Saturday, November 7, 2009

Operation Giggle

Soon after finding out about YWAM adoption ministry and applying to adopt one of the little girls in their care in Ethiopia , I found out about this ministry:

I was quite intrigued as this ministry had set out to minister to orphans in both China AND Ethiopia. Both my passions!!! Their mission this year is to provide Christmas gifts for orphans in a foster home in China as well as to provide for many of the orphans and widows in YWAM's care centers in Ethiopia. They have done a remarkable job in taking on a huge task of providing gifts for orphans on two different continents. I read their most recent post and realized they are trying to provide gifts for the street children of Gimbie Ethiopia. This is very likely where our daughter will be from. While she is not old enough to be living on the streets , her future could have been just that without YWAM being available there in her village to bring her into care. Operation Giggle is, as of this posting, 9 sponsors short of providing for the street children there in Gimbie. If you would like to make one of these boys and girls giggle with delight this Christmas, click on the above "Operation Giggle" button or in the side bar and they will direct you as to how to make a 25 dollar donation to sponsor one of these children. Yes, we CAN be the hands and feet of Jesus loving the lonely and lost. Thanks for taking the time to check out this incredible ministry and being a part of what God is doing in this great big world!

Treasured Traditions

Well, the boys football season is now over. They lost in the first round of their play offs but that was one of only two losses for the season. Coming off of an undefeated season last year, the losses were difficult. They played hard all season and their coach reminded them that losses are a part of life and character is shown more during the losses than the wins. We were thankful the boys had a great coaching staff for their city football league. They learned a lot on and off the field.

The most exciting game of the season was on a Saturday I happened to have been working at the hospital. I happened to get finished a little early and made it to the game right before halftime. I arrived just in time to see Graham as quarterback throw up a long pass to be caught by Noah who then ran it in for a touchdown!!!! That was SWEET!!!!! A Watkins Boys Touchdown!!! And how sweet of the Lord to allow me to get there just in time to see and celebrate with them!

Yes, It has become a tradition to spend our saturdays in the fall watching the boys play football. It has also become a tradition to go to a local diner called the Circus to grab a hot dog after the games. They have 99 cent hot dogs on Saturdays. The boys also like to celebrate with a limeade slushie! The Circus has been around for years. It is near the ball field where the boys play which is in the neighborhood where my grandparents lived most of my life. I have memories of going to the Circus with my grandfather when I was a little girl. I have even better memories of every Sunday afternoon driving to my grandparents house in that same neighborhood and having Sunday lunch. Those memories are priceless!! And those Sunday lunches also became a family tradition as we now travel to my parents house after church most Sundays and have lunch with my parents, my grandmothers, great aunt, and my sister and her three children. The kids have a great time playing with their cousins. They sometimes will stage an impromptu concert for the family or have a pickup game of basketball in the driveway . These are great family times and a treasured tradition. I think Chicken and dumplings is on the menu for tomorrow...can't wait!! Thanks Mom and Dad for carrying on this treasured tradition!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Memorial Box Monday

Today I want to share a memorial box monday post with you. I have put the link to the blog above where I first heard of doing this . I thought it was such a grand idea to record those God moments where He surprises us, or provides for us, or heals us ,or comforts us and to be able to record these for our children and children's children. What a legacy of God stories to leave behind. So this is my first attempt at doing this. I don't know if I will have a weekly post as I am still a new blogger but it will not be because God isn't moving, just that I am slow to record the stories.

Please go visit A Place Called Simplicity. You will be blessed I know!! Hers is one of the stories that stirred my spirit toward Africa as I read of their journey to bring home their two babies from Uganda .

