Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Silence

"The day our lives begin to end is the day we remain silent about things that matter." Martin Luther King Jr.

Have you ever been in a situation where you should have spoke up but chose not to?
Most of us have at one time or another. We will speak up about things that effect our lives but don't think for a minute to speak up for those who can't speak for themselves. I have a mouth. I try my best to use it for good and not evil! And there are times I believe in something so strongly or see someone treated badly that my voice comes forth like the mighty lion roaring in the jungle! Not always a good way to get your point across. But either is keeping silent.
For example. I am a huge dog lover. BUT! when that commercial about the pets being abused, neglected and needing homes comes on two emotions go through me.
1. I want to cry 2. I get a little upset and think "use the money it took to make that commercial and use it for the children in the world who are abused, neglected and need a home! The thing is that someone believed that animal abuse needed to be brought to our attention so they spoke up and did something about it. For that I admire them. It is those who refuse to remain silent who get results.
When we go to bed at night in our nice warm homes, with our full tummy's and running water there are kids somewhere in this world who are laying on the ground some inside, some outside, no blanket, no protection from the elements.The fear and cold take over their little bodies and they don't sleep. There are 6 & 7 year old out on the street begging for food for the sibling they are taking care of because their parents are dead. They walk through garbage dumps with no shoes looking for something, anything to eat. They do not have a mom and dad to tuck them in at night and promise them that everything will be all right. They are alone.
Several times a week I will open my email for Hug Away and there will be an email about a child who is waiting to be adopted. Each of them touch/break my heart. But the ones who really get to me are the older kids who have waited and waited and are running out of time.
I have information sent to me about younger children who have a very fixable special needs that sit and wait for someone to adopt them.
There are children who die in the orphanages and all they needed was a simple heart surgery. But because the funds were not available for their surgery or a family didn't step up and adopt them they lost their battle.
Silence is not always golden. And of course opening your mouth and bringing attention to something that makes a lot of us (including myself) uncomfortable doesn't always have positive results. And sitting around thinking someone else will do it doesn't work either.
In the year 2010 my prayer is that more people will speak up for the sake of those who have no voice. Adoptions are way down I pray that they will go way up!! I pray that those who are unable to adopt or go on mission trips but desire to help will donate the money needed so those of us who can go can make a difference on your behalf.
Never, ever think that you can not make a difference. All it takes is action on your part to do whatever you can do with all the love you have in you. It is entirely up to you.

I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. ~William Penn

Pictures of orphans who need us to speak for them


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My wish list

I wish that life was more simple. I wish I could do many, many things over. I wish I could sleep like a baby with no cares or worries. I wish that I had family that lived closer. I wish I was wiser. I wish there was no war, no prejudice, no disease. I wish life was fair to everyone. I wish I was 10 years younger. I wish that there were no orphans. I wish that people were not starving to death. I wish my faith was stronger. I wish people were more patient. I wish people were kinder to one another. I wish my kids didn't have to go through "stuff." I wish that greed and the attitude of self entitlement would disappear. I wish adoption wasn't so expensive. I wish Jesus would come back soon. I wish the biggest issue I had in my life was wondering if my daddy was going to beat me at monopoly! I wish......

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Exciting News!

I have wanted to share this for over a month now!! I know what everyone is thinking and no we are not adopting again. For a very long time I have had a heart for Ethiopia. I have prayed that somehow Hug Away could find a way to work there. Well let me just say that God in all His amazing awesomeness (don't care if it is a word or not!) has provided a wonderful opportunity and we are moving forward.
Some friends of mine who have been missionaries in Ethiopia and are still very much involved (they go back several times a year) introduced me to their "son" when he was here visiting from Ethiopia a few weeks ago. Him and his wife have started a school for some children and we are going to help find sponsors for them! It was surreal! As he spoke of their desire to help these children all I kept thinking to myself was "this is a match made in heaven!"
We are still working out some things but I already have their pictures and history and they are beautiful! The board has decided that we are going to help fix up their school and work in the community. We hope to raise over $50,000 and take a team down there soon. Have I told you lately how much I love God?
What a blessing it is that we have been chosen to do this. I am humbled. Here is a picture of my newest babies! Pray that we find sponsors for all of them (already have some) and we are able to raise the funds needed. I will share more later.
If you would like some more information you can email me at: hugawayfoundation@cox.net or if you want to help with a donation go to www.hugaway.org. Your donation is tax deductible.

Aren't they beautiful? Be still my heart!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Giving



Oh to be talking a mile a minute and tracing words on your sisters back and then just fall asleep! It is like Kennedy has a switch on/off. That just amazes me. To be so...relaxed!
Ahh...the Christmas season. It really does bring out the good, the bad and the ugly.
But no matter how good or bad mankind chooses to act this time of year let's not forget that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
I have had a pretty amazing week. I have had one particular prayer request for a while. It has to do with $$$$. Has that prayer been answered? no. BUT this week I rediscovered something. When you have a problem and it seems like there is no way it is going to be resolved, go out and help someone! It really does help you take your mind of you situations. My week was amazing because I made a difference. That old saying that "it is better to give than receive" is very true.

I pray that each person who reads this has a very blessed Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Growing Pains

My heart!

I haven't posted in a while. I have been going through some things. Not bad, not good, could be better... just part of this journey called life. I call it "Growing Pains. " I am not talking about growing up or out ^_^. My growing pains have to do with believing and faith. Believing that I will have the spiritual strength to keep the faith.
It has been hard! There are days I honestly don't believe I can wake up and do this...again. And there are days where I feel that God has not left me but more like put me on hold for a while. Here is where the faith comes in. Every time I get to the point where I want to give up somehow, somewhere this tenacity deep inside my soul begins to stir and it reminds me that faith will see me through this. And that is when I am able to take on another day.
Faith is believing in what we do not see but know to be true. I know God loves me and wants only the best for me. And sometimes we have to walk through the valley to get to the best. This year has challenged me in ways I never would have imagined. I can say for sure my desire to do everything God put me on this earth to do gets me through.
In the mean time I take it one day at a time. Remember to be patient (God and I working on that one!) give God control mmmmm... we are working on that one also :/ and keep the faith! That one I am getting pretty good at!
For everything that is going wrong there is a lot more going right and for that I am so grateful. I have learned that when things don't work out as we had hoped that is the time we need to let go. And that is when I remember Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on the Lord

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint."


That actually gives me something to look forward to!

Monday, November 30, 2009

This word Adoption

What does the word adoption mean? Here are some definitions I found in the dictionary:

The act of accepting with approval; favorable reception
Nouns denoting acts or actions
adoption; acceptance; acceptation;
approval; approving; blessing (the formal act of approving)
embrace (a close affectionate and protective acceptance

These are all wonderful definitions. But for me there are two words that says it all and that is love & family. Family doesn't always mean you are related by blood. Trust me our family knows this all to well!
Not only have we been blessed with the adoption of three beautiful daughters, we have some precious adopted grand babies! Our oldest son has a son of course he is our grandson! Our grandson has two little sisters and of course they are our granddaughters!It was never discussed, it just was. So we are blessed with three beautiful grandchildren that we love to pieces!
Then there are those friends. We don't have a lot of family around. I have three sisters that live near by but unfortunately we don't see each other as much as we would like. When we joined our church about 18 years ago we met a couple and became instant friends. Through the years we have been there for each other. Our kids call each other cousins and we are all Aunts and Uncles to them. Our kids only have one grandparent left and she lives in another state. Our friends parents have always been like parents and grandparents to us and so have their Aunts and Uncles. A few years ago another couple joined our unique "family." It was also an instant friendship. We do a lot for each other and their son became a cousin to this crazy crew! Their parents also treat us like part of their family.
So here are three families who have no blood relation at all but could not love each other more. We are "family." Our kids even had a cousin picture taken together recently! I will try to post that soon.
See family is not only your blood/biological relations, it is your heart relation. God has adopted all who believe in Him. I think that makes all believers "family."
I am so thankful for adoption. What does adoption mean to you?


