Friday, October 30, 2009

Prayer Guide for Orphans

One Hour Prayer Guide for the Fatherless

Written by Joe Gerber, Loving Shepherd Ministries

1. Meditate on key Scriptures about children and the fatherless. (10 min)

Psalm 68:4-5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Deuteronomy 10:17-19 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

Psalm 82:3-4 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Psalm 10:14, 17-18 But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

James 1:27 - Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

2. Pray specifically for children in your immediate sphere of influence (your children, nieces and nephews, neighborhoods kids, etc.). (5 minutes)

3. Read and consider the attached story of God’s mighty working through prayer (“The Power of Prayer”). Remember that we serve a God who does not change, and who has explicitly declared (see verses above) that He is the defender of the fatherless. He is just waiting for us to come before Him in prayer so that He might work mighty works on behalf of the fatherless. It’s His will! (15 minutes)

Now, with great confidence that God will hear and answer your prayers, please spend 3 minutes praying for each of the following:

That the Church would rediscover the Biblical mandate to care for widows, foreigners, and the fatherless – specifically to the fatherless.

That the Church would commit to fulfilling this mandate not out of guilt or rote obedience but because of the joy and abundance that comes from serving those God cares about.

Awareness among Christians about the global plight of the fatherless.

That this awareness, coupled with the joy that comes from fulfilling God’s mandates, would lead to a burning desire to take action on behalf of the fatherless.

That the cause of the fatherless would serve as a unifying rallying point for churches around the world thereby bringing about a Christ-honoring unity.

That ministries working among the fatherless would be committed to Kingdom-excellence and vision.That those ministries working with the fatherless would be prepared to handle the surge of support. For supernatural unity among ministries to the fatherless – a unity that would testify to an unbelieving world. That the Christian Alliance for Orphans would be a Christ-centered facilitator of the bullet points above. Pray specifically for the leadership of the Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Jedd Medefind, President Christian Alliance for Orphans

Maridel Sandberg, Chair Director, The MICAH Fund; Bethlehem Baptist Church

Matt Storer, Vice-Chair President, VisionTrust International

Kent Hatfield, Secretary Attorney / Partner Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC Deacon, Orphan Care Ministry, Southeast Christian Church

Scott Hasenbalg, Treasurer Executive Director, Shaohannah's Hope

Paul Pennington, Board Member Executive Director, Family Life's Hope for Orphans

Bill Blacquiere, Board Member President, Bethany Christian Services

Mike Douris, Board Member President, Orphan Outreach

Andy Lehman, Board Member Vice President, Life-song for Orphans

Brian Luwis, Board Member President & Founder, America World Adoption

Elizabeth Wiebe, Director of Outreach Christian Alliance for Orphans

Why oh why

Five kids and so far we've survived. But why did God wait to give us the most active one at number five? S. is a whirlwind of busy! Always into EVERYTHING and now climbing. He learned to climb out of his crib several months ago, and now he is able to climb up and out of many things. He can scale the side of the couch, climb any chair, monkey his way up the baby gate, and climb into the bathtub. The other day I found him on the bathroom vanity with the faucet on. We have to supervise him all the time. If we are unable, the best place to put him is in his room with the gate placed higher than normal, or in his high chair. Even his room is becoming hazardous because he is now climbing his dresser. Oh, woe is me... I am so glad I have older kids that can take turns playing with him or holding him on their laps. When they are home, that is. You can bet by 12:30 this mama is sooo ready for nap time! S.'s therapist is trying to come up with ways to help maximize his attention span. So far, nothing's really worked well. He does LOVE to push things, vacuum, broom, mop, etc. He also loves figuring out buckles (car seat and highchair). Sometimes he will sit and BANG on his xylophone toy for a half hour, if the mood is right. Other than that, it is like watching a ping pong ball, bouncing from one part of the house to the next. You can't imaging the mess he makes wherever he goes too! I guess it's good for me, and keeps me young, right?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful day 3

I am thankful for my wonderful children. I am so glad God brought each and every one of them into my life.
This photo was taken in March, right after E. came home from Haiti.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thankful day 2

I am thankful for my husband...he took the little boys to play group, went grocery shopping, attended a teacher conference, made dinner AND dessert today! What a man.


Thanksgiving is 30 days away.
I am going to count my blessings, every day.
Will you join me?

Day 1: I am so thankful for beloved friends!
E. and his "Gracie" at the beach last August.

VERY bridal

Bride to be in her mouse ears! K. and Grandma went to Disneyland last spring. They picked up these ears for A. for such an occasion!
a grocery "Price is Right" game
Grandma and C.

most of these photos were taken by K, age 6. She was quite the little photographer at my sister's bridal shower!
Miss K.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cute kids

I tried on the boy's wedding attire yesterday. S.'s suit is WAY too big, but the shirt vest and tie fit fine. I think I will just go find some black dress pants and call it good. He's in between sizes 12/18 months and 2T.

E. still looks so stinkin' cute in his little tux and it fits great!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I feel weary. I cannot even begin to explain how sad my heart is at times. I have suffered with the gift of compassion for many years. I remember the feelings I had as a young child while watching a "feed the starving children" type commercial on tv, or caring for a sick pet. I have these same feelings now, tenfold. I get so emotional at the thought of a child suffering, whether it is in the same county as me, or across the world. There are so many, and we can't save each one. It is just not possible for us to do it on our own. We can make a difference in a few lives though.

I believe that God brought several people in my life for a specific reason. I met my friend Sarah several years ago at my kids' homeschool program. She had adopted from Children of the Promise in Haiti. I was eager to learn the details. J. and I had considered adopting in the past, and the seed that had been planted by a Focus on the Family radio program had begun to sprout.

Sarah and I became fast friends and soon we began volunteering together. We traveled to Haiti and helped save the lives of a few precious children. We've been through heartbreak and experienced great joy. Sarah and Salem both started the MAT from the ground up. I soon became the host family coordinator.

Though our adoptions, traveling to Haiti, and helping several children, my life has changed. My priorities are much different and I feel happier about the little things in life. My relationship with my Father God has changed too, and for that I am most thankful.

I do, however, carry this burden. The burden of hearing about a little girl, orphaned and abandoned because of an illness. Unable to obtain medical care because of the country she was born in. Her story is so similar to our son's. I want so badly to help, but I am limited to what I can do, because of finances and circumstance.

I did not seek her out. The Lord brought her story to me. The timing is not perfect for us, we are busy, and I have a lot going on in my family. But there is something about her that is calling out to me. I am not sure why, I feel the need to do what I can to save her life. I am reaching out to others, so that they can experience the same joy and blessings I have experienced by helping a child.

It is the best feeling in the world.

Psalm 28

Of David.
1 To you I call, O LORD my Rock;
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.

2 Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

David Crowder and crowded house

My mom bought tickets to see the David Crowder Band in concert for J. last month. It was a very nice birthday gift of VIP passes. We got early admittance, so we were right next to the stage. My feet were sure tired after several hours of standing, but it was such a great experience! We felt really old compared to many other concertgoers who chose to stand and not sit in the seats, but we held our own. Thankfully no one got rowdy, although J. did need to say something to some 7 foot "groupie" who pushed and shoved his way right in front of us and decided to block our view. We'd been there for an hour and a half saving our spot and he got there 5 minutes before the show started. It was very rude and J. was polite about it. The guy moved. We were glad. It was a great night of wonderful worship. Afterward we were herded to another room to meet the band and get autographs. J. had a great time.

My sister's wedding shower was yesterday too. We had to change the date due to some scheduling conflicts so it ended up being the same weekend as the concert. My sister lives about an hour away from the venue so it worked out ok. My girls and I rode down to the shower with my mom. (a 3.5 hour drive) The boys and J. drove in separate car to my sister's house. After the shower we met up, left all the kids at the house and left for the concert. We didn't have time to check in to the hotel, or eat dinner, but we got there in time. The kids did great, but it was tight quarters in my sisters little house. My mom and dad stayed the night too, and everyone helped with the kids. I think it wore everyone out. We came and got them around 11 and drove home. I am exhausted!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Beautiful Poem

God Sent to Me an Angel

Written by Paul Dammann

God sent to me an angel,
it had a broken wing.
I bent my head and wondered
"How could God do such a thing?"

When I asked the Father
why He sent this child to me,
the answer was forthcoming,
He said "Listen and you'll see."

"My children are all precious,
and none is like the rest.
Each one to me is special,
and the least is as the best.

I send each one from Heaven
and I place it in the care
of those who know my mercy,
those with love to spare.

Sometimes I take them back again.
Sometimes I let them stay.
No matter what may happen
I am never far away.

So if you find an angel
and you don't know what to do,
remember, I am with you,
love is all I ask of you."

Missing summer already

It's been raining off and on for almost a week. I am already missing the nice warm weather that summer brought us. AND I can't believe in 71 days it will be Christmas! Time goes by sooo quickly. The kids grow up so fast...don't blink!
road trips



E. and Dom playing on the Oregon beach

Dancing to a polka band in Leavenworth

S. and Grandpa

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I just spent half an hour unlocking my nearly 2 year old out of his child safe room (thank God for that!). E. and S. have been playing with the doors in our house all morning...opening, closing, slamming, walking in and out, letting S. outside with nothing on, letting the dogs out, etc. I kept redirecting, asking them to not mess with the doors... until E. tells me the news. "S. locked de dor"! I hear S. crying in his room. Oh no! I look for the lock picker thing, but remember it got lost. So I look for the screwdriver to unscrew the door knob. Of course there is no phillips screwdriver to be found, anywhere. Mind you, there WAS a screwdriver sitting on a shelf in the hallway, no more than an hour before this. Now it was missing. I looked everywhere and ended up using a part of our cordless drill. It took awhile but I did it. I opened the door to find S. naked, sleeping on his bed. He had cried and screamed himself to sleep. But he is safe and fine. I am irritated. Tonight, when hubby gets off work he will be going to the hardware store to buy doorknobs without locks. Or the ones that have the button you push to lock, you just need a pin to open them from the outside. Obviously the people who remodeled our house did not have small children.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I got a call from the preschool coordinator. Short story is they think we should wait until spring to give E. more time to learn English, adjust to his new home and catch up developmentally. I had many questions for her, and she happily answered them. We will re-screen E. in the spring if we are still having concerns. Meanwhile I may investigate other preschool options locally and speech therapy. At the very least, we'll keep going to playgroup, therapy, and play dates. We have been spending our days playing, reading, singing and doing what 3.5 year olds do best.

On a side note: I have had several professionals tell me that he is more like a 2 year old developmentally, and I agree. Aside from the fact he his talking more, he and S. are almost on the same emotional level. S. is 21 months old. (except E. is VERY tricky and sneaky, almost passive/aggressive) Sometimes they get along great, sometimes not! They often even wear the same size clothes and many times people ask if they are twins.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hashbrown casserole

1 (32 oz.) pkg. frozen hash browns (2 lbs.)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. milk
1/2 diced onion
1/2 t. pepper
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/4 c. melted butter
3 c. cornflakes, crush cornflakes in Ziploc™ bag, pour
melted butter in & shake.
Spray casserole dish with oil. Layer 1/2 hash brown first. Then pour 1/2 of soup mixture = cream of chicken, milk, onion , salt, & pepper. Then half of the grated cheese. Repeat… Hash browns, soup mixture, grated cheese. Top with crushed, buttered corn flakes. Bake at 350 for 45 min.

Apple cranberry french toast casserole

Yum! I made this for our brunch this morning and it was a hit! I may make some more for the kids' breakfast tomorrow morning. I used raisins instead of cranberries, just because it's what I had. Still awesome!

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
3 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup dried cranberries
1 French Loaf, cut into 1 inch slices
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix in melted butter or margarine. Stir in chopped apples and dried cranberries until evenly coated. Pour into prepared pan.

Arrange french loaf slices in an even layer over apples.

2. In same bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Pour over bread, making sure every slice is fully soaked. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate over night. THIS IS KEY!

3. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Remove dish from refrigerator while the over is heating. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove cover, and bake 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

She lost

My poor mom in law, fell down the back porch stairs several hours ago, landing on a cement patio. She is doing ok, but is very swollen, sore and bruised. I feel so badly!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Running the race...

