The Words We've Been Waiting to Hear

April 26, 2014- we saw this precious little face with the biggest smile that would melt your heart.  Within an hour of seeing his face we were having a discussion about whether or not we were supposed to pursue bringing this little guy into our family.  Within days we decided YES.

Fast forward through many ups and down, highs and lows…

March 27, 2017- we get the call from our worker saying we have FINALLY been approved.  We have received our last and final approval and now are waiting on a court date. Right now they are expecting us to travel early to mid May.  We are still waiting to see what happens with his test results on April 28th. If anything comes back positive he will have to stay in country for treatment for 10 weeks which means we will go over twice. Once for our court hearing to adopt him and then come home while he gets treated and then go back to do his citizenship and bring him home.  If everything comes back fine with his test then we will mostly likely do one trip and be in country about 4 weeks!

We are sending a photo book and a letter and they will tell him when they get those and then we can start sending letters back and forth. 

We are excited. We are overwhelmed. We are grateful and humbled that God continues to move us down this path of many unknowns.  In many ways it feels surreal. God has been good to us throughout this journey. God was just as good when things were hard and delayed as He is now with this wonderful news. Part of our journey is coming to an end and an even bigger part is just beginning. We’re looking forward to all that God has in store for us!!

It's Been a While...

Well it sure has been a while since we shared an update on our process. And it’s been pretty quiet since we submitted our Dossier in March. Since then we’ve been doing our best impression of patiently waiting. There is a process in Ethiopia called PAIR which is basically where they gather all of the documentation to show that a child is legally free for adoption. We’ve been given some timelines on when this should be completed, but as we’ve learned with this process so far, timelines do not seem to mean much. 

God has been very gracious with us in the waiting. We have felt a lot of peace in trusting His timing and have been able to use the time to prepare our hearts and home to welcome our young man here. We get an update every couple of months with a report, pictures, and usually a video or two. Our boy is doing well. It’s hard to see him grow up while he’s still over there! We can’t thank everyone enough for the prayers, check-ins, and generosity we have received up to this point. Thank you for praying, thank you for asking how things are going even when we don’t have something exciting to share and thank you for generously sharing your time, money or other resources in helping us through this process.

With this update we do have something exciting to share!! The Ethiopian courts are currently closed until the end of September. This is normal, and I’ve heard it’s because of the rainy season, but I’m not 100% sure. Anyway, we found out last week, that our boy’s first court date is scheduled for October 27th!!! This is a huge part of the process and was completely unexpected at this time. Here’s what it means: We’re not traveling yet. This court date is just for the workers there and our boy to appear in court and demonstrate to the court that he is legally free to be adopted. As far as we know, he still does not know that we are adopting him, so we’re obviously getting close to him finding out. We can then send him pictures and letters and let him know how much he’s already loved! We do have an estimated timeline for after this court date, but like I said, timelines don’t mean a whole lot. We could travel to Ethiopia anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months after this court date. It looks like it could be either Thanksgiving or Christmas in Ethiopia!! 

Please pray for this process to go smoothly. Pray for the PAIR process to completed soon. Pray that our boy can know that he is loved, and valuable, and precious. Most of all pray for God’s A plan, and pray for us to be ok with it. We want God’s best even if it’s hard or uncomfortable for us. Pray for endurance, grace, mercy, and wisdom for us. 

 

I want to give a financial update as well. To this point we have been able to raise the funds for all of our expenses to date!! This has been such a great testament to our belief that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. So many people have helped us hit our goal financially and we are so grateful for each of you. The only expense (as far as we know) that we have left will be are travel to and from Ethiopia. We’re estimating this cost to be between $5000-$6000 dollars. We have a few more grants to apply for and we’re confident that God will continue to provide. If you would like to make a contribution towards our travel you can do so through our Lifesong account. Information on how to give a tax deductible contribution can be found on our support page by clicking the support link above.

One final life update. We’re excited to announce that we have filed paperwork and formed our own reclaimed wood furniture business!! Redirected Wood Company. This website will soon be redesigned for this new venture to display some of our work and to sell some furniture and decor. This is another great way you can support us, hire us to build some furniture or some rustic vintage decor. Stay tuned for lots more to come from RWC!


Walking with Jesus

I've been really longing to be with Jesus... you know, just sit at His side, listen to His voice, watch Him up close and study His every move. So I've been reading through the Gospel of John, soaking up each interaction He has with each person He encounters.  It has been water for my thirsty soul. 

