Thursday, May 31, 2012

Prayer In The Key of Seuss


At a weekly bible study I go to the topic of prayer came up. Is it worthwhile? Does it matter? Is it just done out of obedience or is there more to it? Tons of good questions, lots of discussion.

And I couldn't turn my mind off about it - so I ran and I prayed and I gathered those thoughts up and spit 'em out in a rhyme. Here we go...

Prayer In The Key of Seuss
You can argue the tenets of prayer and it's impact,
And debate if they make it to Heaven still intact;

You can question the doctrine and doubt our great Father,
Even get to a point where you just say - "Why Bother?"

You can hem and can haw, you can barter, finangle,
You can hate it, reject it, with the truth you can wrangle;

But God is still sovereign, He's bigger than you,
He's bigger than us and the crap we go through;

If His hand holds your name and He knows all your hairs,
How on earth could He ever not care for your prayers?

He may know all the outcomes before they can happen,
Heck - He knew I would write this, He knows I like rappin';

But just cuz He knows it don't mean He's not wishin',
That I'd get involved and join Him on His mission;

That my heart, and my thoughts and the prayers that I murmur,
Would line up with His - and in that - become firmer;

That the "me" and the "He" would become more like one,
That through all of our prayers - towards His will we would run;

That the channels between us would become more wide open,
I've just got to believe this is what He is hoping;

For it's not just mere words, it's the way that He sees us,
And it's pretty much the one thing we can do just like Jesus;

So for me - I'm gonna do it - without worry or fetter,
With the hope that my "oneship" with God becomes better!
Prayer. It matters.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Larry The Cucumber Hoffman


The girls were kickin' it - just talking'bout the new addition (getting 'em excited and praying EARLY!)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Change The World


These two could change the world if they wanted to. God knows they've changed me...

Super thankful for my little family tonight.

Monday, May 28, 2012

She'll Always Be...


My baby girl.

I know she is looking all big girl on me lately - but no matter what...

She'll always be my baby girl...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Swimming Tubs

We don't have a swimming pool. It's days like this in GA when I totally wish we did. But we don't.

We do - however - have...


Two tote buckets and a water hose. Take that Beck.


And honestly... they kinda worked!


Throw a strategically placed sprinkler in the mix (to keep filling those tubs) and BOOM! You're good for a while...


Dunking, splashing, filling buckets, transferring water... it was all done. Not to mention Meron jumped out and told all of us:

"Everybody line up now - I am going to wash your feet."
Ahhhh... if she only knew how much her heart makes my heart a better place...


Me thinks the whole thing was a hit!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sleep Won


Sleep won.


And gravity took a close second.

Friday night movie night aftermath...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Surprise Visitors


Some of Meron's (and all of ours) favorite people on the planet stopped by for a surprise visit on their way through Atlanta as they headed to Disney World.


They were here for less than 12 hours as they caught some sleep and then headed back out.


They were missing cousin Ansley (already in Disney to march in the parade) - but their visit blessed us as they always do.

Thanks guys for taking the time out to hang with us for a little bit...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oh, the Places You'll Go!


This really happened today. Yeah - I couldn't believe it either...


I was SO STINKING PROUD of her... but almost more proud of me for not turning into a big bawling mushy cry-daddy...


They sang, recited the 23rd Psalm and were all-around incredible. This school pours so much biblical truth into her. It's amazing.


The girl knows more bible than a lot of people I know who are my age...


Meron - you are destined for BIG things girl... mommy and daddy got your back the whole way baby!

Oh, the places you'll go!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Here We Grow Again


Well - it's official. After the slacker we were waiting on finished writing his testimony today (uh... that's me) - we turned in our application to our agency and we are back in the adoption game.

We have a ways to go but Laura is like a dossier champion - so I have little doubt she'll have it done in no time.

In talking with the girls recently about out family, Meron had this to say:

"I want a bruvver."
When she was asked why she wanted a brother, her reply was quick, sweet and both heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time:
"Because I already have one bruvver but he is not coming here. We need a bruvver that will be in our house."
Be. Still. My. Heart.

And the next logical question is usually "What'll it be - another girl or a boy?" Well...


We're not gonna find out the gender this time! We're leaving it up to God - letting Him surprise us. Your will God. Your way.

We plan on keeping birth order but outside of that - it's on Him.

So that's what we're up to lately - we would LOVE for you guys to pray along with us - we'll be firing up the old prayer warrior email list again soon. Many, many thanks to you guys who go to Him on our behalf time and time again. Couldn't do it without ya!

