Sometimes I forgot just how much they are watching... the way we treat others, the way we accept others, the way we reach out to others, the way we give and the way we receive. They are watching, let us never forget.
I LOVE being invited to parties... especially parties that include good causes and cool people.
Our awesome friends the McBrides are heading to Zambia with my beloved Lifesong for Orphans and there they will be serving the vulnerable- bringing them hope and bringing them Jesus. I'd like to invite you to their giveaway party (because that is the kind of people they are- giving) and I'd like to invite you to join them on their journey to Zambia. Trust me, you do not want to miss out on seeing the work God is doing through them there.
Love you McBride family. I treasure your friendship and even though we are about to live a world apart I am so thankful God put you in my life.
I cannot even begin to THANK YOU all enough for voting for me for the Circle of Mom contest. You all bless me in more ways than I can explain and definitely more ways than I deserve. I thank God every day for the love and support you have given our family. Thank you for taking the time in your busy day to vote for us and help us get the word out that ADOPTION ROCKS.
It is such a privilege to be in the top 25 adoptive blogging moms and to be in the company of people like Courtney and Christine and many other awesome bloggers! Thank you ladies for sharing your journeys- the ups and downs, the joys and trials and for doing it with such grace and love. You have both taught me so much and I adore you both. If you haven't checked out their blogs please do so or you are missing out.
Thank you all again for your support and votes. Thank you to my family (Mom, Dad, Jenny) for telling others about the contest and twisting their arms to vote. Thank you to my husband and kids for being my biggest cheerleaders!!! Thank you to my friends- in real life and the blog world for getting the word out- without you I couldn't have done it. Thank you to my church family- you guys are the best. You blessed our family big time and we are so grateful for each and every one of you.
A couple of weeks ago I share this post about our precious new friend Dora who had been coming over every Monday to teach our family Spanish. Several times I had tried to pay Dora for tutoring us- but she always refused saying it was her way of helping.In the post I also mentioned that Dora didn't have a computer. She had been working towards saving for one for her son to do his school work on, and so she could follow along on my blog once we move. They really needed a lap top due to the fact that they didn't have internet in their home- and a lap top would be portable so they could go to the local Subway for internet connection.
I think the thing I love most about being a Christ follower is watching God work through His people... Through those who know first hand that it is 'more blessed to give than to receive'. I believe that is the secret to happiness~doing for, giving to and loving others. Doing what we can to make others lives just a little bit better. Giving out of what the Lord has blessed us with. Loving those the Lord puts in our path. And sometimes, even going out of our way to find them.
And one family did exactly that. Within just a couple of hours of that post going up I received an email from them saying they wanted to send Dora a brand new Dell computer- with one stipulation- God gets all the glory. This family chose out of the goodness of their hearts, without receiving any credit, without ever getting anything in return- to bless someone else. Now that is a picture of the gospel in action.
When we took the computer over to Dora's house I explained to her what had happened. She told me between her tears how her and her son had been praying for this and how she was so grateful to God for answering her prayers. I don't know why God allowed me the privilege of being the go between- between the giver and the receiver on this one- but one thing I do know is, it forever changed me.
A special thank you to the precious "R" family. I know because of your journey you realize how precious life truly is. May God bless you as abundantly as you have blessed so many others.
And please take just a second (it really only takes a second) to go vote for my blog here. I appreciate your support! .
The door opens and he walks in after a long day of work. From the other room I can I hear the scampering of little feet rushing to the door with squeals of delight to be the first one in Daddy's arms. Daddy is home!
When talking with my older children, I often hear them say, "Let's see what Dad thinks" because they trust in his wisdom.
Even today, when seeking advice, one of the first people I call is my dad.
There is something about our fathers. Something about knowing they are there to protect us, guide us and provide for us.
Something about feeling protected by their strength...
I am so thankful for the two Godly men the Lord has put into my life- my father and my husband. So thankful for their example and so thankful for their love. So thankful for the times they have lifted me up and carried me through some of the most difficult times of my life. So thankful for their faith. I couldn't imagine my life without them.
While some of us may not have grown up with these type of earthly fathers, we all have access to our heavenly Father. He is there waiting, right now, with open arms ~ready to carry you through.
“And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
Only 2 more days to vote for my blog. You can vote daily. Thanks for your support.
I wanted to put a plug in for this awesome book "A Passion for the Fatherless" by Pastor Daniel Bennett. I LOVE this book and actually contributed a small piece of our story in it. It is a great read and hits on something that weighs heavy on my heart- the church being the answer to the orphan crisis. I love it when I come across a pastor who gets this. Love it when a pastor recognizes the importance of orphan care and see's adoption as part of the gospel- because when we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior we too are adopted- into His family.
A couple years ago when talking to a pastor about a possible adoption ministry in that church he said to me "that is fine that adoption is your thing- but it will never be what 'our church' is about."
What breaks my heart about this is that so often we hear sermons on being pro life (and for the record- I am)- yet how can someone be pro life and not 'about adoption'. This is especially bothersome to me because I have to wonder- what is going to happen to those children that we fought to be brought forth into life if we don't support adoption?
