pocket frogs 2


\\Dig Deep in Chuko

lilly pie

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Christmas 2009, St George Island, FL

Saturday, January 31, 2009

By Your Side - Tenth Avenue North

I have been inspired this morning by these worship songs, I hope it is just the nourishment your soul needs as well. I had a long conversation yesterday with our adoption facilitator (who I love) and while there is no news that our referral is just around the corner, I was able to glean some insight as to why I ache for my baby. She said that rarely is the case that a couple calls in that has decided to adopt, THAT DAY. Most people discuss, pray about it, research countries, then agencies, then pray about it some more etc. If you know our story than you know that adoption is something we have talked about since before Parker was conceived. (this may come as a shock to some) We have visited this thought of adoption many times over the 15 years we have been married. I would say that God started really whispering to me about three years ago that it was time, I guess He knew how stubborn and hardheaded we are, so He started preparing us many years ago for this journey that we are now on. So when you look at the top of our blog and you see the CUTEST time line ever to bringing baby home and it says 3months and 1week and counting, that is really crap! (forgive me?) It really hasn't been just this short amount of time, it has been years, 13 or 14 really long years preparing for this journey to our baby. Most of you reading this entry will in no way be able to relate, but "CAN I GET A WITNESS?" I am aching for my child, my two greatest kids in the whole wide world are aching for their new sibling, and my dear best husband in the whole wide world, who is patient and trusts in HIS timing, though he may not feel the ache as intensely as I, he is aching for our child also. So this morning I choose to cry out to my Father, my best friend, the quiet comforter of my hurts, and trust in Him to provide rest for my soul, health, love and peace to my child's birth mother, abundant nourishment for my child on the other side of the world; nourishment in the form of love, gentleness, touch, joy, peace, food for the tummy, health and all the other forms of nourishment that only HE knows my child needs. I am blessed, so blessed to know and trust that God will provide.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's raining, It's snowing. . .

It is pretty amazing to see this much snow here in SE Mo. We have been very lucky as we still have power, have lost no trees etc. There has been much destruction even just 30 min south of us. Parker and Paeton have enjoyed the last couple of days off school and are thrilled to find out that it is cancelled again tomorrow. They had a blast playing in the snow today. We have about 4" of ice under 5" of snow! It is funny to see our diving board covered in snow and ice. . . any one for a swim? Polar Bear club now forming and new members welcome! Jamie has de-iced the birdfeeders so our little winged friends can still eat. I haven't left the house in two days and have really enjoyed staying in my jammies and being pretty lazy. All the snow is getting us excited for our upcoming vacation to Beavercreek! We had so much fun in Jackson Hole, WY last year and the kids learned to ski. Our good friends, the Deimunds have invited us to their family home there in Colorado for a week of skiing and fun! We will also stop in Denver on the way out to meet other families we have met who have/or are adopting from Ethiopia. Our adoption agency is also located there in Denver and we are really looking forward to meeting everyone and the kiddos who have made it home from ET and also excited about being able to ask all kinds of questions to those who have gone before us and have their children home! We are keeping warm, enjoying lot's of hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows and plenty of good ol' snuggle time!(our favorite!!)

It's raining, It's snowing. . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Good The Bad The Ugly

This is a copy of the email I posted on my yahoo site today. One of the PWM started us a separate loop because we needed to be understanding of others who may not be of the same faith. She asked us to re-introduce ourselves sharing how we began our adoption journey and where we are in the process. I do not struggle with pride so I am putting this out there for all to see just how HUMAN I really am. I hope that there is someone who benefits from this post. Someone who also struggles with being in the world but not of it. Here is to increasing HIS kingdom and bringing together orphans to their families! He is so good!

Hi Prayer Warrior Mommas!
Hannah thank you for starting this prayer loop, as I see it we would not be able to get through this without prayer, or the prayers of others on our behalf(and the other way around) We started on this journey of adoption officially in June 08 when my husband finally agreed to let me look into adopting a child from africa. I had a seed planted in my heart long before this. We too went through some infertility issues in the late 90's but were able to conceive a son and a daughter who are now 12 and 10 years old. Spring of 08 God really confirmed to me that adopting was what He wanted for my family. He lead us through a series of events that my husbands heart was finally softened and he truly felt like God had taken a baseball bat to his head to get his attention. Jill K, I just read your story and the amazing thing is that God also used the book of JONAH to confirm His will for me. Our pastor did a sermon series last spring on the little book and after church I went to the prayer chapel and just cried out to HIM because I was finally honest with myself that it wasn't just my husband holding things up, it was me too! We went out to dinner with our two children and they began asking questions why was I crying? God had just gotten real honest with me, and I with Him, and so I told my children the truth. (Warning, this is real gut level sharing here, it's not pretty, but it was truly me, stuck in a terrible place. Please proceed with grace and forgiveness in your heart for me)

