Jan 31, 2010

My CRAZY Shoe Obsession

If you are like me, I LOVE shoes. When given a choice, I would rather buy a pair of shoes than any other addition to my wardrobe. Looking at my shoe collection is a testament to where I've been, what emotions were felt on a particular day or what event occurred. I would be embarrassed to know how many shoes at this moment lie on the bottom of my closet floor.

Valentine's Day is never a big holiday around our house. I told Le when we got married that if he needed one day out of every year to remind him that he loved me, we already had serious problems. Usually gift giving is a card, a small reese's peanut butter heart (YUM!) and he doesn't raise his eyebrows when I buy a new pair of shoes that week. And this year will be no different, except that I didn't buy a pair of shoes, I bought FOUR! You see, Children's Hope Chest has partnered with Simply Love so that each t-shirt you buy before February 1st, an orphan in Ethiopia will be provided a t-shirt and a pair of shoes, probably the first shoes they've ever owned.

The original goal of this project was 400 shoes. But we've exceeded that number. Now the shoes provided will go to Kolfe, an all boys orphanage. Perhaps if we reach over the new goal of 600 shoes, HopeChest will look down the road from Kolfe and bring Kaleab a pair of shoes! Go here, look, shop and be a valentine to someone who will know you love them, by the shoes that are placed on their feet!

Jan 25, 2010

Crafty? Me?!

Since I'm officially crazy from the wait, I've needed to let loose some creative energy. The result, I now have my own Etsy shop. ME?!! I know right, craziness. It started because I made a hat for myself and people loved it, so I started offering them at church and I needed a place to display them online. So here I go. You can go here and look. Half of the profits will go towards our adoption travel costs and the other half will go towards Children's Home Ethiopia, which is where our sponsorship son, Kaleab lives.

I guess it is nice to have a hobby, but I am praying for a court date. Watching my kids grow up in photos is heart breaking. But I am relying on His grace and the knowledge that His timing is so much better than mine!

Jan 19, 2010

Kingly Stubborn and Back to Waiting

I've been reading through 2 Samuel in my reading plan. I have to admit, I've been getting kind of bored. Reading about King David having to endure trial after setback and each time running back to God, begging forgiveness and then returning to his old ways. It hit me why I've been skimming through these chapters~IT'S TOO PERSONAL. I see King David in every aspect of my behavior lately.
I thought that waiting for our referral would be the hard part. I tricked myself to believing that once I saw my children's faces, I could handle the rest! Ha! Watching my children grow up by picture has been one of the hardest trials of my life. I WANT a court date; I WANT my children to be home; I WANT to start our lives to together~does this sound like someone you know? King David. It's been about what I want and not about HIS timing for my life.
I believe that my life is defined by a series of songs that capture a period, a memory, a moment,producing a crazy fun soundtrack of music. I thought I had moved past this particular track, but as I drove home tonight, I cried out and sang ALL of the words and resolved, as King David to do better, until the next time I come running back to my Father. So while I'm waiting..."I'm waiting on you Lord, though it is painful...I will serve You while I'm waiting and I'll worship while I'm waiting." And part of my resolve is to trust that He has all of this planned out and I am just giving myself gray hair for no reason.

Jan 13, 2010


I have been working like crazy lately both at home and at the office. I am tired of spending long hours at the office, racing home to clean house and finalize little projects. But mostly, I am tired of checking my phone 50 times a day. I am tired of waiting for several of my fav blog girls to receive their referrals and I am REALLY ready for a court date.

So tonight, I went and ran 2 miles for the first time in a long time. I came home and just relaxed and let God soothe my exhausted spirit. I feel better already.

Jan 7, 2010

Sponsorhip: Selfless or Selfish?

I had a friend ask me to write about my experience about sponsoring Kaleab and what it was like for me. This is what I said, through tears typing at my desk yesterday:

I signed up to be a sponsor through Children’s HopeChest in May 2009. I did it because I felt better about myself. Daydreams of my small financial inconvenience changing the life of a child made feel proud. I had done a good deed for the month, I could go buy those sandals I’d been eyeing at the mall. I deserved it. Right?

