Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Put on Love

I am so blessed by the people that God has surrounded our family with on this journey. I have said often that if people knew about the added side bonus of becoming part of the Reece's Rainbow family and the Down Syndrome Community, they'd be fighting their way in. Not only is our family receiving the gift of two new sons, but we've already received the gift of new family and community. I just can't explain what a blessing it is, but you're going to have a better idea about the people I'm referring to, when you read the rest of this post.

I asked a couple of weeks ago, in this post for people to share with me about their journey into Holland. Holland symbolizes life spent loving a child with down syndrome. Not everyone who wrote needed to be the parent of a child with down syndrome. So, let's begin and see where we end up...

My friend, Tonya, is very new to Holland, but she's jumping in with both feet. This Mom of 4 beautiful children was enjoying life in Italy, thankful for the blessing of 4 healthy children and then...

"...all of a sudden I saw Maxim.  My heart leaped when I saw him, eyes crossed, tongue sticking out, and a huge smile on his face.  As I read all about him, his love for balls and cars, and laughing every time he farted, I felt it in my soul that he belonged in our family.  Suddenly the trip to Italy didn't seem quite as desirable anymore.  I would rather have the privilege of loving and caring for someone that the world says doesn't matter than having a perfect easy life in Italy...So I guess right now I'm living in Italy, but I'm sure praying that God has a trip to Holland planned for us."

Another advocate wrote these precious words about how praying for a child with down syndrome changes the way your heart feels..."I became a Christmas Warrior and later a Prayer Warrior for Wyatt 26HA on Reece's Rainbow. He started out as just a picture of a poor little orphan boy far, far away. Then as I began to advocate, raise money and pray for him, little Wyatt became a small precious boy, just as real as my own children. His needs are great, but our Lord is good."

It's amazing how prayer causes faith to rise up in us and we begin to see those around us with new eyes. Eyes filled with the love of Christ.

Sight becomes "seeing" when we put on love. Colossians 3:14 says this in the Message version, "And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it." My friend, Susan has also "put on love." She has been a huge help to us on this journey to our boys. She has encouraged me, every step of the way. When I read the words she left in the comments last night. I became a weeping mess...

"I could have gone to Holland. I didn't buy that ticket because no one else I knew had. Then I met Terri Lynn; she had a warrior or two. Then I met Mandy. Then Adeye. Then a dozen more that had bought a ticket. When we filled out the medical needs form for our adoptions, Down syndrome was one of the first I said "no" to without a second thought. This past year has opened my eyes. I should have given it another thought. Holland is not a scary place, after all. It would have been a wonderful trip. We are done building our family, but we are not done caring for orphans. I might not have bought my own ticket, but I'm here to help others as they prepare for their journey. On a side note- I have four boys. The girl name I never got to use? Holland."

Wow! I bought a ticket to Holland. I have never thought about it, quite like that before. I have another friend who bought a ticket to Holland this year with me. We have become great friends as we journey to bring our boys home from the same country. Jessica tells about how she and her husband, Wes decided to buy a ticket to Holland here on her blog. It's a three part story and you will fall in love with my friend and her boy, if you take the time to read it. Here's part of the comment she left me...

"Danny is special to us because he is the promise of God to build our family.  No, it's not in the way we ever would have expected, but we are thrilled to have him as part of our family.  We pray that he is the big brother our future children love and adore and wouldn't trade for the world.  We also pray that he is not the only special child our family has, but that's up to God!  I have prayed for a son, much like Hannah in the Bible....and he will belong to the Lord all the days of his life."

There were so many more of you, who shared your stories. I could only choose a few. I hope you all will be blessed by these love stories, today. I hope you will choose to "put on love" above all else. We are praying and fasting, today for our littles who still wait across the sea. Will you take a few minutes, today, to pray for not only ours, but for all the others who are waiting. Check out Reece's Rainbow, today and consider making the ultimate love purchase and buy a ticket to Holland. It's lovely here.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...

Hidden in Christ,

P.S. The winner of the wooden shoes is Andrea R. I'll be in touch Andrea.

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