Sunday, October 25, 2009

First trip to the barbershop

Everything started out OK.

We got a little nervous.

A few minutes later he is loosing his patience.

Final Product=His sister finally has more hair than he does.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

God gave you a story--TELL IT

I have heard other families of transracial adoptions complain about the staring and the questions. I don't really get it. Did you not think that people were going to look at your beautiful new family and see you as different? It's kind of like Brittney Spears saying I don't want the attention leave me alone while I shave my head.
I think that most of us who have travelled this road feel that God called us to adopt our children. It is not something we ran out and did willy nilly, and we did a lot of praying and research about it. We have beautiful stories of how God brought our family together. Are there parts of the story that the world doesn't need to know? Yes. But we can still use our situation to tell people about adoption and the 147 million orphans out there that need homes. We can also use our stories to tell people how God adopted us into his family and how we are brothers and sisters with Jesus.
I do have rules for answering question however. I only answer the question asked. People always ask if my children are twins and the answer is no, there is 6 months difference in their age. Which always brings puzzled looks. I don't answer questions that get too personal. I had a friend tell me once, 'If someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, ask them 'Why do you ask?' That puts the ball back on their side of the court and they have to come up with a reason for being so nosy. I will also ask them if they are interested in adoption. If they are interested in the process I give them my blog address. I did this in Costco last week.
I understand that some of you have other children that might be uncomfortable with all of the attention the family is getting, but isn't it our responsibility as parents to explain to the kids why people see us as different. Different isn't always good, but it isn't always bad either. Everyone has to deal with being different at some point in life. Prepare everyone in the family for questions and comments.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Forever Changed--Part 2

Americans are not always right. That is another thing that I learned while in Uganda. I had the privilege to meet and make friends with people from all over the world while I was in Uganda. I realized that the American way is not always the right way. It is usually different from anywhere else. But as we all know, different is not always better.

I also learned that as 'GREEN' as we like to think we are. We are so wasteful of resources and money. We are a disposable society. If it breaks we don't fix it. We throw it away and buy a bigger and better one. That is not the case in Uganda. I saw men fix things that I didn't even think had all of the pieces. But somehow they got it together and it worked.

I also saw that what Americans would consider a small amount of money could change many lives in Uganda. I saw children walking miles to a well that probably cost around $500 to put in. This is the only clean drinking water that they have. I know that we can spend that in a 30 minute shopping trip on jeans and a pair of boots. Something we would waste money on so casually and we could change the lives of hundreds of people. The money it would take to fill up an SUV on gas would pay the salary of a teacher for a month. The money we spend eating out at a nice restaurant would feed a family for a month.

I must say that I am guilty of unwise spending myself. But I have definitely become more aware of it. I am challenging myself and anyone else that wants to join me.

I am not going to waste money on clothes, shoes, or fast food. I am going to save that money to donate to an adoption fund or other orphan related charity. National Orphan/Adoption Day is November 8th. Let's all make a donation to the care of orphans around the world. By the way God said to do it too.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Can't say it better

Today's blog post is plagiarized. It comes from Katie Davis, an amazing young woman that I had the honor to get to meet in Uganda. I had been reading her blog for over a year before going so it was like meeting a long lost friend. Katie lives in Uganda know with her 14 girls, she is only 20, and she is living a life that honors God. Please read what she wrote below and if you would like to read more about Katie and her family the link to her blog is on the right 'The Journey'

"My dear children, I am with you. I watch closely as you struggle for holiness. Often, you are uncertain of your spiritual condition. You strive to serve but feel conflicted by the times in which you are serving. There are some things that all humanity deals with regardless of where in history they are placed. First, there will always be a difference between the world’s path and heaven’s path. These two paths, while they can run along side each other for increments, will always separate. Ultimately, each man will have to choose. Every man, to a greater or lesser degree, will have to contend with choosing first good over evil and then he will have to make another choice and that is the choice of choosing My plan for his life over his own plan for his life. After that, the choices become even more studied in that the man must choose My plan in each day, in each task and even in each moment. You may say, dear apostle, that this is a difficult call for a man, to study his actions in each day. You may say, this is asking a lot. You are right. I, Jesus, am asking a lot of you. I ask for your full commitment and I do so without apology. Dearest apostles, if you give me your full commitment, there is no limit to what I can do. Look at your life. You have said yes to me on many days. Examine what I have done with your yes answers. Consider what I am building with the commitments of so many children of God who are willing to be directed by the Saviour, their King. I am building a structure of love. I am building a structure through which many are returning. Truly, your hearts, open and filled with My love, call out to others. You provide for Me a welcome to those who feel separated. If they can be taken into your heart for even a brief moment and experience Me, with My love, then they will have the courage to both approach Me directly and to accept Me directly. Please, do not count the sacrifices when you consider your service. Do not count the loss of worldly respect. Count only the souls who are comforted and consoled. Count the repentance and healing of so many who have been restored to unity with heaven. Count the humility that I have bestowed on you, dear apostle, since you began to learn about true holiness. I am your King. I can give you anything. I choose to give you peace and holiness. I choose to make of you a resolute servant. Accept My will in your life and you will then be able to accept all of the graces heaven has stored up for you. "

