August 30, 2011


Once upon a time we wanted to be parents. Once upon a time we dreamed of the possibilities, and planned for the wondrous day we would tell our friends and family we would soon be three. And once upon a time our dreams were shattered by infertility. Once upon a time we had no idea how our empty arms would be filled.
But, all the while, God was writing a different story for us to live. As we grieved our broken hopes He began to weave into our hearts a new dream of parenthood. The dream grew into a possibility and some five years ago it became a reality. We chose to put the nightmare of infertility behind and embraced God’s calling for us to adopt a beautiful baby girl, who was soon followed by a wonderful little boy.
The reasons we chose to adopt all those years ago were manifold. Strongest among them was our desire to fill our lives with the joy that children bring. Simply put, we wanted to be parents and, prayerfully, we decided this was the path God was laying before us and became the parents of two.
But where there is room for two, there is room for three. As we began seeking His will for our next adoption our hearts began to change. No longer empty of arms, no longer with an unfulfilled desire to become parents, we searched our hearts for the right path. We prayed and we actively waited for God’s guidance educating ourselves on the options.
And as we prayed, a common theme began to emerge: the orphan.
Over and over and over again, through many different conduits, God grabbed our hearts and our minds and wrapped them around James 1:27

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”
We have been compelled. We have been commanded and we have our answer: the orphan.
I go back to the deep longing I had to hold a child in my arms and relieve the pain of being told it may not happen, and I realize that my longing does not begin to compare to the longing of a child to be held, to be loved, to be part of a family, and my heart breaks.
Haiti and its children had had a special place in our hearts since the earthquake three years ago, even though for a while Haiti adoptions were completely stopped. The needs are great and the orphans many. Haiti is now open and we are now ready.
This is scary to me. I am familiar with domestic adoption. I know the process and I have two miracles to testify to how well it works. International adoption is unpredictable, and different, and unfamiliar. And frightening.  And every time I bring my fears to the Lord, I am reminded that I was not given a spirit that makes me slave to fear, but the Spirit of God who adopted me as his own child.
So here we are. Process started. Wheels rolling.
Once upon a time we wanted to be parents and God was faithful to our hopes. Now that He is calling us to embody the hope of a little one who dreams of having parents, my prayer is that He will find us faithful as well.
Will you join us in praying for this journey? The journey will be long but we are not walking it alone.

August 26, 2011

They Aren't Really Your Children!

My husband, Matt, our kids, and I were sitting at the counter of an ice cream shop licking away, trying to keep the sweet cream from running down our arms, and enjoying watching people hurrying up and down the busy avenue. A woman walked into the shop and without stopping to buy anything said to me, "Those are not your children, are they?"

In shameless self-promotion, here is the latest Adoption Family Circle post. Please join me here to read the rest of the bizarre conversation that ensued!

August 24, 2011

Soul Food

Matt and I are on a diet. It is not a terribly strict diet, but we cannot eat carbohydrates and sugars (including fruit) for a couple of weeks. So we are eating a lot of salads, vegetables, and meat. We are not starving but I have a constant feeling of being slight hungry all day long. Another side effect has been an overall feeling of tiredness. We didn’t realize how much we relied on sugar to keep us going. I have read this is normal when trying to adjust your eating habits.
This tiredness has produced in me sluggishness and a lack of energy that makes my mundane tasks like doing laundry, cleaning, and cooking a little unpleasant. If the kids call from across the house I take a moment longer to respond and drag my feet down the hallway.
Food to the body is so much more than a luxury. Without a healthy diet you are not whole and I can’t wait until we can add fruits and sugar in moderation. My body needs a little of everything to function at its prime and it has a way of telling me when it's not getting all that it needs.
But how does a soul starving manifest itself? A hungry body shows clear signs of distress: weight loss, energy loss, a propensity to illness. What happens when the soul is starving? Does it show?
Jesus said man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). My soul needs food. It needs God-nutrition to function at its prime. It will not enter my body through my mouth and descend to my stomach. It will enter my body through my eyes when I open the Scriptures, through my spirit when I commune in prayer, through my ears when I listen to my brothers and sisters singing love songs to Him on Sunday and my pastor-husband bringing a message of hope.
Can you tell when your soul is starving?
I can tell because when I look in the mirror I see me transforming back to the person I used to be before grace picked me up and set me down the right road. I react like that person, I think like that person, I respond like that person, I live my life like that person. And that person was miserable and made others miserable as well.
My soul cries out when it’s hungry. Like a branch cut off from the life-giving root, I wither. When I disconnect from the source of all good things in my life, I begin to crumble. My heart begins to turn inwards again, selfish, and lonely. Remain in me and I will remain in you, He told us. But I forget and become self-sufficient.
Self-sufficient. I am enough for myself, I proclaim with my behavior. But the truth is, I’m not. I cannot be. Can the plant water itself? Can I satisfy my every soul-need myself? What an arrogant thought that would be!
Oh, that I would feed my soul as hungrily and greedily as I feed my body.  Oh, that I would seek Him every day as voraciously as I seek nourishment and that I may find more satisfaction in Him than I do in any “food” the world offers me.
Have you fed your soul lately?

August 13, 2011

The Eye of the Beholder

Joining with Lisa-Jo on her (slightly longer than) Five Minute Friday for: Beauty.
Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder?
On a bad hair day, when my curls won’t stay, when the make-up no longer glides smoothly on less-than-firm eyelids, when the skin does not glow like it used to, she looks at me while I try to work magic in front of the mirror feeling less than successful, and she exclaims with admiration I cannot understand:
You are so beautiful!
She observes me, she imitates me, she marvels at me. She wants to look like me, smell like me, dress like me. She asks to borrow my perfume, my jewelry, my shoes.
I am the princess in her fairy tales, Beauty and Cinderella, the belle of her ball.
And I believe her.
In her eyes I’m beautiful. She doesn’t know about perfect weight, perfect features, perfect hair. She loves me and her love transforms me into the lovely creature she thinks I am.   
And she has changed me.
I no longer complain about my hair.
She is listening.
I no longer fuss about my weight.
She is watching.
I no longer berate my features.
I want to teach her the One who made us both makes no mistakes.
I know this awe I inspire in her won’t last forever. She is only five. But for now, I don’t have to look in the mirror to see beauty reflected back at me.
I just look into her eyes.