Monday, December 28, 2009

One month down, and lovin' life....

So I spent some precious time talking recently with a sweet friend of mine who adopted a couple of years ago and let me say, what a blessing she was and what a blessing the conversation was! Honestly, I had been wrestling with some anxiety, guilt, and fears associated with the adoption and while I have a lot of wonderful friends who are wise and loving and great listeners, God knew I needed someone who also had walked through in some capacity what we have and has that empathy to offer as well. Since the moment she walked out the door, it was as if a weight was lifted! Ever since then, all that I had hoped and longed for as it related to just having our sweet daughter home seems to be coming to the surface. Mia-Asha is SO very happy!! It has taken us a while to work out the sleeping thing, as she just does not like going to bed alone in her crib, but we have a pretty good thing going with naps during the day with us in the family room and her the crib at night, where she (most of the time) sleeps all night...WOO HOO! She has learned to feed herself, hold a cup, wave, clap, climb stairs, cruise around the furniture, and stand for about a minute unsupported in addition to cutting four teeth just in the last month! Today, was her first actual encounter with snow and if I can ever figure out how to upload video, you can see her just grin her precious half-toothed grin as I pull her around the yard in the snow in her little baby sled she got for her birthday! I am glad she enjoyed that because she really HATED all the fuss of getting into her snow gear!

Christmas was also great, too, as we had a relaxing few days here in Indy with Brian's immediate and extended family. We are home for a couple of more days before heading down to Nashville to visit with my family. I am looking forward to a LONG rest after that from the craziness of the holidays and traveling and all the out of the ordinary events that have been happening non stop since we got home on Nov. 21st.

Hopefully, I will have a little more time to put up more pics and what not then too. It has been difficult to do life, the holidays and the updates, so as things slow maybe that can pick up a bit.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Looking forward to a blessed New Year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Worship Him!

So my life has yet to slow down lately. I am almost always and only just doing good to care for basic needs of my four kids, while still trying to figure out dinner and laundry and at the same time, trying to be patient, loving, and available to all my kids and my husband, and also trying to figure out how to realistically celebrate this season without putting too much extra stuff on our plate. I really have yet to get a hold on all of this, and am especially discouraged sometimes at my short temper with my kids and my lack of pursuit of God and my relationship with him. I walk around knowing and seeing all of this...all of these shortcomings, ways I need to be refined and am being refined by Him. Ways I am so unlike the Father and yet so yearning and needing him to change me to be the mom and wife I am called to be right now. Anything good in me comes directly from Him. I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt. I see it on a daily, moment by moment basis. There is no one good Jesus said. Only God. Don't I know it. So when I walk into church, like today, or anywhere else, and am met with "Wow, you are amazing to do what you did!" It is so hard for me to hear. I didn't do anything. God put a desire in me. He gave me a heart of flesh instead of stone so that I would be soft to His call. He provided the direction, the money, and pointed us to the child. He sustains me daily in my war against my flesh and is the only beautiful thing in or about me. Today in worship we were singing a worship song called offering by Paul Baloche. The lyrics that inspired this post were,
"No mortal man would dare to stand before Your throne
Before the Holy One of heaven
It's only by Your Blood and it's only through you mercy
Lord I come

I bring an offering of worship to my King
No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing
Jesus may You receive the honor that You're due
O Lord I bring an offering to You
I bring an offering to You

No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing. That line has resonated in me over and over. No one deserves our praise but God. I know most people aren't trying to worship others when they say things like you are amazing, or I am so inspired by you, etc...I am sure I have said the same types of things countless times to others, as well. But if you are reading this, could you please do me a favor? Would you offer this to God on our behalf? I want my life to inspire praise and worship of the One , the ONLY One who deserves it. We serve an amazing God! He is awesome and can do all things. When there is not "enough" He can do CREATIVE miracles and make enough. He is the one who gives dreams and desires to us, gives us the grace to say yes to his plan, and then provides all that we need, in every capacity to see that it is accomplished. His glory and renown are the desire of my heart. I long for Him to be seen for who He truly is. Amazing. Beautiful. Faithful. Enough. I am so less than amazing or inspiring, but I am getting to know the One who is and He is worthy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


We went to church together as a family of six today for the first time. It was SOOO good to be all together in worship. I had so much emotion, yet at the same time was only able to really express a little of it. It was awesome to have so many people see Mia for the first time, so many who had been praying for her and praying for us and praying for her homecoming. It was like coming home in a whole other sense. When we started singing, one of the songs we sang happened to be all about Jesus, and him being victorious, him being stronger, him being the overcomer, just all about him. I sang these words with a new sense of humility that I have not known before. I have had several moments everyday since we got back that have been really challenging for this mom of now four kids. And by challenging, I mean face down, carpet up the nose, crying out to God kind of challenging. As a matter of fact, I feel like the difficulty has not really stopped since the week we got the call to go and get Mia. Granted the face of what has made it difficult continues to change based on the day or circumstance, but I cannot help but feel that this may be more of a season we are entering rather than just an experience. I am sure as we begin to adjust and I figure out how all this is going to work better logistically it may get somewhat better, but I am starting to see that God has some major refining He is doing in me. What I want to really make clear, in light of this, is what hit me this morning in worship. We have had so many people come to us and say how they admire what we have done. We have been told how great we are and how amazing what we are doing is and how we are just amazing people. I need to set the record straight. I have never felt so incapable, so small, so UNable, so inadequate, so weak in all of my life. Everyday is a challenge. Everyday I wake up and realize I can't do this on my own. I am not saying this to sound spiritual or because it is something I have just embraced as a truth in my head. It is my reality. I am so impatient. I am so not on top of things. I have never had so many half done things in all my life. It drives me crazy but I am learning to let go of what is non-essential. The reason I want to share this is because I don't want anyone out there to look at us, look at our adoption and say to themselves that we did it because we had something, some special ability to handle it, or we were wired differently, or what ever that made it easier or more accessible for us. It just simply isn't true. The truth is I am learning what it means to really need God. Like David said in the Psalms, to thirst after HIm like a deer panting for water. A panting deer I imagine has probably been running. Pursuing something or being pursued and when if finally stops for a moment, either out of sheer exhaustion or possibly because it has narrowly escaped what was hunting it, it is desperate for a drink. Desperate for something to bring refreshment and life into its inner being. It needs that water. This is how I feel and I have never been more grateful or at peace in my whole life. I know this is what He desires...that I be dependent on him. I told a friend today at church, that there have been many times I have gone to spend time with God and it has been a choice. I did it because I wanted to or I should, but now I am desperate for the life He offers. I am excited about my life and about what GOd is doing and what I will continue to become as He continues to work in me. I love who He is and how He parents us, how he loves us and I am excited that He is going to make me more like Him. I my weakness his strength is made perfect. NOT just words. Truth. None of us are capable of accomplishing what things God has planned for us to do on our own. True dependence on Him is hard at times. There is no room for pride, and my pride is used to having its own room. I love where I am, even though I hate it at times. HE is sooooo good. So faithful. So able. He is enough for me, and his grace is sufficient for me. I am weak, He is SO strong and as one of our pastors was talking this morning, He has given us His spirit. The same one who raised Jesus from the dead, and my hope is in the fact that He has all power over sin in my life. I am dependent on that power. And it isn't just available to the "special" people. It is available to all who call on His name. All who claim The Son, and give their lives over to Him. None of us are able to walk out what He has called us to do on our own, and the best part of that is that we are supposed to be able to do it on our own. THAT IS PART OF THE PLAN! Hopefully, someone out there may be encouraged by this. Encouraged to not let your feelings of inadequacy when considering what ever God may be calling you to do be translated as a reason in an of itself to NOT step out in faith. Yet, it is an opportunity for God to be God and you to be a child of God in a whole new way you have had yet to experience. We are not amazing people. We are redeemed people who are being sanctified through obedience, trials, and fire :-) and it is a blessing I am so glad I am not missing.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

SO much to be thankful for!!!

Life has really been a whirlwind the last couple of weeks! SO many changes...SO much travelling...SO many things to process! I am still in the midst of trying to sort through all of our experiences, find our "new normal" with four kids, and figure out what to do with the coming holidays :-) It was great to all be together for thanksgiving this year...especially since there was a time when we weren't sure if that would happen! Out of everything I have to be thankful for, and believe me, it is quite a list, I must say, having Mia here with us and Josie Love home, impacted me more than anything. When we were in India, after being there for a couple of days, all I could think about was how I had to get Mia home...I had to get her out of India. I saw for her no hope there. Even now, as precious as the pictures we were sent over the months before we went to get here were, I can hardly stand to look at them now. Always in the crib. Always laying down. Never smiling. I LOVE to see her smile! I LOVE to watch her crawl and explore, all the time telling her, "go ahead, honey, this is YOUR home now!" She really didn't know what to do with her freedom at first. (Although, she is learning fast!) In addition to that, I also was able to spend some time around sweet Josie Love! Oh my goodness! Talk about stealing your heart away! I cannot even begin to describe how her spirit just draws you in! She has the best, and most mischevious I might add, smile I have ever seen! Maybe it's because it is below those precious half-closed eyes, I don't know, but she will have you wrapped around her little finger in a heart beat! I am SOOO thankful she is home, finally, where God has planned for her to be from the foundations of the world, as well. I could hardly stand hearing the stories about how she used to hold her head down, not smile, not communicate, whimper, and not be able to walk. This was just a few WEEKS ago, people. I don't even see a hint of that child. Praise you GOD!

Brian and I were talking on the way to thanksgiving at my parents about how much harder life is than what we expected growing up. I am coming to the peaceful realization that it isn't going to get any easier, but that God is going to show himself bigger. Never has that rung truer than walking through this adoption process, which by the way has been 4 and 1/2 years not 3 and 1/2 as I had been thinking. BUT, as I was there with my family, watching them love and embrace our Mia-Asha and sweet Josie Love, I can say with out hesitation, it was ALL worth it. Every tear, every delay, every fearful, fretful, uncertain step, it was ALL worth it. I am SO very thankful for not only my daughter, but all that I had to go through in order to get her here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Words cannot describe how deeply relieved and excited to be back in the states, and especially back in my own home with ALL four of my children here with me. I actually got out today and went to Target with Ella-Kate. I am finally just beginning to process some of what I saw on our journey to the other side of the world and today I wept for India. I wept for the 15 million people in Kolkata and the chaos, both physically and spiritually they live in. I wept at the thought that there is nothing short of Jesus' redemptive return that can fix all that is broken there. I weep for gratitude knowing that my daugher is here, able to grow up in this country, instead of there where "she has no hope" as one woman in India commented to me. Then I contrasted that to the faces of those I looked upon in the store and I wondered why is it that instead of a deep sense of gratitude for all that we have here, does our society here in the US instead seem to breed a deep sense of entitlement? We take SOOO much for granted--- the FDA even with all its faults, is SUCH a huge blessing. In India I stayed in four star hotels and still couldn't drink the water. I always had to be contientious of ice, could not eat any raw fruits or vegetables or eat dairy products while I was there. The sanitation department....oh my goodness. I was so thankful for that in our nation when I would pass huge piles of trash a block long just laying on the sidewalk beside the streets. I saw mommas bathing their children in puddles on the sides of the major streets that run through the city. Men drinking brown water out of plastic water bottles that looked like they were ten years old. My daughter will not remember her short time in India, but I will never forget it, God help me never forget it. I am OVERWHELMED with things to thank GOd for this year...

I want to write more and post more pictures but I am falling asleep literally in front of the computer screen. Maybe tomorrow :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Almost there!

We are in Delhi, now, which has really been so different than Kolkata. I have settled down and gotten used to the pace here, and have actually enjoyed being here in Delhi. I am not sure how to describe it, as it is quite different depending on which part you are in, but we have seen some beautiful ruins from the car rides, monkeys as Brian mentioned on his facebook, and today, I saw and elephant walking down the middle of the street, where the cars are, with someone riding on it's back! The hotels have been great here (thank the Lord for that) and we have gotten to connect with TWO other Dillon families which has been great, especially in being able to empathize and laugh some about the absolute CRAZINESS of our journeys!

Our big news today is that we got the Visa done and in our hands! I am SOOOOOOO relieved! I finally feel like the stress has almost all but gone away. It of course was not with out a few frustrating moments in that you NEVER know what is going on around here! I will blog more specifics a little later as I think I am on the ONE computer in our whole hotel here in Delhi.

We are loving the time we have with Mia-Asha (yes we finally chose a middle name, and in good time as we had to give that info on the visa app today!) Asha is the Indian word for hope. She is so very sweet and VERY busy! Brian is upstairs with her right now while she naps. I have jumped right into mommyhood , however as she has decided to cut her first tooth--red swollen gums, fever, and the whole bit. So she hasn't felt the best. You could pray for her for that and for the 20 plane ride we have ahead of us tonight. Her medical appointment went well yesterday, had a WONDERFUL Dr. see her, but she had to have 3 immunizations, already having struggled with fever and not feeling well, so I am sure that doesn't help.

I really can't wait to share more of our trip with you all! I have been able to process some and have been enjoying it here so much more that the first part of the week. The Indian people are really beautiful in so many ways and there are so many amazing parts of their culture and history.

One quick funny story, yesterday while driving to her medical appointment, we passed a small shopping area that had a banner out in front of the store. It was huge and black and in very large lettering, i THOUGHT i saw an advertisement that read CAR was CAR BOOM. Brian and i had a good laugh about that one!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Details, details...

Well, I have a lot of catching up to do so, this is going to be a long one! Like I have said, it has been a rough last few days (up until yesterday :-)) After our middle of the night "scene out of a bad movie" experience, we made it back to the airport in Delhi where we got the sneaking feeling over the next few hours that everyone else there may not have been as excited about our being there as we were. That is a strange feeling, not just be the minority but in a foreign country where you were told the terror risk towards Americans was high :-)In addition to that, I could not get my phone card to work, couldn't figure out how to make local or long distance calls just to hear family's voice, and when we finally did get to Kolkata, we couldn't find our driver for almost two hours, and could call because we didn't know how and were absolutely and totally exhausted. It was at this point, I think God had seen enough and had mercy on us because out of nowhere, this Indian man dressed completely in white showed up at the phone booth we were trying to make a call from and took over. He helped us figure out the phone was broken and then he proceeded to call our hotel for us, locate our driver (who had been told we were at the international airport instead of the domestic, and then proceeded to be our "hedge of protection" out of those locals who were trying to get us to ride in their cab or allow them to carry our bags. When our driver showed up, he smiled and said, "oh, yes, Mr. Singh (our driver)...he is a friend of mine, very good man", smiled helped us in our car, refused to be tipped and waved goodbye. I was never so inclined to want to kiss a strange foreign man in all of my life (I held back, although I think I said thank you a million times.) When we finally got to our hotel, we took a hot shower, and fell asleep for about 6 hours. We had planned to start our sightseeing that afternoon, but were just too exhausted. The hotel in Kolkata, was wonderful. The staff were so helpful and amazing and the food has just been incredible. Monday, we did go sight seeing, including the New Market where you bargain. It was also exhausting. We were able to find some great gifts and memoriblia (including two of the cutest saaris for the girls I have EVER seen), got ripped off a couple of times (which was okay because I know no one there is getting rich off anything), and saw all of what you would imagine one would see in Kolkata in regards to the beggars and the poor. I was an experience. Our diver, Mr. Singh was so great. He would drive and give us the history of the city, and you could tell he was so very proud of his country. We learned a great deal and developed a great connection to him. Yesterday, he told us that I reminded him of his daughter of the same age who was getting married (an arranged one of course) and said if we were in town next year in Cashmere, he would be happy to have us as guests for the wedding. I was so honored and humbled to receive that invitation. We then tried to head to the home of MOther Theresa where after only being there a few minutes, they experienced a power outage and we had to leave. I was at least glad we had the few minutes we had. Being there in the city and then thinking about her ministry there really put things in a different light. She has had an incredible impact on the city.

That night, I did not sleep well. I was really anxious about a lot. I think I had just not had anytime to process, was severly sleep deprived, and probably some what in culture shock. I was feeling somewhat ashamed at how scared, faithless, and anxious I was. I got up early and just began to pour out my heart to God, telling him these things and that here I was exactly where I had been telling everyone I wanted to be for so long and yet, I was almost paralyzed emotionally. "How inspiring is that?" or something like that was my comment. Then oh so graciously after listening to all I had to say, the Lord reminded me that he did not create me to inspire, he created me to glorify Him and that I needed to admit and give him all my insecurities and that He would show me and whoever else watching that He is able and more than enough to meet all our needs and has grace to always meet us where we are at. I agreed with him that this was better. When all is said and done, I would much rather someone look back over my life and see the faithfulness of God than I would have them see what appears to be my own bravery or faith. I boast in nothing but Christ alone. After that word, I felt much better as you can imagine.

Tuesday, as you know, was gotcha day! There had been some concern the day prior as to the safety of foreigners actually showing up at the orphanage (which is customary)and lead to the couple the day before not being able to go, but Ms. Roy having to bring their child to the hotel. While the main point is to receive the child, I was desperately hoping things would be resolved so that we could go and get photos, video, and ask all our questions as that would all be so very important for Mia to know as she gets older and seeks to know more about these details of her life. As is all turned out, we were able to go, thankfully, but did have to be rushed in and out very discreetly and quickly. While there, we were able to do all that we wanted, having some very sweet conversation with Ms. Roy and the anyahs (caretakers) about Mia her birth mom and her time with them. It was a precious, priceless experience! These babies are not in a very formal place but they are very very loved and cared for. God showed me later that day, that the babies that come to them are little seeds that they are in charge of planting in good soil, that is thier love, and they tend to them, with out seeing the fruit of thier investment. For as soon as they start to bud, we, the parents sweep them away where we continue to pour into them but get the priviledge of watching them grow. What they do is so very selfless and important in the lives of these children.