Our sweet grand kids!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reality Check

The past few weeks I believe have been for lack of a better word...educational and a reality check.
Sunday November 15 we celebrated Adoption Sunday at my church. It was so amazing! It surpassed my expectations by far! The only glitch was a photographer who came early and I had to leave during part of the worship and her microphone messed up the pastors mike, so..... other than that perfect!
That same day a young man my husband and I have befriended came to church high or drunk and sat next to Mike being a tad bit loud. Mike handled it well. I am sure there were people thinking "who is that?" Looking down on him, making fun of him as they sat in their pew "worshiping" thinking they are better than him. Got news for you, your not.
That evening my husband and I met a wonderful man from Ethiopia. He is the "adopted" son of our friends who are missionaries in Ethiopia. This meeting was a total God thing! He is truly a man of God. Along with his amazing wife who I can't wait to meet someday they are opening a school. At this time it is a total step of faith and are using there own money. He gave me pictures of 24 children who need sponsors. This is something I have felt God has wanted us to do with Hug Away for a long time. I am so excited. I have been going over their histories today. All I can say is "hang on sweeties" help is on the way! They need Hug Away and Hug Away needs them just as much! It is a match made in heaven.
Last Thursday we attended the Marine Corp Birthday Ball in Las Vegas. You can not imagine seeing 100's of Marines in their dress blues in one room! It takes your breath away. Of course I thought my son was the most handsome ;) As I looked at all these very young men (didn't see any Marine women) I thought "they are so young" yet they have chosen to fight and possibly die for their country. Your country. So to all our men and women who have chosen to serve America and her freedom this is my prayer for all of you:
I pray that each and everyone of you come home to us. I pray that our politically correct government will get over their fear of "offending" those who have come to America to seek a better life. And those that don't believe like the majority of Americans do and take action against those who seek to destroy America and her people. Then hopefully no more lives of those serving will be lost where they are suppose to be safe, on their own base in America!! I pray that Americans will realize that their freedom comes at a cost and no longer take it for granted. May God send His angels to protect you from harm and give you the strength to fight the good fight. God bless each of you, no matter what religion you are.
Today our Orkin man came by. What was not normal is that he calls the day before to let us know he is coming. Not today. I answered the phone and it was him asking if he could come by. I told him yes and he came as I was leaving to take the girls to school. He has been our guy for about 3 years now and I trust him so I let him in and told him I would be back. We are having a "Living Christmas Tree" performance at our church in a couple of weeks. It is free and we hand out tickets for the performance. When I pulled in the driveway I saw my tickets and thought I would give him some. See, a year ago October his son died of cancer. He was 15 years old and he had twin brother. I saw him spraying and thought about how hard this time of year must be for him. He did look sad. I felt like God was telling me to ask him about it. Not my plan at all. I just wanted to hand him some tickets. He handed me the bill and I asked him about his son. He looked surprised but said he was OK and just wanted to get the holidays over with. We talked for a while and I really think he appreciated the fact I remembered. You see, we may not have known his son, but he was someone very important to those who knew him and loved him. His life for as short as it was on this earth made an impact on those he knew. He was somebody to someone. Then I gave him the tickets! He was very excited to receive them!

I am going through some things right now that is not fun that is for sure and I am praying for a miracle. But if you want a reality check look at the faces of children who don't have a family and are spending yet another Christmas hoping they will be the one adopted this year. Or have a young man in his 20's come to church drunk and look into his eyes and see the pain. Look at the faces of those who are willing to give their life for you and your country. Look at 24 pictures of children who are not sure when they will eat again and all they ask for is a education. Look at the face of a man who is grieving the loss of a son and dreading the holidays. When you get over yourself and really look you are looking at Jesus. So when you make fun of or disregard them, think you are better than them you do the same to Jesus. When you help them, thank them, reach out for them, hug them. You are hugging Jesus. Think about it.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!





Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grateful


Though we should always speak of things we are thankful & grateful for November seems to be the month we acknowledge it more often because of Thanksgiving.
I have been going through some "stuff" lately that has really been a test of my perseverance and my faith. A lot of the stuff I have brought on myself because I tried to take care of things my way and didn't pray about it. Yes it's true. Those of us who believe in God also stumble once in a while. And I am very grateful He never forsakes me. I am grateful He loves me that much!
November is not only the month we celebrate Thanksgiving it is also National Adoption Awareness Month. This is a time we focus on children in foster care here in America and orphans all over the world who need a family. We have been celebrating "Adoption Sunday" since 2002 at Arrow Heights. And every single year during this celebration someones heart has been touched and 11 children have been adopted by members of our congregation and have come home to their forever family.
This year it was tough to get this Sunday on the calender. We are a very busy church and have lots going on. I have always believed that things happen for a reason and though we did not get the date we requested I am grateful for the date that was given to us.
Yesterday we celebrated and you could feel Gods presence. To say it was amazing would be an understatement. Not one time, from the songs that were sung, to the adoption testimony, to the sermon, not one word wavered from the focus of adoption.
I have had people that I have never spoke to tell me that this service was one of the most amazing services they have ever attended. Every single person involved in the service could relate to adoption. I am so grateful for all those involved. They shared their hearts and you could feel it.
Today even through rough times I am grateful. I am grateful for God who loves us so much He gave His only son to die for our sins. He chose to adopt us into His family. I am grateful for a husband who is a Godly man who loves his family and works hard to support them. I am grateful for six of the greatest kids anyone could ask for. All of them have good hearts, they are kind and they love their family. I am grateful for my grand kids who make life very interesting! I am grateful for my sisters who share a journey with me that many others will never know and we were always there for one another. I am grateful for friends who will let me be myself and never judge me. I am grateful for my church family who not only reaches out to the world and our neighbors but are there for one another and will stand by your side when others will just walk away. I am grateful for those who support Hug Away so we can help adoptive families and orphans. I am grateful for those who choose to fight and die for our freedom, the very freedom so many take for granted.
Yes, I have many things to be grateful for, a lot more than what I have written so far and it is sad that often I focus on what is going wrong in my life than what is good about it. And that is crazy because the good list is always longer than the bad list! Why do we do that?
I hope today you will take a moment and think about all the things you have to be grateful for.

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.
H. U. Westermayer:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The big question!

