Sunday, November 30, 2014

More good news! Rejoicing in His sovereignty..

Just in time for Thanksgiving we received more good news...our Homestudy has been approved!! We don't have the hard copy yet, that will come in early December, but we are Very excited to have the study behind us! So for better understanding, I turn to analogies, I am quite fond of them. They aren't perfect and this one won't be either, but hopefully, it will give you a better idea of where this puts us. So, if there were 'trimesters' in this adoption process, I think the first trimester would be everything leading up to and including the Homestudy. The Second trimester would be everything from the compiling of documents for your dossier to the dossier being received in country and the wait for a child referral. The third trimester would be from the receiving of a referral to coming home with your child. That said, December will be the crossover from the 1st to the 2nd trimester, so to speak. This is definitely a time to rejoice! We have learned so much in our journey in relationship with Christ, and this adoption has only amplified that learning and growing. It also continues to humble us, to feel God has chosen us for adoption is surreal and amazing, it has also opened up conversations with other people who have adopted or are going to adopt.  I had the privilege of speaking with a wonderful adoptive mom this past week and I was so uplifted. I have been a little all over the place the last couple weeks, not really sure if it's ok for me to be excited, or how much i'm supposed to hold that at bay, it seems impossible and also terrifying not to do at times. Anyways, this mom talked through pieces of their families' adoption story and she came to the part where this beautiful baby boy was born. They were blessed to be at his birth, hold him, care for him, their hearts open and in love. Then came the two day wait while birth mom made her final contemplation of what she was going to do; parent her child or entrust him to these to-be first time parents. She explained how in those 48 hours her and her husband together needed to surrender before their God this child, they prayed for the child they loved, and his dear birth mother. I left there struck to the heart. They are all God's kids, he knows their parents, and his choice is right, even if we don't understand it. It also doesn't change that they are a gift, and worth celebrating, whether we get to parent them or not. When is a time to not rejoice over their birth, knowing the God we serve has a specific plan for their lives? Is not every moment with them a gift? And if there is joy only when that child comes home to stay, when then can you fully rejoice? I have met moms of dear babies who they carried full term and lost in delivery, my own grandmother twice. Mom's also who's babies they carried full term, brought home, and lost suddenly weeks after. Mom's who's children died in their teen years. Their loss, incomprehensible to me, but isn't that because their life was such a gift? Yes, their life was a gift. Even our baby who we only carried for 15 weeks, what a gift. I am proud to be that baby's mama, and blessed that He choose me to carry him, even for a short time here. Point? I am to rejoice in life. Children born and unborn, ours or others, it is not my call. I have no right to motherhood, only the hope of the calling, and the wait for it's fulfillment. I may love and loose, but the love I am called to give, regardless of if loss is coming, that is my Father's example. So what is it then that i've been stuck on besides fear? I then began to ask myself where i'm putting my hope, what am I focusing on, if i've let it wander. You see, so often I walk focused on him and then get sidetracked, slowly fading to focus back on myself again and what I want and fear I can't live without. I loose sight of the fact that He is still completely sovereign, good, and worthy of all I am, he holds me purpose, and my trust needs to reside in him, as well as my hope. If my hope or trust is in anything else other than in Jesus, it will be misput and destined to disappoint and fail. He lovingly reminds me that this His story, one that we get the of being apart of. His love for us is so great, so unfathomable, it is perfect, and His plan for us is too. His plan for us is not only just, and purposeful for us, but also for the watching world as well, for generations so come. Not that our story will be famous or even spoken of often, but that our story will reflect Him, and His great work in us. That He will use it for his purposes. And for me, even if all of the honesty he calls me to share only draws one life closer to him, it will be worth it all, all the hurt and scary exposure. We are here to be used, to Glorify Him who is worthy, through his blessings, and the pain he allows at times. Our lives are to be lived in thankful response to His finished work, we are the drink offering to be poured out. As I'm writing this post, this song has been in the foreground of my mind. The lyrics come rolling out in my head over and over so I will share and think on the words.

