"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Paradox: grief and joy

A couple posts blog posts ago, I alluded to the fact that life for us has held many ups and downs.  That there have been very exciting things and very difficult things.  We are now able to share some huge news that we, on the one hand are very excited about, but on the other hand, sad that it has had to come about via huge losses.  A couple weeks ago we received word that our good friend, Sarah Denise, had lost her grandmother, the one who had raised her from the time she was small.  Denise is a full orphan and only has one living close relative left...an uncle...but he serves in the Uganda military in Somalia.  She was completely on her own and needed a place to go.  Working with local social workers, we were able to take her home the night of the funeral and offer her temporary shelter.

After a few days, her uncle (pictured left) was able to come back from Somalia.  We were able to meet with him and a social worker (pictured right) and receive their blessing to care for her.

We are now pursuing legal guardianship with the goal of adopting her.  We are praying that the Lord will open all these doors!

We now find ourselves in yet another paradox.  We grieve with Denise.  Life has been very hard.  She is a courageous, strong girl who has been through a lot.  Yet we all are rejoicing in God's goodness to provide her a family and us another child.  We rejoice that God heard and answered her grandmother's death bed prayers pleading for a safe place for Denise to live.  But grieve that Denise lost such a dear grandmother who obviously loved her so much and whom she loved dearly!  Grief and joy walking hand in hand... A plan that only Jesus can genuinely bring to life and sustain by his grace.

Denise is 12 years old.  She loves purple and pink, pretty clothes, math, and computers!  She is working really hard on learning English and how to read.  Welcome to our family, Denise!  We are so thankful that the Lord is blessing us with another daughter and sister!

Please pray for us!  Pray that Denise will relax and settle in well! Pray for her as she learns what it means to live in a family with two parents, siblings and boundaries.  We praise the Lord that the first few weeks have gone so well!  Pray for her as she continues to grieve all her losses.  Pray that the Lord will bless our process of blending as a new family!  May God be glorified!


  1. What a beautiful girl! Congratulations! May the Lord give you strength & joy for all the challenges of parenting in such unique circumstances. We know this kind of grafting is close to God's heart & he will bless you through it!

  2. I love this! We will be praying for all these things. What adventures life holds!

  3. We are praying, too. Denise, the Lord bless you and your family!

  4. Wow! ... Couldn't read this post to Elayne without tears! Thank you for sharing!! Adoption -- What a picture of Gods' love and grace to us. He has adopted us and you are adopting Denise. We'll pray for Denise and for you all as you move forward. May God bless you more and more each day! We love you all so much!

  5. Ditto all the above comments! About a year or so ago, one of my boys asked me if I thought you would have another child. I said that I thought you would but wasn't sure what route you'd take! Planned from eternity past! God is good---all the time!
    Love, Astrid