Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Hopes for 2011...

I don't make New Year's Resolutions because in a month or so I have already failed at them and I end up discouraged. So for the past few years I have had a list of goals for the upcoming year and they are always realistic. I don't bother making a goal to work out everyday or to loose 10 pounds  - goals like that just stress me out. I get so obsessed with working out/loosing weight that I end up becoming a frazzled mess. My goals for the new year usually have more to do with my relationship with God - although I've been known to strive to stay up-to-date on my scrapbook (which is another thing that just stresses me out).
Anyway....I was reading Beth Moore's blog the other day and she is challenging all of her blog readers to participate in a Scripture Memory Challenge in 2011. She wants everyone who participates to memorize 24 verses in 2011. That's 2 verses each month and you get to pick verses that relate to the season of life you are facing.
I am totally digging this idea! In the past I have made goals to read my Bible more, spend more time with God, etc. This scripture memory is a new and fun way to grow closer to God in 2011. I know that my relationship with God will grow deeper as I tuck His word in my heart. As I meditate on His promises and use His word as my weapon again Satan's devious schemes.
I have already picked out my first verse. I think it's going to be my theme verse for 2011.
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil 1:6)
The reason I chose this verse is pretty simple. God has done some AMAZING things in my life in 2010. Through this adoption He has changed me. I love this verse because it promises that God will continue the good work that He has started in me. I don't want to go back to who I was before 2010. I like who God has made me. I want God to continue to work in my life and in my heart. I want to be His hands and feet. I want to be completely, fully dependent on Him. I want Him to continue to break my heart for what breaks His. I want to be willing to give up everything to follow Him. I do not want to be left unchanged in 2011.
I want to continue sharing our adoption story. I want people to see God's mighty hand in every detail. Sometimes I get so excited about what God has done (is doing) that I could just burst like an overfilled balloon. It takes all I have not to shout it from the roof tops. I want people who have never experienced God's amazing love and grace to get a taste of my awesome God.
I pray that God will continue to use our adoption story as a witness to those who desperately need to know Him.
I pray that the people in our lives who need God would see how our adoption is a reflection of God's love for them. Adoption is the heart of God.
"For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will." (Ephesians 1:4-5)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Christmas Time in Texas....

The title of this post is very fitting. It's the name of a George Strait song and my dad surprised my mom, sister and me with tickets to see George Strait (and Reba) when they come to Oklahoma City on January 15th. We are SO excited! My mom says we are going to get crazy at the concert. If you know my mom, her idea of wild is drinking a coke float and screaming like a teenager as George Strait walks on stage in his signature Wranglers.
Here I am with my concert ticket....

John and I had a great Christmas with my family in Texas. We didn't have a white Christmas like his family did in St. Louis but it was cold. I was glad because the earlier weather forecasts said it would be in the high 60's or low 70's on Christmas Day and I was not looking forward to a balmy Christmas.

I only asked for one thing this Christmas and I got two of them! My sister and John both surprised me with this necklace that I have been wanting....

I called the lady who made the necklaces and explained what had happened and she is going to let me exchange one of the necklaces for this one......(it says "Born in my heart")

My friend Annette said that maybe getting two of the same necklace was a sign that John and I were going to bring home two babies from Ethiopia. I like the way Annette thinks!

John got a huge surprise on Christmas morning. After we had unwrapped all the gifts, my dad told us to sit in the living room because he needed to get something. Well I saw my parents walking through the door before John or Myka did and I started jumping up and down and saying something that I probably shouldn't repeat here on the blog. I knew John was about to FLIP out....

John has been wanting a big screen TV for as long as I have known him but he's never bought one because we've never really been able to afford the splurge.
Well Merry Christmas John (and me)....

I finally got to meet my new (2nd) cousin on Christmas Eve...sweet Ella Grace. She was so tiny and so precious. John, Myka and I passed her around the whole time she was there.....
Myka and I stuck to our Christmas matching pajamas! John got new pajamas too but we didn't think he would want pink ones.

And finally, here's our Christmas family photo....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wishing You All A Very Merry Christmas....

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!! May you experience God's love, joy and peace in incredible ways
this holiday season.....

Highs and Lows of 2010....

This is my friend Anna.

She lost her battle with cancer three years ago but she taught me so much about Jesus, about faith, about hope. One of my favorite things to do with Anna and her family was to play the High Low game before we ate dinner. Each person had to tell a “high” from their day and a “low” from their day. Last year I made a list of my High’s and Low’s of 2009 and I decided to do the same thing for 2010. I have definitely faced both this year, but the highs far outweigh the lows. Here’s my list for 2010….


The way God has changed me, a deeper more intimate relationship with God, We’re adopting a baby!!! The amazing friends we have made on this adoption journey, I have started writing my book about our adoption journey, my sister graduated from nursing school and overcame one of the most difficult years with such grace, Summit Church, taking John’s mom to see Beth Moore, God’s provision for this adoption – he has provided more than $16,500 in just 5 months, John passed his board certification test, Women’s Bible Study, hosting Thanksgiving at our house, celebrating Christmas differently this year……


Infertility, PCOS, too many doctors appointments, Micah passing away – He loved Jesus and he taught me an amazing lesson about the importance of clinging to God’s word, not getting to work with the kids at the hospital every day like I used to…..

What are your highs and lows of 2010?? Even though I have faced some very low times this year, I am thankful for them. It's because of those times that I have grown closer to God. The hard times have changed me to become a little more like Jesus. God has always met me exactly where I have needed Him too, even if it has been in a deep, dark pit. Because of my Savior I always have hope. I believe that the lows of 2010 have an eternal purpose.

John and I pray that each and every one of you will experience God's amazing love, peace and joy this Christmas season. That even in the midst of your lows you will see God's purposes and feel his presence.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ready to Scrapbook....

John's mom sent me a Christmas gift in the mail....Is this cute or what???

It's the "Missing Linck's" first official scrapbook! I can't wait to start working on it. I already have so many photos and memorabilia to put in it from our fundraisers and stuff.
I should probably get as much of the scrapbook done in 2011 as I can. I don't think I will have a whole lot of time to scrapbook once we bring our baby home......

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Have Been Reminded....

How blessed I am to have running water. We were without water for about 6 hours last night and it made me think of all the people around the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water.

I realized just how much I rely on the water that flows freely from my faucets. Last night I couldn’t go the bathroom (well I could, but I couldn’t flush), I couldn’t take a shower or a bath, I couldn’t brush my teeth, I couldn’t get a drink, I couldn’t give my dog a fresh bowl of water, etc. You get the picture. I told John we would just have to pretend we were in Ethiopia. It was just a small glimpse into what people around the world face….

When the faucets started sputtering about 11:00 last night, I reminded myself of the wonderful gift I have this Christmas – clean water!

Last night I was also reminded, once again, that this adoption journey is HARD. There is so much about the international adoption process that is completely out of our control. Some of our dear friends have hit a few bumps in the road with their adoption. My heart is breaking for them. This journey seriously takes every ounce of faith that you can possibly muster up. It takes an intense dependence on Jesus. There are so many things that can go wrong with international adoption, so many rules that don’t make sense and we can't fathom. As prospective adoptive parents we yearn to give a child a family, a home, security, love and hope for the future. It's silly the things that can so easily get in the way of that happening.

Please pray for our friends! I know that God is totally in control of their situation. I know that He has placed adoption on their hearts (especially adopting an Ethiopian baby). He has opened so many doors for them and I know that He will finish the plan He started. They are going to make amazing parents. They have so much love to offer a child.This morning as I was praying for our friends, I started to recite the words from Jeremiah 29:11. God HAS a plan for our friends. It is a plan to prosper them and not to harm them. Plans to give them hope and a future.

I was also reminded just how blessed John and I are to be a part of our church. Last night members from our church spent several hours wrapping gifts as part of our "Project Christmas" The gifts will be given to children and their families in our community who are facing hard times this year. It was a blast to help wrap more than 400 gifts for these families. I love our church! They GET what church is all about. It's about serving. It's about being the hands and feet of Jesus. It's not about flashy lights and multi-million dollar buildings. It's about spreading the gospel and the love of Christ with those who desperately need to hear it. Thank you Summit Church for being the true image of Christ!

Yesterday I was also reminded that adoption is a way that we can "Change the World for One" Check out this great Christmas ornament that I ordered. It supports adoption.

Monday, December 20, 2010


We have our homestudy date!!!! YEA!!! I am so happy.
We will have our homestudy on January 12th.....
Now if I can just get my medical documents we'd be doing really good :)

Give the BEST Gift of All.....

Well Christmas is five days away….I am really looking forward to Christmas Eve Eve service at church on Thursday and then heading down to Texas to spend time with my family.

This Christmas has been so peaceful. This weekend John and drove around and looked at Christmas lights, we did some Christmas baking (although I had a few kitchen disasters. The cookie press and me didn’t get along very well) and we enjoyed a great message about the true meaning of Christmas during church on Sunday (more on that in just a minute).

When you are in the process of adopting a child from a country that lives on $2 or less a day, you celebrate Christmas differently.

In the past I have spent the weeks before Christmas frantically trying to decide what to get the people on my Christmas list. I have dropped a few hints to John about what I wanted to find in my stocking on Christmas morning. Brightly colored packages tied up with bows could be found under our tree. But this year has been different.

There are only five gifts under our tree and none of them are for John or me. Our gift will be the precious baby we bring home from Ethiopia.

The things that used to fill our Christmas list seem selfish and unnecessary. This Christmas our heart’s desire is to bring our baby (or babies) home. We desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus; to open our eyes to the needs that surround us here in our own community and around the world.

God has blessed us with so many gifts that we so often take for granted. Things like running water, a warm home, our ability to go to the doctor and get medical care. This Christmas, John and I are humbled that our Savior has chosen us to travel across the world to bring home a baby that is in desperate need of a family, love and hope for the future. We are thankful that through this adoption, we have grown closer to Jesus and have seen Christmas through His eyes.

We had a wonderful church service Sunday filled with Christmas hymns and a wonderful message about the Wise Men and the part they played in the Christmas story.

I had no idea that the Wise Men were not Christians; they were not religious men. But yet, God chose them to be a part of the Christmas Story and we can learn several things from them.

First of all, the Wise Men had one reason for going to see baby Jesus. They were going to worship Him. (Matthew 2:2)

We need to make Christmas about worship. We need to remember that Jesus IS enough!

The second lesson we can learn from the Wise Men is to give the right gifts.

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)

On Sunday I learned something new about the gifts that the Wise Men bestowed upon baby Jesus. They each were very significant.

Gold was a gift for kings – Revelation 19:16 says “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”

Incense was a gift for priests – Hebrews 4:14 says “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.”

Myrrh was used to prepare bodies for burial. John 19:39-40 says “Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance to Jewish burial customs.”

Are we giving the right gifts this Christmas season? I know I struggled with this question on Saturday when John and I were trying to find gifts to use during the Silly Santa Exchange we do with my family on Christmas Eve. I didn’t like my gift idea and I was really frustrated trying to come up with something for the game. I kind of let my frustrations with finding the right gift get in the way of enjoying Christmas for the right reasons.

Instead of just giving pretty packages, why don’t we give of ourselves? Why don’t we pray for people; give them the gift of hope.

Jesus really is the BEST gift of all! Share Him with everyone you come in contact with this Christmas.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace
 to men on whom his favor rests..."
Luke 2:14"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas to Our Missing Linck

I decided a few weeks ago that our baby needed a stocking. During Christmas, I wanted to have a few reminders of the baby that will be joining our family in the next 12-18 months.....a reminder of the beautiful gift that God is going to bless us with, a reminder to pray for our baby and its birth mother, a reminder to remember the true meaning of Christmas - a baby named Jesus.
By the following photos you can probably tell that we already love this baby and its going to be spoiled.....
 My mother-in-law sent me this ornament. I guess you could say we are "expecting" - it's just going to take a little longer than 9 months to "have" this baby....
 Sweet stocking for our baby from Africa. I thought the elephant and giraffe were perfect. Since we don't know if we will have a boy or a girl, I just decided to add the verse that we have clung to during this process. We have prayed and prayed for this child and we know that God is going to grant our request. We will add in the name after we have the baby home.
Last year after Christmas I splurged and bought this children's nativity set, in hopes that we would get pregnant in 2010. God had other plans but I can't wait for our Ethiopia baby to slobber on and play with will be a great way to share the story of Jesus' birth with him/her....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Heart is Aching for My Ethiopia Babe....

Last night Sarah and I went to the Queen of Sheba for the monthly Ethiopia Adoptive Families dinner. We met two couples who have already adopted from Ethiopia and another couple, from Norman, who has been on the wait list for 6 months.
After seeing the precious little Ethiopian girls last night and after reading this blog post today, my heart is aching for my Ethiopia baby.
Gladney has received our paperwork, my medical documents should be ready by the end of the week and our homestudy should be scheduled soon BUT it still feels like we have such a long time to wait.
It looks like we won't get to travel to get our baby until early 2012 unless God performs some sort of miracle. Maybe He will......
Many people told us the adoption process was hard. That it was stressful, frustrating, totally out of our control. They were has already been a difficult journey full of so many unknowns and frustrations and we aren't even on the wait list yet. I will definitely become a more patient person over the next year or so....
Even though this journey is long and's SO going to be worth it. Meeting Abigail last night just made my heart melt. I can't wait for the day when we have our child (or children) and get to take them to the Queen of Sheba to see Mimi and Solomon. When we get to encourage other families who are waiting to travel to Ethiopia to bring home their babies. When we can say "Yes, it's frustrating and hard, but we're proof that international adoption is oh so worth it."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fundraising Total Update and Puzzle Pieces

I updated our total today and we have raised $15,943! I subtracted the fees we have already paid and the fees we have yet to pay and we only need to raise $1270 and we will have all the initial adoption fees covered!
I am hoping that we can sell some more of our puzzle pieces. We haven't done as well with this fundrasier as I had hoped we would, but if we sold the 40 remaining pieces that means we could raise $800. That would leave us only $469 short of our goal.
Will you sponsor a puzzle piece??
The puzzle pieces are $20 and we will write your name on the back. Once we have sold all of the pieces, we will put the puzzle together, have it framed in double-sided glass and it will hang in our baby's nursery.
Here is a photo of what the puzzle looks like....(we will be able to show our child how we traveled across the world to make them a part of their forever family!)

John's mom and sister holding up their puzzle pieces....

You can order a puzzle piece here on the blog. There's a PayPal button on the right that says "Sponsor a Puzzle Piece".

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Adoption Couples Christmas Party

We had three couples over tonight who are all in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. We had a great time eating and exchanging Silly Santa gifts. Making these new friends over the past few months has been such a blessing and the best Christmas gift of all...
Here are a few photos from our Christmas party....
 I decided to steal the scarf from Sarah during Silly Santa
 But we are still friends....
 I gave the girl's these great books for their Ethiopia babies
 Kathleen made us the cutest Africa Christmas ornaments. I LOVE it!!!
 We forced the guys to take a group photo....
Joely, Kathleen, Me and Sarah - I just love these girls....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Tough Decisions....

John and I finished Group A, B and most of our Group C paperwork last night. FINALLY! John is picking up his notarized medical forms today and then I'll mail the paperwork and a check for $4500 to Gladney. I will be so glad to drop that sucker in the FedEx box. Whew!
Last night as we were finishing up the paperwork, we had to fill out our child preference profile. We have decided to accept up to two children. We are open to either boys or girls (I hope it's one of each) and twins would be WONDERFUL. We want at least one of the children to be under 12 months old but would accept a sibling up to 2-years-old. Does this make sense??
It was so hard to fill out the child preference profile when we started going over the long list of possible medical conditions. John and I are willing to take a child or children with a correctable medical condition. John and I would adopt a child with a few of the listed medical conditions because we felt like we could handle them as first-time parents. We specified that we were willing to discuss several of the other medical conditions listed.|As we read through the list, we felt guilty putting no on some of them. It's hard to mark "no" when you know that those children need a home and a family too. It's hard to mark "no" when you know that you wouldn't have a choice if you gave birth to a child with medical problems.
But we had to be realistic. There were some medical conditions that we couldn't say "yes" to because we don't have the financial resources that would be needed to care for a child with those conditions. I think the one thing that comforted me through the process was knowing that God is ultimately in control. He already knows every detail about the children who will join our family. I also believe that He will not give us more than we can handle. The child or children we adopt will be a perfect fit for our family. A few "yes" and "no" answers will not alter God's perfect will.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Little of This...A Little of That...

This post is probably going to be pretty random. Full of a few updates and other things that have been going on.
First of all, John and I got A LOT accomplished this weekend for the adoption. We got many of the documents we needed for our dossier (notarized and everything) and we mailed off our FBI fingerprints. So glad that's done! We are just waiting on John's medical documents to be ready so that we can send in Group A and B paperwork to Gladney. We should be able to do that by the end of the week and then we can wait for our home study to be scheduled.
This weekend we went to Texas to spend some time with my family and we had some family photos taken....aren't they great! (Thanks Mylissa!)

I updated our fundraising total today and we have raised $15,700 for our adoption! God is so faithful! We continue to see His hand in this journey as He provides in fun and creative ways. The cookie jar sales raised $1040. We are getting so close to having all the money we need for our initial adoption fees. Then we can focus on coming up with the $10,000 that we will need to travel to Ethiopia twice.

I am really looking forward to this weekend! We are having several couples over who are also adopting from Ethiopia. We are going to eat lots of yummy Christmas treats and exchange Christmas gifts! It's going to be so much fun. I just love getting together with these wonderful couples because they GET exactly what John and I are going through. They never get tired of talking about Ethiopia, the baby we are waiting on or the long, tedious adoption process.

I've also started writing a book about our adoption journey. I have made a lot of progress over the past few days and really like how it's coming together. Of course, I won't be able to finish it until we bring our baby home but I would like to get it finished up to the point when we step on the plane to go to Ethiopia. I'm thankful I work for a book publishing company and am able to work on my book in between projects. God knew I wanted to write a book about this journey and He has provided a way for me to do that. He never ceases to amaze me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No Stretch Marks is a Perk...

Less than two years ago, I stared at photos of one of my closest friends, cradling her first child. I vividly remember the overwhelming emotions that overcame me as I saw her holding the tiny bundle of joy. There’s something sort of surreal about your best friend from high school having a baby. It seemed liked just yesterday that we were attending youth group events and scrapbooking our high school memories. The day Amber had her first child, was the day I think my baby fever kicked into high gear. Watching Amber become a mommy, made me desperately want to be a mommy too.

Fast forward to last night…..I sat looking at photos of Amber’s second child. She had a sweet baby girl just this week! The photos captured family and friends, waiting in eager anticipation at the hospital, for the arrival of Adyson Grace. You could tell by the photos that everyone was just smitten with the newest addition to the family.

As I looked at the photos, a thought suddenly flashed through my mind – I may never experience family and friends gathered in a hospital waiting room awaiting the arrival of my baby. Its one thing to not experience the epidural or labor pains (believe me, I will gladly skip all of that) but it made me a little sad to think that I might miss the hospital waiting room moment.

Then I remembered something that my friend Annette told me yesterday! She said that she planned to wear her “Bringing Home the Missing Linck” t-shirt to the airport on the day we bring our baby home. John and I may never have family and friends crowded into a hospital waiting room, but we will have a ton of people waiting at the airport when we step off the plane from Ethiopia with our baby. Annette said just thinking about that day gave her chill bumps!

There will be people waiting in eager anticipation! We will have photos of people smitten with this baby that so many people have prayed for.

It’s funny the things that make me sad when I think about never being pregnant. It kind of stinks that I may never pee on a stick and see a plus sign. (I have had many negative ones). I may never be able to surprise John with the news that he is going to be a dad. We may never get to call our parents and announce that we are pregnant. I may never feel a baby kick from inside of me.

But on the flip side, I am okay with never having morning sickness and with never having to have an epidural. I am a big, fat weenie and the thought of an epidural makes my stomach turn.

When I start to think about the things I might not experience, I start thinking about the things I will be experiencing over the next 12-18 months (oh my, that sounds like such a long time!). I can look forward to the day when we get our referral; when we see our baby (or babies) precious face for the first time. We can still surprise our parents with the news of whether we are adoption a boy, girl or both and then we can show off the photos. We will still get to decorate a nursery and register at Target and Babies R Us. We will get to travel across the world to bring home our baby. And at the end of it all, I won’t have to lose my baby weight or worry about stretch marks!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What A Difference a Day Makes...

Thanks to all my sweet friends for your encouragement yesterday. It's amazing the difference a day can make. I am feeling so much better today. This morning I blasted the Christmas music when I was getting ready and sang, sang, sang! There was no crying or blowing my nose on my glove. The sun is shining and it is freeeezing outside....I am totally in the Christmas spirit - but not because I've been shopping or have made out my Christmas wish list. I am in the Christmas spirit because I have spent some time digging into God's word and reading parts of the Christmas story. I am reminded once again of the hope that I have in Christ Jesus. Because of that HOPE I can forget about the dreadful day I had yesterday and can look forward to what's to come. That HOPE is what Christmas is all about!
I am putting together a short lesson on the Christmas story for our small group tomorrow night. I can't wait for us to discuss this amazing story and the meaning behind it. I'm trying to think of a really creative activity we can do as a group that will really focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
I have been a Christian for a long time - but I think this is the first year that I have really made an effort to keep Christ at the center of Christmas. It's the first year I haven't gotten all stressed out over what to buy my family and friends. There are VERY few presents under my tree - only 5 to be exact! I usually have at least a "few" things on my Christmas list, but this year I can't think of a single thing I "Need." (Except for that baby from Ethiopia). I have decided that I am not going to let the craziness of December rob me of my Christmas joy.
John and I started the Bible Study "Advent Conspiracy" with one of our small groups. It's all about worshipping more, spending less, giving more and loving all.
Last night we had to answer this question...
How would you describe the best Christmas you ever had as a child?
It's funny that nobody named their favorite gifts. I can definitely remember some of the gifts I received when I was a child, but what I remember most was spending Christmas Eve at my G-Dad's house. I remember putting on my pajamas, loading up in the car and heading home to wait for Santa. I remember "Granny Boxes" full of fun stuff  - and they always included a new package of panties. I remember NOEL cookies and decorating the Christmas tree as a family. It seemed to take my dad an eternity to put the lights on the tree. I remember when I was a little girl, sitting on my parents bed, talking to my Meme on their brown rotary phone. We would sing "Away in a Manger"
Christmas is about investing in people. It's about spending time with the ones you love and about making memories that will last a lifetime. It won't take long to forget about the "stuff" but you will always remember the traditions.

Here is an excerpt from "Advent Conspiracy"
"God was here in flesh and blood and by His life, death and resurrection, we now have hope. This is what the Incarnation means to us. All the prophecies, all the promises, came down to this one very relational gift. The Father gave the most personal gift ever - his Son.
Now we can creatively give to one another the gift of ourselves. It becomes more about "presence" than "presents." And it is in these moments that others begin to get a sense of who God is. Perhaps even a watching world will take notice as we worship Him and love one another."

What are your favorite Christmas memories? How will you make this Christmas more about the people in your life and less about the "stuff"?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Warning: Just Needed to Vent and it's Messy....

This morning as I drove to work cheerful Christmas music blared from the radio. The words “It’s the hap, happiest time of the year” filled the air as tears gushed from my eyes. It was one of those ugly cries; the kind where you can’t stop the tears no matter how hard you try. And of course I had no Kleenex. I ended up wiping my tears (and my nose) with one of my gloves.

I love Christmas, I love Christmas music, but this is not the” hap happiest” time for me. It’s probably the saddest time of my life. Normally I pray during my morning drive but this morning I just couldn’t find the words or the strength to pray. I just cried. I find a lot of comfort knowing that God knows my heart. I had a friend tell me yesterday that I can be confident that God hears the cries of my heart. He DOES hear me even when it seems like there is nothing but silence.

To say I’ve been struggling lately would be an understatement. I’m sad – I’m grieving not being able to have a baby, I’m overwhelmed by the mounds of adoption paperwork stacked on my kitchen table, this weekend I got completely irritated with my husband because he fell asleep on the couch when we were supposed to go get our fingerprints.

There are so many things you can’t control when you’re adopting. Getting the paperwork done as quickly as possible is something I can control and I was so mad this weekend because I didn’t feel like it was a priority to John. I’m really surprised my husband hasn’t run away…..I will just be glad (and I’m sure John will be too) when all the paperwork is finished and turned in. I just want to get it all done and get on the wait list…..that’s the goal.

Another area that has been a struggle for me is work. I’ve never wanted a fancy career. For as long as I can remember I’ve had one dream – to be a mom. It’s really hard to go to work and sit at a desk for 8 hours a day when you’re grieving, when your mind is consumed with all the paperwork that you could be working on. It makes me angry that a car payment and student loan payment are what’s keeping me stuck at a desk all day. I rack my brain trying to think of a career that would bring me fulfillment and I can’t think of a single one. Sometimes I would give anything to be career driven, but it all comes back to the simple fact that I just want to be a mom. I wish times were simpler, the way they used to be. When it was okay for a woman to stay at home and be a wife and a mom and society didn’t turn its nose up at the idea. When one income was plenty. I would give anything for simpler.

It’s really hard to put into words how I feel. This desert season is lonely. I don’t know if anyone truly understands the emotional roller coaster I’m on. I almost picked up the phone this morning to call my dad – but I didn’t. How would I explain this to him? Sometimes I can’t even find the words I need to explain how I feel to John.

I get so frustrated with myself for feeling sad. I have such a strong faith and I know that God has a perfect plan, so I tell myself that I shouldn’t feel like this. If only it were that easy…..

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Everything Give Thanks....

I love Thanksgiving! I love the fall trees bursting with vibrant colors, I love the crisp autumn air, I love wearing comfy sweaters and winter boots. I love being with family and remembering the many things I have to be thankful for. This year is no exception. Here is what I’m thankful for this year:

1. God – I am in awe of how God has changed me over the past year. I am not the same person I was a year ago. God has opened my eyes to a world beyond my selfish self. He has given me a heart for the orphan and for the poor. For the first time in my life, I care about what is happening on the other side of the world. Through this desert time in my life, God is making me a little more like Him. It isn’t always fun or easy, but if it brings God glory than I am up for the challenge. I am humbled that He would choose me for this journey. That I get to be a part of the amazing plan He has to give an Ethiopian orphan a forever family.

2. An Ethiopian baby (or babies, if God wants to give us two) who I have not met, but who I love with all my heart. A baby that has changed my life. Over the past few days I have caught myself daydreaming about the day when John and I will finally see our child’s face. Emotion begins to swell up inside of me as I think about holding my child for the first time. I can’t imagine how it will feel when it actually happens.

3. John – God knew he was exactly the man I needed. I am so proud of my husband for the man that he has become over the past few years. God has done amazing things in his life and I am blessed to be his wife. I am so proud of John for having the guts to stand up for what he believes and for sharing God’s love with people who desperately need to experience it.

4. New Friends – Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for ALL of my friends, but this year we have met some of the most incredible people who are walking this adoption road with us. For a few years John and I have felt like we have lacked deep, intimate friendships because so many of our friends are at different stages of their lives (they had kiddos). Getting to know our adoption family friends has been the most wonderful thing. We laugh, we share our hearts and we encourage each other as we wait out these long months before we can bring our children home. I thank God every day for these friends!

5. God’s Provision – If you would have told me in July that we would have raised $15,000 for our adoption by Thanksgiving, I never would have believed it. But we have! And it’s only because of God and the amazing ways that he has provided financially for this adoption. With each t-shirt sold, with each donation received, God is reminding us that we are smack dab in the middle of His perfect will.

6. The Privilege to Pray for Others – I am so thankful that at any given moment I can go before God’s throne of grace and pray for people who I know and even for people I don’t know. It’s a very powerful thing. Last Sunday at church I had the privilege to pray with two college girls. God knew that I needed to be the one to pray with them because what they were facing was something I had experienced. I am so glad that my past equipped me to pray for and encourage those girls. I am also blessed to pray for all of our friends who are adopting. I have also found myself praying more for people who live in other parts of the world – just this week I have been praying for a woman in Haiti who desperately needs to be able to produce enough breast milk to feed her 5-week-old twin boys. If she doesn’t, they will die. You can read more about her story here.

