When Fear Fades

This week will mark having Lucy home for 3 months.

As they say “time flies,” but at the same time it’s hard to remember the chemistry of our family without her….seems like a lifetime ago we got her.

She fits. She belongs. She has captured our hearts.

She has changed our hearts.

We received a call about Lucy, from an adoption agency on Friday, November 1st. “It’s a girl, she is 6 weeks old, she has Down syndrome, her heart and lungs are healthy. If they would choose you to parent placement would happen quickly. Are you interested?”

These calls take your breath away. You go from having a typical day….to, well, not typical.

The days between November 1st and November 8th when Lucy was placed in our arms forever were some of the most remarkable days of our lives. Emotions ran the gamut…excitement, joy, grief, wonder….fear.

Let’s be real.

We were scared.

When we said “yes” to that phone call on November 1st we were scared.  When we got that call we prayed. We felt led to say “yes” and we did. We didn’t consult family or our close friends. We heard God, we moved….and then we talked, to a few.

We stood on the knowledge that we knew the Lord had directed us to say “yes” to this baby. Yet, fear and anxiety filled much of my mind. We knew very little about Down syndrome. We hadn’t talked to our families about the possibility of a special needs adoption. We weren’t prepared for a baby. We wondered how this would impact our other children. We didn’t have the money to cover the cost of the adoption.

Honestly, it wasn’t the excitement or anticipation of bringing a new baby home in a few days that kept me up at night that week….it was fear.

I would toss and turn all night. Falling asleep for an hour at a time, at best, and wake up in a panic wondering if we were making a mistake.

The noise that was fear was drowning out my ability to hear the voice of The Lord.

But I, we, pressed on. Even as the noise of fear screamed we moved forward. By this time we had an army praying with us…and while “the noise” continued it didn’t stop us.

We kept on…like building a crazy big ark or sleeping in a lion’s den or jumping into a fiery furnace…we kept on.

We pressed through the noise that is fear, that can be so debilitating and controlling…

Until we saw the Glory of the Lord, The Olive branch, The Sleeping Lion. Until the noise dulled and the fear faded and we walked out of the fire hand in hand with Jesus.

Friday November 8th, just a week since hearing about Lucy, she was placed into our arms forever. The night before she was placed with us we launched a fundraising campaign. Somewhere in the hours after launching that campaign…asking others for money…asking for help…the fear faded.

The Lord took one of our greatest fears, financing the adoption, and used it to hush the enemy.

The morning before we left to get Lucy the Lord moved mightily, he spoke intimately, he brought us to tears. He answered detailed prayers.

He financed every penny of the $15,000 we needed in less than 48 hours.

When Lucy was placed in our arms the noise, fear, was gone.

We still had very little knowledge of Down syndrome. We didn’t know how Lucy would fit into our family. We didn’t have answers to so much.

But we knew. We knew were walking in obedience. We knew this was right.

And it was. It is.

Lucy, whose name means “Light,” is a dream come true. She brings explainable joy to our family.

Her soft grin lights up a room. Her uncontrollable hair makes the other 3 kids giggle. Her hushed cry…it somehow silences fear.

Blessings friends, Thanks for journeying with us.

lucy jill 2

Posted in Adoption, Children, Christianity, Fundraising, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

New Year, New You!

Tired, Stressed, Forgetful, Sluggish, Sweatpants, Overweight.

Those words had become my normal.

I thought about how junky I felt and looked all the time.

If I was running errands alone I would nap in my car in the parking it.

I was desperate for change.

In just 90 days I have traded those words and feelings with:

Life, vitality, health, fun, clear mind, AWAKE, energy, healthy weight, CUTE CLOTHES

And

Orphan Care.

Yes, Orphan care.

This Isagenix team, that I am a apart of, affectionately calls themselves “Adoptagenix.” Not only are we jumping in with both feet to feed ourselves and our families the best food available we are getting it into Orphans ,young and old, around the world.

Isagenix is whole body health. It’s for families, kids, athletes…and orphans.

Below are some pictures and a video link that speak louder than words.

I would be delighted to have you join our team.

Please consider joining me and my team at my home on Saturday, January 11th at 10:30 to learn about the Isagenix product and benefits of Nutritional Cleansing.

It would bring me great joy to have you on our team.

If you are unable to make it I would be happy to offer you free nutritional coaching via phone or email. Just email me at angelacaroyln.isagenix@gmail.com

ADOPTAGENIX SUCCESS STORIES! This video is beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh9LHxeR4ec

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Tracie

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Unbelievable!! Thank You!!!

