Tuesday, January 10, 2017

God will not abandoned us

I awoke today to these expressions of love from the family 

I've wanted to write this post for awhile...actually yrs.. Today marks a significant anniversary for me but first I need to write what has been on my heart for years as well.

 This past week I have shared 3 articles about significant medical needy children who found a family to love and cherish them...to see value in who these children were when no one else would .

Paul and I have been on our adoption journey for over 31 yrs now. Abraham was our first adopted child who was raised with our 5 bio. children. He suffered some brain damage from a beating he endured when he was 2. He is also blind . I was just 29 yrs old when we brought him home from Mexico....

Life for our family changed dramatically and has continued to since our first adoption ....I have advocated and tried to encourage others to adopt thru all of these years. My heart has always been moved for the child who would be more of a challenge to place or maybe even the ones that no one wanted. We have stepped into many of our adoptions filled with the excitement of welcoming another child or even once 5 children but also I can remember waking up in the middle of the nite wondering " What were we doing ?" We have always sought the Lord's will about adopting. I began to journal ( now for 31 yrs.) when we started our adoption of Abraham. I have my journals to return to that have my notes, my heart , feelings and many scripture that encouraged us along the way...because even following the Lord's will can be difficult. I have no regrets though and many more memories and times of watching children, my children overcome, struggle thru and find who they were in God's eyes.

There has always been one thing I just don't get though - Why don't more people, Christians in particular choose to adopt ? I have shared many children with many people hoping to find families for that child or children . I have heard it all in their excuses but none have ever said, " God did not call me to adopt."

They say things like, " I am to old , we don't have room, we don't make enough, I have cancer, or even my life is too busy, I have too many children already."

 Let me tell you about a woman I know very personally. She is 60 ( old : ) , She lived in a regular size home until all of the additions to make her home over 5000 sq feet. Her husband makes a regular salary and works hard at it. Her life is busy crazy teaching her children at home, managing all the special needs appts and life with so many, She has 36 children too....I am that woman .

Every time I have spoken with someone about a child...I cringe when the excuses start to come out. Because no one is too old, or lives in a home too small, or makes too little of money or is any busier or has more children than the Lord can not work with. He does not call us to a perfect age, or big enough home or large enough salary or simple enough life or a certain number of children to do His will. He asks us to be obedient to what He calls us to. I know He has called many and they have chosen something else...maybe comfort, peace, wealth, or control of their own time. How sad because these children have no choice but to except this hell they live in.

Yes, raising children is hard and certainly not easy when they have come from such horrific backgrounds, but God will never leave you. If we do what He says He will make our life count for something. If we do what He says, He will never leave us. We will not always be comfortable walking this walk ...We may face difficulties and challenges or dangers in our life following Him ; But God will never abandon us. .

So today we celebrated my 5 yrs of being cancer free....I am somewhat of a private person when it comes to my self. Actually when I first got the diagnosis I was most upset that I would have to stop doing what actually gives me the very breath of life - helping a child...especially a special needs child. God had other plans and I love that I have been able to overcome this obstacle and move on to health and many more opportunities to love a child as my own. We never are promised even the very next moments so use each one wisely . Live in such a way that people see it ! Thank you to those who knew and prayed and for my family who love and celebrate this day with me.

This little one - actually a teenager needs a family to love her. There are plenty of children in every part of the world who need a family. I struggle with this Bible verse at times and feel like I don't do enough to help children...what about you ?  James 4: 17 If anyone , then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is a sin for them
From a friend's daughter who was living like this girl - even with having 36 children I am praying , even if you can't adopt maybe you can help fund, at the very least you can pray.
Keshia Melton
This quote is from Lucia Kacirek's blog. Lucia spent almost 10 years in a laying down room in a Ukrainian institution.
"Then when I went to the institution, they left me in the bed. They gave me sleep medicine. Everyday I tried to move some how but many times if they saw me they gave me medicine right away. Slowly I felt something changing in my body. I asked for help. They said there was no help. I asked how long I would be there and their response was - until I died.
I just kept thinking I want to do something. I want to get up. I could see some children receiving help but they made excuses why I could not go. My mom and I figured if I went into the institution in 2004 and I was adopted in April of 2013, then I spent 3,285 days becoming twisted inside myself. Not just my body, but my thinking too. The caregivers had told me no one would love me. It takes some time to become straight again."
Now meet little A. She will be 14 years old this year. She is just skin and bone. Her current destiny is to live and die in a laying down room.
Is she also being told no one would love her? Is she being drugged into silence and stillness?
According to a government website in her country she is available for International Adoption.
Will you share her photo and help find her a family? <3
We can't all adopt but we can all help in some way.

