Thursday, October 25, 2012

This Week.

This week, Brian and I celebrated our anniversary in Chicago. (6 months late.)  It's been a crazy past couple of months, so this trip was much needed and much enjoyed! (Though when is our life NOT crazy???)

Brian's dream is to see a game at every NFL stadium in the country.  My dream is to visit fun and interesting cities in the US.  

This was a big game for Brian- life-long Bears fan
Some the locations of the stadiums and my idea of "fun" cities do not always go hand in hand, for example, Green Bay, Wisconsin. (No offense, Cheeseheads.) We are using our anniversary trips to knock out a football game and hang out somewhere new that we both can agree on.  Next up? We're thinking Seattle, Boston, or San Fran.....  Anyone have a connection to some football tickets????  

I'll share this picture with you too.... I put it on facebook and got some funny responses from my friends who are afraid of heights.  Since skydiving a few years ago, this was actually a piece of cake! 

Sears Tower- 103 stories up in the glass overlook

This week, we found out that Tyson Henry is officially a Word! We passed court at the end of September and then had a 30-day wait period.  We are hoping to have his Certificate of Non-Appeal, (CONA) by the end of the week.  

Next step will be getting all of our documents translated and sending our immigration paperwork to the USCIS.  This, in effect,  asks the US to recognize Tyson as no longer an orphan, but instead a member of OUR family!

After that, we'll be applying for visas and embassy appointments, in hopes of traveling by January.  

This week, we had a big meeting for our sweet baby "J" and his future.  It's crazy to think that he has almost been in our home for a year! Though I can't share details, it was a meeting that encouraged us as we were reminded just how many people "J" has fighting for him.  We have been blessed with social workers and lawyers who do their job well and want the best for this little one.  

We hope that in the coming months we can share more, but for now, we ask that you would join us in prayer for our situation with "J."  Please pray for wisdom for the social workers, lawyers, and judges.  Please pray for protection for "J" no matter where he is in the future.  Please pray for us as we navigate the unknown world of foster care. Our prayer is that we would focus only on the day to day joys of being with "J," rather than the unknowns of the future. 

This week, we learned that we have already raised $400 toward our $2,000 matching grant for our adoption! That is amazing! 

If you are still interested in giving, (tax-deductible, 100% of donation goes toward our adoption), please click here for more information. 

All in all, I'd say it's been a really good week! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012


*This is a post from July 2011-  I wanted to repost it for the women in my life that are hurting, lonely, or just frustrated about circumstances right now, and who need a gentle, loving reminder that they have not been forgotten by the One who holds time in His hands. 


It's one of those concepts that rarely has gone according my plans. 

I had a nice, neat timeline planned out for my life upon graduating from high school. 

  • College in four years. 
  • Teach elementary school for the rest of my life. 
  • Get married at around 26 or 27.   Preferably to a professional athlete.  Definitely NOT to anyone in ministry.
  • Kids by late 20's.  And just two of them. 

Instead, what I got was...

  • College in 3 1/2 years. (Nerd alert.)
  • Taught fifth grade for 5 years and got burned out. 
  • In and and out of long term relationships.
  • Went into full time supported ministry as a single girl.
  • Got married at 32  
  • An adorable 11-month foster baby, baby boy who's adoption is not yet complete, and teenage boys living with us for months at a time
  • A big, hairy lab and a scrawny neurotic mutt that eat most inanimate objects my house. 

Not my timing.  Not my plan.  

As I look back, I can honestly say that I am so grateful for the way it has played out.  My life has looked nothing like I planned, yet it's been everything that I needed. 

But for a lot of my twenties, there were many questions, heartache, and doubt. 

The story wasn't playing out the way I had written it. 

I had questioned whether God had forgotten about me.  Why it seemed like everyone else kept having new chapters written in their lives and mine stayed on the same page. 

And as I have had the chance to spend some quality time with some my best girlfriends from all over the country this past month, it seems like this concept of timing is a rough one for a lot of us women. 

Many of the women in my life, in varying age ranges and stages, are sitting in lives where their dreams have been unmet, or shattered, or abandoned. 


Married and hurting.




Just, plain lonely. 

A fellow adopting mom shared this statement on one of the yahoo groups I'm a part of and I loved it: 

"Where we see time.  God's sees timing." 

God's timing never matches our own.  His perspective is so much wider, deeper, and full of more wisdom then we can ever grasp. 

When I look at timing in my own small brain and hands, I always, always, always jump to what I don't have, what I haven't achieved, and how far "behind" I am than everyone else around me. 

