Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I was living an "it's all gonna be okay" gospel

Yesterday was hard. I was angry, hurt, confused, and just flat out annoyed that we still don't have answers to some pretty big issues. I was on my way home from work feeling sorry for myself, wondering why the heck is this all happening, why hasn't it started to get better yet?! Honestly, I felt like Reed and I had taken some big steps of faith. We have listened well and been bold in our faith, so like we passed the test! We already checked those boxes. It is now time for things to start falling in to place.

I basically thought I understood God, that I knew if I did A B and C that He would respond with D E and F. Nope. Thankfully I am surrounded with friends, that don't just let me wallow in my own thoughts. When I voiced these feelings I got this response back:
"Living by faith does not automatically mean we get what we want. The true test of faith, is living it even when we can't see an end in site". 
Dang it.

Why does that have to be true, wouldn't it just be easy to live an "it's all gonna be okay" gospel? Thats what we preach isn't it! Live by faith, then God will make it all better again!

This isn't totally true.

This morning I read the story of the false prophet Hananiah, the people of Judah had just experienced ruin, their homes, everything they knew was destroyed they were in exile. Hananiah declared, "two years! Everything will be fine in two years, God told me!" Meanwhile, the people are hurting and homeless and everything is not okay.
The people had a problem that needed to be addressed, they had work to do, and they needed to LIVE OUT not merely proclaim their faith.

This is us.
The Lathrop family does not need a truthless pep talk to get through this difficult time. We need to live a life that calls peoples hearts to the gospel, that reveals a God who listens, pursues, engages and rescues. Our God isn't going to simply replace what we have lost, He is pursing our hearts, drawing us closer to him, revealing himself to us and promising restoration in His time.

Reed and I will continue to live a life of faith, to call out to our God and search for Him with all our heart, to know that restoration will come, and when it comes it will come in a way we can not deny it is from our God.

There is faith to be lived out not merely proclaimed.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November: a time for change.

This November we are finally seeing the seasons change to cooler temperatures and beautiful leaves change color, we are also electing a new President, but the biggest change happening in our family doesn't involve politicians or the weather.
Reed and I made the decision back in the Spring to pursue adoption. With this new pursuit to grow our family we sought out wise counsel and decided we needed to make a few changes to prepare our family and home for our new addition. Those changes involved Reed job hunting and us house hunting all at the same time, and taking one giant leap of faith that God will provide exactly what we need.

It is funny to look back and see how much our life has changed in less than 12 months. Change is hard, but it is necessary. God tells us to not worry about the change that is ahead of us, because if we are seeking Him then He will provide all of our needs. During this time of change Reed and I have clung to the promises of God. The promise to provide for our family, the affirmation we received that we are called to adoption. These are things that God has promised us, we know that with out a doubt.

Doesn't matter what I feel
Doesn't matter what I see
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me
Now I'm casting out all fear
For Your love has set me free
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me 
As I walk into the days to come
I will not forget what You have done
For you have supplied my every need
And Your presence is enough for me
- Your Promises, Elevation Worship

This song by Elevation Worship has been my anthem. It doesn't matter what I feel or what I see because God has promised us he will provide, we will have a job and a house and bring home our baby. We have constantly prayed for wisdom, discernment, peace and clarity. God has given us great clarity and peace in the decisions we have made.

We have taken a step of faith. We can not see what lies ahead of us, but we are confident that God has called us to move forward. Our time at Flying King Ranch was a blessing and something we will forever be grateful for. I'm going to miss being married to a "rancher", checking cows, watching the sunset over the pastures. When we get a new house for our growing family I am going to miss the days I could sit in bed and talk to Reed no matter what other room he was in, I am going to miss our magical backyard paradise, and our precious neighbors.

But I could not be more excited about what lies ahead of us. A new home with room to grow, a new job to grow and stretch us.This attitude of excitement has not come easy, we have lived lives in constant prayer, we have become closer in our walk with Jesus and our marriage has strengthened as we learned to support one another with steadfast faith.

That second verse of the song "As I walk in to the days to come I will not forget what you have done" this is our daily prayer. That each day, if we wake up excited for the future or worried because we don't know what that looks like, we will not forget what has already been done for us. This will continue to be our anthem, something we remind each other of constantly. And when we finally know the answer to our job and house search, that we will count it as another blessing from our ever present and all powerful God!

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why It Is So Hard to Write a Thank You

Well dang y'all.
I had every intention of blogging my mind away through this adoption, but honestly it has been heavier than I thought. My mind is so full that trying to figure out what to share when was just another "thing" I didn't need to add to my life. BUT this morning I was sitting here for about the 30 millionth day in a row saying "tonight I'm going to write thank you notes", but spoiler alert I'm probably not going to write a single thank you tonight and here is why.


That is the short of it. Adoption is hard, it seems like a beautiful God calling that shows you His provision (and it does) but it is also the heaviest thing we have ever done. We sit here thinking every day, morning in my quiet time, every free minute, about what life will be like when we bring our nugget home. We have been preparing for 6 months now, but there is still no "sign" of a little one, just more paperwork to put together, more questions to answer... more waiting.

So while we are unbelievably grateful for the gifts, the encouragement, the financial blessings, it is just a little hard to write a genuine thank you right now. And we believe whole heartedly that those that have been involved need a genuine thank you, not a "thank you for your gift, what a perfect blessing! Follow my blog for more updates!". We want to find the words to express how much it means that because of what they have given we are able to confidently follow a difficult path to a family that we are more certain of than anything in our lives. That each dollar, gift, encouraging word has been affirmation that we are going the right way.

Right now I don't want to sit at the kitchen table and craft a thank you note. I want to get our nugget home. I want to have a phone call that we are on the list, that we have been matched, and that they are ready for us to come meet this already unbelievably loved little one.

If you have given to our family and not heard a response, we are sorry. Our southern families are probably cringing that it has been 6 months with no thank you sent. But trust me, your gift means more than we can put in to words. We WILL write you a note, and it will be a note from the heart and most likely stained with tears of joy.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Headbands & Happy Hearts

So, by now you know that adoption costs a lot, and not just dollars. Adoption costs a lot of time, tears, and tedious nights doing paper work. BUT! God blessed me with the best partner to go through all the costs with. 

Reed and I have thoroughly enjoyed every piece of the adoption process. We are officially HALF WAY through our home study! We still have certificates to send in, background checks, doctors visits, and so many more pieces to read, sign and read and sign again. Our signatures are getting pretty good, almost rockstar status actually :)

So, as we continue to move forward I am amazed at how much fun we are having. Reed is such a trooper. I mean I have forced him to take more pictures with me than we have in a really long time, and most of them involve self timer, lots of back and forth, stand real still, don't move, look here, smile, make a funny face ect. Last night I called him on my way home and said I needed to get some pictures for our new fundraiser, that he was gonna think I was crazy but to trust me it would be a good thing. He agreed he would help after he worked on the AC in his truck. So after 2 hours of working on his truck he came in put the head band on with no question and let me snap away. 

I am so grateful for this dude and his ability to be goofy for the sake of our family. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever met and so not afraid to get dirty and take care of what needs to get done. But he is also the kindest, most loving, and fun person I know. I can't wait to see all the fun times ahead with our little Nica Nugget! 

Now, back to fundraising! If you are interested in purchasing a headband or cowl you can check out our Gathering Impossible page through ETSY. Everything in this series will have a percentage of the sales going directly to Gathering Baby Lathrop. We have partnered with East of These out of Lakeland FL, each cowl and headband is handmade by them and a percentage of the sale goes to us! Our goal is to sell 100 head bands and 50 cowls, so please share the link and ask your friends to purchase a super awesome product and help us bring our baby home :) 


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Gathering Baby Lathrop

Holy Moly I can't believe all the love Reed and I have received since sharing the news about our adoption! I don't just mean on social media, but from dear friends and family that will be a part of our little Faraway babies life forever! Reed and I knew that we would have community interested in hearing our story and why we decided to move forward on something so many say is nothing but hard. We also know that this journey is going to be long and that not everyone is going to be thinking about it constantly like we are. 

So when trying to find a way to tell our nearest and dearest about our decision to grow our family we wanted to give them a physical object that would remind them to pray along with us ever chance they get. As I was trying to use my creative juices to come up with something special to us I realized a promise that God had given us and that it applied to so much more than we thought. 

