This Joy and Peace

24 Feb

I hope it stays. This joy and peace.

It has settled in my heart and soul on this long, long journey.

This peace in knowing the day has been planned since the beginning of time.

This joy that 2+ years have already gone by so at least I won’t have to wait those years again. And He carried me through. And the joy ahead, He will carry me through that too.

There is purpose in the wait. I continually learn that.  It isn’t necessarily a ‘re-learning’ of that.  More of, the proof keeps piling on that God has purpose in this wait.  Oh what He has taught me!  I never would have learned if this journey had not been what it has been.

I’m not going to pretend this journey hasn’t been hard.  I’ve scraped my feelings on sharp rocks many times, but I know each hurt is far worth it.

And I believe we will be holding the little child that we have been waiting for soon.  With every fiber in my being, I believe it.  I don’t jump with every unknown phone call.  I’m not checking my email constantly hoping to hear from our agency.  I’m just…waiting.

Dare I say, I’m actually being patient.

I wish I could have absorbed this joy and peace throughout this whole journey.  How much easier it would’ve been to endure…to endure the wait because right now, I’m not waiting for our child.  I’m waiting on God.  I’m doing my part, getting my crazy nesting out of the way, and continuing paperwork, crafting, praying, etc.  But I’m waiting on Him.  It is His time. Not mine.  And I want our story, this journey, to be one that when it all comes together, there is no doubt Who orchestrated it all.

I Will Never

26 Jan

Fill in the blank. We’ve all said it. Right? “I will never….”  Well, haha.  After we put the kiddos down for bed the other night, we started talking about this journey and the “I will nevers” we said in the beginning.  Some we said before we even officially started the process, but were just thinking through the ‘when we adopt one day’ scenarios.  I’m absolutely certain there were more “I will never” statements that we’ve said, but 3 stood out to us.

Probably because trusting the Lord and having faith in His leading doesn’t come with exceptions of “I will never.”

And that is just ridiculous.  If we trust that God is perfect, that He is sovereign, that He is always good, that His faithful hands cannot fail and that He always accomplishes His plans, then we can’t say “I will follow you but I will never…”  Jesus calls us to leave all behind and follow Him.  Every time I naively think I have open hands and am completely emptied to be used by Him, He gently shows me more conditions that I put on my trust of Him.

And once I relinquish those conditions, He frees me to worship and trust Him more completely.

And it is here, when we say “Your Will be Done” that we see perfect Love does cast out fear. He is with us. Every step of the way.  He is guiding us.  We just have to walk by faith.  And when the time comes, the story He has scripted will amaze us even more than we can imagine.

And speaking of how He amazes and how He is with us…the Adoption Rally that Lipscomb put on brought in just over $650 for our family.  There were 9 families that participated in the rally and the total proceeds to the families totaled just over $14k! That is incredible.  9 families were hugely blessed by that basketball game and a community eager to be a part of changing the trajectory of orphans’ lives.

So what fee will that $650 help go toward?  Renewing our Homestudy ($1,200 plus any extra government forms that need renewing 🙂 ) Just another fee tacked on since this journey has taken longer than we originally anticipated.  But we wouldn’t have it any other way.  This is all part of God’s plan.  And His faithful hands cannot fail.  Be amazed with us as He unfolds the story!

10426842_10205762285514598_1164214693841419605_n

Rally!

21 Jan

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about this yet, at least not on the blog! Silly me.  So much for this being a thorough record of our journey! 😉

Every year, Lipscomb University makes one of their Men’s basketball games a benefit for Adoptive Families.  I learned about this months and months ago.  I had posted my American Girl doll, Felicity, on the online selling site Craigslist to help raise money.  She’s retired, I have extra outfits, she is in good condition…I figured, hey, if this doll can help us get our child home, then I gotta sell this doll!

