Saturday, April 30, 2011

Long Day


It was another LONG trip to Philly and back yesterday.  Aaron as usual stayed awake for the vast majority of the van ride (11 hours on the road) as he just can't stand NOT looking out the window.  I can hardly blame him.  If I had spent an entire year sitting in a shed/empty room with only moaning boys to watch, I would not want to close my eyes either.  But it makes a long day even longer because as long as he is awake, I can't sleep either. 



He did fabulous at the hospital except when the OT put on new hand braces that he will have to start wearing.  Ugh!  He did NOT like those braces and it is going to be a process to get him to wear them all day everyday.  We will definitely be starting out s.l.o.w.l.y....... 



His FAVORITE part of the day was hanging with the Rieben clan.... all eight of them.  My camera battery died so I didn't get pictures... bummer!  We spent part of our time with them squeezed into one examining room.  It was chaotic but fun.  I was able to spend time connecting with their mom and several other Moms.  Those moments make the trip so worth the effort.

At this point, by choice, we are going to take the summer off from treatments/surgeries for Aaron.  Treating his arms/hands is going to be a long process.  The first step is surgery on his right arm to increase his passive range of motion.  Right now neither of his elbows bend and they are both turned so even if they did bend, they are angled in the wrong direction.  So he is facing surgery on his right arm that involves transferring a tendon and cutting and rotating the bones.  We want our son to have the pleasure of a summer without casts and pain and long trips to Philly.  So we are taking a breather.  We will concentrate on doing all those things that our little fugitive has never had a chance to do before.   We will face the next surgery with some happy memories under his belt!

Please keep Rob's dad in your prayers.  He came through his surgery on Monday doing well and was discharged on Thursday but took a turn yesterday and is now back in the hospital.  He is feeling quite miserable.  I am typing this from his hospital room. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Families

Paychecks come on Fridays.  Time to splurge! Hit the mall, take the family out to a restaurant, go to a movie, buy a new toy, go to a ballgame, go out with friends, spend all that hard-earned money on ourselves.


I'm not here to guilt anyone.  Not my style.  But maybe-- this Friday-- maybe you could take a few of those hard-earned bucks and offer it to a family who has quit splurging, given up trips to the mall, stopped going out to restaurants, left movies by the wayside, ignored the toys and the games and instead is working around the clock to earn what it takes to ransom their little one from a crib across the ocean.

Maybe you could even help some of these dear families out...

1.  THIS GIVEAWAY ENDS APRIL 30 - The Koenig family needs around 9,000.00 to bring sweet Vika home!!  They are giving away a diamond necklace... The neat thing is that for every donation to sweet Vika....


.....every dollar up to 4,000.00 will be MATCHED by Lifesongs for Orphans.  That means that a 10.00 donation is really 20.00.... doesn't that make you want to give up that cup of coffee at Starbucks???

2.  Isn't this the cutest little guy in the world (of course not counting my three)????  This is Gage...


and his family...



can't wait for him to get home.  You see the beauty in the corner of the picture (okay they are ALL beautiful), but do you see the little girl in the blue dress with the white tights and with the smile that lights up her whole face.  She has arthro just like Aaron and she stole my heart just a few months ago when she was brought home by her Mama and Papa.  Her very best friend in her baby house was Gage.  While her new Mama and Papa were there getting her, they realized that they just could not leave Gage behind.  And so despite just spending 26,000 on Madeline's adoption, they are going back.  They are waiting for their travel date.  I can't for the day when Madeline is united with her best bud.  How precious will that day be.  I also can't wait to meet this family in person.  They too make the trek to Shriners, so I know that eventually I will get to meet them!  Please go help this family bring Gage home.  You can get to their blog HERE.


3.  See this cutie pie...



This is Elisha and her mom is being a real stinker..  She is doing one of those nasty fun dot fundraisers where we don't get to see the newest and cutest picture of this precious treasure unless you buy some dots!!!  PLEASE GO BUY A FEW DOTS so we can see a better picture of Elisha.  She looks pitiful in this one.  She looks like she needs a Mama to give her some love.  I bet the hidden picture doesn't have a sad little girl underneath!!  PLEASE... Go HERE to free Elisha's picture from the dots!!



