Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Post-Adoption Problem...there may be more than one

A Somali friend of mine gave Noah the nickname "Lucky".  She said she's going to call him that because he's so lucky he got to come to America.  I told her I'm the lucky one.  While this seems like a cliche response, it's true.  I'm certain my heart has changed as much as Noah's future.  I thought that once we got to where we are....Noah home, most of the paperwork heart would be content.  I would sigh with relief.  Content literally means satisfied with what one is or has, not wanting more.  The "problem" is  I. Want. More.  More financial burden, more grief in the process, more waiting, more adjusting, more ex-orphans, more fatherless no more, more precious sons and daughters.  I. Want. Less.  Less stuff, less "me" time, less quiet, less sleep, less convenience.  And I'm praying hearts all across the nation, including yours, will be changed to feel the same.

I'm often told by Christians, "I think that's so great you all did that.  I just don't really feel called to do that."  It's sort of like missions.  Everyone is so glad someone else is doing it, they can feel good about it being done without actually doing any of the hard part themselves.

When I was in the market in Ethiopia, telling the street boys I don't need any more gum, it was pointed out to me that this would likely have been Noah's unadopted future if he had survived to see his 5th birthday.  A hungry street boy selling gum and toothbrushes to make it through another day.  Sometime throughout each day when I look at that sweet toothless grin I see myself.  There I was, destined for a hopeless future of desperate measures trying to make it through the day, but saved by God's grace I instead became a daughter full of hope.  As shaken as I was at the thought of my son living on the street, subject to things I don't even want to type into print, the thought of him and myself being a spiritual orphan is far more painful....far more eternal.

So when a Christian tells me they aren't "called" to care for an orphan, I want to ask if they are glad they were "called" to be adopted.  I totally get that there are legitimate reasons in certain times in life that a family cannot adopt right then.  Countries have restrictions on parent's age/income, number/sex of children in the home already, etc.  But the inconvenience another child will give you is not a reason to not extend the grace that's been given to you to an orphan.  There is a little girl that is waiting for a forever family in an orphanage in Ethiopia.  She's 6 and has HIV.  I want nothing more than to be her mom.  But because of our international move that is coming in a year or so we are not able to make that happen.  I'm daily burdened for her and praying God will break the hearts of a family even more than he has broken mine and provide for her a forever family.  Could it be you?  Could you give her a forever family?  While most of you skimmed right past that, maybe afraid to consider it, some of you might be contemplating what that would mean for your family to adopt an HIV positive child.  Ask yourself what it would mean for you if you were not adopted by God through what Jesus did on the cross?  What if He had not taken on the broken, dirty, sick mess that you were and made you a child?  Now, instead of thinking of yourself, ask what it means for her and the over 140 million other orphans to not be adopted?  What does it look like?   I'm not trying to paint an emotional picture to pull at your heartstrings.  I just want you to recognize the grace that's been given to you.  I believe if we can do that, truly get a tiny grasp on what's been done for us, we can't help but pass it on.

Did you know if 7% of Christians adopted there would be no more orphans to be adopted??  7%.  To be honest (or continue to be) I struggle with getting really angry over this.  Angry that we so willingly accept grace and are happy to be pulled out of our own miry pit but are so hesitant to give it to someone else.  Angry that the people who worship the God who defends the fatherless only respond "that's so sad" and "what a shame".  Angry that the people who are hold the Bible as their authority overlook that it says "pure religion is to look after orphans and widows".  When we discussed the possibility of adopting the little girl I mentioned we were told by a couple people, "Some people really struggle with the fact that you can't help everyone.  There will always be another orphan."  This is so true, and I am one of the people with this problem.  But a bigger problem is that we use this to comfort ourselves out of doing anything.   We tell ourselves I can't adopt all the orphans so I won't do anything.  The real problem is that the church can adopt all the orphans that are able to be adopted, but it is not.  It doesn't even take the whole church...just 7% of it.  I said before that there are legitimate reasons that families cannot adopt today.  But I know that a lot more than 7% of those who profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior do not have a real legitimate reason.  Will you be apart of the 7%?

I recognize not all orphans can be adopted.  So maybe you can't adopt an orphan to be your child but you can help those orphans who will never be adopted be fed, be educated, and hear about the Father that they do have.

