Sunday, December 30, 2012

58, my hopes for 2013

I loved reading other peoples goals, hopes a dreams for the new year.  It's inspiring to see so many want to make changes to their health, lifestyle, families and their spiritual walk.  It makes me so excited for a new year, a fresh start.

Yesterday was our anniversary, 5 years, 5 big ones, half a decade.  I love to just talk and dream about what our next year will hold, Justin on the other hand is quite the realist and when I ask him what he thinks will happen in over the next year his response usually is "whatever God wants to happen." He's the realist,the brake pedal in my gas pedal thinking. haha. But I don't let that stop me and I usually go off on huge tangent of a dream I want to happen.  

This year has been a year where I have been wrecked for Jesus.  He has opened my eyes to a world that desperately needs Him and He has called me to be a voice for those cannot speak up for themselves and to show love to those who might name never experienced it.  He is doing big things my friends, big things in my life and my husbands life and the lives of those around us.  There is so much I want to share, but just not yet ;) 

Our prayer and hope throughout our adoption journey is that God would be made famous in our story, because He is the reason why we're here at this spot.  He is the reason why our eyes were opened and continued to be opened.  This year will be full of adventure, joy, fun and I"m sure some sad times too, but it will all be to make Him famous. 

The other night I had a friend recommend watching the film 58.  It's a documentary about living out Isaiah 58. We watched it and were so inspired to live it our more than ever!


1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself ? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

For my 2013, I want to live this boldly and proclaim it daily! 
Want to check out the documentary 58 yourself, do it!!! 
(this is a teaser, are you pumped to watch it?! Check out their site here
and you can find the documentary on Netfilx and YouTube)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Water for Life

Did you know that over half the worlds population lacks clean drinking water?
Did you know that children walk miles each day just to access muddy, disease infested water, and then they drink it?
Did you know you can do something about it?

When we started this journey to our son, our eyes were opened wide to many different crisis all over the world.  The orphan crisis, the AIDS/HIV crisis, the water crisis, the list goes on and on.  Sometimes the reality of this world can seem overwhelming.  But we all can do something.

Do you have $79? Not $79 a month, just $79? Did you know that just $79 can provide a family with clean water...for life? That's literally less than our water bill.

"Every day over 4,000 children are dying of water-related diseases such as cholera and typhoid that are easily preventable. Many more are suffering sickness, diarrhea and acute stomach pains – illnesses that stop children going to school and growing up into healthy adults." source

Just $79 provides a filtration system for a family.  Not only are these families given water, but they are presented with the gospel thanks to Compassion International.  I would encourage you to check out their site, for $38 a month you can even sponsor a child, we love our Compassion sponsor child, I love seeing a letter in the mailbox from Compassion it brightens my day.

Giving the gift of water really can save a life, and it just $79...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

How to be a village, part 1

Recently, we've been getting lots of questions on how people can help us during this waiting phase, what they can pray for, ect.  This is a tough question to tackle because, if you haven't learned by now, adoption is an emotional roller coaster, and those needs can change daily, even hourly during the waiting period.  Jen Hatmaker wrote a great post on "How to Be The Village" for families in the adoption process.  Hatmaker breaks her post up into 2 categories; before and after the airport.  we won't talk about the "after the airport" part today, but I'll share with you what she writes about how to be the village before the airport, during the waiting phase.  It's long, but it's so helpful and she writes it much better than I ever could...

"Your friends are adopting. They’re in the middle of dossiers and home studies, and most of them are somewhere in the middle of Waiting Purgatory. Please let me explain something about WP: It sucks in every way. Oh sure, we try to make it sound better than it feels by using phrases like “We’re trusting in God’s plan” and “God is refining me” and “Sovereignty trumps my feelings” and crazy bidness like that. But we are crying and aching and getting angry and going bonkers when you’re not watching. It’s hard. It hurts. It feels like an eternity even though you can see that it is not. It is harder for us to see that, because many of us have pictures on our refrigerators of these beautiful darlings stuck in an orphanage somewhere while we’re bogged down in bureaucracy and delays. 

How can you help? By not saying or doing these things:

1. “God’s timing is perfect!” (Could also insert: “This is all God’s plan!” “God is in charge!”) As exactly true as this may be, when you say it to a waiting parent, we want to scratch your eyebrows off and make you eat them with a spoon. Any trite answer that minimizes the struggle is as welcomed as a sack of dirty diapers. You are voicing something we probably already believe while not acknowledging that we are hurting and that somewhere a child is going to bed without a mother again. Please never say this again. Thank you.

2. “Are you going to have your own kids?” (Also in this category: “You’ll probably get pregnant the minute your adoption clears!” “Since this is so hard, why don’t you just try to have your own kids?” “Well, at least you have your own kids.”) The subtle message here is: You can always have legitimate biological kids if this thing tanks. It places adoption in the Back-up Plan Category, where it does not belong for us. When we flew to Ethiopia with our first travel group from our agency, out of 8 couples, we were the only parents with biological kids. The other 7 couples chose adoption first. Several of them were on birth control. Adoption counts as real parenting (Not to mention the couples that grieved through infertility already. So when you say, “Are you going to have your own kids?” to a woman who tried for eight years, then don’t be surprised if she pulls your beating heart out like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.)

3. For those of you in Christian community, it is extremely frustrating to hear: “Don’t give up on God!” or “Don’t lose faith!” It implies that we are one nanosecond away from tossing our entire belief system in the compost pile because we are acting sad or discouraged. It’s condescending and misses the crux of our emotions. I can assure you, at no point in our story did we think about kicking Jesus to the curb, but we still get to cry tears and feel our feelings, folks. Jesus did. And I’m pretty sure he went to heaven when he died. 

4. We’re happy to field your questions about becoming a transracial family or adopting a child of another race, but please don’t use this moment to trot out your bigotry. (Cluelessness is a different thing, and we try to shrug that off. Like when someone asked about our Ethiopian kids, “Will they be black?” Aw, sweet little dum-dum.) The most hurtful thing we heard during our wait was from a black pastor who said, “Whatever you do, don’t change their last name to Hatmaker, because they are NOT Hatmakers. They’ll never be Hatmakers. They are African.” What the??? I wonder if he’d launch the same grenade if we adopted white kids from Russia? If you’d like to know what we’re learning about raising children of another race or ask respectful, legitimate questions, by all means, do so. We care about this and take it seriously, and we realize we will traverse racial landmines with our family. You don’t need to point out that we are adopting black kids and we are, in fact, white. We’ve actually already thought of that.

5. Saying nothing is the opposite bad. I realize with blogs like this one, you can get skittish on how to talk to a crazed adopting Mama without getting under her paper-thin skin or inadvertently offending her. I get it. (We try hard not to act so hypersensitive. Just imagine that we are paper-pregnant with similar hormones surging through our bodies making us cry at Subaru commercials just like the 7-month preggo sitting next to us. And look at all this weight we’ve gained. See?) But acting like we’re not adopting or struggling or waiting or hoping or grieving is not helpful either. If I was pregnant with a baby in my belly, and no one ever asked how I was feeling or how much longer or is his nursery ready or can we plan a shower, I would have to audition new friend candidates immediately. 

Here’s what we would love to hear Before the Airport:

1. Just kind, normal words of encouragement. Not the kind that assume we are one breath away from atheism. Not the kind that attempt to minimize the difficulties and tidy it all up with catchphrases. We don’t actually need for you to fix our wait. We just want you to be our friend and acknowledge that the process is hard and you care about us while we’re hurting. That is GOLD. I was once having lunch with my friend Lynde when AWAA called with more bad news about Ben’s case, and I laid my head down on the table in the middle of Galaxy CafĂ© and bawled. Having no idea what to do with such a hot mess, she just cried with me. Thank you for being perfect that day, Lynde. 

2. Your questions are welcomed! We don’t mind telling you about the court system in Ethiopia or the in-country requirements in Nicaragua or the rules of the foster system. We’re glad to talk about adoption, and we’re thankful you care. I assure you we didn’t enter adoption lightly, so sharing details of this HUGE PIECE OF OUR LIVES is cathartic. Plus, we want you to know more because we’re all secretly hoping you’ll adopt later. (This is not true.) (Yes it is.)

3. When you say you’re praying for us and our waiting children, and you actually really are, not only does that soothe our troubled souls, but according to Scripture, it activates the heavens. So pray on, dear friends. Pray on. That is always the right thing to say. And please actually do it. We need people to stand in the gap for us when we are too tired and discouraged to keep praying the same words another day. 

