Gentle Spirit

 

 I know it has been a very long time since I have updated our blog. A lot has happened. For one our amazing boys are finally home! I promise I will do a post soon about that, but today something else is moving within me to share… 

Today has been a weird off day for me. I cried a big part of it. I have second guessed just about everything I’ve done. My feelings have been on my sleeve and have been hurt so easy. I’ve been a ball of emotions today. I’m not usually a hyper emotional gal but boy was I today. I was sad. I was jealous. I was lonely even with a house full of people who love me. I was embarrassed. I was so insecure which is probably the worst part of it all. 

Insecurity makes me cringe. It makes me sick to my stomach. Second guessing myself. Consumed with worry about what people think of me. I absolutely hate feeling that way. Especially because I know what this really is…. Pride with a capital P. It’s not your puffed up I’m the best kind of pride. It’s the other ugly brother to that kind. It’s the self deprecating pride. The kind that Satan likes to make you think is ok because well you aren’t thinking to highly of yourself. But here is the thing… I’m still only thinking about myself. And that my friends is pride. 

I can usually trace this feeling back to one particular thing… How much have I been in the Word of God… And I am about to get real right now. I haven’t been in it much these days. I could make a long list of why I think I don’t have time. But I would be lying. I am choosing to sleep over being in the Word. I watch TV at night instead of being in the Word. I have no good excuse. I can just be straight up lazy. So after spending the day on the emotional train I opened up my Bible and read some of Philippians. 

As I was reading many things stuck out, but this seemed to really stick out:

Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭5‬ NASB)

A gentle spirit is something I have craved… Prayed for… Spent hours researching. It is something that sounds so genuine and precious. And at times I feel like I have it. I feel in some areas it’s evident. Like with my children. I see gentleness in the way I am with them these days that is new and I believe a direct link to our adoption… But in others areas it can be lacking big time. Today was for sure a day my spirit was not gentle. It was anxious, jealous, worried and the whole time I knew why… I needed to focus on Jesus and His perfect love. Not on me and all these other things. 

When you keep on reading in chapter 4 you can see how to get this gentle spirit that I am sure all of us would love to have. I mean when I hear the words “gentle spirit” the first thing that comes to my mind is peace!! 

I love how the Word of God does this… It tells you what to have and then it tells you how to get it. 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6-9‬ NASB)

My spirit went from going in a downward spiral of focusing on the flesh and the things of this world to filled with peace in minutes. Not because I am something special but because my God loves me so much that He gave me this book that teaches me how to go through this life with a deep consuming love for Jesus and others. That shows me how to have joy that isn’t based on any circumstance and peace that surpasses all comprehension (can we just stop and chew on that… Wow!) and also a thankful heart because I know that I have the greatest gift in the whole world… A life redeeming, death defying relationship with the Saviour of this world . Aren’t  those things we all deeply desire? I know I sure do!

So, friends…. Feeling anxious, insecure, worried, fearful, jealous, consumed by what others think of you? Then I challenge you to open the Word of God and see what God has to show you. 

We must do our part if we want peace, joy, wisdom and the many other gifts He promises us! God gives us the tools through His perfect Word! It’s our job to read it and then DO what it says!

Peace, love and adoption,

Kris

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Peace and Joy

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It is absolutely amazing what three beautiful pictures can do for an adopting Mama. Yesterday I got three new photos of Elijah getting his care package we sent him. Seeing these precious photos brought my heart so much peace and joy. This is hard to explain, but in the waiting I have had some uneasiness. It has been similar to the feelings I had when I was pregnant with Jacob. The unknown can be scary and I have second guess my capabilities often, especially after getting those emails from Hong Kong. But, I have never once second guessed the love I have for my children or my deep convictions to adopt overseas. That has kept me going and also knowing some of the scariest things I have ever done have brought some of the greatest joys in my life. I hold on to these things in the uneasiness and know my feelings are not going to steer me away from what God has impressed on my spirit. I have learned over the years that with complete obedience some of the greatest rewards follow.

What has been really special through this process is that just when I am at my limit and need encouragement… I get just that! It may be an update like this time or a Scripture that brings forth peace and encouragement. Or maybe a friend that reaches out to me to say they are praying for us. With the update we received yesterday  I was renewed in such a powerful way and reminded why I am doing this! This gave me great peace! Seeing my sons smiling face was such a blessing.

