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Our adoption was finalized on Monday and we are so happy to officially be the proud parents of three precious children! We are blessed. Wanted to link this song with the slideshow but apparently I’m not technologically savvy enough to do that. 😉

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Not a word I like. Really I hate change. I do like control and predictability. But following Christ doesn’t really seem to be about control and predictability. Slowly (and painfully) He continues to teach me to let go.

As we start a new year (and embark on yet another big change in our lives) I’ve been reflecting on the past several years. For the last five years I think I’ve started every year saying, “Surely we will not have as much change this year as we did last year and we will be able to settle in.” Ha! God has had different plans. So humor me as I document the changes of the past five years…

2007

  • April: Working on my FNP and decided I needed broader experience, so I changed jobs to the Emergency Department at Chidlren’s Mercy–did I mention I like control and predictability–the ER is not really where you find those things… {I did end up loving this job though!}
  • April: “Met” Luke about shortly before switching jobs {as he was moving to Germany}
  • September: Two short months after our “official” first date Luke proposed {um, predictability?!}

2008

  • March: married Luke, sold my house & car, put everything {including wedding gifts} into storage, said good-bye to family & friends, moved to Germany {new language, new culture, etc…}, changed degree plans for my masters {from nurse practitioner to public health}
  • October: found out we were expecting our first child
  • December: bought a house in Kansas in anticipation of moving back

2009

  • March: moved back to Kansas {“we’re moving back “home”, going to have a baby, things will settle down now…”}
  • June: welcomed Brece into the world…changed our lives!

2010

  • Started to feel a tug at our hearts {really mine at this point} towards adoption and caring for the orphan
  • Fall: attended an adoption workshop and started to really feel a call to adopt {and pray that God would pull on Luke’s heart too; He did}
  • Started to inquire about becoming foster care parents. Told it was not a good avenue if we wanted to adopt younger children {which we did}, decided to move forward anyway

2011

  • January: made some calls to find out about taking a class {PS-MAPP} to become licensed as foster care parents…enrolled in one starting a week later…
  • March: “graduated” from the PS-MAPP class
  • April: took my oral exam and finished my master’s degree; couple days after my oral exam we had our licensing visit to become a licensed foster care home. At this visit we learned about a sibling set needing to be adopted…
  • May: received our license, within a few days this sibling set was at our house for a 2 day stay; 2 weeks later they moved in and became a part of our family
  • December: signed our intent to adopt {one of the last steps in the process!}

I have no idea what 2012 holds {other than finalization of our adoption!!!}, but there is already the possibility of some pretty big changes {more on that later when we know more details}. I do know that I serve a God much bigger than me and am thankful He is unchanging and completely worthy of my trust. There is much peace when I dwell in Him.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

~James 1:17

Strange title for a post, huh? About a year ago I read the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp (a must-read!). The main premise of the book is that God’s grace is present in every situation in life (the good, bad, hard) and that we are called to respond in all things with thanksgiving.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

-Colossians 3:17

And so God has been working this truth over in my heart and let me tell you I am a sloooow learner. Thursday evening we took our kids to the Christmas party hosted by the foster care agency we’re working with. There were probably 5 or 6 other families at the party. Shortly after we arrived a family came with two younger children, a little girl that looked like she was about 3 years old and a little boy that was about 18 months old. After a while another family arrived with two boys…maybe 5 and 7 years old. It soon became apparent that these 4 children were siblings but living in two different homes, most likely because there wasn’t anyone that could take all four children. The joy the children had in seeing each other was so apparent. At one point I looked over and saw the 7 year old giving his little sister a belated birthday gift because he hadn’t been able to give it to her on her birthday. He then spent the rest of the evening bouncing his youngest brother on his knee and chasing the little ones around the room. Talk about pulling the heart strings! After watching our toddlers (we now have 2 two year olds!) fight about something today I was struck by the fact that I’m so thankful our kids see each other every moment of most every day and thus fight. I should probably write this on my forehead or something so I don’t forget because not only am I slow learner but I also tend to forget easily. 😉

All of our kids got some new Christmas pajamas this weekend that Grandma Call made for them. They are all made from Charlie Brown Christmas fabric and are pretty stinking cute if I say so myself. Brece decided she wanted to wear hers tonight. Shortly after she put them on she started describing and demonstrating to me how the “girls were on the pants”. The Charlie Brown characters appear to be caroling and this is apparently Brece’s impersonation of a Christmas caroler… She specifically explained to me that that they close their eyes “like this” and then “do this” with their mouths.

is sharing the chocolate chips from your cookie with your BabySis

AGCO had a day at the pumpkin patch last weekend. We had lots of fun playing in corn, climbing on tires, and picking out pumpkins in the big patch…and of course fighting over who got to pull the wagon.