Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Post Wherein We See a Picture

In December of 2011, we bought an extra stocking for the mantle. That stocking symbolized a decision to adopt. It hung on our mantle, like a public display of the beginning of our adoption journey.

We had no idea how long the journey would be. We still don’t know.

In December of 2011, we hung that stocking and said, “We are adopting a little boy.”

In December of 2012, we hung that stocking again. It was a bittersweet time. The entire process of adoption from Ethiopia was slowing down, in every agency, in every case. Secretly, in our hearts, we had been hoping that we would be much closer to having that little boy home for Christmas 2012. As the holiday came closer, we knew there was just no way. The monthly conference calls with the adoption agency began to seem like waiting pep-talks, sprinkled with warnings to be ready to wait even more. We still didn’t even know who the little boy was or where he laid his head.

In December of 2012, we hung that stocking and still said, “Maybe we will have him home next Christmas.”

We usually decorate for Christmas right after Jeremiah’s early November birthday. This year, I could barely bring myself to do it.

But, we did.

And, it was fun.

A few weeks ago, we hung the stockings…all seven of them. 

With eyes glassed over and teary, I hung that stocking and said, “Maybe we will know who he is next Christmas.”

We’ve been praying for our little boy, for the documents needed to allow him to be adopted, for his birthparents, living family, caregivers… 

We’ve been praying.

Still, in December of 2013, I sat on the couch in the living room, staring at the seventh stocking. Another Christmas without knowing anything would be tough. Not unbearable, not hopeless…just tough. The Lord worked it out so that my daily devotional would include Habakkuk 2:3 (NET).

"For the message is a witness to what is decreed; it gives reliable testimony about how matters will turn out. Even if the message is not fulfilled right away, wait patiently; for it will certainly come to pass--it will not arrive late."

We prayed and prayed that God would work on our hearts as we waited. We prayed that He would help us wait patiently. And, we thanked Him for the assurance that it would certainly come to pass…and for the reassurance that it wouldn’t be late.

This past week, we received a call from our Family Coordinator at America World, then emails, then calls, then more emails.

This week…

This week of December 2013…

We saw his picture!

We prayed

We read his given name!

We prayed.

We cried over the great losses that he will grieve over the rest of his life.

We prayed.

We know who he is!!

We continue to pray. 

We are praying that we will have him home next Christmas!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Post Wherein the Berbere Arrives

Dear Micah,

Today a package arrived, brought by a delivery guy. It was light, bearing just one pound of contents. Within that small package was 16 ounces of berbere spice mix.

Sweet boy, you're going to want something familiar when you finally get here. There won't be any single thing that will be comforting to you. New place, new people, new language, new family, new, new, new.

You will come with so much to deal with. I don't yet know your history. I don't know what tragic events have caused you to be considered an adoptable orphan. We can't fathom the losses that you have endured at such a young age. And, because we will begin our lives together with a significant discrepancy in our communicative languages, I will want to try everything that I know to bring you some form of comfort.

So, after reading Yes, Chef, by Marcus Samuelsson, (a famous chef who was also adopted from Ethiopia) I decided to start using berbere spice in my cooking.

 So, I added the distinctively Ethiopian spice to our meatloaf today. I started introducing it to your new brothers with just a small amount. But, I will gradually add more spice to more dishes. I want to be able to fill the house with a familiar smell for you. I want it to be familiar to your brothers by then, too.

I cannot wait for all of you to run through the door after playing outside together...I cannot wait for your faces to all light up with anticipation of a yummy dinner because of the smell of berbere in the kitchen.

I hope that in some measure, we can bring you a sense of comfort and a feeling of being at home.

We love you, Micah. And, we are cooking with berbere and thinking of you.

Love, Momma

***Note: a recipe for Homemade Berbere Spice Mix and for Crispy Berbere Chicken with Ethiopian Lentils (pictured above) can be found at Feasting At Home.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wherein we have nothing to report

It's been a long time since I last posted.

Would you like to know why?

Because there is nothing to tell you.

Absolutely nothing.

We continue to wait for the child God has planned for us to adopt. We continue to wait for that sweet boy's case file to receive the necessary clearances. We continue to wait for the clearances to make way for a referral to our family. We continue to wait for some movement...any movement.

We continue to wait.

While we are waiting, we are living. I don't want to whine or complain.

