Spring Seems Like Sight

I am so thankful for seasons, both literally and figuratively, and WHOA did we just come out of a long winter! I know it’s irrational, but there were times during the winter months, with the horror-film-looking-trees, enveloping grey skies, and icy rainy days that I wondered if spring really was going to ever come back. This year it seemed to especially drag on…all the while, in the same months, our adoption turned from a happy autumn kind of feeling to the dead of winter.

January, February, and March were very stressful and anxious times for us. Yemi had not gained a single pound in 2 or 3 months, and looked very frail in her pictures; this was such a change from her first picture, and we were very concerned. We were assured everything was fine, until one month later, the weekend we did not pass court, we found out that the babies were not doing well at all. They didn’t have the formula they needed; the only reason we got this news (instead of when it was too late) was because a new nurse came into the orphanage and sounded the alarms, by the mercy of God. For a month after that, our babies were on foods given to children who are malnourished or starving. Later, I was to find out that this nurse literally saved ten lives in that orphanage: There is a good chance that Yemi was one of them. During this time of unknowns, having in one hand the promises God had specifically given to us and in the other hand the facts and realities about children in Africa, we simply waited. We spent a lot of time in the Word and in prayer. The Lord was a strong refuge, and we put our hope in Him, learning more and more respect for His wisdom, and more and more trust in that wisdom. But we also lost sleep, cried, stressed, and overate! 
During this time, this song I wrote back in 2003 came to my mind a lot and helped me worship through some of the hard days. Thought I’d share the lyrics today: 
*Your Mercies*
My heart overflows with Your goodness, Lord
My lips will recount the days
where You have come through, where You have rescued
where I’ve stood in awe and sang Your praise;
But when there’s no cloud to lead me, and when there’s no sun that shines
standing alone on this open road, recall to my mind–Heart, listen inside–
*Because of Your love, Your great love
we are not consumed by anything but You
Because of Your compassion, O Lord, we will not fear whatever we may walk through
And every day, every morning, whatever we wake up to
Your mercies are new, Your mercies are new, Your mercies are new…
Winter is like faith to me. And spring seems like sight. 

A True Story of Kingdom Proportions

When we traveled to Ethiopia, there were several other families also adopting from there, and one of these families had a second miracle added to their miracle of adoption that week.  In Addis Ababa, there are many beggars on the streets. Some are children leading blind grandmothers; some are mothers holding small babies in rags. Some are men with deformities or mental illness. All are heartbreaking. All make my mind go to Isaiah, and God’s promises of a new Kingdom and a new King. I mean, I just see who they will be in a matter of seconds when He returns.

So this one family met a little 13 year old girl named “S”. She beckoned to them while they were in a restaurant. They found someone who could translate, and within a few minutes, she had told them her story. She was completely alone on the streets; her father, mother, and siblings had all passed away.  She asked for some food, and they gladly gave it to her; they bought her a new outfit, and she humbly stripped off her old one as they circled around her for privacy. She said, “Don’t give me any money. At night, men grab my throat and steal from me…Just take me home with you; I want you to be my mother.” The family was devastated with love for this girl, and would have adopted her if they legally could have.  That evening, they went to the Samaritan’s Purse office (a ministry of Franklin Graham) and asked if there was anything this organization could do to help her.  Samaritan’s Purse said they would do what they could, even though this in particular wasn’t what they do in Addis, and to ask the girl to come meet with the family at the S.P. office at 9:30 a.m. the next morning.
They spent the night wondering if she would show up–and she did.  Samaritan’s Purse had arranged for “S” to be taken to a Christian orphanage, and this family rode with her to see her new home.  “S” cried and resisted once they got there, because she really wanted to go home with this American family. But “H”, the orphanage founder, begged her to stay. “S” was told that staying at the orphanage was the only way she would be safe and have what she needed. She was assured also that her new American family would take care of her from afar through gifts, any medical costs, anything she needed.
Every update I was given about this story brought me to tears; it was so prophetic and so beautiful and so Jesus. Just so Jesus! Look at the miracles He wants to do through those who have set their heart and soul and mind on Jesus and showing the world who He is! It really hits me that this family wasn’t walking around the city actually looking for someone to help that day; they weren’t on a “fixing people” mission. But #1, they were where God told them to be. They had been called to adopt from Africa, and they followed through no matter the cost. And #2, their hearts were in line with the heart of the Lord, so when the opportunity arose, they knew what to do! They knew they would do their utmost for this child; that was a decision they had made many, many days previously when they settled in their hearts that they would be representatives of this Kingdom coming.
This story is an allegory of a coming King, a King who will come for us orphans, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, a King who will come at the oppressors of the innocent in fiery vengeance. A King who is pent up with compassion and mercy; oh I love Him!
The story isn’t over. The next morning after being in the orphanage all night, “H” led “S” to the Lord. “S” prayed to receive Christ, and not only redemption of her physical life but now her spiritual life, blew this thing into a story of Kingdom proportions.

