A Place Prepared

 We had the best welcome home crew! I just love our community so much!

We had the best welcome home crew! I just love our community so much!

It's been one year since we arrived home with our little Brighten. I vividly remember walking through the door, into our playroom, holding Brighten and introducing her to her home. Obviously, she didn't understand what I was saying or showing her, but I was so proud to bring her into the place that we'd prepared for her.

Laying her down in her crib that first night, tears flooded my eyes as I thought about the fact that we'd prepared this little place for her, in faith, not knowing when we'd welcome a child into our home. At the time, it seemed silly to get a nursery set up, and I remember sitting in there and praying for God to please give us a child to love and care for. I would plead with Him, and then gather up my paint supplies and get to painting.

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I'm reminded of the passage in John where Jesus is telling His disciples that He's going to be leaving, but He's preparing a place for them. Not coincidentally, it's in the same chapter that He also tells them that He will not leave them as orphans, but He will come for them.

I love the parallels of adoption and the gospel - not because we are saviors, but rather because we were once orphans in need of a home too.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
— John 14:1-3

As I reminisce about the last year living in our home with Brighten, my heart feels so full, but also a little sad. As we prepare to bring more children into our home, we are also preparing to move to another house (same neighborhood). Leaving the memories of our sweet first home makes me sad, but also happy to imagine another family being built within these four walls. 

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When our house was on the market earlier this year (we ended up deciding to stay a little while longer, moving with a four month old was not my best idea), I wrote a letter to a couple who was interested in our home and they were trying to make a decision. Even now as I read back over it, it makes me smile and tear up at the same time. I know that a house is just place, but our house has been a true blessing to us and a haven as we've walked through the very difficult and wonderful road of adoption.  

My favorite memory of this house took place last October, when we brought home our daughter for the first time. We adopted our daughter at birth from Texas after spending 3.5 years waiting for a child through adoption. Our dining room table has been covered with background checks and paperwork more times than I would like to count, and we’ve hosted social workers for home studies and updates even more frequently. When we finally were chosen to parent a baby girl last August, we filled every room in our house with baby items as friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and acquaintances dropped off things in truck loads. Since our daughter was born in Texas, we had to pack up and leave for a month to be present at her birth and to wait for several weeks while all of the adoption paperwork went through. We drove more hours than I’d ever like to again (with a baby) and lived out of an AirBnb with an infant. Needless to say, when we arrived home a few weeks later, I have never been so happy to be home. Coming home has been made all the more wonderful because of this house, the memories we have here, and the fact that we were able to bring our daughter across the threshold of its door. Laying our baby girl in her crib that night after months of painting the walls, organizing all of her gifts into the closet, and getting things ready for her, reminded me that a house can be so much more than walls and floors and a roof, it can truly be the foundation by which a family is built.
— Letter to prospective home buyers
 Enjoying her activity mat for the first time at home!

Enjoying her activity mat for the first time at home!

It truly is amazing what a year can do. We've celebrated bringing home Brighten and we've watched her grow into a busy little toddler (cue even more water works from this mama!). We've updated our home study for Ethiopia to include our baby girl. We've grieved the end our Ethiopia adoption process, and sat idly by, waiting for God to show us where to go next. We've rejoiced in sitting still to focus on Brighten, mourned that we were sitting still, and rejoiced again when we felt God prompting us to move forward. 

More than anything, I love watching how God works and how He moves us, tells us to stop, and gently nudges us forward again. I love that His timing is perfect, and just a week after feeling His nudge to move forward we felt Him guide us to literally move too. Sometimes discernment is the hardest thing, but when I'm able to gain a bit of a bird's eye view, I'm overwhelmed by His good gifts and fulfillment of promises, even thought it's not always easy.

We still have SO many things in the air, so I apologize for my ambiguity, but we'd rather wait until things are more solidified before I blog about them. We are excited about what we potentially have ahead of us, though, and I promise we'll spill the beans soon :)

What a year it has been. I'm so thankful that God has prepared a place for us, both here on this earth and also in Heaven. Praise be to Him.

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Posted on October 5, 2017 .