adoption, faith, kingdom living, parenting

Just a little something I had to write this morning…

Family

An ever-changing
moving target
at our house

Acceptance always
our goal
our motivation

Love you where you are
show Christ’s love
believe you want to be
the best you
you are capable of being

Willing to be
a safe place for you
for a season
or for a lifetime

Loving you
is not easy
is heart-bursting
is joyous
is heartbreaking

Tears
of love
of grief
of acceptance
when you choose
to leave

Know you were
and are
loved

adoption, faith, kingdom living, parenting

It’s Valentine’s Day, so I thought I’d post a love story…

But it’s not your typical love story.  Instead, it’s the story of how Brian and I fell in love with two boys back in November 2008 and adopted them as our sons.

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”  Romans 8:14-17

This post was originally shared on our facebook group, The Ames Fusion Experience. Please feel free to join that group if you’d like.  We’ll be updating the group with information on the adoption of Lowenski and Daveson and how they are settling in.  But I digress….  Here’s the story.

In November of 2008, Natalie ran across pictures of two young boys and had to do a double take. They were part of a gallery of pictures of children who were available for adoption out of the foster care system. There were small descriptions of the boys attached to the pictures and one of the boys said he wanted a family that liked to camp (well, Brian does, and Natalie will learn to like it again) and has a german shepherd (ok, we have a dog that sort of looks like one). The other boy said he loved sports and liked dogs too.

The gallery was put together by our church’s foster and adoption ministry so Natalie checked into the boys and discovered they were still available. She prayed for five days before talking to Brian and each time she did she kept getting a mental picture of Brian sitting on the couch between the boys and reading to them. She also kept hearing the phrase “bring them home” every time she prayed. When she told Brian, he agreed and the journey began.

Amazingly, every worry and barrier at the beginning of the process fell as fast as we could think about it. For instance, our worry about how much it would cost, turned out to be completely unfounded as it costs nothing to adopt from the foster system. We knew we wouldn’t be able to start the training that would be required until after Doug and Whitney’s wedding in January, so we were scheduled to begin our first of 9 foster parenting classes on January 17.

On January 16, we received a call that made our heart sink. The boys were going to be “staffed” and we were not going to be allowed to be presented. A “staffing” is when the child’s decision-making team gathers to make a decision as to which family the child will be adopted by. The staffing was to take place in February, about three weeks into our training. We did find out later that neither family was selected and we were back in consideration.

That brings us to today. We have finished our foster parenting classes and are in the middle of our adoption class (last weekend and this coming weekend – March 29). Next week, we’ll finish up the home study, at least I think we will. Then we should be ready for the staffing.Ok, there you go, you’re now up to date.So what happens next?Once the class is over and the home study is completed, then we submit it for the next staffing. If we are chosen as the family to adopt them, then we will begin the transition process. From what we understand, that will probably begin with a few trips to McDonalds, the park, etc and eventually going to an overnight visit to a weekend visit. We’re 95% sure they will not move in until after the school year is over. Once they move in, then that begins a six month to nine month “trial” period before the adoption becomes finalized.

****BREAKING NEWS******************

April 30 – The staffing was held this morning and Marcus and Denny will be joining our family very soon!! We’ll meet the boys for the first time next weekend! We’ll have a meeting early next week to discuss the transition into our home.

************************************************

May 8th – The boys will be coming tomorrow and spending the night. They’ll move in permanently on the 21st or 22nd. 😀

Marcus and Denny have been our sons now for almost 4 years and our life is much richer since they joined the family.  We are so grateful that God led us to them!

Here are the pictures of them that I first saw.

Image

Marcus at age 10

Image

Denny at age 9

And here’s a great picture of the whole family on adoption day!

13038_181564578612_545967_n

And here is a picture of them at Christmas this year.

noname

 

 

 

Do you have a love story to share this Valentine’s Day?

