Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Week ----- Sad Week

   On Monday Toni wrote to confirm that we could purchase our tickets for ---AUGUST 5TH!!!  Wow -- Praise the Lord!  That is at least 3 weeks earlier than we'd expected.  I always note others' trip times on my calendar so that we can be praying for the family that is traveling with Toni that week.  So, I'd known that she was "booked up" for several weeks.  Well, one family had had to delay their trip for a few weeks, and since she had not given us dates yet, of course we had not bought any tickets yet.  She was free to have a different family come in the original one's place, so we quickly checked to make sure that Dan could be off work and other arrangements could be made for the kids.  It wasn't long before I was on the phone with a travel agent!!  VERY VERY Happy!!
   And, while one piece of my heart continued rejoicing all week long at the thought of seeing Teddy again SO soon, another piece was becoming sad as we enjoyed our last days with our special summer guest.  We got up at 3:30 am this morning to meet the 28 other kids of the summer hosting program and 3 EEuropean chaperones in Atlanta for the whole group to head back to their home country.  A canceled flight and confusion in rebooking all of the tickets made for an 'eventful' morning in Atlanta, but -- Praise the Lord -- they were all able to get on a different flight (running for the gate! ... yes, it was a "nail-biter!") and it ended well.  Actually, of course it ended rather tearfully, but we'd had tears leading up for 2 days.... so tears at the good-bye weren't a surprise.
   My heart is full and grateful for the entire summer.  Every hope and expectation that I'd had was fulfilled.  Now, naturally (as I've said before) some of my expectations were that it would be full of challenges (which it was!)  But, even beyond that -- God had an amazing plan, and when I can, I'll share it all.  It was so awesome today to witness the changes in those 29 kids who came off the flight from EE on June 24 looking shell-shocked and scared to pieces!  I loved seeing the changes in our guest during the five weeks.  You can see the changes in her face from week to week as I took lots of pictures.... the look in her eyes and smile.  I feel emotionally tired -- both happy and sad at the same time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


  Tonight I placed a New Testament in the hands of our special summer guest.... one written in her own language.  I wish I could have captured the look of joy on her face!!  She hugged me so tightly with her head pressed against my face that I thought she would break my jawbone!  She might be tiny, but she is strong!!
  This came after I had told her that it was time for bed.  I was helping Leslie with her pajamas and she came in to remind me that we had not yet prayed together as a family.  I guess it had appeared to her that we were forgetting that part of our routine, and apparently didn't want to go to bed without it.
  She has asked several questions about spiritual things in the last few days.  This shouldn't surprise me at all, since I've asked LOTS of people to be praying that the Holy Spirit would be moving in her heart.  Her attitude about Christianity has changed from one of "I really don't have time for that," into what appears to be true interest.  A friend who speaks her language has been sharing with her and answering her questions.
  How very blessed we have been to have been privileged this summer to be a part of her life.  Can I say again that it has NOT been always easy.  We've not always had warm, fuzzy feelings like I had when she let me go out of her death-grip hug and started reading her Bible.  She has not always had those feelings toward me, either!  But, -- blessed  -- definitely is what we are.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Travel Dates Soon to Come--

   I started looking at ticket prices last night!  As soon as we hear from Toni on our actual date that she can schedule us to arrive in BLG, we'll be purchasing tickets to go get our boy!!  When I think of the reality of it all, I can hardly contain myself!!!  Toni emailed yesterday and said that we might know something this weekend~!
   In the meantime, our days are full --- learning LOTS about communication (or what we might think  we are communicating) and "bonding" through our relationship with our special summer guest.  I just can't even begin to describe how great this summer hosting program has been for our family.  This is certainly NOT to say that it has been the easiest summer ever!  But, we have all learned so much through it.  Naturally, I think we've learned more through the struggles than the easy things.  So, the hard things have been hard  but very, very worthwhile!!  God is SO good.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Still on "Cloud Seven!"

      Just to add to the thought of "what God can do" --  I was thinking back to a post (find it HERE ) in which I had more-or-less written out the process that we had to go through between Trip 1 -- meeting Teddy-- and Trip 2 -- bringing Teddy home!
   Before Monday afternoon, I thought that we were stuck at number 4!  We were waiting for the signatures of people in the gov't office before our file could be sent to the courts.  We'd not heard from Toni that those signatures had been given (... found out later that Toni had been having email troubles and had been sick).  I'm still not sure exactly when those 2 people signed their names to our paperwork and sent it on.  But, there I was...  sitting at number 4!!  Sunday night I was moaning to Dan about this length of time, and he was doing his best to encourage me, and all the while God knew that in a few short hours, we'd have the news that Teddy was OURS!!  Don't you know He was smiling!!
  Shelley got the news first, and said that she searched for our phone number for 20 minutes so that she could call and tell me!!  In the one brief minute that it took her to tell me that, "I have some fabulous news for you..." we jumped from step 4 to step 7!!  So, here we are.... on "cloud seven!!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


  This morning I woke up with a very light heart!!  Yesterday was just SO amazing.  When I could finally get away to the computer, I had an email from Toni telling me -- "the rest of the story!"
  I'll copy off her update on our yahoo group.  It's incredible--

There's one more who got their adoption finalized yesterday, Monday, July 11!!! And the court date was appointed Friday, July 8 at 4:45 pm, scheduled for yesterday, 11:00 am. Now, talk about stress! I had  only 2 hours 45  minutes business time to react. The only option was to send my mom for the court hearing (she's an official attorney's assistant), as I was on my pick up trip back from a town with another family in North Central BG. The judge couldn't accept the representation of my mom who's not a real attorney and so conference called my cell to re-schdedule the hearing for 4 pm the same day (yesterday). So, I was back to Sofia at about 1:30 pm, filed the passport of the other family by about 2:30 pm, had a glass of cold water till about 3:30 pm, ran to the court and was there at 4 pm, judge came at 4:25 pm, by 4:45 adoption was granted, I was dictating info to my mom from the case documents in order to be able to write the court decree today, got locked in the court almost, three minutes before they locked threw the case at the secretary's, ran to the gates, got into the car, came home.... and.. crashed LOL! That's what God can do - figure it out and work it out up to the 59th second of the minute, up to the 59th minute in the hour and up to the 23rd hour in the day....

She's right--  That's what God can do!!

Psalm 40:5
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Earlier Today................

  In a courtroom in Sofia, Bulgaria --   A judge ruled that a very special dark haired, dark-eyed little boy --- was from now on .................. 

    With VERY, VERY grateful hearts
We welcome Jonathan Teodor Jacobsen
into our family!!!

The news came as a completely unexpected (yet extremely welcome!!)  shock!  We are giving God all the glory for amazing things He has done!!  In fact, we don't even know ALL of the details yet!!
When we piece it all together, we'll share the incredible way that the Lord just pushed the process on through....   the very thing we'd been asking for...   while at the same time trying to prepare for more months of waiting!!  He is GOOD!  And, His timing is unbelievable!  He has overwhelmed me yet again!

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Special Summer Guest

   When we first committed to Teodor's adoption (in Oct. 2010) I had very high hopes of his being home as a part of our family by this summer.  As time rocked along, I held out hope for quite awhile, praying that God would intervene and work it all out quickly.  However, He didn't choose to answer my prayers in the way I'd chosen.  Since I'd turned down every opportunity for summer activities, I had kept a very clean slate for all of the summer months.  Toward the end of April, I started asking the Lord what exactly He did  have in store for our summer if it wasn't going to be a trip to BLG to get Teddy!?! 
   I got my answer not very long afterwards in the form of an e-mail.  It was a letter and video telling us about the opportunity to host a school-aged orphan from a different Eastern European country (not Bulgaria).  The kids would come over together and stay in various host homes for 5 weeks.  We started praying about it, and God confirmed almost immediately that, yes, this was His plan all along.  How gracious He is.....  He certainly knew that I'd need something to distract me from counting the days between "trip one" and "trip two."  Now, of course, having five kids can be quite the distraction itself!!  Ha!  But, particularly our older girls had been wanting a summer missions opportunity themselves, and we realized that here it was:  The "summer missions project" of international ministry at home!!
   Our special summer guest arrived on June 24th.  She is a very small (4'6" and 75 pound!) 14 year old girl!!  We have gotten tons of practice at communication skills without knowing each others' language---  which will come in quite handy when Teddy arrives!!  She was extremely shy at first, and yet has warmed up well.  The time is flying by.  We pray each day that she can see the love of Christ exhibited without words.  We're also praying that the Lord gives her supernatural understanding of who He is, and that He will be planting lots and lots of seeds in her heart that would one day lead her to the saving knowledge of Him.
   Most of this particular EE country's orphans "graduate" out of the orphanage at age 16.  The place where she lives will allow them to stay until they are 18.  Still, at age 18, they will leave the orphanage with limited opportunities or contacts in the world.  By age 20, 70% of the boys are involved in crime, and almost 70% of the girls have turned to prostitution as a means of living  ... just having a way to get a meal.  It breaks my heart.  We'll be allowed to keep in touch with her, and hopefully this summer will be the beginning of new options for her life.
   I don't think that I'm allowed to post any pictures of her or say her name on our blog, but I CAN email them, so if anyone would like to see our summer in pictures, feel free to ask!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


