Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Praying in 5P!

There I stood!  Smack dab in the center of the large room.  A few others were there as well but oblivious as to what was about to happen.  Without hesitation he grabbed my hand and began to pray.  A prayer that wasn't just a "wimpy" request for God to do something. It was a prayer that, as I think back on it, laid out the facts and asked God to get rolling!  It wasn't a quick one either, it lasted!  It stuck!  It had that power that catches you off guard and draws strangers in.  It was amazing!
And it didn't happen in a church, or at a Bible study or where you might expect something like that to happen.
It all went down right in the middle of my fifth grade classroom!  In the middle of our parent teacher conferences!
I had just gotten done meeting with a mother and son about how great his year had been going.  The mother knew of our adoption process and was asking some of the usual questions about timeline and all of that.  Our conversation ended with just a simple explanation that we were once again back to ground zero with some things, but were ever so grateful that we were allowed to preserve our match with Gracie!  Our main priority now was to focus on the good things and get our baby girl home.  God would take care of the rest!
As I turned to leave that conversation I was immediately stopped by another parent.  A dad that I had met for the first time just a few minutes earlier.  He stood there staring at me and said he had a question to ask me.  That type of thing, during conferences, always gets a teacher a little nervous but I had to say yes!
His question was definitely not one I was expecting, at all!
"I just overheard your conversation with that family and I am wondering if I can pray for you?", he boldly said.
Without even thinking I agreed and was quickly swept up into one of those God moments!  Standing face to face, he grabbed my hands, took off his stocking cap and bowed his head.  Not worried one bit about the family still sitting a few feet away or the other family just across the room.  He broke into one of those prayers that would make my momma proud.  And it was bold and Loud!!
The view from my desk! 
He prayed for Gracie, the baby girl he had never seen.  He prayed for my family and our hearts through the process.  He prayed for the people in Haiti that are making life changing decisions as we wait.  For the many people involved in trying to help figure out the messy situation, and he prayed for God's grace and love to pour down on all of those involved.  Finally he simply just thanked God for all of the blessings and for bringing Gracie to our family.  Amen.
The prayer took a minute or two but oddly seemed like it was longer.  One of those prayers that you don't want to leave because the emotion, heart felt passion and the love is just right there.  I hope you can relate.  Those types of prayers aren't always easy to come by.  I am not a master of them by any means but when I get the privalege of hearing one, I am all in!  I am a big time fan of the powerful prayer!  No "wimpy" prayers for me, as a great friend once said!  Prayer has played a large part in my past and continues to be a powerful factor as we move forward with this adoption adventure.  Prayer got me through the passing of my father, exactly 26 years ago today.  It healed our oldest son when we thought we were going to lose him.  And it continues to break down walls and bring hearts together!  And one day it will bring Gracie home!
Shortly after the prayer ended this prayer warrior exited and I stood there for a second wondering what had just happened, and in complete awe of how God works.  How in the middle of a public school classroom I had just stood with a complete stranger and prayed!  Those types of things just don't happen and aren't supposed to happen!  God just seems to show up at those times when we least expect it and He shows himself through the people we would never assume He would.
God rocked my world last night while I stood in a 5th grade classroom, with a handful of people standing silently by.  For a small moment in time it felt like my room; filled with exercise balls, dirty desks and broken pencils, was a safe spot that two brothers could come together and get real with God!  I got served, as my kids would say!

So today I continue to ask for your prayers!  Above all we need to thank God that Gracie is in a safe place and being taken care of so well.  We also need to pray that those representing us in Haiti will be shown grace and wisdom as they try to clear up the dirty road laid in front of us.  Pray for Gracie's Haitian family and her family here that is just waiting for the day that we can snuggle up with her on these frigid South Dakota days.  And finally we boldly ask for God to continue to provide in big ways so that we can get our baby girl home!  Amen

Right now our biggest obstacle is sadly re-raising funds to bring our baby home.  We have been blessed by so many and continue to be but we truly can't do this alone!  Please continue to pray, we appreciate that more than anything, and if you feel at all led to help support us in bringing Gracie home please check out a few of these options...
1. On the top right of this page is a link to our family page at Adopttogether.  You can use this site to make a tax deductible donation!
2. Save the date, March 8th, at Calico Skies Winery.  Some great friends of ours are organizing an evening out full of shopping, raffle/auction items, supper and live music!  We will be posting more info on vendors and other details soon.
3. Support Vibella and Gracie.  By clicking here you can shop on the Vibella website for amazing jewelry made by some incredible Haitian women.  Not only do you help us bring Gracie home but you will also be helping to support the ladies that create these great masterpieces! Be sure to use the code FST09 when you checkout to make sure the Gracie Adoption Fundraiser gets credit. Together we can make a difference!
Our good friend Kayla with Gracie and her daughter Wishla!
Kayla is the Hands and Feet of Jesus in Haiti! She also
works with the Haitian ladies creating jewelry for Vibella!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A note to Gracie on her Birthday!

Today you turned two in a land far away,
I don't know if you were spoiled or heard the song for this day,
You probably don't even know it but this day is so sweet,
Because there is so much love out there just waiting for you to meet,
A mommy  that needs to hold you and touch your soft skin,
A daddy that longs to protect you from all the chaos that you've been in,
Two big brothers that wait in wonder at when you're coming home,
But they love you to pieces and they won't let you go,
We have loved you in person and we have loved you from afar,
We have sat up late at night and wondered if you see the same star,
Gracie, I want you to know how much you are loved,
That even though we aren't with you today that you are being watched from above,
Someday soon you will come home and be a part of our world,
You will join us forever and be Daddy's little girl,
So today on your birthday we pray, thank God and celebrate,
The little beauty that God led us to and for your homecoming we can't wait,
You are loved by so many that to describe there is no way,
So tonight in your honor we
sing Happy Birthday!
Love you Gracie Marie Peters!