"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

Saturday, June 6, 2009

yes we are!

big apple

I should've known better than to underestimate your astuteness! Yes, it was a "big" apple, but for some reason I didn't think most of you would guess! You impress me "big". No pun intended. Ok. Maybe a little.

As to keeping the doctor away? I wish! (Update on Kai coming soon.)

And the Twilight books? Sheesh...you've almost got me convinced to read it. Almost!

Back to NYC! It's turned out to a be bittersweet trip. Remember THIS post where I spoke about Amanda and her Quinces? Sadly, we have come to the conclusion that we are in no position financially to provide her with the much anticipated event, equivalent to a wedding and costing on a small scale more than $10k, peaking closer to $15k!

Instead, as a celebration of the momentous date, we offered her a trip with the entire family, to the place of her choice. After researching, pondering and dreaming, covering places from Costa Rica to Jamaica to Italy, she ended up choosing one of my her favorite places, New York City!!! WOOT! WOOT!

We'll be going in August. Tickets are purchased and hotel reservations are made!

Ahhh...but wait! There's icing on the cake. One of Amanda's very limited requests was the possibility of seeing the Broadway play Mamma Mia! Sweet hubby agreed and we were able to pull that off. So now we have center section orchestra seats to see the show that had her wailing serenading us with the famous Abba songs around the house for months!

Lastly, on top of every cake with icing there just has to be a cherry!

What is the cherry, you ask? (I just know this will be one of my favorite parts of the trip!)

There's quite a few of you that live in the northeast that I would love, love, love to see again or would love. love. love to meet and give big 'ol hugs in person to! I knew the family wouldn't go for my spending our first family vacation meeting friend after friend, since after all, a week flys by so quickly there. So, we came up with the idea of having a picnic for a couple of hours in Central Park! What do you think? Cool, huh? The kids could meet, frolick and play while the grown ups can pinch each other to make sure it's real! Ok, sorry! Really. No pinching will be involved. But I'd love to see you.

So if you're game, in the area (or would like to travel to meet up) please email me HERE and I will share the details I have in mind.

If you're a native New Yorker and have ideas or suggestions, you gotta know that those are always welcome since we're looking for inexpensive fun things to do with a teenager and 3 kiddos under 5, that all will enjoy!

In the meantime....we are psyched!

UPDATE: I've received a couple of emails from some of you worried that you don't have little kids, but would still like to come. Please don't think twice about it! I 'd love to see big people there, too. Oh, and of course, hubbies are very welcome....especially by Scott who already envisions himself surrounded by sweaty, screaming kids and lots of women talking about adoption. heh!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

go ahead mom, just ask!

I came across this little quiz and thought it would be neat to ask all of my six kids what they thought about me.

Yep. I fully prepared myself for loaded questions, especially after telling them (the older ones specifically) to be 100% honest. Their answers made me laugh, smile and some even made me tear up.

Thank you to my big guys for indulging me. I know you guys don't like these "quizzy things". But, you gotta admit, we really had fun doing it and laughed quite a bit. I love you all....BIG!


Front Row: AJ (3), Anna Grace (4), Kai (5)

Back Row: Amanda (14), One very blessed Mama, Tito (26 and the only one that lives in another city), Adam (24)

Here are their unedited answers.

*It was interesting to see that some answers were so similar yet, they all answered separately without knowing or hearing any of the others' responses.

1. What is something your Mom always says to you?


: "I don't know, we'll see."

: "What Amanda? What Amanda? What?"

"Be good at school."

ANNA GRACE: "Be a good girl."

AJ: "Give me kissies and huggies"

2. What makes your Mom happy?

TITO: Adopting kids

: When i visit!

AMANDA: When we behave

KAI: Being good

ANNA GRACE: When we behave

AJ: When you give kissies

3. What makes Mom sad?

: Not adopting kids

: Missing 24

AMANDA: When we behave badly.

KAI: When we not listen.

ANNA GRACE: When we don't listen.

AJ: Hurting feelings

4. How does your Mom make you laugh?

: Telling jokes

: Tells me stories about what AJ did.

AMANDA: When she leaves the gallon of milk in the pantry.

KAI: She plays peek-a-boo.

ANNA GRACE: When you tickle me.

AJ: When she calls me silly cracker and chases me (don't ask, not what you think!)

5. How old is your Mom?

: 46 (Ugh!)

ADAM: 46 (Double ugh!)

AMANDA: 45 (One out of 6 got it right!)

KAI: 3


AJ: 3

6. How tall is your Mom? (No one got this one right!)

TITO: 5'5



KAI: "this, this big" (jumping up with hands extended upwards)



7. What is your Mom's favorite thing to watch on TV?

TITO: 24

: 24


Kung Fu Panda and Over The Hedge

ANNA GRACE: Sleeping Beauty

AJ: Baseball (heh...i never watch baseball)

8. What does your Mom do when you're not around?

TITO: Live life.

ADAM: Get on the computer.

AMANDA: I don't know, I'm not around to see it.

KAI: I don't know, I not here.

ANNA GRACE: Play with AJ

AJ: Sit

9. What is your Mom really good at?

TITO: Taking care of us kids

ADAM: Mothering

AMANDA: Writing

KAI: Playing games

ANNA GRACE: Taking care of your babies

AJ: Folding clothes (this boy is too funny!)

10. What does your Mom do for her job?

TITO: Taking care of kids

ADAM: A housewife and Mom

AMANDA: She takes care of us

KAI: To take care of her babies

ANNA GRACE: To love her babies

AJ: To sit on the computer

11. What is your Mom's favorite food?

TITO: Scott's shepherd's pie

ADAM: Oxtail stew

AMANDA: Cuban food

KAI: Spaghetti and noodles

ANNA GRACE: Hot dogs (I hate hot dogs...heh!)

AJ: Carrots

12. What makes you proudest about your Mom?

TITO: Your involvement with us.

ADAM: She's always there for us.

AMANDA: That she adopted my brothers and sister.

KAI: Because you're a good listener!

ANNA GRACE: Because you love me.

AJ: She gives kissies and hugs

13. What do you and your Mom do together?

TITO: Talk on the phone all the time.

ADAM: Hang out

AMANDA: We shop.

KAI: We sing songs.

ANNA GRACE: Love ourselves (I think she meant love each other)

AJ: Watch TV

14. How are you and your Mom the same?

TITO: We're both stubborn.

ADAM: We both conserve our money (Gee, Adam....I wish Scott thought that!)

AMANDA: We're both strong-willed.

KAI: We have black hair.

ANNA GRACE: You and me (?)

AJ: 'cause

15. How are you and your Mom different?

TITO: I'm a guy!

ADAM: I'm more open minded, you stick to your ways.

AMANDA: Our opinions

KAI: I'm a boy, you a girl.


AJ: 'Cause you're bigger, but not a lot!

16. How do you know your Mom loves you?

TITO: We talk on the phone all othe time.

ADAM: She tells me.

AMANDA: She tells me everyday

KAI: She tells me so, so much and gives me kissies.

ANNA GRACE: You always tell me.

AJ: I ask Daddy.

17. What does your Mom like most about your Dad (Step-Dad)?

TITO: He's her "Sugar Daddy"; he never says no to her.

ADAM: His personality.

AMANDA: His personality

KAI: Daddy's a good cook.

ANNA GRACE: You hug each other.

AJ: His kissies.

18. What would your Mom do with a million dollars?

TITO: Spend $900,000 on adopting more kids and $100, 000 on taking care of them.

ADAM: Pay her bills and hopefully give the rest to me, but I don't think so.

AMANDA: After buying my much wanted bearded dragons, she'd adopt more kids!

KAI: Go to lots of stores and buy alot of stuff.

ANNA GRACE: You put it in a hole (heh! No clue where that came from. Maybe she's been reading Obamanomics.)

