Friday, January 13, 2012

Recent Pics

We were so blessed to have a friend of ours, Kate Aldrich, take pictures of our family recently. Although it was a blustery day, she quickly captured special moments that we'll cherish forever!!! You can learn more about her photography HERE






Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Season 2011

Christmas was a blast this year with the kids! They did GREAT with the crazy lead up to everything and then the actual day itself. Malachi really got it being Jesus' birthday which was so neat to see. I think we have now sung Happy Birthday to Jesus probably 47 times, no lie...it's become a part of our bedtime routine. Away In a Manger, Jingle Bells, Joy to the World, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and Oh Christmas Tree have also been killed in our home. We can't seem to get past Christmas songs at bedtime, but I'm actually quite alright with that. As far as I'm concerned we can sing them all year:)! It was so neat to start new traditions with the kids and to also continue on ones we had started as a couple. I hope our children's hearts and minds are packed full of love and joy from this Christmas. Most of all I hope they understood that everything brings us back to Him, His coming, His ministry on earth, His dying, His resurrection, and His living in and through us! Here's some of our highlights from the Christmas season.
On our way to get a Christmas tree:). Malachi deals with the cold much better than his sister, can you tell?
We finally found one. Malachi had no idea what was going on but he was lovin' it.
Cutting it down.
Christmas morning, all decorated and so pretty!
I made stockings this year. I really like how they turned out and they were so easy!
Jesus' birthday cake...french toast casserole...yummy!
Christmas story while enjoying a snack of cheerios.
Stocking time.
A little gift from Ethiopia. We hope to give them something from Ethiopia every Christmas.
Our best picture attempt. Haddie had walked off and our breakfast was awaiting us.
Christmas was such a gift this year. Honestly, it's been really painful the past 2 years and always felt incomplete, like someone was missing. I found it hard to fully enter in when I knew 2 children were waiting in an orphanage somewhere in Africa. I'm so thankful they were finally home this year. My heart and prayers go out to those still waiting the arrival of their little ones. It will come and when it does, there's no looking back, except to celebrate and give thanks for all God's done.

Stay tuned...there's an exciting post coming very soon!!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Culmination

Culmination
 -To reach the highest point or degree
 -To come to completion; end
 -To reach the highest point above an observer's horizon

On Orphan Sunday, November 6, 2011 we dedicated both of our children to the Lord, declaring they are both fully and completely HIS. It was such a humbling thing to stand in front of those who prayed these children home into our arms and then to release them back into our heavenly Father's arms. In many ways the dedication felt like a culmination of our adoption of Malachi and Hadassah. Yes, there's been many steps that have felt culminating....like getting our adoption application in the mail was a great feeling...going on a wait list was beyond exciting...receiving our referrals took my breath away...meeting our children in person was pure JOY...bringing them home was life-changing....
BUT
 I don't think any of those moments, at least for me, felt more culminating than standing before our family, church family, and friends and dedicating our children, no longer orphans, but our son and daughter back to the Lord. We shared what their names meant which you can read more about here. We also testified to their adoption pointing us to our own adoption into God's family. We looked at their referral pictures, 2 lonely orphans in Africa and a current picture of them home, in our arms, a son and daughter. We shared scriptures that we feel God's given us for them: Micah 6:7-8, Isaiah 55:12-56:8, Psalm 68:4-6, Ephesians 1:3-14. We stood in awe of who God is and celebrated Him.

Part of the service was us holding our children, serving communion. Malachi carefully handed bread to those receiving communion that day and Hadassah peacefully slept in my arms...it was beautiful. This glimpse into my Father's heart through the journey of adoption has changed me inside and out. 
Both kids wore traditional Ethiopian clothing. I kept thinking, they look so Ethiopian...and then I'd remember, they ARE Ethiopian:).
Malachi was giving daddy some noisy kisses.
Malachi being dedicated by our pastor and his Pop-Pop (my dad).
Hadassah being dedicated.
Malachi serving communion.
Communion