Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Feelings are such a fickle thing.  One minute they tickle your fancy and the next they shake you at the core of your being. Adoption can stir them like a whisk stirs a cake mix!  Its been a little over a week since we received our 4 new children.  What a week its been.  We are feeling the need to be transparent about our adoption on this blog, knowing that many readers are either (a) parents thinking about adoption who need to understand some fundamental truth and emotion around adoption, or (b) already adoptive parents who will know when we are “shooting the bull”!  So for better or for worse we’ve decided to make our posts as transparent as possible without violating focus on the reason why we did this to begin with:  the deep, abiding conviction that God is calling His people to care for and win an enter generation of orphans for the Kingdom of God.  No matter what happens we are very much aware that we are simply “pinch hitting” for God here on earth with our children.

With that said, let us try to sum up our first week.  There are certain words that come to mind when we think of this week:  chaos is one.  Overwhelmed at times another.  Other descriptors include perpetual energy and perpetual crisis.  Yet others include needy, crying, broken keepsakes, interruption, screaming, stubbornness,and movement (lots of it).  But then there are some smilesoccasional moments of contentment, and laughter.

The reader may wonder at this point why in the world would anyone want all of this?  It’s a legitimate question.  We have asked ourselves the same question.  In fact, yesterday in my prayer time (driving in my car to an appointment) I (Russell) found myself a little overwhelmed, despairing and maybe even a little self-pity about the situation.  I asked the Lord to refocus me on why we did this.  That refocus came last night while reading Spirit of Adoption by Randy Bohlender.  He brought out an interesting point about the very last words in the Old Testament in the book of Malachi, which just happened to precede 400 years of God’s silence.  Those words tell us that before that great day of the coming of the Lord that the hearts of the fathers would turn to the children and the hearts of children would turn toward the fathers.  But as Randy points out, there were a few more words tacked on to the end of this prophecy.  “Lest I strike the land with a curse”.  The Old Testament ends with this beautiful prophetic picture, but also with a warning. 

We chose to enter adoption because we felt the call to do it.  We knew that the process would require battle and to some extent, we knew the process of raising the children would require battle.  Every time one of our new children, ages 2,3,4 and 7, ask us “Are you going to take us back to the shelter?” we understand the battle all over again (its been a common question this week).  It’s the same question that many of us Christians ask our Heavenly Father:   Are You going to disappoint us all over again?  Is it when I yell and scream?  Or maybe its when I don’t do what I’m told.  Or maybe its just because I’m too difficult, unlovable and needy that will send me back to the shelter this time.  It’s a question coming from the innocent, but war-torn, broken spirit of a child that wonders if there is anything in this world that can be trusted.  We have the chance, no the privilege, to answer that question with a resounding “No. You’re not going back to the shelter.  You are with us now forever!”  Its the same answer God gives His children:  No, you're not going back to darkness, no man can pluck you out of My hand now!  (see John 10:29).

Over the next few weeks we will be making some candid posts about what its like to adopt 4 sibling children at one time all who function on a social, emotional and behavioral age of about 2 years old.  We promise that we will be open, for better or worse, richer or poorer, about the pros and cons of such a decision.  We recommend that all Christians become involved in adoption is some tangible, direct way.  Start by reading Randy’s book Spirit of Adoption.  We must reverse the curse! 

We close this blog with a request.  If you are reading this blog and are blessed or in any way touched or affected by it, we'd love to hear from you.  Please leave us a comment and let us know who you are and where you're from, and your thoughts.  Perhaps you have been through adoption and have a story to tell.  We're all ears!  Just leave us a note!

God bless you! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Finally arrived!

