Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Really Happening!!!

Two weeks ago I mailed in our home study application.

First, I looked both ways (to make sure no one else was around).

Then I hugged the envelope tight,

Did a little happy dance,

And whispered a quick prayer

Before sliding it into the mail slot.

One week later we got a call from the agency.
When could they meet with us for our initial interview?

I almost have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.

It's really happening!!!

We have officially stepped onto the road towards our first international adoption!!!

On this journey

I know there will be plenty of ups and downs...

Twists and turns...

Hurdles and roadblocks.

But I also know that God already knows the end from the beginning.

He knows the path.

He will guide and we will follow...



We will reach the end and meet the child He has chosen for us.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Are You Willing...?

Would you be willing to sacrifice six weeks of your summer to share the love of a family and the love of God with an orphan from Latvia or Ukraine? No strings attached (well, maybe your heartstrings). No commitment to adopt. No homestudy required (just some necessary background/safety checks). Are you willing???? Are you at least curious????

Please read the following...

(From Cheryl Ramirez): New Horizons for Children is an organization that brings orphans from Latvia and Ukraine to the US for six weeks twice a year (winter and summer) to live with a host family here. This is an incredible opportunity for these children to learn what it means to be part of a family and more importantly being taught what it means to be part of God's family. Many of them also find their forever families while here. Would you please pray for this organization and especially for these children and youth? There are about 200 children who are still are waiting for host homes. There is a link to the New Horizons for Children website where you can read all about what they are about and also a link where you can see pics of some of the children who have not yet been chosen by host families for this summer's hosting program. And if you know of any Christian families who might be interested in hosting, please pass this along.

Dear Friends and Families of New Horizons for Children:

It’s that time again…we seek and rely on your commitment to pray for these children. Please read our email and pass it on, so that others can commit to pray for these orphaned children as well. PRAYER WORKS. We have seen it each program! Photos are attached to this email for you to visually see some of our kids and pray for each and every one! They need host families, and this is how we find them.

Remember, our mission is simple. We send a mission team abroad twice a year to personally meet and interview orphans who live in orphanages and foster families in Latvia and Ukraine. Now, we have nearly 200 children who we need to urgently pray for their hosting family to come forward. This will be our 17th program and our hope is to FIRST, seek God’s will in ALL that we do and to glorify Him in everything. Specific details about hosting can be found on our website:

BUT FIRST, please read some exciting news!
1. Hosted Children learn about FAMILY and how it’s supposed to work. (maybe for the first
time in their lives)
2. Hosted Children learn about God and His love for them. They are valued!
3. Hosted Children learn English; many times well enough to help translate for our team on
future visits to their orphanage! This also gives them a tool to build upon and
have a unique job skill later!
4. Hosted Children gain SELF-ESTEEM: they are CHOSEN! They are SPECIAL! They have

Step 1: Complete a pre-hosting application.
Step 2: Choose a child… But, first, I want to share a very honest and true story with you.
Please, make sure you also SEEK HIS WILL in this mission; His will, just might be different than your own.

Confessions of a “Girly-Girl”
by Michelle Vernon

“I admit to being a girly girl. As a little girl, I loved dolls and dresses that twirled. Pink rollers were a staple on Saturday nights, so my hair would be pretty for Sunday morning. To this day, the sight of a smocked dress makes me smile, I look for excuses to buy Hello Kitty and I would gladly embroider everything I own with a monogram. When we first considered hosting in summer 2007, I explored the host child list and had my eye on a particular girl. Since we had no children at the time, choosing a child was a big decision that rested solely on my husband and me. Without expressing my opinion, I showed the same host list to my husband. I wanted to make sure we were both equally invested in the host decision. I secretly hoped his eyes would fall to the same girl, yet he pointed to a BOY! I think I responded something like, “a boy… what am I supposed to do with a boy?” Admittedly, I knew nothing about being a boy, but knew enough that they would care nothing about dolls, the color pink, Hello Kitty or smocked dresses. I retreated to think on my husband’s choice. While I still had no idea how I could relate to a boy, I wanted above all else for my husband to feel invested in that first hosting experience. So, we made a decision and, yes, my first experience as a mom would be with a teenage boy!

