"once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act."
Proverbs 24:12

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Update!!!--Where we have been and Where we are going!!

Well I know it has been awhile since my last post. I have spent the last year and a half really focusing being a wife, mom, and disciple. God has really opened my eyes to so many things since my last post. When I think that He can not open my eyes wider, He does. I have learned that He is faithful to lead us through whatever He puts in front of us. I continue to look to Him for guidance even when I do not understand. Let me go back in time and catch you up.

Over a year ago, God was really showing Luther and I a love for orphan prevention and loving on missionary families. We were able to travel together to Ethiopia in June 2014 with our daughter Grace (she turned 13 while we were in country). God confirmed our love for the people, country, loving missionary families, etc. We really felt God opening the door to us moving to Ethiopia. We were not clear about when, how, etc. but we began walking through the doors He placed in front of us. We became SIM missionaries in November 2014 and began to make the preparations to move to Ethiopia. It can be a long process with training, work visas, biblical and cross cultural training, among other things. So we began, walking through the doors God was opening in our lives. Trusting that He would show us what we should do. My husband says often "We will walk through the doors God opens and not kick down the doors He closes." I love this when it is another person's life, but when it is yours it is much more difficult.

This leads me to where we are today. About a month or two ago, we felt God opening doors and closing doors for our family. He was not saying that Ethiopia missionary work was not in the plan, but  He was showing us that it was not going to be in the immediate future, like we thought. He did this in several ways and one was by giving us an opportunity to grow our family. Luther and I have had our eyes opened to the number of children that are adopted into families and then, as no fault of their own, need a new family. Just like biological parents decide they can not parent a child, some adoptive parents make the same choice. I am not hear to judge these parents but to shed light on the need for these children. This is a very difficult thing for them to experience. These children have already experienced loss and trauma. Now, they are experiencing it again.

So today, I am hear to tell you that our family will be growing. We are adopting a beautiful girl (10) and boy (8). We are so glad God has given us a chance to love them and parent them. We have been able to talk with them. They are absolutely beautiful and I am so in love with them. Life is hard and messy. Being a Christ follower doesn't mean that we get an easy road. Just the opposite. I will not be sharing their story because it is theirs to share, but know that we all are ready to show them that they are loved and chosen. It does not replace their loss, trauma, pain, disappointment, and fear. But as I have seen in all of my children time builds trust, security, and love. This also means that God is faithful to walk with us every step of the way.

 PRAY!! Please lift up our family to our Heavenly Father. We are praying as a family---that God would connect our hearts together. The transition will be challenging. Adoption is so beautiful and so hard. It only happens because of tragedy but God is a redeemer. So just continue to pray for us. We are in the process of preparing our home, lives, and hearts. This is a domestic adoption so it will happen faster. We expect to bring them home in the next week or two. We thank you for lifting us up to our Heavenly Father!!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Reflection: A year later

Well so much has happened over the past year home with our two youngest girls. We have watched them experience so many firsts from starting to school for the first time to learning to use a water fountain. I can say there have been many days of joy and laughter but also days filled with tears, grieving, anger, and sadness. Adoption is HARD friends. That first year was probably the hardest thing I have ever experienced. God took me to a place where I could only trust in him. I learned to listen to the Holy Spirit in ways I never have before. Sometimes second to second as Esther would grieve & cry out in anger over loss but feel undeserving of the family & love God had given her.  He taught me so much about Himself during this past year. I saw myself in Esther. I remembered the times that I have acted that way towards my Heavenly Father. I have kicked, screamed, disobeyed, grieved what I wanted for my life instead of realizing that He knew what was best and that He loved me more than I could ever comprehend. You see I love all of my children more than they will ever understand. There is nothing they could do good or bad to increase or decrease my love for them. Our Heavenly Father feels the same way towards each of use. He created us in our mother's womb. He focused on every little detail & knows every hair on our head. Just like I can not make the past disappear for my girls. I can help them, love them, encourage them, and most of all show them how much their Heavenly Father loves them & chases after them. This morning during my quiet time I read the following from a devotional by

