Monday, May 19, 2014

My Daughter, My Sister

A few months ago, I found myself in the valley, and I could not bring myself to blog.  I spent all my time that I would have been blogging alone in the Word to nourish my own soul.  It was during this time, however, that one of our greatest blessings happened, and I have been trying to put the words, though my own are not adequate enough to express our joy, in a blog post. On 3/2/14, my daughter became my sister.  For years I have asked Father that my children would come to know him at an early age, and that it would be genuine.  Many times, Eden has heard the Word, and I have seen her mouth the words on her own, but I could tell she did not understand.  We would share and explain but not prompt.  It had to be her decision.  On this particular day, I encouraged Jacob to go with a friend and take Eden and Ephraim to an African fellowship here in town.  
I felt strongly that they should go.  While there, Jacob noticed Eden drawing, and thought she was just creating some art work like she loves to do.  Then she showed him she had made a card with a picture of the Son on the front, and a letter to Father asking for forgiveness and requesting His presence in her heart.  It was such a precious way to receive Him that was uniquely Eden.  She received communion for the first time that day.  It gives extra joy to my heart to know that I received Father in Africa, and she received him surrounded by Africans, and in China of all places!!  3 John 4   I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.
Showers of Blessing                                                    Eden became my Sister                                   Surrounded by African Family                                    And it's on paper, Tis so sweet to trust in J!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

World's Greatest Mom!

     The evening I got down on one knee to ask Sarah to be my wife, I read her Proverbs 31 because I knew the Father had put those qualities in her heart.  I'd like to share the last few verses of Proverbs 31 and honor the "World's Greatest Mom"!
              "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 
              "Many women do noble things but you surpass them all."  Charm is deceptive 
              and beauty is fleeting; but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor 
          her for all her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

If you don't know my wife, let me introduce her to you.  Her name is Sarah Elizabeth (Nichols) Myers, born to Darrel and Lila Nichols.  Her father and mother, raised Sarah to be a woman that loves the Father and loves those around her.  When we were engaged, we dreamed about what our family would look like.  We talked about having four children; two birth and two adopted.  Sarah shared a burden that the Father placed on her heart to adopt a little African boy and a Chinese girl because of the experiences she had while living in the Ivory Coast of West Africa.  Her burden, became my burden.  Fast forward four years later.  Sarah was working the hardest ever in her academic career to become a nurse. That summer, she gave birth to our first daughter, Eden. 
She was born on June 15, 2007 in Tulsa, OK. Even before Eden was born, Sarah was already loving her deeply.  She chose to quit eating some of her favorite foods so that our unborn baby would have a great start!  Sarah gave up caffeine which included soda and coffee(Starbucks).  She gave up seafood (Red Lobster), sushi, lunch meats and lots of processed foods.  Sarah continued this same diet for one year after Eden was born so she wouldn't be exposed to caffeine or heavy metal while Sarah was nursing her. Sarah still had one semester of nursing school left after Eden was born. This was no easy task for a new mother who was breast feeding her child.  In order to keep her supply up, Sarah would have to pump in some sort of closet between classes. This has very humbling but she loves her children enough to make sacrifices. 
It wasn't long before Sarah would fulfill her dream and the calling the Father put in heart to become a nurse. After graduation, she began working in the Labor and Delivery unit of Hillcrest Medical Center and then the Tulsa Pediatric Urgent Care. Although the Father had given her the desire to become a nurse she also had the desire to be a full-time stay at home mommy.  Her heart yearned to be at home with Eden but that was not her season of life yet. Let me say now and many times to come that my children have the "Worlds Greatest Mom"!  
     The spring of 2010 our little family ventured to Kisumu, Kenya to visit my Dad and Cece. While we were there, our hearts began to long for the little African boy that would be our son one day.  Eden was a such a blessing on the trip.
She connected really well with the African boys and girls!  The same time we were in Kenya, our friends son was working in an orphanage in Uganda.  Our friends, John and Kim Hewett had adopted four children and their son Michael had found them another little boy to add to their family.  Kim knew our desire to adopt a little African boy and contacted Sarah about the possibilities of adopting from the same orphanage as them.  Sarah and I prayed about this opportunity and she soon contacted the director of the children's home about the children that were available for adoption.  We always said we didn't know when, where or how we'd adopt but that it would have to be in the Father's timing.  The next thing we knew we were partnering with the Hewett's to each bring home a little African boy.  Sarah put all her heart and soul into bringing home our son, Ephraim.  Neither of our families were wealthy by an imagination but just as it's the Fathers will that everyone be adopted into his family, we had to trust him for the provision to bring our son into our family. Sarah sold bracelets, had garage 
sales, spoke at fellowships, shared her heart with friends and family and prayed, prayed, prayed to help bring home our son.  Nine months had passed since we began the adoption process when we got the email telling us to buy plane tickets and come get you son in Uganda.  The Hewett's and our family flew over to Uganda together to get our boys.  John and I stayed for about 10 days because we had to go back to the States to work and take care of our children.  Sarah and Kim stayed in Uganda for about 50 days while waiting paper work and the legal process of adoption on the Ugandan side to be completed.  Those 50 days were both the biggest blessing and trials that she had every faced.  Being able to bond with Ephraim for that time was amazing but being separated from family during the holidays and living in a third world country brought many hard days.  This is another reason why Sarah is the "World's Greatest Mommy" and I praise her at the city gates (Facebook)!

