Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day and I have so many thoughts going through my mind.  I am thankful for so many reasons today.  I have a great mom, who has shown me what a woman of God should live like by her example.  I still get to celebrate and spend time with my grandmother who is excited to meet 3 more great grandkids.

 

I have two wonderful kids with me now that I am thankful for every day.  But, there is a longing and part of me that is not complete.  My other 3 children are half way across the world and not here celebrating with us today.  I am also missing my mother in law and thinking of the joy she would have shared with us over our 3 children that we are waiting to hold in our arms.

Mama Lynn in 2001 when Madalyn was born.

 

For the most part today has been an emotional day, not all sad emotions, just lots of emotions.  My emotions are mixed with tears of joy, feeling incomplete, excitement, and anticipation of what our future holds..   Tears of thankfulness for our preacher and church family that have supported us in so many ways. I don’t even have words to describe my gratitude for Frank Mill’s prayer this morning that included my children in the Philippines.

Sweet notes and donations to help us with our journey continue to bless us today.

God is good and the waiting is hard, but He will carry us through until the time comes.  He will be my peace, comfort, and strength as I wait knowing I am the mom of 5, but am not able to wrap my arms around all 5 of my children yet.

 

Then there are emotions I have as I reflect on those who desire to be moms that are not.  Or those that have babies in heaven resting in God’s arms.  Or the moms who have made the decisions to give up their children hoping for a better future for them.   Stories that may tell of loss for one, but bring joy to another that will get to be a mom to those children.  Stories that God can use to redeem the broken.  I pray for those who step in and take on the job of mom while I wait for paper work to be completed for my 3.  I think of foster mothers and those who work in orphanages across the world.  The ones who step up and love on children from so many different paths and situations.  I am thankful for the work they do to begin healing the broken past in children.  I pray God’s blessings on them and the work they do.

 

I want to encourage anyone that is struggling with loss or unfulfilled wishes that “God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds” Psalm 147:3.

 

I want to encourage anyone that is waiting like we are to trust that God will complete the good work he has started. Philippians 1:6

 

I want to encourage anyone who has thought about adoption, but you haven’t taken that last step yet.  The need is great, and there are children waiting for someone to step up and be their forever family.  God can provide and overcome the barriers that you may be facing.  He can and will provide if He calls you to it.  He has shown up and shown out for us time and time again.   We serve a Mighty God!

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Longing

Longing is that state I am in during this waiting phase.  I long for the day I will get to see my children face to face for the first time.  I long to hear their voices.  I long to be able to hold them, read to them, hug them, and just give them love.  I know time will fly the next few months, but in some ways it seems to crawl by at a snail’s pace.  I know without a doubt God is working while we are waiting and giving us peace during the waiting.

 

While I long to hold my children and wait for that day to come, the adoption journey is teaching me things about my heavenly Father.  A Father who longs for His children.  He loves us so passionately that He gave His only son for us.  He wants us to spend time with Him, talk to Him, and be in a relationship with Him.  God has chosen and loved us in a way I may never fully comprehend, but pray I continue to learn a little more each day of His amazing love.

 

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Next Steps and Blessings

April 14, 2017

One month ago today we got the news that we were officially matched with our three precious kids.  We often get asked what happens next.  The next phase in our adoption journey will be a series of paperwork for us and our kids.  Following our match we had to update our home study to be approved for adopting our three.  The home study and other papers have to go through immigration.  Once that is received in the Philippines, they will release our children’s legal documents.  Then we file more papers with immigration.  In the Philippines our kids will be waiting on passports and appointments to get their Visas.  Once we complete all those steps we should be able to travel.  Timelines can vary at this point, but it is common to travel about six months after matching.  We have no way of knowing an exact time at this point though.  We just pray daily for everything to move quickly through the right hands at immigration.  We pray for ICAB and the work they do in the Philippines.  We pray they are able to process things quickly.  We pray that the U.S. Embassy will quickly move when the Visas appointments are able to be scheduled.  Ultimately, we pray with our hope in a good God and with a great longing to bring our children home.  Our love for them grows daily, and I cannot wait to see them and hold them.  I rest each day in the fact that a good God is loving my children even though I cannot be with them yet.

