Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Over the Moon in June!!!

I am happy to share that late last week we made the decision to take our entire family with us when we travel to Haiti to meet the boys for the first time. We prayed about it and it didn't take long for us to realize that this was the most logical and obvious choice. We really want our Aftyn, Haley and Aiden to deepen their hearts for Haiti and there is really no better way than to travel there and see what it is all about. It will be amazing to see what impacts them the most and how it affects them after we return home to the States.

We will be flying to Miami on June 10th and then will fly on to Port-au-Prince early the morning of June 11th (my mom's birthday) and we will be able to meet the boys that day! We will actually be packing clothes and supplies from home and taking them with us for the boys as well. It will be as if we are their only caregivers while we are there. I think that this will allow for some wonderful bonding time. I am sure that when we are back we will have many stories to share!

The kids found out last Thursday that we are going to take them along and their excitement was priceless! I think that we made the right decision. We have had many decisions to make recently...we have all of the decisions surrounding the adoption and then on top of that, we decided to build a new home on a one acre lot to give the little ones a little more room to explore...not to mention more than a closet for me to do laundry for a family of seven!! It will be interesting to see how it all comes together. I just can't wait for the day that we can bring the twins home to stay!

I am already heartbroken thinking about spending those precious days with them in June only to walk away from them and fly what feels like an eternity from them. I pray that the days will go quickly and that the sorrow won't be too deep. I pray that the care that they are receiving will be wonderful and perfectly evident to us while we are there so we have no worries over their care when we return home to Sioux Falls. Please join me in prayer over these items. Also, continue to pray for the health of the boys. We haven't received any new updates, but know that it is always best to be bathed in prayer!


I have been reading a wonderful book called "Kisses From Katie." I highly recommend it. It is beautifully written and touches the heart a little bit more with each page. It is an auto-biography about a girl named Katie from Tennessee that decided to do a mission trip to Uganda her senior year of high school. She then decided to go for a year and ended up adopting fourteen little girls over the next several years in Uganda. It is an amazing account of a girl being called by the Lord to do His work and her challenges and many blessings through the process. I am only about halfway through the book but was very moved by a passage she wrote about adoption. I would like to share it here:

"I knew that one of God's purposes in placing me here was to grow in me, through my children, this heart for adoption. In an effort to be real, I will tell you: It was hard. Being a mother of six at age nineteen was just plain exhausting sometimes. But God continued to show me that adoption is His heart, and it was becoming mine.

Adoption is wonderful and beautiful and the greatest blessing I have ever experienced. Adoption is also difficult and painful. Adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is the Gospel in my living room. And sometimes, it's just hard.

As a parent, it's hard not to know when your daughter took her first steps or what her first word was or what she looked like in kindergarten. It's hard not to know where she slept and whose shoulder she cried on and what the scar on her eyebrow is from. It's hard to know that for ten years yours was not the shoulder she cried on and you were not the mommy she hugged.

As a child, it's hard to remember your biological parent's death, no matter how much you love your new mom. It's hard to have your mom be a different color than you because inevitably people are going to ask why. It's hard that your mom wasn't there for all the times you had no dinner and all the times you were sick and all the times you needed help with your homework. It's hard when you have to make up your birthday. It's hard when you can't understand the concept of being a family forever yet, because your first family wasn't forever.

Adoption is a redemptive response to tragedy that happens in this broken world. And every single day, it is worth it, because adoption is God's heart. His Word says, 'In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will' (Ephesians 1:5). He sets the lonely in families. The first word that appears when I look up adoption in the dictionary is 'acceptance.' God accepts me even, just as I am. And He wan'ts me to accept those without families into my own. Adoption is the reason I can come before God's throne and beg Him for mercy, because He predestined me to be adopted as His child through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of His glorious grace.

My family, adopting these children, it is not optional. It is not my good deed for the day; it is not what I am doing to 'help out these poor kids.' I adopt because God commands me to care for the orphans and the widows in their distress. I adopt because Jesus says that to whom much has been given, much will be demanded and because whoever finds his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for His sake will find it.

God was showing me His heart and His Word in new ways right there in the life I was living though the children I was serving. Armed with this new sense of who He is and who I was as His servant, I continued to try to give myself away in every circumstance. I wanted to do God's work, let Him display Himself through my life, and change my world as much as possible every single day. Most days, that didn't include anything other people would find impressive. It simply meant being faithful to the people and the responsibilities God had given me."


There was another section of the book that broke my heart for the orphans throughout the world that continue to wait for a family to love and be loved by. As we have moved through this process, several people have mentioned to Craig and I that they had thought about adopting a child at one time or another, but there was always a reason that stopped them from moving forward. A reason why they had not followed that leading. Some said it was too expensive, they were getting too old, they already had 2, 3 or 4 children, or that they would be overwhelmed or too anxious. Well...I have to say that all of these reasons came into our minds at one time or another during the process of considering adoption. I really believe that those thoughts were the devil trying to convince us to pass up this opportunity. Pass on doing the will of the Lord. I know that adoption is not for everyone. I don't believe for one minute that the Lord is calling every Christian to adopt a child or children. What I do believe is that He calls some of us and that even though we are all ill-equipped to step into this role, He will equip us with the finances, energy, love, space and patience during the process. I fully believe that I do not have these qualities in abundant supply on all days. In fact, I believe that I might be one of the least likely to fit the mold for a model mother...but I know that our Lord uses the least of these to accomplish amazing things. If He could do it with a shepherd, a virgin, a tax collector, and a small boy, I know that He can do it through anxious, weary, stressed out and broken me. I can't wait to watch as His glory shines through our family as we venture into this new territory! May He receive ALL OF THE GLORY!!

Another heart-wrenching excerpt from the "Kisses From Katie" book:

"The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians.

The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.

This is the Truth. I have the freedom to believe it. The freedom, the opportunity to do something about it. The truth is that He loves these children just as much as He loves me and now that I know, I am responsible."

Today we received some additional wonderful news in regards to our adoption. We knew that the government in Haiti had put a temporary freeze on new dossiers coming into the government from April 30th until June 1st. They wanted to process the ones that are currently in their possession. We did not know whether our dossier had already been in the hands of the government in Haiti or not. We knew it was overseas, but not where it was located exactly. We found out today that our dossier was submitted to the Haiti government on Friday, April 27th.  The last day before the temporary freeze! Hooray! We know that this won't really speed the process up, but it should keep it from slowing down! Praise God!

We will continue to keep you all informed as we receive updates! The boys are now seven months and we should be getting some new photos and updates soon! Thank you for continuing to pray! We can tell that we have some prayer warriors on our side and we are so thankful for you!

Bursting with excitement!

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