Friday, May 30, 2008

Tough Day...

Today we were in Louisville attending two funerals. The first was for the twin sons of my cousin Misti and her husband Steve. I really can't even hardly stand to write that here. Seeing that tiny casket shook me up. It's heartbreaking, and I can only imagine what they must be feeling as the parents. Please pray for them as they try to figure out what life looks like now without these two sons.

The second funeral was for the best friend of my dad. I don't ever remember not knowing Ronnie. He and my dad worked together, and they hunted together. He was a funny guy, a "striking" and "imposing" guy (as the priest put it today at his service), and he was always smiling as I recall. But my favorite thing about Ronnie when I was a little girl was that he looked EXACTLY like Kenny Rogers. Seriously. If you look at the album cover for Kenny's "42 Greatest Hits", you will see Ronnie. And if you know me at all, you know i love Kenny. His service was beautiful, and it was heartbreaking. There is something about seeing my dad hurting that just tears me up!

All of this has got me thinking tonight about life and death and more importantly about my legacy. What is it that I want to leave behind when I am no longer here? What do I want the people who sit at my funeral service to remember? What am I doing now to make that happen? Am I living a life of intentional relationships? Am I loving as much as I can? Am I serving others? Does my son know that he is loved deeply by his momma? Does my husband know that I can't imagine doing life without him? Does my family know how much I love them? Do people around me know that I am 100% head over heels in love with Jesus?

When it's all over, and I take my last breath, it really won't matter if I have a lot of money, a job of high importance, a spotless house, or if I was a lousy cook. What will matter is that my Heavenly Father will look at me and say "well done, my good and faithful servant". I want to live now with that eternal perspective.

I don't write all of this to be "gloom and doom". I write because death is a fact of life. It's not something we necessarily like to talk about, but it happens. Death is no respecter of person. Grief is as natural as joy. But as a follower of Christ, I can grieve with hope. I serve a God who has overcome death and the grave. I don't have to fear death. In fact, I can embrace it and celebrate it because it means a great reunion with those who have gone on before, and ultimately it means seeing my Savior face to face! And THAT is a beautiful thing!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Celebrating Memorial Day

Simple words on a blog can never quite express the gratitude I feel in my heart.

To all of you who have served faithfully, courageously, and selflessly so that I can live freely... thank you. My life is blessed because of your sacrifices.

To all of you who have kept the home fires burning, taken care of kids single-handedly, spent holidays without your loved ones at home with you... thank you. My life is blessed because of your sacrifices.

To those who gave all- their very lives- to fight for the honor of this great nation...thank you.

I celebrate you all....and God Bless the USA!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Destination Ellie: Update

Our dossier has been logged in, so we have officially begun our wait. We aren't exactly sure when that happened, but our agency director let us know about it sometime last week or so. In the past few weeks, there have been several families who have gotten referrals. We are encouraged by this. Two families had already identified the child they wanted to adopt, and because of paperwork "issues" were waiting seemingly forEVER, for everything to fall into place. We pray that the rest of their journey is uneventful and speedy!

Two other families have gotten referrals (by referrals, I mean they were matched to a child). One comes from Korea. I know what you are thinking: "I thought we were talking Vietnam here". And we are. Yet, they chose to also have their paperwork in a special needs program elsewhere, and were matched to a beautiful baby girl who will be very blessed to be with this forever family. The last couple to be matched actually got a call stating that a birth mother and father in the US had chosen them for their son who is due to be born in August. Again, we are so excited for this family.

The news of anyone receiving a referral at this time is extremely comforting to me. It tells me that God is still (and always will be) in control of everything. It reminds me that I have no idea what the big picture looks like, just as these families did not know this would be the plan for them. It reminds me that He is always at work whether I see it or not. God is not hindered by my vision or my imagination, thankfully!

This morning, I sent out MANY emails to friends and family, asking for some help in getting attention drawn to a new campaign that will allow Vietnamese adoptions to continue, while making changes to ensure that no unethical practices are allowed to go on. In a nutshell, this campaign by the JCICS (Joint Council of International Children's Services) states that while unethical adoptions should and must stop, that does not mean we should take away a child's right to a loving and permanent family. You can read more about it here .
I urge you, if you haven't already gotten an email from me, to go there and to send an email in support of this campaign. If you REALLY want to help, you can go one step further and contact your congressman or woman and urge him or her to also support this.

