Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend Wrapup & MeetMe on Monday

Weekend Wrapup - Friday, despite his cough, I coerced mr awesome into running 5k with me, but I actually ran more like 4 miles. Was listening to mandi mapes - yes - obsessed with that album. Just wanted to hear the words over and over which made me not want to stop running. Woot. Then we spent the night watching movies we rented (transformers, breaking the press) and working. Saturday we slept in as it was raining outside, and then when the rain stopped we hit the park for a 5k. My allergies were bugging me and I spent most of the run sneezing my guts out but we really enjoyed the time and I caught up on my andy stanley sermonage. Plus we beat our fastest 5k by another minute woot! Hit breakfast after at first watch (yum) and then spent the day (until 3am) working. Sunday I worked and mr awesome cleaned the house from top to bottom. (toldya hes awesome). Finished just in time for Sunday Night Bravo. RHWOA starts next week but last night we got the "before they were stars" episode which was actually pretty interesting. And Tyrese on Watch What Happens Live certainly made it a great night of Bravo :) I fell asleep before it ended though - did he show his abs after all? I am happy with all the work I accomplished this weekend and am psyched to get this big project off my plate and send the invoice :)

1. My current weather is _______?
rainy and cold
2. What is your favorite sound?
laughter or the buzz of a text message
3. What is the worst flavor of ice cream?
4. What magazine do you look for when you are stuck in the waiting room?
ummm... angry birds on iphone duh :)
5. What is your favorite condiment?
balsamic vinegar fo sho

This Love - Mandi Mapes

Break out some tissues... just sayin

Mandi Mapes / This Love / P E M MA by jamesjosephaudio

This Love by Mandi Mapes

I’ve never felt this way before
funny how you found you’re way to my door
and suddenly my prayers are coming true
and these arms are not letting go of you

this love this love is the deep kind
you’re my baby, you’re my sunshine
I’ll hold your hand, be your biggest fan
and I’ll love you all of the time

our eyes are not quite the same shade
and your hair blows in the wind a different way
but I am your mother and
I love you just the same
so I’ll take your hand honey
and you can take my name

my heart has been redeemed,
adopted and now I know my Father
this grace that I’ve received
I want to show you
I want to show you

this love this love is the deep kind
it hangs on through the storm and the sunshine
I’ll hold your hand, be your biggest fan
and I’ll love you all of the time

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What I learned tonight...

Mapp class was a lot of fun tonight. Mr Awesome was especially humorous and adorable and we learned a lot about tools for the best ways to parent hurt children. Here are the main points I took from the class:

  • Ignore junk behaviors - some behaviors (known as junk behaviors) don't hurt anyone and are simply reflections of the inner hurt. Some examples are whining, cursing, stomping feet, not doing a chore, calling names... When you are dealing with a hurt child, reacting to a junk behavior is often ineffective and often just makes it worse. The suggestion is to ignore the junk behavior, sometimes averting eyes, attention or not verbally responding.

  • Stay Close - stay close to the child in proximity, observing behaviors, praising positive behaviors, listening, talking, expressing empathy, asking open ended positive questions, avoiding reactive coercive and punishment parenting.

Note to Self - and 5 tips for dealing with CIS in International Adoption

Don't ever miss a fingerprint appointment. :)

Earlier this year when everything went a little haywire and we weren't really sure what we were going to do, we made a fatal error...

We skipped our fingerprint appointment. I mean, we didn't know what we were going to do or if we would even need our cis approval. We were stressed-anxious-depressed and didn't really want to even think about it. So we skipped it. And apparently that is the cardinal sin of CIS. When we got our worlds back on track and started working on making sure everything was updated... we called CIS to see if we could reschedule fingerprints... and they told us that if we had called 3 days earlier sure. But that they had mailed us a letter cancelling our cis approval. !!!!

Anyhow, we were unable to get back in touch with our officer, and so we reached out to our agency and were affirmed not to worry since we were still approved until late November so all we needed to do was request our extension and fingerprint appointment again. So we did. Three weeks later and still no fingerprint appointment. In the meantime have been been harassing our officer's voicemail to no avail.

Today we finally heard her sweet sweet voice when we asked to speak with her. Well, mr awesome did and when she started telling him that we needed to start over again he had her conference me in. And off I went explaining how we were so sorry that we missed the appointment and didn't even get into the misery that was the first part of this year for us. Then I tried with logic and explained that our current cis doesn't even expire until the end of next month so weren't we 100% eligible to request an extension?

PRAISE THE LORD she said she would talk to her supervisor and see what she could do. In a few minutes she told us that she had ordered our files again and if we were right that we don't expire until November (yes I doublechecked and we have until almost December), that she would reopen our case and get our fingerprints ordered. !!!!

So, without further ado, here are my top 10 tips for dealing with CIS

  1. Mail everything with tracking numbers and stay on top of when they receive your application.

  2. As soon as you receive confirmation that they received your case, give them a few days and then call and find out the name and extension number for the person assigned to your case.

  3. As soon as you get your fingerprint appointment in the mail, disregard the date on your appointment, drive down to the office and get your fingerprints done asap. Most offices accept walk ins and as long as you have the paper with the appointment it will work out much better than sitting around waiting for the date.

  4. After a couple days from your fingerprint appointment call your officer and see if she received them and ask for an eta of when you will get your approval.

  5. Don't call so much that you bug them, but I would say anytime you are waiting on them to do something - calling a couple times per week is helpful. Squeaky wheel and all.

  6. Never Ever Ever miss a fingerprint appointment - its freaking free and you never know

  7. Show your officer love - let her/him know how much you appreciate everything so much every single phone call

  8. Ask for their supervisors number to praise them for expedient service

  9. Stay on top of your expiration dates - fingerprints and approval

  10. Never Ever miss a fingerprint appointment - don't be a dipwad like us :P

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Schmaloween

Halloween. As a child this holiday meant candy for weeks (yes my mother rationed us and took most of it to work) and fun and staying up late and hanging out with friends, and coming up with a fun costume. I never put much thought into it. I was never crazy about scary movies, stories, tv shows, games. In fact I would say my whole life I have been scared of the dark to an extent because that is when I would remember every little detail of every horrid thing I had ever seen or read.

When I became a Christian many things were entangled in my new faith. I found Christ in the middle of the three most traumatic experiences of my life. While Christ was clear to me suddenly, my desperation surrounding those events assisted me in making poor decisions on a number of fronts. These poor decisions took a young woman who always was a bit of a fraidy-cat and at that time gave her full on panic disorder. Like... stopped attending my college courses, stopped going to work, afraid to leave the house, spent most days under the covers... Anyhow, getting over that involved medication, therapy, and a combination of avoidance and pushing myself beyond what I thought I could do.

Some things, like horror movies, and even some action movies... are just too much for my anxiety level now. Due to this I avoid them at any opportunity. At the same time, the more I learned about Christ the more I learned the reality of some of these things from horror movies. Which also removed many of them from my desirable list. I do know there is some intermingling though of the source of my aversion...

Anyhow... that's all just a little background. So to this day I am conflicted about Halloween. I dont want to be legalistic or a fuddy duddy. But if this Satan guy is a bad dude, (the whole enemy of our souls thang) then do we party with him one day a year? Dressing our kids up like him and his minions?

Do we celebrate it at a holiday festival - or is that doing the same thing with a christian spin on it? I mean I wouldn't go to church to celebrate Mohammad's birthday with candy and cake and say oh this is a summer festival. (no clue when mo's bday is)... I mean, if Jesus were a man in our culture what would he do? If trick or treaters knocked at his door I bet he would give them the biggest candy bars on the street. He would use it as an opportunity to love. Would he dress up like a little demon? hell no - get it - HELL no.

