Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Keeping a Secret is Hard!!

I AM SO GLAD I DON'T HAVE TO KEEP THIS SECRET ANY LONGER...

GUESS WHO IS GETTING A MOMMY AND A DADDY??


Guess who never has to set ONE foot in the village of no return?

Guess who?????

Oh Sweet Jonah.... You have a family!!

I have been chomping at the bit to share. 

It has been so hard.

So many have come so close but FINALLY - FINALLY!!

Thank you Dear Lord!

You know the sweetest part.... when Jonah's new Daddy saw his picture and heard his story....

His words...

"I can't think of a single reason why we shouldn't go get him!!"

 I can't either.

I can't either.

Thank you for praying.  Thank you for advocating.  Thank you. 

 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Changed..

On Thursday afternoon Rob called me at the Convention to let me know that Aaron was in a crisis at home.

He needed his Mama.

He wanted me to come home.

His tooth was loose.

Not just a little loose.

It was hanging by a thread.

How did that happen??

I cried.

So many milestones in my little's ones life that I have missed. 

I didn't want to miss this one.

But I did.



The tooth came out on Friday.

I missed it.



Thankfullly Grandad was there when the tooth came out and it was saved for Mama to see.

 
And all was well for Aaron when I came home to examine the lost tooth and the empty hole.

But for me - to have him change and not be there....



It made me cry.

So much has changed in our lives. 

Not just loose teeth.

Some days I just have to stand back and take stock.

All the things I said I would NEVER do - we did.  All the places we said we would NEVER go - we went.

Our world has been turned upside down.

And it isn't just me.

We have both been changed. God has done a number on our hearts and we are still recovering from the surgery! But I rejoice that I am not alone.

I am so grateful that my sweet, compassionate husband has been changed just as much as I have been changed.  I am grateful for a husband whose heart is bleeding with mine. I am grateful that God called BOTH of us to holler. I am ever so grateful that I am not alone. When I weep - my husband understands. When I grieve - he is grieving with me.   I am so grateful that the changes that are taking place in my heart are being shared by the man who stands by my side. 

Today is our anniversary.  For Nineteen years we have been married.  The best years of my life. 

There is no one earth I would rather have by my side than my dear husband.

No one.


 


If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.
-- Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, May 29, 2011

She Smiled


It was a tiny smile.  Cautious.  Uncertain.  But it was a smile. 

Little brown eyed girl who has never known that hands could be gentle.  Has never understood that a Mommy always comes back.  Never understood that Daddy's are supposed to protect.

All she has known are bars.  

The silence of the other children laying and rocking alone in their cribs around her.

The roughness of hands when she is fed and changed.

But her world is changing.  

Two people have arrived.

They have gentle hands and gentle voices.

They hold her and kiss her.  They carry her nestled against their chests.  It is strange and scary.  Her little mind can barely take it all in.

But she is beginning to awaken.  Slowly.  Carefully.  She is waking up.

The little brown-eyed girl with the sorrowful eyes.

The little neglected one who was tossed away at birth.

The tiny little 2 year old baby girl stuck in a crib in Eastern Europe.

She is beginning to awaken.

And yesterday - when her Mama walked into the forbidden room - she smiled.

It was tiny.  Barely noticeable.  But it was a smile.

Please dear friends - keep praying for this tiny little brown-eyed baby.  She is weak and frail and has spent her life laying in a crib.  The changes that are taking place are overwhelming to her on every level.  Pray God's protection on her little body.  Court is on Tuesday but she must wait 10 more days after that before she can leave that room and that orphanage forever.

Please pray for Moira and the Ferrones.

I have much to share.  We have been so blessed by so many in the last few weeks.  I want to share each and every story.  The Convention was amazing.  BiblioPlan did well, we raised $140.00 for the Lost Boys by selling used books and I got to meet quite a number of people who READ THIS CRAZY BLOG and are AARON fans.  Having someone walk up to let me know they helped pray Aaron home is absolutely mind-boggling.  I want to burst into tears every single time. 

It was a good weekend.  I am glad to be home. 

The hardest part of the weekend.....

Aaron changed.

He's not the same little boy I left behind.

No he's not.