I hope that you will all have an amazing Thanksgiving and that you’ll experience God’s richest blessings this holiday season.

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1st Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Let's Get This Paperwork Done....

John and I had our phone orientation with Gladney last night! We have submitted our request and payment for the next application and have already started working on our immigration paperwork. This weekend we will mail all of our paperwork to Kate, who will be putting together our Dossier for us.

It’s so exciting to think that with each form we fill out and submit, we are getting closer and closer to bringing our baby home. Our goal is to get all this paperwork done so that we can get on that wait list.

Judy, the lady from Gladney who did our phone orientation, said that she could tell we were excited about this adoption and that we were going to get the paper work done quickly. John said “Yea, we kind of wanted to bring home our baby last week.”

Judy said sometimes people drag out the paperwork process and it takes them months to complete it. Others get it done in just a few short weeks. John and I will be the ones who get it done in a few short weeks. That is our goal. We will do all that we can to keep this process moving. I know that a lot of it is out of our control, but getting all the paperwork together and turning it in is something we do have control of.

Putting paperwork aside, I ordered something for our baby yesterday! I told John that I wanted to get a Christmas stocking to hang up this year for our “Missing Linck." I thought it would be a great reminder to pray for our child and a reminder that maybe; just maybe it will be our last Christmas as a family of two.

The other day I found some cute Christmas ornaments at Kohls for the baby – they're a giraffe and elephant. As I was searching for stockings I came across this….

It matches the ornaments perfectly!!!! Our baby now has a stocking! It will be hanging right between mine and John's this Christmas. It will remind us that the day we become a family will be the best gift we could ever receive.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

God's Splendor in Our Ordinary Lives...

If you would have asked me a couple of years ago if I would be fundraising like crazy so that I could go to Ethiopia and bring home a baby I would have laughed. A few years ago, Ethiopia and most parts of the world, never even crossed my mind. I was too worried about what I would wear or how I would pay the bills. I had my life all planned out. I would get married and have babies.

Just goes to show that our plans aren’t always God’s plans.

This week during my Bible study I was reminded that God’s purposes are always higher than my own.

Isaiah 55:9 says “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

When God speaks, he usually challenges us to step out of our comfort zone. He usually asks us to do something that we would never have dreamt of doing on our own. But when we obediently follow him, we step out of our natural abilities and into the realm of His supernatural possibilities. (Priscilla Shirer)

John and I have definitely seen God’s supernatural possibilities. We couldn’t have come up with such an amazing way to build our family if it hadn’t been for God tugging at our heartstrings and opening the doors to adoption. We couldn't face this journey without fear without God's amazing peace! There is no way we could have raised $13,000 without God’s power and intervention.

Is the adoption journey easy? Nope. It’s overwhelming….there are a lot of unknowns. That's where trust and faith come in. We often discuss with our friends who are on this adoption journey with us, just how easy it is for the majority of people to get pregnant. Young girls can get pregnant on prom night. People who can’t financially take care of their children can continue to have them. Sometimes it seems a little unfair….but

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Something else that stood out from my Bible study this week was this:

“The voices of our enemy or our egos will always give us the easier option. They never encourage us to tap into divine resources. We feel tempted to do the opposite of what God asks, because it’s easier. But God’s voice commands the option that will display His power. He desires to show Himself strong in you and will encourage you to do things that require trust and faith. God wants to see the wondrous things He will accomplish in us. Don’t be fearful about the hard road He may ask you to take.”

It would have been very easy for John and me not to follow God when he started nudging us towards adoption. After all, how were we going to come up with $28,000? Thankfully, God kept nudging us….He gave us His peace that surpasses all understanding and we knew without a doubt that He would provide a way. And He has. It hasn’t been all at once, but it’s been just when we've needed it.

That is God’s supernatural possibilities being displayed in our very ordinary lives.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How Do You Put Into Words.....

Today I’ve been writing a statement that will be included in our dossier. It pretty much sums up why we want to adopt from Ethiopia and what we can offer a child. Talk about a tad bit overwhelming.

I have typed and deleted. Typed and deleted.

How do you put into words the vast amount of love you feel for a baby that you have never met? How do you find the right words to express that God has been the One to lead us to adopt from Ethiopia?

The other day I came across this excerpt from a blog…I think this is exactly how I will feel the first time we lay eyes on our child or children. I don’t think I could have ever found better words to describe our decision to adopt from Ethiopia. This journey really isn’t about us….It’s God fulfilling His plan.


"Why adopt from Ethiopia?" was one question that I could never really answer in a way that truly relays our reason. I would try to answer with, "it was a country that we meet the age classifications for" or” we were so moved by friends who have adopted from Ethiopia". And sometimes I would just reply, "It just felt right".
Now while all of these answers are true, it is not the reason. We now have the answer. One that we got on June 16, 2010. His name is Tate E. Plumb.
The moment we saw him, we instantly knew that God had lead us to this little boy. His face felt like home. I have never been more convinced in my life of God's plan for us. He perfectly orchestrated bringing a family together through a little boy in Ethiopia and a couple in Oklahoma.
We didn't choose Ethiopia. God knew that our son was there. Ethiopia chose us. I am just so thankful that we listened.”

To read more about this families journey visit their blog.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Few Special Things about this Weekend....

One of the greatest things about this adoption journey is the people we have met along the way - couples who have already adopted their kiddos from Ethiopia and couples who are at the same point of the journey as we are.
These couples are a wealth of knowledge, they encourage each other and know all the emotions that go along with infertility and adoption. We feel really blessed to have met so many great people here in the OKC area....
Last night we had dinner with two couples (we literally only knew each other from our blogs). Kathleen and I had lunch last weekend and we had a blast. We decided this weekend we would get together for dinner with our husbands. We ran across Matt and Sarah's blog and decided to invite them to join us. I am so glad we did. We had the BEST time...we had a 2 1/2 hour dinner full of laughter and heartfelt conversation about our adoptions and Ethiopia. Here are a couple of photos from last night....
 The future mommy's - Sarah, Me and Kathleen
The future dad's - Clint, John and Matt

We can't wait to get all of our kiddos home and have play dates! We also can't wait to get together with these awesome couples again....

When I got home last night, I had an e-mail that included this photo of the artwork that we will hang in our nursery!

I am SO excited....Isn't it the cutest thing you have ever seen?? Thanks Joely!!!
If you would like to order some of your own artwork, you can click on the button on the right hand side of my blog that says "Custom Art for Our Cause."

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas.....

