We are a happy family of five (with a sixth and seventh to join us soon!), trying to live out our lives with hope, joy, peace and most of all love during our short time on this earth. Jonathan and I (Shawna) met when we were 13 at summer camp. Although he says he wanted to marry me then, it took me 10 years to realize that he was the one for me! We said "I do for forever" in 1999. We spent the first two years of marriage in the beautiful pacific northwest in Portland, Oregon and then moved back to the south in 2001 to start a family. Our oldest, Silas, was born in 2003 and almost three years later, God blessed us again with our twins Eli and Cooper in 2006. We went through some tough times with Eli's health for the next two years, and during those darkest and hardest times of our lives, God began to reveal Himself to us in mighty and powerful ways. I'm embarrassed to say this, but it took my son's sickness to get my attention. I wanted to be in control of the situation; I wanted God to make him better and didn't understand why He wasn't. I didn't realize at the time that He was refining me through the fire. I had never known how true the words of James were when he said, "My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. The strength to keep going must be allowed to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need." (James 1:2 NIRV) He put me to the test and praise Him by His grace I came out stronger on the other side. I finally learned what it truly meant to completely trust Him NO MATTER WHAT. Not my will, but His. I'm not sure I had ever really prayed that prayer. Over the next few years I grew to a deeper relationship with Him than I ever had before, even though I had been a Christian since I was 11 years old. He completely turned my world upside down and I felt like I had woken up from a sleepy spiritual existence. I was finally trying to live Christ only, empty self. My cup overflowed with His grace and mercy.
It was during this time that He began to put adoption on my heart. It was a slow process, but eventually I couldn’t deny that this was our path that He had been preparing us for. In September 2012 we began the process of adopting a little girl from Madagascar. It took us a year and a half to find her, and she wasn't in Madagascar, she was in Uganda. Read more about the awesome way God showed us where she was here. And now we are working to bring TWO daughters home from Uganda (which you can read about here)! We don't know exactly when they will join our family, but we know that it is not up to us to be concerned about times or dates that the Father has set. (Acts 1:7) We don't know exactly what the future holds for them, but we know that He has plans to give them peace and not evil, to give them hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) And we can't wait to meet them.