Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mr. Basketball

So this is not an adoption post.  But I just had to give a quick rundown of Taylor's first high school games today.  Taylor is a freshman.  After basketball tryouts, he was assigned to the JV team.  Yesterday at practice, coach told him he would also suit up and get some playing time on the varsity team.

Tonight was their first game.  Taylor played almost the entire first three quarters of the JV game.  He scored 10 points, pulled down a bunch of rebounds and played stellar defense.  They were up by a lot in the fourth quarter, so Taylor left the game and went into the locker room with the varsity team as they prepared for their game.

He played just a little over a quarter in the varsity game.  He scored 6 points, but what was really fantastic was that he had a team-high 10 rebounds.  His coach pointed out that leading the team in rebounds with such relatively little playing time showed great effort.  

Way to go, son!  I'm so happy for you!  You scored 5 times more points tonight than I did my entire freshman season:)

-Dad

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Luke 2

Ok, so we've gone this whole day without any additional donations for Haden and I just KNOW there is someone out there who is wanting to change that!  (:  Click HERE to make it so Nov 19 is another promising day for Haden.

I have had THREE very interested families contact me about sweet little Luke!  That is about the most exciting thing ever!!  I am hoping that if one of them goes ahead with his adoption (it sounds promising!) that they will let me post their family picture here with a link to follow their journey because I know you all just love him!   (:  Having families email me about these kids makes me even more determined to keep advocating!  I'm thinking that after November we will have to keep it a regular part of our blog somehow.  If just one child finds a family from us taking time to share then of course it is so important share share share!  

One of the biggest questions that prospective adoptive parents ask is, "How will adopting affect the kids I already have?"  It's an important question that has to be heavily considered.  Of course we are obligated to take into consideration those children already under our care.    I remember well how nervous I was for Jessica when we decided to adopt Graci.  Jessica was "the princess" of our family.  We worried about her needing to share her room, her things, and most importantly, our attention.  

Well, tonight I randomly came across this video we took during Conner's baptism.  I usually don't separate in my head our biological children vs our adopted children.  They are just all our kids.  But when I watched this, I was immediately struck by the beauty of our sweet, blonde haired, blue-eyed beauty surrounded by four raven haired, almond-eyed sisters who she loves with all of her heart.  I thought of how different Jessica's life would be without adoption.  For her, these amazing sisters have changed her life in the best possible ways.  Yes, there have been sacrifices.  Yes, there has been arguing and jealousy and all of the normal sibling stuff.  But her life has been enhanced exponentially by having these beautiful sisters in her life.  Today I am so grateful for what my incredible Chinese daughters have done for my darling biological daughter.

I LOVE ADOPTION.

If you choose not to watch the whole video, watch the very end.  You will hear sweet Elli chime in with her own "I will!"  The Spirit warmed our hearts as we listened to her express in her own way what we know her Spirit wants to communicate.  We love that sweet Elli of ours.




And now to advocate for another sweet orphan who needs a home.  Since we're having luck with Luke, let me introduce you to another "Luke."  And let me tell you, get ready to fall in love:




Click HERE to see his precious video (password is luke1).  There are several more videos available if you are interested!


Sweet Luke was born with club feet.  You guys!!!  There is surgery for this!  He can have his feet fixed in America and can have a totally normal, wonderful life!    When I watch his video my heart literally hurts to see him walking on those feet, but his smile is so contagious that I can't help but smile!  I just know that there is a wonderful family and a bright future for him.  Did you hear him call out, "Mama" at the end?!!  Oh my heart!!!  I plead with you to consider if he is calling out to YOU!

Luke was found at the age of three and it was said that he was very sad and had a hard time adjusting but that he eventually grew accustomed to orphanage life.  Ugh.  This is what a very recent (November) update had to say about him:


He has been pretty healthy and doesn’t get sick easily. He can’t walk yet. He is shorter than other kids and his speech is not quite clearly. His mental development is normal and he is very smart. He can’t stand without holding. He can walk by holding something. His fine motor skill is very good. He can write some letters and numbers. He can play toys and blocks well. He can have daily communication with people during daily life. He can sing some children songs and he can read some English words. He understands instruction and can follow them well. Sometimes he is kind of stubborn. So you need to keep him calm by comforting him first. He likes to play cars, blocks. He likes to watch cartoon and play games with other children. He is not potty trained yet so he still wears diaper. He sleeps well and shares a bed with another boy. He is a sweet boy and likes to chat with caregivers. He plays well with other children and wants to share all the time. He is outgoing and likes to laugh and talk.


Let's find "Luke 2" his family!

--Christianne

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sweet Alia

So remember that aching to get in bed that I talked about?  Yeah, that ended up being strep.  Which I only tell you to explain my absence on the blog for a few days.  It was pretty miserable…


HADEN HAS $5,000 TOWARD HIS ADOPTION!  I am doing a happy dance here!  We are halfway to our goal and still have five solid days left.  I think this can really happen!!!  If you've meant to donate but just haven't gotten around to it, now is a good time.  (:  Any amount will help!  And to give you a little added incentive, I am posting a link to Haden's sweet video.  Doesn't he just seem like a stellar young man?  Parker watched it and talked about how well he thought Haden would fit in at school in America.  The two interested families have not committed yet and I know that this fundraiser can boost those chances.  (:  Time is running out.  Let's get Haden a family!!!

Translation of Haden's video:

"Hi, my name is ZYL and I am in 6th grade.  I like sports very much.   I play basketball every day after school.  During weekend I like to ride my bike to places far from city.  Sometimes I ride for 1-2 hours.  I like to study too.  My favorite subject is math as I feel it is a very interesting subject.  I like to read and I read a big book recently about Chinese history.  I think it's an amazing book.  My dream is to become an astronaut so I can solve the mystery which we don't know yet.  I really want to have a family-- to have Dad and Mom.  I know they can give me their love and care.  And I can do so much with them too- we can go for walk after dinner, ride bike, play sport.  I will love to be around them all the time.  I pray I have a loving family soon."


To see Haden's video, click HERE.  Password is haden

To donate, click HERE.

Again, so grateful to ALL who have donated and shared!!!!!!!!


Now, on to another sweet girl that has captured my heart.  Oh my, isn't she precious?!!!

 

Here is what I know about Alia:

When our staff first visited the Yuxi orphanage in Yunnan province, one precious little girl stood out from all of the other children.  Perhaps it was the way she hung her head, as if in shame.  Quiet, and shy, there also appeared to be a deep sadness held within her spirit.  
Heartsent Adoption's orphanage partnership with Yuxi is brand new for the agency and for all of the children at this orphanage, as well.  Previously, the children in the Yuxi orphanage were in foster care homes and smaller centers in the area. Alia has recently turned 6 years old. She has glaucoma of her left eye, which has progressed to the point that it will surely need to be removed. She is embarrassed about the appearance of her eye, and in constant pain due to the increased pressure within her eye.
Alia is known to be gentle, and loves to sing and dance. Alia needs a family who will help her receive the medical care she so badly needs, and will help her blossom! With proper care and preventative measures, we hope her remaining eye will be healthy. Alia is a sweet and loving little girl, who wants a family of her own.  

It breaks my heart that she is embarrassed of her eye and even more that she is enduring constant pain.  I know that someone has talked about the possibility of raising money to provide surgery in China-- but others have suggested she wait to find a family here in America so that her health care could be the best possible!  Getting her matched with a family could change this girl's life in miraculous ways.

