Saturday, October 3, 2015

Car Wars

Little boys and their electronics...

It's what we do on rainy rainy rainy days.
We also drag all the winter clothes out of the closet and try them on to see what will fit.  Trying on clothes with two little boys is quite an adventure.  It's even more of an adventure when the power decides to go out!  We pressed on though and each boy has a nice pile of wearable clothes and I have a few more gray hairs....
Ben called this morning.  As soon as I heard the sound of his voice I immediately asked.... "WERE YOU IN A CAR ACCIDENT???"
Actually I was not that far off.... 
He didn't wreck the car but his car was a bit wrecked.
That's Ben's car in the blue.

And that silver car... well... it decided it wanted to go on a joy ride. So without a driver in it, it just slipped out of gear and took a joy ride going backward down the hill. It eventually hit a light pole which broke and fell smack on top of Ben's car.

 We are counting our blessings. No one was in EITHER car and no one was hurt.
I'm calling the whole episode "Car Wars" or maybe "Car Story".
I haven't decided yet.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Two Happy Bike-Riding Little Boys

It's been raining here for days and days and days....
Rain and rain and rain makes for crazy boys and a really crazy Mama!!
So last night after homework and dinner ...  two little boys went outside to play on their bikes!
The first little boy went riding on a bike that was lovingly built for him several ago by some engineering and physical therapy students at VCU.
The amount of hours that little boy has spent riding that bike has made all their labor worth it times ten!!  It was the BEST gift he has ever received!
The second little boy...
That boy also went riding on his brand new bike that was lovingly donated to him by an organization called Wheels on the James
Oh what a happy little boy was he when he came a home a few weeks ago to find a bike built just for him.  It's a bit big but he doesn't let that stop him from pedaling around the driveway as fast as his arms can go!
Two happy bike-riding little boys.
They didn't care that it was too dark to see outside...
They were just happy to each have their own set of wheels.
And this rain-crazy Mama was very very happy to have them out of the house for a while!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Different Path

A year ago at this time the Lord was tapping hard on our hearts. 
We stepped out in faith on a path that seemed fairly clear.  Almost 600 of you stepped out with us.  You gave freely and lovingly so that an orphan would find a home.

Almost 600 names.
Every single one written on the puzzle.  Every single one. 
So many that we had to write the names along the bottom.
We stepped out in faith on one path and in the end found ourselves on a completely different road.
A road that led us down a different path.
To a precious little boy longing with all his being for a family to call his own.
We wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. 
We can't begin to express our gratefulness to each of you who poured into his adoption.  The 500 + who cared for a lonely little boy across the ocean.
His picture now hangs next to Aaron's on our living room wall. Aaron's framed puzzle containing 500 + names too.


Two framed puzzles that remind us daily of God's Faithfulness and the kindness of family, friends and strangers.
Thank you. 
Thank you.
And thank you Dad for getting both pictures lovingly framed for your grandsons!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

5 Years Ago Today

5 Years Ago Today!!
Five years ago!
He's been ours for FIVE years.
September 20, 2010 we officially and forever became his Mama and Papa.
I'll never forget that day. We bought him something akin to a hot dog at the outside market,
brought in a couple of punch balloons and celebrated quite properly with our soon to be freed son.
Goodness gracious I look at these pictures of him from five years ago and can't get over how LITTLE
 and ADORABLE he was!!

You rocked our world five years ago!!

Five years home.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fatherless Friday

Do you ever have one of those moments when you want to just shout to the Lord even when you are sitting all alone at your desk??? 

