set apart

Sunday, May 30, 2010

This past weekend, I was blessed to take Tia, Yana, Lily and Tatianna to the setapart(girl) conference.  What a great time of worship, hearing the Word of God, and being challenged to live a life of purity, poured out for our wonderful King.  I was so encouraged by all the young girls who long to live lives of surrender for Jesus, and not waste their youth on frivolous things.


I was especially encouraged by Danita's testimony of God's faithfulness and kindness in leading her to give her life to the orphans of Haiti.  After her talk, Lily and I stayed to talk with Danita.  I was so moved by her heart for the Lord that I pretty much just stood there with tears running down my face.  It was all I could do to give her a hug and simply thank her for everything that she is doing to love those precious children.

I was also able to talk with the Hahn's of His Little Feet (and I actually did talk with them!).  They are bringing some of the children from Danita's home to CO for a time of encouragement in the Lord.  The children will also be giving concerts to raise orphan awareness in the U.S.

I would so appreciate your prayers for my girls as they process the things that they heard at the conference.  I could have no greater joy than to see my children walk fully, completely and sold-out for the love of our beautiful King!

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In process

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

At the moment, I feel like there are a hundred things in my life that are in process.  There are lots of things that I am thinking of and praying about, but none of them are really complete yet.  Have you ever felt this way?

Anyway, I am truly enjoying this time, because most of the things are really wonderful.  But, I just don't have a whole lot to say because I don't have a whole lot of complete answers!

God is doing so much in my life, personally, in our family life and in the life of our church.  It is really exciting!  I'm sure that as these things get filled out, I'll be writing loooong posts that only a faithful few will want to wade their way through. lol!

One little sneak preview is that God is giving me a whole new perspective on his fathering care.  Isn't He just so wonderful?!  For perhaps the first time in my life, I am truly seeing Him as my Father, the One who cares for me beyond anyone or anything else.  Spending time with Him is pure joy, as He invites me into Himself and shares the secrets of His heart.  In the midst of this revelation, I started reading the book, Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship, by Jack Frost.  This book was recommended to me in  relationship to the difficulties that one of my children has faced.  But oh my goodness!  It's been great for me, as well.

So, I'm looking forward to writing more (when I have something more to write!).  But, for now, I leave you with this:

"God never created you to be an orphan with no home.  He created you to be a beloved son or daughter who has found a home in His embrace...All creation began wth the Father desiring relationships with sons and daughters."

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The view is great from up here!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

After almost 6 long months of wet, cold weather, summer is definitely here!  And guess what that meant for our family?!

The treeehouse got finished!!!

And here's the guy who can take pretty much all of the credit for getting it built...

Way to go, Dad!!

Of course, he didn't do it all by himself.
He did have LOTS of help
from Yana, Adam, Lily, Jadon,
and even Grace helped out

a little bit. 

Actually, he even had help from Ethan, Teresa, Matthew, Elayne, Joshua, Caleb, Nathaniel...

In fact,
pretty much every kid in the neighborhood wanted to help with this treehouse.

So, I guess that means that the only one who didn't really help was, uh....


But hey!
I offered a lot of moral support!

And by the way that it turned out,
it appears that they didn't really need my help.

The kids love it!
And all the neighbors love it. 
We had a whole gang of kiddos in it today.
I'll have to get pictures of the rest of the neighborhood treehouse kids soon.

Next weekend, we'll add a roof to the taller side and paint it.  Then, David is going to make a ramp from the deck to the treehouse.  I guess that he think that some kids are a little bit small to climb the ladder.

I can't imagine who he's thinking of?

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You're soaring now, Yia Yia!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our beloved Yia Yia (Greek for grandmother) died last week.  She wasn't our biological grandmother, but she was the adopted grandmother, mother and great-grandmother to many in our church family.  Yia Yia had been sick for many years, and had been yearning to go home to be with her Lord.  On the night that she died, the last of our 5 chrysalis became a butterfly.  So, in honor of Yia Yia, we set the butterflies free today. 

Tatianna (Yia Yia's granddaughter and our  precious friend and neighbor) opens up the butterfly house.

Yana shows Tatianna how to set the first butterfly free.

Jeanne (Yia Yia's daughter and our dear sister in the Lord) reaches in for a butterfly.

Do you see the butterfly up to the right of Jeanne in this picture?

This sweet butterfly only had one wing.  We decided to keep her in her little home.

Yia Yia, we love and miss you!  We know that you are now dancing and singing with Jesus.  We can't wait until we see you again!  But for now, the butterflies will remind us that you are alive and well, soaring free in heaven.

Please pray for Tatianna and Jeanne, as they grieve the loss of their precious mother/grandmother.  Please also remember to pray for Chrissie's family.  They are walking a very painful road after the death of their beautiful daughter.  But, through it all, we know that DEATH HAS NO STING, and that Jesus is triumphant!  Both of these families are living testimony to that truth.

