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Sunday, September 26, 2010

A story from Dad

It has been a year since Dad has been given the pen to post my thoughts on this blog. Once a year is probably good enough for me (and you) as Suzanne is much better at this than me. So I looked back at my last post (Sept 2009..."Pain"), which was the day we found out about Josie's medical conditions. I remember that day like it was yesterday...the shock, the fear, the disbelief, the pain, the questions. You see, Im a planner. I like to know whats in front of me. Plan for the contingencies, quantify and mitigate the risks, expect the unexpected, examine the pros and cons of any situation so that a well thought out, logical decision can be made....that's me (show this post to your husbands that are just like me). That day in Uganda a year ago threw me for a BIG loop. It wasnt exactly the way I had it all planned out. As my friend Mark told me, "there are your plans and then there are God's plans, and your plans don't count". I'm so thankful today that my plans don't count. You see, if you asked me a couple of years ago if I would be willing, or if I felt "called", to adopt a child with HIV and TB, I would have honestly, (and arrogantly) said that I wasnt "called" to THAT. Well I was obviously called to that, I just didnt know it at the time (THANK GOD). By the way, I don't ever say "I'm not called to that" anymore. Truth is we throw that spiritual expression around rather loosely and arrogantly, like we are certain we know what we are or are not called to. I'm so thankful that God didn't "leave it up to me" whether or not Josie Love would be forever a Mayernick. The other night, knowing that it was just a short year ago that we were in Uganda with "Josephine", (Don't you love the idea that God will "change your name!"), I asked Suzanne to email me some "then and now" pictures of Josie (above) so I could download them to my Ipad as a reminder of how far she has come. She did. I cry when I see them. Not only because of the miraculous change that has taken place in her life and in her little body, but also because it reminds me that if "my plans" would have been the ones that counted, she wouldnt be with us today and I dont have any idea what her life would look like (or ours for that matter). Yea, I could have missed it if it were up to my plans. I then am reminded of the dozens of other people who have told us that they are pursuing adoption of a child with HIV after hearing of Josie Love's story. And to think "my plans" could have interrupted HIS plans. Pretty humbling.

As difficult and chaotic as our lives have become sometimes, I would not trade it for anything in the world. I just finished reading a book entitled "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. Its about stories. The stories you and I are a part of in our lives. We all want to write a good story with our lives but as Miller puts it "no one wants to do what it takes to write a great story. Joy costs pain." I am learning the truth in those words. Any good story has pain in it. Joy definitely comes through pain. Funny how we try to create a life void of pain and void of trials, yet what we seek is Joy.

I guess part of the reason I write this post is for the dad out there who is hesitant to take the leap of faith to adopt because you feel like it doesnt really fit into your plans. My only word for you is "Dont miss It...dont miss the blessing!"

God can do some pretty amazing things with pretty messed up people if we will just let Him. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would be passionate about the things I'm passionate about today (adoption, orphans, racial reconciliation, HIV, Africa,etc), I'd have probably laughed at you....not my story. Thank God He sees fit to not let my plans get in the way of His plans!

Til next year!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

147 Million Orphans Fall Gear is out!!

mayvall orphan bag
funky feed 1
boys youth tee
girls youth tee
this is our unisex athletic tee...fabulous for working out..has a scripture on the back!

I havent blogged lately because I have been swamped getting all of our new gear for the fall out! Gwen is all about the admin of 147 and I do the designing, ordering, printing, etc... We have a lot of new products this fall. We are SO excited! We were in "crunch mode" because we leave for Texas next wednesday, Sept 29 for the Together for Adoption Conference. (there is STILL room if you want to go and haven't registered) We will be stopping at my sweet friend Meredith Messick's house in Dallas for a "purchase with a purpose party!" If any of you are in the Dallas area OR Austin...we would LOVE for you to come by and see our new stuff. If you want info on either of these, just email us at twomoms13kids@gmail .com.

We also wanted to find a way for you to help take ownership of YOUR HEART'S DESIRE TO HELP ORPHANS and the 147 SHARE KIT is it ... We have given you all the tools you need to help share the 147 Mission plus in buying your KIT you feed a child for two months ... When you are sharing the 147 story you can also make it personal for yourself ... TELL HOW GOD HAS PLACED ORPHANS ON YOUR HEART ... We want to partner w/ you TILL THEY ARE ALL FED ... We want to partner w/ you in opening people's eyes and hearts to orphans ... We want to partner w/ you in helping spread the word about 147 adoptive family fundraising ... WE SIMPLY WANT TO GIVE YOU A TOOL SO YOU CAN BE USED BY GOD to Speak Up For Those With No Voice ...