Earlier this week I found myself reading and then re-reading his encounter with the woman at the well (John 4). I love the counter-cultural compassion that He shows. He threw tradition and cultural expectations to the wind and spoke to not only a woman, but a Samaritan woman. I love his gentle and honest pursuit of her heart.  He was so confident in what His role was in this woman's life, even if it was just for a brief interaction. He knew His purpose and was not about to let a few raised eyebrows from His disciples or onlookers keep Him from loving well. 

How many times do I let the curious looks of others thwart me from accomplishing what God has called me to do?  As I think about parenting and fostering children from hard places, how many times will I be tempted to make choices that gain others approval instead of doing what my child actually needs in that moment? The Lord has been bringing this need for approval to my heart many times recently.  I anticipate that this will be a challenge for me...wanting to be viewed a certain way by others, wanting to be respected as a parent and for the choices I make and the way my child "turns out".  But this path God has called us to and the path be have chosen to walk isn't designed to cater to my need to be respected and well thought of. It's designed to love and redeem that which is broken. Once again, a call to surrender. 

As I continued to read from John I encountered more of Jesus doing things that seemed counter-intuitive to those around him. He was healing people from a distance, restoring life on the sacred day of rest, and then there was the incident with the boy.  "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?".  (John 6:9)  Oh how those words penetrate deeply to my own questioning soul. 

Over the last several months I have been wrestling with the Lord about my role with orphan care and adoption. I have spent hours pouring over the profiles of the waiting children in Africa, learning their names, favorite colors, what they want to be when they grow up.... and my heart has been grieved. I find myself asking God why? Why can't we bring more then one home now? Why aren't more people willing to adopt these precious older children who's time seems to be running out? Why did you choose our Little Man....for us...now? There have been many restless nights as I close my eyes and see these precious faces and desperately want to see them with a family. 

You see, the lad with the few morsels of food, he and I have a lot in common.  I too feel like I am standing before Jesus with a handful of resources asking Him "...but what are these for so many people?". 

And do you know what Jesus keeps saying to me? 

You have exactly what I need.

What you have to offer is exactly what I've given you to do the work I've called you to do right now. I can do so much with so little. 

You see, it's not as much about what's in my hands, as much as it is about the heart behind my hands. What am I willing to do with what God has given me? And maybe even more important then, what am I willing to do, but rather, what am I willing to be

Am I willing to be uncomfortable? 

Am I willing to be broken?

Am I willing to be quiet and be still?

Am I willing to be ridiculed?

Am I willing to be misunderstood?

Am I willing to be lonely?

Am I willing to be used?

"Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something HE sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner." (John 5:19)

When I read who Jesus was over these last few pages of John, those are all the things I see him being. I would much rather there be a check list of things I have to do.  I love lists.  But this being thing, that's a whole different story. That requires work beneath the surface. It requires me to sit with Jesus, to search my heart, to acknowledge my sin, to repent of my ways, to align my heart with His, and to walk humbly with my God. Over and over and over again.  

"Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst' ". (John 6:35)

Last week, I got connected with a mom who adopted a little boy from our Little Man's orphanage. She was telling my that our boys had been friends and that she knew our Little Man pretty well.  We started chatting and I found out she was the board of directors for our Little Man's orphanage.  Then she told me that a few years back she put together a team of people and they have been sponsoring our Little Man. They've been making sure he was able to go to school, be well fed and clothed, have the medical attention he needed, etc.  I can not put into words the deep gratitude that filled my heart when I read her words. God had been providing and protecting my Little Man long before I even knew his name. 

What if this woman had looked down at her handful of resources and thought, "but what are these for so many people?"? What if each person that joined the team to help support our son had doubted the difference their little contribution could make?  How could they ever know years ago, that God had chosen to use them and the resources HE had given them, to help sustain the life of a little boy until his parents could bring him home? They couldn't have known, but God did.  

And so, as I sit with God and wrestle with who He is and who I am with my handful of bread and fish, I find myself in awe of this small glimpse of the big picture God has beautifully woven together. 

Adjusting Expectations

This past week and a half has been filled with moments disguised as opportunities to trust God. 

Last week we lost a dear, sweet friend and former co-worker. She was a precious gift to us and so many others and her passing has been so heartbreaking. While we know she is dancing with our Savior, we are grieved for our loss here on earth. Even more bittersweet, she was instrumental in helping us with our adoption paperwork.  If it had not been for her wisdom and insight into the process, we would not be as far as we are today. She was going to help us finish up our dossier (international paperwork) and only a few weeks ago had accompanied us to our doctor's appointments to notarize our paperwork.  Each document we complete and notarize is a reminder of our loss and our hearts are grieved that she will never get to meet our precious son whom she was instrumental in helping bring home. 