And in case you missed out on earlier blogs... here are some reminders from previous posts:



Remember precious Ember, another little one I will get to hold and kiss at Shriner's when her parents bring her home???



Her IPAD 2 GIVEAWAY ends soon...April 30.  Please go help the Sentis bring this babe home where she belongs.  Like Aaron, she has NO CHANCE of getting help for her Arthrogryposis where she is living!


And don't forget the Tams...
PAISLEY's mom is making Chocolate Toffee and I am seriously hoping that she won't be able leave the kitchen from all the orders... Please go buy some Toffee... Her blog is HERE.  Keep checking Renee's blog because she is going to do a fundraiser that I'm sure will have everyone laughing!



Don't forget Ian and the REJECTED STONES.  There are only a few left!  I am still holding out hope that I win one of them..... sigh! 



Caleb and Jackson - Their GIVEAWAY has been extended so you have extra time to get in on the fun!!



And Elliot's family - Their Giveaway of a $500.00 gift card still needs help!!  Last week I posted about them and a few people gave but seriously, right now they will only make $405.00 in profit at this point.  Yuck! 




Of course these are but A FEW of TONS of families.... last time I counted there were 175 RR families committed and since then a number of new families have jumped into the water to rescue a special needs babe.  It is so unbelievably thrilling and overwhelming at the same time.  So much money is needed, but what great rewards.  When I see with my own eyes the children rescued, I have no doubt that they are worth every single nickel spent to get them out of their cribs and into families.  The sacrifice is great.  It means tightening belts, going without, working overtime and being dependent upon the kindness of family, friends and strangers.  Let's tighten our belts with them.  Give up a coffee, watch netflix instead of going to the movie theater, have friends over for game night instead of  going out on the town, go to the thrift shop instead of the mall, make a pizza at home instead of going out to eat. Forget buying a needless, expensive toy, and give a little boy or a little girl a chance to play with one!  And instead of spending money on a ballgame that will be over and forgotten in a matter of hours, give to one of these families and then sit back and watch their real-life adventure as they overcome all odds to bring their child safely to this side of the ocean. 





Thursday, April 28, 2011

Look At Me!







YEAH MAMA - LOOK AT ME!!!

I first wrote about Aaron's biking woes...HERE.  We have refused to admit defeat and are determined to get our little guy 'on the road'.  So we put training wheels on his no-pedal bike since he couldn't hold it up with his hands AND walk his feet.  The training wheels  have allowed him to get the bike moving at a snail's pace, but inclines are a big challenge.  Aaron is quite proud of his efforts but the bike saga continues.... Plan C is coming soon.  We have a wonderful new friend from Richmond who is helping us figure all of this out...

We are SO GRATEFUL for all the people who have e-mailed and commented about Aaron and his bike.  It is so precious to us how many people care about our little fugitive and want to see him succeed. 

Tomorrow Aaron and I are off for another round at Shriner's in Philly.  We are seeing both of his Dr's tomorrow.  He will get his braces checked and then we will begin to address the challenge of Aaron's arms and hands.  We have no idea what the process will involve in regards to his upper extremities.  I guess we will learn as we go!  For those who wondered about the pictures of Aaron with the hand braces on, he  wears them while he sleeps but to prevent skin-breakdown, we had to break him into wearing them, so at first he wore them during the day, increasing the hours as we went.  Most likely he will eventually be wearing them all the time, just as he does the leg braces.

Despite so many strikes against him - Aaron has a love for life and a gratefulness that is downright humbling.  He is most definitely my diamond in the rough.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Advocating Wednesday....

See this little one...



This is Alicia.

Last year a dear family whom I have met at Shriner's traveled to her country in hopes of bringing her home along with her sister.  Unfortunately, the dynamics of their family and the needs of Alicia meant that they could not bring her home.  They adopted FOUR CHILDREN, including her sister, but had to leave her behind.  It grieved them deeply.  They have tried to advocate for her but so far no one has stepped up to go get this sweet little one.  She has a lot of needs but in the right family, she would blossom.  Right now she is in a really nice baby house, but she is facing transfer soon.  Chances are she will not receive the medication she needs to live.  Alicia has NO FUTURE if she stays.  She needs a family soon.

