Our Journey

This blog is a small peek inside our family's first adventure into the world of adoption. We welcome your encouragement & financial support, but most importantly we appreciate your prayer covering as we climb the mountains & wander the valleys of this incredibly crazy, yet exciting journey God is leading our family on. We also ask for your prayer covering over our new children, wherever & whoever they are, that they will sense God's loving presence as He snuggles them for us, & for protection from satan's evil schemes toward each of us. Though we may be on opposite sides of the globe, or just a few miles apart, we trust God has already been preparing all of us for each other as our family grows again. May all the Glory in this journey go to our Heavenly Father, who adopted each of us as His own beloved sons & daughters.

About Us

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Man In The Mirror, Pt. 2

Day 2 - Man in the Mirror - continued

So tonight, I went to a church that in the short time I have been here, I have already grown to love. When I first went to check it out, it was with the intent of "crossing it off my list". I wasn't really interested in attending another "mega-church" as I had in the past. (So big, they have 4 services per Sunday!) Instead, what I experienced was a worship team that led me into the presence of God, and a pastoral team that unashamedly teaches the truth from scripture, and illustrates it from personal experience. Wow! 

So why do I bring this up? Because the current theme has been the book of James. We've been studying it for three weeks, and haven't even left the first eight verses of the first chapter! Ok, for those of you who are unfamiliar or may not remember, it goes "Count it all joy, brothers, when you encounter various trials..." (Notice he doesn't say if? Darn!) And then it goes on to talk about how trials produce patience/endurance and that it should have its perfect work in us, etc, etc. Ooookkkkaaayyy....so how? Well, that's the funny part. You'd think that it would be by somehow magically conjuring up more faith, right? At least, that's what I thought. But no. James goes on to say that "He who lacks wisdom, let him ask and it will be given abundantly..." 

Okay, hold on just a cotton-pickin' minute! Did he just switch subjects or what, 'cause I'm lost. What does wisdom have to do with enduring trials? I'm glad you asked so I don't have to feel like the only dumb one. ;-) Well, interesting thing. Pastor pointed out that the AMOUNT of our faith has very little to do with anything. After all, the Word says that "faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to move mountains..." and I don't know if you've looked at one lately, but a mustard seed is pretty darn small. So if that's the case, why is faith such an issue for most people, including yours truly? Because the issue isn't the amount of our faith, its the object of our faith. What do I mean? Simply that God and His will are what we are putting our faith in, right? So if we know Him, understand His character and His will for us, its easy to trust Him, right? I mean, why does a young boy jump off the top step and yell half way down "Catch me daddy!"? Because there is not a doubt in that little boy's mind that he will! He knows his daddy loves him, does not want to see him hurt, and loves to play with him. In his mind, that's all he needs to know. Case closed. Daddy will catch me. So why do we struggle so much with trusting our heavenly Father to "catch us"? Because the reality is, we get caught up playing religion and we do not really KNOW Him; His character; His love for us. Ouch! 

Okay, so where does the whole "asking for wisdom thing" fit in? Simple. We are asking for Him to reveal His will to us and His character. Contrary to popular belief, knowing the will of God is not that hard. In fact, He promises that if we ask for it, (wisdom) that He WILL give it to us. The bigger question is, are we listening? Do we know Him well enough to recognize His voice when He speaks to us? Oh, ouch again! His is the still, small voice so easily drowned out by the cares and distractions of the world. 

So Father, I ask your forgiveness. Forgive me for doubting; for trusting what my eyes see instead of seeking your Truth and trusting what your Spirit tells me. Please forgive me for complaining. Thank you for your patience with me. Please help me remember all the ways in which you have cared and provided for me in the past, and teach me to trust in you and your divine will for my/our future. Please continue to reveal your character to me as I learn to walk in the paths you've already established for me. I thank you that our children rest safely in your arms tonight. I thank you that you already know what needs to happen to reunite our existing family as well as the bridges that must be crossed to join with these two beautiful daughters who eagerly await a father and mother to demonstrate your love to them. Please protect them and watch over them, fulfilling not only their physical needs, but their emotional needs too. Please equip us physically, mentally, and spiritually to be everything you have called us to be to these two beautiful girls. Teach us to love them unselfishly, the way you've loved us, and knit all of our hearts together with yours. I love you, Father, and my heart safely trusts in you. Amen.

~ Rick

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Man In The Mirror, Pt. 1

I'm sure I'm not the first man (or woman, for that matter) who has questioned their own motives or whether they are hearing God accurately as opposed to "putting words in His mouth". Nevertheless, it is never a comfortable feeling to be in that place of introspection, at least in my opinion. Tonight I looked at "the man in the mirror", and I did not like what I saw. I saw a man who had once again become so caught up in "making things happen" and being "the go-to guy", that I temporarily lost sight of the reason for doing them. And of course, in the process, began to doubt my Father. 

I'm told this is a pretty typical male character flaw, but I hate indecision and I hate waiting, especially when I'm having to wait because I'm unsure of something. "God, just tell me what's up and I'm sure WE can make it happen." How my Father must laugh sometimes at my feeble human efforts to fill His shoes. Isaiah tells us "They that WAIT upon the Lord shall renew their strength..." Why is it that we men struggle so much with that simple concept? Is it because we are used to being in charge or having others dependent upon our decisions? Maybe its because at work, time is money and to wait on anything feels like we are wasting time. Whatever the reason, I know this has been one of my biggest struggles. I find myself constantly questioning if there is something more I should be doing, and yes, I have a hard time relinquishing control.

Okay, there, I said it. And thus the battle with the man in the mirror. Because the reality is, this is the oldest struggle in the book. Man questioning and thinking he knows better than God. And the reality is simple. God is not an arrogant know-it-all like that guy you can't stand at work. He is omniscient. He truly knows everything. He has the advantage of an eternal perspective that in our limited human bodies, we can't even begin to grasp the scope of. Yet, time and again, we will question God because we forget that His ways are higher than our ways. We can't even see around the next corner or over the next hill, yet He sees the entire journey at a glance. He created us, designed us, knows our every detail of how we are designed to work, yet we still struggle to trust that He truly knows what's best for us and the people we effect.

So, how do we overcome this defect in character? Well, one way is to "count our blessings." That's essentially what pulled me out of my self-inflicted funk. I began reading the various posts my beautiful bride had made to our blog, and I felt ashamed. I realized all the ways in which God had blessed us already; how He'd paved the way for us in so many ways, and here I was like the Israelites of old, looking over my shoulder at the land of Egypt and thinking "Oh, if I could just go back to my comfort zone (aka - slavery)!"
(Stay tuned for Pt. 2)

~ Rick

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Help Us Win!!!

One of our very close friends is holding a contest on the Facebook page of her business, Heart Captions Custom Signs. Who ever refers the most friends to her FB page before November 1st will win a $20 credit to her store. 

***Here's where we need your help...***

If WE win, we intend to use the prize as a fundraiser giveaway here on our blog to help raise money toward our adoption expenses!! 

We would greatly appreciate it if you would so kindly go to https://www.facebook.com/heartcaptions , then "like" her business page, and simply leave a comment saying "Rick and Michelle sent me" or something similar (you must use our names though). 

Thank you so much for helping us win her contest, so we can make the prize multiply itself, allowing our children to come home sooner!

Hurry over to her page and let her know you heard about Heart Captions Custom Signs from us, Rick and Michelle! 

The contest at Heart Captions ends on November 1st!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ever Blogged From A Puddle?

This could be a long post (I'll almost guarantee it), so go put children down for naps, start your dishwasher, or washer and dryer, or crockpot, or whatever you need to wrap up... so you can sit with us for a bit without any mommy guilt, and enjoy hearing what God's been up to lately!

So last update... we're moving to Oklahoma instead of Texas. You got that, right? What's the timeline you ask? We still don't know yet. All we do know at this point is that the children and I will be moving out of our home in Idaho around the beginning of December. Rick's corporate housing ends just prior to Christmas. Two of Rick's supervisors told him his transfer to Oklahoma was approved and he'd be headed there around the beginning of November. Everything seemed to be falling into place smoothly. So I penciled our journey south into the margins of December's calendar page. I keep checking in with God to see if He has any further specific updates for us... and, well, He just keeps smiling back at us with that “Just you wait and see” grin. So we'll wait and see! And we'll let YOU know the plan when HE lets US know the plan. Until then, we'd love to share what all has transpired since you last heard from us two weeks ago...

A few days after our last blog entry, I received an apologetic email from a blogger friend saying they had learned that another family had dropped commitment money on one of the two girls we were intending to adopt. I went to the website of the organization that had the photolisting and sure enough, our “girl no. 2” (not the one with the cookie crumb on her lip, but rather the one with shaken baby syndrome) had been moved to the “My Family Found Me” page. My heart plummeted into my stomach. My heart was crushed. No, not just crushed... honestly, I was devastated. I cried. I really cried. I cried the whole day off and on. I probably needed to have a good cry by then anyway, but I'd been stiff-upper-lipping-it for several days before that. It had already been an emotionally draining month for us. On top of the normal stress of a job change, our family being separated from Rick by 1800 miles for an indefinite period of time, and preparing a large family for a cross-country move, this month alone held three anniversaries of grief for us; the 2nd anniversary of my dad's unexpected passing, the 17th anniversary of our first miscarriage (which for some reason never quite hit me as hard in the past as it did this year), and then my original expected due date for our precious son, Nehemiah. Had we not experienced a first trimester miscarriage earlier this year, I would have been giving birth to him sometime last week (give or take). Those who have not experienced a miscarriage many times cannot understand how reaching their EDD can throw a mom into round two of her grieving process. We've lost 5 babies by miscarriage over the years, so I kind of figured I was sort of an “expert” by now and could handle it just fine this time. Yeah right! Our children were also grieving the loss of their Grandpa as well, saddened by the realization that, with the pending move, we wouldn't be able to go to the cemetery on his birthday, etc. It was a puddle month around here regardless of how many times we've grieved a loss already. And although I am, in some ways, grateful that God, in His mercy, knew beforehand that giving birth right now (without Rick by my side), immediately followed by trying to pack and move with a newborn, would have been a very, very difficult ordeal for me, I still grieved our empty arms this past week, wishing it could have somehow ended differently. I miss the pitter-patter of little feet in our home, and waking up to little eyeballs at the edge of our bed staring at us until we wake up. (Well, okay, I still get those with our dog being inside. She likes to stare me awake in the morning too!) And yes, I do miss the diaper bag stage, and the potty training stage, and everything else that goes with being blessed with children. Even God's Word says that a woman's womb is never satisfied. He made mamas that way for a purpose! So I found myself processing tidbits of grief off and on last week.

On top of that reason for the teary eyes, the children and I also hit “the wall” of Rick's absence here at home. Yes, I know we “should be used to it by now”. Let me explain something though... you never “get used to it”. And if you do, it should worry you deeply! Yes, we've learned over the last (almost) 6 years of Rick being a long-haul trucker (and a few other years before that with jobs that frequently took him out of town) to adjust to life without his physical presence in our home at every meal or at bedtime, but there just never is any real “getting used to it”. I always knew from past experience that we usually “hit our wall” around week three. It didn't matter what time of the month it was, “the wall” was usually around week three. That's when you see six teenagers morph into children I don't recognize as my own offspring. And they probably watch their mom regress into some strange woman they aren't eager to claim either! But around week four, life usually returns to a semi-normal state and moves on again. So this time around, when week three came and went, no meltdowns, and week four came and went, and no meltdowns, I was very thankful! I assumed, silly me, that attitudes around here were just staying a bit more even due to the excitement of our pending move south. Then week five hit. And I don't know for sure how they measure tornadoes, hurricanes, and nuclear explosions, but let me tell you... well, never mind. I'll move on. ;-)

