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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Look, I am doing a new thing

It has been a LONG time. A long time since I've posted, a long time since I've even had anything to post, and just a long time since we've started this adoption journey. 3 years to be exact. And what I'm about to say has been a long time coming. WE ARE HEADED TO UGANDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
In 6 days, we will be on a plane to Uganda and in 8 days, we will Lord willing be meeting our new daughter. 

I know this news is shocking to most of you that will be reading this. We have been super quiet about all of this, only telling our family and close friends what has been happening over the last few months (although this week I realized that even a few of my close friends didn't know what was going on and I thought they did, so that tells you how quiet we've been). Back in the fall we received a new referral for a little girl that was four years old. We were extremely hesitant, as you can imagine after what had just happened, but after much prayer and a few other measures that were taken to make sure she actually needed a family, we officially accepted her referral in early December. Since all of our paperwork was already in Uganda, we really didn't have to do anything on our end- we were just waiting for everything to be switched over to our agency's new (not crooked) lawyer and then after that we would wait to be assigned a court date. Although I am not typically a guarded person, I found myself taking on my husband's tendency (as far as adoption goes) of being very guarded with my feelings about all of this over the last few months. And I think that's okay. It's not that we weren't hopeful, but we had just gone through two really bad adoption scenarios, with the second being much worse than the first. We had faced the hard realities of international adoption. We were trying to be "cautiously optimistic", but I will tell you I was getting weary. But God...

Our small group family had been praying that Lulah and Jovia would come home by the end of 2014. When that was definitely not happening, we still kept praying for that timeline. Even though we got a new referral quickly, we knew that it was next to impossible to bring any child home by the end of 2014. But we all still kept praying. Mid-December came and nothing was happening and my prayer switched to "Lord, just let us hear something by December 31st. Something from our agency with an indication of when we might get a court date. Anything." I literally checked my email as I went to bed on New Year's Eve, and was so disappointed that there was nothing. No word from our agency. The next morning I slept in late and stayed in bed for a while, scrolling through instagram, and kind of lost it when I saw a couple meeting their son for the first time in Uganda. I was sad that this was all taking so long. And I was a little mad at God for not giving us just something, anything, by December 31st. Then Jonathan came in the room and noticed that I had been crying. He asked what was wrong, I told him, and then he said, "I had a dream that we adopted two girls." I perked up a bit. "You did?" I asked, "Tell me more." He gave me all the details he could, which was a lot. Unlike me, he's good at remembering lots of dream details. None of it made any sense, but I thought at least that was something that he had a dream that we had adopted two girls.  It had to mean something, right? We were staying at a lake house with some of our best friends, one of whom just happens to have a gift of dream interpretation (in my opinion). We came out for breakfast and after chatting for a while I brought up Jonathan's dream. She wanted to know all the details and even got more out of Jonathan than I had. There was a family in the dream, the Frist family, that were friends at the previous school where Jonathan worked, but not anyone we kept in touch with or saw on a regular basis. I thought it was really strange that they would have been in the dream. I could see Jen's wheels start turning as they always do and she asked, "Have you looked up the meaning of Frist?" Why don't I ever remember this?? She does it every time with people that are in dreams and for some reason I still don't think to do that. Even though so often that has proven really important in the interpretation of the dream. Anyway, even then, I still thought, "Frist? That doesn't mean anything, does it?" But it does. We looked it up and here is the meaning:

Old English frist, first "a space of time". As a verb, meaning "delay".

For real. I love that this was not just a conversation between me and Jen, discussing God and all His mysterious ways, as so often is the case, but that Jonathan was a part of it too. Sometimes me relaying things that we talk about don't really have the same impact as they do if he is actually in on the conversation. When she read that definition that she had googled on her phone, he stopped eating his pancake and said, "Seriously?" Yup. God just did that. I believe that God gave Jonathan that dream to let us both know that He was listening and had not forgotten about our adoption, but for whatever reason there was going to be a delay. He gave us our answer on December 31st. 

