"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Friday, May 23, 2008

I was so touched by this article about this young man adopted by another AAI family. What an incredible young man !

Life on this planet is not so peaceful. Even the coming summer Olympic Games in China has bared the ugly side of human existence that we all would like to hide from. Sometimes we can't hide, because it hits us square in the face with 24-hour TV news channels that blare out the death, the destruction we inflict on each other.

I was vividly reminded of the chaos we hear and sometimes see on TV when I listened to the story of Ashenafi, who they know at North Kitsap High School as Ashy Carlson, an 18-year-old adoptee from Ethiopia who's amazing foot skills for the Viking soccer team are the best I have seen around here.

Carlson was a key component in the Vikings' drive to get to the postseason. They ran out of gas one win short of the Class 4A state tournament, but it wasn't for the lack of trying on the part of Carlson. His quickness at forward, his ball skills, and especially the inspirational story he carried with him helped lift the Vikings.

For nearly eight years Carlson lived on the streets of Addis Abada, the capital of Ethiopia before David and Cathy Carlson of Poulsbo adopted him.

Carlson's turn for the worse started when Ashy's mother died at childbirth and his father soon after disappeared. His younger siblings were sent to an orphanage, but because he was nine he was told he was too old to join them. So he was on his own, swallowed up by the streets where thousands like him live. READ MORE

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Please pray for this dear family who have been a blessing and an inspiration to so many of us. May Jesus hold them close during this time.

According to the Tennessean, Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest child died Wednesday afternoon after being struck by a car driven by her teenage brother in the driveway of the family’s Williamson County home.

Maria, one of the Christian singer’s six children, was taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt Hospital, which confirmed the death, according to Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The 5-year-old was hit by an SUV driven by her teenage brother, she said. Police did not give the driver’s name.

The teen was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser down the driveway of the rural home at about 5:30 p.m. and several children were playing in the area, McPherson said. He did not see Maria in the driveway before the vehicle struck her, she said.

“It appears to be a terrible accident,’’ McPherson said.

No charges are expected, she said. The accident was witnessed by two other children; the entire family was home at the time, McPherson said.

Singer/songwriter Chapman, who recently was inducted into Music City Walk of Fame, is one of contemporary Christian music’s most recognizable and most awarded names.

He and his wife Mary Beth have long been supporters of international adoption, having brought three girls from China into their family. Maria was the youngest.
The couple is so active in the cause that they formed an organization, Shaohannah’s Hope, to aid families wanting to adopt.

With his latest music tour, which came through Nashville in November, Chapman started a campaign called “Change for Orphans”. He asked audience members at each stop to bring spare change to the concert, where it was counted and given to a local family to aid in their adoption process.

“I don’t know of anybody who loves his children more than he does and is so committed to the adoption concept, and to lose one, no matter what the circumstances, is heartbreaking beyond all comprehension,” said John Styll, president of the Nashville-based Gospel Music Association.

“He talks about his kids all the time. That’s his life. His kids are more important to him than music, that’s for sure.”

The tragedy was announced during Wednesday-night services at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, which the family attends. Maria had just graduated from the church preschool.

And word spread throughout the tight-knit Christian music community on Wednesday evening.

Styll got the news not long after Maria’s death.

“I’m confident I can speak for everyone in the community to say we will do everything we can to support this family, as we would do at any time, but especially at a time like this,” he said.

Most of the Chapman family was at Vanderbilt children’s hospital after the accident and could not be contacted. The long, gravel driveway leading to the home west of Franklin was blocked off by Williamson County sheriff’s deputies.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A day at the Pool/Water Park...

Some of our little ones prefer to observe..

While others want to be IN the action...

Eben took to swimming very quickly...

While Joel needed a little coaxing..

And a little help from his big brother..

I always love how days like this..

Make little ones so very hungry....

And so very sleepy!

What a blessed day! Thank you Lord!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Psalm 105:1-2~

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
—Psalm 105:1-2

God has truly been good to me. I am so blessed to have these beautiful faces to call me Mama. I am so blessed to have Jim as my husband.

I couldn't help recalling today that last Mother's Day we were in the middle of updating our homestudy to adopt Eben and Joel. And today they are here. They are home. God brought them home. I had tears of thankfulness as Joel was cuddled up close to me in church. My heart was blessed as Eben quietly took my Bible to turn it to the Scripture Passage for me. He gets the bulletin each Sunday and looks for where the Pastor will be preaching and then marks my page. I can't imagine our family without these two precious boys. They are gifts from God!

Our church has partnered with an orphanage in Uganda, and as a church family we are collecting school supplies. As I look at the pics of these children, my heart breaks. My children were these orphans. When I used to see pictures of orphans they would kind of be a blur. Now I see each face. I wonder if they are full of smiles and yearn to cuddle like Joel. I wonder if they are hard working and caring like Eben. I wonder what their favorite colors are, and what they dream of in the night.

Anita has an interesting breakdown on her Blog. If 14% of Christians adopted ONE child there would be no orphans left. Amazing to contemplate. What would God have us to do?

A special thanks to my cousin Noel who snapped the pic on the way to church this a.m. and did the impossible..got everyone looking at the camera!!! Thanks Noel!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!!!

Friday, May 09, 2008

We were so blessed to have my Mom aka Mimi come for a visit this past week.

I love watching my Mom with our children. It reminds me of what a great childhood she gave me.
Mom always had time for us. We never doubted that we were important to her. She always talked with us... really talked with us. She made everything fun, and was always teaching us.
She wasn't afraid to spoil us with the occasional treat...
And she was never too mature to have some fun.
Thank you Mom for being the best Mom and Mimi. We love you! Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 02, 2008

The other night I took all 11 children to Baskin Robbins for 31 cent ice cream night. It was quite the adventure as 968,000 people descended on Baskin Robbins to jockey for their 31 cent scoops. It was kind of like a challenge from the Amazing Race , but not really...

Actually, from past years I have learned the secret to 31 cent scoop night. Feed your children dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon and run out the door. When we arrived at 5:20 the line was merely out the door. When we left it was out the door and wrapped around twice. I can only imagine what it was later in the evening.

We love a bargain, and a challenge, and ice cream...

Speaking of challenges...

One of the most frequent questions we are asked about is laundry.

Laundry. Since Adam and Eve took a bite out of the forbidden fruit it has been something mankind has had to contend with.

Now I am not a perfect laundress , but we have a system that gets the job done..Well, most of the time.

-Jim blessed me several years ago with a Whirlpool Duet Front loading Washer and Dryer. Oh, what a blessing. If we are ever forced to evacuate our home I will be begging Jim to strap these to the top of the van. They are a serious help in conquering piles of clothes.

-We choose to have quality clothes over quantity. This has helped so much with laundry. If there are too many clothes in the drawer things don't get worn, and clean clothes end up in the hamper. We try and keep control over how many clothes each child has.

-We do about 3-4 loads of laundry a day. I put wash in first thing in the morning and it is my goal to have all loads folded and put away before I start dinner.

-We do laundry by room. It goes like this.. Big Boys Room, Girls Room, Little Boys Room, Jim and My clothes. Those are the loads instead of combining the family's clothes and then separating them. With this method you aren't running all over the house to put away clothes. You only have to go to that room. It also helps in keeping socks in control. It is much easier to sort socks for 4 people than a huge pile of socks for 13.

-There are days when due to busyness or sickness we get behind, but we just keep plugging on. I will always remember the sweet ladies at Layla House cheerfully washing by hand clothes for 150 children and hanging them to dry. I have no reason to complain!

That is our laundry system. It works for us. We all work together to get it done. All of our children over 7 know how to work the washer and dryer, and they all assist in some part of the folding process.. Hee, Hee...some unfold what we are folding, but they like to "Help" and one day they will be a great asset in this process.