Monday, April 27, 2009

and a new week starts

I am excited! The young woman who will most assuredly be my daughter -in-law within the next few years, lives in Cambodia. She and my son Malachi have been hoping and praying and planning for her to visit us here in the USA since Malachi arrived back from Cambodia a year ago. We have been working on all the detials of her trip, including her having to apply for, and be approved for, a visitor visa to enter the USA. To that end, we contacted a US Senator who has helped us with several immigration issues over the years and for whom we have enthusiastically campaigned; we asked if he would write a letter to USCIS on her behalf and in favor of Pat being granted a visa for the summer. He was very happy to help with this request!!We (well I, Linda...Charlie delegates and approves and supports )wrote a letter to the Embassy asking that she be granted a visa, promising, guaranteeing and pledging that we will support her financially and make sure that she returns when her visa is up, showing evidence of ability to financially care for her is something should happen to her, etc etc...........another family whose daughter met Pat in Cambodia last year also wrote a letter for me to submit with our letter and the Senator's letter. Today all those things went via USPS super fast service on their way to Pat so she may schedule her visa appointment.We are hoping for her to arrive on about June 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This week is also the Christian Orphan Summit at Irving Bible Church in Dallas/Fort Worth on Thursday and Friday. I am so excited to be attending and to be meeting several dear sisters with whom I have been priveleged to be part of an online praise and prayer fellowship for several years!! My friends are flying in and we will meet face to face when I pick them up at the DFW airport. There will be many great sessions on how to help establish orphan and foster care ministries and support groups within our churches, how to be a part of the adoption ministry as a parent, an advocate for orphans, how to help connect with established ministries............a lot of what promises to be challenging and very useful information way beyond what I know as a veteran adoptive mom and advocate for orphans and ministries which support them. We have been coordinating for quite a while to make sure that all the home fires are tended to while I am gone: you know, things like farm chores, hungry animals, barn supplies, SCHOOL, getting Jael to and from the high school, making sure the 'fridge is full of things that the older girls will indeed prepare, all the necessary soap products for all the possibilities, insurance cards in all the right places, lots of details. OH, and getting the window fixed on the Suburban so I can drive it...
Still praying over Baby Secret, but we do have the assurances of our insurance company that there is absolutley NO pre-existing condition clause which might preclude any of Secret's necessary care once he comes home. I verified that Friday.
We were given a combined interest-free loan by two different foundations to help with some of the upcoming and already incurred, expenses of our Liberia plans and trip; those checks will arrive this week. The LIFESONG Matching grant fund is due to close its books on our account in a few days and we are trusting that God has moved upon people's hearts to come along side of us in that project. They have pledged to match up to $3000 of donations.........I have no idea what has come in thus far. I know that God will continue to provide as needs arise. If you are feeling led to help with that fund raising ministry, please contact me OR contact LIFESONG FOR ORPHANS . You can make a donation to SMITH #763 and it will be credited to our account. They will provide me with a ledger sheet so that I can thank each an every person who helped to bless our adoption journey .
I continue to read HEAVENLY MAN and it is an amazing biography! I love to read how God works in people's lives! That Brother Yun was cured of hemophilia shortly after he gave his life to the Lord is actually a "small" morsel of the story.....does that give you a hint how much BIGGER God gets as the story keeps unfolding???????????????????????
CRAZY LOVE was a wonderful book too and now Charlie is listening to the CD version as he drives.I am sure he is going to be blessed! I whole heartedly recommend both books to supplement your Scripture reading and to encourage your faith!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My grand son-to- be is almost 20 weeks along in Hannah'as pregnancy!! Is it a strange comparison to make that he will be born just about the time the veggies I planted this weekend are also finishing up their growing season ?? The last cucumbers are usually picked in late September, and so are the tomoatos! Truly to every thing there IS a season!
Thank you for your prayers for our Liberian journey, for our children, for the Kingdom!!!
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Poured out...................................

A woman named Nancy Campbell writes a devotional called ABOVE RUBIES.
This devotional came from her today and it is so worth sharing, I am posting it here. I have said for a long time, and recently, even more frequently, that I want to be POURED OUT, USED, SPENT by my Lord. This so resonates with my spirit!!!!
Isaiah 53:12, "He hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

In Leviticus chapter four it tells us how the priest had to conduct the sin offering. After killing the bullock, the priest would take some of the blood into the tabernacle, dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord in front of the curtain that separates the Most Holy Place. He then had to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of incense. The rest of the blood had to be "poured out at the base of the altar of burnt offerings at the entrance of the Tabernacle." (v. 7)

The shedding of blood is a preeminent theme of Scripture, shedding the blood of animals until Christ came to die once for all. It is interesting to note that the blood had to be "poured out." In the same way, when Yeshua died for our sins, His blood was poured out. John 19:34 NLT tells us, "One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out." Jesus did not come to this world kicking and screaming in order to die for our sins. No, he poured out is soul unto death. He said, "Lo, I come... I delight to do thy will, O my God." Read Psalm 40:6-8 and Hebrews 10:5-7.

