Monday, December 31, 2012

FAMILY THEME SONG...



This is our family theme song as we head from 2012 into 2013...

As I sit here on the New Year's Eve 2012... I feel such a HUGE variety of emotions... (Wow, how can it be possible for the Lord to create so many different emotions and for one human being to feel so many all at once!!  Yes, I am a complex creature... :)

EXTREME THANKFULNESS... for this sweet precious new gift of a child in Isaiah... and for each and every one of my kids here and in Heaven... We are so blessed!  Each one is SUCH A TREASURE TO US!!!

EXTREME WONDER... for how the Lord has knit my family together... it still AMAZES me each and every day... good old fashioned biological children, still birth, misscariage, domestic adoptions, embryo adoptions... I know some look at us or hear our story and think CRAZY TRAIN... I look and think... Wow!!!  Lord you are so good, faithfull and amazing to create our family in a way I could never have dreamed up!!

EXTREME LOVE... For a Father in Heaven who knows what is so much better for me and our family than I could ever know myself... I am so thankful that he sees the bigger picture of what is best for us!!

EXTREME DESIRE... for the Lord to take my will and make it His... Even though at times I haven't always loved the way that things have happened in our life or even liked it one bit for that matter... My hearts desire is for my will to be right in line with what HE would have for our lives... Wooh... big challenge Lord take my desires and make them what you desire for us... !

EXTREME ANTICIPATION... For what the Lord is going to do in Uganda.... I feel like I may be beating a dead horse here... but my heart is on FIRE!!!  I feel the stirriing of the Lord doing a bigger work than what I see before me and I CAN NOT WAIT for it to unfold!!! 

EXTREME JOY... for the sweet sweet things He shows and teaches me each day through my kids, friends, those around me and those I can catch a glimpse of... Lord keep our eyes WIDE open to see and appreciate the wonder in all you have for us... help us to not be too busy to notice it!!!

EXTREME COMPASSION... Our hearts are moved for the fatherless... God's heart is...There is no other way to put it...  Yesterday Louis brought me a note saying..."Let's bring home another King or Queen!"  (You would have to watch the video I posted yesterday to fully understand that!)  Now while I KNOW FULL WELL that we can't just bring someone home with us from Africa...  BUT Our hearts know that God wants children in families... I know we just brought home this precious baby and he is SOOOOOO loved!  But truly as long as there are beds in our home or room for another bed, kids who need love and a family, and we feel God saying YES this is His plan His will for our family... how can we personally say no???  

A BIT OF ANXIETY... (Gotta be honest here!)  I hate flying... truly can't stand it... I know it is irrational, but it scares the snot out of me.... I am about to board a plane for close to 20 hours of flying... Any antianxiety ideas would be much appreciated!!!  And prayers for safe travel and peace would be even more appreciated... just keeping it real! 

TOTALLY LOVESTRUCK!!!  I just got off the phone with G... and let me just say... that man continues to crack me up... that was what first attracted me to him... his sense of humor.... I am so blessed to have him to walk through this crazy life and definitely love him more now than 19 1/2 years ago when I said "I do!"

SOME DISSAPPOINTMENT for the ways we have fallen short in 2012... fallen short of loving each other more... loving our neighbor better... serving with a joyful heart... how selfish we can be at times... and so much more... But Praise God for Jesus who forgives and wipes us clean so we can start afresh!!!

PERPLEXED AND REGRETFUL... at times for the state of some of our relationships... We continue to pray for the Lord to do a wonderous work in our hearts and in the hearts of others to allow all our relationships to be what HE would desire... That is our hearts greatest desire and we pray that He would give us the strength to keep persevering and doing what He would desire even when it is hard!!!


EXTREME GRATITUDE ... (I know that is the same thing as Thankfulness:)  for the way the Lord has provided for our family!  We, never in a million years would have thought that as a Pastor's family we could adopt 3 kids in 3 years... Have a family of 9 (so far) and never have a want for anything... We are soooooo abundantly blessed in the areas of provision.... Greg works so hard...And my dad says that I can stretch a buck further than anyone he knows, but I honestly believe in my heart the Lord mulitiplies His gifts... Every time Greg comes in the door with a paycheck he proclaims boldly, "The Lord's blessings!!!"  And they are! 

The Lord has recently knocked out socks off in providing for our trip to Uganda... We all have been working really hard with photo shoots, chaotic dinner divas days... but He has blown us away in using His people to encourage and support us and we are in AWE!  Thank you friends!!!


Obviously I could go on and on... But this song truly says it all for us as a family...

Never Once did He leave us in 2012 ... never once did He leave us during the death of our child... children for that matter... He didn't leave us during cancer... during extreme lonliness and sorrow... during uncertainties in adoption journeys... during the total joys of redemptive births and unexpected blessings and surprises...  He has been right by our sides... Never once leaving us on our own...

Anything good that we have done or that has happened in our lives has purely been from Him or by Him working in us!!  Totally the Lord!!

Even through all the struggles with the scars of the battleground of this world... (And trust me my heart still bears the scars of death, sadness... and quite honestly they are incredible reminders to me of the Lord's faithfulness and His power!!!) it brings me great happiness to be able to say with JOY

He has been right by our sides... Never once moving away... Remaining faithful through it all... carrying us each and every single step of the way!! 

One thing that battlefield of this life has taught us is that we don't know the plans that He has for us... We don't know what may be around the next corner of this life... And we know fully that He will carry us through 2013, never leaving our sides... He will sustain us with it's blessings and hardships...

We don't know what tomorrow holds but we know who holds tomorrow!!!  Honestly, we are excited for the journey and advertures that the Lord has for us in 2013! 

I know this was longwinded... that is me to a tee!  Thanks for hanging with me... But truly, I never tire of proclaiming the Lord's faithfulness in our lives!!!   Blessing on your 2013 friends...

May it be a year of His constant work and grace in our lives and a year of growing closer in relationship to our amazing Savior!!! 

"Never Once"Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful








Sunday, December 30, 2012

Who will love the least of these???



Louis, Caleb and I were running to Walmart tonight for some errands... and this song came on the radio... We sat in the parking lot listening in detail to the words... EXTREMELY appropriate to our life right now with our Uganda trip RIGHT around the corner...

Please take a listen to it and let it challenge your heart to take notice of  " the least of these" that the Lord has maybe put into the path of your life...

My heart feels so broken wide open to what the Lord will teach and show me in Uganda... I CAN NOT WAIT to love on those children... I really have felt too that the Lord may have plans to use the loss of Samuel in my life as well when I am there... I know that there are probably loads of women there that have lost babies or children and I feel like God may be preparing me for the fact that He may open up doors in that part of my life as well over there... I can't wait to see it all unfold...

A few things for you to pray for...
The leader of our trip had some health scares that landed him in the ER this week... Praise God for a miraculous healing and a Dr. clearance to GO... Continued prayers for good health for him as he leads our group...

There is TONS AND TONS of illness going around here... loads of the flu, RSV, and just nasty stomach bugs and colds... Please pray for the Lord's protection of my family before and while we are gone regarding all of this illness... Praise God we are a VERY healthy family for the most part... It would give my heart great peace to know that the 5 little ones are still healthy when I leave...

That I would have clear wisdom from the Lord regarding if there are activities and such I shouldn't take the kids out to in the next couple of weeks before we leave... (I know I can't live in a bubble... but I would so appreciate the Lord knocking me over the head if I am walking right into a flu zone:)

I am planning a women's retreat that is taking place the weekend before we leave... needless to say... I feel a bit overwhelmed on that one right now... Please pray that all the details that need to come together do for that weekend for the ladies of our church!

And obviously most of all that the Lord would continue to prepare our hearts to serve Him best and the people best while we are there! 

Thanks friends!  Enjoy the song!:)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

CHRISTMAS PART 2


 
Our first born son... handsome, loving kind... and even a little quirky at times... but that is why we love him!  He was all set for Christmas Eve service... There are many times he is called to be the man of the house for his mama when Greg can be so busy at work or even on holidays when church work demands G to be gone a lot... I rely on Louis and Caleb for so much and they rise to the occasion for the most part with joy!  I am so thankful for them!
 
This is so Jojo... Here he is trying out one of his Christmas gifts... Love this little turkey so much! 
 
Caleb and Levi trying out their new Christmas Jammies...
I love the traditions that the kids and I have started these past few years on Christmas Eve... Greg was able to join us again this year for IHOP after first service... Then he went back for late service and the kids and I came home for fondue, opening up their jammies and a movie... Daddy was pulling in just before the movie ended:)
 
We were expecting snow Christmas Day... possibly up to 8 inches (that never happened)  Our big van is AWFUL in snow and I just couldn't stand the thought of slipping off the road with a newborn, and 2 other little ones... So I stayed home with most of the kids and Greg went with Anna and Louis who sang "The First Noel" together in church that morning... I hated missing that... but felt it best not to try and brave the bad weather... (that never developed into anything:(... no white Christmas for us)
 
We had a beautiful laid back afternoon with waffles for brunch and opening presents afterwards... This year the big boys opted for money towards Africa... so they didn't have much to open... But with the 5 little kids stuff, also from both grandparents, the house was a disaster.  I think this was the first year that the mess didn't bother me one bit and that felt good... We had such a nice afternoon enjoying each other...  
 
Louis was fooling around with the Bokeh (I think that is how you spell it) on his camera... I love this picture from Christmas eve because he caught the baptismal font that was given in memory of Samuel... It is a very simple design with a really cool carved out rock on top.... Our holiday was so special and full great memories and special moments... but I can't help but wonder what kind of mess a four year old Samuel might be getting into and the laughs he would bring to the group... I also woke up Christmas morning, thinking about what Christmas must be like in Heaven... celebrating the birthday of Jesus... right there with Jesus himself...
I miss that sweet little boy:)
 
Praying you all had beautiful celebrations in your home:)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

CHRISTMAS PART 1

 
This is the ornaments that Louis and Caleb received for Christmas... There is a tiny little heart right over the country of Uganda... It is so beautiful... Not sure why I didn't get one for myself and Greg to share... maybe next year:):) 
 
This year Hopie got a dollhouse (used but new to us)  She loved it!  And the funny thing is... it has been a big hit for all the kids Anna on down... especially Levi... he will sit and play with the little people and cars... I love when you get a present and it actually is a blessing to the family... When it makes lots of the little ones happy!  Love it!
 
Here is Levi... all tuckered out... He actually went was hanging out with Anna and fell right asleep on the floor:)  Such a sweet little doll!  Funny thing is Levi still has a couple of presents to open up... Christmas day he was more than enamored with the toys he got from Grandmas and Grandpas that we sort of thought why force him to open any more... Maybe in a few days he will get to the rest:)  But for now he is so happy playing with all the other things:)
 
Jojo and Anna opening up presents in their matching Christmas Jammies! 
 
Sweet little Isaiah enjoying all the Christmas commotion... he is starting to open those little eyes more... He is out of preemie outfits and diapers... sad face (happy he is growing:):)  sad it is happening so fast!!!)   You are looking at one of the best Christmas presents ever!!~

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


WISHING YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.  WE ARE PRAYING THAT AS YOU CELEBRATE THIS YEAR YOU ARE WELL AWARE OF OUR GOD'S GREAT LOVE FOR YOU...
 
SUCH A DEEP LOVE THAT HE SENT HIS ONLY SON TO BE BORN FOR YOU AND ME... TO RESCUE US FROM OUR SINS FOR ETERNITY... 
 
MUCH LOVE FRIENDS!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Snuggle time...

2 of my favorite little guys!!:)
 Levi is finally over his cold and fully able to snuggle with Isaiah... That is pretty much Levi's expression all the time with the littler guy... he is just so happy to see him and be by him...
AHHHH!  I am not sure there is a better warmer feeling...
Cuddling with one of the kids... It is the best!
 
I can not believe that tomorrow is already Christmas Eve...
I am looking forward to Christmas eve service, IHOP with friends, and time with the kids tomorrow night eating fondue, opening up new jammies, cuddling on the couch and watching a Christmas movie while Greg serves late into the night...
 
We miss dad on Christmas eve... but I finally feel like since Samuel's death, the last couple of years the kids and I have set some fun Christmas Eve traditions...
 
Looking forward to family time after church on Christmas day!  

26 DAYS AND COUNTING...

24 DAYS AND WE WILL BE UGANDA BOUND...
 
My heart can hardly believe it! 
 
I have to be completely honest... when I think of leaving my kids... I don't even want to go to that thought... When I think of leaving my precious newborn who took us by surprise about a month ago... ugh!!! 
 
But when I think of how confident I am in the fact that the Lord has called me to GO!  How can I say no???  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am supposed to GO!  Really, I kind of can't describe the feeling, not sure I have had it before... I felt clearly the Lord saying GO this past fall... and...
 
I know that I know that I know that this sweet little Isaiah's arrival
 DID NOT TAKE THE LORD BY SURPRISE...
even though it did us! 
 
I have total confidence in the fact that Greg will take off some work, my sister will come down and help for some time (Wow... I owe here BIG TIME!!! Beth, you and the hubby should go on a vaca before the next little one arrives... of course I can watch the kids!!!!) and my in laws will help when Greg takes off of work... I trust that they will be in great hands when I am gone...
 
I know some have been a little skeptical of my desire to GO... even expressed some not so supportive feelings... All I can say is that I can't say no to God... I had prayed before I made the plans to go... I have been praying since Isaiah's arrival that if I wasn't supposed to go that the Lord would make it abundantly clear!  And I haven't felt the Lord leading in that way at all...
 
In fact with each passing day my heart is filled with more excitement over the work that we will do there...
 
So in 24 days... my 2 oldest sons, my sweet niece, my rocking cousin, my  precious friend and I will converge in Texas to meet up with others in Europe to head to Uganda on the adventure of a lifetime...
 
