Friday, May 29, 2015

Dear Ryan

Dear Ryan,

When we were adopting your sister I used to write a letter to her every weekend on your moms old blog. We're 8 months into your adoption and this is the first letter I've written to you. I think adoption seemed magical the first time around. I had visions of a happy little girl running up to me, excited about her new life, but the reality was much darker. Adoption isn't the fairy tale I thought it was and I've always been a glass half full kind of guy. I don't know how to look at your circumstances and see anything in the glass at all. Everything is about to change for you. You have no idea now, but in a few weeks you're going to have so much love surrounding you. You'll go from never being held to having a mommy and an auntie fighting over who gets to hold you. Everything is different now, we just need you to stay strong a little longer. 

You're going to be seven next week. I'm sorry we can't be with you to celebrate your day, but I promise you'll have the biggest party ever for your next birthday. We have so much making up to do and I have no doubt that your mom is going to spoil you rotten. Which is just fine with me.

You got a new name today. I know that probably doesn't seem like a big deal, but for you it is. You're no longer assigned a name by an organization. A number by an agency. It always bothered me, children being numbered. Cliff #397. You're not a number, you're a precious, loved little boy. You have parents, you have siblings, you have countless people in your corner. Cliff #397 doesn't exist anymore. Today your are Ryan Alexander Morse. You have a family surname, your mom went through a laundry list of names for you, her friends made lists of names for you. Your first name has a story, your middle name has been your moms favorite boy name since she was a little girl, pretending her dolls were her babies. I'm so sorry you spent all those years alone, but now you have a name, and a story, and everything is going to be ok.

We are working so hard to get you home. You hit the jackpot when it comes to having a fighter for a mother. She is going to get you home as fast as possible or die trying. She's never given up on you since the day she first saw your picture almost one year ago. I don't like to admit it but she had to do a lot of convincing to get me to say yes to bringing you home. I worry about her. Your old man is, well, an old man compared to your mom and odds are I'll leave this world a long time before she does. It's my job to know that she's going to be ok, and that you and your sister are going to be ok. But she's strong. She'll be fine and we serve a God who is so much bigger than us and He will take excellent care of all of you. I can't wait to hold you and tell you all about Him. He is so faithful, and He is preparing your heart for this big life change, and my heart to welcome you home. and your mom and Miss Kristie's heart to meet you soon. He loves you so much, more than I ever could and I love you with my whole heart already. 

Welcome to the family Ryan.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes

So every Sunday after church I kind of go over in my head what I heard, what I learned, how it applies to my life, etc. I can't get out of my head how someone described being in this dark place where they hated the real deal hate...and how he carried that hate in his heart for so long that he eventually didn't even recognize that it was there anymore. You kind of patch up all the hurt spots and push all those feelings deep down and ignore them, but avoiding situations and people isn't the same as forgiving them. That requires ripping off those bandages and dealing with some ugly stuff, and that's no easy task. 

I don't know...I felt really convicted this morning that I need to offer forgiveness to someone who has hurt me on the deepest levels imaginable, and revisiting those things will be really scary. I've been in this dark place and it just keep getting darker as the layers keep being pulled back. Lots of painful events and trauma that all points back to this one person. I have let the hate I feel towards them, and all that darkness and bitterness that comes along with hate, invade every aspect of my life. It affects my judgement of situations, my reaction to people in need, what kind of parent I am, how I choose to love my husband, what kind of friend I am, and most importantly it affects my ability to turn my life over to Christ and trust Him fully. I'm always holding pieces back, always looking for ways to independently fix my own problems, because I want to hide that dark part. Ignore it, and if I turn that over to Him I HAVE to deal with it and until now I've never felt strong enough to do it, but I don't need to be strong, I just need to trust. So, after much conviction, and having the exact thing preached in my face this morning and hearing about the awesome healing and redemption that comes with obedience to Him, I'm ready to turn it all over, give my heart to Him fully, and trust him to lead me out of that dark place and show grace and forgiveness to someone who I've never before considered deserving of it.

I don't know why I felt led to share all of that, other than it helped me to hear that someone struggled through some dark places but came out the other side stronger in their faith and walking closer to Him. I thought maybe there is someone out there who needed to hear the same thing. 

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:17

Please pray for me this week! I'm waiting to hear about travel to meet Cliff and it already feels like a weight has been lifted knowing I can go into the struggles of getting him healthy and on the road to becoming a loved member of our fsmily without all that stone surrounding my heart. Love you guys and have a great week!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Giveaway and an Update!

We have raised $3,118 so far with this giveaway! How cool is that?! We are $382 away from drawing for the Visa gift card, and $1,382 away from being DONE with the giveaway! We have a weekend in Reno and a weekend in Nashville at the Opryland Hotel to giveaway so please consider entering so we can wrap this up! Please leave a comment if you enter and let me know how much you donated, or if you shared, etc so I can get you added to the list of people who entered!

Now for a little update about where we are in the process! We are currently, and very impatiently, waiting for travel dates! All of our paperwork is done, it's in Bulgaria, and I check my email approximately 3,584 times a day for word from our agency that we can GO! Dave can't go with me because of work, but we are so incredibly grateful for our friends Jamie and Kristie who have stepped up to make this trip much easier! Jamie will be watching my kids, and Kristie will be going to Bulgaria with me, so keep their families in your prayers too. It's not easy to sacrifice for others, but I'm so thankful to have found good friends in this world who are willing to be in Cliff's corner. <3

Our FSP hasn't had much movement lately, which is totally my fault. I'm better at selling things to raise money than just asking for help. Maybe it's a pride thing (I know, that's bad!) but that's just the way I am! I haven't been able to make anything to sell since hurting my hand and being told to rest it or have surgery (no thank you on the surgery thing!) so I've been laying low. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be back in full force and able to craft my little heart out and wrap up this fundraising! 

For now we do have a couple things going on, we are selling capes, you can find more info on those here: Side note about the capes: I only need to sell 3 more in order to place the order, so if you would like one get that order in soon because I'm ordering as soon as I hit the minimum! (How many times can you say "order" in a sentence? Apparently several...)

We also still have a million popsicle holders to sell! They're grab bag style but feel free to specify if you would like boy, girl, or a mix of prints. They're $10 for a set of 7, that includes shipping.

We also have a Wildtree party going on! I'm not big on direct sales type stuff...if I'm being honest I kind of hate it. Wildtree is the only one I really love, and that's probably because it's food! haha It's delicious though and even for someone cheap frugal like me, I find the prices reasonable given that the products are organic, and don't have all kinds of GMO's and other nastiness...and it's still cheaper than eating out which is a trap I tend to fall into if cooking isn't super easy. :) 

Here is how the Wildtree party works. To shop, you go here:

You do your shopping, and when you go to check out it will ask you if you want to checkout through a hostess, and will give you an option to look up your hostess (that would be me!) so you type in my name: Priscilla Morse and I should pop up and you hit the little check mark and Cliff gets credit!

So, that's about it! Thanks again so much for helping us bring this guy home!