Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Needs of the Lowly

 If there was a contest for who has the BEST blog readers I would enter all of you in it!!
On Friday I shared that Renee and Alan had a $1,000 matching grant and by that evening you had filled up their cup and beyond....
Yesterday I shared about a Papa who is sleeping in a cot in his daughter's orphanage so that he can raise the ransom to bring her home and again - you poured into that family... even though I had just begged only a few days before!! Since then a little over $1,000 has been given for the Daulton family.  That's 1/3 of what they needed. WOW!!
I get so nervous about begging all the time.
I know so many of you are stretched and have given and given and then given again. 
Yet you allow the needs of the lowly to stir in your hearts and for that I am beyond grateful.
Please don't stop.  The Daultons still need  around $2,000 more.  Papa and daughter should be home by Saturday so we only have a few more days to bless them with our gifts of love. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

What a Papa Will Do For Love

Our internet has been giving us fits for the last few days and our backup internet that we use for business is almost at its monthly limit so I have been laying low on doing anything not business related.
There is a family in country right now that is in desperate need of some support.

A year ago the Daultons, who have adopted and adopted and adopted again, crossed the ocean to bring home two more precious girls...


Unfortunately Heather's paperwork had issues and they were not able to bring her home. 
They brought Trista out and immediately began the process to go back and get Heather.
The price tag has been enormous.
Dave is IN COUNTRY right now and is in the last few days of bringing their precious treasure home.  They have maxed out their credit cards to do this.  Dave has been sleeping IN THE ORPHANAGE to save money.  I am fairly certain that he has been eating cardboard to pay the ransom for their daughter.
Please won't you consider coming alongside them.  They have literally sacrificed all to go back and get the one they had to leave behind.
Please won't you help this Papa get his sweet treasure home?
They are around $3,000.00 short!!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fatherless Friday

Please don't pass this blogpost by.
Please don't just scroll down.
Please open this video and watch.  Even for just a few seconds. 

Did you see those three boys?
Did you see them?
Their Reece's Rainbow names are Barton, Amos and Dell.
They are all three orphans in need of families.
Oh my goodness look at him in that video.
Does he deserve to spend the rest of his life in an adult mental institute where he will literally ROT away?
Go look at him.
Look at the other two boys.  They are beyond precious.  They are treasures waiting to be found.  I watch them and want to laugh and clap and reach out and hug each of them.  Dell waving in the video at the audience.  Amos pretending to sing words that he can't speak.  Barton playing and dancing to the music.  Precious Precious Precious! 
So many are so afraid when they consider the ages of these boys but if you would just see them. 
These are not scary boys.
They are just boys.
Little boys at heart.
See them. 
Barton is a quiet boy. He loves to be outside, staring at the sky, following the birds with his eyes. He loves to feel the wind around his and when there’s a leaf on the ground and the wind blows it away, he goes running after it.
Last summer an adopting family visited his orphanage and Dell was so fond of the adopting couple. Especially the ‘daddy’. He really called him daddy and every day when they visited their son, Dell would come running after them, hugging them and just hanging around with them as long as he could, until they left or until the nurses told him to come back.  This boy would function so wonderfully in a family!
When a child falls down, Amos picks the child up, even without somebody telling him to do that. He is a real social butterfly. He cares about the children around him and I’m sure that he would be an awesome big brother, because that’s what he is for the children in his group.
These are just boys.
Just boys.

And while you are looking....




Sutter is a really smart boy. He likes to make puzzles and he can solve them really fast. His favorite game was copying a picture and rebuild it with little colored pins on a board with holes. If you try to fool him, he will say ‘no’ and start to laugh contagious. I’m sure that he would be able to participate in some kind of education.
                                                                                                    (Dell and Sutter)

I just can't stand it!
In a few months a family is going to cross the ocean to bring home three treasures.  I don't know who these treasures will be at this point. 
But I do know that they are going to be adopted by a wonderful family.
How do I know?
Because this family has already adopted four other children and I met those treasures and they blessed my socks off!
This week sweet E.G. (in the polka dot dress) had some MAJOR surgery done.  I have been following along with her surgery but I am not knowledgeable enough to explain exactly what was done.  It involved cutting in her back etc etc.  NO THANK YOU!  From what I am reading... it was a GOOD surgery but of course everyone is exhausted and fundraising for an adoption is the farthest thing from their minds right now...
But here's the deal....
They were offered a $1,000.00 matching grant which is a HUGE gift and will move them oh so much  closer to the thousands and thousands they need to raise to add three more treasures to their amazing family.
But the timing makes it a wee bit hard for them to find the time to yell. 
 When you are sitting by the bed of your sweet one - the last thing you want to think about is how to get a grant matched.
So I am yelling for them.
Please help them raise the ransom.  Anything in their bucket would be a HUGE blessing. 
Next year when I am in North Carolina.... I am hoping and praying that I will  be swarmed by not just four babes but SEVEN.  THAT picture is going to be fun to take!!!
Won't it feel sweet when you see the pictures of those children to know that you took part in bringing them home?
Take part.
Be a blessing.

And after you donate... CLICK HERE and enter to win a gift card or two...
And then go back and watch Barton and Amos and Dell again.  And look at Sutter.
And pray.  And consider.  And maybe.  Just maybe.  Adopt.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Be A Warrior

Sorry for the quiet on the blog...

I'm just trying to catch my breathe after the last number of weeks of crazy.
Aaron is doing AWESOME.  He is wheelchair-free, back in school and happy as can be to have those plates out of his knees.  He's still nervous about bending his knees but when he does he is always surprised that they don't hurt anymore.  
Last week before Aaron had surgery we stopped at iDupont to get Aaron's WREX fixed.

For those who want to see the WREX in action... Here is Aaron using the WREX to lift blocks out of a bucket.  He hasn't had his WREX since March so wearing it was brand new again for him.   Aaron is missing his bicep muscles so the simple act of pulling blocks out of a bucket is something he can't normally do.


Those amazing men at iDupont have made 100 WREX's so far and almost all of those children have arthrogryposis! 

As an awesome PRAISE...
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The last few days have seen a HUGE amount of activity on the My Family Found Me page on Reece's Rainbow.  I can't tell you how thrilling it is to see the children's faces appear on that page!!
So for all those who can't adopt right now and are feeling overwhelmed at the HUGE orphan crisis.... Here's a really fun way to get involved...
Here are the links to all the Angel Tree babes! 
Those who do NOT have This Tag next to their names....
What does a Warrior do???
They pray for that child.
They yell for that child.
They tell everyone in their world about that child.
They try to help that child reach the goal of $1,000 in their grant account.
They join together with a whole host of other warriors and work together to get ALL the babes to the $1,000 goal.
We plan on yelling our guts out for this sweet boy.  He's been listed on Reece's Rainbow for way too long!!!
This is our fourth year as Angel Tree Warriors and I wouldn't miss it for the world.


Monday, October 21, 2013

I'll Take Anyone

His story went viral.
The fifteen year old boy who stood up in front of a large church and begged for a family.

"I'll take anyone," Davion told the 300-strong gathering at the church. "Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be," he added.
Old.  Young.  Dad or Mom.
I Don't Care.
I'll Take Anyone.
10,000 e-mails and calls were received after his story went viral.
Ten thousand families in this country looked in their homes and found an empty chair at their table.  They found an extra bed.  They realized they had a seat in their van.  They found that they had enough love in their heart to add one more.
Ten thousand families responded to the cries of a 15 year old orphan boy who was tired of being an orphan.
Oh Dear Lord let that mean 10,000 less orphans in this nation and beyond.
Let those 10,000 families see beyond the one boy and be willing to consider the millions.
I'll Take Anyone.
On Friday there were two less orphans.

The cries of their hearts were heard.
For fifteen years they too prayed.  Hoped. Wished. Dreamed.
Each time someone new walked through the institute doors they looked and wondered and hoped.  Estelle used to ask - HAS ANYONE COME FOR ME? 
God heard.
He heard the deep desires of their hearts.
For fifteen years He watched over these two orphans.  Caring for them.  Providing for them.  He raised up people in their community who visited them.  Loved them.  Took them to church.  Prayed over them.  They prayed that a CHRISTIAN family from America would come to adopt them.  They knew that in their country they would never fit in. 
And God heard.
He raised up a humble, willing Godly family.
Within just a few minutes of meeting these two humble people.... Estelle and Gerard looked at each other and smiled and said YES.
And two orphans are now brother and sister.  Son. Daughter.  Grandchildren.  Nephew. Niece.  Grafted into a family for life.
I'll Take Anyone.
I don't care.
Young. Old. Dad. Mom.  Black.  White.  PURPLE.
I don't care.
My boys can't stand up in a church and beg for a family.
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They don't get that privilege.
The longing in their hearts is their silent prayer as they lay in the dark each night.  After the caretakers have left. When the doors are locked and they are alone in their beds surrounding by the noise and misery of the other boys in the building.  When the night terrors come with no one to comfort and calm them.  Their whispered prayers for someone.  Anyone.  Black.  White.  PURPLE.  Anyone to come rescue them from the darkness. 
They don't care if their van is not new.
They don't care if the house is small.
They don't care if they will have to wear hand-me-down clothes.
They don't care.
They just need a family.
Please hear the cries of their hearts.
 Old. Young.  Dad.  Mom.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Storming and Peppers... Oh MY!

