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December 25, 2007: We posted some photos of Christmas morning at our house, where we celebrate with great joy the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

December 24, 2007: Happy Jesus Christ’s Birthday-Eve! I have been asked several times of late, “How is the adoption coming along?” and so thought I would post a brief, if not terribly informative update. We are waiting…and praying…and waiting. We feel inclined to use our previous adoption agency as they know us and as the other primary agency we were considering would require us to wait an additional 18 months prior to submitting our dossier. We have been reading about Ethiopia and studying transracial adoption, doing our best to eat the fish and spit out the bones, and there are a lot of bones! Most adoption resources are unfortunately not written from the perspective of abundant life and hope in Christ and the restorative power of His love. So, please continue to pray with us for circumstance to line up with the desires God has placed in our hearts. We are excited about the New Year and anticipate with great expectation all God has in store for us and for YOU!

December 20, 2007: Occasionally I feel the need to post something completely irrelevant to our adoption adventures and, as opposed to cluttering these pages with such trivial fodder, I have started a separate blog based on the erroneous assumption that anyone is interested in my mental meandering. Should you care to humor me...thelordschips.blogspot.com

December 11, 2007: We are continuing to narrow our choices on adoption agencies, all the while waiting expectantly for God to line up some circumstances. We posted a couple of new photos: one of Rebekah in curls; a picture we snapped of a speed limit sign hanging in a tree after the Vernonia floods (Jeremiah and I were able to lend a hand to some folks whose houses were flooded); and a photo of Sue, the world's largest, most complete T-Rex skeleton (in Jeremiah's honor) which I snapped while in Chicago recently.

Just a couple of thoughts/links that you might find interesting - This is a link to a Sara McLachlan video - "World on Fire" - Jennelle introduced us to that is pretty cool: http://new.us.music.yahoo.com/videos/--6228430. We would also like to highly recommend a book we have just finished reading called "The Heavenly Man," by Paul Hattaway, which is an incredible story of Brother Yun, one of the father's of the house-church movement in modern China - WARNING: it is not for the faint of heart but will stir your faith and profoundly challenge you. I dare you to read it. You can find it at Amazon or at http://www.backtojerusalem.com/bookstore/books.aspx#booksEng.

December 4, 2007: Yesterday morning, our son, Nathanael, walked in to the living room and asked me if he could read me a scripture. He had his Bible open to Matthew. He read Matthew 21:21-22: And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it shall happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing you shall receive.” After he was done reading, I thanked him for the encouragement. I then asked him how he found this particular scripture. He said, “Well, last night when I was getting in bed, the word ‘receive’ came into my head. This morning I went to my Bible and found the word receive in the index (I know he meant concordance) and found this scripture.” As I was listening, my eyes filled with tears, as I knew that God had spoken the word “receive” directly to Nathanael. It obviously impressed him enough to wake up the next morning and look up that particular word. As you all know, we are praying for some miracles right now and really believing God for the resources to do what he has put on our hearts to do. This word of encouragement was just what we needed, and it made it so special being that it came through our 11-year-old son. It is so exciting to see God working in our sons hearts through this adventure. They are learning to have faith in the Lord and encourage others! Later that morning Nathanael had gone to Biblegateway.com and typed in his scripture so he could email it to Patterson and my parents. It was a great encouragement to all of us.

November 26, 2007: Where to begin? The "beginning" would make sense but I fear neither of us have that much time. If you followed our journey to Rebekah, you have an idea of the "beginning." In any case, the end is even less distinct...

Bringing our daughter home from China has transformed our lives in more ways than we could have ever imagined. As I have mentioned elsewhere, it has been one of the sweetest steps we have ever taken toward the heart of God, increasing both our hunger for more and our courage to take another step...

A couple of weeks ago we received an email alert regarding some children desperately in need of a home. The email sparked something in our hearts. We began to pray fervently to the Lord to provide these children a home in conjunction with asking God "what's next for us?" These children were a sibling group, two sisters and a brother, one of whom was almost the same age as Benjamin. Their mother had been forced to give up her parental rights and place them in an orphanage due to abject poverty: she could not feed them. I wept all the way to work as I could not escape the thoughts of how our son, Benjamin, at age nine, would feel being given up for adoption. The fervency of our prayers intensified..."Provide these children a home!" and "What's next for us, Lord? If you would have us (gulp!) give these children a home, please make it CRYSTAL clear..."

God, in His faithfulness, heard our prayers and the prayers of many other families, and provided these children with a home. But the process solidified some things in our hearts and minds, three things in particular, two names and a place...

So begins the next stage of our family's adventure, the next step toward the heart of God. The place, Ethiopia. The names: James and Elizabeth.

Pragmatically, we are just at the beginning stages of this next adventure. We are exploring adoption agencies in the coming weeks. We covet your prayers as we seek God for the necessary resources. To put it bluntly, we need money and we need a home. Our current three-bedroom rental will not suffice, nor will our current revenue stream. Having said that, we feel like God has called us out of the boat and onto the water, calling us to a level of faith we have yet to experience. My natural tendency is to get a long stick and probe the water's surface to see if it's solid, then fling a pebble or two to see if they sink, followed by a tentative toe or two...none of which we can do without taking our eyes off of Jesus. So here we go, clinging to grace and humility...stay tuned.

I Cor 1:25 - "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."

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