Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Ethiopia

Good Morning and Merry Christmas Blog World- I am writing from sunny Ethiopia where it is at least 70 degrees and I am a bit jealous of our TN snow that I heard all about on Facebook. Facebook works great here, blogs not so much, so I am actually facebooking you right now and my sweet hubs will copy and paste it for me. I wanted to give you a quick update and if I pass court he will handle the pics from there just so there will be no delay in cuteness. First thank you for your prayers, Mercy's fever was gone by the time we got here so now we are just nursing a runny nose. Also, her Ethiopian name that we can never pronouce is Shhhh-why-a (long a) as a random fyi. She is TINY, 2-t and a size 5 or 6 shoe. (As a side note when I picked her up she had on like a 6-9 month outfit :( All the shoes I brought are too big. She is so cute and little which works out great because she does love to be held and snuggle. We are on the 3rd floor of our guest house and I am getting a workout carrying her up and down. She is playing calmly beside me right now like a complete angel. We had a very hard day the first day so I cannot tell you how relieved I am now. She was scared to death to leave the orphanage and then was very defiant. You don't want to come to another country and traumatize a child and then have to be stern with them but God kept telling me over and over, you are the mama, she does not know what is best for her, you have to show her. That was so hard and topped with the fact that I was utterly exhausted from not sleeping much from London to Ethiopia just almost sent me over the edge. I messaged J and told him I was going to take a nap before I made any major decisions about whether or not I could handle life and it worked. She needed a nap too I now know. She LOVES her new (well probably only) sippy cup. She is super smart, will repeat most English words and says Mommy, Daddy, and Cross (with a rolled r which is the cutest thing ever). We were looking at the photo book and she out of the blue pulled it up to her face and kissed Cross. My friend Whitney and I almost cried. It was precious! Her skin is very dry and I think her tummy is off but other than that things seem good. It is just hard knowing the lack and loss that she has had. It breaks your heart knowing that she was really scared to death to leave the orphanage to go to (what she has no idea of) a better life. I will be so glad when J and I are back here for our final pick up. I never want her to wonder again. Ok, signing off now so I can share the internet. Love you guys to death and can't wait for you to meet our angel! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bullocks are Better

Hey guys, I just had to get on real quick and thank you a TON for your prayers. I felt them possibly more than I have ever felt prayer before in my life. I had a good day yesterday and a great day today. I was smiling so big in the little girl section of Old Navy today that you would have thought I had hit the jackpot and I HAVE. Quick update cause I need to go hug my man's neck, London and flight=problem. Pray Pray, my flight has not officially been canceled so just PRAY. Secondly there was a little miscommunication about where I was going to stay (aka they don't have my name down and I booked it in October) SO pray God puts me right where I am supposed to be and pray that I am a big girl and a sweet girl about it. Finally, I just read a blog for a group that got home this week from Ethiopia and there is a precious little story about my girl and a picture that will give you a small taste of what is to come. *See Link Below* Oh how I wanted to scream MOMMY IS COMING baby girl. Oh and one last prayer, a friend of mine who now lives there visited Mercy today and she is SICK AND she feel and bonked her head. I have never been so motivated to get on a 16 hour flight in all my life. Please pray she is totally healed and that I can get to her sooner rather than later. I am praying it is just a cold but without treatment............oh just pray! Ok, gotta go! Love you guys! Will keep you "posted" hahahaha Get it! hahhahah


Sunday, December 19, 2010


Hey Blog World,

I have about 451 million things to do in the next 3 days so I am doing what any normal human would be doing in my situation, blogging. What a great use of my time but I knew you of all people wouldn't mind and wouldn't judge me. So on to my title, topic at hand. I told Jeremy this morning "I think I may cry a lot at church today" (I am sure he thought to himself O GREAT) but he nicely said "why" and then I told him what every man loves to hear "I am just feeling a bit emotional" and honestly that word bit is a bit of a lie. To be totally honest I feel excitement, fear, anxiety, thrill, panic, amazement, the list could go on and on and on. I want to cry my eyeballs out one minute and the next I want to jump for joy. One minute I want to run get on a plane this second and the next I want to run away altogether. One minute I think A DAUGHTER, MY FIRST DAUGHTER, and then the next minute I am thinking, could this all really be happening?