We are home.
The surgery went very very well!

The plates are out and Aaron's pain level has been fairly low.  That's a relief because he has four incisions that need to heal.
He's not ready to bend his knees yet but we are hopeful that once the healing takes place, he will be able to gain back his lost range of motion.  He so very much wants to be able to bend his knees without pain again.  He wants to ride his bike again.  He wants to be able to jump again on the trampoline.  All of these things have been lost to him since March and he is so ready to get them back.
For those who are my facebook friends - you had the privilege of following Aaron's after-surgery struggle to fight off the anesthesia.
It was quite the battle.
When he arrived in recovery he was 'storming' BIG TIME.  Screaming.  Crying.  Fighting.  Holding his breath almost to the point of passing out.   They immediately called me down hoping that I could bring him out of it.  My bag of tricks was left at home because he continued to storm for two hours despite trying everything we could think of to get him to wake up.   It was bizarre and terribly sad to watch.  Every doctor and nurse in recovery had met him just a few hours before when he was happy and talking.  He has been there enough times that they KNOW him and KNOW that he is the sweetest little guy.  So for all of us to watch him go through that torment... it was HARD.  One of the nurses likened it to a nightmare that he couldn't wake up from.  Aaron would scream and fight and rage for several minutes and then go into a zombie like sleep-state for a few minutes and then start back up again.   We all felt like we were caught in a horror film.  During that entire time he never opened his eyes and only once did he respond to me coherently. 
As I talked to the anesthesiologist and the nurses and the doctors - the hardest part was knowing that most likely his body was reacting to the drugs because of his former drug encounters.  Aaron spent the first three years of his life in and out of the hospital.  He had surgeries and traumas and sicknesses that kept him stuck in a hospital bed over and over and over again.  Each time he went into the hospital, chances are, he was given a whole tubful of drugs to keep him contained and calm.  Chances are the dosages he received were much greater than he should have been given (adult dosages).  Three years of on again off again drugging is not good for little bodies.
I hated watching his storming.
I hated being in that room of horrors with my son. 
I felt sick watching his body fight the medication.  I was so darn helpless as he stormed... wondering what in the world was going on inside his mind.. worried that he truly was in a never-ending nightmare...
I rarely allow myself to consider those years he spent alone in the hospital. 
I just can't go there with my brain.
I'll be honest... It was a HUGE relief when he finally emerged from down under.  In the recovery room, he stormed for well over two hours and then went into a sleep so deep that we couldn't rouse him.  By the time he woke up we had been moved to a regular room despite the fact that we were out-patient.  I was oh so happy to see his sleepy little eyes and hear his sweet little voice. 
We left that place as fast as we could get packed....
We celebrated with dinner at the Ronald McDonald House.
 I LOVE spaghetti and after a long hard day... seeing spaghetti being served was such a wonderful comfort food.  Both Aaron and I were so happy to eat something we both loved.   UNFORTUNATELY - Someone thought it would be COOL to put HOT PEPPERS in the spaghetti sauce.   COME ON PEOPLE.... This is a place for CHILDREN.  Who puts Hot Peppers in spaghetti sauce and serves it to children??? 
Poor Aaron was starving and HOT SPAGHETTI was a HUGE disappointment.
So what did this Mama do???
I loaded him up on delicious banana pudding and a blue cupcake...
Now THAT is a delicious dinner!

We are so so glad to be home.
I think I'm going to make spaghetti for dinner.....

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fatherless Friday

Break my heart.
Oh Dear Lord.
Break my heart.
This isn't a baby.
This isn't a six month old despite the fact that he is the size of a six month old.
He's not one.
He's not two.
He's starving to death.
Please please read what a family wrote about him....
May 2012.  There was a stroller outside with the rest of the babies.  I walked over and peaked inside.  And that's when it happened, that's when I met him.  His bare arms and legs were stick thin.  He was two years old at the time but no where close to the size of a two year old.  His skin was soft as paper. His breathing was fast and raspy.  I leaned over and said hello, softly rubbing his leg.  He got worked up and started making grunting sounds with his mouth and moving his arms a little.  It was impossible to tell if he was starting to laugh or cry.  The nannies started glancing our way because of the commotion so I quickly blew him a kiss and moved away.  His stroller was pushed to the side and he was clearly not one of the favorite children there. 
Oh Dear Lord Break My Heart!
Just a few weeks ago another family saw him.  This is what they said about him...
"He is only getting maybe an ounce or two of formula by NG tube every feeding. He is aspirating really bad. He needs a G tube. He is the size of a 6 month old."
Is there anyone out there who would be willing to rescue this precious little boy?  He is three years old and is scheduled to be transferred NEXT YEAR.  He will not survive.  He just will not survive. 
Please Lord - BREAK OUR HEARTS!!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Engine

 If you listed all the things that his little hands can't do... you could fill quite a number of pages.
It doesn't stop him.

