Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10/25 Update

Adoption update:  We are still awaiting word from the Social Worker on Emmanuel.  We still hope to travel soon to meet our Son.   We have been reminded  throughout this journey. He alone is sovereign and he alone is control of all things.  This may sound strange, but knowing and trusting in this fact is providinng peace as we wait for news.    

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. As you can see from the map on the right,  people from around the world checking out the blog.  I am humbled to be walking this path beside you. I have been confronted about the reality of who I am and who I would like to be.  I have a long way to go, but I am so thankful for a forgiving God. 

Can I ask question?  Do we really feel the weight of scripture?  Are Jesus's commands optional? 

Are we sheep or goats?

Matthew 25
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Will we really be able to say we didn't know or see the hungrry, thirsty, hurting, orphans and widows? Technology is amazing, but it has also brought the world to us.

For those who were interested in Katie Davis (Kisses from Katie).  This link will take you to Pastor David Platt's message and interview with Katie.  Truly an awesome night of worship. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

An amazing night

I saw Katie Davis last night and was reminded with Jesus as our guide, we each can change the world by touching ONE life at time.  

What would cause an eighteen-year-old old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother’s heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because the rest of them think she has gone off the deep end), and break up with the love of her life, all so she could move to Uganda, where she knew only one person but didn’t know any of the language? A passion to make a difference. Katie Davis left over Christmas break her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people and children of Uganda that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. She has given up a relatively comfortable life—at a young age—to care for the less fortunate of this world. She was so moved by the need she witnessed, she's centered her life around meeting that need. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of adopting 13 children in Uganda, and she completely trusts God for daily provision for her and her family.

Despite the rough conditions in which Katie lives, she has found a life of service to God to be one of great joy. Katie's children bring constant delight and help her help others by welcoming whoever comes to their door. As the challenges grow, so does Katie's faith and her certainty that what she's doing in Uganda, one person at a time, will have far-reaching rewards. It isn't the life she planned, but it is the life she loves.

To further her reach into the needs of Ugandans, Katie established Amazima Ministries. The ministry matches orphaned children with sponors worldwide. Each sponsor's $300/year provides schooling, school supplies, three hot meals a day, minor medical care, and spiritual encouragement. Katie expected to have forty children in the program; she had signed up 150 by January 2008; today it sponsors over 400. Another aspect of the ministry is a feeding program created for the displaced Karamojong people—Uganda's poorest citizens. The program feeds lunch to over 1200 children Monday-Friday and sends them home with a plate of food; it also offers basic medical care, Bible study, and general health training.

Katie Davis, now 22, is more than fascinating, she's inspiring, as she has wholeheartedly answered the call to serve.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good and Sad News!

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. We are trying to keep everyone informed as much as we can.  Today, we learned our dossier is officially in the mail and on the way to West Africa. Have you figured out where he lives yet? I thought the heart on the t-shirts may have given it away.

We were hopeful that another adopting family who is in Africa would be able to see our son and take a few more pictures, However, we learned Emmanuel has left the orphanage he has known as home. He has returned to his birth village to see if there are any living relatives or anyone who will care for him before he can be cleared for adoption. This is the standard procedure, but it broke my heart. I am so thankful he is too young to realize the magnitude of all this. I want to reach out and hold and tell him, buddy, I want you. I will always want you. Emmanuel, I love you son, and I am coming as fast as I can. God we trust in you!

There are no orphans with God.  He has CHOSEN us and we are ADOPTED IN CHRIST.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tick, Tick, Tick

The time is ticking and we hopefully are getting closer and closer to meeting our son for the very first time. I find myself in a grateful but reflective mood. The other night, I looked at the stars for a long time in bewilderment and wondered if our son ever did the same thing. The moon was so bright and couldn’t help but wonder if he was looking as well. What will be that moment like? How will it feel to see his face and to hold him in my arms? What will it be like to hear him call me daddy at some point? What will it be like the first time I hear him pray or to sing? I am filled with so many questions.

I still wonder sometimes how I got here? My life has been a roller coaster filled with crazy turns and unpredictable loops. Now, I hear the click as we prepare to crest over another crazy hill with our arms held high with anticipation. We don’t have any firm date expectation, but filled with excitement. Our agency Hopscotch Adooptons  has been amazing, and we are grateful to each of them. If you're interested in adoption, we would highly recommend them. We know our social worker in our West African Country has also been working tirelessly to help us.

The blog has also been comforting to us. Since we started to track wither by chance or intentional, people in 14 countries and 40 different US cities have at least visited the blog once. I am so grateful to the body of Christ for displaying the beauty of God’s grace to the world. The body Christ coming together with one common cause, which is to see God glorified.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Big week of approvals

We received approvals from the US government to adopt. Our dossier and 1600 are both on the way to our adoptive country! We hope to be traveling in the next four weeks to spend 10 ten days in Africa and hopefully travel back three to four weeks later to bring Emmanuel home. We prayerfully hope to have Emmanuel home for Christmas. Hard to believe we started this process in May.

We have also been blown away by you! This journey has never been about us or Emmanuel; it has always been about God and his will for our lives. So many of you have bought a shirt, sent a note or offered to help in some way. We are truly grateful and excited for everyone to meet our son. Over the next several weeks there will be a variety of different opportunities to get involved.

Retreat Raffle – Register to win an amazing weekend at one of Alabama’s premier properties, winner can choose from a group of selected dates.

Adoption Shower - will be held on October 16th at Valleydale Church in the Big Room from 12:30 to 2:00. The event will be hosted by Patti Cato and Kathy McKinley

Zumba Party - will be held on 9:00 am at Valleydale Church. The event will be hosted by Shari Hyde.

T-shirts – we will place a second order next Thursday.

Those who know me...know how much I love music. This song has spoken to me on so many levels over the last few weeks. Love the words.

Reflective Testimony

There are certain moments in time which have shaped who am I in Christ and developed my core beliefs which drive my actions.  I’ve been so...