Jesus, lover of my soul

It's all about you, Jesus
and all this is for you
for your glory and your fame
it's not about me
as if you should do things my way
You alone are God 
And I surrender to your ways

Jesus, lover of my soul
All consuming fire is in your gaze,
Jesus, I want you to know
I will follow you all of my days
For no one else in history is like you
And history itself belongs to you
Alpha and Omega, You have loved me
And I will share eternity with You

As I sit and think on what is to come, I surrender, I let go. There is freedom here. I hate that I still find myself with the brakes on, after all of it, all of what he has done for me and pulled me through, I fight to trust him, my default is still defense. But again and again, and again, he reminds me of his love, goodness, his faithfulness. He doesn't need to, I don't deserve him to, but he does because he is tender, he is patient, and he never gives up on his kids. I can look up at Him completely exposed, vulnerable, and not be ashamed, for he continues to wash me clean, the biggest waves I can barely catch my breath, over and over again his grace and sufficiency come, they cover me. He is that big, that great, I get lost in his grace. He is teaching me that I don't have to fear what is to come, or worse yet, try to protect my heart from him. I know this, but I still catch myself looking ahead and thinking of all that in unsure, instead of looking at Him who is my firm foundation, has always been, and will always be. I am so excited for the coming months, I'm excited because of him now without refrain, because I know this is going to be good, as He is good. That our roots will grow deeper as we stretch to trust him more, as his spirit moves in us, as he tenderly teaching us. We will be emboldened in him, and become more of who we were created to be, a living testimony to who He is. 

Please, Join us this week praising Him for his goodness and amazing and unfailing love, for He alone is worthy and to be praised!! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Abundantly blessed, THANK YOU for your support!

So for those of you who don't know, we were able to be apart of a Vendor and Craft Show at the Avenue Coffee house in Cloquet this past Saturday. Kayla Leveille and Brook & Mandee Carlson put it all together and graciously decided to bless us with a booth at the vendor show free of charge. We used our booth to sell girls skirts, pacifier clips, dresses, and other sewing items that i have made my myself and with the help of friends and family, knit mittens, vanilla and hazelnut extract, wooden stars that Jan Dewey and Sarah Clifton made to donate, and many other items made by supporting friends and family.  Also, 30% of Kayla's Jamberry sales at the Vendor show and through the end of the month on her Facebook party, and half the proceeds from the booth fees and the silent auction, the other half going to The Raining Season Orphanage in Sierra Leone, West Africa. John and I can personally attest to the awesome ways God has been moving there, it is an orphanage that only God could create, with 'aunties and uncles' (names they call their care givers) that love on those kids everyday with all that they have. Traveling there a year and a half ago to spend 10 days with those kids is something John and I will never forget, and we will always long to go back and miss all those children dearly. When asked by one of our friends if we 'were feeling the love' from everyone, we can honestly and whole heartedly say YES, WE DO! We have no words for how much we feel lavished on, how thankful we are for our friends and family who so readily ask 'how can we help', 'what can we do', and mean it, for everyone who was apart of putting it together, who came to the show, or prayed for God to move, who have donated online or sent checks, we THANK YOU!!! This week, between Thursday and today (Sunday), a total of 4 days, we raised $9,427.50!!! We are blown away, and humbled to our cores. You are reminding us what a great God we serve, what awesome friends and family we have, and for that we thank you as well. My heart is so full, not to get goey people, it's just that we are so intensely encouraged. And at the risk of sounding strange, I will tell you that I feel just as pregnant as I did when there was a child growing inside me, know why? Because there is, the saying a some of you may have heard 'growing a child not under my heart but in it' is not cliche, it is a true, raw, real emotion. Even though I don't know how this going to turn out, and I know all the uncertainty of adoption, I still feel blessed in it. Everyday I wake up with the realization that I have been called to adoption, I don't know if I can adequately explain how humbling that feels. The idea that someone would entrust us with the child they grew inside of them, walked with, talked to, birthed, well, that is insanely humbling and continues to humble me, and instill in me a profound feeling of love, and a huge sense of responsibility. I pray for birth family, let me rephrase that, I get the profound blessing and gift of praying for them, everyday. How can you love and respect someone you have never met? Adopt. For a family to have the wisdom, the selflessness, the courage, the Love, the faith, confidence and trust in God and trust in us to chose to give their child in hopes of the opportunity of a better future for them, that is amazing. That is crazy love. I have been day dreaming this week of meeting our child, but also meeting their birth family, and I am shook to the core, in the best kind of refining way. I want them to know that I love and respect them, not because they are giving us their child to raise, but because they are brave, they are worth loving and respecting. This is such an amazing journey, and i speak for both John and I when I say we feel the love, we feel the support, we are insanely blessed and humbled to call you all friends and family. Thank you again for being apart of what God is doing in us, for sharing in our journey, we love you all!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

So here's the super encouraging good news!!