We have met our goal of $7000 and are being gifted our $7000 marching grant!

In the 48 hours the entire expense of Lucy’s adoption has been funded!

We are so humbled.

We are so grateful.

Our faith has been increased.

Lucy means “Light.” We have no doubt that she has been and will be the Light of Christ to many in her life.

Her Life, like every life, is a testimony to the Lord’s greatness. To His Love.

We are so blessed!

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CHALLENGE!!! 100 gifts of $25! Will you help?

We are getting so close to receiving our $7000 matching grant!!! The Lord is Good.

Would you join us in a challenge to meet our goal?

If we get 100 gifts of $25 we will reach $7000 in donations and receive our matching grant! That would make us nearly fully funded!!

Follow this link to give. All donations are tax deductible! THANK YOU!!!

https://www.adopttogether.org/brettandangela

If you would like to mail a check instead of donating online please use this information: Checks Addressed  To: Adopt Together,  Memo: Boblitt

Mailing Address: Adopt Together at 251 w central Ave #278, Springboro OH 45066

day 2

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No Words…..and a Matching Grant

No Words….

She is home.  Lucy is home.

We have no words. We are humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for us and for Lucy.

We have been moved to tears in the last day by God’s goodness

This journey is hard, but it is so worth it.

About 10 minutes before we picked Lucy up we received a call that we have been gifted an anonymous $7000 matching grant towards Lucy’s adoption.  To say that we are thankful doesn’t begin to cover what is happening in our hearts.

Our God is good. He is so, so good.

He provides. He Loves. He redeems!

He is love.

We have raised $2840 in 24 hours! Amazing.

Would you prayerfully consider giving to the adoption of Lucy Jane?

This link will take you to our donation page. All donations are tax deductible.

https://www.adopttogether.org/brettandangela

If you would like to mail a check instead of donating online please use this information: Checks Addressed  To: Adopt Together,  Memo: Boblitt

Mailing Address: Adopt Together at 251 w central Ave #278, Springboro OH 45066

Here is a peak at the gem!

all 4 kids first photo of lucy

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Help Bring Home Baby Lucy!!!

The Lord has absolutely blown us away this week!

We have been chosen to parent the most amazing baby girl.

She is 7 weeks old

She is tiny

She is beautiful

She is fearfully and wonderfully made

She has Down Syndrome

She is coming home tomorrow!!!

TOMORROW, NOVEMBER 7th!!

We are honored and humbled to be her parents

We need your help

Would you please cover the birth parents, the baby and us in your prayers. Prayer covering is essential.

Secondly, as adoption goes, it is expensive….but so worth it. So, so, worth it.

Would you consider sowing into this life and our family by donating to our adoption fund? We have a very short period of time to raise the funds.

We need $14,300

We know the Lord will provide as he always does.

To donate click the link below.  All gifts are tax deductible.

https://www.adopttogether.org/brettandangela

Thank you all. We are blessed to have you on this journey.

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Isa-what? Health & Orphans

I touched on my Isagenix journey in my previous entry here. But really, what is it?

I know what you are thinking, “Angela, you have lost your mind! Losing that kind of weight in such short order is unhealthy, I’m sure you have the shakes and heart is palpitating 672 times an hour…and really, are you running to the bathroom non-stop…it’s  a fad, it will die down, you will lose interest and be fat again.”

Ok, so maybe you aren’t wishing me fat again…are you???….but you’re thinking the rest. I did too. Honestly with the amount of crap that is on the market and the “get-it-now-be-satisfied-and-fixed-immediately” culture we live in I would be concerned if you didn’t think some of those things.

The fact is….

We should be very aware we are putting into our bodies.

Because it matters.

So what is Isagenix and the 30 day cleanse? Why should I cleanse? Is this also a business venture for me? Why not you, why not now?

What is Isagenix?  

Isagenix is a foundational nutritional program that improves health. It is a whole body health nutrition, not just for weight loss.  Isagenix is about putting the best quality foods into your body so you can function at the health level you were created to. Organic, no soy, gluten free, no stimulants, and no harmful artificial sweeteners

If I do a 30 day cleanse with Isagenix what might I expect:

  • Energy boost
  • Consistent weight loss over time
  • Reduced cravings for unhealthy food
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Balanced digestion

Here is some great info on why to cleanse and why cleansing is for everyone, not just for weight loss: http://www.isagenixhealth.net/science-behind-cleansing/

Will I continue to use the isagenix products?

YES! I feel amazing! I cannot believe the transformation my body and mind are having. My kids LOVE the shakes and I know they are so good for them. They are getting an excellent balance for protein and carbs in these shakes…it sets there day up well.