I have posted below what my friend wrote about Alicia.  Please read and consider.  Share her story.  Let's put her little face out there in hopes that someone, somewhere, will be drawn to this needy little girl. 


Alicia absolutely LOVES one on one attention. She is front and center if you are handing out kisses and hugs. You can see she wants a Mama all her own, and it will be so hard on her to have her sister leave to be adopted, as her other sister was already adopted. (Their mother is deceased, most likely from AIDS). She likes to swing. She loved to lay her head in my lap while we were both on the bench swing and I would stroke her hair. The other kids didn't like to share my attention but Alicia was ok with it. I could have two in my lap and she didn't mind, but she didn't like being crowded out when the other child decided they wanted me all to themselves. She likes sensory input. She kept rubbing her arm across my husband's unshaved face and shivering and making the funniest face and then immediately doing it again. She likes to go down the slide again and again. She really likes to be in the middle of whatever is going on, and be included. But often she is excluded, even by attendants. For Alicia it's a vicious circle. She is delayed, she gets frustrated, they don't let her do things the others are doing, she gets more delayed and more frustrated. She is VERY VERY SWEET AND LOVING. She needs a family that has only a couple kids, not ten. She has HIV. If you want a little girl to hug and kiss, she will GLADLY take all the hugs and kisses you can hand out. She isn't afraid of men but isn't inappropriate either. I saw her with my husband as well as another couple of young men who visit regularly. Alicia is on the small side, like maybe size 4. The children are valued and loved at this orphanage. The grounds are visually stimulating and the kids get outside for a couple hours in the morning as well as afternoon. They even go swimming in the pool they have there. Hope someone will come for Alicia very soon!" Alicia is toilet-trained and able to say when she needs to use the restroom. She has tremendous potential if someone would take her home and love her!

Alicia can be found on this page on the Reece's Rainbow site: http://reecesrainbow.org/category/waitingchildren/hiv-6

And just in case you forgot his sweet face...

THIS IS JONAH...

HE NEEDS A FAMILY....


I seriously cannot look at his picture anymore without wanting to cry.  Someone please go get him.

Jonah has $5212.50 in grant money. 

And this little guy...

PLEASE!!

Heath is DESPERATE!!



If you want to find out more about Heath go read our post HERE or HERE.  He is a tiny little guy.  Please don't let his age scare you.  He rides in a wheelchair with another boy.  Both fit side by side in that wheelchair.  I don't know if he can walk.  I do know he needs a Mama. 

And finally - sweet Eddie...




The little boy that no one has ever wanted....

Despite having $16,136.50 in grant money he continues to be passed over.  Why?  He has already been transferred.

Eddie and Jonah are both on THIS PAGE.

Heath is on THIS PAGE.

These little ones need families...homes.... they need to be held and kissed and rocked.  They need to be surrounded by laughter and love and color and family.  They need bathtubs and toys and swingsets.  They need someone who cares enough to brush their teeth and comb their hair.  They need sunshine and flowers.  They need stroller rides and grandpop's knees.  They need church and stories about Jesus.  They need to know they are loved and cherished.  They need....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One Solitary Voice

Last September Rob and I walked into a courtroom in Eastern Europe to face a hostile judge knowing that behind us knelt thousands of bowed heads.  The voices rising to the throne were loud that day.  At the end of the day, when we stood in the judge's chambers, still shaking, shocked by the craziness of the day, wondering, and in awe, watching our judge remove her robe, seeing the cross around her neck and hearing her pronounce that she granted Aaron to us BECAUSE WE HAD PRAYED and BECAUSE GOD had changed her heart; in that moment we knew beyond a shadow of doubt that God hears our prayers.


The cries to the Father for one little disabled Lost Boy from a hidden mental institute were heard.  Through those prayers, one bitter judge said yes.  Thousands of bowed heads.  We will never forget that day.  We will never forget the reality that we were not alone.  We will never forget the thousands of bowed heads. Never.


