Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Coming soon!
Defend the Orphan CD project. Many of you know that I have been working on (for quite some time as minutes have availed themselves, ha) a raw collection of original music. This is another post-adoption fundraising project that will go directly to the Abba Father Fund. I am told it is set to ship out on April 8th. The end is in sight! :-)
Meanwhile, next Wednesday, April 6th at 6:00 PM, I will be sharing some songs and the stories behind the music at the Global Gathering. It will be in a sort of coffee house style, with coffee and goodies at round tables upstairs in TBC's Building B. I will also have the Defend the Orphan T-shirts, as well as a few copies of Orphanology available for purchase (all receipts go directly to the Abba Father Fund that helps families adopt). You can preview one song on Tony's website here.

This past Wednesday evening at TBC's Global Gathering we heard from two guys heading to do orphan care in Southern Sudan, Nic and Ben, for a couple months this summer.
Two ways you can help...
1 - College students, Nic and Ben, are currently raising money to purchase their plane tickets and minimal survival money.

2 - TFS Worldwide is working in partnership with their home church, Mount Ararat, to coordinate the effort of filling a 40 foot sea container full of greatly-needed supplies for Harvesters Orphanages in South Sudan. They are looking for donations of hundreds of different items from clothing to books, tools to school supplies, kitchen and sewing items. One item yet to be sponsored is linens. They have currently collected 14 twin sheet sets out of a total need of 260.

Would you Consider...
- committing to pray for Nic and Ben (as well as Harvesters Orphanage)?
- purchasing a Sudan tshirt from Nic and Ben's fundraising efforts or sending a few dollars to help send them to Sudan?
- ordering a set (or two) of non-white twin sheets today?
- ordering a blanket (or two:) in non-white twin size?
- organizing a group of friends, or bible study group, club, your family or church to sponsor needed items?

Where Do I Send Container Donations?
You can click on the above links (highlighted) for more information or simply ship to:

Harvesters Sea Container
c/o Mount Ararat Baptist Church
1112 Garrisonville Road
Stafford, VA 22556
540-659-2554

I just ordered our donations from www.amazon.com and had them shipped directly. What an easy way to do orphan care :-)

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and participate, whether by prayer or by other means, in the various ministry opportunities I post from time to time! Below is a short video of some Sudanese girls singing Jesus Loves the Little Children taken from Harvesters website. Precious.

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
James 1:27

Monday, March 28, 2011

Seven Weeks...

... and I confess, it's a bit overwhelming at times... There is much that remains to be done before our departure day, but I won't bore you with it... :) Meanwhile, here's a snippet of the past weekend:
Friday afternoon, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the "D17" group for their monthly Bible study fellowship. ;-) Christy coordinated things so that I could drop my kids off with "Pops" (a.k.a. Christy's dad) at her house while we went to fellowship with Ainsley and the girls. I shared parts of my faith journey with them and enjoyed our time together. Wow, twelve years old seems like so long ago?!.
One of the many blessings of Christy's friendship is that our kids play so well together. :-) While they were either jumping on the trampoline, shooting hoops or fishing in a ditch, we had some big girl time... which was nourishment to my soul...
Joshua loved following his big brother around and playing with "my friend Harry". :-)
James, "Mama, Harry is my bestest friend." :-)
I had to snap a quick pic before the bunny ears popped up!
Ella is the cutest!
Saturday was a morning of playing musical soccer fields... I felt a little all over the place trying to catch a little here and a little there. James had an incredible header at the end of his game (and woke up Sunday morning crying for Uncle Ryan to come give him an adjustment!).
I did not have my camera set to video as I'd wanted, but here is the picture right before Joshua drove the ball down the field and scored a goal.
I did not manage any pictures of the girls playing soccer. They struggled as a team and ended up playing defense most of the game. Both girls scored! But, Jana scored her team's only goal. Yeah, Victoria scored for the other team, ha! They had fun. Angela was my helper with keeping track of things. :)
After soccer games and lunch, Joshua went to his first birthday party for a friend. He had a blast. After early afternoon baths, we loaded up and headed to Gulfport to pick Tony up at the airport. Of course his flight was delayed so we wasted some time at Sonic and elsewhere... They were so excited to get papa home!
On a slightly more random note, I had to post this picture to share what is brewing in our household - ha! The girls are actually the ones who started it. I will say, it was very thoughtful of the boys to make an exception for their mama! :)
Well, I'm off to take James to the doctor to test him for Strep Throat... He was struggling Sunday afternoon and woke me up at 4:30 AM miserable (apparently the ibuprofen had worn off)... poor guy :-(... Then it's time to tackle taxes, never-ending adoption paperwork, laundry, dishes, moving arrangements, yada yada yada... Woo hoo! Let's go! [Trying to give myself a little pep-talk :-)]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

U.S. Court

Tuesday morning we had court to finalize our adoptions...
We met in the judges chambers to very briefly go over the paperwork...