I CAN.NOT.WAIT to see all that the Lord will show us, teach us... the ways that He will use us, change us, grow us... I.CAN.NOT.WAIT. to reach out to the orphans, widows, and street kids there with the love of my Savior!  I.CAN.NOT.WAIT.  to use the money, over $3000 that was raised at our church to provide for the needs of kids who need so much...
 
I know that my heart  is going to be broken in 2 for the people there... that is my prayer now for the boys and I, for all of us... that the Lord would break our hearts for the things that break his... And that we would be willing to do whatever He asks while we are there...
 
Please be praying for us if we come to mind over the next few weeks as we prepare... I can't wait to share this next step in our journey with you!  My God is so good!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The reality of a baby photo shoot:)


 
Louis and I were working pretty hard yesterday to try and catch some sweet little shots of baby Isaiah...
 
We got a lot of great ones... but this also is the reality of what we got...
a pretty good spit up shot, a wet bed and a VERY dirty blanket... so much for decent naked baby shots!:) 
 
I still find him incredibly irresistible spit up, poop and all!  What a gift!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's beginning...

 
TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS AROUND HERE!
 
While I was in the hospital with Isaiah the family bought and decorated our Christmas tree!
 
They chose white lights because they knew that is what I like... that was sure sweet of them:)
 
Actually I think that they picked the best tree yet this year... perfectly shaped and very little rearranging of ornaments had to be done by me when I got back:)
 
Levi loves looking and touching the ornaments, but he has yet to actually knock one off the tree...  he has done so well with it... Even Isaiah likes to just lay and stare at the lights...
 
We are all adjusting great around here to the new little sweetie in the house...
HONESTLY, I can barely believe he is really here and ours! 
You go for so long just waiting and wondering and then BAM!!! Here he is...
 
I think Hope and Levi are finally nearing the end of their colds:) yay! Praise God!  We can relax a little with them getting too close to Isaiah! 
 
Levi today kissed Isaiah on the head over and over again... And Hope has learned the job of little mama from Anna quite well... You should hear the way she talks... really sweet!
 
I am sort of holding my breath knowing full well that with little ones making that adjustment, you just never know when they will be looking sweetly at the new baby one minute and pinching the next... but so far so good...
 
I hear we may be expecting a BIG snowstorm here next week... over 9 inches... Craziness... I would love a white Christmas:):)  We shall see!


Monday, December 17, 2012

GET ON THE CRAZY TRAIN... WE ARE ABOUT TO GET OFF:)

It has been non stop since we came home from the hospital with Isaiah... We are praising God for His protection of Isaiah from the colds that the other kids had when we came home... Thank you Lord for sparing him any sickness so far... I know it is only the beginning of the cold and flu season... But we are soooooo very thankful that he is doing so well...

We have had 2 sets of company... our missionary friends the Ferrel's and my parents and my sister's  kids...  We are expecting more company this week... (actually I think those plans just changed today and we may not get more company this week.


Our first MEND Christmas ceremony was beautiful last night... not a dry eye, I don't think... It was so very special to have a time to publically remember our little ones in Heaven... that is such a gift to me! We had 2 girls from our church do the music and it was beautiful... Our director worked soooooo hard to pull it all together and it turned out fantastic... I think it will be a yearly event for our chapter.  I was especially touched by a couple that had to have been in their 50-60's... they were there lighting candles in memory of their children that they lost in the 1970's... It just warmed my heart to know that 30-40 years later they still felt those lives worthy of honoring and remembering.  I KNOW that is how I will feel about Samuel, Joel (the baby we were going to adopt) and the baby we misscarried.  It was a special night!

Our ceremony was held the night that the shootings occured in CT... and I can't tell you how much my heart hurt for all of those parents and families whose lives were turned upside down that day.  I know each loss is different... but I can certainly relate.  The whole thing just makes me want to cry out with the love of Jesus to those people.  I am just praying so often that the Lord is sending just the right people to each of those families to be His hands and feet in the flesh in these hurting hours. 

We have our December Dinner Divas Class here tomorrow night... Can you say CRAZY TRAIN!!! It has been non stop... but we are about to get off that train and settle into just HANGING OUT and enjoying Christmas! And I am thrilled about it!

We hope to do some school the next 2 weeks and then take a week off with Greg after Christmas. 

Ok... that was a little catch up... Literally I need to find time to get some of November's pictures onto my computer... all I have are the ones I took at the hospital on my cell and a few that Louis took...

So I leave you with a sweet one of the new little guy!  So precious!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My heart swells...

 We are enjoying every second with this sweet little guy!
 :):)  It looks like he is raising his hand:)
 
 Isaiah has been the perfect unexpected Christmas present for our family!  We are praising God for knowing the perfect time to bring this little miracle into our family!
 

Come and gone in a flash

Jethro and Hope
(Typical Hope grin:)
 
 
 
The Ferrel's have come and gone in a flash...
The boys and I can't wait to be able to spend some more time with them and their son Jethro (adopted from Uganda) when we go in January.
 
They went on a short term trip with our sweet friend Abbi back in January 2011 and are now headed back the end of this month to be full time missionaries to the orphan and hurting people there...
We can't wait to serve alongside of them... Louis and Greg had met and spent a lot of time with them when they went last January... So it was fun for the rest of us to meet them in person!
 
Talk about easy people to love... I had never met them but really felt like I had known them all along... I know that sounds really cliche but it is so true... We even got to spend Sara's birthday with her yesterday... What a treat for us! 
 
Their story is an amazing one of how God has worked in their lives, moved mountains and taught them along in the waiting periods... Sweet Sweet People!
 
All the kids adored Jethro... talk about spunk and sweetness all wrapped up in one... He fit right in here:) 
 
We felt so honored to be able to have them in our home:)  Till we meet again in Uganda friends!~ 

Friday, December 7, 2012

We are home!!

We are praising God that we are home... all home in the same house...
Thanks be to God...

We arrived home to shortly be followed in the door by some missionary friends of ours from Uganda... What a treat to have them here... Their little guy is such a cutie pie... they adopted him from Uganda just this year... yummy little man!

God was so incredibly gracious during our time apart... but it feels right to all be here again...
 I will post some pics tomorrow of he little man...

It will be a busy day... the birthday of our friend staying with us... and Louis and Caleb informed me that they need to make 300 treat for the youths tea party on Sunday AND.... 9 dozen cookies with a friend for Sunday... HELLO BOYS!!! That is 408 cookies... They assured that they will do it all:):)  We shall see:)

I think Isaiah is going to learn to go with the flow off the bat... such a precious little peach!  Pics tomorrow!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

He is ours!!!

We are praising God that this morning Isaiah's birthday voluntarily terminated his rights... 

We found out last night that the birth parents wanted to come for.a visit today... This was totally the best case scenario for today!! 

It is such a relief to have the what ifs removed... We all are thrilled.