So the day I received the email that “girl no. 2” had another family pursuing her as well, the cares of the world were already weighing me down. It just hit me when I was already not at my best, and I dreaded telling Rick or our children about this new development. I knew he had fallen over himself already with his love for these precious girls, and the children has as well. I prayed about how to tell him and the children the heartbreaking news. And I knew I had nothing positive to say about it yet, so I said very little that day to anyone, but my eyes leaked a lot. It was the only day I was thankful that my children are easily distracted from their packing projects by the books in their rooms. God must have known I needed the semi-alone time to cry without them asking why.

A few hours after receiving that email about “girl no. 2”, I received a text message on my phone from our oldest son which read “Guess what I did at work,” and a picture showing his leg in a brace type thing. As I waited for another text with an explanation, I thought “Seriously God? What else could possibly make this week any worse?” While working with a family member doing some landscaping project, our son's knee had popped completely out of socket, bending his leg sideways toward his other leg. Because of it, he was now in a velcro knee thingy (I can't think of the proper word right now), and not able to stand or walk without crutches. He was in a LOT of pain even though his knee had been popped back into place right away. As a mom, not being able to do anything to change his situation, it was one more weight on my shoulders that day. It hurt me to watch him in pain and not be able to make it all better for him. I don't care how grown up they get, a mom will always want to ease her children's aches and pains. Satan was playing around with my mommy guilt for sure. “If you can't be a good mom to him, if you can't ease his suffering, what kind of mom do you really think you would've been to 'girl no. 2' anyway? See, it's better that she goes to another family. They could take better care of her than you! She's beyond your capabilities anyway. You have no experience with her condition.” And on, and on, and on... satan attacked me with both barrels that afternoon. He knows my weakest spot over the years has been my mothering skills. And he's made good use of many willing participants in assaulting me in that area. That is where he has targeted me most in the past. His M.O. was certainly familiar, and I should have recognized it immediately, but I didn't. He is the accuser of God's beloved, full of twisted lies that shoot at us like a fully loaded assault rifle. And that day, his aim was pretty close to the center of his target; my heart.

Then that evening, Rick called after work to tell me that a third supervisor had approached him saying yes, the transfer was still approved, BUT it wouldn't be until sometime in 2012, and he wouldn't narrow it down from there as to when Rick could go. With real vagueness, he said Rick had to be at a certain “level” or something before a location transfer is made, but couldn't/wouldn't give any specifics as to what the goal was, or how long it would likely take someone to reach it. (We're not sure what the political pecking order is between the 3 supervisors, so we don't know yet who has the final say... besides God.) So our prayer at this time is that God will orchestrate the transfer according to the word of the first two supervisors, allowing Rick to relocate very soon so he can begin the house-hunting process in advance of our arrival there. Needless to say, when Rick called with that news of the possible delay, I realized very quickly that satan had been target practicing on the whole family that day. Now we were both stressed about the move, the adoption, etc. I did my best to be my husband's cheerleader in the moment and encourage him that “God had it all under control”, even though I was discouraged myself. But even as I said them, my words felt so empty, like I was lying to him and blowing smoke in his face. We were both doubting God's faithfulness at the same time, even though we've always said we couldn't both be “down” at the same time, lest there be no one to pick the other back up. So Rick and I lamented together on the phone for a few minutes, wondering why God was letting life unravel on us. As I got off the phone, that's when I heard God say, in His gentle fatherly way, “I can't have it all under control until you're willing to lay your Isaac down.” Ouch!! OUCH!! But it was true. I needed to just trust that He would “provide the ram in the thicket”, and just keep doing the last thing He said to do, which was to sort and pack, and prep for the move and the adoption process ahead of us. Have you ever noticed how God doesn't give you multiple instructions at a time? He doesn't move you on to your next task or assignment until you're willing to obey Him in the last thing He instructed you to do. So we're leaving the concrete details of this move in His perfectly capable hands until He's ready to converse with us about that. God knows that we need to have our family all living under one roof again. He knows when our current housing situations end. He knows already what home we will be moving into when we arrive there. He knows I really want a heavily treed property like we have here in Idaho, and a large window over my kitchen sink looking out into that green yard filled with lots of trees. (God, You did get my memo about that, right?) Okay, I really am learning to let God handle this department on our behalf since I have too much else to do to get ready for the move anyway. I'm just doing my best to stay focused on the sorting, packing, and prepping for now, without getting distracted by the things He's working on for us behind the scenes. I'm not big enough to handle it all right now. But He is! And that's actually a relief to me! It means I'll have fewer gray hairs by the time we arrive in Oklahoma.

