Please be praying…

I’ve made some neat and special friends along our adoption journey…some are with our agency and some with others, but all of these women have encouraged me, given me wisdom and provided a helpful friendship in a time of need.  The following gals all have court dates coming up for the children they long to bring home from Ethiopia soon.  As the Lord brings them to mind or as you read this post, please ask our Lord to allow these cases to pass court in order that there will be orphans united with families for His glory.

1. Anna – Court date April 1st (adopting sisters)

2. Marie – Court date April 6th (adopting two boys)

3. Kathleen – Court date April 6th (adopting sisters)

4. Suzanne – Court date April 7th (adopting one boy, who will no doubt be one of W’s good friends!)

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A Mother’s Heart – Book Review

If I were to review this book in just one sentence, it would be “Mommies-READ THIS BOOK!!!”  From beginning to end, I loved this book.  It was refreshing, easy to read and deeply challenging.  Jean Fleming, wife, missionary and mother to three, doesn’t necessarily give deep, profoundly new teaching on motherhood, but she does give a fundamental look at what the heart of a godly mother should look like and some practical steps to achieving such values, vision and character (as the subtitle implies).  I can certainly say that of all the parenting books I’ve read thus far, this one tops my list.  I know I will re-read it often, trusting God to use it to refresh my heart and give me a right vision for motherhood, as I can be so forgetful at times!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

You can be physically present and still not make a positive contribution to your children.  You can be there, but not be all there.  Your mind can be a million miles away, your energy and your ambitions drained by other pursuitsYou can focus your attention your “do list,” the television, a good book, or decorating you home, and be oblivious to your child’s needs.  You may be too busy or too preoccupied to make a significant difference. (p. 21)

Unless God works, my best efforts are in vain.  God must do the real work in my home.  I cannot accomplish anything of spiritual and eternal value in the lives of my children. (p.72)

The weaknesses themselves may be the vehicles God uses to bring glory to His name.  Weaknesses often heighten your child’s consciousness of his need for God and provide natural opportunities for him to experience God’s help.  The ability to view areas of weakness with the confidence that God wants to reveal Himself in your child’s life will alleviate anxiety and promote faith in both you and your child. (p.87-8)

In the same way, disciplining our children must reach beyond correcting undesirable behavior and punishing offenses.  Discipline is positive.  Discipline is training.  Discipline helps our children become what God created them to be.  Teaching and discipline are inseparable. (p. 153)

When I think of giving my children wings, I think of doing the “extras” beyond meeting their basic needs.  I want to enrich and surprise them, stimulate and refresh them, delight and enchant them.  I want them to see our home full of life because God is there. (p. 166)

It’s Official…

I’m a mini-van mommy!  I said it would never happen, but as Kevin and I contemplated how to squeeze three car seats into our Honda Pilot and realized M would basically have to jump over the middle seat every single time, we decided a van might be our only choice.  Well, Kevin was thrilled…he loves the Honda Odyssey (he sold Hondas for a year)!  The Lord provided a great 2006 Odyssey at Kevin’s former place of employment…all the features we wanted and we actually saved money by trading in our Pilot!  So, at twenty-eight years old, I’m now the proud owner of a gold mini-van!  Did those words actually come out of my mouth?!

Small Vacation

We took a quick trip to visit Kevin’s mom this past week (hence my lack of blogging lately!) and enjoyed some time on Logan-Martin Lake in Pell City, Alabama.  Here’s a few pics from our adventures!

Hand-in-hand with her great-grandparents
Hand-in-hand with her great-grandparents

 

Mmm...sour cream!
Mmm...sour cream!

 

Annie and Belle enjoying the lake
Annie and Belle enjoying the lake

 

Riding the train through Opry Mills in Nashville
Riding the train through Opry Mills in Nashville

Disappointment.

I’m infamous for setting my expectations too high and then being thoroughly disappointed when those expectations are not met.  Though I recognize that there are no guarantees in international adoption, for the last few weeks (since we got our May 18th court date) I’ve been hoping and planning in my heart to spend the whole summer with both boys…to have all of our children under one roof at last.  Those expectations were shattered today when I learned that the US Embassy in Ethiopia is now going to require a TB test for all children prior to entering the United States.  Because of the time frame for such a test, there will be an added month of waiting from court date to travel.  So…the earliest we will bring these children into our lives is now mid-July.  Yes…thorough disappointment.

I’m even more burdened to pray for our court cases.  If one or both of the boys doesn’t pass, we could easily be looking at not having another court date until after the rainy season, which means sometime in October and not picking the child(ren) up until December!  I can’t even begin to bear such a thought.  I see God giving me even more compassion for those who have watched their children spend the last year in an orphanage because their cases still haven’t passed court due to one reason or another.  Please pray with me…please pray often.  I’m so comforted to know my Father is a Father to the fatherless and that he directs the hearts of kings and rulers.  Certainly He has the power to allow our cases to pass court and unite our family by July.

Remembering Max-Abush

 one-month

I’ve been thinking about Max often the last week or so.  Perhaps its because I’ve been buying clothes for our boys and in making room for the new outfits, I’ve had to weed out things I purchased for Max that will be too small for our chunky W.  Or perhaps its because if everything had worked out as we thought it might, Molly Kate and I would have probably boarded a plane today headed for Ethiopia (we were hoping to have a quicker Embassy appointment because of the HIV and I was planning on leaving even sooner after passing court in order to go ahead and start him on some meds).  Either way, I miss this little guy and the opportunity I didn’t have to know him in this life.  Yet, when I think of him, I always smile because the Lord soon supplies a picture of this precious child in the arms of His Son.  How can I not rejoice in my remembrance?

If you would like to remember or honor Max, you can head to the Gap, Banana Republic or Old Navy between now and Sunday and use this coupon.   You’ll get 30% off your total purchase and they’ll give 5% to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS, TB and malaria.