I was bummed.

I'll share tomorrow.

P.S. - Hop over to Tesney's blog.  She is going to share the full Kirill story.  I know many parts of it and it is amazing.  But she is holding it hostage.  Go to her blog and help free that story.  The world needs to know the mighty acts of God!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Sorrowful Eyes

I know I said I wouldn't blog.

But this little one needs our prayers.

This is Moira.

Her family is THERE NOW - Their court is on Tuesday and then they have to wait for 10 days before they can begin to bring her home.


There is so much sadness in her story that her family can't share right now.

Just know she needs our prayers.

I'm asking for you to please lift this precious treasure up to the throne.

 

Please pray this little one makes it safely home.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sigh!

I love my family.  I do not like being away from them.  So tonight I am a wee bit depressed.  Okay.  I am more than a wee bit. 

Tomorrow, I am off to North Carolina to a Homeschooling Convention.

To try to convince people that BIBLIOPLAN is the BEST homeschooling history/literature/geography program on the market.

And I believe it IS the best homeschooling history/literature/geography program on the market.

So it is NOT the Convention that is making me depressed.

It is leaving my family behind.

Trying to explain to Aaron that I am going to be gone for two sleeps and three long days when he gets upset if Papa puts him in the bathtub instead of Mama is a bit hard on my heart.



Sigh!

I love my family.

I'm going to miss them.

One night away isn't THAT bad but two nights and three FULL days....

Yuck.

Did I say I am a wee bit depressed??

I doubt I will be blogging while I am gone.

When I come back.... I have some stories to share.

Some really cool stories.

One of them that goes with THIS PICTURE.



Yes - those are my sons.  Two looking a bit on the wild side and one wearing wings. 

It is a story definitely worth hearing.

Sigh again.

I'm going to miss that wild looking bunch!!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Immeasurably More

It has been one of those days.  The kind of day where you seriously don't want to miss the happenings.  

The kind of day when you stand back in shock and awe at what GOD HAS ACCOMPLISHED.

After hearing about Brady passing court this morning I had to leave to teach at our Homeschooling Co-op.  Being a responsible adult really stinks sometimes!!!  Walking out the door without knowing what was happening was THE HARDEST thing to do.  I wanted to sit by the computer and refresh the screen every 2 minutes.  I just didn't want to leave.  So I e-mailed a friend who WAS sitting by the computer and refreshing the screen every 2 minutes and begged her to call me when she heard anything.  

Halfway to Co-op she called.  And I screamed.  And cried.  And had my boys thinking I definitely was losing all my marbles.  Oh how sweet the news.  Kirill is an orphan no more.   

The unthinkable happened - The Supreme Court in Kirill's country overturned the ruling of the judge. 

To God Be The Glory - Great Things He Has Done!

Two little boys.  Two little castaway boys.   Going home.

Can we take a moment and give God a standing ovation?

Brady's adoption opens wide that institute.  A YES was said inside that village.  A child with Down Syndrome has been given a family.

109 more Lost Boys have just been given hope.


And people... Kirill's adoption..... Oh My Goodness.... Do You Understand What Happened????

The message this sends to every judge in that country who is tempted to deny an adoption of a child with special needs is unbelievably profound. 

MOUNTAINS ALL OVER THAT COUNTRY HAVE JUST HAD PATHS CUT RIGHT THROUGH THEM.

God did IMMEASURABLY MORE than we could ever have asked or imagined.

We wanted Kirill to find a home.

We grieved that he was left behind.

We questioned why God would allow that judge to say no.

We wondered.

We cried.

BUT GOD.

He had a much greater agenda in mind.

Not just Kirill... Not just Kirill....

Much Bigger.

Much Greater.

Stand up and shout out because people, God has done Great Things today.


Great things indeed!




ONE VICTORY DOWN - ONE MORE TO GO....

BRADY IS NOW JUDD DENIS HARTMAN....

PRAISE GOD!!!!

Davis family is STILL IN COURT.  Pray church!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

In the Garden

Dear friends - I am writing twice today because God is moving in a HUGE way in Kirill's country and we need to be IN THE GARDEN... AWAKE... PRAYING....

God is Moving...

