On the Journey With My Chosen One!

I am sure you might wonder why I call her chosen rather than adopted.... well, adopted is just her physical condition, CHOSEN is what we both are to be a family together! God is so rich in His Blessings, and He has chosen each of us from before the time we were knit in our mother's womb to be a FOREVER family! How BIG is that? How BIG is our God!?! Thank you for following our journey and for praying for us as we wait and continue to grow in the love of God! -- Blessings!

Liliana's Verses

Matthew 17:20 - " ... For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain: "Move from here to there", and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you."

Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God is with you. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blessed..... Beyond Measure!

What a wonderful weekend! I got to celebrate One Year with my Precious Peruvian and then celebrate My Risen Lord! He is risen indeed! Celebrating One Year simply reminds me that He came to redeem us! He came that we might have life! He came to work miracles in the lives of sinners like me, to bring about such an incredible blessing! Happy Easter!

We had such a busy but great weekend! For our Blessing Day we went to the Zoo to see the Llamas (well, our zoo only has one) and the elephants and giraffes.... her favorite animals! The Llama was hilarious, he had his back to all the people coming by to see him in the petting zoo... but he did turn around to check us out! She LOVES giraffes and we got to see them up close, she was soooo excited! Later after celebrating a birthday dinner for dear friends, we came home to make Llama cookies. She had so much fun, and even more fun eating her Llama cookies.

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Saturday, we participated in her first ever Easter Egg Hunt! We had a great time "finding the Easter Eggs! She also got to see the "Princesses", these are young ladies who serve as ambassadors for our city at city-wide events. She thought they were great! Then we came home for a nap, then a walk with our dog Mia and her "Lady Bug" and stroller. She is soooo funny walking her doll just like Mama walks her in the stroller! Then we dyed Easter eggs, she thought it was great to see them come out a different color!

Then today, we celebrated our Risen Savior at church and then we had dinner with our good hunt Easter eggs again to find what kind of yummy treats they might find! What a blessed day! I am constantly reminded of how much our Savior loves and cares for us everyday! What joy!

Striving to Make His Glory Known!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

One year!

"Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass." Joshua 21:45

One year ago...

And Today....

Well, I have started this blog a couple of times, wrote a good bit last night, and quite honestly just didn't know where to begin! So, I am going to begin with this:

"... 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." Matthew 28:7

Now I am sure you were thinking "Hey, this is a One Year Blessing Day post, right? Well, yes it is! You see it is because Jesus is alive and in my heart that this adoption was even made possible! It was God who planted this desire in my heart, and God who brought it to pass! But, if it weren't for Christ's death on the cross this could never be! Last year I was in Peru for Easter, and Easter was the end of our Family Placement week.... this year, Easter is just days after our Blessing day... I can't help but be reminded that it was becuase of Christ's death on the cross that saved me from my sins and his resurrection that gives me a future and a hope!

One year ago today, I met my Precious Peruvian for the first time, I am still speechless over the miracle that God perfomred that day! It is still just as fresh in my mind today as it was one year ago! I was recently looking at the magnificent gift that her orphanage gave me, and entire collection of pictures of her from the time she enered the orphanage at 3 days old, and I could hardly believe my eyes! You see, my Precious Peruvian isn't the same as she was one year ago, even her face looks different! It is so incredible to see how she has grown physically, intelectually and emotionally. She has grown 6 inches and gained about 6 pounds. She went from wearing a size 24 months to wearing a 4T in exactly one year! (Yep, I've been buying a lot of clothes! HaHa!) She now talks all the time. She still doesn't have everything down and sometimes only Mama can understand her, but she is talking all the time! A lot of times I can tell she is talking like me! It is too funny! She can identify all of her colors and has a favorite... purple! She can count to 10 with no help and spontaneously does it on her own! One time, I heard her counting to 25.... she hasn't done it again, but she did it for sure that one time! :-) She knows and recognizes all of her vowels and the sounds that they make. She can also do this with about 3-4 other letters. She is finally answering questions, especially "yes/no" questions with quickness and accuracy! She can answer "What is it questions... if she knows what the item is. She sings all the time! This makes my heart smile because I see it as a sign of a happy, well-adjusted child! She loves to play her guitar and her piano that we have here at home. Every once in a while, I will realize that her singing is a song..... that she has made up! :-) She is happy, loves school, loves playing with (more like aggrivating) the dog! She loves being at home.... but that is a good thing, it means she feels safe here! She has come a long way, and says "Hello & Good-by" to who Mama says "Hello & Goodbye to" and interacts well with our close friends and family members! She is just growing soooo fast! I can hardly believe it as each day goes by! I am so blessed and humbled to be called Mama!
There is just sooo much to say, but not enough time or space..... and yes, I know I should blog more! :-) But, this is what I want her to look back and read about our One year Blessing Day.... This is my letter of dedication to her, as I dedicated her to the Lord on October 16, 2011.

