Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Okay.....The Name

For all of you who have been waiting (thanks mom and dad), we will announce our little guys name.  It is fun to figure out names for our children.  Some we have had for a long time and some come with prayer and time.  For a refresher, Samuel's full name is Olof Robert Samuel Kjernald.  He goes by Samuel.  

The first name is Olof (or course), all the men in Andreas' family have that in their name.  It will join our son with the new heritage that he is receiving in this family. 

The second in line is Xiao.  This will honor the name that he has been known by thus far.  This is a part of him and his story and we wanted to honor that.  

The third name (which is the one he will go by) is David.  David is a man after God's own heart in the Bible.  He was anointed at a young age by....Samuel to be King of Israel.  Samuel counseled him and pointed him to God and David continued on.  

So there you have it.   Olof  Xiao David Kjernald

We have found out that our tentative dates for traveling are from May 11 to May 25th.  We are soooooo very excited and will be calling around for airline tickets now.  If you have any advice on good adoption rates let me know.  

I would like to ask for special prayer for friends that are in Ethiopia right now.  Nina and Wes Mullins (you can click into there blog from the blogs I follow) have been in Ethiopia for about 2 1/2 months.  They have their twins with them, but there have been some problems in their court case and new papers being needed constantly.  At this point Wes will need to come home without the others.  Please pray that the paperwork will get done quickly and that Nina and the twins can go home and be with Wes again soon.  This is hard emotionally, financially and physically because they have twins.  Please pray for them and give if you feel the Lord leading you to do so.  Thank you.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Learning Again....and again.....and again....and again...

I know many of you are waiting for the name of our new son and I promise it will come soon, but we have had so many things to get done this week and it has been a bit crazy.  One thing that I wanted to write about is more of the happiness or joy that I talked about earlier.  In all of this running around trying to get LOA papers signed we have hit a snag with Swedish beauracracy.  Our social worker, whom we have worked with for over 3 years now, is on sick leave.  So instead of calling her and asking her if it is okay to sign that she knows she must do post placement reports and that we can accept this referral (which is already outlined in our homestudy and previous papers) we are having to go through a bit of  incompetence. Of course they are allowed to take two weeks and it seems as if they wish to take that full two weeks.  This is frustrating and ridiculous.  So now I have to take an account of myself.  

How do I react and act towards these people who now feel they have the need to re-ask all the questions that have already been asked?

How do I react when they feel the need to recheck all that has already been checked?  

I can tell you how I want to react, but I am sure you can probably guess how that is.  I hear that reminder to be the child of God that I should.  To show patience...because even though I feel like Swedish beauracracy is in charge - that is not really true.  I want to throw a temper tantrum, but I am 37 years old and frankly I do know better (aren't you proud of me mom!). 

 I must remember that after 3 1/2 years of waiting that...
God still has this, 
God still loves us and this child, 
God sees all that is going on 
and I simply need to pray and trust.  
How many times must I learn this?   

So for now we meet with another social worker tomorrow morning, to reanswer questions that we have already answered, and I must show.....
and temperance.

Thanks for the reminder Jesus, please help me accomplish this! Here is where joy is and happiness is not.  


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Drum Roll Please.....

Okay, I promised a picture of our son and here it is! (sorry I was a day late Amy)  We think he is absolutely adorable (big surprise), and we cannot wait to get him. I will give more details as I can, but for now just enjoy his little face and please pray for him as he is about to experience something HUGE!  


Thursday, March 17, 2011

How 3 Letters Can Change Your Life

For those of you who do not know what these letters stand for it is Letter of Acceptance.  This means that we are officially adopting our son from China.  It is funny how 3 letters can change your life.  At around 2:30 today I received a call from my husband.  He told me he had 3 letters for me and I flipped. Sam started screaming and jumping up and down and the knowledge of me being able to hold my son in about 6 to 8 weeks was amazing.  The thankfulness that I felt enveloped me.  I am so thankful to Jesus that he kept pushing us to find our child.  I am thankful that our Lord was holding and caring for him when we could not.  I am thankful that in my lowest Jesus was still helping me on and bringing me to my child.  Like I have heard to so many times (even from my own mouth), adoption is not for the faint of heart.  For I was weary and the Lord helped me on.

