family picture

family picture

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Every once in a while a sermon gets to brewing in my head, here's the latest one.  The cause of it and heart behind it will soon be posted, I just don't have enough emotional strength to do it yet.

I have been pondering some things lately. In our culture today we think we deserve things.  Maybe even if it’s thinking that good things are basic rights that we have.  It has seeped into our tiniest thoughts and pervaded even what seems like good things, such as: the perfect or any pregnancy, the perfect child with “ten fingers and ten toes”, a decent job, a happy home etc..  We go to great lengths to, not only obtain these things, but try and convince others that they too deserve these things, or that God wants these things for us and will give them to us if we have faith.  Some people will even tell you to claim these good things because that’s really what God wants for you.  Oh what a broken idea. 

In the beginning God created a perfect world. It was free from sickness, pain and death.  Everything lived in a perfect peace harmony and He created Adam and Eve to be the crowning jewel.  Adam and Eve walked with God in person and had perfect fellowship.  And then, in one simple bite of rebellion, that perfect creation was ripped and scarred.  That perfect relationship was now broken, and brokenness permeated everything.  Pain, work so hard it makes you sweat, death and sin are what we inherited from Adam, brokenness.  I think part of the beauty and blessing of being a barren woman is that I have felt that brokenness from so early on.  It is a blessing because; it makes me see my only Hope.

I have been asked a lot of questions about if “we’re ready” for our next adoption.  Do we know what we’re getting into, is this what you really want all because we’re open to becoming parents to a kid who needs a little extra help.  There is something that I realized a few years ago.  God created my body to not birth my children.  He had a different plan for me.  It was wrought in brokenness, but was HIS perfect plan.  Adoption was always God’s first and only plan for how we would become parents.  In brokenness we grieved infertility. But adoption was never a second plan, it was always God’s first plan and He built it into our hearts years before we even decided to start growing our family.
What we understand is that our family is wrought from brokenness, built in brokenness, parented in brokenness.  As parents our past is brokenness and our children’s past is filled with such brokenness that a heart can hardly bear it.  The path to becoming parents has been/will be filled with having to witness and be a part of the brokenness of, our families’ expectations, corrupt governments, a broken system that leaves children with no home who could have a home.  This brokenness leaves us and our children’s hearts a little scarred and maybe even physically scarred. BUT we understand that God NEVER promised us anything else. Not ANY of us.  

What did Jesus have to say about our time on this earth? “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation”John 16:33.  The promise God told to Adam and Eve of what their time left and that of their descendants would be like was, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” And “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Gen 3:16-19 (sure doesn’t sound like we have a promise that everything should be happy-go-luck for us!)  Though we experience brokenness, there is that Hope that I mentioned.  The brokenness was always meant to reveal to us our need for a Savior. Though God told Adam and Eve what the ramifications were for rebelling and rejecting the perfect creation and fellowship He had created for His own pleasing, God also gave them this beautiful hope.  To the serpent God said “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head”Gen 3:15, and thus the first promise of redemption.  Though mankind rejected God’s fellowship, He, in his infinite goodness, gave Hope and said that “A REDEEMER will come to Zion” Isaiah 59:20 and that Redeemer came “to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying, “Abba! Father!” Gal 4:5-7.
Though we are very aware of the brokenness, the beauty of being a part of adoption is we get to see and take part in redemption!  To see a little girl laugh as her daddy delights in her when she had none before is a beautiful thing indeed.  Let us not fight or deny the brokenness or try to convince ourselves that it doesn’t pertain to us or our families.  That brokenness makes a way for redemption, and that is worth it all.  Our children may not have ten fingers and ten toes and they will definitely have some major emotional hurts.  Our entire family will have experienced grief to get to the point of being a family.  But, do not despise it or try to tell us that God wants different for us.  We get the beautiful blessing of seeing and taking part in redemption first hand.  We were never promised the blessings would be easy, or happiness, or a perfect anything.  We GET that.

