Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More of baby L's story.

Around 9 mos of age, there was a court hearing. We were all out of town. I recieved a call from the Guardian ad Litem, and she had some not-so-good news. She said that some relatives had come forward. They were very interested. We knew this could be the beginning of the end of our time with baby L. We waited months, and were told that the relatives finally passed the homestudy. I found out that these relatives were notified by the biological grandmother, who has numerous problems, and has been banned from seeing baby L. She had asked them to consider taking baby L, and knew nothing about us, or that we were a pre-adoptive home. Fast forward 6 months, and we got a call out of the blue, stating that the relative placement may happen even before the termination trial, so they wanted us all to come to a meeting. We went, and the relatives participated by phone. After the meeting we were told we would hear of the decision within a couple weeks, and we never did. I asked a few times, and was given vague answers. The next thing I knew our social worker quit, and a few months later the new one was bringing up adoption of baby L. The relatives had not made contact. The dept. was recommending she remain with us, and her biological mother wanted that as well. Within a month, we had signed the open adoption agreement, and then her mom relinquished her rights. We are now awaiting transfer to the adoption unit, which takes months. It's a miracle. We love our little baby L! Only a few more days and she turns 2! I guess we can't call her baby L anymore??! We give God all the glory and thanks for this one. We are so blessed.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Raising Homemakers is having an amazing giveaway. If you homeschool, or know someone who does, or is thinking about it, this would be such a blessing to them. Good luck!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Mary over at Adoption & Foster Care, my personal experience recently gave me the versatile blogger award. Thanks Mary! I don't usually accept awards, but decided to have fun with it this time. I do try to keep my blog quite versatile, as I only like to keep one blog going, so here you will find an eclectic mix of ramblings on adoption, foster care, mothering, orphans and christian issues, such as caring for orphans, and other extreme needs in our world, such as the child sex trafficking I posted about below. I also try to keep updates going about what is going on around our farm, our homeschool, and other life events. So..I do agree this blog is versatile!

The rules include linking back to the person who awarded you, which I did above. The next rule is listing 7 things about yourself, so here goes:

1) I hate working out. I strive to work out every day, and it never gets easier. I have a route I have walked for years now, and part of it is uphill. That hill never gets easier. I even change things up, and try many different ways to get exercise and I despise them all. Anytime I am working out, or exercising, there is almost always somewhere else I would rather be, or something else I would rather be doing.

2) To alleviate my pain around exercising and working out, I decided to take a different approach and encorporate my children as much as possible. Lately we have been going on walks together, they love it, and it's been much more enjoyable for me. It also helps them learn to enjoy this type of exercise in the outdoors, which is so important.

3) I despise artificial sweeteners. I learned about how poisonous they were way back in college when taking a nutrition class, and I went cold turkey that day, giving up my diet pe*psi. It only takes a few moments to do your research on the harmful affects of aspartame and sucralose. I cringe when I see someone pick up a can of diet c*oke or any other diet soda. I just want to take it from them and ask, "don't you realize what you're putting into your body?"

4) A couple years ago I was assigned to an online health coach through my health insurance organization. The woman I worked with was wonderful. To this day I still hear her voice almost every time I go to eat something I know I shouldn't. "Only put into your mouth what will nourish your cells, and bring life to your body, Michelle", "You can do it, eat what's pleasing to the Lord, those foods that God made naturally, full of life giving nutrients". I literally think of those words all the time when I make food choices!

5) I miss my grandma...the most wonderful christian woman, who introduced me to the Lord, and always spoke edifying, uplifting words to me. She was strong in her faith, and I am one family member her legacy will continue on through.

6) I need my world to be in order. Chaos, constant loud noise, and bright lights put me in a downhill spiral. I have sensory issues. Orderliness, tranquility, calming music and low lighting=peace for me.

7) Although I am teaching all the girls to take quiet time each day, I seem to only arrive at #6 at the end of each day, after the kiddos are all in bed. I am so thankful for my new master suite, where I can go to relax and recharge...I call it my sanctuary. I will be showing pictures soon, as it is almost complete!