So, the idea of a memorial box is to place an item in a special keepsake box to remind you of a God Story in your life. I don't have a box yet, but if I did, in it I would place the birth certificate of a little cabbage patch doll I purchased for our daughter we adopted from China before she came home. Actually, it was purchased before she was ever born, soon after we submitted our application to adopt from China. We had talked about naming our daughter Lottie after Lottie Moon ,a missionary to China who shared Jesus with the daughters of China by having them come to her home for cookie parties. What a hero of the faith to name our daughter after. We had not decided for sure until I walked into Wal-mart one day and happened to see these Cabbage Patch dolls. One looked a little more Asian than the others and I pulled it closer and saw the birth certificate through the cellophane which read....Cinderella Lottie.....yes!!! Lottie!! I had tears streaming down my face as I went to purchase the doll KNOWING that God himself had called our daughter by name and she would be born in China!!!

So this weekend I was reminded of that God moment as I watched my precious daughter dress up as a princess for a fall festival at school and for a neighborhood parade .....

my Cinderella Lottie........

Thank you Jesus for your confirmation that she was our daughter before she was even born!!! Our treasure from the King of Kings!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Putting The Pieces Of The Puzzle Together

The Beginning Of Our Second Adoption Journey

For me, many times, seeking God's will for my life is kind of like putting a puzzle together with a blurred picture or no picture at all of the finished product. God is the only one who sees it in all of its glorious detail. We attempt to place each piece of the puzzle in to see if it fits into the overall picture. With each piece, God confirms whether or not that is His plan for us and encourages us to press toward His perfect end result where He can be glorified. Our second adoption journey begins really soon after our first as God enlarged our heart through the experience of adopting our daughter Lottie from China.( See Our Little Lottie link on side bar)He opened the eyes of our heart to His heart for the orphan. We helped to launch an adoption ministry in our church and lead an adoption small group in our home soon after our first adoption. We so wanted to give God the glory for what we had experienced through adoption and so wanted others to experience the same blessings. From our view point, the puzzle was nearing completion. We had been blessed to be a blessing and we were enjoying sharing our story and encouraging others. God began to reveal to us though that there might be a missing piece to our puzzle. I was involved in an in depth Bible study all of last year on the book of Mark. One day I read the verse in Mark 11:17 where Jesus says in Red Letter words , " My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations". These words resonated in my heart and I began to pray about their meaning to me. I shared with Battle that I thought God had something to tell us about bringing His Glory to the nations. Soon after this Bible study, we had a guest speaker at church who spoke of the fact that God mentions the word "nations" in the Bible 550 times. His message was confirmation that we were to be a part of making His name great among the nations! His ministry happened to be a ministry our church had partnered with to minister to the deaf in Africa. A quiet time a few days later drew me to the verse in Psalm 96 :3 , " Declare My Glory to the nations". At this point we could not dismiss the message. It was becoming more and more clear.

All along, Adoption had continued to be on our heart and we knew it was the very heartbeat of God. From time to time I would even look at waiting children's lists just wondering if we were to add another daughter to our family, a sister for Lottie and her two big brothers, Graham and Noah. I even inquired about a few special needs girls from China as I wondered....could this be the next piece of the puzzle? But no, God would open up my heart to a whole new world.....a whole new continent.....the piece of the puzzle He knew to to be AFRICA. The only association I had with Africa was with the commercials I saw on TV as a child, pictures of the bloated children with flies hovering who were dying of starvation. I did have another memory however. One of Battle and I talking when we were dating. We had a conversation early on in our dating days when we were sharing our hearts....our hopes and dreams. We talked of adoption and we also talked about Africa. We both had a heart for missions and for some reason shared a desire to go to Africa at some point and declare His Glory there. I even have the letters for the word -A-F-R-I-C-A - I had cut out of a magazine and pasted on a creative card I gave Battle when we were dating. I had only revisited that conversation a few times in our marriage as we had gotten busy with the "stuff" of life. But when I did revisit it, I wondered....what ever happened to AFRICA? God had NOT FORGOTTEN!!

