The Family

The Family

Monday, February 28, 2011

God's Arrows in our Quiver: Impractical...Imprudent...Ill Advised...

Here is an entry I saw today on another blog and thought was so well said I just had to re-post it here. There are sooooo many people in this world who will question "why on Earth??" you want to adopt. Why would you want to "mess up" or complicate your life or your already beautiful family?? Well, it is not because of anything here on earth, but rather because of what our God in Heaven is telling us to do. This post is simply a must read!!
And in the future if anyone ever wonders "why on Earth???" we feel the need to adopt, to take a more challenging path in life or "mess up" what we already have, I'll be directing them here!!--

(As a sidenote, this sweet family just lost one of the precious sons they were in the midst of adopting to Lukemia.  Please keep them in your prayers.)

God's Arrows in our Quiver: Impractical...Imprudent...Ill Advised...: "All of the above. As I look forward to adopting Nikita and Alexei (Dusty) with my beautiful wife, Amy, and our family, I find that the..."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Aaaah.... Friday!

Another week is drawing to a close and I am sitting here reflecting on our family and the world swirling around us at high speed.  It is nice to just sit for a minute and be grateful as I contemplate everything going on in our lives.

We finished our studies for the week this morning-- the children finished up their reading, we did our math together.  Now they are outside on this very windy day, swinging on the swingset and observing our chickens.  The cats are rolling in the grass while the kids play, and following them around the yard. 

I love to sit here and listen to our rooster's crow while the wind howls through the trees in our woods.  The dryer is tumbling freshly washed clothes in the laundry room.  The two eldest are chatting as they make sandwiches for lunch, and my oldest makes coffee for mama :). Very peaceful.  And simple.  These are the sights and sounds of our life as a homeschooling family.

This afternoon after lunch the kids and I are going to catch up on some together-time reading.  Shakespeare, Prudence and the Millers, Parables of Nature-- love that book!!-- and Pilgrim's Progress.  Then I think we will bake some bread and some cookies for when daddy gets home.  The kids are all really wanting to work on their crochet today too.  A friend of mine that I have known since high school came over Wednesday and gave them a lesson.  They have been working on their projects diligently ever since.

So, happy Friday to you all.  Take some time to savor the sights, sounds and little moments in your life today.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our Week Last Week

Whew what a past week we have had!  It was just one of those weeks that flew by because we had so much going on.  It was lots of fun stuff though, mixed in with our normal school stuff, so I didn't mind much. 

I must say, it has taken me a bit to re-adjust to our homeschooling schedule since getting back from China.  Between Christmas break, then being displaced from our home for two weeks because of the fire, then just after getting back into our house having to travel for a week and a half........ well it was just a whirlwind!  Getting back into our "normal" routine was challenging to say the least.  But we have finally done it, and everyone is still on track to finish up with their schedules by June.  Hooray!!

So what exactly have we been up to lately?  Well, two of our girls decided that it was time for a new look.  So we made an appointment at the salon for them to go together, and they went from this.......

To this!

(Don't know what is up with this pic and the weird blank spot on the bottom, but I couldn't fix it so there it is!)
 Then later in the week my friend Emilie and I hosted a ladies Valentine's Day tea at her house.  She so graciously offered to host it this year since our house is still a shambles after the fire.  Can't host a tea when all your office stuff is still sitting in your dining room!  My girls offered to come and be mini-hostesses for us too.  The day was sunny and warm for February, and I think the ladies had a good time.  How can you not with all these yummy treats??!!

The ladies from church enjoy the Valentine's Day tea each year.  It was so great of Emilie to host this year since I couldn't!

Some lovely young ladies who helped us play hostess.....

Then on Valentine's Day, after doing some homeschool work, I thought it would be fun to take the kids out and treat them to lunch at IKEA.  It was a win-win situation because I just love that place and hadn't been there to browse in a long time!  Here they are enjoying their chicken fingers and chocolate cake....

I don't know about you, but I just love doing special little things with the kids on the holidays.  Setting the table that morning with heart shaped plates for breakfast, and giving each of them a sweet candy treat is just fun for me, and for them!  I totally enjoyed their company when we went out for our V-Day lunch, and I look foreword to many more memories like this one in the future.  They all just grow up too fast!!