Ok, this is post is either going to make you laugh, shake your head or fall on your knees and pray like you never have before!
Kennedy told us she wants a baby sister. That's right, the baby of our family who in no uncertain terms said "no more babies, I am the baby" asked for a baby sister. Let me tell you how serious she is, she is willing to share "Belle, her build a bear dog" AND if baby sister doesn't like Belle she will find her some more toys. Hmmmm.
I just kind of looked at her thinking to myself "oh,oh." I told her she needed to tell her dad when he got home. Sure enough, he walked in 8 hours later and by golly she ran up and said "Daddy I want a baby sister!" I just sat back and watched smiling to myself. After a moment of what I like to call "frozen in time" Mike in all his brilliancy decides to use reverse psychology. "If we got another baby girl you wouldn't be the baby anymore." I thought to myself "good one babe, don't pull any punches!" But in all her tiny, innocent, infinite wisdom she looks at her daddy with those beautiful eyes and says " yea, I know that!" Ouch. That one flew under the radar. Mike went back to his "frozen in time zone." Poor guy.
Not that Mike and I will or have closed the door on adopting again, we just haven't looked through that door if you will. As always we can come up with like a thousand reasons not to adopt again. And here is our top 10:
1. MONEY
2. Old
3 Our life is in a nice routine
4. All our kids are in school or on their own
5. I hate doing homework
6. I can take long showers
7. The paperwork
8. Having to prove your worthy to parent even though you have parented 6 kids
9. The looks of disgust or disbelief from people who think your nuts
10. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Seems like some very good reasons huh? No. We are put on this earth to serve, to give, to help, to comfort, but the number 1 thing is to show Gods love. Every Christian is given spiritual gifts and we are to use them. Mike and I as a couple were called to be parents. We have been blessed through birth and adoption. I can honestly say we are not planning on adopting again, but the door will never shut. If God has a child that needs us then we will bring them home.
I have a lot of blogger friends who have 10 or more children, biological and adopted and I think that is so amazing! They listen to God, step out in faith and are blessed. On one of these blogs I found the perfect answer to the question of "Why Adopt Again." I have copied it to this post. I hope if this is a question you have after you read it you will have a better understanding.


Why Adopt Again?

I've considered often how to answer that question? "Why are you adopting again!?
"It's my mission field" just doesn't really capture my complete heart.
"Because a little one is in need of a family and love..." leads to the inevitable response that we have to stop at some point. (My response...NOT YET!)
"We believe children are a blessing." True, however - lacking, but lacking what?
I was reading a book by A.B Simpson (an American Evangelist at the close of the 19th century) called Christ in the Tabernacle (great book by the way!). In speaking of the candelabra that was made for the Tabernacle (Ex. 25:31-40) he says "This light revealed the other objects in the Holy Place. It revealed to the priests the table covered with the show bread. The best thing about the light was that it revealed not itself but the bread."
Later Simpson writes "The candlestick did not have inherent light. It was only the bearer of the light; it only held the light, but the oil gave the light. And so you and I are not the light. Jesus Christ is our light, and we simply receive and give out Him."
Matthew 5:16 says "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to you Father who is in heaven."
So, my mind wonders back to "Why again are we adopting?"
It isn't easy. There has been pain and loss. Adopting is always a step of faith for both finances and the energy to mother my family well. There are broken things that need fixed, and days where I run out. There is a lot of work to do...but isn't that the point? "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." I have GOOD work to do. It's not about seeing my good works to see ME though. I want others to see Jesus - the Bread of Life and glorify the LORD.
And, I guess the way I see it, Jesus had an orphan ministry of the largest kind. "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." Gal. 4:4-5 (also Rom. 8:16-17). Jesus removed the "situation" that made me an orphan and brought me to my Heavenly Father and his own family.
"...remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." Eph. 2:12-13
These children are certainly without hope. They belong to no one... they are alone.
As we bring home one more child, we are bringing them near to the LORD and teaching them His love for them. No more are they without hope, they belonging to Him.

So why are we adopting again? I have good work to do; work that God has prepared for me to do; a perfect ministry for me.
And my prayer is that others will give glory to my Father who is in heaven.
Why again? The LORD loves me, the LORD loves you, the LORD loves them; and He has quite an adventure for us all. So let's go do some good work and rejoice.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Citizen's Duty

Dustin Graduation Day from Marine Boot Camp

Dustin Deployed


I found this article on my Marine Parents website. It was writtne by a Marine. Please take a moment to read and as you do please remember the men and women who have and will continue to fight for the freedom of the United Sates of America. One Nation Under God.
Today I want to say thank you to those in my family who have served. 25 years ago today we buried my dad. He fought in the Korean War. So to my dad Jack who served in the Navy, My son Dustin who is serving in the Marines, My nephews Ryan & Michael who served in the Army. To all of you I love you and thank you for all you have done and will do to protect America.

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the fighting paused. There was an armistice, a break in the fighting, and a signal of the end of the Great War. Indeed, it was the greatest war the world of 1918 had ever seen. Some even called it, “the War to End All Wars.” But we know better.

A year later President Woodrow Wilson asked the United States of America to consider November 11 a day for “solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service . . . .” He chose his words carefully. Solemn pride. Not the pride of fame or success, but the pride of a flag draped over a soldier’s coffin; the pride of a son’s eulogy, a daughter’s memory, a worthy sacrifice. The pride we humbly accept as both gift and burden, from those who need us to feel their pride for them.

But with that pride comes a parasitic question—why? Why must we accept solemn pride when we would gladly trade the yellow ribbon, the gold star, the folded flag, to get back our sons, our daughters, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our families and our friends?

Why? The question is short, sharp as a dagger, and just as dangerous. But for every dagger there is a shield. Duty. Our sons and daughters swore a duty, and they would rather forfeit their lives than break their oath. This is the oath they swore, the Oath of Enlistment:


I . . . do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
It was their voluntary duty. No one forced it upon them; they accepted it by choice. By performing their duty they protect those living under the Constitution. They defend us against any and every enemy that would threaten our morals, our principles, our way of life. As citizens, we owe these Defenders of the Constitution more than our gratitude. We owe them a duty in return.

Our duty is not voluntary, though not all of us uphold it. We inherit our duty the moment we become citizens of the United States of America. Our duty is to give the defenders something worth defending. The treasure must justify the chest.

As citizens of the United States of America, Statesmen and Stateswomen alike, we have a place to look to find our duty. Take a moment to look carefully again at the words of the Oath of Enlistment and try to answer the following question: To whom does a service member swear allegiance? A service member’s allegiance belongs first and foremost to the Constitution of the United States, only secondarily to orders of the President of the United States and appointed officers. The President too swears an oath to the Constitution:


I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Officers swear an oath similar to enlistees:

I . . . do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.


If our service members voluntarily swear a duty to support and defend the Constitution of the United States then we, as citizens, inherit a duty to embody that Constitution. Our Constitution begins with the following words:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

If you travel to Washington D.C. to see the original, handwritten Constitution you will notice a unique and telling feature in its penmanship. The words “We the People” are the largest words in the document. In fact, those opening words nearly double the size of the article headings, and they dwarf the rest of the document’s text. This was no accident. The United States of America was not to be a nation of kings and tyrants, but of people. We are “the People.” We have a duty to transform a browned, tattered four-page document into the very soul of a nation. What is our duty?
To “establish Justice.” Do we deal justly with our neighbors? Do we demand justice from our courts, our lawmakers, our leaders? Do we strive to create a society devoted to fairness and reason? That is our duty.

To “insure domestic Tranquility.” Do we needlessly fight with one another? Are we too eager to call to arms? Are we too reluctant? Do we protect and maintain a peaceful society? That is our duty.

To “provide for the common defence.” Are we willing to sacrifice ourselves to preserve one another, our principles, our Constitution? Are we willing to allow our loved ones to sacrifice themselves? That is our duty.

To “promote the general Welfare.” Are we selfish? Do we care for one another? Do we concern ourselves with the well-being of all? That is our duty.

To “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Do we guard our freedoms zealously? Do we preserve our freedoms not only for ourselves, but for our children to come? The children who will, like us, inherit a citizen’s duty to the Constitution?

Do we embody the Constitution that our warriors swear to defend? To do so is more than gratitude. We cannot alter the sacrifices of our Fallen Heroes—they have given all they can give—but we can create something worthy of their sacrifice.

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the fighting paused. I say paused because the fighting never stops. As long as we, the People, uphold principles worth fighting for, and as long as others threaten those principles, our warriors will fight for us and our Constitution.

They will die for it, but first, we must live for it.

-Written by a Marine Brother

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Temporarily Bummed

The Bayer Girls


Can we talk? OK, we can't actually talk, but you know what I mean. Today was such a bummer. I mean a big time bummer. A few weeks ago I thought it would be a good idea to pick a Saturday and our favorite fundraising parking lot to sale tickets to a fundraiser we are having. I prayed for great weather. That was a pretty bold prayer seeing we have had nothing but rain here for what seems like forever. Anyway I said my bold prayer and got everything ready. It is November and the high today was 80! Yes you heard right 80 in November. Now that is a answered prayer...but with those beautiful southerly temps came some strong southerly winds...very strong.
After Mike and I battled the gazebo tied it down), placed our signs (big clips)and set up the table (hmm...rocks on stuff) the wind began beating everything up. Now this should have been a sign to pack it up. Not us! We took stuff down except for the table, put the signs on my van and put the table by the van to block the wind. The skies were blue, people were out, but not one person (except for my friend who told me she was coming) stopped.
Was it the $5 for a ticket or was it those signs about adoption and orphans? I have my opinion on this one, but I think I better keep it to myself.
Anyway it was a huge discouragement, a big bummer, a tremendous disappointment. Call it what you want but in terms most will understand it just sucked! Sorry, but that is how I feel.
It is very hard to keep on keeping on even if it is Gods call when your out there trying to generate interest & funds and not accomplishing either. Yes, I would have loved to have sold all my tickets but more than that I wanted people to stop and ask about adoption and the orphans. The saddest thing was that my daughters were there trying to help me and Jordan said "mom, don't people care?" Then Cameron said " this is sad." It broke my heart.
So we packed it all up and came home. I felt drained and began questioning myself. As much as I would love to see the foundation grow into a ministry that adoptive families can turn to and orphans can depend on us I sometimes just feel like maybe it wasn't meant to be. I realize it is times like this that satan has a grand time with us. But I am not giving up yet. You see, when I see my daughters I can't help but remember that there are still thousands of children in the world that need a family, a place to sleep, food, medicine, school, to know someone cares. But we need to generate monthly donations to make this happen. We can only hope.
On a lighter note I have a new blog. For some reason it hasn't been pulling up when I type it in, but I think if you go somewhere like my profile or something on this blog you will find it or go to wwww.godstillwhispers.blogspot.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

National Adoptoin Awareness Month

November is the month we go all out to bring awareness to children all over the world who need a family. We should do this every, single, day of our lives. These precious children are orphans for many reasons. But the reason doesn't matter. What matters is they need a family. Someone to love them, hold them, make them feel safe, teach them about God.
Have you ever considered adoption? Did you know that if you are older and I mean in your late 40's and 50's and thought you were to old to adopt and didn't feel like doing the diapers & potty training that you can adopt a older child? It's true!
Don't let your age stop you. A loving parent is what a child desires, wants and needs. I know my kids have kept me young. You have no time to sit around and get old when you have kids around.
I would love to hear your adoption story. If you are adopted, have adopted or if you are a birth mother and you don't mind me posting your story, I have a new blog called God Whispers. I have not put it out for the public yet because I was waiting for Adoption Awareness Month to collect stories. This blog will be about hope. Times God whispered to you and the wonderful outcome of that whisper and your faithfulness.
You can email your story to ebayer1@cox.net
In the mean time:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Trust Test

Have you ever had to trust God totally and completely? I am not talking about sort of, kind of, maybe... I am talking 100% God you are all I have trust. I am doing that, going through that, experiencing that...call it what you want. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. See, when you are a control freak like myself, turning everything over to God is hard! Yes, even us faithful Jesus followers have our moments.
I know of so many ways I could take over and fix things, but this time I can't, I won't. I have to, I need to trust God totally and completely. Make no mistake, it has not made my life easier. As a matter of fact the last couple of weeks have been down right miserable! I know so far what I would like to happen, hasn't. But here is the deal...in the past when I have taken control of a situation the fix was temporary, so basically the situation was never fixed because it is still here! The times I have let God take over, the result wasn't always what I wanted or expected but the end result was always at the perfect time and the perfect result.
This time it is tough because there is no other answer but to trust God.
I will keep you posted on this journey... until then,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gods Beautiful Art

I love my nieghborhood. It is older and has some beautiful trees around. The ice storm a couple of years ago damaged a lot of them, but there are still a few around that are so beautiful in the fall. I don't understand why the builders or planners, whoever it is that makes the decision to plow down all the trees when they are building a new neighborhood. It makes no sense. We had a gorgeous sunset on Saturday. Today it is cloudy but the trees bring color to a very gray day.
When I look at these trees or a beautiful sunset it reminds me that this is Gods art and you can't put a price on it!










Monday, October 19, 2009

Simply Fancy!

I love photograpy and writing. I would love to combine them somehow and use them to make a difference. I have a couple of ideas and have been doing some research. I am going to need a few things to make this happen so I sat and made a wish list: lens for my camera..Or..... A new camera with a lense and 12 mega pixels! Might as well dream big! Lots of prayer.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Today was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky, sort of windy, 72 degrees. I decided to take Cameron and Kennedy out in the yard and take pictures. Jordan hasn't been feeling well so she didnt feel like joining us. We had a few laughs and giggles, they are silly girls. Afterwards we came in and I made dinner. It is usually just the girls and myself for dinner because of Mikes schedule. While I was cooking they were doing their homework. I set the table with some fancy glasses and Kennedy came in just grinning from ear to ear yelling "Oh mommy cool glasses!" We sat down and Kennedy said a prayer and I made a toast to the Bayer girls. Of course Kennedys tea sloshed all over the table. We sat there talking,laughing, enjoying our simple dinner and drinking out of our fancy glasses.
I have decided that I like simple in my life. It is a very good thing.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Giants