FINALLY!  Waiting for 9 months for a newborn baby was a piece of cake compared to waiting for our 4 new children!  But like the delivery room, when you hold that newborn baby pain is quickly forgotten.  Yesterday, our four new additions to our family arrived.  If this were football, they'd call it a "broken play".  Waiting on paperwork, missed flights, much later than anticipated, and one big Christmas party were all part of the moment.  We had planned to have them well before today but God's timing is always impeccable as 20+ people arrived at our house only a few short hours after our children.  In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if many of the guests passed the social workers as they sped back to the airport to catch a late afternoon flight back to their hometown!
But the scene was beautiful.  The social workers called when they were but a mile or two away from the house.  Jeffrey (our 10 year old) decided he would stand on stump of our recently fallen oak tree in the front yard.  As the social workers were looking for the house they inadvertantly passed by but would received some assistance from the kids: "You missed it!  You missed it! You missed it!  There's Jeffrey! Go back, go back!"
When they turned around and got back we could hear them screaming in the car when they came down the driveway :-).  Before the vehicle came to a complete stop, The oldest girl and boy literally jumped out of the  car and ran to us, immediately referring to us as "Mom" and "Dad".  Karen quickly got the 2 year old out of his car seat while the 3 year old got stuck in his car seat due to some mechanical malfunction with the seat belt.  He was getting irritated that he couldnt get out, mostly fearing that his siblings were gaining an edge in seeing their new rooms first!  They immediately wanted to see their rooms and when they did you could see the delight on their faces.  The boys proceeded to take out every toy in their room and play with them.  While snapping a number of pictures for the records, the social worker uttter the words "ya'll were REALLY ready for them...this is great".  The paper work went fast and then the 2 social workers wisked away in order to return to the airport by 4.  The good byes were quick as the kids continued to be enthralled with with their new home and in particular, their new toys!  They hadn't eaten lunch yet and it was already after 2 so we took the easy way out and got them mcdonalds.  There was an attempt to get them all down for a nap but excitement trumped fatigue and only the 2 year old nodded off.
Even as we were attempting the whole nap thing, family and guests were trickling in for the party.  There were over 20 people in the house and alot of activity ensued.  We weren't sure how all the stimulation would effect the children but they fit right in.  They played, ate and acted like they were part of the family since day one.  Each acted as if they never meet a stranger and blended in with whoever was here.  Our oldest daughter's fiance and his brother brought his guitar and played Christmas music.  As we all sang traditional Yuletid tunes, the kids sat amoungst us and listened.  To our surprise, they were amazingly so calm during that time.  We wondered if they had ever been around anything like that before but each seemed to enjoy the moment as they sat on laps and felt the warm embraces of new mom, dad, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters, brothers and friends.  Karen said it felt like the scene in the movie "While You Were Sleeping" when Lucy (played by Sandra Bulluck) goes to the family Christmas dinner and even though there's all this activity and even chaos, feels for the first time the family she never had.  If the moment had been a movie they would have zoomed in on each kid and narrated their thoughts.  At the end of the party when everyone was leaving, Justice (7 year old girl) gathered all the punch cups and asked if she could do dishes.  She did and was so proud of it...and Karen was too!  I asked why she was washing the dishes and she replied, "I just wanted to help mom, she's worked so hard today". 

The evening came to close with friends and family saying their goodbyes and Karen's parents sharing Christmas gifts with the children.  The 4 year old boy opened his Buzz LightYear figure and instantly proclaimed "this is the best toy ever!" Later, as I got the boys down for bed, Karen spent some time with Justice, where she gleefully sported her new PJs.  She wanted to open her new Barbie doll and in a few minutes she softly said to Karen "this was the best present ever".  Karen thought she was refrerring to the Barbie and wondered what exactly the doll meant to her.  But then Justice clarified and asked "do you know why?"  And when Karen responded "why?" she simply said "because I got a family". 
The special moments continued this morning when Judah awakened to tell Karen that he had a dream:  "I dreamed about being in the shelter".  Then he quickly added, "I like this place alot better!" 
Words cannot capture the plethora of "special moments" that were packed into the evening.  From Justice's "I got a family" to Jaden's "I like you dad!" to Judah's "mom, I was dreaming about the shelter and I like this place alot better!" it was a special time.  In looking back over these first few hours with our new children I am again reminded of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus said "let the children come!" as He hoisted one up on His lap as the words rolled off His lips.  It is a wonderful thing when a child finds his or her home.  It reminded me of the verse in Luke 15 when Jesus spoke of the scene in Heaven when somebody finds their Heavenly Father and family:  there is joy in the presence of angels [when one finds their Heavenly Father].  As I watched our 4 new children enjoy all the benefits of family, I could not help but think about all the Heavenly benefits that we enjoy as part of God's family.  We are so abundantly blessed.  While some people get to talk about what the Kingdom of God is like, we got to see, first hand, what the Kingdom of God is like.  Friends, family, kids, all together, rejoicing in the His presence, flourishing in the connections that support and bind us together.  This is life at its best!  We are so thankful to all of our friends, family, children (the older ones), blog readers, and everyone else that have supported us and blessed us along this journey of finding our children.  The best is yet to come!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas gifts

