Friday, July 19, 2013

Starting to forget and wishing I didn't remember

We have just returned from a wonderful week at our favorite beach. Fun beach pictures will eventually get posted, but first a post about something much more important. 
Before we left for our vacation, I wanted to write this post but never found the time.  After reading my dear friend's blog over the last 2 weeks as she spent day after day caring for orphans, I want to share my thoughts and encourage you to visit her blog.  To be fair, I first must warn you.  It is hard stuff to read.  It is sad and disturbing.  I want you to read it, and I want the Lord to break your heart for the orphan just as He broke mine in 2007.

Amy and I travelled together to adopt her Lulu and our Leiney Grace in January 2012.  We have become lifelong friends, and I am so thankful that God placed us together in Changsha, Hunan as we welcomed our daughters into their forever families.  Amy and I share the same passion for the orphan, yet we know we can not keep adding to our families through adoption.  Our hearts want to yet perhaps our husbands do not or the funds aren't there or the list goes on and on.  Yet our hearts remain broken.  We want to be His hands and feet for the orphan.  Amy did just that over these last 2 weeks.  Amy spent day after day serving orphans at Chenzhou Social Welfare Institute.  To be brutally honest, I am terrified to even think about doing what Amy has just done.  I am scared to go to China to serve in an orphanage.  I truly do not know if I have the inner strength.  I have obvioulsy done hard things, (bringing Dawson home alone currently ranks right at the top of the list!), but I just don't know if I could ever do it!  My heart is already broken - how can it possibly stand to witness all of that hoplessness and despair knowing I can not fix it?  Of course, I don't have to go.  It's my choice, right?  Not really.  I think He will send me - eventually.
Amy with her family and me as we prepared to meet our new daughters last January in Changsha, Hunan and then at the end of our trip with our precious girls.


Dawson and I have been home for 6 weeks.  We are finding a new normal now, and I am no longer in survival mode on a daily basis. I am forgetting "the labor pains" of adoption.  For me "forgetting" also means that I am starting to allow myself to remember.   I am remembering that there are millions more children waiting to be adopted.  Children living in orphanges with minimal care, minimal access to medical care, and minimal education.  Children like my precious son whom I just brought home.  Now a beloved son who likely would have been a beggar on the streets of China had he not been adopted.  I am forgetting how hard adoption is - the paperwork, the money, the stress, the preparation for the trip, THE TRIP, bonding and attachment difficulties, and the reentry into life.  As life gets easier post-adoption, I remember that my work for the orphan is not done.  I want to forget the overwhelming needs of the millions of orphans that really do exist in our world today - right this very minute!  Oh, how I wish I could simply forget. Forever.  It is so. very. painful to know. Yet at the same time, I know that He who broke my heart for the orphan will never let me forget.  Not as long as there are orphans.  There is simply too much work to be done and too few willing workers to be His hands and feet to the orphan - to serve in an orphange, adopt orphans, give money to orphan relief, spread the word about the orphan crisis, advocate for the waiting children, and the list goes on and on.  Although I would love to live the rest of  my life refusing to "remember" and thinking my work for the orphan is complete, I have realized I can not.  As long as I have breath,  my broken heart for the orphan will exist, and I will seek His will in how I can best serve "the least of these".
Amy's Lulu and our Leiney Grace at a reunioun at our house to celebrate a year of the girls being home with us
Please visit Amy's blog, scroll down, and read her posts about her time spent serving at Chenzhou Social Welfare Institute - the orphange where our Lilly spent her first 19 months.
It is well worth your time!  Please take some time to read about the reality of life in an orphange, see the images of the children who are living in an orphange right now, and then pray about how the Lord can use you!  I pray your life will never be the same.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July

So. Tired. of. Rain.
At least today it was scattered showers.
As David worked on his fishing boat, the littles made themselves  comfortable ~ with umbrellas. 

Watermelon is a huge hit at our house.
I prefer it chilled, cut up, in a bowl, and eaten with a fork.  It's much less messy!
The rest of my crew enjoys it room temperature, by the slab, and the messier - the better.  Thus they eat it outside : )


And just like that, it's gone!

This horse swing was a hand-me-down from someone whose children had outgrown it.  David finally had a chance to hang it today. It was a hit!

Did I mention we have had lots of rain?
These 2 decided to go "mudding" on the golf cart around our property.  Then they opted for a mud fight. 

Thank goodness they are old enough to clean themselves up.


Dawson enjoyed his first blanket ride courtesy of Lilly and Leiney Grace.

The little bros gave us a piano concert.
Eventually I pleaded with Hudson to stop banging playing and hid the piano. Awful of me I know, but
have you heard the noise one of these old toy pianos produce?
Yikes ~ it is terrible.

Dawson loves the cats, and they tolerate him pretty well!

Our newest American citizen

Such a handsome boy

And whose presence in our family has been such a blessing!

Grateful for all of the freedoms we have in this country including the right to have as many children as one chooses. Many Americans may not think of this freedom very often.  Knowing the result of China's "One Child" policy, this is a freedom every American parent should cherish.  Thanking God for the 9 children He has entrusted to me and for this great country I am blessed to live in. 
Hope you had a great 4th too!


Monday, July 1, 2013

A Sad Day

I woke up praying for Teresa and prayed off and on all day.  I kept thinking of her family and how agonizing the minutes and hours of today were for them.  Teresa is no longer suffering.  She is in the arms of Jesus.  Please remember her family in your prayers.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Psalms 116:15