My mother has been bothering me for years to write a blog. Every year I have the same answer… “What would I have to say that people would want to read?” I tell her when I have an answer for that question, I will write a blog. I seriously don’t know how people have time to write them. I don’t even have time to take a shower. Literally. It’s a problem. I don’t know how all these women out there write blogs. Not only are they writing blogs, they are writing blogs about all the crafts and food they make. How are they finding time for that? And most of them have more than one child. I only have one, and I need a shower, badly.
Now, I have something to write about. It’s been a long time coming and I stay up at nights thinking about it. I have been waiting for the perfect time, and I realized, there is no perfect time. I have to stop wasting time and do it …now. Four years ago, I went to Africa. Four years ago I made promises to people there that I would not forget them, that I would tell their stories. Four years ago. What have I done in four years?
My mom thought of the title “Before and Africa” and I actually love it. There are a lot of things my mom and I agree on, but usually when she has an idea “for” me, I politely turn her down. But this title struck a chord in me. I thought about all the blogs out there about style and fashion and craftiness and I thought about how my blog would probably be the antithesis of that. Maybe I do always buy the same long sleeved shirts at the GAP every three years when the old ones get holes in them. Maybe I do still have the same tennis shoes I bought for 30 bucks 6 years ago. Maybe I do only get my hair cut once a year. Maybe I am in desperate need of a style makeover, but I think this blog is more of a before and after of my soul. My soul before and now my soul (after) Africa…
So thanks mom, for the title and for recognizing there has been a change in me and that even though I have a hard time finding the words, it’s time to start trying.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I miss my baby.  I worry he will never come home.  I fear that God’s plan for him may not be mine.  What if they close all adoptions from the DRC?  What if we never set up the bunk beds in Max’s room?  What if I don’t get to hear his laugh everyday?  Biggest fears.  I feel grief.  I grieve when I see little brothers holding hands.  I grieve when a friend tells me she’s pregnant, or when babies are born.  I wake up everyday without my baby, and I have this hurt that doesn’t go away. People often ask, "Any word on Moses?"  and in a moment I may have had relief because I didn't happen to be thinking about him...I am reminded of that huge hole in my heart.  


 Even in my hurt there is hope.  It’s small now, but it’s there.  My fear tries to swallow it up but it’s there.  My hope is in YOU.  When David wrote Psalm 39…he was in complete and utter aguish, but in the middle of his deperate cries he could still see where his hope was.  It’s like in the middle of his fears and frustration he slipped it in there, quietly but with so much power…my hope is in YOU. 

I said, “I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
while in the presence of the wicked.”
So I remained utterly silent,
not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.
“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—
surely everyone is but a breath.
“Hear my prayer, Lord,
listen to my cry for help;
do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner,
a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more.”

So I put my Hope in the One that gives me ultimate and unending peace. 

Today in a room full of women, we prayed for the babies that have been lost…whether through miscarriage or adoptions that have fallen through.  Tears welled up in my eyes as women who had lost their babies stood up.  So my biggest fears were standing all around me…with strength and with hope.  They are on the other side of something I cannot even imagine.  A pain I pray to be spared from.  But if the Lord decides to take away…who am I to question Him?  I keep telling God I will give him all the glory when Moses comes home.  I have been forgetting to give him the glory even in days, months (hopefully not years) before he is home.  I don't give Him glory for the empty bunk beds, and I should.  I still have hope, I don’t know when, but I know God will finish His good work in me and in our family.   And we will give Him all the glory.  Whatever the outcome.