So I began to tell my children about the sermon on JONAH, and how I felt that God was really shaking me up because I was not listening to His call for me. I told them that He had put adoption on my heart (THEY KNEW THIS, WE TALKED A LOT ABOUT IT) and frankly I was pulling a JONAH and running the other way. I was hiding behind Jamie (dad, my husband) and his doubts, but the truth was I was scared. I was scared if the baby would be healthy, how it would impact our family, we have the best son and daughter on earth; how could I risk messing that up? I was also scared because I really felt that He was calling us to AFRICA which would mean that we would have a black child, and raise this child in our small town full of mostly white people, how would they fit in? And of course I couldn't stop thinking that my kids were practically grown, just a few years they would be out of the house, not to mention the me time I had! And I was thinking about going back to being a mom to an infant? Also feeling a little selfish, we had made it through med school, through residency, and now we were at a point in our lives that I could actually start shopping at Saks, not the secondhand stores, and I could afford to drive the LEXUS I had dreamed of, vs the economical minivan, and if I was to adopt a child, then frankly that gold ROLEX I'd wanted for so long would no longer be a reality! See, I told you it got pretty bad, please forgive me? And then out of the mouths of babes, my son says, "Mom, this is from God, He only has good things in store for us. He would not ask us to do something that might bring us harm."

Perspective! I got it! A friend that was actually not very supportive gave me a copy of Kay warrens book, Dangerous Surrender. She had started to read it, gave it to me saying this book is for you. I read it, read it to my husband, who was pretty close to opening his heart by now, and we prayed the prayer God was waiting for: "Yes Father, what ever it is, we will do it. Your will Father not mine." Never been so scared before in all my life, I kid you not, I was scared to death to pray that prayer, but with it came so much relief and peace. I felt empowered to adopt our child, FAITH NOT FEAR!

There is a large community at our church who have adopted domestically and internationally. God introduced Jamie and I to Eric and Chantelle (IAN waiting family currently #1 on the baby girl list) and she and I got together for lunch a couple of days later, a couple of weeks later we had signed with IAN, began our homestudy process, collecting the dossier, and on Oct 22, we were officially on the waiting list. We were #13 for baby girl and # 8 for baby boy. Today we are #8 for baby girl and #4 for baby boy. We haven't looked back and God is growing us closer to HIM and more to His likeness I am proud to say. So there it is, the good the bad and the ugly!

His Blessings,

143,000,000 Orphans

Africa Ophans - A Message From Rick Warren

Why should we care for/about orphans? Pastor, Rick Warren, author of the best seller, The Purpose Driven Life and Pastor of Saddleback Church in California explains why. I recommend taking the 9 min to listen to his message. If you have not read his book, The Purpose Driven Life, I will send you one for free. If you are one of the first three people to respond to this post I will personally send you a copy of his book FREE! His book is life changing, life transforming! It will help you understand why you are alive and God's amazing plan for you-both here and for eternity. THe book will guide you through a 40-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for? If you have not read this book just leave me a comment and I will happily send you a copy. In the above video clip, Pastor Warren gives the staggering statistic that in the USA there are 115,000 children waiting for adoption but globally, there are 150 million orphans in the world! Having a hard time wrapping your brain around that number? Me too, so that is why I will post the youtube video, 143,000,000 orphans. Watch it next and it will help you digest that number into pieces you can comprehend.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Orphans of God

We will never be the same

I just loved watching this video of God adding the love of Jordan to this family. I can not wait until I can post my own video of God blessing our family with someone new to love. I also liked the photos of Ethiopia in this video, this will give you somewhat of an idea of where our little one will come from. Just remember the orphanage is the Taj Ma hal compared to where the orphans come from. The most important thing I keep reminding myself of is the words those who have gone before me speak when they get home. They cannot believe how well cared for the children are, how LOVED they are, they are amazed with the people who work at the orphanage! Today I am thanking God for those people! Asking Him to bless them abundantly for being His hands and His feet to the children until mommies and daddies can come and take their children home.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified; he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Praying the Psalms

Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Psalm 62:5-7, 8
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God, He is my mighty rock, my refuge.  vs8 Trust in HIM at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 10:14, 17-18
You are the defender of orphans Lord you know the hopes of the helpless.  Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them.  You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed so people can no longer terrify them.

As I sit here and wait, wait for news of families getting united with their children God has called them to in Ethiopia, waiting for the news that our child has been identified, waiting until the day that I can jump on a plane and get to him/her, hold him/her in my arms,  I am terribly restless.  It is so hard to stay here and wait.  Wait while I know there are thousands of children that will die today from starvation, unclean water, AIDS, and numerous other maladies.  It is true that we will rescue an orphan, bring he/she home, change the world for a child.  But it is so much more than that.  I know God is calling me to do more than just save one child.  So I am praying that He will reveal HIS plan to me, that I may have a prepared heart to receive the call.  That tomorrow I won't get to busy, to wrapped up in my life that I don't hear HIM.  Some days it hurts to eat, food is so plentiful, it hurts to shower, just turn the handle as much hot water as I wish.  I am uncomfortable as I stand in my closet and look at the clothes and shoes jammed packed in there spilling out as I try and decide what to wear. . . because I can't find anything to wear!  There is a beautiful outdoor labyrinth at a church that is close to our house.  The last couple of days we have had temperatures in the mid 50's and I have walked and prayed the labyrinth.  I feel at a loss, my words so inadequate to do justice for all the orphans in Africa. There is power in numbers, there is power in prayer, won't you join me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Worst Best Man Ever(Wedding Ring Exchange Fail from the wed)

This is for my sister Wendy who is planning a November wedding. Hey sis, if you'd like to move up the date, we have plenty of room for entertaining out back, lovely landscaping and of course the pool! Just consider who Aric chooses for his bestman okay!

Charlie bit my finger - again !

This is another favorite! Charlie is a little stinker! But this video makes me laugh every time I see it. And it is even cuter because of big brothers very ENGLISH accent!

SERIOUS BABY......lol.....sometimes

OK, it's been a little heavy here at the FROG blog, and now that I have your attention about the orphans in Africa, and how God can use us all to make the difference, I thought I'd lighten the day up a little. I saw this baby on Americas Funniest Video show one evening, the kids and I laughed so hard. Hope he makes your day !

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sam and Esther

This video is shocking. It will make you cry. It seems impossible that children today could really live like this. The truth is millions of children do live like this. This is an everyday reality for millions of children! Don't push the pause button, let this make you sick, and then pray and ask God how He can use you to help his children.

Lanny Cordola - (Featuring the Raymies)

Sam and Esther are featured in this video. They are standing up with the help of therapeutic intervention. One person can make a difference! Their sponsor sure made a difference to them!
Praise God!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is why we are adopting

I was born in 1969.  That makes me a child of the 70's.  I vividly remember watching the television specials that would come on one of the three channels our tv received.  They did not come on frequently.  Maybe once or twice a year but my mom, my sister and myself, we would watch.  I don't remember what agency was doing the reporting, but it was about the poor and starving children and adults in AFRICA.  I especially remember a focus on the country of Ethiopia.  I could not understand that the children with the huge bellies were starving.  My mom would attempt to explain how their tummies would swell from a lack of food.  I remember the flies.  Don't you?  I remember flies were everywhere on these impossibly thin and gravely ill children.  Africa seemed so far away, how could we help?  Even if you do not remember watching the same programs I did when I was a child, I know with the global media and access to technology in our world today, that you know the images I am speaking about.  You cannot watch the 100 plus channels of tv today, or pick up a newspaper, or attend worship at the local church without hearing about the incomprehensible poverty that children are born into when they are born in many African countries.  Thats why when I saw this youtube video of Sam and Esther today I had to post it.  It is shocking to watch!  It will make you cry!  It is real life for MILLIONS of children in Africa today!  It is so shocking because we live in the USA.  The most wealthy country on Earth.  We have access to so many government, community, and church programs that no one in America need go hungry.  We have access to clean drinking water.  If you are out and about and you are thirsty you can go almost anywhere ie. drive thru, grocery store, community center, library and get a glass of water for FREE!  Ok, so I'll get off my soap box, but for those of you who are still trying to understand WHY we are adopting from Africa? this is why.  Spend the 9 min and watch the video of Sam and Esther. I hope God gets into your heart and your head like he has ours and that you are never the same.  I hope like us HE totally ruins you and that this injustice will, "not be okay with you."  I highly recommend these two books, It's not okay with me, by Janine Maxwell and Dangerous Surrender, by Kay Warren.    If you are ready to stop changing the tv channel, or putting down the newspaper, when you read or hear something that makes you feel sad or uncomfortable, and if your are ready to do something to make a difference in this world then these books will help guide you.  Believe me when I tell you that I am not asking you to adopt from Africa.  That was my calling but God has a calling for you too.  Maybe it is helping get clean water to those who need it, or sharing the gospel with those who haven't heard, or offering friendship to an elderly neighbor, mentoring a new mom, etc.  Ask HIM to reveal to you what HIS plan is for you, where He needs you?  You will never feel more alive or feel as close to the LORD than when you are serving HIS people.

