Friday, March 22, 2013

well said.

My friend, Katie, is currently in China adopting handsome Simon. A little 4 yr old boy who happens to have thalassemia, like our Vivian. Yesterday, she visited his orphanage. Today, she wrote this
orphanage visit

 She has said it so well. We are indifferent. If you haven't seen it, it is easy to tuck it away, and go on with our lives. We do say it is too hard. Me included. We worry about trivial things, like Easter baskets, and what we are going to wear for Easter Sunday. Again that's me too. And every day innocent children created in the image of the Most High God, suffer. Suffer unimaginably. Living their lives in conditions we couldn't handle for more than a few days.

 Everyday, I think about what we saw. Particularly, when we visited Calvin's orphanage. I find it very hard to explain. To find words. It was so heartbreaking. Overwhelming. Such raw need. So wrong. So many and every one of them deserving so much more. To be more than a number. To be well fed. To be clean. To be warm. To have even one thing that you could call your own. To not be shut away from the world. Hidden. To be LOVED.

 Calvin was terrified, truly terrified of leaves, or any kind of plant. We found that out when Michael accidentally brush up against a plant at our hotel. I don't know if Calvin had ever been outside in his 2.5 years of living in the orphanage. Can you imagine?

 It was dark and very institutional there. It was cold. All the kids had on full jackets inside in an attempt to keep them warm. They had blankets hanging over all the doors to try to keep any warmth in the rooms. The walls were old, and dirty. It had an overall cold,depressing air about it. It smelled in many of the rooms. I don't know what they were fed or how often, but I know that I see Calvin struggle with food. Always looking for something to eat. Always needing more. He will eat anything, and he has to finish everything. Even when you can tell he doesn't really want it, that he is full, he can't stand to let you take it away. He will sit there and eat until it is all gone. He can't stand to waste a bite. I wonder how often he was hungry. I suspect with so many children, they were fed on a schedule, and if you didn't finish, you didn't get any more till the next scheduled time.

 We visited Calvin's orphanage just barely 24 hours after we met him. He was still so very afraid of us. And yet, he clung to me when we visited. His nannies and all the many workers we passed in the two floors we visited wanted to hold him. Take pictures with him, and he wanted nothing to do with them. There were rooms he would cry if I even started to walk into. Only one nanny out of many was he happy to see. I think this says a lot. What 2.5 year old child is handed to weird looking strangers, who don't speak your language, and you choose them over everything you've ever known after only 24 hours. He didn't trust us. He was not happy with us. And yet, he willingly chose to take a chance on the complete unknown of us, over the life he knew in the orphanage.

 When we walked out I felt relieved, and guilty all at the same time. I was relieved because I felt like I couldn't catch my breath there. I was struggling not to cry in front of them. I was relieved to be taking my son out of there. I was horrified that he had lived there all this time. I felt guilty because I knew we were walking back to our comfortable lives. To our beautiful hotel suite . To our choice of dinner. Hot showers. Skyping with our FAMILIES. Guilty because I knew many of them would never have a family. Guilty because we did so little.Knowing our tomorrow was bright and full of promise, and theirs was the same dark hopelessness. We handed out hugs and candy. So inadequate. I prayed in my head as I walked through room after room for God to please help them. But we are his hands and feet here on this earth. What are we going to do?

 I'm not sure what God has for us next. I know I will never forget. I will always advocate for these children and adoption. But there must be more. And we must be willing to do more than read about it. Or write about it, and then we go out for lunch and forget about it. We are so busy and we are missing what is really important. Lord, forgive me. Help us to see.
 Link to some pictures and what we wrote the day after we visited.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Coming up for air

"If anybody asks me what have I been up to
This is what I'm gonna say
I've been spending my time, outta my mind
And I'm really lovin' livin' this way"

I have these moments, things that happen,and I think, "I should blog about that." Then, I get busy, and forget. I can't imagine why, lol.

Then, I have these deep thoughts. And I don't know how to talk about them yet. Let alone write about them. Things I saw in China. Hurts I see in my new children, and yet beautiful redemption work by God, I already see happening.  So many children still waiting. Children dying. Everyday.What do we do? Feeling like I'm failing on lots of fronts. And yet....

This whole adoption, large family thing is a blessing, a gift. And it's really hard too. And it pushes me to my knees, ever more seeking my Father. Which in the end is everything. His mercies ARE new every morning. I'm so glad that is true.

Our home is filled with love, and lots of fun, and laughter, and silliness. There is a lot of whining, and crying too at the moment. I wouldn't change it though (well, maybe the whining, lol). It's part of His plan, which is so much better than anything I could have ever thought up. But it was/is so easy to think how difficult this is for me......The truth isn't pretty. I've had many days of thinking I can't do this. I don't want to do this. I'm tired. I'm not happy. I ruined our lives. And on and on, but it's not about me.... and when I really grasp that truth.... I'm blown away by his grace. And thankful he's chosen to use me, with all my failings, which.are.many. Then I see, his strength. And he is faithful to bring joy, out of tears.Healing and grafting these children into our lives. And life is looking very bright, for me and my family. Blessed.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lots of pictures

I know its been forever since I posted. We've been in survival mode around here. I still plan to write about our last day in China and our trip home. I think I can now without crying. It wasn't fun. We made it through. That's about it. The first few weeks home are HARD. At least for me, and for them too. I intend to write about my thoughts and feelings with that too. But for right now, just know that things are going well, really well. We are all being knit together and we are finding our new normal and it is good. Feeling very blessed these days. So thankful for a God who never leaves us, even in the valleys. For family who loves us all the time. For friends who stand in the gap, and bless us. So here are a bunch of pictures, hopefully they will hold you over till I can get back into the regular routine of blogging! Most of these pictures are from the last week or so, because honestly before that, it would have been a lot of pictures of us in our pajamas, trying to get over jet lag, and lots of crying fits, and not just of me, lol.Check out Georgia laughing at the end.
Georgia thinking about trying it.

Divas taking a break for lip gloss.
The weather here yesterday. Florida has it's benefits.
Cuteness Overload
Are you looking at me?
Always stylish.
Not sure why my boys want to be bucketheads :)
More than we hoped for. God is so good. My new sporty ride. Now we all fit in one vehicle. And you can't miss us, lol.
Happy hour, our style, lol. They've figured out that milkshakes might be cold, but who cares, they are delicious!
Olivia's teenage angst look.
Thankfully, this what we see most of the time :)
More Blooming!
Isn't this so sweet? He is such a good big brother!
Ouch, elbow meets the driveway.
All my little ones!
His drama slays me.
Love Calvin's face. Bless his heart.
Who's idea was this anyway? Oh yeah, Mom's.
My thinker.

                                                             I am so BLESSED!