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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Guest post ;-)



Grace posting here! :-) My mom asked me to post about life since Josie's been home, so here it goes....

It's been almost a year since we went to Africa and first met J-Lovey, and since then it has been a looong journey...from having mom and dad leave for 2-4 weeks, to getting the call telling Michael and I that she was diagnosed with HIV (while standing in the middle of the school hallway...thank the Lord for the teachers who were there for comfort!), I think its safe to say its been a little emotional. But when she and my mom got to the airport and walked through the gate to see our family and friends, every minute was worth it. At first i didn't understand what all it meant for her to be home. We didn't have many details on how severe her sickness was, if she was ever going to be able to walk, etc etc etc. Since she's been home, her eyes have opened wider, shes NOT ONLY walking, but RUNNING, smiling, loving the warm(er) weather, playing in her barbie car, and enjoying being with her new fam. :-) It's been amazing to see her transform into a different person. Its like a caterpillar, first starting off as a worm type creature, changing into a graceful, beautiful butterfly. AND what's even better is that she's not even finished! pretty soon she'll be having eye surgery to fix her eyes, and her MANY medicines will continue to work their magic. It's been amazing to see how much she's changed since we saw her last March in Uganda. Her breathing was so raspy and choppy it sounded like something was stuck in her throat, her eyes were so bad they were almost completely closed, her tummy was huuuuge compared to what it is now...you get the picture. I didn't know what all it meant at first for us to adopt her, but I felt God telling me that her name was going to be JosieLove Mayernick and she was supposed to be a part of our family. I didn't know what that meant as far as medical/transportation/financial wise, i just knew she was meant for us. Everytime I brought it up though, i got the same reply: "WE ALREADY HAVE 6 KIDS! We have no idea what her needs are, do you know what it would take to care for a child that can't walk, can hardly see, and who the doctor said is mentally retarded?" *side note: josielove is the FARTHEST thing from mentally retarded, she's one of the smartest kids i know...shows you what foreign doctors know, haha.* Even though I heard this numerous times, I continued to push and...well, obviously that worked out pretty well. It's amazing how God can work in the hearts of people. If you've met JosieLove, you'll know she's one of the funniest, most charismatic, charming kids on this planet. She LOVES to be LOVED and loves to give kisses. She'll curl up in my lap, grab my face with both hands, slobber all over my face and say MMMMWAAH. It's those moments that make everyday worth it. It may be stressful sometimes, but we learn what to do and what NOT to do everyday. We've all had to make sacrifices, whether it be me staying home to babysit instead of going with friends, my mom missing church to stay home with Josie, the boys having to share their toys, etc, There's so many things that have changed since we adopted, some good and some bad. For instance, people stare at our family ALL THE TIME. I've been tempted a few times to turn around and say, "how boutcha just take a picture, IT'LL LAST LONGER." I find it strange how people are perfectly fine with being stared at for having a ritzy, over the top car that probably cost more than some people's houses, but the thought of being stared at for living out God's word and caring for the orphaned (with different colored skin) terrifies them. Did you know that if 8 percent of people who profess to be Christians adopted, there would be no more orphans? People always comment on the blog and say how "awesome it is that our family is doing this and adopting" and how "they wish they could do what my mom does", and they can. There are 147 MILLION kids that wake up every morning with NOBODY there to love on them. Sure, some of them have caretakers in their orphanage, but those caretakers also have tens, sometimes hundreds of other babies to care for too. Some sleep on a dirt ground, starving. Others sleep 3-5 kids packed into one crib, like my cousin Mia (see blog here) in India. WE,(Americans) on the other hand, go to bed everynight on our fluffy king size matresses, after having 3 meals that day, even throwing 1/2 the uneaten food away. Every day, almost 16,000 children die of hunger, 12 million every year. A child dies from malaria, a completely preventable disease, every 30 seconds. 1 in every 20 children in Africa alone will die just from this disease. Okay, so you get the picture. I hear people tell me mom they "get it" all the time...wellll...if you get it, why are you not acting upon it? James 2: 26 says "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." I'm not saying everyone has to go out and live in a 3rd world country, feed thousands of kids everyday, and adopt 15 kids. But, next time you spend 300 dollars on a pair of designer shoes/purse/etc, think about what your COULD be doing with that money. 300 dollars is enough to send a child in Uganda to school for a whole YEAR, which includes 2 hot meals a day, uniforms, school supplies, AND medical care for them AND their family. We spend more than 300 dollars each trip to the grocery just to feed our family. If you look at things through THAT perspective, it'll give you a new outlook on things. If you haven't seen this video, it speaks for itself. And think, these are just TWO out of the 147 million out there living like this.