My heart tells me that just as Jesus poured out His life for me as an offering for sin, so I should pour out my heart in repentance and contrition for the sin that caused him to sacrifice his life for me. I should pour out my heart in intercession for the sin of this nation. Am I burdened enough to not just pray a little prayer, but to pour out my soul to God?

David cried night and day because his enemies taunted him saying, "Where is this God of yours?" This is what the humanists and socialists are crying out today? "Where is your God? We can do it better than Him." Does this not bring us to our knees? Will it make us pour out our soul to God as David did? Read Psalm 42:3-4 and Joel 2:17)

As our country moves more and more away from God's absolute truths, I fear for the coming generations. I am burdened for my grandchildren and coming great-grandchildren. I am challenged by Lamentations 2:19, "Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street."

This was literally talking about children who were fainting for lack of food. But the children of our generation are (my word interjected here: ALSO) fainting for lack of love and justice, for the need of stable homes and a mother and father that live together and provide them security; they are fainting for the truth. They are being fed deception on every hand--at school, college and through the media. Generations of children are wiped out before they are born through abortion and the Pill. It is time to pour out our hearts like water before the Lord.

Back in the tabernacle days, they not only poured out the blood which speaks of our redemption from sin, but they poured out the anointing oil which speaks of the Holy Spirit. Leviticus 8:12 says, "And Moses poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him."

In His great love and compassion, not only did Jesus pour out His life for us, but God pours out His Spirit upon us. God promises in Isaiah 44:3, "I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring." We see the fulfillment of this upon the Jews in Acts 2:17-18 and upon the Gentiles in Acts 10:45, "And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished... because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Did you notice what this Scripture says? It doesn't say that God gives a little trickle of His Holy Spirit. No, He pours out His Spirit. He is the Pourer. He pours out His salvation. He pours His love all over us. He pours out His Holy Spirit upon us to enable us to live a life of overcoming the flesh and the devil. Even His name is "ointment poured forth." (Song of Songs 1:3)

Can we too become pourers? I don't want to be a vessel with stagnate water, do you? I want to be a pourer. A pourer of His love and compassion. A pourer of His truth. I want to pour out my life for the blessing of others. I want to pour out my soul in intercession for my family and for this nation.

Let's be pourers of His divine life to our families and to this world. As we pour out God will keep pouring in.



"Thank you, Lord, for pouring out your soul unto death for me. I can never thank you enough. Thank you for pouring out your Holy Spirit and your life into me. Please anoint me to pour out your life and love to my family and to all I meet." Amen."


No more stagnation. I am pouring forth of God's life in me.

Further Scriptures about the blood being poured out:
Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34; 9:9; 17:13; Deuteronomy 12:27.

Further Scriptures about pouring out your soul to God:
1 Samuel 1:15; Psalm 42:3-4; 62:8; 142:2.

Further Scriptures about God pouring out His Holy Spirit:
Proverbs 1:23; Joel 2:28-29; Isaiah 32:15; Ezekiel 39:29; Zechariah 12:10; Acts 1:8.

You may like to read the words of one of Serene's songs, one that has not been recorded yet.
(Serene is Nancy 's daughter)

There was a woman who knelt down beside You
And watered Your feet with her tears,
She kissed You with lips that were known for no virtue
And dried Your dusty soles with her hair.
She broke the alabaster vial
And anointed You with the oil.

Poured out, poured out for You,
A fragrant, fragrant perfume,
Poured out, poured out for You,
I want to be poured out!

I am a woman who's kneeling at Your feet
With nothing to give You of worth,
I'll break open my soul and spill every drop of me,
I'll pour my life out like the oil.
I'll sacrifice this earthen vessel,
May my tears be as sweet perfume


They said it was such a waste
But when she saw the oil run down your holy face,
Nothing could replace, no nothing could replace!

Poured out, poured out for You,
A fragrant, fragrant perfume,
Poured out, poured out for You,
I want to be poured out!

Friday, April 24, 2009

HEAVENLY MAN arrives.........I'm stuck on page 2 of the intro

BECAUSE the author in introducing Brother Yun, shares just a smidgen of what is to come and interjects a quote from one of my other favorite authors, Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest....) Picture yourself with God, in prayer. Hear someone saying over you as you are praying.................."If you give God the right to yourself, He will make a Holy experiment out of you. God's experiments ALWAYS succeed." Ok so I pushed past thinking about that... to the nex tpage and read," It is not great men who change the world, but weak men in the hands of a great God." IS it night time yet? Is it quiet? Are the chores done yet??? Where can I hide out to read for a while?

