Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Who You Are

I love JJ Heller. There’s just something about her songs that always seem to say what I feel deep inside. She is my favorite artist. The Boat Song is my ringtone for KC. 😊

 Her voice is so lovely and melodic, and the songs she writes are just beautiful. 

I haven’t heard her new stuff yet, but while browsing her Pinterest, I saw a video for I Know Who You Are. I haven’t heard that one, so I decided to check it out. I’ve posted the video below for you guys to watch.

I cried. I know, I know, that comes pretty easy for me (especially in this Christmas season) – but there’s a part at the end where she just keeps repeating this line:

Sometimes I don’t know, I don’t know what you’re doing,

I don’t know, I don’t know what you’re doing….

And then, she comes in with the final line that really hit me:

But I know who You are.

Yeah. I know right? This line puts into pretty song what my last few posts have been about. I have no idea what God is doing – and lets face it, the not knowing can really suck – BUT I know who He is.

And that part in the song, at 3:18 when she holds her hands up in worship just reduced me to tears. A combination of tears of joy and tears of surrender.

I don’t know what You’re doing, but I know who You are. And for right now, that’s more than enough.   ❤


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Be honest and brave…

Oh man. Do you ever read something – an email or text from a friend, a verse, or a devotional – and think God, you’re speakingright. to. me. That’s how I felt today on three separate, instances. Yet, they were all three so perfect and each one reiterated a point from the other! I love when that happens. 

I checked my Instagram and saw this quote from Kay Warren.



This is exactly what I try to convey when I post on my blog. “The determined choice to praise God in all things…” That’s where I’m at.


My last post was a bit more emotional than usual, but I knew I needed to be honest and let my feelings pour out. It frightens me sometimes to do that. I feel like that’s when I’ve been hurt the most; when I open myself up and allow myself to be vulnerable. It’s really only ever backfired before I met KC. So it’s something that still terrifies me. I try to remain passive and strong so I don’t get hurt by sharing the emotions battling inside me. I HATE sharing my feelings with others. So many thoughts race through my mind:


What if they think I’m crazy?

What if they’re uninterested?

What if they make fun of me when they get home?

What if they don’t get it?


And then this morning, (in)Courage had this devotional – When Holidays Hold More Sorrow Than Joy. I didn’t think much of it, but read it anyway. I’m attaching the link for you guys to read, but I’m going to attach just a little piece from it, the part that struck me and caused tears to well up in my eyes.


On Living Wide Open and Being Held

…. It’s still okay for the emptiness to feel raw at times.

Because God never leads us through pain apart from a corresponding invitation to intimately experience His nearness.

And in this season, while you ache, this is His heart for you: Live wide open.  

Don’t close your heart. Don’t allow numbness to set in – because to be numb to pain is to be numb to joy. And God has joy for you, friend.

It may come in tiny blips at first. Embrace it as it comes. Smile. Laugh. Play goofy games and eat good food and give gifts and hugs and enjoy your loved ones.

And when the ache feels acute? Don’t run from it.

Cry if you need to. Be honest and brave.Entrust your heart to a few close ones by allowing them to simply be present with you in the aching.

There’ll be times when your heart isn’t handled well by those who love you. Intentions are good, but we humans are sometimes ignorant when it comes to handling each others hurts.

When people fail to compassionately hold our hearts? God extends to us the most precious of invitations:

Beloved, let Me hold you.  

Be gut-wrenchingly honest before Me. Entrust the depths of your pain to Me. Your raw authenticity before Me is the sweetest fragrance to My heart, and this ache is where I’m inviting you into intimacy.

So give yourself permission to just be before Him, friend.

Live wide open.






Let your emotions be what they are, from moment to moment, and allow others into them. Especially Him. There’s no greater gift you can offer – to others or to your Father who loves you – than your authentic heart.


 And then, Beni Johnson posts on FB a portion of her devotional this morning:

"Linger a while in My Presence, letting My Love soak into your soul."


