I cant even blog about the adoption right now. We are still waiting for DFCS to place him permanently. Please pray. We have him on weekends and see him on wednesdays so thats all I got. I will update when it happens!

Tim turned 32.
I can't tell you how mysterious and crazy it is that we met 13 years ago and are about to celebrate 10 years of marriage. Not that I am in any boat to dish out advice, but I have learned 1 really important thing.
Tim and I have always pursued the other persons dreams, maybe to our detriment sometimes. It should go without saying we look to the Lord for our worth and not to each other, but Tim really gave his all for my dream of having a big family. (It feels bigger than it is sometimes because we have shared so many children).  And I think he would say I sacrificed pretty hard and gave it all up for him to switch careers and pursue a passion. Whats crazy is that our passions truly became the other ones passions. Even if initially you were very critical about the other persons ideas or plans, its actually amazing when you lay it all out for the other person anyway. Humility wins.
I used to feel guilty about dragging our kids through the loss of other kids, pursuit of careers, house renovations, sacrificing for a long term goal, living debt free and on the actual money we have. That we weren't the most "fun" parents. Our cars will never be new. My kids know what coupons are. And even at a young age they understand buying something and selling it for profit. The value of a dollar. And working really hard. And actually loving what you do.
So, no. I don't feel guilty now. I believe we have taught them 2 really important things. Life isn't all about them. And to follow your dreams even when you become a mom and dad. I think if our life was "all about them" our marriage would suffer.
We were first. And we will be last when they leave one day. I want to start well and finish well.
We will be here and still married when they start their own life one day. Babies don't keep and they will graduate and have families of their own one day. Isnt the best thing you can give a child is a healthy marriage? I would like to believe so. Both Tim and I's parents are at 35 and 37 years of marriage and we owe most everything to them.
I want to still be in love.
I want to still have passions and life and not go into depression when "this part" of motherhood closes. I will always be mom, it will just look different. But, my role as a wife is more long term than my role as a mother. And we have a whole lotta life ahead since we became parents at age 23.
We have to give to our spouse and ask the Lord to make us the help mate he created us to be to them.

Anyway, I love you Tim. I love you for the guts you have to do what matters, to do what your passionate about, and to never let us stay stagnant. I feel like we are learning how to be "settled" but also never stagnant. And you have integrity to do it the right way.

I also hope people reading this know we are ALL trial and error. We have nothing figured out. We mess up all the time. And we are okay with that. Because Gods okay with that and it lets us know we need Him. One of my favorite quotes, to date, is "Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter" DL Moody.

I have to share a funny conversation Tim and I had the other night. When all 3 kids fell asleep we were TOTALLY the lame parents that set up a date in our home at 7:45pm since we had no idea what we were going to do with all of them asleep from wearing each other out!! So, we had a nice dinner and candles :)
I told him about how I was reading through some of my old journals the other day from the first year we were married.
It went down like this:
Jen- (reading excerpt)...."I hope one day that our life is never boring. I don't want "the american dream" of obtaining every material possession we can, having our family, having our wants, and life is just all about us. Yuck. Boring. I don't want a cookie cutter life. I don't want it to look like anyone elses. I would rather die young than to live a long boring life. Lord, I hope we blaze our own trail and we never look normal."
Tim- "Check."
"That's great babe, thanks for journaling that 10 years ago. Looks like we have all that covered. 
What else?"
Ha! He later told me that was his very same hope for our life. Cheers for being crazy!!!
Happy 32nd birthday Tim!!! I love you!

Fall in Marietta!!


The Final Hours...

I think every time I have tried to sit down to write, I have fallen asleep!
I wanted to update our time with him. I cannot post pics of his face and I want to protect his full name right now, so we will call him Z on the blog.

