Join Me In The Garden

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I have welcomed all of you to share in the joys and struggles of our family since our hearts were broken for the fatherless several years ago. We have now been home with our girls for over three years, and I cannot even begin to share with you how God has blessed us with our precious Chinese daughters. I have chosen to share our family’s journey with you for one reason, that is to give God glory, and that you may see that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things if we let Him.

God called us to adopt two older girls from China, and we have been blessed beyond measure by our obedience to Him. The road has not been easy, yet it is a path I would choose to travel again.

If you take with you one thing from my willingness to be open to you, I pray that it would be that God moves mountains when we step out in faith to meet the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves. We can count on Him every time.

May God do the miraculous in your lives, and may our story inspire many to step out in faith to love a child who desperately needs what only you can give.

Blessings!

I Have a Dream Too

I, too, have a dream, Dr. Martin Luther King. 

I have a dream that someday every orphan will have a family. 

  

I have a dream that the sex slave industry will be exposed and brought into the light, and abolished, forever. 

I have a dream that every child would cease to be vulnerable to the darkest evil in the world today, the human trafficking industry, because of the protection that having a family provides. 

  

 

I have a dream that the body of Christ would rise up and, on the deepest level, trust God to determine what their families look like. 

I have a dream that the blinders would be broken away from our eyes and that we would see God’s children waiting, cold and alone and vulnerable in the world.

  

I have a dream that words like developmental delays, autism, heart defects, HIV, would no longer scare us. 

I have a dream that we would see the face of a child, dearly loved by our Creator, behind every diagnosis. 

  

I have a dream that God would raise up an army of people who refuse to let the circumstances of their lives stand in the way of rescuing the children. 

I have a dream that God would fill each one of us with a servant’s heart, with the same heart that led Jesus to the cross to lay down His life for us.

  

I have a dream that we would begin to see ourselves as truly one family and recognize that children of our very own are waiting all over the world for us to come for them.

I have a dream that our eyes would be opened to the fact that while we are amusing ourselves, planning vacations and building our bank accounts, focusing on our retirements and on building our nest eggs, on making our lives easier, the children are waiting for medical care, for food, for a blanket, for someone to call them their own. 

  

I have a dream that men’s hearts would be as broken for the orphans as women’s hearts are. 

I have a dream that all people who call themselves Christian would have a servant’s heart, be willing to make their lives harder, to give of their finances and time, to make room around their tables, to make room in their homes and in their hearts for one more child. 

  

I have a dream that the body of Christ would run to the children, pick up their heavy burdens and carry them on our backs, just as Barrabas picked up Jesus’s heavy cross and carried it for Him.

I have a dream that God would grow the faith His people. 

  

I have a dream that noone would be limited by their finite thinking, but see God’s limitless ability to place every child in a family. 

I have a dream that we would not see obstacles, but only God’s might and power. 

  

I have a dream that the church would take that one tiny step of faith into God’s waiting arms, and bring the children home. 

Blessings!

Cherished

It was one of those long days. 

It was the kind of day mothers everywhere have experienced.

It was a day when sleep had eluded me, when I’d spent the sleepless hours praying about the burdens that weighed too heavily on my heart, when the problems felt like mountains before me and so unequally matched to my abilities. It was a day when breakfast started early and quickly turned into one long seemingly endless string of meeting needs and pouring myself out until long after the sun had gone down. 

I stood there in my kitchen, weary, exhausted, staring blankly into the void as my mind raced with all that awaited me, wondering what next thing I needed to do first. Then I felt her tiny hand on my back, gentle, soft and loving. I recognized the touch of her hand, the rhythm of her breathing, her presence was as familiar to me and as deeply embedded into my senses as any biological child’s could ever be. 

I turned to see her dark brown eyes shining at me, somehow shining more brightly because of all the loss they’d seen, and shining even brighter still, because the lack had made the having so much more precious. The years she’d spent without a mother, a father, without sisters and brothers and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, without belonging, had somehow deepened her present joy. 

  

“Mudder,” she spoke in her loud voice, her slow, deliberate words exposing the effort it took for her to form them. “Mudder, you tired. I do it!” 

It was late. The fatigue showed in the shadows under her eyes. The others were in bed, and Mark was out running taxi service for one of the older kids. Yet, here she was wanting more than anything to be allowed to stay up late to help her mommy. 

