Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankfulness


So I have a lot of catching up to do. A lot has been going on the past few weeks emotionally, spiritually, and socially....pretty much to the point where I kinda of got on the fast track of just putting my head down and running full on, not stopping to process and think because sometimes when it get to be so much its just easier to run and not look around.
So I wanted to summarize some thoughts and do a quick catch up. Two weekends we had so many events to go to (which is very rare for us) and these weren't just la di da events...these were "smack you in the face, make you want to save the world" types of events, if you know what I mean.
First was the Athentikos event...oh boy did that make me miss Guatemala. This incredible (go check it out) group of people have been working on a documentary about some of the crisis issues in Guatemala and their hearts simply pour out of the work they are doing. So I walked away from that night wanting to go back and wanting to do something to make just the slightest difference in the beautiful country I have fallen in love with.
Then there was the Show Hope annual fundraiser banquet that Jenna and I were lucky enough to be invited to. I could write ten posts just on that night and how impacting it was. You could not go in and listen and then walk away not wanting to adopt, its impossible. The president from Compassion international spoke and was the most to the point, real speaker I have ever heard. He did an incredible job describing the orphan crisis and where as Christians we come in. There was a lot of talk about how we are called not to care ABOUT orphans but to care FOR them and that really hit me. Then my sweet Wheeler family's testimony was shown and I realized how being here now and seeing my sweet girl everyday has made me somewhat forget the battle that was fought for her. Watching their testimony brought tears to my eyes as all the memories of last summer, being in Guatemala and praying everyday that we would one day see this sweet girl home in her parents arms, and how there were so many moments that did not seem like it was going to come. Adoption really, truly is a miracle and probably the most clear way I have ever seen God work and fight for his precious children. Not only that but to watch the parents who decide to step out blindly and follow his call to care for the orphans inspires me more than anything.
Sunday was spent at an adoption picnic for orphan sunday and then we went to the Worldwide Orphan Sunday event...W O W.....Steven got up and spoke and sang and our whole row just had tears pouring from our eyes. I cannot even describe the feeling of sitting there listening to these people talk so passionately about orphans and God's call and the rawness of the Chapman's own testimony....it was impacting and moving to say the very least. Someday my turn will come....and until then I spend my time praying for my sweet child and searching for the doors God is opening in which I can walk through and help those who have or are going through such an incredible process.

Then tonight was yet another night among many since moving to Nashville that I was hit so hard with just how faithful God is. Not only that but how generous in His faithfulness He is. God has not only provided for the daily needs and the finances and all those material things that I love to worry about but He has provided so much emotion and spiritual support and surrounded me with so much. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it and as I drove home tonight I just kept asking God, why? What have I done to deserve all these people coming into my life and caring so much? I have so much going through my head I can't decifer what is anxiety, whats thankfulness and what is just being overwhelmed with everything. I have every worldly odd against me, I moved to a brand new state with no job, no money and nothing to begin making a home with...and here I sit in my adorable living room in my amazing apartment, having just spent time with such wonderful kids and felt so cared for by incredible couples who I have grown to just love and respect more than anything. I look back on the last several years and really cannot believe that at one point I lay crying out to God and being faced with the decision to walk with Him or walk away....I look at my foot and read the verse that I have been reciting through my head every single day and am reminded of the pure truth of it (The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still. Ex 14:14)
Jenna and I could not have made it without the support we have received. There have been so many moments we wanted to give up or we questioned if we had done the right thing and we were always answered as God brought people into our lives. We have been given to so generously for our apartment, and I have been beyond blessed with constant babysitting and photography. Despite being "unemployed" I am thriving, paying bills, and feeling oh so taken care of.
I really cannot describe how humbled I am by the people I have met here. People I have known for a year now who have just given to us beyond what I can thank them for and then people I had never met just pulling me in and treating me like we had known each other for years. I can never thank you all enough. I know that I am where I belong and that this truly is where God wants me at this moment, even when the worldy material things just don't make sense. God never does things the "normal" way in my life and I really should not have expected it here either :)
So another long post...Blessing to you all and thank you....for everything

Monday, November 2, 2009

CALLING ALL ADOPTION FAMILES/ADOPTION ADVOCATES/AND WHOEVER ELSE

These are some dear sweet friends of mine and they are starting their first adoption. As most of you who have adopted know...it is not cheap. I thought since I know so many families who have adopted I could help out a little and try to get some more people involved. I am sending them a package next week so if you have anything you would like to add (I know many of you are creative) let me know either we can add it to my package or you can send it to them yourself. Thanks!!!
Any donations are always appreciated as well (I will probably be hosting a blog fundraiser in the near future for them too.)
Here is their blog link and here is the note the Sam and Laura wrote: http://nikolasfamily.wordpress.com/

Family & Friends,

You may or may not know that most couples going through the adoption process do some fundraising. This makes us slightly uncomfortable, but adoption is extremely expensive, and therefore we feel it's necessary to find assistance wherever we can. We decided to be creative in our efforts, and so we would like to tell you about the NIKOLAS ADOPTION AUCTION.

We are asking our loved ones (yes, that’s you) to offer something to auction off. All proceeds will go toward adoption costs. Ideas include but are not limited to:

* food items
* gift cards or baskets
* handmade or purchased items
* a service (i.e. babysitting, writing, music/cooking lessons, yard work)
* a special skill or talent that you’re willing to provide (for example, knitting a scarf)
* another example = we will be auctioning off the first phone call for when we find out we have a child, and also our baby names (no one else will know but us and you!)

We fully realize that the holidays are approaching and you probably have other expenses. The reason we are doing this now is because once our home study is completed (December or January), we could receive news of a child anytime. Please do not feel obliged to contribute if you would rather not or are unable.

Thank you in advance, from the bottom of our hearts, for considering helping us with this. We felt it would be a neat way for you to feel like a part of our adoption experience, get something neat in return and maybe get to know someone else that plays an important role in our lives.

If you are willing to offer something, please let us know by November 10 (next Tuesday). We know that we have friends and family in many different locations. If you choose to offer something that is area-specific, please let us know. The auction will take place later this month – more details to come. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Love,
Sam and Laura

P.S. Please email Laura at laura.nikolas@gmail.com or contact her through Facebook if you are willing to help with this. You can also reach me at 763-381-2538.