Somewhere out there - born or unborn - another little Hoffman is chilling, waiting for the right time.

LH4 - we're coming to get ya!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Growth


Feels like in the last few weeks or so Meron has just GROWN ALL UP.

I could be sad about it if I let myself - but I am going to choose to celebrate it and just go along for the ride... it's a blast watching her personality develop and her sense of humor increase and her love just EXPLODE.

Blessed, I am.

Monday, May 21, 2012

4 Years of Healing....

It started 4 years ago today. The healing in our house... in our hearts.

4 years ago today a judge in a court 8,000 miles away said "Yep - you guys are the parents of this little girl right here...."


And from that point forward - this little girl became an instrument of healing in our home. She has NO IDEA how God used her to work away and lessen the hurt and pain we had experienced. No idea.

Meronator - we celebrate this day cuz it's a special day for us and for you. Like we always say - God gave us you when we needed you most and He gave you us when you needed us most.


When I got home tonight from a meeting she had waited up for me and I got to put her to bed. I lay there beside her and she said:

"Nope daddy. You aren't leaving."
And she promptly crawled completely on top of me, covered herself and fell asleep. As her breathing got heavier and heavier I knew she was falling deeper alseep - and I was glad.

I wouldn't have to explain to her that these tears - the ones I couldn't stop - they were happy ones...

Happy 4 Year Family Day Baby Girl!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sharing


This morning Laura and I had the privilege of sharing the stage with these two beauties as we got to share Brighton's story with all 3 services at a local church.

This church has encouraged us in so many ways - they have supported us, prayed for us, raised both money and formula for us. Humbling. That's what it is for us. To be a tiny little part of Gods huge work in Ethiopia. It's humbling.

On Saturday, on a whim, I asked Mebrate if she'd like to pray at the end of us sharing. She was 100% game. So as much as we make sure people know that our story is not about us at all and it's all God - today we didn't have to worry about it. Because today it was all about God using a 3 year old, leaning into a mic in front of a congregation, from the pulpit and saying:

"I just want to pray for the babies in Africa. And I want to pray for us to be able to feed them. And I want to pray for Brighton Their World. In Jesus name... Amen."
8 months ago she didn't know english. And today she was praying with zero hesitation in front of three different services.

Blows. My. Mind.

Thank you First Baptist Church in Powder Springs, for the opportunity to share about Brighton. And even more for believing in us and fighting this fight with us!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stacked Sleeper


Spent the day at the Magic Kingdom.

Spent the night passed out on a stack of pillows with a travel pillow on her head like a crown.

Perfectly normal around these parts...

Friday, May 18, 2012

It's Friday...


Let the crazy begin...


These two...


They do "crazy" well.


I love Fridays...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shiro Wat


They say smell is one of the strongest triggers for memory. Wanna know what brought out that sweet smile on our girl tonight?

Shiro Wat!

Shiro What? Shiro Who?

Shiro Wat is a common traditional food in Ethiopia eaten with injera (a spongy bread) and we are blessed to have met a wonderful woman from Ethiopia who works in the hotel attached to Laura's complex at work. And today - she came bearing gifts...


Homemade shiro wat and injera! Man, Mebrate was so pumped. You could tell she recognized the smell and the taste.


She was killing it!


She pounded down 3 plates in a heartbeat and loved every minute of it. I am pretty sure I have never seen her like that - she was just beaming and glowing. She said:

"Thank you mommy! For surprising me!"
So awesome to watch her connect with a tiny little piece of her heritage.


And big sister Meron was an AWESOME sport - she wasn't feeling it (it's kind of an acquired taste) - but she gave it a shot and you could tell it made Mebrate so happy.

Meron ended up going the route of pizza - and I told her not to worry - pizza is a staple in Addis as well!

Love doing life with these girls...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Twin Day


Today was "Twin Day" at school for the girls - and since they often seem like they could very well be twins - it was very fitting to dress them up alike and send 'em off to school.

They LOVED it - told everybody they saw today "My sister is my twin!"

Looking good girls - even with the ole "early morning crazy smile" look Meron!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beat... But Happy


This sums up how the whole house feels tonight! BEAT but HAPPY!

Disney is magical but home is comfortable. And Clay is here... glad to be home!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Magical Moments


We had a cool opportunity to make an impromptu trip to the Magical Kingdom over the past couple of days.

Uh... AWESOME.