Both birth mom and dad spent some time saying goodbye to Isaiah in the nicu and we got a precious picture of them with him to put in his baby book.  

We will have an open adoption so it was just goodbye for now... But you just never know how that will all pan out so we are so thankful to have pictures of them for Isaiah's sake... 

For some reason I can't upload a picture from this iPad so I will try to that as soon as we are home:). He is Beyond precious!  Speaking of going home...

The doctor said to plan on tomorrow sometime...  Hopefully that won't change for any reason... He is rooming in with me today and tonight... It is so nice to have him in here... I pretty much spent all of my time in the nicu even when he was in the isolette or under the bili lights... So this afternoon he just hung out with me and I picked up. It is so SWEET to have him with me... So nice to be off the monitors... That alone makes me feel more relaxed!!

Thank you for all of your prayers... We are so thankful to our gracious God for this precious gift!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The roller coaster of nicu

This is something I typed a few days ago... But I figured that I would post it anyways... I will try to post tomorrow about how he is doing now... :). We are making progress and hopefully won't be too much longer:)
Here is my post from Sunday...

This is typical...

I so appreciate ALL of the doctors and nurses... But so much seems subjective in here.

Here is how it went today...Sunday night...

Nurse practitioner comes in... Seems not super happy with how Isaiah is doing... She says he needed to each 35 cc's of milk... If I nurse him for 20 minutes, he still needs to eat 35 cc's from the bottle after... If I don't nurse at all still 35 cc's... Clearly I have milk... I have been nursing Levi... So we KNOW he is getting it...  So she wouldn't at all take into account that they work harder at nursing and being a preemie would tire out more easily than normal and wouldn't maybe take 35 after nursing... She even talked about the possibility of a feeding tube even though he has gone from like 15 cc's to 40 cc's sometimes... It just seemed weird...  I said lets just do bottles for a few feeds and see what he takes...then I could pump... He took 38 cc's with no problem.  Then her nurse friend said we might be here another week...

Then the regular doctor came in an hour later and said he was doing great... Just needs to keep progressing... He even said we could take him off the lights tonight but decided to keep him on one more day... He said we are nearing the end...:):):):)

It is just crazy how they can have such different opinions of the same baby... I appreciate all of their help TONS!!! It can just be hard at times... You have the normal emotional rollar coaster of adoption then add the nicu rollar coaster... lord help me!!!!
Still amidst it all.... SO VERY THANKFUL!!!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

OVERCOME...

Tonight I am totally overcome with so many different emotions...

This morning Isaiah's precious birth mom terminated her rights as his mother...
We are overcome with gratefulness for her amazing sacrificial gift to us!  We are overcome with feelings of admiration for her...for her loving Isaiah enough to give him the best she could...a stable loving family...

There are so many ways that adoption stretches you... each experience is so different and grows you differently... Ohhhhh... that stretching can be so uncomfortable... there are moments of worry, fear, bliss, total joy and excitement... Even though I have trusted God fully with this journey, I am still human and have felt all of those feelings over the past week... I know that God's will is going to be done... But I also know the reality that sometimes how that all plays out hurts and isn't maybe what I would desire...

Today we had lunch together... It was amazing... She was so sweet.  She had a beautiful bracelet for me and some blankets for Isaiah.  She even he an extra devotional book for me... We were so touched by these gifts... So so touched...

We talked and talked over lunch... She had a friend with her who was with her the day we met her a week ago... Sweet sweet woman as well...  Both girls were incredibly easy to talk to and we learned so many new things about her that we will be able to share with Isaiah someday.  We cracked up!!  The stories that she shared with us are priceless.  She is so witty, funny, yet brutally honest... I loved that about her...

From all she shared our hearts were again SO DEEPLY touched by all that she has gone though.  My heart just hurt for her and her friend.  We always pray for the birthmoms of our children... even before we are chosen... But I absolutely love that now I know her by name and know enough about her to be able to pray for specific needs.  Sometimes I feel so naive to the lives that some have... She was so strong and brave...

We are praising God that we are one HUGE step closer or making him ours forever!!!

I am overcome by the goodness of our God to give us such amazing gifts... This little Isaiah is a miracle and we  can't wait to hopefully bring him home in a few more days.... There are some VERY VERY excited spunky kids waiting to snuggle and love on him...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mountain mover:)

This morning I walked down the street a couple of blocks for church...

I was overcome with emotions... As I was singing...
Savior, he can move the mountains
My God is mighy to save... He is mighty to save...
Forever, author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave... Jesus conquered the grave...

I was totally struck by the fact that I ultimately want to see this precious little Isaiah in Heaven... That is my biggest hearts desire... OBVIOUSLY I want him to go home with me... But that totally comes second... I want him to be saved!!!  Please God save this precious little guy....

I was so thankful that God conquered the grave so that someday I WILL see my Samuel again!!!

I ultimately, I know that my Savior can move the mountains and will to accomplish what he wants to in this little guys life...

If you think of it would you please pray for me.. Today was a very hard day... I had hours tonight where I literally was begging for peace... Waiting while I could be with not be with him...  It is hard waiting for the call that you got chosen by a birth mom and then you wait again with emotions HIGH until you know if he will FULLY be your forever child... Honestly, I am at the worn out point tonight... A bit weary...  I am now just watching him in the warmer and Under the lights...

I told the agency rep tonight that although they would recommend guarding your heart and I even said I should yesterday... I am realizing... That is just not me... I can't really do it... (We experienced that same thing with Hope, to a degree) This little guy deserves to be loved FULLY, held tight, kissed, loved on, spoken to sweetly, cuddled... All of it... And he is gonna get it from me regardless of what the birthmom decides to do... Everything seems fine but... You just never know...... Ahhhh... Lord grant me peace and patience... And I know he is yours Father!!!

I was SO VERY BLESSED to have 2 precious friends come see us today... These girls are like family... We laughed because at this point only our immediate family can come in to see him... We were saying they are family to us here... aunt Shelley and aunt Nikki... They could catch a good look but not touch him... More importantly I got some time with them... Such a blessing to my heart.  As usual we had some good laughs and I NEEDED it!    I love those girls for making the trek to come pass time  with me and to come encourage my heart:):) So thankful for that tonight... :)


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Immeasurably more...

I wrote a post about our meeting with our birth mom...  Waiting for the appropriate time to share it...

Here is the update on Isaiah...

We are still in the nicu...
Still under the phototherapy lights.
Still in the isolette ( although when I talked with the doctor tonight, he thought we would be able to take him off both tomorrow.  His iv is out and he is eating great:). We may be talking of a discharge time  frame of 24-48 hours... But we will see... Things change often...

