Escape

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress of vex her.” Jane Austen, Emma

I am stuck in a bit of a funk, friends.

Discouraged and frustrated, I find smiles a little forced and laughter a bit of a chore. I don’t know why this is. Today the sun is shining and the air is balmy with the salty scent of the ocean and I feel like crying for no reason.

I hesitate to share these feelings, afraid of sounding hollow and shallow and fishing for encouragement. I’m not overly prone to put myself out there like this because it makes me feel a little too exposed. But there is some relief that comes from admitting that life isn’t always a musical.

Or maybe it is and this is just one of those sad interludes where you want to get up and go to the bathroom and come back when everybody is happy and tap dancing in the sunshine again.

I don’t know why I’m down. Maybe I’m tired. Perhaps swirling hormones have knocked me off balance. Maybe I’m still getting used to the new schedule, still hoping and praying that sending the kids to school was the right choice. Maybe I’m overwhelmed, though I don’t feel a bit stressed. I just feel…down.

Life is full of blessings and there is so much joy to be had. We are healthy and blessed. I’m counting those blessings today and reminding myself to choose joy. While happiness in this thing called life is not a guarantee and cannot always be grasped, joy is a choice. I can wallow in my invisible frustrations, in the unknown things that leave me glum, or I can choose joy.

I can waffle in a puddle of self-doubt and waver under the banner of feeling like I’m always a step behind, or I can choose to look at all the joyful things that surround me right now, at this moment.

A steaming mug of green tea.

A building full of books all teaming with imagination and dreams.

Clean hair thanks to a hot shower this morning.

A computer that (mostly) works and allows me to connect and pour out my heart to the rhythm of a clicking keyboard.

A few moments of quiet in which to read my Bible and lose myself in Jane Austen’s fantastic world.

I bought three new Jane Austen books today…and a book on Albert Einstein. Random? Yes, I know, but I found the book too intriguing to pass up and upon reading the first few pages, I am so glad I bought it.

Fascinating.

I came to the bookstore with a plan to stock up on Jane Austen goodies. I’m going to admit something shameful right now. I have never read an entire Jane Austen novel. I started Mansfield Park in college and upon getting distracted (so many cute boys!), I put it down and never picked it up again.

I’ve seen the movies, but we all know those aren’t the same thing.

I’m going to lose myself this weekend and hope that the written word will pull me from my funk and give me a fresh confidence in my own ability to pen words worth reading. And above all else, I will choose joy this weekend.

May your holilday weekend be filled with family, friends, grace and joy, everyone. Happy Friday to you all.

PS: Which one should I read first? 

On playing the fool

“It’s better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you’re a fool than open it and remove all doubt.”

Mark Twain

 

I wonder what Mark Twain would think about social media. I would love to hear the zingers that he’d come up with regarding the many, many opportunities we all have now to play the fool. Perhaps he would change his quote to say, “It’s better to keep your fingers still and let people think you’re a fool than send out a Tweet and remove all doubt.”

With the influx of social media and the numerous sites that allow us to convey ideas, share thoughts, connect with one another and offer our vastly different opinions, I fear that we have opened ourselves up to looking the fool if we aren’t diligent and careful to manage our online footprint.

And as parents, we had better be ever vigilant in teaching our children how to navigate the waters of the online world. Social media isn’t going away and I don’t think it should. There is a lot of good coming from the online communities that have sprung up these last few years.

There’s also a lot of danger.

We are all prone to fits of frustration and angry backlash of the tongue. Some are, perhaps, more prone to issue a biting, angry barb than others, but none of us are immune. We have all inserted a foot in the mouth at some point in our lives and we’ve probably all had to apologize for foolish words spoken in the past. It’s the nature of being human – we can’t control our tongues.

But while a biting comment may ruin a relationship, if it’s been said in private there are steps one can take to restore that relationship, to apologize and to learn from the mistake in a private way.

A foolish tweet or Facebook post, however, will last forever.

 

This scares me for my children and it’s this reason alone that will keep them from opening a Facebook account or having a Twitter profile until Lee and I are sure that they have mastered enough control over emotions and words that they won’t blast off 140 characters that end up painting them fools for the rest of their lives.

And lest we think this issue of foolish tweeting is only a thing for youth, the fact is it isn’t. I’m astounded, particularly now as we are headed into a contentious political season, at the things grown ups are posting online. Foolish tweets. Ridiculous pictures and meme’s. Shameful Facebook posts.

