Tuesday, September 17, 2013

There's this girl....

So there's this girl, she was much younger than me in church growing up and God used her to speak to me today!  We aren't facebook friends, no particular reason why not, but just because we aren't. Our paths haven't really ever crossed because of the age difference and being in a large church... sad, but it's true!  I didn't know everyone well at our church back then. 
Just so happens today, a friend of hers and a facebook friend of mine, liked one of her statuses.  And it showed up on my facebook newsfeed.  I skipped over it a few times because it didnt really mean much to me that she liked her status.  But something pulled me in AND THIS IS WHAT IT READ...

A God-given dream or vision does not necessarily mean immediate action. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is wait. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:13 that "it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His purpose." God places desires in our hearts for a beautiful purpose. Waiting for God to move us can lead us to His greatest blessings and plans for our lives.

This is exactly what I talked about in the last blog post.  I have such a big desire and heart for this and it was breaking my heart in a million pieces to have to say put us on hold for now.  Made me really wonder, "why?  Why is my heart soooo open to this and it's just not falling into place?"  And this reminded me, God IS still speaking to us.  He still is leading us to His will, we just have to be patient.  When it is our turn we will be rewarded more than I can even imagine! 
Looking at pictures today on facebook of another area couple who just returned home with their babies, gets me even more anxious, more hurt, more ready and even more willing to say "YES LORD!"  Ashalyn was looking with me and she says "Mom, when can we get a brother or sister from there?" It's like her heart is growing too!  God is preparing ALL of us for this! 
Nicholas is the step person.  He sees all the steps that need to be taken to get where we are going and he is working so hard to get us there!  Extra money through an extra job.  Tips at work go straight to a bill.  And we sat down together last night figuring what all needs taken care of to get to that point!  I'm more of a jump in and get there fast person!  Which is not right in this situation.  It makes it sooo tough...but thank you Jesus for using this much younger and much wiser girl to speak to me today!
You never cease to amaze me!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Life throws curveballs...

If there is one thing I've learned
in this game of Life...
Is that just when you think you are on the correct path
a curve ball is thrown
to you!
You have three ways you can handle it...
You can stand there and just watch it pass to the catchers glove
You can begin your swing and pull back and hope the umpire calls for a ball
You can keep your eye on the ball and give your best swing and hope you can time out the swing just right. 
It was back in May when Justin Verlander, my Tiger, came back from a pitching slump.  He used his curve ball to do it.  I believe it was against the Pirates and he had them all on their feet. 
I'm kind of in a JV slump.  I love my girls.  I'd give the world for them.  They know I would. I am enjoying every minute with them and boy oh boy are they growing up fast!  That's where the problem lies.  They are growing WAY TOO fast.
Our family is continuing to grow...
It is NOT complete. 
And you know how I know that???
Because my heart is continuing to grow. 
My love for children all across the world is growing larger and larger. 
With every night time prayer for our girls, my prayers turn to God's children
clear across the world.  I hug my kids, I pray for my kids and we stop along the road at the sight of a wildflower!  I hop out of the car to pick one for each of the girls in the back seat.
Each flower I hand out, my heart grows even bigger.
I desire to grow my family biologically one more time...
I long to jump through hoops and over hurdles...
and then...
to fly over the longest sea

After that...
If God says to go around the world...
I desire and long to Go Around The World. 
And that My friends,
That is where my curve ball begins...
My heart,
My calling, 
My willingness,
My love for those children.
There is a financial barrier right now.  So I question my heart.  I question if I am hearing God's call.  Each time I question I am reminded of the verse on the back of my van.  "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you!"  We had to make a difficult call this past week.  It breaks my heart and I literally feel it shatter everytime I think about it.  Tears are rolling down my face right now actually.  We made the call with our agency to place everything on hold for the time being, til we can become 100% debt free.  So financially we can bury any and all barriers between us and the children of the world God calls us to welcome into our family. 
100% debt free???
Makes me want to scream just thinkin' about it.
We've changed our lifestyle over a year ago and have tackled a huge amount...
all while trying to fund our adoption.
And it just seemed like we weren't getting anywhere with either of them.
So the decision we made this past week, was to plug away at our debts 100% and then once we are financially free...we are going to open up our hearts and say,

As painful as it is...
And as often as I feel like we are just picking up broken pieces of our hearts...
I know that this is the best way we can handle the curve. 
PTL, our house is fully paid... we found a great deal, when the market was down
and were able to pay that off quick.  But there's college and medical still standing between us. 
So I give us 3-4 years (sooner Lord willing) and then

We are on God's side and I KNOW,
100% without a doubt...
That His plans for Nicholas, Ashalyn, Kynzie, Myleigh and myself are
I'm going to keep blogging on our journey.  To our followers...you can pray with us.  Pray that we can stay in our full forward swing, stay on track and keep focused on God's future plans for our family.  Who knows, maybe in the time of our financial detox, maybe God has plans for another bio-baby.  However, God wants to use us in these few years we are open to it.
But if He just wants us to relax and just enjoy his peacefulness
before our family takes a crazy ride, then that's what we will do, my friends! 
Our family journey has not come to a hault...
we just have to detour a bit to make it more realistic!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pleased to announce...

We are....




The safe and healthy arrival just 4.5 short months ago

Myleigh Noelle!
(our fourth beautiful baby girl!)

More to come about what's next for our family, but for today I hope you enjoy this adorable little face as much as we do!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

God's BIGGEST blessings....

Well, I said things have changed for our family in my past post.  However, I wasn't ready to blog about it.  TODAY, we are!  We are ready to announce to the world, that by God's wonderful grace, Nicholas and I are excitedly and anxiously awaiting the arrival of another healthy baby!   We have already made it through the entire first trimester, without a peep to the internet world.  Matter of fact, we just spilled to our family in the past 2 weeks as well.  Many may wonder why we waited so long, but we just felt more comfortable waiting until we got to see our little one moving around on the little sonogram machine and hearing a strong beating heart!   And two weeks ago, our little peanut was a wiggling like crazy on the monitor screen and his/her little heart was at a strong 185 bpm.

WOW, pure amazement and excitement to see God work that way.  Many do not know that last September, I was 8 weeks pregnant and went from an ultrasound to being rushed into the ER.  My pregnancy was eptopic, but not only was it outside of the uterus, it was buried into my cervix, leaving my life in severe danger if the baby continued to grow there.  I went into a surgery at that point, signing away the right for the doctor to do a FULL hysterectomy.   We both were saddened knowing we couldn't have more biological children, but we were already well on our way in the adoption process.  So we found comfort in that.  I came out of surgery and they informed us, that the only thing they had to remove was part of my cervix.

However, that particular OBGYN told my family while I was in recovery, that the likelihood of complications was very high and it was NOT in my best interest to conceive again.  We continued on the adoption process and found a great desire in our hearts for this process.  TRUST ME, it's still a strong burning desire...so some day we will be a family of 4 living children, possibly even five!   This past March, on birth control for months, found myself pregnant again.  And in April, we miscarried that baby as well.
NEVER again, in our wildest dreams, did we believe that God would bless us yet again biologically with a strong, healthy, and LIVE baby in my womb!  I'm in the library now, typing this blog with tears rolling down my face.  WE ARE JUST THAT BLOWN AWAY BY THE WAY OUR AWESOME GOD WORKS!   Scared to death and almost afraid to even get our hopes up, we kept quiet.  Honestly, neither of us ever expected to go to our ultrasound and hear a heartbeat!  But, that just shows how faith the size of a mustard seed goes a LONG LONG way and we will be blessed. 

The very same day, that we found out the status of our baby, our phone rang for the adoption!  The phone call was for a set of twins, 21 one months.  WHAT?  That'd be 4 babies, under the age of 2; fine children under the age of 4.  WOW God, REALLY???  You want me to do what?  I questioned Him like crazy!  Can we really handle that?  And that's when He said, "Nicholas, Valerie....when will you learn??  Your life story is already written."   So what right do we have to question that?  So yes, our family is on the list for 21 month old twins as well.  Our family may NOT make it into the next round of possible matches...but if we do, BOY OH BOY, we better be ready!!   God has so much planned for us and we are beyond excited to see what our next chapter is!  But, let's just say....our journey is about to get very exciting...and we COULD NOT BE HAPPIER!!   Our family is growing for sure by one come the end of March!  And possibly will nearly double in size by that time!  GOD IS GOOD!!!
Please keep us in your prayers...our life story just added a very exciting chapter or two!  We are still very fearful with this pregnancy, but God is our author so we know it's all going to work to His Glory!! 

And more of the details...right now, it appears my scheduled c-section will be March 29 or April 5th.  The doctor was more than blown away when he asked us how our families reacted when we told them and we said, "well we haven't yet".  He said with a comfortable voice, "I think now it's okay to spill the news, things look great!"  And I'm officially in my 2nd trimester, still sick and vomiting daily, but I AM SO BLESSED by every wave of sickness and sign of a healthy pregnancy!!   Praying for a HEALTHY baby and really have no desire either way as far as gender, just so thankful for another chance to feel little jabs in my womb!! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

imperfect blog

I've once again failed at the mommy blogging world.   Life has become silent for a moment and I took a moment to take it all in.  We are officially done teaching Sunday school for the summer, family outtings are coming to an end, everything seems to be slowing down.  Normally I would absolutely hate that, hate the stillness, and hate the quietness.  I admit:  I ENJOY IT! 
I never forgot to blog.  I just didn't feel I had anything worthy of blogging about.  Majority of the blogs I read are from moms who have it ALL together, cook 3 wonderful meals a day;7 days a week, their house seems to be spotless, and their kids seem to always look like Mini Boden/Gap models without a hair outta place, always dressed adorable and 100% well mannered!   That is NOT my house or my life, so is my blog really worth reading?  
Things have changed so much in our family since I last posted, but one thing that hasnt changed is our heart for adoption.  I often find myself wondering why such a desire was placed in my heart.  I get frustrated.  I need to take "mommy time outs" way more than I'd like to.  So what makes me think that I can handle 2-5 more children?  What makes me think that I am capable of being someone else's mommy yet too?    I can't help but to ask myself all these questions...and I'm reminded, "who cares if my house isn't perfect in order or that my kids hair gets messy and their clothes get dirty?"  I can put what I want into writing on a blog and more than likely that's just what all us blogging mommies do.  God gave me a gift with children.  He blessed me beyond measures as a mommy.  And I OWE MY LIFE to Him.   He placed that desire in our hearts for a reason and we need to follow through.  He placed a love in our hearts for our children, biological and adopted.    So what right do I have to feel like maybe I'm not capable.  There are children out there in huge need a love and the desire placed in their hearts is for a mommy and daddy to love them.  WE CAN DO THAT!    And that's what God is calling us to do! 
There's days where I try to channel my inner Michelle Dugger and can't seem to find her, but then there's days where I'm menu planning, couponing, cleaning every nook and cranny, and my kids are being taught some of life's most important messages.   My kids throw fits and huge tantrums.  I just had our youngest to the doctor because for a moment we thought she was possessed, literally.   It was horrible.  Both of us were in tears at night because we just couldnt figure it out.  She was hit with a terrible terrible case of night terrors.  The doctor said, when she's "acting out" like she was, that she doesnt even recognize us as her parents but that she also doesnt remember them in the morning.  It was one of the scariest things we've ever seen.   But along with all those fits, our kids laugh, giggle, and explore.  They makae us smile, they make us laugh and they are our world. 
All this being said, my blog may be failing because I stop blogging for weeks, I don't have it all together, and my house is messy. 

