Thursday, July 12, 2018

Mabuhay

We'll we're here.  Yesterday we flew from Colorado Springs to Dallas.  From Dallas over Nome AK, across the Bering Sea, over the Kamchatka peninsula, down the length of Japan, across the China Sea to  Hong Kong.  After four hours in Hong Kong we flew onto  Manila.  After landing, customs and baggage claim we arrived at our hotel Sound long? Yes it was.

After arriving I have to say we were...well... EXHAUSTED.   We awoke today to Manila.  If you've not been here there's no way for us to explain to you.  So I'll give you  an idea....think sleeping very soundly in a sound proof room, waking up and stepping outside through a door into a beehive made of humans - with motorcycles, tricycles, jeepneys all honking their horns in a friendly "excuse me Sir" .  This city is like kicking over the largest ant hill you've ever seen.

ICAB just called us.  "The boys are soo excited - they keep asking "when will they come?"  Tomorrow the waiting ends.  Praise God the waiting ends.

More Later

The Wortheys

Monday, July 9, 2018

And so...we're off.

Unbelievable and  yet it is our reality.... We're going.

The last few days at least for me have been kind of bewildering....A rush of final preparation, packing and arranging.  Really to the point of too busy,  Too busy to remember and think about the shear size of what God himself is doing. 

Naomi wrote the names of my children on my ankle yesterday...
It's starting to hit me - the magnitude of what God is doing...not only are we adding three beautiful boys to our family....I will baptize my daughter in the Philippines (per her request).  I will explain to her and to the boys what this means.

Before you say "what a great guy" -I have to confess to you that I can't follow the  Lord.  I am a continuous mess up from a religious perspective. I can be shall we say.."rough around the edges...and worse".  But thank God - Jesus himself is not religious...and his atonement paid my bill.   He knows I don't "have this" (or anything else).  I have no place else to go but to the cross... I have to remember that the atonement is really...finished.  I have to remember that Jesus will use me/us not because of me but in spite of me. So no - I'm not worthy -but He is...

This morning I tried to slow down a bit and I opened up my favorite - Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest.  As usual - Oswald nailed the whole thing...

Have you the slightest reliance on anything other than God? Is there a remnant of reliance left on any natural virtue, any set of circumstances? Are you relying on yourself in any particular in this new proposition which God has put before you? That is what the probing means. It is quite true to say — “I cannot live a holy life”; but you can decide to let Jesus Christ make you holy. “Ye cannot serve the Lord God” — but you can put yourself in the place where God’s Almighty power will come through you. Are you sufficiently right with God to expect Him to manifest His wonderful life in you?

“Nay, but we will serve the Lord.” It is not an impulse, but a deliberate commitment. You say — “But God can never have called me to this, I am too unworthy, it can’t mean me.” It does mean you, and the weaker and feebler you are, the better. The one who has something to trust in is the last one to come anywhere near saying — “I will serve the Lord.”

We say — “If I really could believe!” The point is — If I really will believe. No wonder Jesus Christ lays such emphasis on the sin of unbelief. “And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” If we really believed that God meant what He said — what should we be like! Dare I really let God be to me all that He says He will be?  -My Utmost for His Highest, 9 July

I'm going to choose today to really believe - He is all he says he is to me....and more.

We'll keep you posted - we are to add Levi, Josiah and Isaac to our family this Friday  

Marshall
Sinner, Saved by Grace, Acquitted and in His Service

Friday, June 29, 2018

And ....BANG! It happened...

This past Wednesday night Lorrie and I were dejected. "My goodness, why is it taking so long?" we both wondered.  The boys had gone to their Visa appointment at our embassy in Manila - check.  They had their medical exams...check.  What on earth could be the holdup?

Resigned to another day of no news the conversation shifted to "...well I guess we could go camping this weekend..."  Fun, but not where our hearts are.  Then we drifted off to sleep.

RING! Dazed from a hard sleep I squinted at the caller ID - "crap I hate that being 50 something comes with poor eyesight too..."  Hello?  "Marshall and Lorrie?  This is Hand in Hand....You're approved for travel!"  Maybe you heard the whoop from Green Mountain Falls Thursday morning or maybe you didn't.  But rest assured our neighbors did.  That morning was first well..shock.  As in "this is really happening..." and " uhhh..what do we do first?.."  What a great problem to have!

