So much LOVE ♥ {Thank you for sharing HIS love}!

Romans 4:21
“He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”
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We knew we had an AMAZING village, but on 11/14/14, you brought it {His LOVE}!  You all were so loving, encouraging, and supportive!  Seriously, His love was flowing through you.  Your texts, FB pics/messages, emails, prayers, and verses you sent us have truly spurred us on!  We are still in the middle of this “marathon”, with no finish line in sight, but I feel like we have more endurance and strength than ever.  God is so good and faithful!  Thank you for taking the time to pray and share His love with our growing family!  I can’t wait to share these photos and the many stories with our Ticos some day.

We love you!!

Kari for the Lovely crew

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Colosians 3:12 
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Psalm 27:13-14
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”

1 Corinthians 15:58
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Pray with us on Nov. 14, 2014~

Draw a heart on your hand, wear your LOVE shirt or anything with a heart, as a reminder to pray for our family and our adoption on Friday, November 14th, 2014:

Pray our Ticos home!  Please pray the following with us:

  • Pray that our Ticos would feel God’s love through the hands of those that are caring for them now.  That God would send people that would tell them of His love through their actions, stories, singing and prayers.
  • Pray that our Ticos’ (our family’s too) HOPE would be in God alone.
  • Pray that the Ticos would know that God is sending them a “forever family”, giving them peace and encouragement for each day.  Give us dreams of one another.
  • Pray that God would prepare our family and our Ticos for one another, in ways we don’t even realize we need to be prepared.
  • Pray that the paperwork would be completed in a smooth manner, full of integrity, so they can be legally adopted.
  • Pray for our Ticos’ safety and protection and that there would be people advocating for their needs and well-being.
  • Pray that we would seek God for His patience, for sustainment, for wisdom and discernment, and we would wait expectantly with peace.
  •  Pray that nothing stands in the way of God accomplishing a completion of the match that He has for us.   For Him to receive all the praise and the glory!
  • Praise God for His goodness and faithfulness! God is our provider.  He is in complete control.  We trust His good and  perfect timing with this adoption and the children He has to join our family. Thank you for praying with and for us!!

DSCN0049 With much love,

The Lovely crew

Romans 15:13-”I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 86:15-”But you, O Lord,are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.”

John 13:35 “Your LOVE for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Chronicles 20:12 “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Share the Love in the desert….

Lately this season of our adoption has reminded me of a desert.  It has been long, hard, and exhausting at times.  Much longer than we expected….yet, I would not trade what I have learned and who we have become in this waiting time.  His timing is good and perfect and I trust that with my whole heart.  Does believing this truth make my mama heart ache any less to hold our two precious Ticos in my arms?  No, but I do have His peace that truly surpasses my own understanding.  As I sit at the feet of The Lord and ask for more of HIM and less of me in the waiting, He continues to meet me, shower me with His love, and show me that I have much to be thankful for….one BIG reason we are giving thanks, is that on Halloween, we got the official word that PANI re-approved us to adopt from Costa Rica (this was what all the paperwork from the summer-home study update and more fingerprinting-was for).  Yes, you can do the happy dance too!!!

Fall has been such a good visual reminder to me that as I patiently wait, He will bring a harvest.  He is at work.  I don’t always get to see His hand, but I can trust His name and who He is.  He is changing me and He will bring streams, life, to the desert.  desert-stream

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

(photo credit: graceandhonor.org)

 

To celebrate our latest re-approval to adopt, our 2 year official approval/start date with our agency Lifeline, on Friday, November 14th, 2014 (the same day we got engaged), we are asking our “team” to once again share the love and wear your LOVE shirts/sweatshirts.

Share the love with hands

While you wear the shirts/sweatshirts, not only will we feel the love and support, but we would love for it to be a reminder to you of all that God has done and for you to also lift our adoption process, our family, and our Ticos up in prayer! Even if you don’t have a shirt, would you join our “team” in prayer?

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Pray for God to move!!  Orphans are waiting to be adopted because their paperwork has not been processed.  Pray for our hearts to continue to be prepared for who is joining our family.  Pray that our Ticos would feel God’s love and that He would be their hope.

We love you!  Thank you for your love and being on our team,

Kari

Share the love-Please post or send us photos of you wearing your shirts.  We would love to put those photos in their adoption scrapbook.♥♥♥

 

 

His Strength

This summer as I was still in the middle of my tired and worn season……still very much in the middle of heart ache, grief, and loss, God met me in a way that I don’t think I have ever felt so tangibly before.  A loved one in our extended family died unexpectedly.  For two days we drove to the funeral….I was confused, weak, and the grief was intense and new to me.  As we made the trip out to be with other loved ones, I got to drive through towns/countryside I grew up traveling every summer and winter; it was a gift to reflect and remember so many childhood memories.  It also gave me the chance to just sit and soak in His creation, His word, and sing songs of worship. I love how God often uses nature and music to speak to me! The song, “Overwhelmed” by Daddy Weave played numerous times on the trip.  I was reminded of who He is, and as I looked around me, at the works of His hands, I was captivated and overwhelmed by His beauty admist the deep ache in my heart.

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IMG_0963As we started the journey home,  I remember sitting in the car, realizing nothing had changed with my circumstances, but I physically felt stronger.  His strength had come over me.  His power was made perfect in my weakness!  A verse from the Bible that I have often heard or read, just came to life in a new and powerful way!

I still had so many questions about the death of our family member, questions about WHY our Ticos are not home with us yet, questions about the sufferings, disappointments, and losses that some close friends experienced in that month, but I was comforted in that fact I didn’t need answers.  Instead, I could just rest on the truth of who He is and that my faith will stand!

1 Corinthians 2:5-
“So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 

By His grace and with much love ,

Kari
 

Tired and Worn.

Friends, I have had about 5 posts written and rewritten in my mind for the past few months, and so today I feel like it is time to just try and get my jumbled thoughts out there.  I still want this blog….this place of communication from me/us to you….to always give you insight into our adoption or as God laid on my heart before I started this blog, a front row seat into what He is doing and the story He is writing for our family.  It is time to let you all in.

Today as I sit and type, I am feeling very worn and tired.  The last few months of this process have left me depleted.  I have said things I never thought I would feel or think about our adoption…I have questioned and wrestled with God in new ways….. and I have felt loss and heart ache DEEPLY.  I know He is bringing much good from all of this…but it is hard.

The first 20+ months of our adoption process were for the most part easy, fun, and smooth (minus the craziness of the psych eval:)!) and then all of the sudden it was time to renew our paperwork and we experienced a lot of bumps- a BIG bump was losing our dear friend Iris (who was more like a sister at this point) as our caseworker for Lifeline. This was HARD, and there are days it continues to smack me over the head.  Thankfully, she will still be in our lives, it will just look different from this point on.  We also invested a lot more time and paperwork in this renewal than we were expecting because of the switch of home study agencies.  Just when we thought we were done providing proof of XYZ, we would need another document….my mama heart was DONE!  (Huge praise is that big packet of paperwork made its way to immigration yesterday!!).

So where does this leave me now?  I sense God calling me into a season of rest where only He can restore my soul.  For me to be okay with feeling weak and worn, and to let others in, so they can help carry the weight of this journey with and for us.  To ask others to pray for us and our Ticos when I don’t have the strength or know how to.

As I was driving today, the song “Worn” came on from Tenth Avenue North.  So good.  This is me!  God continues to speak and be near to me in this new season.  Someday, I will write about how He does that with butterflies….but until then, I will leave you with the lyrics from that song, and ask if you would be willing to stand in the gap for me during this season?~~ Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of when Costa Rica gave the Lovely family the big YES to adopt.  We are still hopeful….just a little worn.

Much love to you-Kari

“Worn”
“I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left
Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn
My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes
Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn
Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn”

 

 

The simple things-

It truly has been the simple things that God has used recently to shower us with His love, care and encouragement…..

A hug, text, or a call just to check in about the adoption and say they care.

A dear friend painted this for us with a very important reminder.

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A banner hung in our home as we wait and pray.  IMG_0323

A special reminder of beauty and hope given to us.

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A gift from a loved one to use in Costa for the 2 months when we are finally a family of 7.

IMG_0320A friend telling another about our adoption process and saying “WE” are waiting for these children, instead of “they” are waiting.

A quilt lovingly made for us to pray with as we wait and to someday wrap our Ticos in .

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Songs that have been shared because they think of you when they hear it.  Here is one that I hope will also give those waiting on the Lord encouragement:

This is my prayer from the song:

Lord, today You know what I need to do,
But You can do more in my waiting than in my doing I could do.
So I won’t run anymore.
I’m waiting on You”.

Thank you walking with us as we continue to trust and follow God’s leading for the story He is writing for our lives.

With much love-Kari



 

Something New~

I often think of our adoption journey as a race.  I guess I will always be a track gal at heart. Lately, it has felt like we are running a marathon (which for this sprinter, it has felt like an eternity)!  There has not been any new information or anything new for us to do in our adoption since we were approved to adopt by Costa Rica in August of 2013.  Until now….

We are officially in the process of updating all of our paperwork, because the documents are about to expire.  Home study, fingerprints (x2), medical exams, financial/tax paperwork, background checks, etc.  Round 2.  Nothing has changed with us, but this allows PANI (Costa Rica’s child welfare) and USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) to determine if our home is still suitable for our Ticos.

So, when we have to do more paperwork, pay more money, and spend more time doing the same thing we did a year ago, we have a choice:

We can kick, scream and complain (which I have totally felt like doing at times)

or

We can see it as another way we are fighting for our children to come home.  A tangible way we are pursuing these children that we love.  One more step closer to our Ticos being with their forever family.  This is my prayer, that we will view this next step in our journey this way.

Just when we were beginning this update process, my sister came out for a visit. It was such good timing.  She provided us with love, encouragement, support, and some Lovely new family photos.  Possibly the last “official” photo shoot as a family of 5.  Thankful to soak in these moments and each other.

