Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Heart Update

The decision has been made! Therese will have open heart surgery on May 11th to correct her heart defect- coarctation of the aorta. It will be done at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL by Dr. Ilbawi.

Casey and I had to go through a laborious decision making process to determine what method should be used to correct her heart defect, which surgeon and which hospital. How crazy is it that PARENTS have to make these life altering decisions? In the end, we will be at the same hospital that has time and again saved Carter's life and with the same surgeon. We are comfortable there and have great relationships with the staff. We are so grateful to have such wonderful medical care available to us and we are thrilled to share it with Therese.

"Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me." Psalm 30:2

My prayer this morning is for Therese's birth mother. For a woman who had a child she could not keep. I feel such a glorious obligation to her. I want her to know that her prayers are being answered. How many times did she cry out for her daughter to be healed? How many times did she wish for help that did not come?

We can not imagine how God is answering our prayers, the cries of our hearts. We may not see it, but He is moving. We may only hear silence, but He is orchestrating. I think of the work He started in my heart long ago, in order to bring me to say, "yes" to adopting this girl. I am in awe of His plan. He HEARS us! He ANSWERS prayer! He USES us!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Make a Difference

These girls are so valuable, but do they know it?

Asseta (above) is 14 years old. She a young teen living in Burkina Faso with her uncle's family. Her home does not have electricity or running water. When she is not in school, she helps in her family's peanut and millet fields.

Micheline (below) is also 14 years old. Micheline lives with her grandmother and she hasn't seen her parents since age four.

Both girls attend the same school my daughter, Therese, used to attend before we adopted her. Both girls need sponsors so that they can keep attending school.

Would you consider sponsoring one of these precious girls? Your sponsorship of $35 per month would provide basic food, clothing, medical care and educational needs. You will able to exchange letters with your sponsored child. This exchange will help your sponsored child to know that she is loved and valued and provide her with hope for her future.

If one of these girls touches your heart, please let me know and I'd be happy to send you more information. If you are interested in sponsoring a child in another part of the world, check out the Compassion International widget on the right side of my blog. Child sponsorships are vital to breaking the cycle of poverty. Be a part of it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blog Business

A few of my sweet readers, okay, maybe just my mom, have asked if they can get my blog posts through email. Well, now you can! Mom, scroll down past the cute pictures of my "followers" and click on the thing that says follow by email.

Love you!

Friday, March 18, 2011

3 Months Home, Part II

I truly can't believe that three months have passed since our time in Burkina Faso. I think this is my favorite picture from our trip. These precious sisters bonded right from the start. They are walking to church- to worship the Lord together. The same Lord, who from the time He laid the foundations of the earth, knew that someday, they would be sisters.

Can you tell they swapped dresses that morning?

A sister is a gift to the heart,
a friend to the spirit,
a golden thread to the meaning of life.
-Isadora James

3 Months Home

Praise God- Therese has been home for 3 months! I hope you can read this sweet note Therese wrote one night when she was supposed to be sleeping (but I don't mind a bit!).

"God sets the lonely in families."
Psalm 68:6a

Oh yes, He does!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I'm Reading

I love to read. I have a habit of reading about 6-10 non-fiction books at any given time, and usually one fiction book, as well. I wish I could concentrate on just one thing at a time, but why fight against who I am? In fact, I am looking for a good work of fiction right now. If you have any recommendations, I'm listening.

One book that I highly recommend to any married person is Paul David Tripp's, What Did You Expect?

Forgive the cheesy cover, because it is full of wisdom for any marriage. Even if you are not currently struggling in your marriage, I still whole heartedly recommend this to you. It will challenge you in all your relationships.

The biggest idea I've taken away from the book so far is to view my husband's shortcomings as opportunities to minister to him. My normal response to any fault of my husband's is to only see how it inconveniences me. But to choose to give up my selfishness and instead focus on not only forgiving him, but helping him through it, is frankly, revolutionary!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We are Grafted In

Today I have the privilege to be a guest blogger at We Are Grafted In. If you are an adoptive parent or considering becoming one, you would benefit by reading the stories you will find there. You may already have read my post, The Pout, but stop by and check out all the other great postings!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fun Friday!

Cousin It?

Tina Turner?
It's hard to believe if we hadn't adopted, we would have missed all this!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hope Springs

Every Spring since I can remember, my mom and I have been on the lookout for the first robin of the season. When that first robin is spotted, we write the date on our calendar and call each other with the good news. Usually, we see our first robin between March 3-12th. That first robin symbolizes hope. Hope of Spring. Hope of New Life. A glorious fresh start.

Around mid-February, I had experienced several disappointments, some small, one large. I was having trouble shaking that feeling of disappointment and I know that if you let disappointment sink into your soul, it quickly turns to bitterness and despair. I reflected on this quote:

The many contradictions in our lives - such as being home while feeling homeless, being busy while feeling bored, being popular while feeling lonely, being believers while feeling many doubts - can frustrate, irritate, and even discourage us. They make us feel that we are never fully present. Every door that opens for us makes us see how many more doors are closed. But there is another response. These same contradictions can bring us into touch with a deeper longing for the fulfillment of a desire that lives beneath all desires and that only God can satisfy. Contradictions, thus understood, create the friction that can help us move toward God.

Henri J. M. Nouwen
from "Bread for the Journey"

I needed God to remind of me of his grace, his very specific grace for me. I asked him to fill up the hurting areas of my heart with his love. And then I dared to ask him for a tangible sign of his love for me. I felt very conflicted asking for this because I do already know that he loves me and he has already shown me in so many beautiful ways. How could I dare ask for more?

A few minutes after praying this prayer, I ran out my back door and was off to my women's Bible study. As I stepped off the back stoop I was startled when 12 robins flew out of the nearby snow covered bushes! 12! robins! on February 15th!

God is interested in our healing. He never disappoints. He can teach is how to live fully in the face of life's disappointments. He even cares about our joy factor. He cares for us.

I Peter 5:7

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."