That was 3 years ago…

I don’t think I even fully understand or can explain how love can grow so fast and so deep for someone who is so different from yourself. But, he had me from the moment he said, “watch this mom.” Boys love attention, they love to show off, make you laugh and try new stunts. Yet, when they fall, there’s only one place they go… straight to mom. Even teenage boys readily accept the tenderness a mom has to offer and the quiet moments of shared conversation. That hosting started the journey that God ordained for us; a journey to our sons. Not only did we host and adopt a teenage boy, we later hosted and adopted another boy! I still remember the moment I laid eyes on my second son and, for a brief moment, it crossed my mind that he didn’t have long pig tails as I thought might be next in line after my first son. Alas, I am now the very proud momma of two sons. I cannot imagine my life without them. Recently, one of my son’s teachers remarked to my husband that my son must be a “momma’s boy” because he talked about me all the time. I don’t think my heart could have swelled any larger in that moment. As an adoptive mother who started out not knowing a thing about boys, it was a moment of validation that my bond with my son was very real and deep. The greatest thing about being a mom to boys is raising my sons to become men like my husband and my dad.

Perhaps somewhere in my future is a season of ruffles and lace, but for now, I wouldn’t trade fixing bike chains, playing basketball, bb guns, super heroes or flexed muscles for anything in the world. In hosting, as with adoption, the hardest children to place are our older boys. I’m so grateful that I stopped and listened to the Lord, working through my husband, with that decision to host a teenage boy. My journey to motherhood began that day. For any others out there longing for hair bows and painted nails, I would simply ask you to do the same thing He led me to do... pray and allow God the opportunity to lead you to the child He wants you to host.”

We don’t only bring boys on our hosting program, however, God led us to MANY awesome boys that each of us would love to host and adopt! But, He has made a way for us to share them with you now. To see some of our many “boys”, click here.

May God bless you on this journey,
Le Ann Dakake (mom to an adopted (former) teen boy, who led me to start this hosting program…)
Director of Hosting Programs
New Horizons for Children

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tag! You're It!!!

I didn't know anything about "blog tagging" until the beginning of this month. I'm still a bit new to "blogworld" and continue to learn the ropes. But, thankfully, this tag comes with rules and seems harmless enough, so, in response to La Mama Loca's request, here goes ...

First, the rules!
Rule #1: The tagged person must write their answers on their blog and replace any question they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

Rule #2: Tag 4 people to do this quiz; they cannot refuse (OK, so nothing bad will happen if you don’t participate but I would love to see your answers). The tagee must state who tagged them.

Now, for the questions...
1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family?
Ummm, they are family to a point. Our kids definitely come first, but we are very attached to our animals too. However, we will not be purchasing health insurance for them any time soon!

2. If you could have a dream come true, what would it be?
For pain, suffering, fear, and death to go away. In other words, I want Jesus to come and Heaven to be here ... now! I would also like a bit of uninterrupted time and that probably won't happen until Heaven either.

3. What would you do with a billion dollars?
I would probably give most of it away. I mean, how much does one family really need?! But, the amount I would keep for us would be enough to purchase a large house on a very large piece of land (so we could adopt more kids and have room for them to run), put enough in savings to cover all our kids' college expenses, buy a motor home for traveling, and surprise my hubbie with the grand piano he's been dreaming about.

4. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
I find that I'm usually in a bad mood when I'm tired -- which makes me feel overwhelmed, which makes me grumpy. So, when I'm down in the dumps, I usually try not to think too much about what's overwhelming me. I try to pray more and think less. Then, I make sure I get to bed early, as my outlook on life always improves after a good night's sleep!

5. What is your bedtime routine?
Routine? Ha! I wish I was so lucky! Each night is a completely new adventure! However, the underlying routine, which begins as soon as the kids are in bed, is for me to put all the things I need to take to school the next day by the front door, read blogs and/or an inspirational book, then to talk and/or pray with my husband before finally collapsing in bed.

