Thursday, September 30, 2010

A sunburned nose kind of day

Our car wash and bake sale for our children's home in Liberia was OK,  not the best car wash  we've ever done but much better than sitting home not trying at all!!! I am thankful for each person who stopped and to whom we were able to minister.  it was a warm very sunny day, a very windy day and that's the kind of day which deceives on into forgettingthat a sun burn WILL happen!!! I am burned pretty red from facing the sun while prancingup and down the sidewalk with my CAR WASH  signs with the younger kiddos.
We had a really good time and I so appreciate our friends who came and helped us. Gideon and Malachi came out and helped most of the day  too!!
I have a LOT of baked goods left. That part of the day didn't  go as well as I had hoped.
Tomorrow Daniel has his surgery for his feeding tube and refulux problems. We will be in the hospital until at least Sunday. If yo'd pray for an uncomplicated surgey  and recovery period we would be most grateful!!
I'll have my trusty little computer with me so I'll stay in touch.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Like Falling in Love by Jason Grey

Oh dear readers  CATCH THIS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just put it as my #1 on my playlist!!
Be blessed, and   YES YES  FALL IN LOVE WITH  JESUS!!!!!!!!  (Recent proofreading  and editing done by Miss Naomi who caught my  dyslexic "adn" and "jsut" and asked that I please fix them!)


I love car washes for fund raising! The fun and fellowship and the opportunities to share God's love while we WORK out  in public is just so  fun to me! I love running with posters along the streets with my children and their friends, love talking to people  about WHY we are washing cars to raise funds, love telling people "no there is no set amount. YOU give what you want to give" and seeing how God moves on hearts. I love the servant heart that this kind of fund raiser strengthens in my children. 
Tomorrow we will be washing cars to raise funds for food and clothing for our children in Liberia. We are trusting God for a beautiful day , like the one we are thoroughly enjoying today, praying  that God be preparing hearts and cars and sweet teeth, helping us who are baking to not over bake and not waste a single cookie by burning  or dropping or crumbling, but that we are able to be the best stewards of every facet of  this event that we  could possibly be! I'm praying over our attitudes, over each person who is going to come help, over those who have donated baked goods for us, donated supplies, over those who are prayting with us!
Orphans are so close to God's heart. His examples in scripture,after analogy of salvation to adoption make it so clear how special orphans are to Him. I know how  I "pound the table and weep"  over the children we have brought into our family, over those who I've specifically been called to pray into the families of others, AND for the families whose hearts need to be touched and drawn into adopting the millions of waiting children. IF I , a mere dairy goat farming, home schooling  mom,  have this much passion inside of me for these children, HOW MUCH DEEPER IS GOD'S PASSION!  "Loves like a hurricane...I ( and yes!!! the orphans)  am/ are  a tree, bending beneath the weight of His grace and mercy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "
If you know of a family who is fund raising for any stage or facet of an adoption, a program which helps families to adopt, if you are a family praying about adoption, or NEED to be,  please  do something about that this week? It does not have to be our family, but it certainly may be!!!  But seek what God would have YOU do for "the least of these" who wait: perhaps hungry, under-clothed, lonely, confused, but all loved of God even if they don't know it yet!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Daniel,my Praise and Worship partner

