Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And her name will be....

I know I've changed it a few times. If you followed our journey to Gracie you remember the 5 names changes that took place along the journey.  So, I know you're not surprised:)

But seriously, we've decided absolutely, positively, no doubt on Keemberlie's name once she comes home AND we have her approval.

Her name will be........ Sunny Eliza Foote. We'll call her Sunny.

Her disposition is always so cheerful and our prayer is that she will always look to the Son of God especially in the darkest times. Eliza has a special meaning as well.

Love knowing we've chosen the right name. Once less thing to figure out:)

Keep praying over our paperwork. God is on the move! We are so close to getting out of the social services department I can almost feel it.

Thank you!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

He Gives and Takes Away

As you can see by the last 5 posts or so, life has been traveling at the speed of light. We have had a FULL summer and its only June 25. But what I haven't shared is the emotional roller coaster we've been on in the midst of all the other activities. For starters, during our vacation we found out 3 of the families adopting from HCRM got out of IBESR (the social services department in Haiti) where our dossier has been sitting since February 1. We were overjoyed for these families but disappointed we were not also making progress. Two of the families were submitted to IBESR before us, one a month after us. And somehow our dossier was looked over. Nothing in Haiti makes much sense to us linear thinking Americans. But I'm sure there's a good reason...a God-reason for this delay. But that doesn't always soothe this aching-momma's heart. When we found out the other families made it out of IBESR we were at least hopeful our dossier would pass through there soon, maybe even a matter of days. So the long hold-the-cell-phone-all-day wait began for that precious phone call. Day after day, nothing. Week after week, nothing. This coming week will be six long weeks of intense waiting.... and almost 5 months of waiting in all since entering IBESR....or, as I see it, 1 year and 5 months since the process all began for us. I'm learning how to wrestle with God and rest in God. Actually- I'm learning to surrender. I've fought all I can fight in the spiritual realm and now I'm sitting and waiting for God to move. I canceled my trip to Haiti for June thinking we may get out of IBESR and get a court date soon. Since that has not happened I have been sad that I didn't go visit Keemberlie. But some friends have visited and they say she is doing well. When I can't be there, it is a comfort to know the Spirit is there - protecting her, teaching her, watching her, recording her days that I cannot see.

The week after returning home from Charleston I received a phone call from my dad. I could tell immediately something was wrong. Without going into all the details, during my stay in Charleston I wondered if my mother was dying. She has been very sick for 26 years.... that is the understatement of the century. The woman has been through it, as has our family out of concern for her. I was sure my dad was calling to say she had died. His voice sounded that bad. But as it turned out, he was taking her to the hospital (again, skipping details out of respect for my mother's privacy).  During her stay, the hospital decided to reduce some meds she had been on for years. We were very concerned about withdraws and how her body would handle it. But surprisingly her withdraws were not bad. A week later she returned home free of these specific meds which was, in and of itself, a complete miracle. We were excited about this new change. But hesitant as we were not sure it would last.

The next day, the day before the No Double Yellow Line event, I received another sad phone call. My dad was in tears not for my mom this time, but for my sister. At 12 weeks pregnant she was miscarrying. She has two beautiful girls and had survived the first 12 weeks of exhaustion and nausea with excitement that she may have a son this time around. As you can imagine she was devastated...and we were all devastated for her. The morning of the Event she had a DNC. I would have much rather been in SC with her at this time. I was carrying around a heaviness for my sister that weekend that no words could express. She is doing well now, though still grieving. Please pray for her and her family as they process what has happened and look ahead to the future.

Fast forward to the Saturday before Father's Day. My dad texted me, "give us a call when you can". I immediately worried that something else was wrong. When he answered I could hear joy in his voice. He put the phone on speaker so I could talk with mom. This is not unusual. You see, my mom - among her many physical problems - has had strokes that we had assumed caused her to lose the use of her voice as well as caused her to sit and walk completely hunched over - head hanging down to knees. She was also sleepy most of the day - to the point of falling asleep while eating. So, my dad often used the speaker phone so she wouldn't have to hold a phone to her ear and also so he could tell me what she was trying to say since I could barely hear her.

Well, imagine my surprise when my mother starts speaking in the voice I remember her having when I was a child. I couldn't believe it. It must have been the drugs causing her to think she couldn't speak. I was having my first real conversation with my mom in YEARS! I was amazed!

