Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Well, I haven't really blogged lately.  Obviously.  Why?  Well, ever hear the saying "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all", yep it was better for me to remain silent than to give voice to the negativity filling my brain.  These last 6 months have been hard.  And when I say hard, I mean gut wrenching, sobbing, losing my mind kind of hard.  There have been so many things out of our control, and the fact that Isabel should have been home for at least six months already still makes my stomach hurt.

HOWEVER, we currently have tentative dates to go before the Thailand Dept of Social Welfare November fifth.  That means in 5 weeks 5 days we will finally be with our daughter.  So everything that has happened in between can just fade into the background.  I'm holding onto the fact that despite everything, this is the time appointed by God for our daughter to come into our family.  Despite how I have felt, despite everything being out of control, despite the fact that nothing has happened according to time lines we were given, it is now His timing and His plans that are coming into being.  I want to look back on all of this and remember that there was some pain, sadness, and frustration but for that to be overshadowed by the fact that He is always on time and He carried us through this very rough period.  About 6 months ago we challenged our young peoples group to enter into a deeper prayer walk with God, by praying the Tabernacle Prayer.  During one part of the prayer we encouraged them to pray the word, if they didn't know where to turn to simply open the bible and begin prayerfully reading wherever it opened.  Here is what mine opened up to. Isaiah 60:4&5 Lift up your eyes all around and see; they all gather together they come to you; your sons shall come from afar and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.  Then shall you see and become radiant and your heart shall swell with joy.  As a word of encouragement to anyone reading this who is in the trenches of waiting.  Hold on.  In the end we will see and joy shall replace the sadness.  Since that prayer, I've had to hold onto that promise, that no matter how long it takes or what hoops we have to jump through she is coming home, and the radiance of that moment will fill the darkness with joy.  I'm SO excited that it is finally happening that some days I feel like I'm going to burst.

So here is just a few pictures of the past few months including our latest pics of Isabel.

                                                     A little family time in Minnesota                  


Growing so beautiful. She weighs 28 lbs and is 34 inches tall, this is an 18 month outfit from us
.  She turns three in November. Holding onto the book we had translated into Thai
Wherever You Are

First Day of School

Hoping they fit

Yes, we are also building a house...hoping to move in before we go to Thailand
Swim Days

Doing a little camping with man's best friends

A decade of Ian

Ian's Birthday Letter at 10

Ten years ago they laid you in my arms, and I knew that instantaneous love of a mama for her boy.  You have always kept us on our toes, and I don't expect that to change anytime soon.  You are ALL energy and keeping up takes quite a bit of effort.  At ten years old this is what best defines you:

Sports, sports, sports.  You are one competitive little guy.  If there is no one available to throw a baseball or football to you, you simply do it for yourself.  We have video of you playing football all by yourself, for over 5 min, during which time you make the calls of the quarterback, block the rusher, and play wide receiver to run the ball in for a touch down.  Because your mom is also a Physical Therapist, she won't let you play tackle foot ball until 7 th grade (hey, it was Archie Mannings idea and obviously worked out ok for Peyton and Eli), however you are constantly trying to talk me into 6th grade.  You enjoy baseball too, and are currently working on your catching and pitching skills.  In fact, you received your first catcher's mitt for your birthday this year.

Games, yep, you are a gamer.  Your favorites are skylanders, clash of clans, and minecraft.  If you are not playing the games you love to make dramas with the figurines, complete with sound effects.  I like to think you get your dramatic skills from me:)

P.E.is still, and most likely will always be, your favorite part of school.  You do like math, and if you have to pick which homework to do for the week first, it's always math.

Pizza is your most requested food.  And like most 10 year olds you don't turn down any candy.  You are not big on cake but bring on the ice cream!

You will hold my hand whenever we are out, and on occasion still climb up into my lap for a story, even though you recently started reading chapter books (you really like Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

As for the future, your big plans are for the NFL, and we have a lot of conversations deliberating on which team you will play for, that is if for some crazy reason the Vikings don't draft you.  However, your heart is so sensitive to Jesus.  We have prayed together many times and you have already wept with the love the Lord has showered down on you.  I believe He has big plans to use you for His kingdom and I'm praying every day that your heart remains as sensitive always as it is now.

