Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day!

One year ago, on the eighth anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, we committed to adopt “Mimi”, known as “Maeve” on reecesrainbow.org.

Six months ago, we flew across the ocean and met Mimi and “Buddy” for the first time.  Three weeks later, we passed court in their birth country, making us parents of three one year olds.  THREE ONE YEAR OLDS! J

Five months ago, Mimi and Buddy landed on US soil and officially became US citizens.  Within hours, they were both admitted to the hospital.  Buddy’s stay was more precautionary and only officially lasted two days, but we stayed together as a family of five (thanks to RMH!) for the duration of Mimi’s 23 days as an inpatient. 

Four months ago, we came home from the hospital on a Saturday night.  I was in as much shock as I was the night we arrived home from Europe.  It seemed too good to be true.  After nine weeks away, having no control over when we could return home, it just felt so unreal.  

When God called us to this adoption last February, and we prayerfully answered that calling though it seemed impossible to us, many of you said yes along with us.  You said yes to praying faithfully and giving generously.  You supported us, loved us, and cheered us on – and we are so very grateful.  

You, the body of Christ, were His hands and feet scooping two small babies out of abandonment and into their forever families.          


To God be the glory - great things He hath done!

Matthew 19:26 - But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Really Home




Even after nearly a week, it is hard to believe we are really home.  Six weeks in EE, three weeks in the hospital, plus a few more days of travel added up to nine weeks and three days on the road.

Now that we've returned, two precious and innocent former orphans are "home" as well.  They have full bellies and warm beds.  They have the same caregivers day after day.  I'm sure that is still confusing at this point.  We saw so many different nannies at the orphanage that we lost count. Children adopted from these types of orphanages and institutions join families without having any concept of what a family actually is.  They can have a lot of behaviors and psychological issues as a result of never forming appropriate attachments to primary caregivers.

All orphans have experienced loss, no matter how young.  Each transition in their lives has meant another loss.  This article touches on the lasting effects of experiences stored in implicit memory:    
http://gobbelcounseling.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/trauma-doesnt-tell-time/

In country, we did not see or hear some of the things other adoptive families have testified about. We trusted the Lord to protect our oldest daughter that was with us, and He surely did.  But we saw enough.  And now, we see our two youngest children living with the consequences of being orphaned in EE every day.

We are praying for God to restore our little one's hearts and bodies as only He can. 

A couple of days ago, I read this, written by a sweet RR mama:

http://www.blessthislittlechild.blogspot.com/2013/11/is-there-hope.html

It is short and to the point.  Please take a moment to read it.  Not for me, but for two orphaned girls who desperately need families.  Two out of millions.  Millions is so overwhelming.  So many little souls.  What can we do??

Only pray.  The Lord will take care of the rest.

Those millions of orphaned children are not just numbers. They have faces.  And stories.  Please go look at these girls' faces.  They need disciples of Jesus whose hearts are burdened to pray for them.  

It's the least we can do.  As we enter into this holiday season and enjoy God's provision in our lives, let's give a gift that will only cost us our time.  Let's lift these two girls up in prayer, along with sweet Miranda whose face pierces my heart.


Oh, those eyes.  I've seen a more recent picture of her and it is heart wrenching.

Let's lift these girls' families up in prayer.  Somewhere, God is calling someone.  Let's pray for their hearts to trust Him.

We are home, but they are not.

A couple of weeks before we left for EE, I wrote this:
http://thewillofthefather.blogspot.com/2013/08/i-wasnt-always-like-this.html

I wasn't always like that, but I hope I always will be.

We had no idea as we prayed for the Lord to supernaturally sustain her, that Mimi's very life was hanging in the balance.  That she was one of the orphans left to suffer alone.  We have no doubt He sustained her.  She would never have made it otherwise.  She has lived in tremendous pain, enduring the effects of a bowel malformation that would have been corrected shortly after birth if she had been born in the US.  Into a family that wanted her.

Thank you again - though it will never be enough - for your support, your prayers, your generosity.

Though our two newest additions came a little later into their families, they are very much wanted, and desired, and loved.

Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LordAlmighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  



Monday, September 9, 2013

Come on Over!

Please go here and enter the password to continue to follow our journey!

http://prayingandobeying.wordpress.com/

See you there!!  

  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Harsh Realities

This is the blog of another Reece's Rainbow family.  This is a glimpse of the profound ramifications of being an orphan with special needs in some parts of the world.

At sixteen years old, this boy is the size of a five year old.  At sixteen years old, his cognitive level is that of a baby even though he should not have been this way because of the special needs he was born with.  A life of neglect is the culprit in what you can see in his pictures and videos.

Human development requires more than food and shelter.

Please say a special prayer for healing for Tommy and all of the orphaned children that right now, at this very moment, are suffering from abuse and neglect.

Tommy has been adopted, but countless others are starving while we enjoy our meals, lonely as we hug our loved ones, and physically attacked as we take our safety and comfort for granted.  

They are ignored day after day and year after year as we enjoy one another's company, interacting as much or as little as we desire with the many people we encounter at home, work, and church.  

"How is this possible?" we think.  Someone has to feed them, dress them, monitor them.  

That's true to some degree, but they don't have to care.  See for yourself. 

http://theblessingofverity.com/2013/09/who-redeems-your-life-from-the-pit/


Friday, August 30, 2013

The Ride

Remember that lil tid bit about adoption and waiting your turn on the playground?

Well, slide schmide!