I look forward to when we are able to adopt again.  Hopefully, the country we move to will allow us to do so.  So for those who have asked what kind of problems I've had since bringing Noah home, it's probably not what you might expect.  I have no problems with my new son, just with the number of orphans that are left fatherless.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

For KY Adoptive Parents...all the post stuff

This one is for all my friends who are bringing home their babies and trying to navigate social security cards, name changes, re-adopt or not?, etc...etc....  I had a hard time getting this information and it seemed to vary from person to person when I did get it.  So in one concise post I'd like to share with you how I did it and it was actually quite easy once I figured out what I was doing!  

***Disclaimer: if you live out of KY this will probably not pertain to you but it could be similar in your area of the country*****

Name Change:  The most helpful piece of information I can give you is do this FIRST.  You do NOT, I repeat do NOT need a social security number, birth certificate, etc to accomplish this.  In fact, you don't don't even need your certificate of citizenship to change your baby's name.  All you have to do is go to your local Probate court office and fill out some paperwork on their computer (you can not do this at your home computer).  You do not need an appointment.  We may have needed our adoption decree for this but I know we did not have to show his COC so we actually could have done this sooner.  The fee in minimal...less than $20.  But you do need 2 separate checks because one is a filing fee($8) that has to be paid separate.  You will then be assigned a court date to come back.  We got ours 2 days later and Dan went for this.  I did not and Noah did not have to be present.  He was there less than an hour and got our official documents stating our names as petitioners his previous name and new name.  You can get "official" copies for  I think $2(not sure) that you need to get social security card, birth cert etc, and "unofficial" copies for $.50 that can be used at places like your doctors office and school.  They were very friendly and efficient here in Louisville.   If you live in Louisville the number is (502) 595-4434, they are open Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30.  It is located in the Brandeis Hall of Justice downtown.  I called before we went and they were helpful and answered all my questions.  We were there about 30 minutes for the initial paperwork.

Social Security Card:  We did this next.  Dan actually left the court from the official name change and walked straight to social security office (a couple blocks away from the court house).   Again, Noah did not have to be present.  Only children older than 12 need to appear in person.  You must have ORIGINALS of the Certificate of Citizenship and adoption decree to complete this.  He took everything we had on the adoption with him, including Noah's passport.  She made copies of originals.  You have to fill out a form that can be printed from  More information is on this site.  We picked up his number and a temporary card the next day so we could amend our taxes and got the original card a week later.  So if you're considering delaying name change to get taxes going it only took us 2 days to get a name change.  And you can get name change before you get your COC, then when it arrives go get a social.  Then you won't have to redo the social post name change.  

Registering the adoption in KY:  So I was confused, and am still not sure if I'm right, about readopting in the US and what that means.  From what I understand because the adoption is final in Ethiopia the US views Noah as an immigrant living in our home, not necessarily as our son.  In order to get a KY Birth Certificate (which I want because in the future there will be times for school, passport, etc he will need one) we need to either re-adopt him in the states OR register the adoption with the state.  We chose to do the latter because it was free....yes something in this adoption is free.  If someone can enlighten me on any reason I should re-adopt verses just getting it registered please share, because I found no good reason to pay a lawyer to do such.  So to register the adoption in KY you can call Lori Fitch who works in the adoption services branch in Frankfort at (502) 564-2147 ex3569 or email her at and she will email you the application.  You need to mail the application along with copies of your adoption decree and certificate of citizenship or proof of IR3 visa.  We already had the COC so we mailed a copy of that.  But from the application it appears you could do this before you get the COC if you mail a copy of child's visa (and we did not need a social to do this either).   A couple weeks later we were mailed a certificate signed by the commissioner that our adoption is registered in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Which now means the state of Ky recognizes the adoption and sees Noah as our son.  

Birth Certificate:  I believe you have to have already re-adopted or registered the adoption in order to get a birth certificate.  Call Kristi Riley at the vital statistics office at (502) 564-4212 ext 3225 and let her know which one you have done.  The paperwork is different depending on whether you readopted or registered.  She will mail you a packet of paperwork with instructions.  The application has to be notarized.  She mailed me the packet the same day I called and I got it the next day.  She also must have originals of the adoption decree, COC, etc.  She even needs to see the home study.  You can mail it to her and she will copy and mail back.  But because I can't even begin to imagine calling USCIS and trying to get another COC because ours got lost in the mail we will be driving our documents to Frankfort and watching her copy them :)  We will get the certificate the same day.  We have not done this yet, since driving to Frankfort with a few little ones requires some planning.  