“Mudder, I can do it!” She repeated with the innocence of a child who longs to show off her skills. 

“I know you can, sweetie. But you have school in the morning, and you need to get to bed. I can do this.” I said as I looked at the counters covered with dishes, school papers and lunch boxes, with the stuff of our day. 

“No, Mudder! I do it! You go lie down!”

Her eagerness to help melted me. “Okay. Let’s do it together.”

The smile spread accross her face like morning sun begins to fill the sky. “I help you, Muddder. You like me help you?”

There it was again, the need for reassurance of her worth, of her value to me. 

“Oh yes, you do help me! And even if you are too tired to help me, I love you.” 

We worked there in the kitchen for a long time, talking, sharing, laughing, taking time for hugs.

Then, in the quiet, she told me. 

“Mudder, I couldn’t read in China either. Something wrong with me. I can’t remember. I try hard read, but I can’t.”

 
Her words filled me with thoughts of how hard we’ve tried to help her learn to read. Images of her face, looking at me with pleading eyes, hoping that I would be able to find someone to help her learn to read English, flooded my mind. The many times I’d asked her if she had written the letters she had sent to us from China by herself stacked up in line, one after the other in my mind, like a trail of dominoes, each one knocking the next one down. For three years I’d thought she had an amazing ability to write flawless Chinese as the translators had told us, and that all I needed was to find the right way to teach her. For three years…

  

I was overwhelmed with sadness for my precious daughter who had taken three years to come up with the nerve to tell me she had never learned to read. For three years she had been afraid that I might not love her if I knew that she had never learned to read. Sadness washed over me like a wave floods the shoreline. Tears filled my eyes as I took her in my arms. 

“Oh honey, It’s okay. It doesn’t matter to me if you know how to read. I love you. You are my precious daughter, and I love you no matter what.”  

I began to feel angry for the things we hadn’t known, not because I loved my daughter any less, but because I was unaware of the burdens she had carried all alone, the fears she had borne. I felt angry that somewhere, someone had felt that they had to lie to us, that they feared if the truth were shared, Eliza would never have had a family.

But then my thoughts took a different path, one that made me angry with myself. I began to wonder if I had known that my dear Eliza had such cognitive differences, would I have still chosen to be her mother? That’s a question I honestly can’t answer. I don’t know. I hope it wouldn’t have mattered to me then, as it doesn’t matter now. 

  

Much is written about the lack of information in our children’s files from international orphanages, and I, too, have often lamented the fact that far too often, vital information is left out of these files, yet I wonder if the problem lies in our own hearts, in the view that pervades our world that those with cognitive issues are somehow less valuable, less worthy, less lovable. 

I am suddenly filled with thankfulness for whomever it was who dropped the information from our daughter’s file. It wasn’t so vital, was it?  Perhaps it was someone who loved her very much. Perhaps it was due to a deceitfulness on the part of her first agency. You can read that story here. Or perhaps it was the hand of our loving Heavenly Father who loves all of us with an infinite, perfect love. Whatever the reason no longer matters to me now. I am thankful for God, who knew, far better than I could have ever known, that Eliza was our daughter, no matter what.

The most vital information in her file was that she needed a family. 

  

And now she has one.

Blessings All!

What Does it Take?

“What does it take?” She asked me from the sofa we shared. It was her mother’s sofa, the one upon which we’ve sat so many times before and bared our souls, the one from which we’ve poured out our sadness and our pain, the one that has cradled us when life has seemed too hard, the burdens too heavy. It’s the couch from which we’ve shared our hopes for our children and our dreams for an orphan ministry. It’s the one that’s held us safe and cozy on cold days as the children have played all around us, and quarreled and fussed at our feet and then found their way again.

  
It’s not a day that particularly stands out in my mind as separate from any other day in which we squeezed a couple of hours into our crazy schedules to reconnect. Yet these words she spoke have resonated in my mind like the seemingly endless reverberations of a triangle as it hangs freely from its leather strap. “What does it take?” She asks me. And then she perisists, earnestly, urgently. “Tell us what it takes. You need to write a post about what it takes to adopt a child. The world needs to hear it. You need to tell it.” 