4. If you can, please become telepathic to determine which days we want to talk about adoption and which days we’d rather you just show up on our doorstep with fresh figs from the Farmer’s Market (thanks, Katie) or kidnap us away in the middle of the day to go see Bridesmaids. Sometimes we need you to make us laugh and remember what it feels like to be carefree for a few hours. If you’re not sure which day we’re having, just pre-buy movie tickets and show up with the figs, and when we answer the door, hold them all up and ask, “Would you like to talk for an hour uninterrupted about waiting for a court date?” We’ll respond to whichever one fits. "

Ok, so I know she may have said some things that may or may not have ruffled your feathers, but there is truth in some things she writes, and there are many things that we can relate too, we also have had (actually more than one person) ask us if our son will be black, bless their hearts.  And while we 100% know and believe God's timing is perfect, sometimes you just want to hear "waiting sucks." Anyway, this is just part 1 of Jen's post, part 2 will come later when we prepare for "after the airport" :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I like adoption

First, thanks for all your encouragement after my last post, it was a rough day and I'm feeling much better-we all need to be a little raw sometimes you know?

Anyway, ok so there's been this video that's been circulating through facebook land and it's awesome, so awesome that I want to take some time to share it with you and talk a little about it.  It's called "I like adoption" and it's from the campaign "I like...( enter your word here)" which is an awesome campaign, my friend Beth wrote a little blurb about it over on the give1Save1 site the other day about living generously. It's basically a campaign for just that, to live generously.  Get this, so you can sign up for like a 3 day "trial" of living generously and they'll send you an email every day on what you can do to intentionally live generously.  We all know we should be generous, but when you're presented daily with a "task" it makes it a little more fun, you're seeking out those opportunities (which lets be honest we don't all do, but if you do, that's awesome!) It's funny all three day's when my "tasks" came to my inbox I'm like "there's not way that will come up in my everyday life!" And then, it did, usually pretty quickly. I'd tell you about all three days...but I really want you to try it for yourself ;)

Ok, so back to the "I like adoption" part of it.  That's the video where I first hear about "I like..." This video is just so sweet and real, okay so now you have to watch it so I can tell you my favorite parts, so watch it...

Ok so I have tons of favorites, I totally cried when the boy started playing the piano. And Justin and I watched it together and totally related to the gas and brake pedal...I'm ALWAYS bringing up new things to Justin. 

But in all reality, when he mentioned that their repair man said their house looks like a united nations meeting, I got goosebumps..because that's what I desire for our family; children from all over the world from all different backgrounds and with different stories. I looked at the family in this video and thought, that's just like a little piece of heaven in their house. 

and that my friends, is why I like adoption...

Monday, December 17, 2012


I feel like the title of this blog is quite fitting. I've been absent. I'm going to be pretty real and raw-not because I want to sound like a broken complaining record, but because I want to be real, and I want to represent a real picture of what the adoption process can feel like at times, because it's not always fun.

Sometimes, it's really really hard

This past week was an incredibly hard week for me.  I was in a fog, and I could sense darkness.  I wanted to stay inside, and not see or talk to anyone.  I was angry.  There are parts of our adoption journey we're choosing not to share publicly, and that's because while I want people to be as involved as they can, there are some things that we will not share, because just like you won't publically share about the negative (and sometimes gross) parts of a pregnancy we are choosing to keep parts of our journey private.

But that also comes with challenges, like this past week for example.  The reality of adoption kind of hit me like a ton of bricks, the reality of a past.  Our son will have a past, a past that might have happiness, but will have sadness because he will loose (either by death, abandonment, ect) his family.  And there will be sadness, and there will be grief.  I will not be able to take back time spent in orphanages, time possibly spent alone with no one to go to him when he cries.  I wonder if he's sick, if he's getting the medicine that he needs, if he's cold. Things I just cant control.

Then I was reminded, kind of like a ton of bricks slamming in my face, I have no control.  As much as I  try to control what I can, I have no control over our adoption.  None, and it's like God shook that into me this weekend. My friend Becky told me a long time ago (and reminded me this past week ;) ) that I have to give my child over to God long before he's home and trust that God in covering him with protection.  I opened up a little to my friend Wynne, about what I'm going through and she gave me some great ideas, because she's been there, you can read a great post she wrote about waiting here...she suggested I write a letter to God. Easier said than done.  How does one start a letter to God? I literally sat there with absolutely no idea what to write...I's God...

