a perfect day today. We are a blessed family to have such a sweet girl be a part of it. Happy birthday, Princess!



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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Week, Another Verse, Another Donut

Well, we're three for three on donut days since we started our new tradition. Josiah and Selah both did a great job memorizing their verses this week. Here they are . . .


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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Josiah and Hockey


If you want to experience a hockey game like never before, you should really consider taking Josiah. I am not a hockey fan and prior to beginning a streak of attending 4 games with Josiah, I had only been to one game and wasn't that impressed. Then it began . . .

Josiah's first hockey game, a friend gave us her corporate tickets to the game: Front row up against the glass right behind the goalie. If that wasn't enough, on the night there were no less than 15 fights, the first of which was right in front of us ending with a pool of blood on the ice (I'm sure a good father wouldn't think that was a good thing, but it was pretty cool . . . and the guy was OK). We also ended up with a practice puck that one of the guys working on the ice gave us. Game 2: Another friend invites us and we end up in his company luxury box with all you can eat hot dogs, popcorn, fajitas, etc. Stars win! Game 3: Another buddy and his company's tickets treat us to a game. Great seats close to center ice and the Stars score 10 GOALS which they had never done since moving to Dallas in the early 90's! Crazy! Game 4: The very next week, the same buddy had a co-worker offer him his season tickets and he gave them to us. We're about 8 rows up, close to center ice, and about 5 minutes into the 3rd period, a puck goes flying into the air and lands under Josiah's seat. He picks it up, holds it up triumphantly, and the crowd goes wild!!! Amazing!!! Needless to say, Josiah is a HUGE hockey fan now.

So, if you're thinking of attending an NHL hockey game and you've got an extra ticket, give us a call and we'll loan Josiah and his mojo out. GO STARS!!!

Here's some pictures from the last game.


Celebrating a Stars goal


After "catching" the hockey puck


Showing the "Official Game Puck" stamp of the Dallas Stars





Monday, March 9, 2009

Memory Verses

We're trying to up our game as a family on memorizing Scripture. I still remember Scripture that I memorized as a young kid (in the King James Version, no less) and probably remember that Scripture better than stuff I am memorizing today, sorry to say. So, we wanted to get the kids involved in that. We ordered the Fighter Verses Packet from Children Desiring God (www.childrendesiringgod.org) and started that a couple of weeks ago. Our new tradition is that if you get your verse for the week, we get donuts on Sunday morning. Selah is working on the "Foundation Verses" and Josiah is doing the Fighter Verses with Brandy and I. Here's their work so far. Selah's version of Genesis 1:1 is priceless and very unique. Here you go.

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If you want to track along with us, Selah is working on Psalm 1:6 this week and the rest of us are working through Romans 11:34-36.

Josiah's First Soccer Game

So, this weekend was Josiah's first soccer game and he couldn't have been more excited, nor could we. He did great and it was so fun watching the game. He is already counting the "sleeps" until his next game on Saturday. Here's a few pictures from the day.

Getting ready for the game


Action shot!


Taking a breather


Cheering the team on!

Here's a short video of the first goal of the season for the Orange Crush! Ignore the father yelling at his son to get the ball. I don't know who that guy is . . .


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Recommitment to Blogging

OK, so it's been a while since either of us posted, so I'm recommitting myself to blogging once again. As far as the adoption goes, there's not much news during this time as we simply wait, but we are close to being in the window where a call/email could come at anytime. The Lord knows when that will happen, so we're not anxious, just excited about the possibility.

In the meantime, life continues to be a fun adventure and it's always good to share it here, so you'll be hearing more from us in the days to come.