Fast forward to March. Things had been quiet. We had gotten some updated photos but no news on a court date. A couple of weeks before spring break, we were praying with the boys before bed and Jonathan specifically asked God that we would hear something by spring break. It makes me uncomfortable to put time limits on God (even after the previous story), and at the time I thought, "Well where did that come from?". He continued to pray that prayer, and I honestly can't even tell you if I joined in on praying that prayer. But the Friday before Spring Break, as we had both just gotten off a plane in Haiti, we got an email from our agency with our affidavit from the Ugandan court. It gave no indication of when we would be assigned a date still, but at least it was something. From an actual court in Uganda. Something was moving, and God gave us our answer before spring break. 
We were still cautiously optimistic, but moving a little more towards the optimistic side. 

Fast forward to early last week. Our agency emailed us just to let us know that she had emailed the lawyer in Uganda and that she hoped to hear an update on our case that week. I started praying that we would in deed hear something by the end of the week. Thursday afternoon I was sitting in Jonathan's office after school and saw that I had an email from our agency. My stomach did a flip, which is not normal at all when I see an email from them- because, 3 years. But somehow I knew. The email simply said,
Hi Shawna

I just got notice that you have a court date for June 2nd.  Can you make this?  I will ask how long you need to be in country and how many trips you will have to do.


This was May 14th. June 2nd was two and a half weeks away. We were supposed to be leaving for a mission trip to Malawi on June 13th. We have literally waited three years to get this email. I replied back, "Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes. We can make it." 

There are so many details that still need to be worked out and so many unknowns until we get there, but what we do know is that we are leaving next Saturday, May 30th. We arrive Sunday night and Monday we are supposed to be taken to meet our {hopeful} daughter. She is five and she is adorable and her name is Gift. (Yes, her given name is Gift. That's how God rolls.) We are planning on giving her a new name but won't decide on that until we meet her. I can't even. So I won't.

The rest of the plan is on Tuesday, we are supposed to go to court to declare our intent to adopt her. Then we spend a lot of time with her over the next week and a half, see all that we can see of Uganda, then fly out to Malawi to meet up with our team there on a mission trip that we've been planning for months. It's a lot. I know. 

So that's what we've been told "should" happen, but we know what "should" happen in Uganda doesn't work out like that a lot of the time. We really don't know what will happen. We don't know how the judge will rule. We've heard stories. We don't know how long we'll have to stay. We don't know when we'll go back and get her and bring her home.  We know we have no control over any of that. But God does. 

We ask for your prayers as we journey to Africa. This coming week will bring a lot of stress in getting everything prepared to leave for most of the month of June. Although I am very excited about the trip, I am not excited to leave my sweet boys for such a long time. They have been so encouraging to me though, telling me that they will be fine and that they still want me to go on to Malawi (because I was thinking of not). Eli said, "You've wanted to go to Malawi for so long and I just want you to have the experience and I want to see all the pictures you'll take. " :)  I can't really argue with that. Please pray that we will have a peace that passes all understanding no matter what happens. I will say since the New Year's Eve dream, we have both been more at peace with everything than we have ever been since we started this journey three years ago. We know that if she belongs in our family, God will put her in our family.  And if she doesn't belong in our family, that God will make this whole thing fail. That has been my prayer and I know He will answer it. And if a second daughter is in the grand plan, then He will show us when it's time. Because He is a good, good Father. 

In the first couple of weeks of the new year, God was speaking this verse over and over to me: 

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. -Isaiah 43:19

So I wrote it on our kitchen chalkboard, decided to keep it there all year, and believe that God will do what He has promised. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Hope That Will Not Disappoint

It's taken me two weeks to be able to sit down and write what I'm about to write.  Two really hard weeks.  We never think that we will be the ones to have to share the really hard things, but then the hard things happen to us, and we think, "Oh yeah.  God is writing this story, not me. And I need to tell it." I don't want these to be my words.  I've been praying that they will be His words, and that the hard things will bring Him glory.

Two weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon, we got a call from our agency that we were never expecting or hoping for.  The girls that we fully believed were our daughters and haved loved and prayed over from afar for the last six+ months, will not be coming into our family.  After some red flags were raised and our agency did some investigating, it was discovered that the orphanage director and chief of a particular village were running a scam.  They had found children, told their families that they were finding them American families that they would go live with, send them to school, feed them, take good care of them, and then send them back to their actual families at some point.  When the people that our agency hired went out to the village to talk to the families and explain to them that the kids were being put up for adoption and would not be coming back, this is not what the families wanted.