And just a quick update on my dad--the doctors said that he doesn't need surgery!  Hooray!  He does have two brain aneurysms, but the doctor thinks that the risk of the surgery is higher than the risk of the aneurysms.  My dad has had many surgeries in the past few years, so they are truly relieved that he doesn't need this one.

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quote of the day

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"I'm perfectly contented.
I'm so glad that I didn't go to live with a different family."

Oh Lil, you are such a ray of sunshine in our lives!

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Strengthening the strong

Monday, May 10, 2010

Many adoptive parents (myself included) spend hours praying for, talking about and researching ways that they can best help the children who have come to them through adoption.  So many of these children have had traumatic pasts and are hurting emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually.  It is appropriate and right to pray, seek counsel and pour one's self into the training and up-bringing of these precious little ones.

But, I have also realized that I need to be attentive to the one(s) who does not seem to be so needy, who has not had a traumatic past and who is strong emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually.

In our family, Adam is a precious gift of strength to every member.  He is kind, generous, giving, thoughtful, and mature in His love for the Lord and others.  When asked if there is anything that he needs, he will honestly say that he truly doesn't need the attention that some of the other children need.  He is happy, grateful and content.

Now, I am extremely grateful for Adam's maturity in this response.  But, I don't fully accept his answer.  And it's not because it isn't true.  Actually, I think that it is.  He was our first child and was given oodles of attention!  He's got lots of it stored up inside of him. 

But, I also know that in order for Adam to stay strong, he must continually be nurtured, encouraged, and shown that he is loved and valued for who he is.  The most important way that this will happen is for us to continue to teach Adam that his value comes from who he is in the Lord.  He is a treasure in God's eyes, and as Adam daily comes to Jesus for refreshment and love, he truly doesn't need the same sort of attention from others (even his parents~!).

But, because we are his parents, and because we represent the Father in his life, we WANT to show Adam how much he is valued and loved by us.  He is just so much fun, and we love him with all of our hearts, so we want to do special things for him even if he doesn't appear to be particularly needy.

One of the fun things that we have done for the past couple of years is to have a Friday night party with Adam (thank you Meredith for this great idea).  When all of the other children are asleep, we get Adam up out of bed (sometimes this is quite a process, as he is a heavy sleeper!), and we bring him into our room.  We chat, and often have fun snacks.  We spend a half-an-hour or so simply loving on this boy who is constantly showing so much love to others.  It is a blast!  And Adam is so grateful to have this special time together.

This time, Adam's eyes were open, but sometimes we have to wake him up with chocolate!

There was a lot of laughing on this particular night.

Oh, how I love that smile!

Are there things that you have done to encourage your children when they are doing great?!  What are ways that you strengthen your children who are already strong?  I'd love to hear them!

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my favorite part

The Indian restaurant, the yummy chocolate, and the sweet cards were all wonderful.
But, this was my favorite part of Mother's Day...

I just love my precious babes and their incredible hugs!!

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Happy Mother's Day and a prayer request

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful mamas out there!

Honestly, ladies, so many of you truly amaze me with your dedication to, enjoyment of, and sacrificial love towards your precious babies!  I'm so thankful for all that I have learned from you and for all of the love that is evident in your lives.

And, of course, a special Happy Mother's Day to my own mom!
Mom, you have truly always been there for me, you taught me how to think of others, and you have blessed me with unconditional love.  Now that I am a mom (of 5!) myself, I appreciate you so much more.  Thank you for all of your love, self-sacrifice and encouragment.
I love you!

Friends, could you say a special prayer for my mom today?  My dad was in the hospital after a minor stroke and during the MRI they found an aneurism in his brain.  He will probably be having surgery sometime in the next couple of weeks.  I would so appreciate your prayers for both of them. 

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Looking for a great Mother's Day gift?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do you remember precious Evelyn?  She's one of the little girls who died recently at Sarah's Covenant Homes in India.  Her death could have been prevented if they had had access to emergency medical equipment.  And because of that, SCH is doing a fundraiser so that they can buy this equipment for their medically fragile children.  And it's a great fundraiser!

For a donation of $10 or more, they will send an email to your mom (or anyone else that you specify) with a picture of one of their beautiful kiddos holding a paper flower.  The flower will have a personal message written on it from you to your mother.  Wouldn't your mom just love that?!  This is a Mother's Day gift that will really last, and that could save a child's life.  The fundraiser goes through Friday.  Go here to order your flower.
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surgery update

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I am so sorry that I haven't written an update regarding Jadon's surgery.  As it turns out, the orthodontist can do a little more work on Jadon's teeth to tighten the gap before surgery.  This is good news because otherwise Jadon may have had to have 2 surgeries, since the gap was so wide.  That means that his surgery will be delayed for 6 months (he's pretty happy about that!).

This is a picture of Jadon after his first U.S. surgery. 
Is he cute, or what?!!
All of the nurses wanted to take him home.
He was such a sweet little patient.

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