He is ADORABLE!  Anna and jojo loved seeing him today... They got to come in and hold him.  To totally and utterly melted this mama's heart.  The older boys had already made commitments near home and couldn't make it... They were sad about that.  Little man is nursing great for a preemie.  I keep reminding myself that he is God's little guy... Not ours yet... As much as I totally love him already... I need to try to guard my heart... Really I am more of a throw yourself in and deal with the repercussions and heartbreak later if need be.  He has a good disposition.  It is such a treat to spend as much time as I can with him... I am trying to just soak him up.  If all goes well, I know life at home will be fairly busy, just because it just is with 7 kids...so I am treasuring the quiet peaceful moments:):):)

With any adoption case it is sort of like holding your breathe... Even if things look GREAT?.. You just never know... We had a couple of moments in the past couple of days that were nerve wracking... But God was so faithful...

 He has just been knocking my socks off with one sweet thing after another. We were pretty desperately trying to find a place for me to stay... I knew if I stayed at the hotel, it would be somewhat expensive and I would have to get a cab back and forth each day...  I had one nurse figure out how I could a room here and today they even moved me to a nicer room where I could get meals... They went above and beyond:) What a blessing...  Yesterday our agency rep didn't want me to be alone ... We had one of those uncertain times and praise God, I had a local friend discover that i was close to her so she came up to hang with me.... What a sweet distraction and gift to me!!!  And last night I was blessed to go out to eat with the agency director...she is amazing!!! Truly AMAZING!  It was like my cup was just being filled over and over again up by sweet people  being the hands of feet of Jesus to me and I am so grateful!  The Lord was certainly doing immeasurably more than I could ask for...

I have so much to share... But too much that I can't share online at this point.  Keep the prayers coming.... We really appreciate them...

Friday, November 30, 2012

AND HIS NAME SHALL BE...

And his name shall be...

isaiah james hintz

Isaiah because his birth mom named him that and we just happen to love it!!!:) 

James because it is my uncles name, biblically they believe him to be the half brother of Jesus who stood boldly in the faith and has given us many great principles on how to brazenly live a Christian life of great faith in action!  I love it!   (I did the Beth Moore James study this past summer...AMAZING!)


So we are praying in earnest for the Lord's will to be done in Isaiah's life and that if it is God's will, that we could be the parents and family to walk alongside him and train him in the way he should go in this life!:)

God is so good!:)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SMITTEN

UPDATE:

I forgot last night to pray for his jaundice as well... (That is what happens when you are typing at 1:40 am after not too much sleep the night before) I am pretty sure that he will need to be under the photo therapy lights for a bit...Thanks friends!


First off... I apologize for the crazy typos in the last post....
I was posting from my phone and my fingers are entirely too big for those tiny keys:)

I AM SMITTEN WITH THIS SWEET PRECIOUS LITTLE 5 LB. (ACTUALLY NOW, 4 LB 9.7 OZ. BABY BOY)

He is amazing...

Greg and I are at a hotel as sweet little guy is still in the nicu and they don't let you room in at the hospital if your baby is in nicu.

We are worn out... both of us went to bed at 4 am. last night and 7 came early:)  But I am not complaining in any way... TOTALLY OVERJOYED!

I am sure that this post will be pretty scattered but I want to remember all that happened in the last 2 life changing days...

Yesterday while I was running to get birthday snacks for our home school coop I don't know what made me think specifically about our adoption plans, but I literally was thinking at around 11:00 am yesterday... "I wonder how long this may take???  What if no one ever picks us?  What kind of birth mom would be turned on by a family with 6 kids already at home???

It just sort of seemed like it was going to take a small miracle... and praise God He is still in the miracle working business!  Our birth mom had already called our agency saying she wanted to make an adoption plan and was already in labor...

It is so funny because our agency always tries to call the adoptive mom first ( Greg was the one to get the call with Hope because I was at a bible study that morning... Hello????  Can you come get a little girl later today???:):)

Well yesterday the social worker tried my line, but didn't get through for some reason.  I had just left church after dropping the boys off for basketball practice.  I was running to try to get all my contacts transferred from  my old to my new phone... I literally had just turned off the car and I got a call from Greg...

"Sara, the agency called... someone chose us... he was born today..." I jumped out of the car, sat on the curb and had to ask over and over again if he was kidding me...When I finally realized he was for real... the tears started flowing... Here just hours earlier my mind was full of the what ifs that are so common in an adoption journey... Adoption is not for the faint of heart... quite an up and down journey... but now I was so unexpectedly getting some of those answers... Faithful God...

 I think that honestly Greg was still somewhat in shock... He had briefly spoke with a social worker from our agency and got to speak briefly with the birth mom...

I jumped back in the car and drove the 1/2 mile back to church so that we could wait together for the phone call to talk further with the agency representative.

Shortly there after we were able to speak for quite a while to the rep from our agency and get all sorts of info on this sweet 5 lb. baby boy that had been born.  All the info we got was somewhat OVERWHELMING... (I literally was googling as we were talking... ) Shoot the whole situation was overwhelming... an hour before we were just figuring out the logistics of basket ball practice... now an hour later... HELLO????  We were now thinking on how we could get to that little guy as soon as possible.

Thank God we have such amazing friends that offered to watch the kids.  We were sent a sweet picture of that little guy.... (oh my delish!!!:)  And Greg and I couldn't help ourselves from flashing that picture across the basketball court from his computer to the oldest boys, mouthing that they were going to be big brothers again... 

The flurry of craziness began... hunting down newborn boy clothes out of the attic, washing, packing for half the kids to go to one friend, packing for the other half, packing for G and I, attempting to get the house in order... on and on I could go...It was NUTS!!  It took G and I well, and I mean really well into the night (morning) until we were ready.

We all prayed before we put the kids to bed... Hope prayed for the little baby boy that God would protect him because she already loved him so much... Lots of prayers for his health and for his birth mom from the rest of us! 

Today we were on the road by 11 to finally meet this little man and his birth mom...
(I will try to describe our meeting with her in another post... Wow...that is a WHOLE post of its own.   Emotional would be an understatement! 


Little man is still in the nicu... he is doing so well considering that he was only 5 pounds and estimated to have been born at 35-36 weeks.

He is having a bit of a hard time keeping his temp up... so he is still in the warmer.   (although there was a lot of talk about putting him in the isolate possible over night:(  The nurse said though that right now he is using a lot of energy to stay warm that he could put that same energy into growing and eating if he better if his temp was being more regulated for him...

He also needs to work on eating.  The amazing thing is that I was able to nurse him tonight... he latched right on.  So basically he needs to be eating more at  meal time...  There was a little talk of a feeding tube... but right before we left the little man had guzzled down almost 3/4 of an ounce in 3 minutes flat... He did great...

This little guy had a VERY rough start to life in the womb and yet as far as we know the Lord has protected him in great ways!!!  My husband amazes me, nothing rattles him and he is a great source of level headedness for me!  Baby boy is amazing! He is tiny... He is a biracial little guy and beautiful.  Honestly, he is so cute... Unfortunately, we can't post any pictures on the internet at all... so you will have to just take my word for it:):)  I will post pics as soon as I can... but it may be months possibly before I can. 