Share it w/ your Sunday School Class, Your MOM's group, Your Girlfriend's, or just anybody ... We will be glad to walk hand in hand w/ you !!! OUR 147 story is not just about us, but all who are willing to lend a hand and heart to make a difference ... WE sold our first kit to an AMAZING 6TH GRADE YOUNG BOY ... He saved his money to buy it and I can't wait to see how he uses it !!!

Yesterday I went to Vanderbilt for Josie Love's routine infectious disease doctors visit. Every step through that hospital people call out "hey Josie Love!" It is the FUNNIEST thing! As she stomps through the long halls, she smiles ear to ear, eyes squinted closed (have NO idea how the child sees a thing...) collecting lollipops, hugs, and waving, saying "see ya later!" I am going to video it sometime just so that you guys can experience it! I couldn't help but to think "thank you Lord for think that I MIGHT have missed it?!?"

The pediatric eye specialist examined her eyes last week. While they are not opened totally, they are now opened enough so that her vision is not affected. She is pleased with the healing, and will assess her again in a year. If they have not opened up more by the time to start kindergarten, she will do another surgery and open them some more.

AND, we started gymnastics! Gwen and I have our on class with our youngest ones! how funny is that? They decided with a hearing impaired child, a child with blown up saline pouches in her scalp, Hiv+ and a WILD three year old (Caleb) that they might need to have just a little extra attention....hahhaahhha. So, we have our own class. IT IS WONDERFUL! Gwen and I just sit and laugh. we do not have to worry if they cut line, jump on the trampoline out of turn, disrupt so that learning is or if they have runny noses...we're just glad that they are getting some energy out!

That's all for now...I will update you on the conference asap!

Til they are all fed,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

There is not a single person among us, including me, who would ever CHOOSE the hard road in life.

Yet the hard road is where we often find the process of greatest growth and lasting lessons.

Romans 5 begins, "1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 6 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. "

At the resurrection, I was always fascinated that Jesus kept His scars. And then I heard a song that singled out this idea forever- "See those scars, precious scars, proof of battles He has brought us through- Learn to love those old scars for the things they say to you- reminders that healing is part of His plan for you."

We also would never naturally choose the hard path for our children- and yet we know that they learn to walk by falling and 'boo boo's' are marks of progress.

So this is a quick reminder to all of us to rejoice in the hard road and embrace the hard times trusting that God is in control. I am thankful for coaches and teachers who hold firm lines and sometimes cause temporary pain and lasting fruit.

I am thankful for courageous fight against the most difficult of odds- it is inspirational.

I am more thankful for forgiveness, when we shrink in fear, and are welcomed back in grace to try it again.

My son's coach sent this out to us after a loss this week in football. His words were exactly what my heart needed as I walked away from a discussion with our preschool director. Josie has had a fabulous week at school. She is transitioning well and her teachers cannot believe how much love she has to give. While talking to the director, we were discussing rules/regulations/legalities about our "rights" of disclosure with HIV. While legally we do not have to tell a single soul about her HIV, we have chosen to share her life story so that you all can see the face of Christ through it all alongside us. Josie is not the only child in our school program with HIV (shocking huh?!? brings me a little more peace to not be totally alone in this venture....) The directors words to me were "legally, we cannot share anything about any child in our program to the public, but you must know that if she was to bite someone, YOU would have to call the other child's parents and talk to them."

NOW, while I KNOW that she could not infect another child this way, MOST people around me do NOT know this and the thought of the FEAR that another couple would feel receiving "THAT call" made me shutter. Once again, the reality of "my life " hit me between the eyes like a sledge hammer! A year ago, if I had been on the receiving end of THAT phone call....I would probably have passed out! So, my next thoughts were "I'm gonna pull her out! Just for the sake of others hearts, I would never want for another mom to feel that fear."

So, I called my infectious disease doctor nurse. She affirmed that Josie is almost five years old. Her viral loads are almost undetectable. The virus is not transmitted in that way. I'd have to pull her out of the nursery at church, not take her here, not take her there.....BASICALLY keep her closed up at home. AND the reality is....that the general public is in contact with infected people on a daily basis but do not know it because it hasn't been disclosed. yada, yada, yada....and most of ALL, God did not bring us this far, for me to walk in fear and not FAITH.

faith not FEAR, FAITH not fear, faith not FEAR, FAITH not fear, I choose to speak these words to my self DAILY.