The blessings we are promised: Matt 5:3-10
-The poor in spirit, blessed with the kingdom of heaven
-Those who mourn, blessed by being comforted
-The meek, blessed to inherit the earth
-Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, blessed with being filled
-The merciful, blessed that they will be shown mercy
-The pure in heart, blessed for they will see God
-The peacemakers, blessed for they will be called sons of God
-Those who are persecuted because of righteousness, blessed for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Let us encourage each other in these blessings and promises for these are the things that God actually wants for us.


Friday, October 25, 2013

God does not give us more than we can handle...or does He

I have recently been convicted that I have believed a lie. This has been brought up over and over again in the last week through unrelated people and it is time I pay attention. Here it is. “God does not give us more than we can handle.” I myself have said it to people so.many.times. Now, to be fair, I have always said that God will bring us to the point of suffering so that we might cling to Him. So how did it never dawn on me that the simple truth of suffering contradicts the saying most Christians use to make others feel better, that I too have been guilty of saying. It isn't scriptural. I know you are trying to think of the verse right now that the saying comes from. We tend to remember it incorrectly and out of context. 1 Corinthians 10:13-”No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 
 Did you catch that?
 The verse is that we will not be TEMPTED beyond what we can bear.  It has nothing to do with us bearing the burden of suffering. For a little more context lets look at the entire passage. In Corinthians Paul is writing a letter to the church in Corinth. Corinth was the site of the first church, started by Aquila and Priscilla. Corinth also was a large city located in between two important seaports. It was wealthy Roman city that was well known for providing travelers pleasure.
Verse 6 starts by telling the church that there were previous examples to “keep us from setting our hearts on evil things”. The paragraph then goes on to warn against idol worship, sexual immorality, testing God and complaining. Paul then leads into the part we're discussing with verse 12, “if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation...” I hope you can clearly see that this passage is specifically talking about sin and temptation. God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. He always provides a way out. No where in the passage does it say anything about suffering or hardship.

That leaves us with the problem of suffering and how that contradicts the saying that we have come accustomed to using to make people feel better about their suffering “God does not give us more than we can handle.”

Let's start out by looking at a few examples. In John 11 we see the story of Lazarus from Bethany. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sent for Jesus because they knew their brother was very sick. When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick he stayed where he was two more days instead of hurrying back to heal Lazarus. After Lazarus was dead, Jesus told his disciples that Lazarus had died. Only then did Jesus decide to return to Bethany. By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Four days people...Mary and Martha suffered the grief of losing their brother. Mary and Martha both told Jesus they knew he could have healed Lazarus, but Jesus chose to bring them to the point of suffering that Mary fell at Christ's feet and wept.
In Lamentations 3 the author is taken to the point of suffering that “He (God) has broken my bones...besieged me with bitterness and hardship...mangled me and left me without help...trampled me in the dust. I have been deprived of peace.” That's more than he could handle people. That's more than any person can handle...and the author recognized that it is God that took him to that place.
David suffered so much hardship. From running for his life from Saul, to his infant son dying because of David's own sin, to his own son trying to kill him and take his throne. David said in Psalms that “My soul is in anguish...I am worn out from groaning... My bones wasted strength was sapped.” David was taken past the point of what he could handle. He was worn out and had lost all strength. We won't even go into the story of Job. He suffered WAY more than he could handle.

So what does God promise us about hard times? Will he give us more than we can bear? We can see from these examples that, yes, he absolutely does. Why and what do we do about it? This is where it gets beautiful. This world is just hard. We're not meant to bear it alone. We're not meant handle it. God takes us to the place where we can't possible handle the suffering so that, like Mary, we might fall at the feet of Christ and weep. I love how this is explained by the forward of the book The Problem of Suffering, by Gregory P Schulz. “God's love, you see, is revealed most vividly in the bitter suffering and horrific death of His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. Christians need not camouflage grief or paint smiley faces on human suffering; we take our reality straight. In the light of Christ's cross we can discover God at work in the very midst of suffering.” Friends, Jesus suffered torture, bore the grief and pain of every sin ever committed or to be committed, death and, the worst of all, separation from God, his Father. That was more than anybody could possibly bear. Only our perfect God could bear such a burden. We don't have to bear it. God wants us to get that ONLY HE can handle it.
God takes us to our breaking point so that, like Mary, we can fall at HIS feet and weep. So that, like the author of Lamentations, we can discover that “ (God's) compassions never fail. The LORD is my portion therefore I will wait for Him.” David really got it. In Psalms there is so much comfort and instruction for how we survive times in which we have gone past the point that we can bear. Ps 33:7- “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance”. Ps 3:3 “you are a shield around me, O Lord...I will lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.” Ps 71:1-3 “In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge...Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.”

