Thursday, December 30, 2010
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!)
7 month old Noel E. @ HH
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
"May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You." Psalms 33:22
7 month old Noel E. @ HH
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I finally finished the quarter Friday, and realized that since it began in September, life has dramatically changed. Some good, some not so good...
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.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Lord, you are an amazing, awesome, wonderful, merciful, tender, loving, forgiving, all-knowing God. Your love and mercies are new each morning. Through each day, You walk beside us, holding our hands and guiding our path. With each misstep, You are slow to anger and quick to forgive. With each doubt and anxiety, You hold us a little tighter, reminding us that everything is in Your hands. You know every tear that falls, You hear us when we cry. You provide for our every need, and offer abundant blessings far beyond those basic needs. You provide us with our health, with family, friends, a church. You give us the opportunity to serve You, to share Your love and Your Word with others. You give us the opportunity to worship and praise Your name freely, and without persecution. You give us the opportunity to be Your children and to know You intimately.
Lord, today and always I have a thankful heart.
6 month old Noel E. @ HH
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
5 month old Noel E. @ HH
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
We have completed our referral packet, sent it in, and have had our "next steps" phone call. Now, we wait. Seriously, we wait again. But now the wait has a face, a heart, needs, desire for her forever family, pain, longing...and so much more. We just want to hold her! We want to look in those big brown eyes! We want her to know that she has a family!
So next...our court date. We are praying boldly for our court case to be opened very quickly, and for travel to be just as quick! Please, pray with us to bring Noel E. home.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
We thought all along a little guy would be joining our home. From the beginning, the discrepancies in the boy and girl list had been so wide that we just didn't think a girl was possible. (With God, all things are possible!) All the waiting and delays- all part of His story for our lives, her story as our daughter.
It was almost time for school fall intensives, and Brandon and I had been praying that we could just get the call before I left. Being 9 hours away from one another after waiting more than a year for "the call" was not an idea that we wanted to entertain! Monday came and went...no call. Tuesday, I had agreed to work, but like a bad employee left my cell phone in my scrub pocket "just in case"! The staff and physicians all knew if "Baby Love" started singing from my pocket to expect screaming!
After lunch, I had a baby on the scale when my normal "Mizzou Fightsong" ringtone started sounding. (Go Tigers!) I silenced it and apologized to the mom I was with, thinking nothing of it. I finished my assessment and checked my messages when I was done. IT WAS "B", saying "Kindra, if you have a minute, can you give me a call. I have something I need to discuss with you." AHHH! What! But there was no "Baby Love"! As it turns out, "K" was sick that day, and "B" was calling for her.
I ran, shaking (trembling, really) into the back offices. My friend of 11+ years, Jill, saw the look on my face and started screaming. I redialed the phone, praying that "B" would answer, and she did. Then the famous words..."I have a little GIRL I want to talk to you about." DID YOU SAY GIRL? Jill heard "girl" before it really set in and started screaming and jumping up and down again, alerting my pediatrician (with whom I have worked the past 11+ years) that something was up behind that closed door! She saw the smiles on both of our faces and joined the fun...
Brandon was 5 hours away at one of our facilities, in a board meeting none the less. I had not even asked "B" how old she was, knowing that Bran would want to hear all the details. I called his cell- no answer. I texted- nothing. I finally resigned to call the facility and telling them to get him out of the meeting, NOW. When he answered, I said, "Your a daddy today! It's a GIRL!" He was so excited, and totally did not believe me. "But we were number 1 on the boy list", he said. Then..."Babe, I have to finish this board meeting before we can take the rest of the call. I am in the middle of my presentation." WHAT!? Ok, I have been waiting the past 13 months for this day. Letting you finish your board meeting will be ok. I will live. Work- probably not going to be very productive, but I will try!
