Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!! :)

I read this devotion a couple weeks ago and the truth's in it have been coming back to my mind frequently.

John 18:33-40
Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? You own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being haded over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "you say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to truth listens to my voice." Pilate asked him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, "I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?" They shouted in reply, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a bandit.

The substitution of Jesus for Barabbas seems like a monstrous tragedy -- a preference for mediocre evil over blazing goodness. But the substitution was not fatal, for God made an act of atonement out of it whereby Barabbas might be saved.

Dear Lord, I pretend indignation at the crowd's choice of Barabbas, but I do it too, choosing dull mediocrities over blazing virtues, the familiar and comfortable ways of the world over the challenging, spirit-stretching way of Christ. Forgive me and train me in better choices.
In your precious name I ask these things. Amen.

This devotion was written by Eugene Peterson.

In this coming year:
*May we Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and act according to God's will and leading in our lives.
*May we not be afraid to say "yes" to what He is putting on our hearts.
*May our lives and actions have eternal purpose in not only our own lives but, in the lives that we come into contact with everyday.
*May we keep our eyes and ears in tune to the needs of the widow, the lonely and the orphan and advocate for them.

Proverbs 31:8
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed.

Happy New Year to you and your families!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fields of the Fatherless Study Starting Soon

Fields of the Fatherless by Tom Davis: Book Cover
Do you want to know what God's word says about our responsibility as the body of Christ to care for the widow, the lonely and the orphan? The widow, the lonely and the orphan are a broad subject. If you are reading this God is probably already stirring something in your heart. This is a great study to go through with other people to come alongside you and encourage you. I am quite sure it is possible that you will also encourage someone as you attend this study. Some of you may already be in the Fields and want to join this study to confirm what God is already doing and how you can be more effective in what God has already put on your heart.

This class has been approved by Larimer County for training hours available for their families. So if you are a foster family or a prospective foster/adopt family you can use these class hours towards your required training.

Fields of the Fatherless Study is beginning at Timberline Church on Sunday Jan. 17th at 5:00pm
Childcare is available by registration.
Childcare registration must be submitted no later than one week prior to the first meeting.
In the space that asks for the leaders name put: Jeff and Kari Stewart then for the space that asks for Ministry Group Name put: Welcome Child/Fields of the Fatherless

Please RSVP to me also. I want to make sure that we have enough books for everyone!

Please feel free to forward this email!!

I am looking forward to seeing you there. It is always a blessing!!

:) Kari
Karalot9@gmail.com

Monday, December 28, 2009

Adoption Conference

I heard Russell Moore speak last year at Orphan Summit. It was one of my favorite services of the event. I have shared on this blog about his book "Adopted for Life". This would be an excellent conference to attend. :)

I used to hate adoption.

No, I never thought I hated adoption. As a matter of fact I always saw myself as enthusiastically pro-adoption. I was pro-life, after all. I believed that adoption was a better alternative to abortion. And I even talked about adopting children one day after my wife and I had had our “own kids.”

And then God, through infertility, miscarriage, and two little boys in a Russian orphanage, changed my understanding of the gospel, of mission, and of myself.

Here in Louisville we’re going to be hosting a conference on adoption entitled, “Adopting for Life,” to take place February 26-27, 2010. I hope you’ll be joining us.

You may be wondering whether this will be a conference about the doctrine of adoption or “real” adoption. Well, one of the things that we’ll be discussing is the fact that you can’t talk about the one without talking about the other. Also, it is not as though we master one aspect and then move to the other—from the vertical to the horizontal or the other way around. That’s not the picture God has embedded in his creation work.

The Bible tells us that human families are reflective of an eternal fatherhood (Eph. 3:14-15). We know, then, what human fatherhood ought to look like on the basis of how Father God behaves toward us. But the reverse is also true. We see something of the way our God is fatherly toward us through our relationships with our own human fathers. And so Jesus tells us that in our human father’s provision and discipline we get a glimpse of God’s active love for us (Matt. 7:9-11; cf. Heb. 12:5-7). The same is at work in adoption.