I honestly don't how you can not watch and not feel like you need to do something... the smile on his face after he is with his family and he is being kissed - wanted , touched and loved is priceless...
Maya's Hope added a new video: Danil is alive!
15 years old and 22 pounds.
That is not a typo. That is the result of nearly 16 years of abuse and neglect.
But Danil is not just numbers on a scale or a name on a crib.
He is a fighter. He is a warrior. He has value. He is loved.
This is his story...
Don't forget to share. The family who adopted Danil found him after seeing him in our videos! Sharing does make a difference <3

We had 22 children come thru our heart thru foster care before we adopted 30 children internationally. (We adopted our son Abraham from Mexico as we raised our 5 bio. In case you were wondering and know we have 31 adopted children).
We hated the system but loved the children. Good article.
Love What Matters
"The call came from a DHS supervisor at midnight: “We have a 3-year old girl at the hospital. Her mom was shot and is not expected to live through the night. Her dad has been arrested. Domestic violence. All clothing was taken by police as evidence so if you could bring a blanket that would be great. Can you come pick her up?” 'Yes.'
"The call came from a CPS worker while I was making dinner: “I just came on the scene to find a 4-year old boy sitting in the back of a police car. His clothing is soaked with urine from his mentally unstable mother; he may have lice, and he is filthy. Can we bring him to your house?” 'Yes.'
"The call came from another county as we were getting ready for bed. “We have a 2-year old who is sound asleep at the DHS office now. She was brought to the ER with an injury. Her mom was so high on drugs she could hardly function. This little girl is adorable. We just need someone who can take her for the night. Could you?” 'Yes.'
"The call came from the placement desk while I was in the middle of a run. “We have a tiny 10-day old baby boy. Things aren’t working out with his current foster home, and we need to move him. Do you have an infant car seat?” 'Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.'
"My husband and I are biological parents to two young kids, as well as foster parents to a revolving crew of kids under the age of five. A friend, who also fosters, once told me that calls from DHS are like a Create-Your-Own-Adventure Game. Each “yes” takes your family on a wild new adventure you never expected. I always wonder what adventure we are missing out on with the calls we can’t take.
We say yes because these broken babies need a safe place to land. They need a mommy to wrap them in blankets and tuck them in at night. They need a daddy to hoist them up on his shoulders and gallop them around the backyard. They need clothing that fits and food that nourishes. They need to be tickled and trained and taken to the zoo. They need boundaries. They need love.
I have been surprised to find how much we need these little people, too. They are sweet and feisty and stubborn and funny. They keep us on our toes and teach us lessons we need to learn.
People tell me all the time, 'I don’t know how you do it! I could never become a foster parent. It would be too hard to say good-bye to the kids once I’ve gotten attached.' And I get it, I do. I used to say the exact same thing. But now, I wonder what in the world I was thinking. Was I serious? It would be too hard for... me?
Make no mistake. It is hard. There are plenty of days when I feel like I just don’t have it in me to do this. My ideas and energy and patience fall flat. There are endless meetings and appointments and phone calls. There are false accusations and frustrating decisions. Foster parenting can be tough.
And yet these kids are forced to do hard things every single day, through no fault or choice of their own. They are abused and neglected and forced to fend for themselves. They are separated from siblings and shuffled from place to place. Kids in the foster care system have endured more hurt in their short lives than most of us will pause to think about, let alone experience, in our own.
The next phone call will come. And my husband and I will say yes. Not because we are some amazing poster family for foster care. We will say yes because these kids are forced to do hard things. The least we can do is look into their broken eyes and say, 'Yes. I will do hard things with you. I will hold your hand and kiss your head and calm your tantrums. By God’s grace, we will figure this out together.'
When it is time to say good-bye, I will wash their clothes and pack their stuffed animals. I will ache and cry and wish it could be different. But I will never regret saying yes."
Emily is a foster mom in Portland, Oregon and a volunteer with Embrace Oregon. Photo and story courtesy of Made to Mother Project

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

December Memories

Jubal's first snow of the season....

Celebrating Kloe's 5th bday

They love being together

Making cookies and eating them too

Christmas Day

Joy and excitement abound....chaos : )

Some we asleep or not here yet


Paw Paw with Nickoli

Lila and our first Christmas present, Bear - 2 weeks before

Celebrated Zeke and Levi's bdays....with a Krumpe Run

Sparklers on New Years Eve....

Unwrapping the saran ball game- given to us by Jacob and Christine. They put together a ball for the younger kids and one for the older kids....What a creative and fun gift for the family.

How did Gideon get so old looking....just hanging thru all the craziness of the holidays. I hope you had a joyous Christmas and have a peaceful New Year.