Monday, July 30, 2012
This morning, I woke up to this picture on my phone. While we're all used to adoption photos, this child is special to me because of her story. She had waited for a very long time on the special needs list, her file pictures the only record of the years passing. One day, I posted her picture to our local homeschooling loop - right before Church - with my family clamoring to get out the door. It was with reluctance, as I thought an older child would not get much interest from our mostly young group of families.
A few days later, a young woman called me on my phone while we were at the pool. She and her husband had never adopted before, had two very young boys, but she described how God was pulling her heart towards this child. I thought they were an unlikely family - but talked for a long time with her about the process. I think I may have even mentioned some younger children to her - and figured I'd never hear from them again. I was wrong.
Carrie and her hubby have faithfully walked through a difficult process, changing their family dynamic in a huge way from early elementary to the challenges of teen years. What looked like an impossible idea was made possible by one young family's obedience to the gently nudging voice of God. I will never forget my own lack of faith about this child's chances, and Carrie's simple faith that God would make it work. We daily fail to recognize the power of God to move if we will just have a mustard seed of faith - and confidence in His care and provision. In the words of an ancient man: "Oh, Lord! Help my unbelief!"
Their daughter's 14th birthday is this week - the day she would have lost all hope of a family. Her future possibilities are now unlimited, she will know the warmth of a family forever, she has the protection and security of a mother and father. Most of all, she will know that she is a cherished child of God - created for His glory - special and loved by Him from the day she was born. In the words of Paul:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Well - the ankle is getting better - but I've got a long way to go. There's no doubt that God orchestrated this event, and I'm listening carefully to anything He's trying to teach me during this recovery. As I've posted before, my kids have been huge blessings and have really stepped up to the plate with cooking, shopping, etc. Once I was fairly self sufficient, I sent them off on our annual trip to Maine so at least some of their summer could be salvaged. The big guys stayed here to work and drive me to physical therapy, etc.
So Dad packed up four girls and the dog and made the trek north to cooler weather.
They're having a great time playing games and hanging out at Nana's house. In the meantime, I have safe run (read limp) of the house without doggies and kiddos to trip me up during these wobbly weeks of rehab.
But I'm lonely for the noise and chaos, and thankful I have my big kids here with me.
I've had more time to rest and connect with the adoption community again - and can't wait to follow along with many local friends who are headed out to meet their children. I also came across this terrific boy while reading through my friend Annie's website update:
He's bright, positive, and really wants a family. He likes fishing, basketball, and ping pong. He was recently moved from his foster family of 5 years back to the orphanage - and he misses them terribly. His best friend is very similar and even more dangerously close to aging out. His pic is below and he has until March to find a family. His hope is "to become a useful person" in the future.
Perhaps all this seat time of recovery was just to give me time to pray for these two guys. My ankle will heal, but a lifetime without a family is a hurt that never goes away. Please join me in praying for them to find families before it's too late. Prayer is the most powerful tool we have to change the world for better.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
Monday, July 16, 2012
As I logged on and saw my last post and all the cute dresses, I realized that some might think about how our girls are more materially well off then they were in China. While that is the case for most orphans, they care very little for the goodies and gifts that come their way. The joy in their faces comes from belonging – having a mom and a dad, forever brothers and sisters, grandmas, grandpas and even cousins. The security of knowing that love surrounds them on every side – no matter what happens – and that they are cherished by many. I don’t think we can quantify that feeling – and most of us take that status for granted - every day.
Today, I read about a boy who feels the pain of not belonging – who knows he is missing the love of a family – and who desperately longs for this attachment. His name is Joseph, and his story is here:
“Joseph is losing hope” is how it begins, and his story is heartbreaking. He is well cared for in a loving foster care community – but he is aware that of what he is missing – and aches for what most of us take for granted.
There are so many children, some in adequate or even good circumstances, others in horrific conditions, but all longing only for the simple status of “cherished child.” They don’t need or wish for entertainment, toys, or material comfort – just a mom and dad. There are so many who can be just that for a child – so many living on the edge of blessings - hesitant to take that first step. Read Joseph’s story and make up your mind to be that family for one of these children – here at home or abroad.
Do it for Joseph.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
We celebrated the 4th at Nanny's house and she had it decorated beautifully. As usual, the neighborhood party crowd pulled out the stops and helped with creative ideas. Mary M. is a party powerhouse! Pat and Sam brought their famous watermelon boat. :)
I created a perfect little "invalid outpost" at a chair and ottoman, and enjoyed talking to the crowd one by one!
I ventured out to get a few pics of the kids, cousins, and action outside
And the crowd slowly grew as Nanny's golf crew showed up
We had a delicious dinner with all sorts of goodies - but our favorite is always my Chocolate Trifle. We left it there since we are always tempted to eat it for breakfast!! The boys and I enjoyed talking to Mill and Rosalie who have even better stories than most fighter pilots! He's an OB/GYN who specializes in high risk births and has researched all over the world - including in places during revolutions and danger! They are amazing people and fellow fliers - the South American stories were best - you guys lived on the edge!
My sister and her husband have a penchant for dangerous living and made some fireworks guy's day by buying the place out. They lit off hundreds of fireworks on the golf course, and we could see the neighbors' shows as well - it was wonderful! (other than wondering if I was sitting in fire ants or if the gator in the pond was awake - nothing like our hostile southern environment) Uncle Bob, Connor, and Cole ran around with flashlights and walkie talkies - it was almost as fun to watch them run like crazy as to see the fireworks! Aunt Kristen bought glow sticks to complete the fun - the girls had a great time on their first Independence Day.
Thank you to the many service men and women who make our wonderful life possible and give us our priceless freedom. We are so grateful for your sacrifices - especially those who are away from family during the holidays. And thank you to Nanny and friends for all their hard work in making everyone's day so special and to my parents opening their home to such a crowd. What a fun night!
Thanking God for our wonderful country and praying that we can continue in freedom - not using liberty for license - but for goodness to those who need our help. The orphan, the destitute, the exploited, and the hurting in this world. God Bless the USA!