This week was one of those moments.  A moment of praise to the Lord that one more orphan is going to walk free soon.  A boy named Jonathan whom I met back in May.  I met him for just a moment when I was able to reach my hands through the fence that contained him to rub his head and look into his eyes.
He was inside what looked to me like a cattle yard.  Except there were dozens and dozens of boys and young men inside that yard. No grass. No toys. Nothing to climb on. Just boys inside a fence.  Along the back of the yard were benches under a shed roof. Next to that cattle yard was another one. With boys inside that one. Benches at the back under a shed roof. 
I only was there for a few minutes but the pictures, the sounds, the boys - those images will never ever leave me.  They are firmly planted on my very soul. 
Boys are not designed to spend their days roaming inside cattle yards.
So this week when I learned that Jonathan will soon be let out of that yard to run free in grass, to sleep in a clean bed with clean sheets, to eat good food and most of all to have a family who loves him best of all - I shouted to the heavens a THANK YOU JESUS!
He's not the only boy there with the chance to walk free.
There are several others who could walk free too. I have wanted to share about them ever since I breathed their air back in May.  But things in our lives have been challenging and hard on so many levels and the words I've needed just haven't been there.  So when Jonathan found a family this week I shouted for joy to His Creator who cares about one little boy stuck inside a cattle yard.
There are two others who are running out of time. They both age out in a matter of months. If they are not adopted they will spend the rest of their lives locked away. I am sharing both of these boys here and letting my dear friend who knows them best of all tell you a tiny bit about them. 
"To know him is to love him. Micah is a favorite of our volunteer teams. He is so funny! He speaks and always says “thank you” and “goodbye”. Somehow he is super polite! He loves attention and will always call out to show you what he is doing, or to get a hug. He will definitely need a family who can give him time and attention.
Micah screams when he is excited, and cries easily when he is hurt or someone takes a toy from him. He is full of emotions....
Micah lives in a hard place. There is absolute no hope for a future there. His medical needs are not managed well in his current environment, and it is my strong belief that he will not have a long life if he is not adopted. He has loads of potential. He is smart and eager for love."
Alex AGES OUT in December!
"A few weeks ago I brought him a little backpack because he loves bags. He was so happy he ran out, picked enough apples to fill the bag and brought them to me to say thank you.
He is nonverbal, but he communicates well. He is beautiful and smart and he has NO future if he isn't adopted. I love this boy!!!..."
So I know many of you will see the AGE of these boys and will see the bruises and rotten teeth and will look away because the thought of adopting an older boy out of a mental institute is just plain daunting.  Yes. It is. But that doesn't mean they are not worthy and that they would not THRIVE and GROW in a family. And the blessing they would bring to your family far outweighs the labor involved in caring for them.
Please see beyond the outward appearance, the diagnoses, the 'mental delay' words that scare off so many.  Please recognize the treasures that they are.  They are both 15 years old but in reality they are just little boys at heart. Little boys who get excited about backpacks and struggle to share their toys.  Just little boys in big boy bodies. 
Please help me yell for Micah and Alex. Please donate to their grant accounts. Please Please see them. They are both running out of time. The thought of them spending their lives roaming in a cattle yard until they are transferred to a place far worse than even that just makes my heart hurt.
I praise God Jonathan will soon run free and I pray with all my heart that Alex and Micah will be free soon too!

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Last swim of the summer....

Could they be any cuter???
We seriously hit the jackpot on cuteness with these two!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday's Mothers

It's Monday.
It's Labor Day.
It's supposed to be a holiday but both Rob and I are working while our little boys play happily around us.
We don't have the luxury with our work deadlines to take the whole day off, but I want to take a bit of time to share about three Moms who are LABORING in love for their kids across the ocean.
These moms are special to me because I KNOW THEIR CHILDREN.  I've met them.  I've cried over them.  I've prayed over them.  Two of them are my son's best friends.  He grew up with them.  He has a lifetime of memories packed inside his head that include those two friends of his.
It is a rare opportunity to be yelling beside THREE moms who are adopting THREE precious babes whom I have personally met.  The joy I feel for these children knowing that soon they will be free from the walls that contain them is beyond words. 
One mom, Emily, has already crossed the ocean and has met her sweet girl, Reilly. We cheered and clapped when Reilly said yes to adoption. We LOVE her.  We just plain love her. 
Emily is home right now waiting to head back over for court.  They are doing everything they can to raise the final $5,000 they need.  They have been offered a $1,000 matching grant that would ease a lot of the load once it is matched.  Oh Please Please Please help them match that grant!! 
And after you click that link above and donate whatever you can to the Knights... do yourself a favor and click the link for their blog because the story of how Reilly said yes is precious!! 
While in country, Emily was able to get pictures of the two other babes who have moms coming!!
I know their Mamas were going nuts to see their boys looking so happy and so full of life!
Just like Emily, Toby's mom and Wetherby's mom are doing everything in their power to raise the ransom for their babes.  I know this for a fact because I see them almost every day on Facebook selling stuff and making stuff and selling more stuff to raise that ransom.
It's hard work.  Don't we know it!! I know they would be blessed beyond words for some help too!! Every single solitary donation helps.  These boys are so worth it!
Toby is going to explode with joy the day his mama walks through the door and calls him by name.  He has waited so very long for that moment.  I can imagine that Wetherby will be beaming with pleasure when his mama kisses his sweet little cheeks.
Three children.  Three Mamas.
They are well worth sharing about on this Labor Day!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Fatherless Friday Treat