But I did it, and it was hard, and there were many tears but I felt relief! I knew God already knew what I was going through, but writing it out (and reading it aloud) was so freeing.

I know that I'm feeling that dark that's before the morning.  I know we have to continue to fight for our son, because this is not the first of hard days, there will be many hard days in our life together.

It's important for me to write down these times so that I can remember them, and see how they line up with our adoption journey, because maybe someone else is feeling pain similar to mine, and our stories will meet one day.

Until that day, we will continue to press on and fight the good fight.

"My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much.  When Christ set out to redeem us, it killed him"
-Derek Loux

...I wonder what God was feeling while He was waiting for me....

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ring Ring, it's Jesus calling...

The other day I read this in my Jesus Calling Devo (love it, if you don't have it get it, and if you do have it read it) it screamed out to me that day...

"Do not be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind.  When you struggle to find me and to live in My peace, don't let discouragement set in.  You are engaged in massive warfare, spiritually speaking.   The evil one abhors your closeness to Me, and his demonic underlings are determined to destroy our intimacy.  When you find yourself in the thick of the battle, call upon my name "Jesus, help me!" At that instant, the battle becomes Mine;  your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you. 

"My name, properly used, has unlimited Power to bless and protect.  At the end of time, every knee will bow (in heaven, on earth, and under the earth) when My name is proclaimed.  People who have used "Jesus" as a shoddy swear word will fall down in terror on that awesome day.  But all those who have drawn near me through trustingly uttering My name will be filled with inexpressible and glorious Joy.  This is your great hope, and you await my return. "
-Jesus Calling

This week, I've definitely felt the need to call upon Him. 

Powerful words. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Growing up, I wasn't a huge fan of hymns.  I went to a fairly conservative church in Portland where they *sometimes* used the big organ.  The funny thing is, I really liked the organ with the pipes reaching high up, and the woman who played it always seemed so serious, so I thought playing the organ must have been a super hard job.  I mean goodness, there's several levels of keys so you've really gotta be on it to make sure you don't mess the entire service up. 

Now that I'm a "grown up" I actually have grown to appreciate hymns and the history they have.  One of my favorites as of late is "Great is thy Faithfulness."  My favorite version is this one...(excuse the cheesy graphics...)

If I had to pick a favorite verse it'd be this one

Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed, thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me

Why? I don't know, I just really like it

Yesterday, I was in a pretty crappy mood (just being real here) .  My poor husband, it's like I was taken over by a grouchy, whiny brat. 

Then I heard this song on my Pandora this morning, coincidence? I think not, and I was determined to make this a better day. It's funny how God uses things like Pandora to snap me back into line. 

Photo Credit

Is this not so cute?! This would make the perfect Christmas present Justin Nunes ;) 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Promise

The other day, Justin and I were having a conversation about the advent and the Christmas season that is now upon us.  We were talking about the excitement that was built up to the birth of this child, this Holy child.  The feeling and knowing of a promise that is being fulfilled.  The anticipation that they must have felt knowing what was to come.  Mary had this visible reminder of what is to come, her growing belly.

The excitement of my coming child must be so minimal compared to the excitement of the arrival of the King...but I felt for just a moment the other day what Mary might have felt.  Sure, I don't have a growing belly with a baby inside, but God's hand has been over us this entire journey, and there are many times I am reminded He is in control of this, not me at all. 

I'll be honest, this holiday season has been difficult for me, and it's not something I expected.  Don't get me wrong, I love the holiday season-everything about it.  Bit this year, it's very different.  It's a different season of my life, and I am learning how to walk through it.

We too, are preparing and planning  for  a child.  
A preparation that has taken much more than 9 months. A preparation that began in our heats and began as just an idea many years ago.  
A thought that quickly grew as facts were presented, and is continuing to grow as we are continuing to learn and our eyes and continuing to open wider and wider.  
A preparation that involves books, seminars, webinars.
 Information out the wazoo!

 But now...we wait.
With an anticipation that is hard to explain. 
 Because I know (not just a feeling) I know that the child that we're waiting for will do great things...