I have had times where one opinion or the other wins me over but I continue to be conflicted about it. What do you do? Leave me a comment with your opinion. Where do you draw the line?

Here is a great article my husband found for me recently that really made me think twice about my fuddyduddyness and this one too

Also here is an interesting read from moore about judgment (haunted) houses

3 John 1:11 (NIV)
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

Romans 12:13 (NIV)
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Follow Them...

Do you know about sixty feet? Do you know about M? If so... or if not... I highly recommend that you follow the two 60feet interns.

kirby and kelsey

You can also sponsor them!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So you want to be a Porn Star when you grow up?

I was reading some Moore and it got me thinking about this epidemic...

Being a woman I can only assume, but I get the feeling that the number one temptation for men in our culture (and heck all cultures) is lust. If you believe what the media tells us lust is something men think about all day long. Inhabiting the same world as men and growing up friends with men... that does ring true. Now what a man does with that lust is what characterizes them. If a man controls it they succeed over this temptation.

But how easy is to succeed in the culture we are currently living in? In a culture where moms think its ok for their sons to read pornographic magazines and some of them actually order them for them? In a culture where parents send their son off with a relative for their 18th birthday for a good wholesome "ladies entertainment" facility? In a culture where what we watch on basic television today is what would shock our grandparents to even be in a rated r movie not so many years ago.

Do we know that exposure to pornography is detrimental to the development and conscience of a man? Do we know that the guilt and shame associated with it will create depression, marital problems, skewed perspectives of sexual relations and women and im sure many more... What are we doing to protect our sons from pornography?

One day I may be a mother to a son. My husband - a father to a son. What will we do to teach our boy a proper perspective of sex and lust? What have you done? Feel free to share in comments. The world is scary. I know of men whose fathers read porn so they followed after them. I know of men whose parents bought special tv channels to provide their sons porn. While obviously I wouldn't do any of these things (gosh that sounded judgemental. i dont mean to be judgemental. its not for me to judge. but its sad so i feel like commenting on it. and heck its my blog. so deal), so while I wouldn't that doesn't guarantee that my son won't get addicted to it on his own. And What will I do to prevent that? How can I protect my son from becoming visually addicted to such images?

We teach our sons how to fix the car. We teach our sons how to build a fire. We teach our sons how to treat each other. We teach our sons about God. But what do we do to teach them a proper perspective of such a huge part of their lives?

The scriptures teach us to run from sin, to run from temptation. Some people think that the best way to fight temptation is to expose yourself to it and show who is the boss. The scriptures tell you to run from it. Here are a couple verses to help.

Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman".
Proverbs 6:25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.
Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

I think that the movie Courageous was a great inspiration to fathers and parents to take a more active role in the raising of their children. To get to know their kids and their interests. And to teach their children how to grow up to be strong men and women in their faith. But lets take it one step further. What can we do to stop this pornography epidemic? Starting with our sons.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I can't tell you how many fingerprints we have had taken, background checks sent in...

Well one new rule from overseas is that a local precinct letter is no longer sufficient, and we need to do an additional fbi fingerprint check (despite having fbi fingerprint check done in homestudy)... anyhow... off it goes. I hear its taking 6-8 weeks to receive approval on these so... wonder if they think our fingerprints really change four times per year, or if they enjoy us scurrying around... :P

Well here we go again...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bloodlines by John Piper - Documentary on how God views Racism

Bloodlines Documentary with John Piper from Crossway on Vimeo.

An exclusive video documentary featuring Pastor John Piper as he walks through his personal story of growing up in the segregated South. His personal story boldly champions the transforming power of the gospel and the beauty of racial diversity and harmony in Christ.

Learn more about the book...

Weekend Wrapup & Meet Me On Monday

Weekend Wrapup - Friday night we stayed in and watched movies, while we got some work done. Saturday morning we mailed off a purse from the Watson fundraiser, checked out the Fall Festival with my sister, bil, and nieces. Picked up some beautiful art pieces by a local artist. Then after our fingerprinting appointment disolved (the guy we found online started to sound shady and we decided the reason he was so inexpensive was likely because he was drawing us to a bad part of town to murder us), so we loaded the dogs and our stuffs and headed south to spend the weekend with the Watsos. Sunday morning we headed to church and followed up with a trip to breakfast with the crew. We spent the day chillin, talking, and giggling. Yes the foghorn of course made a quick appearance. We ended the day with the movie the Zookeeper, and headed north with the pups to come home and enjoy part 1 of RHWONJ reunion and all I can say is WHOA. They keep going the way they are and they will need a complete recast. :)


1. The thing that scares me the most is __________?
being scared
2. Do you like nuts in your Chocolate Chip cookies?
3. If you couldn't change the channel, what tv show would drive you from the room?
anything with gore... like those investigative shows that seem to be on every channel every night
4. Pulp or no pulp in your Orange Juice?
5. Who do you miss the most?
like someone dead? my granny. like someone alive but not closeby anymore? my besties anna and arl



Saturday, October 15, 2011

This is going to hurt...

... and no... it won't be over before you know it.

If I could talk to myself two years ago when we were starting our process to adopt a child from Ethiopia that is what I would say. Or maby not... maybe its better to learn along the way. I mean I knew it was going to be long. I knew it was not going to be easy. I knew it would require sacrifice. But I didn't know it would hurt so much. From beginning and throughout.

When people started hearing that we were adopting attacks were thrown, insults, nasty comments. It blows me away what Christ, adoption, and trans-racial families draw out of people... the person inside them that they cover up most of the time. We all have ugly inside us in some ways. But the ignorant things that were spoken early on will forever paint how I see some people. Its sad. I wish I could unhear them.

The disruption earlier this year hurt beyond what I can explain. I wouldn't want my worst enemy to go through it. It broke me for a while. I am just now getting back to normal. I imagine I will always flinch when something reminds me of what happened in Orlando.. and the insensitive comments afterwords... wow.

But in the end... there is nothing that can compare to the hurt that our son will have experienced. And short of being an orphan ourselves, there is no way that we can comprehend the hurts he will have. The hurt we have gone through over the past few years has changed us, it has grown us. Individually and as a family. Hopefully these hurts and hurdles are forming us to become a better family for this child we will one day meet.

Friday, October 14, 2011

“He may delay because it would not be safe to give us at once what we ask: we are not ready for it. To give ere we could truly receive, would be to destroy the very heart and hope of prayer, to cease to be our Father. The delay itself may work to bring us nearer to our help, to increase the desire, perfect the prayer, and ripen the receptive condition.”
― George MacDonald

this lil nugget brought to us by the awesomeness of rachel

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Don't Adopt

If you want your “dream baby,” do not adopt or foster a child: buy a cat and make-believe. Adopting an orphan isn’t ordering a consumer item or buying a pet. Such a mindset hurts the child, and countless other children and families. Adoption is about taking on risk as cross-bearing love.

For years, I’ve called Christian churches and families to our James 1:27 mandate to care for widows and orphans in their distress, to live out the adoption we’ve received in the gospel by adopting and fostering children. At the same time, I’ve maintained that, while every Christian is called to care for orphans and widows, not every Christian is called to adopt or foster. As a matter of fact, there are many who, and I say this emphatically, should not... read moore ;)

Journey To Healing :: Part Three

My Journey To Healing Part Two brought me to a place where I found my fears can be subsided by allowing my husband to lead our family and being obedient to him. Just one week later I learned the third part of this teaching.

Mr Awesome and I drove down to my hometown to attend an annual worship event that one of my old youth kids started. Again I was excited to see my friends, excited to hear my friends lead worship, and totally not expecting how the Lord would meet me.