I write tonight with a sad heart. Today Meek and I received our official referral for our Little Man.  With the signature of a paper in front of a notary, we will officially say that he's the Little Man we want. We were beyond thrilled to hear the news.  The excitement of the moment was quickly usurped however when the next steps were laid out and we were told that we have at least 10 months before we will receive a court date in Ethiopia.  It will be at that point we can begin to plan our travel. Our timeline has doubled, and that's if things move as quickly as humanly possible. We very well could be sitting here this time next year and still not have our Little Man home. While the number "10" compared to the number "5" may not seem that drastic, when you're separated by an ocean from your son whom God has divinely given you and whom you already love more then words can begin to explain, it feels like forever.  

You see, we've spent the last 8 months planning, preparing and working our butts off to bring this little guy home.  We thought we were on target for "late spring, early summer" and thought we were in the home stretch. We had planned our jobs, time off, house projects, vacations, Little Man's schooling, meeting family... everything around that timeline.  

Silly us.  When will we learn?  We began this journey with God calling us to surrender our plans and expectations to Him. Every step of the way that is what God has been asking of us; with our finances, with our dreams, goals, and expectations, with our relationships, with our hearts. It should come as no surprise that our timeline is also subject to God's sovereign timing and therefore subject to change from what we had hoped it would be.  

I am clinging to the fact that I know God is sovereign.  I know that He who has called us to this journey of faith is faithful to equip us for each step. I know that we only see a sliver of the big picture, the Lord holds eternity in his hands. His timing is perfect, His plan is good. 

And so, we begin the process of adjusting our expectations, again.  Clinging to, trusting on, and hoping in our God who works all things together for the good of those who love God and have been called according to His purpose {Romans 8:28}

 

P.S.   This song has been playing in my head all afternoon so I thought I would share it with you. It's called, Let the Waters Rise by MIKESCHAIR. {Fair warning, the video is lame, so just play it and close your eyes and listen to the words....just saying...}

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIkQ7YVys_A

Here's the lyrics {SO GOOD!}:

Don't know where to begin, it's like my world's cavin' in
And I try but I can't control my fear, where do I go from here?
Sometimes it's so hard to pray when You feel so far away
But I am willin' to go where You want me to and God I trust You

There's a ragin' sea right in front of me
Wants to pull me in, bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise if You want them to
I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You

I will swim in the deep 'cause You'll be next to me
You're in the eye of the storm and the calm of the sea
You're never out of reach
God, You know where I've been and You were there with me then
You were faithful before, You'll be faithful again, I'm holdin' Your hand

There's a ragin' sea right in front of me
Wants to pull me in, bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise if You want them to
I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You

God Your love is enough, You will pull me through, I'm holdin' onto You
God Your love is enough, I will follow You, I will follow You

There's a ragin' sea right in front of me
Wants to pull me in, bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise if You want them to
I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You

 

This God- his way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him. {Psalm 18:30}

Silent Auction Pictures

This post is WAY over due.  So many have asked to see pictures from our Silent Auction Adoption Fundraiser back in October... thank you for you patience and desire to be a part of our journey.  Meek posted an update of the event and I too have blog post coming soon about lessons the Lord taught me before, during and after the event.  As was uploading these pictures I was overwhelmed by God's grace and provision in this event, and not only through this event, but throughout our entire journey so far.  As I look at these images of the auction I see the generous contributions of friends, family and strangers as they sacrificially gave of their time, talents and resources to make this event a success and ultimately to help us bring our little guy home.  So very humbling and such an amazing privilege to have so many amazing people by our side. 

Click on the picture below to scroll through and see pictures from our event!

This is what the silent auction looked like pre-rain. When I look at these pictures I am overwhelmed with the generosity of so many people. SO. MANY. AMAZING. BLESSINGS.

(Click the picture below to scroll through the images of pre-rain pics)

We want to give a special shout out to some businesses who partnered with us in providing donations! THANK YOU!

Food Cab

Massage Envy of Jenkintown

Sweet Taco

YoFresh of Jenkintown

Panera of Jenkintown

Good Stuff Thrift

Romp 'n Roll

Jennifer Standen Design

Janelle on Location

Sarah Zimmerman Photography

La Morena

Automotive Solutions

Sarah Wilt with Thirty-One

Harvest Restaurant 

Plow & Hearth

Branchout Handmade

 

Jehovah Jireh and the fight to stay in control

From Meek:

Well friends it has been two weeks since our Back Yard BBQ/Silent Auction and what amazing event! Thank you so much for all who attended, purchased, and donated! Thanks to all of those who couldn't come, but prayed for a great evening and sent encouraging texts, emails, and cards! 

