Sunday, October 27, 2013

Whispers in her ear

It wasn't necessarily part of OUR plan
but for now, it is part of HIS plan
and that makes it PERFECT!
I can't go into detail how she came into our lives
but we are over the moon excited that she's here!
We don't know how long she will be with us
But we are praying that it will be for a LONG, LONG time!
She has stolen all our hearts!
Is it all part of His plan that we will have TWO little ones????
That our little one in China will come home to FIVE siblings???
Oh how I hope so!
But for now, we don't know all the answers.
And we trust Him!
So how do I pray?
When it's time for bed,
I give her blanket to her, she snuggles in and puts her two little fingers in her mouth.
And then I pray with her.
out loud...whispers in her ear...
"Lord, we are so very thankful for another day with her,
thank You for entrusting her to us.
We trust You.
We know You have a plan for her life.
You love her!
Lord you say in your Word, You are her Advocate.
Lord, You are her Redeemer...."
I recently read in Proverbs 23:10 & 11
Basically... Don't Mess With the Orphan!  Because The Lord is their Strong Redeemer!
Go read it!
I hold on to this Truth every day!
And today, it became even more meaningful!
As a precious friend asked me how things were going...
I shared.
I shared what I pray about.
I shared about the verse.
And that is what I hold on to!
With tears in both of our eyes,
she shared what the Lord prompted her to share with her daughter.
Her curious daughter asked about the word "redeemer"
and what does that mean?
She shared that clearly the Lord gave her the words to say to her,
to help her truly understand this character of God.
He is our Redeemer.
she told her,
Because you have value, and worth, HE CAME TO REDEE
As only He could!
Yep. There were tears.
These two Mommas love the precious miracles the Lord placed in our arms. Our big ones, our little ones, they ones here on Earth and the ones He took back to be with Him.
They all have worth and value beyond what we can afford!!
They all belong to HIM!
Thank you Lori for sharing your heart!  I will never forget this!
~ Amber

Monday, September 9, 2013

Let Him Refinish us!

So we just may start out like this dresser
We may be pretty dusty and rough around the edges
We may have sat in a garage, un-used, un-loved, un-appreciated, un-touched for wayyyy to long
But when the time is JUST RIGHT...
We open up to Him. And He pours into us
There is some work to be done

Because He sees the potential, the finished work
And to get there, there is time that must pass
There is scrubbing, washing, sanding that is critical for the completed work to be the quality that He knows is deep down in there
If you don't allow Him to do this sometimes painful work, what He has planned just won't have the effect that He has in store!
Sometimes the sanding takes a strong tool, there are some major pieces of us that need a process to take place that brings us down to the raw
That way we will truly be available for the stain of HIM
Sometimes the sanding that takes place uses a gentle, moldable tool.  It doesn't hurt as much, but it gets into those little grooves that just can't be neglected
Sand. Wash. Dry.
And when the time is right....
Each of the parts have to be taken out, hardware removed, insides cleaned out and THEN we are ready to be primed
My projects ALWAYS take longer than I know they should
Geesh, I think I (CAPITAL I) should know how long these projects should take
Isn't my timeline good enough?
Can't we speed this process along?
Is each step necessary?
*If* I would have skipped through this...
*If* HE would have rushed through this...
The results wouldn't be just the way He wants them to be
*I* wouldn't be WHO HE wants me to be
Looking back, I now appreciate His process
I have a glimpse of why it's all necessary
And I wouldn't have it any other way
He doesn't look past any detail
He finished even the insides to be fresh, clean and ready to be FILLED UP and spilled out!
I am so thankful of how patient He is with us!!!
And the work isn't done
There is always cleaning to be done!
Thankful that I will always NEED my Creator!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Could you BUY A TOY for the least of these? URGENT NEED!

