Saturday, April 28, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Andriy

Baby boy is still waiting for his forever family to find him…
(you can read more about Andriy here, here and here)

 Part of me is baffled that this adorable little angel hasn’t been snatched up
and I have come to believe that God must have a very special family for this beautiful boy.

 I know of at least three different families who would commit to bringing Andriy home tomorrow yet God has given them all a very clear answer – NO. That is why I have come to believe that God must have a very special family for Andriy. A family He wants to bless with this precious child; a family whom He has and will equip with everything Andriy needs to become all that God created him to be; a family who, whether they know it yet or not, needs Andriy in order for God to transform them into the people He made them to be.

How could anyone resist this face???
Could it be that they haven’t even seen it yet? Would you help me to spread Andriy’s picture far and wide so that one day soon the forever family that God has set aside for Andriy since before he was even born would see his face and know that they are looking at the face of their son?
You can also help Andriy’s family find him by donating to his grant fund and continuing to remember him in your prayers.
For more information or to donate, click here.

 Andriy is listed as “John Mark” on Reece’s Rainbow; 
in order to protect his identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A long awaited celebration...

For those of you who are still reading this blog, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve become a horrible blogger… There is no greater proof of that than the fact that it has taken me over a month to write this post! But don’t let my lack of blogging enthusiasm make you think that I was not over-the-moon excited about the events behind this long overdue post… I guess I should start at the beginning.

When I first met all of “my” babies in Ukraine, two of them already had families coming for them while the rest were waiting in one capacity or another. Waiting for a family to choose them, waiting to be listed, waiting to become available… Since meeting my babies and holding them in my arms for the first time, six of them have had families commit to them. Over the past year or so however, one of those babies went to be with Jesus, one became unavailable at the request of his biological parents (although he is now once again available for adoption!) and two more lost their families when they were taken to an orphanage that does not allow international adoption. One other little one’s family is still working hard to bring him home. Nineteen months since they first captured my heart, nineteen months of hoping and praying and advocating for these precious little ones and, aside from the two who already had families committed to them when I met them, I still hadn’t seen any of my kids go home to their forever families. Honestly, it’s one of the reasons I’ve become such a horrible blogger… I’ve grown weary… oh, how I needed this:

On January 18th Andrey met his parents for the first time. It was so exciting but, after all that has happened, I refused to allow myself to get all the way excited until he was officially home. On March 2 Andrey finally arrived “home” on American soil and I couldn’t have been happier for my teddy bear and his new family!

At the orphanage while visiting with his new parents

After gotcha day... hanging out in Kiev waiting to go HOME

Home... almost

Andrey was taken straight to the hospital where he was admitted with severe malnutrition with possible refeeding syndrome, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, acute renal failure, bowel obstruction, h. pylori, and giardia. I am happy to report that poor little guy was feeling much better fairly quickly and aside from that, he has been doing very well and surprising everyone just like I knew he would! Just a few days after his mama busted him out of the orphanage, Andrey was scooting across the room, pulling himself up on the couch and holding his hands out to be picked up. Just a week after his gotcha day, before he even made it home, Andrey had already learned to sign "more" when eating and to say "Momma" and "hi" to whoever they were talking to on Skype! Smart cookie indeed :) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… you, little man, are going to CHANGE THE WORLD!

Andrey and his Pappa at the orphanage...

Andrey in Kiev with his Mommy!

Andrey (far right) going for a ride with his new brothers :)

Andrey, now Cooper, 2.5 weeks home!!!

You can read more about how Cooper is doing in his new, forever family by following their blog here.

Until they’re ALL home…

Friday, April 13, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Diana

Look who re-appeared on Reece’s Rainbow last week!

Diana (a.k.a. "Natalee")

Not long after I first posted about Diana, the laws in her country changed which caused her to become temporarily unavailable for international adoption. Since then, I have not been able to advocate for her but I have not stopped thinking about her and praying for her and looking forward to when she would once again become available… and now that day is here!

I have shared before that for many of “my” kids, I had a special song just for them, a song with lyrics that captured the unique messages I so desperately wanted them to know… their song. Diana was my beautiful princess and I sang to her constantly. Such an uneasy little girl, she startled so easily and it seemed as though her poor little spirit was on high alert. I would take her down to the visiting room, away from the noise and chaos of her groupa, rock her gently in my arms and sing softly to her. Gradually, Diana would become more relaxed in my arms until she finally reached at point where she seemed to be at peace. There are many songs that I would sing to Diana but I never seemed to find just the right one, her song. During these last few months, as I’ve been praying and waiting for Diana to become available again, I found it – Diana’s song.

The song is called Someone Worth Dying For by Mikeschair and it’s about all of us realizing that Jesus has proven just how valuable we are to Him… we are worth dying for. I don’t want to take away from the beauty of that message… yet when I heard this song for the first time and Diana’s face came to mind, I heard a different message. I already know what Jesus thinks about Diana; she is worth dying for and He proved that when He died for her on the cross. When I heard the first chorus however I felt like God was whispering to me that this is the unspoken cry of Diana’s heart – is she someone worth fighting for?

Am I more than flesh and bone?
Am I really something beautiful?
Yeah, I want to believe, I want to believe that
I'm not just some wandering soul
That you don't see and you don't know
Yeah, I want to believe, would you help me believe
That I am someone worth fighting for

The bridge of the song is God’s response to Diana…

You're worth it, you can't earn it
Yeah, the cross has proven,
That you're sacred and blameless.
Your life has purpose!

