Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday Isaiah

Today is Isaiah's 10th Birthday.  And here I am - sitting at the exact same table, on the exact same computer, at roughly the same time, drinking coffee probably from the same cup, as I was last year.

Just for reminiscing purposes, I went back and read my blog entry from this exact moment a year ago - Happy Birthday Isaiah

And I decided to write a birthday letter again...

To my dearest Isaiah,

Today is your 10th Birthday!!  I know you are SO excited to be 10, so let me officially welcome you to 2 digits! 

Not unlike last year, my heart is burdened.  But I'm not burdened with sadness.  I'm burdened with excitement and anticipation!  I'm writing this while you, sweet boy, are safe and sound upstairs, still sound asleep in your warm bed. 
I'm ready for you to open your eyes and see the balloons that are adnoring the stairs! 
I can't wait to see the look on your face when you open your presents! 
I can't wait to make your favorite breakfast and take you to lunch! 
In truth, I can't wait to spoil you with our love and time today. 

You have waited paitently through every one of your siblings birthday.  You've seen their balloons, their favorite foods, their presents, but never once did you show a spirit of jealousy.  You have a heart that is so incredibly rare Isaiah.  It's a pure heart.  It's a compassionate heart.  It's a kind and generous heart.  It's a loving heart.  You would give up anything for your siblings or your friends.  You sincerely empathize with those around you that are hurting and lonely.  Remember the puppy at the pet store?  You had a nightmare that night.  Not because the puppy was was sick and dying or someone was hurting it.  You woke up crying because that puppy was all alone in his kennel and you were devastated that he was feeling lonely.  OH!  It breaks my heart that you still so clearly remember and identify with lonliness.  But maybe the feeling of lonileness breaks your heart so much because you now know what it feels like to belong and to be wanted and loved and you wanted that for the puppy.  Was that it sweet boy? 
Oh my boy, my prayer is that you NEVER lose that!  That this world doesn't rob you of how Christ made you!  That the enemy's lies, which form in your head, never take root in your heart!   

In your last Birthday letter, I said that your birth mom loved you, but she was unable to care for you.  Oh Isaiah, I never knew how true those words were!  Though I can't imagine how incredibly hard it was for you and Ruth that day daddy and I met her, I will forever be grateful for those minutes with your birth mother.  For now I also know why she chose the name Isaiah for you.  Isaiah, we CAN GIVE YOU SOME PART of your history!  Do you know how important that is?!  

I also realized that I never went back and told the story of how that money came back to us.  (You'll have to read here first to understand... Happy Birthday Isaiah)  (Well, short story version is that a complete stranger that I sat next to on the plane, as we were returning home from meeting you, mailed us a card and a check written out in the exact amount your present cost!  How crazy cool is that?!  God is SO GOOD!)

Isaiah, your smile lights up a room!  Your thirst and curiousity for life and everything all around you is contagious!  Your passion and your prayers is something I truly admire!  Your willingness to help is something I wish was contagious (for your brother and sister!) :)  You love and defend the Aggies as if you had already been to Fish Camp.  You have a natural athletic talent that is so awesome to watch.   

Happy 10th Birthday Isaiah!  We Love you and are so proud to call you our son.  I can't wait to see what this next year holds!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Isaiah's Bedtime Prayer

It's been a while since I've blogged.  And if you relate the absence of blogging to the possibility that my life turned upside down since school started, then you would be correct.

But something happened tonight that I want to both share and remember.

Our bedtime bible story was the story of baby Moses.  We read it, discussed it and then I prayed.  I then asked the kids if any of them wanted to pray.  Here is what ensued...

From Isaiah:
Dear God,
My daddy tells me all the time that I'm going to do great things.  Now I believe him.  I'm adopted just like Moses.  You saved his life because you had a plan for his life.  Because he was going to grow up to do something great for you so you kept him safe and alive.  Now I KNOW I'm going to do great things because you saved me and my sister Ruthie.  You saved our lives and gave me the best family ever.  I love my family God.  I love my daddy and my mommy and my brother and my sisters.  God, you gave me the bestest family in the whole world.  Thank you.  Thank you that when my birth mom couldn't take care of me, that you had another mom for me.  And thank you so much for my daddy.  Thank you that he plays with me and he teaches me all the stuff I don't understand, like rounding, but now I do, because my daddy taught me.  And thank you that my mom always makes me food and washes my clothes.  God I really, really do love my family.  I have the best family... 

And on and on his prayer went for about 7 minutes...EVERY WORD thanking God for us - his family.  For giving him a better life. 
When he was done, I couldn't even utter the word Amen because I was too choked up. 

I'm not going to lie, it has been a rough few months.  But in that prayer, all the tears, the heartache, the frustration that has been piling up in my heart, all of the hard stuff no one talks about in non-adoption circles - ALL of it paled in glimpsing the security he feels in knowing he is wanted, love, provided for and CHOSEN.  Not just by us, but by a God that loves him fiercely.   All of it paled in comparison to seeing a little boy feel the love of a Heavenly Father.  In that moment that Isaiah realized Moses was adopted to be kept safe, his wall of insecurity shattered. He knew he was also chosen to be kept safe until God is ready to fulfill His purpose in Isaiah's life. 
A new identity is slowly being bestowed upon Isaiah's head.  It hasn't been easy, but with each victory Isaiah has, my character is being refined and my heart is learning what true unconditional love and forgiveness really is. 

Thank you Lord, thank you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

To Be a Little Girl

Daddy, will you catch me if I jump?
And Daddy, when I ask this, I am really wanting to know so much more. 
I'm asking, "Will you always be there for me?"
For you see daddy, my heart is still so very tender and I need you to protect it as I heal and grow.  
And when my tears come, hold me in your strong arms, for that is where I feel the safest. 
And when I don't understand something, your patience and compassion are what is helping me to learn. 
Daddy, your love is teaching me to...



You see daddy, what I'm really learning is to be a little girl again.  
A little girl that's delighted in, for I've never had a daddy whose attention I captivated.   
You daddy, are teaching me that I am a beautiful, precious and irreplaceable child of God
that is worthy of love.
So Catch me when I jump Daddy...

And hold me tight...


And I will learn to dance for always and forever...

" bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes..."
Isaiah 61

Monday, August 8, 2011


I'm in mourning...

I took my 4 precious children along with 2 precious friends to an indoor petri dish of germs inflatable playland.  We haven't been in a couple of years, but I had groupons that needed to be used and it was the perfect activity for ALL the children - big and small, boy and girl. 

About 5 minutes upon arrival, it dawned on me...I was the only mommy there that wasn't with another mommy.  My kids still had their playdates but where was mine?  The thought completely took me by surprise and then left this little hole in my stomach.  My playdates are days of past.  Wonderful memories of a phase of life that is gone. 
When your first and even your second are itty-bitty, us moms live for playgroups and playdates.  They are our moments of sanity in a world that is full of dirty diapers, sleepless nights, choking hazards, growth charts and car seat safety.

(For those that might need clarity, playdates are mommies sitting in the middle of toy strewn rooms, oblivious to the noise, carrying on adult conversation over their 3rd cup of coffee.  We pretended we were getting our children together for their sake (like they really need to be socialized at 2), but every mommy knew the truth - these were OUR playdates.) 

Gone are the days when I turn my head and my 2 year old has done this...
We so gradually phased out from that stage of life and into the next that I never realized it was never coming back.  And that was 4 years ago!

My kids still have playdates.  But I don't anymore.  We use the kids playdates as an opportunity to run errands, grocery shop, clean or go to appointments.  I think we think we don't need them anymore.  But as I watched the mommies handing off their babies so they could run to the bathroom and overhearing mommies discussing what preschools they should send their precious babies too, or what recipes they make that their kids will eat, I realized that maybe, I need that mommy playdate every once in a while.   Because the mom handing off their baby is saying, "I trust you with my life."  The mom that is discussing preschools is unsure of what the future holds and only wants the best for her child.  The mom that is sharing recipes is inviting someone to share her life with.  All of these are invitations into her heart.

As my kids grew out of that baby and toddler and preschool age, I found I needed the help and the advice and the comfort from other moms less and less.  Maybe that isn't so good.  Maybe I need myself a good playdate!
So be-warned...if I invite your child over to play with one of mine, there is a good chance I'll be standing there with a cup of hot coffee for you!

(By the way...on the whole preschool thing...IT DOESN'T MATTER whether you put your child on a waiting list when she was conceived, or stood in line all night for registration or don't send them at all, your child will turn out just fine!) :)

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer in a Nutshell

OH.MY.GOODNESS!  Where did my summer go??  I thought coaching was keeping me from blogging, returning emails, phone calls, texts and cultivating friendships, but apparently it wasn't.  Apparently it's just me and my lack of sufficient energy required to maintain that level of commitment. 

The last 2 months have been incredible!  So many stories and adventures to blog about! 
That I WILL get to. 
Like when school starts in 2 weeks. 
I hope.

But in a nut shell...
After swim team, ALL 4 of my kids went to TBarM as day campers for a week.  WONDERFUL!!
Then we took off for Colorado where we spent most of July!
Now we are back in South Texas and all that my kids can do is look at each other, because it's so stinking hot!  They don't even have the energy to talk.  I.Totally.Understand.  So we are going Colorado that is.  To the highest incorporated city in the nation, where the high on the hottest day is 72 and the low is in the 40's and the sun shines every day, even when it rains.  I'll try and make it back before they need to report to school.

Oh, and I can not wait to post these, but we had professional pictures taken!!!  Here is a taste of what the very talented and fellow adoptive mommy-to-be, Jennifer Verme at Bend the Light Photography captured...


Thursday, July 7, 2011

That's A Wrap!

Well...I made it!  Only by the complete grace of God though did I make it. 
There were days I honestly didn't think I, or my children, could handle one more day.  But God promises His mercies are new everyday and whatdayaknow - that happens to be true; so this became a promise that I clung to.

You see, for the last 2 months I've been doing this...
And this...
And teaching kids to do this...
Yes...I'm totally bragging on Jaxon's dive.  But I'm SO proud of how far it has come this season!
Something I absolutely love - Swimming and Coaching (but probably wasn't the wisest decision I've made considering I & R had only been home about a month when the season started.)  But the LORD carried us through!  And He even brought us an angel to help.  I am forever grateful to her for the love and care she gave my children and she will forever be their beloved "Sammy."  Thanks Samantha!  I wouldn't have made it without you!  You saw me and my house at it's absolutely lowest and yet you still came back.  WOW~ I'm hoping time will erase those memories from your head forever. :)
Behind me are 40 - 60 hour work weeks; but I've been left with 176 children that I came to love, the greatest coaches I've ever worked with, an amazing tan (one that I will blame all my wrinkles on in a few short years), Speedo tan lines that someone my age shouldn't be sporting and an undefeated season for our coaches relay. :)

My kids don't seem to resent me and I'm still partially sane, which is the best I could ever hope for anyways.
To my children, thank you for your patience and your adaptability. 

To my Husband, you extended grace far beyond what would be reasonable.  Thank you. 
To my friends, forgive me for my abandonment.  Thank you for not taking it personal.  I owe each of you that I didn't return phone calls or emails to for 2 months, dinner at Chuy's.  :)
And here is a shout out to all those working moms.  I have no idea how you do it everyday.  God Bless YOU!

Though Isaiah didn't swim on the team this season, he lost no time in learning how to put on a cap...
And if he doesn't get the swimming thing down, he already has the making of a coach...
Where Ruth is, her BFF is not far behind... :)

So, HELLO SUMMER!  Oh, how I've missed thee!  With your lazy, jammie wearing, board game playing, movie watching, bike riding, snow cone making, playing till dark - kind of days.  I am committed to make the most of you from now till August 22!

Till next season! :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Anniversary my Love!

Today we enter into our 14th year of marriage.  But we've been together 17 1/2 years. 
WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE??!!  I don't feel old enough to have been married this long!!  :)

     I think back on my life 19 years ago and the dreams I had and the things I thought were important, and I shudder to think where I would be if God had allowed me to go down the road I had planned for my life.  I was an insecure, selfish, prideful, full of judgment and gossip for anyone that would listen, hurting young woman.  I came to you with a history of bad choices, yet you showed unconditional love and forgiveness time and again. 
(I know we joke about this, but I really think God prepared you, knowing He would call us to adopt, through the first few years of dealing with me!)
     In the Bible, this is how love is described:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.
    Brian, in every essence and meaning of the word, you are LOVE.  You are patient (more than anyone I know!); you are not envious, nor do you boast.  You honor others (even when I feel it's not deserved); you are not self-seeking.  I can honestly say in 17+ years, I have never seen you lose your temper, nor can I understand how you truly keep no record of wrongs (how is that humanly possible?  It's not, I know.).  You rejoice with the truth (especially when it comes to our children as they grasp right from wrong); you would lay down your life to protect us; you trust, you hope and you never give up.  We are married today because your love never failed.

