It's been awhile since I've done an update! I guess after our adoption finalized with Lexi, I've just been so relieved and thankful, that thinking about the other cases I have just didn't cross my mind.
Let's start with baby Riah! He's been home two months and is 7 mos. old now! At his last hearing they postponed it for 2 weeks, so I will be attending that in the next week. At that hearing the plan is to change his case to adoption, which is what they have said all along, they just need to get into court, and get it officially changed with the judge. His court appointed guardian stopped by last week, and said that he, in fact, was NOT going to be recommending the relative placement that wants him. They have this little ones older brother, and he is not sure how, since they cannot pass a background check. The SW also states that they will not ever recommend that relative placement. So, as of now, the recommendation is for him to stay with us. Baby Riah is a very intense baby. He is super anxious in his attachment to me, which means he can be very calm in a room but if I walk in he immediately starts whining and his entire body becomes anxious. I am attempting to "wear" him as much as I can to help him feel more secure. He is happy and content in my arms. He also has a lot of high muscle tone, which I am working with and he will most likely be going in for a physical therapy evaluation in the near future. Due to his anxiousness-screaming when being put down, he is not working through his developmental milestones very well! We will continue to work on this!
Laney's bio parents have a termination of parental rights trial coming up next week. At that time she will become legally free. Due to the fact that the father fights all the way, he will most likely appeal, but with nothing to base it on, it shouldn't drag things out too much further. As soon as we have the word, we will begin the adoption process with her and her brother. And that's it! It seems like we are finally winding down on her case, which will be a relief!
On one other note, we went to the first visit for Lexi's open adoption agreement yesterday.. The written agreement states that she gets one visit a year. She wrote us a letter back saying she is dying to see her, and name the place and time and she would be there. She did not show up. So, our little pumpkin had a fun afternoon out with just mommy and daddy! :) It will be interesting to see if she contacts us with any type of excuse. We will probably give her another chance, but not for awhile.
What a surprise we got right before Christmas this year---a son!! Amazing. What a gift God has given. He has such a sweet spirit, and is a wonderful little boy. I am amazed and humbled that this situation came our way, and so glad we embraced it. God is so good.
God has given us all the gift of His son this Christmas as well. What a simple message it is. A baby who came to take away the sins of the world. Our sins. So that we may live forever with Him. All we have to do is embrace the gift. And, what an amazing gift it is!
Miss Miranda, you are growing up! This year they all wanted an individual photo in front of the Christmas tree. This week Miranda has been spending tons of time being creative...making most of her Christmas gifts. She has a strong desire to sew and create every day, and I love to see what she comes up with next. She is a blessing, and has been such good big sister to all of her siblings.
Lily loves this little guy so much!! She took him for show and tell at our homeschool co-op. She thinks he's the best! She is such a loving and giving little girl, what a blessing she is! Baby Riah has been a bit difficult. He came with so many issues, but they are slowly resolving, praise God! Currently, he is happiest in my arms, and craves attention. When he is the center of attention, that sweet smile never leaves his face. Tomorrow is his court hearing, I will find out if he stays or goes at that time. I am leaving it all up to God and will be at peace with any outcome.
Love my tiny little cutie pie!!! She is so adorable and one of my precious gifts this Christmas. Love you, Laney!!! We are hoping to adopt her and her brother in the new year...he is legally free, her termination trial is in two weeks. I think it will be great to adopt them both together on the same day.
Here's our precious 6 month old bundle of joy--baby Riah!! He has been with us going on 2 months now. There is a hearing coming up where there is a small possibility he may go to relatives that the state will not approve, (but the judge could), so we are waiting for the outcome right before Christmas.
And this is "A", Laney's full brother. He has now been here with us for two weeks. He seems to fit right in with the bunch. He is very sweet, and loves to help.
Having six kids is a huge adjustment, especially because they are all so close in age. We are all learning together, and doing our best to make it all work. I will say this is the hardest job I have ever had. Working 40 hrs. a week as a professional in the medical field was a piece of cake in comparison--however I never felt I was right where I was supposed to be when out in the work force. Now I do. I am here, at home, learning and growing with my children, and leaning on the Lord more every day. Leading my little ones to Christ is my daily goal. I have so far to go, and so much more to learn. I pray I will grow in wisdom, faith and trust in the Lord as I raise up these amazing kids for HIM!
The tree is up, the lights are lit,
there's so much more to do...but instead of focusing on all there is to do this Christmas and becoming overwhelmed and getting sucked into the consumerism that is everywhere, I am choosing to keep it simple.
Most importantly, my goal is to keep my eyes on Jesus, and lead my little lambs to Him.
Yes, there are parties to attend, meals to plan, presents to wrap and more festivities than I can count, but my focus has to remain on Him. If it didn't, why celebrate Christmas at all? It's not about all of that, but about Christ, and that is the best gift of all. It's just so easy, even for christians to fall away from what Christmas really is about. We have to be intentional about staying focused on more of Him, not more of the junk that is out there that the world is trying to sell us this time of year.
And ya know what? It is freeing to know I don't have to do it all, buy it all, and attend every function that is out there. I am going to be so content just sitting around the Christmas tree, sipping egg nog with my little ones gathered around as we read the true Christmas story. Pure and simple, the way Christmas should be.
Reality has hit...I am now parenting SIX kids...and five of them are age 5 and under. I currently have a 10 yr. old, 5 yr. old, 3 yr. old, 2 yr. old. 21 mo. old, and 6 mo. old. Insane? Maybe. Blessed? Definately.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have pictured myself with this many kids, or for that matter, this many children so close in age. Only God could have designed this scenario, this family, this life.
Another important post-sickening, but so glad it is being revealed, and that we are becoming more and more aware of this horrifying issue. Thank God there are some people out there fighting this and working to expose these sick individuals. Go HERE
Wow. I have been so blessed over the last few days and weeks that I have to blog about it. Let's take today for example. In the midst of the chaos and mess of our home at the moment, a friend calls and prays with me. Another friend comes over to visit and help as I attempt to make sense of the mess and disorganized state my home is in as I attempt to shuffle all the kids around making room for our newest addition. Another friend then stops by bringing us a full dinner for our evening meal, and she even threw in a chai tea and magazine (which I will be enjoying both right after this post! :) She also leaves her older son here who helped tremendously with yard work, and later helped watch the little ones as I prepared dinner. You would think that was the end of my blessings today, but another friend sent over two loaves of zucchini bread this evening, and plans on sending a meal over next week, and then one other friend called and offered to come over and do dishes or laundry!!
Yesterday I was telling a friend that I will not be able to participate in our homeschool co-ops cookie exchange this year, as I won't have time to make dozens of cookies this year. Unbelievably, a few hours later, I got a message from two other friends telling me they are going to be getting together to make tons of cookies and that they are also going to make mine for me!
