Monday, February 21, 2011

Camerons Happy Birthday Story

Today our Cameron turns 12! Where has the time gone? For her birthday blog I want to share with you how God lead us to Ms. Cameron. I may have told this before but it is truly worth repeating. There are so many children in the world waiting to be adopted. If God calls you to adopt you need to trust Him and allow Him to guide your steps.This is a story of prayer, faith, and how Gods plan for your life is ALWAYS so much better than the one you make for yourself
July 1999. I am driving home from Jordan's first day at Korea Camp, she was 4 years old. I am listening to her talk about her day when out of know where she says "mommy, I want a baby sister from Korea!" I have to admit I was a little shocked! I was over the age limit to adopt from S. Korea and I truly didn't think her dad would be on board. I explained all of this to her. She just looked at me. Let me say that it is very unsettling to have a 4 year old just stare at you while your driving! I finally couldn't take it anymore and told her that we should pray and we would wait for God to answer and we would do whatever He told us to do.
Now I am thinking to myself "good job Elaine! You know Jordan is going to forget all about this when camp is over and she is OK with your answer. Most important she quit staring at you!" Oh I think we had been driving about 5 minutes in quiet when Jordan says in a very loud and excited voice "mommy He answered me!" Who answered you? with a annoyed look an a eye roll (seriously 4 years old!" she says GOD!" I took a quick look at her and she was so serious I almost believed her. I said "Really? And what did God say?" Without missing a beat she said " He told me that it was OK for me to have a little sister, but now it's up to your mommy and daddy." I looked at her as she innocently (I think) smiled at me. And you know what? I believed her!
A few weeks went by and Mike and I had decided to look into a domestic adoption of a bi racial baby. It seemed our only option since I was over the age limit for S. Korea. I have to be honest I wasn't real sure about this. A newborn at 44 0r 45? Seriously? But then I remembered what God had told Jordan. I knew He wouldn't give us more than we could handle. Please remember that statement further in this story.
Now during this time I had been on a website (for those who might be interested in looking at some beautiful children who need adopted.)  and my sister and I had come across the picture of this little girl who looked so sad. I was instantly drawn to her. One she was from S. Korea and two she was special needs and they would allow a person to be over the age limit to adopt her! But as I read her bio my heart broke. She had way to many special needs. Developmentally, pphysically and possibly mentally handicapped plus a few other things. There was no way we could handle all of that.
On December 10th, 1999 I had taken the morning off work and Jordan and I went to the adoption agency we had used for her adoption to take them Christmas cards and pick up a copy of our old home study. Two of the ladies that worked there and had helped with Jordan's adoption asked me what we were doing. I told them. They looked shocked. Then one of them asked if we would be interested in a little boy from S. Korea about 9 months old. I looked at Jordan who was smiling and said I would but I am not sure about my husband. They told me they would get some information and call me. Two hours late I received a call from one of them saying they had a 9 month old little girl and would be interested? ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? I grabbed Jordan's hand, told my boss I as leaving...again and headed to the agency. We sat down and watched a video of a precious little girl. Instantly I knew that was out daughter. I said "we will adopt her!" They suggested I speak to my husband. ;) They gave me the video and history and as we walked out the door Jordan looked up at me and said "See mommy, I told you He said it was OK." Yes you did Jordan.
Mike and our sons watched the video and we were all in agreement. This was our daughter and sister. As I read the history it seemed very familiar, Developmentally, physically and possibly mentally handicapped. Where had I seen this before? All I knew is this time it didn't phase me or my husband. We knew without a doubt this was our child. A few days later we went to sign  the papers and received the baby's pictures. I stared in disbelief. It was the same little girl whose picture I had looked at a few months before. The little one who had all the special needs that I just knew we couldn't handle. Now she was our daughter.
In April 2000, 4 months after we received her referral, 9 months after Jordan had told me God answered her. Ms. Cameron came home. We had not planned on adopting Internationally again but God did. Within those 4 months we had paid for her adoption.
Today that little girl who had so many strikes against her and was close to being placed in a institution is now a beautiful young lady. She can sing, hear a song once and know the words, plays violin, is extremely smart, funny, has a servants heart, loves God, her family and friends.
My husband and I thought are family was complete. We had no plans on adopting again. But God did. When Jordan asked for a little sister that day and we prayed and God answered her Cameron was 5 months old. In the video she was 8 months old and when we saw it she was turning 10  months old. She came home one day shy of turning 15 months old. She still couldn't walk. About 3 months of therapy Cami was off and running and hasn't looked back!
Cameron we have watched you grow into a beautiful young woman. You never cease to amaze us! Thank you for fighting the good fight so you could come home to your family. Happy Birthday Cupcake! You are loved!

Full of life!

Our sweet girl

Cameron in her Korean Hanbok



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy Sweet 16 Jordan!!

Sixteen years ago today a baby girl was born in Anyang S. Korea. At that same time a family living in America was praying and waiting to find out who God was going to choose to be their daughter. There was also a young woman who was getting ready to give birth and she had a difficult decision to make. She could choose to keep her little girl who she loved and try to make a good life for her or she could decide to make an adoption plan with hopes that somewhere there was a family who would love her very much and could give her little one a wonderful life.
In April 1995 the family in America received a phone call that there was a little girl waiting for them in S. Korea. She was described as a perfect little girl with rose bud lips.The day before Fathers Day on June 17, 1995 the daddy who had flown to Los Angeles with his mother to meet his new daughter, brought her home and placed the 3 month old little girl in her very grateful mothers arms.
I am the very blessed momma and that precious baby is Jordan. I will never forget that day. She never woke up as over 100 people oohed and awed over her at the airport. She never woke up on the ride home. She never woke up during the night as me and her daddy watched her sleep thinking she would be up all night. And the very next day, Fathers Day as her sleep deprived parents sat in their living room being interviewed by a news team before we went to church, Jordan sat on her daddy's lap all smiles looking at everyone like "what's your problem?"
Jordan is beautiful, kind and smart. She loves God, loves her family and is very proud of her Korean heritage. She likes who she is and doesn't have the need to bow to peer pressure. She is a blessing and we thank God He chose us to be her parents, brothers and sisters. But we will never forget that Jordan's birth mother gave us this precious gift by choosing to make an adoption plan for her daughter. We pray for her often. She is never far from our hearts.One day Jordan hopes to find her birth mother and she has our blessings.
To our Princess, Jordan Happy Sweet 16 sweetheart! You are loved!

