Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Adoption update and Christmas the Ulimate Adoption Gift

Adoption update:
No news on Emmanuel. Our case worker in Ghana is finalizing three other adoptions, so he has not had time to look for Emmanuel. The adoption agency has been great! We updated our home study to include the possibility of adopting a sibling pair up to 7 years old, If Emmanuel does not work out.  We are  #3 of on the referral list. Basically, the list identifies children who are legally available to be adopted.

Most commonly asked questions:
  1. Yes, Emmanuel was on the list before. 
  2. No, we don't have to start over. 
  3. Yes, the majority of our money will transfer over.
This journey has not been easy, but I have learned more about myself and my faith. I have also learned a tremendous amount about God's character and timing. Long story short, his timing is perfect. as is his ultimate plan. We waste way too much energy worrying about things, which are simply out of our control.   (Notice the eyes in the picture)
 

 

Family News
Jessica is engaged.   We are excited for her and Diego.  


Most commonly asked questions: 
  1. How are we? Excited,  God's hands can be seen all over this! I will share more along the way
  2. Where will they live? Lima. Though, we have know since the ninth grade she would live overseas. We know we are one step closer
  3. Where will they get married?  Lima and Birmingham.
Honestly - I have been surprised by our emotions.  Kathy, Shannon and I have all cried at different times.  We are so excited for both of them and feel it's right, but we also realize our lives will never be the same.

Merry Christmas

What an amazing time of year!  A time of reflection and introspection, a time to laugh and cry.   A time to hug and let go.  A time to remember and create new memories.  A time to mourn and a time to heal.  A time to forgive and a time to love. 

Parent's - we are funny!  Christmas Eve, we lay awake recounting gifts to ensure we spent the same and each has the same amount? Will this be the "best Christmas" ever 

This year my perspective will be different. Thankfully, Shannon will he home (somewhat, she loves her car) Jessica will be in Peru and other our son or daughters will be in Africa, China. So, as I reflect and think about this year. My greatest question is, not will they like their gifts. My greatest question, has God's love radiated through me as an example for my girls. Do they know scripture and do they know what I believe and why I believe the things I do? There is no greater gift I could give them then the love the gospel.  Even in the midst's of all my shortcomings and sinful tendencies did they see Jesus in me.

The Christmas story does not begin when Jesus was born, it begins when God created him.  Jesus was there when creation started, Jesus was there when God spoke everything into existence.   Jesus was there when over 100 prophesies about his coming birth. The reality of God loving us enough to send his son to guide us, should bring us to our knees.  The reality of God loving us enough to punish and sacrifice his son for us, should drive us to our faces.

Yet, it's how Jesus was born, how he lived and died which captures us.  He came in the humblest of ways, so that even in birth he shows us how to live. His birth also reflects the sovereignty of his father.  We don't know how how Mary or Joesph was when Jesus was born.  However, we do know when the angels of the Lord came they obeyed.  Most scholors agreee, Mary was a teenager and Joesph was older.  

  

Mary-the earthly mother of Jesus.  I truly can't imagine watching Jesus's life through her eyes.  I often wornder what she would think of people worshipping and prayering to her instead of her Saviour.  i would love to sit and talk to her and then worship with her.

 



This year, chruches around the world will be filled people worshipping God.  What an amazing sound that must be in God's hears.  This is an awesome international version of Chris Tomlin's How Great is our God.

 



The sad reality is, it will also break God's heart.   People will make their annual pilgrimage and attend a service with family and friends.  They will hear of his love, yet turn and walk away.  Rationalizing somehow it doesn't apply to them.  Perhaps, even sadder is they will have their children in tow.   The same Jesus they came to celebrate is the same Jesus who was punished for their sin.  The same Jesus they are walking away from is the same Jesus who will judge them on judgement day.     

Matthew 7:21 
  21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Emmanuel - A father's letter

Emmanuel's Birthday is December 3rd. 


Happy Birthday E’man.


What an amazing year! The last seven months have been an incredible roller- coaster ride and we are so thankful God has brought you into our lives. You have changed us forever! In fact, God is already using you to impact the nations. How cool is that? We wish we could all be together, but God has a unique plan that only he fully understands. I can’t send a physical gift, but I can write you a letter from my heart and hope will have the opportunity to read at some point. If not, I believe we see each other in heaven and worship together.

Seven months ago, we decided to adopt. Several days later we saw you! You saw your big chocolate innocent eyes and very quickly knew you were the one. Yes, we looked at others, but there was just something about you that drew us to you. We excitedly started the process to bring you home to us as fast as possible. Needless to say, your picture is all around our house, wallets, key chains and in your room. We weren’t supposed to show your picture, but it’s nearly impossible to keep someone you love hidden away. You were instantly a part of our family and became topic #1 in our conversations. As news traveled, our friends and family became partners in our passion. All wanting to know every detail about you and asking when you’re coming home.

At the beginning of last month, we were expecting a phone call or an email at anytime acknowledging it was time for us to hold you. The only step remaining was a return to your birth village to ensure you were adoptable. We were surprised to hear your mother had taken you away and that no one knows where we are. Buddy, my heart broke! However, at the same time my cup was full your mother. I can’t imagine how hard the decision to let you go was like. I can’t imagine the joy she must of felt when she saw you again. I wonder, did she cry as she held you? Did you recognize her? Do you hold each other tight, not wanting to let you go?

Emmanuel, we love you and respect your mother so much. If God’s desire is to allow you to stay with your mother, we are thankful and at peace. If God’s desire is to bring you home to us…we are overjoyed.

Now, we stand at a crossroads wonder what to do. As we move to explore opportunities to adopt other children, you will always be in our hearts. You have had such a huge impact on us. As stated earlier, God is already using you impact the nations. Over 4500 people around the world have read about you and know your name. God is using your short little life to bring glory and honor to his name. Families who were waffling and now moving forward and while others are wrestling with a decision to adopt.

Emmanuel, I love you! Happy birthday my son! I wish I could hold you! I wish I could watch you blow out your candle. I am so proud you're a light to the world. I wonder what your birthday what you would wish for?

Our family wanted to wish you Happy Birthday!!




Grandmother Dot, cousin Montana and those crazy sisters of yours.






Uncle Rick, Papaw Richard, Mom, Lana and well...you know...the pretty girls.






Cousin Trevor, Jessica, Nana, Aunt Debi, Nana, Shannon, Papaw with Hedi and Mom.  




Birthday Boy's Room









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