Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ways To Do Something

üAdopt A Child From the Foster Care System
üAdopt A Child Internationally
üFoster A Child
üBecome A Guardian Ad Litem
üBe A Host Family For An Orphan for 1 month
üServe in an Orphanage on a Mission Trip
üPray for an Adopting Family
üOrganize a fundraiser for an adopting family
üOrganize a fundraiser for an orphanage
üOrganize a fundraiser for an orphan ministry
üEducate Yourself on the Orphan Crisis
üPray for Families to be raised up for the fatherless
üSpread information about the Orphan Crisis
üEncourage able families to adopt
üBuy something from a store that supports orphans
üPray for a specific orphan
üMake something and send it to
üDonate items or funds to an orphanage, adopting family, or an organization that funds adoptions

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sometimes I wonder...

'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth' Revelations 3:16

How can we live these lives? How can we sit in the lukewarm pretending it is ok? I have such a fire in my belly to do more and go more. I know I have to wait on HIM but... man its like - if you had a bucket of water in your hand and saw a man on fire would you keep walking and avert your eyes? We might think not, but isn't that what we are doing every single day? How is it that there are children growing up and aging out of orphanages and we live our lives like it doesn't matter?

We waited on a wait list for over a year before changing programs. If the wait is that long to be matched... then the need in that particular location/program/age range/whatever might not be as big at that time. But don't let that fool you to think there is not a need, it just might be somewhere else.

As my son sat on my lap nuzzling my neck while I prepared something for church this morning, he said to me "i missed you" - this is what he says to daddy when daddy comes home from work. and if you could hear it... oh man - the miss part is this high pitched drawn out syllable. It will literally take your heart and fill it with joy juice. So he is sitting on my lap saying "i missed you mommy" - when I am clearly sitting with him - and have been since he woke up attached to his hip - or he mine lol. and I thought - I wonder if he missed me before we came - like me specifically. clearly he must have missed what every kid has a right to - a mother who adores him to pieces - but - had the LORD whispered to him about us like he whispered to us about him? So i grabbed his little face in my hands kissed those plump lips and said "baby mommy has been missing you since the day you were born" fighting tears. ugh. big. ugly. tears. and he stuck his thumb in his mouth, put his face back in my neck and went back to snuggling.

And the worst/best part is its true. We started the adoption process officially the month Josiah is thought to have been born. We have been praying for him specifically from the first day. When we knew of him earlier this year we named him Josiah, which means supported by GOD, because in the first two years of his life it was God alone taking care of him and advocating for him. And to think, that this whole time he was waiting for a mommy - we were here waiting for him.

So if you are waiting over a year... pick another country, pick another program, pick another age range, open up to more special needs. Because we can't just sit here living this life, pretending everything is ok, when it isn't ok for way too many children.

Growing up in an institute is not ok. The ladies there that have taken care of my boy since he was born - for two full years - they are lovely and wonderful. But they were not his mommy. They did not advocate for him. He was alone. In a building full of children he was alone. And when I just sat going through photos from our trip with him in my lap and pointed out the one lady who was there when he was brought in at 6 weeks old and has been one of the nannies taking care of him ever since... and he didnt crack a smile and his eyes made no sign of recognizing her. But when we got to a photo of me and him he jumped and yelled "MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY" and then he saw daddy and this boy started dancing, literally dancing.

Obviously the first option is to keep families together. But not every mommy is going to live, and women are still going to be in desperate situations. So when a child has no other choice and no future to look to but growing up in an institution and then dumped on the street to fend for themself... adoption is not only the best option it is a necessary option.

So grab your homestudies, my friends, and lets go get them.

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." Prov. 24:12

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Transition and One Boy's Ways

So I will start by saying we are beyond blessed with having so many close Uganda Adoptive Families in our community. We are also beyond blessed that our little boy has other littles nearby who even grew up in the same orphanage. We are beyond blessed that such wonderful people are a part of our little boy's story.

Tonight we met up with some of the families at Siesta Beach to greet the Social Worker who runs the foster home our son was in when we had he removed from the orphanage while he waited for us. She is a wonderful Ugandan woman who is full of joy and the LORD. A few people asked how the transition has gone for us and I was able to honestly say like a dream.

Then something occurred tonight to remind me that everything in Josiah's mind is not the safe wonderful world that we try to make for him. Things have happened in the past that will likely forever be a part of who he is. It wasn't a big deal, and that is kind of the point. While some children react in fear or from trauma by acting out, temper tatrums, screaming, fighting, obvious reactions... some children, like our precious treasure, get quiet.

Perhaps I over-analyzed or misread, but I would like to think I know my son enough now to see a glimpse of what is behind those big brown eyes. The beautiful, wonderful, sweet woman, who I wrote much about in my journal after I met and absolutely adored her.... gave my son and big smile and a big hug and squealed his name.. and he froze.. he reached for me... not only did he seem not to know her but he seemed scared. I was thinking he was just overwhelmed by all the people and joy in this place... but then later before we left I wanted to get a photo of him with our sweet friend from Uganda... when she lifted him into her loving arms he started whining. When I looked at his face I saw his eyes were brimming with tears. This is a boy who will love any one we encourage him to and though he may be shy at first has yet to be fearful of strangers. And aside from silly little toddler things this is the first time I saw that look in his eyes, and the tears like that. So, what I gather from all of this is that he may have worried she was coming to take him. Again - maybe over analyzing, but I have spent maybe a few hours away from this boy at most over the past 100 and some days, and this was unlike him.
But really regardless of if he was really reacting for this reason it made me sit and contemplate and pray over his heart. It is easy to see the holes in a heart of a child that screams and fights and wears you down. But so often I see this boy full of joy and forget that not everything has been fairy tales and ice cream in his life.

Some of my friends have kids that act out in loud ways. Defiant sneaky ways. Argumentative ways. Temper tatrums. Etc. But when our boy is overwhelmed by lots of people or new things he gets quiet. When he is scared he gets quiet. He sits quietly and seems to zone out. While this may be an "easier to handle" reaction for us (thank the LORD) we must not forget his heart and that there are broken pieces in it waiting for the LORD to heal up. While it seems he trusts me entirely, does he really? Does he wonder if he will one day be left again? Does he recognize permanency?

When we got home and we were bathing the beach off of him I asked him "Josiah, were you scared of C?" He said "Scared". I said "Baby did you think she might take you from us?" and he kind of looked at me with his serious eyes. I spent the next 10 minutes or so reiterating how we would never leave him or let anyone take him from us. That I would be his mommy forever, daddy would be his daddy forever and ever until he was old and had grandbabies and even great grandbabies." etc  etc. And he said "OK mommy." Whether he grasped any of it or not I can only repeat and repeat and constantly remind him that he is loved and we will never leave him nor forsake him, and of course show him.

So - just wanted to document this while I was thinking about it. But if it helps anyone else... to know... to remember... about our littles and the various reactions they may have. So pray for me that I might fill his mommy needs in a way that only the LORD can lead me to, and for my baby and his heart for the pieces that have broken off to be grown new.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Missing Uganda and Anxiety

Most of the time... I stress about the little things, not even the little things, like the microsc.opic and even the non-existent things. I have always been a worrier. My granny was a worrier. She didn't fly in planes. She didn't drive a car. She wouldn't leave the house in a storm. After being diagnosed with anxiety disorder many years ago and learning about it, especially the hereditary tendencies... I wonder if she ever had panic attacks and if she had ever wondered if there was a way to be otherwise... anyhow...

Often I worry. My whole life I have worried. I can't tell you how many awesome things that I have missed out on while being so busy worrying. Missions trips I skipped because they involved a plane. Leisure trips my mom has tried to get me to join her on that the plane was in my way. Trips I went on and didn't enjoy because I was busy stressing about things that never even happened...

Anyhow I can only thank the LORD that my trip to Uganda was unlike any trip I have been on before. I enjoyed the heck out of every single minute (even the real big existing stressful situations). I kept thinking, when will I be back to spend 5 weeks in Uganda again? And how will I ever be able to seize these very moments again. Not to mention the pure bliss from having my son safe in my arms. These were 5 very very happy weeks. Perhaps the most anxiety free ones I have ever lived. Though I won't lie, since I have been back I have not been the same person that I used to be. Even family members have suggested I completely stop taking the anxiety medicine that I have been on for about 10 years now, since I seem to so not need it anymore. They call it the "new kim".

Well. Watching a Ugandan win the second Gold medal the country has ever won in the Olympics, and the first in the men's marathon filled me with pride for our family's second homeland. When Kiprotich realized no one could catch him and his face broke out in that beautiful Ugandan smile, my heart swelled. It made me miss my friends in Uganda. And instantly my memories took me back there. Driving in the car with Farouk. Exploring Uganda. Chasing paperwork. The friday market. Cafe Java. I can't wait to go back.

