Sunday, November 28, 2010

Uh-oh! Mommy, Come He-e-e-re!

Sitting in my bedroom, I absent-mindedly noticed a small child streak past me and enter our bathroom. No big deal. It happens all the time - especially since we only have two bathrooms in the house and six bodies in need.


There was a pause, followed by some familiar sounds. Then I heard it, "Uh-oh! Mommy, come he-e-e-re!" Jumping up, I rushed in. There was my daughter standing in front of the toilet. Her pants were bunched around her ankles as she pointed accusingly towards the tiniest black ant crawling the curve of porcelain. "There's an ant on the seat," she explained matter-of-factly, "so I peed on the floor." Her pointing finger now directed my wide-eyed gaze to a puddle smack-dab in front of my stockinged feet.

Yup, that's exactly how I wanted to start MY day!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Midweek Meditation - Heavenly Music

An old song, but one of my favorites!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Midweek Meditation - Simple Gifts - Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in America. (My Canadian friends celebrated theirs already, so happy belated Thanksgiving to all of you!) Contrary to popular belief, Thanksgiving is not the day to stuff yourself, but, rather a day to remember and give thanks for the things GOd has blessed you with.

With that in mind, I've chosen the Shaker hymn, "Simple Gifts," for today's Midweek Meditation. I hope you will be blessed by the simple truth this song offers, both in melody and in lyrics.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Isn't it Hard?

My husband spent some time in Georgia this summer with my sister and brother-in-law. While there, he visited some of their church friends. During one conversation, the inevitable topic of adoption arose.

"Isn't it harder to raise an adopted child?" the friend asked. My husband smiled. I'm sure his mind must have raced with all the memories that flooded over him. Mine would have, because there are so many.

Two to three hour rages from a five-year-old, chronic lying from a teen, the twelve-foot flames from our son's unauthorized fire that quickly got out of control, cussing, countless broken items, and the list goes on. But that's not why Shawn smiled. He smiled because he could compare those incidents with the results. Those are not the same things we deal with today.

"Yes, it can be pretty rough at the beginning," Shawn said, "But the kids change..." A light went on in the man's eyes. He understood. As well he should. He is a pastor. He deals with changing lives all the time. But, somehow, it's easy to forget that children can change too.

Media reports the sensational. This includes adoption stories as well. The little boy who got a one-way ticket back to Russia because he was "too difficult" to handle. The young man who murdered his adoptive parents. The girls adopted from an orphanage who terrorized their parents. Yes, these stories are true and, yes, there are risks, but...

Don't we take a risk with everything we do? When we travel, there's the risk we may crash. When we conceive, there's a risk that something could go wrong during the pregnancy. When we eat there's a risk we might choke. When we marry, there's the risk we may divorce or be widowed. Life is full of risks. And that's where faith comes in. Is my God stronger than the risk He is asking me to take?

If God is calling you to adopt, He is also telling you He will be there to walk you down that road completely. He will hold your hand through every crisis and carry you over every chasm. He will not leave you alone. Ever. (See Hebrews 13:5). It will not be perfect. It will not always be easy. It will simply be worth it.

On that sunny day in Georgia, Shawn smiled because he remembered all the tough times we had gone through and could see the changes that have occurred. Our children are not the same troubled, broken kids they were when we got them. It has taken time, energy, some tears, and many, many prayers, but they are different kids today and they know it. Not only do we smile about the changes, most importantly, they smile too.

"I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5


Monday, November 22, 2010

What Does an Orphan Look Like?

Three years ago today we brought home our youngest three daughters. They had already been in foster care for a little more than a year by the time we got them. At 18-months of age, the only family Maya had ever known was her foster family. Then one day, social workers came, took her from of her foster mother's arms, and her world changed forever.

Her older sisters (aged 3 and 5 at the time) understood things a little better, but the change was hard on all of them. They were uprooted. Their little worlds were turned upside down ... again. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had visited them a grand total of three times before they moved in with us. To them, we were nothing more than strangers with familiar faces.

After spending the Thanksgiving holiday together as a family, it was time to get back into our routine. But the girls didn't know what "our" routine was. It was all new for them. The Monday after Thanksgiving, as my husband left for work, Maya toddled after him. From the window beside the door, she gazed out, wondering, perhaps if he would return. Shawn noticed her watching him and the look on her face really tugged at his heart. He went back to the window, waved to her, and captured this precious moment in time on his iphone.


When I think of what an orphan looks like, this is the picture that comes to mind - quiet, questioning eyes filled with overwhelming loss and confusion, not knowing what the future will hold. But, through the healing power of a loving God, the questioning face of a lonely orphan can be changed into the joyful face of a much-loved daughter! This is Maya three years later.


"No, I will not abandon you as orphans-I will come to you." John 14:18

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Hop

This is a fun way to learn more about adoption and adoptive families.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Midweek (or thereabouts) Meditation - Sweet Sharon

I just had to post this. I have known Sharon since she was born. Her parents were such a positive influence in Shawn's and my Christian walk and we suffered with them when Sharon chose to walk in darkness. But we learned much from watching them parent her during that time when her lifestyle directly and defiantly (she was never the quiet rebel) opposed every fiber of their beings. Although their hearts were breaking over her, they loved her still.