So many words are being misused and the online world turns into a dreadful game of cat and mouse. This isn’t to say I don’t think people should share their opinions. Of course not. I am completely supportive of people writing about the things that they feel passionate about.

It’s the snarky, online bickering and arguing that I find tiresome and this is the very behavior that I will passionately teach my children. Don’t be the fool online. Think before your tweet. If you don’t have something nice to say, just say nothing at all.

Please.

 

I have one child in particular who is very susceptible to reacting in anger. Words are his weapon of choice and when he’s frustrated, he uses them in an attempt to ease the frustration. I understand this about him only because I struggle with the same thing. A single quick, harsh word only feels good for a split second.

It feels horrible for eternity afterward.

We are constantly working with him and teaching him how to control and tame his tongue. How to stop, to breathe, to think and to decide if the words he wants to say are really going to make the situation better or worse.

If he can learn to do this in his every day interactions, then I feel like we will be better preparing him to handle the interactions of the internet.

In the nearly five years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve learned that not every sentiment of my heart needs to be blogged. Not every disagreement needs to be resolved online. Sometimes people say things that I disagree with and I find myself getting hot and angry.

So I walk away from the computer.

I’d rather keep my mouth shut fingers still and be thought a fool than send out a tweet and remove all doubt.

If you have children, how are you preparing them and training them for the online world that stands in their future?

On raising intellectuals

“Bonhoeffer was a remarkably independent thinker, especially for one so young. Some professors regarded him as arrogant, especially because he refused to come too directly under the influence of one of them, always preffering to maintain his distance. But someone who grew up dining with Karl Bonhoeffer, and who was allowed to speak only when he could justify every syllable, had probably developed a certain intellectual confidence and may be somewhat excused if he was not intimidated by other great minds.” Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (page 62). Written by Eric Metaxas

“…Then his mother weighed in, suggesting that perhaps he should study under Holl, the Luther expert, and write his dissertation on dogmatics after Seeberg was out of the picture. As the daughter of a respected theologian and the granddaughter of a world-famous one, she likely had more to say on this subject than any mother in Germany. The intellect of both Bonhoeffer parents and their interest in their son’s academic progress are remarkable, and we can hardly wonder at his closeness to them.” Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (page 63).

Actual conversations heard in my house:

Sloan to Lee: “Hey Dad.” Pulls off his shirt and flexes his muscles. “How do you pop your pecs?”

Lee: “Well, son. Pec popping is a pretty well defined science. It’s really not to be attempted without intense training and a lot of dedicated practice.

Tia: “Can I feel your pecs while you pop them, Dad?”

Lee: “No. Because that’s weird.”

**************************

“Hey, Mom, look at this,” said the child who shall remain unnamed. “Look how far I can put this finger up my nose.” Shoves pointer finger up nose.

Me: “Hmmm…not bad, and that’s not even your biggest finger…now please don’t do that at the dinner table.”

***************************

We are just like the Bonhoeffers…

Dear Mom

They call my name four hundred times a day. “Mom? Mom?! MOM! MOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!” They need help with this, correction for that, reminders for everything and they want to eat all the time.

I get weary.

I get impatient.

I get frustrated.

I get tired.

And yet, I love them so very much that even though I threaten to go on strike and throw in the towel, I know that I never will. But do they know that?

I’m beginning a new series this week called Dear Mom Mondays. This is a chance for us to come alongside one another and spur each other on to greater love, greater patience, greater depth of motherhood. I would love for you to join me in this longing of my heart to be the best Mom that I can be.

Not the perfect Mom. I will still get frustrated. I will still get tired. I will still lose my patience. I will still look at the destroyed kitchen in utter disbelief because didn’t I JUST clean it?!

But when my children are grown and have left the house, when they look back on these early memories, what will stand out the most? Will it be my short temper, or my desire to love quickly? When they write me letters in twenty years, what words will follow “Dear Mom?”

This week, my focus in motherhood is to start at step 1 – Take Care of my Heart.

 

Motherhood can be very discouraging. There are days when I just really don’t like my children. They are rude and disrespectful and mean and argumentative and by the time bed time rolls around I’m so battle weary that I dream of some sort of escape.

Then one of them wanders out of their bedroom for one last kiss and hug and whispers “I love you” in my ear and I melt and decide they’re not so bad after all.

If I’m guarding and protecting my heart, I find I am much more patient with my children throughout the day. One of the first and most important ways I can do that is to get more sleep. I have a nasty habit of staying up way too late doing a whole lot of nothin’. I like to convince myself that I’m doing productive things, but messing around on Facebook and Twitter, reading blogs and watching TV are hardly productive things.

