"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12



“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats





Friday, November 21, 2008

An Open Letter to Mr. Blogsp*t



The Secret Is In The Sauce (SITS) has the coolest Friday Link Up Fun! I thought I would join in. After much thought of who I should write my "Open Letter" to, Blogsp*t definitely was the deserving winner. Head over there and try it! I had fun just writing it!

Dear Mr. Blogsp*t:

My name is Ohilda and I am an addict. I have you to blame for this. First, with your "Blog Roll". Oh yes, the one that now let’s me know when my favorite bloggers have posted and how long ago their new post was added. I find myself discreetly making my way past the computer and keeping a distance that is just close enough for me to hit the “refresh” button. Why? Because I want to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

Yes, Mr. Blogsp*t. I have accepted the fact that I need help. And what do you do? You enable my addiction by adding yet another little gadget to further entice my brain waves. The now popular FOLLOW ME gadget. I am giddy with excitement that I have a few more people than my sister and husband following me. But, with every new friend who is peeking in on me, I must peek back. And peeking is never enough anymore. I am fascinated and inspired by the people you have pulled into my cyber world. I don’t know if I should be thanking you or not for this. Ok. Ok. I thank you!

What I do not thank you for is the fact that I keep ruining my diet because of you. Yes, Mr. Blogsp*t. You! You make me skip the nutritious breakfasts and lunches I have planned in my mind and instead you force me to sit with a cupcake (sometimes two!) and a cup of coffee for breakfast or a glass of soda and a bag of chips for lunch. All this as my mind becomes one with my mouse traveling through cyberspace from blog to blog. Do you know how hard this is on my diet? Do you know the challenge that this brings into my already stressful life?

This is just in case you need evidence of the cupcakes and coffee.


I wasn’t going to mention this, but I feel I must since the medical bills for my urinary tract infection will soon be coming in. My doctor has advised me that my problems are due to holding my bladder without tinkling for hours and hours at a time. To which I responded with a gasping and surprised, “Huh?” while knowing the entire time that I was guilty of his accusations. Again, you may be asking why would I do such a thing. I'll tell you why. Because often I find myself so enthralled in my reading that I do not make it to the porcelain throne as often as I should, especially after all that coffee and soda. Yes, you are now physically affecting my health, Mr. Blogsp*t.

In closing, I just want to say a final thank you for the huge bags under my eyes. Another unappreciated gift from you. You may say that I brought these upon myself, but in my defense, I need to make it clear that it is because of you, Mr. Blogsp*t, that I have these. Having 3 toddlers, a teenager and a husband makes it very difficult to be visiting your creations during their waking hours. So instead, I must do this in hiding, in the late hours of the night and into the wee hours of the morning. Do you realize that these toddlers have no remorse for waking up at sunrise and continue to do it even if their Mama looks like a raccoon at 7 a.m?

Since the voices in my head lately have been telling me what to blog about, I've decided that I should soon be looking for a BCD (Blogger Compulsive Disorder) support group. A group that I think you should pay for since I am pretty certain my insurance does not cover this type of addiction. It, of course, must not be an inpatient facility because I do not think I could handle going cold turkey.

Respectfully,

A.A.B (Another Addicted Blogger)



Thursday, November 20, 2008

NO HANDS BUT OURS

No Hands But Ours


NO HANDS BUT OURS was designed to be a resource for special needs adoptions from China. This informative site has been a long time dream for an adoptive Mama, Stefanie, in order to help families considering, in the process or home from China who may need resources. Most importantly, it was created to help the waiting children of China possibly find their forever families. Along with Stefanie, three other great adoptive Mamas, Rebecca , Tonggu Momma , and Amie from Heart Smiles, collaborated in this wonderful mission.

Please check out the site. Here you will find information about specific special needs, links and resources, family stories (including our own sweet Kai's story - I'm working on Anna Grace's), agencies, as well as information about current children who wait. A place where anyone who is considering the WC program or at any stage of the process can find answers as well as encouragement to help them along on their journey.

As many of you know, I am the very proud Mama of two amazing special needs children from China. Adoption is my passion and special needs children are at the top of that list. My sweet Kai was born with a severe cleft lip and palate, and our Anna Grace was born with Poland Syndrome, which includes limb deformities. They have both been immense blessings in our lives. Words cannot describe the love I feel for our children, all 6 of them. But, as I've said many times before, there is something so very, very special about these waiting children. My heart shrivels up and dies when I think that Kai, coming from such a poor orphanage, would never have had his palate, with the degree of severity he had, repaired. He would have never spoken. I cry at that thought. Our Anna Grace would never have had her hand corrected and she would have had to live with a a disability for life that is so easily corrected in our country. Yet, so may children in China will have to live their lives without the medical care they need. That is their reality. It's heartbreaking. Especially when so many of these special needs are so easily corrected. Some children even have corrective surgery before coming home. Then there are the older childre who are placed on waiting list just because of their age. They are perfectly healthy, but with every day that passes, their chances of being adopted and belonging to a family become smaller and smaller.

Please, consider opening your heart to a waiting child, whether you are starting the process or are in the very long wait for a non-special needs referral. Visit NO HANDS BUT OURS and see if maybe your child is waiting there. If there is a special need you've been praying about, check out the resources or the family stories. Feel free to ask questions and inquire about your concerns. There are so many children still waiting for their turn to be a part of a family and your family may just be the one!

I know in our own lives, Scott and I often speak of our dream to someday go back to China and bring home another cleft-affected little man. That dream has been placed in God's hands because of China's restrictions. But, your dream may be just paperwork away.




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What can we do?

In the past couple of days, I've been asked to pray for and share some prayer request. I've been thinking about how and when to do it, since the holidays are coming up and who wants to read about the hurt and struggles going on in people's lives when it should be a time of Thanksgiving and rejoicing?

As I prayed about this, God reminded me of His own son. How we rejoice in the fact that we have eternal life. How did we receive this blessing? We certainly have not earned it. We received it through Christ's suffering on the cross. With each nail that was hammered into His flesh. With each lashing of the whip that scarred His body. With each thorn that dug deep into His scalp. He died for us. For you and for me. He suffered on that cross so that we may have eternal salvation. All that He ask is that we believe that He IS God, and to not live according to the flesh, but according to His Spirit. As I prayed, He led me to scripture Romans 8:12. An affirmation indeed.

After praying, I felt so very blessed that He allows us, He wants us, He is waiting for us to take our heavy hearts and lay them at the foot of the cross. He wants us to rest in Him. He wants us to be his hands and feet. He wants us to give until it hurts. Is that not what He did for us? Is that not why He puts us here on earth? So, with thanksgiving in my heart, I humbly ask you to join me in prayer for the following families and to prayerfully consider helping those out in need.


The Delgado Family

This inspirational family was recently blessed with the birth of beautiful twin girls, Madison and Melody, that were born conjoined. They lived for about an hour. Today these precious angels are resting in our Heavenly Father's arms, whole and happy. Through it all, they have continued to glorify our Lord. Their strength is amazing. Please pray for this precious family.


Lori at JOY Unspeakable

This amazing lady has stepped out in faith. Not for herself, but for a family that is truly walking the talk. You see, Bill and Lynsay heard God's calling to pretty much pack it up and go to China to open a special needs home for orphans. Against the odds and after being told their dream was impossible, they made it there! Why? Because NOTHING is impossible with God. And boy, oh boy, he is movin' in their lives.


This leads me back to Lori. Bill and Lynsay have been given their first child to care for, which they are gleefully doing along with their own two little ones. Up to now, they've relied on public transportation and bicycles. (Yep, true to Chinese style.) But with their ministry growing and the need to possibly getting to the hospital quickly with a special needs children (and future ones hopefully coming into their care) these modes of transportation just aren't practical anymore. They need a van to transport these children. So God moved Lori's heart to do something about it! And guess what? God is calling YOU....yes, YOU, to prayerfully consider making a donation to this ministry, The Morning Star Project. Consider it as adding another "person" to your Christmas list. Maybe give up the Starbucks or the McDonalds for the kids for a couple of weeks. Use this as a lesson to teach your little ones about giving to others in need, especially during the holidays. Be God's hands and feet on earth. Even the smallest amounts add up! So, head over to Lori's site and see how easy she's made it for you to contribute to this amazing cause!

Blogging Mama is missing since October 27, 2008.



I read this on someone's blog the other night and it has been haunting me since, especially after reading the pain in her daughter's words. I've been praying fervently that this woman, Sheila Kathleen (Beany) McBroom, show up safe and sound. Her disappearance seems very bizarre and the Alaska State Police has discontinued their search. Please take a moment to lift this family up in prayer. If you may have any information, please contact Detective Cynthia Bradley at (907) 786-8817 or e-mail cbradley@ci.anchorage.ak.us



We all know that God is the perfect healer.




I have been praying for this adorable, little man for some time now. He is the nephew of a fellow adoptive Mama and his name is Nicholas. In 2006, Nicholas was diagnosed with leukemia. Sadly, this year he has relapsed. There is a possibility that he may have complications now due to pneumonia. I can't even begin to imagine what this family is going through. Please join me in prayer that God's perfect plan be the complete healing of this precious child. May every cell be cleansed and that all complications be removed. You can read more about this little man HERE. Warning: Be prepared to fall in love with his cuteness!

Lastly, today while visiting one of my reader's blogs, I came across a the picture of a beautiful young Mama. Her name is Markana. She is the proud Mom to Baby Stella. Markana was diagnosed with lymphoma. Please lift up this precious family as we pray for God's will to be done. May He grant them strength and courage and they battle this horrible disease and await news that our mighty Savior has indeed healed her.

I believe that when His people cry out to Him, our sovereign God listens and answers. If you have any specific prayer requests that you would like me to add to my prayer list or ask prayer warriors to pray for, please do not hesitate to ask, even if you do it anonymously. That's perfectly OK. God knows who you are.

Thank you and may He bless you abundantly for caring for His children.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E. Good Times...C'mon!


We are home! We are "cast-free".

We have healed "incredibly well".

We are praising God!!!

Here are some pictures from today. It was an amazing day because we had a few special "God-incidences" thrown in (that'll be another post), but all of the above is what is making my heart sing with joy! Anna Grace was an amazing little trooper. Gosh, that girl is my hero! I took a few videos of the cast being removed and she was being so brave. Bless her heart. She let one lone tear slide down her little face. Her hand looks amazing (although still covered in dissolvable stitches, dried blood and very swollen, so pretty icky). The surgeons personality is like a rock, but he's extremely talented at his profession. He did a beautiful job.

Now we wait one month until those stitches dissolve and heal and we go back for a final checkup in December.

Again, thank you all so much for praying for my sweet girl.

Here are a couple of video clips (remember to scroll down to turn off background music) and the pictures of her cast removal.

My brave little princess earned (along with little brother, AJ) her very own "Ken" doll. (They were out of Barbies).

video


video



Today's the Day!




"This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

Can you believe it's been 2.5 weeks since Anna Grace's surgery? The girl has been nothing but remarkable. Her resilience astounds me. She walked out of that hospital a day later after her 3.5 hour surgery like she had gone to the mall. She's not complained about an iota of pain and I know that's due to all of the prayers that she's been bathed in. THANK YOU!!! Again, our Lord's glory and goodness shines. THANK YOU, JESUS! I was given a prescription for Tylenol with codeine plus a refill. The doctor explained that I should start weaning her off of it and switching to regular Tylenol a few days before today's appointment. The prescription was never filled.

My friend, Sherri, commented last week in THIS post that I was being "tentative" about claiming the fact that Anna Grace had turned a corner with her attachment issues and that I should embrace it. The minute I read that comment my heart knew she was right. I was scared of saying it too loud because of fear of a setback. I needed to hear this. I needed to break my wall down.

Thank you, S. Your wisdom opened my eyes and I'm not letting Satan steal God's glory and magnificent works. ANNA GRACE HAS TURNED A CORNER IN HER ATTACHMENT!!!!! (Did ya notice I yelled that?) And I thank God from the bottom of my heart. I am seeing a completely different little girl. One that is not afraid to "bust into the group" and say, "I want juice, Mama!" instead of having to be asked. One that comes over to me while playing and says, "I love Mama" wraps her little arms around my legs and takes off running to go play again. I see a little girl whose heart is not as heavy. Whose eyes don't show fear, but now are somehow looking at me with a sparkle in them. How Great is our God?!!!!!!!

This morning I am leaving to Tampa with Anna Grace (and AJ since my sitters decided to bail on me and go on a short vacation...the nerve.....heh!) to have her cast removed. Please, if you get a moment, can you pray that when her cast is removed it reveals that her surgery was a complete success. This will be the first time we see her hand since the surgery and I know she's just as anxious as I am to see her little fingers separated. Also, can you pray that the cast not be replaced and that she is healing well.

As always, thank you for your prayers and your support. I will post this evening when we get back into town.

God bless.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Yep, Not Me!





It's that time of week again. Oh, and if you haven't been to MckMama's site (the creator of Not Me! Mondays) lately, go check out her little miracle, Stellan. Really. A true miracle!

Now back to the stuff I didn't do.


I absolutely did not consider allowing my little ones to stay up till midnight on Friday night, in the hopes that they would sleep till 10 am the next morning. I think that is terrible parenting and the thought would never even cross my mind (not to mention that with my luck, they’d be up till midnight and still wake up at 6:30 am!).

I did not start writing down my Not Me’s last Monday so that it would be easier to remember things instead of thinking this morning about all the things I didn’t do last week.

It was not me that let my son clunk around the house in my high heels because I love seeing him giggle and smile and because I thought he was so darn cute in ‘em.

I do not feel like I am the only person in the world that has no clue what “High School Musical” is about. ::gasp:: I do not see it everywhere I go and wonder about whether it’s a movie or a show on TV, yet have absolutely no interest in finding out. And please don’t think I’m living a sheltered life because I also don’t know what the hoopla is about the Twilight books. I DO know that they are a series…how’s that?

It certainly was did not have Kai wipe his nose into his shirt last week at church because it was runny and gross and I did not want to get up and walk all the way to the bathroom to get a tissue. That would be utterly disgusting and lazy of me. I also did not immediately look around to make sure that no one had seen me do such a disgusting thing.


I, the most over-protective mother in this side of the hemisphere, absolutely did not allow my 14-year-old daughter to set up her own blog. I also did not tell her that if she did do such a thing, that she will be moderated by none other than that very same over-protective mother. No, I would not allow her to do that because there are a lot of weirdos in cyberland and that would be totally irresponsible of me to do. (For those of you that want to go over and show her some love, you can click HERE. It’s ok. Mama Bear is watching. :)


Kidding aside, she’s got a great blog, she’s a great writer and an awesome God-lovin’, total non-stop talkin’, movie watchin’, book worm who loves her family. She also loves comments ::hint hint::

At her blog, scroll down to her first post for her introduction.


Now what didn't YOU do this week?



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