AJ: Spend it in a place.

19. What do you wish you could go and do with your Mom?

TITO: Buy lotto tickets and win!

ADAM: Travel

AMANDA: Bowling

KAI: Go to Sea World

ANNA GRACE: To the mailbox and get mail. (I can make her wish come true every day..heh!)

AJ: To the alligator station where you could touch them. It's O.K. they're nice alligators. (no idea what he's talking about!)

20. What is one thing you hope never changes about your Mom?

TITO: Your spirit. The way that you are!

ADAM: Our friendship

AMANDA: How quickly she forgives and gets over things.

KAI: I want her to be my best friend forevah and evah and evah.

ANNA GRACE: To love me.

AJ: She gives huggies and plays and shares

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

a sad day for all


For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. - James 1:20

As many of you know, Dr. George Tiller was shot dead during church services this weekend. Dr. Tiller made himself well known by being one of the few doctors left in the US that still performed late-term abortions, the killing of viable babies during their second and third trimester of life.

While initially my reaction was that of shock and pretty much speechless (hard to believe, eh?) and while I firmly believe that abortion is tantamount to murder, I cannot and will not ever agree or condone the senseless death of another human being.

Did I want this man stopped for his brutality in the murder of thousands of babies over the past 40 years? Absolutely! But in no way should his actions have been stopped in this manner.

This cowardly act has been a huge blow to those who stand up for the rights of the unborn. The person who killed Tiller has now opened a door that may allow this man to go down in history as a martyr of sorts, to those who who don't respect the sanctity of life.

On the day of his death, I firmly believe that Tiller stood before The King of Kings and was held accountable for his evil actions to God's most precious gifts to humanity, His babies. Eventually, that was going to happen. I just wish his killer could have endured the wait.

We serve a very righteous God. A God who if His word is followed and we give Him the respect and authority He rightly deserves, allows us to live in His grace filling our hearts with peace knowing He is in control. He will take care of imposing His just punishment. "...the fear of the Lord makes men turn from evil." - Prov. 16:6

As Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, said "Those of us in the pro-life movement do not want to see abortionists die, we want to see them convert."

I say, "AMEN!"

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the Tiller family.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

God's army is needed to bring little Ethan home


We all know how tragic the life of an orphan growing up without a forever family could end up; how each year when they should be joyfully celebrating another birthday, they instead are becoming increasingly aware that each year that they live at the orphanage and watch babies and toddlers going home, their chances of being the "chosen one" gets slimmer and slimmer.

So, when my dear friend Yvonne asked if I would help in spreading the word about an amazing family needing help bringing home their 7 year old son, who waits in China, I immediately said YES! I came home tonight and read this Mama's blog and her struggle right now in bringing him home. I knew that we had to help. I'm praying hard for little Ethan and hoping that you, too, will say YES!

Please take a moment to read what Yvonne sent me to share with all whose hearts are open to helping another one of God's orphans make it home to his forever family.

"I have a good friend who needs our help. Even if you can't donate in a monetary way, your prayers are more powerful than anything else.

This mom has a heart of gold. She and her family have brought home three beautiful children from China, two of them were older with special needs, and they are in the process of adopting their 7 year old son from China as well. She has moved mountains to bring her babies home, and has not let anything stop her, even when she was told by one agency that getting the file of the child she knew was her daughter, was almost impossible. She knew this child was hers and fought to bring her home, and she now lives happily with her forever family with one of the best moms I know, my good friend! She really and truly has the biggest heart. In the past when she has read about a family who needed help, as she does now, she would donate what she could, and when
Love Without Boundaries has their auctions, she gets involved and donates to the cause, anything to help the children of China.

I don't think she ever imagined that she would be bringing home a 7 year old, but this little boy stole her heart and once again, she has worked against the odds to bring him home, but now they need help.

