2013 was a year of change for our family, we brought two new kids home, started them in new school in January, in March, Tracey began interviewing for a job that was without a doubt God ordained. By May, we knew we'd be moving across the state to begin a new ministry. Bailey was about to start his 9th grade year, beginning high school and our new kids that had only been home six months were to be uprooted and moved again...new transitions, new adjustments, new friends. Our kids all had strong friendships in Cochran they were having to leave behind. We were leaving a community that had loved on us and carried us through our adoptions....it was a hard move!
We were amazingly blessed with a Disney vacation in June that hit at just the right time. It fell prior to the chaos of moving but after the kids had been with our family long enough to be well attached and adjusted. It was a much needed reprieve....a break from the chaos of life. The resort where we stayed was absolutely beautiful and the kids had a week of carefree living. They swam and experienced all the magic Disney had to offer. It was a wonderful memory making time! Our only regret is that Mei never got to meet Mickey (his favorite) in person and the girls didn't get to meet the princesses...but otherwise, it was wonderful!
July began in a new city, new house, new church family. The kids began to settle in and make friends through vacation Bible school and youth events. We prayed and were led to what we felt like were the right schools for our kids and their personalities....and they have all thrived!
I was working full time through the move but God had been leading our family for the past five years to transition out of my job. There was no way I could juggle all God had called me to and work full time as well. We knew in July that it was time to let go of the security my job had provided since 2001. It was HARD. My job was 1/2 our income and we were letting it go at a time when medical bills from 3 special needs kids were pouring in, we were renting out our house in Cochran but not breaking even, and the cost to rent a home here large enough for our family was quite a bit more than our house payment there. Our decisions for schooling led to a private school for Bailey which meant private school tuition, and our insurance was covered by my job which meant insurance costs for me and the kids without it.....but we clearly heard God saying, "let it go."...so we obeyed. God has provided every step of the way the last several months. I've been able to focus 100% on Tracey and the kids and that has been amazing. We've been able to clean and organize, I've been able to help with homework and get the kids to and from doctors appointments without stressing about work or taking time off. It's been wonderful!
Christmas was amazing and God provided above and beyond what we ever could have imagined. We were blessed in so many ways!! It is such a joy to provide for our kids at Christmastime and see their joy as they open their gifts. It was a beautiful season.
2014 has begun and we truly desire to thrive. To thrive as a family and grow into a family that genuinely loves and cares for each other. We are still adjusting in many ways to the adoption of a teen so please pray for us as we grow together as a family. Please pray for us to thrive as well in our discipleship of our kids at home, that we will be a family that prays together, gets in Gods word together, and grows spiritually together. Please pray for our kids that they would thrive at school, that Eli would thrive at his English learning, and that God would provide them each with Godly friends to walk alongside them.
Pray for us to thrive financially...this is so hard for me as I see expenses pour in for January that we haven't budgeted....our one income only stretches so far. God has given me some great verses of encouragement over the last couple of days. We've been praying through the possibility of me finding a part time job to cover Baileys tuition, our upside down house in Cochran, and our insurance but want to only go in that direction if God is leading...I don't want to take away from his plan for me to be a wife and mom in this season of our lives but whenever i begin to think about our expenses, my mind immediately goes to job hunting! My verse yesterday came from Isaiah 43:19 " For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." And then from Proverbs 31:25 " She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. " I want to laugh without fear of the future!! And then Isaiah 41:10 " Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."
Although 2013 was hard, we grew in amazing ways and there are now 2 less orphans in the world. We have been so blessed through adoption, even through the hard seasons.