Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thanks so much!!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
If you kept up with our wild trip last year to Sierra Leone you might recognize some of these children in these pictures. Erica's husband and a team are back in Sierra Leone right now. As you may remember we worked very hard to fight for all of the injustice to the children that we encountered on that trip. If you missed those posts you can click here to get caught up from that trip last September. There were several children that did get moved out and taken to another orphanage. They stopped in yesterday to check on those children which you will see pictured here. The conditions of this particular orphanage is still very poor. It was a blessing to have the children moved but they are still in a lot of need as you will see that all of the orphanages in SL are overcrowded and operate on very little money. I heard that several of the children's families have been located and they are working to get them reunited with them. Our team will follow up with them as well. It was a very humbling day for the team to go in and see the children in these conditions, especially after they had just left the children in the new center that the Raining Season has set up. They were all doing fabulous and even greeted the team with a song. You can read all about the trip that is currently taking place in Sierra Leone by clicking here and going to their blog.
It is so great to see some of these familiar little faces.
What a neat surprise they received this week from the troops in return.
I just wanted to let you know that we received the most unexpected gift in the mail this week from Jerry and his team of soldiers. He sent our family 3 American flags (one for each family represented that helped with the packages we sent at Christmas). The flags were flown over Afghanistan during actual MEDEVAC missions to assist wounded soldiers. We are humbled at their thoughtfulness and act of kindness on our behalf. It was truly our pleasure and a wonderful gift to our family to come together to do something for the true heroes of our nation and we did not expect anything in return. We will display this flag proudly in our home in honor of their dedicated service and sacrifice for our freedom. Thank you again for making us aware of this opportunity…we would love to participate again next year.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I am completely blown away by the fact that there is a need for adoptive families for FULL African American infants in not one agency, but two, here in the United States....and I'm sure more than that, that I am not aware of. There are inner city women who make the brave choice to not abort but to choose life. They choose a better life for their children than what they are able to provide. They go through the emotions associated with choosing life, carrying life, and then being willing to hand that life over to another out of an ultimate sacrifice of love. AND YET......they show up to these agencies ready to make the ultimate sacrifice but there are NO files for them to look through. There are NO families standing ready, waiting to be chosen as the adoptive parents . There are NO families waiting in line to adopt their FULL African American children. I have heard many say that they will adopt a mixed child, and that is wonderful. But why not a FULL blooded, African American child? There are some that won't even consider that, yet they consider a mixed child. I don't know....does it come down to how dark a child is? If so....WHY? I was at a party the other day and there was a picture being passed around of a waiting child and someone actually said " he is just too dark". "My other kids are mixed and he wouldn't fit in." Well, I seriously doubt the mixed kids look like their white adoptive momma, either. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. But the fact is....when it comes to a child needing love, needing a home, needing a family, it does not matter how dark or light or half African or full African or half American or full American the child is. The child needs a family and God looks to us as Christians to step up and be His hands and feet. Thank God that He does not choose us by our color, by our shade, by how light or dark we are as to whether or not we can enter His family. He chooses us as members of His family based on His unconditional love......and yet WE are made in HIS image....aren't we??? We should have unconditional love toward another who is made in the image of Christ....shouldn't we??
