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Monday, August 17, 2015

Do I understand grace?
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16
This weekend as one of our kiddos was struggling with some bad choices, I was wanting to show some grace. But then I had the thought- This munchkin doesn’t understand grace. And therefore I began to doubt and question.. Should I show grace? As processed through all that was in my head and then the desire of my heart to show grace, I was stopped short. This child of mine might not understand it but do I understand grace? Do any of us really understand grace- God’s grace? His grace in all of its fullness. John 1:16 says, “From His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” Do we really comprehend that grace and that much of it? Grace upon grace?
I decided to read what grace means. “love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it “ and “generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved.” God showed me grace on the cross. He didn’t show it because I did anything at all to earn it. He showed me grace in my salvation and it is free and oh so undeserved! “For by grace you have been saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” It is a gift!! He continues to show me His grace and mercy each and every day. I fail. I try hard to walk in His steps, but it is hard and I mess up… all the time! But God continues to forgive me. He continues to be there in all of His graciousness.
So as I consider does my munchkin understand grace, the answer is probably no. But when I turn the tables and ask do I really understand grace, the answer is the same. I pray I begin to more fully understand God’s grace-What about you?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What a difference two years makes

It is so very hard to believe that it has been 2years since Moriah and Silas joined our family. In some ways it has been long and in other ways the time has flown by. There has been so much growth and change. We picked up two scared, Lingala speaking, malnourished kiddos who had left the only life they had every known. They had gotten on a plane to fly across the globe to be brought to people whom they had never met and who talked and looked so very different.
We hit many bumps in the early days. We had to battle parasites for a year. We had to teach boundaries. We had to teach eating, but not gorging. We had to learn what family was. We took this all as baby steps and some of the steps were even steps backwards.
However, we made it through year one. We were wiser and our faith was deeper. Yet the journey was still challenging often times. The hard part of the journey is most people don't understand the "post-adoption" journey. It is not as "glamorous" as the road to adoption. It often felt lonely and overwhelming. But we made it through the hardest days and some awesome days.
We now have made it through an additional year! Moriah and Silas have changed in so many ways. Gone are the thin arms and legs and sad, scared faces. Now there is some meat and muscle as well as smiles and laughter. English is now fluent and at most times easily spoken. They understand boundaries, although like all children they love to test them at times. They give awesome hugs and kisses and enjoy being part of this family we call The Thomas Crew! And most importantly they have now heard about Jesus! They hear stories about Him, sing songs and talk to Him and we pray one day they will come to know Him as Lord and Savior! We have been wowed by the growth and by how far we have come. Gone are the days of tears from this momma from feeling oh so overwhelmed. Instead I now look forward to the adventure that each days brings. And some days it is such a wild adventure. I continue to utter sentences that I never expected to say-
-"Please don't play leapfrog while your naked."
-"No licking other people."
-"Please do not bite your TOEnails while we are praying."
And the list goes on!!
Despite the ups and downs and sometimes craziness, I am so glad God put us on this journey! Our faith has grown. My dependence on Christ has grown. I realized I couldn't mother these precious 5 without Him. I am thankful God has given me these "gifts." They are His forever. I cannot wait to see all He has in store for each one of them. We pray that He uses them in great and mighty ways for His kingdom!
What a difference TWO years makes...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

