Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Pictures!

It's that time of year.

I love the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been favorites in my book, partly because of the way that we celebrated it as a kid, and partly because of what they have come to mean to me as an adult.

Thanksgiving has always been a warm time with good friends. This year we had to make new traditions and while it was great to welcome new friends into our home, missing the old ones made the day bittersweet. But we are still thankful: God has blessed us in incredible ways. Beyond the "expected" thank-ings, I have unexpected ones: a writing partner, a son who asked Jesus into his heart, a grant towards our adoption.

As we have moved beyond Thanksgiving into the Christmas season, I always appreciate the opportunity to think about Christ and his amazing love: that he would sacrifice so much for me, for us.

To commemorate, we take the obligatory family Christmas picture for the Christmas card. This should not be a cause for great concern, unless you are part of this family.

  • Have I ever mentioned that I do not take great pictures?
  • Did you know that my son is missing so many teeth across the front of his mouth that he can't really smile?
  • Have you ever tried to make OG sit still, even for 1 minute?
  • Luckily, I have one girl who loves the camera: any chance to pose is a golden one for her. And Eric always looks good in pictures.

Out of all the pictures we took, this one is my favorite. It is the one that I think best represents our family.

Unfortunately, I didn't win the discussion and this one is not the picture for our annual Christmas card. I bet the picture would have been better if I hadn't have been tickling J & OG.

Oh well, just wait until you see which one won!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Our Sunday meal from The Orphan's Table. A meal similar to many eaten by orphans and impoverished people around the world. Did we like it? Not really. . .but it gives us good perspective.

Yesterday was the first time that I felt the burden of waiting for our kids. It was just a pit in the bottom of my stomach, but it was there and it was un-quietable. We are at the point in our process where we simply have to wait--wait for governments to do what they do, wait for our kids to be found, wait for them to be checked out (medically and orphan status), wait for money to be earned, set-aside, and raised.

Wait, wait, wait.

And usually I am quite okay with waiting. I don't mind being patient. I have a full life and kids and a husband and a house I can barely keep clean and school and writing.

But yesterday, for the first time, life just felt a bit emptier without them. And I don't even know who they are yet.

I am not despairing. I am just putting words to my feelings.

The feelings I naturally have toward getting these kids home have been intensified by the fact that today is Orphan Sunday. It's a day to remember and pray for the millions of children around the world without parents, homes, food, clothes, security. It's a day for Christians to stand up for the defenseless and love on the fatherless.

I spoke in front of my church today about Orphan Sunday--and I was a nervous wreck. How do I communicate the calling that God has given each of us to care for the orphan? How do I not make it about me or my family or any other family, but instead about these kids--who deserve love and homes? How do I honor God the most with my words?

Thinking about these things have kept me up at night. Let me tell you, there is very little that keeps me up at night. But orphans and their plight: well, they bother me. They bother my heart, they cause me to be uncomfortable, to itch for action, to do something. I want them to be loved, I want to love them.

But right now, I'm supposed to wait. And it makes me want to cry.

I think I'm supposed to raise awareness, to talk about uncomfortable things, to challenge people to take a step. I would much rather wrap my arms around a child and read them stories and play games and sing songs.

I want to wrap my arms around my kids. To bring them home.

But I will wait, knowing that until, and even after we bring them home, God has His great, big, all-encompassing arms around them. And me.