Friday, April 28, 2017

Don't You Hear His Tapping?



It's Friday. It's beautiful outside. The Lord has been blessing us abundantly with donations for our Mary. I could sit here content and enjoying my first day off in a very long time.


But then I would miss the amazing opportunity of sharing with you about four familes.


Four crazy, what we saw changed our lives, we have room at the table, adoption-loving families who are either across the ocean or packing their bags because they are leaving in a matter of days...

Three families have adopted and adopted again.  Some have adopted and adopted and adopted etc...

In the eyes of the world - they are nuts!!

Truly!

In the eyes of the One who matters most... they are doing exactly what He has called them to do.

Of course they are not fully funded.

Yet, they are still going.

Trusting. Believing. Relying on the One who has called them.

Four families.


The Steinhoff's are adopting these two lovies.... They have children from every part of the world and have no problem finding room at their table for two more. I love this family!! I've had the privilege of meeting them at the reunions!! They are about $2,200 short of funds. Their grant account needs to read $5,200 to be fully funded.




The Hefner Family is adopting this precious little lovie and I can't wait to see her.  Rob and I had the privilege of spending time with the Hefners on their last adoption. They are the sweetest family in the world!! They are still 5,000 short of being funded but it hasn't stopped them. They are currently IN COUNTRY and are getting to spend time each day loving on their new lovie!!  Their grant account needs to read $7,000 to be fully funded.







The Thorp family had their hearts broken when they brought home two treasures a few years.  It was the kind of heart breaking that is calling them to go back to rescue a sweet girl from a life on the streets.  I haven't had the privilege of meeting the Thorps but they are doing us a great kindness by carrying some of our precious documents across the ocean for us!!  They are leaving on Monday and are still $3,600 short of funds. Their grant account needs to read $6,500 to be fully funded.



The Thomas family is adopting a precious little girl they were able to host last summer. She stole their hearts.  Pure and simple theft.  They have been racing like mad since she left to bring her home for good. Doesn't she fit quite nicely between them??? They are leaving next week!! They are still $3,000 short of being fully funded. Their grant account needs to read 6,600 to be funded.


All four families are responding to the Lord's tapping on their hearts.

God calls some to adopt.

He calls the rest of us to come alongside those families.

He taps on our hearts to give.

On this Friday... will you pick one, two, three or four of these families and give? They are all at the end of the process.  Every single donation - whether five dollars or five hundred - is a gift. Money is not stopping them but it is also a huge huge stress for each of them.


If I didn't share about them... you wouldn't know... now that you know....

Don't you hear the Lord tapping?


And here's a special incentive...

If you give within the next 48 hours - whether five or five hundred - to any or all of the families - let me know because I have a sweet little gift I want to send someone.


Donate and leave a comment either here or on facebook or e-mail me at covenantb@yahoo.com and on Sunday I will pick a name and send this sweet chocolate to one of you!

It's my way of saying thank you.









Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Aaron's Tower





Aaron's Tower...



Created using his feet and his hands.


-------------------------------------------

John and I traveled to Shriners on Monday for brace adjustments...We went up on Monday and came back early early early Tuesday morning so John could go to school.

Early early early tomorrow morning I'm off to Ohio for the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati. Poor John drew the short straw and is traveling with me. We will be home Sunday afternoon.

On Friday, Rob and Ben are doing the MACHE convention in Frederick, MD and Aaron is going with them. 


Then on Monday morning Rob, Ben, Elijah and I will leave early early early in the morning for Washington DC to get our immigration fingerprints!!  One step closer to Mary...

On Tuesday... I will be face planted on the floor!!! 





Monday, April 17, 2017

Then They Remembered His Words...



What happens when the BIG BROTHERS hide the eggs for the LITTLE BROTHERS??


When they hide the eggs so hard that little brothers can't find them???



Mama and Papa help.


And Gran too.


And all is well!

Fun times at Grans on a beautiful Easter Day!

-----------------------------------------------

He is Risen.

Just as He said!


-----------------------------------------------

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” 

Then they remembered his words.




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I'm Leaning



When we sat down in January and shared our hearts about adopting a certain little girl... when I laid out my fears and struggles and resistance - my two biggest struggles were the paperwork and the fundraising.


I could not see how in the world I could ever find the energy to do all that paperwork for a third time. I know there are many families who have done the paperwork three, four and beyond times but me... I couldn't do it. It was a mountain I did not want to climb. It was the draining force that kept me from committing in December when I knew Rob was ready to jump. It was the thousand pound weight that kept me from saying yes in January after I read his dedication in our newest book. It was the barrier that had me face planted before the Lord. I didn't want to do the paperwork.