I am so thankful how God does that. He continues to stretch me in this. He shows me areas where I am not trusting Him and then He lovingly reminds me that He is in control. He is a good Father to me and I am humbled deeply by this whole process. I know I will never be the same. Never. And I love it. I love the ups and downs because they have softened me. They have taught me patience in a way I have never had to be patient. They have taught me to be a lover of the good and to love more and to love deeper. I am learning to have more grace and to be more kind. God has been showing me just how much He is in the small things. The things I so easily overlook. What a precious gift to see God working in the smallest things… Like a quick email with three photos. God knew it was time for me to see something good and He provided just what I needed.

I urge all of us to slow down and see God in the small things. You will be so blessed by it. I know I have been 🙂

The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.

Psalm 29:11

Peace, Love and Adoption Friends,

Kristy

Oh how Satan loves to instill fear…

2 tim 1.7

Well we have some exciting news on the adoption front… We are officially in wait for High Court Order. We could be getting that as early as 7 weeks!! Travel usually follows about 2 weeks after that, give or take a few days. As you can imagine Keith and I are pretty excited about this. It has been a LONG almost two years and now it seems like we are sprinting to the end like someone who ran the longest marathon of their life. I can see the end in sight and I find myself full of all kinds of emotions!

With all these things coming to an end we are also receiving more info on our boys and what the social worker says to expect when we bring them home. These have not been the most encouraging updates. In fact a part of me feels like they are almost trying to scare us. Repeatedly we have been told to be prepared for our boys to be scared, not wanting to leave and to expect tantrums because they are very attached to their foster moms. I am not going to lie, at first this instilled fear in me. I began to question this whole process. Did we rushed into this? Should we be taking them from the only home they have ever known? Did we truly have the right intentions in this whole process? And the list goes on.

Man I hate when I do that. I mean, in one moment I forget all that I know God has been showing me these last 3 years with this type of thinking. In a moment I forgot how God lead us to Asia with mission trips and how He perfectly had us start the process of adoption in Hong Kong. How we knew these are our children once we saw their photos and read their medical profile. How God perfectly showed us to not be afraid of adopting children with Down syndrome. How God has given me such a deep love for these children and I haven’t even heard their voices. That is what fear did in a matter of moments….

Fear is like a deadly form of cancer. It will spread everywhere. It will debilitate us. It will control us. It can kill us (spiritually and physically) and steal all of our joy. It weakens our faith and is an awful place to live. I believe that is why there are over 100 hundred verses that tell us not to fear or to not be afraid. Satan loves for us to live in fear, because in that state we are completely useless. He knows if he can make us fearful chances are we won’t move forward and do the amazing adventurous things God is calling us to. Satan knew that these updates would scare me and in that I would begin to fear how things will be once the boys get here. Any of you who know me personally know that I have a pretty easy ride with Jacob and Rylie. They are older and fairly independent. Satan is using that. Satan is whispering in my ear, “Why rock the boat? Why do you want to make your life harder and more challenging? What if they don’t love you guys and attach well to you?” He knows how to play us friends. He is good at what he does.

Advice from a friend has been in the back of my mind during all of this- We must never make decisions out of fear. Some of the greatest things I have ever been a part of have at some point brought me to a place where I was at one time fearful: mission trips, leaving a church I knew we had to leave, and now our adoption. When I got baptized and became a disciple of Jesus my life was no longer my own! I like to often think where the church would be if the 12 Disciples decided to give way to fear… I am so thankful for their example.

Don’t let Satan rule you with fear. When you do that you miss out on some of the best parts of life and more importantly some of the most intimate life changing moments with your Father.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:15

Peace, Love and Adoption Friends,

Kristy

The Prayer We Are Told Not To Pray

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I am sure most of us have heard someone once or twice (or hundreds) of times telling us to never pray for patience because God will test you to make you more patient. In fact I am sure I have said that very statement more times then I want to admit in my life. But as I have heard this statement the last few times I have gotten sad. Sad because patience is a wonderfully good gift that God wants us to have. In fact it is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). So that means it is the very essence of what we should be striving for in our lives.

So, why would we not want Him to teach us how to be patient? Does that mean we will face test where we can show patience? Maybe… But isn’t that a good thing? Because in those moments where we show patience when we could easily fly off the handle or worry we are representing Christ. I find those moments where most people act out of their selfish desires and we don’t are the very moments that make someone notice the difference in us. Why don’t they scream at the guy who cuts them off in traffic? How can they stay so calm with their children when they misbehave? Why don’t they make sure that person who cuts them in line know what they have done? Why don’t they yell at the coworker who made their work even harder?

Maybe just maybe our patience with people is a light God can use to bring them to Him. We as Disciples are suppose to be different. I mean, we are called to be salt and light in this dark world. Friends, this is what our whole life needs to be about if we are claiming to be a disciple of Jesus. Our goal is to bring others to Jesus and I can guarantee you the way you live your life (especially when things are tough) is one of the ways you do just that. A radical life is the best testimony you can have.

So, let’s pray for patience and also the wisdom to know how to get through the test that very well could follow. I think patience and peace go hand in hand. And I don’t know about you, but I can always use more peace in my life!

Peace, Love and Adoption Friends,
Kris

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 NLT)

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“Brief Delay”

Well it seems we are in what our agency calls a “brief delay”. I am trying to stay positive, but sometimes I just want to scream. I mean, didn’t we have a long enough delay while getting our matching approval?? This delay is because for HK to file the next set of paperwork with the US Consulate they have to have the boys passport. So now they are waiting to get the passports done and for the physical passports to be in their hands. I am a little frustrated because they have known we were matched for months and I just don’t understand why they couldn’t do this at the same time.

Today has been a hard day because today is Elijah and Malachi’s 5th birthday. I remember last year on this day thinking this will be the last birthday they will be without us. And here I am a year later and they are still there. But the good news is this really will be the last birthday they will have without us. And that brings me peace. I am thankful for the peace. I am thankful for my God who sustains me and promises me that ALL things will work to the GOOD! Even the hard things, the hurtful things, the sad thing and even the things that I feel like will never happen. I can trust that everything will work to the good because that’s what God tells me in His perfect Scriptures. I will keep my hope in Him. Because in these moments of hope my faith grows so much stronger.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭37-39‬ ESV)

Peace, Love, and Adoption Friends,
Kristy

Moving Forward

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It has been a long time since I posted. I haven’t been the best blogger lately!! Sorry 😉

A lot has changed since my last post. We have received our Matching Approval letter which is the hardest and longest part of adoption!! Ours was especially hard because it took forever! We also have gotten our I800 approval which basically means that the US gov says we can adopt our specific boys. Now we are waiting on something called Article 5 and that is issued by Hong Kong and usually takes 1-3 weeks. After that we will go into something called High Court Order and soon after that we will be traveling to HK to get our boys!

So yea this has been a process. One that has tested me in ways I never knew possible. I have cried. I have rejoiced. I have wept. I have laughed. I have had so many opportunities to share with many people our love for Asia and orphans. It has been a special journey and I believe I am crazy enough to go down it again. Now that MA is over 😉 Haha!

We still have a few months before we get to go back to Asia, but we are confident it will be late this year. Of course anything can happen and that can always change, but we feel December is a safe estimate to when we will get to go.

I want to ask you all to pray for E and M and this huge transition in their lives. They are both in foster homes (separate) with families that I am sure love them very much and that they love as well. My heart aches for the pain they will experience when they have to be taken away from the only family they have ever known. This at times can lead me to fear and worry that we are doing the right thing. But when those feelings come I know that isn’t from God and He gently reminds me of what my sweet friend Jaimie once said to me, “But will they get to know Jesus if you don’t adopt them?” When everything is all said and done that is all that truly matters.

Once this life is over the only thing that really matters is where our relationship is with Jesus. If we don’t know Jesus, love Jesus and be obedient to Jesus then what will we have to show for it in the end? He is everything, friends!

Thank you for your support and prayers! They are deeply appreciated!