SAM AND ESTHER:

37 comments:

Ali said...

Gracie I am so proudo f you and amazed at what God is doing in your heart. I love being your big sis and having you as my friend.

xoxoxoxo

ally said...

Preach it sister! I'm amazed that someone so young gets it like you do! What a blessing to read your entry! I'm frustrated too with words and no action. Your family and mine are not super families! We're just willing to step out in faith to welcome a child or 5 children or more just to give them a family and show them the love of Christ. May more and more listen to the call for action and answer it!
Ally Pedicini

ally said...

One other thing, the staring will bother you less and less as you walk this road. I rarely notice it anymore even though I know they are still staring.

mjohnson said...

Oh sweet Grace what a wonderful post. Such truth and conviction and passion because you are living it. Thank you for your testimony, you have a special story that your mom can't tell, it carries a different message, uniquely yours from your perspective. I am celebrating that our next generation has young sisters-in-Christ like yourself, who are bold, and have a relationship with Jesus that is strong enough that they can discern His voice and that you had the faith to persist and obey what you heard. That is a lesson for all of us regardless of age. Thank for further confirmation that adoption IS for our family and giving me a picture of how God will work it for good for each of my children. God Bless you.

Melinda said...

Wonderful post! I just pray that my girls will be doing the same thing you are doing, speaking up for those that have no voice because of the fact that they have seen us adopt. I thank God that He is rising up a new generation of orphan advocates! Keep it up!

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

You and our daughter Lexi are so much alike!

You are one bright light!

We understand how you feel and praise God for families just like yours who are not just being a voice - but DOING IT!

With much love and respect!
Jill

Oatsvall Team said...

now that is how YOU HELP A SISTA OUT !!! preach, live it, and do it !!! so proud of you !!!! love ya

Kat said...

Amen and well said!!! The need out there is so great and we are blessed to watch your family grow (our will be growing with twins from Ethiopia in a few months). Your family really has made me think and realize what is possible and what amazing blessings we have when we listen. Thank you for your beautifully moving post!

Anonymous said...

Precious girl...You are such a blessing...but you have been ever since you took your very first breath!!! Josie and all the rest of your brothers and sisters are so very fortunate to have you! love you sweet girl!

Anonymous said...

I forgot to post my name...sorry ...it was from Amy Drane!! 8)

Audrey said...

thank you so much for this post, Grace! I'm friends with the Mihnoviches and had the honor of meeting your precious baby sister this summer at amani! thank you for standing up and being willing to look and act differently and to sacrice on behalf of Josie Love and the millions like her.

Jennifer said...

Well said!!!

Taylor said...

Thank you so much for sharing! My friend Tonya directed me to this post because it reminded her of me. Recently, God has put 3 Ethiopian siblings on my heart. He keeps saying, "Taylor, their yours." My family is one of the last families you'd expect to adopt, but that's according to them. God has commanded us all to care for the orphans and widows. This post encouraged me soooo much! (: I know that God is continuously working on my parents hearts so we can bring these kids home!

emily said...

Love how the apple doesn't fall far from the tree- great post Grace. One of the best things that I see right now is the new generation that the Lord is rising up to boldly advocate for the orphans of the world because their lives have personally been changed forever by a new brother or sister via adoption! I can see you and my Avery working side by side one day in Africa. :)

Jim and April said...

amen girl! what wisdom and love for the Lord at your age...you can tell your parents have done a great job! beautifully written post from your heart! Your mom should be VERY proud! If my daughter can have a heart like you and write thought/heart provoking posts like you at your age...i will feel VERY blessed!

anna said...

Oh sister, keep on preachin!
Love ya!

Kristi J said...

what a great post..AND how lucky you are to have JLove in your family teaching you so many valuable lessons :) kristi

Kendra said...

Grace, I don't know if you remember me, but when your mama was in Uganda I responded to a post you had written. At the time we were struggling with the financial aspect of adopting although we knew that God was leading us to Africa to find our little girl. Guess what? Because of YOU and your post that day we are almost finished with the paperwork part of it all and there will soon be one less orphan (or two if God decides that). YOU were my inspiration!! And guess what else? I am so glad that you are part of such a loving family that has guided you to your love for God's people--no matter who or where they are. And guess what else?? I had no idea at the time that you were a young lady (that you were actually writing in your mom's place at the time)---You are wise beyond your years. Thank you for sharing your heart with honesty and love, sweet girl.
~Kendra~

Heather said...

