A sweet “going away” present

I thought Denver International Airport would be eeerily quiet at this hour, but oddly enough there are plenty of hearty travelers. Where is everyone going!? We didn’t have a choice, is it possible they didn’t either? Anyway…

I am drowsy at the moment, but a solid good night’s sleep has eluded me for a few nights now.  I toss and turn trying to control an untamable mind.  If you have read any of my previous posts you are well aware of this vast labyrith of mine.  So many questions today that won’t be answered until tomorrow and the next day and the next day and potentially only in heaven after that!

Team Nilsen, standing four strong, got to experience a fun-filled family get-away in beautiful Breckenridge, CO over the past few days.  A sort of fueling up, a hibernation if you will, before we are separated for a time during this adoption process.  Mom and Dad, headed to Africa.  Reese and Brynn holding down the fort at home, waiting with baited breath to hear every detail about our time with their new brother and sister.

I have been absorbing every tender moment together.  Taking it all in.  A snapshot in my mind’s eye of this moment in time, just the four of us.  Unfortunately, we will not get to bring Kelel and Seniet home with us yet, but for all intents and purposes they will be Nilsens after we go to court on Friday.  We will prayerfully wait for the courts to line up all the necessary paperwork which will result in a green light from the Embassy to travel back to Ethiopia to bring them home!

Lately, my conversations with God have been a jumbled mess of stream of consciousness thoughts.  Not out of the ordinary for me, but I suppose the static electricity my mind creates between He and I is at a higher wattage now than normal!

Once again, God heard my anxious cries of questions and concern and reached down to brush my cheek with a gentle kiss.  Whispering to my heart that everything will be, “alright, darling.”

During one of our family fun times at the hotel pool, I couldn’t help but notice a family that looked oddly similar to the one we will be in just a few short months. I sidled my way over to what seemed to be the parents of both white and black children and asked if all those children were theirs? “Just five of them,” she smiled.
I asked where the kids were from and she said, you guessed it, Ethiopia! I mentioned we were headed there ourselves the next day on our way to adopt two children as well.
What a sweet conversation we went on to have! They are a beautiful family and it was such an encouragement to my soul to see this calling lived out in front of me on the eve of our own travel.
I noticed that Mom and Dad were both sitting in the hot tub while the five kids frolicked in the pool…. All by themselves. Maybe I can do this, I thought to myself. 😉
They did mention it felt like a bomb had gone off the first year, but this blended family was truly a most precious gift from God. They couldn’t imagine their family any other way. Music to my ears.
I know it might not be too long before I feel like I am caught in the crossfire as well, but luckily I know the God who is an expert on the bomb squad. It’s possible I’ll be the one lighting the fuse…. But we will deal with that when the time comes! Luckily prayer is a great diffuser.
We will keep you posted on our journey! Bon voyage 🙂


  1. Katie says:

    Ahhh. My heart feels so much and too much to write here. Two things I will wite: 1. Love the last paragraph; 2. I LOVE YOU.
    Praying for you all day today as you’ve been flying….
    By the way, did I mention that I love you?


  2. lara lynn lewis says:

    Was the family the Schelhaas family? I grew up with Karen in Kansas City when we were all kids. Our parents knew eachother before her parents were married, her mom threw the baby shower for me(the baby!) and our moms traded babysitting a lot. Wow, it’s a small world! God had that divine appointment orchestrated for sure. Think of all of the little choices that led you to that hotel and that pool at that certain time! Awesome!

    Lara Lynn


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