Thursday, December 31, 2009
My dear friend who also happens to be my pastor, Mike feels that 2010 will be a "banner year". I am hopeful that he has "heard correctly" and this will be the case!
In any case, Happy New Year! May 2010 be a year of reunification and reconciliation!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
He was the answer everyone was waiting for.
And no one expected.
A warrior, yes!
A King - definitely!
A statesman - to be sure!
But a baby? Completely unexpected.
And yet, He was and still is, the perfect answer to a world in need of reconciliation, forgiveness, restoration, healing.
I.A. has turned out to be a season of waiting for me. Completely unexpected. As I anticipate the joyful homecoming of Moonbeam. As the wait drags on maintaining a sense of hopefulness is tricky. And yet hope I must. In light of who I know God to be - a God of reconciliation, a God whose heart is for the orphan. A God of mercy and compassion. My hope is in Him. In the one who will provide for Hannah and for me in unexpected ways. I don't want to be so caught up in my frustration that things don't look like I would have liked or expected that I miss His plan. And so I wait - sometimes in joyful expectation, other times in self - pity, but I wait nonetheless. I won't give up Moonbeam - I am still waiting, and hoping and praying that one day we will be reunited!
*I.A. = International Adoption
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Here are some post titles I've been thinking about....
Life is Messy
Advent and IA
There are no Fairy Tales
Living with Loss
Waiting and Weight
Crazy or Committed?
Sounds cheerful huh? Maybe that's why they haven't actually made it to the blogosphere.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
News reports out of Kyrgyz today seem to point to yet another new date...February 15th this time. Again, unbelievable!
I won't give up Moonbeam...I miss you.....I love you! I'm still fighting for you!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Funny story, while I was waiting to be called for my turn to be fingerprinted a man comes in and I hear him tell the lady at the counter that he is there to update his address for his concealed weapons permit (not the funny part :), she gives him a form and he comes over and sits next to me, notices me, makes eye contact and says "Are you here for your permit?"
I'm not sure what it might be about me that would say "needs a permit to carry a concealed weapon!" Very strange.
Well, this will all be worth it if Moonbeam gets to come home someday.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
As this wait drags on, I am finding myself frequently in tears as I think about sweet Moonbeam still living in an orphanage, without a family.
10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
25And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
I know I am totally taking this verse out of context, but the words keep coming back to me. I will restore to you the years the the locust hath eaten. I really believe that the Lord will restore these years of living in an orphanage to Hannah and me. This, I know....
Friday, October 9, 2009
I still feel very hopeful that this will eventually work out - and the officials on the call seemed to communicate that as well.
Even though I was trying to manage my expectations, I think I let myself hope that we might have some indication of a time frame.
Living with uncertainty is exhausting. I'm just ready to bring Moonbeam home. She needs to be with her family.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Over this past week the waiting 65 families have been supporting each other in ways that are hard to describe. One way that I wanted to share with you, was a post started by one of the dear moms called, "Thread for encouraging verses" - what a fabulous idea - by the end of the day there must have been over 50 verses posted - and encouraging is an understatement for sure!
It is inspiring and contagious to be a part of a group of families who are clinging to the Lord during this prolonged wait.
I especially like this post from one of the moms...
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
~ Romans 12:12, NLT
And so, in anticipation of our confident hope being fulfilled, I will leave you with this picture of Moonbeam and I strolling the grounds of the BBH. Hopeful that someday soon, you will be seeing pictures - including our faces - of us strolling the grounds of home.
Monday, September 28, 2009
We need a breakthrough, Lord.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
But seriously, I've just been putting it off because I've felt like nothing was happening so why bother? It's good to have some hope again. I know that we still have no idea when it will happen, but I have to say, I once I again feel like it's not if, it's when will Moonbeam come home?
Hip, Hip, Hooray!
*For those unfamiliar this is the approval one needs for immigration purposes - once we get Moonbeam the heck out of the BBH!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Solomon was right when he wrote, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Proverbs 13:12).
