Monday, March 30, 2009
I have finally written my Congressman and Senators urging them to keep the Adoption Tax Credit alive.
I would love for everyone reading this to do the same (sometime this year, it doesn't have to be today :-) hahaha)
Even if you are not an adoptive parent would you consider taking a moment to voice your desire to see the credit remain?
It truly is a huge help for adoptive families.
I always get really nervous about composing letters to elected officials and I prefer someone to have a sample to get me started so I am posting my letter for your reference, in case you're like me and you take comfort in that kind of thing.
If you don't have letter writing anxiety feel free to go on with your bold self and write off the cuff.
I am writing to urge that you not allow the FederalAdoption Tax Credit to expire in December of 2010. As a family with Five biological children and four adopted children we relied on the tax credit to help us adopt. Without the benefit of the Tax Credit the fees associated with our adoption would have made the financial impediment much more difficult for our family to hurdle. We believe adoption is a blessed and wonderful way to build a family and that it benefits our society. In our efforts to raise awareness about the many benefits of adoption we find that speaking about the Tax Credit has always been a positive incentive for perspective adoptive families first discovering their options. We have had theopportunity to meet many people who thought adoption would be financially out of reach for them only to find it was possible through the aid of the Adoption Tax Credit. Please do whatever you can to ensure that the Tax Credit permanently remains as a financial support for adoptive families. TheAdoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009, H.R. 213 would keep the door open for children to come in to their forever families.Many Blessings,
Thank you for joining with me ( and others thank you Jen!) in helping to make others aware of the pending review. Please voice your approval of this adoption credit.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Is it worth it?
Oh yes! It's more than worth it.
We can't begin to imagine the glory God has in store for us.
No matter how hard, bad, or painful our trip through this world may be, our future with God holds something incomparably better.
Does that mean my difficulties are meaningless or insignificant?
But our future glory with God does mean that it is more than worth it to hang in, to be faithful, and to receive his glorious reward!
I confess that I don't like suffering, pain,disappointment, persecution, or sorrow. I do, however, believe that your promises are true. I hold on to the promise that the glory you have in store for me is far greater than the difficulties I face. Strengthen me for the days ahead and use me to bring you glory no matter what my current situation may be.
I am so glad that I have read the book and know the ending- I am trusting in God completely.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I had a lot of fun a few weeks ago creating a kind of scrap book. I took a folder and put rings in it. And decided the theme that I was going with- This one is "Names of God" and their meanings and verses for each.
On each page, I decorated the page and used printed verses.
I know that God is in control and that God will take care of us. He always has. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So therefore He will take care of us the same today and tomorrow has He has in the past.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Worry is wasted energy.
It is consuming, draining and unhealthy.
Worry fits this world but certainly does not fit the picture of a joy-filled life, the life that Jesus came to give us.
Nothing will rob you of joy quicker than worry.
God came so that we would not have to worry and yet we continue to do so.
Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"
The Message says it this way: "Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!"
The author, Paul, is serious about joy, telling us twice in this passage to rejoice!
The word "rejoice" means "to practice joy, to take delight in and be glad".
Many times, life makes it impossible to be happy but we need to understand that happiness is not what Paul is calling us to.
Happiness is a cheap imitation of true joy and totally dependent on the circumstances of life.
Joy, however, is a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control no matter what the circumstances of life may be.
Joy is a choice.
You have probably discovered that there is absolutely no way in this world to escape pain, but we can avoid joy.
The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice.
Our first and most important choice is to come to the only source of true joy - Jesus Christ.
We must also choose to rejoice in the midst of every circumstance - good or bad -- and keep our focus on God, gladly accepting His plan for our lives.
We must choose a joyful perspective.
Father, I feel as if worry constantly nips at my heels, trying to steal my joy. Help me to see life as You see it and to choose Your perspective instead of my own. Lead me into Your peace as I learn to trust You wholly. In Jesus' name, I pray Amen
Excerpts from a devotional girlfriendsingod.com
Friday, March 20, 2009
-Adoption is not for the faint of heart or faithless.
-If it wasn't for all the silly/funny/memorable things they say and do, we'd be hard pressed to keep our kids for longer than a week or so.
-If it wasn't for my wife, my daughters would "OWN" me, lock-stock-and barrel. "No" would not even be in my vacabulary.
-I used to repeat a well worn saying..."My children are worth millions to me, but I wouldn't pay a nickel for another one!" Nickel?? That was obviously my bio-kids I was talking about, because I didn't have a clue how expensive adoption was. Until now. ;o)
-A good woman is silver, a good wife is gold, a good mother is a diamond. A man who has been blessed with one is blessed beyond measure. (that goes both for the woman who raised him and the woman who is raising their children)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I thought it may be of benefit to write an open letter from adoptive parents with attachment challenged children ... to the rest of the world.
Maybe you could learn something to help a parent/child you know.
Please know that when our children are standing sullen by our side, they do not need you to pick them up or otherwise "love on" them... but they need a verbal praise from you such as "Good job for standing there so nicely by your mom". Ignore the look on their face and praise the obedience that they are complying with.
Please know that when our children are crying or whining because everyone else has something that they don't ... it's okay.
We have our reasons.
Please know that they deserve no sympathy or attention from you when they've chosen to disobey or are throwing themselves on the floor in rage.
Please know that our children need prayer.
Please know that their parents need prayer.
Please don't be offended when we ask you not to hold our kids or give them food.... those are things reserved for their mom/dad until they are healthy.
Please know that if we keep them home from activities that their siblings get to go to, it's because they need to earn those things and we are teaching to our children's character development.
