Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You know what I loved about Sunday and sharing in church

There were 2 things that brought joy to me when I shared in church on Sunday..... the first was after we had shared at the first hour service, Jonas was by me and he said, "Mom it worked". Leah and Joseph heard him and they piped in with, "I saw so many people crying mom when we were up there... I counted at least 50 people crying." What they felt was evidence of something working or moving the people's hearts was the tears the kids saw... It was very touching that they would pick up on that part and then to have Jonas think "It worked" was precious.

The second thing I loved was that some of our older kids had asked if they could share some about adoption and what it meant to them... There was not enough time but I was moved to think that they wanted to speak in front of our large church about their life and family.

Playing with Playdough for hours

Boys Having Fun Playing Uno

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Honor of National Adoption Month

Today our family shared in church about the amazing ways we have seen the Lord thru the many adoptions of our children. I will paste a copy of the words I shared in the 2 services . We have already heard from many and I know that the Lord will move to His will if we are obedient...

In honor of National Adoption Month we would like to share briefly our walk with the Lord thru our 17 adoptions. James 1:27 says, Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and fautless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. Our very fulfilling walk in adoption really started when Paul and I gave our lives to Jesus- We first became adopted into the kingdom of God by choosing Jesus.

Paul and I gave our lives fully to Jesus before we met and then as a couple we dedicated our lives to serving him. We were childhood sweethearts. I have always had a call on my life and a love for children. We almost went to Africa to serve in an orphanage and our older kids tease us instead we are bringing all the kids here.

Often we are asked these questions:

What do you drive? A 15 passenger van and an 8 passenger Honda when we need to go with everyone.
How many bedrooms or how big is your house? It is a very large home with 4 and a half baths, and 8 bedrooms ( one is a lg. dorm room).
Why do you do what you do? This is a vey simple answer that was given to us while on our adoption trip for Josiah. It was in a devotion . Simply stated it comes from

2 Corinthians 5:14- For Christ's love compels us....

We have no other choice but to be obedient to Him who has called us.This is the love placed in our hearts - for orphans and especially special needs children- the ones no one wanted.

Several of our children were not the first choice of most families because of their health issues like kidney problems, cleft lip/palate, arthrogryposis, polio,heart condition, and the mere fact they were boys, to old, or came from abusive, dysfunctioning families where drug and alcohol were the norm.

Each one of our children have their own story of overcoming and experiencing the love of Christ. He had his hand on each ones precious life to lead our family to them.

My second reason for sharing today comes from a deep conviction I experienced the weekend before the elections. One of our greatest motivation for adopting and especially for adopting special needs children comes from our pro-life conviction. I have been involved in the pro life movement back when the only organization to work with was the Catholic church.

As I was praying about whom to vote for and how I can help the pro life movement it became ever clear that we Christians are not doing enough:

Most of us here today voted for what we thought was a pro life ticket. But that is the easy way to support pro life. We can push the screen in the voting booth and then walk away and feel that we have done enough... but I am here today to share that is not enough anymore. The right to life has been battling this abortion issue for 30 some years this way... and it helps but Christians can do more... I strongly feel we can encourage others to get involved by helping out at a crisis pregnancy center, supporting or helping unwed moms and their babies... we can personally open our hearts and homes to unwed moms, and orphans who have no one to care and love them. If anyone needs some more ideas or places to help come see us we can share several Christian places that support the pro life movement thru the crisis pregnancy centers or the actual adoption of babies and children and we need to do and not just vote... we need to get involved in the life of the pro life movement which is loving and caring and showing the love of Jesus to others thru our actions and not just by thinking we can just vote.

I want to end with just one quick story of one of our children's adoption- our Mya. We were at our agency just after we got home with Jacob, Isaac and Lily. They wanted to meet them and while there they shared a picture of a baby who they were having a hard time finding a family to adopt her. She was tiny and paralyzed on her L side ( her medical stated it was from hip dysplasia) which it was not at all. They wanted us to help find a home for her. We took one look at her picture and decided we were not showing this picture to anyone... we wanted her. We were the 13th family they had offered her to. Thank God the 12 before us said no... because if you have had the priviledge of meeting her she is a loving, very affectionate and full of charm little girl who will capture your heart easily with her smile. It turned out she had polio and that is what caused her paralysis. We traveled in Dec. 2002 for our first trip to meet her. While on that trip we asked to meet some other children they were having a hard time finding someone to adopt. We met our Anna and Josiah. We returned in Jan. of 2003 for her adoption. We brought her home Jan. 29. She was only 11 lbs. when she came home at almost 13 months old... they told us she would have died by the summer if we had not gotten her.... Praise God for her sweet life. What if we had decided not to do anything about our pro life conviction when we were deciding to adopt her? What if we had reasonably said, "We don't have enough money. We just got back with these 3." Or what if we had said 3 is all I can "handle" right now...........We were told after the adoption about her life expectancy if she had stayed in the orphanage... Praise God, Praise God we listened to the still small voice in our hearts and adopted her.

I have heard some say, I am too old. When we were adopting Joseph, Cate and Leah there was a couple coming in to the embassy in Kiev as we were leaving... they were there to adopt an almost 16 yr old girl. The father was 70. Paul and I are 52 and 53 so we have many more years left to adopt. Some say we can't afford it..... How do you think we have adopted this many or feed and care for this many children? The Lord has provided every step of the way in our walk of obedience to this call to "look after orphans in their distress."