A Good Day…and Girl Names

We had a great day today! I worked out in the yard with Yemi in the front carrier–she loved it, and it was wonderful to be outside, getting things looking nice for the summer ahead of us. Yemi is doing better; we’re figuring out a few things, like that she wants her bottle first, and then maybe half an hour later will eat her other foods.  She’s been happy so much of the time, but when she is tired or hungry (and I’m trying to keep a schedule so I know what is going on, but still she surprises me) she is really, really unhappy all of a sudden! She has a lot to get used to, and we are taking it slow. I learned with Selah that it is ALL about expectations. If I expect to have to stay calm and be patient as I let their emotions ride out, or if I expect from the start I may not get to do something I planned that day, things just work out a lot better! (And I don’t get as aggravated.) So thankful that we have such a wonderful life that we can be laid back and adjust to whatever happens. For now anyway!

Okay, so, I’ve been thinking today: We know that Selah and Yemi are IT for us 🙂 but I still have all these girl names that I LOVE. So, what else is a blog for but to share? Here we go:
…just to name a few…

Girls…and Weirdness

I am so excited!!! In the past couple of days, our world has been rocked with baby girls! We came home with Yemi on the 25th, then one girlfriend had her “Baby Homebirth”- girl still to be named- on May 1st, and now today, another girlfriend had her twin girls this morning, May 4th!!!  There are two other friends of mine with baby girls this week also. I love it! I just love having daughters. So fun.

So, onto weirdness…Here are some confessions: *I love to watch TV. Somewhat normal, but when I watch TV, I watch the teeny-bopper shows on Disney, such as Hannah Montana. Love them! *I wear the same clothes for DAYS at home. *I am not what you would call a “shower everyday” person. *These two last confessions were also “pre-children” realities, so we can’t blame them! *I have a bad personality trait of giving people advice or being know-it-all-ish; I don’t realize I’m doing it, and then later I feel really bad. (I’m sorry everyone! I don’t really think I know it all!) *I cannot understand why Jack wants me to flush the toilet in the middle of the night; I mean, that would totally wake me up! *I am very anxious about dogs and heights, especially when children mix with these 2. *I pick at my lip when I’m thinking. Yucky. *I have always hated doing team sports because I forget what I’m supposed to be doing and people get mad. *I have no sense of style. Luckily, Selah is not taking after me in this department.

Speaking of Selah, she is having a blast at Disneyworld right now with her GP and Grandy! Go Selah Go!

The Deepest Well

We just got home from Ethiopia on April 25th. It was a great experience in itself, but bringing home our daughter, Yemi Abigail, was our reason for travel. I joke that this was an 18 month pregnancy and a week long labor. But all worth it, as all mothers would say!

Our week with Yemi at the hotel was blissful. It was the three of us, and we were relieved that Yemi was happy and healthy and taking to both of us so well! This was a result of our amazing prayer warriors back home, we were sure of it.

Coming home was fine, but life in our house was a huge change for a little baby girl who was used to a seven hour time difference, a crib mate, white walls, and 2 options for food. We finally got the picture that her adjustment to US had been incredibly smooth (thank You, Lord), but what about her adjustment to ALL THIS that we call friends, family, colors, tastes, big sister, and eastern time zone?

So anyway, last night, I was stressed. Yemi had been fussy all day and we couldn’t make her as happy as she had been for almost 2 weeks now…I was praying as I went to bed last night, and I thought, “Lord, don’t You get tired of me asking for You to come through all the time? There is always something. For us or for someone else, I am always the widow at the foot of the Judge. Don’t You wish I would just stop asking and give You a break, Lord? You have already done so much, and I just keep coming to You for all these needs…” With our own adoption process, and knowing the specific needs/problems of 25 families in the process, so many scary moments have been experienced and so many cries out to the Lord have been voiced. A friend in chemo, a friend in labor, I’m just asking, asking, asking.

And the Lord replied, in my tired (emotional, spiritual, physical) state.  He deposited into my mind and heart Isaiah 40:28, “I will not grow tired or weary, and my understanding no one can fathom.” I felt He was saying, with great joy actually, “I Am everlasting; there is no bottom to this well. Keep coming!” He swept over me this sense of depth that I can hardly describe, depth of His very sweet and kind love, depth of His patience and not only patience but actual desire, to be there for me in every need and request I could ever have. It was like when you all of a sudden remember the best news you had ever heard…It was like, “Oh, yeah! That’s Who He is!”

Unending Source, Living Water, Daily Bread, Wonderful Counselor, Rescuer, and Father. The only sure thing we’ll ever have. And He loves to be all of these and more to us day and night. Go to the Well; try to find the bottom. He loves it!