  
Again and again the question fills the corners of my mind. The answer comes to me amidst the quiet moments, and I hear it among the clamor of my kitchen too. I hear it when the children are playing and quarreling and hungry, and when the dogs are barking and Mr. Houdini Bunn is chasing Cappuccino, the cat, and the guinea pigs are squealing for carrots. It seems to poke at me as I go about my days, and it interrupts my thoughts as I care for my children. Always, the answer is the same. Always, the same deep inner conviction and knowing wells up from within that Holy place inside of me where God lives and dwells, and by His immeasurable grace, daily makes my desires His own. 

It takes one step, just one tiny step. 

  

The words begin to take shape in my mind. 

It only takes one step. 

But it is not merely one easy step into the light, not one step onto solid ground. No. It is one tiny, fearful, uncomfortable step that leads us beyond our comfort zone and into the vast unknown. It is one timid, quivering step that causes our lungs to suck in air as if our life depends upon it and sends our hearts galloping hard within us and fills us with a fear that shoots through to our finger tips like electricity. It’s a Lord Jesus, I give you my life and I lay it in your hands no matter what that costs me, no matter how hard it is, no matter if I must care for this child for the rest of my days, no matter if I feel ready, no matter what kind of step.  

It takes one tiny step beyond all that we know and all that we think is safe and certain. It is a step that takes us beyond ourselves to a place where our inadequacies become clearer than they have ever been before. Indeed, it requires a step that takes us to the end of ourselves, to our deepest weaknesses, our greatest needs. It’s a step that leads us to rely on the imeasurable power of God in a way we never have before.  

It takes one tiny step of faith.

The just shall live by faith.

We walk by faith, not by sight. 

Oh friend, not one of us is ready. There will always be a need we are praying about. There will always be needs our own children have that we do not have the strength or resources in ourselves to meet. There will always be a leaky pipe and a refrigerator that somehow has forgotten how to keep things cold. The car will always be accruing miles on the odometer, and the children will get sick and the walls will need to be painted and we will grow weary and sometimes falter and need to rest. There will always be another mountain to climb, another need that still dangles dauntingly in front of us and reminds us of our desparate need for God in our lives.

And NONE of that matters.

God’s children are waiting all over the globe for the Body of Christ to put action behind their faith and take that first step.They are waiting for us to take Jesus at His word and believe that He meant what He said when He said that He will care for us and meet every need as we step out in faith to meet the needs of the fatherless. 

  

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  – Matthew 6:25-34, Emphasis mine.

 

Babies are lying in cribs all over the world longing for someone to hold them. Children are watching parents come for their sons and daughters and longing for someone to come for them. Teenagers are watching the days pass like ticking time bombs that will explode the day they age out of the adoption program and are forever left to join the ranks of the unadoptables, the ones who were never chosen. 

  
I see their sweet faces like a sea of need that stretches far beyond any resource that I can even imagine. And again, I hear my friend Stephanie’s words, prompting, probing, “What does it take?”

The answer fills me with the same boundless, infinity as the endless sea of the children’s needs. It fills me with the simplicity of my Savior’s words.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have recieved it, and it shall be yours.” Mark 11:24

It takes faith. 

It takes faith to lay our needs, the needs of our children and the needs of the orphans all over the world, at the feet of Jesus.  And it takes one tiny step of faith into Jesus’ waiting and willing arms to begin the process of adoption. Once we take that first, faltering, tiny step into the vast unknown, we come face to face with the very power of God. 

  
It takes a willingness to trust Jesus’ words.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

The children come home by faith and by nothing that we can do in our own strength. 

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord. ” Zechariah 4:6 

“What does it take?” The words reverberate in the recesses of my mind, and the still small voice I have come to recognize as the Spirit of God within me echoes back in gentle reverberations of His own, “It takes faith, faith, as tiny as a mustard seed.”

  
Oh Lord, Jesus, raise up an army of people who are willing to believe in Your power in 2016!

Blessings All!

Diane

Things I Would Tell Them 

I’m thinking of them today.

I’m thinking of them as I peel the garlic and the ginger to prepare the paste for the Chinese food I’m learning to make for our daughters in some, undoubtably, woefully and inadequate attempt to fill the craving that still burns deep within each one for the delicious smells and flavors of their homeland, for their people, for their biological mothers.

Their mothers would know how to make the soup they want. They would know how to flavor the rice and stir fry it perfectly until its wonderful redolence filled their home with a familiar incense that is as indelibly imprinted on their minds as the smell of the salty sea is on mine.

