Saturday, January 31, 2015

Best of Facebook: January 2015

1/15/15: Click here to see post on FB:

I was up until 12am last night making decorations for an upcoming baby shower. Brian asked if I was doing okay, if there was any sadness. I was able to genuinely say that I was so excited for this expectant mama and poured myself into serving her that I didn't have time to be sad! I love how God tells us to serve others, and if we really do, how much healing and comfort we recieve in return!

Ways we have served our pregnant friends in the past are coming over to help clean their house, bringing by nausea care packages, watch their other children on super sick days or doctor appts, bring them meals, create a painting or wall mural for their newborn, help with decorations or baby shower planning, etc.

When you, pregnant mama, are rejoicing in your pregnancy even the hardships, it makes it easier for me to rejoice with you. But when you complain, whine and become bitter about the body changes, pain or sickness you are experiencing due to your pregnancy, it begats bitterness in me. All I can think about is, "What I wouldn't give to experience life inside me, how I would take all these passing discomforts just for the chance."
Click here for blog post: Pregnant Mama, Know that I Sorrowfully Rejoice with You 

1/17/15: Click here to see post on FB:

This article perfectly addresses the attachment comment that we recieved 100 times while we were foster parents, "Oh, I could never be a foster parent! I would just get to attached!"

"By God’s grace, we will survive the grief of giving up our foster son. Though the pain will be great, we have the coping skills and resources to deal with the loss. But if he were to go without the love and attachment he needs at this point in his development, he couldn't simply catch up later in life. It’s crucial for his sake that we risk the pain of getting “too attached.”

Jesus says, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39). We want to lose our lives for the sake of our foster son—not only because he needs us to, but because Christ met our even more desperate need. Every dirty diaper, every nighttime feeding, every heart-wrenching visit with his birth parents, and every court date and call from his social worker remind us that we are losing our lives. We are giving our hearts away to this little boy we have no promise of keeping. Still, no matter the sacrifices we make, they pale compared to all that Christ sacrificed to save us." From article, read on:

This page just hit 1,000, which is crazy! Only 100 of those are people that we are personally know and are friends with on FB. This started as such a humble page for a tiny family blog, now it feels like an extention of our own family, a place for encouragement, gentle criticism, and overwhelming support as we walk this narrow road with lots of bumps, hurdles and trials.

I want to take this opportunity to make it clear that we are SO imperfect. We mess up daily. We are tempted and we sin. We sometimes overlook bad attitudes in our own hearts as we counsel our children on theirs. We struggle to daily lay ourselves on the altar (Rom 12:1), to sacrifice our own wants and desires for others inside and out of our family. We truly are "an imperfect family following the will of a perfect God!"

Thank you for your support and ongoing prayers! They mean the world to us and are greatly needed. It feels like the bigger our blog becomes the more we are stalked and tempted by the evil one, who is ready to pounce and devour (1Pet 5:8). We pray our faith is strengthened, our dross is refined, and our love for the Lord is greater this year than ever before! We pray that we may glorify God in all we say and do and continually be striving to point people, not to us, but to Jesus!

"This journey of adopting hurting kids is truly walking in the footsteps of Jesus. We get to extend love to little people with, sometimes, no love reciprocated back. We get to love unconditionally just as Jesus loved the crowd that shouted "crucify Him" with all His heart that He laid down His own life for them!

"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him." (Romans 8:15-17).

I love how He tells us not to fear! We know our adoption is secure and we are children and heirs of Christ. He gives us an amazing hope of glory if we suffer with Him. Don't fear the hurt and suffering adoption may bring, it is in this that we can glorify our Father in Heaven and later be glorified! We can adopt because we are adopted! We can love these children because we are SO loved!"
-by 5Kids6Months; re-posted from May 7th, 2014

We received a call from an adoption recruiter with Wendys' Wonderful Kids program with the Dave Thomas Foundation today. She said she had saw our old profile on and felt we were a match for some of the kids she was trying to place. She told us about several medically special needs children, one in particular, Brittany, she really wanted us to meet. She has several medically needy children and two sibling groups (one of 4 kids, the other of 3 kids) she is desperately trying to advocate for and find FL families for. (If you are interested in sibling groups or not fearful of medical needs and are a FL homestudy ready family then I will give you her email address).

