Monday, January 28, 2013

Blog Break

I didn't plan to take a break but here I am.  I'm going to be a silent for a while.
 
I have tons on my mind and in my heart but I'm having a hard time getting the words out.
 
We are still working out our new norm as sole owners of our growing business.
 
I'm off to Lancaster, PA this week for an Adminstrators Convention for Christian Schools.... hoping to convince a few of the schools to consider using our curriculum!!
 
While I am there I will get to spend a few hours with some special people.  Maybe kiss a babe or two. 
 
I know many of you long for updates on Aaron since he IS the star of this blog!!
 

 

I am planning on some updates... there are changes in the wind for him in the coming months as he faces surgery in March.  My heart aches for him because this round is going to be ROUGH but we know that in the long run it will be GOOD.
 
 
He's THRIVING in school.
 
 
His vocabulary is growing by the day though most people can't always understand what he is saying.
He's reading.  He's writing.  Yes he is. My little guy is doing all his papers by hand and he is DOING THEM.  He can use scissors.  He colors.  His drawings are amazing considering!!!  He blows his teacher away with all that he does. 
 
 
He's happy. 
 
We know this to be true because about 10 times a day he lets us know.  "I'm Happy."
 
I'm glad.
 
He captures hearts wherever he goes.
 
There is not a night that goes by when I pray over him and kiss his little head goodnight that I don't think about where he was. 
 
There is not a day that goes by that I don't grieve for those left behind.
 
And that is the very hardest part.
 
The very hardest part indeed.
 
Once your eyes are opened.....
 
 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Good Company

You know I have been part of the Reece's Rainbow community for over three years now. 
 
There is a Facebook group that I am part of where all the crazy RR people hang out.  They are truly crazy.  It is a group of about 2,000 strong people who seriously love orphans and care about the families.  It is open to anyone who wants to shout and yell for the least of these.  They are crazy and since I am crazy.... they make good company!!
 
You want to know why I love that group so much??
 
Because despite the fact that many of them are adopting families who are scraping pennies together to raise money for their adoptions, despite the fact that many are living on a tight budget, despite the fact that many of them are college students or single women working low-paying jobs, despite the fact that many of them have husbands in the military and they are holding the fort down at home, despite the fact that many are walking through valleys of grief and sorrow in their own personal lives... despite all that....
 
EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.THERE.IS.A.NEED.THEY.RALLY!
 
Case in point.
 
In the last 48 hours it was discovered that a family had been scammed by a troll.
 
They were offered a grant that wasn't.
 
Money they were counting on was not given.
 
The person that did it is a known troll who preys on families.
 
They didn't know and were deeply hurt.
 
When the RR group found out they started hollering and yelling in the group.  Everyone started cleaning out their drawers and emptying their pockets because a family was hurting and in need.  Understand.... the people in that group give and give and give and give.  Yet it doesn't stop them.  They are seriously crazy for the orphan!!
 
 
I've been quiet and trying my very very hardest to keep from begging for money on this blog but dang it.... I'm part of that crazy RR Group and I cannot sit here and not take part.
 
And it would not be fair to not let you know that a family who is going to adopt these two babes...
 
Zack
 
 
 and Braska
 
 
has been hurt deeply.
 
This family has already passed court and all that is left is for them to go get them.  But they haven't raised the ramson yet.  They need $20,595 to be fully funded.
 
They have 10,665 in their grant account.
 
They thought they were getting 2,500 more but that money is not coming.
 
On top of that their blog has been hit with the nastiest of comments.

Really mean stuff.
 
I seriously don't understand people!!
 
Well..... the RR community isn't going to let a bunch of trolls steal this family's joy.
 
I'm not either. 
 
Want to help? Want to be crazy for the orphan?
 
Only money stands in the way for these babes to get out of their cribs and home.
 
Only money.
 
 
 You'll be in Good Company if you do!!!
 
 And while you are cleaning out your drawers...

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR THE SITUATION IN RUS*IA.

I cannot even put into words right now what I feel about all of this.  My prayers are less words and more tears and groans at this point. Three of our RR babes have gotten out since the ban and we rejoice greatly that they were able to cross the ocean to this side. 


  

But there are way too many more over there who need out.

Families caught in absolute limbo.

Children believing that their Mamas and Papas are coming for them.

Babes who were on the edge of transfer who were being held because a family was coming.

My heart hurts.

Hundreds of thousands of children.

It hurts.

But we are not without hope.

The cries of the oppressed are not being ignored by the Lord of Hosts. 

He heard their whimpers long before any of us even knew they were making sound. And slowly but surely he has been calling His church - US - to care - to pray - to move - to act - to adopt - to advocate. One by one God has been calling us for just this point in time!!! 

Our eyes have been opened and our hearts have been broken. We kneel before the throne together begging for the children who HE CALLED US TO LOVE. 

We aren't here apart from Him. 

We are NOT HERE apart from Him.

We would not even know about the orphan situation apart from God being the one who has opened up our eyes.

This is HIS battle and HE IS GOING TO WIN. I take courage in that truth. My job - our job - is to just stand and fight. Against all the odds. Despite how desperately awful it looks from all angles. In spite of the score. We just have to stand and fight. 

Prayer is our greatest weapon.

I'm using it.  Groaning daily before the throne for the children that He has placed on my heart.  Groan with me.  Keep praying beside me. 

Just keep praying church.

Just keep praying!



 
 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Just in the Nick of Time

 
Just about a year ago I wrote THIS POST
 
It was a Fatherless Friday post and it featured six children.
 
Six orphans. 
 
Six older and hard to adopt orphans.
 
It was the first time I introduced this child.
 
 
Laurel. 
 
A young, beautiful girl who was close to turning 16 and heading straight for an adult mental institute.
 
From that point on we began to yell.  And scream.  And pray.  And raise money.  And pray some more.
 
She was included in our Mulligan Stew. 
 
Her picture went out everywhere. 
 
And on the last day of the Mulligan Stew... On the last day when we were watching money pour in for all our orphans and families....
 
On that day a lady in Indiana was sitting at her computer at 11:30 at night with her husband next to her.  She started reading on the internet and stumbled.... in a God-ordained stumble... onto a blog ... where a dear friend (Susanna Musser who I am going to see next week) had written about Laurel.  And she broke down and wept.  And her husband sitting beside her asked her what was wrong.  With tears pouring down her face she told her about our Laurel.  And he got up ... left the room ... went outside.  And prayed.  And prayed.  And GOD SPOKE.  And he came back inside and together - that night... ON OUR LAST NIGHT OF THE MULLIGAN STEW... They committed to bring home OUR LAUREL!
 
And on Monday I got to meet her.
 
Our Laurel Alexandra
 
 
And I cried.
 
And so did her Mama from Indiana.
 
Oh what joy to see her.  To hug her.  To plant kisses on her cheeks and whisper love into her ears and to hear her tell me she loved me too.
 
 
Ransomed because you helped pay the fee. 
 
 
Rescued from transfer that was only WEEKS AWAY.  She was scheduled to be transferred AS.SOON.AS.SHE.TURNED.16.
 
They got her out just in the nick of time.
 
 
It was pure joy to see her.
 
She is doing amazingly well.  Her English blows me away.  She is funny....
 
 
 and sweet....
 
 
and BEAUTIFUL!!
 
 
The doctors at Shriners are convinced she will be able to walk.  The treatment is not easy but she is handling it with grace and courage!!!
 
OH WHAT JOY TO SEE HER!!!
 
But that is not all because on Monday... while I was with Laurel...
 
Another one of our Mulligan Stew babes became a son!!
 
Igor
 
 
He was in that same post of six orphans.
 
And on Monday he was named Joseph Igor Patterson.
 
