Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Friday, November 30, 2007

We are in Dubai, United Arab Emirates!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! An unexpected surprise...they have a free internet booth at the airport. I have had to wait a few hours to find an opening, but when you have nothing else to do for 8 hours, it's not so bad :-) The diversity is unbelievable, and for someone that loves people watching, I am having a hayday! We are doing well...we are safe and healthy. The flights have been incredible! We LOVE flying Emirates--Todd and I have enjoyed the pampering and the time together. We have so many details to share...where to start. First of all, it is about 3:30am Dec. 1st. We board the plane at 8:15 and will arrive in Entebbe, Uganda at 2:50 pm. It's getting close--we are so excited! Dubai is amazing with shops everywhere, it looks and feels like a busy mall. Even in the middle of the night, things around here are bustling. We got a free meal because we have over a 4 hour layover. Let's just say the food was interesting! Right after we ate, Todd said, "I am ready for some french toast and bacon!" We'll have to wait a couple more weeks for that...right Mom?!? Jim and Beth, I think you would love it here...this should be your next vacation spot--good shopping and good golfing!
Let me highlight a few happenings of the trip so far...
* On our flight to New York we sat next to a young man who is a senior at BYU. Before he even said anything, I knew that we were supposed to talk to him. Sure enough, we ended up talking the entire flight, a little over 3 hrs. I believe it was a divine conversation.
* Arriving at JFK airport was exciting. I think I had culture shock just being in New York! Every single person we talked to was genuinely friendly. Then before we boarded our flight, we saw a woman (I am assuming she was muslim) walking through the airport carrying her 6 year old son who was unconscious. The airport staff really didnt do much for her, but got her some ice and a wheelchair. They began talking to her trying to figure out what happend. In the meantime, the rest of her family boarded the airplane and the plane took off, leaving her there by herself! She was crying and Todd and I had a heart that was breaking for her. We stood just watching trying to figure out what we could do for her. I knew to pray, but what else. Todd and I continued praying for this little boy, and as I was asking God what I should do--He told me to pray for the boy. I said, I am praying. God nudged me further saying "Pray over him." I froze. I thought surely that is my crazy, loopy mind speaking to me. God said it again. Todd confirmed that I should go. I was only hesitant out of fear and embarassment, but I knew I had to obey my Lord. I walked over to the women in the midst of staff people around her, I asked if the boy was ok, and I asked if I could pray for him...she said yes. I laid my hand on him and prayed out loud. When I finished I walked away. It was later that I learned that she did not speak any english at all. I still dont know why God had me pray over a muslim women's boy, but I am confident that God was at work and things were happening in the spiritual realm.
* We made a stop in Hamburg, Germany and I asked some of the Germans how to pronouce my maiden name (which has always been something my family has wondered about). It is exactly the way we have always said it! I told them that they say it better though! I also found out that the first part of the name means "early". Kinda cool!
* One last thing, Todd and I got a really hard laugh when we were flying to Dubai and were trying to figure out what time it was and what time zone we were in. As we were talking we realized that on Nov. 29 at 7 pm we ate dinner and at 11pm we boarded our flight. During that flight we ate another dinner, breakfast, lunch and two snacks...the funny thing was only 11am!! It had been the middle of the night! It is so weird how you dont realize that when you are flying. With all that food you would think we were running a marathon...nope, we were just sitting and watching movies and playing video games on the seatback in front of us!!!
We are having a super time although we already miss Jaden, Kellen and Sage sooooo much! We are so thankful for my mom and my friends who love us so much and are loving on our children. Jaden, you would have loved the tv and video games on the airplane--it was a lot of fun. Kellen, you would love seeing all the people here and talking to every one of them. We know you would make a lot of new friends on this trip. Sage, you would love all the food we have gotten...mousse, brownies, cheesecakes, and chocolates...and we have seen so many cute little girls your age that you would have fun playing with. We love you and miss you so much. We are praying for you. Thank you for praying for us. It is so special knowig that you are praying for Mommy and Daddy. We will write again soon! Oh, I am thrilled...the next time you hear from us we will be holding our two precious Ugandan children. We will give them lots and lots of hugs and kisses from you all!
Keep praying, God is at work!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WE ARE GOING TO AFRICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We can hardly believe it...we are actually going to Africa! This is the first of two required trips. On this trip we will visit with Christopher and Katie for a few days, talk to the official and tell him "yes we still want these children" and he will transfer foster care from the director of the baby cottage to us. It is then that a court date can be set. They said it would take a miracle, but there is a chance that we could have a court date by Christmas! Chances are more likely that it will be at the beginning of the new year, but we can pray to the author of miracles! Oh it feels so good to know things are moving forward. We long to see and hold Christopher and Katie--I cannot even describe the anticipation we are experiencing!
We will soon have many pictures to share. I can't wait!!
I have put off blogging for quite awhile...I knew that there was so much to write about and I kept waiting for a big chunk of time. I should know by now that with three kids there's never a big chunk of time!!
God is at work around us even in the little details--we are constantly reminded of that. Although things may seem slow, God has an appointed time and it will not be delayed from that. We have been learning that this is not about the end result (of getting our two children--although we wanted them yesterday!)it is about embracing the process and experiencing God to the fullest. He is alive and active amongst us. I do not want to miss all that God has for us.

* In September, Vern Streeter, the pastor of Harvest Church, met with us to learn more about our heart and vision for Africa. We got to share our story and how it all originated with my mom two years ago. That weekend Vern's sermon was on Abraham and his faith. At the end of his sermon, he talked about my mom and the faith she displayed in responding to God's call to go to Africa. The part of my mom's story that I absolutely love is the "ripple effect." Her obedience to go resulted in many lives changed for eternity. She impacted lives on her trip, we decided to adopt, others who have heard our story are now adopting, my mom and dad have started a foundation-- ...the list goes on and on. When we make a decision to respond obediently, God blesses many.
As Vern closed, he prayed for our babies to come home soon and that the Judge would rule "yes." He asked the church to be praying for our babies and the Judge.

* God has blessed me with many "divine conversations." I often get phone calls or emails from people I have never met--friends of friends of friends. It becomes a conversation of mutual encouragement and praise to God. I have gotten to know people in Washington, Texas and throughout Montana. God is so good! I am so thankful for these people God has sent my way and for the encouragement and blessing He has poured out on me through them.

* A couple months ago there was a high school convention held in Billings for the surrounding high schools. The schools were talking about world travel and had to pick a country, do speeches, make a food, and learn as much as they could about that particular country. A high schooler named Kiah, who had met us once in the summer and had heard our story, got her school to choose Uganda, and invited us to be apart of the convention. We got to have a table displaying our scrapbook, t-shirts, and items that had been brought back from Uganda. Erryn came with me and displayed her jewelery (100% of the profits from her jewelery business go to Jireh Ministries Foundation). We had many great conversations that day, sold lots of t-shirts, and even got to give an impromptu speech to a few hundred students about Uganda and our adoption. It was so incredible to share this God-given passion with so many.

* For about six months we have been saying that Billings is budding with excitement for Africa. It is waiting to blossom and God has big things in store. That could not be any more true. In March 2008, Billings is having a H20 Day to raise awareness and funds for clean water in Africa. It is a huge event that will require many months of planning. Erryn went to the initial meeting and got to share about Jireh Ministries Foundation and their needs. Because of that, Jireh was chosen as one of the five projects for H2O Day. One fifth of the funds raised will be given to Jireh!

* We received a link to the Canadian paper that wrote an article about Katie and her blood transfusion in which the blood was donated by Jocelyn, a volunteer at Amani Baby Cottage.

* I also met another volunteer who had served at Amani Baby Cottage in the fall of 2006. Her name is Katie and our meeting each other through email was God-orchestrated. She had grown attached to our little Christopher while she served at ABC and has prayed for him ever since. She has prayed that he would find a forever family to love him, long before we knew that he would be our son. God has reminded me over and over that He loves us all so much and He truly is the Father to the fatherless.

* We just found out that the Uganda officials are now requiring parents to travel two times to Uganda. They want to know that we are serious about our children and make sure there is no child trafficking taking place. Although this means added expenses, we are thrilled to see our children.