I am overwhelmed by the kindness and blessings that are overflowing from friends and people all around us. We have had an outpouring of love from so many. This little guy has had a bed donated by friends, bedding, and a toddler bed was donated for Lexi who has now graduated out of her crib!! She loves her new big girl bed! We have had clothes and toys, and meals and more coming our way. I cannot express our gratitude and thankfulness enough. Another friend came over the other day bringing two meals, one to eat, and one to freeze for later, and she refused to leave until I had time to put some of the children to bed. She held and fed the baby while I got some of the others ready for bed. I do not deserve this! I am seeing Jesus in all of these friends and I am humbled and so very thankful for such beautiful, wonderful, sweet friends and I thank the Lord for all of them. You know who you are!!! Love you guys!!!
I remember as a young college student, I once was working at an internship in an elementary school. Amazingly, the Lord placed me with two wonderful mentors. An older Occupational Therapist with years of experience and wisdom. The other was a middle aged COTA/L (Occupational therapy assistant). After settling in, I found that they were both very strong christian women, who even invited me to their morning Bible study they would have at the school before school started. I became very close with these two ladies...and could see how God's hand was in my being placed on this particular assignment. I was so blessed by their kindness and guidance. A few weeks later, they shared with me that the older woman's daughter had been killed in a car accident. I looked at her with concern on my face, and to this day, I still remember her words. "Life is so painful at times". This really hit me like a ton of bricks, because up until that moment, life had been great for me. I had never encountered a death of a relative or friend, I had a fairly normal childhood, graduated high school and got married, and was now on to my dream career. Painful? I hadn't really realized that life could be that hard, or full of pain until I looked into the eyes of this sweet older woman, and realized this. She had also adopted a boy from Korea who was 8 at the time of adoption. He was grown by then, and not quite doing so well. In fact, he had never really done that well, as his childhood was so traumatic, being adopted and brought to America can't really fix the pain he endured as a child.
And then, all of us, being in the field of Occupational therapy, we are fixers and caretakers, and people that just want to ease the pain of those around us. Since graduating and entering this career path, I see pain all the time. Working in pediatrics, I often encountered people who were in serious denial of their child's medical condition. This was their way of somehow guarding their hearts so as not to fully experience the pain and reality of accepting what was happening with their child.
For the last couple years I have been working on call at a rehab nursing home facility. The pain of the people living in these facilities is devastating. Many have just given up. Some are young, dealing with disabling diagnoses, and others are older dealing with a multitude of problems physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. It's hard to watch. I am amazed at the amount of people that really are alone. There are so many middle aged and older people out there that never got married and have no children. This has surprised me. These people are not only in physical pain, but they are suffering in isolation and loneliness, often neglected by the staff that are there to minimally care for them. Pain. I see it everywhere now. My eyes are open now...there truly is a lot of pain in this world.
And now, this little boy who has been in my home only a few days...the emotional pain I see him dealing with is excrutiating to watch. I try to ease the pain, but I can't. Trauma from a broken attachment to someone he wasn't even supposed to be around. The grief he is trying to somehow work through is so painful to see in someone so small. Foster care, up until this point has been a beautiful thing in my eyes. We have been blessed beyond anything we could have expected on our own. We chose to take babies...for the simple reason that the trauma wouldn't be so severe. And now, this little boy...who we never thought would need a home, is here. He needs the one he is attached to...but that can never be. It is painful to even think about that, knowing the one person he wants me to bring to him is someone I cannot provide for him. And for the first time, I am angry. Angry that she couldn't do what she needed to do for this little guy who needed her most. And then I realize that she probably was never able to. And so this is why foster care exists...those of us that choose this path, or maybe, those of us that follow God's will...we open our homes, and our hearts to the hurting child, or the homeless child who needs a safe and warm home full of love and limits, grace and boundaries. We attempt to fix their wounds, but realize that really, only the Lord can...and we lean on HIM more, and give the situation to HIM, knowing that it is all in HIS hands anyway.
Somehow all of the images on photobucket that my blog designer had were somehow deleted, thus the issue you are seeing on this blog. Please pray they are restored...I feel so bad for her to have to deal with this knowing there are so many blogs out there that are messed up now.
I believe I just found one of the most important blogs I have ever encountered. I read down about 5 posts, and know I cannot pretend I never read this. I think we all need to read this, and be compelled to do something. GoHERE
Who would have thought this Thanksgiving I would have a my first ever foster baby officially adopted, and a new adorable little foster baby boy in my arms? I am overflowing with thankfulness this season! Monday Laney's brother will join our family as well, and I can't help but thank the Lord for His abundant blessings to our family!
As we eat a thanksgiving meal today, I hope we are all reflecting on all the Lord has done for us this year, and all He continues to do in our lives. Wishing you a very blessed Thanksgiving and a year of abundant blessings as well!
Today was such an amazing day! We finalized our adoption with 9 other families at juvenile court for National adoption day...we are so glad we chose to foster, what a blessing it has been and we are so happy to call her our daughter!!! We give God all the thanks and glory!
One less road to travel, one last way to go, one more day to forever
Just to let you know-the wait is finally over, the journey now is through-
And now this comes to let you know
Dreams really do come true!
Tomorrow, Nov. 21st, we officially adopt our sweet girl, Lexi Joy! Taking that leap of faith and taking her in as our first foster child when she was 7 weeks old in July of 2009 was one of the best things we've ever done! We are so blessed to call her our daughter.
Wow! Things have been crazy busy in a very GOOD way around here! First of all...our newest little one, baby R, has finally settled in. After dealing with some tummy troubles, and some skin issues, he is finally on the mend, and doing better each day. A couple days ago I got a call from his SW. She stated that she had some VERY good news. She had just found out that he is not from the local ____ tribe, the one that is extremely strict and does not allow adoptions outside of the tribe. She found out that his father is actually from ____ ________ _______ tribe, which is from another state, and he is not even elligible for enrollment. So, this means that this hurdle is out of the way. We continue to enjoy him, and things are moving forward with another court hearing coming up in Dec.
In just two days, our precious Lexi will be officially adopted! We are so excited, and can't wait to celebrate!
Some of you might remember Thispost
and Thispost back in July.
We recieved another surprising phone call the week before last that they really are removing Laney's older brother. After 5 mos, we had thought they must be leaving him in the relative placement. Not so. The relative continues to refrain from doing anything the dept. asks of her, so after over 3 years, they have decided he will be moved from her care, as it is evident she never intended to adopt him in the first place. The court hearing to remove him is the same day as Lexi's adoption. So, in just two days, we will be celebrating with our little Lexi, and also waiting for a call that may be bringing Laney's brother home to us.
Foster care is such a crazy ride sometimes, but we have been so blessed with supportive friends, and family, and always seeking God's will along the way. Stay tuned!
As readers of this blog, you all know, I am passionate about orphan care. Why? Because it is the Lord's will that we as christians care for orphans in any way that we possibly can. God has given me a heart for them, a mother's heart full of compassion for orphans. It haunts me...it drives me, and it compells me. So with that, I want to share something exciting!!! A sweet friend of mine is about to embark on a trip to a far away land to meet her daughter for the very first time! I am so excited for her, her family, and for the little girl who waits.
They are having a fundraiser to help pay for the costs in adopting this little one. As a parent who has adopted internationally twice before, I know how fast it all adds up with travel, lodging, food, etc. Not to mention the adoption fees. This family will recieve 20-25% of anything that you purchase through this fundraiser. Go HERE to check it out, and know you are doing something big in helping this cause, because soon, another precious child will forever be home with her family. God BLess.
Who knew that birthdays would get better as we age? Well, mine have! Today was the perfect day!
It started out with a beautiful fall bouquet of flowers from my sweetie and lots of hugs and happy birthday wishes from my little ones. Then came calls from special friends and family, and then out to lunch and a movie with my husband...a rare thing, now that there are so many kids in the house!
Back home, the girls were anticipating giving me the cake they had baked while I was away and they all enjoyed giving me special gifts, that are so dear to my heart! Later, I cuddled a sweet baby boy, went to church and worshiped my savior, and now home, ready to get get cozy and warm by the fire. Ahhh...life is good. Thank you Lord for another year...I hope to make this next one even better in your eyes!
I was disheartened to see that my church did nothing. I was also disheartened to see that out of 62 orphans that need to be sponsored in Africa (from an orphanage our church is supporting), not even half of them have been sponsored. At least 6 months have gone by since this was brought up to the congregation.
How can we be so selfish? How can we just walk by, or ignore the plight of the orphan all around us? This disturbs me to the core, and I often wonder how christians can justify this? Tbey can easily afford $5 a day at a coffee shop, but can't "commit" to helping an orphan. A child with nothing, no hope, no sense of unconditional love, often abused and mistreated. How can we as christains ignore this? The Bible speaks about caring for orphans at least 85 times. I see the church's being more concerned with their programs around fellowship, and sports, and small groups, and fun and entertainment, all the while ignoring the hurting all around them and all over the world. It's not right.
And I know this is not to blame the church, because I am the church, we, are all the church. It is up to us to reach out the hurting, the widows, the sick, the homeless, and the orphans. Unfortunately, with my church, I tried to present something along this line, to express my passion for the orphan, and how we as a church, all must take part in caring for them. My attempt was shut down, and not understood. Believe me, if it would have been accepted with enthusiasm and understanding, I would have been the first one up there today, presenting something about orphan sunday. It seems this particular church doesn't get it...and it's okay to ignore the mandate, and instead raise millions to build a church building, while also promoting entertainment and fun all the time. It's hard to take part in that, when I know what is happening around the world, having been there, and knowing it to be true. I have seen, felt, experienced, and touched the plight of the orphan, and I will never be the same. I cannot stand back and say nothing, do nothing, and even pretend to tolerate the church doing nothing. I will be praying...as I know that I cannot just be silent on this issue any longer. We, as the body of Christ need to pull together, in unity, to do what needs to be done to care for the orphan.
To celebrate National adoption day, families in our area who's adoption falls in Novemeber are given the option to finalize in the courts on this day. Since it falls on a Sat. all of us will be finalizing our adoption on NOVEMBER 21st 2011! We had the option of finalizing the week before, but it would have been just us, and the National adoption day for finalization is a big celebration with a party, etc. There will be around 9 other families finalizing their adoptions that day as well. We thought that was perfect, because finalizing our adoption of this precious one is nothing short of a celebration and a miracle!!! We cannot wait!!!
Yes, our 3rd. foster baby is now here. He arrived monday afternoon. After lots of prayer and discussion, it just felt right to take him. I don't really know much about his case yet. They are saying he may be fast tracked for adoption, however, he also has some native american blood that could put a halt to all of that. Only time will tell, as this case sorts itself out.
As of now, we are just enjoying him. He is a gorgeous baby. So cute, pudgy, plump, with big sparkly brown eyes and a curly cue on top of his head. He smiles and gigggles and will be 5 months old in a few days. What a blessing!
You are a great and mighty God! I am so blessed with a house full of smiles and giggles and silliness every single day. You have given me so much...and I know that much is required of me. God, it is hard. I know you never said it would be easy. So, I pray, and I lean on you, Lord, for guidance and strength, but sadly, not always enough. You have taught me so much through my children, God. Thank you for them. Fostering has been such a hands on real way to show your love directly to these children you have entrusted to me. Only, I fail often. I strive to be more and more like you every day...and I am humbled and on my knees asking for more of you, so you will flow through me to the little lambs I am attempting to shepherd. This high calling of motherhood is such an amazing gift. I try my best to give it my all...but need your help, as daily tasks can sometimes be overwhelming. I often wonder how I could do it without you. I couldn't. Each of my children have their own special stories, and the more I think about it, the more I realize without a doubt that each one of their little lives is a MIRACLE. From my two oldest being tiny preemies, they are survivors. My youngest two started out lives by being assaulted with drugs and toxins within the womb. Lord, you were right there protecting them all. Thank you Jesus!!
And now, another little one has been brought to our attention. A 5 mo. old baby boy. Father, I know just the other day I found myself saying out loud that I would love a baby boy. Were you preparing me for this call? Or am I stretched too thin already? I never expected a call..as our foster license is full. Only you know the plans you have for this baby and for my family. God I ask that as we take the next couple days to seek your will...that you will make it overwhelmingly clear what it is you would have us do. We wouldn't be able to do this without total reliance on you. I pray this little life will be set permanantly in the family you have chosen for him soon...whether it's ours or another. I pray, if it is us...we would be able to quickly open our hearts and home. If it is not, I pray the door would close and he would safely settle into his new loving home and family. We leave it all up to you!
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families." - Psalm 68:5-6
I haven't been blogging much lately, because my blog has been messed up for a very long time. Since blogger made changes some months back, I am no longer able to leave comments. I have contacted blogger for help, but the info they gave me didn't fix it. So...on to better news!!!
Our sweet, adorable, precious foster daughter will be legally OURS very, very soon! I got word this week that all the paperwork is done, and I just need to wait for the adoption support people to call, then if all goes well, our attorney will be ready to get us in for a final hearing to officially adopt miss LexiLou! It should all be final somewhere around the beginning of November! November 5th we will also be celebrating our FOUR year adoption anniversary of Lilyann. Adoption has blessed us so much, it's hard to put it into words. More on that soon, but for now, enjoy the picture above of my little sweetie, who will finally, and miraculously be ours within weeks! Blessings!
Our days last week at Disneyland truly were magical. From seeing Lilyann meet her favorite charater, Rapunzel, to the parade, shows, rides, and fireworks, it was a trip we won't soon forget. Now, I just can't wait for our youngest two to get a little older so we can take them!
Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love. ~Mildred B. Vermont
I am feeling especially blessed this week, and agree wholeheartedly with the quote above. I have experienced pure love X4! My days are filled with big huge hugs around my neck, kisses, pretty pictures painted just for me, and little girls calling me mommy, telling me I am thier "favorite" and sharing all their joys and dreams with me! How did I ever get this lucky? Motherhood is challenging, but it is worth so much more than even the highest paying job I have ever had. Thankfully I have the Lord to guide me in this most important task! Without Him, I would be lost! Even on those stressful days, I can look back when I fall into bed exhausted and see the blessings. There is not a day that goes by that I have not been hugged countless times, and literally squished with love from my girls. All 4 of my girls are so generous with the love they give. I am humbled beyond measure. I hope that I can always pour out as much love to them that they always offer me. Sweet baby kisses, squeals of joy, laughter and love. This mother's heart is full.
