#363-61 Grateful

Friday- January 3rd

Watching my precious son get his senior pics taken made me so thankful for the young strong man he is today. I hope one day he will share his story as his mother I so know his name was given to us and the name Nehemiah is the perfect name for him. Nehemiah senior picSaturday 1/4/14:

Got to be with some of my favorite people downtown serving dinner at the PRM… love love this place!

Sunday 1/5/14:

God BLEW me away today! He so cares and I was encouraged to wait on Him as we needed a car repair that we could not afford. My sweet hubby began working side jobs to make this possible and the first family he worked for WAY overpaid us to cover our car. Tears and words do not express the gratitude I have to this sacrificing family and also to God, who is teaching me to rely on Him even when there does not seem to be an answer. Thank you is the rhythm of my heart tonight!


Had to post one more today and may bunch them up or summarize as to not overemphasize this 365 days of being grateful… but even in the two days as things happen I do notice I am feeling grateful many times during the day and taking more of a note of them.

364 and counting down–

Today as Malachi was working on understanding that each month has a number associated with it and we were going through different dates such as his birthday is 3/20/07… I went on to the part that he became a Heye on 3/08… After a long pause he said I became a Heye in 2007 and then we rehearsed that we could not come to get him until March of 2008. He asked me why I did not come in 2007 and reworded it about 3 times as to why I was not there with him in 3/07. My heart could feel his pain and knew he felt let down again. He knows he was almost 1 when we met him, the pictures are strewn throughout the house and we regularly “go there” so there is never awkwardness around it…. but today, it really hit him that his parents were not there for the beginnings of his life. I am not sure the pain could be described in words for either of us. I reassured him that I wished I had been there and would have if I had known about him and that he would be our son… there was a long silence ( for Malachi, a long silence) as he pondered and tried to accept this all again.  As much as there is pain, loss, trauma, and memories through adoption, I am grateful that God has allowed me to be this precious one’s mama. I have been humbled beyond recognition as I have had to learn to parent in new ways and accept that it may never look the way I thought it would… but this boy fills our hearts in ways that no one else can. So today I am eternally grateful for my little one I met nearly 6 years ago.



IMG_2398Today on January 1st, 2014 I have decided to try a year at writing or posting a pic for what I am grateful for each day. Today the idea of the creator of the universe loving me is something I am still trying to grasp and embrace. HE LOVES ME, which means HE ALSO LOVES YOU! My God loves me and I am in love with him… Listened to an amazing bit of wisdom from Frances Chan today that really made me think deeply about this. Grateful for God’s Love- 

Five years– then and now and somehow in between

malachi+first+daySAM_0109Here are my two last blog posts about our last day in Ethiopia when we adopted Malachi five years ago.( see below) I wish I could say the elation and euphoria have maintained these years. Many of you know the path has not been easy. We did not decide to adopt for easy, yet I never knew it could be so hard and so growing. There are days I wonder how God could think I was qualified or strong enough for this road… yet he continues to give the strength or patience for THAT day. I so believe that through this meandering path of  bringing home this precious boy I have had to learn the hard way how I must be in front of God. I know he loves me, but I am fine often going my own way and not really connecting with Him. I know He is there, yet I want to do it on my own so much  of the time. I am sorry and so often don’t know why I do the things I do, yet he always loves me back to Him and forgives me over and over. I have wondered at times if He has allowed me on this path so I would have a greater understanding of the depth of His love and forgiveness. My heart ACHES wanting to be close to my little one. My love is deep and words do not express the way I feel about him and love him, yet he is not able to love that way in return. He is in the moment and will say what I want to get his way NOW. He will hug and give kisses when it works in his favor, yet my mama heart yearns for a true relationship with him. I think God is so often like that with us and me in particular. He is there waiting and has done so much to show me the depth of Himself and yet I want it on my terms. I understand the hurt that it can bring. I am thankful that God brought this precious gem into our family and I hope you never hear otherwise from me. God is still at work and I have to believe there is a miracle coming or some sort of breakthrough. M can have us all in such loud laughter and smiles in a second’s notice and he makes life so much fun as he is learning and observing the world around him. Watching his siblings love on him and give of themselves so unselfishly is truly something I never expected at this level.  They will never be the same because of this little “bro” – -he has changed them for the good forever. “Can someone please play with me? ” comes the question and I always turn around to see some taller child grabbing the ball or lego piece to play. They enter his world in ways I am envious of. I love and admire that they have never complained one day about how this has impacted their lives. I often hear about how they could not have imagined their lives without him. God you are good! I can’t worry about  being “presentable” anymore as so much is out of my control. God you are working at bringing me to the end of me. God you are good! I am learning that I can’t control and fix everything anymore and I have to lean hard into you. God you are good!