Someone, a professor at Lipscomb, had just so happened to be looking for Felicity.  We emailed back and forth and she told me all about this game that I should apply for.  The criteria was to have a completed home study and be adopting, and well…we meet that criteria 🙂  I think we applied for this back in the summer! Maybe as late as August or September?  Some time had passed and I figured we weren’t chosen, then I got a call that our family, along with 8 other families, were chosen to be the beneficiaries of that game!

We are *thrilled.*  (That is an understatement.)  I quickly started scrolling through my emails to find the Lipscomb professor’s name and personally thank her for letting us know about the rally in the first place.  You all might say the whole her-searching-for-Felicity was a coincidence.  I don’t believe in coincidences.  I believe in Divine intervention, and I see God’s fingerprints all over that situation.

So, on Saturday, we will be attending the Lipscomb Men’s Basketball Game vs. North Florida.  Tickets are $10 a piece and every.single.ticket.purchased on our behalf goes directly to our adoption fund.  As in, we get 100% of that $10.  All people have to do is enter ADOPTSEALS at checkout.  (Make sure you submit the coupon code *before* submitting payment!)  You can go here for tickets.  We have even had someone purchase tickets who can’t make it to the game, just so that we can invite others who can’t afford to go otherwise! Isn’t that great!?!

I cannot wait to see how God works at the game.  We are boldly praying for the Lord to do more than we could ever ask or imagine for every single family there.  He has already done so much.  I’m in awe of how evident He has been through this whole journey.  Pray with us, and if you can come, come!

Seals Photo

You are Good, Always

20 Jan

I’m all about honesty.  I really am. But I’m not exactly all for being honest with myself.  Truth sometimes hurts.  Sometimes it hurts a lot.  So I like to sit and stir my emotions and pretend they aren’t there. Then they bubble over.

The last two weeks have been trying on me.  So trying that I question if my heart can even handle this process.  I won’t go into the details as to why, but to say that hopes got out of hand and soared far higher than they should have is an understatement.  I’m sure it doesn’t help, at all, that my Grandmommy was moved to hospice and the reality that she will never meet Baby Seals #3 weighs heavy.  We didn’t really have a good relationship until several years ago.  Mourning the years prior that we could have had a relationship do not help my fragile heart.

My husband is kind of the best husband in the whole world. He is so great at trying to protect my heart and keep me level-headed…  Poor guy, I think when I unload all of my emotions on him and tears pour down my face because the waiting and the hoping and the praying and the waiting and the waiting and the waiting is just ripping me apart, all he can do is just sit there, hold me, and wonder why on earth women have to be so emotional.  Or maybe it is me that wonders that.  If only I could be a stoic.  But I can’t.  My heart is straight up falling off my sleeve at all times.

It is a strange thing to long for your child to come home while also praying that if there is any way for the mother and child to stay together and thrive, that the Lord make it happen.  I know that for our child to come home, he/she has to suffer loss along with the birth mother.  So when I pray for God to bring our child home soon, I’m at war with myself because I don’t want our child or our birth mother to suffer loss.  To feel that pain.

I tell myself that our child isn’t home yet because it isn’t God’s timing yet.  And I know that to be true. He is sovereign.  When it is time, nothing will stand in His way of uniting us.  That isn’t always the comfort I long to hear though.  It is *hard* waiting on God’s timing.  “I would but cannot rest in God’s most holy Will. I know what He appoints is best and murmur at it still.  Help my unbelief. My help must come from Thee.”  <–We sang that song in church yesterday. It is no surprise that every time we have sung this song the last 2 years I’ve been consumed with awe of my Father, knowing that His timing is best, yet I do murmur at it; I have a hard time believing that His timing is better than my own, but I know He is helping my unbelief, holding me firm, and that at the right time, He will amaze me.  His presence is so evident.  I know He is right here with me.  I can rest in His sovereignty.  But the longing, the physical ache in my heart, is so strong I fear I’m crumbling under the weight of it.

I love when people ask how our adoption is going.  It means people care and are eager for updates.  Just know that right now if you ask me, you need to be prepared for raw emotion to pour from my eyes.  🙂  You’ve been warned.

