Jeremiah 33:3


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This morning Uganda is on my mind.
My desire to be there is so strong.
It cannot be put into words how the Lord has grown my heart for this country and its people.
What will I do when I receive a name in an email?
I can only think that I will want to jump on a plane that minute and head there.
And not leave.
And stay and care for my child and the other children.
Can you imagine?
Some days I want to move there right now.
But then there is a WAIT.
And I see God in the WAIT.
And I wonder why so often those who are called have a WAIT.
I can't really explain it but I've felt such an URGENCY to get ready.
To prepare.
Like there is something SO great and SO wonderful in our future that only God could have ordained, that only HE could have planned.


BE STILL MY SOUL AND REST IN HIM,
CREATOR OF ALL.




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A Great Christmas Gift





This vanilla makes a great Christmas gift for a friend, relative, co-worker or for the person you have no idea what to get.

(Many of my relatives will be receiving this this Christmas - SURPRISE if you're reading this! :))
Help bring a child HOME!

Amber from Our Beautiful Collision blog is selling it. Here's what Amber says about the vanilla.
If you’re like me you might not have even known that Uganda exports high quality vanilla beans. I was excited to learn that Ugandan vanilla contains a notably high vanillin content of around 2% (up to 3.2% is found in the highest Ugandan grades) whereas Madagascan vanilla, currently the most well reputed and recognized origin, generally averages about 1.8%.

I love it.
I know you will too.
Happy Shopping!
(Note: Shop early because the last batch sold out QUICK!)



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Bunks Beds Came! ... Adoption

We ordered bunks back in September and they came today!
I kept telling Alex, my husband, how glad I was that I ordered these so long ago because there kept being issues and delays in shipment. 
They are here now!
Yeah!


These bunk beds are significant not because they are a great furniture item.
These bunk beds were more. So much conversation has been around the PURPOSE of the bunk beds. Being thankful for the children that will one day sleep in them.
Waiting with expectation, whenever that day may be.
And thankful for our boy, Andrew, who is such a joy to be around.



What love this mommy has in her heart for her boys.

Thank you, Andrew, for being a great big brother already.
And boy(s), we can't wait to meet you.
We don't know your names yet or if there will be one of you or two, but we know that the LORD knows!
You are special.
You are already in our hearts, our minds, our prayers and our thoughts daily.
You are already a part of this family.
Can't wait to see the beautiful country you were born in, hold your precious hand and welcome you with loving arms.

P.S. I had a much longer post and deleted. Does anyone else ever do this? Sometimes it's so hard for me to share my heart in blog form.
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Now Selling T-Shirts to Support Our Adoption!

Time to Christmas Shop!!!

For LIMITED TIME ONLY we are selling t-shirts through Wild Olive Tees to support our adoption.
$10.00 from every shirt sold goes to help pay our in-country expenses including attorney's fees, guesthouse stay, and transportation costs.

Now through December 22nd.

These shirts are high quality and make great Christmas gifts for yourself or a loved one.
Buy one for you and one for a friend! :)

Many styles to choose from.




I will be featuring my favorite designs every Friday.
Today's Special Feature Shirt



Back:

I love this shirt for little boys.

Thank you in advance for your support.
We appreciate your purchase.
Coupon Code: GERBIG1104
Thanks!

You can also find the button on the sidebar of my blog.


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November Is National Adoption Month

Good Afternoon Lovelies!
November is National Adoption Month
Lets celebrate adoption!!
Something that has become close to my heart.

It has been a privilege to follow many adoptive parent's journeys through facebook, blogs and email lists as they start the process of adoption and finally make the journey to picking up their children and bringing them home.

One mom's journey that I have followed is Lara of The Farmer's Wife Tells All.
Lara just returned home after picking up her son from Ug@nda.
I love this picture.
Speaks to my heart! 

Lara wrote on her facebook wall this week something that touched my heart and I know it will touch yours too. She says this,

"Let me tell you, adoption is like seeing a miracle unfold before you. Six weeks ago I met a little boy who couldn't even make eye contact and was so terrified to leave his orphanage that he would go into long uncontrollable fits. Tonight that same boy sat in the rocking chair with me for half an hour snuggling and giving kisses and saying, "I love you, Mommy." God's heart is for orphans to become sons."


