Saturday, February 23, 2008


Today has been one of those days that I wonder how I could ever complain about life : ) I am so blessed by family, friends, church family, health and most importantly, the security of knowing I am a daughter of the Most High God.

My Precept Bible Study class gave Emily and me a shower today. It was so special to be prayed over and encouraged by the Word during the devotion.....and of course, to be given precious gifts by these precious women. My mom was able to come too, which made it even sweeter : )

My dad helped Dave put in a garbage disposal while we were at the shower( something we've lived w/o for 3yrs.)....we're very excited! AND they got a heat vent working in our basement...yeah!!! Thanks Dad and my wonderful husband!

And now to what everyone really wants to know.....good news on our adoption! Things have been going so smoothly, I truly expected bads news with this update...but PTL I was wrong : ) We exited Family Court on Feb. 1 which allowed our attorney to submit us to PGN(final court in Guatemala) yesterday!! Wow! Now to those who are new to Guate adoptions....we already know we will be kicked out of PGN relatively soon due to the fact we haven't yet received Pre-Approval from the U.S. but this is just a strategy our attorney is using to try to speed up our case so that after we get our PA we can resubmit and pass thru PGN more quickly.....hard to follow, I know : )

OH, and how can I forget this!! My mom and I went to Von Maur after the shower today and I got to buy my FIRST little girl Easter dress.....over the top fun!!....just wish I'd had a reason to buy 2 instead of 1.

Thank you Lord for all that YOU are and always will be! Thank you for advocating for Sarah and for keeping Emily safe! You are so worthy of our praise!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


We have the joy of raising two incredibly unique little guys...... our oldest is reliable, responsible, sweet, obedient.....and this one, well.... he brings us joy in an entirely different way : ) Last night, tucked the boys in, sang and prayed and turned off the lights. Dave got home from church later and checked in on them. It went something like this....
Dave: "Marianne, did you let Zachary go to bed with his hat on?"

Me: "What? No.... "

Dave: "You need to come see this"

By this time we were laughing to the point we thought we might wake the boys....but just HAD to get a few pictures first! .....apparently Zach felt the need to get up and put his Buzz Lightyear hat on in order to have a good night's sleep : )

We love you Zachary and thank God for the laughter you bring to our family!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Why We Chose To Adopt......

Before I launch into this post, I want to assure everyone you have not missed anything....Emily is STILL in tummy : ) I just have been enjoying FREEDOM from bedrest!!! sorry for not posting for awhile : )

I recently wrote an article for our church's newsletter about our adoption and thought I'd share............

Our adoption story ultimately begins with a difficult time in our life where our
hearts’ desire was to seek God. Near the beginning of 2004, we found ourselves suddenly in turmoil in the midst of our ministry at a previous church. Experiencing disillusionment and pain within the family of God caused us to cry out to Him, "Where are you God?".

After a year of seeking the Lord earnestly in prayer, He spoke. In the end of February 2005, I had decided to go on a mission trip to Jamaica to work in a couple of orphanages, something I had always been compassionate towards. Almost immediately upon arrival my heart was broken for these helpless and rejected children. The "baby" orphanage stirred me the most. Perhaps because my boys were only 1 and 3 at the time. Each day we would go to this children’s home, we would spend hours holding the children and trying to bring them a smile. I spent 30 minutes with a 2 yr.old girl on my lap, desperately attempting to make her laugh.....but there was nothing, only a blank stare. My chest felt tight and I was having trouble breathing. I left the room to go outside as the emotional thought came across my mind, "THIS would be my Caleb and Zachary if God had not given them a family." I truly was broken by the face of the fatherless.

That night as I journaled my day’s experiences and reflected on the turmoil I had left at home, my heart still was wrestling with, "Where are you, God?". Several hours later, in the middle of the night, I sat straight up in bed to the sound of music blasting all around me. But there was no music playing in the room. Yet, the sounds and lyrics were deafening in my ears. It was a song I had recently become fond of by Steven C. Chapman called "What now?" The chorus goes... "what now What will you do now that you've found Me? What now What will you do with this treasure you've found I know I may not look like what you expected But if you'll remember This is right where I said I would be You found me, what now?"

Oh, how sweet it is to have your prayers answered. I had found HIM in these rejected, lost castaways that God promises throughout scripture He will care for and protect. Just as any revelation from the Lord does to anyone’s life, mine was now changed and impacted forever by the fatherless. That wonderful place where your whole heart, mind and soul are vulnerable and willing to the Potter’s hands as He molds you and shapes you into His design.

