Monday, July 30, 2012

You Heard Right!

You heard right! We're at it, again! We have another little one waiting on the other side of the ocean. Our newest JOY has come like an unexpected pregnancy. You know, the one you're totally unprepared for in every possible way, but as soon as you hear you're overcome with JOY! Yep, that's us! We're in the early stages of an unexpected paper pregnancy.

What does that mean? It means, we need funds fast! We need to commit to our new little one, quickly, for a number of reasons that I'll be able to share once we're committed. How's that for vague and uninformative? We also need a new home study. I'm hoping to mail the check for the home study, tomorrow. A check for $2400. Right now, the chipin is a little over $400, so we still need about $2000 to be able to pay for the home study.

How can you help? Pray! We always need your prayers! Give, if you're able to. We had a donation of $1.30 earlier, today and I promise it meant as much as every other dollar given! There is no "right" amount, just whatever God asks. Share, tell people our story, share on Facebook. Maybe you can't give, but you have a friend who would love to. They won't know, if you don't share!

This really is unexpected and so, I've had no time to even think about planning a fundraiser. I'm simply relying on God's family to be a part of another miracle for ours. There's a chip-in on the right hand side (donations are not tax-deductible, right now), if you want to help.

Thank you all for continuing to share in our JOY and for joining us on the road less traveled. We look forward to another exciting adventure with you.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Something's Happening?!?

Do you see it? Over there? On the right hand side? Did you read it?

We're going BACK!

I can't tell you who we're going for yet. We have to pay for the Home Study and the commitment fees first.

I'm so excited to tell you. God is writing another beautiful story. Stay tuned...oh, and feel free to chip-in if you feel led. This chip-in is not tax deductible and goes directly to our personal accounts to help cover the initial fees.

I can't believe we're jumping back onto this crazy ride, but when God says, "Go!" We go. Thanks for supporting us and praying. We look forward to sharing another FAITH journey with you.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Forgive Me

I didn't forget you all or this blog. I just pushed it aside. I want to enjoy my kids and chase this crazy life with them. Then, I see posts from my friends, who are still on their journey to their own children. I see, the posts advocating for littles, who desperately need families, who desperately need out and I am convicted by my complacency. I care. I do. You can't see the things I've seen and not care, but sometimes it's a heavy burden and I long to look away, to just hold tightly to the ones that we got out, to love them well.

I do it and then I am convicted. I wake in the night to the same little faces that woke my nearly two years ago, when we started this journey. New faces have been added in, but can you imagine, waking and knowing that still they wait, while you have fallen into complacency. Forgive me.

Forgive me, Andrue.
They never get to take a break from their reality. 

Forgive me, Ulysess.
They can't turn off the fact that they don't have a family, 

Forgive me, Samuel.
or enough food, 

Forgive me, Kolya.
or medical care.

The only people who can change that for them is you and I and I have been taking a break. I know, when people look at this page of older boys, they are often afraid. I was one of them. I thought things like, "They've been there too long. They're too old. They won't be able to adapt to a family." Then, I saw our boy...

This picture stole my heart.

I heard God whisper, "He's yours." I knew, he wasn't in great condition, my fears never changed, but my FAITH did. My faith began to rise up and say, "He needs us and God said, 'Go!'" How could we look away? We couldn't and we're so thankful that we didn't. Please, don't be afraid to love one of these boys. They can find a place in a home, in a family. They will adapt and thrive as they're loved on and accepted. 

Our Vaylo (Joseph) is a different boy than he was two months ago, when I picked him up from the only home he'd known for the first 7+ years of life. He is seeking out affection, laughing more and more, growing and learning new things. I'm so thankful, we didn't give into the fear, but instead listened to the very clear prompting of God, to go and get our boy.

Is God prompting you to help one of these sweet boys? To add them to your family, to give or advocate and help find their family? Please, I'm begging you, don't look away, don't take a break from their reality. They can't, so we shouldn't. Please, forgive me for my absence. I'm back and I have some stories to share this week. Some families need our help, too and I know, you all are up to the challenge.

For now, I do have four littles wanting breakfast and love from Mommy. So, I'll leave you with this...

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our Newest Battle

This one may just do me in, ya'll! Our newest battle is trying to keep Samuel's new glasses on his face! So, I won't make you wait, I know, why you come here...

Yes, he is cute, but he's also very rotten and opinionated. Unfortunately, our opinions currently differ on whether he should wear these glasses. We've had them since Saturday evening. He takes them off and goes to time-out. Wash, rinse, repeat...ugh!