People keep asking me as their eyes gleam with joy, "are you so excited?" I want so badly to say YES and sometimes I just do, but really I feel like saying, "no I am freaking out to be totally honest." I am flying very far away without my husband. I am leaving my son for Christmas who is also sick of all things. I have only met this child 2 short times and now she is about to be our daughter, I sure hope she likes us. And then the OCD planner in me wants things all organized and perfectly planned and that is NOT humanly possible in Ethiopia and to top it all off there is 1 FOOT of snow currently in London. I don't even know where to begin with that.

But the the good news of all this emotion is, I have Jesus. In the morning I will awake, I will drink hot chocolate, I will talk to the King of the Universe and He will calm my fears. Today at church our pastor got up and said (very loudly I might add) "do not be afraid". I thought how nice it was for him to give just little ol me a perfect and timely word. I felt sorry for all the other people who were there and didn't need that word because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had sent it just for me. So I (by His amazing grace) am going to attempt to take it one moment at a time. I am going to throw some things in a suitcase and come Wednesday at about 6 p.m. I am going to walk on a plane and then there will be no turning back. I will do it afraid. I will obey this calling. I will take whatever medicine is needed to calm my anxious nerves and I am going to go get my legacy regardless of my fears and reservations. I was born to mother this child. I was created to give her a life her precious mother could not give. I can do all things (including meet her mother, speaking of that) through Christ who gives me strength. God will give me the words to say while I am in court, I will pass court, I will NOT listen to satan's lies, I will bring that baby girl home soon and forever!

So while we are on the subject and while it is EXTREMELY obvious that I might need a "bit" of prayer, let me just go ahead and do what I really do best and just make you all a nice/neat list!

1. Pray that I will get what NEEDS to get done, done, and walk away. When I leave town I obsess over having everything perfectly set up for Cross and J (can we say CONTROL FREAK). I am partly just so thankful that Jeremy is so gracious to let me go on trips and I want to make his life so easy, but he is a BIG boy and he doesn't need me to (or ask me to for that matter) buy enough food for a month or lay out Cross' clothes for a week. They can handle it without me just fine!
2. Pray for my travel, I am not thrilled about our numerous layovers (other than the fact that it assures me some better meals along the way) because of the snow issue. I am out of my comfort zone ENOUGH as it is not to have to rework the flights or have delays and stay in OTHER foreign lands where there is not a guest house and interpreter waiting for me.
3. Details, there are 101 million details that I do not know right now and I am not the best at that "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of living that Ethiopia oh so loves. It is good for me I know, but pray I am FLEXIBLE yet not clueless!
4. My men, pray for my sweet men, pray J has an awesome Christmas, pray that Cross is not sick any longer and that he has the best time ever with Daddy.
5. My meeting with the birth mother. When things really freak me out I ignore them in my mind, it is an art really, but in a few days I will not be able to ignore the fact that I will possibly get to hug the woman who bore and so graciously "gave up" her daughter in order to make sure she had better nutrition. Mercy also has an older brother and I just want them to see Jesus. I want them to know we are forever indebted to their loss. I want them to find hope for their future through the hope of hers.
6. My travel and my friend's travel (pray a million blessings over her for going with me and her sweet family (she is an only child) who is letting her go and miss Christmas). Last time I didn't do so hot. I was so sick on the way home that I honestly at one point prayed to die. I knew satan wanted to torture me with the flight so that I would not be brave enough to make it again (twice technically). I remember saying out loud, try as hard as you want satan but if God opens the door for us to come back and get Mercy, I will make this flight again, I WILL! I need to eat more, a lot more than I did last trip. I need to take more meds, a lot more than I did last trip. And finally, I need to move around more which the layovers will allow for certainly.
7. And finally, keep praying for the funds, we have two grants that will be looking at our family this month. Pray that our paperwork has unmerited favor on it and that we get the fullest grant amounts possible. That would basically complete our fundraising and with her coming home in less than 2 months that would be huge! We had an amazing blessing this weekend that I will tell you more about later, but in one day, one ordinary day, we received over $1300.00. That is a Jesus surprise for certain!

Ok, I am getting off and probably going to snuggle tight with my sweet husband in order to get in a few more together nights. He is the best man, the best husband, and by far the best daddy on earth. Little Mercy girl has no idea the blessing God is giving her with that man. She is going to be the absolute love of his life I know and I can't wait to witness every single moment! I love you guys and I can't thank you enough for your prayers! Next post.......................................will be PICTURES!!!!!!! Stay tuned!