Is she calling out to you?  (:

--Christianne


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Haden update and precious Luke



I am sniffling and sneezing and aching and wanting my bed, but I figured that this post was more important than my beauty rest.  (:  First of all, I am blown away by the tremendous response we've had so far to Haden's fundraiser.  We have received close to $3,000 in donations in about 30 hours!  It is such a beautiful thing to watch.  I am so grateful for every single dollar that has been donated and for every person who has shared the fundraiser.  Thank you all so much!  Please continue to share and donate as you feel led!  (:
Just click HERE.
As I peruse the sweet children waiting to be adopted, my heart is definitely pricked by some more than others.  Sweet little Luke has recently done this to me!  Doesn't he remind you of someone?
Luke at his orphanage
Sophi at her orphanage



Practically twins at that age-- in fact, his birthday is just one day apart from hers! (She's three years older.)  I have to tell a cute little story about Luke.  Sophi calls her little "shoulders" her "nubbies."  This is because of Tisha Unarmed-- Sophi's favorite youtube sensation and personal friend (Tisha has skyped with Sophi and was ever so sweet with her.)  When Sophi saw this picture of Luke without his shirt on, she looked very confused and exclaimed, "Oh!  Is that what boy nubbies look like?"  Ha!  She then said, "I like my girl nubbies better."  I was glad for that last statement because I thought she might be jealous that he had the starts of arms-- a fact that I'm sure will be an asset to him.  (:


So tonight I'm going to leave you with little Luke's profile.  Surely there is someone out there that needs a "Sophi" in their life!  (Sophi calls any kid without arms a "Sophi.")  He even has a leg discrepancy like her.  What a little rock star!



Luke, born in September 2012, is now an absolutely adorable 2-year-old! Despite his physical limitations, he is creative and persistent. It is amazing what Luke has been able to accomplish; can you imagine what he could do with the support of his forever family?
On an early September day in 2012, police received a report that there was a male baby left on the back road to a local temple. After an unsuccessful search for his birth parents, Luke was taken to the orphanage. His initial physical notes say he was 1 day old and was missing his upper limbs and had a club foot. Even at such a young age, it was also noted that he was in good spirits.
Luke has spent his first 2 years in an orphanage.  Under their watchful care, he has developed well physically and intellectually. At three months, he could roll over, track objects with his eyes and make babbling sounds. At 5 months, he could control his head well, laugh loudly, and loved to look around. At 8 months old, he could crawl, knew his name, and could understand facial expressions. Luke is an active, restless little guy who loves to be cuddled and has a great little smile!
The official diagnosis for Luke is missing forearms, shortening of the left lower limb, left little toe deformity and spina bifida occulta. In a September 2014 update, his caregivers say Luke can sit without support, crawl, and stand with support. He loves colorful, sound-making toys. He uses his arm and foot to hold a bottle. He also uses his neck and shoulder to hold an object. Luke can use his feet to play with a toy and pinch his food. He can even use his forearm to wipe his own tears. But you know, he really should have a mama and baba to do that for him!


If you want to learn more about little Luke, leave a comment or send me a private message at christi405@yahoo.com.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Help Haden!

Ok, so this is the deal.  I've spent to last few days mulling over what to do.  I have received a few messages and comments from people who want to help Haden get a family.  I've been talking to our friends who would like to adopt Haden but are unable to because of finances.  With their permission, I have set up an online fundraiser.  Woo hoo!!!!  I know that we can do this with the Lord's help!  

Please consider donating to this very worthy cause.  I will be personally responsible for the funds and you can be sure that 100% of your donation will go directly toward the adoption fees.  ANY amount will be appreciated.   If you can't contribute, consider sharing.  If you can contribute, consider sharing.  (:  I know that the key here will be to share the fundraiser with as many people as possible.

Click HERE to go to the fundraiser site.

I love you all for your kind hearts!

--Christianne



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Someone PLEASE see this boy!

Tonight I wanted to share the profile of a very special young man named "Haden."  



