Thursday, July 26, 2012


mark 5:36
"but Jesus over heard them and said to Jairus, "Don't be afriaid. Just have faith."

Jairus daughter was already dead when Jesus spoke these words to him.
again we turn to Jesus, to be our comfort, to tell us to not be afraid.
we turn to him to tell us - so gently - to have faith
we turn to HIm and believe Him.

we are needing paper work to be completed by our social worker to submit to the court for a court date to finalize the adoption. the date we are praying for is September 28 - 3 months from the date on a notice we have from Social Welfare.
we are in a place of pleading again, with Jesus, who holds our lives in His hands.

We remember - 

He is a God who shows us miracles,
whom we have seen, not just heard of.
He gives us His good gifts
and over flows His blessings on us.

we speak from experience.
all this we have in the physical form in our baby girl.
she is a miracle
through her and the process of bringing her home we have seen God
She is our amazingly good gift
she is our blessing

So when fear overwhelms us, we look at her and remember, and see, and feel Gods goodness to us.

Do not be afraid, just have faith.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

blog about adoption

I needed a place to record my thoughts. So I chose this platform. This blog. It has always been intended to be about our journey into the world of adoption.  Parenting our soon to be officially adopted daughter, the road we have traveled to get to this place. This space also gets filled with what life is like living in our adopted daughters country of birth, and all the chaos and joys that go along with that.

So if I actually did as I set out to do, I wouldn’t go 6 weeks between posts, in fact I would try to post at least once a week! The three things mentioned about could fill space everyday in my blogging world, but time…

What this blog has never been is a documentation of the work we do here in Zambia, apart from parenting and adoption. But sometimes that gets spilled out into this blog because sometimes those things are interconnected – like in my last post when I wrote about not coming back to Zambia. But, we do have an email update that gives the details of the work going on here. So I would love to put out there, for all 4 of you who actually read this blog, that if you want more details about our family’s hands on work, and our faith journey in what He is calling us to (which is ever growing and morphing) go to our website and subscribe to our email list, or email/FB message me directly and I will add you.
This email we send out is much more informative to Love’s Door and All Nations work that is going on here in Zambia and how we are personally involved. So I apologize if this has been your only source of information and you craved more, [I know our life is extremely exciting and not at all mundane – insert sarcastic laugh].
       Well, sometimes the parts we tell you may seem glamorous... but 95% of the time (a part from the precious times of prayer and worship) we run errands, and buy supplies, call mechanics and electricians, pay the taxes, write receipts, count money, avoid crazy drivers, buy airtime, get vehicles licensed, pay workers, sort out problems, sit in meetings, write emails – and blogs. All extremely missionary things to do. But not really exciting to talk about. 

But if you want to hear the sometimes exciting stuff the other 5% – like seeing one boy who we have all [our entire team] poured into for over two years now, begin to really desire to learn English and more about Jesus – then that is the exciting 5% we talk about in that mass email. But won’t be shared here, on this blog where I usually spill my frustrations and joys about becoming a mother, and living in a foreign place with said adorable daughter, and my ruggedly hansom husband.

So now that that is clarified. Remember not to take this blog as the end all for our life. But do take it as a platform for me to process my feelings and revelations in this syrupy sweet life I am really blessed to live. Seriously.

That is my declaration to blog more. Because it helps me. I enjoy it and maybe someone in cyber world who isn’t intimately close enough to me to be on our emailing list, might stumble upon it and think, “Wow, God’s heart really is for the orphan. But obviously not without struggle.” – And when that person sees honestly and real-ness. They might also see more of God’s heart for themselves as an adopted son or daughter, and for the physically orphaned in the world. Or they might decide that I am crazy for doing what we are doing!  – the jury is still out on that one anyway, so I am not too worried if they think that. Sometimes I might just agree with them!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Standing Still... still standing

have we been standing still?