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The Lord is My Helper

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Dear Boys,
I love you so much.
Your daddy loves you so much. 
Your brother loves you so much.
You are already a part of our family.
I think about you all the time.
You are children of God.
Created and formed in His image.
I love you.
-Mommy

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Unknowns

There are so many unknowns in life.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately as people have been asking where we are in the adoption process.
Some people are very surprised when they hear how you really don't know when you will receive a referral, or how long you will be staying in country, or that you don't really ever know if you will in fact have another son or daughter until the day comes. And sometimes even then it is not "official" in the eyes of the law until even months after being home.
But I've been thinking about unknowns and I have so much peace.
Peace because GOD KNOWS.
I don't need to know.
The story I go back to time and time again is the story of Abraham and Sarah. 
Abraham was told that he would be the Father to the Nations and then he waits. And he waits. And he waits. And then he waits some more. And then wondering how on earth this is going to happen they try to make arrangements for themselves. And then that still was not God's plan. God blessed that plan but did fulfill his promise with their son Isaac who was born in Sarah's old age.
This is a story that I remind myself often throughout the day, almost even without thinking about it.
I love this story. 
I'm sure they were trusting, waiting, trusting and trusting some more.
 Sarah was just SO old that to bear a child just seemed absolutely ridiculous. 
I mean, she did LAUGH after all when she heard the news.
I love the idea of Alex being a Father to the Nations. 
I have to admit it.
It brings me so much joy.
And I went to a conference and a prayer was spoken and she spoke on how there are women in this room who will be the MOTHERS to the Nations. And my heart skipped a beat and my eyes welled up with tears. And I said, "really God! really! could that be me? Lord where you lead I will follow. I long to do your will all the days of my life. I long to be obedient. Lord give me eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to obey. Obey the calling you have on my life."
A MOTHER TO THE NATIONS.
Beautiful.
Thank you Lord, for sweet pictures.
Unknowns.
No answers.
Just waiting.
Trusting.
KNOWING
that God knows.
He knows friends.

So tonight as I am preparing to go to sleep there is so much joy in my heart. Joy because I know that when I pray and when I ask God to tuck my sweet little guy into bed, I know that He is doing just that.
I know that as I ask the Lord to watch over my child that he is! Who better to tuck a child in at night than the Lord God Almighty. Beautiful. So much beauty in not knowing. So much beauty in it being out of my hands. Knowing that my job is trust the Creator. Knowing that when I pray He already knows what needs praying for. The Lord will fight for you and you need only to be still!!!! Exodus 14:14

Dear Moms and Dads adopting, as we wait lets trust our God and Creator. Lets put our hands in the palm of His hands and allow him to lead us and guide us to our children. Lets fast for our little ones, knowing that the Lord fights for us and all we need to do is be still. We don't have to have the answers. We don't have to know even what the next day brings or the right answer to put on a questionnaire. We don't even need the perfect application. What we need is to find our refuge in the Living Saviour. To rest in His arms. To hand him our troubles, our worries, our problems. To share with Him the joy in our hearts. To dance for joy with each step along the way. To celebrate what he has done and what he is doing. Lord we give you our hearts today. We give you our lives. Amen.


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My Thoughts Tonight

Tonight we mailed off the packet to the Babies Home that we have felt very called and led to. 
We have felt so much peace through all of the correspondence with this Home and we know that the ministry that they are doing there is truly amazing.
It has been so evident in the paperwork and in the emails sent back and forth that these children are loved and well cared for.
What a blessing that Home is.
A Haven.

The forms are sent.
It is so easy to see God's hand every step of the way and also to note the roadblocks being so evident.
Notaries that won't sign documents unless other documents are added.
Trip to another place for a notary.
Trip home to print something.
Trip back to place of notary but running out of gas on the way, delaying the process.
And trip back to Fed Ex to mail.
The important thing today was it got done.
It got put in the mail.
That is what the Lord wanted today.
He wanted that packet in the mail.
And we fought the battle and won.