God lays it out himself in Isaiah 41 “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We're not holding ourselves up. We're not bearing the situation ourselves, God is holding us up. That is God's promise. Not that He won't give us more than we can bear. We are heirs in Christ's sufferings, but the beautiful thing is that God holds us up when we can't possible bear any more and through that, we also share in Christ's glory.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One Year

  It is now October which means that it will be one year that we have been waiting for our second adoption. Wow. One year. I can't believe that I am already writing that.  It has FLOWN by.  So fast, in fact, that I haven't had time to update our blog!  Umm...did that excuse work?  I didn't think so, but it was worth a shot!'s a year's worth of update:  In January A turned TWO!  The terrific trying twos I call it.  Can I just say that I LOVE two!  Sure, it is an extraordinarily emotional age with LOTS of meltdowns, melodrama and mayhem, but so much fun.  A has learned her letters, phonetic sounds, and numbers.  She is bursting with personality and loves to make jokes and just be on the go all the time.  She is strong-willed and tests everything.everything.everything.  It has been a joy to watch her personality develop and see the little person that she is.  She is also tender-hearted and will ask if you're ok if you look sad and bring you a band-aid.  I just love me two year old!
  Why haven't there been any pictures?  I'm glad you asked.  We had a lovely summer vacation this year to the beach again.  Everything was wonderful EXCEPT my camera completely died.  Kapootz. I do, however, have some fuzzy ill-timed pictures I was able to snap on our cell phones (no people...not smart phones...make calls and texts only stupid phones).  So I am now saving every spare allowance penny I can scrap (did I mention we're saving for a second adoption) to try and buy a new camera.  Until then we're stuck with fuzzy ill-timed phone pics.  We did get our family pics taken again at the beach. They are lovely so I'll post one of those.  Speaking of family pics...imagine an already high strung child who gets more hyper the more tired she gets, past bedtime, no nap, no dinner yet.  Oh yeah, we know how to time our photo sessions just right.  Insert sarcastic laughter here.
  Now, back to the adoption.  One year on the waitlist.  What exactly does that mean?  If you notice, there haven't been updated waitlist #s in a few months.  That's not because I have forgotten to post them, it is because there are none.  Things have slowed down so much that our agency stopped issuing waitlist numbers.  It is pretty depressing to see it only move one spot every couple months, even when you go into this knowing it will be years, so I understand.  We still get updates when there are referrals with enough information to have an idea of how much we've moved on the list, just no hard numbers to report anymore.  
  What does that mean for our timeframe?  We were expecting to have to wait two to three years on a waitlist and it is now looking like it will be more like four years.  Yep, four years.  We were not quite prepared for that when we started this. We had not expected A to have to be an only child for that long.  This would be UNBEARABLE if this was our first adoption.  It's hard now, but our expectations are different this time around. This time, we have seen God's faithfulness in putting our family together.  We have confidence in knowing that His timing is perfect.  Our babies are not ready for us yet.  Our hearts have more preparing to do.  That is a scary thought, but I know it is true.  God is preparing us for our future children as we wait for them to need us.  At this moment, we trust in that.  God's plans will not be late by a single day.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Meetcha Day

Two beautiful years ago we saw our daughters sweet smile for the first time.  Happy Meetcha Day munchkin!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

