The Family

The Family

Friday, July 30, 2010

People Making a Difference

"Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world."
Howard Zinn

I got some of the most wonderful news this morning and I am excited to share!

There are some truly exceptional people I have recently become friends with through my brother-in-law and his wife. They are trying with all their heart to make a difference, just like the quote states above, by doing all they can in their tiny part of this world, to help the plight of orphans in the Ukraine. I first got to talking with them about this subject at my brother-in-law's wedding last October and I could tell they were passionate about helping these children. They were trying to organize a mission trip in March to the designated orphanage, made up of older children about ages 7 and up, and they were soooo excited!

They did go on their trip and it was an outstanding success. While they were there they taught Bible classes to the kids and let them know about the love of God. But mainly they were there to let them know about the love of other people... a love these children have never known. They played with them, tried to learn their language, hugged them and cuddled them. They showered all the love they could on these children for the brief time they were there. Their hearts and the hearts of those others who had traveled there with them were broken when they had to leave. These children needed people to love them so badly.

Our friends had grown very attached to these kids. They could see the potential locked inside each one of them to grow and learn and be happy, "normal" people. They knew there had to be more that they could do, must do, to help them find loving permanent homes.

Which leads me to the reason that I am so excited and grateful to God this morning-- the plane carrying these children to the US, all 19 of them, landed safely last night!! These precious children are all presently in the homes of host families in the NC area who are caring for and loving them for the next 3 weeks-- some of them possibly forever. They have come here with the hopes of being adopted, and some of them are already matched to the families they are staying with, which is a blessing. They will be doing a lot over the next few weeks from Bible classes to picnics. Mainly they will just be having fun, and being cared for... two things they really know nothing about where they are from.

My friend stated that last night the children were whooping and hollering just at the site of a toilet when they got home. A toilet? How many of our children are that grateful for this little convenience? They were also overjoyed when they were presented with new backpacks full of clothes that had been donated by loving souls wanting to help. All those people doing their little bit... small acts.

My family will have the incredible experience of meeting these children in a couple weeks when we go there to teach one of the Bible classes. I feel so blessed to be included, to be able to contribute a tiny amount to their memories of their weeks here, hopefully meaningful memories at that. I am excited for my children to come with me and meet them too. I just know they are going to learn something from these kids. Will it be gratitude? Acceptance? Their need to help others in this world? Not sure yet, but I am hoping this experience will have as much an impact on their lives as I am sure it will on mine.

So today has begun well! Please pray for these children and the incredibly giving people who are with them throughout these next few weeks. Pray that they will know that they are loved-- by God and by others. Pray that they ALL find loving families who are anxious to take them in and make them their own. Pray that God will continue to bless all the people involved with this effort. Just pray. And if anyone out there feels inclined to help these kids in any way please contact me and I will put you in touch with the right people. Small acts, transforming the world. It can happen. It is happening right now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting the hang of this

I am so excited to have this thing up and running... finally! However, considering I am not the most computer savvy person in the world, my challenge is to keep it running and to make it look good! There are so many awesome looking blogs out there with great pictures, links and even little blinky things. I want those! Gotta figure this stuff out, after all I already have ONE FOLLOWER! Yippee! I promise I will get it looking better.... soon.

For today, I just wanted to say on here how enormously grateful I am. Life is filled with so many challenges, so much stuff that just gets in the way of that feeling of gratitude way too often. It is such a pleasant feeling for me when I just out of the blue get one of those "ah-ha" moments about how blessed I am.

I have so much more in the form of material blessings than most people in our world could ever dream of having. I have a loving family who raised me to be true to who I am and to believe that I matter. I have a kind-hearted, hard working, Christian husband who really does try his hardest every day for his family. I have sweet, loving, healthy children-- two of them baptized Christians-- who are my lights in this world, my reason for trying MY hardest to be a light myself. I have WONDERFUL friends from so many different walks of life, who support me and care about our family and help me become a more well-rounded, tolerant, God fearing individual.

I am blessed. Our family is blessed. And I am grateful.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Journey Begins

Wow. I can't believe I am actually starting a blog. I have thought about it many times, how it would be so fun to get my ideas down, share them with the world, keep our family (who all live far away) updated on all our goings-on. But I never did it. Didn't really feel the pull. Until yesterday. As I stated in the description, this blog is probably going to be about a lot of things. Our kids, our homeschooling, our pets and our everyday mundane activities. But what really drove me most recently to decide that I wanted to have a blog, no that I needed to have a blog, was the subject of adoption. Our family is currently at the end of a 2 year long process to adopt a daughter from foster care here in the US. It has been a journey filled with ups and downs, easy times and difficult ones-- as I am sure most adoptions are. We have laughed, cried, rejoiced and been dismayed. But thankfully that journey is soon coming to an end, we'll be able to say that we have all come out on the other side, and as a result we will officially-- both in our hearts and on paper-- be able to say that another daughter has been added to our family. And we are thankful.

