December 2008 - Aaron and Whitney decide to begin the adoption process through All God's Children.
*During this time, Brian and I are attending church and going about our church routine on Sundays, and then busy as ever during the week. I was pregnant with Braydon and we were running wild through Brian and Mason's soccer schedules.
May 20, 2009 - My adorable nephew (Mekele) was born, however, none of us knew what was to come in just a few short months. We were all completely unaware of who he was, where he was, or how he would come to play such an important role in so many lives.
June 2009 - Mason had his 3rd surgery for his cleft. (For those of you who do not know, Mason was born with a unilateral cleft lip and bilateral cleft pallate.) This was such a trying time because for this surgery Mason was semi-aware of what was going on. The mistake I made was that I didn't turn to my Lord Jesus Christ like I should have. I tried to take this one on by myself and I actually wondered to myself why it was so hard...silly to think back about this. (I WAS raised in the church, I had already committed by life to Christ, I had accepted him as my savior, I even knew what God was capable of...yet ignorantly it didn't occur to me that He can pull me through ANY and EVERYTHING, including this.) The reason for this surgery was because his nasal cavity was collapsing and he couldn't breathe correctly. 5 days after Mason's surgery (they had to do a nasal and lip reconstruction) he fell and busted his face, which did mess up a portion of the correction part of the surgery...which means that there will be another surgery sooner than if he had't decided to flip over the side of the chair and bust his nose on the floor.
July 6, 2009 - Braydon Jacob was born to us...I realized that it is a WHOLE NEW BALLGAME WITH 3 BOYS!!! Throughout my pregnancy, I thought that I was so disappointed that I wasn't having a girl...and then realized that all boys can be a blast! But...then months later I now have a outlook on this too!! Who knows, MAYBE God didn't give me a biological little girl because he knew that I would be answering his call to pull me into the missions and adoption worlds. MAYBE I have a little girl out there somewhere!!! Who knows!!
July 2009 - I think Braydon was 2 weeks old - Pin Oaks Christian Fellowship hosted their first Vacation Bible School - CHANGED OUR LIVES
In the Fall of 2008 - Brian and I chose to explore various church options with the hopes of finding a stable and engaging youth program for the boys. We had been attending church all along, but had not yet found a church home that we felt fit the entire family. Then Aunt Whitney told us about how POCF was having their VBS. Brian and I decided we should take Mason to this, it would help get him out of the house and it would be a great experience for him! It was his FIRST VBS ever...and BOY are we glad we did that! The experience for Mase was phenomenal. Mason was excited about church, he was making friends, he actually opened up a little bit, and he asked us if we could always go to this "new church". The "light" that we saw in our young 4 year old's eyes instantaneously made the decision for Brian and I - from that point on we would attend Pin Oaks Christian Fellowship.
--------Brian and I have stayed true to this decision even though we were thrown through the wringer here at home throughout the entire Fall of 2009.
September 2009 - My eyes began to open for what seemed like the first time in a REALLY long time! My sister-in-law, Whitney, called me one afternoon extremely pumped up and in tears of joy exclaiming that after the long process throughout the year 2009, they had finally had a referral and they had been matched with the boy who would hopefully soon be their son. I don't remember exactly what I was doing at that moment, but I do know that I became extremely emotional and aware of various aspects of the adoption process that I had not been aware of prior to this day. I didn't get the whole story over the phone but Aaron and Whitney came over that evening. (This is when the seed was planted and I began to have thoughts that I considered to be ludicrous and unrealistic for myself, which now I know that I was insane for not trusting these thoughts as God working in my, softening me up to new possibilities!) As was to be expected, Whitney and I were extremely emotional over the fantastic news of the placement of baby A into the Pratt family! Brian and I were extremely blessed to have them share their baby's story with us and to be able to begin praying for this specific little angel whom we couldn't wait to meet!
