Thursday, September 28, 2017

Brooke Gloria's Legacy.....Glory

I have come to dread September 28th.  I have tried to find ways to rejoice in it.  I have tried to see it from a different perspective.  I have tried to ignore it.  But instead, I can't wait for it to be over.  I am praying someday my heart will see it with rejoicing, but I am not there yet.

September 28th was the day Jesus took my Brooke home. 

It has been two years....many families who have lost a child point out that it is now two years closer to when I will see her again.  They are right.  But just now it doesn't help.


I will see that sweet face again.  She is with my beloved Savior.  But right now, it is just too far away.

When I went to her grave last year, I laid down and cried.  I cried a whole year's worth of tears.  And I asked God, "Why?"  Why my baby girl?  Why now?  Why, my Lord?  I didn't really expect an answer - so many times, the answer to those questions have to wait until I can look in Christ's eyes to hear.  Instead I felt a deep calm settle on my soul.  I suddenly thought there would be a little girl named Glory that would make it all clear.  I didn't really trust that feeling - how many times do we "feel" something and it turns out to just be our imagination?  But I thought about it as I drove home after crying out my grief for the day.  In my mind, it was going to be another precious little girl with Down Syndrome that would ease the pain of Brooke's loss.

Well....now I know.

God brought a little girl into our lives at the end of July.  We had gone through the process of getting ready to adopt again.  We were trying to go back from Bryson (in earlier blog posts) and a little boy aging out from Serenity's orphanage.  Nothing went smoothly.  In the end, Bryson had passed away months before and the other little boy had already aged out.  Okay.  Heartache.  Now what?  What was God asking?  We prayed with no clear direction - that is always a heartbreaking time.  God seems to be calling, but we don't know where to go.

We got an email from an agency that we had worked with before saying they needed more families willing to adopt children domestically with special needs.  We thought, "Why not?" and sent in our homestudy - all the while knowing it would take a very special situation that a family would choose US with such a large family.

Then one Friday night, we got a phone call.  There was a little girl.  With a terminal diagnosis.  And no family.  Everything ran through my mind at once.  THIS was little Glory.  THIS was the one God whispered to my heart about.  I pictured something happy, soothing, and a balm to heal the scar on my soul.  Instead, because of having to walk this road with Brooke, we knew God could and would walk us through ANYTHING.  BUT I DID NOT WANT TO WALK THAT ROAD AGAIN!  To say Don and I wrestled for hours (because we had only hours to give our decision) would be to put it mildly.

I felt that we were standing at a crossroads.  We could take the "easy" (ha ha!) way that we were already walking....hadn't we given a lot already?  Wasn't our plate so full it felt things were falling off?  Didn't we have enough to do already?  We could say no and just keep on our road.  The "comfortable" road.  (Okay, that makes me laugh...this road has not been comfortable for a long time - full of joy unspeakable - a road I would never change - but NOT comfortable.)  OR we could choose to go through the valley of shadow.  Again.  But I also knew He would be right with us on that road.

A few days later I was on my way to a new state.  I held little Glory close to my heart and began to cry already.  How was I going to let this tiny girl go?  But God was already writing a new story....maybe the diagnosis was not what they thought?  Maybe a doctor who was biased in his opinions?  We are still waiting to find out.  But I hold this tiny Glory so close to my heart.  Brooke's legacy - my new baby girl.

(Sorry, scanned picture from a studio..can't get it scanned right)



Please pray for the precious birth mother.  I got to meet her and love her dearly.  What a hard, hard thing to have to do - yet, she gave up her baby because she loved her so very much.  She chose the baby's best, not her own.

I still wish for my Brookie.  But just like our Mercy-girl gave us the strength to move into the world of special needs.  My Brooke gave us the strength to move into the valley of the shadow.

By the way, God has been busy these last months (as He always is).  With her adoption hearing a week away, I would like to introduce this little birdie.  She joined us in an amazing way in Nov 2016.  Through a God-directed mistake, we heard about a newborn in the US with Apert Syndrome - just like Serenity and Jillian.  In one week, we went from thinking "What, Lord?" to "There is no way a family would choose us?" to "Wow!  Okay.  Here we go!"  

She was born 6 weeks early.  She is fed via gtube.  She started out at 4 1/2 lbs and has now made it to 15lbs.  We have had a lot of hospital stays and surgeries already in the last 10 months....but we are soooo in love.







I wish I knew how to rotate this....but this is our darling spunky little birdie.

God is good.  Life is hard....but God is good.  Even as we walk the valley of the shadow mourning the loss of Brooke.  Even though our hearts continue to mourn the loss of Nora.  Even as each day is bursting at the seams and I don't know how to do it all.  Even with literal sleepless nights....I cannot believe how He has blessed us.  It is not because of anything in us - in fact, it is in spite of us.

There are still a lot of surgeries and unknowns ahead of us.  So much to trust Him for.  So much to wait and see what He chooses to do.

To Him be all the glory, honor, and praise!

Monday, July 17, 2017

My soul sings...

When I look at this little boy, I see a little soul that is singing.  Even in the nightmarish place that he is in, he is smiling and laughing.  I can't help but believe that God is smiling in return....He must know what a gift this boy will be.   What a blessing He will be bestowing.



