Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her

This week we got a call from our caseworker.  I was in an appointment and wasn't able to answer the call when I saw it ringing but I saw it was a Fort Worth number where our agency was located and I knew immediately what she would say on the other end, I knew in my heart this had been coming for a long time.  The truth is our adoption process and everyone else's for that matter in Ethiopia have been hanging on by a thread for over a year now.

I looked back at my blog and I don't think I ever even blogged about what happened in December of 2013 that carried through to January 2014 that started all this.  It was incredibly difficult to go through and I think in large part to why I stopped blogging as much over the last year.  This was supposed to be a family blog and a blog about our adoption journey. After beginning in August of 2010, 4 years and 5 months later that desire and the child we felt was waiting for us would never be ours.

I suppose I should go back to December of 2013.  It was right after Christmas and we got and email from our agency alerting us that because of political changes in the government it was likely that Ethiopia was going to close down to international adoption.  We were devastated, we were grieving, although they are different it was the same feelings of grieving from a miscarriage, we were losing a child we had longed for, and prayed for for years.  We came home from Christmas to a closet with clothes in it and toys we had collected over the years for what would be our son one day.
As it turned out Ethiopia about a month later decided not to close but to drastically alter their process once again slowing things down even more.  We still had confidence from our agency that they were still in it for the long haul and if something happened to their Ethiopia program it would be because Ethiopia chose it not them.  So we continued to wait with hope that maybe someday we would still be able to complete our adoption.

I see all of that now as the Lord's way of preparing me for what would happen this week, so that when I got this news it didn't come as a surprise.  I truly feel that when this happened a year ago I grieved the loss of our Ethiopian son.  That is not to say that it wasn't devastating to have some finality to the end of our process and the end of adoption in Ethiopia this week but to say that I just know the Lord prepared me for this then.  

Honestly we may never fully know why we were called to this process just to have it end with no child but we can say with full confidence that we followed the Lord's leading.  It is hard to understand why when I can think of so many different times He gave us encouragement and affirmed to us that we were on the right path for it to end this way.  Each time we had to make a decision we felt confident in what we should do, if there was a major decision to be made each time the Lord would work on Adam and I separately and then when we came together we were already on the same page, that even goes for deciding to have a biological child during this process. Does it make sense? No it doesn't.  We do know how we were changed through this.  We are different people than when we began.  Our eyes have been opened and our hearts have been changed in unimaginable ways that I know would not be had we not gone through this.  I know that He is faithful, it might not always look how I want it to but I know this is true, I have experienced it, I have clung to it.

So what does this mean for us you ask?  Well one thing I feel like I should answer for all of you who have so faithfully encouraged us and supported us in prayer and financially over these last 4 years is that it is not lost on us.  We fully intend to still adopt one day, that is beyond a shadow of a doubt true for us.  We do not know at this point what that looks like.  We will wait till after our biological son is born and we will wait and see how the Lord leads us, he knows our desire and I trust that is still in our future in some capacity.
For everyone who generously and sacrificially gave to us over the years that fund is still there.  It will continue to be there untouched until our next adoption.

I truly can hardly put into words what the encouragement from our friends and family has meant to us.  Our friends/family have cried with us, prayed with us, encouraged us, raised funds for us, believed on our behalf, and have just been Jesus to us in so many ways over the years.  The beauty in that and the gospel displayed to us through that has changed us forever.

Above all we are heartbroken for all the children that will be left in orphanages with little to no hope. We hope and pray that Ethiopia will do what they can to improve their orphanages and their system to provide these children with a chance.

I struggled with what to title this post because it is the end of our journey in Ethiopia but not THE end of our adoption journey.  Back in January of 2014 when all this was going on the Lord gave me this verse,

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her. 
Luke 1:45

I still believe that.  I know that he is faithful and I know what he has promised to us, it may not look like what we think it does but I trust that if we follow him in obedience he will direct our path. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

More Moores

I know I do not write too often for this blog (well no one does recently…this explains the silence…) but for this post Ashley gave me the honors.  Big things happening in the Moore family and much more coffee will be needed starting next June because… Ashley is pregnant!  That’s right, little Moore is expected to arrive June 2015.  We are super excited and wanted to let everyone know and answer a few questions.  Here they are:

-Are you still adopting?  The Answer: Absolutely.  We have been talking with our agency about what was best for our family as this process has been painfully slower than we ever dreamed.  We are still committed to Ethiopia and can’t wait to start back with our program next year.