So God had a pep talk with me about the move over those next few days. Next came the harder part. It was the pep talk about the adoption and the orphans we've grown to love so much. I was willing to take “Isaac” to the hillside with the timing of our move, and I was even willing to seat “Isaac” on the altar when it came to the location in which we'd move, but I had yet to “lay him down” on the altar when it came to the adoption. The next part of that pep talk from God came in a text message from my husband, who thankfully was listening to God as well. I know for a fact he was, because I had yet to share with him what God has said to me about laying my “Isaac” down. In his text message, Rick summarized something he'd learned from Bruce Wilkinson's book, The Dream Giver;

Be honest with God about how you feel (He already knows anyway) but always acknowledge His sovereignty. There almost always comes a point where the Dream Giver will ask us to surrender our dream. Sometimes like Abraham sacrificing Isaac, He gives the dream back to us to complete. Other times, like Kind David and the temple, He gives it to another (Solomon) to complete. We must never lose sight of the fact that the purpose of any dream is to bring glory and honor to the One who gave it to us. Even when David surrendered his dream, he continued to prepare the way for the one who would complete it. Humbling to think about, isn't it?”

Is my man an exhorter or what? I had no doubt God was speaking to me through my husband that day. See how I said we've always striven to make sure one of us was always “up” to lift the other when they were “down”? He shared what he'd learned from a book to encourage me through my heartbreak. (And I know his heart was breaking too, even though he was trying to lift me up again.) I had yet to read that book for myself, although I've intended to for years. After this conversation with Rick, I figured I'd dig it out of whatever box it was in... AFTER we finished the move. I planned to put it in my “to be read next” pile next to my side of our bed... in the new house. Obviously, God had other plans. Wouldn't you know it... God has a sense of humor! I can prove it! I came downstairs from my bedroom after reading Rick's text message, and, of course, a copy of that book was laying in the hallway at the base of the stairs. Just there. On the carpet. In the hallway. All by it's lonesome. How did it get there? No one knows. Seriously! No one recalls leaving that book there, never mind having held it or looked at it prior to me finding it there. (I know our dog is the master of kitchen dumpster diving while we're not aware, but bookcase dumping now too? Intelligent ol' girl is into doing God's business now too? Well, like I've said before... “If God can speak through a donkey...”) I seriously don't have a clue how the book got there, but I don't think God could have made the message any clearer... I need to read the book NOW, before we move! (Doesn't God realize just how many books I'm in the middle of right now?) Okay, obedience. I've got it! I haven't really gotten very far into the book yet, but that pep talk was the beginning of me releasing these girls from Ukra*ne back OUT of my incapable hands into His fully capable ones. When I finally reached that point a few days after that devastating email where I could say (without the mommy guilt of “not being good enough”) that if “girl no. 2” was adopted by the other family, then I was okay with that being God's perfect plan for her instead of being a part of our family. God gently reminded us that our original prayer for all of these orphans was for them to have a family to call their own, and for them to be able to leave the orphanage behind as quickly as possible, EVEN IF IT WASN'T WITH US. And several days after that first email, when I could again say that prayer with all sincerity, that's when I received yet another email...