So many people ask if we remember 9-11. What were we doing that day? How did it affect us? How have we changed since then?
Yes, I do remember that day...I got up early to go in for my scheduled ultrasound, as I was 7 months pregnant with Miranda that day, only I wandered out into the living room, and turned on the t.v. which is something I never did. What I saw in front of me was shocking, and I was sort of in denial, thinking this can't be real.
Later I was lying on a table with DH by my side, looking into the screen at my soon to be daughter-we had just then found out we were having a girl (She would be born prematurely only 2 weeks after 9/11)! At the same time, I couldn't help but think of what was going on in New York, and what the world was going to be like afterward. I knew it would profoundly affect every American.
I remember going to church the Sunday after those terrorist attacks, and seeing this church literally filled to the max with standing room only out in the foyer and out the doors. I remember the pastor's message, and how much it made sense, that God knows, and he loves, and he cares, and yet we live in a fallen, sinful world, where evil occurs, and tragedies happen. I had secretly hoped the weeks following would bring as many people through doors of this church and thousands of other church's around the nation. But, slowly, the people stopped coming, maybe no longer feeling their need for God, and for answers? One sad reality in this nation called America, where we have such abundance, and many find it so hard to see why they would need the Lord.
I remember hearing someone speak on these attacks, and how we must always refer to 9/11 as the terrorist attacks, and how we must realize that these enemies had been trying to get our attention for a long, long time, through other smaller types of attacks in NY and elsewhere. I remember realizing that the evil one is roaming around seeking to kill and destroy...and that there will always be a battle against this evil in our world and that it would only get worse. I became keenly aware of that fact, and I see it in my Bible. So, I am not surprised, but more aware.
I remember my precious grandmother telling me, when I was about 12 years old that this would happen. Evil would increase. One way she explained things to me was that she said one day Halloween would be more popular than Christmas.I was utterly shocked at this statement, thinking that would never happen in my lifetime. I loved Christmas, and still do. Just this year I have become well aware that this is now the case. Halloween items are much more sought after than Christmas items now. Stores dedicate more and more space to Halloween merchandise than ever before and it is bigger than Christmas. Antique dealers look for vintage Halloween items over Christmas items because this is what sells. Halloween, and all the evil associated with it, has become more desirable than a holiday called Christmas, which is associated with holiness and love-the birth of Jesus. You were right, Grandma.
So, what I am trying to get across is this. I do remember, I became much more aware of the evil that is against us after 9-11-01, and I realize people are not moving closer to Jesus and goodness and holiness, but instead moving in the opposite direction. I also became so much more aware of this during the last presidential election. I was so saddened, but yet, not surprised, and realized that this is the way people are moving. I remember seeing our former president immediately after the terrorist attacks, and feeling so much warmth and admiration for him. Now, we have a president who has declared us no longer a christian nation, and who has motives many americans aren't even aware of. (or they are aware, but turning a blind eye, and instead of being concerned about how protected we are as a nation, many people were/are just hoping this president would help them financially).
And today, my almost 10 year old daughter is at a birthday party for her friend who turns 10 this day, who was born on the same day as the attacks on America. I pray for this younger generation, that we can raise them up with heightened awareness of the world around them. I pray that we can impart to them, the Godly wisdom we are asked to train them up with. I pray that our children will see their need for God, will follow Jesus, and will impact this world for Christ. This is my dream, and my highest calling as a mother, and my husbands highest calling as a father. Why live for things that are meaningless, or raise our children to be successful with riches? I would trade in any riches I have to live out my calling for God any day. I have experienced being in His will and in His presence and there is no comparison to material riches. To know that I am living a life where I am making a difference for His kingdom is more fulfilling than growing up, going to college and accumulating material items. I can tell you, the feeling you get from being in God's will doing His work is SO much better. My prayer is that I always feel my need for God, so I can live in a manner that my children will see, and then see their need for Him as well.
So, yes, I remember, and I am profoundly changed. And as I watch the coverage today, and the tears stream down my face as I remember those that lost their lives, and so many that were left behind and lost in such tragedy and devastation to their families, I remember this verse below, because I know what the enemy intended for evil, God can turn around for His good, and His glory:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
So last week, our other social worker stopped by for her monthly visit as well. Her caseload is full! I asked her if the need in this town for foster parents is still just as great as I had always heard. She verified what I already knew, but can hardly believe. Yes, the need is huge. Just last week she recieved 11 new babies on her caseload...yes, 11 additional children added in just one week! And that's just her caseload...many more came into care that week and were added to the other SW's cases. I can't even imagine how many children total came into the foster care system, since I am only talking about babies and toddlers. I am sure many others of all ages ended up in foster care here last week too. This is not a huge area. It is an area with a major drug problem, and I know that this is what brings so many children into the foster care system here. To me, this represents a sampling of what is going on all over the U.S. It is different in some areas, but I know the needs are great all over. These babies/children need loving, christian homes. They need support, and guidance, and a safe place to feel cared for. All you need is an open heart...would you open your heart and bring one or two into your home?
Last week I was talking to the CASA/GAL-guardian ad litem that is assigned to our foster children. She has also been asked to take more cases, and she already has many. She said it's very sad that so many babies are ending up in foster care, and that it really speaks to the state that our society is in. Very true. Drugs. Babies being born to addicts, teens, and other heartbreaking situations too sad to even mention here. This woman is 73 years old, single, and do you know what she does? She does this volunteer CASA position full time! She visits all the kids on her caseload at their foster homes, and goes to their visitations, birthday parties, and all court hearings. We were talking about how little there is on television to watch these days, aside from a good documentary here and there. She said she just turns off her t.v. in the evenings and writes court reports. She then stands up for the child in court and is the voice for that foster child. She gives the judge her rundown of what she sees going on and what she feels is in the child's best interest. And the judge takes her report very seriously. She is my hero. I hope I am doing such meaningful work when I am her age.
Don't miss the blessing. Become a foster parent. Become a CASA-court appointed special advocate. Adopt. Care for the orphan. Open your heart and home. Be the heart, hands and feet of Jesus. He will be there with you all the way. Just do it. The need is great. The time is now.
Last week got even worse after my post of all the frustrations that were happening. I decided to spare you all more of those details...but this week is SO much better!
First of all, on monday our adoption worker came over and finished updating our homestudy! It was a great to talk to her, and find out that our adoption of LexiLou will be done soon! So excited!!! Next week the other adoption worker will come over to help with the last bit of paperwork, then we will be on to the final stage...court! We should have her adopted in October sometime...please pray all goes smoothly over the next few weeks.
More good news...we just got a call from the tax advocate I requested last week...she said the IRS approved our adoption refund and we are no longer being audited! Praise God! We should have our refund in the next few weeks...just in time for our trip to....
I remember seeing this story, and feeling so bad for these foster parents. It's hard to believe she's still in prison. WOW. The injustice in this world. This loving mother is in prison and not able to raise her own children, yet Casey Anthony goes free. Go here
First day of school: Sept. 6th
Miranda 4th grade
Lexi Lou preschool
School Name: Hearts to God Homeschool or Snowberryfarm School or Wisdom Keepers Academy-still brainstorming!!
School Motto: Learn*Live*Serve*Give
School colors: Aqua blue
School Mascot: Horse/Elephant/Snow leopard
Subjects: Miranda- Bible, Morning devotions & prayer, Kay Arthur book, Awana, Bible journaling Math-Singapore math Reading-BJU History-Mystery of History Spelling-BJU 4 Language Arts-Language lessons for the elementary child by Sandi Queen Science-BJU Nature Study-various nature walks, journaling nature observations as we go. Keyboarding-finished Dance mat typing last year, will be borrowing a program from a friend this year Cursive-Loops, Hoops & Groups-finished last year, will be doing it again this year for review and to establish more consistent use of cursive handwriting P.E.-Will be playing on a new homeschool basketball team, and starting a dance class Fine arts-Piano lessons, art/drawing, study of famous painters, Shakespeare, hand crafts
Lilyann- Bible-morning devotions and prayer, Awana Reading-Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons-love this, and taught Miranda to read at age 4 with it! Writing-various workbooks to practice letters and short words Language Arts-Lessons for little ones by Sandi Queen Art-lots of cutting, gluing, drawing, creating! Fine Arts/P.E.-dance class
Co-ops-We will continue in the two co-ops we have done for sevaral years, plus I am starting a new one. Country Study Co-op, where we study a country each month, then meet together with our group at the end of the month for an ethnic potluck and to listen to each child's presentation on that country.
Friday Forum-A local christian co-op that we attend once a month and the children have 4 classes they attend ranging from science, to book report, to art. This year Miranda is taking a drawing class, Lilyann is taking a camp crafts class, and they will both be in a few other classes with homeschoolers their age.
I am starting a Keepers at Home group with 7 other girls we know. We are going to start with quilting, and for the next few months the girls will be meeting together 2x per month to work on quilting projects. We have a quilting instructor and everything...can't wait to see how this goes! Field Trips-I am one of the field trip co-ordiators for our local homeschool organization. We will also have 2-3 field trip options to go on every month, as well as other events that are planned throughout the year.
Whew! I am exhausted already, and who said homeschoolers are deprived and don't have enough socialization??? I would love to cut down our schedule but I don't know how! I do know we will take breaks when needed...one more week of summer break, then we start!
to vent my frustration!!! My patience has been tested in every direction I turn this week, and it's only tuesday!! What is going on?? I admit, I have now developed a bad attitutude, and I know this will pass, but let me just share what I have dealt with recently...
-I called my vet on sat. to have them fax records to my brothers vet since I gave one of my cats to him. They assured me they would fax everything that morning. Today I find out they never faxed a thing.
-Yesterday I called LexiLou's Dr. to try to get a referral to a dermatologist so I can begin to address all the skin issues she has. I left my home phone number for them to call and said to only call my cell if there was no answer at home. What does the nurse do? She calls my cell, and leaves a message for me to call back, and never calls my home phone. I then attempt to call back, and they have a new system and you can't get through to anyone!!! Arghh!!!!!!!
-Today I stopped by the hospital (where I am still currently employed, but haven't worked at since Dec. 1st due to not getting their flu shot) to congratulate a friend on her new baby and security stops me and won't let me go up to her room. Why? Because Lexi was with me, they wouldn't allow it, as they only allow children of the family/patient to visit at this hospital. This hospital and it's policies!!! I will refrain from stating what I really think about their policies! >:(
-Today we wake our youngest foster daughter up early from her nap so she is ready in time for the transporter to pick her up for visitation with her parents, and then the transporter never shows, and never calls, until 45 min. late when you have just strapped the child into the high chair for lunch, and are no longer ready to send her out the door. Yep, that happened today, too.
-We filed our taxes last march and still have not recieved the remainder of our refund-which is a significant amount from our adoption of Lilyann. Since the laws changed this year, we were supposed to recieve the rest of it back in our tax refund. We did not, along with thousands of others across the country, and we are among those now being audited. We continue to recieve letter after letter from the IRS, and I know of so many families that are dealing with the same thing. The only ones that have gotten their return have obtained a tax advocate. I called today to get one, and after being on hold for 30 minutes, I was told we didn't really qualify, until I explained the situation once again the poor guy finally decided to assign us one. We will now wait for the tax advocate to call us.
-Although I dearly love my little girls, why are they so messy? I don't think they understand that they are not to take their diapers off themselves when they wake up from their naps. Yesterday I walked into the room after nap time to get them, and not only had they each taken their diapers off in their individual cribs, they each peed in their cribs, and miss LexiLou proceeded to diaper her teddy bear with her soaking wet diaper, lol. She was so proud and held it up for me to see when I walked in the room.
-Satellite t.v. We have had satellite t.v. for years. I called a different provider yesterday to see what they had to offer and to attempt to downgrade what we have now. To my amazement, I had to agree to an automated voice to sign on with them before I was allowed to speak to a real person. When I finally got to a real person, the guy actually asked for my name, address, email AND social security number BEFORE he listend to my questions. And, no, I did not give him most of this information, but I was stunned at how much information they attempted to get out of me and what a hard sell they were doing from the beginning. This is one of the two major networks that are out there. I promptly decided not to go with this provider!
-The pharmacy. So LexiLou has severe allergies we have now found out. Tree nuts can be deadly to her. She is also allergic to cats and dogs. After a visit to the allergist, we have now been prescribed epi pens that we will each be carrying around with us at all times. I tell the allergy Dr. where our pharmacy is, and they called in the prescription. I get there and they tell me the Dr. office made a mistake and sent it across town to their other store. I drive across town to the other store and go in to pick up the epi pens. They are the slowest pharmacy around. After standing there for literally an hour while they are trying to pull this together, they come back and tell me they don't have enough, and I will need to come back the next day. Thanks.
I think I am losing faith in people. I know I am getting tired of people, policies, procedures. I know that is one reason why I am so glad I am no longer working out of the home. Yes, I loved the families I worked with and the great kids, but the meetings were getting to me. I had the worst attitude when attending meetings at my workplace! I am sorry, but I could care less about the latest policy and procedure, let's get back to the real stuff! My thing is, let's just make things simple. Just call the number given, let children visit in hospitals, do what you say you're going to do, be somewhere when you say you will be there, and everything will be fine. But, that's not life, unfortunately, and I have to deal with it. Ok, I feel better now. Maybe this blog will go back to being nice, and positive, cheerful and uplifting next time, but today...today it's just real.
