Elijah and I were at Walmart the other day. We had a full basket and I was exhausted and had a headache and just wanted to pay for our groceries and get home. But Walmart was packed and every cash register was busy and the lines were 3 and 4 carts deep. We got in one line and waited and waited. We looked at each other and realized that we got in the never moving line from hades. So we looked down and saw a bit of a shorter line and decided to make a change.
I went ahead and got in place. Elijah was pushing the cart around people and obstacles to get to me. A lady showed up with her full cart to get in the line. I politely told her that I was there and motioned towards my son. She smiled and moved on. I was relieved. Just as Elijah rounded the corner to move next to me... a man in a wheelchair came up cutting Elijah off. I tried to explain to him that we were in line. He began to berate me. "Where's your basket? I don't see a basket!" Helpless I watched as he moved ahead of me and started to tell the people in front that I had no right to stand there without a basket. Embarrassed I quietly informed him that we had already been standing in line for quite a while which was why we had moved. He didn't respond.
I stayed in that line behind that man and grieved. I grieved my response. I grieved that I was mad and tired. I grieved my witness to my son. I grieved that I failed in showing kindness to someone who was in a wheelchair. I grieved the fact that I fail. Often. My selfishness. Tiredness. I too often rip over people. Wanting what is mine. Refusing to budge when it comes to my rights. My spot. My way.
We got in the car - Elijah upset at the man. Me. Upset at me. I drove away thinking about my failings. What I should have done better.
He is Risen.
What does that mean?
For me - forgiveness. A washing of my sins.
Here's the honest truth about me. I fail. On a daily basis. I get angry. I'm rude. I'm selfish. I steal joy. I get defensive. I gossip. I am sometimes less than truthful. I am lazy and stubborn. I want what's mine. I am human. I desperately need a Savior. I can't wash myself enough times to rid myself of the grime of sin that clings to me on a daily basis.
He is Risen.
What does it mean?
To me... It means freedom from the weight of sin. It means adoption. It means new life. It means that death loses its power over me. It means hope.
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
I'm not stuck in my sin. I have a Savior.
One who gives GRACE and FORGIVENESS to me when I am less than kind to a less than kind man at Walmart.
LOVE'S REDEEMING WORK IS DONE! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
HE IS RISEN!
CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!
I'll be honest. The news across the ocean is making me ill.
I don't have words. I have stopped writing about it because I just don't even know what to say anymore. The major news media has articles all the time now but often what I am reading doesn't match what I'm reading in other places.
In the midst of the chaos... the families march on.
Nicole Dewberry is now IN COUNTRY working to get her boys. I am so excited for her. She met Anthony TODAY and HE SIGNED and he is going to have a MAMA and a PAPA and I am crying as I write!
Look at that sweet boy! Signing on the dotted line!!!
This morning I received an e-mail from someone offering a 500.00 MATCHING GRANT for the Dewberrys. Won't you please help me match it? Nicole doesn't even know this yet. I get to surprise her with the news when she reads this blogpost!! Please help me match this for her! She meets Murray next week!! They are still about 2,900 short of being fully funded. Pray too for them as Anthony is in a region where court has come to a standstill. Pray that the doors open for court to happen!!
Yep. Five children. (Pictured are four of the five ... aren't they beautiful??)
They are leaving in a matter of weeks. And are about 17,000 short... BUT... They have an $8,000 MATCHING GRANT through Lifesong for Orphans! If they get that matched then they get another $8,000.00!
So every single dollar is doubled. To donate to them you have to donate through their blog to Lifesong for Orphans. Even though it is a tab bit harder then clicking the easy Reece's Rainbow buttons.. PLEASE TAKE THE EXTRA MOMENTS AND DO IT! This family is stepping off a HUGE CLIFF. Think about it. These kids get to be together. They are true siblings. Right now they are separated. But in a matter of weeks they will be united under one roof. That is amazing and wonderful. Last December I helped Carla bring three siblings together and that was joyous. Yes, it is hard. Yes. Absolutely. Each of these children will challenge their socks off. But the Lushers are up for the challenge. They want these children beyond words.
There is ANOTHER BIG matching grant that has stalled.... The Wetherington family. This matching has been on the table for a LONG TIME and they have had less than $100.00 matched.
They leave in 6-10 weeks... they are bringing home two sweet babes.. This is their second time adopting so they really have stepped out in faith for these two. Juliette is aging out soon. They have a $7,000 matching grant. Their FSP needs to read $16,001.28 for their match to be met. PLEASE PLEASE HELP THEM GET THIS MATCH MET!!
WHEN you donate... leave a comment on THEIR BLOG so that you can be entered to win an ipad or Disney tickets.
P.S. - I'm going to be in Cincinnati, Ohio next week for the Great Homeschool Convention! All of you Ohio+ homeschoolers going to that convention... Come make my day and stop by my booth! Just walk in the main entrance doors.. turn left.. walk a bit and there I will be! A rather NICE location this year.
We have 14 products due out this spring/summer and I need to stay focused.
I'm HOPEFUL that the first of those products will be finished today!
But then I take a quick break and slip into the Reece's Rainbow Facebook room where people are single-mindedly focused on advocating and raising money for families and doing whatever they can for orphans and my single-minded resolve just goes to pieces.
How in the world can I concentrate when I see Terri Casebier in that room helping to raise money for this family and that one and yet is NOT funded herself and is leaving in a LITTLE OVER A WEEK??
How in the world??
How can I concentrate when I see so many families with such great need?
I can't do it.
My single-minded resolve is out the window on this Friday morning.
I'm blogging this morning.
For a few families who are leaving REALLY SOON and need help NOW!
Terri is crazy!! She is leaving in nine days and spends her days yelling for other families. She's the reason I am blogging this morning. She's getting these two darling little ones! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SOW INTO THIS ADOPTION!
I am so humbled by Terri and her willingness to lay aside her own need for others around her. Will you help me bless her today? Sow into her adoption. They are about 7,000 short of what they need!! They are leaving next weekend!!
Remember Rita? I was yelling for her last year! Well her family leaves TOMORROW to go get her! She has arthro like Aaron. Precious Precious!! I'm figuring that I will run into them at Shriners one of these days... Sweet reality!
This family is awesome!! Kelly is crazy too. She's been shouting along with Terri for other families. Yes, they are short. By a lot. It isn't stopping them. They are boarding the plane - willing to go into debt to get their little one home. Every little drop eases their burden! Every little drop matters.
They picked two little sisters to adopt. Margaret (pink) and Merry (purple). Precious sisters. But in February they received the devastating news that Merry had died of cancer.
Oh Sorrow upon Sorrow.
The Thorps leave in a little over a week to bring Margaret home. Maybe they will have tucked another sweet one or two in their bags before all is said and done? They are not closed to that possibility. Not as a replacement for their wee one. Never. But God has opened this door and they are going through. They are not funded. Short by thousands. I know they would be blessed to have some help! Tracy has been another one of those crazy yellers!! Adopting families tend to be the most giving people I have ever met! Even in their pain. Maybe because of their pain.
Well his family is boarding the plane TOMORROW to go get him. Not just him though... They are also getting Theo and Orion and are FULLY FUNDED for those three boys...
But that is NOT the end of the story!
The Lord has opened the door up for them to adopt one more. Evan.
It is a GOD story and I cried when I read it. He's desperate for a family and they are desperate to adopt him. Simple. The ONLY thing standing in their way is a $3,000 dollar price tag. Yep. That's it.
A wee bit of money for a precious treasure to find a home.
They are packing their bags and whispering prayers that the Lord provides what they need.
I'm failing on this Friday. So much work to be done and I sit here with tears flowing. Families in need. Babies who need out.
I'm going back to my writing now.
Trying to get ONE product finished today!
Trying to be single-minded.
Whispering prayers as I go.
Will you donate $5.00 to each family? How about $10.00? That's only $40.00. Would you consider taking $100.00 and spreading it around? How about $100.00 each? It is Friday for so many. Payday.
All four of these families are sacrificing everything to cross that ocean. All four are leaving in days. All four have been advocating and yelling for other families. All four have jumped a cliff and trusted that God would provide.
Aaron and I are still in recuperating mode from our Friday Shriner's trip. We left Friday at 3:00 am and returned home at 11:30 pm.
It was by far one of the longest and most exhausting trips I have done. Of course making that trip at the same time we are burning the candle at both ends doesn't help.
Aaron was of course amazing the entire time.
He rarely complains and just takes everything in stride.
The very hardest part was finding out that he is back to wearing his braces all day AND all night.