"There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents." Luke 15:10.

By the way, the book she references, "The Desire of Ages," is an incredibly powerful book about the life and death of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Forced to Blog

I taught Chris for two years. He's bright. He's funny. He's sweet. And if he didn't already have such a wonderful family, I'd adopt him into ours in a heartbeat.

Chris no longer attends my school, but, lucky for me, he still pops up now and then. Today he popped up on my Facebook account explaining a school assignment he is obviously less than thrilled about. He is required to *gasp* blog!!! And he needs followers.

So ...

what I'm asking from you is this ...

Please hop on over to and follow his blog. I would appreciate it.

Maybe then he'll forgive me for all those nasty pop quizzes I gave him in Chemistry! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

God Said No

He was alone.

I wanted to help.

He needed a family.

Should it be ours?

Too big a decision to make alone.

We asked God.

And waited.

And waited some more ...

Our hearts were open to any answer.

But none came.

Until ...

The answer was, "No."

Bittersweet feelings.

A trusting heart mixed with

A tear.


"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:18

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nick Vujicic and the Fatherless

This Sunday we were privileged to listen to Nick Vujicic speak. I just love the work he is doing! And if I ever get the privilege of meeting his parents, I want to give them the biggest hug possible. They were gifted with a difficult situation and, with God's help, rose to the challenge to help Nick become a leader.

Nick's presentation was as wonderful as I expected it to be. But I really teared up when he took some time out of the service to talk directly to the 10-15 prisoners sitting in the congregation. He spoke words of hope and encouragement to them and he instructed them to look to their Heavenly Father for guidance. He then turned and spoke to the pastor, directing him to follow up with them.


Boys in khaki are prisoners from the local prison, accepting Christ at Nick's altar call.

As I looked at those boys, some statistics I had read began to churn through my head. Approximately 80% of prisoners have been in the foster care system! In all likelihood, these boys were fatherless, broken, and forgotten. How might their lives be different today, if someone had adopted them or been a mentor to them? What if they had had a family to come around them and love on them? I don't know what crimes they have committed, but I know God's pledge to be a father to them is true. If they choose, they can become sons of the king.

I pray that they will never forget what they heard today. I pray that they will stay close to their Heavenly Father. Whether they get out here on earth or not, they can experience freedom through Jesus Christ. I pray that we will obey God's command to care for the orphan. Who knows what lasting results will come from one small act of obedience!


My girls, Andie and Nikki, and my friend's son get to meet Nick after the service.

Visit here for more information about Nick's ministry.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Kids I Couldn't Adopt

I have a secret hurt in my heart. Every time I read certain posts on Facebook or get phone calls or text messages from certain people, an old, familiar pain rears its ugly head and I am once again aware of its dark presence. It's the memories of the children I could not adopt that continue to haunt me.

One is now serving in Afghanistan on his third tour of duty. Another is studying psychology and still struggling with the demons of her past. Two more are mommies with little boys of their own. A couple are confused about which way to turn in life and which path to take. Some of the others I have no contact with at all. I shared the love of Jesus with them. I loved them with all my heart. I poured my entire heart into them. If they call for me, I am there still.


I know all the logic and facts and reasons and arguments, but the pain just will not go away. As I struggle through this, I am learning to trust that God is their Father, and that that is much more important than me being their mother. My head knows that there will always be more kids that I can't adopt than the few I actually can. That thought is frustrating for a "problem-fixer" personality such as mine. Then again, maybe, God will use that pain in my heart to spur me on to speak to more people on behalf of the fatherless.

On second thought, may that beautiful, glorious pain remain in my heart until the day Jesus calls us all to our forever home!

Friday, November 5, 2010

She'll Never Be Normal

She was labeled "developmentally delayed." Her file was thick with test results, psychological evaluations, specialist's recommendations, observations, and more. Her foster mother told us not to expect much so we wouldn't be disappointed. "She'll never be normal," she warned. Those words will forever ring through my ears.

We took her home anyway. We loved her. We set boundaries and expected her to obey them. We limited TV and videos, reading to her by the hour instead. We discovered she had a love for music and encouraged it to grow. We invested in hands-on, creative toys. We let her cook with us in the kitchen and garden with us in the yard.

Today, she made Honor Roll and we found out "they" were right. She'll never be normal. She'll always be a cut above!

Way to go, Ally!!!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Guest blogging at! Woohoo!

I am honored! I was asked to guest blog for Jami at for her "everyone has a story" series that she has started on Thursdays. My blog is entitled "Belle of the Ball," and it is about ... well, I really don't want to spoil it for you. Just go on over there and read it.

By the way, I've really been blessed by Jami and her heart for foster kids and orphans. What an inspirational lady! I'm sure you'll be as blessed as I have been.

Go on! Scoot! Hop on over to Jami's blog now! You'll be glad you did!