Posted in Adoption Journey, Spoken Word, Uncategorized

a psalm for heavy hearts.

There is a stifling silence in carrying a burden, a weight so uncertain and hurting,
In search of a balm, we check the Psalms, and we learn that in turn,
these struggles that rock our home
Can become our megaphone.

Because it’s hard, and we’re not alone.
Our scars run deep, and to the bone. It seems like evil is on the throne,
runs the show, and even though we know there’s something greater,
it always seems like later – never now.
Never knowing how we’ll make it to tomorrow, but the sun comes up again.
And I guess that means we’re doing well, even though sometimes it just feels like we’re surviving.
For some, that’s the extent of thriving.

When driving rain comes faster than the wipers can clear a path.
The aftermath, sometimes silent, can come in violent waves unexpected
Of hope rejected, knowing sometimes there’s more dark before the dawn.
And if this was a song, it’d go on for sometime, before the key would change.
If an honest poem, more turning of the page, before the stage were reset,

The dim lights begin to raise, because there are better days ahead,
the field is not dead,
In fact, there is wheat growing among the weeds, some seeds of hope that cannot be rejected.
Knowing what’s expected, is not etched in stone, evil is not on the throne,

no matter how much sway it may seem to hold. Our whispers grow bold,
as we gather our broken bones, and cry out to the throne –
Lord Come. We need you.
Our arms are growing weary, and we need you.
Our eyes have grown bleary from the tears, over years and Lord we need you.
The blisters on our road-scarred feet scream for us to retreat, and we need you.
Our children look to us for answers we cannot provide,
and so with arms stretched wide we confide –Lord – we need you.

There is no other ear that even comes near to hearing our stifled voices,
choices all around us for ways to avoid this feeling of burden
A burden so certain and so heavy we want to find relief,
yet so infused to our hearts that we cannot put it down.

Not ever.

Clever words fail, and so we wet sail on uncharted waters
Praying the one who walks on water, the one who saves,
will be with us to calm the waves.

Lord, we need you.

Posted in Adoption Journey

any news?

I love getting this question.  I also hate it.

We’re surrounded by so many amazing people in our lives, who’ve connected themselves with what God is doing in and through our lives.  I know that so many of our friends and family carry the burden with us, and bring it to God on a regular basis.  I’m reminded of that every time someone I haven’t seen or spoken to in a while asks, “any updates on Phoebe?”road

Or the even funnier question we sometimes get, “So do you have her home yet?”  Ouch.  That’s right, we’ve been traveling this road since March 2012.  Over 2 years now.  It’s possible to see people we don’t see very often, who honestly think “surely they’ve got her by now.”  So many of you have been on this road with us.  So many of you have given, way more than we could ever have anticipated/expected/asked.  We’re humbled as we are constantly reminded how “not alone” we are.

We know that national attention is being given to so many parents who’ve completed the adoption process, and still are not being allowed to bring their children home.  I can’t even imagine what that’d be like.  But I know I’d love to be in that stage.  I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating.  I had no idea how much simply the journey of adoption itself, would make an impact on our home, our family, and our community/relationships.  My children will not only remember the fact that our family was involved in adoption…they will remember how we prayed and waited on God for years as a part of this.

I know it could have been faster.  There are plenty of countries in suffering, where children are being adopted and brought home.  We celebrate whenever we hear of a child finding a home.  But this was the road we followed God down, and even though it seems like a really hard season to travel…we know that as we’ve offered each step to God, He’s brought purpose and redemption to every moment.  We are not waiting to bring Phoebe home, safe and sound, before we declare “Look, this was indeed the call of God and He has provided!”  We are declaring it even now, even when the road ahead is still long, and the dust gets in our eyes from time to time. 

Because that’s our story as God’s people, right?  That God isn’t waiting until it’s all “made right” to bring His redemption and life-transforming purposes.  The formative years of our home, are being wrapped around having to trust in God.  Our relationships are being flavored by prayer and honest burden-sharing.  Our marriage is strengthened by the mutual “labor pains” of bringing our daughter home.  Children and families in the DRC are being prayed for, conflict/wars are being prayed against, and support is becoming connected to an area of the world that has been desperately needing it for a long time.  Our story is just a small part of that bigger story.

A lot of this came to mind, as I heard a song earlier today that I’ll share the lyrics from as I close:

“We found hope on this long and dusty road
at the table we were fed as he broke the bread
We found hope on this long dusty road.

We found hope on this long and dusty road
In His presence we found truth, that we bring to you
We found hope on this long dusty road.

We found hope on this long and dusty road
He’s alive and brought us peace, now we gather to feast
We found hope on this long dusty road.” – Von Strantz (free download here)

So keep asking us if there are updates. We may initially struggle with getting our answer out…but it’s worth contemplation…:)

 

Posted in Adoption Journey, Uncategorized

a blessed update.

If you’ve been following our story, you know we’ve been all over the map so far emotionally.  God has been using the journey to transform our home, and stretch both us and those near to us in many great and uncomfortable ways.  In July of this year, after much waiting and prayer, we received a referral.  We were so excited to finally begin pursuing our daughter, and learning more about her.  Unfortunately, almost 2 months later as we were sending her first “package”, we were notified the orphanage had been lied to.  Her parents had come to bring her home.  This was great news, although difficult, as her family could actually care for her and had gotten through whatever obstacle had previously caused them to give her up.

Thankfully, we’d previously planned a little “family getaway” camping together.  It was great medicine.  Little did the world know of the news we received the first morning of camping…

I love to get up early when camping, with the sun.  To quietly tiptoe IMGP9111out of the tent (that zipper is evil), and grab a nice book.  I grabbed my phone to check the weather for the day, and saw I had an e-mail.  The title was “Potential New Referral“, and I knew I couldn’t open it without my wife by my side.  There was my dilemma.  We were camping (read “up really late with kids who didn’t want to sleep”), my wife was still asleep (read “a couple more valuable hours were left where our kids would actually rest”), and I was sitting in a quiet wooded morning with a good book.

But I couldn’t resist.

I quietly unzipped the tent, and crawled in next to my wife.  As the kids slept tight in their sleeping bags, we opened the e-mail together and saw the information and picture of this beautiful little girl who needed a family.  It was such a blessing to us, to begin to know the next part of our story.

But wait, you may be thinking, that was August 30th.  Why are we just now hearing about this?

It’s true.  My wife and I have had pictures, and talked personally with someone who has held this little one in her arms.  But it has taken an unusual amount of time to secure her medical records, etc.  Now that we’ve received information that she passes the conditions we’ve been approved for, we can finally tell you.  “We have a new referral.”  We’ve begun the process, and hope that in 9-12 months we can travel to bring her home.

Already, our children have prayed with brutal honesty, “Dear God, help us to keep her picture.”  They’re aware of the things we don’t like to mention aloud.  This is all taking place in the midst of a country filled with brokenness.  But from the midst of brokenness, we’ve been blessed.  We continue to move forward one step at a time to bring that blessing home.

There are more things we know, and obviously a picture….that we do not want to share online at this point.  If you know us, and want to connect….give a holler on FB or in person.

It’s a very exciting place to be, and so good to be learning about her, praying for her, and seeing that face as we trust in God moving forward.  Thank YOU for your continual support, love, and prayers.  Certainly there will be fundraisers coming up, and you can still give through our “Both Hands” project for tax credit.  $17k in 12 months seems dauntingly intimidating….but we look forward to looking back and saying “Wow….God made this possible….”