Some variations on this routine might be, Shawn and me watching a DVD together in bed, or, now that the weather is warming up, taking a walk together.

6. Name something that has surprised you this week about motherhood.
I often forget how small an understanding children have about life. This morning, Maya greeted me with the following...

Maya: "Mommy, I had a bad dream last night."
Me: "I'm sorry, what was it about?"
Maya: "You already know, cuz you were in it."

7. What kind of books do you read?
This is an easy one. True, true, true, all true, or at least have truth woven through it! If I'm going to invest my precious time on a book it had better have some redeeming value to it - as in making me a better person, improving my walk with God, or teaching me something I didn't know before. And if I'm going to shed some tears over the book, as I am liable to do on a good story, those tears had better not be wasted on something made up.

8. How do you see yourself in 10 years?
Aaaaah! I just got used to being 40! Do we have to jump to another decade so fast?! Seriously, though, I really hope Jesus comes by then. If He's not here yet, I hope to have adopted more kids, and be working again in foster care. At that time, I hope to work from the bio parent's side to help them learn the parenting skills they need in order to keep their kids. Bottom line, I hope to still be busy and useful!

9. What’s your fear?
My greatest fear is having one of my kids kidnapped. I think that has to be a pain worse than losing your child to death. The constant uncertainty is unimaginable. I don't even want to think about it long. Let's move on...

10. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space?
I hardly ever eat junk food. When I do, I usually feel so gross I regret it enough to keep me away from it for a very long time after that. However, space travel has not proved to be the safest method of transportation either. As long as I can get a guarantee that I would survive the trip, I would happily give up all junk food for the rest of my life for the opportunity to visit outer space!

11. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Fold laundry. I know. I'm weird. But I have a good reason for doing it. I don't drink anything caffeinated, so I have to get my blood pumping the old-fashioned way, by actually doing something! With four kids, I always have a surplus of laundry to do. Folding it first thing in the morning allows me to accomplish something practical, really wake up, have some quiet prayer time alone (yes, I pray when I fold laundry), and think about/plan for the activities of that particular day.

After folding laundry, I am alert enough to do my morning devotions and actually learn something from them. I check over my to-do list for the day, lay out the girls' uniforms, and shower and dress myself. Usually, Maya can't find at least one of her shoes, so, on most mornings, I am "blessed" with a morning treasure hunt as well. (I swear I'm going to glue those shoes to her feet someday.) Then we're off, usually later than I want to be, but I am always relieved when we are finally all out the door and on our way.

12. If you could change one thing about your significant other, what would it be? Or, if you’re single - if you could choose a significant other who looked like anyone in the world, who would it be?

13. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
My dad named me and as I now face the risk of losing him to cancer, I wouldn't change anything about my name. It's a reminder of the relationship I am privileged to still have with him.

14. If you had to choose between six months of sun or six months of rain, what would you choose?
I'm a native Californian! I am not giving up the sun!!!

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
Sandwiches. If I didn't have kids to cook for, I'd probably live off of sandwiches anyway.

16. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most?
Being the only adoptive mom in my circle of friends, I love getting to know other adoptive moms. I love not having to answer questions about my family, and whether or not I miss having biological children, but being completely understood.

17. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods?
Salty. Even if I enjoy dessert after a meal, I'll usually go back for something salty to get rid of the sweet aftertaste.

18. What items are in your purse right now?
Wallet, phone, receipts, pens, flash drive, hair brush, lip balm, tissue, lotion, nail clippers, calculator, some personal items, and camera (carry that with me everywhere!). Yup, I think that's it.

19. If you had to choose between vacationing at the beach or in the mountains where would you go?
Hmmm... I'm not sure. There is such beauty in both places. I love each one. I know my husband would choose the beach, so that's probably where we'd end up.

20. What do you watch on television?
We don't have a TV, but we do have Netflix, which we watch on the computer sometimes. The large majority of my queue is biographical, historical, and nature documentaries (yeah, I'm a nerd). I've also enjoyed the TV shows Super Nanny and Undercover Boss. Once a week we have a video night for the kids and my standards for what they watch closely follow my reading standards.