But although everything going on with that is wonderful and blog-worthy, her adoption is not the one that really made me want to begin this blog. It is the adoption or adoptions that have not happened yet. The ones that are hopefully still looming on the horizon of our future.

You see, the other day I was told of a website through a link my friend sent to my Facebook page. It was a plea for a little boy named Monroe who desperately needed a home. The link was through the website Reece's Rainbow- Maybe some of you have heard of it? I hadn't, until that day about a week ago. From that time on I have felt like my life has taken a big turn. You see, Reece's Rainbow is a site dedicated to finding loving homes for special needs children living in orphanages in other countries. They are truly doing God's work. The children listed on that site are precious, sweet children of God-- albeit not "typical". They all have different special needs from Down's Syndrome to Cerebral Palsy to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, as well as others. Because they are not considered "normal", in many of these countries they are looked at as lesser-than and not worth having. So they are given up to orphanages where often they are poorly treated and given sub-standard care. Sometimes it seems the orphanages try to care for the children the best they can, but they simply lack the room or resources. Thus these children are simply left in their beds, denied of much physical contact and given only the bare minimum of food to survive until they are adopted. For the unlucky ones who are not, they are most often transferred from the "baby houses" to asylums by age 4-5 and left there until they die. Oftentimes this happens all too quickly. They really don't have a chance.

It was a grim realization for me when I came upon this website, and then the blogs of many others who have found their children through them, to learn that there are still so many countries who treat their children in this way. So sad, so inhumane. The pictures of these sweet children, their descriptions, the stories told by some of their adoptive families brought me to tears. Uncontrollable tears. How could this be happening to these babies? I immediately started feeling something moving inside of me. God was stirring me to action. As Proverbs 24:12 states, "Once our eyes are opened we can't pretend we don't know what to do." I can't pretend.

So for about the past week, since I first came upon that message from my friend, I have been praying. Praying to God that I know what to do. And I have been talking. Talking to my husband, to friends, making them aware of this atrocity and the need to do something about it.

I have always known that I wanted to adopt. I told my husband of that need before we were married 15 years ago. I knew that I wanted to add more children to our family after this adoption we are presently going through was completed. I have never kept it a secret. Our social workers know we want more children too, but unfortunately because of NC laws we cannot take in more foster children with hopes of adopting them. With 5 kids we are at our capacity. So, a private adoption was our next logical step, and I have already been looking. Looking at profiles of different children, agencies, countries etc. But did I ever consider a special needs child? Never once. I can honestly, shamefully say the thought never occurred to me. I am not sure why, but it just never did. Maybe it was because I thought it would be too hard, too scary. I would be jumping into uncharted waters there. All of our children so far have average or above-average abilities. None of them is cognitively impaired. So why would I want to add that challenge to our lives-- the challenge of a special needs child? Well I never did until now. All I can say, honestly and simply, is that it is God who put that desire there within my heart. He lead me down the right path, at the right time-- as He always does-- and opened my eyes to a desire for something I never knew I wanted. He is pointing me in the direction that our family must go and I need to follow Him.

I don't think I can fully express in words how powerful and emotionally overwhelming this last week has been. You could ask my husband, he has been experiencing this change in me too! These children who need our help have been all I can talk about, pray about, dream about. I feel the desperate need to DO something to make the world a better place for them.

So, that is the main thing that spurred me on to finally starting a blog-- a purpose bigger than myself and my rantings about our family's daily life, as fun as that is. It was a need to make a difference, to take a new journey down a road that I did not even know existed for us, and to share that journey with others complete with the bumps in the road and the rainbows at its end.

I don't yet know what this new revelation of mine will hold in store for our family. We are still in the process of figuring that one out. I pray right now that it ends in another adoption for our family, and at the very least a greater awareness of the orphans of this world and their plight, but only time will tell on that one. In the words of Ghandi-- "You must be the change YOU wish to see in the world."

So how can my eyes be closed again to this need? They cannot. How can I believe the plight of orphans is just someone else's problem? I cannot. How can our family continue on with our happy, comfortable lives knowing that there are children out there suffering, needing a loving family to bring them home, and not do anything to help? We cannot. Thus begins my blog as we slowly, carefully and deliberately, through the grace of our God, begin to make a change in the world by taking baby steps.

Listen to hippiechick28083s Playlist

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones