Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Simply:: adoption {Haas part 2}

When we arrived in Colroado this past Christmas I was not sure what to expect. It had been years since I had last visited and my friendships had gone a little quiet. There had been no falling outs or tough endings, just the silence that occurs when one moves accross the country.. and then moves again.. and then moves again...and then moves again.  We had arranged to stay a couple of nights with one of my college roommates and then planned a play date the next morning with another, and some other much missed friends. As my husband and I made the drive into Ft. collins I quickly became overwhelmed. Every street, every corner looked different... and yet every building seemed to hold memories tied directly into my heart. Good Bad and Ugly. Before I could stop it there were tears. And then we got there and there She was, my sweet friend. And there were more tears. To be reunited feels so good. Sometimes its a little painful too. Dawn and I  might be missing the day to day memories that friendships who dont have to battle a country wide gap do not, but I still know this girl. I know her because I know her heart for Jesus. I love knowing where she was, and seeing where she is now.
I remember when Matt first started coming around our house in college. He liked to bring his lawn mower over and take care of our yard, which happened to be just outside her window. I wont comment on the fact that he often did this while I was trying to nap. I watched him patiently pursue her, bringing flowers and making sweet gestures constantly. I remember his infectious laugh filling our girls house (where 5 of us lived for two years). I remember when I was in the hospital having Ayden that his family provided food for all of the crowd that had gathered to await my sweet ones birth. A family serving someone they had never even met. It was not always easy, but I remember in those early days watching Dawn seek the Lord as she waited for His answer to their love story.  I love getting to see where Matt has faithfully led Dawn. Their life has not been problem free. His job is weather dependent, and their second baby was born very premature, but through it all they have held on to each other and more importantly to the Cross. When we joined them in their home for a meal during our vacation, you could physically touch the love in their home. It was palpable, real, and joyful. The baby who comes home to them will be so loved. I can not wait to see how she completes their precious family. I am so excited to watch as God continues to weave their beautiful story.
Would you like to be a thread in that story?
 Starting tomorrow, March 1st I am happy to announce that I will be hosting an online fundraiser for Dawn and Matt and baby "Jessa". Jessa is a name God gave Dawn a while ago as she prays for her daughter. While I was there we looked up its meaning. Hebrew for God Sees. You can't make that up friends! God is watching this little girl and has always planned for her to be in their arms.
 Dawn has been working very dilligently on a My Thirty One home buisness. All of her income is going straight  towards bringing this baby home. Starting tomorrow I will be hosting an online party in which you can make purchases from the very cool  mythirtyone catalog and have a direct hand in bringing this child home. Adoption is expensive. No way around that. Did you know even a pivate american adoption can cost nearly $30,000?  Adoption takes money friends. No matter where the baby comes from. I only say this because I think there is a lot of misundersatanding out there that people think international adoption is somehow buying a baby. This is not the time to clarify that, but I wanted to be sure to tell you that this family is as honest as they get. They live in a home that Matt saved dilligently all through college to make a down payment on. They live simply and not extravegantly and are adopting because they feel called to do it, and desire to adopt.. not just get a baby by any means necessary. Dawn and Matt are pursing the adoption of a special needs child. This could mean a whole lot, or a whole little, but it means something. Their child will need specialized medical care when it comes home. Care that costs money. They still need to raise, save and earn nearly $15,000. They are open and honest and are happy to accept help. God will provide for this need as he has their entire marriage. He is El Roi, the God who Sees.  So here is where you come in. Starting tomorrow my party on Dawn's website will be open. All you do is shop. :-) Items start at 2$ for a nail file and go up from there. To sweeten the deal I AM HOSTING MY FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!  Tune in tomorrow for entry details. LETS GET SHOPPING!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Simply::adoption {Haas part 1}