The Davis family has been given some NEW information.  Some amazing information..... There is a chance that the Supreme Court may rule in a way tomorrow that would allow them to bring Kirill home.  THIS TRIP!

That is unbelieveable news.

What they have been hoping for during tomorrow's court was that the Supreme Court would disagree with the ruling made by the judge in their region and would send it back to be re-tried. 

That has been their prayer since they first heard the judge utter the words "NO" so many months ago.

BUT GOD!

Today they have been told that the Supreme Court COULD go ahead and rule IN THEIR FAVOR. 

 IF they do - then Kirill will be THEIR SON after the court decree is filed (5 days). 

Do you see why we need to be praying???



  When I chatted with Tesney today she reminded me of THIS POST

These are her words:  "I feel like maybe I know a tiny little bit of how Jesus felt in the garden.
I feel like I could pray blood drops right now."
 
Please church... pray.  Pray WITH THE DAVIS FAMILY. Pray that the hearts of the judges will be moved to Compassion for Kirill.  Pray that they overturn the ruling.  Pray Kirill home church!!  Pray him home!!
 
 

Miss Julia

Yesterday I cried.

Not once but several times.

The good kind of cry. 

The overwhelmed with emotion cry.

It was good.  It was healing.

I want to share but not today. 

Later - another day -when it isn't quite as overwhelming.

When I can find the words.

Today I am resting.  Sitting with Miss Julia.   Cuddling her.  Holding her.  Stealing kisses.  Rejoicing that she is here.  Safe.  Loved.  Gaining weight.  Rejoicing because for a brief time I even got to hold her brother.  He even let me steal kisses from him.  Adopted from the same place.  Another Aaron.  My cup overflows.

Tomorrow - two boys - two different countries - two courts.  Please pray. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

To-Do's

I'll be honest: right now I would like nothing more than to spend a few quiet moments sitting in the swing on our front porch.


But we have been burning the candle at both ends for the last two weeks.  We have another Homeschooling Convention in North Carolina next weekend, and we are NOT ready yet.

But I don't care, because tomorrow morning - I'm doing something special.

I am driving to Richmond, Va.

I'm going to spend the day in the hospital.

And I can't wait.

Because for a few hours I get to sit and rock this sweet baby.


So her Mom can take a break.

Her name is Julia, and she just arrived here from Aaron's former country.  She has spent all of her life in a dreaded lying-down room.  The room in the baby house where they send the hopeless cases.  Every baby house seems to have one: The dreaded room filled with lonely cribs and silent babies.  The dreaded room where those babies receive no attention whatsoever except at feedings and diaper changes.  The miserable room where those poor babies lie all day, where they're never held, never talked to, never loved on. 

Julia was in that room.

Thanks be to God, the Schwenzers have rescued her from that room. But her body is struggling to absorb nourishment.  So she has been hospitalized. 

And I am going to get to spend some time holding her and kissing her sweet little cheeks.



Just this past week the Ferrone family went to meet their girls.  I have been supporting them because one of the girls they are adopting, Moira, has arthrogryposis like Aaron.

I have been looking forward to the day when I get to hold her in my arms at Shriners.

When they met their girls, they discovered that Moira, too, has been stuck in a lying-down room..

ALL HER LIFE.

Lying in a crib. 

Look at her. 




She is two years old, and she has never, ever been held.

She is the size of a tiny baby.

When they e-mailed on Thursday to share with us the condition Moira was in, I broke down.  I cried for hours. That she should be selected out and judged hopeless.  Cast aside in the worst possible way.  Abandoned to die.

This is how she lies in her crib. 



Silent.

What good would crying do?  No one would listen.  No one would come.  So she lies there, day after day, quiet and alone.

But God.

God heard her in her silence.

And she now has a family.

They need our prayers these coming weeks.  Moira needs our prayers.  The Ferrones need our prayers.

Moira has been experiencing hell on earth.  Those rooms suck the very soul out the children relegated to them.

But God.

Little lost children are slowly being found.

One by one. 

Rescued.

And tomorrow... well, tomorrow...

I am going to set aside all of my "to-do"s and spend some time holding a tiny little girl.

