Friday, February 25, 2011

Wisdom from others.... and new hairdo :)

 This is something I have wanted to I did.  It is like doing a french braid, but with a simple twist instead.  This was my second attempt, and I think I looks great. 
 Here it is from the side.....
 I mean when you have such a beautiful young lady to work with......who can complain? 
And this's just CUTE!!!

OK so I wanted to point you in the direction of a few blogs that have really made me think.....

This one is a GREAT story of a child coming home...pretty AMAZING....and so wonderful to see God in the details...  Moriah's Story.

Does skin color make a difference.......WOW- everyone should see this video.  We have watched the Separate But Equal movie (which I think everyone should watch!!!!), but wow....

This is a post that EVERY PARENT SHOULD READ!!!  Followed by THIS ONE!!!!!!  Seriously - if we want our children to truly understand our faith we have to do more than just hope, pray, and put them in a Christian surrounding.

Let me know your thoughts on the links, but most importantly - GO LOOK, READ, and VIEW them because they are sooo very important :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You might have done multiple adoptions if............

 Hmmm....wonder what is in this drawer....better check it out....
 Could that be?
 Yep, beware it's Joanna!!!!
 She loved this game which went on for a while.  Open, shut, open, shut, open, shut....she giggled and giggled and giggled :)
 Mommy getting some Joanna loving in.
 Nothing more joyful than loving with your baby....
My heart bursts with Joy with my baby girl!  Thank you God for every second I am able to hold her!!!!

OK So for some crazy humor for those of us who are really insane and LOVE doing more adoptions.....

You might have done multiple adoptions if.........

1) Your yearly checkups for your family include paperwork and notary signatures :)
2)  You order new birth certificates and marriage certificates yearly- just in case
3)  You are on a first name basis with the UPS/FED EX employees
4)  You check your e-mail & list serves a million times a day- just in case
5)  You are always looking at waiting children lists and this my child?
6)  You are the master of fundraising and could give the government tips on how to save money!
7)  You run around yelling- I'm Pregnant- just to make sure people know you are expecting again!
8)  You are "waiting" most of your life.....for your homestudy to be done, for your dossier, for your fingerprints to get back, for your referral, for a phone call from you agency, to fly to pick up you child......
9)  If you have sacrificed eating out, new outfits, fixing things, and instead are selling anything you can on ebay or etsy, and pinching any pennies you can ......for well forever
10)  If you homestudy social worker just says well- let's combine the post referral visits with you upcoming homestudy update visits :)

So here's the challenge - think of some more :) 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet....

 Like this.....
 I mean who could ask for anything more?  So sweet....
 This is Joanna's idea of helping mommy pack.  I do have 63 boxes packed so far :)  YEAH!!
 Of course I can't pack because I am snapping pictures and making sure she doesn't fall of the boxes.....
And her response is - look mom my cheeky face :)  he he he

So I was nominated by Andrea to have the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.  Again being completely illiterate when it comes to many things...I can't figure out how to copy the pic for the award....he he he....guess I'll have to wait until my kids are a bit older and have them show me :)

Ok. The rules for this one is to list five guilty pleasures.

1) Mountain favorite drink in the world :)
2) Candy, ice cream, and fudge- what can I say I have many many many sweet teeth!
3) I LOVE reading blogs :)
4) Sometimes when the littles are taking naps, and the kids are doing their afternoon quiet time rotation....I sneak in a nap.  And it always feels amazing!
5) Love going on long walks or hikes..........

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pregnancy Centers......

 So here is some Joanna yumminess :)
 Look at those cute rolls!!!!  And daddy just wants a kiss. 
 He gets one- when he has candy :)  he he he  Don't worry we didn't let her have one- they are hard heart candies. 
 But she tried anyway to sneak some.  :)
 Yep, this is what happens when little girl wants something in the basket- in there again!
 But she doesn't mind......

