Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
This is what love looks like from a preschool in
Thank you to everyone!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
What a journey we are on. Even having "been there/done that", I still can't imagine what it will be like to meet our sweet daughter, to hold her in our arms, to stand before a judge and say "Yes!!!", and then leave our sweet love behind as the paperwork is completed. God has made my heart so "soft" and yet... He is making it "strong" through these adoption journeys. A strong, soft heart... but still not a patient one!... tee... hee...
It's been an incredible week on the adoption front! Friends from across the nation have received referrals, court dates, updates on court decrees. And, so tender to our heart was a referral to our very good friends who live in our same small town. We've determined our baby girls will be BFF and we may just have to dress them as twins! tee... hee... Thank you God for blessing us with families to process this journey together.
It's also been a heart-warming week. We were lovingly surprised by a beautiful couple who donated a huge box of donations for the children of Ethiopia! I posted our thankfulness on Facebook and friends across the nation have responded wanting to help as well... friends I haven't seen since highschool, friends in New York, Arizona... local friends! What a sweet blessing to see His children stand up to take care of His children! We are so thankful for the generous hearts and kindness we have witnessed this week!
And now... for a touch of lightheartedness...
This is a "classic" Reece family shot... you simply couldn't capture us any more "real" than this!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Here I am... laptop in hand... ready to see the pictures of our baby girl!
Time picture taken: 4:23 PM (Time elapsed: 1 hour 23 minutes)
(I had already exercised GREAT patience waiting for hubby to come home!)...
Hit REFRESH a thousand times... (my poor laptop)...
and call our sweet social worker a hundred times...
Her outbox shows the e-mail is on it's way.... Cyberspace show me my baby!!!!
Time picture taken: 4:32 pm (Time elapsed... 1 hour 32 minutes)
The reality is... something is not working right...
We later find out that the files were HUGE and our sweet social worker, once she had commuted home, broke down the HUGE file into many small e-mails...
In the mean-time, Dora is done, the kiddos need food and I still haven't seen my baby!!!
Time picture taken: 4:55 PM (Time Elapsed... 1 hour 55 minutes)
We retreat back to the nursery while leaving our kiddos in the capable hands of Veggie Tales this time...
Time picture taken: 6:56 PM (Time Elapsed... 3 hours 56 minutes)
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Today our adoption Yahoo! group was buzzing with activity! Travel dates being assigned, people passing court, and referrals! There was so much wonderful joy being shared. But the green bug of envy caught me AGAIN! Where was "our call"? "Oh my, we've been skipped over!" (Simply due to the fact that God has called all of our families to different genders/age ranges/medical conditions, etc.) "But... STILL!" (can you hear the sad whining going on.... oh dear...)
Then I recalled a sweet conversation we had with our new friends... and was reminded that we said "yes" to His calling... openly and with all our hearts... yet, nothing is absolute. His plans are His plans. His timing is His timing. I suddenly realized, the call we are waiting for is HIS!
I have found such relief in that! Yes, oh, yes, I'm still excited to hear from our awesome social worker... but now, when she calls... in reality it is God using her as an instrument of His voice and plan for our family! Sweet!
So, green bug of envy... you aren't welcome anymore! Let the joyful waiting continue...
And in the meantime.. Thank you God for this incredibly beautiful sunshine, for the amazing family you've given me, for an incredible week of Kidfest VBS (and the energy to withstand monitoring 100 or so preschoolers during recreation time!), for awesome giggle times with my kids and for new friends who love You and gently remind me of Your love!... I am so very blessed indeed!
Shani with one of our new friends... sweet Eliza!
Monday, June 7, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
A waiting heart. That's what I'm praying the Lord continues to give me... a joy-filled waiting heart. (I've stopped praying for patience as that is WAY too easily tested... tee... hee...). So, I've decided to take a "Daily Waiting Journey" and blog a bit about it!... because we are all waiting for something... right? So here we go!
"Yet those who WAIT for the Lord WILL gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary." Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)
Now I don't have a clue who the Rev Theory is but I've got to say that he has summed up this waiting game pretty well! (And please don't hold me responsible for other articles I haven't read of his!!! tee... hee...) But, this one is worth a looksee... Check it out...
At this point, we know God has called us to travel to Ethiopia twice now to be united with our baby girl; a sweet baby we have not yet seen pictures of or even know if she is in existence. But, we know that with new laws put into place as of May 1st, we will travel once to meet our daughter and go through court proceedings to formally adopt her. Then somehow in God's perfect will, He will strengthen our hearts and minds as we say goodbye to our sweet pea and wait until we are told we can return to pick her up and bring her home (a second trip).
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord for our referral, our court date, our travel dates, meeting our child, our embassy appointment... and as we leave our sweet kiddos here at home not once now, but twice.
See why I like that verse... those who wait on the Lord will gain NEW strength... strength we don't even have yet! Sweet! God is good and so faithful to provide!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
My plan: married at 23, first kiddo at 25, and 2nd kiddo... certainly by 30 (I didn't want to be too old when I was having a young family). God's plan... wait! Wait for the one love He had chosen for me. But, it would have been so much easier if he would have just whispered, "Precious child, you'll meet him when you are 28, please don't despair." But, would I have truly found comfort in those precious words or would I have then argued "28? But that means we won't have our first child until I'm (AH! horrors!) 30!" Wait... child... wait.