Now, it's my turn to tag someone else. The following is a list of fascinating people who inspire me and whom I wouldn't mind getting to know better. :)

Grace Kay at Life Happens

Rebekah at This Grace Filled Life

Esther at Colors & Spices

Della at Footprints of Peace

I know I'm only supposed to tag four, but there is one more blogger I would like to tag. I don't know if she would participate, as her blog is set up a bit differently, but I love her blog and her talent for capturing life as it happens. So, I will give her an "honorary tag." (Maybe she can work it into Taylor's blog somehow. Smile.) Anyway, her blog is The Adventures of Taylor Tot. Check it out.

That's all for me today! Have a great one!


It is with mixture of bewilderment, gratitude, solemnity, and hope that I celebrate my 40th birthday this month.

First off, I am just a bit bewildered as to how I got here so fast! Honestly, the last birthday I remember was when I turned 25. Of course, I became a mom later that year, so that could explain some of the blur in my memory banks.

Secondly, I am extremely grateful I am still around and able to be with my family. Having broken my neck and nearly died in a car accident in 1994, I count each extra day of life I've been given as precious, no matter how crazy it is.

Third, it is with a good deal of solemnity that I acknowledge the grim fact that I am now entering the latter half of my life. (Yikes!) Although, I realize there are no certainties in life, taking a closer look at my own mortality is sobering, nonetheless.

Finally, and this is really where I want to spend the rest of my blog time, I have renewed hope. With God as my guide and experience as my springboard, I should be able to accomplish more in the latter half of my life than I did in the first

As a young person (and by young, I mean any age under my present age of 40), I looked with admiration at Esther, Daniel, and Joseph. Their courage and faithfulness in the face of overwhelming odds inspired me to meet the challenges in my own life. Today, as my hair takes on a frosted look and my face loses its youthful glow, my eyes focus on a new set of role models. Biblical heroes like Caleb, historical examples of Christian courage, like Aunt Clara Brown, and modern miracle workers, such as Roz Carr, grab my attention as never before. I am awed by their legacy.

Indulge me for a moment as I share their stories:

Caleb, as you probably remember, was one of the twelve spies sent to scout out the land God had promised Israel. Along with eleven other men, he snuck into enemy territory, took detailed mental notes of the land's bounty, and returned to share this knowledge with Moses and the nation. While all twelve of the spies agreed that the land was indeed overflowing with milk and honey, ten of the spies doubted a tiny kingdom, such as Israel, would be able to defeat such a well-armed fortress as Canaan. Caleb and Joshua thought otherwise.

Arguing that God would work miracles for them as He had all along their escape from Egypt, they urged the people to go forward. Instead, spurred on by the ten doubting spies, the multitudes sought to stone Joshua and Caleb. God intervened just in time and sentenced the entire nation to a 40-year-plus time-out. At the threshold of their promised home, Israel doubted God's ability and were required to turn back. Not only that, but all citizens 20 years and older would die before Israel was even allowed a second attempt at conquering Canaan again. All, that is, except Joshua and Caleb.

Caleb was 40 years old when that happened. Keenly disappointed at the failure of the Israelites, he spent the next 40+ years of his life encouraging, motivating, and strengthening the younger generation. When it came time to go back to Canaan. Caleb was ready.

At 85 years of age, he strode up to Joshua, the new leader of Israel, and boldly stated his request, "Give me the toughest, the scariest, the most difficult area to conquer, and I'll do it!" Caleb knew the battle wasn't his to win, it was God's. It didn't matter if Caleb was 40 or 85, God was still God. Joshua granted Caleb's request, and Caleb, through the blessing of God, soundly conquered his portion of the Promised Land.

Aunt Clara Brown
Hers was a difficult life. As a slave, she endured the pain of watching her husband and children auctioned away from her. She lived in constant prayer, crying out to Jesus when she felt her heart would break. Over time she learned of the deaths of her beloved husband, son, and older daughter.

