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Showing posts from December, 2013

Embracing a New Year! Week 28

Happy New Year 2014 from the Vogtmans!!And we are ready to have an amazing year full of God's miracles and adventures for our growing family!

Lately, with all the emotions of the adoption whirl winds blustering around I find myself searching for answers and stability. I'm a planner type, love making lists and checking items off! So when the future is uncertain or redirected, then that is a true challenge for me in 'letting go and letting God.' Theses times I more often find myself quoting scriptures, singing songs, and even posting scriptures around the house so that my little mind will not wander into the 'what if' frenzy. 
(visit these posts for the latest in our adoption news: Child in a Paper Pile and Standing in the Gap)

I am reminded of His power, faithfulness, and grace. I find confidence in reflecting on 2013 and ALLLL that the Lord brought us through, the ways He provided for us, the people that He orchestrated to be in our lives, and learning more a…

Standing in the Gap

Friends, we are asking with weary hearts for prayer for the children of Ethiopia - Will you join us in storming the gates of Heaven with prayer and petition?  You see, there is huge battle going on of which many are unaware.  That battle is for the rights of abandoned and orphaned children to be loved and cared for in forever families.  What seems to be a basic human right and common sense from one human to understand about another, is being stripped away from the most innocent and vulnerable- those who can't defend themselves, and they are the children.

Over the years several countries have closed their doors to international adoptions.  Not because they have grand plans to stop the poverty, or provide for the hurting families.  Not because they are setting up systems in their own country to support the children, for third world countries don't have these resources to fund even the best intentions of plans.  But, you see, when countries close their doors to international ad…

Week 27 Merry Christmas!

Dec. 23, 2013 marks week 27 in waiting for our 'call' to tell us there are two precious children in Ethiopia who are our son and daughter.  It's been a long haul, but the Lord is faithful and He will bring His work through to completion in His perfect timing.

This Christmas we are praising the Lord for the coming of His son, Christ Jesus.  For the promise being fulfilled from the beginning of time itself, that God would make a way.  A way for us never to be separated from Him eternally.  A way for us to never fear or doubt or question our worth, because we are all God's special children and He wants to be near to us.  Sin entered the world, tainted our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and the need of a Savior surfaced. A Savior to rescue us from our sinful nature- from ourselves really. The Way, the Savior, is the gift of Jesus, born humbly in a manger.  Adopted into the linage of King David through an earthly man named Joseph. Fulfilling the prophecies from age…

Week 26 He is My Rock

Talk about the roller coaster emotions of adoptions!  This week has been filled with lows then highs then ending off in lows again.  Thanking God that He is stable, faithful, the rock, and a strong tower!

Psalm 62:6  "He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken."

This week started out with the news of Ethiopia slowing down their referrals of abandoned children with adoptive families.  You can read more here from week 25's post, Child in A Paper Pile.
And as you can assume from the title, it is children that ultimately suffer while they are stuck in orphanages with their hope of joining a family on hold while the government pushes papers. Orphanages and adoption agencies are suffering with funds depleting since there are little to no adoptive families making the next payment due when they are matched with children.  The next payment in the adoption process goes to the agency which covers the children's care that is in the hands of the…

Ethiopia's Kitchen

Todd and I and our family are blessed to have friends in our neighborhood who are from Ethiopia.  Through a friend of a friend, we first met near a year ago and our families have hit it off ever since.  The mama and I enjoy talking about the children and she is very helpful to me in learning about Ethiopia, the culture, traditions, and the people.

Last weekend we were graciously invited over for dinner. The kids played while us parents talked in the kitchen.  (We'll just call the mom Allie) Allie breezed around the kitchen pulling out spices and telling Todd and I all about them.  We smelled them and she told us how to use them and what types of recipes they would be used.  My weakness is anything to do with the kitchen, so I was utterly amazed that real cinnamon comes on sticks.  (Yes, I'm that terrible).  Todd has the cooking talent (in my opinion) and he really enjoyed the different food and spice combinations lesson.

One staple food in Ethiopia is a bread type called Inge…

Jesus Calling

This morning (Dec. 18) this was the reading the kids and myself had for our prayer time together.  It is from the book, Jesus Calling for kids by Sarah Young.  More than once the scriptures selected and the devotional that follows has specifically spoken to my heart just in the right timing of what I have emotionally been going through with life events and usually the adoption process. 

Today was one of those days where it's just what I needed to hear to be encouraged.   The following is an expert from the book:

2 Corinthians 4:17 "We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain and eternal glory.  That glory is much greater than the troubles." 

When you have a problem that goes on and on, with no end in sight, see it as a wonderful opportunity.  An ongoing problem is like having a tutor who is always by your side.  If you are willing, you can learn so much from your trouble. 

Ask Me to open your eyes and your heart to all that I am doing through this …

Child in a Paper Pile

Week 25 Waiting for news just came to a close and here is what we know:  

I have to say that I am very frustrated today, yesterday, and well, it's just a bubble of anger that has been brewing since we've heard rumors.  Yesterday the news was confirmed and so this pot is just boiling over.  It happens.

Let me give you some background information on the adoption process first.  After our six months of diligently working to get all of our appointments complete, interviews, doctor reviews, papers signed, meetings, notarized letters, State sealed, government approved, etc. etc. our grand 'dossier' (collection of papers and approvals) are complete with the US and are now registered in Ethiopia to be processed there.

In Ethiopia the organization that is similar to our Social Services and child protective services is called MOWA.  MOWA stands for Ministry of Women's Affairs and they oversee the care of the children in Ethiopia. They are responsible for everything from …

Alternative to Elf on the Shelf

At our home for Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior, and with in the busy season we try to keep Christ the center of Christmas in our holiday activities. Yes, we visit Santa at the mall and hang stockings and things like that, but we tell the kids that these are "games we play" at Christmas time.  When the kids ask us, "is Santa real?" we tell them the history of Santa Claus's story, but no, Santa isn't coming down the chimney and he isn't real.  Jesus is real and He is the reason for the season.  We give gifts to remember the best gift of all, and that is the gift of Jesus coming to this earth to restore our relationship with God that sin had separated. 
So when the Elf on the Shelf comes out in so many homes at Christmas time, we'd like to enjoy the fun, but we put a different spin to it. Let me back up: Are you familiar with Elf on the Shelf?  Well, he is this special Elf sent from the North Pole by Santa.  The elf watches the…

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. Week 23 and 24 Wait

Blog by Todd

Strength is Found in Weakness We often get lured into what the world desires and how it views situations, life, and people rather than what God desires and how He sees.  And with the holiday season upon us it seems like this time of year more than ever the world waves it's temptations before our eyes: "Sale! Buy me! Need me! Focus on me!" the products on the very shelves of the stores call our names and draw out our desires for the newest gadget and stylish clothes. We worry about what tomorrow may bring, rather than pondering the moment and enjoying the present.  We make plans, set deadlines, make those lists and check them twice! We can easily become consumed by this world.  We can easily fall into the "me" first mindset, instead of God first, and our eyes gloss over with confusion.

But what does God want us to focus on?  Philippians 4:8 is very clear on this matter.  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever i…