Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A couple more nursery pics

I was talking to my mother-in-law tonight and mentioned a couple updates to the nursery ... her response, "Did you post the pictures yet?" Ugh, not yet. So I quickly went upstairs tonight and took a couple pics of the updates...

My father-in-law came down this weekend to help build a bookshelf for Silas. Over the weekend, I found my new favorite tool ... my paint sprayer for my air compressor. I've had it for a while but never had the right attachment to my air compressor. He informed me that I could get that at an auto parts store so we got it and ... wow. So much easier painting anything/everything by brush or roller.

So the doors for the toy box/window seat came in and we sprayed them and I got them installed last night ... I think they look good ... I hope when we get new carpet, I didn't install them too low ... we'll see ... I may be redo-ing them in a month or so...

The bookshelf I think turned out great ... it is the same color as the toy box. The client ...er, my wife, changed her mind a couple times but this is the general thing she ended up wanting. She is happy with it so that is what matters. My father-in-law is great at woodworking and I learned a couple things from him ... just don't tell him :)

I think the nursery pictures will be on hold now until it is complete. We can't put furniture up there until the carpet is in so it's going to stay unfinished for a bit. I got a few projects to finish before carpet goes in and Silas comes up ... wrapping up the nursery, tiling under our stove in the basement and entry from the garage, installing baseboards in the living room (haven't put it up since we remodeled this winter) ... gotta get outside as well ... got a hayfield out there. I have worked on getting the mower ready the last 2 nights and mowed a little tonight.

Had a freak-out for a bit after mowing ... lost my wedding ring. Couldn't find it anywhere ... searched the garage, yard, trash, etc, etc. Nowhere. Amber came out to help look. Nowhere. UNBELIEVABLE! The thought of losing the symbol of our marriage was boiling in me. As I was in the garage, I had a thought (well, I believe the Holy Spirit dropped it in my mind) to search the gloves I had on when working on the mower. In the bottom of the glove was my ring ... THANK YOU LORD JESUS!! I come upstairs to tell Amber and she says 'I've been praying the whole time.' God is SO good even though I doubt so much.

The next couple weeks are going to be crazy busy so my posts will probably be as sparse as they have been ... sorry. Amber's shower in Indiana is Saturday and I just started tonight trying to get a video done for it. Going to be interesting.

Next weekend we get to celebrate the resurrection of our LORD!

The weekend after Easter we were blessed to be given a cabin in Gatlinburg so hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can do some hiking while we're there and visit some AGCI families.

OK, back to the shower video...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Confession ... weekend nursery work ... updates ... and prayer.

OK, I'm combining multiple posts because I'm so far behind ... the confession post should have happend a couple weeks ago but haven't gotten around to it...

1) So on Friday, March 6th, we found out that our court date was May 20th. This date fell in line with what we were thinking ... around 3 months from referral date. We were happy with the date and having a specific date to pray for. That weekend was also the weekend Amber's mom came down to help sew pillows, etc for the nursery.

On that Saturday morning, the 7th, I check email before breakfast and see that Matt & Monica received their court date ... and it was April 22nd. Huh? Seriously? Well, that got me riled up ... you see, they were right behind us on the waiting list and, for those of you who know me, I'm logical. So logically, they would have the same court date or a later one. When I found out that they had almost a month earlier than us, jealousy set in ... HARD! It just happened that a slot opened up for them. I was happy for them ... I really was ... but I was SO not happy with our situation now. You know how you're happy with your salary until you find out what a coworker makes? Yeah, that was me to the extreme.

I stewed through breakfast, sent Matt an email joking about my jealousy and if he wanted to switch court dates. Amber and her mom then went shopping for fabric for the day and I stayed home to paint the nursery. The nursery was previously painted this grey-blue and we were painting it this "light" blue to match his bedding. During alot of the 4+ hours of painting, I was grumbling how there wasn't that much difference between the 2 colors and I didn't feel the need to be painting (and honestly, there was a good difference but I just had my "mad goggles" on). And I should have had a blast painting the nursery for our boy.

