Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Best of Facebook: March 2015

3/1/15: Click here to see video on FB:

AMEN x20!!!! This is such an overlooked subject when dealing with the church and adoption. Praise God for a little more light shed on this subject. Please watch and share if you have or know someone who has adopted! It is a lonely road parenting RAD especially when you don't know what RAD is or why this child you love dearly hates you!

We watch Wretched often although Todd (the show host) drives me crazy sometimes with his antics. I do not believe that Todd is saying that 100% of children have RAD, I think he is saying that potentially you can adopt a child with 100% RAD. Not only did our first 3 have RAD to varying degrees but last year we specifically adopted a child diagnosed with RAD from an adoption disruption. RAD behaviors are REAL! Yet let me point out that Jesus can heal and release the bondage of even RAD!!!

The hardest part of adoption and RAD is loving a child that does not reciprocate any form of love, but isn’t that the gospel! Jesus loved us, a people that did not reciprocate His love yet He filed for our adoption anyway! We then love Him because He first loved us! That is the story of RAD, we as parents get to live on the front lines of the gospel and sacrifice our lives and love with sometimes no reward. We do have hope even with RAD, we have Jesus. Also, the best biblical resource we have found for parenting children with these symptoms is “Parenting the Difficult Child” by Linda Rice.

Let me present an adoption scenario: Twins are born, mom decides that she isnt ready for this and begins looking for an adoption plan for her babies. She needs an immediate family for these 6 week old baby boy twins. Question, would you be willing to adopt them?

I do believe that most of you are so willing to adopt that you are about to comment or message me to ask if this is real. But are you ready to appear in front of an attorney and adopt today? In an hour? In your willingness to adopt did you prepare for adoption ahead of time? Have you completed your adoption homestudy? If God has laid adoption on your heart, if at any point in your walk you have said, "I would love to adopt one day" then step out in faith and get prepared! God could call on you at any moment. You could talk to a woman tomorrow at the grocery store or hear a need from a friend. There may not be time to say, "I am willing but give me 3 months to get my homestudy completed." Adoption needs tend to be immediate and almost never are you going to have 9 months to prepare! I you are not ready you may miss out on a unique opportunity to be surprisingly blessed!

Willingness is great, but are you prepared to say "I am ready. Lord, send me," with homestudy in hand, if you were offered twins today?

Just got home very late from dancing the night away! We were invited to a English Country Dance event with a purpose to fundraise money to help our friend Dima, an orphan from Ukraine who came here on a medical visa, apply for Asylum to stay in the country! So today we spent 2 hours of last minute thrift store shopping in hopes of finding some old english costumes. After prayer, three thrift stores and $25 our goal was accomplished! We loved learning so many old dances including our new favorite, the Virginia Reel. Here are some pictures of our fun!

Let me tell you a story of blessings!

Our tax return just came in (woohoo!) and we have budgeted all the money to fulfill our final needs for our new home. One of those budgeted needs was an AC/heat system. The house is set up for central air but the AC system was old and broken when we bought the house. We budgeted $1500 for a good, used one and called an AC guy that a good friend recommended. He came out discussed our budget, looked over everything and said he would call with a quote. His call later that day blew me away!

Now let me set the stage a little bit. That morning we got a late start, it was a plain old rough morning. It was 10:30am by the time we finally got farm chores done and breakfast on the table. Here I am in a old t-shirt and had kinda skipped the hair brushing and make-up in my usual morning routine when the scheduled AC guy shows up. He was just here to do get a quick quote for a paid job so I let it go that I appeared so unorganized and frazzled. He left after about 30min of gathering all the information he needed to write up a quote and promised to call later. Around 3pm the same day the phone rang.

"Mrs. Carroll this is _____, the AC guy. I wanted to let you know that I have never met a sweet and well-mannered bunch of kids as your own. I was so thoroughly impressed with your home and felt an overwhelming peace of God while I was there. The presence of Holy Spirit is so evident all over your home and family. I could barely make it out your driveway without tears streaming down my face. Because of the amazing work you guys are doing I want to donate a AC/heating system, all new duct work, the wiring and installation. You will have the whole package and won't pay a thing. I want to do this for your family. God has been so good to my business and my family and He has placed it on my heart to bless yours. You have other places that budgeted money can be well spent I am sure!