Finally, when Aunt Clara was about 57, she was able to purchase her freedom. Aunt Clara had a single desire burning in her heart - to find her one surviving child, Eliza Jane. But how?

On a tip that Eliza Jane might be in Colorado somewhere, Aunt Clara hired herself out as a cook on a wagon train heading west. At 57, she walked and worked her way across the Great Plains and into what is now Denver, Colorado. There she set up shop as a washer woman and did quite well. Aunt Clara wisely invested her money and over time accumulated a savings of over $10,000. This she used, unselfishly, to help other freed slaves become established with careers of their own.

Aunt Clara also started the first Sunday School in Colorado and was always ready to help anyone in need, no matter if they were black, white, or Indian. Her network of friends was wide and Aunt Clara, as everyone called her, held the respect of her community.

But she still had not found her daughter. At age 83, a message arrived telling her where Eliza Jane was. After searching for 26 years, Aunt Clara could hardly believe it. However, the report turned out to be true. That little girl Aunt Clara had last seen frightened and sobbing at the auction block, was now a mother herself. Their reunion was emotional as mother and daughter wept and laughed and hugged. Of those who witnessed the occasion, not an eye remained dry.

Aunt Clara had spent her years of freedom helping all who needed it. Near the end of her life, God gave her the desire of her heart, her baby girl.

Roz Carr
Glued to her television set in America, Roz Carr, an American by birth, was horrified at what was happening in her adopted homeland of Rwanda. Although no one wanted to say it, it was genocide. A massacre of epic proportions was ripping through her country and she had been forced to leave. In America, Roz waited and hoped.

In its wake, the 1994 Rwandan genocide left approximately 95,000 orphans. Many of whom had seen their parents or family members butchered in cold blood. Disturbed, Roz, who had never had children of her own, decided she needed to do something about that. At the age of 82, she returned to Rwanda and brought some of those orphans to her flower farm there. Then she brought a few more. Later, a few more joined them until, at last, over 400 children had arrived. Imbabazi Orphanage was born.

Imbabazi (a Rwandan word meaning "all the love a mother can give") is home to both Hutu and Tutsi children. Roz didn't care. These were children in need of help and Roz was determined to help them. And help she did. Roz dedicated the last 12 years of her life to caring for the children of Imbabazi. When many people are enjoying retirement, she was fundraising, building dormitories, and hiring nannies.


With these people to inspire me, 40 seems like a new beginning. In fact, I might just be at the brink of something wonderful!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hope for Haiti's Orphans?

Probably one of the most frustrating countries to adopt from right now is Haiti. Due to their ridiculously narrow adoption laws and archaic systems, many prospective adoptive parents are quickly discouraged from even attempting to adopt from Haiti. The sad result? Haiti's orphans wait endlessly for families, often "aging out" at 16 to face an uncertain life on the streets.

Dr. Leininger, who works with Haiti Children's Rescue Mission, is desperately seeking families for many of the older kids at the HCRM (Haiti Children's Rescue Mission) orphanage in Petionville, Haiti. He is asking for prayers for each of the following children to have a forever family commit to their adoption BEFORE their 16th birthdays.

The following is written by Dr. Leininger and is a repost from this site.

On January 12, 2010, Haiti suffered the worst natural disaster in modern times, leaving tens of thousands of orphaned children to add to an already large number of children in orphanages. By Haitian law, these children must be sent away from the orphanage by their 16th birthday to most likely live in extreme poverty on the streets.

Haiti Children’s Rescue Mission (HCRM) has three times the number of orphans as they did before the earth quake and a number of them are coming close to their 16th birthday. A child must have their dossiers in Haiti’s Adoption Services (IBESR) by their 16th birthday to be adopted. This process generally takes 6 months. The first five children listed are getting close to their sixteenth birthday, which will mean that they will no longer be able to be adopted and will have to be sent away. Please prayerfully consider if the Lord is leading you to adopt one of these orphans.