God lifted the weight.  He removed the barrier.  One minute I am praying and fighting like a mad-woman and the next - total peace. It was nothing short of miraculous.  I went from feeling like a weight was drowning me in the ocean to a deep-sense of God's presence and a light-hearted peace that the paperwork was not only doable but easy.  Adoption paperwork is NOT easy, and in reality it hasn't been all that easy, but the entire time we have waded through the bulk of the paperwork, I did it with a peace that passed all my reasoning.  I had one meltdown in a six week period. One time in a six week period I had a stomping fit over a set of papers we had to do. One.  I can guarantee that when I did the other two sets of paperwork that I had way more than one meltdown.  Ask Rob. Ask my sons.


My other barrier and one that was even bigger than the paperwork barrier - I didn't want to fundraise.

It wasn't just that I didn't want to fundraise - it was that I really did NOT want to fundraise. 


When I sat down with Rob and I laid out my fears and struggles and resistance... I told Rob point-blank that I didn't want to fundraise.

I did NOT want to fundraise.


I just did not have it in me.  The thought of asking again for the funds we need to ransom a child was something I just couldn't bear to do again.

He looked me square in the face and said okay.  We don't have to fundraise.  He set me free.  He meant it. I meant it.

We agreed in that moment of our 'Yes' that we would just trust God to provide. If that meant selling everything and anything then okay. We would sell.  If that meant borrowing then okay. We would borrow. 


For us, it meant leaning into the Lord and letting Him carry the financial burden.

The peace that washed over me in that moment is again - beyond words.  I was freed from a burden I didn't want to carry this time.

No letters to friends and families.

No auctions or giveaways.

No active, open fundraising.

I'm not against doing our own private selling of stuff, which we are doing. I'm selling quietly on e-bay and other venues. I'm not against having an RR FSP for donations or a You Caring.

But this time around, we are not actively seeking donations.

This blogpost is it.

I needed to share my heart on this subject because many have asked when I am going to do a giveaway. 

I'm not.

I will gladly and lovingly raise money for other orphans or other families.

I will not be doing that for us.

This is not a backward attempt to get donations.  I am not writing this as a manipulation tactic to raise funds.  I am sharing the very depth of my heart.  This time around we are just leaning into the Lord that He is going to provide.

I KNOW He will provide.

He's already providing. He has graciously allowed us to cover the 7,000 + we have paid out for all of our state-side expenses. Yes. We borrowed for part of it.  And that is OKAY.

He has tapped on hearts and in little acts of kindness - donations have been quietly coming in. I cannot begin to express my gratitude and awe over those quiet acts of love.

He has filled me with a peace that is beyond my understanding.

I'm a doer.

I'm a planner.

I'm experienced in fundraising and I could easily whip myself into a frenzy to get us funded.

I'm the calculator.  The strategist.

This time I'm the leaner. The weary Mama who doesn't want to ask one more time, but who wants her little girl home and is trusting that on every realm - God is going to move the mountain.

I'm leaning.  In His arms.  Trusting and believing.

The peace I have - it's unreal.

For Aaron and John we bought puzzles and wrote on the back of each puzzle, the names of everyone who dropped into our bucket for their adoptions. My dad had both of the puzzles framed and they hang in our living room.

Dad wanted to do a puzzle for Mary. So I did buy a puzzle.

Songbirds. 


We will write names on the back.  But I will not seek out donations.  Mary's puzzle may not have the mass of names on it that Aaron and John have. That is OKAY.

I'm leaning.

And I'm at peace.

Am I saying fundraising is wrong? Absolutely not!! I guarantee I will be helping fundraise for other families and for orphans in the future. I believe that it is often in fundraising that hearts are moved towards adoption.  I believe that fundraising not only brings relief to a family but brings awareness to the orphan crisis in this world. I believe fundraising allows the church to come alongside those who are stepping out in faith. I believe it is one way we can easily get involved.  Rob and I give whenever we can to families and orphans.  We will continue to give even while we set out to cross the ocean ourselves. 

Responding to the orphan crisis by giving is what God has very often called us to do and we will continue to respond to that calling each time He taps on our hearts.

But this time around we are not going to fundraise for ourselves.


We are leaning.


And I am at peace.


And that is the sweetest feeling in the world.








“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Change in Attitude

I am a lousy sleeper.  When it comes to a hotel room.... lousy sleeping is amplified times ten. When it's your husband's birthday (yesterday) and your son's birthday (Elijah- today) and you are 9 hours away working a convention in Nashville, TN and they are not with you...well...  I'm sitting here at breakfast feeling rather sorry for myself. 

I'm feeling sorry for myself despite having my oldest with me.

I'm feeling sorry for myself despite a safe trip over here yesterday.

I'm feeling sorry for myself despite knowing that sitting on my counter at home is our completed homestudy.

I'm feeling sorry for myself despite knowing that that completed homestudy is making its way to immigration.

I'm feeling sorry for myself despite finding out this week that one of the Threesome Weesome's family was just submitted and will traveling soon to get him out!!

Do you remember my Threesome Weesome??
Well, Chester has a family and soon... soon... soon.. They will cross the ocean and he will know that he is loved best of all!


That leaves Two Weesomes ...

Byron and Joey.

 

Two wee little guys from John's institute who are waiting for a family to love them too.

While I am sitting here feeling sorry for myself... they are orphans across the ocean with no one racing to get them.  No one is looking at their pictures and whispering prayers over their heads. No one is plowing through the paperwork and pinching their pennies to bring them home.

No one.

 

Byron and Joey


I have no reason in the world to feel sorry for myself.

No reason at all.

Seeing their pictures this morning has changed my perspective!!

As I go through my day today... I'm going to be whispering prayers over both their heads that God would move in hearts today for these two boys.

As I go through the day today... I'm going to count the amazing blessings I have.  A husband and a son who get to celebrate another birthday. A finished homestudy.  A little girl across the ocean whom we love best of all.  Four sons.  Four amazing, loud, noisy, crazy, food-devouring, messy sons. 

I'm blessed and I am grateful.

I get to spend the day telling people about BiblioPlan. I love sharing about the work of our hands. I get the pleasure of having my oldest son working beside me. I am comforted to know that dad is taking Rob and Elijah and the little boys out for a nice birthday dinner.  There is a little girl across the ocean... I get to whisper prayers over two little boys...

I truly am blessed.

I am very grateful.









Friday, March 24, 2017

The Bureaucratic Machine Has Taken Over


We have been waiting all week.

For one lonely piece of paper.

In the entire scheme of things it's pretty insignificant.

We will look back on this moment in time and will remember it is as a moment of frustration but will also be able to observe it with the perspective that only the passing of time gives us.


Each day I have called the office that holds our paper hostage.  No person answers the phone. That would be too easy. Instead I pour my heart into an answering machine. Pleading for mercy to an inanimate object that could care less. Hoping that someone on the other end will push the button and care.

After days of talking to the answering machine I realized I had two choices. I could pray that the person listening on the other end will do something, or I could forget the answering machine and find someone in that building who will answer the phone.

I chose the latter. I went on the website and hunted and looked and finally I found another number. 

This time I got a real live person. Someone who cared. Someone who listened.  Someone who was rather embarrassed that I had been trying for days on end to reach a person in their department.

Within just a few minutes of talking to a real live person I learned that my paperwork had never made it.  I was dead in the water and didn't even realize it. We would have sat and sat and talked to a mindless answering machine for the next century without any response. 

Thankfully, the person on the other end of the phone kindly forwarded me to the person who does clearances.  And in a matter of minutes I was able to send our paperwork directly to her.

And just like that our moment in time has passed. Our home study should be merrily on its way next week to immigration and then we will wait again. And we will pray. And we will go through the frustration that is inevitable when you wait and wonder and wait some more. Because we are at the point in this process when little is in our control anymore.  The bureaucratic machine has taken over. We are at its mercy.


That's why we pray.


And that's why we make nuisances of ourselves by making calls and talking to machines and being persistent.


Because at the end of it all a little one waits.  Her waiting is very different than ours. Her waiting is the quiet, lonely longing of an orphan hoping that someone out there in the entire world would love her best of all.  Her waiting involves the endless days of the life of an orphan. Her waiting is real waiting. Ours sees the end and we anticipate with joy and trembling. Hers is dreary and sad.


We wait and we fight and we make obnoxious telephone calls and we talk to answering machines and we go through every single hoop required of us because we know that our waiting will end her waiting.


And that makes it all worthwhile.








“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."








Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Who Decides These Things?


Why? Why? Why?

