Imagine With Me…..A God Sized Dream #MFCC

It’s been a while since you’ve received an Ottinger update, so today I hope to bring you up to speed and ask for your help for an important venture!!!!

As you know Mark and I have a huge crazy big heart for adoption and foster care.

In addition to growing our own family in through adoption:

  • We have had the honor and privilege of walking with hundreds of families through their personal adoption and foster care process.
  • We have been blessed with the opportunity to teach and train thousands of parents locally and across the US in healing attachment and healthy homes.
  • We have advocated for waiting children that are now safely home.
  • We have also seen God open up a thriving relationship with the Department of Children’s Services here in Shelby Co.

Over the last decade, through our personal journey and the journeys of those around us we have been come acutely aware for the need for a holistic care team of professionals for families and children.

There are many parents who desire to grow their family via adoption and foster care but are ill equipped for the challenges ahead as they begin to parent a child that has experienced loss, trauma, or harm. Families and marriages struggle. Children struggle. Despair and hopelessness grab hold.

The best of intentions don’t carry the family through the difficult transitions and day to day demands of parenting a child with a unique set of needs. Nor do they help parents when they begin to see their own need for support, healing, and care.

Specific trauma-informed care, support, and education are vital – literally a life line for a sinking family. For almost 15 years we have been dreaming and praying for a place that can meet these important needs.

  • Imagine a place where every child that was adopted or in foster care feels safe, loved and ready to heal.
  • Imagine a place where children are able to freely express their loss, fear and shame with compassionate adults.
  • Imagine a place where the unique physical and neurological needs of children who have been exposed to trauma and neglect can be understood by educated professionals.
  • Imagine a place where parents who are struggling with their own attachment and connection can be cared for and supported without shame or judgment. 
  • Imagine a place where adoptive and foster parents have the chance to experience true connection and care from those who are ahead on the journey.
  • Imagine a place where siblings of adopted or foster children are able to express their thoughts and feelings with therapists that understand.

Over the past two years we’ve worked hard to provide such a place. We’ve now put together a team that is diligently working on opening the:

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Memphis Family Connection Center is a holistic adoption and foster care support center built on REAL HOPE, healing, community, support, education and care for the entire family. A place where families learn to move from simple survival to deep connection, awareness and joy.

And now, we need your help! Here’s a few ways you can help us communicate and connect:

  1. Today (December 1st) we launched our first-ever online giving campaign. This effort will enable us to begin construction and renovation on our new space. We invite you to give towards this, share the need with others, talk about it with your family, your friends your coworkers. We have a God-sized goal – $45,000 – but we believe it can happen!

https://givingtuesday.razoo.com/story/Mfcc-Prepourplace

2) Join our mailing list to get regular updates! We want to keep you informed of God’s move on behalf of this new effort.

http://eepurl.com/bC2XwP

3) Join us on Twitter or Facebook, and share this effort through social media! We can only spread the word with your help.

Facebook: http://eepurl.com/bC2XwP

Twitter: https://twitter.com/memphisfamilycc

Adoptive and foster families need a village of care and support to wrap around them. Will you partner with us in that work? We need you!

Thank you and as always – BLESSINGS!!!

Tona

Hong Kong, Healing, and Homecoming

The moment you experience and touch your child’s culture for the first time with them when they are old enough to understand and take it all in, is overwhelming in the most amazing and beautiful way.

I have been a teary mess all morning. Sure it could be…….exhaustion, jet lag, the anticipation of seeing Fin and Mae in a few short days, the unknowns with Fin’s health, but more than anything today my tears belong to Mallie.

They are all hers.

As we planned our trip to China we were given an option of coming through Beijing (what most adoptive parents do) or coming through Hong Kong. For us there was no question – Hong Kong. Mallie’s city. While I wish we were experiencing the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square I would NOT TRADE these day in Hong Kong with Mallie for anything in the world.