Oh how my sweet baby blesses  my life!! When I hear my other children singing praise songs during the day, it always makes me smile, I get a  deep rich blessing as I hear them and watch their faces, but Daniel, of whom the neurosurgeon said "has minimal brain stem, minimal brain activity and capability,no memory, no genuine sensory awareness,"   LOVES  to sing praises to his Lord ! He sings with absolute  reckless abandon and from the very deepest and fullest  depths of what is obviously a deeper being than his brain is given credit for.  Thank you to my dear friend Jenny who gently remidned me that  a sould and spirit do not require a brain! If all of us who have all the normal parts of our brains would or could worship God like my hydranencephalic baby does, there would never be any threat of any stones or rocks crying out  ( Luke 19:39-40And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. ")
 Yesterday morning  in church, Daniel was having a totally uninhibited  and thoroughly good time singing . I can not always watch him when he is singing because I can  not lead and be so over come by  my own emotions at the same time. I tried two weeks ago and I just plain lost  it several times. This morning  I just let myself enjoy his joyful noise as we sang. There was just a small group of us this morning so he was even more easily heard. God  is ministering  to hearts through Daniel and particularly through his worship. (  I will tell you that he likes the bowling alley sounds and to help me cheer for a football team, but his facial expression is different when he is singing rather than responding to loud sounds)  He  mostly listened to "Desert Song"  but when we sang "It is Well With My Soul " and  "and Can it Be That I Should Gain", "How He Loves"  and "More Love, More Power" he exhibited all the passion of  a  much  older person who had lived a  life of  rebellious choices and evil  outcomes, experienced   messed up circumstances, broken heart and dreams,  sharing how he  came to meet  Jesus and ask Him to be his Savior, ask Him to forgive his sins, cleanse him from all unrighteousness and began to fall deeply in love with Jesus,in all His fullness in Father , Son and Holy Spirit. YES ! All that from the heart of a "missing -brained" baby boy!  It isn't the notes we sing, it isn't even the words we sing, or the quality with which we sing them that ministers to us, or to our Heavenly Father, It is our heart-attitude. I will always remember at a church we once attended, there was a man  who loved to sing an occasional solo in the morning worship service. He did not have a particularly pleasing voice, by any standards, honestly. But this man LOVED THE LORD SO MUCH that when he sang, the scratchy notes, missed notes, strained notes and fumbled words got lost in sharing his love for God, and the "amens" and words of gratitude and praise at the conclusion of his singing were  TRULY  what a person singing a solo in  a worship service should be focused upon: PRAISING  GOD for the spirit of worship in song!  The glory  should all be going to God ALONE. There  was another  man who came and sang  there sometimes too. He was the son of someone in the church. He was gifted musically, had studied music in college, was hoping for a recording career. Technically, he would get "all A's "  if graded on his singing. Know what? There were lots of words of praise heaped up...on the head of that man. There was always much applause, as if we'd been at a concert, but not listening to a person who was being used of God as part of a worship service. I found  myself wishing the other man had been singing because he helped keep my mind on God and His Word.  
Daniel  by all "standards" can NOT  sing and yet  God is using his song to remind people of  a very basic truth : that we need to worship in spirit and in truth ( John 4:24) not to be heard of men or praised by them  but that we worship purely and freely with no thought for how we may be viewed except BY GOD ALONE   and,  that we DO worship God because we love Him, because we want to and because we simply CAN NOT HELP IT!
The words to the songs God gave me for our worship this week all attest to God's incredible love for His people. Several of our songs were written in the 1800's. The message is the SAME as the one in the songs written in the last few years:  GOD'S  LOVE. Amazing can it be??? He  loves like a hurricane...I am  a tree.......... Daniel has no idea what a hurricane is, much less a tree.maybe he knows what a sloppy wet kiss is, if he remembers,  but the love of God alive in him? Oh I have no doubt that he knows THAT! Please read the words, sing along if you  know the tunes, let God's love pour all over you like it poured all over us  through Daniel's singing of these songs?    OH  How He Loves !
Desert Song
This is my prayer in the desert

When all that's within me feels dry

This is my prayer in my hunger and need

My God is the God who provides
This is my prayer in the fire

In weakness or trial or pain

There is a faith proved of more worth than gold

So refine me Lord through the flame

I will bring praise

I will bring praise

No weapon formed against me shall remain

I will rejoice

I will declare

God is my victory and He is here
This is my prayer in the battle

When triumph is still on its way

I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ

So firm on His promise I'll stand
God is my victory and He is here
All of my life in every season

You are still God

I have a reason to sing

I have a reason to worship
This is my prayer in the harvest

When favour and providence flow

I know I'm filled to be emptied again

The seed I've received I will sow

It is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river

Attendeth my way

When sorrows like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot

Thou has taught me to say

It is well it is well with my soul

It is well it is well

With my soul with my soul

It is well it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet

Though trials should come

Let this blest assurance control

That Christ has regarded

My helpless estate

And hath shed His own blood for my soul

My sin O the bliss

Of this glorious thought

My sin not in part    but the whole  ( bold type and italics  my own)

Is nailed to the cross

And I bear it no more

Praise the Lord praise the Lord O my soul

It is well it is well

With my soul with my soul

It is well it is well with my soul

And Lord haste the day

When my faith shall be sight

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll

The trump shall resound

And the Lord shall descend

Even so it is well with my soul
It is well it is well

With my soul with my soul

It is well it is well with my soul

And Can It Be

And can it be that I should gain

An interest in the Savior's blood

Died He for me who caused His pain

For me who Him to death pursued

Amazing love How can it be

That Thou my God shouldst die for me

Amazing love How can it be

That Thou my God shouldst die for me

He left His Father's throne above

So free so infinite His grace

Emptied Himself of all but love

And bled for Adam's helpless race

'Tis mercy all immense and free

For O my God it found out me

Amazing love How can it be

That Thou my God shouldst die for me

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature's night

Thine eye diffused a quickening ray

I woke the dungeon flamed with light

My chains fell off my heart was free

I rose went forth and followed Thee

Amazing love How can it be

That Thou my God shouldst die for me

No condemnation now I dread

Jesus and all in Him is mine

Alive in Him my living head

And clothed in righteousness divine

Bold I approach th'eternal throne

And claim the crown through Christ my own

Amazing love How can it be

That Thou my God shouldst die for me

 Daniel practically shouted  AMAZING  LOVE  HOW CAN IT BE THAT THOU  MY GOD  SHOULD  DIE FOR ME!!!!

