Sunday, April 27, 2008


Hi Everyone! I got to talk on the phone last night with my sister (in-law) who lives in Thailand and realized I hadn't posted much lately about Kamin on here! It's certainly not because I haven't been thinking about him. : ) Just this week, in fact, I was submitting paperwork to the US Department of Homeland Security to request to classify him as an immediate relative. : ) How cool is that? I am extremely grateful for the patience God has given me/us so far. It's been a month already since we were matched and I'm sure that the months to come will go quickly, too. Life is just like that. God's grace is good and more than enough. And waiting is a matter of perspective, really. If we hadn't expected to have to wait another 6-8 months, I'd probably be impatient, upset, frustrated and depressed. But this is what we expected so for now it's okay. If time keeps passing and it goes longer than we expect, it will be much harder... but God is constantly reminding me that He's with us and He will help us through whatever we all have to go through. No matter what it is. I mentioned a month ago that God had made it really clear that Kamin is the little boy God has chosen for us, but I never told you the story... : ) The weekend after we got the phone call from our agency, I was processing a lot and thinking a lot about Kamin's birth mom and what it will be like for him to have to leave his foster family and come to this strange, cold place called Fresno with this strange pale family who speaks a strange language and eats weird food and lives in a house that smells funny, etc, etc, etc! (You get the picture!) It can be overwhelming for me to think about the initial transition period we'll go through and the grieving he'll go through. But 5 days later we were at a Bible study and as we sang the song "Enough" God reminded me powerfully that He will take care of us and give us everything we need and more to get through whatever we have to get through. I felt so relieved and comforted by the Holy Spirit. So that night when we came home, I wanted to journal about what God had spoken to me about and about how He had quieted and stilled my heart and restored my peace. As I was writing, I remembered a song I wrote last summer called "Be Still", and since I couldn't remember all of the words, I looked it up. Under the title, I had written this verse:
“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:10-11
I thought it applied so perfectly to our adoption of Kamin and how God is going to be exalted among the nations and in the earth as we trust Him through this process. I skimmed over the words to the song again... until my eyes landed at the bottom of the page when I gasped and started crying (which I'm doing again.) At the bottom of the page was the date I had written the song... 07-07-07... the very same day that Kamin was born. I was and still am absolutely in awe of how God has been weaving this story together. I remember that morning so well... partly because when I was writing a particular part of the song, God was giving me the words for it so fast that I could hardly write them down fast enough. And that's never happened to me before or since. So I remember it well and I think it is so sweet of God to have given me a memory of that day so when I tell the story to Kamin someday I can tell him exactly where I was when I woke up a few hours after he was born and how God was already preparing his forever family for him. So that's how God made it so clear to me that we can rest assured and in confidence that Kamin is The Little One we have been waiting for... Isn't God good??? "The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." Y, Melissa

Sunday, April 20, 2008

12 Years Later...

I have a tendency to talk a lot on my blog about the funny things my kids do and the crazy things I'm obsessing about. But I don't talk a whole lot about my husband. So tonight I'm going to! : ) Last Monday, Lowell and I celebrated our 12 year anniversary. Even after 12 years of doing his laundry and dishes, I love him more than ever. He is more supportive of me than I am of myself, he loves our kids and is a great father, he is a leader at church, a man of solid integrity , incredibly talented and can build just about anything he decides he wants to.

He also somehow he manages to have a very stressful job and still be fun to have around when he's at home. People (some of whom we've known a very long time) often ask, "Now, what exactly does Lowell do at his job again?" Many other people don't bother asking, but they still don't really understand what he does. So I thought I could give you a little insight here into his job. The other day he got an email from Bill. It went like this:

From: Bill
To: Lowell Ens
Subject: RP

Attached are revised RP and Letter. I was confused because on the HUD call you mentioned 115 units. I got it now though. Based on our call today it may require one more change of 36 ACC/LIHTC to 30 ACC/LIHTC and 6 LIHTC only.