priscilla: a yes beyond measure

  Sisters, do not be surprised when God uses you for the Kingdom. Do not be surprised when His plans for you are greater than the plans you imagine for yourself.
Saying yes to the Lord goes far beyond logistics. It goes beyond a block in our schedules, a note in our planners. It reaches beyond the gifts we feel comfortable using, beyond the box that our status and culture and insecurities would like us to live within.
A yes said to the Lord is impossible to qualify on earth because it is kingdom business. It has eternal repercussions, soul-changing ripples that reach all the way to Heaven’s shore.
I want to ingest this and make it my prayer every day. You see friends as hard as this past year has been I know that God knew where we would be now, a year later. I see my girls embracing the love, claiming us as their family, believing they are beautiful. A year later if you see them they have a glow that they did not have a year ago. This is NOT anything Luther & I have done but is only from God. Yes we listened to him but still made mistakes. Yes we trusted Him but not 100% of the time. And yet God is faithful. He took our imperfect selves & has used it to show off. I can not wait to see what the next year holds. I know there will be tough times but God will be faithful. It might not look like what I think it should because remember it is kingdom business not Ronda's plans that are important. 

Monday, June 11, 2012


Our case was submitted to the US Embassy in Ethiopia on May 29th. We have been waiting for this since we arrived home from our first trip. We knew that it could take anywhere from three to eight weeks to be submitted. Our agency had to gather a lot of paperwork before they could submit it. I wish I could say this part has been easy but it hasn't. This has been the most difficult part of the process. After our time in Ethiopia I have wanted nothing more than to bring my daughters home. I have spent time with them, loved on them, & then had to leave them half way across the world. I spend my days wondering what they are doing, how they have changed, do they feel sad or lonely. It is an awful feeling, but I know that God has a perfect plan. He knew that we would have to all go through this part of the journey. It has definetly changed me.

Tomorrow, June 12, our girls' uncle will be testifying before the embassy. I know this will be very difficult for him as he discusses the passing of his sister, the birth mother to our girls. He has been traveling to Addis from Mekele to do this. This is at least a two day journey. I have been praying for his heart as he prepares for this part of the process. I had hoped to get to go to Ethiopia early so I could meet him, but the embassy discourages travel until a Embassy appointment date is given. This only happens after the birth family interview. I tried several avenues to see if they would make an exception, but it was not part of God's plan.

Please pray with us that the interview with the uncle will go well. We hope that we can get on a plan this weekend to get our girls & bring them home forever. We miss them so much!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

This Mother's Day

I never imagined all God had planned for me. I mean last Mother's Day I didn't know that I would now be able to say that I am a mama to 4 beautiful girls. I never imagined how blessed I would feel today & if I'm honest-afraid. I mean I do not know how all of this will turn out. Those of you who know me know that I am a planner. Well...that has changed. I haven't been able to plan much since last October. But I can say that God has changed me. He has totally molded me through this process. I don't know why, but I know that I am not the same person I was 7 months ago. God has opened my eyes. I want all children to be able to be held when they are scared, fed a descent meal, & tucked in with a kiss at night. It broke my heart (and stll doess) to know there are children living on the street, eating from dumps, and having to sleep on the ground all over the world. I am so thankful that God chose to save our girls. As some of you know our Esther could have been one of those children on the street. It is just by the grace of our heavenly father we will bring her home with us. I am so thankful to be the mother of 4 girls that I love more than myself. I am thankful for getting a chance to love & care for them. Thank you Lord for allowing me to love & care for Gabrielle, Grace, Esther, & Emma.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ethiopia Trip 1 Day 4