Bryan and I talked a bit about going back today. I told him how I can't wait for Josiah to go back when he is a bit older and can really experience it and continue to be proud of the land that he is from and the culture that is a part of him. I think I was telling Josiah that when he got married his wife would have to come live with us so he could stay in our house forever (yes - i know - i will have to let him go one day). Then I told him he ought to go to USF so he could stay at home when he went to college. Then Bry stated the obvious that he would be going to Harvard Law not piddly USF (LOL). At which point I piped up that he couldn't be a lawyer because he was too sweet and that he must be a doctor. And, if he were a doctor we could serve in Uganda on missions trips in a more effective way. Then Bry brought up the obvious end point... That Josiah could (with his big doctor salary) buy a house in Uganda so that we could live part of the year there and part of the year here. Duh mommy, obviously. :)

But really, I have been thinking a lot about spending longer periods of time there. I wish I had the mind-frame I have now about 15 years ago. I wish when I was wasting time as an early adult without a care in the world... that I had cares for the world.. That I had made use of that time in a more effective way, specifically serving in the mission field in Uganda or somewhere similar. But for now, I can just work hard when Josiah naps and save up my pennies to go back to the country we love and soak it up for all its worth.

Cute Josiah Moments of the Weekend

  • when he ran at his grandpa full force and gave him a big hug and kiss
  • he suddenly started repeating something i tell him often "mommy loves me" "daddy loves me" and he says it over and over and giggles to himself
  • when he wants cuddles (since hes too tough a guy to just admit he wants cuddles) he pretends he hurts himself and fake cries and leans into my arms to cradle him with a smirk on his face
  • when he is crying about something stupid and i fake cry at him he fake cries back until we dissolve in laughter
  • when we watched kiprotich win gold and explained to him a ugandan won the olympic gold in mens marathon he started singing the ugandan national anthem
  • when i ran to the store without him (a rarety) bry sent me a photo of him kneeling in front of the door peering out waiting for me
  • when he eats now he goes around the table asking everyone if their meal is good
  • he is bonding so well with bry lately as shown by the suretell sign of him soothing on Bry's collar
  • when he saw daddy rubbing my feet the other day he grabbed my foot and started rubbing it too
OK though there are so many more, i will stop as it is after 2am. But for the sake of recording his moments I have to share. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This Boy... and 3 months in

So 90 days ago today this little boy walked out of the back room, walked right up to me and hugged me and climbed into my arms. I haven't let him go since... well mostly.

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 4/4

90 days ago our life changed for real. He brought this new hope and light and joy to our family that I can't believe we were living without.

He is so funny. He makes me laugh so much... Today he was pretending to cry over something silly (like i didn't give him a cookie or something), so i pretended to cry super fake like back, so he made his "cry" more fake, until we were both fake wailing and laughing too much to really "cry" anymore.

He is so sweet. I just heard a noise (its 1am) so I went in to make sure he hadn't fallen off the bed (not sure if he did but when i walked in he was in the bed not on the piles of pillows next to his bed). He saw me and reached for a hug. So i snuck in and snuggled him for a minute. He wrapped his arms around me and soothed on my shirt (he used to suck his fingers and rub the cotton on the neckline of his own shirt, now he does my neckline cotton when he sucks his fingers), then he grabs my face and kisses me and goes back to sleep. MELT MY FREAKING HEART! this boy is such a little snuggle bear.

He is so smart. He is always trying to figure out how things work and loves to learn. He loves to sing. Repeat words. Read. dance (zina). he prays and grabs me and daddy to pray too. "mommy pray pray"

Things that have changed in 90 days:

  • he knows his mommy and daddy (today while waiting in the ss office we were reading jack and the beanstalk on my ipad and we saw a boy with a mommy, and he pointed to her and said "mommy" then he pointed to me and said "my mommy"
  • he speaks english so much better and only seems to speak lugisu/lugandan when he is praying or talking to joseph or if i say something in lugandan.
  • hes grown an inch or two
  • hes definitely gained a few pounds
  • his eyes stopped tearing
  • he can use a regular toilet all by himself (though needs reminding and directing and wiping)
  • he loves all kinds of foods
  • he went from hating books to loving to read and watch mommy read him books
  • he is taking shorter naps :(
  • he knows the names of some of the foods and drinks that he likes and knows to ask for them, like applesauce, pizza, pasta, applejuice
  • he knows what cartoons are and he knows when he wants them
  • he knows that if he sits in his "cartoon chair" there is a good chance that I will put one on for him
  • he is no longer afraid of dogs and will pet and kiss both chrissy and jazzy the two dogs he is around
  • he rarely says "beebus" and usually gets really close to saying "jesus"
  • he can answer these questions:
    • what is your name? Josiah Young (and he says young really loud)
    • how old are you? he holds one finger from each hand and says two (sometimes says one lol)
    • where are you from? africa
    • where do you live? fla- ree - daaa
    • where is mommy? he points at me
    • where is daddy? he says "work" even if daddy is standing right there, sometimes points at him
    • where is jesus? "in my heart" and then points at my heart and says "heart" and anyone else around afterwords
    • how are you? "i am fine"
So basically. We are in love :) and to celebrate 90 days - here is the video :)