My parents gifted me a Sovereign Grace CD for Christmas, ‘Come Weary Saints.’  And God has been using it to serenade my heart and remind me of His truths.  I’ll just leave you with this, and while I type out the lyrics, I’ll remind myself that each and every word is true, true, true.

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings yet not welcome any pain?
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine yet grumble in days of rain?
Shall I love You in days of plenty, yet leave You in days of drought?
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest but when winter winds blow, then doubt?
Are You good only when I prosper and true only when I’m filled?
Are You King only when I’m carefree and God only when I’m well?
You are good when I’m poor and needy; You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley; You’re still God in the darkest night.
Oh let Your will be done in me; in Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long as You are glorified
So quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart in You.
~As Long as You are Glorified, Sovereign Grace Music

The Changes of Time

17 Dec

1 year ago today, we received a very hurtful letter in the mailbox. Many of you remember that letter.  It is crazy how much can happen in a year! I was being nostalgic today and reading through some of our adoption journey over the last year when I realized what today was.  And….today, on the 1 year anniversary, we got a phone call.

The Lord has proven time and time again that He will provide. That he will prove faithful to what He has called us to do. He is more than able.  He has been so present in this journey and it is an understatement to say I’ve been overwhelmed on many occasions.

So, what was this phone call about? We have been chosen to be 1 of the adoptive families to be the beneficiaries of a Lipscomb University Basketball Game!  We are so excited and humbled to have been chosen.  What does this mean? It means that we will get a promo code and that as people purchase tickets, if they enter our promo code, we will get the full profit of that ticket.  Isn’t that crazy?!  We are grateful.  <–Another understatement.  People get to go out on January 24th, have a fun-filled evening at a Basketball Game (bring the whole family) and adoptive families are the beneficiaries.  This rocks my socks off.

1 year ago we were wrapping up our Home Study, we received a gut-wrenching letter from a close family friend of mine, and 1 year later God reminds us that He will never let us go.  Times change. He doesn’t.  He has held our hands and gone before us each step of the way and He continues to do just that.  I can’t help but wonder what God is setting us up for next!

**Side note: If we do not have our child in our arms by about that same date in January, we will have to renew our home study and cover all the fees that go along with that.  But God reminds us to not worry.  They are just fees.  He’s got this.  And He has already made a path for us to be provided for.  We are blown away.

So mark your calendars!  We can’t wait to see an army of Moments Sealed supporters at the Lipscomb University game.  And if you have one, wear your Baby Seals #3 shirt! We will definitely be snapping a lot of pictures of who all turns out!

This

9 Dec

Today was one of those days that every mother who has a toddler wishes for…every morning. You wake up, it is a brand new day.  Maybe today will be the day when the kids aren’t having ‘terrible-twos-temper-tantrums’ or taking toys from each other or worse….stealing fruit snacks while saying “I’m teaching her to share.”

Today was THAT DAY! I woke up, read my Bible out loud to my daughter while she played with stickers and my son was still upstairs sound asleep. Then she asked for me to read “more Bible.”  <–sweeter words cannot be spoken!  When my son woke up, he came downstairs, gave us both hugs and kisses (out of his own free will! his idea!) and told me he slept good, then told me about his “sweet dreams.”  We ate breakfast…twice…played a whole bunch of hide and seek. (It is hilarious watching our 3 year old and 19 month old play hide and seek!)  We just did a whole lot of silly things and got along the whole time with close-to-zero-meltdowns.  Any meltdowns we had were easily squelched, and then it was back on to laughter.

Laughter….I love our home filled with laughter.  With little feet running around, squealing.  With my kids reciting their memory verse….it still blows me away how much their little minds soak up when it comes to Scripture.

Oh…and then this.  Hanging the stocking for ‘little brother little sister’ in faith that God will bring our child home by next Christmas.  That this is the last Christmas season as a family of 4.  My son hung the stocking.  He wanted to hang it on the tree at first.  But I showed him the spot over the fireplace to hang it and told him why we are hanging it.  His hopeful and excited face was priceless: “God is bringing little brother little sister home for Christmas! Today?!”  Even though I told him that we are hanging it in faith for *next Christmas,* that child-like faith and hope was undeniable.  That moment, that look in his eyes, I will always remember.

