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Thursday, April 29, 2010

On Food and Nearness

I've gotten a diagnosis. There may be more coming, but for now Oral Allergy Syndrome , or OAS, accounts for some of my food allergies. I also tested positive for other allergies to a variety of foods other than the common OAS foods.

I am being referred to a GI specialist to see about intestinal allergies. I may have to have a colonoscopy. I'm not super thrilled about that. I've never been under anesthesia. My nerves twitch a little at the idea.

Medical food was also mentioned. I'm okay with that, actually. I figure at least I'll be getting more nutrition that way. I know I must be desperate if drinking my meals through a straw no longer seems like a bad option.

I can honestly say I take no delight in food anymore.

Don't get me wrong. I am thankful for every bite I get! Every time I am sick with hunger and I am able to satisfy that need I remember those who will never be able to; those who will die that way. It is truly humbling.

So, yes, food is a blessing.

But, delightful? Not anymore. Not after what it's been doing to me since last August.

Needless to say, not being able to eat raw fruits and vegetables, and being allergic to many of them alltogether, throws my diet a off balance. There are many days I am unable to take in enough calories. The pounds have been melting off.

It's been difficult, to say the least, but I'm thankful I'm beginning to gain some answers. My immunologist also told me that internal allergies could be the root cause for my other crazy symptoms, like sudden drops in blood pressure, racing pulse, etc.

I hope the GI specialist will be able to inform me whether or not I truly have these mysterious internal allergies I know so little about at this point. I'm not excited at the prospect of having more allergies but having more answers is always nice.

Healing would be better.

I resolve to trust in the Lord and follow Him either way.

I still don't understand all that God is doing with me, but that's okay. I love Him. I trust Him. And, when my trust weakens I know I can rely on Him to strengthen my faith and carry me through.

Earlier today I was struggling with my health and my emotions. I was praying and drifting in and out of sleep when I suddenly gained a burst of energy. I came to my computer to discover someone had posted a link to a blog. I followed the link, read THIS story, and was beyond encouraged; I was filled with joy, awe, and praises for the King!

I wasn't encouraged because I think, somehow, God's answer to my question about healing is "yes" because it was yes for Chrissie, but because He allowed us to see His glory in such a seemingly dark place, am impossible situation.

What an amazing testimony Chrissie and her family have been given. To God alone be the glory.

And that is what this is about- God's glory. No matter what form it takes, this life, for me, is ALL about His glory. I KNOW I will get to see the fullness of His glory some day. I see it in part already.

That is enough for today.

I am greatly blessed by the presence of Jesus in my life. I know He is NEAR me even in my affliction.

...... It is good to be NEAR God.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Big Things Coming

Hi friends,

I've been a major slacker here at my beBOLD blog. There are a few reasons for that. At the top of that list is a new collective effort I'm a part of. Precious and Positive is a new blog which consists of several authors writing about how good life can be with children who are HIV positive. If you haven't gone over to check out the blog go there NOW. No seriously, please say hello to us over there. And, hey, why not give us a shout out on your own blog. I promise you we'll be SUPER appreciative.

I wanted to let my most dedicated readers know a couple of things. First, I am going to get my own bloggy upgrade the end of May. Yes, I'm whisking a good friend of mine away for a night at a resort here in town, where we'll be busy doing some poolside relaxation techniques among other things. "Other things" being Julie is going to revamp my whole blog for me- awesome friend that she is.

Isn't that exciting? Well, it is for me anyway.

I'm doing the revamp for a couple of reasons.

When I began blogging it was, like, me and 2 other readers. It was personal even though it was public. I had no real purpose or reason for writing a blog, other than it was a natural extension of all the writing I did in my personal life.

Now, things are different. I sense God calling me to be more purposeful with my writing, and I sense that it I'm to be using it to bless others. In that vein I have been working on some devotionals for adoptive parents. Beginning in May I will be offering those weekly at my spiffy new blog site.

I will continue to write personal posts as the Lord directs and, of course, I will keep everyone updated on the adoption front.