I continue to be reminded of the fact that this is God's journey, not ours. He's in control. Not us. Sometimes that reminder is a kick in the pants. When we felt God moving in our hearts to pursue adoption now rather than later, we made a choice to lay aside our plans and follow in faith the path that God was laying out before us. As is so often the case, only the next step was illuminated. And it's a good thing it was just that next step, because from the moment we took that step of faith, it has been a battle to let our trust and faith remain in Him and not in ourselves. 

The first step was apply and pay a small fee. We could handle that! We felt in control, we're moving this process along! Next step, home study. Larger fee, and waiting on a social worker a visit schedule and a large report to be written. Who's in charge? From seemingly out of nowhere the exact amount of money we need for our home study comes in. Some from donations, some from odd jobs folks hired me to do. I'm sure glad God is control of this, because I couldn't have planned that. Our home study is completed the day before our worker leaves to go out of the country for a month. Home study gets approved. We're moving on.

But even after God's faithful provision, we're faced with our largest fee yet. We say we're trusting God for it, and we deeply want to walk in faith. But we're tempted to go it alone, we're tempted to take the fundraising into our own hands, we get stressed and worried about how we're going to get there. We spend weeks planning a couple fundraisers. We spend months building furniture, and rustic decor, and planning an auction, inviting people and not really spending enough time on our knees in prayer. The week of the auction comes and man it's stressful, because it's all on our shoulders... right? I mean how else will everything get done? How else will we raise the funds? Who's in charge?

Well the day of the auction comes and we're ready... as long as the weather cooperates. There's a certainty of rain in the morning, but that's ok because our event is in the evening and there's a 0% chance of rain!! Thank the Lord. At this point, I'm saying, "You know God, I think we've got this thing pretty well handled. But you know, I can't really do much about the weather.. and we don't really have a plan B.. So if you could help me out there, that would be great! Thanks!" 

Well it's still looking pretty dreary, but there's no rain, so we set up our auction items outside and get finished just in time for this weird mist to fill the air. It's not raining but it's not dry either. And this mist hangs around (while there's 0% change of precipitation!) just long enough to soak everything and cause to make a plan B on the fly. Who's in charge?

Well the move God caused us to make turned out great. The auction items were in a more well lit space. It was a smaller space (sorry to those of you who may have been claustrophobic) which created some drama around the bidding. When it all ended, and we delivered the items, we tallied up the payments and donations, combined those with the t-shirt fundraiser we had just done and we ended up with $5 more than we currently owed for our next payment. FIVE DOLLARS EXTRA!!! Who's in charge?

It's like God reminded us again, with the rain, and the 5 bucks. "I got this. I keep my promises. I called you into this, I'm gonna get you through it. Keep following in faith. And you know what, go have a coffee on Me. You can even go to starbucks if you want."

This adoption journey we're on is not our story. It's God's story. It's not about us, or "this wonderful thing that we're doing." We're a couple of flawed and weak humans desperately trying to trust God more, and love others better. If you get to know us well enough, you'll see us fail at both of these. But this journey is about what God is doing to and for us, as much as it is what he is doing for the little guy we'll be bringing home. I wish I could adequately describe the love, joy and peace we have felt from God. I wish I could describe accurately what it's like to face a mountain, and watch God move it. I wish could find  words to tell you what it's like to feel God's presence so near. My hope for you, is that you might experience this as well. So I have a challenge for you. What is God tugging at your heart to do? What's that scary thing, What's that crazy thing, What's that thing that makes no earthly sense that God is calling you to do? The only way that I know that you can share this experience is to step out in faith and follow where God is trying to lead you.

It'll probably be hard. This adoption stuff hasn't been easy. Having a traumatized 12 year old in the house sure isn't gonna be easier. But something is going to be the hardest thing you've ever done. Why not have it be for Jesus?

SILENT AUCTION COUNTDOWN!

Oh my goodness, folks, IT'S ALMOST HERE! We are getting pretty excited as all the details are coming together! This backyard BBQ Silent Auction is going to be fantastic! We have a few more sneak peaks for you and I have to say, I'm really wanting to bid on a few of these things myself.. counter-productive maybe...hmmm?  

I do have a small request... If you are planning on joining us for the evening, will you let us know ASAP. We have to put in our order for the food tomorrow (Wednesday) so the more accurate a count the better. IF you don't know, that's ok too, will you let us know that as well? And if you can't come right now, but the heavens and earth move to make it possible on Saturday, JUST COME! We'll save a hot dog for you. We will be asking for a $20 donation per plate to cover our food costs.