This was a special day.
So beautiful to know that the Lord has a plan and that he works all things together for the good of those who love him. He wants to give me the desires of my heart. For He is a creator. A Giving, Loving, Generous God. Oh how I love him. 
The Lord has been there with me through so much pain in losing children.
He has been there with me through a horrible car accident.
He has been there for me when I got mono beginning of sophomore year and had to drop all of my classes in college but one art course.
He was there when I dropped three of four courses second semester after the car crash.
He was there, leading me, guiding me, loving me, holding me.
And he's with me now. Leading. Guiding. Loving. Holding.
He wants what is best for us.
And He wants his children in families.
God designed his children to be in families.

So we mailed off the package today, knowing that we have a peace about this Babies Home also knowing that it's possible we won't be matched or that it will be three days, a year or two years. We don't know. But HE does. And I am expectant.

Thank you Lord that you lead us.
You guide us.
You love us.
You care for us.
You long for us.
Your ways are far better than my ways.
Praying tonight Lord that you would continue to lead us through this process, that you would be a step ahead of us, leading us to our child.
Lord you know the plan.
And you have a plan.
And we are walking in the plan so far. And I can see you all around. And I thank you for that.


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Gathering Paperwork

Today we're working on the last few items to get together for our packet for one of the Babies Homes.
Our goal is to mail it bright and early tomorrow.
Would love your prayers for this to happen.

Needing notary signatures for copy of home title
Notary on policies and procedures
Pictures to be taken of inside and outside of home and printed
Family pictures printed
Health assessment notarized copies (can we give away our originals?)

Then we're good to go!
We pack it up with all our other documents and Fed-Ex it to the Babies Home.
Thank you everyone for following along on our journey and for your prayers.

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows- this is God, whose dwelling is holy. 
God places the lonely in families.
Psalm 68:5-6

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Adopting from Africa

Boy, pregnancy is really kicking in! 
I'm nesting like crazy, trying to organize things.
I can't focus.
I have a one track mind right now! 
My boy(s).

I love you sweet peas, wherever you are tonight.
You are loved by an Almighty God!
And by us. 
We love you and we are preparing our home for you now.
Your room is all set up.
You are on my heart day and night.
The Lord speaks to me about you.
Can't wait to see how He leads us to you.
We love you.
-Mom, Dad and your brother Andrew

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Cut Up the Credit Cards

Took a huge leap of faith tonight and cut up the credit cards. 
This was something I have considered for awhile now.
I kept wondering if maybe I should save some for adopting.
Then I realized something tonight. 
After I decided to cut them up I was really attached.
I was laughing at myself at how much I apparently loved my GAP card.
Give me a break!
It's just a card!
And I was telling myself how the rewards are so great and I get free shipping and coupons in the mail just for using my GAP card.

Here's what occurred to me after putting the scissors in my hand.
I knew my trust was in God, trusting Him for funds for adoption.
But in that moment, I really realized my trust was actually in my credit cards.
I was trusting that if I needed to charge a crazy amount of adoption expenses I could.
So then I realized how much my trust was actually in my credit cards and NOT God.
Sad.
And happy at the same time.
Happy to take this step of obedience.
I really feel like I was supposed to do this today.
And so I did.
That is my prayer for you as well today, that if He asks you to do something.
If you hear a still, small voice asking you to do something that you will listen and trust and obey.
That is my prayer for my own life as well.
God, I pray I might hear your voice and be obedient always in what you ask of me to do. Thank you Lord that we can trust in you for our finances and not in what the world wants us to trust in. God, I know you will provide and I also know that I need to be a better steward of every penny. I should be saving as much as possible for adoption so that when the day comes I am prepared. Ready when you say IT'S TIME!

Sad how much I am questioning the GAP card decision while looking at this picture.
I KNOW that I was supposed to do this tonight.
And so it's DONE!
Amen to that!
No turning back.


Have any of you lovelies done the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace series?
I'd love to hear about it!