The first time I saw you was like a dream come true.
No I didn't give you the gift of life. Life gave me the gift of you."

Taking care of the babies at Eastern in S. Korea

Jordan with her foster mother in Korea

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bahru's Story

When I was in Ethiopia nothing prepared me for the fact that I would look into the eyes of children who were starving, had no one to take care of them, or worked after school has a servant. Eyes don't lie. The first day I walked on to the school grounds I was meeting with the children. Adanech the founder of the school walked up to me and seemed very anxious. There was a little boy she wanted me to meet. She walks up this little guy who was dirty, dressed in torn, very dirty clothes. He looked so scared. We went to a room where we could talk to him. He was so nervous! He couldn't remember how old he was. Adanech told us that his mother had died, his little brother went to live with relatives but they didn't want Bahru. He lived with his dad but his dad drank a lot and was gone for weeks at a time. So basically this ten year old boy lived alone. The amazing thing is that he woke up every day and went to school. No, he didn't have a sponsor but Adanech would let him come to school and feed him.
He broke my heart. My husband Mike was wanting to sponsor a boy so I told Adanech to tell him that he now had a sponsor and could start school. Oh the look on his face! And a smile! When we left the school I had my friend Kay who has worked in Ethiopia with her husband John for over 10 years take me shopping. Bahru was going to get some new clothes! Kay and I were praying for the clothes to fit. The next day I gave the clothes to Bahru. He was undressing and I noticed under his shirt he wore a rather larger cross. Seeing that cross brought tears to my eyes. I turned my back and a older child helped him dress. The transformation was amazing!
In the past 24 hours Bahru's life had changed for the better. He was going to school, going to eat everyday, had new clothes and was going to learn what that cross around his neck stood for. I saw a scared little boy who was constantly looking down begin to stand a little taller, look up more and smile. He knew that someone cared about him.
I received a letter from him the other day and it started out "Momma Laney I love you!" Wow. You know it is so easy to go about our lives, working taking care of our own. But that isn't the reason God put us on earth. We are suppose to use our gifts to make a difference.
Some would say we changed Bahrus life but the fact is he changed mine. All the children did. I am more aware and more grateful of what I have. I am more aware of the needs of others.
We have so many more children and families who need our help. In order to do this we need your help. Please pray about becoming a partner with Hug Away with a monthly gift of $20 or more. If you would like our quarterly newsletter you can email me at:
I have posted pictures of Bahrus transformation so you can see what a difference sponsoring a child makes.

Adanech introducing me to Bahru


Bless his heart. He was so scared.

Ande a teacher asking Bahru questions

Receiving his new clothes! Notice the cross around his neck.

One grateful little boy and one happy Momma Laney!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What the blizzard of 2011 has taught me

We are on our 5th day of being snowed  in. Now I know why I love the beach! Often I have wished for days where I would have no where to go and could get things done around my house that I never have time to get done. To spend time with my normally busy family, to sleep in. Just chill!!! No pun intended! I should have added the option to leave when needed to my wish list!
All that aside I have learned so much  from these past 5 days. Here are a few of those things in no particular order.
  1. SPOILED. Yes its' true I am spoiled. I take for granted I can get in my car and just go wherever I want, whenever I want.The point is I can go!
  2. I found out I can cook 3 meals a day 5 days in a row!  Sure I could have asked my sweet husband to get in his truck and run out and get something but I didn't. I was testing myself. We eat out so often that it isn't fun anymore. We made the choice a couple of months ago to back off eating out so much. , but this was a true test and I did it! And my family appreciated it.
  3. Get caught up on those life books and scrapbooks. Well we got a little bit done.
  4. Board games, cards, movie nights, popcorn, smores. To much of a good thing!
  5. Here's a biggie. A week without work means no money. Mike works but my job is included in our budget. Not long ago I would have been freaking out. This time I didn't.  Actually I was getting ready to ask God what am I going to do? But before I could get it out "trust me Elaine" was laid on my heart. I smiled and said OK! Haven't worried since! He will provide.
This week I have become more aware, more appreciative, more GRATEFUL, more tolerant, more patient, and learned to trust God completely!
 I also realize everyone needs time for themselves. I'm not talking about going to work or school. We need  time to be alone, spend some quiet time with God, hang out with your friends, go work out, shop, read whatever you want to do. We all need that space. Mike and I have never had the need to be around each other all the time. And when we do spend time together we appreciate it so much more!
It looks like this isn't going away any time soon so I'm going to try and look at the positive. I have shelter, food, heat and my family is safe. And most important I have God looking out for me.

Mike & Dustin helping some people who are stuck.

I wiped out!

Kennedy smiled the whole time!

Jordan wants to learn to ski!

Kennedy went down the hill by herself. She laned in a big drift!

Michael helping Kennedy.

My oldest loves this weather! His dream is to move to the mountains someday.

Go Jordan!

Mike helping someone else get out! He helped a lot of people this week.

Front yard view

Enough said.

Little dude found some food in our back yard