I must admit for some it is nothing more than just ignorance. When I say ignorance, I don't mean stupidity....I just mean, not knowing, not having been enlightened yet. We lived in that bliss ignorance ourselves when we first started our adoption journey. We thought the perfect child to fit into our family of 7 would be a 2 yr old girl from Ukraine. Our youngest child was a 4 yr old boy so we thought "how perfect a 2 yr old blond from Ukraine would fit into our family just fine." We had considered Africa early on as that country is what made me sit and sob my eyes out after seeing an Oprah special on orphans.....but quickly ruled it out because we thought in our little minds that one child in a family of 8 that didn't look like the rest of us would make him feel awkward. It would put "too much pressure on him as the different child". So we pushed it aside and applied to Ukraine. Well, the country shut its doors to adoption and we waited for two years for them to open. They didn't open back up so we decided to switch countries. We didn't know which one....we were "praying" about it. Funny how lots of time to wait does something to YOUR plans, and the picture YOU had in your mind for so long. You start to become open to "other options....whatever God wants". Then you are stretched out of your comfort zone. We got a call out of the blue while we were "praying" about it by someone who suggested Africa to us.They were leaving to go work in an orphanage in Africa the next day. On a whim I just said "email me when you get there and let me know what you find." Mind you, this is almost three years into the process and we were tired of waiting and ready to get something moving. She immediately found a boy in Nigeria that we tried to adopt and supported for one year. Well, we are in the beginning of year #4 in the adoption process now and the country regulations in Nigeria put an end to that adoption. We were devastated again. Back to square one but this time our hearts were now not only wrapped around that little boy....but wrapped around Africa. For one year we envisioned this child joining our family and we couldn't imagine it any other way. So after wanting to give up all together and much prayer again we pressed on and then, one last time, applied to an agency for a 4 year old boy... and got a referral in two weeks. After the long drawn out journey, he was home with us within 5 months of when we applied. When it is time....God moves! We then realized that the very month God laid adoption on our hearts and we decided to adopt our perfect little girl from Ukraine, was when our son, Nathan, was born. Two years later when we got the most random call ever asking us if we had ever thought about Africa was the very month when Nathan was placed in the orphanage. That year that God used the other little boy to turn our hearts toward Africa was the year that our son sat waiting in the orphanage to be picked. The whole time we thought God was taking too long....He was actually working on our hearts and preparing us for what was to come. THEN, at the perfect time....for us....and for Nathan....God brought us all together. Our hearts were where they needed to be, finally, in order for God to add to our family the way He intended.....not us. How funny that we thought we had it all figured out. But let me tell you that our 2 year old little blond girl from Ukraine was actually a 4 year old very dark boy from Africa. And we could not have hand picked him any more perfectly to fit into our family. He was our missing piece and and the perfect match for our family. I love the fact that we spread God's message about adoption every time someone looks at our family without ever having to say a word. I LOVE his dark skin....I now think the darker the better because it is just one glimpse of what we will all look like once we get to heaven. Every tribe and every nation, and all one family....But you know what? We all bleed the same color. And it is what's on the inside that counts. I thank God that our eyes were opened and that we stuck it out and let God lead us...even in our bliss ignorance. There are children in every tribe and every nation that need to be adopted. Some God has chosen and they will look like you, but some He has chosen and they may not. Just be careful not to quickly rule it out if they happen to not. God wants to use us more than we could ever imagine. It is so much more than what we think. It is His message of unconditional love that He is trying to spread across the nation.....no matter what it looks like :-) I'd say God's view is perfect.
Now....on to the agencies. These agencies have both said they have urgent needs for adoptive families interested in Full African American infants. Let's take care of the children in our own country as well as abroad. Where are you called to adopt?
Blessings in your adoption journey :-)
Extreme Emergency Adoption
Girl from Asia, Blind, Aging Out March 9, 2010
Agency Fees waived*
Do you already have a dossier and an approved I-600 (not I-800) logged-in in China- including singles? Are you approved to adopt two children? Are you approved to adopt an older child with special needs? Do you have a cooperative USCIS office? If so, please contact us immediately regarding this girl.
She will age out on March 9. This child’s adoptive family must have a dossier already logged in with China, with an I-600 approval, in order to complete her adoption before she turns 14.YTY. Girl. Despite her small size, she is 13. She has been able to make the most of the opportunities offered in the boarding school for the blind which she attends. She has learned Braille, enjoys studying language and makes good grades. However, a family who can offer her love and attention as well as a full spectrum of resources for the sight impaired, will help her blossom. She has some vision in her left eye; she does not have a right eye and she has a heart issue (involving bicuspid II SM). When she turns 14 she will no longer be able to be adopted domestically or internationally. Agency adoption are waived for eligible families* for this adoption. PLEASE ask about possible additional assistance. Please contact a Family Finders Case Manager for more information.
Boy, Aging Out in May 2010
Agency Fees waived*
Families who already have a dossier logged in, regardless of whether or not they’ve already been assigned a child, should inquire if they are interested in adopting this particular child.
