Gotcha Day and Standing in the Gap

Ten years ago today, a Russian judge signed the paper that declared what was always in our hearts - she was ours!

That simple judicial signature granted our family years of snuggles, times of kisses, laughter, crying, fears, happiness, joy, questions, and answers.  

There have been good days.  There have been bad days.  But in the end they are our days and I wouldn't give them up for anything in the world.

But our story of adoption didn't end ten years ago.  Everyday, I thank God for her birth mother -- for her selfless decision.  I thank God for her birth father.  I pray for her extended birth family.  I pray for her nannies and baby's house family. I ask God to bless Russia and her people.  In the ten years, we have had Nina, God has reminded me to stand in the gap for the people who made our family possible.

As we celebrate ten years of Nina, I can not help but remember the people who stood in the gap for us.  
-The people who prayed that God would provide us the child of our dreams (he did).  
-The people who sacrificed dinners out, new clothes, and coffee just to be able to give at our multiple fundraising events. 
-Our pastor friend who was a continual support of wise council.  
-The friends who cleaned my house so we could come home and play family.  
-The people who anonymously gave money so we could finish the journey.

Twelve years ago, our family was called to adopt.  Our orphan is an orphan no more.  That was made possible because someone stood in the gap.  We had nothing to do with it. 

So I ask of you on our 10th Gotcha Day - can we depend on you to stand in the gap for the orphans left behind?  Can our family call you to pray for these children yearning to be loved?  Perhaps, right now, you can stop and lift up a woman making the hardest decision of her life?  Will you forgo your weekly cup of coffee and send 5.00 to a family in the midst of adoption?  Could you volunteer at an adoption fundraiser?  Would you donate items out of your garage to help?  There are countless ways you can stand in the gap for these precious ones.  

Your family may not be called to open your home to one in need but there is no doubt in my mind that God WANTS you to stand in the gap for orphans.  Start today.  In honor of Nina, seek an opportunity today to take care of those so deserving.  

In the next few weeks, I am planning on writing a weekly adoption special.  We will be covering fundraising, good days, bad days, questions as children get older, our story, and our lives now.  I would love to hear your story.  Please share your stories about standing in the gap for orphans too - they are just as important.


Hello Monday - Catching up after sick kids

Hello Monday.
Hello to a week hopefully not written with sick children again.

 Hello to sewing like crazy!  Got to love these Chevron Jersey Scarfs on the soforetsy Facebook page.  They are selling so fast I can not get them on Etsy!

 Hello to celebrating 15 years with this guy! 

Hello to creating something new and hoping to create something more!  So excited about this new line and need to find the time to get it up and running!

Hello to making some big decisions this week! I would love your prayers for our family as we dive into slowing down and simplifying.  For some it seems terrifying at the moment. 


Entering SewVivor Challenge 2

So I have made a bunch of different things. 

Some I would be proud of.
Some complete mistakes.
I have used Pinterest for inpiration.
Sometimes I even find a paper pattern to work with.
Most of the time I am on my own.
I find joy in the fustration, time, and gumption it takes to make something from start to finish alone.  

Weird.  But when you are the mom of 4, (one borrowed) being alone is a gift. 

So here is my contribution.  Hope you all like it!  


Our exchange program

Look around your house.  Tons of things come from China.  This computer that I am typing on - made in China.  The phone I just finished using - China.  My clothes - China (and Israel too).  Things, things are the only connection I had with China.  Well, that was until a couple of months ago.  

The beginning of the year, China moved in.  Literally moved in.  China in a 6'3" loud spikey hair boy.  He is a typical teenager -- something I had to get used too.  

But in the last many weeks I have found a place for China in my heart.  He belongs here.  There is no doubt in my mind that he does.  My children have accepted him as one of them.  The dog and cat love him.  He is a joy to have and we are blessed in more ways than one that God choose our house to place him.  

What I just didn't know that when we prayed and welcomed an exchange student into our house what we would really have to exchange to have him.  

For months, I have heard.
"Are you crazy?"
"Are you really willing to put your kids in danger?"
"Do you really think you need another child there?  You are already have four!"
"Is there going to be an end to this.?"
And my favorite yet, " good for you, I'm just not as international as you are."

I really don't agree with any of these comments.  God made it clear that this boy was suppose to come.  There are details that will blow your mind.  The Lord has his finger on every pulse of our little Chinese project.  I listened, and accepted - our family is different.  That just doesn't make us wrong (or in turn does it make yours). 

For one, before Michael and I even got married we knew we were to have four children.  No crazy there - it was planted very clearly.  

Secondly, we watch our children very closely - God watches them even closer.  Certainly there are precautions that you take when a teen who you don't know moves in but I would never intentionally put my (or anyone's children) in danger.  

And because I have God on my side I can do it thru him.  There will be days to cry.  Times I just want to sleep.  But there will be time for that when I am dead.  Seriously, the work to be done is now and sign me up to do it. 

