Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Somebody's praying me through"

"What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to Him?" (Deuteronomy 4:7)

Today I was blessed with an e-mail from my dear friend, Heather, with a video attachment of the following song by Allen Asbury. Heather reminded me that she's praying for Deborah on the other side of the world and for our family. Deborah has many prayers going up on her behalf every day! Every day her parents, brothers, sister, family, and friends are praying for her-for her protection, health, well-being and love. We continue to lift her up in prayers, as well as the many other needs for others that lay on our hearts. With God's help and our intercessory prayers that we can get through "the tears, the rain, the sorrow, and the pain". Deborah (and others) we are praying you through.

Somebody's Praying Me Through Lyrics
Performed by- Allen Asbury

Pressing over me like a big blue sky
I know someone has me on their heart tonight
That's why I know it's gonna be alright
'Cause somebody's praying me through
Somebody's praying me through
It may be my Mother, it might be my Dad
Or an old friend I've forgot I had
But whoever it is I'm so glad that
Somebody's praying me through
Somebody's praying me through
Through the tears, through the rain
Through the sorrow, through the pain
It keeps bringing me through
Over and over again
So when you're drowning in a sea of hurt
And it feels like life couldn't get any worse
There's a blessing waiting to push back the curse
'Cause somebody's praying you through
Somebody's praying you through
Someone got down on their knees and prayed for me
Somebody's, somebody's praying you through

Monday, April 26, 2010

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:28).

#461) our new landscaper

#462) imaginary play

#463) book character day (Jaguar from Diego and Wilbur from Charlotte's Web)

#464) Laura wanna be
#465) fellow "Little House on the Prairie" fans
#466) nephew publicly professing his faith
#467) leap frog in the basement
#468) visit with "aunt and uncle" (old friends)
#469) friend's recovery from open brain surgery
#470) prayers from our little ones for their friends' Daddy
#471) outdoor gathers
#472) stay home days
#473) successful trailer shopping
#474) very excited children
#475) referrals for other families waiting to adopt
#477) safe travels for our church's team in Africa

holy experience

Saturday, April 24, 2010


"If we walk in the light, as (God) is in the light, we have fellowship with one another"
(1 John 1:7).

This was a cake that a fellow adoptive Mom and her daughter made as we celebrated Deborah's referral. It was such a thoughtful gesture (and yummy too). We are so blessed with such a wonderful group of adoptive parents! We are blessed with opportunities to get together, celebrate joys, share sorrows, lift each other in prayer, support each other, communicate with each other, share resources with each other, etc. I love and appreciate all of those opportunities and showers of blessings! Thank-you, God for my adoptive friends (and all of my friends)! I am so blessed.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16).

#441) rivers and creeks

#442) water-logged boots

#443) piggy back rides

#444) red-wing black birds

#445) perseverance when building
#446) engagement of our niece!! Congrats, Jen!!!
#447) inspiring music at the Gaither concert
#448) court date for Deborah
#449) gardening with my 73 year old mom
#450) reading to our 10 year old
#451) reading/doing devotions with our 8 year old
#452) reading to our 5 year old
#453) listening to our 5 year old read
#454) listening to our 5 year old reiterate his Sunday School lesson from his handout
#455) Sunday School teachers
#456) our ten year old's excitement to go hiking
#457) exploring God's creation!
#458) cards in the mail
#459) popsicle sticks
#460) glue

holy experience

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adoption Update

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).

We were told today that Deborah's court date in Ethiopia is set for May 11! We are praying for a successful court date on that date. After court, it will still be another 4-5 months before we travel to bring her home as we await the finalization of various paper work such as her citizenship, facilitation visa, etc. We continue to pray for patience as we await the day that we can bring our daughter home to her forever family.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't Let Me Miss The Glory

"Mom, look at the cool sky!" exclaims our 5 year old. I reply, "Who made the sky?" "God." "Yes, He painted us a beautiful sky this morning, didn't He?"

Oh, God, I have failed so see your glory so many times today.

Lord, when I'm rushed packing the lunches in the morning, let me give thanks to You for our food.
Lord, when I'm rushing the children out the door for school, help to give thanks for Christian education and the children's good-bye kisses.
Lord, when I plan my day, help me to schedule time with You.
Lord, when I am stretched in different directions, help me to follow You.
Lord, when it's a bit chaotic when the children come home from school, help to give thanks for safety and seeing their lovely faces after a long day away.
Lord, when I'm tired at the end of the day, help me to be patient and rejoice in every moment I have with each child and with my hubby.