Kennedy eating her first Oreo in Vietnam.I posted this picture because it reminds me of a passion that I don't want the giants to squash.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you pray, hope, keep the faith and persevere you have moments where you come to a point of doubt and possible defeat. I am not saying you succumb to these feelings but they are real and they are standing in front of you, blocking your way, consuming your every thought, these giants in your life. You feel at times so alone and that God has abandoned you. But see, that is what giants do, they make you feel alone, they make you doubt your passion, they attempt to squash your spirit, they try to take away everything you believe in.
I am a very passionate person. I am passionate about God, my family, friends, adoption, orphans. I am passionate about my country, our freedom and standing up for what is right. My gifts are mercies & exhortations. I can remember starting in the first grade I always stood by the kid who everyone picked on. You picked on them, you dealt with me and to be quite honest I am still that way. I will be the voice for those who can't defend themselves. I wanted to adopt a little girl I was taking care of when I was 17, if you hurt I want to fix it, if you need help I want to help you, if you want to adopt I want to encourage you, if you feel you can't go on I want to walk beside you and tell you that you will go on. If I see a wrong I am not going to sit and hope someone else says something I will.
So I don't like it when the giants are trying to make me feel that these passions, these gifts, these dreams, my beliefs that God gave me are pointless and not worth fighting for. The giants try and make you believe everything you have overcome in your life has been for nothing. How do you fight these giants? What can you possibly do to make them go away? Well I believe God allows these giants to come into our life once in a while so we will learn to trust Him and give Him the glory. Saying you trust God is easy but leaning on that trust and putting it into action...well it should be easy but we make it so hard. So first you pray and ask God for wisdom and strength then you stand up and face the giants.
You take the prayers, faith, perseverance, hope, passion and all the gifts God gave you and you face your giants! They may never totally leave you alone but what they don't understand is that each time they try to take you down you are going to come back stronger.
Some may ask "why are you sharing this?" I believe whoever reads this and sees that Christians lives are not perfect, that we make mistakes and we still deal with "stuff" and some days just stink and life isn't always a sweet ride, then someone may read this that is having problems and realize that they are not alone.
So as I set off to face my giants remember that you are not alone and that God is ready to help you face your giants.


Trust in the Lord and do good. Psalm 37:3

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Crew!



We had our crew over the other night and had a good time.It dawned on me that I didn't have a picture of just the kids so I grabbed my camera much to the dismay of the crew!
These are six very different people with six very unique personalities, so having them all together is always very interesting and you can always count on a great time!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The picture says it all!


This is one of my favorite pictures of Mike and Kennedy. My sister Kelley took this I believe the day after Kennedy came home. When I look at this picture it reminds that with God anything is possible!
God had laid adoption on my heart again in 2004. For the next two years I tried to explain to Mike this wasn't me it was God. When I first went to him it was a flat NO!!! After that he would just look at me and say "God has not put this on my heart." I didn't understand any of this. Not only did I know without a doubt that God had placed adoption on my heart again, He had given me a vision of a little toddler girl in all places a exercise class I was taking at my church! I was getting older and growing tired of asking Mike. Then one day I heard God speak audibly to me. He said "go to Mike and tell him that you are my messenger and he will listen." I was like "great he is going to think I have lost my mind." So I went up to Mike told Him what God said and he looked at me and said "OK." I about fell over! I was excited but I was also a little bit perturbed! I thought "that's it? Over 2 years of begging, pleading, asking and that was all I had to say?"
It didn't take me long to realize that was Gods plan along. His timing is perfect and if Mike had said yes the first time I asked him we would not have blessed with our Kennedy or this precious picture of a daddy with his new baby girl and as you can tell by his face totally in love!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Living a Life of Excellence

When I am going through a hard time or things are not going my way, it is very easy for me to take a dip into my pity pool! Poor me, poor poor me. Nothing is going right,I try so hard, WHY ME???? WAH!!!!!Isn't that pathetic? Good grief. It is during these times that I need to remember how blessed I am. Why is it so easy for us to focus on what is going wrong in our lives instead of what is going right? I have no idea but I don't believe hanging out in the pity pool is what God had in mind for our lives.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to make some changes. I am changing the way I react to certain things. Like with my husband, when I know I am right and he is wrong but he thinks he is right, I let him keep thinking he is right! ;) How I react to my fears, my insecurities, parents who decide to stop their car, dress their kids and feed them breakfast in the drive thru drop off at school, drivers who pull out in front of me like they are going to miss happy hour at Sonic and then come to a crawl and there is not a single car behind me and everything else that drives me nuts. Some of these things may seem silly, but if little eyes are watching and little ears are listening then it is a very big deal!
I decided to live a life of excellence. Of course the moment I made that decision is when satan decided to throw me a curve ball every time I went to bat. I would be lying if I didn't fess up and say that more than once I felt like giving up. But giving up is not an option. God never said it would be easy but He did say to trust Him in everything.
God has been very good to me during this change. When I felt like giving up He kept me going. When I wanted to argue with Mike about something He helped me keep my mouth closed (that one was hard!) When I am fearful of certain things going on in my life right now, He calms me down. After a couple of weeks I realized doing all of this was becoming easier.
Now for those of you who see me often please don't think I am walking around with a halo over my head and that my little horns are not going to pop up once in a while! I have a very long way to go but I have come a very long way and the point is I am making a conscious effort to change. Like today when the mom parked her car got out and talked to her kids in the drive thru drop off, not once did I roll my eyes or think a bad thought! Baby steps I tell you!
When I go to heaven and I see God face to face I hope He will smile at me, reach out His arms and give me a hug and say "I knew you could do it." Oh that would be so amazing!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Old-er Mom

I walked up to the school today to pick up Kennedy. She usually walks home with Cameron, but sissy was sick today. As I walked up to the school I saw all these moms standing around. I am guessing they were in their 20's & 30's. They stood around in their little group talking about their day while the kids where at school and how they can't wait until their kids are a little older and they can do this and that by themselves. I just stood their waiting for Kennedy and thinking to myself "are you kidding? They grow up way to fast! They don't stay little long enough."
The door flew open and the kindergarten class flew out along with the two teachers who are both friends and have taught all my older children except for my oldest. I am sure they wonder if this is it.
Kennedy came running to me with a huge smile on her face yelling "mommy!" Whatever worries I may have go away when I see her face. She sees I have her princess umbrella and even though only two drops have fallen she is so excited and opens up her umbrella all the time grinning and talking a mile a minute. She puts her tiny hand in mine and we walk home.
Tonight I thought of those young moms and their conversation. I remember when my boys were younger there were days, that I had those same thoughts of wishing they were a little older and could do more for themselves. True, those thoughts usually came out of exhaustion but they also came from being young, naive and a tad bit selfish.
Being an older mom has made me want time to slow down, actually I want to have some of it back. I want to know then what I know now. That time goes way to fast. We go way to fast. Most of us are over committed and don't realize it until one day your youngest son is getting off a bus after serving in Iraq and your youngest daughter who came into your life at two and half years old is now in kindergarten and so happy that you brought her princess umbrella to her.
Being a mom is a honor no matter how old you are. We should treasure every cry, laugh, lost tooth, boo boo, snotty nose, the 1,000 pictures they bring home from school with the glue or paint still wet, staring you awake when your in a dead sleep, every hug, every kiss and every I love you. God has blessed my life in so many ways but the greatest blessing is being a "momma." They give me hope for the future, Faith that I can get up every day and be the best mom I can be and they make my heart feel a love that is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I am the older mom but my six blessings keep my heart young!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Older Waiting Children in China

I am hoping to help these wonderful children in China find a home before they age out. If you have ever considered adopting please consider an older child. They have so much potential, they just need a loving family. Please pray that these children find their forever family. For more information on these children please contact Marci at marcisk@asiadopt.org

George desperately wants a family. He is a sweet boy who has seen his friends get adopted and he enjoys practicing his English. he has quite a lovely idea of what a home and family might be like. Let's help him find a family of his own.