We prayed long ago, before any child stepped in our home, that we would to be open and willing to take ANY child God called us for.

Well, "God, was that You?" Pray for Brittany as they send us her full child profile and we begin to pray God's will for our family.

(Follow-up to previous post): Well...Brittany's full child study is scary and overwhelming at first read. We read it to the kids and they all said, "Of course we should adopt her!"

I reminded them of some of the huge needs, like, "What about the fact that she may not live to see her 18th birthday due to aHUS? Or that she is completely bound to her wheelchair, being fed via G-tube? And will take away some of my attention to attend to her needs?"

All the children thought and agreed with Anthony's response, "Mom, what if we are her only chance at knowing what it is like to have a family? She has spent 8 years already in fostercare, if we don't say yes, then who will?"

Isaiah 6:8 is reeling through my head, "Here I am Lord, send me!"

Anyone want to remind me of all the stuff I post on this page about following Jesus and not fear?....

So 4 days ago we receive a call from Wendy's Wonderful Kids recruiter about a little girl named Brittany (info in previous post) and we began to pray that God would open our hearts toward her. Then tonight we attend our monthly foster/adoptive parent support group meeting and the speaker is from no other than Wendy's Wonderful Kids. Just as Brian and I were ready to chalk it up to a complete coincidence she plays this video.

Before the video was over both of us had a deep confirmation as if God Himself was reaching through to the bottom of our fearful hearts to say, "Out of all the families out there I chose YOUR family specifically for MY Brittany." Please watch and share this awesome 2 minute video because unadoptable IS unacceptable!

Today is a very special day! Not only are we celebrating this awesome man turning 39 but the kids that surround him worked hard and saved up over $60 to treat him to lunch at China Super Buffet AND buy him his favorite cake, Raspberry Elegance, from Publix!

This is so poignant to show not only the healing in their little hearts but the leaps and bounds they have made in empathy, compassion and the love that has grown for this man they call "daddy!"

You are awesome Brian and SO worth this and so much more! Love you and happy happy birthday to my favorite!

Showing our support for the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption by buying free frosty keychains!

With great love, comes a greater risk of pain.

Our lives have been opened up for comments, criticism, ridicule, but mainly for great encouragement! We have once again announced to the world that we are willing to walk down a road of adoption. Maybe for one who is healthy, maybe one who is sick. Maybe for one who is advanced, maybe one who is delayed. Maybe for one, maybe five.

Sweet little old ladies say the funniest things when we break this news every year to our church, "So I hear you are thinking about adopting again?"
Me: "Yes ma'am, that is true."
"You are going to be like the little old woman who lived in a shoe she had so many kids she didn't know what to do." People listening in began to giggle.
Me: "Hopefully not the shoe part, but when I don't know what to do I must solely rely on God. That is where I want to stay."

All I have to offer God and this child is my willingness. I am not the perfect wife. I am not a fantastic mother. I am not a great teacher. I can't ever get to the bottom of my to-do list. I stumble and fail much. I am not thinking of adopting again because I think I can handle it. I am not necessarily even ready. I want to adopt again because Jesus does. See adoption is bigger than just us. Through our adoption story runs a scarlet thread. A thread knotting our hearts for adoption to the One who adopted our hearts.

By opening up the door to adoption, I am offering myself as a sacrifice to the One who sacrificed all to me. Emptying myself so I can be filled with His glory. I am simply saying, "Lord I am willing, if you choose, use me." So when my husband loves me fiercely, my children call me blessed and onlookers say, "you are amazing, how do you do it?" I can say, "It is not me, but the One who lives in me!"

Posted by Shannon

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