The end?  When are we suppose to stop loving people?  Loving people for who they are.  When is the world going to throw perimeters out the door? 

And as far as being international.  Seriously?  I'm a first generation American.  I have a child adopted from another country?  My niece is waiting in China right now for my sister and brother in law to come get her.  And besides, what do you think heaven will look like?  

So as the weeks went by and our little Chinese project developed life became a bit lonely.  The phone doesn't ring as much, dinner dates have stopped, people have even used another door at church to avoid having to talk with our family.  

In exchange for China - our worldly lives. 

There are days where it makes me angry but then I remember - my journey is not theirs and I can not expect them to understand.

There are days when I hurt.  I hurt because I have been guilty of judging people just our family has been judged.  To know that someone has felt this way because of my actions (or in actions) breaks my heart. It hurts to know that I will probably do it again too.

There are days I morn.  Loss in any form is not an easy thing.  The past few months I have lost relationships, trust, and at times a bit of faith in the world.

There are days that I rejoice.  I see progress in his life!  I have friendships that were just that in passing become amazing relationships.  My family has been chosen for an opportunity! We are blessed.

Do I think it has been easy to have China move in- certainly not?  Would I do it again? Absolutely!

I knew I would write a blog post on an adventure that God was taking us on, I just never thought it would look like this.  I find comfort in knowing that HE did and he will provide.  But our exchange program turned out to have really nothing to do with another country - it turned out to be an exchange of things we hold close to our hearts. 

Where is your heart today?  Are you willing to let God move into it? 


Overachiever - life of a mom - epic fail for the fairy

I met the toothfairy once.  He (yes he) lived in downtown Miami near the old Miami Heat stadium.  We met while I was parking my car super excited to see my first Billy Joel concert.  

The tooth fairy was a really nice guy.  We talked about how hard the times were, how health insurance was hard to come by in his industry.  He was just trying to make an honest living.  And honestly, teeth don't pay in - they pay out.

Perhaps hardships are why the Tooth Fairy decided to get a second job when he opened a little enterpenoural endeavor with Captain Crunch.  Yup, the Tooth Fairy and Captain Crunch were business together, on the streets, in downtown ghettoville Miami.  Might I say they were making a tax free killing at it too.

For 2.5 hours, and 20 dollars, the dynamic duo of vivid imaginations would park their green and white striped webbing lawn chairs right by your car parked on the street.  They promised that it, and your hub caps, were still there when you got back.  

The Tooth Fairy of downtown Miami may have been a man in tights, but he was a man of his word.  Two and a half hours later my car, and its hubcabs, were still there.  The Tooth Fairy was not.  I bet that he left to give all the toothless little boys and girls of Miami their treats.

Fast forward 20 years.  The Tooth Fairy who services my house is not as reliable as Captain Crunch's sidekick.  

It was established early on that our Tooth Fairy does not work on Sunday nights.  Why?  I have no clue.  The fairy just hasn't been able to produce on Sunday nights.  

The first three times a Sunday night tooth loss rolled around, the tooth fairy's deliquency left for some really upset children on Monday morning.  It was thought that our Tooth Fairy probably under union contract.  The contract probably stipulates that there will be no fairy work on Sunday nights.  At that point, the kids seem to be OK with fact that they would have to wait until Tuesday.  
Then there was the episode that the Tooth Fairy was a no show on a Thursday.  At that point, we seriously thought we had a looser on our hands.  Perhaps it was that the fairy had a cold and just couldn't get out of the fairy house?  Or could it be that the fairy had eaten too many fairy Girl Scout cookies and couldn't fit thru the fairy portal.  Who knows?  That time it took the fairy three days to show up.  Slacker fairy.

But could the fairy seriously forget for an entire week?  

It seems that it is true.  The fairy kept forgetting for an entire week!  What kind of fairy do we have at our house?  Obviously this character is not from the same mold that took care of my car 20 years ago.  Does this fairy realize that every time he forgets -- it ends up costing him 5.00 instead of the standard 1.00?  Our fairy must be an idiot - we are in a recession for Pete Sake! 


Hello Monday and a Giveaway

Hello Monday! 
Hello to something I have been wanting to do for awhile!

Hello to giving!
A great neutral set I put together just in time for Easter.  Features a chevron trimmed burlap runner, a mini silver tray chalkboard, pretty petals cupcake liners and an egg tray turned jewel holder. 

Hello to making something for someone who I am sure is very special!

(a 18 inch by 70 inch table runner in ivory burlap and chevron gray)

Hello to using something beautiful to store beautiful things.

(a decorative egg tray - my favorite thing to store everyday jewels)

Hello to gathering around and loving each other!

(mini silver tray chalkboard - perfect for doors and such)

Hello to So For's first giveaway!  Can't wait to have you visit.

The raffle is open until 3/8/13 and pretty easy to enter.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway