Thursday, December 16, 2010

A child-like faith

So the other day I got schooled by my son. And it really makes me proud that he called me out.

But first things first - I need to announce that if you haven't noticed the side thermometer - we MET our goal of $5630 for our referral fee!! In little increments of $10-$30 from Olivia's store!! And a few sweet donations to boot.

A referral fee is the last amount of money you pay to 'seal the deal' when you get your baby's photo and history - THE CALL. The money helps pay court costs, medical costs, and everyday orphanage care for our child.

Anyway, you get THE CALL and then have to return your acceptance papers and $5630 in just a few days. So to have this money in the bank thrills me.

So when the boys found out that a holiday market at their school had pushed us to $5628 they were so excited and wanted to know - "NOW can we go get her!". Well no, not now. We still have to wait til we're number one and then we'll be able to give them the money to accept her. (which by the way, we are now #12, I think)

To which Seth asked, "so then how much more money do we need?"

Me: "Well, we need a minimum of about $10,000. And that's just for me and your daddy to go on the first trip and me on the second."

Him: (in a huff) "so you're just hoping that you'll get enough money for you and dad to go!!"

Me: "It's not really hoping Seth. I have faith that God will provide enough for us to go."

Him: (now mad) "so you don't have enough faith that God will give us enough money for us all to go see her! You should have enough faith that he can give enough for us all to go!!!"

To which I had to give it to him - yes - I would love for my kids to be able to go with us to meet their sister, play with the children at the orphanages, see poverty first-hand, and hopefully birth in them a desire and love for God's children who are so often forgotten. I would love for them to go on this trip so that they will never forget.

But no - I guess I don't have the faith that God would provide for those tickets too. Cause that's a lot of money. And He's already done so much for us. How much more can I ask Him for??

However, as I told Tony - what lesson will I be teaching Seth if I push him to dream small? Isn't this entire adoption a huge dream to begin with? And what if he really does have God telling his little heart that he will go on this trip? And I tell him he needs to just ignore that?

So the question is now - do we take that big leap of faith and tell him "come on buddy, let's go get that passport..." or do we sit back and wait to see if God moves on that front too?

Being an adult stinks. I wish I had the child-like version of this faith journey all the time..

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bloggy Christmas Cookie Exchange

Oh, I am such a sucker for anything sweet...

My adoption buddy at "My Crazy Adoption" just started her 1st annual Bloggy Christmas Cookie Exchange and hey, anything that does not involve me putting any brain cells into a real post, but keeps my peeps coming back to visit every once in a while - I can go for.

So here is the simple, but glorious, chocolatey cookie dessert that I promise you will thank me for. Cause every time I make it, everyone loves it and I get the credit, although my friend Amy actually shared the recipe with me. So go ahead, make it simple and then rake in the compliments for the easiest taste of Heaven ever:

Cookie Dough Heaven:
1 large refrigerated choc. chip cookie dough roll (or two regular size)
1 cream cheese (or low-fat version)
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Press 1/2 of the dough down in a 9X13 pan until covers most of bottom. Mix cheese, egg, and sugar and spread over the top of the dough. Drop crumbles of the remaining dough all over top. (it wont cover it all, that's fine). Bake around 30 min or until cookies on top are beginning to brown. Best when served room temp.

And.... as an added bonus - my famous homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe -
A few years back, I had a cute little questionnaire where I asked the boys questions about their mom. What do you love most about your mom? She makes us cookies. What does your mom do best? make cookies. What is your favorite thing that your mom cooks? Her cookies.

Mind you, they were interviewed separately. So I'm thinking that a little extra effort for the homemade variety has scored me a few brownie points. However, after typing the above, I'm preeetty sure that the first lady now has me on her hit list and will be contacting DSS to report my poor parenting - as everyone knows, we should not show our love through our food.

Home-Made Choc. Chip Cookies:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 1/4 cups a.p. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cups semi-sweet choc chips (1 if you want to taste the cookie, 2 if you are a chocolate addict like me)

Preheat to 375. Mix sugars, butter, and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Batter will be stiff. Stir in chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking clay, 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes.

**to me, the secret to a perfect cookie is the baking clay. It allows the heat to go through the cookie instead of charring the bottom or having hard bottom, soft top cookies. It's just perfect - thank you Pampered Chef...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Our Father Came

In February, 2010 I became engrossed in the story of a father's love. The Haiti earthquake had just hit and news bombarded us from every side. But in the midst of the chaos, one story made it's way to the forefront of my mind.

The story of a father, who went to Haiti, to rescue his son. A son that they had been planning for, preparing for, and dreaming of for years. He saw his son in trouble, and he went to bring him home.

Ernest and Ronel Parker then slept 9 days on a hard Embassy floor - waiting to come home to their family. With disaster and death all around them - the son clung to his father, his hero father, asking "we go now?"

On his mother Debra's blog, she wrote of the day Ernest left for Haiti:
"He did not have an ounce of fear in his body. He was more determined than I may have ever seen him before. The look in his eye was intense and his heart was beating just a bit faster. He was going to fight for his son. He did not care where he would sleep. He did not care what he would eat. He was not scared of what danger there could be. Nothing would stop him. A father's love was the drive behind the strength."

A Father's Love...... this time of year, as we celebrate the season - we see twinkling lights, wrapped gifts, and we picture the sweet, sweet picture of an infant in a manger.

And while that story should be celebrated, I think just as much, we need to focus on the impact of that sweet child. That it was not the birth of the babe that impacts us, but the arms of the Father coming to bring us home to our family.
He did not care what he would eat. He did not care where he would sleep. He was not afraid of the dangers that he might face. He was coming to bring his children home.

But still, do we realize? Our world is no less broken than Haiti still is today. Broken by the sins of greed and hatred. Littered with the trash of immorality and perversion. Full of plague and pestilance, growing day by day. Spiritual death is all around us and increases every day.

And yet our father came to suffer through those days to bring us home.

And how often do we, instead, of being comforted in his arms, tell him, "just a moment, I need to stay outside and play in this rubble."

How often do we, instead of running and yelling from the roof-tops - "Our father is here to take us home, he will take all who come to him!!" Do we instead keep his gift to ourselves as we are ashamed of our status as his children.

How often do we, instead of talking to him and loving him, do we instead, stay pent up in our own rooms until Sunday, when we might emerge to tell him hello and then go back to our own cares?

Christ did not come to be a babe in the manger. Christ came to bring us home. To rescue us.

And he did not come to have us sing quick 'hello', but to worship him for the gift of our adoption. And to tell the world of his love. And to bring others into his arms and out of the destruction. To show love to those that have no one else to help them.

Spiritual death is all around. And you never know when the walls of judgement will fall down on top of you. When the plague of sin will destroy your joy, your health, and your life. Only through Christ can you have the peace that no matter how hard this world is, no matter how bad you may have once been, you are still loved, and it will be alright. And that he is still here, ever present, always watching - and doing miracles in the lives of his children. He is alive and active.

Do you know who your Father is? Because over 2000 years ago, he came so that he could take you home. All you have to do is run to his arms.