And it just got better. On Father's Day I received another text from my dad. This time it was a picture of my mom all dressed up for church - with hair fixed and makeup on, a dress and she was SITTING UP! I know most of my readers have nothing to compare this picture to, but trust me when I say it is evidence of a MIRACLE!

I immediately texted dad back telling him she looked so beautiful. Then I thought - CRAZY GIRL - CALL THEM! So I called and dad said mom was crying tears of joy because of my response. We had our second great conversation. Both of us in tears over what God was doing before our eyes. She is being healed. The restoration has been miraculous - I mean seriously miraculous. After 26 years of constant struggle, she is coming back to life! I cannot tell you how big this is for our family. The joy I hear in my father's voice leaves me speechless. I keep reminding myself that I can now call and talk to my mom, share life's adventures with her. I have her back after all these years! Nothing I can say here will put to words how big this mighty God's power is to save!

He gives and takes away. There is so much I don't understand. Why isn't Keemberlie home yet? Why isn't our paperwork moving along? Why did my self-less, always serving sister have to lose her baby? But in the mystery of his ways, I'm learning to trust and fully believe. Because, though he takes away he also saves. He redeems. He brings the dead back to life.

My dad sent my brother, sister and me the most beautiful email a couple of days ago. Only my dad could put 26 years of struggle and pain into 21 of the most beautiful sentences ever written. He's not a man of many words....but oh the depth. He wrote,

How do you explain a miracle.  You can't!  A journey of 26 years has possibly come to an end.  For what ever reason, for what ever purpose God has chosen to heal Nancy.  I have often wondered how so many people could be praying for one person for so long yet no answers.  But that is how God works.  It is of His time and His choosing and when you least expect it.  Only He could have a hand in it and work all things for His glory.  There is no other explanation.  Should I be angry, should I be mad at the wasted years and money.  I chose to be happy and thankful.  Always remind me of that if I fail to head my own advice.  Will this last?  I do not know, but I plan to relish the time of healing.  Thank you for all the positive comments to your mother.  It will be a continual encouragement to her ongoing healing.  Who knows what lies around the corner.  Satan is always prowling about the earth seeking whom he may devour, but our God is powerful, loving and merciful. Only He knows the future and He holds it in His hands.  Praise be to Him and His Son, Jesus, whose blood covers a multitude of sins. We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory.


Summer Fun, Part Dos!

What is summertime with sunflowers! And let me do a happy dance right here and now for actually growing a plant and not killing it! These beauties grace our backyard and make me look like I know what I'm doing...if but for a season...

And speaking of flowers.... below are pics of the BEAUTIFUL flowers my sweet friends Mark and Whitney Allen sent me the day before the event. I was so surprised and blessed!

watercolor on faces because watercolor wouldn't be fun enough on paper

dinner, puppet show and costume sharing with new friends, the Sims family

And more pool time!

The Sunglass Gang

 And introducing - the most awesome child-throwing dad at the neighborhood pool.....

Life After The Event = Summer Fun! Part 1

Life after the event was much less stressful:) ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh............. Time for some summer fun! 
The very next morning we enjoyed some splish-splash, google-wearing fun with our drummer's wife, Angela and their girls Kennedy and Addison...

 And then I hauled all of us to the airport by lunch to see Rood come home!!!!!!!! Rood became an amputee orphan in the 2010 Haiti earthquake.  He is now home with a new family on a medical visa to get the aid he needs for his prosthetic! YAY!!! So fun to gather with all the Haiti families at the airport to see him arrive home. Can't really see him in the picture below - but you can see some of the crowd gathered to celebrate! Such joy!

No Double Yellow Line Event

While most of the spring was spent getting the No Double Yellow Line EP ready, May and June were spent getting ready for The No Double Yellow Line Event. It was the night of my EP/CD (whatever you want to call it) release concert in conjunction with Ground To Cup Coffee's child sponsorship launch of a CarePoint (Warancha) in Ethiopia through Children's HopeChest. 

I was a nervous wreck thinking about speaking on stage. Singing is one thing - speaking - ENTIRELY another. But as I laid my head down to sleep the night before with my stomach all tied up in knots I prayed for God to give me peace and I heard him ask - "What really matters?" And I knew - only Him. And I fell asleep and experienced the most peaceful sleep. I woke with peace and finished with peace. It was great walking in the Spirit through it all. I was able to let go every issue with the sound, every worry about what to say, every ache in my body for things to go just right, every thought that I might mess up and just say what God was telling me to say. 

The night was a special one. Ground To Cup Coffee raised 25 sponsors that night - and probably more stepped up to the plate after that night. The awareness of orphans was heightened. Many wonderful stories came out of that night. God worked on hearts. It was good. 

There are MANY thank you's to share. 
Thank you to Doug and Cristie Martine for inviting me to play such a big part in the night. They allowed me the freedom to take the time I needed to share all the songs on a night that was primarily about the work God was doing in their hearts for the orphans of Ethiopia - from which, they are currently adopting. Thank you for all the preparation you did to make this event beautiful and meaningful. I know it was stressful at times (especially the change of venue part:) but you handled it all beautifully.

Thank you to CrossBridge Community Church for allowing us the use of their facility. Thank you Debbie Ashton, facility coordinator, for your sweet spirit and wonderful help.

Thank you to Hillside Fellowship for allowing us to use your sanctuary for rehearsal, for free.

Thank you band - Jon Meyer on electric (who also wrote out all the chords and ran our rehearsal time for me:), Brady Redwine (who brilliantly played banjo, dobro, B3 organ, keys, mandolin), Kevin Peters on drums, Isaac Brown on bass, Billy Foote on acoustic guitar and Greg Jones on harmonica (who took on that task just one hour before the event began:)

Thank you Jennifer Verme for taking on the center pieces and coming up with the most creative arrangements I think I've ever seen. You have such a gift, girl. Thank you also for the pictures you took that night. They are included below. Jenn is an awesome photographer. Check out her work at:

Thank you Angela Peters for watching my girls during rehearsal. Thank you Angela and also Alysia Brown for arriving at event early to help set up and run the CD table. 
Thank you Firoozeh and Shahram for coming early to help set up and run last minute errands. You were so precious...and I know you were also praying! Thank you!

Thank you Billie Gill and Kitchen team for preparing the most fabulous meal!!! I know it took an incredible amount of time/prep. You did an awesome job!

Thank you Ground to Cup Coffee for providing the brisket for the meal.

Thank you, Corene, of Photography by Corene, for offering to come out for free to photograph the evening. I am very much looking forward to seeing your work!

Thank you Mike Vinson of Children's HopeChest, for making this launch possible and for flying in from RUSSIA to share your heart/vision.

Thank you guests - friends, community - for supporting the event by joining us, sponsoring children, buying coffee, necklaces and CDs. Thank you for your words of encouragement and thank you for sharing the stories of how God used the night to move your heart for the orphan. 

I sure hope I'm not missing anyone!!

And here are the photos from the night by: Jennifer Verme of Bend The Light Photography:

Mike Vinson of Children's HopeChest

Cristie Martine

Gracie's 2 Year Anniversary of Gotcha Day!

 On June 9, 2011 we celebrated Gracie's 2 year anniversary of Gotcha, er....actually it was a few days after that - but we did celebrate it!! Libby and I made a cake for her. We had a special dinner and then family time at the pool. Gracie enjoys when her daddy tells her her adoption story. She likes to think about being that once tiny little baby. As I recall all that transpired the summer of 2009, I am amazed that we all survived! It was a tough summer. But Gracie was the sweetest new addition and worth all the challenges the summer brought our way.  She is a thriving, 3T-wearing, curly-Q cutie pie. She and Libby play so well together (as long as Gracie is following all of Libby's instructions:)) and we are so very happy to be family, with Gracie!

Gracie, you are SO silly!

There's that flirty/sneaky look she always gives....

not the best pic, but proof we did go to the pool that day;)
A little story behind this pic: The girls and I made a plate and mug for Keemberlie that we set on the table for dinner every night. On the plate is painted the Scripture "He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies". I want my girls to get the idea that just as Keemberlie cannot see this plate set for her we cannot see the table set for us in heaven - but it is just as real. Well, the girls took it even further and used all their play food to make a feast for Keemberlie. So, Keemberlie - on this Gotcha Day celebrating Gracie you were not forgotten. We long to have you home. We pray with tears for your gotcha day. But in the mean time, even though you cannot see it right now - a table and a feast is set for you in faith that YOU WILL COME HOME!
Blog Design by Delicious Design Studio