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Every Bitter Thing is Sweet Blog

It's been years since I've been as sick as I am at the moment. 
Runny nose, stuff nose, pain all in my face, neck, forehead. Sinuses.
So tired and yet not able to sleep.
But you know what,
I'm finding that in this time of sickness yesterday and today I can stop and pause for a moment. 
Lay in bed, lay on the couch.
Be still in the Lord's presence. 
Pray for my future child(ren).
Enjoy blogs and adoption stories.
Read up, educate myself on so many different things.
Rest. Put my feet up.
Something I don't often do.

This is blog, Every Bitter Thing is Sweet is one that I have been visiting frequently.
They just returned from adopting in Ug@nda.
This video is celebrating their adoption.
It blesses me so much during this time of waiting.



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Nursery Set-Up

Call me crazy but I set up the nursery.
It might be a year, it might be two years or it might be two months until this space houses a child.
I'm ok with that! 
Feels good to be ready.
Eagerly anticipating the arrival of our future child(ren), Lord willing, whenever that may be.
The fact that I set up the nursery is not the kind of thing I tell people necessarily.
Although I'm sharing it here on the blog I have mostly only told a select few people who can share the joy with me in waiting and preparation.


This used to be the music room in our home.
We had a desk in here with computer and the couch, rug, light, drapes.
Basically just added a crib.
This crib can also be a toddler bed so as far as beds go I feel like it's a good option for 0-3 referral.

Andrew is almost 4 now (hard to believe he starts preschool on Monday) and he has been sleeping in his brother's room every night on a twin mattress I put on the floor.

Is anyone else changing things around in their home all the time?
I keep doing this, trying to figure things out.
I like things organized but it takes some planning to turn a three bedroom home into a spot with master, Andrew's room, future kids room, guest room, and office....
working on figuring out space planning!
It's a 1700 sq. ft. townhome which is quite a lot of space in my opinion, just need to figure out how to make little nooks and built-ins and use every sq. inch possible.

Do you have any ideas for me on what to add to this space?

Would love to hear them!
xx
FREE ART to print, made by me. Remember to find joy in the LORD during your waiting! Enjoy!
Also found HERE.

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Dreaming up Nursery Spaces

I've been busy dreaming up possible nurseries for our future child(ren).
This nursery is my absolute favorite.
Found on pinterest.

I love the grey crib with the crisp whites and pops of orange.
And that barnwood backdrop!

Here's a picture from the room I would make the nursery. I plan to keep the sofa, rug, little stool and add to it with grey crib.

(Sigh)... Oh how I love to design nurseries!...
The crib I like can also be a toddler bed which I think is nice for attempting to plan when you don't really know exact age the child will be when you're bringing them home.



It is fun to dream up little spaces for children. Makes me smile.

Here are some of my other favorite nursery inspiration pics at the moment.




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Adoption Reading

Enjoyed starting and finishing this book today.
So good.


"Carried Safely Home: The Spiritual Legacy of An Adoptive Family"
By Kristin Segwick Wong

Working on our required reading list!

Two books down!
So thankful actually for having been given a great list of books to read.
Learning lots.

xx

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Boys

It is so encouraging to be around people who are sharing with us in this adoption journey.
What a fun week so far talking with relatives who have been praying for our sweet boy or boys.
Sometimes they think of who will one day be in our family, where they are now, if they are born yet, what their life is like right now.
I appreciate so much your prayers as we are on this journey towards our children.
I can't remember how much I've said about one boy or two but we don't have a referral yet.
We don't know when we'll be receiving the email or letter in the mail.
But some day it will happen, Lord willing, and we will be matched with our son or sons to join our family.
We did say one or two boys age 0-3.
Thank you to all friends, family, bloggers who are sharing the joys of this adoption with us.
Answers to prayer already! Andrew is preparing his heart, and lots of great words coming from the little guy's mouth! "Mom, can I have one of those beds with two beds and sleep on the top?" Me: "A bunk bed?" Andrew: "Yeah, a bunk bed so I can sleep on the top and my brothers on the bottom."
Praise the Lord.
So beautiful to see the Lord work through all situations.

xx

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The Gift

More than a printer.


