Monday, August 3, 2015

The Heaviest of Hearts

I write this post with a heavy heavy heart.
This last week I discovered that over the course of the last few years we have had Lost Boys in our midst that we didn't even know we had.

BROOKS                                                      PAUL
FLYNN                                     JULIAN
30520134459   30611223740
Do you see those 5 boys??

They have been listed on Reece's Rainbow for at least two years.  They daily live and breathe the same air my son lived and breathed.  I didn't know. 
I passed them over.

I had no idea they were Lost Boys.  I didn't know to look for them when I was there in December 2013.  I didn't know.  I haven't been their voice. I haven't shouted to the heavens for them.  I ignored them on Reece's Rainbow because I thought they were somewhere else and it is sometimes just too hard to go beyond the realm of what I know.

5 boys who were lost to us even though they were listed.
And not only these 5 but two more Lost Boys just became available.  One of them out of the laying down room.
  JACKSON                            XANDER 
7 boys. 
Plus Porter.  Beautiful Porter who has a new picture.
And Pearson who had a family but sadly they weren't able to bring him home.
Nine boys.
What can we do?
How can we be a voice to these nine?
They are the Least of the Least.  They are in a closed facility where few enter. They spend their days doing nothing.  They are living in a world empty of language and music and laughter.

My heart is heavy because I recognize the impossibility of finding 9 families for these 9 boys.  I recognize that the adoption of each one involves a huge risk.  I can't guarantee anything about any of them.  All I know is that the life they are living right now is not really living. All I know is that deep in their deepest beings they are longing for more.

This week Grady/Bey has been walking the streets of the capital.  Free.  His Mama found out from one of his caretakers that each time a family would come he would ask when he too would have a family. 

His family came. They came despite his diagnosis. They came despite the cost. They came despite his age.  They came despite their family circumstances.  In spite of everything they listened to that still small voice and they obeyed. And Grady/Bey is transforming before their eyes.  Is he delayed? Absolutely.  Is he worth it?  A million times over.  Just ask Melanie who is walking the streets beside him and marveling at all that God has done.
9 Lost Boys need 9 families who are willing to listen.
Does it seem impossible?  Yes.  And that is why tears trickle.  
But I serve a God who knows each one of those boys by name.  He called us for Aaron. He called the Hartmans for Judd and Bey.  He called the Marrs for Jonathan and Benjamin.  He called the Drakes for Boden.  He called the Taylors for Samuel.
I cling to that as I consider each  boy.  I cling and pray that as God calls, families will listen. 
A few weeks ago at the Reece's Rainbow reunion Rob and I were hanging out by the steps watching our two little boys playing in the water.  Two older boys walked over to the steps to get into the water.  I knew these boys as we had been praying hard for their release.  They were just recently freed from inside the walls of an institute similar to the 9 Lost Boys on this page. 
This was their first time at a pool.  Rob and I and a whole host of other RR people sat and watched the first boy go boldly down the steps and into the water.  He was the smaller of the two but braver.  He splashed and played and beckoned for his brother to come in too. His brother stood at the top.  Scared.  He tentatively stepped down to the first step and stood there watching his brother splashing and playing.  Finally, after a few minutes he carefully, oh so carefully stepped down into the pool itself.  When he let go of the rail and stood steady and sure in the pool he began to shout with glee and clapped for himself.  All of us around him began to cheer and clap with him.  It was the most poignant and precious moment of that entire week.
I write this post with great longing and a deep desire that each of the boys on this page will know life outside the walls.  I write it hoping and praying that next year, in pools across our country, 9 boys will get to experience the joy, the thrill, the simple pleasure of splashing in a pool of water.
All 9 boys are listed on Reece's Rainbow.  Some of them have substantial grants. Some have little to nothing.  All of them need families. 
Please take the time to look at each boy.  Pray over them.  Sow into their grant accounts.  Don't pass over these boys.  They deserve to be seen. 
Share about them.  Consider.  Just consider.  Please some of you consider. 
I know I'm asking for the impossible but I serve a God of the impossible and I rest in that hope.
BROOKS                                       PAUL
 FLYNN                                      JULIAN
 DAVIAN                                     PORTER
   JACKSON                                 XANDER

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Savoring the Moments

Our traveling days are DONE. 
The little boys and I drove to Georgia last weekend for the SEHE Homeschool convention in Atlanta.  It was a LONG trip but they had a blast. My sister went along to keep them entertained and my aunt lives nearby so we were blessed with good company and good food.