When Kaleab’s profile came in the mail, I was sincerely moved, but honestly, not any further moved than I had been previously by watching a Sally Struthers’ telethon on television. He wore a ragged t-shirt that slumped off his tiny frame like a napkin. His lifeless eyes rimmed in sadness and he grimaced instead of smiled. But he was just another sad face on a continent I would probably never visit anyway. I hung his picture on our refrigerator and started writing letters, never expecting a reply.

Months of no response only increased my cynicism. “He’s never going to write back”, “he’s probably not a real orphan”, and “what have I done?”, were all circling my thoughts. But every time I opened our fridge, I was haunted by knowing somewhere there was a child who had not eaten, while I grabbed a piece of chocolate cake.

Kaleab’s face stuck with me so often that his picture made his way to my desk at work. Every time I looked left from my keyboard, I had a piercing reminder to pray. Not only for him, but for myself. I began to pray that God would begin to break my heart for the things that broke His. My husband and I started the process to adopt from Ethiopia and we were learning more and more about Africa, Children’s HopeChest and what it meant to be an orphan and Kaleab was stealing my heart. I prayed for him several times a day and began planning a trip to meet him.

In September 2009, we received our first update from the home in Ethiopia where Kaleab was staying. The kids were eating once a day, regularly attending school and although I still hadn’t heard from Kaleab, I was a proud mama showing everyone the boy who graced my desk.

November brought my first letter from Ethiopia and I burst into tears as I read this boy call us his family and tell me how much he prayed for Le and I. How could he possibly ask God to bless me? Why would he ask God to bless me? Did he not know he was the one with nothing? When a friend of mine visited his carepoint in December, I begged her to check in on Kaleab. Her texts home to me are saved in my phone. I never want to lose them. She said when Kaleab found out she knew me, he popped into EVERY one of her pictures, he wanted to be for sure that I saw him.

Seven months later, pictures show Kaleab a well fed , happy ten year old. But they also show hope and love emitting from his eyes. He is loved and his smile can’t hide that. We are in the works of trying to adopt Kaleab and bring him home to his “Oklahoma mama.” But if he never lives in my house or sleeps under my roof, he has taken permanent residence in my heart. Kaleab is not my sponsor child, he is my son. I wish I could tell you that sponsorship has changed Kaleab’s life, but I can’t. Sponsoring him has been the most selfish thing I have ever done. I will never be convinced that he receives more from me than I ever have from him.

Jan 3, 2010

A Different Kind of Christmas

Due to the snow storm that blew through at Christmas, my family's Christmas plans were ruined. So we rescheduled from today. Since my mom's side of the family is so small, instead of buying gifts we play dirty Santa with everyone buying a $25 gift. We thought those were the rules again this year but with my sister being in Phoenix and not able to come home, my mom called and said we were just doing lunch. Imagine my shock when we show up to my g-ma's and after lunch everyone is heading to the front room for the gift exchange. As we drew numbers, Le and I both drew the number 11, so we thought it was a goof. But when everyone started handing us their gifts, I started to cry.

I unwrapped a dump truck from my uncle for my little boy, a tea set for our girl from her great aunt, my g-pa bought my children their first toy tractor, and my parents bought my daughter her first charm bracelet. And it went like that through my entire family. They each presented a small gift to my children and to each gift was $25, for Le and I to donate to kids in the orphanage who wouldn't have a Christmas. I'm blown away by the blessings in my life and for such an amazing family to bring my kids home to.

Jan 1, 2010

Sad to See It Go

It is common during this season to plan ahead, make resolutions and be filled with excitement for things yet to come. But the past 30 days have been so amazing, I wanted to stop and reflect with a dignified sympathy on seeing us pass from one month to another. The last 30 days have blessed Le and more than any other month in our history together. We've gotten our referral, fallen in love with another Ethiopian child we hope to some day call our own, 433 children from Ngariam currently have sponsors, and we've seen our first white Christmas together as a couple (which is a big deal in Oklahoma because it only happens 3% of the time!) Le and I have been blessed with new friends, continued support from our family and grown deeper in our relationship together and with our Savior. So as we anticipate with great joy all that 2010 will entail, a sweet adieu is owed to December 2009, you have been so amazing to us, I am somewhat sad to see you leave.