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Do you really believe He is writing your story?

My friend Addie really should have a blog. Really. She should. BUT I get to learn things about mommyhood with her…and while I waste time updating my blog…she is really getting all the insight and I get to hang out with her and contemplate that good stuff with her. WELLLL…we planned a playdate for Monday at her house…only I got there BEFORE she did. SO…while I played at her house waiting for her to get to her house (she was pickin’ up her crew at preschool)—we just played in her playroom. What happens when *I* get bored at one of my bestfriend’s homes without her there? I get out my iphone of course and start takin’ pics. And today–one that I took from Monday just playing with my iphone cam perfectly goes with today…
Another precious friend, Courtney, made this sweet pillow featuring one of Ad’s favorite lines from one of her favorite songs. Today, as I learned of MORE recent changes with the Ethiopia adoption program–I am sticking to the race the Lord called me to and trusting HIM to be the writer of my story. I believe in the end, the wait–the hurdles–the unknowns–the heartaches–will all not only be worth it…but in the process of being refined and standing by what I believe the Lord called us to–we will not only be blessed but also more Christlike. Amen?!

Due to approximately 41 families revoking their adoptions in Ethiopia once they got there (for whatever reason) and recent CBS reports about an agency which is now being questioned (not ours)—new policies have been put in place…which will ultimately delay our adoption by they are guessing approximately 7-8 weeks (2 months). Two trips will also now be required. One trip will be made by BOTH parents immediately after referral (approximately 2 weeks after) and parents will stay in Ethiopia for approximately 1 week to “bond” with the child and at that time sign papers and officially accept the referral. THEN, both parents will journey home with their hearts full of trust that they will pass court—hopefully the first time. After court, an embassey date will be set–and only one parent will be required to travel at that time to get their child. AND THEN at that point can you make plans to come cheer, cry, jump up and down, PRAISE THE LORD, and do a happy dance WITH ME at the airport!

There are risks. There are unknowns. And I won’t go into details on those—simply because—they are risks and unknowns. And I’m not concerned with them—because I just happen to serve the God of risks and unknowns. Yes, I do. When I trusted Him as my Savior and He said, “Follow me” I knew there would be risks and unknowns. In fact, all I saw were risks…and the unknowns—gosh, they were everywhere. BUT I serve an all powerful mighty God. AND God also knew–because He is writing my story and I have told Him I will follow Him regardless…always…no matter matter the risk or uncertainty…that He would remind me before this call with my agency that He is the one writing my story.

So…within 24 hours of this phone call…check out these “God moments” in my normal day…

1. Walked in a conference room and sat down with pastors of my church and presented an idea…to start a churchwide new ministry for the poor, orphans and widows. God guided me through the details…and He also blessed the meeting by giving full support, excitement and agreement from the pastoral staff. PRAISE JESUS! He reminded me of His call.

2. A friend of mine told me the founder of Hobby Lobby might be looking at my blog. Ok…I just thought that was really cool! Are you reading this Mr.Green? Don’t you think it’d be great for me to create fun crafts from my favorite store. You don’t even have to pay me. I’ll happily agree to do crafts for a Hobby Lobby craft voucher each month;). Ok…so that would probably never happen—but just think Mr.Green if we got other families not only doing your cool crafts—well, because they promote family time…but what if we promoted serving the poor, loving the orphan and blessing the widow while we were at it? You know it’d be so cool! God reminded me that He can do anything for His glory.

3. My NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR emailed me today!!! If you haven’t read any of Carol Jo Brazo’s books…AHHHH…they are the BEST! They are out of print currently, but if I Mrs.Brazo if you are reading this…you have GOT to reprint!!! Everyone I recommend your books too…LOVE them! And Mrs.Brazo I find it at no surprise that your book on home-making is valued at $143. You have got to reprint!!! I have talked to people recently who are buying your book for $50 and more—$143 is a little steep;) Getting an email from you today blessed my soul! Thank you. OK…so she doesn’t read my blog I’m sure—BUT I did get a random email from her this morning. FUN! God reminded me He just likes to make me smile:)

4. Trip to Home Depot—bought rope to make an art display in basement (see bottom pic w/ rest of iphone pics at Addie’s house;). Got to the front and was worried how much all that rope might be. He looked at me—and GAVE ME the rope for me. Completely didn’t make sense. But, not everything has to. I just smiled, thanked him and thanked God for showing up and blessing me in yet another day. He just wanted me to see Him again and again and again! God reminded me how He likes to take care of me.

So…I love the way God writes my story. And then—I get home so excited about my “God moments” and see a message from my agency that I need to call if for a phone conference where I’m joined by 92 other families. Am I bummed about the changes? Oddly, not one bit. Do I question my standing in this line and wonder what to do? Not one bit. God has shown me today that He is always writing my story. Always. His ways are not my ways—they are BETTER. And how can I be thrown off after God reminded me ALL DAY LONG of His goodness and grace…that HE is the author…and praise Jesus that He is!!!

So today I rest. Today I, yet again, lift up my hands on this journey and say, “I trust you.” And I even smile thinking that this ONLY makes the FINAL homecoming EVEN SWEETER! Harder always ends with sweeter when you are trusting and following Jesus. I count all things loss for the sake of following Jesus.

