Thursday, January 27, 2011

A closed door...

For those that do not know, the door to our adoption of Noel E. closed while we were in Ethiopia last week. While it is sad and difficult to share the details of this occurrence, we find peace in simply saying that God was in the details. The "why" questions don't make sense, and do not bring peace or understanding- only He can do that. He is truly sovereign, and His providence over this cannot be overlooked. We truly rest on His faith, knowing for certain that He has a perfect plan for our lives. We also rest peacefully on the fact that she is also His, and His plan for her is perfect, as well. She is so beautiful. What a blessing it was to have held her, if only for a little while.

We are postured in prayer right now over His revelation of the next door. We are finding comfort in one another, in our family, and in Him as we wait for Him to speak to our hearts. Our agency has been wonderful, walking with us through this darkness. In no way do we hold them responsible, and fully trust their ability to advocate for the orphans in their care.

The thing about closed doors- It is all God. We should never be confused or questioning about the fact that it is God who opens and closes the doors in our life. Revelation 2 shares: "What He opens, no one can shut, and what He shuts, no one can open." Therefore, I am fully convinced. I am required to understand that it is with loving care that He closes doors, and- I am required to thank Him for the closure of those doors. Tough. Stuff. Because you know what comes next- the "why" questions...

God closes doors to get our attention. Sometimes, we are moving along, living life in the way we thought He desired, and we are failing to look at new opportunities or blessings He has for us. All of a sudden- a tightly closed door gets our attention. No matter how hard we try to open the door, we cannot, because He wants us to move forward. The thing is- its scary to move forward. But God promises that it is going to be exciting. And good.

Closed doors are also an incentive to pray more. Do closed doors draw you closer to Him? Yep. They drag you to an undeniable place of desperation and emptiness; a brick wall of helplessness. Suddenly- you are acutely aware of how much that open door meant to you in the first place (maybe you were forgetting that a little while the door was open in the first place). Maybe we find ourselves crying out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" There is no answer, yet we eventually come to a place where we know we are heard- His peace settles in, and we eagerly await what He is preparing for us beyond the darkness. Oh, but the darkness. It is a lonely, scary place. Painful- Need. More. Prayer. Closed doors grip your heart with the need for force in prayer like you have never known.

Closed doors also prevent us from trusting in man alone. The help of man cannot be sufficient behind a door that God has closed. The promises of man will let you down as you stand before that closed door. No doubt. And here, we feel alone. Yet, someone stands alongside, waiting on you to remember He is there. Many times He knocks at your heart, yet you do not answer, but He waits. Eventually you will answer His knock - He alone holds the key to the next door. Not man. Not you. Only God.

Closed doors make us await God's time. In our own wisdom- our timing is perfect. But God's timing is not always our timing. God closes doors to cause us to wait for HIS perfect timing. He prepares circumstances, he prepares hearts. If we step before His time, we will be unready to experience all He has prepared for us.

God also knows what we need to handle the tasks and blessings He is preparing for us when He opens the next door. The time in the darkness prepares us for the opening of the door. We are being molded and shaped to meet His destiny for us. How thankful we must be that He is preparing us to receive His blessings.

When the door finally opens, we have to proclaim, above our doubts and our fears, that God alone opens and keeps open the doors to our lives. What God opens, no one can shut.

(-derived from everlasting love, closed doors are a blessing.)

So- here we sit behind a closed door. We must pray for God to prepare our hearts for what He has in store for us in the future, proclaiming His greatness in the darkness of the hallway between the doors. God alone is our locksmith.

We so appreciate everyone's prayers and well-wishes for us on this adoption journey. We covet your continued prayers as we seek God's guidance regarding the "next door" in our life's hallway. Above all, we desire to bring glory to Him and live in faithful obedience to His plan for our lives.

Blessings- Kindra

Friday, January 14, 2011

And we're off!!!

The day has finally come...we are headed to Ethiopia! 3 totes, 3 suitcases, and 2 backbacks worth of packing later, we are off!!

We are looking forward to sharing this journey with all of you! Next time we talk...we will have met our daughter!!!

"A Psalm of David: I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders." Psalm 9:1

Blessings! Kindra
7 month old Noel E @ HH

A shower of blessings


Turned into this...

Which turned into ALL THIS!

We truly had a shower of blessings for Hannah's Hope this past weekend at church! I have such a wonderful family in Christ who are so supportive of us and this process! Because of our family and our church family, we are taking 200+ pounds of donations for the orphanage, and will be able to take more next trip!

I never cease to be amazed by the love and generosity of people around us. We feel comforted and supported by their prayers and well-wishes. There are so many people anticipating the arrival of this little girl!

"Then He said to them, 'Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the One who sent Me. For he who is least among you all- he is the greatest.'" Luke 9:48

Blessings- Kindra
7 month old Noel E. @ HH

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Thank you"...the two hardest words I have ever said...

I think that saying "Thank You" to E's birth mom may rank up there with one of the hardest things I have ever done. How, exactly, do you say thank you for a gift like this? A Hallmark gold crown just simply does not cover it.