Friday, December 10, 2010

The Wilderness and the Fight to Emerge

*Hey guys, just a quick note about adoption stuff. I leave for court in one short week and then as long as all goes as planned, J and I will pick Mercy girl up and bring her home in February. We have raised $15,000 (can we all say THANK YOU JESUS) and we are waiting to hear back from 2 grants so pray pray! Also, beads, if you need beads, especially for Christmas presents, let me know right away. If you are local I can meet you and if you are not I can mail them out this week in plenty of time for Christmas. They make beautiful gifts if I do say so myself! I will do another t-shirt order in January so it is not too late for those either. Love you all! Ok, back to the topic at hand...........

Hello Blog World,

This is the 3rd time I have sat and attempted this post so we will see if it actually comes to fruition this go around. This is a hard topic for me to type and although I have several myths about adoption that I still want to post, I know that this post must come first. It is my real life, my real journey, my real pain. I have avoided the topic at times in an attempt to not be so wo is me, but I know deep down that it will minister to you and I pray deep down that you will know my heart ahead of time, people have lived through much worse, but this is my cup and it hasn't always been pleasant.

To give you a bit of background, especially for those I have only been dear friends with through cyberspace, I did not grow up with a family who was madly in love with Jesus. I have awesome parents who both did the best they could with the dish they had been served, but I suffered a lot and I mean a LOT of heart ache growing up and the previous part was not one bit my fault yet the 2nd half was almost solely. At the ripe young age of 23 I was living in Clarksville, freshly out of college, and I had an encounter with Jesus that has rocked my life ever since. He met me in my deepest pit of sin, said enough is enough, and He rescued me. From that time up until Cross was born, God showered down His blessings upon me, almost 24/7. Within weeks of overcoming my last addiction I met the man of my dreams. That handsome guy you see at the top of the blog is my husband of 6 years, Jeremy. God gave us a beautiful home. Jeremy got a great job right out of college, I got a great job at Hope Pregnancy Center, and then finally, the surprise of our life, little Cross was created and we couldn't have been more happy. Now please hear me say that those years were not gloriously perfect. We have both said many times before that year number one of our marriage felt often times a tad too close to HELL. We were two people with plenty of baggage and we worked through so much, but over all we were just so incredibly blessed. I was so in love with my Father. I loved life. I knew He had a GREAT plan for our lives, the list could go on and on.

And then 2008 hit. We had our share of financial problems in 2007, but things were okay, Jeremy was in seminary, we were pregnant, but God had provided. I really don't remember all hell breaking lose until 2008. In one short year we had a son, moved as far east as the states would allow, battled loneliness and the start of my adrenal fatigue, went from an adorable house to a rental that was not so glamorous to say the least and then ran head on into the largest decision of our lives. Jeremy and I both felt God was calling him to resign from his current job without knowing what we were going to do next. So we did obey but with great expectations of the doors that were going to swing wide open. Except...........they didn't. It seemed more like a crack in the wall was the only opening we could find.

Let me back up and tell you another tiny detail, I was also newly pregnant, again, and sick as a dog at the time. I remembered this mom who had joyfully made all of Cross' baby food, who had probably never even let his diaper get too wet, and now I was laying on the couch 24/7, the house a complete wreck and I was dumping a box of Cheerios on the ottoman for Cross as a snack. I remember God sending my precious friend over to my house and her pulling me into a chair while she scurried around and changed Cross' diaper, fed him a real meal, gave him a bath and started our dinner. I was a HOT MESS!

Then to move this portion of our story along, we moved back to Clarksville, I lost my sweet baby boy, Cade. One year later I lost my dearest friend Shawnna to breast cancer, and all along Jeremy never found another job that would pay the bills. That precious man applied for literally hundreds of jobs and not one, NOT ONE, came through. So he took the only jobs he could find making very little money (not much more than minimum wage) and working extremely long hours just trying to make ends meet.