There was a girl leading worship who started praying for the crowd. I prayed to myself and asked the Lord to heal me of my fears. She started praying reassuring things - that The Lord was going to heal us, that this was not a time of war but a time of peace and that good things were coming. One of the things she said that hit me: "dont worry, hes got this", while a duh statement the way it was said and impressed to me was very comforting.

The next thing that happened was wild but taught me something huge. Mr Awesome was sitting on a chair behind me with his hands on my waist. I was standing in front of him singing. My bestie was standing next to me singing. I felt Mr Awesome stand up and put his arms around me. When I turned around to smile at him he was still sitting in the chair with his hands on my waist. Again soon after I felt him stand up and put his arms around me. I turned and there he was sitting in the chair. And it hit me in my heart. Where Mr Awesome stopped height-wise, the Lord was filling that space as if where the tip of Mr Awesome's head stopped he would pick up. The Lord spoke to my heart here and said "i will pick up where he leaves off". I had been praying about what the Lord had shown me the past few weeks and now here He was telling me that I could trust in Mr Awesome because He would fill in the gaps.

Amazing. It was in this moment that I repented. I told my husband that I had been preventing him from really leading our family and that I was committing to change that and be obedient to him. I can honestly say that since that night I have done a 180 and allowed Mr Awesome to truly lead us. And as I was promised, Mr Awesome is a far better leader than I.

While I am certain that God will continue working on me in my life's journey I feel like these three situations brought me scores from where I was. I am excited to challenge my fears and trust God and the husband He has given to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What I learned tonight...

... figured I would share the main things I learned at mapp class tonight/previously. Probably things we all know, but good to remember.

  • Never show/share any negative feelings about your adopted children's biological parents with them. If you do have strong feelings based on knowledge you may or may not have or assumptions you should work through them with a counselor because kids can pick up in the tone of your voice, and expressions your true feelings. Kids identify with their bio parents even if they never met them, so when you dump on them you are dumping on your kids.

  • Affirm that the children's parents loved them, even if you don't know what the circumstances were.

  • The most important thing to do in order to help hurting children is structure and consistency.

  • Children gain trust in their parents after continuing to meet their needs. The child has a need, the parent reacts and fulfills the need, the child relaxes until their next need. As this cycle repeats trust is gained and attachment is built.

  • When a child's needs have not been met they do not learn to trust and attach.

  • When a child experiences a trauma through neglect or abuse their emotional age often fails to develop beyond the age that trauma happened.

Journey To Healing :: Part Two

My Journey To Healing Part One brought me to a point where I realized that I did not need to be brave to overcome my fears, but just obedient and trust God more fully. But I felt like there was more that the Lord wanted to show me about this. I did not have to wait long because two weeks after the retreat I learned the second part of all this, at a marriage seminar at our church .

One of the teachings at the seminar was about how in our culture right now women tend to try to overpower their husbands and be the "boss" or "head" of the family. When they said this I felt like it totally rang true. It seemed like many families are run by the women these days while the men take a back seat when it comes to making decisions for the families. I definitely felt convicted for doing the same. Its not that I wasn't trusting mr awesome to make all the decisions for the family. I think we made most decisions together, but I definitely would push my opinion and often try to be the decision maker when possible. Its not that I didn't trust mr awesome... but I just didn't trust that he would always make the best decision... so... yeah I suppose that is a lack of trust. Not due to any failure on his part but due to my unwillingness to let control go.

While our culture teaches that the man being the head of household is archaic and sexist, the bible teaches that the man's job is to love his wife, lead his family, and be obedient to Christ. While the woman's role is to be obedient to Christ and her husband.  While our culture may turn its nose up at these roles, men and women are clearly made differently. We think differently, we act differently, we react differently. Not better or worse. Just different. And if we were really formed differently, to take on different roles, then taking the wrong role would be like if I was schooled to be an accountant and then tried to be a neurosurgeon for the day. I don't know about you, but if I had to perform surgery for a day it would be a bit stressful for me. Or if I was an introvert (I AM) and tried to be a politician. That would be super stressful for me.