Why do I need to have a state clearance from the state of New Jersey that I was never a criminal there when I have not lived in that state since 1984 and I have a clearance from two years ago stating I was never a criminal there?  Why does that piece of paper expire after a year?? Why???


Why won't they accept that paper?

Why must I get clearances AGAIN from every single place we have lived in the last 6 million years when I have lived IN THIS LITTLE HOUSE IN THE WOODS for the last 23 years???

Who decides these things?

I want to talk to them.

 I want to tell them that it is absolutely crazy that two clearances - one from New Jersey and one from Texas - are keeping us from finishing our home study.  Rob was last in Texas in 1983???  Really?? 

It's nuts.

We are so close. We have been single-minded focused on getting through the mountain of paperwork as fast as we possibly could and we are so close.  Our home study is in final review stage and could be mailed off in a matter of days except for those two crazy pieces of paper.

Why??

I get that clearances are important. One time doing them is fine.  We did them two years ago. We were cleared in all the states we both lived in.  Seven states total. But redoing them two years later... that makes no sense to me and I really really think someone out needs to have their head examined. 

Seriously.

I'm heading for South Carolina to the Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville tomorrow.  I'm praying all the way there and back that TX and NJ kindly clear our names so that we can be one HUGE step closer to our little girl.
















Monday, March 13, 2017

Don't Ever Tell Me...

Our little girl with the boo boos on her knees?


The one who gripped our hearts 2 1/2 years ago and set us on the journey that brought John home?


She was on the Angel Tree this year.


She was on the Angel Tree.


We knew she was available. After we returned home with John she was relisted on Reece's Rainbow. We knew she was relisted but there was no way we could go back.  No way. We were never ever doing it again. I stopped looking at the children. I never ever looked on the pages for the girls. Out of sight out of mind.  Easy.


Until this Christmas. Someone out there picked her to be on the tree. Someone cared enough to put her on the tree so she could find a family. Someone was advocating for our little girl. Someone was willing to yell and shout and cry out for a family for an unknown child across the ocean.  Someone loved the least of these.


And we love the Angel Tree.


Which means that both Rob and I were actively paying attention to the tree.  Just about every day.  And she was on the tree. Her little face. Her same boo boo knees. 


There was no way.


That's what I said.  No way.  I told Rob that God would have to do a MAJOR WORK in my heart for me to commit to adopt her.


Not because I didn't want her. I absolutely wanted her. I wanted her in the deepest part.  If only someone would drop her right into my lap.


I didn't want the process. I didn't want the stress. I didn't want the paperwork. I didn't want the fundraising. I didn't want to jump off the cliff and trust God.  I didn't want to cry again.


I was the one who said no.  Me.


Rob was ready to jump as soon as he saw her on the tree.


Don't ever ever tell me that it is always the women who want to jump first.


I said no.


I couldn't see my way past the terror and the stress and the paperwork and the fundraising.


He didn't push. He didn't manipulate. He didn't argue. He didn't try to convince me.  He understood my trauma. He understood my resistance. He let my no be no.


Okay. Maybe he manipulated a tad.


Like when I suggested that we split the little boys up and put one of them in the bedroom we painted for our little girl. He said no. He said it meant the door was closed. He couldn't handle that.


Oh my. Don't ever tell me...  That was the day I stopped with the closed heart and started to ask God to change my heart.


But I wasn't telling him.  I was super super quiet about those prayers.


Then he dropped the bombshell that completely upended my Jonah ship.


We were finishing our book.  We were doing the final touches. Which meant we needed to dedicate it.  He asked me if I had any ideas.  I actually had forgotten that detail. My brain went blank. I had no ideas.  I could not come up with anything which is highly unusual for me.  So we put it off. Or at least I thought we put it off. What I didn't realize when he asked me was that he had his own ideas. Ideas he neglected to share with me.


Until a few days later when I remembered the dedication and asked him what we were going to do.


It was written.  If I didn't like it we could change it.




We dedicate this book to the daughter who got away.


At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:


“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”
— Job 1:20-21






Dear Lord!  I sat down and wept. Rob's heart laid bare. To the daughter who got away.  Our little girl. The one who said no. I would never ever change a word of that dedication.  God gave. God has taken away. No matter what, He is to be praised. So much said in those few verses.  The deepest deepest belief in both our hearts. We worship the One who has given. We worship Him who has taken away.

How could I say no with Rob's heart laid bare?  How could my petty fears stop us from at least trying again? How could I let fear keep me from experiencing more of God's grace and blessings.



