Monday, May 25, 2015

A heart for Nepal

Back in mid March I started receiving phone calls from a number in Nepal. At first I thought it was a telemarketer or scammer so I didn't answer. The calls always came during the morning or evening, but never at night while I was sleeping which would be daytime in Nepal. I googled the number but didn't come up with anything other than the number orginated in Nepal. After 2-3 calls, the caller started leaving voicemails. Nothing was said but I could hear background noise in a cracking, hollow sort of way that made me believe the person on the other line was across the world, possibly in Nepal. I became intrigued after the calls continued and returned a call one afternoon. We both said hello to each other but we couldn't understand much else so I hung up. I couldn't figure out why someone from halfway around the world would want to call me and how this person even got my phone number. Not long after that I signed up to join a mission trip India with a possible side trip to Kathmandu, Nepal. The calls continued over the next few weeks, usually going straight to my voicemail. On April 25, Nepal was rocked by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8. Since then there have been over 100 aftershocks and larger earthquakes. The phone calls stopped for about a week, then on April 30 I received another voicemail from this same number. I was relieved that the person on the other line was ok even if I didn't know him personally. I was trying to piece together what God wanted me to do with this information about Nepal, and  I pulled up at church to the VBS sign that read the VBS theme was Mount Everest which happens to be in Nepal. I told God, Ok, I'm listening... but still confused about Your will here.....

Not long after that I connected with a Christian woman who lives in India who was asking people to support an orphanage in Nepal that had been damaged by the earthquake. We follow each other on Instagram. :) I later found out that this orphanage, Langtang Children's Home, is a home for disabled children in Kathmandu. Their home was damaged and the children were and still are sleeping/living in tents in an open field. They've had to move their tents to the streets and other "safe" areas after multiple aftershocks. To add insult to injury, this children's home lost their monthly sponsor just a month before the earthquake which is when I started receiving the calls from Nepal. Currently they need immediate relief and another sweet soul I met has set up a Go Fund Me page to help with current needs:

http://www.gofundme.com/langtang



I have yet to receive another call from my "friend" in Nepal since I became connected with Langtang children's home. I know God used this person to open my heart to God's hurting people in Nepal because I know so very little about the country itself other than it's a neighboring country to India and home of Mount Everest. These people have endured so much over the past month - earthquakes, aftershocks, storms, flooding, landslides. Everything they've known has been ripped away from them and it breaks my heart that vulnerable children have to experience tremendous heartache. I'm praying about a permanent way to help Langtang children's home find a new sponsors. I'm open to ideas and suggestions so if you have any, please use the email tab and send me a message (yellow triangle on the banner to the right).  I'm also looking at a possible mission trip to Nepal as well so if you'd like to be a part of that, please let me know. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Adoption Update

It's been such a slow homestudy process waiting for our oldest to turn 19. Her  fingerprints and clearances were stuck at the FBI and deemed "unclassifiable" so we had to contact ABI and get that squared away. We are really hoping this home study will be complete by the end of the month since we started it in October....

We also had to make the very difficult decision to withdrawn our letter of intent for Little Panda. It was gut wrenching but God has confirmed that we made the best decision several times even though I don't understand much of it. I've spent the last several weeks grieving for a little girl I never met and most likely never will. I have to believe there's a reason we were connected with her and I hope and pray we find out that reason this side of heaven. Would you please pray that Little Panda's mama and daddy will find her ?  

As for adoption, we are still moving forward but have transferred back to the India program. Once our homestudy is finished we'll start on the Indian dossier. 

Thanks for praying for Little Panda. God hears all your prayers, especially those said for his precious children. 



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Birthday Reflections

My thoughts were so heavy last week as I reflected on this precious kid and all that's he has endured in just one year with us and three years on this earth...

When he wakes he will be three. On his birthday, I know his first mom must be thinking of the baby boy she said goodbye to... I wish I could show her how much we LOVE him and I pray I'm doing right by him. I hope that she would be proud of how we are raising him. I wish I could send her a picture of him eating spaghetti with tomato sauce all over his face. Could she ever imagine he would be living in the US? I wish I could share a video of him pointing to each person in our family and hear him say the words FAMILY. Could she ever imagine THIS family for him? I wish she could hear him when he looks at pictures of babies or animals and hear the words, "awww cute". Could she ever imagine he would speak English? I have so much adoration for this brave woman. I can't fathom ever having to make such a sacrifice.. This year I pray there are less women in India and around the world that will have to choose adoption for their children. All families should be able to stay together and I'm forever thankful to be Ryan's plan B. We love our little chocolate muffin and can't imagine life without him. 



Saturday, December 27, 2014

"The days are long but the years are short"

Isn't that the truth?

It sounds so clique but it is really hard to believe our little chocolate muffin has been home for one year.

