Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prayer in Waiting.

Last year, on this very day, I wrote This Post about the difficulty of waiting. About longing.

I didn't even suspect that--fast-forwarding into the future a year--I would have those feelings again.

I never imagined what would have transpired in the past year.

But it doesn't really matter, because I wouldn't have believed you if you had told me anyways.

I have mentioned before that sometimes I like to go back through old posts to see where I was in years past.

It's a reminder of the power of the written word.

Of personal growth.

And of the faithfulness of God.

This prayer was on my heart a year ago and somehow, God knew I would need the reminder of these words-- Right now. today. where I sit. 

And I am so thankful for the small reminders in our lives.

"Father, thank you. Thank you for loving my child more than even I could comprehend (and I am Mommy, after all). Thank you for pursuing your favorite one with so much zeal, as to send two unsuspecting Americans from halfway around the world. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your redeeming love. Thank you for directing our path and guiding our steps. Thank you for loving me so completely. Thank you for trusting me with your most precious creation. Thank you for telling me that I am your most precious creation, too. Thank you for teaching me to wait on you... as I wait for my child. I will forever be humbled, and honored to understand how desperately you pursue your children with love and comfort. I pray that I will always be an example of You to the world. Comfort, protect, and watch over my baby until I can get there...Amen and amen."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Because I Love You

I read it.

I fell in love with the heart of it.

I could feel The Spirit of God dripping all over it.

It would be wrong not to share it.

Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption
So I am.

It's used. I read it. There may --or may not--be tear stains on it. But that's okay, right?

We're all family here.

So, here's how this will work (the world Needs rules, here, people..)

1. You have to be a follower of my blog (if you are a stalker, here's your chance to come clean). It's super easy. You click the "Join this site with Google Connect" button and voila! The opportunities are endless. And you make me feel good about myself. So really you're doing it for me. =)

2. You have to leave a comment below telling me why you think you deserve the book. Or why the sky is blue....In fact, really, you can put anything because I will be using to generate a winner and not the creativeness of the commentor.

That's another game for another day.

3. The winner? Must pass the book on when they are finished. Just payin' it forward folks.
The giveaway will remain open until Friday December 2nd. At some point after that, I will remember I have the giveaway going and will select a winner.
I'm only human.

So, let's get this party started, already! =)

[Disclaimer]:  Katie Davis and the people of Amazima don't know anything about me or my giveaway.  This is all me. However, if you know Katie, feel free to give her my digits. I think we could be the best of friends.  And if she's worried about book sales-- tell her I am getting the Kindle copy for Christmas, so it's all good. =)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Sometimes it feels like life is speeding past and leaving me motionless in it's dust.

It's as if life is a train and I am just not quite fast enough to jump on board...I give it everything I have. And still...It's speeds off without me.

Don't get me wrong, I would never wish for anyone else to be standing where I am, watching as life gently caresses others down their path with little resistence.

It's just that?

I wouldn't have wished it for me, either.

You see, I strongly disagree with the philosophy that God never gives us more than we can handle.

I think He does.

And on purpose, even.

It's in these places of facing insurmountable mountains?

It's these times of deep pain and sorrow?

It's in the seasons of being certain you can't possibly survive another hit?

That we become overwhelmingly desperate for His presense.

That we truly begin to rely on Him for the basic Will to go on.

It's here? That He has the room to grow us into a deeper relationship and is able to reveal to us things that our own carnal abilities have somehow kept us blind to...

No. I don't buy into that "He'll never give you more than you can handle" nonsense...

But I am certain about this:

He will never give me more than HE can handle.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Today would have been our court date for Cupcake.

I'm not especially sad, today (no more than the usual anyways). In fact, most of my emotional energy is wrapped up in convincing The Husband to let me get a puppy.

Like this one:

Or this one:

I already have several names picked out:

Geordi LaForge (Yes, we did in fact just finish watching the entire Star Trek NG series)

Franky S. (for those baby blues)




and Finnick.


I have a lot on my mind these days....

Any ideas for helping The Husband to understand the depths of my puppy-fever would be greatly appreciated.

