Monday, December 28, 2009
"Emotions are one of the least reliable yet most influential forces in our lives. One day we are hopeful; the next, we hate. Despair at one time; delight, the other. Emotions are the surging, restless tides that keep ebbing and flowing, drawing us up, then pushing us down."
As you may well know from reading this blog, or if you have seen me lately, the "ebb and tide" of my recent emotions has been such discouragement. A constant reminder is ever pressing down, adoption fundraising. I know many of you have been there, are there, and I know you stay awake at night with the same concern I do, "how will we get our little one home? WHEN?What if it doesn't come?"
This process is bring into the light my fragile, fleeting trust in the Lord's provision. Have I not seen Him provide? Do I not know the stories since the beginning of creation His compassionate and abundant provision for His people? Did HE not create this child? Does HE not love her far more than I can imagine. I think my heart hurts for those precious little ones in Ethiopia, how much greater does His? He has His own good plan regarding our family, and we will be faithful to Him, however that provision looks, and what ever HIS timeline of that provision is. (And my finate self still seems to think that I can worry this child home!)
Last night I was so discouraged, thinking, "the economy is too bad, the money will never come, adoption is for the rich, we will never come up with the funds in time, our house isn't nice enough, big enough,if it is this hard on the front end, how will we ever come up with our dossier, referral and travel funds, how will I be able to look at sweet Evangeline and tell her we can't......" on and on "I of little faith" went.
This morning, the Lord encouraged us, and showed us HE can make a way home for Eliana..... do you see my little "chip in" button? It had a little boost today!!!God is using his faithful servants, some of whom do not even know us, to bring our peanut home! My heart is thankful and glad, and I am reminded, should I only sing praise and bless the Lord when I feel the circumstances He has blessed me with are good? By no means! Oh, how I long for a heart that does not ebb and flow with the tide of my own comfort and happiness, but is steadfast and thankful in all circumstances, knowing that He who calls the stars out one by one, who knows the grains of and on the shore, who knit together every life, both that of the noble and the silent orphan in Ethiopia, is good and just and fair. He who holds all of creation.... oh, for a heart that will allow Him to hold me, all days, at all times and throughout all that He has called me to do and IS doing!
Today, I am thankful and encouraged!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I have been looking at/ pricing advent candles for awhile, but pretty much am refusing to buy anything right now. Adoption fundraising has given me a motivation like never before to NOT BUY! Soo, we came up with a way to make our own advent candle with supplies on hand. (I did have to buy 4 candles. They were like 20 cents each :)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Her name will be "Eliana", which means, "God has heard and answered our prayers."
How could we name her anything else, this precious child who has been, is, and will be covered in so much prayer! (Evangeline and Eliana can both share the joys of repeating, spelling, pronuncing and explaining their names to everyone :)
Please pray for Eliana, as we journey on through the cliffs and caverns of fundraising!
We are coming, Eliana!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Adoption is expensive. Why? There are a lot of real, legitiamate cost. Homestudy, medical checkup and tests, plane tickets...on and on the list goes. Two of the "biggie" costs are the agency fee and the country fees. Half of the agency fees are used to run the orphanage/transitional home (Hannah's Hope) in Ethiopia. Now, the counrty fees. Think about a counrty (Ethiopia) in which a large majority of your population are children. Adults are dying of aids... few have a job, few have food, poverty abounds. There are 4.6 MILLION orphans. Hum...who do you tax to gain revenue to get these kids off of the street and into an orphanage. THAT is what counrty fees go to...to meargly feed, house and clothe a large majority of the population. That keeps them somewhat alive, it does not provide them with a family and a future.