So we’ve invited a number of great speakers to “Adopting for Life” who will seek to equip us to create a culture of adoption in our families and churches. We’ll be answering questions such as, “What does adoption have to do with the Great Commission?”, “How can I pay for adoption?”, and “How can we start an adoption ministry in my church?”—along with so many others.

I would love to see you here in Louisville for the “Adopting for Life” conference, as we think together about how God might be leading us to be on mission with Christ for the sake of the orphans of the world.

For the Kingdom of Christ,



http://events.sbts.edu/adopting-for-life/

Thursday, December 24, 2009

SCC - All I really want for Christmas

Waiting for a Family

Name: Alfred B
Child ID: 8762
State: CO
Birthday: 4/2006
Grade in school: P
Special Interests: Trains, animals, outdoors
Ethnicity: Hispanic
Listed On: 12/2009




Name: Alfred B
Profile: Little engines can do big things, according to Thomas the Tank Engine, and train-loving Alfred is a little guy who may surprise you with the big things he'll accomplish in life! In addition to being a huge fan of Thomas, this 3-year-old also loves playing outside, and on a recent trip to the zoo was able to name most of the animals. Alfred is in preschool and loves it. He is good at remembering games and gets along well with the other children. Alfred has a chromosome deletion and is waiting on a developmental evaluation to see the extent of his delays and to determine if he will be able to live independently as an adult. He can have a great life. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. For Colorado children, both homestudied and non-homestudied Colorado families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to all of you!!!
God sending His son Jesus to us was THE greatest gift ever. In Jesus we find grace, mercy, forgiveness and adoption into our forever family in Heaven.
I find it very interesting that Jesus' earthly life began and ends with adoption. His adoption of us is for eternity there is no beginning and there is no end. While Jesus was on earth he had an adoptive father - Joseph, who I am sure had many days of asking "what have I signed up for?". Then as Jesus hung dying on the cross in:
John 19: 26 - 27
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
Eugene Peterson wrote the following about this scripture: Even while doing the cosmic work of atonement, Jesus attended to domestic details; he gave his mother another son, and his disciple a new mother. The gospel creates new family ties, both of affection and responsibility, for us.
Dear Lord, whom do you want me to love? Whom do you want me to care for? Enlarge my sense of family beyond the walls of this house; increase my capacity for affectionate responsibility beyond this immediate family. I ask these things for your glory dear Lord, Amen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Praises from the Adoption Exchange

Rejoicing over all of these kids who have found their forever families!!! :)

♥ Four brothers and sisters, ages 3 to 12, are spending Christmas together with their new family this week. No longer will they worry that they will grow up separated from each other!

Another sibling group of three will hang their stockings together in their own living room with a new mom and a new dad!

An 18-year-old boy is being adopted! He will now have a family to help send him to college and to be there when he comes home for the holidays!


Monday, December 21, 2009

WELCOME HOME!!

To Sneha!!
What an answer to prayer that you are home.
Brent and Holly were part of Welcome Child from the beginning and have moved. We miss them but, wanted to rejoice and celebrate with them.
Congratulations to your family and Merry Christmas!!! :)
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Classes available for Adoptive Families

Here is some infomation that was sent to me by the Education Center at The Adoption Exchange for classes coming to Northern Colorado. :)

Helping Children Cope:
Reducing Trauma During Placement Moves
Fort Collins, CO
April 30, 2010

Promoting Placement Stability:

Using Home Visits to Prevent Foster Care and Adoption Disruption
Fort Collins, CO
May 28, 2010

Contact Denise Leffingwell at 303.755.4756, ext. 264



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Tradition Idea

Christmas Gift Box Stock Image
A friend of mine shared this tradition that they have in their family. I love the idea and thought you would be blessed too:

Each card that we get goes into our prayer box. It is a box I bought from a party store during the holiday season. Ours has little snowmen all over it :)
Anyway, after Christmas - we begin to draw one card a day from the prayer box. We pray over this family several times that day. If we pull out a card with a photo of an elected official we pray over them. This year I'm going to add countries to pray over too. You can add family and friends photos too that did not send you a Christmas card.
Each day the children beg to pick the card for the day. They love praying over your families and our family too!
They learn about the needs of each family as I pray over them too -then as time goes on they will often ask me if and how God answered their prayers.