"The only thing left is to finalize the flights and buy the tickets" the social worker said on the other end of the phone.  We've been waiting for so long and the day is finally here.  Within the week, we will have our 4 new children and all of a sudden the struggles along the way seem to fade as we busily prepare for their arrival, as well as the holidays.  Karen is busy with holiday shopping and last minute preparations while Russell is working around the clock to remodel a bathroom.  Right now, we're a little numb from the process and even more overwhelmed with the last minute preparations.  But the excitement is hard to contain and we can't wait to receive these precious gifts into our home in time for Christmas.  We'll write a little more later in the week.  Until then...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Visit

We have just returned from our trip where we met our 4 new children.  Words cannot express the experience of meeting these 4 precious kids and the journey that we have taken in order to find them.  Some of that journey has been chronicled on this blog and it is only fitting that we try to convey the experience of meeting them for the first time.  Keep in mind, we have a girl age 7, and three boys, ages 4, 3 and 2.  Let me set the scene for you a little bit.  We spend 2 hours in a room with 8-10 workers who have cared for these children off and on over the past few years.  While we are enjoying hearing about the kids, we are chomping at the bit to meet the kids.  We are ushered to a place where the children have been cared for over a number of months and then further escorted into what appeared to be a small playroom with a one-way mirror streching completely across one of the walls.  There are a few toys, games and a small table in the middle of the room, as well as a couch.  We take a seat on the couch while one of the workers instructs us to remain seated while she goes in the back to get our children.  The tension is mounting as we anticipate this much awaited moment.  A few moments slip by and then we begin to hear children talking in the distance.  Their voices are getting louder and it is obvious that they are making their way to us.  The voices get even louder and it now approximates some kind of kid tsunami pressing toward us.  The door swings open and the four children, led by the eldest, come running into the room with their arms wide open and smiles on their faces!  It was a special moment that was both wonderful and awkward.  Their excitement gave way to pure, unbridled energy running untamed throughout this small room.  Games began to fly off the shelf, cupboards were emptied of stuffed animals and the 2 year old took to climbing up the furniture faster than we could introduce ourselves!  In a matter of minutes we were caught up in the pandamonium and found ourselves in "clean and safety" mode.  All the time the workers, now seated behind the one-way mirror, observe the interaction.  This went on for the better part of an hour or two.  The time in the room gave way to the suggestion that we take the children to dinner.  We had already determined that we would take the 4 children to Chuck E Cheese's and turn them loose...a decision we came to question some hours later.

Now fast forward to Chuck E Cheese.  Thank God we had our 22 year old daughter Julie, Karen's parents and Jeffrey (10 year ) with us.  We hit the door with these children and off they went like a squirrel tanked out on caffeine!  They went from one thing to another faster than any human being could possibly shadow.  We decided to not try to keep up with any one of them and instead surround the perimeter with a zone defense of sorts.  That is to say, we shouted across the game room warning each other that one of the children was about to enter their zone so they were now responsible for them!  This went on for 2 hours and the little tykes were like Everyready Bunnies...they just kept going and going and going.  More than once I asked myself what we had gotten into.  As Julie said at one point, she felt like she should go to the management and explain what was going on.  But when you've harkened to a Higher voice and leading, He shows up not only to calm your fears but illuminate your path.  We'd like to share that illumination if you will indulge us a moment.
As I (Russell) watched these children running completely unrestrained, undisciplined, loud and totally hyperactive across the game floor at Chuck E Cheese, I was reminded of a story told by one of my mentors in psychology.  Her story was one of a man who got on a subway train in New York City with 7 children.  He quietly assumed his seat while his 7 children rain wildly throughout the subway train, jumping on seats, hanging from the windows and screaming loudly.  All the time the man just sat there quietly and seemingly oblivious to his children's behavior.  Finally, a passenger who was obviously irritated with the children's behavior and the man's lack of discipline, stood up and approached the man.  In the most judgmental of ways, the passenger began to scold the man for his poor parental skills and apparent indifference to his kids' behavior.  All the while the man never responded or even acknowledged the passenger's words which further escalated the tension and agitation.  Finally, the passenger blurted out in pure frustration, "What are you thinking?  What's the matter with these barbaric kids?!"  The man slowly raised his gaze and replied, "We just came from the hospital where their mother just lost her 2 year battle with cancer".  Nothing else was said as the passenger returned to be seated. 