Lately, I’ve been trying to stay up late and wake up early, which means by 2:00 every afternoon I am a crabby, exhausted mess prone to react to my children in frustration and anger. Simply going to bed at 10:00 would do wonders for my patience and would probably make me more productive in the day time hours as well.

The second part of taking care of my heart involves simply starting my day off with scripture and prayer. For me, this is the best way to not only begin my day, but it’s also the best way for me to love my children well. If I begin the day by bathing them in prayer, my heart tends to be so much softer to their needs throughout the day.

So when they freak out over something small and silly, I can respond to the wails with love rather than with a deep sigh and a roll of the eyes.

 

Praying for our children makes their childish behaviors less of a nuisance.

 

This is my heart and my desire this week. Everything I do will build upon this very important piece of the motherhood puzzle. If I am taking care of my heart in these two very simple but impactful ways, then I can begin to work on other areas in mothering that need improving.

So what about you? What areas of motherhood are a struggle for you and how can we be an encouragement as you work to improve in those areas? 

Join me next week for Dear Mom Mondays as we continue to tackle the frustrations and joys of mothering in order to spur one another on to greater love and grace with our children.

Climbing the Mountain: Part 2

This week, I am beginning one of the first treks up the mountain as I kick start a few fundraising efforts. I have a first chunk of money set out before us to raise and I’d like to have it by mid-November. I have no idea if that is an unrealistic goal or not, but I’m setting it out there.

To be honest, I’m not overly comfortable talking about the funding on ye old blog, but I also know I can’t do this without a little help, so with that in mind, I have a few ideas up my sleeve to start traversing up this first peak in our journey to Russia. We would really love to have all the funds needed to complete all the paper work by early Spring so that we can get on a waiting list for a referral with the hope that we will be able to start our travels sometime late next summer or early fall. I’m willing to work for these funds, and we plan to work hard, but I’ll need some help spreading the word.

And I am entirely open to suggestions as well!

So without further ado, here are a few things I’ve set in place to kick off our fundraising.

Advertising

 

Do you have a small business or indie-biz that you would like to advertise? Are you selling products or in need of a boost in your site stats? I am opening up private ads for the first time and would love to chat with you about it. I’ve set very reasonable prices and there are a couple of different options that we can discuss in your advertising.

From buttons in the sidebar to sponsored posts, I am willing to discuss what your goals are for your business and work with you to increase your traffic through the solid network of readers that give me the honor of their time here at Minivan Are Hot. With that in mind, though, I have always tried hard to keep the content on this blog fresh and relevant to motherhood and parenting, so while I am open to increasing the sumbers of sponsored posts I write, I will also be working hard to make sure the content is new and engaging and real and honest and I promise not to talk only about the adoption!!! Contact me at kellistuart00 (at) hotmail (dot) com for more information.

Writing/Editing

 

Did you know that my actual job for the last ten years has been ghostwriting and editing books? I haven’t done too much this past year with the move, but I am ready to take on a couple of projects if you are in need of any writing/editing. Have you written an E-Book or a book for print and don’t know what to do with it next?

Email me. Seriously, I’ve practically made a career out of pitching book ideas to publishers and have learned quite a few tricks and tips along the way. Do you just need a fresh set of eyes to go over the manuscript and help polish it? I would love to help! The super nerd in me gets giddy over editing. Giddy, I tell you!

Do you have a website that is in need of some fresh content? Let’s talk and see if we can work out a way to help one another out! Whatever your writing/editing needs are, I would love to help out. Email me at kellistuart00 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Adoption Bug

 

One of the organizations that works tirelessly to help families fund adoptions is Steven Curtis Chapman’s Show Hope. I frequent this site often for encouragement, wisdom and tips on how to take this journey well. In an effort to kick start our fundraising, Lee and I have set up an Adoption Bug store, which is a free service offered to adoptive families through the Show Hope foundation.

There are six styles of t-shirts that you can choose from, and I tried to select a variety of styles and colors, all of which I would wear myself (and will, since I plan on ordering some of them!) We receive anywhere from 35%-45% on each sale of the shirts that come directly from our page and that money will go straight to adoption costs. Would you consider purchasing a shirt today?

