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147 Million Orphans Blog
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Scripture speaks of the war that is going on in the heavenly realm. It wasn't until I entered the adoption world that I actually FELT warfare SIGNIFICANTLY. The past few weeks have been a battle each and every day. Gwen and I have been under attack more than ever. We have had our nose to the grindstone, dealing with all of the issues that have been affecting our children. I have had three children wheezing, taking breathing treatments every three hours, one with strep throat, one with a double ear infection, one with pain in his heel to where he can barely walk and pink eye. Gwen has one with a hurt growth plate in his hip, one with her eye ducts clogged (oozing yuck), doctors appointments for Joseph/trying to figure out exactly what his issues might be, a husband that was sick for several weeks, Maggie still healing from surgeries, and now one that is throwing up! yep! SATAN at his finest! When you are going through day to day LIFE, it's hard to take time to look on the outside and really SEE what is happening. Gwen and I were together at a 147 event last night and starting talking through what the past few weeks have held...it was so good to just call it as it is: SATAN.
With 147 Million Orphans we have 132 people fundraising. Tosha is in Uganda bringing Abigail home soon, and I am walking with 8-9 couples through the adoption process right now. He HATES this. I will NOT be defeated. I serve a MIGHTY God who will fight on my behalf and give me the strength to make it through each and every day:)
I grew up in a small town in Tennessee. Adoption is not at the forefront of peoples minds in this town. When Gwen and I started 147, one of my high school friends, Renee Click, started selling beads in this small town. It was such a blessing to watch her sell beads day after day. Her husband was NOT on board to adopt, so she was just doing "her part" in caring for the "least of these." She got so excited when a new shipment would arrive. After a few months, Gwen and I shook our heads, we just knew that she had sold a set of beads to EVERY person in the town...she had sold THOUSANDS...not hundreds...THOUSANDS of beads! Her husband works in Nashville, so he would drop by Gwen's and pick up the beads when she ran out. Little did we know that God was moving his heart and her children's hearts by her selling Ugandan magazine beads! Gwen and I prayed fervently that their hearts would be open to adoption (sorry Tony!) and slowly but surely, Tony opened his heart to the journey that God has set for them as a family. Renee has three children (Blaine, Connor, and Allie...PRECIOUS children who have been transformed and have such HEARTS for the orphan.) Tony surprised Renee at Christmas and told her that he was ready to do paperwork and go to China to bring home their little girl....How precious is she?!! Meet Emery....
Wow....I cannot believe how long it has been since I have blogged. Getting everybody out the door and picked up from school each day has wreaked havoc on me!
I have such a mixture of emotions as I write today. I have been walking the adoption journey with several of my friends the past year and right at this moment….it is all coming to fruition!! Some of you might remember my 40th birthday present from Gwen…the funds to help Tosha bring Abigail home. Tosha is on a plane RIGHT NOW to Uganda!! She has never traveled internationally. She is an emotional MESS!! Thankfully, her sweet husband (mike) and her daughter (Kenzie) are with her. I will be posting throughout the next few weeks so that you can follow her story in Uganda via blog world…SO EXCITING!!!!
Another one of my closest friends is in the process of a domestic adoption. She and her husband have been on this journey for awhile now. They have had one disruption, and the journey has just been ROCKY. They received the call Thursday that their birth mom was having contractions 3 minutes apart and to jump on a plane! They made it in time, and their little angel is here and healthy. NOW, the hard part is that my friend is “rooming in” at the hospital with the birth mom, caring for this child, and giving the birth mom the emotional support that is needed. This is, without doubt, one of the hardest 48 hours that she has ever experienced. With domestic, family seems to always come out of nowhere and claim to want to help keep the baby. The birth mom (who has been alone the entire pregnancy and never feels love and support from her family) is so torn with what SHE wants and desires and KNOWS that she can’t handle (a child) but longs for the approval of her mom….its just a nightmare. Moment by moment, you are falling in love with a baby, and the THOUGHT of that child going to a place where he/she will not be loved and cared for breaks your heart IN HALF. Yet, you sit and wait. You wait for time to pass, trying to be the hands and feet of Jesus to this woman who might do the most UNSELFISH act on earth…OR NOT because of pressure from family.