 

Once we were matched, we also had to think about some fundraising since we decided to adopt three.  We have been blown away by the support of friends, family members, and strangers.  Our t-shirts sales did far better than I could have imagined.  We also have had gifts handed to us from church friends.  We have been surprised to find checks people have mailed to us. One of those checks came from someone we don’t even know.  They heard about our story and sent a check to us through a friend.  We could see God working through all of this.  Then there are days like last night when we got word of an anonymous donation which is coming our way.   That specific donation is beyond anything we would have imagined.   We had many unknowns when we stepped out on faith to pursue our three, but we believed God would continue to lead us and bless this journey.  He is on the move and is working through so many around us.  He has provided every step of the way.  We are so thankful to God and all of those who have been a blessing to us in this journey.

 

 

Thank you for praying for us along the way.  Continue to pray for our children in the Philippines and the transition they will make in the future to be a part of our family.  We would love to Skype with our children, but don’t know if it will happen or not, so pray for that request to be granted.    Pray that God gives us wisdom in transitioning to parenting five children.  Pray that our eyes constantly be opened to a good God who is on the move in this journey.  I do not want to miss the good things He is doing.  This is His story for our family!

 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Matched!!!!!

 

It’s official, we are matched!!!! Our family of 4 is soon to be Lambert Party of 7.  We completely didn’t expect this news today and at this point.  This will definitely speed things up some, and we couldn’t be more excited to think that our kids will coming home a little sooner than we thought.

 

 

Sharing the news with others and their reactions just made my day!

We already started making changes needed for our new children.  Saturday night everyone pitched in to repaint a room.  This is one small task of many that will need to happen over the next few months.  I love seeing our kids be a part of bringing home their new siblings.

 

In our dining room hangs this board.  The song has been an inspiration to trust God throughout our whole journey.  We are thankful for God’s constant goodness and faithfulness.  He has taught us so much about trusting His timing.  Today He showed up big and brought us a great surprise!

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Immeasurably More!

We are a little over a year into our adoption journey.  Paperwork continues because we have to update our home study.  But … we are hoping this is our last update.  Although we started this journey seeking to adopt one child, God has taken us on a completely different path.  I’ve always heard be careful what you pray for because God may very well grant it.  The verse I’ve prayed since the very beginning of this process is Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  Well God is doing immeasurably more.  About 2 months ago we got the Special Home Finding list of children that comes out every monthly.  One set of siblings had my heart from the first time I saw their faces.  It is not the path we thought we would take, but God had a better plan!  A plan much bigger than we could have ever seen coming.  God has worked on transforming us daily through this process, and we are so excited to be pursing the adoption of three children that are siblings.  Yes, I did say THREE!  I can’t say we haven’t been scared or had many questions, but we are willing to step out in faith and trust God through this all.  At this point we have not been officially matched with them yet because our home study completely doesn’t match.  We are trusting that God is working and will work this out in His time.  Please pray for us that everything goes smoothly with our paperwork and we are able to be officially matched with them soon because we are so in love with them already.  Pray that our family grows in ways God needs us to so we are prepared to bring three sweet children into our lives.  Pray for these children and all the orphans throughout the world.  Pray that our focus remain on Him.  This is His story not ours.

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Waiting With the Lord

It has a been a while since I’ve updated our blog, and I have had several people ask me lately where we are in the adoption process.  We are currently on a long road of waiting to be matched with a child.  I was recently reminded that we are not alone on this journey.  I’ve often heard the phrase “waiting on the Lord,” and I understand why people might use that phrase.  Lately, I feel that God has led me to a better way of thinking. We are “waiting with the Lord.”  No matter what it is you are going through, God is with you the entire journey.  You may be waiting for an answer, for healing, or for restoration, but God has not abandoned you. He has walked  with you the entire process and will continue to walk with you throughout your journey.