I spoke with the hospital pediatrician on the phone... he said he may be able to go home in few days... but it could be a week... So at this point Greg will probably head home tomorrow late and do all of his work and prep for Sunday, take care of the kids and I will stay here till we can leave with him...

It was hard to leave him in the nicu tonight... but I am so so very thankful for this crazy amazing opportunity.  I know he is being well cared for...

Here are our prayer requests:

That he can regulate and keep his body temp
That he can increase the amount he eats at his feedings
That the Lord would continue to protect his tiny little life and health
That he would be healthy enough to leave the hospital sooner rather than later:)
For birth mom, that her heart would be comforted as she left the hospital today..
For our agency as they continue to work through difficult circumstances to bring these little ones into    families (I again was over the top thrilled with the how they handled everything!Deaconess ROCKS!!!)
Our kids back home... Anna is a HUGE helper but I know she called with some tears tonight
That the Lord would be preparing our family for welcoming this little one into our family

As with any adoption we HOPE AND PRAY that all goes well and it isn't disrupted for some reason.  At this point it looks really good, but you just don't know.  Hopefully we should have a court date somewhat in the near future:) 

I will try to update more soon... thank you so much for your prayers for this little guy and the rest of us!
We are overcome with gratefulness to our God for this amazing little miracle!  We are praising Him tonight for His faithfulness to us!

On our way to meet little one!!!!!

Super quick update...
On our way...just g and I to meet a precious 5 lb baby born yesterday!!
Chosen for us!!!

He was in nicu yesterday... we will see what today holds
Wr think he was birn at 35-36 weeks...

We covet yourr prayers!!

We are thrilled!!!!  But we know fully this is in Gods hands and adoption journeys are rarely without snags...

God is faithful... we are trusting Him FULLY! !
Ahhhh!  This id crazy exciting!

Will try to update asap..

Monday, November 26, 2012

I am still learning... so proud of them...

 Louis, my free spirit, floater, funny, sensitive, loving, hard working, dedicated, laughing loving son... while in Wisconsin:)
 Caleb...my driven, self motivated, competitive, naturally athletic, crazily hard working, really like able, and somewhat easily annoyed son:):)  

In recent months I have had a few people express to me how they thought I must finally have it all down as far as the parenting goes...

They couldn't be more wrong...
For me parenting little ones comes much more naturally than parenting older kids...
(That is by far Greg's more natural gift... thank God ahead of time for knowing how we need to compliment each other:)  

As my little boys have grown into young men... 
I have realized...
I need to know when to turn off the yapping...:)
While we have tons of great communication, loads of fun, and lots of love for one another... , the time for the training is becoming less and less and it is more like coaching (as my sweet friend Mary called it when she was here visiting this past weekend... I think that is the perfect description...) 

What I mean by less yapping on my part is that the communication process is changing...
I find that when they do need some correction, I need to be direct and straight to the point... they are a little quieter these days... my natural response to that is that they must not understand... so then I go on to further explain so that they will understand better... When in reality most of the time they do understand pretty well the first time I said it.  I have even come right out and told them, just give me more of a response letting me know you get it and then I will stop explaining... 
I am finding that I need to ask for forgiveness more often these days...

I find that the more I talk and talk and talk... the more glassed over their eyes get :) and I get a sense they start to shut down a bit... I just need to be direct and to the point... and know when to be quiet:)
This is something I am still working on:

 See, I am clearly STILL after 15 years of parenting a work in progress:):) And I love that... there is always so much more to learn:)

These 2 boys have been knocking my socks off... We are earnestly trying to raise money for our trip to Uganda in 50 days (Caleb informed of the time frame this morning... can you tell he is excited??:)

They have been doing lawn work, planting shrubs for a gal at church, and desiring money to put towards their trip instead of gifts this Christmas.  
Louis  has done at least 11 photo shoots for different families in an effort to put funds towards his trip.  He has been working so hard and has put hours and hours into editing photos and running around town with different families.  

I really am so proud of them... They are working so hard, and I am so grateful for how God is providing... 

I am so thankful for how the Lord continues to show me daily what tremendous blessings these young men are in my life... even as I inch towards the times of letting them go a little more and more... (ouch, I am totally not ready for that... but am praying the Lord continues to lead me in the best way to do that as the days and years pass us by:) 
And I am even more blessed to see how they are a blessing to others... I have NO GREATER DESIRE than to know that my kids walk in the truth... And that continues to be my prayer that the Lord would draw them closer and closer to His side and heart each day!  I have to keep reminding myself that they are really His... just on loan to Greg and I:)  What precious gifts He has loaned to us:):)   There is still so much growing for all of us to do:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting...


For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. ~ Isaiah 64:4

I found this quote somewhere and just loved it. 
It is the perfect reminder that waiting is well worth  it!!!
 The more I value what I am waiting for the more willing I am to wait for it. 

Doesn't it sort of seem like life is one big episode of waiting after another?

In my head I can think of at least 4 BIG things we are waiting for as a family...

Patience is key...
Surrendering desires and seeking what He desires for my life...
And Praying, Praying, Praying... while you wait!

It seems that the surrending is almost a daily thing...
Your timing God, not mine...
Your will Father and not my own...

So if you are waiting like we are...

I pray that you will see the Lord's faithfulness in the waiting...

I pray that you can cling to the promises in His word... "That His plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, but give you a future and a hope."

And I pray that you can surrender your will to His and boldly walk forward in truth, expecting and looking towards what he has store.  His word says he is able to do immeasureably more than we can ask or imagine... That is so awesome!

And I think for me I need to truly take to heart... That I should be waiting upon the Lord ... not just  waiting on what I want or desire... but rather  knowing He is enough for me, and knows what is best for me...

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their stregnth, they shall mount up with wing like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint... Teach me to Lord to wait:) 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Current journey to our next child...

Hmmmm, I know I said months ago that I would share more about this current adoption process...
Well here we sit 5 months later waiting... and I am finally sharing more...

Last time we adopted we only had to wait 3 1/2 months with this agency before we got the call to come get out Hopie girl later that same day...

Waiting is hard...

Adoption is such a funny thing... Not at all for the faint of heart...
But the wild thing is, that although the agency may be showing your book to a birth mother along with a few others... It is never really a competition at all...

I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT I KNOW... the Lord knows the exact perfect little person He is creating right now in some birth momma's womb, has already created or will be creating (hopefully sooner rather than later:) that is meant to be a Hintz.  He is forming or has already formed that child knowing full well it will need us to be his/her forever family. 

I always tell people that the waiting is HARD!!  It really is!   When you are expecting yourself, there is that sweet due date at the end of the tunnel to look towards with anticipation... You know when it will all come to fruition, but with adopting, waiting is the name of the game... And quite honestly, I don't remember a time when waiting is  really easy...  You wait with an unknown time frame in mind... It may take only weeks or it may take years... HARD! 

It takes patience!  I know that we want the exact baby/child that the Lord has planned for us and that makes the waiting easier... We don't want to manipulate anything ever... We want to wait until the right baby/child for us has arrived...