If you ARE coming, we are still looking for 20 people to bring a friend. We NEED YOUR NETWORK. Help connect us with people who would love to come out for a fun night, eat good food, sit by a fire, bid on really cool stuff and all for a GREAT cause! So, invite your neighbors, your small group, your family, your co-workers... we'll take 'em all!  

Now for the part you've patiently been waiting for... the sneak peak...

 These we're hand made by a very skilled seamstress aunt of mine... seriously, how precious are these?  They are one of a kind and would look cute on your couch or favorite chair!

These we're hand made by a very skilled seamstress aunt of mine... seriously, how precious are these?  They are one of a kind and would look cute on your couch or favorite chair!

 This is the back of the HOME pillow... Just couldn't resist giving you a glance at the whole thing! 

This is the back of the HOME pillow... Just couldn't resist giving you a glance at the whole thing! 

 Does your home or office need a little more LOVE? We have just the thing!

Does your home or office need a little more LOVE? We have just the thing!

 Frozen Yogurt anyone?! Seriously, this place is the coolest. And they have SO MUCH MORE then just an extensive build your own amazing frozen yogurt treat! They have smoothies (they even make fresh green smoothies!) and coffee and frozen drinks!

Frozen Yogurt anyone?! Seriously, this place is the coolest. And they have SO MUCH MORE then just an extensive build your own amazing frozen yogurt treat! They have smoothies (they even make fresh green smoothies!) and coffee and frozen drinks!

 Have you been to this place yet? It's off of Moreland Rd. in Willow Grove and it's SO COOL.  They have really cheap but yummy tacos AND unique donuts made from scratch each day! Seriously, really unique and delicious dining experience. 

Have you been to this place yet? It's off of Moreland Rd. in Willow Grove and it's SO COOL.  They have really cheap but yummy tacos AND unique donuts made from scratch each day! Seriously, really unique and delicious dining experience. 

 Okay, this place makes me want to be a kid again. It combines art, gym and play for kids and is basically a giant indoor playground where kiddos can tumble and roll. They have generously donated a $100 gift certificate which is enough to host a party there!

Okay, this place makes me want to be a kid again. It combines art, gym and play for kids and is basically a giant indoor playground where kiddos can tumble and roll. They have generously donated a $100 gift certificate which is enough to host a party there!

 Did I hear you say you could really use a massage?  Who ever thought you could be altruistic in treating yourself to an hour of pampering!? 

Did I hear you say you could really use a massage?  Who ever thought you could be altruistic in treating yourself to an hour of pampering!? 

 How about some encouragement to keep life in perspective on your wall?

How about some encouragement to keep life in perspective on your wall?

Your space need some freshening up? How about adding this gorgeous print to it?

 How cute would these be in a little guy's room?

How cute would these be in a little guy's room?

 What's that? One adorable hand made pillow isn't enough? You want ANOTHER one? Well, all right then, here you go. 

What's that? One adorable hand made pillow isn't enough? You want ANOTHER one? Well, all right then, here you go. 

 What is that... A MASON JAR CHANDELIER.  Why, yes, yes, it is.  It's not done, so you'll have to come Saturday night to see the finished piece!

What is that... A MASON JAR CHANDELIER.  Why, yes, yes, it is.  It's not done, so you'll have to come Saturday night to see the finished piece!

Let's play a game:

So the image below is a sign I made.  Can you guess what it says? Leave a comment below and the first person to guess it correctly will get an extra raffle ticket!  

A raffle ticket to what, you ask? TO A HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE! Yup, we are raffling off a hot air balloon ride for one person along with a few other things! 

So we have a winner! It says MARKET! Here it is!  

Let's play again....  WHAT is the picture below?  First person to guess correctly (there's technically two correct answers) will get an extra raffle ticket to enter to win a hot air balloon ride!  



When will I learn...

For as long as I can remember, I have always been slightly jealous of the other members of my family.  You see, I am the only one in my family who has been relatively "healthy" my entire life.  I've never had a broken neck, a rare blood disorder, or a clot in my eye causing me to go blind. I didn't enter Kindergarten with a neck brace.  I've never been under anesthesia, had a cast, had to take medication, been hospitalized or gotten "get well soon" cards. I should be very thankful. Deep down somewhere, I know I am. However, all those things I listed above, they are a short laundry list of what has happened to my family.  And as the oldest of 6, I spent much of my time taking care of those who weren't ill.  My life has been significantly impacted by family members family "being sick".  So, I think that's why I can remember at different points in life wanting to be the "sick" one. I wanted to be the one getting taken care of instead doing all the caring for.  

LESSON LEARNED. 

Last week I got my wisdom teeth out.  Now, while this in no way compares to any significant illness or as we joke in my family, doesn't "count" because it's not a broken neck which is the standard of pain for something to be legit in my home of origin, it has been far from a pleasant experience.  I was told I would be under a conscious sedation which meant I would still be "awake" but not feel a thing and be "very, very happy" when I left (yes, that was a direct quote that I will be discussing with my dr. at my follow up appointment along with my concern with his false advertisement).  I would say I was more on the conscious then the sedated side of things and I was nowhere near "very, very happy" when I left. More like tearful and terrified. My road to recovery has not been nearly as swift as I anticipated. 

WHY AM I RANTING ABOUT THIS?

There is a point. And no, it's not an invitation to join me in my pity party. Around 11pm tonight my mouth began throbbing like I have yet to feel. I had saved one last precious prescribed pain pill for such a time as this and promptly took it ( I told you I've never been in any real physical pain right...say hello to my sidekick subconscious, Whimpy, whom I've learned does not like any slight indication of oncoming pain!) Well, the precious white pill didn't touch the throbbing so I lay there icing my face, listening to my sweet husband drift soundly off to sleep.  That was hours ago. Here I am. Awake.  Still throbbing and counting down the hours till my Dr. arrives at work at 8:30 and turns his office lights on to find me broken in to his waiting room. 

At 4:30am I finally surrendered my attempt at sleep, grabbed a big bowl of ice cream and sat in my home away from home this week (my husband's beloved recliner, thanks honey, for sharing). It was then the Lord gently prodded my heart. In the quiet stillness of the early morning hours, the Lord had my attention. 

It's been a little crazy here at the McCallister home. We're in the middle of some transitions. This Friday is my last day at my full time job and next Saturday is our largest fundraiser yet, our Silent Auction. We decided to knock down our front steps and build a front porch two weekends ago (excellent timing is our speciality).  Oh, and did I mention, we're adopting. (Wow, I get more sassy without sleep).  Those are just the highlights, but it's been a little hectic and unfortunately, the first thing to get omitted from my schedule was my time with the Lord. Or so I thought.

What the Lord has been revealing to me is that it was never really about my scheduled in time with the Lord. It was about my heart.  It's always been about my heart. You see, when we started this adoption journey it was clearly not of our own doing.   We didn't conjure up this great plan, search the world for the perfect kid, get all our t's crossed and i's dotted.  We by no means had this whole thing figured out. We readily recognized that we were being called to walk by faith, just as we have always been, and that meant this part of our story looked different then we anticipated.  We had been re-directed and were choosing to walk in faith and humility, knowing that we needed Jesus for each step of the way and to show us what to do next.  

The journey started by faith but quickly began being walked by works. Meaning, there's a lot to DO for an adoption. Currently, we are facing heaps of paperwork and equal heaps of money to be paid. Meek and I are good at doing. So we got busy planning and working and doing, all the while our hearts slowly shifting towards finding our confidence and trust in our own ability to make things happen. It was a slow and silent fade into self reliance, but it had huge implications on our hearts, our stress, our priorities, our perspectives... we began this journey by faith but did not continue to walk in faith.  Oh, what a difficult thing to maintain this faith business! 

We've been stressing about this silent auction like you wouldn't believe. Well, if you've know me you'd probably believe it. We have a long list of projects to finish that we were excited about doing at first. Now they are taunting and teasing us as the hours dwindle away. Then we started stressing about who is coming. What if no one comes. What if no one RSVP's and then lots of people come. What if it rains (oh yeah, can you pray for that... you'd think that woulda been good reminder that I'm not in control and a good time to pause and pray... wow, when will I learn...) The what if game has kept me up and anxious for many nights now. My mind won't shut off until I got up, made more lists and then crossed more things off my list so I felt better about all the things I can control and DO and ARE WE SEEING A PATTERN HERE!? I have issues! 

It took a night of throbbing mouth pain to get my butt out of bed and sitting quietly before the Lord to hear him gently speak truth into my life and into my restless heart. WALK BY FAITH. The LORD will provide. It's not up to me. It's not up to Meek. It's not up to anyone else to make this thing happen.  This is the Lord's story and He is faithfully penning each word to each sentence, completing the chapters in HIS perfect time. And me. I'm supposed to stop being Martha, running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to make God's plans happen my way.

