Monday, April 7, 2014

a quiver full

If you are interested in the detailed version of our first few days..... here is a glimpse into Nations Journal and a bit out of mine.

March 30th 2014

Last night I was cleaning the house getting ready for Nations Hope’s homecoming. As I walked up the stairs the faces of my children’s pictures on my wall caught my eye. Reaching the top there was Nations. Each child is so special and such a gift. Each child's eyes sparkled... And I felt so lost in awe of this undeserved gift of each of them. Each child a miracle!

Later on the plane ride....

Two hours from now our plane will touch down. And a few hours after that I will have my fourth miracle in my arms.

Since I was a child I wanted to adopt and now many years later this undeserved blessing has come. Since I was a child Africa has been on my heart. I always had a since that somehow I would either live there or somehow be connected. And now I know His purpose in all of this. Since the beginning of time the Seer, God almighty, knew what would happen and He prepared my heart long ago to be her mother. The Seer knowing this is not a perfect world had a plan for her. He puts the lonely in families.

My heart aches for the suffering she has gone through since her birth, for the massive lack, she has had. My heart aches for the mother who made that hard decision and what may have lead her to that decision. But today will be the first day toward healing for her cries that have been left unanswered. God protected her. He brought people to show her glimpses of love along her lonely path. And now He has brought her home.

She is a picture of innocence that has had to suffer. How can we as people who abide in Him stand by and let their suffering continue? There are millions of orphaned and abandoned children in the world today. Why do we waste our life away on so many meaningless things that devour our time, our money, are focus. Why do I do this???

When we are abiding in Him there is no use for the senseless distractions.... Abiding in Him makes everything clear, simple.... no longer are we concerned with ourselves our comforts.....abiding in Him makes sacrifice a joy and beautiful.

Oh Lord help me to truly abide in You , not in this world, not in myself.....that I may not waste this short life You have given me away!!!!!

John 151 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 

Later that day in Ethiopia.....

You have fallen asleep in my arms after a long exciting day. Let me tell you the story...
When we entered the home around 2pm you were in the middle of your nap. Ababa (Daddy) and I sit by your bed caressing your back. Then you woke up and saw us. I am not sure what was going on in that little mind of yours but you seemed happy and let us take you. All of the nannies were excited. When I said Amama you pointed right at me. I think you knew who we were and why we were here. We hung out for about and hour just talking to and holding you. Then they invited us to a room where some of the orphaned children in the home sang songs and we passed around cake. The kids loved it! And you just stared just taking it all in.

That evening we had a long bath together. You loved it though at first you looked a little cautious. After your bath I dried you, lotioned you up and fixed you hair then off to sleep you went in my arms. 

Whenever I left your sight this first day your bottom lip started to come out. I love you so much and am so thankful for Yene Lijj ("my baby" in Amharic). I wish we could get a hold of your brothers and sister I know they SOOOOO want to talk to you and see you.

As we stared at you and watched you sleep...I remembered the first night we had each of our children. I remembered watching them each breath... even though I was so tired I remember not wanting to sleep but instead just stare at them breath ... And here I am again intoxicated by the miracle of life that He has allowed us to be a part of...overwhelmed by the perfect beauty of His fearfully and wonderfully made creation.

My child there is no one in the world like you, never has been, never will be. God made you to sing a song of worship to Him that only you can sing. So my sweet daughter I pray you sing that song with all your might, all of your life, so that all the world may see how wondrous and worthy of worship our King is!!!

2:30am April 1st.  Your daddy is really sick and I have jet lag so we are awake but you are sleeping beautifully. You smile Every time I nuzzle you or snuggle up to you. Your personality seems to be so laid back. Yesterday you just stared most of the time seeming to take it all in. You were so curious on the car ride here and when you got here you looked all around....I think you think this hotel is home.

I feel so blessed to have you and your sister and brothers... I can't promise I will be the perfect mom, sometimes I will be impatient or not know what you need when you need it, I will even fuss at you when I shouldn't but know that you will always have me forever. I will always love you. And with the power of the Holy Spirit of God I will point you to Him. Your amazing creator, who is your rescuer, who had plans for you since before you were born.

I pray you will become a woman of compassion with a heart for people all over the world. A woman of action with her faith. A daughter of the Most High who will show and tell of his love.

It is around 9am.YOU CAN CRAWL!!!! You are everywhere pulling up, crawling, picking up small food and putting it in your mouth!!!! You are giggling a lot this morning and making sounds. So fun!!!

2:12am April 2nd
You are sleeping so soundly now. Last night you slept 11 hours!!! I think it is because of all of the stimulation during the day. After having you all day yesterday I notice that you are really only active for one hour and a half in the morning. I think that is because you are use to only being out of the crib for that time each day....the rest of the day you seem lethargic... You don't really move just sit....though I have managed to tickle some bursts of laughter out of you and get you giggling. 

