Monday, June 30, 2014

Just Beachy

We are back from a lovely weekend with my favorite outlaws in-laws. Each summer, we head south with my MIL and her sweet husband to Tyndall Air Force Base for a weekend of family fun in the sun. Here we go…

 One of the things we love most about Tyndall is that it is NEVER crowded. Nothing like your own private beach! 
 Love that fella! 
 Dinner out on the marina. 
 My main squeeze. 
 Love getting to spend time with Farren (OK, and David, too.) 
 Sunset over the bay. 
 And then some night fishing. 
 I was mostly an observer of this man's fishing adventures. 
 Morning out on the dock. 
 And more fishing. 
 And more observing.
But isn't he cute? 
 Beautiful morning with this man. 
 Lil bro and Farren. 
 And quite possibly my favorite pic of the weekend. 
JoAnne smiling and Mike fishing. 
And smiles all around. 

This was lovely timing for us. It was so nice to get away to a beautiful place with people we love. 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Where Has She Been?

"Where has she been?" you might find yourself asking. Fair question. I did not intend to stop blogging for nearly the entire month of June, but somehow, it has almost come to that. I have thought about writing a few times over the last few weeks, but I didn't realize how long it had been until I was chatting with a sweet fellow teacher during a workshop yesterday morning, and she said, "You haven't been writing as much lately." She was totally right! There are a lot of reasons. I was traveling to visit my grandparents for a week without much downtime or access to the internet. And then there is the fact that the adoption world, for us, has fallen all but silent. I think there has been one referral this month. But if I am honest, the main reason I haven't written much lately is that I have reached a point and a place where I don't really know what to say.

We are over two years into a process that had a projected one year timeline when we started. Weeks, sometimes months, go by with no movement. My heart aches and breaks for all of these children, my children, living in orphanages for the most formative months and years of their lives because of a flawed system, a system in which these precious children are not valued as they should be. I feel so lost, so hurt. And yet, at the same time, so convinced that our children are in Ethiopia.

I wish I could be stronger. I wish I could be the woman who looked trial and heartache and hurt in the face and said, "I am not afraid of you. You have no hold on me." But on so many days, I am the woman who curls up and cries. I am the woman whose heart cycles through hope and disappointment over and over again. I am the woman who is empty.

And these things, these weaknesses I am seeing in myself, are difficult for me to write about.

You see, when we started this adoption journey on April 10, 2012, I never once imagined that June 2014 would come and go and we would still be waiting to see our children's faces for the first time. I didn't think it was possible. But here we are. Twenty six months in with no real end in sight.

And lately, I have found myself looking to God and asking, "Where are you?"

More than anything I wish I could tell you that God answered me right back, "I'm right here."

But that has not happened.

I do KNOW that He is here, but I feel so alone, forgotten.

And that is hard for me.

I was talking with my adoption soul sister, Amy, last week while I was driving home from the Carolinas. We were discussing sharing venting about how frustrated we both are with this whole process. I was sharing specifically about how it has been so hard to see person after person in my life cross the bridge into motherhood, while I am still stuck on the other side of the chasm. In a moment of pure honesty, I told her that I felt like God has just left us.

As soon as I said it, my insides coiled up. That is not something you are supposed to feel, much less say out loud to another human being.

But, as she always does, Amy came through for me. With no judgment whatsoever, she reminded me that what I have with God is a RELATIONSHIP. She asked me to think about my relationship with Adam. Was I always only ever happy with him? Did I ever feel like he had forgotten me? Now, I am married to the most incredible man God ever created, so these things do not happen with any kind of frequency. But…yes. There have been times over the course of our ten years together that I have felt less than overjoyed by something that my husband has said or done, and usually because I misunderstood what he was actually saying or doing.

Well, Amy pointed out, you are in a relationship with God. There will be times when you are confused and hurt. But He always loves you, and He is always there.

Amy, I don't know if you know how much those words saved me in that moment.

I have been feeling like such a failure lately, because God has asked us to walk through this terribly difficult thing, and I have been so feeble. I have doubted and cried and argued and raged, when I should have been trusting, praising and thanking. But even during all of that, God has not left me.

