Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
You look at the waiting children-- their faces on the internet-- and you cower at the need, the numbers, the despair. And you applaud those who are braver, holier, than yourself. And you cower.
But then something changes.
You start not just looking, but listening too. Is that laughter? Is that singing? Is that joy pouring out of those very houses where some of those scary, overwhelming, despairing faces now live? It sounds like a home over there. And you start to wonder why those sounds stir you.
Eventually, curiosity gets the better of you, and you jump. You start the paper work, maybe a blog too. You look around, now a part of "that" group, expecting to be patted on the back. You notice something strange: they aren't looking at you or even each other--- they're looking up. Its not the club of really good people that you thought it was. Someone passes you a note saying: "you are about to be blessed".
Confused but undeterred, you complete your dossier. Looking around, not up, because the sun is too bright. You get on a plane to bring her home. The waiting child with the little face in the picture that still makes you nervous.
You arrive. Someone opens the door, tugging a little pink bundle by the hand. The nanny leaves.
Suddenly, something starts to happen. The little face looks up at you, her eyes are sparkling and her legs are running forwards. You realize yours are too. As you embrace and she whispers "I love you, Mama", you break. Weeping, you begin to understand. All this time, you have been the waiting child.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This movie was BEAUTIFULLY done, incredible music, cinematography, intriguing, fabulous acting, everything. It makes the audience cheer and laugh out loud half of the time and cry the other half. The story is redeeming and uplifting and really, as all adoption stories are, a beautiful picture of the Gospel. The marriage relationship is healthy, the family isn't perfect but they have true love for one another, the story is real, believable, convicting and close to home.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Could I possibly love these kids more? I could gush about them all day, and since this is a (late) post celebrating their birthday-- why not?
Oh Meza my wonderful brother, when we began the adoption process I was only expecting to get one little brother and I can not tell you the countless hours I spent dreaming of you, imagining what you'd look like, pretending that I was showing you off to all my friends, praying for you future, blessing the the Lord for your life, and waiting, waiting, WAITING for you to come home! You bring me laughter everyday. You are so smart, funny, strong, athletic, an AMAZING dancer, an engineer and such a silly head. I love you brother, and I'm eager to see where the Lord carries you as you continue to embrace life to the fullest. Your sister,
TeeGee, my beauty baby girl, could you be any more sweet, hilarious, adorable, loving and joyful? Eyes are the window to the soul, Julie Love, you must have the brightest, most gleaming, hopeful, overflowing spirit in the whole world. Your eyes are so incredibly sparkling and bright. Your loving spirit overflows in your contagious laughter and helpful attitude. You are always making sure that everyone is ok, telling them that you love them, singing praise songs, playing "house guys", asking us to read you stories out of your little Bible, and talking about the babies in "Epiopia" who don't have mommies and daddies. You are so caring and compassionate and I can already see what a wonderful mother and housewife you are going to be. You bring me endless joy and I am cannot express how proud, honored, and overjoyed I am to be your sister. Happy four years baby girl,
PS. For those of you who are wondering, Meza is Michael's Ethiopian name that we kept as his middle name. Julia's Ethiopian name/middle name is Tigist, which in Ethiopia people use interchangeably with the nickname for Tigist, TeeGee. In our house, we refer to the twins as Michael, Mez, and Meza, Julia, Tigist, and TeeGee- but Michael and Julia most.
..................... On to other things:
"King Arthur" went WONDERFULLY! I wish I had pictures to post but I don't have any yet, hopefully eventually. It was definitely hectic, but it was really a ton of fun and I learned so so so much about the art of Theatre, and the art of Relationship. God really took this opportunity to teach me what it means to do something for HIS GLORY, I guess because working back stage doesn't get quite the same attention as the actors do but also in many other little details. Preforming on stage enables and calls you to display the glory of the Lord to the audience, working backstage calls you to display this same glory and love to your friends, to the people that might be frustrating you right at that moment, while you are running around crazily, in the midst of tight spaces and complicated and precise work--- not only during the entire show but also ALL OF PRODUCTION WEEK------ every minute of it. You are called to a role of encouragement and management and leadership. Anyway, all that to say, this show really stretched me, but I am so glad I did it and I can't wait to find out what we'll be doing next semester.
Finally, I want to introduce you all to a family that I sort of know but got more connected with through the blog world. Meet the Hollis family who are try to raise all $20,000 to adopt a sweet little girl named Darya before Thanksgiving. Yes, this Thanksgiving. I've have been so inspired and encouraged by hearing their walk of faith and I can't wait to see what God will do through their daughter Lydia as the Lord uses her to and she chases after Him. If any of you are interested in supporting them in this their blog is: the30dayjourneyforhope.blogspot.com. (If you can't get this link to work, just type the address in).
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
PS. The movie THE BLIND SIDE comes out today--- its the true and recent adoption story of Michael Oher, and it looks fabulous. My family is seeing it today and I ABOLUTELY encourage every adoption advocate to bring a big crew to go see this movie to ensure it does well in box office.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
BUT, I will apologize for the coming abandonment. Since I was in eighth grade and fell in love with the Broadway musical "Wicked", I have absolutely loved theater. I've been a part of my school's drama department since my freshman year and have participated in two plays and two musicals with them. Right now we are working on a production of King Arthur. In the past, I have always performed in the show, but for this one I decided that I wanted to try working back stage since none of the characters really caught my attention anyway. It has been a lot of fun to get this new experience of being Props manager and Stage manager for the show.