So to end on fun—because Addie will never Facebook, blog or even rarely be online…here are some cute things from her playroom. If you have questions for her playroom…you can ask them and I’ll have make a guest appearance! HA! Seriously—everyone needs an Addie. Addie, I’m sorry that you have a friend who takes pictures of your house with her iphone when you aren’t there and then posts them on her blog.

Please excuse clarity of images due to iphone…
How Addie displays her kids’ art…(rope from Home Depot and clothes pins from Hobby Lobby…see Mr.Green–Addie shops there too;)

How Addie organizes dress up…

How Addie encourages tech savy children…

How Addie lets her kids write on the wall…

How Addie rocks it out…don’t think she doesn’t ever get behind these and rock out herself…

And when we toss all our kids in the playroom to do all these above things…this is where we hang out, veg out and even chase birds. Yes, I’ll have to blog some time on our playdate where a birdie joined us in this room and we had to scare him outside with broomsticks. One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE memories!IMG_0460Just had to share this picture so she can laugh at how much fun I was having with my iphone at her house while she wasn’t there!!! AND this is one of my favorite rooms in her house. Thank you Addie for letting me blog about you today (without your permission) and most importantly thank you for the MANY days and nights of brainstorming Wiphan and serving with me on the Wiphan board. I love doing life, play…and especially Africa with you!!!

Hope you all have a great day…off to play at Addie’s:)



Dawn - March 10, 2010 - 4:27 pm

I love that quote! Praying for God’s guidance for all families!!!!

Rebecca Harley - March 10, 2010 - 4:40 pm

andrea – I completely agree! I am oddly peaceful (not a quality that most people would use to describe me) and excited about the ethiopian changes. God knew of these changes before we fell in love with ethiopian and its children, and now we will have the opportunity to travel to that beautiful country twice! My husband and I love to travel internationally, but have not since the three kiddos came along – now we get to do it twice! YEAH!!! and we get to meet our daughter weeks before we would have! Thank you again for your encouraging, uplifting blog – wish we lived closer:)
Love and hugs from NY, Becca

Nikki - March 10, 2010 - 4:49 pm

Praying for you all (and for us as we hope to start the process)… and I’m now only 2 days behind in the reading… catching up!

Elle J - March 10, 2010 - 5:10 pm

Addie gets a gold star for such a clean house display when she did not know that her BFF was going to be taking pix when she wasn’t home and posting to the world!! =) We all need THAT Addie in our life. =) YAY for God Moments and YAY for recognizing God Moments. Your post made me smile.

Renea - March 10, 2010 - 6:14 pm

Awesome playroom! Tell Addie we love it!!! 🙂 And remember God has you right where He wants you! Enjoy the ride girlfriend! 🙂

rachel overton - March 10, 2010 - 6:53 pm

AMEN sister!!!!!!!!

Jennifer - March 10, 2010 - 8:21 pm

Wow..changes to Ethiopia! Sounds like you are handling it all with such grace! I am thinking of going to India if we don’t make it b/f the court break. I’ll make my own 2 trip “requirement”…LOL! Love your pictures…your post just made me smile! Jenny

Jennifer - March 10, 2010 - 8:21 pm

Wow..changes to Ethiopia! Sounds like you are handling it all with such grace! I am thinking of going to India if we don’t make it b/f the court break. I’ll make my own 2 trip “requirement”…LOL! Love your pictures…your post just made me smile! Jenny

Amy @ Filled With Praise - March 10, 2010 - 9:57 pm

Love your friend’s place and pillow. I also love the idea that you might get picked up by Hobby Lobby 🙂 You crack me up. I wish we lived closer because I totally could have used some of your cheer last week. However, your prayers have really helped. God has uplifted me and I am so thankful. I too see the bright side of this new news and I am okay with it. We are all in this for the right reasons and He will bring it to completion in His time.

Karee - March 10, 2010 - 10:06 pm

I just had to check out your blog this evening after being on the same conference call earlier today. I knew you would have an awesome perspective about the changes and would blog about it. I am feeling the same way and want to comment with a big “AMEN!” You put everything into words so beautifully. I know God is writing my story too! Blessings to you and your family!

Kindra - March 11, 2010 - 12:12 am

Thanks, Andrea. I certainly needed to be reminded today to give Him praise in ALL things! You are amazing! K

Mrs. B - March 11, 2010 - 8:12 am

Love your perspective. Praying for you and all of the families (and precious children) in the process!.

Kim - March 11, 2010 - 8:49 am

Where do I start?!
The pillow. I LOVE IT! Love the quote. Gotta have it on a pillow or framed or something?!
So sorry about the changes that bring more perceived risks and unknowns to the adoption process. We serve a God who moves mountains and will bring this to completion in His perfect timing!
Cannot wait to hear more about your #1 item on your list.
Love the photos of your girl friends house.
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Kimberly Kennell - March 12, 2010 - 1:00 am

I just “happen” to find your blog online. We received our referral exactly 1 week ago with AGCI. The new information was surprising, but the peace of God is interesting isn’t it? I can’t figure out how I feel so calm and even excited about meeting my 2 little girls so soon – God’s grace and plan are amazing!! I didn’t know there was a way to connect with other AGCI people. I would love to know to how – please do tell! Blessings, Kimberly