Monday, December 3, 2012

Keep Praying!

It has almost been 2 months since Moses has come home, and man, how busy those 2 months have been. We are at the point in our journey where our honeymoon period has ended!  Life is now trying to settle in to a new normal for the Michael family. For the most part we are having fun with this transformation. I hope to always remember little things about Moses when he first came home to us, like the dance he does after eating cookies, heck, after pretty much eating anything, This kid loves to eat! I want to remember his Darth Vader breathing and his adorably cute "E.T." walk, as Jordan likes to call it. I want to remember how many times in a day he gives us all full-on, puckered up, kisses and how he goes around the house yelling all of our names, as if he is practicing them. I also want to remember the sound of Stella and Max talking to him in Amharic. There is nothing cuter than seeing little kids speak in another language! 

Being a mother to 3 children, 5 and under, is exhausting! Jordan and I have gone from a man-to-man defense to zone. It has completely knocked my world upside down, and quite frankly THE hardest thing I have ever done! We just keep taking one day at a time, and try to not get too overwhelmed with everything going on. I am learning to let go of the little things, that use to matter so much, i.e. clean house, clean laundry, frequent bathing, and manicured fingers and toes! Who has time for that?!? The days are  absolutely crazy, and some nights at the end of the day, I just need a good cry on the couch and a hug from my amazing husband who tells me I am a great momma!  But, thanks be to God, the amount of joy and love still flowing through this house is in abundance.

Moses has been progressing well, and he is slowly on his way to a healthy 19 month old. This is where we need you to intervene for us in prayer. Moses is having surgery on Wednesday, December 5. He is having his tonsils and adenoids taken out and tubes are being inserted. If all goes well with the surgery we should be able to leave the hospital on Thursday, and start a not-so-fun recovery process at home. Moses woke up this morning with fever, and unfortunately, if he is still running fever by Wednesday we will have to reschedule the surgery. Please pray for Moses' health, and for God to heal Moses. His immune system is not the best and we need to do this surgery as soon as possible since it is affecting his breathing, sleeping, and eating. He is also scheduled to have another surgery on December 18. Lord willing it will all go according to plan, and my baby boy can get healthy. Please don't stop praying for us. The transition has been tough on all of us, especially Stella and Max. Moses seems to be doing best out of all of us. Pray over us this week as we are caring for Moses and that he continues to trust us through this healing process. Pray for our "village" of people who we live life with as they support us through this time, because we greatly need them and value them. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Where do I begin....what words do I say....For the past 2 weeks I have been trying to find the only words that make sense to describe our trip, Moses being home, and life settling in so gently, sweetly, and simply...

I am just so overwhelmed in amazement and have been experiencing this joy that is so paralyzing, it's like I almost don't believe it. I have seen a mountain move right in front of my eyes, I have seen and felt LOVE like I never have in my life seen or felt before. I've felt comfort, peace, and provision in a way and in an abundance that I have never seen. Then all of a sudden in my, almost disbelief of moments and times like this in the world existing,  I completely lose it and my cup runs completely over just by looking down at this little 19 pound, 28 inches-tall, big-bellied, wide-eyed, beautiful little boy toddling around our home with the sweetest, most captivating expression on his face. He is actually home! I can physically hold him and actually kiss him anytime that I want. This is REAL. This kind of JOY is real and I get the privilege to experience it everyday now through the face of this little boy, and I just can't get a handle on it!

