From top to bottom: My boys sunning in the backyard, Raymond's 18th birthday party, "our boys" that God sent us about 9 months ago (It seems like they have always been here. We miss Raymond, though. He just moved to Nashville to live with his grandmother to finish high school.), Father's Day and Mother's Day.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
So we are leaving tomorrow afternoon on a family mission trip to Cumberland, KY. It is in the heart of the Appalachian Mtns. and we will be hosting a day camp for the impoverished children of the area. One year ago we traveled to Club 180 and spent a week. It was life changing for us! God showed us so much through that week and has placed our hearts there. Since leaving last summer we have traveled up many weekends to hang out with the kids and have grown to love them so much! We are so excited about this week so please pray for our team as we minister to the youth through fun and activities. Here's a few FUN photos and click here for more info about this awesome ministry!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
We may go to court next week!!!!!! I am so excited I can barely contain it. You know, my last few postings on faith. Well, I had run out. God taught me a lesson this week, as He always does, but I am so incredibly thankful He never gives up on me. And He never tires of having to pick me up again. It has been a hard week, but I was finally able to find comfort in my Lord and look where He brought me! Thank you so much to everyone for praying for us. Keep it up! We aren't there yet. It is the rainy season in Ghana and travel to our kids' region is difficult. Please pray for the roads to remain open so P can travel there, for court to happen next week, for us to pass with a FULL AND FINAL ADOPTION DECREE, for H & S to have peace and know we are coming, and for P to be allowed to stand in at court for us. This would mean we would travel after passing court to file our I600. Still so many unknowns so we NEED your prayers. Thanks for walking this journey with us.
On a different note, would you consider making a tax deductible donation or buying a t-shirt to help an African child? These are children that receive one meal a day (not what my kids would call a meal, though), have no electricity or running water, struggle with malaria, among other things. When we travel we will be taking all money to help the orphans. Just think what a $10 donation could do for a fatherless child. Click here to go to Sydney's blog if interested. Details to donate are on her blog. Make sure to put PROJECT GHANA in the comments section so it will go to the African orphans. Thanks so much!
My sweet friend, Robin, is giving away 2 t-shirts Saturday. Check them out here! They are awesome! The Beebe boys have a band called Perfect Aim. If you have not heard them play, then you should! Incredible!!! They play for the Lord and to please and honor Him. Their shirts will benefit their adoption and help them purchase new (much needed) band equipment. So check it out here and show your support for the youth rising up to serve our Jesus!!!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Remember my last post about lack of faith? Well, I have been trying so hard to keep my eyes focused upon Jesus. I have been constantly reminded of when Peter walked on the water. Everything was good UNTIL he took his eyes off Jesus. Then, he sank. Without Jesus, I am sinking. It was so odd, actually just so God because this was the devotion in Streams in the Desert for today: Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink cried, "LORD, SAVE ME!" Matthew 14:29-30
You see, the adoption journey is just like Peter. You get out of the boat and say "I can do this" and make your way. Then all of a sudden you realize (or at least we did) what we are truly trying to do and how HARD it is. My eyes shifted so quickly off Jesus and onto my desire and longing to have my sweet babies home with me. That's not God's plan, but mine. I have to refocus my eyes upon Jesus and have complete faith that He will deliver us. This devotion was another gentle reminder from the Lord. He has been reminding me that I am making the same mistake Peter made.
So tonight I got an email from a friend who just returned from Ghana. She wasn't able to see my kids, but she delivered some very comforting news. P is working extremely hard on your case. The region where your kids are from is difficult to travel right now because it has been raining so much. P says your kids are in a very good foster home, with less kids and their foster mom takes good care of them.