While I don't have anything concrete to share in terms of a date to leave for the Gotcha Trip, we have had a flurry of news this week! A letter drafted by members of congress, including Ken Salazar from Colorado - (go Ken!) was sent to the Kyrgyz Embassy in DC and to Kyrgyzstan, requesting a meeting with the Prime Minister when he is in the States next week!
Along with the news of this letter, we also heard that a paper in Bishkek published an article specifically about International Adoption and stating that the Parliament is of the mind to lift the moratorium and process the adoptions of the 65 families while they overhaul the whole adoption process. Rather than making us wait until they finish re-writing the family code - which I applaud the Kyrgyz for doing. We want things to be transparent, ethical, legal and most importantly, in the best interest of the children!
I'm trying to manage my expectations, but I feel a surge of hopefulness. There is more potential for movement than we've had in months!
Friday, September 4, 2009
I realize that as this wait to bring Moonbeam home continues, I find myself very melancholy on Fridays.
Another week over.
Another week without news.
Another week older.
Another week of milestones missed.
Another week spent living in an orphanage.
Another weekend to wait through, knowing the next possible news will be Monday.
It just makes me so sad.....sigh
Monday, August 24, 2009
I've been spending time looking for Scripture that speaks to God's heart for orphans. Here are some wonderful pictures of this very heart:
In Isaiah 1:17, He commands us to
Learn to do good.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
Proverbs 31:8 tells us to
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Who would be more speechless, more powerless, more oppressed, than orphans living in institutions?
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I only had to look at her arm rest to discover the why:
Me: "Uh, that's because you're listening to it on the Spanish channel - English is on channel 1"
As Syd would say, "Duh!"
Sorry, sis, this story was just too funny not to tell! :-)
Friday, August 21, 2009
enjoying views like this...
not to be outdone by this...
A grand time was had by all! I feel so relaxed and refreshed. It's good to be "off the grid" for a time. I didn't check email, voicemail, my blog or any of the yahoo groups I belong to - it was actually quite a relief! I sure wish my sweet Moonbeam could have joined us! I thought about her every day and I continue to pray without ceasing for her and all of the waiting children. Lord, bring them home!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
The princesses eagerly awaiting the cake!
The lovely Kristen (on the far right in the picture above) made this delicious cake - complete with Skittles for decoration. It was divine! Yum!
Ready to blow out the candles.
Waiting for the cutting of the cake.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Part One here.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
My dear friend Beulah is baking a cake. Lesa is getting decorations and ice cream. I'll be bringing a few little gifts. Now, if I can just get through the evening without spending the whole thing crying! It's a celebration of Moonbeam's life, after all!
Friday, July 24, 2009
So, I'm wondering, how to celebrate? Luckily the evening of her birthday I will be at a Bible Study with a group of dear friends - so I'm half tempted to plan a bit of a party? Any ideas out there? Any families who have had to celebrate a birthday without their child being physically present?
Please leave a comment - I am feeling really blue and could use some input....
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Please be praying that the election will go smoothly, that there will be peace while the people vote, and that the election would be uncontested.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Hang on, Moonbeam and friends, you are not forgotten, you are loved and being prayed for daily by so many.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Have I mentioned what the weather is like in Bishkek in August? Well let me just say scorching hot! And not an air conditioner to be found - except for the one in our driver's car. And with five people packed into a Jetta - well - you can imagine!
You know, when you're without the comforts of home and you're visiting your daughter in an orphanage - you begin to realize what is really important. And clean clothes and air conditioning just aren't at the top of the list.
Each day when we arrived at the orphanage I wondered how much clothing Moonbeam would be wearing? On some visits she had nothing more than panties on. Which I don't think she minded too much since it was brutally hot, but still, it just really emphasized for me just how much stuff I own. It was a really humbling experience. And a very good life lesson to be learned - again and again.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should all sell everything and live in poverty. However, I find that I am focused on living from a more grateful space and I continually try to be generous with what I have.
Back to the story, when Elisabeth and I arrived in London on Saturday, for our vacation time there, it was so exciting to need a sweater (London seems to be cool, wet and rainy all year long) and to find our luggage made it with us this time! Not sure I've been happier to greet a suitcase!
Do we look a little giddy? :-)
Thursday, July 9, 2009
A beautiful ballet/opera house:
A park in the city....I never did figure out why they paint all of the bases of the tree trunks white? Anyone?
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I had the opportunity to go to Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church this am. I went to hear my friend Tami speak about her adoption journey in Kyrgyzstan. Cherry Creek Pres is hosting Tami's "Red Card" program. It's an eight week Sunday School program designed to teach families about advocating for Children at Risk around the world. Find out more about this amazing program here.
Anyhow, I digress, Tami shared about God's faithfulness to her both during the adoption journey and since. It was so encouraging to hear the many ways that God answered prayer for her daughter and others. As I listened, with tears in my eyes, I felt a surge of hope! As if God was reminding me, I haven't forgotten, I am at work, I do have a plan.
After she shared her story, Tami passed out pictures and prayer requests from six of the waiting families (including me). She asked each of the tables to pray over the child and the requests from the waiting family. She also asked them to write notes of encouragement to the family. It was such a blessing to know that over 100 people were praying for the waiting 65 families. I stuck around at the end and helped Tami collect the cards from the tables - I was so excited to see how many cards there were! At least 5 per family and some even more than that (some of the tables were fuller than others)! It will be so fun to get these in the mail and will be yet another reminder of how God is touching lives through this wait.
At the very end of the time, as people were leaving, this little old man came up to me, with tears in his eyes, to tell me he was praying for me and for my daughter. He gave me a hug and had to turn away - he told me "you know, I just don't cry". OK, now I'm crying.
God is so faithful! I love the 3rd chapter of the book of Lamentations. It lists all the reasons for hopelessness, and there are many of them in this case, but then a turning point in verse 21 and following:
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Yes, great is Your faithfulness, dear Lord!
Read the whole chapter here.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
On the sweet side, while here, my social worker and I discussed the domestic waiting child program and how the process will unfold. That is exciting and something to look forward to. She even said that it is possible I may have a child at home by the Fall! Wow! To borrow a line from Pamela, I may be having the longest and the shortest pregnancies simultaneously! ACK!
Funny story, Syd told the social worker that she cannot wait for Hannah 1 and Hannah 2 to come home. :-) Even though I have told her they will not both be named Hannah, she tells me, "well, we don't know what the 2nd little girl's name will be so I'm just going to call her Hannah 2 for now." Ahhh, laughter, it's good for the soul.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It's so hard to know that she will spend her 3rd birthday in the orphanage. I never dreamed that a year later I would still be waiting to bring her home. But I do feel hopeful that this will be her very last birthday spent in the orphanage!
So, so long June! May July be a month with lots of good news!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
One of the things I have been noticing lately is how there are many blessings associated with this dismal wait! I've always loved how God can take something that seemed incredibly horrendous and turn it into the most amazing blessing one could imagine! (Think Joseph and the way his brothers sold him into slavery - that had a wonderfully happy ending. Or, on a lighter note, turning lemons into lemonade.)
What the enemy means for our destruction God can redeem and use for good purposes! (my paraphrase of Gen. 50:20)
All that said, here's the FABULOUS part. I had the opportunity to meet another amazing PAP and, until now, virtual friend - Pamela. She is adopting the lovely miss Tulla Belle from the BBH where Hannah also resides. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Pamela online and on the phone so it was just wonderful to meet in person. She is an amazing woman, with a heart for God and to top it off she is passionate about the welfare of children.
And, if all this weren't enough, Pamela invited Tom and Rebecca from Joint Council on International Children's Services to join us. JCICS is working tirelessly to cut through the red tape and help the waiting families bring our children home! Tom and Rebecca are both passionate about children's issues and are committed to connecting them with loving families. I got to know each of them better over drinks and dinner. We had such a great time. We laughed and talked and sippped a few drinks. Before we knew it over three hours had passed. Not only are Tom and Rebecca amazing advocates for children, they are a ton of fun! It truly was a Fabulous Friday! One I wouldn't have missed for anything!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
As I sit here feeling completely deflated, I am filled with the sense that I need to remember His faithfulness to me. One of the things I love about reading the Old Testament are the many places where the Israelites take time to remember, aloud, the many ways that God has been faithful to them. There are literally dozens of passages where the people recount all that God has done for them.