Haden is 13 years old and will "age out" on January 17.  In China, there is a strict law that a child cannot be adopted once they turn 14.  In some places, the kids can still have hope for a future, in other places, aging out basically condemns them to a very hard life.  Watching kids age out is one of the hardest things for adoption advocates to do.  I am pointing out his age first thing because I want people to realize that if Haden is going to get a family, that family needs to come forward NOW.  As in, yesterday!  (:  It can be done, but it will take an extraordinary amount of effort to complete his adoption by January 17.  Haden wants to be adopted and his orphanage wants it for him.  They have offered to waive his "orphanage fee" and have asked that we let people know that there are not many older kids there and that Haden won't have many friends to be with if he ends up staying in the orphanage.  UGH.  Breaks my heart.  Here is the information I have on him:


Wonderful Haden is 13 years old and listed as having torticollis.  According to his orphanage, Haden’s orphanage adoption fee has been waived!
This sweet boy is described as a very bright and kind child who likes to play basketball, draw, and read comic books.
Haden is said to be very social and have many friends. When he grows up, he stated that wants to be a pilot and see the world.
 The children in the orphanage did a talent show and Haden did a fantastic hip hop dance in front   of everyone!  He seems to have a fun personality.  His teacher says that he is a great student.
There is a family who recently adopted a girl from Haden's orphanage.  Her name is Lily, and she wanted to advocate for Haden.  Her family set up a video conference on Skype where she "interviewed" him.  This is what Lily's mom says:
Lily thinks he is a nice boy. He has not been in the orphanage very long, maybe 2-3 years. He came after his biological father passed away. His mother had left their family soon after he was born. I first “seen” him while watching a video of Lily’s going away party that the orphanage had for her. I picked him out specifically and asked about him because he had such a pleasant demeanor. He just seems like a really good kid. Here is what Lily says about him: “He is really smart. Every test is 99% or 100%. He is run really fast. Every race he is #1. He is nice.” If you would like more specific information, you are welcome to ask her and she will help you out as much as she can. She would really like him to have a family. When I asked her if he would be good for someone’s family, she thought a moment and then said, “I think maybe our family!” I say that to tell you that’s how highly he comes recommended!
“When we agreed to help advocate for a couple boys from Lily’s former orphanage we decided to try taking a video of them from a FaceTime call. Of course we would have all preferred to do it in person, but FaceTime is free and tickets are NOT! So… you will have to try to look past the quality of the video and see the heart of this boy. Below is the video of “Haden”. 

Ok, so did you watch the video?  Is he not the sweetest young man?  Do you want to know what's just so agonizing?  There is a family (an amazing, absolutely wonderful, INCREDIBLE family) who is already in the process of adopting from China.  They would love to bring Haden home too, but their issue is MONEY.  Ahhhh.  The one thing I just despise about adoption!   It is devastating to me that there is a family that is so great and so willing and that there is all kinds of money floating around out there in this world, and yet because it's not floating in their direction, this young man may have to remain an orphan for the rest of his life.  Lily's new family has offered to pay $500 toward his adoption.  Wow!!!  His orphanage fee has been waived.  And this family will already be in country, so their in-country expenses won't increase a lot.  You know, if just 500 people gave $20, or 100 people gave $100 or 20 people gave $500, this young man might have a family.  It just KILLS me. So maybe I'm needing to do a fundraiser?  Thoughts????

--Christianne

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Anyone who said money can't buy happiness never paid an adoption fee.

What would we do without:

-Sophi's hugs?
-Elli's laughter?
-Lexi's singing?
-Conner's music?
-Graci's storytelling?
-Xander's exuberance?
-Cali's smile?

So much happiness!




-Jeremy

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How it all started...

Many people have asked how we came to adopt in the first place.  This is the story of  the very beginning of our very first adoption-- our beautiful Elizabeth Mei.  It tells the first of many sweet "signs" and tender mercies that let us know that we were indeed to go forward with her adoption.  Elli has been our hardest child by a mile, and so I'm especially grateful for all of the special experiences that helped us to know it was right to adopt her.  We love our "Little Ladybug!"



And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight.       These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”  Isaiah 42:16

The pinwheels started spinning as soon as we pulled up alongside the grave.  I jumped out of the van and started unbuckling the kids.  Taylor and Parker ran toward the headstone, pausing for just a moment to blow a kiss before taking off to play their usual game of hide and seek.  I hoisted 2 ½ year old Jessica onto my hip and walked slowly toward the place where my babies laid.

