Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ
2 Peter 3:18

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One

One hundred forty-seven million.  147,000,000.  That's one number thrown around for how many orphans there are world wide (some estimates are actually quite higher).  If you are in the adoption community it's a number you can't get away from.  It's paralyzing to think how many babies are going to wonder the streets today, how many are being spread much too thin among too few car givers in an institution, how many are falling in love with a foster family that is not their permanent home.  You know that you can't help them all and that can be so defeating.  Our church has an excellent contact that works with orphans in Ukraine.  Her story is unbelievable and she has literally given up everything to advocate for the kids hidden behind orphanage walls over there.  She spends most of the year there loving on them and then comes to the states for a few months to personally spread their stories and try to find them homes.  Her mantra is not getting hung up on the 147,000,000.  Get hung up on ONE.  She'll tell the stories of a few children and finish by saying, "Now you know".  That's her charge to say no, you can't change the lives of 147,000,000 million kids, but you can change things for one. 

Another thing you know if your a momma in the adoption community is that you STALK waiting children photo listings.  Doesn't matter where you are in the process- you may not a have a penny to your name and are fundraising, you stalk.  You may have been matched with your baby, you stalk.  You may be waiting for the travel call any day, you stalk.  You may be home and waiting to finalize you current adoption, you stalk.  Your husband and family think your nuts, but you don't care.  You stalk!  You can't stay away from all these precious little ones who are waiting.  And no matter how much you try to stalk from a distance, one little face always grabs you and won't let go. 

I want to introduce you to that face for me.  He's been nicknamed Casper by his caregivers in the southeastern Asian country where he was born.  He's 3-1/2.  He's been diagnosed with failure to thrive along with some respiratory issues.  His health seems to have improved, but I would imagine he will probably have a few home breathing treatments in his future.  He's described as friendly and loving, but a little shy of strangers.  From the videos and pictures I've received on him, it looks like his favorite toy is the snap on cap to a baby bottle. 

So I am now on a mission to find this little man a home.  He is at my absolute favorite age!  Three year olds are just soooo wonderful.  He needs a momma and a daddy. Right now he is one of 31 children being cared for by 2-3 nannies.  Can you imagine trying to prepare meals, feed, dress, clean, and start it all over again for 15 children at once!  I'm sure he's loved, but there's just no way it's enough.  And don't even get me started on a bottle cap for a toy.  This boy needs some hot wheels, and trains, and tonkas!  The last weight I have on him is from a year ago, but at 2-1/2 he weighed less than Wilson did at 3 months!!  This sweet guy needs some hot meals and the security of home so that he can grow and thrive.  More than all of the above, he needs Jesus.  If he is to remain in the country he's in, he'll likely never know the name Jesus.  He'll never know the beautiful adoption story that we can all share in with our Heavenly Father.

 Enjoy this smile because this is one serious toddler- out of 90 pictures of him there are only about 2 that you see a hint of a grin!
 Look behind him at ALL those crib legs.  An orphanage is no place for a child!
And here he is all dressed up- oh how I want to kiss those little cheeks.  I want to see this guy horsing around with his brothers & sisters and holding hands with his momma and daddy.

Please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.  Please don't let finances stand in your way.  His country's fees are among the lowest I've ever seen and would possibly be lowered.

Is there room for one more in your heart?  Please contact Erin Mower at Holt International (541) 687-2202.

Now you know about this ONE.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thankful Day 9

If you're on facebook, you know there's a wave of people doing a daily post of what they are thankful for in preparation for Thanksgiving.  I have joined this group and am truly enjoying making conscious recognition of my many, many blessings.  I intend to mostly keep my "thankfuls" to quick thoughts that easily fit in a status box...maybe at the end of the month I'll compile a complete list and make a full blog post.  That being said, today's needed more time and attention.  So here goes.

In case you are not a fellow Mississippian (or possibly you are and live in a hole) we were presented with the historic opportunity to stand up for life and define a person as the life that begins at conception.  Unfortunately Satin was on his best game and the lies and misconceptions and scare tactics surrounding this amendment won out.  As one facebooker said, "Education in this state does indeed rank last among humanity."  It's unbelievable the things said & believed that prevented our state, one that holds traditional, family values among the highest in the nation, from approving this.  I had to pray that I would not see "the face of the 'no' movement" today as dropped Miller off.  I AM MAD.  I'm heartbroken.  I'm in disbelief.  I'm in no place mentally or spiritually to even pass her by in the hall silently- most of my day will be spent in prayer over my heart and attitude (feel free to join me- I need all the help I can get!)