Message from Anne, lay apostle

Lord, may we seek you path, regardless of how alluring the world's path can look sometimes. May we choose good in an evil generation, may we choose Your plan even when it is harder, may we choose YOU every moment of every day. We want to be fully committed to You. We want the days we say "yes" to become every day. We repent from lukewarmness, from mediocrity, from normalcy. We want to shine so brightly for You that others can't help but see, can't help but feel your love. Let us look at EVERY encounter as an opportunity to show your love. Lord on the days where helping just one more person seems like too much, help me to choose You. On the days when satan whispers "you can't save everyone, why are you trying" let me choose You. On the days when it would be too easy to pop in a movie for my children instead of reading Scripture with them, let me choose You. When harsh words are easier to find than kind ones, let me choose You. Father, like Paul, I know what I want to do, what I should do, and yet I find myself failing, discouraged. Thank You for your grace. Thank You that You who sit so HIGH would look low upon people like me and use us as a vessel for you. How blessed we are to even be called servants, to be able to share in your Kingdom and share your love with others. Thank you for the cross, where you have given us peace and holiness. Father we long to say Yes to You.

He is teaching me to stop for ONE. And it is hard and it is ugly. Because every time I stop for that ONE sick child, that ONE hungry old man, that ONE new baby girl, my mind races with the statistics of how many more there are that I am not touching, not feeding, not saving. God whispers every time though that this ONE is enough. That this ONE is feeling His love and that is eternal. ETERNAL. I think of sweet baby Happy who died at 4 months after we did all that we could. I didn't understand how God had led me to feel so attached to that little girl if His plan was to take her all along. I think of Michael who is back at home with his step mom, healthy now, but more than likely still mistreated. God knows that as a single woman I cannot legally adopt a little boy, how could my heart be so knit to his. I think tonight of Gloria who's brain was so damaged from her high fever she may always be in a vegetable like state. God in His infinite wisdom KNEW that if I had been there a few days sooner, this could have been prevented. But then I think of 14 little girls who have a home and food and a Mommy and know Jesus. I think of 600 Karamajong children, modern day lepers in Uganda, singing about God's love for them and leaving with their bellies full. I think of 400 sponsored children who sometimes show up on Saturday in new clothes because now that Amazima is providing them with all their basic needs (food, education, medical care) their parents can afford to buy them a NEW DRESS. I see thousands of deep brown eyes and feel thousands of little brown hands and I know that even on the hardest day, stopping is worth it. A life changed is worth it, even if only ONE. God's love made known is worth it, even if only to ONE. I will not save them all. But I will keep trying. I will say Yes. I will stop for that ONE no matter how hopeless. Jesus, give us the stregth to say yes to whoever you put in our paths today.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Forever Changed

When I started adopting, everyone said you life will never be the same. They were right. I found love. I found that I love my children more than I ever knew I could love. I found the love of Jesus, it was poured out everyday in amazing ways. I found the love of friends that I will have forever. I found the love of a country and its people.
My life has changed, because I have children. I can no longer be selfish and just do what I want. I think of them first. Then I think of all of the children out there like them. Kids that don't have a mom or a dad. Kids that don't have a bed to sleep in or a house. Kids that are sick and can't get the medical care they need. Kids that don't have clothes to keep them warm or shoes to protect their feet.
I have a restless spirit. I have seen this need with my own eyes. I can no longer pretend that it does not exist. I feel that I have to do more. God commands that we all take care of these children.
I am going to warn my readers, few that they are. My next few posts are going to be hard hitting. They may make you uncomfortable. It is a message I think our whole country needs to hear, but most are not going to want to.
God bless.