Joy…

I love happy kids.  I am jumping ahead a little in the story because….

Well….

Because this is the good part!!

Lucas: A form of Luke or Lucius, meaning “light-giving” or “illumination.” Luke is the author of the third gospel of the New Testament.

-babycenter.com

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Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. – Psalm 126:2-3 (NIV)

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Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. Psalm 119:11

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Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Psalm 126:5

Matthew:  From the Hebrew name Matityahu, meaning “Gift from God.” Matthew was one of Jesus’s apostles and author of the first Gospel in the New Testament.

– babycenter.com

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A joyful heart is good medicine… Proverbs 17:22

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This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.  Isaiah 29:19

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He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting. Job 8:21

Why…

So…I promised you a story.

Every story has a beginning.  We were blissfully unaware at the beginning of their story.  In 1997, two boys were born on the other side of the planet.  Not in our world.  In our world, we were young married’s…college kids…hoping for babies that hadn’t come yet.  Over there…very different.  Two precious little ones, with precious little faces, and big problems.  They were social orphans and disabled.  This defined their destiny.

Baby house…..orphanage….adult mental institution…

Somehow they travelled together through the years,

from baby house to remote, isolated orphanage

to city orphanage.

Next stop: invalid unit of adult mental asylum.

But.

But God had a plan…. for them…. for us.

I found this while looking for baby pictures, anything documenting their lives.  I almost wish I hadn’t.  It is hard to watch.  This is before any relief came.  This is before a BBC documentary shed light on their situation.

I don’t always have an answer for the HOW of our family.  It is a mystery to me sometimes.  It was such a convoluted, amazing journey.

I can say WHY.  This shows WHY.  Watch it if you wish to.  Know it is difficult to watch.  Also know some of these children have been rescued.  Some did not survive.  Some remain.  Now there are people advocating and fighting for the them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwh7vCEbwj0

I found our boys in here at 6:22/13:36 and 7:00/7:17.

This is why.

Just a note…

I have been away.  Not good.  Somehow blogging has changed from a way to share with my community to more paperwork.

I am not good at paperwork.

So… Life has been good though.  We arrived home one year ago with two beautiful boys, both 17, but emotionally more like toddlers.   There is no way I can summarize this past year in a quick note.  I will write the story of our year in the next post.  Suffice it to say that we are blessed.  As a family, we are more than we were.  We have learned more, laughed more, cried more, cherished more, and been more thankful for the little blessings we have been given.  I think we now know that those little blessings are not so little.  We have been given so much.  We are so thankful to have it together.

God is so good.

Check out our new page for Fancy’s Specs

There is now a new permanent page for the book Fancy’s Specs.  This is my first book as an illustrator.  I feel so blessed to have been able to have worked with Robin Shipman in creating a book that encourages parents and kids that we can always come to God with our needs and concerns.  We are so excited and hopeful to see how God will encourage families and children!

 

 

 

fancysspecs

 

http://bookstore.crossbooks.com/Author/Default.aspx?BookworksSId=SKU-000908655

A children’s book for Easter!!

Right before I left for our boys, I was working collaboratively with my friend Robin Shipman on a children’s book that shares God’s love to the littlest ones.  Fancy’s Specs is about a group of barnyard friends that learn that nothing is too small for God in the search for a pair of missing glasses.  We can always ask God for help.  It is our hope that parents can share this book with their children, Sunday school teachers with their students, and  missionaries can share with the forgotten children of our world.

 

I am pleased to announce that Fancy’s Specs is now available in paperback or e-book at crossbooks.com

 

bookstore.crossbooks.com/author/Default.aspx?BookworksSId=SKU-000908a655

 

 

Funded!

I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped and loved on these boys and us. In the last few days, we have received a few significant financial contributions which have not only finished our fundraising for the boys but have also helped with the cost of going to go get them! One person I don’t even know. I want to speak to you and say you have touched my heart and I thank you. Thank you for all who have supported us. We will leave soon to go to the boys. Please keep us in your prayers. Eeeerkkk!!! Exciting!

