Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Blessed Joy Noelle Lewis Aquino?

Tuesday Nov. 5th, after 13 months of being home with us, the Lewis clan stood before a judge to have our adoption finalized. It was a great experience. We have wonderful lawyers and had a wonderful judge. Yesterday morning Joy Joy sat at breakfast repaeating to herself, "Joy Lewis, Joy Lewis, Joy Lewis". Then she would forget and call herself, "Joy Lewis Aquino". Being quite frustrated at this, she would shout AHHH, then start over; "Joy Lewis, Joy Lewis, Joy Lewis".

Though the actual court date was great, it was somewhat anticlimactic. She's been with us for 13 months, learning our family and living the life of a funny little girl. Her spunk and humor fit our family so well. My brother, Chris says that if we had searched all of the Philippines, we could not find a better personality fit than Joy Joy. This is so true. She has the sweetness of mommy and the spunky sense of humor of dad....a perfect fit. She loves her Uncle Chris and Aunt Summer, but no one comes close to the level of my dad, Paw Paw. 

It is interesting that we have had few questions about her when we are out in public. Here we are a family of four very white people and a little golden brown Filipino. Yet no one asks. That is until the 5th. It was almost as if in the spiritual realm people could sense that this child was now ours. We were in Ben Franklin looking at some craft items when a little old lady walked up, "Can I buy that ornament she is holding for her. I've been watching her. She is so sweet. I'd just love to buy it." I said that she could...I have learned something about blessing. You may not want to receive, but in so doing you steal the blessing of the one wanting to give. So she handed my a $5 bill and we bought this pretty red sparkly ornament. Now we will always remember that day and the very sweet old lady. Later that day at the mall, someone else stopped to ask me about our adopted daughter. Maybe the difference is in her, now she knows that she belongs to a forever family.

As we arrived at church last night Joy proudly walks in and declares to all that will listen, "I'm a Lewis now". She knows she belongs. When picking her new name we wanted to make it special for her, keeping a part of her old name as well as the new. We also wanted to have a family connection. So keeping with the pattern of our oldest, we chose an "N" Christmas name for the girls. So we have Natalie Brooke and now Joy Noelle. My wife and I are Christmas nuts, so this is fitting. I will blog about the significance of their names closer to Christmas.

Suffice it to say, the Lewis clan is a happy family this week. And most importantly, Joy Noelle is a very happy part of our clan. She may not look like a Lewis...Welsh and very white, but by the grace of our God she has been grafted in just as we have been grafted into God's family through Christ.

I pray as you read this blog today, that you will find the direction that you are seeking concerning adoption. No it's not easy and yes it is expensive. But it is worth every penny and every moment of time you put into it.

So welcome to the family Joy Noelle. As you declared, you're a Lewis now!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Has God ever made you laugh? Sometimes laughter can come from a lack of faith. We think, "there's no way God can do that". At other times His challenges become laughable because we are so used to being uncomfortable. His next request is just humerus. The Shunemite woman experienced this.
2 Kings 4:11- 17 "One day Elisha returned to Shunem, and he went up to this upper room to rest. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Tell the woman from Shunem I want to speak to her.” When she appeared, 13 Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tell her, ‘We appreciate the kind concern you have shown us. What can we do for you? Can we put in a good word for you to the king or to the commander of the army?’” “No,” she replied, “my family takes good care of me.” 14 Later Elisha asked Gehazi, “What can we do for her?”Gehazi replied, “She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is an old man.”

15 “Call her back again,” Elisha told him. When the woman returned, Elisha said to her as she stood in the doorway, 16 “Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!” “No, my lord!” she cried. “O man of God, don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that.” 17 But sure enough, the woman soon became pregnant. And at that time the following year she had a son, just as Elisha had said." NLT

'"No my Lord' she cried". You can almost hear both pain and laughter in her voice as she grapples with her own faith. Do I dare to believe for what I have wanted for so long? Can I really see an answer to this great need? Too often we look at our situation and our own ability to meet a need, rather than looking to the one who has all power and the ability to answer any prayer or perform any miracle.

My wife and I are laughing at this point in our lives. I have just assumed the role of Lead Pastor at my home church, having served on staff for 14 years. Building staff and sharing my vision for the future is more than a full-time job. Before any of this came up, we were in the process of adopting a little girl...for all most four years! We brought her home last October, but the finalization is still ahead...hopefully in the very near future. 

So with all of this, a new role at church and finalizing our daughters adoption, God shows up yet again. The first time He told us to adopt I wept tears for the hurting child He would lead us to. I have to admit this time I'm laughing. I'm thinking, "you want us to do what? We haven't finalized the first adoption, but You are calling us to do it again?" Joy's adoption has cost us four years and $25,000 (most of which was raised). Now, You are leading us to a place that will only take one year, but will take $35,000 or more. (hear me laughing in the background.) It's not that I wont do it, I will. It's not that God cannot drop $40,000 in our laps, He can. But now Lord, now?

Yet in the midst of my laughing, I know that if the Lord has called us to adopt again, we will. And if we are willing, He will provide.
By the way, my wife has already found a little boy in China and is already picking out names! I told her "if you name him, we'll have to keep him. :)

So I wrongly figured this blog was very soon coming to a close. It may, in actuality, become a integral part of my life again. God always keeps us wondering what's next. That is the excitement of fully relying on Him

In the end, with my laughing heart and all, I thank God that He has chosen us for this task and I pray that He is preparing another little heart to join the ever expanding Lewis clan. 

So when God calls you to do the insane...laugh. He understands!


Monday, July 15, 2013


I realize that I have not posted very often since Joy came home in Oct. If you have read my previous post you understand why. If not, here is a simple explanation: until Joy's adoption is finalized, we have to be careful of what we post.

Today I am happy to announce that our final consent to adopt has been approved by the Filipino government. This means that all her paper work will soon be to us. We will then take it to our lawyer to have her adoption finalized here in Louisville. At that time we will change her name to, Joy Noelle Lewis, and she will be an American citizen. Pray with us that this last step will be quick and easy.

Joy is doing very well. Her behavior and attachment to all members of the family are normal now. She is blessing to us and our family. Her favorite person, no surprise, is my dad who we all call Pawpaw. Or at least we used to, until Joy started calling him Poppy. I think it may stick.

Joy's health is good. We have had no issues while weaning her off of one of her medications. This is a blessing. The Doctor here said it was a pointless medicine that was doing nothing for her. She has been off of it for more than two months, with no seizure. Thank God!

All in all we have had a pretty easy transition in comparison to a lot of our friends. We look forward to this four year process being behind us. She will soon have all of the rights an privileges of every American. As she continues to grow in her faith, I know that God has a divine plan for her little life. We are blessed to be a part of it.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Checking In

I know I have not blogged much since we went to get Joy Noelle. Her adoption is not finalized for several more months. During this time we are not allowed to write, post pictures, or give details about her. I can say it has been a very busy few months. She has settled in very well. Lots of doctors, dentist, and other appointments.

As soon as her adoption is finalized, I will fill you in on our progress. I will also post lots of pictures for you to see.

Thanks for standing with us during this process.