6 months

taken right after we saw your face for the first time… the night you made us parents!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1 

We chose this verse for you a few months back because of Thanksgiving this month. Little did we know how APPROPRIATE it would be… for we learned of you this month!! We are SO thankful and have repeatedly mentioned His goodness over you and your story. This Thanksgiving we had an extra little (BIG) blessing to be thankful for… YOU! :)

Psalm 136 is also extra special to your mom and dad because we chose to have it read by our pastor and bridal party in our wedding ceremony. :) We are SO thankful for the Lord’s goodness in our lives and His enduring love, and we wish this for you too… a heart full of gratitude. Last month, I wished joy, and this month is thankfulness. I believe the two go hand-in-hand; for when you have a spirit of thanksgiving, you can’t help but have joy.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

Aside from our love for you and God’s love for you, if there was one thing I could choose for you to forever believe with all your heart and never waver from, is this: His goodness. You mustn’t forget that, baby girl. You see, life will bring things that don’t make sense, things that you won’t understand; some things will hurt, and other things will make you angry. Your flesh will want to question His ways. But when you trust His supreme goodness, and trust that above ALL of life’s circumstances–both in the good and the bad, and in the happy and the sad–that He is GOOD… Oh, how this will bring your soul a quiet peace and hope in times of uncertainty.

God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good!! 

I love the books we have picked out for you this month. Daily life will bring all sorts of emotions, as I mentioned above. Know that it is okay to feel sad, scared, and even angry. Emotions are never wrong and are not to bring shame. It is how we choose to act on them, that we must be cautious of. Although we don’t know you fully yet, we already love every part of who you are so much!!

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And since this is our November post, I can’t omit mentioning my very favorite holiday: Thanksgiving! Every year, for all of my 10 years in nursing, I have chosen to work Christmas so I can have Thanksgiving off. Its great because most people want Christmas off, so its a win-win for all. :) I was super stoked this year, because I got to have a four-day weekend over the holiday! Those rarely come around in my field. :) I had to work for it, though… I worked 53 hrs that week! We got to spend the day with my side of the family and then travel up and over the mountain to spend the weekend with my dear Grandma and loving in-laws. It felt good to get away for the weekend and just be. It was a lovely, lovely time.<3  I hope your holiday was full of joy and gratitude this year!

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my soul sings

Its been two weeks since we saw THE FACE of the one who’s been growing in our hearts for years…

Two weeks since learning that the child we’ve prayed for is a GIRL…

and two weeks since we heard our Uga-babe’s NAME.

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Oh my heart! We are still feeling the high of the sweet news! I can’t stop thinking about our daughter, my baby girl.

I am so OVERWHELMED by God’s sovereignty in every detail. We stand in AWE of His greatness!!

One of my favorite hymns keeps coming to mind and my heart can’t stop singing it. It so perfectly expresses the state of our hearts right now, and our response to the news of our daughter…

(I love Selah’s beautiful and instrumental rendition. I especially love the touch of Africa in it –tribal dialect of Congo). :)

And then there’s Carrie Underwood’s POWERFUL rendition!

it’s a GIRL!!!!

Our Uga-babe is a GIRL!  We have a DAUGHTER!

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It’s so surreal to write those words, and my face and heart can’t stop smiling! :) We got THE CALL last Friday, and have been privately relishing in the news with each other and our family this week. We are still reverently in-awe that we are PARENTS! We were expecting to wait many more months… oh how we are so overwhelmed by His gracious timing, friends! Our Uga-babe is perfect. Our hearts are so FULL.

Our baby girl turned 17 months YESTERDAY!  And oh my goodness, she is beautiful!… she has the most gorgeous brown eyes and lashes, and the fullest cheeks. Oh sweet goodness, her cheeks are chubby! I CAN’T WAIT to spend a lifetime kissing them! We LOVE that her tribal/proverb name means Grace. We are smitten, folks. :)

We want to thank those of you who have been praying for us thus far and for praying for our Uga-babe. God’s fingerprints are all over her story. Yet, our journey has only just begun in a lot of ways… please continue to pray for our sweet GIRL and her heart, a SPEEDY court date (we’ve been told it can take 6-8 months!), and PATIENCE and endurance as we wait once again. Now that we know who our Uga-babe is, it takes everything we have to not hop on the first plane back to Africa! We would LOVE to, once again, be on the shorter end of this next stage of waiting… This momma dreams of celebrating with her on her 2nd birthday!!

Thank you for rejoicing with us! We are blown away at God’s INDESCRIBABLE gift to us… and so humbled that He has chosen US… She is immeasurably MORE than we could ever ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)

(And just for kicks, a fun picture… we are ready to “jump” into parenthood!) haha! :)

p.s. (Thanks to Auntie Stacy for taking the photos!)

Love, h & t

153.

Oskar Schindler: I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don’t know. If I’d just… I could have got more.

Itzhak Stern: Oskar, there are eleven hundred people who are alive because of you. Look at them.

Oskar Schindler: If I’d made more money… I threw away so much money. You have no idea. If I’d just…

Itzhak Stern: There will be generations because of what you did. Oskar Schindler: I didn’t do enough!

Itzhak Stern: You did so much. [Schindler looks at his car]

Oskar Schindler: This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people. [removing Nazi pin from lapel]

Oskar Schindler: This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this. [sobbing]

Oskar Schindler: I could have gotten one more person… and I didn’t! And I… I didn’t!

November is Orphan Awareness Month.

153 million.

I know that not everyone is called to adopt. But God commands everyone in James 1:27 to look after the orphans and widows in their distress. The estimated 153 million orphans are RIGHT HERE in our own state and country and around the world.

Please visit your state’s foster care website for info on how you can help and get involved.

Please google orphan care or child sponsorship for organizations to sponsor a needy child around the world. Compassion International or Amazima are two such organizations.

What can you give up this month to help another?

And since I don’t like to challenge others without first upholding it myself, we are giving up our bimonthly dinner dates out this month to make a donation to our local foster care department.

I am usually not one to post stuff like this… one because I don’t think people should ever give out of guilt (but from love, and as the Spirit moves). And, two, because I’m just not one to post passionate posts asking people to do this and that… so why am I posting this?

To bring Awareness.

And because orphans and widows make my heart ache. Will you join me in reaching out this month?

(Clarification: the above dialogue was by no means comparing the Holocaust to the orphan crisis. Nor am I implying that adoption is a valiant “rescuing” effort towards a child. It is to illustrate how sacrificial giving can literally change a life forever.)

*Please feel free to share this post to help bring awareness and to share the challenge.