What is there to be thankful for?!

Today I am thankful for a woman a half a world away.  One that I will in all likelihood never meet.  One that faced social ostracizing, possible loss of family, loss of the potential to get married should she ever spill her secret.  One that chose to live in agony for months on end.  One who made mistakes.  One who put the life of an unborn child ahead of her comfort, ahead of her need to "move on and put the past behind her".  One who gave our daughter the name Grace.  I'm crying as I type this- I'm not sure I've ever cried for her like this.  I felt her pain as I touched her fingerprint on the papers releasing Eliza Grace to the care of the Korean government.  I looked for her in every woman's face as I walked the streets of Seoul and EG's birth city.  She's in my thoughts often.  But today I am thrust in the face of all she had to endure to bring our baby girl into this world.  Make no mistake- she's no saint and is certainly not perfect. But when the time came to put it on the line, she stood up.  She stood and selflessly chose to do things this great "generous" state of Mississippi is boldly saying don't really matter and that if we're going er, let's er on the side of convenience.  This mama bear is ready to attack- anyone with me!?

If you are... I ask that you pass this criteria.  That you be a Christian (and with that I assume you are pro life).  Not a Sunday only "christian", not a Christmas and Easter "christian", not a "I live in the Bible Belt so I must be" "christian".  I mean a "ready to lay down my life and follow" Christian.  A "life is going to be hard, but I was promised nothing else" Christian.  A "I've read the Bible and believe every word to be eternally true" Christian.  Still with me?  Good.  Now I want you take a good, hard, honest look at adoption.  If you are truly a Christian and truly pro life ask yourself what is holding you back from filling out an application.  I urge you to go to www.rainbowkids.org or www.holtinternational.org or one of the many other advocates out there. Allow your heart to be broken, allow it to fall in love with one of the faces you see, allow it be so filled with faith in our Almighty Creator that you will no longer let fears and doubts planted by Satan to stand between you and that face.  Being a pro life Christian doesn't end at stopping abortion, it follows through to ensure life beyond poverty, orphanages, and foster care for those who are born.  Go.  NOW!

(above is a handful that have grabbed my heart- unfortunately my family can't bring them all home.  These children are all waiting in various Asian countries, they are various ages, and in various degrees of health.  If none of these is crying to you, there are literally MILLIONS more to listen for in your state, country, and around the world)

You're still here!?  You must have a really, really good reason ;)  If there's just no way you could adopt- you have more kids than your state will allow, your too old (and I mean really too old- could you be the mom/dad to a teenager- they are out there and NEED a home), or are on your deathbed- what are you doing to get these little faces connected with their families.  Are you praying?  Are you advocating?  Are you caring for them while they wait?  Are you visiting them?  Are you helping fund someone's adoption?  Are you supporting a family newly home with their baby/child?  What are you waiting for?!

Day 9b:  I'm thankful that you've read this far.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to speak my mind.  I'm thankful that maybe, just maybe I won't scratch any one's eyes out- y'all are praying for me right!?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

June 2011- A Few of Eliza Grace's Firsts

First trip to the Science Museum:



Verdict:
Kinda fun...
Kind of a disaster!

First Swim:



Verdict:  Swimming is AWESOME, ice cream is even better!
Eliza Grace LOVED swimming.  She was quickly counting and jumping off the side, going under, and coming up smiling.  This lead to Miller have a little jealousy, so she began jumping off the side & was swimming by the end of the summer.

First Korean-American friend (who also made it here through Holt):

 Verdict:
 She steals snacks
 Makes a mean pretend bulgogi
She's not too bad.  We miss you Evelyn!

First baseball season:

 Verdict:  While Wilson is VERY cool


Big Daddy is much more entertaining!

Miller & Caroline

Just two girls, sittin' in the dirt, with their John Deer . . . dressed in princess costumes.  What a pair!



Monday, November 07, 2011

Halloween 2011






I had so much fun making Halloween costumes this year.  I was needing some crafty time- and this was a great fix.  Miller was Rapunzel & Eliza Grace was a candy corn.  Who knew- a bajillion yards of tulle and a crochet tube top = easiest princess costume in the world for about $5!?  I braided a bunch of yarn and stuck an alligator clip in it glued a few fake flowers here and there and we had Rapunzel's signature "do".  Wilson was Captain Jack Sparrow.  A local thrift shop provided the blue vest & shirt.  A pair of mom's old tights & some heavy yarn leftover from some unfinished something became a great wig. 

