Sunday, November 2, 2014

Psalm 31

Early this morning I was reading my Bible and praying through part of Psalm 31 when I was struck by some scripture. Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. (9) Immediately I thought of Cherie. She has lost vision due to a shunt failure. So has Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen is in distress and her soul and body are grieving. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. I wondered how many years Cherie and Mandy would wait, groaning? Think of the older children waiting, confined to a crib; when will their strength fail? Is Reign's “affliction” cerebral palsy... or is it loneliness? We all have heard stories about how years of malnutrition and crib life weaken a child's bones. Cherie is often in a crib or stroller. Are her bones growing weak? How about Denzel? His old picture showed his heartbreakingly skinny legs. Is he getting enough food in his tube? How much time is he allowed to be out of his crib, let alone getting therapy that will help maintain or strengthen his bone density? Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends—those who see me on the street flee from me. (11) I have heard stories of children with craniofacial differences who are adopted. When they are adopted, their own people avoid their new families. I know one family was advised to stay in their hotel room because bias against their daughters caused some sort of complaint against them. I have heard that children have been spit at, and I've heard that they are considered cursed by their own parents. Is that what people in their country think about Cherie and Mandy? Is Keagan treated like he is a curse? I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. (12) Have Cherie and Mandy been forgotten? How about Clarice? She is so much more than a broken dish. A broken and forgotten human being is still the image of the Father. For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life. (13) Imagine being an orphan in a time of war. Ernie was formerly located in a region where there was unrest, but now he is available again because he was relocated. God has not forgotten him. This is his miraculous second chance to find a family. Now his family needs to act. I kept reading to look at the rest of the psalm, to see the path that God might set before Cherie, Mandy and others if He rescues them as he did David (the psalmist): But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” (14) I need to trust in God and His timing for when my family can adopt. I need to trust in Him to find a family for Cherie and for Mandy. I don't know if Trudy and Tristan know to trust Him, but I do know that the Lord is their God as well. I know that he is their hope of rescue and salvation. So is the family that He will call to be His hands and feet, to go to them, to rescue them, to free them, to bring him home. My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. (15) He has a plan for Cherie and for Mandy. He has a plan for Abram, too. I do not know how much time Abram has.... I do know that his Father holds that time in His hands; I do not know who will be the Father's hands and feet and become an earthly father and mother to a fragile little boy who needs to learn the love that they and his heavenly Father have for him. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. (16) God wants to save Cherie and Mandy. He wants to save them all. His face shines on Rachel. His face shines on Dewey. He wants them all to come home. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (24)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Where am I going?

I know I haven't been regular but I needed to post this and... this is the place. Josiah. Sammy. Owen. Shaun. Philip. Eddie. Vanessa. Xenia. Tatiana. Mason. Genesis. Names of kids I loved and prayed for over a year ago when I first started following RR. I decided I wanted to adopt. We were having trouble conceiving--maybe it was time. I saw a description, a little boy who just needed a family to love him, and DH said find out more. He was half a year older than our daughter. Soon we were trying to start a home study with an agency deciding whether they would even do one for his country. They said yes... and we found out he had been adopted and was no longer available. I questioned whether we would still adopt. We thought about other countries and/or going blind. But I still looked at RR. How could I look and not love them? I saw a little girl I hadn't noticed before. I hadn't noticed her happy picture, but I noticed her sad picture. We didn't have much to go on. But I fell in love with this sweet girl... and I decided not to go blind after all. I decided we would pursue her. DH agreed despite the unknowns. She never felt like mine, really... not like the first one did. But we went forward... slowly. Educating ourselves took a long time, and we were already up to our ears in our two kids. We sent her Christmas presents, participated in a program to send presents to other kids at her institution. By mistake she was put on MFFM. I thought some other family had adopted her, and I was not sad for her.... Did we want her, though? Yes we did. We did. And she stayed on MFFM. And we got an update. Not a happy update. Not what we'd pictured. Extreme delays... delays that might or might not be from her disability and a new disability we had not known about. If we had older children, or no children, we could give her the attention she would need, but we had two very young children. And two days later... two days... we found out it was actually 3 children. Not exactly unplanned. We weren't avoiding. Certainly not unwanted. We debated. What was a sign? What wasn't? How did we know whether to pursue? RR gently said that they would take her off MFFM, and I didn't say no. We told the agency we were pregnant. They said see you in a few years, and no your HS can't be on hold. Not till baby is 18 months (had been 12 before). We could have found a new agency. We didn't. We weren't sure we could give her all she needed. Days later that little girl found a new family more perfect than we ever had been. Who had a son JUST LIKE HER. Who completed their adoption in barely more time than we'd been working on the home study. The little girl had a family... and I was pregnant through my parents' divorce, which was a comfort I badly needed then and couldn't have known. I had complications, surgery around 17 weeks, and there's no way things would have gone well for us to be travelling in my second trimester. God knew all of it. And we DID help that little girl come home. Sasha. Ivan. Kacey. Gianna. Cherie. I watched RR. I always look at the newly listed kids. Maybe one day I'll say, "that's my son" or "she's my daughter." But it hasn't happened. I get crushes like a teenager in high school. Ten at once, some more intense than others. They come and I fall hard... and they go. Some have families. Some still don't... but they stop resonating the way they first did. Mostly. There's one little boy in a place I didn't want to consider the first time around. Growing up through four pictures.... four pictures where he never smiles. My daughter wants a sister. My husband wants a handle on the three we have now. I don't know what I want. The newest little girl I crushed on, in the safe (ish) country? The little boy I loved from the beginning, my first RR love, the one I thought of late on the night before my induction and thought about when I heard about the ban and talk myself into and out of--too old now. Don't know his prognosis. None of those cute stories from anyone who met him. Never quite out of my heart. Is this what it's like? I fall for them--but then I un-fall. I want to--but I am afraid (and I'm not even the reluctant one). Is it really for real, when I keep falling out of love as easily as in, when I wait and it passes, when I see a potential family member in one picture but dismissed an earlier one? I am overwhelmed already with my 3 bio kids (4 1/2, 3, 6 months). I can't stop thinking what if--pros and cons. I know that if God wants it He can show my husband--I have faith in Him that he can move and in my husband that he would follow. I'm not patient enough, not loving enough, not perfect and wouldn't I have to be? I don't know how to find the drive to get done what needs to be done... when, how will it come together?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A new name