With arthrogryposis... it is often a two steps forward, one step back condition. Three years ago we did massive rounds of serial casting to get Aaron's feet flat and straight so that he could walk without falling. After those casting rounds Aaron wore braces night and day for the next year and a half. When everything looked good, we were able to graduate to just night braces. Last year when he had his major triple surgery, we set aside the nighttime braces for several months since his legs were in casts. When he was finally able to go back to the nighttime braces... he had outgrown the pair he owned. So...when he had the plates removed in the fall he was fitted for new braces. Unfortunately we did not make it back up to Shriners until Friday due to sickness and snow and scheduling issues. That is a LONG time to go without braces of any kind.
His feet are no longer flat and he has gone back to walking on the front part of his foot. We knew he wasn't walking correctly but we didn't know why... Not until he demonstrated his walking to the doctor did I see what he was doing.
So we are back to full-time braces.
Aaron's eyes filled with tears when he was told but after the doctor told him that braces would have him walking straight again he was fine.
And I promised him that he would have brace-free time so he can still build his Legos because my boy does all of his Lego creations WITH HIS FEET...
This is an Aaron Nalle EXCLUSIVE Mini-Van!
To be honest... I'm the one who is having the harder time with these awful things!
I have been grieving his loss for the last 48 hours.
He's the sweetest little guy with the most accepting little heart. He bears his disappointments so well but dang it... I wish he didn't constantly have to deal with those kinds of disappointments!
I am posting this tonight for Renee and Alan who are across the ocean in a very hard situation...
I am not able to write a blogpost at this time (Aaron and I are leaving for Shriners early in the morning) and as I wrote this morning.. I am in a huge writing nightmare....so I am just cutting and pasting from a friend's (Jennifer Doloski) Facebook page ....
"Renee and Alan are at the end of the process of adopting five children...
Two of the five are medically fragile. As in, the situation was so scary that last weekend several friends raised the airfare to fly a nurse/friend/adoptive mom out to help the family get home.
Those two babies will go, literally, from the airport to the hospital. Their doctors are already on alert.
The nurse MUST be home by Saturday - she has a job and a family to return to - and this should have all been very simple.
But Lufthansa staged a planned strike this week, and now airfares have SKYROCKETED. They paid $717 to fly the nurse friend out there last weekend, and now that same flight is selling for $2900 - for a ONE WAY SEAT. The first quote the family got this morning to fly home was for $23,000. Their travel agent - who is usually able to access humanitarian fares - is also hostage to the increased fares from the strike. (Fares are up because people couldn't fly all week and are now scrambling to get on flights - so, of course, the airline takes advantage of this by charging more.)
Last we heard the family had a quote just over $13,000 to fly everyone home on Saturday, with their nurse, and with doctors waiting for their arrival. They need just over $5,000 to be able to book the tickets and come home.
(If tickets were still at last weekend's $700/person, they would have funds enough.)
I know this family. When we raised the money last weekend to send out the nurse, we did so privately, both for the protection of the family and because we - a group of their closest friends - were able. But the situation is desperate now and we have been given permission to beg for donations to get this family home and get those two boys the medical care they desperately need. Please pray for this family, and if you can make a tax deductible donation - please do. "
I would much rather be writing here than working on curriculum.
But the crunch is on.
Rob and I look like zombies right now. We are writing and creating as fast as our fingers and brains will go. When we try to sleep our brains will not shut down. We have FOURTEEN products for our Year 3 and at this moment NONE of them are finished. Some are almost. Some are close. Some are halfway. Some are not started yet. Ugh!
We have people lined up ready to buy these products that are not finished. It is making us a bit insane in our little house in the woods.
Please bear with me.
I have not stopped caring about the orphan.
I have NOT stopped caring about the families.
I have NOT forgotten my promise to share about visiting our Lost Boys.
I'm just drowning in curriculum writing right now.
P.S. - If you are on Facebook and use BiblioPlan... Some of the BP moms started a cool BIBLIOPLAN USERS group. Come join. Get ideas. Support. Encouragement.
P.S.S.... Last Friday I shared about the Dewberrys ... they needed $8,550.00 to be fully funded... Well as of this morning they need $3,813.00.... WOO HOO!!! $5,000 + in less than a week!!
If you haven't given to them.... PLEASE DO - CLICK HERE ...
Nicole is PRAISING GOD and packing her bags all at the same time... She's crazy like that!