I look at this beautiful baby, this precious daughter of mine and it feels like everything else has come to a stop.
I read blogs - my new hobby -  
i see belly's growing with babies inside 
seasons are changing as summer has come to the Midwest
people getting married
people moving to the country, people moving to the city
family reunions
pool parties
celebrating American holidays

we do have a baby growing - just not in my belly. but it feels surreal with our family and close friends not around to witness it!
the seasons barely change here - we feel like it is groundhogs day -living in perpetual summer!
we have grieved missed wedding
and life changes
and family reunions 
and pool parties.
we end up celebrating nothing because we aren't in America - which means the 4th of July is just a another work day, and Zambian holidays just are not our own.
but our baby... she is changing!
this is her as a two month old! 
(thank you Meagan for this sweet pic)

and here she is as a 13 month old

we have been here, in Africa, 13 months without going back to the U.S. we never imagined it would have been this way. but it has. the longest either of us have ever been out of the country straight.
it has been an amazing 13 months, in so many ways. our life has changed dramatically, as well as our thinking. at times we have felt like we were going to drown; and a week later  like we could fly! our relationship has been at its worst and at its mountain top best. our fears very real, and other times we walk in complete faith.
it is amazing how we have experienced this roller coaster of emotions in just a short 13 months.

through much prayer and lots of processing and wisdom from others, we have decided that we are going to be moving in a different direction. for the next season in our life we will not be returning to Zambia.
We won't actually leave here, realistically, until November. so that will mean we will have been here 18 months without going home. 
if you want to hear our thought process i wrote an email i would love to send to you if you haven't already gotten it.
but until that time we will keep pouring into what God has put in front of us here. more and more lately that is mostly our beautiful daughter (at least for me). 

we are here due to the adoption process being prolonged. 

a new development:

pray please this week, the magistrate, who will be finalizing our adoption, requested to meet Tizri's Grandmother to make sure she understands what adoption means... 

 we believe God has given us this ground, so we are resting in Him in faith. hoping it happens tomorrow, that is if the relatives can get here to meet us and the judge. we will also speak to our social worker tomorrow about specific time frame of when we can complete the adoption here in Zambia. we know the latest it will be is 
Sept. 28. as long as everything goes ok with her grandmother this week.
we are praying sooner...

as we watch your lives via Facebook, Instagram, emails and blogs, we are excited to join in them again, in a more present way. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week 8, 7 year marriage anniversary!