They loved going around the convention hall finding free treasures.  One of mine had trouble with the concept that you are only allowed to take the free stuff! 

Long Convention hours can make one a bit wacky!
And silly!

We were so so glad to be home on Sunday night. John was either car sick or had something else because the trip home included him using quite a number of vomit bags!  He looked a bit ragged by the time we pulled into the driveway.
They were two very tired puppies when we put them to bed Sunday night.  But they bounced back rather quickly on Monday when Papa got out his materials to pour a sidewalk.

Seeing these two lining up their wheelchairs so they could watch him work was too cute to pass up.

Sweet boys!!
I'm savoring these moments.

They pass way too quickly!

School starts in two weeks. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Walking Free

He has waited so long.  So very long.

He has sat day after lonely day in a shed filled with boys who constantly moan, groan and hit themselves, who rock back and forth to comfort themselves. He has groaned and rocked himself, wondering in the deepest parts of his being if ever, ever he would be set free.

Day after day.  Year after lonely year.  Spring, summer, fall and winter.

Until one day, not too long ago, when a man and a woman walked into his life.  A man and a woman who took his hand and led him out of the shed.  A man and a woman who called him by a new name. A different name.

A man and a woman who crossed the ocean to bring him home.

A man and a woman who looked past the rocking and the moaning and the awful smell of the shed, to find a treasure worth more than much fine gold.

On July 20, 2015 a judge across the ocean granted Bey the right to be their son.
Their son.  Behlan Job Hartman


A son.  A grandson.  A brother.  A nephew. 

Wanted.  Loved. No longer a Lost Boy.

Grady/Bey is free.

Not only did the judge grant them as his parents, he also did the unthinkable: he waived the 10 day waiting period.  This very morning, Bey walked free for the first time.


Cry people.  Cry.  Cry for a boy who has spent his entire life locked away. Cry for a boy who just this morning stepped out of those gates into a whole new world.  Cry for joy. Cry for joy.

I am.

I know the world he leaves.  I grieve all his lost years. I grieve the thousands and thousands of hours he spent in senseless nothingness.  I rejoice because all of that ended for him this morning.

Run free, Bey.  Run free!

You are a Lost Boy no more! Thanks be to God!


Please - the Hartmans are NOT fully funded.  They are several thousand short.  They are humble saints, and asking for help is not their style. So I am asking for them. If you could give, then I know they would be grateful.

These last few weeks have been extremely difficult for them.  Rob and I know full well what an adoption from that institute is like.  It is emotionally and physically draining.  Melanie has been alone in the village for weeks awaiting court.  There aren't hotels, or restaurants, or English-speaking people to talk to. Imagine how lonely and sad she must have been! Not to mention the gut-wrenching experience of seeing what she saw every day.

The next few weeks are going to be equally as hard as they bring their son out into a new world.  He's been locked away for a very long time.

Please give to ease some of their burden. 

Bey is so worth it. He is absolutely worth it.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In Brief..

We drove to Luray, VA last Friday for the 2015 Reece's Rainbow Reunion.

 We spent 4 wonderful days hanging out with ALL of these people... 
This is NOT everyone who attended the reunion. 

This is ONLY those who were able to show up for the group pictures! 
Oh My Gracious!! 
There were so many people that I got lost trying to match babe with family!
I finally just gave up!
It was too much for my brain to process.
If you can't tell... It was a LOT of people!
YES.  I CRIED.  Seeing all the families with all those former orphans.  Yes. I cried!.
This is another LOT OF PEOPLE group...  See my boys smack in the middle?  These were SOME of the Ukr*ini*n families and kiddos...
These four fight HARD for the orphans in their country.  We have our sons because of them. This was their first reunion.
8 months ago, John and Andre were sitting together at an orphanage wondering if they would ever have a family.
The sweet lady in the middle of them... Our hero facilitator on her first trip to the United States!  We were so so excited she was able to come to the reunion. 
We cannot thank her enough for all that she did for us this past spring.
We rested.





Hugged Yogi.
Met old friends.

Took the annual picture with Andrea Roberts - Director of Reece's Rainbow.

2010 - 2015
And had a smashing great time!!

Tomorrow I am off for the LAST convention of the year in Atlanta, Georgia.
Goodness the past 6 months have been a whirlwind.....