What I love about our marriage is that you are my best friend.  It doesn't matter what we do, as long as we do it together.  From grocery shopping, to mountain biking, to adoption, there is no one I want by my side more than you.

I don't just love you, I'm IN love with you.  There is a difference - a HUGE difference. Trust me. :)
I LOVE that nothing phases you.  That when I lose my second wedding ring, you tell me, "Jen, it's just a piece of VERY EXPENSIVE metal.  It doesn't define what we have."  That when I'm stressed and behind on laundry (and groceries and housework because I've overcommitted myself once again), you just swing by Target on your way home to buy a new pack of underwear and socks so I'll not know that you didn't have any clean ones.  That when I had my one and only panic attack because maggots were multiplying by the millions and falling from our kitchen trashcan and slithering out from the pantry, you let me call you out of a meeting and rush home to take care of it as I stood OUTside continuing to freak out. 

I LOVE that you are the foundation for which the LORD allowed this family to grow. 

Brian, thank you for leading me and our children.  Continue to seek God in all you do and He will direct your path for this family.

I Love You because You first Loved me.  Thank you.  HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I will Love You for YOU

"He cries in the corner where nobody sees,
He's the kid with a story no one would believe.
He prays every night,
"Dear God, won't you please, could you send someone here who will love me?
Who will love me for me,
Not for what I have done or what I will become.
Who will love me for me,
Cause nobody has shown me what love, what love really means."

(These are the first few verses of JJ Heller's song, What Love Really Means. )

We've been home almost 2 months, and with that, comes an understanding of what our children have been through.  There ARE stories that no one would believe.  There are still tears in the corner where no one will see.   There are hurts and aches and insecurities and years of pain...
Oh, my precious children!  God heard your prayers for a father Isaiah, and He felt your pain Ruth.  He did send someone to show you what love really means!

I still look at you, and in complete humility before my King, wonder why He chose us?!  Of all the more qualified, more patient, more compassionate families in the world, HE chose us.  He chose us to love you.  To teach you.  To bestow upon you a new name and a new identity.  But all of this is NOTHING compared to the fact that He chose us to be the recipients of YOUR love - your life-sustaining, never ending, unconditional love.  We are the ones that are blessed with your laughter and your innocent inquisitions, and your delight in life. 
Some days I feel like I am on the receiving end of a miracle I didn't even ask for. 

So to you Isaiah, I'm telling you now and forever:
I will love YOU for YOU.
Not for what you have done or what you will become,
I will love you for you.
I will show you what love really means.
I will love YOU for YOU.  For the gentle, athletic, inquisitive, helpful and smart child of God that you are. 
I will love YOU for YOU. 

So to you Ruth, I'm telling you now and forever:
I will love YOU for YOU.
Not for what you have done or what you will become,
I will love you for you.
I will show you what love really means.
I will love YOU for YOU.  For the funny, dancing, story telling, gift giving, pure child of God that you are. 
I will love YOU for YOU.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bad Apple

After June 1, it'll be possible to hire a prostitue using an iPhone app.

No, you didn't just miss read that.  It says exactly what you think it says...

After June 1, it'll be possible to hire a prostitute using an iPhone app.

I keep thinking that this is some sick joke, maybe a publicity stunt that Apple is pulling, but it's not.  It's sick and appalling.  Women and children should NOT be for profit!  They should NOT be sold to the highest bidder!

To quote my friend Mark Langham at Conspiracy of Hope "As if the struggle to stem the tide of the sexual objectification and exploitation of girls and women isn't bad enought without Apple recklessly endorsing this app.  No way that pimps will use this, no chance that child traffickers will create false profiles and faciliate child rape for profit."
(That last sentence was sarcasm at its finest by the way.)

Here is the original story from Digital Life by Rosa Golijan:

According to ZDNet, dating service Sugar Sugar has managed to get Apple to grant its app a spot in the App Store. The curious thing about this news is that Sugar Sugar is not an ordinary dating service. Instead of putting together people who are simply seeking traditional relationships, it links up sugar daddies — wealthy men who are willing to shower young women with money, gifts, and other compensation in exchange for companionship — and their so-called sugar babies.
In more blunt terms: The service helps prostitutes and their clients connect. We've certainly heard about such services in the past —, Craigslist's darker corners, and an assortment of shady "dating" websites come to mind — but Sugar Sugar's app is headed to Apple's App Store, a place known for its strict guidelines and approval process: The SugarSugar Dating App will be available for download on June 1st through and iTunes, and will be compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry devices. The app will use GPS technology to instantly identify those seeking ‘mutually beneficial’ arrangements within the user’s vicinity. After ‘checking in, the application will map out the profiles of nearby members. Users will be able to trade stats, show photos or send messages to arrange an effortless rendezvous.