All at once this hit me. I was trying to fill the wrong role. A role that I was not formed from the womb to full. A role that I was not a good match for. A role that put undue stress on me because it was not the one I was meant for. And if I was trying to fill a role I was not meant for, then I couldn't have been doing the best job. Like when we talk about the parts of the body of Christ, a hand would not make a good foot.

I realized that though my parents were not my decision-makers anymore, I was a wife to a husband who was more than able to lead me in my life. I am married to a loving, gentle, sweet, thoughtful, Christ-loving man. What was I so afraid of to trust him to make decisions for our family and to lead us and stand for us. I can look to mr awesome for where to step next.

Now, I don't mean I shouldn't be able to do anything without asking his permission. Christ is NOT about that type of control or bondage.

But when mr awesome tells me, "babe its ok, get on the plane, we have to go get our son" - I can get on the plane and know that this man that loves me and protects me would not ask me to do something that isn't good for me. And when mr awesome tells me "babe its ok, go to this tall place with me" - I can follow him to the heights and know that he loves me and protects me and will not let harm come to me. I can look to mr awesome for my next step. God will cover our inadequacies. God will make good what we can't.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Wrapup & Meet Me On Monday

Weekend Wrapup - Friday night mr awesome and I went to a drivein to see Dolphin Tail. I love living near a drive-in theater and as soon as it started getting colder last week I knew a drivein movie was in our near future. The movie was adorable and better than I thought it would be. Saturday my mom and I took my nieces to the Glazer Children's Museum [not as cool as i thought it would be - would have rather gone to the aquarium or the zoo], Carrabas [way too much fun watching them eat sketi and meatballs in public], and got them to sleep before my sister came home from a date day with her hubby. Best part of the day was a conversation I had with my two year old niece, carrying her in the rain to the restaurant. She said "i had a fun day with you." and I said "me too" and she said "i missed you" and i said "i miss you too when i dont see you. spending time with you is so special to me". And she said "its special to me too". and I said "indeed" and she said "indeed". That niece of mine captures my heart with her sweet loving words. Sunday it was raining so we opted out of going to the outdoor service at church (slackers yes I know) and we slept in til about 11. Or rather Mr awesome slept in and I went for a run in the rain. Yes I am crazy, but man it felt good. Towards the end the rain started coming harder though and the audio control on my headphones started turning off and on which was annoying at the end of the sermon I was listening to... but hey... Spent the rest of the day cuddling, listening to sermons, working on websites, paperwork, chores, etc.

Meet Me On Monday
1. The best part of waking up each day is... hitting the snooze button and cuddling with the sweetest man in the world.
2. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Probably early 20s... Not that I would ever want to relive those years :)
3. Red or Green Apples? Depends on my mood, but probably red
4. Do you forgive easily? I wish. With people I love and am close to yes. But otherwise not as much as I would like. Usually just in fear of getting hurt again with people I don't trust. I am working on this about myself.
5. If you could live in any home on a television series, which would it be? Hmmm... well if we are talking houses I wouldn't mind any of the houses on real housewives of x. But if we are talking about homes (family) it would probably be the cosby family.

Watson Fundraiser

If you have any interest in purses/handbags/wallets you should check out a fundraiser launching today for the Watson Family. They are selling used Coach, Vera Bradley, Ralph Lauren, Nine West, B Makowsky purses of all types.

Journey To Healing :: Part One

My Journey To Healing began at the Created for Care retreat earlier this year. I didn't even know what was coming for me. I was excited and thought it was going to be a great weekend with my besties, and that I would learn so much adoption-wise, but I had no clue how the Lord was about to meet me.

