Friday, July 25, 2014

And then there were 4...Baby "M" is here!

Proverbs 13:12  "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."


 This year for my birthday (June 13), I asked the Lord for a special gift that only He could give me.  I asked Him as my Father.  I asked all week long.  My birthday came and went.  I said at the end of the 13th, "Well, I guess you didn't answer me this year for my birthday."  The whole time I'm sure He was chuckling knowing He had.  I just didn't know about it yet. Little did I know, a beautiful baby was born during that week. 

We found out about her when she was 2 1/2 weeks old.  2 days later, BY FAITH we agreed to have our profile shown.  2 days later we met the birth mother, BY FAITH.  That afternoon she chose us to be the parents.  When we received the wonderful phone call that was so very long awaited, tears of joy welled up in my eyes and came streaming down my face.  We were still driving down the freeway heading home after our meeting!  We still had to wait another 2 days to meet her.  BY FAITH, we drove an hour one way just to see her as often as we could over these last few weeks.  Our first visit lasted 4 1/2 hours.  We were absolutely in love.  We had several more times of visiting, feeding, talking and finally brought her home today ~ July 25th!  Over these last few weeks, we didn't know if this would be our daughter, but we knew God led us to this open door.  SO...BY FAITH, we washed up our infant car seat and put it in the car.  My Dad asked me why it was in my car and I said, "Dad, this is how we walk BY FAITH!"  He smiled.  BY FAITH, we got the bassinet washed and ready. BY FAITH, we organized a nursery to make room for two little girls.  BY FAITH, we purchased some basic essentials we knew we'd need.  BY FAITH, we traveled 2 hours to see her.  BY FAITH, we bought books about being a big sister, read them and shared with Niyla.  Hmmm...it seems someone else did a lot of things BY FAITH...oh yeah, their names are many and they're listed in Hebrews 11 along with other places in the Bible.  

Now, our answer is here!  At 6 weeks old, we have the awesome privilege of welcoming her home to her forever family!  OH HAPPY DAY!  I can't wait for everyone to meet her at her welcome home party/baby dedication.  She's absolutely the perfect addition to our family of now 4!! Yippee, skippy!   She is beautiful and we are so happy to have her as part of our family.  "Only" 18 months of pregnancy this time and she was well worth the wait.  

All glory and honor to my heavenly Father for helping me to stay the course.  He poured out an abundance of grace when I wanted to just give up and throw in the towel.  He always reminded me that He was working behind the scenes and it just takes time.  Jesus spoke to the wind and the waves and they obeyed Him immediately.  However, when we deal with situations in life, often people are involved.  We can't just command people, as they have a will.  God has to work on our wills to conform to His will.  Often times, we don't want what He wants.  However, when we obey Him and follow His leading, it is a beautiful path. 


More GREAT news!  (as if that's not enough)
We received a $5,000 grant from Gift of Adoption last week, which just about covers our entire adoption cost.  God is greater than any circumstance, any mountain, any tragedy, any obstacle...OUR GOD IS GREATER! 

 There are so many family and friends we wanted to personally call and tell, but we thought this would be the best way to tell everyone at the same time.  Thank you all once again for following this journey of adoption.  You have been the Aaron's and Hur's along the way to hold up our arms when we became tired and weary and for that we are eternally grateful!


Hebrews 6:13-15  When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants."  And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another one!

Praise the Lord!  We just received news that we have been awarded a $1,000 grant from Sowing Roots, a Christian Organization that helps families adopt.  Thank you Jesus and all glory goes to Him.  :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Adopt together!

PATIENCE...We are still patiently (and I use this term very loosely as it seems to be my least favorite fruit of the spirit, though a very necessary one) awaiting and I know it's been a while since I've written a blog update.  It's not like we have a choice to be or not be patient.  It's sort of forced patience because we can't make it happen any faster.  

INSPIRED...It's hard to get inspired to write when there really is no exciting news at least none that I can physically show everyone. All the news I have is in my heart.  My hopes, my dreams, my desires, my vision, my faith and everything I know the Lord has spoken to me about for this journey.

WAIT...We've been waiting almost 16 months since the completion of our home study and we have drastically moved up the "list" of families desiring to adopt babies/children in need of a loving family.  We still believe that we are above average and believe for placement before the average 19 month wait.

OPPORTUNITY...We've had many, many profile opportunities over these last almost year and half.  Some we felt were a good fit so we went ahead and had our profile shown to the expectant parent(s) and some weren't a good fit for us so we choose to wait.

FAITH...It takes just as much faith to say no, as it does to say yes.  When we say yes, it's like you feel the train is moving forward ever so slightly and there's a possibility that this may, in fact, be the baby that the Lord has for us.  Then when we find out we aren't chosen by the expectant parent which is like a false pregnancy test and a major let down.  OR we choose to move forward and then we hear that the expectant parents changed their mind about adoption all together.  I've come to be very thankful for all of the no's that I hoped would be yes because my prayer is simple...