I have also written a children's book which is now being sketched by an illustrator. It has a message I believe in and it's one that the Lord literally gifted to me nearly over night. The story aims to help give adopted children a positive way to relate their own adoption stories to peers. I have lots more to tell you related to the book in the future, but for now I'd love for my faithful blog friends to keep the book and my illustrator friend, Amy, in your prayers.

So that's the latest here. I wish I had a court date to give you but we're still waiting for news. Every day it's growing harder and harder to be patient. I have taken to staring at A*'s gorgeous smile and huge almond eyes more and more these days. I HATE it for him that things have taken so long. I want him home yesterday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

FUNdraiser Friday: Spiffy Shirts!

Chrissy over at Injera and Chocolate Gravy has the cutest tee shirts for sale. Go take a peek. You'll look GREAT in one, I promise.

*Every week I highlight a fundraising effort of a family who is adopting. There's always a parade of wonderful items. It's a fun way to shop from the comfort of your home AND help unite children with their forever families.

If you'd like to have your fundraiser featured email me with the details. Jen@the

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm Thinking....

I'm reminded of this guy today:

I've spent more time listening to Francis Chan from Cornerstone Church. I'm back round to a teaching I listened to last year. Francis's teaching called Who's The Cult (4/19/09) rocks my world every time. Lots to chew on with this one; lots of actions to be made in response. Gotta get real and ask myself again how I'm doing with the "one anothers".

Friday, April 16, 2010

Precious and Positive

Hey friends! I'm joining with a team of other families who have adopted HIV+ kiddos to blog about life with our kids who are Precious and Positive. Pleace check it out. Be sure to check back frequently for more helpful content about life as a positive family and all kinds of resources.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Children's Future Ethiopia & Into The Streets of Ethiopia

I don't think there is a family who's traveled to Addis Ababa who hasn't come back impressed after meeting this man.

Jonas and Uncle Robel Dec '08

Robel is an employee of AWAA but also the founder of Children's Future Ethiopia. Into The Streets of Ethiopia is an organization seeking to help partner with Robel and Children's Future Ethiopia to fund projects that aid street children.

Our family is appreciative of Robel and his work. If you'd like to give to support Children's Future Ethiopia you can follow the link: Into The Streets of Ethiopia

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Children From Hard Places -

I wanted to draw people's attention to a series on parenting children from "hard places" from Family Life Today Radio.

The program guest is Dr. Karyn Purvis- a renowned author in the field of attachment. Listening is worth your time!

Children From Hard Places -

If you are a perspective adoptive parent DON'T MISS THIS SERIES!

Waiting for Court

I got word today that we should hear some news about our scheduled court date in 2-5 weeks.

Yes, that will feel like an eternity but I'm prayerful that the Lord will have mercy and make this the ONE thing in this process that happen on the short end of the timeline, for A*'s sake.

The court date could be anywhere from 4-8 weeks from our DTE date. By the way, Our DTE date is our "dossier to Ethiopia" date. We are DTE Apr 7th.

I can't wait to write and tell everyone we have a court date on the books! Plus we've got to pass soon. You guys NEED to see A*'s cuteness!!!!!! It's a must.

Friday, April 9, 2010

FUNdraiser Friday: Artsy Prints You'll Flip For

This Friday you're in for a treat. These gorgeous 8x10 prints are designed by Candace. As with all our FUNdriaser Friday features, proceeds will help her family bring their child home from Ethiopia.

*Every week I highlight a fundraising effort of a family who is adopting. There's always a parade of wonderful items. It's a fun way to shop from the comfort of your home AND help unite children with their forever families.

If you'd like to have your fundraiser featured email me with the details.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Driving With Jesus

Driving the speed limit may not be a big deal for you, but for me it's MAJOR. I've had issues in the past with speeding. I'm not crazy wreckless but I would say I have a problem obeying the limit. I NEVER speed in residential areas but if you were to catch me on open road (where I live there are quite a few near farmlands) or a freeway, odds would be that I'd be travelling at least 10 MPH over the speed limit.

For years I had absolutely no conviction about this speeding. I was totally fine with it. I avoided putting a church sticker on my vehicle like the plague so as to not cast a shadow on the church's reputation and went on my merry, obstinate way.