John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Our knee jerk reaction, as humans, is not so much unlike that of the passenger.  Its easy to pass judgment when you don't know the circumstances.  We understood where our children were coming from even if the other patrons didnt. The next day we took the children to the mall. First stop was build a bear where they each made their own bear and kind of took over the store like a whirlwind and then to ride the carousel and eat dinner. All the while getting strange looks from everyone who passed by us. The children spent the night with us at the hotel and we all went down for breakfast the next morning. Again, they come in with so much energy and excitement at everything they do and again we get the strange looks and feel the judgments glaring at us. By the second morning in the hotel, the kids knew their way around and knew what they wanted for breakfast. As we all sat eating together, a lady approached me (Karen) and told me about her sister who had 6 kids and is pregnant with her 7th. She shared that she only had 3 and stopped at that. I knew the unspoken part of the woman's inquiry as the kids went whizzing by in a blur. It would have been easy to share why we were there and explain the energy the kids had.   But instead of responding with defense, I simply said, "I have 9".  The lady didn't have much else to say and Julie noted the surprise in the eyes of our new 7 year old daughter as she heard my response.  It was if she knew the routine: somebody trying to explain her behavior and in the process distance themselves from her lack of social grace.  Instead, maybe for the first time, she had felt the warm, gentle embrace of acceptance in her life that each of us human beings long for. I had to think that maybe God feels that way about us at times. Maybe He would like to explain our behavior or say "give them time, they will adjust" or maybe he would like to say to the church that is passing judgment on a new christian that they are new to this and need some love and acceptance. He doesnt explain us, He doesnt distance himself from us, He accepts us! Just as we are.

God uses all kinds of things to reveal His kingdom to a man or woman.  Whether its parting a sea or calming a storm or spitting in some dirt so that He can make a mud pie that heals blind eyes, He will find a way to speak a language that you can hear.  For us, He continues to use this miracle process of adoption to reveal His kingdom to us.  As we drove some 20 hours back from seeing our new children, we wondered if God isn't a little like we were watching these little children jet propel everywhere they went?  We wanted to gather these children, who have never known the stability of a home, in our arms and just say, "You don't need that behavior anymore.  You're found, you're loved, you're safe and you don't need to wonder or stress about where its coming from.  We've got you now, you're home!"  All of us have spent our share of time running through life wondering where its coming from...the love, the security, even the next resource to pay a bill when all along God had us in His sites saying, "You don't need that behavior anymore, you're found, you're loved, and you're safe with Me!"  Its what Jesus was trying to show us when He said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  He didn't say stop running around or clean up your act, He just said "come".  We so look forward to our children joining us very, very soon and see how God shows up to meet all our needs as individuals and as a family.   

Monday, November 15, 2010

Time is drawing near

Today we put the finishing touches on rooms, yard and home in anticipation of receiving our children very, very soon into our home.  The excitement of meeting mid-week has us in a certain "final phase nesting response" over the past few days.  We cannot hardly stand the wait much more and even though its a reality upon us, the entire thing seems a bit surreal right now.  We will try to blog throughout the week as we come face to face with our 4 newest children!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"I'm getting my forever family!"

We are so excited that we could not sleep last night.  The children have been told about us and their reaction was so overwhelming, particularly the oldest…”oh! I’m getting my forever family!”, she said. She wanted to know everybody’s names and what her room looked like.  It was hard to fight back the tears.  There was such a strong parental instinct that something of great value had just been found.  All the struggles that we’ve encountered along the way gave way to an overwhelming feeling of joy and excitement that children had just “found their way home”.  Later on in the evening we again became overwhelmed with a simple thought:  how we felt in that moment of hearing of the joy of a child who had found her home was exactly how our Heavenly Father feels when someone finds their way home to Him!  For a brief moment, feeling the heart of God toward His children, we see God revealing a fundamental truth....  Adoption is not just about giving a child a bigger room, a nicer meal or better clothes, it is an expression of God’s heart....It is a living, breathing, manifest representation of what happens when a man, woman or child finds his or her way to their Heavenly Father....there is a Heavenly joy released as the Father welcomes His created child into His arms.  Adoption is the tangible expression of what Jesus was trying to communicate to His followers in Luke 15:10 when He said "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This morning we sit here planning our trip to meet our 4 new children for the first time!  While waiting continues to be difficult, we have been busy preparing rooms, remodeling bathrooms, and working in the yard.  It is a version of the "Nesting Response" we suppose.  But whatever, its fun and the anticipation of receiving these 4 children into our home and hearts grows stronger as we prepare to travel very soon!  Did I say, "very soon?"  The words came off my keyboard and mouth, but they seem unreal.  We've been at this adoption thing for so long that we've become accustomed to thinking of this in the "fantasy" of our minds vs. the reality of our home.  But here we are, and like the children on a long trip saying "are we there yet?" for the fourteenth million time, the answer is finally YES, or at least so close that it is moving beyond the fantasy and into the "really, its just around the next corner!"  Speaking of children, we have noticed an increase of excitement and anticipation from our children as well.  The older are rearranging schedules to make sure they meet their new brothers and sister as soon as we get them, while the 10 year old is now planning games, events, and outings for his new siblings.  Until then, be blessed...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Patience may be a virtue but waiting is fattening!