To be perfectly honest, last year when Greg arrived home from Uganda there were 2 little boys there that just stole his and Louis' hearts... We inquired about them, but the door seemed pretty closed...  I have thought about them sooooooo much these last 9 months... Are those 2 supposed to be ours?  Greg and I just discussed these 2 again just a couple of weeks ago... This is how the conversation went...

I asked, "G, what if I get to Praise's house and ______ and ______ are still there???"
I think in that moment we both realized... Oh my goodness that means those kids have sat there for a whole year still not in their forever family, where ever that family is, ours or another...  Of course, G's response was... "Inquire again!"

That breaks my heart!!  So while that door seems to not really even be available to be cracked open at this point... We leave that in God's hands... He certainly is capable of opening any door or moving any mountains He wants moved...

So for now... we just keep leaving the doors open and waiting on the Lord's perfect timing...

But in all honesty, I.CAN.NOT.WAIT... for the waiting till my next child is over... I can't wait to scoop them up into my arms and say Welcome home my precious child... You belong here! 

I am just dying to meet them... Dying for them to know the love of a family, the love of a mom and dad and lots of brothers and sisters! 

HE SETS THE LONELY IN FAMILIES!!  I am so grateful for that!

THANKFUL FOR...

A 15 year old son who isn't afraid to ask for forgiveness and still says daily, "I love you MOM!"...

A Savior who doesn't deal with me like I deserve... But loves me with a fierce forgiving love...

Safe travel through the night...

Being able to laugh at myself... and not mind when others laugh with me...:)

The opportunity to get to know such precious women during our Sunday morning and Wednesday night Bible Studies...  What a gift that has been to me...

A friend who ALWAYS  has an encouraging word when I need it...

Friends who are NEVER afraid to mention Samuel...

Another crazy busy successful  Dinner Divas day...

For the opportunity to help with the family budget, but be able to do it almost all from home late at night when the kids are in bed...

God's protection of a certain 3 year old even though she ate the gum from underneath the table at a local restaurant... (insert vomit noises!!!!)

Enough vacation days left to actually ALL  get to go on a vacation together (seeing as how a bunch of vacation time was used for last years Uganda mission trip)

Mirrors in the front seat of the van where I can sneakily watch sweet blond 7 year old jamming out to Michael Jackson:)  PURE JOY!!!

My husbands job and the Lord's miraculous work to provide for our ever growing family's needs, previous adoption costs and the day to day things that come up... We never have a want for anything... I seriously think God just multiplies the dollars that are in our bank account... He is so faithful!

The sweetness of coming home...

A friend who just yesterday was sharing of a sweet memory she had of me when I was pregnant with Samuel... Love!!! Love!!! Love... that she could see how much I loved being pregnant with him and living a part of that miracle of growing new life...

A husband who shares so many of my loves... outdoors, children, missions, Wisconsin landscape:), family, ministry, orphans, (I could go on and on, but it is funny how God grows us to be more and more like minded with time...  I love it!  What a sweet bonus God gives the longer you are married:)

A husband who literally works like a dog and is so so so willing to pick up the slack at home when needed.

A sweet newly 10 year old mini me, who always wants to cuddle and share hot cocoa:)

A small group of friends to do life with... (God knew who and what I needed)

The laughter of cousins and sister-in-loves...

The constant reminder that God still performs miracles when I look in Levi's eyes...

The health and natural athletic ability of a certain 13 year old boy that just makes it downright fun to watch him play.

The Graciousness of our Loving God who has carried us through another year... I am so thankful to feel more and more alive as time passes...

So thankful to know in my heart that the Lord is close to the broken hearted... He does save those who are crushed in spirit... I know His word says it ... But I know it is true from first hand experience...

The fact that I can now see beauty from the ashes...

FAMILY!!!  IMMEDIATE!!!  EXTENDED!!! FRIENDS THAT ARE LIKE FAMILY!!!  FRIENDS THAT MAKE CHURCH BECOME FAMILY!!!

He knew that our hearts were made for community... I am so thankful that God knows how to fill that void when we are alone, away from home or family... Or that He blesses us with the beautiful precious times with those we hold so dear...  He is so good!





Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wow, crazy times...


So this little sweetie has my heart melted pretty much 24/7...

I sort of feel like we are living at mach speed... full steam ahead... every moment...

 In the next 4 days...
The craft fair at church
2 soccer games tomorrow for the big boys
A birthday party for Anna
Dinner diva shopping
3 photo shoots on Sunday
Baking and selling bread for the Bread for life table
Last week of my Sunday morning study
Monday... Dinner Divas all day...
Tuesday... Home school  Coop... Honestly, I am not really sure how the kids will get all their school work done for Tuesday...

But even in the crazy busy times..... I feel so so very blessed... I have all these kids to be busy with... the alternative of not having any single one of them here... no good!:)
So I am so grateful...  and I know that we are not the only busy people:)

So here is a crazy tidbit...
A little over a week ago... Caleb and I went to get our vaccinations for Uganda... Listened to the whole deal.... got the shots... left and then thought.... what did I just do???   I am still nursing Levi and I hadn't even thought about it... So I called the gal back... She said I couldn't nurse for 30 days... HELLO!!!???  I almost died... After a whole lot of researching and actually talking with the premier doctor in the US on nursing and medications... they said 2 weeks is more than adequate... So that is the plan at this point... pump for 2 weeks... ( I know this may be TMI... but right now it is a big deal to this momma!)

Reasons I am not ready to just stop... Well, I don't think I am going to get into it here... Anyone who doesn't think I am crazy yet... just might... lets just say it has to do with our plans to adopt again... And NO... we haven't been matched yet...  Man it is hard to wait:)

So actually, this break from nursing may have turned out ok... as long as Levi will have me back again... I plan on pumping when I am in Uganda so we were going to have to do it then anyways and this way I know he will do just fine when I am gone... He honestly has been such a trooper... He is a mama's boy, but he has handled the break like a champ...  He is growing up way way toooooo quickly... I love it and it makes me sad all at once:)



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

BREAD FOR LIFE


Well, my socks were literally knocked off last Sunday at church.  It was orphan Sunday so we decided to steal an idea (with permission of course) from a new friend who went with International Voice of the Orphan to Uganda last June.  We decided to jump on board and bake bread... sell it... every penny going to help the orphans we will serve in Uganda in January...

Thursday I asked a friend... how many loaves of bread should be plan on baking... I sort of thought around 50 would be good... She said 100... I was floored and thought that was way too many... (Oh me of little faith)  Between 2 friends, some of the youth kids, and our crew we had 57 loaves to sell last Sunday...

We sold out before the Sunday School hour even started... Literally no one from Sunday School or late church even had a chance to smell the bread... $1100 was given to the orphans... Praise God!  He is so good!  And we are so thankful to be able to have a chance to give to those kids who really need it...

So needless to say, this coming Sunday will be BREAD FOR LIFE take 2... Bread will be available during Sunday School and late service... We can't wait to see what the Lord will do this week...