This was Lowell's response:

Bill -- Michael was working the numbers this afternoon on Yosemite rental component. Couple things -- to get enough LIHTC units to cover debt, we need 16 units out of ACC. Too many I think for HUD comfort level and also affects TDC on the remainder since that leaves 20 units ACC with $4.4 million in HOPE VI. He is now shooting for 8-10 units and carrying back some type of other loan to cover about half the perm bond debt. May be another residual receipt or deferred developer fee with terms that allow for longer term repayment. We also think operating cost will actually be lower than TCAC requires in their proforma, so may be additional cash flow to cover the residual payments. Not sure how HUD will view this and may affect ACC subsidy on the remainder of new and existing units? Your thoughts are welcomed. When we come up with the best scenario, you'll need to add this to the letter, but should we wait til then?


There. Now I'm sure you all understand exactly what he does. : )

Anyway, I'm so glad I am married to this man and look forward to the rest of my days with him. God knew I needed him and He went to great lengths to make sure we ended up together. And I'm so very grateful.

I love you, Babe!

Y, Melissa

Saturday, April 12, 2008

To Thine Own Self... Be NICE!!!

This was the lesson God taught me this week. To stop treating myself in a way that was mean and critical and merciless and grace-less. It's not a new concept for me, but God helped me see it from a completely new perspective. Let me explain... On Thursday night as I was heading to Celebrate Recovery I was feeling disgusted with myself for being flaky and some other things that I don't even remember now. Whatever it was, I wasn't liking myself very much and I was not encouraging myself with what I was thinking. And that's when God broke into the conversation going on in my head and He told me to STOP! Stop doing to yourself what you would never want to do to anyone else! (Wow!) For example, if I am at church and somebody comes to me and shares how discouraged they are, what do I do? I try to encourage them and remind them to ask God to reveal the truth and to listen to Him and that He loves them and that He will always help us and to resist the enemy's lies, etc, etc, etc... I would never jump in and agree that yes, they really are hopeless and never going to change and really quite a disappointment and so why do they even keep trying because, good grief, what a mess they are--it's no wonder they're discouraged! Could you imagine????? How would you feel if somebody did that to you? How would you feel if somebody did that to your child????? (I would be so angry!!!!!) What God was challenging me about was this: If I would never say it was okay for anyone else to be spoken to like that, why was it okay to speak to myself like that??? (It wasn't!) So instead of agreeing with what the enemy wants me to believe about myself (lies, lies, lies!), I am asking for God to keep showing me when I am treating myself in a way that is unacceptable for any child of His. And when I feel discouraged, I am going to remind myself of the things I would remind anybody else of: If we are believers in Jesus, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us and we can do everything through Christ who gives us strength and we are LOVED VERY MUCH! Like I said... not new information. Just a renewed perspective. J, Melissa

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Grammar, schmammar. Being a mom for over 7 years has done something strange to my methods of communication. Now, like every mom I've every known, I say a lot of the same things over and over. Getting children to get up, get dressed, get out the door and get to bed requires a lot of communicational encouragement, shall we say! But what's funny is that lately, I've noticed that I'm not speaking in complete sentences to my kids anymore. And I'm not even just giving orders like "Stop!" or "Go!" that in the English language are acceptable for grammatical reasons that you probably don't care about. Instead I'm barking at them things like "Toby, seatbelt!" and "Hey you! Teeth! Now!" So in case you're ever around when it appears that I'm teaching an English vocabulary lesson to my children, let me explain to you what my kids know I really mean:
"Shoes!" = Hurry up and get your shoes on because I've already told you that we are late and need to leave NOW! "Seatbelt!" = Put your seatbelt on and stop playing in the backseat because I've already told you that we are late, etc. (See "Shoes!") "Homework!" = Please, PLEASE, let's get your homework done now so that we don't have to finish it in the morning while you're spilling cereal on it! "Teeth!" = Brush your teeth and stop playing with the toothpaste and the water because it's time for bed and if I don't say goodnight and goodbye (and I love you!) to you soon I just might completely lose my mind! "Pajamas!" = Get your pajamas on now because I'm even closer to losing my mind than I was when we were brushing your teeth!
Does anybody else out there do this??? Parenting... It's an art, you know!!! : ) Have a great week everyone!!! Love, Melissa