Saturday, December 8, 2007

First Friday Rocked Our Socks Off

If you are adopting from China and you live in the metro-Atlanta area you know what the first Friday of any month means. It means getting together with a bunch of other adopting folks and hearing their great news, sharing yours, playing with all the fun kids and eating cookies. Oh yeah - awesome music and incredible speakers usually round out the night.

This past Friday was no exception. This honestly may have been the best First Friday we have been to yet. We are actually experiencing a lot of "bests" right now - and as Mark pointed out to me Friday night - it probably has a lot to do with that picture I am carrying around everywhere with me.

We met a bunch of fellow adopters for dinner - it was nice to see some familiar faces as well as see the newest face that is home from China - Shelby - and to see pictures of the next one that is on his way - the Ladmans received a referral last week and they are beyond excited. I know how they feel.

When we got to the church for the actual event I gotta tell ya - it was incredible. So many people have been praying for us and following us and so many people came up to us to talk about our little man in Ethiopia. It was really amazing. I know First Friday is really a group for those adopting from China - but they have embraced our concurrent Ethiopian adoption with as much excitement, joy and vigor as if he was coming home from China. For that I am so grateful and I know that God is pulling all these strings for us - our little man is going to have so many friends here. He doesn't know what he's in store for!

I don't want to be too long winded but I gotta give props where props are due. Dan introduced us to Carole Ford shortly after we got there. Carole is an amazingly talented, blessed and gifted singer, musician and best of all - prayer warrior. She told us that Dan had told her about us and she has been praying for us (whoa!) - and after us telling her a little bit about our story she asked if she could pray for us right there. I am not kidding - I think God opened the side door of the room and slid in beside her when she started. She is powerful. She is prayerful. She is passionate. She is real. She is incredible. I can not thank her enough for that prayer and her willingness to continue to lift us up in prayer.

On top of all of that I was just stoked to meet her. We have been so amazed with her voice and powerful presence since we started coming to NMC so it was a blessing and a treat for us. I mean we only had to adopt a child from Ethiopia to get to meet her - and it was worth it. Everyone should do it!

Amy Eldridge from Love Without Boundaries was an amazing speaker. I agree with Laura when she said "I could have listened to her speak and tell stories for days." I am pretty sure everyone was fighting back a tear or two in there. My sister is a nurse at Arkansas Children's Hospital so it was really cool to hear Amy tell of Dr. Buckmiller. My sister has worked with Dr. Buckmiller and told me her story while it was happening so it was pretty neat to hear it again from the other side.

We also got to see our little friend Sophia - who showed me her new trick of being able to spit up at the sound of my name. Quite impressive little Miss Sophia. Her mom and dad were there and it was great to see them too - they have been beyond excited about Ethiopia so we couldn't wait to share the pics of our little man with them. Thank you guys for eBaby's first christmas present - he is going to be as blessed as we are to know your family.

We want to thank everybody who came to find us and sought us out to tell us how happy and excited they were for us. Thank you to those who looked at the pictures and made us feel even more excited through their excitement. Thanks to God most of all - He is at work in that group of people there Friday night. He is opening new doors and helping shed light on new areas.

If you have never been to a First Friday - I say get to one as soon as you can. It's not something I would have ever imagined going to and now it is something I can't ever imagine missing. The people are special, the environment is electric and I can't describe it or explain it the way experiencing it would.

And while you're thinking about attending First Friday - do this - pray for what to do with your wait. A much wiser woman than me told us to do that (Thanks Susan!) and God has given us a laundry list of things to do to fill up this wait time:

  • Paint the house
  • Finish basement
  • Adopt from Ethiopia
  • Support an orphanage
  • Love
  • Pray
  • Study
  • Prepare
Some are easier than others - some have an incredible impact - and some of those will change our lives forever.

How does God want to use you during this wait time?


Paula said...

How cool is that to have that group. You can talk adoption-which is so fun! The prayer support is huge. I wish I could see the picture, but I know how you can't post on the net. Someday soon, we'll all get to meet him :)

Unknown said...

As I told Susan, God spoke Friday and He was loud and clear. My heart grew that night and I have no way to describe it..Thanks Hoffman family for being real!

Susan and Dan said...

You guys are awesome! First Fridays has become what it is because families are "selfish for their children and for our children waiting to come home!" The community is what makes this work and each family who comes to support and share their story with another family creates a rich and nurturing environment of "real life" experiences for "all" of us to use. I agree with you that Carole rocks, she prayed our little MiMi all the way home from China four years ago, and is definitely praying for our sweet Hope who is still in China somewhere. We are so blessed to have you guys in this community!

Unknown said...

It truly was an amazing night. Our socks were blessed right off as well!

How incredible that Carole prayed for your family!

Yes, Sophia does have special talents!! She hopes that ebaby will like the book. It is one of our favorites.