Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Prayer Babies.....Join me?

 Right after I wrote the last post...being so weary...yet by the end, reminded why I do what I do - I read Julia's post.  She is shouting for the kids posted on Reese's Rainbow that are older - kiddos that often get overlooked for many reasons.  She challenged her readers to pick one (or more) children and look at their pictures and read about them.  Then to lift prayers to heaven on their behalf.

I have been studying and focusing on prayer again.  What a mystery!  God is sovereign - His Hand has already designed all of our days....and yet He tells us to come to Him in prayer.  As His child, to ask Him for the things we need and for the things that bring Him glory.  This is irreconcilable by human thought - everything is already designed, and yet our prayer can bring about amazing things.  This is not a simple thing - anyone who tells you it is is wrong.  Here is a fabulous sermon by Paul Washer if you want to be challenged!  Click here.

Another fabulous source for prayer is The Valley of Vision  a collection of Puritan prayers.  My husband and I have been so challenged by this book.  It is like finding a whole new book of the Psalms.  Here is just one of a book full of amazing and life-changing quotes, “Nothing exceeds thy power, nothing is too great for thee to do, nothing too good for thee to give. I ask great things of a great God.” ~The Valley of Vision

So I am challenged and encouraged all over again - I can pray at any time - I can be caring for widows and orphans no matter what else God has put on my plate.  Here are my new babes (in addition to those already on the side of my blog):

 
Sealey - This precious little man just turned 8. He needs a family so desperately….he has severe CP, and is diagnosed with congenital brain malformation; anencephalea (no cerebral cortex). He is not able to walk and needs full care. It will be so wonderful to see him blossom in a loving family. He is facing the institution very soon.
 
 
Russ - 7 years old
Russ’s profile says “goloproentsephaliy” which is unclear, other than there’s some condition with his brain. It’s unclear if it’s a physical or mental condition.  The heartbreaker for Russ is that he is facing imminent transfer to adult mental institution.  I cannot describe the hell on earth that most of these places are.
 
 
This precious boy, Collier, just turned 13.  He has Down Syndrome and significant delays - but he is precious in God's sight.  Is this your son?
 
 
 
Breanna - What a face! She is 7 years old and has Down Syndrome.  All her file says is "Nature sociable, friendly, affectionate, easy to contact" - but there is a heart, a soul, a little person that cannot be captured by her photo.
 
 
 
What a happy face.  Her only description is "Down Syndrome with a calm nature".  She is eight years old.  What a smile - is she yours?
 
How about you?  Who are your prayer babes?  Find one, even one, to pray for until they get a home!  Choose one from the sidebar of this blog or go find your own at Reese's Rainbow.  Your heart will not be the same.  Bookmark their page on your computer - check it regularly - when it says "My Family Found Me" at the bottom, you know your prayers have been answered!.
 
There are some additional little ones, I would ask you to pray for with me.  It will be a little harder to know when their family finds them, because they no longer have files listed with Reese's Rainbow.  But I trust God will find a way to show me when they have families...These five are in a terrible orphanage.  If you would like more information on them, please email Andrea Roberts at andrea@reecesrainbow.org.
 
 
Chad
 
 
Brandi
 
 
Garnet
 
 
Harvey
 
 
Kramer
 
Finally, I have to shout out for my little Kristina.  She reminds me so much of a little breakable dolly.  She needs a family so badly.  She is another one of my heart babies - God has pressed her continually in my thoughts and prayers.  For more information, please contact Myriam@AgapeAdoptions.org.
 
 
Kristina
 
If I hear of any of these precious children finding families, I will post immediately!  If you are reading this blog and know that any of these children have families working to redeem them, please leave me a comment and let me know - what a joy that would be!
 
 
To Christ be all glory, honor, and praise!  Until He comes...... 
 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heart Weary.....

I knew this day would come...I thought I was there several times in the last several months, but each time I was strengthened and renewed for the fight through His Word and the stories of others...but here I am today; so heart weary that I don't want to see another little face needing a family...Another life, precious beyond measure, left to rot in a hellish place. 

