The Power of Giving Thanks

(Written 12.19.08)
After it happened I asked myself how I would even begin to explain it all on the blog. While I know I can’t retell every intricate detail, I will try to share how the Lord has shown himself to me through it.

Just 3 short days after our last post our world was turned upside down. Matt and I had to make the most difficult decision of our lives to date last week. With many tears and much heartache, we have prayerfully decided not to go through with the adoption of the two boys we thought were already ours. We had already named the boys Emmanuel (Manny) and Judah (Jude). We had our Christmas cards ready to be mailed with their precious faces on them. In our hearts and minds, we were a family of four.

This decision, however, had nothing to do with the boys. With that said, we are choosing not to share details of how we came to our decision on the blog. We want to honor the Lord in how we communicate our story and feel that sharing the specific details over the Internet would not be God-honoring.

So you are probably wondering how the title of this post fits? Let me explain. A wise friend suggested that I start reflecting on the Scripture references and notes from previous sermons given by our pastor. I decided tonight would be a great night to start. I shuffled through the ever-growing pile of papers on my dresser and pulled out the first bulletin I came to. When I read the date on it, I almost put it back. This bulletin was from a month ago (if that tells you how high my pile is ☺)! I read the sermon title (also the title of this post) and figured I should probably stick with it. The key verse for this sermon was Ephesians 5:20 which says, “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ALWAYS and FOR EVERYTHING. Ouch. As much as this trial hurt, I decided to dwell on what I could be thankful for. So I began my list…

Thank you God through Jesus Christ:
• For my husband who has been so loving and encouraging during this difficult time.
• For truth being revealed and the wisdom to follow it.
• For friends that are praying for us and love us.
• For adoption.
• For the generous gift from a friend just the day before the trial began, thus reminding us throughout the trial that adoption is Your will for us.
• For family loving us and wanting the best for us.
• For Kenesa and Melkamu (the boys’ Ethiopian names) and the joy they brought to our hearts for months.
• For heartbreak because it brings us closer to You.

Although it has been a devastating week, we have such a peace and so much to be thankful for. Thank you Lord!
Our adoption experience has been amazing and it is very obvious to us that the Lord has orchestrated every detail of our story -- even the trails we have been through this week. We are still adopting, and are waiting on the Lord to show us the next steps we need to take. Please pray for clarity in our upcoming decisions. And most importantly, please pray that the Lord will protect those two precious boys and give them a long life of joy in the Lord.


In Love With Strangers

First of all, thank you for your prayers. Matt and I have felt such a peace about our decision to accept these two precious boys!

Over the past week we have been blessed to receive more pictures of the boys and a great video of them. I cried my eyes out as I looked at their precious faces! They have such beautiful skin and big brown eyes! I can't wait to hug and kiss on them! They look so happy compared to their first pictures. And the video is priceless. They are playing with one another, running/crawling, and kicking/throwing a ball. As mentioned before, the younger one has an orthopedic problem. The video had great footage of him walking with help and the flexibility of his foot. Praise the Lord it doesn't look as bad as once thought! I ran the video by a children's orthopedic office today and they are going to look over it and help us gain a little knowledge of what we are dealing with.

In regards to paperwork, we have completed our dossier but have not sent it to D.C. yet. We plan on doing that next week. Once our paperwork has been sealed for the final time it will be sent to Ethiopia! We will then wait for a court date in Ethiopia, which we will not be present for (we have a power of attorney). After our court date, we have to wait 6-8 weeks to travel and bring them home! It looks like we will be bringing our boys home at the end of May, first of June. It seems so far away but I know it will fly by!

Because the boys are not legally ours, we are not permitted to post pictures of them. If you would like to see our little angels just email me at mattjessbriggs@gmail.com and I will send you a picture!

Keep praying for us and the boys. Please pray that they are growing healthy. And please pray for this entire process that it will be so smooth! Thank you for your love and support!