Even as some dreams have been answered, I can still focus instead on the dreams deferred. 

However, when I choose to trust that each word, each page, and each chapter of the course of my life has happened in God's perfect and loving timing, then I am at peace.  Only then. 

"You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." 
 John 13:7. 

What a sweet and loving promise to cling to when our current circumstances are not what we dreamed them to be. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Preparing to Travel and a Matching Grant!

22 months into our international adoption process and we are finally hitting the home stretch!

There are a few more hoops to jump through, some additional paperwork to be filled out,  a then weeks of waiting to hear answers. . .

BUT. . .

We are getting close! 




crossing our fingers,

that maybe,



we'll travel to get Tyson in the next two months.


The generosity of our friends and family combined with our savings has allowed us to completely fund our adoption expenses. 


The only thing left that we are looking toward are the travel expenses...

Airfare ($4,000-5,000 for two adults and a lap infant)

Lodging ($700-1000 for a week stay....but could be longer if unforseen issues arise)

Meals ($60 per day)
*Though DRC is the second poorest country in the world, because of inflation, food and everyday items are extraordinarily expensive for it's citizens and visitors.*

While there won't be much sightseeing time while in country, we plan on it being lot of bonding with Tyson time. Making sure he knows he safe, protected, and home in our arms.

We are SO excited to have received a $2000 matching grant through Lifesong and our church, Frazer UMC, that will help us raise the funds to travel to the DRC and complete the adoption!!!

All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of what is donated goes to our fund.  Nothing goes toward Lifesong administrative costs, so you can rest assured that it will completely go toward bringing Tyson home.

Our prayer is to raise $5,000-6,000 to cover the costs of our travel and expenses. 

If you're interested learning more about giving toward our matching grant please click here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This is Real Life.

Recently, I've written about how I believe the internet and blog world has the unfortunate potential to make people look way more glamorous, wealthy, and intriguing than they are in real-life.

It's important for me, as I continue writing this blog, to make sure  that I never give a false appearance about the reality of my family's everyday life. 

Here's the reality: 
Being a pastor's wife is hard sometimes.  Being a foster mom is harder. My husband and I butt heads on occasion.  My house has way too many dog prints and baby drool on the floor most days.  

And I am quite dorky. 

I wrote about my quirks/nerdiness in a post last year which many found quite entertaining. 

So in case I had caused anyone reading the blog lately to think I was cool and hip, it's time to once again, dispel those rumors. 

"Random Information that Leslie Should Probably Keep to Herself but She's Going to Share it Anyway. " 

1.) I wear black yoga pants daily.  I own four pairs.  They are in heavy rotation.  

    Here's how it works: 
  • I walk in my house from work/church/grocery store. 
  • I put down my purse/diaper bag/computer case/car seat/groceries/all of the above.
  • I get out of my "appropriate attire" for the outside world.
  • I put on yoga pants and one of the bazillion t-shirts I own. 
  • The baby drools on the yoga pants. 
  • I wipe them off. 
  • The baby throws up on the yoga pants. 
  • I change into yoga pants #2.  
  • I finish out the day. 
  • I go to sleep in said pants and t-shirt. 
  • I get up, shower, put on respectable clothes and leave my house. 
  • Repeat. 

You can ask my husband. This is a true story. 

2.) I have the taste buds of an 8 year-old girl.  

I Loooooooooooooove Holiday Candy.  

  • Jelly Beans
  • Marshmallow Peeps
  • Conversation Hearts
  • Candy Corn

I've already taken down four bags of candy corn, BY MYSELF,    and it's only the beginning of October.  

The candy corn pumpkins are my favorite.  I eat the green stems off first. 

3.) I sometimes put the dryer cycle on again, EVEN THOUGH the clothes are dry, simply because I do not want to take them out and fold them.  Don't tell Brian. 

4.) I often wish that I could "throw on" my jeans and t-shirt, put my hair in ponytail, and look like the girl all those country singers are always writing songs about.  

What happens instead is that when I "throw on" my jeans, t-shirt, and put my hair in a ponytail,  I look like I have not showered in three days, not slept in seven, and should be on the "People of Walmart" website.  

5.) My first semester in college, I needed a part-time job, so I applied for a work study position.  

I was assigned to be the janitor in the science labs.  

No joke. 

I had a cleaning cart.  

While other people were heading out to frat parties, I was emptying owl pellets out of the trash cans.  

And people wonder why I graduated college early. 

There you have it.  My life is all glamour and intrigue. 

I've got to run and get my yoga pants out of the dryer. They've been in there for two days.