Well, somewhere in the midst of painting, God spoke to me and we had a pretty good conversation. It first started on me telling Him why I was mad ... why I didn't think it was fair ... how we feel like we've trusted Him throughout and why we can't go get our son quicker. This was all verbal conversation for me - it helps me actually TALK to God out loud vs. saying it in my mind. Especially when it's big stuff. I could tell He took it all in and then prompted me with 3 Scripture stories...

a) He first reminded me of Moses and the exodus of the Israelites. It was a flatout God walk that they had with Him. The "experts" state there were between 200,000 to 2,000,000 Israelites. Not one got sick. Not one had their clothes wear out - in the desert. God provided manna and quail every day for them. He parted the Red Sea. They saw water come from a rock. He made bitter water sweet with a piece of wood. They were led by a pillar of cloud during the day and pillar of cloud at night. Just with the short condensed list of miracles, I think we could all agree they experienced God daily.

Even with all that, they grumbled. Bad. They were trying to figure out how to return to Egypt to be slaves again. They decided to worship a golden calf and decided that calf is what got them out of Egypt. We all sit back and think, 'man, I can't believe they grumbled like that ... God was with them SO much ... how could you ever be that way?!?'

Yeah, God just called me out. He has walked ... actually carried ... me through our adoption and I've seen His hand in it from the very beginning. From the people he put into our lives from Day 1 to the timing of everything, to the significance of Silas' birthday to the perfect boy He's given us. And now, I'm grumbling because of something that doesn't even pertain to me? Are you serious?

God wasn't done yet ... He had a couple more thoughts in mind for me.

b) He reminded me of the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15). In short, Jesus talks about the owner of the vineyard hiring workers at different parts of the day, with each person individually agreeing to their pay. The first workers did not know what the workers that came later were getting paid until they all went to get paid once the work was over. Well, they all got paid the same. Remember my comment about the coworker's pay above? Yeah, Jesus just called me out. Again. It's not for me to decide. He's got it covered.

And for good measure to make sure I got it, He reminded me of one more Scripture as I was finishing up painting...

c) Hebrews 12:1-2 reminds us that we are all in a race.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entagles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ugh, called out for the 3rd time. I was entangled in sin (selfishness, jealousy). I have my own race to run. And based upon my recent times on the treadmill, my spiritual race was about as rough as my physical one (about died on the treadmill the other day). Matt and Monica has a race set before them as well. I have no idea to what God has called them to. God has called them specifically to that court date for His purposes for them and their boy. Who am I to question that? I need to be praying for them and have joy for them.

What I've learned ... to make it personal. The enemy and sin will attempt to rob me of the joy that is in me. He will try to shadow, distract, and deceive me from the journey God has me on. God is in control even though I don't realize it many times. God is smarter than me and I need to humble myself to Him. God's plan is perfect. As is His timing. I'm just glad I serve a GREAT God that gives me mercy in my tantrums.

So, I just gotta remind myself in the midst of whatever is going on that God is right in the middle of it and knows exactly what I'm going through.

2) OK ... I got the wall where the crib is going to go done this weekend ... well almost. I got the box trim up and now I just have to caulk nail holes, joints, and touch up paint. But it's close. Not sure why I'm going to touch up paint as I can already see a red crayon on that pretty white wall coming sooner rather than later. And I'm ok with that. Really. Ok, not yet, but I will be. I hope. Or the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers will be in full force. Yeah, better buy stock in that ... I'll bring back the economy on my purchases of Magic Erasers :)

3) One of the best things that a family waiting for court to get are updates from families that have traveled to get their child(ren). We have had a couple updates in the past couple weeks and it's been GREAT to hear about him ... some excerpts...

I feel terrible that I did not get a pic of baby A. I did see him one day and he is just gorgeous. He seems like a really content and sweet baby boy. Just sitting in his bouncy chair and looking at everyone...really taking everything in and seems very observant. His skin tone is much like my little E...darker complexion and just so gorgeous. I pray that you and Amber are doing well with the wait.

Another one...