I have found that although I am a very patient person, especially with children, I don't like waiting on things to happen. So to keep myself busy and my mind off of the waiting I have to find something to do and lately it has been making desserts. Thus the fattening side of waiting. Have you seen the movie "The Waitress"? What stands out to me in the movie is the pies she creates through the trials in her life. Since seeing that movie I have enjoyed creating pies and naming them according to what is going on in my life. This month has been especially fattening while we are waiting to travel to get our new additions to the family. 

I am sorry that the pictures are not that great but you can get the idea anyway. For some reason, the pictures turn sideways when they upload and I cant figure out how to turn them back. Trust me, they definitely tasted better than they look in the pictures.

It started out small, we just had "Movie night popcorn" while we waited for a match.....

Then came the referral and staffing and then......
.........Chocolate Whoopie Pies in celebration of being matched
  "Whoopie!-We-are-excited Pies!"

This was the Bavarian Creme Apple Pie made while my mom was in the hospital.
  "My mom is in the hospital and I don't know what to do Bavarian Creme Apple Pie"

This was the 
"Mom got discharged from the Hospital today Chocolate Pecan Pie"
made when she was able to go back home.

Then came the 
"Back to waiting on the paperwork Candy apples"......
Next came the 
"I wish they would hurry up and email me back Caramel Popcorn".......
And now
"I am so tired of waiting just bring them to us Caramel Cheesecake!"  
and the worst part is there are only 4 of us to eat all this stuff.

Russell said if we don't hurry up and get our kids he's going to be as big as Bo...
...our 3 year old bull!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Warrior Arrows

Some of you may have noticed a change in our blog.  Specifically, we have changed our name from "Boys in the Bulrush" to "Warrior Arrows".  Today, we'd like to explain the change.  When we began our journey on the path to adoption, we didn't know where to start.  We looked at dozens of options and agencies before deciding to pursue 2 special needs children from China.  Once on the path, we wanted to name our blog something that would reflect the idea of a journey that found 2 boys hidden in some disguised place, but nonetheless, there for us to find and welcome into our home.  The mental picture we had was of Moses in the Old Testament, when his mother floated him down the river and his floatation device came to rest in the bulrush where he was found and essentially adopted into the king's court.
As we have shared, for various reasons, we were unable to continue on the path to adopting these boys from China and we shifted our efforts to finding a sibling group in the United States.  Recently we were selected for a group of 4 siblings in the midwest and are now waiting to travel to meet them, hopefully some time in the next week or two.  The sibling group is comprised of a girl and 3 boys, so the mental picture of 2 boys in the bulrush began to break down a little bit.  This past week a new mental picture began to emerge in our mind based on Psalm 127:3-5 which says

 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

We have always loved that verse and having our 'quiver full' of our own children. As we began to think of adding more arrows to our quiver through adoption, we felt like this was a perfect name for our blog. People have said that we are crazy for adopting 4 children at this point of our life.  And to that, we say, "yeah, we know.  We can give you a 1,000 reasons why we shouldn't adopt 4 children".  But then we continue..."we can give you 1 good reason why we should..."  Do you know what that reason is?  We believe that it is absolutely an honor and the most thrilling adventure that life has to offer to be a part of a child's life and have the opportunity to introduce them to the Kingdom of God and Jesus.  And here we are, totally blessed with 4 more!  Four more children that we can tell about God's love and the special place they hold in His heart!  Four more children in our quiver who are warrior arrows in the Kingdom of God.
Does life get any better, we ask?  What will it be like to stand before God our Father one day knowing that we had answered His call, sought Him for guidance, and introduced not only our biological children to Jesus, but these 4 as well.  Crazy?  Perhaps.  But life never really promised that everything would make sense...only that we would be accompanied by the King of the entire universe and that He desires to penetrate this world with His love.  We'll talk so more in the coming days about the thrill and why its so important to us.  Until we talk again...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hope and Fulfillment