How He Loves 

He is jealous for me loves like a hurricane

I am a tree bending beneath

The weight of His wind and mercy

When all of a sudden I am unaware of

These afflictions eclipsed by glory

I realize just how beautiful You are

And how great Your affections are for me
Oh how He loves us so

Oh how He loves us

How He loves us so

(Yeah) He loves us

Oh how He loves us

Oh how He loves us

Oh how He loves
We are His portion and He is our prize

Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes

If grace is an ocean we're all sinking

So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss

And my heart turns violently inside of my chest

I don't have time to maintain these regrets

When I think about the way that
He loves us

       Daniel will have two surgical procedures done concerning his stomach  on Friday. One will give him a feeding tube port ( a "Mickey button" and the other will tighten the sphincter between his stomach and his esophagus so that he isn't so trauamtized by reflux. His teeth are already nearly corroded away from the acid reflux, no telling what his poor esophagus may look like as well. this will be a three day hopitalization. The shunt surgery was only one over night  but this is more complicated than the brain surgery. There is more to get restored and in working order before we will be allowed to come home. Will you please pray for my little musician that God will guide every second of the surgery in safety and expertise, and that the recovery period will be eventful ONLY in the areas where events are the desired outcome, with no complications or infections or side issues? I will have my computer and lots of music for him to be in the presence of  start to finish. and of course I will be singing over him too. We'll miss one Sunday of worshipping together in church  but I suspect that God has other people for Daniel to sing for, and they may need to hear his song far more than anyone inside of a church!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Our new, extended and renewed I 171 H  !!  Officially this is  titled
 but it states we  are valid till 5/3/2011 for our finger prints (then we have to pay to renew...)
 and good for advance adoptive   approval till December 17, 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hallelujah! All of our ducks are in order  anticipating............  THE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our anniversary happened this weekend too!!!

Saturday was our 28th wedding Anniversary. We celebrated the night before at a local steak restaurant, with rather disgusting results although the company  was sublime!  ( I  really  like dating my husband!!!)  our entire dinner was paid for compliments of the restaurant manager after not one, but two cock roaches crawled out of the food and onto the table. NEVER  has this happened to me in even the remotest of developing nation restaurants, or in my own home, I might add! 
 The day of our anniversary we hosted a luau birthday party for Grandchildren Mady turning 6 and Charlie who as I've mentioned  (maybe  ad nausem )  turned one and I think that a good time was had  by all!   The hostess of the party, and celebrant of that  28th anniversary, came home from  pre- party-prep errands to find:

They have blossomed beautifully and their aroma is nothing
short of heavenly!!
 Thank you dear Charlie, my dear husband!
 Party photos will follow later: AFTER Esther's wedding shower posting!

What a blessing to have special family events to celebrate all year long! Three more Grandchildren have birthdays this month, four children have birthdays in October, Esther's wedding AND her birthday are in November , as are my twin grandchildren's birthdays and one other grand son! Those lovely rose blossoms represent our years of life together and the awesome family which has resulted!
SO  happy  anniversary to US!!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Birthday to DH  Charlie first and foremost, Grandbaby Charlie, Granddaughter Mady, Grandson  Bryden now 10 , Grand son Ethan now 17, Granddaugther Emily, now 19! A full quiver  AND a full flower vase! That's a great combination!

Weddings and pancakes

I started to write a post about Esther's upcoming wedding and bridal shower on Saturday....until..Naomi came to my little computer corner and asked me in her very sweetest voice, "Mommy, how loooooooooooooooooong would it take you to make pancakes? Really loooooooooooong or could you do them sort of fast?" SO, pancakes now, wedding and shower bloggging later! I love you Naomi! How do you tell a girl "no"  about panckaes when she asks like that??  Here's Naomi a week ago, talking on the phone to her friend Taevy while  jumping  onthe trampoline. How's THIS  for multi-tasking??!!!

P.S.  Here's breakfast! Syrup, powdered sugar optional, butter: GOTTA have it!

They are about gone now!!!

