Friday, July 20, 2012

It Got Personal

Since starting our adoption journey, the Gospel has come to life in a whole new way for me. It has gotten personal. Let me first say that the Gospel, Jesus' life, death and resurrection so that I can spend eternity with God, has always been personal because I have always known that Christ died in my place for my sins. But the deeper we have gone into this adoption, the more the Lord has pulled back the curtains to let me see and understand more clearly exactly what He did for me, for us, when He sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins.

Ephesians 1:4-6 tells us that God chose us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ before the creation of the world. I love those verses, but recently, my eyes have been opened even wider to the profound and unbelievable truth that they contain. I have mentioned before that Adam and I already love our Ethiopian child so much. My heart swells with joy and love and excitement whenever I think about our sweet baby. When I think about seeing, holding, kissing him/her for the first time, hearing his/her laugh for the first time, comforting him/her for the first time, I almost always start to cry because I am completely overwhelmed and swept away by how much I already love my child. And, odds are, sweet little one is not even born yet. I think about getting to raise this little one, watching this sweet baby become the man or woman God created him/her to be. It is truly almost too much for me to handle.

And then the Lord pauses my heart and stills my mind and whispers a reminder: This is how I feel about you.

You see, the Gospel is an adoption story. It is a Father who loved His children, children who did not yet know Him. He loved them so much that He was willing to pay a high price and endure unthinkable suffering so that His children could be adopted into His family and be His sons and daughters for all eternity. This is such a humbling truth. The Creator of all that exists adopted us. Not because He needed to--God does not need anything--but because He wanted to; it brought Him great joy to bring us into His family, to have us as His sons and daughters and to pour out His deep love onto us unconditionally.

I understand this truth so much more clearly now that we are adopting our own little one. Adam and I will do anything it takes to bring home the child God created for us to love. We know that along the way there will be (and already have been) hardships, trials and sacrifices. But nothing will come between us and our child. The Lord has filled our hearts with a fierce determination (call it Mama and Papa Bear, if you will) to do whatever is necessary to bring our baby home and raise him/her in a home full of love.

Now, multiply that feeling by a gazillion, and you have an idea about the way that God feels about you. He loves you. He longs to bring you into His family. Will you let Him? It isn't always easy, but it is always worth it. He has paid a high price, the life of His Son, to adopt you. He loves you that much.

"For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you will be saved." Romans 10:9


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tired Feet and a Happy Heart

My feet feel like they are going to fall off! Allow me to explain. I spent this past weekend with my sweet mom and sister, Brooke, at the market in Atlanta shopping for their store, Pizazz, down in Florida. It was great fun, but a TON of work. I know that the men reading this will balk. Shopping is work? Well, not usually, but when you are buying for an entire store over the course of four days from 8 in the morning until 7 in the evening, then yes, shopping is work. But it is FUN work!

The weekend started out with a bang. I drove over to Atlanta the evening before my mom and sis were due to arrive. This was an enormous blessing, because I got to spend time with one of my nearests and dearests, Jamie Grace. This sweet, wonderful, beautiful friend of mine moved from the Ham to Atlanta last year, and I have missed her so, so much. She and her husband were kind enough to let me crash with them that night so I would not have to drive to the ATL airport from Birmingham before dawn. We had SUCH a wonderful time together (one day was just not enough!). We spent the whole afternoon and evening catching up on each other's lives and truly just enjoying one another's company. Jamie Grace has been such a blessing in my life, and I am so grateful to the Lord for giving me such a sweet friend.

I was due to pick up my mom and sis pretty early the next morning, but Brooke called and told me that their flight was delayed. This ended up being incredibly ironic. You see, Mom did not know that I was coming to market to help them shop. It was a surprise (insert villainous laugh here). I was supposed to be going down to Florida to stay with my dad for the weekend, but we changed plans so that I could surprise her. In order to get away with the surprise, I had told my mom that my flight to Florida had been delayed, and that the next flight I could get on was the following day (meaning I would not get to see her in Florida before she and Brooke left for ATL). The irony is that their flight actually DID get delayed. Oops!

Anyway, they arrived a few hours later, and Mom was totally shocked. Her first words? "What are you doing here?" She is so sweet. :) We had a great time together and did some serious shopping. If you are in the South Florida area, you should really go check out the new merchandise. Way cute! It was SO good to spend time with Mom and Brooke, too. I don't get to see them together too often, so this was another blessing from the Lord for me!

I also have some excellent news on the adoption front... Fingerprints have cleared!!! We are so, so, so, so excited to share that we have both cleared our fingerprint checks, and we are good to go! Adam's clearance letter came in the mail yesterday, and mine should be here tomorrow. This means that we are just around the corner from sending off our dossier, and then we will be officially on the waiting list. Fingerprint clearance is a HUGE milestone! Thank you all for praying for us in this specific area. We are so blessed by you!

So after a busy weekend of shopping and some great news about our fingerprints, I am left with tired feet and a happy heart!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

T-Shirt Reorder

We will be selling our super cute adoption t-shirts again until August 1! You can see the shirts by clicking here. We have both youth and adult sizes available. Shirts are $20, and 100% of the profit goes directly toward funding our adoption. Leave a comment below or email me ( if you are interested.

We will take orders until August 1 and then have the shirts printed. Once we get them back, we will get to work on getting them to you! After you receive your shirt, please send us a picture of you wearing it. We are making a video to chronicle this entire process, and we really want to include every single person who helped us along the way! That means you!

This will be the last order we do, so please don't miss out!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Thank you all so very much for all of your prayers about my fingerprints! I spoke with the woman in charge this morning, and the issue has been resolved, and my prints have been sent to Alabama for clearance within the state. That means that they are READABLE! Yes! We should be getting our clearances back within the next couple of weeks. This has been an enormous prayer need for us, and we know that your prayers played a huge role in getting things moving. We cannot thank you enough.

And while we are on the subject, I want to thank you all from the very bottom of my heart for all of your prayers and support for us as we walk through this adoption. You have shown us the true meaning of being brothers and sisters in Christ as you have given your time, talents and resources to help us bring our little one home. You are God's work in our lives, and we are blessed beyond measure to know you.

"I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3


Monday, July 9, 2012

Fingerprint Prayers

If you have a spare moment today, please send up a prayer for my fingerprints. There is a problem with them (again!). Last year, Adam and I went through the process to become licensed foster parents, and we had to be fingerprinted. Mine came back as unreadable and then we never heard anything else about it. Well, I sent my new prints in for our adoption several weeks ago, and when I called to check on the status of the prints, I was told that they cannot be processed because I already have a set in the system.


The woman on the phone this morning told me that she was going to try to fix the problem (same thing I was told last week). So I am supposed to call back this afternoon to see if it worked. This is the ONE thing required for our adoption that gives me such anxiety. Mainly because we were printed for foster care in November of LAST year and still have not been cleared. I am trying to trust in the Lord and remember that all of this is happening within the confines of His sovereign plan. Still, I would really like for this part to be over.

Thank you for your prayers!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Blessings Poured Out

God has been up to so much good stuff in our lives lately, and today I realized just how incredibly blessed I/we am/are. It is so, so, so easy sometimes to get laser focused on all of the things that are not going the way we expect that we forget to look for and be truly overwhelmed by God's abundant blessing in our lives. These past few days, the Lord has been using circumstances, events and people I love to remind me that He is pouring out blessings on our lives like Niagra Falls. Please bear with me as I explain (in reverse chronological order, no less) what God has been doing with the Knotts these days.

Today we had our last, that's right, LAST home study interview. Wahoo! This is such huge thing for us. Summer is Adam's busiest season at work, and we are going to be in Honduras for a week this month, so the fact that we were able to get everything finished by only July second is an enormous miracle. Especially when we consider the fact that the interviews are usually stretched out over several months and we finished ours in about four weeks. THANK YOU LORD! We are waiting on our fingerprints to come back in, and then our home study will be pretty much ready to go. Along a similar line, we received our dossier information last week and have already been able to check several items off that list. I have absolutely ZERO doubt that the Lord's hand is on this process and that He alone is the reason we have been able to move through this process so efficiently.

Get ready to laugh at me, and probably roll your eyes, about this next one. Over the weekend I purchased my VERY FIRST parenting book! I know this probably seems like a silly thing to write about, but for me, this was a MAJOR milestone. I wanted to stride through Barnes and Noble, proudly carrying my book and shouting, "That's right! I am buying a book on being a mom. Why, you might ask? Well, because I am about to be one!" Fortunately for the other customers, and for my dignity, as well, I managed to restrain myself. Although, I am fairly certain the cashier thought I was a crazy woman.

Lastly (but first chronologically), my wonderful, beautiful parents came to visit us this past week/weekend. I cannot even begin to explain how good it was to see them. We were able to spend time together, talk and eat...a lot. I know I have mentioned it before, but let me say again that my two parents are two of the greatest blessings the Lord has ever given me. They are full of patience and incredibly wise counsel (of which I received plenty over the last several days). In our very first blog post, I talked about the fact that Adam and I always thought we would have biological children first and then expand our family through adoption. Over the last several months, the Lord has been making it very evident that we are supposed to adopt first. And we are so, so, SO excited about our little one from Ethiopia. There are days, however, when it is hard to let go of the idea of biological children for now. Let me be clear here. We do not, in any way, feel that God has called us away from biological children, but we do know that He has called us to adopt first. For a while this was a tough thought for me to get past, but our great God, in His unwavering love has shown me that His plan is absolutely perfect and that I have no need to worry. So why I am writing this in the same paragraph as my parents' visit? Well, we spent a great deal of time talking about God's calling on our (mine and Adam's) life. My mother shared a lot about what God has been teaching her lately, and she ended by telling us about a sermon that she heard Tony Evans (love him!) preach on the radio last week (perfect timing, no?). The sermon was about Jesus and Lazarus.

In case you are not familiar with the story, Lazarus, a good friend of Jesus, has died, and his sisters had already sent for Jesus. Jesus, however, does not show up until Lazarus has been dead for four days. When He gets there, everyone is mourning the death of Lazarus and being upset with Jesus for arriving too late to heal Lazarus. They now want Him to do the impossible, to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus tells the people to roll away the tombstone. And instead of immediately obeying, the people come up with all these reasons why they can't. But Jesus persists, and the people roll away the stone. Then Jesus, without even looking inside the tomb, says, "Lazarus, come out." And Lazarus does.

Dr. Evans' message had a few points. First, Jesus is NEVER late. We might think He is late, and according to our plan, He might be late. But He is never actually late. Jesus, just like God the Father, has the long view. He can see what we cannot. So while we might be tempted (and I certainly have been) to accuse God of being late or not working fast enough or not doing things the way we want Him to, we need to remember that His plan and His purpose are both absolutely flawless. Think about it. I am sure that Mary and Martha (Lazarus' sisters) would have liked Jesus to arrive before their brother died. It certainly would have been easier. BUT if Christ had done that, He would not have been able to be glorified through the resurrection of Lazarus. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. The second point was that Jesus asked the people to move the stone, something that seemed impossible and crazy to them. The message here is that when we show God our faith, He shows us His faithfulness. When we step out for God's glory and the sake of His kingdom, He steps out with us and does something FAR greater than we ever could have imagined.

So, you can see why it was so good to spend time with my parents. They reminded us that we are on the path that the Lord has had laid out for us since before, "Let there be light." And while I might have thought for the longest that we would adopt later in life, I can see now that the Lord's plan is infinitely better than anything I could have ever come up with on my own. Adopting first has always been His plan for us, and the more time I spend thinking about it, the happier I am that things are happening in this sequence. We will be able to focus on this sweet, precious child in a distraction-free environment. We will be able to pour out our love on this little one until we are absolutely certain that he/she recognizes us as Mom and Dad and knows that we will always, no matter what, be there to love, support and protect. And so, I find myself thanking God that we are adopting first and praising Him for this incredibly humbling calling on our lives. And I cannot wait to see what else He has for us. When I think about everything that is going on in our lives, I am truly at a loss for words. God has blessed us abundantly more than we deserve.

"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9


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