We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

I can't believe how long it has been since I have blogged.... I guess things have just been very busy!  Here it is, Christmas morning, and I'm up before the kids.... How is that possible?  I remember Christmas when I was a kid - Christmas always came on Christmas Eve.  I guess because we had so much running around to do on Christmas Day, going to both grandmothers' houses to celebrate.  Anyway, each year we would go out and go for a walk around the subdivision to look at all the Christmas lights.  We would all be out in the driveway, ready to go, and mom would suddenly have to go in and go to the bathroom.  She took a LONG time (she must've had to go really bad :) and then when she came out, we would go take our walk.  Every time, when we got home, Santa had arrived at our home!  We then got to open our gifts.  I know it is a silly thing, but it's something that I remember.  It was our tradition.  We had a toboggan that my uncle Jim had made for us three girls and my dad would pull my youngest sister around the neighborhood on that.  (My older sister and I were too cool for that - even if we have pictures to prove otherwise.)  I want some of those same traditions with my family.  Since we are in SC, there will be no sledding, but we can make our own "non-snow" traditions.  This year we started with the lights at the zoo.  We loved them and will go every year - whether the kids want to or not!  We created memories!  And had a lot of fun in the process!

It's been a wonderful year!  To think that this time last year, we were waking up, dossier in Ethiopia, but no idea what child would join our family, or when.  Now, here we are a year later and little Sara is snuggled up in her bed with no idea of what is to come this morning!  She probably won't really understand a whole lot.  Next year though - will be a BLAST!  We are so blessed to have this little girl in our family!  God's plan, as I have always said, was going to be good.  Not only was it good, but it was GREAT! 

I'm going to have to be creative this year about pictures of the kids this morning.  I'm a bad mom and I left my picture transfer thingy (I know, very technical) and my memory card full of pictures at work.  I guess pictures with the camera on the phone are in order.  I was going to run out to work and get it last night, but we went to a party at a friend's house with the kids, and I didn't want to make Tim run out and get it and make the kids sit in the car.  The camera on the phone will do... yet another memory!

Tim has spent the last few days laying tile in Cameron's bathroom.  It is going to look so good when he is done.  He laid and glued all the tile yesterday and will probably grout it tonight.  Oooohhh, I can't tell you how much better it looks even just with the tile down and the little spacer things in it, with NO grout.  That is how bad I hated the other floor!  We also picked out some awesome glass tiles to go above the shower!  I can't wait to get those up.  I don't think Tim has ever done wall tiles before, but I'm sure he will do a great job.  I'll post pictures when he is done!  The man deserves a break at Christmas!  (I think he really enjoys it though!)

The reason for the season - Christ!  My savior!  The savior of my husband!  The savior of two of my children!  The savior I pray that Sara will choose.  Today, so long ago, a baby was born to save me!  Almost unthinkable and only thinkable by God!  And who else, but God, would sacrifice their son, for the world?  I am literally, eternally grateful!

Merry Christmas everyone!

In Christ,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Being Carried...

The other day, I posted this as my status on facebook:

Why do I struggle in His hands when I know He carries me to safe places? I'm like a small child struggling from their mother's arms, wanting independence and control, getting down only to get lost. Thank God He is the ultimate father - just like a mother always seeks her child, God always seeks me - even when I struggle away from His grasp. I've never gone too far. I need to settle in and be carried by Him.

I wanted to take some time and kind of explain what I meant.  When this thought came to mind, I was getting the kids ready for school / childcare one morning.  Specifically, I was doing Sara's hair.  Sara is 19 months old and a bit of a wiggle worm.  She does not like to get her hair done, although she is learning that it is a daily necessity.  Anyway, on this particular day, she was not really wanting to cooperate.  She was wiggling all over while I was trying to put ponies in her VERY curly hair.  As she was wiggling around and I was trying to keep hold of her head, the thought I wrote above came to mind.
Why is it that I wiggle and squirm until I am outside of the hands that I know guide me to saftey?  Once I wiggle free of God's hands, I feel like I have accomplished something.  Like I have achieved something big.  Sara does the same thing.  If I'm holding her, and she decides she wants to get down, she wiggles and squirms until she is out of my arms.  She then stands there, looks very pleased with herself, smiles and then goes about business under her own will and her own control.  She doesn't seem to understand that trouble lurks everywhere.  How can I expect a small child to understand the need to stay in safe hands, when I, as an adult seem to have days where I can't grasp that concept?
I think it is in our nature to want to "control" our own lives.  No one likes to be told what to do.  We like to give ourselves the freedom to make our own choices and deciding what will benefit us more than others.  It's only natural.  God's way is not the natural way - until you make it your natural way.

Living in the comfort of God's safe hands, is not "comfortable" at first.  I remember when we first met Sara - she wanted nothing to do with us.  She litterally cried at the sight of us, and when we held her, she arched her back and held her arms out to her nanny.  It was what she knew.  She didn't know that I had more to give her.  I would love her forever.  I would not just meet her needs, but I would help her to thrive.  After a few days, she would allow us to hold her.  One day she fell asleep in my arms.  It was such a joy for me.  I handed her over to Tim so he could feel her resting comfortably in his arms as well.  Today, she falls asleep each night in my arms.  She reaches to me to hold her.  I don't have to beg her to be with me - she reaches for me and I'm there for her.  As she learns to trust and obey me, I can give her more freedom, because she will respond to me if danger is near.  I can learn from this.

I have never truly rested in the hands of God.  I have been testing this water, but I quickly seek an opportunity to control my own destiny.  It has been an ideal time lately as our future at work is so uncertain.  I don't really "seek" opportunities to control my future... I just respond at the first opportunity I have to make a decision - so I feel like I am in control.  I have begun to make a conscious decision to rest.  I am trying really hard to just climb into God's hands and let Him lead me.  I'm not good at it yet.  I'm like Sara.  I hope soon I will fall asleep peacefully in the arms of God and then learn to reach for Him, knowing and trusting that He will carry me.  It's a very hard lesson to learn.  But at this time in my life, there has never been a more appropriate time to test that water.  I'll let you know how I do!

In Christ,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Great Giveaway Available

My friend Heather at The Other White House is having a great give away.  Go and check out her blog.  Leave her a comment, follow her blog, link her give away to your blog, live in the US and leave her a comment telling her you linked to her, and you will be in the running!  I'm in the running!  She has great craft ideas and lots of good photos.  Besides that, she's a good friend :)

Good luck!