Naomi likes the "Silver  Dollar" aka "Baby  sized ones!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Birthday photos, fun photos and some praises to report too!

Our Tuesday night Mexico Joe's  dining tradition continues with the celebration of  our two Charlie's birthdays. Since Tuesday is Esther's night to work, its our night to bless her with our presence AND a nice tip at the end of the evening. Here's Esther greeting the little Birthday Boy!

The Charlies celebrating their Sept 13 and Sept 14 birthdays
at Esther's MEXICO  JOE'S  restaurant. Sombreros are
  not REALLY mandatory,  just traditional!
The other Grandparents: Grampa David and Gramma Karen
who along with some other friends, came to celebrate

Charlie with his Daddy's Marine pal,  Chuck. This is my favorite
Charlie face of the evening!

 Charlie had been wathcing the huge balloon lamps above his head so Uncle Gideon was more than happy to hoist him up to see one  and even grab at it!!

After his favorite Chicken and Dumplings Birthday dinner at home, the King of this Castle loves  chocolate cake!
This year his favorite had  a new secret ingredient in the butter cream icing and it was a HUGE  HIT!!


Jael decided that Isaiah had not hada  BIG SISTER KISS in  a while
and promptly fixed the situation!

And since it  IS the 17th of September and you never know
how much more pool weather there is going to be,  Naomi,
Isaiah and pals Winston and Uriah enjoyed a cooler water  warm weather day together
But were not very happy that I asked them to pose

Poor Noah still had some reading to do, so
while the swimming wsa going on, here was Noah....................
Not wasting the beauty of the day on school, that 's  for sure!!!
 School can be good outside too!

Daffodil got curious about how the grain gets into those coffee cans twice a day....

Much to our amusement, but I am sure not to hers,
we made a photo -op of Daffodil's  dilemma!

"Free at last  FREE AT LAST!!"
took on a whole  new meaning!!
On to tree branches, hay and other safer pursuits!
After that coffee can adventure, Naomi thought the goats needed
a safe snack of saltine crackers. Brownie got there first, and Rose second. You can't see poor  Daffodil

Here's Daffodils's Daddy: Ribs, enjoying a snack of saltine crackers
with the Boss!

From the ridiculous to the SUBLIME  to reverse a phrase....

We LOVE the math curriculum called TEACHING TEXTBOOKS
but somehow,
I forgot to order it when I ordered
all the rest
of our curriculum for the new school year.
Who knew that was God working out a September blessing???
So many expenses have popped up and the cost
of the Geometry material was not one we needed this month.
I posted a request to buy, rent, or borrow
to our local home school group,and almost IMMEDIATELY
got a response!!
A dear friend who was hoping to adopt children from
 Junior and Diamoh's former orpahange,
  who has long been a staunch prayer partner with us,
and who had wanted to help financially,but found herself tight too,
KNEW as soon as she saw my request,
 that this was a way she could help us!
She had the whole set, still in its shrink wrap,
unused, and set aside by God for someone else
at some other time.
God blessed us with brand new text and CDs  for Isaac
 and blessed Lesly  with a way to help when she didn't
think there was one!!!


We got  a call yesterday on our house phone...a number which usually  only gets  "official" or "junk" calls. Charlie took it and I heard him say, " I better let you talk to my wife. I might give you a wrong answer ."
It was USCIS and a very nice lady  told me she was updating our
171- H renewal application ,  she had all  of our documents, and wanted to verify that all we had changed was the upper age limit of the children for whom we were requesting  renewed approval. I explained that the boy we were waiting to complete the process for had been 9 when we were matched, two + years ago, he's now 11 approaching 12 and we did not ant ANY glitches with age limit to exclude us from getting him home! She said she'd figured  that but wanted to get our paperwork completed correctly
that our new 171-H Advance Approval to Adopt Internationally
 would be done and sent out in the mail that afternoon!!

Hallelujah!!! When I think of  howclose I came to throwing that USCIS letter away the day it came because I thought we didn't need an extra 90 days to complete an extention............THANK YOU FATHER for my pack-rattery and that I put the letter on my desk "inbox" slot.
THANK YOU Father,  for Your prompting and that YOU made it so crystal clear to us that we DID NEED IT !
 THANK YOU Father that our dear Social Worker was able to come on September 1 to do our up-date  interviews, and that we HAD OUR NEW  HOME STUDY IN HAND on September 10 and that USCIS received it on September 14...two days ahead of the deadline to process our extension for 18 more months!!
GOD IS GOOD ................ALL THE TIME!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Celebrating family

 This week holds several special events for our family. TODAY is my dear husband Charlie's  birthday. He got bogged down in work crisis  and had no weekend off for us to celebrate, he is stuck out of town tonight for his actual birthday so no celebrating today...who knows what tomorrow will look like!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my HONEY!!
Pappa Charlie and his Little Charlie, August 2010

Gift from Sopheak ...for our hay bale out back...
My honey and me at Malachi's wedding
and it is Grandbaby Charlie's  FIRST  birthday!  How fast this year has flown!!
 A few weeks  PRE-Charlie

Labor day  morning. Of course, a cell phone and a popsicle

Early evening on Septmeber 14 Charlie David arrived. Hannah was  a
pretty happy Mamma!

