Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Food For Thought

Lets say I am a parent and I have 10 kids. Four of my children have more than enough. The remaining six children, due to circumstances beyond their control, are barely surviving. In of those children died as a result of those circumstances. the parent of all these children what am I feeling? I would be heartbroken. Especially since I am aware of the fact that my four children who have so much are doing so little. They are so concerned about their life, their future, their homes, their retirement, their.......that they cannot see their own brothers and sisters are dying.

Yes....I am one of the four. And chances are you fall into the same category as myself. I am not trying to sell your giving and your sacrifice for others short. That is not my place.

I do not even remember how I started thinking about this. One day this week as I was washing some dishes or making dinner (I know it was in the kitchen) I started thinking about retirement. And how it just doesn't seem biblical. Now....before you start throwing stones let me just say I am simply mulling things over. I do not have hard evidence either way. I am not judging anybody either way. I think retirement is good - always have. And I have been quite happy with the way our retirement fund has been growing.

But suddenly this week I started wondering what God thinks about us stockpiling our money while that same money could literally save thousands of lives!!! How many wells could we drill? How much clean water could we help to generate so children would stop dying from water-borne illnesses?

I said to Mark, "What do you think God thinks?" He replied, "How would you feel if it were your children?" Hmm......

I have no answers people. I do not know what I think. More importantly, I do not know what God thinks. I do know that I am going to start digging. And is probably one of those areas that you just walk in obedience to what His will is for your life.

On another note.....for those of you who helped to pay for the surgery for the Ethiopian mother with the prolapsed uterus - she is having surgery today!!! Faith in action!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Will Not Leave You As Orphans...

I will come to you!!! What an amazing promise, yes? To know that we are not forgotten by the Father.

Adoption is a beautiful picture of God's heart towards us. We all know this.

Adoption also isn't easy. The transitions can be tricky and invariably you run into things unexpected. And I am not talking about the logistics. I am talking about the emotion involved in parenting a child who has experienced the ultimate rejection - abandonment. I am learning it doesn't matter how the abandonment happens - whether it be the death of the parents or being relinquished. It runs deep within a child. No matter the age. One day your mother is there and the next day they aren't. My heart breaks. In parenting Heidi, bonding with Heidi, nursing Heidi I am realizing how much disruption Eden experienced in those first 10 months of her life. It has lasting effects. Effects that we are learning but also believing the Holy Spirit will direct us in how to touch her little heart. She is a precious treasure.

How glad I am that God doesn't look at me and see all my needs, my brokenness, my baggage and think I am too much. He looks at me, takes me as I am and loves me. Gives me His name and calls me His own!

Now imagine with me you are 9 years old. You have only ever known an orphanage as your home. You have never known a mother or father's love. What exactly is a family? It sounds so wonderful yet so unattainable! For you to have a family someone will have to take a risk. And it just seems that people are so comfortable in their lives that they don't want the risk that is involved with you. Everyday is the same. Hopefulness gets drowned out by reality. Longing is stifled by your tenacity. You have so much to give!! Can anyone see? Our friends, Kim and Stacy, welcomed beautiful Annabelle into their hearts, homes and family this week. Really they welcomed her five years ago. They just didn't know who she was until this past July. And they answered the call. They took the risk! They opened their arms to offer an orphan a family!!

Nothing gets me going like adoption does!! I love the pictures of children moments after meeting their parents. This little girl who was abandoned now has a home! Join me in celebrating with them and their children who are here waiting for their return. Just read over this last week of posts. I cannot wait until they arrive home!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Living Life

Today we celebrated Shane's birthday! He was so excited and I must say I was as well. He got to pick where he wanted to go for lunch and a special activity to do with mom and dad. Since he is home schooled we had the luxury of going during the day. He chose the Waffle Shop (yes!) and to go bowling. We had such fun!! His delicious hot chocolate!
Being silly at the bowling alley.
Blowing out his 7 candles on his ice cream cake. I feel so blessed to have this little guy as a son!

We spend lots and lots of time at this house playing games. I found Tristan and Eden "playing" a card game the other day. It was so cute! Sweeter than anything were the moments they spent actually enjoying each others company
Nestled in her car seat!

Tristan wearing a head lamp. The kids LOVE running around with these strapped on. Who knew a 4 dollar head lamp could be so much fun?

Winter fun! The perfect kind of sledding - easy and no climbing of hills.

Judah had to pick a president to research, write a report, create a costume and then be ready for parents to come see him at the "wax museum". He was President Truman. He was pretty cute and delivered his speech without being too nervous.
I am not ashamed to say that I am in love with a cute little girl!
Sporting an Indiana Jones hat.
Tristan and Eden in their "capes". I love that Eden is holding a light saber. She can hand with the best of the boys!
Hmmmm.....don't think this picture needs an explanation.
And neither does this picture. She is a character - for sure!
Have a few things I have been mulling over and hope to get out of my brain soon. Like the dangers of this thing moms/women do called comparison. It robs us of such joy. Been waying heavy on my mind since I can be such a pro at it myself.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Two Things

Okay. First order of business - Every Mother Matters accomplished their first task thanks to some of you who went over to Steffany's blog, followed the link and donated! The money was raised in 4 days!!! When Steffany told me Monday evening that the money had come in I could have jumped for joy!! Except I was sitting on my couch under a wonderfully cozy blanket and was too lazy to get my behind off the couch! I have rejoiced over and over this week!! The preparations are being made to get her to Addis Ababa for the surgery and restore her quality of life! For those of you who have followed Steffany's blog for any length of time also know that a dear Ethiopian woman named Gadese had come with them to the States to receive prenatal care. If you don't know the story return to her blog and look at the left side bar to get the link to the story. Amazing!!! Anyhow, Gadese may be able to meet this woman who will be receiving the surgery which makes the tapestry that God is weaving that much more beautiful! Steffany....your acts of selflessness and obedience encourage and inspire me!

