Thursday, August 7, 2014


Today's blog focuses on reflection.  I'm not talking about reflection as in looking back at your life and gleaning some insight about why you are what you are and why you behave as you do.  No, I'm talking about reflection as in what you see when you look into a mirror.  I am a firm believer that everything we see here in this world is a reflection of something in another world.  That other world is a spiritual dimension where something beautiful radiates its goodness, light and divine plan into this world.  I often refer to this phenomenon as a "parallel process" between heaven and earth.  It is what drives Karen & I in adoption.

Let me explain.  Recently I was looking out the kitchen window and saw something reflecting off the windshield of my van.  The reflection sparked my attention and I began to look for what was reflecting.  Did I continue to examine the windshield of the van?  Of course not.  I was looking around the sky, the positioning of the street lights and anything but the windshield.  You don't look at the conduit, you look for the source!

Adoption works in a similar way.  When you look into the eyes of a child, especially those who have no parents, there's a flash.  Even in the most obnoxious (just being honest!), unruly, provocative child its there.  That flash.  Sometimes its quick, sometimes you have to be really attentive, but its there.  But what is it?  Its a reflection and like the windshield you don't search for it in the conduit, but rather you look for it in the source!  And its a beautiful thing when you realize that the source is something so loving, so kind, so pure and so innocent that it captivates your senses and melts your tendencies to think only of yourself in this world.

I have heard people say they wanted to see God or have a visitation from Jesus and I understand this desire.  But until we behold Him face to face, perhaps He gives us "flashes" of Himself.  Its a flash in the eyes of a young girl, or the smile on a little boy's face or maybe its the toddler's deep sense of security as they flourish in the safety of a home that is committed to their welfare.

Karen & I saw "the flash" 4 years ago when our children came bursting through the doors of the social workers office.  They were wild as a spring calf kicking up its heels but it was there in their eyes.  It reflected a divine being that overcame any of our fears of trying to parent these children.  We saw it again in the eyes of 2 children who got off to such a rough start in life and wondered if anyone would ever welcome them into their home and heart forever.  When you find the source you find the words "if anyone opens the door, I'll come in".  Its the source, not the conduit, where you plug in your heart.  Its the source that drives you, not the need.  When you tune into that source something magical begins to happen.  It is as if all of heaven pours out into your soul and you want more.

I hope this speaks to the hearts of many readers.  Do you hear what I'm saying?  Yes, Karen & I might be crazy and we've got the video to document it.  But there's a flash.  Can you see it?  Its in the eyes of  the child.  Its in your spouse's embrace.  Its in your prayer closet.  But don't get stuck on the flash.  Let it drive you to seek the Source!

And by the way, thanks to the kindness and prayers of many it looks like we are finally going to meet our new children  in the very, very near future.

Until we talk again....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Its More Fun if You Raise Your Hands!

Today is August 6th, 2014.  If you had told me that we would not yet have traveled to meet and bring home our new kids I would have thought you were kidding.  As you know, we started out 2 weeks ago in an RV to head to the mid-west and only made it an hour down the road before the transmission began to fail.  Ever since that time I (Russell) have been working daily to find a suitable RV for us to take.  And when I say working, its the kind of work that has taken priority over all other things.  Things like work, play, the yard, the house, and yes, even having a lucid, meaningful conversation with other human beings that does not involve an RV!  At this point, we are exhausted and emotionally spent with the process.  Giving up is not an option but tell that to a set of stretched emotions that are screaming at you 24/7 and physical body that mediates the emotional pressures of the moment. 

Just when things reach a zenith of pressure something nice happens.  God shows up with an encouraging word usually delivered by one of His kids.   Like,  reconnecting with 
an old friend who happens to be well-versed in the virtues of RVs and provides wonderful counsel to help you avoid mistakes as you navigate toward that calling in your life.    And then, you go to a church to speak about adoption and the special place that God has in His heart for widows and orphans.  You're going to bless and educate a group of people but then something strange and wonderful happens.  Everything in the service seems to be designed to strengthen your feeble knees and encourage your weary heart.  You walk away refreshed and understanding that God hasn't forgotten you, He isn't hiding or withholding from you, and that all things "are as they should be" even though everything in you wishes to just settle this whole thing ....right now! 

That's where we are at today.  Still can't tell you when we're traveling.  As of this minute, still don't have an RV.  Still are about $4,500 short of our goal to raise the $20,000 it took to do this adoption.  But we're getting close and we know it.  God has shown up in so many crazy ways in the past 6 weeks that its hard to even express it all.  Maybe someday we'll put this entire, crazy ride into a coherent story.  Right now, its like being on one of those monster roller coaster rides at Disney or Busch just hold on, 
smile, laugh, raise your hands (because after all, the Lemur said it was more fun if you raise your hands...think Madagascar movie!) let out a few screams when it gets really, really scary, and otherwise grab your spouse, hold on tight and enjoy the thrill that comes with the ride! 

We'll be writing again really soon...right now the ride just went 90 miles an hour through a dark tunnel and I've got my hands raised & screaming like my pants just caught fire!