Matthew 25:40 "And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
~precious one "playing" in his metal crib~
It's that simple....we have to do SOMETHING
Let me take a moment and share about the need that YOU can help with today!
Often we don't really know HOW we can help, but the orphan has no means to help themselves, it's the body of Christ that must step up and meet their needs!
Well here is the need....
Our Patterson Park Church Hope 1:17 Orphan Ministry has been made aware of an URGENT need in an orphanage located in Inner Mongolia.  We have a contact there who has shared with us how difficult it is to be newly serving the precious ones there with NO TOYS or BOOKS.
I'm sure all of you have been blessed to spend time with a curious little baby, you may have grabbed a toy rattle out of the toy basket to watch how they reach up to grab it. 
 They are learning what their little hands are capable of doing!
The noise, they turn to. 
 The colors, they are drawn to.  
Their eyes light up as you show them how fun this simple toy can be. 
Here they have nothing but maybe just a shoe off their feet to play with and explore
This is a precious little one from the orphanage that we will be helping!
Permission to use this picture given by Hannah
Below is a detailed list provided by a special education teacher who is ministering there
YOU can donate these items and bring them to PPC this Sunday or next Sunday (Aug.18th & 25th). 
We will have a basket located next to the Children's Welcome Desk marked HOPE 1:17 TOY DONATIONS  the basket will sit there all week, so you can drop off through out the week during business hours
OR, you can contact HOPE 1:17 by sending a message to Amber Smith Rohrer on Facebook
If you would like to help out with the large shipping cost, you can donate via cash or check to PPC, mark HOPE 1:17 in the memo line and place it in the White Box or offering at PPC.
We need 3-4 of each of the following items listed....
age 0-12mo.
Rattle toy that cannot come apart (bright colors)
Activity Mat like THIS ONE
Squeaking Toy ( easy for an infant to make noise with)
Bucket with Blocks
Sippy Cup (some with sucking action needed, some with out)
Infant Board Books (with pics of family people)
Infant Board Books (with pics of toys)
Safe Baby floor mirrors like THIS ONE
age 1-2 years
Bucket with Blocks (block size 1.5-2 inches square, at least 5 blocks)
Large Crayons
Package of straws
Jacket with front zipper
Toy cat, dog, cow, lamb (unbreakable plastic type)
Toy car that cannot lose wheels or other parts(bigger than Matchbox size)
Books as listed above
Toddler book listing eyes, nose, mouth etc
Small doll with hair (no breakable parts)
Doll hairbrush, doll bowl, spoon, cup (plastic)
Toy airplane (no breakable parts)
Rhino Toys Oball like THIS ONE
Ages 2-3 years
chalkboard eraser
nesting or stacking cups (play)
8 2inch blocks
child scissors ( left and right handed)
doll or book that has laces, ties, buttons, zippers
Childrens board books (shows pics of home life, family life)
hand puppets
dress up clothing (doctor, nurse, police, firefighter etc)
plastic kitchen set
Ages 3-5 years
playground ball
child scissors (left and right handed)
12 blocks 1.5-2inches
toys with buttons, laces, snaps, zippers
lacing cards
simple card games (GoFish etc)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I Had a Talk With Him 'Bout Some Stuff

What is YOUR relationship with God like?
Do you talk with Him alot?
Do you read what He wrote for you?
He's your Dad.
If you have accepted Jesus's gift of salvation, repented and acknowledged your need for Him alone to forgive and bridge the gap sin created between you and God, then at that point...
He's your Daddy.
He has a character like no one else.
I'm still learning about WHO He is, His character.
In our adoption, there was a pursuit. 
He pursued me, He pursued you.
Galatians 4:4-6 ~
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Romans 8:23~
 ...even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons
What was His pursuit like to adopt us?
Were there mountains that had to be moved?
There was pain.  There was His sacrifice.  His own perfect Son had to be sacrificed just to have a relationship with US.  To become our adopted Father!
It's hard to wrap my head around how much had to be done, just to be able to become our Father!
In our family's pursuit to adopt our daughter, there are mountains, there are BIG things that look impossible!!
And here is where we have a choice in this journey.
THIS is what my conversations with God have consisted of lately. (being transparent here)
"Ok, I trust You. I know You have a perfect plan, the timing is Yours, our daughter is Yours. So do I then just sit back and wait and see what You will do?"