Yes, there is a lot to do.  And yes, we need your help. But above, around, in, and through what you and I DO, we NEED the LORD. We need to come from a place of dependence and of humble repentance.  We need to continue the journey walking by faith and not by sight.  Hmm, that sounds like it needs to be painted on a sign. Could be a good auction item...

Oh, when will I learn?

Auction Sneak Peek!!

Check out some of the auction projects we're working on! Some items are finished and some aren't so be sure to come out Saturday October 11 from 6:30-9:00pm at 6301 Joshua Road, Ft Washington, PA to see how we finish 'em up. (P.S. If your reading this, You're invited!!) Please RSVP via the contact page so we can have the right amount of food. Thanks!!

Pallet Cabinet

Farm Table and Bench

Pallet Buffet

Pallet Sign

Pallet Sign

 Pallet Table

Pallet Table

Let us know what you think in the comment section. Check back for more sneak peaks and a chance to win some raffle tickets!

Silent Auction Adoption Fundraiser!

We are getting VERY excited about our largest fundraiser yet!  It is our Silent Auction Backyard BBQ! This fundraiser has the potential to be absolutely fantastic, but we need your help to make it top notch.

We have friends who have graciously allowed us to use their beautiful backyard that will be decked out with gorgeous lights and decor and the smell of delicious BBQ to greet you as you arrive.  There will be tables filled with goodies that you can bid on…. we’re planning an array of items from themed gift baskets, gift cards, hand-made repurposed furniture and decor, etc.  We’re talking LOTS OF ITEMS here folks.  Lots of really unique, cool stuff.  

Here’s where you can help! After reading our vision, are there any areas that you have a skill or resource that could fit in to help make our vision a reality? Here’s some ideas of what we need:

-Do you have a skill, talent or area of expertise that you could “donate” for our auction (i.e. an hour of free service, mechanic, photography, seamstress, etc).

-Do you love to bake or make desserts? We have the food covered but would love to have some tasty treats after our scrumptious dinner!

-Do you have a knack for entertaining? Are you a comedian, musician, M.C., etc…. maybe you’re not that up front performer, but do you know someone who is?

-Do you have a talent  or resource that you could put to use and contribute something to our silent auction (i.e. a gift card, create something crafty, sew something fantastic, etc).

-Do you like to be behind the scenes and serve!? We will need hands and helpers to keep the food prepped and on people’s plates, set up and tear down for the evening.

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY. what we really need is your network.  In order for this even to be a success, we need PEOPLE to BE THERE enjoying themselves! We are looking for 20 people to commit to not only coming but inviting their friends! We're hoping to have around 150 people stop by. Can you help us spread the word by personally inviting some of your friends and family to a fun filled night of family-friendly activities, good food, fun items to purchase and new people to meet?  You’re friends don’t know us?! That’s okay, we’d love to meet them!

Details:

Date: October 11th Time: 6:30-9:00 (Auction will run from 6:30-8. 8-9 will be announcing winners, collecting payment, lingering by the fire and picking up items).

Location: 6301 Joshua Road, Ft Washington, PA 19034.

Cost: We're asking for a donation of $20 per plate (mostly we're just glad to have you come so pay what you can!). We're expecting items to sell anywhere from $25-$500.

Keep checking back for sneak peeks at some of the really cool auction pieces we will be featuring! 

The Honest Confessions of a Multi-tasker

Reflections on a plane: Learning to wait

Waiting.  The word is painful.  In my soul that word embodies the very essence of helplessness. My instinct is to find something to DO WHILE I WAIT. Ask anyone who has tried to watch television with me and they will tell you that I am a bonafide multi-tasker. I believe mindless tasks (which I consider doing the dishes, folding laundry, cleaning, etc.) should be accompanied with a phone call, an audiobook, sermon or something productive.  I routinely clean out my email inbox in waiting rooms and long lines. 

While there are many factors that contribute to this, such as being in fast paced, commercial-oriented, microwave culture; I have realized that it is fundamentally a heart problem.  Unless I’m being productive I feel restless. Digging deeper, underneath the feeling of restlessness, when I’m not feeling productive, I am ultimately feeling useless. 

