Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas #2

Christmas #2 was bitter sweet. We were so blessed to be able to take Sunday morning off from our sweet church family so that we could be in church with Nathan's dad and all of his sisters. The message was wonderful and there is just something about worshipping with those you love so dearly.
It was difficult not having sweet Maria with us this year...although I couldn't help but think how beautiful Christmas must be in heaven as all the heavenly hosts gather around to praise our Lord and remember His coming to Earth so many years ago.

We came home from church to have the famous brisket that Nathan's dad, John, makes. (I am so excited because he taught me how to make it this year!) Eating with our three boys can be crazy enough but imagine 11 kiddos...8 and under and it is just plain chaos. I think all of us mamas would have done better with a shovel instead of a fork...I am not even sure I chewed my food!:)

After lunch we gathered all the kiddos around to pass out the gifts.

John and Maria have always loved Christmas! They have always used this time to literally lavish the kiddos with love and gifts. I know Maria was smiling in heaven today as the kiddos torn into their bags!

And I am sure she loved watching them have a marshmallow fight with the marshmallow guns they all got! Knowing her she probably would have gotten one for herself just so she could play with them...she was just that kind of Grammie!

Karter getting his "loot" ready to go!

My Christmas Shoes...

It is no secret...I forget something on EVERY trip we go on! Whether it is diapers or clothes or whatever, you can always count on the fact that I will either forget to bring something or I will leave something where ever we go (just ask my mom how many packages she has mailed me with forgotten things in the last few years).
I think my brain just goes into overdrive and it just cannot process the needs of all 5 of us!
This last trip to Shreveport was no different. Only this time it was Christmas day and I forgot my shoes to wear to church the next morning. Even Walmart was closed so there didn't seem to be an easy fix.

I remember later that Maria (my sweet mother-in-law that went to be with Jesus in February) and I used to wear the same size. I was hesitant to ask but I really didn't have a choice. John was gracious and allowed me to come in and choose a pair of her shoes to wear.

There was nothing fancy about the shoes. They were just black heels...a little taller than I am used to...but just normal shoes really. I slipped them on and practiced walking in them and I was on my way.

It wasn't until we were sitting in church and I looked down that I thought about the shoes I was wearing. I wondered how many times sweet Re served her sweet husband in those heels. She was always so loving towards him and thrived on being able to do things for him. I wondered how many people she encouraged in those shoes. She was so quick to make phone calls or send cards even when she herself was the one who was sick and in pain. I wondered how many times she had carried a sweet grand baby while wearing those shoes...she loved all her kiddos but she adored her grand kids and they were and still are absolutely crazy about her. The list could go on and on...she served customers, and worshipped in those shoes. She spoke gently and kindly in those shoes. She loved deeply and spoke wisely in those shoes.

It really gives new meaning to the phase "big shoes to fill". What a legacy this sweet woman has left for us!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas #1

The sound of sweet boys sneaking into the playroom on Christmas morning is so sweet. The excited whispers as they peak at the treasures waiting for them are part of this stage of life I hope we won't forget!

At least they waited until 7:30...I remember waking my parents up at 5:30 or earlier!

I loved thier excitment as they sorted through thier stuff.

Karter was so fun this year...he was so excited about every little thing he got! I pray that this crazy culture we live in doesn't rob him of his greatful attitude and his contentment with whatever is given to him.

Kaden has talked for days about his up coming hunting trip with Nathan and my Dad and finally convinced us that he was in need of a "real" gun! He was on cloud nine when he found this waiting for him on Christmas morning!

That BB gun has gone everywhere with us for the past 2 days!

Kolson is in love with animals this year! I loved watching him explore and mimic the animal sounds.

I am reminded at this time of year what a blessing it is to have such a wonderful little family. I am so thankful for our health and the fact that we have a warm place to call our home. God has truly done more than we could ask or imagine.
I am so thankful that we are able to give our boys all that they need and even many of the things they want. My greatest prayer is that they will know that Jesus, our precious savior whose birthday we have celebrated today, is all that they need and that He alone can give them more than they ever even knew they wanted.