Two things…

Good morning!! I only have two things to say…okay, maybe three….

1). Thank you. a) to God… Look at the marvelous things The Lord is doing. It is a beautiful thing to behold. He has opened our eyes to the plight of the orphan…. To the “Casey”. To the “Iggy.” This not an easy thing. We are just as busy, crazy, and , “full” as the next guy. He saw them! They were not forgotten and then He got to work on us! Ha ha!
b) thank you you you for helping, for giving, for sharing, for rooting them on, just for being on their side!

2). Second thing is not even about the boys…but someone they know. This little girl has just started getting massages( thank you mayashope.org) , a little physical therapy really, for the first time ever. And for the first time ever she is sitting up! She is still in the laying rooms that Casey grew up in, but now she is not “laying.” Sitting up anytime she wants!

Just like Casey last June and Iggy last July, Salome is aging out. Next step will be the mental asylum. Many, many children die after their transfer. After her 16th birthday, will be too late to do anything. So I ask you to do something today.

1) pray for her.
2) pay some of her adoption costs. Right now there is a matching grant for her through Reece’s Rainbow for $1500. That means every little bit you give will be doubled. You can contribute here:

http://reecesrainbow.org/59327/salome

3). See her. She is real. If it wasn’t winter where they are concerned for the health of the children, I could hold her in my arms next week. ( I would LOVE that by the way, but in a place where medical care is scarce and a cold could lead to dire consequences..). Think about her. Share her story. You may know the family God is preparing for her.

4). Here’s the biggie. Don’t dismiss this one too quick. Could it be you? After reading many adoption stories and walking through our own, the best I can figure, this is how it happens…. God sees this child that shouldn’t be seen… But he does. He then simultaneously, sometimes for years, prepares a heart, a family, to do something crazy. Because it’s right. Because they can. Because they must. Sometimes it’s an amazing family that was just made for this. But for most, I think, it is a tug on the heart of a normal person…like me…like you. Her adoption fees are quickly reaching the half paid mark with the Reece’s Rainbow grant. To inquire contact Reece’s Rainbow.

Okay… That’s it. That’s my two things!

How can I help?

Someone asked recently that the blog have a list of our current needs. So here goes…

1. Please pray for us. Please pray for the boys. Please pray for the family waiting at home.

2. As of Saturday we need a van. Our poor van was the only one that didn’t leave the accident scene unscathed. Everyone else was fine, praise God, but no more van…

3. We need $2371 for the kids expenses. That would be airfare back (615 each) the cost of the visa, birth certificate, and passport.

4. We need airfare and travel for us. We have never included those fees in any of our fundraising but they are needs, none the less.

Thank you to all who have walked with us on this journey. We are getting so close!!!

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Am I pregnant???

We are so close to traveling.  I have given birth to 5 beautiful children.  I know what it is to be pregnant.  This is another thing.   Still…I see a lot of similarities!!

This week I found myself standing in the middle of ToysRUs/BabiesRUs, totally overwhelmed.  Crying.

….Check.  Done that before.

I have been checking off the calendar.  Staring at it as if something is going to change on the page.  1…2…3….4….5….6…How many days left???!?!

…Check.

I found my thoughts drifting off every quiet moment, my mind going over the itinerary one more time, planning when I will arrive here/leave here.  It’s not like I don’t already have all of it listed off in three different places.

…Check.

I really would prefer to be on the other side of these 3 weeks/4 weeks whatever, when we are done.  When every bad scenario has lost it’s teeth because we are done.

….Check. Check.  I think I thought that before every labor/delivery.

Maybe adoption is something different, but it doesn’t seem so different right now.  :)

Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared…Excited…Scared.Excited……..

Thank you!

Before I close my eyes tonight, I want to share a heart felt thank you to the many, many people who are rallying to support Casey and Iggy. Today was spent filling last minute art orders, arranging travel and preparing to bring home two precious children! Thank you for seeing how precious they are and thank you for helping us!!!