One of our first guest speakers for our adoption ministry came to share of the ways God had moved mountains in His adoption story of his little girl from Uganda in Africa. I wondered then what the stirring was going on in my heart. I stumbled across an adoption blog of a family who had adopted several children but had just recently come home from Uganda with two toddlers. Her blog linked me to another amazing blog of a young girl who left her life here in the states to go to Uganda where she is now mommy to 14 African daughters! I read blogs of many families who had adopted children from various African countries and was moved again and again at what God was doing on the other side of the world. I was educated in how AIDS , poverty , and war had created a crisis of unfathomable proportions leaving millions of children orphaned and alone. Another family came to speak to our adoption ministry at church who had just returned fom adopting a siblng set of three from Ethiopia. Their testimony of obedience to God's call was quite moving. We learned of Tom Davis whose passion for the orphan is contagious and who passionately wrote two books Battle and I read on this journey..Fields Of The Fatherless and Red Letters. All of this brought us to a point at the end of February of this year which found us looking at waiting children from Africa on the web. We were drawn to one child in particular back in February who was from Ethiopia. We agreed that we would investigate further. We wanted to pursue her but did not feel comfortable with the agency situation who had her in their care. We felt that this hesitation in our spirit was from God and we had asked Him to put up any roadblock needed to protect us from being led astray. He confirmed in our hearts during this time though that our daughter was indeed in Africa and we felt that He was leading us to Ethiopia. One of our confirmations about this came when we were discussing this little girl in Ethiopia and later that evening the boys began to study their Awana scripture for the next day and their passage for that day was the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch. Some would call this coincidence but we knew God was speaking. Another confirmation came in the name we had chosen for a daugher but I will save this for another post. From this point we continued to be open to God's direction and leading and just prayed that He would lead us to our daughter in His timing. We prayed that we would just KNOW when and where and how our daughter was going to come to us. My dear friend encouraged me that if this was God's desire for our family, it was not a question of If? but When? This past week we felt God beginning to answer these prayers. I again found myself looking at waiting children from Africa online. I had done this on and off for months but never felt any leading until this past week. I inquired about a child on the list but found another family was already pursuing her adoption. I ended the conversation by telling the agency representative that my husband and I would continue praying and wait for God's timing. At that point , instead of saying goodbye she said I might be interested in talking to an agency they work with who had some little girls coming in to care. The stipulation was that you had to be a Christian family. WOW!!! My heart skipped a beat as she told me she would e- mail me their information. I soon found their website before I even received her e-mail and had read all about their work in Ethiopia and their vision to minister to the orphans and widows there. My heart resonated with everything I read and I called immediately to inquire about their program. The next thing I knew I was typing in the password to get to their waiting children list. There were several older children on the list and then there was a little 7 month old girl. My heart was racing by this point. I felt as if this was the direction we had been waiting on from God. Battle and I talked at length soon after this and decided prayerfully that this is the direction we were to head in. We could not be guaranteed to be matched with this little girl as we had not completed a homestudy but we felt assured by God Himself that this was the next piece of the puzzle. At this point we have mailed in our application to the adoption and homestudy agency and are officially paper pregnant! We now wait expectantly to see how the rest of this puzzle comes together and are comforted by the fact that God DOES know the end result and we KNOW that we are right in the palm of His hand the center of His will. There is no better feeling than that!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Ballerina

Even though I was not a ballerina myself, there is something monumental about taking your daughter to her first dance class. I went and bought Lottie her first leotard, ballet shoes and tap shoes for her first Little Gym dance and gymnastics class yesterday. I picked her up from preschool and told her the exciting news. She was thrilled ! She excitedly put her new leotard on. She was a little shy in front of her teachers and classmates in her new attire but once she got to dance class she never looked back. The first 30 minutes was ballet and tap and the last 30 minutes was in the gym doing gymnastics. I smiled proudly as I watched her do her first pliet and step ball change and looked in amazement as she attempted a forward roll on the balance beam 3' off the ground! As I watch her enjoy each new first in her life, I stand in awe at the incredible blessing I have been given. I so look forward to all the promises and possibilities yet to be fulfilled in her life. She truly is a bundle of potentiality! I am so thankful for the incredible priviledge to be this little girl's mother. God is so very good!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Treasure Map

Lottie has enjoyed playing "Pirates" lately and just this morning was asking me to pretend with her . She looked up at me and said "Mommy, let's play pirates!" Then she started her repoirtoire of sayings like " Land Ho!!!" and "Ahoy Maties!" Then she said "Mommy if we are going to be pirates, we need a treasure map" The next thing I knew , she had run out of the room and came back carrying her "treasure map" , an old King James Version of the Bible off of one of the book shelves. I looked down and smiled..." yes, my dear , you HAVE found a treasure map. The very best!! " What does this treasure map tell us about? "JESUS", she said enthusiastically. Oh , may she always be this excited about her treasure map and may she always hide her Treasure in her heart to guide her all the days of her life!!

