Saturday, August 29, 2009

I am humbled, shameful, but blessed!

If you haven't read this blog post by Katie, go here now, and read the one from Aug. 26th, 2009 which as of today is at the top of the page.

If you think that the things we have done, like adopting from russia, then china, and now doing foster care are noble acts, or something Godly, or saintly, I will tell you, in comparison to what Katie is doing in Africa, day after day, there is no comparison. Yes, our adoption from russia was rough, he was a tough street kid, a boy abused, used, and deeply damaged. Yes, we spent quite a few years in turmoil, and it was hard, very hard, scary, full of unimaginable suffering that brought me to my knees more times than I can count. But, in those times on my knees, I came to know some of what the suffering of Jesus was like, and I was challenged to love when our child seemed so unlovable, much like God and us. And I understood God's love for me just a little more. Our China adoption was simple in comparison, but still a roller coaster ride at times, wondering if we made the right decision in turning down our first two referrals, and then accepting the third. Then realizing when we gave it all to God, and allowed Him to work things out, He did. Our daughter needed a family, but we needed her too, and she has been such a blessing. Foster care so far has been so rewarding. So many people look at us now, and say we have our hands full-I guess to many people, 3 young ones is a handful, because with 2, I never got that comment. But, we have been so blessed. After reading Katie's latest post, and thinking about all of the ones we turned down, I am shameful, but God in His grace, still allowed us the opportunity to be foster parents, and for that, I am so thankful. I have heard so many people say they wanted to do foster care, but decided they just couldn't do it, because they could not bare the thought of having to give the child back at some point and having their hearts broken. This idea held us back at one point too, but, as I thought and prayed about it more, I realized it's not about us...and our's about the child, and in taking in a child who needs a home when theirs is no longer a safe place for them, we are doing something that Jesus would do, and as a christian, I cannot stand by and know there is a need in my community that I am aware of, and do nothing. How could I sit back and tell God I was just too busy, or my life is perfect the way it is? For us, it is also about caring for one of God's precious little children, ministering to them, by loving, caring, and holding them close as though they were our own, and having the opportunity to pray over them, which I am so thrilled to be able to do! In looking at it this way, foster care has really been a ministry, one in which we are able to serve God through-by loving a sweet little baby-His creation! Although I wasn't looking for payoffs of any kind, I am being blessed beyond measure! Having a little baby in the house who coos, smiles, and is absolutely the most cute, and cuddly little thing ever has been such a blessing...far beyond what I expected! But, again, it is not much in comparison to what Katie is doing in Africa. She is 20, mothering 13 orphans, and caring for hundreds more. What I am doing is so small in comparison. When she sees a need, she does all she can to meet it. She is living in a place of poverty. I have my comfy little home, warm bed, air conditioning, all the food I want. Her place is not what most of us would call all the comforts of home. But, her home is filled with love, and that is most important. She brings home small children, and babies, and nurses them to life, takes them to Dr's and hospitals, when nobody else will. She takes care of so many, when nobody else seems to care. She is the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus. But most of all, she has taken God's word-BELIEVED it, and did not just set her Bible up on a shelf after church on Sunday, but she followed God's word, His leading, and daily carries out what we as christians are called to do. I wanted to summarize a little of what she talked about. She was beginning to feel anger in taking care of all of these needs. The needs are HUGE, and she is just ONE, trying to do so much. She talks about the 147 million orphans in the world, and other children in the world that are being used as sex slaves, etc. She states that there are 2.1 BILLION christians world wide, and if only 8% of these christians would care for just one child, ALL would be taken care of!!! That just blows my mind! Only 8% could take care of all!?! I can relate to her anger and her feelings that we as christians are failing. What are all the christians doing? I really hope they are not living in multi million dollar homes, buying vacation properties, and sending their one child off to boarding schools, or maybe most of them are just average people, but they don't believe they have the means to do something like this...that would mean they are not getting into God's word, allowing His truth and message to penetrate their hearts and souls...because when we are open to His plan, His truth, and His message, He shows us the way, and it changes us...and we, as well as a little orphan child from a land far away, or possibly in our own neighborhood, are never the same...

I challenge you to read this latest blog post of hers, and then listen to your heart, and ask, What is it I can do? Where is it I can help? I promise you, you will be richly blessed!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A great post, please read!!!

This blog post is so good, and sums up just what I think and feel! Just had to share!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A summer tea in the yard...

There's nothing sweeter than a little girls summer tea party in the yard.
Berries from the garden are a wonderful addition to any afternoon tea party.

These sisters are learning to enjoy the simple things in life, like spending time in the outdoors like this, walking barefoot in the grass and swinging on tree swings. The blessings of summer!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Oh my!

