Saturday, October 22, 2011


In Acceptance Lieth Peace

He said, "I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places,
They shall be filled again.
O voices moaning deep within me, cease."
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in forgetting lieth peace.

He said, "I will crowd action upon action
The strife of faction
Shall stir me and sustain;
O tears that drown the fire of Manhood cease."
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavor lieth peace.

He said, "I will withdraw me and be quiet,
Why meddle in life's riot?
Shut be my door to pain.
Desire, thou dost befool me, thou shalt cease."
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in aloofness lieth peace.

He said, "I will submit;
I am defeated.
God hath depleted
My life of its rich gain.
O futile murmuring, why will ye not cease?"
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in submission lieth peace.

He said, "I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God to-morrow
Will to His son explain."
Then did the turmoil deep within him cease.
Not vain the word, not vain.
For in Acceptance lieth peace."

~Amy Carmichael

My mom sent me this poem, and its messages has really resonated with me. I feel like I have gone through all of those cycles, probably will again, but for now through the Lord's strength am accepting what we are going through. I have peace beneath the heaviness and uncomfortableness that comes with going through something hard, and believe that God is faithful and good.

The judge has said she hopes to get to our case early next week (although I think the keyword here is "hopes" :) ), and then when she changes what needs to be changed we will be resubmitted to the embassy. We are praying that everything will be in order, and there will be no more delays, but even more than that, for God's will to be done.

Monday, October 17, 2011

fighting, take 2

*just a warning, this is super long

I haven't talked about adoption stuff for a while. I think the big reason for that is because I have gone through yet another cycle of confusion, disappointment, etc., and really separated myself from all of it. Like majorly separated myself, where I really wasn't feeling anything at all about it. I even wrote a post talking about how disconnected I felt and how I really just wasn't feeling anything, but ended up not finishing it. What I realized, am realizing, is I can choose to stay in this with every part of me, or I can check out. Checking out is a relief. It is a relief to not feel the turmoil and discomfort of knowing every minute a part of your family is not with you, and you don't really know when she will be. It's a relief to not be worried about the days that are slipping by and turning into months, and the milestones you both are missing. It's a relief not to think about how she is getting older, more attached and connected to her life there, and much harder things will be when she is forced to make that change. So, yeah, it felt good to not be consumed with this process, where we are, and where we aren't.
But, in doing that, in letting go and checking out, I let go of the hope I have in Christ. I let go of Him, and allowed some bitterness to take root. He showed me this last week, the day after my birthday. On my birthday, Aaron and I had prayed together about the courts reopening the next day, and the potential for things to happen again. I had a GREAT birthday, felt so loved, and really spoiled. That night when we got back from our movie, we had an e-mail from our agency talking about how the embassy has been sending more and more cases to Nairobi for investigations, and there were some families from our agency that this had happened to. This was such a blow to me, and I felt like that would definitely happen to us as well, just with all that has happened up to this point. (It hasn't happened at this point, we are still waiting for our paperwork to be changed, and resubmitted to the embassy.) So I went to bed, mad, frustrated, and confused. And bitter. The next morning, the boys were all home from school, and were playing together, and I felt like I needed some time with the Lord. So I grabbed my journal and Bible, and started writing. This is what I wrote:
"Lord, I am confused. And I think I may be harboring bitterness. Another hurdle? Another potential delay? On my birthday? On the day we prayed together about moving forward after being on hold for weeks? Why? Why us? Why yesterday? I know I'm not supposed to ask that question, but that is what I am feeling. I'm feeling ignored. Am I missing something? Am I not doing something right? Did we choose the wrong agency? Did we walk where you did not lead? I don't know what to think, do or pray. And I'm feeling like I need confirmation from You that we are where You want us. I'm afraid to ask though, because I'm afraid You won't respond and will reject me. But, I'm asking now. I'm asking for You to reveal Yourself to me, to allow me to know we are supposed to be in this adoption. Because right now, it sure doesn't feel like it. And I know I have some hardness in my heart toward You. Some anger. Because I now who You are, and what You can do. Am I so absorbed in myself that I can't even see what's true anymore? Lord, do I just need a breakthrough? Show me. Show me my sin so I can confess it. Show me Yourself, Your faithfulness and goodness. Lord, I confess my anger, my pride, my unfaithfulness, defiance, stubbornness, and doubt. I confess my selfishness and bitterness and know-it-all attitude. I confess trusting in men instead of You. I confess going through the motions. I confess putting myself first time and time again. I confess liking the sound of my own voice more than really hearing what others have to say.
Father, release me. From these chains of doubt and bitterness, and anxiety. Lead me through Your Word, and prayer, and my husband. I am so weak. Help me to see what You want me to see. Lead us. Remind me.
I think I started putting things between us when our adoption began to get hard. First it was a short fence, then a 6ft privacy one. Then came the bricks and mortar and stones, and pretty soon there was a wall. A big and strong wall with me on one side and You on the other. I did that. I separated us because of my disappointment. I blamed You.
I am taking down the wall!!! I am taking a sledge hammer and pounding it down. But if I do it alone, it won't come down. Help me . Help me overcome through the power of Christ in me and His power. Your power."
After I wrote that, I asked Him where I should turn in my Bible, and Psalm 37 came to mind. I won't write out the whole thing, but here are some of the phrases that just jumped out to me, "trust in the Lord,
commit your way to the Lord,
be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him,
do not fret,
refrain from anger and turn from wrath,
do not fret,
If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand
will not forsake His faithful ones
wait for the Lord
the salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble."