The day my son hung “little brother little sister’s” stocking with the rest of our stockings.

I feel I’ve been 9 months pregnant for quite some time.  Could this be the day? Maybe tomorrow? Should I deep-clean the whole house just in case? Do we need to go out and buy an infant car seat?  (Because seriously…being in the domestic program and the possibility of bringing home a NEWBORN was not on our radar when we sold our infant carseat to help us raise money for our adoption journey…knowing we’d be one day bringing home a toddler from Africa.  We also weren’t thinking newborn when we gave away our children’s clothing that is 6 months and under…because, again, we’d be one day bringing home a toddler from Africa.)

So today…the simplicity of laughter and hide and seek and hot-chocolate on the couch and singing “Life is a Highway” while watching for Daddy to get home from work….it felt so good. So easy.  It is that day that at the day’s end a mother says to herself “how can we repeat this every day?”  It is that day that being a family of four….it is something to be cherished.  Not wished away while we wait to grow, but cherished and held close. This might have been our last day as a family of 4.  Or we might have a few more years as a family of four.  But while we hope for the future, we will rejoice in the present….and seriously, my son’s hopeful child-like faith rocks.  I love it.  And he encourages me in ways he will never know.

Being Led to Dance

17 Nov

I do two things really well: being stubborn and trying to lead.

When dancing, it is just so hard to be led.  I don’t know if it is that way for everyone, or just me, but I am certain that my stubbornness and my attempt-to-always-be-in-control have a huge impact on me while dancing.

All that to say…those two character traits are often problematic…and oh my gracious they have no place in this adoption journey!  It is universal language among adoptive families to ‘be flexible.’  Flexible.  Okay.  Let’s talk about that and let us fill you in on what God is doing….buckle up.

We are in the ‘wait.’  The long wait where everything is out of our hands and everything is in the hands of…well, lots of other people, red tape, government, etc.  That hasn’t exactly changed.  Not exactly.

I’m just going to need to back up. I often ramble when I’m excited/nervous/clueless and I’m kind of all three of those things right now.  Many of you know my story. I was holding a Romanian special-needs toddler in an orphanage in Tirgu Mures, looking at his grin and deep brown eyes, and bam…clear as day I knew God was telling me I’d adopt in the future.  That is how this whole thing started (or at least, that is the moment I can pinpoint it to. I’m sure God was at work long before that March 2004 trip, but I can definitely pinpoint that date). Ever since then, my thoughts and heart on adoption have been focused toward my child that is across the ocean. Somewhere.  From then until 2 years ago, I spent many hours looking at different country programs, fees, agencies, orphanages, blogs, etc.  God so very clearly led us to Lesotho.  Oh how I could fill a book with the ways He has directed our steps so far!  (Our blog is filled with testimony of His faithfulness.  Pull up a chair and your favorite cup of hot cocoa and read some posts.  I get teary-eyed rereading our journey thus far.)

Some of you, close friends and family, know how opposed I was to adopting domestically.  There are many reasons why my heart was more focused on overseas, but 2 things were said over a year ago that I have chewed on over and over and over since.  Neither of these things were said to open my eyes, but were rather said in conversations about other things, BUT God used them in big ways. One of these things was said by Zane, my husband: “Every child needs a family. No matter where a child is, every child needs a family.” And the other was said by my dear friend, Christy: “We adopt because we love birth mothers.”  I really had to dig down deep and process what these two things meant-in their entirety.  How much they mean. The depth of the truth in that.

