If my instincts are correct...we are on the brink of an answer to prayer. In fact, I think it has already come, but I will know tomorrow for sure. If this is the answer to the specific prayer request we have prayed about, I am totally in awe of God right now. The answer is more than I could have imagined, and better than I could have ever thought. I was competely at a loss, and had given up on this issue, only to pray once more, and once again, not having enough belief that it would be answered. God is the God of surprises, and the God of abundance. He is so faithful. He is so good, and He is so much more than my little brain can comprehend. I wasn't expecting what has come about, and I know that the Lord hears our prayer. I will share more soon...
So I am not up to par with this blogging thing these days. The truth is, life is exhausting right now. Life is full, and at times quite overwhelming. I have taken some time after the kids are in bed these past few days to do some blog reading, which is something I do miss. Only God could have directed the keystrokes the way He did today. I came across a blog that I may have only read once before. A woman with a heart for adoption and caring for orphans. A woman who has 7 children, and her post stood out, as she was honest about how hard this parenting thing really is. Parenting a large number of children is nothing short of difficult, straining, and draining at times. She has beautiful children she has adopted, and yet, she was only surviving her days lately. I can relate. Then she said it. Warfare. Yes, it is what I knew all along. This can feel like a daily battle at times because the enemy wants to win. He didn't want these children to find loving homes. He would rather see them alone, neglected, and sometimes abused and dying in their orphanages. He would rather see U.S foster kids left in drug houses, not being taken care of, and abused as well. Yes, there is no doubt in my mind that spiritual attacks come in this form. He wants to take us down, those parents willing to step out for the cause of the orphan. I have something to say in response to this: The battle belongs to the Lord, and He is mightier than any attack that can come our way.
I also took the time to read the blog of the couple I know who started a ministry to the homeless in my town. As I continued to read, the tears would not stop. These people have stepped out in faith every single sunday for the past 10 months to care for homeless in ways that would blow your mind. They go to an area where they are, and the people come, and every week, their crowd gets bigger, and they bring food and items that are donated by random people, and they believe, in faith that they will have what is needed. They minister to them with prayer, Bibles, friendship,...and most of all, love. They have seen miracle after miracle. As I read this, it occured to me once more, that right here in my home, I am doing the same thing for the orphan, except it's not every sunday, it's every day, and that is what can make this ministry daunting. It takes the strength of the Lord to get through each day sometimes, just like these people who minister to the homeless. They go and rely on God's spirit and strength to minister to these people and to meet their physical and spiritual needs. And as I left that blog, I somehow (it had to be the hand of God), came across the next blog which I had never seen. It was another family interested in orphans and adoption. The thing that jumped out at me was this...We are on a mission...to love the orphan. It made me realize again, and I think that it was the Lord gently reminding me that I am a missionary in my own home, and that I am doing this for Him, and His glory. I am doing this for His kingdom, and for His children. I am caring for His children in my home, to raise them up to be strong christians who will go out into this world one day to also do the work to advance His kingdom. It is a humbling thing to realize, and also to realize how much I am failing, and how much I need Him. I cannot do this without daily help from the Lord. No way. And then I thank the Lord for this reality in my life...because doing the hard thing has made me seek Him more.
And that's not all...the next blog that I ended up clicking on was this one. And after reading that, I realized that this difficult job is also full of blessings, and that I am not alone. The rewards are great, and seeing how God is moving in all of these families, who have embraced the orphan....the children of God, is awe inspiring, and then I look at my life, and I realize that even while I trip over the mountain of laundry in the basement, and gain my composure again after two of my littles were screaming non-stop at the same time, and I mop the kitchen floor for the third time today...I thank God for these precious children, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So many things happening right now, but thought I'd give a quick update as to some of the things we've been up to recently. So a little over a week ago, we made the drive to the Farm Chicks show in Spokane, Wa. This has now become a yearly tradition as quite a few members of my family have decided they want to come. It was spectacular again this year--and I will have to show a few of my finds on a later post, one of them being an old garden gate we will be placing in the garden when DH builds the little fence he has planned. Each year I come home with one, two, or possibly three treasures from this antique show. And, each year, I meet people who have come from all over, this year there were people in line next to me from Las Vegas. And I thought I had a long drive! Each year inspires my creativity, and makes me want to dig in and decorate my home and yard in an eclectic mix of vintage and farm yard finds! It's one of those shows you leave thinking, now I have to wait another year?? Thankfully, I will get my fix again in about two months, as there is a woman that lives only a few roads over from me that has an equally fun antique show in her huge yard every year. She has a big farmhouse, outbuildings, and barns on her property. Vendors with all kinds of fun antiques, primitives, quilts, and more set up all over her property and people come from all over the state for this one as well. I am so lucky to live in her neighborhood! I live for these farm girl type antique shows...I am a bit of a freak about them though. The minute I walk in, I am oblivious. I forget about the people all around me and I am immersed in my own little zoned out world. One year at the farm chicks show I went with my step mother, and I realized about 15 minutes into it that I lost her, lol!