My heart was heavy today, but not with the grief of their death.  I had a decision to make, and it was perhaps the hardest decision I had ever faced.  It involved a little girl who lived across the ocean in a two-room home covered in cracked blue paint.  A home without any sign of toys.  A home with an old metal crib, which she was tied to with little ribbons for most of the day so that she would be “safe.”  A home where she had spent the last year after being found alongside a road at the age of six months and then bounced from orphanage to orphanage.  A home where she was taken care of and even loved, but not the way I knew we could love her.



I had found her photo on a list of “waiting children” from China.  After two stillbirths spaced just over a year apart, we had learned that I had some medical conditions that were not conducive to another pregnancy.  Losing our precious Jacob and Emily had left us devastated.  I loved them fiercely and wanted with all of my heart and soul to have them back.  But as we tried to make sense of their short little lives and the purpose in their deaths we began to feel a tug at our hearts.  As we studied and prayed and fasted, we decided that this tug was coming from China.  We were to adopt, and we were elated!

As we began the adoption process, we made the easy decision to go the “healthy infant” route.  After all, we had three young children, and Jessica had some medical issues that kept us extra busy.  There was no way we could handle any kind of special need, medical or otherwise.  Still, just two days before—and just two weeks into the adoption process—I had found myself perusing the waiting children site and finding “her.”  This sweet little girl who was doing her best to wriggle her way into my heart.  There was just one small issue.  This girl was blind.

Blind.

The word seemed so huge and ominous and something I was completely incapable of dealing with.  Blind!  How in the world could we parent a blind child?  It seemed impossible.   It seemed downright crazy!  So what was it about her that didn’t let me just skim past her face?  I had called Jeremy when I saw her photo—mentioning as casually as I could that there was a sweet little blind girl on the website who I thought was pretty cute.  He barely even replied before moving on to another topic of conversation and I had thought “that was that.”  Until yesterday.  Yesterday, when he had called me, crying, telling me that he had just had an experience that led him to know that we were indeed supposed to adopt that little girl.  He was sure of it.

What?!!!  I had never felt so overwhelmed in all my life.  How could we do such a thing?   We were already barely keeping our heads above water with the three precious children we currently had.  Surely, there was someone out there more capable, more prepared, more worthy of such a task.  How could I be the kind of mother this sweet girl needed?  There was just no way it was meant to be, and yet Jeremy insisted that it was.   And so I had prayed.  I prayed like I had never prayed before.  I prayed for strength and wisdom and clear direction.  I felt peace every time I prayed, but that was not enough.  I wanted more!  I needed to know that this was the right decision for me, for my family, and for this sweet little orphan girl.

So here I was.  Sitting at the graveside of my two tiny angels.  It was a place I often came when I needed clarity.   I closed my eyes and I talked to them.

“Ok, Jake and Emmy, this is the deal.  I need help.  I know I’m not supposed to ask Heavenly Father for a sign—that I’m just supposed to have faith--so I’m asking you instead.  (:  See, there’s this little girl in China who is calling out to us and I don’t know what to do.  I am scared.  No, I am terrified.  You see, she’s blind—and to me that seems like about the scariest thing to deal with in the whole world.  I need help.  I feel peace each time I pray about her, but I want more.  I want to know in a way that I’ll never doubt—even in the darkest and hardest of times!  Please, help me!”

I opened my eyes.  The sun was shining brightly and the pinwheels above their headstone were spinning faster than before.  I looked around at the other pinwheels in the cemetery.  They were still.  I knew they were there to visit me, my two precious angels.  I felt their strength as I stood up to leave.  I loaded the kids up in the van and I turned the key in the ignition.  At that point, five-year-old Parker asked, “Mom—how far have we driven in this van?”  It was a strange question, and I asked him to clarify.  “How many miles have we driven in this van?”  I asked him why he was asking that—we had never talked about mileage--  and he replied, “I don’t know!  I just had this thought in my head that I needed to ask you.”