We finished up Christmas #1 with a trip to Shreveport where we had a wonderful lunch at Nannie's house...obviously I was too interested in the food to take any pictures! Nannie is a wonderful cook and always goes out of her way to make everyones favorite dishes. It has been several years since we have been able to celebrate a holiday at Nannie's so it was really a sweet blessing.

Up Next...Christmas #2!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve...

What a whirl wind this season has been! With the completion of an add-on to the house, finishing up adoption paper work, Christmas Programs, the Christmas Store, a fun visit from friends, and so much more this season has been full to say the least!
I was so thankful for a night to spend with the 4 sweet guys in my life!

A few fun memories from Christmas Eve 2010:

1. We made Pretzel Rod snowmen...so fun

2. The boys and I made it ALL THE WAY through the Christmas Eve service (thanks to Mr. Bill Green who came to sit by Karter and keep him entertained!:) I sure am thankful for our wonderful nursey workers!!:)

3. Karter almost caught his hair on fire during Silent Night!! (so surprising I know)

4. For our third year in a row we visited the Lights in Athens on Christmas Eve. I love watching the boys get so excited about seeing all of the different parts of the display. Kolson was so excited that he almost jumped out the window! When we pulled in all he could say is "wow"!

5. We actually got a decent picture of the boys in their Christmas outfits...I wish you could see their whole bodies...Kaden and Karter have decided that they want to be "cowboys"...we have belts with belt buckles and boots to prove it!:)

Counting my blessing for sure!!

Friday, December 10, 2010


For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

I love that scripture is alive. I love that verses I have read 100's of times before suddenly jump out at me after years of never really noticing them. I love that God's word is soothing to my soul and that I often find comfort as I thumb through the Psalms or when I read that He rejoices over me with singing in Zephaniah.
I find myself wondering much like David..."who is man that you are mindful of him".

How is it that this great big God that we serve who is so worthy and full glory would care about our hurts, our disappointments, even our bruised feelings? I am finding myself amazed by His great mercy and love.

Much like Hebrews says God's word does penetrate my heart and often times it reveals the dark places that still remain. The evidence of my humanness and the old sinful nature that reigned in me for so long. 2 Timothy says that all scripture is "God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..."

I am so thankful that our God not only cares about our heart breaks but also cares enough to train us in the way that we should go. He loves us enough that He provided a road map for us...one that is living and breathing and will be sure to guide us if we will be willing to read it!

So last night God decided to use His word for some teaching, rebuking, and training in my life. I went to a friend's house and she began reading from Psalm 37. A familiar Psalm. One that Nathan and I have spent several evenings discussing in the recent days. But last night the words nearly jumped off the page as my friend began to read.

Psalm 37:25-26
I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging for bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be blessed.

Did you catch it...the righteous...the are always generous and lend freely.
I love that God doesn't use big words like righteous without explaining what they mean!

So this week I had an opportunity. I had the chance to open my home to someone in need.

And I hesitated.

I did not lend freely.

Yes, I have millions of excuses...my house is being remodeled, I haven't been without someone in my home other than my family in almost a year, we are in the middle of an adoption, and the list went on and on. With each excuse I felt a little more justified.

But then God spoke. No I don't hear Him audibly in my head but I knew that He was telling me...give freely Jenna. Not just when it makes sense, not just when it involves a child or Africa, but give without hesitation.

A couple of nights ago I talked with the boys about Abraham and how God called him to leave everything he had and move to a new land. We talked about how sometimes God asks us to do hard things.

The very next night we talked about Sarah and how God promised her a baby but it seemed like it would never come. Then true to His word...God answered His promise.

Did you catch it in that Psalm, that God does ask us to do something hard. To be generous and to lend freely is tough...but the next line is a promise..."their children will be blessed".

Wow...not only does God teach me, comfort me, and love me, He promises to bless my children if I will be made righteous in Him and give without hesitation. A great God is my God indeed.

Lord, let us give generously and lend freely at all times...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Too long...

Remolding + adopting + church + Thanksgiving + daily life =

too long since we have just played outside.