We hit a wall a few months back.  I started questioning if our 3rd child is indeed in Lesotho.  This timeline is not turning out to be what we thought.  We are looking at 4 years before receiving our referral to bring our child home from Lesotho if the process continues to take as long as it currently is…maybe even longer.  The mother in me, and the desire to have more children in my home *now* started clawing at my heart.  It became hard to sift through my emotions…are we supposed to continue to wait? Are we supposed to switch programs? I no longer had a peace about staying in the Lesotho program. But I definitely did NOT have a peace about leaving the Lesotho program either.  I also didn’t want to rely on my feelings and emotions.  I know better.  After all, the heart is deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9).  Let’s just say we have been pleading with the Holy Spirit to lead us.  What is He teaching us right now? Where does He want us to go? What is God molding our journey into?  The words “Lead Me” were filling up my prayers even when I wasn’t able to speak.

And we kept coming back to ‘domestic.’  We kept coming back to it.  Both of us, praying together and separately, kept coming back to domestic.  Those of you who know me closely know that this would not have been a word I would have heard two years ago.  “My child is overseas” I said.  (Praise the Lord that He is continually growing us and shaping our hearts to look more like His….I do not like who I was two years ago! I need Him to continue growing me, for His glory.)  I called two different people and poured my heart out.  I knew these two women had been praying through this whole journey with us. They are prayer warriors and I knew I could ask them to pray with us through what we felt was taking place.  And you know what..the Holy Spirit had already been leading them.  One of them told me that about 6 months ago, she became burdened to pray for me and our child…she couldn’t put her finger on it but felt that perhaps our 3rd child wasn’t in Lesotho, but maybe somewhere else, and she knew she needed to pray that I would not be stubborn but would hear God and follow His leading, should He lead us elsewhere.  The other woman I called told me that a few weeks ago, she started to put in her email to me “have you thought about adopting domestically?” but could feel the Holy Spirit nudging her that now was not the time to mention that…to let Him tell me.

I cannot express in words the importance to hear that not only was the Holy Spirit leading my husband and I in a similar direction, but these two women that I trust and love so dearly were also being led by the Spirit in certain ways to pray for us.  Wow, what an awesome God we serve!

Sooo…..I took some infant multivitamins to our adoption agency on a Thursday several weeks ago.  (A mission team is heading to orphanages in Lesotho and the children there need vitamins.  A friend of a friend got a whole crate of vitamins donated and gave them to me to take to our agency <–what a gift!)  When I walked in to our agency, I met the woman who our agency had recently brought back (she use to work for them and then took some time off) to revamp their domestic program. So with our two kids running around their office, I asked “can I sit down and talk with you?”  And she said yes. And I called up Zane when I left, and we both agreed we needed to go back to our agency and talk with them together.

I called up another friend. I told her everything that was going on.  And bless her heart, she is wise beyond her years.  And she told me, and I know it to be true, that no matter where our child is, God will lead us to him or her.  That child is always the plan.  And one day it will make sense.  (I have a lot of really wise friends that I cling to.  I’m so thankful God has put them in my life!)

Alright, so here is the update…unless you want to wait a little longer 🙂  We are now officially in TWO programs.  WHAT?!  You know how I mentioned not having peace about staying in or leaving the Lesotho program…yeah, well….apparently we aren’t supposed to leave the program.  We are just supposed to add another program.  The Lesotho program AND the Domestic program.  What does this mean?  Well, for one, it means that we are crazy.

How will this work?  Well…

We are fully funded…for our Lesothan child.  Most of that money can transfer to a domestic adoption if need be.  BUT, domestic adoption also has the great potential to be more costly (between $30-$35k as opposed to roughly $31k for Lesotho) so we are going to continue crafting indefinitely.  (Woo hoo! I love crafting.)  We are not remotely expecting a referral from Lesotho to come soon.  But, we might have a birth mother pick us tomorrow.  There might be a child abandoned at the hospital next week that our adoption agency feels is our child.  We might get a call from our agency in a month saying, “we have your child.”  We might also continue waiting and no birth mother pick us.  <–all that means is that every single day we are soaking up being a family of 4 because any day that could change.