But lest you think that God only hears us if we get thousands to pray for us.  Lest you think that He sits on His throne tapping His fingers, waiting, counting, holding back until just the right number is kneeling in prayer let me say as clearly as I can:  

God doesn't need thousands of bowed heads to answer our cries.  

He doesn't wait around to answer prayers when we have rallied enough around us.  He doesn't count the amount of knee pads and isn't waiting for a certain level of voices to reach His ears before He acts. 

"In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears."

God hears the solitary voice as loudly and as strongly as He hears the voices of the thousands raised in unison to the throne.

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me."
Psalm 18

He hears the ONE SOLITARY VOICE.


He hears the solitary person, alone, crying out.  He hears their grief and sorrow - their pain - their distress.  He hears them in their despair and loneliness.  He knows the desires of their hearts.  He hears.



And lest you think that He is a God who is waiting around to answer their prayer after a certain amount of prayers have been raised, lest you think that He is keeping count, checking their sincerity at the door, waiting to make sure that they are spending the proper amount of time on their knees, in the correct position and making sure that they have mixed in the perfect number of Bible verses let me say this as clearly as I can:

God responds to the cries of their heart before their words have even been uttered



Did you catch that?

God KNOWS our hearts.  He KNOWS our deepest longings.  He is hearing us before we even know what to pray. 

"We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people
in accordance with the will of God."
Romans 8



The words spoken on our lips were known to Him before we knew to speak them.  When we can't speak - when we can't pray - He hears our words.  The deepest longings of our hearts. 

Those who cry out to Him - He hears.  Each and every time.  Those who come to Him on bended knee, earnestly seeking - they will ALWAYS be found. 

I take great comfort in that knowledge.  I don't often ask the masses to pray for me.  But I do often pray alone - one solitary voice - kneeling before the throne.  I am comforted to know that  God not only hears me when I pray with thousands beside me, but He hears me when I am utterly alone.

In the last months - coming home - changed - I have struggled often with prayers that I can barely voice. As I receive e-mails from others who also are wrestling and struggling before the Lord, I am comforted to know that I am not praying to a God who is indifferent, distant, bored, busy.  He hears each and every cry.  One solitary voice at a time.  Despite the noise and confusion of the billions on this planet - He hears the cries of the righteous. 

He hears me. 



Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Memories

His first Easter.


What precious precious memories.












I just have no words for how it felt to have our little guy with us this year. 

Worshipping in church with him sitting beside me, watching him run and play in the yard with his brothers, seeing Ben gently helping him gather his eggs, laughing as his eyes lit up upon discovering that there was candy inside those eggs - precious memories.  I am grateful this Monday to our Lord for all He has done.


Please pray for Rob's dad as he is having surgery on his hip today (Monday).  He is dearly loved by many!




Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is Not Here

Why do you look for the living among the dead?

He is not here;

He has risen!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Request for Ashley

This morning I am asking you to please lift up in prayer a young girl named Ashley.  (I teach her twin brother Cooper at our Co-op).  Ashley's mom, Lori, was teaching Aaron's class at our Co-op until Ashley became seriously ill back in January.  From my limited understanding, she has an extremely rare and debilitating form of Celiacs that has doctors in 4 different hospitals completely baffled.  They have run numerous tests, taken her to several hospitals, consulted with more doctors than I can keep straight and there just seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.  Right now she is suffering excruciating pain that can't be relieved because each time they try a new medication her body reacts to it.  Her parents are trying everything they can do to help their child.  Please lift up this family in your prayers.  Their page is here if you would like to leave them a word of encouragement, verse or prayer.  On the header of their blog - Ashley is the one in the middle.  Please pray that God would grant healing and rest for Ashley, grace and strength for her parents and wisdom for the doctors as they work to discover what is wrong.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pictures Can Be Deceiving!

The Bike Race that didn't happen....


Look closely....



There are no pedals on Aaron's bike.


