Saturday, August 24, 2013

The LORD answers prayers...

And my God will meet ALL your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. James 4:19

By now you've probably read about our mixer fiasco from earlier today.

Less then 2 hours later and the LORD has answered our prayers!

I was sitting on the couch reading the 12th book in a row to Niko when I hear a knock on the door.

Eden answers the door.

"Is your mom home?"

I moment of panic sets in.
Who is here?
I look awful today!
My hair is in a pony tail. I have no make-up on. I'm wearing a ratty t-shirt.
My house is a mess. 
I've been sick. My kids have been sick. I had lots of baking to do today.
We were just making do today!

No one was supposed to stop over today.

I went to the door and saw 3 very sweet faces.
Faces of a family I have grown to LOVE this past year!
People I am so thankful I get to live life with!

They had a surprise!
I saw their grins and heard the words

"You need to keep baking to bring that little girl home!"

I no longer cared that I looked like a train wreck or that I was sweaty from baking all day in this heat and humidity.
I hugged them both.
My heart swelled.
I could hardly contain my amazement.

After a brief conversation I carried my new pride and joy inside.
I no longer could contain my joy!
I wept!
My husband was gone, but the kids were there.  They had been with us earlier in the day when the mixer broke. They had prayed with us earlier.  Thanking the Lord for all that He has given us and putting our trust in His provisions and proclaiming His victory over Satan.

I hugged my three older kids and we prayed together thanking the Lord for providing for our needs so quickly!

Minutes later, my husband came home from a men's night at our church.  The guys had gotten together to do their yearly golf scramble and steak dinner. He came home with $200! At the golf scramble, the guys could buy mulligans and all the money went to us! We had NO IDEA they were doing this for us!


Goodbye My Old Friend...

I remember so clearly the day we first met.

It was Christmas some 15 years ago.

In a little wrapped box contained 15 little letters

K-I-T-C-H-E-N-A-I-D  M-I-X-E-R

I was so excited to meet this new friend that Christmas.  My love of baking had just begun. I was just learning the joy of making bread and the satisfaction of making cakes that people loved to look at and eat!  I had really wanted a Kitchenaid, but as a poor college student it was well outside my budget! My parents surprised me with one that Christmas.  I am so rarely surprised.  I tend to pay attention to tiny little details so not much sneaks past me, but this one certainly did surprise me! I wasn't expecting such a nice gift at all! I remember jumping up and down and being so excited! That trusty mixer and I have been together for a long time.  My joy of baking grew (not to mention my skills! I thought I was good back then, but truthfully I probably wasn't the best!).  Up until today, there have been few days that my mixer friend and I didn't spend some time together.

That all ended today...

My good ol' friend blew up today.  I was busy mixing the last of my dough for the 4 dozen buns I needed to whip up today when I went to turn it off, but before my hand reached the knob there was a loud and heart breaking CLUNK! My poor mixer said it was her time to be done.  She had mixed enough cakes, whipped enough frosting, and kneaded her last batch of dough.  So sad!

Goodbye old friend! You will truly be missed!

Ok, so the events of my story are completely true...just written in a little tongue and cheek.  My poor mixer did bite the bullet today.  Now, any other time I would just be totally bummed about it, but not necessarily as discouraged as I am feeling today.  Remember, I recently began selling baked goods at our local farmers market.  It was much more successful than I had even imagined.  Now, without a mixer my baking days are done.  

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy" James 1:2 NLT

I will CHOOSE my attitude in this!

I will NOT remain discouraged!

I WILL trust in the LORD!

We feel like Satan is wanting to discourage us and our efforts.  We firmly, without hesitation, believe that God has called us and has blessed our adoption.  Satan is none too pleased!

I could easily get really upset and anxious over such a seemingly small thing as a mixer breaking.  

It looks like we will be traveling in about 8-10 weeks if nothing major comes up.  We are so thrilled!! I can hardly stand it! But, we are about $15,000 from being fully funded.  A lot of money has come in, but we have a LOOOONG way to go in a short period of time.  We've been working our tail off fundraising.  We never want to be accused of sitting on the side lines just asking people to fund us.  We have worked hard and are willing to continue to work hard!  The farmers market is A LOT of work, but worth it in the end by the amount of money it brought in for our baby girl.  Now, unless the Lord somehow blesses us with another heavy duty Kitchenaid type mixer, those days are done.  We just can't justify taking that amount of money away from Charlotte.  Our profits would never be worth the work and time it takes.  We will keep working hard and TRUST that the Lord has an alternate plan to bring in the funds.  

If you have any good ideas for fundraising, please share with us! We need your help!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

He has favor on us!

On Saturday I sent our home study to the United States Custom and Immigration Services (USCIS).  I paid the big cost to have it overnighted by UPS.

I know, I know, overnighting things through the postal service is much cheaper, but for some reason, when you send it USPS it gets delivered somewhere else in USCIS and has a tendency to be lost for 7-10 days! You would think one government program would want to support another government program, but, logic isn't always evident...and I digress...

So, like I said, I paid the big bucks to overnight it through UPS and I tracked it and saw it was delivered yesterday.  I gave them a day to get it logged in and then gave them a call today to check on the status.  They said they had it and our fingerprint letters were sent out today.  The letter should arrive in the mail next week.  It will give us an appointment date and time to head to their offices in Fargo to get fingerprints.  We won't wait for that date.  We will go the next morning and hopefully they will let us be printed early (most people have great success with going early!).