Friends this is happening....

Jacob's Adoption - Made Final
It's happening because  Jesus is telling a story here and you like us are characters in the story.  Whether you have given financially or if you been on your knees for us - you're in the story.  Even if you're a spectator - you are in the story.  This is not about us - this is about God "placing the lonely in families" and whether  you are watching or participating somehow... you're seeing it.  And you know what?  I think it's a story that will be retold often after He restores all things.

We are thankful and happy you're in the story.

So - what is next?  Airfare and it's expensive.  As of 6/29 it's hovering around 2K for a round trip for one person.  Four over - seven back - do the math. It's daunting but not really.  You see God has brought us this far (read here for that part of the story).  He will get them home.

One of the greatest things we'll tell these boys is..."do you have any idea how God used hundreds of people to get you here? - Let me tell you the story..."  Enter - (place your name here)...


We Love you all,

Marshall and Lorrie

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A New Perspective


One of the hardest times during an adoption comes when all of the paperwork is completed and there is absolutely nothing more you can do but wait. Waiting for "the call" that will get the ball rolling to purchase airline tickets, book hotels and finally give you the opportunity to meet the children you have been praying and preparing for over a very long time is like being in the third trimester of pregnancy and not knowing when labor will begin.  That is exactly where we are in our adoption process and it is a very hard place to be.



We received word that on May 21st -May 25th the boys would be in Manila completing their medicals and visa interviews.  Our family was so excited with this news and, of course, we had to look back at the paperwork from Naomi's and Jacob's adoptions to give us an "idea" of the timeline ahead of us.  In both cases, visa's had been issued within 7 days of their appointments and we received word that we could travel shortly after that.  So, within a month of their medical exams we were in the Philippines meeting our child.  That's it we said!  We will most likely be traveling at the end of June into the beginning of July.  We were so certain of this time frame - our time frame - that we began thinking ( and telling folks) we would probably be traveling during this time. (Rule number 1 in an adoption is NEVER have your own time frame. Rule number 2...once you have a time frame don't share it with many because plans always change with adoptions)! And sure enough, having our own time frame ended up being a bad thing as it is now the end of June and we have yet to receive the call we had anticipated back in May.

 However, this week God gave me a new perspective on the wait as I was reading from Jesus Always.  I read...
    " Instead of trying to force Me to do what you want, when you want it, relax and look for what I am already doing.  Live in a receptive mode - waiting for Me, trusting in My timing. "
I continued reading...
  " My followers often fail to see the many blessings I shower on them.  They're so busy looking for other things that they miss what is before them - or what is on the way.  They forget I am sovereign God and the timing of events is My prerogative." 

At that moment as I was reading those words God changed my heart.  My eyes were opened to something that I hadn't seen before. Up until now, we have made the waiting all about us. When will the call come because WE need to know and WE need to plan.   How much will airfare be?  Will we have enough money to cover the tickets?  What happens if we don't? What about Marshall's job?  Will he be able to take vacation at a moments notice? This is the busy season for him. There are so many unknowns and that makes things difficult and scary.  Yet, God gently reminded me as I was reading those words that the wait isn't just about us. It's also about our boys - even more so. As we wonder when the call will come and try to plan every last detail we are loosing sight of the most important thing.  Everyday we wait for the call God is doing something in our boys heart to prepare them for our family. God knows what they need and exactly when they need it.  For reasons we don't understand, our boys must need a little extra time in the Philippines to prepare to leave everything they have known, come to a new country and join our family. That's a big thing - especially for a young child.  They must need something more. So, everyday we wait for our phone to ring, God is using the time to bring glory to His story and to prepare  our boys (His children ) in ways we may never fully understand.  I was reminded that His timing and His ways are always perfect.  I was given a new perspective; one that has changed my whole way of thinking about this waiting thing.