 
It is designed like that and we bought it in hopes that Aaron would be able to sit on it and use his legs to get himself propelled forward since we have not found a bike that allows him to pedal easily.
 
(Actually we have found a wonderful pedal tricycle he can ride but it cost 1,000 + dollars that we don't have sitting around on our dresser).



Unfortunately, he can't hold the bike up with his hands AND move it forward at the same time.



So alas, he is dead in the water with the bike as it is...Poor little guy never made it past the starting line.

But... stay tuned because we are going with PLAN B.... 

We are not going to be defeated in the bike department.....

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

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO DONATED YESTERDAY FOR MY BIRTHDAY!

I was so blessed by all the birthday wishes and all the donations that were given.... And the sweetest donation of them all... from a young friend (12 years old) who e-mailed me last night and asked if it was okay if she gave her donation to someone not on my list.  Precious.  Precious!  Give away Sarah!  I LOVE your heart!

FINALLY.... My nutty friend Renee has set aside her own adoption needs AGAIN to help another family in need... Both kids were featured yesterday but I want to share them again...

This is my sweet Brady. 




His Mom is struggling right now with sickness and a bit of fear (okay a lot of fear) as they face having to walk in our footsteps.  Brady is in the same institute as Aaron.  We saw Brady every day, wanted desperately to love on him and are so excited to know that in just a few short weeks he is going to be in the arms of a Mama and Papa who love him.  Believe me - I will keep you well posted on the Brady story as it unfolds! 

Renee is trying to encourage Melanie and Ben by helping them raise what they need over this Easter weekend.  Please click here to read what Renee has to say... AND PLEASE HELP RENEE TOO.  She needs thousands too.  Her little Paisley doesn't need to spend her life tied to a crib!



Thursday, April 21, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!


So I woke up this morning to a gazillion Facebook Happy Birthday messages.

I am 49 years old today.

Yuck!

Seriously - Turning 49 years old doesn't make me feel all that happy.

But then I saw a post on FB that DID make me happy.....Little Evan - the first of the THREE in a certain region of a certain country that has been closed to special needs adoptions - Little Evan is HOME


And she gets to celebrate CHRISTMAS today because her family WAITED for her. 




And THAT is cause to celebrate....

And here is one more reason for me to celebrate....

GUESS WHERE CARRINGTON IS THIS MORNING????


The little rascal is HOME HOME HOME with her family!!  Don't you just want to pick her up and kiss her plump little cheeks??  Oh How Good is our God!!

Yep.

Two great reasons to celebrate.

I'm looking for more... More reasons to celebrate...

Want to help??  Want to make me rejoice that I am 49 today???

Then pick ONE, TWO OR ALL of the following links and go make a 5, 10, 15, 20 or more donation and then LEAVE ME A MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK OR ON THIS BLOG telling me that you donated!

THAT would make my day!!



HELP BRING IAN HOME! - There are 7 more 'Rejected Stones' left to win.




HELP BRING SAMANTHA HOME - You can win a bunch of cool prizes including a flip camera!




HELP BRING CALEB AND JACKSON HOME - This Giveaway is really cool!!  Go click and find out!





HELP BRING BRADY HOME - Brady's mom is having an auction... Click and bid or just donate to free Brady from spending the rest of his life as a LOST BOY!!




HELP BRING JOHN AND CARSON HOME - This family still has THOUSANDS YET TO RAISE.  Every single dollar helps!! 



HELP BRING ELLIOT HOME - This is a 500 DOLLAR AMAZON GIVEAWAY - Sadly they have only raised 250.00 so they haven't even covered their Giveaway costs yet.... PLEASE GO HELP THIS FAMILY!!




HELP BRING PAISLEY HOME - Go check out the recent picture of Paisley in her chair.  Tied.  A very common practice. 




HELP BRING LYDIAH HOME - There are DIAMONDS in this Giveaway!!



THERE ARE SO MANY MORE .... Pick from my list or go donate to someone else but PLEASE LET ME KNOW!! I would consider that the BEST Birthday present ever... To see these precious treasures HOME. Home where they belong!

Then I can seriously celebrate in style on this my 49th birthday!!!












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