Overall I have found our little state government much more efficient than the US government working across the pond...which is somewhat encouraging.  So I hope this helps someone navigate the last few steps of making everything "official".  A big thanks to my friend Amy who did all this before me and really provided all the information above....I am just passing it along! If you find any of this to become inaccurate (this is all based on my experience in the past 3 months) or you know of an easier way please share so everyone can benefit.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Finally a Forever Family

We arrived home with Noah on Saturday, April 7th.  Oh what a glorious day!

The girl love their little brother....a ton...

And I am one happy mama

It's a been a long road with a bumpy end.  Our case was sent to USCIS in Nairobi, Kenya after being determined "not clearly approvable" by the US embassy on March 19th and I headed to Ethiopia on March 23rd.  We cleared USCIS on the 30th and Dan arrived on April 3rd.  By God's gracious intervention we got an exit interview on April 5th (even though they were booked until April 11th) and arrived home the 7th.  I'm sure when all this beauty and grace has sunk in I will blog more about these crazy last few weeks.  Right now we are loving life as a family of 5 and in awe of how God has worked all this together for His good.  I'll keep you posted...because our story is really just beginning.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Crossing the crazy line and the ocean....

Our case "is still under orphan investigation.  At this time there is no new information about your case.  We ask for your patience." according to the email we received from the embassy.  After a week they finally responded with those few sentences and answered none of my questions.  Questions like "Could you please specify what attempts you are making to contact the police officer?" "In your professional opinion is it likely our case will be clearly approvable?"  "Do you have an estimated time frame of when a decision will be made regarding our case?" Thank you for your service to our country.   I feel like this is similar to your loved one being in the hospital, very sick, and you asking the Doctor what the plan and prognosis is and the doctor responding, "We are still trying to figure out what's going on, please be patient."  That would not fly.  Because families want to know what the doctor is doing, what tests, what labs and what his professional outlook is on your loved one's life.  That is their job!  I feel like the embassy is not doing their job.  And it crushes me.

So a week from today I'm leaving on a jet plane and heading back to Ethiopia to love on our little guy and go to the embassy and see if they will answer my questions in person.  Worst case scenario: Nothing in our case changes and Noah gets lots of love and cuddles and is reminded that he has a mom and a dad who love him very much and who are fighting very hard to bring him home.  Best case scenario:  Our case gets moving and I bring Noah home with me that week!  There are obviously lots of "middle" scenarios, one of which might include me staying in Ethiopia a little longer than planned if needed.  Some might call this crazy.  If that's the line we're crossing it when I cross the ocean.  We are in a very weird place in a very complicated process.  I'll admit, even as an adoptive parent, when we were in Ethiopia in December and other families were even more deep in this than we are now I. did. not. get. it.  But now here we are and I. get. it.

Yesterday I had a date afternoon/evening with this really hot guy I know.  Incase you just happened across my blog and don't know me I am talking about my husband :)  We went for a 3 mile run, watched UofL basketball and ate sushi.  It was perfection.  The loop we went for a run on is very windy and has lots of trees and hills.  So it is difficult to see what's ahead.  I was on the very last and longest hill and turned a corner thinking the top would be in site and I would see Dan there waiting for me.  Nope.  I turned the bend to realize I was only about half way up this forever long climb.  Oh my.  I took a deep breath and pushed it.  A police officer with his two dogs were running in the opposite direction of me and had already passed me once said "You can do it! Keep pushing!"  I got a little pep in my step and just when I thought I was going to vomit or pass out or both I finally came around the curve I thought I was at 5 minutes before and saw the top.  What a picture of this adoption process.  Just when I thought we were almost there I get an email that knocks the breath out of me saying nothing has changed, no progress, no closer to getting Noah home.  All I know to do is take a deep breath and push it.  I'm so thankful for the encouragers in my life.  Those sweet precious people who don't say "I'm praying for you" just because they think it's nice to say but those dear friends who are getting down on their knees on Noah's behalf and crying along side of us.  Because dear friends you are giving me a little pep in my step, you're helping me put aside all the pain that this long climb is causing and to keep pushing it.  So for the prayers, the hugs, the notes, the texts, thank you.