We don't really know how on earth the app slipped through the App Store approval process. After all, there are several Apple "guidelines" which should've prevented it from getting a seal of approval. Among them:
16.1 Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected

18.1 Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster's Dictionary as "explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings", will be rejected

18.2 Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (ex "Chat Roulette" apps) will be rejected

22.1 Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer's obligation to understand and conform to all local laws

22.3 Apps that solicit, promote, or encourage criminal or clearly reckless behavior will be rejected

Given that there are three guidelines which the Sugar Sugar app nearly violates, one which it might violate in some locales, and one which it most certainly violates by promoting prostitution — behavior which qualifies as criminal in many places — we'd assume that Apple would flat out reject it right away. But here we are — a few weeks away from the app's debut."

Please let Apple know this is unacceptable!  You can do that here. 


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day

If you've ever wondered how YOU can get involved and fight the injustices of human trafficking and sexual explotations of children, please go visit my friend and anti-slavery activist Mark Langham at his blog, Conspiracy of Hope 

He has some wonderful ideas on how you can honor and celebrate your mom while helping out organizations like International Justice Mission and My Refuge House

Thank You Mark for never ceasing to be a voice for the voiceless!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Guilt is NOT from the LORD

Ruth's birthday is in a week.  And it's all she and I have been talking about for about 3 weeks - the food, the cake, the activities, the friends.  She is SO excited at even the concept of a party for her and the fact that presents will be opened for her.  And because of that, everywhere we go, I hear, "Mummy, I want this for my birthday please!"  Well as wonderful as it has been to talk about it for her, unfortunately, that is where it has ended for me.  Between sicknesses and emergencies and just the daily life with 3 in elementary school and one almost 6 year old attached to my hip, my follow through has not been equal to my intentions.  Well... knowing that whatever we do for her birthday, it's going to have to be this Saturday (yes, like 5 days away) I realize that I better get a move on.  So I multi-tasked.  While grocery shopping, we swung by the cards and party supplies and I let Ruth pick out a pack of fill-in birthday invitations.  I filled them in and to save a stamp, I hand delivered them yesterday. 

Then the guilt sets in.  Not righteous conviction, but completely from the enemy guilt.  Guilt that I know has no truth or validity to it, none whatsoever.  Yet, it starts with such a little whisper that I give it a moments notice as it accuses me of not throwing her a bigger party.  Then the whisper shames me because I bought her fill in, from the grocery store, invitations, when I've always done handmade or spent an unreasonable amount at my favorite stationary shop for birthday invitations.  The whisper tells me lies, lots of lies, that I don't want to write down here because I don't even want to acknowledge them.  I only want to speak truth over my heart and my children - ALL of them.

As I'm allowing these lies to pass through my mind and trying hard not to let them settle in my heart, my precious little Ruthie walks up to me and hands me 3 pages that have been folded, taped and stapled together and tells me it's a present for me.  It is a letter she "wrote" for me.  As she translates her figures and shapes into words for me, this is what I hear...
 "Mummy, thank you for bringing me to my birthday.  Thank you for letting me eat a chocolate cake.  Mummy, thank you for my Princess skirt because I really am a Princess.  Thank you that you are bringing my best friend Gracie to my home.  I love her.  And you.  And Daddy at work.  And Jaxon and Isaiah and Chloe at school.  But thank you for my birthday.  The End."  (Her party hasn't even happened yet and she is thanking me for it!!)

I was in the middle of washing dishes and had to turn off the water, for my heart was overwhelmed with gratitude.  How amazingly tender and good is our God that He would use the exact child I am having such guilt over, to immediately discredit the lies of the enemy and then show me what really is important??!!
It's not whether I spent 5 days or 6 weeks planning or the amount of money I spend on invitations or party favors or decorations.  It's about celebrating the day that God destined, before time began, to bring her into this world.  It's about honoring her and enjoying and eating all of her favorite things.  It's about inviting her best friend to share and enjoy in the memories made. 

