Thursday, February 27, 2014


Psalm 88:1-2
Lord, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.
Last night, our pastor taught on all of Psalm 88 and although I drew many things from it, I ultimately was captivated by those first two verses.
I have cried words similar to those many times. I'm sure you have too.
"Lord! I know you saved me from my sins. Thank You for that. I know it is all I really need, 
but please hear me now... I. Need. You.
I need You to hear me pour my heart out without moving my lips because I can't find the words.
I need You to somehow. someway. sometime. give me hint. a clue. a glimpse of the why.
I need You to tell me one more time that You are for me because right now I'm just not seeing it.
I need You to hear me out while I unload the questions and statements that burden my mind because of the things You allow.
I need to know You are listening."
Why did she die? Why does it hurt? I can't take another rejection. When will the worry stop? I know You can heal me. How many times are You going to let me mess this up? I'm not able to sleep deeply anymore. What do You want me to do?
I've been in those moments many times and I'm sure I'll be there again, but you know what??
He is listening to me and to you and to my son unlocking the floodgates to his soul in a language I'll never understand...
He listens and He understands each one of us!
Isn't that amazing!?!
And beyond Him listening...
He has sent me those hints and clues and glimpses when I have slowed down and been quiet enough to receive them. I've never heard His voice, but I long to one day.  Thankfully, I don't need to hear Him with my ears for Him to communicate with me.
I decided to write this today because I know I'll need to read it in the future. All these things He did for me, He did without me crying out because I didn't think He wanted to hear it again, but He heard me in my silence.
When I felt like my emotions had been held back for so long that my heart must be hard, He allowed my tears to fall as I heard the lengthy and passionate prayer of my son.
When I messed up as a mom in the area of self control again, He prompted one of my children to tell me how amazing I was.
When I was alone in a house full of kids, He sent me a friend.
When I looked back to see if I had missed a sign from Him, He went before me and showed me His plans are good.
When the numbers didn't add up and I couldn't figure out why, He gave me peace.
God is good and He loves this messed up momma more than I can imagine.
The kids are all doing well. Adjusting. Hanging out. Schooling.
All as a family of 8 now.
It isn't easy, but it is fun!
The many many many weeks and thousands upon thousands of dollars seem like a distant memory.
Today, I am praying for families that are hoping, praying, and contemplating adoption. I can't tell you enough how much more you will receive than you will give up. My children are my children now and although their pain is still there and their smiles fade away sometimes, God is healing them and attaching them to our family and, through that healing and attaching, showing...
 oh how He loves you and me.
Thank you, LORD!


Friday, February 21, 2014

Airport photos!

I know a lot of you wanted to be there (and a lot of you were at the homecoming party,) but I wanted to share a few of the photos that Cynthia Hill got for as at the airport.
All photos are by Cynthia Hill Photography

Friday, February 14, 2014

Life as 8.

Photo Credit: Cynthia Hill Photography
Eight! We are finally a family of 8!!
I have so many things I want to share. So many little moments. A few big moments. Lots of pictures. It's a bit overwhelming! I think I'll do details for the first day and then a few things that have gone on since then.
Day One (Wednesday the 5th)
My parents, Matt's parents, the kids, our friend/photographer, and I got up at 4:30 to drive 2 hours to wait an hour to see them walk in. It was awesome! The hugs exchanged by our 6 kids was adorable. After 13 weeks of skyping, they knew one another and had played and made faces and showed them their room and did air hugs... they were brothers and sisters already. Isaac and John Terry met Gramps, Granny, PaPa, and Grandma and gave sweet hugs and quiet "hellos" all while our amazing photographer snapped precious photos (thanks for coming Cynthia!) John Terry and Titus held hands immediately as if they had been best friends for years. They kids walked in two rows of three through Dulles Airport! The girls handed the boys icicles as we walked through the parking lot with freezing rain dropping on our heads...
Welcome to America! Haha.
Adding two more people to the van somehow made it take twice as long to hook in and twice as long to get out, but not twice as long to get shoes off to play in to the play area!
Trinity, John Terry, Azriel, Titus, Isaac, and Emma
The laughter was contagious. The screams were loud. The chasing and running and piling up on the slide would make most first time moms panic! We got sausage biscuits for all the kids, but we could have had Isaac and John Terry share... one at the sausage and the other ate the biscuit. Who knew?
Our two hour drive home consisted of a lot of "When we get home?" from two excited boys.
Home was worth the wait. They were given a tour by the whole crew and then let loose to jump, play piano, dress up like superheroes, and fill up their cups with ice and water. They love ice!
We forced a quiet time for all six kids, but only the boys (plus Mom and Dad) slept. I'm sure glad we did because our welcome party was packed and full of people we love to hang out with!