We knew our son’s name meant “victim” and was given that by someone other than his parent. We knew nothing of his beginnings at all. But being given the name victim says a lot. We had been trying to decide if we should try to go to his birth place while we were in Ethiopia as we would never have this chance again and while we were in this decision making place we felt a nudge from an unexpected nun. We were at a bazaar and M was having a hard time and so Aser went to feed him and the ONLY seat available was next to a nun dressed all in white. She began trying to console M and in the midst found out he was from the north. ( they speak a different language)  She had spent 25 years there working in an orphanage and went on to explain that our son’s name meant much more than victim. It was a rich name meaning of  finding you in  a low place, but that you were meant for SO much more than this.  This was our nudge that we had to know more. Well once we arrived in his town within 3 hours we had all kinds of information. It was too much for my heart and mind to handle actually. I won’t go into details as they are still hard to pick through and even describe and heartbreaking, but his birth father had gone back and left a note with information that led us to more information and even photos. At first, I was on a mission to know the WHOLE story and wanted to meet them, but God did not allow me to rest for many many nights and I finally came to peace when I realized that the nun was placed in our lives by God… God’s hand was on our son and he was meant for so much more than this. His life would have been one of a victim and he would not have been safe or maybe even alive if he had been left. God showed me that it is not about me or the Heye family, but that He has a plan for him that is so much more than where he began. He was not meant for a dusty road corner or to succumb to diseases he was born with, but God has a plan. I cling to this daily as the days are still often confusing and lonely with him. Five years ago on the plane we had no idea who we were bringing home, yet God did and He brought home to us the perfect son for our family. I know this is not the end of the story  and I think I am somehow in between…

My blog entries from http://www.selahatlast.blogspot.com

Coming Home

Tonight we leave at 10:00 pm for America. Our time has been rich and so
memorable! We will TRULY miss Ethiopia. The kids can’t believe it is
over as they have done so well adapting and being flexible. I must
admit I am surprised with how much they love it here despite the
restrooms and things just being so different from what they know. I am
so happy that God has made Ethiopia close to their hearts. They are
proud of their heritage and that warms me over. Malachi is a gem and I
hope he likes planes:) The babypack has been very helpful as there are
not a lot of places for him to crawl around. He is very active and will
fit in perfect with my other four active ones:)We can’t thank you enough for your prayers and support. We have felt
covered in prayer– more than at any other time in my life that I can
recall. God has truly blessed us and I am humbled by His love.Our drivers have said it will be hard to have us leave. I would think
they would be relieved as we have put the miles on their van. They have
been beyond drivers, but friends. We will miss them.it is hard to leave Aser’s family. They have been so so kind and
helpful to us.See you so soon!!! Friday at 9:22pm we land in Oregon and home again…Love–Kimberly for Heye Family

Together at last

Today is our first full day with Malachi as a Heye! We are thrilled and
he is SO SO good– he woke up Aser and I this morning cooing and
smiling:) What a treasure! I was very tired, but somehow it did not
matter:) We were up late as Anna has food poisoning… we let her eat
some soup and are pretty sure that is where it came from:( Poor girl!
I think we have had enough sick kids for awhile now — God is good and
she is up and around today.Yesterday as they removed Malachi’s card from the orphanage check-in
roster I just cried. Tears of joy that he is ours, tears of pain
thinking of his parents and the fact that he will not know them, and
tears for the nannies who were so attached to him. It was very
emotional and full of joy at the same time. Aser’s mom had a Welcome
Home cake for him so we had a party after–that was very special to us
to have both grandmas here. They gave us his complete medical file. He
has been on antibiotics pretty much every two weeks for resp.
problems:( I am anxious to get that sorted out. He is so happy despite
not feeling well. He eats well–Last night we met up with Porter, another American adopting, for
dinner. She is adopting from Toukoul as well. It was very nice to
finally meet her as we have been corresponding for several months now.
She is actually here traveling with her best friend from Oregon.The kids are sad this is our last full day here. It has flown , but I
am anxious to start life now! I am looking forward to pushing him in a
stroller, feeding him in a highchair and introducing him to cheerios
and just getting into our groove. The kids have been WONDERFUL with him
and they are so patient as ASer and I figure this out.

Invisible ache in my heart

I never knew how hard leaving Ethiopia would be. I mean coming back to fresh water, power, healthcare, driving, and instant everything sounded appealing and something I admit I missed at times, but there is something I can’t even explain, an ache that rocks and is stranded  in my heart each day. At times the smells and sights seem distant and I wonder if I was ever even there  as bills arrive  and the yellow light reminds me I need an oil change. Sure the world is smaller and I am in contact with so many I love in Ethiopia, but it is not the same. Although I have soft clothes that have come from my dryer, there is something I miss about the day to day struggle for the basics, as crazy as it may sound. It makes you vulnerable and it clearly displays how human you are and your access to ease is only because you were born into “luxury” compared to the rest of the world. I miss the call of the churches and  the mosques and the evidence of faith all around. I am back in the world of accept everything and don’t say your thoughts in case you may offend. In Ethiopia the saints do not discount their faith because it may upset someone of another faith. They would be seen as weak to smooth the edges, yet I am back here and am already finding myself softening the edges at times to not upset. Yet at the same time I love those who are different than me and I so often find myself begging a smile from someone under a hiJab or turbin. I want to share hope with them, but fumble as I am rushing to the next basketball practice or needing to get home to make dinner. Ethiopia revealed my weaknesses more than I want to admit, yet has made me stronger than any other experience of my life. I want to fumble through this so one day I can articulate my heart, but I am hoping this may be a start. My heart is truly calling Ethiopia daily…. I so wish God could tell me in plain Kimberly language what the last two years has meant and what will be the next steps in our lives, but I have a feeling that He wants me resting here for a bit savoring what I miss and reminding me of how small I am and how BIG He is. I am thankful for the time in Ethiopia, but my heart is shredded in so many ways, but I hope it does not remain this way for long. I want God to use me and never smooth edges for Him as He can handle it. SAM_2765

back and ????

We are finally back in Oregon now! We traveled across the southern states upon our arrival to visit friends, family and supporters. This proved to be rich and time well spent. Most mission agencies provide some sort of “reentry” preparation, even after a short stay abroad, and so since ours was not able to provide this …we opted to make our own reentry retreat. The time with our children in a small van was precious and a memory not to be taken lightly. We are  grateful for this time of slowly getting used to America again with the   unending choices, changes in technology and clothes, and people so willingly sharing their homes and tables with us.

My sweet mom has opened up her two bedroom home to share with us. We are so so thankful to have a roof and beds to sleep on. We had been warned by many that the J.O.B. market here was bad, but we are hoping and praying for something to quickly open up. My school district has laid-off over 350 teachers this past year and although I am in touch with my old HR personnel director he can’t help me out right now and says the cuts are all the way to SpEd now. I am applying for other things that do come on line, but have been told over a thousand people right now are applying for ONE position. I do know God is greater than the stats, but it is a bit overwhelming. Aser started the next morning we arrived with his search for employment and he found some small Jobs that will help with a bit of cash, they are not the type we need to support our family and have insurance. We have some pay until August and then  our  support and insurance will stop and so we are really praying that something quickly happens here. ( I am also sure my mom would like her house back:) — she is an amazing sport about all of this!

I have so so many thoughts and questions that I am still sorting through and hope to put them here once I have the words to express them, but we could use your prayers in a very real way that God would direct us and we would listen. We are really hoping to stay in the Portland area as that is where my mom and our church are located. However, we have to be open to what God is calling us to now as well. We have heard many HOT states are hiring in Aser’s field so we are trying to be open to that but….. not what our hearts want at this point:)

There is an opportunity to return to Ethiopia, but we are needing more time and prayer to see if this is from God at this point. We are so thankful and have such rich and vivid memories of our time there and experienced things that would not have been possible if we were here.