For my family, the waiting is in our journey to adopt a child from the Philippines.  We were placed on the Roster of Approved Applicants (RAA) on August 17, 2016.  Praise God! That means the board in the Philippines has approved us to adopt, and now we wait for them to match us with a child.  The matching process can take a while.  It’s very common to wait around 2 years, but it can be shorter or much longer.  It is hard to explain how full of love your heart can feel for a child you have not even met, seen a picture of, or even know if it’s a girl or boy.  The anticipation and expectation is great.  So, do I pray that our time waiting will be shorter?  Of course, but I also pray for many other things.

*I pray for God’s will to be done.  As God walks with us through this I know he has a plan for our life and that his plan is greater than ours.  Throughout this journey I have prayed Ephesians 3:20 over our story and for all the orphans that God will “do immeasurably more than all we ask or image, according to his power that is at work within us.”

*I pray that my trust in God will grow.  I ask God to help me in the times I do doubt.  I am reminded of the story of a father who brought his son to Jesus to be healed.  “The father instantly cried out, ‘I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.’ ” Mark 9:24  I think God will honor our request to build up our faith if we ask him.  Trust is hard because our human minds cannot and will never know the things God does, but we want to be in control.  I do not know the future or the timelines of our adoption story, but God does. I am reminded to “Trust in the Lord with all [my] heart; do not depend on [my] own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

*I pray for wisdom.  I pray that God will grant us wisdom to prepare us for the child we will raise and the two children we are raising now.  James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  Proverbs 2:6  “For the Lord grants wisdom!  From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

*I pray for our child in the Philippines. Our family prays for the caregivers our child may have.  We pray for the orphanage he or she may be in.  We pray that our child will be shown the love of Jesus while we wait.  One of our family’s favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11.  “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord.  ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’ ” I pray that our child will be able to say that one day and see the beautiful story God has written.

*I also pray that we live in the present.  I do not want to get so caught up in the waiting that I do not live with joy today, where I am now.  I’ve watched how quickly my kids are growing up now and want to treasure every moment I can with them.

As our family waits we will trust in God.  As we anticipate the call that we have been matched, we will trust in God and know he is with us now in the waiting!  I ask that you join us in praying for our journey and that if you are waiting for something you realize God is with you right now.

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One Step Closer

Today was a good day!  Excitement is just one of the many emotions I felt when I received an email from Jenica at CAS  letting us know we now have a date scheduled for our dossier to be presented to ICAB for approval.  ICAB is the board in the Philippines that we need approval from to be able to be placed on a list of families waiting to be matched with a child.   I do not for a minute believe it was a coincidence that it has been exactly one month since we made our trip home from our mission trip in Antigua.  We had such a great time with the children and Villa church members.

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Madalyn’s smile and joy with some of the young children at our VBS brought such a smile to my face.

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I watched Lane build relationships with younger children at our church.  Kids who still run up to him when we see them at church or school.

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I loved seeing Will entertain some of the girls at the Villa church.

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The smiles of the children absolutely warm my heart.  I kept thinking about our child that we haven’t met and don’t know anything about, but is somewhere halfway across the world.  We may not yet know who that child will be, but God does.  The time in Antigua just made that desire grow stronger.

 

This past Sunday August 7, I underlined and felt very convicted of a scripture from Mark 11 we read in church.

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I underlined it and yes made a note to pray boldly.  I have very much been at peace with God’s timing throughout this process.  I did think though maybe I am not praying believing enough.  So I decided to ask God for some news or an update this week.  I asked him to help me trust His sovereignty more and to know that He has bigger plans than I can imagine. I know his timing is perfect and I trust Him, but I also might should pray Bigger prayers.   So I will keep praying and try to pray bigger bolder prayers, especially for our child and others waiting on their forever family.

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Approval from Immigration

Today we got news that we are one step closer in this journey.  We received approval from immigration which is part of the requirement before our dossier is presented to the ICAB board.   Now we will wait for approval from ICAB.

