Visiting Lalibela

Visiting Lalibela

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summit Energy Services and a tidal wave

A little over a year ago, we started two big endeavors, the adoption of our newest 4 kids and a new business, Summit Energy Services. I am so proud of the work Mike has done in growing Summit and know that the growth has only come by the grace of God. We are thankful, a year later, that Summit now has 99 employees!! WOW! The new website is up and running, if anyone is interested in checking out what Summit does.

Our newest kids have been home now for almost 11 months. While most of the time, we are running a smooth sailing ship, we did hit a major TIDAL WAVE last week. I hope to blog more about, in an effort, to give other adoptive families some encouragement, but it's too soon. We still have some things to work through. What I can say, though, is that God prepared us and took care of us completely in the midst of some pretty tough stuff. He surrounded us with a support network that is no less than amazing- imagine having a friend I could call and would respond in less than 3 minutes!! Imagine having the ability to hire a "nanny" (thanks, Gretchen) who came the day before the wave hit--imagine having great employees at Summit, so Mike could be at home to support his family. Thank you to all of you who offered support.
We have been reminded of TRUTH by many praying friends. We know the enemy does not want children redeemed. We know he didn't intend for them to be brought up in loving, CHRIST-loving homes. We also know that GOD is bigger than the enemy and His Truth will win. We know that Jesus talks about going after the one lamb, even though 99 stayed with the Shepherd.
Kids do not belong in orphanages!! Even if they appear to be clean and loving, they are still institutions, with people paid to be there- not always people who are there because they love children. Please, church, believe me when I say children are suffering in institutions all over the world- we must do more to protect them. The trauma they suffer, when not in a family environment can be overwhelming. I don't believe it is God's plan at all.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Fathers Day and Happy Anniversary!

Father's Day weekend is so fun at our home. Not only did the kids get to dote on their Daddy, but we got to celebrate our 17th anniversary this weekend!! I am so blessed to call Mike my husband and Daddy to our kids. I know without a doubt that he was meant to be a Daddy to many. Here are a few highlights to our past week:

1. Mike and I got to escape for an early anniversary trip to Regina, Canada last weekend- we had a blast, eating out, sleeping in, ordering room service, going for long walks and taking in a Patsy Cline Theater production. I can't remember a better weekend in all our years together.

2. We bought an RV- an older one with the bunk over the driver's seats- but an RV none the less. And YES- all of the kids fit into it and can sleep into it. We are all looking forward to our big summer trip now. We tested it out by driving it to Minot yesterday and the kids have all slept in it now at least one night. So- all you Nashville friends, we are now ready to see you next month!!!

3. I got to watch my husband mentor Kael and Micah in some home remodeling. He is an amazing, patient teacher when it comes to learning about tools- My boys had such a fun time tearing down walls and working hard side by side with him.

4. I watched, again, in awe, as my husband spent time with each one of his daughters- they are all Daddy's girls (which I am thankful for). I love seeing their faces light up when he tells them how beautiful they are. He is setting the bar high for any young suitors!

5. The kids made a huge breakfast this morning for Mike, as we were out on a walk. He came home to 11 handmade cards, pancakes, bacon and all the fixings-LB even found some fun stars to put up in the living room, she was SO excited to show her Daddy how much she loved him. Breakfast was followed by an awesome family worship time...what a great day!

6. We realized that in less than 2 weeks we will have 4 13 year olds in the house. While some have warned us about the teenage years, we are so excited to watch our kids grow. Even when there are bumps in the road, we wouldn't trade being their parents for any other experience. We are blessed.

For those of you praying specifically for our family, thank you. I heard on KLOVE the other day, that bringing in adopted children is no different than going into the mission field. Most churches support missionaries but few churches come alongside adoptive families. We are blessed to have many Christians in Williston who do come alongside us and an incredible YG aunties group that we can take prayer requests to. While we don't always post prayer requests here, know that any prayers for our family are appreciated. We still have bumps in the road but know God's grace is sufficient in all circumstances. Would we choose these children again? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Two years home with Gavin

This week marks the two year anniversary of Gavin being HOME. It seems like yesterday when we were at the Transition Home and this adorable, skinny, terrified little boy was brought out to us. Gavin really had no idea what was going on, as he didn't speak the same language as the staff in Addis. He just knew that we showed up, covered him with kisses, played with him and gave him things. (His eyesight was so poor, he didn't recognize us from the pictures we had sent). However, as soon as his DADDY put him on his shoulders and ran around with him, Gavin's smile he is rarely without a smile.

Gavin, I am SO PROUD to be your Mommy. You teach us all so much everyday- like tackling each new task with a smile and a "can do" attitude and always seeing the best in people. My son does not judge people and makes friends with everyone he meets. He doesn't understand the injustices of the world, but hopes one day to play a big part in making some of them right. My boy is STRONG, athletic, FUNNY, smart, a snuggler-- an enormous blessing to all of us. He loves Jesus and hopes to take Jesus' love beyond our small town.

Through Gavin, our hearts and lives have expanded. We now consider his Ethiopian friends' family our family. Because of our love for him, we pursued our next four children. And through him, we get to view the world through the type of lens that Jesus intended..loving other people without any prejudices. Thank you, Gavin for being such a neat boy! We all love you very much!! Thank you God for bringing this precious boy to us!

I will try to post pictures next week- we still haven't transferred any over from the other computer, but I'd love to share my boy's sweet smile with everyone.