Mohale’s first Easter home! And, Easter is our ADOPTION FINALIZATIONDAY!

Mohale’s First Easter HOME!

Last Easter was nearly perfect.
But at the end of my journaled post, I stated
“…hoping painfully with all my heart that treasured Mohale is celebrating with us next Easter.”


MOHALE IS CELEBRATING WITH US!

We keep a “Celebration Tree” just inside our front door.
During Easter week, nests filled with chocolate eggs remind us of
new beginnings
and feelings of celebration.
Easter morning the kids find “Peeps” sitting on chocolate eggs.

Easter bag presentation:

The EGG Hunt is ON!



Sweet Sierra

 

 

 

 

Mom!  LOOK!

 

Miracle boys.  Happy happy happy happy happy….mama.
Seriously no words can describe a mother’s love.

It’s impossible to comprehend, but, there is an Adoptive FATHER in Heaven
Who’s love is even greater:

“It is finished.”

 

Easter is
our
ADOPTION FINALIZATION DAY!

Easter is a time to remember.

For most of my childhood, Dad worked for an oil company in the Middle East.
I grew up in a country where Christians die for their faith.  
The king had given foreigners permission to keep their faith-
with strict guidelines to keep it hidden.
People of any faith, besides the government mandated faith of the land,
often must choose between
denial of their faith and
horrific abuse and even death.

At the age of 8, alone and afraid one dark early morning in my tiny bedroom, I could hear the muslim prayer call singing out across the town, signaling that it was time to get up for prayer.  Beautiful followers of Allah would dutifully, passionately get out of bed, lay out their prayer rugs and lower to their knees in prayer.  Those I knew who followed their hearts in this way were kind and sincere.  Calls to prayer sang out over the town five times each day.  The familiar song was somehow comforting.
Yet, this time, when the song poured in through open windows to my room,
fear clenched my heart deeply-
like a dog capturing prey in his teeth and shanking it violently.
My parents had been forced to witness a public execution the day before.
They had been shopping when police with machine guns ushered surrounding public towards the center of the small city.  Never before had Mom and Dad seen such vast amounts of blood.
My family had seen streets stained with blood and bodies mutilated as examples of what happens to those who dare to walk outside the religious lines within the beautiful country we loved.
We did not live in fear, yet that incident caused fear to rush in like crashing waves from a broken dam.

Realization of what love for Jesus can cost, shook my heart.   
The land and culture I loved demanded devotion I could not sincerely give.

Jesus was real to me.
Tormented often by cruel, violent dreams,
I awoke shaken in the dark of night- too afraid to run or call for my parents.

“Fear not, for I will comfort you.”
Words of peace whispered into my mind, gently filling my heart- dispelling fear with awareness that Jesus was always with me.
I turned over and slept again- the most peaceful sleep ever.
Morning came quickly.

As the call to pray continued flowing with the warm morning breeze into my tiny bedroom, I whispered a passionate prayer with the rising sun; “Jesus, I am afraid to be tortured and die for you.  But if they come, I want to be strong.  Please make me strong enough.”
Through that surrender, peace came- He’d always be there.
Perfect love casts out fear.
As a child, learning to read was not easy for me, but daily, I would eagerly open my precious, treasured, illegal, little Bible and read about Jesus.  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were favorite books to read in my cherished and worn little Bible.  Those four books were written by ordinary men who knew Jesus deeply when He walked this earth.  Stories of Jesus, who had lived and loved so near to my childhood home, captivated my heart.  Because I lived within a similar Middle Eastern culture, the stories and pictures felt real.  His love for the “least of these” within that culture- the poor, broken, sick and fallen, the children and women- drew my heart in to him.  I could smell exotic perfumes and spices and feel their middle eastern ways- it felt beautifully normal- yet full of Jesus’ poured out love my heart craved.  Towards the end of each account, Jesus lays his life down and his body is executed in public- out of love for me.  Our family knew what spilled blood and torn flesh looked like- these images were 3D to me- grotesque, terrorizing, bloody and real.  The accounts of EASTER- the morning Jesus walked out of the grave, finalizing our adoption as HIs children- changed my heart
and chased fear away.