It said that the other family had heard about us, had read our blog, and hoped to speak with us in real life as soon as possible. I really didn't know what to think. Honestly, I was scared. What if they were mean-spirited people? What if they put us through the wringer with their questions? What if they just want to make sure we clearly understood they had official dibs on this child now? We've all heard the story of the two moms in the Bible fighting over who got to keep the baby, right? I didn't really know for sure what this other family wanted. And although we still had a deep desire to adopt “girl no. 2”, the last thing WE wanted was a competition over an innocent child. I'm really a pretty phlegmatic person (with a good dose of melancholy thrown in for good measure), so I loathe unnecessary conflict! I wondered to myself if I could genuinely congratulate this other family on their adoption of “our” daughter. I had a LOT to pray about. My heart was still breaking at our potential loss. And yet I knew if we didn't let her go, their hearts would likely break too, but in the process, we would become their enemy, and they ours. I came face to face with “my Isaac” in that moment, and I knew I had to make that choice to obey or to disobey, not knowing the outcome. Not knowing if God would make me slay my dream, or if He would send a ram in the thicket just in the nick of time. I think it might have been one of the hardest things I'd ever done. I didn't tell Rick about them wanting to talk to us until I was fairly certain I could genuinely let her go and be happy for them. (Why was the process of letting go of a child so much harder this time than with the boys we first hoped to adopt? I don't know. I can't answer that one.) While I wrestled with God in making this decision to lay my “Isaac” down, I'm sure our children thought their mother was off in la-la-looney-land again!

I knew we had to face the music, and I told Rick this other family would like us to call them. So Rick and I bit the bullet, dialed their phone number, and began a conference call with this other family, not really knowing what to expect, or what to say. From the beginning, they openly shared their hearts with us, very quickly putting us at ease, and we knew we could openly share our hearts with them as well. We conversed about our respective families, how we each came to the place of pursuing adoption, and sharing info about international adoption in general. Before our conversation with them ended, we all prayed together for “girl no. 2” and for God to lead the four of us into a peace about her future, as well as the futures of both of our families. An hour and 15 minutes after that call began, we ended the conversation knowing we had made new friends who had huge hearts of gold. We hung up the phone still not knowing what the future held for us, or for them, but knowing one of our families was going to gain a daughter, and one of us was going to face the loss of the dream of adopting her. The future was unknown to all of us as we hung up the phone, but Rick and I had that confidence that God was truly in control of it all anyway. I had no doubts when we hung up that day that I had genuinely “laid my Isaac down” completely, regardless of the outcome which gave me an unexplainable peace inside.

The next morning, we awoke to an email from this family saying they had spent some time in prayer over the adoption of this precious girl. They wanted us to know they had notified the photolisting organization of their decision to pursue a different child and they wanted our family to continue to pursue “girl no. 2”. Again, I was speechless, and all I could do was cry. I was in a puddle of tears once again, not out of fear, or worry, or heartache, or anything like that. I was kneeling in a puddle of humble happy tears.

Rick and I could never say thank you to them enough, other than to humbly ask all of you to join us in prayer for our new friends, Jamie and Stephanie, as they wait for God to lead them to the child He has ordained for their family. Whoever she is, we know their new daughter is going to be an extra special addition to their family, and she will be greatly loved by the most unselfish parents we've met in a very long time. We would like to encourage your support of their adoption process as well! It would bring us joy to see their adoption fund grow quickly too!

