In which Marie resumes blogging

By addysengrace, america, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, school No Comments

Yesterday, I was sitting. Reflecting. Thinking.

I haven’t been great at posting anything since getting to the USA. Not that I haven’t had time. Okay yes, I have been busy. But really I could have found time.

But my wandering, dreaming, creative personality has a hard time sitting still. I’ve never been great at “putting down roots.” and I realised something — after spending the last seven years traipsing over Eastern Europe, learning languages, learning to appreciate new cultures, learning to enjoy chicken heart soup — a “home assignment year” seems very much boring. Especially when we have move date “guesstimates” but nothing set in stone. That in itself is quite faith building!

The girls started seeing a wonderful counsellor in October. What a blessing and find she is. Her office is five minutes away, covered by insurance and she works so well with them. We’ve been digging deep, because our kids have some deep sadness and fears. We’ve been uncovering loss, death and fear. We’ve been discussing transitions and traumas. We also did some academic and behavioural testing (through school and the counsellor) and both girls were considered 2E. If you have heard of that, great. If you haven’t, great. I’m not going to go into it a lot, because this is the internet and that is their story. I’m digressing with a point. 😉 In Romania, it was suggested that Addy has ADD and I guess she was diagnosed “officially” although we never received anything. She’s known this and we’ve talked about it and she’s quite okay with the entire thing. We tease that we knew what we were doing when we named her ADD-y. 😀 Did you know it is all called ADHD now? There are three types and she is falls in type 2, possibly type 3 combined ADHD. I’m going to keep digressing because it will all makes sense in the end, ha! While discussing this with the “professionals,” the next statement caught me off guard. “Most likely, you or her dad has ADHD. Have either of you been tested?” I diligently read through some of the paperwork, “NOPE that is in no way her dad. He’s pretty much the polar opposite.” Then the next question, “actually let’s do this. I will ask you quite a few questions. ADHD in adult women looks very different.” Ten minutes later…? “Well, I would say the ADHD genetic link comes from you. I am going to send you home with quite a few resources to read. ADHD in girls and adult women looks very different than the ADHD we are used to hearing about.”

And now I have a great excuse for digressing. :-p

I’m joking. Actually it has been life changing! So many pieces of my brain make sense to me finally. So many of my “character flaws” that I really disliked make sense to me. Actually some pieces of me that I thought were “negative” I’ve realised aren’t really that negative. Different, yes. But also able to be used as my strengths!

The counsellor also gave Christian and I the Enneagram test. (We have also been blessed to be in counselling since December!) At the end she laughed and said, “there should be a category for resistance to categories.” Christian of course fit neatly into the boxes and received logical printouts. In the end we agreed that I am often a seven but when I am struggling or grieving I don’t become a struggling seven — I actually morph into a four. Christian and I read a million descriptions from a faith-based and secular view point. He even agreed, “honey you aren’t the ‘unhealthy 7’ ever. You really become the four instead.” He is this perfect little “2 wing 1.” But I already knew that I married perfection. <3

I was going to post more but if I am truly going to resume blogging while living here temporarily in the USA, I better break it up. I will end with this — we are homeschooling this year. It is an adventure. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my kids. We are also reading “The Girl that Drank the Moon” as one of our read aloud books and each chapter begins with, “In Which…” which is how my children now like to start conversations (hence the title of this blog). 😀 Also, no matter how hard it is to furlough, that USA library set up is pretty fine. 😉

Christian + BAM conference

By america, christian, He Writes, ministry, travel One Comment

A blog by Christian about his time at the BAM conference.

Do you know the first time in scripture the phrase “filled with the Spirit of God” is used (depending on your translation)? Exodus 31:3. God fills Bezalel with His Spirit … in order to work. God’s Spirit is connected with our work.

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Business as Mission Conference in Philadelphia. The theme intrigued me, as our new venture will be to create a for-profit business in Ethiopia. I wanted to learn how business can be used as mission, and there was a lot to learn.

Many times, and this has been true in my life, the church has distinguished itself from business. Business is about money, and church is about God. There is a sacred-secular divide. There is an unspoken idea that business owners are *only* about making money. It’s about the bottom line. Business can’t ignore the bottom line of profit, but it can expand and have more than 1 bottom line. In fact, they have 4.

Profit. Obviously, if the company isn’t making a profit, it’s going to fail. Profit is important. It’s good even. But it’s not singular. Making money just for the sake of making money isn’t our God-given purpose.
People. A Business as mission cares about it’s people. Suppliers, employees, customers, and government officials. We ask ourselves, “Do I love my team/suppliers/customers/regulators as I love myself?” Business that ignores people and society is not doing mission.
Planet. We are called to be stewards of the Earth. We’re called to subdue it, not destroy it. Yes, we are supposed to use the things of the planet for our benefit, but not *solely* for our benefit. A business that destroys the planet is not glorifying God.
Eternal Purpose. This is the spiritual aspect. We need to be investing Spiritual Capital in people. We need to demonstrate a true relationship with Jesus and pray to the God of the harvest.

There were a few speakers that really stood out to me. One is a businessman in China. He has been working there for over 30 years, and has a manufacturing company brining in over $1 million every month. He also hires disabled people as a significant percentage of his workforce. He prays over his equipment and staff daily. He’s focused not just on revenue and profit, but also on the wellbeing of his people and their spiritual welfare.

We also heard from Shane Claiborne, who ministers in inner-city Philadelphia. He encouraged us to care about the poor. He shared stories of how they’ve ministered in their community with urban farming, providing low-cost housing, and non-violent activism.

Every speaker had great insights, from how we are seeing the lowest level of worldwide poverty ever in history, how we are combating human trafficking (a 32 Billion dollar “industry”), and how the church’s job is shalom – the flourishing of creation.

It was a great experience, and I’m glad I went. I was left with a few nuggets that I keep mulling over:
What will I personally do with my economic, social, and spiritual “capital”? Where will I invest it?
Remember that Jesus’ yoke is easy: the closer we are to Him, the easier the load for us.
I’m reminded of a comment from my missionary friend, who wasn’t at the conference: “Business can never be mission unless work is worship.”

Let’s remember that whatever we do today, we do it for His Glory.

A few pictures…

Marie went to college with Mike and Shannon. We lived in Moldova with them. To say that Marie and the girls were a little jealous is an understatement.

When you meet a mutual friend of your good buddy from Thousand Oaks. 🙂

Sight-seeing with new friends from the UK and Romania.

Philadelphia is beautiful!

Just a little liberty bell.

This is what you take when your wife says “please take more pictures!” :-p

Ended the week with another visit, this time friends from SoCal, plus we were able to present at their church!

life without dad

By addysengrace, america, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, school, travel No Comments

Whelp. We are three weeks into this USA homeschooling adventure and so far so good. It is weird not having kids go off every morning and come home every afternoon. There are some parts we really miss: the ease of uniforms, knowing that no matter what we are all ready for the day at 8am, and friends! On the other hand, there are some parts that are really nice: less stressful mornings, getting carried away and doing geography or science all day long and it doesn’t matter! And of course we are making friends. It just takes time and energy especially when you miss your other friends. We started gymnastics (Addy goes 5x a week and is finally…calm. Ha!) Mercy has karate twice a week and loves it, plus her Sensei said she is a nature and has the perfect personality for karate. We go to AWANA on Sunday afternoons at the church literally next door, Sierra Grace. Plus we will be going to field trips and activities through our school, Inspire Charter School.

Christian had his first week of solo traveling for Hope Takes Root (brand new site coming SOON!). He was able to attend a very interesting and helpful conference called BAM in Philidelphia. It was everything and more: inspirational, helpful, challenging, a networking opportunity, the list goes on! He is still traveling so I will have to wait until he gets home to get all the details. More to come. 😉 He was able to start the trip by visiting our friends, Mike and Shannon (and their boys) in Titusville. We spent a year in Moldova with them and they are some of our most awesome+like minded friends. The girls and I tried not to be too jealous! He is now spending the weekend in Harrisburg with other friends, originally from Thousand Oaks. He gets home early Tuesday morning.

It started well but included a little bug. Whoops.

Thank goodness it was short lived so while big sister had a middle school activity (what the goodness?), this little person and I went on a date.

Yesterday we tackled the shopping. We went to a USA mall which confused the girls (“where’s the grocery store, mama?”) to get my phone fixed. Then we did Sprouts and WalMart. My children think the Sprout’s cart is hysterical. Then we found Ursuletul Tedi which made their day but they wanted to know why tedi was spelled “so weird.: :-p

And let’s be honest. Everything is new or interesting. Why did Sprouts need to tell me my corn syrup came from corn? Does corn syrup every come from beets or wheat? And what in the world are boiled peanuts? Did I just miss this growing up or has the South, USA come to California?

the goodbyes are the painful part

By addysengrace, bucuresti, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, romania No Comments

as our departure gets closer, the reality is setting in. we have been trying to simply enjoy each moment. here are few of my favourite photos. <3 bulgarian day trip fun!

our last community group, including gluten free chocolate cake and a beautiful wooden puzzle of romania with the names of everyone in our group. <3 park fun with good friends.

special dolls and special skirts.

our last sunday. <3

life as we know it

By addysengrace, adoption, christian, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, travel No Comments

I apologise that we have been so quiet. It has been an interesting few months, with lots and lots of…busy-ness. We have been writing our newsletters somewhat regularly. If you want to know exactly what we have been up to, it is probably easier to read our last three newsletters.

1: adoption
2: ethiopia
3: summer plans

But if you don’t have time, here is a short summary of life in the Klein-Burtt household. 😉
1: started praying about life changes (God works in quiet and mysterious ways!).
2: started an international Colombian adoption.
3: officially decided to move to Ethiopia and start a new ministry+social enterprise with Hope Takes Root (run by Marie’s brother and his wife, Aaron and Cacey).
4: began planning a USA furlough that will include laying the ground work for our new ministry in Ethiopia, finishing our Colombian adoption, traveling around and speaking at churches and even starting Amharic language lessons!