I admit, I often worry about the American church. From talking to others and from my own experiences, it seems that some of the American churchs have gotten so far away from the center of the gospel- Jesus- and the very reason He died on the cross. It was to save us and adopt us into His family.
Jesus was all about missions and outreach- and not just to those who looked like Him. Can I be really honest here? Don't you find it interesting that the wait time to adopt a 'white infant' is years, but there is a shortage of parents for black children? I cannot help but to wonder if this has anything to do with why the abortion rate among black woman far exceeds that of other groups?
Can I just remind you of something? Jesus was not only about 'white' Americans. Jesus was about THE WORLD. He cared about every single person- because we were all created in His imagine.
Somehow along the way we have we have twisted it and made it be about us- our preferences, our comforts, our desires. And in essence we have have turned our back on the hurting world around us.We announce that each of us has our own mission field right where we are (which yes is true) yet I have to question how many of us are actually reaching out and telling others about Jesus every day- especially those that we see as 'different' than us?
While Sunday school programs, worship and fellowship are great and important- I also think we are doing a disservice as we have moved away from being mission focused and when we fail to focus our efforts in reaching the lost in our own community and throughout the world.
And we are doing a disservice when we are so focused on our own kingdom- that we forget about His. Because the truth is, no matter how state of the art your building is, no matter how impressive the programs offered are- if we are missing the point of who Jesus is and what He cares about- then we have wasted our time and resources.
I am not claiming adoption is for everyone- but caring for orphans is. Jesus goes as far as to say "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do unto me." Matthew 25:40
Without faith it is impossible to please God.... Heb. 11:6
A little over 5 years ago Todd and I stood on the property of Eagles Nest orphanage overlooking beautiful Lake Atitlan, held hands, looked into each others eyes, and exclaimed "One day we will come back here and serve full time".
But as you all know, life happens. Hours turn into days and day turn to months and before we know it, we become consumed with life that is happening around us.
As life was happening around us- what we didn't realize was that God was directing our steps for this very purpose. He was bringing people and circumstances into our lives, stretching and molding us into what He had planned for us all along. For this very purpose He created us in the first place- to know Him, to serve Him and to make Him known throughout the world. It makes so much sense to me now- only at the time I didn't realize that was what He was doing.
A few days ago Addisyn and I went to the track to run with a friend. We were talking about faith and I, trying to be the wise mother that I'm so often not, said something to the effect of "often times we miss out on the greatest blessings the Lord has for us because we are too afraid to take that first step. Because after all, if we don't step out of the boat- how can He show us His power? He has nothing to work with when we stay seated in the comfort of our own little boat."
And it was then, at that very moment, that I stopped dead in my track (literally) and it hit me.
Here I was giving advice on something I wasn't myself wasn't doing. Because you see, when God called us into full time missions He didn't say 'Go only when you are sure you can do it.' Or 'Go only after everything falls into place.' And, He didn't say 'Go only when you have 100 percent support'.
He just said GO.
The Lord has called us to 'Go' and He has been faithful. For the past few months He has blessed us with the support of so many new people. He sold our house in a week on the first showing. He provided a rent free home for us to stay until we depart. He has done more in our lives than we could have dreamed for ourselves... and so in obedience, on August 23rd our family is stepping out of the boat and onto the airplane heading to Guatemala with 75% percent of our monthly partners.
Our flights are booked and it's time.
Time for obedience and time to live out our faith like never before.
To our partners- we cannot wait to go on this journey with you, to show you what a difference you are making in the lives of so many. We love you dearly, pray for you daily and we are honored to serve the Lord along side of you. Thank you for being obedient too.
***And because you knew I would ask- don't forget to GO VOTE for my blog here: Just simply click LIKE. Really, it's that simple. Oh and you can vote once every 24 hours- and you can ask your friends to vote too. :)
This week Todd and I have had the privilege of attending mission training through our sending organization Commission to Every Nation (AKA CTEN). We met some really awesome missionaries who are going to serve all over the world and we were coached on everything from how to do our taxes while living out of the country to how to BE a support to our partners.
We are so thankful for CTEN and the training and support they have given us. Thankful that they are willing to come along side of us to help equip our family to be the most effective in our ministry. We take that responsibility seriously because we feel we owe it to those of you who are partnering with us.
But even more- we are so thankful for our partners- those who have come along side of us in prayer, financially, visits, encouragement and support.
Thank you for being faithful with what God has called you to do. We appreciate you. :)
Some of you have asked me what exactly we will be doing at Eagles Nest orphanage in Solola, Guatemala. Some of the things include providing holistic orphan care to the orphans residing there, helping at the Manna Feeding program, helping with the school, the church, the sports ministry and the short term mission teams that come through there.... as well as anything else the Lord brings to our attention that is a need. :)
***Also wanted to remind you to go here and vote for my blog again today. It only takes a second I promise!!
Just one more week of voting daily- bet you will all be glad. :)
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
Eagles Nest orphanage sits on the top of a mountain overlooking beautiful Lake Atitlan in Solola, Guatemala. It is the home of 22 orphaned and abandoned children. A place where they are safe, taught the love of Jesus and a place where they are given hope. For some of these children Eagles Nest is the only home they have ever known. For other's its a safe haven- a place where they are given a chance to become all God created them to be. Yet even more important, a place where they can learn about the one who created them in the first place.