I must start today's blog with a passage from Proverbs.  Proverbs 13:12 says that, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life".  Many times I have quoted the first part of that.  I usually said it when I felt that life wasn't giving me what I wanted, when I wanted it.  It was sort of a way to say to God, "Hey, come on.  Answer my prayer, already!"  The ole "hope deferred" line also represented a certain frustration with life, not to mention a feeling of entitlement.  Historically speaking, none of those thoughts, feelings and even attempts to manipulate the heavens ever seemed to make much difference in the outcomes.  But today, I am reminded that life does, in fact, provide its moments when our desires are realized and something good comes our way.  My devotion this morning was from Psalm 35 and I noticed that in a difficult time David reminds himself that God does take pleasure in the "prosperity" of His children.  We wake up this morning with this wonderful feeling of having a desire to come to us.  Yesterday, we were informed that we have been selected to adopt 4 beautiful children pending one more interview that seems to be fairly perfunctory.  Finally!  After several years, the last 15 months of which have been up and down, we have found our kids!  Suddenly, life is full of energy and our hearts feel a sense of gratitude that God has placed this burden on our hearts to adopt and has now fulfilled that burden.  Although we are facing a few more weeks of waiting, administrative activities and of course, paperwork, we are finally going to receive our 4 new little blessings.  We could go on right now describing this moment and how it feels, but well save that for future posts over the next couple of days.  Until we talk again....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Passing through Nowhere Land...

Passing through Nowhere Land...Maybe I'm the only one, but sometimes when you feel you are suppose to do something in life, it doesn't always feel like you are making progress.  One minute you know exactly what you're doing and where you're at and then, without warning, you get this feeling of being completely out of your element and in the middle of "Nowhere Land".
As many of you know, we have been involved in the adoption process for well over three years now.  Its not just a noble idea for us, its a calling.  And it not only involves us simply finding our kids and opening our heart and home to them, but to join in with those in the Body of Christ who are encouraging others to get involved in some capacity.  Whether its adopting, supporting an agency or orphanage, sponsoring a child or encouraging a friend that we know is in the adoption process, we know that the world cannot afford to lose these little ones to our fears, apathy and indifference. 
At times it has felt as if we were making progress and at other times it has felt like we were at ground zero...yet again!  The words of Rudyard Kipling's poem, "IF", "if you can...risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose, and start again at your beginnings and never breathe a word about your loss..." more than capture the feeling that we've had over and over.  In this process of finding our kids we can go to bed one night knowing that God's got it all under control, convinced that tomorrow the social worker is going to call, only to wake up the next morning in Nowhere Land "starting over again".  But then something beautiful happens.  God will send something or somebody into our path that offers the strength and energy to stay the course.  Recently, I experienced one such moment. 
I was in a grocery store, minding my own business, waiting for the deli people to slice my roast beef, when a young lady approached me.  She began to tell me how the course of her and her husband's life was changed dramatically in response to something we had said.  At first, I had no idea what she was talking about and she thought that perhaps she had mistaken me for somebody else.  But then she went on to say that she and her husband were involved in the adoption of a sibling group.  What persuaded them to take the leap was a presentation we had done in our local church last year.  To be more precise, it was the second presentation that persuaded them to pursue adoption.  As she recounted to me, after the first presentation, she and her husband began to pray about adopting.  One of their prayers went something like "Lord, if you are wanting us to adopt, then let the man do another presentation".  To their amazement, the next Sunday, we did a second presentation about the need for families to adopt.  With tears streaming down her face she thanked me for the presentation and the encouragement to step out and open their hearts and homes to parent "the fatherless".  And in that instant, I went from wondering what in the world we were thinking about when we answered our call to adopt, to a place where it all made sense.  Our frustrations and disappointments melted and for a moment I had one of those genuine "rejoice with those that rejoice" moments.  It is such moments that remind me that a Being far more wise than I orchestrates life and fits all the pieces of the puzzle together for each and every one of us. 
We have shared many such orchestrated moments with each other and with many of you along our path to finding our kids.  We want to take a moment to thank each of you who have shared with us.  We can only say thank you and keep it coming.  Continue to share with us your stories of how God has touched you in some capacity to serve the fatherless of this world.  Its the difference between settling in "Nowhere Land" and just passing through.  God bless you and let me just close this blog with the words of James who said,
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
until we talk again...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10-10-10 Born 2 Fly

I came across this blog today and wanted to share it. You can read more about it on the following blogs but here is a summary about it.