So, there it is in a nutshell. Jonathan and I were together without the boys when we got the call that day and I know that was not an accident.  We were driving in pouring down rain, and I eventually pulled over to be able to hear what the lady from our agency was telling us.  I wasn't sure how to even respond to what we were hearing.  I had had a bad feeling for days, and now I knew why.  We asked some questions with what sense we could muster up, but we mostly just listened, trying to process.  I kept it together until after we got off the phone, and then after a quiet few minutes, totally lost it.  Where I lost it the most, honestly, was at the thought of having to tell the boys. These boys believed that Lulah and Jovia were their sisters.  They have prayed for them daily, they draw pictures of our family that include the girls in it, they have worked hard at helping us raise money to bring them home, they have loved them well.  The thought of telling them that they would not be coming to live with us and the parts of the story that exposed the evil behind the whole thing- I just couldn't even stomach it at the time.  I didn't want their faith that has grown so much during this two year journey to be shaken.  I didn't want them to think that God was not answering our prayers.  Because I knew in that moment, even through the sobs, that He was, and that our faith was going to be made even stronger through all of this.  But I didn't know if they would see it that way.  How could they?  When we got to where we had been driving to, thankfully I knew no one there, except one sweet friend that has become so dear in a short time.  She was the first person I saw when I walked through the doors, which again was not an accident, and I just fell apart.  She hugged me tight and said some beautiful things, but the one thing that I will remember most and gave me so much encouragement was this:
"Think of all the people that have been praying over those girls that never would have been before.  God is faithful and will answer those prayers.  Maybe not in the way that hoped, but He will answer them.  If the whole time we thought we were praying them into the Sheahen family, we were actually praying them back into their own families, then it was worth it."  And yes, we absolutely know that it was worth it.  All the heartbreak that we are feeling now, is worth it to expose what was going on and save these kids from being stolen from their families.  As much as we wanted them, we would have never wanted to take them from their families that wanted them.  We believe that is where they belong.  Although the families situations may be desperate enough to believe such lies, they are families nonetheless, and they want them.  Praise God for that.

A few hours after finding all of this out, we went to the wedding of two people that we love dearly.  We wanted to go and needed to go.  Most everyone there were people that we don't see that often, so as you can imagine pretty much every single person asked us about when the girls were coming home.  We absolutely know that everyone's questions were well intended, and we so appreciated everyone's interest and excitement, but boy, that was pretty torturous.  We really were not ready to talk about it, and we deflected a lot of questions and I'm sure acted pretty weird at times. I'll go ahead and apologize to those who might be reading this that wondered why we seemed like we didn't have much to say about that subject, but now you know why.

The next day we told the boys, and they took it better than I expected.  That's not to say they weren't sad and didn't quite understand, but I prayed that God would give us the right words to say to them to try to help explain it all, and I believe He did.  We stressed that this doesn't mean that we will stop praying for them and we fully trust that God is going to take care of them.  And we trust that He's got a greater plan for all of this that we just can't see right now, and He can take people's bad choices and evil intentions and use them for good.  I think simplifying it like that was just what we needed.

"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." 
2 Corinthians 4:8-12
So where do we go from here?  We are pressing on.  Not sure what that will look like, but moving forward with unwavering faith and hope in the promises of God.  We have been grieving, with some days being harder than others.  But, more than that, we are believing in a God that is bigger, trusting that He is working out everything for good and knowing that He will redeem this.  He will use this broken mess and heartache and turn it into something beautiful.  Let me just say that we absolutely believe that we were led to Lulah and Jovia for a reason.  It was no accident that I found Lulah on that waiting child list, with the same name that we had picked out for our future daughter a year before.  This outcome DOES NOT CHANGE THAT.  Why, you might ask? I may not know the exact answer to that on this side of eternity, but I do know that I don't have to, and that because we have an eternal hope, we will know one day. Right now, we have faith that He will show us what our next steps will be.

Just a few weeks after we started this adoption journey, we were able to hear Francis Chan speak at a Show Hope dinner, and his message centered around this one verse that I have "adopted" as our theme verse over the last two years.  I didn't realize at the time how much it would come to mean to me.

"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." Romans 15:13

Would you like to guess what the message at church was about last Sunday morning?

<<< HOPE >>>

And then Sunday night, a different speaker at a different church, told us that he had been praying Romans 15:13 over us all week leading up to that service.  Of course he had.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident HOPE of salvation. And this HOPE will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." Romans 5:3-5

If we had an earthly perspective of hope, then what has happened would be devastating.  When the world would ask why are we continuing on this journey after two years with nothing to show for it, we rejoice in the hope of God's glory.  We move on knowing that in the end, He will get all the glory for this story.  He is developing patience in us and He is strengthening our character, which is producing confident hope. Even when there is no reason for hope, we keep hoping.  Like Abraham did, never once wavering in believing God's promises to him.  In the face of insurmountable obstacles, Abraham believed.  In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.  He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.  Hope was real to him, and so it is to us.  Abraham's hope allowed him to see far and wide the innumerable amount of people that would come from that promised child.  And this is what we see. Our flesh cries out, "God, we can't get there from here! We can't keep this up much longer!" And that's right, we can't, without Him. But we have to hope against human hope; a hope that springs from God's perspective. The belief that God will do what He has promised.  God WILL DO what He has promised.

What you can do for us is continue to pray.  Pray for those precious girls that you have already been praying so hard for.  Don't stop.  We're not sure of exactly what is going on in their lives, but we know that God does, and He hears our prayers for them. Pray for Jesus to be in their hearts and evident in their lives. We may never know here the impact our fervent prayers will have on their lives and what kind of forces for the kingdom they might turn out to be, but we trust in a God that has already written their story, and we are honored to be a part of it. Pray for our family, that we will continue to follow Him wherever He leads us, no matter what.  We are still 100% planning to adopt children who actually need a family.  And we still feel strongly that those children are in Uganda, and that is where we are staying for now. Although part of me feels strange to be moving forward when our emotions are so raw, the other part of me knows that the door on adopting Lulah and Jovia has closed and moving forward is the only thing we can do.  Pray for our boys and their tender hearts.  Pray that this will only make their faith bigger, their trust stronger and their hope more confident.  And pray for those who intended all of this for evil.  Pray for their hearts to know the peace and joy and confident hope that only Jesus can bring.  Because He not only died for us, and for Lulah and Jovia, but He died for them too.  And praise God for that.

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's our week!! {Give1Save1}

This week we are so excited to be featured on the fundraising blog Give1Save1!!!  This is something we have been looking forward to for a long time and the initial reason we had lil Dragon Entertainment create our gorgeous video for us last year.  Things have changed a bit since we made the video and we are now getting two daughters instead of one!!! I think it just makes the story more beautiful though to see what God has been up to since then.  And the best part about the video is that we wrote our letters to Tallulah (or Lulah) before we even knew who or where she was, then God showed us exactly who and where she was.

If you are just visiting our blog for the first time, welcome!  We are so glad you found us!  You can find out more about our family's story here and follow us on facebook here.  There have been so many people who God has shown His love and shined His light through on this adoption journey. We know that we wouldn't be anywhere close to where we are now to bringing our girls home without so many of His people blessing us immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.  He has been so faithful to answer all His promises in ways that we could never have dreamed up, and to write an incredible story that we couldn't feel more blessed to be a part of.

We have a lot of fun things planned this week as part of our feature week on Give1Save1.  First of all, if you've never heard of G1S1, the whole idea is to have a whole lot of people give at least $1 to bring one orphan home- and this week you get to help bring TWO home!  Here's how you can help:

  • WATCH our video.
  • GIVE $1 or more. (see donate button on right column)
  • SHARE our video on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email, etc.
  • COMMENT to tell me you donated AND shared to be entered in our giveaway (two winners will win either a small cross or a vintage map print!)
  • REPEAT each day for one week.

It's that simple!! 

Love for Lulah from Shawna Sheahen on Vimeo.