I can't help, but look at Moses and try to figure out what this little guy is thinking. His relationship with us started out with such a vulnerability. This little boy that maybe remembered me from pictures was all of a sudden supposed to trust me to care and provide for his every little need. Of course, this trust has been taking time to build, which he is doing with so much grace. He came to us with absolutely nothing, but the pink onesie, plaid button-up shirt, teddy bear overalls, and little girl white sandals, that he had on his body and a story of loss and grief. He had nothing to offer. And, how relieving, and at the same time scary, would that feel to all of a sudden be embraced by two people and be told that you belong with me, everything that I have is now yours, and I don't care about what you have to bring to the table, or what your story is, I love you exactly where you are right at this moment, and that won't ever change. I can't help but see myself in Moses and realize that this is what God did to me. He adopted me into his family all broken, flawed, with nothing to offer Him. He told me to trust him, and although that was scary, and it still is, I did. Because you can't be free to live when you are living in fear. He showed me everything belonged to Him and He said it was all for me because He loves me, and Oh, how He loves us. And thus started the beginning of an absolutely beautiful relationship.

We are at the beginning of a beautiful new journey, completely transformed by the last. Our relationship with Moses is just beginning and I can't wait to see and write the next chapter of our story...

Thank you everyone for all of your sweet comments, texts, and taking care of us during this transition time. But most importantly, thank you for praying! They have been felt and you interceding has carried us through. I promise soon to post about our trip and post pictures as well. Believe it or not, I don't have as much down time as I used to. 

In the meantime, please continue to pray for us and our transition. Everyone's health seems to be bad right now. I just got over something I picked up in Ethiopia, and now Jordan is down for the count. Sweet Moses had been such a trooper in the millions of doctor's appointments he has been to. He definitely has a couple of bigger issues that is requiring specialist and lots of meds. Please pray for healing for him, and for Jordan and I to remember God is STILL in control, even after the airport.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


We are so excited to announce that the US Embassy cleared us to go pick up Moses on Friday. Praise God! After two and a half years our little guy will be with his FOREVER family! 

We will be leaving This Saturday, September 29 and arrive in Ethiopia Sunday night. First thing Monday morning we will be meeting him at the orphanage, and this time we won't have to leave him there. Never again! After our final US Embassy appointment, they will process Moses' visa (which takes 2 days) and Friday we will start our journey back to the US. We will arrive home on Saturday, October 6, and for the first time ever we will all be together as a family of 5!

I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone! Every single one of you have been so supportive throughout this journey. Whether it was contributing to our fundraisers, speaking words of encouragement, being a shoulder to cry on, or lifting us up in prayer, all of this came together and helped carry us through. It is so amazing to me to see, one by one, people doing their part and, by everyone doing this together, God uses that to move mountains!

"14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body....24But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together."

1 Corinthians 12:14-20 & 24-26

We are so relieved and joyful as we end this incredible journey that God has called us to, and now we look ahead to the beginning of a new journey which is becoming a family of 5. Bringing a child into your home through adoption is a little different than bringing a child home via your belly. The attachment process between parent and child looks so different, and can be extremely more strenuous since this child is coming from a hard place of loss and trauma. With that being said, we will still need all of you! One of my favorite bloggers, Jen Hatmaker, wrote a blog about ways to be the village for adoptive families, and I think she did a beautiful job at explaining what we need. Here is an excerpt from that blog....

How can you help? By not saying or doing these things: 

1. I mean this nicely, but don’t come over for awhile. Most of us are going to hole up in our homes with our little tribe and attempt to create a stable routine without a lot of moving parts. This is not because we hate you; it’s because we are trying to establish the concept of “home” with our newbies, and lots of strangers coming and going makes them super nervous and unsure, especially strangers who are talking crazy language to them and trying to touch their hair. 

2. Please do not touch, hug, kiss, or use physical affection with our kids for a few months. We absolutely know your intentions are good, but attachment is super tricky with abandoned kids, and they have had many caregivers, so when multiple adults (including extended family) continue to touch and hold them in their new environment, they become confused about who to bond with. This actually delays healthy attachment egregiously. It also teaches them that any adult or stranger can touch them without their permission, and believe me, many adoptive families are working HARD to undo the damage already done by this position. Thank you so much for respecting these physical boundaries. 

