Monday, April 30, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Lael LOVES to hug on Daddy and he LOVES to hug on her!
These 2 are ALWAYS fun to watch!
I am very thankful!
In the mix with the sticky sweaty feeling were several conversations that Randy had with people about our departure.
We are continuing our daily prayer times about our transition and it is a time we anticipate and look forward to each day. Now when we sit down to pray, Tori will start the conversation with..."Okay these are things that I am thinking about," or sometimes she will say, "these are things that concern me today...." I love hearing her thoughts and I love hearing her voice the details of her concerns and desires to God!
This afternoon we sat outside with the kids for awhile as the clouds grew dark and the breezes became strong! We only received a light brief rain and yet it sure felt nice! Randy and I enjoyed watching our kids play.
Tomorrow we start again the process of obtaining papers for Lael's identity card. Hopefully this week we can mark this off the list and move to other exciting things...like buying tickets!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
I could not decide which picture to post so I decided to post them both!
Randy was gone for 6 days last week on a mission and research trip with several church leaders. We missed him terribly! He had a great trip and I am sure he will write about it soon. He returned home Saturday evening and I wish I had a video of the greeting that he received from these 4 kids. It was SWEET!
Thank you so much for the many encouraging comments and commitments to join us in prayer as we enter into this time of major transition.
As mentioned in the previous post, this is an important week in obtaining several papers that will lead to receiving Lael's identity card. Today we received the first of 3 papers. Tomorrow we will go for the second one! We are making progress!
Here Tori and Timo are tag-teaming making breakfast! Timo cracked the eggs and stirred them and then Tori took over to make the omelets for us all! Jonathan and Lael wait somewhat patiently. It was worth the wait.
They were delicious!
Friday, April 13, 2007
Because we have read books, heard from others who have had similar experiences and received wise counsel, we know the depth of emotion we are presently navigating is normal. This does not diminish what we are feeling but provides insight and understanding into what each one of us can express. I am speaking specifically of Kelly, Randy and Tori right now.
When we arrived in Benin absolutely nothing was familiar. Nothing felt like home. We did not even have a home, nor had one brick been made for the house in which we moved into 9 months after our arrival. There was what seemed to be constant struggle, anxiety and challenge as we learned how to live in Benin, how to function as a family and how to minister and dwell among the Aja people.
By God's grace and to his glory, one day at a time he showed our family how to do it. What was unfamiliar became familiar and even commonplace, a place in which we have lived without fear and with JOY and where we have many friends. Challenges remain and yet we have developed a routine of life here that adapts to meet those challenges instead of being overwhelmed by the tidal waves that seemed to sweep over us in the first years of living here.
The strange thing is that now we face similar anxious thoughts as we enter the unfamiliar life of America. Oh we know the loves and joys of America! We know it is great to be with family and friends, we know it is a great place to buy food and toys....our kids think of Chuck E Cheese, waterparks and rodeos.....But living life...daily....setting up house, buying a car (or 2), sending Tori to school, buying groceries and clothes, dealing with American money, driving around town with 4 small children, saying goodbye to my husband in the morning at 7A and not seeing him again for 10 or 12 hours? These things threaten to overwhelm me when I am thinking of them...and these are just some of my thoughts...Randy has his own thoughts...Tori has her own.
Randy, Tori, and myself have committed to 40 days of prayer concerning our transition.
We have made a list of the things that are most important to the 3 of us and we have been praying together daily about these things. This has been such a precious time with Tori. I thought I was fully in tune with all the things that were on her heart...and yet this week she has trusted me with more...what a gift! We began our 40 days of prayer about these things this past Monday...even since then, we feel a transformation taking place...one from anxiety to a building anticipation of the Lord going before us and working out the details as He sees best for our family. The Lord is Faithful and his ways with us are gentle.
An update on the adoption process: Next week we hope to accomplish the task of obtaining an identity card for Lael. This is required in order for her to obtain a Benin passport. The steps have been clearly defined for us and we will start those steps on Monday with the hope and prayer that we will have this card by Friday! We are also waiting to hear any day now that we have been approved to apply for her immigrant visa. We have been told that we have been given approval PENDING our fingerprint clearance! As soon as we have this we will purchase our tickets for departure. We are making plans now and we are proceeding in faith. As soon as we know something for certain we will post this information.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Brian Ries, Marty Koonce, Randy, Murphy Crowson, Dave Reeves
Christine Crowson, Kelly, Louise Koonce
We gathered in Ouidah, Benin at Casa del Papa this past Monday. We went there to spend some special times of fun, prayer and fellowship with some of our favorite missionary colleagues in West Africa. Upon our arrival they told us they had titled our week VGAP and that this time would be spent as our going away party (click here for another VGAP account). They made the time very special. They were intentional about blessing our family and we came away very BLESSED!
Timo was also enjoying playing with friends in the pool...so many little boys to play with....this was truly an amazing week for our kids to be with other missionary kids!
Later in the day I had bathed Jonathan and Lael and had them ready for dinner...I began visiting with someone and in less than 20 seconds they had decided to cool off in this little foot washing pool....oh well....what can you do but laugh and head back to the room and change?
Monday, April 02, 2007