Oh LORD, thank you for coming for me at the most vulnerable times and for loving me through the insecurities and momentary laspes of judgment!  Forgive me for not bringing EVERY thought captive to you Jesus!

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." 
Romans 8:1-2
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I (Jesus) have come that they (us) may have life, and have it to the full." 
John 10:10
"He was...not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." 
John 8:44

Just because I thought this was cute, I'm throwing this in...
O.K., this has nothing to do with perspective...well, actually it kind of does.  It all about Ruth's perspective.  It is cold here today (shocking, I know!).  I think it's in the low to mid 50's and it might not even hit 60.  And this is coming off 98 and 96 degree days!  It blew in last night - no rain, just a cold front with wind.  Well poor little Ruthie has NEVER been in weather this cold.  But daddy put in a new slide yesterday and she was bound and determined to go play on it.  So I bundled her up in the warmest clothes we own - a sweatsuit from Gymboree and tennis shoes. :)  She lasted 10 minutes and came in begging for an umbrella.  An umbrella???  "Yes, Mummy!  I need an umbrella to not be cold."  When I was done laughing, I explained that umbrella's are for sun and rain but not cold.  She is still convinced otherwise though and as I type this, she is trotting outside with a Hello Kitty umbrella, bound and determined to stay warm under it.  HA! :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Matter of Perspective - Take 2

We have been home just a few days more than a month and LOTS of things have changed.  But the thing that has changed more than anything, is my perspective...on EVERYTHING!

Let me explain...

Instead of becoming frustrated that I have been interrupted countless times and have heard, "Mummy" 236 times already and it still isn't 11 am, I am rejoicing that I have children that want to come to me and are not running away. 

When I've been asked for the 150th time that day, "Mummy, pick up me please" ... or "Mummy, hold me please," I rejoice that they want my arms wrapped around their little bodies and they want their head curled up on my shoulder.  It's easier to ignore the hurting hip, sore lower back and arm that has gone numb when you're busy praising the LORD for the children He gave you.

When we hit day 9 of sickness, I am grateful that I am a stay at home mom and I'm not having to call into work for sick kids.  And I'm grateful that my kids are creative...
This was day 5 of Tent City.  Inside there were actual rooms and tunnels - very cool.

When I look at the laundry and the dirty dishes and know there is no way I will catch up...yet again.  I sing this little song...

Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're eating very well
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.

Rather than stressing that there is blood all over the floor and the ER is going to cost us a small fortune, I am praising the LORD for insurance and wood floors, which are easy to clean.

When we have a second trip to the ER, for a different child, I again praise the LORD for tile floors, which are also easy to clean blood off of.  And instead of sulking that it ruined a fellowship night we desperately needed, I praise God that because we were with our fellowship team, we had friends that were not only available, but that we trusted to watch our other 3 so Brian and I could go together. 

And instead of becoming offended at comments and hateful looks from another human being, I simply smile at them and thank God that he brought me one more person to pray for.

When my heart breaks for the umpteenth time for Ruth, I weep tears of joy that she trusts and loves me enough to open up.

When I become overwhelmed and am hanging on by a thread, I am so grateful that I have a Savior whose arms I can run into.  Who wipes away my tears and fills my heart with all the Grace and the Patience I need to make it through another day.

Oh, and I've totally had to let go of the expectation that car rides will be quiet, for I have a constant cheering section EVERY SINGLE TIME I get in the car.  If I'm coming up next to a car, I hear, "You can do it Mum!  You can do it!  GO MUM GO!!"  And when I pass the car, I hear, "YEAH!!  I knew you could do it!"  And this happens with every single car we pass.  Heaven forbid if I let a car pass me, you would think I just lost a gold medal.   I keep thinking it will subside, but not only has it not, it has taken on a life of it's own and gotten all the kids involved.  Oh, and green lights. I think the kids live to yell, "It's Green Mum!  GO!"  I will never miss another another green light again! :)

Isaiah just started school.  Here he is on his first day, wearing what now has become his favorite shirt...

Because I posted a pic of Isaiah, here is a picture of Ruth. 

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."  Psalms 25:5

"That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe."  1 Timothy 4:10

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Plea For Orphans

Adoption is a story authored by God.  It is beautiful.  It is redemptive.  It is a rescue - for God rescues us from an eternity separated from His love when He adopts us into His Kingdom. 