So what would YOU do?
Just keep moving forward, smile and wait and see what He will do? Trusting that He's got this.
That's totally an option.  It's SAFE (ish).
I like SAFE.
Yesterday morning during my walk, I made a choice to not just take the "safe way".
When I walk, I pray.  So I was talking to God and decided again to ask for MOUNTAINS TO BE MOVED!!!
I asked for BIG things.  RISKY things. BOLD things.
I asked these things for the many sweet friends of ours who are also in their journey to adopt.
I specifically talked to God about His character, who He is and what He does.
(as if He doesn't know these things about Himself :)
Here's what I know... (and I reminded Him about these things :)

God "places the lonely in families" ~ Psalms 68:6
God "defends the fatherless" ~ Psalms 10:18, Deut. 10:17-18
God "helps the fatherless" ~ Psalms 10:14
God "rescues the weak and needy" ~ Psalms 82:3-4
God shows mercy to the orphan ~ Hosea 14:3
God "hears their cry" ~ Ex. 22:22-23

Because I know the above to be TRUE about the character of God...
Then I asked Him to MOVE on the behalf of our children waiting!
I asked Him to move QUICKLY, please don't make them wait any longer!
I asked for our daughter to know love, to bond with her caregiver.
I asked for processes and paperwork to move along quickly!
I asked for the offices and governments involved to get their acts together!
I asked that He bind the enemy from our adoption processes!
I asked Him to match us with our daughter in a way that ONLY HE would get the Glory for
(there's ALOT in the above statement)
There's some "impossible" stuff here. And THIS is where He loves to work!!! WAHOOOO!!
I asked for this process to move along in a way that would ONLY be explained by Him and His Hand.
I could have kept quiet about my prayers to Him.
But He asks us to "come together".  He's not just MY Father.
He is OUR Daddy, He wants us to ASK Him, so He can SHOW us His love by what He does for His children!!!!!
I don't think He wants me to sit back and just see what will happens.  Where's the growth in that?
I want my faith in Him to grow big!
 I think He WANTED me to ask Him all these things!!!
I'm soooooo looking forward to sharing with you WHAT HE DOES in answering our prayers!!!
OH...and....then I "happen" to read a fav blogger/adoptive momma's post today...check it out!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Becoming a professtional Waiter...I'm not talking food service

Yep it feels like I've been training for this wait for years.  So for that, I am thankful that I feel like I have done this before.
and WAITING!!!
Let me take a moment and share with you "where" we are currently at in our process to bring our daughter home....
As a part of our Dossier (see here to see what a Dossier is), we have a stack of paperwork that goes to Immigration here in the US to get approved to be an adoptive family to a child from Ch.
Well, that's the step that we are in.
Isn't it thrilling?
There are professional adoptive families who post on trends on this step and how long it's been taking.
Who wants to guess how long?
30 days?
40 days?
50 days?
Here it is folks.... it's now taking about 60 days!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't you love it?!!
Will you join me in prayer that this step MOVES FASTER!!! For us and several close families heading to this step in a matter of days and weeks!
So what do we do in the meantime??
Oh yea... WAIT!!
And one more thing.... raise funds.
This is where my heart flutters. (maybe stops on occasion)
There are some big fees coming up after that 60 days, I mean less than 60 days, is up.
We will be sending our docs to the Ch. Emb. in NYC for authentication
So there are fees that go along with that.
Then we send everything (the Dossier) to our agency with $2,350 
and then fees to Ch, about $1,000
then another fee to our agency $1,950.
and it goes on
and on
The farther we get in the journey the more $$$$ is necessary.  YIKES!!!
We just completed our 2nd and final Adoption Fundraiser Yard Sale
So thankful for the generosity of strangers
blessed by the prayers, donations and support of dear ones
This sale brought in around $1,700!
Our next big fundraiser event is really something Nate has been dreaming about for months...
Let me just say here...
He's good
He's really, really good at playing games.
Those of you that have had played with him, you know how much he loves to play...and WIN.
But THIS game isn't about WINNING.
It's about sharing our journey
Many of you joining in this opportunity may have never heard our story
We can't wait to share it with you!
Oh man, there it is again...that "wait" word.
The game is soon though (a SUPER FUN thing to do while we WAIT)
Just weeks away, and soooooooo much planning to do!
We hope you join us!!!!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's all part of the journey...even a yard sale!

Who would think that SO many complete strangers are now a part of our journey to bring our daughter home! 
I planned on having our yard sale months ago, put the word out to friends and donation of items came rolling in!  TONS AND TONS!  We were blessed week after week leading up to the sale, of items bring brought to church to load up in the back of our Squatch (that's the name we gave our giant family van). 
Our family locally and out of state donated some really great things.  Just blessed over and over. 
I started praying some time ago that the Lord would bless our Adoption Fundraiser Yard Sale days. 
We are in OHIO.
It's Spring.
Enough said.
ALL day Wednesday (the day before the sale) it RAINED and RAINED.
But ya wanna know what God did?
for the next THREE days of our sale...
Guess what it did the day after our sale?  you guessed it RAINED!
He is sooooo good!
The girls worked hard on getting signs ready
My Grandma has been busy making Scrubbers and Kitchen Cleaning Cloths for who knows how long!

