Thursday, January 27, 2011

Four years ago today

Four years ago today after 3 1/2 weeks in Vietnam, over 25 hours on a plane we landed in Tulsa and Kennedy walked off the plane and into the arms of her family. She was 2 1/2 years years old, in a strange country, looking at strange faces, the smells were different, the food was different. She had left people her little heart loved and who loved her. Her world had been rocked. I thought she was so brave.
She has been here 4 years and reads at a 3rd grade level.She could tie her shoes at age 3. She demanded her daddy take her training wheels off her bike when she was barely 4 and took off after a couple of lessons. She has been recommended for the gifted program. She is funny.She loves to play soccer.She has asked Jesus into her heart. She amazes me! She may be tiny but she is mighty and she is loved!

In Vietnam waiting for mommy!

Four years later!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

With Honors

In May of 2007 my son Dustin was turning 18 graduating from High School and joining the Marines all with in a few days times.I have sat through many graduations and it wasn't until he graduated in 2007 that I noticed something was missing that I have to admit I hadn't noticed before.
As I sat and listened and read the names of all the young men and women who were graduating with honors or had received scholarships to different colleges I realized there was no mention of the young men and women who had chose to serve their country. True, I had never realized this before. Like most parents I had sat through the ceremony waiting anxiously after 12 years of school to have 2 seconds of glory as someone who we will never know mentioned our child's name! But this time was different. I had a son who had chose to wait and go to college because he wanted to become a Marine and serve his country first.
I know that some schools honor these young men and women who have made this choice by mentioning their name in the program and to the audience. Unfortunately the majority don't. Isn't this a honor?
I hope someone will read this and send it to their local High Schools and this year these young men and women who in their own right are graduating with honors will get the recognition they deserve. And by the way they should get a different colored sash for that!

Fulfilled his duty as a Marine June 8, 2011 and becomes a OSU Cowboy hopefully
Fall of 2011 maybe Spring of 2012!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Our Own Kind

For the past few years my friend Todd who runs the Upward program at our church invites me, my family and friends to run the concessions at the games to raise money for Hug Away. The first weekend he always ask me to share about the foundation and what we do. I have to admit when you are speaking you sometimes wonder if anyone is listening. They are.
Friday night a Army Chaplin heard me speak and afterwards came up and told me that in March he was taking some soldiers to Ethiopia and if there was anything they could do for the school! The next day after speaking a woman came up to me and we had such an amazing conversation. We also have three more children sponsored! And there is always one who has to say " you know there are foster children right here who need homes."
The man wasn't mean just matter of fact. He was nice about it. We have been asked why we didn't "adopt our own kind?" I remember the first time someone said that to us it didn't take my husband 2 seconds and with a smile to say "Why we did! The human kind!" Mind you we were at church. Racism sadly has no boundaries.
I smiled at the man and said " I am aware of that and I am so glad God lead you to adopt your beautiful children from here, but God lead us somewhere else and were blessed with three amazing daughters." He smiled, kind of nodded his head and walked off.
I have never understood why some people think it is OK for them to come up and question you about your family. As common as trans racial adoptions are we still get stares, rude remarks, inappropriate questions. It doesn't happen often but it has and once in a while still does. And though they have no right to ask these things and I can't say what I would really like to say to them...for the sake of our children we try our best to handle the situation with grace.
Adoption isn't a contest, it isn't about the color of our skin or where we came from or how big our house is. Adoption is love, plain and simple.

 Every child deserves to be loved, nurtured, held when they are scared or hurt, matter where they are from or the color of their skin.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today I am blessed to celebrate the 16th anniversary of my 40th birthday! I remember when my grandma was in her fifties I thought she was so old. Heck I thought when my mom was in her forties she was old! Now not so much.
At this age God keeps me hopping! In many ways I feel that He is just getting started with me. I am at that point in my life where I have finally get it and God knows that.  So He is giving me lots to do and I believe that keeps my heart young. And you know what they say what's in your heart shows on your face and in your actions!
Of course being happy is a choice. I came across this saying once that basically said that you can choose to be happy or be miserable they both take the same amount of time. So why would anyone waste their time being miserable? The thought of that makes me sad.
I can't say I ever looked forward to getting older but now I look at it as a blessing, What an amazing gift God has given us, this journey called life.

