Saturday, November 29, 2008

Great Opportunity to Help Bring a Child Home

My friend Amanda and her husband are working to adopt a cute little guy from Eastern Europe. She has this to say:

Only 2 days left to enter! We are so thankful and incredibly grateful for everything we've received. 2 days left to enter the drawing for the two gift cards we are giving away. We will be drawing winners on December 1st! This is just in time for Christmas. Up for grabs is a $100 Toys-R-Us gift card and a $200 Visa gift card - every $5 donation gets you entered into BOTH drawings. The Toys-R-Us gift card can be used online or in stores and the Visa gift card can be used ANYWHERE Visa is accepted.Please see the chip-in to enter.Want MORE entries? In addition to the entry per $5 donation, everyone who mentions this fundraiser on their blogs will get 2 ADDITIONAL ENTRIES (Your name will be entered twice into each drawing). Please leave a comment and let me know you've mentioned the fundraiser and I will add two entries in your name.Comment here:

Let's see if we can help out with this worthy cause.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Are You Sitting Down?

That's the question I asked my friends on Reece's Rainbow yesterday. About mid-morning I signed onto my email as usual and unexpectedly found a note from our facilitator stating we have an appointment on December 12. Oh my goodness!! I felt so shaky all over and like I was flying or something!! Talk about a happy shock!

We have been scrambling for flight and apartment information. I have met with our main babysitter. I have started a very long to-do list and have even thrown a few things into my suitcase that I was afraid I would forget. I would appreciate all of your prayers as we try to prepare for an international trip of unknown length in two weeks. And please pray that we would be able to make the next two weeks very special for our children. Tomorrow we plan to eat our Thanksgiving turkey at my aunt's house and then start celebrating Christmas as soon as possible.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We Are Blessed

My friend Meredith so kindly highlighted our family at on Nov. 19. She has been featuring a different family every day this month in honor of Adoption Awareness. There are some great stories there and I warmly recommend that you check them out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dossier submitted

Our facilitator let us know early yesterday morning that he had indeed submitted our dossier to the SDA! If I remember correctly, they officially have 20 business days to look it over before giving a travel date. But you know me, I'd love to know much sooner than that. :)

I so appreciate everyone's prayers and encouragement. I would like to request prayer concerning our first travel date that God would work it out as it relates to Christmas. Thanks so much.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Focus On The Family

In this month of Adoption Awareness I have been inspired and challenged by statistics, articles, resources, etc. put out by Focus on the Family. It excites me that an organization with such wide-spread influence has become a strong advocate for orphan care and adoption. See and for more information.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm disappointed

Our facilitator said that today he got permission from the SDA to submit our dossier NEXT Monday. Yes I know that is still not as long as some people have had to wait but I had really hoped for LAST week. I am the world's worst waiter, I'm pretty sure.


Uncomfortable, Inconvenient Christianity--Part 3

So what can we do for the orphans of our world--the fatherless, the abandoned, the neglected, the abused? PLEASE don't let the overwhelming magnitude of the problem cause you to do nothing. No, you alone can't do it all but you can do something--and all together we as believers can do something remarkable. At there is a quote that got my attention: "In the U.S. alone, 137 million people claim to be Christians of some denomination. If only 1% of the Christians in this country adopted just one child, 1.37 million children from abroad would have loving, Christian families to grow up in." (According to this site, these statistics are from Families of Promise, 2000)

So (1) I boldly, shamelessly challenge you to prayerfully consider the Adoption Option whether you're wealthy or financially-challenged, whether you have biological children or a clean house :) Adopt an adorable African-American newborn from the U.S. Adopt a child from China or Guatemala or Haiti or Ethiopia or Ukraine or Russia or . . . . There are grants and loans available to help with the expenses and a sizable tax credit as well. Adopt a child of color, a child with special needs, a sibling group, an older child (even a teenager), or a child who has been abused or neglected from the U.S. foster care system. In our case, adoption subsidies and state assistance with medical expenses have been extremely helpful.

Steven Curtis Chapman (in Shaohannah's Hope Today, Spring 2007, page 8) describes adoption as "the transformation that mirrors what God has done for each of us." Ephesians 1:4,5 says: "God chose us to belong to Christ before the world was created. He chose us to be holy and without blame in his eyes. He loved us. So he decided long ago to adopt us as his children. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it."

(2) Support an adoption. If you know someone who's adopting, support them with your prayers, encouragement, finances, etc. Many countries require adoptive parents to spend an extensive amount of time overseas processing their adoption. They would probably greatly appreciate offers to baby-sit their other children, cook meals, do laundry, feed pets or provide lawn care while they are away.

(3) Be a foster parent full of the love of Jesus, maybe showing a child for the only time in his/her life what a Christian home looks like.

(4) Volunteer at an orphanage for a week, month, year or lifetime.

(5) Sponsor a child or group of children through Assembly of God programs like Hillcrest, Highlands, Children's Relief Network, Asia's Little Ones and Eurasia's Future or through other reputable organizations such as Compassion International and Samaritan's Purse.

(6) Be a role model to fatherless children in your own community.

(7) No matter what else you do, please pray.

And what can we do about abortion? Here are some ideas to get you actively thinking about your part in the overall solution.

(1) Write the President and your congressmen with your concerns on life issues.

(2) Support ministries that work tirelessly to support life in our "pro-choice" culture. I think of Focus on the Family, Coral Ridge Ministries, and ACLJ and I'm sure you know of others. Of course they sincerely need our financial gifts, but our prayers are even more urgently, desperately essential. These ministries stand against the forces of the devil himself who comes only to "steal and kill and destroy" in direct opposition to Jesus who came "so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way." (John 10:10)

(3) Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center.

(4) Pray for girls, guys, ladies, men and families experiencing a crisis pregnancy, Christian and non-Christian alike. The pressure to abort can be huge due to age, peer pressure, future plans, family and boyfriend, mother's or baby's health. All too often when an ultrasound shows some kind of physical anomaly, the obstetrician immediately assumes the mother will want an abortion. I've read of some doctors who actually refused to give further care to the pregnant mom because she refused his plan for termination (see for encouraging stories of people who chose to continue their pregnancies in spite of an adverse prenatal diagnosis)

(5) Guide the expectant mom to people who will support her as she parents a special needs child or will even adopt the baby if she feels unable to cope with parenting. CHASK (Christian Homes and Special Kids, is an example of a ministry that endeavors to provide both types of assistance.

(6) Pray for and love any person you know (male or female) who has been victimized by abortion. Their broken hearts can find healing and wholeness through the outstretched, loving arms of Jesus on the cross. Their baby is already cradled safely in the nail-pierced hands. Show them there is love, forgiveness, peace, hope and a future in Jesus.

(7) Please do not choose to do nothing.

The Bible warns us strongly in Proverbs 24:11, 12: "Save those who are being led away to death. Hold back those who are about to be killed. Don't say 'But we didn't know anything about this.' The One who knows what you are thinking sees it. The One who guards your life knows it. He will pay each person back for what he has done."

Deuteronomy 30: 15, 16, 19 reads: "Today I'm giving you a choice. You can have life and success. Or you can have death and harm. I'm commanding you to live exactly as he wants you to live. You must obey his commands, rules, and laws. Then you will live. Your numbers will increase. The LORD your God will bless you in the land . . . . I'm calling for heaven and earth to give witness against you this very day. I'm offering you the choice of life or death. You can choose either blessings or curses. But I want you to choose life. Then you and your children will live."

I strongly believe that the plight of the unborn and the distress of the orphan are dear to the heart of Abba Father's "Daddy" heart and I'm crazy enough to think that he wants to use us--his children--as his arms and legs to do something about them. It may not be convenient to get involved. It may stretch us immensely and take us out of our comfort zone. But as we seek God's heart and follow his example, we get the extreme privilege of partnering with him in saving and changing lives--one precious child at a time.
Based on a talk I presented at Hansen Assembly of God on March 18, 2007.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Uncomfortable, Inconvenient Christianity--Part 2

Secondly, I'd like to read some Bible verses that clearly show God's love for the orphan. Again all references are taken from the New International Reader's Version.

1. Psalm 27:10 My father and mother may desert me, but the LORD will accept me.

2. Isaiah 49:15, 16 The LORD answers, "Can a mother forget the baby who is nursing at her breast? Can she stop showing her tender love to the child who was born to her? She might forget her child. But I will not forget you. I have written your name on the palms of my hands . . . ."