Each one of these children have a story, a story of survival and a story of hope.
Today I would like to introduce you to a some of these children who have already stolen my heart. And now introducingCarlos Raul. Carlos is 27 months old and as precious as can be. He was brought to Eagles Nest by the courts due to malnourishment and neglect. His biological mom has 2 other babies that died due to the same thing. He is very quiet and really chooses his people to cling to but they are different everyday. He doesn’t seem to want to get too attached to just one person.
Meet Byron Paholo. Byrons nickname is "Precioso". Byron been at Eagles Nest since he was a baby. He is 3 1/2 years old and he is advanced in school and in conversation. He is very quiet but very smart and he loves to play with cars.
This is Byron Arturo. His nickname is Chiquitin (Little guy). He was given the nickname because there are two Byron’s. Arturo is 3 1/2. He is such a loving and adorable little guy. Loves to just sit on your lap and be loved on. It is believed that he may have some delays and the staff at Eagles Nest is working hard to help him develop the best they can.
Meet these handsome brothers... Eliceo is going to be 13 this month. He is very quiet and serious- but a very sweet kid. He is also a very good student.
Nahun is 11, his birthday is in November. He is a fun kid. He is also a good student in school.
Joselito is 8 - October 31st is his birthday. He is a special needs child. Joselito deals with a lot of anger and fear.
All 3 boys have been in and out of children’s homes for 3 + years. All three of them were abused severely in many ways but are thriving at Eagles Nest.
Meet Little Miss Adorable~ Victoria. It is believed Victoria was most likely relinquished by her birth mother because of her special needs. Victoria is missing her left ear and has a partial right ear. After some testing it was discovered that she does have her ear canals but it is still not confirmed whether or not she can hear for sure, although observations suggests that she may not. Victoria is now starting to gain weight and has a smile that will light up the room.
I'd like to introduce you to Princess Flory. Flory has been at Eagles Nest since she was only a few days old. She was born November 14th, 2007. She is still being adopted by a family in TX but there are issues with her case that have made it impossible to finish the case. She loves dresses and books. She is attending our school here in the nursery class.
Meet Jose Pablo. Jose Pablo has been at Eagles Nest since he was a baby. He is going to be 4 years old this month. Unfortunately he is one of the children stuck in the old adoption law and has a family waiting to complete his adoption. He is a sweet heart and captures everyone’s hearts that comes to visit. He loves dinosaurs.
This adorable little guys name is Kevin. Kevin has been at Eagles Nest since he was a baby as well. He is 3 1/2 years old. He is one cool kid! Quiet but loves to play hide and seek. He too loves to play with cars.
Maria and Ani are 7 year old twins.
They have lived at Eagles Nest since they were 17 months old. They are inseparable. In school if one is reading the other one rights and then they switch. :)
Maria is very giggly and doesn’t take anything seriously. Ani is a little more serious than her sister.
They love dresses and baby dolls.
Introducing Beautiful Onoria. Onoria is 11 years old. She is very quiet but with being the oldest girl she is taking on some responsibilities within the home. She is growing up into one amazing young lady. She has been at Eagles Nest since she was about 6 years old. She loves to cook in the kitchen and help Mama Luky. She also likes to play with dolls and girly things.
Meet Ever, Jeni and Mainor... Ever and Jeni came to live at Eagles Nest in July 2010. They were a rescue situation, taken away from their mother and step father. They were being abused and neighbors turned them into the courts. Jeni was born tongue tied and is partially deaf. In February Jeni had a procedure done to clip her tongue and now the staff is working with her to try to pronounce her words correctly. Just a couple of weeks ago Ever and Jeni's younger brother Mainor came to live at Eagles Nest as well. He was living in another children’s home but was having some behavior problems which they connected to the possibility of him needing to be reunited with his siblings.He has adjusted really well. They are 11, 9 and 5 years old.
As many of you know, raising a child is expensive, and raising 22 children involves a lot of cost. Cost for child care, cost for food, clothing, medical expenses, education, and so on.
Because the Lord speaks clearly about our role in taking care of orphans in James 1:27 my new friend Karen has taken the Lords command to heart and is doing what she can to help provide support in raising these precious children.
When you make a purchase through her store 25% of the sales will go directly to help with the cost of raising these children and trust me, she has the cutest children's clothes I have ever seen.
Blessed mommy of nine- 4 the regular old way, 2 adopted from Guatemala, 2 adopted through the foster system, and one adopted from Ethiopia. Our family is serving the Lord in Guatemala at Village of Hope- a home for special needs children. I'm passionate about adoption and being a mom. I'm a work in progress, utterly reliant upon God. I'm easy-going, until I freak out. Organized, until I lose something. Laid back, until someone hurts the ones I love. I love taking pictures and writing. I adore big families and people who are willing to live life in an unordinary way. Come along on my journey and watch 'as my blessings grow'.
You can contact me at blockamy at hot mail dot com.