Goodbye Ordinary

I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us. Isaiah 63:7

Some Adoption News February 26, 2010

Filed under: Adoption,Faith,India — Lori @ 6:50 pm

I wanted to update those of you who are keeping up with our adoption of Levi.  I heard from our adoption agency today – Lisa, the India director called me.  She had some hopeful news for me, although we are still in a holding pattern.

I don’t know why, but I had understood when she talked to me last that the orphanage and the attorney for the orphanage were not sure about us as an adoptive family for Levi.  What they weren’t sure about wasn’t us, they weren’t sure about the judge letting our case go through.

She assured me that the attorney was dedicated to making sure our case goes through and that he will do all that he needs to in order for that to happen.  Which, at this point, includes our paperwork being stalled in immigration.  While it sits there the attorney knows that it can’t get passed through CARA which would automatically put our case into court.  The problem with that is that this judge has thrown out a case for this orphanage for a family who has three children and assume he will do the same for our case.  So, by holding our case back he is making sure we have the best chance of getting our case through when the time is right.  The outcome of the other family’s case which is in a higher court is what we are waiting for.  When it passes – which they think it will – then this district court judge should let ours through so that he doesn’t have another case go to the higher court and reverse his decision.

Lisa also told me that the sisters at Missionaries of Charity orphanage were thrilled about our family adopting Levi (Sangeet) and were so pleased that we were a Christian family.  She also said that she would ask the sisters when she is there in April if she can give Levi our photo album and he can know about our family and start to get used to the idea.  She said she will see what they think about it, knowing that it might be harder for him because no one knows how long this will take.

That was so encouraging to us!  Knowing that the orphanage and their attorney is working to do all they can to get our case through court gives us great hope that this will go through.  Knowing they are on our side is a big deal for us.

I was also told that Levi hasn’t had his surgery yet.  I am not sure if they are still planning on doing that or not.

We would so appreciate your continued prayers for Levi and that we would wait with patience and trust – knowing that the Lord is in complete control of all things including the timing.  We may never be able to look back and know why God had us wait.  If nothing else I know that He has been doing a work in my heart and is helping me to a greater degree of trust in His sovereignty and loving care of us.

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Before and After February 23, 2010

Filed under: Adoption,Family — Lori @ 12:01 pm

By request, I am posting a photo of the girls when they first came home and one of them this Christmas.  It is not only great to see the change in height and weight, but in their countenance.

Kalindi and Kira in India just before we flew home:

February, 2008 - New Delhi

Kalindi and Kira just home:

Home! February 2008

At their first doctor appointment, days after coming home, Kalindi was 51″ tall and weighed 50 lbs. at ten years old.  Kira was 45″ tall and weighed 41.5 lbs. at six years of age.

Kalindi and Kira now:

Kalindi measured 59″ tall (growth of eight inches) and 83 lbs. (gain of 33 lbs.) this February 2010 at 11 years old. 

Kira measured 55″ tall (growth of 10 inches) and 64 lbs. (gain of 22.5 lbs.) this February 2010 at seven years old.

In case you notice a discrepancy of ages and time – we had the girls stay the age the Indian doctor gave them (they had no birth records) when they had their first birthday here.  They were so small and behind for their ages, we wanted to give them time to catch up.  The catch up wasn’t just in height and weight, but in learning a new language and culture and also in education.  We are now feeling like Kalindi is on target for an almost twelve-year-old.  She is getting her twelve-year molars and has the body development of an adolescent. 

Kira seems like she is probably eight, about to turn nine, instead of being seven about to turn eight.  But, who cares.  Other than the fact that she is taller than all her Sparky teammates!  She can thank me when she is 29 and gets an extra year before she turns 30. 🙂 

Now maybe you can see what I mean about mourning their quick growing up.  Luckily, Kira is still a lap girl and loves her snuggles with Mom.