We are now walking into our 8th week of being parents. Little sparrow is doing amazingly well. But we are still taking things one day at a time. Not expecting more than she can give. But she is saying a few words, pulling herself up to stand, interacting constantly. She is the joy of our lives. Right now we are in Lusaka being spoiled by the Blakeney family, and hopeing to file our intent to adopt with the commissioner here. Praying we can see her early this week and work out a time frame for a final court date. Thank you for following our journey. This is a blog from the blogger I really appreciated her perspective and the deep seeded need to be loves and accepted inside all of us. Enjoy!! An Adoptee’s Perspective on Relationships Relationships are difficult for anyone, but they can be especially challenging for adoptees. One of the most important relationships in a person’s life is that which we have with our parents. It shapes our views on love and attachment, and it helps lay the groundwork for relationships we have with others in the future. Adoption is not possible without the loss of an adoptee’s birth parents. That loss can occur due to a variety of reasons, but it is the most traumatic loss that a child can experience. For me, the loss of my birth parents taught me from a very early age that people who love me will leave me. It also taught me that a parent’s love isn’t necessarily unconditional. That loss of my birth parents made me feel like I wasn’t lovable because my birth parents—the two people in my life who were always supposed to love me—didn’t love me enough to keep me. I believe all adoptees subconsciously feel like a part of them doesn’t belong in their adoptive family. We like to believe that blood doesn’t equal family, but when you don’t have that type of connection to someone, you can’t help but to feel like something is missing in your life, no matter how wonderful your adoptive family may be. As an adoptee, you live your life constantly searching for a place to belong. That feeling of acceptance—be it from your teachers, your peers, or your significant others—is essential, as it makes you feel like you are okay and you are worthy of being liked or loved. As a child, I often would become overly attached to teachers. I was the child who was devastated on the last day of kindergarten because I couldn’t bear the thought of losing my kindergarten teacher. I was probably the epitome of a teacher’s pet throughout my elementary school years. I would work hard to get good grades and would even bring my teachers gifts (drawings, etc.) because I craved the attention and acceptance from them. I never fit in that well with my peers, but looking back, I can honestly say that I believe most of my teachers liked and respected me, and those were the relationships that really mattered to me at the time. That “perfectionist child” mentality of constantly wanting to please others and working hard in school so my parents would be proud of me lasted until I reached my junior year of high school. That was the year I started dating my first boyfriend. I always felt awkward and unattractive, so for someone to see me as beautiful was a wonderful feeling. I had a great relationship with my adoptive family, but this relationship was different. I think I really blossomed as a person while in that relationship because I no longer felt invisible and I felt like I truly mattered to someone outside of my family. When that relationship ended, it was probably one of the most devastating periods of my life, because I went from feeling like I was somebody to feeling like I was nobody. I became really depressed and pushed everyone away—even my family. I hate to admit it, but I truly became a person who was really rotten and unlovable. Nothing in my life mattered anymore—I didn’t matter anymore. During that period of time, I dragged my family through hell and back and did a lot of things I was not proud of. Looking back, because I had stopped caring about everything, I think I was subconsciously testing my parents to see if they would still love me if I wasn’t that daughter who used to make them proud. With a lot of love and support from my parents, I was eventually able to pull through that dark period in my life. And, I can truly say that NOTHING I can do will ever make my parents love me any less. It took me a long time to realize that, but my relationship with them is even better now, due in part to the struggles we faced together. When I gave birth to my oldest son, it was a life-changing experience. It was so amazing being able to hold him in my arms and finally look into the face of someone who looked just like me. At that moment, I remember silently making a promise to myself and to that little guy that I would be everything for him that my birth mom couldn’t be for me. I have made many mistakes throughout the past nine-and-a-half years and am constantly learning how to be a better mom for my sons. They are everything to me, and I cannot imagine my life without them. In writing this entry, I want to let adoptive/foster/kinship parents know that the best thing you can do for your child is to be there for him or her. Adoption issues will more than likely manifest themselves during the teenaged-years. Remember that while most teenagers go through a phase of not being particularly pleasant to be around—some of their behaviors and issues may stem from being adopted. Start talking with your kids about the good, the bad, and the ugly (age-appropriate, of course) when they are young. Tell your child every day that they are loved—especially on the days when they are not particularly loveable. Do what you can to show them that you are willing to weather any storm with them. And, try not to take their words and actions to heart. Take extra good care of yourself during this period of time, because it most likely will not be easy, and it may take a while for you to see that light at the end of the tunnel. My parents stuck with me through it all and they never let me forget how much they loved me. I am the person I am today due in large part to my parents’ love and their absolute refusal to give up on me no matter how hard I pushed them away.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

family age

Family Age

Today Tizri Sparrow is 2 weeks old: Family age that is.

The book Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child (totally recommended) refers to the concept of family age.

How the child revs up and clams herself down, is all dependent on the length of time she have been in our home, with us as parents. So Tizri has been with us 2 weeks, that means her emotions (crying, fussing, how she expects her needs to be met) might be on par with an actually 2-week-old biologically born baby. In ways this has been very true! As soon as she feels hungry, she whines and cries until the food is literally in her mouth. We are trying to teach her to watch us prepare it, so she knows that that means soon the food will be in her tummy. A biological 1 year old will know that when mommy gets the cereal box out or the baby food jar, it is a matter of time before they get fed. This curbs (I am sure not always) the unsure feeling of wondering IF they will get their hunger need met.

This knowledge has been so comforting to me in the past few days, just remembering she is trying to figure us out, her new world out, and all the changes out! Not only does family age apply to food, revving up / calming down, but it also has to do with learning appropriate behavior, whom to trust and rely on, as well as many other things. These things will take time, extra care and compassion for her to learn.

I am sure that all the adopted parents out there can give us advice on this stuff (which we welcome!!) and how their own child adapted.

Our baby has been teething (2 upper front teeth), been spitting up a lot more than she did a week ago, has been fighting bronchitis, anemia, stomach worms (and maybe other infection?) and head fungus, not to mention the constipations trading off with diarrhea! We have all had our good days and bad.

