Archive for February, 2016

Last events to Bring Noah Home

Sunday, February 21st, 2016
Setting up at Beautiful Savior

Setting up at Beautiful Savior

My husband's awkward angle from the side at Bethel  :)

My husband’s awkward angle from the side at Bethel 🙂

This past week has been busy. We’re definitely in a hurry up and wait kind of place with the adoption – paperwork needed yesterday, and then nothing for several days. Waiting and waiting until appointments confirm and then a flurry of travel planning. But this past week I also did several events which were a lot of work and also a blessing!

Last weekend I went and shared about our adoption at my old church during their Sunday services. There are so many people there whom we love, and they’ve been so supportive of this ministry over the years, we just wanted to keep them in the loop. I sang a new song I wrote recently for Noah too, and that was very well received. They had a time of prayer for us too which was very sweet.

Then yesterday was a marathon of a day. I went to Beautiful Savior Church up in Powell about 20 minutes north of my house and did a women’s conference on the book of Esther. We had such a great time and had many kids sponsored which always says so much about a church’s heart, I think. They were great to work with and Esther is one of my favorites, so it was a wonderful morning!

Then I headed home, ate something, changed and packed again and then headed out to Bethel Church about 15 minutes south of my house. Bethel graciously offered to host us for a benefit concert for our adoption we called “Bring Noah Home.” They are a wonderful church, and we’ve had ties with them literally throughout my entire life. The pastor there now, Jerry, met the Lord in my dad’s Young Life club, and when he introduced me he said, “I’ve known Jennifer since before she was born.” Lol! It was a wonderful night, and again, we have just been blown away by the care and prayers people have given us and the support for Noah – it was amazing. We appreciate you so much, Bethel!

And then this morning I got up and thought, “Wait, that’s it. That’s my last event as a mom of three.” Our next big thing is to go get Noah. It’s a little shocking! But I can’t wait to meet him!

Awesome Michigan Weekend and ADOPTED!

Friday, February 5th, 2016
The women at Rothbury Community Church in Michigan

The women at Rothbury Community Church in Michigan

At Saranac Community Church in MI

At Saranac Community Church in MI

Originally, we had hoped to be going to get Noah at Christmas time. Because of that, I hadn’t booked any events after December 15th, just not knowing what our schedule would be. Then, because of paperwork delays and then Chinese New Year, etc., etc., it soon became clear that we were more likely to be going in March.

This is hard because people plan their events out farther, and it’s been really tough not knowing when we were going to be out of the country! Well, when we realized we were going to be around, I started praying that God would open some doors so I wasn’t just twiddling my thumbs for two months, and also because we were realizing that it would be really helpful if we could raise some more money for our adoption. Almost immediately Rothbury Church asked me if I could still come up and do their women’s dinner, and then the next day Saranac Church asked if I would come up and tell our story at their church just an hour away! Pretty awesome how God works.

I ended up taking my daughter, Rinnah, with me on the weekend and we went a day early and checked out both Hope College and Calvin College. I still can’t believe we are doing this. She’s a junior, so we’re planning ahead, but it’s hard to imagine her leaving home – I love that girl! We had a great time together too. And it was fun for me personally to go back to Hope. That’s where I went for undergrad, where I met my husband, and most significantly, where I first understood the grace of God. Rinnah and I were sitting in chapel, this place where I played my recitals and sang in the choir with my husband-then-boyfriend and I was there with my beautiful daughter who loves Jesus listening to all these college kids in a standing room only chapel singing their hearts out to the Lord, and I was just overwhelmed – how could God bless me any more? And how well I know how little I deserve it. He is so good to me!

The next night at Rothbury was so fun – just lovely ladies and fun to work with them! Several of them had heard me teach at a retreat up there several years ago, which is hilarious because that retreat was the first and only time in my whole career that I lost my voice! God must have been moving, though, because they wanted me to come back! We had a great night together!

Then I headed down to Saranac, a church that I would describe as “small but mighty!” Seriously, I’ve been there several times, and they are a small country church with the biggest hearts ever! They specifically wanted to support our adoption of Noah, and I was so touched by that. So fun to get to hang out with my friend, Tina, too – she organized the event and every time I’m there, she’s such a blessing. Overall a great weekend!

Then, last night I did a women’s conference with my friend, Melissa Spoelstra at her church, Encounter, here in Columbus. I was talking to Melissa about ideas for my couple of months unexpectedly home, and she said, “Let’s put something together!” Melissa is also a speaker and author, so we did an event called “Adopted” and she taught on all of us being adopted by God, and I gave a concert and told our story about Noah. Their church was just so generous to us! They are in a space they have to re-set every time and a huge group of men came out and set everything up just for us and then tore it all down again, and they did it all just to help Noah get home. We were so blessed! These couple of months are reminding me how truly blessed I am to get to know so many amazing people of God! They have made us feel so loved! Sadly, I apparently forgot my camera that night!