So later on that day when I logged onto our Facebook page, I noticed a quote on someone's wall that summed it all up so perfectly:

You know it's love when all you want is for that person to be happy,
even if you're not part of their happiness. ~ Author unknown”
I will tell you now, “girl no. 2” is genuinely loved by this other very unselfish family. This describes the situation so very well. We, both families, loved her enough to be willing to let her go. She is genuinely loved and treasured, by more than just our family, and she doesn't even know it yet. It is humbling. I cried that entire day as the words to the Matt Redman song “Never Once” kept going through my mind...

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing every victory
Is Your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we'll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
The song lyrics stayed on auto-repeat in my mindand the tears just flowed. How could they not? 
He IS faithful!

So you haven't heard from us in the last two weeks, but I have an excuse... it's hard to know exactly what to write when you're blogging knee deep in a puddle... 

~ Michelle

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We're NOT moving to Texas. . .

Yes, that's right! We're NOT moving to Texas after all.

BUT. . . we ARE still moving across the country to. . . *drum roll please*

(press the play arrow)

Yep!! And we are incredibly excited about our move now! That is a huge answer to our selfish prayers! Really, I'll be quite honest. . . I was dreading the move to Texas. But I was repeatedly telling myself I'd learn to like it there eventually, especially with the development of new online friendships with ladies who already lived there in the town where Rick was sent for training. But really, when it boiled down to it, it felt like an arranged marriage. . . I was NOT eager, but I WAS willing to go where God was calling us, and hoped that someday down the road I'd learn to love it there after all. I'd kept my inner arguments about God's sanity in this move between me and God because I KNEW God was calling us from Idaho, but I didn't want Rick to second guess himself in going to Texas. I had resolved myself to choose to look for the opportunities available to us there, to make the most of it for our family's sake. But it was a chore to even want to sort and pack in preparation for the move.  

Last night, Rick's new company told him they will transfer him/us to central Oklahoma, within a fairly short distance of his whole side of the extended family! Had we still been assigned to the western side of Texas (the brown part), it would have been a long drive (a solid 12 hrs if you count bathroom stops along the way!) from his family. Now we're going to be close enough to make it to Grandpa & Grandma's house, spend the day, and come home after dinner if we want to!!! (In the past, we'd only been able to make this trip about once every 5 years!) This is such exciting news for our family!! And the location we're being sent to in Oklahoma will give our homeschooling family so many more opportunities than our Texas location would have. And there will be so much more green, and water, and hillsides than the Texas location would have offered. I dreaded the idea of trading in my heavily treed, mountainside home in Idaho with all the surrounding lakes, for the just plain dry, sandy, flat, treeless Texas desert. My selfish little heart was willing, but not content with that trade! When I finally reached that point of being more than just willing to follow God where ever He was leading us, even if it were into the desert, He pulled the furry little rabbit out of the black top hat, much to my awe and amazement! When Rick told me there was a new, but very slight chance (discovered by rumor among classmates) that he could get approval to transfer to Oklahoma instead of Texas, we prayed, and the unanimous family vote was to put in the transfer request again, even though it had formerly been denied. We asked God for favor with the company, IF moving to Oklahoma was HIS will. When Rick asked the supervisor about the possibility of a transfer, they approved his request ON THE SPOT!!!! No board meetings, no human resource department ring-around-the-rosie games, no delay in answering... just a simple "YES!". Their only request was that he wait to go until they could get another classroom or two of new trainees out into the field for work. Rick readily agreed to that. So he will head for Oklahoma sometime in the first half of November. As the rough draft schedule is penciled in on the margins of the calendar right now, it looks like we will likely join him around the middle of December. It won't be a day too soon for us either! It's been a very long month apart already. We miss him horribly, and we want to get back into the full swing of our adoption process as soon as possible.

We're so excited to resume the practical work towards this cross country move now. It's like a new boost of energy has overtaken all of us! There's still a lot of tiring work ahead of us, but that desire to "whistle while I work" has come back to my heart!

Thank you Lord for giving us favor, and for teaching us to trust you to work out all the littlest details! You are ever the Faithful Father!

~ Michelle