I can't let Thanksgiving pass without acknowledging how much for which we have to be thankful. 1. Family - Kris and I both have loving and supportive families. We know this is not a given in life, so we try to always remember and remain thankful for our families. 2. Health - No major hiccups this year, just colds. 3. Jobs - Our business fully came back this year. We are incredibly grateful for that! 4. Traditions - We keep Thanksgiving simple, which makes the day easy to enjoy. We host Thanksgiving lunch at our house. As our family has grown, it’s fun to actually have a “kids” table now. My parents and my brothers, with their families, all come over. We tend to stick to the same menu. We have turkey, brisket, rolls, regular salad, fruit salad, corn casserole, pinto beans, and mashed potatoes. So good. So many calories. Totally worth it! And on that note, we are also thankful for the opportunity to eat together and have ample food. We then move over to my brother’s house for dessert and to watch the Cowboys game (which stunk this year due to bad ref calls!). We enjoyed chocolate sheet cake, pecan pie, and cherry pie. I am a chocoholic, so I was all over that sheet cake. My brother gave all his nephews their Christmas presents early. So Eli and his cousins each got a remote controlled car. They went nuts basically playing bumper cars, both indoors and outdoors. Surprisingly, my brother’s home remained intact. So that's good. The boys also made turkeys out of cookies and candies with help from a neighbor and her daughter. It was a really cute craft for the kids. Great neighbors are something to be thankful for, too. 7. Eli, his adoption, and his birth family - Even though I already mentioned family, we are continually thankful for the best thing that ever happened to us - Eli's adoption. We are so thankful to be his parents and so thankful that his birth mother trusted us to parent him. 8. Our Lord and Savior - He hears our prayers. He knows we are praying for another child, and He hears the prayers of expectant parents everywhere that may be planning to place their child for adoption. He is there for both of us and loves us both dearly. He will help us all navigate this complex adoption world and guide us to the right people and place, if we just let and trust Him. I hope you and everyone else out there had a good Thanksgiving. And if your holiday was hard or emotional, please remember that God is there for you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. We just have to ask Him for help.
ThankfulDec 02, 2021
NehemiahOct 21, 2021
When we started working on adoption again, I kept thinking of the story of Nehemiah in the Bible. For those not familiar with his story (I was not until a few years ago), Nehemiah was the emperor’s servant who wept when he heard that the walls in Jerusalem were still in ruins. Nehemiah’s story is often taught in regards to his leadership, as he led the people in Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls. But I am always amazed at his prayer life, patience, and perseverance. Nehemiah prayed constantly. He always asked the Lord to show him the way. When Nehemiah was not sure what to do about the walls, he prayed for months and patiently waited to hear from God. He did not leave for Jerusalem to rebuild until God gave him guidance. Once in Jerusalem, Nehemiah was confronted with obstacles and enemies. But he never stopped building and persevered, as he felt he must continue for God’s purpose and plan. When Nehemiah began rebuilding, he and the people in Jerusalem finished the walls in only 52 days. When we started our home study this year, we used the idea of 52 days to get everything we needed done for our home study. And it worked! I honestly think our last one took almost a year. Like Nehemiah, adoptive parents must rely on prayer, patience and perseverance. Our desire for a child is so strong, that I have cried out to God for help. We pray for an expectant mother to trust us to parent her child. We pray that God blesses us with adoption and blesses all families involved. We pray for the future of the expectant parent. Through prayer, God moves in areas where we cannot. And boy, does adoption require patience or what?!? Sometimes adoption takes years, and you cannot give up hope. And then sometimes, a match is made quickly, and two families become connected through the love of a child. But the overall adoption process, from the first thought in your head until the final court finalization, does seem to take an eternity. And throughout the whole adoption process, you must keep moving forward, trusting that God is in control and asking Him to direct your steps. You cannot put your life on hold while aching for another child to love, and you must persevere through obstacles. In adoption, obstacles can include lack of finances to adopt, health issues to overcome, and a failed match. Nehemiah’s name means "Yahweh has comforted.” Comfort is such a big prayer request these days. We pray for God to comfort us as we wait. But more importantly, we pray for God to comfort an expectant mother, as she thinks about adoption. What a huge decision to make! Nehemiah was fully dependent on God through his journey. He waited on God and trusted Him, when waiting and not knowing the future is so hard. He did what God wanted him to do. When we are in God’s will, His plans for us are better than what we desire. As we learned with our son’s adoption, adoption can be amazing when it is done God’s way and for His glory. So I hope, as we continue to wait and pray, that we can be more like Nehemiah.
Best time of yearDec 03, 2021
One of the wonderful things about adoption is just looking at your child and thinking, “I can’t believe I get to be their parent!” We still have this thought often when watching our son play or watching him just being in his own world. Another thought we have is, "I can't believe his birthmother chose us." We still remember everything about the day we found out we were matched with an expectant mom. We got a call on a pretty mundane Monday at 3 pm. From that point on, everything changed. Eli was born just ten days later. Fall is such an amazing and fun season to be a parent. Eli has decided to go as Spiderman for the second year in a row, and he gets so hyped for Halloween. And we were almost late to school yesterday, because he could not sleep the night before. We started talking about Christmas and decided to go ahead and make a reservation to see Santa. You would have thought it was already Christmas morning by how excited he was just knowing he was going to see Santa. Every night at dinner, he also prays for snow at Christmas (He has only seen it in that huge storm last February). His excitement and wonder about the fall and winter holidays are what make this time of year the best.