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


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:
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 ( 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

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
In the mean time:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18