I want to first say, to everyone who is reading this, thank you for doing so. I'm not going to share the personal details of what she is going through because a lot of it is very painful and I don't want to hurt her, but I do want to say that she is an incredibly giving soul. She would literally give the shirt off her back to a stranger. She has helped family, friends and strangers generously even when she really couldn't afford to, and doesn't want to ask for help for her family now, so I'm hoping to be her voice. She is the rock of her family, but now she needs some of us to be rocks and give her strength.

This child had some grants available to him and those were very helpful, but due to some recent personal issues, my friend and her family have had some outgoing expenses that they were not expecting. Their LOA is due to arrive any day, for those not in the adoption community, this means, they are getting ready to receive a letter that they will sign and send back to China and then they will travel to pick up their child shortly after. The grants covered the agency fees and some of the adoption fees, but it didn't cover the travel expenses which is what they need to come up with now and kind of fast. With her other adoptions she was able to sell off retirement funds and use home equity loans, but now they have depleted that. She has been with a company for over ten years that in the past allowed her to take an advance on her vacation time, but now there is new management and she was just told this week that when she goes to China this time, she cannot do that and will have to take unpaid leave. This will just add to the financial burden they're under.

She has cut every corner she can, including deciding to travel to China by herself. I know she'd like to take her 7 year old, but right now the goal is just to get her there! She has been under so much stress lately. I want to see her relieved of this and let her have peace in knowing that she has the finances she needs to bring her sweet boy home. He deserves a family. He's waited 7 long years and he deserves to know the love of THIS amazing family. He has received his package with their photo album and been told he has a family waiting for him, and I'm heart broken to think that money, oh I wish it didn't come to that, could stand in the way. I know money is tight for everyone. Trust me I know, we are a family of 7 ourselves, but if you can give even $5 to help bring this child home and help him know the love of his family, I would be, and I know she would be, extremely grateful.

If you just can't do it, I understand, please just include her and her family in your prayers. Please pray that God will provide the finances for her to bring her son home and, if it's meant to be, help with the financial strain that will be upon them with her having to take unpaid leave. She is very private and she now knows I talked to Ohilda and thankfully took it well. She does not like to ask for help and I had to beg her to put the chip in on her blog. I woke up this morning and knew this is what I needed to do. I can help her, but I am only one person, so I'm calling for back up!

I need God's army to get behind this mom and family, whether it be through a financial donation or prayer, please help me. Help my friend bring her son home!

Go check out her beautiful kids! Please prayerfully consider making even a very small donation. These small amounts add up and together, we can all make a difference in the life of a little boy that has waited so long to call a family his own. Click on the link below to go to her blog.

Thank you again to Ohilda for allowing me to use her blog to pour my heart out! Your love of our Lord is tremendous, O.! Thank you for showing us what it means to let Jesus shine!"

Dear God,

We know You have a plan, you set this child on my friend's heart and she felt your calling and answered without hesitation. She has gone against all human odds to bring this child home, but we know what You have planned is greater than any human odds she is and has been up against. We know you will provide a way for Ethan to be united with his family. We pray that you hold this child tight in Your arms and surround him with Your love until his mom can get there and wrap her arms around him.

We pray and ask all this, always, in Jesus' name.


Love and Peace,


The Waiting Child

by Debbie Bodie

I saw you meet your child today

You kissed your baby joyfull

yAnd as you walked away with her

I played pretend you'd chosen me.

I'm happy for the baby, yet

Inside I'm aching miserably

I want to plead as you go by,

"Does no-one want a child of three?"

I saw you meet your child today

In love with her before you met

And as I watched you take her out

I knew it wasn't my turn yet.

I recognize you from last year!

I knew I'd seen your face before!

But you came for a second babe.

Does no-one want a child of four?

I saw you meet your child today

But this time there was something new

A nurse came in and took MY hand

And then she gave my hand to you.

Can this be true?

I'm almost six!

And there are infants here, you see?

But then you kissed me and I knew

The child you picked this time was me.

Copyright 1997

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