Glory Be! She's FREE! We have a new Daughter!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jesus, take the wheel!

I am not so good with letting go and allowing someone else to be in charge. Why?  Maybe I have an authority problem?  I am a control freak?  I like everything in order and on a schedule?  Maybe I have a trust issue?  Here's the plain ol' truth--I like to have my own way!

I am trying so hard to learn to let go and live a NO REGRET LIFE!  It is hard, I question everything!  I take one step forward and then two steps back.  I surrender my issues to God, to only pick them back up again.  I am in a place of uncertainty, restlessness.  

It is my desire to follow Christ and obey his commands.  I just think I need to do it with out complaining or back talking!  (I feel like I am speaking to my children).  This week I am going to try and leave things alone, no messing them with.  I have run out of answers.  I don't have any quick comebacks or comments.  I am frustrated and scared.  I am in water too deep.  But, I am thankful I have a relationship with The One who knows ME, really knows me and LOVES me where I am TODAY!  All messed up and afraid.   Jesus is my fortress, my very present help!   
 
Proverbs 20: 24 "The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?"

"Dear Father,
 I am upset and feel very out of sync right now.    I thought I knew you, really knew you before this adoption process to only realize that I knew nothing.  I am slowly rediscovering your grace and your love.  The things I thought I let go of years ago are staring at me now.   God, I ask you for forgiveness and I  lay these at your feet once again--my inability to trust in something I can't see, allowing you to be the one in control of my life, all consuming worry,  simply just letting go.   Jesus, help me remember that Satan is the father of lies and you are the FATHER OF TRUTH.   I thank you Lord that you have good things planned for my life and for my family.  You have ordained this time and I praise you for the trials.  Let me grow and be confident in your strength.  Even though I don't know when our daughter will be home, you do.  I don't know what is going on with the government in ET, you do. Thank you for the being my rock, help me remember that you are not going to leave me nor will you leave my little sparrow.   Thank you for listening to me when I grumble and complain.   It is my desire to follow you, unashamed and without fear.  I love you, Lord.  Amen"

As I paused to gather my last thoughts, this was spoken to my heart:  

  1. All to Jesus I surrender;
    All to Him I freely give;
    I will ever love and trust Him,
    In His presence daily live.
    • Refrain:
      I surrender all,
      I surrender all;
      All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
      I surrender all.
  2. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Humbly at His feet I bow,
    Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
    Take me, Jesus, take me now.
  3. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
    Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
    Truly know that Thou art mine.
  4. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Lord, I give myself to Thee;
    Fill me with Thy love and power;
    Let Thy blessing fall on me.
  5. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Now I feel the sacred flame.
    Oh, the joy of full salvation!
    Glory, glory, to His Name!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We have a hope!

When we first began our journey to Ethiopia, I felt the Lord giving me a song (while shopping at Marshall's) that was specific to our adoption and to the child that would eventually become our daughter. I have played this over and over and it is one of my favorite songs from my childhood.  Ava's room is done in sparrows as a reminder of the promise God spoke to me.   Today, I have needed this.  God knew how important these words would speak life into me.  I feel like there is hope.  God is watching over us and Ava.  

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged? 
Why should the shadows come? 
Why should my heart feel lonely? 
And long for heaven and home 

When Jesus is my portion 
A constant friend is He 
His eye is on the sparrow 
And I know He watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He over watches me
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches me

I sing because I'm happy 
I sing because I'm free 
His eye is on the sparrow 
And I know He watches me (He watches me) 
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches (I know He watches)
I know He watches me

(I) I sing because I'm happy 
I sing because I'm free 
His eye is on the sparrow 
And I know He watches me (He watches me) 
His eye is on the sparrow
I know, He watches me
He watches me
He watches me
I know
He watches me.

"Thank you Father for watching over our sweet daughter in Ethiopia.  I pray that you would bring peace to our home, restore our faith and release our daughter in YOUR TIMING.  Remind me Lord, that you are sovereign and just.  You have a plan for us and for Ava.  Thank you Lord for the goodness around me and for friends and family that have been an encouragement to us today.   Remind me Father as we wait for a new court date that I do not have to worry or fret over Ava B--she is in your hands.  Your eyes are upon her and Lord I sing because I am happy and Ava will be FREE.   In Your Name--Amen"

We failed Court!

Just got off the phone with Anna Graham with our agency and we failed court. MOWA/Judge would not even look at our case because they did not have the hard copy of our POA. Anna said our case is closed, AWAA will try to secure us a new date. We were prepared mentally for this but still very hard to swallow. I can say without a doubt that I believe God and He is good. His ways are higher than mine. We will believe for MIRACLES to come! Blessings!

Monday, May 25, 2009

TONIGHT is the night!

As we sleep tonight (not sure I will), our case is being presented before a judge in Ethiopia.   We will receive a phone call in the morning, letting us know the results.  

We have done all that we can do.  So we are resting in God's mercy and grace.  Whether we pass court or not, we are confident that He will sustain us.    

If you are awaken tonight, please pray!  

We will post as soon as we know anything.

Blessings!
Kara

Sunday, May 24, 2009

2 days until court!

OH MY GOODNESS!!!

Our court appointment is 2 days away!  I am ready, come what may!

PRAY!  PRAY!  PRAY!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

testing

testing

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Save Me--Gateway Worship

***I encourage you to download this song--it is incredible***

In desperate need of mercy
At the end of my own strength
I fall upon the kindness of Your grace
Lord I know that You are good
You came to rescue me
So please, hear my humble plea

Save me, Lord save me
I have nowhere else to go 
Lord I trust in You alone
To save me, My Savior
I call on Your name
Jesus, save me

Lord I believe, You died to set me free
Lord I believe in You
And I believe, Your blood was shed for me
Lord I believe in You

Save me, Lord save me
I have nowhere else to go
Lord I trust in You alone
To save me, My Savior
I call on Your name
Jesus, save me

Confession among random things

There are so many things swarming in my heart and head.  I am not sure where to start!

First, let me start by saying that I had the best. ever. surprise shower this past weekend.  My sister-in-law is the BEST and along with my husband's family gave our daughter a beautiful "hurry home" party!  My favorite part of the night was the prayer said over our sweet Ava by my brother-in-law, Orlando.  As custom with our family, before any meal, we all (sometimes 20 + people) squeeze in and gather round and pray!  The words he spoke were precious to a momma's heart!  THANKS GUYS!!!  Ava is so loved!

Second, there have been some changes to the Ethiopian program over the last week that makes my heart so incredibly heavy.   There are basically two types of adoption cases:  relinquishment and abandonment.  Our daughter's case is that of relinquishment.  Our daughter is a full orphan, meaning both her biological parents are deceased.  However, her uncle relinquished her.  While this does not directly affect our specific case, it does make the judges move forward with EXTREME CAUTION!  This is good thing!  Part of my rejoices (sort of) that the government of Ethiopia is concerned about their children being released as TRUE orphans.  I am thankful that all is being done in the best interest of the children!   My friend Cindy, describes it best:

"We received an email from our agency saying that due to an unusually high number of abandonment cases, Ethiopia is suspicious of corruption and must do an investigation to make sure agencies are not just saying "abandonment" in order to ease through court and -well - be involved in criminal activity resembling baby trafficking. In order to do that investigation the MOWA is refusing to write "Letters of Recommendation" (which is necessary to present in court in order to have a successful court appointment) for all abandonment cases in Addis Ababa. That means that families who received their referrals 2 and 3 months ago - who have waited all this time for their court date (which many are this week - one was supposed to be last night!) - and who have looked at their baby's faces change and grow as they wait - now cannot received that necessary letter from the MOWA and therefore cannot pass court until this investigation takes place. This in an indefinite delay as we have NO IDEA how long ET will take to do this investigation. There are A LOT of families in complete grief today as they were SO CLOSE to getting through court and getting their babies and now they have NO IDEA when that will happen."

To make sure you know this - it is NOT our agency who is under investigation. It is the entire system. 

Please join me in prayer for the families that are directly impacted by this change.


Lastly, our court date is 13 days away!  I am a bundle emotions... nervous, anxious, scared, excited!  I am fully confident in our agency and their ability to handle our case and I am more confident in the God I serve.  I believe in the deepest part of my soul that Ava is our daughter.  That she is an ordained part of our family.  That her story is a great story, not a story of sadness and defeat but one of hope and VICTORY!  I admit I often struggle with the "unknown."  What really happened in the first two years of her little life, what does she remember, how will she react to another new, scary situation with a family full of white people.  But, I am so reminded of what God has promised me, "Kara, I know the plans I have for you... Jeremiah 29:11.   There are days (like everyday now!)  that I find myself wandering in my thoughts trying to imagine Ava's situation, all that she has been through.  As much as I WANT TO, I cannot fathom the sort of gut wrenching pain she must have endured!  It is humbling to Tulio and I, knowing, that the God of the universe would entrust such a precious, precious gift into our care.  
As we move closer to our court date, I am PLEADING with you to pray for our family.  Things have gone very smoothly for our us.  We really have not had any problems nor hiccups in this process.  International adoption is ever changing.  We may sit in a comfortable place today but the rug can be pulled out from under us tomorrow.  Our family is in DESPERATE NEED of prayer for the following:

1.  All our paperwork would be in the correct order to proceed and travel.

2.  The judge and MOWA would find our case favorable the FIRST time (30 % of all cases do not pass court the first time.)

3.  Ava's birth uncle would arrive in Addis for the court hearing.  He is from another village, very far away and needs to travel and leave his home behind!  We are believing for a MIRACLE for all the details (which we do not know) to make this happen.  Without him present, we will NOT pass court.  Therefore, creating delay after delay.