I feel like I need to do that - I need to recount the many ways that I have seen God's faithfulness to me on this adoption journey and I know there are many! I need to remember and choose not to lose hope!
I remember...during my wait for a referral I prayed that You would not send me to Kyrgyz on my visit trip by myself. There was a VERY small window of time that my dear friend Elisabeth would be able to accompany me. And You worked that out down to the very day! Thank You Lord!
I remember....how nervous I was about meeting the other family that would be sharing this experience with me. I was concerned how the details would work themselves out - sharing a driver, translator, 5 people in a Jetta in over one hundred degree weather! Thank You Lord for Jeff and Lisa - what a blessing it was to get to know them! How privileged I feel to have shared my visit trip with them. They will definitely be friends for life! :-)
Lord, You are faithful!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Syd....Did you go to Disney World?
Syd....Awww. Was it a business trip?
Syd.....Awwww. I was hoping you'd get me a present from Disney.
Me.......Oh, well, I didn't make it to Disney
Syd......Well, I'm going to buy my own present when we go on vacation.
Syd......Says me. With money from Papa
Me.......(cracking up) You are one lucky little girl. You know Papa never gave me money when I was a little girl
Syd.......Well, I think he likes me better!
And you know what, I think she's right :-)
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
8 Things I'm looking forward to...
1. Bringing home Hannah
3. Asking Him lots of questions - like what's up with this wait? (in a most respectful way!)
1. Presented all day long at a user group meeting for my sales job
4. Got the scoop from Ann about the day in DC by phone :-)
5. Enjoyed a Drumstick (of the ice cream variety)
7. Caught up with an old friend, Marcy (she was at the user group meeting). She was one of the first to convince me that, of course, I could figure out how to pay for an international adoption! She's a single AP of two adorable girls from Guatemala.
2. Bring my mom back.
8 Shows I watch (sadly, I probably can fill this list!)
Friday, May 29, 2009
Keep praying people! :-)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This evening I sat down to compose an email prayer request to friends and family. I decided to send that same prayer request out to the blogosphere! Oh, and a big shout out to JCICS and the US DoS - Office of Children's Issues for all their hard work in making this meeting a reality! I appreciate them so very much!
Dear Friends and Family –
I know I've been sending lots of email requests and I truly don’t want to overload you - so feel free to delete this if you’re getting tired of hearing about all of the adoption drama – I know I’m sick to death of the whole mess! But I won’t stop praying and I cannot stop trying advocate in whatever way I can to bring my girl home! She needs to be here, in a family, out of the orphanage! And so do the 64 other waiting children! Hannah turns 3 on July 30th – a third birthday in an orphanage - it just about breaks my heart!
I’m writing to ask you to be praying this Friday. Five waiting families and one family who completed their adoption will be meeting with Kyrgyz officials in Washington DC. These officials were invited by the US Dept of State as a part of their International Visitor’s Program. One small part of their time in DC will be this 90 minute meeting with these families and adoption officials.
Please be praying that
· God will break their hearts for the children.
· The truth about why Americans adopt will be made crystal CLEAR to each of these officials – there is such a negative impression about why we adopt (some believe we adopt for body parts) The Kyrgyz seem to have no cultural frame of reference for International Adoption or domestic adoption for that matter. I think this leads to some fear about why people would adopt.
· Pray for Ann, Lisa, Pamela, Suzanne, Shannon and Cyndi that they will be able to communicate clearly with the officials all that is on their heart – this is such an emotional time for all of us that I know it won’t be easy for them.
· Pray for Cyndi’s son Kenny who was adopted from Kyrgyzstan and is now 11 years old – he wants to address the officials and tell them how wonderful it is to be adopted and what life has been like since leaving the orphanage a few years ago. A quote from Cyndi’s blog “Kenny and I are both pretty scared. Kenny said "I want to help those babies come home, Mommy...but what if I say the wrong thing?". I reassured him there was nothing he could say that would be wrong, that he simply needed to share his story.” If you’d like to read more about this family check out their blog: http://lajoyfamily.blogspot.com/
· Pray that these officials will leave this meeting with changed hearts and minds about allowing their children to be adopted by foreigners.