If not, I hope you will let this one become yours:

But to all who believed Him [Jesus] and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God – John 1:12

adoption, faith, kingdom living, parenting, spiritual warfare

Adoption Update

We finally got the phone call!!!

Tuesday morning, Brian and I will be on a flight to Haiti to finalize our adoption in a Haitian courtroom.  We are so excited!! Thank you for partnering with us in prayer for this day to happen!

Interestingly, our call came exactly 2 days before our file had been in IBESR for exactly a year. 363 days of learning patience…

We don’t expect to be bringing them home with us on this trip, but God could certainly surprise us with that blessing.

We would appreciate your prayers in the following areas:

  • That we would be able to fit in all of the appointments we need to take care of between Tues and Fri.  Two court appearances and then passports to be issued.
  • That we would be able to get all documents translated back into English quickly so that we can deliver the entire dossier to the US Embassy on Monday morning or even earlier 😉 .
  • Pray that once the dossier is in the hand of the Embassy that they will review everything quickly and approve our I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. We previously had a roadblock at the embassy and we need it to fall down.  The boys cannot get visas to come to the USA if our I-600 is not approved.  Please pray that God will remove all the barriers and to direct us to the right people in our government to facilitate that removal.
  • Pray that our boys will be home on or before 8/8/12.  It’s my birthday and that would be a very cool birthday present!

Again thanks to all of you who have supported our family in prayer throughout this process.  We’re not there yet, but we are into the final sprint!!

Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

Faith Without a Doubt

It’s been a fascinating 10 days since I published my post, “A Call to Prayer.  You can find it here. There have been many skirmishes and one major all out attack, but the overarching strategy is to get me to doubt.  Here are some examples:

  • Why would God talk to you?
  • Your reputation is on the line.  Don’t you think you should back down a little?
  • You were praying for a specific date before, and look what happened then.
  • You can’t trust the people you’re dealing with. How do you know the birth mother won’t change her mind?
  • Your husband’s reputation is on the line.  You’re both going to end up looking like fools.
  • Isn’t your blog just really an attempt to get attention?
  • You can’t trust God.

Really the list of lies swimming through my head could go on and on and on and on. And it’s difficult sometimes not to listen, to remind myself that lies are what they really are.

The past two days God has used scripture to remind me that He is faithful, that He is able, that He is trustworthy and that He is mighty in power. To my amusement, He had me finding all of this in the book of Numbers. Why was I amused? I usually pass over this book since in my head, it’s about numbering all the people in Israel and usually that bores (full-blown honesty here) me to tears.

But I read Numbers 10 and 11 yesterday and 12 and 13 today. And here’s what God taught me:

Lesson #1 from Numbers 11:18-23 – God brought each person 60 bushels of quail that day.  Is the LORD’s arm too short?  I don’t think so…..

Lesson #2 from Numbers 13:26-33 – If God says the land is flowing with milk and honey, trust Him, it is….

Lesson #3 from Numbers 14:26-38 – Faith is rewarded – Joshua and Caleb would live to see the day that the Israelites entered the Promised Land because they believed God. Doubt is not rewarded….

Lesson #4 from Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 2:1-12,  Mark 5:25-34, Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43 – Bold requests are answered when they are made with absolute faith!

Lesson #5 from Mark 9:14-25

Lord, I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!!!!!

adoption, faith, parenting

Coming to the End of Ourselves

August hasn’t really been a great month at our house. The first 3 weeks have been extremely difficult in various ways. It seems as if the entire family has sunk into a depression. Everyone is battling discouragement and it’s been a rough go. And it’s not just my own little nuclear family, but my older kids and their spouses.

I’m seeing it too in those of us adopting from the same orphanage in Haiti, we’re becoming more and more discouraged as we wait for our children to come home.

This afternoon, while mowing the lawn, I was listening to Fee’s Hope Rising album on my iPhone and two songs really struck me (I’m posting links to them both below.) The phrase that is the title of this post kept repeating in my head as well. So I decided it was time for a blog post.

