Wednesday, May 27, 2009
We will be flying out of Nashville on Saturday, June 13th ... we will go to Washington DC and then fly out on Ethiopian Airlines to Rome (to refuel) and then to Addis Ababa and get there Sunday night.
Monday morning we get to meet Silas! We have our embassy appointment that afternoon and then he'll be staying with us in our hotel room until we leave. We, of course, will be at Hannah's Hope ALOT!
We will be flying back Thursday night and back in Nashville Friday afternoon.
wow, this is getting SO REAL NOW!
More later ... but Silas, we're coming SOON! REAL SOON, BUDDY, REAL SOON!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Your boy is FAT AND SASSY! He and Finn are best buddies, at one point I looked over and they were holding hands, I melted in a puddle!! They had the same special mothers and were in the same rooms. 'A' is a very happy boy, I think I spent the most time with him over all the other babies. I fed him a bottle, and worked with the special mothers to get him to "smile". OH! The best thing! I noticed his bouncy seat was always rocking - then I noticed he was flexing his sholders and making it GO! It was the cutest thing ever - smart little grasshopper! He's very content and happy to watch the world go by.
Amazing update. Go check out Mr. Finn here. Thank you Hull family!! ... we are forever grateful for these updates!
Today is Memorial Day ... a day so easy to think of as the first day I get off work for a holiday in the year. Memorial Day is so much more than cookouts and a day off work. It is a time to reflect on the sacrifices thousands of men and women have made so that you and I can have the freedoms that we take for granted today. Thank a soldier today; say a prayer for our military today; take a few minutes to reflect on how grateful you are to live in a land that has the freedoms that we have.
Happy Memorial Day!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
We went Friday night and last night to a few stores to make some purchases for our trip. We got snacks for us (granola bars, beef jerky, etc) along with snacks for kiddos we see while we're out and about (peanut butter crackers, etc). You try to figure out what will be the best thing to do for kids you see while on your shopping trip, etc ... I think trying to hand money out would turn into a chaotic situation ... if anyone has any other suggestions, let me know.
We also bought some things for the older kiddos at Hannah's Hope (our agency's transition home "orphanage"). Charisa told me that the boys like the pull-back cars (pull them back and they take off) so we picked up some of those along with spiderman nerf football (they love anything spiderman), sidewalk chalk, bubbles, soccer ball, bowling set, lipgloss for the girlies ... oh, and some trailmix ... a family that brought their 5 year old boy home a couple months ago said he liked handing out trailmix to his buddies. Maria said they all know how to share which is a great thing to hear. I had a blast getting stuff for them ... I wish we had more room to take "everything" to them ... they deserve it. If anyone has any other suggestions for what we can take, let me know!
We are still awaiting our travel dates ... we can't get those until we get a US Embassy appointment. There are alot of families waiting to travel but we're hoping/praying that we get a June 15th appointment which would have us flying out on Saturday, June 13th ... less than 3 weeks away ... wow. We should find out this coming week when our appointment is.
We got a couple small updates from families that have just returned ... they said they'd let us know more but gave us 'sneak peeks' for now. Matt told me that he saw Silas almost as soon as he walked into Hannah's Hope. He had on a bib that said "I love my sister" ... he told me thought it was a sign ... well, it very well could be :) God's opened up our heart to Ethiopia and I believe we will be going back ... as I told Matt, that's a big trust-God thing for me ... but I know He will not lead us down a path that He hasn't already cleared for us.
Another family wrote...
I just wanted to let you know that I spent extensive time with Mr. 'A' at HH and you guys hit the JACKPOT! I got to feed him a couple of bottles and of course I kissed every spot I could reach and told him you were on the way REALLY soon!! He and 'H' are best buddies, they were holding hands at one point when they were in the bouncy seat nest to each other! He is sooo cute and smart as a tack!! I'll send more later...
I've already told Amber he takes after his daddy :) What great updates! Thanks guys! We can't wait to hear and see more of their trips...
We also got a special present in the mail yesterday. Amber went to Indiana University (and I grew up an IU fan) and has a great friend that she met there. Her friend and her husband are on staff at Campus Crusade for Christ ... a GREAT organization spreading the Gospel around the world. They sent us a perfect gift for Silas.
Even with little booties for his feet!
...and on his booty...
How great is that! Thanks Luke and Erin! It's PERFECT. Now I just have to get him a few Chicago Cub outfits and he'll be set! :)
The local family we had dinner with recently, Kristi and Will, have court tonight for their little daughter ... please pray that they pass court and can bring their daughter home soon!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
We want to thank EVERYONE for the well wishes and prayers ... I think we had almost 100 comments on facebook, our blog and emails ... the support and love has been overwhelming ... thankyou!thankyou!thankyou!
So we got Silas' window blinds in yesterday ... I got them installed today and that pretty much finishes his room. We're still thinking about a couple things but overall, it's close. So, I figured it was time to reveal it...
Now, first, his room is HUGE. The builders of our house 25 years ago made the spare rooms as big or bigger than the master bedroom. The great thing about that is that sharing a bedroom won't be an issue. In the meantime, Silas will be livin' large until he gets a brother.
This is the view from his door. We feel SO much better with the new carpet in there ... we have no worries on him crawling or playing on this ... the old stuff ... well, let's just say ... yeah, let's not. It's just good he's got new carpet :)
The view of his crib wall. We're very happy how it turned out.
His crib and bedding...
The pictures on the crib wall shelf are all pics of our boy ... here's one of our favorites! This will have to do for the time being ... we're not going to show his full picture until we're back home for multiple reasons ... sorry!
His dresser and our glider ... Amber was sitting in the chair while I was doing other pictures in the room ... dreaming of holding him and reading too him every night.
Scripture verse above his dresser...
This is the book shelf that Amber's Dad and I made. We've got it filled with his books, his "tiger" bank and extra storage baskets.
This is the print above the bookcase ... we love it. It has the verse "Love always Protects, always Trusts, always Hopes, always Perseveres 1 Corinthians 13:7"
This is the view from the window by his dresser back towards the door of his room. We had a spare full bed in here before and kept it in his room. We figured we'd be sleeping on it quite a bit when we transition him upstairs to his room or when he's sick or when we want to just be in the same room as him. We have a ton of pillows on it so it'll be like a 'daybed' ... there's still more pillows that Amber's mom has finished that need to go on it...
The toybox/window seat that I built ... I can see us hanging out up here reading to Silas as well...
Closer shot of the window seat/toybox
This is the Africa that we traced, cut out, and painted. It's on the wall above the bed.
This cross is on another wall near the bed. "Children are a gift from God Psalm 127:3" ... courtesy of Paul & DeeDee ... thanks guys!
So not only is our boy's room huge ... so is his closet! (pardon the mess) ... Another great feature for when he's got a roommate in the future :) There's also space behind the closet that I want to finish out in the next couple years so he can have a little 'fort' back there ... I'm sure he'd play more in that space than anywhere else.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Silas is legally our son!
Julie, our case manager, just called a few minutes ago to give us the great news!
We don't have travel plans yet but hope to get those in the next week or so.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS ... I HONESTLY BELIEVE THEY MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE!
Time to go celebrate! (well, somehow try to work and then celebrate tonight at dinner and Bible Study)
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
In researching travel dates, we're starting to see what travel will look like. It's exciting/overwhelming to think and plan that. We're praying we can book flights this week as there is a $200/ticket discount through Friday.
It was beautiful in Tennessee today so Amber and I went for a walk down to the park after work. It was fun to watch all the little league and t-ball games going on and telling each other "that could be Silas." Amber asked me if I was going to help coach Silas' team if he wants to play baseball. Even though I kinda downplayed it to Amber, there's no doubt that I would.
It's been amazing to see the support and prayers of family and friends ... THANK YOU! As I've been reflecting on things tonight, a couple things came to mind. Our Pastor referenced Hebrews 13:8 this past weekend: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. There is tremendous hope in that for me. If you read the Gospels, you see the miracles, healing, and compassion our LORD had for the people. If He was that way 2000 years ago and based upon Hebrews, He's still's that way today. He is interacting with His people the same way He did when He walked the earth.
Another friend emailed me Matthew 18:19-20 today ... Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.. I know that there are dozens of people across the country agreeing through Christ with us on this court date. I believe GOD hears us and will meet us where we are.
Our church is beginning the recruitment for next year's Children's Ministry team. Our Children's Ministry pastor was telling us all the things Jesus says about children in the Gospels. They are the only group that He says it's better to tie a big ol' rock around your neck and throw it in the water than to hurt them (Matthew 18:6). That if you give a cup of cold water to a little one in His Name, you won't lose your reward (Matthew 10:42). He said to not hinder the children from coming to Him because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them (Mark 10:13-16). And that if we welcome a child in His Name, we welcome Jesus (Matthew 18:2-6). This is just a small subset of what Jesus says about His children ... it shows us how much He values them. Those are scriptures that we all can proclaim over ourselves and our children. Wherever the Bible says little one, child or children, I can replace with Silas' name to make it personal to me ... because that's what it's all about ... a personal relationship with Jesus ... how long it took me to understand that...
Amber and I are early risers so court will most likely still be going on when we get up ... we won't know if Silas' case will have been heard or not. We're praying that his birth family shows up to court, that all the documentation by the Ethiopian government is completed, and that we find favor with the judge. We pray that our LORD is glorified in that Ethiopian courtroom and that everyone in that room will recognize His Presence.
Thank you again for for joining us in our journey. We are forever humbled.
Silas, buddy, we're coming for you SOON! Love you son!
I've seen, touched, and held your son! I wanted to let you know i spent a few minutes praying for your court case standing by his crib today. the monkey you sent is hanging out in his crib. of course i got pictures to email when we're home! i even got some smiles and giggles out of him. he's not serious all the time. I've got a picture of me holding 'A' and Bemnet at the same time. the special moms are great! we'll be praying tomorrow too.
My friends, that's an unreal update for today. GOD delivered that message to us when we needed it the most. With court overnight, it is unreal that we have people praying all across this country and next to our son as well.
Unreal. Matt & Monica, thank you SO much ... we are so grateful for you praying over him and the update!
I'll try to post tonight to give how we're holding up :) .... I have great peace about it now. I know it's all in GOD's hands now and that it's under His wing. I've spent part of the day researching how one gets from Nashville to Addis Ababa ... fun stuff!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Today's work was inside and outside ... inside consisted of organizing the office for me ... so much paperwork to go through, organize, shred, etc. I'm probably about 80% done but the last part that's left is the worst .... we always we leave the worst til last. Outside was mowing, weedeating, and trimming bushes. Sitting on the mower for a couple hours always allows me to think about things. Today it gave me a chance to really think what being a father would be like. How when I would be mowing, Silas would be at the window smiling and waving at me. How I could give him his first ride on the mower ... or when Amber would allow me to do that :) How I won't want to do anything else but be home with him, hanging out with him and Amber, and enjoying our family. Without a doubt, it will be one of the best things Amber and I will get to experience in our lives.
Amber's been busy nesting. She's been doing a great job around here ... she's even been cleaning places I didn't know existed. I still have a few more things that I'd like to get done around here before we travel. If we could somehow make the June 1st Embassy date, it's unreal to think we could be traveling in 12 days! That would mean we could meet our son in 2 weeks. With court 2 nights away, we're praying for favor. That our God would fill that courtroom and that He will be glorified in there. Of course, we've already asked/told God probably 1000 times that we'd prefer to pass the first time around. No matter what, we will praise Him. He is in absolute control ... there is nothing we can do but turn to Him. We will be fasting and praying for supper Tuesday night through lunch on Wednesday to match the timeline of when court will be. If so led, feel free to join us. We covet your prayers and thank you for joining in this God journey with us.
OK, off to eat and shuffle more papers in the office.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
If (when) we pass court, we have to get a US Embassy appointment to get his VISA before we can get travel plans. Our agency gets 2 Monday appointments a month and it seems they are the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month. We know June 1st is one of the dates and we imagine the 15th is the other. We'd LOVE to pass and get the June 1st date but not sure if they can get the appointment scheduled that quick.
Last night we had the honor of meeting Kristi and Will (and their kiddos). They are a local family that is adopting with AGCI as well. We have been in contact by email and blogs for a few months but have not met in person until last night. Their daughter is one month younger than Silas and their court date is 5 days after ours.. It's crazy to think they are there hanging out and playing and they'll be doing that same thing here so very soon. Amazing to see how God works. We're hoping that we'll be able to travel together ... we'd have a family with us missing the same Tennessean food with us :) Speaking of food, they fixed an AMAZING meal and it was great to hang out, get to know them, share stories, watch their kids in action and see how dedicated they are to their kids. Without a doubt, Kristi and Will have hospitable and servant hearts and it was very evident the minute we walked in the door.
Being that I can't find my camera cable at this moment, I'm going to steal a pic from Kristi's blog :) She's a much better blogger than I am ... we didn't leave their house until 11:30 and she went and blogged last night. Amazing woman.
Kristi and Will ... THANK YOU for last night ... it was great meeting you and can't wait for the future play dates! We are praying for your court date overnight on the 24th/25th!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Please read and watch the story on the news last night...
I'm not going to go political but just for a minute ... our government doesn't care. They would rather go spend $2.6 million dollars researching ways to lower the HIV infections in Chinese prostitutes. I'm not lying ... here's the story. Or $400,000 to cruise six bars in Buenos Aires to find out why gay men engage in risky sexual behavior while drunk -- and just what can be done about it. Here's that story. I got a quick answer for that ... QUIT LIVING IN SIN! That is just 2 of hundreds of "grants" out there ... and you're going to tell me that the government cares about our kids. Cmon. I don't believe in social medicine but I do believe in helping those that can't help themselves ... and if the government is going to take OUR money and say it's going to be used to help the children and elderly, then USE IT for that. Unbelievable. Quit stealing from it for your pet projects ... Democrat and Republican alike.
I have toned it down severly since being irate this morning about all this. God has taught me a lesson in all this ... to not forget to put my trust in HIM and not in man ... as I was this morning.
I emailed Sherry to tell her we were praying for her and we were here to fight for her and to let us know how we can help. Here's the email I got from her...
This is a nice surprise, thank you for emailing me and caring for Caleb. The Lord has had Angels calling me this morning. Reeves Sain got a hold of me and the owners are going to donate the low pressure bed this afternoon. I know that we are blessed to have so many love us. If you are still wanting to help or know of anyone who would like to still help, we are barely making it financially. I can't work which leaves me depending on gifts of love for my bills. I am always and forever grateful and blessed that so many have helped us in these trying times. You and Amber gave the gift of the ramp that has been such a needed blessing for this period in Caleb's life, without that ramp I would not be able to get him in and out of the house. Tell Mrs. Amber we say hello and we love ya'll.
So GOD provided the bed through Reeves Sain! PRAISE GOD ... that is amazing news!
So, to my supportive family and friends, I'm asking for a love gift on behalf of this amazing family. This mom cares so much for her son that before she had the wheelchair ramp, she would CARRY him in and out of her house to get him to therapy, etc. I'm not sure if you've lifted anyone with minimal muscle tone, but it is like carrying a hundred pound sack of potatos. The least we can do to show her we care is to donate a few dollars to help her with her bills.
So, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to help. You can also send a Paypal payment to that same email address. If we can get hundreds of people to donate, what an impact and statement for the Kingdom it will be. I will report back how the fundraising goes.
May GOD BLESS YOU for the compassion in your hearts. THANK YOU!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
It is unreal the love you can have for someone that you've never met. It is unreal the bond you can create over 3 months. It is unreal we've almost "known" him more of his life than we haven't. It is unreal how much a baby boy can change in 3 months. It is unreal how a boy thousands of miles away can change a marriage. It is unreal how a boy thousands of miles away can change your relationship with Jesus. It is unreal how much you want to go bring him home forever. Wow. Only God could plant that love and passion in our hearts.
One week from tonight is our court date. We are so grateful for the prayers of His people on our and our son's behalf. We will never be able to repay you except to join and agree with you on prayer points in your life. So please let us know anything we can pray with you on. We really mean that.
Silas, one week from tonight we will have families who are traveling to get their children on their knees near you praying for our court date. Be nice to them :) I can't wait to tell the world you are "officially" our son! WE LOVE YOU!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
There are currently some delays with Ethiopian adoptions for abandonment cases. We need to be praying for the families caught up in this delay. We are fortunate that Silas is not an abandonment case so his court date is still May 20th in Ethiopia. We do not have to be there for that as we signed a power of attorney form so our director can sign all documentation needed for the Ethiopian courts. So, overnight/early morning of the 19th/20th, it will be decided if we are legal parents of Silas A. Lucht. The anticipation and excitement is growing every minute. Of course, our daily prayer is that we pass this first time and not have to reschedule another court appointment. We would appreciate any prayers for our boy and his court date.
We spent this weekend working on the house and doing some major shopping for our boy. I was able to get the baseboards done in the living room. Last night, we made trips to Babies R Us, Super Target, and Walmart .... that will cause the strongest man to fall. We did get his mattress so we were able to put his bed put together. I think we're just waiting a couple more items from here and here and his room should be complete and we will be able to do the reveal.
Amber had her final shower on Saturday ... thank you Betsey and Beth for throwing it for her ... we are forever grateful!
It was fun to celebrate Mother's Day "unofficially" today ... Silas got Mommy a iTunes giftcard so she can have music to listen to when we travel to go get him.
We are still working on trying to get the house put together from the carpet getting installed last week. My office is in shambles ... I have so much paperwork to organize, put away or throw away. I think that will be my task this week.
We will also be taking 100+ pounds of donations to our orphanage when we travel. One item they are asking for is rechargeable lanterns. Power goes out in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia quite often and it is hard to care for the 60-70 kiddos in the dark. So, one of their humble requests are these lanterns. We are tight on space but would like to take 2 of these with us if possible. If you would like to help donate to purchase 2 of these, let me know! If the items are still on backorder, we will be taking diapers or formula instead ... huge continuous needs. THANK YOU!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
By the President of the United States of America.
Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme
Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of
nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set
apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.
And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence
upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in
humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to
mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy
Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose
God is The Lord.
And, Insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are
subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly
fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be
but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful
end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients
of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years,
in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no
other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten
the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and
strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our
hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and
virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-
sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to
pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess
our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. Now, therefore, in
compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do,
by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April,
1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby
request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits,
and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes,
in keeping the day holy to The Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the
religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope
authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard
on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national
sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former
happy condition of unity and peace.
In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the
United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of
March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and
of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.
We make our earnest prayer
that Thou wilt keep the United States
in Thy holy protection: that Thou wilt
incline the hearts of the citizens to
cultivate a spirit of subordination
and obedience to government, and
entertain a brotherly affection
and love for one another
and for their fellow citizens
of the United States at large.
And finally that Thou wilt
most graciously be pleased
to dispose us all to do justice, to love
mercy, and to demean ourselves
with that charity, humility, and
pacific temper of mind which were the
characteristics of the Divine Author
of our blessed religion, and without
a humble imitation of whose example
in these things we can never
hope to be a happy nation.
Grant our supplication,
we beseech Thee, through
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims' pride;
I'm glad they'll never see.
Babies piled in dumpsters,
Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty;
your house is on the sand.
Our children wander aimlessly
poisoned by cocaine
choosing to indulge their lusts,
when God has said abstain
From sea to shining sea,
our Nation turns away
From the teaching of God's love
and a need to always pray
We've kept God in our
temples, how callous we have grown.
When earth is but His footstool,
and Heaven is His throne.
We've voted in a government
that's rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges;
who throw reason out the door,
Too soft to place a killer
in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby
before he leaves the womb.
You think that God's not
angry, that our land's a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait
before His judgment comes?
How are we to face our God,
from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do,
but stem this evil tide?
If we who are His children,
will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face
and mend our evil way:
Then God will hear from Heaven;
and forgive us of our sins,
He'll heal our sickly land
and those who live within.
But, America the Beautiful,
If you don't - then you will see,
A sad but Holy God
withdraw His hand from Thee.