We received this gift a few months ago.
The person who gave this to us knew that we did not have a printer.
But what caused them to gift us this printer?
I believe this was God's perfect timing.
He knew that we would need a printer to print hundreds of documents.
He knew that we would be printing out adoption paperwork by the masses.
He knew that we would be printing out our worship lyrics for singing and playing on the worship team.
He knew that this printer would not just be the gift of a printer, but a step closer to adopting and bringing home our babies.
So this is making me think.
The person who gifted us this printer, they were listening to the Holy Spirit's prompting.
They gifted us this printer and this printer has turned into more than just a printer.
This printer, sitting next to my computer, is a reminder of God's love.
It is a reminder that when we listen to the Holy Spirit in the prompting to give, He will use the gift beyond what we know or could imagine.
How many times do we give and not know what the gift will be used for?
I know that I have given many times and I never have seen where the gift has gone or what happens to it.
The beauty is, and the reminder of this printer sitting next to my desk, is that God knows.
He sees.
He sees obedience in faithfulness to give.
He sees when we listen and obey.
I know the person who gave us this printer, but honestly I don't know how this printer came to be. 
I don't know if that person bought it for us, or if someone from church gifted it to them or to the church. 
I don't know any details except that someone dropped off this printer for us and told us that we were to take it. 
And it was ours. 
And that we were supposed to have it.
Honestly, this printer and this story right now is bringing me to tears.
Because God knows.
He sees.
He speaks.
And when we listen and obey he will use our gifts beyond what we could ever imagine.
The person who gifted us this printer has sowed deeply into the Kingdom of God.
This printer is printing out sweet words that will get sent all the way to our social worker, to the U.S. Embassy and then to a government half way around the world where our sweet boys are located.

This printer.
A gift from heaven above.


Thank you, Lord, for providing us this printer. 
In your perfect timing.
It has been beautiful to watch your perfect timing unfold.
The gift of this printer could not have been timed more perfectly.
This printer - sewing into lives for eternity.
Thank you Lord for the person who followed the Holy Spirit's prompting and gave. 
And gave in secret.
I pray that you would bless them immensely today.
Amen.


"When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." 
Matthew 6:3-43

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:38

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Praying for Our Sweet Boys

God, tonight I pray that you would bless our sweet little boys' hearts. I pray that you would sing them a sweet sweet melody in their ears tonight as they go to sleep. I pray that they would hear you. That they would come to know you. That they would feel so much love, comfort and peace no matter their circumstances. God, I pray tonight for their caregivers that you would give them new strength and energy to bless on so many infants, toddlers and children today. God, supernatural strength to keep on going, to keep on serving and showing the love of Christ to those children. God, I pray for my heart that you might prepare me for what is to come. And please Lord, also that you would ready Andrew's heart for his two little brothers who will soon enough be home with us. God, thank you so much for that sweet melody that you are singing in their ears right now. Thank you that you are their comfort, shield, protector, redeemer.
And God, I also pray for their mother(s). Lord I don't know the situation, I don't know what their lives will have been like before they will come home. I don't know what the situation will be with their families and mothers. I mourn for the mothers Lord, and I pray for their hearts and their lives right now. Amen.

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God's Heart is for the Orphan


God's heart is for the orphan!
He longs for his children to be in families.

James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."


Praise the LORD for people with encouraging words!!! 
So many friends and family have blessed us so much already with your prayers, kind words and encouragement. 
Thank you! 
Your words are a gift from heaven above! :)

THANK YOU for sending me a link to pictures of bunk beds.
For telling me how much you love Africa.
For telling me about people you know that are in Africa.
For telling me what great parents we are.
For telling me how awesome it will be to be able to love on these children as if they are your own.
For telling me that you are praying for these children who will be in our family, already.
For asking me what I will name them.
For telling me that you go about your day and think of me, and ask the LORD, I wonder how pregnant she is today? Because you are thinking about the process and wondering when and if the children are born and when they will come home.
THANK YOU for telling me about your past trips to Africa. And your love for the people.
Thank you for asking me questions about adoption.
Thank you for helping me think of ways to decorate the kid's room(s).
Thank you for your love and support.
Thank you for telling me you would like to adopt.
Thank you for your emails. And text messages. And twitter messages.



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