My friend Becky shared this song with me a while back, it's made things easier knowing that one day he'll be home...the child we've anticipated...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thankful: Unlikely circumstances for good

My friend Sear suggested that I jump on the blog challenge of blogging everyday for the month of December.  Let me tell you, my finding something everyday to be thankful about? That's tough, which seems so dumb to me because I have SO much to be thankful for, but when you're searching for's kinda hard.  But it has been SOOOOO good. My day is so different when I approach it with thankfulness.  Especially for me since I've chosen to document my thankfulness with a picture, it seems to be even harder because somethings just can't be photographed to justify how thankful I am for them.  

So, here I am jumping on the blog train and trying to blog every day in December, here's my post from yesterday, nothing all that exciting and I don't have anything from December 1st, cut me some slack. But I do have todays and I plan on having one post a day from today on out... I'm not sure what each post will look like. 

I'll just jump in with a little TMI....I've had an awful cold type thing the past few days...Like, you know that NyQuil commercial where they show the people sleeping all weird and snoring and stuffing tissues up there nose (I told you TMI) that's my life.  Literally I feel like a little kid where "one side" of my nose works and the other doesn't.  BUT I'm thankful for a weekend to rest and for a husband who takes care of me and brings me tissues. 

As I was lying on the couch in all pathetic glory, I read this in my daily devotional...

"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, "rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 
"Neither the man nor his parents sinned" said Jesus "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."
-John 9:1-3

So that the works of God might be displayed in him....

God will use whatever situation, person or whatever He wants to bring HIM glory. Whether that be an illness, a missing limb, a terrible circumstance whatever you can think of I firmly believe that He will use as a testimony in one's life..(maybe even a cold ;) )

That's what I'm thankful for today

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Currently, I am...

Loving  this lazy weekend
Hating head colds. I hate them, BUT it's forcing me to slow down
Rejoicing over breaks in the rain
Waiting on my chicken coop to dry out, poor chickens are sinking in the sand...
Hoping in the future
Thinking about this upcoming holiday season...
Reading Running for My Life
Organizing my life...but starting with the file cabinet...
Crying because this morning I broke the garbage disposal...
Thankful because my hubs fixed it.
Praying for continued movement...

What are you doing today??

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Jesus Calling

Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.  That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything.  There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you joy (regardless of your circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience-at times, blind obedience.  To people who don't know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships.  Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain. 

Thankfulness opens your heart to My presence and your mind to My thoughts.  You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective.  It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity.  

"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
-Ephesians 5:20

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever"
-Psalm 118:1

"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence"
-Psalm 89:15

-Jesus Calling

...I'm not the most thankful person at times..a lot of the time.  And I don't always like to choose joy, but this devotion today spoke to me in a powerful way-that I need to choose joy. Always. I will be choosing to find joy  daily.  My goal is to find at least one thing each day I'm thankful for from today until a year from now. Yep November 24th 2012-November 24th-2013. I know, I know most people start these kinds of things January 1st, but I march to the beat of my own drum. I'll be posting my thankful thoughts via Instagram, why? Because I'm totally visual and am not all that good at expressing with words. 
Find me on Instagram :) stephanie_nunes

ps...I'm starting off strong today's thankful post with a dead phone, so no thankful pic, BUT I won a blog design giveaway, that's why my blog here has a new look :) So today, I'm thankful that I won a blog design (shallow I know)  but I'm not techy at all, and could never do anything like this on my own.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This is why

This is why I love Noonday Collection
This is why I (at times) blow up facebook with pictures and quotes of what this company is doing

Jessica, the founder of Noonday Collection is on an African adventure visiting the artisans of Noonday Collection in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda. 

We ambassadors were asked to make a keepsake for the artisans so that Jessica could show them who we are, and who you are.  
You, the women who wear their stories. 
This is what Jessica wrote to us after she gave them the keepsakes

"Bawled today as the women opened up your keepsakes and kissed the photos. 
 It was the uniting of women, 
of empowerment, 
of what God is doing"

The picture above is taken with the artisans in Ethiopia.  If you haven't had the chance to hear the stories of the Ethiopian pieces, prepare to be blown away.  

 Entoto mountain. 
men and women travel to this place where there is believed to be holy water, that will cure then from HIV.  
These women, their disease does NOT define who they are.
The pieces they create are truly a story of redemption.
Taking artillery pieces (old war weapons)
Melting them down and creating beautiful pieces
Pieces that tell a powerful story
A story of literally taking something used for darkness, for war, for death

And making into something beautiful. 