First off, I have to apologize for my long delay in updating this blog.  The past two months have been full with an adoption education class, home study meetings with our social worker, psychological evaluations of our marriage and me personally. Good news: our marriage is stable, was praised, and I passed the psych evaluation with flying color as expected :) We had a delay in receiving all the documentation and letters from the psychologists, but all and all the worst of the home study is behind us, and this coming Monday, the 10th is our Last meeting! Our social worker and one other social worker will be coming to our home here in Esko, checking out our living arrangements, and discussing adoption parenting, what we've done for training, and what more we can do. After that she will then write our official Home Study, present it to a board of her peers, and we should be approved to move forward with adoption!!

Next, around the beginning of 2015, we will be working with the Republic of the Marshall Islands coordinator to put together our Dossier and other documents, and if all goes well we could be receiving a referral (RMI government matching us with a child pending our acceptance) around May-June, which would mean we could be traveling this July/August!!! (We then would be in country for a few weeks before arriving home with child)

We are over the moon excited! Let me be the first to say about this: that our God is AWESOME. No, not just because we got great news, but because his timing is perfect. The past couple weeks I've really been struggling with our infertility, feeling old, and I've just not been seeking Him. I've instead turned to sugar and TV shows for distraction, a lot. I've binged watched shows, and eaten too many hot tamales and I'm not real proud of it. But you know what's so radical about my Father? He still loves me, wants me and pursues me. When I fall or get stuck in a rut of negativity and hermit-like behaviors, he still draws me back to himself. He does this because it brings him glory, and because he loves me, and when you truly love someone you want the best for them, and he is it. In him Alone do I find true peace, joy, hope, agape love, freedom, refuge, and abundant life. Sunday I was really
convicted in my much needed quiet time that I have viewed part of his character wrong. Let me explain, time and time again in the Old Testament God allows and even sends famine, distruction and devastation to the people of isreal. Why, people have asked, would a loving God do that? Well, because he loves us deeper than we can comprehend, he knows us best, and what he longs for us is a deep and abiding relationship with him. Why? Because that is where we find all what our hearts and minds seek so deeply; identity and purpose, and everything only he can provide. He is willing to allow his children to suffer for a time and run back to him, for the fate without the famine is worse, a life without knowing our creator. So, with that background as an example, I have seen and can attest to the fact that emotional suffering can be extremely refining and amazing in the fact that when we seek him in it, we grow deeper roots in him, he shows us more of who he is and we can't help but be changed by it.  Just as the disciples were changed by their relationship with Christ for all to see, so are we too by abiding in him. We can boast that because of his finished work on the cross and his continued refining work in us, we can say with all confidence that in all circumstances; he is worthy, love, good, righteous, faithful, just. But where I've been stuck is thinking that this is my reality now, my mission, to suffer this emotional roller coaster well, for his glory. To hopefully show people through my one life a price of who he is, and the sufficiency of our God, to let his story for my life unfold and to respond with thanksgiving with the end in mind. And that is still true, although my God has been teaching me that he loves to lavish blessing on us as well. I look at my life and see more
clearly all the time the blessings I've been so freely given, and after this last adoption meeting I just wanted to fly, and I'll tell you why...:). To see what my God has already blessed me with and to feel him completely reignite our hope again that this process will bring us to our child, and sooner than we had anticipated, well let me tell you, I feel lavishly blessed on!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hope, the assurance of things to come..