This. This is perfect. All of it. It’s spoken in love. It’s what I was talking about last week. Beloved, let Me hold you.  This is what He says to me. I may still have a hard time opening up to others, but He will always be there.


Choice. That’s what it’s about. Choosing to let Him and others in. Choosing joy. Choosing to praise Him no matter the outcome. Life will be hard – it’s full of brokenness; we’re broken. But choosing Him over all the pain, sorrow, and grief is what it’s about. Choice.


Choose Him. It doesn’t magically take away the hard times. It makes them easier because you have someone to lean on. I’m choosing Him.  ❤






{Click here for the rest of the post from (in)Courage. And I highly recommend signing up for their daily devotional emails  http://www.incourage.me/2013/12/when-holidays-hold-more-sorrow-than-joy.html}



Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Longer We Wait.....

The longer we wait, the harder it is to get updates from our agency…. The kind of updates you don’t want to get. The kind of updates that state that because of new processes, referrals are slllooowwwiing down. Therefore, wait times will be – you’ve got it – EXTENDED.

When we’d get crappy news in the beginning (I tried finding another word, but none fit quite as good as crappy), I’d find myself taking a deep breath and saying “Eh, it’s okay. It’s all part of the adoption process!” I may or may not have naively thought “This is the real deal! We’re even getting bad news! Woot woot!” I know. I realize how foolish I was.

Now, when every we get news like we just got – I find myself staring at the screen. Blankly. Honestly, a lot of times my mind just freezes as I take it in. I’ve gotten to the point that it feels like the norm. Not that it doesn’t suck. Not that it doesn’t hurt. Not that I don’t want to bawl. We’ve just crossed that threshold into “The Norm”.

I know some of you who are new may think “But you’ve only been waiting to be matched for a few months right?”. You are correct. However, we sent in our first piece of paperwork on my 24th birthday. We’d been in contact with an agency prior to that, but we mailed our initial app that day. Two months from Wednesday will be my 27th birthday. It took us A LOT longer to even get to the point of actively waiting for a match. It was 2 ½ years to be exact! So while most people can get to the actively waiting part within 6-18 months, it took u s30 months. Thirty long months of back and forth with our agency of new paperwork, old paperwork, lost paperwork, found paperwork. So you can understand why this is so hard.

We’ve been in the adoption process for 34 months, stretching over 3 years. I am still joyful – because that is something that cannot be taken from me. I still thank God every day because us pursuing Effie is a reflection of how He pursues us. She has no idea who we are or what we are going through for her right now, but some days, it takes everything in me to wake up and choose to be positive.

I praise God for His goodness through many tears. My weakness is made stronger in Him. I run to Him – as fast as my short little Hobbit legs will take me – when I feel like I can’t go on another step. Days when I have the fleeting thought of just giving up.

I try to be as brutally honest with you guys as I can. Whether or not this gets read, it’s a way for me to get my feelings down and off my mind and out of my heart. I’ll fight and fight hard. But there’s always that thought of “Lord, what are we doing?! What are YOU doing?!” And quite frankly, I do not know the answer to the second part of that question, but that's okay.

I have NO idea what He is doing. But the ONLY thing I have through crappy times like today is faith and trust in Him. I have no definite timeline on when my daughter will be home. But I certainly know that He loves me. That he pursues me. That He’s here right now next to me, brushing my hair behind my ear and holding me. He is the ultimate comforter. And just like a friend who will sit next to you, silently, and let you ugly cry – so will He.  ❤


Friday, December 6, 2013

Agency Update....

Today KC and I got an update from our agency. We got some tough-to-digest news shortly followed by some oh-okay-cool news. 

The Tough-to-Digest News:
I'm going to sum this first part up as easily as I can because it involves a lot of legal jargon and red tape... I'm still not caught up on the logistics really. Apparently, a few months ago, a new step was added to the tail-end of international adoption processes. It's called the PAIR process. 