So, there it is...ALL OUT fears, my confessions, MY LIFE.

Thankfully, Josie is not a biter.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Definition of MIRACLE

: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs
: an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
Miracles clearly reveal Jesus as sovereign over the forces of nature. But in his teaching that follows and the controversy it arouses, we discover that he is not merely one who works miracles within the realm of nature, nor merely a leader of God's people like Moses, but the source of eternal life itself... John (6:22-59).
SOVEREIGNTY and CONTROVERSY.....the two words that I feel completely covered with each and every day.

A child that "would never walk" could not walk fast enough this morning to her first day of preschool......miracle.
A child that has to take meds (many of them), tightens her little face up, swallows syringe after syringe full and as I explain that they are making her feel better, I also ask " do they taste THAT BAD?!" and she says with a smile..."no, it's ok mommy"...miracle
A child that sat limp for four years ran through my house this morning "i go to skoo... I go to skoo... I go to skoo"...miracle
Why do we experience so little of the reality of this promise (miracles) in the US? Possibly because we do not need it? Maybe we don't desire it? Maybe we are too distracted to even realize what we are missing?
I ask myself on a daily basis..."what if I had missed it? what If the blinders had NEVER been taken from my eyes and I had gone through my entire life MISSING the face of Christ in this DESPERATE way that I NEED Him?
What if I had missed it?"
As I type these words I feel joy yet such a heaviness in my heart. While there is SO much excitement that surrounds my "little miracle", there is sorrow that accompanies her situation. How can two emotions that are SO TOTALLY opposite go hand in hand? Only the sovereignty of Christ can wash away the sorrow with so much joy that you feel as though you might just BUST!
Well, here is just a little glimpse for you to share in the joy that I have felt ALL DAY LONG!
Josie Love's first day of preschool! (escorted by her BIG older and one younger) this is a great pic for you to see how small Josie really is. She and Joshua (the one right beside her) are three months apart. Caleb (on the far left) is two years younger. (my sweet baby is HUGE...but still mama's baby!)

I am not sure why her little eyes are still so squinty...we go back to the eye doctor on Monday, so I will let you know what she says....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A smile goes a LONG way

After my last post I just decided that i am going to smile. After all, who can get beaten down with a smile on their face? Now, I am going to admit PUBLICLY (in my flesh) that my smile might be a little sarcastic. I might be thinking down deep "sorry for you that you are missing the blessing that I receive each and every day from these sweet children that the Lord has given me!" But, at least I am smiling huh?!?! AND a smile goes a LONG way.

I read a quote the other day that said "Today it is very fashionable to talk about the poor. Unfortunately, it is not fashionable to talk with them." WOW! that is such a true statement. How many "humanitarian" projects do we have going on? I bet if we were to do a poll of the people that live in other places that are poverty stricken, they would say that they would rather have people come in and TALK and TOUCH them than anything else. I know this to be true because of the trips that I have taken to Africa, these people want to be held, touched, looked in the eye. They are STARVING for love. Josie Love is a prime example of thriving from "hands on" attention and love. The child was 4 YEARS OLD and never walked. She was home ONE WEEK and was walking all over my house calling her siblings by name!! Most people call that a miracle, I call it LOVE.

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Mike and I decided after our first trip to Uganda that we were changing our "vacation" mindset. If we can save for the beach, camping, snow skiing, or whatever else that we might go and do...then we can put money away for our family to take mission trips. We saw our two oldest children be TRANSFORMED in 10 days last time that we went. Jump aboard a church planned trip, send out letters to raise funds for your trips,(people LOVE to give towards a life changing trip!) Be in prayer over where the Lord would have you go and that He would provide for your trip....HE FUNDS WHAT HE FAVORS!!!

Go see, feel, and touch the thousands of others that are just like Josie Love.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981- more than four Jewish holocausts or 22 Rwandan genocides

In 2005, every MINUTE there were 10 newly infected people worldwide.

Africa has 12 million AIDS orphans

43% of those infected with HIV are women.

There are 40.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, a 1/3 are between the ages of 15-24

And, I just have to type this last line or my post wouldn't feel complete.

BRING ONE HOME! (giggle)



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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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