Because they are still in their 10 day wait and because there have been issues surrounding his adoption (they almost didn't get him) - I can't freely share pictures of him but I can jump up and down and praise God because Igor is getting out soon!!
 
Of the six children in that post almost a year ago....
 
FIVE HAVE FOUND FAMILIES...
 
FIVE
 
Only Emmitt is left.
 
Emmitt
 
 
He turns 16 exactly a year from now. 
 
12 months.
 
That is all he has left to find a family.
 
We cannot leave him behind!
 
We cannot.
 
 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shriner's Bound

Aaron and I are Shriners bound tomorrow.
 
He can't wait.  He LOVES his doctors and LOVES the Shriner's van.
 
 
We are getting a brace fixed and will seeing the Upper's Dr. 
 
 
We are also hoping to see a very special young lady.
 
 
Just to see her is going to be worth getting up at 2:00 am and the 10+ hours in the van.
 
So stay tuned people because I can't wait to share...
 
 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Priceless Picture

Check this picture out!!!

 
Do you see the kids???
Do you know who they are??
 
THEY ARE THESE KIDS....
 
 
 
Our Mulligan Stew babes.
 
Masha and her two sisters and brother.
 
YOU PRAYED FOR THEM.  YOU RAISED THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR THEM...
 
LOOK AND SEE...
 
Traci and Scott Heims are THERE WITH THEM.
 
They are across the ocean and they are going to be bringing all four of them home.
 
PRAISE GOD PRAISE GOD!!!
 
Oh how we have prayed and worried and prayed some more. 
 
God heard our prayers.  These kids have been longing for a family for so long.  All four of them are beyond thrilled that they are wanted. 
 
Dear friends - Look at little Vika in Traci's arms.  Doesn't she just fit?  And the smile on Masha's face???  It is priceless.  Don't be bothered by Sasha's serious look... Traci tells me that he is overjoyed to have a Papa.  And Alina can't stop smiling.  They have a Mama and Papa who LOVE THEM. 
 
 
Pictures like this are what sustain me. 
 
Pictures like this give us hope.
 
Pictures like this remind us that the dimes and nickels we donate MATTER. 
 
Thank you to everyone who dropped their dimes and nickels into the bucket to ransom these children.  They still have to pass court so it will take quite a few weeks before they cross the ocean but YOU HELPED MAKE IT HAPPEN. 
 
REJOICE WITH ME.... FOUR ORPHANS ARE GOING HOME!
 
PRAISE GOD PRAISE GOD!!
 
 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fatherless Friday

I made a mistake on Monday.
 
 
I did something that I have not done in a very long time.
 
 
I looked at the Newly Listed Page on Reece's Rainbow.
 
 
Once I started scanning down the faces I realized I was in trouble, but I refused to allow myself to close the page. 
 
 
 I made myself look at every.single.child on that page.
 
 
It was a mistake.
 
 
I have spent the rest of the week in a tailspin.
 
 
I have spent the rest of the week wanting to curl up under my desk and weep uncontrollably.
 
 
That's all I have to say today.
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

 
 
 
In case you were wondering.... Aaron is reading to Ben!!!
 
 

Monday, January 14, 2013

They Marched


They Marched.

The numbers ranging between 20,000 - 50,000 people.


They Marched.

Not a march like here.

We don't have streets lined with soldiers when we march.


We aren't being counted and recorded when we march.


Our names aren't being written down and our pictures aren't being taken so that the powers that be will know who we are.

Despite all of those worries - they marched.


They marched for THEIR children.

Pure and simple.



They carried banners to shame their leaders KNOWING the risk.  

Knowing just how high the stakes are for them.


They threw those banners of shame in a trash bin at the end of the march.

Making a statement for all the world to see.

They marched for their children.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Krem*in met the protest with swarms of riot police, who hemmed the crowd in with metal fences and drowned out their chants with the thumping of a helicopter that hovered overhead.