And if you wouldn’t mind, would you spread the word about this Adoption Bug site? You can simply post this link (http://www.adoptionbug.com/stuartfamily/) to your Facebook, Twitter or blog to send people directly to our page where they can purchase the shirts we have chosen to sell. I’ve also placed a widget in our side bar that you can click that will link you directly to our Adoption Bug site.

Thank you for your help, my friends. This means so much to us.

Garage Sale

 

I have big plans over Labor Day weekend. Huge plans, indeed. I plan to ransack my house for each and every thing we do not use on a frequent basis and begin setting up shop for a gigantic garage sale sometime in late September/early October.

I know, it sounds like SO MUCH FUN. Don’t be jealous…

If you have tips or tricks on how to throw the perfect fundraising garage sale, I am all ears. If you live in the Tampa Bay/Clearwater/anywhere in Florida area and have items you would like to donate, please shoot me an email and let’s try and set up a time to meet. I will happily drive to you to pick up any items you might have to donate.

I am intimidated by this idea, but I’ve heard of so many people having great success with large garage sales, so I plan to roll up my sleeves and give it the old college try. The kids, for their part, are super excited because I’ve told them they can sell lemonade and cookies during the garage sale. Party!

Suggestions Welcome

 

Our home study is in two weeks. Once that has been completed and submitted, we will have a little more freedom to pursue other options for fundraising. We are all ears when it comes to this piece of the adoption puzzle and we welcome any suggestions you might have. I know that so many of you have climbed this mountain ahead of us so if you have something that worked for you, please feel free to share and thanks in advance!

There are a lot of things to consider and a lot of options out there for adoptive families. I even thought about selling spray painted curtain rods in an effort to raise funds.

No I didn’t…

The biggest piece of this fundraising puzzle is pray, pray, pray!! I can’t tell you how many people have told us that somehow, when they needed the money for the next big payment, it was always there. We are trusting fully that our hard work, paired with the grace and provision of the Lord, is going to result in met goals and we look forward to rejoicing in that with you all!

And if I may be so bold to ask, would you all be willing to share this post with others? If I can spread the word a bit on what we’re trying to do and hoping to accomplish, I think I could have a little more success in accomplishing these goals. Thank you. Seriously, I know I say it a lot and I’ll be saying it more and more, but thank you. Thank you for helping us make this happen.

Happy weekend all! I pray you have great fun awaiting you!

Climbing the Mountain

He walked up to me and tugged on my sleeve, his eyes peeking out from beneathe a mop of white blonde hair. I knelt down so we could be eye level and he jabbered something unintelligable to my untrained ears. With no one to translate nearby, I sat down and pulled him into my lap and did the only thing I knew to do.

I counted his fingers, one by one.

Odin, dva, tre, chiteri, pyat, shest, syem, vosyem, devyet, decyet…

I don’t remember his name or anything else we did that day. I just remember sitting on the floor of the orphanage with a little boy in my lap, counting to ten over and over. I left that day with a seed planted deep in my heart to go back and to bring one of those precious children home with me.

That was nineteen years ago.

We are at the bottom of this mountain called adoption – base camp. The peaks that stand above us are daunting and intimidating. Had we chosen to make this climb ten years ago, or even five, it would have been much easier, much less intimidating, less expensive and less scary.

But we were to climb  the mountain at this time, and by faith we take each step forward knowing that reaching the summit is only hoped for, but is not promised.

Though I am not much of a mountain climber myself, I love to read stories of people conquering the world’s greatest mountains, particularly Everest. The dedication that they put to training and preparing for the climb fascinates me. Climbers go to Everest with a dream. To most of us, it’s a crazy dream. Why put yourself at that much risk for a mountain? It doesn’t make sense.

But to them it does. It’s a singular passion that drives them to grueling training sessions, thousands of dollars raised and spent and all is done with the very real knowledge that they could never actually make it to the summit. There are so many factors that could come into play to end their quest for the top, yet on they push because passion ignited is impossible to put out.

This is the place that Lee and I are in. We are standing at the bottom, looking up, a fire burning inside to reach the top but we know we must take it one step at a time. First, set up at base camp, get acclimated to the surroundings. We are reading and researching, filling out paperwork and communicating with those who have gone before us, who know the path and can tell us what to expect with each turn.

We are leaning on our adoption Sherpas.

Perhaps the most daunting peak that looms high before us now is the cost. It is the piece of this puzzle that shakes my faith the most. And yet, every morning as I pray and lay my fears down before the One who ignited the passion, I hear a very small whisper deep in my soul.

