Thursday, June 28, 2012

A prayer for foster care...I want to be loved too :)

So if you didn't read yesterday's post- GO DO IT!!!  GOD IS DOING AMAZING THINGS!!!!

I wrote a guest post on a friend's blog, Kat can read my post here.....and then keep following their blog because I guarantee you will be refreshed.  Why?  Well not because she paints roses and fluffy bunnies, but because she is a prayer warrior!  She fights for others!  She LOVES the Lord deeply!  Their family's witness is amazing.  :)

Hoping to post more about my little man Jonathan turning 5 today....and Joshua turning 10 tomorrow.....but it may be a bit since we have to pick up the boys (Andrew, Joshua, and Matthew) from camp tonight...and I have to finish the cake- don't even get me started.  Since when do I do the cakes you ask....I guess it is a part of the I am now a SAHM (stay at home mom) and my wonderful hubby has been busy painting our homeschool room after a long day of work....oh dear yea- pictures of that coming too.  he he he he....that and about 15 other blog posts in my head ;)  Do you ever I ADHD?  ;)

OK so yesterday after I posted the AWESOME GOD STORY......I realized because I got a few emails that I didn't give anyone any way to contact the new NE office for Feeding Children Everywhere!!  So here it is :)  PLEASE if you live in the NE U.S. please contact them to see how you can help!!!  And if you happen to live in FL - you can go here to find out more!  And if you live elsewhere and have a heart to start something AMAZING in your community than don't let anything stop you!  GO FOR IT!!!!  (ummm....feeding children everywhere site is temporarily having problems.....BE persistent!!!  Thank You)

Kevin and Heather Yoreo
Northeast Region Directors | Feeding Children |
c | 860.214.8792  o | 888.891.6447  f | 407.321.178
Just Featured in TIME Magazine as one of the 5 "Next Big Things":  Click here to read the article.
Connect with us: | Facebook | Twitter @IAmFCE

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Have you ever thought THIS IS JUST TOO BIG GOD?

 Today's pictures are brought to you by the cutie patootie Michael showing off his skillz!  And of course by the rest of our cute crazy crew.  Taken a few weeks back when we went to a nearby park for a day out.  Beware these are some cute pictures, but that really isn't the main part of today's blog!
 You see.....right now Michael can't crawl up the stairs.  He wants to!  You can see it every day when he goes to the stairs climbs up part way and looks and studies the I am going to conquer you!  And I totally believe he WILL!  In fact right now he is always lifting that leg trying to get it to go up onto the step. 
 There are sooo many days like that for me.  I thing God THIS IS JUST TOO BIG!  I can't do it!  In fact- I don't want to do it!  Today is one of those days.  You see my husband and I have talked about a radical idea- which I will share with you later in a blog post of course ;)  This idea seemed RIDICULOUS TO ME!!!!!  I mean- who do I look like a Christian that cares or something??  Seriously....this was just to outrageous.  No one does these kinds of things for real!!!!  Except my hubby was asking me to consider this. 
 Oh man!  Don't you hate it when the Spirit convicts you.  My hubby left it at that knowing I would need to have a screaming fit with God over it process it.  So then I start reading this book about a week ago called......"Anything the prayer that unlocked my God and my Soul" by Jennie Allen.  You know with a book like that you are going to have to listen to God.  I mean really dig deep and say- God it is all yours!  And trust me I am a little over half way through and IT IS AMAZING (more on that to come too). 
 I have had so many blog posts rolling through my brain that it feels like I need to dump them out of my brain before it goes into overload, but something today stopped me in my tracks- COLD!  Jason and I have been going through a huge spiritual attack and of course growth.  They seem to go together don't they?