We have updates: As of last month we have been assigned a social worker! August 26th was our 1st of 5 home visits with her in St. Paul. We went into this meeting nervous, but excited and so ready to get things moving, as was expected. The meeting lasted about 4 hours, beginning with another intro to the international programs, followed by John's bio (birth through today) and ended with half of mine, we didn't have enough time to finish that portion. Lastly we were told that due to the sexual abuse in my history, John and I have to sit down with a psychologist for them to assess our marriage before our second visit. Also, by I believe the 3rd visit I have to have gone through a 2 hour psych eval due to my use of Zoloft. On the car ride home I lost it a bit, ok a lot. It was one of those moments when I remembered, that although I am free in Christ, saved and redeemed; my past follows me, that when parts of my life are written on paper, the outside world will see first the yuck, not the redemption. They will see the facts, and not where Christ has brought me to today, nor the hope of where I will be in the future. They are free to assume it's unresolved, that your broken, even though your not. They are free to color your story with whatever shades they think it deserves. Their red tape pulled out. Not that our social worker is doing anything wrong mind you, just what she's supposed to do, and besides, she still doesn't know us so I hold nothing against her. As we drove home I poured out to John how for me it's just difficult, awkward, and frustrating even, to be forced to put words and sufficient explanation to whats happened, to what was out of my control, to a complete stranger in hopes of them understanding your story. To just right then and there, speak your story. Not in your own time, choosing different pieces to share, as the spirit leads. No, just all of it in as few words as possible. I look at my life, my story, as my personal testimony to my Father's ability to love, rescue, redeem and restore a life. One that now I share with John. I love pieces of my story that I used to hate, because of His work in me, and because at it's core it speaks of Him. It has taken me a while to feel peace about this part of the adoption process, but I know now that my trust needs to not only be in Christ, but be Christ.

"Blessed is the man trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the Lord.  
He is like a tree planted by water, 
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7-8

So as this process continues, and all of what I am and have been are laid bare, I will remember that Christ died for my shame as well, not just my sin. My hope will remain in Him, and be Him, for his ways are right, and they are best. I will push my roots deeper still, not fearing the draught, hoping and trusting in him and bearing much fruit.  

After all, I want my children and their children to say this of me for the glory of God:

"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." 
Proverbs 31:25

I want them to know that they may have hope, and joy without fear or reservation, that they can appreciate whatever they are given, pushing their roots deeper into Christ's living water, drink, and be satisfied come what may.

So as we wait for our psychology appointment scheduled for November 11th, the earliest date we could get in the Duluth area, I ask you to please pray that our social worker will allow us to continue with our visits in the mean time. The idea of waiting until mid November to meet for our 2nd of 5 visits feels daunting and unnecessary. Although regardless, we are both excited to continue this process, and the hope of what is to come is worth all the agony of the wait.
Thank you all again for your support, John and I appreciate you all very much!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Let me be honest.

This is hard, this hurts.  This is my confession: I've been running, running from the pain and from doing what I've felt God's been laying on my heart.  I took the step he asked me to in creating this blog, not knowing what He would call me to do with it: Be honest, be open.  I was wary of creating this, but I listened and convinced myself no one would read it anyways; oh how I was wrong!  People I haven't talked to in Years commented, sent me personal messages, which has truly blessed my heart and for each and every one of you who commented, reached out to me, or simply took the time to read my blog thus far, I genuinely thank you!  For those of you who know me though, know that this response, although absolutely kind and wonderful, sent me running to the hills so to speak and far away form this blog.  I am an introvert, in almost all senses of the word, and I'm ok with that, that’s how God created me.  Through this I have the opportunity to observe, notice, and listen to people deeply.  I can talk all day with someone I'm comfortable with about real life and the journey, but small talk with me and I'm unsure of what to say and why I would say it.  Point?  Putting my life out there, to anyone inclined to read about it freaks me out, big time.  But never the less, I have learned yet again that it is futile to run from the all knowing God who is pursuing you, and quite silly.  So here we go, after that long intro and for those of you still reading, here is my honesty.