So I wanted to ask you if any of you have ever been to a Pregnancy Center?  I hadn't until Tuesday.  We decided to take some baby things, clothes, etc.  The below picture is what a baby looks like at 12 weeks!  12 weeks!!!!  So cute and adorable already. 
They had different "babies" at different stages.  16 wks, 20 wks, 24....etc.  They were all weighted and really they are etched in my mind.  I think the reason why is because I never carried any of our children inside me, and yet my mind always goes back to when my babies where this size.  They didn't have regular "check ups", they didn't have extra vitamins, or any of that.  In fact my children are those that are usually aborted.  You know what I mean don't you.

Their families were not wealthy.  None of our children had parents that were married.  None of them are the "right color".  Sound harsh....are you cringing yet?  YOU SHOULD BE!!  I DO EVERY TIME I THINK ABOUT IT!  6 of our children's parents were in foster care, 1 came from a country where poverty is so profound you CAN'T imagine it without going there.

And yet....those are MY CHILDREN!  They are MY BABIES!!!!  I have no idea how they escaped the abortion mill?  I think about this a lot......because I want to remember that my children are a TRUE MIRACLE AND GIFT!!! 

I want to remember every day for the rest of my life that my children were spared from death before they even had a chance to breathe.  I PRAISE GOD FOR THIS!!!!   I praise God that they were given a chance.  That they weren't killed just because of the circumstances they were born into.  I believe whole heartedly that EACH CHILD is made directly by God.  God does not make mistakes.

You see it breaks my heart to hear of children being killed by abortion because my heart longs and aches for them.  What if they were my child?  What if they were yours?

I encourage you to go to your local pregnancy center.  Volunteer there, help them sort clothes, formula, diapers.  Give a donation.  Help lead a Bible Study or a parenting class.  Can you imagine feeling like you have no hope for your child or yourself?  How scary would that be?  Can you imagine healing from an abortion?  I CAN'T!

Maybe everyone should or shouldn't adopt- that question is tossed around all the time, but what I know is that EVERYONE should care for orphans and for the widows- This is a way to care for BOTH!

A couple of site recommendations:
Should have been aborted
Abort 73

Movies that make you think.....  "Sarah's Choice", "Come What May"

Monday, February 14, 2011

The changes in our family over the years pt 2

 So I took these last night, but let's just say Joanna has several outfits with hearts and love on it :) 
 So from our crazy crew to yours- HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Yes, she is pushing her feet on the floor and pushing - of course- backwards :)
 Here she is saying daddy push me again- I love it...
Here daddy is working with me on standing, but my look is a little strange :)  Oh well.....I was totally laughing and giggling, and of course my new skill squealing :)

More of how our family has changed over the years..........

*  We used to think that giving was - well you know- the 10% that is stated in the Bible.......he he he.....  BUT Thank God over the years HE has shown us that ALL our money was God's.  So even when times are uncertain, when you don't have a job, when your finances are tight, when you are expecting- again :), still ALL your money is HIS.  That is sooo very hard for me to even still think about.  WHY?  Well I am a planner.  I like to have all my ducks in a row.  And yet....there have been so many times when God shows up and says - do you trust my plans more?  OUCH!!!  Again, and again, and again......and still I have sooo much more to learn in this department.  I am reading Hole In The Gospel and let me tell you - this book is eye opening!  Thank you God for speaking through others to my very heart.

*  We used to just watch whatever we wanted.  You know who cares about what is in the movie- I mean we know what we believe.  We would never think about talking like that, but it's just a movie- right?  Well, until my godly husband said- no more!  And we together threw those movies in the garbage- FOR REAL.  WOW- I totally hated that idea at first.  And then my heart changed.  Then when thinking of things to give up to keep our hearts more pure for guessed it those wonderful shows on the tv......we gave those up too.  At first just for a monthish, but let me tell you it again changed my heart.  BIG TIME!!!  I can't explain it.  It's not that I think those things are wrong.  We didn't watch trash as such on tv, but there was a bit of trash mixed in.  Just a little - right?