The boys continue working on jiu jitsu.

The boys continue getting cuter.

Larry continues to go on mission trips.

I continue to work on course work for a BS in Nutrition Science.

We continue...

We continue to wait.

We continue to wait and continue to miss a little boy that doesn't know we exist.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Post Wherein We Celebrate 6 Months DTE

Yesterday was March 6, 2013. It was a time to reminisce. It was the fourth anniversary of Larry's father's passing. As the time has passed, it is becoming easier to focus on the fun and lovely and silly memories than on the struggle of his last few months. So, much of yesterday we thought about "Grandfather" and what his take would be on some of the issues we have faced and are currently facing.

One thing that we know...Grandfather was excited about the idea of us adopting. Caleb was born just a few months before Larry's dad died. Just prior to finding out that I was pregnant with Caleb, we had filled out initial paperwork to adopt a girl from China. Our pregnancy put that process on hold...Really, it wiped the idea of adopting out of sight for quite a while. However, before Caleb came rolling down the pike, we had shared with Larry's dad our plans to adopt.

"Let's go get her!" 

An unabashed, unwavering, uninhibited, unhesitating endorsement of the Daigle family adopting.

It is a priceless memory.

It wasn't "Are you sure?"

Not, "Have you considered ______?"

Not even, "Well, if it makes you happy."

There have been so many supportive, encouraging, loving words spoken over us during this process so far. So many that I can't begin to count them.

Still, we miss his words. But, we know that he was for our adoption. And, that is so very fortifying.

Fast forward four years...

Today is March 7, 2013. We have been officially waiting on a referral for 6 months.

I mentioned in an earlier post, that I planned on making a different type of cookies each month on the 7th to try to make our wait a celebration and not a dreadful date on the calendar.

This month the boys requested Peanut Butter Cookies. Strange, I thought that a new type each month would be fun...they want a 20 minute, whip 'em up, standby. Oh, well. Easier for me!

Caleb was my helper and we worked to have warm cookies on the table when the boys got off the bus.

He had fun helping make the criss-cross pattern with the tines of a fork. However, his favorite part was sprinkling sugar.

This next one is an awful picture, but I had to put it in there to show my family that I am a carrier of the gene for the Burns' Chin!

Peanut Butter Cookies...great choice, boys!

While the first batch was in the oven, a delivery fan pulled into our driveway. Since Larry's been working from the house, we receive packages pretty frequently. However, this was from a local florist! What?!?!?! Did Larry send me flowers while he was out of town?!?!?! Alas, no. (No pressure, Babe!)

Another source of constant encouragement has been my sweet friend, Regan. I don't deserve her friendship! She sent our family a Happy 6 Months DTE balloon bouquet!

The boys were so excited! It was the perfect celebration, complete with balloons and cookies!

Even more reason to celebrate, there was a referral ahead of us in the unofficial waiting list. From what I can tell, this moves us to #19! We are out of the 20's! Yay!

Today is March 7, 2013 and...
"since my youth, God, You have taught me, and to this day, I declare Your marvelous deeds." Psalm 71:17

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dear Micah, Melkam Ganna!

Dear Micah,

Today is January 7, 2013. Ethiopian Christians are celebrating the birth of our Savior on this very day. They call it Ganna. And, little boy, you have been on my mind, my heart, all day.

Today, I wore all white because that’s what mommas in Ethiopia do when they celebrate Ganna. It was a white shirt, white pants…even white shoes and socks. I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I did it for you. I did it for you and your momma. 

Today, I prayed that someone was telling you what happened in a Bethlehem stable so many years ago. I prayed that someone would read Luke 2 to you. I prayed for your momma and daddy, that they know or knew Jesus.

Today, I prayed that you were already in the Transition Home. I prayed that you were eating injera and wat. I prayed that you were playing with the children there and that some other American momma would be picking up or meeting her new child. I prayed that she would see you and give you a hug. 

Today, I thought about all that I have learned about adoption through these past two years. I thought I knew a lot. I didn’t.

Today, I thanked God for adopting me.

Today, I thought about how we have been waiting on the list for 4 months. Yep. Today marked our 4th month on the DTE (Dossier To Ethiopia) List. We are number 20 on the Older Child list, but only 5 families ahead of us will accept a little 6-year old boy. So, we are hoping that it won’t be too much longer. Still, we feel like waiting is the worst part.
Today, I wondered if God felt like this: if He felt like He might never get to adopt me, like it couldn’t come soon enough. I wonder how He felt while I made Him wait.