My Precious Peruvian,
“….For truly I say unto you, if you have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed you can say to this mountain: “Move from here to there.” And it will be done. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Many years ago a tiny seed was planted in my heart. Soon, it began to grow and grow until one day God said “You can do this!” That day was here in this church as another Mom who chose her child, like I chose you, was dedicating her little girl. God had planted the seed, but it took faith to make the seed grow it, and as I began my journey to you, I took the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken, knowing all along that God was holding my hand! For you see, God had a beautiful plan, from even before time began, He had chosen the two of us to be together. You are CHOSEN my beautiful one!
In my journey to you there were a lot of challenges and struggles, but God gave me Matthew 17:20 to hold onto for the entire journey! I held onto this promise form God like nothing else I have ever trusted him for! Then, when I read your file, something in my heart stirred and I asked God for even more faith! As I was praying over you, I found a baby name book and decided to see your name’s Christian meaning. Pilar means “Strong in Faith” and the verse accompanying your name was Matthew 17:20! I knew that very day that God had heard my heart’s cry and that He was about to make Himself known, because this was the very verse that HE had given me at the very beginning of my journey to you!
After much prayer and petition I requested you! There were so many mountains standing between us, I didn’t know if it would even be possible for us to be together, yet I held on to this verse! Then on Christmas Eve 2010 God chose to reveal His plan for you and me! God showed me that He was still in the miracle business and that You are my very own miracle! Mountains moved that day, in such an amazing way!
As I finally got to travel in April of this year to get you, I could hardly believe what God had already done! Little did I know that what was still ahead! On the day I met you, you were so timid and unsure of yourself, yet as we played you would look at me, and you knew, you just knew that we were chosen for one another! I will never forget my first hug and kiss that day! You see, God had heard my prayer for attachment from the very beginning of my journey. You are my precious waiting Angel and God has given me the greatest gift!
My sweet one, life will be hard for us at times. We will struggle and you may one day have lots of questions without answers. But, God is with you. He has you in the palm of his hand! May you always value honesty, giving to others and above all may you desire a heart like his! Because music is such a joy of both of us, I have chosen this song for you, and may it always resonate in your heart all the days of your life! May you always hold onto your mustard seed because God has a beautiful plan for your life! God is faithful!"

One year is an amazing milestone.... I must admit that it came here so quickly that I barely saw it coming! And, God is soooo good! I have lots of times compared my journey to that of the Israelites.... here is just another piece of that journey! You see, one year ago today, I crossed over the Jordan and took hold of my piece of the Promised Land. But, just like the Israelites, there were giants in my Promised Land...... and boy were there giants!! Some of them we mean and ugly, some of them like to weigh you down with guilt and dispair. Some of the giants were parts of my Precious one's past.... and some of the giants were inside of me! I learned very quick that Mommyhood has its really ugly moments and moments that I mess up and don't think that anything good can come from it. But, just as with the Israelites, God has taken care of me! He has provided my Manna every day! He has fought my battles, and He has protected us! You see God knew that I.... just like the Israelites would be walking into difficult times and situations, but as I am often reminded HE IS IN CONTROL!

What now?!? Well, we will continue on our journey through the Promised Land!I pray that we will walk with the Lord all the days of our lives and that God will continue to knit our hearts together and will continue the bonding process between us. God is faithful, so incredibly faithful! I can't wait to see what He has in store next!

Below are some pics of the last few months... and, tomorow we celebrate our Blessing Day (Forever Family Day) together and I'll try to post some pics of her first Easter and our day tomorrow.Again, thank you for journeying with us and praying for us! Please continue to pray that God will give me the wisdom and grace I need on a daily basis to best love and care for my most Precious Gift! Please continue to pray for her as she continues to grow and catch up! She has come sooo far, but we still have a ways to go.... but God has this under control too!

Striving to Make His Glory Known for He has done GREAT things!

The dress that I had hoped she would wear today... but she grew too fast! This was taken in August of last year.

Birthday picture of my beautiful girl!

We still LOVE our "Papa Lay", but we do eat the baked kind now!

Look at me climbing at the park!