It will be an honor and a privilege.

And I will be thinking of a little one across the ocean who is experiencing loving hands for the first time in her life.

And I will cry.


The Davis family has left for Kirill's country.  They have court on Tuesday.  PLEASE PRAY.

Pray too for Brady's family.  They also have court on Tuesday.



Friday, May 20, 2011

First Swim



Sometimes you don't need words in a blog.

Sometimes pictures are all you need to tell the story.
















Sometimes.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Heart is Stirred

An e-mail from the Hartmans has stirred my heart this morning. Unfortunately, I can't share it; but it has made me realize all the more why I have felt STRONGLY that WE NEED TO BE IN PRAYER FOR THEM.



They are in a dark place. I know. I walked those streets. I can't explain exactly how it feels to live in that village. The words elude me. I will put it this way: We were always tired, even though we slept more there than we ever sleep at home. We felt a physical, emotional and spiritual weariness that just seemed to be with us all day, every day. We felt as if the air was too heavy to breathe and we were walking in a fog. We commented on it all the time. It felt oppressive. Overwhelming. Although the village's Orthodox church was visible for miles around, it offered no solace.




Almost everyone we encountered seemed grim and sad. There was just so little joy there, at least in the presence of strangers. After a few weeks walking the streets, I grew tired of the constant grimaces and gave up even trying to greet people. Rob held out until the end, trying to make eye contact and refining his pronunciation of their greeting ("zdras"). We kept longing for a smile, the light of life and humanity in a stranger's eyes. We were among the first Americans who had ever walked those streets, and to some, we were simply not welcome. 




Except for one special day, when we went to the open-air market before heading out to see Aaron. We were alone and lonely, as always. We were looking for warm clothes because the temperature had dropped with the coming of Fall, and we were not prepared for the cold. As we were preparing to leave, we met a lady selling used clothes displayed on a couple of benches. We saw a jacket we wanted for Aaron, so we turned to the lady and asked her the price in our pitiful Rus*ian. We dreaded asking, because up until then, nearly every merchant had acted as if he or she wanted to slap us for not knowing more Rus*ian.




This lady was different. When she realized that we didn't known Rus*ian ("nye po Russky?"), she broke out in a smile that seemed like a bath of warm light. She was so pleased to learn that we were Americans. She even hugged us. I cannot begin to tell you how good it felt at that moment to be embraced by another human being. At the time, we had been there for 5 long weeks. Our hostess was wonderful to us, but nearly everyone else ignored us or even appeared hostile. The only other human contact we had was through blog comments and daily, 10-minute phone calls with our sons at home. To say we were lonely would but be putting it mildly.  Our brief encounter with this woman filled us with a warmth that we desperately needed.

We didn't know her name.  We didn't know why she was so excited to meet us when everyone else regarded us with suspicion.  We wondered aloud as we walked away if she was a Christian.  We had no way to know and no way to ask.  We just knew that her welcoming arms brought healing to our weary souls.

On the next market day we went back to find her again. I was hoping for another hug. I was that starved.  Of course we had to pretend we were looking to buy something.  How can you just walk up and ask someone to hug you again?  Fortunately, when we arrived at her booth we saw that she had two hand-embroidered table runners. They were beautiful, by far the nicest home-made craftwork we had seen in the village. So we pointed them out and asked how much they cost.


That was when we had our second encounter. Our friendly lady just happened to have a friend nearby who knew a smattering of English.  And this friend was just as excited to see us as her partner.  She helped us buy the runners, and we were so blessed to chat with her.  In the course of our conversation we discovered that, as we had suspected, they WERE BOTH CHRISTIANS. Not Russian Orthodox, but Baptists (a "secta," as our hostess later described it). They loved the Lord, and oh, how it showed! It was evident in their eyes and in their warm embrace.  For a few minutes, in a dark and oppressed world, God used his people to minister to our hearts. 



