Teaching them that the magic is really just beginning… {the day after Christmas}

The Jesse book is now closed…but the ornaments hang for a few more days–remembering all we learned together this year as a family as we walked each day together.

The presents–all unwrapped…and as a mom of little ones…I feel the need to squeeze out more sweetness…more memories…more magic. And there is reason. I believe–because the Maker put that desire there.

Because…there is more.

This is when it’s really just beginning.

The awaited for Savior was born–and for the wise men–their journey would now begin. It would take a year…a YEAR of day in and day out travels for them to finally reach the Savior.

For us–this is when the journey…when the real magic should begin too.

THIS is what I really want to teach my children.

We build up Christmas…and we should. The awaiting. The anticipation. The awe. The joy. The Savior is born! Now…it is time to go find Him.

And this is what we do. Together. Individually. Day by day. We look for Jesus. We come together and share how we find Him…how we see him in the daily–and we remind each other what He looks like day to day in each of our worlds as we see His light and presence shining through.

For little children–we leave the nativity up longer that has rested all season on our mantel. Only we take away the wise men. We move them on the other side of our home. And each night they journey closer. We read about the wise men as a family for the next week or so. And each night we each write on a piece of paper how in some way–we saw Jesus that day. And in doing so–we begin our year like the wise men did–looking for Jesus. We begin our year not with a list of things we want to do better. Because really–if we just look for Jesus–and that is ALL…then grace abounds–and we need to do nothing more.

And this truth is what I want to teach them.

Just look for Him.

In the daily.

That’s it.

Look for Him in every circumstance and trust Him to show up–to show you what to do–to trust Him to be there–and to continuously wait on Him.

And on hard, hard days. I need a reminder. And some days. They will too. And on days like that–we grab our treasure box full of little ways we saw Jesus in the beginning–and we remind ourselves how to see Him again…and again…and again. We remind ourselves of His faithfulness in our lives. And as we see Him ever so clearly throughout the year–we jot it down…and place it in this magi treasure box. And we learn together how seeing Him, knowing Him and experiencing Him is really the greatest treasure of all.

I wrote a Magi Devotional several years ago. I’m going to refine it a bit–but if you would like to follow along–or print it off each day to read together and walk your children through looking for Jesus as they learn about the Magi–and start the year off as they did…these devotionals are a work of heart from our family to yours.

So tonight–or tomorrow night–or whenever you read this…simply start by just moving your nativity Magi and getting ready to let them venture through your home…and this King through your heart.

The Journey of the Magi now begins…

(To preview some of the Magi devotionals ahead–click here: http://www.babeofmyheart.com/the-journey-of-the-magi-day-1/)

The latest {thanksgiving u must see, a birthday and a Ho…}

Bahahah! Y’all. I meant the title to say and a Ho, ho, ho. You know it made you laugh;). Or just really curious about this post. I realized I left out some KEY photographs that MUST be entered in my blog2print book! When you see how we dress up our kids for the Thanksgiving table. Um. You will see why:) So–this bunch is my kiddos + my nieces:

Precious kids. And they aren’t the only ones that dress up for the table;) Proud of the husbands.

My brother-in-law might kill me. But my sister thinks I’m funny–so it’s okay to share;)…

This sister of mine is just 14 months older. We have another side-kick sister but she is in California and we sure missed her craziness added to our crazy.

