Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Prayer Warriors, I Need You

There are two things we need urgent prayer for right now.

The first is my father-in-law (Ryan's step-dad) had a heart attack Monday night and is in the hospital. He's having a triple bypass Friday morning. Please pray for God to guide the surgeon's hands and that Howard would heal quickly.

The second is that we are having problems with our court paperwork. We were supposed to be submitted and have a court date by now, but our in-country coordinator asked us to redo one of our forms for clarification. We redid it, but the dates were not right, so now we have to redo it again, and I'm not sure the agency we need the form from will do it for a third time since it was a huge favor getting them to do it even the first time. We are looking at whether we can submit what we already have or if it will cause more problems without further clarification. Please pray for God's will over this situation and His timing for our court date.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

We Found Love in a Hopeful Place

Our translator, Dasha, loves her some techno club music.  It was a surreal experience sitting in the backseat on the way to visit an orphan in a foreign country, and there's techno music blasting on the radio in English. 

The first of these visits, a song came on the radio I had never heard before - "We found love in a hopeless place..." it repeated incessantly in the manner of all techno music.  On and on and on in a frenzy of mindlessness.  Flash forward a month and a half, and now it's all the rage here.  I hear it EVERYWHERE. They did a cover of it at the Dallas New Year's Eve party broadcast on TV.

At the time, it seemed perfectly fitting.  We were falling in love with Ella in what seemed like a hopeless place.  But in truth, there is no hopeless place on this Earth.  That is a lie that Satan would love us to believe.  But the fact that we fell in love with her there, that there are children capable of love there, makes it an inherently hopeFUL place.  No place with love is hopeless.  So there you have it.  I just spent 3 paragraphs invalidating the premise of a techno song. 

But the part about falling in love IS true.  We are so hopelessly in love with this little girl.  I had a hard time enjoying Christmas because of it.  Everything we did as a family, I could feel her absence even though she has never set foot in our house.  I prayed to God to help me be present because I did not want it to steal my joy or my children's joy.  And never fear, our kids had a great Christmas.  Colvin got it into his head that Ella was coming at Christmas.  Maybe because I put her name on a stocking.  Maybe he thought Santa was bringing her in his bag of gifts.  Maybe because Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus so it made sense to him that the long-awaited Ella would arrive, too.  So he was a little disappointed when she didn't show up, but it was nothing that Hungry, Hungry Hippos couldn't cure.

So without further ado, here's the fun stuff:

Stockings hung by the chimney with care...

Poppop read them The True Story of Christmas and The Night Before Christmas

Christmas morning

Playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Wrestling with Daddy

Favorite gift - giant box from Poppop

Setting the Table with Granny Barton

Ryan, Granny Black, and Uncle Matt

At the Gaylord Texan - Granny Barton and Colvin

Grandpa and Georgia in front of the life size gingerbread house

A big thank you to Granny Black for being our resident photographer during Christmas.  Without her, we would probably have no record of anything that happened at our house.

Our paperwork will be submitted to the Russian government as soon as they reopen January 10, so please pray that we get our court date soon!  We are soooo ready!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Ochses!