Monday, January 12, 2009

To heck and back?

It is hard to believe that it was over a year ago that Sam and Abby arrived in our home. The road has been hard, very hard. We have suffered with these two children as we never could have imagined. Our family has suffered, our children have suffered, and physically, mentally, and spiritually we have been through the ringer.

Sam is doing well, he is happy and well adjusted. He has times of great sorrow and sadness over his losses but nothing that love, compassion, structure, and prayer can not help. Abby's struggles are much deeper and darker. Her anger is clear to everyone in our home. A year after her being here she is often on "line-of-side" which means that she is hitting, pinching, pushing, stealing, and or lying every time she is out of our site. She has almost every symptom of Reactive Attachment Disorder we have done therapy, family therapy, individual therapy, medication and therapy. Love, prayer, discipline, more love, and more prayer but to little avail.

We sent in an application for the Ranch for Kids last week. It is in Montana and takes internationally adopted kids, they try to help them work through some of their baggage with the hope that they will be able to come back to their families. The question now is do we really send her? Last week I would have said "yes, we are on our way" but last Tuesday she told Rob that she had accepted Jesus Christ into her life and ask Him to give her "a new heart". I have to tell you all that I have been extremely skeptical, she is a master at manipulation and having played the game with her for more than a year now trust dose not come quickly.

She has at this point not physically or verbally assaulted anyone in our home for almost 1 week! The longest she has gone is 2 days and that was only once. She is still not getting much as far a privileges go, as I said we have played this game to many times. But I wonder, it is true? Has God finally gotten a hold of this angry little girl, will she be willing to change? Currently I have to deal with the fact that this might be true. It seems odd but having watch her hurt and attack everyone in the house for a year now the truth is I just want her out. Now I have to put that back into God's hands and say "your will be done Lord not mine". So I wait, I wait with hope yet again, my heart dares once more to believe that there is a purpose in the pain. The sacrifices will be worth it in the end for now that is all I can do.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


It has been a while since we have blogged and although we have been talking about it alot in the past month or two neither of us have actually done anything, sorry!

We had a pretty harsh April through June but God is faithful and we are a family working on being a family. Sam has is prostethic leg which is good and bad, it rubs a blister on one area of scar tissue so he cant wear it for long periods of time. We will be going in to "revise" the scar on Oct. 7th they said 85% chance that it will fix the problems and just make it more comfortable in general. Sam is excited to do it, he really wants to wear the leg all day and not have it hurt!

The rest of the family it busy, school is in full swing we have a 9th grader (so not ready to have a high schooler) 6th, (2) 5th, 3rd, and 2nd! They all love school though and are very happy to have friends and social interaction with more than just siblings and an occasional friend.

We are busy with that soccer and the orphan care ministry at our church. We are working on a concert/informational evening in Nov. Other than that we are continuing to grow together not always easy or fun but it will be so worth it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Check the Basket

At 3 months old Moses was put into a basket and sent down the river so he would be saved from the Pharaoh. Pharaohs daughter went down to the river to bathe and found the basket with Moses in it. She had to know what would be in the river because a few verses earlier we were told that Pharaoh ordered all baby boys were to be thrown into the river. Not a great place for a bath in my opinion. But God had a plan for the little boy in the basket and was able to use the family of the Pharaoh. As we continue to read we know of the amazing things God did through that little boy.

I can't help but wonder what is waiting in the 143,000,000 baskets today. When we look at some of the people who were once waiting in the baskets it is an amazing list. The Philosopher Aristotle, Bo Diddley (the musician), Eleanor Roosevelt (former first lady), Dante Culpepper (professional football player), John Hancock (Signer of the Declaration of Independence) and Nelson Mandella just to list a few. Nelson Mandella was not adopted until he was 9 years old. He was taken in by a family who loved and nurtured him and the people of South Africa are so thankful for the leader he became.

Does God have a basket waiting for you today? As Christians we first and foremost need to understand that all of the waiting children are loved unconditionally by the same God who loved us and gave himself up so we may live. What is God calling you to give up so an orphan can live? I understand that God is not calling all Christians to adopt, but there are so many ways we can honor God by helping one orphan at a time. (See the my favorite posts on the right for 10 Ways that every Christian can help an orphan or waiting child)

Psalm 68:4-6 Sing to God, sing praises to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds, his name is Lord - and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in family's, he leads forth the the prisoners with singing: but the rebellious live in a sun scorched land.

We are Gods family and the body of Christ is where he desires to place the lonely. Does God have a basket for you that you are afraid to open? Are you afraid that this will change your life? As an adoptive father I promise you that it will! Pray for Gods leading in where he wants to use you to help the orphans and follow the calling he lays on your heart. It can be anywhere from being an adoptive parent to simply praying regularly for an adoptive family, but open your heart to the possibilities.

A funny thing on the way to Chinese

Last night a few of us went to pick up Chinese, as we were leaving the parking lot there is a little day care place with the little buses out front when Abby asks "Why Mom?" I start telling her about the fact that some parents work long hours and the buses come get kids from school...... Abby grows more and more upset, "Cold Mom, Ethiopia Mom, no food" she is pratically in tears at this time when I catch a glimpse of what she is seeing. There are two people on a bench infront of the day care. "We will go back Abby we will help them okay." We turn around and go back, Abby is so upset her seat belt is off and she is ready to jump out of the car and run to help these poor people and then.... they are statues!!!

We laughed and laughed, it was a statue of a little girl reading a book to a little boy. I was happy that it was only statues but it brought back memories of cold, hunger, and despair for Abby. I am so thankful that I know God can use the worst of circumstances and turn them into something for His glory. Because Abby has known hunger, cold, and fear she is unafraid to seek those hurting out and to do all she can to help them. May we all have moments of laughter in our lives to mix with the tears of sadness. May we all use our sadness and pain to lighten the load of others.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Torn between two worlds

Little Abby's home sickness is profound. She has lost a very ill mother and a little brother whom she worries about anytime she is not busy. Her home, language, food, friends, and way of life. One moment she tells me she wants to stay with us until she is very old and literally two minutes later she is telling me she will go back to Ethiopia to marry and raise a family as soon as she is 18.

She is torn; her two worlds clash in so many ways. I am sad for her, broken with her, and waiting for God to turn her mourning into gladness. No matter where she goes neither place will really be "home" at least not right now. They both have good and bad things about them as every season of life has it's positive and negative attributes. Her favorite things about Ethiopia: Mom, brother, Ethiopian food. Her favorite things about America: Hannah Montanna, french fries, shopping, and powdered doughnuts! I don't know what the future holds perhaps she will return to Ethiopia when she is old enough and live out her days there. Perhaps she will visit and find that it no longer holds the memories and allure.

Monday, March 3, 2008


I love numbers, I work with numbers, I often think in numbers. Numbers are always the same, there is no gray it is black and white it is right or wrong. Recently I was sent an email with some numbers that have caused me sleepless nights.

I have known for over a year that there are 143,000,000 (143 MILLION) children in this world who are waking up with no one to care for them. They survive the day to return to restless slumber with no one to hold them in the dark night. This is disturbing to me and I think it should be to anyone with a heart. But I learned something more heart wrenching than that....

There are 2,100,000,000 that is 2.1 BILLION people who claim to follow Christ in this world. With those statistics if 7% of those claiming Christ to be their Lord would adopt 1 (only one) child we could wipe out this sickening tragity called "orphans". I weep for the children, I weep for the families, I weep for the memories that have not been made, the lives that have been lost alone when God intended them to be in a family. There are people out there who God has been speaking too. Guiding to adopt He has shown them what to do but they have not been able to trust they have allowed fear.... selfishness... ignorance.... or perhaps a calloused heart... to keep them from paths of incredible adventure. We struggled with all of these things too; but this life is not our own, we have been bought with the blood of Christ. His heart should be our heart, His ways should be our ways. I am not pretending to be perfect or saying that I always do what God would want me to do.

I am sick and tired of living a life of routine, I am tired of being self absorebed, I am not an American.... I am a follower of the God of heaven and Earth. I am ready to be broken for Christ's sake, to live a life that is a clear picture of grace and love, I am ready to serve. Are you ready? What holds you back? I beg of you go before the Lord with an open heart allow Him to impart truth into your life and then ACT! The path is not always clear but the purpose is; that we may be known by the love we have for others.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moving Forward

Abby & Sam are in school full time now. Abby is doing great. She is still shy, but has made friends and is learning academically. Her best subject is Math, but is enjoying meeting with
Mrs. Pasquel who is her English Second Language Teacher. She also likes to do homework which is not normal for our family. Her and Zoe are the only two who we don't have to fight to get it done! Today she got to go on her first field trip on a school bus. We live a couple blocks from the school, so this was her first time. I am not sure what she thought of the play the went to see, but she thought the bus was awesome.

Sammy on the other hand does not want to go to school. He feels his time would be better spent watching The Chronicals of Narnia. Once he gets there he usuailly does pretty good, but to get him out of bed and ready to go is like pulling teeth. Ok pulling teeth might be easier! His teacher has had to pull from the staff to get additional help to keep him on task. He is making friends and everyone wants to help him and hang out with him. It is not school that is the problem so much as submitting to authority; he is not dangeriously deffiant but he certainly has a strong will. We knew going into this that Sam's will is what kept him alive for so long, his lack of family relationships, and selfreiance would alsi be issues that would have to be over come. Considering that he has only been home 2 months Sam has made incredible strides, he has sadly had to start many, many things later than a child should and some behavior patterns will be hard to relearn.

This past weekend we were invited to visit the local ethiopian church. It was educational and the kids had a great time. The people were very accepting and friendly everyone was willing to extend extra grace to us when we didn't know protocall for different things. All in all we are pleased we went it was good for all of us in different ways. We didn't learn much spiritually as it was all in Geeze or Amahric but we all serve the same God and that is what is important!