Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This is the Lord's Doing . . . .

. . . and it is marvelous in our eyes!   Psalm 118:23

One week ago today, the treasure hunt our family had been on since we started our adoption process back in October, took a very miraculous and marvelous turn!   What we thought at first was a trying detour on our long journey, ended up being a beautiful, scenic tour of our Lord’s amazing awesomeness!

What just happened to our family is so wonderful, it is dream-like!   Truly our dream-come-true!  I can hardly even think of words to describe just how marvelous what God has done really is.  But I want so much to somehow declare how indescribably good and gracious God has been to us.   I am sure many of you have experienced this “speechlessness” over amazing things God has done in your lives!  We’d really love to hear your testimonies, of how you “tell of His wonders” in your lives!! 

So, as you all know, our family felt led by the Lord to adopt again, and began the process back in October.  We started our international home study in mid-November, and it all went very well up until we received the finished first draft of it on January 10th.  Since then, we have been experiencing a very unusual delay in getting it finalized.   It has been quite unsettling, but a perfect opportunity to practice patience and “being still and knowing that He is God.”  (We still have not heard back from either of the agencies that we have been working with.  It seems to have come to a complete standstill.)

That same Thursday night when we received the first draft of the home study, Ted sent an email to our adoption agency in Colorado stating that there was something that appeared in our home study that was not accurate or truthful, and that he wanted it to be re-written to reflect our true, Biblical beliefs/practices.  This was the beginning of quite a stressful and delicate situation!  On Monday morning, while we waited anxiously for a response from our adoption agency, we received an email instead, out-of-the-blue, from Benjamin’s very special social worker, responding to an email I sent to her in December.   This meant a lot to us, as we felt like the timing of her email was an encouragement from the Lord to “remember” all the miraculous things HE had done for us in our process with Benjamin.  

As we all prayed and waited on the Lord for this situation to be resolved, He was indeed answering and working all things together for good!  Back in October, our 3-year foster license was due to expire, and we got a call from our foster licensor asking us to PLEASE consider renewing it.  We told him that we would like to keep it current, so we did the few things we needed to do.  He told us that he would not be able to get out to our house for the home visit until January, but not to worry, that we would still be licensed during this time.  So, that was our plan, until we decided to adopt internationally, and I emailed him to let him know.  (This would definitely put us over our limit to be able to take in a foster child.)  When we did not receive an email back from him, or a call in January, we assumed this meant that he figured it would not be prudent for him to come out and renew our license.

Then, week before last, we received a call from him asking if he could come out in the next week or two for a home visit.  We were excited, as we still felt like it was a good idea to keep all our options open for orphan care.    So we talked about several possible dates and times that would work for all of us, and we landed on last Wednesday at noon.   He showed up right on time, and we dove in to our interview with him.  Around 12:32 : -), right at the time we were discussing that we would always want to be able to welcome any biological siblings of Benjamin’s into our family, the phone rang.

We decided not to answer it at the time, as we were all right in the middle of the interview, so we let it go to the answering service.  But about  30 minutes later, as we were walking around the house with Shane, Valerie picked up the message and ran upstairs saying, “You’re not going to believe this . . . ”   It was a social worker letting us know that Benjamin had a sister born a week prior, and asking if we would be willing to take her!  :-) 

What are the odds of such timing?  Only God could arrange the timing like that!  I wish we could have had that moment on video, when we were frantically trying to dial all the numbers on our phone to hear the message.  When we finally were able to get all the digits right to pick up the message, and listen to the social worker tell us this news on speaker phone, all our mouths dropped wide open.  Shane then began packing up his things and said he needed to get back to the office right away to write up our updated home study.  : -)  The funny thing is, Shane had told us back in October that a foster license is not mandatory to be able to take in a biological sibling, so it is not absolutely necessary in this case.  But we believe the Lord used this providential timing of the home visit and phone call to reveal His perfect plan in a very special way, and let us (and Shane) know that HE is truly directing all our steps. 

So the social worker told us that there would be a hearing the next morning, and after that, she would be calling us with more details.  We waited anxiously for her next call, which came at around 1:00pm the next day, saying that she would be placed with us and we began making arrangements to pick her up from her temporary foster home, which we did on Friday morning.

