Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Some of the great things said during this session:
I never want my children to feel a debt of gratitude. In other words- my children don't owe me anything. They are my family! :)
If I would choose again I'd choose you! You didn't have a choice initially- you have to rechoose to be in your family and want it.
Scripture- Joseph adopted Jesus this was a PLAN A not PLAN B. You are a fulfillment of God's Plan!
Are you ever going to go looking for your real parents? Response: I have already found my real parents. It is sometimes hard when people outside the adoption community don't know the language.
How much of your story do you share? This is hard because we want to advocate for adoption, tell stories, but be careful to balance that out. Make sure you have an open dialogue with your children about this. It is their story! Some may choose to share it openly. Some children do not want to share any of it.
Racism is hating the image of God. Pretty powerful statement!
Make your world colorful! There are a million ways to do this, but if at all possible have friends that are of different skin colors (this is for everyone on the planet not just adoptive families). Have a variety of dolls with various skin colors. Listen to artists that have a variety of skin colors. Look around your home, your art, your music, your movies, your pictures, everything- include variety! It's the spice of life!
Teach your children that "their own kind" is humankind- we are all a part of God's family. :)
**From a personal point of view I think a good friend said it well when it comes to combining skin colors. Don't make a fuss over it all the time, but don't ignore it either. You have to combine it into your everyday lives. Let it just become a part of who you are. :)
GO HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously you will be BLESSED!!!!!!
but here is another clip that you can hear a little part of his testimony about adoption :).
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Maybe they are scared?
There may have been or are ongoing circumstances in their life that are so very hard they think there are no other choices?
Sometimes a new mommy can be very depressed. Sometimes the family of this new mommy can be hurtful and not supportive.
They say things like this is all a mistake, or it wasn't meant to happen- so just get rid of the child. Don't worry they say- wait until you have more resources to start a family.
Psalm 139: 13-18
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
This is what the church of God can do TOGETHER! JOIN US! YOU WON'T EVER REGRET IT!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
For the most part- this worked in our home. However, our home was stable. We had both parents, no real ongoing trauma of any kind. My parents were over the moon excited when we were born! We were told we were loved daily, given hugs daily, and our parents would come to all of our events (and we were involved in a lot). My dad during a large portion of my life was a truck driver so he was gone during the weeks, but he made it a point to be home 80-90% of the weekends. When he was home- we spent all our time together, and only rarely went out with friends later in the evening on Friday or Saturday nights.
However.....for every single one of our children they have gone through loss! EVERY SINGLE ONE! They are not in a "traditional" home in the sense that they have lost the ability to be with their biological parents. Some of our children have been exposed to alcohol and drugs in utero, some have been malnurished, some have come through foster care and lived in "limbo" for a year to three years. Some have been in abusive homes. Some have not been "expected". Some were born with a birth family going through a really tough time.
Every single one of the above.......makes it harder for them. I 100% believe they have all healed in sooo many ways! They are really great and we couldn't love them any more! However......if we completely ignore the fact that they have experienced these things we are not doing what is needed. If you were to ask me one thing in raising our children that if I had a do over- what would it be? It wouldn't be anything to do with our children, but I wish I knew there was another way to parent to help my children MORE!
Theraputic Parenting, Empwered To Connect, Non Traditional Parenting- can be seen by some as - weird, not practical, not "firm" enough, kooky, some even say it isn't Biblical (which I don't believe after learning more about it). What I am going to share is that I am specifically talking about Empowered To Connect (there are differences). And for us it has helped our children in ways I never thought possible. Were our children out of control all the time maniacs- NO! Did they need additional healing that wasn't happening before- YES!
Does every child that has been adopted, been through any trauma, or anything from the above list need Empowered To Connect.....possibly not. Do I think there are benefits - ABSOLUTELY!
