Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Marathon Sponsorship

This is a slightly modified letter for the blog that I mailed out to family & friends early this month.  Would you consider sponsoring me for the 1/2 marathon?


Dear Family & Friends,

As most of you know, God has led Amber and me to care for another orphan by adopting again … this time, a baby girl from Silas’ birth country, Ethiopia. We should be on the waiting list this month, God-willing, but the wait will be long as we expect it to take at least a year before we get a referral. We can’t wait to have her home and be together as a family of 4.

What most people don’t know is that there are 147 million orphans in the world. Almost 6 million in Ethiopia alone waiting for a family to call their own. To have a mommy and a daddy. To be unconditionally loved. 147 million orphans is half of our population in the United States. To put it in perspective, most of you know that I’m a Chicago Cubs fan. It would take over 45 years of sellouts at Wrigley Field to equal the number of orphans in the world. Just because we don’t see it daily, we can’t pretend this crisis doesn’t exist! God has called us to SO much more … more room in our hearts, in our homes, and in our relationship with Him.

On October 16, 2010, I will be running 13.1 miles in The Middle Half Marathon  to raise money for our adoption. Although it will be a challenge for me to complete this race (to say the least!), I will be especially motivated knowing that I am running for our daughter.

We have to travel twice to Ethiopia for our daughter … soon after our referral, we will have an initial court date and will meet our daughter for the first time. We will be in Ethiopia for about a week and then will have to leave our daughter in Ethiopia. :( We will need to pass court to finalize our adoption in Ethiopia a few months later and then travel back to bring her forever home.

I am asking our friends and family to support me in two ways…

1) Prayer. We had dozens and dozens of people praying for Silas and his adoption. We are asking for you to join with us in praying for our daughter. For her health and safety. For her birth family. For God to start to open her heart and ours for an immediate bonding that only He could provide. Also, please pray for my training for the marathon. As you know, I’m not a runner :). But I feel this is an invitation from God to spend time praying and thinking about our daughter while running. And for me personally, to get healthy to be the husband and father I need to be for my family.
2) Sponsorship. We have a total fundraising goal of raising at least $7700 for our adoption … $1 for each mile we have to travel one-way to bring our daughter home. This goal is about one-fourth of our total adoption expenses. For this half marathon, I hope to reach my goal of raising $3000 for our adoption. With the expensive cost of adoption and having to travel twice to Ethiopia, I would greatly appreciate you being part of our daughter’s story by making a donation toward this goal. Each dollar is a mile closer to bringing our daughter forever home. As you feel led, please share this story with other friends and family as well. Also, if you are running a race in the next year, you could help us with our fundraising goal for our daughter’s adoption. Please contact me if you would like more information on that.

If you have any questions at all, please email me at luchttd@yahoo.com. If you’d like to follow our journey (I can’t guarantee how often I’ll update it but I’ll try), our blog is http://luchtadoption.blogspot.com. If you would like to sponsor me in the half marathon, please click the ‘DONATE’ button on the left side of the page.

I have a picture below of our family as a reference point for praying for our adoption and our family. We can’t wait to show you an updated family picture once our daughter is forever home! THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF OUR DAUGHTER’S STORY!

May God richly bless you in every way that you serve Him,


Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

Copy of IMG_5061

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Official Number!

I was stalking the fedex website quite a bit today and finally just signed up for it to email me when our dossier documents got delivered to AGCI.  I got the email at 5:02pm CST today and about 5:05pm I emailed our contact at AGCI just letting her know that I saw that it got delivered :)  She actually called us around 6:45pm tonight to let us know that the documents looked good and we were officially on the list!  So, we are officially….


for a 0-12 month old girl.  For those of you not in the AGCI circle, they have one girls list no matter what your parameters are.  So there are families on the list that are requesting a girl 1-3, for example, that is above us on the list.  I haven’t studied the ‘unofficial’ list yet to see where we are :)  We’re expecting to wait til late spring 2011 for a referral … unless Jesus comes back before then.

We got off the phone and quickly drove to our friends Paul and Amy who are going to Ethiopia TOMORROW to bring their baby boy Elijah home.  They live less than a mile from us which is all God allowing us to have our boys grow up together … both who stayed at Hannah’s Hope.  We were able to hang out for a few minutes with them, pray with them, and wish them the best trip they could have.  What a great celebration day!

After leaving their house, Amber wanted to celebrate some more so we drove over to Sonic and she got a Snickers Blast.  Unfortunately, I had to run tonight, so no ice cream for me … I got to celebrate with running a 5k :( … she definitely won tonight.

I know you’re shocked with back-to-back posts but had to let the 5 of ya know that we made the list! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spiritual Training

Man, had this started almost a week ago and just haven’t had time to finish it…

Before I dive into this, just an update on our baby girl’s adoption.  We mailed our dossier in last Tuesday and it got to AGCI Thursday.  They reviewed it Friday and emailed us at the end of the day saying that 2 documents need to be revised … one of them out of our control.  Kind of a bummer as we were hoping to be on the wait list last week … the list is growing every day and we’re ready to be on it!   We got all the documents we needed today and we overnighted them today to get there tomorrow.  Hopefully, we will get the call that we are on the waitlist tomorrow!

And an update on my run this past weekend … did 7 miles … no walk, all run, 11 minute miles!  I was very surprised … but God gave me a cooler overcast morning and that made all the difference.  For comparison, last Thursday around 5pm I went out with the heat index over 100 and couldn’t run 3 miles before having to stop and walk.  So humid and couldn’t breath.  Praying for a cool overcast morning for Saturday, October 16th or it could get REAL ugly.

Alright, spiritual training.  Our pastor always talks about how spiritual training is like physical training.  That if you don’t train, you won’t be prepared for the race.  Similar to how David had fought the lion and bear before Goliath, he had the spiritual training to discern God’s invitations and provision.  And just like how quickly you physically can get out of shape when you stop working out, you can spiritually get out of shape when you stop studying, spending time with God in prayer and the Word, fellowshipping with other followers, etc.  The physical training has shown me how vulnerable my spiritual training is. 

It has stormed multiple times during my running.  Sometimes I have gotten down-poured on … others times it thundered in the distance and started raining after I got home.  And then others it would just thunder and blow over.  A couple times I had Silas with me and the boy loved it … anything with water is right up the kid’s alley.  As I was running, I couldn’t help to think about the storms that come in our lives.  Are we prepared for them?  Have we trained up to get ready to either defeat or weather them?  Do we have the discipline to discern the wisdom and knowledge from the storm so that we can be stronger for the next one?  As Casting Crowns sing, I should be praising Him in the storm.  I am usually whining during these storms to get out of them as quick as possible.  David didn’t whine when a bear came out to take his sheep.  He took the challenge head-on.

During the running, there is inevitably some hills to deal with … I mean, we are in Tennessee.  Hills will humble you real quick.  You’ll feel that you can go forever and hit a hill and want to quit.  Your legs are burning, your lungs can’t get enough oxygen, and many times, you end up walking up the hill with hands on your hips.  But, little by little, these hills get easier … easier … not easy.  You still definitely know you’re going up one but it’s do-able and doesn’t knock you completely down.  The funny thing is that if you’re in a car, you don’t even realize you’re going up that incline or hill.  You’re oblivious to it because there is no strain on the car nor do you have to react to that hill.  My spiritual life is very similar to this.  I’ll get to a hill where I have to climb spiritually and I’ll usually end up crawling up the hill … sliding down a few times in the process.  I usually feel like I’m climbing a gravel hill barefoot versus being in a SUV (Jesus’ arms) to climb the hill.  I usually rely on my bare feet than climb into His SUV.  I usually take the toddler stance of ‘ME DO IT’ rather than giving it up to Jesus.  I usually want to “perservere” (aka, push MY way up the hill) rather than to wait on Him to pick me up.

Over the past 3 weeks or so, I have started to use Amber’s ipod when I’m not pushing Silas.  Man, what a difference!  I still haven’t made a playlist so I have about 5 songs that I repeat.  It works for me for now … I’m a guy that can listen to the same song multiple times if I love it.  And this music works for me … it’s not necessarily the music to get your adrenaline going (I will add some of that in my playlist soon) but it’s what I need to get me through.  Below are most of the songs…

1) Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) by Chris Tomlin – this is the song I usually do my warm-up walk to.  It makes me realize how free I am now to run the race He has in front of me.  It makes me realize the provision He has given to my daughter as well.  I love this this verse…

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

2) God of This City by Chris Tomlin – I can’t hear/sing this song and not think of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  I close my eyes and I’m back there.  The city that my son was born in.  The city where we will see our daughter for the first time.  God has created a void in my heart for this city and country.  I long to go back.  This song just pushes me so much when running … I’m sure some people on the running paths have thought I was nuts raising my hands worshipping our Lord to this song while running :)

You're the God of this City
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are

You're the Light in this darkness
You're the Hope to the hopeless
You're the Peace to the restless
You are
There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City

3) I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin – ok, by now you can tell I’m a CT fan.  The boy can just hit the root of my heart.  We had the opportunity to go to his concert a couple years ago and I was blown away at the worship that took place.  God was in that building.  He was just a worship leader leading thousands of us in giving honor and praise to our King.  I love the first verse … it is very pertinent when I’m struggling up that hill and the legs are starting to burn.  I will sometimes go back to this song when I’m going through a tough stretch…

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

and I sing the chorus to Silas every night as part of our ‘routine’

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

4) Mighty to Save by Hillsong – I fell in love with this song when it was on Abe’s gotcha-day video.  The Alexander’s video was shown to numerous family and friends early on in our adoption journey.  I don’t think there was a dry eye that watched it.  Since then, it has been used for recap videos of God invitations so this song has a special place in my heart.

Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Savior;
The Hope of nations.

Savior, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.

So, I guess to summarize, as I struggle in each of these areas, I can’t help but think of our daughter in Ethiopia.  I don’t know if she is born yet, conceived yet, or if only God knows about her.  But I do know I can pray for her.  For her health.  For her safety.  For her birth family.  I know I am training for her … both physically and spiritually … so I can be the earthly father that God has called all us fathers to be.  I know that no matter how ‘hard’ it is for me, there is no comparison to what the 147 million orphans are going through daily.  My struggle is so superficial.  Theirs is abandonment and loneliness.  Theirs is the challenge for clean water.  Theirs is life or death.  But there is hope.  I know someone who is the Father to the fatherless, Friend to the friendless, Hope for the hopeless and HE knows their name!  And we have the unbelievable opportunity to know our Savior, the creator of Heaven and earth, in this way.  It’s unfortunate that I blow by this invitation so much because I want to run my own race.  Day by day, bit by bit, I pray I am letting go of my life to join the one He has for me.

Monday, July 19, 2010


If you don't do anything else today ... read this.


Jody is a friend that adopted with AGCI as well. She and Pat traveled a few weeks before us to bring their daughter home and she got to love on Silas while she was there. She is now on a mission trip in Ethiopia and I know will be forever changed.

We can't pretend this doesn't exist. We can't ask God why this exists when He's asking us the same thing. He's equipped us with all that we need to serve His people.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Physical Training

This is a long overdue post about my training for the half marathon.  If you haven’t read about the decision to run, you can read about it here.  There has been actually two types of training going on … physical & spiritual.  I’m going to focus on the physical as it’s honestly easier to process.

So I have been running for the past 6 weeks or so.… well, if that’s what you call it … there are times I see turtles and snails pass me.  This has all been to get my running up to a level to actually train for the marathon.  My goal has been to get to 4 miles consistent by the 24th of July as the 26th will be week 1 of the 12 week official training plan for the race.  The race is on Saturday, October 16th.

I started off run/walking around 2.5 miles.  We have a park at the end of our road that has a .62 mile walking path around some ball fields which is about a mile away.  We also have a greenway system that has some trails in the woods that have been a life saver.  Those are much hillier than just doing the walking path around the ball fields but the shade has been so needed.  It has been HOTHOTHOT in Tennessee this year.  Like crazy hot.  Mid to upper 90’s plus humidity has put heat indexes in triple digits many days.  I have been running 3 times a week. I usually run on Tuesday/Thursday afternoons and then Saturday mornings … I’m going to probably add Mondays to the runs once training officially starts.  The Tuesday/Thursday runs are usually in the dead of heat around 5pm because if I don’t do it right after work, I won’t go until 9pm or so and that’s just not ideal with getting up at 5:15am.  And, I’m usually pushing Silas on those days.  It’s amazing what 25 pounds of Ethiopian can do to your running.

OK, fast forward to last Saturday … I ran about 6 miles with about 1/2 mile of that walking!  My goal for this Saturday is 7 miles.  We will be heading to Indiana the following weekend for Amber’s class reunion so I have a feeling that week’s long run will be shorter … but I’m hoping for 5 miles to ensure I stay above the 4 mile long runs the first 2 weeks of the training plan.  The official training plan will start the week after we get back from Indiana.

A couple weeks into running, I started having some pretty good pain in my big toe joint on the top of my foot.  In the past, I’ve had it be sore but nothing like what was happening.  I decided to go get some xrays to see what I was dealing with.  The xray showed that the joint doesn’t have much cushion between it.  There is some bone on bone happening along with a little bone spur.  Nothing to really do for it.  I will probably get arthritis in it earlier in life.  But praise God … it really hasn’t bothered me much in my runs in the past couple of weeks.  At the end of the long run last week, it started hurting but that’s also the farthest I’ve gone.  I’m praying that it will continue to not be a big issue through the training.

If you remember, I had a goal of losing about 30 pounds through this process.  Unfortunately, I have not lost much at all.  A little disappointed.  OK, downright frustrating.  I was justifying what I was eating by thinking that I’m running, my metabolism is faster, and I can eat that (cookie, ice cream, whatever).  It’s just so easy to eat that cookie when they’re sitting there at work just begging you to eat them. Well, I have made a decision of NO MORE COOKIES at work.  I held strong on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Mind over matter.

Talking about mind … so much of running is mental.  I will get to a point while running where I just ‘think’ that it’s time to quit even though my breathing is ok and my legs are alright.  I have to fight that desire to stop and continue on.  The big decision is making the plan of how long I’m going to run and plotting out the course and holding true to that.  Again, mind over matter.

OK, that summarizes the physical training side of things.  Next post will be how all this ties to the spiritual training side of this training … still trying to wrap my head around all that.  But a little on that … you know how when you follow God on something and you feel all righteous?  You expect it’s going to be smooth sailing because you heard God’s invitation.  OK, God, I got it.  Make my running path downhill both ways.  60 and mostly sunny.  Spray a little cool mist every now and again.  Do you do that or is that just me?  The reality is that we’re not promised anything like that.  Actually, if we look at Scripture, Jesus followers suffered more than any of us would care to.  But yet we know they were walking from invitation to invitation.  So why do we think the road will be easy???

OK, can’t leave you without a pic of Silas … here’s one of momma and him playing one night last week…


Sunday, July 11, 2010

4th of July

So, I would apologize that I wanted to have more posts in the last month but I know you’d think that’s the same old song and dance and that is just the norm now.  I just give kudos to those who blog regularly.  I want to … I really do … I just can’t find the time to do it.  I have 4 posts in my head this minute that I’d love to get done.  I need to find a way to dictate blogs on my 45 minute drive to work … hmmm … I’m sure there’s already an app for that…anyways…

We went to Indiana to Amber’s family for the 4th … Silas had a blast … except for the fireworks.  The first night he was with Amber (I was the pyro help setting them off) and was just crying saying ‘BYE BYE, BYE BYE, BYE BYE’.  Poor kid.  The next night Amber and I were together and he held on tight to us but did pretty good.  Below are some pics from the weekend…


We went swimming at Mammaw’s pool on Saturday the 3rd.  Silas LOVES the water … and yes, I did do my long run before swimming.  Five miles of just corn and Troy.  Mostly running … a little walking.  Slowly but surely.


Silas and Mama going under.  He likes going under … kept saying ‘more, more’ or ‘under’… boy is a fish!  I will spare you the mullet picture of his hair after he came out of the water :)


Silas’ sweet cousin Tucker.  Boy’s a tank.  He’s 3 months and about 16 pounds.  It was real good to see him and his Mommy Nicole.  Amber’s brother Adam wasn’t able to make the trip up.

The evening of the 3rd was spent at Uncle Paul & Aunt Amy’s for a wiener roast, hanging out with family, and fireworks.


OK, we LOVE this picture.  No words needed :)


Amber’s dad’s friend came out and her little daughter is a tiny bundle of JOY.  She was so cute and adorable.  We couldn’t help thinking and talking about the daughter God has for us in Ethiopia when holding her.


Aunt Amy having some Silas time.  He loves sitting on shoulders.  He also likes playing the drums on Daddy’s head but that’s another story.


Silas having fun on the 4 wheeler with Uncle Paul & Aunt Amy.


Aunt Nicole (Tucker’s mommy) hanging out with Silas


Pappaw with Silas and Tucker

Amber’s mom always has a 4th celebration for her church.  There’s nothing better than church food.  And no calories, right?


Amber’s mom wanted a picture of the young grandkids together in Old Navy flag shirts.  We always hand-pick the best pictures for you on here.  Well, just to show you the ‘other’ side of Silas … this is the first picture of the 4 kids.  You can see baby Tucker and Silas are real happy to be part of this.  Ross is thrilled as well.  Good thing Kennedy is our anchor.


About 50 pictures later, this is probably the best one we got


We came home on the 5th.  Silas is all about wearing our shoes now.  This picture is so wrong in so many ways.  1) Amber’s pink flipflops.  2) Cardinals hat.  A nice elderly man from church is a Cards fan and knows I’m a die-hard Cubs fan … and he was real happy to get Silas a Cardinals hat.


Silas saying ‘cheese’

OK, I promise the next blogs will be about the marathon training … so far, so good … for the most part.  God has been teaching me alot through the training … can’t wait to share!