I Am bigger than the mountain. I Am bigger than the cost. I Am the one who still does miracles so great. I Am bigger than your fears and doubts. I Am bigger than the impossible.

 

I cling to these promises like a lifeline.

 

Jen Hatmaker wrote a post this week that opened my eyes to so many of the challenges we are yet to face. Before reading her post, I held the likely false assumption that our summit moment would come when we finally step off the plane in Tampa with our daughter in our arms, but I don’t know that this is the case.

That will be a beautiful moment and the view will likely be astounding, but there will still be more mountain to climb. There will be adjustments for us as a family, new dynamics to get used to, new routines to follow and a new person to learn and know.

The summit is still a ways off and there may be some rough climbing ahead before we reach it. But I trust that we will reach it.

Right now, all I see are paperwork and deadlines. Keeping the summit in view is crucial to getting through this phase of the process. Without that hope, without a picture of what might be, we would give up. Because this is really hard.

When I was pregnant with Sloan, I held a picture in my head of what I thought he would look like. He was our first born so I really had no idea, but there were loose images that would float through my dreams. I remember clearly holding him in the hospital after he had been all cleaned up and we’d been transferred to our new room.

I knew him. His face was so familiar to me. All those loose images came crashing together to form the face of this tiny child who seemed to have always been buried inside me all along. It was as though I’d known him my whole life.

I have a similarly loose picture of our daughter. There are no distinct features, of course. Russia is not like many other countries you adopt from. We have no guarantee of a skin color, eye color or hair color and none of those things matter to us. But there is this vague image that is floating and swimming and I cling to it with the hope that sometime in the next year I will walk into a worn building and lay eyes on a face that has been waiting for us since the beginning of time.

I’m climbing the mountain for her.

We are all climbing a mountain of some kind. Ours happens to be adoption and we would love prayer for the process. How can I be praying for you in return? Perhaps your mountain is the need for employment or a financial burden? Perhaps it is life changes or illness? Whatever the mountain you are facing, I would love to join you in prayer.

 

No one should climb the mountain alone.

Contractually bound

Just fulfilling my “Mom-Blogger” obligations…

 

She's lost four teeth in the last month. That smile slays me...

This kid needs to stop growing...

Hot. Mess.

Ah! The freckles...

Landon, are you ready for school?

Here come the teachers...

The pictures end there for him because he began sobbing hysterically and had to be pulled from my arms, which you can only image was super duper and such a neat way to start my day.

It was an emotional day – just all around hard. I spent a lot of time praying that we made the right decision, wondering if sending them to school was the right thing. I had a pit in the bottom of my stomach all day. The moments when I wasn’t praying fervently were spent sitting in an Urgent Care getting a shot and prescriptions for the severe reaction I had to the fly bites from the other night. (Turns out I got bit by a yellow fly…which I’m apparently allergic to as evidenced by the fact my legs ballooned up like sausages and burned and itched like nothing I’ve ever felt before.)

So, you know - the first day of school wasn’t traumatic for me at all.

Here’s to better days to come…

For now, I’m praying over this prayer…and reminicsing a cute little first grade Sloan.

I hate to say I told you so, but…

Image from selinalake.blogspot.de

Alternately titled: Home Project Fail

Alternately titled: Oops

Alternately titled: Piece ’o Cake my #$*

Alternately titled: This is what happens when I try to be Martha Stewart

Alternately titled: I picked the wrong day to stop drinking

Alternately titled: Back to the drawing board?

Alternately titled: This is why Pinterest makes people like me feel inadequate

I am a writer. That’s what I do. I paint blank pages with words and form pictures of the mind. I embrace this part of who I am because I’m good at it. I love words. I get words.

I DO NOT GET DECORATING.

While I can paint a word picture and visualize that which I am creating, I cannot visualize the blank canvas of a wall. I cannot use an actual paintbrush without mostly disasterous results. Perhaps you think I am exaggerating? Perhaps you worry I am being dramatic for the purposes of this blog post.

I assure you, I am not.

I took your suggestions from the other day regarding curtains. I went to Michaels on Saturday and picked out a spray paint that matched the vibrant red in my bedding perfectly. Yesterday, I went to IKEA and I bought some neutral curtains, per the advice of many of you who suggested I not go too crazy with the colors in the fabric.

I came home armed and ready. I pulled up a few links on how to spray paint something, grabbed a few supplies and headed outside with my curtain rods, some primer and a can of spray paint.