The descriptions of torture He endured are rarely shown on Easter movies-
the amount of blood that flowed is difficult to describe.
Did you know He was totally naked on that cross?
(He had no discrete loin cloth to hide his total nakedness)
Sexually exploited and on display
Did you know He was so disfigured, that he was described as unrecognizable as a human?
I was forever smitten by the love of Jesus-
the pain, suffering and shame He chose to endure for me so that I could be
ADOPTED into His family-
FOREVER.

NO GREATER LOVE
I knew He’d given his life for me-
He’d endured shame, grief, punishment, rejection for me-
long before I even knew of His existence.
“There is no greater love than to give his life for his friends.” John 15:13 

Friends in our currently free culture,
as our days grow darker within the beautiful free cultures of our world, I’d like to say “fear not.” But, we are human and of course we fear for ourselves and especially for our beloved children.  Our hearts cringe each time the news exploits images of grieving, homeless parents and newly orphaned children who’s lives are mercilessly, grotesquely shattered due to ravaging religious and racial injustice.
However, I can say, that Perfect Love truly does cast out all fear.
HE CHOSE TO DIE so that we could be ADOPTED as HIs very own children.
That is our
FOREVER FAMILY-
literally.

Jesus came to die.
How did He handle knowledge of His future at the cross?

He kept his focus beyond-

Jesus’ words:
“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and then can do no more.”  Luke 12:4

When fear comes in,
LOOK UP TOWARDS HIS FACE.

Somehow, seemingly miraculous love with an eternal focus on
HIS INCOMPREHENSIBLE, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR US
comes in
 and chases terror away.

He’s not detached, He suffered to be close to us in our suffering:
He is closer that a sibling.

Hebrews 2:18
Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us….

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 27:10
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.


When we are no longer afraid, we can be available to change the world.
What the enemy meant for evil
God meant for good. Gen. 50:20

The enemy crucified Jesus.  Yet, even in the enemy’s greatest victory,
our HEAVENLY FATHER’S purposes were being fulfilled.
Victory was ultimately His.
In that crucifixion our adoption was sealed in Heaven’s court.
EASTER MORNING is our adoption finalization day.
That was His pursuit.
Adoption Finalization
Our family story

Our three biological children each came easily- a gift we do not take lightly.
Each arrived following nine months of uncomfortable, often frightening pregnancy and a rough physical delivery.  Done.

Our four children who came to our arms though adoption, did not come easily.
Our adoption pursuits, like nothing before, brought me to my knees, stripped me down and broke me into pieces.  For the first time, clinical depression and anxiety attacks descended upon me.   With each adoption, we had to be willing to love a child as our own- and then let that child go- if the courts decided- to a place where I could not protect them.
Mohale’s adoption drew out for two years- that felt like forever.  Yet, we know many who have pursued longer and those who have lost beloved children to governmental politics.

Out of desperation, for the first time I clung to a bible story I previously avoided- the story of Abraham being willing to lay his son down on the altar in complete trust.

John 3:16 became new, speaking overflowing volumes of true love into my soul

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.
so that whoever believes in him can have eternal life.”

  I read and re-read the account of Jesus’ anxiety in the garden of Gethsemane the night before He was to be crucified.
Minutes, hours, days, weeks and months of learning to lay our children and hearts on the altar of His hands- to trust Him with a child that we adored- resulted in a perseverance that before was weak and a peace I cannot describe.
The road of parenthood, and for us, especially the road to parenthood through adoption, is filled with uncertainty and seems to lay in the hands of so many others.  The legal process can be cold, harsh, invasive and often unjust. The cruelty seems to go on and on for months and even years- one minute at a time.

In that context, I read how Jesus, described as “a man of suffering, acquainted with much grief” (Isaiah 53:3 ), hung on the cross after nearly 35 years of living to give His life away for us. From the cross, He declared His last words before giving up his breath…

IT IS FINISHED.

 

He came to die for our adoption- on a grotesque, bloody cross.
After doing all that was required for our adoptions into His family,
EASTER MORNING our adoption was finalized.
EASTER MORNING became a day to celebrate.
OUR ADOPTION IS FINAL!
We have a new name and a
FOREVER FAMILY
that no one can take away.
FOREVER and EVER and EVER….
Each of our adoption finalizations was met after months and even years of adoring, heart breaking, mentally scorching hoops and hurdles required by our intimidating, invasive legal system.  In the end, adopting families go to court and stand before a Judge.