                                                  Two weeks later
Three months old  Our favorite Christmas Elf!

September 11, 2010 First Fund Raiser: helping his Mommy
This week we will have a birthday party for he and his big sister  Madyson whose 6th brithday is later in September.
 IF the weather holds, we'll have a BBQ and pool party at none other than G-Ma and Pappa Charlie's CALICO ACRES  FARM. If it too cool the lauau will be a bon fire and horse back riding event!!

Here's Mady this spring when she and Naomi went berry picking in our back yard.
Such a pretty Grand daughter!

 And then there are Engagements and wedding plans  ...
Emily this June at her high school graduation

Emily with Dad Joshua and
 Mom Diana

MY oldest Granddaugther is
TO BE MARRIED!!!!!!!!!

And of course, wonderful daughter Esther  and Casey are  busily preparing for THEIR  November 6 wedding

OH  Blast from the past!!!!  The day after I graduated from Nursing School, Charlie and I had our wedding rehearsal and were maried the next day, Saturday  September 18 in a late moring ceremony.  The year?  1982. Twenty eight years ago!
We're holding up pretty well, judging form the photo of us from Malachi's wedding in August, Ya think!!!?

ALWAYS  an event to celebrate or to plan for around here!  How I praise God for all of the blessings which bind this family together  and  for all the answers to prayer we have experienced over the years as we have grown from a  divorced single mom  -Nursing student and a Forestry-turned- Geology student who married over a free weekend to start married life that following Monday, to the couple and family that God has been growing and cultivating ever since!!! My favorite verse for our family is in the header of this blog....."And all your children shall be taught of the Lord and great will be the peace of your children" Its my challenge with every new day and its often the answer to my prayers at the end of the day. Truly I can say that "The joy of the Lord  IS  my strength!" I know it is not me.  One  translation of Colossians 1:29 says... "And this is my work . I can do it only because of God's mighty power at work within me." I love that verse too!! It is a reminder to me that IT IS  only God's mighty power, at work within me that accomplishes anything, and then ,  only when I allow my Heavenly Father  free reign, and stay in a right , loving relationship with Him. Those things I launch out and attempt on my own may look "great" for a while, but .... When they are NOT  the steps ordered ( not as in BOSSED AROUND)  by God  for me to be taking, it is not until my awareness of self,  my repentance, and restoration -after- forgivness,   when I  open my heart again for God to direct and for me to follow.,  THEN  those things can be made right, be re-directed or  scrapped.  We've made plenty of" those decisions " along the way in 28 years!!! God is always so gracious and merciful ( a number of times I have KNOWN  very very  well, it was only mercy that sustained us ) as He showers us with His love  and continues to call us the "apple of His eye"  and to sing over us. How can I not be totally in love with God my Heavenly Father? How can I not want to serve Him and follow Him EVERYWHERE, ANY WHERE? How can I not want to know Him better and better, more and more closely? And yet  there have been, there are:  days, weeks ,  that I don't.   I get lazy, self-sufficicent, too busy to commune with my God, and zap, slip slide boom..............I've fussed at a child too harshly, not recognized my husband's needs anywhere close to adequately, wasted way too much time, not loved on my children or taught them as they need me to!  My favorite Scripture verses are not "pats on my back"  by any stretch. They are reminders to me of who I am called to be, and WHO  calls me.  Thirty  six years of being a mom, 28 years of mariage and I KNOW that I know that I KNOW that I  know I still have a LOT to learn!  I do  have a lot to share,  and I am so aware of that too. . We are all people, in need of a Savior, not a pedestal or a perpetual critic. We all need encouraging, teaching, correction, fellowship; .we all need Jesus. We need the Word.  John  said,  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God. The same was in the beginning with God." God is  and is  IN  His Word. We all need Him desperately!!
I want to encourage you, I want to be encouraged  too.
Its great to celebrate family, but so much greater still to share what God has taught through the blessings of  a family life being  lived,  learning how to know God better!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Special babies, rejoicing in heaven and on earth today