These were such comforting words for me today. God delivered news to me of our children. I know they are being cared for and He will protect them until I can bring them home. So our new prayer request is for P to have safe travels as he tries to complete our case. For the rain to stop long enough for everything to get completed. And for our children to have comfort where they are, for someone to be teaching them about Jesus and for them to know we are doing everything possible to get to them.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Faith is so needed and something I haven't had much of lately. Since we've been waiting 8 weeks since our dossier went to Ghana, I have been losing my faith. Are we ever really going to get to go to Ghana? Will we ever have a court date? Will I ever hold my little ones tight? God has been convicting me lately of my lack of faith. I woke up this morning to an empty, sleeping house so I grabbed my Bible and hit the porch. The first verse God took me to was Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. I have been asking for God to bring my kids home, but have not had the actual faith that He would do it. Next verse - Mark 11:24 - therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And the faith verses kept coming and coming. Jesus keeps reminding us to 'have faith'. I needed to be reminded of this and am so thankful for it. Now as I pray for our sweet children to come home, for us to have a court date, for me to be able to hug them and tell them how much I love them, I have faith. I know that my God will do this. I know we will hear news from Percy very soon. I know God will move those mountains out of our way to reach our children. Please pray with us and pass our prayer request along. We need prayer warriors fighting for our children. :)
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Sydney has raised over $2000 since she started selling her t-shirts. You can click here if you haven't read her story. Since beginning, she has sold over 170 shirts, had a garage sale, and been invited to put a display in our local chiropractor's office who is burdened for the orphans. God is blessing her mission, His mission that He is doing through her obedience. You can now make tax-deductible donations to her. Details are on her blog. Please pray for her heart as she goes on toward her goal of $3000 before we leave for Ghana. By the way, originally her goal was $100, then $1000. This money will buy a lot of food in Africa. Her next step is to reach the local churches and businesses and to contact local pharmacies to donate vitamins. If you have any suggestions for her, please let her know. :)
Please pray with us as we wait. God's timing is so perfect and I never want to be out of His will. However, our rep in Ghana traveled today to work on our case. My prayer is it is our TIME. That we will receive an email saying, "LET'S GO TO COURT!" Through this adoption I have learned so much. I realize just how much our family lives 'of the world'. It really hit home tonight after reading a couple of friends' blogs. They are also adopting from Ghana and I know the harsh reality of so many of the children there, but tonight as I read those words it hit even harder. A little boy who has been hungry, afraid he might not get food, thinks he needs to eat and eat so he won't be hungry later. This is real, this is true, and this is just down the street from where my sweet children are. We spend so much on groceries each month and tonight I realized (once again) that I can cut back even more than we already have. So every extra penny will go to the orphans. God has burdened our hearts for them and burdened our children's hearts. Pray for us as we try to obey. Some of you may follow our blog and wonder what we are sacrificing to bring our children home. Well, we turned our television off. We weren't really watching it anyways and paying way too much for it. That's extra money every month. We have cut back on our kids' activities to help bring our children home and eating out is a special treat. Tonight as I read about little kids picking up CRUMBS off the floor I realized going out to dinner is a treat for me because I'm the one who cooks. I feel that is something we need to give up. We need to eat every single meal at our house. Have you ever truly thought about the starving children of the world? I hadn't until a few months ago. Sure, I knew they were out there and my heart hurt for them, but not enough to do anything about it. These hungry children now have a face for me. I can close my eyes and see my two African children or children our friends are adopting. They are so real and we need to do something about it. Please join me in prayer for the Christians of the world to be moved, for God's people to open their hearts to the orphans, for our hearts to be burdened by our choices and how we can help. Thank you to each one of you. We are so grateful for your prayers. We know our God is a mountain-mover. We know anything is possible through Him and with Him. So pray with us as we pray our children home, but also pray for the orphans of the world to have an earthly father and mother to call DADDY and MOMMY!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Not much to update here. We are still waiting on a court date. It has been 7 weeks since Percy traveled to the Volta region for us. Please continue to pray with us for some type of news. I know he is working hard on our case. I do not doubt that. Just pray some news will come through to us. The waiting is hard, not knowing when we will receive anything. However, my faith in God is keeping me going. My sweet friend Kathleen is in Ghana now with her three boys and they are officially hers!!! YIPPEE!!! She visited my children, which was so amazing for her to do. They are in a different home than her children were so she went to specifically see mine. Thank you, Kathleen! What a blessing! Little Helen has had a boil on her leg, but has seen the doctor and is getting better. We are all anxiously awaiting the day when we can meet our little ones. There has been a bit of a struggle for me and maybe I'll share it in a few days, but please pray for our children to be completely protected from evil. Pray for my heart to be eased and for my faith to remain strong.