You might be wondering are we definitely adopting two children then.  Honestly, we don’t know.  Chances are, we will be matched domestically first and bring home our child. Depending on our family dynamic at that point will determine if we continue in the Lesotho program as we currently are, ask to be moved down the ‘wait list’ so that we have more time adjusting as a family of 5, or if our family of 5 needs more time and care, halt our Lesotho adoption.  We really don’t know.  (How’s that for an answer?) Special needs overseas looks differently than special needs here. Our child might be addicted to drugs, or have fetal alcohol syndrome, or any other number of things could take place that would mean navigating the best care for our domestic baby one day at a time and going from there.  If the Lesotho Program continues to inch along, we won’t have to make any immediate decisions regarding that.  As of right now, we are in both programs and are pursuing both programs.  God knows what He is doing, even when we don’t have a clue.  We are going to trust that.  This adoption journey requires us to let go and let God.  We are clinging to Him as He leads us and we will let Him answer the question of “are we definitely adopting two children” in His time.  And I’m going to beg Him to lead because I straight up don’t know this dance.

Breathe for Others

6 Nov

I’m still floating on being fully funded. But my oh my did God show me through this thing called “fundraising” that I sure do love to craft. And that my hands don’t have to sit idle. I can actually make things with these fingers. There is kind of something great about being able to ‘hand make’ things. I get why people like it.

And I’m not going to stop. Not as long as I can make things.

Now that we aren’t constantly crafting to bring home our child, gathering more orders, planning next fundraisers, we feel the opportunity to breathe a little deeper and it is so nice.  BUT…

Isn’t there always a ‘but’…..

I’m absolutely loving selling things in a local store and crafting and day-dreaming about raising money to support other adoptive families and give toward orphan ministries. I’m a dreamer…what can I say? I’d love to help put on craft shows one day and every single booth will be crafts made by families and ministries raising money to care for the fatherless. That would be super fantastic.  I won’t be doing that just yet…I’ll save the headache of planning that for another day…but the headache will be far worth it.

Anyways, tomorrow evening I have a craft show to attend.  I thought this would be the craft show that would wrap up our fundraising efforts…haha, and then we became fully funded! So NOW, the craft show is so much more than just our growing family and I’m super stoked. Will you pray that it will be a great success? For one, I’ve been working really hard to have beautiful products, new products, to display 🙂 And two, the money raised will potentially benefit an orphan here in the States, in Lesotho, in China, and Romanian Orphan Ministries (a ministry very very dear to my heart).

So please pray! I love this new opportunity to breathe deeply, relax knowing my child, wherever our child is, can come home because God has provided Mommy and Daddy with the financial need.  Now, let’s get the financial need taken care of for others ❤

You’re Not Too Far

31 Oct

The reflection is not lost on me.

I am adopted. And this journey amplifies my adoption in resounding ways. It knocks the wind out of me. I can’t for a moment think of this journey without thinking of my Father and all that He did to adopt me. His fingerprints are all over my life. He changed my trajectory. So much so that His fingerprints are evident in this journey. I see my Father at work. I hear Him saying trust, trust, trust. I hear Him telling me to lay it all at His feet and rest in His arms. Oh how peaceful it is when I rest in His arms. When I lay it all at His feet. He quiets the storm raging within me. The questions, the fear of the unknown, the turmoil of the waiting.

I know it would be calmer to hold His hand and walk upon the waves with Him. But I keep looking down, taking my eyes off of Him, and start sinking. And I start drowning.

Or I think I’m drowning. Until I look up at Him again and realize He is holding my hand still. He is not going to let me sink. He is going to get me back into the boat. And He will ride the waves with me. And when the time comes, the waves will still. And this will all make sense. Because when my Father speaks, the wind and the waves obey. The sea parts. The path becomes straight.

He adopted me.  I was not too far.  And the songs that mean the most to me these days are not only the ones that are thanksgivings and praises for all my Father has done for me.  They are also the songs that while I sing them in Thanksgiving and Praise, I prayerfully lift them for our child. I want my child to come home. But it means nothing if I don’t long for my child to know Christ. I want my child to be adopted here on this earth…and be an orphan no more.  But more than that, I long for my Father to also adopt my children.  I say come as you are.  But it means more when my Father says it. I want my Father to be the One to make my child an orphan no more. To call my child His own.

