Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Posted by Joy at 10:46 AM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It has been 2 months since our referral and our director just sent us new pictures. Boy has Jeremiah grown - he definately has a belly (and he looks like he is patting it :)) and Josiah looks older (more like 2 yrs. instead of 1) with a new haircut - his curls are gone :( - but he is still so handsome. That was a fun surprise to find in my inbox today.
Posted by Joy at 2:15 PM
Monday, September 22, 2008
Posted by Joy at 3:59 PM
Go check out Janae's blog http://tozambia.blogspot.com/ . She has done some great posts. She does a better job at documenting the fun day to day things that we do. She has posted some cute pictures and some blessed news. You can't imagine how proud I am of her. She is reserved, especially around others, but she has an amazing heart and is truly the leader and care taker of the kids and the one that all of my kids fight to be with.
Posted by Joy at 3:45 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Posted by Joy at 9:36 AM
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Javier always tells me the same stories of his childhood and one is that his dad only allowed 1 hair cut his whole time he lived at home - a buzz cut. Javier wanted jerry curls - you know like Lionel Richie? Well, since he missed out on all these hair styles, and of course there were no yearbooks on his island, I thought I would help him live out his teenage dreams - LOL.
Posted by Joy at 4:54 PM
Josiah is now 18.5 pounds and 28 inches tall at 17 months old and Jeremiah is not far behind at 14.5 pounds and 24.5 inches tall at 5 1/2 months old.
Posted by Joy at 4:54 PM
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Did you see on my ticker to the right? I am 1/2 way done with this pregnancy? Yay! I am very thankful for my pregnancy and baby, but I don't LOVE being pregnant like some women. My pregnancies are not that "fun" between the sickness, acne, aches and pains, preterm contractions and sometimes bedrest, but I do LOVE the births and the babies that come from it -so it is all worth it. I see the doctor tomorrow and am hoping to see what he thinks about me traveling to Ethiopia. Maybe I should bring him chocolate :).
We (especially Janae and I) are praying that the Lord would provide a way for her to go with us to Ethiopia. She has been a big part of this adoption from the beginning. Before we ever decided to adopt and she knew we were discussing it, she hid notes all around (under daddy's pillow, in the car, in drawers) asking if we could please adopt and promising to help -oh and she had all the kids sign the notes:). She has a tender heart and she just loves these boys already just as she loves her current siblings. I think it would be a life changing experience for her that I hope may plant a seed as she starts to think and dream about her future and the purpose/work the Lord has in store for her. We talked that it may not be God's will for her to go, just as it may not be His will for me to go, but God's word says we do not have because we do not ask, so ask the Father - which is exactly what we are doing.
Posted by Joy at 9:32 PM
Posted by Joy at 8:57 PM
Posted by Joy at 8:50 PM
Friday, September 12, 2008
Posted by Joy at 5:30 PM
We took the kids camping the weekend before Labor Day Weekend. We had not been camping since we went with our young marrieds home group and we just had Janae (1 year old) and I was pregnant with Jordan. Now we attempted to go for the first time as a family of 8 - I know we are crazy, but hey we needed to learn sometime. We fixed up my parents old trailer which still works great and we headed off about 1 1/2 hours from our house. We had a good time and hopefully we will have an even better time next time now that we know better what we are doing and as the weather gets cooler.
Posted by Joy at 4:37 PM
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Saturday I will be 19 weeks - almost 1/2 way done. We had our ultrasound and the baby looks great and is healthy - Praise God! The technician was so thorough explaining everything and there was a flat screen tv on the wall for us to watch the ultrasound which was nice. When we found out we were pregnant Javier did not want to find out. I did not approach the subject until a few weeks ago and I explained my reasons why I would like to find out and he said that was fine. I was shocked - he wasn't just appeasing me, he was really being thoughtful. (I think how and when we approach our husbands makes a big difference) Since then, I kept asking if he is sure and he said yes. So today we found out.
18 wks 5 days
meeting Daddy for lunch so we could reveal the news together to the kids - They each opened a card - some said "its a boy" and some said "its a girl" -So whichever there were more of was the answer
Jordan started cheering and high fiving his Dad. The girls were all fine either way and had good attitudes - they just care about holding a baby. Can you believe this? After 9 years with all these girls and only 1 boy, we will be tied up - 4 girls and 4 boys! It will make preparations, choosing a name, and passing down clothes much easier, but 3 boys under 2?! Wow - seriously I need prayer for an increase in energy. I have struggled after 2 of my babies' births with feeling overwhelmed and exhausted/lacking normal energy. I know that a good diet, B-12 and exercise helped before, but if you have any suggestions of specific things or other tips to help my energy now and especially postpartum, please share them.