3. Psalm 10:14B You {God} help children whose fathers have died.

4. Psalm 68:5 God is in his holy temple. He is a father to those whose fathers have died. He takes care of women whose husbands have died.

5. Deuteronomy 10:17, 18 The LORD you God is the greatest God of all . . . . He stands up for widows and for children whose fathers have died . . . .

6. James 1:27 Here are the kinds of beliefs that God our Father accepts as pure and without fault. When widows and children who have no parents are in trouble, take care of them. And keep yourselves from being polluted by the world.

7. Psalm 113:9 He gives children to the woman who doesn't have any children. He makes her a happy mother in her own home.

8. Proverbs 31:8, 9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless and see that they get justice.

9. Here is an extensive list of further references that deal with God's heart towards the fatherless and/or his expectation for his people to care for and be concerned for them: Exodus 22:22, 24; Deuteronomy 10:18; 14:29; 24:17, 19, 20, 21; 26:12, 13; 27:19; Job 6:27; 22:9; 24:3, 9; 29:12; 31:17, 21; Psalm 10:14, 18; 68:5; 82:3; 94:6; 109:9, 12; 146:9; Proverbs 23:10; Isaiah 1:17, 23; 9:17; 10:2; Jeremiah 5:28; 7:6; 22:3; 49:11; Ezekiel 22:7; Zechariah 7:10; Malachi 3:5. The term 'orphan' can refer, of course, to a child whose parents are both dead or to a child whose father or mother is dead. In adoption, however, it can also denote a child who has been abandoned by his parents (due to physical deformity, parents' poverty, one-child rule as in ****, etc.) or whose parents' rights have been terminated due to abuse or neglect. As God's children we are not to mistreat, take advantage of or take the property of the orphan. Instead we are to treat them fairly, provide conscientiously for their needs, and care for them in their distress.

My passion for the unborn and the orphan has driven me to tears . . . To prayer . . . To books, newsletters, magazines and the Internet where I find out way more than I want to know:

* According to Focus on the Family, there are over 143 million orphans in the world today.

* In his World Challenge Missions Update, Gary Wilkerson cites these statistics: 57,000,000 died in 2006; 10,500,000 of these were children less than five years old; 14,000,000 children were orphaned because of HIV/AIDS; 2,000,000 children have died as a direct result of armed conflict during the last ten years.

* According to Heartlines, (Newsletter of the Adoption Exchange, Fall 2006, page 1) there are 513,000 children in U.S. foster care; 114,000 of these children are awaiting adoption. Each year approximately 19,000 of these children age out of the system without ever having been placed in permanent, loving families.

* According to a 2007 Focus on the Family leaflet, there are 2,750 babies aborted every day.

* It is estimated that 80-90% of children with Downs syndrome are aborted before they're ever born. Here in Christian America "termination" of pregnancy is the standard "treatment" offered by doctors to expectant parents of a baby with Downs. (From Impact, "Down Syndrome Children Bring Blessing, 'Depth of Love,'" Coral Ridge Ministries, January 2007, page 5)

* Officials in one *** country were quoted as surmising that the only reason a family would want to adopt a child with Downs syndrome would be for "spare body parts." Handicapped children in some **** countries are sent to mental institutions at age 4. In one such institution, 30 individuals are reported to die every month.

*Earlier this year both Focus on the Family and Coral Ridge Ministries reported there are children born alive in abortion clinics in the U.S. and left to die with the dirty instruments. One story told of a baby born in such a situation that was still alive four hours later. A nurse decided that the warmth of the blanket was keeping it alive so laid its naked little body on a steel shelf. The baby died 15 minutes later.

* In the January 7, 2007 edition of Impact, Coral Ridge Ministries reports: "After the birth of their son in a hotel room, a couple of high school sweethearts took the infant, crushed his head and threw his lifeless body into a dumpster. The couple received 2 years jail time and got out early for good behavior. In stark contrast a Wisconsin man received 12 years hard time for killing 10 cats."

* On March 15, 2007 John Kemp (an accomplished attorney born without arms or legs) spoke at the Idaho Parents Unlimited conference which I attended in Boise, Idaho. He cited a **** official as saying that ***** doesn't have any people with disabilities. The reason? Babies with physical disabilities are killed almost at birth.

Further research would likely show additional startling statistics and horrific tales. These mentioned, however, sufficiently substantiate the facts that there are many hurting children on Planet Earth and that many earthlings do not perceive that human life--in whatever condition in which it is expressed--is sacred from conception to the grave.

(To be continued)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's National Adoption Awareness Month--Part 1

Have I ever mentioned how much I love adoption!! I earnestly urge every Christian who reads this blog to carefully, prayerfully consider the adoption option. But this request comes with a WARNING! Adoption is addictive. It is kind of like eating potato chips--no one can adopt just one :) I should know, we are working on our 6th.

Last year, March 18, 2007, I had the privilege of speaking at our local church to promote life and adoption. I have since made some slight changes to put it in its present form. I realize some of the data and stats are a little old but they are still compelling so over the next few days, I'd like to type it out here on my blog.

Uncomfortable, Inconvenient Christianity
If you know me, you know I like to be comfortable. I much prefer loose T-shirts, fleecy sweatshirts and cushy athletic shoes to frilly blouses, flouncy dresses and high heels, I'm not into gnats, mosquitoes, flies, 100-degree weather, negative-degree weather, oozing mud or billowing dust.
And I really don't mind convenience either. ATM machines, e-mail, Hamburger Helper (TM), wrinkle-resistant pants and Scrub Free Soap Scum Remover (TM) are each a much-appreciated part of my world.
I could go on and on with examples but I think you get the point: I enjoy comfort and convenience.
But this morning I have asked to talk to you about a subject that is not comfortable, and a situation whose solutions are not convenient. Those of you who know me well, know God has given me a passion for the unborn and for the orphan.
My passion for the orphan began at least by Junior High and was greatly influenced by a book I read called The Family Nobody Wanted about a Methodist pastor and his wife who adopted twelve children of varying racial backgrounds. My deep concern for the unborn, on the other hand, did not start until I was in college. I don't think I'd ever thought about the ethics of abortion very seriously. I guess until then my opinion was pretty much "I'd never get an abortion myself, but it's a free country--you make your own decision." But as I began a more in-depth study of fetal development in the CSI RN program, an important fact became apparent: human life begins at conception. Once convinced of that truth, the next step was obvious: nobody but God has the right to terminate that life.
I went on to volunteer for a year as live-in Staff Assistant at New Life Center in Vienna, Ohio. (New Life was a residential program which could house about 12 young ladies--mostly between 12 and 25 years old--experiencing a crisis pregnancy.) I worked as a nurse for two years on the postpartum (after delivery) floor at Magic Valley Regional in Twin Falls. My husband and I were foster parents for about 6 1/2 years and we have adopted four beautiful children with a variety of very mild to moderate special needs. As I look back I can see that these experiences, along with others, have led me to this platform today.
The Pentecostal Evangel quotes the Assemblies of God statement concerning the sanctity of life as follows: "We believe that human life is of inestimable worth and significance in all its dimensions, including the unborn, the aged, the widowed, the mentally handicapped, the unattractive, the physically challenged and every other condition in which humanness is expressed from conception to the grave."
I'd like to share with you what God's Word says about the sacredness of human life. I'm reading from the New International Reader's Version, written for kids 6-10.
Human life is valuable because:
1. God created mankind in his own image
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness. Let them rule over the fish in the waters and the birds of the air. Let them rule over the livestock and over the whole earth. Let them rule over all of the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own likeness. He created them in the likeness of God. He created them as male and female.
And God's creative work did not end in Genesis:
Psalm 139:13-16 You created the deepest parts of my being. You put me together inside my mother's body. How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful. I know that very well. None of my bones was hidden from you when you made me inside my mother's body. That place was as dark as the deepest parts of the earth. When you were putting me together there, your eyes saw my body even before it was formed. You planned how many days I would live. You wrote down the number of them in your book before I had lived through even one of them.
2. God loves every human being
John 3:16 God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.
3. Jesus died for every human being
I Timothy 2:5,6 There is only one God. And there is only one go-between for God and human beings. He is the man Christ Jesus. He gave himself to pay for the sins of everyone . . .
4. God has a good plan for every human being
Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you," announces the LORD. "I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come."
Scriptures show that God had a special, specific plan for the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah even in the womb:
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in your mother's body I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart to serve me. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.
Isaiah 49: 1, 5 People who live on the islands, listen to me. Pay attention, you nations far away. Before I was born the LORD chose me to serve him. He appointed me by name . . . . The LORD formed me in my mother's body to be his servant. He wanted me to bring the family of Jacob back to him. He wanted me to gather the people of Israel to himself . . .
(more to come)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Check this out