I started off by priming the curtain rods because everything I read said to spray a white canvas in order to get a true showing of the spray paint color. It didn’t take me long and I leaned the rods up against a wall to dry.

Piece ’o cake.

An hour later I went out with my spray paint, shook it up and began spraying the rods. This is where it all started to go down hill.

First, I didn’t realize the importance of covering the rods completely with the primer. I kind of treated it like I would a wall and didn’t worry about the few spots that I missed or the fact that the rod wasn’t a solid white. But when I sprayed the rod, you could see all the places where the rods were darker.

Fail.

So after spraying one rod and one finial and seeing how bad they looked, I grabbed the primer and decided to apply a second coat so that the rods would be solid white.

While I was doing this I was attacked. No lie. Some sort of mutant horse fly (or maybe even a tracker jacker) came out of nowhere and laid seige to my legs. I swatted and screamed and ran and in the process of doing so flung paint all over the place.

Honestly, I really feel this was a sign from the Lord to stop doing what I was doing and go inside and eat pizza. I should have heeded the warning, but I did not. I waited a few minutes, assuming the tracker horse fly jacker was gone, then ventured back out to finish priming.

HE ATTACKED ME AGAIN!

He bit me six times and my ankles swelled up to twice their normal size.

At that point, I called it a day and laid the rods up against a piece of carboard that I’d propped against our tree. I figured I’d let them dry then wait a day before attempting to spray paint.

I checked on those rods no less than six times over the course of the next hour and they sat propped proudly against the tree. We put the kids to bed and I headed out to gather what I assumed to be my now dry rods.

W-R-O-N-G.

They had fallen over. A single, mysterious gust of wind blew through bewteen the time of my last glance out the window and this moment and they laid askew in the grass and leaves and they weren’t totally dry.

You know, maybe it wasn’t the wind. Maybe it was that devil tracker horse fly jacker that knocked them over.

At any rate, I brought them all in, threw them down on the back porch and walked inside. I was swollen, itchy, covered in paint and dirt and altogether irritable. Lee looked at me with wide, amused eyes.

“Didn’t go so well, huh?” he asked.

Well, at least I’ll get a good blog post out of it,” I muttered.

So now I have a decision to make. Do I try again? Do I go out and buy new curtain rods that are already white? Or do I throw in the towel, return those cans of spray paint and stay away from Pinterest from now until forever?

I think I’ll wait for the swelling in my ankles to go down to decide…

You’re welcome to offer suggestions in the comments. And you’re more than welcome to laugh at me. But if any of you use the words “piece ’o cake,” “simple,” or “lickety split” in regards to this project I will sic my devil tracker horse fly jacker upon you with a vengence.

Deal?

Image credit

Thank you

Thank you for your kind words, your texts and phone calls, your emails and Facebook messages. Thank you for your support and love for our family and for having our back as we take these steps.

 

It’s scary.

 

It’s exciting.

 

It’s good.

 

Faith is alive and we have nothing but that on which to hang.

I have so much to say, but today I simply want to tell you, Thank You.

I am humbled and honored and feel desperately loved.

I shared our good news with you all yesterday, so now it’s your turn. What good news do you have to share with me? How can I be praying for you in return?

Have a blessed weekend.

And then there were six?

This guy has been asking to do this for awhile…

Photo by Lulu Photography (LuluPhotog.com)

This girl told us a few months ago that she was praying very specifically…

This guy gets to play a new role and he is thrilled…

This girl is stepping onto a path toward her dream come true…

Photo by Avodah Images.com

And this guy is the one who has listened closely to the Lord’s calling and taken a giant leap of faith, leading our family down a very new path…

Big changes are headed our way. The path will be bumpy and rough and beautiful and scary and each step is taken with a gigantic measure of faith. It’s a path full of unknowns and we’re excited to see what the bend in the road will produce.

Have you guessed it yet?

Through God’s grace and His Provision alone, our little family of five will become a family of six.

 

We are in the process of adopting a little girl from Russia.

 

Pray with us, please?

This journey will not be easy and a child in our arms at the end of the road is not guaranteed. The adoption situation in Russia is tenuous at best and there is every possibility that the door could close so we take each step with great faith and prayer for protection for us and our children.

We are elbow deep in paper work and some days I feel so excited and filled with anticipation. Other days I feel discouraged and worried and afraid. I’m told this is normal.

Your prayers are most appreicated and coveted. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of money to raise, a lot of faith to develop and cling to.

I’m so glad to have you all by our side.

Happy Thursday, friends.