Posted by Joy at 4:27 PM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
It has taken me a bit to get the energy to write this. Before I right what happened, I want to share that we can truly say that we do not regret opening our home to Charina and choosing the "risky yet abundant life" of following what we believe Christ called us to (see my June 11 post). We took her into our home, although with little warning, with a purpose - To show Christ to her. She did not see a perfect family, but what she saw, lived and learned in our home is something that a book or a witness could not have told or preached to her. She saw an intact family that loves and forgives by the grace of God, a loving marriage that is truthful and faithful. She went to a Bible teaching church, shared in our evening Bible/worship family times, joined in on our family gatherings and vacation. She lived in a home where praise and worship songs were playing often. She was the recipient of forgiveness and tough love multiple times the last 2 weeks, instead of malicious words or physical abuse. On Friday afternoon, when we were piecing everything together, the kids were sharing their feelings. They just couldn't wrap their minds around how someone who seemed so nice and who was their cousin could sin so badly and hurt us so much. Janae had been quiet and she had tears in her eyes and said, "I feel so betrayed. And she was our cousin and said she loved us??!!" We stopped right then to pray and thank God for the feelings of betrayal and suffering that we were feeling. We prayed that from this we would better understand the betrayal Jesus felt when he was crucified on the cross and the betrayal he feels when we have idols in our life. Providentially, I had started in the book of Hosea in the old testament that morning which is a picture of Israel's unfaithfulness/betrayal to God -isn't He good? We would not change this for the world. We have had so many great opportunities and first hand examples to talk to our kids about forgiveness, love, the dangers of an unrepentant heart, the dangers of sin, submission and a truly changed heart that bears fruit. I share all of this, not to get nice comments or to lift ourselves up in any way, but in excitement of what the Lord is doing and to encourage others not to be afraid of suffering for the sake of the gospel. Our prayer is that the love of Christ that she experienced in our home would not be in vain - that the Lord would save her and make her His child.
About a week and a half ago we took the whole family camping (more about that in a later post). Well, we came home to a stressful week of uncovering lies, receiving a bill with credit card theft, finding international cell phone charges, schemes, Charina running away, much contact with the Sheriff's department, uncovering all of our kid's cash was gone from their wallets, some of our bills/financial info had been taken and hidden and Saturday confirming she was "safely" in New Jersey with her troubled older 1/2 sister. Each day we would uncover more. Much of it we couldn't make sense of until days later. We probably still have not uncovered everything, but she is gone and our family is safe. I am exhausted from the hours spent on the phone with credit card companies, the airlines, the Sheriff, the bank, her sister etc.
About 3 weeks ago Charina and I had a long talk at night about following Christ. She was so excited about Christ and the forgiveness she found in Him. I told her it was not always going to be easy to follow Him and that an excited feeling would not be enough. When the hard times come, it will show if she will do the hard thing and turn from her old ways and follow Christ as the king of her life and that would show if she was truly saved and changed. We discussed how you can not serve 2 masters and Christ can't be a "good luck charm" you tag onto a life of going your own way. What sparked that long talk that night was that her troubled sister in New Jersey called and Charina was sharing the gospel with her. She continued to communicate with her sister (some secretly) and soon after the lies, deceit and steeling began. Once we found some of the charges we got the whole family together, prayed and confronted her on it and told her we forgave her but did not trust her and I told her in 3 different conversations that she needed to ask Javier for forgiveness (the lies and deceit had mostly been against him and caused him the most trouble at that point) and at least say she was sorry and I told her we would likely send her back home if she could not show us that we could trust her. She had just started a job at McDonalds so we were trying to decide if we should allow her to stay and have her work off her debt to us or if it was too risky. Well, we did not have to decide because she ran away leaving a nice note saying that we treated her better than anyone ever had and she could not face us. Financially it appears that most of it we will get back and we think we will only be out the cash and some of the phone charges. That is not the big deal. It greatly impacted our kids and Javier's family. There is so much to be thankful for including the safety of our children and their hearts for her that were revealed through all of this.
My husband reminded me that a pastor said that if you are going to serve a lost world and broken, hurting people, then expect to suffer. 1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
PS - I will post some great pictures and hopefully good news later this week - so check back :)
Posted by Joy at 2:03 PM