A few weeks later we jumped off the cliff for our little girl with boo boos on her knees. We started the process. We contacted our social worker. We started filling out the forms. Then an e-mail. She has been adopted.  She's gone.  Forever to us.  She's in a family but not ours.  Found and lost and found and lost again.  How can it be? 

How can it be?



Our older sons had said yes. Our social worker had said yes. Our hearts had said yes.  Dear Lord, please! What do we do?


Have you seen Mary?


Mary?


Of course not.  I haven't looked at the listings for the girls in a very very long time. I especially wasn't looking for LITTLE Girls. So no.  I hadn't seen Mary.  I had no idea she existed.


Mary.


No, we hadn't seen Mary. We hadn't seen her, but we see her now.  We see her now.


We know loss. We know there are no guarantees. We know that the road we are on will twist and turn and possibly rip our hearts to shreds. We know we could lose her. We know.  But God is good no matter what, whether with torn robes in grief and anguish or sweet rejoicing. Faith is faith. It is a stepping out into the blackness, believing that God is ever-watching, ever-loving and ever-providing all that we need to take each step.








“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."











Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Room in Their Hearts



Rob and I were adamant - no more. We weren't going to adopt again.

These two sons of ours who have walked through our adoptions with us through thick and thin... they knew better.


When I approached them 5 weeks ago to drop what I thought was a bombshell... they just laughed. 
Yep.  Figured.  It was bound to happen.
They knew.
They knew.  And both of them... they were all-in...
Go Mom. Go Dad.
They knew.


We worried seven years ago when we considered adoption.



We didn't want adoption to hurt them. We didn't want adoption to rob them of our time and energy.  We were fiercely protective of them.  Elijah was 12 and Ben was 15 and we had never been away from them except when my mom died. 

They were the highlight and focus of our lives.



Aaron's adoption broke every rule in our book when it came to caring for our children.  Because of crazy circumstances, we left our 12 year old and 15 year old alone at home with their granddad next door for 6 weeks.  That wasn't the original plan. The original plan was for 5 days.  But that adoption took a crazy turn that no one expected, and we ended up across the ocean trying to convince a judge that adoption was a much better option for Aaron than living in a soul-sucking mental institute.



The hardest hardest part was only getting to talk to them for 10 minutes a day on Skype (goodness the internet has come a long ways in the past 6 years).  How many calls was Elijah tearfully asking when we would come? How many calls did we listen as Ben tried to reassure us in his young boy's voice that he was holding it all together.




 Adoption should have wrecked them after that.  When we came home they should have said never, ever again. 


But when we saw a little girl they both said go. Go.

And when grief washed over us it covered them as well. They lost the sister they longed to have. Their hurt was deep and they too struggled to give voice to the loss. But with arms open they welcomed a brother into their family. And despite living in the trenches with him these past many months, they love him deeply and would fiercely protect him against any foe.


They should have said never again. 







They should have told us no.





Instead, they laughed. We figured.  It was bound to happen.

Go.

Go get our sister.

Priceless sons who have twice now changed places at the table to make room for little brothers.  They laughingly are already planning on the new seating arrangement. Precious young men who are willing to share what we have for the least of these.  Big brothers who have room in their hearts for one more.

There are no guarantees.

They know this.  Grief could be our companion again.  The process could derail.  We may risk all and lose again.

They know this. They know the crazy. They have experienced the pain. They understand the cost.

Despite it all, they are standing tall beside us.  Risking as well.





Go, they said.


Go.






“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."






Monday, March 6, 2017

In Our Never Again



We fell in love with her picture over 2 years ago. 

A little girl with boo boos on her knees.

We hadn't been looking but as soon as we saw her we fell head over heels in love.  Our table suddenly became big enough to add in one more.  Our hearts were definitely big enough. But just when we were ready to jump, she disappeared. She was no longer available for adoption.

Days later, another little girl appeared.  A beautiful brown haired little girl with the saddest eyes.  So with joy and excitement, we committed to her.  Our hearts longed to bring her home.  We prayed and waded through the paperwork and raised the money and all the while we worried.  We worried we would lose her.  We worried that someone would snatch her away.  We worried that the door would close in that country of unrest. We worried. 

But it never ever crossed our mind to worry that she would say no.

She was a seven year old little girl.

How could she say no?

Why would she say no?

We loved children. We had a good home and had much to offer her.  We crossed the ocean to get her. We loved her. We wanted her.  We laid our hearts bare before her.

She said no.