Well....this thing....that we are going to be doing is about me letting go of something I hold very tightly- MONEY!  Mostly control over it.  I am ok to cut back start making home made to save for an adoption or give freely for others to adopt or to missionaries no problem.  But this takes it to a personal level that is uncomfortable to me.  So I am battling! 
 And like all great is hard!  I am doubting.....resisting.....trying to give in, but only a little God please?  Oh and then the fun stuff starts!  Bills!!!  Oh yea...unexpected ones that creep up out of no where!  OK God that is IT!  I can't.......
 His reply?
 Yep- like this face!!!!  This is how I felt this morning when I made a phone call.  One that I didn't quite understand the implications of.  One that I did to keep myself from crying over well you know- myself- a pity party!  Who did I call?  Don Campbell.  Never heard of him?  Don't worry...I only knew because he emailed me and said this is Don Campbell when you get a minute give me a call here is my number.  Of course signed at the bottom- president and CEO of FEEDING CHILDREN EVERYWHERE
 Ummmmm......yep  - remember this?  Well it seems that this.......has had an effect on God's people I didn't know about completely until today.  You see while I was getting ready to cry for myself today and sit in "my puddle" as a great friend puts it.  God has been up to something sooooo much BIGGER!!!!!!!! 
 I LOVE IT when you hear a story that is sooo HUGE so MASSIVE there IS NO OTHER EXPLANATION BUT GOD!!!!!!!!!  My life is filled with such stories - surviving cancer at the age of 8 (knowing I would never have biological children because of that), marrying a man from England who happened to work at the same Christian camp I Iowa, God choosing us for 9 very beautiful and special children that we have no idea how he choose us for them, but HE did.  How does any of that make sense?  Kind of like Joanna's face below ;)
 So in the below picture you see our Jonathan!  He turns 5 tomorrow- how does that happen?  Just 3 1/2 years ago we met him in Ethiopia.  He was 1 1/2 then.  While we were there we traveled and met up with 5 other amazing families with All God's Children International!  ONE of those families read my blog post about FEEDING CHILDREN EVERYWHERE
 She decided to contact Don Campbell.  They did a feeding event in Connecticut!  Now keep in mind FCE is based in FL and really more of a local mission.  They get corporate and church sponsors to put up the money and time to pack food for children in Haiti and Kenya just to name a couple!  This is God's hands and feet feeding people that belong to God!  Imagine what that tells them when they get a meal from people they don't know that say we care enough about you to put up the money and the time to send you food.  Sounds simple.  Doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but it is  TO THEM!  The beautiful people in the world who need food- who haven't eaten lately!  Who don't know where their next meal is coming from!
 OK....whew!  So it's gets WAAAYYYY BIGGER than that!!!!!  As in .....I feel shaky just writing it!!!  When Don was sharing......I cried!  I was blown away!!!  I wanted to repent of my pathetic "it is all about me" spat I had with God this morning.  (Don't worry I am not perfect!!!  I still am trying to figure out my "puddle".) 
 Through this connection God has opened doors and hearts of MANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Ummm......let's put it this way......
 They are praying over doing 10,000,000 meals this next year in the northeast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 God are you serious?  That is a HUGE NUMBER!!!!!  I don't get it?  How can people who met once in their life for a week in Ethiopia....clinging together out of necessity (If you have been in an adoption travel group you totally get this!), have not had lots of contact, and now because of a simple blog post that really to me was just saying hello here is our family doing something cool for others.  "Why don't you see what God is calling your family to do something"  kind of post.  Not a fire starter kind of post in my eyes.  Just a simple activity...packing food at our church (and we have done a packing event at Jason's work as well). 
And God said- ummm.....that is thinking waayyyy tooooo small.  I THINK BIG!!!!

Make that BIGGER THAN BIG!!!!!!

I think- I am going to take this crazy little story of a little blog post- AND BLOW IT UP FOR MY NAME TO BE GLORIFIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

I am so sorry when my little things get in the way.  When I struggle to find meaning and a point.  When I feel like I am the one doing the work.  When I feel like it is just too hard to do.  YOU LORD are EVERYTHING!  I am so thankful for your Grace and Mercies that are new every morning!  That YOU can have my ANYTHING!  YOU ALONE MAKE BIG STORIES out of a mustard seed!  YOU FEED YOUR CHILDREN from one small post!



***oh and there is more too....but it is a personal thing that I will get around to posting....later ;)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Another post from Michael

 Hey all you Michael fans stand up and clap your hands :)  It's me here and mommy wanted me to tell you all the cool things I am doing now.  I guess it is just because so many of you have been wondering what I am up to.  A BIG WHOOP WHOOP to all of you prayer warriors out there that have been praying for me!!!  I love you!!!!!
 Oh and this is my twin Joanna.  She is pretty cute and I think she is fun to play with :). 
 Oh boy- don't kiss me in front of everyone.  Mom!
 Here she is trying to help me with my bath.  She loves bubbles!  That is me blowing raspberries at her because well that is what I like to do.....a lot! we are hugging. 
 Oh dear Joanna spotted mommy's camera. 
 Oh no- busted!  Yes people siblings love each other even when they say otherwise!  (*shocking I know but even siblings who don't share DNA - sorry, had to say it because sometimes I feel a little sarcastic...can't help it.)
 One last picture of my sister here.....
And then of course ME AGAIN!!!!  :)  Brace yourselves this is a lllooooooonnnnnnnnnngggggggggg list!!!!  Because well God is just that cool!  :)  ENJOY!