Isn't that a great idea????
Thanks Jill for sharing this tradition - you can check out Jill's blog at: http://www.forevernevernalways1.blogspot.com/

:)


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Family Traditions

Family Traditions are very important. Traditions take years to become established. Traditions carry on in our lives even when we leave home. Some of those traditions become a generational heritage.
Sometimes we don't know when we do an activity for the first time that it will become a tradition.
Like the year we decided to save all of our loose change in a pickle jar to have a family fun day in Estes Park. It can be expensive to have a day where everyone goes out to breakfast together followed by the big slide, go-carts, the candy shop and a Pizza lunch with pool, pinball and other arcade games for our entire family. We have saved our loose change in that same pickle jar for 14 years now. It is a big deal that no one wants to miss.
Or like when my dad would set 3 chairs in front of the Christmas Tree on Christmas morning. A place for each of his daughters - myself and my two sisters. Christmas morning is such a wonder filled time. We would come out of our bedrooms and find our chair, then my mom would read the Christmas Story from Luke 2:1-20. My dad would then lead of family in prayer - thanking God for the gift of his son Jesus to us and for the gifts we were about to receive.
My dad didn't know that this would be carried on now for 45+ years. A tradition now carried on by not only his daughters but, his grandchildren.
I pray that more than anything else for all of our children is that they will love and seek the Lord with all of their hearts.
I think it is through the love of family that our children will feel and accept the love of their Heavenly Father.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

I would love to hear about some of your family traditions and how they came to be. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Colorado Siblings need a Family

Could you be their family? Or maybe you know someone to share their information with. Please pray that they find their forever family soon!!! :)







Contact The Adoption Exchange for more information at 303-755-4756

Name: Brianna F
Child ID: 8749
State: CO
Birthday: 12/1998
Grade in school: 4
Special Interests: Music, sports
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Listed On: 11/2009

Sibling Name: Deja B
Child ID: 8750
State: CO
Birthday: 5/1996
Grade in school: 7
Special Interests: Sports, hanging out with friends
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Listed On: 11/2009

Sibling Name: Elijah F
Child ID: 8751
State: CO
Birthday: 4/2000
Grade in school: 3
Special Interests: Playing outside, sports
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Listed On: 11/2009

Name: Brianna F
Profile: Need some action and excitement in your life? This sibling group of three is just your answer! Deja, Brianna, and Elijah are fun and full of energy. They are looking for a forever family who will keep them together and support them into adulthood! Do you think beautiful fingernails and sports can't mix? You haven't met Deja. She enjoys doing her hair and nails and spending time with others. She also stays active by playing sports. With so many interests, it is no wonder she is social and gets along with others beautifully! Deja is in the seventh grade and doing well in school. She is close with her current foster parents and would like to get to know potential adoptive parents before deciding that they are the family for her. Brianna is an energetic girl who describes herself as a tomboy. She relishes playing sports and being outside. Listening to music and spending time with her foster parents are two other things you can find Brianna enjoying. In the fourth grade, Brianna benefits from an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and does well when interacting with others. The only boy of the group, Elijah, is very active and likes to spend time outdoors and playing sports. He is affectionate and thrives on individual attention and love. In the third grade, Elijah will soon be tested to determine if he currently has a need for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). All three children benefit from counseling, which will need to continue after placement. Each of the children have relationships, especially with their siblings, that they want to maintain in the future. The caseworker only accepts inquiries on the entire sibling group, who will be placed together. All family types will be considered. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. For Colorado children, both homestudied and non-homestudied Colorado families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

God's Word

Product Details

God's Word

I read the following statement written by Eugene Peterson
and it resonated in my heart and I wanted to share it with you:

"We would learn not to interpret God's word by our feelings but that out feelings would be interpreted by God's word"

I recommend many books on this blog to encourage you on this journey that God has called you. God's word is by far the first and foremost book that we should refer to when we are seeking His will.