They are daughters of the King, just like you and I
They are beautiful
Their stories are powerful

You can help be their voice and share their story.

With the holiday's fast approaching, will you join me in a different kind of Christmas shopping?
Shopping that gives back
Shopping that gives the opportunity to be a voice for someone

If you're interested in hosting a Noonday Collection Trunk show, please let me know.  By opening your home for a few hours, you're opening up your home to allow stories to be shared, visions to be started and dreams to come true. 

That's why I love Noonday, because even if you're just helping one, to that one person it means everything

Saturday, November 17, 2012

One of those days...maybe weeks

Today was just one of those days I want to remember.  Nothing major happened, but it was just an all around wonderful day. Let me back up and tell you about this week though.

The week started with me running into, er, "tapping"the water heater in our garage with our car. Awesome right? Not, my husband didn't think so either, but he was very gracious with me.

Next,  literally the next day, I fell down the stairs. Which if you know me, isn't all that unusual. Sadly, I tend to rush, trip, whatever. I've fallen down and up the stairs quite a bit. One time I even fell up the stairs and broke a finger, true story. On my way toppling down the stairs, I ripped our alarm system straight out of the wall, again, awesome move on my part. Not. Since it lost power it started going off like crazy thinking some burglar tried to rip it out or something. Anyway, my trusty husband fixed it (thankfully, or we'd have to pay our alarm company big bucks)

But today, today was a good day.  A day where we could be slow and lazy, which hasn't happened in a long time.  I'm helping my friend Rachel with some styled shoots for her photography business, and she offered to take some pictures of Justin and I for out Christmas cards.  I definitely might have had some "failed" Pinterest attempts to recreate a picture, but she took a few that definitely made me tear up.

My favorite

This one is my favorite.  It symbolizes so much.  A year ago, we officially announced our plans to adopt.  I have learned so much this year, met so many people. We're praying boldly that next year we will have a family of three to take pictures. 

Tomorrow marks our 6 month DTE date, about to enter month 7. 

God moved mountains this year. 

"And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen."
Matthew 21:21

Monday, November 12, 2012

A day in the life...

Want to know what a day in the life of waiting for a referral is like? Glad you do, because I'm in the mood to give ya a glimpse. 

Here's the deal.  I'm not gonna lie, the waits tough at times, and there are people who've been waiting much longer than us.  We're about to end our 6th month waiting.  6 months... if we were pregnant at the 6th month mark, I'd assume we'd feel a lot like we do now.  We'd be getting a room ready for the babe, we'd be dreaming of the day when we'd get to meet our child face to face, but the difference is..we have no due date, we have some estimations-but really, we have no idea.  That parts kind of fun-not. You see, I'm a bit of a planner...I like to know schedules and routines.  I can be flexible-if it fits in with the schedule ;) 

We are truly on an adventure, it's one of many twists and turns, laughs (you should HEAR the conversations that go on in our house.  Things we've learned in the last year that I NEVER thought we'd be just chatting it up about) and some tears.  But you know, it's all good.  Because HE knows, and HIS plans a perfect. So I give you, a day in the life.

-Awake. We're on the west coast and our agency is on the east they're 3 hours ahead. I check some blogs, Facebook, the yahoo groups and see if anyone has gotten a referral.  If they have, I LOVE waking up Justin and telling him-I live vicariously through this wonderful community of adoption. 

- During the day I get emails from fellow families along in the journey.  These emails range from a variety of different topics.  I like reading them, sometimes they're from people who have gone before us and have some great info, sometimes it's from families who have just started and need advice on what paperwork gets sent where (we ALL know how awesome the paper chase can be..not) 

-Some day's I debate emailing our family coordinator hoping for some info

-Some days I sit and think about a women on the other side of the world...someone who will forever be connected to us. I wonder what she's doing. Is she safe? Is she scared? I pray for her all the time.

-Once it's about 2pm here, I know we won't hear from our agency...and that's okay. It's just another day down.

-We end our day usually talking about the little guy. What he might be doing, if he's even born, what his mom or dad are doing. Things like that.

God's been more than gracious to us this far. I have a feeling (actually I know) He's just getting started. 

Now wasn't that exciting?! Just another day in the life! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Paid in full...