Over the last 24 hours or so, we have just enjoyed our time with Mia! It did not take me long, thanks be to GOD, to pick up on her cues for being tired and hungry, and learning how to help her get to sleep. She has taken to both of us and is saying Da-da, although we can't say it is discriminately yet! She has wanted me a lot today and is asleep on her belly on my lap right now as I type this :-) She has the cutest little grin and voice! She is really quiet though, a different dynamic than I am used to and one I don't expect will last long once around her siblings for a while :-) She can crawl and sit up well, and is trying to "walk" by getting herself on her feet and then keeping her hands on the ground, makes her way around the floor. I was told my the anyahs that she "likes the sweets". She and her sister will just be two peas in a pod in that regard :-)

From here, we are going to get her visa pics made in a little while and then we will get on a plane tonight back to Delhi. Tomorrow we have an appointment for a medical examination in a Dehli Dr.'s office, and then take all that paperwork to our appointment at 9 am on Friday to the embassy. PLEASE PRAY WE GET HER PASSPORT DONE ON FRIDAY!!! To not, would mean two more nights (we don't have reserved or the money for ) in the city. That would mean a lot to us! We CANNOT WAIT to be home and introduce you to our sweet girl! I know she will steal your hearts as she has stolen ours!

WOO HOOO! Got her!

Well, we FINALLY got her! I can't believe it! I feel SOOO less stressed right now, even though we still have a lot of hoops to jump through between now and when our plane lands on Saturday. We have also connected with a couple in our hotel that picked up their little boy yesterday, and that has been a ray of sunshine! Just to have SOMEONE to communicate freely with has been awesome! I know I keep saying this but I will write more tomorrow. We are in our friends room and are using their computer and they are going to loan it to us for the day tomorrow...SO tomorrow is story day :-) For now, enjoy the new pics I've loaded and can't wait to tell you about our adventures!!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I can say without hesitancy this has been the hardest two weeks, with the hardest being the last several days, of my entire life. Everything here is a battle. From trying to work out the simplest tasks to what is happening in the spirtiual, I am completely and totally exhausted. My praise rests however in His faithfulness and goodness and His words to us that He has given, as He always does, in perfect timing. Today is gotcha day :-) We are supposed to pick our sweet Mia up today at noon. I have heard, however there are some difficulties at the orphanage and so I am preparing myself to be patient and flexible. More details on this later. Please continue to pray as we are so very much in the middle of struggle all the time. I will post more to all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh my goodness...where do I even start? We have only been gone about 48 hours and already, I am having to stash most of our experiences in the "will process later" box I created in my brain when we started this trip. I will just say that it has been full of "unexpecteds". We are now in Calcutta, we arrived this morning after an overnight layover in Delhi. Tomorrow we will explore the town, pick up some remembrances and try to capture on video and camera as much as we can of our journey. Tuesday, is gotcha day :-) These are our for a story or two. I will post some and then Brian will give his take as well....
Like I said, there have been MANY unexpecteds. I was not expecting to feel so COMPLETELY removed from the planet I thought I lived on :-) I am amazed at just how reliant I am in my life on familiarity as a source of peace and for functionality. We have a phone card, for example, that I researced to use for international travel in India, and for the life of me cannot get it to work! The communication barrier, pace, culture, every aspect of my life here is completely foriegn to me. I am just completely at a loss to how to put all this to words...But to give you a taste of our journey, let me tell you about our overnight in Delhi. First, we THOUGHT that we were going to be staying at a hotel IN the Delhi airport (we did use a travel agent, and he has done an excellent job, by the way, so I think we all may be the victim of a "misrepresentation" in advertising here). We THOUGHT that we would simply get our bags, find our hotel in the terminal, get a few hours of sleep, regather our thoughts, take a hot shower, have some time to process, just refuel. THIS was our expectation ;-) Here is what REALLY happened....we get to the Delhi airport, (along with three other international flights of about 450 people each) at 1130pm (an hour later than our original time). We stand in long lines and are twice told we haven't filled out some paperwork we need to fill out to get into the we figured that out and stood in our line. At that point, we had to wait for our baggage...and wait....and wait....and wait. I think ours literally was the last off the plane. Meanwhile, I am trying to connect with our "driver/excort" rep from the "airport hotel that was going to help us with our smooth transition to our nice relaxing convenient hotel room. We ended up having to call him which is when I found out my phone card doesn't work right. It took the better part of an hour to try and figure out a way to just contact our hotel which was supposed to be in the airport. OUr first clue should have been whent the people at the airport info desk didn't recognize the name of our hotel. About two hours later, we finally get in touch with someone where we are supposed to be staying, and they are to meet us at "gate 2" outside with a car and driver. I am thinking at this point, okay, so the hotel is on the airport grounds, just not INSIDE the airport. I am cool with that. We get in the car, after they rubberbanded two of our suitcases to the top of our car and we are off...I expected crazy driving, dirty streets, all of that, but we were driven through a war zone and dropped off somewhere that looked like a scene out of slumdog...I will let Brian take it from here. wife elbowed me in the backseat of the cab as we were careening down the wrong way on a 4 lane one way street. I looked at her reassuringly, "Not to worry babe." Then, the driver turns off into an dark, dirty alley where 8 men are gathered, no hotel is anywhere in site, and remember, that this is about 1:30am. I began to feel pretty scared, helpless, and stupid all of the sudden. Eventually, some kind of hotel did emerge. Broken windows, a bucket in the floor of the shower (because there was no water pressure AT ALL, and the sense that we were the ONLY customers in the hotel led us to quickly change clothes, pay an exorbitant amount for the room, and have them drive us directly back to the airport at about 2:30am.

This morning we got to Kolkota. The hotel driver (whom it took 1.5 hours to connect with) drove us 13 miles to our hotel. Along the way, we saw probably 70 or 100 buildings all at least 50 stories tall littered about the city - all of them halfway done, the contruction efforts abandoned a year ago due to a recession. The clash of concrete, trash, people and noise here is like nothing I've ever seen. And today (Sunday) is supposedly the least busy day of the week.

More later, gotta go...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our "Plans"

I feel a little like Moses right now when God asked him to speak knowing full well he had a stutter....I am wondering if God remembers it's me He is asking to try and plan this trip....I am somewhat details /planning challenged! SO, as it all turns out, we were able to make our visa appointment tonight for next Friday, the 20th, which is good. So as it stands, we will fly out of Indianapolis this Friday at 1pm. We go through Chicago, then straight to Dehli where will arrive late at night, and I am sure sleep comfortably in the terminal as we await our early morning flight to Kolkata where Mia is. We will get there on Sunday morning where we will spend that day and the next Monday preparing to go get her. I say preparing because my objective is to capture as much of her "beginnings" as possible through pictures, videos, and things I can bring back in my suitcase to show her and to have for us as memories to share with her one day. I am not sure exactly what these two days will look like. We are waiting on God to lead us on this one, as He knows what will be significant better than us! Then, Tuesday is "Gotcha Day!" We will spend most of our day at the orphanage. Wednesday, we will spend at the hotel just resting and getting to know her then take a late flight out back to Delhi. Once in Delhi, we get visa pictures made, medical exams, and then go to the embassy (Friday) to get her visa processed. Please pray we will get the visa on Friday! Much to the suprise of our adoption agency, the rep on the phone in Dehli mentioned they can't always do the same day turn around! Not something we expected to hear :-) Our flight leaves Saturday morning at 2am and we will be back in Indianapolis by 3pm Saturday (11/21). For those of you who have asked, we will fly in on United Airlines connecting from Chicago and yes, you are MORE than welcome to welcome us home! We would love for you to share in the celebration!

We are planning to try and update our blog while we are there, so you are again, welcome to follow us while we are gone. Right now, I have to focus on packing. I was awoken by a two year old with a fever a few moments ago and have a 5 year old who has a cold which he has so graciously shared with me, so health and as much rest as possible are two good prayer requests!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A dream...REALIZED

So, not much to say today except... WE ARE GOING TO INDIA TO GET OUR BABY GIRL!!!!!!!!! It has been a really emotional last two weeks, and this morning, laying in bed, I was thinking about how this adoption, our story, began 15 years ago with me as a dream. A dream that one day, God-willing, God-providing, I would be momma to an orphaned, neglected, baby girl. My head is swimming as I am still processing the moment this morning in front of my computer reading in disbelief about her passport being ready, my heart leaping, it's time. It's time to go get your daughter. You have waited long enough, now go....and by the way, go Friday :-) SO while we won't solidify our flight until tonight, our tentative plan is to leave this Friday, yes, three days from now! SO while this post will be short, I will have more to say tomorrow as we will have finalized travel plans! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just sitting in the middle of the mud...