The sweet baby I shared  my prayers for the other  day,  quietly and on her Mommy's chest,  went home to be with Jesus this morning very early.   During the night and early hours of the morning, God was doing a wonderful  Body- thing:  a large numberof Kim's friends, myself included , were awakened and were in prayer for Selah and her family at that special  appointed time. You may read the details here.
If you don't go to the link, that is OK, for sure. BUT  will you hold my friends  Kim and Ben and their 10 other children up in your prayers and keep them in your thoughts? This is a very bittersweet time for them. Selah is healed ETERNALLY, but Selah their sweet baby girl is gone. Joy and rejoicing bump into sadness  and mourning...MISSING their precious little treasure-baby.  How wonderful it is to know that God by His Holy Spirit will be faithful in His comforting of "those who mourn", and that truly  HALLELUJAH,  "by His stripes we are  (Selah is)  healed". 
Our days with Daniel are uncertain and Selah's Homegoing makes our days with Daniel even more precious that they were already.  As Selah was rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus this morning, Daniel was singing and rejoicing in church with us this morning. As we sang  "His love endures  forever"  "I beleive in Jesus" "Here I am to Worship"  "Your Love Oh Lord "  and "The Power of Your Love"  Daniel sang at the top of his lungs! He smiled. He laughed. He roared his biggest happiest roars and he sang from the depths of his sweet being. I broke a couple of times as I led the worship when I heard him and looked over at him, worshipping in total abandon and pure trusting believing  innocense and adoration of the One Who was stirring his spirit. Jael was holding Daniel and he knew at that moment  EVERYTHING was as good as it could get  on earth  for a person, at least that is what I sensed from Daniel's personna.
How many days will we have like that with Daniel? I can't say. I can say that I don't want to waste a minute of any of them. I know Kim savored and used every possible minute of Selah's life loving her and helping her to know how loved and special and wanted she was. I want it  to be that way with Daniel too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9-11 reflections

I have been playing 10th Avenue North's new song "This is Where the Healing Starts"  all week as my #1 song as you read SMITHSOUP. It is particularly appropriate today as we all, willingly or  not so much so,  reflect back on this day  nine years ago. Darrly  Worley's  "Have You Forgoten"  is my #1 today but only as a lead in for what GOD offers.....365 days a year.  He is our HEALER, HE is where the healing starts, HIS NAME, He is a strong and mighty tower, HE  makes it WELL with our souls, HE  our ABBA FATHER heals the memories and places them in right relationship with our walk with HIM.  Let the anointed , gifted music from God's own heart minister to you today as you run to Him, rest in HIm, cry out to Him,  know that I am praying over each of you today that you will let God meet you right where you are to do the work HE so desires to do in your lives. I am rejoicing with each of you who is walking closely with our Heavenly Father, and praying that your walk take you deeper and deeper. For those of you who are hurting and feeling that perhaps God doesn't care about your particular circumstances, or you simply would like someone to pray with you over a situation, I am praying Truth be revealed to you. OH HOW HE LOVES YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please feel free to email me privately if there is something that I can pray  together with you  over. I would be honored to do that! You can reach me at

Thursday, September 9, 2010

And one more thing...............

Our Home Study is signed, sealed, delivered to us,  and ready to be delivered to USCIS  well before the September16  deadline for our  171 H  to stay valid!!   IN ONE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thanks to Earlene our Super Social Worker and to those who have helped the Bringing J and D  Home  Chip In Fund at my friend Jill's blog . Knowing that we are holding firm to a hope and plan  that our children will be coming home before too very long , she started a fund to "Bless our socks off". Well,  I AM  "looking for my socks!" God is SO faithful and SO GOOD ...yes! ALL THE TIME!

Lagniappe, Part II

There was actually a bit more "Lagniappe" with which we were blessed this week. On Tuesday, not only did we see Daniel's Pedi-G-I doctor but of course had to do a weigh-in and length measurement. Daniel weighs the SAME NOW with 2 litres of fluid weight OUT of his head as  he did when he HAD that  2 litres of fluid weight !! My sweet boy is gaining weight: REAL WEIGHT!!! He's still a tiny man at 21.2 pounds and nearing 3 years of age, he is still comfortably in  a size 6-9 month sized shorts, and size 2  shoes but he is growing !!! I am full of praise over this!
 Naomi  also had her annual abdominal ultrasound to assess the status of her  internal organs as they deal with the climbing,  ongoing,  high numbers of Hep B virus circulating around in her body. The report was that everything is perfectly fine and a return visit is not needed until the end of the year or early start of next year. How we praise God that He is sustaining her and that He IS the one of Whose Son it was said " Even the winds obey Him!" Our God has dominion over every  virus and these too must obey His voice. The viruses didn't get into Naomi's body by accident. They had to pass before our Heavenly Father before they touched my daughter. I TRUST MY HEAVENLY FATHER. We knew that Naomi might do well, or not, when we accepted her referral 7 1/2 years ago, we've known  ever since. I can not imagine life without this precious treasure of a daughter. HOW could anyone resist "Mommy,guess what I want to do? Bake cookies with YOU!"