As you might have guessed, we were unable to see your babies. We went armed with pictures and good intentions, but it didn't happen. We spent a lot of time at HH, and loved every minute. We touched and talked to lots of babies, probably yours...we just didn't know it. I was amazed at the number of babies and it was impossible to pick them out. They were always moving from one spot to another, and often asleep. They have a strict routine, and its amazing how the special mothers work. They were outside in the morning til about 11, then inside for a nap. We loved just watching them. Rarely did we hear a baby cry.

I guess all I can give you now you already know..."You babies are in great hands! The best besides your own!

And another one...

Your son is soooo very adorable I was unable to get a picture and I am very sorry but it is because the special mothers are very protective and I was being watched, probably because I was adopting a toddler and they knew I was up to no good taking pictures over there. And he was in a special mothers arms every time I looked over to sneak a picture. Hannah's Hope is an amazing place and you are going to love seeing where he has spent his time. He is being loved by these ladies and so taken care of.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to those who gave us reports of our boy! We LOVE hearing about him and the amazing care he's getting ... however, we were ready yesterday to bring him home! (only 58 days until court but who's counting?)

We are heading up to Indiana the first weekend in April for a shower that Amber's sister is throwing. I went to a local African store today looking for a couple African spices since she is fixing some authentic dishes. The older gentleman did not have the spices (he's from Senegal which is western Africa and Ethiopia is on the eastern side) but he was telling me how much help Africa needs from America and Europe. We had a great chat before his phone started ringing ... he even gave us a donation to be used for when we go over there. His quote: "this boy is from MY Africa" Unreal God meeting and I know we'll go back to allow him to meet Silas.

4) We found out Friday night that Amber's uncle, her dad's brother, passed away very unexpectedly Friday afternoon. We are going to Indiana tomorrow for the memorial service on Wednesday afternoon and will be driving back late Wed night to go back to work on Thurs (trying to save all our vacation for travels and for once we're home). Please pray for her dad and his family. We've invited her dad down this coming weekend to help build a bookshelf (yes, Renee, we've decided to build rather than buy). This will allow him to get away for a few days and help build something for the nursery of his grandson.

Sorry for such a long post ... so many things to get down and still have a few more ... hopefully sometime soon.

Thanks for listening, well, reading ... and praying!

Friday, March 20, 2009

T minus 2 months

Our court date for Silas is exactly 2 months from today ... it's surreal to think in less than 3 months we could be in Ethiopia seeing our son for the first time. Seeing his first smile. Changing his first diaper ... ok, that may be Amber's thing :) Giving his first bath. Putting his first outfit on. Hearing his first cry. Providing every need for him. Loving him like we didn't know we could love. Walking an amazing God journey. Having our eyes opened to what God has for us next.

I can't wait!


Please join us in prayer for our blog friends who have court dates coming up VERY soon...

Jody and Pat's is a week from today ... next Friday the 27th.

Renee and Sean's, Sara and Allen's, and Dawn and Tim's are all on March 31st!

I can't wait to hear all the good news in the next couple weeks ... and a few more families who will be traveling and have a chance to love on our boy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baby Shower and Nursery Updates

This past Wednesday, our Bible Study threw us a baby shower in lieu of us doing our lesson ... we belong to such a great group of believers and we look forward to Wednesday nights. We are forever blessed for them taking the time, effort, and resources to join in celebrating our bringing home Silas. Thanks everyone ... it was perfect.

Look at that cake! How awesome is that...

Us with all our presents...

More work occurred on the nursery since the last nursery update. The walls are painted ... the window seat is finished except for the doors ... those are on order and will hopefully be delivered in the next week or so...Ambers mom sewed all those pillows (except for the elephant that came with our bedding).

The window seat so far...I think Amber did a great job picking out the fabrics to go with the room...

The window seat is on the opposite side of the room from where Silas' crib will be. The latest project has been working on that wall. Amber wanted to do a shelf above his crib and do some trim on the wall below ... well, the trim isn't done yet (this week's project) but the shelf did get up this weekend...

The wall after painting and before the shelf...

The view when you come into the room...

The shelf with her animal picture frames and our weekend craft project...don't worry, we haven't filled in the picture frames yet so nothing to zoom in on :)

Amber had some leftover fabric from the window seat so we put attached it to a circle and then mounted an 'S' for our boy's name on it painted the color of the window seat. His bedding has circles with letters so it goes well with it ... plus, it ties the 2 sides of the room together. Amber's mom would be proud :)

The goal is to get the trim done on the white wall and a floating shelf Amber wants built to house an elephant by the end of next weekend ... hopefully. After that, it should be close to done ... well, we gotta get new carpet (we decided to take the plunge based on God's gifts He's blessed us with ... unreal ... that needs to be a post sometime soon) and then load it with the furniture that is currently in the basement. GOOD times!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

5 months and what's in a name?

OK, in typical blog fashion, our boy is 5 months old today so here are 5 things I love about him (Amber may have a different set of 5)

1. His perfect Ethiopian features
2. His big brown eyes
3. His big hands and feet ... could see an athlete in our future!??
4. His serious look in most of his pictures.
5. How stylin' he looks in the Ralph Lauren Polo shirt he's wearing in one of the pics.

I still gotta get pics of the nursery updates up here ... Amber's mom came down last weekend and helped sew pillows, the top of the window seat, etc, etc. I got it painted last weekend as well ... it's slowly starting to come together ... and I have a couple other posts I gotta get out ... just gotta find the time...

In any event, we have not shared what our boy's name is going to be...not that we've been hiding it or anything ... again, just haven't posted. What seemed like months before we sent our dossier in, Amber was researching names, had her girls list and boys list and would constantly bounce names off me. I let them bounce right back and would tell her that there were too many other things to get done and we would have plenty of time to discuss.

Well, we got on the waiting list and I kept procrastinating playing the game. Not that I had a good reason to not play ... I just didn't want to go down those paths until we knew if it was boy or girl ... I think that is one of the differences between guys and gals. Girls like playing that game, guys not so much. In any event, we got our referral and Amber left no options for me to get in the game. Well, on her list, she had seen names from other adopted families, names she has liked over the past few years, etc, etc. There were a couple off the boy's list I liked and I limited it to those 2. Amber already had her favorite and lucky for me, it was one of those 2. I prayed about it and came to the same consensus as her. Funny how it works that way, huh? She was ahead on me for adopting, ahead on me on knowing God was leading us to Ethiopia, ahead on me on the name ... one would think I would listen to her more. :)

We LOVE his given name too ... unfortunately, we can't share that until we're home with him (hopefully JUNE!), but we will be using that for his middle name.

Without further ado ... our first child and son's name will be...

Silas A. Lucht

I think we first heard it from the Bottomly's so we gotta give credit where credit is due. We love the name and think his middle name goes perfect with it. A little background ... Silas is a Biblical name and he was Paul's prison buddy in Acts (they sung hymns together and praised God while in there.). He was also described as a "faithful brother" by Peter. Our prayer for our Silas is that He can understand God's plan for him early in life and live every day striving towards it. I know personally what happens when you run from His plan and how much better His plan is for my life than anything I could dream up!

Silas, we love you and we are praying every day for you ... we can't wait until you are forever home!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Please pray for Kristi, Will, and their family. The lost their referral of their daughter today as the birth mother came back for her. I've always said that the best thing for the child is to stay with their biological family in Ethiopia ... and I do believe that ... saying it and living it are 2 different things. We know that our GOD knows the perfect Lucy Lane for the Johnsons and we're believing that and keeping them close in prayer ... please do the same.

Also, please pray for my cousin Aimee and her husband. They had a beautiful baby girl last week and because of complications during child birth, their daughter Faith was called to be with the LORD. They didn't even get one day with her ... I can't imagine the loss, anger, and heatbreak they are feeling right now...

Please don't take today for granted.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Court Date!

We got a call from Julie today around noon ... was very happy to delay eating my lunch. She told us that our court date is May 20th! HANG ON 'A' ... WE'RE COMING TO GET YOU SOON BUDDY!!

She said it's a little longer wait than before but it does give the Ethiopian government bodies time to get their paperwork complete. She mentioned that there hasn't been a case that hasn't passed for the paperwork from them for a while ... it has usually been the birth family not being there.

To explain just a bit ... we signed a super-duper power of attorney form that allows the director of Hannah's Hope, our transition home where 'A' is right now, to sign for all our documents. So, when we receive the official court decree, 'A' will be legally ours per Ethiopia. We will travel 2-4 weeks after passing court. The day after we arrive in Ethiopia, we will then go to the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to get his VISA and he'll be legal to come home with us! Once we get travel dates, I'll inform you on more specifics on our trip.

So, that is GREAT news and we have a specific date to pray for. May 20th is a Wednesday so Amber and I have decided that we will be fasting and praying every Wednesday until our court date. We will be praying for our court date, all families that have court dates before us, traveling families and, of course, for 'A'. If you would like to fast and/or pray with us on Wednesdays, let us know so we can keep in touch and see how God is moving through this ... time and time again, we have God move when we respond in this way. We would also love to join you in prayer for whatever you're trusting GOD in...

Kristi and Will, the local family near us, has their court date on May 13th so hopefully we'll both pass and be able to travel together...

Alright, time to rest up ... gonna be a long weekend of working on the nursery. Also, Amber's mom is visiting to help with some sewing, window seat, etc, etc...gonna be a productive weekend!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Divine Meeting and Pictures

We had the opportunity to meet a couple who are traveling next Saturday to bring their 4 year old son home. They are about 3 hours from us and we met in the middle to get them some donations that we still had. It was so great to sit and have lunch with them and hear their story. One thing I have come to love is hearing family's adoption stories ... it is absolutely amazing to hear the paths God has people on that hear His call. They said they would love on 'A' for us and give us as much feedback as they can. We are forever grateful for getting to meet this amazing family, for the opportunity to hear an update on 'A' and for the friendship that we will gain with this family. We are grateful for the families that God is intertwining with us and can't wait to see what He's going to do through all of them.

OK, one of the reasons for lack of posts is due to the work on the nursery ... I have been building a window seat/toy box ... and it would have been fine but we wanted to move the electrical plug from under the window so it still could be used while sitting on the seat. Then we thought it'd be good to have a reading light there so we added a sconce. In any event, it's not done yet but here's the progression so far...

This is what the space looked like before...

The framing begins ... notice the plug on the back wall .. yeah, that's the one that needed moved ... and no, there is no sconce yet either.

OK, everything is cut ... the top is just there to ensure it fits ... Amber's mom is coming down this weekend to help on a couple projects ... she's a master sewer/etc so she's going to help us upholster the top of the sat. The plug has now been moved onto the left wall and there is a sconce that you just can't see in this pic...

The box is now primed...

And now painted! We chose the darker blue that was in the elephant from his bedding. His walls will be the lighter blue in said elephant.

Dark picture but you can see the reading light sconce...

I ordered the doors yesterday but didn't realize they could take 3-4 weeks to come in ... so, this project is on hold while I wait for the doors ... but there is plenty still to do. I want to have the room painted prior to the seat going in. I am currently working on the wall where his crib will be. Amber wants to do some wainscotting on that wall between the 2 closet doors so painting it tonight.

We REALLY want to get new carpet for the house as well ... have been saying that for 6 years and now even more so. If we can get a rental house sold (tenant really wants to buy it so hopefully it all happens this month) then we're on the way for new carpet ... otherwise, we will need to wait until we get back from Ethiopia so we can save up and get it ... so when you see pictures of the nursery, just disregard the rust orange carpet in there! :)

I mentioned in an earlier post that Amber's sister got us each a shirt ... thank you again Amy ... we love them!

Amber and her shirt

Her shirt's saying...

Me and my shirt...

My shirt's saying... so very true!

And I thought when I left Chicago that March snows had ended ... guess not ... we woke up this morning to this outside...we prolly had 3 inches or so ... kinda pretty while it lasted ... there's some left on the ground but most of it melted today and will probably be gone tomorrow.

OK, back to painting!