All of that to say, today I am choosing to be ALL IN. I got an e-mail from another mom who adopted a little guy, and she said, " the best parenting I can do for my child is to struggle (emotionally, with paperwork etc...) with all Christ's strength for her." That is all I can do right now, but I am going to do it. I am going to struggle for her, and fight for her. Not that I won't struggle with the same things again, like probably next week, but today, this is where I am.

scenes from fall break

*Isaac writing "happy birthday" for me :)

*LEGO creations (Eli and Micah pooled their chore money and bought a
LEGO set

*evidence of three very busy little boys!

*making pumpkin cookies, a tradition started when I was in elementary school

*corn maze at Vala's pumpkin patch, we took the short route :)

*children's museum in Kansas City, and three veterinarians we met there

*walking around the Plaza in Kansas City, before Eli fell in one of the

*after Eli fell in the fountain and Aaron and I trying to cheer him up about the fact
that he and daddy matched, not working so well!

*T-rex Cafe in Kansas City, such a fun place!

*playing with their toy souvenir Aaron and I let them pick out at a toy store, a
highlight for all of us!

*what's one of the best parts of staying in a hotel? eating breakfast and watching
cartoons :)

*the only thing better than eating and watching cartoons? Swimming!

*obligatory family picture. I'm pretty sure there were some major bribes/threats
going on at this point for normal (or any) smiles.

Eli and Micah had a break from school last week (Wednesday-Friday), and it was so great. I loved having them home so much, and tried to plan some fun things to do. Friday Aaron took off from work and we made a quick one-night trip to Kansas City. I just feel so thankful to the Lord for the blessing of my family, and the opportunity to spend some sweet time together. Not that every moment was sweet, by no means, but even in the midst of the not so sweet, we have so very much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

fall easter eggs

These pictures are not long lost ones from Easter, they are actually from last week! Apparently when you are three and go to a yard sale with your dad, the thing you cannot leave without is an egg dyeing kit. Isaac was SO excited about his find, and could hardly wait until Monday when we took our weekly grocery trip and could buy some eggs. I boiled them when we got home, and then we decorated them just the way he decided. I just love that little guy. :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

micah's yard sale, take 2

We did it! And we made more than $20 which I consider a great accomplishment. Our grand total was $149.00, which may not be that great in the world of yard sales, but it is WAY more than I thought we would make. We prayed for the sale at breakfast, Micah told us he prayed in his bed before he woke up, and when we started kind of slow he prayed again. I think God totally answered his prayers, which is so fun. After our second customer, and our total at that point was $3.25, Micah leaned over to me with a big smile, and said, "Things are going really well!" That is what I love about being 5 years old. Whether you make a sale of .25 or $25, you are excited just because you made a sale!

I'm not sure how our neighbors felt about it, since Micah yelled "Yard Sale" about 300 times at 8:00 in the morning. Needless to say, none of them were customers. But, we had fun (our biggest goal), sold some stuff (finally got rid of this cabinet that had become the bane of my existence), and made some money too. Micah was there pretty much all 6 hours, greeting people when they walked up, selling cookies ("you can get 2 for .25!), and recording sales. We aren't sure yet what we will do our earnings, but Micah will for sure be a big part of that decision. Right now we are thinking of giving some to Micah, giving some away, and maybe using some for a family day when the boys have a break from school.

Thanks buddy, for sticking with your idea and not giving up when your parents tried to talk you out of it, we love you!!