Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back Home

We are home from Nepal and in total humility and thankfulness to God for what has been accomplished.  I will write more as the days go by and my jet lag wears off.  However, a few highlights are shown with pictures below and we are now going to be raising money to support the children's home that we are partnering with.  Please don't hesitate to ask questions or give ideas.  

The adventure that God has sent us on is to build Nepali families, not house orphans and we have begun with partnering with a family that has been running a home for 14 years.  In the next three years they will be transitioning from 30 kids to families of 10 kids each.  The Lord has been preparing this one family for this and they are excited to transition.  Our hope is to have these families all over Nepal one day.  I can't even begin to tell you how excited, terrified, overwhelmed and thankful I am for this adventure and our God who is leading it.  

New friends that have already built their family in the way that we want to see continue in Nepal.  We were so glad to make these new friends (through college friends).  This couple have amazing testimonies that bring glory to Jesus.  

This little girl was so thankful that we were there, she gave me her only barrets!  Not so easy to hold back the tears when children who have next to nothing are willing to give it away because of thankfulness.  

Map of Nepal on side of building. 

What a beautiful people the Nepalis' are.  

The women are the laborers most of the time. 

Our blessings!
More to come...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Past, the Now, the Future

At the beginning of 1996 if you had told me in the last semester of my college education that I would meet a very handsome Swede, fall in love and marry him just a year and a half later, while being apart for 9 months of that time, I would have laughed in your face.  I was ready to graduate, go to Jamaica as a missionary and then at the end of 6 months come home and be independent!  Thank God that He has a sense of humor and a better sense of direction for my life.  

As we walked towards our 16th anniversary, I am floored by all that has transpired.  We did marry after whirlwind dating and being oceans apart.  He moved to the States, I worked with juvies.  Then we moved back to Kentucky a year later and started over.  He became a fireman (dream come true) and me a nanny (not imagined, but really loved the family and those kids not to mention that that would be my hands on introduction to adoption).  Then 3 years later we decided to pick up and move to Sweden (we really were a bit crazy).  We had to try out both countries!  During the year and a half that I lived in Sweden we were suppose to try to start a family.  We had been married for 4 going on 5 years and were ready to have children...I know, I know...something about ''the best laid plans of mice and men...''.  It was during that time in Sweden that I started to have strong suspicions that I couldn't get pregnant.  Between that realization and culture shock (don't underestimate that), I headed down the path of depression.  

We ended up moving back to the States in January of 2003 so that Andreas could go to school and become a pastor (was called in Nov. of 2001).  The education in Sweden was just too liberal (not too shocking).  As we continued on, I slipped little by little into depression.  I was nannying again for that same family which really helped, but wanted children of my own.  

Now being a social worker I had always thought about adopting, but wanted to have a child first....something about how cool it would be to feel a life growing inside of me.  In the Spring of 2004 we had some test done and confirmed that it was going to be difficult to get pregnant, but of course the doctor wanted us to try.  We chose to try a round of Clomed and then if that didn't work we would go the adoption route next.  Not only did it reek havoc on my body it sent me into the farthest depression I had ever been in.  

By this time we had moved from Kentucky to Mississippi and at the deepest point of my depression (September 2004), halfway around the world God was putting together the pieces of our puzzle...Samuel was born.  As the Clomed left my body the depression lifted, but left me with a lifetime of hormone problems since. (which by the way, at this point I need to state that my husband is the most patient and wonderful men in the world ;).   

On January 15, 2005 our official adoption journey began with the first meeting for the homestudy. I was actually working for an adoption agency doing homestudies, post placement visits and working with birthmothers...which I loved.  Andreas and I were drawn to international adoption because we were an international family.  After a lot of prayer we chose Nep*l to adopt from.  We went through the same emotions that so many are going through right now.  What would happen, where was our child, was he or she okay, would we be good parents....why is it taking so long, why is it taking so long, why is it taking so long (little did I know that it was really quick for international adoption).  However, when you can't see the end it drags on and on and on.  By May we had our referral and by August 2005, Andreas traveled alone to meet our son and sign papers. On Dec. 21, we were called and told we could go get Samuel (we were in Nep*l on Dec. 28th)!  We came back onto the US on January 14, 2006.  If you are keep track of those dates, from start to landing was exactly one year!  Thank you Jesus, I truly don't know if I could have handled more.  

From there I moved up the adoption latter to be International Adoption Director and Andreas continued his degree to become a pastor.  In May of 2007 he was finished and in Sept. 2007 the Lord had a church waiting for us in AlingsÃ¥s, Sweden.  

So we moved...back to Sweden and a whole new adventure. In the beginning of 2008 we began the process to adopt again.  We thought that Nep*l would be the place, but God had another child for us in Ch*na.  It took 3 1/2 years, 2 other countries, a lot of heartache and a lot of God working to get to Ch*na. In May of 2011 we picked up our youngest son, David.  At this point Sam was 6 and David was 3.  

This was the boys and daddy this past summer.  We were on a gorgeous island off the coast of Sweden watching a sailing race and exploring everything we could.

During those 3 1/2 years I realized how blessed we were to receive Samuel in a year.  Of course there is a million more details that only Andreas and good friends know, but there was a definite ''red thread'' through it all.  God took care of details and moved us around tragedy to get to our boys.  He laid a strong calling on my husband to be an amazing daddy to our boys, an incredible husband to me and a strong pastor for others.

One of the red threads that I had not mentioned is that after we adopted Samuel I had a strong calling to help the other orphans that were still in Nep*l.  In  April 2007 I worked with Nep*l and the adoption agency that I was a part of and set up an adoption program.  In May 2007 Nep*l decided to close it's doors to adoption to restructure it.  In 2009 it reopened and got at least one child home before other countries closed it again because of corruption (maybe God had more for us to do in Nep*l).  There was still a strong nagging urge (thanks for giving me that God) to do more for the treasures of Nep*l.  During the years Andreas took up that urge and has prompted us forward when I struggled with it.  In 2011 we decide that in February 2013 we would take our first trip to establish a children's home in Nep*l.  

Guess what folks...tomorrow is the day we fly out to Nep*l to continue the work that the Lord has literally put in our laps.  There are a million details that have come together and continue to show us the path we are to take.  

We do NOT take this lightly.
We do NOT do this just because we are good.
We do NOT do this because we are bored of everything else.
We do NOT do this for our glory. 

We DO this because God loves orphans and has willed us forward (not just us, but ALL of US).
We DO this because all children deserve to be safe, loved, and cared for.  
We DO this because we cannot sit by and ignore the treasures of the world that need help.  
We DO this for the Glory of God.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

Will you join us in prayer as we adventure on for the children that God loves so much? Will you pray that our ears will be open to God and closed to discouragement.  Will you pray it will all be to God's glory?  Will you pray and see if God wants you to join us in the adventure or if He is taking you on an adventure of your own?  

Will you allow God to change all the plans that you have laid for your future and go His direction?
Nothing in my life has been like I imaged or planned it would be, it has been better!

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God.
Micah 6:8

As you celebrate Valentine's Day and the people that you love, remember those who also need your love.  

Andreas you are my love and best friend.  I am so excited that God has called us to adventure matter what country we are in and what plans have not come to pass.  Our Family adventure is the best!

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


As said before I will try my best to convey what I have been learning in my quiet times with the Lord.  
(if you are not interested in a bit of a heart ''theological'' thought, you may want to skip this post and move on to the other post I wrote tonight with pictures).

Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions,for the sake of his body, which is the church.
Colossians 1:24

Sometimes I wonder what am I suffering and do I count it as suffering for Christ or do I try to find the quickest way out of the suffering.  I think we do not understand or are not ''tuned in'' to know why we are going through the trials we are.  What am I filling up in my flesh?  Can I say that I don't care how I am treated as long as the gospel is proclaimed?  I have been taking a good long look (again) at how I perceive myself and react to others.  

Interestingly enough, I had a conversation with Samuel not long ago about how being in authority really means being a servant.  How we must take care of and serve those that we are in authority over.  Like being a parent. Yet, I wonder sometimes if I have really taken that to heart. 

As we venture into Nepal, how do I perceive myself and those we go to meet.  What am I willing to endure so that a child finds a place that is safe, loving and stable and shown who Jesus is.  Christ would say to count them above me, but do I really take that to heart?  Essentially it is a battle of my will or God's.  I have by no means conquered all these thoughts, but have been ''wrestling'' with myself, basically my selfishness.  

I try so hard to teach my children not to be selfish, yet I am confronted with my own. I am not discouraged, but know that I will not turn back, but face what God puts in front of me.  



A few weeks ago we went on a Church retreat just outside of Notodden, Norway.  It was cold ( minus 21 Celcius at night and minus 15 C during the day), but gorgeous.  We came together to talk, think and pray about what the future holds for this Church.  It was also a good time to get to know the people in the church much better.  We were very thankful for this time and came away with a better sense and how to pray, how to move forward.

Kids and adults alike had a great time sledding.  Some of us even did some cross country skiing.  Sorry, there are no pics of me on skis, but I did try it again (the second of third time in my life).  I spend most of my time on the ground, but didn't give up easily.  Sam tried skiing and now really likes it.  Today we went to the second hand store and bought him some because his school class is going skiing on Friday.  Apparently everyone here in Norway learns as we will follow the trend.  As I have learned it is much easier to learn when you lack the fear of an adult and have way more stamina!

This is the house the we stayed in for the retreat.  The view was breathtaking and always brings me to God.

I am thankful for this Church family that God has allowed us to be a part of.  Please continue to pray for us as we look to minister to the community that God has put us in.  


Friday, February 01, 2013

Just Thinking

Yes, yes...I know.  So many have asked me why I haven't posted and I simply haven't.  I haven't had much to say or maybe I have had too much and I simply can't get my head around it at the moment.  (we have had internet issues...and I am not one that deals with technology well, but that is beside the point).

I have or am having a time of quiet.  Possibly the calm before the storm, the deep breath before the plunge.  As we begin or extend this journey into Nepal and working on a home for the beautiful children of Nepal I have felt more and more of a need to just be quiet before the Lord.  Thankfully I have heard ''trust me'' in those quiet times.   I am catching glimpses of just what it means to lay all of me down for Christ.  It is both terrifying and wonderful at the same time.  

In the days before we leave for Nepal, I will try to elaborate on what I have been learning.  

We leave for Nepal on Feb. 14th and return the 25th.  We will be updating the while we are in Nepal.  Please pray for discernment, safety, and our total surrender to what God would have for us to do.  Please also pray for us and our boys as we will be apart longer than we ever have been from them.  Don't worry, they are in great hands (Farmor and Farfar), but it will still be hard.

Until next time,