Too often we depend on our own strength to get through life and through discouragement. And sometimes, I think we have to get “to the end of ourselves” before we’ll allow God to work on our behalf. Even then, we want to control how he works. Unfortunately, I did a wonderful job teaching my children how to be strong. It’s unfortunate because they are right now coming to the end of themselves and I know that I did not do a great job of teaching them how to let God fight the battle for them.

So for my kids and for you and for me, here’s a great link to an article by David Wilkerson on battling discouragement.

http://www.tscpulpitseries.org/english/1990s/ts981228.html

And here are the two songs. The first is “Everything Falls”, the second is “The Arms that Hold the Universe”. It’s my prayer if you find yourself depressed or discouraged that you’ll read the article and listen to the songs and let the Holy Spirit do battle with the spirit of discouragement that has you in it’s grip.

parenting

She can’t possibly be 25!

…. but she is today.  Twenty-five years ago today at roughly 4:00 pm, my beautiful daughter, Rebecca Ashley, entered the world.  Today, I’m celebrating the gift I was given then.

We had many conversations about her name, her father and I, but it was chosen because it seemed a strong, but still a beautifully-feminine name.  I remember thinking this will be a name she can be proud to put on a corporate office door some day or on a business card.  Those descriptions of her name now seem to be prophetic, because they are what I would use to describe her today.

My daughter is strong, but perhaps fierce is a better word.  She loves fiercely, and she fights fiercely for the people she loves, the causes she loves and for what she believes is right. She is a fierce champion of the underdog. She is a force to be reckoned with and I mean that in all the best ways.

She is beautifully feminine as well.  She’s strikingly beautiful, both in her physical appearance, but in her personality as well.  She loves eye-shadow, lip gloss, long-flowing red hair.  She has the most hauntingly, beautiful soprano voice, like Charlotte Church or Amy Lee from Evanescence.  She has a cute little pixie laugh that her father tries to coax out of her whenever he sees her. 

A friend of mine, who met her the first time on Thursday, said that pictures just don’t do justice to her beauty. And she’s right.

Neither do my words.

I love you fiercely, Rebecca!

adoption

It’s been a while…

I have been consumed with paperwork and have not had a spare minute to even remember that I love to write until today. So, I am back and am setting a calendar appointment with myself to write every day, even if it’s only a sentence or too.

What’s been happening? Well, we’re deep into the adoption paperwork process and getting there. Our scheduled trip to Haiti on February 2nd has been postponed and we are looking to reschedule to Feb 24th if the orphanage isn’t inundated with short-term mission workers at that time. I can’t wait to hold my boys and tell them M’ ap manman ou talè (I will be your mother soon) and Mwen te renmen nou depi lè mwen te fèk wè ou (I have loved you since I first saw you).

Our days are filled with Marcus and Denny’s activities and homework, adoption forms, letters and learning Haitian Creole. It’s a stressful, exhausting, thrilling time.

We’re concerned about the Baby Doc Duvalier’s arrival in Haiti and what that means for the country, but we know that God is at work in Haiti and he has asked us to partner with him there. At this point, there are no plans for any permanent move there, but we know we are to be intimately involved in supporting the work of the Operation Love the Children of Haiti orphanage.

Please keep our family in your prayers. We covet them as we parent two adults, two teenagers and go through the steps of adding a four-year old and nine-year old to the family. Please pray for our relationships with our grown children also. More than anything, we want all of our children to see Jesus in us.

The Ames and Washington families - Christmas 2010

Daveson, our soon to be son, is in the blue shirt! Manman renmen ou, Daveson!
Lowensky, our soon to be son and Daveson's biological brother. Manman renmen ou, Lowensky!
Uncategorized

Family

There’s nothing so wonderful as discovering commonalities in behaviors between your adopted and birth children. My youngest son, my daughter and I all jiggle our legs in order to keep ourselves moving when we’re in situations where we can’t get up and pace or walk around.

I was reminded how alike we all are at dinner tonight when the floor was shaking because legs were jiggling.