Thanks for your support of our adoption journey. We would love for you to join us in praying that God would give us wisdom, patience and perseverance as we go through the process to adopt our children! We appreciate the many people walking this adoption journey with us in prayer! ~Jon & Bethany

September 30, 2011

Mommy's Heart Went POP

I just ran across a book called "Mommy's Heart Went Pop" on another family's adoption blog. After watching the video I'm thinking I will definitely talk to my husband tonight about becoming a "backer" for this book. (You basically pre-order which helps them cover the cost of printing.)

It sounds like it is going to be an awesome children's book about transracial adoption. The words from the video felt like they were coming straight out of my heart. I have felt those exact same things as I care for our son Jonah and wonder who is caring for our babies in the Congo. This video gets me excited to read the rest of the book! It sounds like one of those books I can picture us reading together often as a family of 5 all piled in mommy and daddy's bed. =)

Ok, so go check out the SNEAK PEEK VIDEO for yourself on the website at and consider becoming a "backer" so this wonderful book can actually happen! If you yourself are not adopting, it would make a WONDERFUL gift for an Adoption Shower for someone you know or just a great addition to your children's book collection!! (Especially if your children have friends who have come into their families through the miracle of adoption.)

(I believe this is one of the author's adoption blog )


September 22, 2011

a few prayer requests

Wow, does anyone else feel FUELED on to pray more after answered prayer???

As I've been rejoicing over the Lord healing our little Baby R, I have been fueled to pray CONFIDENTLY and EXPECTANTLY!

To all believers out there who know that they are sinners, falling short of God's glory and not keeping His law perfectly, and are deserving of God's judgement and wrath for all the things they've done & failed to do, but are trusting in Jesus' perfect sinless life and the fact that He absorbed the wrath of God that their sins deserve on a Roman cross for all who would believe in Him. If you are trusting in Christ Jesus ALONE and NOTHING that you do or have done, then you are a believer in the gospel and we would LOVE for you to pray with us because we know that if you're a believer then you have been ADOPTED by GOD and are now his sons and daughters (our brothers and sisters)!! And we know that God delights in answering the prayers of His children!
"7And will not God give justice to his elect {believers}, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily." Luke 18: 7-8

Here are our main requests right now:
1) Pray with us that God would be merciful in defending the rights of the orphan and move mountains to bring our friends Justin & Bonnie's children to the transition house in Ethiopia & bring them HOME soon! Pray for their 2 children and the hundreds of orphans in Ethiopia who are paired with families waiting for them, that God would unite them SOON!
2) Pray for God's continued protection of our little guy, Baby R, who is 5 months old! We pray daily that the Lord would protect him from any harm or disease and that we would be given a referral for a little girl very soon so we can move toward bringing them both home!!!
3) Pray that God would guard the hearts and minds of the many adoptive families who are currently in the long process to rescue orphans!  Please pray we would not be given over to anxiety and fear, but that we would hold fast to the truth, trust and hope in the Lord and be persistent in prayer.

Praying our babies home,

September 16, 2011


1 Praise the LORD!Praise the LORD, O my soul!
 2I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
    I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
 3 Put not your trust in princes,
    in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
4When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
   on that very day his plans perish.
 5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth,
   the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
 7 who executes justice for the oppressed,    who gives food to the hungry.
    The LORD sets the prisoners free;
 8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
    the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the sojourners;
    he upholds the widow and the fatherless,   but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin."
Psalm 146: 1-9

PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE THE LORD, O MY SOUL!!! That is all I could think as I hung up the phone after talking with Cheri from our adoption agency just minutes ago! "Baby R is out of the hospital and doing well. He is still on some medication for the malaria, but he is back at Mami's orphanage."
PRAISE THE LORD!! Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob! Whose hope is in the Lord his God!

Baby R has been HEALED!! He is okay! God heard our cries on his behalf and UPHELD the ORPHAN! We and soo many believers with us went to God over and over asking for JUSTICE for the ORPHAN and GOD HEARD.... and He ANSWERED!!!


Thank you, thank you to every single one of you believers out there who prayed with us on behalf of Baby R!! The Lord has taught me so much about persevering in prayer and being persistent, like the widow in Luke 18!!


September 15, 2011

our Audrey Joy

I am obviously not a graphic designer, but I wanted some way to have a memorial for her on our blog. (We already have a painted frame in our home & a sweet ornament from our adoption agency with her name engraved on it with this saying "If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever."

Remembering you today baby girl. And trusting that you are in the loving arms of your Heavenly Father.

We continue to pray for baby R... still waiting on news. Still hoping in the Lord and waiting expectantly that He has heard our cries and is healing baby R's body of the malaria and stomach bug even now.

 "5For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
   for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
   my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7On God rests my salvation and my glory;
   my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
 8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
   God is a refuge for us. "
Psalm 62:5-8

Thanks for the encouraging scripture this morning Danielle! We are so encouraged and thankful for all the amazing brothers and sisters in Christ that God has put in our lives, especially all of our church family at Immanuel! We praise God for you!

Praying & Waiting on the Lord,

September 14, 2011

Why not me?