They would know how to teach them the names of the spices and the words for the fish they desire.

They would know the meaning of the words my daughters use when they speak to each other in the lovely tonal language of their mother tongue.

They would know.


They would know the sound of their cries when they were born, if they did cry. 

They would know their real birthdates…and their names.

I can still hear the words take shape and stumble out of Evangeline’s mouth, haltingly, stunted, pained, only months after she had come home.  “That wasn’t my real name, Mommy. And my birthday isn’t my real birthday. They took our names away and our birthdays.”

She spoke the word, they, as if it referred to some nameless giant, some gargantuan monster that had come and snatched away their names. Yet she knew the people who chose to keep the secrets, to take away their very identities. Perhaps she even loved them.

Again and again my mind fills with questions. Did that make it harder? Was it more confusing to love and depend on the people who raised you and cared for you in your parent’s stead, and, at the same time, know they had taken away your very identity and replaced it with a name like ‘Dang’, one that forever would identity you as an orphan in your own country? Did she beg the Ayis for answers the way she begs me to call her orphanage, to take her to visit China, or the way she asks me again and again for a cell phone?

I wonder. Did they know? Were there people there who remembered her name? Do they still remember?  Were there people who worked in the orphanage who knew her grandmother, who remembered the day she dropped her off when she was five and told her she was coming back and never came?


China Bans Names That Signal Orphan Status, NBC News, 2012

Their mothers would know the answers to the questions that pass through my mind on days like today, on all the days.

They would know how to teach me how to cook for my daughters.

I wonder how they are. I wonder if they are well, if they are alive?

I wonder if they yearn to hear news of their lost daughters. I wonder if they can still feel the softness of their baby skin the last time they kissed them.


And I wonder if they ever had the chance to kiss them. I wonder if someone brought them hot soup while they laid in bed empty, hollow, bereft of the child they had carried deep inside for nine long months of waiting while a midwife secretly smuggled their babies away to abandon them instead of snuffing them out for a fee.


I wonder if they cried. I wonder if they were hoping for a boy or if they didn’t care at all. I wonder if someone made them feel worthless because they bore girls instead of boys. And I wonder if they knew that their tiny babies had special needs they could not care for. I wonder if they left them on the steps of the orphanage or street corner while they prayed a private prayer to a God their spirits longed for but whom they never knew.


I wonder if their mothers know there is another mother, on the other side of the world with light skin and light hair who loves them now and holds them close and tries to cook soup the way they like it, the way they would prepare it for them if they could.


I wish I could tell them.

I wish I could tell their mothers how much I love them and how they bless our lives and how we are richer for their incomprehensible loss.


I wish I could tell them so many things.

I wish I could tell them that even though their daughters are loved so very deeply, even though they are among the far too few who have been chosen by a family, even though they have brothers and sisters and a mama and baba, there is a hole deep inside of each one, a dark and hazy place where they know they are missing the mother who bore them, a secret place in their subconscious where they remember, where they will always remember.
 

And I want to tell them how thankful I am that they gave them life and that I am the light skinned woman on the other side of the world who has the unspeakable gift of being their mother. 

I want to tell them it’s a role I treasure.

Their lost daughters are cherished treasures of my own.


I want them to know that I wonder about them and that every single day I am aware of their loss.

I want them to know that their presence is never far from my mind and my prayers.

And I pray that God will hold them close and fill them with a peace that only He can give.

Blessings All,

Take My Yoke Upon You

Thank you all for such an awesome welcome back to the blog-world. Your kind words have encouraged me so much.

God is working in my heart, and I have so much to share with all of you. 

And I will.

When I wrote my last post, I didn’t have the details to share with you about Ruthi Joy that I do today.

  

I had seen her picture on a friend’s feed, and something about her sweet face reminded me of our dear Eliza, her plump little rosebud mouth wih those full lips and that lovely peaches and cream complection.

  

But I didn’t know her name.

So I wrote and shared all that I knew, and a precious facebook friend shared more information with me, and I share it with you here.

My heart just breaks for this sweet young lady who wants to be a daughter so very badly. 

I think about the secret things her mind holds deep inside in that private place within her where she dreams and hopes for things too deep to share. 