Then, one night a few years ago, the Lord tested me in this.

I was driving home from a women's Bible study and was on the last major street before turning into our neighborhood. The street was under construction and the cones were up with those annoying 25 MPH roadsigns in place of the usual 45 MPH ones.

I had every intention of going much faster than the posted limit, mainly because the road was finished being paved and was only waiting to have the stripes painted on. There were no workers out and no cars oncoming. All was clear. I owned the place, baby.

I was just starting to get up to my comfort speed when the Holy Spirit impressed it upon my heart that I needed to slow down.

I took my foot off the gas and waited for the car to slow. Each notch the speedometer fell exacerbated the feeling that I could get out of the car and crawl faster. For some reason I really felt myself rebelling against going that 25 MPH. Surely 30 was close enough?

You have to know the kind of person I am. I'm a total rule follower by nature. I'm a pretty compliant person. I generally have a ton respect for authority. I am also a person who has a strong moral compass. I clearly understand right from wrong. In fact, I'm often times a person who the Lord will call upon to gently speak truth to others who might have a hard time seeing the difference between right and wrong in various circumstances.

So, I knew at that point that what I was doing in speeding was sin. Holy Spirit was asking me to do something and I was refusing to do it. S-I-N. Period.

The hang up for me now was that cars had come up, seemingly out of nowhere, behind me. They were crowing in together, anxious to have me move faster. I was acutely aware that my obedience would be slowing others down, that they would be inconvenienced by it, that they might even dislike me because of it. (Feel free to analyze away about the deeper significance of those issues)

In response to the peer pressure I sorta half "obeyed" by keeping the pace at 30 MPH. Of course there's no way to be halfway obedient. It's all or nothing.

I failed the test.

As crumby as I felt about failing the test, soon I forgot about it completely. Until, yesterday.

I was driving to meet my sister, my mom, and a beloved friend I've known since I was in high school for the afternoon. I decided to use the 40 minute drive to spend some time worshipping Jesus. I turned up the praise music and began singing my heart out.

I hadn't travelled far down the freeway when I felt the Lord impressing it upon my heart to drive the speed limit. I immediately slowed down. It took work to maintain the speed limit because I'm naturally more comfortable driving faster (It's weird, I know) and things don't "feel right" to me when I go the speed limit. It literally feels to me like I'm inching along.

But, I managed to do well. I even remained at the speed limit when the freeway dropped down to 45 MPH in one section.

That was easy to do because the whole time no one had been driving behind me. For some reason, there had been no traffic behind me the whole way to this point and the traffic in front of my this day had all been traveling the speed limit too. Good thing, because I would have been tempted to keep pace with them had they gone faster.

Thirty five minutes into my drive and I'm almost to my destination. The sky is blue, huge fluffy clouds look like freshly bleached cotton balls, the entire desert is in bloom and the mountains are more colorful than I've seen in years. I'm thanking God and doing the speed limit.

Life doesn't get much better than that.

Until, I saw them.

Traffic cones. And a dreaded 30 MPH signs looming ahead. (Who would makes people drive 30 MPH on a WIDE open freeway? It's torture, I tell you!)

A quick check in the rear view mirror revealed the closest car many miles back from my rear. I took my foot off the gas. It didn't take long for my beastly SUV to make the adjustment. I was just about 5-7 MPH withing the target when I decided to glance in the rear view mirror once again.

Dang if that blue car hadn't caught up with me already. It was just about to approach my tailgating discomfort zone.

If you could have understood what was going on in my mind I'm fairly confident you would have been laughing at me. Picture me gritting my teeth and praying with all my heart, "I can do this! I WILL obey you Jesus.... I'm not going to look in my rear view mirror again. I'm just going to look at the road and the speedometer."

Oh, in that moment a battle was raging! I'm thankful temptation isn't the same as sin. Lord knows I was so tempted to slam my foot on that gas pedal and tear out of there. But then, despite my best efforts, I checked the rear view mirror once more.

What did I see? That blue car had backed off at least 50 feet.

And guess what else? There was a line of about 10 cars pressing hard behind that blue car, willing it to move faster.