My heart remains. 
The desire is still in place. 
Like I said, some things have changed in our family, but...we are still chugging towards the financial part of bringing home our babies!   For my faithful blog readers, which I think there are far few inbetween, there's going to be some exciting news coming to our blog soon I hope!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

YOU ARE INVITED....Friends, family and the church

Trying to do some research for Orphan Sunday this is what I found....And I truly do believe that our churches NEED to be stepping up to this...unfortunately we don't come from an area that has this as a main mission of the church...and it saddens me and makes my heart very heavy.
• There are 143 million orphans in our world.  If all the orphans in the world were moved to the country of Mexico, Mexico’s population would more than double, growing from 108,700,000 to 251,700,000
• Over 16 million children were newly orphaned in 2003
• There are approximately 17.5 million orphans who are ages 0-5
• There are approximately 47 million orphans who are ages 6-11
• There are approximately 79 million orphans who are ages 12-17
• 87.6 million orphans live in Asia
• 43.4 million orphans live in Sub-Saharan Africa
• There are as many orphaned and vulnerable children in Ethiopia as there are people in greater NYC
• 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean
• Almost 1.5 million children live in public care in Central and Eastern Europe
That’s our world.
With this many orphans in the United States and in the world the church has a monumental task before it if it is to practice true religion. James 1:27 says, "Religion that is pure and undeled before God, the  Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their afiction." Clearly, the church has its work cut out for it. 
We're not saying you all need to adopt an orphan. We truly believe people are called to this journey...but those of us that do feel this calling CANNOT do it WITHOUT our family, our friends and OUR CHURCH.  We currently are doing fundraisers and we dont even expect you all to be part of them, but we do ask for a significant amount of prayer.  After enduring through this journey, I can honestly say this has been one of the longest and even one of the most stressful journeys we've been on.  The rollercoaster of emotion can be very heartwrenching but yet rewarding all at the same time.  So I have also found a VERY interesting and IMPORTANT link that gives other ways you can be involved in Orphan Care if you arent feeling the call to expand your family!!
Tomorrow Nicholas and I start a 40 day prayer for the orphans.  At one point we were praying for our child.  The child we would adopt one day...and now....God's changed our heart and our prayers.  OUr pray is for every single one of the 147 million children walking this world without a family to love them.  God is moving mountains in our hearts. Our prayer now is that He opens the hearts of all our friends and family and church for this ministry.  We invite all of you, OUR FRIENDS, OUR FAMILY and OUR CHURCH to join us on this 40 day journey. 
Below is the link of the guide we will  be following.  I am going to try and post the 40 day prayer guide but if I dont get it you can surely follow the link!!  Help us pray for our area churches, families and all the children in this broken world! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cards for a Cause

One thing I love doing is reading through old greeting cards that I have received over the years.  We have a basket stored in our bedroom with all these cards and when I'm having a bum day I often pull out a card and just read the message someone sent us at one point in time.  God knows exactly which one I need to when I go to reach for one.  With that I made it a new years resolution to personally write and mail one card a week to someone in our life.  Everyone needs a card at some point, whether for an anniversary, birthday, loss, thank you or just because.
Our grant process is NOT going as planned and the amount of money needed is getting overwhelmingly scary.  We are leaving that all to God, but we also need help from our family, friends and church with prayer for this reason.  We are remaining obediant to Him and our heart is growing stronger and stronger to be advocates for His children, the orphans of the world.  God calls each of us to be part and care for the orphans.  If you/your family are not able to give them a forever family, there is nothing wrong with that!  There is SO SO SO much more you can do.  You can sponser a child through world vision or lifesong.  You can sponser a family with a monthly donation.  You can get involved with fundraisers (we love help, but wont ask you specifically), and YOU CAN PRAY!!  
We currently have the opportunity to make 43% off of every box of greeting cards we sell. They are $30 for a box and one box contains 30 cards.  
    WOW, $1.00 per card!!   
When Walmart sells them for at least $2.99 a card....
....and we'd be ever so grateful for helping us bring Baby Rice home!
We are trusting God in this. Satan wants to discourage us right now, because we dont know where our next $1500 and $1000 payment are coming from. We've already paid over $12,000, which is far more than we ever thought we could contribute from our family income in a year but God truly is blessing us!  We have a long ways to go yet and each day our heart aches more to complete our family through the adoption journey!  Our goal is 40 boxes and with God's goodness and the support from our family and friends we KNOW we can all conquer the devil's plan to discourage us together!  And how awesome if we could BLOW that goal out of the water!!?? 
If you have no need for greeting cards or just cant afford to buy a box right now, please consider helping us share this blog post.  Our phone call, Lord willing, could come any day now and we have to be ready!!