Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Door.....

    When I sit down to write in my blog, I usually have been inspired by some amazing experience that God has allowed me to encounter.  Tonight......I sit at my desk thinking through the last year and half.  I am thankful beyond measure for the blessings, the gifts, the ups and downs and the ROLLER COASTER of a ride our adoption experience took us on for fifteen months. I cannot explain how God showed His power over and over again for His glory!  Adoption is a beautiful testimony of God's love for His beloved!  I am deeply honored that He would find me worthy of such a calling.  I will never forget that He believed in my family and called us to this great purpose.  My children are a gift.....each one.....from God.

Tonight, I must tell you a story of a side journey that I have personally experienced this past year.  It has taken a while to wrap my mind around the words in my heart and transform them into a post.  I haven't been able to share this journey because it is so personal and so difficult to put into words.  I found a quote tonight that summed up the feelings that I have held in my heart since last May.  Helen Keller has a way with words......and tonight those words expressed the exact feeling that God knew I held inside.  

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."  Helen Keller

Mike and I not only took a journey through adoption, but we also stepped out in faith last May and made the decision for me to stay home and be a full time mother.  Wow....what a leap.  I had been a teacher at my  children's Christian school for 7 years and was currently serving as the school counselor in the upper school.  We had just arrived home with our boys in April and Mike and I knew that our family would need so much support with all the new transitions.  After much prayer. we decided that we would home school our children. I began to plan for this new life that lay ahead for me and my precious babies.  We knew that we still had a few trips to Latvia ahead of us and that we would have to plan for the times that we would be away.  During the first few weeks of summer.....my heart began to question....to doubt.....to wonder......to FEAR what was ahead.  Now mind you.....I am an educator....holding a masters degree in education....., but now experiencing great fear in teaching my own children.  Although, I had taught both girls during their third grade year.  It was in this time of fear....or maybe exhaustion that I decided to enroll the children in school.  I justified that it was because we would be out of the country for several weeks. When that would no longer satisfy my need to justify this action.....I would question their opportunities.....their social life with friends.....their computer skills.  I looked for every excuse....justification......reason why I should not listen to this call that God was placing on my life.  So......without looking back.......I enrolled them and sat down to what we call in the south "waller" in my own self pity!  At the time, I was nursing some hurt feelings......recovering from extreme exhaustion from the adoption paperwork and a long visit to a foreign country and planning two additional trips to Latvia.  Along with teaching English......and filling in many gaps in the education of my new sons.  My sweet children with excitement on their faces began their new journey with a fresh book bag.....clothes (not uniforms as before) and anticipation for a new start.  Now, these kids had always been in a very small environment in which they were nurtured and fed the word of the Lord daily.  It was a loving environment in which I am now proud to say prepared them educationally for what they were about to experience!  Academically, they soared!   The first semester was amazing and I could not have asked for more from any of these awesome kids.  It was during Christmas break that God began to really open my heart to reveal to me my disobedience to His call for our family.  It was during this close family time that I witnessed a loving bond that my family was sharing....the slower pace....the time to laugh and to make memories.  The time to be angry and forgive.....moments that a family needs to grow together.  It was in that moment, I knew I had not listened to his call.  So....right there.....I realized that I was staring at a closed door....(maybe even mourning the loss of it) and forgetting to look at the one God had opened!  I knew my family needed to come home and that God would provide everything that was needed to cover those fears....doubts.....and worries about my inadequacies.   The girls are home and school is going very well.....I am in great prayer about my youngest son (for next school year)......., but God will show me the way.  I must trust in Him to pave the road.  

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths......Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, January 23, 2012

God Loves You....

    Through the eyes of preschoolers and the sweet sound of tiny voices, I was reminded this week of God's amazing love.  My dear friend, Mrs. Cathy Mercier asked me to substitute at our church preschool.  It was a precious few days as I stepped into a world of imagination and unconditional love.  Preschoolers have such a gift of sharing everything... and I mean EVERYTHING!!  What a blessing to spend some time in their little world.  My favorite part of preschool is the time set aside for "Big Church".  The class lines up and walks all the way upstairs and down the hall to the chapel.  As they walk to the chapel they pass the Sanctuary where Sunday church is held and then make their way down the hall to the chapel.  As they enter the chapel, Mrs. Cathy welcomes them with soft music on her acoustic guitar.  The children with their sweet expressions and open hearts...(oh if only we all had those open hearts again....) find their seats and then wait for the lesson of the day.  It was in that moment this week.....that the Holy Spirit touched my heart.  I looked up and saw my friend playing her guitar standing in front of this beautiful stained glass window and beside me these precious innocent children and I felt something profound.....GOD LOVES ME.  This was Mrs. Cathy's simple message for "Big Church"......wow....God is amazing.....He is magnificent.....He is omnipresent.....and He is always on time.  We have the opportunity to praise him with song.....with story and with the sweet sound of a room full of preschoolers.  I haven't been able to shake those simple words....God Loves Me....His love is unconditional and He waits for us to open our hearts and let Him in!  Our God is so great!!!!
    Today marks an amazing day as it is my sweet David's birthday.  It was a year ago that we learned of our David and his cry out for a family.  Our God is still in the business of miracles. He heard the cry of this young boy.....because God Loves my David.  He brought a family half way across the world two weeks before it was too late and gave this young man roots, hopes, dreams and a chance for a bright future.  My God is great.....oh how HE LOVES ME!!