This is hard, this hurts.  I don't mean occasionally but consistently.  I can't pretend that loosing a child, infertility and having an empty nest isn’t hard, doesn’t hurt.  Neither can I pretend it is the sole cause of all the hurt I feel.  To be honest, to be open, I have to admit that the root of this is much deeper and older than that.  It began in my earliest memories, I realized later that it was not something I was alone in.  Depression.  Now here we go, here is the place where you want to enter your opinion, your solution.  Out of the best intentions most of the time, and always accompanied with a ranging level of ignorance or understanding, sometimes a mix of the two.  But what must be understood first and foremost is that depression is a broad term, everyone’s is slightly different.  What’s Not usually different for those of us who battle this is their silence.  Why?  Because it’s hard, it hurts, it’s complicated, and judgment is lurking.  Now for those of you who hear the word and fear strikes your heart, I understand.  Trust me, I feel so very blessed to say I have never once felt or even thought for a second of hurting myself, thankfully that is not something that I’ve had to battle.  Mine is more subtle, it’s more my daily lack thereof.  It’s complicated, depression is like that.  So what is in the mix?  Well; a genetic chemical imbalance, circumstances, life, the enemy and his lies.  I have taken a small dose of Zoloft on and off for years, and I will stand by it and say it is a miracle medication for me.  I have been on it for the past year again but this time it’s different, there is no condemnation.  I felt such a strong conviction to get back on it and I am so very glad I listened.  This time through the confidence He gave me and my openness I have been able to come along side others who have been struggling and offer them my ears, my heart and my life experience, through my pain I have been poured out for others and been filled again to the glory of the God who made me.  Yes, some of those people have started taking Zoloft as well and I’ve seen them come to life again.  I don’t however think that is the answer for everyone, many medications are vastly overprescribed and I hate that.  Although God moves and uses a variety of different medicine, traditional and homeopathic, to help His kids and I love that.  This is why you will never hear me say “this is the only good way” when it comes to medicine. 

All this to say, I still struggle to a degree with depression and current circumstances have contributed to my place here.  The crippling aspect is gone thanks to the medication brought into my life, but a degree of it remains.  So far in life I have learned from the beginning that life is hard, it can hurt.  This knowledge has brought me back to my knees before the King who restores me, renews me, redeems my every fault, picks me up and calls me His own, tells me who I am in Him now and forever, and tells me the type of plans He has for me again and again.  My God says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11.  Does He tell me all the details?  No, but it is comforting to know that they are plans for my good. I have such a sincere hope in Christ that is unmovable, that is His grace in me, He is teaching me how to trust Him with what He has allowed and what He will do with it all.  But sometimes in the dead of the night I wake up, heart physically aching in the reality that no one needs me tangibly at this hour, no children are there to look in on or to comfort.  I know you guys with children are thinking I’m crazy right about now, but it’s taken me a long time to understand that I can only be where I’m at, and this is where I’m at.  In those quiet moments my heart is raw, no walls are up, I’m too tired at that time in the night to put them up.  I think that is why God meets me there in these moments, I think in those raw moments He longs to comfort me, to meet me where I’m at.  I think He is showing me that He desires to hold me even as a hold on to the baby blanket I was given from a dear friend.  It has taken me a while to remember how to fall into His arms in those times, as I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to resist it, thinking I’m too old for it.  Silly.  Isn’t that what’s so neat about children, they know their weakness and aren’t ashamed, most of the time when hurt or frightened they immediately turn to their mom or dad and cry out, Knowing they must somehow know how to fix it.  This, we should not grow out of.  Our Abba longs for this, He loves to rescue, restore and redeem.  How awesome, and I don’t say that word lightly, is that?  Next comes the day, walls go up and I get moving.  I drink me coffee, thank Him for it thoroughly and get to checking off my lists of things to be done, how I love my checklists.  Distraction has it’s place, no denying that, but recently I’ve been taking on more and more and the enemy has been whispering in my ear “it must be done perfectly and completely, if you can’t do it all then what is your purpose?” and “this is your identity, if you can’t do it right now you could never do it with children” and “your getting old, 26 and no kids? No career? Seriously your ridiculous” and the list goes on.  Now this is where I insert the truth of who my Savior says I am and stomp on that serpents head, but sometimes I’m too weak.  On top of everything things begin to fall, I attempt to pick them up and more things fall, I try again to no avail, then my composure is lost and I fall apart. That is what happened last week in John’s presence.  I let it all out, all the ugly, I was a weeping mess, not the pretty kind either.  I tell him all I’ve been struggling with, mostly all the things I don’t know.  My desire in the battle, in this desert is to show people the springs, the sufficiency of my God. 