One of my favorite memories will be how Aser found out that the boys outside our school gate ( they had increased from 5 to 23 this year) spoke a certain tribal language as their first language. He was able to find the Jesus film in this dialect and our school allowed us to share this with them and provide dinner. We even had clothes for them and there were many smiles and prayers that night. Also, we became very involved with an orphanage about 2 months before it was time to leave. The director had fled the country and left 14 kids in dire need of food and medical attention. My heart was shaken to the core during this time as I tried to understand how evil can be so present and corruption accepted at the expense of children. I am still working on this, but as much as it shredded me I praised God that He would allow me to meet this children and walk a short path with them. We had late night food runs, medical emergencies, clothing drop-offs, meals out with the older ones, HIV testing and tears, and even rescued a 9 year old boy that was in a dangerous situation late at night with a guard ( yes it was a bit tense and we saw God lead us to helping him Just in time) . I have grown in my admiration of  my sweet and courageous man during this time and have never seen him fight for something with such determination and valor. We began praying for a miracle that these kids would be removed from this situation before we left… the miracle was a bit different, but from God, when a family we love stepped in to take over the work with these kids and THEN ON TOP OF IT, my assistant wanted to partner with them. When he first asked his fiance if he could help she thought it sounded dangerous, but God worked in her heart and the next day she told him that if  he was going, she was too. That first night we took them all there SHE stayed later than all of us and had developed relationships with the different nannies now. This family has been keeping us informed and are doing an amazing work and we know this was a different answer than we had hoped for, but a miracle none the less. We are missing these kids and so many people in Ethiopia and this change back to the USA is more complex than I was ready for. I think one of the hardest things for me is that there are too many decisions each day with EVERYTHING and it makes me tired:) Also, watching my kids trying to figure life out here again is wonderful and hard all at once. Our church was savvy and offered help for them to go to camp this week to get back into the swing of things with other kids. We are grateful for this opportunity and are praying that this will be the beginning of them adJusting to life here again. Three of them were not really ready to leave Ethiopia and that has made this a bit more heart wrenching for me as a mom. They were thriving there and I know God can make that happen here too, but I need to give it time.

We could really use your prayers that God would quickly let us find JOBS so we can begin renting our own home and the kids can begin to settle down once again. Thank you for your love to our family!

We have NO way to repay or express how much the support monthly and  prayers have meant to us these past 2 years. We call you partners and truly that is what you have been. You have blessed us and we have asked God to bless you and hope you know how much we have appreciated you. THANK YOU and hope you know how special you are to our family.

Transitions– A word I wonder if I will ever get “over”

” Transitions, re-entry, moving-on, finishing up service, being DONE..” These are all words that have been coming up on our compound A LOT lately. About 25 of a 60 person staff are leaving this year and I am sure those words were around last year too, but since they apply to me now I am much more aware of them. I am actually at a place that I don’t like hearing them. It may be because I don’t know when we will have J.O.B.S or where we will live exactly, but it does signify a big change coming up once again. It seems like most of my adult life has been about “transitions” from completing my graduate work, getting married and then having babies, and then the tough ones of losing my daddy and the change that has brought to our family, then adding another child to our family and trying to envision life without my little brother and then AFRICA…. I wonder if most of us were polled would be all say that we have all been in transition for our adult years? It is ok to not be in transition? I am trying to figure so much out these days and although I crave stability and predictability, is it all it is cracked up to be? Maybe, JUST maybe, God does not want us to be static? 

In many ways I thought moving TO Ethiopia was the uncertain part and the hard part, but now am rethinking this and will let you know once I have it figured out ( that may not ever happen). When we moved here I knew where we would live, where our kids would be in school and how it would be paid for, our salary ( thankfully to our supporters) and how we would get around and many of the small things. I had much to learn like shopping, hanging clothes, bucket baths, flea  and parasite control, and how to step out of western culture into a hurting population that I had no power to help. HOWEVER, here is the shocker, I am actually thinking this may be the hard part…. returning “HOME”. Home had been where we raised our children for the past 10 years, in the same house, same comforts, and I knew how “life worked”…however, we will be moving in with my sweet mom’s 2 bedroom house with her, looking for work, trying to buy the kids new western clothes so they are comfortable and even though 2 years does not sound like a long time –it is when you are entering your teen years. We have so much to learn and to actually be able to choose the brand of bread, sugar, and peanut butter I want may be a bit daunting. When I was in London for training we went to a sandwich shop and had to pick out from what felt like a hundred sandwiches in a hurry. If I had no been hungry I think I may have walked away from being completely overwhelmed– too many decisions. We have changed and I don’t want to return to life as I knew it, but that would bring my heart comfort, but it is not what will be happening. I think this is part of God’s plan really– 

Over the next three months ( and then probably even more after we are stateside) I will be trying to write about my ” transition home” — If I sound muddled,  it is probably because I am, so please bear with me and don’t caste Judgements as I try to open up about this time in my life. I think the one thing I am most fearful of is settling-in again and doing it deeply. I want to consider this next stage as the next step that God has us in to be used by HIM and to not give in to my desire for stability and predictability. Thank you for loving on us and caring. I hope you will challenge us to not really “settle-in” ever. 

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