Our first real treeThis Christmas was a lot of things...it was fun, loving, heart-changing, Christ focused, emotional, beautiful, POWERFUL. To be honest, last week I was not sure how I felt about Christmas this year. I felt like I just wanted to skip this Christmas. If I was not going to have my babies home, I did not want to celebrate a holiday that usually brings family together. I just wanted to pause my life and wait for those babies to come home. It only took me about a second to feel bad about these feelings because Christmas is about Christ. It is about a the God-man who came down to an evil world for me and for them...for all of us.
Me and Jess feeding the babes at my parents house.
I had the privilege of serving on the worship team for the Christmas services. There were five services and I got to listen to the teaching of our pastors and elders five times. O how I was blessed. I learned something a little different every time and I got to spend hours in the presence of our God! That right there was exactly the Christmas I needed and always wanted.
Christmas eve tubby with the cousins.
Playing toss the baby with little Jack.
We got to spend an entire day with both my family and Gavin's family. We had such a blast with both families! We feel blessed to live so close to both of them. I am so thankful that I still have amazing grandparents who I get to spend Christmas with. I am in awe of how good God is to all of us. Irelyn had an absolutely wonderful time this Christmas. She was old enough to get exited about opening gifts and really enjoy her presents. To say that her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and great grandparents spoil her would be an understatement!
Our entire Christmas weekend was simply blessed by God. He knew exactly what I needed to keep my head above water. I would be lying if I said I went more than 15 minutes without thinking about my babies. I prayed for them with a fiery passion that can only come from a mothers aching heart. I cried because I miss these kids that I have never even met so much that sometimes I can't breath. And I laughed because I am so exited that God is entrusting them to us. Christmas was HARD without them here but God made sure that I remembered HIM. I found so much joy in Him this holiday season. I pray and hope that this is our last holiday season without our babies.
Irelyn's Christmas hair...
UPDATE: I did get a call from our family coordinator. She said that our dossier is in Ethiopia (DTE). It has actually been there for about two weeks. So this means we are officially referral ready. She still told me that the wait could be anywhere from 0-6 months. She told me a lot of families are getting their referral in about 4-8 weeks but to plan on 6 months and then be really happy if it comes before then. She also said things tend to slow down between now and January 7th which is the Ethiopian Christmas. Please pray for my attitude. I so badly want to have an attitude that God would want me to have about the waiting. I want to be patient and wait joyfully. It breaks my heart daily when we do not get a referral call. Supernatural peace, patients, and joy are the only things that will get me through.
Opening Presents with Papa!
My grandparents are taking us to Disney Land this year so she got minnie mouse everything!
The horse is from us...the boots from her grandparents.
Something to make me feel a little closer to Africa.