Too long since the last time this guy beat me at soccer.

It has been so long that I didn't realize this little one was big enough to climb up to the slide all by himself...man time flys!

We finished up our day with reindeer cupcakes and some hot chocolate...can you tell you liked it most??:)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Practice makes perfect...

The other day my friend Kathryn's little girl stopped by for a visit! Madelyn or Maddie Kate as I like to call her is the sweetest little thing. She is literally a little walking miracle and a testimony to the power of prayer. She had a very rough start...

but you wouldn't guess that by seeing her now!

I must admit I was a little excited that Kaden was a school and my other two were napping. I enjoyed spending a little one on one time with Maddie Kate. It was fun to watch her play and laugh. And of course I couldn't help but to wonder if Kenzi will be anything like her. Maddie's visit gave me a chance to practice my girl mama skills...although I am sure I have a lot to learn!:)

At first Maddie wasn't sure about all the boy toys but soon enough she found a ball and had a blast with it. I am excited that someday our playroom will have some dolls and barbies to go along with all of our cars and super heros and balls!

Thanks so much for coming to visit me Miss Maddie Kate...you are a precious little girl. I know that God has great plans for you and I am so excited to watch you grow up (and maybe secretly hoping I can arrange a marriage between you and one of my boys...don't tell your daddy that though:)!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This needs to be heard...

Please take a moment to watch this...it is life changing and inspiring.

I absolutely love the part in the video where he talks about calling on all of his friends to get to his son. That is the place that we are in. I don't have a daughter to be...I have a DAUGHTER in Ethiopia. A little girl that God has called our family to. So we are calling our friends our acquaintances and anyone who will listen and we are humbly asking that you help us get to our daughter.
Words cannot express our gratitude to each of you who is a part of this journey. Thank you for bringing our daughter home.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


On Tuesday of last week we had our homestudy for the adoption!
I was a nervous wreck and stayed up cleaning until midnight 2 nights in a row!
It was a wonderful experience! Our caseworker, Bethany, was friendly and just made us feel so at ease. After a quick meeting with the K-crew and a tour of our home we spent 3 or 4 hours talking about our calling to adoption, our family life, our childhoods, and different things to think about to do with our adoption!

I was so thankful for my sweet friends Kay and Brandi who took Kaden and Karter to play for those 4 hours! I am not sure Brandi's house will ever be the same! By the end of the day my boys were calling Kay Nana just like her other grandkids! My sweet friend Teri spent time praying for my little Kolson and she didn't even know he needed it! Our little man napped almost the entire time Bethany was here which was great!

At the end of the homestudy Bethany surprised us with some exciting news! WE ARE APPROVED TO ADOPT!!! Not only that but Bethany also said that she would be approving us for 2 so that if there happened to be twins or very young siblings available when our referral time rolls around then we might get them! It is highly unlikely but you never know what our great God may have in mind!!:)

Thank you so much to all of you who prayed for us on this special day!

So what is next?

Next we will continue to wait for our FBI clearance to come back and as soon as our homestudy is typed up we will send it to Immigration where they will set up another finger printing appointment. Once our FBI clearance and Immigration paperwork is back we will be all finished with our paperwork and we will officially be on the waitlist!!! Please pray that this moves swiftly...we would LOVE to be on the waitlist by mid February!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Only in Texas...

Will you see kids swimming on Thanksgiving day!
That's right...it was so warm in San Antonio and the pool looked so inviting that the boys just couldn't resist! Every time I would ask if they were cold they would say no with their teeth just a chattering!:) Memories, sweet memories!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving for the Lorick crew is ALWAYS crazy but always so full of LOVE. We spent this Thanksgiving with my family down in the San Antonio area. My parents have really been blessed and happen to have a home that is large enough for all of our extended family to come as well. I think we had about 19 or 20 people all together!:)

My super fun Aunt Patti and Uncle Mike

My beautiful sister with baby Addy

Addy and Kolson...sweet babies

My mom and I with the babes (never mind the weird thing my neck is doing:)

Lots of time for Daddy to love on his boys

Of course we had to get a picture of all the grandkids. (Easier said than done)

After several attempts we finally ended up with this one that is pretty good!:)

For as long as I can remember my family has always played Wa-Hoo! We love to have tournaments when we get together for the holidays. It always involves lots of really LOUD laughing and some occasional trash talk!:)

And if you haven't guessed yet, I am a foodie and I come from a family full of foodies! Here is a look at some or our Thanksgiving favorites...