Our grandmother who can run circles around all of us came up too. She thinks we’re all nuts probably…but at least we make her laugh…

Doesn’t she look amazing!!?? She is up and at ‘em and so independent still. It’s been almost 20 years since my Granddaddy Frank passed away–and she has pressed forward so gracefully with such strength. (When I think of her…I smell Spearmint gum and hear “It Is Well With My Soul” in her sweet voice…aren’t the things we think of some times the sweetest?) She had such fun watching the children–her GREAT grandchildren…

If you’ve never seen an Ethiopian Indian lasso a turkey–well you haven’t lived people. It’s a sight to behold…

A tissue paper fire is the PERFECT thing to roast him over once that turkey is caught too…

So those are just a few Thanksgiving highlights. Can you tell my sister and I grew up playing lots of dress up and still love it;)? Poor Laney–this is how I showed up to volunteer at there hybrid homeschool where she goes 2 days a week in between our homeschool days…

I think we are giving our kids PLENTY of “remember that time” story starters for later in life;)

Right after Thanksgiving came Nutcracker for us. Our Loo-bear is a dancer, and she’s a 6th year ballerina at an amazing dance studio here. She dreams of being the Sugarplum fairy and being in the company. I was certain with having 4 brothers she’d be a tom-boy. But she’s 100% ballerina and as dainty as they come. Cameras aren’t allowed in the theatre on the show nights–but they do let mommas snap pictures during dress rehearsal. This year, our little ballerina was in the Arabian scene as a parrot.

She was in and out in what seemed like a FLASH. But she loves it–and she says if she works hard…one day she’ll be Clara and the Sugarplum:) She told me a few weeks ago, “Mom. Do you know how to spell arms??? B-A-C-K. Look mom. It’s all in your back. Strong back–strong arms.” She stood poised with her arms out strong and beautifully. That’s some training this momma never received. You go girl…I don’t get the dancing or the lingo–but I’m glad you love it:) Love my ballerina!

In the midst of the Nutcracker, our ballerina had a birthday. I usually have these at home–BUT I thought this year…with Nutcracker FILLING our first few weekends–maybe we’d get out. So–we invited 10 of our dearest homeschool friends to join us at the American Girl store for a sweet lunch birthday party. It was really worth it and a lot of fun.

And Laney with her God momma who has been one of my best friends since before I was a momma…

Oh my. This is turning into the longest update ever. But I know I’ll forget these days if I don’t document them:) So after Nutcracker and birthdays…came pictures with Hohoho…

And of course Loo has a tight bun as we raced from a Nutcracker performance to make “Claus for a Cause” where my friend Christy Elphick’s family has Santa come to their home for a day and raise money for Wiphan in Africa that day. Oh my first babies just melt me…

THEN the next weekend (last weekend)–we took the kids to Stone Mountain Park for a little fun! AND Zeke’s FIRST snow! (Alright–so it’s machine made snow–but snow is snow to a 2 year old:)

THEN…came lunch with mom–and Laney (and Parker’s!) last week of school…

So after a year at a hybrid homeschool where they went for 2 days a week–we made the decision to go back to 100% homeschool (adding just electives from music lessons, Orton Gillingham tutoring and Timothy Ministry elective day 1x per week). It was really hard teaching kids that are JUST 14 months apart 2 completely different curriculums when they really could be doing the same history, science, Bible, etc. Instead–I found myself running from room to room to help them complete totally different curriculums–and in many ways–the purpose of homeschooling (being together, learning together, being on our own pace) was just being defeated. It was more like a private school 2 days a week–and 3 days of lots of homework–and this momma who loves to teach just wanted to be creative again and teach–and have flexibility to go ahead when we grasp a concept or stay back when we need to learn more. I will confess that I have LOVED having 2 days to recharge–but ultimately the 3 days home was taking more out than the recharge was giving–and I felt as if the Lord was calling us to SLOOOOOW back down, focus on our family and just take one day at a time…TOGETHER. So…here we go–yet again…on another trusting adventure with 100% homeschool again.

I truly have the most resilient and gracious children in the world–always along for the ride the Lord calls us to. When you bring home a toddler–there are easy things–but there are also hard things. Lately, we’ve had to go to a lot of doctor visits–give up lots of sleep–and just remain really flexible as a family. We’ve felt so stretched lately–and each change brings often excitement…along with a bit of sadness that things just are hard some times. I know for our family–we need SIMPLICITY so we can connect and kind of huddle together as a family. I am no supermom–and having trying to teach 2 different curriculums with a new one on my hip and with 2 preschoolers running in circles around us was causing this mom to fail miserably as a mom. I feel like now we can kind of go at our own pace…just one day at a time. That’s just where we are right now. Because tomorrow has enough of it’s own.