Which is why we are thrilled to be able to get to attend this summer Empowered To Connect's - Train the Trainer!!! WAHOOO!!!!! We just found out today :). We are so very excited!!!! Why? Because we want to encourage more people locally to adopt/foster. I think if we want the Body of Christ to rise up we need to give them tools. Tools to help them better connect with their children whether with them short term or forever. There is a need and we want to help other families like ours who are ready, willing, and able to take in children, but need a helping hand!
So hoping to blog more about it in the future and share with you things we will learn as we read, watch, and go to the train the trainer course!!! Praying it will be a blessing to many!!! :)
Monday, May 13, 2013
Melissa Lazzara and Gretchen Sloan! Some awesome moms from our Loving God's Children local ministry. We have a once a month get together at Mimi's Cafe and we rarely miss it. Loving God's Children does A LOT of things, but this is one that is important to those living in our area of Brandon, FL because it is a vital support system! Go check out the page to see the many other things this nonprofit does!
OK So the conference: was soooo AMAZING!!!!! Hearing the line up of speakers and going to the break out sessions filled my head to overflowing! But I will try to recap some of what they said so you can benefit :).
The first thing I want to say is some really amazing statistics from the Summit. The very first Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit had 39 people. Summit #9- had 2,500 and they had to turn people away!!!!!! WOW OH WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Does that open my eyes to the fact that the church is definitely getting involved. People are now seeing that orphan care is not just adoption or foster care, but soooo much more! It has definitely taken on a new meaning and I love that!
So what is Orphan Care then? It is adoption, foster care, sponsoring children, mentoring children, protecting children from others- as in human trafficking, and trying to support those orphans and widows in any way humanly possible! Education is key! If we don't know a problem exists we can't deal with it. If we don't know about special needs adoptions, what is the truth about HIV adoption, how can we support children aging out of foster care, how do we homeschool effectively children from hard places, how do we connect with children from hard places- Empwered to Connect!, and on and on the list goes.
The first speaker was Stephen Ucembe from Kenya. He grew up in an orphanage setting. This is what he said about his experiences.....
He never had more than a 5 minute conversation
Told he was lazy
He grew up with more than 50 other children
He couldn't be different
He never cried until he was 20
Was over the age of 20 when he got his first hug
He would kill for food or a shower
Didn't see the outside world- ever
Was a number in a crowd
Never heard the words I love you
One day.......he received a package.....in the package were some small gifts and a letter from someone from England. The letter said- I love you! ?? He held onto that memory......and still has that etched in his mind even today.
There were many short term missions that came in, but they always left making it hard to trust, hard to be consistent. They always liked to play with "the cute ones".
So what can you and I do?
Some missions are all about the numbers.......not about helping people......MAKE IT ABOUT PEOPLE!!!! The most important thing is you CAN HELP! So what is the best case scenario? CHILDREN IN FAMILIES! Pure and simple. Think about what would be best for your child or your neice, nephew or grandchild. That is what ALL children need no different because you don't know them yet or you don't have a picture of them. They still need a family!
Other powerful things from someone who lived through this- you can't give what you dont' have. Make no mistake you will be judged for what we do. **No we don't get to heaven by works, but works should be the fruit of our faith!
The hunger for love is more than the hunger for bread!
We NEED to call them by their names! Just as God calls us by ours. An orphan is easy to ignore before you know their names.......it makes it real. Don't remember the sad story- just do something! Remembering a story won't help other children.
One of the most powerful statements he made that caught my attention:
"The pain of losing a parent is not as painful as living without one."
Let that sink in........no really take some time and reread it. Write it down and stick it in a place you will see........it brought me to tears.
WITH IS A POWERFUL THING!
His point was that we alone can not solve the world's orphan crisis, but we can - WITH OTHERS! We can make a huge difference. By getting involved, finding a niche, finding our passion (so many to choose from see my small list above), and simply DO IT!
Now you see why this period of 2 days blew me away? This was just one speaker!!! He lived through the experience of growing up in an orphanage and has dedicated his life to helping others who have to live through the same thing, but is determined to help make that difference! PRAISE GOD!!!! You see it isn't just people from the United States....the whole world sees the problem, and with each other's help we can through Christ care for all of God's children!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
**For those who may not know- we love watching "Property Brothers", "Love It or List It", and other such fun programs :). He says Love it and list it, because we have dreamed of the possibility of moving. Now that we are not tied down to a specific location we can move around within our neighborhoodish and not worry about how long it would take him to get to work. :) A dream.....for now.......
Bought new lamps, and decor
Installed new closet doors (our were original to the house built over 40 years ago- ewww, gross no matter how many times we cleaned them).
And he installed a new fan!!! At some point he will put our old one in the girls room because their fan has been broken. :)
There are times I am frustrated with my hubby - being real. BUT all the time I am grateful for him, for his talents, for his leadership in our home!!!!!! :)
Michael has cerebral palsey, hiv positive (was way out of control when he was an infant due to not getting his meds), small head, had failure to thrive, autism?, and well a whole list of "stuff". We aren't big into labels, but this short list gives you some ideas of where he has come from and is at now.
Michael had just learned to crawl- with starting to hold up his head when he came to us. He couldn't sit up without curling comepletely over. When he sat on my lap he leaned completely into me because he just didn't have the muscle tone. He didn't speak, but every now and again would make a noise. He was just starting to show emotions. We used to cheer when he came home if he threw a fit! Put anything in his mouth- NO WAY! He gagged and choked on his liquidy foods- stage 1 maybe 2!!! He was on a bottle. He held eye contact for maybe a second or two if you were really lucky. He had just gotten glasses! He had hearing issues off and on.
Well now a year and 3 months later- he can sit up (his back is still a little rounded, but getting better all the time! He can stand holding onto something for over 30min! He babbles like a baby would- not as much as we would like, but he is doing well. He can say mama, daddy, Michael, bye, and ball- realize this is not consistent, and sometimes he won't say a real word for several days, and then all of a sudden explode with words. He can verbalize the alphabet sounds- but it is random and spotty. He can walk with holding onto fingers. He is working with weights to strengthen those leg muscles even more! He sits up without needing assistence! He is eating 3rd foods, and smashed foods from our plates (note he doesn't like it, but he can). He can pull himself up!!!
And now.........drum roll please......he is starting ever so slowly to put things in his mouth!!! Not all the time. But these teethers that vibrate like the strawberry one above- YES! He has done this several times now. We are also feeding him with a spoon as well as a - hmmm....don't know how to describe it, but it looks like a pacifier, but a little bigger and has holes in it. The goal is to eventually get him to chew on it to get foods "out" and swallow them without fear of choking. He he he.....a little tricky- yes! But the first step was to get him to put it in his mouth to begin with not something he liked at first, but does now pretty easily.
WOW OH WOW!!! We are soo very proud of our little miracle man! Today he had a Pediatric Infectious Disease appointment. The nutritionist, the doctor, the nurses all love him to bits- of course! But, they all noted how many new and huge things he is doing now. We see these people every few months, and every time they are blown away- so are we! God is AMAZING!!!!
Michael Jason Wright you are a miracle! Your story is hard, but God is so much Bigger and Greater! You are a miracle set aside for HIS GLORY! You will testify to the nations with your healing the wonderful works of HIS HANDS! We know that HE has saved you, healed you, and continues to heal you for a purpose of giving HIM all the praise! Rock on little man- Rock on!!!
Monday, May 6, 2013
***Side note: took the camera wii me to Christian Alliance for Orphanns so the only pis we got were from the evening when we got home.
***Whew- lots to write about.....a HUGE surprise I came home to, and the Christian Alliance For Orphans Conference Summit #9!! Stay tuned....now that I got the problem figured out with the pictures ;) Thankful for a hubby who helps me out!
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