Look at this little man. Look at how thin he is.  This is not due to his arthrogryposis.  This is a little boy who is hungry.   He is hungry for more than just adequate food.  He is hungry for love, for touch, for attention, for stimulation....for a family.  He needs to know that he BELONGS to someone.  That this is not just a passing moment in which someone's attention is focused on him.

video


My understanding is that he has been listed before.  He is now 7 years old.  7 YEARS OLD, without a family or even adequate care.  He is in an Eastern European country.  One that has a very easy dossier and pretty easy guidelines. 

To learn more about him, contact Judy at Global Adoptions - maryland@adoptglobal.org .



Please, if he is not your son, please plead with our Father in Heaven to open the doors for a family to find him soon.  Time is not the friend of these children - it is a vicious enemy.  It steals and destroys day in and day out.  As sure as the sun rises and sets.



Please, my Lord, please bring this one that makes my soul sing to a family.  You are able.  You are faithful.  You are good.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Heartache

China has denied us permission to adopt Nora even though they granted us pre-approval this summer.  They have changed their rules regarding family size and have made it retroactive.  As a country, they get to make these decisions, I just never thought they would not honor their word.

I just don't know how to break through the wall that is in place right now between my words and my broken heart.  I can't even begin to put into words how much this hurts.

This wasn't just a denial regarding a child we only had pictures and paperwork for.  This was a denial of a child that we have held and loved.  She was in our home.  We were told we could adopt her.  We have prepared for months to bring her home.  I have her favorite dresses.  I have a dresser full of clothes.  I have her notebooks full of scribbles.  I even have pages of scribbles in my prayer journal as she wanted to "help" me write in the notebook she saw me with so often.

I am just trying to keep one foot moving in front of the other.  I have many, many precious children that need me - and I treasure them even more now - but it still doesn't replace this precious child of my heart.

I haven't done well with the blog recently anyway, but I am stepping away from it for now.  I am sure that God will press me forward again with it but for now I hurt too much.  There is no way to escape the pain, so just like with my darling Brooke, I will just have to trust Him to carry me through the darkness.

I will post the link here when her profile is put up on Reece's Rainbow and The Shepherd's Crook.  I beg God for another family for her.  I know He loves her more than I do.   Please pray for this amazing girl.  Heaven will be that much sweeter some day because I will finally hold her again.

Here is the link for Reece's Rainbow.  http://reecesrainbow.org/118167/nora-2  She would qualify for a $15,000 grant through RR - this would be an amazing gift to a family!  

God is always perfect.  He is always good.  This hurts.  This hurts so badly.  But it does not change His goodness or perfection - it just points out my lack of it.

Thy Will be done.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Still here.......!

I can't believe it has been 2 1/2 months since my last post!  As I have said before, if it gets really quiet on the blog, God is usually keeping us really busy.

There is so much to say, but so little time.  Some will have to be shared at a later time.  I just know that people have been checking to be sure that we are okay.....and we are.

It has been a long stretch of sickness including strep throat, walking pneumonia, and the flu.  So many trips to urgent care and a long hospital stay for one.  Hard weeks....but always more than worth it for my precious kiddos.

We have sent our dossier to China for Nora.  I am counting the moments until we can get that precious girl home again.  With all the political uproar over the new president, we are even more anxious to get her home.

We requested to add a second little girl with Apert Syndrome to our adoption - a beautiful little girl that needs the medical care that is available here......and China said no.  We appealed it....and they still said no.  It turns out that we were the beginning of a tightening of regulations in China regarding their adoptions.  No families with over 10 kids (including the adopted child), no waivers for income, etc.  This really crushed me.  I knew that eventually it would come, but I always prayed it would not be with a specific child already on my heart - even though I knew we wouldn't ask if we hadn't already fallen in love with another little person.  This was a painful, painful blow.

I am told China does this every few years and then loosens then regulations again.  My heart hurts for all the families being told no.  It hurts even more for all the children that could have had forever families and now will wait in orphanages......maybe for the rest of their lives.  It hurts to know it all and not be able to do anything to help.  My advocacy efforts are not effective that I can tell - I pray that maybe God is using our story to encourage others and more kids are being adopted.  We do know of one family who is adopting because of our precious Brooke's story....I praise the Lord for that one more being saved - but how I have prayed it was ten....and twenty...and more....and more.

Most of our appointments have been cancelled because of sickness and the hospital stay.  The tears are not far from me some nights, but every day is worth it.  Every little upturned face (usually needing a nose wipe!) is worth it.  Every little face that does not willingly look up at me because of their past....is worth it.  They have been declared by the Father as precious in His sight.  Each one is worth every tear, every nose wipe, every desperate cry of my soul.

Pray for little Nora.  Pray for her comfort and safety.  Pray for quick LOA for her.  Pray for quick travel.  Pray for the Lord to bring a new generation of families who don't have 10 kids yet (!) to save more of these children.

Until He comes, I will trust Him.

Oh, and to Randy, who found our blog.  It was a pleasure to talk with you today....and I do assure you that all 19 kids live at home with us. :)  Thank you for your kindness.