Forgive me Lord for not seeing your glory in the every day things in my life. Forgive me for not seeing the glory in the creativeness of our son, the smiles and desire to be heard from our daughter, the helpfulness of our son, the longing to play outside, wanting to read a story, etc. Lord, "Don't Let Me Miss The Glory"!

I am inspired by the blind pianist of the Gaithers, Gordon Mote as he sings, "Don't Let Me Miss The Glory". Lord, my eyes can see, but so often they are not open. My prayer is the same as Gordon's.

2 more sleeps until the Gaither concert! 3rd row seats, baby!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream" (Jeremiah 17:7,8).

#423) tree climbing and a son who's learning to "put his confidence in Him"

#424) our new baby girl!!!
#425) Curtis' artistic abilities (his rendition of his baby sister)
#426) our referral!
#427) a huge answer to so many prayers
#428) the children's excitement with the news of their baby sister
#429) countless of e-mails and well wishes for our new baby

#430) rubber boots
#431) mud to walk in
#432) hiking or going on an adventure as the kids say
#433) another birthday for our precious boy
#434) birthday celebrations
#435) opportunity to speak at a girl's conference
#436) God answering my cries to Him
#437) God's timing
#438) God's sense of humour
#439) growing and changing and the work God is doing in my life
#440) growing and changing and the work God is doing in Paul's life

holy experience

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Double Digits

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him" (Psalm 127:3).

Our sweet boy turns 10 today! Where has time gone??? He had a fun party on Monday afternoon, and tonight we went out for dinner and celebrated with our family and grandparents. We had lots to celebrate, especially the news of his new baby sister whom he has prayed for for over 2 years! He was really hoping we'd get our referral on his birthday, and we did!

We are so thankful to God for entrusting us with him. We are so blessed by his cheerfulness, desire to have fun, love for sports and the outdoors, helpfulness around the house, being such a wonderful big brother, being a great friend, thoughtfulness, and a love for the Lord. It is our prayer that he will continue to have a desire to follow the Lord and serve Him.

We love you, Jesse and wish you a blessed birthday!

Adoption Update- Referral!!!

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done...Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always...For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise...Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever...Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting" (1 Chronicles 16:8,11,25,34,36).

We're number zero!!!

This morning, we received "the call" that we have been waiting for! I can hardly put my thoughts/emotions into words. I have been feeling quite emotional lately and have had stomach pains. This morning, I went for my run, and had a bit of a hard time catching my breath between my sobs as I was crying to the Lord, "how much longer?" When I came home, I e-mailed my husband with my woes and was questioning if I was reaching menopause, or if it was from the adoption process. As I was in the shower, praying and crying again, the phone was ringing with our exciting news (but I didn't know it; a dear friend was praying for us at that very moment as well). Twenty minutes later, when the phone rang again, I answered it and the adoption agency worker asked if I was ready for some good news. I cried, jumped, screamed, began to shake, and blurted, "NO WAY"!! Before I asked her for any details, I told her about my emotional morning and that it was our oldest's birthday today and how he had asked for a referral for his birthday. I simply could not believe it, and I still can't!

Between my sobs, I asked her for details. She was born January 17, 2010. Her name is Deborah Nekemte (now Deborah Audrey Nekemte). That made the name choosing very easy! She weighed only 5.5 pounds, but she's stable and is doing well. My mom was at the door when I received "the call", so she was privileged to see her daughter go loopy and see a picture of her new grand daughter on the computer screen (before Paul)! She's absolutely perfect! Unfortunately I will not be posting any pictures until after a successful court date has been granted.

I went to school to show the children her picture, and they were thrilled. Curtis gave me a big hug, and asked if we could tell his teacher and his class. Jesse had huge smiles and proudly showed the picture of his little sister to each of his classmates. Nicole wanted to keep the picture, so that she could show everyone! I want to do the same!!

We will continue to wait for patience as we await a court date and all the paper work that follows. This procedure could still take several months. We may possibly squeak through the new rule of being present at court in Ethiopia. Our agency is doing their best to try to make that happen, but can't make any promises. It is our prayer that our consent is received in Ethiopia before April 9, filed with the court, and a court date is scheduled. That's cutting it pretty close, but again, it is in the Lord's hands.