Now…off to finish packaging the “Fight Like a Girl” tees for Miss Lola in Michigan who is fighting childhood cancer strong and hard!! I’ve never had the pleasure to meet her in person–or even her mom for that matter…but her mom and I connected years and years ago through photography and adoption–and having 5 some what healthy children…it was a joy to do these shirts and run this fundraiser for her. Thank you to everyone who purchases these tees to help Lola in her fight agains childhood cancer! They are off first thing on Monday morning!!

My little work station tonight…

P.S. Milestone tonight! (We might have missed a lot the first 2 years…so we count our milestones a bit differently over here;). TONIGHT…first HOT COCOA!

December 15, 2013 - 10:19 pm

Meg - Zeke is looking like such a big boy and not so much like a baby! What a fun Thanksgiving. The pictures are great!

December 26, 2013 - 2:48 pm

Shayna - First time to comment! I loved all the photos, we are starting our adoption journey in 2014, so I am always looking for others who have been there done that! You have a beautiful family! What a blessing :)

When things are harder than they should be {When Change Is Braver}

The lights are up. The house is decorated. AHHH…truly this is just my favorite time of the year! Only this year…it feels different.

Yes, we have another child this year. That’s a good different. There are actually a lot of good difference. Isn’t that the case for all of us? Every year the Lord brings sweet changes.

Growing changes.

Blessing changes.

Changes that make the songs and story times at night sweeter.

The challenges that come with change–seem more exciting with hope.

And bigger vision appears for just maybe…what He might can do with this beautiful mess that He seems to be gracefully transform into His story instead of our own.

But this year.

This year. I’ve found myself with a weight. A weight that came with an attempt to make things easier–isn’t that the hope often when some changes are made? Only as it turns out, it’s just not the right fit for us. Months ago, I recognized this. But as a mom. I thought–by golly. A commitment is a commitment. We will trudge through it. Pull up your boot straps and march through it. We will rise to the occasion! We will look for the silver lining. We will look for Him. We will trust Him to get us through to the end. We will run this race (obviously not marked for us) WELL…and at the end–there will be dancing. And we will be gloriously refined and better because–We. Stuck. With. It.

{But some times. It’s more important to recognize this isn’t the race marked for you.}

Each month the weight got heavier and heavier–and heavier. It’s like moving a heavy dresser. You don’t want to put it down because you are afraid it might land on your toe. And you don’t want to take a step with it closer to the finish line because it feels like you might drop it. You find yourself holding it. Using all your strength because the weight of it soaks up every ounce of strength you have. And you find yourself just standing there. Holding this incredible weight. Not moving forward…which is some times really backwards when everything else you should be doing is brought to a stand still. Because your hands are full with this dresser…other tasks go undone…and before you know it–you are paralyzed…and all you know…this is not working.

So you try harder.

You look for support. You make a friend or two for the journey.

And you may even find a friend in the same position. Only to realize instead of one person holding a heavy dresser–there are two people holding not one but TWO heavy dressers.

When a weight is not yours to carry–essentially not your path to walk in, no amount or form of comradery will make it right.

This momma is being very vague I realize, but hopefully vulnerable and authentic enough to allow my journey to be used for others and to encourage someone else who might find themselves in a pickle–a fish completely out of water.

Now let me say something about letting your yes be yes and your no be no and commitment.

There are absolutely times in our lives where commitments should be filled, honored, kept.