God's plans-not Carrie's

We received an email this week from a grant we had applied for over a year ago. It was one we felt sure that we would receive, but we never did. Well, they were emailing to let us know they were ready to proceed with helping us. It was so awesome to be able to say-"thanks for considering us, but our kiddos our home!" After emailing them though, I started thinking about my plans versus God's plans. As I have stated before, I am a planner. I think through things way too much. As you saw through our journey, God worked to teach me patience and of HIS faithful provision. We began this whole process of adopting with less than $1,000 to go towards it. The funds we were going to need seemed so far out of reach. Being the planner, I started figuring out "how" God would/should provide for adoption. In my figuring I had counted on this grant that I just spoke of... the one we did not get before the children came home. I also had counted on receiving a Show Hope grant. I don't know why, but I just thought it would be one God would use. I also had figured God would provide through a Facebook fundraiser, just as we had seen Him do with other families. Well, guess what??? He used NONE of the ways I planned!! Instead God provided the finances in HIS way- bit by bit, step by step. He provided just over $50,000 in about 18 months!! Who else could take the tiny bit we had an multiply it fifty fold??!! I am so glad that God is in control and not me!!! On another sort of note- tonight I decided to read back through our entire blog before writing. I was overcome with emotion when I read back through this journey and God's provision. It still seems so very hard to believe that Moriah and Silas are here. It feels like they have always been here. I cannot imagine our family without them. GOD IS SOOO GOOD!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to post an update. All during our adoption journey I followed other adoption blogs. I loved seeing the stories unfold and seeing God bring precious children home to their forever families. The one "problem" I had was that once the adoptions were complete, the famlies stopped updating. I was so set on not doing that. I wanted to make sure to continue blogging after the children were home. Well, despite my good intentions, I am not doing so well at updating. I think now I understand though why parents stop blogging. It's called life:) Life gets busy... busier and well blogging gets overlooked. Life is now busier, but it's a good kind of busy. When Moriah and Silas first came home there were many adjustments. We had to slow life way down and we had to pick and choose what the children could handle. We became very intentional in how we spent our time and how we interacted with them. our children had experienced a whole part of a life that we knew nothing about. They had then left that life all they knew and were now here in our family. So we worked and continue to work to help them through this transition. They both are doing so very well. We have truly been blessed. We have had tough times, even challenging ones. However, overall things are going so well. Moriah and Silas are slowly attaching and bonding with us. I still do not think they understand exactly what family means or that this would be FOREVER. But we continue to work to build relationships. Many people have asked how our attachment is going. Well, that is a loaded question. Many assume that hearing our kiddos call us "mommy" and "daddy" is progress. Well I guess that is sort of true. But if we had taught them to call us "Bert" and "Ernie" they would have done that too. (I think "mommy" and "daddy" is much more fitting!) But just calling us that, does not mean they understand it. It is our prayer that with time they will learn what it means. We are slowly assimilating at church. We have been taking it slow. While both children would probably allow us to drop them off without a tear or backward glance, that is not good nor is it our goal. We have read about attachment and asked questions of people who "know." so we continue to watch for these signs. Caring that we leave is a "sign" of attachment. There are also many others. Part of our goal and desire for a healthy bond and attachment is what prompted us to ask other people to not hold our kiddos or be super affectionate with them. It was not in order to be mean or selfish, but instead was a goal to build on the relationship of our family. We are thankful that most have been so very understanding, supportive and encouraging of this. We are so thankful to be almost three months into our new family and new part of life! We are pleased at the growth we are seeing. Attachment is slowly happening. The children have overcome several minor health issues. They are gaining weight... a little too well. They are both learning English at an amazing rate. We can not wait to see how they continue to grow and develop and how our family bonds!! It is our continued prayer that God will create healhty relationships and that everything will continue to go so well!! Thank you so much for following us and praying for us!! We promise to do better at updating you on our progress! In fact i have already started another post to put up soon and have an idea for yet another one:)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Silas' birthday

Today was Silas' birthday. When he woke up this morning we tried to explain to him that today was his birthday. Dave even looked up the french word for birthday, but Silas still was not so sure what we were talking about. We held off on celebration and gift till the evening. We knew we wanted to keep things very simple, so as not to overwhelm him so tonight we had a small party at home to celebrate our new little guy's 4th birthday. We had decided that instead of cake, Krispy Kreme doughnuts would be a good fit. He LOVES them. So tonight put candles in a doughnut and sang "Happy Birthday." He was not so sure what Mommy was doing with the candles and fire. I think he worried I would mess up his doughnut.

After we had our doughnuts we opened presents. He was careful and cautious at first, but once he got started and realized there were toys in the bags and paper... he was hooked. I was so pleased with how the whole evening went.
However, it is sad to think that this was the first party ever given to him. The toys he received are probably the first things that he has had that are truly his. But I am glad that he is now home and that he is our little guy forever.
He is adjusting so very well and learning English quickly. He is a precious little guy with a contagious laugh. We are so thankful that God has placed Silas in our home!!
I promise I will try to do better at updating:)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adoption Finally complete!

Today we appeared before a chancellor in court to finalize our adoption. This process officially changed their names, allows them to have TN birth certificates and secures their citizenship. So we proudly introduce you to Silas Kayembe and Moriah Makengo, two of the newest US citizens.
I don't really know what we were expecting, but this was essentially a non-event. It took longer to find a parking place and get inside the city county building than it did for the process to be handled. At any rate, its done. The last step in this journey of adoption is complete and we are happy to have 5 children: each one our very own blessing from God.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One month home

It is so hard to believe that Silas and Moriah have been home for one month!! It some ways it feels like they have been here forever, in other ways it is all still so new.
It has been a great month of firsts.
First french fries
First Ice Cream- which they don't like how cold it is
First pets- Sadie and the chickens
First American haircut for Silas
First ride in a carseat
First bike ride
First Salsarita's- they love it, just like the rest of us
First playground and tire swing
First Bible Story
First Family prayer time
It has been a month of many firsts. It has been fun introducing the kids to new things. However, it is hard knowing that while their lives are so much better here... they have lost all that is familiar. New situations are still overwhelming to them, but overall they are doing well. We ask that you continue to pray for us as we grow as a family. Pray for Silas and Moriah as they learn about family and love. We will try to update again soon!