Behind my intolerance for waiting, lies a need to be in control, a need to make things happen.  I often get asked in regards to our adoption (and just as often ask the same question to myself) “So what’s next?”  Often the words that should come out of my mouth are “well, right now we just have to wait.”  That’s not good enough for me.  I feel like I should be doing something. But sometimes there’s nothing to be done but wait.  Wait for paperwork. Wait for people. Wait for signatures. Wait for God. Wait for HIS TIMING.  If I probe further into my heart and it’s recoiling of the concept of waiting, I find a fear wrapped up in my doing and going and busyness. I find a fear of trusting God. It sounds so elementary, but it’s true.  If I really trusted God and His timing would I be so anxious in those moments when there’s nothing to do but wait? If I really trusted God in the big and little moments of my day, finding my identity and value in Him, would I constantly live under this pressure to be productive? Would I find more grace to simply BE? 

Lord, may I learn to not only wait with patience, but embrace those times when you sovereignly bring my overly anxious spirit to a halt to sit with you and remember who YOU are and who I am because of you.  

 

Reflections applied to real life moments: Seizing the Season

These are my reflections from the plane ride back home, after a few days of letting my heart soak in the truth the Lord showed me about my heart hating to wait. This is a snap shot of what application in the moment when my heart gets restless:

As I sit here, flying hand in hand with my husband, my eyes are drawn to the the tiny window and the millions of sparkling lights miles beneath us.  It’s beautiful. A precious moment of quiet, calm and togetherness. A moment of contentment. 

To my right sits a beautiful little girl, snuggling up next to her momma.  While she’s nothing like the little guy we hope to one day bring home, it makes my heart long for our little guy to be here with us. It is in these moments my heart is tempted to be impatient and I find a battle of the wills deep within my soul.  I have to choose to remind myself that the Lord’s timing is perfect.  Profoundly perfect. So I quiet my anxious heart and whisper that these days we have left as just the two of us are precious.  They are a gift to be treasured, enjoyed and appreciated.  I don’t want to waste these moments of getting to sit and snuggle my hubby on a plane because soon, these flights will be spent with a child between us, and then 2 or 3 between us, and Lord willing, before long we will be strategizing who sits in what row with who! ;)  

But until that day comes when there is a child between us, snuggling up close I will embrace and enjoy these remaining days of us.

- Brittany

A Thank You to the Mommas of Trauma

I have had the privilege of spending some quality time with some amazing mommas lately. These mommas have chosen to open their hearts and their homes to children from hard places. None of them were adequately prepared for the adventure and heartache they were about to embark on (but then again, what parent is!?! I don’t know any kid who has come with an instruction manual!) But these mommas have been given kiddos who have deep wounds that profoundly impact every aspect of every day. And these heroic mommas have learned a new definition of words like overwhelmed, exhausted, and helpless. These brave mommas put their hearts on the line every day as they work to be conduits of healing to the seen and unseen wounds of their hurting children. These mommas have had to repeat themselves more times they they’d like saying things they never thought they’d have to say. They have a God-given stubbornness that keeps them from throwing in the towel when they feel they have nothing else to give. They cling to Jesus when they have the strength and when they don’t they simply collapse at His feet and know He can hear their hurting heart’s cry.  They have tasted a loneliness most of us hope to never feel. They have days where they seem to be drowning in the craziness. They wonder how the heck this life became theirs.

 Mommas, this is your daily bread.  This is what I see you living out in the messy, hard, overwhelming moments of your day. It is in your weakness that I have seen Christ shining through you.  THANK YOU!

Mommas, this is your daily bread.  This is what I see you living out in the messy, hard, overwhelming moments of your day. It is in your weakness that I have seen Christ shining through you.  THANK YOU!

These woman are in the trenches of loving those closest to the heart of God… the ones the world disregards and despises. These women are my heroes. I am beyond honored to one day join their rank and pray that I can have a fraction of their character, resolve, and honesty. Ladies, (you know who you are), I thank God for you

I love you and respect you from the depths of my heart. 

I see you in your struggle and pray that you’ll let me journey with you. Thanks for being so honest and sharing the good, bad and ugly of your story with me.

Welcome to our Blog!

Hey it's Meek. Well, I never would have thought that I would be much of a blogger. Sure, I've got plenty of thoughts, opinions, and ideas, but I either like to keep those to myself or figure someone much more clever than me has already written about it. But our new journey has presented this new opportunity to simply share from my (and our) personal experience as we go along this adoption journey. So from time to time I'll drop in and post a few paragraphs. I hope you are encouraged by what you find here. Maybe you'll even feel emboldened to embark on your own crazy leap of faith journey....

Hi it's Brittany! I on the other hand love to write and journal my thoughts and reflections! I used to avidly journal and have gotten out of it a bit, but am very excited for this new opportunity to be intentional in recording what God is doing in us through this process. We would love to hear what He is doing through us as we share our journey with you! So please feel free to comment, send us a message or share our posts with others!