When I picked up my jaw off the floor and wiped away tears I called my hubby and fell in awe of our amazing God who is so big and so evidently seen through our weaknesses, flaws and imperfections!

Today, four guys for six hours worked hard and fully installed and set up our brand new system! God is good all the time, all the time God is GOOD!

Our garden is done! Seeds planted and baby seedlings are a sprouting. It took a lot of work for 3 days straight but we will see what God does as we venture to grow our own produce. It is as big as our house at 2000sqft! A huge thank you to my hubby for tilling the land, it was way harder than one would imagine with all the roots and compacted soil. A shout out to my awesome kiddos, Anthony who cut down every tree that made our garden boxes and Mirabel, Risa and Sam who moved trees and raked and spread lots of old hay! Yay!

Our visit to Orlando to see Brittany this past Mon-Wed went part very well and part frustrating. Due to some hiccups we didn't get to participate in all the stuff we planned on, like our CMS medical training or a visit with her school nurse and teacher. But we did get to be a part of a doctor's visit with Brittany and speak with her doctor at length about her aHUS condition. She was all smiles once we were out of the hospital and talking in the parking lot. We also were able to see her later that day briefly at her foster parent's house.

Brittany was much more interactive and talkative and again smiled up a storm around the kids. Little Maggie is so sweet around her. Maggie gently placed her hand on Brittany's leg, "We have yours bed for you in ours room. You will live with us. You can play with my Minnie Mouse kitchen." As we were leaving and promised to come back, Brittany reached out and grabbed my hand with both of hers, she held tight and began repeating, "I want you to stay, I want you to stay." To say the least, it was very hard to leave. The kids already love her and talk about her all the time. We are working on our schedule and budget for the next time we can travel and visit with her. Next visit we should be able to do an overnight visit with her in Orlando.

We have such a wonderful host family in Orlando to stay with and have so much fun visiting even when frustrations arise. Also it has been a blessing to see my family more often and for them to get to know the kiddos, who are pretty fun and awesome!

Our guest post "with open arms" about adoption disruption was published yesterday on the blog "No Hands But Ours."

It is about the little known world of adoption disruption. Adoption disruption is a real dilemma in our culture, even in our churches. There are orphaned and children waiting to made family have their adoptions disrupted or dissolved daily. It is a much bigger reality than any of us wish to admit or recognize. Our culture is one of shallow commitments, we see that through the stats on our nation's divorce rate. And to think married people fell in love and both willingly chose each other for life. Often when adopting a child it feels more like an arranged marriage, one in which only one party is making a commitment to love. First comes commitment, then comes adoption then, sometimes much later, comes the moment when we fall in love.

"Attachment takes both parties. A child struggling with attachment needs us, as the parent, to show them a love that they cannot resist. A love that says, “I am going to love you no matter what you do or say to me!” A love that says, “I am going to be here for you whether you want me to be or not, because I love you!” A love that says, “I am not going to let you hurt yourself, me or others because you mean too much to me!” A love that has nothing to do with how we, as parents, feel. We are not toddlers controlled by emotions, but adults who can and must control our emotions.

These children need a love that isn’t a passing warm feeling, but an unwavering commitment. A love that is a daily choice, sometimes a daily battle, but these kids are worth the battle. A love that cannot be shaken by the hard behaviors born in their history of loss and rejection. A love that does not fade or diminish when it is not reciprocated. A love that does not look like any other “love” this world tries to sell us." - Me ;)

Read whole post here:

Easter Egg Hunt at the FL Governor's Mansion. So glad we were invited again this year as the kids look forward to this event every year!

This is where a bleeding heart will you! ;) Sunday night we went to pick up a rescue Great Pyrenees girl who had been living under a shed and needed a home. Apparently she had 6 little puppies who were very sick and we knew they needed to see a vet right away. Mama was sick too and all her milk had dried up, now we have an unexpected $200 vet bill and 6 three-week old puppies that we are bottle feeding.

But aren't they ADORABLE!!! And mama is sweet as pie and is more of a blessing to us then we are to her! Some things in life are about making it a priority to do what is right, not what we have time or money for. Good thing I have some awesome kiddos to help with constant feedings and God's amazing strength to continue to add to our life of busy chaos!

Posted by Shannon

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