Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Big Girl Room

If you read Sunday's post, you know that our big girl turned seven this past weekend.  When I asked her the best thing about turning 7, she said it was having her room "changed into zebra print".  So, I thought I'd share her new room with you.:)

{We painted and "blinged" her name}

{I made these loft bed curtains...she loves them!}

{artwork by Melia :)}

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In the Blink of an Eye...

...a precious, beautiful, amazing baby girl has turned into this...

...precious, beautiful, amazing, SEVEN YEAR OLD!

Some "stuff" about Miss M at 7 years old:
Food-ice cream
Thing to learn about-Math
Friend-Eden Strickland
Thing to do by myself-build legos
Restaurant-Logan's Steakhouse
Book-Ivy and Bean
Movie-Barbie Princess Charm School
Game-UNO Attack
Bible Verse-John 3:16
Thing to do for fun-play with my friends
Commandment-"Do not be jealous."

If I could go anywhere, I would go to Africa to see Bek and bring him home. 

The person I admire most is Mrs. Schmidt {her kindergarten teacher}

I am currently praying for Bek to be home by his birthday.

I want to thank Jesus that I have a nice family.

One person I'd like to spend a whole day with is Lexi {my cousin}.

The best part about 1st grade is Specials. {She really loves all of it, but she does have a love for the "fine arts"}

The best part of turning seven is that I got my room changed into zebra print.

One thing I wish for is Clara {Beck} to come home because I really miss her.  {Clara is living in Korea where her parents are working for a school there, spreading the love of Jesus to the Korean people! :)}

When I grow up, I want to be an artist.

One thing I want everyone to know about me is that I'm honest.

A Note from your Mommy:

Sweet Melia,

You are such a joy!  When God blessed your Daddy and I with a baby girl seven years ago, we had no idea what a pleasure it would be to be your parents.  You have blessed our lives in so many ways.

We are so proud of the young woman you are becoming.  You are such a bright young lady and we always look forward to visiting with your teacher who has nothing but wonderful things to say about you.  Even when you mess up, you are repentant and are so quick to make things right.  We appreciate your strong will and your focus towards being the absolute best that you can be.

Your heart is beginning to soften towards the Lord...I am seeing it in little things from your reminders to your brother of the ten commandments to your sweet, sincere prayers about those who are important to you.  I know that soon you will be asking Jesus to live in your heart and I really believe that your life will be an amazing force for Him.

Your future is so bright.  You can do anything you set your mind to.  My prayer for you is that you will allow God to lead your path and that you will serve Him diligently.  I also pray for wisdom in parenting you...that I will do the things that point you towards Heaven and that everything I do and say will portray  Christ's love.

I love you so much, sweet girl.  I am so blessed to be your mommy.  I am looking forward to seeing what this year holds for you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

9 Months and 1 Day Pregnant

sometimes no news is good news...sometimes no news is just no news...sometimes no news is frustrating and leaves people on the brink of tears

For today, our "no news" most closely resembles the third sentiment.  Waiting {and waiting, and waiting} with absolutely no news has been grueling.  We have been so blessed to have had several families take pictures of our sweet boy who lives across the ocean.  It's been so amazing, and yet, it is a very real reminder that our baby is growing quickly without us.

It's hard to describe the way I'm feeling these days.  I'm sad that Bek has spent 293 days of his sweet little life without us, his family.  I'm frustrated that we are entering our eleventh week of waiting for a court date since we first saw his sweet face.  And, yet, I'm hopeful that this will be the week that we get to know the day that we'll meet our son.  And, I KNOW that all the frustration and anguish is more than worth it.

Today, it occured to me that I felt the exact same way that I felt on January 28th, 2005.  Will you take this walk down memory lane with me?

It was a Friday, the end of a particularly grueling week.  I knew it was just a matter of time until I would see my sweet baby girl's face, and yet, I irrationally felt that she might stay tucked away in the comfort of my abdomen forever. 

She was to be our first born, a true gift from God.  We'd been given her name almost ten years previous as we sat together in church, a newly-dating teenaged couple, dreaming of the family we'd one day call our own.  MELIA-an adaptation of an ancestor of Jesus, recorded in the book of Luke.  The beauty of her name was equalled by its origin and meaning-the polynesian form of Mary, meaning "wished-for child" or "beloved lady" {assuredly, she was both}.

On that fateful Friday, I continued to house my sweet child, 9 months and 1 day pregnant.  It wasn't fair!  I was fully aware of several people who had been induced 3 days, 5 days, a week and a half EARLY, and yet, here I was, an entire 24 hours overdue.  