But as I take a break from Puppy-love land, I have a few special prayer requests as we mark this now-ordinary day:

*  Please pray for Cupcake's family. That God's favor in their lives would be always evident. That they would have the means to provide for her and that they would be healthy and happy.

* Pray for their continued reunification and transition. As difficult as adoption is, reunification has it's own list of hardships (And I doubt seriously that they have access to Dr. Purvis's stuff). We believe that God heals and restores and in this family, our prayers are that that restoration happens quickly and easily for Cupcake.

* Pray for us as we move forward. That there would be no hurdles to jump or red-tape to get through in bringing home the child we are called to. That God would continue to prepare our hearts to give as forcefully and relentlessly to this child as we did for Cupcake. That our prayers would be fervent on Little Smith's behalf and that we would have renewed confidence and peace as we move forward.

Getting another referral will undoubtedly be *different* this time. But I don't want my experiences in Cupcake's journey to hinder my willingness to love completely and wholeheartedly as we await our next child's referral and the process attached to that.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Forward On, We Will Go.

I wish  I could explain the ebbs and flows that have coursed through my spirit these last few days.

I miss my daughter.

But I have to release her to the love and comfort she will experience with her family.

I am grieving our loss.

But I know that she has gained so much more than we could have ever given her.

And, the facts are simple. We are called to adopt. Called to adopt a child that needs a family

This plan hasn't changed simply because of the crappy cards we got dealt in this hand.

So forward on, we will go.

Please, know this....It's not an easy decision.  Knowing that there is risk of having our wounds reopened.

It's not with the joyful exuberance of This Experience that we go back on the waiting list. Backwards. Several months. Backwards.

It's not with the same naivity that we will look on towards getting another referral.

Yes. It could happen again.

Yes. We could have our hearts ripped out. Again.

But we remain confident of this. That there IS a child out there that needs a family. That, in fact, there are MILLIONS of children out there that need families.

And it's not fair to them if we allow fear and uncertainty to direct our steps.

Our lives are not worse by having loved Cupcake.

Her life isn't worse by having had us love her so much.

But if we allow this pain and loss to control us?

A child will never know that love.

A child out there will never have those prayers prayed over him/her.

A child out there  will never have a family on the other side of the world gaze at their pictures in wonder, amazement, and adoration.

A child out there will never have someone pursue them desperately with the heart of a parent. Relentlessly.

A child out there will never have a mommy tuck him/her in a night. Or a daddy wrestle with them and teach them how to throw a football.

A child out there--somewhere-- will never have a family.

No, It's not an easy decision...But we refuse to hand this calling over to the enemy and walk away defeated.

Our hearts may be broken today, but I know that He will bring our healing.

We will never stop loving or praying for our Cupcake (nor should we) but we know that God brought us here and unless there are no more children who need to be set into the love and shelter of a family?

Then forward on, we will go.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This man is turning 29.

This man who hates all the hullabub around birthdays but humors me anyways.

This man who has equal portions of music and love flowing out of him.

Who can make me laugh better than anyone else.

Who constantly desires to grow as a husband and father (someday).

This man who loves to travel and explore.

Who isn't afraid to be silly.

Who will watch the entire Star Trek Next Generation series with me.

Who loves God with every ounce of his being.

This man who loves good food, good fellowship, and good football.

Who is spontaneous and loves surprises (giving them--not so much on the receiving end) =)

This man who holds my hand in public. and in the car. 

And isn't afraid to say he's sorry.

This man who is stronger than anyone I know but sensitive enough to read bedtime stories.

I love this man.

Happy Birthday to The Greatest Husband In The World. May we both be blessed with 100 more of your birthdays.

Monday, November 14, 2011


"It's always better for a child to remain in his/her birth-country...with his/her birth-family. Adoption--and especially international adoption--is a last resort. We're not even plan B, we're like Plan F."

These are the kinds of things we say in adoption. 

Don't get me wrong....we believe them... It's just that it's so easy to say? Because it's such a far-fetched idea.  Because many times, it takes so long for a child to become "adoptable" that by the time you are involved they have spent most of their little lives in an orphanage.  Because there are so many children that have aged out of the system that we can hardly imagine our child wouldn't need a family.

Because it's hypothetical.

Maybe we say it to make ourselves feel better?

Maybe we say it to--in some strange way--honor the family and country?

But whatever the reasons.  It's a lot harder to say when it's no longer hypothetical. It's a lot harder to say when it becomes real.

Like Real real.

Like the kind of real that knocks the wind out of you while you sit at your desk, trying desperately to maintain some image of normalcy.

Like the kind of real that takes a joyful, excited time and replaces it with the darkness of canceled plane tickets, unpacked bags, and the sorrow of realizing we aren't going to be her family.

Like the kind of real that makes you take all your hypothetical words?

And eat them.

It's the kind of real that tells me, If this thing really hasn't been "about me" so far, then it sure can't start being about me now.

And, for the record? way harder than hypothetical.

Real? Makes me realize that if it's ME feeling loss and grief and sadness or HER feeling loss and grief and sadness...I would choose to take it every time.

Real? Makes me put on my big-girl pants when I would rather be angry and bitter and ask myself if this is what's best for her?  If she will be happy and loved? If she is *gulp* better off?

Because I really love her.

And, Real? Is what I have in front of me. It's not a glossed-over, hypothetical picture of what we want adoption to always be. It's a perfectly clear picture of what it means to walk this path. Of what it means to put yourself out there. Of what it means to learn you are Plan B. 

For Real. that things have gotten real real around here?

All I can do is pray that every day she wakes up with the sun on her face and love in her heart. That she lives each day full of ambition and play and joy. That she is hugged and kissed every. single. day.  That lullabies get sung to her at bedtime and someone comes running each time she cries.

That she never feels the loss of her country and her culture. That she feels completely connected to her heritage.That there is someone there to tell her what kind of baby she was, whether she was happy or fussy, what her first words were, what she liked and disliked...All things that she would have lost with us.

And that, somehow, she feels our prayers and knows that she is Always. Always. Loved.

For Real.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I have been incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support and love for us as we grieve the loss of our daughter.

The past few days have not been easy.
One friend commented that this situation is one of the "worst of the worst" in adoption. I couldn't agree more.

The next few days and weeks probably won't be much easier.

But, we know that this too shall pass.

These feelings of loss? This overwhelming sadness? The gaping whole in our hearts and lives?

Will eventually heal.

I don''t understand why God introduced this child into my heart and life if I wasn't to be her mother.

I don't know when this searing pain in my heart will begin healing.

and I am filled with consuming confusion and grief over why He would let this would happen..

But I know that if I have the strength enough to hand over my sorrow to God...that He will turn it (someday) into joy.  

I know that if I give Him my bleeding, broken heart...That he will take my mourning and replace it with dancing.

You changed my mourning into dancing. You took off my funeral clothes and dressed me up in joy   Psalm 30:11 (CEB)

My confidence is not in the things of this world. 

My hope is not in what man will/will not do.  

My faith is not diminished in the face of grief and loss.

This will take time.

But, much to my dismay, I have a lot of that now....

Thank you for all of your encouraging comments, text messages, emails, phone messages and most of all Your Prayers. I feel them.

I really do.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Difficult News.

Today we were given the difficult news that we will not be able to proceed with Cupcake's adoption. 
We know that many of you have prayed for us, encouraged us, and even financially supported us in this journey and we can't express how much it has meant to us. 
You are part of our village and we are so grateful for your continued support and prayers during this difficult season as we grieve this loss and learn how we are going to live with this new reality

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One Week.

I can feel my nerves bubble beneath the surface sometimes.

I usually suppress those feeling and replace them with to-do lists.

This weekend we will be at my home-church for a revival assembly.

I am speaking Sat, morning. As in 4 days before we leave to meet C.

My notes look something like this:

        I. Introduction


        V. Conclusion

I am totally gonna pull the "Waiting momma about to fly halfway around the world to meet my 3 year old daughter for the first time after two years in the process" card as my excuse.

I am also going to do my usual "Pray that the Spirit of God falls on the place and everyone is weeping at the alter 5 minutes before I am supposed to speak"

Nothing like the spirit of God coming down to trump anything I might have said anyways.

No, really, God. You go right ahead. 5 minutes before, capish?


In other news.

We are leaving on a jet plane in exactly  7 days, 13 hours.

