Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27

He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

Ephesians 1:5-6

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

Isaiah 1:17

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Do Not Miss Out

Early early Monday morning in toddles Abbi, crashing into everything from her bedroom across the house to our room. Tired, I lift her into bed next to me and pray she falls back asleep. True to Abbi, she does NOT go right to sleep. She tosses and she turns, she sticks her fingers in my eyes and laughs when I crack my eyes to make sure shes not scheming as I groan inside. LORD I am so tired, please please let this child sleep through one whole night. Then the message from that Sunday came to mind.


            1 Thessalonians 5:18

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

In everything Lord? I am tired. Josh is tired. If it is not Nina waking us up, it is Abbi or the boys. Lord you called us to this life, you alone know we what we need to raise these children with love and grace, and SLEEP would be at the top of that list, no? Then I can I be thankful for this, find it. I watch her sweet face from the dim light coming in from the windows, sucking her thumb trying desperately to breathe through her stuffy nose so she can keep her thumb in, and stirring every time she had to stop and take her thumb out to get a good breath. So that is what got her up in the early morning. She is coming down with a cold and likely doesn't feel good and can not keep a hold of the one constant that helped soothe her through the four years alone. Lord, how far this girl has come! She once would not even be able to stand being in a bed close to me, now she walks through the dark of the house to find comfort from her mama because she needs a mamas love. Someone to be there when life feel yucky, someone to be there at the end of the dark house to calm her fears. Someone to rub her head reassure her that she is safe, she is loved, and she is precious. I get to be that blessed one. Not because I am mountain top, super spiritual Mother Theresa.  Not because I must be super patient or I ambrave in ANY way shape or form.  And not even just because the Lord called only US to this life. He is asking us ALL to care for the orphans. ALL of us! We simply took the step forward, and now we get a front row seat to how the Lord gave everything He could to change our dark nights. Thank you Lord! I see it now! And oh the moment I would have missed if I had chosen to continue to groan inside that I was spending another sleepless night trying to soothe a child to sleep. 
These last two years of parenting children with special needs and adopting have been the most growing period of my life! I have grown in compassion, understanding, strength to stand up for my children, love and so many more ways than I ever thought possible. I have watched Isac go from a child who came to us with the attitude and heart of one who had no choices in life but to simply comply. He laughed, he smiled, he hugged, but much of it was only on the surface. To watching him now these last few months watching him truly love, and laugh and give all of his heart. I have gotten to stand by Nina and grow in love with a child who at first rejected me. Who was hurt so many times that she was very careful about who she wanted to let in. To stand by her bedside hospital stay after hospital stay and doctors appointment after doctors appointment, growing more in more in love and strength to help her fight. And I have gotten to be the one to calm the fears of a sweet child who lived through hell for 4 years and fought and is still fighting many of those fears. I have gotten to watch her love for hearing blossom and learn so many things she was denied for so long!
Christian this is what God has called us too! So many will look at this sweet 17 year old, 10 pound girl and say,  


Friends, it is not fair. She is no longer available for adoption...this potty seat, in this orphanage is her life now. The small ration of food, the battle lost to other children for food, for blankets, and for attention, will forever be her battle. THIS is her life. For her and many children. Unless we all step out. Listen when I say I KNOW HOW SCARY IT IS! I never never (sad to admit it) had much compassion for special needs. I never pictured myself taking care of special needs children willingly, let alone parent them willingly! It isn't easy. But MAN is it rewarding! It can be SO exhausting and overwhelming, but MAN these children give more than they take! And I know the cost is high to adopt...but where would we be if Jesus said... 

"Sorry God, the cost is much too high, I do not have time and it just does not fit into the plans I had for MY life"
Jesus knew this time on this earth was not HIS. He knew he was not here to live safely and comfortably.  He knew the cost would be a GREAT sacrifice, HIS very life! Friends, this life is not OUR own. We are not here to bring glory to ourselves and live comfortably. The time WE have should be and is HIS! I know adoption is not the only way to live like Christ. But I do know that if as many people on earth who claim to be Christians WOULD obey the call, THERE WOULD BE NO MORE ORPHANS! 

Josh's and my adoption journey is proof that when God calls you HE WILL find a way to make it work. And I have many many other friends who can say the same.  It is just another amazing chance to see Him at work up close and personal!

Look at the faces of these kids....

 Do you see potential surgeries?

Do you see needs your not sure you understand enough to parent?

Are you afraid of what their future may look like and how it may change the course of your family?

Do big sounding needs like cerebral palsy scare you? As I said above I was NOT ready for special needs. When you fill out that form telling the agency what needs you think you can handle I leaned hard towards needs that I thought would keep our lives in the same slow easy pulse of life. But God had other plans. And I am SO glad He did! Our kids, ALL of them, are SUCH blessings! And though it has not been easy, God has gotten us through it all!

Let's meet some cuties waiting for forever!

This little man and girlie have my heart! If we were ready to go back now I would be running to them! Sweet boy has a list of needs that I am pretty sure sound carrier than they are. And this girlie looks like LOVE!

This little guy is 6 (I think) and weighs 10 lbs. and still on a bottle...I have no doubt that he would be in SUCH better shape with the love of a family!
                        All four of these girls have either Spina Bifida or Cerebral Palsy. Each with a sweet twinkle in their eyes..                                     

This sweet girls story breaks my heart! As a young baby the parents were told she needed a surgery that ended up being the wrong surgery and too much was done. The surgery left her incontinent. The parents not having the means to care for her gave her up. She has since lived in humiliation of her special need. Children in orphanages are shamed for not being able to use the bathroom and are not allowed to attend school. A friend's mom sponsored her at a camp in China and said what a sweet sweet girl she is and how much she wants a family!
 Here is another sweet child who has waited too long. Many people who have met her have said what a sweet sweet girl she is! 

 This sweet girl is living in a world of silence like my Abbi. 

I have watched this boy grow older as he waits, Right after we said yes to Isac I saw his face and my heart melted. He file says cerebral Palsy as well but it says he is very on target as far as development!

 These two sweet boys are twins! One is said to possibly have Autism. Because of this China believes the other brother who has no special need will have a better chance at being adopted if they are separated. So heartbreaking knowing how little these kids ever grow up knowing anything about their past, and now it may be further ripped from them!

 This sweet girl had a family go all the way to China and decide she was not meant to be theirs. For one reason or another she was left behind, again. Because of this China is deciding that unless a family comes forward for her they will with draw her paperwork so she can never have the chance to be adopted. She will be termed un-Adoptable. 

Friends, WE have the chance to change the world! WE have the chance to live out what God has called us to do, LOVE. Some needs are bigger some are very very minor, some do not have a need at all (Isac does not have a special need at all!) But one need they all have is a family! Most of us have room in our hearts and our homes if we are willing to give a few things up. I do not pretend that living for God is easy, comes with out struggle and is not scary, but I can promise you it is well worth the journey and WELL worth the blessing to love on these sweet children of God!

For anyone interested even a little bit please do not hesitate to ask questions! 

I leave you with this song that speaks the words of my heart...and I truly believe our Lords.

We don’t feel ready, we don’t feel steady
Question what we really have to give
Stay where it’s safer, claim faith but waiver
Is this how we’re really meant to live
We pray but never move
We say but never do
It’s time to get our hands dirty
oh oh, oh oh
Be love – there’s a whole lot of hurting
oh oh, oh oh
Calling all hearts, Calling all hands
Calling all feet to take a stand
Why sit around and wait for a miracle to come
When we can be one, When we can be one , When we can be one
A little somethin’ might feel like nothin’
But in His hands it’s all we’ll ever need
To speak life to the broken
Watch the blind eyes open
It’s who He’s calling you and me to be
We can be the change – be the hope
We can be the arms that don’t let go
We can be a light in the dark
We are we are where it starts
We can be the light in the dark
We can be the arms that don’t let go