All that to say, if any of you have ever participated in any kind of stage performance, you know what a lot of craziness comes with "Production Week". don don donnnnn
Basically from tomorrow until the cast party after the last show on next Friday the 13th it'll be nonstop King Arthur for me and my fellow dramamates. All day except for during school (and we're even getting some time off of school) we'll be a-workin'. Literally, 'til about midnight every night. One of my friends is even living with us this coming week since her family lives to far out to come get her every night that late and its easy for us to just take her to school in the morning.
I am so honored that the Lord has chosen me to help be a part of this beautiful art for His Glory. I am so amazed at the incredible teamwork and relationship building that I see around me and am so blessed by my director and even fellow students continually leading our team to prayer, even in the middle of a rehearsal, if something is going wrong or we really need help with a specific thing, or even if we are just losing our focus for a minute, its drop everything and pray. Even with all the work ahead, I am so excited because God has called us to excellence in everything we do to show forth His Kingdom to a hungry world. And, its fun. :)
On another note, Michael and Julia, my precious brown babies, are turning FOUR on Monday! Wow. They're still my babies. I'll hardly get to spend any time with them on Monday but I'll still try to do a birthday and a blessing post for them after some of the craziness wears off.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Trying to be a good, fun, big sister, I got the kids dressed to go outside even though its kind of dreary here today. Unfortunately, I dressed them up for dry cold weather but it was actually hot and wet. We only stayed out for about five minutes.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
They are an incredible organization working in 22 different countries with many different projects, but focusing on pastor training. When my mom and I first went to Africa in 2004, we went on one of their short-term, vision trips and our family has been involved with them ever since.
Anyway, the reason I bring that up is that they have started to spread this idea that totally makes my heart sing: "I need Africa more than Africa needs me." How incredible is that? If you've got Africa (or any people group/country) on your heart you know exactly what I mean. They are selling these incredible t-shirts (there are more on the website) for just twenty dollars as a fundraiser, and I'm hoping to give a lot of them as Christmas gifts this year.
In case you're interested. :)
ok, so when I just tried those links none of them worked, so here they are in order:
African Leadership: http://www.africanleadership.org/
"this idea...": https://www.mochaclub.org/i-need-africa
try that.... :) sorry for my lack of computer skills!
Monday, October 19, 2009
I am blessed with the most wonderful dad in the world who loves his wife, his children and the Lord so much. He leads our family and provides for and protects us every single day. What an incredible calling, to be a father- the one who represents God to his family and to the whole world. A father demonstrates the way that Christ loves the church to his wife and the way the Lord shepherds His flock to his children. He models what it looks like to be to be a Provider and caregiver in establishing a Godly home in front of the watching world. He treasures his family the way that the Lord treasures His children.
One of the most wonderful things about my dad is that he is a teacher. He often teaches other people, at church or Sunday school or other places like that, but more than anyone else he teaches his children--- by example and instruction. Yesterday I was struggling with some things and worrying about the future and we had the opportunity for a little father daughter time. Nothing could have been better than for me to hear first, what he had done in a similar situation, second, how much he and mom love me, and third that I don't need to fear because my worth is not in what I do. I am free to fail in Christ. And he was promising me that I was free to fail in him to, because he would still love me, just like Christ would.
If you have a father who loves you and cherishes you- don't forget to thank them and appreciate them every day.
But even if you don't have a good relationship with your earthly father, maybe you don't even have an earthly father, there is one thing that I know you have. A heavenly Father. His love is even more perfect than the very best of earthly dads. And you are His adopted child.
I love you Daddy.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Lela Grace, Julia and I
Today, my hope is drained.
Today my heart is broken, my hands and feet are screaming to move, to work, to go.
I so rarely fall back to this place of desperation now, that I don't even know what to do about it.
It is so much easier to keep your head in the right place when you're actually on a mission trip or in a third world country, because your calling is right in front of your face all the time - and you are FORCED to be completely dependent on God's mercy.
But that is the problem, isn't it? I've lost hope, because I've ceased to depend upon Him. I feel like a failure because I've got it into my head that it is mine, my duty, my strength. But it isn't. It's not my way or my will or my strength or my hope or my love or my courage--- its His.
And He never fails.
And His plans are never thwarted.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I suppose I'll start with a story, what else? I mean, that is really how it all started.
While in Ethiopia, my team and I for just a few short hours visit AHOPE (and HIV/AIDS orphanage) in Addis Ababa. Most of the older children were having school while we were there, so it was mostly all children under the 5 or 6. Some of us took a brief little tour of one of the house where the little kids slept, but it was mostly empty because the kids were outside playing with the rest of our team. Mostly empty.