Second, check out our new Love for Lulah Shop on StoreEnvy.  We are excited to finally have a site to sell our handmade crosses, vintage map prints and t-shirts that so many of you have been asking about. This is my first online shop experience- so if there are issues (as I'm sure there probably will be) then please just email me and we'll figure it out!

And lastly (for now), the sweet girls at @lilliesofthefield are hosting an instasale on Instagram for me this Tuesday and next Tuesday at 8pm CST. I've got LOTS of great clothes and some handmade goodies that I'll be selling at great prices and all to get our girls home!

Whew!!!  That's kind of an overload of stuff!  More to come soon!

{Check out the gorgeous photo story that our friend Nathan Morgan  shot for us of our family making crosses and prints to bring our girls home on our "hello" page.}

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Double Portion

It's been two months since I saw our sweet Lulah's face. Two months since God blew our socks off and answered my fervent prayer of "Please Lord, just let us see our daughter's face."  And boom- there she was.  If you are just joining our blog, you can get caught up here with how we found our daughter. I have so loved to tell others about Lulah's story, and now, God has given us a lot more of the strory to tell.

To get to the rest of the story, I first need to go back to the story I told in my last post about that morning that I felt God put Uganda heavy on my heart and in my head.  The part I left out because I wasn't quite ready to share was this: the night before that happened, I had a dream.  Although I wish I were different about this, I rarely remember my dreams.  I sometimes start to faintly remember a dream I had, but then usually everything gets fuzzy and I can't really remember any details.  Well, this time was similar, except that there was one distinct detail that I remembered as soon as I woke up.  And it kept playing in my head over and over that day.  I can still picture it in the corner of my mind's eye.  It was a big number 2.  It was black, like a house number.  At that point in our journey, this wasn't really that shocking to me.  I had begun to feel strongly that maybe we were supposed to be adopting more than one for several months.  Jonathan had been coming around to the idea too.  Just a couple of weeks before I had this dream, in the week leading up to our benefit concert, I prayed a lot that week for God to make it clear to us if He wanted us to get more than one.  I was feeling more and more like He did, but the only catch was that according to the adoption laws in Madagascar, they would not let us adopt more than one child since we already had three children living in the home.  This was something we hadn't realized until we were well under way with the process, because when we first started we were definitely not thinking about adopting two children.  He provided abundantly at Pickin' & Pies, and at that point we were pretty much fully funded for what we needed to adopt one child from Madagascar.  I wasn't fully convinced that this was an answer on my question of two, but with a couple more fundraisers that were already in the works, it seemed to me that He was telling us, "Do not worry about a thing.  I've got this totally covered." Then what we thought we knew about the Mada program started to fall apart, and in comes (after looking back on it now) some clear answers from God.  A dream with a big black "2" and then "Uganda" playing over and over in my head the next morning while I was praying for God to give us guidance.  I wasn't sure how He would work it all out, but I trusted that He would.  We just had to be open to whatever His plan was.