Yet despite all this - they marched.

They marched mostly in silence, chanting "shame" from time to time.

“They expected that, as usual, we would swallow it, keep quiet,” Ms. Rostova said. “We have had two weeks to think about this law, and not everyone understood right away, but as time passed, people realized what it means to leave invalids, sick children, in Rus*ia, where there is no help. Everyone knows what kind of medicine we have here.” 


They marched knowing that the ban "effectively condemns Rus*ian children in state care to lives of misery in what they say are underfunded and sometimes brutal institutions.  Nearly 130,000 children were eligible for adoption in the country as of late December, according to official figures. In 2011, that number was 82,000, while just 7,400 were adopted by Rus*ian nationals that year."
They marched for the children.

They marched to show support to the 500-1,000 US families who are currently in process to adopt.

They marched for the 120,000 other children who are desperate for families to cross the ocean for them.



They marched in the capital and they marched in smaller protests across the country.

Seeing the pictures makes me want to cry and rejoice at the same time.

I weep for people who are forced to march for their children.  

I weep because their system IS broken and it DOES need to be fixed and children DO need to stay in their own country.  I weep for the Mamas and the Papas in that crowd who gave up their precious treasures at birth because that is just what you do over there.  You give up the ones who are broken.  I weep because we are no better in our abortion happy America.   I weep because poverty and alcohol and sickness and despair causes so many to send their children away in hopes of giving them a better life.  

I weep for people who are forced to march for their children.

I do weep but I also rejoice.  I rejoice that they are recognizing, maybe some for the first time, the worth of their children.  They are not pawns to be played with by government officials.  They are their precious offspring.  They are worth the risk.  They are worth having their names written down in books and their pictures taken by officials.  

They are their children and they marched for them.

I can't march with them but I can stand and applaud what they did.

I can applaud what they did and I can pray that their voices will be heard by the powers that be over there.

They came out in support of  the US.  They came out to support adoptions by Americans.  

They came out because they know that their system is broken and until it is fixed - their babes need to get out of the institutes over there.  

I applaud them.  I pray for them.  I pray for their children.

I pray for the 500-1,000 families in process who are being told that the doors may again close.  I pray for the hundreds of thousands of children who are shut away behind fences and walls.

I pray and I weep and I rejoice.

PLEASE PRAY WITH ME!  The powers that be over there are making some major heavy decisions and hundreds of thousands of lives hang in the balance.  The news is ever-changing.  It is a roller-coaster ride of emotions as we watch with held breath. Please continue to lift up the families.  I know that they are being held up only because of the prayers being lifted on their behalf.  

Especially pray right now for the 46 families who passed court and are all either on their way or getting ready to leave to get their children.  Pray that NOTHING stands in their way and that this first wave of babes is able to get out.

They Marched.  

We Pray.





Saturday, January 12, 2013

Proud


Yep.  I'm proud of him.

Last Saturday he was awarded the First Year Arrowman Award for the Order of the Arrow.

Only a few boys earned it which makes it pretty cool!


He loves all things Boy Scouts.


I love him.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hope


The Battle Belongs to the Lord....
 
HOPE HAS COME!!
 
 
The bilateral adoption agreement made between Russ*a and the US this past fall is going to be honored!! THAT IS HUGE! It means that for the next year adoptions will be allowed to be processed!! 
 
Thank you Jesus.
 
 
 
Keep praying that the doors will STAY OPENED!  There are hundreds and hundreds of families in process right now who have just dropped to their knees in grateful praise for answered prayer.  There are hundreds and hundreds of orphans who have just had hope given back after days of darkness and despair.
 
 
Please pray.  Pray that our government will be able to mend and heal the brokenness  between the countries so that adoptions will continue past January 2014. 
 
Pray for the families that they will be able to quickly and efficiently move through the process while the door stands open. 
 