Seeing her feel, taste, hear, smell, and experience Hong Kong is AMAZING. It is touching, something beautiful and deep and real in her heart, in a way nothing else ever could. Being the majority. Being with her people. Walking the same streets her birth mom walked. Eating her “happy” food. JUST BEING HERE. It is such a gift. One I knew I would treasure…but never could have imagined it would be this fantastic. Her love tank is so so full.

Happy Homecoming Mallie.

Mommy and Daddy are storing this time up with you in your city sweet girl. We love you like crazy!!!

 

 

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Taking off my mask and letting the grief ooze on out….

Sometimes the hard, and real, and raw need to be shared

Sometimes we need to pull back the mask and let the real coming oozing out

Sometimes we do it for us

Sometimes we do it for others

Sometimes it creates space for others to share – to feel

Sometimes it creates space for us process – to  heal

Sometimes it is just the right thing to do

Sometimes it is time

It is time

It is time to share my sadness. My grief. My loss

I have been holding on to it for weeks out of fear

Fear that sharing would leave me misunderstood

Fear that sharing would steal away from my precious Fin

Fear it would steal away from his story. His preciousness

If I shared how I was deeply grieving for the little boy we did not get (see Broken Hallelujah) then maybe you, they, everyone would question

Maybe you would question my love for Fin. My joy for Fin. My excitement over being HIS mom

But I decided to trust you

To trust that you would have the ability to offer me space for both

Space to both grief over what isn’t and joy for what is

I believe we have capacity for both

For both grief and joy

We prayed for months and months for a little boy and we longed for him to be our son with all of our hearts. God said no

That is not easy. It is painful. It is hard. It is ripping me up inside

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching work over the last few months

Why is this so hard?

What about this situation makes it so difficult for me?

A few days ago I realized this is my “loss”

This is my “thing”

This is the “thing I have hoped and longed for but it is not going to be fulfilled” thing

You see I have infertility

I had a full hysterectomy before age 30

But I did not grieve my infertility the way most women do

Infertility was not my “thing”

I questioned myself for years. Maybe I should have felt more? Grieved more? What is wrong with me that I did not weep and grieve the way most women with infertility do? Was I shut off emotionally? I had older women push back on me when I said “I was ok”, “fine”, and “it is no big deal to me”

But you see……when we found out we would never conceive, we already had two beautiful babies at home. Camden and Mia were already ours. We started our family through adoption. When we wanted children we chose adoption first.

I KNEW with every part of me that I was fulfilled. I never had to feel a baby kick inside of me to be satisfied.

So I never grieved infertility b/c I never felt like I longed for a child I would not have.

I had the children I longed for. If and when we longed for more children, adoption was a gift that we would gladly receive again.

I know that my story of infertility is so deeply different from most ladies I met and talked with. In fact, I often avoid talking about it altogether , because I don’t really relate and I never ever want to steal away from the pain, loss, grief, or any part of someone else’s story because my process was different.

A few weeks ago, when I was crying out to the Lord about why I am still longing for this other little boy  too…..please don’t misunderstand me…it is not “instead of” my other kids…it is “too”…I want Camden, Mia, Mallie, Dax, Fin, Mae, AND him….it hit me…this is my “loss”….this is my “thing”

This is the only time I have longed for and loved a child this deeply and them NOT become ours. (I cried out over Fin and Mae…and look what the Lord has done!!!!!!)

I have no expectation that this will be another “Mae and Fin” story where God will do some crazy stuff and make them ours like He did them.

I really feel like this is my “loss”

My “thing”

The thing I have to grieve

My “Broken Hallelujah”

The “thing” that will allow me to touch the grief many other women feel as they walk miscarriages, infertility, failed adoptions, and unmet desires to be married. Please hear me….I am not saying these things are the same or compare equally to one another….but they all come with paralyzing loss as women. They are the losses of a feminine heart.

So I am sad.

I find myself taken by waves of loss that are deafening

ALL the while I am OVERWHELMINGLY blessed and crazy FULL OF JOY for what is and what is to come.

I am certain the story God is writing will blow us away. I am expecting that. I am clinging to that.

But….

I am giving myself space for both. No sugar-coating. No tying it up in a bow. No pat answers or quotes for this one.

Just hope, joy, and blessing sitting up next to pain, loss, and sadness.

And I am OK with that….

If you feel inclined to share your “thing”…. your “loss”….your “grief”……your “broken hallelujah” I would be honored to hear.

We need to hold space for one another,

Tona

 

 

 

 

 

How “Being Seen+Lavish Love=A Stroller”

A few weeks ago a nice, gently used, double stroller popped up for sale on a my facebook page. “Should I go ahead and buy it? It is only $75? But it is not really the colors I was hoping for. Maybe I should just wait? I have several months before I will need one. I have not even researched strollers in years. Is that a good price? I was really hoping for something neutral that would work for a boy and a girl…but maybe I should not be picky about colors. Maybe I should be happy with anything at a good price? But is this a good price? (hearing one of the kids call for my help from the other room) OK…I will wait.” Close computer. Move on.

Fast forward a week. At a local store. Walk by the baby section. The same stroller is sitting there shiny and new with a $199 price tag hanging from the handle. “Oh stink. I should have bought it when it was $75 and barley used. OK Lord….My fussy, color picky self, messed up. I should have bought it. Will you please provide another cost effective option? I will try my best to not be so picky about the color, but just for fun… can you maybe bless me with a simple gray or a nice light neutral green that will work for both a boy and a girl? Thank you for seeing me. I am trusting you know my heart and I will wait on you to provide” And I kept on walking.

At this point I should clarify all the above dialogue happened in MY HEAD…I do not talk to myself OUT LOUD!!!! =)

Fast forward to last week, while on vacation,  I got an email from a TOTAL STRANGER. We have a few friends in common but she found me via a liked tweet of a retweet of a friend that linked something that linked to something that led to a blog post where I mentioned having to prepare for the “are they twins question” about Fin and Mae for the rest of our lives.  Or stated another way….. she found me b/c God made a crazy GOD SIZED CONNECTION!!!

I will paraphrase but her email stated something to the effect of….

“My husband and I adopted a boy and girl several years ago from overseas. We have a STROLLER that I just had to have b/c it is SOOO FUN. It is called the “Boy Meets Girl Double Stroller by Valco”. It has been sitting in my basement and I have been waiting on God to show me the right family to GIFT it to. I know it seems crazy to reach out to a total stranger in a different state (she lives in GA) that I found online(via crazy God connecting) but I just KNOW you are suppose to have this stroller. Can we figure out a way to get it to you? Please don’t tell anyone who gave it to you. We just want you to have it. We love adoption and want to support you. Do you happen to need a stroller?”

UMMMM….insert my giddy ugly crying as I google “Boy Meets Girl Double Stroller” and see this gem…..

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and then I see that it is a Limited Edition stroller that costs $799. Yep $799.

OH MY STARS LORD!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS??? IS THIS FOR REAL???

Please don’t hear me say it is about the money. It is not. It is about BEING SEEN. BEING HEARD. BEING LOVED WITH LAVISH CRAZY GOD SIZED LOVE. And being blessed beyond my wildest dreams YET AGAIN!!!!!!

HE heard my measly plea of forgiveness over not buying a $75 stroller. HE saw my unnecessary guilt over being too picky about colors. HE KNOWS my heart. He KNOWS my desires….however silly they are. AND then HE BLEW ME AWAY with the CUTEST STINKING STROLLER that I DID NOT EVEN KNOW to ask for b/c I did not know it EXISTED!!!!!!!!!!

So guess what my in laws are doing right this minute in GA???

They are picking up my lovely Boy Meets Girl Blue and Pink Stroller from a dear lady who was a stranger last week and is now a dear friend!!! She is part of our God Story. Yet another bullet point in the long and growing list of His lavish grace and provision. This time in the form of a stroller.