Most kids are lured into sex slavery because they don’t know the deceptive tactics of traffickers. Wherever awareness training takes place, the rate of trafficking plummets. There’s just not enough, nor is it available in the languages of most at-risk kids.
The Born to Fly Project is a strategic 4-stage plan to educate kids, parents, and teachers about the dangers of child trafficking—with the ultimate goal of ending it.


Each year more than a million kids are lured into modern-day slavery where they’re raped for profit 30 or 40 times a night—night after night. Some of them are just 4 years old. Many are right in the U.S.
If that makes you angry, there IS something we can do about it.
Most kids are tricked into sex slavery because they don’t know the deceptive tactics of traffickers. What if we could warn children and their parents ahead of time?
What if we taught them about the lies traffickers use—and how to stand up against them? The rate of trafficking would drop and millions of kids would never enter the dark world of trafficking.
The B2F Project educates at-risk children and their parents about the dangers of trafficking through a strategic 6-week community campaign. The project's centerpiece is a wordless book that teaches kids to make wise choices—wordless so we don’t have to translate it into hundreds of languages. A 70-page companion curriculum reinforces the important concepts in the book.
The B2F wordless book and curriculum are complete and ready for testing next month in the Dominican Republic.
Once we have feedback from teachers and kids, we’ll begin distributing these amazing materials all over the world. The 1-day fundraiser will raise money to do that—and prevent millions of kids from ever being trafficked.
What you can do
  • Donate: Use the Chip-in widget above (or here) to donate $10. (You don't have to wait til 10/10/10 to donate of course.)
  • Email: Tell 10 people about 10/10/10 and send them towww.born2fly.org or this blog.
  • Blog: Post about 10/10/10. Include the Chip-in widget (see code below).
  • Facebook: Talk about 10/10/10; include the Chip-in widget.
  • Twitter: Tweet about it. Follow me, @DianaScimone, director of The B2F Project.
  • Updates: Check my blog for the latest: www.dianascimone.com
  • Show: Add a Twibbon to your Twitter and Facebook photos: http://twb.ly/9Hccsi
  • Paste: Copy and paste this code for the Chip-in widget onto your blog and Facebook:
Traffickers think kids are commodities. On 10/10/10, tell kids they’re priceless.
All it takes is $10.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Scrappy Quilt Giveaway!

Would you like to win this colorful happy scrappy quilt?

This happy scrappy was made with a fun mix of prints from Jennifer Paganelli's fabric collections.  It's approximately 67" x 90", 100% cotton.  We pieced this quilt ourselves, with lots of love!  And it's been machine quilted for extra durability... freshly laundered, too.  The flip-side of the quilt is pink Claire blocks, from Jennifer's Bell Bottom collection.
I saw this post on a blog that I follow and wanted to share it with you as well. The Long ladies are a lovely family of girls that sew and sew beautifully. You can see more of what they do and what they sell by going to their blog or website. I have bought material and patterns from them and they are great to do business with as well.
To enter go to their blog and follow the instructions. http://www.mariemadelinestudio.typepad.com/
Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My World Vision House Party

Since I began applying to host House Parties, I entered every one that looked the slightest bit interesting to me. The Star Wars was the first one I was accepted for and it was a perfect fit for us. I loved hosting the party for my son and his friends and we had a great time. When I saw the World Vision party I almost didnt apply for it. Not because I am not interested in World Vision. I am very interested and I support what they do and I love it! But I didnt want to make my guests feel like they were being pressured into 'buying' something. With the other product parties, guests come and are served using the product and are introduced to the product. Whether or not they buy is totally up to them and I will never know what they do in their shopping later. The party is totally about having good fellowship and fun and there is no pressure at all. Just the thought of World Vision brings to mind that something will be required of us....of me, of my guest, of us all. So I resisted. Then, I was convicted. What if no one hosted the World Vision party for that reason? What if by hosting it one child was sponsored? What difference would that make in his life? What if by hosting it I planted seeds and even if no one came or no one sponsored a child this time, seeds were planted that grew later? How can I only host when it is easy for me and not when it really makes a difference in someone's life? So I applied and Surprise! I was chosen to host the party. Only now I feel different about it. I am honored to be a part of it. I am excited to share the vision. I hope it makes a difference in the lives of children around the world but it has already made a difference in my life. I invited everyone I know that is local to me and so far I have one person confirmed to come. It might be a small party :) we are not done yet.