Brandon and I heard about our daughter for the first time Tuesday afternoon, October 19, 2010. She is about 5 months old and is so beautiful. Her story is hers to tell, but Bran and I will be forever grateful that God gave us the opportunity to be a part of it. Since he was out of town, we waited almost 6 more hours to open that email to see her beautiful face. Talk about patience! I couldn't wait to open that email, but we had agreed to do it together, no matter what! In the mean time, we had a great time calling our family and close friends. We hadn't even seen her face for the first time, but we knew without a doubt that this was the child that God had chosen for our family, and she is.
The next days were filled with International pediatrician reviews, paperwork, and stars swirling around my head, I am sure. Now, we wait. We are praying for a court date in the next couple months. It will be the longest time of our lives. We cannot wait to hold her in our arms.
Sorry that we cannot share pictures with you. They cannot be posted until she is legally ours and we are home with her. If you see me in person, I would love to share!
Please continue to pray for our daughter, her health and happiness. Pray for her Ethiopian mama. Pray for the special mothers loving her at Hannah's Hope tonight. Pray for the hearts of this mommy and daddy who ache with a need for her to be with us.
We are overjoyed, baby girl. There are so many people waiting for you to come home. Don't be scared. Feel the breeze on your cheeks- it brings sweet kisses from your mommy and daddy.
"You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips." Psalm 21:2
Mama to Baby E, 5 mos @ HH
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Check it out...will God stir your heart for the Mercy House?
Friday, September 24, 2010
She exclaimed, "Where did you get this! I LOVE IT! This is where I am from- Ethiopia!" (pointing to the place where it would be in the Africa outline)... Oh my goodness. Seriously!? I went on to excitedly explain our adoption, to which she exclaimed, "You NEED me! You need me to teach you some things about my country and to cook for you- breakfast, dinner, holidays! And, I have two teenagers that would LOVE to babysit!" What?! God- you are amazing.
Our conversation continued excitedly for another 10 minutes. Sweet Martha, that is her name, Martha. She gave me her card, added her home phone number and repeatedly said, "Please, please call me!!" I told her that she could not possibly know what a blessing it was for me to meet her today, to which she responded that it equally blessed her. She is a Christian woman, serving as a volunteer in Children's Ministry at her church (just the icing on the cake...) and has been in the United States for 24 years. It is so important for her to keep her culture alive and to teach her children about it as well. The genuineness of this woman's heart was such that only God could have placed her in my path here today. God- I never cease to be amazed by the blessings you give this undeserving girl...
"My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth." Psalm 121:2
Happy Birthday, sweet Tess Noel. You are one of a kind, my love.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Because of the craziness of our home, specifically the emptiness of the area where our bed usually goes, the significance of the pile where we normally sit, and the layer of dust you see covering all major surfaces, we had the chance to get away for a couple of days to just be together. (Gracie too!) That was a much needed blessing amongst all this craziness- a few quiet meals with my hubby and a chance to just "be". Gracie LOVED the beach, as usual. She stops to smell (or taste) every piece of seaweed she sees, and loves to chase the birds. It never gets old watching her.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
There are still almost 3 billion unreached people in our world. Almost 7,000 people groups who have not heard the Gospel, or the name of Jesus. Yet God has given me the opportunity to study His Word amongst some of the greatest Biblical scholars in the country. This realization brings a whole new meaning to Luke 12:48: From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
God, give me the opportunity to use the knowledge you are giving me. Break my heart for the people who do not know you. Oh, and by the way...since I have a month off from these studies you have blessed me with, I have a little more time for that referral now. Thanks! Amen!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The last few weeks, my purse was too heavy and way cluttered to find anything in it- especially God. It was cluttered with worry, anxiety, stress, frustration, anger, pity, uncertainty, busyness...and the list goes on- you know how it works. Like a bad ski slope you can't get off of gracefully, but instead just roll down head over heels. Yet, God rescued me off that slippery slope.