1 Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run,
but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may win.
C. right after a water break (that's not sweat, just a cup of water on her head!) She ran 18 laps, 4.5 miles!

K. playing the part of "cheederleader" with her friends. She ran too, 15 laps, nearly 4 miles!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall update

Sammy is doing good. He is getting very tall and is still slender. He is wearing 2 T clothes. He is active and love to dance and watch a show called Yo Gabba Gabba. He doesn't like many other tv shows but loves this one! He likes to read books, listen to music and ride his scooter bike outside. He also likes to swing. He is usually a happy, friendly guy but his temper is starting to show. He is having trouble with biting and hitting lately. He has a short attention span and is getting into everything!

He is still receiving therapy for speech but is almost caught up with his peers. He also is suspected to have sensory processing disorder, where he is a seeker and has low registration. He needs a lot of input for his body to register the sensations. We are working with a therapist for this too. He likes to put things in his mouth all the time, which is concerning for safety and illness.

He has an appointment at the hospital for an MRI and consultation with the surgeon in December. I am hoping they can narrow down a surgery date for reconstruction, but they may still want to wait until he gets bigger. He has been fussing more and rubbing his head on occasion, which concerns me because of his Chiari Malformation.

He had his hearing formally evaluated last week and he has no hearing loss. This is great since he has a higher risk for this because of his defect. He will have to go back in a year to test again.

Our family has been busy adjusting to school, and other activities. Sammy went to his first pro baseball game last weekend. He had a lot of fun and was very well behaved. His favorite part was the music they play between innings, and doing the WAVE.

To Do List

This weekend is a busy one for us. We have family coming to the boy's dedication and we will be hosting a brunch afterwards. I have a lot to do before then, but I am not very motivated to get it all done. I tend to procrastinate and that is not good when I have little time to get things finished. So here's my to do list to try to help me out a bit...
  • get allergy shots
  • clean house
  • figure out where mom and dad S. are going to sleep
  • narrow down brunch menu and figure out how much to cook for 25 people
  • grocery shop
  • figure out clothes for church and iron them
  • print out or mark in bible the verses we chose, practice reciting them a bit
  • go shopping for gifts for friends and family birthdays coming up
  • maybe if I am ambitious enough find Christmas gift to send home with in laws to save on shipping later (is this tacky?)
  • work on paperwork
  • spend time in prayer and reading scripture
  • exercise and eat right
  • take things to donate and consignment store
Here are some prayer requests.
  • My mom found out she has some serious health problems and she needs surgery in the next few months. Pray for peace and healing for her. Pray that the surgery is all that she will need to get better.
  • Pray for Isaac, Sarah's son, that his adoption will get straightened out quickly so he can get out of MOI and come home soon.
  • Pray that E. will qualify for preschool if it's the best place for him. Pray that his issues will lesson so that we can bond with him more easily.
  • Pray for S. and his health. He is starting to show some symptoms that are worrying me due to his birth defect.
  • Continue praying for my school children, that they will be a light in class, continue to work hard and succeed WITHOUT the attitude that they are learning from their peers.

Jog a thon

Today is C. and K.'s jog a thon fundraiser for school. They will be running for 45 minutes outside to raise money for their school's PTA. I am thankful it is nice outside and hope they do well. Thanks for those who have made donations. I will try to take some pictures!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


E. had his screening today for developmental preschool. I am not sure why they can't just jump to the evaluation stage of the process, since he has already had so many different tests and evaluations, but whatever. The school district did his screening today, then if they feel he needs to be evaluated, they will need to do that within 35 school days. Then we will see if he qualifies for preschool. If he can go to preschool, he most likely will be placed in the same classroom as his girlfriend, A. and they will be "soooo happy" (in Bean's words). I will be sooo happy too! I hope he can get the help he deserves, for speech/communication, balance and coordination and social/behavior skills. We would be able to cut out OT therapy (he has an appointment late this afternoon) since he would be receiving it there if needed. One thing that bothers me about all this is they are really hung up on the fact that he is learning English as a second language. Well, to be truthful, he never really had a firm grasp on Creole as a first language, from what I understand (correct me if I am wrong those who knew him and understood him). I think he deserves help no matter what the situation is that caused him to be delayed. He is delayed, and if the school doesn't step in now, they more than likely will have to step in during Kindergarten and beyond. To qualify, he needs to be 1.5 standard deviations from the norm in two or more areas, or 2 standard deviations from the norm in one area. If you ask me, and I am no expert, he would qualify for speech alone. But not if they are thinking there is a reason for his delay, meaning there is nothing wrong with his brain. I think the fact that he may have hearing loss in his left ear, problems with balance and coordination that requires occupational therapy, sensory processing disorder AND behavioral issues should qualify him... but we have to wait and see. I should be hearing from them by the end of the week to see if he needs evaluation. Then we wait longer to see if he qualifies. Ugh. Good thing I called them in MAY to get things rolling. Praying for a good outcome!