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. ~John 14:21

Peace, Love and Adoption Friends,

Kristy

T-Shirts & Stuff

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Today Keith and I started a new fundraiser to help us bring our boys home. We created a custom T-Shirt that I think is powerful and hopefully inspiring! They are for sale on the link below. I am pretty stoked about this fundraiser because I love T-Shirts. Who doesn’t, right? If you are like me and want a new t-shirt then please head on over and get yourself one and please feel free to share with your friends and family! With every t-shirt purchased we get $10 and with every sweatshirt purchased we get $5! This fundraiser ends on 8/5 and we will have to sell at least 50 shirts. I think we are at 18 sold already and today is the first day! Pretty exciting 🙂

I know I haven’t been posting much on my adoption lately. Mostly that is because it has been a tough few weeks. 34 weeks ago we sent all our paperwork to Hong Kong to get something called “Matching Approval” aka our referral. This is probably one of the biggest and hardest steps in the adoption process. Typically this step takes about 18-22 weeks. As you can see we are a tad behind…. We are literately at a stand still until this very important letter comes through. This letter will make our adoption of Elijah and Malachi official, then basically all the rest of the stuff we will need to do is just finalizing everything. We were told just over a month ago that we have been submitted for official approval and it should be here in a week or so. Obviously that did not happen. Our social worker in HK is “actively trying to track it down”. I am not certain what that means but I was told a number of things could of happened to it. Like a signature is missing or someone said they mailed it and they never did. Not good excuses in my book, but nonetheless this is where we are.

On top of this last week M had to have surgery. It was minor surgery, but still surgery. This caused mixed emotions for me. On one hand I was unbelievably grateful for the level of care our boys are getting. Many countries would not have had this type of surgery as an option for their orphans. But on the Mama side I was sad that I was not able to be there for him. To pray over him before his surgery. To care for his needs when he is done. I wanted so bad to just snuggle with him and hold him tight while he was healing. I know in my heart that soon enough I will be there and he won’t have to go through that again without me.

With that update I must also mention that while these past few weeks have been pretty tough God has been sustaining me and has given me great joy. He has used so many of the amazing friends in my life to encourage me deeply. I have some of the most beautiful and precious friends in the world. They are so dear to me and I thank God for them. They have walked beside me and Keith through this tough road. I am a blessed gal and I thank God for all that He has done and is doing within my life.

 

https://www.bonfirefunds.com/morris-adoption-fund

 

Peace, Love and Adoption friends,

Kristy

Brother

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If you know me personally then you probably know that almost 5 years ago my life changed forever. My little brother, Derrin, passed away on Sept 29, 2008. The day before my 28th birthday. I cannot explain the pain this loss had on me. It literately shook me to the core. My biggest fear had come true. I had lost someone I loved. Over the years the pain dulls and you move on in many ways. You always miss the person who is no longer here with you, but for me I have found amazing amounts of peace knowing with all my heart that Derrin had a precious relationship with Jesus and that he was with him in heaven. He is no longer suffering in this fallen world that brings so much heartache. He gets to be with Jesus. He is in complete peace. I have such a godly jealously for him. I often dream of the day I can be standing next to him praising Jesus. That brings me such enormous amounts of excitement.

But, with all of these truths that have brought me such an increasing amount of joy I find that this past year I have missed him so much more. I think that is because this has been one of the hardest years of my life. I have missed the presence and laughter of my little brother more then ever. He had a way of bringing so much happiness into my life. He could make me laugh until I cried. He got me. He got me in a way I believe nobody else on this planet gets me. He was someone I admired so deeply. The way he loved others is an example I will never forget.

There are days my heart is overwhelmed because of this adoption and the toll it takes on me and all I want to do is call him. Just hear his voice and tell him I need to laugh. I just want to have him come over and hang with me and my family and talk about all the crazy stuff going on in the world. I miss him deep in my gut some days. Today is one of those days.

While I sit here and cry and grieve I can’t help but praise God. I praise him first off for giving me the opportunity to know and love my brother but mostly I praise Him because while death does hurt here in this life I know this is not the end for me and Derrin. I praise Him because He has given us His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin. He has redeemed me and because of his sacrifice I am free from the punishment I deserve. I am cleansed and righteous and can one day be with Him.

Friends, death is so hard, but it doesn’t have to be hopeless. Because of Jesus’ victory we can now walk in freedom where death no longer has a hold on us. My prayer is that you choose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he paid the price for your sins on the cross and was raised from the dead, that you will repent from your old life, confess that Jesus is the Christ and then be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit so that you too can find freedom.


“Where, O death, is your victory?

    Where, O death, is your sting?”[a]

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Peace, Love and Adoption Friends,

Kristy

Paper Pregnant

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I have a couple of my close girlfriends who are pregnant right now. I love having friends pregnant. It is so much fun to watch their adorable bellies grow and see them glow with the glow of pregnancy. I love to feel their precious gifts from God give them little love taps and hear all their stories about being pregnant. It is such a wonderful time in a women’s life. Even though my pregnancies were fairly tough I absolutely loved being pregnant. It was so special and I thank God for the opportunity to birth two babies.

I have been telling my friends I am pregnant too, paper pregnant… I know it sounds silly and yes at times I am trying to be funny and cute when I say this, but there is some truth to it as well. The thing about this “pregnancy” is that is seems like it will last FOREVER! We are coming up on 13 months since we sent our application to Bethany. 13 months friends and we still have many more months to go…. There are days that feel like this process will never be over. I sometimes feel like I am in the movie “Ground Hog’s Day” and I keep reliving the same part of my adoption over and over again, kinda like how the last 2 weeks of pregnancy feels. It is such a process. One that has created a deep need to rely on God and to really trust Him.

Yesterday was a tough day for me. I was on my way to workout and I was on the verge of just breaking down into tears. In that moment I was overwhelmed with debilitating fear. Keith and I had just sent in our answers and paperwork for our second round of questions from Hong Kong and there was one question in particular that might not have been answered to their liking and with enough information. Then as I began to feel overwhelmed with fear and worry one of my favorite songs came on the radio, “You Are I Am” by Mercy Me. This songs hits my heart every time because it goes through Who God is and I am left awestruck by His majesty, especially when they say He takes the orphans hand… Gets me every single time.  But this time I felt the Holy Spirit gently reminding me that if I believe that God is who He says He is then I have no reason to fear. If I truly believe that He loves me and loves our boys then what do I have to be worried about? He is the I AM…. That means He is the God of right now. I can trust Him completely. I can rely on Him to do what He says He will do. I don’t have to give way to fear. God loves us and He loves our boys. I can trust Him and not fear in my adoption. And if for some reason HK is not pleased with these answer and they need more information then I will deal with that when the time comes.

You see my fear does not change what is going to happen. What my fear and worry does is steal my joy from this very moment. It takes me out of the present and thrust me into the unknown future. Then I miss out on the right now. I don’t want to miss out on right now. I need to be here in this moment experiencing everything this paper pregnancy has to offer me. While my body isn’t changing because of my “pregnancy”, my heart and mind are changing. I am learning more about myself the good and the not so good. I am developing  patience in a way I never have before. I am seeing how deeply I already love E and M. I am seeing that anything worth doing in this life is usually hard and worth every single tear shed. I am also confident that this is the path that God is leading me and Keith on. In those times of anguishing wait I have wavered on if this is right. Are we sure this is what God wants? And then in His perfect, absolutely perfect, provision God shows me this is exactly what He wants. Oh the way I am growing is profound. Hard and uncomfortable, but profound… Kinda in the same way a mother who is pregnant grows in so many ways too.

So, my goal is to be here in this moment and to trust God. To lean on Him and to not give way to fear and worry. If I believe God is Who He says He is then I can trust Him completely.

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 

Peace, Love and Adoption Friends,

Kristy

We have questions!!!

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So, we have had a long 13 weeks…. I have been patiently (well most of the time) waiting for some kind of update from Hong Kong on where they stand with our dossier. I have been told over and over that no news is good news. And that statement kinda made me want to scream a little, but I pressed on. Then today out of nowhere we got a page full of questions (really, really hard ones) along with 4 amazingly adorable photos of E and M!! Ah… I am overwhelmed with joy to the point of tears. I guess I didn’t realize how my trust was wavering until I got this and was able to be energized again to push forward once more in our adoption process!

I am so in love with my Heavenly Father… Don’t give up asking friends. He wants to give us good and perfect gifts.  He did that for me today and He knew the very exact time I needed it. Any sooner and I might not of praised Him and learned to trust Him more through this step in our adoption. We must learn to patiently wait on the Lord and His sovereignty because after all love is patient, which means impatience is unloving. That puts a whole new light on impatience when we look at it from that perspective!

We still have a ways to go, but this is a big step in the right direction! Please pray we can answer these questions in a way that shows our love and devotion to our boys and also that we are capable of taking care of two special needs children. Thank you for all your prayers, love and encouragement. You are so special to us!

Peace, Love and Adoption Friends,

Kristy