Thursday, April 23, 2009


At dinner tonight, which, like most of our dinners, includes multi-colored varieties of vegetables, Jael to whom I loving refer as the "Food Bigot" made what she thought was a radical observation. We were talking about carrots being good for vision, particularly night vision. Please remember that we are a military family. Dear Jael, age 15, interjected that since night vision goggles were invented, carrots were NOT necessary, were NO LONGER NECESSARY, for good night vision. She then pronounced that "Night goggles are the ANTI-VEGETABLE" and said that she would buy night vision goggles and leave the veggies to anyone else who really wanted them. To her way of thinking at the moment, it was a comparison of sun dials and digital watches. There is NEVER a dull moment around here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

farm life , bits of my whole life.....................

It was not quite a month ago when we returned from Liberia and my "almost favorite" Toggenburg doe, Morning Glory, was overcome by a" super- pregnancy" and pro-longed birth of quadruplet babies and I lost all 5 of those beautiful goats , and a few days later when my Alpine, Satsuma, had her triplets. Those goats are doing just fine. Satusma is an incredible milk producer, and the two doe babies, Tulip and Lily, go to their new home tomorrow. Their brother, Moses Pork Chop, will stay here for maybe obvious reasons... Satsuma produces about two gallons of milk a day!The late Morning Glory was almost that impressive last year after her first "freshening" or kidding and I was excited to see how she produced this year. BUT, today her daughter, Sunflower gave birth to twins. Beautiful babies, a girl and a boy whose names are Rose and Ribs. (See the pattern here?) This is her first time to kid so I don't know if she will be continue the impressive milk producing line of dairy goats that I have been breeding since I bought the Grand Mamma of Sunflower and mamma of Morning Glory: Miss Brownie. Brownie is due again shortly too, with twins of her own. Gotta love ultrasound and my mobile vet clinic !!!!!
I sold a very sweet doe last year who had triplets for me, but who only produced about 2 quarts a day, tops. For this little farm that was not worth the feed for the goat. The family who bought her is THRILLED to get between 1 and 2 quarts a day, so I am glad she worked out for them. I have been spoiled by super producers and I tend goats to produce and sell milk. We sell quite a bit of milk, consume a lot, freeze what's left over for later on; nothing goes to waste! The funny part is that I buy cow milk for the bottle fed baby goats after they reach 5 days old. Cow milk is cheaper than goat milk and they digest it just fine. When I have extra unsold goat milk the babies may get some of that back, so it doesn't get old. I have made cheeese and yogurt, but don't do so regularly, mostly due to time constraints but I have friends who do cheese all the time. I have a customer who buys 6 gallons at a time just for cheese. We milk, team style, every morning before school and every evening after dinner, rain or shine, heat or snow. The only time I don't process the milk after we bring it in is Sunday mornings when Charlie does it for me, so I can get ready for church. Everyone knows the routine and it moves pretty smoothly. Isaac is my best milker, and Jael, we found out is a real "sleeper" when it comes to rapid efficient milking abilities! Isaiah brags a lot and Noah does his best to avoid milking so we assigned him to the chickens. Eveyone helps me, even the younger girls , when we have 3 or 4 or more does in milk.
OK shifting gears, I have come to really love NBA basketball. One of my favorite players , Chauncey Billups, who now plays for the Denver Nuggets, just helped lead his team to a terrific victory in a play off game over New Orleans Hornets by scoring 30 points in this game! I like Chauncey B. so much that I named my last Basset Hound after him!
I am also excited because after I recommended CRAZY LOVE to a dear friend , she read it, loved it, and got it in CD version and loaned it to me for Charlie. Charlie is not a big recreational reader, and there is just not time enough for me to read it to him when he is home, even though he might like that...maybe, sometimes.......... ANYHOW, I really wanted him to be able to read it, and with Jenny's CD copy, he can listen on his way to and from work!!!! Can't wait to give it to him!!! I am so charged by Francis Chan's book and his incredible use of scripture within his gift of writing, I wish that everyone could read it.If people only read the scriptures he writes about, they would be challenged to be renewed and transformed. How God inspires him to write about God's RELENTLESS LOVE is not something to be turned away from lightly!!!My copy of GODLY MAN should arrive tomorrow too and I am very excited to read that next. Chan talks about some people in the end of his book and references Brother Yun. THAT made me doubly excited to read the man's story!
OK, the vegetable seedlings are ready to plant tomorrow, the weather is perfect, the seed corn and beans are ready to put in, the garden is tilled and composted and I am ready to be rested and putting in our new garden!! All the flowers out front are beautiful; new geraniums went in tonight to replace the waning tulips and compliment the now -exploding -with-purple blooms- clematis, the dianthus and petunias and peonies. The rosemary just smells divine!!!!!After school, Bible time and prayer and read aloud (Sing Down the Moon, this week) we will PLANT! (oh and castrate/ band Moses Pork Chop). I will also try to get my mom her spring wardrobe which I washed and sorted out for her today so I can switch out her nursing home winter clothes for the warm weather things...NO promises on that...........seeds and soil are calling tomorrow............................................sorry mom!!!

His praise will continually be in my mouth

And I am still singing YES LORD. Jael is sick for the third day with this bug, Charlie is down with it, Leah is fighting it, and I am still queasy with it, there is still a need for unity in a number of important issues. I didn't sleep the night before last and fasted all day yesterday ( I don't talk about fasting uintil after its over.....) being still a bit sick "helped" me persevere in my fast ; - )
but I know I spent the day with my Lord. His peace in all the waves of this particular storm has only boosted my confidence that we are on God's path and He is working things out, internally and externally. Please continue to pray with us about decisions to be made.........
needs to be met?
I was reading a lot of Psalms this morning, so many are already marked up in my Bible but Psalm 29 was not except for one verse, so I read it to find out why. What I had underlined was "And in His temple everyone says 'GLORY' " Great chapter acknowledging God in His Holiness and His Majesty. This may not be the day we reach God centered unity, make a crucial decision, it may be a barfy, Immodium popping day, it may be a day of healing and unity, but it is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

praying for Smith Soup

There are " some" who do not want YES LORD to be the song we sing.................I know that our warfare is not carnal, and I am sure seeing that right now!!!!!!!! Please pray with us for unified hearts and minds, and that we are the willing clay in the Potter's hands?

Monday, April 20, 2009


"But now Oh Lord You are our Father We are the clay and You our potter And we are the work of Your hand. "Isa. 64:8 This is my mediation today, to be focused on ALL that God would have for me to be about in His kingdom: to be His clay, forHis glory, to be willing for Him to pinch off anything that is NOT in His design, to push "my clay" in any direction He would, and that I would be more and more willing to simply say "YES LORD"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

From THE HEAVENLY MAN, by Brother Yun

"--I have learned that when the Lord tells us to do something there is no time for discussion or rationale, regardless of the situation you face. When we are sure God has told us to act, blind obedience is called for. Not to obey God implies that we are wiser than him, and that we know better how to run our lives than he does." I was instantly reminded of the passage of scripture asking if the clay should say to the maker "What are you doing?" I have not read this book yet, only the first chapter, and a few shared quotes, but it is next on my TO READ list!! I I am finishing CRAZY LOVE : Overwhlemed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan and it is also very good.....I'd recommend it to anyone seeking to understand their relationship with God, or why your relationship with God isn't what you'd like it to be, to anyone who,reading your Bible would like a great companion book for a study on God's immeasurable love for YOU .............. go visit and you'll get a taste of what I am telling you about. There are a lot of really good books being recommended to me right now. Its hard to pick and choose, or to keep up, but I have gained a lot of insight, learned more about my Heavenly Father, and God has used HIS WORD first and foremost, but the writings of others to reveal more and more of Himself to me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another teenager!

HAPPY 13th BIRTHDAY ISAAC!! Since we like what our best friends call "fake Tex-Mex" food and since Esther (in green shirt) is a server/ shift lead at this restuarant, and since kids 12 and under eat for FREE on Tuesday nights....well its a no brainer that you'll find us here most Tuesday nights. Add to that, for a birthday you get sung to while wearing a cool big sombrero, and you get free fried ice cream, well what else is there to do but take a photo?? He has been talking about learning archery for quite a while but has no idea that Charlie got him archery equipment for his birthday.....when he eats his chosen bbq'd pork chops, stir fried red.yellow, orange and green peppers, rice, and chocolate cake frosted with real whipped cream, he'll find out!!!! ( I am sure there is a new basketball and some basketball cards in this story somewhere too!!!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My grand baby to be

IS A BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hannah just called from the ultrasound tech's ofice. I could not even say "hello" but "WHAT IS IT?????????????????????????????? She of course had to tell me to guess so I said "girl" because she knew I was feeling it was a boy."No its a BOY." I could just about see her beaming face through the phone as she spoke. This is cool because I bought him a blue an white stuffed puppy dog for Valentine's day....Charles David he will be! Madyson was there at the ultrasound and she was not too thrilled ,but being 5 years older she won't really play with the baby for now anyhow. I am having a GRAND SON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Locks of Love update

I found out today that Locks of Love does not make wigs of natural hair for children under age 6 , its just their policy, BUT we will donate Rachel and Naomi's hair in honor of Abby Riggs, who is 4, nonetheless!!! It is still a wonderful cause and I am so proud of my daughters for their generosity!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Locks of Love

Rachel who is 9 and Naomi who is 7, have been talking about growing their hair to donate to Locks of Love for quite some time now. Today was HAIRCUT DAY. Hannah cut offabout 13 inches of Rachel's hair, and about 11 of Naomi's . They have a specific little girl in mind to donate their hair to, and I "think" I can submit her information on the Locks of Love form with the girls' pony tails...still researching that part of the issue.
Here is Rachel still wearing her hair and then (below) Rachel holding her hair!

Naomi, still wearing her hair and then, her "after" photo

Hannah cut Rachel's very thick and wavy hair in a straight bob, but Naomi's is tpaered longer in the front...Both are absolutely adorable......with their long tresses or with their short bobs. I am so proud of both of them for asking if they could donate their hair to Miss Abby R and then TELLING me that is what they hoped would happen!!
Here they are, ponytails and Locks of Love certificates in hand, my tiny heros!!

Does this look like a "Pit of Doom" kind of guy?

Oh yes it does. Looks are very deceiving. Gideon doesn't let me take his photo very often but he was so pleased with how handsome he looked in his Christmas gift suit, he was even convinced to put it back on after dinner for a photo-op! Awfully handsome, dont you think??

oh the things that pass for fun at Calico Acres!!!

This is what happens when an 18 year old sisiter convinces her 23 year old brother that he should experience a "Moose kiss" ........................yes she did and YES he let her,,,,,,,,lick the length of his face from chin to forehead......ugh................... BUT they say revenge is sweet, and mabe it was for Gideon,

But for Esther, that "sweet revenge" was was not so sweet!She quickly found herself buried in "the Pit of Doom"....oh yah, Gideon grabbed Esther and stuck her head right into his "been working in the garden and playing football all afternoon" stinky arm pit
These two sibs have a rather unique bond anyhow, but now its been broadened and deepened into realms the rest of us do NOT want to go!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Have a glorious RESURRECTION DAY celebration!

This day, above all other days is our high holy day! Jesus birth was miraculous. absolutely, but it was for THIS DAY that He was born. IF ever there were a day deserving of fire works and more fan fare than we give to winning World Series baseball teams, Masters tournament golf players, NCAA basketball champs, and most definitely during a presidential election/ inauguration, it is today. Today we celebrate, commemorate that day when JESUS AROSE FROM THE DEAD..........................fulfilling thousands of years of prophecy, causing millions of dreams to at last come true.......................JESUS AROSE FROM THE DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE is ALIVE! Our faith in the Living God all comes back to the outcome of the death on that cross, the time Jesus spent dead in that tomb and those glorious words spoken by an angel
"Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here HE IS RISEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Have an incredible day of basking in LIFE., in thanking God that He made a ways for us to have life: abundnant and free now and life eternal, life free from sin, if we only ask Him in faith believing.......

Saturday, April 11, 2009

consultation with another neurologist

Brent and Michelle, publishers of Serious Life e-magazine, whose 4 year old daughter Abby has a serious leukemia, live not far from us, and while we have never met face to face YET, they did refer me to Abby's neurologist. I called and left a voice mail thinking that I'd hear from her some time next week after the holiday. SHE CALLED ME BACK WITHIN AN HOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She was so warm, so encouraging, and while she didn't say anything particularly different than the other neruo with whom I spoke, and whose call I waited on for almost two weeks , her approach to Baby S was so different!! Rather than her focus being on how much work we were looking at undertaking, or how full our plate was and would be, she said "OH YES! HE needs to get home and get surgery RIGHT AWAY! He needs family to care for him and get him treatment!" before she addressed any of the potential issues. She gave me some good suggestions to implement if/when Baby S comes home as well. She made herself very available to us before and after Baby S would come home!!!!!!!!!!! Charlie's qustion in response to that was about how much more his condition could / would deteriorate between now and the "maybe one or two months at the earliest before we could get him home." We don't have that answer, but we know that he is not going to stop advancing until he gets treatment.

God knows all those answers, He knew the questions before we asked them, He knew WHO would ask the questions. Thank you to all who are praying over this with us!!!
If you are new to my blog, more about precious Baby S and how he came into our lives, and about his special needs, are in some of my "older posts." If you are wondering who he is and what all this is about, please feel free to browse the older stuff to find out. OR feel free to ASK ME!! I am very happy to talk about him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

How much love can you get out of one bottle of red nail polish?