I’m typically not a bloggin’ type of guy and this post will be short, but hopefully it will be a helpful and encouraging reminder to someone else as it has been to me…
One of my favorite sermons by John Piper, “How the Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice,” was preached at the Together for the Gospel conference here in Louisville in 2008.
As I laid in bed last night, a quote that Piper gave during this sermon came to mind. Here is what he said:
Sir Norman Anderson, former Professor and Director of the Advanced Legal Institute at London University, supported International Fellowship of Evangelical Students for sixty years. He had lost all three of his children in their early adulthood and his wife was so senile she could not recognize him. At one of the last public events where he spoke he was asked, “When you look back over your life and reflect on the fact that you have lost all your three children, and how your wife of sixty years no longer recognizes you, do you ever ask the question, “Why me?” . . . “No, I’ve never asked that question, ‘Why me?’ but I have asked the question, ‘Why not me?’ I am not promised as a Christian that I will escape the problems encountered by others; we all live in a fallen world. . . . I am however, promised that in the midst of difficulties, God through Christ will be present with me, and will give his grace to help me cope with the difficulties and bear witness to him.”

This is the right way to respond to suffering. What a glorious display of the sufficiency of Christ in all things when you can say with all honesty, “Why not me?” in the midst of suffering!
Now I know that the Bible tells us that all Christians will suffer (Matthew 16:24, John 15:20). Got it. But how are we able to respond to suffering like Norman Anderson by honestly saying “Why not me” and do so with joy – not head knowledge half-smile joy – but authentic all-satisfying Christ-glorifying joy?
And here is what has been particularly helpful to me. The reason we can say, “Why not me” in the midst of suffering, as Piper explained, is because of the joy experienced by looking to the great reward, namely Jesus Christ. As Christians, we don’t hope for suffering, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a radical God-glorifying response to it!
Not convinced? Here’s how Moses endured suffering:
“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”
 –Hebrews 11:24-26

Still not convinced? How about an example from Jesus himself:

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” –Hebrews 12:2

“How was Jesus’ radical, loving sacrifice sustained? It was sustained “by the joy that was set before him.” That’s how he endured the cross. He looked forward to the triumphant experience of being exalted as the Savior and Lord and Treasure of an innumerable people beyond the grave and beyond this age. Even as he suffers for us, he shows us how to suffer with him. Indestructible joy breaking into present suffering from the assurance of future joy. (Piper)”

Lord, increase my faith so that I’m not left in my sorrow crying “Why me?” but that I may be filled with joy by looking toward a heavenly treasure, that is infinitely more satisfying than any suffering is painful.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” –Matthew 13:44

September 12, 2011

Falling on our Knees again

Well friends, I don't know what God is doing right now, but He is doing something.

Just yesterday I posted about how God was calling me back to pray with confidence that He hears and delights in answering prayer. And today I received a phone call that has given us reason to once again get on our knees before the Lord.

Our sweet agency worker, Cheri, called me around 2:30 this afternoon to tell me that the 5 month old boy we got a referral for about a week ago (Ya, we hadn't even announced this on the blog yet..) is in the hospital with malaria. She said it's serious.
So will you and every believer you know please join with us in asking God to heal baby "R" quickly and preserve his life so that we might adopt him and raise him up in the fear and admonition of the Lord?! We are praying that God would use this illness to showcase His power and His glory and remind us that He hears!! But no matter the outcome, please pray that we would be able to Praise the Lord and trust in His good plans for our family!

Here is one passage from yesterday that is FUELING my prayers today!

Luke 18: The Parable of the Persistent Widow

 1And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' 4For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" 6And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

Fasting & praying on behalf of baby R,

September 11, 2011

Lord, help my unbelief!

I'm going to be totally honest and transparent here. I have been struggling the last couple of weeks. I have felt like I've been walking around wearing a dark, heavy cloak that I want to take off but just can't. I have felt Satan's presence close by, closer than the Lord it seemed. He's been attacking my thoughts, distracting me whenever I sit down and try to read God's word, whispering his lies to me. Rather than deal with this darkness, I have tried to numb the pain and distract myself with temporary pleasures. A fun movie here. A delicious bite of chocolate there.

Only last week the Lord brought great conviction within me. I realized that I have not felt sad and downcast because of the death of our baby girl, Leseli Joyce. {Although I do still mourn at times that she died at only 9 months old. I actually take great comfort that she is with our Heavenly Father.} I realized that the primary thing that has been pressing down on me is that I am afraid to go to God in prayer.  I prayed earnestly for Him to allow us to adopt the 6 month old boy we got our 1st referral for. We lost the referral anyway. I prayed earnestly that He would keep Leseli Joyce safe and healthy until we could bring her home. She died anyway.

I have been afraid to ask Him for anything personal. Afraid to go to Him in prayer. Afraid that He will not answer how I think He should. I have prayed for other people, but not for myself, and certainly not for our adoption. When I have mustered up the courage to pray, it has been half-hearted at best.

