Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Not Good Enough for a Family

That's what a judge in Russia declared little four-year-old Kirill to be - not good enough for a family. Just like that, little Kirill has been sentenced to life within an institution without the possibility of parole. Ever. His crime? Being born with Down's Syndrome.

Fortunately, there is a brave family who is willing to fight for his freedom. They are appealing the judge's decision and plan to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court in Moscow. But they can't do it alone! They need the support of many, many prayer warriors to turn the tide of societal prejudice and ignorance that now threaten to keep Kirill captive - forever.

Would you be a prayer warrior for Kirill?

Please take a moment to read his story here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Blogging at "We Are Grafted In"

"We Are Grafted In" is a great online community of adoptive families who share their struggles, joys, and collective wisdom. Today, one of my blogs is posted there. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cry of the Older Child

Birthdays should be times of joyous celebration surrounded by family and friends. For many waiting children, however, each birthday marks yet another year gone by without a family of their own. A grim reminder that they remain unwanted, each birthday becomes one step closer to the day when they will age out, become ineligible for adoption, and face the world ... alone.

Recently I read about a little Haitian girl who broke down in tears as the children in her orphanage sang "Happy Birthday" to her. She knew she had only one year left for a family to choose her. She knew the chances were slim. I read of an Asian girl who dreams constantly of one day waking up to find her mommy standing outside the orphanage with her arms outstretched. This young girl smiles as she imagines herself running into those arms and being embraced and held and wanted. And, of course, many of us are familiar with the story of sweet Davids in Latvia, who, only days before his sixteenth birthday, was rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. The stress of facing a future without a family took a physical toll on his young body. Fortunately, Davids' story has a happy ending. In just a few days he's going home with his forever family. His future will be full of joyous birthday celebrations, family gatherings, and love. I don't know how the story will end for the others.

The reality is, it is much more intimidating to adopt an older child. It can be downright scary. Older kids carry emotional baggage and scars. The risks run higher. The challenges are much more intense. Bonding with them and integrating them into your family are far more difficult. And should you already have children in your home, these obstacles become increasingly more complex.

But hard does not mean impossible. Especially if God is in it. If you are called to adopt an older child, and not everyone is, God offers you a promise. He will walk the road with you. He will carry you if He has to, but you will never, not for one moment, be left alone, because these older children are His children too. "I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27.

Today, I ask for prayers for the waiting older children. They may look all grown up on the outside, but inside there's a broken heart that has never stopped crying out for love.

The Waiting Child - An Adoption Poem
By Debbie Bodie

I saw you meet your child today
You kissed your baby joyfully
And as you walked away with him
I played pretend you'd chosen me.

I'm happy for the baby, yet
Inside I'm aching miserably
I want to plead as you go by,
"Does no-one want a child of three?"

I saw you meet your child today
In love with her before you met
And as I watched you take her out
I knew it wasn't my turn yet.

I recognize you from last year!
I knew I'd seen your face before!
But you came for a second babe.
Does no-one want a child of four?

I saw you meet your child today
But this time there was something new
A nurse came in and took MY hand
And then she gave my hand to you.

Can this be true? I'm almost six!
And there are infants here, you see?
But then you kissed me and I knew
The child you picked this time was me.

Copyright 1997

Sunday, March 20, 2011

God is the Best Asset I Have

The one thing I didn't want to talk about during this adoption process,

The one dark and scary place where I felt completely inadequate,

The one area where I felt so small and powerless,

Is the one item I needed to tackle this weekend.

Finances - what is our worth in dollars signs and decimal points???

On Friday, I started the process. I dug up and calculated all our known assets, minus the house we're selling at a loss. The grand total? Much less than we were supposed to have. Feeling defeated I emailed our wonderful worker and told her we had come to the end of the road ... already. Bless her heart, she emailed back and reminded me to check in all the little corners. "You might be worth more than you think," she hinted. I thought, a bit sarcastically, "We might be worth much less than YOU think!"

But I did put the matter before God in prayer. If it's Your will, Lord ...

Saturday night an idea popped into my head. I pursued it. It worked. Hallelujah! Sunday morning brought another idea. That also materialized. Then another thought came. And that also added to our growing list of assets.

Finally, I did the math. My heart rate increased as I feverishly added up one column of numbers and subtracted the other column until, suddenly, there. it. was.

In black-and-white.

Our worth...

In dollars and cents.

The result?

We were more than qualified!!! Not by a whole lot, but there was definitely a cushion. All I could do was throw up my hands and say, "God, YOU are amazing!!!"