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" Psalm 119:105

"I have hidden your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against thee" Psalm 119:11

Football Firsts

This is actually the boys 3rd season playing football, but today was the opening game of the season and they did experience some "firsts" out on the field today. Noah started the game out at quarterback for the first time and handed the ball off to his brother to score the extra point ( no field goals at this age) after the first touchdown of the game. Later in the game Graham ran for a 20 yard touchdown play....his first touchdown!! Yes, this proud mama was cheering them on from the sidelines! Way to go Cowboys!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

LOVE...Disguised As A Mop

Yes, this mop is our beloved furry friend MACY, who joined our family back in June. She was an april fool's puppy so she is almost 6 months old now. She is a labradoodle and living up to the reputation of the breed, being quite smart, gentle and affectionate. She has been going to puppy classes to learn good manners and basic obedience. She is still all puppy though and is into everything!! She came to us from a breeder in Montana. We went and picked her up at the airport at midnight after she had flown in from out west. Here are a few pics from her first night home.

God may give us these furry friends to give us just a glimpse of what unconditional love looks like.


Last night my bestest girlfriend came in to town to celebrate her son's eighteenth birthday. He goes to school here in the area and we hosted a party here at the house. Her family all came over for the celebration. Once again I am in awe at how time seems like yesterday I could see him at 5 years old excitedly trying to get a word in during the children's sermon at church. (His dad was the pastor :) ) We have so enjoyed watching him grow and mature through the years and look forward to seeing how God unfolds the possibilities in his life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Double Digits

WOW!! It is so hard to believe the boys entered double digits as they celebrated their 10th birthday this past weekend. Their birthday was Friday, September 11th and we celebrated with a party here at the house on Saturday with their friends. This year it was a nerf blaster party where they played capture the flag with nerf blaster guns. Each of their friends was given a nerf blaster gun for the nerf war and then took their nerf gun home as a party favor. The boys truly had a BLAST!!!

The last 10 years have just flown by!! It seems like yesterday they were learning their ABC's and now they are reading novels, solving double digit muliplication problems, playing football...yikes!!...and growing into delightful young men.

Great fun was had by all!!

I Am A Promise

"I am a promise...I am a possibility...I am a promise ...with a capital P... I am a great big bundle of potentiality...and I am learning to hear God's voice ...and I am trying to make the right choice...I am a promise to be ...anything God wants me to be...."

These are words to a song I grew up singing in the children's choir at our home church. They have stuck with me through the years and I am using them as the theme of my new blog. As a child I sang them proudly, believing , yes, I could be anything God wants me to be....

As an adult and a mother to children, I pray that I now can instill this belief in my children...that they too will know the promises of God and seek the greatest possibilities and potential in seeking after Him and His will for their lives. I pray that they can and will be anything and everything God wants them to be.

I stand amazed at the promises God has fulfilled in my life...the great blessings He has showered upon me... As a child singing those words , I never could have dreamed of all the possibilities He has made reality in my life. He truly has given me more than I could EVER have hoped or imagined...

He has given me a partner for life who loves the Lord and loves his family...he has given me two sons by birth who have brought more fun and adventure into my life than I ever thought possible , and He brought a daughter from the other side of the world to be mine forever and enlarge my heart in unimaginable ways. I have been richly blessed with the BEST friends and family to share life with! Yes , He is my Amazing, Almighty God!!! And to HIM I am forever grateful!

I am starting this blog to record all the promises and possibilities God has for our family....Promises and possibilities that can be shared from generation to generation !