3. For the next few months, do not assume the transition is easy. For 95% of us, it so is not. And this isn’t because our family is dysfunctional or our kids are lemons, but because this phase is so very hard on everyone. I can’t tell you how difficult it was to constantly hear: “You must be so happy!” and “Is life just so awesome now that they’re here??” and “Your family seems just perfect now!” I wanted that to be true so deeply, but I had no idea how to tell you that our home was actually a Trauma Center. Starting with the right posture with your friends – this is hard right now – will totally help you become a safe friend to confide in / break down in front of / draw strength from. 

4. Do not act shocked if we tell you how hard the early stages are. Do not assume adoption was a mistake. Do not worry we have ruined our lives. Do not talk behind our backs about how terribly we’re doing and how you’re worried that we are suicidal. Do not ask thinly veiled questions implying that we are obviously doing something very, very wrong. Do not say things like, “I was so afraid it was going to be like this” or “Our other friends didn’t seem to have these issues at all” or "He's so little he won't remember." Just let us struggle. Be our friends in the mess of it. We’ll get better.  

5. Please do not disappear. If I thought the waiting stage was hard, it does not even hold the barest candle to what comes after the airport. Not. The. Barest. Candle. Never have I felt so isolated and petrified. Never have I been so overwhelmed and exhausted. We need you after the airport way more than we ever needed you before. I know you’re scared of us, what with our dirty hair and wild eyes and mystery children we’re keeping behind closed doors so they don’t freak out more than they already have, but please find ways to stick around. Call. Email. Check in. Post on our Facebook walls. Send us funny cards. Keep this behavior up for longer than six days. 

Here’s what we would love to hear or experience After the Airport:

1. Cook for your friends. Put together a meal calendar and recruit every person who even remotely cares about them. We didn’t cook dinners for one solid month, and folks, that may have single handedly saved my sanity. There simply are not words to describe how exhausting and overwhelming those first few weeks are, not to mention the lovely jetlag everyone came home with. And if your friends adopted domestically right up the street, this is all still true, minus the jetlag. 

2. If we have them, offer to take our biological kids for an adventure or sleepover. Please believe me: their lives just got WHACKED OUT, and they need a break, but their parents can’t give them one because they are 1.) cleaning up pee and poop all day, 2.) holding screaming children, 3.) spending all their time at doctors’ offices, and 4.) falling asleep in their clothes at 8:15pm. Plus, they are in lockdown mode with the recently adopted, trying to shield them from the trauma that is Walmart. 

3. Thank you for getting excited with us over our little victories. I realize it sounds like a very small deal when we tell you our kindergartener is now staying in the same room as the dog, but if you could’ve seen the epic level of freakoutedness this dog caused her for three weeks, you would understand that this is really something. When you encourage us over our incremental progress, it helps. You remind us that we ARE moving forward and these little moments are worth celebrating. If we come to you spazzing out, please remind us where we were a month ago. Force us to acknowledge their gains. Be a cheerleader for the healing process. 

4. Come over one night after our kids are asleep and sit with us on our porch. Let me tell you: we are all lonely in those early weeks. We are home, home, home, home, home. Good-bye, date nights. Good-bye, GNO’s. Good-bye, spontaneous anything. Good-bye, church. Good-bye, big public outings. Good-bye, community group. Good-bye, nightlife. So please bring some community to our doorstep. Bring friendship back into our lives. Bring adult conversation and laughter. And bring an expensive bottle of wine. 

5. If the shoe fits, tell adopting families how their story is affecting yours. If God has moved in you over the course of our adoption, whether before the airport or after, if you’ve made a change or a decision, if somewhere deep inside a fire was lit, tell us, because it is spiritual water on dry souls. There is nothing more encouraging than finding out God is using our families for greater kingdom work, beautiful things we would never know or see. We gather the holy moments in our hands every day, praying for eyes to see God’s presence, his purposes realized in our story. When you put more holy moments in our hands to meditate on, we are drawn deeper into the Jesus who led us here. 