The first night Dr Susan Hillis asked us to close our eyes, spend some time in prayer, and ask the Lord what He would show us that weekend. I was so excited about just being there that I was totally unprepared for God meeting me right there. Immediately two things came to my mind. The first was fears, duh. Thats what my constant prayers are, "Lord - take away my fears and anxiety". The second was unexpected and out of nowhere, the breakup of my family. Being that my parents divorced about over 12 years ago this seemed out of place. Yes - holidays and special events I have always felt torn, but so does everyone who has divorced parents, and besides I felt like I have handled my pain from that long ago. Anyhow, as soon as it popped in my head I recall shoving it back down thinking "that doesnt make sense, back to my fears".

After the session broke my friends and I went up to speak with Dr Hillis about the talk. I was just kind of tagging along with my two friends who wanted to talk to her, but at some point during the talk something Dr Hillis said hit me smack in the face. It was as if all of a sudden she was speaking through a bullhorn as she spoke. Dr Hillis said "its not about courage, its about obedience". My whole world stopped at that sentence and it has echoed in my head over and over. More on this later.

The reason my friends wanted to talk to her was in regards to fear about their children. There is a pretty awesome drawing Dr Hillis used to explain how we have to teach our children to trust the Lord instead of trusting him through us. And in that we have to trust them to him.

The next day my besties and I went to a quiet time session. Again, so excited about all I was learning I was not expecting some great prayer time. But as soon as I went and sat down to pray the Lord grabbed my heart and drew me in. He started to explain things in my heart that I had never put together before. It was like a story unraveling in my heart. Here it was:

When you are young you didn't have to be brave. You had loving parents and you trusted them. When they told you what to do you would trust that they knew what was safe and you did it. You fully trusted your parents so you were obedient to them. When they told you to get on a plane, you just did it, knowing that they wouldn't make you do something that wouldn't be safe, it wasn't about bravery it was about obedience.

Then the Lord showed me how when my parents split up I felt like I had no home, no family, no stability, and noone to lean on. My parents hadn't gone anywhere but things were not the same. They were broken hurting people who needed my support not my burdens. That was the year I developed panic disorder and stopped doing things that scared me. This was also the last year I got on a plane.

The Lord showed me that because of how I saw my parents I was no longer looking to them for where to step next. I was no longer living my life after my parents' direction, and my life was no longer a series of obedient steps directed by them.

I recognized right away that there was a connection between this and what Dr Hillis had said the night before. "Its not a matter of courage but obedience" more soon...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Journey To Healing :: Introduction

It is no shock to those who know me well. The biggest struggle in my life has always been fear. As a child growing up on a boat I remember curling up below deck with my favorite blankie, and trying to soothe myself by sucking my thumb due to whatever might have been scaring me (scary storms, scary waves, strong winds, keeling deep, or running aground). My baby sister was and still is fearless. She would sit in the thick of it and smile through it, while I would run below and assume my scared position. As an adult I have struggled with fears of flying, heights, driving, being alone, getting sick, unknowingly having a disease, the dark, and of course fear of fear. To top it all off, for a good ten years I struggled with anxiety disorder.

The Lord has used many things to help me heal from my fears. On a missions trip to the mountains I found healing from things I didn’t even know were continuing to hurt me. He has put things on my heart (adoptions, missions, etc) that have challenged me to stand against fear.

Over the past nine months the Lord has taught me some mind blowing things. I am excited to share them with you. More soon...

Friday, October 7, 2011

North Korea's malnourished orphans point to scale of humanitarian crisis

Footage of malnourished North Korean orphans and official warnings over failed harvests have given a rare glimpse at the scale of devastating food shortages in the country following a harsh winter and widespread flooding.

The World Food Programme has warned it has only 30% of the funding it needs for its relief operation, which targets 3.5 million of North Korea's most vulnerable citizens. It estimated in March that a quarter of the country's 24 million inhabitants needed food aid and that a third of children were chronically malnourished.... more

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Journey To Adopt

Beta Registration is now available!