I looked down at the odometer and read to him, “127,301 miles.”  I looked over once again at Jacob and Emily’s grave as we pulled away.  The pinwheels were spinning again, this time like crazy, while all of the other pinwheels remained still.  And I had the distinct impression come to me that the number I had just read was important.  I tried to talk myself out of it the whole drive home, but the thought would not go away.  I turned the number over and over in my head.  “127, 301.  What could the significance be?  I must be crazy!” 

Then suddenly, a warmth started to spread in my heart as I recalled that 301 was the hymn number of one of my favorite songs, “I am A Child of God.”  I sung the words in my head,

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

The words to the chorus, “lead me, guide me, walk beside me” took on a new significance as I thought of this little blind girl.  My heart swelled with love for her. I felt warmth envelop my body, but I tried to push it away.

“This is silly,”  I thought.  “I’m making things up.  That number didn’t mean anything.  And 301 is only part of the number anyway—so I must be imagining things.”

Again, I felt a voice in my heart, “No, the numbers do mean something.  You need to figure it out.”  And so I told myself that I would go home and look up hymn 127 in our hymnbook.   If it seemed to have any ties whatsoever to adoption or blindness or this girl, I would believe this “prompting” or “sign” I was having.  If not, I would accept that I was certifiably crazy and hearing strange voices in my head!  I started to get excited.  What if the hymn held an answer for me?  What words of wisdom might it hold?  I could hardly wait to see, and the second I walked for the door I made a beeline for the hymnbook.  Hymn 127—“Jesus, Lover of My Soul.” 

What?  I had never even really liked that song and the lyrics had nothing to do with the answer I was seeking.   Ugh.  I shut the book in frustration and put it back on the piano.  This whole number thing was just silly after all.

And then the impression, “Read the second verse.” 

“I am going crazy!”  I thought to myself.  “My son asks me how far we’ve driven and I totally am trying to make something out of this random number and well, I’ve lost it!”

But I opened the book anway.  Verse two.  My heart started burning before I even began to read the words to the second verse.  I knew my answer was going to be there.  As I began to read, I felt as if this precious little girl from half way around the world was singing it to me:

Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, oh! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.


And I knew.  This little girl, blind and defenseless and without a family was MY little girl.  My very kind and loving and compassionate Father in Heaven was entrusting her to me at that very moment.  I couldn’t leave her alone.  I wouldn’t leave her alone. 


Meeting Elli for the first time

--Christianne



Post Script:  As I was writing this, I looked up the lyrics to "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" just to make sure I had them right.  In our hymnbook, only two verses are listed and that is all I have known.  As it turns out, there are three more verses-- two of which are as follows:

  1. Wilt Thou not regard my call?
    Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
    Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—
    Lo! on Thee I cast my care.
    Reach me out Thy gracious hand!
    While I of Thy strength receive,
    Hoping against hope I stand,
    Dying, and behold, I live.
  2. Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
    More than all in Thee I find;
    Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
    Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
    Just and holy is Thy Name,
    Source of all true righteousness;
    Thou art evermore the same,
    Thou art full of truth and grace.




    In honor of Elli, today I want to feature another child who is blind and needs a family to call his own.  Meet the cutest little three year old boy in the world:


    At nine months of age this child was brought to the orphanage and was blessed with a wonderful nanny who is responsible for the amazing little boy that he is today. He does not exhibit any of the typical body rocking/hand flapping traits that are often seen in blind children who are institutionalized. 
    He recently started attending classes, and when I “quietly” walk into his classroom, he always speaks English and says, “Good morning.” 
    Because of his age, he is no longer under the care of his nanny. That means he is lacking the hugs and kisses and physical contact that made him the special boy who he is today. 
    Next month, this little guy will turn four-years old and will have yet another birthday that goes unnoticed and not celebrated.

    Please watch this short video and see what a blessing he could be to your family. 