OK time to start bragging sharing all of my skillz:

Well it used to be that my feet, legs, and tummy were pretty much mush.  Not a lot of muscle to be found there is muscle.  You can feel it as well as see the results!

Now I can play pretty much all morning long  without taking breaks except a few minutes here or there (hey, I have a lot of siblings to catch up to). 

I recognize my name...although I still ignore it at times ;)

I can roll on my back and lift my head and legs.

I side sit!  Wahoo!!!!  This means I am actually using my muscles properly and I am really good at it.  When I first had to do it for the ladies at therapy....I cried.  Now...I like it and really it isn't that hard at all!

I say lots of  things- ga (hard g), te (long e), ma ma, da, ba, ka, na, la, ta.....and I am adding daily!  I get soo excited now when I am saying new things too. 

I love to blow raspberries!!!  Especially when mommy is feeding me.  You know that way I can spray whatever she is feeding me.....she loves it!

Not a huge fan yet, but my new "therapy boots" are ok.  I don't scream anymore when my mom puts them on.  They are to help my feet so that as I start to walk I don't bend my feet and ruin my muscles and how they are working.  (**caused by the Cebral Palsey)

I catch myself when I am doing my balance exercises with flat hands!!!

I can sit straight up for 5 minutes!!!!  And longer, but I like to explore.

I gave mommy eye contact after a bath the other day for a whole 10 MINUTES!!!  She was being all silly and then playing games.  She was soo excited ;)

I like to try to copy people now.  What they are saying, or doing.

I INITIATED PLAY!!!!  (as posted on facebook) I was at the table and had my spoon.  Mommy was looking at me making some strange silly noises and I put my spoon in her mouth and began to play with her!  Yep, all on my own!  I think she liked it?  :)

I tolerate the chew tube thing, and other toys in my mouth a lot better.  In fact I will sometimes even put toys up to my mouth and chew on them now!!!!!!! 

I am starting to get used to all the thick foods my mom feeds me now.  They aren't as bad.  I still don't like "dry foods" or things that are runny with chunks in it.  BUT it isn't because of not being able to chew....but texture issues.  I can actually chew pretty good now.

I close my mouth around the spoon now.  I guess that is pretty cool?

I actually let my mom and my therapist do the mouth exercises without crying and think it is ok now.  Of course now that my muscles are working more I am thinking it is more fun!

I like to cross my "midline" in play time and switch hands all the time in propping myself up and in play! 

I have discovered I love tangy things and cold things.  Like ice cream and lemon pops they give me at therapy or the tangy candy drops they put on the chew tube to get me to work out my mouth muscles.

I shake my head yes and no.  I sometimes sign....but not regularly.  I am able to communicate when I want more or not  - with my actions now.  May not be signing or head gestures, but I push away or  towards things.

I still LOVE to swing and my therapists use this to get me to do things :)

Mom says I am much more alert to things around me now.

I like to "carry" or "drag" things around, or chase balls.

Drum roll please..........I pulled myself up on the pack and play!!!!!!!  As in the STANDING position.  It was only a moment, but mommy was going crazy! 

Oh and ......another drum roll please..........I am a mommy's boy!!!!  I cry for mommy when she walks away.  I am comforted when mommy picks me up.  I LOVE MY MOMMY!!!  She is awesome :)  I am pretty sure she thinks it is pretty cool that I have bonded with her and want to be with her. 

Well.....that's all for now.  Sorry for the short list ;)  I am sooo THANKFUL for all the wonderful fans out there that love to see my progress and are praying for me!!!!!! 


Michael :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Guests in our home.....

 So earlier this week we had a few young boys come over so their mommy could go to an important meeting.  So that means we were up to 12 children in our home ages 12 and under :)
 Of course.......
 That wouldn't have been enough right?
 So the neighbor kiddos came over too- making it .....14 kids 12 and under in our home!  Was it loud- ummmm OF COURSE!  Was it fun- YES!  Would I do it again- OH YEA!!!!!  Am I insane?  Is this an actual question?
 So then yesterday we had a bloggy friend come for a visit!!!  And there were bubble involved - of course.  Because when this really cute 2 year old asks for bubalo what can you say?  Ok :)
 And big brother wants some too!
 And Michael....well- he is just adorable!!!  :)
 So this bloggy friend has 8 kiddos!  I love meeting up with people as crazy as we are! 
 This is one of the 8.  Jasmine :)  She has some really great scooter skills and she can play the drums well too!!! 
 Abigail giving their fun scooter a try!
 Sarah's turn.....
 Look at that great smile!!!  She has a heart of gold!
 Hello cute stuff!
 The girls planning......hmmmm....not sure what for?
 Swimming fun!
 Squirting fun....except when it got a little close to us.
 Love having a pool here since our kiddos can swim in it most of the year!
 Who was our guest?  
Kathy Cassel (Click on her name to see her blog)!  Have you ever read any of her books?  They are GREAT!!!  My girls LOVE THEM!!!