                            Chocolate Divine...David's request...Chocolate covered Strawberries!!

                                                              GOD LOVES YOU!!!

                                      Give Him your heart......You will never regret it!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Christmas to Remember

   Well.....my dear sweet friends it has been a very long time since I have set at this computer and have written in my blog.  Life is very different and is constantly busy these days.  Our family is so very blessed and the last year has opened my eyes to what really matters in life.  The term family should not be used lightly.......it is truly a gift and should be treasured ALWAYS! Not everyone is blessed to have such a gift and when you have the precious opportunity to spend time with a child who has never had a family......it will change you forever.  This Christmas....and I may not be able to write the rest of this.....we gave two boys new lives, roots, love, family memories, hugs, kisses and the very first Christmas presents of their whole lives. They participated in the Christmas Eve Communion Service as new believers.  They ran upstairs on Christmas morning and opened presents.  They ate Christmas dinner and drank hot chocolate as we sang carols on Christmas night.  I watched two young boys experience life and family for the first time.  It definitely was a Christmas to remember.
    I have to share this special entry of our first Christmas with the story of three other special children who also touched my life.  I have a very dear friend whose heart has strengthened my heart for the love of orphans.  Her name is Kayla McDermitt and she and her husband opened their home once again this Christmas to three precious children from the Ukraine. The sibling group is truly four as baby brother was too young to travel through the program.  One of our special days of waiting for the "Big Day" was full of excitement as we joined our large family along with the McDermitts here at our home for lunch.  Now the McDermitts are a family of 9 and we are a family of 7.......so along with 3 other little ones.....it was a day!!  A day full of blessings and laughter and love!  The squeals of joy from those sweet voices will ring in my ears forever.  Now....my dear friend and her husband and all 7 of her beautiful children are going to bring these four kids into their lives and give them a forever family.  Now, you tell me if you know of a more brave, courageous, loving, self denying and Christ following act than to give a home to the homeless....a father to the fatherless.  I love to watch God work and use his beloved to follow his commandment.  I was able to hold these sweet little children and receive hugs and kisses and watch their eyes light up with excitement.  It was fun to listen to my older boys speak Russian and be the "big brother" to these sweet kids.  I stand in amazement at our God as he brought children from the other the other side of the world.....out of their pain to give them a chance for a family.  MY GOD REIGNS AND REIGNS AND REIGNS!!  Please help me pray for the McDermitts as they begin this journey.....financially and spiritually.
    So my friends with a full heart and a tear stained face.....I end this entry with a smile in my heart, a peaceful feeling down in my soul and a strong urge to praise my precious Savior......as this has truly has been a Christmas to remember!!!

                                                         Our Family Christmas

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Blue Fin

        What an exciting adventure we are about to begin!!  The boys tried out last night for the Blue Fin swim team through our local recreation department.  All three boys were so excited and cannot wait to go back tonight for more practice.  I have to smile as I think about how life has changed for my two sons from across the great pond.  Just a few short months ago a whole different daily routine existed for these precious kids.  God truly is in control and moves so magnificently through our lives with His plans.  I shudder to think of the life that was ahead for my boys.  A life without parents, a brother, two sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and wonderful friends.  Wow.....as I write those words tears just well up in my eyes.  I cannot thank God enough for the gift of love that he has given me through this adoption.  I have been able to personally witness the hand of God work so beautifully in my own life.  I know that without the struggles of every up and down of the past year that I would not be the same woman that sits and writes today.  This woman has been tried, saddened, disappointed, amazed, overwhelmed, angered, brought to her knees, but truly blessed.
    The boys are growing each day.  Over the last 5 months they both have grown almost 3 inches.  I can tell that slowly they are letting go of past fears and disappointments.  I can see trust building and relationships strengthening.  I cannot share this information without feeling joyful tears....as I know that GOD planned this before they were born.  I still stand amazed at His magnificence.  He can take ordinary people with ordinary lives and use them for His glory.  As I walk through this journey, I can only hope that I will please him through my actions, words and thoughts. 
    So for now, the house of Kilgore is very busy.  We are looking forward to our final trip to Latvia next month.  I think the boys are tired of the travel as much as the adults.  I think they just want to look to the future and give themselves to their new lives.  God has a plan for such a future for these precious kids and I know a mom and dad who will be standing with pride as they step into the plan.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Fresh Breeze is Blowing!

