Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Three Years Today

I never would have thought I would marking this as an anniversary...but it has turned into one.  We thought we would be a family of seven by now ... not just in our hearts but physically as well.  We continue to rest on God's timing and the knowing it is perfect.  But believe me, we have tried and continue trying for God's mind to be set to sooner rather than any later.

How does one celebrate this day?  How do we mark this day, and one full of thanksgiving and joy not one of doom and gloom?

My husband stayed home today.  It wasn't something planned, but he knew he needed to be with me today.  Not just for this day, but just because.  We went to the pastor's weekly meeting today and they prayed over our situation and over us.  Today we remember that three years ago, God laid a little boy on our hearts and we obeyed His prompting and we committed to him.  Three years ago, God changed our lives.  Even though our arms continue to be empty, we are grateful for the faith God has increased in our lives and the strength, peace and protection He continues to provide.

So yes, today is three years our family hasn't been complete (at least physically).  But more importantly three years ago our family has been in the palm of God's hands on a hard journey and it has been only Him that has carried us through.  We are forever grateful! 

(Don't forget to turn the music off at the bottom of our blog page!)


video

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One door closed, and Another Opened

A new year has begun.  Changes have been made.  God closed one door and opened another.  Even though it was hard to leave the school we grew accustomed to, we welcomed a life God has called us too.  It is amazing...when God calls us to change, how much peace He provides.  With that peace, has come a reassurance that my girls are walking right where God wants them to be, and with that calling comes an anointing on the pathway they are on. 

I have posted several times about loneliness and still not feeling home here in Colorado.  I have accepted this state as home, but I still couldn't find my "niche" - somewhere I could fit in and call mine.  We have lived here for 4 years now, and for the first time since our move I have embraced our home completely and feel like I am "home".  What did it take?

Not having to travel 25 miles up the interstate to the girl's school, which took at least 2 hours away from life here at home each day.  With the commute, and the demands of the previous school we never were part of our community.  When God closed the door for us to attend another year at the previous school, it hurt - but there was peace.  Now we have neighborhood kids coming in and out of our home constantly (which has added to our grocery bill).  The girls are meeting new friends in their own neighborhood that makes getting them to and from each other's home much more manageable.  They are sharing Jesus with their new friends.  Duane is able to be part of their lives, whether it is going to their activities at school or just simply driving them to and from school.  I have met other children who just need a person to talk to and I have had the opportunity to listen.  I have much more time to get things done at home (well, this year home schooling Courtney).  I get to meet other moms in our neighborhood.  And the best part of it all is we get to me more involved in our church, because the previous school isn't pulling  our time away and our family is not being pulled apart anymore. 

We are finally home, because God simply closed the door for us to go to the private school and opened the door for them to attend the public schools that is 2 and 5 miles from our home.  Life is good all because God closed a door and opened another.

First week of school - Lindsay is at a brand new school.  She will be the first graduating class from her new school.  She is loving it, and all the music classes she is able to take.



We never thought we would send her on the bus for the 2 miles drive.  But in order for her to find some friends we sent her on the bus.  She catches it right across the street from us, and just as planned:  making friends.

Katie loves school.  She is very social, and just as we knew...she has made many friends.  She is starting volleyball this year, to keep her busy.  She is already finding out who likes who and coming along those who need a listening ear.  She is finding that she is able to be Jesus, and the bonus:  her volleyball coach goes to our church.  Who would have thought?!?

Courtney is being home schooled for 7th grade.  She is our home body, and we allowed her to make her decision.  We are struggling in how to get the housework done while doing schooling, but other than finding how to juggle it all we are both enjoying learning.



God is good and all the time!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Old is Gone - Today I am Made New

I can't sleep tonight because today was such an awesome day.  It was one of those days I had least expected ... a matter of fact, it didn't go according to my plan what so ever (otherwise I wouldn't have worn white).

I love going to church.  It isn't because of the act of going, but rather because I love to come and see what exactly God has either to confirm to me, or teach me.  Last night I went to church and heard something I have been wrestling with for a long, long time and frankly didn't like it at all.  It was "Jesus, the face of God".

I can't say that I really know how it begun.  Some could say when my birth-father left, others otherwise.  But all I can say is that somewhere along the line I have picked up so much shame and guilt, that I can not look anyone straight in the eye for very long.  (This has even been an issue in our marriage.)  You see, I know I mess up so much, and I know I hurt so many, especially the ones I love.  Doing so, I know I hurt God.  I'm ashamed for it.  Even though God doesn't rank one sin larger than another, I do and consider mine and carry shame.  But through all my journey I just never considered God looking into my face with much admiration, but instead with shame.  So somewhere along the line, I stopped looking. 

I have seen God's feet, felt His hands, embraced by even His hug ... but never have dared to look into His face.  I couldn't bear His shame.  Not looking kept me safe.

So I wrestled with everything our pastor said.  I struggled so much, that I even gave up.  I decided that I would never be able to be closer than I am right now to God.  Shame separated us. 

I have carried so much shame and thoughts of God's disgust on me,  that I believed I was the reason Elijah and Ruthie weren't here.  I wasn't a good enough mom for the three I have, let alone for two that aren't biologically mine.  I wasn't good enough at so many things that God probably thought best if they just didn't come home.  The weight I was carrying was killing me.

Duane and Katie went to church this morning because they went to hike a 14er yesterday.  Duane asked me if I wanted to go with them to church again this morning when I returned home from church last night.  Normally I would love to go, but I knew I couldn't lift my face toward God or believe God could lovingly look at me so I declined.  I woke this morning with the same amount of shame and guilt I went to bed with last night.  I also knew that if I wanted to have any time with Duane, I had to go to church with him this morning.  My plans for the day couldn't happen until Katie was back home.  So I went. 