I am longing for the downhill run of this race.  The part where my body weight alone propels me forward and it takes so much less effort.  The part where we bring Noah home.  Right now there are just trees and curves and steep hills.  Hopefully we'll get there before I vomit, pass out, or both.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reality Check

So this is what I know.  I know that a couple years ago there were some agencies in Ethiopia that weren't being super ethical.   Because of this adoptions in Ethiopia were getting a lot of attention, not the good kind.  The result is officials at the US embassy investigating cases more thoroughly and sending them on to the people at USCIS who have more authority when they are not satisfied with the results of the investigation.  What I also know is that in some cases adoptive families have, rightfully so, been very frustrated with the way the embassy is going about this task.  It doesn't take a genius to draw a very sad conclusion here.  If logistics of adoption are slack it opens up big doors for child trafficking (despite adoptive families intentions of adopting a "true" orphan).  If logistics of adoption are too tight it means children spending longer in orphanages or worse promises a life of institution or poverty for children who don't have enough paperwork to back up their status as orphan under US law.  When I think of babies being caught up in either side of this my heart is broken.
What I also know though is that God's word is true and I can trust in His promises.  This is not always easy, in fact at times in life it's very hard to do.   Hebrews 11:1-3 says "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.  By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible."  I have been earnestly and continually praying for God to work a miracle and bring my boy home in a crazy short amount of time.  At times, it has been more of a cry than anything else, claiming truths in God's word and wondering why it wasn't working in my box of a time frame.  Doesn't God know how much I want Noah to be home, doesn't He know that an orphanage is no place for a baby, doesn't He know that my life is on hold waiting for an email to get on a plane, doesn't He know that my good friend who is traveling with me is under the same hesitation to make any major commitment?  Oh ridiculously selfish me! Of course He knows! Of course the God who spoke the world into existence knows all of these things.  The question is what do I know?  Do I know that God is faithful, do I know that He loves Noah more than I do, do I know that God left the throne and came down to earth as a baby and died a brutal death so that I might have hope in eternal life?  Do I know that His word is true and I can claim it's promises?  Of course I know these things.  Over and over God has shown me that He is faithful, that He brings me through times when I can't carry my own weight, that His plan is far better than what I could work out for myself.
Yesterday, my sweet Bella Kate was very sick and she brought me a reality check.  She hadn't kept anything solid down all day and asked me for a chocolate cookie and ice cream cone.  I told her no I was making her homemade chicken noodle soup, didn't that sound good?  Nope, she wanted a chocolate cookie and ice cream cone.  But because I love her very much and did not want her to suffer the consequences of revisiting a chocolate cookie and ice cream cone, that would be far worse than the pleasure of eating them, I did not give in.  She could have chicken noodle soup.  I promised her when she was better she could have those things.  She was skeptical and I got the vibe that she felt I was denying her a great pleasure.  She had asked me early in the day, "Mommy, will you take good care of me today?" I of course told her yes, I would do everything I could to make her feel better.  In her almost 4 year old way I wonder if she was reconsidering that answer.  If I was going to take good care of her why wouldn't I give her what she wanted?!?  Because, I, maker of the ice cream cone, could see something she couldn't see and I want what is best for her.  I thought to myself, why doesn't she know that?  Her whole life I have met her needs, given her things, loved her.  Doesn't she know I wouldn't deny her anything if I didn't have a good reason?  I almost laughed out loud.  I am worse than a 4 year old when it comes to questioning God's plan, protection, and provision.
I know that God is capable of intervening in Addis Ababa and getting our case cleared  and it wouldn't make the top 10 of God's greatest miracles.  It would be nothing.  I will keep asking Him to do so.  But from life experience and from promises I hold in my heart I trust His plan.  If you had told me 8 years ago that at my age I would be bringing home my 3rd child from Ethiopia and would be married for almost 6 years I would have laughed and called you crazy!  Thankfully, God blessed me in spite of my attitude and in spite of my heart.  The blessings are far greater than any plan I could conjure up on my own.  Like I said, it's not always easy but that's okay.  Easy isn't one of the promises I hold in my heart.