She is crawling (mostly the army crawl, not using her knees much) all over the place. She is saying new sounds everyday. Today she started crying/waking up after she has been asleep on us and we try to put her down. She is stretching boundaries and figuring out what she likes from us, from others (this one is a bit harder, more confusing for her I think) what she likes in terms of food, being held and rocked, how much she sleeps and when. She has had no routine until the last few days, some days she sleeps a lot others only a little.

Her birthday was Saturday, or what we will celebrate as her birthday. So our baby is one.
She mimics everything we do. Peek-a-boo is her favorite. She will blow kisses, dance with her arms, mock sneeze, make a really funny scrunched up face while sniffing in and out really loudly. She loves it when Jeremiah dances her around. She now let the dogs lick her, and will grab their fur. (The dogs just like the chance to lick all the splattered food off of her!) She is so stinking determined! She gets her mind set on something and it is very hard to distract her! She loves plastic bags (we are always taking them away!) and the tops to her bottles.

We marvel at how she has changed in just over 2 weeks. She interacts so much and is learning to come to us. She laughs and plays and teases all the time. We are so blessed to call this baby ours!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New foods
Lots of poos
Doctor’s visits
Pee and poo samples (multiple times, because the lab lost the first one!)
Meeting new friends
Playing with new toys
Responding to her own name (still working on that one)
Learning who mama and dada are (also still a work in progress)

Tizri has had so many changes in the last week!

We have been trying to be extremely aware of her feelings and emotions. She now tells us through whining when something is wrong. We know if she is whinny that she needs a diaper change or is hungry or tired. Besides these times she is very happy. We are teaching her to play close to us, and playing lots of back and forth games to encourage eye contact, mimicking and over all dependence on us. She is coming along, as are we.

There are days I get so discouraged, wondering if she will ever know me, or look to me for ultimate comfort and love. A very wise woman just wrote me (she has also adopted, her daughter is now a young adult) and said;

I think of it as a progression.  Children have to be dependent before they can be independent and independent before they can be interdependent.”

For adopted children this is not a natural thing like it is with biological kids. Tizri has been in an orphanage, under stimulated for the last 10 months. The orphanage did the best job they possibly could! And to them we are so grateful, they saved her life and gave us the opportunity to find her.

She has had 5 major transitions that each included a new primary caregiver. Not to mention that in the orphanage alone she has 11 different mama’s caring for her at any given time (in the above number the orphanage is only one of those 5). While they were all nice, caring, and did the best they could, this has essentially taught her that people will leave her. She has come to expect change and transition.

So because of this, and many other changes and traumas she has experienced in her short life, we are trying to teach her we are her primary care givers. So we haven’t let others hold her, feed her, change her, or bathe her. Basically we are with her 24/7. This is a bit exhausting, but it is worth it for her to see us and her mom and dad, who she can trust, rely on and go to when she has needs.

She turns one year old on Saturday. And I think of all the hours a biological child has had to cuddle connect laugh play and grow with their biological parents by the time they turn one year.  She has missed out on those thousands of hours. So we are so happy we get to be intentional about her knowing us, now. We can’t get those months back but we can work to win her over now.

We still have no clue on the time frame of when the adoption will be complete and we can travel home. Please pray that the paper work the is not really moving right now, would be able to get to the right people and that they would move things along quickly. (Although that would be a miracle, but we believe God works miracles!)

Adoption is beautiful, and lots of work, and so rewarding. She is the picture of perfection to us! We are so content in the little one God has allowed us to raise. We are privileged to get to love her and call her our own.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

day 3

poop, lots of it
baby laughter, lots of it
sleep, not much of it
contented feelings, overwhelmingly many
Showers, what shower?

we took her to the "high cost clinic" at the hospital yesterday (the name cracks us up, opposite ideas about marketing from where we come from!) it cost her $15 dollars to be seen (actual cost not a co-pay). she has bronchitis, a scalp fungus, stomach worms... and that is all before we had a chance to get them her urine and poo sample. (by the way, anyone have any idea how to get a urine sample from an infant in diapers?!)
so now she is on lots of drugs. she is so very happy. we have taken her out 2 times now. (that is 2 times more than the last 10 months combined,  she has only been in her little room at the orphanage) so it seems a bit overwhelming for her. but she is a trooper. we are mostly staying in and spending lots of time playing, cuddling and eating. and of course cleaning. (how quickly everything becomes a mess!)