-Why the change now?  We have often experienced that when the timing seems to be of the Lord we have complete agreement in really hard decisions.  Over the last few months we began to discuss if there needed to be a change.  What options should we explore?  Do we need to change countries, do we need to change agencies, or do we need to reconsider this whole process?  These were hard discussions but the answer always ended with “no.”  Instead, after a while we thought a “pause” would be best.  At the same time our agency was working through an option for families that want to continue in the process but are also exploring other options, everything seemed to be coming together.  What I thought might be an extremely agonizing choice has been met with perfect harmony and peace.  One thing is for sure, things move at the Lord’s timing, not ours.

We could not be more thrilled for this news and we cannot wait to pick back up on our journey toward adoption next fall.  We are so thankful for all the support and love everyone has given us over the last few years during our adoption process and thankful for you celebrating with us again!  I imagine our blogging may pick up a little more and we can update everyone along the way!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Africa! part one

Well is this long overdue or what?!  I don't know what to say except sometimes I want to blog and sometimes I don't and that is ok.  So if you're still reading thanks for sticking around!

Adam and I got the unique opportunity with a group from our church to go visit some friends and keep their kiddos while they had a conference.  This isn't quite how I thought I would be getting to Africa this year but we were thrilled to go nonetheless! I don't think we are making it to Africa this year through our adoption so it was the goodness of the Lord to allow us to experience it in this capacity.

We found out like 45 minutes before we were supposed to leave the church that our flight from Columbia to D.C. had been cancelled!  They were expecting lots of snow that afternoon and had already cancelled our flight. bummer.  Adam was on the phone with our travel agent for a while trying to figure out how to re-route us.  So instead of us leaving Tuesday and arriving Wednesday night we didn't arrive till Thursday morning... an extra 12-ish hours of I was super excited because our new flight plan had us going through London with a 7 hour layover!!! And that means that we got to visit some dear friends living there!!! We were in seminary with them and in the same small group for a while so we were beyond thrilled to get to spend some time with them! It was such a special surprise! This sweet friend has been a constant source of encouragement for me and has been so faithful to pray for me and our adoption, love her so much!  

So while it wasn't fun arriving much later than expected this definitely made it worth it!  When we finally arrived early in the morning we were all looking a little worse for wear after a couple of days of no showering.  We had about a 45 minute drive to get to the place we were staying which was in the mountains.  The weather was so pleasant and quite cool at times! totally not what you think about when you think of African weather!
Feeling better after a shower, but still super sleepy, we were fighting jetlag the best we could by trying to stay awake until that night.  It was tough!

The conference center was beautiful! Here is our room, right there on the corner.  On Friday morning before the start of the conference we headed to a local school, aaaaand this was the view out the window of the schools library...Beautiful! and so green because all of the surrounding area that we were in was mostly tea plantations so they had beautiful fields of vibrant green tea leaves.
Here is another picture we got on a tour around the campus with some workers picking the tea leaves up on a hill.  It was so picturesque! 

Here are all the kids in front of the chapel lined up for their morning pledge of allegiance and songs.  It was cracking us up because they were all wearing coats and hats like it was freezing and we were all quite comfortable, but it is all about what you get used to!

They asked us to share some songs and a story during their friday chapel service and then we split up into groups to do an activity with them in their classes.

We made trees with them by tracing their hands for the leaves.  They loved it! It was such a special opportunity to get to share part of the school day with these sweet little kiddos who overcome a lot just to get to school, it is such a privilege we take for granted here.  We headed back to the conference center that evening for some team planning.  We were all fighting to make it to 8:00 that night and we crashed.

