Monday, November 24, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12).

After our frustrating news last Friday, we were overwhelmed with love and support from family and friends.  I'm sure that God is trying to teach us a few things through this experience.  Although we are not sure what He is all trying to teach us, He is definitely teaching us about patience.  He is also showing us what a loving and supportive community we have.  Although we sometimes go through unpleasant experiences, we are always able to learn something through those experiences.

Continuing to give thanks...
-the love and support from family and friends
-how our sister-in-law inquired about helping our little boy and/or the orphanage that he is staying at
-encouraging and motivating words from a friend who has been through the process
-our AP who will make our situation a priority
-our agency who is doing the best that they can to help us and our little boy

-learning patience (he doesn't normally enjoy doing puzzles, but he's learning!)
-male bonding time
-how some of their interests are so different, yet their minds are so a like

 -Sunday afternoon walks with her favourite dog and an uncle who is so willing to give her shoulder rides
 -sister bonding time
 -how she wanted to go for a walk with just the "ladies"
 -how she loves to run, not walk

 -enjoying the outdoors and the beautiful sky

 -being silly while waiting for the bus

-a beautiful rainbow in the sky early this morning; a beautiful reminder of God's faithfulness
-the howling winds and the safety of our home

-how she was so excited about PJ day at school
-fabulous report cards from the three elementary children
-beautiful comments about their beautiful personalities
-how each one of our children is so unique, and so special!

Friday, November 21, 2014

God's Game Plan

"The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." 
(Deuteronomy 31:8). 

We have been eagerly anticipating an e-mail informing us of a court date and a travel date.  However, this morning, we received a different e-mail.  Apparently,  Ministry of Woman's Affairs (MOWA) has requested that we update our dossier, as documents have expired even though they were updated when we had our MOWA court date.  We will not be issued a court date until they receive the updated documents which include an updated home study, medical records and blood work, and numerous notarized documents.  

As I was having a rather tearful conversation with our agency, the song "Never let go" by David Crowder Band was playing on the radio.  I am so thankful for God's faithfulness and the hope that we receive from His love for us (including our precious little boy who we are longing to bring home).  We will continue to try to trust in God's game plan, knowing that He will never let us go!

"Never Let Go"

When clouds veil sun
And disaster comes
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
When waters rise
And hope takes flight
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul

Ever faithful
Ever true
You I know
You never let go
You never let go
You never let go
You never let go

When clouds brought rain
And disaster came
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
When waters rose
And hope had flown
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul

Oh, my soul
Oh, what love, oh, what love
Oh, my soul
Fills hope
Perfect love that never lets go

Oh, what love, oh, what love
Oh, what love, oh, what love
In joy and pain
In sun and rain
You're the same
Oh, You never let go end of lyrics

By:  David Crowder Band

Monday, November 17, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

'"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land,' declares the LORD" 
(2 Chronicles 7:14).

Oftentimes, I think that I am able to do all things on my own.  Sometimes, it is not until a last resort that I feel like I need to go to God in prayer.  I'm feeling stressed about numerous things, Paul is losing sleep about things, and finally I say, "I'm going to pray about this."  That's not the way it should go.  I need to be reminded to "humble myself and pray and seek God's face" first and foremost!  I am so thankful that He hears my prayers and that He is so patient with me.
Continuing to give thanks...
-that God hears our prayers
-the reminder to humble myself and bring all of my cares and concerns to the Lord in prayer

-how she copies everything her brother does and wanted to bring bowling pictures to our photo shoot, like he did (except that he didn't have them in the pictures!)
-her strong will, but soft heart

-her gentle spirit

-my two beautiful girls, inside and out

-how much joy and laughter they bring, even amidst the stress

-another year of poinsettia pictures
-how he loves what he does
-that the flowers are beautiful and ready to be shipped

-how he smiles now for pictures!
-how so many people say that he reminds them of my dad!!  I love that!

-my three favourite men

-how we never grow tired of taking our pictures in the beautiful flowers

-always finding opportunities to act silly

-the beautiful blanket of fresh snow for the first time in the season

-helpers preparing for our ice rink

-doing well in my course
-finishing assignments on time
-the end of the course is near
-Jesse's great report card and that he's doing so well in his first year of high school
-meeting with two beautiful, Godly women who are passionate about helping children with special needs in an educational setting
-the children playing games after supper
-a safe and fun volleyball tournament for Nicole
-Deborah and her play dates and how she loves to play with others
-visiting with a friend for a few hours
-a receptive, positive audience as I presented my story and God's story about adoption

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Diagnosis, Not An Identity

"For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will...in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding... in Him we were also chosen" (Ephesians 1:4,5,7,11a).
It was Down syndrome awareness week this week.

One of the many things that I have learned from my online course, "Special Needs" is the importance of people- first language

"He is autistic" as opposed to people-first language, "This is Joey".  "He has autism".
"She's a downs baby" as opposed to, "She has Down syndrome".

I think the same applies to adoption.  "That's the adopted one" as opposed to "She was (past tense) adopted".

We are not defined by medical conditions, special needs, or exceptionalities.  As my friend Leah said, "It (adoption or whatever) is part of who they are, but it is not who they are."

Our identity comes from being a chosen child of Christ.  As it says it Ephesians 1, through the blood of Christ, we are holy, blameless, redeemed, blessed, chosen, adopted as a child of King, and forgiven.  God loves us, accepts us, and includes us in His family.  Let's show that same Christ-like love to others and be reminded of Ephesians 1.

Monday, November 3, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).

These were the words that were read by the guest speaker at our high school's membership meeting tonight.  It was so encouraging to be reminded that God is doing great things!  He is doing amazing things at our high school, which is evident from God's faithfulness throughout the generations of our school.  The speaker was so inspiring as he reminded us parents to pray for our children, spend time with our children, speaking words of life about our children and to them, teaching them and talking to them about how awesome God is, and partnering with other parents as we parent our children together as a community of believers.  As a community, we are able to work together, pray together, and support each other.  It's my prayer that those within our community who have lost loved ones this past weekend, will experience the support and comfort of the community and feel God's loving arms around them.  We are truly blessed to be part of this community of believers!

 Continuing to give thanks...

-our amazing Christian community
-the inspiring guest speaker
-dinner and fellowship with fellow grade nine parents
-volunteers who prepared and served the dinner
-dedicated and committed Christian staff members
-our principal, who is so passionate about everything that is happening at the school!
-combining churches and celebrating the Reformation
-new pictures of our precious little boy and his adorable little grin
-steps toward getting closer to meeting our son

 -enjoying pumpkin carving and removing the guts!
-how he rose to the challenge of using the knife and carving his pumpkin on his own

 -helping with the pumpkin carving
 -how she takes all of her jobs so seriously

-choosing/drawing a pattern for the pumpkins

 -the cutest bumblebee, ever

 -her contagious excitement about dressing up

 -the perfect magician

 -how he takes his costume roles very seriously
 -having a magic trick ready when he went trick or treating

 -a good excuse to use her bumble bee umbrella

 -how she loves to see her grandkids dressed up

 -how he faithfully and without complaining, drives the children around to go trick or treating

-running with 2 of my beautiful nieces
 -how they love to have fun, no matter what they're doing

 -enjoying a beautiful run for a great cause

 -that it didn't rain
 -completing another race
 -running with his buddies, including our friend, Jeff who came all the way from Miami

 -getting his PB

 -a great group of guys who Paul loves to run with and spend time with

 -my amazing sister-in-law who also ran 10km with Paul

-being part of an amazing fundraiser, Edu Deo ministries and impacting teachers and children around the world