Here is the sign M put up on her bedroom door the other day. Does this tell you something about
how she is feeling about her little sister right now?? I just had to snap a picture of this, I thought it was too funny. Usually she tells me about the signs she is making, but I didn't hear a word about this one, just noticed it was there. Hmmm? I really do wonder what she was thinking? For one thing, they share a room, and does she think L can read? Not sure about this one, but it did make my day :)!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

And another baby!!!

Well, this morning we got yet, ANOTHER call to take in a foster baby, that's two calls in just 3 days! This time they needed a home for a 5 month old baby boy with a cleft lip and palate. The lady that called used to work with me at the pediatric facility I work at, but is now retired and only works on call for CPS. So, she called me first knowing I have experience with feeding issues, since I do so much of it at work. She didn't know we already have a little one placed here. I so wanted to take this little boy, but DH brought me back down to reality as we addressed the fact that we are basically at capacity for what we can do well right now. He is right. I would take in every baby, and I hate saying no, but this is about all we can handle at the moment. I will continue to pray about it, and be ready to take in another child when the time is right! If you have even thought about fostering just slightly, now is the time to really start thinking, praying and talking about it. There are so many babies being born that need to be placed directly into a foster home, and many that need a home only weeks after being born. This is just my small little community. The need is great in most places all over the U.S. as well.
Be blessed!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Babies!!!

We just got home from our little Anniversary trip (15 yrs! I will post more about that later), so we were out of town for a few days. When we returned, I was listening to our phone messages, and there was ANOTHER message stating that there is a newborn that needs a home, and asking if we would be interested. We have been getting these calls for newborns on an almost weekly basis, and even after we now have a newborn in our home! There is probably room in the crib for one more...but I need to pray about that for awhile first, I am still learning the routine of having an infant in our home. By the way, she is doing so well! She continues to be the sweetest baby you could ever ask for! It will be 3 weeks tomorrow, time has flown by!
So, my point in writing this post is to ask...could you, would you, consider fostering an infant or older child? Some just need loving homes for a short while, while others need a family to love them longer term. Some may even become available for adoption after being with you for awhile. There is such a need, and the babies are waiting...could it be your loving arms that would welcome them into a safe, warm home?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Training Children To Speak-Part 3

Part 3
Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."The word "witness" is martus which means "one who knows or one who bears record to what he has seen or heard." We can't be a witness for the Lord unless we know what we are talking about. We must know His truth to communicate it. The English word, martyr is derived from this word because he bears witness by his death. In many countries of the word believers are martyred for witnessing to the truth. A true witness will not back down in the face of persecution. We continue to look at more ways to prepare our children to speak.
DELVE DEAPERWhen a child says, "God is the biggest God in the world!" ask another question, "Why do you think that?" or "How do you know that?" It will cause them to think a little more and give you an opportunity to add another precept of truth. Remember, this is not a lecture, just a question or two as they go their merry way. You can do this with many statements they make.
POEM NIGHTS/MEMORY VERSESEvery so often we have Poem Night with all the grandchildren. Each one has to memorize a poem and recite it to the audience of uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents. It is good practice for speaking and they are growing more confident each time. You can do the same thing with Scripture Memory Verses. You may not have the audience on hand that we have but you could do it by gathering a few families together.
SPEECH NIGHTSAs our children were growing and especially when they got into their teen years, we frequently had Speech Nights. Sometimes they had to prepare a speech on a given subject with time to study and prepare. Other times we wrote different subjects on paper and put them in a hat. After taking a subject from the hat, the children would then have to give an impromptu three minute speech on that subject. We also did this with the Scriptures. Sometimes they had to prepare a talk on a certain Scripture or passage; other times we would put the Scripture in the hat and they would have to give an impromptu exhortation on it.
PREACHING NIGHTSOur children were mostly in their teens when we lived on the Gold Coast of Australia. They loved to preach in the open air mall in Surfers Paradise. To prepare for this they had practice preaching nights where our children and their friends would practice. They would preach for a few minutes and then the next one would carry on. And this is how they did it in the open air mall. One would preach and before they ran out of what to say, the next one would run out and start preaching.. They could keep going like this for an hour or more and many crowded around to hear the gospel. Rocklyn was only 13 years, and in bare feet and jeans, would gather crowds as he preached like a fiery evangelist.
SHARING AT CHURCHUnfortunately not many young people have the opportunity to share at church. Fortunately, we do have this opportunity at our church fellowship. Firstly, we start the service with prayer, not the pastor giving one prayer, but at least half an hour of prayer where everyone is encouraged to pray. Most of the children, even down to the five year olds get up and pray--and they know how to pray! After a short message, the service is opened up to testimony and sharing the Word. We believe in the premise of 1 Corinthians 14:26, "How is it then, brethren, when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying." It is wonderful to see the young people sharing insights from the Word of God.
APOLOGETICS NIGHTSWe are now planning to start Apologetics Nights with the older grandchildren and the other young people in the fellowship. We will give them a certain subject to study. When we come together, one of the fathers will challenge them with certain aspects of truth on that subject which they will have to contend for and defend in front of everyone. This will be good training for them. I am not sure yet which subject they are starting with. However, if you would like to do something this, you could get them to defend such questions as:
Why is Jesus Christ the only way to Heaven?
Did dinosaurs really exist?
The Bible says God created the earth in six days? How does this line up with the fact that scientists say it is millions of years old?
How can you prove that there was a world-wide flood?
How can you prove the Bible is the inspired Word of God?
How do you view the land of Israel versus Replacement Theology?
If we all came from Adam, how come there are so many different races of people?
How do you explain Global Warming? Is it truth or fiction?The above are just the beginning of questions that our children should know how to factually answer. Are we adequately training them?Love from NANCY CAMPBELL, ABOVE RUBIESPRAYER:
"Lord, help me be to be constantly aware that I am preparing my children to speak for you and defend the faith. Amen."AFFIRMATION:
I am a faith-defender and I am training my children to be the same.FURTHER STUDY:Since beginning this series on Training our Children to Speak a most informative book came into my possession. If you have not already read it, I would encourage you to check the internet and get hold of this book--"Already Gone (Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to sop it)" by Ken Ham & Britt Beemer. Check the web page, for further ideas of discussions for your Family Meal Table. Check out QUOTES FROM PRESIDENTS FOR DISCUSSION AT YOUR TABLE.If you don't have books on Apologetics, check out the Internet, or go to www.answersingenesis.orgMany women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week. If you are printing this devotion and need it to be smaller, highlight and change to a smaller font.If you know others who would be blessed by these devotions, you are welcome to forward them or let them know they can subscribe by sending a blank email to