That’s why I’m writing this you see, because I have seen God's scandalous redemption in my life again and again.  He does not leave me, nor forsake me, He sticks through all the hurt, all the pain, all the agony.  His face shows me no disappointment, no ultimatums, no wavering in His love, only pursuit.  He offers freedom, something that's hard for me to grasp, yet He continues to teach me, not giving up because in Him I’m destine to learn this.  I want more than anything to bring Him glory, come hurricane or sunshine, but what do I do with the pain?  Do I let it show?  I want people to see all the wonders God is doing in this, in us, that with Him you can do anything He calls you too, but I spin it wrong and think I always have to show my brave face.  To quote John, “yea, sh** gets real, this is hard.”  He knows how to make me smile, laugh, and cry in the best kind of way.  I love that God uses us.  He uses my husband all the time in my life.  As I fell apart that night he just laid with me, hand on mine and listened, spoke kindness here and there but mostly listened.  He let me cry, then took me in the kitchen to dance to one of our songs “Stay with me” by John Legend.  He has carried me to bed twice this week.  He keeps telling me “it’s ok that your not all together”, and I love that because at it’s core it’s true.  Before my King I don’t have to be together, He is who makes me whole, not myself.  I can come broken and a mess, and I can come to my sisters in Christ like this as well.  I love that God chooses to use those women around me to help pick me back up and encourage me.  God is teaching me that my testimony is not dependent on my performance but on His life, death and resurrection.  It is finished, I don’t have to ‘preform’ to make sure I don’t ruin His work or earn His favor, I have it already.  I can rest in knowing that I have only to do what He calls me to do, give Him all that I am and watch Him work. I’m excited for what He will do, it’s going to be good, that I know full well. 

So in closing I will quote Paul when he was imprisoned in Rome “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, may be rooted and grounded in love, that you may know the breadeth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:14

Friday, June 20, 2014

Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to our adoption blog!  John and I are creating this blog to give you all a way to stay updated on our adoption process.

So for you all who want the details of how we came to adoption...that's a difficult, complicated, and long question to answer, but I'll do my best to answer it concisely:

John and I have felt a desire to both adopt and have birth children since as long as we both can remember.  We decided about a year after we were married in 2011 to try to start a family, and in the Fall of 2012 after about a year of trying, we got some crazy amazing news: we were pregnant!  It was a special time in our lives and one we feel very blessed to have had.  Our first ultrasound in December was surreal, I felt a kind of love that was unique to any I had felt before, and I feel honored to keep it in my heart.  At 15wks I went in to the doctor in early January due to some bleeding, during the ultrasound it was confirmed that our baby had died.  We went in for my D&C the next day, and in the following months were surrounded by love and support from our family and friends.  Again, we learned more about who God is and how He loves us through His intimacy during the thick hurt we felt during that time.  John and I grew stronger together, and continue to be changed into who He has called us to be.  A few months later we felt led to apply for the RMI adoption program as well as try to adopt from Sierra Leone, Africa.  We had the opportunity to travel to The Raining Season orphanage in Freetown, SL during our home study process and fell in love with the people, area, and especially the children.  When we came home we found out that due to changes President Obama made to better safeguard children, our home study would not be accepted for international adoption since our agency was not Hague accredited.  Basically that meant we had to start all over.  During that time we were also actively trying to conceive, but with no success.  Doctors visits, labs, exams, procedures, diet changes, no NOT fun practice but perfectly timed un-spontaneous work, lots of money and heartache, but none of it in vain.  See, all the while not only was He was knitting a child in our hearts through adoption, He was also teaching us intimately who we are in Him, pouring out his steadfast love, stretching us in ways we didn't want to for our good and His glory.  I could talk all day of how much we have learned and grown together in Him, how our desire is now even more to serve Him and walk wherever he has us to go, because children or no children, He is worthy and He is enough.  Not to say that this isn't hard, or hurtful, or the desire of our hearts to have children has lessened, infact it has grown.  What I'm saying is that our perspective has changed and we know we can walk this difficult path every day for His glory and trust him with all our hearts.  So back to the timeline, after a year and a half of trying I was personally ready to be done for a time with trying to conceive, something in me just shifted and we began talking more seriously about finding an adoption agency.  Shortly after that we got an email from Lutheran Social Services inviting us to begin the process of adopting from the Republic of the Marshall Islands!  We thought and prayed about it for a couple weeks, and together decided that we should go for it.  And here we are!

Now your up to date, I will try to keep you informed as we go.  The easiest way for you will be looking at the timeline I posted below.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement thus far.

John and Jackie