About this much!!! One afternoon, I told the girls at the orphanage that I wanted to do a mani-pedi for all the girls. I am not entirely sure but I think that babies and older girls included, I did about 30 sets of fingernails and 30 sets of toenails, praying all the away like that widow prayed over her oil and flour as she fed Elijah that it not run out. My not brand -new bottle lasted till the last repair on the original mani-pedis was done!!!!! We had so much fun ! Somebody said " Oh don't you look pretty!?" to one of the newly mani-pedi--ed little girls, but THAT was not my focus and I responded quickly, "NO this is a pretty girl with fancy nails!" and that became the mantra ..." another pretty girl with fancy nails....." Those girls were and are beautiful .........nail polish was just a personal touch to fancy things up a bit. The manicures didn't last till supper time, I was quick to notice...a lot of polish got chewed off pretty quickly after it was applied, but those toes! Dirty and dust covered, the red kept on shining through and most of the girls still had visibly painted toes even on the day we had to say our good byes. Not exactly a "foot washing" but it was an offering of love to each of those precious girls and I was incredibly blessed as I got to love on each one of them!!! Here are some of the beautiful girls who stuck around for thier photo - op!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

in my prayers , on my heart, in my arms

WOW, 7 years ago today we stood infront of the US Embassy in Saigon having just successfully acquired Naomi's IR3 visa, the last hurdle in completing her adoption, which was the fastest adoption I have about ever heard of and certainly participated in! She was 5 months old.
Two weeks and a few days ago, we held another precious baby in our arms, this time in Liberia.
Still in the praying and talking and pondering, he too will come home on an IR 3 visa unity we know we are supposed to proceed, IF we are allowed to proceed at all, IF we are approved by African officials and then by US officials, no IFs are too big for God, no walls too tall, no fears to scary, no facts so factual, no hopelessness too hopeless, no diagnosis too insurmountable, no Peace or Plan too short sighted when they are God's....................
Rejoicing in His providence for us in bringing Naomi home, trusting in His leading over Baby S

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What makes us laugh? LAUGHTER LIVES TUESDAY!

Ok so I met this African snail, and since we do this "go ahead and kiss it" thing in our family, I made like I was kissing the snail...several days later, a big cache of these guys was DINNER!! I didn't partake; Charlie told me they tasted like octopus, which I have tried ,and didn't like the texture of...................
At our big aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma Isaac had to seize the moment to make like HE was kissing a fish
AND WHAT HAPPENS when the deck sliding door gets left open on a nice day if the goats are taken from their usual pasture and put on "clean up the scruff in the yard " duty? They come IN THE HOUSE and steal your dinner right off the table !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who knew goats would like tortillas? OK, who doesn't know that a goat will attempt to eat just about ANYTHING?
Laughter lives here at Calico Acres Farm and is alive and well as a vital ingredient to SMITH SOUP!!!! May God bless all your days with laughter, no matter what else is going on, find something that brings you joy and LAUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009


We received word Saturday that ABBAFUND has partneredwith anotehr organization to provide us witha $6000 no-interst loan to help with the other expenses related to our adoption!!!!! LIFESONG is our matching grant fund, and that is still very much open for donations, but ABBAFUND is a loan, made to us foritems which are not in the "not-for-profit" agency type expenses....filing with USICS, buying plane tickets and paying for travel/lodging expenses. WHAT A BLESSING THIS IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have agreed upon a re-payment plan which is so gracious, I am in awe! Our #1 plan is to immediatley reimburse upon completion of our adoptions with Charlie's employee adoption reimbursement benefit, BUT if that doens't happen for awhile, we will start our own repayments on a monthly basis until the benefit funds can be used. I am so grateful to ABBAFUND in North Carolina for their kind support and to our Heavenly Father who continues to show us to keep going forward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

an unusual Sunday occurance

When my phone rang yesterday afternoon, I was expecting one of my out of state children maybe, but not the neurologist I had left a message with last Monday and whose nurse I followed up with on Thrsday, but it WAS!!! NOT an expert on hydrocephaly by any means, I am not sure I asked enough "intelligent" questions, asked enough "dumb questions" or got as many answers as I had hoped for, if I hoped there would be any answers at all sight unseen.
But he called, he was very friendly, very open, very frank, just a slight bit negative (as in "your plate is already full. WHY would you want to DO this?" ) and his overall asseessment that this was a heart vs. head decision...yes perhaps, in the purely secular it is. God is not secular, God is God. IF HE shows us that we are not the family for Secret, I do not believe it will be because practicality "won out" over compassion.
I just received the most wonderful, made -me- sit- and- bawl- my- eyes -out email, from another adoptive mom who has a child with a history similar to Secret's and a family story not totally different than ours,and it encouraged my heart SO GREATLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did it give me an answer? Change Charlie's current mindset? Change my pursuit of a unified mindset? None that I am aware of, but it gave me the absolute re- re- re- reassurance that nothing is too big for GOD, or for us when we have laid everything we think we are, down before His feet. As I continue to read Francis Chan's CRAZY LOVE, I am immersed in this , I am reminded again and again of God's love and how BIG that is, how He longs to do huge things through us as we let Him love us and as we love Him back...............................
Not wanting "to be wise in my own eyes", I am drawn back to Proverbs 3 :5-8 over and over agian, and especially to that phrase, I am pulled to Phil. 4:13 "I can do ALL THINGS through Christ Who strengthens me". I know this means in saying Yes to one, two, or three, or to NO new adopted children, in whatever number they come or do not come home. I can continue to pray for my precious children, and I will, but OH LORD JESUS if You want any and all of them HOME at Calico Acres Farm, we need You to bring us together in Your peaceful perfect unity.
"For Your kingdom
For our children
For the sake of ev'ry nation
We will choose to be a blessing for life"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

and while we're on things that have never happened before...

We, Charlie and I, had never had dinner on the West African Atlantic Ocean coast before, right on the beach much less with a senior Liberian Senator, but it happened after only a few days in Liberia! Here is our group, with that powerful ocean as a backdrop!

and since this has NEVER happened before

I had to share some photos of Esther at the restaurant where she works as a server/shift lead. Its 22nd Anniversary week so they celebrated with All American heros and or icons like CLIFFORD the Big Red Dog. It was decided that Esther's oh so very gregarious personality would be best suited for the portrayal of the beloved pooch. Here is Esther incognito, er, Clifford with Malachi and Jael. Malachi just could not resist feeding Clifford a tortilla. You can see a sliver of Isaac's smiling face off to the far side of the photo. Our family has so much fun at whatever we do!!

Since it doesn't happen very often,

that Leah let's me take a photo of her, I am seizing the day and sharing the photo! She let me take the picture because we were on the way to the hair salon for a new hairdo, which she has NOT let me photograph! Leah is almost 13 and as well as being truly beautiful, she is an absolute joy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ponderings from my heart

There is so much I thought I'd share about Liberia, and I am still mentally writing. An experience I can share and a photo I can't probably overshadow a lot of what I will eventually write about. In late December or early January I read a post from a prayer pal routed from The Shepherd's Crook, a group who helps to make aware the "most special" of the special needs" children, prayerfully hoping to spread word and be used of God to see more needy children matched and placed with families. The post was regarding a baby, about a year old ( my best guess is he's about 15-16 months, but very small) in Liberia, described as "very involved" and possibly dying. I responded to the post because we were going to Liberia later on and because we had been approved for 3 and not just 2 children as we'd written on our I 600 A app................................. BUT I got no response and thought that he'd been matched or 'something". The day before we left for Liberia, I did get an email from the baby's orphanage agency director, saying that Baby Secret was still very much available, and that if I wanted to call her, please are 2 #s. I prayed over that ,had talked to Charlie about Secret, we wondered if we were to be his family, for however long he might live........but didn't really act upon any of that until our next to the last day in Liberia. He was on my mind, but I was so focused on Junior and Diamoh, the construction project, new Liberian adoption laws, adoptions being halted pending new laws being written, I had talked to our fellow Addys Hope agency folks with whom we were staying and working, and had their go ahead to talk to the other agency, proceed with Secret if we felt God call us to him. All that in mind we prayed and made that call on Sunday. Within hours we were being driven to Secret's orphanage. I am not sure I was prepared for what sight met my eyes, but I was SO moved with compassion for this baby I was a bit speechless...rare for me!!!!! He has hydrocephaly, along with or causing some Cerebral Palsy, some seizure activity, blindness and tactile sensitivity. Charlie immediately asked if we could be photographed with him so that if we proceeded with his adoption he would be granted IR 3 visa status when I came back for him. Our first photos were pretty dark, and he was pretty upset that anyone had disturbed him from his sleep. He cried, wailed is more like it, twitched and arched his back in protest. The nannies and director told me that he does not like to be touched at all. I asked to hold him and took him from the nanny. Holding him at about a 45 degree angle with his oh-so-heavy - head cradled in the crook of my elbow, some thing remarkable happened. He made a soft sigh, stopped crying and twitching, and his (to whatever degree) blind eyes began searching my face as I spoke to him. The 4 women with us all commented at once that this was NOT like Secret at all! I could tell that he had pneumonia in his lungs, and asked about his deeply congested rattling chest. With no suck reflex I was told, they use a bigger- holed nipple to pour his feedings down , and he chokes: a lot. We talked about getting his bed up at an angle to facilitate easier breathing and clearing of his lungs, placing him on his side to sleep, with a wedge behind him. They told me how often they hold the babies every day , but that since his neck muscles are so weak, and his head so heavy, they can't wear him like they do the other babies. I immediately thought of my friend Tami who makes wonderful slings for babies and knew this is what he needed for bonding while care givers (or his mommy) had their hands free. NO OTHER WAY could anyone hold this baby for any length of time! I hated to leave him and with a heavy heart kissed him good bye and prayed over him. The director, Charlie and I talked about ALL the possible issues, a two agency adoption, Secret's needs, how would proceeding with Secret affect approval for visas for Junior and Diamoh.....EVERYTHING.
I knew we needed to pray fervently over all of this.
A week later, we are not of like mind yet. I think that we could adopt him, I know we could love him. I know that Charlie feels its too much, on everyone. I know that my heart broke like shattered glass when I shared with our family (older kiddos, my mom ) at dinner all about Secret and heard not one positive word, not a word of trusting GOD for the right course of action, just knee jerk "NO NO NO its too much and a lot of "me me me," " I don't get, I won't get,I didn't get..." I heard stories of my failings and short comings as a mother which have NEVER been even alluded to in all my years of being a mamma. I heard "oh I'm sure if I'd met him too I'd want to bring him home, God will take care of him mom, but mom, you can't: you're over 50, you don't have enough time for yourself now "(my nails are done, my hair is cut, I shower, I bowl, I see the chiropractor, Charlie and I have date nights...what do these people think I need that I am not getting?) and a lot of "what about the rest of us?" The younger children who KNOW what it is like to truly have NOTHING, asked if Secret would sleep upstairs in the girls' room since the younger girls had moved downstairs to Esther's now vacant room, if he'd come home with Junior and Diamoh. From my older (bio) daughters I heard how everyone has too much to do NOW, it would not be fair to bring a special needs baby home too. From Malachi, and the younger (not bio) children who are aged almost 13 (son and daughter) almost 12 (son), 10 (son) 9 1/2 and 7 (daughters) I heard that we really don't expect them to do very much actually, and that they could/should do some more to help out. YES!! The negative voices are the ones who are here the least, several of whom do not even liver here any longer.
I think he is ours, I think he is supposed to be ours, but I need to hear from GOD that this is so or not so: not from any one's practical standpoints. Those may have merit, they probably DO, and there is some truth in some of what I heard. BUT did not the children of Israel hear that there were giants in the Promised Land, didn't 10 of 12 spies say nothing but negative about what GOD HAD FOR THEM?? There were giants, to be sure, but where were the eyes of the people fixed? On the GIANTS and not the CREATOR of the Giants. When I know we have sought GOD as a family , I think the answer will be every clear as to whether or not Secret should be a tiny Smith. With my eyes fixed on my Lord, I can face the sad "no " or the difficult "yes" of what comes next. I am not trying to talk down my family, or lift me up in any way. My point here is that our human reactions to whatever situation we face, are pretty meaningless in and of themselves. I was a bit taken aback at my first glance at sweet Secret. YES! I did ask myself "CAN WE DO THIS?????" but that was not "no I/ we can not!" I know how old I am, I know that my left knee locks and my right hip got out of whack form the left knee. I know my chiropractor well. I know that we have a large family and a frequent flier mile program to the doctor can be disruptive to home schooling, I know that I am far from alone when it comes to needing to change a diaper or clean some portion of the house or tend to the farm stuff. I also know that we do not depend upon the farm for our livelihood or our survival. IF the farm was taking too much time, THAT would be the first to go.I love my goats, but they are time consuming and not as profitable as if I had MORE goats. That list goes on. I 'd miss the home stead farming aspect of life, the kids are pretty split on that and say they can go either way. My prayer is that Charlie and I are on the same page with GOD to recognize an open door or a closed one for us with this baby. If in my talking about him, God shows another family that Secret is THEIR baby, my prayers for him to be placed in a family are answered. If WE are the family God has for him, I know God will make that clear and saying so will be a step on solid ground. In all this it is possible that Liberia will tell us "no" or that the US will refuse to issue a visa. THAT set of doors is way down the hallway yet!!! God has shown us a lot of closed doors before, but not until we knocked, and the same with open doors. If I'd said "oops closed door" when Charlie passed out during our vows at our wedding, where would we be? OR if I'd said "No God You can't mean shutting down my midwifery practice now, Charlie's company is failing and we need the money" our life would be aimed in a totally different direction. Our very lives right now are more logistically and financially secure because God put it on Charlie's heart for us to pray about his going to Iraq with his Reserve unit, not once but twice. HARD????????????I'm sure it was harder than I allowed myself to dwell upon, but GOD paved the path. We pulled together as a great family team, our church family was right beside us, they still are.
So if you'll pray with me for the future of this precious baby who has been listed by his agency for almost 8 months and has had no one inquire about him until us, pray that all eyes are on our Abba Father, and not ourselves when praying over Secret? That's my heart, laid bare and open , right now!!

Naomi now

I had to share this newer photo of sweet Naomi after sharing the referral photo.