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8 Years and a Mini Vacation

On July 26, we celebrated 8 years of marriage. The previous weekend we went on a mini-vacation to Michigan. We stayed in Saugatuck for one night and Traverse City for three nights. We had a GREAT time (despite the fact that it came on the heels of our big disappointment). 

Our hotel in Saugatuck. I spent most of my summers during high school and college working at various places in Saugatuck, so it was fun to come back now as a "tourist". 

Pumpernickles in Saugatuck still has the BEST cinnamon rolls ever. And doesn't Instagram make them look even sweeter?! 

We stayed right in downtown Traverse City, and it was so fun to be able to walk to the shops, restaurants, beaches, and river (guess who liked going to the river?). 

Here Don is fly fishing in the river. There were a few people who stopped and watched him fish for close to 30 minutes- it was so funny!

On Friday night, there were two different bands playing in the streets. One played Jazz music and the other did cover songs. There were also lots of stands and vendors out in the streets, which was really fun. 

Another fun experience on this trip was wine tasting. We went to 2 Lads, and the view was spectacular (overlooking Lake Michigan). 

One of the days we went to Leland, and it was such a cute town. We had lunch, walked around the shops, and of course, got some advice from the local fishermen. 

This was my meal one of our nights out. I'm only including it to prove that my tastes haven't changed much in the past twenty-five years. I'm still waiting to become the type of woman who chooses to order a salad instead of loaded cheese fries. 

Thankful for the 8 years of marriage God has given us (could say more on that), and thankful for our little getaway. And thankful that even in the midst of sadness and hard times, God gives so much joy as well. 


Two Weeks Ago

Exactly two weeks ago we saw the faces of two sweet little baby boys that we thought could possibly be ours. Through a strange set of circumstances, we received an email from a different adoption agency letting us know that they had 7 mos. old twin boys that were available for adoption and no families that were "paper" ready- meaning there were no families within their program that had completed their home studies. It was an unusual situation for them as an agency, but they remembered that we had contacted them earlier and had expressed a desire for twins. They asked if we'd be interested in receiving the information on the boys and possibly moving forward. Of course we said, "Yes!"

I could detail all of the things that happened over the next days, but most of that doesn't matter... what does matter is that we instantly fell in love with these little guys (even though we were TRYING to guard our hearts) and they ended up going to another family. 

I think the hardest part (aside from having their sweet little faces etched into our memories) was also that this potential referral felt like the answer to all of our prayers- or at least to the prayers from the past 21 months we've been in this process. After all of the delays and setbacks, it felt like somehow we were getting everything we had hoped and prayed for. And then it was all gone. The previous week when we were notified that the timeframe with our agency had extended again, I thought we were at the bottom... but through this we learned that there was still deeper to go. 

Within the first few days of finding out that we would not be getting the boys, Don typed up some of what we felt God was doing through all of this, and I'm included it here so you can see as well.  
  • “Does God really have something better for us?” Yes and no. From a human standpoint, I’m not sure that God has something better for us. From the world’s perspective, God does not always give us the best possible life. He does not cause every detail to work out perfectly from a human standpoint. (If that were the case, we would be billionaires, living in Hawaii with six perfect children). But from God’s perspective, I do believe that he has something better for us. He desires to give us more of himself, more fruitfulness, more freedom from sin, more fellowship with Christ, more holiness, faith, joy, and love, more likeness to Christ, more closeness with him. God will give us the best possible life in this sense, which is the best possible life indeed! He knew that getting those twin boys would not be the best for us in this way, and his love wouldn’t allow it.
  • “Why even go through this? What’s the point?” This has already had a purifying effect upon us. It has caused us to draw near to God and to want to center our lives more fully upon him. How silly to devote our lives to any other center. I believe that this is one of the primary reasons why this happened. This is one more little hammer blow that is meant to break through our selfish, dull hearts. God is preparing us for more of himself.
  • Disappointments like this make us look forward to the day when all disappointments come to an end. When Jesus appears, all disappointments will be gone forever. This cursed world will be transformed into a world of continual, non-stop blessing. Bring it on, baby. Our eyes are now a bit more focused on that day.
  • We have been reminded that we cannot interpret God’s love for us based on our circumstances. We must interpret God’s attitude toward us based on the cross. God was willing to crush his only Son for us. He gave his Son over to death so that we could be his. God does love us, and his love was shown in the most full and extravagant way on the cross. We have been reminded that our eyes need to stay fixed on the cross.
Thank you again to so many of you who have been praying for us. I wasn't able to post about any of this (or anything else) earlier because the wound was still too fresh. Since many of you are following our story though, I decided to share it as this is now part of our story. 

I so want to be able to post good news soon, and I thank all of you for walking this long road with us and for loving us so well through this journey!