Melanie and Ben are in that spiritually oppressed world right now.  It is cold, quiet and extremely lonely. We traveled through different parts of that country during our time there and I can tell you sincerely that none felt as oppressive as that little village out in the middle of nowhere.  The Hartmans can't share all of their experiences because they don't want to jeopardize their adoption.  Just know this: they are deeply in need of our prayers and support.  Please leave a comment on their blog to let them know that you are praying.  Offer scriptures and words of encouragement.  Remind them that they are not alone. I speak from experience when I say that those comments make all of the difference in the world to a lonely soul.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brady and Kirill Update

My thoughts this week are swirling.  There are two little boys, in two separate countries, both blessed with an extra chromosome, whom I have come to love deeply.  Two little cast-aside boys, Kirill and Brady.




Two little boys. With our nation's appalling 90% abortion rate for precious treasures with that special chromosome, neither of them would have even made it out of the starting gate had their parents lived here.

Their own countries also deemed them unworthy, and abandoned them.  Left them behind. Discarded them.  Cast them aside.

Two little boys abandoned, discarded-- but not unloved.

My Dear Brady.

His new parents are there now, visiting him each day.  Holding him.  Loving on him.  And oh how he is drinking it up. He LOVES being held.  He doesn't want his feet down on the ground.  Happy in their arms.  Brady has a Mama and a Papa who want him badly.  Yes, he is a handful.  They will need fast feet and quick hands to catch him.  He will challenge their socks off.  He has spent a year in a mental institute.  But they love him.  Funny little Brady is loved. How precious it has been for me to see pictures and receive e-mails from Melanie over the last few days.  I look forward to each one with joy and excitement.  The Lord is moving in the world of the Lost Boys. Please keep praying hard for the Hartmans.  They are hoping to submit their paperwork to the judge  and to receive their court date soon.  Please pray that everything goes smoothly.  If things go as they should, Brady will be the FIRST special needs child from that institute to go to court in that village.  We did not have court in the village because of a conflict last year over the jury pool.  They need prayers in the coming days that their village can seat a jury and that their judge will grant them a court date.  There are so many unknowns that it is probably wishful thinking to hope that everything will go smoothly for them.  So please pray for everyone involved.  There are gates that need to be knocked down over there.  There are 110 desperately needy Lost Boys who need those gates to come tumbling down.  Please pray.

And Kirill.

Precious Kirill, whom a judge deemed unfit to have a family of his own.  You can read about it HERE and HERE.
Next week, on May 24th, the Davises will stand before the Supreme Court and beg - BEG - for their son. 

Tesney and Greg have been walking through a dark valley these last few months.  Their son is across the ocean, and there is no guarantee that they will ever get to hold him in their arms again. The longing in their hearts grows deeper as the days go by.

And in the midst of their loss and confusion over Kirill, a tornado devastated their hometown.  They were spared, but many of their friends were not.  For the last weeks they have been trying to help pick up the pieces in their neighborhood, with their hearts in a turmoil over their little son across the ocean.

They need our prayers.  The Davis family is gearing up for the battle of their lives and they need us behind them.  Little Kirill needs to come home. 

God is moving in the world of the Lost Boys.  God is moving in Kirill's world too.  Evan Hook is now home.  Kirill's judge CAN say yes.

Our prayers matter.

Our prayers matter because we pray to a Mountain-moving, Orphan-loving, Miracle-working God.

He hears our cries, whether we cry alone or as part of a chorus.

He hears them all.

So pray church.  Pray these two boys home.

They need to come home. 







Sunday, May 15, 2011

Nothing

It truly is hard sometimes for me to get my brain around the fact that less than a year ago, Aaron had nothing.



He had NO experiences. He had NO possessions. He had NO family. He had NO understanding of the world beyond the walls of the institutes that contained him. He knew nothing about anything. No one taught him color words or how to count. He knew no animals except dogs, cats and one horse.  He knew nothing about birthday parties or presents. 





He only knew that vehicles were "machinas," but he knew nothing about trucks, boats, trains and buses. Nothing. He knew nothing about rivers and oceans. He had never been inside a store or a restaurant. He knew nothing about cultures or people. Nothing. Every single experience outside those walls has been new for him. Every single one.



Yet he doesn't approach the world in terror. He isn't cowering in a corner terrified. He doesn't react to people and places with fear. We don't have to drag him out of the house kicking and screaming. Not Aaron.