I've been crafting sets of elastic headbands and Non-Slip Active Headbands
The girls worked so hard in making earrings
And the girls and my nephew baked and baked!
My Mom and Dad were THE BEST HELPERS EVER!
I couldn't have been able to do this with out them!
So here's the sale.....

I was so busy keeping things going, that the only time I had to take
pics was when there was a rare slow moment.
We had sooooo many friends stop by and support us, even bringing us MORE items to donate!
Totally blessed my socks off!!
I think the best part about having the sale was being able to share our story with old friends, new friends and complete strangers.
I loved seeing over in the corner of my eye, my nephew pass out our prayer cards to people as they came up to the table to check out. He was so thoughtful!
So many generous donations! We were selling stuff like hotcakes!
AND we still have left over!!!
So in a couple weeks, we are doing this all over again!!!
Call us crazy!
My sweet friend's neighborhood is having a sale and we are joining in at her place.
I'm not sure if she's gonna know what hit her!
When I think back about the 3 glorious days, I keep going back to sharing with a sweet neighbor how clear God has made it for us to ACTIVELY PURSUE our daughter.  This sweet friend is not on FB, she hasn't seen what we've been up to and in the Winter we seem to hibernate around here.
We shared some tears and hugs. I got goosebumps all over again sharing the "not coincidences".
I loved recounting with her ALL the things He has done.
It's all a part of our journey to her....
oh...and in case you are wondering how the sale went...I had a conservative goal in my head.  Guess what God did???  HE over DOUBLED it!!! About enough to pay our next agency fee!!!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sometimes it's God just throwing Barbie Clothes at Us

I've been burdened lately by so many people I love that are going through some tough stuff.  Some seem to be choosing the tough, most are just in it and can't see why. 
Either way, as a child of God, He has a plan wayyyy bigger and better than we can see.  So I'm reminded of this post from my "blog archives".  We see our situation as an annoyance and completely frustrating, asking God *why*.  But MAYBE He's just throwing Barbie clothes at you. It's all about perspective and trust.
In the Spring of 2010....
Here's the mini adventure that my boys, my niece and I had yesterday afternoon.
 It's been really nice here, the back door sliding screen has been open ( no bugs yet) and as many times as I have closed it behind the kids, I have found it open again.
  For a while I've been blaming them
 But I did witness the wind blow it open, so I'm not sure *who* left it open yesterday afternoon.
  But it became the invitation to a visitor into our home.
  At one point I walked into the kitchen, saw the door again was open and a little bird quickly flew out from the floor of the dining room.
  Just a couple minutes later I walked in to my bedroom, which is down the hall, and a bird took a dive bomb flight around my head!!
 So I did freak out a bit (or alot a bit), but once I knew it was a bird, I was laughing (ok after a small scream and a quick run OUTTA THERE!).
  I ran to find the kids and called Nate.
Poor Nate, I think he gets weekly calls about something he really doesn't want to deal with while he's at work.
 (i.e. there is water in the laundry room from a unknown source, there is water coming out from under the sink spilling onto the kitchen floor, the garage door won't shut, the Wii isn't working...THERE IS A BIRD IN THE HOUSE!)
  Each time he is so calm and patient with me, it's quite amazing actually.
 So the call yesterday consisted of my announcement, then his matter of fact and calm response, "I'm in Columbus, just open up a window".
At that point the bird flew into Emma's room and the 3 kids ran in after did I.
  I thought we should try to keep it in there since her room has 2 windows. I shut all 4 of us in there, I know, I know BRILLIANT!
I opened up the windows and the screens and thought for sure immediately the bird would fly right out thanking me along the way required alot more time out of my day than I planned.
Logan became the "chief blind-holder-upper" on one window, Clayton and Kate one and only job was to stay in one place, and NOT SCREAM (that was enough responsibility for them).
  As I sat on the bed for a minute to come up with a *brilliant plan*, I noticed my niece Kate had something white smeared all over the crown of her head, oh great...the bird.
  "um, Kate, hunny what do you have in your hair?"
 She matter-of-factly said " well we were playing outside and I put yogurt on my head to pretend it was my brains coming out"
Yes, she is smack in between my boys and two big brothers. enough said, totally understandable.