· Pray that the officials will return to Kyrgyzstan and be bold in sharing what they heard and learned and most especially their changed beliefs about international adoption!
I could go on and on – so pray as the Holy Spirit leads!
Thank you so much for all the ways you are each supporting me on this roller coaster journey! It’s not a journey I would have picked, but I will tell you this, my relationship with Jesus is deeper than it’s ever been and that’s something I wouldn't trade for anything!
Love to each of you!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Anywho, I digress, I met with my agency, collected all of the necessary paperwork and left feeling pretty excited about going forward with adopting a waiting child from the foster care system. These feelings of excitement quickly faded as I began filling out the paperwork....ugh! This is round three of the arduous task of applying to adopt! (Guatemala - closed, Kyrgyzstan - on seemingly interminable delay and now domestic) Seriously, I must be a lunatic! Nobody signs up for this much punishment! Sigh....
But, I will move forward - feelings change all of the time and I don't feel lack of excitement about the paperwork is the "No" that would lead me to stop. And overall I am still excited about the other side of the paperwork...a sister for Hannah!
Friday, May 22, 2009
We had lunch plans today and when I picked her up, Lesa asked if I was available for the rest of the afternoon - well? why not? Surely work can wait! So we had lunch, went to see a great flick - Angels & Demons - have you read the book? Loved it! After the movie we went to Sprouts and bought some yummy fruit and produce. When we got back to her place she invited me in to sit in the hot tub. She made me a pomegranate vodka concoction (YUM!), a fabulous dinner and we hung out with the kids, played some cards (Canasta! I know, I'm an old lady at heart!) and forgot all about all the things that really stink in my world right now!
Thank you Lesa! I feel so loved and you are such a blessing! Special thanks also go out to my equally dear friend, and Lesa's husband Mike for getting the kiddos to bed last night and then watching the kids all afternoon today so that Lesa could love on me!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
My beautiful mom who was such an amazing woman. She was selfless, patient, kind, strong and a whole bunch of fun! I miss her and pray that I can be half the mom to Moonbeam that she was to me.
My sister, Kristi, is an amazing mom - she is patient and kind with Syd. Being a single mom is a ton of work, but Kristi handles it with grace and an incredible amount of strength!
My mom's twin sister, Auntie Jan. I have so many wonderful memories of time spent with her and I can't wait for her to meet sweet Hannah - I know she will be the grandma that Mom won't get to be. I always feel so loved and accepted by her! She is full of life and fun and lots of ways to make you feel special!
Oh, the list could go on and on - I have been blessed by so many women. And I feel grateful for their presence and influence on my life. I am hopeful that I will be able to follow in their footsteps as a mom!
Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there! May you enjoy your families and feel loved and appreciated!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
It's been quite the journey. I know it will be worth every moment of waiting. I believe with all of my heart that she will come home.
A good friend gave me an article once that was titled "Don't Waste Your Cancer" - bottom line the message was that no matter what the trial, there can be infinite value in living through whatever the "cancer". I'm truly trying not to "waste this wait". I'm listening Lord - whatever you need to say to me I want to hear, whatever you need to teach me Lord, I'm open to learn, however you'd like to use me Lord, I'm willing. But Lord if I could hear, learn and be used quickly so Hannah could come home that would be
GREAT! :-) Note: Just to clarify, I am not in any way saying that I believe that God is causing Hannah to wait and live longer in an orphanage because He has things to say, teach or do with me. I don't believe that for a minute. However, I do believe that if I let Him, He has much to say, teach and do in and through me while I wait. Make sense?
Not my will, but Yours Lord.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
(L.B. Cowman. Streams in the Desert. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. 1997. p. 162.)
Be quiet! Why this anxious heed
About your tangled ways?
God knows them all.
He gives you speed
And He allows delays.
It's good for you to walk by faith
And not by sight.
Take it on trust a little while.
Soon will you read the mystery aright
In the full sunshine of His smile.
What a good reminder of His sovereignty! And while I have no idea why He would allow these delays, there is comfort in knowing He is still in control!