A month ago we sent out about 60 support letters. Let me say these letters are NOT the sole way we plan to fund our adoption, yet we have for months prayed that the Lord will use the generosity of His people to bring our little one home. I know many famililes do not feel comfortable sending or receiving adoption support letters. We have received them before and have been happy to be a part of giving an orphan a home. I see them as no different than a missions trip support letter. I realize in these letters we ask for a donation...it is a generous gift which we do not EXPECT the recipients of these letters to give, but did anticipate some friends and family wanting to be a part. What we did not expect, is over 4 weeks time of sending the letters, is to receive not a penny, not so much as a word of encouragment or support. We are on a timelime of when fees are due, we are 30 days into a 90 day timeline of our whole adoption process being stopped if fees are not paid. I realize that some of you reading this also received a support letter......I AM NOT REBUKING YOU, I am only trying to be honest in sharing the discouragment in our hearts. I realize we do NOT live in a town that has a culture of adoption. Churches here have not "caught the vision" of being "a father to the fatherless". I realize we live in the south, and anyone over about the age of 35 seems to be fine with a prejudice attitide. We have been SHOCKED at the comments we have received concearning our adoption. I am not even talking about race/skin color comments...... I am talking about adoption in general. I had thought about posting some of my most asked question/ comments...most of them made by Christians....... but I won't. They just are not worth repeating.
Through it all, I realize that my trust in the provision of the Lord is not as it should be. I KNOW that He will provide, but I do not rest at peace in that. I find myself walking around the house, thinking of what I could sell on ebay......thinking of crazy fundraising ideas. (Anyone want to join Kenny and go get paid to donate plasma? Yea, crazy fundraiser ideas.) I do not rest at peace in the will, the timing and the provision of His ways.
Oh, we beg for your prayers. I know this is the hard, difficult journey the Lord has called us on. We long for your prayers!
Today, Kenny stopped by for a quick lunch. I went to get the mail as he left....in it lay our first support check. The sweet family who sent this knows who they are...know that you have encouraged us in a way you will never fully realize. We love you (and are doing a little happy dance because of you!) I realize that very well could be the only support check we receive. We will press on, trusting the Lord and waiting on Him. Please pray that we will trust in His provision!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
1 C. warm water
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
2 TB oil
2 1/2 C. flour
Mix, knead and let rise. Roll out and make your pizza! (I double the batch and make bread sticks as well) Bake at 400 for 10 to 15 minutes.
Yummy breadsticks..... nothing but nutritionless white flour and clog your heart up cheese :)
Samuel helped me out with the laundry tonight. Yup..... that big pile is a small portion of the clean clothes needing to be folded. About 30 seconds after I took this picture, Samuel reminded me why it is not a good idea to let your diaper rash baby "air out" for more than about 10 seconds. And wouldn't you know, his target was the one item I needed washed and clean for in the morning. Love that kid:)
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Here we have the 5 Johnston grandkiddos..... Samuel, Evangeline, Landis, Molly Chandler and Camden! I am kicking myself that I went all week and did not take a picture of the kids with Nana and PawPaw... the kids love them so much! Kenny's grandma has a lemon tree which grows the biggest lemons... isn't that amazing!?! (Samuel refused to let go of his "uicie" for the pic)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The count down is on. We have 11 weeks and 3 day to basically come up with just over $9000. This will cover contract fees, the homestudy fee and a few other fees. After the homestudy we can apply for a lot of adoption grants, etc; this first set of fees is the big hill to climb.
Back I go to sew :)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
This week has been an occasion in our family...Evangeline seemed to "get it" with her phonics and is beginning to read a bit on her own. Today, she read her first book, all the way through!!! (I did help a bit.)
The kids had fun taking their quiet time today.... we have 2 big containers to "house" our baby chicks and heat lamps (don't worry, theses are new, clean containers), and the kids rested in them. Twenty five baby chicks should be arrive in the mail tomorrow!
No real adoption news this week.... our insurance application is in for the kids, and once we have a confimation on it, we can finally move onto the next step!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sale Price: $25-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Polka Dot Christmas
Sale price: $20-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Little Pilgrims- Short sleeve size 5- Regular price ($25)
Sale Price: $18
Pizzaz- Short sleeve size 8- Regular price ($30)
Sale price: $20
Email me with any questions....and watch for more sale items this week! Happy Monday to you all!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
We then headed out to the fall festival at our church. It was a lot of fun and the kids were all smiles!
I had planned on doing a study with the kids this past week on Martin Luther and the Reformation, but like so many of my plans, it got lost in the busyness of the week. I hope to retry the plan this week...... no need to wait until next year's Reformation Anniversary to teach the kiddos some church history!!
Happy Monday to you all!