Here’s one last thing: As you watch us struggle and celebrate and cry and flail, we also want you to know that adoption is beautiful, and a thousand times we’ve looked at each other and said, “What if we would’ve said no?” God invited us into something monumental and lovely, and we would’ve missed endless moments of glory had we walked away. We need you during these difficult months of waiting and transitioning, but we also hope you see that we serve a faithful God who heals and actually sets the lonely in families, just like He said He would. And even through the tears and tantrums (ours), we look at our children and marvel that God counted us worthy to raise them. We are humbled. We’ve been gifted with a very holy task, and when you help us rise to the occasion, you have an inheritance in their story; your name will be counted in their legacy. Because that day you brought us pulled pork tacos was the exact day I needed to skip dinner prep and hold my son on the couch for an hour, talking about Africa and beginning to bind up his emotional wounds. When you kidnapped me for two hours and took me to breakfast, I was at the very, very, absolute end that morning, but I came home renewed, able to greet my children after school with fresh love and patience. When you loved on my big kids and offered them sanctuary for a night, you kept the family rhythm in sync at the end of a hard week. 

Thank you for being the village. You are so important. 

With that being said, we want everyone that played a part, even if by praying or supporting us silently as a reader, to come celebrate with us Moses coming home. Our plane arrives at Austin Airport at 5:44 on Saturday, October 6. We would love for all of you to come to the airport and be there waiting as we bring Moses home and give him an amazing welcome! I can't wait for Moses to see the people who helped get him home. See you at the airport gates!

Love to all, Kristin

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This Too Shall Pass

Oh how I wish this update would be news of moving forward. 

Our finder's interview occurred yesterday, and it was thought to have gone well. Sometimes the Embassy will decide to clear the families of travel after the interview and sometimes they will request more information, or in some cases, decide they cannot declare the child's orphan status and send the case to Nairobi for further proceedings. In most cases, Nairobi will clear the family, but the only problem is this takes time in getting the case to Nairobi, like several weeks. Which of course would mean more waiting. Unfortunately we received no word from the Embassy after the interview. I decided to email them to inquire and they told me that the case was still ongoing and they will notify me when the status changes. This was tough news to take, since it was not what we were looking for. We don't seem to know what all this means, and I wish there was a way to find out which road the Embassy is going to make us go down next. 

Yet again, it has been another day of tears, sorrow, and sometimes crippling fear of what comes next. We have been desperately seeking peace, relief, and restoration. We are just crushed today with the news which leads to more waiting. And, it is taking all my strength to make it through days like these. But,  I can't help but think in the midst of my suffering about Jesus. This amazing man who truly suffered and took the fall for someone like me, so I would not be brought to death but to life. And, because of his redemption, because He has risen, I know that He can redeem my story at this time, right here and right now. That is what Jesus is all about.  And after all this time I can look back and see Him always standing beside me and carrying me through when needed. It is the truth when I say that HE is still there. He just won't let me go! His story is about redemption, and his purpose is redemption. I am amazed that this great redeemer is the writer of my story, the rock beneath my feet, and the heartbeat of my life.

So what we do in the meantime is take one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time time, a PRAY! Boy, do we do a lot of praying! Every day is a new day. Another opportunity for redemption, another chance to see and witness God's love for me through my husband, my children, family and friends, and all the little small occurrences in life that whisper of His love. And we hold onto the hope of hearing from the Embassy that we can bring home my son.

Words cannot describe how unbelievably grateful we are for everyone's thoughtful gestures, encouraging words, and most of all for interceding on our behalf in prayer. Please keep it coming, it has been so helpful while riding out these tough waters.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Glad Game

So, we had some movement on the adoption front this past week. It turns out that the US Embassy could not reach the person who found Moses so the phone interview never happened. They are now requesting a sit-down interview with him, in which, our agency in Ethiopia must set-up. The CWAE staff is nothing short of amazing! They have been working and fighting for us so hard throughout this final US Embassy step. After some searching, CWAE got in contact with our finder and set up an interview date for September 18 at 7:30am (that is September 17 at 11:30pm our time). PLEASE join us in praying over the interview while it's happening at that exact time. The Embassy was unfortunately booked with interviews until this date. In most cases thus far, once the interview happens, the Embassy has cleared families that morning. We are hoping and praying that this is the case for us, and they do not need more information to prove his once, orphan status.