One person on our adoption chat line stated this morning "there is no hope of the rest of us getting our referrals". I cannot bring myself to utter those words. Believe me, I have asked God. I asked Him this morning to tell me if I am grasping at straws. He has not released me from believing that my little girl is out there waiting for me to come get her. I can almost see her precious little face already. I am writing this from what will soon be her room. I am eager to decorate it just for her, so that she will know that we loved her and believed in the promise of her long before we knew her. She is a miracle, just as Bryan is a miracle to us. And she is loved deeply and profoundly by each of us here.

I had no idea when we started this process that I would feel this much love, this much faith, this much heartache, this much joy, this much excitement, all at the same time. I wouldn't change a thing about this journey, for I believe with every fiber in me that this is exactly how God has designed it to be. Thanks for taking the journey with us!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why I love being a mom...

I have to brag on my son. He's awesome. Really he is. He is your typical 12 year old... hates to clean his room (or anything else, for that matter). He has to be reminded to do his chores. But his heart is tender. He is compassionate and loving, and I am honored to be his mom.

For Mother's Day, he blessed me. You see, Bryan LOVES to sleep late. Sundays are a treat because he doesn't have to get up at 6:45 like he does on school days. But this past Sunday, Bryan set his alarm for 6:45AM, and he got up when it went off. He made me breakfast in bed. Now, let me tell you for the record, Bryan makes the best eggs EVER! He made an omelet, bacon, sliced orange, and brought it with orange juice to me in bed. It was so sweet! I was surprised, to say the least.. not because he was thoughtful, but they had already given me a gift! On saturday, he and Jeff let me watch a movie while they scrubbed the entire house clean! AND they gave me a gift certificate for some pampering (pedicure)wow!!I felt like a queen, and I am so grateful that my guys love me like that. (I must add that while Bryan was making my breakfast, Jeff was mopping the floors since he knew my parents were coming and I would want it done. Love that man of mine!! (and I must say that his cleaning the house is the sexiest thing ever! you know you agree girls!))

I love being a mom. It's hard work, and sometimes it's frustrating work. But I wouldn't want it any other way. I love my children. I have been blessed beyond measure. Not only do we have Bryan, but there were 4 others who did not live to be born, and then there is Ellie that we (patiently) wait to bring home to us. I don't know why God would choose me for something so incredible, something so rewarding and humbling and that I will never be able to fulfill the way I want to. But I thank Him every day that He did choose me to mother these children. I pray that I am a Godly mom, a mom that always points my children to the Creator of all, a mom who lives out a faith that is authentic, a mom who serves her family without complaint, and a mom that my children always know loves her Lord with all of her heart, soul, and strength. I pray that my children always see me honoring and loving their dad, the greatest gift God ever gave to me! I pray that they see me as a student of His word. And I pray that one day they will not need therapy because of some mistake I made with them!

On a funnier note.. Bryan asked this question:
if there is a mother's day and a father's day, then when is the kid's day?

My response: All 363 other days of the year!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I had no idea...

In the fall of 2001, our church had a fall festival as we do every year. The difference that year was what we came home with. When Bryan and I got there (Jeff had gone on early to set up), Jeff took us to one of the booths where some kittens were being given away. He pointed to a precious little black and white kitten and told us "she's ours".

I was shocked, to say the least. Jeff is allergic to cats! The plan was for her to be an outdoor cat, but she never stayed outside.. not even one night. From that day, she was ours, and we loved her dearly! There was never any doubt about what to name her. When Bryan was really little, he used to play like he was a cat. He always called himself "Sparks the cat", so when we brought our kitten home, she immediately became "Sparks". Technically, she was Sparkles Feline Prosser.

I never had a pet that I was close to when I was growing up. I didn't expect to fall in love with an animal. But I did. She had a way about her that made me feel comforted and comfortable no matter what was going on. She was a great cat. She was lazy and fat and finicky and the perfect companion for a rainy day nap!

Sadly, today Sparks passed away. It was totally unexpected, and we are all in shock. Bryan is heart-broken, and so are Jeff and I. We miss our cat. She was part of the family, to be honest.
I had no idea when we got her almost 7 years ago that I would love her like I do. And I had no idea I would miss her like this when she was gone.

Sparks... we miss you girl. Thanks for making us all smile.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

This goes out to my friend Geron...

Thanks for the new look. I love it!!