An adoption costs $9,000 plus travel and other miscellaneous expenses. If you adopt a child, you will receive a tax refund, not a tax credit, of $13,170.00 for 2010, therefore your adoption generally will be free. Please help save these children from a life of poverty and abuse. Visit the web site at or contact me directly at 210-325-5030 or Thank you for your love and concern for these “poorest of the poor” children. -- Dr. John Leininger, friend of HCRM.

Diana Desgranges (July 14, 1995)

Diana came to HCRM after the earthquake. I can tell you that she has proven to be one of the sweetest and hardest workers at the orphanage. She works and plays with the younger children and helps with housekeeping chores around HCRM. I pray that she is given a chance at life other than what awaits her when she “ages out”, but time is very short for her.

Clifford Maurice (July 28, 1995)

Clifford is a smart young man whose life has been very hard. He likes to please people and loves the Lord. He survived the earthquake, but many of his family did not and they could no longer feed him. He wants to be given a chance to show how hard he will work to become a faithful, godly young man. He desires to be in a warm, loving family.

Rose-Missie Vital (Sept. 29, 1995)

Rose-Missie is a beautiful young girl from Les Cayes, Haiti. Her mother abandoned her when she was eight months old and her father died in May 2009. Her grandmother took her in but soon fell ill and was unable to continue to provide for her. She came to HCRM in Jan. 2010 hoping to find a loving family that would help her fulfill her dreams of becoming a doctor. She enjoys reading her bible when she is not busy helping the smaller children at HCRM. She describes her ideal parents as a kind couple who love the Lord like she does.

Eliane Raphael (Oct 19, 1995)

Eliane is a 15 year-old girl who came to HCRM in 2004 at the age of 9 with her sister Mazela. Her parents found themselves unable to provide for the two girls. They placed them in the orphanage at that time. She’s a hard worker who helps to clean the orphanage and enjoys playing with dolls. She would like to become a doctor and helps with any sick children in the orphanage. Her favorite color is pink and her favorite food is pancakes. She hopes to be adopted by a Christian family.

Milange Belizaire (Feb. 20, 1996)

Milange is a 15 year-old girl who came to HCRM in 2004 with her sister Midrene (see below). Their father died when they were 9 years old and Milange and Midrene became homeless. She believes that her mother is still living, but she has not seen her since that time. She has two sisters who have already been adopted but she does not know where they are and is not in contact with them. Milange loves to sing. She dreams of being a doctor or nurse one day so she can help people. She is looking for a Christian family. She is a faithful friend and liked by the other children at the orphanage. She likes to cook and is helpful with chores.

Sylvan “LaLan” Blaise (Oct. 20, 1996)

LaLan is a shy and beautiful 14 year old girl who has an internal sense of productivity. She makes sure all of her chores in the kitchen are done each morning before playing any games. Her dream is to one day be a dancer and get dance lessons when she comes to her new family. Even though she doesn't like being the spotlight she still wants to be brave and one day dance on stage. She is a sweetheart and is loved by many at the orphanage. She loves the Lord and shares Christ’s love by showing kindness to all she meets..

Jean Fortune (June 2, 1997)

Jean is a 13 year-old boy who was brought to HCRM when he was about 3 years old. He was extremely malnourished to the point that he could not walk. He has some mental challenges but is healthy otherwise. He responds when spoken to, but never initiates conversation. This special needs child is the nicest boy one could hope to meet. He likes to sing and works hard at the orphanage. He enjoys giving and receiving lots of hugs. He needs a warm, caring family.

Mazela Raphael (Jan. 6, 1998)

Mazela came to HCRM in 2004 with her sister Eliane (see above). Mazela says she loves to dance (ballet). She desires to become a doctor so she can help people the way she has been helped by HCRM. Her favorite foods are pizza and hamburgers and she likes to drink juice. She enjoys cooking, which has been a blessing to the orphanage. Mazela has a beautiful smile and any family would be privileged to love such a sweet girl.

