Wednesday, February 27, 2013

year ONEderful

Today is Roxie’s birthday.  Her first birthday.  I’m bursting with all sorts of emotions. 

Excitement that she is one. 

Celebration that she is with us.

Pain that we missed 11 months.

Anticipation for what’s ahead.

In the (almost) one month that she’s been with us, she’s changed us.  She’s brightened our world.  She’s turned pain into rejoicing. 

When I think about her birthday, the blessing that we get to celebrate with her in our arms, there is also a sense of aching in my heart.  How many children are out there celebrating a first, second, tenth, eighteenth birthday without a family?  How many families are out there longing for their children to be in their arms?  I can’t ignore this aching.  So what can I do?  What can you do?

Over the past year so many of you have journeyed with us to bring Roxie home.  You have cried with us.  You have rejoiced with us.  You have prayed for us, for her, and helped us carry the burden to labor for her arrival.  We have felt so encouraged by your sense of support. 

In honor of our girl’s first birthday, I’m extending to you an invitation.  An invitation to help other families bring their children home.  An invitation to help just a fraction of the 150 million orphans worldwide. 

Hope That Binds is an adoption and orphan care ministry that provides adoption grants and fundraising support, adoption consultation to churches, and adoption advocacy.  By donating you are helping families to celebrate birthdays together, not to mention the other 364 days.  Any funds given here will go 100% to adoption grants. 

Giving is easy.  Just click on the donate button below.  


Friday, February 15, 2013

Love List

It’s been awhile since I added something to my love list but this is worth taking the time to love.  Roxie Kyle is teething.  The messy, wet kind of "I put everything within my sight in my mouth” kind of teething.  So . . . when I came across these necklaces I had to give them a try. 

Mindy Mae's Market offers a super cute necklace for mama to wear and baby to chew.  And it’s safe for your little one’s mouth.  Plus, if Roxie’s not in my lap or arms I can just slip the necklace around her neck. 

There are a variety of colors and bead shapes to choose from.  The $21.99 price isn’t too bad either (especially considering what I’ve spent in $2 and $3 teething toys).  For a lower price of $9.99 they also offer a teething bracelet (it doesn’t have as many options on bead choices). 

Just a side note, Mindy Mae's Market has lots of other cute things, so make sure to browse through their site.  

Click here to purchase.  


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Greatest Love

Maybe I was a bit overzealous for our first Valentine’s Day.  I want to give homemade cards and since Roxie Kyle can’t write it seemed only appropriate to use her thumbprints.  Well, have you ever tried to use a pink inkpad with eleven month older wiggly fingers?  Pink ink was everywhere and the cute little thumbprint hearts I had in my mind didn’t turn out to even resemble a heart.  

Regardless, we had a sweet time together, mother and daughter, working on our first craft project.  (I hope there are many more to come). 

While we crafted I told her about Valentine’s Day.  I told her it was a day dedicated to celebrating love. 

I told her I loved her (for probably the millionth time). 

I told her about the greatest love. 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16
“but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:18
I told her about the greatest commandment.

“And He answered, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27
I told her my prayer for her is Jesus will be her greatest love.

I told her that His love is better than life. 

“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”  Psalm 63:3
I know that right now she may not understand what I’m telling her.  But I also know that I am commanded to teach these truths to my children at all times. 

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise . . .”  Deuteronomy 6:6-7
What a sweet responsibility to teach my sweet girl these truths.  Praise be to God!  


Monday, February 11, 2013

Forgetting what lies behind

As I walked into the care center I saw a group of women huddled around a tub filled with soapy water, washing bottles. They looked up as I walked in the gate, no greeting.  I continued walking toward the door and spoke my daughter's Ethiopian name with question to the first person I saw inside the house. The lady understood the name and pointed toward a door, one which I already knew led to another baby's room. That's good, I thought as I headed toward the other room. This room, I knew from our last visit, was smaller.  Roxie would probably receive a little more one on one attention from the nanny. As I walked into the room I spoke her name again to the nanny standing inside the door. As she turned the small room came in to view and I saw her, those eyes.  Those eyes that nine months ago stared at me on the computer screen for the first time, eyes that I had looked at more times than I could count on my phone, eyes that I saw when I drifted off to sleep each night. The difference is that now I didn't have to look on a computer screen or on a phone or in a memory.

I scooped her up from her bed and pulled her in close for hugs and kisses. This was my daughter. The daughter God had planned for me before the beginning of time. I didn't have to leave her again.

After a quick change of clothes we passed out hugs and thank yous to the nannies, collected a container of Ethiopian formula, and climbed into the van. I breathed a sigh of relief that the waiting part of this process was over.  She was finally in my arms.  Arriving at this point had been a journey filled with joy but also suffering.  As the van moved forward carrying this new family of three I couldn't help but look ahead to all that was in store.  I was reminded of the apostle Paul's words.

". . . Forgetting what lies behind and straining to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

I want to embrace each experience God gives me along the way.  I want to embrace this sweet memory of bringing Roxie home and all that God has taught me.  But it is not the end. It is only a portion of the race, this earthly journey.  There is still so much more ahead, so much more to look forward to.  Ultimately I must continue to strive towards the goal of being like Christ.  

"Only let us hold true to what we have attained."

Rejoice in the Lord!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bringing Roxie Home

Thanks Kendra Mason at Immeasurably More Photography for capturing this special day of  bringing roxie home!

Click here to see the video.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

finally HOME

There is so much I want to say, yet so much I don’t know how to say.
For now all I can do is praise God and thank Him for this gift!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost