Today as I write Japan has suffered a horrible natural disaster. As if an 8.9 magnitude earthquake wasn’t enough, it created a tsunami that reached 33 feet in some areas. The pictures and videos have been devastating to take in and even though it is thousands of miles away, that doesn’t change the fact that these are families just like ours. It is difficult for us all to watch as we cannot even imaging what they are facing. These people lived quiet lives…most of them were probably innocent citizens…some were Christians…and yet none were spared from facing the worst earthquake disaster ever to affect Japan. Our hearts go out to these people as do our prayers. May God not waste these hurts, but may He use this as an opportunity to save many.

We are still knee deep in paperwork for our home study. Seems like every time we get one thing completed, another thing pops up that we need to take care of. Such is life. I have been ridiculously busy lately as I try to keep up with 5 different “main” things. David has been so helpful and even agreed to take a day off next week to run around with me and hold my head on :). This week we got letters out to all our employers (there are at least 3) and am sending up prayers that those will come back properly notarized in a timely fashion. Next week will be doctors offices, police station again, and DFaCs…yay! Bet you wish you were me. Thankfully our criminal records came back clean from the FBI…I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was actually nervous as I opened the packet. Neither of us leads an obvious double life, so that is good. I still have a goal of the end of March, but as quickly as March is passing, I may need to be more realistic. We’ll see after next week.

Some challenging adoption news was also reported this week. Ethiopia announced that it is cutting its international adoptions program by 90%. This is a major blow to a good many potential adoptive parents and a good many orphaned children. Just as in other countries, the reasoning is that a small percentage of these children end up in bad situations. Please be in prayer that this country will do what is best for their children. Of course, all abuse possible should be eradicated, but there also must be consideration to the thousands of children that can barely be fed and clothed in the orphanages.

Lastly, I read something interesting the other day and wanted to share. I have written before about the role we play in the lives of people around us and the opportunities that we are presented with every day to show love. It has rarely occurred to me that we should consciously assess each person and each situation before we decide HOW to show that love. We are all different. The way that I love each of my children is different. I know their ins and outs, so I know what is most effective in showing them they are loved. So it with those around us. One person may just need silence and a hug, while another needs encouraging words, while still another may need a good kick in the pants (I don’t mean literally, of course). As I was reading a commentary on the story of Martha and Mary, I came across this…

“Here is one of the great difficulties of life. So often we want to be kind to people, but we want to be kind to them in our way; and should it happen that our way is not the necessary way, we sometimes take offense and think that we are not appreciated. If we are trying to be kind the first necessity is to try to see into the heart of the person we desire help – then to forget all of our own plans and think of only what he or she needs.”

I certainly would love to have more friends in my life who think this way, so I know it is necessary for me to become that kind of friend. Putting others before ourselves entirely involves this kind of love.

Please pray for Japan this week and also for Ethiopia…and then there is Libya. There are just a lot of countries that need our prayers…including our own. Also please pray that we will get this paperwork done quickly and correctly as one small discrepancy will hold up the whole thing.

Thank you so much for following this journey with us. It is wonderful to know how much support we have and how many people are praying for us.