Some more park fun.... she loves the slides!

Then there was my trip to Disney to see Mickey & Minnie Mouse... while she really loves them, they were a little scary to her in person.... but she did enjoy seeing them!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Village

Well.... as you can see, this is the reason I NEVER make "New Year's Resolutions".... they usually end up being "Little White Lies" because I can rarely keep them! So sorry! I have had several blogs brewing in my mind and heart of the last 3 months.... just no time to sit down and write them out! But, we are coming up on our one year anniversary and I promise a full update and pics on that blog next week! I can't miss our 1 year post.... and I won't let you miss it either!

But this particular blog has been brewing in my heart for a long while now.... it is about "My Village". You know the saying: "It takes a village..." well, I (AKA Miss Independent) have learned so much and have come to appreciate my "Village" so much over the last year. This blog is dedicated to YOU!

Let's see.... where do I begin! Here is one place I want to start.... in college, I was very involved in Discipleship groups, and we had a "Discipleship Family".... there is me, the girl who discipled me (we will call her "M") and the one who discipled her "C". Well, I told a sweet and longtime friend who was being discipled with me by "M" that I was adopting. Suddenly I started getting phone calls from "M" and "C" and it seems that indepently of each other we had all decided to adopt....and we were all in process together AT THE SAME TIME! I can not even begin to express how cool it is that God chose us to fulfill His plan, and we all shared in and studied His word together over 20 years ago. If you had asked any of us then if we thought we would be adopting... I don't know that we would have had the same answer! But, I am amazed at how somewhere along the way HE saw fit to put us all on the same journey at the same time. We are all home with our children now.(from 3 different continents)... our processes were all finalized within months of each other....what amazing joy it has been to share this journey with you my friends!

Then, there is my "Village" who has prayed for me, supported me, loved on me and offered me a helping hand every step of my journey! God, placed one friend (a neighbor actually) in my life, who had just adopted her little girl, just as I was starting my process. Then through my process, so many supported me with love and prayers. And, God has chosen to work in the lives of some of these and widened our "Adoption Village" as two have adopted or are in process to adopt and one chose to care for little ones through Foster care. One week, not too long ago, I thought my heart would leap out of my chest out of pure joy for those who had prayed for me and supported me, God had brought to three of them, the fruition of His plan all within one week! It was amazing! I am overjoyed at what He has done and the encouragement that these people have had on me! I am so thankful for the listening ears of other friends. Friends who just invite us to come "hang out", make cookies, watch movies, visit and share with one another. For these I am also eternally thankful, this is what encourages my heart!

I am so thankful for my Facebook Peru group! You all inspire me and encourage me every step of the way! There are some precious friends on FB, who I so hope to meet one day, and we are bound together forever by our love for sweet, beautiful children of the King! I am so encouraged by their journies. They too have prayed for me, encouraged me with their words and stood in the gap for me on countless occasions! (Sorry guys for not keeping up with the blogs!)

Then there is my sweet church family! I could not have made it before and certainly not now without your love and encouragement. I know that there are those who just pray and pray for us, and I may never know who they are. I know that they are standing in the gap for me and oh, how they love my Precious Peruvian! I am so thankful for the words of wisdom, encouragement, and for sharing in my precious joy as I brought my Precious Peruvian home! I have had to step out of a lot of things at church b/c of routines and schedules, and I miss my involvement terribly, but my sweet church continues to understand and stand in the gap for me.

Then there are the many others in various places like work, my "growing-up" home, her daycare that care for us, pray for us and love on us on a daily basis. Everytime someone stops to ask how Little Bit is doing, it is such an encouragement to me. Sadly, I think they get more than they bargained for some days! :-) There are her therapists, these are five of the most amazing women in the world! They have worked with my Precious Peruvian and with Mama and you just can't imagine how far she has come in a year...sorry, that is for next week's blog!

Then, there is my family. They are all so eager to know more and to see us MORE. :-) I am so blessed to have a family that absolutely adores my Precious Peruvian! I have been so incredibly loved by their love for my child... it is hard to explain, but to see the joy that she brings them, makes my heart happy!

