A BIG week!!

Where do I begin?!!  So much has transpired in our hearts and minds in the past few weeks.  I want to let you all in on some exciting news AND also take you along for the journey of how we got there…..

The past few years, God has been teaching our family how to listen to His voice.  It has been a reoccurring “theme” in our life, and we are so thankful for the many different opportunities He has given us to learn more and practice hearing what He wants to say to us (some great sermons are here and here).

We all have unique “God languages”, or ways God has wired us to experience a deeper intimacy with Him (a great read on this is What’s Your God Language). For example, I hear (for me it has never been audible) from the Lord or experience His presence most often/strongly when I am in nature or caring for others.  Our family has been learning what it means to be still, ask God a question, and are learning to pay attention to how the Holy Spirit is nudging or prompting us….sometimes God speaks to us through words, songs, pictures, a reoccurring theme, or even dreams we have had.

Earlier this month we were doing a family prayer night, and God began to speak to us about our adoption and the number of children we were pursuing.  We all began to pray more about how we felt God was speaking and leading our family.  A lot of wrestling with God happened!!  The enemy threw a lot of fears and doubts at me, but God kept reminding me of this verse-

John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Every time we would go to Him, seeking His face, listening to His heart for our family-He would give us His PEACE and remind us of His promises.  He would nudge us to step out in FAITH-to listen to His voice-and to follow Him!  He kept reminding us that His ways are always better than our own, that He will equip us to be the parents to however many children He chooses to add to our family, and all we needed to do was TRUST Him and say “yes”.

So, we took the leap of faith and made the call to our agency to share all that God was doing in our hearts.  They were excited to hear, and we were thrilled to share how He was moving!!  The next step was having our agency approve us on many different levels; which meant more paperwork dissecting our finances and answering pages of questions asking how we would handle different parenting scenarios.  We continued to pray, surrender all, and ask that if it was His will, that we would move forward in the approval process.

Well, we got the call this week from Lifeline that we were APPROVED!!  Approved to adopt 3 (three!!!) children from Costa Rica.

What does this mean and what happens now?  It means, PANI could still match us with 2 children, but they also have the option of matching us with 3 children…whatever is the best match for the children and for our family.  We will now begin updating our home study, immigration paperwork, etc.

We are so excited to see what God has in store for our family, and we will continue to hold on tight as He leads our family!

We would love prayer for endurance with more paperwork, for continual trust and joy in His will and way, and for protection over our Ticos as they wait for a forever family.

Much love to you all,

Kari ♥ for the crew


IMG_3670We are still smack dab in the middle of our journey towards our Ticos, with no end in sight.  We often get the question of how we are doing in this long wait.  I can honestly answer that I am so very thankful for this waiting season.  There has been such intimacy with my Lord in the hard, in the unknown.  He has done so much in my our hearts!   When I look back at all that He has done in and through this story He is writing, I would NOT trade this time of waiting.  We are not the same people.  He has been training, refining, preparing and equipping us to be the parents-siblings-for very specific children.  When the days are long, and we are tired of waiting and doing one more piece of paperwork, I get to cling and hold onto His promises and the truth of His character.  I get to continue to trust His good and perfect plan and the timing He has for placing those precious niños in our home!  He is never late in fulfilling His purpose and plan!

A wise Ann Voskamp once said, “You haven’t forgotten us or this chapter or this story, and if You haven’t forgotten us (or our Ticos), we’re not about to go forgetting that Your stories always work out in the end-and if things aren’t working out quite yet, it just means we’re not quite yet to the end.  We’ll literally practice our faith-we’ll practice saying thanks in the middle.

FAITH thanks God in the middle of the mess,

FAITH thanks God in the middle of the night,

FAITH thanks God in the middle of the story–

Because it believes in the relentless goodness of Him who won’t stop writing till there’s good at the end of this story”.

Amen!!  That is how I want to act out my faith.  Giving thanks when I can’t sleep-tossing and turning another night thinking/dreaming about these children.  Giving thanks when this process is messy, hard and unknown.  Opening my eyes to how He is shaping me, and to enjoy this journey with Him, because HE is good!

A sweet gift God has given me along the way has been showing me butterflies.  Early on, He started showing them to me and reminding me of the process and stages they must go through to become “beautiful”, similar to what He was doing in me during this waiting season.  Those butterflies have brought me much hope and encouragement on so many days!!  I started taking pictures of them to remind me of His faithfulness and His love and care for me. I love how others have started praying for our Ticos when they see a butterfly.

Thank you for your prayers, we know He hears them and is at work!

Our love,


Hebrews 12:1-2  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

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.”

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


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?

shirts-2 tshirt

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,


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.




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 ,


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

“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.


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

A special reminder of beauty and hope given to us.


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 .


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)


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-




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