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I’m having a hard week and can’t seem to write. I’ve canceled everything I intended to do. My heart is heavy and more than anything, I need God to show up. I need answers to big questions because I can’t come up with answers on my own.

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It’s Friday and we’re getting ready for Dimples’ visit.  Dimples and her counselor should arrive just before dinner, as long as the weather stays nice. Snow on the roads makes all the difference. My plan for today is a little homeschooling, a lot of grocery shopping, and a little cleaning tossed into the mix. And prayer – lots of prayer.

Today is also Hannah’s birthday; I wish we could celebrate with her. She is exactly where the Lord has called her to be, but I sure do miss her. Today, she will make her patients’ lives better, and that helps me bear the distance. 

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Today, I need to love like Jesus loves, with a heart that longs to be like him. I’m not feeling it, but this isn’t about my feelings, it’s about my obedience.

Dimples is coming for a visit this weekend, which is good, and also makes me feel uncertain.

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The Refresh Conference is truly a wonderful event for foster and adoptive families. There are so many reasons to love it – here are six that I hope will encourage you to mark your calendars for next year.

1. Your heart will be filled. Each year the speakers at Refresh challenge and bless me. Most of them are fellow adoptive parents, so they don’t sugar-coat their message. They say it like it is – being adoptive/foster parents is messy, amazing, painful, and wonderful. Robert Gelinas gave a message on the simple prayer, “Lord have mercy.” It is going to be with me for a long time.

2. Refresh is for the men.

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After a slow, snowy drive, we got home from Refresh at midnight last night. I’m still in re-entry shock, but had to share something amazing. I checked Facebook this morning, and this is what I found.

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Today’s question comes from Bonnie. I loved getting her email and reading her questions. I wish I had been able to ask these of somebody further along in the adoption process when we were at the beginning.

What habits in your heart and home would be useful to form before adopting? I ask this because my husband and I both believe the Lord wants us to have a lifetime of fostering/adopting. As my husband says, “I don’t see us ever retiring to the beach and the golf links. But if over the course of our lives we were privileged to raise, say, 23 kids (bio and adoptive), I’d count that a life well spent.”

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Seven years ago today – seven years ago – we met our children for the first time. It was a day filled with hope, longing fulfilled, and exhaustion. Dimples was all energy.  Eby was cautious, quiet,and scared. Little Man was a tiny baby who seemingly adjusted with ease. Bee was charming and captured our hearts. We didn’t know then that the next year we would travel back to Ethiopia and bring her home to our family too.

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The photo above is of Dimples meeting TobyMac before his recent concert in Montana. Such a fun experience for her!

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a much better week

preparation for Refresh nearly done 

time to connect with some  of my big kids

daddy date for Bee and Sunshine

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On Tuesday night Dimples went to the Toby Mac concert with three other girls and some staff members. The family of one of the children has connections with Toby Mac and was able to get them tickets. It was a big event for her and she was excited to tell me all about it in our Skype session.

She said, “Mom, it only costs $35 a month to sponsor a child  so they can have enough food and everything. I think we should do it.”

DSC02446editsmallHow was Valentine’s Day? We kept ours very low pressure. The girls made cupcakes complete with pink frosting and sprinkles. In the evening, we took four of our youngest kids out to dinner using a gift card we got for Christmas. It’s quite rare for us to take them to a restaurant, and it was a real treat.

When we got home, we found bouquets of carnations, each in its own vase with a handwritten note attached. Samuel had gotten flowers for his younger sisters. I was so touched. The notes were personal and heartfelt – telling them how beautiful and special they are.