Furthermore Isagenix has an amazing compensation plan and after just a few shorts weeks I am getting these amazing product for free! I expect in no time Isagenix will not only be benefiting our families health but also our finances.

Am I pursuing this as a business?

I’d be crazy not to! Free health food for our family, feeling amazing, and financial blessings….what could be better.

WELL…it gets better. The Isagenix team I have joined, Adoptagenix, is committed to getting this amazing nutritious food and product into Orphans around the world! What an amazing blessing it is to sow health and wellness into Orphans and fund families that are bringing the Gospel to those children and families around the world.

The Lord has given me a vision to pursue this to further the Adoption Ministry we are starting in our hometown. I couldn’t be more excited!

Why not you? Why not now?

Be a part of this vision and be blessed yourself.

The holidays are here! The average person gains 5-15 pounds over the holidays. Don’t wait to make the decision for health, you deserve it. Set yourself up for success. I have found the 30 day cleanse to SIMPLIFY my life…it is easy and fast and I feel good about it. No guilt, all freedom.

I would be tickled to have you as part of my team, to see your and your families health transformed. For more information on how to get started message me here or send me an email at angelacarolyn.isagenix@gmail.com

Blessings!!

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September Was Hard….

September was hard.

One of the reasons Xander was placed for adoption was because his birth grandma was sick with cancer. His birth mom knew she would need her help to parent him.

It is a hard pill to swallow…us getting a baby because she was sick. Unfair, not right, screwed up….we thought all of those thing on their behalf…I’m certain they thought them themselves.

But…and when we allow God to work there is always a “but,” her illness wasn’t the end of this story. We grew to love Grandma LeAnys, as I wrote about here.

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She touched eternity on Thursday, September 26th. She fought hard. She loved well. We look forward to telling Xander about her love for him. I miss her every day. I stopped by her home a couple weeks ago to drop of something off for her daughter…the door was locked, but even upon opening the screen door the smell of her home overwhelmed me. I could smell her.

Grief is hard. It is weird.

Before she passed I dreamt of the day Xander was placed in our arms to take home.  As Grandma LeAnys walked away from us that day she looked me straight in the eye and said “you take good care of him.”

I have never forgotten that statement, “You take good care of him.”

Until now I was naïve to the reality that is cancer.  I knew it was bad and that people die from it…but I had never seen the fight up close and personal. Naïve. Ignorant.

Cancer is ugly. I hate it. It sucks.

She isn’t the first in her blood-related family to battle the cancer she did.

Genetics.

Genetics, you love them or…you don’t.

You can’t run from them…but you don’t have to feed the bad ones either.

“You take good care of him.” It keeps playing over in my head.

Like all of us, Xander has his birth families genetics.  Does it scare me? No, it really doesn’t. But it does make me aware.

I have long struggled with eating healthy, exercise, weight, believing I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Like somehow “that” blessing and truth is for everyone but me…ugh..unbelief…sin.

REPENT. FORGIVEN. FREE.

I have A LOT of food knowledge. I have been studying and reading about it for years. I know what is good for me…I know what isn’t. I know the quality of our food isn’t ideal and that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is less than favorable for my health, for my family’s health. I know every calorie isn’t equal.

I know these things. I have known them for some time.

And I still eat Pringles, lots of them…or whatever.

God said in (Hosea 4:6) “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”. We are living in the days where we can no longer turn a blind eye. I can no longer turn a blind eye. I have knowledge as to what is good and what isn’t. I have knowledge of my son’s genetic make-up. I have knowledge that my daughter will have a meltdown if she regularly indulges in foods that are colored with red or blue or yellow food dye. I have knowledge that a white-carb loaded lunch for my son is going to produce a 1st grader that can’t think past the end of his nose.

So now what? Put a ban on ever having birthday cake again….and just stick a candle in a banana for my kids. No, not legalistic…but healthy choices 90% of the time. Yes. That’s my goal.

In late September I started a journey towards health. I was tired or being tired, sick of being overweight, aching when I got out of bed, handling stress poorly, too forgetful for my age… and making poor food and healthy living choices and setting my kids up for the same struggles I have had for so long.

Enter Isagenix.  A healthy living lifestyle.

Just 30 days into my healthy living journey I have released 18 pounds and more than 22 inches. More importantly I feel ALIVE, better than I have in years. I have energy and strength, am sleeping soundly and not hitting the snooze button for an hour before getting out of bed! Isagenix is helping detox my body and  helping me develop healthy, clean eating habits! This isn’t a quick fix. This is a life changing experience for me and for my family.

isagenix 30 day small-001

This isn’t a meal replacement program. With Isagenix, it’s about cleansing, replenishing and drenching the body with high quality nutrients that strengthen and fortify the body, allowing for the body to become the miracle it was designed to be. It’s not about limiting portions; it’s about eating nutrient dense foods! It is whole body health – undenatured whey, no soy, non GMO, no harmful artificial sweeteners, no corn syrup, and organic…it is the best of the best.

This is about being healthy and vibrant so I can be who God created me to be. So I have the energy to love and serve and enjoy. It is about taking the knowledge The Lord has given me and using it…for me and for my family.

I would be so blessed if you would pray for us as we make these important changes in our daily lives.

Thanks so much for journeying with us. Be blessed.

For more information about Isagenix email me at angelacarolyn.isagenix@gmail.com and check out my website at http://angelacarolyn.isagenix.com You are worth it!

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Our Open Adoption Story

He happens to look a lot like Noah and Georgi. His hair color and the way it curls on the back of his head. It is reminiscent of Noah’s curls. He toddles around the house like a typical curious boy. He giggles at his siblings and dances on the coffee table.

But it’s his eyes that tell his story.

xander blue eyesThey are a magnificent blue. They are as beautiful blue as Georgi’s are deep brown and as Noah’s are a rainbow of hazels. People notice his eyes.

Xander dons his birth mothers eyes.

We have an open adoption with Xander’s birth family. It wasn’t something we sought out. In fact the idea of an open adoption scared us. Closed or semi-open fit our bill. Our comfort level.  Our idea of “safe.”

When we were presented with Xander’s case, from our agency, the idea of an open adoption brought us pause.  A pause that was laced in fear.

But God was writing a story, one that would show His mighty hand. One that put us in awe of his attention to detail.  One that would show us He is in control.

A story of beauty from ashes.

Looking back I can see where God placed the “seeds of adoption” in my heart back almost 2 decades ago …but I can pin point the day He began drawing some of the finite points of our journey to this day pictured here.

Noah first week preschool 001

To us, this late August day was a big day. It was Noah’s first day of preschool. He bounced off that bus with pure joy. I waited at the end of the driveway in great anticipation…how was his day? Who did you talk to? Was the bus ride fun?  Did you like your teacher?

I hugged him at once.  And waved and smiled to the stranger driving the bus.

It is the wheels of the bus in that picture that brings the tears to my eyes.  Unbeknownst to all of us, God began a love story that day.

Little did we know one day we would be more than just another stop on the bus route for that driver I flashed a smile and waved to 4 days a week. Little did we know God was giving that driver a specific glimpse into our family and that our chatty 4 year old would sit in the seat behind her and fill her in on the detail of our family.

Little did we know just 5 months after that first day of school we would sit at a restaurant with that bus driver as she considered us as parents for her coming grandson.  Little did we know, she already knew who we were and had been given a sort-of “front-seat-view” into our lives.  And, little did we know, two months after that we would know her as our son’s grandmother.

Xander was born on March 19th, 2012. We spent three beautiful and hard days in the hospital with his birth family. We talked and cried and laughed. We loved a precious tiny boy.

That’s how our open adoption started.

It was two years this month that God’s hand began to draw more tangible lines in our adoption story. Xander was already on his way, though no one knew.

Our story continues today. It is so beautiful. We wouldn’t change it for the world.

Today we have a wonderful and blessed relationship with that bus driver. We spend time in each other’s homes.

We take her to church each week.

We share stories about our pasts.

We pray with and for her as she fights the battle that is cancer.

We told her about Jesus and we prayed with her when she said “yes” to him.

We love her and her family.

We know she loves us.

This is our open adoption story.

We also have a relationship with our Xander’s birthmother. This is simply the story God is writing between us and his birth grandma.

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A Decade

Ten years ago today I stepped off a plane and onto “Ohio Soil” for the first time. I was young, naïve and nervous – all of which ended up being good qualities for the journey I was pursuing. I made my way to baggage claim and was greeted by a friendly looking stranger holding a manila envelope with my name written on it in black sharpie.

I felt a little bit important. Who am I kidding, I was important. (insert young and naïve here)

We gathered my luggage and made the short trip from Dayton to Springfield. Here this friendly stranger would drive me through the metropolis of Springfield and by the church I would interview at the next morning.

In the hours before my arrival the city had been blanketed in some 18 inches of snow. The town was a bustle about the amount of the snow. This Minnesota girl wondered what the big deal was…. 10 years later, I get it. 18 inches of snow in one dumping in central Ohio is like 3 ½ feet in one swoop in Minnesota. That said, I still can’t get over the plethora of cancellations that occur before a weather front even bares its gruesome face.

Anyway, I digress.

The next morning I would put on my Sunday’s best for church, a lunch with the pastor and his wife and an interview. I remember what I wore that day – black pants and a blue striped button up shirt. The funny thing is – the pants I was wearing for that interview were, at one point in my life, my favorite “bar” pants.

And now I was wearing them to interview for a position in a church as director of children and youth ministries.
Jesus happened to me in-between the bar and the interview.

The old was gone and I had been made new…but the pants remained.

I don’t have them anymore….babies and pizza with youth and FRISHES BIG BOY (Minnesota peeps, it’s a hamburger with tarter sauce) happened and well, they shrunk.

The interview went well. I stayed another night at the friendly stranger’s home and then flew back to my stomping grounds.

In the days to come I accepted the job at that church.

Just short of a month after that interview we packed all of my belongings into dad’s pickup truck and my sunbird and drove, the now familiar 742 miles from Minnesota to Ohio – the entire time listening to talk radio as the United States invaded Iraq.

In the weeks and months to come I would become familiar with my job (though I do recall crying in the bathroom of the church), drive the wrong way down a one-way trying to find the post office, and recognize the tenant who lived above me liked to enjoy his ever revolving lady company late into the night….comprende?

I made friends, good friends, who have remained the duration of the decade. However after just 2 years in this city I found myself very cynical of the city and growing weary of growing roots in this city.

In late May of 2005 I stood on my Aunt and Uncles’ lake property for my cousins wedding, surrounded by family. In the hours of that day I decided I would make plans to move back to Minnesota, unless….

Unless the blind date I had penned into my calendar for that next week gave reason for sticking around.

And it did.

Just 10 months later I found myself back at the home of that “friendly stranger,” and now friend, while she did up my hair and makeup for my wedding.

Being married to a native of the city didn’t change my attitude about my surroundings. I felt stuck.

And then somebody called me out on my attitude and beliefs surrounding this city. Asking me “Weren’t you specifically sent here to spread the love of Jesus? Isn’t this city your mission from the Lord? They thought nothing good could come out of Nazareth too.”

Oh, whoops.

I repented for the ill will I had spoken over the city the Lord had placed me in. I prayed for a spirit of love for this city, to see it with the eyes of God.

I clung to that prayer. My attitude began to change, slightly.

In the months surrounding this sorta-shift in my attitude I would endure an extremely political, painful, and anxiety ridden season in my job at the church. Months of meetings surrounding several local churches merging took its toll on me.

I’m sure some good came from those meetings/arguing. Never mind,I’m not sure.

I refused to become jaded. I refused to pick up the excuse of being turned off or hurt by “organized religion.”

We carried on.

By this time we had welcomed 2 sweet babes into our family. While the Lord had birthed the Spirit of adoption in my heart after Noah’s arrival it came better into focus and gained speed in the months after Georgi was born.

Simultaneously, we had found ourselves being knit into a new group of friends. This group we met with week after week would significantly change the direction of our lives. The “Body of Christ” would take on a new meaning in our lives, a tangible, life-giving meaning.

We were suddenly surrounded by a group of people who loved this city, who spoke hope over it and had vision. They spoke of the lost and how we could reach them.

They were excited about our desire to adopt. They asked questions and were cheerleaders.

We said yes to adoption. Not knowing how we would pay for it or what the journey would look like.

And then the 8 plus years of working at the church that brought me to this city came to a quick close.

And it seemed like everything changed.

And it did,but really the Lord was just aligning us more with Him.

Growing pains.

We adopted.

The Lord birthed a vision for adoption in our hearts for this city.

ROOTS.

I had grown roots in this city.

Deep roots.

Somewhere in the course of the last 3 years the Lord answered my prayers for a love for this city. His plan for our mission here unfolded.

And it is good.

It is fascinating. Because that’s what the Lord does, he fascinates.

He writes stories that are beyond our best dreams. It’s up to us to take him up on these stories. It doesn’t at all mean this road isn’t marked with hurt, trials, grief and heartache, it is….BUT (The Lord has the best “BUTS”)He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

I will stand on that promise.

10 years. It may have taken me a decade to find my stride, but I have.

I’ve done things I never imagined I would.

Like adopt and officiate a biker’s funeral in jeans and red stilettos.

A decade.

I look forward to the next ten years as we chase after God’s vision for our family and this city. As we strive to lay down our comfort and notions about what is “normal” or “American,” and instead go for Glory.

Blessings.

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