Vows and commitments like marriage are intended to be kept. Always. Because of sin, however, brokenness happens. Commitments like parenting are intended to be kept. Because of sin and brokenness–this some times doesn’t happen. We don’t walk away from these kind of commitments just because they are hard, because we fall out of love, because we don’t feel like ourselves, because we are tired. Richard and I have been married for 10 years and even in just 10 short years, we have had to work through things. Some times seek help. And do a lot of dying to ourselves. It has always been more brave to stay and try harder than to give up. These are what I would call Biblical commitments where we know it is God’s will for us to work through them (and until sin of abuse and adultery are present–the challenges are there to refine us, grow us and eventually become more like Him.)

There are also what I call “small commitments”. (But trust me–no commitment is a small one.) They are still commitments (some times contracts even). Volunteering to be a room mom for the year. Your child signing up for ballet. Registering your preschoolers in spots at a local church for the school year. A season baseball commitment for your son. Agreeing to teach the 2 year old Sunday school for the first early morning service at church every Sunday until the following summer. Starting a small group that meets in your home every other Tuesday night. The list goes on what a “small commitment” might look like.

Before I even say another word about commitments–let me word play a little here. Commitment according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a promise to do or give something.” So a commitment is essentially a promise. A synonym for promise–is contract. So really…we could kind of lump these together having same/similar meanings. Before going further, what does the Bible say about a promise? Psalm 15:1-4 says…

Who can stay on your holy hill?
Anyone who lives without blame
and does what is right.
He speaks the truth from his heart.
He doesn’t tell lies about others.
He doesn’t do wrong to his neighbors.
He doesn’t say anything bad about them.
He hates sinful people.
He honors those who have respect for the Lord.
He keeps his promises
even when it hurts.

I think we have to be very careful in knowing how to truly be believers who keep our word–who keep our commitments and stand by our promises. Yet there is also a fine line of when it is okay to “quit”–and change is actually right, justified, best and truly braver than staying.

For us. Right now. I’ve been carrying this weight–trying to hang in there. I’ve now found myself at a point where I’m essentially frozen–unable to really think about anything else. It feels all-consuming no matter how much I raise my plate for Jesus to carry my yoke. And just maybe–it’s because I’m carrying the wrong yoke. Baby girl–you put that yoke down. I didn’t build that one for you to carry. No wonder it feels like it doesn’t fit. And there will be times when we need to walk away–and find the right one. I really believe that some times the Lord will speak to our hearts and ask us to take a bigger risk in walking away rather than finishing a race that we weren’t meant to run. I also believe He will provide a way out and peace will follow when it is His will to change paths.

But until then–what questions do you ask? I wanted to share a few of mine with you in hopes that this will help someone also processing a hard decision where a commitment has been made.

1. If you are able to complete the commitment with God’s strength, can you see where you might be changed and refined to be more like Him? Do you think it is possible to finish with His strength and still be able to carry His peace and joy?

(If your answer is yes–pray about keeping on! Trust Him to give you strength! Be honest in your weakness with others and pray for the Lord to call the body of Christ to walk with you through it. If your answer is I’m not sure or no–keep asking questions and praying…it might be time for change.)

2. Is being a part of this commitment encouraging your walk with Christ?

(If your answer is yes–even if the task is HARD–the Lord just might have called you to this to make you more like Him and to challenge you in new ways! if your answer is no–keep asking questions and praying…it might be time for change.)

3. Is your being a part of this commitment creating an unhealthy environment and state-of-mind for you to the point it is paralyzing your living fully for Him?

(If your answer is yes–seriously think about change. Pray that the Lord would show you clearly what you are to do–and trust Him in taking a risk to change and providing someone else to run the rest of the race for you.)