  

I think about holding each one of our children, my heart swelling with all the love and compassion a mother’s heart holds, and I long deep within that private place inside myself to make a difference for Ruthi Joy and the many nameless children who are hoping and dreaming and crying alone for the love and security of something so very basic that most of us take it for granted.

They long for a mother and a father, for brothers and sisters, for grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. 

They yearn for something so base as to be called daughter or son. 

Abandoned children have never had the amazing blessing of being sons and daughters.

Let that sink in

They know nothing of the love, the rank and belonging, the value and priviledge that being a son or a daughter provides for each one of us in that quiet center of ourselves.

  

They are children of an oppressive government perhaps, a culture that has never known the love of the Heavenly Father who reaches down to each one of us in the midst of our muck and failure and brokeness. They are children of despair and need and pain. 

  

They know nothing of the reality of being a cherished son or daughter. They know nothing of a love that transcends the brokenness and need, a love that isn’t dependent on anything we can do, a love that is faithful merely because we are its own, because we belong, because we are son and daughter, child, family.

  

And they have no earthly picture of our Heavenly Father’s love f0r us.

They do not know a love that is faithful when we are lost and weary and so deeply wounded that we can’t catch our breath, when we are treading water and the sea of the struggles and burdens of life, of our own humanity, is rising and growing more turbulent with each passing day, and when that dreadful sea of concerns and pain and anguish threatens to envelope us, a love that waits ready and willing until we have come to the very end of ourselves.  

  

They do not know how very deeply God loves us.

They know nothing of a love that fills our deepest need, an infinite parental love that reaches down to us in the midst of our darkest valleys and lifts us up to stand beside Him, a love that is strong and mighty and will fight for us when we cannot fight for ourselves.

  

And they may never know that limitless love of God if we will not look beyond ourselves and our own limited abilities and circumstances, if we will not step out in faith and set our sights on the One who promises to do all things if only we would ask in His name and believe.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – Jesus, John 14:12-14 (Emphasis mine)

Jesus reaches out to us when we have nothing to offer HIm, invites us to come, broken as we are, and calls us to share in His work, to be His hands and feet, to love the most wounded and needy among us. As we begin by faith to trust Him to be strong in our weakness and to use us to meet the needs of these precious children whose lives and bodies bear the scars of a fallen world, somehow, in a mystery I do not understand, He fills us with immeasuable joy.

He calls us to come, 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11;28-30

to take part in His work of loving and serving,

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. – John 9:4

and to be with HIm forever in eternity.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 

There is a joy we cannot know if we are too afraid to step out of our comfortable lives to meet the needs of someone else. 

It is the joy of God.

Time is passing. The sand is far too quickly slipping through the hour glass for Ruthi Joy and for so many others. And the time to do the work of our father is passing too.  Our lives are but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. 

And I wonder, when our last breath lies directly before us, will we have waited too long? 

The children are waiting. 

They are waiting for us to believe, to make a space in the busyness of our days for them; they are waiting for us to be willing to make our lives harder, to pick up their heavy crosses and carry them with Jesus, and they are waiting for us to be willing to yoke ourselves with the One who came to serve.

Yet, Jesus says, “Ask whatever you will in my name and believe that you have received it, and it shall be yours.”

What are we waiting for? 

The Most HIgh God has already promised that He will be strong in our weakness, that He will go before us and prepare a way when we cannot see one.

The children are waiting. They are the most vulnerable among us. 

There are no obstacles to God. 

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:24


We can trust Him.

We won’t be alone.

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15

He calls us friend. He invites us to come.

And He urges us to work for the night is coming.

Blessings All!


An Urgent Matter

I’ve felt this post brewing for a long time now. 

The days have passed so quickly these past weeks and months that it hardly seems like it’s been as long as it has been since I’ve written here. This old blog has gathered a lot of dust. So many of you have written to me and shared your precious prayers of support for our family, and many of you have inquired about how we are doing.   

 

I want to thank all of you for every comment on my blog, for each prayer lifted on our behalf, and for every email you’ve sent.

  

You have blessed us. 

  

You have blessed me.

  

I thank you for your patience and support as I have travelled through a space in my life where words have felt inadequate to me, and have even failed to take shape in my mind. So many times I’ve sat before this keyboard wanting to reach out to all of you with kind words of encouragement and with updates from this glorious garden of life and children and family in which I spend my days working and playing and loving, yet every time I walked away devoid of the words that once flowed so freely through my fingertips. 