Today was our last day in Ethiopia. We got up for our last breakfast in our hotel. We ate and then Luther came back to the room and got sick. We think it was something he ate the day before. He didn't want to miss a day with the girls so he rested a bit. He took some nausea medicin. He decided that he could go and just take it easy. We then left on the bus for Hannah's Hope for the last visit. I could not believe that I would be getting on a plane and leaving my girls in Ethiopia. I decided I would not think about the leaving and just enjoy hugging and kissing on them for this last day. We drove up and pulled in. Emma B was playing and ran to the van with a huge smile on her face. We couldn't get out fast enough. Emma Bwas in the van as soon as the door opened. She jumped on Luther and hugged him as tight as she could before he could get out of the van. Then she did the same to me as Esther K was hugging Luther. It was so great to feel how happy they were to see us. It is so hard to explain how we have connected in just these four short days. It is evident that God prepared their hearts and answered my prayers. I know we will be going through transitions and struggles on this journey but this sure is a beautiful beginning. The rest of our day was spent playing, hugging, talking, and laughing together.  Luther rested on the couch but was able to still spend quality time with the girls. They were both so sweet to him.

We came back to the hotel around 4:30pm. We finished packing, took showers, ate supper, and rested before going to the airport. We flew out about 10:55 pm. I really felt a saddness as our plane took off and I knew that Ester K and Emma B were going to be a world away. I do know from my days at Hannah's Hope that my girls will be loved and taken care of while they are there. The mama in me justs wants them home with me. I am praying boldly that we will get our Embassy appointment very soon. My girls know that we are not there and I want to get them home, but I know that the Lord knows the plan and I am trusting him through this next step of our journey.

Ethiopia Trip 1 Day 3

Leaving our hotel to go to court to adopt our girls
We are the proud parents of Ester K and Emma B
We went to court this morning (April 25, 2012). Esther K and Emma B are official our daughters. We are so excited but in our eyes they have been our daugthers since March 9th (our referral day). We were in love with them before we came but I can say that we are even more in love with them now. After court we were able to get some lunch and we picked up a few pieces of artwork at a gallary connected to the restaurant. Afterwards we were able to go to Hannah's Hope. It was not on our schedule to go today but we could not imagine going a day with out seeing our girls.  So we asked Almaz if we could skip the shopping on the schedule to be with our girls. I am so glad we did. They were so excited when we arrived. They screamed and ran up to us and gave us big hugs and kisses. It was wonderful to know they were happy to see us. We got to stay about 4 hours. Emma B. crawled up in my lap and fell asleep. It was another precious time I will not forget. Luther and Esther K drew and played on the ipod touch. After Emma B woke up we ate a snack and colored. We then played with some of the other kids as they were taking turns getting their baths and pjs on. All of the children are so wonderful. It is amazing to see each of them and how God created them. I feel so blessed to be able to say that I know each one of them. They all have definetly impacted my life.
Me and Almaz (She runs Hannah's Hope)-
She is a great lady and loves the children.
I am so glad we got to spend time with her.

Esther K drawing while Emma B slept

Emma B taking a nap on mommy

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ethiopia Trip 1 Day 2

We had a great day. We went to see the girls. They were so happy to see us. Both of them ran up to us. We picked them up and they gave us really big hugs. We spent time playing, jumping rope, & coloring. Emma and daddy kicked the soccer ball around and acted silly. I pushed Esther on the swing. Then we jumped rope with all of the older kids. They are all so amazing. It is so great to see them laugh and smile. The special mothers take such good care of them. I know they are sad to see them go because they really do love them. It is comforting to know they are in such good hands while we have to be away from them. It rained a little off and on throughout the day. The temperture was amazing. I could not have asked God to give us a better day. Around nap time Emma got upset. She let me take her, hold her, & she laid over on me and fell asleep. It was probably the most precious part of the day. Once she woke up she just wanted to lay on me and was so relaxed. We know she has been struggling with everything so this was such a wonderful thing to happen. We are so in love with them. After we left Hannah's Hope we went shopping with the Conroy family. They are also here adopting a daughter from Hannah's Hope.We were able to buy some traditional clothing for all 4 of our girls. Finally we returned to the hotel and ate supper. God continues to show us He is present in each step of this journey.
On our way to Hannah's Hope to see the girls
Daddy and Emma B playing
Playing on the ipad and ipod touch