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!