Last Thanksgiving we were praying and wondering what new life would be around our table. We have 5 new children we adopted from Ukraine this past June and they will be celebrating their first Thanksgiving this Thursday. I hope we have encouraged someone to consider opening their hearts and homes to adopting a child, helping an unwed mother and her baby or helping at a crisis pregnancy center. Because today is not about us... it is about the love of Jesus and what He can do thru people who choose to walk a walk with Him that shows his Love by our actions and not just by our votes.... I encourage all of you to have new life next year to be thankful for at your Thanksgiving table.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blessed by another child- praise God

Jenn and Jeremiah called and shared some glorious news... they are expecting their 3d child in July. All of us are very excited for them and us... another little one to love.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dirt Dessert

I have had some request for the dessert that was in front of Lily for her b-day. It is called Dirt Dessert and is one of our kids favorites. I make it lots of times for their b-days because that is what they choose. Here is the recipe:

Only we just used a lg. bowl this time you can put it in a planter and eat with a spade... we had a plastic planter that I bought from IKEA but it is too small for us now.

1 Planter
Plastic Flowers
1 Spade
Cellophane or wax paper
candy rocks (optional)
gummi worms (optional)
2 - 1lb packages oreo cookies
1/2 stick margerine
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powder sugar
3 1/2 cups milk
2 small packages french vanilla instant pudding mix
12 oz cool whip
Mix with blender: margerine, cream cheese and powder sugar.
Mix in separate bowl: milk, pudding mix and cool whip.
Combine the above.
Crush oreo cookies with cream left in the middle (blender or
chopper/mixer works well).
Line bottom of planter with cellophane/wax paper.
Put layer of oreos then creamed mixture - continue until mixture
is used up and last layer is oreos.
Garnish with gummi worms and candy rocks and serve with the

Friday, November 7, 2008

We all can do more than just vote.....

I was very convicted this past weekend on a pro-life issue that I wanted to share. All of my life since Roe vs Wade I have been a part of the pro life movement. First thru a Catholic church because they were the only ones at first who were doing something about abortions. I have supported in many ways my deep conviction that all life is precious and children are a blessing. Thru work at a clinic,financial support, the wearing of pro life bumper stickers and clothing with pro life messages I have done all of this in support of a deep conviction of mine. This would also include the adoption of 17 children who have many special needs and were not the ones anyone really wanted... lives looked upon as worthless. I have also voted pro life every year I could... following the pamphlets handed to me in my church most of the time. Well this year,actually this past weekend before the elections I was convicted once again.. not to vote a diff. way than I did or change my past actions of adoption or support but to more boldly speak up about this pro life movement and to encourage people to walk this walk and not just to an easy thing like just voting pro live. To vote is an honor and privilege and one I take very seriously but it is an easy way to support my conviction and really does not cause me pain or trouble... I go, stand in line and vote . Then I am done. I believe that the Lord has called me and all of us to do more... We need to walk this out more and act. We need to adopt children and support unwed moms by taking them into our homes and caring for them and their babies if no one else will, we need to offer financial support to families so they to can take part in this wonderful blessing of adoption. We can not just vote pro life we must live it by doing something.

I just wanted to share and I am not totally certain where the Lord is taking me but I do know and feel that He is directing my path to this walk even more deeply than before. We can not be silent and comfortable and feel we have done our part for many children who are orphans and babies who are aborted when we just go to the polls and vote... we must do more. Please pray with and for me as I discern more clearly my direction in God's will.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November is National Adoption Month

One of the things our family is doing is to wear these buttons we made for the month of November. We wear them everywhere and the kids are wonderful with their answers when someone asks them about the button.... " Because I have a family, Because it saved me, I got adopted and now I know Jesus, Every child deserves a family, Because momma loves kids, Because I am loved."

I would encourage you all to celebrate this month the opportunity for a child's life to be changed, to give life to a child or at the least support the adoption of a child in other ways... there are so many children who need the love and protection of a family.... won't you please consider opening your heart and home to a needy child?

I will share the other ways you can help the cause of adoption even if you don't feel lead to adopt...please prayerfully consider how you can give life to a child in a very real and tangible way.

We celebrated Fall on Sat. nite since Luke was in the hospital on the 31

We don't usually dress up or go trick or treating we stay at home and have our own party... which is lots of fun and we eat candy. We had pizza made from english muffins and pepperoni you could cut to make a face on your pizza and we ate homemade carrot soup- the recipe was from a book we had finished reading this past week. The kids were so excited to bob for apples the whole week before- it was as much fun watching them do it. Of course we carved pumpkins- 17 this year.

Trick or treating- Briggs style :)

The kids love to run to the end of the driveway and run to our door, ring the bell and say,"trick or treat." We come and pass out the candy and they go and do it again. It was so mild out Sat. nite when we had our Fall celebration we stood outside and ate the candy...

Bobbing for apples- the kids loved it

Anna turned 13

Lily turned 9

Luke update- what a cutie he is

Luke actually was able to come home early once again.
He is amazing in his ability to handle things post op
and because he could drink and tolerate his pain meds.
orally we were home Friday evening. He is on a total
soft/liquids diet for 4 weeks... today he has not had any pain meds.
This picture was taken the day before his surgery.
His smile just melts my heart and soul.