Alphabet Soup

Stirring up Words and Other Treats

December 24, 2013
by Justin

A Somber, but Hopeful, Christmas

Chipper Christmas songs are grating to me this year; they feel so fake. The songs that grab me are those that are quiet and that speak of longing. The sad songs of Christmas. These are the songs that reflect the emotions we are experiencing. They help us process everything we are going through and provide hope.

Joy to the World | Sojourn

This year, much like the last several, is not as joyful as we hoped and expected. Each year we have been hopeful that we will place a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament on our tree. To have a child to celebrate Christmas with. Christmas Eve will mark one month since Jane’s due date. We know now that her name is no longer Jane. She is with another family, her family. This season was supposed to be filled with sleepless nights caring for our little girl. Our Christmas this year will be celebrated as dinks (Double income, no kids) once again.

O Come Emmanuel | Folk Angel

The emotional roller coaster we are on is draining. The infrequent messages from our agency cause fear to rise in our minds. How long will we wait? When we do hear about a possible situation our hopes are lifted. We pray, asking God if this is our child. Anxiously, we wait. Days pass and then we read the message: Thank you for your willingness to be considered, but the Birthmother has selected another family.

Up and down; up and down. We do our best to cling to The Lord. We know he is sovereign and he has a plan. This Christmas, though, is not a celebration of Joy for us. It is a quiet time of sorrow. We continue to wrestle with the loss of Jane. For now, it is not getting easier. In many ways it is getting harder. Each placement that isn’t ours is a sad reminder of a little girl that isn’t ours.

I have to remind myself that we aren’t alone in our waiting. Spread throughout scripture are stories of mourning and waiting. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Elkanah and Hannah, & Zechariah and Elizabeth. Even beyond waiting for children the nation of Israel waited. They waited for rescue through almost all of their history. They waited without knowing a timetable. They often waited in silence.

Kathryn and I are reading Behold the Lamb of God for Advent this year. It has been an amazing encouragement to us. For me, it has convicted me of my lack of faith and trust in God’s timing. It has also reminded me that our story is a tiny part of the large story God is weaving. Amazingly though, God is intimately involved and cares deeply about our story and is orchestrating each step of our path.

We have friends who have waited for their children. Who have cried out to God. Our story, of course, is unique and God’s provision looks very different for us. We are grateful for our friends and family who join us in lifting our future children in prayer. Although this Christmas isn’t what we expected we are hopeful and expectant. Sorrowful yet always rejoicing.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, Joy to the World | Folk Angel

November 9, 2013
by Kathryn

Fight Against Human Trafficking

“The cold, hard reality is that a child that lacks a provider and protector is the ideal target for traffickers. The vulnerability and need of an orphan makes them the perfect victim, from forced prostitution to slave labor,” Jedd Medefind, President, Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Orphan Care cannot be separated from the fight against human trafficking. The US State Department states that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked each year. Approximately 50 percent of those are children. Orphans and those that “age out” of systems like foster care are prime targets. These children can so often disappear into this horrible world without anyone noticing.

The issue isn’t just across the world. There are cases of human trafficking reported in all 50 states. According to International Crisis Aid (ICA) statistics, as many as 300,000 American Children are being used in sex-trafficking rings. ICA has recently opened up a Safe Home in the St. Louis area to help girls and women rehabilitate back into our world after being trafficked.

Many different groups are trying to help with this problem. If you want to get involved there are so many different things you can do. Children need love before and during these crisisies. Here you can find some tips to help spot these victims. So many different groups need help financially, groups like International Crisis Aid and the International Justice Mission (I always want to say league like they’re super heroes!)

You may have noticed from our Facebooks that Justin and I have been working on Jenny & Tyler’s launch team to support their new album coming out November 12th. It’s called, For Freedom, A covers EP and all the proceeds will be used to help fight human trafficking. It’s great music, by a great duo. All of the songs on this album are covers, and I love how they used songs from so many different groups to share their message. If you want a sample first, they have their last two albums available for free on Noisetrade and even my favorite song from the EP is available! The Song is I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For originally by U2 in case you needed to know. It’s amazing, and I can listen to it on repeat for way longer than I care to share. You should check it out and consider buying the EP.

November 8, 2013
by Kathryn

Adopted For Life

Everyone should read this book! Adopted for Life by Russell Moore was a great read about how we’re all adopted into God’s family and also about Dr. Moore’s personal story of the adoption of two of his children.

At Summit9 in Nashville we briefly got to hear from Dr. Moore about his vision for the orphan care movement. Justin attended another session by Dr. Moore and when it was over, he prayed for us and our journey of adoption.

November 6, 2013
by Kathryn

Safe Families

Earlier today I was reading through the latest issue of Lifelines (Pg 13-15 if you want to read the same article), the magazine that Bethany Christian Services sends out quarterly. One story that caught my eye was about Safe Families. It’s a program that helps families stay together by hosting children and supporting families instead of the foster system. The article pointed out that there are so many ways for people to get involved. Since this program keeps kids from going into foster care, host families are needed. The program also tries to help families move past their problems. Sometimes the parents need mentoring, help finding a job, getting a ride to an interview and so on. The goal is to make it possible for families to stay together. The story in the article even mentioned the minor roles that people can take: rides, meals to the host family, diapers, clothing, etc. I really like the heart behind this.

I was blessed to have always had support from my family. Its easy to forget that not everyone had that. Some of these families who find themselves in desperate situations just need some extra support in order to push through.

November 3, 2013
by Kathryn



Saturday night I decorated my first Christmas tree of the season. I love all things Christmas!  This tree is special because each ornament that adorns it will benefit the lives of Orphans living in Uganda. Our Ornaments for Orphans tree is one of the ways that our church can get involved with helping the lives of Orphans. Each ornament cost $10 and the money will go back to Pearl Ministries to help those children in Uganda. Uganda alone has 3.2 million orphans, representing a 1/10 of it’s total population. If you’re not in the Hannibal area, you can still purchase one of these beautiful ornaments at  If you do live in Hannibal, the display tree will be up throughout the month of November in the lobby of Calvary Baptist Church.



November 2, 2013
by Kathryn

Getting Ready for Orphan Sunday

This evening we spent time preparing for Orphan Sunday. Orphan Sunday is held the first Sunday in November each year. It’s promoted by the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). I’m excited to share more this coming week about the ways our church family will be getting involved.

Even if your church doesn’t have anything planned for Orphan Sunday, remember to pray for the estimated 124 million orphans that are across our world.