I wanted to praise as I usually do, and ignore what I knew was coming.  But our pastor decided to switch things up a bit.  He believed God wanted the worship to be a response to God's message.  I sat.  I remembered.  I remembered all the disappointments that caused so many people to turn their eyes away from me.  I remembered all the people who have disappointed me.  But still, deep inside I longed to look into my Father's eyes and His into mine. 

During worship, I extended my two hands to remove any shame and guilt I was carrying, so I could release it and at least try and get closer to God.  And then I heard it.  The pastor mentioned "that we are washed away from the guilt and shame, that we could come into His presence..."  That is all it took.  I knew what God was calling me to.  I knew what I was to do.

I was out of my seat.  I went to a pastor, I explained and asked. 

Before long, I was sitting in the baptismal before hundreds of people and confessing I am ready for the old self of shame and guilt, and the orphan spirit I have held onto to be washed away because I want to see the face of God.  The pastor reminded me that as God's daughter I was adopted into His family.  Adopted - chosen.  Then it was done.  I was baptized, and all this junk was left in the water.  Today God made me new.

Today for the first time - I can look into my Father's eyes and see Him looking back at me.

So tonight I'm not sleeping because I keep looking at the face of God and I marvel.  I don't want to close my eyes for I've missed His face for so long.  Tonight when I did attempt to close my eyes and sleep I heard the word "safe" loud and clear.  Starting today I am now safe with my Father, I am exposed and vulnerable.  Today I am safe in the face of God ... Jesus. 

I encourage you to listen to the message by going to the following link ... http://www.rez.org/flvplayer/ .  (The message should be up in the next day or two.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dear Liberia Government,

You may not know me by my picture.  You may not know me by the paperwork you have.  But I have been part of your life and you have been a huge part of mine for the past three years (as of August 30th).  I have enjoyed learning about your country.  I have enjoyed visiting your country and meeting your people.  I have a deep respect and admiration for your country and for it's people.  I have longed to come and visit again.

You and I have had some serious problems these past few months.  I know I am from the United States, and time is at our fingertips.  We just press buttons and have whatever we want instantly.  Your country is different.  When you have something else you would rather do you cancel meetings.  When you would rather not deal with a matter you have a tendency to draw the matter out.  I have defended you, for I know your ways aren't ours, as well as, ours aren't yours.  I have respected both cultures. 

As of three years ago, you and I will always be part of one another - wether we like it or not.  You see, three years ago we agreed to obey a calling God laid on our hearts and add to our family by what was a two year old boy (back then).  We weren't just welcoming this little boy into our home, but welcoming you as well.  We strongly believe that our son was to know his roots that started in his country, as well as his birth parents.  Since our commitment to our son, after we received his court decree (which states by your law that we are legally his parents) we have learned of his baby sister.  We agreed to take her as well, knowing that each other is all that they have.  Seperating them is unthinkable.

I have had much patience with you, because of the respect and understanding I have had with your culture, knowing it is different from ours.  I confess to you that my patience is growing thin.  You continue to set new "rules", yet not have anything in print and properlly through the legislation as your laws state.  Each person in your government seems to have their own polices and ways of doing things.  With this being said, I wonder if you are trying to get me so tired of the wait, or if you are testing if I will continue to be there for my children.  I have news for you.  I will wait.  I will not give up - even though my respect for you is not as much as when we started. 

I'm tired of your lies.  You tell us that you don't have the paperwork - we have proof that you do.  You tell our government that you can not proceed with adoptions until the president lifts the moratorium.  Yet others have received their visas and have come home with their children.  You say there is a moratorium, yet the President has never processed it legally and there is nothing in print.  What your President says doesn't make things so. 

It comes down to money.  We have taken all of ours and obeyed our God and pursued our children.  We have given more money to continue to care for our children, since your govenment won't.  Your officials in your government will be happy to process all our paperwork for a "small fee", yet we won't do business that way.  The funny thing is you are hurting yourself.  Since money is of great importance to you, why not lift this "moritorium" and allow people to have a reason to travel to your country.  Adoption will bring tourism to your country and will benefit your people.  Since you obviously don't want to spend money on orphan care, and would choose to allow your children to starve, why not allow them to come to a place they can call home and get all the care they need.

We also hear you have had a fear.  You fear that we will raise our children to respect and love the country that they came from, and this will bring them back to your country and possibly come into your government office and be even over you.  Pride.  Fear.  It's not becoming, and gives you less respect from me and my people.

We also hear that you have tribal conflicts.  We understand that.  Your tribal conflicts is a lot like our racism.  But you remain with a constant statement that you care for these children.  Then why is it that some children that belong in a certain part of the country under a different tribe than your own are allowed to be forgotten and uncared for.  Frankly, your actions are not living up to your statements.  Lies - continued lies.

Frankly, Liberia I don't like you anymore.  You are a country full of deceit, lies and corruption.  If you say this is untrue, then I expect to see some changes in the very near future.  And in spite of all this, I will continue to teach my children of your country and it's culture with understanding and respect.

Sincerly,
Karen Archibald

Monday, August 9, 2010

There Are No Words To Describe ...

We have mixed emotions when we receive pictures of our kids.  We love seeing them - seeing that they are still there waiting for us.  But then we are torn that they are still there.



This time we received a letter in the mail a couple of days ago.  It reduced us to tears.

California Fun

Thank You Mom and Dad for a wonderful time in California.  There is NEVER enough time.  We can't wait to come back for another visit.