April Pics

new commitment

  OK people.  I'm just going to put it out there that I have been a BIT of a failure when it comes to blogging.  My brain is just so tired most days that I can't think of anything to write.  I am making a new commitment though for our blog.  I will start at least doing picture updates, hopefully once a month.  Our computer has also been very crappy for a LONG time, but we just had it repaired so we're good to go!!
  On the adoption front there is not much to report.  We're waiting. The wait has slowed down even more than we expected, but we know our God is faithful to bring us our children in His perfect timing.  If you're reading this and have a moment, please pray for our other sweet friends on the waitlist.  There are families at the front of the list that were on the waitlist when we adopted A.  That's a LONG time to wait when you were expecting it to be a year at most when you started your adoption.  Please pray for encouragement and peace for these sweet families as God is weaving together their families.
  Please continue to pray for the children waiting for a family.  There is a new embassy/MOWA approval process that is starting to be tested out that might help speed the process up to help unite children with their forever families faster.  Pray for the officials and workers over this new process as they start to test it out.
  At home, our sassy daughter is every bit of a two year old.  Right now as I type she is dancing in the bathtub, not taking a bath, just a fun place to dance. If she is awake, her mouth is going. She is either talking or singing, but this girl LOVES to exercise her verbal skills. She loves to beat box with her Daddy and just an all-around bundle of fun.  I'll try and post some pics or video later today. For now it's time for lunch, so Mom duties must commence.  If anybody is still out there...thanks for reading!

God Bless

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  This year has been a year of many firsts for our family.  Last Christmas brought our first Christmas as parents.  It’s amazing how adding one more little person to the day can wear you out but brings such joy at the same time. 
  We started 2012 off by celebrating Aerin’s first birthday.  Amory has found her new role as official party planner to be great fun.  It was a huge blessing to be able to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday with our family and closest friends.  Even with just family it ended up being a large party! 
  Each new month has brought new developmental milestones as we have watched Aerin grow from a baby to a little girl.  She has gone from having 18 words at the beginning of the year, to speaking in complete sentences.  We never cease to be amazed at how smart this little girl is that God has blessed us with.  Those smarts and her strong will combined have made for some interesting times for us, but we thank God for all of it.  We have discovered that Aerin is just like her Mommy and sings as long as she is awake.  The only moments she stops singing is when she is talking.  Basically, her mouth is going non-stop at all times.  The only thing that can keep her quiet for any length of time is watching Finding Nemo or Winnie the Pooh (or pooh pooh pooh as she called him for some time).   Aerin’s favorite play time activity is still reading.  She would spend hours reading books if you let her.  There’s a little bit of both her Mommy and Daddy in that.  In May Aerin went to her first Texas Rangers game. She loves watching baseball and was able to stay for nearly the whole game. It was a proud moment for her Daddy.  (please excuse the overheated sweaty appearance)
  In June we took our first family vacation together.  We drove down to the Texas coast and enjoyed a few days in a condo on the beach.  Aerin loved the beach and ocean, though was not too fond of the heat.   Aerin’s favorite beach activity was walking behind her Daddy, as he made sandcastles and immediately demolishing his creations.   It was special to see Aerin’s excitement at seeing the ocean for the first time, as well as dolphins up close. 
   The rest of our year has been filled with just trying to soak up as much of our daughter’s toddlerhood as possible without letting the house get too out of shape.  Both Bryan and Amory being working parents is still very difficult and especially hard on a mama watching her baby grow up, but worth it for the moment as it has allowed us to start our second adoption.   In October we were added to the waitlist again and we are excited to see what child or children God is going to bless our family with next.  This adoption will be a much longer road than Aerin’s, but we’re ready to wait.  We expect to be on the waitlist for two years before we see our next children’s faces.
 God has blessed us richly this year with being able to see life through the eyes of a child.  Everything is new and exciting.  We see God’s faithfulness to us and blessings much more clearly now.  As Paul said in Philippians, we are also learning the secret of being content with were we are, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.   Our prayer for all of our friends and family as we wrap up this year and head into another one is that you may all be able to see God’s faithfulness and blessings in your lives clearly.  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13.