With all of the hurtles that we have faced with this process in the last 2.5 years, God has been so good and has shown His faithfulness over and over. He has truly made us stronger throughout this process and we have learned a lot about patience and trust. We are so blessed, and we give thanks to the One who has made all things possible.

This is Deborah's first "official" baby gift. It's a beautiful hand made blanket purchased and given by my aunt.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Adoption Update- Two Trips

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).


It's official. We were recently informed that adoptive parents will need to appear in court in Ethiopia. This came as a surprise to many. We were hoping that there might be a chance that we might squeeze in before that rule applies, but that won't happen as it applies to any files that are sent to court after April 9. Families are made aware of court dates usually two weeks after a referral is made and court dates are being scheduled approximately three to five weeks after a file is received by the court. Once a court decision is granted, our baby girl will be legally our daughter, but she will not be able to come home with us until a Visa is granted which could take several months. Therefore, we will get to visit her birth country twice.
There are mixed feelings associated with this new rule. First of all, we'll get to travel to Ethiopia sooner than we expected!! However, I can't imagine how painful it will be to say good-bye to our little girl. I know that obviously there is nothing that we can do about this, so again, we leave it in God's hands. Oh, I pray so earnestly for patience and for the ability to trust completely in Him.

Monday, April 5, 2010

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!" (Revelation 19: 6b, 7a)

#401) turkey dinner outside

#402) breakfast outside

#403) outside dinner for the first time this year

#404) party helpers

#405) party planner/organizer (a boy after his mother's heart)

#406) party snacks
#407) successful birthday party
#408) Easter dinners with family
#409) gorgeous weather
#410) lunch to celebrate sister's birthday
#411) Easter assembly at school
#412) Nicole's excitement to recite part of an Easter poem
#413) safe arrival of my snowbird in-laws
#414) the cross
#415) the empty tomb
#416) this whole weekend and the meaning behind it- Christ's resurrection and His death on the cross for me-a sinner
#417) forgiveness
#418) fantastic musical at our church
#419) the many gifts and talents of the members in our church
#420) hours of volunteering and dedication involved in the Easter presentation
#421) Jesse's enthusiasm to help prepare for his party today
#422) school friends

holy experience

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What's in a Name?

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

People choose names for their children based on a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes it is for the tradition a passing a family name on to the next generation. Sometimes, a name is chosen based on its meaning and sometimes a name is just chosen because parents like it.

We've had over two years to think about the name of our baby girl. We are considering African names, a grandparent's name, names we just like, and names with special meanings. One day, my oldest and I were looking on the Internet for African baby girl names. This one struck us the most: "Ekenesenarhienrhien"! Is that not the longest name, ever! The meaning of it, however is quite special, "acknowledge that which God has given". Maybe we could shorten it??? Some of Jesse's fav's were: "Jojo", "Sisi", "Tale", "Yaa", etc. Was he being silly or what? Some of my top picks were/are: "Jendayi" (give thanks), "Jamilia" (beautiful), "Jahzara" (Ethiopian for Blessed Princess), "Mariama" (gift of God), "Desta" (happiness), "Joanna" (God is gracious/grace/gift of the Lord), "Melesse", "Alitash", etc. Of course there are the names that we just like such as, "Lillian", "Lynelle", etc. We would also like to keep her birth name. Needless to say, we have not yet decided on her name. Hopefully, we'll need to make up our minds very, very soon.

"...And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

Throughout the Bible there are numerous names/attributes given to our Lord. Such names/attributes include: Abba, Most High, Yahweh, I AM, Creator, Potter, King, Righteous One, El Shaddai, Alpha, Omega, Shepherd, Provider, Healer, Counselor, etc. etc. The list goes on, but the one name that means sums it up for me, especially as we celebrate Easter this weekend is "Saviour". Thinking about what Jesus did for me on that cross makes me want to cry out and say as the hymn says, "Hallelujah! What a Saviour!" We were blessed by that song last Sunday and tonight at our church's Easter performance, "Believe". It was very hard to keep a dry eye as the choir powerfully sang, "Man of Sorrows, What a Name"

Man of Sorrows, what a name

For the Son of God who came

Ruined sinners to reclaim!

Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,

In my place condemned He stood,

Sealed my pardon with His blood;

Hallelujah! What a Saviour.

Lifted up was He to die,

"It is finished," was His cry,

Now in heaven exalted high,

Hallelujah! What a Saviour.

When He comes, our glorious King,

All Hs ransomed home to bring,

Then anew this song we'll sing,

Hallelujah! What a Saviour.