I can’t wait to push those two cuties through the zoo, while singing praises to the God WHO SEES and HEARS!!!

T

 

 

 

Making Memories Without the Littles

My precious in laws treat us to a yearly vacation. We usually steal away to their time share in Orlando. Our days are filled with late mornings, slow days, multiple trips to the pools, outings to the local shops, and at least one day trip to the beach.

Today, Poppie treated the fellas to a day at LegoLand to celebrate Cam’s 14th and Dax’s 10th b-day. Dax said it was the best day of his life :).
Nana treated the girls to a shopping trip to the Vera Bradely Outlet. Tomorrow we plan to wade in the ocean at Cocoa Beach.

Sounds heavenly right? It is. This time together is much needed Sabbath rest. A break from the normal. Time to laugh, to lounge, to be together. A blessing beyond measure. We don’t take a moment of it for granted.

But today I am teary, heavy hearted, and raw. Part of our family is missing. We have two children that are not here. They are not in the family pictures. They. Are. Missing. Part of me is missing.

Stepping out of the mundane of normal life is like shinning a huge spot light on this painful truth. Making new memories without them is like pouring salt on a wound. Their absence is always a dull pain, but this week it is like a festering sore. Every dip in the pool and every crash of the salty water makes it sting even more.

I have noticed every toddler that walks by. Every mom and dad giggling with them, holding their hands, feeding them ice cream by the pool, and delighting in their presence. They remind me of the days we are missing. They take me to a new place of desperation where my heart literally feels like it is breaking inside my chest.

These days make me long for “our firsts” with Fin and Mae. Our first giggle. Our first family picture. Our first glimpse of their little toes. The first time they let us truly comfort them when their body melts into ours. Our first sleepless night when they are adjusting. Our first baths. Our first moments of time in the same room, inside the same walls, under the same roof…oh what a glorious day that will be.

But until that time, don’t mind me…you can just call me the “toddler stalker”

Waiting in hope,
Tona

We are going to be a family of E.I.G.H.T.- Meet our SON!!!

We are going to be a family of E.I.G.H.T.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got the pre approval today from China that we can adopt “Peanut”.

I am going to do my best to lay out some of the details of his story, but I need you to do me a favor OK? I need you to go back and read a few old posts before you scroll down and read any more of this entry. Can you do that for me???? PLEASE???????????

Click on the post Been a little while, what is on my mind from Dec 4th 2012 and read #2. (You can read the whole thing but #2 is important). Then come back here.

Next click on Highs, lows, hope from Dec 6th and read Low #1-#3. Then come back here.

Oh the Terrific Trio.

How I love them!!!!

The first sweet girl Yossell is of course our Mae Yossell. Beauty in a gift to us.

The other dear little girl Yanka has been healed completely and is dancing in the streets of heaven, basking in the delight of our Lord. Whole, healed, loved. Can not wait to met her in glory one day.

And then there is Quentin. Melt my heart. We have loved him since the day we saw him. Begged God for him. And……drum roll…… he is our SON. Through a series of God sized events, he became available for us to adopt on the VERY DAY that we learned the other sweet little boy we had been praying for was matched with another family. THE VERY SAME DAY. Not the day before or the day after. Not the month or year before. Not the month or year after. T.H.E. D.A.Y.

We had no idea God would make a way for him to be ours. It was a total out of nowhere  move of God.

But that is what God does right? He writes the best stories. Better than anything we could ever imagine.

So we would like to introduce you to…..

GRIFFIN “FIN” QUENTIN OTTINGER

Fin

 

I mean what a cutie right???????????

A few details for those inquiring minds!!!….

~Fin is 3 weeks older than Mae….so we are preparing to get the “Are they twins?” question for the rest of our lives =)

~Fin has the same liver condition as Mae, Biliary Atresia. He had one surgery to repair it and his health is stable for the time being. He may also require a liver transplant in the future.

~We first saw him in a Show Hope newsletter the MONTH after we saw Mae in Nov 2012.

~His English name in China was Quentin, which is a significant name for our family. First it means born 5th. He is our 5th child. Next it is the SAME name Dax was given at birth but a different spelling AND my full name is Quintona. God used Dax’s name being Quinton to confirm he was our son (different story for a different post) and we feel the same thing here. Just another sweet detail He wove into Fin’s story!!!

~Fin and Mae are in the SAME orphanage and live on the SAME floor!!! Both are being cared for by Show Hope via an organization called New Hope Foundation. They are getting great care and we are thankful!!!!!!

~We hope to pick them up together in late summer/early fall!!!!!!!!

~We will need to raise additional funds to help cover the extra cost of his adoption. More on that soon.

~We are thrilled to be blessed with another treasure. Let the boy shopping begin..oh wait it already did…I went today =)!!!!!!

Have more questions? Let me know!!! I will blog more soon!!!!!

Thank you for celebrating with us!!!!!!

Tona

Peanut Update

Just a quick update~we are waiting to get our pre approval from China saying we can move forward with adopting “peanut”.

As soon as we hear we will share a bit more of his story!!!!

Until then we are rocking and rolling along with paper work and yard sale prep.

We are doing a mega sale in May with some friends who are also adopting from China.  We are in the midst of gathering, sorting, and storing crazy amounts of donations. The kids said they feel like we live in a Goodwill.

We also had a nice bump up in our fundraising thermometer =). Thank you to all who have given!!!!! We are blown away by your generosity!!!!!

Hoping I can share more in a few days!

T

 

 

Beards, Tambourines, Seas, Baby Boys, Hope. Want to hope with us?

Today I bought a tambourine. Mark has been growing a beard. What do those things have in common? What do those things have to do with the Red Sea and a baby boy? Pregnant Hope.

It is complicated and very uncertain but we are ready to share. Ready to open up our hearts of hope to those who want to peek in.

Where do you start telling a story in one post that started on a late night in September of 2013?

Maybe the beginning?

I opened up a website. I saw his picture. I fell in love instantly. I told myself not to. It was dangerous water. But we don’t get to tell our hearts what to do. Do we? I tucked his picture away and cried myself to sleep. Hope was stirred, but it was hope with no guarantees and there were/are a million obstacles in the way…. full of  hurdles, mountains, fears, impossibilities. I immediately visualized the course ahead as a raging river.  The Red Sea.

The following day, I shared baby boy’s story with Mark. His heart was drawn.

We began to pray. To wonder. To dare to hope that maybe God might make a way. Part our “Red Sea”.

Over the next month, things started happening. Mountains started crumbling. Hurdles began to bow down to God’s hand. He was moving.

We called several agencies trying to find out about baby boy.  They all told us the same thing. His file was not even started in China and once it was ready that getting our (their) hands on his file would be next to impossible.

We found ourselves standing at the edge of The Red Sea. The waters raging in front of us. We felt like baby boy was sitting on the other side and there was nothing, absolutely nothing we could do to get to him.

Then Nov 5th happened. I woke early. I journaled and cried a lot. My heart was a mess of emotions.

Mark and I talked. It was time to tell our family about the growing desire to step into the reckless unknown and start the process of adopting from China, with ZERO promise and only a .01 % chance we could adopt the little boy whose picture and story had stolen our hearts.

That is craziness right???? We were not interested in adopting “any child”.  We wanted him.  We had already grieved deeply that we had not started pursuing Mae Yossell when we first found out about her in Oct of 2012…and just to put this story in context, we were not matched with Mae Yossell at this time. Mae was not available to us b/c of her status in China. We had found that out a few weeks before. In our hearts we had “lost her” and we could not bear to lose him too.

So that morning, I wrote a letter to our family and close friends to explain that we had fallen in love with a child (Mae Yossell), once before and felt the devastating loss of not getting her and we found ourselves there again. This time it was a little boy. We explained that we probably could not adopt b/c it would be impossible to get his file, but we had to try. We had to put our first foot into the sea. I composed the letter. Set it aside to “sit on it” for a bit and discuss with Mark when he got home from work.

WITHIN MINUTES of setting the letter aside we got the email and phone call about Mae Yossell!!!! They called saying her status had just been changed and she was available to be adopted by our family and asked if we wanted to view her file. I called Mark. Through ugly tears, I read him the letter I had just written. I told them they called us about Yossell. He said to call them and tell them she is our daughter and has been since the day we found out about her. We were so full of joy. But we were also full of loss. We were going to have to let him go. God had heard our heart desires and prayers for “YoYo”.  Those mountains that were crumbling and hurdles that were bowing at His bidding were for us to get to HER.

The human heart is an amazing thing. Capacity to hope and fear in the same moment. Rejoice and grieve in the same breath. I have learned to give my heart time and permission. Time to adjust. Permission to feel. I was over the moon over Mae. I was devastated over baby boy.  So was Mark.

Over the next few weeks we tried to “give him back” to the Lord. I begged God to help me release baby boy back to Him. But I just could not. Something deep in us knew we needed to keep hoping. My emotions vacillated hourly and could weep at the drop of a hat.

We had to be honest we still longed for baby boy too.

As we started full steam ahead on Mae’s adoption we also asked our agency what we would need to do to be prepared if we COULD get his file. They continued (and still do) to tell us it is HIGHLY unlikely they can secure him for us, but we want to be ready if God parts that raging sea.

Our home study has been approved for two children from China. Our dossier is being prepared for two children from China. We have an extra crib in the attic. Mae’s room is grey and pink b/c it is our deepest desire to add a grey and navy blue little boy crib beside her’s.

A month ago during church, I was tearing up in worship as I cried out to the Lord for baby boy. I felt the Lord whisper to me that He is able. He can do whatever He pleases. He can part any sea. On the way to the car after church, Dax said to me “Mom you know what I learned today? I learned that God could part a really big wiver (river) so that a man (Moses) could walk through. I learned that God can do anything Mom.” OH MY STARS!!!!! Dax has NEVER EVER EVER told me before or since what he learned in church. He initiated telling me that day. I did not ask. The Holy Spirit ministered to me through Dax. He reminded me that He is able. He can work miracles.

OK, so back to Mark’s beard. He started growing it in January during a prayer and fasting month at church. It is his visual expression of his hope for baby boy. He has done it quietly, but has felt recently like God wanted him to share why he did not shave it when January ended. He is going to keep growing it until we hear that baby boy is either our son or that another family has been matched with his file. With every stroke of his hand through his beard he remembers to pray. As the weather has warmed this week and it is itchy and driving him crazy he is even more motived to pray God moves quickly =).

The tambourine you ask? Well that is my act of faith. I heard a talk at a conference (Created for Care) last month where the speaker, Beth Guckenberger mentioned Exodus 15:20 when Miriam, the sister of Moses, took out her tambourine to praise to the Lord for what He had done and what He was GOING to do. When Miriam and the other Israelites ladies were packing their precious belongings on their way out of captivity and heading into the promised land, wasn’t it curious that she would pack a tambourine? Why did she take that? Because, she wanted to be prepared to praise Him WHEN He made a way. She was always ready to praise. Beth said she began packing a tambourine when she travels to be prepared to praise Him when He moves or provides. I knew in that moment, I needed to buy a tambourine to have it ready WHEN!!!  When I opened up my bible to read about Mariam’s tambourine in context…guess what had just happened prior to her praising Him? The Red Sea had parted and they had walked through on dry land. Miriam was on the OTHER SIDE of the Red Sea dancing and praising God for His provision. His miracles. His hand. I have my tambourine ready to praise Him when He makes a way to the other side of the river to where baby boy is.

We cannot share any information with you about baby boy. His story is not ours to share. We can’t explain the hurdles that still need to come down, b/c it is not time for that.

