Saturday, October 31, 2009

Requesting FERVENT Prayer

Needless to say these past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for those awaiting referrals from The Minister's Office and today was no different. I received word from my friend who is helping us through the process that courts are closed in Rwanda for the whole month of December. This means that if we do not receive our referral soon, which enables us to schedule a court date, we will have to wait to move forward until January. The prospect of this happening is overwhelming. We are asking everyone we know to pray fervently that we are able to secure a court date before the end of November. Thank you for standing with us!

Psalm 25:3a
"No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame..."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hoping the website is misleading...

One of the other families who is adopting from Rwanda read on The Minister's website that she has quite a busy week, which probably means no referral:( I'm hoping the website is misleading and she'll actually be in the office to approve our referrals this week...I am just struggling knowing that we are missing precious moments with our kids. I'm sure there will be times later in life where I will just want a few precious moments of peace and quiet, but for now, I just want them here!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Stronger Than I Knew"

My mother-in-law sent me an incredible early birthday gift (my birthday is not until December). The title of the picture she sent is, "Stronger Than I Knew." The artist (Julie A Kirkland) painted it during one of the darkest points in her life and she says that it truly was an inspiration from God. It reminded me of where my strength comes from. She wrote this to me and sent it with the picture, "As I look at it I think of you and this past year and so much more- you are stronger than you know, but only with God." Of course it made me cry and I could just see God holding me with His mighty right hand. I uploaded the picture to share with you all- may it encourage your heart as well!

I have to say that both Adam and I have families that have been so wonderful and supportive through this whole journey. They have surrounded us with love and encouragement and they don't give easy answers like, "everything is going to be OK, just trust God." We do trust God, but sometimes you just want people to listen and understand and that is what our families do. Knowing this would be a difficult week, one of my sisters (I have 4) sent me homemade fudge brownies, while 2 others bought me a 2nd BEAUTIFUL convertible crib to match the one they bought me earlier this year (they really spoil me). My mom is working on hand made quilts and blankets so our kids don't freeze and on and on...Adam and I have amazing families.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The kindness of strangers who I call my friends...

Whenever people ask me for an update, I usually tell them the latest news from one of my "friends". Most of these friends I have never met face-to-face, but they have all played a HUGE role in this journey and I feel that our hearts will always be connected. From the other adoptive families passing along news to Tina who has guided us every step of the way to our friends who actually live in Kigali and pass along news whenever possible- we are MORE GRATEFUL THAN WE COULD EVER TELL YOU!!! One of these friends, a man who works for the USAID office in Rwanda, sent this information along so I thought I would share. I really hope "a few days" really means tomorrow or Friday:) I should have learned by now to be less optimistic, but I'm not really good at the whole pessimism/realism thing. Thank you for standing with us!!!

"According to my contact you should get a response in a few days. The good news is that the bureaucratic wheels are in motion. Please be patient, "a few days" is vague, and it could be a bit longer than we prefer."

Monday, October 19, 2009

A few of my favorite things right now:)

Adam's brother was in town this weekend so the boys did a few projects together including putting together a crib and installing a dimmer on the light in the kids' room. I also included pictures of a few other things that remind us that good news could be just around the corner. We feel like friends and family alike are all holding their breath in anticipation- please oh please let the pictures come this week!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Something to make you smile...

I thought I should post something a little more faith-filled after my last posting so here is a video from our high school youth group (it's just from a hand-held camera so please forgive the quality-level). These are students whose lives are being touched and transformed by the awesome love of GOD! Such a wonderful reminder of His love:) I'm so glad that he is patient with me even though I can be so impatient!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hope deferred until next week

Up until this morning I was very hopeful that we would see pictures this week & actually know who our kids are, but our POA wrote the following this morning and I proceeded to cry all the way to work...

Talking with the nun this morning she said that they had already done the medical testing and identified the children for about 12 families including yours. She has not yet submitted all the required information to the ministry- she was to take them today, but Veronique is not in the office. She has made an appointment with Veronique for this coming Friday. So let's wait patiently to hear from Veronique later this week or early next week.

I have been waiting patiently and I will continue to wait because I have no other choice, but it is hard- we look forward with hesitant hope to next week...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Enric Sifa

OK- I know two posts in less than an hour is a little ridiculous, but I was listening to my "Speak Rwanda" lessons and I came across this Rwandan church song that was BEAUTIFUL!!! It sent shivers up my spine to listen to it and I saw that it was sung by Enric Sifa. I proceeded to look him up on iTunes and it turns out that he has a whole CD of Christian music in both Kinyarwandan and English. I bought it immediately and it turns out he has an amazing story as well. I would highly recommend buying his CD "Just a Moment". This is an excerpt on Enric from a music website:

Rwandan born Eric Nshimiyumuremyi (now Enric Sifa) was orphaned by the tragic events of the 1994 genocide and its devastating impact to his country. At age nine he began to live on the streets, trying to find any way to survive. He struggled daily to get food and shelter, suffering from loneliness, abuse and hunger.

Because he loved music, he began hanging around village nightclubs, running errands for patrons. These clubs were dangerous though because drunk patrons or gangs would sometimes beat him or abuse him.

On a Saturday night in 2000, Enric was severely beaten in a nightclub. That night as he lay awake in pain, he felt so miserable because he had no one to help treat his wounds. He heard a voice telling him not to return to that life. The next Sunday morning he wandered into a church. In that church, he found his passion again-music! This music was free, and the people treated him well. Enric's heart began to feel hope for the first time so he gave his heart to God. He immediately began writing songs, and at 14 he wrote many powerful songs like Vahanze (come out and enter) still sung by his fans in Rwanda today.

In 2002 a church member asked Enric to teach children to sing for American visitors coming to help with a summer camp hosted by Africa New Life Ministries. While he led the children in music, Serena Morones from Portland Oregon recognized his life’s potential and offered to help him return to school.

As a newly sponsored student through Africa New Life Ministries, Enric began to flourish. He continued to write music and in 2004 he won a national music competition in Rwanda about the hazard of AIDS and how people can prevent it, earning the right to sit with the President of Rwanda.

While attending primary school at Gakenke Primary School in the eastern Provence, he was chosen as a student leader to attend national children’s summit with Rwandan government leaders. The summit was formed for the purpose of involving Rwandan students in the process of changing the country, to avoid repeating its painful history. He attended the summit for two years.

Today at the age of 21, Enric has composed over 60 songs in both his Kinyarwanda and English. He has appeared on Rwandan TV and radio, performed for government dignitaries and toured three times in the United States with the music group, Hindurwa. Enric's dream is to travel the world and speak about how people can make the world shine by loving each other , and sing to people about God's power to change anyone from the most hopeless circumstances. Enric released his first solo CD in December 2007.

No news, but we are hopeful!!!

Maybe, just maybe, we will hear something this week or early next week. I would love to hear the news right now, but I'll take tomorrow or the next day or really any day, but I would prefer sooner rather than later:)

I read this yesterday in Romans 8 and it just reminded me of simple truths that are easy to overlook...Paul was an amazing man of God!

Romans 8 (Message)
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture...

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.