The last rule is to pay it forward and award the versatile blogger award to 15 bloggers, however I will only be able to go with 5 like Mary did...so here they are:

Notes from the frugal trenches-a downshifting journey
Simple pieces of daily living...

Marmee's Pantry-For Such a Time as This

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I am horrified...

If you have not read the book "The road of Lost Innocence" by Somaly Mam...please check it out here, at Somaly's site. I think everyone should read this eye opening story of the horrors that are occuring in the country of Cambodia. They are happening right now, as I type this. Little girls, as young as 5 being enslaved, raped, used, and abused in brothels. It is sickening, profoundly sad, and profoundly horrific. Every night when I put this book down, and fell asleep, I had dreams of this, I could not turn it off. I just checked and World Vision is working there, and I will be inquiring about sponsoring a little girl from Cambodia. It is the first thing I can do. I will also be reading Somaly's site, and finding other ways I can help to do my part to end the suffering of these girls. Please, please, get this book. You will never be the same, and you will be able to also step in and help to end child trafficking and sex slavery of innocent, precious children.
{Thanks, Jennifer, for loaning me this book. I will be getting a few copies to hand out to others, as I believe everyone needs to hear this story}.

Friday, May 20, 2011

This week in review!

laughing..tickling..and playing with my babies..jumping on the trampoline with my 4 yr. old..played with a baby pony..picked tulips..held adorable baby goats..spent time with special friends..had our china adoptive families group over..kissed lots of boo boo's..studied switzerland for our country group co-op..spent "quiet" time in my new master suite reading a new book..worked with some senior citizens who needed cheering up..planned a "fun" vacation..prayed about ministries/church and unsaved family members..spent time outside in the beautiful warm weather..sipped delicious homemade "green" smoothies..planned a freezer cooking weekend..snuggled all my girls..thanked God!!!

Meet baby C!!!

She is almost 15 mos. old. Sweet, tiny, and my little cuddlebug! She follows her "big" sister around now, and I call them my little "partners in crime" because they are always together now, getting into things they shouldn't, climbing, or breaking into boxes of crackers or cereal that they were told not to. They definately keep me on my toes all day long, but I wouldn't change it for anything! I am so blessed with these little ones, and although I might collapse at the end of each day, I thank God for them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Photo shoot!

Each year I take my girls for their "school" pictures. The place that does the pictures has been photographing my kids since Miranda was 5 mos. old. This year, we got to take the foster babies! Baby L is very photogenic. She is looking SO grown up at almost two years old! Stay tuned for baby C's picture!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Couldn't have said it better...

I just read this blog post, and I have to say, it is one of the best I have read. It is deep, profound, and so important...go read...here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Check out my Shelfari!!!

This is such a great way to organize my reading shelf! These are just some of the books I have on my "actual" bookshelf at home that I am getting ready to read. Just having this visual helps! I finally just finished reading "The Hole in our Gospel", after our church finished it a few weeks ago. I went back and re-read some parts since it was so good. I will be picking up one of these great books off the shelf tonight. Some were given to me by friends, so I will be starting with one of those, so I can get the books back to them. Some of these have been on my shelf for a few years, and I really need to get them read...I plan on doing tons of reading in the next few months. I love books!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring at Snowberry Farm...

The most beautiful time of year here! The pear orchard is in full bloom!

Gettin' the garden ready...

Cocoa, our nigerian dwarf goat...

Tons of flowers bloomin' all around...

Our little filly is almost 2 months old. She has turned into a puppy dog. No longer is she hard to catch...now she won't leave us alone, she loves attention, and loves people. We are having so much fun with her and her mama! Spring here at the farm is the one of the best times of the year!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ministry Mondays!