But what we can share with you is our hope. We are hoping against all hope. We are clinging to Him asking Him to make a way. To move papers. To make connections. To orchestrate crazy miraculous timing. To put baby boy’s file in the hands of our agency. We can do that. We can ask you to prepare your proverbial tambourines or grow your beards in pregnant hope with us.

And before you ask…I promise to let you know if and when we find any information out. Until then we will continue to wait.

Thanks for hoping with us,

Tona

Delighting In Dirty Carpet No More

Years ago, when I started this blog, it was called “Delighting in Dirty Carpet”. I shared about the joys of adoption, mothering, hosting, all while embracing the mess that comes with a busy full life.  A life that is overflowing with sticky fingers, messy feet, animals, mounds of laundry, birthday parties, sleep overs, cook outs, friends passing through, and always always always a gaggle of rugrats kiddos.

Over the years I have learned the art of letting things go in order to embrace the people in my life. I have learned much to my dismay,  I really can survive without new counter tops and an updated kitchen. I really can let looming projects loom a really long time in order to be present in the moment with my kids. In a world (my world) of limited resources I can’t have it all. I can’t do it all. I have to choose. Something has to go.

While I love my home and am super grateful, I have not had everything the way I would dream. I have to daily practice contentment. Praise Him and be thankful for what I DO HAVE (my beautiful family) and not focus on what I don’t (a perfectly pulled together shiny clean home).  I am guessing I am not the only one in that boat.

People over things. That is my choice. EVERY TIME. If I have to choose. People will win.  For the sake of authenticity…please don’t misunderstand….I would rather NOT have to choose. I would rather have both 🙂

So having said all that…….drum roll please……I am excited to announce that I am no longer “Delighting in Dirty Carpet” I am “Celebrating Clean Carpet”. EEEEEKKKKKKKK. New, never walked on by dirty feet – carpet was laid in our house today. I am giddy excited. In fact I am a bit embarrassed by how over the moon I am.  I will admit I plopped myself  down right in the middle of the den floor and made “clean carpet angels” as soon as the carpet fellas were pulling out of the driveway….the kids were not very impressed with my wild display of enthusiasm.

As we are preparing to bring home another medically fragile princess I am beyond thrilled to know we have  C.L.E.A.N. floors.

Mamma will rest well tonight. Mae-  we are on our way sweet love and you have a lovely clean den floor waiting on you.

Celebrating,

Tona

The Gift of Waiting

I really can’t believe I just typed that title. The G.I.F.T. of waiting??!!!???

The honest reality is most days waiting seems nothing at all like a gift. It resembles something more like a painful suffocating loss. The loss of another day without. Without the thing your heart longs for. Without the news you deeply want. Without. Loss.

Waiting to me in this moment, is another day without our daughter in our arms. Another day without her smiles and tears. Another day of development we don’t get to celebrate. Another day with no hugs, no physical love and nurture expressed from us to her.

But the Lord has been gently reminding me HE is here in this moment. He is here in the wait. He is enough to sustain my restless heart. His manna and portion are enough. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just enough.

And that reminder somehow is like a wonderful gift that needed to be unwrapped again.

The remembering that comes with waiting is taking me back to deep waters. Oh to be sure, I have been here before, so the ways of waiting are somewhat familiar, but each journey reveals something new in me. Something more of Him.

So each time I come back to this place of desperate waiting, I see the gift.

The gift of His presence carrying me on. Helping me love well in the now, in the wait.

The reality that He is there with her as He has been since the moment He knit her together in her mother’s womb.

And I lean heavily on Him asking Him to comfort her in miraculous ways, to send gentle loving people to care not only for her body but for her heart, to reveal Himself to her in her dreams, to do the healing in her heart that only He can do and to start that without us even there to participate. For Him to move, to touch, to heal.

He is not only my present help and comfort –  He is hers too. That reminder, that truth is a gift worth unwrapping a million times over.

So until I hug Mae Yossell’s precious neck, I cling to His with all my might.

What are you waiting on? May you see and experience His gentle, tender love for you in the deep waters of waiting.

Blessings,

Tona