I love my God. He is a BIG, capital B, God, and He offers peace that surpasses all understanding. I am back to peace with this waiting thing. It is not our turn. Our child(ren) is (are) not ready for us, yet. God is still at work. He is writing our story, today is part of it, and it is GOOD.
As I started to look ahead and imagine what He is planning for us, reflecting on His perfect timing, I begin to see that it is better than anything I could possibly construct myself. I see the length of time other people are waiting to meet their children. I see my upcoming school schedule. I see the special time I have ahead with my hubby and little G. I see the joy of my ministry. My view is not clouded by my wants, by my emotions. My faith today is bigger than all that.
So you see, I cleaned out my purse, and it is lighter. There was stuff in there I didn't need and I threw it all in His trash can (at least for today- wink, smile). I recommend that you do the same! We are not in control. Make room for God's plan in your handbag. Find peace in it, embrace it, ask Him to reveal it to you, CLING to it. It will seem like buying a whole new purse. And we ladies know how fun that is!
(Now, if I could just clean out the crud of final exams from my purse, it would be even lighter. But we can't do too much cleaning in one day, right?)
Peace and blessings! Kindra
Monday, August 23, 2010
This is not a new feeling for me; it is the same "heaviness" that I have felt in the past during a time when the Lord was calling on me to follow Him, to rely solely on Him, and to trust Him fully; to let go of my plan and adhere to His. Thus I find myself in prayer, seeking His face, seeking His peace and seeking His will. Tears come easily, few understand. Simple reassurances that "it will be here before you know it" do little to remove the elephant from my chest. I long to know His timing, yet I am easily reminded that His word is but a lamp, not a spotlight upon our future.
I received a daily devotion today from a friend who could not have known how desperately I needed its message, a prayer for Faith to surpass my emotions. Its words (paraphrased), by Tracie Miles, are here:
"For you are my God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5b
I spent months working on it, with big expectations and high hopes. The disappointment was becoming so great; it was difficult to process my feelings. Why didn't God answer my prayers? Why had He placed this dream in my heart only to allow it to crumble? I knew I needed to have a good attitude and not give up, but I did not FEEL like doing that at all!
You see, I allowed my feelings to overtake my mind, and let my faith take a backseat. All I could think was how this disappointment made me feel, instead of what God may be doing that my faith could not see. I felt things weren't fair, without remembering God's ways are always best. I felt a longing for immediate results, instead of trusting God's timing as perfect. I soon realized my feelings were getting in the way of my faith. Psalm 25 washed over my spirit.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (v 1)
I felt discouraged, unworthy, hopeless, rejected. So I poured my feelings and my soul out to God. And He listened.
"...in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me." (v 2)
God reminded me to trust Him, not a desire or a dream. Not the world's view of things. Not my abilities, not my time frame, not my ideas. Just Him. I prayed about my enemies- intangible, feelings like self-doubt, insecurities, frustration and discouragement.
"No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse." (v 3)
Regardless of whether my desires become reality, I will not be put to shame because God is my God. If His plans coincide with my dreams, I know He will keep His eternal promises.
"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me." (v 4-5a)
These words stop me in my tracks and I begin to think more rationally. Why have I been beating my head against a wall? Why have I been consumed with anxiety and frustration? Am I allowing God to direct my paths? God gently reminded me that He is the teacher; we are the students.
"...for you are God, my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long." (v 5b)
If I put my hope in my own desires and abilities, I simply set myself up for failure. My only hope for joy and fulfillment comes from Christ alone. Hope can only be found in Him.
Disappointments will always happen. With God, however, we can turn those disappointments into God's appointments to trust Him. The first step is to exercise our faith over our feelings.
"Dear Lord, You know the hurt in my heart and the sting of disappointments I have experienced. Please help me trust You, instead of being consumed by feelings. Empower me with a faith that is stronger than my emotions. In Jesus' Name, AMEN."
Little one(s)- you are so loved. Daddy and I are consumed and we lift up your little life for sanctuary in our Lord.