Friday, January 13, 2012

Women of Honor

On January 3rd I was blessed with the news that one of my sisters had her baby girl!
Adella Elizabeth Kauffman was born to Brad and Steph Kauffman and big brothers, Caleb, Kaden, and Jacob. No, Steph is not my biological sister or even my sister-in-law, but she is certainly my sister nonetheless. To me, this was not just an ordinary was the birth of another woman of honor.

As I've said before on this blog, names and their meanings are really important to me/us. We believe the meanings behind our children's names are specifically given to them through us, but on the behalf of God. It says in Scripture that God knows each of us by name and I'm a firm believer that those names we thought WE came up with for our kids were really thought up by God Himself as part of His plan for their life. Lily means "purity" and that has huge importance to us as parents who wants nothing more than for her to keep herself pure in her heart, her life, and her love. Tobias means "God is good" and we often found ourselves already saying that line while we held our week and a 1/2 old baby after heart surgery saved his life. There is no doubt God will prove Himself good in Toby's life over and over and over again. Quinn means "wise" and we are excited to see what God makes Quinn wise about beyond how to charm his way out of being in trouble, which is what he does quite well with right now! : ) Nora means two very important things as well..."a light" and "a woman of honor". I strongly heard God saying in my early prayer time of preparing for adoption that our little daughter--whoever she was--was going to be a light in the darkness, which is why we began looking at names that meant "light". It is not coincidence, however, that Nora also means "woman of honor"...clearly God was/is at work on this one as well!

Let me back up to help you understand why this second meaning is so rich. Much of 2010-2011 were years where I was finding all kinds of freedom in my life and heart (and I continue to, thankfully!). God was revealing to me how much He wanted me to be who HE created me to be...not who I had been thinking I was. *Pause* I want to make sure all readers know loud and clear that I have been a Christ-follower for many years now, but still needed to find freedom and abundant life as God intends! Just because you are a Christian, doesn't mean you aren't still living in bondage. *End Pause* The stories I could tell of God's moving in my heart are amazing and I wish I could tell them all here, but I just don't have room. I was reading tremendous books (especially So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore), listening to music (oh my, I have a whole play list of music having to do with this subject but I would first direct anyone towards Jason Gray's two songs, I Am New and Remind Me Who I Am), listening to sermons (most life-changing was Jay Shetler's two sermon series entitled Where Is God When Life Hurts? (part 1) and Reclaiming Your God-given Identity (part 2). They can be listened to here: and, and just doing a whole lot of praying and listening to God! If you have the time and want to, I spoke at our church this past Mother's Day about all of the freedom God had given me. You can listen to that talk here: (it's a tape of the whole church service so forward about 1/2 way through until you hear Jay beginning his sermon and then I share a bit into that part)

Anyway, all of this change brought me to a place where I was wanting to be affirmed/confirmed in all the healing I thought I was getting and decided to participate in a unique and life-changing weekend experience in Colorado called Women's Walk With Christ. On their website ( they claim this is NOT a retreat, but an intense weekend experience where women can walk in with their wounds of deceit, fear, shame, anger, and sadness and walk out with discovery, clarity, healing, and restoration. (If you have ever heard of Marked Men For Christ, this is the women's equivalent to that weekend). That weekend was nothing short of what they promised. God showed up in BIG ways for me and for all of us women brave enough and willing enough to go deep within ourselves to our brokenness and allow God to shed His light and love in those areas. I am a different woman because of the Holy Spirit's work on that weekend and I can't say enough about it. I feel it's a weekend experience that EVERY woman should experience, but only if they are ready and willing to let God into those very private areas of their heart. It was well worth every stinkin' penny it took to get there! : )

One of the other tremendous parts of that weekend went beyond the freedom I found in myself. I didn't go on that weekend alone...two of my sisters in Christ came with me--Sharon Yoder and Steph Kauffman. I love these two women dearly and we experienced something together on that weekend that will keep us bonded for life. We all experienced such healing together. In a way, we became "women of honor" together, I think, with a mission to see other women--both young and old alike-find this freedom and healing.

After that weekend, Micah and I continued to explore more seriously this idea of adoption and felt like we were both in such tremendously better places for taking on another little being into our family. (Micah had gone through the Marked Men retreat too just after returning from Haiti in 2010). Brad and Steph decided adoption wasn't the way to expand their family of 3 boys, but instead, announced they were pregnant after our return from Colorado! Micah and I knew deep down from the very beginning of their pregnancy this would be a girl. Brad (who went through Marked Men as well) and Steph had gone through such healing and change (just like us) that this little one just couldn't be what was their "norm" of having had to be a symbol of the change they had experienced. Brad and Steph, however, were convinced to their cores this was another boy. When we got the news that it was indeed a beautiful little girl named Adella we beamed with happiness for them!

I immediately looked up the meaning of Adella and found it to be none other than "noble and honorable". Go figure....well, no, Go God! I sat with tears streaming down my face as I thanked God for the opportunity to find freedom with these sisters and after doing so, having Him lead Steph and I to have little girls of our own in completely different ways only 3 months apart from one another with both of their names meaning "honor". What a testimony to God's intricately woven story through our lives and into the generations following us. He is not a God of chance...He is a God of perfect planning. So here we are...two healed women holding our little women of honor. For the next year or so, these little girls will be brought up in two completely different countries with completely different experiences, but it is our hope that eventually they will find themselves in the same kind of friendship and sisterhood that their mamas share...won't that be a day of rejoicing!

And on a side note...some of you may be wondering where we are at in this process of adoption. Well, we have been told that Nora's paperwork has been completed and is currently with the attorney getting legalized. Once it is all legalized it will be matched with our dossier and entered into IBESR (the Haitian Social Services) We were told this SHOULD be happening within the next week-two weeks. As soon as our paperwork enters IBESR and we get our "number" in the system then our 1-2 year wait begins. So, yes, even though we are now over 6 months into our own end of the process, we haven't even started the 1-2 year wait just yet. We are SOOOO ready to get that email! A few days ago I was blessed with some new photos of our little Nora...she is growing well! We hadn't seen her beautiful face for a month so it was a surprise we thoroughly enjoyed. Here they are for you to enjoy as well...
(Nora is now just over 3 months old)

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