Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Heart's Home

Please enjoy this slideshow of our trip. Pictures don't do it justice.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

I think I'm still processing all of the wonderfulness that was Jamaica. Adam and I left at 3:00 on Saturday morning complete with nerves, excitement, and expectation.

We prayed that the Lord would provide us friendships, favor, and connection. Boy did He. We made so many friends in Jamaica, and we can't wait to go back and serve again.

We had a great trip to the CDA where we turned in our completed application and met with our caseworker. She said we can call as often as we'd like to check on the status of our application. I told her that she might regret saying that to me...

Adam and I connected with some people from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) where we had the opportunity to go the the  hospital to pray with one of the staff member's father who is undergoing treatments for leukemia.

We got to visit two children's homes and spend time with so many precious babies. It was the highlight of my trip!

We also met so many awesome locals at the hotel where we stayed.

We were blessed in so many ways on our trip. I journaled every day and wrote letters to our baby. I've never felt closer to our child than I did when I was in Jamaica. We felt complete like never before.

It was difficult for us to leave, as a matter of fact, I know that we both left half our hearts there.

Now we're waiting patiently. Well, we're waiting anyhow. We're hoping to hear something from our caseworker. Maybe I'll call her tomorrow.


Please be in prayer for our restless hearts, and that the Lord's will be done.

We know that His timing is perfect.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jamaica Bound!

Some goodies for the children's home!

The time has come! We'll be leaving for Jamaica in the morning (by morning I mean 3:00 AM! Yes, there is one in the AM, too. )

It seems very surreal that we're finally going. Jamaica has been in my heart and on my mind for so long, I can't believe it's about to be in my sight.

Details of our trip...

We'll be getting into Jamaica tomorrow around noon. We're staying at a local hotel in MoBay (Montego Bay) that was recommended to us by a non-profit organization that works with the CDA and solely supports Jamaican Children's Missions called, Embracing Orphans. They have been a tremendous support system for us on our journey thus far.

We'll be serving at two children's homes on the island. One is called Blossom Gardens, and the other is called The Robin's Nest. We have gathered supplies (diapers, lotion, shampoo, wipes, small toys etc.) that we can pack in our bag and donate to the homes.

It brings so much joy to my heart when I think of getting the honor to love on those children! I'm going to take entirely too many pictures and monopolize everyone's conversations with stories from our trip, so I sincerely apologize in advance.

On the flip side, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be leaving half of my heart in Jamaica. I know that when we get off that plane and step foot on the island that has been placed on our hearts for almost seven months, we'll feel the blessing of stepping right into God's footprints for our lives. I can't wait to see what God has planned for us there.

We've connected with a couple that is currently living in Jamaica.  Although they've been living the the US for awhile, the husband is native born Jamaican and still has family on the island. They have offered to show us around and pick us up from the airport. Praise God for connections in the community!

Specific Prayer Requests:

  • Travel mercies. (safe travel I HATE airplanes) and safety while we're on the island.
  • For the people in Jamaica to see our hearts and know our love for them and their children.
  • For lifelong friendships to be formed.
  • For favor and grace when we meet with the Child Development Agency on Tuesday.
  • That we will continue to grow in peace and trust for God's perfect timeline for our family.
Well, that's about it. My next post will be full of pictures and tales of our wonderful trip. I can't wait to tell you how God moves. 

Pray it! Claim it! Amen!

We're so blessed by the number of people who gave, prayed, ran, and sacrificed so much to make this trip possible. We thank God for you. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Redefining Normal

Crossing the finishing line. Amazing moment!

Before I start my post, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my amazing momma. I know I shared this quote with you before, but it perfectly reflects how I feel.

“My mother... she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her. " -Jodi Picoult

After Chuck's burial I was standing near a friend. I turned to him and he told me that the hardest days were yet to come. I didn't necessarily believe him, but now I see that he was right. The days right after are a total blur. Funeral homes, obituary writing, burial, flowers, casseroles etc...

Then comes the real world.

I came back to work last Monday and was met with the abrupt recognition and truth that life. goes. on. I still have a job to do, our dog and cat still need to be fed, meetings, responsibility, obligation, no mercy, no exceptions, no excuses. I think it actually helped me. I needed to redefine what I've deemed, The New Normal.

We had our home study interviews and home visit. Everything went exceptionally well. We are so blessed to say that our travel dates to Jamaica have officially been booked. We'll be there from November 17-21. (Yes, that's two weeks away!) Our goal while we're there is to meet with the CDA and turn in our finalized dossier, serve at Blossom Gardens Children's home, worship at a local church, and build community. We can't wait and I'll update as soon as I can.

We also had an amazing turn out and experience at our race. We ran with a beautiful laminated picture of Chuck to honor his memory. I clenched it tight the entire last mile. He was smiling down, and that warmed my heart. It was truly the best day of my entire life. I'm not exaggerating. Our support system is second to none, and I can't wait to tell Baby H all about it. Crossing the finish line with Adam and being surrounded by so many family and friends was such an emotional and humbling experience. From the awesome cookies (LAUREN!) to the knitting half-marathoner (Samantha!), Baby Steps certainly had a presence. As pictures come in, I will post more. I didn't have a camera or take a single picture. It's a good thing I have stalkeratzi friends (Kristin, Cassi & Mom)

We will do this race as long as we are able.

I am still running on fumes I think, but the peace I feel is God given. I am so grateful for all of the prayers and encouragement that we've received. The Lord has been with us every step, for that I am certain.

Thanksgiving is coming, and although it has been tough lately, I am so grateful for so many things. The Lord is working and moving in ways I can't even explain. Our lives will change forever when we have our sweet child. My heart skips a beat just thinking about it.

As I prepare to tuck in for the evening, I know that we are one day closer to becoming a family. That's a good feeling.