Fisrt, let me clarify, in my post Friday, I did not mean to come across as saying our passport was ready. Do you all really think I would have been that discreet in my announcing of news like that? (smile) What I was trying to say was that two OTHER families of the six of us who are waiting received THEIR passports. All this was was showing there was movement that was unexpected. WE DID NOT GET OUR PASSPORT. Us getting our passport=getting on a plane and flying to get my daughter. SO, there is NOTHING left keeping me from her but the silly passport, so sorry for the confusion, but we STILL do not know anything. When we do, you will hear me holler from my house and won't need the computer... :-) FYI it did not come today (Monday) either. Back to my "new" post...

So, I had a picture in my head was of me with wading boots on trying to manage my way through a big puddle of mud. I was desperately trying not to get any on me. The mud was the struggle, the heartache, the difficulty of life, specifically the waiting and all the emotional blah that goes with it. My picture flashed to the next scene, and here, I was not only sitting in the mud, but my fingers were squishing in it as I was just one with it. Several scriptures came to my mind, Phil 3:10-11, says "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow to attain to the resurrection of the dead." The second was Matthew 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem [Jesus lamenting here], how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings but you were not willing." I realized that my "vision" was me trying to walk through this without walking through this and that what God wants is for me to just be in this moment and embrace all that goes with it. Jesus heart expressed in Matthew was that of a mother's heart, a longing to gather his precious children together, to care for, protect and mother them. He truly lamented over not being able to do this due to their rebellious hearts. I understand that longing to a lesser degree in my waiting to bring my child home. He suffered the longings of a mother's heart to an exponential degree. This brings the idea of "fellowshipping in his sufferings" to a new depth in my own heart. God's heart is so deep and so full of love for us that we could spend a lifetime pursing it and never fully grasp it. I know that my present struggles aren't anything big compared to what so many have, are, and will go through, so on a scale of difficulty, it's pretty low. However, it is my reality and is where I am and I hope that somehow my being open with the seemingly insignificantness of where I am will just bring into the light all the more His heart and how He does take notice of the things we feel are too small and uses those for His glory as well. Knowing Him more deeply is a prize worth suffering for. Whether it is a "small" hardship or a devastating loss, the veil ripped so that we could in the midst of it, receive the greatest prize. Don't get me wrong, I am emotionally exhausted. I am ready to go. But, I am sitting in the mud now, instead of trying to tiptoe through it, and He is sitting beside me in it :-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dare I even post this...

Well, we got an email this morning, two families of the 6 (us included) who are waiting for passports, unexpectedly got news that their passports were finished and ready waiting at the orphanage. This is GREAT news as it means things are moving along again. There is now a chance the rest could come in over the weekend or early next week. Obviously, we are praying for the former :-) WHAT a roller coaster of emotion... I almost didn't post this today, but after reading the depressing post I put up yesterday, I didn't want to leave that haning there :-) SO, onward we March!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Barely Holding On...

Hope deferred makes the heart sick... We will not get passport news this week, I just found out. We will get another update on Monday. This does not mean it will be done on Monday, just we will be updated. I am greiving the thought that we will not all be together at Thanksgiving and it is very very difficult for me. There is nothing I nor anyone else can do about this, I am just trying to find a way moment by moment to try and live here and now and live well, yet cannot escape the dark cloud of disappointment that follows me. I don't have a lot of strength left in me to maintain existing with this uncertainty. Appreciate all your prayers...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy 11 mo birthday, sweet girl...

Well, Mia turned 11 months on Monday. I have to admit, a couple of weeks ago, we really thought this was going to be our gotcha day. I am grieving that a little. I know God's timing is perfect. I know hindsight, we will see clearly. In this moment though, the waiting just hurts. God reminded me though that my pain when I give it to Him, is a worship to Him. He knows I wait and I hurt and I do it out of obedience to Him and that means something to Him. That gives me strength :-) So for those of you who are wondering and asking. No. I haven't heard anything else yet and it is really hard. All of what I know and praise God for as the truth, I cling to, but it still just hurts. You can pray for that and pray that this part is over soon :-)

On a good note, Josie Love is coming home and she is walking!!! (full story at One step closer to us all being together this Thanksgiving! At this rate, we may be flying straight into Nashville :-) (Hopefully not) Anyway, thanks be to God for all the amazing miracles He is doing! Looking forward to another one!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Sun is Shining Again....

Okay, so I have adjusted, or should I say God has done some adjustments. I so appreciate all the words of encouragement and prayers. We are so not meant to journey alone in this life....we need each other ;-) Having said this, we still have no news. We were told that the passport office is working on the problem and that we will get updates next week. Meanwhile, we are just looking forward to a fun weekend with the kids enjoying our "fall" activities ;-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I didn't title this one because I didn't know what to call it...ramblings of a crazy woman might fit. Anyway, I was told today that we probably won't hear anything until next week. I know it is going to be okay. But I can't help but feel a little angry. My husband asked me why, a good question, and what I said was that I was mad because I didn't feel it was fair to ask my heart to shift gears. By that I meant that it is hard to go from "waiting for an undetermined amount of time" mode to over the last couple of weeks, slowly allowing myself to get excited and have my expectations start to take form, something that I have not allowed myself to feel until there was a measure of certainty involved, back to waiting for an undetermined amount of time mode again. My head tells me all the "right" answers. God has always, and will always be in control of this process, He is Sovereign over it all. This adoption is not about me or our family, or Mia, but at the center of it is God's will, is God's glory, and that involves things I like and it involves things I don't like. I am simply in the midst of one of the things I don't like and I just don't like it. I know that He is okay with that. I know He is used to that. I know that He is working in me a greater good, a conformity to the likeness of His son. And from my reaction, it's obviously a needed work ;-) So once again, I am letting go. I am letting go of my expectations for the way things turn out. I am trying again to cling to the place where I need to be all the time, where all my expectation is set in Him and the knowledge that all things work together for my good, and most of all for His glory. Oh, and by the way, I do welcome your comments and encouragements :-) Feedback is helpful for sometimes it gets lonely walking this road for so long.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Computer vs. God...

So just seeing that in the title, helps me to not be overtaken with discouragement. As a matter of fact, looking at that just helps me realize how silly being discouraged at this juncture would really be. Is it the news we wanted hear? No. But does it throw God off in the least bit? No. It does give me some different direction to pray in, however. We were told that it was likely the passports would be finished this week. Today, we hear their computers are down in the passport office in Dehli. I am going to choose to believe that God is bigger and He can cause the problem to be fixed quicker than expected, since He can do immeasruably more than we ask or imagine. I really just want to hold my baby, right now :-) Thanks for the prayers!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Starting to get excited!!!

So after I posted, I spoke with one of our case workers and it seems that once we have news the passport is ready (they are saying by sometime next week) that contacting the embassy and their setting up of our appointment can happen in a matter of days, if we are ready to go. That technically means traveling for us could happen in the next two weeks...That is SO hard to believe after waiting so long. SO hopefully, our next post will include our scheduled GOTCHA DAY!!!! Pray for GREAT rates for flight and our little family gets and stays healthy (that includes my parents who are scheduled to come up and stay with my kiddos!!) Thanks!

Passport News....

Got an email today....said the passport office is open and that we should have a finished passport by next week! Please pray this "prediction" comes true. My deepest hope os to have her home in plenty of time to get to Nashville for Thanksgiving so we can spend some time with my family and introduce her to them. In addition, please pray for our health. We have all been sick, strep and colds, and especially my oldest has had a hard time getting over it all. We also have ALOT of home repairs we have been working on since spring. It's no big thing, just adds a level of anxiety to have so much unsettled during this time. Once the passport is issued, we call the US Embassy in New Dehli and they give us our appointment time. I think that is usually a couple of weeks out, so that's when the travel plans happen. In essence we could be travelling in as little as three weeks!! Will keep the updates coming....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

There is really only one question...