I noticed Peter more than a year ago. He has the same name as my son and my husband, and even looks kind of like my boy Peter. He's a beautiful little boy, isn't he? His last picture was awful--too bright and you could barely see his face--but even so I decided he looked like my Peter, and I liked him.

If you are on the Reece's Rainbow facebook page, or keep a close eye on the listings, you may have noticed something. Slowly but surely, additional children are getting their own pages. They are being given new names and a chance to be seen by a family as individuals. There's no new information but it makes it easier to share them, and that much easier to consider committing to them.

Peter will have his own page, too, and a better chance at a family! I am hoping that he will be able to get more exposure then instead of being buried in the middle of the additional children.

I had the privilege of naming three of these precious boys who have new pages:

He shares a name with my 7-week-old son :)



I asked for Phinehas, but he is adorable... I think all three suit their names.

And this precious girl is now Wren:

I am especially hoping a family will step forward for her now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This is what joy looks like

Catherine is four and has Down Syndrome in a country where that means her parents abandoned her and in a few years she will be sent to a mental institution for the rest of her unnaturally shortened life.

Her only hope is for someone to see her on the "additional children" page and take an extraordinary leap--decide with nothing more than a picture to make her their daughter and bring her home.

And yet... look at her joy:

If you bring her home, I am sure she could teach you a great deal.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Life to the full

This is Galina.

Jesus loves her.

From the beginning of time, Jesus knew when Galina would be born. He and His Father planned for her salvation. He knew that she would be born in a poor communist country, that she would be abandoned shortly after birth because she had Down Syndrome.

But Galina was created through Jesus Himself, made in the very Image of the Father. She is the work of His Hands. Every day of her life is written in His book, and His daughter is of more worth to Him than precious gold, or refined silver, or rubies. God intended Galina to know fullness of life.

Look at her sweet face.

Now, in her orphanage, does she know fullness of life?

Is this the great plan God has for her, to prosper her and not to harm her?

I don't think so.

But I believe I am a part of what God is doing for Galina. I believe God has a plan--that He intends to place this lonely girl in a family. That He has a momma for her.

God's plans may start with the additional children page. They may start with someone blogging about Galina, someone sharing her picture on facebook, someone asking a friend whether they've considered adoption.

But our Father--the Father to the fatherless--does not intend this little girl to live out her years in an Eastern European mental institution. He is calling her parents. He is calling her family to step out in faith. He will call others to give, to donate. He will bless them when they obey.

If you've read this blog for a while, you know that there are children who die in Eastern European mental institutions, children who are there just because they have Down Syndrome, children who are there because they are deaf or blind or have craniofacial differences or limb differences. Children made through Jesus. Children made in God's image. Children for whom He planned fullness of life.

Maybe you wonder how that can be.

God's people aren't doing their part.

There are some who are shouting about the orphan crisis, blogging and praying and bringing home the kids that they can. There are some who are giving. But the church seems to be sleeping when it comes to the little ones Jesus loves--they are abandoned. They are abused. They are left to die. Doctors kill them because they are imperfect--before birth here, legally. After birth, legally, in parts of Europe. After birth, illegally, in parts of Asia. And in other parts of Europe they are just warehoused until they die.

Not everyone is called to adopt. But everyone is called to help. Maybe you don't have much to give, or are giving to other good causes here. But you can pray--right now--for Galina. For children like her all over the world, dying just because someone doesn't recognize Jesus in their faces. For God to show you your part--donating? Praying? Sharing? Maybe adopting? If we all did it we could solve this crisis. There don't need to be children in Eastern Europe waiting for adoption when there are Christians who can help here.

Galina is an "additional child" with Down Syndrome, age 3 (almost 4).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

She needs a mommy

She has a touch of strabismus (which is correctable), but isn't Sophia gorgeous? I bet she is well-loved. She is also described as sociable. I bet she gets along well with Julia, who is just 4 months older :) (I don't know if she is in the same place, but it seems likely).

Sophia needs a mommy.