And He won't.

I am still in the process of reading through the Psalms. One thing I have noticed is that over and over again, psalmists plead with God to not be silent forever, to not leave them in the pit for all days. I have found such comfort in these psalms. Not because they are particularly uplifting, but because the psalmists are honest. They feel alone, and they tell God that.

And I can, too.

So I am trying to embrace that moving forward from here. I have NO idea what lies ahead of us. We might be on the waiting list for years. I hope and pray that is not the case. But if it is, I hope and pray harder that God will strengthen my legs to stand firm.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Cheers to Seven Years!

Another year of life with my very best friend has come and gone. Today marks SEVEN years of wedded bliss with the man I love best. The last seven years have not held that which we expected, but I cannot begin to imagine a man with whom I would rather walk this road. To be sure, the Lord has asked us to endure some of the most painful things my mind can fathom, but I am here with you, Adam, and I love you all the more for staying here with me. This road is one I could not walk without you, and I love you for your faithfulness, your encouragement, your trust, your steadiness and your unwavering commitment to God and to our marriage. I love you. I love you. I love you.

 What happens when Adam has the camera...
 And then I give up and...
I take the camera back. 

My souls loves all that is you, Adam, and I am so thankful that the Lord saw fit to match me with you. 


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Want More Free Jewels?


Our home office at Noonday Collection just announced SPECIAL hostess incentives for the month of July!! Woot woot!

Click on the picture to check out the awesomeness. 

So host a show! Ask your mom, your sister, your bestie… WHOEVER to help you out! 

AAANNDDD… if you are adopting, Noonday will donate FIFTEEN PERCENT of your show's total directly toward your adoption. And if you are not adopting and know someone who is, you can host a show on their behalf and get the SAME donation toward their adoption. Let's get those babies home! 

I would love nothing more than to partner with you between July 1 and August 6 to host a Noonday Collection show and help you and your friends select some gorgeous accessories that absolutely change the world. 

Email me. Seriously. Right now. I'm waiting to hear from you. 


Monday, June 2, 2014

Wait List Update: June 2014

It's almost eleven o'clock at night, and I am sitting in our living room in the dark with a tear stained face trying to sort through my feelings via writing. I can't sleep. I already tried. Sobs came, the kind that shake you. And I didn't want to keep Adam awake, so I got up and came out here. My mind keeps running back through the last two years, one month, three weeks and one day, trying desperately to make sense of it all. And I can't.

We did get our monthly email today, and we did move. But hardly at all. And I know that I should probably just be grateful to have moved period, but the truth is that I can barely get past the hurt enough to catch my breath.

There is a child shaped hole, an adoption shaped hole in my heart. And I have been yearning, longing, pleading, begging for that to be filled for years. Still, we are waiting. With no real end in sight.

And I don't understand it. I just don't.

On Sunday, our pastor preached out of Psalm 84, focusing on Christ followers who are walking through deep and dark valleys. It was well-timed for me. Definitely something I needed to hear. He talked specifically about times when believers walk through the Valley of Baka, the valley of weeping. The psalmist implores God to turn their tears into springs of renewal. O, how I long for that to happen in my life and in my heart. I deeply long for some form of renewal, some sense of relief, because I feel so desperately alone, so unbelievably exhausted, so completely empty.

So I know that update posts should be super happy and yay, but I just cannot get there today, my friends. I wish I could. I would love to feel like celebrating. But right now, this girl's heart is just hurting, and I am trying my best to hang on to the God I know and trust.

"In you, Lord my God,
 I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
 will ever be put to shame,

but shame will come on those
 who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, Lord,
 teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
 for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
 for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
 and my rebellious ways;

according to your love remember me,  
for you, Lord, are good.
Good and upright is the Lord;
 therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
 and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;  
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
 or only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart  and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
  and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.
Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles!"
Psalm 25


P.S. The lack of picture is due to our current lack of printer to print out our new number. Email or Facebook me if you want to know it.

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