 I would like to say that the call came as I was writing this post. It did not. There are still so many unknowns at this time and the waiting is still hard.  After all, we are human and are so excited to meet our boys.  We still pray for the call to come soon. However, as we wait for the phone to ring and make a dash towards the caller ID with every phone call, we can rest and trust knowing that God is doing so much in our family and in our boy's lives. One day soon that call will finally come and we will be joined together as a family. What a day that will be!

 "Lord help me keep my eyes on you as we wait for the call."


Lorrie














Wednesday, April 11, 2018

So you have this...Really?

Why do we not believe Jesus when he tells us he'll give us everything we need?  So often I find myself saying  something like "...well if I don't take care of this, no one else will..." or  " its my responsibility,  I'll get it done..." We've all said things like this.  Self sufficiency....being capable...these are all good things but they are on the razor's edge of our unbelief.

Camping With A Purpose
We are faced with an obstacle and our first instinct is  "....I got this..."  What foolishness.  If we're honest, we have absolutely  -nothing.  You may say  " ....oh that's not true of me...I'm in total control..."  But which of us actually knows whats coming?  Which of you knows what's going to happen tomorrow and how it will affect you and those you love?  You don't have 'it' do you?  Well that's ok - nobody does. Nobody that is except for Jesus.

I'm going to tell you a story to prove to you that when you don't have it - Jesus does.  For those of you that don't know him -stay with me.  For those of you that do maybe you're facing something now and you need a reminder (as I often do).

Those of you who know us know that we're all about adoption.  You know about Naomi who I told just this morning "...our lives would be significantly less without you..."  She was the door through which many blessings came (and still are).  Jacob was the next one through that door.  Perhaps the gentlest soul I've ever met...happy...fearless...victor over death - with Jesus now  (you can read more about him in earlier posts).  

Lorrie and I started thinking we might adopt again in January of 2017. I had just started a new job with a fantastic company.  Great salary, benefits - you name it.  Plenty of income to pay for an adoption...I had this...

So you know one of the things that I love about Jesus most?  He's disruptive...  

In March of that same year my company made some radical (and wise) changes in it's compensation model and moved me to a commission plan. I had never before worked this way and it scared me to death.  Not only that, but since I was now on commission my base salary went down...way down - far enough that we considered holding off on adopting.  We sensed Jesus say ..."Keep going."  Wanting to "have this" I was very tempted to leave that company but it became very clear to me that Jesus intended me to stay and so I did.

Cleaning with A purpose
So here's the picture - we're doing Dave Ramsey (gazelle intense to get out of debt), our pay has been cut in a major way, I have no idea how successful at work I'll be (commission?) and we're adopting and that costs ~$35K.  Still Jesus says "Keep going..."  So we do what we can - after all Jesus told us to "Keep going".  We apply for grants, we set up a go fund me site.  Lorrie cleans houses, we do a fund raiser called 'camping with a purpose' - two weeks last summer living in our trailer so we could rent our home as a vacation rental.

I want you to know Jesus showed up as we kept going. You guys don't have time for me to tell you all the ways he  showed up - but here are a few:  He blessed my work (commission!), he raised up people  to give lavishly  (even a former employer of mine - who does that!?).  Frankly, if you look at our finances from last year - the math "doesn't add up".  But as of now we're mostly funded - we're going to be able to go get the boys.  He Has This.

We never "had this" or anything else for that matter.  He has it all.  When Jesus tells you he's about to do something, the only thing you have to do is believe him and then... it might be good to duck.  

So that's my story.  Jesus has this... this adoption, three little boys in the Philippines that we've never met and this family.... and a plan that He is carrying out - and it's good.  How exciting and life giving of a privilege is ours as we watch 'this' unfold....

You know as I write this I'm realizing that the 'this' we're all so obsessed with having ...is really Jesus - himself.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God
Psalm 20:7

Thankful He has it all,

Marshall

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Day to Remember


One of the best things about having a relationship with Jesus is that he redeems the darkest days in your life.  He makes beauty where there is none and brings tremendous joy in the midst of sorrow and sadness.  March 22, 2014 is the day when our life changed forever.  March 22, 2018 is a day we will never forget. 