And along the lines of that statement, one more thing to announce!!  Our eldest son Evan is now a member of the driving community so be extra wary on those roads all you North Carolinians!!  Yep-- Evan got his driving permit this past week and we are so excited to be teaching him how to drive!  So far he has done really well.  He drove us all home from his Biology class the other day and nary a mailbox nor woodland creature was harmed.  :)  His dad was a bit afraid when he called my cell and found out that his whole family was presently in the car with Evan at the wheel.  He said a silent prayer that he would still HAVE a family when he got home that night!  Haha!

All kidding aside though, he has been doing very well with his driving and we are both excited to watch him take yet another step forward in maturity and responsibility.  Yeah Evan!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Still Not Much News

I just wanted to post a brief update regarding Gideon.  Not much news really other than that we have learned that he did start his TB medication about 2 weeks ago now, and that his sputum smears did come back negative.  We still will have to wait until the actual cultures are looked at in about 4 more weeks.  If they still don't show anything they will probably wait another 2 weeks just to be sure.  But if there is TB it will probably show up by then.

Either way, there is not much to do right now but wait.  I tried calling the CDC but they were of no help.  They cannot act as a "regulatory agency" they told me, and therefore will not speak with our health dept. regarding their decision not to sign the waiver yet.  Our agency doesn't have any other information either at this point.  Just that he is taking the medication.

So, I don't want to rush my life away, but I hope these next few weeks pass quickly.  Poor Tim is chomping at the bit to get Gideon home.  He keeps saying that he would love to put me on a plane tomorrow!  I agree.  And I wish there was some other course of action but there doesn't seem to be at this time. 

Just please keep our son in your prayers, that he is safe and getting healthy and that he is confident that we are returning as soon as we can to get him!  I am sending him a little care package, so that will help some I hope.

So, for now we wait.  At least we know he is coming home!  We just have to be patient.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Oftentimes, families who are called to adopt are often asked the question "Why?"  Why do we feel the need.  Well this blogger puts a different spin on it and I found the answer to be bold, because not lots of people want to hear such bluntness-- if that's a word-- but it rings true just the same.  Sure many people can say-- well adoption isn't for everyone!  And you are right, it's not.  But I think this was directed more at the people who just simply cannot fathom WHY an adoptive family would want to DO such a thing.  Or at the people who give excuse after excuse just to ease their guilt because they know what is right, they just don't want to inconvenience themselves enough to do it.  We all know those types of people, the ones who don't understand why someone could possibly be interested in something other than what they deem reasonable.  Anyway, read it and take from it what you wish.  You can visit her blog at

Why? (The Answer)

Tonight I watched "Martian Child" with Denzell and Dayton. It is a movie that I had never let any of the kids watch. Some of the foster care themes are a little too fresh for many of my kids and we don't need a set back. Those two had really helped me a lot today while I had a headache, so I had let them stay up extra late. Both of them are thoroughly rooted and I thought it would be a good time to let them enjoy the movie as well.

That movie rings true in so many ways for me. I couldn't begin to tell you the tears that come to my eyes while he waits to hear if he will be given the opportunity to parent the child that he already has come to love. I get chills when he gets the call that says he can be his parent. I totally relate to those awkard moments of trying to figure out how much to open or close the door. I could talk about all of that tonight, but I won't. I won't even go into the ridiculousness (is that a word? lol) of the system that has left me waiting endlessly for my little Cody to come home.

I do want to talk about the big TRUTH in the movie. At the end of the movie the little broken hearted boy looks into the eyes of his father and asks "Why?". He wants to know why parents don't stay. He wants to know why he has been rejected over and over. He wants to know why the world saw no value in him. Then comes the truth from the dad . . . . "they are STUPID".

That is the truth. In this world children are neglected, rejected, and set aside because adults are STUPID. Children wait tonight in foster homes feeling unloved and afraid of what tomorrow will hold because people are STUPID. Children sit in the cribs all day in orphanages unloved, hungry, and not even knowing what their world should be like because adults are STUPID.

God gave all of us these amazing gifts! CHILDREN ARE A GIFT - EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! They are thrown away in our society daily. They are aborted, abandoned, abused, neglected, and discounted because our whole adult world is STUPID. How will all of the adults stand before God some day and account for their STUPIDITY? How will they justify to God their inaction? I really don't know. I can't imagine standing there and saying "but they weren't my responsibility", "I didn't do that to them", "I didn't give birth to them", " I didn't have time", "I had MY own children", or whatever other lame excuses people have planned.