I stationed myself at the other window, holding up the blinds. Ok, so NOW it will just fly right out. I mean you can feel the breeze coming in, hear the other birdie friends calling it out, and see the trees just inviting it to COME THIS WAY.
But no, it decided time and time again to fly right into the mirror on the back of Emma's door. REALLY?? the mirror ( no it was not clean, there was no way it was looking like the outside, it was flying into FINGERPRINTS) was more appealing than TWO open windows??? BIRDS ARE DUMB, really dumb!!
After a couple more attempts at the mirror, it flew up onto my vintage baby clothing collection hanging on her wall. I was getting frustrated at this point, I don't have time for this.
  Oh at this point I remembered I had lunch in the oven, and the timer had gone off some time ago....NICE! perfect.
In my position, I didn't have many options. But I did think I needed to get him to FLY. Cause he was perched up there for what seemed like forever!!
Looking around I saw what might just work...Barbie clothes!!!!
I grabbed a purple satin evening gown and flung it towards Tweetie, hmmm not heavy enough to go the distance. So I grabbed Prince Charming's 3pc suit ( now realizing both Barbie and Ken are naked somewhere...hmmm..what are they up to?)
I didn't want to throw something that would hurt him, just get him to MOVE! It worked!!!
The adventure was over, he flew right out Logan's window.
So last night as I was getting into bed, I noticed that Tweetie did indeed leave a mark for us to remember him by. As I (oh, I mean Nate) cleaned up the mess it got me thinking...

Aren't we like that bird??? That DUMB BIRD.
 We get ourselves into a situation and God DOES provide a way, or multiple ways out, and yet we see a mirror (looks good) and bang our head into that over and over, get mad at the situation, hear our wise counsel encouraging us to make a good choice, and yet again we choose to fly into the mirror!
 Then our Father, who doesn't want to harm us, wants us to make good choices, He wants us to see that we can trust Him and what He has planned is PERFECT.
 And when it's the right time He may just have to throw *Barbie clothes* at us.
  Something to MAKE us FLY!!!
Is He throwing *Barbie clothes* at you?????

Sunday, March 10, 2013

It costs HOW MUCH???!!!

We have had many friends and family members ask us "why in the Sam Hill does it cost so much?"
And yes, that's an exact quote.
So I thought I would share a little bit about how this whole International Adoption process works.
Specifically China.
Specifically Special Needs.
Specifically through the agency we have chosen.
Here's a cost breakdown, and where it all goes.
And yes it still makes my head spin no matter how many times I look at this.
Agency Application       $200
Agency Program Fee     $2500 
Home Study Fee (we use a local agency to complete this)   $3900
     this includes the home study, and post adoption fees that have to be paid up front.
Let's pause....
I also hear "what in the Sam Hill is a Home Study?"
A home study is requires for all adoptions, domestic or international.  And even though we already completed a home study through our county/state, yep, we have to do another one.
We should be all studied up for this then!
We are assigned a case worker that is in charge of our collection of needed documents like...
* birth certificates
* marriage license
* medical documents
* safety audit
*fire inspection
* child abuse clearance
*proof of residence for last 5 yrs
*FBI & BCII Fingerprint clearance
*cultural training certificate
*reference letters
* employer letters
*financial statements
*guardianship agreement
* and on and on and on....
Back to the fees....
Dossier preparation     $450
One more question "what in the Sam Hill is a Dossier?" (pronounced doss- e- ay)
This is another collection of paperwork and this collection has to go through a process...
Notarized locally, then checked by our County Clerk, then sent to our Sec. of State, then sent to the Ch.Embassy, then back to us, then to our adoption agency, then to Ch.
Hence the term "Paper Chase"
There are fees for each piece of paper to move along these steps starting w/ the State.  And we have to pay a courier service to hand deliver them to the Ch. Embassy.
Back to the fees....
Second Agency Program Fee      $2350
Ch. Children Services Fee           $1275
Post Adoption Fee (due before we can be matched)   $1000
Third Agency Program Fee         $1950
Post Adoption Translation Fee (due before we can be matched) $360
Travel & Accommodation Fee        approx $4100
Ch. orphanage gift                      $5000
Child Physical & visa fees               approx $400
Various In Country fees             $1600
If my math is decent, this adds up to $25,000+
Ok...I hope
that I don't scare anyone who *might* be thinking about International Adoption soon.  Because those numbers mean squat to our God.  HE FUNDS WHAT HE FAVORS!!!
We wanted to be completely transparent with you with what HE will need to take care of through this journey.  We need your prayers!!! 
We are asking the Lord to bless the company the Nate works for.
We are asking the Lord that our fundraising efforts will be fruitful.
We are asking the Lord to light a fire in the hearts of our friends and family to consider adoption.
We are asking the Lord to
Flat Out
Knock Our Socks Off!
We are asking YOU to join us in our journey to bring our daughter HOME!
We can't wait to see what Our Lord will do!!
To Him be the Glory!!!!
ANY gift is generous in His eyes and ours.
~ Amber