God's word is certain, steady and true.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.

Our feelings come and go. We need God's word to become heart knowledge not just head knowledge.
The only way we can let that knowledge move from our head to our heart is to act on the truth in God's word. Be obedient to what God puts on our hearts. Then as things get challenging in what he has called us to do, make sure that we go back to his promises and his counsel in His word. If you have trouble remembering them I suggest that you write the scripture on an index card and carry it around with you for quick reference.

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

:)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Veggie Tales and Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child has touched so many lives - those giving and those receiving. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spend Less, Give More

What is an Advocate?

Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.

Advocate: One who pleads another's cause

This morning a friend shared with me how God had presented an opportunity for them to open their hearts and home to a 7 year old girl who needed an immediate placement. The Holy Spirit spoke to this moms' heart and said: "ADVOCATE for my child. Who will love the child that I love?"

That is a powerful, powerful request and question.

We are the best and sometimes the only advocate our children will have. Being an advocate brings personal sacrifice and personal discomfort. We may have to step into areas that we normally would shy away from. We may need to stand up to or confront someone who opposes what God has put on our hearts for our children.

I want you to know that you have an advocate and his name is the Holy Spirit.

John 16:5-7
"But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, "Where are you going?" But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you."

We are not alone in this journey. The Holy Spirit is ready and willing to lead us every step of the way. We need to come to him in prayer - lay down our burdens - ask for help - wait and receive.

John 14:18
"I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you."

Whew - that is good news to my heart for sure!! I have an advocate - and so do you. Rest in this promise today. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Colorado Sisters Need a Family

Name: Cecilia G
Child ID: 8718
State: CO
Birthday: 5/2003
Grade in school: 1
Special Interests: Biking, coloring
Ethnicity: Hispanic
Listed On: 11/2009

Sibling Name: Milinda G
Child ID: 8719
State: CO
Birthday: 5/2001
Grade in school: 2
Special Interests: Giving hugs, helping others
Ethnicity: Hispanic
Listed On: 11/2009

These sisters are precious. For those of you who know me, know that I have a soft spot in my heart for kids with Down Syndrome. Our youngest daughter Zinnia has DS. We are blessed. :)

For more information contact:

Colorado Adoption Exchange

303-755-4756


Name: Cecilia G
Profile: Milinda is an active and engaging youngster who loves to give hugs. She is in the second grade and does well in her self-contained classroom, although her outgoing personality has helped her make friends in regular classes in the school. Assisting her friends and teachers around the classroom is what she does best. Last year she even won an award at her school! She is working on becoming more independent and expressing herself; she continues to work on her spoken language abilities as well as learning sign language. Milinda has Down Syndrome and it is not known whether she will be able to live independently as an adult. Younger sister Cecilia loves to play and be silly! She can often be found playing outside on her bike, or coloring her favorite pictures with her friends and sister. She does well in her first grade classroom where her teacher calls her a "wonderful little girl." Her natural curiosity and great memory for details helps Cecilia with her creative projects. She loves one-on-one attention and will reward you with lots of smiles and laughs. Milinda participates in speech and occupational therapies at school, and Cecilia benefits from counseling. These therapies might need to be continued after they have been placed in their adoptive home. The caseworker would like the girls to be adopted by a couple; however, all family types will be considered. The girls need to maintain contact with another sister. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. We only accept inquiries on the sibling pair, who will be placed together. For Colorado children, both home-studied and non-home-studied Colorado families are encouraged to inquire; only home-studied families from other states should do so.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Priceless

Priceless-Amazon

This new book by Tom Davis will be release in June 2010. Go to Tom's blog to check out the details and get a preview of this powerful novel. http://tomdavis.typepad.com

Adopted for Life

Adopted for Life


Adopted for Life by Russell Moore is an excellent book! Put it on your wish list for Christmas this year.

