Saturday, December 12, 2009

Family Christmas Letter/Blog


The dramatic music has been cued. The stage has been set. This is what you’ve been waiting for…NOT!

Ok, it’s just our Family Christmas newsletter/blog, but it sounded so much better with a touch of drama (with four girls in the house, that’s easy to do).

This “Blog” is a book too, so get comfortable J.

So on with the show…letter…insanity.

If we could use two words to describe this year, it would be “life altering”. It’s totally in a good way, but “life altering” none the less. God has had us stretching beyond our boundaries and though, at times, the stretching is a tad uncomfortable, it is also jump up and down, clean house, world filled with chocolate, WONDERFUL!

When we wrote last year’s letter we already knew things were going to change, but we also knew we hadn’t been released to share it yet. After a year of prayer, intense prayer, God led us to start the adoption of our twins in Ethiopia. We call them “our twins” because that’s exactly what they are, our children across the world that we have yet to meet Many of you know this news, but for those that don’t, we have placed the links to our “how this came about” story below.

The Second big change for us was the knowledge that we were to become a 100% home school family. Yep, little insane. Yep, a lot of blessing. We are active at our teaching co-op and our oldest two take some classes down there (Yes, some high school classes make our brains leak out of our ears, thus classes taught by someone else were a must!). For the FIRST time ALL the kids are happy with school, have a ton of friends, and can’t wait to learn. We have to tell you though, marinating the kids in God’s love all day ROCKS!

The third change was a rough one. In seeking to follow our God, our Lord, we started praying that He lead us to where we can bring Him the most glory. We LOVED all those at our previous Church, but God had other plans for us. We have been visiting a few Churches around here and are praying diligently that God shows us where He wants us.
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Ok, now what you’ve all been waiting for (we’re sure on pins and needles)…it’s time for the awards!

THE FUNNIEST MOMENT GOES TO (DRUM ROLL PLEASE) Thomas for his weird dreams.
I had brought Bekah (who was coughing with the latest virus) to our bed, putting her fru fru purple pillow between both Thomas and I and snuggling her in. It took about 45 minutes for Bekah to settle down to slumber. It took me about an hour before she started to doze off. That was before I sensed movement and cracked open my eyes. Thomas (half setting up in bed) had his hands on both corners of Bekah’s purple pillow. As I watched he YANKED it out from under her head. I knew there was something to this and said, “Ummm, honey…what are you doing?” He looked at me and quite calmly stated, “One of these pillows has AT&T on it.” I started laughing. He looked at me disgusted and said in an irritated voice, “THE PASSWORDS!!!”. I gave up at that point and died in laughter. Thomas cuddled with a fru fru purple pillow for the rest of the night. What you didn’t see was Bekah, looking at daddy all confused. Etched across her face was, “Daddy, why did you take my pillow?”

THE MOST TRUMPING MOMENT GOES TO…..Max for TOTALLY squashing Sarah and I in a game of Eye Spy. We never even came close.

THE GOOFIEST MOMENT GOES TO….Tom for his rendition of Hamlet using a doll head as the skull. Though we must admit that Thomas’s rendition of Hamlet using Arnold Schwarzenegger voice was pretty entertaining too.

THE MOST BRAIN HICCUP MOMENT GOES TO (oh, like you’re going to be surprised at this one)….ME for when I said nicely to Max, “Stop talking with your mouth open.”

THE BEST MOMENT THAT YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO REACT TO AS A PARENT GOES TO…Anna for her reason for not telling us the whole story. “But mommy, I didn’t want him to get into trouble.”

THE MOST RANDOM MOMENT GOES TO….Sarah for trying to figure out what the initials L.O.A. meant (Love One Another) and she looked at me and said, “Apples”.

THE BEST AND MOST WONDERFUL MOMENT OF THE YEAR GOES TO….Bekah. Bekah was singing at the top of her lungs in the back of the car. “Are you singing Bekah?” Mommy asked. “Yes, I’m singing WITH God.” She wasn’t sing to Him, at Him, or about him. She was singing WITH Him…wow.

So that’s our Year End Review. Long…yes, but crazy and just like our family.

