Monday, October 12, 2015

When a Child is a Miracle

The definition of a miracle, according to my web browser, is: a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

There's two important factors about a miracle: Only God can perform one. A natural or scientific law must be broken for it to count. We all like to talk about the "miracle of child birth". But child birth is not a miracle but a "normal." It is procreation the way God designed it to be in accordance to the natural law that he set.

So when is a child a miracle?? As I watch my children grow and move through life...

It is when they are knocked down hard, but given the strength to get back up again. 

It is surviving the death of a loved one at a tender age. 

It is being rejected by those who are supposed to love you forever and daring to love again.

It is trying again when they fail and are mocked for that failure.

It is surviving and thriving after being dragged into a frightening situation against their will...a big move, a new country and culture, going where nothing is familiar.

It is looking around in a difficult moment and feeling alone and friendless, but moving forward with determination.

It is choosing to walk into a situation to support a friend when the rest of the world seems to be walking out.

It is in forgiving another of egregious sins and offenses.

It is choosing the unfamiliar as they embark alone out into the world.

The natural world says, "You're down. It's scary. It's too much for you. Don't even try to get up."

 God says, "Get up, child. I love you. I will help you."  

As I watch my children move through this beautiful but difficult and sometimes frightening world, I see miracles. I see them rise again over and over by the power that can only be God. And I am amazed. And I am awestruck. And I am see miracles every day. 

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.
Proverbs 24:16

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Summer to Remember

As summer comes to a close...oh what a summer it we will never forget...

As our firstborn son married the love of his life, a godly woman we couldn't wait to embrace into our family...

As our second born son became our second homeschool graduate...

As our youngest four children got to meet their Grandma Twombly for the first time and we all got a good long visit together...

And to be reunited with close friends from Nicaragua...

And then a visit from Grandma Dorr, Aunt Lori and cousin Alec...again our younger four meeting Aunt Lori and Alec for the first time...

And a bittersweet time of saying good-bye to Christian as he heads to college...we are so excited for him but will miss him so much between visits...

And we started our own first time journey of two being in Christian School...

While three stay home to continue homeschooling...

Goodbye to the Summer of 2015!! Thank you, God, for all these blessings. We will not forget! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Dream of Adoption-Part 1

God planted the dream to adopt initially through tragedy. To make a long story short, when my second born son Christian was 4 weeks old, a friend who was holding him lost her grip when he thrust his head backward and she dropped him. His little head hit a table on one side of his skull and the floor on the other. He was left with a fracture on both sides of his skull. Remarkably, he was seen by a doctor and released to go home. There were MANY sleepless nights as we had to wake him up and make sure he would eat every 2 hours nonstop for 12 weeks. It was 1996.

Our sweet baby girl, Rachel, was born 14 short months later in 1998. She was the biggest and best surprise of my life and was born on Valentine's Day! I was a crazy person concerning her safety. If I was walking down the  stairs I would picture her falling over and over. If I saw a young child holding a baby I would get nauseous and sometime dizzy (I still to this day turn away. It was not a child who dropped my baby, but I saw the lack of control of a child carrying a baby.). I struggled to let anyone hold my baby. I was totally captive to fear. 

I decided I would not purposely become pregnant again. 

But I wanted more children.

I began to think about adoption. There were so many children who needed a family and I wanted more children. My plan was to adopt a child in the toddler or preschool stage, past the point of being carried and potentially dropped. 

About that time we sold our 750 square foot house and moved into another house double the size of our old house. This was 2001. It is only a 3 bedroom house but 2 of the bedrooms are quite large. I remember thinking and saying to my husband, "Do you have any idea how many kids we could fit in this house if we bought bunk beds???" It was a moment when I was joking but dead serious all at once! 

I *convinced* my husband to attend a foster care licensing class. It made sense to me. I didn't think we could *afford* international adoption. I was unaware of how domestic adoption worked. I knew there were many kids in my state needing homes. I knew it was very affordable. 

I say I *convinced* my husband, because he had some misgivings. He had just stepped down from pastorate before we moved where we had counselled a family through their kids being taken unjustly by DHS. Tens of thousands of dollars later in legal fees, they got their children back. But there was much damage done to their children while they were in foster care. My husband had testified on their behalf and the state lawyer accused him of preaching in favor of abuse from the pulpit. Nothing could have been further from the truth. He was understandably hesitant to get involved with the state foster care system. But he was *willing* to take the class in order to gain information to see if this could be the right fit for us.

So in 2002, with our son Tyler being almost 9, Christian being 5 and Rachel having recently turned 4,  we headed off  to Foster Care licensing class... 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Better Together!