Here is a couple of excerpts from Chapter 3 titled Joseph of Nazareth vs. Planned Parenthood

As Joseph images the Father of the fatherless, he shows us how adoption is more than charity, It's spiritual warfare.
(There is a whole section in this chapter on Adoption and Spiritual Warfare. That is something we all need to be aware of. )

When we adopt -- and when we encourage a culture of adoption in our churches and communities -- we're picturing something that's true about God. We, like Jesus, see what our Father is doing and do likewise (John 5:19). And what our Father is doing, it turns out, is fighting for orphans, making them sons and daughters.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Are we anticipating victory?

Hebrews 12:2
fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NAS)


This verse got me thinking this morning. I often ask Jesus to make me more like him.
Parenting - whether your child is born into your family or adopted into you family can be a challenge.
Do we have the attitude spoken about in this passage: "for the joy set before Him"?
Are we anticipating in faith those days of joy and victory?
Jesus endured the trials set before him because he knew that we would be set-free by his act of obedience.
How will our children see victory because of our obedience? Our obedience to keep loving them, guiding the and praying for them - no matter what each day brings. As Jesus is our example to live be remember: Keep walking forward in obedience.
Jesus' decision to obedience had eternal purpose for all of us. Our decision to walk in obedience has eternal purpose in our children's lives.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Waiting Child in Colorado

This young man has been on my heart. Will you join in praying that he is matched with his forever family very soon? I know that he is getting close to aging out of the foster care system. Having a forever family would always give him someone to go home too. Contact the Adoption Exchange for further information at: 303-755-4756 Thank you!!! :)



Name: Dontae C
Child ID: 5525
State: CO
Birthday: 9/1992
Grade in school: 11
Special Interests: Writing poetry, sports, friends
Ethnicity: African American
Listed On: 11/2009





Name: Dontae C
Profile: Meet Dontae, an up-and-coming poet! Charismatic, creative, and having a good sense of humor are just a few of the ways to describe Dontae. This likeable young man has many strengths. He excels in athletics and makes friends easily. During quieter moments, he enjoys writing poetry and has become quite an accomplished poet. Dontae is in the eleventh grade. He is very social at school and gets along with his teachers and other adults. Dontae is intelligent and benefits from encouragement to achieve his educational and life goals. He participates in counseling, which may need to continue following placement. The caseworker prefers a two-parent home; however, all family types will be considered. He hopes to remain in contact with his biological father and siblings. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. For Colorado children, both homestudied and non-homestudied Colorado families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nashville, Tennessee Live Orphan Sunday Event

Did you miss the live event in Nashville on Nov. 8th? It is now available on-line.
I am looking foward to tuning in this afternoon and watching it!!!
:)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our Adoption Story


Our Adoption Story

Our adoption story began years ago when I was a little girl. Growing up with my parents being pastors we often had missionaries in our home. They would share their slide show pictures of the people that they ministered to – those pictures often included orphans. Their faces were permanently etched on my heart at a young age.

Jeff and I met while we were seniors in High School. When we were dating we talked about adopting but, that subject didn’t come up again for many years.

After our 3rd child Hannah was born I was pretty sure we were done having children. Hannah was born prematurely; it was a difficult pregnancy forcing us to make the choice to have my tubes tied during her delivery.

When Hannah was in 1st grade I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart that we would have more children. I believed that God to do anything so I fully expected to get pregnant even though it would be a miracle if it happened. When it didn’t happen month after month I finally confided in a friend about what I felt like the Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart and she said “Maybe He wants you to adopt”. That was a light bulb moment. I went to the library and began checking out books about adoption. There were so many choices, it was confusing. At that time we began attending a new small group. What are the chances that we would start attending a group that had 4 adoptive families?

During that time in our lives I worked the mornings at our business. One morning I just happened to be home and just happened to turn on a Christian TV show. What was it about? Orphan girls in China! I cried through the whole program and knew at that moment that we had a daughter in China. My mom came from KC for a visit a couple weeks later and I shared with her about what was stirring in my heart. She gave me a copy of the Readers Digest that she read on the plane on the way here and specifically a story about a couple adopting a little girl from Korea. The agency featured in the article was Holt International in Oregon. I called the agency and they sent us a packet of information.