I wish I could share in more detail how this all worked out, because it is truly incredible, but these are our finances after all and this is a very public internet. But I do want to encourage anyone who is discouraged by the financial part of adoption, that with God NOTHING is impossible. Go forward. Like me, you'll discover that God is the best asset you can have!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Not About You - Midweek Meditation

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.”

- Mother Teresa

Special thanks to my bloggy friend Rebekah for posting this on her blog which you can visit here

Monday, March 14, 2011


I have been so very blessed by these producers. Probably because they put so much prayer into their projects. Their newest release comes out in September. It's called "Courageous" and it deals with what it means to be a father. Here's the trailer:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Piano Lessons for Ally = Life Lesson for Mom

I have been wanting to start Ally on piano lessons for awhile now. But where to find a teacher, and how to squeeze it into our already overstuffed schedule was a little beyond me. I prayed about it ... a little. Well, maybe I mentioned it casually once or twice. Okay, I confess, it never made it up to the really important prayers that I agonize over, but it was something that I really wanted for her.

Then one day, the daughter of some friends announced on Facebook that she would be teaching piano. Not only that, but, when I contacted her, she was willing to drive out to our school (after school hours) to teach Ally there. How convenient is that? And how often does a sweet, qualified piano teacher just drop into your lap? I know the answer. It happens when God wants it too!

When this all came about, I asked myself, "Why didn't I pray about Ally's piano lessons more?" Why didn't I take those difficulties, minor though they seemed, to God and really take the time to talk to Him about it? Ever so sweetly, God whispered the answer and I'm ashamed to admit what it is. I didn't take this prayer request to Jesus because, frankly, I somehow felt (whether subconsciously or consciously) it fell under the domain of things I have some control over.

Millions of orphans starving around the world, the carnage wrought by the tsunami in Japan, even the safety of my family are all issues I have no problem admitting are beyond my control. Those are the prayers I take to God because He can handle them. But, piano lessons? Ha! Simple. That was something I could figure out!

But I didn't figure it out. The desire was there, but the solutions didn't come to me. Time marched on and Ally got no piano lessons. The truth is God solved the problem for me. He orchestrated the right teacher to work within the confines of our schedule so sweet Ally could finally take the piano lessons she was longing for. I had nothing to do with it.

Which brings me to this life lesson learned: Whatever the need, small or great, take it to Jesus immediately. Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, is under His control and He loves to "give good gifts to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:11. And, I think know He will make it happen in a more wonderful way than we can ever imagine.

"Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." Isaiah 65:24.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Love Story (Part 2)

What did he do?

He stepped back. He gave me time. He prayed. And so did I.

This wasn't just a decision I was making for myself. I was also choosing a daddy for my children, both the ones I already had and the others I knew God had called me to adopt in the future. Was Shawn the one God wanted for me?

God said, "YES!" And so did I.

Nine years ago, Shawn and I united our lives forever in marriage.


We became a family.


And started our journey together down this path called life.


It's been nine years of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, happiness and disappointment. It's been 100% worth it! I'm living my dream-come-true!

I love you, hon! Happy Anniversary!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Love Story, Part I

I first met him when I was 13 and he was 14. He never said a word to me, but I was over-the-moon smitten. Over the next four years a friendship grew and then died. The twists and turns of
life separated us and we did not see each other for nearly ten years. Somehow, however, I knew, I had found my man. "That's who I'm going to marry when I grow up," I promised my sister one day.

At 25 I became a foster mom to a precious 2-year-old girl (now 16) and my friends all thought I was a little off my rocker. At 26 I took in a brother and sister sibling-set (age 6 and 7) and friends scratched their heads. Three months later I brought home my 9-year-old son from a group home and everyone knew I had lost it completely. But I knew I was living my dream-come-true.

I was a happy bridesmaid for several of my friends, but never in a hurry to get married myself. If it happened someday that would be good. If it never happened, that would be fine with me too. Some of my friends became a little concerned at how unconcerned I was. But I knew I was already living my dream-come-true.

And then ...

One day ...

A nearly forgotten friendship rekindled.

It started with a long-distance phone call. "Hello, Margie? It's Shawn." And my stomach flip-flopped, nose-dived, and tied itself in hundred little bow-tie knots. Could this be happening? I wiped my sweaty palms on my skirt and pretended like it was no. big. deal.

We talked for hours. For weeks. For months. We laughed. We teased. He shared his hopes and dreams and I shared mine. Our friendship blossomed and grew, until that fateful day when he told me he was interested in something more than friendship. And. I. froze.