  My heart is just sad today.  It's just one of those days that when I come to the computer and see his sweet face standing there between Dan and me on the computer screen saver that it just hurts not to have him here.
  I had been doing so well and waiting so patiently and keeping myself so occupied and busy.  I had been thinking of him and praying for him and been excited about the day that we could see him again, but today it just feels HARD.  The waiting seems LONG.
  I had intended to post today about what I've been doing to keep myself busy and occupied, but right now I just want to post about Teddy.  The day before yesterday, Shelley sent me a link to the videos (TWO!!  :)  ) that she'd made of Teddy while she was there.  I've already watched them a few bajillion times, and I know them by heart....  even the Bulgarian!!  Ha!~  Actually, because of the context of the situations, I can usually figure out what he and Toni are saying to each other.  And, of course, they aren't very long....  but, he's the cutest thing counting to 10!  And, of course he looked straight to Toni afterwards for praise just like he did when we were there and he sang a Bulgarian song for us!!
  Yesterday I got to talk to Shelley on the phone about her trip to BLG and Teddy's orphanage.  The director let her take a whole tour and she got some pictures and a little bit of video.  We're getting a plan underway of how to help make some (very needed) renovations on several rooms of the orphanage.  More on that later.
  So, what's making me feel so down?  It's the fact that he is so bored right now.  School is out, he has very little to do at the orphanage, and the very sad reality is that they let him sit in front of the TV for hours at a time.  From what Shelley said, they even still have him sleeping in the little downstairs room by himself.  That just bothers me VERY much.  The very honest reality is that he is now (and has been) forming habits that are going to be hard to break.  Those of you that know me certainly know that we do not spend hours watching TV!  :)  And, we do not have TVs in our bedrooms in this house.  We do not fall asleep watching TV every night, which is what Teddy is doing every night.  Night time TV.  Every night.  Just can NOT be good.  And, he seems to be just sort of "let loose" to do his own thing.  Around the orphanage, he just kind of does at he pleases.  Now, the reason for this is that -- as I've said before -- he's the highest functioning kid in the institution.  Many of the kids are not mobile, most are much more mentally disabled, and all of them need more attention and hands-on care than Teddy does.  So, the hard fact is that they just don't have time to relate very much to a kid who can care for his own needs.  As a result, he is just left to himself.  And, he is bored. 
  I just LONG to have him here--  to interact with him, be teaching him new things, opening his world to lots more than those hard-working care-givers who just have limited time could ever show him.  I WISH that we could have him here now and begin NOW breaking those habits instead of giving him more months to let them become even more ingrained.
  That's my longing.  That's my heart.  And, yet -- God knows my heart.  He knows my Teddy.  He's got us both in His hands.  I can rest there.  I just have to choose to.

PS -- Just before I was ready to click on "Publish Post,"  I chose instead to preview it.  Before it brought up my post to let me read what I'd written, my blog title came up.  What a perfectly timed reminder.  Yep--  ALL the desires of my heart.  I'd just written that "God knows my heart."  He certainly knows all the desires of it, and most certainly will bring it all to pass....  In HIS time.  My part now is to delight myself in Him.