The boy who had Nothing can't wait to get in the car. He loves to go for rides. He is thrilled whenever we tell him we are going to do something new. With his family by his side he is willing to go out and do whatever it is that we are doing. He cheerfully sits in the back seat, jabbering away in his budding English about what we are doing and where we are going.





We know where he came from.  We experienced  the world he left behind. Now the Hartmans are there, seeing the sights and sounds of Aaron's old world for themselves as they get to know Judd (whom we knew as Brady when we were there).

Somehow, through all of that, Aaron retained his ability to view his new world with wonder, joy and awe. To watch our little fugitive experience his new world has been unbelievably humbling.



Everyone who meets him and has the privilege of spending a few minutes with him comes away humbled and overcome.  His sweetness.  His love for life.  His joy.  His willingness to engage in conversation.  It takes your breath away.  So many times we watch him, listen to him, laugh at the utter cuteness that is Aaron and wonder aloud - how in the world did we find him?  One little boy.  One of many little Lost Boys.  God is good. 

There are so many more.  Unfound treasures just waiting to take your breath away. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Brady


Blogger decided that it wanted to take a vacation.  Blogger on vacation is not a good thing!

If you left us messages in the last 48 hours - they have gone down with the ship. 

Sorry.

Despite missing your sweet thoughts, we definitely felt your prayers yesterday.  Though it was a hard day of grief, we were not overcome.  Thank you.

As we walked through the day yesterday, there were moments for both of us when our thoughts strayed across the globe to an event that was taking place that brings us great joy and dredges up intense memories.

Yesterday the Hartmans met Brady.


Brady. Soon to be Judd or J.D.






I don't have a lot of words. 


Please church pray.

They crossed the globe to meet him.  To claim him as their son. 

They are exhausted.  It is an overwhelming world they have entered.  They need our prayers.  

They need to know that we are behind them.  Praying them home.

Please pray.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Into the Darkness

It is a surreal week for us. 

Back in March, Rob and the boys committed to being in a musical - Suessical.  Rob was asked to be Horton and the boys were cast as the Wickersham brothers.  I do the backstage managing.  Unfortunately none of these roles are easily replaced.  There are no understudies.

Crazy.

So here we are - in the midst of loss - going to practice each night - because the shows must go on and opening night is Friday night.  We are literally going through the motions.  All of us in shock and weary to the bone.  Yet life goes on.  Faithfully doing what we committed to doing.  It is a strange, sad, unreal week. 

And on top of our grief here and the chaos of our schedule, across the globe a little boy is going to have his life completely changed tomorrow and I am breaking down at the thought.  I can't get my head and heart around what is happening over there.

Brady - my precious Brady.




His family is meeting him tomorrow.

Dear Lord.

The Hartmans stepped out in faith last November after we came out yelling at the top of our lungs and after Brady's picture and story spread across the internet. 

And they are meeting him. TOMORROW.

For the first time in his life, when he reaches his arms up to be held, he will have a MOMMY to reach back. 

A year ago he was transferred to the place of no return. 

No one had ever been adopted out of that place. 

A village out in the middle of nowhere. 

Brady stood NO CHANCE of ever ever ever leaving.

BUT GOD.

God made the way.  He gets all the glory.  Our son is out and now Brady follows.

BUT NOT WITHOUT PRAYER.

Please understand.  The battle has not been won.

When Rob's dad died on Sunday, the timing of his death knocked us off our feet on many many levels.   I had planned on blogging about Brady on Monday and every day this week.  I had planned on raising up prayer support with a vengeance.  The Hartmans are going into the darkness.  A little light has been shed there because of our adoption.  But not enough.  Not enough.  It is a bleak and dreary place.  

There is so much I need to share.

There is so much that I have held off saying.

Waiting for this week.  Waiting to call the church to prayer. 

The timing is hard.  My heart is torn.

Despite our loss and grief this week - I wrote the Hartman's on Monday and promised her that she would NOT be abandoned.  What they are doing is too important - too precious to set aside.

So I am asking.  From the depths of my heart.  Please pray for the Hartmans.  Please pray for Brady (Judd).  Please pray. 