Fear. The unknown. Wanting what we could not offer.

She said no.

No. Nyet.

It wrecked us.

I will not lie.

We left that orphanage gasping for breath.  We left with our hearts shattered in a million pieces. 

We clung to the Lord in our grief as we made our way back to the capital to decide what we would do.  We crossed the ocean for a little girl.  Our hearts longed for a little girl. We chose a little boy

It was a Godly choice and the right one.


That didn't make it easy.


Eleven years in an orphanage is hard on a soul. We went from grief to the trenches.


The trenches were deep and in the worst of it we vowed we would never, ever do it again.


Our grief we hid. The hurt too painful and the wounds too tender. We lost a child but there was no funeral. We lost a child who told us no. We lost a child but gained a child. Wasn't that God's plan? Shouldn't we be satisfied?


Yes. No.  We lost a child.


We crossed the ocean and lost a child.

We gained a child.



Days. Months. A year.  More. Grief nipped at us.  The memories of those five days crashing down on us at times.  A hidden loss only the two of us could completely share. 


Never again. We vowed never again.

Never ever ever again.


And here we are.


In our never again.


But not never.


Because God, in His gentle kind way has called us. 


We are risking again.


We have found space for one more.

We are crossing the ocean for a little girl.


Knowing the risks.


Knowing the agony of loss.


No longer naïve.  Moving forward with trembling knees.


We are adopting again.






“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."






Sunday, February 19, 2017

Quiet

I recognize that we have been quiet over the past 4 weeks. 

God has been doing a work in our hearts that I can't share right now.... in time. In time.

In the meantime, the little boys have been hanging out waiting for the day they get their casts off.



Pokémon cards...



learning the fine art of stirring dip...






Discovering you can still ride a bike with casts on your legs...




Learning the states and capitals because Mama teaches history and the test is next week...
 



Digging in the dirt...
 

Yes, Feet are just as good as hands for digging....


Oops... he's not a little boy....


Watching the progress of the new shed since our garage is being taken over by all the BiblioPlan books...
 

More states and capitals practice... ugh!!



That's a tiny bit of what we've been up to for the last month...

On Monday we travel to Philly for cast removal.

On Thursday I travel to Texas for the Great Homeschool Convention so if you are in Texas and heading that way please please stop by my booth!!

.......

“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

Often in the quiet is when God does his mightiest work!!






Friday, January 27, 2017

Thank You, Andrea



This morning I need to wipe a few tears from my eyes and take a moment to just say thank you.

In 2002 a little boy was born to a family. He was not what they expected and at first they grieved what they thought they had lost.  But as time passed they began to see that the Lord had blessed them with a very special blessing. He changed their world.  He gave them a different perspective. He opened their eyes.  They could not be silent.  As that one little boy altered their world, they were compelled, they were called to give hope to other families, other little boys and girls. Little Reece became a rainbow of hope around the world.

Through one little boy, Reece's Rainbow was born.

I met Andrea and Reece in person in October 2010. By that point about 300 children had crossed the ocean into loving families.

Andrea had helped advocate for all 300 of those children but except for a board member's children, she had yet to hold in her arms any of the children she had been fighting to bring home.

Until Aaron.


He was only a few weeks home. A scared little boy from a Level 4 mental institute.





He had no idea who she was and how hard she was fighting to get children like him out.
At first he wouldn't even make eye contact.

So we waited. We walked in the Buddy Walk.  We ate lunch together.  And just before we left... he let her hold him. He let her hug him. 


It is one my most precious pictures.

He wouldn't be here without her.

He wouldn't be sitting at our table. 

I can never say thank you enough.

She's fought long. She's fought hard. I've been honored and blessed over the years to have fought beside her.  I count her as a dear friend.



This morning she announced that she will be stepping down as Executive Director of Reece's Rainbow.

The Lord has called her in a different direction.  With 1,700 children home or almost home, many of the families are struggling to help their children heal from the trauma of their past.  The end of the rainbow is often hard as families find themselves down in the trenches with their newly adopted ones.  It's in those trenches where Andrea has found her next calling.  Her desire is to create a place where families can find respite and fellowship while they battle in the trenches.




It is a worthy calling.  It is a needed ministry. She has my blessing and support.  She has the blessing and support of the Reece's Rainbow board. 


I am sad. I told her that earlier this week when we chatted. I don't like change.



I'm going to miss her but I understand her heart.

I'm going to miss her.

Thank you, Andrea.

Thank you.