Adoption is a  roller coaster!!

It's gut wrenching, breath taking and filled with suspense at every turn. It's punctuated by so many moments of excitement mixed with uncertainty, doubt, awe and wonder that a day without ALL of these emotions swirling becomes a day of dull.

The journey of adoption makes praising God in the storm the norm.

And praise Him we will, every step of the way!


Psalm 150 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Pray for this one: M&M

Throughout our adoption process, God has put it on our hearts to intercede for several different children listed on Reece's Rainbow. Usually one or two at the time, we would pray for their needs along with Maeve's, and pray that their families would find them quickly. It has been such joy to see so many of them receive families.  

For several weeks, two little girls have been on my heart.  Little "Mirabel" is turning four this month, and praise God, a family has stepped forward for her!  Instead of being transferred to an institution, she will be taken home by her family.  It won't be easy.  There will be sacrifice on their part, but she is so worth it and they know that.

She was a hidden treasure in a back room, as another adoptive mom so eloquently put it, but she has been found.

"Mirabel" has been spared the fate of so many. 

BUT...

There's another hidden treasure with a birthday in August who turned nine years old yesterday.  Miranda has been living in an institution for far too long already.  I read things like this blog post by a mom who has adopted from an institution in EE, and my heart aches for Miranda and God's other children in these places.  

This is her listing on Reece's Rainbow.  


Miranda


Girl, Born August 25, 2004
Cerebral Palsy

SIGNIFICANT RISK, PLEASE ADOPT ME SOON!!
What a beautiful little girl!    Wispy blonde hair and bright blue eyes!  Miranda is healthy and developing well out side of her CP.    She is an orphanage favorite.   Waiting for more info on her ability to walk/speak, etc.
She has two younger siblings, their status is not known.

She was transferred from her baby home, and still waits for her family.  She has been listed for SO long!!
$27.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption

Miranda has been waiting for a long time.  

There are so many parts of the body of Christ.  

God uses each one of us so uniquely.

He has asked me to be a voice for this princess.  

HIS princess.

Please take a moment to pray for her.  It's the best birthday 
gift most of us could possibly give her.

Somewhere, though, there is a family that could give her the 
gift of themselves.  

Please help them see her, Lord.  


Friday, August 23, 2013

I Wasn't Always Like This

I recently bought a box of 76 trash bags and every single time I look at it, I wonder if  "Maeve" will be home with us before all 76 are gone.

When I vacuum, and our 16 month old dances off to the side (because ever since she was born I sing the same song to her when I run the vacuum cleaner), I wonder what Maeve would be doing if she were here also.  I find myself accounting more often for two children, when one of them is still in an orphanage on another continent.

I've always tried to remember to see the "big picture".  The "this won't matter in ten years" or "Wow, we parked really far from the door, but at least I can walk myself to it.  Some folks can't." kind of thinking has always helped me keep things in perspective.

Of course, perspective changes over time.  And with different life experiences.  We are five months into our adoption process now, and just as with the arrival of any child, our thoughts are filled with anticipation of our newest daughter's life here with us. 

Except that unlike the end of pregnancy, instead of carrying my daughter in my womb and seeing her thriving on ultrasounds, I look at her picture and wonder how she is being affected by what she is lacking in nutrition, stimulation, and love.  I pray for God's supernatural provision for those things until we can be the ones that lavish His love on her.    

When I look at my daughter here, I think of orphans lying in cribs untouched, unnoticed, over there.

When we pray over our food, I think of hungry bellies on the other side of the world.  

When I pray, I ask God for his eyes to see as He sees so that my heart can break for what breaks His, knowing that even a hint of that buckles my knees.

When I'm being petty, I remember how blessed I am and wonder how I can possibly complain.  

When I wonder where we will live, I think about how blessed I am that no matter where it is, my children will be with me, and I think of the anguish of mothers in this world who are forced to abort, give away, or witness the abuse of their children.

I might get glassy-eyed in conversations about things such as which vacations to take, which clothes to buy, or how to redecorate a room because I am thinking of how we can pile all of the money for those things together instead and rescue one more orphan.  I don't begrudge anyone their blessings.  I'll take a vacation again, too, I'm sure.  My children will get new toys, clothes, beds.  

It's not that I think we should all be martyrs.

It's that I am not lukewarm.  I am hot about these children because the Lord has burdened my heart with their plight.

I wasn't always like this.  I didn't even know about orphans in Eastern Europe this time last year, but I am thankful my eyes and heart have been opened.

I cannot rescue them all.  But I can pray for them.  I can care about them.  I can think of them when no one else might.  I can love them because Jesus first loved me.  I can advocate for them just as He advocates for us.  I can be their voice when they have none.

When we get to heaven, the Bible says the last will be first. Certainly among the last here on earth are innocent newborn babies cast aside to suffer and die alone.  Oh, for the day that they would be first.

Revelation 21: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

No more pain for orphans left to suffer alone, writhing in agony in urine soaked beds.  

No more tears for those still bothering to cry, as many orphans have learned that there will be no response, and for some, even harsh punishment.  

No more sorrow for "little ones" who wait for years for a family to choose them, growing into "older ones" who know their disability has rendered them less desirable.  

No more death.  Though it is appointed once for every man to die, no child should have to suffer the death of their innocence and the stripping away of their dignity.  

Oh Lord, please come soon.

But until that day, help us as your children to listen when you speak, and obey joyfully.  We want to be a living sacrifice unto you!