Brand new pictures of Charlie and Rebecca!!!!

And you want to know what John shared with us on Wednesday on that LONG LONG day when we sat and waited and waited and waited???  We were looking at some pictures on THIS BLOG of his lifetime friend Reilly who is being adopted by the Knights.  He was talking away in his broken English and we were enjoying his memories as we looked at the pictures.
When he saw Charlie and then right after that Rebecca he started chuckling and said, "They love each other."  I asked him what he meant and he said that each time Charlie sees Rebecca he hugs her.  She makes him happy. 

He has great taste!!  She's a beautiful girl!
Mamas where are you??  These two treasures are in the same orphanage.  They can be adopted together or separate.
They are going to be transferred soon so please, Mamas, hurry!!!
Please SEE them.
If you can't adopt... then please donate to their grant accounts.  It hurts my heart to think that money is holding back a family from committing!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Poor POOR John

Goodness me yesterday was a LONG and LONG day! Long and stressful and dreadfully hungry for our "poor POOR John." On top of everything, his forgetful Mama accidently left his Pooh Bear at home which was a HUGE oversight on her part.  Thankfully, one of the nurses was kind enough to hunt down a sweet stuffed animal for him to have. It wasn't new but it helped relieve some of his anxiety. 
  It wasn't until 3:30 that they finally gave him something to make him sleepy.  He was very opposed to the whole idea of falling asleep and did everything in his power to fight the drug. It wasn't until they put the mask on his face that he finally surrendered. 
John on drugs....
Despite being a child of small stature... his MRI's took a very very long time.  A very LONG time.
Long enough that he was waking up as they were removing him from the machine.  Thankfully, he woke up happy and HUNGRY! 
His favorite part of the day was when we stopped by Hardees on our way home and bought him some mashed potatoes, a biscuit and THREE pieces of chicken (without the skin).  The orange soda was icing on his cake. 
We had not planned on a day that would run into the late night.  We hadn't planned on eating hospital food and Hardees for John and Elijah having to fix dinner for himself and Aaron.  We definitely hadn't planned on coming home so late that Elijah had already put Aaron in bed and was looking at Minecraft videos with him to keep him company, so he wouldn't be scared upstairs by himself.  We hadn't planned any of it, but it was sweet to see the one brother caring for the other brother in such a tender and loving way.  It's precious to know that when days run long and plans change that we have a son who is willing to step up and take charge.
We won't be given any results until we meet with the different doctors later on this month and next month.  We don't know what the results will mean for John in the future. We will just take it one step at a time. One LONG day at a time.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Poor John

A few days ago I sent them upstairs to get ready for bed...

Good listening little boys... good listening....

We are taking John in today for 3 MRI's on his spine.  We opted to have him sedated instead of making him go in three separate times for three separate MRI's. He went to bed last night saying, "Poor John.  No food for John tomorrow.  Poor John."
Pray for Poor John today.  He's not fond of hospitals and procedures and even though school is not necessarily his favorite place... he was begging last night to go to school instead of the hospital.
"Poor John!"