I'm struggling to even begin this post. I don't know where to begin because there is so much I want to share. I think we should start at the beginning. The year; 1999. The place; Denver Colorado. I was a recent high school graduate and my father a recent transferee at work.We spent the summer in his corporate apartment and then moved my parents into their new house in the Denver suburbs. It was a rotten summer. To be fair, my parents did everything they could to help me, but I was in between high school and college and thought I had left everything I loved behind.
Towards the end of the summer I got my letter from school telling me my roommate assignment. I don't know if I had ever been as nervous to open a piece of paper in my life to that point. I was terrified. What if she was crazy? What if she snored? What if she partied? what if... oh my goodness, heaven forbid.. What if she was a cheerleader? Looking back I laugh at myself knowing what God planned, but at the time it was difficult to see past the nose on my face. Looking at the interest sheet the school sent me I noticed that she had noted, just as I had, that she was a Christian. Her name was Dawn (aren't all cheerleaders named Dawn?) but I somehow got the nerve up to call her and we had a great first conversation. We immediately seemed to get along well and when we met at welcome weekend I immediately knew that things would work out great.
1999, before a Rams game
2000, one of many late night ice cream runs
Who needs a man when you have Ben and Jerry's?
When people ask me what to pray for as they enter college, or their child does... I say pray for a Dawn. Pray for the roommate you need. Pray for who will push you, and grow you, and love you. That first day of college is one of those "I'll always remember what I was wearing" kind of days (khaki cargo skirt and Hawaiian shirt). After moving in and kicking our parents out we headed out for welcome week activities. Unlike Texas schools where welcome week is all about the brain washing (just kidding... or am I....) loyalty building, school spirit initiation, ours was more of a Greek week "join us!" kind of deal, so she called a friend from home who was an older student and we bailed. We ate walrus Ice cream. My life was changed.
Later that night I would get a phone call from my mother telling me that my brother in laws sister, just a few years older than I, had died in a car accident. Dawn let me cry and didn't act like it was craziness to be helping your brand new roommate grieve. This was only the beginning. We spent the year celebrating highs and lows, connected in ways that only God could have ordained. We both came into our freshman year with high school sweethearts back at home. We both left the year without without them. We hilariously choreographed nsync dance numbers and preformed them nightly. We practiced walking down the aisle, aka, the dorm hallway to Jim Brickman music. (I have to admit here that when it came time to plan my own wedding I did use ALL Jim Brickman music for my entire ceremony, I LOVED it). We had one of those friendships that was just so special. Anne Voskamp wrote this week of a beautiful friendship turned sour. I cant tell you how many times sour pickles were thrown at our friendship. We've had years pass with near silence. But this Christmas I got to go see her, share a morning playing with our kids and then that evening share a meal with her and her husband. It felt like nothing had changed between our hearts. The day to day details were missing, but THANKS to facebook and blog land we at least had some understanding of the details of each others lives. A detail that I was not prepared for... Adoption. The same friend I shared history classes, biology lab, broken hearts, secret nicknames,a love for memory keeping, a love for Jesus.... God has also given us the same heart for adoption. For his lost ones. For a daughter. I had no idea how far in to her adoption she was though. "Ready to receive referrals" what? already? I had been so focused on Becky and Briggs and thinking the trip this Christmas was to celebrate our Ethiopian Prince that i was not prepared to realize that a Chinese Princess was about to be claimed! My heart jumps just thinking about it! So soon, within weeks hopefully, Dawn and her husband Matt will be accepting a referral. A child. They will claim a child as theirs and submit paperwork formally to China requesting that they be given the privilege of raising her. The joy of bringing her home. I am so excited, and since Dawn does not blog I get to bring this to you! I got to sing at her wedding, but for some reason i feel even more honored to be a part of this. In the next few days I'll be sharing lots more about my sweet friend and letting you in on an easy and fun way you can help be a part of her story too! So come back soon!! You won't want to miss this!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Simply:: {fixes}

Notice the major change to the blog today? What, you cant see it? Really? well of course you cant. The change is that I am typing on my laptop, curled up on my couch with my babies tucked into the couch watching a movie beside me. This, my friends, is my favorite place to blog... but for over a 18 months its been an impossibility. One day I was sitting on my laptop and it started beeping at me. Then it turned itself off. When it came back on it asked me for a password. Say what? A password. No idea where to go with that we asked around and no one seemed to have any ideas. Then Silas was born, we moved and my poor laptop found a home in the back of the closet, awaiting a rescuer. {Enter} our new church and the swarm of men who go there and also happen to work with computers for the local college. Not that we are opportunists or anything but my darling husband convinced one of them to give it a go and see if they could fix it. This same person had sent out a request for computers and parts recently so I figured he could try, realize it was hopeless and then use the parts for himself. I was hoping I would at least get my files and pictures out of the deal. Never did I expect to actually be able to use it again! So honestly, I'm a Little overwhelmed. There is so much I've wanted to blog about, but the thought of sitting at my horrible desktop that is super slow and frustrating was not appealing. I tried to blog from my phone and that was not happening.
     So we'll start here.. back with community fixing our needs. How many times has this happened before? We move and argue with God and seek our own community for  a year or so.. then we obey and voila. Community. It happened in Shreveport, and in  College Station and has happened again.We moved here, immediately searched for PCA churches,visited, and then immediately decided to go to the giant church instead. Why do I do this? Why do I think my methods of finding community are so much better than His? While I did make some friends, and learned that Beth Moore does have something to offer to even the reformed, we were not growing the roots necessary for spiritual growth nor were finding opportunity to serve. So back to the PCA and immediate community. We love this small body of eager believers. We love being able to ask for help, even for long lost laptops... and find it. I've been able to have ladies over for coffee,host a Christmas party and get to meet weekly with women more eager to search the word and encourage one another than to whine about circumstances and gossip about those who aren't there. We are finding fellowship as a family with other similarly aged families, and at the same time learning from older families and seeing opportunities to bless younger ones.  Loneliness, fixed. Spiritual plateau, by Gods Grace fixed. {Computer, fixed}.

Hows about a few photo gems that are no longer locked in the dark abyss of a broken laptop... Oh I've missed these!