And, by no means least (and I am sure I left out a zillion people in my village!) is my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, the one in charge of this "Village" I live in.... to Him be all glory and honor FOREVER! I stand in awe of Him every single day! There are those days that are just so hard, days that I have had to pray for "supernatural" strength.... He has ALWAYS provided! I have learned so much about Him since the beginning of this journey! He is "Abba Father", "Healer" "Provider", "Protector" "Counselor", "Friend"! There have been so many times and days when I just fell on my kness and said "Lord, I really messed that up!" "Lord, I can not take another second." "Lord, I need some grace, most of the time for me and sometimes for others!" "Lord, how do I do this?" "Lord, I am so weak!" "Lord, Mom Guilt is killing me!" I am walking, living proof that He NEVER tires of hearing from His beloved children! Oh, how thankful I am! I have had many times in my life where I have had to depend on God, but I have discovered in parenting that there are times when He is my dependence! He is the one who carries me! He is the one who provides all of these amazing people in my "Village" to care for me and to show me His love! And, my joy and hope come from the Lord!

So, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I am so thankful to everyone that God has placed in our lives to lift us up and hold us up throughout the last year! I have been so blessed by each and every one that God has placed in my path, so that I might be able to carry on and journey in joy! Thank you for journeying with me! Will you please continue with me on this journey of love that God has called me to?!? And, I too will continue to journey with you! Love & Blessings to all of you!
Striving to Make His Glory Known!

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galations 6:9

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Remembering When....

Written on Christmas Eve....

My soul magnifies the Lord….!
It was one year ago TODAY that I found out the news from Peru that I would be receiving the greatest gift anyone could ever ask for, next to Salvation! My sweet Precious Peruvian would become forever mine! And, WOW! What a year it has been!
An AMAZING ride!
A living testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness!
A trip to Peru…..
Meeting my child for the first time….
Experiencing so many new things….
Adjusting to new routines…..
Adjusting to MORE new routines….
And, experiencing our firsts:
First visit with family
First Independence Day
First Halloween
First Thanksgiving
First visit with Santa
First big car ride
First Christmas with her family
And yet, there are so many more things for the list!
What an enormous joy this year has been! I have been AMAZED at God’s goodness and grace all year long! Yes, there were difficult times, struggles, some times when I am sure each of us thought that we may never get used to something new that we had never experienced before…..it has all been worth it, every single minute!
As I sit here and type this blog, I am reminded of how I told God last year, “Lord, not my will, but Thine will be done!” And, I meant it! And, God’s will was done and is being done! I pray that daily I am fulfilling God’s will and strive daily to be the Godly parent that God would have me be……NOT PERFECT…. Won’t ever be there, but I strive to live by His word. That means that Mama has learned lots of new things this year! There have been days of great triumph and days where I felt like such a huge failure! The biggest lesson I have learned is that parenting is a life –long lesson in HUMILITY! And, “Mom”is the MOST REWARDING title ever given to a human being!
I have really been pondering Mary this year, and her position as Mother of the Savior of the World! (Funny thing, this topic was on my mind and then our Preacher at church talked on this very topic this year…. Hmmm…interesting!) Anyhow, what must it have been like for her? I mean honestly, did she have to discipline Jesus when he was a little boy? Potty training? Training Him up in the way he should go? Wow! Some days I just hope I get it right….. can you imagine?!? But, just as Mary did two thousand years ago, she said, “Lord, not my will, but yours be done…” and she trusted Him. I daily strive to do the same thing…. Trusting Him to help me be the Mom that my Precious Peruvian needs and that God would have me to be! (Granted, there are a few things that I learned along the way to add to my New Year’s Resolutions for 2012!) But, my prayer is one of Thanksgiving and Praise for being able to see and hold the heart of God this year! God’s heart is for the orphan, and what an amazing privilege (Not as Amazing as Mary’s privilege, yet Incredible in its own right) to be blessed with the beauty and joy of having my Precious Peruvian at HOME! God is sooooo good and so faithful, there aren’t even enough words for the page!
Well, I know this will be a really loooonnnggg blog….. but it has been a while in coming! Let me give you an update on my sweet Precious Peruvian!
We are making more and more new strides every single day! Every day is like a little surprise package just waiting to be opened! In the last month, she has really just opened up! She talks all the time, now bear in mind, it isn’t all understandable all of the time….. sometimes it isn’t even Spanish or English! She has created her own language and it often times has the intonation of Minnie mouse’s voice! HILARIOUS! But, honestly, she practices her talking all the time! This is such an amazing thing considering she would say about 5 words/phrases 8 months ago when I met her for the first time!