So this post is really about something that I have gone over and over about in my own heart and mind all throughout our journey, and as I have sat and listened to countless people and their own journeys through not only adoption, but through whatever adventures God is taking them. As believers, we should all share some common beliefs about God and life and how we fit into all of this. First, we are all like today and gone tomorrow. Finite, limited, beings in mind and body. We really don't have a lot to bring to the table in this universe. We came into this world with naught even the ability to speak, much less any possessions to speak of. God, however, is the Maker and Sustainer of the entire universe. Concerning himself not only with the welfare of the celestial bodies in the heavens (to which we as limited humans do not even have the time in our life, if we were to start when we first learned to count, to sit and count them all. We can't even count all the stars. Yet God, not only has knowledge of their quantity, but has named them all and manages, easily to keep them in orbit)--all the way down to the tiniest ant that crawls along our planet. All of creation is interwoven together and he sustains it, making it flow like a beautiful symphony. To again contrast, we haven't in the thousands of years we have been here, despite the collaborative efforts of hundreds of thousands of curious, intelligent human minds been able to even yet identify all the species that are ON earth today, much less have knowledge of past existences of creatures. Then, if I were to go on to yet another area of discussion of possession and wealth, it is our understanding, as believers, through scripture and through observance of the world around us that all that we see, all that we ourselves believe to own, it is all his. Every rock, every cloud, every raindrop, every penny, every Euro. It is all his. It not only belongs to Him, He has supreme say so as to what happens to it. Jesus has supreme authority in this world. There is no one in authority who has not been placed in that position without the knowledge or approval of God himself. No teacher, no government official, no pastor, no one. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to the Son, and thus remains in the God head. To belabor my point just a little more, all wisdom and knowledge, belongs to him as well. Every arena of thought, whether it concerns an area of academics, business, future events, relationships, whatever we could possibly have to concern ourselves with in our life, He knows and understands it all, past, present, future all things considered. I could add to this topic all that God himself says to Job at the end of the book...I think you are getting the picture. Now to the amazing part. When we acknowledge our need for God, our acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus as sufficient for our reconciliation to God, God's beloved Son, Jesus, stands before God, the Father, on our behalf as our advocate and the fullness of God, who He is, all He owns, all His wisdom, everything we could possibly need in our lives, is given to us just as He would give to His own Son. NOTHING we need is then withheld and we have full access to the Father, and all that He is. Considering what is written above in who He is and what belongs to Him, is there anything else we could be lacking in our lives outside of what God is offering in Himself through His Son? The same love He has for Jesus, His precious Son, He has for us when we are found accepting His son. Therein is His motiviation and His indisputable love. So to sum it up, He owns it all, and by all, I mean all of everything, everywhere. Because of His love for Jesus (which no one can dispute His love for His son, even if you doubt it for yourself) He withholds none of what He has---all of what He owns is freely accessible to His Son, and since scripture calls us co-heirs with Christ, this means us too!!! He has the goods, He has the desire, He is not only willing but excited to provide for our every need! So the way I see it, when faced with a decision, lets say, to adopt or care for an orphan, or anything else we are either called or commanded to do, the question is not, do I have enough resources. The answer is an undoubtable Yes in Christ Jesus. It is not will I have enough time, again, always yes in Christ Jesus. Do I have the patience, Yes in Christ Jesus. Whatever question you have about your ability to do the thing He is calling you to, if you approach it only considering what is exists within the realm of your limited finite humanity, you will most certainly never be able to justify based on this, your reasons for stepping out. However if you consider all that He is, all that He has, and the fact that He is not going to withhold any of it from you because He loves you and is excited to give you all that you need and all that He is in Christ Jesus, you most certainly will never have a reason to not step out in what He is calling you to. So then, the only question that remains, is what is God calling me to do?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To Whom Much is Given....

I cannot stop thinking about these long I have interpreted them way too narrowly, but today, it hit me when I was reading Katie's blog (friend of my family's who lives in Uganda Her post today was all about Sweet Josie Love, my niece, coming home soon to my precious brother and his wife, and my friend. I was thinking about her story, weeping hearing Katie retell of how this sweet baby was put on her heart years ago and she waited and prayed for a family to come along and make her theirs. I was broken thinking about how it is my brother and his wife who are going to do this. I was laughing thinking about what the extended Mayernick family (this includes myself, as I was one for many years :-) is going to look like this year over the holidays, quite colorful, when it hit me... to whom much is given, much is expected. My brother and sister and I come from an amazing family. My parents are absolutely wonderful, not perfect, but oh so precious and loving. They gave us so much in the way of love growing up and taught me more about serventhood than anyone else I can name. Then there are my grandparents, who have left us a rich legacy of love and faith, local cousins and aunts and uncles, all the way to our more distant relatives, and distant only in bloodline, that live down south all over Alabama, Florida, and other SEC states ;-) whom we see at a huge reunion every year. I even am amazed at my sweet nieces and nephews whom I genuinely LOVE spending time with, and thier hearts and how full of love they are. These are some of the most precious people in the world to me, their love and service to one another, faitfulness to Jesus and his kingdom's purpose, is so very very rare on a scale of this magnitude. Don't get me wrong, we are ALL sinners saved by grace struggling in our own ways, to be conformed to His image, but, there is NO other family I would want to be a part of anywhere. What a rich, rich heritage. To whom much is given. Indeed we have been given much. I have ALWAYS desired to share my family with others. To bring them in for a meal or a holiday. I would drag any of you who would go with me to Roanoke, Alabama to witness for yourselves just a small taste of what I envision a heavenly reunion might be like. Now, we get to bring these children into this picture. I CAN"T WAIT!!! My husband is also blessed with sweet parents and siblings and their families whom will welcome our sweet Mia with open arms of love, just like our Sweet Saviour. To whom much is given....God did not give us these gifts so richly that we might sit on them, hoard, and boast. He did this with the challenge and expectation that we would reach out and extend this to those who have little. I cannot wait to see who else God will bring into our family circle! What about you? What has God so richly blessed you with?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thoughts in the waiting....

So I wonder sometimes if anyone really reads these "no-news" posts. And there is a part of me that struggles with whether or not I should even write some of these, however, today, it occurred to me (I am REALLY slow sometimes) that I will print these off and keep them for posterity sake not only for me to look back on, but especially for Mia. So today, it's confessions of the heart (this is your opportunity to navigate to a different page if you are looking for exciting news :-) I am starting to mentally prepare myself for the realities of bringing Mia home and all that that entails---trip there, stay there, return home, assimilation into life. I have been dealing with my own emotions and now trying as best I can to try and figure out how to help shoulder some of hers as well. As silly as this sounds, I often ask myself, "Will anyone be at the airport to greet us when we get home?" I was doing some adoptive parent online courses and it was asking pointed questions about what we will feel right when we bring the baby home. I am glad they asked very specific questions and was honestly surprised at what I learned about myself. They were talking about the difference in the way people celebrate birth and the to-do made over new babies vs. often the absence of this extended celebratory atmosphere when you bring home your adopted child. Huh. I never thought of that...,but as I started to, I realized that I have longed for and waited for this baby longer than all three of my pregnancies combined starting from when I filled out the first paper. Wow. That is a long time to wait and a long time to anticipate something! I don't want the return celebration to end as quickly as I am afraid it will :-) It's hard to imagine just putting my life on pause and then trying to resume it, plus one foreign baby as soon as we get off the airplane. I guess that is because that isn't at all what is happening emotionally or socially even though the boys will continue to go to school, I will need to jump back into grocery shopping, paying bills, routine. This is definitely uncharted territory. I have had three babies and am accustomed to what life looks life after that, but this time it is going to be a little more challenging. My foundation is knowing that God has prepared in advance what we need to accomplish the things He calls us to. Whew. Glad I thought of that :-) Lord, please prepare little Mia to be a part of our family. Everything in her world is about to be turned upside down--from the sounds she hears, sensations she feels, foods she tastes, things she sees. Every sense is going to be different. Help prepare her in ways that only you can. Help prepare us to be sensitive to her needs, easily adaptable and flexible in order to make her feel more at home and more comfortable. Lord, give me wisdom to know how to celebrate and bring people along side us to celebrate with us, for this is worth celebrating! Be with us in India as we meet for the first time, figure out how to spend our time together, adjust to learning one another, and trying to figure out how to balance getting done what we need to legally, what we want to emotionally, with being in another culture and trying to be gracious and wise. Thank you for the people you have already brought to us in so many ways to join us in this journey. Use our story to tell of your love and greatness toward men. Our story is your song. Our praise to you. Shine through in every way. Envelop our desires and plans and overwhelm them with your heart and plans. Go before us, with us, and be our rear guard. And please, Lord, expedite that passport!!! Well, I guess that is all I have for today. India is in the middle of a national holiday until sometime this coming week. The passport office is closed during this time. I am also trying to get over a cold which we be good to do before we leave. Thanks for your prayers! Look forward to sharing more news to come soon!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sometime between now and November...

we will be traveling to India! The exact date will come soon. We are preparing to apply for her passport which they are saying to wait six weeks for. Again, God is not bound to time restraints, and we are not the only family (there are 6 others in the same stage as us) pray for a "quicker than usual" passport turnaround for all of us. We are spending time this Saturday tying up lose ends in regards to paperwork so that when her appointment time is given, we can focus on packing and travel arrangements. We will keep the updates coming :-)

Also, THANK you for all of your prayers and support for my brother and his family and thanks be to God, the author and perfecter of our faith; the One who works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to purpose..He alone sustains us and brings us victory because of his great love and goodness,all for his namesake and for his glory. The dawn always comes after the night, and we are just beginning to see all the miraculous and beautiful things God has in store for them. Please continue to pray for perseverance, wisdom and courage. They have a long ride ahead of them, and from experience, I know that many can show support in crises moments, but there tends to be fewer companions for long journeys. It is hard to remain steadfast in prayer, but they will continue to need it. :-) Thanks so much!!!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Life is full of the unexpected....