Want to see what she has written- go HERE, HERE, Her newest HERE, or just look up Katrina Cassel in Amazon or Christian book store and you will find lots!!!  I think the best part about her books is that they are easy to understand for my girls.  Giving them sparks of ideas on how to live life God's way.  Let's face it - it is tough stuff to be a girl in today's society.  How can we feel pretty- but not just because of our looks?  How can I do my best to really dig deep into the Word?  Her writing is fun too with lots of little activities and great questions to think about!

I LOVED meeting Kathy and Jasmine in person!  They are REAL people.  Kathy has experienced the true ups and downs in adoption- foster care, domestic, and international.  She has experienced RAD (reactive attachment disorder) and pretty much just about everything in between.  She is fun to be around and loves to share about her life. 

We had a great time talking!  Thanks for the visit Kathy and Jasmine! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Foster Adoption Networking

 Is this not soo stinking sweet?  That is our oldest with a cutie who is with our friend as a foster we can't show you his face.  To be honest there are a lot of pictures I can't show you because we had several at the picnic that are in foster care. 
 But that is ok because we have a lot of other cuties too that I can show you!!!
 So my hubby and I have started a network/community support for foster care/adoption.  We have been leading a life group (a life group is a weekly in home Bible study- of which our church has over 150 happening weekly) specifically for those interested in adoption/foster care, have done, or are doing. 
 We decided to branch out because really our idea is sooo much bigger than a life group.  ALTHOUGH WE LOVE OUR LIFE GROUP TREMENDOUSLY!!!!!!  Getting together weekly with people who "get it" is soooooooo AMAZING!!!!!!
 Our life group has really bonded and we love being around each other!!!!!  Digging into God's Word together just makes it sooo much more amazing! 
 We get to share our we deal with things that are thrown at us with children from hurting places. 
 We get to share wisdom and REALLY IMPORTANT - PRAYER TIME FOR EACH OTHER!!!!!
 I can't say enough about how wonderful it is to have them walking this road with us!!!!  It is exactly what our hearts have needed for so long!!!!!
 The idea of this picnic though was to get together with those that may not be free at the time of week we meet or may be already leading a life group of their own (so they can't just bail to come to ours).  To reach out specifically with those who are thinking about and praying about taking in a foster child/ren, or doing an adoption. 
 We were more than THRILLED to have 51 people show up!!!!!!!!!!!!  YEP- you heard me!!!!!!!!
 It was a BLESSING to know that God is serious about starting this network of support in our church!!!!!!!!
 We were blown away and happy to say that we had a BLAST!!!!!!!
 Because you will notice if you are a family thinking about the least of these- you are a family that loves little people!!!!  You honestly care about others!!!  And don't we all love to be around others like that?  I DO!!!!
 Now....I have to say it doesn't mean that everyone there will foster or adopt.  Some of us are knee deep in it all the time, but God is planting seeds.  We all know what happens when God plants seeds.  We water them and they will grow in their own time into what God wants!!!
 Now the amazing part is that all the people here just came because of some connections to each other just by knowing each other.  Since our church is fairly large (around 5,000+) they plan very early for announcements etc.  So we are already planning for NOVEMBER- Orphan Care month!!!!!!
 Join us in prayer that God will allow us (our whole group) to keep planting seeds.  That hearts will be opened to HIS CALLING for His children!!!!  That we as a church will rise up to help the least of these and be their defender against a cruel world!!!
Our prayer is that we would all join together and help families find the children God has planned for them!!!!  As we all know God did not create children to grow up without a home.  Lord we are sooo very Thankful for the wonderful people that came and we got to share your love for these beautiful children!!!!!!! 

So very thankful for those already stepping out in faith knowing that God is there knitting a child/ren into their hearts!!!!

***Please pray for a close friend that is having to say goodbye to a foster child that has been with them since 3 days old (and is now over a year old).  I know that foster care isn't easy.  It is harder when you have to say goodbye and your heart breaks!  We know that God's love for this child is soooo much more than our own and HE will be faithful to watch over him.  It still doesn't make it easy.......just pray.  Thanks!