We were really hoping to travel as soon as possible after we got clearance, but with this timeframe we are going to have to wait a little bit longer (it's freakin' killing me, people!) since we are coming up on film festival season, in which Jordan runs Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival worldwide. That will be starting up 2 days after the interview and will last what feels like a lifetime. After the festival we will be free to travel! That will put our travel dates around the end of September to early October.

I've always known that the timeline for Moses coming home has always been set. I always knew that the timing would work out the best way possible if I just let go of the timeline and let God do his thing. It is a conscious battle daily to let go of let go of control. But, to be completely honest, it has been easier to do this now that we have an actual date to go off of. 

Most of my girlfriends, say that I can always see the good even in the worst situation, and it is true. I can! When I was little girl, one of my favorite movies was Pollyanna. If you are familiar with her story, you know that Pollyanna is a recently orphaned little girl who had to go live with her very cold aunt that also runs the town and it's people by intimidation. Pollyanna would play this game she coined "the glad game." Whenever there was a negative or hopeless situation happening or a person that was just being a "negative nancy", Pollyanna would play this game and she would say something to be glad about. Before long, everyone around her started seeing the good stuff in things too, and the whole town's perspective changed, even her aunt's.  My mother would always make me and my brother's play this game when we were complaining about something. I loved this as a little girl, and I love it even more now as an adult, because I see even more now, that Pollyanna knew what was up. As a little girl, just searching for the goodness in something and just simply saying it and claiming it out loud, would completely change my perspective on the situation, and honestly, that is how I have lived my life ever since. I have never stopped playing that game.

So, guess what?! I am tired of feeling sad, helpless, weak, pressed, and everything else negative under the sun about waiting for Moses. I AM PLAYING THE GLAD GAME! And this is what I am so glad about while waiting for Moses.....

-Family nights. These phenomenal days that I have had with just me, Jordan, Max, and Stella, where we can heal all of our waiting and anxious hearts by just loving on each other as a family.

-My husband. This amazing man that stands by my side, who is still there, after all this time and  after all we have been through since the day that I laid eyes on him. I am utterly and completely in love with him, after all this time, more than I ever have been. 

-Being able to take Stella to her first day of kindergarten.

- Getting to spend 4 weeks alone with Max during the day while Stella is in school. Being the second child, he has never had that much one-on-one attention. With me being the middle child, I know he will appreciate that.

-Being a mom to 2 out of 3 of my kids at this moment. Let's face it, things could be worse, so I will choose to be happy on the days I have with, at least 2 of my children, playing tea party, puzzles, and robot battles all day long.

- Getting to go to work and talk with my sweet clients friends about our journey, and just being filled to the brim with nothing but words of support and encouragement. I have the best job and the best clients in the world, y'all!

-My family and friends. Anyone who I have laughed with, cried with, and have been vulnerable with these past couple of months. I am so eternally grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for continually pointing me to Jesus when I need it most.

- Spiritual Growth. Being able to have those daily moments of reflection, where I look at where I was, where I am now, and how far I have come. Looking at all of that and seeing without a doubt God's working in me and how He he caused such a transformation. I can only respond by saying, "YOU ARE AMAZING GOD! HOW GREAT IS MY GOD" I deserve none of His goodness, but in the midst of my struggling, and my crying out to Him, his loving kindness appears through all of these things that I am glad about it, just as he promised. Guaranteed to work every time!

So, I want to try something. All of you readers out there have to participate. I say, screw these bad situations in our lives that we keep letting get the best of us! Let's encourage each other. Let's play the glad game.......

Tell me, what are you glad about? 

