Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Necklace

My two older sons were away at camp for a week. They had a great time but they were glad to be home. I received quite a few bear hugs and let me tell you, they can just about squeeze the guts out of me these days. Shortly after their return, my oldest son disappeared for about 15 minutes. I saw him walking towards our house about a block away and started to get angry that he didn't tell me he was leaving. I couldn't be mad, though, when he sheepishly smiled and held out a bag for me to open. Inside was a necklace, a beautiful necklace. Get this...he took his birthday money to buy it for me. The reason - he knows how much I miss Africa and he thought if I had a necklace that looked like one from there, I wouldn't miss it so much. Don't I have the best son!

The picture is of me(wearing the necklace) and my precious boy! Some girl is going to be greatly blessed to get him.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Being Silly


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


On Mother's Day of this year, my husband preached at our church about adoption. He explained how God adopted us as His sons and daughters. It was a beautiful sermon. If you'd like to listen to it click here.

A new movie was just released about an orphan gone wrong. I do not know anything about the movie, but I want to tell you about our adoption gone right.

Dale and I have always loved children. Our hearts particularly went out to the disadvantaged, poverty-stricken, lonely hurting kids. We started doing foster care while in the midst of enlarging our own family. We saw many beautiful children adopted to wonderful families. Occasionally, a child would return home.

After 9 years of fostering we felt God leading us to change a child's world forever. We changed our license from foster care to adoption and began the lengthy process. We thought we knew what to expect, but we were unaware of the deep emotions we would feel.

From the moment we had the name of our son and daughter, we would do anything to get those children. They were as much "mine" as any biological child I bore. I cannot describe the love I felt. I did not have to feel the child kicking or see my stomach move to believe that they were mine.

The battle to get them home was long and hard. I will not lie and say otherwise. Part of my heart was in Africa and officials there could decide if my heart was ever to be made whole. Thank God, the One who gives life, all of my children are with me now!

The kids have been home for a little over a year now. This past year has certainly gone faster than the year when we were waiting. It, too, has not been without trials. I would not expect it otherwise. Any child put up for adoption is in a crisis situation. The child is uprooted from all he/she knows. Who wouldn't struggle with fear of abandonment, some anger and rebellion!Does it get better? Absolutely!

The joy my children bring is immeasurable. I cannot recount to you the number of times my heart has been blessed. Thank you Lord for my children, ALL of my children.

This picture is of 3 children who were once orphans...but not any longer!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

John Waller

Many of you may have heard of the movie Fireproof. Last night hubby and the three older kids and I went to see the song artist, John Waller, who recorded a popular song from that movie. It was a very moving night.

John shared his testimony and his struggle with depression. He also shared how God healed him completely. One thing that stood out to me that he said was, "You cannot be walking in the Spirit if you are sitting in the pit." Think about that for a minute.

His song that made him famous is called While I'm Waiting. He told us he had been with a band on the road for 15 years. He knew God had called him to to a career of this nature yet the "big break" never came. The band broke up and John took a position as a worship leader. He spent the next 10 years or so in that position when God revealed to him that the time had come for the fulfillment of his dream. His wait was over. God wanted him to leave his secure job and start touring again. He has a wife and 4 children to support. Talk about scary!

Not only has John stepped out in faith with his job, but he also felt God told him that he was not to keep anyone from receiving encouragement through his music. His cd's are all available for whatever donation you can make. Yes, kids were walking away with cd's that they only paid $1.00 for. Yet, others, they were being gracious and paid $50.00. Isn't it great to see the family of God come together?

Thank you, John Waller, for showing my children what it looks like to really live out your faith. My kids were able to meet him personally, get his autograph and be inspired...inspired to live more for Christ and less for themselves.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Living in Light of Eternity

Around this time of the year I start shopping for things to fill up shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse. At Christmas time Samaritan's Purse sends the shoeboxes to third world countries. I grab things like flip-flops and tee-shirts when they are on sale. I happened to be getting a few things the other day when precious daughter (child #4) said, "Is that for a girl in Africa?" Without giving the long detailed answer that it could actually go to about 30 different countries, I just simply said, "yes". She started grabbing things off of shelves and wanted to send EVERYTHING to Africa. I'm telling you, she is a girl after my own heart! May she always remember the poor. Even Paul said it was the very thing he was eager to do and who doesn't want to have a faith like Paul's?

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The very first person I met when I went to Uganda was a man named Patrick. He took care of Debbie and I the first 5 days we were there. He is a Godly man who loves the Lord and his family very much. When Debbie and I went in April, Patrick and his wife Sarah had just had their third baby - a little girl named Melannie.

I am calling on everyone I know and even those that I don't to help this family out. This week it was determined that Melannie needs heart surgery. She is a mere 3 months old and is struggling for her life. A doctor in New York has agreed to do the surgery free but they still need plane tickets. Three tickets are needed. One for Sarah(the mom), one for Melannie(the baby) and one for a nurse to be with Melannie the entire way.

Please check out Patrick's blog and see pictures of Melannie.Go to

The above pictures are of Patrick, Debbie holding Melannie with Mark(Patrick's oldest), Debbie and Melannie, and Martha(Patrick's second-born). I am going to see if I can set up an account somehow for people to donate towards helping this precious little girl.