There is a quote that I read in my lenton devo the other day.  This devo is written by Walter Wangerin Jr.  and is called Reliving the Passion (I highly recommend it).  He says, " The difference between shallow happiness and a deep sustaining joy is sorrow.  Happiness lives where sorrow does not. When sorrow arrives, happiness dies.  It can't stand pain.  Joy, on the other hand, rises from sorrow and therefore can withstand all grief.  (now listen closely) Joy, by the grace of God, is the transfiguration of suffering into endurance, and of endurance into character, and of character into hope- and the hope that has become our joy does not (as happiness must for those who depend on it) disappoint us."
I pray that through this 3 and 1/2 year journey, and all the sorrow that has come, that I have learned joy.  I have always struggled to find joy because I have felt like the suffering was unfair or I didn't understand it.  Now in my 37th year (sorry to say it has taken this long), through study and talks with my wonderful Bible study group I have a deeper appreciation for suffering and the inheritance of glory that we will receive after suffering (read 1Peter).  I will hang on to the joy that the Lord has fostered in me and go forth with more than just my precious children but a deeper desire to know God better.  For after all I have been adopted into God's family and I am still learning to live in that family as a full child of God.

Stay tuned for pictures and the name of our precious boy.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Voluntourism (Ever Heard of It?)

I read this article about "voluntourism" and I think it raises some valid questions.  I have been aware of "voluntourism" within the past few years so this article really interested me.  I will also link an article about giving to children's homes in Nepal  (who to give money to and who to not give money too).  I think that it is pretty universal when it comes to looking for good or bad signs in children's homes.  I have experienced both the good and the bad children's homes in Nepal and I believe the article is right on.

Article 1

Article 2
On Children's Homes

be sure to read the comments below the article too, very good stuff and would love to get my hands on the book "Little Princes".  


Monday, March 14, 2011

It's True

Yes, the rumors are true it is my birthday today.  I am 37 today, which Sam says is old, but it doesn't feel so old to me.  Thank you for all those who called me, emailed me, Fb me, sang to me, generally harrassed me and were overall very nice to me today. I am truly blessed to have so many friends from all over the world.  Taking account of this is humbling and also a bit overwhelming.  I miss so many of you and you are all literally around the world and far away.  I am also humbled and so excited to see how many of you are following Christ and how many have also adopted or been a direct help to adoption or both.  I can only thank Jesus for all of you (my amazing family included) and look forward to worshipping God with you all in heaven one day (which will truly be the next time I am able to be with all of my friends again at one time).

The one gift that I was really hoping for didn't come today.  That would be our LOA for our precious boy, but I know it is coming, so I will hold on to that for my birthday gift.

Please pray for Japan today.  Pray that the Christians can shine the light of Jesus through the fear and devastation.  Pray that the nuclear reactors cool, pray for those who are left to pick up the pieces of their lives without their loved ones, and pray the aftershocks and tsunamis stop.  He is a loving God who wants to help us through the pain of this world.  Will you join me in prayer?


Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Adoption Resources in Nutrition

Hello all,

I have two new adoption resources on the nutrition of children that are adopted and how to help your newly adopted child and the foundation that started the foundation and websites.  The Spoon Foundation is on a mission to try and provide nutritional suppliments to orphans around the world. The two ladies that began this adopted children that seemed to be severly handicapped, but turned out that they were severly malnurished.  We experience the same thing with Samuel.  He was malnurished, tiny and had constant ear infections when we picked him up.  He had not been eating solid foods at 15 months old besides an occasional bite of egg white or banana.  When he was with us he started eating everything he could get his hands on.  The first two years he was home he ate 4 (yes, 4) hard boiled eggs every morning.  He grew like a weed, was healthy as on ox and still loves eggs to this day. So check out these links and pass them on. The second site is Adoption Nutrition this gives advice for those who are about to adopt and those who have.  (they are linked to the Spoon Foundation).


