Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Movin' In ... and Movin' On!

Today was a big day... we finally got Aaron moved into his new room today. I still have a few finishing touches, but he will sleep in his new digs tonight!! "Praise the Lord!" Here's a picture of him movin' in.
Now we're movin' on to the next thing...

Oh yea... I almost forgot... WE ARE GOING TO ETHIOPIA TO PICK UP OUR CHILDREN!!! We have an Embassy date on April 10th! We will meet our children for the first time on Monday, April 9th. We plan to have our children home on April 14th. So many have offered prayers and support throughout this entire process... God is always faithful... Thanks to all who have generously offered donations. Here's a small sampling of what we are able to take with us for the orphanages we visit:

Boxes of Granola Bars
Medical Supplies
Dozens of Pencils
Pain Reliever
Stuffed Animals
Jump Ropes
Matchbox Cars
Coloring Books
School Supplies
Happy Meal toys
Soccer Balls
... and clothes, clothes, clothes!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Observe the Lilies…

And so with three new kids coming into the house after we had already given away all of our (bios’) outgrown clothes, we wondered how in the world we were going to be able to outfit the new kids. And then Jesus spoke… “And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.” (Matt. 6:28-29)

Today, Kris and the kids went through 5 bags of clothes that were brought to us last night. Some of these clothes will stay here; some will go to Ethiopia to be delivered to the orphanages we visit. Praise the Lord! I am learning through firsthand experiences exactly what Jesus spoke of that day. My questions as the husband and father sound like this… “What shall we eat?” What shall we drink?” “With what shall we clothe ourselves?” “How do I take care of 7 children, Lord?” “Did I hear You correctly, Lord?” “Did You really say… ‘more kids’?”

And Jesus said… "Brent,… Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Okay Lord. Okay. Aren’t the lilies beautiful?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Making Room... Why Can't It Be Us?

Work on the basement bedroom has been progressing steadily... thank God! I hope to paint this weekend. And then carpet, and Aaron can move in! It is amazing to me what changes are taking place just so that we can make room for three new lives to join us soon. Very soon, we hope! Still no Embassy date, but we know it is coming. Watching these men sacrifice their Saturday, and then thinking back almost 12 months to the start of our adoption process, I got to thinking about how the practical, physical reality of building a bedroom in our basement is sort of like God doing a renovation in our hearts so that we can find room for others. When our family first started down this path, we had a "family meeting" in one of the upstairs bedrooms, and we sat and talked about the "what ifs" for about an hour. The kids were so great with this. We talked through as many different scenarios as we could think of... and then it was Ellie that said, "Someone has to love those kids! Someone has to help take care of them! Why can't it be us? Why can't it be us? I love them already! Why can't it be us?"

It was that night that I knew for sure that God had made room in my heart, and I was watching Him make room in my wife's heart and our children's hearts. Why can't it be us? God is in the renovation business. He can take a selfish heart like mine and he can strip it to the bare walls. Then He can turn around and start to fill up that new space with His building blocks... Love and Peace and Joy, Faith and Trust, Mercy and Forgiveness. He is a Master Builder! He has made room for us, and He has made room for one more, or two more, and one or two more, and more. He has moved in and He has filled that space. It is because of Christ that we are making room for others. It is because of Christ that these men give of themselves. It is because of Christ that we can now say in complete confidence... "Why can't it be us?" It can be us, because of Christ. PRAISE THE LORD! Have you made room for Him?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

To Embassy or Not To Embassy...

We're waiting to hear about our Embassy date. It has been said it could be April 3rd or April 10th. I wonder when we'll know for sure? I wonder if our new kids know what an "embassy" is? There are so many things we need to do before we fly...sell a van, buy a van; finish a bedroom, rearrange bedrooms, repaint bedrooms, fill bedrooms with furniture, (will someone please clean out the garage!) Did I mention the bedrooms? What are we forgetting?

Kris is busy gathering clothes for the new Long children. The trip is coming and soon we will be flying high - on our way to pick up our own children in a foreign land. That sounds wild. That means we have children that belong to us, with our last name, that we've never met, that we are legally responsible for, in another country, half way around the world. Who can figure that out?

We have been blessed by so many... God has a way of utilizing His people to serve in so many ways. A few names come to mind just from last weekend... Mark, Mark, Greg, Dave, El, Aaron. Wow! Thanks for Godly men that offer their time and talent. (Did I mention the bedrooms?)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Closer than you think

I remember several years ago, I was driving back from a day trip to visit a client. After 75 minutes or so, I was only about 30 minutes from home. I thought about how close I was to being home, and about the fact that Kris and the kids had no idea I was this close. Then I was suddenly overwhelmed with the thought that Jesus knows exactly how close He is to coming back... and when He comes, He will be taking me home with Him! I know He is coming... His Word says so. Ever stop to think how close He is?

Our court date was successful yesterday! (Praise the Lord!) I want to tell our new kids that we are closer than they think. We're on our way, and we'll be there soon. I imagine the Father's arms wide open to embrace me... He is excited to welcome me into His home. He paid in full (through the blood of Christ) my adoption. We're coming kids... you belong to our family now! I can't wait to hold you, to embrace you. I want to introduce you to your new big brother and your new sisters. I want to introduce you to Jesus... because when He comes back, He'll be coming for you as well! He could be closer than we think...