Saturday, April 14, 2012

Headache, sore throat, tornado warnings, cancelled flights, and we couldn't be happier!

Pounding headache and unbearably sore throat, severe weather/tornadoes forecasted for our area, behind schedule with packing and getting Jalen ready for his week with his grandparents, and then in the middle of packing I get a phone call saying our flight was cancelled!  The after being on hold for hours I find out that we would not be able to get our regularly scheduled connecting flight through Chicago and would have to go through Houston!  Might not have been a big deal except we were meeting my parents and friends in Chicago and my mom was looking so forward to seeing us tomorrow.

What a day it has been and who would have thought that at the end of it we would really be at peace with it all, see God's plan and still get to see my parents and get to Ethiopia before our court date?!?

Let me start with my sickness on Friday.  I woke up with a terribly sore throat that progressed through the day and by the end of the day I had a pounding headache and could barely swallow.  I prayed and prayed to be fully healed by the morning because I had too much to do to be sick the day before leaving.  I was also very anxious about leaving this weekend because we were told that the storms lining up to come through Oklahoma were looking pretty bad and that there would be a lot of tornado warnings for our area with the worst being from Saturday night into Sunday morning.  1.  We would have been driving at 3:30am through the expected severe weather , 2.  I would be leaving Jalen knowing there may be a tornado (and by the way growing up in Illinois, I used to get physically ill when we had tornado warnings and although am better they still freak me out!)  3. My poor mother-in-law being mostly born and raised in Arizona has never experienced a tornado warning and is not from here and would have to get Jalen all packed up and headed to a friend's shelter by herself...just so many things to be nervous about.

Well let me just sum this all up by saying God always has a plan and we have a hard time seeing it when it doesn't seem to equate with our plan but when we look back, we see how much better His plan was.   I woke up this morning fully healed from my sore throat and pounding headache and let me tell you it was not the kind of sore throat and headache that goes away that quickly!  As of now, our town has yet to be hit with any severe weather and although our flights were cancelled, we were redirected through the same route to leave 1 day later.  We now can spend the last day home with Jalen and my mom-in-law and just relax mostly, and I can feel more prepared and not stressed about leaving.  Also we don't have to worry about driving to OKC in bad weather at 3:30am being very tired  to catch our flight.  Although our layover in Chicago was shortened, we still get to see my parents and will ultimately arrive in Ethiopia Tuesday night so we can sleep well and shower before court Wednesday morning.  So yes, all is well with us!

Also if you look at our fundraising thermometer it has increased by $1,000 very recently!  We have been blessed over and over again by dear friends and family and cannot thank everyone who has helped us financially and especially to those of you continuously praying for us.  Believe me, we feel the prayers and hope you know they are being answered!

This was posted on You Version.  Very appropriate to our situation I think...thank you Kent Denson for sending this to us :)

"Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.  Psalm 37:7 NLT

Saturday, April 7, 2012

When it rains it pours...and hooray for the rain!

Wednesday was quite a day, a day full of very apparent blessings and it was well needed after the Tuesday we had. 

You think one would learn that if God has provided for all things in our adoption, why would He stop now?  But there is also a very type A, must have a plan, in need of a budget, person that lives inside me that overpowers me at most times in my life.  So although I would say I know we have nothing to worry about with this adoption because He has it all, I still find myself stressing over every detail, double checking everything and trying to plan out everything.  I have learned that really is hard to do because it is most certainly out of our control and that has taught me a lot in the last 2 years, but I still have a ways to go too.  So Tuesday I was up late figuring out our budget and adding up all of our savings, checking, fundraising efforts, etc and planning on what would be coming in from our paychecks and trying to add it all up and see how much we would have left over from our paychecks after bills were paid, daycare was paid, our tithe was taken out, and the list goes on.  The numbers were not looking so hot and I was getting quite anxious to be honest.  Also of course we were working on our taxes which also costs money and of course in the same week had our tax, title and license fees due since we traded our cars last month to save money and have more room for our expanding family.  You can definitely say "when it rains it pours" and that is all I felt, one more thing piling up.  On top of that we realized we really should get our yellow fever vaccinations before we went because although in Addis Ababa, where we are going, you don't need it per the health dept, we also heard about people not having it and getting yellow fever there so we decided better safe than sorry.  I got rates on the shots being $100/person but that was at the health dept and they were booked for weeks!  Again, some anxiety setting in I called about 10 different places that offered the vaccine (none less than an hour from us either) and finally found one that would be open today (Good Friday) but would be $300 total and was an hour and a half from us so more gas, more money! 

Wednesday came though and I woke up to a message from a mom with our agency who just returned from Ethiopia bringing her daughter home.  She said she got a video of our little boy and had told the caregivers that they knew his mom here and they seemed to understand, our little guy was speaking in Amharic and my friend said she didn't understand a lot of it but did hear "beautiful mommy".  All worries of money and such were pushed aside because that truly made me realize that it WILL happen, it might not be on our timeline but he is our son and he WILL come home someday and the money WILL be there (yes I had to tell myself this many times before I started to believe it) 

So Wednesday was already looking pretty good and then I got a phone call from my husband asking me if I was sitting down...because we were being given money for our adoption from some anonymous donors in our church I think I literally let out a large sigh of relief and at the same time was praising God for the prefect timing (although I would've chosen the timing to be before Tuesday so I wouldn't have been so stressed out, I knew there was a reason).  About an hour later I found out about a couple more donations as well as the amount made from a Thirty-One party a dear friend put on for us.  I was really starting to question why all today?  why all at once? and then I got another phone call from my husband, asking if I was sitting down again....another donation came in from someone very special to our family.  Well that about did it for me.  There were no words, I just felt numb in such a good way but I also think it all hit me why all of this happened at once, I mean "when it rains, it pours" right?   

Well let me tell you after living in the desert for over 6 years I have had a new appreciation for the rain and over the past week, we have gotten a lot of it (literally) here and I found myself thanking God each morning for the beautiful rainy day.  So why does that saying always come with a bad connotation?  Tuesday I would say it was pouring negative but then Wednesday came and we had a flood of positive and I know God was telling me a few things.  1. That He has a plan for us and although I can plan, stress, cut-back and budget (which I still think should be done because it is the responsible thing to do), at the end of the day His plan will be shown He will meet the needs.  2.  God knows me and knows it usually takes CRAZY BIG things to occur for me to really see it as not just a coincidence and give Him all the glory and He knew this would do it.  I am learning and getting better each day at realizing all of the little things but this day was HUGE and I can say with 100% confidence that it was His plan and His workings through all people involved!   And lastly, 3.We all need to realize that usually when we have a "when it rains it pours" kind of a day, week, month, whatever, there is purpose for it.  Maybe the purpose is to humble us or make us feel what someone else is feeling.  Maybe it is for us to get a reality check and make a change in our lives.  And maybe it is for us to realize we need God more than we think and allows us to turn to him, give it all over and then let him show off and be glorified in it.  I'm sure there are so many reasons why it pours on all of us but after the storm comes the rainbow.

So all in all, I have left out the dollar amounts of all the donations for privacy reasons but I will share (and you can see by our updated fundraising thermometer to the side of this blog) that earlier this week we were sitting at $16,000 saved/raised and now are at almost $24,000!!!!!  God is SO good!!!