That's how much God has brought to our adoption fund
It's paid in full
Yesterday we got a donation for exactly what we needed to cover our estimated costs. 
I wish I had some profound thing to say, but literally... I'm speechless. 
It's been almost a year since we announced our plans to adopt
Our lives have been rocked to say the least
God has taught us SO much in this last year, and we're still learning
We're learning sacrifice
We're learning total dependence
We're learning to live out our faith
I remember thinking back when we started, $25,000...we didn't even have $250 to fill out the application!
It's here
I remember when we decided to sell my car, I loved it, but knew we needed money to pay for our homestudy, so we sold it, and God provided. 
We've learned some pretty strict budgeting tricks this year-it's a love hate relationship. Justin and I joke that we're happy that we don't have much money, it's easier to decided how to spend it haha. 

I had a friend describe the adoption journey as if it were a race 
(ps, I don't run, hate it, tried to love it, didn't happen)
It's so true, it's like this continuous race of hills, flats, twists and turns, unexpected pains in your side, and comfortable strides.  
It's like we just ran up a hill, got our water break, and now we keep running.  
I can see the faces of those who stand with us, those who have given financially, prayed with us, people who are in this with us.
They're on the sidelines cheering us on, giving us what we need to keep running
Because we're not done running, not at all. 
We finished a major lap, a huge lap. A lap we could only finish with God's provision
We've gotten our water, now it's time to keep running...

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
-Ephesians 3:20-21

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Helpin' out

I love the community of adoption, like I've said a bazillion times before. I love some of the friends I've made along the process and the ones that I continue to meet.  Something I super love is when the body steps up and helps one another along in the process.  A fellow adoptive mama Kayla is hosting a giveaway for a super sweet couple who is adopting TWIN boys from Africa, melt my heart! Kayla and her husband's adoption story is super sweet, her little one was born in Nigeria, awesome.  Head over to Kayla's blog to enter to win an awesome giveaway that helps Natalie and her hubby bring their babies home!!! 

"My friends, adoption is redemption.  It's costly, exhausting expensive and outrageous.  Buying back lives costs so much.  When God set out to redeem us, it killed him."
-Derek Loux

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bye bye month 5!

Today marks our 5th month on the waiting list! We like to do something to celebrate the 18th of each month, even if it's something small.  Tonight, since we have youth group, we're bringing a cake and having a slice to celebrate God's faithfulness over the past 5 months, and to celebrate and welcome our 6th month of waiting! Have a high school student?? Send them our way tonight, they'll get to learn about Jesus, and have some yummy cake, it's a win win!!

Month 5, you were so hard, I won't miss you at all, but I learned a lot during our time spent with you.  

Here we go month 6!!!! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On my soap-box...

Sometimes, I feel like I have to have it all together.  It's almost like there's this unwritten rule in adoption that you have to always be smiling, always be happy and always be positive.  

Sometimes, I'm not.

Sometimes when people ask me "how's the adoption going?"

I want to burst into tears.

Sometimes, I just want to stay home, literally to avoid answering all questions. 

Sometimes, I just want to rant and rave. 

One thing, one big thing that I've been learning though this adoption journey is how radical the  love Jesus must have been (and be) for Him to have sought me out and waited for me.  To have fought for me. To have done whatever He could to make sure that I'm in His family.

I'll be honest, this past month, last few weeks in particular, the tears have dropped many times.  My poor sweet husband usually gets the brunt of it, and he's awesome at bringing me back down, taking me back to the point and reason we started this journey.  I get on these little pity party rants, woe is me, blah blah blah. I allow myself to think I'm suffering in my situation. But the thing is, I have no idea what it means to suffer.  

I can't imagine what what God goes through (and continues to go through) as He waits for us, fights for us, as He suffered for us. 

It has to be a crazy, radical kind of love. 

"Hero's are made because they are moved.  Not in their head, but in their heart, you have to be moved in such a level that you will shed blood.  Jesus Christ was moved, 'for God so loved the world that he gave'(John 3:16)  And that son that was given suffered."
-Eric Ludy

"Do we care at the level God cares?"

-Eric Ludy

I have no idea what it means to truly suffer, but I am so thankful that God is using this adoption to teach me more about the love He has for His world and for His people.  

And I am challenged to care at the level that God cares for His people and for His world. 

...Stepping off my soapbox now