Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Year

Marty's working and the kids are in bed. I'm sitting by the Christmas tree, enjoying the peace and quiet. Thinking ahead to what next Christmas will be like. I will be the mother of four children. Next year, I will have a 10 year old (where has the time gone), two 7 year olds, and a 5 year old. Life will be so full that I wonder if I will have a quiet moment to collect my thoughts, to reflect on the year gone by.

Look at what this year has brought into our lives. Last Christmas, adoption wasn't even on our radar. God was changing some things in our lives, shaking things up, stirring up old gifts. We had that unsettled feeling like God was calling us somewhere, but where? We were pressing in, like never before, trying to hear His voice in the busyness of life. Then I saw a picture of a little girl, named Olga.
I stumbled upon my friend, Patti's blog, a few weeks before Christmas I read this post. I read these words, "Olga turns five next month. In Eastern Europe, babies with Down Syndrome are deemed unacceptable at birth. Olga has spent her life in an orphanage...until now. Soon she will be transferred to a mental institution. Forever." I thought, "What is she talking about?" My journey into the world of what it means to be born with down syndrome or any other special need in Eastern Europe began here. Thank God, for Patti and for the obedience of Andrea who started Reece's Rainbow to help these precious children. Over the next couple of months, God would break my heart, Marty's heart, Eli and Julianna's hearts until it moved our hands and feet. The staggering reality that we have so much and they are dying hit home like never before.

Did we want to turn away? Did we long to pretend that we had not seen and did not know the truth? With every part of our humanity. We were comfortable. Our lives were full and blessed and we didn't need any more children. But, were there children who needed us? I am weeping as I type this post. God used Patti to open our eyes to the truth. God used Olga to shake us out of our complacency. God began to speak clearly to our hearts. He had at least one son waiting for us on the other side of the ocean. Were we brave enough to trust Him? Could we step out of the boat and keep our eyes focused on our Savior? Could we answer the call to help the orphans?

We didn't think we'd qualify. Who were we to think we could adopt extra special children? Who did we think we were that anyone would trust us with such an awesome responsibility. Yet, we knew God wanted us to do this.

We're not special. We're not "called" to adopt, anymore than anyone else. We don't feel like we're doing anything admirable or praise worthy. In fact, it feels strange when people tell us how blessed our boys will be to have us. How lucky they are that we chose them. Very strange, because we know that we are the ones who are blessed. James 1:27 says, "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." We're not doing anything extraordinary or radical. We are simply living out our faith.

It's amazing to know that one blog post, written by one of the most faithful women I have come to know on this journey, helped us find our sons. God simply needs yielded vessels, willing to do whatever He asks. If you love Him, you do have a place in orphan care. Your life will change forever, if you'll allow Him to break your heart until it moves your hands and feet.

Check out the reward...

Next year, these boys will be under our Christmas tree! We'll be on a new adventure and we can't wait to see what God has in store.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something, you won't regret it!

Hidden in Christ,


  1. Beautiful post Mandy! Merry Christmas!!

  2. Thanks, Mel! Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Praying for all of you (including Joseph and Samuel) this weekend! I know that this Christmas is hard, with your boys across the world. I pray that time flies from here until trip #2 and that your boys are warm, well, and fed extra this Christmas!

  4. Patti linked your blog today and I so needed to read it. I was an advocate like Patti, not in a position to adopt. Then, God miraculously moved, sent me to work and my husband home, giving us the income and insurance we needed to act. Now, its's time to put action to the words I've long spoken, and my feet remain planted in fear. So many questions, so few answers, and absolutely no all of life. I'm rambling, but thank you for the nudge.