                                                    Watching a bird
                                                   Referral photo, of of the first two we ever saw           

But there is  MORE!  God really poured Lagniappe all around and over us this week!
In between appointments, Rachel, Naomi, Daniel and I had time for lunch at the Mall. Naomi asked if Rachel could come along for company, and since I am not one to discourage sister-bonding and since they love to be together anyhow, this was a good plan....Mall, lunch, maybe some shoe shopping?????  "Ouh ouh  OUH!!! Its OK if Rachel comes too?  THANK YOU MOMMY!!!" 
We got into the Mall elevator heading for the Food Court and shared the car with a young mom and her two small boys. Some small talkey something or another set us to talking  and she sweetly and so  gently asked, "So, what's your little guy's story?" I shared a bit about him and how we came to be blessed to bring him home. She asked, "Are you a believer?  A believer in Jesus?"  "YES yes  YES!!!!"  and the fellowship started in between the ground floor and the upstairs Food Court level of Penn Square Mall. She shared that  they had friends who were adoptive parents, that she herself had just returned from a mission trip to Haiti, they  live as far south of the mall as we do north..........all too soon the elevator came to a stop. We continued to talk as we apporached the Food Court when she asked me if she could pray for Daniel and us. FOR SURE!!!!!!  I don't know that anyone else has ever had Church ouside that Food Court, but this woman and I certainly did! She laid her hand on Daniel's head and prayed over him and his life , and his family, and it was beyond Lagniappe! There was nothing "little" about this "something extra"!
 Isaiah 52:7 came to mind as I thought of where we were, and the Good News being shared by my new friend and the Good News that Daniel's very presence brings forth!
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news,Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness,Who announces salvation,And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

Daniel's "big"  size 3 shoes on his beautiful feet!


Life was so full of doctor visits and  new  home school year set up, sports and all that, there was truly no time to write anything  but I kept thinking "OH  I want to share this on my blog!!"  many times over.
Our new school year has begun, with the addition of  Alpha and Omega  Switched on School house and Monarch programs in place of and in addition to, some of our tried -and-true Wordly Wise 3000 vocabulary curriculum, Teaching textbooks and Scott Foresman mathematics for the younger grades.
I am loving the Switched on School House and Monarch programs! The website allows me to set up the school calendar, asign the work to each of my students and to get the end-of-day progress reports on each one from the master curriculum set up. NO GRADING, no lesson's all done for me!! A last minute doctor's appointment for Daniel with the pediatric gastro-surgeon caused a bit of turmoil since it was out first day and I, the teacher was absent from school , but my wonderful students plugged into even the new online material and had a great morning without me!
Daniel. His shunt placement has gone so well, has apparently pulled all the excess fluid form his brain cavity, and has resulted in much less irritability than before he had the shunt put in! We've seen a couple of mile-
stone activities, but alas, only once or twice per "milestone". They were precious, they were unexpected and if they were one time events, we did share them with Daniel and we loved them. IF they were "unintended" that's OK , too. When I cuddle my "forever baby" and hold him close and watch his face relax into the most peaceful face on earth, what he "does" or does not do fades into nothingness. All he has to do is BE. Anything else is what the Cajuns call "lagniappe" and it means " a little something extra". Every morning that Daniel wakes up, irritable or placid, barfy or not, is Lagniappe. Babies with his diagnosis who live to be even one year old are rare. I am praying with a dear friend whose daughter Selah shares Daniel's diagnosis and whose condition seems far more grave than Daniel's right now. What we both know in a newer and deeper way is how precious every single second of LIFE truly is. Our babies' days may be numbered far more clearly than those of our other children and we cherish every moment of each one as precious "Lagniappe"
Our Pediatric Gastro-Enterology appointment was Tuesday and I had hoped we'd get a surgery date. The upshot was because Daniel needed more than just the feeding tube, this doctor referred us to the Pedi- G-I surgeon for a consult. WOW!!! Even the young doctor assisting  the senior one was super- pleased when he came back to tell us that the surgeon wanted to see us the NEXT MORNING! So yes, we interrupted a perfectly well -planned first day of school for a surgeon's consultation. It was all OK!
Daniel will have his gastrostomy ( Mickey button for a feeding tube) surgery on October 1 and along with it a procedure to help tighten that sphincter which causes him such terrible reflux all the time. The surgeon told me it would be pointless to do surgery for a feeding tube if Daniel was still going to reflux everything back up. Amen. He was so very kind and yet realistic about Daniel's diagnosis and the "what-ifs" of a possible failed surgery. (Yes I am very aware that surgery doesn't always "work") and he didn't want us making Daniel's life all about surgical interventions and short term fixes that would really not add to his comfort even if they did make us feel like we were "doing all we can for our baby" It was a conversation of good balance and I think we both understoodeach other very clearly. So far I have been so very pleased with the doctors at OU Children's Hospital, and with the support staff personnel too. The ladies at tehdesk in Pre-op processing remembered us from July, the anesthesiologist's assistant and resident and the pre-op nurses did too. I walked in and was asked " Oh couldn't your husband come with you today?" The anesthesia resident told me that while she wasn't "glad" Daniel was back for more surgery, she was glad she got to see him and find out how he was doing. If you have to have surgery performed on your child, its by a team of people like this!
Its so hard to cathc a smling Daniel or a laughing Daniel if I am the one trying to get thsoe smiels and laughs but in this rather wiggly photo you can see a laugh coming. I was tickling his ribs and , at  least this time, it amused him and pleased him to the point of laughing
. Sometimes it simply  ticks him off.
At the surgeon's office, he rather liked his stroller ride
But before long, he'd had enough of the day and its busyness so  off to peaceful sleep he went! I know he has no clue that every stitch of blue and green crocheted blanket he's wrapped in came from his mommy's eagerly waiting fingers, but I absolutely love  every moment I get to see him snuggled and warm with my labor of love! For a Mamma who thought her  "Baby days" were over, every day with Daniel is LAGNIAPPE!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sharing a friend's blog post, and a Smith Soup update too