Fast forward to March.  About a week after we found Lulah and started switching everything over to Uganda, our new agency emailed me to let us know that there were some other kids at Lulah's orphanage that were available and to let them know if we were interested in getting more information about any of them.  I opened up all of their pictures and info; there were five little boys and one little girl.  When I saw her, I just had that feeling.  The feeling I had read about people having, but had not experienced myself. With Lulah, it happened differently, because her name is what made me know it was her first.  But this girl. Her name was Jovia, and her precious face just looked like she embodied joy.  I immediately looked up the meaning of her name and it means "happy" or "joy".  Of course it does.  I emailed our agency back and asked about her, but the reply I got back made me think that she had already taken by another family.  I emailed back again and said to please keep me updated.  Then later I got another email from the agency asking if we would please consider Jovia, since she was at the same orphanage and of similar age to Lulah. (we have since learned that Lulah is four and Jovia is five) Later that day, I showed Jonathan all the pictures and info of the kids that the agency had sent me.  The boys caught a glimpse of Jovia's picture on the computer and started yelling "Yes!!  We want her!!  We want two sisters!!!" All three of them were jumping up and down and getting so excited about the possibility of TWO sisters.  Jonathan needed some time to process it all, so we agreed to pray about it and see if God would confirm the same child for both of us.  In the next week we both prayed fervently- that God would make it clear to us which child He wanted us to bring home with Lulah. During that time, two of my closest friends, both very Holy Spirit-centered, told me without a doubt that they felt like Jovia was the one- and they had some hair-standing on your arm kind of stories of why they felt this way.  A week went by and I felt more and more confirmed that Jovia was the one. After a couple of days of trying to ask Jonathan how he was feeling about it all, I decided I needed to shut up about the whole thing.  This is not something that I wanted to convince him of.  God needed to help him come to a conclusion about it all on his own.  One of those same close friends suggested that I change my prayer and to start praying for God to soften Jonathan's heart.  Within two days I saw this happen and he started bringing her up to me and asking me questions and what I was thinking. Towards the end of the week we had a conversation with our agency, and we got more information on each of the girls.  The next day, we were in a cute little coffee shop that had a gift shop in it. Literally everywhere we turned, there was something that said JOY or HAPPY on it.  Later that day I discovered on my phone (I think I saw something on ig) that it was International Day of Happy. Seriously.  I don't make this stuff up. When we got home, Jonathan sat in the living room by himself with his computer and pulled up all the kids pictures again.  After a few minutes, he called me in the room and said, "Okay. It's her."  I squealed and thanked the Lord.

Lulah and Jovia.  Our two daughters that God has been weaving into the threads of our hearts for so long.  Oh, how He is faithful and so full of grace.

"Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, 
 and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting JOY will be yours." Isaiah 61:7

So what now?  Paperwork, and lots of it.  Since finding Lulah, we have basically had to start everything over.  I actually can't think of one single piece of paper that we have been able to reuse for this new process for Uganda.  We are so thankful to have found a wonderful and quick case worker to do a new home study for us, and we received our new completed last week.  While waiting for that, I have been focused on gathering documents that we will need for our dossier to send to Uganda.  If Madagascar's dossier requirements seemed hard, Uganda's seem haaaaaaarrrrrrrd.  Four copies of everything, certified or notarized.  Bank statements, house deed, medical reports, employment letters, references, college diplomas, high school diplomas (I'm pretty sure if we have a college diploma, then that means we would have graduated high school?!!?), birth certificates, marriage certificates, fingerprinting... (oh there's lots more).  I'm pretty sure they could just say, "Every single piece of paper that you've ever touched in your entire life." and be done with it.  But, I am making progress.  I sent off our I-600a application to get approval from the USCIS yesterday (although I forgot to enclose a check. oops. I'm literally losing my mind) and once we get that back (hopefully in a few weeks) we can send off our dossier. After our dossier gets to Uganda, we have been told that we should travel soon for our first trip. We will meet the girls and apply for court, then travel back for our second trip whenever our court date is.  The way things are going, I am hopeful that we would be going on our first trip by the end of the summer.  We really have no idea, though.  After what we've already been through, we know not to expect anything quickly.  What we do know is that God is working it all out. And that's all that matters.

Mother's Day is tomorrow and I know it will feel different this year.  Besides relishing in the sweet hugs and kisses that my three precious sons will undoubtably give me, I will be looking at the pictures of my beautiful daughters and praying that the day will come quickly that I can be hugging and kissing on them.  I will be joyful and oh so thankful that God has entrusted me to mother these five little ones that are only mine because He is gracious.  But, in the midst of the joy I will also grieve for the mothers that my daughters have lost.  I will grieve that they are sitting in an orphanage, with no family- no mother to hug and kiss, no mother to make a handmade card for, no mother to give flowers to, no mother to call their own.  They need a mom.  They need love, and hope, and joy, and Jesus. Soon, sweet girls. Soon.

Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and My daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by My name,
whom I created for My glory,
whom I formed and made.

Thanks for sticking with us through this journey.  We are so incredibly appreciative of those who continually pray for us and our girls and want us to keep you updated on what's going on.  Later this week I'll give a fundraising status and be sharing about our upcoming feature week on the Give1Save1 blog- which starts Monday, May 19th!  We will have lots of opportunities that week to help, including lots of crosses and map scripture prints for sale here on the blog.  Stayed tuned!