Sherry is a shy girl with a sweet smile and demeanor. This may be her last chance to have a family due to her age.


Julia is intelligent, cute, polite and enthusiastic. She was born in 1996, so will age out of the system if she doesn't find a family to work quickly for her.


Skyler is quite the artist, He's talented, speaks English, is 13 and is anxious to have a family. He is eager to succeed in life and with the right family he will.


Gina is a sweet and independent girl who is interested in learning. She is bright and a good student and likes to read, ride bikes and play sports. We have video of her reciting the ABC's in English.


Please help us find homes for these precious children! Even in tough economic times, children still need families. If each of you who views this blog tells 10 people about these children, the word will spread far and wide and perhaps we can find the right families. Thanks for all that you do! Marci

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Can you say "MAMMOGRAM!"

Earlier this year I posted about my mammogram experience. I received a lot of emails about it so I thought I would post it again since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have relatives and friends who are survivors and I have lost friends to the disease. As a matter of fact a friend of mine who lives in another state read my post and thought she should schedule a mammogram. Guess what? They found a lump! But they found it early! I pray someday there will be a cure. So go get that Mammogram!


I had my yearly mammogram today. I have mine on or close to my birthday. Kind of a present to myself. I have no clue why but I thought I would share this very worthy but awkward experience with you.
Don't get me wrong I am soooo grateful for the mammogram or as I like to call it the "boob crusher". Every time I stand up to those very flat plates that are getting ready to smash my girls I wonder who "who came up with this?". I thinketh it was a husband who was mad at his wife. Anyway it had to be a man
Ok, first of all you can't wear deodorant before you have one. The one time you are going to sweat like a pig and you can't wear deodorant! When you arrive at the radiologist they hand you a gown and send you into a very small room where you are told to undress from the waist up. They now have this little cape with one snap in the front. I felt like "Mammogram Woman" I mean you already feel like you are on candid camera and now you have to wear a cape. The cape ended up being a good thing. The old ones well lets just say more often than not the "girls" ended up in the wrong holes!
A new thing I experienced today is they now put these pretty little band aids on YOUR nipples. Ok, like that isn't awkward. Supposedly this gives the Dr or radiologist a focus of which way the boob is pointing. I found this to be very concerning. Your a Dr. and you can't tell which way the boob is pointing without a bandaid on it? I see my x-rays and I know which way they are pointing! Personally I think the tech puts them on for a laugh.
Ok, Cape pulled back, band aids on now you step up and the tech grabs your boob and moves it around on this cold glass plate like it is play dough. They shape it anyway they want too. Then you are suppose to lean toward the glass back, relax the shoulder opposite of the boob that is being flattened like a pancake, hold your breath and pray to God you do not pass out! Then you hear those dreaded words "we have to take that one over again." Of course you do. Let's not forget there are the many different poses. You kind of feel like you are getting a boob mug shot! When all is said and done you and your cape go back to the tiny room where they offer you deodorant, get dress, go on and pray that no lumps are found.

SAVE THE BOOBIES! THINK PINK!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Anti- Adoption

I thought I had seen everything until I cam across an Anti Adoption Blog. I have to say that nothing surprises me very easily but this one, well it made me sick. As I read it I could not believe the horrible, ugly things they were saying. Let me put it this way, for every wonderful, awesome, beautiful thing we say about adoption they say the opposite and are just as passionate. The thing that made me sad was the hostility and anger and it made no sense. I am for everyone having the right to believe and say what they like, right or wrong, but it has to make sense.
In their opinion they believe abortion is better than adoption. That all of us who choose to adopt are using children to fill our own selfish wants and needs. That we are liars when we say how our lives have been blessed by adoption. We manipulate and use birth mothers. My eyes could not believe what I was reading.
I know very aware that a very small percentage of adoptions fail, that there a small percentage of people who adopt thinking that adoption would fill a void and there have been birth mothers who have been lied to an used and on that note visa versa. The world is made up of different ideas and views.
But honestly to believe that it would better to abort a life or leave a child as an orphan in this world possibly exposed to abuse, sex trafficking, hunger, left out in the elements, sick, living in fear every day of their life, than to bring them into family who loves them and wants them more than the air they breath, well that just doesn't make sense to me.
I am pretty sure that those who believe this way have been hurt or raised to believe this way. I am going to pray for a change of heart.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Camerons surgery


This past week our daughter Cameron had surgery on her lower eyelids. She has Entropion or had. This means her eyelashes were directed towards her eyes. Her eyelashes were brushing against her cornea and irritating them. She had been complaining for a while but I thought it was allergies or she just had something in them. I work for an optometrist and she explained to me what was going on. Without the surgery her corneas would eventually be damaged. She had the surgery on Wednesday and was home before noon. She was very brave and has only had 2 pain pills. They cut along the lower lid, turn the eyelashes out and stitch it up. It does not alter their apperance at all. We are very pleased with the results.
With her permission I am posting her picture right after the surgery. The reason? Honestly, if I didn't work for an optometrist it would probably have been a lot longer before the problem would have been discovered. It is very common in Native Americans and Asians. So if you are a adoptive parent of a Native American or Asian child and your child is complaining about their eyes, it would be worth getting them checked.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Few the Proud

Have I mentioned I am proud of my Marine? Well I am! To view the video just put your cursor on the screen.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

America, Wake Up!!!!

I have been doing a lot of thinking about all that is going on in the world. It is kind of hard not too, every time you turn on the t.v. or pick up a newspaper or magazine it is all you hear about.
I realize that since God put man on earth there has been turmoil, but the only thing I can speak of is this time, the time I live in and it is sad.
If you don't like what the President is doing you are labeled a racist. If you are christian or served in the military you may profiled as a terrorist. Our kids can't pray in school because it may offend another student, YET! a student of a different religion can wear a religious head garment because that is their right, they are expressing their religious freedom. Movie stars and others who don't agree with war speak out about it and it is all over the news, yet the death of the young man or woman who fought for their free speech, well more often than not you are not going to see that on the front page, except for their hometown newspaper. We can vote and the citizens say no to gay marriage, BUT a judge can over turn our vote. What was the point? We vote against abortion, they will over turn it. Do a crime, oh a slap on the wrist will do.
The America we once knew, the America that so many have died for, that once stood for integrity, character, morals, the America that was proud to say GOD BLESS AMERICA, sing the national anthem and pray before we did anything, that America is almost non-existent. What happened? We use to agree to disagree, our vote meant something, we took off our hats and saluted or put our hands over our hearts when the flag came by. Even in my church I see people sitting and talking during the Pledge of Allegiance during AWANAS.
I think one of the many reasons we have lost our way and forgot what America stands for is we no longer communicate verbally like we use to. You know communication, where you look someone in the eye and this noise comes out of your mouth and you use full syllables? Now what was that called?, oh yeah, speaking! Now everyone is texting. We text at work, at school, at church in the CAR!!! We facebook, myspace, blog, IM. Here we have all of this technology that allows us access to the world with the touch of our finger, yet we are forgetting how to really communicate. I know I am guilty.
So here is my point SPEAK UP AMERICA!! Like it or not America was based on the fact we trust God. That people could have religious freedom, they could have a say in the way our government was run. Remember the government is suppose to work for us not the other way around. In God we trust.
I have been around for a long time and I can say this without a doubt, when the government decided to take God out of our schools, our work, our government, life as we know it went away. They took away our voice. See God does not come uninvited. You tell Him leave and He will. He gave us that choice. Some people who want our country run their way have asked, no told God to get lost and He has. It is time for those of us who want God to come back to speak up and let our voices be heard! If we don't then there will be no more singing "God Bless America" It will be more like "What Happened to America?"
I am not a right wing, hard nosed, radical, conservative extremest. I am a child of God,a wife and a mom who wants her children and grandchildren to know the America she once knew. The simple America, where we didn't have to agree with one another and that was ok, where our vote counted, where we were proud of our country and we had religious freedom, where we were respected by other countries.Not this angry, hateful, selfish, immoral, grandstanding, politically correct, it's all about me America that exist now. I want our children to learn in school that America was founded by many Christian men and based our government on Godly principals. Yes my friends this is the truth, but they have taken that part out of the history books, might make someone realize there freedoms are being messed with. You don't have to agree with me, but you would have to be wearing rose colored glasses not to see what is right in front of you and plugs in your ears not to hear what is happening.
So we if we don't want to see life as we know it become non existent, we need to speak now before its to late. You have that freedom, for the moment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ADOPTION is an Option and it Rocks!!!

