Sunday, November 22, 2009
Dale and I decided a long time ago that WE would be the first ones to date our children. Since our oldest was about 8, I have taken him out so he will know how to treat a lady. He opens the van door for me, pulls my chair out for me to sit, and shares his heart with me. These have been precious moments. We now have 3 children old enough to go on "dates".
Here are a few photos from our most recent moments. How do you like my red-eyes?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
In the adoption world, there is much talk about attachment. Most adopted children have had the normal cycle broken for various reasons. When children have needs and the parent is unable to meet the need, eventually the child shuts down and withdraws. As adoptive parents, one of our greatest jobs is to reaffirm the child's needs and attend to them quickly.
Another element makes this process more difficult than it would seem...trust has been broken. The child does not believe that you will continually meet his/her need for food, love, shelter, etc. They have learned at an early age that nothing lasts forever, including families. Some children do all that they can to push the adoptive parents away. To trust them to be there and love you would mean risking hurt. This was the case with our son. As soon as he would find himself wanting to love and trust me, he would do whatever naughty behavior he could think of. His little mind would reason that I am going to eventually leave him, too. He might as well behave badly enough to just get it over with.
Many nights I have held him and assured him over and over again that Mommy will not leave no matter how naughty he behaves. Often he will melt and sob into my chest with those words. For one more night, he trusts that I will be there.
I'm sure most of you can see the parallels with our relationship with our Heavenly Father. God is completely trustworthy, yet the circumstances of my life have made me doubt that. My earthly father died when I was 15, which has led me to expect my Heavenly Father to abandon me at various times. I have to go to His Word and rely on Truth (not feelings).
In the past few weeks, my son wants to sit on my lap whenever I sit down. He then takes my arms and wraps them around him. If I let one of my arms slip or move, he will promptly grab it and put it back around him - holding him tightly again. Progress has been made!
Then I think about my own progress. Do I grab onto God and make sure I am firmly in the center of His will? When I feel He is distant, do I strive to feel His arms around me? He never moves, so have I? There is no place more grand than being in my Daddy's arms.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I have always wanted to be the Proverbs 31 woman. She is the epitome of female perfection. If you want to know what this type of perfection looks like, go and read the whole chapter. One of the verses says, "She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy." I want to be THAT kind of woman!
So what on earth does this have to do with Christmas, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Last week our family put together shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We fill a shoe box with items that a child in a Third World would need. Things like soap, pencils, a shirt, flip-flops, toothbrush and toothpaste go in the box and some child will get it as his/her Christmas present.
As the box is handed to the child, a booklet with the plan of salvation is also given to the child. Many children have come to know Jesus this way. It is written in their native language and the pictures look like the children it is going to.
I started thinking about the children we sponsor, specifically Harriet. Harriet is an orphan and lives at the orphanage I love called Rapha. She is one of 52 kids there who are true orphans. Another 250 kids come to school at Rapha. These other 250 are the poor and needy of the world. The above pictures are all kids who are from this particular area.
God spoke to my heart and told me to contact Operation Christmas Child, also known as Samaritan's Purse, and see if I could purchase just the booklets for the kids at Rapha. You see, a booklet is a precious thing to a child who doesn't own a single book. For most of them, it would be the ONLY present the child will receive this Christmas.
In my lack of faith, I expected OCC to say no. Just the opposite proved to be true. They were happy to give the name of the company who puts the tracts out. Each one costs 50 cents. I am asking all of you, my faithful friends, if you would help me get the Gospel into these kids' hands. Most of us can afford 50 cents or a dollar or two. I don't want to leave anyone out at Rapha, which means 300 tracts. Unfortunately, I do not have the entire $150.00 to send to cover the cost. Will you help?
Please send me an e-mail to me and I will send you my address. All money will go for the booklets. Any extra will be used to purchase even more for the surrounding families. Thank you for prayerfuly considering being a part of this Kingdom Gift!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed with the fact that the same God who made spectacular sunsets, cares about little ole me! This week God lavished His immeasurable love on me. He showed me how He cares about not only my needs, but also my dreams.
Many of you know that I fell in love with Uganda when I was there this past spring. All I can think about is WHEN will I be able to go back. I drive my family nuts with my incessant thinking, sometimes I even drive myself nuts. As hard as I try, I cannot get Africa off my mind. Maybe, God doesn't want me to get it off my mind.
I took my older boys to a christian concert a week ago. As we were leaving, there before me was a booth set up. From where, you guessed it - Uganda! I briefly spoke with the woman at the booth. She told me her name was Ruth and gave me a brochure.
Later that evening, I glanced over the information Ruth had handed me. I discovered that she would be speaking at a coffee shop about her ministry. I mentioned to Dale that I would like to go and hear her.
Last Friday was the appointed night for Ruth to do her presentation. After almost 2 weeks of sick kids, I was more than ready to get out of the house. We arrived at the coffee shop and was greeted with a big hug from Ruth. I'm not sure how, but she recognized me from the concert.
We conversed for awhile and before I knew it, I invited her to my house. The amazing thing is that she accepted! Mind you, I don't know this woman. When God moves, you don't question it, though. Think of all of the disciples Jesus called. None of them said, "Could you give me a couple of weeks to think it over?" or "I need to go ask my wife if she minds me changing careers." No, they went, immediately.
So, yesterday I drove to where Ruth is staying and picked her up. Instantly I loved her. She has overcome more in her mere 30 years on this planet than what many of us have had to endure in a lifetime. Since she was 6 years old, she was left to raise her 4 younger siblings. Yes, at Olivia's age, she was fetching water, bathing the kids, making them meals and caring for them when they were sick. She took on any job she could find in order to pay for her school fees. Today, she has earned her Master's Degree in statistics. When asked how this was possible, she quickly gives all of the credit to God. She is a living example and testimony to the fact that God's plans cannot be thwarted.
What is even more amazing is that this dear woman made a promise to God when she was a teenager and she kept it. She told God that if He helped her to finish school, she would help other kids who were growing up in circumstances like she did. The day she graduated, she asked God to show her the kids. That was 5 years ago, today she is the mother to 60 children! Twenty-two have sponsors, but the rest of them she supports! None of us can complain about having too many kids to feed.
So, there we were - cooking chipote in my kitchen, sharing stories about Uganda, fellowshipping with a sister in Christ. For a moment, my world stood still as I basked in the revelation that God cares about me caring about Africa. He sent Ruth. When all things point to the fact that I won't be able to go to Uganda anytime soon, He brought a piece of Uganda to me.