    Today was a wonderful day here in Latvia....sun was shining, breeze was blowing and my sweet boys were smiling.  It feels like fall in America here in Latvia.  We walked around Old Riga and shopped for our friend Kevin some Latvian shoes.  We had lunch at Double Coffee and enjoyed the street music and beauty of this amazing city.  Tomorrow will be our first court here in Riga.  Afterwards, we will go to David's orphanage for a short visit. It will be a nice time for David to see his friends. 
   We have just arrived home from dinner with his friend Alex.  We met at McDonalds and enjoyed some time talking together.  We had some presents to give Alex from his host mom and dad.  It was such a sweet time and I love getting to spend time with these kids.  God is doing such a huge work in each of their lives and it is truly powerful to be a part and share in His plan.  I serve a mighty God who is ever present!!!  I know that He is the one whose hand has guided this journey.  I will never cease to praise Him for he has heard the cry of these orphans and has provided the means to help them.  Please pass on all the info about each of the hosting programs.....(Christmas hosting will be soon!!)
   Here are some pictures of our fun day....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Latvia Oh Latvia......

Dear Friends,

    It has been a while since I last wrote in our blog....., but life has truly changed in the house of Kilgore!!  We are now a family of seven and wow the dynamics of a house with four teenagers and one middle schooler.  It is enough to truly yell.....Calgon take me away.  I remind Mike constantly that I told him when we first got married that I wanted 6 children.  He should be thanking his lucky stars that God changed it to 5!  Ha! Ha!  Although there are moments when my mind is overwhelmed with responsibilities.....I have never been more satisfied and sure of my role as a mother.  God brought each of these special blessings to me for 5 different reasons.  I thank him constantly for His provisions and His amazing love. 
    Yesterday, we arrived in Riga, Latvia to complete our adoption.  This is our second of three trips and one of the most important as this trip finalizes the adoption portion of the process.  We will attend court on Wednesday and Thursday and fly home on Friday.  Last night when we arrived exhausted from a long journey....Latvia was in celebration of 810 years.  The city was illuminated by fireworks and excitement in the streets.  I was reminded of the beauty of this city and the strength of the Latvian people.  I am so thankful to be given the honor of sharing in the heritage of my boys.  I love them both so very much and I am so thankful that I have this opportunity to understand their culture. 
    We are staying in an apartment that belongs to a local pastor here in Riga.  He is a wonderful man and has been so helpful.  I will forward his information to anyone who is interested in renting an apartment for their adoption trips.  I will take some pics of the apartment and post later for everyone to view.
    As for now, we are off the get something to eat and shop at Rimi (our favorite grocery store).  I brought both my Double Coffee and Cili Pica discount cards......you know you have to coupon even in Latvia!
    Looking forward to our court dates and praying for our family at home.

Ata'....for now


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Rainbow.....

I haven't had a moment to sit down and write since we first came home from Latvia.  I returned to work right away and resumed my position as taxi driver for my children's activities.  My head is still spinning from all of the amazing answers to prayers that God has granted.  It is only right here in this moment that I am realizing the strength that my precious prayer warriors out there have provided for me.  I thank you from the deepest part of my heart for your kindness and support.  Oh how I need prayer as I begin to tackle the task of wife, full time mother...counselor..and teacher.....to four teenagers, and one very active 9 year old little boy.  Oh yeah....and currently full time employed school teacher!  Wow...that exhaust me just writing it!!!  However...I am a blessed daughter of the King.  He knows everything about me.....the good, the bad and at times the ugly!  He knows my disappointments, sorrows, my regrets and the deep desires of my heart.  He has answered a huge prayer for my boys....he paved the road for their safety and gave them a family.  He has given me an opportunity to serve him with an open heart and has lit a fire to love those in great need.  He is holy and magnificent and I know that I will never be the same again. 
    Today....I am praising God for His magnificent provision .  As I sit here and write and think about all that has transpired here in the US and abroad over the last few days......I am more than certain of God's presence in all things.  He brings people together for His glory.  It is through tragedy....that we find the greatest sense of God's presence.  The master of of all beautiful creations has the master plan.  He knows what is behind....ahead and how the story finishes.  Praise God with me for His provision and His amazing love.  How Great is Our God!!!!

I love you my sweet prayer warriors.....please pray for the children on the next hosting program.  I wish that every orphan had the avenue that my sweet David received.  If we all work together we can give each child a chance for a family.  Spread the word....continue to donate.....pray and seek the Lord for families that will open their hearts for these kids.  Tears roll down my cheeks and fill my heart as I remember the moment He captured my heart and directed me on this path.  It took me to my knees and I will never be the same. 


Here are some current pictures of our family......