Saturday, December 31, 2016

OUR YEAR IN A JAR- 2016 Edition

One of my favorite traditions is our end of the year jar. It gives us such a great perspective on all wonderful things that has happened in the year. Without our jar, we have found that we really focus on the BIG stuff- whether that be good or bad. What I love about our jar, is it reminds us of little things that we often would not remember, but it brings us smiles and joy as we remember the sweet little moments that we have experienced throughout the year. We don't have a system of when we put things in, so some months have more than others. We simply keep the jar on our coffee table with a pen and paper all year long, and we fill it as things happen.

Our jar is filled with Adventures, Answered Prayers, Laughable Moments, Blessings, and Things We Don't Want to Forget. 

Okay so 2016!

Wow! What a year it has been. Like every year, it has been filled with good and not so good. Our hearts have been broken and hurt for many people nationally and around the world for various reasons. We have seen humanity at its worst and its best. We have celebrated some of the most exciting things of our lives, and we have been devastated by news of health and loss of those we love so dearly.  

So in no particular order, here are some of the highlights from the Woodson family jar.
1. Germany!
2. A cool surprise to get an autographed picture of my favorite drummer from Ms. Kathy.
4. We finally found a house! AND WE BOUGHT IT!
5. August 22, 2016- We saw our son, Zane, for the first time! REFERRAL DAY!
6. Thankful for new friendships that are developing
7. 1st Bahama Bucks. Delicious!
8. DC was an adventure! Haha!
9. Blessed to have a beautiful God-daughter from my best friend. 
10. We no longer have a lime green kitchen.
11. Bought our new neighbors a dozen donuts and introduced ourselves.
12. Had ice cream with Sumi on Grandparents day!
13. So blessed by all the love from friends and family through the trivia night and t-shirt fundraiser
14. Taking piano lessons to help with songwriting
15. Fun 4-wheeling in Vandalia for Jon's 30th

It has been far from perfect, and not ending exactly like we would want it to, but we are blessed and so very thankful for the great things that this year has brought! As we empty our 2016 jar, we are looking forward to new and exciting moments and adventures in 2017! We pray that 2017 will be a year full of jar worthy moments for you and your family.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Waiting on a Printer

We live in a world where our lives are so very dependent on the technology that we use.  I mean seriously! I can’t find my way home from anywhere; I don’t have a real alarm clock; I definitely don’t know the phone numbers of any of my friends; I have to google so many things every day! Maybe you are better than me, but functioning without technology can be rough. Many of us have become so dependent on it that we can’t imagine a life without the resources that are so easily accessible to us.

This week, I was having a rough time thinking about this sweet little boy of ours. Everyone knows the holidays make it difficult to be away from those you love. I have been playing Christmas music in my class all week, and every time I hear the song “All I Want for Christmas is You”, I can’t help but think how true that statement is in my life right now. Since Ethiopia is still in a State of Emergency, internet and cell phone use is still extremely limited. Zane’s nannies are saying they get access about an hour a day. CAN YOU IMAGINE? This has clearly been slowing everything down. Some of you are aware that we are currently waiting on two more documents (Zane’s birth certificate and a clearance form) before we can move on to the next step of the adoption process. We were so excited when our family coordinator told us that it looks like there could be a possibility that we could receive these papers this week. We have been slow to celebrate couldbes because we have learned that they usually don’t happen in this crazy process, but we were really hoping. When I received an email this week, I was pretty excited because I knew this was probably it.

As I began reading the letter, it all sounded pretty good. The workers at Zane’s home took him to the government office (Good...) They were able to locate his paperwork (AWESOME…) They went to print the document (YES!), but the printer was broken, so they were sent away and told to come back some other time (WHAT?!). It is so hard for Americans to fathom these kind of problems when it comes to third world countries. When I was in Africa, if something wasn't working, it wasn't working, and that's that. I am assuming that is how it went this week. So apparently the government building has a broken printer at the moment, and we will not be receiving Zane's birth certificate until it is fixed. 

So back to the technology talk. It seems like such an easy fix. It seems like they could simply buy a new printer, fix the one they have, or surely they have more than one right? Well... many places like this are limited on what they have available, and we truly have no idea how long this could take. Although Zane's birth certificate and paperwork are definitely our top priority, unfortunately, fixing the printer may not be someone else's. We are happy to know that his birth certificate is there, but it is almost more frustrating to know that we have access to it, and we can't have it!

So why am I typing this? Well... A lot of people have been asking me what is happening with the progress of the paperwork, and here is my current answer "We are currently waiting on them to fix a printer." It sounds absurd and crazy, but it is the reality of this adoption and where we are right now.

When I read the email that my son is currently not any closer to coming home because of a broken printer, I am not going to lie, I was frustrated and so very discouraged. A broken printer would typically appear to be such a small and easy fix, but has suddenly become a mountain of uncertainty.

Though there is uncertainty and frustration, I am thankful that I have such supportive and encouraging people in my life. God continues to show His faithfulness through the people He has put in my life for such a time as this. When I don't have it all together and I am a complete mess. I can be real and share my heartaches and pains. I am reminded that this is not forever and that I will bring my son home.

I don't know if you are waiting on something this Christmas season or if you are believing for some type of change in some area in your life, but if you are, I encourage you to keep believing. Maybe you have a broken printer in your life or maybe you feel like it is a room full of broken printers. I pray that whatever your current situation looks like, you will focus on what you are believing for in your life. It's okay to have a moment. It's okay to be a mess. But never lose sight of your dream, your longing, your purpose, your calling.

Although miles, time, governments, oceans, and even printers stand in our way, I have confidence that this is not forever and that Zane will be home with his daddy and me soon.

Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

al Asia and took their sons (363).