I was reading the blog of a fellow blogger today. She spoke of how she had never really wanted kids, oh maybe 2 or 3, but she didn't desire a big family. She is now the mom to 10 awesome kids! Yeah, God changed her heart.
After growing up in a not so nice environment, I planned on being a lawyer and a photographer. I would fight for women and children who were in abusive situations. As for the photography? Well, I didn't plan on making a lot of money as a lawyer, it's true! I would work for those who needed me for free if I had too! So....my photography would be great and that is how I would make a living. I wanted a couple of kids. A boy and a girl, maybe more. But that is not how my life turned out.
Like my friend, I am not into crafts or the Wiggles or Sesame Street, I do not desire to sit around with other moms and visit while our children play loudly in a germ infested McDonald's play pit and though I love kids I was not comfortable at all whenever I served in the children's area at our church.
But God had a different plan for my life...thankfully.
He blessed me with a wonderful husband and three awesome sons. I thought my life was complete. Little did I know that adoption would be part of my life. But at the age of 40 we adopted our oldest daughter and four years later we adopted another beautiful daughter and 2 1/2 years ago when I thought we were through and enjoying our grandchildren God blessed us once again with our youngest daughter!
People will say "you guys are so amazing" or "your daughters are so lucky!" For the record..we are not amazing, but we do serve an amazing God! Our daughters are not lucky, we are blessed that God chose us to be their parents!
I saw an ad that said "Have the courage to adopt" Have the courage to love." It didn't take courage to adopt or love our daughters. It took God speaking to our hearts and my husband and I taking a step of faith. plain and simple.
Adoption is a gift from God. After all, He adopted us! There are so many wonderful children in the world that need a family. Big ones, little ones, white, brown, black ones, healthy ones sick ones, older ones and younger ones. They just want what we all want, love and a family.
Now we were not all called to adopt, but we were all called to take care of the widows and orphans. If you are one that wasn't called to adopt you can make a huge difference by donating money to Hug Away or any non profit that helps with adoption and humanitarian aid. Get the word out to your community about adoption. Hug Away has people who will come speak to your church or organization. Pray.
God put us on this earth to serve. He ask all Christians to love one another.
Please pray how you can make a difference.

Kennedy and Amiya crashed on the couch.

Kennedy having fun at the park

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Puzzle

Today I had lunch with a very good friend of mine. We me last year when she was interviewing me for job. It was one of those times when you just click with someone.
During the interview we talked like we had known each other for years. I got the job. She is much younger than I am but I admire her maturity, her work ethic, her honesty and she is kind. Unfortunately I was only able to work their a few months. It was a long drive and gas prices were high. But we believe God brought us together for another reason.
From the moment she found out we had adopted she had lots of questions. She told me her husband was adopted and one day they hoped to adopt. Right now she is dealing with infertility and is going through the grieving process. But as soon as they are ready her and her husband want to start the adotion process so we spent almost 2 hours talking about adoption.
When we were getting ready to leave she said "you know Elaine, I think this is why God brought us together, He knew I would need you in my life."
Isn't it amazing how God brings these moments together? It is like a puzzle. Sometimes it takes a while to fit in all the pieces, but once it is all put together and you look at the picture all those small interlocking pieces made you realize the patience and time it took was worth it. Gods timing is always perfect.
I felt bad when I had to leave that job mainly because I thought I would lose my new friend. But God had another plan all along and as usual it was worth it!


Kennedy and her nanny in Vietnam the day I met her.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Eyes on Him and a step of Faith

Aunt Kennedy with her neice Amiya

Ok, if you ever read this blog at all you know that I have a heart for adoption and orphans. My husband and I would adopt again in a heartbeat if that is every Gods plan of our family again. Not having enough money or a bigger house or a newer car has ever stopped us when God has called us to adopt. Once He confirmed it in our hearts it was a step of faith. We knew without a doubt He would provide.
Many times when I have seen the face of a precious child I just knew we were meant to adopt them. But more times than not, no matter how hard I would fight it God would show me that this was my "mommy hearts desire", not Him. Not that there is anything wrong with a "mommy's heart's desire" but we desire to do what He has asked us to do not what I want to do.
I can honestly say that our daughters adoptions were put on our hearts with perfect peace. Not always sure how it would happen, just knowing without a doubt that God has called us to adopt and He would make it happen. Will He ever call us to adopt again? I have no idea. But if He does we will know.
When God placed Hug Away on my heart I knew without a doubt it was Him, not me. BUT here is the deal, I was passionate for sure and I just knew that we would have enough donors and raise enough money to help any family who applied with a grant.
I mean after all, who would not be passionate about helping children come home to their forever family or an orphan in need? Yes sir, God gave me a mission and I took it on! It went great the first year, but this last year except for the one fundraiser (which was awesome!) not so much.
I could not figure out what had happened, So...after some much needed quiet time and prayer God gave me the answer to my question. I had taken the focus off of Him and my need for Him and was relying on myself. Ouch. Well I did ask.
God and I have this great relationship. I am sure there are times He shakes His head at me, hangs His head and says "what is she doing?" If He has gray hair I probably contributed to most of it and If God has headaches, well I know I have caused many of them! But even when I have taken my eyes off of Him and could not figure out why we were not receiving donations and I wanted to call it quits with the foundation, He was still faithful to me. He did not allow me to throw in the towel and call it quits. He knows my heart. He has been dealing with me for years and He knew that sooner or later I would be still long enough to hear Him.
We need to know God personally. When we take the time to get to know His word, His voice and His desire for our life and not take our focus off of Him, it all works out.
So if God has called you to adopt and you are thinking "where is the money going to come from?" take that step of faith. If God has called you to missions, the ministry, to start up a business, to make a difference, step out in faith and keep your eyes on Him and it will happen just like He planned.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12