Every year about this time, I am deep in my homeschool planning. I do wait until the last minute, but it always seems to work. I get really excited about all that we have to learn and look forward to all year. This year is no exception. I am always so thankful for this gift to be able to homeschool my children. I am overwhelmed by the amount of wonderful curriculum that is out there, and the ability we have as homeschooling parents to pick and choose what best suits each individual child. That is one of the best things about homeschooling. Your children are not subjected to the institionalized public schooling, but they get to learn and grow using tools and approaches that best meet their needs. The most wonderful thing I have seen so far is that my children LOVE to learn. I cannot say that about myself. I hated school growing up. I didn't love learning at all. Another perk is that I am learning right along with my children! I have some fun plans this year, and some of the curriculum we are adding this year is going to be excellent, I know it already! Add to that the co-ops and activities we are planning and it is lining up to be one VERY full year. In my next post I am going to share all that we are doing for our upcoming homeschool year...come back and take a peek!
Today, this beautiful friday morning in my part of the world there are millions of children suffering. From infants to teens, there are tears, pain, and hearts breaking all over the world. I am so grateful for this thing called blogging, as it can bring this reality to the forefront for us all, as those that are there can show us-holding an orphan that hasn't been touched in weeks, feeding the dying, and loving the babies some societies have turned away from. Some are there after months and years of drudging through tremendous adoption paperwork, and fundraising all they could to raise the funds to get their children home, where they can finally be nurtured, loved and well cared for. Some lives are literally saved by those that answered the call to adopt. We all need to pray, we all need to do something as the need is so, so great.
I don't often try taking pictures of all 4 of my girls...as it is not an easy task...it seems to get more and more difficult with each new child. Here we have one child that can't ever find her normal smile, and two toddlers that are just learning what picture taking is all about!
Not bad, but I hope we can do even better next time! Smile!
Miss LexiLou, how lucky we are to have you in our lives!! You are such a blessing. From the moment I brought you home at 7 weeks of age, and you smiled up at me, I knew there was something so precious and special about you. We are so blessed to have such a sweet, precious, child. Your spirit is contagious. Your love is pure. You make us laugh so hard, and fill our hearts with joy. Joy...a word that we have always associated with you...and as your upcoming adoption approaches...it comes to mind that it just might fit you perfectly as your middle name. Hmmm? Lexi Joy, I like that. It fits you well. Bless you my sweet child...
I never played with Barbies as a child. I never sewed. I never really had the opportunity to be creative. I am so glad my kids have that opportunity. Miranda has always had a knack for creativity, and over the years people have given her barbie dolls, and she always makes outfits for them. She even does it all without sewing, which impresses me even more. Above is her latest design. Not bad. Very natural and unique, wouldn't you say? Would you wear that out on the town? Barbie definately would!!
I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. Time4Learning can be used for homeschool, afterschool and summer skill sharpening. Be sure to come back and read about my experience.
The other day, we decided to pack up and head over to Seattle for a couple of days. This was pretty adventurous of us...as we aren't often brave enough to take all 4 of them on trips with us! Here's Jeff and Lilyann on Seattle's monorail, heading to the Seattle center, where we went up on the Space needle!
This was the best photo we could get with all 4 of them. Here we are down at the waterfront by the Pike Place market. One of my favorite places of all time!
This is from the top of the Space Needle. Lilyann is enjoying herself now, but when we first told her we were going up, she asked, "why would we do that??"
This guy was cool. Walking around downtown Seattle, we came across this statue, only it's not a statue...it's a real live man. Lilyann screamed and ran every time he moved!
We got to the Pike Place market right at opening time. Picture about 400 people crowding around this photo about 10 minutes later. It is packed, and very difficult to walk through yourself, or for that matter, with 4 kids, and two strollers! We loved picking out fresh fruit for breakfast and enjoyed the atmosphere...until we were squeezed out by the crowds!
Lilyann enjoying the sun. We left the market and spent time on the waterfront shopping, sightseeing, and before we came home, we had lunch. All four of the girls did really well. It was the perfect two day getaway!
Well, sort of.
We have been literally overwhelmed with life lately.
Having a one AND two year old in the house is something I don't think many people understand until they try it. It is hard. It can be stressful. But, it is a hard and stressful endeavor that I love, and at the end of the day, I am glad it is my life. I can now relate to people with twins, or triplets. I Know what it means to have multiple children with multiple needs. Our 5 year old, miss Lilyann, is having some issues we are dealing with...post to come at a later date, and helping my almost 10 year old channel her energy and talents into a few places has been challenging as well!
My life is disorganized at the moment, with housework, homeschool planning, adoption paperwork, and more. I plan to focus on that in the next few days to get my head cleared of it all...then I will be back to blogging more regularly.
As many know, I have had a career in the field of Occupational therapy for over 14 years now. Since I am now focusing on being home full time with my sweet kiddos, and fostering, I am no longer working at my pediatric job that I held for 13 years. (Also due to the fact that they now mandate flu shots for all employees, and I refuse!). So, I have been doing some on-call work for other types of facilities only about once a month, sometimes more if they can talk me into it.
I have to say my career as a pediatric OT practitioner was a DREAM JOB. Almost every day that I went to work for 13 years I would ask myself "Am I really getting paid for this?" Playing with kids all day, talking with families, watching children meet developmental milestones right before my eyes, crying and rejoicing with families as they see their child doing something they were told their child would never accomplish. It was so rewarding, and I loved every moment of it.
Over the years, this occupation has somehow become hugely needed in the field of health care. I know. Recruiters call my house...weekly! I get postcards at least a couple times a week recruiting for jobs all over the US. Recently, somehow companies have obtained my email address and they are sending me job offers left and right on line. These jobs come with great pay, benefits, and HUGE sign on bonuses, sometimes up to $20,000, which was the latest one I recieved. If I was in the market for a full time job, I could have my choice, and some of the cities and states where these jobs are located are prime locations, and very intriguing.
Occupational therapy seeks to help individuals of all ages reach their greatest potential. A child's work is play...so if I am working with a child with a disabilty that could be hindering some aspect of his play skills, my job is to assist that child and family in overcoming any barrier that may get in the way of that child playing independently and successfully. That is one example. In pediatrics, I was able to work with a wide range of children with many types of issues, from behavioral problems, social skill issues, sensory processing dysfunction, autism, developmental delay and much more.
In college I worked in psychiatric hospitals, schools, nursing homes, home health, and regular hospitals on rehab floors. It is a diverse occupation, and one that will always put you front and center working directly with individuals. That was what I had always wanted. I could never see myself working in a back office on paperwork all day. I had to be hands on, treating patients, and seeing them improve and thrive.
My point for this post is to say that if you know a young person that is looking for a career, please share this profession with them. It is in great demand, and it is a career one will always be rewarded by both personally and financially. You can get a degree as an Occupational therapist, or an Occupational therapist assistant. Both are excellent positions allowing you to carry caseloads of individiuals that need your skills, and will forever be changed in positive ways because of you!