She identifies her animals, and gives them all the correct sound… most of the time! “Mooo” is without a doubt her most favorite animal sound and depending on the day, ALL animals say “Moooo”!
She can identify a lot of her colors and has chosen a “favorite” color…..PURPLE! She has a pair of purple socks and she gets sooo excited about putting them on for bedtime… it is too funny!
She has really started identifying and recognizing people…. And calling them by name! She loves her Grammie and Paw-Paw (who she calls “Papas” which means “potatoes” in Spanish! HaHa!) She got to see her Uncle Bubba & Aunt Stephie and cousins for Thanksgiving and again this week for Christmas! We had a good trip to visit with Aunt Mary & Uncle Jack and she got to meet some more of her cousins. And, now she is getting to meet the rest of the family for Christmas!
She is really starting to get the idea of Home and the permanency of it! After our Thanksgiving trip, she really started understanding what it meant to go “home”…. What a great feeling!
She is loving her school! She loves to go every day and is talking more and more with the other children there! The language barrier is still a bit of an issue, but she is overcoming that very quickly! She has so much fun there that sometimes she doesn’t want to leave… oh what a good that does this Mama’s heart!
She is learning to express her emotions in words….Phew! Mama is so glad! We still have a long way to go with this one, but she is coming along! She identifies “happy” and “mad/angry” really well! She isn’t afraid to express her opinion either!  She has started understanding “yes” and “no” and will answer “yes/no” questions with a pretty good accuracy! However, she is quite the “teaser” and will sometimes say “no” or “yes” depending on the question, just to see your response!  Too funny!
Her personality has really started coming out! She is a funny one! She loves to laugh and sing…. And oh do we sing! She has most songs learned after the 2nd or 3rd time of hearing them. She might not have all the words down, but she has the tune perfectly and sings it at the top of her lungs! For example, tonight…. In the tub…. She was singing “Jingle Bells” at the top of her lungs! I did video it, but since she was in the tub, not going to post it on the blog…. It was soooo cute though! She loves the “Hey!” part! She is learning lots of new things musically speaking…. She knows how to keep a steady beat, she is matching pitch a majority of the time and she loves to hear and learn new music, especially if it is sung by Mickey or Minnie Mouse or the Veggie Tales! She just loves to sing her heart out! And, it brings such joy to my soul to hear her! So, sometimes, if you live nearby and see me singing to the top of my lungs…. We are just enjoying a little musical family time! 
She is doing great with her various therapies and is coming along quite well in almost all of her areas of development. We are still a bit behind, but she is improving dramatically! Thank you for your prayers in this area! We have also been for all of our check-ups except for the eye doctor. Our latest visit was to the dentist, where surprisingly she had NO cavities! I was shocked…. Especially because we have a “Skittle” economy at our house…. We call them “candies” and she gets 2 or 3 for using the potty, cooperating with Mama, etc…… but thanks be to God, no more check-ups until the summer! And, she is doing really well!
Well, I know you really want to see some pics….. I have so many to upload that I am going to just upload them…. They will be of our Thanksgiving, a train ride to the “North Pole”, our visit from Santa at our house to find out what she might want for Christmas (which by the way, she doesn’t totally understand just yet!) and our Christmas visit with her cousins! And, you will also see pics of our first Christmas morning!
And…….my New Year’s Resolution for 2012 is to keep up with the blog a little better!! Soooo sorry! Thank you to all of you who have prayed us through 2011…. It has been such an Amazing Ride… and I am so thankful for the MANY who have stood in the gap for us!
Blessings & Love…. And continuing to strive to make His Glory Known!

Thanksgiving with her cousins and eating Thanksgiving feast for the first time was fun!

Helping out with the tree decorating... she tried really hard to get those ornaments to stay!

Our train ride to the "North Pole" with our sweet friends.... and Santa was there too!

Baking cookies for Santa's visit to our house!

At first she wasn't so sure of Santa, but after a few minutes she warmed up to him, and had a great time with her visit with Santa....at our house! So fun!

Christmas with her cousins...yes, she has them wrapped around her little finger... they adore her, and she has so much fun with them!

Her Christmas present...a ukelele.... she spotted it right off, and we didn't open another present for 30 minutes! She loves it, has played it and played it... the challenge is keeping it in tune so that Mama doesn't go crazy, but she loves playing it!

Her other favorite Christmas gift.... her Minnie Mouse "bicycles" (as she says it!)

And..... just when you thought you were finished ---- Here are pics from her Birthday Bash on December 31st with the family and her sweet cousin whose birthday is just a few days after my Precious Peruvian's!

And, last but not least.... my favorite... she got to meet her Great-Grandmother for the first time while we were visiting Grammie for Christmas.... here are 4 generations, some born from tummies.... and ONE born from God's heart!