4. Are you wanting to quit because you feel like you aren’t “good” at it (sport, leadership role, etc)?

(If your answer is yes–don’t run too quickly!! Remember His strength is made perfect in our weakness. You can do this! I love the saying “God equips who He calls”, and I really believe it’s true. Oh my glory–being a mom to 5 young children is HARD…but daily He equips me. Not for the week–but for the DAY–some times just the MINUTE! Don’t let your kids fall into this either. Just because they aren’t good at whatever commitment they have made for the year (dance, sports, music, etc)–don’t ever let them quit just because they don’t like it or think they aren’t “good” at it–unless it is truly paralyzing their day to day lives. I’ll never forget the year Laney signed up for soccer. She hated it. She sweated during the first game–and she told me she doesn’t sweat;). We talked about commitment and we finished the season out. She doesn’t LOVE soccer, but she did well by the end of the season and developed at least an appreciation for the game. She also learned the importance of standing by a commitment.

5. Is the commitment hurting more than helping? Is it causing division in your family? Is it creating more stress where it effects your daily lives and is unhealthy for more than just the person committed to it–but starting to effect others as well?

(If your answer is yes to these questions–then seriously pray about stopping the activity/commitment. I also think it is helpful to seek wise counsel and share your answers to these questions with someone not directly involved in your decision process. Some times we can make mountains out of molehills, and we simply need another perspective. Other times, however, we can make molehills out of mountains for far too long and the sweet aroma we are supposed to have as believers turns into the smell of a skunk because we are miserable and not realizing we are making those around us miserable by staying in a commitment or on a path that truly isn’t the best fit.)

If you can’t tell, I’m a momma of my word. If I say I’m going to be there–I might be 5 minutes late–but I will be there. If I join a Bible study–as long as I’m not in the hospital I’m there. Now I’m forgetful some times, but I will never miss something just because it wasn’t convenient or I was tired. But there are times we will find ourselves in situations that are unhealthy or just not the right fit–and we need to bravely move on.

We also need to be bold and brave when we know the Lord is asking us to move on.

Never allow people pleasing, fear of disappointing those who are a part of the activity/program/etc or even just our some times irrational conviction to ALWAYS complete a commitment and stand by our word drown us and keep us from truly being where we should be. Because if we are in the wrong place–and we are missing the right place–by not moving forward we are moving backwards and many times hurting not only ourselves but those around us–as well as those who are a part of the thing we need to part from by our staying far too long. In His Word “let your yes be yes and your no be no” is about not swearing on holy things and instead just saying yes I will do ___ or no I will not ___. Do not confuse a decision that has the freedom to change routes with a vow before God.

And in Psalms where it says, “He keeps his promises even when it hurts”–is true of contracts either way you go. So if you sign a contract to purchase something or sign a child up for something for a time period (private schools some times do this) and it’s not the right fit–by all means do not stay only because it was the original plan and everyone is drowning. Do everything you can to make your needs known to those who entered the partnership/contract/agreement with you, but if nothing changes–it might be time for a change. Don’t spend too much time playing “what ifs” because “what ifs” are essentially “were nots”–clear indicators it’s not a healthy environment for you to grow in–or rather be stagnant or worse drown.

No commitment is always easy or fun or even always pushing you closer to Jesus. But if it never does–and it’s always hard–just maybe…it’s time to take a risk and be brave and move on.

The Lord is your shepherd. He guides–tenderly and FAITHFULLY. If the direction is not yet clear what you are to do–then wait. If the weight of the commitment is paralyzing–then move on bravely and boldly. And if you aren’t sure what to do–seek wise counsel, dig in His word and pray for direction and peace. He is not the God of confusion but the God of order–and He will show you in His perfect timing exactly what you are supposed to do.

Thankful for His grace.

And thankful the only person we are bound to–is Him…One who cares deeply for each of us and grafts us in and will never let us go.

December 10, 2013 - 8:37 pm

Hannah - Thank you for this post. It is timely. We feel we’re at a bit of a crossroads in life, trying to sort out what God is calling us to do…still mulling over many of the words you have written. Thankful that He never lets us go and that indeed he cares deeply!