But what will our response be? Is she just another hidden away child that don’t won’t see and don’t won’t know? Do we see her as something beautiful? Do we believe that her life has purpose? Are we ready to echo this final chorus back to her?

You are more than flesh and bone
Can't you see your something beautiful
Yeah, you gotta believe, you gotta believe
He wants you to see, We want you to see that
You're not just some wandering soul
That can't be seen and can't be known
You gotta believe, you gotta believe
That you are someone worth fighting for

Diana may not have much worth in the eyes of the world but she is precious in the eyes of her Heavenly Father.
Can you see what He sees when He looks at her? Adoption is never an easy road but Diana is someone worth fighting for.

Would you help show Diana that she is worth it?

Share her story, donate to her grant fund, pray for a family to cross the oceans to prove to this beautiful girl just how precious she is… consider whether that family might be yours. For more information or to donate, click here.

Diana is listed as “Natalee” on Reece’s Rainbow;
in order to protect her identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name

Monday, April 9, 2012

Still Clinging to HOPE...

I am reposting this from last year. Since I originally wrote this post, Andrey has come home to his forever family (more on that soon!)
and “my” kids have finally been listed for adoption. Still, for every exillerating victory there has been an equally devestating defeat and I find myself desperate for the hope that is only found in Jesus and in his death and resurection.

So, I deceided to repost these words because, well, I need to hear them today as much as I did last year... and maybe you do too.


I hope you all had a blessed Easter weekend. Over the course of the past week or so I have been asking God to help me to see the story of Christ’s death and resurrection with fresh eyes, to reveal something new to me and He did. One of the revelations, so to speak, that God gave me over the past few days had to do with the idea of hope

Hope. It’s something I’ve been struggling with lately. I’ve been home nearly three months now and despite all my best efforts, despite all my prayers, nothing has changed for my kids. It’s getting harder and harder to see the hope in their circumstances… I look at Andrey, my big teddy bear. His grant keeps growing, it’s at nearly $5000 now, yet no family has stepped forward for him. Still overlooked, still waiting, still yearning for hope… I think about the rest of “my” kids, the ones not yet listed for adoption, the ones waiting to officially be waiting. I have tried everything I can to find out if they are available for adoption yet still I’ve heard no the news. It’s beginning to feel like a hopeless cause… I struggle to see hope for these kids but I will not give up. Their time may be running out but it’s not up yet and as long as there is a just glimmer of hope, I will choose to keep believing that their day will come.

Then I remember Tanya and Marina and the countless others like them; older children whose time has run out, children hidden behind closed doors, confined to their beds, no chance for anything more. Where is their hope? To that I have no answer...

In the lead up to Easter, God began to speak to me. In the Bible, specifically in the New Testament, hope isn’t described as the promise of a problem-free life, it is not the promise of a life no longer filled with suffering. As a matter of fact, if you look closely, hope is not a promise for this life at all. The New Testament makes it very clear that hope, our hope which lies in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us on the cross, that hope is for eternity. We live in a world full of evil and unspeakable suffering that I will never understand. The reality is, that will not change until that day that Jesus returns. As long as Satan remains the “prince of this world” (John 14:30), evil and suffering in this life will remain. Yet I feel as though God has given me a whole new understanding of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We can ask, “Where is God in all of this?”, “If God is good, why does He allow innocent children to suffer without hope?”. The answer is, He is hanging on a cross, ensuring that all this suffering will one day come to an end. His ultimate sacrifice was also the ultimate proof of His goodness, the ultimate display of hope.

So, where does all this leave me? I am still heartbroken by the suffering of innocent children around the world. We are not off the hook. We are still called to pray, to give, to advocate… to fight for the least of these who have no voice of their own. Yet I find myself face-to-face with the reality that we cannot save them all and it is in those instances that God has given me a new understanding of hope. For those who will never experience relief in this life, their relief will come in eternity. And somehow, though my human mind will never comprehend it, deep in my spirit I know that when that day comes, all their suffering on this earth will seem light and momentary in light of the glory of eternity. As I sit and meditate on this truth the clouds part and I see it once again… HOPE. Because of what Christ has done for us, there is a bright ray of pure, everlasting hope for all who believe…

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”
(1 Peter 1:3-4)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter 2010

Two years ago I was spending Easter with 28 beautiful kids who I had grown to love dearly
as I spent every day caring for them and mothering them as if they were my own.

I have been thinking about "my Congo babies" a lot lately and missing them like crazy.
This weekend especially I find myself reminiscing about our time together and as I do I can't help wondering, as they celebrate this Easter weekend on the other side of the world, if they're thinking about me too...

My Congolese "sons"... oh, what I wouldn't give to have them in my arms again!
I know that many of you were not following my blog back then so I thought I would take the opportunity today to introduce you, through a video I made capturing our Easter together, to these kids who will forever hold a piece of my heart. read more about my Easter in the Congo, click here

Friday, April 6, 2012

Find My Family Friday - Andrey

I get to be lazy today because Natalie put together this video which says pretty much everthing I want to say...

Please help my little munchkin find his family!
Share his story, donate to his grant fund, remember him in your prayers.

You can read more about Andrey here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. For more information or to donate, click here.

Andrey is listed as “Aiden” on Reece’s Rainbow;
in order to protect his identity, when sharing about him on your own blogs, facebook pages, etc. please use his Reece’s Rainbow name