I have completely lost sight of who my God is and what He is like. I confessed all these things to my husband Friday night. Up to that point I honestly couldn't pinpoint WHAT was bothering me and making me feel so depressed. I told him that one of the only things I've been praying lately is simply, "Lord,  help my unbelief!"
Thursday night we went on our date night that we'd had planned for weeks. And it was there, listening to FLAME's concert, that the Lord began to help my unbelief. Flame's music is awesome, the lyrics are AWESOME, and he is so faithful to preach the gospel between every song (and in his lyrics). I can't even remember exactly what he said, but I stood there listening with tears of conviction in my eyes. At a rap concert of all places. We bought his newest CD "Captured" at the concert, which we had been meaning to get for awhile. We love his music and he is a member at our church so we want to support his music ministry. But God orchestrated all of this in His perfect timing. I popped it in the CD player in the car on Friday and listened to every song. I drove home by myself in the car Friday night, crying as I listened most of the way home. This may sound completely rediculous.. crying while listening to rap?! But it was the truth, conviction and encouragement in his lyrics that pricked my heart. (His lyrics are awesome, seriously, just take a listen to the previews on iTunes or Amazon and find out for yourself.)
One song in particular was music to my weary soul. It's the last one on the album, and after hearing it, I put it on repeat the rest of the way home. It starts out, "I just wanna be, I just wanna be, closer to your heart, closer to your heart. Everything I am it's because of you, it's because of you. Tonight I'm giving you all of me..."
And track 11 is an excerpt from our gifted pastor, Ryan Fullerton's, sermon on Daniel 10. The whole series through the book of Daniel was extremely powerful and encouraging for Jon and me last year, but hearing this sermon in the car Friday night was like hearing it for the very first time. {Side note: You can listen to any of Pastor Ryan's sermons for free online @} Wow, to say that I was convicted is an understatement.

So Sunday morning came and I was blown away by the way the Lord is at work. I had one of those Sundays where it felt like the Pastor was right to me. If you are struggling with going to the Lord in prayer right now, I pray that you too will be greatly helped by this morning's sermon by Pastor Ryan. {You can listen to it here: Prayer that Cries "Your Kingdom Come" Immanuel Baptist Church } I am honestly still processing and trying to learn everything the Lord is trying to teach me. I plan to listen to this sermon over and over again this week (and now all of you can keep me accountable to do that!). It was some seriously good food for my SOUL! He talked about the disciples falling asleep while Jesus was praying on the Mount of Olives and how they weren't being lazy or unzealous by falling asleep, but Luke says in verse 45 that they were "sleeping for sorrow." They slept because they were so overwhelmed with sorrow that Jesus, their dear friend and teacher, was about to die. But Jesus says to them in Luke 22:46, "Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."

This evening we went back to church for a dessert fellowship with 3 of the international missionaries sent out from Immanuel to different parts of Asia. We got to hear how the Lord is working and answering our prayers that we've been praying with them. It was a much-needed reminder that God hears. Then we were blessed to have our brother who lives in East Asia preach a brief sermon on Luke 18. Guess what Luke 18 is about? PRAYER. Jesus told them this parable "that they ought always to pray and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1).

I feel like the Lord is lifting the heavy cloak from me. He is pointing my eyes from my weary feet to His perfect Son. He is sending encouragement to me through faithful, Godly men and women and His word. He is SO clearly calling me to PRAY. Please pray for me that I will boldly approach the throne of grace in prayer and not lose heart, but believe.

Thank you Lord for helping my unbelief!!!


September 7, 2011

Bear One Another's Burdens

We have written about our friends Justin & Bonnie on here before. They are a sweet couple from our church whose paths crossed with ours when we decided to adopt. We sought them out to glean wisdom from them before we chose an agency and officially started our adoption journey. (They were ahead of us in the process.)  They are in the midst of a very long process to bring 2 beautiful children home from Ethiopia. We have wept with them during their adoption process over may different things and got on our knees on their behalf and begged the Lord to have mercy and to act. Even now, we pray constantly that the Lord would help their son and daughter (who are officially theirs now, per Ethiopian court) to be released from UNICEF, brought to our agency's transition house, and COME HOME soon!!!!

As they wait and cling to Christ, they have even wept with us over the life of our baby girl, Audrey Joy, who beat us to Heaven and the loss of our referral for a precious 6 month old boy. Bonnie wrote a very sweet post asking for prayer for the DRC and our family that you can read on her blog.  We are so thankful for the many faithful brothers and sisters in Christ that the Lord has brought into our lives, especially through our church family @ Immanuel.  Countless people have prayed for us, wept with us, encouraged us, and served us.

We know that "Weeping may last for the night, but JOY comes with the morning." (Psalm 30:5) We cannot wait to be on the other side of this adoption road, with all of our kids home with us and to REJOICE with Justin & Bonnie and be able to look back and see God's faithful hand over every step. Until then, we will fight to cling to Christ and our hope in Him.


September 1, 2011

In the Valley

A sweet friend sent me Sovereign Grace's "Valley of Vision" cd last week and I have had this song on repeat ever since:

Amazing lyrics. Full of truth. And hope.