Yesterday, I made the grave mistake of combining the two things Samuel dislikes the most in all the world. His carseat and his glasses. 20 minutes into our ride home from gymnastics, I look back and see Samuel with something in his mouth. What could that be? Oh my, he's popped the lens out of his glasses and is biting on it. I hold my hand out and say, "Give it to me." No go. Not going to happen. He hides the lens behind his head. Well, this is no Rookie Mom you're dealing with Samuel, so I pull the car over, retrieve the lens, restore the glasses back to semi-working order (the lens is pretty scratched) and put them back on. Start back down the road and spend most of the next 10 minutes saying, "Don't touch your glasses." Ugh.

Get home and have to make the phone call of shame to the vision center. Yes, I know, we've only had them for 48 hours. Yes, I know, they're kid proof. Yes, they are scratched already, because I let my kid try to eat them. Yes, please do call me when his new lenses are in. Honestly, the lady on the phone thought it was quite funny. I think, they'll be seeing a lot of us. Thank God for nap time.

After nap, Samuel went downstairs to play in the playroom. After a few minutes, his sister says, "Mom, I can't find his glasses." Head downstairs, tear the playroom apart looking for the glasses. Repeatedly ask Samuel, "Where are your glasses?" He knew what I wanted and where he put them, but he was NOT telling me.

Finally, I gave up and said to my big kids, "If you can find his glasses, I'll give you a dollar." Sure enough, less than 2 minutes later, Eli had opened the seat of Samuel's ride-on (the only place I didn't look) and I'm a dollar poorer and still fighting the good fight. I'd like to say we're having a more successful day, today. However, it's only 8:00 am and Samuel has set two time-outs for taking his glasses off and throwing them in the floor. Fun times, ya'll, fun times.

Just so you know, I will win this battle, even if my boy is as rotten as he is cute.

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Struggle

I held him down as they inserted the needle. The needle that would draw blood to run tests to ultimately help him be healthier. He fought. He struggled with everything in him. He didn't make it seven years in an orphanage without a whole lot of fight in him. All through the struggle, I held him. I spoke softly to him and told him how proud I was of him and how much I loved him. Everything in me wanted to say, "Enough! Stop! You're hurting him." I didn't because I knew...

I knew that the struggle was not in vain. I knew that we were fighting together for a healthier tomorrow. I knew that what was being done to him was ultimately for his good. I knew, we all had good intentions and that the results were giving, even.

As I made the long drive home, alone with my boys. I listened as Samuel struggled in the backseat. He didn't want to be strapped into his car seat. He's never been strapped in before. He was angry and hurt that I wouldn't let him out. Again, I knew the pain was necessary and ultimately for his good. I spoke kindly and reassured him that the seat was giving, even.

I listened and I heard God say, "Do you see it? Do you hear it? Do you know?"

How often have I struggled through something? Fought against God's plan with everything in me. How often has He wanted to say, "Enough! Stop! You're hurting her." Why didn't He? He didn't because He knew. He knew the pain was not without purpose. He knew the end result would be worth the struggle. He knew...

All the while, I fight Him, knowing that if I stopped, I'd hear Him. I'd feel Him. He's holding me close and whispering life giving words, foundational words, words of love and kindness. He's holding me tenderly and if I'd stop fighting long enough, I may even be able to look Him in the eyes and know that He is there. He is there! He is there on the road less traveled. He is there on the waves of a stormy sea. He is there in the midst of every struggle. He doesn't stop the struggle. He allows us to fight and be angry and look at him with eyes full of misunderstanding. Eyes that don't see...the pain is not without purpose...the discipline is giving, even.

If you're fighting with everything in you, today, please know it's not without a purpose. His plans for us are good. His intentions are that our faith would be complete, not lacking anything. We must go through the fire with Him. I believe, if we'll just be still and know...we will find Jesus is right there with us.

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Joseph AKA "Vaylo" AKA "Biggie Boo?"

We had every intention of calling him Joseph, but his Bulgarian name is stuck. It's pronounced Vi (long i) low. It's just who he is and that's okay. He is also amazing. He's amazing his doctors, with how much he's grown. He's amazing us with how much he's seeking out interaction, playing with toys, trying to walk. He's just quite simply amazing.

 He's a cheeseball and his expressions crack us all up!

He can not believe it's still 30 minutes to food time.

This one makes me laugh. I caught him standing up and playing with his puzzle.

He's always worried someone is going to take his stuff.

His newest form of showing off has us all thrilled!
He's pulling up (mostly to check the table for food).

He's standing for longer and longer, all the time.

He's even very happy to take a "walk" with just one hand these days.

Each of our kids has nickname. Eli is pumpkin. Julie is Peanut. Samuel is crazy bird undecided still. Vaylo has become our Biggie Boo. 

Can't imagine life without our "Biggie Boo." 

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,