I was touched by this Chistmas video at the link above highlighting the ministry of Reece's Rainbow.
This is an older Reeces Rainbow video but again very touching. It actually shows Caleb before he joined our family. (He's 3 minutes and 21 seconds into the video)


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've been tagged!!

UH-OH. I was tagged by my on-line friend, Lou She is also in the process of adopting a little sweetie from Ukraine. She is hoping to travel in November--as in THIS month--and I happen to know her family could still use some donations towards their adoption. Please follow the links on her blog to see how you can help her bring home her precious daughter who is especially cute and has some special needs as well.

Here are the rules of the TAG game: (1) Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog; (2) Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself; (3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs; (4) Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Let's see, 7 facts about me?

1. I'm a preacher's kid. My Daddy has been a minister with the Assemblies of God in Southern Idaho for close to 50 years. Even though he is now 72 (and supposedly retired) he and my Mom are serving as interim pastors in a church which they originally pastored back when I was a pre-schooler. Our family is planning on attending that church's 50th anniversary this next Sunday.

2. The first memory verse I remember from Sunday School was "Here I am, send me" from Isaiah 6:8.

3. I have an Associate of Science degree in Registered Nursing from the College of Southern Idaho (but my nursing license is lapsed) and my Bachelor's degree is in Missions from Northwest College (now University) in Kirkland, Washington.

4. Before I was married I got to participate in 3 short-term missions projects: a summer as an RN at an American Indian Nursing Home in Laveen, Arizona; a year as a resident assistant at a home for unwed mothers in Vienno, OH; and a year as a bookkeeper for long-term missionaries in Kingston, Jamaica

5. My heroes are people like Mark Buntain, missionary to Calcutta, India, and Lillian Trasher, single missionary to Egypt who started a children's home.

6. I love to do Cross Sums and Kakuro (sp?) puzzles

7. I never iron if I can help it

OK, now to tag 7 of my on-line friends

Kelly B. at who has 3 handsome boys from Ukraine at her house

Karen at who just came home with 2 little girlies from Ukraine

Bethany at who is getting reading to travel this week

Kathy at We met at the embassy the day we got our visas for our kiddos and ended up traveling to the US on the same plane!

June at , a lady with lots of experience who is working on another adoption

Linda at, a single lady with a big heart who is just about to add two lovely daughters to her household

Lots of my friends at a site where you can read some very interesting adoption stories. I know this is kind of cheating but I didn't want to re-tag my friends like Kris, Meredith, Shelley, Charissa and Sheila whom I'm sure have already been tagged.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Angels Available

Oh guys! You MUST head over to and check out the Christmas Angel Tree Project. There are 91 little sweeties there now--all of whom need sponsors and all of whom need a family of their very own.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Angel Tree Project

It's finally time for the annual Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree Project. Go to and click on Christmas Angel Tree Project; on the next page click on the Waiting Angels Gallery. There you will see pictures of 84 children from 24 countries of the world ages 4 months to 5 years. All of these children have Down syndrome and NONE of them yet has a family committed to adopting him or her. You have the opportunity to help save their lives by making a tax-deductible donation of any amount to a child's personal adoption grant. For a donation of at least $35 you will receive a personalized photo ornament of your sponsored child to hang on your Christmas tree. Because international adoption is quite a costly adventure, children who have large grants often have a better chance of being selected by a family. This year their ornament will be on your tree; next year the child himself could be beside a Christmas tree being hugged by his new mommy and daddy, brothers and sisters--because you and other people like you cared enough to pray and to give.

Important!! Please look into these children's faces with eyes of compassion. You might be looking into the face of your own future son or daughter!!

Little Adoption Update

I got word from our facilitator yesterday that he received permission from the SDA to submit our dossier on November 10.