Why would I write to you my bloggy friends about this?  NOT BECAUSE I HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER!!!!  For this would NOT BE TRUTH!  I just really felt like I need to share my testimony.  These are things God has worked on in me.  They are not perfect.  I am not free from the desires of this world.  I wish I were.  I want to be, and yet I am not perfect.  BUT I am striving.  I am working on my heart.  Allowing God to search you is HARD.  It is not something I want to do 99% of the time, but it is necessary to allow God to shape us, change us, and heal us.

If you have a desire to be healed - look to the Scriptures, pray, ask God for help daily- or hourly better yet- every minute!  Ask for strength to be renewed.  And when you fail, because we all fail, then get back up and allow God to brush you off and work on you again.  :)  My only prayer is that my failures encourage you to keep going to keep growing in God.

If you don't know God.....let me introduce you with these verses John 15:9-13  "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in His love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this:  to lay down one's life for one's friends."

This is God's picture of love for you- take it my friend it is better than any earthly valentine :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The changes in our family over the years pt 1

 Well, speaking of change.  Joanna is now crawling to things and pulling up.  :)
 I am not sure how she feels about Elizabeth trying to hold her?  he he he- she is getting very independent at times.
 But are these two just tooo adorable or what? 
 See this is what I am talking about.....
 And to top it all off.  Joanna discovered today that she can squeal!  Oh yeah for us :)  yikes.....
OK so we found a much better solution to our blockade issues.  She kept pushing aside anything we put in her way.  Well.....with packing we happen to now have some heavy "book boxes" and let me tell you - IT WORKS!!!!  Yeah :)  No more escape from baby jail :)

So how we have changed over the years in the Wright family.......

* When we first got married our marriage counseling sheets talk about having 4-5 children.  He he he he....yep and now we just think Lord bring us children that need our family :).  We have NO idea how many that will be, but we trust God does!  Big mindset change.

*  When we first filled out sheets for "what child/ren we would accept" there were some things we said no to.  Now- not worried :)  Again...this has been a long journey for us.  Not saying we wouldn't be scared out of our minds about caring for special needs, but it's just that we know in our hearts God is so much bigger.

Again.....huge changes have happened in our hearts!  I know this is something a lot of people struggle with.  I think God has given us each different ideas about it.  Sometimes we think we only want a baby, but God changes our heart.  Sometimes we don't think we can handle certain challenges, but again - God changes us.
So know that wherever you are on this- God can use you!!!!  In any circumstances- God can use you!   So don't be afraid to do what you feel led to!  Because there are sooo many in need- there is a child for you!!!

*  When we first started I wouldn't have dreamed of going to Ethiopia or doing domestic adoption.  We were going to foster and adopt any that needed a home.  Plain and simple.  BUT GOD changed our hearts again.

The funny part is that we thought doing an Ethiopian adoption must be wayyy easier than fostering- he he he.  Yeah, well, although in some aspects maybe- we have found that ALL ADOPTIONS take a lot of work.  They are all rollercoasters that we long to get off, but can't until the ride is over.  They all present different challenges, but they are ALL WORTH IT!

Now we know that ALL KINDS of ADOPTION are sooo very special, so very different, and sooo very needed.  Praise God HE changed our hearts on this :)

-So I have around 25 or so boxes packed.  Have gone through 4 closets.  Thrown away at least 5 bags of stuff!!!!  YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So it is going pretty well.  :)  Around 4 weeks ish to go.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why don't we have light skinned children?

 So we decided to make our first batch of valentine cookies  (you know sugar cookies in heart shapes). 

 Afterwards we started watching the Pizza Hut idea if that is the title, but you know "Pizza hut, pizza hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a Pizza Hut......"  That song.  And once you hear it- it doesn't leave your brain.....ever!!!  Well....let's just say that our kiddos LOVE this and have been singing it constantly. 
 Hello, yes I am on the fireplace.  I am too cute :)
Yes, it's true I am trying to get to the dog food dish and the water dishes.  It is fun to splash you know :)  I just can't help myself.  And well....I am cute!