In one room there was a little child curled up on the bottom bunk of one of the beds, I thought it was a boy, and I thought he was asleep. This wasn't really that surprising, because the further advanced that the HIV is, the more tired and lethargic the kids get. The other thing is, many of them are sick and/or have warts all over them. I absolutely wanted to get out of that depressing room and play with the happy kids outside, and I started to. I'm telling you, I wanted to leave. Right then. But in the Lord's mercy, He held me there and I had the most amazing privilege of getting to stay, to pick up little "S" (she looked about 4 years old), and carry her outside. She was weak and shaky and didn't move her legs quite normally. She didn't smile or talk, just sat in my lap and watched the other kids play while I spoke the little (very very little) Amharic that I knew to her, and some English too. She began warming up, and then I had to set her down to help with a little puppet show that we had prepared for them. It was so much fun, but the very very best part was seeing "S" absolutely shine. She smiled and giggled and even outright laughed while we played with the puppets, colored paper bags, and painted fingernails.
I can't really explain the bond between "S" and me, because I don't understand it. Other than this: the Lord chose for us to spend those few short hours together on that day, on that time, in that way, for His glory, since the beginning of time. He has a purpose for our relationship, even though I'll probably never see "S" again.
The orphanage director's English was very good and he told me that "S" is being adopted!!! He offered to let me write a letter to her family with my information on it so that they could contact me, and he would give it to them when they came to get her. I did, but I haven't heard from her family.
The thing is, since I've been home, I've had a hard time trusting the Lord that He really loves "S" even more than I do. That He really does know what is best for her and will do it. I've been afraid for her health, I've been afraid for her relationship with God. I've been afraid that maybe her family won't care for her, or that they won't raise her up in the church, or that they'll be abusive or neglecting. Or, that the orphanage director was confused, and that they aren't coming at all.
The focus of the October Challenge is to give these precious children, "S" included, who are already the Lord's, over to His care. To pray for them, and to trust Him that He hears and has an even better plan than we do.
I think that there are three ways that we can pray for the orphan crisis: for the children's physical needs, their spiritual needs, and for the church to take action and to follow the Lord where He leads.
Ways to pray for the Orphans
Physical: As you probably all know AIDS is prevalent in almost every country on the world but especially in 3rd world countries where it is taking a staggering tole on the population and leaving so many millions of orphans behind. But God is still faithful and He is still bigger than this horrific pandemic. We can pray that God will have mercy on the children orphaned by AIDS and those infected by HIV. He is faithful through sickness and He is the God who does more than we can ask or imagine. He is a Healing God.
Spiritual: That the Lord will reveal Himself to the HIV positive children of the world and not only draw them to Himself, but use them as mighty tools for His kingdom.
For the Church: Aids is a bad, horrible, terrifying thing. The people who have Aids are not. They are not just a problem to be dealt with, or to be pushed out of our minds and hearts as I tried to do that day at AHOPE. They are children of the Living God. We can pray that God will place the Aids crisis in our faces so that we might be driven to action. My biology teacher is one of the leading DNA specialists working on finding the cure for Aids. He is right in the inner circle of all the newest discoveries and they are so so close! The church can take heart and have hope in that! We can pray for the few Godly scientists in that field that they will remain firm in their faith and determined toward their goal.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thank you so much for visiting. I don't have a super clear vision of what this blog is going to look like so far, but I am excited to have a place to record this time in my life.
A little bit about me:
More than anything, I am loved by my Savior, who I seek to glorify with all of my life. His faithfulness is unfailing and His mercies are new every morning. I am very blessed with a amazing family who loves me and accepts me. I am the oldest of five children with two younger brothers and two younger sisters (Joseph 13; Lela Grace 10; Michael 3; Julia 3). Michael and Julia are twins and they came home to our family from Ethiopia when they were 6 months old. I have attended the most amazing classical Chrstian school in the world since my sixth grade year and am blessed by the my teachers, friends, and education there every single day. My family and I are renewed every Sunday at a beautiful little church in my town that is associated with my school, so we get to fellowship with many of the same families in both places. Finally, and the biggest reason for me starting this blog to begin with: When I was 11 years old, my mom and I traveled to South Africa and Kenya on a mission trip. Since then, the Lord has slowly but surely called me to serve His children in Eastern Africa. When I was almost 13 Michael and Julia came home and since then I have had a tried to use every oppurtunity to spread African Adoption/Orphan awarness in my community.
My desire for almost 5 years was to return to Africa, and this past summer God fufilled that dream as I spent a week in Ethiopia and a week in Uganda on a mission trip visiting orphans. It was definetly a learning trip for me, and I know I'll be going back one day. I hope to live there either full time or at least for a while whenever God directs.
"To whom much is Given, much is expected."
The Lord has definetly blessed me immeasurably, even though many things aren't perfect and evey day there is something new to wrestle with and to learn from. But more than what God has given me, I am blessed by who He is. Lord help me to keep that in front of me at all times, and to not get caught up in what is going on around me and loose sight of who You are.
ps. I am somewhat modeling this blog after another girl's who I met in the blog world who also has a heart for orphans. Reading her blog (http://guatemolly1.blogspot.com/) encourages me all the time. It is also somewhat modeled after the first blog I ever followed, a friend of mine's from church (http://raechelmyers.blogspot.com/).