The next 3 and half days it was non stop! We were going from 7:30 in the morning till 10:00 at night. It was exhausting but SO worth it!  I was in the group that working with kindergarten through 6th graders.  We did crafts, games, snacks, and bible story time.  Then in the evening we had a corporate worship time together.  It was beautiful and humbling to be apart of and to get to hear stories of the Lord at work.  

Thankfully one of the girls on my team is a 4th grade teacher so her knowledge of crafts and how to keep these guys attention was priceless! We were so thankful!
Only in Africa does one of the kids bring their family pet... and it is a chameleon that he carried with him at all times!

Everyday at 10:30 and 4:00 we had tea time, it was some sort of sweet treat, tea, and juice for the kids. They made these amazing donuts one day that were enormous!  The food overall was really good where we were.  There would always be something we weren't quite used to at every meal but there was always something we could eat!
This was just the first part of what I wanted to share.  The walking safari we did deserves a post all on its own so stay tuned!  Spoiler alert: it was UNBELIEVABLE!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Noonday Ambassador!

If you follow me on facebook then you might have already seen that I announced how excited I am to now be an ambassador for Noonday!!!

Honestly it is something I have been thinking about for a long time.  I first heard about Noonday probably 2 years ago when my sister called me after a trunk show she had been to.  She told me about this awesome business that provides work for people in resource poor areas of the world to help lift them out of poverty by making jewelry and accessories... and their stuff is SO stylish! I was hooked! Using fashion and design to help create economic opportunity for others?! Sign me up!

Becoming an ambassador was always in the back of my mind.  I always thought how awesome and fun it would be to work with such an amazing company and just felt the Lord bringing it up in different ways to me recently over and over... so I listened and went for it!  Honestly I feel blessed that I get to be a part of such an amazing organization and want to represent them and their artisans well.  

Another HUGE reason that I love Noonday so much is that they do adoption fundraisers!  So you can host a trunk show for a friend or yourself and a portion of the sales will go directly to you or your friends adoption! How cool is that?! That's speaking my language people!

How you can get involved in sharing Noondays story:

  • Host a trunk show! Gather some of your friends together and we'll share Noondays story of how they're helping people all around the world and by using your purchasing power you are making a difference! 
  • Host an adoption fundraiser show for someone you know to help bring a child into their forever family! 
  • And of course you can shop online anytime here.  I would love for you to think about Noonday next time you're gift shopping for you mom, sister, friend, anyone! Which I should mention if you still need a mothers day present just get the orders in by April 27th so that they'll be here on time! 

I should also mention that at the end of every season (2 times a year) I'll have a sample sale where I'll be selling some of my own samples at a discount to make room for the new line.  So you dear readers will get the inside scoop of when that will happen.  I would love for my blog to be the avenue that it takes place on so we'll see!

I hope you'll check it out if you don't know about Noonday already so you can fall in love with them too :)

p.s. fun fact about that picture of me up above... that was taken from our recent trip to Africa (which I promise to blog about soon!)  That is at an overlook that we stopped at and that valley behind me runs all the way into Ethiopia!  Kinda cool!  Kinda surreal! And kinda hard! at the same time to be so close yet so far away for so many reasons! 

Thanks for letting my excitement spill out all over the place! i think i probably used to many of these !! in this post! can't help it! sorrynotsorry

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

RIP computer

It's official our computer is dead.  Real dead.  And it took most of our pics 6 feet under with it. We're going to try one more place to see if they can do anything to get some of them off but I don't have too much hope.  Thankfully I have been somewhat of a decent blogger over the last few years and have at least some pics from different things we've done.  Oh it is painful to lose so many memories! Never again! I am going to look into Carbonite I think or does the Cloud do that?  I have no clue about the cloud man... where's an apple genius when you need one?  We plan to get a new computer relatively soon-ish but right now we're sharing one like I mentioned before which equals a small window of opportunity for blogging :(

BUT we just got back from Africa (not an adoption related trip for all who are following) and I really want to do a post about that quickly while things are still fresh!  So thanks for hanging in there with me reader friends and things will pick up!  I just jumped into an excited opportunity I can't wait to tell you about!