I beg of you to help save this baby's life!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Every year my wonderful sister takes one of my children to have special "Auntie" time. This year it was Olivia's turn. Well, miss independent didn't like her independence. She quickly became homesick so Auntie suggested we meet in Door County for some fun. Here are some photos from the day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Funny Moments

My oldest son is now a teenager. True to the forces of nature, he is now starting to take notice of the opposite sex. I began to panic a bit and made my husband order the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" immediately. A week later the book arrived. My son saw it and asked why I wanted that book (since I am definately not in the dating arena). I said that I was going to read it with him. With a terrified look on his face he said, "Why on earth would I want to kiss dating goodbye when I haven't even said hello?" Too funny!

Monday, July 13, 2009


It has been said that life is more about the interruptions than the plans. I have been seeing how true this statement is lately. For example, today I just wanted to clean. Half of my kids were gone so I figured it would be a good day to get things done. A few hours into my cleaning frenzy a neighbor called to see if we wanted to meet at the pond. Honestly, the answer was no. I was on a mission and the pond was not part of the plan. I had 3 pleading faces looking to see what I would I gave in.

I spent the next 2 hours talking to the neighbor's dad about Church, Bible Studies and reading the Bible - mind you that this person is not a christian. I would have missed what God had planned if I had stayed home and cleaned.

Take time for the interruptions in your life. You never no what eternal impact they just might have!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I heard from Arthur yesterday. As you can see from the title he was denied a visa. The reason - he did not have sufficient income nor ties to his country to want to return. I happen to disagree with the ties part. He has children, a job, a house and a ministry he runs to return to. I accept God's will in this but what is hard to accept is the privilege of being an American.

On my passport is a quote. It says, "The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class - it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity." I did not write this on my passport, it was put there by our government. If freedom really is a birthright that transcends race and class then why is it limited to Americans and those who have wealth? What does God want me to do with the great privileges He has given to me? I could have been born in Africa or India or anywhere else where freedom is limited. Instead I was born here. It is not easy for me to reconcile in my mind how I could be given so much and others given so little.

The faces of the kids I saw in Africa - faces that were starving and scared and sick - they haunt me. Every meal I eat, I see them in my mind and think of how they are NOT eating. I go to sleep in my bed and think of those sleeping on the ground. I put on clean clothes in the morning and think of a little boy I saw who was wearing long underwear with all of the buttons missing and the butt blown out.

Lord, please show me how best to use my freedom for others!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I have been doing a lot of contemplating lately. In a recent time with God I found these words from Luci Swindoll:

"The most amazing person in this whole bunch is Moses, because of a choice he made. And what did he choose? He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God. Why would he do that? At that time, Egypt was the loftiest society of the day - rich in beauty, education, art, trade, culture - and the Hebrew people were, by comparison, nothing more than a dung heap on the outskirts of town. Moses, even though he had been reared from babyhood by the daughter of Pharaoh, chose the dung heap. Unbelievable!Instead of staying where things were nice and clean, prestigious and comfortable, he chose mistreatment. I find that thought-provoking.

Would I choose mistreatment? I wonder if I'd have that strength of character. Loving the nicer things in life, I'd have to reach down into that part of me where my values lie. What would it take to make me choose what's best rather than what's easiest? Such a decision would have to come from a sense of direction - from my faith.

By faith, Moses chose wisely and looked at the disgrace and mistreatment as a temporary burden, with his ultimate reward of greater value than what society had to offer. Faith willfully chooses even disgrace or mistreatment because it sees, through an act of trust, the eventual reward that comes from Him who is invisible."

What will I choose - a life of faith or one that is comfortable? Faith costs you something. Sometimes it is money, sometimes it's giving up things, sometimes it's losing friends. It's choosing God even when it doesn't make sense. How many people really believed it was going to rain when Noah was slaving away to make an ark? Who would believe that God would tell Abraham to sacrifice his son? What about Sarah? How many people really believed she was pregnant until she actually had Isaac?

I think about Joseph in the Bible. He was a great man of God. One difference between his life and Moses' is that Joseph chose to make the most of the circumstances he was in. He didn't choose to become a slave, his brothers made that decision for him, but he was faithful to God even in the difficult situation. Moses chose the difficult situation.

I want to look more and more like Jesus. Perhaps to some people my actions will look foolish. That's okay, as long as my Heavenly Father looks down and smiles, I will be as crazy as He wants me to be!

Friday, July 3, 2009


I've mentioned Arthur a few times in previous posts. God has been moving mountains with this man. He has his visa appointment July 8th. Please pray along with me that God would continue to pave the way for him to come to America. I will let you all know as soon as I know.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

When Words Hurt

Two of our neighborhood kids were at my house chatting with me. Their mom works and goes to school fulltime. Their dad...well each of the 3 kids have different fathers. The man who is presently in their lives is the mom's boyfriend. The older 2 children have never seen their fathers. They were voicing their sadness to me. Oh how my heart hurt for these girls. They also were telling me how they get teased because they are mixed ethnicities.

Josiah overheard their conversation and he said he used to get teased in Africa. I waited to hear what tall tale he would come up with. Really, how much could he remember from when he was 3 years old. What came out of his mouth made me cry, though. He said his mom had dropped him off and said she would be back. The kids all laughed and told him that she was lying, that all the moms said that but they never returned. He said, even though they were right, it still hurt that they teased him about it.

In a moment I rememberd the look on his face when I returned from Africa. How he fell to the ground sobbing deep sobs. He couldn't stand he was so sad. I knew he thought I wasn't really going to return but I had no idea of this memory tucked away in his little mind. No precious boy, this mommy will never leave you. May God erase your pain as time goes on. May you learn to trust. May your life never be turned upside down again. May you know that I love you more than my words can possibly say.