Monday, October 31, 2011

Super Exciting News... (Adoption Update)

I have some very exciting news.... WE RECEIVED OUR TRAVEL DATES for our first trip!!!!! Now before you get too excited let me explain what this trip is. When we go to Eastern Europe this time it will be to meet Baby A and officially commit to his adoption in Eastern Europe. We will not have court this trip and we will not be bringing him home this trip. But I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to know we are going to finally get to meet our BOY!!!!  I have thought  about this day non-stop for almost 9 months I can't wait to love on Baby A! We are not going to be sharing our travel dates but I will say we will be going before the end of the year!

After this trip we will come home then we will have to wait two or three months for a court date. Once we get a court date we will go back to Eastern Europe to adopt Baby A. Once we are approved in court there is a ten day waiting period before we can take Baby A home. We still have a long way to go but we are getting so much closer!!!

Please be praying for a safe trip for us and that Baby A will not be freaked out by us being there. I am so hoping to get some amazing cuddle time with our boy but I know the reality is he might not want a whole lot to do with us. Either way I just can't wait to be in the same room with him!!! Please also be praying for some paperwork that we are trying to get for court. The wording has to be done a certain way but so far it hasn't been done exactly right so please be praying we could get this taken care of quickly.

On a side note Oqurechka in the comment you left you used Baby A's name so I didn't publish it on the post but if you email me we can talk more about what you asked Thanks!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Reformation Day! (Reformation & Solas History)

Jason first wrote and posted this blog several years ago but it is worth reading again!

Yes, yes, I know you may have been expecting a Happy Halloween, but I wanted to talk about a different holiday that happens today that not many that I have talked to this past month are aware of,...Reformation Day!

If you are in a church where:
  • The Bible is read (in a language you understand)
  • The Bible is preached (in a language you understand)
  • You sing songs based off Biblical truths (in a language you understand)
  • Pray prayers (in a language you understand) and are Biblical in content
  • You are taught that you are justified by grace alone through faith alone by Christ alone
Then you are in debt to these men involved in the Reformation. All those things listed above, before the Reformation, were neither being practiced or taught.

Even more than that, on a non-religious level, we probably wouldn’t have the form of Republican government that we have today. A Democracy, capitalism, the sciences (as we have them today), educational system, and family life as we do today.

Sociologist Peter Burger said the reformation is the most amazing organizational achievement in the history of man, based on the network of friendships, and these men pressing forward toward the same goal to change churches and nations.

Martin Luther, who sparked the start of the Reformation, is said to be amongst the top 3 most influential men of last millennium.

Even if you just have the Bible in your own language, then you can thank God for the Reformers.

So what is the Reformation?

Since many don't know what this holiday is let me give this brief overview:

On October 31, 1517 a obscure German monk by the name of Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. He was protesting the abuse of indulgences in the church. In particular he was offended by Johann Tetzel, one of the Monks who had been sent out by the Pope to raise money for the building of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome.

In Roman Catholicism indulgences were a remission of a certain amount of time in Purgatory granted to the repentant sinner for a number of different reasons. One way to gain an indulgence was to go on a pilgrimage to a distant land. Today an
opportunity to go to the Holy Land would be considered a special privilege. But travel in medieval Europe was a major hardship, filled with many dangers - and a trip to Israel would only be undertaken because of the granting of an indulgence. To be fair we need to say that Roman Catholic theology required that the penitent sinner have a godly sorrow for his sins for the indulgence to be of any value. Tetzel, though, was going around selling indulgences as a “get out of jail free card.” He had a little slogan he used to promote his activities that went “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs.”

Luther’s initial protest was not against the granting of indulgences but against abuses of granting indulgences practiced by Tetzel (and against the Pope's authority). It needs to be remembered that what Luther did in nailing his theses to the church door was not an act of rebellion. This was the normal method used by scholars to call for debate on an issue. Support for this statement lies with the fact that the theses were written Latin (the scholarly language) and not in German (the common language).

However, some enterprising students copied the theses, published them - and within a few weeks they were all over Germany. This was the precipitating event of the
Reformation of the church. The flame of reformation was soon kindled across
Europe. Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland, Thomas Cramer and Hugh Latimer in
England and John Knox in Scotland were just a few of the reformers that God used
to awaken His church.

The changes that God brought about through the Reformation were not merely
cosmetic. Though there were massive changes in the liturgy, the fundamental change was the recovery of the Biblical Gospel as seen in the slogan of the reformers -
After darkness light!

Another change that came about was a radical departure from the medieval way of interpreting Scripture. The church had gotten off track very early through the influence of Origen who promoted allegorical interpretation. Today we use the literary historical method which examines the text according to the literary form (such as historical narrative, didactic or teaching texts, poetry, etc.) and asks the question, “What did the author mean in this text? (This question requires us to consider the historical setting.) This change in our understanding of how to interpret Scripture was not just a reformation, but a revolution!

Often the Reformation is understood in light of the five “solas,” (sola being the Latin word for alone.)

Sola Scriptura - Scripture alone
Sola Gratia - Grace alone
Sola Fide - Faith alone
Sola Christus - Christ alone
Soli Deo Gloria - All to the glory of God alone

The scriptures were seen as the formal cause of the Reformation. It was the issue of
authority - the Bible or the church - that was behind the other issues in question. Was the Bible the only authority for all faith and practice or was it the church, as Rome said. The principle of Sola Scriptura did not mean that there was no teaching office in the church. It meant that the church must interpret the text according to what it actually teaches and not according to the traditions of the church.

The absolute necessity for and the sufficiency of the Grace of God in the salvation of
every individual was seen by the reformers as a critical issue. This truth did not come first from the pen of John Calvin. Martin Luther was proclaiming Sola Gratia years before John Calvin was even a Christian. Luther’s book, The Bondage of the Will, was written as a response to The Freedom of the Will written by the Roman Catholic humanist scholar, Desiderius Erasmus. Erasmus’ position (on this subject) was essentially the same as the Arminian position that is so prevalent in the church today.

Sola Fide was called the material cause of the Reformation. The material cause was the doctrine over which the battle raged. It was in the foreground while Sola Scriptura was in the background. The reformers said that faith alone was the means of our justification. It must be remembered that the Roman Catholic Church did not deny the necessity of faith. What Rome opposed was “faith alone.” The reformers acknowledged that true faith would produce good works, but said that those works
followed faith and did not contribute to our acceptance by God. We are saved, they
said, by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.

Sola Christus says that Christ alone is the meritorious cause of our salvation. Roman Catholicism said that while our works were not as meritorious as those of Christ, they did have sufficient merit that it was fitting to reward them. It has been well said that Jesus Christ supplemented is Jesus Christ supplanted. That is, if you add anything to the requirement of Christ alone for salvation, then you have replaced him.

Soli Deo Gloria taught that since the other solas were true, all honor and glory
belonged to God for our salvation. While no one would be so bold as to say that the
glory for our salvation should be shared and deny that all glory belonged to God, that was the net affect of the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. What the
reformer’s clearly saw was that the Bible taught that our justification was by Grace
Alone through Faith Alone in Christ Alone - all to the Glory of God Alone.

There was also an essential difference in the understanding of the doctrine of
justification between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Luther and the other
reformers said that justification was the legal decree of God that we were righteous
based on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to our account. (Abraham believed God and He reckoned it to him as righteousness). This righteousness, they said, was an alien righteousness, one that came from outside of ourselves. Our righteousness
was as “filthy rags.”

In contrast, the Roman Church said that in order for God to declare us righteous we must actually be righteous. This is sometimes called analytical righteousness - that is God analyzes us, and when He see’s that we are righteous, He declares us to be righteous. It was this teaching that so vexed Martin Luther. He used to spend hours in the confessional meticulously reciting his sins of the previous day but without finding peace.

Most of us have defense mechanisms that allow us to continue to function despite our sins. Luther saw more clearly than anyone else of his day that his efforts to placate a Holy God were useless. But, God broke through his despair and awakened in Luther the truth of the Scripture - “The just shall live by Faith” Romans 1:17.

In Luther's own words:

For further knowledge on the Reformation I suggest watching the following two videos that will give you a little more in depth overview: The Protestant Reformation 1 of 2 (9:29) & The Protestant Reformation 2 of 2 (10:43)

In conclusion I thank God for these men, for they revived the true saving gospel. A gospel that relies on God for our salvation not any works of man:

yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
- Galatians 2:16

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith."
- Galatians 3:11

You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
- Galatians 5:4

Oh sinner, let me plead with you, trust Christ, there is NO hope in the flesh, no hope in your good works, no hope in keeping the law. There is only hope in believe what Christ says to do, to repent, and to trust alone in Him for your salvation.

Christian, let us not go back to any system that teaches a false gospel:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel
-- not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel.
For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it,
but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

- Galatians 1:6-12

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, noone get's to the Father except through Him! (John 14:6)

Soli Deo Gloria!

jason d.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

EB Awareness week

This week is EB Awareness week and I would love nothing more than for all of you to learn what EB is and teach other people about it. Why is this important??? Well the more people who know what EB is the less likely a new baby will go undiagnosed causing more pain and trauma to it's tiny body. My heart broke as I read about Daylon's first few weeks of life. No one knew what was wrong with him, all his family knew was that every time they touched their baby he was getting more blisters and he was in more and more pain. Please read his story HERE.

Learn more about EB because if we could find a cure to this disease then sweet children like Tripp wouldn't have to fight for their lives when they have only gotten to live it for 2 years.

Are you asking yourself "what is EB?" click HERE to learn more and HERE to donate to to help find a cure.

I hope and pray that a cure is found soon.

This is me and Jonah. Jonah has EB and is 2 years old. He is just like any other 2 year old I know. He wants to play outside, blow bubbles, play with cars and wrestle. The only difference is that any or all of these activities could possibly cause painful blisters to form all over his body, or worse, rip his skin off.

Jonah is a joy to be around and is just like any other kid except his skin won't stay together.

I love this kid!

He has the brightest blue eyes!

And this is Ms. Ella she does not let her EB stand in the way of doing what she wants. She is in preschool and she is one of the only kids in her class that was able to cut out their valentine hearts without help!