One thing that was a lesson for us in planning for the party this week. We live in the country and have well water with an electric pump. We woke up yesterday morning and our water didn't work. We tried everything to fix it ourselves and after working on it all day and replacing several parts on the pump we had to call in a professional to replace the whole thing. We were without running water all day. It was a small taste of what these children we are sponsoring experience on a daily basis.  Showers couldnt be taken, toilets couldnt be flushed, hands couldnt be washed. The thought of children living each day without food and fresh water is one that pierces my heart and compels me to continue fighting not only for our adoption, but for children all around the world.  No child should have to go to bed hungry!

If anyone  is interested in sponsoring a child through World Vision, You can go to this link and choose a child to sponsor. You dont have to go to a party to do it :)


You can even pick  a child with your same birthday or the birthday of your child. We choose a child that has the same birthday as Jeffrey and they will get to be penpals through our sponsorship.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Star Wars Party pics

This is Jeffrey painting a backdrop for the party. It turned out nice.

Jeffrey ready for the guest to arrive.
Party shots.......

Everyone had a blast!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

House Party everything you need for a great party FREE!!!

We signed up several months ago to host parties for House Party. I applied over and over and never got chosen until now.....

It is amazing the incredible opportunities they give people to introduce new products by throwing a party and sharing the products with their friends and family. 

We were chosen to host a Star Wars the Clone Wars 3 season premier  party and our son, Jeffrey is over the top excited!

This is the party pack they sent.......

We are going to have a great time and his friends are going to love the games and activities planned.
We have painted a space backdrop for the party and planned Star Wars themed foods. They will play the Hasbro Galactic Battle game and watch the season premier together. Everyone is coming in costume and it will be a blast.

I will post pictures after the party as well.

So much has been going on at our house trying to get the home study updated for domestic adoptions, meeting with social workers, talking with experts in the field and learning the system. We have found several sibling groups that we feel would fit into our family and are in the process of applying and hoping we are chosen in one of the cases.

Meanwhile, life goes on.....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Emotional Roller Coaster

The past six weeks or so of our adoption process have been a complete roller coaster ride for our family. Through the ups and downs we have had some major changes in our adoption. First off, We have exceeded our time frames for the China adoption and it seems that we have reached an impasse.  We will not be getting these two boys from China. That in itself was an emotional let down. Some where in China sit two little boys that have been a part of our life and thoughts and prayers for the past year. They dont even know it but they have a room here and a dresser full of clothes and tons of toys and decorations picked out just for them. They have been prayed for every day by us and our extended family as well. They have been named and thought of during family games and activities. They were truly a part of our family even though we never actually met them. They will never know that for the past year, they have had a family. Not being able to add them to our family is like having a miscarriage. It is heartbreaking and discouraging and even though we have had some down times and felt all these things we still have a peace and know that God is in control. For what ever reason this was not meant to be. Maybe our part was simply to pray for them every day for  this past year and we may never know what difference that may have made in their lives. As we have said before, our approach to adopting was simply to "take the next positive step that we knew to take".  While we grieve that we have reached an impasse for the China adoption, we rejoice that God is opening new doors.  To our surprise, the next positive step has brought us to exploring domestic adoptions.  Our homestudy is now complete for a domestic adoption and we are in the seeking phase.  We know God has kids out there somewhere that are to be a part of our family, our job now is to find them!  Pray for us as we take our next positive step!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 4th family fun

Wow! What a busy week for us. We had 14 people and four dogs at our house for the 4th of July. Great fun with family! We dont get together like that nearly enough.
My sister and her two girls were up from Florida for the week leading up to the 4th. All our children were in at least for the weekend. My parents came down and my brother was here also.
When we do get together, we go all out and make some seriously fun memories. Every year we do a Mystery dinner and everyone dresses up in character and really gets into the game. This year the theme was Gone with the Wind. Looks like next year will be a roaring '20"s theme.

We also had a pig pickin' and family games and lots of fellowship and fun times.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thank You!

We wanted to write a quick blog to thank everyone for their participation in the Father's Day weekend special to help with our adoption process.  It was very inspiring to see people willing to help and with a heart to help us provide 2 orphaned boys with a home.  All the donations helped us get closer to meeting the financial obligations involved to complete the adoption.  We are still gathering information from the weekend and will be posting an update on our progress very soon.  God bless and until we talk again...