Lord, your will be done.  

I know that He is working out His plan in the lives of everyone involved.  He knows the child for our family, the sibling for Niyla as well as knowing the best for the expectant parents and their lives along with their decision to parent or to choose someone else besides us to be their child's parent.  When we choose not to move forward, it's just as challenging because there's the fear of the what if's...

What if this is the right one and we make the wrong decision?
What if we don't get another profile opportunity for a long time?

What if this changes or this information is added then would we still say no?
What if this is the one God has for us and we aren't hearing Him clearly?

and on and on...

TRUST...there's no better word!  We must trust our footsteps are ordered of the Lord.  We must TRUST that we hear His voice as the Scripture says the sheep know His voice and follow Him and the voice of a stranger we will not follow.

LISTEN...we have to know inside our spirit what God is saying regardless of people, circumstances or fear of the unknown.  We have to LISTEN to His voice and His direction.  When I don't hear, I have to tune in a little closer.  Shut things off more intently, perhaps pray a little more or a little longer, worship, get by myself, read a particular passage of Scripture that the Lord leads me to.

MOVE...We must keep moving.  We stay busy doing all the preparations as any expectant couple would do. We're organizing every closet, making space for the next child by getting rid of stuff, cleaning every nook, cranny, car, carpets, appliances...literally everything I can think to clean thoroughly and deeply is getting cleaned.  Saving money where we can, applying for more grants, continuing our fundraiser, setting up the new crib, getting a new diaper bag (because the last one or two have been thoroughly warn and used), checking and replacing batteries on stuff we used for Niyla as a newborn that we're preparing to use again, thinking about baby dedication and all the details, dreaming of whether it's a boy or a girl, looking forward to having a photo shoot with a newborn and his/her big sister, praying for the right fit between the siblings and more and more prayer surrounding everyone involved...you get the picture right?  We're moving in the natural and in the supernatural simply by faith.  You may not see it, you may think all of this is just so weird and strange, but to us, it's as real as the hand in front of my face.

HELP...Bottom line is we can't do all of this by ourselves.  We are doing all we can through Christ, but we need some Aaron's and Hur's.  Remember the story? Moses' arms grew tired and these two men came and provided a rock and helped hold up Moses' arms?  As they did this, everyone got the victory.  We need YOU to hold up our arms.  We need YOU to adopt with us.  How?

1. Pray for us, the expectant parents and BABY "M" every day and every time you think of us, see our picture, see a post, hear the Spirit of God tug on your heart etc.

2. Comment, like, post and share our profile to help us locate the family God has for us to connect with.  We know they are out there and with social media and technology, it's a great tool that we can utilize!

3. Make a financial contribution.  $1, $5, $10, $25, $100, $1000 Literally, whatever you can afford and are willing to donate makes an impact.  In the past two weeks, we've had 3 profile opportunities.  We are getting close, I can feel it in my spirit.  I know there's people out there that have thought about helping.  Well, now is the time.  We need your help to get involved with the Mother's Love fundraiser.  Simply donate safely through PAYPAL or send a personal donation via snail mail.  Maybe you're thinking, I'd like to do more than I can just myself.  You can!  If you'd like to have a fundraiser on our behalf at your church, your work or neighborhood, that'd be awesome!  Maybe you use baby bottles and ask people to donate their change to fill up the bottle for a week?  OR?  Feel free to be creative.  Sincerely ask the Lord what He'd have you to do.  It's not about us...it's about a child.  We are asking you to help us adopt together so that we can move forward without the financial barrier.  

We love all of you.  For every single Aaron and Hur who has already done and continues to do these things, THANK YOU!  You make our heart happy and encouraged every single time!!!! Thank you for being a part of our journey in every single way.  The Lord hears our prayers, and He answers them.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Step-by-step

A few weeks ago my husband went to Target to purchase a mattress for Baby "M".  While walking out of the store, he ran into our neighbor.  She couldn't help but to notice the mattress Mark was carrying and inquired..."Do you have news?"  Not yet...

Today a woman had come to my house to help me with some detail cleaning.  She noticed the 2nd crib set up in Niyla's bedroom and asked, "Do you have a new baby?"  My response, "BY FAITH!"  She was lit up with excitement.  I went on to explain that we are preparing a little at a time.  For me, having the visual helps remind me to be consistently in prayer for our baby and his/her birth family.  As they say...Sunday's coming!  Resurrection is coming!  The promise is coming!  We are overcoming by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.  This conversation led to her sharing her own story of 3 losses and still now, at 60 years old she still wonders, feels the sting of the losses and shared of some glimpses of things the Lord has shown her over the years.