That Judge, slams his anvil down and declares

IT IS FINISHED.  
This adoption has been finalized.
This child is an heir of Christy and David.
This child has a new name- the sir name of Christy and David.
Did you know that the child’s original birth certificate becomes invalid and a brand new original birth certificate is issued with the new parents on it?
BRAND NEW IDENTITY.

 

 

After every one of our four childrens’ adoption finalizations by a judge in court,
our family
CELEBRATED!
Every year on their finalization day we remember and
CELEBRATE!!!
NEW LIFE!

 

Today is EASTER Sunday!
Celebrate with us this incredible day of new life that was bought with the highest price.
“NO GREATER LOVE”
Your adoption as His beloved child is
finalized.
YOU HAVE A NEW NAME
AN NEW IDENTITY
YOU ARE HIS HEIR
HIS BELOVED DAUGHTER
HIS BELOVED SON

 

FOREVER FAMILY

He offers this gift of adoption to all who accept it.
John 3:16
For God so loved<span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-26137A” data-link=”(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-family: “helvetica neue” , “verdana” , “helvetica” , “arial” , sans-serif; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> the world that he gave<span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-26137B” data-link=”(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-family: “helvetica neue” , “verdana” , “helvetica” , “arial” , sans-serif; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> his one and only Son, so that
whoever 
believes<span class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-26137D” data-link=”(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-family: “helvetica neue” , “verdana” , “helvetica” , “arial” , sans-serif; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The story of our adoption by our Heavenly Father:

Long before we knew of Him, He was pursuing us-
all the way to the flesh ripping, soul tearing, heart breaking bloody cross-
to secure our adoption as His children.
FOREVER.
Before we even knew we needed Him-
and while we were horribly broken, victimized, betrayed, suffering, abandoned and making desperate mistakes,
He was pursuing our adoption as His children.
We did nothing to earn His love.
He loved and loves us perfectly-
in our imperfection.

” But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.<span class=”footnote” data-fn=”#fen-NLT-29097b” data-link=”[b]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[b] And because we<span class=”footnote” data-fn=”#fen-NLT-29098c” data-link=”[c]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[c] are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”<span class=”footnote” data-fn=”#fen-NLT-29098d” data-link=”[d]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[dNow you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.<span class=”footnote” data-fn=”#fen-NLT-29099e” data-link=”[e]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[e] And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.”
Galatians 4:5
Romans 5:6-11
Isaiah 53
John 17-21

We did not earn His love and we cannot loose his love.
ROMANS 8:38

Your past does not define you.
HIS PERFECT LOVE DEFINES YOU:

Child of God
Hope and Freedom come from the Perfect One who chose to be shattered and destroyed, despised and cast out so that we could be healed and redeemed, held close and adopted
as His own cherished children.
Isaiah 53:3-5

He pursued you with His life.
He gave all to adopt you into His arms- as you are.
You are defined by the ONE who treasures you
and breathes purposeful BEAUTY into your cracks.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN HIS EYES-
HE LONGS TO HEAR YOUR VOICE-
EVEN YOUR ANGRY, HURT, AND BROKEN VOICE-
You can NOT change his adoring love for you as His child.
2 Cor. 5:17
Psalm 139

His redeeming, unconditional, cherishing, treasuring, healing love also gives the strength to set boundaries that prevent abuse and destruction of our hearts and the hearts of our children.
You are His treasure. 
True love sets boundaries:
Tolerating unfaithfulness or abuse of yourself or your children is permitting abuse of God’s beloved children
Proverbs 22:6
Isaiah 58:6-13
Psalm 17:8
Zech 2:8

HE longs to hear the sound of your voice.
You can be naked, guilty, scarred, broken, victimized, exposed and transparent before Him-
He is your beloved, unconditionally loving and redeeming you, always adoring you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes- inside and out, scars and all, desiring you, gentle with you and Whose love you cannot quench.
(Romans 8:38)
(Psalm 139)
(Isaiah 54:4-6)

Grasping this kind of freedom and forever focus on His GREAT love for us gives us natural ability to lay down our fears.
Without fear we can be imperfect, secure, transparent, real and a giver of
real love with no strings attached and less fear of the future.

with TRUE LOVE,
we can walk away from fear and legalism.

Without fear,
we can be available to lay our lives down and change the world.

No greater love…

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