Pretty much, USCIS wants to thoroughly review the case before granting the appropriate paperwork for a child to come to the US. While this is a good idea in that it ensures a child is truly orphaned, it does have a few side affects. 

Once we accept a referral, before the new PAIR Process was implemented, we'd be submitted to court in a matter of weeks. Sadly, with this new process, it could be anywhere from 10-20 weeks before our case is submitted to court. 

In cases you're too confused or shocked to count, that's Five. Long. Months. That we could be waiting to meet Effie after we finally see her picture. While I'm in support of making sure she's truly orphaned, it seems crazy to make families wait that much longer. 

My mind is still reeling from this news. I sat on the edge of the bed and read the update to KC as tears started to blur my vision. I know that I know that I know that He's got this. I know the timing is in His hands. But sometimes, for a split second, it's hard to see the forest for all trees. 

KC kept me from having a breakdown. He spoke kind and calming words and told me that Gods got this. He reminded me of the verse in Exodus 14 - The Lord will fight for you. 

Because as I've said before, as hard as we're fighting for her, He's fighting for us. 

The Oh-Okay-Cool News:

Our Dossier has finally been certified and translated. Woot woot! 

Also, we won't have to update our Dossier again until we get a referral. Which is pretty awesome considering we would've had to start working on the 65+ pages of our lives again in about March. Ha!

So please friends - both old and new - keep praying for us. For families still waiting for their kiddos. For kiddos still waiting for their families. The holidays are tough enough without getting cruddy news from adoption agency's. I know all us adopting Mommas n' Daddies would appreciate the prayers.  ❤


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pains and Promises

As we head into the month of December, it’s hard not to dwell on the fact that another year has come and gone without Effie. I spent a lot of time Sunday having an “emotional purging”… aka: cry-fest. I don’t feel like such a pansy when I say “emotional purging”. I’d feel like a whining-sissy-baby if I said I sobbed and bawled and ate Hershey’s chocolate over my daughter whom I have never laid eyes on nor met.


I honestly cannot explain this ache in my heart. I don’t quite understand it, so I know how hard it must be for those of you on the outside to understand what I mean. Yesterday afternoon, I curled up in bed next to my dear husband and “purged”….. and babbled – somewhat incoherently I might add - and then “purged” some more. As I lay there, curled up under my big soft comforter, my heart ached and yearned for her.


I. Just. Wanted. To. Hold. Her. To look her in the eyes and tell her how much I love and adore her. To tell her how wanted she is. How dearly loved she is. I cannot explain how I can hurt so much for someone I have never met. By all logic, I shouldn’t. But, I do. …… I’m a Mom.


I think of her every single day; some days more than others. And as the holidays draw near, it’s even harder. Not just because it’s another Christmas without her, but because another year of this journey is coming to a close. I know someday (hopefully soon) she’ll be home. She’ll be in my arms. And I’m holding on to that promise.


My hope isn’t in Effie or in her coming home though. My hope is in Christ. And just like His heart aches for those who have yet to come to know Him, my heart aches for her. I haven’t lost faith. I know He will fulfill the promise He gave to KC and I. And I’m rejoicing in Him.


I’m choosing to continue praising Him. This month will be hard – but it makes worshiping Him so much sweeter. Choosing to raise your hands in surrender and give it all up to Him. Choosing joy in the time that you’d rather spend crying. I trust Him with everything. He has never let me down. So I’ll praise Him now just like I will when Effie is finally home. Just like I will when she’s been home and things get hard again because she has pains that I cannot heal. I’ll praise Him from dawn ‘til dusk, through easy and tough. A loud and heartfelt Hallelujah! is all I need to comfort my soul…  


KC posted a great little blip on his Facebook yesterday about this. This is the part that stuck out to me the most:


{These pains are “birth pains” and God’s greatest promises come from impossible births.  ❤}


I also find it’s no coincidence that I came across this verse again this week, as Christmas is drawing near:


“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord…. ❤” Luke 1:45