Friday, April 22, 2011

The Call

Our referral call came totatlly unexpected to us. I had been home from the DR for 3 days and was still trying to process all that transpired that week.

The girls were out of school for Winter break and we had been to a movie. On our way home I noticed that I had missed a call from our agency. They never call! I tried to call back, but it was after hours and no one answered.

JT was on his way home from a business trip and had been on the road all day. I called and asked him if he had heard from our agency. He had not. I tried them again, and reached the Director. She proceeded to tell me that they received our referral just as JT was walking in the door. I asked, "Girl or boy?" She said, "BOY!" I started crying, the girls were squealing and JT looked like a deer caught in headlights!

Once we fininshed our conversation with the director, we all huddled around the computer waiting for her to send us his picture.

Oh, what a cutie! I couldn't believe after 2 1/2 years.... the wait was over. I was instantly in love with his sweet face.

I cried in my husband's arms.

The phone calls came next to family and friends. Laura and JP (our missionary friend) were on their way back from a conference and headed straight to our house!

I called my dear friend Jenny next. She has walked with me through this ENTIRE adoption journey from Day 1. She has advised me, encouraged me, prayed for me and cried with me.

When I first felt God whispering to my heart about adoption. I called Jenny. When she was praying about Adam, I was praying about Emily... we walked through some tough times in both of our adoption journeys. She has adopted two beautiful children from China.

I couldn't wait to share the news with her. While talking, we came up with a plan to get our Life Group together for an announcement.

The email went like this:

Exciting news!

If you want to know.... meet me tomorrow morning for coffee (Friday) at 10:00. Starbucks at Stonecrest.

Be there or be square.

You should have seen the replies I got from them. Hysterical.

My sisters came.

And the celebrations began...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A gift

As you may know, JT and I began our DR adoption journey in the fall of 2008. We had fallen in love with a sweet little girl that we knew had recently been placed in an orphanage in Nagua. Emily was about 7 months old at the time.

Two and a half years later-- after being told (by our agency) that we would be able to adopt her - being told we would not - hiring a lawyer to do a private investigation - finding out she still has family in the community and will remain in the orphanage - and is not available for international adoption- we were heart broken.

I knew God was asking something big of me here. Bigger than what I could do alone. I needed to let go of my "dream" of Emily. Our paperwork was logged in with CONANI and we were on the waiting list for our referral. God called us to adoption... He never said it would be Emily. Letting go of my dream needed to happen to prepare me for what God had planned.

When I was in the DR on my Mission trip this past February, I had the opportunity to visit her orphanage. This sweet girl was going to be a couple of hours from where we were staying! I knew it would be hard, but I had to see her. I could not be that close and not see her. I needed to feel her in my arms and kiss her sweet face.

My dearest friend went with me. We have been friends for over 22 years. She was on a Mission trip (summer -2008) working in the orphanage when Emily came to live there.

I wanted soak in every single moment I had with her. I wanted to see this day for what is was... a gift from my most gracious-generous Savior.

Emily was having lunch when we arrived and was quite shy. It did not take long until she was in my arms. She remained there for the rest of our visit. Oh how I loved on that sweet girl!

I showed her pictures of Bailey and Olivia. I had a picture of her as well. She held on to those pictures and would not let any of the other girls look at them. Emily is just as I have imagined her to be... sweet and sassy!

All of the girls were so precious. Laura and I painted fingernails and toenails, passed out lollipops and silly bands. We would have spent the entire day there if we could have.

Time flew by... and it was time to say goodbye. She cried. I cried.

I will see this sweet child again. My life with her will just look different than my dream - my plan. I can still care for her and support the orphanage where she lives. I will always be a part of her life in some way.

This part of our adoption journey ripped my heart to pieces, but God has so beautifully placed them back together.

Revelation 21:5 "And he that sat upon the throne said,
"Behold, I make all things new."

Even this heart of mine.

Three days home from my trip, we got THE call. It was a complete surprise. Our agency received our referral.... and it's a boy.

Our son, Alex.

God is so good.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dominican Republic Mission Trip - February 2011

I had the privilege of serving the Dominican Republic on a Mission Trip this past February. This was my 3rd trip, but the first time I led a team. Months and months of preparation go into planning a medical trip. Medicines are ordered stateside, sorted and shipped prior to our arrival. It was a lot of work... but so worth it!

Our team ran a medical, dental and eye clinic in the city of Puerto Plata. Dominican doctors volunteered their time for the week and treated the patients. We were responsible for running the pharmacy, taking blood pressures and assisting the doctors when needed.

Shelves of medicines

Taking blood pressures

Throughout the week we served over 3500 people! Many were in line 3 hours before we even opened the clinic.

There is so much more to the week than what my pictures will show. Beautiful people, precious children, joyful hearts, heartbreaking stories, lives given to Christ and faces etched with a lifetime of hardship. We were moved daily by the stories and people we met.

I shared this experience with one amazing team.

Servant hearts ~ hard workers ~ my friends.

Three girls were from my Life Group. I knew there would be alot of laughs going on with this gang. They did not disappoint. Good stories. Good times.

The country of Dominican Republic will always hold a very special place in my heart.

After all, it is where my son was born.