At the very beginning of our adoption journey, like before we took our first step, God laid this verse on our hearts. It seemed fitting for our family that is spread out across the countries, so it ended up on our fridge as a reminder that though we see Reeds family very little God has promised to bring us all together. Then as our adoption progressed we realized the true reason this verse was put in our lives; a promise from God that He is going to bring our Faraway baby home!

We read through Nehemiah back in January when our church did a series called "Difference Makers". This series broke down the journey that God took Nehemiah on to restore His people.  This was the series that broke our hearts, that made us realize we didn't have any reason to wait. God called us to make moves and He would take care of the rest.

At the time of this series, we knew our hearts had been broken but I don't think we realized the significance of the promise God gave us.

God gave us a promise that was written thousands of years ago, but it could have been written just for us. It fit so perfectly, and became something I prayed over and over again. A promise that truly has taken away my anxiety because I know God will make good on His promise to me.

"Even if your people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name." 
Nehemiah 1:9

So when it came time for us to share with our family and friends it only seemed fitting to share with them the promise we were given. These little globes may  not be the nicest things, but they are a physical reminder and promise from God. He IS going to gather up our little Nica baby! 

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If you are interested in helping us bring home this little faraway baby feel free to check out our funding page. We will be sharing many opportunities of how you can get involved, so stay tuned :)  

Friday, July 1, 2016

God Broke Our Hearts and We Decided to do Something About it.

Have you ever used the saying "How heart breaking?" or "That just breaks my heart?", I know I have about a million times. But I realized this year that I don't think my heart had ever truly felt heart break, I had never been so emotionally and spiritually broken to actually DO anything about it. But this past January (Jan. 31st 2016) I heard a sermon and realized God had broken my heart completely and I HAD to do something about it.

You are pobably preparing for a post that is gonna touch your heart strings and maybe bring some tears so you are grabbing the tissues. But I want you to know that when your heart breaks it isn't always because of struggle or a hard time. God uses heart break to bring about action, He can use heart ache in ways we never imagined and right now I have a broken heart that has solidified a calling from God, and I couldn't be more excited!

So Reed and I have decided to step in to what God has for us, to make moves on a something God wrecked us with and now we can officially share with  YOU!

We know you now have about a million questions just ready to jump out of your mouth, don't worry we are going to be filling you in every step of the way! We fully intend to use this God given adventure to educate people on the adoption process, and how God breaks hearts to create difference makers that lean on Him to carry out great things. 
Now to answer a few quick questions!

Where are you adopting?

How far along in the process are you? 
-We just got accepted by our agency and have started our 6 months worth of paperwork. Our next step is to prepare for a home study!

How Long does it take?
-No one really knows, the variation in wait time with Nicaragua is what deters many people from adopting there. We have 6 months worth of paper work, then we send it to Nicaragua to wait on acceptance and a match. We have seen people matched within 6 months and others having to wait 4 years. We are praying that God will bring us our faraway baby quickly, but also that he will be preparing our hearts through the wait, no matter how long!

Do you have an age range you are looking at?

-We want to remember that adoption is not about getting us a baby, but rather about finding a child a home. So we have selected to stay very open. We are currently signed up for a boy or girl in the 0-5 age range.

Do you still want biological children?

-Yes, but we feel that right now God has broken our hearts for orphans in Nicaragua. We have decided that we want to be the people that do something about it. So we are beginning our adoption journey now and trusting that God is going to build us the perfect family!

How much does adoption cost?
-Well, this is a long answer and I plan to share a LOT more about this in the future. But I will share this for now. It costs a lot more than we have, and we do not want to go in to debt. God has broken our hearts for adoption, and He knows our financial situation better than anyone else. If He feels like it is time for us to adopt then I have no doubt that He will help us in the financial department.
In the mean time check out our Fundraising Page . This is going to be the place that has all the information on our financial goals and timeline, along with ways you can be apart of bringing our faraway baby home! We are going to be doing a bunch of different things ranging from BBQ Dinners, silent auctions, to selling my art work, and other crafts!

These are the questions we have found to be asked the most. There are plenty more details and things I am sure some of you may be interested in. But for now that is our basic story, timeline, and thoughts on the process. We are believing God to do BIG things and to bring us our faraway baby in the perfect time.

God has already done things in perfect time and is blowing our minds every day as we walk with Him through this. We are so excited to be sharing our adventure with you and can't wait to introduce you to our faraway baby sometime soon!

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