Today was the day I clicked on the "New Children" tab on Reese's Rainbow and I just couldn't look any farther.  It was not that particular little beautiful face - just knowing that here was another little one who needs a mama to snuggle her and wipe her tears and a daddy to carry her in his strong arms and whisper to her that he will protect her.

After shouting and wrestling in prayer time after time for little one after little one, today I wished for a few moments that I just didn't know.  That I was still wrapped in my little self-focused life - enjoying the sunshine, dreaming about cinnamon rolls and making beautiful dresses for my girls and smiling as my boys play football on the street outside. 

Was there really a time that I didn't feel that constant tug at my heart, whispering that there are children somewhere in desperate need of love and just simple care - that need to be rescued from hell on earth?  Was there a time that I looked forward to the day when it would just be my husband and I at home, instead of thinking, "How old is too old to adopt another?" and smiling that we will never be alone?  Was there a time when I dreamed of fluffy handmade (by me) quilts in my kiddos rooms and plenty of time to do my favorite things, instead of figuring out how to squeeze at least one more bed into our house?  Was there really a time when I wanted nothing more than to just have acres to work on and time to can and bake and read a good book, instead of trying to figure out how to make a house handicap accessible while spending as little as possible?  Was there really, really time that I dreamed of diamond earrings, instead of wondering how tacky it would be to sell my ring to help pay for another adoption?  (Not that it would bring that much! ;-) )  Was there really a time when I felt like my self-focused life was glorifying to my Savior Who gave everything for me?

The war in my soul at the moment is one of weariness - of wanting to lay down the sword and just pretend there is not a battle going on.  My weary traitorous emotions want to just pretend that it all has not happened....to go back to the ignorant bliss of thinking I was just here to live my own life and that would be enough...

I am not a Hobbit fan - I never have been.  But my two oldest struck a bargain with me - if they read the whole series of books first, I would let them watch the Lord of the Rings movies.  I had no interest in watching them....but I just happened to be in the room at the end of the last movie.  Frodo and clan are back after their life-changing mission.  I hadn't followed the movie and honestly, it is just a movie, but I was immediately struck by the deep sadness in Frodo's eyes.  As life was moving on around him, it was like he couldn't truly rejoin his old world because of the damage that had been done to his soul in the battles he had gone through.  I almost cried.  I thought, "That is me!"  I can't just rejoin my old life....to pick up where I left off when God changed the course of my life by saying, "Look here.  See where My heart is.  See where I want your heart to be."  

The damage that has been done to my heart by seeing face after face, precious life after life being abused, neglected, starved, ignored, forgotten, beaten, tortured, cast aside.....The damage that is done by "friendly fire" when a family does step out in faith to rescue one of these precious children.  It creates scars so deep that they feel like they will never heal.  And when they do heal, the new covering is so stiff and foreign that the phantom pains and awkwardness never goes away... Frodo didn't truly smile and seem at peace until he was taken away to another world....

Somehow I think that will be part of the ending of my life....true peace and freedom from knowing will not come until He takes me Home.  Until then, I will always hear those whispers...the whispers telling me that another needs to be redeemed in this life, just as Christ has redeemed me...Redemption Whispers....Ahhhh, now I remember why I do this - my Savior did this for me, and so much more....How can I do any less? 

The battle is on...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Letters.....

This was a letter written in response to my post "Flames" - I didn't want it to be lost in the comments, so I am reprinting it, along with  my response here...

I came to this post from Susanna's blog, and am so glad I did. Well, glad in the big picture; I am still really heart-raw at the moment, struggling with my own sinfulness and begging God to please grow me. . . and yet not wanting to grow too much, too far, too scarily. I feel led to share what I wrote in response to your post--it might be helpful to someone else also struggling, or maybe you would like to see the powerful effect of your imagery played out in my heart. http://www.oblesseday.blogspot.com/2012/09/adoption-giveaway-last-day.html

Blessed


Dear Blessed ~

Your honesty and openness is a blessing to me! Your struggles and feelings describe exactly the path that we have walked before plunging "headlong into the depths of the terror" - what an exact description!

Honestly, my husband and I know that without God first giving us a biological child with severe special needs, we never would have made that plunge - no matter how long and hard we talked about it! Our "talking" about it before our daughter was born helped us through shock (we didn't know she would have SN until she was born)- but we couldn't have taken that plunge without His Hand leading - even pushing us! - off the cliff.

Please know that this is truly an area that God prepares the ones He has called - NOT that He calls those that are prepared! Don't see too much greatness in those who are doing this - only see the greatness of our Father! He asks, we jump - THEN He catches us in His grace. If He has not asked you to jump - don't search for the courage to do it - you probably will not find it! He gives us the ability to do what He has called us to do - not the ability to do what He has called others to. (I could not live in Paupa New Guinea with my best friend as a missionary! Unless He called us to...) You are glorifying Him and supporting the fatherless through your prayers and in asking others to pray. How thankful I am for that!

Another thought, He does engrave very specific children on our hearts - to the point that their needs do not seem to matter as much as getting them into our arms. Again, this is His grace guiding us and strengthening us. I have been just as guilty of mentally setting a child "aside" - if you read my post "I Know What Breaks God's Heart....it's Me." You will see God's chastening of my heart for thinking that.

The other thing He burnt into my heart is that I - ME -I am the one with that horrifying diagnosis. Without God's grace, I would be the one calling for the crucifying of the Savior - I had spurned Him, spit on Him, and driven the nails into His Hands! Yet, He chose in His grace to adopt me as His child - the one who would have killed Him in my sin. How can I do any less for a child - IF He asked me to? I am thankful -truly relieved! - and thankful He has not asked me to embrace a child with RAD, etc - yet.

But in a touch of irony, one of the things I had claimed that I could not do is parent a child with autism. Guess what? One of my children is on the autism spectrum...we did not even suspect this at the time he joined our family. God knew I would fail completely to leap off that cliff...so He gave him to me first and then revealed that.

You are on the right path...you are asking God to soften your heart to whatever He is asking you. Trust Him to do that - in His time and in the direction He would have you go. It may or may not be adoption - but you are glorifying Him with your prayers and willingness.

May God richly bless you! To Him be all glory, honor, and praise!
 
I have to add Penny's beautiful picture here....she is still in that burning building....
 
 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Let the praying begin!

Another 8 weeks are almost gone...that means that another batch of B*lgarian babies' files have to go back if families don't step forward for them.  Not only is this heartbreaking for these children, it also sends the message to their country that the leaders are right...that none of these children are worth anything....that they are nothing.  Worse than nothing, they just take up space.
 
Now is the opportunity for all of you who love these orphans but are not called to adopt - you CAN do something critically important....
 
PRAY!
 
Choose a child - choose them all, if you wish!  Print out their picture and stick it in your Bible, your wallet, or on your refrigerator....Pray for that little one EVERY time you see their little picture.
 
Pray that a family races to save them....pray for their health and their little hearts....pray for good care in their orphanage...pray that the gospel will be preached in their country - that many would be saved and start to care for the least of these....
 
PRAY  PRAY PRAY
 
 Penny
 
 Brandi
 
 
 Chad
 
 
 Garnet
 
 
 Harvey
 
 
Harry
 
 
 Kramer
 
 
Kristina
 
 
Roland
 
 
Todor
 
 
 
 Theodore
 
All of these little ones are a precious child....a LIFE.  Please pray like their lives depend on it...because they do.
 
Until He comes...
 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tears and pleas....

UPDATE:  PRAISE TO OUR FAITHFUL FATHER! 
ZACK HAS A HOME!

Before my daughter, Mimi, was born with special needs, I always thought it would be the hardest to have a newborn in the hospital.  That somehow the pain would be less with an older child, even toddler age...
 
How naive I was!
 
Mimi has been in and out of the hospital enough times in her 4 1/2 years and I have found it gets harder, not easier.  Now she knows that pokes are coming and that white coats mean unhappiness for her.  Even at 18 months, she knew she didn't WANT to be in that crib with tubes stuck to her.  I couldn't soothe her with just my voice...she wanted ME!  She wanted OUT!
 
I think what made it easier when she was younger (relatively speaking - I am talking about a 5% reduction in my angst!) was that she just didn't know....she didn't know what loomed ahead of her.  She didn't know that she was far from home.   She didn't know that I would not be able to pick her up and hold her with her next cry.  She didn't know that this one bad day was actually going to be one of many....
 
I think that very same reason is why this little guy breaks my heart so very, very badly...a hurt that wakes me up at night for urgent prayer for him.

 


This is Zack.  This handsome little man is 11 years old.  He is in an Eastern European orphanage.  He has been for all but a few weeks of his life.  Because of CP and scoliosis, he has very limited use of his lower body.  He is mostly confined to a wheelchair, although it appears that he can get up and down stairs using a rail. 
 
Cognitively though, Zack is just fine.  He is working at a 4th grade level in school (I am not sure what that translates to in the US compared to his country).  He is very inquisitive and loves to interact, especially with adults.  He loves Legos, music, and cars.   He is developmentally and academically on track according to an adoptive mom who has met him several times.
 
Zack was, up until a little while ago, in a very good orphanage. He was well loved by the staff and well taken care of. His best friend - from infancy - is Maria. Maria was also in a wheelchair, but cognitively normal.




 Zack and Maria on their last day together.
 
Maria was adopted a few months ago into a wonderful family.....but had to leave Zack behind.  Her "Gotcha Day", which should have been a joyful occasion, was absolutely heartbreaking.  You can read about it here.  I can't even bear to type out the details.  These two friends were in agony over being separated.   I can't even bear to think about it!  Little Maria is doing all she can to get a family for her friend.
 
As if that was not enough, that very day - THAT VERY MINUTE OF "GOODBYE" - to Maria, Zack was loaded into a car to be transferred to a different orphanage for older children.  Oh, my heart just cannot stand it! His "baby house" was very good - but most older orphanages are as close to hell as you can get on earth....things you don't even want to hear whispered.
 
 
 
But that is not the worst part.  The worst part is that Zack KNOWS.  He knows what a family is and that his friend is now FREE and LOVED unconditionally.  Zack KNOWS that there is life outside of his institution.  He knows there is more than nasty food and inadequate care. He knows a bleak and hellish future is his if he is not chosen and rescued! He knows there are people who love and care for children and call them their own.  He knows what a mama is and that she is full of love and smiles.  He knows all this from watching Maria with her new mama before she took her home to the US.  He and Maria both met with counselors who told them about families and what they mean.  He was desperate to know that his little Maria would be safe, so he was involved in so much of Maria's process.  The worst part is Zack knows....
 
My precious little Grace not know any of these things...she doesn't know her mama is praying fervently and lovingly for her all hours of the day and night.  She doesn't know that her sisters are picking out her outfits and arranging (and rearranging) her clothes drawers.  She doesn't know that a family means you never cry yourself to sleep alone ever again.  She has never heard of birthday parties and Christmas celebrations.  It doesn't make the urgency to rescue her from the orphanage any less....but it makes it a tiny bit more bearable.  Is there a difference between unbearable agony and almost bearable agony?  She doesn't know....YET....but Zack knows.  What a haunting thought...
 
With my tears, I am pleading with you to pray for a family for Zack!  Pray that they follow God's leading and are willing to take that leap of faith off the cliff - when they cannot see the bottom.  Pray for Zack's little heart to stay strong.  Pray that someone has introduced Zack to His Father in Heaven.  That Zack knows he is never alone.  Pray....pray......PRAY - and share his story with everyone you know, so that the people of God cover little Zack in prayer, 24 hours a day.
 
More information about Zack can be found here.  Or you can contact Shelley at shele337@gmail.com. There is a $5100 grant to help with his adoption expenses.
 
Pray for a family to redeem Zack here on earth and call him their own - just as Christ has redeemed for all of eternity those who believe in Him.  Through Christ, God calls the redeemed His own children.
 
Until He comes - To Christ be all glory, honor, and praise!