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Home Study Shome Shudy

Well things are not moving along like we would like for them to.
Actually it's kinda a stand still right now. Boooooo!
And I don't like it!
As part of the international adoption process, one must complete a Home Study
This is done through a 3rd party agency for us.
Things were plugging right along.
The closest agency to do this was not too far South of us.
there were crickets chirping.
and more crickets
Until finally my daily emails and phone calls produced a response we sure didn't see coming.
This 3rd party agency is STOPPING their service of International Home Studies.
Soooo...we go shopping.
And phone call after phone call produced nothing but voicemails being left.
Please someone answer your phone or call back soon.
Finally a voice, who said "I know we are the closest thing you have, but honestly, don't choose us, we just can't help you right now."
I appreciate her being honest.
An email response from another, much further away was a punch in the gut with their fee schedule.
Not expecting that.
And so here we are...what to do.
Wait a bit.
Pray some more.
And then a dear friend with out knowing what the details of today were all about ,
sends me a pod cast to listen to about what???
And then a very new friend sends me an email with a Big 'Ol Picture of our (praying for) daughter's face with the words under her picture
"Praying for _______"
Ok, so it's NOT about me, or us, or this Home Study.
It's about HER, who ever she is.
So I've refocused on praying for HER.
Here's the thing.  Does our enemy want us to pray for her...nope.
Does he want this process to go smoothly or quickly...nope.
Big Jerk!
But God has her in the palm of His hand
But God has this whole stinkn' Home Study process in His hand
One might say that the enemy is trying to mess this all up, and that's why there are days like this and more to come.
But I say that I really don't want to give him ANY CREDIT.
I want to commit each part of this process to God to where the enemy has NO PART IN IT WHATSOVER.
So there big jerk.
God has got this!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The need to brighten things up

My family and close friends know that I've always got some project going on.
And by going on I mean sometimes my ADD issues cause the "on" to be on and on and on.
There's my confession.
So when we bought this house almost 7 years ago, there were certian things about it I just had to change.  Our entry way drove me bananas.
In 1971 the rod iron and clay tile flooring was hip.
And often these vintage items still look good 30 plus years later.
We've got an open entry way with THIS going on...

And let me point out a few things..
Yes, there are bulbs out in the light (classy)
The white patch in the wall next to the stairs going down, is where a hole is where a railing used to be.  I think it was busted out with in a month of being here!
I wish I would have taken a video of one of the kids shaking the railing, it's a wonder no one fell over the side, it was hanging on by a thread! And I think it was under "legal" height by like 12 inches. (ok maybe not 12, but alot)
And yes, the 75% off rug from IKEA there has a "water" stain on it.  Lovely.
Check out the grout on that tile! WOW!
But what is really lovely is the "ragged" effect all over the wall.
I think at some point I just need to blame Pinterest, it's all her fault (it's a her... come'on, recipes, clothes, crafts, home decor's a her)
And then poor Nate got involved, soon after he heard me banging the 10 ft ladder around the chandelier (maybe he would change the light bulbs now)

Yep,it worked!
So we painted the whole thing a very light khaki
Then started marking out the stripes.
The laser level was stinkn' awesome, that is until I lost the tack in the back of it. Not so awesome after that. Oh, and having a wall that bows, that's not awesome either.
And the people that say that PAINTERS TAPE DOESN'T BLEED...
big fat liars!!
So we spend the big bucks and got the frog tape stuff most of the way through...ughhh.
And mid way through the stripes we had the railing replaced.
Let's pause for a minute with all this fun stuff and let me tell you about the painting for real...
Painting stripes will be something
Let me make this clear...
But look at this pro!
All of a sudden he wanted to make sure the edges were PERFECT.
Well ok
I'm not going to stop you.
Because after HE completed this...
he is now the pro at stripes!
SO here's the finished entry...