Secondly....the earthquake in Haiti! My heart is breaking! We watched a bit of coverage tonight with the two older boys but didn't want to overwhelm them with too much. And then I thought, "yes, but the children who are there and living through this horror cannot be protected!" It is almost too much for me to process - the pain, the agony, the loss, the loneliness......what can I do?

Let me tell you quickly about my sweet cousin. She is my age - a whopping 32! She has lived in Haiti for I believe 4 years (Edith correct me if I am wrong). She is a nurse and helps to run a clinic in a more remote part of Haiti. She does a phenomenal job of sending out beautiful emails monthly detailing her work there. It is no small task!! What she does on a daily basis can sometimes be mind numbing. She is a beautiful woman! Lives selflessly so that other may live - literally!! She helps to save lives! She is walking out her life in obedience to His call. I wish so often that I could pick her brain about things but unfortunately we do not get many opportunities to see each other.

She is heading into Port-au-Prince to help. Would you please pray for Bethanie as she will be working tirelessly? Would you pray that God would perform miracles through her hands? Would you pray that the Holy Spirit will speak through her? That people would feel a blanket of peace over them as she is working on them?

And Bethanie - if and when you get a chance to read this: I will be praying as often as God brings you to mind - which has been so very often today!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Help Needed

Ok folks! My dear friend Steffany has helped to found Every Mother Matters and they need help right now. It is a great opportunity to help a dear mother in Ethiopia. She is a mother of 3 children and has a prolapsed uterus. She lives in a very remote part of Ethiopia and was found when a group of people showed up in her village for a medical missions trip. The surgery, hospital stay and travel will cost $1000.00. This is a beautiful chance for people to help save the life of a mother, give her a chance at living life with her children and just putting words into actions. We all have a few dollars we can spare. And some of us have more than a few dollars. Steffany's young children already gave ALL their Christmas money to help - $200.00!!! The heart of a child sees the need and responds. Adults see the need and try to figure out a way to hang on to their $10, $50, $100 or $1000!

If you are interested just go to my blog list, click on Steffany's blog (title SHOCK and AWE) and go donate. If you for some reason can't find her blog just let me know in the comments section and I will get back to you. But be warned!!!! She posted a picture of what this woman lives with on a daily basis. I will be honest - I vacillated between feeling nauseous and wanting to cry. The discomfort, the shame of not wanting anyone to know.....I want to have a hand in helping this woman! Anyone care to join me?? Have an extra $10 or more?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Back in the Swing of Things

First of all.....thank you for all the sweet comments after my last rant. There is some measure of comfort in knowing I am not alone (even though deep down I already know). Aunt Ada, I had to laugh when you mentioned getting a shower without kids calling for you. I sometimes try to escape to the bathroom for a few quiet moments but their little radars come out and they come searching.

I am enjoying my children to a much greater degree since my last post. Multiple things were at play as I look back. Much looser schedules since it was Christmas vacation, high doses of sugar, late bedtimes, some PMSing, sleep get the picture.

I function much better as a mom, wife, friend, person when I have routine. I feel like I have lost my spontaneity in so many ways. I think it will return when my children reach ages where they are a bit more flexible. I cannot tell you how wonderful this week has felt just having our normal routine back. I am not dreading the early mornings nearly as much.

Another thing that I didn't realize was weighing on me so much was trying to decipher behaviours in Eden. Are they personality related, or adoption related? Are they attachment related? How do you figure all this out? I have been doing a lot of research and reading to try and get a grasp on things. Then I thought, "Why not call the woman who did our home study?" Long story short... I called her....we spoke at length and she was just amazingly encouraging. She was able to help us figure out that indeed we are dealing with some adoption related issues. I will into more detail at some point. But I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders!! We have some things to work on and she gave us some great advice. I feel as though we are going to make progress. And in fact I feel like over the past 4 days we have already made progress. Eden did not have to sit in a time-out today until after dinner time. That in itself is an act of God!!

*sidenote and completely irrelevant - watching the Alabama/Texas game and am so sad that Colt McCoy got hurt. I really like the kid. Okay...back to normal programming*

So...routine is back, have some things to implement with Eden and Heidi is now sharing a room with Eden. I was slightly terrified to put them in the same room seeing as though Eden thinks she can man-handle Heidi from time to time. I mentioned something to Eden at the beginning of the week about sharing a room with Heidi. I wanted to start talking her though the change and give her time to process it. She needed all of 5 minutes to completely rearrange her room. I kid you not!!! The first I was notified of the rearranging was when Eden came to me and informed me her bed was broken. I went to her room and she had moved her play kitchen, a table, her bed and everthing was kind of in a pile in the middle of the room. She looked at me all pleased and said, "Now Heidi can be in my room?" It was so precious! I wasn't really emotionally prepared to move Heidi out of our room yet but decided if Eden was ready we should go ahead and implement the move. Turns out...I am sleeping better and so is Heidi!! And Eden has behaved beautifully!

So life is returning to a semblence of normalcy. And I am feeling much better about being a mom. And at the moment I could use a snack!