The Lord is doing it!  He's making space for us to share our stories and to encourage one another in the body of Christ.  People notice our walk, our talk, what we write, what we say.  It may not be perfect faith.  It may have barriers to overcome, but we can run through a troop and leap over a wall.  We can defeat every battle that comes our way because the victorious one lives inside of us and He has overcome all the devil has thrown at Him.  Are we any different as Christians?  No, not according to God's Word.  Today I pray if you have a story to share, that the Lord would make space for you to share it to encourage someone else that needs to hear your story.

As Christians, the foundation and cornerstone that we build our life upon is Jesus Christ.  Throughout life's challenges, difficulties and disappointments, if we're not careful we can build things upon that foundation based upon our experiences instead of based on the Word of God.  This creates error and puts holes in our faith.  I'm re-evaluating some things that the Lord has shown me recently that I've just accepted instead of allowing God's Word to be the ultimate standard and accept that instead of the things in life that are contrary.  I hope you'll join me in the quest for God's Word to fully manifest in your life as well.  Step-by-step He leads us as we follow Him and His ways.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Once upon a time there were...

...3 people who wrote a letter to invite more hearts to join in the journey of growing their family through adoption.  The response of 42 hearts (and counting) joined with the 3 hearts in an effort to make their way to precious little feet named Baby "M".  Then the Lord sent a woman named Sue, who was led by the spirit of God with many sweet treats.  She joined another woman named Kristy, and her husband, Jim, who had a lot of spaghetti!  This group of 3 people had an idea and their Pastor liked it!  So together, their church sought to bless the 3 hearts to help them become 4 hearts.  Many other friends and family from other churches around, came together on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy Sue's sweet treats and Jim's spaghetti!  After a lot of planning, preparation, prayers, kind words and a whole lot of love, they blessed the 3 hearts beyond what was imaginable!  The littlest of the 3 hearts had a blast with all her new-found friends running around and enjoying a sweet cupcake.  The 2 adult hearts were so blessed and felt so loved that they were left practically speechless!   WOW, UNBELIEVABLE, FANTASTIC, LOVED, ENCOURAGED, GENEROUS GIVERS, THANK YOU were the only descriptive words they could muster through the tears of joy that poured out through their overflowing 3 hearts of joy. 

Truth is, this isn't a fairy tale, but a real live story!  The 3 hearts are Mark, Jennifer & Niyla. 
You may have guessed it - Sue, Kristy, Jim, Pastor Rohde and his church are all part of Jubilee Christian Family Church who all came together with their sweet treats, spaghetti and most of all, their love.
Right again - family and friends came to support, fellowship and enjoy.
Most importantly, the body of Christ glorified Jesus in their actions.  In the end, there was an insurmountable love felt in a tangible and intangible way that can never be truly expressed with words.  Today, a little baby we call Baby "M" is SO loved and he/she doesn't even know how much just yet...but in time...he/she will know the love of a forever family, a church family and the body of Christ! 

Today we felt and saw the body of Christ be the hands and feet of Jesus in a way we imagined only possible in our dreams.  Now we know that dreams really can come true in the world of adoption.  The body of Christ is helping to carry us through this 2nd adoption journey and we are thankful for each and every heart!  Thank you for your labor of love shown to us today!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

38 hearts...

WOW!  38 people have joined the "Mother's Love Fundraiser" and have helped us get many steps closer to our journey to Baby "M".  When we began this fundraiser a month ago, we started with the $8,450 of our own finances, which has covered our application and home study fees.  Our overall goal is $21,450, which left a pretty big gap in funds needed.  In addition to the 38 hearts that have come along side us to help in our 2nd adoption, we heard from Forever Families Ministry in Port Washington, WI, that they are funding a $1,500 grant for our adoption!  Praise the Lord!  All of these things combined have helped close the gap and brought us to $10,850 total raised!  We are now more than 50% away from our total goal!!!!!!!!!!  If that's not enough to make me shout, Jubilee Christian Family Church of Franklin, WI, is hosting a fundraiser on behalf of our Journey To Baby "M" on March 9th at noon, in response to the "Mother's Love Fundraiser" letter.  Talk about loving forward! 
Where does that leave us?  We only have $10,600 to go.  I know what you're probably thinking...that's still a lot of money.  Well, in one large chunk it is, but it would only take...

424 people giving $25 
OR 

212 people giving $50 
OR 

106 people giving $100.  

Well, I think you get the picture.  Remember, as you respond to our fundraiser, you are responding to Christ's call to care for the widows and the orphans.  (James 1:27)  You aren't giving to a fund, but a life.  This is something Mark and I, along with our next child are forever grateful for and your monetary gift makes an eternal impact...something we simply can't put a price tag on!

Much love,

Mark and Jennifer
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