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

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Q & A~

I apologize for being so bad about answering questions. I am never sure whether or not to answer them in the Comment Section or as a new post.. and then I don't answer, but the questions haunt me in the night. Please forgive me for being so slow to answer.

If You have a question please leave it, and I'll try to answer ;o)

*Totally random pictures added just because.

1. Are you and Jim crazy?

I have received this question several times lately (mainly in real life) so I thought I would answer.

Yes. Maybe. No. Are we crazy? I 'm not sure.

Last week our Youth group went to Ecuador for a Mission Trip. Our Youth Pastor shared with me that at one point the children they were ministering to were singing to them, and a chaperone leaned over and said, "Jim and Renee don't seem quite so crazy anymore... do they?"

All of our children are a precious blessing to us. We are so honored to have each one in our home.

So, we may be crazy, but we are also blessed.

2. Where do you get your children's bathing suits from? Where did you get your Airplane Teeter Totter from?

BJ's Wholesale Club. It is probably the answer to most any purchasing question for our family. They love us at BJ's, and we love BJ's.
3. Do Eben and Joel speak English?
Their English is amazing. They are shy with people initially so you might not know it, but they speak very well.

We do have our little cultural quirks. Someone was speaking about feeding the children goldfish, and as we walked away Eben said, "Mama WHY would they feed the children goldfish?" I showed him the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish the next time we were at the store to prove that there are not crazy live fish feeding Orbunis here in America .

Eben and Joel love to pick up little catch phrases from movies/DVD's. They say "Shame, shame, shame" just like Gomer Pyle. Eben's new favorite phrase is "I'm toast." Joel's is, "That''s cool Mom." They are too funny.

4. Are the Wee Boy's Glasses real? And.. Where do you get them?

Yes, the Wee Boy's glasses are quite real. He is extremely far sighted. He also has Strabismus . He will always need corrective frames.

Because his vision is so poor he wears his glasses all the time. He can't stand not to have them on and even prefers to sleep in them. We purchase them from Solo Bambini. They are soft framed so they don't dent his skin when he lays down with them. Our insurance covers only part of the cost as they are out of network. The frames aren't too expensive, but his lenses are.

5. Are you pregnant?

Apparently there is a rumor going around church that I'm expecting. I am not.

Note to self: Don't wear cute, loose, peasanty shirts that are in style if you have 11 children..It messes with people's minds ;o)

6. Where did you get the Roman Roads T-shirt?

It was a hand me down from the Hereford Family :o)

If I forgot a question please ask away.

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From Sweet Pea~

I love my Big Brothers..

They are cool..

They take me in the kiddie pool..

They give me a place to rest..

And think that *I* am the best..
They'll put my binky in on the double....

And will even hold it whilst I get into trouble..
They brush my hair while I eat...
And are always sweeping me off my feet.

I love my brothers yes I do..

and judging from these pictures ..

I have a "thing" for my Binky too.

Please don't tell my Mama ...

She'll take it away..

Can you say Drama.. ????

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Job 1:21~

the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21~

A part of being a Mama is being a comforter. I enjoy this role very much. It is very rewarding to be able with a kiss and a kind word to make your child's boo-boo's go away.

When Eben and Joel first came home they were baffled by the kiss the boo-boo routine, but they quickly warmed to it, and now readily come to me to help make their owies better.

As those of you who have adopted older children know there are many boo-boos of the heart you can't simply kiss and make all better.

One of the hardest things Eben and Joel have dealt with is that they have siblings who are still living in Ghana. They love their siblings very much. They love them and miss them every day. They have wonderful stories and memories of them.

We would have gladly adopted them with Eben and Joel (and even had our homestudy written to reflect that once we learned of them), but the extended family did not put them into orphanage care.

A few weeks ago we learned that the siblings were indeed coming into care... we hoped and prayed we could adopt them, so they could all be reunited and live as siblings once again.

Last Friday we were told that this would not happen as Ghana believes we have too many children already. Honestly, this news has been heartbreaking for us all.

Thank you so much for praying for the opportunity which was set before us. It was a blessing for Eben and Joel to see that we were ready and willing to love their siblings and welcome them into our family.

We don't understand the how and why over this, but we do know that God is good, and we praise Him. Jim and I can not make this all better for our boys, but God can bring healing.

Please pray for wounded hearts to heal, and pray that God would raise up a family that these precious children can go home to.

Thank you so much for your prayers. They have humbled and blessed us greatly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: Luke 12:48~

It is easy to sink into the bliss of being an adoptive parent - but it is important to always remember that the bliss comes at great expense - often the heartbreak of a birthparent left without options, or the hopelessness of a child's prospects in their broken birth country, or the death-knell of an incurable disease, or the ramifications of poverty on a small life.

Adoption is not the answer - it is a band-aid and it is absolutely necessary, but something needs to be done about the problems - poverty, disease, war, racism, economic disparity - that leave children in this chasm.

It is imperative that those of us who walk down this road vow to always engage ourselves in solving the bigger problems - the very problems that brought our children home to us. Find an organization that is addressing these problems and send your money, give your time, advocate on their behalf.

I read this on THIS BLOG

last week. The words are true and convicting.

Our sweet children from Ethiopia will go to bed tonight with full tummies. They will not cry in the night from hunger. I will not have to desperately search for a morsel to nourish them...I can simply go to my pantry or (gulp) two refrigerators stocked with food.

That is not the case for many tonight in Ethiopia. UNICEF estimates that 6 million Ethiopian children under the age of 5 are at risk and that more than 120,000 have only about a month to live.

My heart goes out to the people of Ethiopia. As a Mother I can not imagine how hard it would be to be in this impossible situation. I can't imagine the pain of watching your children starve and being completely helpless to stop it.

As THIS CLIP shows Ethiopia is in DESPERATE NEED of our prayers of help. Rising food costs and crop failures are leaving many without the food to live.

If God leads you to give than please give, but most of all pray.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Deuteronomy 31:6~

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6

Have you ever received a phone call that just left you spinning?

We received a call last Monday that has me feeling like Sweet Pea does when her 5 yo brother dances with her (She loves it when he twirls her around and around); excited , thrilled, and more than a little nervous.

We may have a very wonderful possibility set before us. When Jim told me of the call my reaction was literally "Oh my God!".. Not in a taking the Lord's name in vain way, but in a awestruck reaction that the Lord God is always working. He has heard and answered our prayers.

I have to confess that I have been more than a little afraid. I was afraid of dashed hopes and broken hearts...not just mine and Jim's... but our children's.. if things don't work out the way we want them to.

However, as I have prayed about this situation God has shown me time and again that just this opportunity is a blessing and to rejoice in it. He has truly blessed us. We know He goes before us, and we are so thankful that we are walking this road with each other.

I am sorry this is so vague, but if God brings us to mind please just pray that His will be done, and that He will be glorified!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Proverbs 31:28~

Her children arise up, and call her blessed....

O.K. that may be a stretch.. :o)

However, today after we came home from the pool I gave the children popsicles. Upon receiving his our six year old pronounced me "The only girl in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD who "RULES!"..

Not quite the blessing Proverbs 31 was talking about, but I'll definitely take it.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Matthew 11: 28-30~

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11: 28-30

Wow, 5 months ago today Eben and Joel came home.

I look back over the last 5 months and I am amazed and blessed at how brave and strong and wonderful our boys are. I often think if it were me who were placed half way around the world with people whom I didn't even know.. I would surely just curl up in a ball and cry for years.

Yet, these dear children have bravely faced a new culture, new parents, new siblings, new food, and new customs. They have not only adjusted but thrived, and that is a testimony to what amazing boys they are.

When they arrived Eben and Joel's relationship was very typical of siblings who have spent time in an orphanage. Eben is very much a caretaker. He had been Joel's caretaker for his whole life and he had done an awesome job.

We watched as Eben always made sure Joel had enough to eat, was happy, obedient and taken care of. If there was a special treat to eat or a new toy Eben made sure Joel had one too.... even if it meant giving him his.

Eben had no idea how much we loved him. He had no idea how much we loved Joel. He didn't realize that we were there to love and care for them, and their every need. He didn't know that we would be there in the night when they were scared or hold them when they were sick. He was in survival mode, and even though he could see our large pantry stocked with food, it didn't compute that it was his and Joel's. He was bearing the weight a responsibility that was no longer his to bear.

So many times in parenting my children I have found God teaching me truth about Himself. When we are adopted into God's family He loves us with an everlasting love (more perfect than Jim and I could ever achieve as earthly parents). He is there to meet our every need and has a whole storehouse (pantry) of blessings ready to bestow on us. He yearns to carry our burdens.. and yet often I am like Eben was with Joel. I think *I* have to do everything on my own. I worry..I fret..I don't rest in His storehouse of blessings.

I am happy to say that at some point Eben began to trust us and our love for him..and for Joel. He longer frets over him like a worried father, but like a brother. His step is lighter and there is a joy that should belong to a child.

I pray I can learn the lesson so well to trust all to my Heavenly Father for He is perfect and good and desires nothing more than to care for His children. He wants me to turn to Him with all my needs great and small. He delights in caring for His children and is truly the perfect Father. May I trust in Him each day.

Thank you Lord for these precious children, and for being so patient with me.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wordless Wednesday~

Have a Happy Wednesday!