Four years ago this morning we received the news no parent ever wants to receive.  The doctors in our mountain town suspected that Jacob had leukemia.  There are some things in life you can remember vividly.  This is one of those things.  I remember where I was when Marshall called from the hospital.  I remember what I was doing that morning and for some reason I can even remember watching the snow start to fall as I was listening to what sounded like muffled words from my husband. To this day, I  remember that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  

As you all know, the "suspected" diagnosis ended up being correct.  Jacob had Acute Myloid Leukemia and ended up spending the rest of 2014 at Children's Hospital up in Aurora, Colorado.  He joined Jesus on January 3, 2015.  

But God's story doesn't end there.  In fact, it gets even better!

             
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."  
Romans 8:28


God's fingerprints have been all over the adoption of three brothers into our family. Fast forward four years...

March 22, 2018... We got word this week that the boys legal documents finally arrived.  We had been told back in January that they were "on their way and we should get them soon."  The word "soon" threw us off because these important documents never came - until now. March 22, 2018 is the day the boys legal documents( I-800) will be sent to our government!  The I-800 approval is the last step in the adoption process and allows for the boys to begin the process of obtaining their visas to come to America!  You can imagine the excitement in this house when we were told about this! 

March 22nd will always be a day we remember vividly and celebrate passionately. It is the day when God tapped us on the shoulder and said, "See, I am making all things new and there is still so much more to come. I take the darkest times in your life and make something good out of them.  I will turn your sadness into joy.  I will make March 22nd a special day for you for years to come. "  Thank you Lord for this day and for all you continue to do through this adoption.  

Please celebrate this day with us and remember that when there appears to be nothing but sadness, God promises something great on the road ahead. As always, we appreciate your continued prayers as we get even closer to bringing our boys home.  What a wonderful day that will be. 


 Yeah, Jacob, I know you are smiling at all of this.  Must be something to have a front row seat.  Love you always son,
 Mom
     

Friday, January 26, 2018

Nearing the End



We wanted to share our great news with you all. Shortly before the new year, we received the call that we had been “matched” with our boys. We decided to keep this news quiet until we received the "official" paperwork from the Philippines. We thought that the paperwork would come within a week or so. We were wrong. Day after day, week after week we waited for the call.  It never came until today! Finally, we got the call we had been waiting for for nearly a month! This call means three brothers now have a forever family of their own AND we have them. This is such great news and a huge step towards the boys coming home.

Now, begins the next step in this adoption journey. The boys official documents will be sent over. We will be filling out the I-800 for each child. This paperwork will go to our government. This document allows the boys to come to America and specifically to our family. After that approval, the boys will be scheduled for their medicals and passports, visas, etc. Once all of those things happen we will get the final call we have been waiting for… the call to travel.

With this great news, also comes the reality that there are still costs involved and funds needing to be raised. We have watched in awe as God has provided just what we have needed to cover the adoption expenses thus far.  His plan has involved many of you. Thank you for giving and for being the hands and the feet of Christ here on earth.  We are so grateful for each and every one of you. 

We are continuing to trust in His provision as there are still funds needed for our travel to the Philippines and back. Airfare, meals and hotel expenses add up quickly. We are estimating that we will need around $7,000.00 to cover our airfare, hotel room, meals while we are traveling and a donation to the boys orphanage. To date you have given approximately $4,000.00 towards these costs. Only $3,000.00 is needed.  Will you prayerfully consider being part of the boys adoption by donating to this last remaining amount?  There is also a great advantage to donating now... Any donation made will be matched dollar to dollar up to $2500.00 thanks to a matching grant from We Care for Orphans administered through LifeSong for Orphans. A donation of $10,$20 or $30 will make a huge difference in three boys life and move us one step closer to having the funds needed to purchase our plane tickets to the Philippines. Information on making a donation can be found by clicking on the link "How you can help" on the right. We cannot wait to tell our boys their adoption story and how so many people loved them enough to help them get home to their family. They will learn that, because of the generosity of so many, they have the opportunity to grow up in a family; and be loved on forever! We can just imagine the look on their face when they hear this news.

Please rejoice with us this weekend as we celebrate what God has done for three brothers today. Thank you also for your continued prayers over our boys as they wait to join our family.  What a wonderful day that will be!

Marshall and Lorrie