13-year-old MX shared that, while living at the orphanage, he has seen many younger children be adopted. He also shared that he has had many friends about his same age at the orphanage, but they have all either been adopted or have a family coming for them. He is sad to be left behind. After visiting him, our staff said, “He is very good-looking and seems like a normal teenage boy.” MX is very motivated to be adopted and traveled from another orphanage with many younger children as the only older child to meet and discuss any adoption opportunities with us.
While he appears to be quite shy, he is engaging and has a very charming smile. When asked about what he likes to do, he responded that he loves to play basketball, and his favorite player is “Kobe.” He is currently in the appropriate grade for his age in secondary school. His favorite subject is language. He speaks a little English. When he grows up, he wants to be a cartoonist because he loves to draw. He gave WACAP staff pictures that he had drawn. He likes to watch cartoons on TV. When asked what he would do if money was not an object, he said he would have a house and a car. When asked how he reacts when he’s upset with someone, he wisely told us he doesn’t speak with them until he has calmed down. When asked to describe his ideal family, he said he would like a large family. Clearly that is what this boy needs—before he turns 14 and becomes ineligible for international adoption. He still remembers what it is like to be part of a family and wants to be part of that again soon.
The agency adoption fees are waived for eligible families* for this adoption and there is possible additional assistance. Please contact a Family Finders case manager for more information. His ID is MX.0596.16737.01.WACAP is a nonprofit adoption agency (www.wacap.org). Please email FamilyFinders@wacap.org or 1-800-732-1887 with any questions you may have.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
If you visit Ordinary Hero you will quickly understand that we are all about helping a child in need, no matter where the child is, local or abroad, no matter what the circumstance. Well I would like to introduce you to a child in need. Her name is Izzy and she is in need of a miracle. She was born on Christmas day and she was not due until April. She is fighting for her life and she needs our help. She needs our prayers right now more than ever. Below you will read the email that her mother sent out asking for prayer for her little girl. This mother's heart cry of selfless love for her child describes what any of us would be feeling if it were our child. Please lift Izzy up in prayer today and let's believe that by the power of prayer and God's healing touch that she will pull through this and be a testimony to Him.
To all of my Sweet Izzy followers:
Our little baby girl is still very sick. She is actually much worse. I recieved a phone call at 4:30 this morning giving me an update on her status and she had gotten worse. They had increased her medicines, put her on a different ventilator and continued to give her more blood in order to help her blood pressure.
They called me again at 6am letting me know to come to the hospital. She was once again even worse. She has become tremendously swollen from all of the fluid and blood products but they have to continue to give her volume in order to deal with her low blood pressure. Later in the morning they changed the ventilator she is on...once again and added another machine which is supposed to help open her veins.
So much has happened today, so many tests have been run, numerouse and continuting x rays. She continues to swell up...although I do not see how....she is probably the equivalant of at least a 5 lb baby right now. They are trying to tweak every way they can...with the ventilator, her medicines, etc. The unfornutate thing is that they are just about to the limits of what they can do to help her...as far as tweaking goes...on some things....they are to the limits.
I am not sure what else to say...there has been so much today. Our sweet little Izzy is fighting for her life...again! This time she is continuing to linger at the crossroads. It is going to take her little body working to help get thru this but the fear is whether her organs will continue to function long enough to do it. She has made progress at times but then gone backwards again!
Please, Please, Please continue to pray! Miracles do happen...I truly believe that and have been fortunate in my day to see a couple thru all of this! It is truly going to take just that...a miracle...to turn things around at this point!!
I will say this...I have been on my knees several times today praying...praying for his will to be done which right now is the hardest thing to do! I wish more than anything for her to beat this and get better...I have prayed this as well! But, if it is his will for her to come join him...I pray that he would not let her suffer! I ask that all of you would pray with me in this...whatever his will be done!
With much love and thanks,
Danyel and Paul
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Also....another fyi....There will be more info to come on our upcoming OH mission trip to Ethiopia July 22-31st, 2010. I am very excited about this trip. It will be solely focused on helping the orphan and street child. More to come....