The kids love our friend (and attorney), Mr. Jay...
Especially Eyasu (now known as "Joshua";-)...
They love Mr. Jay's gadgets (here they are playing with his ipad while waiting for Judge Fair)...
A successful, sweet morning...
Another historic day for our family. God is so gracious to us! So grateful for the gift and honor of raising these precious ones. May they grow in grace, knowledge, wisdom and be fruitful for His name's sake all the days of their lives....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sentimental Somethings...

This morning I've been a little overwhelmed...
Maybe it's because I found these pictures while cleaning around my desk last night...
Taken after being home from Ukraine just two months...
Look how much they've changed!
Maybe it's because I just sent this one back to school this morning to finish out her first grade year...
Maybe it's because I just finished this book yesterday (and recommend it!)...
Or perhaps, it's because I found this note in my Bible this morning...
Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!

Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore!

From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!

The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!

Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!
- Psalm 113:1-9


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Showing Off

Jana wanted to show off her headband Aunt Lisa gave her for Christmas...
The kids LOVE lizards and geckos...
Mrs. Ross, James wanted to show you his "dragon lizard"... :-)

Mrs. Knight, Joshua had to be sure he got a picture with the lizard just for you... although, he was a bit skittish about getting too close, ha.
For some reason, the kids LOVE to come in our room to watch movies. Thursday afternoon they rested while watching Love Comes Softly (a Christian film based off of Janette Oke's book series)...
Friday was a special day! We dropped the kids off for a day of fun on the farm: Purposeful Pony day camp. They did arts & crafts, heard Bible stories, played games, and most excitedly, got to ride horses!
We snapped a couple pictures before heading off on a day date...
We loved that Victoria and Angela were sporting their "I love New York" t-shirts...

They were SO excited....


I do not know why James insists upon giving rabbit ears in every picture... must be that obnoxious boy stage... :-)
Here's Wilbur...
He and Titus would have fun I'm sure...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Break Adventures

Tuesday morning we packed some sandwiches and loaded up to meet friends at Kamper Park. The kids ran around the playground for a little while before we walked over to the Hattiesburg Zoo...



Eyasu was SO excited. Recalling his visit to the zoo in Addis Ababa, he kept saying, "We go see the lions. They eat you. Me scare-y." When we were at the zoo in Ethiopia it was feeding time for the lions. Eyasu was so scared and asked Dereje, "Is that people?" Precious.
Two peas in a pod these two.
Owen enjoyed being with the big kids.
Time to pose for pictures. My little jaguars...






The kids were in awe of the lady with the snake. I had the heebie-jeebies...
My favorite: red-tailed falcons.

"Mama, scary."

The train ride was a hit, especially for Owen...
Cuteness.
Wuhd-up?!.
Too close up.
Sweet.
After the zoo, our picnic and GO cache treasure hunt, we headed over to Lake Serene...
It was like being at the beach... sort of...
The kids thought the sand volleyball court was a giant sand box - ha. They had a sand castle competition.

We walked back through the spillway. It was awesome.
We had a beautiful, fun-filled day with our dear friends! God has blessed us! Christy and Darla (and sweet kiddos) I am so thankful for you. :-)
Wednesday morning the kids and I slept in. It was marvelous! After lunch, we headed to visit Dr. Melanie Lindsey. She did physicials for the kids in order to have statements for court on Tuesday. YES! We are finally headed to re-adopt this Tuesday! It is not required for our Ukrainian bunch since we were present in court back in Ukraine. We had representation in Ethiopia and therefore received a different type visa for Eyasu. We decided to re-adopt all five in order to access U.S. birth certificates, etc... which will make it easier for the kids when they are older. So, prayers for Tuesday's court to run smoothly are appreciated! :-)


Papa returned from Texas late Wednesday night. Thursday morning he was greeted on the back porch by this...
video