I loved getting to hang out with Ms. Ella and her Mommy Katie. Katie was explaining to us how they bandage her and how often they do it. Katie wanted to show us the supplies they use but Ella started getting very nervous as her Mom got up to go get everything. Katie explained to us that Ella gets scared every time Katie gets up because she is afraid it is time to do her bath/dressing change. This broke my HEART! Ella lives in fear of bathing and dressing change time because of how painful it is.

Once her Mom explained to her that she didn't have to take a bath or do her dressing change she was very excited to show us how everything worked.

One easy way to help find a cure is to text BELLA (in remembrance of Bella) or TRIPP (in honor of Tripp) to 50555 to give $10 to PUCK (Pioneering Unique Cures for Kids) to further fund the research for the bone marrow transplants, our closest hope of a cure. see

Thank you for helping find a cure for these AMAZING kids!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

AHHHHH SO EXCITED!!! Adoption Update!!!! -Update on the update :)

UPDATE... I found out that our dossier is finished being translated and will be submitted to the Ministry of Education soon!!! I am so excited and I will update y'all once it's submitted!!!

I just found out the office that accepts dossiers is back open!!!! As soon as our dossier is finished being translated (I thought they were done with it) then it will be submitted and we should get a travel date not too long after that. I will not even try to guess timing on this because I have been wrong every time but I am so excited right now we can move forward again!!! WOO HOO! God is so so good! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Adoption Update

We have made our adoption blog private until the adoption is finalized. It was a really hard choice to make but we felt like it was the best one for our family. I will be updating you all on this blog instead of the other one.

I know a few people were concerned because we had recently gotten a big dog. I just wanted to let everyone know we will not have the dog once we bring Baby A home. He is either going to go back to his original owner or my Mom is going to take him. If you hear anyone expressing their concern please let them know we will not have him for much longer.

Our dossier is in Baby A's country and is translated but we can not move forward because the office that accepts dossiers and sends out travel dates is closed for an unknown reason and for an unknown amount of time. We just have to wait until they reopen to move forward. There is nothing we can do until that happens. Please be praying they reopen quickly so we can travel to meet our boy :)

That is really all that is going on at this point. Thank you guys so much for following our adoption journey and thank you for praying for us!

This is totally unrelated to our adoption but we do have a lot of friends adopting so I wanted to share with you a fundraiser that would totally help out a friend and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time. Head over to Kelly's blog pick out a sweet treat donate to her daughters adoption fund and enjoy your brownies, cookies, pumpkin bread or whichever you choose. Trust me you wont regret it :)

Soccer Star

Kenya has been playing soccer for a few seasons now but this is her very first time playing outdoors. She caught on right away and has really enjoyed this soccer season.

Kenya scored a GOAL!!!!!

High five... OH YA!

Greeted by her fan club/ family.

Uncle Toe Toe's victory jump.

Go Panthers go!

This is Kenya and her buddy Brooklyn. Brooklyn is very shy and didn't even touch the ball until the third game. Today Kenya told her "I am going to help you get a goal so when I get it close kick it in." And she did just that, Kenya got the ball right up to the net then she backed away and let Brooklyn kick it in. We were all so excited that Brooklyn scored her first goal but I was even more excited to watch Kenya help her friend out. It was so sweet and such a great moment to watch!

Good game... high five

Victory tunnel!!!

All the kids were super excited to run through!

Here come Kenya, Jason and Judah.
Way to go Panthers!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Yoda Man

Judah is now 20 months old and is getting so big. Once he turned 16 months old he showed us just how different boys and girls can be. He started climbing out of his crib and pack n play, he was into everything all time and he loved hitting his sister. I am so glad to say that he is now past most of that stuff (he is in a toddler bed so he can climb out of his crib anymore).

Judah is so cute and he is so much fun to be around. He is now forming three to four word sentences and I love hearing him talk. He talks all the time but he favorite things to say are "where it go?", "Mama, I all done.", "Dal" (short for our dog's name Dallas) "sit our Dal go", "Mama I help" (Mama I need help), and the funnest thing he says is "HEY" if you take something away from him.

His favorite toys are balls and his favorite past time is eating. Although as soon as he is finished eating he wants out of his highchair right away. We are teaching him to wait until we are all done eating and finished talking before he can get down which most of the time he doesn't enjoy.

He yells a lot and we really don't know how to teach him to use his quite voice inside. I would love any ideas you all have. We just tell him Judah no yelling or use your inside voice even though he may not understand what those things mean we are hoping it will *click* one of these days.

We are still in the "we can't eat at restaurants" phase which is kinda annoying but I know it will pass. We don't eat out a lot anyway so it's not that big of a deal but if we ever have to eat out I know I will have my work cut out for me the whole time we are there. I remember Kenya going through this too but I don't remember how long it lasted. I hope this phase passes quickly.

We often call Judah "Judah Man" but I think I will start calling him Yoda Man.

Love how he looks dressed as Yoda!

Kind of a random post but I wanted to remember these things about Judah so I knew I needed to write them down.

 I hope y'all had a great weekend!