I remember hours and hours of begging God to reveal where we had gone wrong. I would have turned and repented from a tooth ache if it would have stopped the insanity of what honestly felt like a curse. I remembered Joyce Meyer talking about a wilderness, hers with finances had lasted 3 years, THREE WHOLE YEARS, I remember specifically thinking I would just DIE if ours lasted that long. During all this time too I was (and have been) in constant battle with a new term that is oddly growing dear to my heart, adrenal fatigue. I was diagnosed with this in North Carolina, given what I for sure referred to as my happy pill, an all natural supplement, and I was good to go in a matter of weeks. After losing the baby it came on again in overwhelming force. I literally could not stay awake for much longer than 3 hours at a time. I would get up, go for a few hours and then drag myself to the couch for Cross' 3 hour nap, then I would muster up everything my body could give to make it from the deathly long stretch from 3-7p.m. and then I would crawl in the bed for the night. This time I made the possible mistake of going to the "real doctors" who after hundreds of dollars in medical expenses (that we obviously couldn't spare) I was told that I was perfectly healthy. I thought that was great news and all except for the fact that I could hardly DRIVE without falling asleep. I went back on the supplements and again, a million times better in a matter of weeks. Not to mention and this is worth mentioning because it is a huge deal, especially for a woman, I lost several pounds in a weeks time as well. When you are exhausted, you eat to try to fuel yourself to go on with life and when that was fixed, pounds literally fell off. Really that whole topic was another journey in my wilderness, no money for clothes, hair, couldn't get rid of weight. I felt horrible inside and then daily I stared at what seemed like horrible on the outside to match. I remember days thinking to myself, "what has happened, I used to be so positive, I used to enjoy life". This was another sign of adrenal fatigue and now after just getting my hands on a book to read about it, I had gone through almost ever single stress trigger that was listed, tragic loss, major life change and a constant stressor (sometimes financial), can I say check, check, check.

So with all of that, I have now stared in the face what I am certainly coming to terms with and that has been a wilderness. God has promised me over and over that although we have certainly not been perfect these past few years that we have not rebelled against Him or stepped away from His will. He has shown me a million things, too many to list really, but a few include that we are being tested to make sure our faith will withstand suffering, that we are being humbled and reminded that REAL life is really hard so we will have grace and mercy on others and then certainly, we are not exempt from the curse and the fall. Loss happens, even to good people. Death strikes, even when you pray your little heart out. Life sucks sometimes, even when you are madly in love with Jesus.

And then finally, we are learning the fight to emerge. Good gravy does life often give you a spoonful that will just about make you wanna quit. I have never longed for Heaven so much in my life. I am staring at the decision daily, where will I go from here? I am sure someone else quoted this great phrase and I have read it along the way, but I thought a few months ago, "The greatest successes in your life may be how you emerge from your failures". I look at Joyce Meyer now and think to myself, she doesn't even seem to have ever had a bad day, but I know that is very far from the truth. She put in her time in the hot desert and now she is reaping the harvest. I wanna get to the other side, heck, most days I just want to really believe that there is another side. I have had to force myself to find and then fork out the money to buy the supplements for my fatigue so that I could go on with life and further the Kingdom. I have had to forgive myself for being a not so great mom these last two years of Cross' life. I have been short tempered and just plain tired for the most part, but I can't change the past, I can only change the future. I have to dream again although most days my dreams don't seem to go any further than paying our bills for the current month. I have had to KEEP reading my Bible, KEEP my butt around crazy sold out women, KEEP singing songs of praise in church even when my chest was caving in and then I think most importantly, go rescue this little girl from Ethiopia, even if I think God's timing in the call was a bit odd. I have to obey what He has called me to do, even when I am desperately awaiting other break throughs.

So that is it my friends, even if it seemed long, I can assure you that was a very short account of our recent wilderness. Daily it seems to be disappearing, daily my Spirit tells me we are ALMOST on the other side. I will never probably wish for it to return, but I can say with total certainty, I have grown more in the wilderness than I did in the promise land. I pray I cling to my Savior just as much in the years to come. I pray that when the prosperity is there that I cling to the only One who gives just as closely as I had to cling when He took away. I pray that we exit this season, but I pray that the scar that is left will be a reminder to me as I minister to other women that life is just dang hard. I pray that anyone watching our crazy life unfold will know and remember that there is no greater joy than that of the living Christ. I have said a million times over when satan temped me to turn my back because God didn't seem to be listening that better is one day is His courts than a thousand elsewhere. I have lived well over a thousand elsewhere and I know my best day there couldn't even shine a light on my worst day here. He is it, He is everything, He is worth it!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Handsome.............

Good Morning Everyone, I wanted to introduce to you our newest 3 year old on the scene. Three years ago today a doctor put this little guy in my arms and things most certainly have not been the same ever since. He is growing into the most handsome young tot and at times using the nicest manners a gal has ever seen. Cross, Mommy and Daddy love you more than you will ever know! We pray you love Jesus madly some day! Thank you for being the perfect, first born, love of our lives! I included a few photos of our rootin tootin cowboy trick or treating! He sealed the deal that day in those cowboy boots. My heart was forever stolen!

Mom and Dad