Monday, October 31, 2011

One Year Ago Today

A year ago today I was sitting in a hospital room waiting to see the Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor at North Austin Medical Center. We had just been told that we had lost one of our twins, and no one knew why, but I needed to be admitted where my doctor could check things out. We were later told that it looked as if his placenta had detached from the uterine lining. We were told that these things just happen. There was nothing we could do to prevent it. It's a risk when you are pregnant with twins.

A year later, I still grieve. I still miss our sweet Owen, but I get to spend my days with the sweetest girl I know. Her daddy brought her in to snuggle this morning. She wasn't interested in snuggling. She wanted to play. Her joyful squeals and sweet smiles warm my heart. The way she masks her yawns makes me smile. Hearing her say "dada" is something we treasure in our hearts.

A year ago we were worried that we wouldn't have this sweet girl here. We were worried that we would lose her too.

But a year later we have experienced God's faithfulness on a daily basis, and are preparing to adopt two babies from Haiti.

And we are so grateful that He has brought us through the dessert.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

God is so good!

We decided last weekend to meet with an adoption agency this past Wednesday to start the process of adopting from Haiti. So Wednesday night came and we fell in love with the agency, and God confirmed this is the direction we should be heading.

We talked about all the different ways to finance adoption (because as you know it is EXPENSIVE), and we realized it is incredibly possible to do this. My sister had told me on Tuesday about her friend who wrote a book titled "Debt Free Adoption", and that lingered in the back of my head. Debt free...can we do this? A friend mentioned interest free loans and that sounded intriguing, but I just kept thinking about doing this whole thing debt free.

And God did something AMAZING! Paul went to pick up my seizure meds at Walgreens and called me. My first thought was "Why is he calling? Is everything okay?". Then he said to me "Did you know your meds are generic now?" "No, I didn't." Then he tells me they only cost $5!! $5!!!!! now for about 7 years now we have been paying $40 for these meds. That's A LOT of money. I had an appointment with my neurologist earlier that day, and she usually mentions stuff like that to me, and she hadn't. It was such a sweet blessing from God that we are saving $35 a month on my seizure meds now. $35 that is already in our budget that can now go to something like...ADOPTING!

God confirmed to me that Debt Free Adoption is the way He wants us to go. With something as little as $35 a month God is already providing a way to bring our children home.

On top of that, Thursday I started filling out our application. They ask for LOTS of information about finances. And we started talking about assets and liabilities. God started showing us more money that He had already provided for us to put towards our adoption. I talked to my mom, and they are going to give us money for birthdays and holidays. Now it may be $35, but God has already shown us that $35 can be A LOT and He is going to provide!

We are excited about what God is doing in our family. We're excited to see how He is going to provide so that it grows the way He has designed it to grow.

We are praying that our story will be one of hope and inspiration for those of you who have always wanted to adopt, but thought it cost too much. We want to show how God will provide for you when you are obedient to love the fatherless.

It's amazing!

Stay tuned for some ways you can jump on board and help out. One way will be through a Noonday Collection Trunk Show ( prepared to get jewelery for Christmas). Another will be through a t-shirt, and another through training and running the Chosen: Marathon for Adoption next October. God can use you in many ways to love the fatherless. We look forward to seeing how He is going to use you!

Monday, October 17, 2011

We're Getting Started

After many referrals to different orphanages and adoption agencies we are finally getting started in the process to adopt our children. We have a meeting Wednesday evening with an agency to go over cost, applications, timelines, etc.

I'm a little giddy to be honest. I've wanted to adopt my whole life, and I know God has been calling our family to care for orphans we just didn't know when and where. We're excited.

I know that this process is going to be long, we've been told to expect it take 2 years. I know that once we bring our children home it isn't going to be a fairy tale, but a very real challenge. I know that it isn't going to be easy, but I do know that God is going to be with us through this process. I know that God knows which children will come into our home, where the money will come from, and how we will all adapt to one another. God has this all planned out and it is perfect, but not easy.