181 Hours.

10,860 Minutes.

651,600 Seconds.

Not that I am counting or anything.....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I often have to remind myself about expectations.  Setting them. Releasing them. NOT having them at all.

You see, in this funny business of Hurry Up and Wait, it seems that it can become almost TOO easy to create fantasies (both good and bad) about That Moment.

Who hasn't watched a good Forever Family Day video or two?

Who hasn't cried at the wealth of emotion and love displayed?

Who hasn't imagined what that day might look like for your family?

Don't get me wrong. I want That kind of introduction, too.  But I know that for every beautiful moment caught on film, there are 10 others filled with apprehension, rejection, and fear. Those moments probably don't make the videos very often....

I think it's our human nature to  try creating  fairytales out of our*sometimes mediocre* lives ( I said sometimes, don't shoot me yet).

And this is no exception.

Of course, I want my sweet daughter to have an immediate connection with me.

I want her to melt into my arms and stare deeply into my eyes, completely confident in me as her mother.

I want to see restoration immediately begin happening in my daughter's heart.

But I don't live in a fairy-tale.

And in reality? We're talking about a very young little girl who has experienced more loss and trauma than most of us can comprehend.

We're talking about strangers who don't look anything like her, who don't speak her language, who don't smell the way other caretakers smell. And who will *probably* be quite disheveled and jet-lagged.

I don't remember reading anything quite so terrifying in any of my childhood fairytales.

Not to mention, they have probably only recently started introducing the idea of a mommy/daddy scenario to her.  So while I DESIRE for her to immediately realize the depth of my love for her, I UNDERSTAND why she won't.

No, I have to set that "attachment bar" much.  much.  lower.
In fact, I will be thrilled if she doesn't go screaming into another room
(If it were me, I probably would).

And, of course, it breaks my heart to know that this won't look like a storybook fairytale.

Of course, it hurts to recognize that rejection--or at the very least apprehension-- are possible players in this story.

Of course, this excitement and anxiousness cocktail are constantly at war with each other in my soul.

But, when God called us towards adoption, there were no promises of roses and rainbows. He made no  effort to "sugar-coat" things or "trick" us with glowing imaginations. (I did those lovelies-- all by myself).

Instead, he broke my heart.

He reminded me of what it took to bring me Redemption.

He recalled, for me, my own story of becoming part of His family.

He declared me as a child of God always, even though I have--at times-- been:


Full of rejection.

Struggling down the path of healing that is littered with past grief, hurts, rejections, abandonments. Trauma.

And through it all, He walked with me.

He comforted me.

He picked me up and dusted me off.

 And He said the words, "You Are Mine". Over and over.

And so. No.  I don't expect a fairytale. At least not in the Annie sense.

But I happen to think God writes much better stories, anyways.

"He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along." Psalm 40:2

"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."   Jeremiah 29:11

*Foot-note:  I mentioned that we have examined our "expectations" of this journey and that is completely true...but it doesn't mean we won't experience hurts, frustrations, and weariness in this. (as we have already many times), so please continue to pray for us: For God's Favor, For Open Doors, For Miracles.....While our "expectations" may be realistic, I know we serve a Supernatural God... One who is often looking for opportunities to surprise us, and I *personally*  happen to think this is a perfect one.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!





Until Today!!

Go check out Kelly's awesome month of Purposeful Giveaways...and shop with a purpose this Christmas season!

Oh, and the Puzzle Piece raffle winners are posted! Go check out the winners Here!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Did Somebody Say "Prizes"? WINNERS UPDATED!!!

 After 303 puzzle pieces purchased, 11 different people posting about this on facebook, 4 people blogging about it and 4 extra "referral" entries we ended up with a grand total of:

(Drumroll please....)

319 Entries!!!!!!!!!

We feel incredibly blessed by the outpouring of support and we are still believing that God will have this puzzle completed in Perfect Timing!

Thank you to everyone for your extravagant generosity!! I have said it before but it rings true today, as well....

It's one thing to know that we serve and Awesome God, but it is quite another to know people who Awesomely serve God!!!

Thank you for awesomely serving!!! We pray daily that you would be blessed abundantly in return!!

So now that that is covered....

