Monday, March 23, 2015

Adoption/Prayer Update from the Lemons'

I have a tendency to say too much...which could mean this blog post won't stay up long.  I'm not really sure what I can say and what I'm suppose to keep quiet, but honestly, we're asking the Lord for favor and hope you'll join us.  For quite some time Amy and I have been asking our family, friends, and church to join us in praying for a lingering court case in one of our adoptions.  We're asking for prayer again today, but wanted to let you in on what's going on....at least partially.

Our adoption with 'I' is going quickly and smoothly so far.  God has been so faithful to walk us through.  He's legally ours, and we are hoping to travel next month to meet him and file some paperwork with immigration.  He can't come home yet, but we are getting close.  We'd definitely appreciate prayers as that journey begins to unfold.  To meet our son for the first time, and turn and leave him half way across the globe will not be an easy task, but we really believe it's a step we need to take.  We're just waiting on an Embassy appointment!

Our other adoption hasn't been quite as smooth.  We have been in process with 'A' for about a year and a half now, and it's still not completed.  Last year our agency allowed us to move him into a different orphanage for a transition period.  And for just a moment, let me say how incredible our adoption agency is!  They have more integrity in their pinky finger than I've seen in most agencies through and through.  They've walked with us, been transparent when we've all made mistakes, and have even stopped taking money until things are settled.  One of our ladies in particular has become what I would consider a close friend.  Joelle talks about her often, and we are so grateful for her.

The transition was a decision we (Amy and I) made on our own.  When 'A' was sent into this orphanage it seemed like a huge blessing from heaven.  We were getting updates, and a few families were contributing to really make this a great home for our kids.  We were committed to doing everything within our power to make this home a safe place for children for years to come, even after our boys were home.  Since that moment we've had a person that has come in and done everything she can to wreck our adoption.  She's made false claims about our son that have resulted in a court battle.  Without going into a lot of detail, tomorrow is supposedly our last court date where the court will make a final decision.

I want to make sure skeptics fully understand that we understand adoption.  Adoption was never the plan of Creation.  Adoption is a beautiful redemption from the fall of sin.  The fact that a child cannot stay with his/her biological family was never in God's plan.....it's a pretty good reminder of what sin has done to the beauty God created.  Adoption is redemption from brokenness.  I remember standing with Joelle's biological father two years ago.  He was a good man.  He was a good father that sacrificed everything so his child could live.  He's not a bad man.  We pray for him.  We talk about him and his family.  He sacrificed his own desires for the life of his child.  It was messy, ugly, and wasn't the highlight of his life...adoption is sacrifice.  It's sacrifice for everyone involved....especially our children.  If a child has a biological family member capable of caring for him/her, Amy and I will always 100% support them!  But our children's families can't, and have made very clear that their situations were dire without adoption.  A's biological family has made very clear what their desires are, and we are a part of them.

So we are asking our family and friends to join us in powerful prayer today/tonight as a judge we've never met sits in a court we've never seen, and rules on a case that will ultimately change our lives forever, one way or the other.  If court goes our way, the plan is to hold both of our boys on our trip next month.  If it doesn't we're not really sure where it leaves us, because we don't have access to A.

This has all been a beautiful reminder of how out of control our lives are.  That's good to remember from time to time.  God is good....really good.  And we trust 100% that regardless of the decision made tomorrow, or even if it is put off for the millionth time, God's plan is always best.  But we also know that a God that created all ex nihilo (out of nothing) is more than capable os squashing the enemy and showing us favor tomorrow.  We believe that God is capable of redeeming the people that have caused us the most heartache over the past six months.

And that's what we'd ask.  Pray for those that are doing wrong.  Pray that the Lord would grab their hearts and show grace in a way that draws them to His goodness.  So many moments I've wanted to pray destruction and evil on them....but God has shown me that even our enemies need grace.  I'm praying for her today.  If she's reading this, know that our family is praying that God would show you His grace!  Pray that the courts would do what's right tomorrow....we believe we've been very transparent and done exactly what God has called us to.  We, and our agency, have shown integrity and refused to lower our morals/ethics.  We have done right.  Pray that He would reveal this tomorrow and we'd get closure.

And last....pray for the hundreds of children that are stuck right now and unable to come to the United States.  The reason is really not important.  One of our families lost their son last week due to preventable causes, and we believe enough is enough.  We're hoping the red tape will be cut this week, and we'll gain a few hundred beautiful new citizens!

Lots to pray about, and we hope you'll join us as we rely on the true Judge that doesn't needs courts and governments to get things done!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Life Lately

Well, I am just going to throw this out there... I'm terrible at updating this little blog.  Unfortunately, time just gets the best of me and Instagram/Facebook is so much quicker than writing out a blog post.  BUT, for the sake of memories, I decided to do a "what's been going on lately" write-up!  So, in no particular order, here's what life has been like in 2015 so far!

1.  We have had some CRAZY weather here in North Texas this winter.  The snow/ice kept us home for three different snow days.  It was great to spend some extra time as a family.  This particular day brought us lots of puffy snow, and we lasted all of 15 minutes outside playing in it!  As much as Joelle loves the thought of snow, she would still prefer to stay inside and just look at it from afar!

We did the typical "we never get any snow so we are going to cram everything possible in 10 minutes" thing... snow ice cream, snow angels, mini-snowmen, snowball fights!
 So glad she has a daddy like Jared because I could hardly step foot out of the garage in fear of getting too cold!
2.  Joelle's still rockin' the Kindergarten thing!  She's become quite the little reader... and is now reading on a level 12!  That's about a mid-year 1st grade reading level :))  (Need I remind you that she has only known English for TWO years??!!) We couldn't be more proud!
 The best part is she LOVES everything about school.  She prayed and prayed that we wouldn't have to stay home on those snow days.  She just loves her teacher, working, and the little friends that she has made!  I know it won't always be like that, so I'm cherishing every moment!
3.  We've been trying out different hairstyles!  My goal was to learn how to braid, but it's just not happening right now.  Thankfully we found a lovely lady about 10 minutes away that will try any of my ideas!  AND, she's super fast!  This hairstyle took about 45 minutes and will last for 2 weeks.  I still really love the puffs, and the braids back to puffs gives it a new, fun look!
4.  We also celebrated Joelle's 2nd Gotcha Day!  We bought fabric while picking up Joelle in the Congo.  Jared met a sweet lady in town that is a wonderful quilter!  She turned the fabric into a beautiful quilt!
 To celebrate her gotcha day we did a few things... Medieval Times, ice skating, and ate at her favorite restaurant!  It was a fun weekend until I got sick as a dog!
 5.  For Valentine's Day this year we decided on a family date rather than just going out as a couple.  We knew that we would be taking an anniversary trip not too long after, so we wanted to include Joelle in on the Valentine's festivities!  
 6.  Speaking of anniversaries... Jared and I celebrated TEN years of marriage on March 12th!  Jared planned the PERFECT vacation to Turks and Caicos.  We had such a great time together, and it was just as beautiful as can be!  I even got BACK in the water to snorkel after Jared saw a shark just a few feet away from me.  I call that conquering a pretty large fear of mine!
We are taking Joelle there in June, so we went to the location where we will be staying and gave her a little FaceTime tour.  We can't wait to go back!
 BUT, we missed Joelle quite a bit, so we let her sleep on our floor when we got home!  We also went a little crazy buying every stuffed animal we found.  I mean, every girl needs a huge lobster, whale, and stingray from the Turks, right?!
7.  We are still persevering with adopting our two little boys.  We've had quite a bit of movement, and I hope to update that whole process on here very soon.  Until then, we appreciate all of your prayers!