As part of the process with our agency, we are encouraged to sit and write a letter to the birth family, as well as create a photo album of the child and your family as a forever "thank you" memorial. Wow. I have to admit that I have been procrastinating at this process for several weeks, feeling overwhelmed by the idea and the inadequacy of any words that I could possibly use. If you are one of my professors, you know that word count on my papers is NEVER a problem- ask me to write a 20-30 page exegesis on a prophetic book and I am there, but this one page letter has had me quivering in my boots. Never in a million years could I say all that I need to say about the gift this woman has given to our family through our Heavenly Father.

Yet today, I sat down and asked God to give me the words He wanted her to read. I typed and erased. Brandon read and re-read, offering new words and new Scriptures. Somehow, we have a finished product, but my heart does not feel satisfied. There is more- more that I want her to know, more that I want her to experience, more love that I want to share with this woman I have never met. I could write her letters forever and may never grow tired of those two words...thank you.

God, may you use the words on the page and allow them to grow into a testimony of Your love for E's birth mom. May she know without a doubt that she is loved by You, and will never be forsaken. May she have a personal relationship with Your Son. May she know that with You, nothing will be impossible for her. May she know that her sacrifice will be honored, and that her daughter is nothing short of loved and safe- in Your arms and in ours.

Blessings- Kindra
7 month old Noel E. @ HH

Thursday, December 30, 2010

17 days...

It seems surreal...17 days until we hold our daughter for the first time. 17 days. We have been on this journey officially for 461 day so far, and many more days of prayer and discussion before that, and we will meet our daughter in 17 days.

Actually, the whole thing seems surreal. We cannot believe we have a daughter. We have seen a dozen pictures of her, memorized them, even. We have seen documents bearing information about her life, filled with so many struggles already. We have imagined her for hours at a time- her smell, her smile, her sounds, her skin, the softness of her curls...yet none have we experienced yet. 17 DAYS and these things will have a REAL memory, a time stamp embedded permanently on our hearts! NO LONGER A FIGMENT OF OUR WILDEST DREAMS!

Our house has been so quiet the past few weeks, and our hearts are still full of pain and sorrow and longing for Gracie. We still have trouble believing she is gone. She will always be our "first". Yet, we are so blessed. Our God deserves our praises and our thanksgiving, even in the midst of a most painful loss, a most painful wait, and a most quiet home...He alone deserves our highest praise.

In Him we will be sustained the next 17 days. In Him we will be able to walk away without her from Hannah's Hope on the 19th. In Him we will be able to live without her until the government says that we can bring her home forever. FOREVER. In the end, the 500+ days of our journey to her will be gobbled up by the rest of our lives. He alone deserves our highest praise.

17 days, little girl. Mommy and Daddy are coming to meet you. 17 days (and counting!)

Blessings, Kindra
7 month old Noel E. @ HH

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

7 months...

Our beautiful curly-girl is 7 months old today! It has been 2 months since her face has been etched on our hearts. We love you sweet girl...only 32 more days until you are in our arms! Don't get TOO big!! Tight hugs and sloppy kisses!

"May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You." Psalms 33:22

Blessings- Kindra
7 month old Noel E. @ HH

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Deep Breath...

I realize that I have been largely absent from blog land lately. Life has taken over the engine of my train, and I am finally getting back behind the ?wheel. Bad analogy. Anyway...

I finally finished the quarter Friday, and realized that since it began in September, life has dramatically changed. Some good, some not so good...

Since fall classes started:

1) Our home was in a state of disaster. We were having our floors refinished, and were living out of the basement. Thankfully, the mountain of dust is slowly disappearing, our furniture is where it is supposed to be, and that PROJECT IS COMPLETED!

2) WE HAD A DAUGHTER! Our beautiful 5, now almost 7 month old girl...huge brown eyes and soft curls. Now, THAT WAS A SUPRISE! (We thought for sure we were going to have a boy!)

3) Brandon and I each got a year older :) GOTTA LOVE BIRTHDAYS!

4) I went to Minnesota for 2 weeks for school. It is always hard being away from my family, but I LOVE MY COHORT L FRIENDS!

5) We received court dates and made travel arrangements so we can finally get our Noel E. in our arms. January 16th, 2011 will be the first time we kiss those cheeks. 35 MORE DAYS! YEAH FOR KISSES!

6) We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family. WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR THE PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES THAT LOVE US.

7) Our precious Gracie girl died. She was our first born daughter. She was with us when we didn't know if children were in our future. She received all of our kisses and loves. She taught us about unconditional love. Our schedules, our lives, revolved around her. Our world feels empty, and home is not home without her. She can never be replaced. Never take one second for granted. NEVER.

8) Somehow I finished school. Somehow I actually completed all the assignments that were due this quarter. Somehow. GOD. ALL GOD. NO ME. GOD.

So, I'd say things have been a little emotional this quarter. No wonder it has seemed like the longest 10 weeks of my life. It is definately time for a deep breath...

Little girl...we are coming soon. God's grace will see us both through. We love you precious one.

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." 1 Corinthians 15:10

Blessings- Kindra