Saturday, April 28, 2012

2 years ago

I still have a blog post dated, April 28, 2010 that was never published because I had a difficult time completing my thoughts. We were only 3 months into our adoption process and were overwhelmed with a couple obstacles that would potentially slow down our process by several months.  I remember sitting at my laptop wondering what God's purpose was in all of this and can still recall myself wondering if our child had been born yet, if our birth mother was pregnant or going into labor. 

And now I have decided to publish that broken and unfinished post from 2 years ago because little did we know that on that "same day"our youngest daugher would be born.  
Today, 2 years later we celebrate her 2nd birthday

The title of my post was: Joyfully Persevering

"It's been a while since I've sat down to write. I think part of the reason is because we've been hit by some pretty challenging obstacles across the way. It was tempting to go around the obstacles or give up, but Sol and I chose to go through them, tackle them one at a time and trust that this is the journey that God has for us.

"Perseverance: continued steady belief or efforts, withstanding discouragement or difficulty; persistence."

I love one of Robert Frost's quotes: " The best way out is always through."

Psalm 27:13,14
"I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart.
Wait for the Lord."

James 1:4
"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

_______________________________________________________________


Once again I am blown away...
God was there in the midst of our birth mother's labor and the birth of this beautiful baby girl.  He had/has incredible plans for each one of us that I don't think I will ever be able to piece together. 
And yet...it's okay - I don't need to understand. 
I am thankful that we did persevere and didn't give up.  Although we aren't at the finish line yet, I am so grateful that we chose the way through and not the way out.

To our sweet 2 year old princess,

You are a miracle and beautiful gift to us and all those around you that have loved you and cared for you.  God has chosen you and brought you into this world and has incredible plans for you. 
Everyday I look at your picture I see a sparkle in your eyes and I am reminded of
His faithfulness and goodness in your life. 

I wish I could give you a TIGHT squeeze and LOTS of kisses.
 We can't wait for you to become part of our family and
 yet we know that God's timing is the best.
May you always remember how precious you are and so loved by many. 

Here is a verse God has given for me to pray over you:

Zephaniah 3:17
"  The Lord your God is with you.
He is mighty enough to save you.
He will take great delight in you.
The quietness of his love will calm you down.
He will sing with joy because of you."


Monday, April 23, 2012

Celebrating 13 years!

13 years ago, March 15th,1999 Sol and I began our courtship.
13 years ago around April 24th, 1999 our eldest son in Ghana was born....

Last night, I fumbled through my boxes of journals and managed to find my beat up journal from 1999.  Without even dusting off the cover, I skimmed through to find April 21st's entry. My journal entry for that date was a reflection from an intense conversation Sol and I had about missions, ministry and orphans. It was filled with hope and excitement for what God had in store for us and the dreams and visions we shared together. Little did we know that around the same time across the other side of the ocean in West Africa, a precious mother was about to give birth to her son.  Of course there must have been hundreds, thousands of miraculous births on that day... but this particular birth was part of our "future story" that Sol and I had no idea about.   

I wish I had all the pieces of this birth mom's story, her pregnancy, her labor and what it was like to give life to this beautiful baby boy. What I really long for is to share a cup of tea with her and just listen to her story. I want to let her know that I value her and admire her courage and strength. 

13 years have passed by and this beautiful baby boy is now entering his teenage years. 

Tears...

Emotions that I cannot even explain.

How I wish I could go for a long walk with him, hear his story and assure him that we love him and will always be by his side. Although we weren't a part of the first 13 years of his life, we may have many years ahead to celebrate together. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ɔbabarima (Son)!!

13 years ago, you were brought into this world and
 given the precious gift of life. 
It is evident that God has faithfully taken care of you until now. 
Although your journey carries its own pain that nobody may ever understand as well as blessings that only you could see, He has kept His promises and has never left you or abandoned you.  You have been loved and cared for by many people even those that haven't met you.

"May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you." Numbers 6:25

As you enter into a new season of your teenage years, we pray that He would raise you up to be a courageous young man. 
Joshua 1:9 is a verse that God has given me to give to you:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Friday, April 6, 2012

I-600a approval!


We have ACTUALLY received our I-171h (our I-600a approval) within less than a week!(The I-171H is basically a document issued from Homeland Security allowing us to bring an overseas orphan into the US. )

Whew!!!

We can finally take a long BREATH from paperwork!

I was informed that it would take at least 4 weeks to receive our approval from the USCIS. So I had this conversation between myself and God where I told Him that it would mean SO much to me if we got our approval before Easter.  I honestly didn't think it would happen, but Easter has always been such a significant time of the year for me. It's not "magical" but it's very real and personal. God graciously reminds me of His incredible resurrection Power and this beautiful gift of redemption that He has given me. He never ceases to amaze me with the ways in which He answers.

Yesterday I took a deep breath before opening our mailbox.... and there it was on top of our stack of junk mail. "Department of Homeland Security." 
I let out a sigh of joy, cried my eyes out and ran to the house. I held back extra tears and waved the precious piece of mail to Sol and the boys.
" It's HERE!!!" 
I trembled with excitement and had to celebrate yet another hurdle. I breathed in every bit of thankfulness.

God, you are SO good.

So... now what?

Now we wait for our court date. The second to the last push of our adoption pregnancy.
Although we don't have anymore paperwork for a while, we now have to begin preparing for our first trip.  We will have to make 2 trips to Ghana. The first trip will be our court date where we will receive our final adoption decree and meet our children for the first time. The second visit will happen after Embassy clearance when we will bring our children home with us.

The wait is not over..... but we are so thankful for all that God has done and brought us through so far.  There is still so much ahead of us and so many unknowns, but every answer that we receive continues to affirm that we are on the right track. 

Our prayer for our children in Ghana is that this Easter weekend they will experience God's amazing resurrection power and be reminded of how much they are loved. We pray for continual healing in their hearts and that God would knit all 8 of our hearts together even while we are apart.