Loved having this banner in our photos-Costa Rica is in the -meaningful in may ways!!

LF14-5 (2) LF14-2 (1) LF14-8And this is what some of us feel about paperwork…..

LF14-7Soaking these 3 in!  My mama heart just bursts.

LF14-15 LF14-11 LF14-16Although we are doing something “new”, we still have no finish line in sight.  We pray we can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Heb. 12:1.  We so appreciate your love and prayers!!

By His grace-

Kari

 

 

Any News???

Any news?  This is the question we often get asked on a daily basis.  It is the BEST and the HARDEST question right now.

It is the BEST because it reminds us we have a village of people loving us, supporting us, praying for us, fighting for us, and rallying behind us as we wait for our dear children to be made known and come home.  It also reminds us that you too are waiting and love and care for our Ticos, whom you have never met.  Truly, we thank you for caring and being on our team!  Please don’t stop asking….but also know this-

It is the HARDEST because it reminds us that we have no new news.  It is a reminder that we have two beds that are made and have no one sleeping in them.  It reminds us that two children we are praying for, preparing for, losing sleep for, crying for, longing for, and dreaming of are still not with us.  I (Kari) so badly want to have news to share with all of you.  Honestly, part of me doesn’t want to disappoint anyone when I have to again say, “no, we are still waiting”.  In the waiting God has showered us with many blessings, but there has also been much heartache.

Often in this waiting season, I pray that God will meet me and provide my heart with hope and encouragement.  Many days, God has shown up in verses, in provision, in dreams, while praying and through people.  Some days, He has been silent. However, through it all, He continues to remind me He is all I need!!  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

So keep on asking if we have “ANY NEWS”?  This good and difficult question helps us remember who and what He has provided for us in this journey and that He continues to be our hope in the wait.

Much love to you,

Kari for the crew

Difficult but beautiful journey of adoption.

This morning I read an awesome blog post from our adoption agency, Lifeline.  I love it when I read something that articulates things better than I ever could!!  I have heard many of these same things from my fellow mama friends who have already adopted or are in the process of adopting.  So, today I am sharing some excerpts that I hope let our family and friends have insight into what we are learning, and experiencing now and possibly in the future.

“Adoption – It is both messy and beautiful.  It is both unnatural and, yet, very natural.  It is difficult and it is rewarding.  Unfortunately unlike other things in life, it is not an “or.”  Adoption is an “and.”

Adoption is messy.  Adoption always begins in tragedy for a child.  There is no child who has ever been adopted or who currently waits to be adopted who has not personally experienced loss, tragedy, and the depravity of man.  Children are neglected, abandoned, and abused.  Children are born into situations where even loving parents don’t feel they have the resources or ability to parent.  Children have lost one or both parents to death.  This is tragedy and this is messy.  It is because we live in a sin-sick world that the words “orphan” and “adoption” exist.  Because we live in a sin-sick world, we desperately need a Savior.

Adoption is beautiful.  Adoption is a beautiful picture of grace and mercy.  It is the restoration of a family and the restoration from brokenness caused by the loss of relationships.  For sinners, Christ adopts us when we follow Him and that is the most beautiful adoption of all.

Adoption can be unnatural.  It is never best for a child to lose his or her parents to tragedy.  It is never the natural way that children should be raised.  Our prayer is for the restoration of birth families and for indigenous adoption when and where possible.

Simultaneously, adoption is also very natural.  Physical adoption can be very natural and is a majestic picture of love that transcends race, culture, and blood.  Spiritual adoption is always natural as it is a return to our Creator whom we have rebelled against.  It is reconciling with the true Lord not the pseudo idols we create as a result of our sin.

Adoption is difficult.  It is costly; it is laborious; it is complicated; and it is a pursuit.  It is hard to navigate between the truth and the fiction of adoption.  It is complicated for a child to assimilate into a new family, a new culture, and a new identity.  Our spiritual adoption cost Jesus his life and caused the weight and burden of our sin to be placed on his back.  Adoption is always challenging and costly.

Adoption is rewarding.  Even through the hardships, difficulties, and sleepless nights – physical adoption is rewarding.  Spiritual adoption by our Heavenly Father is the greatest reward of all.”

Thanks for walking with us on this beautiful and messy journey of adoption!

Our love to each of you~

Kari

PS-Here is a fun side of the adoption right now…both the boys’ and girls’ rooms are ready for the Ticos.  Can I just say my man is a rock star?!!!

YOU are a piece of our puzzle…..take a look

The puzzle is finished!!!  All 500 hundred pieces have names of people who are praying for us, have participated in fundraisers, and those who specifically sponsored pieces.  It is framed and ready to hang up in the boys’ room.  It was so special to put the puzzle together with family.  It was also a sentimental time writing individual and family names, reflecting on who have journeyed with us so far and taking time to pray blessings over each person.  Thank you all for your love and support!  God has used each of you to show us His love and teach us so much about what it means to be part of the body of Christ.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it”.  1 Cor. 12:27

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