"What men and women need is encouragement. Their natural resisting powers should be strengthened, not weakened.... Instead of always harping on a man's faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut of bad habits. Hold up to him his better self, his REAL self that can dare and do and win out!... The influence of a beautiful, helpful, hopeful character is contagious, and may revolutionize a whole town.... People radiate what is in their minds and in their hearts. If a man feels kindly and obliging, his neighbors will feel that way, too, before long. But if he scolds and scowls and criticizes—his neighbors will return scowl for scowl, and add interest!... When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it. When you know you will find the good—you will get that..."
(Quote from "Pollyanna" by Eleanor H. Porter)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Counting More Than Just The Days

"I am counting on the Lord; Yes, I am counting on Him. 
I have put my hope in His word."
Psalm 130:5

Here we are still waiting. Waiting for the last leg of this race. I would love to say that it has gotten easier, that the excitement and anticipation of having him home soon has been enough to drown out the more hurtful and harder truths. There has been nothing harder than watching my son grow older through pictures and not being there in the everyday details; in the memory making. To say that we will have catching up to do is a huge understatement. Each day that goes by is just a reminder of this hard truth that my son is growing up without me right now, and I want nothing more than to be with him in the flesh and grow together.

Here is the paperwork update... We got word from the US Embassy in Ethiopia last Tuesday that our case was submitted to them and they would be looking over it and notifying us along the way. This process usually takes a couple of weeks IF all goes smoothly, the word "if" being the main word, because nothing hardly ever goes smoothly in the adoption paperwork world. Last Friday, we got another email saying that they have cleared Jordan and I as the parents and now they are checking on his orphan status. Praise God! Two emails in one week, I couldn't believe it. Today, we got word that they have requested a phone interview with the key witness in our situation, and so now, we wait patiently and hopeful, that a phone interview will be sufficient for our case, and we will get the final email saying WE ARE CLEARED TO TRAVEL. At that point we book our planes as soon as possible and go and pick him up. 

So, what have we been doing these past few weeks to make the time go by. As we go through one of the hardest trials of waiting we have ever been through, we find ourselves on our faces at the feet of Jesus on a daily basis. Honestly, waking up in the morning and starting a new day in the States is the last thing I want to do. I want to be waking up and getting on a plane. That is the only thing in the entire world that I want to do right now, and honestly, doing anything else annoys me and is uninteresting. I feel like my days consist of a bunch of busy work to pass the time which, lets be honest, busy work puts everyone in such a chipper mood (note the sarcasm), so I have no other choice than every morning to fall at the feet of Jesus, asking him to change my heart and spirit, and proclaim to Him that EVERY DAY that I breathe life is yet another one of HIS days to get glory, even in the waiting phase. It is so easy to serve Jesus and to proclaim His glory in the good and happy times, but so hard in the struggling times. His glory is still there though, we just have to choose to see it. 

Here are a few things I have been doing to keep my mind off of what I really want to be doing. Birthday parties for the kids, cleaning out our house, date nights (lots of date nights), field trips with the kids, you get the picture. I decided to do one last garage sale fundraiser to help fund our trip to Ethiopia, and my selfish thoughts were that this would be a good way to take my mind off of things and keep me busy. By this point I was fully aware that my tank was running on empty and pulling off another garage sale, was going to take everything out of me. As I was going through the piles of stuff  in my 100+ degrees garage (it's freaking hot in Texas) I would just pray. I would pray over every little trinket and shirt praying that not only through this "stuff" we would get closer to bringing Moses home, but that He would be glorified and seen through it. Yes, because, my God can even be glorified through an old t-shirt. In these moments of sweatiness and desperation of crying out to God, He opened my eyes to what his heart is for us, and that in order to be great and feel great we have to serve. That is the only way to experience the fullness of His joy. We don't experience it by sitting around and waiting for Him to bring it to us, we must get dirty,sweaty and uncomfortable and serve Him.  It is amazing how my God can change hearts and perspectives through prayer and His word.