Pascale Dimanche (March 13, 1998)

Pascale is a 13 year-old girl who came to HCRM in 2003, as her mother lives in extreme poverty. She says that she prefers being at HCRM because she “gets enough food and can go to school”. She is very smart and speaks English quite well. She is very outgoing and is a leader at the orphanage. With her leadership abilities, it will be exciting to see what this bright young lady will accomplish when she becomes adopted.

Midrene Belizaire (March 12, 2000)

Midrene is 11 years old and came to HCRM with her sister Milange (see above). She is a “girly girl” who loves to look good and exemplify everything it means to be feminine. She has tons of energy and is one of the friendliest at HCRM. She loves creating new hair styles for her friends and experimenting in the kitchen. She truly cares about people and her personal ambition is to one day be a nurse. As for now her big concern is finding something pink to wear when she meets her new family. This bubbly personality with her easy smile will lighten up everyone she meets.

Jean-Cadet Petit-Frere (Jan. 10, 2001)

Jean-Cadet is a 10 year-old boy who came to HCRM in 2008 when his father became sick, lost his job and felt that he would die. His mother had already passed away. His father is still living but is unable to provide for him. Jean-Cadet is known for working very hard and he loves to play soccer and basketball. He has a very playful side and has a great sense of humor. He hopes for a Christian family that is loving and kind and thinks it would be great if they were interested in mission work and helping others.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Living the Lyrics of a Country Song

I haven't posted in awhile, and for good reason. Life has been ROUGH around here lately! First our dishwasher started leaking, then our washing machine went on the blink, the fridge quit working, and the car battery died soon after that. Finally, the sink disposal added it's name to the growing list of nonworking appliances around our house.

I've also been helping Billy (another one of our unofficially official kids) complete a research paper about the Panama Canal. (We have spent about seven hours on that thing so far.) The girls are working on their Open House presentations, one of which involves lighting money on fire. (I'll be happy when that one is done ... successfully.) And, Quarter 3 just finished, so I've been working on getting the kids' report cards completed as well.

To top it all off we abruptly became surrogate parents to a rejected lamb and are now bottle-feeding and diaper-changing full time again. (Well, you don't expect us to just let it run around the house without a diaper, do you?) She goes to school with us everyday, sleeps with Andie at night (in the garage, since the diapers don't always do the job they are designed to), and plays with the kids during recess. Life as a country school teacher can be pretty interesting at times!

But, we did get family pictures taken ... finally!

As soon as we mop up, fix up, and clear out some things, I'll be back to blogging with gusto. Unless, of course, something else pops up in need of attention.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

We Write the Future

When I was a single foster parent of four (crazy, I know), I did a lot of writing to get my thoughts sorted out on paper. Some of it made its way into poetry. The following was the result of mounting frustration at the courts seeming callousness towards the needs of two of the children I was caring for. I still wonder how they are doing...

We write the future they must know
Our decisions determine their destiny
And those we make in the here and now
Ripple on throughout eternity.

Our words carve the paths they must walk
As with our tongues we tell
How their lives will someday be
And they listen well.

Our hearts beat the rhythm of their lives
The pulse of their goals and dreams
Reverberates through time and echoes back
From countless childhood scenes.

Our hands hold the reigns of time -
The guardians of their years.
Fingerprints of days gone by
Touches of joy mixed with tears.

Their fragile hopes in our hands lie
As we rush from day to day.
Their tender wishes float wistfully by
As we sign their lives away.

With a flourish of pen we seal their fate,
As we write the future they must live.
Let us write the pages, then with utmost care
For while it is theirs to have, it is ours to give.

Margie Seely, 1997

Unofficially Official

We met her at the tender age of fourteen. Tall and thin with a shy smile and beautiful eyes, she carried more responsibility at that age than some adults ever will. She stayed with us for only eight short months, but it was long enough for a very special bond to form. Now she is all grown up, working, and in college. (Oh, where does the time go?) We didn't adopt her, but my heart doesn't know that. When she walked through our doors, she walked into our hearts forever. She is an unofficially official part of our family.

Today, we visited her new apartment.


Enjoyed some good, old-fashioned "girl time"...


Walked around the town...


And simply had fun being together!


These are the moments I cherish!