we say her name a lot so she will begin to recognize it more. we are giving her opportunities to need us. she doesn't know English, doesn't crawl, or yet respond to her name. but we cant wait to write all those mile stones. we have seen her today need us to help her fall asleep. instead of just laying down (if we are playing on the bed) she whines until one of us holds her, and then immediately falls asleep on our chest. she struggles to breath while laying down and coughs a lot. hoping the medicine will help that quickly.

we are in heaven. so ready for this, these changes feel so normal, and for that we are so grateful. we are also grateful we got to spend so many months getting to know her before now. Jeremiah was just reminding me of when we first met her, and in the first few times we visited her, how she didn't want to look at him. (I'm sure something to do with him being male) but now, oh man, he is already the favorite! (OK i am sure he would disagree) but she loves him, and is always looking for him if i am holding her. sigh, it make me melt. all these moments we are treasuring.
she is a perfect gift, and we are so blessed.

tha hardest part has honestly been feeling so far away from our family and friends. this is something we want so badly to share. i am glad we have concentrated time to bond with her. to be the only ones to hold and feed and change her. but on our hearts, it is hard. we miss those closest to us, people who have been through this journey with us from across the ocean. we miss them (you) so much more now, than we ever imagined. looking forward to that day we step off the plane.

a blessing we didn't know how much we would need is our friends jonathan and sofia morgan being here with a team. God has given us a real gift in them. they are like family to us. they went with us to pick up Tizri and bring her home. they made us meals on their day off so we wouldn't have to worry about cooking this next week. they are spending 5 days of the week in the village so we are cherishing our days we have together in town. we are already grieving the day we have to say by. but we will enjoy them while they are with us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Yesterday, our baby girl came home.
May 7, 2012
 we are adjusting, as is she. but she is doing amazingly well. she slept great (hopefully we will now too!) getting used to life with poopy diapers (already had 3), bottles, baby food, laughing, crying, and just genreally more noise. we are overwhelmed with gratitude. to God, to our prayer warriors, our supporters, our loved ones, the people here who gave so much, to help us. we now have to zambian process of adoption to go through. we will keep you posted on how things are progressing! but she is with us.

Tizri Sparrow Weismann Born (near) May 19, 2011
Brought home on May 7, 2012

Tizri - Hebrew word (spelling changed) meaning New Beginning
Sparrow - Psalm 84: 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the       swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Whirl Wind

We spent a whirl wind 2 days last week with Tizri Sparrows relatives working to get the FAther signature. and in the end it happened! we are thrilled, and now working to get her home. here are some thoughts on those 2 crazy days! we are in utter shock to say the least! elated, happy, relieved, counting the miracles and situations we never could have worked out on our own! we fell in love with her family in all this. they were and are such a gift to us. we are so glad we got the opportunity to know them. we have some really funny stories from the 2 days one that includes jeremiah buys one of the uncles (who didn't own pants only shorts) women's pants! another where the grandmother pulls out a cigarette (so random! i was about to ask her if i could have a puff! man the stress was so great!) another when i gave the grandmother a Craisin and she ate it then spit it out because it was sour, but then ate it anyway because she didn't want to offend me! and of course i couldn't communicate i didn't care! we took many photos, and they loved it! Tizri Sparrow will be able to have her family (even if just in photos) for years to come. (not pictured in this blog) 2 of them had never even been to Livingstone (small town to us, big city to them) , they had barely left the village.. they cant read, write, in their own language let alone english. they speak little to no English. the truth is what we saw in those 2 days was God using the weak, the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed to speak up to see justice happen. they spoke up for the life of a little one who had no other options in life. she would have been raised in the orphanage, but they stepped up and fought for her. Without them, we would never be able to call our little Sparrow our legal daughter. But because of them, her life will be changed. isnt this just God's way?! he uses those the world writes off. they have given us the biggest gift of our lives. so now we are waiting until the social workers file paper work with a judge next week. then we will be given a committal order for us to legal take her home. we will foster her for 3 months in Zambia then we will go back to court for the adoption to be finalized!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

movie moments

we had a meeting with a cousin of Baby, who speaks very little english. He was the person who signed her in at the orphanage, the only relative we know if with a phone.

