We are HOME!
Two beautiful sons. FINALLY HOME.
Friends, I really THOUGHT that this day would never come. I have to admit, I had lost hope at several points throughout this journey and it was only because of YOU, that I could take one step further, and another and another without giving up. I am forever humbled by you all. He certainly brings us from Glory to Glory, doesn’t He?
It all started with this:
“Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act.” Proverbs 24:12
Friends, I really had no idea what this scripture meant when I stumbled across it and decided that those precious little hands and feet that I have held time and time again in the nations needed a forever home. I had no idea that choosing to follow this small desire that God had placed in our hearts to adopt, would cost SO MUCH (more than just money!). I had no idea, what stepping out of my little American Christianity box really meant.
I had no idea that it would be SO. HARD. And truly, if had known, I probably wouldn’t have done it.
But I also wouldn’t have seen the GLORY of God.
Friends, whatever God is prompting you to do, I can tell you this. It will be hard. And I don’t mean, hard like your husband used all the hot water, so now your shower is cold and then on the same day the hair dryer stops working so you look like a hot mess at work. I mean, actually, hard.
For us, it meant 5 years of paperwork, corrupt governmental delays, and agonizing waiting. It meant missed birthdays, Christmases, and days filled with wondering if we should just give up (and people telling us to as well!). It meant letters, phones calls, and lobbying in Washington D.C. for someone to fight for the fatherless. It meant building an ark when there was no rain in the forecast.
It meant 69,378 airline miles, three visits to Africa, and three heart wrenching goodbye kisses, wondering if we when we would see them again.
For us, it meant finding a way to pay for monthly foster care for years and years, and constant renewal of fingerprints and papers and papers and papers. So that meant: hundreds and hundreds of yards of fabric and hundreds of hours and hours at the sewing machine, making little items for sale, sometimes crying sloppy tears on the fabric (yeah the truth is out), wrestling with why can’t we just have kids the “normal way” like everyone else?
It meant learning things the hard way. That faith and hope, is not always moving forward. It is sometimes just NOT GIVING UP. For me, stepping out of the box, meant facing the reality that maybe, the entire infrastructure in which I had built my faith and very foundation in God, all safely within the four walls of my church, needed a major restoration project.
It meant doing a LOT of HARD things, even though I wanted to give up,
for my boys, it meant a whole lot more.
Each pillowcase for them, meant food in their bellies every meal for the rest of their lives.
Rice is NOT enough to sustain quality life. This picture is a year and a half of foster care payments. Despite our VERY large monthly support for over three years, our boys arrived home with big malnourished bellies and medical issues because of starvation.
Each letter written to Congress meant a chance at education for them, to learn to read and write, and a future where anything is possible!
On each of our visits to Africa, our boys asked to go to school over and over. At the tender age of 4, they already understood that school and education means freedom and that not everyone gets the chance. It is highly valued and a prized privilege.
Every tear and sorrow and sleepless night meant a mommy and daddy to tuck them in each night, in the same room, over and over, for the rest of their childhood.
Our boys have already lived through abandonment and at least three different transitions of living before they ever arrived home. Helping them now, begin to work through these harsh experiences in their formative years is more hard work.
To step outside that box, to keep going, to fight so hard….this means love for them. It means kisses on boo boos, snuggles with books, hiking on trails, and Christmas morning! It means mud and slimy frogs, swimming and fishing, beach sand between their toes, campfires, sparklers, and sunsets on the lake. It means hugs and kisses and laughter.
It means HOME. Forever.
Welcome home sons. I do not take the privilege of being your mommy lightly. I am very aware of the deep redemptive cost that was paid to get you to us and I wear it on my heart to remind me that God is GOOD and that He will do whatever it takes to redeem us. May each day forward in our family, begin to shape you into a young man of God, who will have the heart of the Father, bold and courageous, ready to put your hand to the plow to make a difference in our world, for this I know: You will not be afraid do hard things.
To the friends and family both locally and around the world who have supported us in this VERY long journey: I don’t have a thank you big enough. You have been a champion for our three beautiful children and have changed their forevers. We are humbly grateful for each pillowcase bought, for each prayer and encouraging note, and for holding our hands up when we could not.
As you all have been for me, I am now beginning the journey to hold up the arms of other families and missionaries both domestically and internationally with the gifts God has given me. Starting April 1, all items purchased from my shop as well as all my photography will go to support others doing brave and hard things.
Check out this family of the month and support their adoption!
Together, we can do hard things.