Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26

As we walk through this adventure called life, we remind ourselves that we are all precious children of our Father-- those of us who have walked a little further down the road striving to guide those who have been entrusted to our care for a time. Here is our journey down this path.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oh, My heart....


Encouraged this morning

I'm sitting by Cynthia's bed this morning.  Looking at her resting peacefully, hearing the sounds of the hospital.  IV pump, suction, nurses in and out caring for our sweet girl.  Some mornings, I open my Bible to the Psalm that corresponds with the date, so this morning, I read this: ~Psalm 20:

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
    and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
May he give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory
    and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
Now this I know:
    The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
    with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
    but we rise up and stand firm.
Lord, give victory to the king!
    Answer us when we call!

This is a psalm of David before going to battle, but how fitting a description of the battles we face in this life.  Even as we sat in that waiting room, not knowing what news would come, we could 'stand firm' and 'trust in the name of the Lord our God' because we know, no matter the outcome, he is fighting our battles for us.  I do, most certainly, trust the surgeons whose hands she was in, but ultimately know that I trust her in His hands above all.

The other sounds of the hospital--the family next door who apparently is not happy with each other this morning....I was trying to cover with some music, so turned on Fernando Ortega and heard this.  Verse 2 fit right into my week.







FERNANDO ORTEGA


Our Great God Lyrics



Eternal God, unchanging
Mysterious and unknown
Your boundless love unfailing
In grace and mercy shown
Bright seraphim in ceaseless flight
Around your glorious throne
Their voices raised both day and night
In praise to you alone

Hallelujah!
Glory be to our great God
Hallelujah!
Glory be to our great God!

Lord, we are weak and frail,
Helpless in the storm
Surround us with your angels
Hold us in your arms
Our cold and ruthless enemy
His pleasure is our harm
Rise up, oh Lord, and he will flee
Before our Sovereign God

Hallelujah!
Glory be to our great God!
Hallelujah!
Glory be to our great God!

Let every creature in the sea
And every flying bird
Let all the mountains, all the fields
And valleys of the earth
Let all the moons and all the stars
Throughout the universe
Sing praises to the Living God
Who rules them by His word

Hallelujah!
Glory be to our great God
Hallelujah!
Glory be to our great God!


Thankful for this encouragement this morning and thought I'd share it in hopes it will encourage you as well.  Love to you all and thanks for all of your support through this....

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Delay (or not) and a storm and a STORM

I haven't updated much recently.

Sort of because there hasn't been much to update.  Not much word from Ethiopia.

Sort of because this happened...


The 'catastrophic' Winter Storm PAX (ironic name if you ask me! 'Pax Augusta!' hardly describes what it was like!!) caused us to be without power for 4 days and sent hundreds of pine tree limbs hurling down all over, fortunately our house seems to have survived unscathed.  The yard, not so much.  

So, here's how all of this transpired.  I turned 41(!) on Wednesday.  I was born at 8:10am.  During an ice storm.  This 41st birthday, our office was closed as the ice began the night before, so I was awoken by my sweet children and hubby with breakfast in bed.  3 hours later, the power went out.  And stayed out.  For FOUR DAYS.  That evening, we did get an update from Ethiopia (thankfully, my phone was charged, so I could check email.)  Our 'finder' interview has been scheduled.  I was excited when I saw the email title, but when I opened it, honestly, my heart dropped.  March 13.  Another MONTH.  And there is still a wait after that for final approval.  Ugh.  So, you can see why I didn't run to update my non-exciting news...and I was rationing battery power at that point, too!

After 2 nights of all of us sleeping in the living room by the fire and 3 days of eating what was left in the pantry, cooking a few things on the grill, and playing pioneer family, we were ready for a break, so we escaped to Atlanta.  Had a great couple of days there with Mom and Dad.  Took Molly to the American Girl Doll store for a promised Christmas present and went to have Ethiopian food for dinner while we wait on baby brother.  All the kiddos liked it!  While we were eating, a text came from our neighbor that we had POWER!!  A little cheer went up from our table.

The next morning, the REAL STORM started.  Cynthia said, "My tummy hurts."  That in itself didn't alarm me at all.  She has tummy issues and we hear that often.  We did our usual remedies and went on about our day.  Except she got worse.  And worse.  We headed on home as planned that evening, and when we arrived home she seemed better.  I thought we had dodged the bullet.  But no.  Overnight, a different monster all together....really bad abdominal pain started in the early hours of the morning.  After dawn, we hopped in the car and headed to my office for my partner, their doctor (and NOT their mother!) to take a look.  He was concerned, too.  On to MCG/GRU/CHOG.  After a long day of tests and exams, she was found to have a bowel perforation and rushed off for emergency surgery.  What a whirlwind day it was.  

As I handed her--once again--over to the capable hands of the surgical team, I--once again--had to remind myself of how little control I really have, that she is a child of GOD whom I have the privilege to care for and guide through life.  But I was still scared.  It all happened so suddenly.  She looked so sick.  The doctors were worried about her.  I had to cling to the ONE who held her in his palm, who has always held her in his palm.

The surgery was long and complicated, but what they found likely explains some ongoing issues and past issues she has had, so we are very relieved at this point.  And hopeful that she will be pain free in the future once she has recovered.  

SO thankful for 2 EXCELLENT surgeons, an excellent hospital and staff.  Also more than thankful for the love and care we have received from SO MANY family and friends through texts, calls, visits, offers for help--once again more than we even have need for.  

My mind, of course, goes to the what ifs....what if I had taken her home (as was being discussed earlier in the day when one test came back ok.), what if she were still in China, what if WE HAD BEEN IN ETHIOPIA?????

And thus, the reason for my post.  All of this time, I've been so discouraged at what seemed like a process dragging on and on and on and on.....I feel like I've been saying, 'probably in the next month' for 2 months now.  But....now I see the Lord's protection EVEN IN THE DELAY.  I can't imagine being in Ethiopia and getting a call (or not...depending on cell service!!) saying Cynthia was really sick and headed to the OR.  I can't imagine not being right here beside her bed when she wakes up and looks for me.  I also can't imagine if we had recently arrived home with a precious boy who needed mama at home to care for him and continue to bond...
All of this was immediately forefront in my mind as Jeff and I waited outside of the OR.

Our GOD is a God of details, protection, our rock, and our fortress.

Even, no--especially in the storms and the STORMS of life.

Got this from a sweet friend this morning...had trouble reading it through the tears that flowed.

Every joy or trial falleth from above.
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love.
We may trust him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
(From the hymn Like a River Glorious)





Sunday, February 2, 2014

Wonder

What a treasure we have been trusted with.  Our Chinese New Year celebration was so fun...including welcoming sweet and happy Jonah who just arrived home from China on Thursday!  Our group of adoptive families is blessed to have a great organizer, Beth, who got two Chinese exchange students to come to her house and teach the Chinese children about traditional Chinese crafts, origami, and even a scavenger hunt for red envelopes with 'money' to celebrate the season.  We all then joined them for a Chinese feast, sparklers and we tested out these GREAT Chinese lanterns.  How fun they were!  I so wish this picture weren't so grainy....phone pic, but I just love her expression.  It reminds me of the wonder of childhood.  It also reminds me of our responsibility to keep her culture alive for her.  We need to do better.  We need to learn more, celebrate more, and teach her more.  What a responsibility.  What a privilege.  


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Year of the Horse

I'm a few days behind, but since our celebration with our friends is tonight......



Xin Nian Kuai Le! 

 Gong Xi Fa Cai

Gong Hey Fat Choy


恭禧發財



Happy New Year!



Want to say it?  Learn here.