 

Two Year Anniversary

Filed under: Adoption,Family — Lori @ 12:40 am

I can hardly believe that February 23 is our two year anniversary of bringing Kalindi and Kira home.  Time has flown in so many ways.  The girls have changed so much in two years.  We brought home these two tiny, skinny, quiet girls who were smaller than their ages and knew hardly any English.  Now they are healthy, taller, and not so quiet! 🙂  And, their English is very good.  I can’t even remember those early days when it was so hard to communicate.

We were watching a video of them laughing and playing with some fold up cubes that we got out for them the first week they were home and they were chattering away in Hindi.  The girls were watching as well and we asked them if they knew what they were saying and they had NO idea.  Can you imagine?  That is just amazing to me.  What must that feel like for them?  I wonder if they even recognize themselves in that video?

You know that feeling of nostalgia as you watch your kids grow up?  You long for the days when they were little and things were less complicated.  Well, adopting older children is even harder in that respect.  It seems like it has been on fast forward ever since they got here.  I find that I cannot part with the size 5/6 clothes that I had purchased for Kira.  It is the silliest thing!

There is something so sweet about the sounds in our home – not to mention the car!  Or church.  Ahem.  Yes, that WAS them yesterday squealing (and possibly screaming) as they giggled and played a game of “soccer” with a ping pong ball with a friend and one of the men of our church in the fellowship hall.  People at church have mentioned how they can see the girls’ love and trust build towards us over the last two years.  That has been precious for us to see happening as well.

I went to the grocery store tonight after dinner and got home about the time they start getting ready for bed.  They came running to the garage door all excited that I was home.  Kira said, “I missed you Mom and thought I wouldn’t be able to kiss you goodnight!”  She will often come up for a hug and say that she “misses” me which is so cute because we are together all day long every day.  I think she is making up for many years of not having a mommy.

We had our oven fixed last week and the girls were carrying on a conversation with the repairman.  They asked him pretty much any question you can think of about his wife, children, etc.  So, he asked them about our family and they said, “We have three sisters and two brothers in our family.”  They count Grant and Levi as their brothers – neither of which they have met.  I think that is so sweet.

We feel so blessed that God brought these two precious girls into our family.  Sure, there have been some hard times and some adjustment, but I can honestly say that it has been so much more of a blessing.  Our best friends were over on Sunday night and the wife said that it seemed like the girls have always been here.  I know what she means.  They fit right in.  That is SO the Lord!

 

Trusting in God’s Sovereignty February 15, 2010

Filed under: Books,Faith,Grief,World Events — Lori @ 4:02 pm

I think that learning to trust in God’s sovereign hand in my life and in all of creation is a lesson that I will be learning my entire life.

I have had several hard “valleys” come along in my life in order to learn this lesson.  I have found that God has been merciful in preparing me ahead of these great times of darkness so that I was able to grope my way through them – knowing that the Lord was walking along beside me and with a knowledge of His love for me and his promise to cause all things to work for good in my life.  Just so you understand where I am coming from, God’s “good” he brings into my life is that He is making me into a more perfect reflection of Christ to the world. (Rom. 8:29  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.)

It might be the earthquake in Haiti, the collapse of a bridge in Minneapolis, 9/11, or a personal trial that stops us in our tracks.  These tragedies leave people hurt and questioning God’s involvement.  We have two choices, don’t we?  We can believe that God is in complete control of His creation – which includes people and nature – OR – we can believe that God isn’t able to stop bad things from happening, but is hoping that He can make something good come out of them after the fact.

Matthew 10:29-31  are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

With a belief in the first choice we may not always “like” what has happened, nor do we understand “why” it has happened, but we can safely and securely rest in the knowledge that God was in complete control of the circumstance and has ordained that it come to pass – either by His allowing or causing. 

In the second choice, we are left to wonder what may hit us next and will we have any idea of any purpose in these tragedies when they come.  There is no comfort, no security in this choice is there?