I'm dusting off the blog today! It has been a month and a half since I last wrote! So much has been happening I haven't been able to catch my breath. The last couple of days I have tried to reflect on all that God has done. I have noticed one common every twist and turn of life, God is already there working. He already has it planned out. He is ready to work his plan in the perfect timing. He has gone before us and prepared the way. I just walk the prepared path. He has people along the way ready to bring what we need. And he prepares us to bring what others need on their journey. Honestly, it astounds me and shocks me and drives me to silence before him.

On May 31rst, in a state I have never visited, my firstborn son was married. I stole, I mean *borrowed* this picture below off his Facebook page! In it, he is 10 days married!! This amazing woman he married? I love her, I mean I really love her!! From the first time she met our family she has been a vessel of God's light. She is a healing and joyful presence in our lives. Oh, and just plain fun to be around!
Her family...they were waiting as we traveled from Maine to Alabama for the wedding, ready to help us at every turn. Honestly the whole wedding was a joyful time of great UNITY. When I became pregnant with my son, I prayed the first prayer that God would bring the perfect woman for him into his life at the right time that would love God with her whole heart and love my son. But I honestly never thought about her parents praying for my son through her whole life! They were partnering with my husband and I as we raised our son. And I was unaware of it!

There were amazing people around us during the wedding, most of them new to us. They embraced us and encouraged us and spoke words of life and joy and truth to us! I was filled up!

And I got to spend time with my two sisters and my mom, all together for the first time since my dad's funeral 10 years ago! AND see two nieces and their sweet kids! And my dear mother-in-law (picture to come as she came home with us to continue the celebration!) came all the way from California!
Bliss, people, pure bliss...

When we got home, we immediately started working on my second born son's High School Graduation. My church family was ready to help and celebrate with us!! As we set up where we were to have our celebration a quick count of chairs made us realize we would not have enough chairs!! WOOPS!! But I was humbled at the support and love God has placed around us that we actually COULD run out of chairs!!
Our son, Christian, will be headed to Cairn University in the fall to pursue a degree in History! Now we have two college students!! YIKES!!

Not long after our graduation, our younger four children had the amazing opportunity to reunite with friends they know from their life in Nicaragua! Oh my heart!!! Wild horses couldn't keep us away!! A dear friend set this up for us and took great pictures for us! 
I received such encouragement as I sat with two women who actually paved the way for our adoption of our four younger children. They went before me in every way. I also got a little back story that showed me how God was preparing our adoption with governing authorities 15 months before we made the decision to adopt!! I am preparing to start writing our adoption story. God uses this blog to send others who would like to adopt from Nicaragua and I pray this continues! 

It has been a time of celebration and rejoicing!! It has been a busy time!! But more importantly it has been a time of God reminding me the importance of *community* and how he brings us together to lock hearts and arms together to help and encourage each other! There is so much more to come, for each of us. God is already there, preparing the way. And he is here with us in the *now* as we walk the current journey!! Only Jesus can!!

"Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." ~Galatians 6:2

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." ~Isaiah 30:21

Sunday, May 10, 2015

God Sees You Through Eyes of Love, Mama!

I know no more appropriate activity, then helping with Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center on Mothers Day Weekend

God Sees You Through His Eyes of Love, Mama

To all the Mama's raising their children, God sees you and He wants to help you with your hard task,

To all the Mama's raising a child borne to another woman, God sees you and will give you all you need to raise that child. He can heal their heart when they are struggling through abandonment and missing their first Mama,

To all the Mama's raising their kids alone, God sees you and He wants you to know that He is on the throne and you are NEVER alone, you have HIM,

To all the Mama's who have lost a child, God sees you and He will comfort your heart,

To all the Mama's with a child who has left in rebellion to you, God sees you and loves that child more than you ever could, He hears your prayers and desires to draw that child back,

To all the Mama's who gave up their child to give them what she could not, God sees you and knows your longing for them. He can soothe your heart and watch over your child.

To all the Mama's who have aborted a child, God sees you and loves you and will forgive you and heal your heart. 

God sees all the Mama's through His eyes of Love. Happy Mother's Day!!

Yesterday, I helped out with Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center's Walk for Life. I know of no better thing to do on Mother's Day Weekend. They do not walk AGAINST anyone or anything but FOR Mothers! 

They are there in Sanford, ME being the hands and feet of Jesus. They offer parenting classes, Bible Studies and friendship. They offer diapers and baby/children's clothes, formula and many other daily necessities. They offer post-abortion counseling. They offer support to the mother giving up their child for adoption. They offer training and support for those keeping their babies. They are there for Mothers, those who planned to be Mothers and those who did not. They do all they do with love and support. 

