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Reclaiming My Best Self...

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WARNING...THIS IS LONG, RAW AND HONEST.

This past Wednesday I found myself in a Tattoo Parlor with four friends who watched me get my nosed pierced.  I guess I should clarify to say that I didn't just "find" myself there, and my four friends definitely didn't drag me there.  It was a choice, and one that most people who know me well are still saying, "I can't believe you actually let someone stick a needle through your nose when you are terrified of needles."  Side note, the needle used was pretty large according to my four friends, but I wouldn't have a clue because my eyes were shut so tight.  It may sounds silly, but the little stud in my nose, which is honestly pretty small, represents something so much bigger than one night out with some friends.  It's a symbol of the start to reclaiming my best self, the one that God created me to be.

I'm going to be real, honest and raw with you.  The past couple of years have been really challenging…

Sing Your Hallelujah...

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I decided to give up complaining for Lent.  I made the decision to put a quarter in a jar every time I complained and then I was going to do something with the money I collected.  To be honest, I didn't really have a plan for what I was going to do with the money, because I was hoping there wouldn't be much in the jar, but yesterday I dumped the whole roll in the jar, fully knowing where my heart has been and called it a day (this was to the benefit of my kids who became the recipient of the quarters, because I was too cheap to buy candy to stuff our eggs with...everyone wins, right?).

Truth be told, life can just be draining.  Parenting is hard.  Work in never ending.  We never seem to have enough time in a day.  Marriage is work.  Transitions can kick the life out of you.  Expectations sometimes aren't met.  Disappointments are a real.  Relationships are complicated.  And sometimes, you just find yourself struggling to keep your head above water.  And so you complain.  …

What Matters Most...

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It's been almost 3 months since we've been home with our sweet Madhavi.  It feels like just yesterday, Nate and I were just on a plane to India, staring at each other, wondering what this next chapter of life would bring.  I don't think in those moments we really had any idea what we were getting ourselves into, but we were hopeful that love would prove to be transformational.

Today, we received Madi's certificate of citizenship in the mail and couldn't get over the contrast of the picture on the certificate (which was taken the day we took her out of the orphanage), and the little girl sitting in front of us.  Even Madi, when she looked at the picture, got visibly upset and pushed it away.  A child once full of fear, sadness, and despair, now runs around with her big brother laughing, whispering secrets, and calling your name over and over to show you everything that's a part of her new world.  Love is a pretty powerful thing.

Two weeks ago, I went back to wo…

Come And See What God Has Done...

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Five years ago, Christmas morning, I sat around the dining room table with my family, struggling to choose joy in the midst of an adoption journey that had caused me to question whether we too would have kids sitting around the table one Christmas.  We had already been waiting two years to be matched with a child half way around the world, a child that we believed God had called us to be his forever family.  The match seemed no where's in sight.  That Christmas, if I would have described my life as a tapestry, the only description would have been a pile of messy threads in which I struggled to find a beauty.

Fast forward to this morning, five years later.  We are at the same table, with the same family, but this time with two new blessings that have allowed us to catch a glimpse of this unbelievable tapestry he's been creating of our lives.  The blessings have come from the other side of the world, one from Ethiopia and one from India, two littles who have changed our perspec…

The Messy and The Beautiful...

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"Be strong and courageous...the Lord will be with you wherever you go (Deuteronomy 1:9)."  That verse seemed to be the one God had chosen for me over the past three weeks of my life.  I had read those words over and over in multiple devotionals, been texted those words from several friends, and stumbled on them continually as I started on a journey that would prove to be one that required strength.
God must have a sense of humor, because for both of our adoptions, we were given 1-4 days to prepare to fly across the world to pick up our kiddos (opposed to the typical 2 week notice).  I kind of think it was a good thing, because when you're given 48 hours to buy plane tickets, pack, and get your work covered, there's not a whole lot of time left to worry.  That's what the 17 hour flight is for.
Before we left, our social worker had told us that we should keep our expectations low when it comes to how our day would go in meeting and bringing home our daughter.  I t…

Let's Try This Again...

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I’m sitting on a plane, currently watching my son sleep soundly next to me, on our way home from a quick trip to my parent’s house.It’s hard to believe that in less than 48 hours, I will be flying out yet again, but this time to bring home our daughter, Madhavi.Even as I write those words, I can hardly believe them and feel like I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.
This past summer, Biruk said to me, rather a matter of fact, “Madhavi is going to be home for my birthday.”To which I said, “Buddy…it’s going to take a miracle for that to happen.”Fast forward several months and that miracle has found it’s birth in a season of our life where we least expected it.
On Monday, I decided very last minute to fly home with Biruk to visit my parents.My mom had recently had knee surgery, I had few free days, and I hadn’t been home since last Christmas, so it sounded like a great plan.The night before we left, I was putting Biruk to bed and said to him, “You know what buddy?I think…