Speaking of decorating, I have to mention that Pinterest has inspired me so much! There are so many amazing ideas and beautiful photos on it, and I am addicted. We decided that we needed a new dining room table with benches on both sides to fit 3 children on each. DH was going to build one of the DIY farmhouse tables we saw on pinterest. But...we recently found out about a place that does furniture auctions of new furniture every saturday night. He went to one a couple weeks ago-and there in front of him was a beautiful farmhouse table! He was able to purchase it for the same price it would have cost him to buy the materials and build it himself! We are in the market for new living room furniture, so I am really excited about checking out their inventory in the upcoming weeks! I am redecorating our entire upper floor! First the living room, then the boys and girls room, and last will be our kitchen, which needs updating again. We are putting in a breakfast bar for the kids to sit at in the mornings. This will also serve as a spot for them to work on school work over the years.
We have lots of summer plans coming up including vacations at the beach and at my dad's log cabin in the woods. Miranda also will be going to summer camp for the first time this year! She's very excited. Lilyann just completed her first dance recital, and Lexi just turned 3 years old! She had a pink princess birthday party and it was adorable! There are some new developments happening in baby Riah's case, and this has come with much prayer and consideration...more details to come. Now off to clean, homeschool, do laundry and cook...the duties never end!
What is a large family? Four kids, five, six? I have heard what a lot of larger than average families have gone through over time, and the types of comments they have gotten, but so far we haven't experienced much of that. (probably because I haven't been brave enough to take my brood out on my own all that often). Today, for the second time, since having six children, (who are now 1,2,3,4,5, and 10 by the way), I took them out on my own ,and I got the comment I have heard about other families of 4 or more children saying they have dealt with. I found it quite humorous, actually. Since it was a semi emergency, I packed all six of them into the Suburban this morning to take my oldest to the doctor's office. It was a same day emergency appt, so we did not have our usual pediatrician today. Instead, it was an unsuspecting physician's assistant, who, upon entering our room, was quickly taken aback. He stopped in his tracks before the door even shut behind him. He quickly glanced around at the 12 little eyes staring up at him, and then finally found me in the group, reached out his hand to introduced himself, then asked, "Daycare??". To which I replied, "Nope, they're all mine". I wasn't sure what his response would be, but this man was pleasantly surprised. He wanted to know all about them, so I shared our story. He was so curious that I think he forgot why we were there, and my oldest daughters semi-medical emergency. It turned out that we were in the right place at the right time. He had been interested in foster care, but had not taken that next step. He wanted to know how to make that next step. He was definately talking to the right person, because I told him how serious the need is in this county for foster and adoptive homes. He wondered where to go, who to talk to, and how to acquire such adorable children like mine, I am sure. He wanted to know the difference between straight foster care and foster-adopt, how many bedrooms you need, and if they need medical insurance, and I was thrilled to fill him in on all of it. When he was done examining my oldest, he quickly switched back to the topic of foster care, and foster adoption. This made my day..and I think I just might need to be a little more brave, and get my kids out there more, instead of waiting until my husband is home, so he can watch some of them so that I don't have to take them all at once. It's really not bad, in fact, every time we have taken them all out, it never fails that someone actually approaches me to tell me how well behaved they are, or how cute they are. Some ask questions, but most people are so encouraging and just want to say something positive. I hope my sweet little group today have made an impression on this man, and that soon, another little child will have a loving home to call their own.
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.