Eliza Grace quickly fell in love with this holiday.  Yelling, "HEY!"  whenever the big kids got too far ahead of her when running to the next house.  She's in love with all the suckers that now live in our pantry- freeing up her chocolate for a charity case known as "Mom at 4:30 in the afternoon".

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I'm Back...I think.

Okay so I've clearly been on a huge blog hiatus.  It was a very busy summer followed by an equally busy fall.  I feel like we're digging out of the newly home from Korea fog, we're settling into having someone at school ALL day, juggling two fall sports, and figuring out our new normal.  So it's time to recap.  No.  I will not do it in one post.  Instead I'll be doing it post by post- I'd like to say one a day, but we all know it will be more like 12 one day and none for 3 more, so we'll see what happens!  They also will be in no particular order- sort of like my brain right now!  We are busy, our hands are full, but they are full of wonderful things.  Like two girls trying to share one mom's mirror.  Enjoy...
video

PS- my return to regular blogging also marks 500 posts!!  WOW!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What If- The Personhood Amendment


 
What if there’s a rape?  What if we laid down our life and picked up our cross and followed?

What if I’m unable to have my own children and limits may be placed on medical options?  What if there are millions of children around the world waiting in the fields of the fatherless for us to realize that they are already ours?

What if a new life is putting my life in danger?  What if the number of hairs on your head is known and that a sparrow does not fall unnoticed.  If the birds don’t worry- why should we.  Doctors will be allowed to care for us.

What if I don’t trust our lawmakers to sort things out like I want them to? What if we rested in the arms of someone who’s not asking us to, someone who knows the names and has plans for the lives that will be saved- If we’ll just trust and let them be saved.

What if this is the only opportunity we are given to voice what the majority of us believes.  A life is a life when the Lord speaks it into being.  No matter how it was created.  No matter what it means to those who will be inconvenienced by it. 

I’m not surprised at the opposition to the Personhood Amendment.  The Evil One has got a lot to lose if it passes.  It’s up to him to plant seeds of doubt.  It’s up to him to cause division over something that is at it’s core very simple.  It’s up to him to convince followers of Christ to believe him and spread his message.  I’m not surprised but it doesn’t make it any harder to watch.  There’s a story about a young man who was graduating from college.  His father was very wealthy and he just knew he’d receive the expensive sports car that he’d been lusting after as a gift.  He went to visit his father after graduation and was presented with a small box.  He opened, a little confused, and out fell a Bible.  He threw the Bible down and stormed out, angry that his father had withheld the one thing he’d asked for.  His anger was so great that he never spoke to his father again.  Years later when he went to clean out his father’s home after his death, he found the Bible in his father’s office.  He thumbed through it and a key fell out.  The key to the car he’d wanted with a tag saying “paid in full”. 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this amendment is what we’ve prayed for for years.  Please don’t discard it because the wrapping isn’t what we expected. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Fall!!


We're alive and well and hoping to blog again soon!!

In the mean time we're loving the cooler weather, gorgeous colors, pumpkins, costumes, and playing flag football under a full moon.

Happy fall, y'all!
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Friday, July 22, 2011

When I Get Where I'm Going

Dancing with Granddaddy on their 50th wedding anniversary

 
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I'm gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly.

I'm gonna land beside a lion,
and run my fingers through his mane.
Or I might find out what it's like
To ride a drop of rain

Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I'll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.

I'm gonna walk with my grandaddy,
and he'll match me step for step,
and I'll tell him how I missed him,
every minute since he left.
Then I'll hug his neck.

Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I'll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.

So much pain and so much darkness,
in this world we stumble through.
All these questions, I can't answer,
so much work to do.

Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I'll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.

But when I get where I'm going,
and I see my Maker's face.
I'll stand forever in the light,
of His amazing grace.

Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Oh, when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
Hallelujah!
I will love and have no fear.
When I get where I'm going.
Yeah when I get where I'm going.

This song came on the radio about a month ago and as I sang it I prayed these words for my grandmother.  The Lord has graciously answered.  Nan is admiring the crown on that Lion's head and dancing again with my Granddaddy in praise and adoration of our Lord and savior.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Greatest Milestone Yet!