My birthday gift four years ago! She was a little overwhelmed.
In the words of Oliver Wendall Holmes
To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old. I agree!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

JJ the Angel

I wanted an IPhone because of the foundation. So to be thrifty I went to ebay. I have bought several things on ebay and have never had a problem. So I saw a nice 3g phone, checked the sellers history which was excellent and decided to bid and I won. They mailed it the next day and it came when it was suppose to the day before Christmas eve. It was in mint condition and worked perfectly until exactly one week later. The home button quit working, the screen would freeze up and I had to turn it off and on to switch screens.
I emailed the seller and he didn't respond. I was a little upset.
Saturday the girls and went to the mall and I decided to go to the Apple store and see if they could help me. And this is where I met JJ He is probably in his twenty's and he calls out my name and when I walk up to him he said "how can I help you hon?" I thought great young and cocky. But he was really a nice guy. I told him the story and he said to hang on and he would go check it out. Jordan and Cameron were with me and I stood there there thinking "what am I going to do if he can't fix it?" The girls were having to much fun on the ipods and computers. When JJ came out he said "Elaine I have bad news." Basically it would cost me as much to fix the phone as I had paid for it. I could just feel my heart sink. He asked me if I had talked to the seller and I told him that I had tried but no. All of the sudden he says "hang on a minute." Ok?
I see him come out of the back and stop at a computer. Then he walks up to me with this cocky yet sweet grin and says "because you were so lucky that I am the one taking care of you today I am going to give you this phone at no charge." I look down and there is a new phone! He said " I have transferred all your contacts for you but the only problem is it will not have a warranty because we no longer sell these (the 3g). I must have looked like I was in shock and I looked at the girls and they had stopped what they were doing and looked like they were in shock also! Finally I was able to say something like "seriously?" He said yes. I felt these tears come to my eyes and I said "J.J. if were not n the middle of the store I would hug you! He said that's ok you can hug me!" And I did! He made me promise that I would never buy electronics from ebay again and if started to cry he would take the phone back!
The girls and I left the store and it still seemed surreal. Out of all the people in that store who were waiting to be helped God chose J.J. to help me. Originally it was suppose to be a guy named Steve. And J.J. made the choice to be a blessing. And my prayer is that JJ will be blessed. Of course the phone is great but JJs act of kindness was even greater. What compelled him to give me a phone for free? He was an angel of course! I believe angels walk here on earth with us and you never know when you are going to meet one!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1-1-11 The year of New Beginnings!

The beginning of the New Year! There is so much hope in new beginnings. A fresh start. For a few years now we have brought in the New Year with wonderful friends and we always have the best time! We ate, talked, played games, watched football and laughed till we cried! It was awesome! After I got home I was thinking about how I celebrated New Years before I had God in my life
My earliest memories were as a little girl. Our childhood was not all, but I still have some fond memories. We lived in San Antonio and my parents would take us out in the backyard on New Years Eve because our neighbors would shoot off fireworks. I was around 6 years old and in awe of the beautiful colors in the sky and watching them fall to the ground. I was always worried about "colors" landing on me. My dad would tell me it was fairy dust and not to be afraid and to make a wish. Oh how special that made me feel. When I became an adult I looked forward to dressing up and partying the night away! I always drank to much and then I couldn't remember some of the night and I felt like poo the next day!
When I became a Christian the "drinking" partying ended and I found out you can have a good time without getting wasted.
When we go to our friends house we bring our kids, that way we can ring in the New Year as a family.
I asked my soon to be 16 year old daughter if she had a good time. She had a great time. We talked, played games, watched some football and laughed until we cried! And all without alcohol.
God will bring new beginnings in your life. He isn't going to do it all at once, what would good would that do? He wants us to enjoy the journey.
If I could do anything over in my life I never would have drank. I saw what it did to my father and friends. We had a 14 year old niece and her friend who was sitting on a curb ran over and killed by a drunk driver. Alcohol is good for temporarily numbing feelings and for a little bit you can have a good time, it fools you into thinking your invincible...that's it. The fact is it cost you a ton of money, it ruins your health, destroys relationships, you can feel like poo the next day, it kills and no matter what you say are not in full control of what you say or do.
So why am I on the soap box about drinking? Because I know last night someone was out just to have a good time was either killed by someone drinking or killed someone because they were drunk. Someone drinking made poor choices that they can't take back. This old gal has seen a lot more in her lifetime more than she will ever post on here. I am not just talking the talk, I have walked the walk.
My prayer is that this New Year Day 1-1-11 will bring many new beginnings in your life. If God isn't in your life I pray that this is the day you will ask Him into your heart. It doesn't have to be a long religious prayer. All you have to do is believe He loves you. That He gave His one and only Son to die for your sins. If you believe that just ask Him into your heart. Will your life be perfect? No. But you will now have a love and strength that you never knew before to get you through the toughest times of your life.Again I know what I am talking about.
So here is to a New Year! If you already have God in your heart may you continue to do what is right. If you don't I pray you will start this day by asking Him into your heart! You will never regret it. Our God is the God of new beginnings.