An experienced, loving home needed

A family is needed to parent this 8 year old Haitian boy. Click here to read about him. Pray for this family please.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sonlight Core 3 Curriculum for sale

I have sold this set on ebay.

I am letting go of our Sonlight curriculum. It is in good condition and I am pretty sure everything is still there (I will check to be sure). I am thinking of selling it for $250. If you are interested please let me know!

Too cold for baseball!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


We enjoyed a trip to see J.'s favorite baseball team before the end of the season last night. It was a rare treat, but we ALL went. We bought the cheapest tickets and went bravely. We waited outside by the gates for a while before they opened 2 hours prior to the game. We had time to kill, and we waited patiently for about 20 minutes. We were entertained by a man named Maynard. He was dressed in a black jumpsuit, with a back pack padlocked to his body. He was an AA man, with messy short dreads, horrible halitosis, and a goatee. He was a bit mental and a lot intoxicated. He was asking quite loudly when they would let us in. He announced to everyone that he actually had a ticket and was going to go in to watch the game. He was going to be a pro baseball player, if someone just would give him a change. He told us he was going to have a street named after him someday. It will be called "Maynard I don't got my own boulevard, Boulevard" He was also very unhappy about how all the authority figures were making us wait so long to get in. All he wanted to do was go watch the game and "chill with his homies". His language was quit colorful and he was a bit scary. He was also pretty humorous and E. kept laughing at him when he was talking to everyone in line. He got right up in K.'s face once when he was asking why they can't speed up the clock. She didn't really know what to say. She just shrugged. Then they moved us all over to the other gate. We obviously were waiting in line in front of the wrong one. That's when Maynard lost it. He was shouting about police, security and everyone preventing him to live the way he wants, told us all he wasn't on drugs, and that we just need to accept him the way he is. He told a single women and her daughter that he would defend her, while putting his hands out in front of them like he was blocking them from harm. She started crying, her daughter was frightened. J. had to step in and tell Maynard to settle down and "can it". It worked, and they actually let him in through the gate and his backpack passed the security check. Then, out of all the seats in the ENTIRE stadium, who would you think we were seated near? MAYNARD! He was sitting quietly for most of the game and I was quite impressed that he wasn't shouting or making a scene. He must love baseball. He was good, until the sixth inning. We heard him stand up and start a shouting match with one of his neighbors. He stormed off, with a security person following closely behind. I am praying for Maynard. I feel badly that I couldn't help him somehow. I walked on eggshells, protected my children and ignored his rants. I didn't want to get involved. I am not sure how or if I could have helped a person like this, but for sure will pray for him.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Appointments galore

We had a busy week! E. and S. both had dental appointments, vision appointments and hearing evaluations this week. The dentist went well, E. didn't go for the x-ray too much, so they will wait on that for next time. S. has a deep molar than is going to require another fluoride treatment in two weeks. The vision appointment was just for E. and he has astigmatism. astigmatism is usually caused by an irregular-shaped cornea and is easily corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery.
The plan is, since he was not really cooperative, we will be going back in six months to do another eye exam. Same song with the hearing eval. He was pretty good there, but does not like getting things poked in his ears. His tests showed one ear has some hearing loss. They are not sure how accurate the reading was so he will be coming back in six months. Hopefully by then he will be a bit more mature and not so wiggly! S. has excellent hearing which is good news since he has a higher risk of having problems.