Right now, I want to remember all the logistics and the crazy of this month!
I almost feel a little delirious. Our life has literally been driving to the orphanage and maintaining some kind of normal life at home for David and Mackenzie. We have had him on the weekends and go up during the week to see him after school. Its a 2 hour round trip and it is all incredibly emotionally draining....and at the same time....we are FILLED WITH JOY!
Its all going really well!! Z is wonderful. I can't wait to slowly introduce him to our community. He is Sweet. Funny. Alert. Smart. Precious. Observant. Affectionate.
He is just a sweet little boy who has been in isolation for a long time. And, that's all about to change. Processing what this sweet child has gone through is a lot.
And, again, its his story. Z will have an amazing story one day.
Anyway, that's been all I could handle this month. Seeing Z. And keeping our household running. Please forgive me all family and friends out there for not being the most together person right now. This has taken my all.... and it has been worth it all.
David and Mackenzie are doing great with him. Mackenzie of course, is oblivious to reading any social cues and just talks to him non-stop. She grabs and holds his hand most places we go. And she explains everything to him. She has also set up a full fledged orphanage in her bedroom during the day telling me she is, "running the orphanage." She lines babies up and takes meals, ect. Lord only knows what this child is going to say when she starts kindergarten next year. David and Z are sharing a room. They are only 40 days apart. Its like he instantly has a twin brother! They are super cute together and Tim has made me refrain from dressing them identically right now. (Hello, Christmas! That will be my excuse:)
Z has not had opportunities to interact with other peers a lot so he is literally having to learn how to have conversations and engage with people. David doesn't understand this sometimes, but we are teaching him Z will come out of his sweet shell soon :)
Everything is new to Z right now as his life has consisted of school and the orphanage. We are treating it as if it were an international adoption.
Here is one of the last shots of me and Z together.....

Months ago, I felt God speak the words to me, "He's yours." And, I not only know that in my head, but now I have felt it in every part of my heart. This is through and through our baby.
I also had a very real moment in my faith. God interrupted my life in an amazing way, came in, and forever changed my heart and life and the way I live when I became a Christian. Christ has adopted us as sons and daughters and we did nothing to earn that. The opposite in fact.  As I was driving Z out of the orphanage, the verse John 14:18 hit to the core, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come for you."
God came RIGHT in the middle of our mess. Z is in the middle of a mess and we have felt the very hand of God leading this boy into freedom. We have been humbled to be apart of God redeeming and restoring.

Tim also felt a few weeks ago that he heard from the Lord and told me, "God is going to heal him."
Those words we heard we have clung to hard. I could blog for days about all the theories, ideas, diagnosis, problems, progression, observations, notes, comments, opinions, and so on and so on about where each person we have encountered believes where Z is.

What are his real needs?
Does he have any special needs?
How has being in an orphanage since the age of 3 affected him?
How has never having a family affected him?
Will he thrive?
What will the school do with him?
How will our family and friends respond to him?
How will he be once he is given a family for the first time in his life?
What if he is given a childhood?
A brother and sister? 
What if he is given a mom and dad that are crazy in love with and about him, no matter where he is?

Z's greatest need is a family. And a childhood. He has had neither.

And we can do that.

We are asking the Lord to give us wisdom on the rest. The school. The administration. The therapies he may need. All involved with the sweet boy will have wisdom.

A song we sing a lot here is:

Into the darkness you shine.
Out of the ashes we rise,
there is no one like You, none like You.
Our God is greater, Our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power, our God.

In Isaiah, our God says He will "heal the broken hearted and set the captives free....."

And, we are supposed to set our little captive free this weekend.
We are hoping, HOPING, this is the weekend that he will stay on Sunday.
No dropping him back off at the orphanage. No more driving him back.
Please pray for the details to finish.
And it to be finished.

We are waiting on the Lord to finish this. We have seen him do some amazing things this month.

Last Sunday when our time had ended with Z and it was time to take him back, I simply could not go. I could not do it.
Tim had to take him back.

Would everyone join in prayer that tonight will be Z's last night in the orphanage?
We are all ready to not have to say good bye anymore.
Please pray our boy will be home for good this weekend!

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