That is the shortest version ever — so if it doesn’t make sense, definitely read our newsletters! We are in the throes of packing and it is definitely emotional plus a lot of work. One minute we are laughing and talking about our new brothers or sisters or living with Grammie and Pops or life in Ethiopia and the next minute we are crying or feeling angry as we process this transition and loss. Keep us in your prayers as we walk through this crazy life transition.

One last thing before some awesome photos. 😉 Please be sure to follow along with our adoption — we would love nothing more than to walk this journey with you. This is our page telling about it and this is our fundraising site. We would be more than blessed if you wanted to share it via Facebook, Instagram, word of mouth, whatever!

And finally, pictures of our summer family vacation! We have been planning and looking forward to this trip for about 15 months and it was well worth the wait! We spend 10 days in Italy with family — five days on the edge of Lake Como and five days in Venice. Personally, I fell in love with Venice. Such a crazy cool city.

We made it!

But oh so tired.

Beautiful Lake Como

Getting right down to business. :-p

These three were so excited to be reunited.

Swim day!

Quick stop over in Milan.

Venice is beautiful!

Murano and Burano adventures

Cutest weirdos

Gelato every day!

Our last dinner in Italy.

Headed to the airport in the early hours of the morning.

fund raising here we go!

By addysengrace, adoption, america, christian, crafts, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, romania, travel No Comments

Our Adoption Store

We wil be selling various handmade goods to raise money for our adoption! All donations will go through Lifesong for Orphans, an organization that takes 0% of what you give. We are very excited to start off by offering you these hand-drawn greeting cards by Marie, Addy, and Mercy!

Suggested donation: $3 for 1, $5 for 2, $7 for 3 + postage.

You are {always} welcome to donate more 🙂 . Please email Marie [marie{dot}burtt{at}gmail{dot}com] with which cards you want and how many. Then go to our mySTORY to donate.

birthday trio by Marie

car trio by Mercy

thank you by Marie

forever friends by Marie

leaves duo by Addy

kitty by Mercy

outdoors trio by Marie

kitty and fish duo by Addy

Other ways to help:

  • Share our mySTORY giving page
  • Donate handmade goods for us to sell
  • Buy coffee! 50% of your purchase goes towards our adoption plus 100% of profit goes to orphan care

spring breaking it

By addysengrace, bucuresti, christian, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, romania No Comments

freckles –

weird zucchini –

science –

crafts –

date with mama –

that time it snowed while we were on spring break so mama bought organic gluten/soy/corn free chocolate that costs an arm and a leg –

cute new dresses from grandma ducky –

that time we finished unpacking almost two months after moving (does not include putting things on the walls) –

hair cuts (i think she looks so much like my mama here) –

buns and more buns –

game nights –

lazy mornings –

painting a big and little version of the sun –

come on, it’s obvious (aka strumful cu ochilari = the smurf with glasses) –

the sun came back and the freak winter weather went away –

little girls that buy gifts for their big sisters –

so much lego construction going on –

and lots of dress up too –

exhaustion –

oh you know…christmas?

By addysengrace, bucuresti, christian, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, romania No Comments

so there was this one time…ok fine this happens often…that i find drafts of posts i meant to post but i didn’t and i don’t know why. i think i wanted to write something but i didn’t have time. so i am not going to write anything. this is just parts of our life this past december. enjoy. or don’t. 😉

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the beginning of the one year

By addysengrace, america, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, noelantruth One Comment

dear son,

today is the day i didn’t want to come. i don’t know why but this one year mark feels so final, so complete, so deep, so real, so raw, so very much the end.

today is the anniversary of the day i decided to love you as my son.

sunday, february 14th, 2016.

i will never forget it. i will never forget how i felt when i knew in my heart the answer was yes. i will never forget the moment i loved you as my son.

i have flashed back to this day a million times this past year. i have wondered if i made the right choice. i have wondered if i should have protected addy and mercy better or protected my heart better.

many people have told me, “marie, you made the right choice. i truly believe you saved noelan’s life from someone threatening to hurt him if he wasn’t out of their home.”

but i realize something else, sweet boy of mine.

i realize that you saved my life.

you have taught me to love in a way i didn’t know possible. you have taught me to love addy and mercy and christian in a way i didn’t understand before i loved and lost you. you have shown me the heart of the Father in an intimate way i would never had understood without you. i have loved you and lost you and yet i still love you.

i will always love you sweet boy and i will always be your mama. but i miss you noelan truth. and i don’t think that i will ever stop missing you.

love, mama

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he’s thirty six 

By bucuresti, christian, family, holidays, romania No Comments

this handsome fellow turned thirty-six last month, calm and collect like always. we started his celebration with a date the night before (thanks craig and alie!) that included a movie and a meal, aka a ginormous hamburger. i absolutely love time with this guy. there is never a boring moment and before we know it, the evening is over.

we finished his celebration on his actual birthday with home cooked mexican food and cookie bars (instead of cake).

happy birthday christian! happy birthday daddy!