Friday, May 27, 2011


Friday, May 28, 2010: the day I FedEx'ed to Mike in Rwanda all of our adoption paperwork so we could be approved to adopt Christine.
Friday, May 27, 2011: the day we finally got our approval letter from the government allowing us to proceed with our adoption!

Wow!  Almost exactly one year to the day, and now we finally have it.  After praying and believing and dealing with the pain of waiting for one year it is almost hard to believe that we finally have that approval letter in our hands.  I am not completely relieved yet, because there is still at least a week's worth of government "stuff" to take care of here in Kigali (both Rwanda & the US government) and then another week or more of government "stuff" (US only) that has to be done in Nairobi, before everything is finished.

But I will thank God right now that we do finally have this approval- this opens the door that allows us to finally get this done!  No more pain of wondering, "are they going to say yes or no?"  "What will happen if they say no?"  It's interesting because I was thinking today of the story Jesus told about the unjust judge & how because of persistence the widow received justice.  Then I was looking at my blog post from one year ago & this is the verse I had posted there:

Luke 18:1-6
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'  "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' " 

Seems so true now!  One year and over 21 visits to their office later, even though they didn't want to (because our adoption of an older child is outside of how things are "normally" done), they approved us.  Like our son Michael reminded us, "When God says YES, no one can say no."

Speaking of Michael (Kumacs) please be praying for him.  He is not going with the rest of the family on June 2nd as we had hoped.  He has a visa interview appointment for June 20th (that was the soonest we could get him in).  We pray for God to go before him & give him favor so that he will be able to join us in the USA for the remainder of the summer.  It would certainly be easier for him to do his online school when I am there with him to help coach him through it, not to mention just being able to be together as a family, as we desire.

Our flight tickets are scheduled for June 2nd, but we are going to have to change that.  It is possible Mike, KaLia & Nate may be able to leave on the 2nd, or we may need to change their tickets a day or so later if we are not able to get the Kigali/US Embassy process done in time.  I pray we don't have to do that ($750 + Nate REALLY wants to go back to the USA).  I will stay with Christine and finish up the process in Kigali & Nairobi.  Hopefully we will be able to be back in the USA about a week or 10 days after the rest of the family. 

It is sad that the rest of the family has to leave without us, and also sad that it is most likely that Christine and I will miss being there for the big TTI event that is planned for Saturday, June 11th, 6pm at the US Digital building in Vancouver, WA.  But we will do what we need to do, and follow this adoption through so it is finished!  Finally!

Thank you for your prayers for us all through this process, and for your continued prayers for the finishing of the process, for our son Michael's visa, and for the TTI event coming up.  Please also pray for wisdom for me as when I change my ticket from the original date of June 2nd I have to pick a date when I think the adoption will be completely finished & that seems to be a bit of a guessing game.  (I don't want to run out of time, but I also don't want to be sitting around waiting to leave!)  I am asking God to give us favor and to go before us to help us all along the rest of this road.

God Bless You,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Seas & Armies

This morning I was reading in Exodus about how God rescued Israel as they were escaping from slavery in Egypt.  These verses jumped out at me from Exodus 14:

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

In my heart I said, "Yes Lord- those verses are for me today!"  I continued to read the story of how God purposefully led the Israelites to the Red Sea, and how he hardened Pharoah's heart so he would pursue them with every chariot in Egypt. 

I believe that sometimes God leads us to a place that seems impassible & impossible.  He allows us to be in that place where it seems like there is just "no way", so that he can make a way.  We find ourselves facing a wall of water on one side, and an angry & well-armed army on the other side, with no where to turn & no way to help ourselves.  We are helpless & out of answers.  And it is in that moment that God says, "Do not be afraid."  We are out of resources, we don't understand what's going on or how things are going to turn around and God says, "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Why?  Why does God bring us to those places of impossibility?  I believe it is so His glory can be known & shown to all those around.  There is no way to escape from a powerful army when there is a sea in front of you, and you have no boats.  There is just no way.  No one could survive in that.  Well, no one that is, unless they had a powerful God on their side!  As the Egyptians found themselves in the middle of the Red Sea, trying to pursue God's people, suddenly the army was thrown into confusion & the wheels of their chariots began falling off.  What did they say?  “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.” (v.25)

Before this God had said, "The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”(v.18)  God brings us to those places that are impassible & impossible so that when He makes a way for us, it is Him who gets all the glory.  Those places where only a miracle can get us out of, it means that when our God does show up (and he WILL) he gets all the credit!  He gets the glory.  And why is that, why does he want to get the glory?  Look at verse 31:

 "And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant."