I waddled {and I do mean waddled} my 5 foot 2 inch frame into the High School where I taught business classes to my enthusiastic {and unenthusiastic} students.  The additional 38 pounds I had "gracefully" packed onto my typically small body weighed extra heavy that day.  I took a deep breath and entered the front doors of the building where I ducked my head and wormed my way through the 14 to 18 year olds in the commons area.  My attempt to evade the students' eye contact failed miserably and before I knew it, the question I'd been trying to avoid was hurled at me for the first of many times of the day: "WHEN are you due?"

It was an innocent enough question, one that truly showed my students and co-workers genuinely cared about me and my babe-to-be.  However, the question cut like a knife, exposing the longing and frustration that I'd been trying so desperately to mask.  The tears began then, and I fought them all day long.

Fast forward almost seven years to January 23, 2012.  Today I walked into my school with slightly younger students and a slightly different story, yet the heaviness of longing for my baby, our third child, was overwhelmingly familiar.  The question was different, too..."Have you heard anything?"  Yet, the sting was the same, as was the feeling of consistantly choking back tears. 

It is amazing how many people care, truly care, about our baby boy joining our family forever.  I am so incredibly grateful that God has placed each and every one of you in our lives for "such a time as this."

The end of the story from 7 years ago was that God gave us our baby girl the very next day {Sunday is her 7th birthday} and she has been an amazing blessing to our family since day one.

And, the end of today's story?  Well, God's still writing it...


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An Incredible Opportunity

Remember my post from yesterday when I told you about an amazing opportunity to bless our friends, the Hapners

through the Give1Save1 campaign?  Well, guess what?!  In just two short days, they raised all the funding they needed to complete their adoption!!  Isn't God amazing!?

AND, to top it off, they still have four more days left of fund raising through Give1Save1. 
Since they no longer need the funding {drumroll, please...}

 TO US!!! 

We are beyond thankful to have been blessed by their generosity!  You can find the details here.

Interested in helping us out?  Have you been wanting to help us with our travel expenses {of which, before today, we'd raised $0} but weren't sure how or when?  Well, look no further, friends...

If you feel led to help us with our adoption of little Bek, simply click the logo and donate whatever amount you want.  Every $1, $5, $50, and $1,000 will go directly into our travel fund to bring little mister home!!

Thank you so much for your support.  We are so blessed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Best Friend I've Never Met

I've mentioned before that one of the really amazing things on this adoption journey has been how God has placed the right people in the right places at the right time to help us through. Many people have texted, facebooked, or E-mailed encouraging words at exactly the right time.  Some have simply asked us how things are going or have agreed to pray for us or have prayed for us right on the spot when they see us struggling. 

Some people have financially or prayerfully supported us and we've never even met them.

This adoption has provided us a rich community of believers who don't really care that they've never met us, they simply share our hearts for orphans and they genuinely want to see us have a successful adoption.  What a blessing!!

And then there are some that we know God specifically and intentionally placed in our lives to experience this journey alongside us.

Emily and Jim Hapner are one such couple.  Seventeen months ago, the Hapners embarked on a journey to adopt their first child, a little boy from Ethiopia.  We "met" while we were both paperchasing and have experienced each stage of the journey together.  Emily and I have spent countless hours rejoicing, crying, laughing, diffusing, processing, and sharing via facebook, E-mail, texting, and good, old-fashioned phone calls.  {All this while I'm in Missouri and she's in North Carolina!}

Currently, we are both waiting to meet our sons in Ethiopia and I am so hopeful that God will see it fit to allow us to meet on the other side of the globe.  But, while we still wait for our court dates, that pesky matter of finances still has to be addressed.  There are many organizations that have hearts for orphans and help families by raising money for them.

Give1Save1 is an organization that features families and encourages people to donate what they can to help support the family's adoption.  The Hapners are the featured family of the week.  Will you consider blessing them financially to help them bring home their sweet little man?
  • Click here for more information on helping the Hapners.
  • Click here to watch their adoption video {don't forget the kleenex!}.
  • Click here to donate to their adoption.
  • Click here for more information on Give1Save1.





Monday, January 9, 2012

Guest Bloggin'

Erin Vick Franklin over at Worthy of the Prize contacted me last week and asked if I would be interested in regularly guest posting on her amazing blog!  I'm totally flattered and I LOVE the series I am going to be a part of, so, of course I said YES!!

Today the "formula for change" challenge is being featured...head on over and check it out. 

And, boy, do I have something up my sleeve for my next post {which will be in 4-6 weeks}...stay tuned!! :)

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