Joy and pain are the two emotions I feel today. Some of you have been following my brother and sister in law and their journey to bring home my precious, precious niece Josie Love from Uganda ( We have been flying high since they arrived there just a few days ago, and were scheduled to have their court date today. Unexpectedly, and all the details of how and what are not known to me, they found out that Josie is very sick. We don't know how sick she is or what this all means, but regardless, my heart is broken. God knew all of this would happen, and He will provide all that is needed to walk through this fire, but just as Jesus found it in his sweet compassionate heart to mourn with Mary and Martha just prior to raising Lazarus from the dead, my heart mourns for what my precious brother and his sweet wife are having to walk through today. On the heels of this, (literally less than 12 hours later) we found out our court case has been approved. While I know we have again miraculously quick timing for this unfolding in front of us, my heart is so torn. The facts are that we have a great deal of preparation to get done in a relatively short amount of time. We do not have a date yet, we must wait on her passport to be issued, followed by our letting the embassy in New Dehli know we are ready with all the appropriate paperwork and they will give us an appointment time to come there and finalize the papers and bring her home. The agency says it could take another week for the paperwork to be sent off for the passport and 4 to 6 weeks for it to be completed. I know it could happen a lot sooner, as what typically takes 2 to 3 months or longer to be granted was just granted to us in a week. Please keep praying for the timing. All along, I knew a September gotcha day would be an act of God, He has so far made it abundantly clear that everything is possible with him. So I will continue to believe for this and would love for you to join us in praying that everything gets signed and sent off for the passport asap, it gets issued asap, and that we get our appointment time asap. I look forward to writing these exciting updates. In the meantime, please, please, please pray for my family and our sweet Josie Love who has been planted in all of our hearts and is a part of our family. Pray for quick turn around times for her medical tests. Pray for access to treatment and that she starts to heal. And pray for wisdom for Mike and Suzanne to determine God's heart and plan in this situation (you can read more details on thier blog see address above). Thank you Jesus for your compassion, your provision, your love, your grace. Where would we be with out you? I thank you Father that Josie is like the one lost coin that you would tear apart your house to look for and pursue because she is worth pursuing. She is a treasure. Thank you for making us all your treasures.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Waiting on the court date!!!

Well, we got news this morning that the first part of our guardianship hearing has been completed and the court appointed lawyer has approved the paperwork and recommended that the judge approve the case! This took less than two weeks (ave. wait time for this is 6 weeks!) So we were very pleased with the timing on this. I was told that this last part is the worst emotionally. It can be the least predictable wait time, waiting for the actual court date (i.e. this is the part where they tell us to come and get my baby girl!!) I would liken it to the pushing part of having a baby where every moment feels like an eternity and you think surely after all I have been through this should be happening now! I am praying and would ask you to join us in first thanking God things have happened "sooner than expected" so far and that pattern would continue! As a side note, my brother and sister in law are heading to Uganda this Friday to go and get my sweet 3 yr old niece and bring her home. Go to to see her sweet face and follow another miracle of God bringing another one of His little ones home to her forever family! Love and thanks!! Mandy

Monday, September 7, 2009

So full, so empty....

I laid down in bed with my precious two year old daughter and was filled so full of love, tears were rolling down my cheeks. With each child my heart gets fuller and fuller until I think it could burst. And yet, once everyone was down asleep, the feeling of emptiness began to creep in as it does in the silence. When the world stops, the requests have silenced, the demands put on hold until morning, I long. Tears were now rolling again, yet this time, tears of longing to hold my other daughter... to tuck her in, stroke her hair, and kiss her sweet face as I was so blessed to do with Ella-Kate. I received a precious gift tonight, a Willow figurine. I have several but this one was special in that it was a tiny child with it's hand stretched high into the air, and out of it's outstretched hand, was a banner lifted high above its head with the word "hope" in humble letters. I know our time, our homecoming is getting closer, but the waiting, the wanting, is draining. And herein lies the bigger redemption story weaved in our story. As Jesus walked this earth, He experienced all of the emotions I feel right now. There is a child out there who doesn't know me, yet I know she is mine and I would move heaven and earth just to be with her so that I can love her. In this small incomparable way, I see a purpose for having to bear this deep, unmet longing. To share some of what He feels for us. We share in the life of Christ, the difficulty and the victory; how miraculous to be able to weep one moment, tears of joy and fulfillment and in the next moment ones of deep longing. Jesus is our banner of hope, stretched high above us in our no longer orphaned hands. God didn't leave us in our desperation, but gave us his Banner of Hope that one day, we would all be together. He lives in this tension of joy and longing constantly. His capacity to experience this in it's fullest, non-stop, all day, everyday is nothing less than a glimpse into his holiness.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

NOC approval!!! Woo Hoo!

Great news!!! We got our NOC approval!! In faster than anticipated time! We received news this past Friday that the central adoption processing center of India had received our paperwork and issued our No Objection Certificate for our case. Our case has been sent back to the local courts in Calcutta and will go before the judge this coming week sometime. What this means is that it is in the last two steps of the final process. They will check over our paperwork (typical time frame six weeks) and then once that is done start guardianship hearings (2-3 months typical waiting time for this step.) Once guardianship is granted, we are notified we can make our travel plans. We recognize the average waiting time for this process, but we also recognize we do not serve an average, typical kind of God. I am praying specifically for God to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine. He is not limited in anyway by the legal system or our rules. I am trusting his timing because I know there is purpose in EVERYTHING He does, but I am asking for miraculous intervention and quicker than imaginable time for the proceedings. Thanks for all your prayers and please keep it up!!! I am also going to attempt to go to a conference in September on starting an orphan care ministry in our church. I can't wait to bring my daughter home and am very committed to that, but there are so many more that need homes, love and to hear the message of the gospel. I long to see them find homes and truth as well. Will keep everyone posted!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Health and case status...

Got some info about Mia's growth and development....she is now up to a little over 11 pounds and is close to 26 inches in length. She is on all fours doing the precrawl rocking thing. She sits propped up on her hands and is smiling socially now. We did also find out that she has a benign growth on her lip that will go away as she gets older. Other than that, she is doing well! We also found out about a second step in addition to the NOC that has to be issued and that is after the NOC approval, our case is then sent to the courts where gaurdianship will be granted to us. It is at this time we will be notified that we are free to travel and pick Mia up. It is excited to think that we are on somewhat of a countdown, but at the same time, I am also weary. It makes it hard for me to immerse myself in preparation, even though I know there are some more books I need to read before we go. I really can't think of a better word than just emotionally weary. For those of you who are keeping up in prayer, that is a definite need. Strength and perseverance so that there will be fruit from this time of waiting, not just tolerance of the wait. We do still need to sell about twenty or so more shirts, but are currently out of women's fitted. We have regular style t-shirts and we have men's fitted. We really don't want to order more unless we know we are going to sell them. I have been given an opportunity to sell my dresses in November at a bazaar for a local elementary. I have a handful made but am planning on making more. I am also trying to get what I have now up on Etsy, an online site where home made goods can be sold or bought. That's all the news I have for now!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Got new pictures and update should follow soon...

We received new pictures today of our girl, and were told an update should follow shortly on her growth and progress. We are officially still just waiting on the courts in India to okay all our paperwork and to issue the no objection certificate (NOC). Still praying for a quicker than normal time frame on this. Will update as we know. The waiting is much harder than I anticipated. I had a rough weekend last weekend...very emotional. I know God has purpose in the waiting, although that feels like words right now. Hopefully half of Calcutta is somehow miraculously coming to Jesus as we speak as a result of our waiting :-) One can always hope.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wait, wait, wait

Well, this part is going slower than I had hoped, although we were warned it could take this long. Right now, the agency is telling us to expect to not be able to go for another six months. This is not what I want to hear, of course. We are praying for miraculous intervention to expedite the process. Waiting for our paperwork to be sent to CARA, the organization in India which will issue our no objection certificate (NOC) which is our green light. This should happen soon, but the NOC may take a while, thus the six months waiting. Thanks for your prayers, and we still need to sell the rest of our T-shirts. We are out of the women's but have plenty of the regular T-shirts and mens fitted sizes left.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Approval granted

Yay! We heard back from our agency and the approval was granted. I guess the next step is confirmation that the Visa center received our paperwork, then the embassy in New Dehli, then the orphanage communicates with the visa center there and sends paperwork to them, and then we wait on a NOC (no objection certificate). Don't really know how long all of this will take. Our job is to wait patiently. Please pray with us for the okay to travel by September. October is not an option as that is when the government offices close down for month-long holidays. I have great peace knowing Father is absolutely in control. In the meantime, we are enjoying our summer, swimming, spending time with friends, and getting ready for vacation. Great time of year to need to pass the time. Will keep everyone updated. Thanks for your prayers and support!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Providence bears with the rules of men...

