Growth...of our our walk with all things to worship HIM!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our Adoption Story

Our adoption story has been a miraculous sprint, 
an outpouring of God's faithfulness,
and the love and support of 
family, friends, and adoption minded people around the world!!
If you are new to grown2worship 
and do not know how we started this particular journey...
you can find out here Ready...Set..Go

We began our journey to our three boys (ages 17, 11, and 9) on January 10th of this year.  
Homestudy complete February 20th.
Dossier to the Philippines March 20th.
 800A (immigration clearance) arrived April 12th.  
 May 8th officially matched with our boys!!!!
May 16th referral arrived.
June 4th legals arrived and overnighted 800 and 864 to immigration.
(we are waiting for 800 clearance, 
and passport, visa, and medical appointments to be able to travel to our sons)

To some this timeline may seem normal, or mean nothing at all.  
To us...this is a testimony of God's amazing plan for our family!!!

In the midst of distractions 
(Hubby's surgery, water damage to our home, broken washer, broken dishwasher, 
multiple flat tires, broken toilet, broken lawn mower, car trouble...) 
regardless of circumstances...
the adoption timeline continued to race forward. 

And as the enemy of our soul sent continuous costly distractions
 that prevented us from paying adoption fees...
Our heavenly father opened flood gates of provision
and provided EVERY PENNY of our agency and international fees
exactly when we needed it!!!!

For these boys we have prayed!!
For these boys we walk in faith!!
For these boys we open our hearts and love much!!

If you have met me, follow me on Facebook, or read my sporadic blog posts
You cannot miss my heart for adoption.  
It is NOT because I am good, and NOT because I am something special!!!
And it is NOT because we have had romantic, easy adoptions!!!

Christ has birthed this passion in our hearts
HE brings the orphan to his/her forever family!!!
He shows grace in the hard times
and heals the broken hearted!!

People are astonished that we would adopt three boys at the same time.
Then tell them that one will turn 18 soon after arriving home...
yep, folks stand with bug eyes and jaws dropped. 

At times it is difficult to explain God's will for our family.
It is hard for folks to wrap their brain around the concept of 
downsizing to feed more children.  

Well bloggy friends...
it is like this.  

The more we seek Christ,
the more we ask HIM to grow us in HIS image,
the more we ask HIM to break our hearts for what breaks HIS...

 We are more willing to trust him for the miraculous,
we can better love even when it is painful,
and we can walk forward even when we have no idea how it could possibly happen!

We know without a doubt that these three treasures are our sons!
Not because we have met them, or even spoken to them yet. 
We know because we have prayed.
We know because we asked Christ to open or close doors.
We know because our agency should have said no...the ICAB should have said no...
quit frankly, our bank account said no:)

But God does not need or rely on our abilities.  
And he certainly does not need an overflowing bank account.  
HE can take our mustard seed faith
stretch it
grow it
and transform it into more than we could hope for or imagine!

We are so very privileged to parent these silly geese,
and we are soooo very anxious to bring the next three treasures that God has chosen for us!!!

I stare at their faces on my computer screen, 
praying for Christ to prepare their hearts.

I wonder if my oldest son has a husky voice 
when his Filipino laced English greets me for the first time?? 

Does my second to youngest son wear his show stopping smile often,
 or does he reserve that for the camera?? 

Does my youngest son like to giggle as his eyes suggest, 
or does he take life a bit more seriously??

Will they want hugs from their mama as much as I long to give them...
or will I need to find different ways to show my unconditional love to them??

I may not have all the answers
but I do know that they are wanted, treasured, and loved!
I know they are worth the hard

Christ has given us the privilege of being HIS hands and feet in the lives of HIS children.
We are blessed with a front row seat as God transforms beauty from ashes in each of our lives!!

I could never do enough to earn that privilege...
HE gives it freely.

We just need to be willing to exercise faith...and step out!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Catching up...a photo review!

Where oh where has the time gone??  

I have not written a post on here in what feels like forever!  
But as that last post from months ago shared...I am going to show myself grace:)  

How to sum up the past few months?  
Glorious, hard, exhilarating, humbling, priceless...

In this season once again Christ is stretching us, growing us, and taking us to new areas of praise.  

I am so very humbled to be married to this amazing man of God!  
He teaches us much about trusting our Savior and selflessly giving of his time and talents.  

He is not one to complain and has an amazing tolerance for pain.  
But my love was walking around with a bone spur you could hang a hat on, 
and bone fragments around his big toe caused by not having cartilage left in the joint.  
Add gout to the issue and he was in some serious pain.  

In March, surgery was necessary.  
If you have to go to the hospital with someone, my love is the guy to be there with!  
He was like a little boy playing with all the gadgets pre op, 
and had myself and the nurses rolling with laughter post op.  

We could not keep him down long!  The very next day he was setting up a work station at home!

He was a hard man to keep down, but we did get him out from time to time:)

Then, we celebrated a forever family day for our youngest baby girl.  
I simply cannot believe it has been 8 years already!!!!  
God is so very faithful and we are extremely thankful HE brought this treasure into our lives!!

Our girls were part of fine arts competition this year.  

Mélika participated in worship competition, 

and both girls were part of the human video team.

The all did a fabulous job and we are very proud of their efforts!!!!

We were blessed to have family in town for Easter again this year!!  
Although I dropped the ball and didn't get photos dressed up for church...
we did take a few of the creative way the kids had to work for their egg hunt.  

 Then this mama did something I never thought I would accomplish.  
I have always dreamed of doing a triathlon!
I was encouraged by a dear friend that took her health back and became an athlete.  
For my 40th birthday, my oldest baby girl gave me a very sacrificial gift...
she offered to train and compete with me in a sprint triathlon!!  

The pool was freezing!!!  

We rocked out the pool 

and were sooo very excited to move on to the bike!!!

then the run.

Our goals were to finish, not to walk, and not be last:)
I never dreamed of finishing 62 out of 168 women!!!  
It is time to sign up for the next race!!

Then, because we are suckers for a cute face...we got another puppy!
Just look at those legs...she is going to be a horse:)

Our Tucker boy tolerates her and they romp and play MUCH!!

We had a quarter auction fundraiser the beginning of May for our adoption!!
God is so very amazing and we were so very humbled and blessed 
by the generosity of those who donated and those who participated!!!

The next morning the girls and I got up bright and early to participate in a Warrior Run 
to raise money for missions.
They made the old lady wear the team number.

And we travel with out own paparazzi!!

It was a 4.6 mile run with 18 obstacles.  
We waded through chest deep quicksand like mud, over tractor tires and walls, under bridges and wires on our bellies...
but as we slid to the finish they washed much of our mud off:(

But we finished strong...

and were still smiling at the end!!

What a tremendous blessing to spend Mother's Day with this bunch!!!!

Someone had a 14th birthday!!
All he asked for was to have the largest burger we could make him.  Steph cut him off at 2 pounds!!

Aaron LOVES fishing and has recently discovered fly fishing.
The boys went to a free clinic to see how to cast.
Aaron caught the first fish.

 And this is how he felt about getting his very own fly fishing pole for his birthday!!

Our children are growing far too fast for this mama's taste!

And somehow...right before my eyes...this one completed her high school career!!

I look forward to sharing in future posts about the next steps for our oldest baby girl
the amazing adventures of this adoption journey we have been on!!!!