December 11, 2013 - 1:07 am

Alyson - Yes to ALL this. In our journey of adopting a 15 and 11 year old, my favorite verse has become Is. 42:16. No matter what the situation He never leaves things undone for us. I, too, carry what seems like a whole bedroom suite:-). I stand in awe jus by the fact I am alive at the end of each day….lol. I have enjoyed the few posts I have read recently. Thank you! Merry Christmas!!

The Ucherek Journey {how you can join them}

Christi and I first “met” almost 4 years ago as we were starting our first adoption journey together. We’d never “met-met”–but met first on our adoption agency’s list serve. And…well, that’s like going through labor together in a whole different way. After we brought home our littles–we met in person at a conference as Rico and I were representing Wiphan in Zambia and Christi and her family were also there. Christi is an amazing mom (now to 3 little loves–1 biological and 2 loves from Ethiopia) and she is also a true kindred spirit. What I love about Christi–is she follows hard and radically…and authentically after Jesus. She and her husband have stepped out in faith once again…but in order to continue this call–they need others to join them. Will you just take a moment to read Christi’s story this season? And ask the Lord if He might want to use YOU to join them by praying for them or financially giving monthly so they can continue to serve? Here’s a bit from Christi…

The little girl that changed our lives…

While I (Christi) only served in Guatemala in 2009 for 1 week, it changed both of our lives forever! I spent the trip serving widows and orphans and was utterly broken. Upon returning, the Lord put 2 little girls that I met on the trip on our hearts.

A 3 yr old girl named Yulisa and her 3 sisters lived in a small, underfunded, rundown orphanage in the city of Xela, Guatemala. After I shared Yulisa’s story with Dan, we started advocating for this little girl and praying that an organization would be able to come alongside this little orphanage that had broken our hearts.

God was using her to change us. We knew, after falling desperately in love with Yulisa that God was calling us to adoption. We tried to adopt Yulisa and soon found out that international adoption from Guatemala was closed… which God used to lead us to Ethiopia, where our 2 sons are from.

Through this little girl, God called us to adoption, gave us opportunities to serve the orphan, burdened us for the mission field, and drew our hearts to Guatemala. Through all of these amazing opportunities, God was equipping us for something more! He soon confirmed His calling on our lives to serve the orphan and the church in Guatemala. To say that we were petrified is a complete understatement. We are normal people like so many we read about throughout Scripture that God calls and equips.

ONLY God in His sovereignty could provide a way for us to talk with an organization that we barely knew at the time (through a friend) who eventually came alongside her orphanage. They not only improved the quality of their living situation, were able to hire additional caregivers, expand the facility, improve the school, make sure that the children are being discipled, and ensure that each of them have a transition plan.

The organization we are referring to is Orphan Outreach… who God has now called US to serve with. Do you see how this story is coming full circle? How we had NO idea that I would meet Yulisa, how God would use her in our lives, and NOW allow us the opportunity to serve her, her sisters, and the 60 other children in her orphanage (Little House of Refuge) 4 years later.

God knew EXACTLY what He was doing…. We had NO idea why Yulisa was so heavy on our hearts back in 2009 after my trip. We literally couldn’t sleep at night and wept for her frequently.

Just like God used one small girl to impact our lives in such a dramatic way, God can use you in the same way to impact lives.

We have the privilege of ministering to Yulisa and hundreds of others just like her because of people like YOU!

Not only do we want to tell each of you and the people we minister to about God the Father, we want to represent who God is by taking in orphans, by serving them, by giving them hope for a future, by making sure they have mentors and truly DEFENDING the cause of the orphan. Then, these children, their caregivers, and the community around them will SEE the Gospel in action! God rescued us and we are giving them a picture of what God did for us!

We are God’s people, adopted by His grace, and we are worshipping HIM and committing ourselves… continually asking how we can be a reflection of HIS character… and for us, that is GOING to the orphan, the impoverished, the lonely, the overlooked, and showing them who Jesus is… WHAT does that look like for each of you?

