"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Waiting Room

I should be good at waiting.  I should have this patience thing figured out by know.  I have been in a constant state of waiting for over 4 years now.  4 years of delays, 4 years of things not looking the way I had planned them out in my head.  But, here I am...terrible at waiting and terrible at patience.  What is it about letting God do the work that I don't understand?  Why do I think I am in the driver's seat?  Last week, I was a mess. I have spent many days a mess.  Even at bible study on Sunday night, my friend said she is in such a state of thankfulness and is in a season of blessings.  I chimed in with, "I am in a state of unthankfulness and bitterness."  UGH!  My flesh.....anyways....just where lack of faith and waiting takes me at times.  But, God is merciful.

This week, I have had so many sweet lessons from God.  He keeps bringing me back to the word "Rest".  I have been cancelled from work for almost 6 weeks.  Things have been really calm around the house because I have all three boys at school all day.  I've found a nice routine that keeps our house "clean" and really, I've had a little extra time on my hands.  That NEVER happens.  I even have all socks matched and put away.  Again...NEVER happens.  He keeps reminding me to rest. I was at the grocery store on Monday and gave thanks that I was shopping alone because this will not be my life soon.  I gave thanks as I met a friend for coffee this morning.  That will not be happening in my near future.  I gave thanks as I sat and read a book.  I gave thanks as I made dinner without a toddler on my leg.  I gave thanks for the shower I took this morning.  In a month or two, showers may be a luxury.  A middle of the day date with my husband.  God is raining down blessings for me and I'm too caught up in my mess that I don't even see them.

In being thankful, we can turn our grumbling and complaining and woe is me attitude and fix our eyes on Jesus.  He is so very good.  He is so faithful.  Being in a "waiting room" is not a bad place to be after all.  It is a place where we learn to depend only on Him.  He strips away everything so that all we have is Him.  Resting in Him is a choice.  I can choose to walk around in constant worry, or I can choose peace and joy.  I can choose to try and control everything, or surrender everything.  I'm hoping that I can choose joy and peace and complete surrender.  Seems like a much better place to me.  I tend to get caught up in the when's, how's, what's and why's and forget the who.  As in, the Who that is in control here.  As in, the Who that created the universe by just speaking it in to being.  The who is the most important part of that equation.  If I believe and trust in the ALMIGHTY God, then the what's and when's and how's will all fall into place according to His perfect will.

I praying with such boldness that the waiting is almost over, but I pray even more that I will walk daily trusting and glorifying Him.  I just need to step aside and let God move.  I tend to get in the way!

I leave you with this precious pic of these little legs and chubby little hands.  Oh, my word.  If you could see her face, you would die.  She is the most precious little baby girl I have ever laid my eyes on.  You would understand why I act like such a fool sometimes!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Israelite

Hi, my name is Erica and I am an Isrealite.

How often do we look at the Isrealites in their exodus from Egypt and their time in the dessert and think "Wow, they are a bunch of complainers.  Can't they see what God has done for them?  He parted a sea for them for goodness sakes and here they are, three days later, whining and complaining about being thirsty.I mean, how could they not trust God with everything at this point."  Nope.  Just me?  {Insert wide-eyed emoji}.

The more I study their story, the more the story points directly at me.  Three months ago, God brought us the most beautiful baby girl.  She's perfect in every way.  I said on that day "God, I will trust you from here on out no matter how long it takes to get her home."  I said that out loud to God.  I even wrote it in my journal. I marveled at the work of His mighty hand.  The four years of waiting behind me seemed so small.  It was behind me.  Three months later..... I'm grumbling, complaining.  "God, I'm tired and weary.  God where are you? God why can't you do what you said you would do?"  I'm no different from them.  In fact, I am just like them.

God lead the Isrealites to the Red Sea.  He lead them right into a dead end with the Egyptian army coming after them.  It seemed to be a hopeless situation.  But then, by His Glory and His might he parted the waters and not one of them perished and all the glory was given to Him.  They praised Him and feared Him.  He has led me to a place of hopelessness.  It seems like a dead end.  The waters are raging.  We are experiencing delay after delay. We are hard- pressed on every side.  But, I need to remember that I serve a God who can part a sea, a God who can make Manna fall from the sky and water pour out of rocks.  I serve a God who is working and moving even when I don't see it.  I just have to surrender all of me to him.  Not just the little pieces that make sense or that I can see.  All of me!  And whatever happens in my life, good or bad, I need to recognize that God is painting this beautiful picture and He is good all the time and when the waters are parted, it will be because of Him and not because of me!

My name is Erica and I am an Isrealite.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Annie Updates

Our sweet baby girl is getting so big. She is 7 months old now and she is growing like a weed. We were so blessed to have gotten video and pictures from a group that went on a mission trip with our agency. I have watched it over and over and over again. Plus, we got new pictures this past week and OH.MY.WORD. She is the cutest little baby girl I have ever laid my eyes on. She's sitting up now and it sounds like she might be a diva. She likes special attention!! No problem there! I cannot wait to pick her up and hold her in my arms. We are hoping to hear about a court date after they re-open on October 6th. 3 more weeks!!!! Time is flying by. I haven't even had a chance to work on her room. It has been good for me to be so busy that I don't have time to focus on how much I miss her. She will be home with us so very soon! Joel and my parents just went and got all of their shots for travel and we are getting so close to our fundraising goal. God has been so good to us and blessed us beyond measure.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Be a Piece of the Puzzle

God is moving so quickly on our behalf and we are so excited.  We will hopefully travel for our first trip to go see Annie and for our court date at the end of October.  Then, we will come back home and wait until we have all of her documents processed through the US Embassy to go back and bring Annie home FOREVER!  This means we have to pay for two trips to go to Ethiopia.  We are asking for each one of you to consider being a part of our journey to bring Annie home to her forever family.  Every person that donates toward our adoption becomes a part of our story.

*We have a 675 piece puzzle that I have painted.  Each piece symbolizes someone who will help bring Annie home.
*Each piece is $15
*You may choose to be one piece of the puzzle or several pieces.
*Your name will be written on the puzzle piece
After the puzzle is complete, we will hang this in her room and we will always be able to see the people that were a part of her story.  We will see the hundreds of people that prayed for her and lifted us up along the way. Thank you for opening your heart and prayerfully considering being a part of the puzzle.

Donations can be made by clicking here: www.mkt.com/halpin or you can donate to us in person, or you can mail us a check.
Donate to Annie's Adoption


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Annie Update

Things are moving along really quickly in our process at this point.  There are so many things that have to happen in order to get a court date and most of the time, it takes months and months to get the process complete.  God has shown us such mercy and blessed us incredibly and we flew through the process in 47 days.  We are again in Awe of our God and his incredible power.  Court is closed for the rainy season and will re-open in 39 days.  39 DAYS!  As soon as they open, we are praying for a court date shortly after to bring our baby girl home.  I am confident that God can do this.  He has already moved mightily on our behalf.  At referral, I was praying that she would be home before her first birthday (next Feb).  Then when we submitted to PAIR, I started praying that she would be home before Christmas.  But now, as quickly as things are moving, I am praying she is home before Thanksgiving.  In the meantime, we have gotten some amazing pictures and video of her from people on mission trips and families traveling to see their kids.  It has been such a gift.  I look at them all day every day.  I cannot wait to hold her in our arms.  She is beautiful and I cannot wait to share her picture for everyone to see!  She has already stolen our hearts.  Keep praying for our girl.  She needs prayers for health and that we can get her home soon!

First Day of School 2014-2105

 First Day of School.  Summer went by so fast!   We made so many memories and had so much fun!  The boys are excited for school to start and we look forward to a great year ahead.


My baby boy started kindergarten.  This was so hard for me.  He was so excited and could not wait to start school.  I think I cried for about two hours and then I picked up the pieces and headed to lunch with the hubs and to the newly opened Home Goods Store to look around.  In the peace and quiet.  No whining, or hiding in the racks.  Just me and a friend walking each and every aisle. 







I was so excited to see the bus come and watch my baby boy run off the bus with a huge smile and stories from his day.  The silence is hard and I know I am going to miss having these guys home all day, but four days in, I think I can get used to this!!!  The silence won't be for long.  I will have sweet Annie home soon.

 Happy first day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Beach

We LOVE the beach.  Nothing to do all day but relax.  We have not been on a vacation in several years and it was way overdue.  I have 7 million photos to download and edit, but I have a few that I love.  Sadly, a family photo did not happen this year.  The wind was strong and my hair was sticking straight up in every photo.  The Halpins do better with unplanned photo ops.  That's just how we roll.  We spent the week in Destin, Florida and we had a blast.  Elliot loved to boogie board all day long.  Oliver loved digging in the sand all day long and Clayton, it depended on the moment.  I read a few books.  Jumped the waves with the boys, played some football.  Spent some evenings hunting crabs and Oliver spent the days diving for crabs.We spent the days with the Creasy Fam and soaked in a ton of sun.  Running on the beach was on my bucket list, so I had a chance to do that too.  It was VERY difficult.  Overall, we had the best time.  I loved making some new memories








Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Submitted to PAIR

This is the first step in getting our daughter home.  We are thrilled that this happened so quickly for us!!!!  2 weeks and 2 days after our referral.  This is just a whole bunch of paperwork that needs to be submitted for Pre-Approval Immigration Review.  Basically, they review all of the information and determine if any further information is needed.  Once we pass through this, we can get a court date.  We expect this process to take 2-4 months.  Praying it happens quickly!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The CALL!!!

It happened.  It Finally happened.  No more DTE dates to record.  39 months, the last and final.  39 long months.  We got the call and accepted the referral for the most beautiful 5 month old baby girl I have ever laid eyes on.  We are so completely in love!  God has done immeasureably more than we asked or could have imagined.  It is so surreal.  I feel like I am dreaming!!!  

This happened on Monday, July 7th.  It was at 2:34 pm.  I was at work and I was in the middle of feeding a baby.  I had my phone in my pocket and felt it vibrating and I peeked in and saw the area code of my agency.  I screamed out "it's my adoption agency".  I put the baby back in bed and ran out of the room shaking.  Two of my sweetest work friends heard about it quickly and ran into the breakroom as I was on the call.  They conferenced Joel in and she told us all the details.  I could not stop shaking and I still cannot stop shaking.   It may not seem real until she is home in my arms.  We are hoping and praying that she will be home before her first birthday!!!  

The best phone call I have EVER received!!!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Freckles

I love this boy's freckles