Thank goodness we do not make a choice!  Whether we choose to believe it or not God IS in control of all things.  He is almighty and sovereign over all his creation.

Daniel 4:35  He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.  No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?

I was just re-reading an article in Tabletalk magazine by R.C. Sproul, Jr.  He says this about God’s sovereignty:

……….How, though, can we move from simply affirming the sovereignty of God to resting in it?  We will rest in His sovereignty when we remember not just that He is almighty, but that He who is almighty loves us with an everlasting love.  It is because He is with us in the valley of death that we do not fear.  It is because He has prepared a table in the presence of our enemies that we can be assured that goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives……………………Psalm 46:8-11  Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.  Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

I think this is an important step – remembering that we are children of God and that He loves us.  We are not making a choice between believing that God is sovereign OR that He is good and loving.  He is both.

Jerry Bridges says in Trusting God, “The one element that should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God; our suffering has meaning and purpose in God’s eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.”

Psalm 33:10-11  The LORD fails the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Romans 11:33-34  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”

Isaiah 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Another quote from “Trusting God“,

“As God’s rule is invincible, so it is incomprehensible.  his ways are higher  than our ways.  His judgments are unsearchable and His paths are beyond tracing out.  The sovereignty of God is often questioned because man does not understand what God is doing.  Because He does not act as we think He should, we conclude He cannot act as we think He would.”

This is not an easy doctrine to grasp.  I am, however, so thankful that God taught me this before Grant died because it would have been SO MUCH HARDER to go through that if He had not.  As I said in the beginning, I am still working on this.  Every day.  The Christian walk is a road of faith in a God Who has revealed Himself to us in His word and we seek to learn more about Him every day.  It is a journey.  How thankful I am for the hope and security we have in eternity because of what Christ accomplished on our behalf!

Augustine said, “Nothing, therefore, happens unless the Omnipotent wills it to happen: he either permits it to happen, or he brings it about Himself.”

 

UNICEF and Haiti Adoptions February 12, 2010

Filed under: Adoption,World Events — Lori @ 5:23 pm

From God’s Littlest Angels blog:

At a time when orphan babies are dying, and the children of Haiti are in the single greatest need in the history of this nation, UNICEF has worked to shut down all international adoptions.
Now in this important field report from Port Au Prince, Doug Phillips examines the present battle to rescue Haiti’s children in the context of UNICEF’s anti-adoption efforts vs. the work of the Christian community to encourage the Haitian government to cut through the red tape and open the door for legitimate, qualified American adoptions.

 

The Power of the Resurrection February 11, 2010

Filed under: Books,Faith — Lori @ 2:18 pm

Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes EverythingI just read about a new book by Adrian Warnock entitled, “Raised With Christ“.  There is an interview with the author at Justin Taylor’s blog

I sincerely encourage you to go read the post and listen to the video – it is only about eight minutes long.  I promise you that it will fill your eyes with tears and your heart with wonder when you are reminded of the benefit that has come to us through not only Jesus’ death, but His resurrection!

Here is what one reviewer says about the book:  “Raised with Christ is wonderfully accessible to ordinary Christians because Adrian Warnock is, in his own words, an ordinary Christian. Those who follow his popular blog will recognize his sincere and straightforward style, as he explains why the resurrection is not merely a dry doctrine about a past event but a promise that the life of the risen Christ can transform our lives today.”
—Nancy Pearcey

I can’t wait to get this book!

 

Encouragement for the Day February 8, 2010

Filed under: Faith,Life — Lori @ 9:33 am

Psalm 121

1I lift up my eyes to the hills.
   From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   who made heaven and earth.

 3He will not let your foot be moved;
   he who keeps you will not slumber.
4Behold, he who keeps Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5The LORD is your keeper;
   the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
   nor the moon by night.

 7The LORD will keep you from all evil;
   he will keep your life.
8The LORD will keep
   your going out and your coming in
   from this time forth and forevermore.

Amen!!

 

 
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