Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The homeschool group hosts an annual Father Daughter Dance each year, and it is something the girls look forward to greatly. This year was Jenny and Sarah's first time attending. As you can see - they had LOTS of fun:
I got to work the food table and wander around taking pictures. The most precious moment of the night was when Jenny waited eagerly to "learn how to dance" during a slow song with her dad. She was very nervous about doing it wrong, but concentrated so hard to learn the steps. I took this sweet picture - she was so proud of herself.
I can't even imagine this sweet girl not being here with us, and we were so close to saying "it was to much" when trying to add her on to the almost finished adoption of Sarah. Thank you Dick, Michael, Dr. J., and Denise for believing in us and helping us quickly get the information we needed. We were so nervous, and the video, info, and pics we received -literally 24 hours after we requested them - enabled us to confidently confirm in our hearts that this was our daughter. (even though the medical opinion was really, really, bad news - you know it's your daughter when you "just don't care." :) I think back to my "Beauty for Ashes" post, and I'm so blessed to see this beautiful girl blooming in her new life.
But back to the fun...all the homeschool girls were so cute - especially the littlest ones. Jennifer's daughter, home 2 months and a cancer survivor, joined right in the party!
Did I mention that Homeschool Dads rock?! I've never seen such a fun bunch of guys - and my Pastor Richard Brown leads the pack.
It's such a wonderful event where the girls can have fun with their dads, learn to dance, and not worry about all the nervousness and awkwardness of a date-dance sort of thing.
Thanks to all who made this night magical for our girls.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
In this current climate of political vitriol, increasing immorality, and growing hostility towards Christian ethic worldwide, it’s easy to get agitated and demoralized when reading the news. God is clear that man can accomplish little apart from Him, and unfortunately this truth is evident wherever the gospel has been marginalized – particularly here in America. As the book of Hebrews states, those who have tasted of the goodness of God, and then turn away, are worse off than those who had never known at all.
Christ’s answer to facing such times is clear: overcome evil with good. The simplicity of such an approach invites scorn from those who would strategize the “Christian comeback” or legislate morality, but the gospel is clear that without Jesus, you are only sweeping the house clean for the next domestic despot. A quick study of history makes that evident, as hopeful nations and people with good intentions entrusted their futures to the likes of Hitler, Mao, and Stalin.
So how then do we now live? With the simple gospel of Jesus Christ on our lips, and the love of our neighbors in the works of our hands. This “strategy” won’t guarantee the political results or cultural direction we want, but it should produce a harvest of righteousness and peace in our own lives that will be a light to a lost and empty generation.
The good we do will not likely be memorialized in the annals of civilization. Bringing soup to a sick friend, making an encouraging card for a missionary, or knitting hats for orphans and widows are not the great feats of talented men. But they are the most approved actions by heaven, pure and faultless religion, according to scripture.
Jesus was not naïve and lived in more turbulent times than we do. His simple admonition was the Wisdom of Heaven and we would be wise to heed it. Every now and then, the simplicity of the gospel hits hard and we must re-think our personal lives and goals. Praying the Lord will light our paths today, and we will meditate on the things of Philippians 4:8:
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worth of praise, think about these things. Whatever you have heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
ps... "Reece" and "Oliver" (see photos below) are still looking for their family. Please pray for these babies to find a home soon.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Last year, we sort of celebrated birthdays - about a month after they actually happened. Neither girl seemed to mind or know that the date was off. Birthdays are not a celebrated event for most orphans, and they had no expectations. But THIS year is different. I had a list of hoped for items - all small - but there was an expectation that someone cared.
Jenny has bloomed over the last year - become more confident, self controlled, and focused. She has kept her joy and sweet character, and lost her insecurity and inability to take anything seriously. She knows we love her and that she is valued by us - and valuable to God. She shines Jesus daily, and is a good friend to her sisters. She understands the importance of truth in relationships - all things that were foreign to her before. We are grateful to God for this beautiful child.
But life wouldn't be nearly as fun without her! Smarty pants Sarah just got "kicked out" of the Reading Recovery program at school - after scoring in the 86th percentile with less than a year home...This girl is going places - if we can just keep her focused.
Katie has taken up violin - she is perfect - and everyone else thinks so, too. :) She is quiet and helpful - and diligent in school. She cooks, crotchets, and generally navigates life with ease. (unless it involves moving vehicles and airplanes where she has terrible motion sickness.) :)
Rachel is barrels of fun. She loves to laugh like me (and at me) and she is a great role model for her sisters. She is participating in several piano competitions soon, and so the house is filled with music. Her selflessness inspires me daily.
Every now and then I think what may have happened if I'd somehow "missed" these girls. If Chris F. hadn't posted on the advocate group about Jenny, or we had been afraid to take a chance on Katie (complex CHD) or if I'd believed the report that Sarah "didn't want to be adopted." Finally, what if we'd never sat down in the year 2000 and watched that Christian TV show about the orphan situation in China - and decided to pursue an adoption that morning? It frightens me to think how invisible these girls were - but encourages me to see God's faithfulness in bringing them to light.
One year ago
Thank you, God, for these blessings. May others find treasures of their own.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10