There is a lot more that I do not know, than what I do know.  I do not know when Noah will come home, or why it is taking so long, what the embassy will do after this.  But I will end with a quote that is true to what I do know from Elisabeth Elliot's book "Through Gates of Splendor".  I just finished it and it's a great read if you are looking for something.  She writes after her husband's death, "God is the God of human history, and He is at work continuously, mysteriously, accomplishing His eternal purposes in us, through us, for us, and in spite of us." Thankful for what He accomplishes in spite of me.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Yep, after my pity party blog I wrote last time this one is about how encouraged I am.  Do I still painstakingly miss my son? Yes.  Do I still grieve over this time apart and continually pray that he will be to his forever home ASAP? Absolutely.  But let me tell you why this grief and sadness, oddly enough give me a little bit of comfort and encouragement.  It goes back to God's awesome Word and it was delivered to my ears by this great pastor I know.  You should go to this link and listen to it and tell all your friends to listen to it as well.  Be ready to be convicted and maybe, like me, a little encouraged.   Click the January 8, 2012-The Movement-Series No. 14

PS if you're reading this because you're in the adoption world you should listen to the one from January 15th too.

So one morning last week I was feeling particularly sad so I went to the gym.  May sound weird but it works for me.  While I was running I listened to Jon Akin preach from Acts 7 & 8 about Stephen preaching this great sermon and the people stoning him to death.  You're already encouraged, I know :)  I came away with a few truths.
1. I am not really suffering at this moment.  Yes I am sad at times, justifiably so.  But as I was listening to this I was literally running on a treadmill.  If I was suffering I would not have been able to run on a treadmill.  (The other truths are not quite so obvious!)

2. Jesus does not promise or encourage a comfortable life.  Stephen was stoned to death because he was being obedient to what God had called him to do.  While the Bible does tell us to care for orphans and we are adopting out of obedience to what God has called us to do, it does not say adopt and the process will go smoothly and you'll have no heartache in it.  This has been an incredibly  hard journey at times, and this is the hardest part of it all.  But there is hope in the third truth.

3. The third point in the sermon was What if being like Jesus means God uses your suffering for good? While we've already concluded that I am not really suffering, if I were going to call it that there is something very good that is going to come from it.  We are being blessed with a son.  Noah is given a forever family.  And if we go beyond that I'll share something with you that happens frequently in the Jenkins family.  Frequently, Dan prays that God will use our children to take the Gospel to the nations.  Often he prays that Noah will come to know Christ and take the gospel back to Ethiopia and see his birth nation inherit eternal life.  If I'm being honest, sometimes I cringe at this prayer because I would love to grow old and have all my children and grandchildren over for dinner every Sunday.  But that's not a biblical truth.  I'm trying to be more eternally minded like my husband.  So this hard time, this crazy journey will not only bring a son into a family, it could eventually bring about people hearing about Jesus for the first time.

4.This time apart from Noah will soon end.  My sweet friend (who is this pastor's wife) told me a day or two before I listened to this sermon that next Christmas will be here before we know it and we'll look back at this time as a quick blur.  This time that I long for my son to be home is nothing compared to what we hope is an eternal impact on one little boy and all the people that he shares that with.

I'm not trying to compare my "suffering" with Stephen's suffering.  I'm convicted about wanting to be more like Jesus.  But my encouragement came in that adoption is not just about now.  Raising kids in general is not just about getting them to 18 and hoping the best.  It's about having an eternal impact on them.  I'm encouraged that this time will soon pass and Noah will be home.  I'm so thankful for the sweet Akin family and how they are such an encouragement to us and speak truth into our lives.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Court and Life After

December 22, 2011 will forever be a celebratory day in the Jenkins family.  I was up so early that day with nervousness and excitement.  I prayed Deuteronomy 10:17 & 18 for Noah, "For the Lord your God is the God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God, showing no partiality and taking no bribe.  He executes justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the foreigner, giving him food and clothing."  I appealed to God's sovereignty and begged Him to give Noah justice that day as a fatherless child.  God heard my prayer and that day around 10am Noah was no longer an orphan but a very loved son.  