Today, I made a cake. At dinner, we ate and then read Luke 2. We talked about Christmas and how we don’t really know what day it happened, what day Jesus was born. We talked about the Christians in Ethiopia and what they were doing today. We talked about you. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and ate cake. 

Today, just like every day, Daddy and I prayed for you.

Melkam Ganna, Micah. (Merry Christmas!)

We love you so,
Daddy and Momma

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Post Where I Pick One Word

Mom and Dad usually give me a devotional in my Christmas presents. And, this year, just like in those past, I received Jesus Calling for Kids. I suppose they were trying to match my mental level. ***Grin*** 

They also gave me Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. Since I spend nearly every waking moment with kids, I skipped the devotional and dove straight into the book written by an adult. Another mother. One who also spends most moments with her kids. 

You can read the first chapter here…

I didn’t get far into the book until I had made up my mind to select a word to set my heart on for the course of the coming new year. I read of how her eyes had caught on a certain word and how it began to take root and change her perspective, her heart. I want that. New perspective. New awareness of what God is doing in my heart.

I began thinking of what word I could choose.

It had already been chosen for me.

The Sunday before Christmas, Larry and I settled into our Sunday classroom at the church and listened to our teachers, Wayne and Deb, speak of the angels and the shepherds. Our class just finished a series of lessons on different individuals in the Christmas story. It was the final lesson. I loved it.

Reading through Luke 2, in the class, I saw something in verse 15 that bugged me, intrigued me, distracted me for the next 10 minutes of the lesson.

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”

I don’t know if this has ever bugged you before, but “this thing”? Thing? Really? I couldn’t stand it when someone called one of my boys “it”, as if he was some inanimate object.   

Why not say, “Let’s go see this King” or “this baby” or “this miracle?” Why “this thing?”

I really try to not get distracted in lessons or sermons. I’ve been informed by my husband that it’s dreadfully distracting to be teaching/preaching and to look out at your spouse, who sits with her brow furrowed momentarily and then plows through the back of her Bible…frantically looking up Greek and Hebrew words. It’s even more distracting when she digs in her purse for a highlighter and starts flipping back and forth between verses and a notepad, scribbling wildly. I try not to do it. I usually do okay. That Sunday, I did wait until after the lesson to go flipping through the references in the back of my Bible.

What made me so curious? I had also noted during the lesson that the same word translated as “thing” was used in verse 17, but translated differently.

“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,”

The noun used in both verses is the Greek word, rhema. In verse 15, rhema is translated into “thing.” In verse 17, rhema is translated as “word.”

We see “word” in John 1:1, but that is translated from logos. Logos is typically indicative of the written word or the physical word, as in “the Word became flesh.” However, rhema seems to indicate the spoken word and specifically, words spoken to someone. It’s often used in such situations as “the word of the Lord came to…so and so.”

I spent another day pondering the difference between logos and rhema. I know that I’ve heard the differences discussed before, but it hadn’t been important to me at that point. I’ll admittingly chalk that up to a hard, unwilling heart.

From what I’ve been able to scratch up in the last week, God’s Word…the Bible…is the logos that I have access to in the written form.  It’s the Hebrews 4:12 word. The logos that is living and active. Sharper than any sword, it cuts down to the division of my soul and spirit and judges my heart and attitude.  It is of utmost importance. I need to be hiding it in my heart.

I need to be hiding into my heart and pondering these “things” in my heart. By the way, in Luke 2:19 all of those “things” that Mary pondered in her heart, were the rhema…spoken words of her son, The Son, The One and Only…The (Logos) Word became flesh.

I have the written word. I have a Bible in nearly every room of my home. I have it on my phone. I have portions of it on plagues and paintings. I am surrounded by the written word.

However, I don’t know that I give the Spirit the time and attention to listen to His rhema word. I don’t slow down and listen as He reminds me of the logos, just as Romans 8 and John 14 say He will. 

The shepherds had received a word from God. This "thing" that happened was worth spreading the "word." Rhema. 


This year, my one “word” is rhema.

I want to hear what God speaks to me. I want it to be so real that I'm stopped in my tracks. So real that I have to immediately share the thing and spread the word.