Please keep us in your prayers as we begin this process. We have a lot of decisions to make. So here is what you can be praying for now:

1) Wisdom about which agency to go through.

2) Wisdom about whether or not we should even go through an agency or just work through an orphanage to complete the adoption.

3) God's protection over our children while they wait for us. That they will know they are loved, cared for and desired by us. And they will know they won't be orphans for long.

4) God will provide the money for us to bring our children home.

Also, please keep our friends Jake and Krista in your prayers as they are in Uganda RIGHT NOW waiting for a judge to give them guardianship of their son. They have a court date Friday. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

5 weeks, 18 weeks, 9 months, 1 year, 13 years, 30 years

Saturday I attended the memorial service of my dear friend, Amy Brunson Schinzler. There were many tears, there were laughs, and there were sighs of relief.

Of course, everyone who knew Amy is devastated that she isn't here with us anymore. She made everyone who knew her smile, and she is one of the most inspirational people that I know. For a person who dealt with so much cancer, she came to know Christ in a deeper way. It had helped me to know Christ in a deeper way, and more grateful for trials I face. God's grace is shown in trials. He uses them to draw us to a deeper understanding of who He is, and how much He loves us.

I heard something at the memorial service that really hit my heart, and I have been pondering it since then. Bobby Pruitt said "To us 30 years doesn't seem long enough, but to Amy (now that she is in heaven) 30 years was too long."

That is so true. I think I struggle with eternity because I don't know what it will be like. I don't know what Heaven is really like because I haven't experienced it. But I believe that what the Bible says is true, and because of that I know that Heaven will be AMAZING! I know that I will know God in a deeper way than ever before because sin won't be hindering it.

So here is what God showed me through this. I had a miscarriage at 5 weeks...that seemed too short to me, but to that baby it was too long. We lost Owen at 18 weeks. To me that was too short, but to Owen it was too long. A friend of my mom's lost her baby at 9 months, to us that was too short, but to that baby it was too long. My best friend died in a car accident in 8th grade, to us it was too short, but to her it was too long.

You see, when you have accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, your sins are forgiven. Your eternity is going to be greater than you could ever ask or imagine. And the time you have on this earth may seem to short, but once in Heaven we will all know our time on Earth was too long because Christ is so much greater.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Honor of Amy

Most of my teenage years I had heard about Amy Brunson. My dear friend, Kim Goble, had known Amy for sometime, and I would spend time with Kim and hear all about the adventures she had with Amy. The first time I met Amy was the summer of 2002. We moved into a house with 5 other girls for a summer youth internship at HCBC. Amy and I ended up being roommates and that is where our friendship started.

Amy always made me laugh. She was the one who always had a smile on her face, and was cheerful. We had girls hang out nights at her parents house, and I felt like I became part of her family. 

When I think of Amy I think of this verse:
"5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. " 2 Timothy 4:5-8

I have not known another person who lived life so fully, who glorified God no matter her circumstances, who showed others who Christ was through suffering, and worried that she hadn't shown Christ to enough people even in her last days.

God has given us each a different portion. He used Amy mightily over the last 10 years in my life to point me to Him when I was suffering. I haven't endured anything like cancer. And the things I have endured don't even seem to compare. But today I am left wondering if the trials I have endured have pointed other to Christ the way Amy did.

I am grateful that Jesus conquered death. I am grateful that Jesus died on the cross so that if you believe in Him when you die you will go to Heaven. I'm grateful that this is not the end for Amy, but the beginning. I'm grateful that her suffering has ended, and I will see her again. 

Amy will be missed. Several people have said that there is an Amy shaped hole left in our world and I agree. Life will be different without her. 

I'm grateful that this verse is true: 
"38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 

Sweet friend you are missed, but God has been glorified in your life and your work is done. You finished the race. Can't wait to see you in Heaven.