Our China adoption: it would be just an 18 month wait. 6 months of paperwork... then the wait lengthens and lengthens... and God says "wait"... and then... "I have another plan that you won't even believe I have in store for you." Not China... but Ethiopia!
More paperwork, waiting for a referral of a beautiful baby, waiting for court, waiting for travel... at last we are a family!
God ends our wait for China after 2.89 years... after a lot of waiting... and a lot of praying...
As we begin our 2nd Ethiopian adoption I can't stop thinking about "waiting". And, what is it that we are waiting for?
* We are waiting to see God's plan for our family unfold.
* We are waiting to see the precious girl He alone has picked to join us in this life.
* We are waiting on His timing. Through our first amazing journey of international adoption we learned that all we could really "control" is when we start the journey. Leaving the rest completely in His hands and having us expectantly wait... THAT is His plan.
* We are waiting to see His plan for OUR FAMILY, not comparing our journey to other families, but waiting to see what He has in store for US.
* We are expectantly waiting... a joyous addition... whom we can pour our love and lives into!
And yet... in the beautiful land of Ethiopia, where we witnessed first hand the amazing love of it's people and of God and His Spirit living among them so purely... we know...
* There is extreme famine... there is poverty... there is hardship we could not bear...
And as we wait... at this very moment...
* There may be a beautiful mother waiting for her child to be born, unsure of how to care for her and/or fearful that she may not even survive the birth herself...
* There may be a father looking in the eyes of his baby girl right now; waiting for help, waiting for answers, waiting for hope...
* There may be a mother or father making a long journey... on a long, dusty road... the hardest journey, with the most difficult decision he/she has ever faced... giving up his/her child because they simply can't help her survive.
* There may be a baby girl laying alone, abandoned, only under God's watchful eye... right now...
We are waiting for the God of Heaven and Earth to reach down and make His purpose known.
For us, international adoption is so much more than a "paperwork pregnancy". It is a journey of life: of our lives, of a Ethiopian family's lives, and of God blending the families into one because it is somehow, his good and perfect will... It is heart-breaking and joy-filling all at the same time!
These are the words in my heart. A waiting mother's heart...
Psalm 130:5... "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope."
I know it's a bit blurry... but I love this picture of Shani... as if to say "Thank you... I'll take this from here!"
I love these kiddos! All dressed up and looking like the precious angels they are...
We surprised the kiddos with a project early this spring. Papa O. brought up his super cool saw and his industrial strength drill. Micah had no idea what they were working on, but loved that he got to help! Dad... you displayed amazing patience and gentleness in teaching Micah... and I was blessed to watch from afar!
The result of the weekend project brought lots of smiles! And now, rain or shine, the littlest of ours wants to swing!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Remember: "Jesus is the real Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow."
We finished the day with a walk to the park (where the yummy rainbow cupcakes were inhaled... I mean "eaten") and then watched the short Veggie Tale clip of St. Patrick and his lessons on the Trinity with the Shamrock.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
And for brother? A matching hat in blue of course!
Unrelated to the hat excursion... but also about lookin' good... check out this pic from our most recent trip to the zoo. What a stud! Ha!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
February 27th... This will be a date that will be in our family's hearts and minds forever. February 27, 2009 - We arrive in Oregon with sweet baby Shani in our arms... forever a part of our family! February 27, 2010 - We say goodbye to Great Grandpa Howard... we will miss you so very much... you are now forever safe in the arms of Jesus!
I was priviledged to be present when Grandpa took his last breath and that time together and the accompanying emotions as family will never leave my heart. Grandpa you touched us all deeply in life and you touched us deeply in your journey out of life. For days your children and wife never left your side, yearning to be near you, give you comfort and find comfort ourselves. Then in God's sweet timing He took you home.
One quick story... many years ago, Grandpa was on the local news station as they did a story about him and some silly geese behind his house. He had a white truck in the pasture and one of the geese became quite attached. So, every time Grandpa would get into the truck, the goose would follow him... chase him... silly goose.... the faster Grandpa drove the faster the goose would run until it flew. Yesterday evening, David was in the same field with the kids while the rest of us were with Grandpa. Just moments before Grandpa's spirit left us, David called to tell me that Shani was chasing geese, saying "geese" and "helping them fly". My dad beckoned me to come back to the room as I was talking to David... and moments later, Grandpa "flew".
Thank you Jesus for your sweet timing, sweet embrace, and loving kindness...
Saturday, February 20, 2010
To think of the beautiful country of Ethiopia, how we fell in love with the beauty of it's people, the land, it's rich Christian history. How the mere mention of "Ethiopia" stirs our hearts with longing, gratitude and anticipation. How deep a mother's love to share with us the precious gift of Shani's life... we are forever grateful... there truly are no appropriate words to express these emotions.