For the last few years, I have been part of the trend to pick a word for the year, instead of a resolution. Most years, God has impressed a word and verse upon my heart. In 2013, the year we brought MaeMae home, it was Perseverance (Philippians 3:12-14). We had to persevere through the process to bring her home, persevere through the transition to a family of 6, and persevere through some particularly painful events in other areas of lives. 2014 was Joy (Psalm 28:7). MaeMae was Li’l Miss Joy, and we praised God for working in other areas of our lives. Joy comes in the morning. Proverbs 3:5-6 pervaded my thoughts in 2015 as I sought to Trust. A paycut had me a little nervous, but little did I know that 8 months after I chose this word, the Lord would be leading us to trust and submit to Him in the adoption of K. Which brings us to 2017…
I’ve had a song running through my head, well, really a phrase, since the beginning of the year. Better is one day. Better is one day in God’s court than a thousand elsewhere; I’d rather be a doorkeeper in His house than be anywhere else (Psalm 84). You can listen to a song based on these verses below, but when I hear this song, I don’t hear Matt Redman. I hear a
girl woman, Shaunanda, from the church where Chad was youth pastor singing it. I wish I had that version…
My word for 2017 is Home: God’s Home, Our Home, Their Home. We love our home, but have obviously outgrown it. We are seeking the Lord in where He wants us to move to or maybe He wants us to stay put in this house and continue making it work. I always remind myself to be content and that families around the world cram more people into smaller spaces. So, we are not seeking a house just to have a bigger house, but a little more room would be great for our growing kids. More than one bathroom would be ideal. K has equipment she needs to use, but it doesn’t work well in the house we have now. She has a walker, but she can only go a few steps up and down our little hallway. I dream about having just a small room where we could put some equipment for her: exercise balls, tricycle, even a swing. We are actively looking, if that includes Chad looking on Zillow. Some houses in our area are selling in two days!
My desire is that the Lord will lead us to the house He has in mind for us: a house where we can minister to our family and others, one where K can be active and grow stronger, and one where we can easily live within our means. I want to be well under what Dave Ramsey says is appropriate, which is a house payment of 25% of your take-home pay; I want well under that 25%! Seeking this means always keeping in mind where our real home is. This is only temporary.
In the meantime, organizing our earthly home is constant. A family member recently asked how we did it with 7 people in our home, and the answer is “Everything has a place and is in its place.” After Christmas, that meant clearing out space for new toys and buying storage bins for Shopkins (I don’t understand those things, but I love that they are small!). I have already dropped off things at the Salvation Army and I have another load ready to go. I keep looking at my corner cabinet filled with crystal nonsense and wonder how much longer I can take looking at it; it needs to go! Okay, slow down, a little at a time.
There is an ongoing project list in my head regarding the house, so I did set a New Year’s Resolution to mark one thing of that list–clean the oven! Does anyone else have trouble with this? I despise using the self-cleaning feature as it makes my whole house smell badly. Every time I use Easy Off, I forget I sprayed it and then turn the oven on the next morning! Let me tell you, baking Easy Off puts off horrible fumes, but thankfully, they do not include carbon monoxide. This time, I used my friend Tracy’s method of oven cleaning and am proud to say I knocked that resolution out on January 3rd! What’s next?
My next resolution regarding “Home” is actually the real reason I am writing today. Psalm 84:3 says even the sparrow finds a home in God’s house. I have two little sparrows tucked in my heart and I want them to find a home this year. Actually there are many, many sparrows, but these two are special to me. This year is going to be full of advocating for these two precious boys, who happen to be orphans, until they come home. I know they have a family waiting somewhere, but their family needs to find them. YOU are going to be seeing and hearing about them at least once a week on my FB page. Please share their pictures in hopes that their mamas and babas might see their worth and race to bring them home.
When we visited MaeMae’s orphanage, we tried to visit with as many of the children as possible. One child stuck by my side the entire time and held my hand.
At the time, I had a student that looked similar to this precious boy, and so, I felt a connection automatically. This picture was taken THREE AND A HALF YEARS AGO. He is still there, waiting for a family to pick him. 3 1/2 years have gone by as he has watched his friends go home with their forever families. He is still waiting for his forever. Because many families visit the orphanage, there is picture after picture of sweet Bryer (the nickname a few moms have given him) growing up on film. We have learned things about him, more than his file states. We know this orphanage frequently gives the label “delayed brain development” to the kids. That may or may not be the case for Bryer. I have not read his file, but I know he is so much more than a piece of paper. His greatest need is a mama and baba that will love him . If you are interested in reviewing his file, you can do that at any time, no strings attached, with our agency. If you have questions about him, please ask me.
Here is a link to our agency’s listing of Bryer (Aiden). It includes a SMILING : )
picture and a video.
The other child in my heart is Emerson. The first year we sponsored K, the foster home allowed us to send Christmas gifts to the children. Of course, we sent K presents, but then I asked if any other children needed anything. I was “assigned” Emerson. Off I went to buy boy AND girl clothes and toys. He was frequently in pictures with K, and we commented how they were like siblings. Little did we know, there were actually “triplets” in the foster home. K, Emerson, and Stephanie slept in toddler beds pushed together and did school work at the same table. I am assuming they ate together, too.
Emerson is paper ready at this time. That means he has an adoption file and is available to come home to live with his forever family. I can locate his file and get you started. I am assuming he has cp like our K. It may sound scary, but the joy, enthusiasm, intelligence, and love our girl has far outweighs any scariness of a cp diagnosis. You can read more about Emerson on the foster home’s website, along with the other children there. Actually, they are all available for adoption at this time, except Stephanie. We asked the orphanage to please prepare a file for her because we knew a family would adopt her. Please pray her file is completed soon. She deserves a family. Below is the link for the foster home information about the children.
You may be asking, “Well, why don’t you bring them HOME if you love them?” I have sat beside both these boys and held their little hands and the Lord did not say, “This is your son.” But, we will never say “Never again” to adoption. Deb, my sister-friend (our friendship has been honed through the fires of adoption journeys), reminded me recently, “You already said ‘Yes'” and that “Yes” doesn’t stop. This time, though, it is not our turn. My “YES” to these boys is advocating for them and praying them home. Would you join me in praying these little sparrows find their nest this year?