Here is a video so you can feel like you were there! Mark had Emma carry a mini camera in with her so you could see what we see :) John Terry ate up the attention, but Isaac was a little more reserved. Eventually, he did start playing and running around with all the other kids. Thank you to everyone that came out and to those that couldn't make it, but that prayed for us and supported us.
 They are here! Thank you LORD!

After all that craziness and fun, we crashed for our first night sleeping under the same roof.
I had a friend message me this morning with...
"How are you? How are things? Give me the good, the bad and the ugly.

Did you know we adopted a baby? You didn't? Me either! John Terry is not the baby of the family. He is the smallest by less than five pounds, but he is two months older than Titus. You would think he was 9 months old the way his older sisters take care of him. They carry him. They fill his water. They take his plate in. They ask for more food for him when he doesn't speak up. They help him get all his gear on in the morning. They put his shoes away for him. I think you get it, but I could go on. This, my friends, he loves, but his mean mom is not allowing it to continue. I'm so thankful that Trinity, Emma, and Azriel enjoy helping. I am. Really. I don't mind them being with him while they teach him to do certain task, but that boy is getting told in Luganda by his older brother to stop being a baby... and he's right! We all like to be taken care of. In the Williams' house, we take care of things together. Many hands make light work and he will grow to love the sense of accomplishment with a  big hug from momma when he does his best.

Kindles and DSs are fun.
Mom and Dad saying times up is not fun.

Send them my way and I'll try to answer them in the next post!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Isaac and John Terry!

So... I am sitting an empty house. Just me, the Super Bowl, my dog, and my  laptop. Hanging out. Thinking about the last 9 months. Looking at the stats on this blog to see what people have read the most and shared the most. Realizing that this may be the last evening I have in an empty house for a long time and that makes me super happy.


That lasted all of thirty minutes. Emma and Azriel came home because the kids they were playing with were eating peanut m&ms and then trying to play with Azriel. Not good. Glad my kids watch out for one another!

This is now 36 hours past the incident and she had no reaction (thank you, Lord)... although she still kept me up all that night with her feet in my back! 

We have some exciting news to share this morning. 
Isaac and John Terry got their VISAS in hand! 

They are on their way now to the airport in Entebbe to fly to Ethiopia to fly to Rome to fly to Washington D.C. to be picked up by us. 

Praise Him with us. Each one of you. Go ahead. Praise pause.
Tomorrow morning will be our first hug as a family of eight!

A lot of other exciting first are happening tomorrow. A little girl we prayed for before God began to form her will be born at a hospital here in Richmond (We love you Ellen Blaire!... Oh, and Becky and Chris ;) )  Tomorrow, grandmas will become grandmas for the first time. Teens will get behind the wheel for the first time. Someone will get called for an interview for the first time in a long time. Unbelievers will walk in to a church to hear God's Word for the first time. Kids will ride a bike on their own for the first time. I could go on and on with fun firsts, but...

Tomorrow, some one will send off their son to war for the first time. A daughter will take her last breathe. A father will get bad diagnosis. Someone will be fired. HIV will take the life of a parent and leave a child alone for the first time. A little girl will spend the night in an orphanage for the first time. A boy who has prayed for a family for years will not pray for someone to come for the first time.

We will celebrate what God has done, but we will not forget those who are struggling.
Decide TODAY to be the one to hold the mother's hand, hug the father, take a meal to the daughter, or go bring the orphan home. 
Celebrate with us, but the story doesn't end here. Lots of little girls and little boys and big girls and big boys are waiting.
will you go?

Matt went. Twice.

Orphans no more!

Welcome home my newest sons...

Isaac and John Terry!