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Showing posts from January, 2009

Off To El Nido

(Picture from last year.)

Well, we're off to El Nido (the Philippines). . .or annual trip with some wonderful families who have become friends over the past four years! I never thought that Lionel would not be with us. I can't wait to see what God has in store instead!!!

Also, a HUGE congrats to the Blackwell family! They passed court today in Ethiopia and they will get to travel to bring home their daughter, Rae, in just a couple of weeks! We are SO excited! Rae is Gabby's age and we cannot wait to hug her neck! You can check out her pictures if you go to! She's a doll!

And for those of you in our Adoption Fellowship Group, we will be meeting in February: same date (second Thursday of the month), same time (7-8) and same place (the Braner's house). Hopefully the Blackwells and the Neals will be in Ethiopia! We'll miss you!!!

Please pray that we come home to FANTASTIC news about a GENERIC approval letter waiting for us in t…

New Pics!!! Incentive To Keep Praying!!!

The Prayers Of Children (again)

Again, I am floored by the prayers of my children. I love to hear them pray for Lionel and to pray for the government of Rwanda. Hays prayed not only for the adoption issues, but he prayed for Lionel to learn a lot in school this week.

I love listening to Maggie pray. She is so fervent and so sincere. Her prayers are so genuine and they lack doubt. That may sound weird. . .that they lack doubt. But sometimes as I pray, I find myself fighting with doubt as I pray my requests. Maggie doesn't struggle with that. She prays so fervently every night to bring Lionel home. It is so beautiful and I find myself floored and in tears during her prayers. I am so humbled by her faith and her passion! I find myself thanking God for the words she is speaking to Him as I agree with her in her prayers to bring our boy home! Maggie is so dear.

As you lift our family up this week and as you lift up the government and the people in decision making places, please also lift up the Blackwell fam…

Please Pray For This Family

I don't personally know this family, but I know they must be amazing. They have ten children and many are adopted--they just recently returned from Uganda with two. They live in Durango, so I hope to meet them this summer!!!

Anyway, their home burned to the ground yesterday morning. Everyone was home, and they are all fine! Praise the Lord!!!

Lionel's Bedroom at Sonrise

This is where Lionel stays with Isaac and Sunday (2 boys from New Hope) and eleven other boys!

The bag on each bed is every the child has at school and the bucket is required to be brought to the school by the children for bathing. The simplicity of life. It isn't a bad thing!

Lionel Went To Boarding School

Well, Lionel is off to boarding school for the first time. He is at Sonrise school about two hours northwest of Kigali. It is a wonderful place for him to be and I am so thankful that he is having that opportunity! I have a feeling in my gut that him being at Sonrise may even make it easier for the adoption to work out. Regardless of that, he is getting a wonderful education. Sonrise's goal is to educate the future leaders of Rwanda. He is in a "dorm room" with 14 boys and a nanny.

If you have time, there is a lengthy blog entry about his first day on "Team Rwanda," one of the blogs to the right. It is kind of fun if you have a few minutes.

Please keep praying!

Here is the link to Sonrise:

I Love This Guy

Hays has been praying so diligently throughout our entire adoption journeys! He has prayed for our China baby, he prayed for Gabby and he has been praying diligently for Lionel. His heart is so big and he inspires me to believe. Thanks, buddy. I love you!

How I'm Feeling Right Now. . .Dear Lionel

I feel like you are slipping through my fingers.
You have never been in my hands, but you have been living in my heart.
My heart and my hands, how can you be in my heart and not be in my hands?
So, now I feel you slipping.
I don’t know what to do.
I feel like I need to release you.
Release my dream.
I think this may just be my defenses.
If I can release you before you are taken, then I haven’t really lost you?
But maybe it isn’t my defenses.
Maybe it is God.
Is God telling me to release you to Him?
Release you because He can bring you to me?
I can’t.
I’m afraid to let you go.
I’m so afraid.
I don’t want to give you up.
I want you in my heart and in my arms.
I want to hug you and hold you forever.
I want you to be a part of my family.
You are family.
How can we let you go?
I’m afraid to let God have you because then I’m not in control.
The funny thing is that even as I ‘hold on’ I have no control.
So why is this so hard?
Why do I feel like wanting you in my arms is such a bad thing?
I feel like if it were a …


I just picked up my journal that I started in 2005 when we began the adoption process for our China baby. It is amazing where that journey has taken us. Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the quotes that I have glued in the front of my journal.

"Find a path that captures your heart and follow it to the end."

"Where there is great love, there are always wishes."
-Willa Cather

"Love builds bridges where there are none."
-R.H. Delaney

"If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain."
-Emily Dickinson

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength.
Loving someone deeply gives you courage."
-Lao Tzu

"I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams. You are here each day with me, at least that’s how it seems. I know you wonder where we are. . . what’s taking us so long. But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong. Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it tou…

Getting Lionel Is Going To Take MAJOR Prayer!

Well, I just received word from Chantal today--she is the wonderful lady who runs the home (orphanage) where Lionel lives. Below is what she said (note that Veronique is the woman in the Minister's office who can hold up our adoptions):

"Good to hear from you, yes I knew you had sent your file from someone not sure why you have not gotten your response but do know that getting Lionel will be very hard. Veronique was at our office yesterday and she many time repeated that we are not allowed to receive kids with a living relative and we cannot adopted one out. Will be praying for you that it goes well. Thanks for Gabby's picture she has became a big girl. Please give your family our greetings."

So please, please, please PRAY!!!

Back From Vacation

Well, we're back from Cabo and it was a WONDERFUL trip! Now what? We need to bring our boy home! Being passive is always so difficult for me.

Tim, our "power of attorney" in Rwanda, has been very faithful about checking with the Minister's office and then reporting back to us. I'm thinking we should get a report on Friday. . .prayerfully with that GENERIC approval letter. I have emailed the Minister several times and I haven't heard a word from her.

Meanwhile, Braner Party of SIX will move along. Hays has his basketball season gearing up. That should be fun! Andy is headed to Arizona and then on to Washington D.C. at the end of the week. Maggie will be back to Gymnastics. Dax and Gabby and I just get to hang out all day! We need to UNdecorate for Christmas and get life back together (which means LOTS of laundry)!

If you haven't checked out AnNi Designs, please do!

Thanks for hanging with me on this journey!

Cabo is Great, But. . .

Cabo is GREAT! I love it here! But. . .I'm missing my boy. . .I just can't get Lionel out of my head on this trip! We still don't have our approval letter. Please continue to pray for a GENERIC letter of approval soon! Lionel needs to be on vacation with us!!! Please also pray for Rwanda as the violence seems to be getting worse in and around!