Greg preached on Orphan Sunday... The Lord has done a miracle in His heart... I laughed out loud when he was preaching...  I remember when we were first married and talking about kids I had to TOTALLY TALK him into 4 kids... Here we are with 6 living here with us on earth and waiting on another little one... also knowing full well that we would love more if the Lord saw fit...

God wants to see orphans in families...We just want to open that door and let the Lord work through that open door or close it if that is His will... but it really isn't our decision to make... 

I can not tell you the stirring He is doing in my heart... Between reading the rest of Kisses From Katie, the book Seven, our family beans and rice challenge, and getting ready for our mission trip to Uganda... The thoughts I have are some that I NEVER would have had just a year or 2 ago... Maybe I will get to share more on that at some point...

I am so thankful to be at this point in my heart and life... and for G and I to be on the same page... the funny thing is we really have no idea what it means for our future, the ministry He has planned for our family, or our family in general.  All I know is that it feels good to be TRULY more open to whatever the Lord might have for us... not really what I thought I wanted Him to have for us:)  He is so good...

Right now... I can not wait to take the gifts that God used His people to give on Sunday and in turn knock the socks off of some of these precious little ones come January...







Friday, November 2, 2012

A Heavenly Birthday Celebrated

 This year I decided to try to give the sky lanterns a try... The reviews were quite mixed about 80% good and 20% horrible... I decided to give it a shot anyway...:) 
They were perfect... Really easy to do actually. 
I probably wouldn't do them with just little kids, but with Greg, the older boys, and my friend Katie to help they worked out super.  They were beautiful!
It was a really special way to end the day thinking and remembering our 5th born Samuel.

 Caleb and Louis with their lanterns:)
 I love this picture... Levi was totally enamored with the bright lights of the candles...
 Katie was helping Hopie girl:)

 Watching the 4 lanterns making their way up into the night sky... They stayed lit for quite a while:)
It was funny we had some people that reported to Channel 6 here that there were bright lights in the sky in our town... I think that they might have seen Samuel's lanterns:)

 My infant loss support group MEND always sends flowers on Samuel's birthday.  It is so nice to have him remembered by others... That absolutely makes my heart swell!
We did our typical rainbow cake (only 3 layers this year) and decorate it with skittles.  It was such a treat to have Emily's mommy Katie with us this year.  As you can see that with each skittle representing the Lord's faithfulness and things that we are thankful for... we are very blessed!  It was a very colorful cake... 

It was a beautiful day... and honestly, I think my rough time earlier this month with the crazy blue rag incident, sort of had me get that deep grief and right back in the moment sadness out of the way already this month.  I know that may sound strange... I still missed him like crazy, and had sad sad moments... but actually I felt like I could celebrate his life with more joy this year than in years past... That felt good...

25 loaves of bread baked for our Orphan Sunday Bread for Life table at church... 5 more to come out of the oven soon... It should be a great weekend...

God is gracious...

 God is so gracious to give me sloppy covered faces to focus on when the days are hard...
He was so faithful to carry us through honoring and remembering the precious life of Samuel... I will update soon with some pictures of how we celebrated his precious life...

Things are in full swing...

Sunday is Orphan Sunday...
Tomorrow we will be baking at least 25 loaves of bread  for our first ever BREAD FOR LIFE table on Sunday at church... The youth are helping to bake some on Saturday as well and another sweet friend will be helping to bake too:)
On Sunday we will take donations, people will go home with bread:)  Every bit of the money will come with us to Uganda in January and be hand delivered to orphans who need it most...

It is going to be a crazy weekend with a tournament for the older 2 boys, Hope, Levi and myself.  While Greg does a wedding and works with our sweet friend Katie to get Jo and Anna to their games...

It just seems to be non stop... I know you all can probably relate to that... I am sort of a homebody so this takes some getting used to... 

Hope to update real soon with pics from Samuel's birthday and an update on the whole adoption process... I never did fill you all in on that:)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

4 years since I held you...



I honestly can not fathom that 4 full years have passed since that one day I got to hold Samuel outside of my womb and in my arms.

I would go back to that day in a second.  I would experience the crass nurse who just peeked her head in the door and said curtly, "the ultra sound showed no cardiac activity in the baby... your doctor is on his way...", the unrecognizable groanings of my grieving heart, the labor pains, the point of knowing it was time to push him out but stopping and saying, "No, I just can't do it!"  (I was soooooo afraid to actually see his lifeless body before me)  

But I would do it all again in an instant to get to hold my sweet Samuel again.  The second he was out... All the nurses were crying, the midwife, and the doctor... you could hear the sniffles all over the room... But they weren't coming from me at all.  In that moment, I was purely overcome with the preciousness of the creation before me.  It was almost unfathomable that he could be so perfectly created, but not be alive... I was totally enamored with every little or big 9 lb. 2 oz :) bit of him.  He was downright beautiful. All I wanted to do was scoop him right up into my arms... put his skin right next to mind and breath him in... every single bit of him...  My son... the baby I carried for 40 weeks and 1 day... I finally was meeting him face to face... Even though I knew his soul was already with the Lord there was something about holding that little one and finally being able to drink in every little detail that I had wondered about for 40 weeks. 


What I wouldn't do to be able to have the time with him again... but truly, it would ALL  be for my sake... I would NEVER wish him back to earth for his sake...  How could I?  

Today, 4 years later... I am grateful... SO VERY GRATEFUL...  

That the Lord chose me to be his mommy... What a precious gift he was and still is to us...
That  I got the chance to see him and hold him...
That I have pictures to help me remember the tiniest of details...
For the incredible ways that God has used Samuel to touch others hearts...
For all the people that the Lord has brought into my life that I probably would never have known had Samuel not been a part of my life...
For all the Lord has taught me through losing a child...
For the richness that is a part of my life because of him...
For the incredible ways the Lord has changed me...
For the incredible faithfulness of the Father to carry us through the unthinkable... and for the perspective that it gives us for the future...
For the appreciation and wonder it gives me for all of my kids and family...
For how he has used and continues to use my deep pain and loneliness to touch my heart for others that are hurting...
For how clear he makes it everyday that this is not my home...

I will say one of the things that I am most grateful for has been how deeply and differently I think about my Heavenly home... 

I can't really fully describe the longing I have for Heaven...
There are moments that I totally ache for it...
While I am so very happy to be here fully living and experiencing life with my precious earthly family... I can not wait for Heaven... I can't not wait to meet my Savior face to face... and I can not wait for the joyful reunion it will be when I set my eyes on my son again... No more goodbyes...EVER!!!  

While we never know the number of days we have left here on earth... it could be a few days, a few months, a few years, or many... 

but I rejoice today that I am a full 4 years closer to Heaven... 4 years closer to seeing my Samuel again... scooping him up in my arms... and 4 years closer to my eternal home...

I recently found this song... it is beautiful and expresses what my heart is feeling 4 years after having to let go of my son and all of the earthly dreams I had for my precious Samuel Mark...