Sign up now before registration closes. All beta testers will have a say in development and get a sneak preview of the member site for JTA, and will be entered in a drawing for a JTA present.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Who Are You

1. Do you sleep with the tv or music on?
Yes I fall asleep watching tv or reading my kindle most nights, but I set the sleep timer
2. What is your favorite technology device that you own?
Iphone for sure
3. Do you shop the ads for groceries?
Definitely, and keep a sharp eye out for the $10 off $50 coupons my grocery store always sends me in the mail
4. What are you favorite pair of shoes?
I go through phases, but right now I am digging on my blue croc flipflops
5. Have you done any fun fall activities yet?
No but I can't wait! I love the fall festival they put on locally. Is it fall yet?


Monday, October 3, 2011

What is it?

What is it about adoption that make some people so uncomfortable? What is it that makes people angry, uncomfortable, upset? What is it about adoption that gets people fired up one way or another? What is it  that makes people shout and yell and fight and accuse and mock?

Are we protecting the child? Protecting the country? Protecting a culture? Protecting a family? Protecting finances? Protecting stereotypes, racism, fools? What is it that makes us crazy about adoption one way or another?

I think there are many factors involved. Obviously when it comes to children, our children or other children, passions come to the surface. The recent movies, 5th quarter, soul surfer, and courageous highlight how our lives change when it comes to protecting children. As in much of life, opinions, politics, disagreements... we mostly all want the same thing and just have different ideas on how to obtain it. We all want the best for our children, and other children, and we just may have different ideas on what is best for them... well except for people who make selfish decisions but thats another story.

My main point is the contrast between people who think adoption is a good thing and people who think adoption is a bad thing. Obviously the best case scenario for any child is to live in a safe healthy happy family with their biological parents. However, despite every effort we could possibly make, there will ALWAYS be children who can not remain with their parents or biological relatives. There will ALWAYS (on this side of heaven) be children who are orphans. Now, it is my opinion that every child deserves a loving family and home. I understand that not everyone agrees with that, but it is how I feel. Now, if biological relatives are exhausted then the best choice for that child is to be adopted by a family who is capable of loving them and providing a safe and healthy happy home for them.

I would say that the vast majority of people in our culture think "thats great for some people", and live their lives believing solutions to these problems are other people's problems. As long as the "other people" who plan to adopt aren't friends of theirs or related to them, because if that is the case then they have an opinion. I do not know a single person who has started an adoption process and not had at least one friend or family member say something heartless to them. And that is what I am talking about.

What is it about these people in our culture that think that they need to tell others how to live their lives and what should be important to them? Why do they care so much if our family would rather adopt a few kids than take expensive vacations? Why must they impress their values (financial success) over our values? What is it about them that feel like their broken heartless opinions should even be spoken aloud. I am sure it is different for all of them. Whether it is spurred by fear, racism, personal experiences that hurt them... I believe that there is something else at the heart of it all. Rejection of the gospel.

This is not to say that everyone who rejects the gospel will reject adoption. But I have yet to meet someone who trusted in Christ who rejected adoption. Adoption is the story of the gospel. Adoption is the fatherless finding a father. Adoption is the lost being found. Adoption is sacrifice to increase the family. Adoption is love. Adoption is the Father.

It hurts when someone says heartless things to you when you adopting or passionate about adoption. That you are stupid, crazy, or trying to "save the world". I have heard everything from "selfish" to "not thinking of yourself". How many of them would say the same to a happily married adult who was pregnant with a child?

Adoption is not "saving a child", but sometime it saves a child. Adoption is not "changing the world", but sometimes it changes the world. I pray that one day my family will be changed by adoption in the literal sense, the way we have been changed by our adoption in Christ. And I wish the same for you.



Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Prince Among Boys

Make sure you read Esty's blog on Arlene's adoption. It is such a great story!

Also be sure to visit Arl's page on Engendo in the coming days to see if theres anything you would like to purchase to help fund their adoption fees :)