After she told me that our letter went out I asked her if we had been assigned an officer yet and she said, "No, you won't get an officer until we get your fingerprints back." So, me being willing to beg, asked her about the possibility of getting a medical expedite.  Our doctor had included a letter of support regarding a medical expedite due to the fact that Charlotte is so tiny and the real possibility of her being in heart failure.  The lady I was talking with on the phone said that a supervisor had to make the decision of approving a medical expedite or not and that she would happily transfer me to her supervisor.

I spoke with the supervisor and explained the situation to him.  He asked a few clarifying questions and then said he would call me back in a few minutes.  Ten minutes later he called and said he assigned us an officer and that he told her it was to be processed as a medical expedite! I was stunned! He explained that we still had to do our prints first before they could do anything, but after that it would be expedited! God is so good! This saved us weeks - possibly months of waiting! Praise Him!

Then, today, I was mailing off my entire dossier packet (our dossier is just all our necessary documents for the adoption) to be apostilled (remember, this means to have them verify the notary is true).  I was going to overnight it to Bismarck and then pay to have them ship it back to me and then turn around and overnight it back to Bismarck because there is a very sweet family heading over to U to pick up their 2 boys at the end of the month.  They were going to hand carry our dossier and hand it off to the in-country facilitators.  Yay for not having to pay international shipping!

Anyway, I was thinking it seemed such a waste to pay all those overnight shipping charges when I was shipping it right back to where it came from anyway.  I had the brainstorm to see if my friend could just pick them up when the secretary of state was finished apostilling them.  I really wasn't expecting them to allow someone else to get them, but they said it was no big deal! And, my friend said she lives 5 minutes from the capital and she wouldn't mind grabbing them for me!  Yay yay yay! Another big blessing today!

This picture is me in the post office this evening.
My entire dossier is in that envelope.
 I was putting my paper baby in the mailbox.
I was anxious! That paper baby is everything (but 1 document) that I need to go get my real baby! I worked long and hard creating that paper baby. Now, I anxiously put it in other peoples hand.

I kissed my paper baby.
I prayed over my paper baby.

I  slid that baby down the slot...May He continue to show favor to us!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Farmers Market

I spent Friday mixing, measuring, baking, cooling, and packaging. It was a lot of work. 

It was tremendous fun. 

I was tuckered out! 

Our adoption is going so quickly! Yay! One day I was praying and asking The Lord for some additional fundraising ideas and He really spoke to me about using my gift of baking to help our cause.  

Those who know me know that I LOVE to bake.  It's one of the few things that make me feel proud. I really get such joy about of watching people enjoy my baking creations.  So, I decided to take my baking out of the walls of my home and to our local farmers market.

I'm really shy. 

New things make me super nervous.

This was terrifying to me.

But, for my daughter, I did it. I baked my heart out, I talked with strangers, and I tackled something new and scary.  I am so thankful I did it! I had a BLAST! People enjoyed my goodies (at least I think they did!). The Lord greatly blessed this endeavor! 

Next week, I will be back. Selling more deliciousness and telling people about this wonderful little girl I get to call my daughter!

Come see me on Saturday and buy yourself a treat! 


Thursday, August 8, 2013

He could be yours...he could be mine

It's with great sadness that I must report Anthony's body was found this afternoon in the Red River. Please keep his friends and family in your prayers.  So very sad!

I'm sitting at my deck table drinking a hot cup of coffee listening to planes and helicopters fly back and forth.

My heart aches.

This little boys name is Anthony.  He is 11 years old. He is 5 feet and 94 pound. He has autism. He was last seen wearing a grey shirt with black lettering and plaid shorts.  He is missing.

He went missing yesterday afternoon shortly after 2pm.  He told his grandma he was going out to play in the yard and when she went to check on him he was nowhere to be found.  Police, firefighters, boarder patrol agents, volunteers, etc. searched until nightfall with no sign of this sweet boy.  They have resumed searching today.  

This sweet boy is a neighbor of our dear friends.  We heard about is disappearance almost immediately.  Instantly the kids and I stopped what we were doing and prayed.  We hopped in the Suburban and drove around searching for 2 hours.  I stopped anyone I saw outside.  Talked to construction workers, people walking dogs, etc.  No one had seen him.  When we had to stop searching full search crews were being assembled to search on foot.  I had 4 small kids by myself so we stopped to get out of the way. 

While we drove I continued to pray out loud.  Eden is the only one who is old enough to fully grasp what is happening (the boys are clueless and Braelyn thinks he will be fine because he can find honey to eat.  I'm not going to disrupt her childlike thinking.  Her world will change fast enough.  I don't need to speed it up!). Eden gets the seriousness of it.  She prayed and looked right along with me.  We begged the Lord.  We pleaded with Him to cross our path with Anthony's.  We cried together.  We asked questions together.  We asked God why together.  We have full confidence that the Lord heard our prayers, but for reasons unknown to us He didn't answer our prayers yesterday. 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declared the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9 

Today they are still searching for Anthony.  They live just outside of city limits on Rhinehart Dr. in East Grand Forks, MN.  He is surrounded by farm fields, shelter belts, ditches, ponds, creeks, and the Red River.  He is drawn to water, ATV's, campers, and vans.  If you live in that area, check and double check your property.  He could be anywhere!  Check, double check, triple check.  Just because he wasn't there an hour ago doesn't mean he isn't there now!  If you see him call 911 immediately.  Remember, he has autism.  He may not willingly come to you.  It's ok to stop him and hold him until the police come.  He may kick and scream.  He won't understand what you are doing.  It's ok to keep him safe!

My heart is heavy.  For a lot of reasons.  One of them being that very soon we will be bringing home our own special little girl.  A little girl who easily could walk away in an instant without knowing the danger just around the corner.  It's too close to home for me.  Literally and figuratively!

He could be your child.  He could be mine. Let's find this little boy!