This was a lyric from the sweet sweet song our friend wrote and sang for us at the benefit concert recently and it won't stop rolling around in my head. We are currently living this line out in that we were informed by immigration that there were a couple of documents they still needed in order to permit us to classify Mia as our daughter. I don't' understand all of it, but from my conversation with our case manager, I am getting that there are many bugs in this process due to the newness of the Hague thing that happened and that at least one of the documents they are asking for is not available to our agency to send until we are in the country, I think. At any rate, news like this is not what you want to hear, but I still know God is in control. I am just ready to get my daughter. It seems so silly. She needs a family, we are a family, we want her, so why does it take so long to just pick her up? I know God is totally in control, I am just ready to go :-)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In awe...

In Judges 7, Gideon was charged with taking the Isrealites to war with the Midianites. The most memorable part of this story to me was when God on several occasions began to tell Gideon that he needed to shave the number of people he had in his army down. It was too large. Gideon started in the tens of thousands and eventually ended up with 300 men. They were grossly outnumbered, yet this was God's number. God led them into battle and they defeated their enemies. Of course, God's reason was so that Isreal could not boast that her own strength saved her, so she would know that it was her God that did it. This is how I feel about the last few weeks as we have journeyed through raising funds and stepping out to do all we have set out to do. There was a remarkably low number of people that turned out for the concert, especially considering all the promotion we did, however, among those who numbered less than a hundred, we were able to raise over 6000 dollars. That is God. Short and simple. I just finished reading the book "The Shack" (I know quotes are not grammatically correct here, just can't get italics to work :-)) and have started " Crazy Love" and the thing I am so struck by in both of these is the fact that God truly is the center of the story. Always. It is all about Him and He is the one with the power that makes all things glorious and He is the only one worthy to be the center of the story. I have heard this so many times, but having walked through the last few weeks, seeing my lack of ability to accomplish what has been accomplished, and to see the overwhelming and unlikely response generated from our efforts, this truth is very much embedded in the depths of my soul in a way that it was merely a thought before. Though there are parts of our flesh that resist this, many times, I am finding a huge sense of relief in the gravity of this truth. If He really is the center (which no doubt he is), and all things are working together by his hand in order that more of Him may be revealed through our little stories, then really there are no limits to what He will do for the glory of His name. And the amazing thing is, we are found, within His story right in the middle of His love. Adoption is not my mission. Unveiling Him and his heart is my mission. Adoption is just the platform for which he is revealing his Papa heart in the midst of my life in this moment. It is easy to oversimplify here as there are many more emotions that play into this, but this truly is the core of what we are doing and why. It should always be. What joy there is in this! What freedom! He will finish what he set out to do, and it will be glorious in that if it is a reflection of him, how could it be anything less. I am not the center, Mia is not the center, this adoption is not the center. He is the center. Gaze into the scene unfolding before you. As He works through the details observe his hand and his heart. He wants to challenge all of us to let Him do greater things in our lives. Things we can't accomplish, not by even a long shot, on our own. Things not humanly possible. Let him grow your faith in him. What unspeakable desires do you have in the depths of your soul? What things that you know are impossible for you to accomplish, yet you can't shake the feeling that they are callings, things that seem He is leading you into? I would venture to say, the closer you get to these places these desires, the closer you are getting to His will for you. I believe this with all my heart. These last few weeks have not been hard. They have been joy. I am tired, don't get me wrong, but I have not been stressed or worried. I have truly felt peace and a leading like I have never known. I am so in love with the God I serve. I am anxious to hear of the stirrings he will do in and through this in the hearts of others. He can't move in ways like He is moving now and it not stir what is in the souls of His children who watch. I can't wait to watch with you, as I feel as much like a spectator in all of this as you do, I just have a really good seat.

Monday, May 18, 2009

>Concert Info<

Mia’s Hope Free Benefit Concert and Silent Auction takes place this Saturday!

On May 23 at 6:30pm, John David Webster and Hunter Smith from Connersvine will be performing a benefit event for baby Mia at Every Nation Church Indianapolis which is located at 12258 Hancock St. Carmel, IN 46032.

Enjoy a family-friendly evening of great music and learn more about orphans worldwide and power of adoption. A love offering will be taken for Mia, and the concert will be accompanied by a silent auction.

Y'all come join us and tell your friends. See you soon...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

They're here, they're here!

Here she is!!! Our precious Mia! Sorry for the delay....Friday proved to be a little busier than I anticipated with the garage sale prep! Having said that we praise our Father in heaven for a success we could not pulled off with out His help! We raised $1600 on Saturday, despite the cold rain at times! Thanks to all the amazing families who donated goods to the sale, to Starbucks for the 2.5 gallons of coffee they donated to sell and to help keep us all warm and awake, and to all those who came out and took part helping and buying. I had a wonderful time telling our story and just watching all that was unfolding in front of me. So many times I have been near tears just watching the faithfulness of our Father to help bring this little baby girl (his little girl) home and into our family. When I got tired and cold, I would see her face and smile and get a little of what I needed to keep going. My emotional cup is full and we have a lot of processing to do, but for now, our gaze shifts to the next event coming up on Saturday and that is the benefit concert and silent auction. Please help by spreading the word to those of you here in Indy (not that out of staters aren't welcome :-) We would love for there to be many people who come to hear our story and be encouraged not to mention become a little more aware of the needs that are out there and that it IS possible for each of us to make a difference in the life of the fatherless and rejected.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pictures coming very soon!!!

Just wanted everyone to know that we will have pictures up for you to see hopefully by tomorrow evening! We just got some updated pictures today, thanks to traveling families who were there. We have to get the official paperwork to the adoption agency before we can post anything. So check tomorrow can catch a glimpse then!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

We have a baby...

Brian and I are now the new hopeful parents of a precious baby girl in India.....she is five months old and was born on December 2nd. I cannot wait to share her picture and updates with everyone!! For her sake, we need to wait until we sign some papers that make our intent official and those are received by our adoption agency. I can tell you she just a little pipsqueak but is absolutely precious! As far as we know, the expected travel time is around six months, so we have a while until we will travel to Calcutta and pick her up, however, we will receive updates and pictures which we will post here on our blog and then when we do go to get her, we plan posting while we are there so those of you who so desire can track the journey.
Something interesting that I read from scripture yesterday has really stuck out in my mind during these last few days, and that is that in Joshua, chapter three, when God is getting ready to lead the people into the promised land after 40 years of being in the desert preceded by 400 years of slavery by the Egyptians, the priests were going through the camp instructing the people to follow the ark of the covenant, which is in essence the presence of God among the people. They were told by the Lord to do this because they had never gone this way before. I totally feel like that is us. This whole journey is contingent upon us following the Lord because we have never gone this way before. I literally wake up in the morning and ask the Lord what we are going to do today to continue to make steps to bring Mia home, because without Him driving this thing, I don't know what I am doing :-) In addition to that, further on in chapter three, the priests who are leading the people into the land were instructed once they reached the Jordan River to step into it and after they did, the water would part for them and the people would cross on dry land. What struck me about this was how it was different than when they crossed the Red Sea. God told the people that day, to stand still and watch Him part the waters, this time, they had to have the faith to start into it before they would see the Lord work. I also feel like this is for us in that so much of this journey is about trusting His heart, hearing his voice and walking blindly in faith into impossible things in which He promises to show up. For those of you who don't know, we have to have a large sum of money ready next week to continue on with bringing Mia home. We are stepping into the water, fully needing and expecting God to work. I don't know what that will look like but I know He alway is faithful to bring into completion the work He has started. We are here listening for instructions, and we need your prayers. The final thing I wanted to share with you from Joshua is this, that when Joshua and Moses surveyed the land prior to entering it, they saw it was occupied by their enemies. Many strong armies were there waiting for them. The enemy was setting his traps of fear and discouragement and destruction. Please pray as we have faced this as well. Here we are with the "promised land" in site so to speak, and know that the enemy waits for us with discouragement and fear. We have faced this recently and I am sure will continue as he is ruthless and not easily deterred. But, scripture says if we resist him, he will flee. He cannot stand against the word and be successful. Thanks so much for the encouragement and prayer!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The call...

This past Friday, we received a call from our adoption agency saying they had a referral for a little girl for us to consider for adoption. Brian and I are so excited to be praying for this baby and seeking to hear from God to see if this is indeed the sweet baby he planted in our hearts so many years ago. As soon as we are sure, we will be able to post her picture and information. Then the journey really gets exciting....Pray for wisdom and peace for us, please! And pray for this precious baby girl.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fundraising....the new frontier

Well, for most of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that putting on any sort of fundraisers and all the details that go into that are somewhat of a challenge for me. For those of you who don't know me, know that sitting down to make a grocery list has taken me close to two hours before and I am not exaggerating! Needless to say that this is a huge undertaking for me and any promotion of these two events that anyone wants to do and any help you want to give would be enormously appreciated. The events are as follows: a garage and bake sale at my house here in Zionsville on Saturday May 16th, followed by a benefit concert/silent auction, the next Saturday (may 23rd) with music by Connersvine and John David Webster and of course Brian will be playing with John David. The location of the concert is not set in stone quite yet so I will wait until I hear back in the next day or two to post that. In addition to this, we are currently designing a t-shirt to sell that will of course raise funds but will also raise awareness for orphans and the need that there is to help them. Currently the ways we need help are: 1. Donations of things to sell at the garage sell. Everyone knows that furniture and bigger things like that are the biggest moneymakers, but we will take anything you might think people would want to buy. Baked goods to sell at the garage sale are another way people can help. I will need help organizing the stuff a couple days before and help running the sale. 2. For the auction/concert, we could use donations of things that would be good for the silent auction, whether goods or services. For example, I have started making pillow case dresses for little girls babies to six years old out of vintage pillow cases. I currently find the pillow cases on my own, but wouldn't mind if anyone wanted to donate some they had, or if you find some at Goodwill and want to pick them up and donate those that would also be great. So, if you make things or have a business and would like to donate to this event that would be awesome. We will also need volunteers to help run the concert i.e. people to man tables and what not. We would like to sell drinks and snack food as well, and as much of these things that can be donated to that we can keep our out of pocket expenses to a minimum would be great. Let's see. Outside of these two events, just helping to get the word out and of course a ton of prayer, would be amazing help to us. I am hoping to get a link posted to our blogsite soon for people to be able to buy a T-shirt through paypal on line. I don't know how to do this either but hope I can get it done soon. Thanks to everyone who has encouraged us on this journey so far. I am getting really excited. We are still at the top of the list and waiting for a call. We are pretty sure that the baby has been born so really we are just waiting for a picture. Oh, her name is Mia. Middle name is yet to be determined as we would like to use something indigenous or maybe part of her current name. The name of the concert event Is Mia's Hope. There is story behind this name and I will get around to sharing it soon, but this is enough infor for now. Thanks again!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another brick laid...

We finally got our fingerprint date and the official word our paperwork was in, so as far as I know, we are considered active to receive a referral! We go for the prints next week and then once those process we will be cleared for travel. Yay! I find myself jumping a little when the phone rings now, as it could be "the call" saying they have a child for us. It still feels a little surreal to me at this point. Beginning to wonder if it will hit me before I find myself on a 20 something hour plane ride half way across the world.....

Monday, March 16, 2009

We're up....we're down, oh where to next on the ride?

Well, good news! Our paperwork and money we sent to immigration recently was officially processed. We know this because our check was cashed. However, we still haven't received the letter stating it has been begun to be processed and issuing us a fingerprinting date. When this piece does come, we will officially be able to receive a referral. Currently I think we are the next family on the list to receive a referral. Yay! This news came on the heels of what we were afraid was a huge set back. We learned that we sent the paperwork initially to the wrong office and then were told by immigration to send it to another office which turned out to also be the wrong office. And on top of that, I learned that I made the cashiers check out to the wrong department and that no one could locate the paperwork, but the check had been cashed. We called several people to pray and in less than 24 hours, we heard back from our agency that as far as they could tell, all was well. So, I will feel 100% better when we have our approval in our hands. Please keep praying, and for those of you who read this before March 23 or so, please also pray for my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew, and others in Uganda. Visit their blog found at Read Katie's blog while you are at it. It will ignite a passion for the fatherless, and I pray will spark you into action on their (the orphans) behalf. Not everyone is called to take and orphan in, but many of you are. All of us are called to care for the fatherless in some capacity. It is a wild ride, but let me say, I wouldn't miss it for the world. Thanks for reading and praying!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Step in the Right Direction!!!

This has been a good weekend for us in that we have made some progress, hallelujah! To get down to the facts, we finished all our paperwork we needed to redo, it was okayed by our agency saying we had all the necessary info to submit to immigration and sent to us to prepare to send directly to immigration at the end of January. The only thing holding us up at this point was money. God's timing is always perfect in that we were able to get our taxes done early and got the refund Friday. The paperwork was sent along with our check yesterday, Saturday, to immigration! Yay! I cried when I left the post office as it felt as one more brick was laid on our journey. Today, I went for a run and as I was out, I felt like God began to pose a question to me. What is the difference in intervening through adoption in the life of a child as a believer verses someone who is not a believer? It is a question I have asked myself especially as I see so many celebrities and those who don't know Jesus pursuing the same thing. There must be a difference, I know, but haven't able to nail down what that is. This question He posed was rhetorical in nature because I feel that He began to tell me. Papa God is benevolent by nature. He is good, He is generous, and He promises to "not leave us as orphans." But in doing so, we see that His motivation is not centered on us, but on the unveiling of His glory, His essence, His heart. He desires to be known and seen. As His reflections and image bearers, it makes sense that we would not only mirror Him in deed but in purpose as well. I am reading a book called Papa's Voice and in it, I read one of the most, for me, profound things and that is that when we observe and study Jesus' life, we see that He was constantly bombarded with interruptions, diversions, and the unexpected, yet despite all of this, He always completed every task and mission He set out to in accordance with what Papa God had laid before Him to do. He was unwavering in His devotion to not only complete what God had called Him to, but even more so was at peace with how that would come to be because His heart wasn't about the task but about revealing His Father's heart and glory through each interruption and each "unexpected" event or person that was along the way. As I thought about our journey with adoption and the question I mentioned above, it became clear to me that one such difference is in the journey. Is my heart, like the Son's, fixed on God's heart, His essence, His strength, His glory being revealed along the way or have a made this process about another human being only. If that is the case, and it has been at times, I get discouraged. I get frustrated when the unexpected happens. I lose heart, grow weary, question my decision and begin to question His goodness. Yet when I fix my eyes on Him, and allow my self to be quietly reminded of what He desires to do and Be in the midst of this that is when the peace comes. Peace that results not from promising circumstances or results, but from taking on His yoke that says , "In the moment, I AM." And letting that be the place my feet rest. Don't get me wrong, I see that as Christ so boldly and desperately asked in the garden for the desires of His heart, I can make mine known to Him as well. I desire for the rest of this process to go as quickly as possible, for immigration to get back to us with an appointment time for our fingerprinting and background check and for that information to be processed as quickly as possible so we and the baby will be free to travel asap. I pray that I would not have to wait one more day than necessary to bring her home and that I can just see her face. I have not seen her face yet, and we still don't have a clear time line as to when that will happen. They may have us wait until we get our final clearance from immigration to reveal this to us or they may do it sometime in the process. Either way, please pray for strength for us for this journey. It is a slow process, but necessarily slow. God doesn't do anything unnecessarily. Pray that our hearts would remain fixed on seeing Him revealed through this process, however long He wills it to take. Pray for the children at the orphanage, the workers, and all of those whose lives are touched by this process. Adoption is close to Papa's heart. We are all adopted and He longs to reveal Himself not just through the acquisition of a child but through the process.

Instead of making this a new post, just wanted to add that I spoke with the adoption agency after I wrote this initial post and it seems that immigration is moving faster than what we were told to expect. We are hopeful that our time frame for fingerprinting AND approval could be as little as 6 weeks! Also, we will need to wait for a approval before they send us a referral, which is fine. We were also told that there is only one family ahead of us on the waiting list. Thanks for your prayers...we will keep you updated!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Putting my faith where my mouth is....

Well, we knew this journey would be long, but just how long I had no idea. I am glad I had no idea. To make this uncharacteristically short for me, we are now waiting for finances to come in. We are good with our adoption agency itself as far as being caught up with costs there (thanks to Shoahannah's Hope and the grant we got from them) however, because of the Hague convention that I mentioned in my last post, we had to redo our immigration application which meant we also had to redo our homestudy. Both of these were costs we have paid that we are having to redo. So, we redid the home study in October, it was approved at the end of December, and sent to us along with several other documents that we now have to send into immigration with our application so we have permission to travel and to bring the baby back into the U.S. However, before we can send this in, we need to somehow come up with more money to file with CIS as well as to pay our home study agency. This is why I titled the post the way I did. I am believing that God will provide, again, for us in this way. I am trying not to be anxious. I do not want our paperwork to expire again, so I am ready to get this going again, but can't until the money is provided. So, for now, we wait. Wait on our Faithful God to provide. Please pray, in faith, with us for this provision. We have now heard that we will not, most likely, get a referral until we are approved by immigration. So, I don't know that this summer is going to be the reality we thought it would to travel. However, I know that God can do anything and that if He didn't with hold Jesus, his most perfect and precious gift from us, He will not now, with hold any good thing that we need. It is getting harder on my heart to wait, but He is enough for that, too. Thanks for reading, asking, and praying. Will hopefully report soon!