Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Declaring His Faithfulness

So I'm not gonna lie...this has been a difficult season for the me personally--overall life is going fantastic, however, going through this adoption process has been challenging to me personally on many levels. Instead of continuing to stay where I have been the past several months, I am determined to declare God's faithfulness in this process! I record the "bullet points" below to help me remember all of the things that God has orchestrated just in this process--If you had told me two and a half years ago that we would be here (not physically, but emotionally & spiritually) I would not have believed you!

"I AM THE LORD. Is there anything too difficult for me?" Jeremiah 32:27

  • Providing an open door for our family to have more space. 2 years ago we decided we were out of space in our previous home. The bank told us we had no other options. But God had already planned for Tom and Joy's home to be 'relatively' vacant and of course He knew that Tom would continue to receive out of town job offers. He's provided me with the best in-laws ever who have opened their home to us, their grown children --and their grand children. It has been a blessing for us. 
  • A shift in thinking. After we decided to move, the relief of tight quarters and tight finances got our silly minds off of ourselves and more on the wonderful way that God had blessed us and showed us that we had more and more love to give to our children and to others. We determined that what we have (our family, our time, our treasures, our talents) are not just for us. 
  • An open heart to adoption. I think it's safe to say that 2 years ago when we barely had another housing option, adoption was a pipe dream. Removing the strain of needing more space and the vast ability to save money during this time freed our hearts and mind to draw closer to those who are closest to Jesus' heart (the orphan, the poor, the widow). 
  • A vehicle. After we decided to open our hearts to adoption and follow God's leading, we knew one of our first hurdles would be a new vehicle... God provided a giant car for us that will adequately fit several more children...for only $800. out of pocket. 
  • Adoption funds. Adoption is expensive and it's hard to wrap our minds around that. We originally committed our budget to save "first" for the adoption and second for the house. After much prodding by some close friends & the adoption agency, our hearts were more open to asking our friends and family to help us with our costs. We asked for half of what we needed to fund the adoption. God provided double what we asked. Talk about confirmation for our obedience! (some day I'll write a post just about this)
  • Changing of hearts. There have been some folks whom we love dearly that were confused about our choice of asking for our community to help fund our adoption. It's completely understandable! Unbeknownst to us, they struggled and struggled with this issue to the point that they were feeling a wedge between us...One day during their prayer/devotion time they said it was like a lightening bolt hit their house and their hearts did a complete 180 and they gave generously and with joy. Furthermore, they confessed their struggle to Owen and I and restored the relationship which is more valuable than anything! 
  • Uniting our family. Something that is such a blessing has happened over the past 14 months--our family, both Owen and I and the children are united in our hearts. It's something supernatural happening that our hearts are drawn together to pray for one common thing (our baby) every.single.day. The kids do it. I do it and most days I remind Owen to do it (he get's a pass on this one ya'll). My children have seriously prayed for this baby and hopefully any day now we can say to our kids, "Look! This is the baby that you have prayed for! God has answered your prayer". Talk about a hands on lesson. 
These are AMAZING things. What blows my mind is that this baby we long for is not even born yet (that we know of)...we do not know if this baby is even conceived (but pray daily that s/he is!) But God is already using all of these things to Declare His Faithfulness. He is already using this baby's story to shape our hearts and the hearts of those around us. Some may say that these things are just circumstances and just the way that things worked out--but I have had too many miraculous instances similar to these in my life to throw this to happenstance. God has a plan. He has a purpose. He is Sovereign over all of these tiny details and orchestrates every aspect of our lives. 

This waiting aspect of adoption is very hard. Through my crying out to God (literally) my heart has been turned to another mama that's on the other side of the waiting. As our waiting time draws to a close (hopefully), there is a birth mom who is agonizing during this time for another reason...her days with her child are quickly speeding away. My heart aches for this. There are no words to describe the conflict and silliness of my waiting when I consider her waiting. Please pray for our birth mom during this time! We pray that in the months to come we can learn our birth mom's story and help her Declare His Faithfulness during this difficult time in her life (albeit confidentially!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The post with a lot of pictures...

Our family went to Sacramento this past month to enjoy some time away from the heat...only it was the hottest week on record in Sacramento in a long time...haha for us. 

We drove which was another special thing. The trip there was fine...driving home was painful. We made it though and it was fun all in all

Here are the photo highlights. 
Hanging with the cousins

My dad trying to pass on his addiction to CamoGear! 

Hanging out with my dad in his beautiful backyard celebrating his retirement! 

My dad's handy work

Strike a pose.

This is my favorite picture of the week.

 This picture is special...I haven't seen my grandpa in about 2 years...I don't know that I have seen him as I remember him since I got married. He has dementia. He kept telling me how much he loved me--he had never told me that before. I soaked it all up. He also kept asking me, "Now which one of those children is named 'Clara'?" I told him it was my daughter. He'd say, "That's my mom's name." I would tell him that I knew that and that is who she is named after--to which he would reply, "that's the sweetest thing I've ever heard.". I will treasure that.
 I also go to see my junior high and early high school youth pastor. We had kept in contact through college, but I lost touch with her after I got married. This woman does not age. She looks exactly the same and of course sounds the same too. I love it. It was sweet to catch up.
 We visited my elementary school. Above is a colorful USA painted map on the playground where I played as a child. Below is me at the door of my kindergarten classroom.

Playing at noni's local park
 Three generations of Burkham women in a backyard where I spent much of my late elementary, Junior High and High School days.
 On the way home, as a way to give the kids an opportunity to get some energy out before we did the big long drive, we stopped at the Santa Monica beach. It was a perfect day and a great way to end our trip!

I have a lot of thoughts jumping around in my thoughts and a lot of things stirring in our life...all of which I will save for another post. But at least now our vacation of 2013 has been documented!