And thank you dearest daughter for bombing my pic

Ignore the random socks on the basement floor.
We loved the look of wood on the floor, but wanted tile, so we found this at Lowes and LOVE IT!
Carpet still needs replaced, but when we decided to pursue our daughter in China,
the carpet didn't seem to matter anymore. 
So that will be a "after China" project.
More project posts to come soon...


Friday, February 15, 2013

There's a Risk to Choosing to Love...

Choosing to love another soul is RISKY! Watch out! So we have options...
1. don't love and don't care.
2. kinda love, but still selfishly hold on to your heart.
3. Love with EVERYTHING YOU HAVE!!!!!

Love is a choice, and picking #3 is scary sometimes. What if, what if, what if????
I used to struggle with living IN the "what if's", which pretty much made me useless. It all comes from fear, and fear is NOT from the Lord. So living in the "what if's" to the point where it consumes you...well that is sin.  There I said it.  The S word.
Living in the "what if's" separated me from God.  That's what sin is.
So I confided in a mentor.  I shared with her that I struggled with being consumed with the "what if's".  And she shared with me that she had been there herself and then she was challenged with this...

Philippians 4:8 "Finally brothers, Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think on these things."

So here's the deal.  I started that day asking myself "is it true?"  "is it pure?" NO??  Well then Amber WHY are you thinking about it? WHY is it consuming your thoughts?
So I gave over my thoughts to the Lord! I learned how to LOVE with out worry! So now it's SUPER EASY!!!
Uhhhh NOPE.  Not super easy at all!
So I'll ask one more "what if" question. "what if it WAS super easy to love?"
Well then that would change a whole lot of stuff!
If true unselfish love was easy, then why would we need God?
Then Jesus's perfect unselfish act of love wouldn't have much value. It would have been easy for Him.


So right now I'm choosing something that is risky...I might get my heart broken...I might get attached to her.  I might be disappointed in how this whole adoption thing plays out. What if, what if, what if??? ( here I go again with the what if's, darn it!)
I've had dreams about adopting a daughter from Asia for as long as I can remember.
When you've dreamed about something for so long, and now it's REAL.  It's kinda freaking me out!
And there's where the "what if's" start sneaking in.

You might have heard how head over heals we have fallen in love chosen to love this precious one, or maybe I've trapped you and shoved pics of her in your face from my phone, or texted them to you at random times (sorry 'bout that).  I'm gonna be honest here and tell you ( just you, not everybody) that when I see pics of her, and even hear her name, I get shaky inside! I pretty much fight(or give in to) tears every stinkn' time! I will be kind and not share with you that Nate might just have the same responses.  Might.

So it was TOUGH to hear from our agency that having her placed with us will be a flat out miracle. It just is not looking like it's possible. Did I say tough?  How about a punch in the gut. How about the feeling of your heart falling out of your chest.  Yep, that's more like it.

And then there is Nate.
The eternal optimist...he always has been.  Not one person that knows him would argue that.
I love that about him. He is continuously challenging me to let it go and let God have it.
But with her, I hear him call her *ours*.  I see him tear up over her pictures.
I hear him pray for her.  But he always closes his prayers with "your will Lord, not ours"
In everything thing we have heard, she won't be *ours*.

But let's go back to "whatever is true". 
What I know is TRUE is that she is His. And we are His.  And if HE wants us to be her forever family, the HE WILL and CAN make that happen!
So we continue to choose to love her with risk that she may never be in our arms.
And so there was the night after we heard it's just not looking like that will ever happen.  Well, we had a rough night, lots of tears, lots of praying for peace.

And the next morning I woke up to my verse of the day which JUST SO HAPPENED to be...
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable...think on these things." Phil 4:8
I smiled when I saw that was my verse of the day, I texted it to Nate. "Amen"

When I got home from work that day, I got on fb to see if her foster home had posted any pics of the precious kids that day.
I pulled up their page.
And this was the pic that was posted. And yes, that's HER (sorry, not showing full pics of her face)
Enough said.