Adventures into Adoption

Gingerbread Houses

We started a tradition when the boys were pretty young, of making gingerbread houses. I don’t really care for gingerbread so we started with graham crackers:) This year I found CUTE houses that were already put together. That would have seriously come in handy a few years ago! At this point they are just lucky to get decorated as the boys act like they NEVER get candy. Yeah…not the case:) I am pretty sure we need a sugar detox but I JUST CAN’T DO IT CAPTAIN!!  I DON’T HAVE THE STRENGTH!!

But the houses are decorated. Cookies still aren’t made but they are in the works. Enjoyed some quality time making caramels with my aunt where she had bags & bags of party mix, covered pretzels, & a 10lb bag of sugar. Made me want to go home & snuggle in the warmth of my oven with warm cookies! Just need to make coffee & we’re good.

Speaking of caramels, this recipe is the one I use every year out of a family cookbook. This blogger has jazzed it up a little! Such an easy recipe!! (passing it on to Aunt Cheryl…mine is ALOT easier than hers!)

Soft Caramels Tutorial (regular, cinnamon and licorice recipe)

Everything about Christmas is all around me. Family, friends, making cookies/gingerbread houses together, memories and a little snow. I hope all of you have someone to share the season with. Jesus is always available:)

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Junk Drawer

I am not good at asking for help. This is what my pastor’s wife calls the “junk drawer”.  Stuff God wants to help us deal with. My plan was to adopt without many people knowing about it until it was all done! But I can’t. God is showing me first to trust Him in ALL things. Don’t have a plan B…just trust. He is also showing me that there are people who genuinely want to help other people but can’t because we never know the need. One of the weaknesses of the church is trying to do it all ourselves. To look strong. Don’t show that you need anything. I know I am one of those people! I LOVE to help ANYBODY but don’t show my own need. Often I don’t even get the chance to help. Then when I find out there was a need but was not put out there, I get frustrated. So here I am putting our need out there all over Facebook, Twitter & the Internet:) (I didn’t sleep much that night) We need prayer. We need finances. But I trust God for both! Our family is so excited to have this opportunity to sow into lives of little people! Thank you for helping us do that! We truly, couldn’t do this without you!

Much Love & Blessing!!! The Ostwalds:)

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Speak positive, be positive! When you are walking, it is easy to turn around & go the other way. Not so when you are trying to turn a habit.  I am an optimist…but only after a very quick & private pessimistic response. God has always allowed me to see the good when I look for it. My instant reaction is usually not the positive one that God has put in to my character. Those times that I panic is only because I was not speaking or behaving positively.

“Faith is the refusal to panic” – D Martyn Lloyd-Jones

When we don’t have faith, or USE the faith we have, it’s very easy to panic. One of my favorite bible passages is in Luke 21 –

26 Men’s hearts will fail them for fear and for looking upon those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.27 And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.”

If we look around us, we lose heart. When we look up, it naturally lifts our eyes off of the circumstance, our heads to a confident position & our hearts to the One in charge of all things.  In adoption, moving, marriage, parenting or just plain living…”lift up your heads!”

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Trust God. Always. This is VERY easy to say. NOT always easy to do. It’s funny how He builds up your faith with easy things at first to teach you for the big things in your life. Trusting Him with your salvation…easy, to hear you in prayer…easy, to change you…easy. But then when it starts to get you out of your comfort zone, that’s when the rubber meets the road. Do you truly believe this “faith-walk” your on? Or are you all talk? Can you take Isaac to the alter?  Or are you a walking salt lick always looking back?

That’s why I am so thankful for the Word! Anything I have ever struggled to believe Him for, there was a verse or part of the bible I could rely on. From “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain ‘Move from here to there’ & it will be done for you. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matt 17:20 to “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31. Right now my trust is that “He will meet all of our needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” Phil 4:19. He has already been so faithful! I can’t wait to praise Him for bringing us through:)

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Vintage stove needs a home

The stove in the picture is one of my most favorite things about our house. My hubby teases that that’s why we bought the house in the first place. (For someone who LOVES the 50’s it was a huge selling point;) But we have decided to sell our house in hopes of getting a 100 year old bigger one.  We love the beautiful woodwork & workmanship of those old houses. So I am left with the dilemma of leaving my stove…maybe the next buyer would love it as much, sell my stove…our realtor had the nerve to suggest that, or take it with us…it is very heavy but not very spacious. The space you see in the picture is not that far off from the actual space in the oven:) If we are going to expand the number of mouths in our nest, I have to let her go.

So…here is the link to her craigslist post. If she doesn’t sell I may just have to get another one! HEY! That’s what I can do! My hubby won’t care right??!!;)


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From Garden to Snow Globe

Have you ever had moments where you knew God was trying to tell you something?   We have had so many little things happen to prove that He is in this adoption! Which is good because I can be hard-headed at times! Not that I didn’t want to adopt…just that it comes with a new adventure! Fears, hopes, trials.  I even love that aspect but I have to admit, our bio boys are at an age that they don’t require as much supervision as they use to. This gives more freedom. More comfort. More complacency. God doesn’t want us to ever get bored or “settled” in a spot. We should always be in a place where we need Him. If we are too comfortable & have given Him permission, He will shake us up. Like a snow globe! He loves those times when we realize who’s in charge here! It sure isn’t us! He created us to spend time with Him.  Since we are no longer in a garden, He’s just going to shake the snow globe:)

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The Ride is Moving

Even though we are at the very infant stages of this adoption, we have already experienced some of the “ride”. After speaking with an adoption agent about Latvia, we have decided it is not the best choice for us. There are too many questions. So, yes! We have changed the country again! (little surprise!) Now we are going to Bulgaria. It is a good program & more stable. Less surprises! I’m excited to show my husband the country I was able to do a short term mission trip in! I so wanted him to be with me then but he didn’t fly;) Now he does! God is so amazing!

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BTW…the food in Bulgaria is amazing! I am really looking forward to the espresso machines!:)

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Mustard seeds & Mountains

“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can move mountains!” Matt 17:20 This is the story of a boy & girl on an adventure to move mountains! My husband & I are going to adopt! From Latvia. It’s in Europe…I discovered! I’ve been to Bulgaria (also Europe!) but that didn’t seem like the right place.  Now, I should preface this with the fact that we have discussed 3 countries & every time thought we had decided. But Latvia is the one. I feel it in my heart. I wasn’t as excited about the other 2 countries as I am about this one. Is it the easy one? Nope…in fact it will be a challenge as this one requires possibly 3 trips! Is it the cheapest? Nope! It’s not Russia (Yikes!) but definitely not Hong Kong(Wow!)! This means we are bringing our mustard seeds to the only One who can pull this off. The One who called us to this adventure. This mountain is so big that without Him it will fail.

Besides the command in the Bible to be a father to the fatherless & help the widow & the orphan, we have already seen God’s hand move! It started in August when I was listening to an adoption webinar. What I was unaware of until that evening that my husband’s heart was being softened. God was changing him in ways that only He could. He wanted to adopt! He was scared but excited about it. This is a man who gave up the opportunity of spending a weekend with his favorite football team because it required an airplane! A WEEKEND PEOPLE!! Now, he is looking at spending a DAY on an airplane! Mountain #1:)

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