 
Pray for those who are considering adopting that they will have the COURAGE to leap despite the unknown. 
 
Pray for all the babes over there who lay in bed each night whispering prayers for a family to come and take them home.
 
PRAY CHURCH!!
 
 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

God's Paths

Here's the truth.

Advocating for those who have no voice sometimes means that I am going to shed tears over children whom I am never seen and will never meet.

I've shed a lot of tears in the last year.

Some of those tears are because of these two boys.

Spencer and Porter

 

Both boys had been transferred. Both needed out.

We yelled.

We prayed.

We cried.

We raised money.  We prayed some more.  We yelled some more.  We cried some more.

And God heard.  Two families stepped forward to get these two boys.

Our rejoicing reached the heavens.

But sometimes paths that seem straight end up going in other directions.

And for both these boys  - the paths did not end with them.

How do I share without tears streaming down my face?

I can't.

Porter's family crossed the ocean a few months ago.  I was jumping for joy that he was going to get out.  But when the family sat down for their referral meeting and his file was pulled and the powers that be began to read  his medical history, they discovered that Porter's medical history was much worse than anyone had been informed.  Porter is paralyzed on one side.

No one knew.  Every single person in the room was completely blindsided by the news.

The family had choices... they could go home and get their homestudy changed since they were not approved for paralysis or they could choose another child.

With tears of sorrow they chose another child.

David (Marcus on RR)



And they fell deeply and profoundly in love.

He was the path God had laid out for them.  Porter was the stepping stone.

David has a family.  The Eriksons have a son.

In just a few days David's Papa will be carrying him out of the institute and he will be crossing the ocean and beginning a new life with a family who is praising God for His faithful guidance in their lives.  I praise God with them knowing that another orphan gets a family because they stepped out in obedience.

If you want to follow their story click HERE.

But what about Porter?

At this point Porter is on hold until his medical condition and whereabouts can be absolutely confirmed.  It isn't as easy as making a few phone calls.  Porter is in a village out in the middle of nowhere.  No bus goes directly to the village from the city.  No train goes through the area.  It costs around $250 US to hire a driver to get to the village.  We know.  This is where Aaron lived.  It is a different world and getting information is slow and painstaking.  All we can do is pray that Porter's information will be verified soon so that we can again advocate for him in order to find him a family.

I have not forgotten Porter and as soon as we are able I will be yelling again for him.  I know the Eriksons will be yelling alongside me.

Spencer's story is just as hard.

His family is days away from crossing but they already know that they will not be bringing him home.

Spencer's biological mom has closed the door.

Though she isn't removing him from the institute - she is refusing to allow him to be adopted.  So Spencer stays.

You can read the story HERE.

When Spencer's family found out that he was not available they too had to make a choice.  Do they walk away from adopting or do they choose another child?

As most of you know - At the same time we were yelling for Spencer - we were also yelling for Brent.

We were praying and crying and raising money and praying some more for sweet Brent.



He was Spencer's 'twin' on RR since one year both boys had their adoption pictures taken in the same outfit.

 

And when Brent had a family we rejoiced with shouts that again reached heaven.

But those tears were mixed with sorrow for me as I knew what was transpiring behind the scenes. 

I knew a choice had been made and the news was definitely bittersweet. 

Oh Dear Spencer. 

 I am so grateful that he is loved by the one who birthed him, and I completely understand her desire to keep him near.  She isn't removing him from the institute and in that I am saddened.  He is going to miss out on all that a family would offer him.  He will spend the rest of his life behind walls.  

In a few short days the Tweitmeyers will be crossing the ocean to bring Brent home.  The path they chose was not the path God had in mind but they are believing that His way is better.  

I will be following their story for Brent with great joy.
I am following David's journey home with joy also.

And mixed in that joy are prayers for two other boys who are not crossing the ocean.  

Sometimes paths that seem straight end up going in other directions.

Sometimes it is bittersweet.

Always - God is Faithful!




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