As we approach the one year mark of our trip to Burkina Faso to adopt Therese, I can't help but reflect on the many ways she has changed and grown our family for the better. The ways she has been physically healed and flourished in every way. But that is another post.
You see, my heart is still there. That place where the children go bed with no mother or father to tuck them in at night. There, where their is no one to listen to their deepest fears and biggest dreams. Where the future is bleak for these little ones with no one to protect them, love them, encourage them.
David is one of these precious Burkinable children. He is nine years old. Doctors are not sure how much vision David has, but currently he is being denied education because of his vision difference. David has no family to advocate a better future for him. A future he deserves. If you know anyone who might like to adopt David, please contact me and I'd be happy to get more information for you.
I haven't had much time to blog lately, but with a four-month old in the house, baby trumps blog any day!
If you don't want to feel really sorry for me, don't look at this picture:
No, not the orange counter tops, Silly.
Did you see the missing "On" button on my coffee maker? Um, yeah. Broken as could be! This means I have to set the "Delay Brew" option each time I want to make some coffee. I know people have bigger problems than this, but this mama needs her coffee these days more than ever!
With the demise of my "on" button, I couldn't help but notice that the handle has been broken on my toaster for years now, and the knob fell off the crock pot, too. Last winter we received notice that our furnace was on it's final leg as well. I guess we are experiencing the winter of our appliances in this 13th year of our marriage.
Yes, this season our bodies are tired and our appliances are wearing out; but our hearts, our minds and our souls are being renewed day by day. A few months ago, a friend sent me this verse. I suppose he thought it applied to our family, and while I hesitate to put myself in this category, I won't deny that His word is true because we have so much evidence in our lives:
"and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:10-11
Yes, we are tired. It is the good kind of tired. The kind of tired that feels good because you are spending yourself on behalf of others and for the Lord.
And our needs are being met. Abundantly so. People from church have given us delicious meals, provided us with baby clothes and diapers. Many are praying.
A few weeks ago someone (we still don't know who), gave us a furnace. I'm not even kidding. They heard we needed one and they set it up for us to have one installed. I'm still not over the shock.
Can you imagine my face as I get a phone call like this:
Furnace Man: "Uh, ma'am, this is So and So from ________Heating and Cooling. Do you need a furnace?
Me (silently): Wow, this guy is good! and what timing! I do need a furnace...
Me (aloud): "Um, yes, actually, we do."
Furnace Man: "Okay, because I have an order to install a furnace for you."
Me: "Um..., what?"
Furnace Man: "I know it is strange, but somebody wants me to come out for an estimate and wants me to give the bill to them."
Me: "You are not kidding me, right?"
Furnace Man: "I am not totally sure its not a joke either, but I don't think it is".
Me: "Okay, come on out!".
So don't be afraid to say "yes" to God. God is still good. He still provides. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He supplies what you need at the perfect time.
What if you could save one of these little girls and revolutionize her life? What if you could lead her from poverty and malnutrition and give her a life of love and nurture?
That sad little girl on the far left is our Sitota, before we adopted her.
Her name means "a gift from God". And that is exactly what she is, a perfect gift.
This is Sitota today.
Recently, I received a disturbing email. It is about the conditions in some of the Ethiopian orphanages. You see, adoptions have slowed way down in Ethiopia over the past year. This means a decrease in funds for the orphanages at a time when the price of food has skyrocketed.
Just five years ago, Sitota was in one of those orphanages. I cannot imagine her being hungry, cold and alone. It is unthinkable to me. It is unthinkable to let that happen to other children. If you would like to make a donation to provide immediate relief to Sitota's former orphanage, you can do so by clicking here.
"Anyone who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, God will reward him for what he has done." Proverbs 19:17
"On Saturday, November 12th, at Park Community Church, Together for Adoption Chicago is offering a one-day event on regional adoption, fostercare, and global orphan care. Our hope is that you’ll leave with a unique sense of God’s adopting love for you and a heart and desire to love and care for the orphan."
Today was the first day we had nursing care in our home for Baby J.
It was great to have the freedom to go pick up the kids from school and get them to their activities without having to take Baby J out in the cold, and invest some one on one time with the big kids. I did miss our snuggle time, though!
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about having a third party in our home today. Kinda hard to imagine going about our regular day whilst having a third party with front row seats to our daily life.
It's kind of like when you bring a friend to church for the first time, and you start to see your church more objectively and more critically. Would she be appalled by the stacks of paper on the buffet? Would she think it was gross that we toss diapers in the kitchen garbage? Wow, I never realized how loudly my kids laugh, is that cute or obnoxious? Would she document the lack of nutrition in the kid's after school snack?
Alas, pride has a way of slinking away when you really need help. Turns out our nurse is great. Totally laid back, easy to talk to, or not talk to. Just like when you find that great hair stylist who knows you well enough to chat you up a little, and then let's you relax into the experience.
I am writing this post while just recovering from the state of shock I've been in since little baby J came home on Monday. Our little man has a lot of needs. A lot.
Hopefully next week we will begin some at home nursing care which will ease our load. This sweet baby is on continuous feeds, a truckload of meds, needs wound care, glucose checks, nebulizer treatments and pulse-ox spot checks. Oh, and we need to weigh him naked everyday and the exact same time (that is SO easy).
Needless to say that this little baby has rocked our world.
Did I mention we can't allow him to cry for more than ten minutes or we need to call the doctor?
Besides a crazy lot of work, this baby has brought the JOY!
While reading a bedtime book last night, one of the questions was "what is your favorite thing to do?". Therese answered that her favorite thing is taking care of sick babies.
Carter is relishing his big brother role. He has now started to eat the crust of his sandwich because he "is big now and a real big brother". Carter knows this baby isn't staying, but he will always be his big brother anyhow!
Sitota's heart breaks for this baby. It makes her sad to see his feeding tube and his medicine. Bless her tender heart! But that compassion fuels her to help and she loves pushing his IV pole for me.
At bed time last night, Evelea said, "Mommy, can you believe baby J has only been with us one day?". I looked at her with disbelief as it feels like that one day had been a week!
Casey has been the rock these past 48 hours. He kicked his organizational skills into high gear pre-measuring all the meds into labeled containers for each 24 hour period and pre-measuring formula (this is not a regular formula mix). He loves this baby and wants to give him the best we have.
And my family and friends! I've had two neighborhood nurse friends come to help me change the dressing on his wound and trouble shoot the feeding pump. We've had meals, groceries, rides to AWANA and school, and an extra set of hands to hold the baby while I shower. All desperately needed.
This is the body of Christ in action. All of for one little life. All glory to God forever and ever.
Well, it looks like our new baby will be joining us on Friday!!!!
We are very excited and I am thrilled that he can begin to enjoy a "normal" life. I am also a little intimidated by all the care this little one needs. But that is what God is for, right?
I learned infant CPR today and how to replace his g-tube should it pull out (please, no!). I also learned some wound care for his incision (its having a little trouble healing). I met a few of the doctors and nurse practioners involved in his care. I am expecting a rather large delivery of medical supplies to our home tomorrow.
I suppose this would be one of those nights where I think, "what have I done?". But I am reminding myself that if God called me to do this, He will also equip me.
"I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me."
I am a stay at home mom of four amazing children. Two are homegrown, one is from Ethiopia and one is from Burkina Faso. Hop on the Sol Train to follow our adventures as we navigate the waters of adoption, special needs children, and modern day abolitionism. Oh, and I couldn't do all this without my incredible husband, Casey. We've been married 13 years and find our marriage keeps getting better, stronger, and more exciting the closer to Jesus we get.