Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The truth is...

...that international adoption is
and patience-testing
and unpredictable.

Can I get an Amen?

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm thankful for my family

The night before Thanksgiving, Mark and I went to church with my family.
The service was dedicated to celebrating God's goodness, and a microphone was passed around the congregation to give attendees the opportunity to share how He had blessed them over the past year.

We heard stories of physical healing and financial provision. People talked about ways they had grown spiritually and gave thanks for people in their lives who had come to know Christ.

Some talked about brain surgeries. Others about unemployment. Still others gave thanks for overseas missions and new babies and good preaching.

And then the microphone disappeared into the hands of a little boy.

His blond head barely reached above the top of the pew, but his tiny voice filled the whole church;

"I'm thankful for my family."

And of all the things I heard that night, this was the most profound.

Because the truth is that most children - most people - in the world cannot be thankful for family because they. don't. have. one.

I've always taken it for granted that every baby was born with the right of a family. That, in fact, every new baby was entitled to a nurturing mother, a providing father, and four doting, over-the-moon grandparents. Not to mention a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

However, the reality is that it is rare - even here in America - for a child to grow up in a home with both a mother and a father to love him. And when I look around the world, I see that children with just one healthy, providing parent or caregiver are more than fortunate.

I think God put the microphone in the hands of that small boy to remind me of all of this.

"I'm thankful for my family."

Such a simple phrase, but those five words tell of some of life's most precious privileges.

It is indeed a privilege to be a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a wife, a cousin, and an aunt.

And when I remember that not everyone in this broken world has been given these blessings, it truly makes me so, so thankful for my family too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stress Relief

I'm a little stressed out this week.
Stressed out enough that I cried four times today.

I found this little gem on the internet and I cried again.
But this time it was because I was laughing so hard.

Watch it all the way to the end.
It's worth every second.

Everybody now! "Shoulder, Chin, Double Dream Hands..."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Two Hundred Forty Seven

Two Hundred Forty Six

Two Hundred Forty Five

Asking a Favor

Tomorrow is the big race.

Please, please, if you have a minute, head over and leave Stephanie and Daniel a word of encouragement.

You'll be "high-fiving" them on our behalf,

and on behalf of a precious little boy in Ethiopia.

It would me oh-so-much to all of us.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Race for the Kid

I'd like to reintroduce you to someone.
Do you remember the bag-giveaway we did in February? And do you remember our big winner, Stephanie?

That's right, the Stephanie who was so excited to learn that she had won that she shouted in the library. Yep. I'm talking about that very same girl.

Well, you see, Stephanie is doing something HUGE for us next week. It's 26.2 miles of huge.

I had the privilege of having coffee with Stephanie about a month ago. I took a picture of us that day because I wanted to tell you all about her.

Unfortunately, I lost that picture. Well, unfortunately for Stephanie I lost that picture because all I have to show you is her photo from eighth grade when she was one of my adorable little volleyballers. (And, honestly, who wants a photo from eighth grade shared on the internet?)
Okay, I apologize. Perhaps that was mean.
To make up for it, here's a photo of Stephanie and her boyfriend Daniel (also an important part of the story today) from Halloween.
I want you to see that she has grown into a beautiful young woman.
A beautiful young woman with a big, big heart.

In one week, Stephanie and Daniel are running a marathon.

It will be 26.2 miles of focus, determination, and pain. And these 26.2 miles represent months of hard work - of getting up early and giving up free time to train and prepare.

But Daniel and Stephanie are not just running this marathon to conquer an obstacle or improve their physical fitness.

Daniel and Stephanie are running this race on behalf of a six-month-old boy in Ethiopia. Before we even knew who he was, Daniel and Stephanie decided that they would run this race to help us bring our son home.

So, while they've been running their tails off, Daniel and Stephanie have also been working hard to raise money to support our adoption.

Words are inadequate to express how much this means to us. We have been loved and supported by so.many.people. Our boy is already so.loved.

I'm not sure that it's possible, but if Daniel and Stephanie listen hard enough, they might be able to hear me cheering them on from Colorado next weekend.

They have kept a blog the past few months to share about the marathon and how they decided to support our adoption. If you have a minute in the next week, will you head over there and leave a comment to let them know that you are cheering for them too? (

Whether or not you know them, I'm sure they would appreciate letting your encouraging words roll through their minds as they line up to run next Sunday. And I have no doubt that they will need to recall something positive as they finish miles 25 and 26.

Daniel and Stephanie, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for loving us and loving our boy. And thank you for giving us such a powerful way to show him how much he was cared for from the very beginning of his life.

Run hard.
We know you can do it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010