I support them because I want to support Mothers and their children. They are reaching families I cannot. They are seeking to honor God. I love how they love Mamas and I would stand with them any day!

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.Your children hasten back,
and those who laid you waste depart from you.
Lift up your eyes and look around;
all your children gather and come to you.
As surely as I live,” declares the Lord,
“you will wear them all as ornaments;
you will put them on, like a bride.
~Isaiah 49:15-18

Monday, April 20, 2015

Beware of Fan Girl

In my "normal state" I am NOT a fan girl. I'm not one to stand in line and collect autographs at a concert. I stay far away from book signings. I'm not great at talking to people I don't know (unless they are extroverted chatterboxes...I love those people...they keep the world spinning for the rest of us!).

But I have just purchased a ticket on a little dream and I have a plan to be a roll...

Together For Adoption Conference

Let me tell you...there are some people I am hoping and praying will be there!! They've written their adoption journeys in the form of blogs! I've read some of them as a book, from the beginning to the end! That's not easy! Blogs are set up in reverse with most recent posts first. So you have to be dedicated to a lot of clicking to start at the beginning and keep your spot! 

I am hoping the following will be there, cause I feel like I know them even though they have NO IDEA who I am (These are linked if you would like to visit!):

Andrea from Babe of My Heart and Wiphan .

Gwen and Suzanne from 147 Million Orphans . Gwen ( Oatsvall Team ) and Suzanne ( The Journey ).


Author Kim de Blecourt who wrote of her adoption in the book: Until We All Come Home . (Spoiler, I already know she'll be there!)

Now I don't know if she (3 she's) goes to such things but I would love to see:

Kristin at Spread More Love

Jean from There's No Place Like Home 

Laurel from A New Journey of Faith 

Then those who I would love to say to: "Your journey challenges me to go deeper into what is God's best for me" would be:

Tina from Kacirek Family

Lovelyn at Moments with Love

Carolyn from Project Hopeful

Megan from Blessed with a Burden and author of Miracle on Voodoo Mountain

She likely won't be there but:

Katie Davis, author of Kisses from Katie

There's more, people, more!! I can't wait!! I NEEEEED this!! I need to renew my calling. I need to be soaked in it! 

To top it all off, my firstborn and his wife to be will be married and living about 15ish minutes from the conference so I can crash at their house and get some visiting in!! Cancel Mother's Day and my birthday and my Christmas present!! I've got all I want this year!! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wearing Out My Heart

I remember when I shared with my sister in law that my husband was struggling with high blood pressure. She gave me some good advice about getting that taken care of since it would wear on and out his heart, making it work too hard. High blood pressure is dangerous and feels horrible. But you know what? Anxiety trumps high blood pressure any day of the week. It will body and soul. 

"Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." ~Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety happens when I have taken my cares and pile them up in my heart as problems I need to solve. I start to act like the god of my own life. I take it on and then it takes on me until it takes me over. Little by little the burdens pile high on my shoulders and weigh me down until I can barely breathe. I am wearing out my heart. 

"Cast all your cares upon the Lord, because he cares for you."  ~1 Peter 5:7

I am so thankful for a God that not only created me, not only loved me enough to die for me and adopt me as his child, but who loves me enough to take on my cares and worries. 

So today, my priority is to make a long stinkin' list of ALL my worries and cares and stresses and anxieties. I am laying them down. I am giving them over to God. I am going to let him figure them out, I am going to focus only on walking with him and doing the next thing and the next thing that is before me. I am going to stop walking in those things that only he can work out.

"When I am afraid, I will trust in you." ~Psalm 56:3

Can I get an "AMEN?" Who's with me? Who else is sick of staying up too late and waking up too early? Who else would like to give up tension headaches, an upset stomach and a tight chest? 

~Finances that don't add up...

~Heartbreak you watch in your children that you can't fix...

~Learning challenges in your kids...

~Loved ones that don't know Jesus...

~Health problems that doctors have no answers for...

~Future plans you wish you knew now...

~A to-do list longer than the day...

~A straying child...

~The house falling apart...or the cars doing the same only quicker...

~The impossibility of college costs...

~Relationship problems...

Like high blood pressure wears out the heart, so worry and anxiety take a terrible toll on our hearts and minds and souls. We're carrying things we were not built to carry. Would you make your small child carry the furniture during a move? Neither would our heavenly Father ask us to carry these burdens of ours. He tells us to give them to him because he loves us and he knows he has not built us to carry them. We need to give them to him so completely that we let him handle it and we stop worrying about it! Let's give it up and give it over!

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all." ~2 Thessalonians 3:16