Thursday, September 3, 2009

America wear red on Friday

I may have shared this before but I feel like sharing it again. I was blessed to be raised in a time when we prayed and said the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag before school began.Today it is a different story. This privilege, this honor, this basic right is being taken away from us because we may offend those who come to our country looking for freedom, or someone of a different religion, or a group of people who thinks it is just wrong and they will sue. We live in a time where the news will report the death of a celebrity for days on end, or what Michelle Obama wore to the Grand Canyon or the affairs of the rich and sometimes stupid and how the world hates America. But how often do we see a breaking story about those who have chosen to fight for the God given freedom this country was founded on? What about the men and women who died for that right? Oh, you might see a quick glib on the news but nothing more. As the mom of a Marine who has made this choice it makes me sad that we do not honor our troops and give them the respect they deserve.
Once in a while you have the privilege of picking up the newspaper and there right before your eyes a viewer has written a story that moves you in such a way it makes you believe that all is not lost. I found such a story and I want too share it with the world.
Karen Krus wrote this article for our hometown newspaper. You can tell it came from her heart.
WEARING RED ON FRIDAY IDEA ADVANCED
By Karen Kruse

While traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together.
After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in first class (across from me) and inquired if he was heading home. "No," he responded. "Heading out?" I asked. "No. I'm escorting a solder home." "Going to pick him up? "No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq; I am taking him home to his family."
The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch in the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days.
Upon landing in Chicago, the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom: "Ladies and gentleman. We have had the honor of having Sgt. Martin Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sgt. Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We Will then turn off the seat belt sign."
Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his actions made me proud to be an American.
So here's a public thank you to our military men and women for what you do so we can live the way we do and an idea we can all use to keep recognition of their heroism a top priority.
Very soon, we will see a great many people wearing red every Friday. If everyone of us who loves this country will share this idea with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the U.S.A. is covered in red and it will let our troops know the once silent majority is on their side more than ever.
Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for us- Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for our soul, the other died for our freedom.
Thank you Karen for reminding us that we live in America. Home of the free and the brave.

When our son joined the Marines 2 years ago I started wearing red on Fridays in support of our military. It may not seem like a very big deal but imagine seeing red all over America every Friday. Imagine.

MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA & ALL THE BRAVE MEN & WOMEN WHO FIGHT FOR HER.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grateful

Lately I have been thinking about how God has blessed my life. I don't deserve the blessings, but He made the choice to give them to me. I believe there is a reason this has been on my mind so much. I think it is God trying to get my attention.
Like most, I tend to grumble and moan about what I don't have. Don't get me wrong I am very grateful, but I do go through times where I grumble about things I would like too have or the way I think things should be or hope too be. I believe Gods desire is for me to focus on what I do have. When I take time to reflect, I realize I have more than I deserve and if I want to get real honest with myself I have way more than I want or need. So what's the deal? Well, I get caught up in the business of life. Even though not a day goes by that I don't interact with God, I often miss out on finding time to be alone with Him. Isn't that pathetic? The one who created me, the one who has blessed my life in ways I could have never imagined, the one who died for my sins and I can't find a few minutes everyday to be alone with Him? Yeah, that is pretty pathetic. Yet, He still loves me and puts up with me,attempts to teach me lessons in life and picks me up when I fall down.
I am so grateful for His unconditional love. I may not act like it at times, but He knows my heart and for that I am very grateful!
I posted these pictures of Cami and Kennedy because it reminded me that we should all take time to slow down, be grateful and enjoy the journey!
Cami & Kennedy








Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dustins Homecomings

For my friends and family who do not have a facebook, check the post directly below this one.

This is a video I put together for my son who just came home from Iraq. The first part is his homecoming a couple of weeks ago to his base and then home and the second part is random pictures since he enlisted and his journey to becoming a Marine. Sorry if the first part has some wobbly moments in it, I was excited!;) It was an experience I will never forget. Watching all those Marines get off the buses after serving our country it was both humbling and exciting. Yeah, I am a very proud mom! OOORAH!

Homesick

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Encouragement

Adoption.If you are thinking, praying, in the process, waitng on a referral, have a referral or waiting for that long awaited travel call I would like to take this time to give you some encouragement. Even if this is not your first time to adopt, you still need encouragement!
We all know that Gods timing is perfect. He knew this was all going to take place a long time ago and He knew all along the day your precious child/children would come home. But we are human and even knowing this information doesn't always make the journey easier. We have waited so long to hold our precious child and the wait is excruciating. But that day will happen and when it does and that precious little one is placed in your arms you are going to forget the paperwork, the wait, everything. Those things are no longer important. What matters is that you have your child.
The things we want most in life usually take the most faith, patience, perseverance and prayer. If we want it bad enough, nothing will stop us. Adoption is not an easy journey emotionally or financially. It will try every emotion God gave us. But once you receive that long awaited, precious picture of you child you know it was all worth it.
Adoption is changing all the time. The rules, the requirements, the cost, but the one thing that doesn't change is the fact that there will always be orphans and those that can be adopted should be and for whatever reason those who can not be adopted should not be forgotten and we need to find ways to show them we care.
So, wherever you are in the adoption process keep your sight on not only where this journey is taking you but who is waiting for you at the end of it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Suggestions please!

What to do? Three simple words that I can't answer. In my previous post I talked about being 50 something and the fact that age is just a number and an attitude of the heart. But I didn't mention that it is also a time where you reflect on your life. What you have done, what you are doing and what you are going to do. Have you, are you, will you make a difference? I hope that I have, I am and I will. God gave me some wonderful gifts and I want to use them all to make a difference in the lives of other, even if it is in a small way.
Hug Away is hanging on by a prayer, literally. It has two faithful monthly donors. 2 people who believe enough in Hug Away to give every month. I am so grateful for them. They are like my cheerleaders! But the fact is Hug Away will not survive if I don't find a way to generate more faithful donors. We have our fundraisers, but you can only have a couple of those a year because of the time it takes planning and they generate a one time income. I am so grateful for that one time but the fact is after we issue a couple of grants it is gone.
It breaks my heart to think that Hug Away may not survive and I will do everything I can not to let that happen. So I am asking for your help. Yes, money would be nice, but I also need suggestions. If you have not been to our website let me tell you what we do.
1. Offer grants to families who have been led to adopt.
2. Mentor adoptive families
3. Educate the community about adoption & orphans. We will got speak at your church, small group, business...anywhere!
4. Offer hope and love to orphans who will not be adopted.

Some other needs we have:
1.Someone who will faithfully keep our website updated. I have no clue how to get the grant letter downloaded and a whole bunch of other stuff I would love to do. I am not real savvy with wordpress.
2.God to open the way if it is His will for me to go to Ethiopia in October. This is a huge request both financially and for obstacles that stand in my way to be removed.
I am so passionate about these things and I want this foundation to make a difference in the lives of others. So....if you would like to donate go to www.hugaway.org
suggestions: hugawayfoundation@cox.net
We always ask and are so grateful for your prayers :)
Thanks for listening!

Why I do what I do


Being very uncooperative! ;)

Cameron (hmm...)

Kennedy

Cameron

Jordan


Jordan and her BFF from camp