4.  For Ava's continued safety, protection and health.  In our last update, our agency reported that Ava is very reserved and quite.  Please pray that her reservations and shyness are that of a true personality and that she is not totally frightened!  

5.  Travel plans!  We have some tickets on hold for travel.  Please pray that God will smooth out all travel plans and childcare for Abby and Ben.  We are not too anxious about this but would appreciate the covering over our safety and our children while we are in another land.
***************************************************
Most of you that know me, know how important music is in my life.  It is my heartbeat, the thing that ministers to me most.  During the last couple of weeks there has been a CD that has capture my attention and is getting me through the most difficult moments.  It is by
Gateway Worship-Wake Up the World.   {My friend, Jill Brewer, directed the choir for this project.  Jill and I go waaaay back to Colleyville, TX. where our husbands' were on staff at the same church.   What a great family!!!  Love and miss them.}  There are two specific songs that speak so directly to me:   We Cry Out and Save Me.  WOW!!!  Super powerful.  I am going to download them to my blog for you to enjoy.  Thanks Gateway for being led by the spirit in worship!  

Love you all!
K




Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Miracles are happening!

WOW!!!  The army of God has come together once again!  Why not give a gift in honor of your mother and help save a baby's life...TODAY!!!  Thank you to those of you that have heard the call and given so far.  Blessings, Kara

Miracles Are Happening for Children's Hope Chest Formula Drive!

Thank you Kari Gibson for the update.... Here's what Kari shared on her blog today:

Spread the word...we're at $6110 as of 10:30am this morning!
Lets keep donating for the valuable formula for Ethiopia babies!!!! The goal is to raise $12,500 by mother's day!!
Formula miracles today:)



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Will YOU answer the CALL???

Friends and Family,

I implore you to read the following post with an open heart.  I also encourage you to ACT on behalf of these babies.  You may never go to a foreign land and you may never feel the urging of the holy spirit to open your home and heart to an orphan.  BUT!!!  YOU can make a difference in the life of a child.  YOU can be the hands and feet of Jesus from your own home.

Famine and poverty are increasing the rates of malnourished infant babies in Ethiopia. Children's HopeChest has worked with the America World Adoption Agency (AWAA) on projects in Ethiopia and Russia over the past five years. This request came to us from their transition home where they are receiving severely malnourished babies into their care. This month, in honor of mother's day, I want to raise $12,500 to provide specialized baby formula to this transition home for these malnourished babies.


A malnourished baby cries in his mother's lap at the Médecins Sans Frontières intensive care unit near the southern town of Sheshemene. Radu Sigheti/Reuters. [Tom's Note: This is not a child from AWAA's transition home.]

Here's a view from the ground from Duni, an Ethiopian woman working for AWAA at their transitional home:

Even though I grew up in Ethiopia, I never knew just how badly babies suffered from malnutrition until I returned to Addis and started working at the AWAA office there.   The children at our Transitional Home come from very remote areas. Their families are unable to feed themselves let alone their children and usually relinquish them to their local orphanage when it becomes evident their children will die if they don't.

It is hard to see malnourished babies, so tiny, with just skin and bones. I remember the first one I saw, we will call her Gracie. She looked like an old woman in a baby's body. She had big eyes that seemed so wise and testified to what they have seen in the short months Gracie has been alive. 

That was a few months ago, since then we have admitted many more babies in such condition.  And looking at Gracie today, I can't believe she is the same baby. I knew she was a beauty but it really came out once those cheeks filled up. She is still tiny but the pound she has gained in the past week has made a world of difference in her appearance. 

I look at the others and feel the same way I first felt with Gracie, dejection and fear that she may never make it.  The right type of formula for such babies is hard to come by. In fact any kind of formula is expensive and hard to come by. We have babies who need this today so we work tirelessly to get the best formula possible for malnourished babies shipped from the US.

It is not fair for a baby to have sad eyes like Gracie's or for a baby to cry out of hunger and not have that need met.

Worse yet, it is not fair for a baby to die because of malnutrition. And yet, that is what happens daily in Ethiopia.   Today, I am praying for the babies lying still in their cribs. I am praying I will see them feed soon (they are now on feeding tubes). I am praying that their tiny lifeless legs will slowly fill with flesh and will wiggle and play like normal babies do. 

Here's what we can do to help. CHC will raise $12,500 to purchase what is known in the U.S. as "Nutramigen" formula. This type of formula is necessary because traditional formula cannot be digested by malnourished infants.

You can participate by making a gift of any size. A gift of $30 will buy and ship one can of formula to the chidlren in need. Right now if you give $30 it will be doubled to $60! The first $500 we raise will be matched dollar-for-dollar. If we hit our goal, we can send 400 cans of formula to starving infants in Ethiopia.

PRECIOUS LIVES WILL BE SAVED THROUGH YOUR GENEROSITY!  

CLICK HERE TO DONATE! Please put "Ethiopia Formula" in the note section of the donate page.