Grace, what a beautiful post. I love your heart for orphans & those less fortunate. I would feel so blessed if my Zoe grows up with the same heart & knowledge you have. What a blessing!

Andrea said...

Awesome! Amen and Amen!!! :o)

RaVae Erickson said...

Grace,
Not that I don't love your mom and her posts (because I do!), but it is really good to read someone else's perspective on JLovie. Thanks for sharing and many continued blessings to your family!

Renee Click said...

Grace, YOU ROCK!!!! That is a wonderful post! I know your parents are so proud of you as well as those brothers and sisters!
Love,
Renee

Laura said...

wow, you need to guest post more often! ;o)

i'm glad you shared that it was the Lord who spoke to YOU about adopting JL and how persistent you were in talking to your folks. great testimony.

We Are Family said...

Amazing post from a beautiful girl....I love your honesty! From one adoptive family to another "WE GET IT" !!! Blessings!

Abbie said...

Girl! I LOVVEEE you to death...I will ALWAYS be here for you and anm SO PROUD to be your cousin...I love every minute of our time together! I am super proud to read the words that pour out of your heart and for helping people see that THEY CAN DO IT TOO! Way to tell em' girl! You hold a VERY SPECIAL place in my heart and I will LOVVEE YOU FOREVER AND EVER AND ALWAYS! Thanks for just being you!

Love your cuz,
Abbs

Tara said...

agree with every word, you are awesome, you go girl!!

Journey To Our China Doll said...

Thank you for sharing your journey of faith. You have one of God's precious angels living among you! Thanks for speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves! Awesome post!

Angie Walter said...

Suzanne, you must be so proud! Grace, keep livin' it girl!

Andy Ashley said...

Like mother, like daughter! I think that people are probably staring at your family when you're out because they have never seen such a beautiful rainbow! I am so glad that we're all family...

Nancy said...

Oh, Grace, how I love your heart! You are a warrior, precious girl! Keep walking the walk and talking the talk! How blessed your family is!

Hugs...Nancy in CT

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

What a beautiful post!!!! Well said! I hope you don't mind if I share a link to it on my blog!!! I love it!

Shannon said...

That was beautifully and powerfully written!!! You have a gift, keep at it! Praise God for your voice for the orphans!!!!!!! Thank you for taking time to write!!!!!

Our family: said...

Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing. God is doing such a wonderful work in your precious family.

I can't wait for my girls to read this post. I know they will AMEN it!

Lisa said...

Grace....

Just want to say thank you for sharing your sweet and pure heart about the orphans. You are going to have such an impact for the little ones that are forgotten. Amazed to see what God has done with you at your young age. I know you have incredible parents and the Generations of His love are going to continue to be passed down.

We love your mom and dad and feel so blessed to have gotten to know them. Can't wait to watch God continue His Mighty work in your sweet and young life. Your family is so blessed to have you. Thank you for your persistent heart in bringing home your lil Josie Love. She is changing the hearts of many.

Keep striving and be all that He has planned for you.

Love, LIsa Kindred

Renee said...

And the young shall lead us! Grace, this is beautifully written and STRAIGHT from your heart! God has given you a passion, as well as a gift to share it! It is no small part that you played in Josie Love being here! I know your heart was tied to hers from the beginning...I look forward to seeing all that God has for you in your journey with Him. Thank you for posting this...I have cried buckets and am so proud of you.

Gran said...

What a beautiful post and a moving video, Grace. I'm thankful for you and pray for all of you every day, as you/we let the Lord lead us on this journey. It has been a blessing watching you grow into the beautiful (inside and out) young lady you are and are becoming. God has a special plan for your life, and His timing is perfect. To God be the glory; great things He has done! I love you, Gran

Laurie Kroll said...

Thank you, Grace, for your profound words on God's heart for orphaned kids. I found this blog and was thrilled for your family to find out your sister is home...I met your mom in Uganda. Thanks for posting our video about little Sam and Esther...it was a shock to come across it "by coincidence"! God is amazing. They are well loved now and living in Kampala, although their needs continue to be challenging. They are teaching those around them though, that God says we are valuable even when the world walks away. :-)

Blessings, Laurie Kroll
www.village2villageproject.org

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suzanne
I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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