Thursday, January 01, 2009

Growing Our Family Again

Happy New Year to all of our friends and family!!!

This has been an absolutely incredible year for our family and we are thanking God every day for His many many blessings. I am so excited about 2009 because many big changes are about to occur in our family. God is blessing us with another child! We have followed God down the path of adoption once again. We started feeling His strong calling at the beginning of 2008, but we had to wait for His direction and timing. We prayed about it almost nonstop. We prayed for God's will and not our own. In May, everything seemed to intensify and we knew it was time, but we still had so many unanswered questions. May is one of the busiest times of our year. I'm always a little crazy in May because we have several birthdays, the end of the school year with so many field trips and school events, our anniversary, Mother's Day, you name it. That's when I started to doubt God's will for us. I was certain He didn't think, I, the woman who couldn't even handle the scheduled of the 5 we have, could seriously handle another child. We prayed for direction (which I suppose I expected to be "Yes Kelly, you're right, you cannot handle this. I'll ask someone else."). WOW who was I to question God? We had been doing a family Bible study discussing Joshua 3, yet I never made a connection. That same week I questioned God, two different friends (who don't know one another) sent me the same chapter of Joshua for different reasons. Two parts of the chapter stood out to me like none other. The first one was Joshua 3:14-17:



So when the people broke camp to cross the
Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who
carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the
water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance
away, at a town called Adam, while the water flowing down to the sea was
completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had
completed the crossing on dry ground. Joshua 3:14-17


These words repeated through my head day and night as if God had a recording in my ear hitting replay over and over. Being the thick headed child of God that I am, I didn't realize right away just how deep these verses were as God was applying them to our lives. I continued feeling sorry for myself and thinking surely God had made a mistake in calling US to add a child to our already large family. Then it hit me. This situation is so much like what the Israelites experienced. They were expected to cross the Jordan River at FLOOD STAGE which is what my life is with 5 children....my schedule is definitely overflowing it's banks at all times. Did God give them all the answers ahead of time? No. He expected obedience and faith in Him. He told them to keep their eyes on the Ark (which represents Him) and follow it. I can only imagine what their Earthly minds thought. "God do you have any idea what happens when people walk into raging rivers??? Do you realize this river is at flood stage??" Or maybe, "I want to do your will as long as it's easy and we don't have to face such risks, so can you call us a little later on when things aren't so dangerous?" This is essentially what I, myself, was thinking. Thank goodness we have a very patient and gracious God. They obeyed. They stepped into the river on pure faith alone. God provided. The river stopped flowing and God allowed all the Israelites to cross on dry land as long as they kept their eye on God. Why should we be any different?

Ok God, we know we MUST trust you and adopt right now even if our Earthly minds think it's crazy. :) Now, where? Little did I know He was using that same chapter in Joshua to answer that question as well.

"When you see the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, and the priest, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before." Joshua 3:3-4



We had quite an interest in several countries - Philippines, US, Thailand, Belize, El Salvador, Ethiopia, etc. One day we were just looking at the options of all the countries....travel requirements, approx travel costs, etc. We were looking at flight costs of Ethiopia when just as we were closing the page down, a "tourist attraction" in Ethiopia caught my eye. A church in a place called Axum contains what is thought to be the original Ark of the Covenant! We knew RIGHT AWAY it was God's way of telling us "where to go".

It felt SO refreshing once we knew where God was sending us. God gave us the most AMAZING peace. We got our homestudy updated and sent in our documents to have our 171H extended and the country changed from Guatemala to Ethiopia. Little did we know that at the exact same God was speaking so loudly to us that we were to go to Ethiopia to adopt a child, God was orchestrating the other side of the adoption as well as a little boy in Ethiopia had just lost both his parents and was being sent to an orphanage.