Monday, November 3, 2014

Adoption Awareness Month

A few days ago, we received a very sweet email from a blog reader that we've never met.  Part of her email is as follows:

I'm still too young to adopt a special needs child and everything, so it's not time for me yet. In spite of that, I visit pages with waiting children quite often to pray for the ones that steal my heart (which is not
very hard). I fell in love with a little girl almost a month ago and I can't stop thinking about her. Just seeing her profile again and again makes me weep with joy and sorrow at the same time because she's still there, alone. You can find her on the wonderful waiting kids page.  She is from China and named Collins. I can't do anything for her since I don't even know anyone in person who is into adoption or capable of adopting right now. So if you know anyone who might see their daughter in Collins, would you please, please share her video or tell them about her or at least send a prayer her way? It would mean the world to me. It's killing me that I can't do anything for her except praying and hoping she will find a forever family one day.


(Side note:  The lady who wrote me this email apologized for her grammar/English b/c English was her second language   Hello?  You would never know!)

That email was a very humbling reminder to me of the responsibility that lies in having a blog that many people read.   I know I've spoken of this before, but I often struggle with how I feel about talking about adoption.  On one hand, I want to shout it from the rooftops, day after day.  I want to talk of nothing else.  When you find something amazing, you just have to share it. The blessings of adoption have been burned into my soul in ways that I know some of you out there understand.  The plight of the orphans is something that is so very real to me.  It's something that I've seen and experienced in ways that can't let me be silent.  It's as if there is a little "adoption angel" sitting on my shoulder whispering to "share, share, share!"

On the flip side, I don't want to ever come across as judgmental or overbearing.  I know that adoption isn't for every family.  I KNOW that.  I wouldn't ever judge a family for not adopting.  And I know that  hearing about adoption makes some people feel guilty or overwhelmed-- or knowing it's not for them, they just tune out.  I know because I've had people tell me this.  I know because when I post about adoption on Facebook, the post gets about 90% fewer likes than other posts.  I know constantly talking about adoption is even offensive to some people.  And so sits another little person (devil?) on my other shoulder  whispering, "don't hurt people's feelings, don't share too much, people already know that you obviously love adoption, be quiet…"  

And so goes my battle!

But last night, as I was watching videos about Orphan Sunday and contemplating the email sent to me about Collins, there was a little victory for the adoption angel.  Because I realized that there are many people out there who have the same passion for the orphans that we do, but do not have the same platform that we have.  Therefore, it's our responsibility to share.  Even if we feel like a broken record.  And I was reminded of sweet Emily, who I advocated for on this blog and on Facebook.  As it turns out, a friend of mine from Tennessee, one who I never would have thought to share Emily's profile with, saw her photo/video and her heart was pricked.  In a few months, she and her beautiful family will be bringing Emily to their home.  



Advocating works.  

We've seen it over and over.  So if you are one of those readers who adoption is out of the question for and are therefore going to be bored silly by this blog over the next month, I apologize.  Last night, Jeremy and I both separately came up with the idea to spend ALL of November (National Adoption Month) spilling our hearts out about adoption.  Sharing our testimony that our Father in Heaven loves orphans with a pure and undying and uniquely special love.  We know He desires for ALL children to have families, and we hope that with His help and through this blog, a few more orphans can find a place to call home.

And so I'll start today with a picture of "Collins."  I hope you will join our sweet reader in prayers for this precious child of God.  I hope even more to be able to email that reader with news that someone out there has fallen in love with this girl and is going to give her a family.  

Is that someone *you*?  

(:


Precious Collins – female – 5 years old – Lifeline New Hope Journey – ilium and sacrum bone deformation, sacral veterbral deformity – she is also found to have some scars from possibly scalding water.  Sweet Collins is said to be gentle and quiet, and can play with toys quietly. Her file states that she can understand adult’s and can follow directions.  Although she is said to speak less, she is said to speak clearly in a soft voice. Collins is stated to have made some friends, and is able to communicate with them, as well as get along well with them and share toys. She is said to like music, and can dance along with the rhythm.  Precious Collins is stated to be timid, but can express her thoughts and needs to be  encouraged to try new things. This sweet child is described as “not easy to smile” but will smile when being teased, shy around strangers but warms up after “communication” with them.