The reflection is not lost on me.

“Come out of sadness from wherever you’ve been. Come broken hearted; let rescue begin.
Come find your mercy; O sinner come kneel. Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.
Lay down your burdens. Lay down your shame.
All who are broken, lift up your face.
O wanderer come home! You’re not too far.
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart, come as you are.
There’s hope for the hopeless and all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table; come taste the grace!
There’s rest for the weary, rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t cure.
There’s joy for the morning. O sinner, be still.
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.”
~Crowder

Every Sign Pointed Straight to You

24 Oct

So for all our supporters out there who aren’t friends with us on facebook…we are now fully funded! Yep.  Fully.Funded.

What a breath of deep and utter peace.

And thankfulness.

And overwhelming gratitude.

I never thought that when this journey started we would be surrounded by sooooo many names on our ‘donated’ excel spread sheet.  I really need to take the time and make some artwork with all the names! Hang it in our home somewhere.  Always remembering and thanking God for each one of you that helped us get this far.

If you love what we craft but you haven’t ordered anything from us yet, don’t worry! We will still be crafting and I will still be going to craft shows. We are selling items in a local store (120 Portland Road, White House, TN) and will continue doing that.  You see…I have this love for crafting. And I have an even bigger passion for caring for the fatherless. God has used this journey to marry those two loves and while we are fully funded now (accorded to our *estimated* total cost) we can do more. There is no reason to roll down our sleeves and lay back on a pillow.  From here on, money that is donated to us by way of our crafts or our shop or just straight up donated (unless otherwise declared in a note), 50% of our proceeds will go toward us (we will use this to put aside money for possible medical procedures, therapies, etc. for our child – and if that isn’t necessary, we will just save for the possibility of doing this whole process again!). The other 50% will go towards other adoptive families, orphan ministries, etc.  In a nutshell…Still 100% of everything we bring in will go toward benefiting the fatherless.  Rather than just benefiting our child, proceeds will benefit multiple children.  I can’t express how much this makes my heart swell. I just can’t even begin to express that.

Now on to the ‘wait’ part <–I don’t get along with this part very well.  We have been ‘waiting’ for our referral for nearly 8 months now.  And the process for all of the families in our program has been painfully slower than we had hoped.  It is looking like the timeline of bringing home our child from Lesotho has been extended quite a bit. Meaning our friends and family have asked questions and why don’t we just switch countries, and we all just really want to see our child become an orphan no more! I mean, for real.  And the answer is….

We are being still.

We are keeping our feet firmly planted on the pathway to Lesotho unless/until God says move.  You see, He pointed us to Lesotho.  So clearly.  No doubt in our minds.  I have such peace about this whole journey and how God has gotten us here.  Every time I get anxious and start wanting to speed this up myself, God reminds me that He is still in control. And always will be.  And that I need to *be still* and wait upon Him.  So that is what we are doing.  We are waiting.  There is no point in getting up and moving unless God is the One picking us up and leading us elsewhere.  We want to follow where He leads, and follow nowhere else.  I’m speaking to myself here.  I mean, anyone who knows me knows I don’t want to just wait on anything.  I want to get things done.  I do not want to be patient for anything.  BUT, God has proven over and over again that He is faithful and that His timeline is far better than any timeline I could imagine.  And while He waits *with us* (what a joy to know He is waiting with us…I’m not waiting alone.  That means a ton to me.), He will continue preparing us for our child and preparing our child for us.

So Baby #3, every sign from the Lord has pointed straight to you.  We are going to keep following those arrows.  Mommy and Daddy and your big brother and big sister are coming for you.  I promise.  We are just waiting for God to clear the pathway and say “now.”  And that “now” is coming.  We are beyond eager for the day.  We love you.