Today marks four weeks since Eliza Grace was placed in our arms.  It's been a busy four weeks full of many ups and downs.  We've had many firsts and marked several big milestones.  Someday, I hope to blog about it all ;)  But tonight we hit a milestone that could not wait to be blogged in chronological order. 

We finally heard a good hard belly laugh out of this girl!  The first one nearly choked her (very similar to her reaction to crying- it can make her throw up almost instantly).  Fortunately her supper stayed down and we were able to capture a smaller, but no less thrilling repeat.  Enjoy!

video



Monday, June 13, 2011

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog...

We woke up bright and early on June 3rd to get dressed, zip up our bags and head downstairs to meet our driver to the airport.

It's about an hour drive from our hotel to the airport and Eliza Grace fell asleep on the way there.  We got into the airport and were directed toward the appropriate line to get checked in.  Gotta love some Happy Mom Service. 

We then had to settle in for the few hours of waiting until it was time to board the plane.  Again- we ran all over the place chasing this girl.  We got some ice cream, we played on the  playground, we road on the moving sidewalks.  We met another adoptive family that was going to be on our flight.  (Hi Baby Cora- just in case you ever happen to read this!!  Hope your doing well in Philly!)

Finally it was time to board.  Eliza Grace fell asleep again fairly quickly and then woke up an hour or so later when our meal came.  When she was done eating she sort of just slid down the seat and onto the floor. She laid there and just rubbed her face on the floor.  I think she was just sort of trying to block the whole thing out.  It was fine with us, though- she was quiet and soothing herself. 
video

She fell asleep and stayed asleep for a good 45 minutes before some lovely stewardess noticed a small lump under a baby blanket, realized it was a baby, and began to flip.  "Do you see all of this danger?  She can not stay here.  It is cute, but too dangerous."  SHE MADE ME PICK HER UP!!!  Let's just say Eliza Grace was less than thrilled.  I spent the next couple of hours furious.  Every time Eliza Grace cried I wanted to find that stewardess and show her danger!!!  So we spent the remaining 10 hours or so running up and down the aisle of the plane, throwing puffs all over the place, and making friends with our very gracious neighbors (one lady even chased EG for us for a little while- God bless her!).  I even discovered that an airplane bathroom makes quite a spacious playroom when compared to the seats in the peasant section we were trapped in!  I'd put the lid down on the toilet have a seat and Eliza Grace would run in little circles around the bath room. We played in the water, chewed on the toothbrushes and just had a grand time until some poor soul would knock on the door in desperation.  We ate again and Eliza Grace fell asleep for the last hour of the flight. 

We landed in Chicago and then the real fun began.  We were supposed to land at 9:40, but didn't get in until 10:15.  Our flight to Jackson was to take off at noon.  That gives us an hour and 45 minutes-no problem, right?  Did I mention that we had to get through customs with an immigrant, get our bags, get across town to THE OTHER AIRPORT, get our bags checked, go back through security (a special thanks to the security guy that felt the need to do a litmus test on our bottle of formula...ugh) and haul hiny to our gate and onto our plane?  Well we did and we totally made it!!  Thanks to Aunt Sherry, Uncle Bruce, Charlie, & Cole for meeting us at O'Hare and getting us to Midway.  Eliza Grace LOVED meeting them and getting decked out in some red white and blue. 


We got to Midway and to the ticket counter to ask if there was anyway we'd be making it.  We were informed that our flight had been delayed 20 minutes!!  Praise God- I just couldn't take having to wait much longer to get home.  The previous flight that was on the plane slated to take us to Jackson was carrying a group of disabled WWII vets that were on a tour to somewhere.  Obviously they needed a little extra time exiting the plane.  The exact same little extra time we needed to get to that plane.  Perfect!!  We ran up right in time to begin boarding our flight. 
Last flight for a VERY LONG TIME, Baby Girl.  I promise.

Eliza Grace was so worn out by now that she slept the entire flight.  In fact, I woke her up to put on some fresh clothes before we landed and she met her welcoming committee. 

And what a welcoming committee it was!!  We were so thankful for all the friends, family, church members, and adoption group members that showed up to welcome us all home.  Eliza Grace turned on the charm and worked the crowd.  She ran right up to Miller and hugged her like they'd known each other for years!  It was priceless. 










After we greeted everyone we loaded up in the van for the first time as a family of five and headed home.  We were greeted at home by balloons on the mailbox, a freezer full of food, neighbors, and more family.  Thanks to everyone for making it such a special homecoming!