On one hand, it's like he's always been with us, and on the other it flew by so fast. It's been a difficult, joyful, crazy, hectic, blessed, frustrating, yet rewarding year. I wouldn't change a thing because all of it has taught me PATIENCE on a whole new level. It has taught me how to LOVE in many tangible ways. It has taught me how to be a better MOTHER. In more ways that one, it's taught me how to be more like JESUS.


We celebrated our Forever Family Day in a couple of scattered ways due to the holidays and weekend plans. We went to eat Indian food with family a few days before at a local Indian restaurant. We all ordered Indian food and Ryan had chicken fingers and fries. :)



Our actual Forever Family Day falls on Christmas Eve since that's the day we were all HOME and reunited as a complete family. Since that's such a busy day, we celebrate on December 16 which is the day he left the orphanage forever. 

That morning we had cake for breakfast. Did I mention he loves cake? Like a lot? Can't you tell from this cheesy-I-love-cake smile?

note the tiny fingers entering the shot on the right..

He may have touched the cake here

He's serious about cake y'all

Cake selfie with Big Bro



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And our One Year Home Photo. Mom totally bombed months 9, 10, and 11. Those were tough months with a not so cooperative toddler. The afternoons are not his best time so when the reminder clicked on my phone, I just turned it off knowing it was just not gonna happen. I think we are finally out of that rough patch since his language/communication has picked up greatly over the last 3-4 weeks. 
THANK YOU JESUS!


I can't even




He's changed so much in one year - he lost some neck rolls, baby fat from his face, and you can tell he's a little taller in the high chair, too. 


In one year Ryan has gained almost 5 pounds and grown four inches taller. He's finally filling out 2T clothes and he turns three in February. Still a peanut but he's growing steadily and he is filled with so much JOY! He's happy all the time y'all. True story.  :) 

So blessed. Thanks for being a part of our story. 









Sunday, November 2, 2014

Orphan Sunday


Today is Orphan Sunday. It's a time to share the plight of the orphan here in the US, watiting in foster care, and those worldwide. Many of you have followed our journey through my (pitiful) blog, Instagram, Facebook and in real life. Many of you know how incredibly blessed we've been in our journey to bring Ryan home from India. Many of you rejoiced with us, prayed with us and have loved our little boy nearly as much as we do. We thank you for being a part of our tiny village.

But. He's just one little boy.

And there are many, many more that need families. Too many to count. Over one hundred million. Imagine the population of Russia, which stands at roughly 143,000,000 people. There are more orphans world wide than there are people in Russia. Let that sink it. 

When we first met Ryan, he just was existing. He walked with a shuffle, barely lifting his feet. In fact, I thought there was something wrong with his leg or hip. He had never run in a grassy backyard or kicked a soccer ball or run on the beach with sand in his toes or even wore shoes appropriate for running. He didn't appear to have a purpose, he was just there. He was missing the love of a family.

As you can see here -







And now - he's filled with so much joy! He laughs and squeals when he's happy, he smiles gigantic smiles that light up his face, hugs big bear hugs, gives sweet kisses and ... He runs. He RUNS! It might not seem like much to some but to witness him go from shuffling like a little old man to a streak of joy running all over the place makes my heart so happy!





On Orphan Sunday we encourage others to be the village for an orphan. Not everyone is called to adopt, but here are a few ways you can choose to be a part of the solution:

  • working in orphan care ministry through mission trips and child/family sponsorship 
  • advocating for those that have no voice to friends and family and on social media
  • coming along side and helping others who choose to adopt by praying for them 
  • offering heart felt emotional and financial support to adoptive families
  • host an orphan through organizations such as New Horizons 
 We can all do something to change the world for the least of these. 



Please take a few minutes to watch this video. It will change the way you look at the orphan crisis, through the eyes of Jesus. 


James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Accepted!

Yesterday we received an email from our new agency telling us our application had been accepted! We are going to be a pilot family for an agency that has extensive experience in over a dozen countries but they haven't worked in India yet. We are thrilled to be able to help pave the way for future India families! Next week we will have a conference call with our case worker to discuss our next steps. Realistically, we are still looking at probably two years before we bring our next child home. We know what to expect this time and we'll just roll with it. :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Coming Soon - a big sister!


Oh India. 

Throughout our adoption journey with Ryan we didn't think we could muster the strength for another India adoption. They're brutal. The unknowns are terribly difficult and the lack of consistent timelines can make anyone insane. It's definitely not for the impatient. ;) I think we tested that theory a time or two. But once we went to India, we knew God would call us back. We knew he placed India in our hearts for a very distinct purpose. While we may never know all of those reasons, for now we know he's called us to adopt a sister for Katie, Braden and Ryan. In the past several weeks God has opened so many doors and we are boldly walking through them, anxious to see where this will lead. We know this will be difficult and we know the sacrifices involved. We also understand that if we don't adopt, who will? There are too many children waiting for families. Far too many. Some of them die because they don't receive the care they need. Some of them have absolutely no future if a family doesn't come forward. To us, that's unacceptable. 

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” – Radical by David Platt.

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