Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Right now I am sitting in the Sheraton Hotel downtown Chicago. Just as I was a year ago. Well last year it might have been the Hyatt, I don't remember. I am SO thankful that Darin's company gets him really nice hotel rooms when he goes to trade shows and that I can come stay with him when he's in Chicago. The bed is so big and comfy. After our run along Lakeshore Drive this morning, a yummy breakfast, and a lukewarm shower (my only complaint), I didn't leave the comfort of the bed until now. I have been reading all morning! It's something I LOVE to do, but usually there are other things calling for my time and attention. I finished my book, GODS AND KINGS, which was fascinating! It is fiction, but it told the stories about the kings of Judah and Israel and sent me straight to scripture to get the rest of the story. It is amazing to read the accounts of each of the kings. Whenever they did what was right in God's eyes, they enjoyed peace and prosperity. Whenever the king did evil in God's eyes and worshipped other gods, the country was at war and in poverty. Whichever way the king chose to go (good or evil), his people always followed. How could they not see a pattern?!? How could the children that grew up under the reign of a king who followed God's laws choose to turn their back on God? As I read I found that often it was their own pride that brought them down. Their hearts were poisoned by their success and they decided that they didn't need God. Could we learn from their mistakes? Maybe that's one reason why those stories are there. FASCINATING reading!

Anyway, on to what I really wanted to write about...

It was about a year ago that I was on the train coming down to stay with Darin when I got the phone call in which I first heard the names Mauricio and Miguel. I wasn't sure at the time what I felt. I think I was too afraid to hope that God had chosen these two boys to become our sons. What if I was wrong? I see that as a pattern in my life. I am afraid to hope for great things, afraid to dream big dreams, afraid to ask for much; because what if I'm wrong? I have limited God in my life by doing this; but He, in His awesome tenderness and power, has shown Himself to me time and time again to be big and faithful, merciful and oh so generous, kind and loving, patient and amazing! In spite of all my doubts and fears, He has brought us along the seemingly daunting path toward the reality of bringing Mauricio and Miguel home to become part of our family. I am so excited!

On Feb. 25 I was "dumping" on a friend of mine. I was just sharing my frustrations with the lengthy process and how our paperwork seemed to be stuck at the US Immigrations office (thanks for listening, Gwen) and not even an hour later I get the phone call that it has been approved. "Lord, I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mk. 9:24) We eventually received the official acceptance letter (8 days later). And now everything that Colombia needs is down there. It just needs to be approved by their committee. Our adoption agency tells us that the orphanage, Chiquitines, is very excited! The boys have been there since May 16, 2006. Could they have given up hope of ever being a part of a loving forever family. It makes my heart sink to think of it. On Monday I sent the scrapbooks that we have been working on for so long. It was so hard to put together a few pages and pictures to tell the story of who we are as a family. We wanted it to be an honest account, but we also wanted it to look very appealing to the boys. We want them to be as excited to come live with us and be loved by us as we are to have them and to love them.

And now we wait...yet again. But it shouldn't be for long this time. Then the whirlwind of preparations will begin! Of course this seems like the worst timing. I thought that sometime in December through February would actually be the best. Right now we are trying to plan Alex's graduation, prepare for a couple of triathlons, planning to attend several cool field trips, and Darin's company is rolling out their new product. Will we miss all of these things? Will Darin's boss be OK with that? But every time I question or doubt, I remember God's faithfulness to me in the past and I feel His peace wash over me. He is in control. He knows what He's doing. I don't have to worry.


Saturday, March 7, 2009


Hey Blog world! I'm not very good with putting my thoughts into words so sorry if I confuse you! =) The first time I got a hint about the smallest thought of adopting was in the car with Sydney and Mom on the way back from visiting my Aunt Jaime, Uncle Jon, and cousin Jaxon. We were joking around about how Sydney is never informed about anything going on. So I told her "O Sydney I forgot to tell you we're adopting." And Mom freaked out and was all like "Where did you hear that?!?!"

Then after I heard the whole story about the wrong number call Mom and Dad told us about the day they were listening to the interview with Stephan Curtis Chapman. We started thinking about adopting Michael (the boy who hadn't bonded with his first adopted family) and I thought the idea was pretty cool. Then we got the call about how Michael had already been adopted but they would like us to consider Mauricio and Miguel. The first time I heard the message i was SO excited!