He's the Little Engine That Could
We are off to Philly today.  Just Aaron and me. Elijah had too many places he needed to be for Rob to be able to come.
Please pray for us.
We are going to be at Dupont this afternoon to get Aaron's WREX fixed. We are HOPING for a room at the Ronald McDonald House in Delaware. The plates are coming out of Aaron's knees tomorrow.
I can't wait to be home and we haven't even left yet....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Restoration Begins

Heath met his family.
Restoration begins.
They are choosing to stay private until after court so I can't share but I promise that as soon as I am able I will.  I know so many of you have been praying alongside us for three long years.  You shouted with us.  Raised money with us.  Loved with us.  Cried with us.  Knowing that in just a matter of weeks he will be carried out of there... I KNOW you are rejoicing right along with us.  Thank you.  Thank you for your faithful love and concern.  Thank you for loving the Least of These.  Thank you for your sacrificial giving.  Thank you for responding to God's call.  Thank you!
And while I am rejoicing today...
Tavin has a family.
That is SO CLOSE to us!!
They will be going to Shriners in Philly for his treatment!!
I am jumping for joy!
God is good.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Three Long Years

Today is a very special, precious and amazing day.
Today a family is walking past THESE GATES.

And walking through this green door...
To meet Heath!!
Our Heath!!
I'm going to be teaching at our local co-op.... talking about Medieval France in my Medieval history classes and the War of the Pacific in my Modern history classes and giving a writing lesson in my writing classes but my heart.... my heart... It's inside those gates.  Whispering prayers for the Drake family as they finally, finally, finally meet the boy who has burdened our hearts for three long years.



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Recovery Mode

I'm in recovery mode today.

Yesterday's hospital trip was not one I want to repeat any time soon. 
We left home at 2:30 am ... spent 5 hours in the pouring rain to get to the hospital....  We had FAST appointments and left the hospital at 10:30 ready to make the 5 hour trip home... We left early enough to be AHEAD of ANY rush hour traffic in Delaware, Maryland OR D.C.  We were on cruise control feeling like we had won the lottery!  I mean.... 10:30 was a total WIN WIN!!  We had TWO families in the van with TWO children who had  appointments and we got out of there at 10:30 am.  That NEVER happens!
With two iPads to entertain the two children.... and a quick trip ahead of us... we seriously were flying high.
On our face exhausted.
Car accidents.  Rush hour traffic.  More car accidents.  More rush hour traffic.  Road construction. 
And I get to do it again next week.
Aaron is good to go for surgery on Thursday so the two of us will travel up on Wednesday and probably head back home on FRIDAY. 
As I said... I'm in recovery mode today.
Of course the BEST part of the trip was seeing the other children with arthrogryposis and talking to their moms.  PLUS... riding in the Shriner's van with us for 14 hours LONG HOURS was the NEATEST mom and her foster daughter.
The little girl has been through fire and back yet has the most amazing spirit.
She is joy herself!

She humbled me.
Would that I had a small portion of her ability to wade through life's troubles with her toughness and courage. 
She truly humbled me!
Despite being in recovery mode and despite dreading our trip next week... I am grateful for the hours spent talking and laughing and suffering in the van.  I am grateful that God allowed our paths to cross.  It was worth the agony. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Budding Photographer

So I'm downloading pictures from my camera to my computer this morning when I notice all these pictures downloading that I never took. 

I started scrolling through them and wondered how in the world I had acquired a bunch of professional looking pictures in my portfolio. 

I had recently changed picture servers and I thought MAYBE they were samples...

I was seriously enjoying looking at them....

They were intriguing and different...


I was convinced that I had downloaded sample pictures from some professional picture place....

Until I came to THIS picture...

And this one...
And I immediately knew where the pictures came from.....


Silly boy....
Apart from the wacky ones....
He really is a good photographer..

P.S.  Tomorrow Aaron and I will drag out of bed at 2:00 am for a quick trip to Shriners.  Basically we are driving 12-14 hours round-trip to be told that he is good to go for surgery next week.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could teleport or something??  Where is that technology when you need it?
IF he is good to go... then next week we will drive up on Wednesday for surgery on Thursday.  He will be getting the plates removed in his knees.  We are praying he is good to go!!   Aaron can't wait to be pain-free in the knee bending department.