As we close this year I would like to share with you something. It is something that Sarah said to us. “Normally at the end of the year, it’s exciting and all, but we don’t want to hurry it. There’s nothing so important that we’re eager for break to pass. This year it’s different though. This next year the twins will come home. I can’t wait until next year!” That’s us, we cherish the time we have celebrating Christ and the beginning of our Salvation. Yet we know, instead of wishing we were still on break, we will celebrate being one step closer to our babies. God is our breath, our life, our all…that He is blessing us, yet again, which drives us to our knees.

We thank God for the blessing of each of you and are thankful that God has placed you in our lives. May His hand rest on you all through this wonderful journey we call life. .

HERE ARE OUR YEAR’S PRAYER REQUESTS AND PRAISES!

We know this may seem like a long list, but if you would consider taking the time to pray for these, even once…it will (and has) made such a difference to SO many lives! Many have asked us to pray very personal prayer requests that are not on the list, just know friends, we are praying.

PRAISES!!!
God has brought us a long way in this adoption. He’s touched hearts and supplied funds in ways we didn’t think possible! We are now waiting!
God moved governments to bring a little girl named Jubilee home to her family from China.
The Thomas family has a new little one (as of last night!)
The Briola family (as well as many others) are legal parents to many wonderful children around the world.

OTHER PRAYER REQUESTS:
Two of Kat’s Aunts are having serious health issues.
Kat’s grandma needs to go through radiation to treat cancer (looks SO good though!)
Thomas step-father has been having health issues with his back and sleep apnea.
Friends, the Stewarts, mom has cancer. It’s serious and they need your prayers.
We also have friends that are going through a really rough time, facing many adoption obstacles locally in their adoption. To insure their privacy, we won't name any names, but could you please keep this family in your prayers...God knows who they are :).
Please pray for a few little ones that I've come to pray for with leukemia. Abby is a sweet little girl that currently is suffering inter-cranial pressure as a result of chemo. Ilke is another sweet little one that needs prayers. Please pray for little Tatum as well who, as of right now, is in the hospital with a fever (the numbers desperately need to come up).

IMMEDIATE ADOPTION PROCESS PRAYER REQUESTS:
*That the funds pour in like water in a surge of blessing and that God blesses us with the funds to accept the referral and travel when the time comes.
*That God has His hand on this adoption, guiding us, smoothing the way, and bringing peace.
*That our twins may be gathered into our family with a quickness and speed only blessed by God.

ALL ADOPTION PRAYER REQUESTS:
Please Pray…..
*For these little ones God has chosen to place in our family…for their physical and emotional health in a difficult place.
*For their biological family…that God has His hand on them and brings them peace in whatever they must face and the choices they will be making. Also, please pray that they come to know Christ and the peace only He can give.
*Last, though it may seem a bit premature, please specifically pray that once we are referred our little ones, that they come home quickly and pass court the first time (many are starting to have multiple court dates and a LONG wait until travel).

We also pray that hearts are convicted daily to open their families and lives to orphans around the world.
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Also, please join us in prayers for three beautiful Christian families and five sweet children who are facing obstacles above and beyond what a adoption process usually looks like. Governments will literally have to move for these older and special needs children to come home.

Olivia Mame (Ethiopia)-I would like to ask your prayers for a little sweet young girl in Ethiopia named Olivia Mame. There are some very immense road blocks, serious ones, that have to be conquered in order to finish the adoption of this precious young lady.

Daniel (Liberia)-A little one with hydrocephaly awaits his family. Please pray that Daniel does not deteriorate farther and that people in authority to move this case feel the passion to see this through quickly. They also have two more blessings that they are adopting.

Ronaldo and Julia (Guatemala)-For years this family has been trying to get their beautiful future children out of Guatemala. Every time it seems close there is another glitch. Please pray with us. Please pray that EVERY problem is resolved and every piece of paper has the perfection only God can give.

We also ask that, if you have a moment, please pray for the governments to open their hearts and countries (many have closed down) so that children may find their families instead of languishing in orphanages.

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ALL ABOUT OUR ADOPTION, ADOPTION QUESTIONS, AND ADOPTION TIMELINE FOR THOSE WHO ARE WONDERING

To see our announcement blog explains how we started this process and will answer many of your questions.you can look here.

This is the link to our blog that explains the timeline. Just click here.

If you have not seen the videos of Max and Bekah’s adoption, you can click on the following links.
To see Max's video, click
here.
To see Bekah's video, click
here.

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