Sunday, November 30, 2014
Sunday, November 9, 2014
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
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
"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."
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
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