This  is so powerful and SO  my heart ! Thanks Amy for letting God flow through you to write this piece!!
While We Wait...

God continues to bless us as we trust  Him for "the things  hoped for,"   and "the evidence of things  not seen" !
Our 171 H,   that official US  government document which  grants  "Advance Approval to Adopt" internationally  was due to expire on June 17. We re-did the bio-metrics (ie  finger prints) which expired in February to extend the life of the document to make sure we were valid to get Daniel home. We started the home study update stuff "just in case" early June  flummoxed into later June and found us in a gray zone. For some interesting reason, the document itself is good for 18 months but the finger prints required to make it /keep it valid, are only good for 15 months.  USCIS does allow one "free renewal" of this (at least)  $830.00 document and I am not one to waste  ANYTHING. That said, when we were able to complete Daniel's adoption before that expiration date, I stopped moving forward with the renewal.... thinking we" would not need it,"  so  why pay for a new home study for  "nothing" . God please forgive me for that thought, I am truly sorry I thought or spoke those words!  They were not Your words! I nearly let 18 months of willing  opened opportuity slip though our fingers!! This is part of why Amy's post hit me so hard this morning. We ARE waiting and I very nearly gave away our   PAID FOR opportunity to adopt ! Fast forward from mid-June to late August...
 LO AND BEHOLD,  we got notice from USICS that they were unable to complete our renewal request for our 171 H  because the new home study had not been sent in.  Apparently when USCIS centralized the processing center for these documents, an extra 90 days was added on to the expiration date.  I had not seen this grace period  granted before in our  perpetual quest of  a valid 171 H!! The letter further explained that IF we get the new home study submitted by September  16 we will be renewed for 18 more months. I almost threw  the letter away the day it came, but "Something" ... THANK  YOU   LORD!!!!!! prompted me to put it on my "in" shelf...........................IN FAITH we updated our home study yesterday, while doing Daniel's "Post-placement" report interview (required by many countries of adoptive families) and were promised a new completed study in plenty of time to get a copy to USCIS to stay valid!!!!  When God opens up those necessary doors, the Smith Family WILL be ready, lamps filled and  lit, wicks trimmed, waiting to be told "NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Our Social Worker, Earlene is an amazing lady and we love her to pieces! We are , btw, her largest adoptive family, at the moment by one child. Here she is with the eight she had such a vital part in our being blessed to bring home!!She's holding Daniel, next to her is Naomi,  then Rachel and Isaiah . Behind her are Isaac, Leah, and Noah who is holding Grand baby Charlie

And because my friend Tammy sent him this outfit and I love it on him  here are few Treasu(RED)  photos of Daniel!!

Daniel is ticklish!!