Can't wait to process through it all in pictures and memory... the girls LOVED it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Best One Ever


As far as moms go... I am blessed to have the best one ever raising my girls. We celebrated her today as we do every single day of the year...

Happy Mother's Day people...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Meeting Team Members


Mebrate got the awesome privilege of meeting some of the folks on her prayer team - some dear friends that prayed her home with us. I absolutely love seeing these types of meetings. The joy on the faces is typically unmistakable.

Now it's our turn to pray with these guys. I don't wanna give too much of their story away, but let's just say their family will be united under one roof VERY soon.

Will you pray for them with us?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Travel Buddies


2 of my 3 travel buddies for today. Yeah. I know. I am lucky...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Lotta Love

On my run tonight it just hit me - how MUCH I love this girl. Ya know, daughter #2 comes along and you worry about your bond, and your love, do you have enough to go around, etc, etc, etc.

And then ya watch her lean in tight for a hug, or beam with happiness when you celebrate any little thing she does, or pray prayers of thanks for being adopted... and you understand you got more than enough love. More than enough.


And then you realize that all of that love you got pales in comparison to the amount of love God has for her. And for you.

Working on living more like I know that...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Voicemail Scripture

Like everybody's kids out there - Meron has said and done stuff that I have blogged about that has just floored me in the past. She did it again today.

When I got back from my run tonight I had a voicemail from home. That always scares me so I dialed it quick. And this is what I heard:


Seriously. Thankfully it was late and nobody was there to see me weeping in the parking lot.

God - you hear our prayers, it's sooo obvious. Thank you for working in our girls heart and spirit. Our prayer is that she tucks this scripture away in her heart and has it to lean on when she needs it.

Blessed again by a 4 year old.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Too Cool For School


Literally. She skipped today.

We had a family breakfast and we all went to ship 150 pounds of formula to a Children's Hopechest team that is muling it over to the Awassa area in Ethiopia. Super sweet...

She's one cool kitty...

Monday, May 7, 2012

And All Was Well

I had a flag football game go way late tonight - wasn't home til around 10:45 PM. I had a paper due for school by midnight (MST) and three discussion questions to do. I am behind on reading for my CLC bible study. And my tentmaking workload is kinda heavy.

I was threatening to be stressed out. But then I went in to kiss the girls. Meron was OUT - snoozing like she'd never slept before. And I expected the same from Mebrate cuz it was so late.

But instead - she looked up at me with the sweetest little sleepy smile and said:

"Hi dah-dee! You came to see me! I love you so much..."
And just like that - stress is gone. And all was well.

Thankful to see Him in them every night...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Get Out Your Seat...

AND JUMP AROUND!




Nice snag girl. Nice snag...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

SuperMoon

We are so glad we all stayed up to 11:34 p.m. EST to catch a glimpse of the Super Moon.

And man was it ever super!


I'm kidding. We didn't see a moon that big. Nor did we see Elliot pedaling E.T. in a basket across the front of it.

This is more like what we saw. A hazy little moon and three goofy girls.


A little anti-climatic, I know.

But ya know what? I don't need a media-hyped Super Moon to be in awe of that bad boy.

On average the moon is something like 230,000+ miles away from us.

And. We. Can. See. It.

God is nuts with His creations...

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Lonely Beastie I Be...


I am mad sad tonight. Mad sad. Today Adam Yauch a.k.a. "MCA" of the Beastie Boys passed away. Did I mention I am sad?


These guys were MAJOR players in my life. I remember wearing my "Licensed to Ill" tape out in my bright yellow Sony Walkman while delivering papers on my paper route.

I mean... I think I can (and probably have) addressed most issues or circumstances in life with a well-dropped Beastie Boys lyric. I am sad.


Our whole house was kinda sad.


Ya can't be a player at Camp Hoffman and not be down with the Beasties. So tonight... even though sad... we chose to celebrate!


Meron got busy on the 1s and 2s under the watchful eye of Mebrate...


Cutting up some "Paul's Boutique." Best album ever. EVER.


Mebrate rocked her favorite shirt (even though she thinks I am on it...)


Even ClayBear got in on the action. Yep. He's a fan.


We copped some BBoy stances...


And copied some Beastie formations...

And I am still sad.


Ya know what's cool though? My girls kinda embody some of that Beastie spirit (see picture above!) - and I know MCA, his lyrics and his legacy will live on in our household.

"My man MCA had a beard like a billy goat..."

Much love Adam. Much love. Thanks for the YEARS of influence you have left me with.