My heart is broken, anxious, excited, and angry. I am feeling all of the emotions that I know my sweet friend is living right now.
I have another friend that contacted one of the orphanages that Gwen and I visited in Uganda. She got matched with two little boys!! We were SO excited!! Then, they contacted her and said that one of the boys had a biological sister that they just learned about. She was at a crossroad. What does one do? She already had names, and two faces of two little boys that were hers. Does she leave one of the little boys behind so that the biological siblings can stay together? Tears, heartbreak, anxiousness, fear….all creep in. She and her husband have decided to bring all three home!! How fun/crazy/radical is that? They are going from 3 kids to 6 over night!! I love it!! Will it be hard…yes. Will it be exhausting…yes. Will she feel the presence of God more than ever…yes!!
There are four more families heading to China over the next year in our school. We have 134 families fundraising with 147 Million Orphan gear right now. The Holy Spirit is MOVING. He is doing things on behalf of the orphan more than EVER. It makes my heart WHOLE. It makes me want to stand on a mountain top and scream to HIM….THANK YOU!! THANK YOU for allowing me a GLIMPSE of the joy that you feel from all of this!
What I LOVE about all of these scenarios is that the HOLY SPIRIT is at work. As believers, we can pack our brains FULL of knowledge about Christ, scriptures, and biblical truths. We can stand on them, rely on them, and use them as confirmation to strengthen our spiritual walk….but if the HOLY SPIRIT is not there…we are MISSING IT!! We need to FEEL HIS presence to know that HE is walking alongside us as we travel to Uganda or China. We need to KNOW and FEEL him sitting right beside us in that hospital room, while we love on a birth mom who is broken from the inside out. We have to KNOW that all THREE of those children waiting at an orphanage in Uganda belong to us and we can’t leave one behind. We have to feel the PRESENCE of our ALMIGHTY SAVIOR to have the peace in our hearts that only HE can give.
Without the HOLY SPIRIT we operate in our own strength and can only accomplish and live out human-size results. When believers walk through life guided by the HOLY SPIRIT, the evidence in their lives is supernatural. I am seeing it FIRST HAND…spirit guided adoption journeys and it is blessing me deep, deep in the depths of my soul. The HOLY SPIRIT is VITAl to live as a true believer today. When HE moves, NOTHING can stop him!! If He doesn’t move, we will not produce fruit, no matter how much effort or money we spend.
In Acts 4:13, it says “now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” Let’s live wrecklessly! Let’s live so that when others view our lives they are blinded by the Holy Spirit.
WOOOHOOO!!! Come on!!! Let’s do this thing!!!
The past few times that I have seen Gwen, we have giggled most of the time. We have had several meetings where we literally giggled our way through them. We decided at the end of our last meeting that we have reached our point of delirium. THEN, we laughed at the thought of our lives being so crazy that all we can do is laugh. DELIRIUM for SURE! I am so glad that we have learned to laugh instead of cry. WITHOUT doubt, it is joy straight from my sweet Savior.
My children have just had their first full week of school. I have spent the whole week just trying to catch up on everything that I set aside this summer while they were home. This week has brought two REALLY tired kindergarteners, a LOT of whining, 7 REALLY hungry children papers to sign, laundry to wash, homework to be done, soccer/football/piano/cheerleading practices to attend, and the list goes on.....
The conversations amongst my children just make me smile. The comparisons of how a teacher has changed from year to year, who is dating who, how much taller he/she is, who they played with on the playground. We have some MAJOR sibling rivalry that goes on in my house. We have learned to talk it out, and so far, it has seemed fairly healthy. It gives us the chance to talk about our differences and how God created each of us with different strengths/weaknesses. When I get frustrated, I try to stop and think about how boring it would be if we were all the same....B.O.R.I.N.G!!
I have noticed my children saying "i love you" to each other more than ever. My son, Michael, tells his youngest brothers/sister at least five times a day that he loves them. Tonight, when Michael was going to bed, Grace said " i love you Michael" Just this past week, I have heard MillerAnne and Annabelle tell the little ones several times " i love you!" It makes my heart happy. It makes me feel like all of my exhaustion isn't completely in vain. In the middle of all of the discipline, I feel as though that these three simple words are my affirmation that my children ARE getting it.
- 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.