     Sarah and Ephraim finally arrived home and we could begin our new life with two children.  Sarah was able to cut back to part time at the hospital and give more time to the kiddos. She continued to pour love and affection into our children.  When Ephraim would have bad days or weeks from the trauma of being abandoned and uprooted to a new home, country and culture; she'd respond with love, grace, tears and compassion for his heart.  That is not to say there wasn't ever frustration or high stress but she turned to the Father to understand his heart and the pain he was enduring. Through Sarah's love for Ephraim, he's grown into a young boy who loves the Father and loves those around him,  just as her parents taught her.   
     Two years had passed since Ephraim had joined our family.  Sarah and I were ready to try to have another baby.  Sarah's conception and pregnancy with Eden was without any complications.  
However, our attempt to have another baby was faced by much pain, tears and crying out to the Father.  After three miscarriages, Sarah's heart was very broken over the lose of our children.  We joined our hearts together for one month and sought the Father's face for a month our desire to have another baby. Sarah was reluctant to tell me that she was a few weeks pregnant with Xavier out of fear another miscarriage.  The Father had given her a dream that she'd be carrying a six month old baby in her arms when we went to China. That dream came true last summer on July 31 as Xavier turned six month old to the date as Sarah carried him in her arms as we boarded the plane for China!  

`The writer of the book of Proverbs instructs us to honor and praise our wives and mothers. On this Mother's Day 2014, I honor you Sarah, my wife and the mother of my children to all our friends and family.  All praise and glory be to unto the Father!  (Part 2: World's Greatest Mom in be continued)   

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lessons in Chinese

We have started Chinese lessons with a tutor!  Evenually, we hope to go to language school here, but till then, this will have to do.  Right now we are learning sounds and simple directions like how to give directions to a taxi driver and how to order at McDonalds.  Some of the things that we can say include: hello, goodbye, thank you, excuse me, you, me, turn right, turn left, stop, I don't understand (we use this a lot, Ha!), this, yes, no, water, adoption, Father, big brother, big sister, baby, kung pao chicken, sweet and sour pork, green beans, pomelo, rice, cheddar, waiter, dumpling, various other foods, we can count, and say the names of other locations. We hope to involve the kids in tutoring soon, and they seem eager to learn!  This is our see tutor, E!

Showers of blessing:
Steps toward greater communication
Sweet tutor
Kids eager to learn