The first week of August (the 5th to be exact), we were going about our every "Cashcrew" life when I looked at John and said, "Do you know what would be perfect for our family? A very sweet little 4-6yr old boy who needs a family would fight right in." (I told no one else this...just a random "think out loud" moment.) Within an hour, a friend emailed me a photo of a little boy an agency was trying to find a home for. I am not kidding beside his photo it said, "Very sweet little 5yr old boy in Africa in need of a family." John urged me to ask more about him. SO many obstacles had to be crossed. First of all our homestudy wasn't finished, our dossier wasn't finished, and this email went out to several people. The odds someone else would adopt him before we got all these things in order were huge! The agency wouldn't place a child on hold before a dossier was in, which we agree with, for ethical reasons. We felt God was telling us this was our child but we would only know if he was still available once we had everything in order. We rushed and rushed trying to complete all of our paperwork and what should have taken us about 2 weeks, took us 3 months! Satan threw every kind of road block he could muster in our path to distract and discouraged. The harder Satan worked the closer we knew we were to completing God's plan. In November we officially accepted the referral of our soon-to-be son, B. :)

We feel so completely HONORED and BLESSED to be called by God to love this little boy. Per Ethiopian rules, we cannot share a photo of him until we have passed court and he is officially our son (which we hope will be in 2-3 months), but I can tell you he is ABSOLUTELY beautiful with the most gorgeous eyes and the longest eyelashes ever. He will melt many hearts with those eyes (and he already has starting with his mama's)!!!

We beg for your prayers. While I have complete faith that God will work out all of the kinks, there are many kinks. Please be praying for B's heart to be prepared for all the changes he will be going through soon. We will keep as many things the same as possible but leaving behind your language, culture, food, home, and everyone familiar would be very hard on any 5yr old. He will know little, if any English and we will know little Amharic. Please be praying for me to be prepared to leave my children (which is torture for me) and to take a very long flight (which I'm terrified of) when it's time to travel. Please pray that our children are prepared to share their mommy and daddy with him especially during the first days when he will need so much of us to learn his new life and to feel secure. Please be praying we keep God's plan in focus and do not take any of the glory....it's ALL HIM. HIS plan. HIS adoption. HIS GLORY.


We cannot wait to fill this empty spot & add some names up there!


post signature

30 comments:

Kerri said...

Yippee!!! Fingers are crossed for a speedy court date so we can see that gorgeous boy's pic right her with the others!

jill marie said...

WOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW! This is such GREAT newssssssssssss. Happy Happy New Year...

Tina said...

Hi Kelly, We are wondering if God is calling us to add another little one to our family. I LOVE your story. It is so inspiring to see God's hand at work. Keep us posted! Tina Fleetwood

Megan said...

Congratulations!!!! Many blessings and will be praying for you and your beautiful family on this next adventure!! God is sooo good!

Ruthanne said...

Yayyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to meet B. and see his coat hanging with the others (although by the time he comes home, we may be seeing his Crocs lined up with the others. lol)

Mary Ann said...

Hi Twin, You know I am praying for you girl!! I can not wait to see pictures of him in your arms! And of course since we were made up of apparently the same DNA I too have that string pulling at my heart for just one more child. So please be praying for us that our hearts and eyes will be opened to see Gods will and direction to take.
Many Blessings to all of your family for 2009! I pray this is a great year for you all!

Kathy said...

Kelly - that is amazing and wonderful news!! I will pray for a smooth and speedy process for you as well as transition once your son comes home! Congratulations!!!

Kathy

Kristy said...

Wow! Kelly, I have to admit it's been a while since I visited your blog b/c my computer died about a month or so ago and I lost all my regular blogs. I was thinking about you guys and looked you up...I wasn't expecting this news. It's awesome! I will definitely keep your family in my prayers! We long for one (or two or three) more too...just waiting to see what God has in store for our family. :) Hope all is well...

Jill said...

Kelly - what a beautiful heartfelt, God honoring post!

You know I'm praying alongside of you!

Happy New Year dear friend!

I can't wait to see that coat hook filled too!

Love and blessings,
Jill

Nancy and Isaac McGee said...

Kelly that is so awesome. I had no idea you all were in the process of bringing home a little boy. I can't wait to meet him at one of the Guata-gatherings. You and your family and especially B will be in my prayers. God Bless you as you wait for news

Hannah said...

That brought tears to my eyes!! I have such a STRONG desire to adopt again. I feel a strong pull to Ethiopia and Korea...I just don't know where or how to be able to do it (afford it). I'll keep you guys and your super sweet little guy in my prayers every night. I am beyond thrilled for this little boy...to find any home is a gift but to find you guys... a home so overflowing with love for each other the Lord. ..Wow!

hugs,
Hannah

Carla said...

Kelly, I think I've told you a million times how so very excited I am for you and your family. You are all in my prayers. I am going to keep praying until your precious son comes hom.

Laurie said...

OMG Kelly that is awesome I am so excited for you! I have a good friend that brought home this AMAZING little girl from Ethiopia in July! There are pictures of her on my blog in the first of December! Sooooo excited for you. I know you have probably met many people but I now of 2 people in Tulsa I can hook you up with and one that adopted what she thought was a 5 year old, but Medina insists she is 7! AMAZING little girl! :)

julie said...

Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on your new little boy. How exciting!

Robyn said...

How exciting!! I am so happy for you!! I pray he's home soon!!

Debbie said...

You know how hard I am praying for your family!!

Debbie

JuJu - said...

so excited for you - and for that precious child-

The McKenzie Crew will be praying for you all as you walk this journey to bring "B" home:)

God is so amazing:)

Natalie said...

Oh Kelly! You have me crying over here. Of course we are praying for sweet B to get home ASAP. Much love!!!

Cheryl, said...

Oh my gosh, that is awesome. I wish you and your family the best. I will pray that everything goes as planned. I can not wait to see the pics of your entire family together forever.

Hugs,

Cheryl

Our Family of 5 said...

Beyond thrilled for you all Kelly. Our family is sending many prayers to yours and can't wait to welcome B to your family!!

Elisa said...

I can't wait to see your new little guy!

We are also (hopefully) welcoming a new one home in a few months.

Congrats!

Sarah said...

Oh Kelly! I have been so out of the loop these past couple of months! I am SOOO thrilled for you and for little B to be joining your family! Now, I only wish that you had moved here! LOL!

Congratulations! What a miraculous year 2009 will be for your family!!

Love, hugs and FROG!

Dani said...

First congrats! I can't wait to hear your court date and see his pictures! Will you all be coming to the East TN ET meeting?
Second the final picture of the coats got me. I'm sitting here crying!

Gwen, Jenny, & Mia said...

Wow!!!! Congratulations! I am so happy for you! I can't wait! Keep us posted!

Steve & Amy said...

WOW, WOW, WOW! What a story!!! Congratulations on your new son! Praying that your wait will be short and that he will be in your arms forever!! We are so happy for you & your family!

PS. Your Christmas looked like fun too! Love all the pictures!

Samantha- Mama to Julian said...

i'm sobbing. congratulations!! i assume you're in contact with kerri about ethiopia? medina was just about your son's age when she came home. oh kelly, yay!!!!

Michelle Smiles said...

Congrats and good luck with adding your newest child to your family!

Faith, Family, Future said...

What wonderful news and a great testimony of God's faithful Hand guiding your family.

We look forward to seeing your newest angel in the coming months.

Many prayers,
Tammy

Lori :) said...

Of course - even though I knew most of the story - I am still crying with chills all over while reading about God's incredible plans he has for you and your precious son! I love adoption stories! God is so awesome! I will definitely be praying for your son to come home soon! As you know, I have a sweet spot in my heart for the children and country of Ethiopia! Eat some Injera for me! :)

Carla said...

Okay,chicka, it's time for a new blog post and some new pics.; (can you tell I'm on myh laptop?)