Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This Journey

So we've officially been waitlisted.  I know that's not a word, but it's where we are.

That means....we wait.

And to be honest, I'm ok with that.  We haven't had to wait very much since this process started.  Everything has moved so much faster than I thought it would, but honestly I've been thinking August or September would be the time she would get here, and if the "averages" pan out, then it could be that time.  There's too many variables for us to be sure of that, but nonetheless it's been a whirlwind.

A few months ago I was talking with a friend of mine about some passages in the book of Mark, and he kept commenting about how the disciples walked with Jesus every day, but there are so many accounts of them being blown away by what he'd done.  "You'd think they wouldn't be surprised by him after a few weeks..."

And throughout this entire process, there's at least one day per week where I wake up and think, "what the crap are we doing?  There is no way this can be of God."  Then he shows me that things are going to be ok.

This is going to sound like an exaggeration, but every time I get concerned about money, we get a check and a note from someone who says they support us.  Every single time I get fed up with waiting, we get news about how we're further along in the process.  Every single time I get concerned about reactions from people I'm close to, I get phone calls asking me how the process is going.

I know this isn't always true for everyone, and I know this almost sounds like false doctrine because I keep portraying God as Santa on steroids.  But this is how it's happened for us.  This is how it has come about for our daughter Lucy.  My life as a follower of Christ hasn't all been daisies and chocolate fountains and rainbow smiles, and this adoption journey has had its share of difficulties, but God has shown us over and over that He is good.  He is a part of this.

This I cannot deny.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

mountains moved

I stayed up Friday night...waiting to see that first picture of Amos united with his mom and dad.  Strange...I know...since i do not know Aaron or Jamie Ivey personally but I do know what it is like to want your children home.  They have been trying to get Amos home from Haiti for 2 1/2 years.  And Friday night...that is what happened.  Click here or here to read more about Amos' adoption and amazing story.

Mighty to Save (Hillsong)

Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.

Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave. 

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus (x2)

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave. 

My Saviour, you can move the mountains,
You are mighty to save,
You are mighty to save.
Forever, Author of Salvation,
You rose and conquered the grave,
Yes you conquered the grave

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 8th

My friend Margaret is a videographer and she wants to do a video of Lucy's Story.  On January 8th...we were sitting together discussing the major things we wanted in the video and what we wanted the message of the video to be.  She asked the question....When did you come to like the name Lucy?

I began to search through old journals....I found the entry of when we decided on the name for our daughter that we would adopt  but...I came across another journal entry.  One from years ago.  I began to read the entry...then I looked at the date.  That's right....Janurary 8, 2006.  4 years to the day.  I hadn't realized how long ago God placed her in our hearts.  This entry is not in reference to adoption...just naming our first female child...however she came to be ours.

January 8, 2006 (excerpt from my old journal)
***Please forgive the wordiness of this entry....I tend to write like I talk...which involves many words :)

        Today has been a good day.  In church we sang We Three Kings...westward, leading still us to thy perfect light.  Last week when we had "the kid" (child we kept for a weekend from a local children's home) we took him to see the Chronicles of Narnia.  I love the character Lucy.  I thought then that I would like to name my child this.  At April's wedding on Dec. 31, we sat with a couple from Memphis.  They were telling us about their child.  I asked her name and they replied Lucy.  They said that they knew and loved her name before she was even conceived. 
        Later that week, we went to exchange the Bible that Russ had given me for Christmas.  While we were at the store, I started reading this book that gives all the good quotes from C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.  I found this quote and loved it.  I want Rossetti to do a painting for our daughter whenever she comes along...hopefully years but whenever..God's timing is right.  As of right now, I still love the name Lucy.

(Prince Caspian p. 148)
"Welcome, child, " he said.
"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger."
"that is because you are older, little one." answered he.
"Not because you are?"
"I am not.  But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."

As Aslan being a reference to Jesus, this would be my prayer for my child.

And today, fours years later from when this was written, this is still my prayer.

Oh, and Rossetti, I think it's time we started on this painting.  Hopefully, it won't be long now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


It's official!! As of January 19, 2010...we are on the waitlist to adopt from Ethiopia!!!! 

We are so excited.  The current average wait time for a referral is 8 months for a child birth to 12 months and 4 months for a child 13 months and over.  Since we are approved for a child 15 months and younger we fit into both categories.  SO, we will just wait on the child God has for us and His timing.

Thanks for praying our paperwork through!!

To Get You Here

Aaron and Jamie Ivey are in the process of adopting from Haiti.  They adopted Story from Haiti and are still waiting to get Amos home.  They, like so many other couples, are waiting to hear news about their adoptions since the earthquake.  Please pray for all of the families who have children living in Haiti right now.

Aaron is a talented songwriter. I just want to share this music video with you...such a great song. Russ and I love this song...such a great song about adoption.  And I am pretty sure Russ has a man crush on the writer for writing this song :) 

Listen to the words...remember all of the orphans in the world...and think about what you want to do to make a difference. None of us are exempt...we all can do something.


Haiti...there are no words to describe the images and the destruction that we have witnessed on the news this last week.  They are real people that need our help.  Right now, prayer is the number one thing we can do. But, the second is giving our money. This past week, I have spent money on things I did not need and my heart has been in constant turmoil everytime I go to buy something else....something else that is not necessary...something else to fill up my house. 

I just received an email saying that the cookbook I have been wanting for the past couple of months is on sale...going from $40 to $18. I was giddy and clicked on Amazon to order it.  Then that know the voice I am talking about...deep within my soul...began to speak.  Is now a really good time for that? Are you really going  to use that? 