So we ask you today to consider… what can you do for a child like Yulisa? How would the Lord have you get involved?

Our family is in need of additional monthly partners in order to return in 7 weeks! Even just $10 a month makes a huge difference. We can’t minister to children like Yulisa unless the body of Christ comes alongside us in this way.

If you feel led to support us in this way, please click here.

Christi and Dan Ucherek

Thank you so much for taking the time to read the Ucherek’s story!! Please feel free to share this exciting opportunity with your family, small groups and friends! They are an AMAZING family–and I know you will be so blessed to follow their journey and to be a part of what God is doing through their faithfulness to go. Blessings to you all this Thanksgiving! Truly, we have SO much to be thankful for!

xoxo!

Andrea

Yi, er, san {one of the bravest boys i know}

A wise old bear once said…

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is–even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.” -Winnie the Pooh

On Sundays–I lay with him after church.

Lunch is put away. I get all the others settled with reading and quite. And I carry him to my room. It’s our sweet time resting together…me and my new one.

We sing softly with both of our heads on my pillow. And then there is quiet.

I close my eyes and pretend to be asleep.

And he rests…talking himself to sleep. But I listen. And often my heart melts in these moments.

Yi, er, san…

He starts counting.

In his first language.

And I hold my breath. Remembering how young he is. And how brave. Oh so brave.

Si, wu, liu

Almost 6 months together. Yet–2 years of his life. Years that were not mine…but years I will forever long for…to hold–to treasure–to have been there. If you are a mom, an aunt, a god-mother, a friend to a 2 year old…then you know how many memories make up the days…day after day of a 2 year span. Days gaining trust. Maybe losing it too. Over and over and over again.

Skinned knees and fevers. Milestones and cheers. I wasn’t there–yet he trusts me. He doesn’t know yet that I would give anything to have been there. And that all those memories and years…are stories I will not be able to retell. Yet…each day more and more…more trust…tighter hugs.

Yet in the quiet. He counts. To himself. Quietly.

What is easy for him. Surrounded by so much hard…new language…new faces…new everything. And I melt all over again. He is one of the bravest boys I know. And I…

I get to be his mom.

Tears fall.

So blessed.

I remember a time when we were “done”. My first two babes had been surprises. Such gifts–but such surprises;). We married in June–discovered we’d be parents in December. And he was born the next August. When this colicy wee one was 4 months old, we discovered another was on the way. At each passing growth spurt–I quickly gave aways outgrown clothes. Because we were “done”. Little did I know the great things the Lord had in store for me. So blessed.

Each day…one day at a time…with 5 little sweet ones under age 9. Rich and I are in a season where we truly take one day at a time for tomorrow has enough worries of it’s own–but although today is full–it’s filling also has such blessing. And as I lay there listening to my fifth little blessing count…I held my breath. Thanking God for the miracle of letting me be a mom again and again and again…and through the miracle of adoption…you truly see a miracle.

Our hearts are connected. I wake more often at night to check on this new one than I ever did as a first time mom. And I’m so thankful how every day–this little love takes risks. Risks to love and be loved. And having seen so many little loves so afraid to take these risks…I realize what a miracle it is. This morning I held him in worship at church. Holding him in my left arm–I couldn’t help but raise my right. Praising God for all He has done. And I opened my eyes to see my little love raising his hands singing too. So free. So full of joy.

And it amazes me. The days and years I missed. Yet the Lord heals. He connects us. He helps gel together as mother and son…and I’m overwhelmed with thanksgiving.

Never underestimate how the Lord can give courage to the smallest of loves. And never underestimate all He can do to heal and connect…to make up for missed time. May your Thanksgiving ahead be full of sweet connections with your loves and family.

A few of my favorites from our house…(we tend to get a little festive at every holiday over here;)

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Andrea:)

O r p h a n   C a r e
A d o p t i o n   C a r e