Friday, August 7, 2009

August Update...

August started off here with weather in the 100's. Needless to say, I was NOT enjoying myself. I grew up in the Seattle area, where even on warm summer days, it is tolerable. In the part of the state I live in now, when the hot days come, usually in July, I retreat to my central air conditioned house. I do not enjoy walking outside into what feels like a sauna. I feel like I can barely breathe in all that heat. It is no fun. Yesterday the weather decided to cool off drastically, and I walked out on my front porch, took in a big breath of fresh air, and had a HUGE smile on my face. I can play outside again!!! So today, I plan on spending time in the garden. I will be looking for watermelon, corn on the cob, green beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and more.
I finished canning peaches the other day, and fell down on the couch exhausted! Jeff stayed up making strawberry-peach jam! Yum! It turned out so good.
Today I will also spend some precious time with the baby, as well as clean house. We are getting ready for some big painting projects here on top of everything else I am trying to do.
M got to go to a sewing camp a few weeks ago, and she made some very cute things. Sewing is something she loves, and I can tell the Lord has put this gift in her. She is very motivated to learn to sew, and it seems to come easy to her. A sweet friend invited us over earlier in the week, and she made the cutest little dress with M. It is almost finished, and when it is, I will take a picture and put it on here. With the baby being here, I haven't quite figured out how to work on any of my crafting projects yet, but it will come!
I hope everyone is enjoying thier last few weeks of summer...I am so looking forward to fall, my favorite time of the year!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

An amazing coincidence...or???

So we have been licensed for foster care for over 2 years now. It wasn't until a week ago that we finally took in our first placement of this tiny little baby we are caring for now. When I was on my way to go pick her up, I was wondering what she might look like, how big she will be, etc. I had no idea what race she was, and I didn't even know her name at that point. When I arrived, they brought her out, and placed her in my arms. I looked down, and immediately thought, what a darling, sweet baby...then it hit me, there was something way too familiar about this baby. No, I am not related to her birth mom in any way, and I have never met any of her relatives. When I got home, and I studied her a bit more, and she looked up at me and smiled, I knew! This baby looks almost *identical* to what my only biological daughter, Miranda looked like at this age! Jeff agreed. What are the odds of something like this happening? Today I am getting my craft room organized, because a friend and I are going to start working on the Lifebooks for our chinese daughters soon, and I came across Miranda's baby book that I scrapbooked for her from birth-age 2. It has been awhile since we looked at this. When Jeff and I opened it up to the pages of Miranda at this age, our bottom lips hit the floor, and we both looked at each other speechless with our mouths wide open! It is almost a surreal feeling, like here we have a baby that feels so much like our own, yet she is not, and we have no idea who her biological parents really are. I was thinking of posting a picture of Miranda at 2 mos. so you would know what our precious little foster baby looks like, but felt like that would almost be a breech of confidentiality rules if I did. That is how close in appearance they are. Not only does this baby look almost exactly like what Miranda looked like at that age, but her mannerisms, and personality (easy going, almost never cries, smiles, coos, looks peaceful), all match up. I have a friend who doesn't believe in coincidences. She calls all situations like this, God-incidences. I believe...this could be one.