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Sons are a heritage from the Lord, Children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalms 127:3-5
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To the world you are just one person, but to one person, you are the world ~Author Unknown
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One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody. Mother Theresa

Saturday, December 12, 2015

It's a wonderful life!!!!!!!

It has been so long since I have posted anything on here. Life has been very very busy. Last year our family grew again with the addition of 2 more beautiful daughters. The last year has been difficult. One of our daughters was severely neglected while in the orphanage and it has taken a lot to undo some of the effects of that neglect. She may always have some issues from it, but we are now beginning to see her true personality more and more instead of just a hurt child who does not know how to accept any love. To hear her laugh and see the beautiful smiles on her face so often now is amazing. Adoption is rough, but beautiful at the very same time. Every child is deserving of love and our family has been blessed over and over with the addition of each son and daughter. I could not imagine my life any differently. If I had to do it over again I would take this house full of children all over again. During the great times and even through the difficult seasons, because it's still a wonderful life.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My heart breaks for all the precious children in Russia who have met the families who wanted to adopt them, but now cannot. Children who still languish in orphanages when they could be in homes with mothers, fathers, siblings and most of all LOVE. These children are cherished by people who want nothing more then to be able to be their family. My friend Katrina wrote a wonderful blog post. You can read it here , it is worth reading.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My new favorite song

Do you ever wonder why most of the time the things God asks you to do are so hard? Why they usually seems unrealistic and unattainable? Why it never seems like it is something you can accomplish or handle? That's because He asks us to do things we cannot do in our own strength. Things that cause us to have to rely on Him completely, so that his glory can be shown. Even if the road looks scary, if we just walk through the open doors He puts in front of us there is great joy in watching Him accomplish all that we could not see. In watching our adopted treasures grow and change. In watching his ministries take off in unbelievable ways or watching families restored. Whatever it may be. If we just trust the things that God lays on our hearts then we will see things happen in our lives that we never could have imagined. God's ways are so much better then our ways. We just have to trust in Him and head down the open road unknown.





Love Alone is worth the fight ~ Switchfoot


I'm trying to find where my place is

I'm looking for my own oasis

so close I can taste this

the fear that love alone erases

so I'm back to the basics

I figure it's time I face this

time to take my own advice


love alone is worth the fight


And I never thought it come to this

but it seems like I'm finally feeling numb to this

the funny thing bout shame is

you forget what the reason you were playing the game is

and It's all an illusion

a 21st century institution

so I'm heading down the open road unknown

and we find what we're made of
through the open door
is it fear you're afraid of?
what are you waiting for?


love alone is worth the fight


we're only here for a season

I'm looking for the rhyme and reason

why you're born why you're leaving

what you fear and what you believe in

why you're living and breathing

why you're fighting it and getting it even

let's go headed down the open road unknown

and we find what we're made of
through the open door
is it fear you're afraid of?
what are you waiting for?


love alone is worth the fight


here we are here we go

where the road is our own

feel it calling you home

here we are here we go


love alone is worth the fight

Monday, December 30, 2013

The year is already over??????? Really?

Wow, Has it really been almost a year since I posted on here? Where did the time go? It has been quite a year. Ana continues to blossom. She has grown so much and has really opened up and shown her true personality. She is such a joy, most of the time :-) , the rest of the time she is a typical kid who likes to test her boundaries. Having 3 other children that are older then her I wouldn't expect it to be any other way though. It is amazing to see all the things that she has accomplished over the past year and I can't wait to see what she does in the year to come. We all had a wonderful Christmas. I hope that you had a very blessed Christmas also. Happy New Year to each and every one of you.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Where's the time going?

Two months ago today we finally walked through the door of our home for the first time as a family of 6. It is so hard to believe it has already been that long. The time has flown by so fast. I am so very thankful to know that I will never again have to leave her. That she is now my daughter forever. It is unbelievable how much this child has changed in such a short time. She has went from wearing a size 18 months clothing to a 4t. She is quickly catching up to the size she should be as a 5 year old. Her hair is looking so healthy and beginning to thicken and grow a lot. She understands pretty much everything that we say to her and is talking so much. She is starting speech therapy this week. She will be working with one of the therapists Leigh had when she was little. I am so excited about that. We have really missed her. We had an occupational therapist evaluate her and she is doing amazingly well. No food issues other than stubbornness on what she will or will not eat (does not seem to be sensory issues, just preference), none of the low muscle tone that is common for children with Down Syndrome and her motor skills are absolutely amazing. I had prepared myself to deal with lots of delays. So far we have not seen many which makes us so very happy. The ones that we have seen have nothing to do with her special needs. They have to do with spending her first 5 years in an orphanage. They are all things she will catch up on quickly. She is a VERY busy little girl, ALWAYS moving. She runs hard from morning till night and will not sit down at all, because she knows if she does she will fall asleep immediately (and she can't have that lol) . I love her so very much. I cannot imagine my life without her in it. She is such an enormous blessing. Looking forward to seeing what the next few months bring.