If we never found ourselves trapped between seas & armies, we would never know the great power of our God, that he loves us so much, and that he is always on our side.  When he works miracles on our behalf his greatness becomes well known amongst everyone who knows us too.  Our faith is built up, their faith is built up, and we know that "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."(Hebrews 11:6)

So, you could say that it is God's mercy that brings us to these hard places.  Our heavenly father brings us through impassable seas so we can see that he can do anything and that he loves us enough to never forsake us.  He also loves those who know us & they need to hear from our lives that our God can do anything.

What are the seas & armies in your life right now?  What are the places that seem impassible & impossible?  I know what mine are.  Think about those situations and make sure you worry long & hard & stay up late at night figuring out how you can fix them.  Oh WAIT- no, DON'T do that!  Instead, do this:  
Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

If you already know it's impossible then why waste another moment worrying about it?  The almighty God will fight for you!  Trust him, thank him, praise him, give it to him, and believe him when he says he will fight for you.  Your God loves you & he is ALWAYS at work for your good.  "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Today I am making the choice to trust my armies & seas to the almighty God, and I just wanted to encourage you to do the same.  Even if he doesn't part the sea for me or throw all the chariot wheels off of my enemies, I will still trust in him.  I trust in who he is.  I trust in his good plans for me and those I love.

God Bless You,

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Today is May 1st.  Just a few weeks ago I was so homesick I imagined myself feeling much different than I do today.  I imagined how excited I would be that it's almost time to "go home".  We leave Rwanda on June 2nd and will be in the USA for about 10 weeks.  There is a part of me which is so excited to be back with people we love, our church, and all things familiar and easy (read: not foreign).

However, instead of feeling how I imagined, I find myself with very mixed emotions.  You see, there is still too much uncertainty.  Christine's adoption is still not finalized. We went into the office that handles these things early last week and we submitted a letter asking to meet with the person who is over this whole branch of the government: the "Minister of Family and Gender".  We want this resolved.  Unfortunately we have not heard back on this request.  Mike has said, "Worse case scenario is that one of us stays behind to get this all finalized."  Of course, we have a big TTI event June 11th--- so staying behind for very long is not much of an option!  We need this done.

You also know from my last blog that our son Michael was denied a visa to visit the US.  We are praying and thinking about how he can reapply and submit further evidence that we hope will convince the US Embassy that he is not planning to immigrate to the US. The thought of having to leave my son behind makes my heart hurt.

I remember last time we had to leave Rwanda for the US, in 2009, and how my heart was broken in two.  How much it hurt to have to leave part of my heart behind with my Rwandan kids here.  I am asking God, "Please, don't let my heart be broken again." (And again, as it's broken every time I've left them before as well).  I know that God is good, and I know the plans he has for us are good.  I keep thinking of this verse:  (Philippians 4)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

"God I know that I need to not be anxious, but it's so hard when I realize there is only a month left & so much needs to happen this month on my kids' behalf.  I know you're never late, and I know you can do anything, but could you please help my heart to rest at ease by settling these matters for us?"

I am having a really hard time not being anxious, but I am trying to follow his directions: bringing my requests to him with thanksgiving...  oh, it's so hard.  It's interesting because I am not anxious at all about our finances- how will God provide the thousands of dollars we will need before August so that we can return to Rwanda for another 9 months as we believe he has called us to do?  I am not worried at all.  I know this is what he wants us to do.  Of course, maybe once these situations are settled then I will move on to worrying about that, but I hope not!

So, mixed feelings.  The people I love and the things that I enjoy in the USA, I can't wait to see them & enjoy them, but I want to share them with our kids also.  I want them to experience that part of our lives with us.  It has been our family prayer for so long that God would make a way for them to be with us all the time, and he has already done so much to bring them here to stay with us these last several months, but I really want it settled without any doubt left.

Please... God.... help....

God Bless You,