Sept. - November 23, 2009 - The fall semester was challenging for Brian and I. I had strep throat every other weekend for 10 weeks. If you look for a blessing inside these months...aside from the many many daily blessings that the Lord gives us...I ended up only being sick from Friday - Mondays...I didn't have to take a single sick day due to the strep crisis! With 3 babies under 5, I always feel like I can't afford to take a sick day for myself.
After missing a ton of church, but watching Brian gain more and more of a comfort level within our church...he got to where he would take all 3 boys to church by himself. And, not only on Sunday mornings...he attended a chili cook off with our 3 rugrats in tow...and me in bed once again trying to beat the infection.
November 21 - My little sister got married to her amazing husband!
November 23 - I had my tonsils taken out...WHOA!! That is the most painful experience I have ever had! Can you believe this though: I still tried to do most of this on my own!
Intermission: Now, when I say that I tried to do these things on my own, without God...I still said my daily prayers, but I never thought to ask for help! Seems so idiotic to me now!! Now, I still thought about how amazing things were for Aaron and Whitney and their new baby! They passed court and they waited for their travels dates.
December 2009 - Aaron and Whitney began their travels on the 8th - met their angel on the 13th, got delayed and missed their expected arrival time on the 18th and finally made it home on the 19th. Now...here is where things go BIG...for me (this is so bizarre because of how this was so NOT about me or my family...but it impacted me so deeply...just a great example of how God works in our lives). During the time that they were gone, I thought about it constantly...I was so worried about them when they were delayed on the 18th. That might have something to do with my need to know what is going on all the time!! (J/K...I just get so irritated when things are communicated to Brian and then he can't remember exactly what was said!!! We laugh about it now!) So on Friday night at 9:45, I was on the computer looking up flight information that we were HOPING that A & W with M would be coming in on, I was on the phone with Brian who was at his dad's house and they were talking. I got a beep and I told Brian to hang on...I thought it might have been someone in Whitney's family or from church, curious about the arrival times for the following morning. I clicked over and it was Whitney and she was letting me know that they had arrived in New York City!!!!!!!! Of course I started bawling my eyes out...like a child!!! She was trying to give me as much information as she could about their arrival the next morning, about their beautiful new baby boy, Mekele, and about their trip. Of course there wasn't enough time...but what I did have time for was to actually STOP and recognize the work of God that was taking place. This is when I acknowledged what was transpiring within myself.
The next morning, this is when it ALL wrapped itself up and became the "slap" in the face that I needed to get my priorities in order. I wrote about the morning of the arrival of my nephew Mekele in a previous post.
God does not do things "by chance." He has it all planned out, things don't happen on accident. I met with an amazing woman this past Wednesday and let me tell you...I firmly believe that God brings people together FOR A REASON. Something that I acknowledged and was reminded of at this get together with Laura is that God doesn't waste anything. People have certain knowledge, training, experience, and passions...they are given to us for a reason. Everyone is given a gift, (1 Corinthians 12) - in my last post I discussed how I plan on changing my life to make a difference...and I am proud to say that I am ALREADY seeing changes in my life, my family, my relationship with God, etc.
I have stayed true to my goals so far...and now that 2010 is upon us...there's no telling what will happen, not that I have acknowledged God's love and the amazing things that can happen when I open myself up to actually HEAR what he is saying to me.
I am thankful for my parents for raising me with God in our home, with the stability of church, and for modeling Christian choices and behavior. I am blessed with my family (Brian, Mason, Canon, and Braydon), they are truly a phenomenol team to have behind me. I value my friendships, including the old ones that continue to get stronger, and the new ones that are to special to my heart and I pray they continue to grow and strengthen and continue on for years and years to come!
Now, as I am heading into this new year...I have a mission, a mission for my life and a mission to impact others' lives. As my friend, Laura says, ONE CHILD AT A TIME. I am going to Honduras in March during Spring Break this year...I am praying that God utilizes my gifts and talents, my love for people...especially children; my love of education, and my desire to make a difference. Please pray for my journey as I know that this will not be a 1 TIME mission...I pray that the missions becomes a significant part of my life...something that NEVER ends.
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