I was thinking this morning, what a blessing foster care has been! I cannot imagine life without my little baby C and baby L!!! The hugs and kisses they give several times a day, the giggles, the cuteness, how did I get so lucky?
I hear so many people say they could not do foster care because they could not handle it, the drama of the bio families, and possibly handing them off at some point back to the parents, or relatives. Thankfully, as I have walked this path for two years now, I have come to the conclusion that no matter what, if I am walking in obediance to God, caring for His children, He will go before me, and the children will go (or stay) where they belong. Trust. Love. Care. He will give you the strength if your heart is open to giving of yourself to these sweet children in the system that just need stability and a loving family.
There is some sacfifice in it of course. What meaningful endeavors don't come without sacrifice? I have had to turn down many social invites, and instead I focus my time raising and nurturing little ones at home. Hobbies? I have many. They are waiting in boxes for me to come back to. I know I will find the time again in the near future, but I have more pressing demands right now. Babies needing bottles, diaper changes, and baths. It's okay. My hobbies can wait. These two little cuties won't always be so tiny, soft, and snuggly. I am soaking it all in now. Fostering children is caring for orphans in your own community, and country. It is caring for the least of these, and God smiles when He sees that! :) I love my job! The titles are endless, and the blessings are too.... Mommy. Foster parent. Shepherd. Teacher. Nurturer. Caregiver. Provider. Boo boo kisser. Meal maker. Baby cuddler. Hug reciever...and many more. The blessings of becoming a foster parent have far exceeded my expectations!!!
After two years of having baby L, the adoption paperwork came in the mail today!!! This feels like such a miracle with all that we have been through with her! We have officially started the process, and her adoption should be complete in a few months! They are also updating our homestudy in preparation for baby C's adoption as well! Her tpr-termination of parental rights trial is set for December. Her parents have opposed every single hearing, fired their attorneys, and filed everything they can to slow down the process instead of working thier plan. They will probably appeal after the termination hearing, but all should finally end at some point in the new year-then on to adoption!
We did get another update on baby C's brother as well. Due to the fact that dcfs has realized that they need to jump through many more hoops to have him removed, they found out it will be a few more weeks before there is a final decision. They spoke again with the aunt who has custody, and she states she does want to work through the issues as well as complete the adoption paperwork, however she has been telling them this for 3 years, and she never follows through. They are at the point that they need to move him on to permancy since she is leaving him unsupervised with bio's and she is not committing to his adoption. Since he is not really in immediate danger at this time, they are going to weigh this carefully, before coming to the final conclusion. I can see where this would be a difficult decision, as he is being cared for and not abused and neglected, yet she is not maintaining her side of the bargain. If they do choose to remove him, they may contact us again about his placement, which we continue to pray about.
On the homefront, things are busy! Today I revived a newborn kitten that I thought was dead, took baby L in for an emergency Dr. appt. after she ate a cashew nut and had an allergic reaction, and finally met up with the lady that is helping me finish my first quilt---the one I started working on 3 years ago! I am already dreaming of the next one I want to create!
Summer is slipping away! We haven't even had a moment to plan a camping trip, or go to the lake! Hopefully soon...
Yesterday I talked to the SW that is dealing with the situation with baby C's brother. She said that she has met with the big boss, but they still have not come to any conclusion. She was going to call the Aunt again, and try to get her to talk and explain why she isn't fighting for this boy. During the meeting she really seemed overwhelmed with life, and was not committed to adopting him, although she was supposed to have completed his adoption over a year ago. Now the court advocate believes that all along she was allowing him to have a relationship with his bio parents, and she never intended to adopt him. I was told DCFS is going to make a decision soon. He will either be moved, or he will be staying with the Aunt, if they give her another chance. I really hope a decision is made quickly, and I pray it is the right one.
I have been going on a morning walk each day. I absolutely despise exercising, and the walks, and workouts never get easier. Lately I have been trying to change things up to make it more tolerable. I decided to take my camera along the other day, and snap a few photos of anything that catches my eye. Look at these majestic creatures I came across! Aren't they beautiful??
I have been giving thanks on these walks, talking to God, and my dog along the way. He has given me eyes to see, legs that walk and a beautiful route to walk on. How can I despise that? Thank you, Lord, for all you have done, and all you continue to do and all you have given me. Thank you for helping me to see the beauty all around me, even while exercising!
The last couple of weeks have been so busy, I can barely even keep my head on straight. I collapse at the end of the day. There are projects to do...painting inside the house, exterior painting on our barn...ponies to train...toddlers to train...meetings to attend...appts. to make...friends to see...parties to plan...and it is all so much. I have to take time for the Lord...in prayer...before all of this. I have to be diligent in prayer, and seeking His will. I have to be mindful of my time, yet meet all the needs around me. Most of all, above all, keeping Jesus at the forefront.
This can be a challenge. We continue to seek the Lords will and peace regarding baby C's brother. It is a sad situation. We want to do what is right...yet we know we are stretched. Can God stretch us further...and also bring with that the peace that surpasses all understanding? Yes. Will he? We still don't know. I attended an emergency meeting at DCFS yesterday...it was supposed to be to discuss his placement. When I arrived I was informed the aunt was there! The meeting was not about what we were told. It was heated, and security almost had to be called, but finally...things calmed, and issues were addressed. Honestly..I wondered what I was there for, but in the end I realized I have a much clearer perspective of the entire situation. A little boy waits. A life that hangs in the balance. We continue to wait as well. What will the outcome be for this precious child? We should know any day.
I appologize for this post....but I really, really, REALLY have to vent right now.
Casey Anthony was found NOT guilty....where, WHERE is the justice in this world????
I accidentally got hooked on watching this trial, because a few weeks ago, I was on a long car ride, and I started listening to it on the radio to stay awake while driving and I was hooked!
The jury came to their conclusion in only about 10 hrs. that she was not guilty on all counts. There is noone that would have thought this would happen. Everyone knows she's guilty of killing her daughter. I am so shocked, as is everyone else I have seen. They interviewed this huge group standing outside the courtroom in Orlando the people felt exactly as I do--many of them were even in tears--crying--totally shocked and appalled that the jury did this.
It is so obvious-it's common sense. This girl never reported her daughter missing, never looked for her, and her car smelled like there was a dead body inside. Where is the justice? Even her parents felt she was guilty and there was no look of relief on their faces when the verdict was announced. Wow. I am stunned.
We were out of town all day today, and while we were away, I recieved a call from our new adoption social worker-since we have finally been switched over to the adoption unit as DCFS!
It was a call I NEVER expected!! She asked me something that had never even crossed my mind. I was, literally, shocked!
I hung up the phone...and told DH that he would never guess what she was asking...here were some of his guesses, and none of them were even close:
Oh no! The relatives are back in the picture for baby L now that we are so close to adoption?? Nope.
Baby L's mom is pregnant again?? Nope.
Baby C's mom is pregnant again?? Nope.
Baby C's parent's are making some kind of false allegations? Nope.
So, he also was stunned when I told him what it was all about...
Like I said before, this is something we never saw coming, never even thought about, or discussed, because it is something that we never thought would or could happen. We don't know what we will do. She wants us to call back next week after we have thought about it. Obviously we have a lot of soul searching and praying to do...I am still baffled and surprised and honestly just need to go spend some quiet time with the Lord.
We have jumped full force into summertime...swimming daily, playing in the yard, at the park, play dates, popsicles....
As I was on my early morning walk today, I realized something is missing, something is seriously missing. I have failed to ask the Lord something. I have failed to say, "Lord, how can I serve you this summer??"
I can serve my family, serve through fostering, serve through teaching them more of Him every day...but something is still missing. I know there are so many more ways I should be putting myself out there to serve our amazing, loving, wonderful living God. I know that there are hurting people right here, in my state, city and neighborhood, I know there has to be a better way. There has to be some way I can step out of my comfort zone and serve. There has to be something we can do to serve the Lord this summer. Something my children could be a part of, to see how christians serve the Lord in their own communities...how they show the love of Jesus. They need to see this! Our kids need to see us modeling a life of service. They need to learn to be a part of that, as if it was just normal routine.
Yes, something is missing, and it will take taking our eyes off of ourselves, what we "want" to do this summer, what we want to plan this summer for our own fun and entertainment. It will take some sacrifice, and seeking God to guide us. It will take stepping out in places we may not like or feel comfortable in, but it will be more important than anything else we could do this summer.
It will take looking at ourselves and surrending to Him, and serving in a way that is sacrificial, and with a servant's heart.
It's heartbreaking...but this is the reality in Russia. I just stumbled upon this blog the other day, and having worked in russia for a short while, and having adopted a son from there, from a place just like this, I have to tell you-this is the harsh reality. What this woman is doing there is commendable. I hope to do the same one day...yes, I know I have already adopted one from there...but there are so many more, and the sad fact is, they need to be adopted sooner than later. Our son was almost 12 when we brought him home, and the damage...is, well, damage beyond comprehension at that age, in many, many cases. We have adopted, but there are thousands more needing a chance...needing someone to claim them as their own...or to at least GO there...and show them what love really is. It's not the drunk guy from the local village who comes in and abuses them, or other orphans who themselves have suffered abuse, and no nothing more than to perpetrate on other younger, more vulnerable children they live with. These kids need to see adults showing real, genuine interest in them...they need to see Jesus through us. They are at such a huge risk. When they have no parenting, they parent each other, and they have no guidance and no way to learn what right or wrong is, what compassion is, and what it means to be fair, kind and just. It is incomprehensible in so many ways. When I left russia, I was numb. I knew a part of it would stay with me forever...and 10 years later, it has. I think of these kids, just like the ones on her blog, and cry. They are so alone. They are so misguided. They are so used and abused. They need us.
I love this blog, and this woman is doing an amazing work. I just wish thousands more would step up and step in to do the same. Go look at their faces...these are real kids, right now, in a very dark, sad place, lost and alone. Will you pray for them?
Summer officially begins today for us, as daddy is now home full time since school is out! Today he is hard at work putting the pool up, that the kiddos will no doubt be spending hours upon hours in. This is usually what he does each year as the official kickoff of the summer begins around here!
For us, the summer will be full of:
~splashing in the pool
~time with friends & family
~boating at the lake
~vintage trailer camping
There will only be ONE summer like this one, so make tons of memories with your kids!!!
...than your 4 year old daughter coming in from the yard, holding a bouquet of dandelions-sweetly handing them to you, while saying, "For you, mommy, beautiful flowers!"
Not much...in my book. My heart is full. :)
If you have read this blog long, you may remember this , a birdnest we found in a very unlikely place. Well this year, we have found some interesting ones as well, and one in a very special little spot! We have many trees all around our property, with lots of birds, which I love. Take a look at my front porch wreath:
Do you see a birdnest there??? Let's take a closer look:
Yes, tucked in behind, built right up against the house, a tiny nest with 5 little blue eggs! AND...the amazing thing is, it is lined with some of Molly, my sheep's, wool! How cool is that???
The other day, we were out in the yard and saw this...
It appeared to be some more of Molly's wool streaming out from a hole in a little tree. When I climbed up on a bench to peek inside, this is what I found:
A bigger nest than the one in the wreath, this one cushioned with lots and lots of Molly's wool, so much so, it's coming out of the tree, still attached to the nest like thread coming off a spool. What a beautiful, natural, creation of nature! I am in awe of how God created even tiny little birds with the skill above and beyond even something I could come up with!
My to-do list is often WAY too long. This week, though, I resolved to get it done!
Completed: Picked up raw milk and grass fed meat from the local organic dairy farm.
Groomed and worked with the ponies.
Called World Vision, and signed up to sponsor a second child, a little 7 yr. old girl from Cambodia..I hope to introduce you to her soon!
Began my list of books I want to order for our upcoming homeschool year.
Sent in my payment for a local csa organic farm delivery! This is to supplement our own garden. Can't wait to see what we get each week! I plan on eating raw, fresh, garden grown fruits and veggies all summer!
Made appointment with the farrier.
Still need to do:
Call back supervisor at work, who called the other day since the flu season is now apparently over.
We are a christian adoptive family! God has pieced together our family in a way that is more beautiful than anything I could have imagined! We have adopted internationally, as well as through the US foster care system, but most importantly we have all been adopted by God! Ephesians 1:5 says "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ".
We live on a small hobby farm, and homeschool our six children. Life is full!
My first miracle born in 2001. After giving birth to her, I realized that being a mother was the best job out there, and children are a miracle and precious gift from God. She is a true country girl at heart. Horses are her passion. She is an amazing big sister to her 5 little siblings!
Adopted from China in 2007.
Her sweet spirit fills our home with beauty and love. She is our little dancer, and introduced me to the world of recitals, dance practices, tutu's and ballet! Most of all, her love for Jesus shines bright, and even at her young age, she has a passion for orphan care and missions. These are subjects she talks and prays about on a daily basis! Can't wait to see where the Lord takes this girl!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
God's surprises never cease to amaze me. He is Laney's full sibling who came to live with us in Nov. 2011. Our son since the day he arrived. This is the sweetest boy you will ever meet.
Adopted from U.S. foster care November 2011.
Words cannot describe the joy this precious pumpkin brings to our lives! Another sweet miracle fromt the Lord. She was our first foster baby, arriving at the age of 7 weeks. We were blessed to adopt her in November of 2011. She refers to herself as a princess, and is also a lover of kittens, books, and dancing. I guess many more dance practices and recitals are in our future, lol!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
She was our second foster child who came home from the hospital at one week old. She livens up our days with her endless energy and strong will! It has been such a joy to see her and Austin have the chance to be together as brother and sister, and they definately have a bond that makes my heart smile!
Adopted from U.S. foster care July 2013. What a surprise it was to see that the little boy I pictured in my mind, who only the Lord would know, was actually in need of a forever family! Another miraculous gift from the Lord. He arrived at 4 mos. of age in Oct. 2011. Cute as can be with a contagious laugh and smile.