Monday, January 19, 2009


After no movement on the girl list for so long it seems unreal to let you know that we have indeed moved up again on the baby girl wait list!  We are thrilled of course, Paeton is over the moon at the possibility she may get a sister after all.  It just seemed more likely that we would receive a referral for a little boy when we started this almost three months ago.  You just never know how HE will work these things out.  We are excited for who ever God chooses for us.  Our friends, Eric and Chantelle, who live here in Cape with their darling daughter, Bianca, who they adopted from Guatemala a little over a year ago, just received the wonderful news that they are now the # 1 spot holders for a baby girl referral.  They have been waiting for a referral for over 5 months.  We rejoice with you friends!!  I'll keep you updated on our progress.  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Number 9 and Number 4

These are fun pictures of our new numbers on the waiting list.  We are now officially number 9 on the baby girl waiting list and number 4 on the baby boy waiting list.  The mom who was referred the 2 month old baby boy was on both wait list (like we are, no gender pref) so that is why we moved from # 11 to #10.  Then sadly the couple who were number 2 on the waiting list for a baby girl had to put their adoption on hold for financial reasons.  I am so sad for them.  The rest of us on the wait list benefit from their misfortune.  "In My time Michelle", is what I keep hearing the Lord whisper to me.  I know it is in His time that we all will be united with our children in Ethiopia. . . so I guess I will allow this fact to comfort my feelings of sadness for this couple.  We love to vacation to Florida.  It is our families most favorite vacation we take annually for the last 7 years.  We are thinking of going right after school gets out in May, but then I wonder if that will be about the time we travel to pick up our new child.  Trying to judge the timing of referrals, court dates, if you pass the first time or have to be rescheduled, it is a scheduling nightmare to say the least.  Then again I hear the whisper of those words.  We would love to take Parker and Paeton one more time and make more lasting memories of this family. . . .we would love to take them and our new kiddo and make lasting memories our our new family of 5. . . we just don't know.  And as I look back at what I've written it seems like not such a big thing in the BIG picture. . . why has this lack of not being able to control our schedule, when we vacation, who we take with us, taken my mind hostage??  I guess because I feel so out of control over these circumstances, the whole adoption included and I am not doing a very good job trusting in HIM, in His timing, in His plan for me and my family. . . I will work on this.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Answered Prayers

I love this picture!  This is the first Bible study that Parker lead his friends in this summer.  He was challenged by his Kanakuk Kamp director, Pete, to do a daily Bible study this year called, Ironman, and to also start his own Bible study that he is to lead monthly.  As you can see he had a great turn out and it was amazing watching my 11yr old son lead his peers in a study of Gods word.  This photo was taken at the end of the study when they were asking for Gods guidance and protection over their study and over the participants.  Also asking for God to use them in their neighborhoods, schools, communities and the world to bring Him glory.  It's just great to see God faithfully answer prayers.  
On monday of last week when I dropped the kidos off at school I told them, "guy's we really need to pray for some referrals to be given out soon.  Would you in your classes this week please pray for some movement on the waiting list so we can get these orphans matched up with their forever families."  That afternoon, after school, we received a message from our adoption facilitator that a referral had been given out that day for a two month old baby boy!!  No kidding!  Isn't that fantastic!  It is so exciting for me to see these waiting families get matched with their Ethiopian children.  Yesterday, a dad of 7 children took his 5 year old son with him to fly to ET to get his new little brother!  A couple of other families within our adoption agency have court dates coming up soon so that they might be able to schedule their trips to ET to go and pick up their waiting children as well.  We have not officially moved up on the waiting list yet (there has to be an official acceptance of the referral ie. paperwork)  but we should be moving up soon.  Each time someone above us on the waiting list gets referred their child that puts us all one step closer to being united with the child God has chosen for our family.  It is a funny thing this matching process we go through, matching parents to orphans, but I am told though it may sound random, but truly there is a Divine hand in each placement.  Adoptive parents and the agency workers alike have so many inspiring real life stories.  So as we continue to wait I just ask those of you who are reading this to keep us all in your prayers.  Prayer is so powerful and all families waiting for their children and all children waiting for families would so appreciate your petition to God on our behalf, that we might be successfully united.