As most of you know I've been on 5 mission trips to Latin America (2 times to Nicaragua, 2 times to Mexico, and once to Honduras). I seriously fell in love the the kids and even the culture of Latin America. I've also always wanted brothers (big or little) so this was like a dream come true! Not that I think the whole process and having brothers is gonna be a dream. I'm prepared for the night mares I know having two little brothers will bring! Right now I just can't leave for Colombia soon enough! I hope I can show them how much I love them, how much God loves them, and how special they are! I hope I can be a good example for them of someone who is in love with God and I hope they will want that kind of relationship with Him also!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

IT'S A BOY...part 2

Ahhhhh, peace and quiet. Everyone else is out of the house for a couple of hours. It's the only time I can coherently collect my thoughts. It doesn't happen often. Actually I have my most profound thoughts when I'm running. I went six miles today which takes me nearly an hour and my ipod wasn't charged, so I had plenty of quiet time to think. In my mind I very eloquently composed the rest of the story. Unfortunately as soon as I stepped into the house some kind of vacuum must have sucked every word from my brain. I wish I could carry a tape recorder with me when I'm running, but I can't speak and run at the same time. The only thing I would capture on tape would be heavy breathing. Maybe if I had some sort of device that could record my thoughts; that probably wouldn't be too good either :) So I will do my best to continue the story...

O.K. so Darin and I spent the weekend in Chicago. Obviously we talked a lot about the whole idea of adoption, these two boys in particular, how this would affect our girls, if we were prepared for the emotional stuff that comes with older children, if two boys from Colombia would even want to be thrown into a family of teen age girls, can we afford this,...I can't even remember all of the questions that came to our minds that weekend. We prayed about it individually and together and our hearts kept saying, "YES!! Do this! You don't have to have all of the answers to all of your questions rights now. " We felt like God was telling us to trust Him, this was His plan for our family.

When we got home we began to tell the girls the whole story. We had told them that adoption was something that we felt God was calling us to do, but we hadn't given them any details up to this point or gotten their input on the matter. Their reactions were positive, but mixed. I hope they will each post their thoughts and feelings on this blog for you all to read, because they really blew us away with their maturity and incite. So after praying about it with them and getting their "blessing", we made the call and officially started the "marathon of paperwork".

This has been a very frustrating part of the process for us all. Once we made the decision to include these boys in our family, we immediately fell in love with them and wanted to go get them right away. That was a year ago. I don't want to bore you with all of the details, but we've had to collect multiple official, notarized and apostilled (which isn't even in the dictionary. I'll tell you a funny story about that another time) copies of every birth certificate, marriage license, passport, driver's license, medical record, letters of recommendation, numerous applications and forms, 3 different sets of fingerprints from 3 different places, etc, etc; and send them all over the country. Some of them had to be redone or reordered. We had to amend several things when Alex turned 18, because she then became another adult living in the home. We had to have a home visit/inspection, health checkups, and psychological testing. This is a story I hope the girls will share with you. Their experiences with the "psycho doctor", as he came to be referred to in our family, are quite humorous:)

So once we had gathered and mailed all of the required forms to the proper places, we waited. And waited and waited. Our paperwork was at the US Immigration office on October 1st. And we waited and we waited. We finally received notice last Wednesday (February 25th) that we have been approved by the U.S. for a foreign adoption! We think things will move quickly now! And we wait and we wait. A week later and we still have not received the approval letter in the mail that we must send to get translated and then send on to Colombia.

So that, in a nutshell, is where we are today. What happens next? Once Colombia receives our approval letter, they take it to their committee meeting (which only happen randomly 2-3 times/month) for their approval and official match of us to the boys. At that point they will tell the boys that there is a family that wants to adopt them. We will then send them scrapbooks that we've been working on, so they can begin to get acquainted with us before we show up in Colombia to bring them to Illinois. I would think that it would take some time to get used to the idea! In the mean time we will be filling out even more paperwork that must once again go through the US Immigration office giving us permission to travel to Colombia and bring the boys back as U.S. citizens. Once that is approved there will be the hustle and bustle of getting plane tickets, packing, and getting my mom out here to farm-sit for us. Colombia requires that we are down there from 4-6 weeks to complete the adoption. I don't even know how to begin to prepare for being down there that long.

But to back up just a little bit...during this whole year of waiting and waiting we have questioned ourselves over and over. Are we sure we know what we are getting into? Do we know how to raise boys? Do we have enough energy for boys? Is this going to be hard on the girls? What if they hate it here? How are we going to communicate with them? How do we tell them about the love Jesus has for them in a way they can understand? How do we instill our values in them since they are so much older? Will I be able to home school them or will it be best for them to go to school? What if they reject me? What if they reject God? What if they are angry with us for taking them away from everything they know? The list goes on and on. But when I sit quietly and listen to God's answers (not mine) to all of my questions, I seem to hear Him say, "Just love them. Just love them. Love them like I have loved you. Just love them." It seems so simple. And maybe it is. Isn't that good advice for any relationship? When I leave this earth that is what I want people to say about me, "She loved well!"