What's a raffle fundraiser without a few good prizes!!!
(Winners: Notify me at 
so we can get you the details!!)

Beautiful handmade baby quilt and matching receiving blanket.
WINNER: #13: Jessica Linz


Amazing pink and lime green tutu. Size 3
WINNER: #73: Candace Drozal


Customized Africa t-shirt (picture is example)
WINNER: #256: Erica Kennett


$10 Starbucks Gift Card

WINNER: #164: Stephanie Milosevich
Amazing Fair Trade Ethiopian cofee
WINNER: #41: Andrea Withrow


MP3 Player. Valued at $75
WINNER: #122: Anna Walker


Customized apron (Picture is example)

WINNER: #146: Rene Holcomb

Beautiful Africa necklace
WINNER: #171: Rebecca Winter


Lovely Ethiopia necklace
WINNER: #289: Erica Kennett


Beautifully hand painted cross
WINNER: #57: Nicole Newberry


. Yum!!! Scentsy warmer and scented brick
WINNER: #86: Sarah Jacob


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Thousand Yeses.

Some of you remember my extraordinary weekend with Dr. Purvis.

One of the things that she spoke of that completely resonated in my spirit was the Privelege of One Thousand Yeses.

You see, our children from hard places--many times--- missed out on the season of yeses that children in stable, loving families get..Within the first few months of life, we shower them with YES!.

They cry, we pick them up.

They are hungry, we feed them.

They are dirty, we clean them.

They are scared, we comfort them.

Regardless of what the need/desire was? It was met.

Now, we all know that that season is short...but in that short span of time? Our children learn to depend on us for their needs. They learn that loving parents say Yes.

It's something we aspire to do with Marvel when he gets home. Give him  a season of yeses. Remove the temptations that lead to a "no" and respond quickly to meet his needs/wants/desires in a way that he understands that he? can depend on us. In any opportunity, we wish to respond with a joyful, loving Yes, teaching him that we will meet his needs. That we love and adore him. That he is valued.

But where my heart was truly gripped was as I related this season to our Father.  I can think of many times when I was in a season of correction. When I was in a season of discipline and "character-building".

I am not gonna lie to ya, those seasons are tough. They tug at our very selfish-nature and strengthen areas in our lives that we don't mind leaving weak and covered up.

For instance, I don't mind the bliss of *thinking* I have patience down to an art. I'd rather not learn it the hard way.

Humilty? Yah, leave that one untouched too, ifyadontmind.

And how about Character in the face of adversity? Whew, I break out in a sweat just thinking of how we learn that one!

But that isn't the way He works. We are clay in the potter's hand, being molded into the way He created us...pushing aside the things of our nature and leaning completely on Him.  It's not always roses and rainbows....

But He doesn't start in that place. Because, honestly, if He did??? How many of us would hang around while our character was being tested in the fire and remain strong in our faith of the One who made us?? How many of us would allow humilty to be taught and remain faithful if we didn't first have love and trust in our Maker?

('Not I' said the cat)

The reason we withstand the seasons of difficult answers, doors being shut, black paint on the beautiful murals of our lives?

Is because we trust our Father. Because He started with A Thousand Yeses.

When I was broken?

When I was lonely?

When I struggled with my self-worth? My value? My purpose?

He responded with 'Yes'.

He carried me when I was weak.

He sheltered me in the storm.

He showered me with affection.

He told me of my value and worth to Him.

He gave me 1000 yeses. Over and over. and over. again.

Until I was leaning completely on His strength. Until I could withstand the heat of the refiner's fire. Until I was sure He would meet my needs.

So that when those difficult times came? I could remind myself of the Father that held me through it.

I could fall back on the knowledge that He wouldn't leave me now..because He never had before.

I would hold steady in the face of adversity, knowing that He adored me.

And, He adores you, too, you know? 

He longs to be the one giving you a thousand yeses.. In even a greater way than I long to be the one giving Sweet Boy a thousand yeses.

And trust me, that is an immeasurable desire.

To be able to give my child the gift of 1000 yeses.

Will you let Him?

"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  Matthew 11:28-29

"Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them."  Psalm 119:140

"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God." 2 Corinthians 1:20