Deer-in-the-headlights, mind-numbing fear washed over me. I told him I was perfectly happy with our friendship the way it was. He said he wanted to move out to where I lived. I panicked.

What was wrong with me?! I loved him. I loved him not. I wanted him in my life. I wanted to run away. My daughter wanted me to marry him. My son wanted me to forget all about him. Marriage is such a huge, life-altering, destiny-determining decision and I did NOT want to mess up!

I am not a poet, but it has always been somewhat therapeutic for me to write poetry. I find myself turning to it when greatly distressed about a situation. The rhyme and the meter focus my thoughts. As the words tumble out in a patterned and orderly form, I can often find answers and resolution where before I had only questions.

Finally, pen in hand, I sat down with a blank sheet of paper and tried to make sense of my heart. I poured out my thoughts into verse and delivered to the man who loved me this poem. It's entitled, "If..."

If I gave you my heart, what would you do?
Would you toss it away or break it in two?
Would you guard it like treasure, as precious as gold?
Would you still love me, when I am frail and old?

If I gave you my dreams, what would you do?
Would you laugh them away, or make them yours too?
Would you pray for them daily or trample them to dust?
Would you encourage me onward or shatter my trust?

If I gave you my life, what would you do?
Would you bring me to honor? Would you be true?
Would you love me forever or just for a night?
Would you make me your queen? Would my spirit take flight?

If I struggle, please be patient, as I think all this through.
If I tremble, please be gentle, as I ponder what to do.
I have but one life to live for God, one heart to give to you.
If I pledged myself to you, what would you do?

To be continued...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Football and the Orphan

A friend emailed this video to me and I just have to share. Loving the orphan, as God has directed, does not always mean adopting. Sometimes it just means cheering for a football team that has no fans.

I don't know who to credit for the following write-up, but it is not mine. Be blessed as you read this.

Inmate Football

There was an unusual high school football game played in Grapevine, Texas. The game was between Grapevine Faith Academy and the Gainesville State School. Faith is a Christian school and Gainesville State School is located within a maximum security correction facility.

Gainesville State School has 14 players. They play every game on the road. Their record was 0-8. They've only scored twice. Their 14 players are teenagers who have been convicted of crimes ranging from drugs to assault to robbery. Most had families who had disowned them. They wore outdated, used shoulder pads and helmets. Faith Academy was 7-2. They had 70 players, 11 coaches, and the latest equipment.

Chris Hogan, the head coach at Faith Academy, knew the Gainesville team would have no fans and it would be no contest, so he thought, "What if half of our fans and half of our cheerleaders, for one night only, cheered for the other team?" He sent out an email to the faithful asking them to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send," Hogan wrote. "You're just as valuable as any other person on the planet."

Some folks were confused and thought he was nuts. One player said, "Coach, why are we doing this?" Hogan said, "Imagine you don't have a home life, no one to love you, no one pulling for you. Imagine that everyone pretty much had given up on you. Now, imagine what it would feel like and mean to you for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

The idea took root. On the night of the game, imagine the surprise of those 14 players when they took the field and there was a banner the cheerleaders had made for them to crash through. The visitors' stands were full. The cheerleaders were leading cheers for them. The fans were calling them by their names. Isaiah, the quarterback-middle linebacker said, "I never in my life thought I would hear parents cheering to tackle and hit their kid. Most of the time, when we come out, people are afraid of us. You can see it in their eyes, but these people are yelling for us. They knew our names."

Faith won the game, and after the game the teams gathered at the 50-yard line to pray. That's when Isaiah, the teenage convict-quarterback surprised everybody and asked if he could pray. He prayed, "Lord, I don't know what just happened so I don't know how or who to say thank you to, but I never knew there were so many people in the world who cared about us." On the way back to the bus, under guard, each one of the players was handed a burger, fries, a coke, candy, a Bible, and an encouraging letter from the players from Faith Academy.

What an incredible act of Christian witness and kindness and goodness that was. Proverbs 11:17 says, "Your own soul is nourished when you are kind." Proverbs 3:27 says, "Do not withhold good when it is in your power to act."

Be kind to someone this week. Be kind to every person you meet. You might be amazed at what God will do with a simple act of kindness.

Friday, March 4, 2011




her prince will come...


And she will step into her future...


And fly away.

But, for now...


She remains...


Our wild and crazy little girl,

Who's thrilled that an old sheet can double as a bridal gown.

And, who, (thankfully),

Still loves dogs...

Better than boys!