We went to the embassy interview and got you all dressed up you smiled at your outfit with approval.  The embassy was more like a trip the a nice dmv, just paper work but the lady was sweet on you...everyone really is. They try to get you to smile.

We went shopping and it started to rain you giggled at the excitement of the rain drops hitting your face for the first time. You reached out for the rain as well-meaning Ethiopians shooed me into the shop. So many firsts for you, first time rain touched your cheeks, first car ride that you remember, first time seeing so many people. 

Tonight when we walked over to the other hotel for internet access...your eyes were big and round and you seemed startled at the night and leaned your head back to look up at the night sky.... Your first time to be outside a night!!! I love that we get to be a part of some of your firsts!!!!

Ababa is feeling better finally tonight after a day of medicine.

You haven't cried at all unless we take away your bottle too soon. You love to be held, snuggled, squeezed, kissed and close. It is like you can't get enough of it and with just the right amount you sigh or smile or even burst out into laughter..... It is like you too have been waiting....longing for us as we have for you.

We talked to your brothers and sister tonight! It was so sweet. They were so excited to see you and were fighting to get a glimpse of you. I saw the look in your sisters eyes when she realized who you were and her pointing at you with excitement and questioning Stephanie and the brother’s "Nations Hope, Nations Hope!?!"

I teared up watching all of my children together... I feel soooo full.... I guess this is what it means to have a quiver full.... It is a joyful humbles me and puts me in awe of our merciful Creator. I feel so unworthy of this huge blessing!!!! Thank you father for each of the beautiful miracles you have allowed me to care for...they are Your treasures. In fill me with all that I need to show and teach each one of the of your boundless love.

1:12am You are squirming and worming around in your reminds me of Petcha.

I just wanted to write about yesterday a bit before I forget. In the morning/afternoon we all took a nap together you kept one hand on me and one hand on daddy. So sweet, I guess making sure we weren't going anywhere.

In the evening when visiting friends you were so active.. You walked everywhere wanting to hold my fingers... You always tried to head out the door into the rainy night sky .... I think you are going to like outside.

April 4th your first day home...
You slept most of the way home! You have had a fever, maybe you have what Daddy had.

Meeting your brothers and sisters at the airport was so sweet! Petcha held your hand and gave you a high five you took to her well. All day she has kind of looked out for you…calling you by name and making you laugh. She did the little piggys on your toes. And in the bath together she made you laugh with the swimming and splashing ducks. She played kitchen with you too. Tonight as we were watching a family movie she played with your feet and talked to you and told you she loved you. The brothers have been adoring you all day too. Jeriah read you two books and was the first one to hold you. Elijah keeps you entertained with his silliness.

You seem happy in your new home like you know this is home.

I am soooooo happy. I feel just overwhelming joy watching all of my children play and interact today. I feel like I really have a quiver full. I feel so undeservedly blessed. So overwhelmingly blessed.

Today family and friends celebrated with us your homecoming...many of them had been praying for you since before you were born.  Tonight we are all sleeping together as a family.  I love you my little Nations Hope, welcome home!

April 7

You have been in our arms for one week now. Your fever is gone and you seem to be feeling better. You have been sleeping a lot though... i think you are still on Ethiopian time or it could be we are just wearing you out. Yesterday we went to the peaks of otter and you loved every minute of it, you just couldn't stop smiling. Outside is a wonder to you, the breeze, the sounds, the lake, the smells.. you laughed a lot. 

I made you Ethiopian lentils and you really liked them and gestured for more. It is really about all you have eaten since you have been home besides milk. Some of that is because you have had that horrible fever and i also think it because maybe the menu they said they fed you they really weren't feeding you.  

You seem to be happy though. Today you had a moment where you broke down and cried. Mainly i think it was because i couldn't figure out what you needed... is it drink, or potty, or just a tight hug. I just held you through it and tried something else and then you perked up. 

It is really a miracle how you have so quickly trusted us and adjusted.. i am sure in the weeks ahead there will be moments of sadness and grief over this huge life change but for now you seem content and happy with your Amama and Ababa as well as you brothers and sister. 

I feel happy. Like a missing piece has been filled. You bring all of us joy. You are our gift from God. You are a long time promise that have been fulfilled. 

We are so blessed.

At the Peaks of Otter enjoying the beauty of family...
Picnicing with sister. 

Nations napping with Daddy while the boys play in the river.


  1. So so beautifully perfect! Thank you for allowing us this glimpse into your happiness. Nations will cherish this one day!

  2. I am in awe and swept up in your gratitude. You are indeed blessed :) Thank you for sharing this precious time. I rejoice with you over the blessing of Nations Hope! Love you, Alisa

  3. Thank you for all the details - love them all :) a glimpse in your heart. Can't wait till we are able to share our own family time together with your whole crew in tow.
    Love, Mom

  4. Wow Heidi! Thank u for sharing these experiences! I teared up a couple of times with the sweetness of it all. So nice to know what you have been going through. Nations is blessed and so are you!