The images of the destruction and the orphans panned through my head as if I were looking at a photo album. Then, I made the decision.  I would donate that money towards Haiti instead of adding one more book to my collection that I probably would not use.  I don't always make the most sacrificial decisions but for today...I did.  And I encourage you to do the same.

Here are a few ways you can help.

Click HERE to give to Compassion International's efforts to help Haiti. 
                   ---Russ and I believe in Compassion and fully support them in anything they do!!

Also, a couple that are in the process of adopting from Haiti are also selling shirts that will benefit several organizations in Haiti. Click HERE to purchase these shirts.
                     ---You can click HERE to read Aaron's blog and about the organizations the money help.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Running the race

I consider myself an emotional person but the strange thing is that it hits when I least expect it.  I can never gage my reaction to certain events. For example, I am a crier BUT when Russ proposed to me on June 21, 2004, I laughed the entire time.  No tears. Well, maybe one when he prayed for our life together.  Around Thanksgiving this past year, my friend Katie talked me into running the St. Jude 5k in Memphis (the first week in December.....).  I don't know why I said yes..but I did.  Running a 5k had been a goal of mine and I finally decided to just do it....even though I had not been training.

It was around 22 degrees when we began the race. I was nervous.  It was COLD. My mind was focused on me finishing the race...for me. To check it off my list of things I wanted to do. But something happened around mile 2.  I began to notice all of the people running together for specific cancer survivors or in memory of someone who had died of cancer.

My thoughts shifted to my good friend Katie who fought and beat cancer and is now a nurse at St. Jude. Every year growing up we would go to the Chism's on Christmas morning to see what Santa had brought them.  That particular year I remember peering in through the back windows of their house, seeing Katie attached to her IV pole, waving to us with a huge smile and her cute, bald head. Her immune system was so weak we couldn't even enter into the house.

By mile 2 1/2 ....tears were streaming down my face.  As the people cheered us on...I know they were thinking ..."oh, that poor girl is hurting so bad" :) I was so caught up into me finishing the race that it never occurred to me what the race stood for.  As I entered into Autozone Park...finishing the race ...and achieving my goal....suddenly that didn't matter to me.  What mattered were the millions of people fighting for their lives and the ones that had sadly lost theirs.

This week, we found out that my grandfather has cancer.  Cancer has suddenly hit close to home.  I am no longer watching people run in support of cancer patients that I don't know...I am supporting one of my precious grandad, a true Saint here on Earth.

But, Tom Burchfield is running a race of his own.  And he will finish strong.  No matter the course or outcome.  We pray for healing but are confident that God's plan is perfect.

Acts 20:24
"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

Philippians 3:13-14
"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Hebrews 12:1-3
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Ephesians 3:20
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

ALMOST!!!  We are so excited to be done with our paperwork!!!  We started the process around August 18th so it has taken around 5 months to get the paperwork complete.  God is completely in control of this entire situation...but sometimes I want to control it all.  I daily have to offer Lucy and the adoption process to Him, trusting He can do more than I ever could.  This can sometimes be very hard. 

CIS recieved all of our documents (CORRECTED)  last Wednesday, January 6th.  We assumed it would take around 60-90 days to get the results..that was the timeframe we were told.  We received the results in our mailbox on THURSDAY, JANUARY 7th!!!! Praise GOD.  They traveled from Memphis through the ice and snow to be on our doorstep on Thursday.  I am just in awe.

Hopefully we will be on the wait list within the next week!! I will defintely let you know!!  I told myself I would not start on her room until we were on the waitlist...well, that time is almost here!!  It is becoming so much more real to us...even though she has been on our hearts for several years!! 

This entire situation has been covered in prayer and God has provided what we need right at the exact time.  And for that....I praise Him.  May He receive all the glory for Lucy's story!

Friday, January 8, 2010

CIS Approval.

For realz yo. It's backwards, but the camera on the computer is the only one I had.

It only took a week.

We're pumped.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Still waiting

We just received an email saying that CIS got our addendum to our homestudy today.  They also said they couldn't give us a timeframe but hope to have it completed by the END OF THE WEEK!! Oh, how great that would be.  Please pray that we get that paperwork back so we can go on the official waitlist.  Thanks for loving us!!!!

Book Reviews

Every year for Christmas I ask for books. I love to read, but recently I've been in a little rut. I haven't found anything that's been that interesting to me besides a 700 page book on the NBA written by The Sports Guy.

My sister got me "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller this year. I've heard the guy speak a few times about the role of story in our lives. There's lots in the book, but I like the premise behind the book more than anything else. I'm basically giving it away, but it goes like this.

You wouldn't want to watch a movie where the ambition of the main character was to buy a nice car. It's not compelling enough. And he defines story as this. A main character, who wants something, and is willing to overcome conflict to get it.

I live my life too many times with a boring premise. But this story of Lucy has been something that has changed the way I look at my story. We haven't had to overcome a lot of conflict, but we WANT this, and we're willing to overcome whatever may come to us.

Even more, I've been amazed at how much people have come alongside Anna and I to show their love and support. It shows that they want to be a part of her story too. It assures me that what we're looking for is actually bigger than ourselves. It's compelling not just to us, but to other people around us. Through this experience, God has shown me that our story, Lucy's story, is part of something bigger. God is in the process of redeeming the entire world, and he's using a little girl that we haven't even met yet to show that He is good to us. Even while we wait for the resolution, he's showing us now that he is the author of a story that we never could have written ourselves.

And that's pretty cool.