Happy Birthday buddy, we love you.


                                    Your Birthday at the Jackson High School Football Game
                                                 Buddies:  Trey, Josh, Tyler, and Grant

                                   Ice Cream Football Cake                 Brownie Cake

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I'm the Mom of a Teenager

Peyton's Birthday Letter At 13

Whoa!  When did it happen?  It is so difficult to fathom that my baby boy, my first born is thirteen years old.
I am so proud of you son.  You are growing so tall, taller than me, and your voice is deepening into maturity. And we are starting to have real conversations, I mean the serious ones like dreams and goals, priorities and plans.  Here are just a few things about you at thirteen, I want to always remember.

You still love to read.  We are starting to read some of the same books, and it connects us in a way that I cherish.

You like hot tea.  You prefer black, but since its caffienated you drink more herbal teas, your fave is Apple Spice (because yes too much caffeine is not a good thing!)

You can't wait to be old enough to go on a Missions trip.  Fifteen is the magic number and you are counting down the years. I could not be prouder that this is on your list of things you want to do.

You currently see robotics or computer engineering in your future, and talk about working for NASA like its a sure thing.  Your grades reflect your intelligence, but you really don't study too hard...your brain is still absorping info like a sponge with no sign of running out of space.

You like cool cars, and these are convos you have with your daddy...I can't even begin to try to write which ones you really like.  Very limited knowledge in your mother!

You have become a fish.  You are on a swim team, Cape County Castaways and are breaking your personal records every meet.

You also have discovered pole vaulting.  You tried track team this year and pole vaulting has become your thing.  I'm not nervous about this at all.

Your smile melts my heart, and I still see my little boy hidden in those eyes.  I know we have some craziness ahead of us, but don't ever question or forget how much I love you.  Dad too!


                                       You had a swim party with a lot of your buddies to celebrate!


Let's Party

I had the most fun, most beautiful, most fabulous little girl shower ever.  I can't even tell you how much fun it was to laugh and eat and laugh with all my friends and family in celebration for Isabel's soon home coming.  They say a picture says a thousand words, so I'm just going to post a ton of them because there is no way I can express how amazing my friends and family are.


And then I got to go home and get Isabel's room ready, really ready for her to come home.

Wherever you are, my love will find you.

Really I need to write multiple posts, and have been meaning to but at this point...it ain't happenin'.  So here's what's up in a nutshell.  Things are moving as slow as molasses, but after not moving at all we will take it.  Two families have received first approval last month, which is huge after months of nothing.  We are hopeful we will receive our approval next month which would allow us to travel by August, hopefully.  At this point though things are so mixed up and not going by any of the norms that we just don't know. Most of the time I'm at peace and we have been so screaming busy that I don't have time to think.  Until I get an update, another update, with pictures showing us how much she is growing up without us. (Insert tears, anger, frustration, and bittersweet joy)  She is still itty bitty, only weighing 24 lbs and is 2 feet 8 in. tall (5th percentile for weight and height.)  Our report indicated that the social worker is working on preparing her for separation from her foster family, and that her foster mother lets her look at our pictures every day and talks to her about her family (insert more tears).  I hate that it is taking so long, I hate seeing her one year older from the time we were blessed to know we would be her parents, it just plain stinks.  My faith is stretching and I'm clinging to promises, but stretching is painful and clinging is hard work.  I just want her to know that if it was in our power we would have been on a plane a year ago.  Goodness she is so beautiful.

We also sent another care package.  In her hands in one of the photos she is holding one of the picture albums we sent her.  I so hope these care packages are connecting her to us, it's all we can do.  Tears, prayer, and love are squeezed into every ziploc.  In this one we sent the book, Wherever you are, my love will find you, with a Thai translation. And we mean it, every word.  Wherever and however long it takes our love will find you and bring you home.