Update, our decision to travel large, and the miracle of Emma…

THE LATEST:

We learned last week that his passport and birth certificate are taken care of.  
Now we are waiting on a date to be arranged for a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Johannesburg.  Praying this happens soon.  Once that date has been arranged, we will be notified.  Then we will plan ourtravel!  

Praying, hoping (deeply aching and trying not to worry) that we hear of a date this week.  
Please pray with us.  It feels like we are holding our breath…
Every minute of this wait feels excruciatingly long.

*********************************
OUR CRAZY DECISION TO TRAVEL LARGE

(This is NOT a post to encourage others to take kids on “gotcha” trips. That would be me being stupid (which happens.)  This IS a post to continue sharing our story, my transparent and imperfect thoughts and maybe an encouragement to others who have it in their heart to take risks that they prayerfully believe are right.  
What is in your heart?)

God melted my heart again. 

From the beginning of our decision to adopt from Africa, traveling as a family when the time came to bring our next children home was important.  (Our children’s step of faith got this ball rolling.)

Traveling with all of our children is not advisable- financially nor practically.

We’ve been encouraged more than a few times to avoid using debt (loans).  But we are in the process of applying for that loan.  The first try was turned down so we are trying again.  We’ve been told that the extra $25K we expect this decision to cost us could be used towards investments or our mortgage or college, charity, or something far more practical.

We’ve been lovingly reminded that it will be hard to travel with all of our children and warned that it will wear me out.  We’ve been reminded it is not safe and that with more people to worry about, more could potentially go wrong.  Loved ones, though supportive, are concerned.  And because I traveled often before we had children, we understand the warnings.

The Bible encourages us to consider the counsel of many.

However, 

There’s another story being written.

(Favorite tank from r+r)

We plan to travel around the world with all six of our children to welcome our seventh.  This is a step of faith for us and we believe it is in the best interest of each of our seven children.  Our oldest five children have each been a passionate part of both of their brother’s adoptions.

If circumstances prevent this step, we will at least know we tried.

We strongly desire for them to see Mohale’s country, those who love him and where he is coming from.
We want them all to be able share these memories with him.

TOGETHER.

We believe it will be powerful for them to see their prayers answered

&

be a part of the 

HARD
&
miraculous.

We believe this is an investment into the lives of each of our seven children.

Adoption is like a marriage of two families and cultures.
When Mohale becomes part of our family, his heritage will become ours.

Here we go again- stepping out- and don’t think I’m not really scared.

Out of the mouths of…

One daughter reminded me this
 week:

“‘Brave’ is when we are scared and do what we think is right anyway!  That’s when we get to learn not to be afraid.”

Life is hard anyway, why not be intentional about it?
Brave does not mean fearless

Here is a precious blessing as we prepare to travel crazy large:

Emma:

This feels like a first miracle in regard to our crazy decision to travel large.
Emma and her family have been part of the incredible support we’ve received of prayer and encouragement over the years as we’ve grown our family through adoption.  In February of 2014 we were surprised to welcome our treasured son, Baby Joseph, through the county foster to adopt system.  Baby Joseph came with physical complications and struggled greatly for the first year of his life.  Emma came numerous times per week to help in any way she could as I did my best to comfort him, take him to umpteen medical appointments and maintain a nurturing and balanced home for our other 5 children.  She was there as we cried and prayed and rejoiced over the challenges of 2014.
She fell in love with our children and longed with us for Mohale to join our family. 
 She has cried, prayed and laughed along with us.

Loving Emma
During her stay with our family, Emma’s love for orphans grew and grew.  “Orphan” became a real person.  We saw her desire grow- her desire for reaching out to children in greater need.  In our hearts, we wanted her to be able to experience her desire to love children who tend to be overlooked by the world, but treasured by God.  Our family talked way back then and agreed to offer for Emma to join our family when we eventually go and meet our Treasure in Africa.  That was long ago….

Last week Emma and her parents came to dinner.  Emma deeply desires to serve in an orphanage.  But for now, she still wants to travel with us to bring Mohale home.

AND

She wants to be there for our children again. This time so we can extend extra nurturing on precious Mohale- especially in those early days of grief, adjustment and attachment.

Her parents expressed their support of their daughter Emma to join us in traveling with our family. This level of parental support is humbling to me. I can only imagine surrendering my daughter to travel away from my arms in this way.  They strongly support their daughter’s desire.  
We will care for Emma as our own daughter. 
We are humbled beyond words and rejoicing to have Emma prepare to travel with us.

We offered so long ago to bring Emma with us out of a desire to share our love with her.
Yet, over one year later, Emma is coming out of a desire to help us.

Whoooohooooo EMMA!!

“Oh how He LOVES you and me…”

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