Today I want to introduce to you a ministry/organization called Children's Hope Chest.
In 2000, DH and I, took a leap of faith, and answered the call to care for orphans. We went to russia, along with Children's Hope chest. We visited orphans in several orphanages, and put on a vacation Bible school with a team of other people who also wanted to reach out to the orphans of russia. It was an experience that broke my heart, and changed me to the core, and I have never been the same. Sadly, not much has improved in this country in 10 years. A million orphans there continue to suffer. The despair and emptiness I witnessed in the faces of the very young up to teens was something I wasn't prepared for. To this day there is a part of me that still aches for the orphans of this country, and part of my heart is still there.
Children's Hope chest has evolved since then, and they now work in many other countries. I also found another wonderful ministry called Visiting Orphans that partners with them. I love all the options they have and what they are doing for the orphans of our world. These two ministries are amazing and I am going to pray about getting involved with both. Please check them out.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Proverbs 31:2 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her.

What a blessing and highest calling it is to be a mother. This year, I am even more thankful for this gift of motherhood, this amazing journey the Lord has called me to. I am so grateful for the children He has entrusted to me, and I pray I can be a better mother to them each and every day. Thank you Lord for allowing me to be a mother! From someone who was blessed with an amazing career outside the home for many years, I can honestly say, being home, and mothering, is even better! I am so grateful for this season of my life. Happy mother's day to all mothers out there,  whether you are parenting bio, adopted, foster children, or even a spiritual child you have been given the opportunity to pour God's love into. And I also wish a happy mother's day to those future mothers, those women who's hearts are waiting and longing for their child. Mother's day blessings to all of you!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Did you know???

If you make $50,000 a year, you are more financially "rich" than 99% of the world?

I have been reading a book that our church read recently called "The Hole in our Gospel" by Rich Stearns, who is the president of World Vision.

We have been sponsoring a child from Sri Lanka through World Vision for many years. She was 3 when we started, and she is now about 14. It has been fun to see her grow up.

This book is a must read for every christian. For me, it was so exciting to see our church go through this book. For some others, they had issues. I have been processing this for weeks now. I will talk more about this later, but for now I am still trying to sort out the way I feel about those that had issues about this. I know all christians are on different levels with their faith. I know some people grow at a faster pace than others, and others fall into a slower pace of spiritual growth, however, I don't believe it is right to stay there, but to look to scripture as a way to guide each aspect of our lives. If we don't like something the Bible says, or something a book says that comes from scripture, we need to ask ourselves why, and find out what is blocking us from the fullness of God's will in our lives, and ask how we can surrender to it.

I want more of God each day. Life is not easy. with God, life is so incredibly exciting, and He gives me hope and help in times that I need it. I would be lost without Him.

What is it that God is asking of me now? I pondered this the other day. There is so much more I could and should be doing. I have more financially than 99% of the world. That is heavy, and to whom much is given, much is expected. That would mean most of us. I look at my foster babies, and although I do look at it as a ministry, and a way to follow God's mandate to care for orphans in this country, I have been exceedingly and abundantly blessed through it. I've been to russia on a mission. I've adopted an orphan there. The thousands of orphans there still haunt me. I've been to China, I've adopted an orphan there, and my heart aches for every one left behind in both of these countries. Orphan care is something all christians should be a part of, so why are they ignoring them? If you have touched them, and have seen the emptiness and extreme sadness in their eyes, as I have, you could not turn away. I want to embrace them all, but I am only one. I know there is more I need to do...I will be on my knees, praying, fasting and asking the Lord what that is.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Miss Lilyann!

I love this girl!
This is her "school" picture. I just love how it turned out.
She is almost finished with preschool! She got a report card a few weeks ago, and I was so proud of her, as she recieved "outstanding" marks in every single area!
She still calls me her rainbow.
She still says "I love you mommy" numerous times a day, and calls herself my little heart.
She gives me stickers with rainbows and hearts on them and says "that's you and me, mommy!"
She brings me dandelion bouquets from the yard, and lovingly hands them to me saying, "these beautiful flowers are for you, mommy"
She is precious, absolutely precious, how did I deserve such an amazing child?
Thank you Lord, for Lilyann.