Over the years....we have had lots of of them is Why do all of your children have darker skin?

The answer?  When we originally filled out the application for foster care.....we didn't specify anything about skin color.  Plain and simple.  When Abigail's case came to light- by a friend of a friend.....she happen to have darker skin.  Then her brothers came into care and they of course had darker skin too.

When we moved to Louisiana....same thing....filled out the application, took the classes, and well we were told there were two children that needed a temporary home - don't even remember asking what color of skin they had- didn't care.

Now of course when we did our Ethiopian adoption we knew our child would have dark skin....which was fine by us.

And then Joanna came along.....and well.....does it matter?

I guess for us we just really didn't care.  It was a non issue for us.  It to me is like Jason's accent (he is from England)....I don't really think about it.  I remember once someone asked me about it and I had to think about it.  Oh yeah, you mean because they have darker skin.... I just totally forget.

Am I conscience of it.  Only when I think it affects them.  If I hear harsh words or someone says something ridiculous.  I realize it only because I want to make sure my children know that I would never want them to feel left out, hurt, or isolated.  Can I change everyone else's mind?  No, but we do make sure our children know that if something is said that - we pray for those people.  That skin is just skin and you are made in the image of God.

We ask for complete honesty from our children.  We talk about it with them on a regular basis.  Not to make it the "end all be all", but to keep the dialogue open.  We want them to find confidence in GOD not in others.  We pray they know our hearts and our love.  It is kind of like adoption in our minds.  You have to have openess to truth.  Openess to hear what it feels like to them, to learn from them, and to reassure them and listen as much and as often as possible.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Plan, The Packing, The craziness begins......

 So Officially today I started packing.  I didn't spend lots of time, but my goal is to do little and often with some Big Bursts of packing in there too. 
 So how is it at our home...pretty much normal. 
 And Oh Yeah- little girl has started pulling up on things.  This basket and the "kids play kitchen" serve as a sort of barrier to keep Joanna in one half of the house.  Well.....she decided to....
 Reach up....
 Fall in......
I guess she really wanted this toy?  He he it.  New stages.  One I could do she started squealing.....YIKES!

So if you haven't heard our BIG NEWS- go back a post :)

Our Plan......Hope this doesn't make your head hurt...because sometimes it does mine :)  

*  Over the next month we will work as normal on top of packing.  We have retreat groups every weekend except the one coming up.  All wanting food service :)  The first weekend of March we have weekend camp!  So programming, worship, Bible studies, food service, etc. will be going on.  After weekend camp we officially are not working any more.  

So we have to wrap up, set up for the next director (s), and get promotional information out about summer- because YES summer will still be happening!!!!  And YES GOD still has AWESOME things that will be happening.  This camp is NOT our ministry- it's GOD'S!!!  :)  

*  So we pick up our first moving truck (26') Monday March 7th pack it up!!
Jason drives to Florida .....unloads truck with help of friends and relatives.  Then he flies back home.  We go pick him up at the airport...leaving our suburban there for his next flight :)

*  Saturday the 12th we pick up moving van number 2 (16' this time).  Pack it up and we all drive down on the 15th to a vacation rental (for a couple of months).  Me and all 8 kiddos, daddy and the pets in the moving truck.  Unload truck 2 into storage.  Daddy flies back one more time....and drives back in the suburban.  

Did you catch all that?  Yeah- that is 3 trips of 15 hours for daddy in a matter of 2 weeks as well as 2 flights back.  Adding in all the loading up of all our "stuff" and unloading all our stuff in storage.  YIKES!!!  :)  

So we get to temporarily settle in as we find a home, a job, a church.....

BUT a HUGE BLESSING already is the fact that some of you who live in the area we are moving too- have contacted us and we have contacted you too.  We know of a foster/adoption group already!!!  We have some contacts.  AND we already have people that will be visiting us once we get there!!!!!  AND THAT MAKES ME SMILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously has already BLESSED our hearts!!!

Any packing tips???