Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Secret is OUT!!!!!!

I am writing this today (Monday), but I will probably not be posting this until tomorrow. I have been keeping a VERY BIG secret for a long time and finally, I can share. We are adopting!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going to be adopting 2 beautiful little girls ages 7 and 5, and they are joining our family this week. Our court order came out on November 24th while we were on furlough, and now that we are back, we get to be a family. I have been having a hard time not talking about it, so I feel like that may be one reason for less blog posts lately.

We have talked about adoption for many years, and after our last furlough, we spent more time praying about God's timing and plan. God surprised us with His answer and we are thrilled about opening our hearts and our home to two precious little girls. My kids are thrilled and one of the best parts is that they are already good friends because they live at Beautiful Gate.

We moved off campus last year to finalize things for our home study because we may not live on campus and adopt because it would cause too much confusion for the girls (I completely understand that rule). So we are going to be spending a lot of quality time together as a family of 7 for the next month in hopes of helping them feel welcome and loved by their new forever family. It is crazy to be writing that about myself this time instead of everyone else who has come through Beautiful Gate!

Elijah, Faith and Mercy have been amazing through this process, and we have had some amazing heart to heart conversations. We all know that there are good and hard things that will be coming our way as we get to know our daughters/sisters, and their hearts are very open. When asked about their biggest fears they have been saying things like being afraid of not being a good example or worrying about the girls not knowing God. At their age, I may have worried about not having my own space or having to share with siblings who might break my stuff :) They have been praying for their sisters for awhile now and the things they say brings tears to my eyes (I should write them down for the days when the 5 of them are making each other crazy, hahaha). I am so humbled that the Lord would allow me to be the mother of 5 kids (and honestly, a little afraid too), and I am looking forward to this next step in our family.
I remember rejoicing when a child was adopted because it was their last night as an orphan and I am rejoicing with my whole heart that I can make that dream come true for two children. I will get to tuck them in, sing them songs, play countless games of duck -duck -goose (their favorite currently), hold them when they cry because they miss their moms (biological and BG mom), teach them to swim, teach them to know God, hold their hand when they are scared, give them space when they push me away, but be there when they need me back, and so much more. God willing, these two precious girls will never be orphans again! This is the best, most exciting, and most terrifying week because this is when all the dreaming and imagining go away, and the real begins. Thank you friends and family for your faithful support, and for your continued prayers for us all as we transition into a family of 7!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Going home to Lesotho!

We leave tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!! Back to Lesotho!!!!! Yeah! So I am a little excited to get back to Beautiful Gate and see everyone in Lesotho again. I can't believe how much I miss everyone after only 9 weeks, but I do miss them. Sometimes I see posts from our volunteers and my heart actually hurts to be away from the kids and staff. They are such a part of our lives that it feels incomplete without them around. I know that we are really going to miss our friends and family here, but I am ready to get back (no offense to all of you, most of you know my heart and why I long to be back in Lesotho). I remember thinking that 5 years was going to be an eternity and now I am thinking that 2 years is going to FLY by. There is so much more I want to do, people I want to be with and hearts I want to touch before my time is up. I have this strange sense of urgency, and I want to make every moment count while I am there.

On Sunday, our church took some time and prayed over us. I felt so honored to be able to be sent as a representative of our church. So many friends and family support us and have put their trust in us and it is an honor (also a little scary at times because it is a BIG calling). At the end of the prayer time, Mercy took my hand and said, "I don't mean to brag Mommy, but I am so glad that our family was the one chosen to go to Lesotho." Wow, what a beautiful thing to say. There have been moments when you all read through my tears because I thought I may have ruined my kids by going to Lesotho. Then my sweet little 8 year old says she is so glad we were chosen by God to serve there. I am so humbled by that.

We gave our kids some fun little memories while we were in MI, but it will be the 7 years they spent in Lesotho that will change their lives and their perspectives forever. God is so good and He is doing amazing things. We are as ready as we can be for our next adventure Lord!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Family time

Our timing for being home was perfect and it is hard to believe that it is almost to a close. 2 months flies by in a blink and there are still so many friends that I did not get to see. On the positive side, we have spent a lot of time with our families, and that has been very refreshing. Late night games and movies, watching the kids dance with their cousins, watching football, bowling, laser tag, eating big holiday meals, and just talking about life. My parents came up for 9 days and I even got to be a part of a small family reunion at my aunt and uncles house. Sometimes, it is like we really haven't been gone for a long time in the way it is so easy to catch up. Bryan's extended family got together for a fun day of bowling and catching up as well, and it was good. We are both very lucky to have such great family whom we enjoy being with.
We were also reminded in these past weeks how quickly all of it can be stripped away. Bryan's dad made it through cancer treatments and was having some ulcer problems when we arrived home on furlough, and then he had a heart attack which caught us all unawares. Thankfully, he got the help and care he needed at the hospital and had a stint put in. Unfortunately, that was not enough, so he had open heart surgery a week later. Wow, we are so fortunate for modern medicine. I do not think he would still be with us if we were living in Lesotho. I feel that I will always compare medical things between the US and Lesotho because I always fear for my Basotho friends when they need specific medical attention, since it may not be available. Or the one doctor who knows how to do the procedure is on a holiday. Our time here was a blessing and dad is recovering well. I am thankful for good medical care and also for good dental care (I had some cavities filled, had a root canal and had 3 wisdom teeth removed, yes I am ready to be done with all that!!!)
We have missed out on several scheduled visits with friends because after all our time here in the states, NOW it has decided to snow :) I have to admit that it is beautiful. I glanced outside tonight and it was just sparkling in the lights. God has made a beautiful creation with snow. Yesterday Mercy even said that it looked like a snow globe out the window. It is exciting for her to see this much snow! All that to say, we are sorry we missed seeing lots of you while we were home, but we are thankful that we were here during a time our family needed to be together. We will (hopefully) be leaving next week Wednesday as long as the weather cooperates, and then the real adventure of a lifetime begins once we get back to Lesotho for our final 2 year commitment.