Friday, December 28, 2012

While We Wait - Gifts

I'm not going to lie.  I (Kelley) have been weepy more than once during the Christmas holidays as my heart has longed for our girl.  When we first got on the waiting list with our agency, we were told by our caseworker that she expected us to receive a referral in 3 to 4 months.  Here we are almost 12 months later...with no referral.

Some of you wonder how we can already love a child we do not know.  I know you think this....because some of you have asked.  And the only explanation that I have is....God.  We love (her) because He first loved (us).  He placed us on this journey and, already, He has instilled a love in our hearts for our daughter.

And as our families gathered this Christmas season, I often found myself on the verge of tears (or in tears) as her absence with us for another holiday weighed heavily on my heart.

But God, as He is always so very faithful to do, gave me/us the gift of SO many reminders of His great love for us.  And for our "LG" (Little Girl).

We received physical gifts like these.......that let us know that she was in the hearts of others:

We received precious notes in books soon to be hers....reminding her that she is loved and prayed for.
(This one, by the way, was a tear jerker for me).

Prayers were prayed for her as we gathered at mealtime; sweet prayers but painful reminders that one of us was missing in our (daily) lives but not in our hearts.

And at times when I needed the reminder(s), sweet friends randomly sent messages through cards, calls, Facebook or text messages reminding me that we were being thought of, prayed for and loved.  Messages like this:  "You certainly do not have to worry that she is being covered in prayer...y'all too, I have no doubt".  And this:  "When you get sad and your faith feels weak, you can rest in knowing others are standing in the gap for you".  Messages reminding us that loved ones were thinking of "our little pink boots" and how they SOON would be filled.  Reminders to "hang in there; it's going to be SO worth the wait".  I'm so very thankful for ALL of these gifts, for a loving and faithful Gift Giver who, through the Holy Spirit, reminds others to remind us that we are not forgotten....and when I say "we", of course I mean "SHE". 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012 - Thinking of Mary

I guess this is what happens when you're a Mom but, more and more, when I reflect on Christmas and the ultimate gift we've been given in Jesus, I can't help but go to a place where my mind wanders to Mary, his mother.

One of my favorite Christmas tunes has always been "Mary Did You Know" and I do still love the message in that song but, this year, it was replaced by a new one (to me) by Francesca Battistelli.  Her song, "You're Here" has been my personal favorite this Christmas season.  If you haven't heard it, take a minute and listen to the words.  As parents, we never know, when we stare into the eyes of our children who they are ultimately to be.   

Like Mary, I've been given the precious gift of my children and I often wonder what it is that God has planned for them.  It can be exciting and scary all at the same time.  Mary surely didn't want to witness the journey that her boy had to take and, though it doesn't compare, I too have had to watch my boys experience hard life lessons.  (And I'm certain that there will be many more).

Today, as I reflect on how thankful I am for the birth of Jesus Christ, I can't help but be thankful for each of my children.  For our oldest, Jordan, who has matured so much in the last year or so.  He is no longer a boy but a Godly young man with so much wonder for history, music and travel; he continually impresses his Dad and I.  For our soon-to-be middle child who has had almost 15 years in the "baby" spot.  Braeden is such a creative teenager, a talented musician, a loyal friend and has the most sensitive heart.  And to our baby girl, whose eyes we've not yet stared into.....tears build just beyond the surface of my eyes today as you are thought of and loved from so far away.  Our sweet family has remembered you in thought, in conversation and with gifts this Christmas season and we all look SO forward to loving you in person soon.  

God has a GREAT plan for each of you....and we are so eager to see it unfold in your lives.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

While We Wait - So Close & Yet So Far

It was about this time last year that we posed for our annual Christmas cards wearing our newly designed/produced Adoption T-Shirts.  And as I penned our (not always) annual Christmas letter, I used that forum to announce that we were adopting.  At the time, we had just recently sent our dossier on its way to Ethiopia and we were so certain that this year's picture would include our little girl.

(November 2011 - Photo Credit to Jeff Williams and the camera's timer:)

As Thanksgiving 2012 approached and I began to think about this year's card/letter, I knew that we had to include her somehow.

And what represents life with girls more than a little PINK?

I not only wanted to have her present through the color pink but I also wanted to honor her country and make note of the fact that she's so close but yet so far away.  

(November 2012 - Photo credit to Emily Drake Photography)

We are SO very hopeful that those little boots will be filled in 2013!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


God has been impressing upon me for several days that there is something that I am to say here on this blog.

When a child is adopted, they become a member of a new family.  They are given a new identity, a new name, a new home, a new opportunity and, eventually, a new inheritance.

Adoption into God's family is all of that and SO much more.

If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you have become a son or a daughter.  You are a priceless treasure in the eyes of your Heavenly Father.  You did nothing to deserve it, you can do nothing to earn it.  It is free, it is final; you are forgiven.  He adopted you and you are now His.

If you have not (accepted Christ as your Savior), what are you waiting for?

The price has already been paid.  Forgiveness is yours for the taking.  Please, don't wait one more day to become a child of God.  His son.  His daughter.  Our family.