Monday, December 28, 2009

Third Day

I just couldn't let the whole Christmas Season pass without posting this.... I absolutely cannot stay dry-eyed when I hear this song! For those of you who have already adopted or are in the process....doesn't this song just seem to give words to the feelings living in not only your heart, but in the depths of your soul?

Christmas Prayers for Our Little Girl

As I wait for you my faith claims the promises given to me from our awesome God above.

Right now I am not yet holding you in my arms, but I am holding you ever so tightly in my heart.

On this Christmas Eve I crave to know your little face and how it would feel to hold you in my arms and rock you to sleep this very night…
And to know which toy would be your favorite and which of the cookies would you eat to your heart’s delight?
To know if Santa seemed friendly or would he be a scary sight…?
And to see your eyes light up as we shared the Christmas Story sitting by the firelight.

I envision your little face halfway around the world and I allow myself to think…
Did you have the chance to giggle tonight…to play….or cuddle warmly as you fell asleep?
Or….was there no giggling… instead did you feel lonely… trying desperately to feel some warmth and slip into sleep tonight?

But that is not the thought on which I will allow myself to remain
Because I know God’s faithfulness…His love will reign..
And that is where I put my faith…my hopes…my dreams.

On this day we celebrate the birth of our Lord
And He so gently etches deep upon my heart the love He has for us.
It’s a time to celebrate that love
And share it with all those around us and count our blessings one by one.

And, oh, that Love is so amazing and filled with promises…
Promises of joy, and peace, and freedom, and redemption…
And adoption.

So, I cling to those promises and I cling to what I know He can do.
He can take the sadness and replace it with joy.
He can take the lonely away and make a loving family.
And He can bring an overwhelming sense of peace and love that will change that cold to warmth.

If only you could hear my prayer across the world….
You would know my prayer is
for you to know
And for you to feel
The love from God...this great love that can cover it all.

I pray His love is wrapping around you warm and tight
And bringing joy to your heart even when the world is offering none.

I pray that you feel my love even now….even though you don’t know me.
But I believe He is already teaching you about me….
Because long ago He created a special little place in my heart for you, my little one,
A place that makes my heart ache because it longs to hold you tight.
It’s a place in my heart God created with your fingerprints etched all over it
And someday, you and only you, will be able to lay claim to that space.

So my sweet child, while I wait for you, I will claim His promises of love, comfort, and protection from all that may come your way.

And then that day will come!
That day will come when the arms of our Savior,
The very same arms that have been holding you tight,
Will reach out, bring us together, and allow me to hold you so very tight.

I see that day coming…and oh how hard it is to wait,
But, sweet child, when He brings us together
His perfect plan will finally be complete!!
The waiting will be over and then we can begin the next stretch of the journey together…

Forever….as a family.

Merry Christmas, my sweet Selah.

With all my love,

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wonderful Book Series

The Schumaker Family has a children's book series that we hold very dear to our hearts. It is what I call the "God Gave Us" series that is written by Lisa Tawn Bergren. God Gave Us You was our first book. We bought it for Zachary who was only 2 at the time and very excited to have Mommy carrying baby #2 in my belly! Well, Zachary went to all my doctor appointments with me and loved to listen to the baby's heartbeat every time. It was magical for him! The first time we read the book he was fascinated with a page that shows the mommy bear being at the doctor's office with the doctor using a stethescope to listen to the baby's heartbeat.  At that moment, Zach decided this was his FAVORITE book EVER!!! We literally read it every single day for almost a full year (even after Landon was born) and often it was more than once a day!!! To this day it is still a top 10 choice for bedtime stories by both the boys and I just have to smile at the sort of crumpled and frayed condition of the book that tells an obvious story of being very well loved and cherished!

That book became such a springboard for wonderful conversations about faith, love, and tenderness. Every night before bed I always say "I'm so glad God gave me you" to both of my boys and when we pray together I thank Jesus out loud for giving me Zachary and Landon. They in turn always thank our Heavenly Father for giving them their mommy and daddy and each other.

Since then we have collected the entire series (God Gave Us You, God Gave Us Two, God Gave Us Heaven, God Gave Us Christmas, God Gave Us Love, and God Found Us You), but best of all.....Lisa wrote God Found Us You! Okay, my fellow adoption journiers (is that a word?) will LOVE THIS BOOK! It is such a sweet story about adoption.We were all soooooo excited and we bought it as soon as we could get our hands on it....and we loved it!! I just know that this story will be a huge blessing in Selah's life and our family's life, just as the first one was! I am so excited for the day that I can sit down in our rocking chair with her on my lap and read her that story and share with her the love that comes from our Heavenly Father and then begin to build her trust in our love. I dream of the day she truly knows that we are so thankful that God found her just for us and can hear me thank the Lord for letting me be her mommy! (If you could only see the tears in my eyes right now! :-)

Another neat part to this story is that one night I found myself on Lisa's website because she has writtent the latest sequel called God Gave Us Love. I felt drawn to finding out more about her and was pleasantly surprised to find out that she writes adult Christian fiction as well! I can't wait to read oneof those! But....I sent her an email late that night just because I wanted to share with her how thankful I was that she had allowed God to use her to bless our family and I am sure many other families as well. I actually never really expected to hear anything back and if I did I thought it would be some kind of automated response. But, early the next morning I had a very personal email from her that started a few emails back and forth! Can I just tell you that I just KNOW that she is one special lady and that her writing comes straight from a heart that loves the Lord and wants to share that Love with the world!!! conclusion is........

You GOTTA get the books! 

Her website is and you can buy the books almost anywhere, but I am always shopping on and . AND if you do like the adoption story called God Found Us You, make sure to leave a review on the websites because publishers need to know that there is a good market for adoption themed children's books.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Cry at the Sight of Pink

The other day we stopped by the Disney Store with our boys to shop for a little bit. I was laughing with Zach and Landon about the cute new Toy Story toys and we were checking out everything that has wheels, is electronic, or has some kind of super hero power. I then rounded the corner and what did my eyes behold? Princesses! Pink! Sparkles! ..... and what did I do? I gasped and then the tears started rolling....the kind I felt coming right up from my heart...the kind you almost can't stop! My sweet husband put his arm around me and comforted me. Instead of rolling his eyes like he usually does (just to be funny and sorta push my buttons), he found just the right words to reassure my heart and stop the tears...and as usual, make me laugh!

Seriously though, I'm thinkin' there are a lot of tears in my near future if pink is going to do THAT to me every time!!!! I'm just going to have to keep a supply of Kleenex on me during all my Christmas shopping! By the way, did you see the ADORABLE Disney Princess set of Barbies at Target? AND the Snow White Barbie with the Seven Dwarfs included? Oh my stars!!!!

For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees? But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure.
So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness;
Romans 8:24-26 (Amplified Bible)

Monday, September 21, 2009

NBC Approval!!!

Today I checked the mail and guess what was in it!!! We received our NBC Approval Notice! This means we can officially be registered with the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria! I was so pleasantly surprised because it has only been six weeks since we sent in the application! I am so thankful!!

Just yesterday my two little monkeys were in the backseat of the car chanting "We want Selah...We want Selah"! So, today when I got the mail and realized what was in it, I started squealing and cheering. Landon was in the car with me and was so excited because he just felt with the utmost confidence that his chanting is what made this letter come! How precious is that?

Hold on Selah, honey....we are comin'!!!

For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.   Hebrews 10:36

Sunday, September 20, 2009


We have completed our “biometrics” (digital fingerprints) that are a part of the NBC approval! It sounds so official and we have waited so long for our “appointment” but it honestly was one of the quickest processes of this adoption! We were in and out in less than 15 minutes! Praise God!

But I do have to give a brief, but sweet mention to the security guard at the front who in a very gruff way made sure to announce to me that I best not have a cell phone in my purse, and that it MUST be left in the car. My first impression was that he was quite intimidating…but as we reentered the building and he saw my 4-year-old and his best little friend in the world, Kourtny, tag along behind me, his eyes lit up with joy. It was so absolutely adorable. He just couldn’t stop laughing and smiling at our two little cuties!

Now? Now we are just waiting for our approval letter and for the confirmation that our dossier has finished translation. Both of these things should happen at approximately the same time. Then….then we just WAIT for what feels like could be close to forever!

Galatians 5:2-232 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Please come, Holy Spirit, and fill me with the patience I know will only come from You!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Last week I found myself doing some Bulgarian Orphanage searches on YouTube which led me down a very sad road. I had seen some of them before and I knew that most would only bring a heavy sadness to my heart, but I wanted to check to see if there were anymore happy ones?.....Well, where I ended up was on a thread of videos that focused on the discrimination of the Roma People (also known as Gypsy). Now, ever since we made the decision to adopt from Bulgaria I was aware of the discrimination, but I truly did not fully comprehend the full extent of the situation.

Can I tell you that what I saw in the videos and then read in the comments absolutely made my heart twist in pieces and my stomach lurch? The hatred was so deep and angry...I felt like I was reading something that may have taken place in our country 60 years ago...or even worse in Germany almost 70 years ago...or sadly enough in such a horrendous way in Rwanda 15 years ago (See the book "Left to Tell" on my home page list of books). How do people become filled so deeply with hate? How it must make the Lord's heart see our world and what we have done with it. But...I must focus on His promise and know that there WILL be a day where there will be no more pain. Jeremy Camp's words from his song "There Will be a Day" are just so real. They speak to our hearts about His Promise that WILL make right all the injustice in the world and also about His Promise to never leave those who suffer to walk alone.

There Will Be A Day
I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that trys to grab
The many trials that seem to never end,
His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew
But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering
There will be a day
with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day
when the burdens of this place, will be no more,
we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always
I know the journey seems so long
You feel your walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone
Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting
I can’t wait until that day
where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery
this is why this is why I sing….
There will be a day
with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day
when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
There will be a day,
He’ll wipe away the stains,
He’ll wipe away the tears,
He’ll wipe away the tears…..there will be a day.

Please continue to pray for not only our little Selah who will most likely be of Roma descent, but for all the children in the orphanages in Bulgaria. Please pray, also, for the families living under that oppression who because they have not been given the opportunity to attend the regular or "quality" schools and acquire a strong education, who have not been given any opportunities for work, or who have not been allowed a life outside of the "gypsy ghetto"...have been forced by circumstance to surrender their children with the hope that they may possibly have a better life someday. Please pray for these families whose hearts are breaking and pray that these children are rescued and that those who care for them in the orphanages are free from hatred and have been touched with a heart filled with love from the Lord.

Here are some links to various articles and videos regarding the plight of the Roma People.
Madonna's latest concert in Romania where she spoke on behalf of the Roma People.
A YouTube Video discussing Bulgaria's attempt at desegregating the schools.
YouTube Video again discussiing Roma education.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Moving Along

After only 10 days of waiting we received a letter saying that our NBC application was received. I was happy about the quick turnover time :-) Then three days later we received an appointment time to get our biometrics (fingerprints) taken. The fingerprint date is September 16th at 1:00 p.m. which is a really great time because Bryan can work it around a late lunch and not have to take too much extra time off from work!

I am so very thankful for the smooth processes that have taken place and I thank each of you out there who have been praying for paperwork to pass along quickly and in the hands of capable and caring individuals! Prayer really does work :-) Please keep praying that our little Selah comes home as quickly as possible and that she knows in her heart that we are coming for her just as soon as we can!!

The Lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. Habakkuk 1:5

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Paperwork is Almost Done!

Well, the NBC (National Benefits Center) application has been filed, and all other documents needed for the dossier have been notarized, apostilled, and mailed off to All God’s Children so that they can begin the process of translating all the documents into the Bulgarian language. That means that we are almost finished with our paperwork! Now, we will wait for our NBC approval which can take 2-3 months. When we get that, hopefully the translating process will be finished and then we can be registered with the Bulgarian Minister of Justice. Please pray for favor in the approval and translating processes so that we can get one step closer to bringing our Selah home. I don’t want her to spend even a second more than absolutely necessary in any situation where she does not have the love of her very own forever family…the kind of love that I so wish every child in this world had.

I find myself amazed at how God knew before time began that our family would someday adopt…How He knew that He would place that desire deep within our souls. And here we are now having been given the privilege of realizing His grand plan…of feeling that ache in our hearts. As we take each step, I realize that plan even more. Each time I complete something, learn something, or as time simply passes, I find that new feelings erupt and an even stronger emotion and awareness occurs within me. I think how incredibly amazing it is that God knew I would feel this way…even when I never ever imagined the way I would feel!

Even though it could be another year until we get to cuddle and hold Selah in our arms, she is already a part of our family. We think of her all the time and can’t help but talk about her constantly! Zachary and Landon talk to others and write about their sister as if they already know and love her. Our little Zachary closes his prayer EVERY night with “Lord, please take care of Selah and tell her we love her. Let her mommy love her as best she can and don’t let Selah be hurt. Please just let her mommy love her and just not be able to afford her.” Every night he says this, my heart splits in two. It cries out to God repeating my son’s words and asking that He protect her and let her feel the love of a birth mother. But it also aches for the mother that has to surrender her child because she cannot care for her; A Mother that loves her child to a point of surrendering her…surrendering her to the faith that her child will live a better life apart from her. And then?...then I am left firmly standing in faith that God’s Word is Truth and that His Truth says He will make all things good and that from even a tragedy and injustice such as this… He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, and festive praise instead of despair. (Isaiah 61:3)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our Adoption Story

Our adoption story starts years ago with my very young heart that simply seemed to melt for all the children of our world. My passion was children in general, but my ache was for those without families…without a Mommy to love them and call their very own. This ache gave birth to a dream….a dream that said possibly, maybe, someday God would bless my life with the story of adoption.

Fast forward many years to the miracle of marrying my incredible husband and having two beautiful biological sons. When Bryan and I decided to have a child, we knew our lives would be forever changed…but we never could even imagine how our hearts could so completely transform into these gobs of mush at the sight of our first child…and the pain our hearts could feel when we learned our little guy was sick and would need doctor’s care and surgery to be healthy someday. My heart literally exploded with love when my both our children were born. I had never before known how deep love can run until I saw them and held them close in my arms…. and then saw their big strong father holding them in his ever so gentle embrace. My feelings of awe and of thankfulness toward our Heavenly Father all came together at that moment and all I could think was how blessed I was that He so lovingly gave me these beautiful boys to call my own here on earth. At that moment…the moment of the miracle of each child’s birth, I understood His incomparable magnificence better than I ever had before. It was that love that Christ gave to me for my biological children that in turn made my heart ache even more for those who didn’t have a mommy to call their own.

The story continues about 3 ½ years later when close friends of ours began the journey of adopting a little girl from China. Their story was a motivation to us as we watched the miracle of adoption take place. I watched and listened and tried to be there as this family went through all the ups and downs of the adoption process. Then the day came of the referral! What a miracle it truly was….the moment I saw this little girl’s photo, I knew that she had been handpicked to be a part of that family! As my friend traveled, I cried almost daily reading each of her blog entries that told the story of finally getting to hold her daughter in her arms and tell her how much she loved her. I cried in the airport as I saw her daddy get tears in his eyes and completely melt as he held his daughter for the first time. And since then? There haven’t been anymore tears…only celebration for this child and this family! A little girl who has flourished beyond words…whose little eyes sparkle just like the princess she is….A princess to the one and only King! There is no sign of a little orphan girl, but rather a complete transformation to a child absolutely cherished and forever loved.

As time passed, Bryan and I talked a little here and there about the possibility of us adopting a little girl. He was concerned about finances and wanted to be sure that we could embark on this journey without putting our family at risk. He worried about all the things a good father worries about. But, God moved in our lives and provided the finances, calmed the worries in Bryan’s heart, and guided all of us to a place of knowing that our family was not yet complete, but through adoption He would complete our family.

In November of 2008 we officially decided that Bulgaria was where God would have our little girl waiting for us. In January of 2009 we decided on All God’s Children International as our adoption agency and in February of 2009 we completed a pre-application. That step took a little longer than expected because I had to get letters written from my doctors regarding a couple of health issues I have. But, we finished that and then sent in our official application on March 8, 2009. The timeline has progressed as follows:

  • March 8, 2009 - Application to All God’s Children International
  • April 16, 2009 - Completed Orientation phone call
  • April 23, 2009 - Signed, notarized, and sent in contract paperwork with payment
  • June 10, 2009 - Completed Education (Amen!)
  • June 13, 2009 - Last home study visit
  • June 27, 2009 - Home study rough draft complete and sent to AGCI for revision

So, as every day passes I feel this sense of urgency that seems to grow and intensify. Maybe it is because each day brings us a little closer and makes it all seem a little more tangible. And maybe it is because I know now that our little Selah (our name we have picked out for her) has been born somewhere in Bulgaria. I know that she is alive, but that she doesn’t know that we are here waiting for the day that we can wrap our arms around her and love her forever. We pray for her every day…we pray that the Lord comforts her and fills her with a peace and joy that can come from only Him and an unnatural assurance that she, too, will have a forever family. We pray that whoever is caring for her right now handles her with gentleness and love and tries to the best of their ability to meet her needs. We pray that her birth mother loves her with all that she has and finds comfort from the Lord in the midst of her decision to bring her child to an orphanage. Please join us in these prayers as we wait for the day we can bring our Selah home.