Please let the Hartmans know you are praying for them.   Their blog is HERE.  This morning on Melanie's post she indicated that at their SDA meeting this morning they saw a picture of Brady that was taken in September.  SEPTEMBER.  That was PRECIOUS news to us.  We begged.  We pleaded.  We asked over and over for the director to keep Brady and Heath available for adoption. 

SHE KEPT HER PROMISE.

I cannot begin to express how much that news means to us.  It is profound.  Our last day at the institute - Aaron's Gotcha Day - was hard.  Unbelievably hard.  It is a story I have yet to share.  One of those raw, painful memories that causes deep grief to remember.  We look back upon that day with much bitterness of spirit.  

Aaron was the first child adopted out of that institute and they didn't want to let him go.  Emotions were high.  The director was upset and we were caught in a storm on that day that hurt deep.  For four hours we waited in chaos and confusion.  One of these days I will share our agony as we sat on a bench outside the director's office on Aaron's Gotcha Day.  One of these days. 

Today - I share this:  The director hated cameras.  She hated that we took pictures.  Yet in the end, she let us take a picture of her with Aaron.



And in the end, after we walked out of that institute with our son, she got a camera and she took Brady's picture.  SHE TOOK HIS PICTURE. 

Yesterday, at the SDA meeting, the Hartmans saw THAT PICTURE.

Be still my soul.

To GOD be the GLORY!

Tomorrow she meets the Hartman family.  Another crazy family wanting one of HER boys.  She doesn't understand.  It scares her.  But they have a gift for her from us.  Tomorrow she gets to see OUR SON in pictures.  Happy. Healthy.  She will see his FLAT FEET.  She will see pictures of him eating with a utensil.  She will see pictures of him with his brothers.  

She will see THERE IS HOPE.  She will see that we kept OUR promise.  We told her we would find Brady and Heath families. 

Brady has one.

Heath still needs one.

PLEASE PRAY.  Please lift up the Hartmans in prayer.  The coming days and weeks will be HARD on them.  They left their children at home for an indefinite period of time.  They are going to a village that is far different from anything they have ever encountered before.  It is lonely there.  It is confusing and difficult.  There are many many unknowns.  They have not raised all the funds they need for this adoption and it weighs heavy on their hearts.  They need prayers.  They need support.  They need to know that we are behind them. 

Please pray church.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Not Without Hope

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.



For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.



 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.



After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.


Rob's dad died yesterday afternoon.

There is great sorrow in our house this morning.  He was dearly and deeply loved.   His loss is going to be felt for a very long time.  He had his priorities straight.  He loved the Lord.  Loved his wife. Loved his children.  He faithfully served the church, worked hard all his life to provide for his family and was generous to all who knew him.  Rob counted his dad as one of his best friends. 

We grieve.  Yes.  It is hard to say goodbye.  We were not ready to see him go.  There is great sorrow in our house this morning.  But we are not without hope.  We are not without hope.

"I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Asking for Prayers

Rob's dad is seriously having a hard time recovering from his surgery of two weeks ago.  The last few days he has taken a turn for the worse.  Our prayers are groans before the throne as we watch him struggle.   I wish I had the words for how we are feeling today.   Please pray for him and for our family.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fragile

It is easy to forget that only 8 months ago he was living in a mental institute. 



It it easy to forget that he spent a year of his life sitting in utter emptiness.


It is easy to forget that before that he spent five years inside two rooms of an orphanage. 


It is easy to forget sometimes that he carries deep hidden wounds that we can only begin to imagine.

It is easy to forget because he is so quick to smile and is so easy to please.



It is easy to forget because he has fit into our family in a way that makes it seem like he has always been part of us.

It is easy to forget until our schedule is turned upside down and the normal flow of our lives is changed due to Rob's dad's hospitalization.

Then we realize anew that our little guy has wounds that are deep and wide and not easily fixed with a kiss and a bandaid.


He has experienced too much pain in his short life to belief that what he has here is forever. 

He is fragile.

Our little fugitive from a faraway country.

He is fragile and tender and easily frightened and deeply in need of constant affirmation that he is home.  Home.  Not to leave. 

Home.

Our little fugitive is home.



Continued prayers for Rob's dad would be deeply appreciated.

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