Not surprisingly, God had revealed Himself to David to return to Illinois to get his Masters while I was on my mission trip. Which of course, led us to our beloved Grace Church.

The next year and a half was filled with my overwhelming desire to do SOMETHING with this new passion God had given me and with David’s desire to be patient for God’s next step. I was sure that adoption was our next step but David did not feel it was the right time.
Then God revealed Himself again telling me to start an Orphan Care Ministry at Grace but I argued due to the weaknesses I saw in myself. It wasn’t very long and I realized if I didn’t start something, no one would. We kicked off the ministry with an Adoption Sunday/Adoption Conference. Two days before the big event, David said.... "It’s time". My passion to help the orphan finally felt satisfied.

Our adoption process began January 1, 2007 and on September 24, 2007, the daughter that was planned from before time to be in our family was born! The Lord orchestrated both mine and David’s hearts and our responses for His timing and His perfect will to be sovereign.

There is SO much more to our story but I was most compelled to share how God responds to our genuine search for Him and how that aspect of His character has never changed throughout time. He repeatedly appealed to Israel to seek Him and He would let them find Him(2Chron.15:2), just as God repeatedly appeals to all believers today to seek Him by loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, & mind (Matt. 22:36). Would you consider today if you are seeking the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your soul? You might be surprised where you find Him!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

4 month Pictures and Health Report : )

Beautiful Baby Girl!
Pretty as a Rose!
It's SOOOO hard waiting........
I admit it.....I probably checked my inbox 50 times yesterday in anticipation of seeing new pictures of my sweetheart! Yeah!!! I was finally rewarded this morning for my persistence : ) There were mixed emotions looking at my "growing up fast" little girl. Sheer delight in seeing her smile and fun spirit peeking through her expressions but also that all too familiar ache as time is slipping by....Father, please bring her home soon.
Sarah's report says..... Wt.: 12 lbs. 7 oz. and Ht.: 22.5 in. (still seems tiny to me for 4+mos. old). "She is a very happy and healthy baby girl. She is content and very smiley(YES!!). She is almost sleeping through the night(another YES!!).
We continue to pray for God to be glorified through Sarah's adoption and trust Him completely for His timing but hoping that means her process will go fast : )
Oh, received many ?s about bedrest..... in 2
more wks. dr. says he will not stop me from going into labor....soooo, until then, he says I can do whatever I feel comfortable doing as long as I lay down if contractions start coming.....believe me, I've been testing the waters : ) Thanks for everyone's prayers and concerns!

Christ's love to you all!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Surprise "Happy 34wks." Party!

Friends from church surprised me this afternoon to celebrate making it to "34 weeks"! It was great.....a cake with candles saying "34", ice cream and even a gift of pink tulips for my garden! Thank you ladies for making me feel loved and for helping me celebrate.....what a blessing you were to me today : ) I had so much fun!!!

*oh yeah...if you haven't seen me in a while, I'm the one in front that looks like I've got a watermelon on my lap : )

Saturday, February 2, 2008

DNA is a match!!

Now that Sarah's birthmom and Sarah have officially been matched by DNA we can move on to Pre-Approval from the US. I am so thankful for Sarah's birthmom and her participation in making Sarah's adoption go smoothly. I was sobered and genuinely moved by the picture of Sarah with her mother that was attached to the DNA results. My heart was so saddened for her mother and equally grieved for Sarah. I trust God's plan for Sarah and her birth mom more than my own understanding, yet seeing that one picture of the two of them together deeply touched me. But it also reminded me of the great story HE is creating in each of their lives AND in each of ours we ALL are given a new family, new hope and new future when we accept Christ. I pray earnestly for God to be glorified through Sarah's life!

As far as next steps are concerned, we hope to soon find out that we were given a favorable review in Guatemala's Family Court(aka social worker interview). Next week could be a big week, considering we will get Sarah's monthly update/PICTURES : ) and the possibility of getting our review back! Our adoption process finally rolling along has lifted my spirits tremendously as my last few weeks of pregnancy feel very long. I think with all the good news of our adoption and week 34 "with child", it's actually finally hitting me that everything really is going to be ok......we really are going to have a healthy baby Emily and we really are going to bring Sarah home!! Thank you Lord...we are so grateful for your mercies! love to all of you and prayers for all of our sweet babies at EN!