Now the process begins of waiting on the Lord for His perfect will and timing in her adoption.   And we’re not sure what will become of our international adoption process.   We’ll be seeking the Lord on that too!

"O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago."
Isaiah 25:1

Monday, February 25, 2013

Our Faithful God

I've had this song in my head
since listening to it a few times in the van
on our way to pick up Baby M.
When I woke this morning,
I just had to see if there was a video of it
to share with you all.
I picked this one because of the pink flower.  :-)
Then, at the very end . . .
our faithful God . . .
had a very special verse added to the video. . .
just for us, I'm sure! :-) 

Monday, February 18, 2013

40 Days . . .

 . . since we received the first draft of our home study for our international adoption.   Since then, it has been in the “editing” phase, bouncing (slowly) back and forth from our social worker here that wrote it, to our adoption agency in Colorado.   All three of us have something to say about what is written and recorded there for our government and the Ethiopian government to evaluate us by.  It can all be a bit awkward and unsettling, when it is every detail of your life being examined, written and read about, and then revised.  (Especially when we all see things from very different perspectives and worldviews.) It has been quite a learning experience, in a number of ways.  I think as we're finally coming around this corner, we're seeing that this process is not only about us “visiting” orphans in their need, but that our loving Father has many other good things planned for the long journey. :-)

I’m definitely learning more about being thankful . . .in all circumstances.

“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ”  1 Thessalonians 5:16

“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Ephesians 5:19b – 20

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

“Rejoice in the Lord always.   I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Philippians 4:4-6

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God . . . ”  Hebrews 12:28a

I’m REALLY learning more about waiting on the Lord. (Wow, for some reason, it has never really struck me just how much God’s people are called to wait on Him! And how much HE gets done in the process! ;-)

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.  Isaiah 64:4

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”  Psalm 130:5-6

 “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”  Ps. 5:3

“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.  The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”  Lam. 3:22-26

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him.”  Isaiah 30:18

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.”  Psalm 40:1 (I’m still working on the “patiently” part! J)

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27:14

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.   May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”  Psalm 33:20-22

And as I have waited on Him, I have been greatly encouraged, once again, by the Truth that His sovereign, good plans WILL prevail and that I can fully put my trust and hope in Him!!

Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, (I love this!) you rebels. (me?;-)  Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say:  My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”  Isaiah 46: 9-10
“Then Job replied to the Lord:  ‘I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.’ ”  Job 42:1-2
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  Proverbs 19:21

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

“May the favor of the Lord rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”  Psalm 90:17
“A man’s steps are directed by the lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?”  Proverbs 20:24

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

“For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

“For the word of the Lord is right, and true; he is faithful in all he does.”  Psalm 33:4

And then, I’m learning a lot about resting in Him and not losing heart in the wait!!! 

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.”  Psalm 62:5

“Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”  Psalm 42:5,11 and 43:5

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:2-3

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.  Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.  On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”  2 Co. 4:1-2

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  Psalm 126:5 (I really love this, as I have shed a lot of tears in these 40 days!)

And lastly, I’m still being heavily trained in the “Do Not Grumble” and “Be Patient” boot camp!!! 

“Do everything without complaining . . . ”  Philippians 2:14

“ . . .be patient with everyone.”  1 Thessalonians 5:14b

 "But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts,
O Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone."
Psalm 71:14-16

Monday, February 11, 2013

This is the Day That the Lord Has Made!

Benjamin is our primary worship leader in the mornings!
Although, he sometimes allows others to play his guitar
so he can play his drum. :-)
He is also our family's primary source of cuteness
all throughout the day. 
 Joe still loves his Lego's!
 I asked him to show me his favorite right now. . .
Timmy is doing really well with his reading!
And almost every day he is asking
(usually by way of written invitation)
his siblings to play games with him.
 And most of the time he can get a few to play.
Tents are a common occurrence in our living room.
This is where you'll find Kyle most of the time during the week.
(In Daddy's office.)
He's very diligent to work on his school work
and LOVES writing!
(His first book is in the process of being published!) 
You can find the first half
of a a new story he is writing here:
 When he's not working on building his muscles
over at Meemom & PapaBob's house,
or working for Boss, :-)
he enjoys being a part of the
school's trap shooting team.
He hopes to post a video of his latest trap shoot soon!
Caroline is learning another awesome new song on the piano!
(Pirates of the Caribbean!) 
We are ALL really excited about it!
  Please pray with us that her thumb heals quickly
from a little incident
she had while helping a 95 year-old neighbor's cat.
Caroline goes over every Sunday
to give the cat an IV of fluids
to help his kidneys function better. 
Well, this Sunday, something went terribly wrong,
and the needle attacked her thumb!
And after pulling it out, passing out,
her 95 year-old friend calling 911,
and the paramedics checking her out,
she'll soon be playing the new song
just like Jarrod Radnich!  :-)   
Both Caroline and Victoria keep themselves
quite busy with their Boer goat breeding program.
They have worked sooo hard to get where they are with all their does and their very special buck
(pictured below.)
They are very excited about all the goat kids
their does will be having soon!!
They also have worked very diligently
to create and update their website. 
You can see much better pics of all their beauties at:

They also have acquired great goat showmanship skills!  
Many folks enjoy hiring Victoria and Caroline to help show their herds of Boer goats at various shows.

Victoria is also working hard at training her horse Gracie
to follow her commands without the use of reins or verbal cues.
 This involves mostly hip movements
that tell Gracie what she is asking her to do. 
She has made a lot of fun progress!
Valerie keeps herself very busy with her
ongoing AKC labrador breeding business.
She is sooo excited about her newest additions . . .
the great grand-daughters of our family's
first yellow lab, Annie. (Deceased)
She named them Annie and Ellie.
She has worked very hard on
creating and updating this website:
She is using most of her earnings for orphan care! 
Valerie is also finding that she really
enjoys administrative work,
as she is helping out on a temporary assignment 
in our church's office.
She is also excited about learning some book-keeping skills!
 She also has an Australian Shepherd that she just bred and currently has six brand new puppies!
The website she made for them is:
You can follow their growth as she takes new pictures and posts them each week!
That's all for now!

Fun Moments with Lydia!

We all had the blessing of Lydia's sweet presence
for a bit yesterday and today,
as she came over to work on making
some more of her wonderful sheep milk soap. 
Of course, we all always LOVE it when she comes over!!! 
And the boys were especially happy with the special suckers she brought for them! : -)
While Lydia waited for her soap to harden enough to take it home,
Timmy talked her into playing a game.
(His favorite thing to do these days!)
Fortunately for her, we just recently purchased the
"Weekend Farmer" edition of the Farming Game,
which is similiar to the (never-ending) board game,
only much shorter!
It is still a bit of a complicated game,
and takes some time to learn. 
She was very happy to let Timmy help her
with her farming decisions and give and take her money.  
She thought he could just about play the game
all by himself! : -) 
But, he still wanted to keep an eye on her,
to make sure she did everything just right!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In a Sense . . . This is What Daddy Does!

"Ain't lost one yet!"

Monday, February 4, 2013

Routine Stuff

The little ones still love their baths!
But is wasn't always this way for Benjamin.
He loved his baths in his infant tub, up until it came time for him to bathe in the "big tub." 
And, he was terrified of it!
So, we got him a big inflatable ducky
to sit in inside of the big tub.
And he loved his baths again.
Then, one day recently,
he decided he was ready to give up his ducky,
and venture out again into the big tub.
Now, he doesn't want to get out,
and he is constantly asking to take a bath! : -)
One of the things our family has really
enjoyed through the years
are slumber parties!  
Many times we've had them outside, under the stars!
But now, the slumber partiers have dwindled down to Daddy,
and the little ones . . . inside, in the warmth and comforts of the living room floor!  : -)  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Joe is quite the talker! 
We think he'd probably talk to us all night if we let him!
This is how the night starts . . . . 
Then, it looks something like this . . . .
And in the morning . . .
Benjamin is always snuggled up close to Daddy!
(You can barely see Daddy's chin.  I figured Daddy might not want his sweet sleeping face posted on the blog! : -)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Family Fun Just Around the Corner

Since it was another gorgeous, sunny Saturday here,
we grabbed the frisbee
and headed off for some family fun at the nearby park.
We love having such a beautiful place to play just around the corner from our house!


A Time to Celebrate!

Last night we had a wonderful time celebrating
with Richie and Lydia . . .
their one year engagement anniversary!
We are ALL so blessed by what God has done
in bringing them together!
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