  

  

More recently, I’ve felt the deep yearnings and feelings again that once overflowed into words and onto the blank pages of this blog. I’ve felt an awakening within the once quiet and fathomlesss places of my mind, a burgeoning of life and hope and desire urging me to write again and share my heart with all of you. A restlessness and urgency consumes me.

I feel the urgency for the children who are waiting. 

I am compelled to write, to once again share the deepest groanings of my spirit with you, my dear blog friends. 

Today, I read a report from CNN about a darling little boy who was paralyzed by a spina bifida surgery gone awry who has waited nine long years for a family. Jia Jia’s family is finally coming, yet millions more still wait.

You can read about Jia Jia and watch his video here.   China’s Abandoned Children

And I can’t go to sleep tonight without writing about the children.

I can’t let the sun go down one more time without sharing the need of every child to have parents who love them, without sharing this sweetie’s picture with you. This young lady is already thirteen. She has less than a year to find a family before the opportunity to be a daughter is lost to her forever.

  

She has such a sad story.

I pray that someday she will share her story with a family who loves her; I pray that someday she will have a family who will make a new story with her, and I pray that it will be one of love.

I tend to stay away from the news stories that circulate through social media. While much of it is upsetting, and I most certainly have an opinion, I prefer to spend my time loving my family, and writing, if I can squeeze it in at all amidst all the work of mothering and loving that fill my days.

  

Yet a couple of recent stories have struck a chord inside of me and tapped into the depth of emotion that I feel for every precious child who sits in an orphanage and waits for a mommy and daddy to love them.

  

When a dentist shot and killed Cecil the lion in Africa, the story travelled through cyberspace with the rapitity of a shooting star. And the videos showing the horrific crimes of the people from Planned Parenthood dismembering and selling body parts of the abortion victims flashed accross our video screens for days. And we rightfully stand united in righteous indignation at the careless disregard for human life. 

  

Yet I can’t help but feel that we, as the body of Christ, are far too apathetic about the ophans who wait. We have food pantries for the needy, shelters for the homeless, and we send missionaries to foreign countries to spread the gospel and share God’s love with a world that desparately needs a Savior, yet it is a rare church that has a thriving orphan ministry. 

We close our eyes to the children.

  

Why? 

Because adoption is messy.  

It’s rooted at its very beginnings in loss and pain. And it takes leaving the security of our manageable lives and opening our very homes, our own personal sanctuaries, the inner sanctums of our neat and orderly families, the deepest part of ourselves, to welcome a child that bears the wounds of a broken, fallen world, indeed a child that is imperfect and comes with baggage.

  

Adoption is inconvenient.

It’s painful.

It takes a willingness to abandon our own desires and personally lay down our lives to care for these deeply wounded children. And it also takes a willingness to entrust our biological children to God, to trust that He will meet their needs even when we as parents fall short, that He will work whatever hardship lies ahead for them together for their good as we obey God and step out in faith with willing hearts to be His hands and feet and meet the needs of the fatherless.

It costs us ourselves. It costs us our lives. 

  

And perhaps even more than all of these things, adoption demands that we disregard the conventional wisdom of the world today that teaches us to think small, to care for our own, to limit our lives to what we can manage in our own strength. The world tells us to care for our own first. God’s word tells us to walk by faith and to care for others before ourselves. 

Adoption is the ultimate gift we can give another. 

  

It’s the very gift God offers us. 

Through Jesus’ death on the cross, we have been elevated to sonship with Christ. 

Jesus gave His life so that we could be brought into the family of God forever.

And we are called to nothing less.  

35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matthew 9:35-37

The children are waiting. 

Yet we rest.  We pray and we ponder and we beg God to make it clear to us whether we are called. We act like there is all the time in the world. 

Yet God led by example. Jesus laid down His life so that we could be adopted.  We don’t need signs and wonders.  

We need to obey. 

We need to do the work of Him who sent us.

There are many ways to support adoption. There are primary roles and supportive roles. There is a role for all of us. And there is a role for the church. The question is not are we called, but rather how we are called. 

God’s precious children are suffering and alone. 

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  1 Corinthians 9:24

May God fill us with an attitude of urgency, and may we run to welcome His children into our lives.

Blessings!

Fourth of July

Happy Birthday to our sweet Sophia and to the United States of America! No matter what choices we make as a country, I will always choose to put my faith in God and thank Him for His blessings! 

“In God we trust.” May we never forget the cost of the freedom we’ve known. 

In God I trust, for eternity.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 
So very blessed! 

Wishing all of you a very blessed Holiday weekend!

Blessings! 

Merry Christmas

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Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~ John 8:12

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:10,11

Merry Christmas!

I’m home

I want to thank all of you who prayed for our family, for each one of your encouraging comments and for each meal prepared while I was in the hospital. Your encouragement and support in our lives bless us more than you know. We have seen God, this Christmas season, in each prayer, in each kind word, and in each pan of food so lovingly delivered to our home.

Thank you for blessing us.

Below are some pictures of the kids at Thanksgiving and since I’ve come home.

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28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
~Isaiah 40:28-29New International Version (NIV)

Many of you know I went to a Christian college, Asbury University. Asbury is located in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky’s bluegrass and horse country, in a tiny town called Wilmore, just twenty minutes south of Lexington.

When I think of my time at Asbury, many people stand out in my mind that I now count myself very blessed to have had the privilege of knowing. One family, in particular, embodied the pinnacle of truth and inspiration that became the entirety of my experience those years I walked the hallowed halls and campus of, what was then, Asbury College. That family was the Moulton family.

Dr. Alan Moulton was my psychology professor, and as I double majored in French and Psychology, I had numerous classes with Dr. Moulton. I’ll never forget his amazing lectures, his ability to weave the reality of God within the study of psychology, his reminder that we are made in the image of our Creator, and his incredible ability to combine humor and information within each lecture.

I soon met his wife too, Mrs. Yvonne Moulton, and she became a mentor in my life that I often think of even now as I go about my days. I am privileged to be one of the fortunate girls whom she shared herself with in her weekly Bible studies. She’d leave her role as Dean of Women, and rush home one day each week to fix a lunch with eight girls, bake chocolate chip cookies, and we were always allowed to eat the batter,and share God’s word with us.

The scripture verses I memorized are indelibly written on the annals of my mind, and the wisdom that blossomed within the fertile ground of her receptive heart that she so willingly shared with us still shape my life today. I can remember her telling us about her dream to have many children around her table. Yet God chose to give her only two, very special children, so she shared her table with us too, and in so doing, we filled her table, and she filled our hearts with her love. We gathered around her table, shared our journals, read scripture, recited our memory verses, and shared our hearts as we ate together and helped ourselves to scoops of the cookie batter she saved for us in a little bowl on the table as the cookies baked in the oven. We’d grab a cookie and run back to the busyness of our days, forever changed by the moments with Mrs. Moulton.

Year after year she has mentored countless students with her discipleship groups, never failing to meet the needs of her very special family too. The Moulton’s lives are an amazing example of how God weaves beauty into the broken fibers of our lives if we give our hearts to him.

I saw this video today on Facebook, and I share it with you here. It somehow seems so very fitting as I come home from the hospital amidst the busyness of Christmas and try to pick up where I left off a month ago. So much of life doesn’t go the way we want it to, yet God is here among us, wanting to work the painful things into something beautiful if we will just give them to Him.

The Moulton’s lives demonstrate that more perfectly than any words strung together on this page can.

Unexpected Miracles from Jessica Fraser on Vimeo.

Life-altering, unbroken, everlasting fellowship with the Holy God is the Gift of Christmas. May we not miss Him amidst the busyness of the season.

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” ~Luke 2:8-12

God bless you this Christmas.

Blessings All,

Out of surgery

The Dr. Just came out and said the surgery was successful. She’s doing well. No complications. He did everything he hoped to do, and she’s in a cast above her knee.

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She can go back to school as soon as the pain is under control. She’ll be so excited to hear that.

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I’m not sure how long we’ll be here yet. It depends on how she tolerates the anesthesia and the pain, and how quickly she’s able to keep things down. We’re definitely here for tonight.

Here’s a picture of right before we went back to the OR.

We are so thankful that she’s out, and can begin the recovery. It will be a good six months before she can walk on her foot because of the bone grafts. Her tibia is pretty stable because of the plate and screws.

I should be able to go see her in recovery soon.

On top of all of this, Colin texted that he injured his Achilles’ tendon.

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One day at a time!

Blessings all and thank you for your prayers.

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