"Untold numbers of professing Christians waste their lives trying to escape the cost of love. They do not see that it is always worth it."--- John Piper

Our Beautiful Joseph!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Resolutions

I am so NOT a New Year's Resolution maker! Sure, I need to get acquainted with the treadmill we purchased a year ago and pipe down on the chocolate and pizza, but well... I just really don't care so much about that at this stage of my life. Maybe I will get skinny...maybe I won't, but I am not going to lie to myself about it! What I AM going to do is revisit some amazing books and try to digest the material more thoroughly. There is also a new book my husband got for me as a Christmas gift that may not be as "well known" to some of you, but I can already strongly recommend it as a resource to both humble and inspire. I have decided to list these books in an effort to hold myself accountable and to maybe help others find some great books without wading through the others to find the "greats". These books are my favorites on various topics. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to read or have already read a few of them.

This is the book I got for Christmas. It is a collection of Puritan Prayers. WOW! It is inspiring to read their insight and devotion to the supremacy of God!

You can take every book you have ever read on marriage and turn it into the used bookstore. After you read and "digest" this book (which I plan to re-read this year), you will have a stronger marriage and a closer walk with the Lord.

I recommend this book A LOT when I am asked about homeschooling. I do not find him offensive at all because we homeschool, but he is very direct about the importance of Christian education for our children. If you have ever considered homeschooling or just want to understand the "weird neighbors" :) this is a priceless book.

I have listed this one last, but it will be the first one I re-read this year... I wonder why?? This parenting book is just amazing! I have read SOOOOO MAAAANNNYYYY, but this one just takes all of the twaddle and boils it down to the main point. In addition to the adoption education (I don't have any favorites yet... any suggestions?), I think just wise parenting and strengthening our relationships with the Lord and our husbands may be the best things we can do for our newly adopted children.
I hope this blog post isn't too much like an info-mercial, but I love it when people recommend books to me. Sometimes I disagree with the recommendation, but it is always a journey to read up!!!! Well, I'm off to finish an adoption book tonight! Happy reading!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


We heard this morning by e-mail that our NOC was approved!!!! It was our prayer that we would get it before Christmas and be ready for the court proceedings when they re-open in January!!! "The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy!" Psalms 126:3
This only took 28 days!!! We were told it would take 2 months or longer!!

Friends and family-- I am going to ask you to do something for us. Please pray that the current interim judge remains on the bench through our court process which will begin in January. He/she has proven reliability and gets the cases through in a timely manner--unlike the prior appointee, I understand. Thank you for your prayers!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yuletide Crooning

We were blessed with tickets to Silver Dollar City for Christmas. Thank you, "Grandma Lena"!! It was such a magical evening for all of us! There was just one thing missing.... I wonder if Joseph would have been as captivated as his brothers! I am so enjoying each moment with my family this season as I want to live each day contented and delighted with the joys contained therein. It is a struggle to put our baby boy into the backs of our minds knowing that if somehow the governments and red-tapers would put the children FIRST, he would be in our arms this Christmas!!! There is a reason for everything, I tell myself. I also remind myself that the laws are in place (at least in part) for the protection of the children I cherish. My dear husband reminded me that GOD IS SOVEREIGN-- even over governments. He has also ordained each day in the life of our much-loved Joseph!! SO I will just say to my sweet one, "We miss you, baby--- Merry Christmas. When you get home, I'll show you the movies of your brothers singing to you!!!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!

I had the best Christmas present in my inbox tonight!!! A non-resident Indian family (that means a family of Indian heritage living outside of India) adopted a daughter from Joseph's orphanage 2 1/2 years ago. They were in Kolkata visiting family and dropped by ISRC. I was told that they took "a few pictures" and video while they were there. My guy made the cut and got on film!!! We weren't expecting more photos until January or February when another family will be travelling. What a blessing!! I am a happy mommy tonight!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Bequeathing Wisdom

I just have to share this with everyone. Bill and I were really struggling with the big jolly elf this Christmas. We have done the "Santa" thing with our little guys in years past, but for some reason it was a matter of conscience this year. I couldn't understand why I was experiencing a catch in my spirit every time we were talking about it with the boys. It was always such fun before! Well, a friend was able to articulate my reservations for me in a conversation and then I read a wonderful article on the "Desiring God" website reiterating the same ideas. (click on the John Piper link to read it) It was an AHA! moment for us as parents. Santa is said to have many of the same attributes that God possesses. He can see everyone, he knows all this stuff about you, he can go all these places in one night (kinda omnipresent), etc... Then, you turn around one day and tell them that Santa's not real, but that God is real and all of those things are true about God!! YIKES! We knew that we had to tell them the truth right away as they are forming their beliefs in God RIGHT NOW.

Okay-- so we break the news to the boys and wait with bated breath for their responses. Our almost 7-year old goes over to the window and stares out into the yard just thinking. Bill and I look at each other like "OOPS- we've devastated our child." Well, our little guy turns around with relief on his face and says, "So that means I don't have to be good to get my presents?!"

After a few chuckles, a talk about grace with our son, and reflection on that response, I realized that I have held that view of God myself in the past. I believed that His blessings in my life were based on whether I was a "good girl" or not. I have been freed from this false reality in the Truth that God's gift of salvation was given freely and could never be earned by any "goodness" in me. Just as we love our children unconditionally and give them good gifts because they are our family, God loves us unconditionally as His adopted children through the blood of Christ. PLEASE embrace that truth this Christmas... No matter what you do with the JOLLY OLE ST NICK!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Here We Go!


Meeting my friend Traci on October 31st

Sleeping so sweetly!

I never thought I would ever be a "blogger", but waiting on Joseph requires a Journal! Rather than my usual private meanderings with a pen, I guess I am hoping to encourage others and recommend some resources that have strengthened us. Allow me to introduce... us! We are a family of 4 living in Missouri waiting to become a family of 5 through the adoption of Joseph Pallab in Kolkata, India. More to come on the events leading up to present, but we officially began our adoption adventure on my husband's birthday-- April 11, 2008. It was in our hearts for many years before that! After months of waiting for our "daughter", we were moved by God's hand to consider a son on October 16, 2009. I heard of the need for families to consider boys as all of the families in process were requesting girls. When I called my husband, he became very quiet over the phone and said that he had just been praying that God would purify our motives in the adoption. He thought that meant that we were to consider more special needs than we had "planned" (ha!- our plans had nothing to do with it) on. Without hesitation, we were in agreement on this one. Bring on the boys!!! It's funny... when we started this process, it was important to me that we chose a country program that allowed us to make choices regarding gender and special needs. By the end of it all, I did not want those choices to be left up to us! I trust our Sovereign God more than I trust us!!! By 9:00 that evening, his photo and medical information arrived in my inbox.

He is our precious boy and we knew it immediately. Whenever our two bioboys were born, I remember this flood of the purest emotion I had ever felt before. The identical flood occurred when I first saw his fuzzy, 2-D face in the referral picture. God did not have to allow those feelings immediately, but it was wonderful confirmation! Bill (my husband) wanted to sign the papers right away-- we found it difficult to wait on our pediatrician to review his records. We waited and finally signed on October 21, 2009.

Now, we are waiting for the NOC (No objection Certificate) to continue the process. We were told from the agency not to expect it until January, but we are still praying for that to be our Christmas gift!!! During our wait, several families have blessed us with photos!! Feast your eyes on our Indian Prince!