Monday, March 19, 2012

Waiting for the Storm

There is 100% chance of rain and severe thunder storms today.  Spring in North Texas can be rough.  The younger girls and I will be out in town for routine doctor appointment, so I am not excited about the potential for bad weather today.  We are doing what we can to prepare: rain boots, umbrellas, jackets, etc.

As we look forward to the time of remembrance and celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection, our pastor brings the same question each Sunday.  Are you willing to follow Jesus, even unto death?  This has really been eating at the pit of my stomach.  A year ago, I thought following Him to Africa to take in and love one of His children might have felt a little something like following Him unto death.  There were so many unknowns.  We knew it would be hard and we knew it would demand sacrifice, but there were still so many emotions we could NEVER have been prepared for.

So why now? Why is this question eating at me? It is so easy to feel like we have checked off that box.  Look Lord, you said go and we went.  Ta-da! Done!  I don't think it works that way.  You see there was this guy named Paul.... He was CRAZY for the Lord.  He never stopped risking it all so that others could know Jesus.  He was beaten and imprisoned more than once, but He didn't stop.  I'm pretty sure this means I am not done.  There is a whole world out there that needs to hear the Good News of Jesus.  This is where it starts to freak me out a little.  Unreached people groups are unreached for a reason.  They are scary/unsafe.

I just read that there are 30 unevangelized people groups in Ethiopia that account for some 25 million people.  The number of Somalis that have fled into Ethiopia is around 4.5 million.  Ethiopia is about 45% Islamic! Due to the sheer population size of the country, Ethiopia contains more Muslims than Saudi Arabia! This country that I love is not only in desperate need, but about half of them have been deceived.  Sharing the Gospel with these people is risky.  They hate Christians, but I'm pretty sure Jesus knew that when He said "... a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.  They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me." John 16:2-3.  But then He still said "GO and make disciples of ALL nations..." (emphasis mine).

We sponsor a child that lives in an Islamic region of Ethiopia.  It's a start, but I feel an electricity in the air.  It feels like a storm is coming.  I have NO idea what my role will be, but I want to be prepared.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Happy Valentine's Day!!!


Our family has never really celebrated Valentine's Day.  I don't know why exactly, but I think we saw it more as a holiday for dating couples.  This year we have decided to go all out on Valentine's Day; make it a day to fully express our love to our girls.

We have all learned so much about love this year and God has broken down many of our old barriers. Love has a new and deeper meaning for us.  Our joy in this day starts by sharing with our girls that we can only feel and share our love because God first loved us. He brought Michael and I together in love (a long time ago) and out of that love came ALL three of our girls.

I am personally having one of my best Valentine's Days ever.  Giving and receiving love can be a little challenging for adopted children, but on Valentine's Day....well, the whole country is showing love.  My girl has been so sweet the past few days as she has looked forward to today.  There have been many hugs and kisses and the "I love you"s have flowed freely.  We received a valentine thanking us for being her mom and dad.  This morning I even heard that I was the greatest mom ever.  (that one comes with a mix of joy and pain as many things in the adoption life do)  I am looking forward to a full day of little gifts and gestures of love.

May God bless you on this day of love.  Let His love show in you and through you to your family and others that He places in your path today.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What a Difference a Year Can Make!

I have been silent for far too long, but this occasion demands that I take the time to sit down and share my heart and what the Lord has done.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy! Psalm 126:3

You see, one year ago today I saw my youngest daughter's beautiful smile for the very fist time.  This was the day she went from being LG (short for Little Girl unknown, but loved) to Nazeret.  My beautiful seven year old Ethiopian daughter, Nazeret Hope Kuykendall.

You know the famous line "Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings"?  Well, that is what it was like on that sweet day a year ago.  You see, our agency encourages each family to get to know and support other families on the adoption journey.  We communicate through a yahoo group; at that time, I had my iPhone set to "ding" every time I received an email.  On this day a year ago some family, I am sorry to say that I do not remember who, was matched with their little angel and the yahoo group was celebrating.  As I drove to the school to get Amelia, my phone went crazy and my tears started to flow.  This much activity could only mean that there was about to be one less orphan in this world.  I could not wait to park my car and check it out.

Much to my surprise and delight there had been a match made in heaven, but there was also a lot of chatter about a beautiful seven year old girl that had just been added to the list of children waiting for a forever family.  My heart started to race and my mind went even faster.  I could barely function to direct my phone to the internet address...and then...there she daughter was looking at me with the most beautiful smile.  As they say "the rest is history".

So here we are a year later and Nazeret has been in our home for seven months and EVERYTHING has changed!  Our family has grown and been changed in ways that we NEVER could have imagined.  God has birthed the most amazing and crazy love in my heart for this child that did not grow in my tummy.  I knew He would, but I couldn't have imagined this.  She brings me such joy!  But that's not all....

God used this past year or so to open our eyes and change our hearts.  Michela now feels strongly called to missions in Africa.  She is going back this summer.  We have a passion to love Jesus by caring for widows and orphans.  Our definition of "need" and "want" has been forever changed. Praise the Lord!

As you can see, our sweet Nazeret has grown and OH how that personality has blossomed.  She is healthy and thriving.  Her English blows my mind and she is doing great in first grade.  My baby has a love for HER Jesus that is so beautiful it makes my heart flutter.  God is so good and we are so blessed!  

Thank you for sharing in our journey.