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year! I realize it's not even Thanksgiving, but I have already started listening to Christmas music. I love to belt out "Oh Holy Night" when I am driving. To me, that song is what Christmas is all about.
Christmas this year will be different. Usually by this time I am frantically trying to decide what to get the people on my Christmas list (especially my dad). He is the hardest person in the world to buy for. Usually by now I have already bought and wrapped a few gifts. I have usually made a list of some of the things I would like for Christmas and dropped a few hints to John. This year is different.
I haven't bought a single Christmas gift and I probably won't be buying many. John and I aren't exchanging gifts this year - our gift will be that precious baby we bring home from Ethiopia.
I haven't made out a Christmas list. There really isn't anything I want, let alone need. Okay, okay...I guess there is one thing I would like to have. This amazing necklace from Junk Posse. (hint, hint, John)

I guess the upside to wanting this necklace is that part of the proceeds go to help another families adoption.
Okay, I got off track....
I truly have no desire to go out and spend a ton of money of stuff that, in a few months, people won't even remember they got. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The pressure to buy, buy, buy at Christmas can be really overwhelming. Especially when you are trying to come up with $25,000 to adopt a baby. I want to focus on the REAL meaning of Christmas and find ways to keep Christ at the center of our celebration.
Just this morning I was praying about this. I was asking God to show me ways to make Christmas all about Jesus! I was asking Him for ways that John and I can help others during the Christmas season.
I got to work, checked a few of my favorite blogs and found this website.
Our Different Christmas is a new blog that will highlight ways to keep our eyes and hearts focused on Jesus this Christmas. Lindsey will also be posting items you can purchase as Christmas gifts that will either help families who are adopting or help make a difference in the world around us.
For sister and I always get matching pajamas at Christmas. It's a tradition. Check out these....
They are called Punjammies and they are made by women who have been rescued from sex trafficking in India and are being taught a trade. They are reasonably priced and provide an income to a woman in need. I think I know where I will be ordering my sister and I's matching PJ's. To order a pair go to

Another way John and I plan to spread God's love this Christmas season is by participating in Operation Christmas Child.
This weekend I will go through my closet and gather all of my shoe boxes. Then I will go buy small gifts to fill the boxes with - items such as crayons, small toys, candy, toothbrushes, etc. These shoe boxes are handed out to children all across the world who need to be reminded that they are loved.

John and I also plan to adopt angels from our local angel tree this year. We did this last year and it was SO much fun going out and shopping for the two children. We picked out clothes for them and I loved buying the little girl a Cabbage Patch doll. I think John bought his little boy a Transformer toy. The best thing about getting the angels, was that we prayed for the kids and their families. What a blessing and honor it was to do that. do you plan to share the love of Jesus this Christmas season? I would love to hear your ideas.....please leave me a comment!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Sweet Holiday Fundraiser....

Do you need an inexpensive Christmas gift for a teacher, co-worker or friend? Than we have the perfect idea for you and the proceeds will benefit our adoption. We will be selling "Cookie Jars" for $10 and all the proceeds will help us Bring Home our Missing Linck.

The "Cookie Jars" will include the ingredients to make a yummy oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie. They are delicious! If you are interested in ordering a cooking jar, please comment on this post or e-mail me at

We will start making them just as soon as we get some orders! Below is a photo of a "Cookie Jar" The ones I am making will look similar.....

Get your orders in and start crossing off the names on your Christmas list. These make great gifts and are for a great a cause!!! We are getting closer and closer to our goal of $18,000. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Moses and the Desert Season....

There’s no doubt that John and I are experiencing one of the most exciting times in our lives, but on the flip side, I am really in a desert season. I am going through one of the saddest seasons of my life.
Last night during Bible study, after a really emotional day, God met me exactly where I needed Him to. I just love how He continues to do that.
The lesson was taught by Priscilla Shirer and was called “God’s Voice Reveals His Plan.” We studied Exodus 3:1-7. Let me try and summarize it for you.
Moses is 80-years-old and he is wandering in the desert. He is minding his own business, tending his flock of sheep when all of a sudden the angel of the Lord appeared to him amidst the flames of a burning bush. Moses noticed that the bush continued to burn, but wasn’t burning up. He thought it was interesting, so he decided to investigate. When he got closer to the bush, Moses heard God speak his name.

“Moses! Moses!” God called.

“Here I am” Moses replied.

God went on to tell Moses that He had seen the misery of His people in Egypt. He had heard their cries and was concerned about their sufferings (You don’t know how much this comforts me). God then revealed His plan: Moses would lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
There are several nuggets of wisdom we can glean from this passage about being in the desert.

1. Our God doesn’t sit on high and look down low – oh no, He gets personal. He walks right beside us. I experienced His very near presence last night when we were doing this lesson.

2. God’s plan is often uncovered while you are in the desert season of your life – I have learned this first hand. Our hearts were opened to adoption when we were faced with infertility. I cried out for God to show me HIS plan and all the doors to adoption flew open. John and I know, without a doubt, that adoption is God’s plan for our life.

3. We are equipped for God’s plan when we are in the desert: (Moses was and so are we)

Moses was:

• Equipped with dedication: he continued to do tend to his sheep, even though it probably wasn’t his dream job. He accepted that God had him in that particular position for a reason. He did the job to the best of his abilities. I can really relate to this because my heart’s desire is to be a mom. I have never dreamed of a big career and I am struggling with my desire to just be a mom. God has me at my current job for a reason. I must be dedicated to the job and trust that it is part of His ultimate plan.

• Equipped with direction: God told Moses the plan He had to send him to Pharaoh to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. God will always direct our steps to fulfill His plan for our lives. We may not always see as much of the plan as we would like to, but we can trust that God will show us just enough to take the next step.

• Equipped with destination: once again, God told Moses exactly where he would be going. He made it very clear to John and I that we were to go to Ethiopia.

4. Supernatural markers will point you to God’s plan – we should pray that God will give us an awareness of His presence during the desert seasons of our lives. We must keep our focus on God’s activity during the desert seasons and not on our circumstances.

5. Intimate Fellowship is the purpose of God’s plan – Exodus 34:14 says that God is jealous about His relationship with us.

6. God’s plan changes the course of your life – when you discover God’s plan, you better hold on tight because He is going to take you on the ride of your life. It rocks your world and you are changed. For John and me, God has plucked us out of our selfish worlds and has given us eyes to see a bigger world, in desperate need of Jesus. Glory! We are holding on tight as we prepare to travel across the world to fulfill God’s plan for our lives.

I hope that if you are walking through the desert, you will remember these tidbits. This morning as I was praying, something hit me – this desert season has a purpose – an eternal purpose. Is it fun? Nope, not really. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have grown closer to God and He has made me more like Him.
As I was praying, it dawned on me that God could be using my desert season to impact others who desperately need Him. John and I know several people who need to experience the amazing love of their Heavenly Father. I was overcome by emotion as I prayed. “God, if me being in the desert means that someone will come to know you as their personal savior, then I don’t want to be anywhere else. I will stay right where I’m at if it means people will see your amazing power through this difficult season I’m facing. May You be glorified.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Adoptive Family's Adoption is FULLY Funded!!!!

I wanted to share a post from another adoptive families blog. This family just became fully funded for their adoption. God provided in amazing ways! I wanted to post this because Rachel shares how they had some people who didn't agree with their adoption fundraising. I love her response!! John and I have faced some criticism about  our fundraising for the adoption and I could really relate to this read more about the Walser Family's journey visit here.

Here is Rachel's post from today.....