Do you know I broke down in tears? I couldn't see them with my eyes, but I'm pretty sure angels were holding that blue car back for me. I was so humbled and full of praises. God knew how much I was struggling and made a way for me to be able to obey.

Two things I'm taking away from this seemingly mundane drive to my lunch date.

1) God is always the impetus for our obedience. We were dead in our sins until He made us alive in Christ. It's His mercy that enables us to obey Him in the first place. If I need help I can call on His grace and mercy anytime, because He's rooting for me. He wants me to obey as much as I want to obey, and will make a way for me. 1 Cor 10:13

2) This event made me consider deeply leaders in the Church. I'm thankful for leaders of our faith who are willing to step out and hold back the waves of opposition for those of us who are weaker and need the help. I think all of us will need the help of another at one time or another in many different ways. I pray that by Jesus name and the Power of the Holy Spirit I can one day be used of God to be that kind of help for another. For now, I'm just thankful someone else stood their ground against the pressure of the masses.

So now that I've shared my story I wonder how many of you out there might have a similar experience? Either struggling with temptation and finding the Lord provided you with a way out, or doing a seemingly mundane task only to find God was waiting there to teach you a major spiritual lesson.... Please share! I'd love to hear.

In closing I'm going to leave you with the most chees-tastic song ever. When my sister and I were kids there were many a Sunday we were treated to our music minister's wife singing an ear piercing falsetto rendition of this song. (The woman used vibrato like an assault weapon, I tell you!)

I was in danger of forgetting about it completely when it came to mind during the writing of this post. Today, I find a new affection for this little gem. (Especially in an octave that doesn't make my ears bleed)

Enjoy! ;-)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's There!

Our dossier has been picked up in Addis Ababa by the lovely Furtuna. She's the transition home nurse. Dustin and I got to know her last time we were in Ethiopia. I can't wait to see her again!

Please pray with us for a speedy court date so we can get our boy home!

In other news, my really special friend is in Addis Ababa right now. She's living there while she waits for her case to clear court. She's adopting w/ another agency and is mom to 2 ADORABLE little boys!!! I can't wait to meet them myself.
Our families should be meeting up for a little party in Addis soon, here. In the meanwhile, my friend wants to go visit our little A*. I can't wait to have her give me the full report on how he's doing. It is lovely that's she also happens to be a R.N. Yes, she's a very handy friend to have around!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's Tuesday and I've Got Nothin'

Yes, the title of today's post says it all. I'm dry for today. There is nothing much happening that's post worthy. I've got nothing.

Well, that may not be entirely accurate. Jonas did just dump an entire bowl of dry cereal all over my floor.

That's something.

We're waiting for news of a court date.

That's something.

We had a wonderful Easter celebration.

That's something, too.

Tonight is my first Girl Scout meeting as troop co-leader of a brand new troop. (Seriously, what have I gotten myself into?)

Again, I believe that qualifies as something.

Not that any of this is all that exciting to read about. However, I am working on some important articles and revamping some posts that I think you'll want to check out. Those should be up soon, so be sure to check back later.

Friday, April 2, 2010

FUNdraiser Friday: Ukraine Decals

The same genius of design who made our Ethiopia decals has made some for Vanya's family to help them bring him home.

Today's Friday FUNdraiser is the Ukraine Decal.

Grab This Button

*Every week I highlight a fundraising effort of a family who is adopting. There's always a parade of wonderful items. It's a fun way to shop from the comfort of your home AND help unite children with their forever families.

If you'd like to have your fundraiser featured email me with the details.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Last You'll Ever Hear...

... about our dossier is this:

We're DTE today. That's how AWAA abbreviates "Dossier to Ethiopia". What that means to us is that our dossier was cleared by the US State Department and is on it's way via a FedEx plane to Addis Ababa. It should arrive there within two weeks. At which time an AWAA staffer will pick it up and take it to be translated. Once translated a court date will be requested.

I received an email today from our Family Coordinator telling us that May 9th the new Ethiopian Court rule requiring families to be present for their court hearing will go into effect.

We'll see how things will play out for us.

Stay tuned...