"The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
Matthew 23:11-12

 That weekend we had the garage sale, and because of all that stuff I had sifted through earlier in the week, I had some great conversations with people about adoption and Jesus that produced nothing but glory to God, which in return, brought me an overwhelming amount of pure joy that filled me up completely even though I was physically tired and drained. On top of all of that we were able to raise $1500 on this garage sale! That is enough to cover our guest home stay, remaining court fees, travel expenses and Moses' ticket home. All we have left to buy are Jordan and I's plane tickets. My God is truly a God who moves mountains!

I wish I knew the exact dates of when we were traveling to go get Moses. I wish I had an answer other than, "soon!" when people ask me when he is coming home, but I don't. But God does. The story has already been written and there is not enough busy work or any amount of worrying or sadness that will make that day come sooner. So, we are waiting and counting on Jesus and putting our hope in His word. We are leaving it at that, and still giving Him everyday in between. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

I will get you here!

We are so close. We can feel it. Sleeping has been hard lately. I cannot stop thinking about Moses, him being here with us, and just how surreal everything truly is right now. I have been really reflecting on these last 6 weeks since we have been home from seeing Moses and him, officially, becoming part of our family.

I started this blog in hopes, that by telling our story, others would feel the need to act and respond to the same social injustices going on in the world that are very dear and close to our own hearts, whether that be the orphan crisis or the people all over the world that are in need of seeing the love of Jesus from someone. Over time, my blog has turned into a way for me to just deal and reflect on my own response. Just, an outlet to be able to get off whatever is on my chest, because there is nothing more refreshing to my soul than to let go of everything I am holding onto and feel nothing but the sweet freedom I have in Jesus. And, honestly, having this blog as my outlet has helped get me through this surreal and crazy journey that we have been on. So, it is my prayer through all of my emotional outpours and craziness that God is still using someone like me to be a small part of his bigger picture for one day all to see.  

Honestly, the past few days have been tough.  For the past two and a half years, I have been fighting so incredibly hard for this little boy, for God's will to be done, for our family to be together, and that takes A LOT of strength. Since coming back from Ethiopia, that battle has gotten more fierce and has been requiring so much more strength that I didn't have in me. I have been fighting for so long that I just got to a point where I was so extremely tired, and ALL of my strength was gone. I had nothing left to give. All that was left was pain. It has been physical pain from my health problems and the emotional pain of my family being torn into two different places, which have completely torn my heart the exact same way. On top of all the pain has been these feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. It has been so hard for me to see that hope that I have been clinging to the entire time. I couldn't see it, and definitely couldn't feel it. I had reached a breaking point, and didn't have the strength to get myself out of it.

I have this amazing friend. We have been through so many storms and we sure do know how to weather them together. God uses her in so many ways in my life and thank God for this special person that will get in the ring and fight for me when I have nothing left. It is such a beautiful thing to see how God uses others to show you His hope and love, when you cannot see it on your own. He always finds a way. Talking with her, I felt God taking a hold of me, looking me straight in the face, and saying, "Kristin, YOU have strength. YOU are stronger than you think. I will give you strength. Stop searching for it and use it!"

"May the Lord give strength to His people! May the Lord bless His people with peace!" Psalm 29:11

 In the midst of all of this, He is still here. He is still faithful. Even though my mood changes, my heart wanders, or my life constantly feels inconsistent, He remains the same. Nothing else matters. He has and will always take my weakness, my burdens, my weariness, and give to me in exchange, freedom, peace, and strength. Wow, I serve an amazing God. 

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

Moses will be home soon, I can feel it. And I know, that my God is watching over him and using His people that He has placed in Moses' life right now to allow him to see that same hope as well. Forever thankful for all of His people in both our lives to walk through life with us whether it be with tears or rejoicing. We still have hope. We still stand firm on solid ground.

We are coming for you sweet boy!!! Very soon you will be home and we will all be together.