Friday, August 26, 2011

Family Photos

Here are some recent pics from our first official photo shoot. Thank you to my talented mom for coming over and photographing 2 very cranky kiddos! She actually managed to get a few good ones amidst Haddie's tears and Malachi's water breaks. We took our pictures by the myrtle tree in our backyard. You can read about it's significance to our family HERE and HERE. I can't tell you how many times I looked at that tree and thought and prayed for our kiddos during the adoption process. God used it as such a symbol of hope and faith. Hope you enjoy the pics:).

"God sets the lonely in families..." 
Psalm 68:6a

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Testimony of God's Faithfulness

A few days ago I was sitting on our couch feeding Haddie when I spotted this picture, framed on top of an end table.
This picture was taken just days after our dossier was sent to Ethiopia. I remember holding that piece of paper and feeling like this whole adoption thing was so surreal and yet the hope of my children was so intensely alive and growing in my heart. We had no idea then what an amazing journey God had in store for us. We could've never imagined the heartache, joy, excitement, tears, waiting, uncertainty, fulfillment, support, sadness, beauty, brokenness, lessons, peace, fear, struggles, and the grace...oh, the sweet grace that we would experience on this road to our children.

But, as I sat there and looked at this picture, I realized...God knew. God called us to adopt Malachi and Hadassah and He knew, even then, while we simply held a piece of paper with a heart over our children's birth country, that two beautiful children, held in the palm of His hand, were going to be restored as a son and daughter, our son and daughter. He knew the pain and the cost their precious birth families would experience. He knew the challenges we were about to face. He knew the loss our children were going to go through. He was planning restoration while we sat by our twinkling Christmas tree, smiling at the thought of our beautiful Ethiopian babes.

Later that day I heard the song on the radio, Never Once by Matt Redman and it reminded me so much of our adoption journey. I'm so thankful God walked with us, our children, and their birth families. He kept us moving when we felt like giving up, He sent encouragement when our hearts were too weary to ask, He provided strength through our greatest times of weakness, He gave us patience when we just couldn't bare waiting any longer, He gave us vision in the midst of dark days...He lavished us with His grace and presence during this past season of our life. At the time it felt awful and I wanted nothing more than to be DONE with the adoption process and forget it ever happened. Now, looking back, the thing that stands out is Him and the very character of God that was revealed. It's amazing how quickly I've forgotten the feelings of pain in that waiting. I guess it's kind of how women describe forgetting labor. The beauty of it all is that the journey's only just begun. He'll continue to reveal His heart as we ask and seek. He'll continue to break our hearts for the things that break His.

We've gone from a faraway dream, an unattainable calling, a deferred hope, and an outline of Africa with a heart over Ethiopia to this....
God is Faithful

You have to take a few minutes to listen to this song if you've never heard it! Anyone waiting in an adoption process, all I can say is, just cling to God...He'll see you through.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Feeding the Ducks

Though this post is titled, "Feeding the Ducks", it may be more accurate if it read, "Attack of the Ducks"! Malachi had a blast and is now constantly walking around the house making the quacking sound, it's so cute. He initially wanted to hug the ducks, like he's learned to do with our dog. You can imagine how hugging ducks went over...Malachi running with outstretched arms, yelling "cack, cack", as the ducks hurriedly scampered away from this crazy boy! But, once the bread came out, they were all the best of friends. These ducks were INTENSE. They were jumping for the bread and snatching it right out of our hands. I was afraid they were gonna think Haddie's little brown toes were bread! I think Nate spent more time shushing them away then actually feeding them. Ok, here are some'll get the idea. We're really enjoying our family outings with our 2 little ones in tow:).
Here's Malachi chasing the ducks. . .
. . .that was until he figured out if he stood still they'd come right up to him.
Love this one:)
Haddie was more interested in her cup holder at first.
Once she and the ducks were eye level, she started noticing them.
But, I got nervous they'd think her toes were bread, so up with mommy she came. . .I don't think either one of us had any objections:).