 

To us, every step in this process is a big deal!

 

The little steps and the big steps forward are moments to be celebrated.  All of them mean we are just a little bit closer to eventually being matched and meeting the newest Lambert.  Do we still have a LONG time to wait?   Sure, but we will celebrate each stage of the journey.

 

Our two teenagers are proof that what may seem like a forever long journey ahead can pass you in the blink of an eye.  Our kids are growing, maturing, and changing each day.  It doesn’t seem possible that they can be the age they are.  This is one picture I will treasure of my children on mother’s day with me, my mom, and grandmother.  When I look at picture like this it doesn’t seem that long ago when they were little, and I had no idea as a young mother how quickly those days of chasing toddlers would pass.

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As we enjoy our growing teenagers we will wait patiently but longingly for the next approval in our adoption process.  And, while we wait… we will pray for our child halfway across the world even though we don’t know who he or she is.  We pray for the caregivers too.  Most importantly we will trust God.  We will trust his timing and his plan.

 

One of my favorite verses is Ephesians 3:20 ” Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”

This verse reminds me He is able to do more than even what I can imagine.  May He be glorified through our journey.

 

 

 

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Our Dossier is in the Mail

This is a short and to the point post but still such fun news to share.  Today our dossier is on the way to the Philippines!  It will have to be approved and will also have to wait on our approval from immigration.  We head to get our fingerprinting taken care of tomorrow and that will wrap up what we need to send to immigration.  We are one step closer.  Thank you for joining us and being part of our journey.  Your prayers mean so much to us, but even more to know so many are praying for our child that is half way across the world.

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Paperwork & Prayers

Paperwork & Prayers

Once we knew we could start the process, we were all in. As we began to fill out paper work, we were overwhelmed with what we had always heard about and what that really looked like now that we were in the thick of it. I don’t think anything can prepare you for the mountain of documents you will fill out, or important paper you will need to find, questions you will answer, papers you will have notarized, and so on. We knew how long the process can be for international adoption, but we were determined that we would do everything we could to keep things moving during this stage. Night after night we would come home complete paper work, read books, and go through online training course. Three months later, all of that has been completed.

During this process there were some God moments I want to share. First, we believe God’s hand was in the process completely so far. We had asked many questions of the agencies early on and really didn’t know which one would be the best, but without a doubt we know that God placed us with the right agency. We have been blessed for them to walk us through the process and answer any questions we’ve had along the way. We didn’t have an agency in our state that had an adoption program in the Philippines so we are working with an out-of-state agency. About one month in we also were able to connect with a family who adopted from the Philippines and whose children go to the same school our children do. We found out they used the same agency we were now using. We just felt God’s hands were all over this. We also had to have an in state agency to complete our home study. Initially, we thought we knew what agency we would use for that, but that didn’t work out. We couldn’t even get phone calls answered. We ended up with another agency for our home study and a wonderful case worker. We had some curve balls and unknowns, but God had worked it all out.

Second, we believe God led us to adopt from the Philippines. We had several reasons initially for choosing that country, but began to learn so much more through the process. The adoption setting there and number of children adopted is a much smaller scale than other countries. The way they work to match children with the right family for them is a more unique process than some countries.

We have now submitted our paper work to immigration and have our fingerprinting appointments set up. So far we have been able to maybe feel some level of control in this process. At this point, we will have to completely step aside and let God work. Although we’ve prayed for God to be in control  all along, it is hard not to step in and want to control things. We will wait for approval from ICAB. We will wait after approval for a match. We will be doing lots of waiting and praying. Most of all, we will wait to meet our child for a time that only God knows.

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Please join us in praying for a child we haven’t met but we are so excited to be a part of our family. Pray that whatever situation has led this child to be placed for adoption, the trauma of that situation will be minimized. Pray for loving caregivers to be placed in his or her life.

Please pray for us to have patience and wisdom through this process. Pray that we will place our trust God throughout the entire process.

Journey with us in prayer!

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