If you have questions about Collins or any other orphan waiting for a family and you want to ask privately, my email is christi405@yahoo.com and Jeremy's is jeremymgreen@hotmail.com.  Also, if you have questions about adoption-- general or specific-- that you would like addressed in our blog this month, please let us know!  Lastly, if you are an adoption advocate and have a special child you would like to see featured on here, send us the info!

Christianne

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Orphan Sunday

Today, November 2, is Orphan Sunday.  November is National Adoption Month.  I know there are lots of "National such-and-such" months.  Many of these monthly causes and interests have much merit.  It is hard to imagine a cause with greater merit than adoption.  I hope we can all examine our lives and see if maybe we could open our hearts and homes to one (or one more) of these precious children of God.  As we look to our Father in Heaven for answers, we will be surprised and often amazed at what He has in store for us if we are willing to heed His call.


Hope is Fading – Orphan Sunday from Allan Rosenow on Vimeo.

-Jeremy

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Girl's Trip Post Script

…and thank you, my wonderful, amazing Jeremy, for holding down the fort with all of the other kids while I was gone!  I love you, too!

(I know she meant to put that in there somewhere ;)

-Jer

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Girls Trip #1


When we traveled to China for Conner's adoption back in May, we were able to meet the man who had taught Conner piano lessons for the past year.  He was very excited to invite us to a concert he was performing in near Philadelphia and explained in his broken English how honored he would be to have us come.  We told him we would do our best, but due to expenses we would likely not be able to make it.  Over time, Jeremy and I discussed it at length and decided that it was an opportunity for Conner that we just couldn't pass up.  We were able to get free lodging and had enough sky miles to get free airfare so it worked out great!   We made the decision for me to take him and to have Graci come as well so that Conner would have someone to talk to (his English was VERY limited at the time.)

Truthfully, I wasn't too excited about the whole trip until I had the magical thought to invite my SISTERS.  My little sis, Leslie, and my sis-in-law, Megan were both able to make the trip and it turned a "this is going to be a long, hard weekend" (remember, Conner could barely communicate at the time and wasn't really into doing anything that involved walking more than 10 feet) into a total girls trip with Graci and Conner tagging along.  (:  As we started planning things, we realized that Philadelphia was just a short bus ride from New York City, and Leslie had never been there.  So we kind of turned the whole thing into a NYC trip with a little side trip to Philadelphia.  We spent five days together and it was AWESOME!  I had the time of my life with two of my favorite ladies in the whole world!  Conner and Graci were fun "tag-alongs" (I know, I know-- the trip was supposed to be about Conner, but let's face it-- a Mom needs some girlfriend time whenever she can get it).  We were able to experience so many things and places including Valley Forge-- a place I've always wanted to go.  But out of all of the things we did, my favorite memory is just the hours spent talking and laughing with my sisters!!!

Conner's birthday happened to fall on one of the days we were there.  We tried to think of how we could make it meaningful for him and realized that we were close to the Juliard School, which is the most prestigious music/arts school in the world.  I called and asked about getting a tour and they said that there were no public tours that day.  After explaining how Conner was blind and had just been adopted and loved the piano so much and the fact that it was his birthday 
(all while Leslie and Megan were praying in the background) they consented to let us come over.  (: Conner was able to play the piano during the tour and it was something that I hope he will always appreciate.  Combine that with plenty of KFC and Chinese food and I think it's safe to say he had a happy birthday!  

Because it's late and I'm needing to get to bed, I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.  (Don't worry-- we did have lots of fun with Graci-- she just wasn't into letting us take many pics of her.)

Thank you, Les and Megan for making this trip one of my funnest memories ever!  I love you!