I swear almost every single day I think “Tonight I’m going to update the blog. Yep, tonight’s the night I work my way towards being caught up.” And you know what? I don’t. Something else always comes up after Elsa goes to bed. Work. Laundry. Me just wanting to sit on the couch and do nothing for five minutes…or two hours. The nights add up, and before you know it you’re coming up on six months home and have written down hardly anything. We’ve taken a bazillion pictures. But the writing just hasn’t happened. So in short, we are doing well. Very well. Elsa is the sweetest, most precious gift ever, and we are enjoying her so much. She’s hilarious, and cute, and filled with so much joy. But this post isn’t about us. I promise to post soon, but not this one. This one is about another little “E” we love. He lives in Ghana and is a year or so older than Elsa.
And we love his mommy and daddy. Big time.
I hope that everyone can say they have friends like the Jernigans. You know, the kind that check in on you at just the right moment, that you can call in the midst of chaos because they “get” your kind of crazy, the ones that mean it when they say they’re praying for you, or the ones that go and do something super crazy awesome like sending you your favorite ice cream from when you were a kid packed in a box full of dry ice so that it makes the multi-state trip the week that you come home from Ethiopia with your daughter and you feel like the world has just been turned completely upside down and you can’t even see strait. Whew, run-ons. But that ice cream…that ice cream just might save the world.
Those friends. Lauren and Bryan are those friends.
And over the past several months God has asked them to walk through a lot. A lot lot.
There have been unexpected losses, delays, trials, and costs. There have been days that we’ve just sat on skype and cried together. And there have been days of rejoicing. The roller coaster ride of adoption is long…and kind of like one of those crazy wooden ones you think might just fall apart at any second so you hold your breath and pray the entire time. But all the while they have been an example to us of what it means to trust in the Lord and lean on His understanding. Because sometimes you just can’t understand.
We can’t stop the ache they feel to be reunited with E. We can’t tell them what that reunion looks like or what’s to come. We can’t fix the difficult things outside of their adoption journey that God is leading them through right now. But we can walk along side of them. And one burden we can help carry is the financial one. Until you go through the adoption process you just can’t imagine how these things add up. I bet we spent a thousand dollars on shipping papers back and forth alone. No joke. Sometimes you hear people say things like “Things got drawn out and we had to take an extra trip.” Do you know what that actually means for that family? What “an extra trip” to across the ocean means? What even the “regularly scheduled” two or three mean? Until we found ourselves flying across the ocean to meet Elsa I had no idea. Guys, the tickets, ouch. And that’s just a part of it. Passports, and visas, and time off work, and unpaid days because you’re out of vacation at your job, and lodging, and food, and all the things you need to travel (safely at that), and drivers, and someone to watch your pets (ha, poor izzy and bean), and travel agents, and baggage fees, and so on and so on. I refuse to even look back and add all of ours up. All I know is God provides for these families. He provided for us. And He will provide for Lauren and Bryan and sweet little E. Whatever them being together looks like, He will provide for it. And we feel led to be a part of that. So here’s our plan.
We’re calling it “Letters of Love” and it involves two big wooden Es. One for the Jernigans for their E, and one for our Elsa…because let’s face it, she’s three and she wanted one too. After all, her favorite letter is E too. Simple as that ha. For every $5 donated towards the Jernigan’s adoption Elsa is going to paint a big dot on each E. And I will write the names of the donors on the back. The idea is to COVER this thing. We want to make it a super bright, colorful, joyful reminder of all the people that were praying for all three Jernigans during this time. And I think we can do it. I think God’s going to transform these plain wooden Es into beautiful reminders of his faithfulness in all of this.
Now, I’m not naive, Elsa is three after all. Some of these “dots” may be more like squiggly lines or big smears. I don’t know what to expect really. Does it matter? Nope. Let’s just get this thing started and we’ll see the final result when we get there!
Ok, so are you ready?! Are you ready to bless the Jernigans in a big way? Elsa is. She’s been practicing painting all week. We’re ready to get messy! So here’s how to donate: See that Paypal button right down there? Yep, click it. That’s their button. Not mine. Theirs. It goes strait to their Project Hopeful fundraising paypal account, and it’s tax deductible. TAX DEDUCTIBLE ok? Ok. So, get clicking folks! I need to work with Elsa on her colors this week and this would be a great way to do it. We’ll put an end date on this of JUNE 15th, so that gives us almost a month to get this thing beautified! Now go!
Love you Lauren. Love you Bryan. Love you E. We’re praying for you guys.
You can also find this Paypal link, and more of their story, on their blog. http://beingbeautifullywoven.blogspot.com