As long as children are hurting we are being held responsible. The Bible talks about "the least of these". The Bible talks specifically about Jesus's love for children and His words about them and their care. The Bible tells us that "true undefiled religion" is taking care of the orphans. What more words do people need to make them know it is their responsibility? What more do they need to make them act?

I know this, I will not stand before Him and account for my inaction. I will stand before Him knowing that I did every thing that I could. If what you can do is "give", then do it. If what you can do is "advocate" then get to it. If what you can do is "adopt" then hurry. Ask God what your part is today. Don't TELL Him what your part should be, because you will account to Him some day. If you need a place to start figuring out how to do your part then please feel free to click on my links for Reece's Rainbow. They have a part that each one can play. DON'T BE STUPID

Sunday, February 6, 2011

For All the Devoted Dads

Saw this today and thought...."this would make an awesome Father's Day post!"  And I just might post it again in June because I love it so much and it made me cry.  But that's also the reason why I felt I had to share it today and not wait.  So, read on below and remember to be grateful for all those daddies in our lives who wrestle and tustle with our babes, and work so hard to provide them with a warm home and food on the table.

Only A Dad

Only a dad with a tired face,
home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well
he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see
him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the
whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he
gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with
courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the
line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.

From the book "A Heap o' Livin'" ©1916

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I have been meaning to post this for awhile since I saw it on someone else's blog, but never got around to it.  Well I saw it again today on another blog and just thought I had to post it on here.

Fostering might not be for everyone, but if you have ever thought about it even for a moment, I really encourage you to look into it further.  You could be exactly what some child needs at a time in their lives when they are full of confusion and sorrow.  You could be the light they need to see to know there is hope...  that someone out there loves them and will comfort and protect them.  And not only the child, but you will be blessed as well.  Extremely blessed.

21 Foster Parenting Truths As Seen By a Veteran Foster Parent

from Keith Thompson:

My wife and I have been doing foster care for 17 years. Along the way, we've learned a few things that seem to be givens when working for our children.

1. Love may not be enough, but when you add unlimited patience and a sense of humor, you can usually get through.

2. Things go best when you go by the book - but you have to be using the right book!

3. Having a spirit of contention accomplishes nothing - especially when you are trying to work with the "system".

4. You can't help every child, but you can still cry for them.

5. You can't help every child, but you can still pray for them.

6. Some people know how to fix a broken child, and some people know how to fix a broken system - very few people have the time and talent fix both!

7. You can feel close to God when changing a diaper.

8. Foster Care is the worst paying job in the world.

9. Foster Care is the best paying job in the world.

10. Enjoy the good days when they come - on the bad days, find someone to serve.

11. Kids who've had it rough in life need good, strong parenting.

12. Kids who've had it rough in life need someone to serve them.

13. Knowing when to be a parent, and when to be a servant brings the greatest joy and success.

This is the one I'm most partial to:

14. Abused kids are used to being yelled at - try using funny voices instead!

15. Never let a child go to bed without a "tuck-in".

16. A 10 year old who's never been allowed to be a 10 year old, will not become a 10 year old upon arrival in your home - pick your battles and conquer one behavior at a time.

17. ALWAYS expect that the children will not resemble their "resumes".

18. Children are more important than furniture.

19. Work as if everything depends on you - Pray as if everything depends on the Lord!

20. The greatest lesson the Lord has ever taught me about fostering children came during a church meeting one Sunday. Our newly arrived, nine year old foster son came in during the meeting and asked me to tie his shoes. My first thought was to scold him for not being able to tie the shoes himself. My next thought was to kneel down and tie them for him. My final thought was - I am kneeling at the feet of the Savior!

21. And since I have still not learned everything, my most recent lesson comes from someone I only recently met. When we ask ourselves why a child had to be born to such an abusive parent, remember that the birth of a child is the keeping of a promise made in heaven.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Just One

I saw the following as a tag line on someone's email post tonight--

"To an audience of ONE". 

It just made me stop and think a minute.  That simple sentence was so profound to me.  To an audience of one.  There is only ONE person, ONE being who's approval we should be searching for in this life.  There is only ONE whom we should be striving to please.  There is only ONE whose opinion truly matters in our life and only ONE who our life should be a performance for.  As long as my actions, my words, my works and my life please HIM then I am happy. 

We have to make our lives about pleasing Him, not anyone else, even when others disagree, criticize, mock us or call us crazy.  Make your life a performance for just ONE.
Just some food for thought. 
Who are you trying to please in your life?