 I am ready for SUMMER!!!!!!!! I am so NOT a snow fan, but the girls sure had a lot of fun though........



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Home 1 month

Yesterday on the one month anniversary of arriving home with our daughter president Putin signed a bill banning US families from adopting from Russia. My heart is so heavy with what is happening right now. I can still see the faces of the children in Ana's groupa. Many of whom will never be adopted. They face a life in an institution because of their disabilities, when more of them would have a chance at a family if it wasn't for this ban. They do not deserve that. They deserve to be with parents who love them, no matter what country that is in. I pray that those who passed this bill will look into the eyes of some of these children and realize what this law means for them. I pray that they will choose to give them the opportunity to be in a family. Because love is always in the best interest of a child. Ana continues to amaze us. She is such a wonderful little girl. In the last month she has grown so much. Her extremely dry skin has healed. She has almost completely stopped grinding her teeth and the self soothing rocking is slowing disappearing. She loves her siblings and follows them everywhere. It is so fun to watch how much she is changing. She is a very, very loving child. She loves to give and receive hugs. She is so very sweet and I love her more then words could ever express. I am so very thankful that she is home with us.
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

1 week

Wow, we have already been home for a week. That is so hard to believe. After 2 long years of being in the process of this adoption she is now sitting in my lap cuddling with me. I cannot even begin to describe the feelings that this reality stirs up in me. This child is so absolutely perfect. Not perfect in the sense that she does everything "right", she is EXTREMELY strong-willed. She tests her boundaries whenever the opportunity presents itself (and it does often) and wants to control every situation, but she still continues to do really well and we are beginning to see signs of her settling in and beginning to trust us. She has been sick the last couple of days. Poor little girl has not felt good at all. She is VERY picky about what she will. At this point she only has a couple of things that she is willing to eat, so we are focusing on those things and working to expanding her menu slowly. Even though she is 5 she only wears a 24 month clothes. She is so super tiny, but is such a loving child. She is just so super sweet.
 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful

I wrote this post a few days ago, but have been without internet ever since.....

As I sit here in my hotel room during the wee hours of the morning on what is Thanksgiving back at home I am amazed at what God has done. He has sent me to a country where I never expected to go and has brought me new friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. Russia is amazing. I am so in love with this country, this city and all the wonderful people I have been blessed to meet. They will forever be rooted deep in my heart. While there are many differences between our cultures, there are so many similarities also, because we are all just trying to make a better life for ourselves and our families. We all want what is best for our countries and their citizens. Sadly many movies and news stories paint a very negative picture of us to the other and that is so very sad, because the Russian people are wonderful, just as Americans are. My hope is that someday the relationship between our countries will improve and we will all see the truth about the other. How wonderful that would be. Today (and everyday) I am so very thankful for the gift that God has given me...... The gift of my family. I am thankful for my precious new daughter. The one who has been in my heart for so long, but always missing from my arms until now. This child is so very sweet. She can be pretty ornery at times, but is an absolute joy. She is already showing signs that she will eventually attach well. Which I am so very thankful for. The first day was difficult, because as can be expected she was completely overwhelmed. We expect to have many more difficult days as we travel home and she begins to have many new experiences, but whatever comes we are ready for it and will help her in any way she needs to transition into her new life. I am thankful that she was in an orphanage with a caring staff. While they may not have the resources needed to care for the many children under their care the way a family would, it is evident that Ana was loved, and cared for to the best of their abilities. For that I am so very grateful. Tomorrow we leave this beautiful city and head for Moscow where we will spend 4 days finishing up the rest of the paperwork so that we can bring her home. I will truly miss it here, but I am looking forward to walking around Red Square again (it is so absolutely beautiful) and then arriving home so that I can sleep in my own bed and we can get our life back to a new normal. This has been an amazing experience. Long and difficult, but in the end so very worth it.


                           Whether the road to raising her is easy or difficult
                     I am so very grateful to have this precious child in my life.
                                  I look forward to each and every day with her.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Countdown

I love being able to look at the calendar and mark off the days until I will see my daughter again. I love knowing that after this trip I will never have to leave her again. That she will finally be coming home. I love that she will be a part of our family, forever and always and I am now truly able to say that she is my daughter. I just love this precious child so much. She is such an adorable little one. I am so grateful that God and the officials in her country have granted us the privilege of raising her. We are beyond thrilled.

 God has amazing things planned for all of us if we are just willing to go. The journey He asks you take may not be easy, but you can guarantee it will still be amazing. The road the journey takes you down may end up making your life look completely different then the way you had envisioned it, but where He takes you ends up being even better then you could have ever imagined. I am so glad that I have chosen to go where He leads me because I now have 2 precious children that I would never have known if I hadn't. He always knows what is best.

                                                                    February 2012



                                                     
                                                                   October 2012

So glad she will soon be home with us.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Our growing family

We are now the parents to 4, yes FOUR amazing children. We could not be more thrilled with our newest addition. More info to come later. Thank You to all of you who have prayed for and supported us.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

I love this quote (and the whole book for that matter)...... "God beckons storm clouds and they come. He tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall, and they obey immediately. He speaks to the mountains, 'You go there,' and He says to the seas, 'You stop here, and they do it. Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator...until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, 'No." ― David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Monday, August 6, 2012

Waiting on God

Waiting for things to happen is usually not easy. We live in a very, very busy society where we always seem to be on the go, but never seem to get everything completed. Usually we want everything in our lives to happen very quickly, so that we can just be done with them. We get an idea in our mind about how long we think something should take to be completed and get frustrated when it does not happen the way we feel it should, but our timing is not God's timing and God's timing is ALWAYS perfect. A delay is not a no, it is just waiting for Him to work out all the details. I am glad he is a God of details and works them out for his glory. I love when I am able to witness the end results of his plan, it is always amazing. Thank You Lord for being PERFECT and knowing everything that we need.
 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

American Dream

When people hear that we are going through the adoption process again we are almost always asked... "why"? ... Why in the world would we want to adopt again? Why would we want more kids? Don't we ever want to retire? God has placed a very heavy burden on my heart for orphans and I can think of 143 million reasons why we are taking this step again. While we are not able to change the circumstances for all of them, we can do our part and be a family to some. Unfortunately our society has a distorted view of what makes our life of valuable. From an early age we are told that we have to have a bank account with lots of money in it, a big house full of expensive things and a fancy car in the driveway if we are going to be considered a success. It's the "American Dream". Spend your whole life wrapped up in trying to accumulate more and in the end be more miserable then you were when you had less, but could work less and had time to enjoy your life. While working to support your family is very important, and a decent house and reliable car are necessities, I believe that our society has it's priorities all messed up. Life is not all about accumulating more things. Having lots of things can NEVER make you happy. Having them may excite you for awhile, but in the end that excitement always wears off and you are left needing something else. True joy comes only from the Lord. He is the only one who can make you feel complete. We have been put here to go into this world and bring it back to him. How better to do that then to raise these children who by no fault of their own have been left fatherless and teach them about their Heavenly Father who loves them? I will have plenty of time to rest and relax when the Lord calls me home. Until that day I want to be surrounded by His children. Children we can raise to serve Him in mighty ways. The truth being told I LOVE having children in my home and I am so excited to add another. Because in the end it does not matter how much stuff we have accumulated, the only legacy that will be left behind when we are gone is our children anyway. They are my treasure.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:19-24
 

Monday, July 30, 2012

I will never forget


I will NEVER forget the faces of the precious children we would see each time we arrived at and left the orphanage. Their sweet smiles and shy little waves. Their beautiful faces will haunt me for the rest of my life. Did you know that around the world there are more than 143 MILLION orphaned children? That is  A LOT of children who do not know what it means to have a stable home, who do not have parents to comfort them when they are sick or fall down. A LOT of children who do not have anyone to tuck them in at night or sometimes even enough food to eat. These children do not need parents who are wealthy, they do not need tons of fancy toys or clothes. They just need to know that they will not have to go hungry or be cold and they will be loved unconditionally. All the things that most of us take for granted every day. The fatherless are at the heart of God and America alone has more than 300,000 churches, full of his people. It's time that the body of Christ steps up and takes responsibility for these children. There is no reason that they should live without the love of a family and God tells us numerous times throughout scripture that it is our responsibility to care for them (some verses to follow). I was rereading one of my favorite books recently...Small town, Big miracle by Bishop W.C. Martin. It is a wonderful story of how their church of 200 adopted 72 of the toughest children in the Texas foster care system. One of the statements he made in it is "If the church is championing the case against abortion, then we'd best be ready to "play catch" when waves of unwanted children inundate the system". He is so right. How can the church fight against abortion, but not be willing to step up and take responsibility for the outcome of that belief? If as a body of believers we do not believe abortion should be allowed, then we need to be willing to step up and care for those children when/if their biological parents cannot, for whatever reason. Every day children are abandoned or removed from abusive homes. Many children have lived through unspeakable horrors. If not us, then who will be the hands and feet of Jesus and show them the love that they deserve? Please consider what you can do to make a difference in the lives of these children. If you do not feel that adoption is the right choice for your family, please be aware that the need for foster homes is ENORMOUS. There is such a need for safe homes for the children who are temporarily in foster care, are waiting to become available for adoption, or are already available for adoption but have not yet found their family. They all need somewhere safe to stay while they wait.


Some facts to consider...... What happens to the children?

"Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us."
James 1:27

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Isaiah 1:17

Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me.
Matthew 9:37

A father to the fatherless…is God in his holy dwelling…God sets the lonely in families…
Psalm 68.5-6

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father.
Romans 8:15

There are many more, I encourage you to look them up. To see for yourself how God feels about the fatherless