Friday, May 31, 2013

Our little singer!

Can you believe it?!  Two posts right in a row... you would think they things have slowed down or we have all this extra time on our hands!  Sadly, that's not the case, BUT we are so super proud of our little girl that we just have to share!

Joelle has been going to school for about 2 months now.  When we decided to enroll her in preschool before we ever met her, we really had no idea how it would go.  Would I need to stay home for the rest of the school year?  Should we figure out a different plan?  Needless to say, it has truly been the best decision for our family.  Joelle's vocabulary has BLOSSOMED and she has literally zero to do with the 2 languages she spoke prior to coming home (not that we want her to forget her roots, or drop her language, but it's just truly amazing to see her THIRD language develop!).  She absolutely loves her friends at school, and enjoys getting to play with them everyday.  We are just really proud parents right now!  We are more than thankful that God led us to a preschool where she is thriving :)

So, that leads me to tonight... Preschool Graduation!  No, Joelle didn't graduate tonight, BUT she did have her very first little solo.  I was smiling from ear to ear watching her (as I was on my knees, crawling up close to her so I could get some pictures...yes, I'm THAT mom)
  

She really does have a beautiful little voice that the Lord has blessed her with!  Everyone kept saying... Man, she sure does sing well!!  She also knows how to ham it up for the camera :)
 And, she had her first daddy-daughter dance.  When she came to grab Jared I couldn't help my giggle inside.  This guy does not dance.  But, who could resist that little face?!  Not her Papa!
  
 Taking the lead and making faces :)
  

And, then it was time for her to dance with friends...
 Which really led to her dancing solo.  Pretty sure this girl could win a dance-off competition without even trying!
  


  
All in all, I'm super proud of how well-behaved she is, how her personality is developing, the friendships she has made, and how comfortable she is with our routine.  It works for us, but most importantly it works for Joelle!  And I sure do LOVE that embrace I get everyday when I go pick her up at 3:20 :)
 And, I'm going to soak up every moment I have until next year's graduation!  I'm just as thankful for another year of preschool!  You can bet that I'll be crawling up to the front row to take pictures again in 2014!  

 From our family to yours... Happy End of the School Year!  (We are just going to ignore that we still have a week left of school, ha!)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Could a Passport Mean that God is Real?

Um.....I think it's been a while since we've been on the ole' blog!  Part of us thinks we should be updating more, and part of us realizes that your life doesn't really revolve around our blog so everything's going to be ok!  I did tell Amy the other day that we needed to get on here and post our latest story for you though.

We've been in the process of finalizing Joelle's citizenship, getting a social security number, finishing taxes for our adoption, and most importantly, trying to get Joelle a passport before next Friday!  We knew when Joelle came home that we planned to take her to Honduras for a mission trip this Summer and so we immediately began the process of trying to get her passport.  Just a side note for those of you who think it's too easy to become a US citizen....it's not!  We've been trying to get Joelle's US passport since February.  They don't let you travel many places with a Congolese passport.  It takes court documents, translations, new adoption papers in the US, birth certificates from our state, parent info, and tons of other stuff I've probably missed.  So for the past few months we've been frantically trying to finalize everything so she can travel with us.

Joelle is doing really well....but we definitely aren't at a point where we could leave her for a week while we travel....especially out of the country.  So Sunday morning we ventured into some new waters for Joelle.  I had a feeling everything would work out fine with her passport, but let's be honest....we leave next week so time is short!  We have a 'prayer time' each week at the church, and usually folks flood our altars and spend time in prayer.  It's a great time of worship for our church every week.  We haven't really taken Joelle down to pray.  She still has a lot of eyes on her around here so we try not to be a distraction.  She has a good grasp of who God is and what church is about, but definitely isn't an all-knowing follower of Christ yet.  But this past weekend I just kind of felt a nudge....you know the one you get when you least expect it....when you least want it?

So we took Joelle down to pray at the front of church....explained in 3-yr old terms what we needed God to do this week, and then we spent a little time in prayer.  After church she talked about her passport a little more.  She knew that if it didn't come in Papa was going to have to go to Honduras alone and Joelle and Mommy would stay home.  So she prayed a few times for it throughout the week.  She didn't fully understand it, but over and over we heard, 'Jesus please give me passport so I go with friend in Honduras.'  There really was an innocence about it all.  After all of that, wanna guess what came in the mail today?


Here's a picture of Joelle in our team's mission trip shirt:



The prayer was pretty cool.  That moment of explaining to Joelle that we desperately needed the Lord to work on our behalf was a fun moment for me.  But the moment I'm looking forward to most is coming in just a few hours when she gets out of school.  I brought her passport to work with me so she can't see it until I get home.  And when I walk in the door of our home, I get to show her what God did this week!  I get to remind her of the prayer she prayed...and I get to show her that God is not only real, but He is good.  I get to show her that prayers are heard, and more than that, they're answered.  It was a teaching moment....one I almost let slip by because, after all, she's only 3.

We aren't the perfect parents.  Joelle realizes that and we've only been together a few months.  But I thought this might encourage someone today to step out in faith and walk your children towards Jesus.  Every moment is a teachable moment.  Every opportunity with your kids is a chance to glorify God.  I was about 95% certain everything was going to work out fine on Sunday morning....God took care of the 5%.  And He gave me an amazing opportunity to show my daughter that He is real.  It's an opportunity I almost let slip by because I knew I was taking a big step in faith believing God would work this all out.

Maybe this will mean something to you today....maybe not.  It's been a huge blessing to me though and I had to share what God did this week.  He gets the glory....and I hope you'll join me in praying that this will be the smallest part of our trip to Honduras.  We're praying He'll do big things for the Kingdom where we're going.  And I'm praying the next chance I get to show my kid how amazing He is....I'll jump on it quickly!

Here are a few other things we've been up to lately.  First...we went to our first 3-D movie with Joelle!  Needless to say the movie was good, but not nearly as great as watching Joelle!  She ducked and dived, tried to grab the characters, held us constantly because she thought she was going into the movie....it was awesome!


After that we spent some time out at the lake...beautiful night....beautiful girls!