In most countries, children age out of the system at 14 or 16, at which time they are turned out into the streets, with little to no resources and little to no education.  70% of girls that age out of foster care end up being sexually exploited.  These are the children at most risk for ending up in brothels or child prostitution rings.  Though I could graphically describe to you the conditions that these children will be subjected to, this isn't the blog for that.  I'm here to make a plea on behalf of a few orphans who face a very bleak future.

Though I will always advocate for orphans of all ages, it's the children that are older than 6 that capture my heart.  It's those children that many see as damaged goods, not worth the time or trouble because of the emotional effort involved once you bring them home.  But, this is the LORD's battle.  For He loved each of these children before they were born into poverty.  It's to His Glory to restore and redeem their life!   Only Christ can bestow upon their heads a crown of beauty where only ashes had lain! 
BUT...the LORD needs His church to be His hands and feet! 

I've linked to the blog, All Are Precious In His sight, HERE.  I was going to copy and paste her blog entry in it's entirety, but I think you need to go over to her blog and read about the 11 orphans from Haiti that she is advocating for.  You never know when God will use a story or a picture to change your life forever. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'm Learning...

We've been home for almost 48 hours now.  But we've been together as a family for 10 days. 

This is what I've learned during that time...
  • Slippers means flip flops.
  • Sunglasses are a prized possession.
  • Flakes is a universal term for all types of cereal.
  • Crabs coming under doors and crawling over floors don't bother me as much as I thought they would.
  • Brian can officially take on 6 children in a Nerf gun war and still win.
  • Plaster means band aid.
  • I don't have the first clue how to cook Plantains.
  • Shoe shopping at Target the first day home was a very bad idea.
  • All children love cinnamon rolls.
  • Hugs and kisses is a universal language.
  • All electronics need to be password protected.
  • I Spy can be played anywhere at anytime and with anyone.  (And apparently sisters can be used as the color that you spy.)
  • When Ruth says she isn't ticklish it really means, "Please tickle me!"
  • You shouldn't give a child the combination to a combination lock because you might not like what they do with it.
  • Lice freaks me out.
  • Bubble baths can make girls giggle for hours.
  • Rarely will I be able to finish what I start without being interrupted or pulled away.
  • Emails will take a minimum of 4 days to get answered and on average 6 hours to complete. 
  • I have needed every prayer and encouraging word said on our behalf and I will continue to need them.
  • We are blessed with people in our life that are willing to wait out the 2 hour difference in plane delay, just to be able to welcome us home.   
And I have learned that I have the most incredible friends that know what I need before I know I need it.  That bring our family dinner to the airport.  Who stock my fridge and fill my counter with groceries so I won't have to go to the store at midnight.  That don't eat at the fundraising dinner because they are doing all the work.  That hang welcome home signs on our house.  That pick up our car and then bring it back to the airport so we don't have to pay parking.  That support us and pray with us and encourage us when the fears and the tears come.  There are SO MANY people that have played an integral role in our adoption of Isaiah and Ruth that I want to thank, but right now, to Allison Doan, Jill Goolsby and Cristie Martine, I have no words for everything you've done and continue to do.  You represent a piece of God's Kingdom to me.  And I will forever be grateful for you.   May the LORD richly bless each of you and your families as you continue to seek His will.  I can't imagine this journey without you or your families. 

I will close with some more pictures.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

We are finally together...

I'm sitting outside under a covered patio, listening to the rain pour down and watching the turquoise waves come crashing in.  I have 2 children racing matchbox cars.  I have 2 children coloring.  The kitchen is cleaned from lunch and a load of laundry is washing.  My husband is sweeping the tile floor. 

And in the time it has taken me to type these 4 sentences, I have been interrupted 21 times.  That's an interruption almost every three words.   

This last time was Isaiah.  He wanted to show me what he had written...
"I Love you Mummy."

Oh, my sweet dear boy, how tender is your precious little heart?!  So many people have stopped us and told us how lucky you and Ruth are, but I'm only beginning to realize the depth of how wrong those people are.  We, your mom and dad, are the lucky ones. 

I don't have the time or really the words to describe how our family has come together these last few days.  So I will share a few pictures.  Hopefully they will tell their own story.

The rain has now forced me inside, but the doors are open and I can hear the waves and the rain competing for power.   And all the children and daddy have come together for another game of Uno.

My heart is full and I am filled with peace.  And though I know trials and tribulations await us in this journey, God's love and grace will always be sufficient.  And I will forever be grateful and humbled that the LORD called us to be Isaiah and Ruth's forever family.