I have never been in a court room in the US and the only images in my mind are the ones on TV.  This courthouse was nothing special.  You could easily drive by it and not notice it.  Up on the third floor we waited in a room lined with chairs with 50 other people.  I wondered if any of the young women were there to relinquish rights to their child, I was heartbroken for them.  We didn't wait long and soon all four families there with our agency were taken into a smaller room lined with chairs where we all sat down.  A beautiful Ethiopian woman sat behind a very ordinary desk.  The judge's "court room" was simple and sort of run down.  She called out the names of our children.  She asked all of us simple questions and we answered in unison.  She explained how important it was that we know that this is irreversible and permanent (Praise the Lord!).  She also encouraged us to teach our children about Ethiopia.  Then she said, "All your paperwork is in place, congratulations, they are yours." And we all left the room.  I was in awe of God who looked over every piece of paperwork and every hand that touched our case. It was final, he is our son!  Here's a few pictures of us on court day.

We spent the next day loving on our sweet guy and preparing to head back to the states.  I knew what lay ahead but my heart was broken.  Betty had told me at lunch that she could see I was sad.  I fed Noah and rocked him to sleep that night.  I had to go get ready for the airport and I was so overwhelmed I gave Noah to Dan and went to our room.  I simply could not hand him back to his nanny.  Moms can you imagine?? Can you imagine handing your 3 day old back to the doctor until your birth certificate or social security number came through?? It was the hardest thing I've ever done.  (Y'all give my husband some sympathy for putting up with me on the plane ride home.) And lets be real.  If we had the funds and I could convince my husband I would get on a plane tonight, leave the girls in the care of their dad and gran, and stay there until he could come home.  

The only word that can even come close to how I feel is grief.  I don't know if I have ever really grieved over anything before, but I am over this time apart from my son.  I realize he doesn't know any better, but I do.  I'm grieved over very painful parts of his past that one day I'll have to tell him.  Putting all his sweet things away fills me with such sadness that he is so far from me and in an orphanage I feel paralyzed.  The transition house is incredible.  The nannies love those babies and the director's wife checks on them every day.  But my son is in an orphanage.  His paper work is in the process of being changed over to our last name and his passport is being made with our name and he is being medically cleared by the US, again.  So we are waiting.  And once again I am praying the same prayer that I did the morning of court.  That the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God, who is bigger than the US embassy, would bring about a miracle and get my Noah home in an amount of time that could only be the result of God bringing justice to the fatherless.  He is capable and I am asking.  

I would like to tell you that I came across a verse or a person said something so inspirational to me that I can carry on joyfully and trusting in the Lord's perfect timing to bring Noah home.  But it isn't true.  It's not that I haven't looked or haven't listened.  I read about Hannah and how she had the son she had prayed for and gave him over to the Lord. I read about the lost son whose father rejoiced when he returned home (Let me tell you, there will be a celebration when Noah comes home!).  I listen to people tell me he'll be home soon, and he's so little he doesn't know.  It's all true.  But my heart still aches.  And it isn't that I don't trust God's timing.  I thought about God adopting me and making me His daughter.  That He sacrificed so much more than I am sacrificing to be Noah's mom.  He let Jesus die for me.  Nothing compares to that.  I wonder if God feels this way when we become His children and just stay where we were and like we were before we became His children.  If we are content to stay in an orphanage like setting because all of our basic needs are met because we are too scared to be obedient and go do what God, who loves His children, has called us to do.  I wonder if He is grieved at all the blessings we are missing.  I'm grieved at all Noah is missing, every day he is missing love from his mom and dad and sisters.  He's missing what it means to be in a family.  I'm grieved over all I'm missing, his smiles and giggles every day, how he's growing.  The difference is Noah can't decide for himself.  He's where he is because of logistics of government.  But probably if we could explain it to him, he might resist.  Hey little guy would you like to be handed over to strangers who don't look anything like you, get in steel box for 17 hours, and go live far away where you don't understand what anyone is saying?  He might rather stay were he is comfortable and where he thinks all his needs are being met.  But we know we have something far greater to offer him and can't wait to bring him home.  Noah doesn't have the option like we do or like the lost son in Luke did.  I just wonder how much I'm missing out on by thinking all my needs are being met, I must be just where God has me to be.  When God has so much more if we are willing to follow Him, to go far away from home, from what we know and love and find comfort in.  Oh the blessings that must be in store.  So maybe I lack faith in trusting God's timing or maybe I love Noah like I'm supposed to love my son and can't wait to celebrate his homecoming.  

I mean check him out...can you blame me??

This is him in his Christmas pajamas holding a picture of his sisters.  Can't wait for all of them to be together.  As Bella Kate almost daily says, "Noah will be so happy to see me!"