The kids and I are camping with my family in KY this week and it's a nice distraction. I'll post more when we leave. I have lots to share!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Lauren from Living by Faith and Lindsay van meter Cotton!!!! Ladies, send me your size and a mailing address. I'll get these out ASAP. Thank you so much to everyone for entering our drawing. It was so much fun putting all the names in a bowl!!! I love these things! We are still selling our shirts at $15 each with FREE SHIPPING until Father's Day for anyone who needs a shirt for Dad. I can usually ship them out the next day. :)
Second, my apologies on posting the winners late. The last few days have been hectic at our house. God led us to minister to the youth of downtown Knoxville a couple of years ago and in the process has brought some awesome children into our lives. They are such a blessing to me. Anyways, about 8 months ago our Lord brought Raymond and John into our home. They have spent most weekends since then and spring break, etc. in our home. Well, Raymond will be 18 on this Friday. Since he is an ADULT legally, but not truly, he is moving to Nashville to live with his grandmother. We had a farewell party/birthday party last night and it was incredible. So, the last few days have been spent enjoying him and getting ready for his big night. And oh how he was surprised! He had never been celebrated quite like that! Some of you may be thinking, what's the big deal? Well, this young man has been through things I can only imagine and survived them. He has poured his heart out to us and honestly, he is like one of our sons. So, it was bittersweet to see him off this morning. He will be living 3 hours away and I pray he will make good choices, that He will choose Jesus instead of the world. If you think about it, please pray for him. An awesome young man with a kind heart!
Lastly, we have no news to share about our adoption. We are still waiting, but finding peace in it all. God's timing is perfect and I only want it His way. Not my way, ever. In the meantime, we are staying busy with decluttering and dejunking our house. I have realized the last few weeks that this is my time to completely organize my house before our kiddos come home. Keep praying for our court date. It has to be coming up soon. :)
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Yesterday we got news from our friend, Kathleen, that they will be traveling to Ghana next week to go to court for their 3 boys. This was such AWESOME news!!! My heart is so excited for her. She is waiting for her boys to come home and her dad has been so, so sick. This is truly an answered prayer. I met my new friend during our adoption. We are using the same agency and as we have walked through USCIS fingerprints and everything else, we have been step by step with one another. Until now. Yesterday morning we were both waiting on a court date. Now it's just us. SHE'S GOING TO GHANA!!!! Our news was very different. Our representative is still trying to work on our court date in the Volta region. Initially, I was discouraged, but I found God in it. He has given me peace. You see, everything is in His timing, not mine. As I prayed yesterday afternoon after knowing we are still waiting, God led me to this verse, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." Psalm 56:3
I read in Streams in the Desert about how great faith must endure great trials. This is so true for me. I have grown closer to God in the last 6 months than in my whole life. My children are sitting in Africa, I'm here and I cannot help them at all except to pray. I cannot comfort them, take their fears away, make sure they are being fed, loved, held tight, or tuck them in at night. I cannot teach them about Jesus, but my time will come. Soon it will be time for us to travel to Ghana and I have complete faith that it will be on God's time. His perfect timing! He has a perfect plan and I have complete peace. The uneasiness I felt yesterday afternoon is gone. Do I want to go to Ghana now? YES, but only if it is God's will. So we will pray for God's protection over my African babies until we can get there and we will pray for the courts to grant us permission and we will continue to pray for God's peace and comfort for us as we wait. Join me as I pray for Kathleen and Tim to pass court in Ghana. :)
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Okay everyone, we are getting closer and closer to our travel dates. A friend got her travel dates today. Yay for Kathleen! She leaves next Wednesday for Ghana. So we are next in line! In the meantime, we want to sell some of these shirts to help bring our babies home. We are going to kick it off with a FATHER'S DAY GIVEAWAY! So post about this giveaway on Facebook or on your blog, leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I'll enter your name and draw the winners, yes 2 WINNERS, on Monday. Help us bring our kids home! You can enter more than once! We're selling them for $15 with FREE SHIPPING! A great gift for Father's Day! Chocolate brown t-shirt proclaiming how our Heavenly Father did not leave us as orphans!
Adult sizes: small, medium, large, xlarge 2X
Child sizes: xsmall, small, medium, large, xlarge