"It is with great joy and humble gratitude that we announce to you:
We are fully funded!!
Thanks to the generous gift of an anonymous donor and a Show Hope grant, we are done fundraising!!
It has been a year and a half of blood, sweat, tears, and prayer, as we walked this out-- never really knowing just how God would provide. We started with $100. That's it. We knew there was a long road ahead. We have worked hard organizing fundraisers like our garage sale and vendor blender and raffle, we have set aside any extra money that has come our way, we have watched the slow and steady sale of our t-shirts provide just as it's been needed, and we watched in amazement as God raised over $10,000 in a week for our referral fee.
Fundraising is a funny thing. Not fun--don't mistake me. : ) Fun-ny thing. At times, you know your hard work and perseverance is required. At others, it is simple trust as God provides in ways you could never orchestrate no matter how carefully you planned or how hard you worked.
And I must say this. I must. I know there is much debate on whether or not to fundraise when adopting. Let me say this: had we not, there is no way we could have afforded it. We didn't have choices like putting off the remodeling of our kitchen or cashing in IRA's...those are not options we have been granted, as church planters. Large sums of cash are just not at our disposal, for adoption or for anything else.
So we rolled up our sleeves, sought to honor the Lord by sacrificing and working hard--and then left the rest to Him. Frankly, whether we sold an old lamp or sold a t-shirt or sold a raffle ticket or received donations via paypal--we see it as ALL from Him. He is our Abba Father, our Jehovah Jireh--and not just ours, but Abby's as well. He has provided each step of the way. And because we fundraised, Abby will come home to a forever family. And not just to her immediate family, but to a family of friends who loved her and gave on her behalf long before they knew her name. I'm so glad God made it so we couldn't do it on our own; we needed you.
If you have the means and are led to pay for an adoption all by yourself, by all means, do so. But for those of you on the fence, hesitating because of finances--please, please don't let money be what holds you back. As Erica said to me over a year ago when I told her we could never afford it: "Do you have $100? Because it's only $100 to apply." It's one step, one fee at a time. And so we stepped out in faith. Our family is a perfect example of God's provision each step of the way.
So we thank you for being a part of it all. Many of you gave, served, prayed, and sacrificed for this adoption. This is as much YOUR journey as it is ours. Know that. We sense your love and support and know God used you to bring our little girl home. This is how you have loved the orphans of the world, and demonstrated His love for the least. "Thank you" is not full enough of emotion nor descriptive enough of feeling to express the love we have for all of you.
But ultimately, we give thanks to the God who does exceeding above and beyond all we could ask or think.
I an reminded of one of my first posts on this blog, as I dealt with discouragement on the financial end. This is what my friend wrote to me over a year ago:
"I wanted to share a piece of my heart with the hope of encouraging you to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and rest there with humble trust, giving thanks as you are in these days of small beginnings. Jesus finishes what He starts, He loves the're on good ground to remain hopeful."
And so I did. And I found firm ground indeed. He has finished what He began."

And God will finish the good work that He has started in John and I. He will provide for this adoption in His ways and it will happen in His perfect time. We can be confident that we are on firm ground.

"On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Desiring the Things that God Desires....

Everyone struggles with something. Maybe it’s alcohol, a food addiction, cursing, or, like me, you struggle with a very real battle that rages inside of you – the desire for material things; for more stuff.

This is definitely my weak spot. Several years ago, I was drowning in credit card debt and was in bondage to a small, rectangular piece of plastic. Thankfully, through God’s mercy and grace, He lifted me out of the pit of debt and freed me from my bondage to credit cards.

Thankfully, I am no longer consumed with the desire to have more stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I really want new clothes, but they don’t come as often as they used to. Just this weekend I went to the mall and walked away empty handed. I looked at the price tags and felt utterly disgusted at what clothes cost.

I am amazed at how God continually works to make my desires match up with His. He has used this adoption, as yet another way, to further refine this area of my life.

The other day I was listening to KLOVE and one of the radio hosts said something really profound. Ponder this….

Every dollar we have and every minute that we are given can be used for one of two things. We can use our time and resources to plant seeds into the world or to plant seeds into God’s eternal kingdom. Where are you planting seeds?

For so many years, I was planting all my seeds into the world. I fell into the trap of believing what the world said…. That I needed the name-brand dress or the trendy pair of shoes to be happy and fulfilled. I was buying material things, hoping they would fill a void in my heart that only God could fill.

I look back now and would give anything to have back the $12,000 I sowed into the world. That $12,000 would have come in handy for our adoption. I could have used it to make an eternal difference in the life of a child.

I want to plant seeds for God's kingdom. I want to have a heart for the things of God, not for the things of this world.

The Bible says "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy. For where your treasure is, your heart will also be. No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (Matthew 6:19,21 and 24)

I want to be content with what I have. I have so much compared to the rest of the world. I don't want to be in constant need of more. I just want God! He is more than enough....

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." (1st Timothy 6:6-8)

Yesterday at church, we had a great message about money and how nothing is more telling of our hearts towards God than how we spend our money.

Todd gave us 5 ways to help combat the dark side of money after we have asked Jesus to change our hearts about money.

1. Be realistic about our global wealth – realize that we are filthy rich compared to most places around the world. The average worldly salary is $2 a day.

2. Create an atmosphere were confession can happen – if you’re married this should be with the person you share a bank account with.

3. Discover ways to get in touch with the poor.

4. Renounce words like “mine” and “my” – everything we have belongs to God. God makes it available to us, but it isn’t ours.

5. GIVE…GIVE AWAY! When we give it destroys the foothold of greed. We should give generously. It needs to hurt. But if we give, expecting something in return, it’s still greed.

Thankful Tree Makes Its Debut in Haiti

This morning I came across this post on a blog I read regularly. I'm not sure I need to add anything to what the author has already beautifully expressed. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, may this blog post be a reminder to each of us to be Thankful for all that we are blessed with......we really do have SO much to be thankful for.....Enjoy.....

Thankful Tree Makes Its Debut in Haiti

Friday, November 5, 2010

Moving On To The Next Step....

John and I received the best news yesterday! Gladney called to say that we have been given the okay to move on to the next step in the adoption process. I was so happy I almost cried!! We have known for months that God has called us on this journey, but now we have “officially” started.
Last night I was daydreaming about our baby (or babies). I told John that I was so excited that I wanted to run out and buy baby furniture
We are set to have our phone orientation with Gladney on November 17th. They have sent us a ton of information that goes over, in detail, the full adoption process. Let me just say it is VERY overwhelming. There is so much to do and you have to make sure all your T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted.
I am very thankful that God has put other adoptive families (who have either been down this road or who are going down this road) in our lives. If I freak out or have questions, there are plenty of people I can go to for help.
I am also very thankful that I have God on my side through all of this. When I get overwhelmed, I can rest in Him. This adoption is HIS plan. He will help us get through all the paperwork; raise the rest of the money, etc.

We are “officially” on our way to “Bring Home the Missing Linck”

Please pray for the following:

• Patience – this is going to be a long journey

• Our future child (children) – protection and safety

• The birth mother – protection and safety for her

• That God will continue to provide the resources we need to fund the adoption

• That the process goes smoothly and we can get all of our ducks in a row in a timely manner

• That God will be glorified each step of the way!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Way to Support Our Adoption....

So....God continues to amaze me as He comes up with creative ways to provide financially for our adoption. Just this morning I was stressing a little about fundraising and then I received this message from Kalina who stumbled across our blog.....

"I came across your blog today while I was Christmas shopping. We are buying things that support families with their adoptions. We have two biological children and 2 adopted children. I have an online store and would love to help you fundraise.Whoever you refer that makes a purchase with your families name, we will donate 30% of our profit from the sales with your name, to your adoption fund. We started this store to raise money to aid the poor, orphans, and widows on our foreign missions, but I thought it would be awesome to help other adoptive families at the same time. As, I can say, we have been there and every penny raised counts. My personal blog is Blessings to you and your little one to be."

Isn't that AWESOME??? They will donate 30% of sales to our adoption fund if any of our friends and family buy stuff from their website. All you have to do is specify that you want the proceeds to go to "Bringing Home the Missing Linck!"

Kalina has some great things on her website that would make great Christmas gifts..... check it out!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What I've Been Struggling With.....

I’ve always been pretty open and honest here on the blog. As most of you know, John and I have struggled to conceive and I've faced some medical problems this year.

I haven’t exactly gone into detail about my diagnosis, but I think it’s finally time for me to share some of the struggles I've been dealing with this year. Not only will it help me as I continue to deal with the side effects and crazy emotions, but I pray it will help someone else that might be going through the same thing. If one person reads this and realizes that they aren’t alone, than this blog post will have served it's purpose.

Back in February, after months of either not having a period or having very irregular ones, I went to the doctor. I knew something was wrong when I wasn’t having a period, but was continually getting negative pregnancy tests. Can you imagine the roller coaster of emotions I went through each month, thinking I was pregnant, only to discover time and time again that I wasn't???

First of all, let me say that I am the biggest baby when it comes to going to the doctor. I have been that way all of my life. I get so anxious about doctor appointments that my stomach gets all knotted up and I usually end up in tears. John usually has to bribe me with some sort of treat to get me through the appointments. That’s how I ended up with my iPhone. :)

As John and I sat in the waiting room the day of my first appointment (on my birthday, might I add) I couldn’t hold back the tears. I was a nervous wreck! I don’t think John realized the extent of my phobia until that day.

That appointment was the first of many to try and determine why my body was so out of whack. I had to take medicine to force my body to have a period. That was followed by lots of blood tests. The doctor even performed a dye test to make sure my fallopian tubes weren’t blocked.

For several months we went through the same regimen. Force my body to have a period. Blood tests on specific days of my cycle, scan my ovaries, try to get pregnant, not pregnant but still no period, have a blood test to see if I’m pregnant (that’s cruel by the way)…..start all over again.

Finally one month, during a sonogram, Dr. Fletcher noticed that my ovaries were covered with tiny cysts. She started putting all of my symptoms together and finally came up with a diagnosis: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age and may become apparent following weight gain or difficulty becoming pregnant. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome may have trouble becoming pregnant due to infrequent or lack of ovulation. Early diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome can help reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

When I went home and researched PCOS I discovered that I had EVERY symptom.

 Menstrual abnormality.

 Excess androgen. Elevated levels of male hormones may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair and adult acne. I had both. For the first time in my life I had to wax my lip and my face was broken out like a teenager going through puberty.

 Polycystic ovaries.

 Infertility. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome may have trouble becoming pregnant because they experience infrequent ovulation or a lack of ovulation. PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.

 Obesity. About half the women with polycystic ovary syndrome are obese. Compared with women of a similar age who don't have polycystic ovary syndrome, women with PCOS are more likely to be overweight or obese. I am not obese, but I have gained about 20 pounds over the past year.

Another common symptom of PCOS is depression. This is another area that I have really struggled with over the past few months. I have days when I am really down; days when all I do is cry. Yesterday was one of those days. I sat in my car during lunch and just cried. It’s really hard to put into words how I feel on days like that. I know it’s my hormones and the PCOS, because I'm not usually a depressed or sad person. It has been a real struggle dealing with the emotions associated with a medical diagnosis, weight gain, infertility and jacked up hormones.

Finding out that I had PCOS really rocked my world. PCOS had wreaked havoc on my body and caused all kinds of complications. I remember coming home from the doctor and just crawling under the covers. I didn't even call John to tell him what the doctor had said. I was sad. I felt alone. I didn't think there was anyone who would understand what I was going through. It didn’t help that several people blew off my diagnosis like it wasn’t a big deal.

The doctor immediately put me one medicine, that I now take twice a day.

For the first time in my life, I have had to make some major life-style changes. I had to stop drinking so many Dr Pepper’s – if you know me at all, you know this is a BIG deal. I am a Dr Pepperaholic…I could drink them from sun up to sun down.

Besides cutting back on Dr Pepper (I try to only drink one a day) I also had to start exercising on a regular basis. I have joined a boot camp that meets at 5:30 a.m., three days a week. Some days I’m more motivated than others. Monday wasn’t one of those days. When the alarm went off I pulled the covers back over my head.

I’m currently just taking things one day at a time. Like I said, some days are great and some days I feel like I’m walking around with a cloud over my head. Will I ever be able to conceive? I’m not really sure. I know people with PCOS who have, but I also know that I don’t want to mess with fertility treatments. The doctor told me that I would probably need to take a fertility drug to conceive and if I were to get pregnant, I would have to take medicine to keep me from miscarrying. Does it make me sad that I may never get pregnant? It did, but it doesn’t really anymore.
My heart's desire was not to get pregnant, it's to be a mom. I have no doubt that God will give me the desire that He has placed on my heart. I really, really, believe that God has called John and I to adopt a baby from Ethiopia. I will be a mom someday….it may not happen the way I imagined it would, but it will happen the way it’s supposed to.

Friday, October 29, 2010

How Great Is Our God.....

This morning as I was driving to work I was listening to the song “How Great Is Our God.” I almost always get emotional when I sing this song - today was no exception. Especially after the amazing way God provided for our adoption yesterday.

When I got home John handed me an envelope that one of his co-workers had given to him (he had already opened it). When I looked inside there was a check for $1,000! Can you believe it??? $1,000!!!!

I couldn’t believe my eyes! I am humbled by the sacrifice this couple made to help us bring home our Missing Linck. They, too, have adopted and know the joys and financial stresses of this journey we are on. We are so thankful for their generous donation. Words can’t adequately express our gratitude.

I must say that it’s kind of hard to write the words above, when I know there is a family trying desperately to come up with the money they need to bring their little girl home. Please consider making a donation to this family. Every $1 makes a difference. If they can’t come up with the money they need (it’s only about $3000) they will not be able to bring their daughter home. Pray, pray, pray that God will move mountains for this family. I know He can….

A few other updates for you:

• We have already heard back from Gladney. They received our application and family photo but have requested a letter from John’s doctor regarding his Crohn’s Disease. We are hoping his doctor will have the letter ready today. Once we turn that in we should be set to proceed to the next step of the process.

• We are still selling t-shirts! We need to sell 25 more before we can place the order. Please spread the word. If you want a shirt you can order it through the blog (the button is on the right side) and I will mail it to you.

• We are also still selling Puzzle Pieces. So far we have sold 20 pieces. Still need to sell 40 pieces so that we can put the puzzle together, frame it and hang it in the nursery. Remember, when you sponsor a piece for $20, your name will be written on the back of the piece. We want to remember everyone who has helped us bring this baby home. You can sponsor a puzzle piece here on the blog too (right hand side)

• Now through November 12, my sister is having her Scentsy Fundraiser to benefit our adoption. It’s a great way to get your Christmas shopping done early. Myka will be donating all of her earnings towards the adoption (that’s 20% of all sales). You can purchase items here.