I wish I could record these meetings...
The meetings are so lively,
of corse very little can we even understand!
lots of
"oh's!" and "uh huhs..." and "mmm..."
but all in their own vernacular.
It is very entertaining especially when you can’t understand a word
they are saying! Except the occasional English word thrown in. at some
point the translator lets us in on the fun.
And she tells us she was telling
them that white people are just the same as Africans. (We had to hold
our selves back from laughing at that, after what we just witnessed,
and agreed solemnly, "we are JUST the same".
and she was telling them
"Makuwa (white people) they like things straight, they don’t like
to zig zag all over, they like it straight!"
How right she is!
We like to know exactly what is going on how and when it will happen! But
how different African culture is!

[for the practical people in our life, he is going back to the village tomorrow to hopefully retrieve the needed relatives to come back monday to go to Soc. Welfare to sign papers. for now he is going to push the others to forgo the prison, as it seems they will never really get in! so this is good news, praying soc. welfare will agree that these signatures are enough to take her home!]

These are such surreal moments, when you are waiting to hear what is
really going on we sit and think about how far we are from home...!!

do you ever do that? sit back and look at your life, like you are in a movie.
you can feel what will happen next
some big explosion out of no where
a realization moment
a moment when everything comes together,
a climax that is a huge release of emotion.
(we are looking forward to this part of the movie).

but i have grown accustom to these feelings...
they happen so often!
out of body experiences.

but this is our life, our story,

i can;t wait until, 5 or 6 years from now someone who we haven't seen for a long time meets our daughter for the first time, and they ask how and why we adopted.
and i can turn to Tizri and say,
"why do you tell your part of the story and i will then tell mine."
her story is just as important as ours, and i want her to know where she came from and how God untied us.
her perspective is as important as ours.
i can't wait HER to share it with you!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

upside down

I commented to Jeremiah a few weeks ago, “this has been the hardest thing we have ever gone through and yet one of the best experiences of my life. I wonder why God doesn’t send us trials for our whole life? It draws us so close to Him and to each other.” then I got depressed because trials are seriously hard, having faith when you just want to scream is hard, staying in the place of rest when all you want to do is pull your hair out is, well, HARD! Then I read the end of Job, and the end of Joseph’s story, and David, and all the people who struggled, but God brought victory. And I realized God loves victory! He loves celebration and Joy! So I am glad about that! We are looking to that relief,but day by day trying to live in the peace of God’s grace and hope.

we still don't have her, there have been delays with the relative actually being able to communicate with the birth father. but we wait with expectation and hope midst all the ups and downs.

so if you want to hear how we are feeling, well ill start from the beginning of the roller coaster, first on a very high high, thursday we thought we were going to meet were the grandma, but it was a cousin, but he at least had accurate information for us. he tell us they havent gotten to even communicate with the birth father yet, huge drop off , and then we have to wait , again, and say good bye again to our baby who keeps getting older, and i am sure doesn't understand why people come and go in her life.
so we ask God, is it us? have we heard wrong, you can move mountains with your little finger... why isnt this working? what has this simple things been SO hard? but then after tears and screams comes the always smooth finish of peace and once again hope... against all odds, HOPE springs up. it will happen, we just have to give up our timing our ideas of how our life will look and believe things are in Gods hands, in His best for us for her for his glory.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

last hour

it is a battle that we have been fighting for a life that would other wise have no options. For a little girl who has had everything taken from her by this man her father. He once again has the power to decide her fate. next week he will say yes or no, will he let his daughter be adopted... So we are praying for him. Praying that the enemy’s hold over him and subsequently his daughter will be removed. That he would simply agree to let her go. We asked the orphanage mama what happens if he says no, and she said there is nothing we can do.
So this is the last hour.
There are so many times along the way when we could have heard no. So many crucial points in all of this, and all those times, the answer has been to keep moving forward. So now we keep pushing through.
We don’t understand it, the suffering of so many all around us, the pain that it so real in the lives of people close to us. Suffering will be part of our lives, when we choose to have friends, when we choose to love, when we choose to live in the world - we can not escape it.
Here there is death all around us. 2 weeks ago we held a baby in our arms that looked like a skeleton, we fed and rocked her, this week when we went back, she was gone, died. Just like that. Yet, in this place, in this town, this continent, in this world, where there is death and pain, there is also life. LIFE.

Life is what we hope for, what we work for, sacrifice for. Life that is abundant.

We keep moving forward in a fight for one life, in a fight for our own lives. The innocent feel every pin prick and whip alike. Entering into this battle, all of it, is fully living! We fight for her, as a symbol of the fight for the rest. To give a voice to the weak, to be arms that uphold the powerless, to set prisoners free. Pray this over our baby, over her father and her family.
But she is our own, not so impersonal as the masses, the statistics, and this is something we have never before felt, the personal pain of fear of loss at a very real level. Our Sparrow, who finds a home near you Lord. When she/we walk through the valley of suffering, she/we make it a place of springs, she/we go from strength to strength. (para psalm 84).

While our hearts felt for a moment that they had hit a wall, that everything was taken from us, we found comfort in knowing that He binds up those he wounds, and his hands heal what has been shattered. (Job 5:18, Hosea 6:1-3) And we walk again in faith. As Abraham believed God, that he would be a father of many (many, many, and more), so do we believe God for our family (and not a small one) even before we have one.

You have been such a part of this journey, and therefore are part of the struggle, and the victory, what ever that may mean. You fight on behalf of the ones who cannot speak for themselves. Bless you.


Thursday, February 9, 2012


I have moments.
Just moments when I feel familiar with things around me. I can literally count the times I have felt totally at ease with my surroundings on one hand, (outside our little room that is). When I think about this, I am even more amazed at people who have come to know living in a place foreign to them as familiar, or as home. I think of all my friends I met over the past few years who are first generations Americans (or striving to be). All the missionaries I meet here who call this home, and I wonder. I think of all the adopted kids who are not only in a new family (with it’s own culture and expectations) but those who have been removed from the only thing/things they have ever known to be dropped in a place unfamiliar.
But I now know – from this small experience I have had over the past 8 months of living in the foreign – that it must be difficult for any adopted child. Living in the foreign is difficult for me, an adult who has traveled, has an amazing husband by my side to talk through things, who understands and speaks my heart language. An adult who can analyze, problem-solve and think through (not always successfully) why I am feeling certain things.

So I think about our children.

The ones who step out of a world that, while may be difficult and stressful for the child to live in especially if they are in an orphanage, is what they know. They have put up defenses, as survival mechanisms to cope with the abandonment of their first care giver (whether through death, poverty or sheer abandonment). God gave us these skills, but the tools that must be used to trust, to connect, to believe, to let down the defense mechanisms are more difficult to master. For the child to trust the now primary caregiver, say an adoptive parent, or in my case, God, these skills are much harder to grasp.

This is on my mind when we go into the orphanage, on Tuesday, praying to have more answers to our big question, will the grandma to baby be willing to give up her rights? Rights that she has already given up in the physical by putting this baby in the orphanage?

She is there.
The grandmother has walked, rode, fallen, and walked some more to arrive, at 4 am.
But she came.
She wants us to have the baby.
One catch.
She can’t sign the papers until she and baby’s paternal uncle stand as witnesses against baby’s father in trial.
March 28.
7 weeks away.
They say they will stop on their way back from the trial with the conviction of guilt for the father, and then sign the papers to let baby be ours.
So we wait. And we trust.
We trust God.
We trust their word.
We trust the director of the orphanage’s word when she says that this is better than she hoped for.

We feel relief, but we still feel the battle.
In the waiting, I think the fight is more intense. We are more sensitive, and aware of little goings on around us.
It is all a battle.
But we rest. We rest in God’s mighty hand, his little finger that has more power than all the strength of man.
We are aware of the flowers around us.
Of the moon that glows bright.
Of the foreign place we live in – and strive to take delight in.
This is the place that will give us our baby.
We want her to know it, even if it is through us.