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

"Children Of God" - Official Music Video

This is a great video that is making its rounds on the adoption blog circuit.  God is doing a mighty thing for the orphans and families in this world.  We are so blessed to be a little part of it.  God is showing us all how we are adopted into his family so that we may be called sons and daughters of God.  Are you adopted?  If not, we would love to talk to you about being adopted into God's family.  Have you adopted?  If you feel like adoption has been put on your heart, but you haven't made the steps to move forward, we would love to talk to you about adopting.  Please contact us through this blog.


Haggis Balls

Monday, March 07, 2011

Backlog....Brussels, Belgium!!

I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Belgium with a friend to see another friend that moved there. Again, we love Ryan Air!   It was so great to spend time with Sarah and Dana (both amazing ladies that I have had the priviledge of being in Bible study with.  We ate some great food, laughed like teenagers when Dana's translator told us that I was about to order a turd or dung (yes, it really said that), and explored for a day.  It was a quick visit, but I am so glad that we went.  Oh, I can't forget that we ate an obscene amount of chocolate (what else are you suppose to do in Belgium?)  Thank you Dana for having us, I hope to visit her again with the family (all 4 of us, Dana has been a wonderful prayer warrior and supporter of our adoption).

Enjoy the pics. (unfortunately the pics mixed up, and it is too late for me to deal with it, so the day is a bit mixed up, but still fun)
Sarah and Dana in front of the Waterloo
Memorial, which had closed as we walked
up to it, figures.
The beginning of our day in Brussels
This was at the end of the day, the inside
of St. Michaels Church.  There was a service
that began while we were there.  I have videos
I will try to put on tomorrow of the bells and the
organ playing.  
In front of St. Michaels
This was one of the amazing buildings in the main square of Brussels.  This square is where they do the flower carpet every other year  (I hope to see that one in 2012). The bakers use to sell bread at this building, but it is now a museum.  I loved the architecture.
This door made me laugh, as if it came out of some Monty Python film.  The big  gate for giants,  regular door for normal size people and the small door for little people.  This door belonged to the amazing building that was the home of all the gilds in Brussels.
It is really hard to see the amazing architecture, but this square was truly amazing.
These were just two of the chocolate stores we hit (Godiva to the left and Nuehaus to the right).  Dana's last name is Nue, so I guess she is always ment to have this chocolate.  
Us eating....again, yummy.  
This is the Church of Our Lady, beautiful.
The Church of Our Lady
Justice building, covered in scaffolding (or course)
The Atomium in the background
The Sacre Coer in the background

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Anything But Routine.....

Hello All,

Well, in a way these days have been very routine, and in so many ways not.  Of course we are going through the emotions or maybe repressing the emotions of anticipation for the ever desired LOA from China. We are looking and relooking at our future as the Methodist church merges with two other denominations here in Sweden (that is a huge can of worms in itself) and in the meantime trying to keep up with Samuel as he learns way to many bad things to say from the older kids in his school (although I am pretty sure that some of the kids his age have potty mouths too).

I have been very delibrately spending time with Jesus each day.  This has helped my outlook tremendously, but I need to remember there are no quick fixes, but disciplining myself and seeking Abba everyday.  Andreas has hit a period of his emotions catching up with him and dental work (which is never a good thing), but we are holding together, not by our own strength, but by the grace of God truly.  The winds of change are blowing, it is so easy to see it, but so hard to know quite yet where they are blowing too.  So we seek.... I am not against or afraid of this change, but sense the need for it.  For those of you wondering, NO we are not thinking of moving back to the States (did you hear that my wonderful mother-in-law?)  The movement for change is just beginning and we have nothing concrete in our thoughts but prayer is needed.  First and formost we must get David home and steady with us, then......?

Just an update on the prayer for John.  He is home PRAISE JESUS!  He is recovering but has a little ways to go as he deals with the drama that happened.  But we are incredibly thankful for his life.  Thank you for your prayers.

And for Ia, jag hoppas att dina barn barn ska komma hem snart! Jag are jätte spännande för dig och för dina barn.  (thought you would appreciate the Swedish) :).