Now, I have to tell you that my husband thought I was CRAZY!! All of our kids were in school full-time. Even though he didn’t feel the call to adopt like I did he honored what God had put on my heart and said “yes”. We submitted our preliminary application to Holt and they responded pretty quickly. They said that they would love to work with our family but, would like us to consider the Philippines instead of China because we did not fit China’s criteria. At that time China’s guidelines were you had to be at least 35 years old and childless. We were neither. We said that we would pray about it and called them a couple of days later and said that we felt strongly that we had a daughter in China and to please submit our dossier. They did and a couple of months later we got a call that we were matched with a 14 month old healthy little girl. 3 months later my friend Nancy and I traveled to China to bring Beth home. We were in a travel group with 9 other families and have stayed connected with them since.

Our meeting day in China was full of wild emotions. Here was this little girl that I had never met and I was so in love with her. I had never held her, I had never comforted her, I had never fed her but, she was still mine. That is when my knowledge of God’s love for me grew from head knowledge to heart knowledge. We were told that when we went to register at the province office that day that some babies had come in on the train so to make sure that we brought our bags and gifts. Sure enough when we pulled up I saw Beth in her foster mom’s arms. We were told we couldn’t go right up to the children we had to wait for the formal introduction. It was pure joy to hold Beth for the first time. Her foster mom told her “your mama” as she handed her to me. I was ofcourse crying. Beth was so worried bless her heart. Her life was about to change forever and she didn’t know that it would be for the better. Her life in China is all that she knew and she loved her foster mom. Part of me felt a little guilty taking her from her homeland. After all the interviews were done and it was time to go Beth was back in her foster moms arms. Her foster mom indicated to me that she wanted to walk me to the van and then she would give her to me then. We didn’t speak the same language but, we understood eachother just fine. Sure enough when we got to the van the foster mom placed her in my arms. I scooted over to the far window with Beth in my lap and the foster mom came around to that side of the van and put her hand up to the window. Beth then placed her hand to the window to mirror her foster mom – they were both sobbing. There was not a dry eye in the van at this time.

It took several days to see Beth smile. She was so sad and would cry whenever I would set her down. I didn’t even know that she could walk for the first week. Little by little she became more comfortable with me as her mommy. Trust is a tough road sometimes when your life is turned upside down.

Shortly after Beth came home we realized that we would need to adopt an asian sibling for Beth. If you asked Beth what color of eyes or hair she had, she would answer blue and blonde. She wanted to fit in and she didn’t like all of the attention she got when we went out and about. We started praying about the possibility of adopting again. One night when Jeff and I were praying together – not adoption related God gave me a picture in my mind. In the picture was a group of Asian people in a parade. I could see that they were carrying a sign in the distance but, couldn’t read it. They were dancing and happy as they carried this sign. As they drew closer in my mind I could read the sign. It said “Abigail is from Korea”. Now is that an answer to prayer or what? The very next day we went to the agency and submitted our Application – it was July 2006. We were #4 on the list for a girl. We got a call at the end of August that they had a referral for us – a baby girl born the end of July.

Now, I have to go back and tell you a story that happened during our wait for Beth’s referral. I had a dream. In the dream I was holding a little asian girl and she had a casting on her left leg like she had a club foot. I fully expected that Beth would be a special needs referral with a club foot and was disappointed that my dream didn’t come true. I told my pastor’s wife about it and she said “oh, that is your next little one”. What? I couldn’t even think of adopting again while we were still waiting for Beth. So I forgot about that.

When they called to tell us about our referral from Korea they said that there was a little problem with the baby. She had a club left foot. I about dropped the phone. It was a no brainer if we were going to say “yes” or not to this baby. God had clearly led us to Korea and had clearly given me a picture of a baby with a club foot. We did say yes and sign the paperwork that day and Abby came home right before Thanksgiving. She had a positional deformity that corrected itself. God used that dream to confirm His plan once again for our family.

When Abby turned 1 I started getting that feeling again. That feeling that someone was missing. How can it be that you have 5 children and you feel like someone is missing? I don’t know how to even put it into words. Once again God started confirming our steps by giving us pictures of an African American boy to both Jeff and I. One morning during Praise and Worship at church God gave me a picture of our family and in that picture was not only an AA boy but, an AA girl. You know I didn’t even share that with Jeff right away because I thought he just might pack up a bag and run away. I am kind of kidding and kind of serious about that. :) We inquired about a sibling set of two boys in St.Louis. They were 4 and 1 and were AA. Their case worker was very firm that she wanted them to be placed with an AA family. We ahead and sent our homestudy. We inquired weekly about them. Then one day we got a call about an infant baby in Florida – would we be interested? We said “yes”. Logan came home just before he turned 1 month old. What a handsome, handsome little guy. He had the deepest cries – you could hardly hear him.

When Logan was 2 years old he started asking for an AA brother. Everyone wants to have someone that they look like in the family. So once again we began the homestudy process and were requesting an infant boy. We submitted our homestudy to several agencies in the south and east coast. We were matched with a birthmom in Florida. As time went on we found out that she was expecting a girl. We decided to name her Jillian. We got a call from our agency when she went into labor and they asked us to book our flights to arrive the next day. The next morning we got a call that said “don’t come”. The birthfather’s mom had come to the hospital and said she wanted the baby. That caused the birthmom to leave the hospital with the baby and therefore we weren’t going to be able to adopt this baby. I was heart broken and cried for days!!!! During the next few months we got many, many calls about babies that were about to be born and were we interested. We said “yes” everytime but, by the next day the birthmom or family had changed their minds. Then one day we got a call about an infant girl in Tennessee. Her parental rights had been terminated and could we come and get her in a few days. OFCOURSE we said. That was our Jillian. Yes, there was heart ache in this process. It is hard to get yourself emotionally involved and committed and then have it not work out. It was worth it though.

During this time we had been in contact with an orphanage in Haiti. Haiti had never been an option for us because they were very particular about larger families. Then we heard about a window of opportunity for large families to adopt from Haiti. The orphanage that Jeff had been to on a missions trip said that they would work with us. We asked for a boy over the age of one and Luke David was who they had in mind for us. David (Daveed) as he was called in Haiti was born HIV positive. His birthmom died shortly after his birth and his birth father and grandmother could not take care of him. He came into care at 2 months old weighing only 4 lbs. He reverted to HIV negative before he turned 15 months old. Thank you Lord!!! We committed to adopt him and it took until he was 3 years old before he came home. It was a long wait!!!!! It was a tough transition for all of us. Luke didn’t understand safety or boundaries and it just nearly wore me out physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Once again – when I was minding my own business the Lord started speaking to me again about adopting. Specifically adopting a child with Down Syndrome. “What, I

said, you cannot be serious. I cannot parent a child with Down Syndrome.” He responded quickly to my heart with “You are right, you can’t but, I can”. I still wasn’t convinced at that point but, He gently and firmly confirmed His will for us in this journey.

Some many things happened that we were sure that God had confirmed we were to proceed and seek a child with DS to adopt.

Everywhere I went I would run into a family with a child with DS. It was almost comical. Or the time I picked up a devotional and on that day was a special story about a young man with DS. Or the day that I helped the children carry Christmas packages into their school and have a little girl I have NEVER seen before come running up to me saying “Look at this picture. This is my cousin and he has down syndrome”. Seriously what are the chances? Right then and there I looked up into the sky and said “Okay, Lord I got it”

A couple of weeks later we were sent a profile of a little girl in Hong Kong. She was 4 months old. Jeff was getting ready to go on a weekend away by himself and I gave him the packet. They didn’t have a picture yet but, I knew in my heart she was ours. Jeff came home from his weekend and said “no”. I was sad that he didn’t say yes but, the Holy Spirit told me not to call the agency but, just to wait. Through the next week the Holy Spirit confirmed in Jeff’s heart that Zinnia was to be another flower in our garden. Zinnia came home when she was 14 months old. Has it been challenging to adopt a child with DS? Yes. God has been faithful to bring mentors, respite care providers and therapists into our lives to help Zinnia thrive and grow.

God will confirm and lead you according to His will if we ask him!!! :)