We give thanks.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation
In quietness and trust is your strength” – Prophet Isaiah

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Transfigure: Ugly Beautiful

" and he takes the empty hands and draws me close to the thrum of love.'you
May suffer loss but in me is anything ever lost, really? Loved ones lost still belong to Him - then aren't they still yours? Do I not own a cattle on a thousand hills; everything? Aren't then all provisions, in christ also yours? If you haven't lost Christ, child, nothing is ever lost. Remember "through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" [acts 14:22], and in "sharing in my sons sufferings, becoming like him in his death" you come "to know Christ and the Power of his resurrection" [phill 3:10].'
And i nod it soft. Yes, Father, You long to Transfigure all, no matter how long it takes. You long to Transfigure all.
All this is he Ugly Beautiful. That which perceived as ugly Transfigures into beautiful. He ugly can be beautiful. The dark can give birth to to life; suffering can deliver grace"
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, page 98-99

This speaks soft to my heart .
One more delay one more day to simply wait. No grandmother. Believing this week we will make progress, working and praying And pressing into God and brainstorming And making plans. We will update if things change and when progress happens in the physical as we believe it is in the spiritual. Thank you for praying.

We continue to trust...

Saturday, January 21, 2012


6 years ago, this is where we were...
Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia.
Beta Stor-es to be exact

wow... time...

i am now 29, jeremiah is 31

and we are now on the other side of the world from K-stan
thinking of well... many of the same things! how to shop in a different world from the one we grew up in...
how to navigate the government, immigration and social welfare, among others.

but, the big okay huge difference
this time we are dieing to be parents,
back then we were doing everything we could to avoid it!

but next week, tuesday our time,
we are hoping that the grandma will sign consent to allow little baby to be ours - or to at least start the process that will soon make her officially adopted and our own.
(in Zambia we must "foster" baby first for a period of time before they will make the adoption official).

so we are hoping and trusting God to go beyond our expectations!
as He has done so far in all of this, well chaos!

i already feel like the struggle is fading, and it seems that things are on a down hill flow (much simpler that trudging up hill).
there might be a curve ball thrown at us in the coming days and weeks, but we feel better equipped to handle with God speaking truth to us -
Gratitude in all things, even the ugly.
"Beautiful Ugly"
(Ann Voskamp - One Thousand Gifts)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

thanks beth!


everyone there

prayer cards

our friends in cape town had a surprise baby shower for me! it was so sweet. these are the pics from it

when you read this blog,
this process,
this way of growing our family

realize how we have stepped into this, knowing that things will be more difficult than most who adopt. if i were to explain all the details here,you would agree with me, that yes we are doing things the hard way!!

if you were to know everything i promise you would be saying to yourself,
"now i see why people use
agencies, or at least go to areas where children have been adopted
from before!" and yes, sometimes i say the same things to myself! but
then again, as difficult as it is, i was never any good at waiting for
someone else to make things happen.
ironically this is the most dependent i have ever felt on others and
God. as much as we have pushed this process forward, it now is out of
our hands in many ways. which is so scarry because this is the one
thing in the world (besides jeremiah of course) that is closest to our
hearts. our children through adoption. and yet it is the one things we
cannot force. Needless to say. we are growing in trust, in learning
peace in the midst of fear and aching. yet, God says we will pass
through these waters, we will not drowned (thanks Jen).

but i have grown to realize more and more, God puts each of us through trials in our life - though we chose to adopt, in this way in this place, we did so because we felt God leading us. just as He leads us, and we choose to follow, He does the same for each person. there is always a cost involved, no matter what those choices are - If God is leading.
but in the Cost - in the pain - the trials -
there is deeper joy,
deeper intimacy,
the knowledge that we are not in control, both scares and frees us!

we realize we are crazy. but we feel like God has invited us into
something so much bigger than ourselves, so much grander and for His
glory, even to see a little life saved that would have never had a
chance if we had gone through an agency. it is simply What God is
asking of us. that is all. and in that there is such peace. though,
more heart wrenching than anything either of us have ever gone
through, God is faithful. even if the ending is different than the one
we want.

pray for the next steps, to happen quickly and smoothly. for us to know when to get certain people involved, there is steps that need to happen before we can bring her home, but hoping it is in the next few weeks! but those things need to fall into place.