My Dad makes wonderful dressing...one of these years I am going to attempt it but for now I will leave it to the master!

Nathan's favorite is always the sweet potatoes!

I made Pioneer Woman's rolls this year

We had some sweet guests this year that brought this ham...Dorthy and Gomer you did a great job making it look so beautiful! It tasted just as good as it looks!

My mom makes the most yummy pies...homemade crust and all!

The famous Jello Salad thing that mom picked up from my Dad's side of the family...it is so good!

And of course there is always some time for napping!

My sister and I rounded out the Thanksgiving celebration by going to Wal-mart at Midnight to hit the sale. We should have taken a picture...it was CRAZY but super fun!

We have so much to be Thankful for! I hope you all had a great Turkey Day!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Questions Answered...how the process works.

Lately many people have had questions about how the whole International adoption process works, so I thought I would see if I could answer some of those questions.

How the process works:
Step 1: Choose a country- we have felt led to Ethiopia
Step 2: Choose an agency- we have chosen The Gladney Center for Adoption out of Ft. Worth. They have been around forever and have tons of experience. They are very ethical and they get bonus points for being in Texas!:)
Step 3: Begin the application process. The application consists of TONS of paperwork, including background checks, blood tests and Dr. approvals for every family member, a sketch of our home, reference letters, proof of employment and so much more.
Step 4: The homestudy- this where a social worker from Gladney will come to our home to meet us, interview us, look around our home, talk with our children and really get a feel for our family. We are having this next Tuesday and I am SO nervous...prayers would be welcomed!:)
Step 5: The Dossier...this is a group of papers that will go to Ethiopia. Each piece of paperwork has to be notarized, then certified, and then authenticated before they are translated and head out to Ethiopia. We are currently waiting on our FBI clearance to come back!
Step 6: The wait list! Once all of our paperwork is in Ethiopia we will be put on the wait list. Currently the wait is between 8-9 months. We wait not because there are not enough children (there are over 5 million orphans in Ethiopia alone). We wait because our agency cannot bring more children out of government orphanages and into their care centers until the children they already have in the care centers are able to go home with their forever families...which ultimately depends on how fast the court is able to move.
Step 7: REFERRAL!! This is when we will receive information and pictures about our sweet girl!
Step 8: wait for a court date(about 2-3 months after receiving referral)
Step 9: Go to Africa to meet our little girl and stand before a judge.
Step 10: Come home without baby girl :( and wait for her visa appointment (3-6 weeks later)
Step 11: Go back to Africa to bring Kenziah Reigh Lorick home!!!

We are hoping a praying that all of our paperwork will come back quickly and that we can be on the wait list by the end of January. At the same time, we are also trusting that the Lord's timing is perfect!
Thank you again for your support and love through this journey! We love you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

While We Wait...

While we wait for the perfect timing...

they hope they can wait another day.

While we wait for more money...

they wait with nothing.

While we wait for a bigger home with enough room...

they wait for room in our hearts.

While we wait for others approval...

they wait with any dignity they can find.

While we wait for the ideal child....

they wait knowing they are not.

While we wait trying to decide if we can manage another...

they wait trying to manage on their own.

While we wait to see how much we have to give to them...

They are waiting to give us even more.

While we wait for God to provide...

He waits for us to take the first step so He can.

We must NEVER use 'waiting to hear from Him' as an excuse for not doing what He has ALREADY commanded in the bible for us to do... proclaim the truth, care for orphans, serve others, be His hands of justice for the poor, and show compassion.

This post was originally posted at www.buildingtheblocks.blogspot.com and man does it just grab my heart! I have no others words...Lord please make your path straight before us and show us how we can touch the lives of these sweet children around the world.