Please know that just because we parent them differently, we are not mean.
Please know that we love our kids.
Please know that we never chose this ... and we certainly did not create it.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Prayer needs...Recently the State Department held a meeting with the adoption agencies working in Ethiopia and gave out some new guidelines (rules). One was that the Embassy appointment dates will be every other week instead of every week, so that will slow up the processes some. Please pray that the timing of our appointment won't be delayed too long.
Another change came from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). All children will be retested for diseases following their court appointments. The major concern was for HIV (of course)Hepatitis A, and TB. If a child tests positive for TB (even if it's non active/latent- a common occurrence), they will have to be treated in Ethiopia before they leave the country. This is a minimum 6 month treatment. Please pray that all 3 test negative again on everything.
We were planning on taking our oldest daughter to Ethiopia with us (built in interpreter), but we're having a problem getting her American passport. We hadn't re-adopted our last three children yet so we don't have an American birth certificate. Please pray that there's some other way to get this done.
- We received a grant from an charitable foundation in CA (Thank you again to them).
- I have two job interviews this week. One in Norfolk VA, and one in Herndon VA (DC Metro area). The job in DC is a Federal job; that one I want more, for obvious reasons.
- Pam has a friend she's known for 30 some years, she and her husband are coming down from upper Pennsylvania to visit us for a week in April
- Pam has another friend she's known since high school, she and her husband are traveling from Oregon to DC for vacation in June and we might be able to go see them.
Well, I gotta get to church. PRAISE THE LORD!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat and walked on the water to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." — Matthew 14:25-33
In this story Peter's lack of faith forced him to sink so that Jesus had to save him, but Peter is to be commended for stepping out of the boat and attempting to walk on the water.
You'll notice the other disciples were not exactly fighting to join Peter!
Living by faith sometimes means stepping out into the unknown and depending on God to carry us through.
I'm afraid that too many times I never step out of the boat, and in my comfortable lifestyle I miss out on the fullness of God.
People who walk by faith aren't afraid to attempt the impossible.
I hope you are a person who places your life in the hands of God and walks on the side of the impossible.
Monday, March 9, 2009
- A loving relationship with your child is more important than obedience.
- Obedience comes from a loving relationship - not the other way around.
- Disobedience is our child's problem, not our - so there's no need to be upset or angry.
- It's all about choices. Giving our child choices, gives them power over their lives.
- Consequences (Good & Bad) must be part of making choices. Don't take away the consequences if you want your child to learn and grow.
- Love casts out fear. Fear has to do with punishment.
- Children should be given ample opportunity to fix their own messes.
If I look at each of these things and think about my relationship with Jesus, it makes all the sense in the world. We are God's example to our children. Our disobedience does not change Him or make Him lose His patience or His cool or make Him love us any less. He just makes sure we experience some consequences in order to "discipline" us. God gives us the choice to love Him or not; to obey Him or not; to live a life of love...or not.
It is an interesting book. I'll have to read through it again soon and perhaps order some of his other resource material.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
It is good to be reminded that you truly do love all children.
You interrupt everything to take little ones into your arms and bless them.
You are the champion of the weak, the hurting, and the distressed.
Lord, I pray that today you would touch ______ in such a way that he/she would know how much you love and care for him/her.
I pray that as you stretch out your hands to bless ______, that you would do so with power and anointing to help him/her break through to a new level of relationship with you, and a new level of relating to those around him/her.
I also pray that all of our children would know how much you truly treasure them.
Remind each child in this home that they are always welcome in your lap, and help us to always know how to point the way for them.
In Jesus’ Name,
Friday, March 6, 2009
God believes in downsizing too. In God's case it is when He takes things away from us. It may be a job, a favorite activity, or a beloved friend.
Yet when God downsizes in our lives it is always because the bigger blessing is on the other side.
In Judges 7:2 God downsized Gideon's army when it didn't seem to make any sense at all. Year after year the Midianites had invaded Israel during harvest time. They stole the harvest and no one had been able to stop them.
So God calls Gideon even though Gideon argues that he is maybe the least qualified guy around. Of course, this happens a lot in the Bible and still today; we forget who is equipping us.Well, Gideon gets an army of 32,000 men to go against a Midianite army of 132,000 men!
Yet, the Bible says,"the Lord said to Gideon, 'You have too many men for Me to deliver Midian into their hands.'"Okay, in this case downsizing does not seem the way to be more successful. I'm sure Gideon didn't laugh, but I can't help it. Outnumbered four to one, and he's got too many men?
God tells him to let go anyone who is afraid, and suddenly Gideon has 22,000 men. Now he's outnumbered about six to one.After God has him downsize again, Gideon has 300 men left and he's outnumbered more than 40 to 1 when God says, "Perfect size," and that measly sized army wins the battle, and the Midianites aren't seen again!
So why did God downsize? God gave His reason to Gideon,". . . in order that Israel may not boast against Me that her own strength has saved her.
"Throughout the Bible you will see that God loves to win major victories with inadequate resources. He arranges mismatches and impossible situations so we will see how big He is and He will get all the glory!
God knows that I have pride issues and tend to try and do things using our my own resources. But, than God puts us (Juan and I) in situations where, like Gideon, we're left realizing, "If there's a victory here, it's going to have absolutely nothing to do with me."
This way He gets the glory He deserves.
So if you find yourself out-manned, out-gunned, and under-resourced -
if it seems like God has been cutting you back and putting limitations on you - in short, downsizing you - realize this may very well be the introduction to an amazing victory!
God is working His own addition and subtraction problems . . . and in His hands there is no problem working the problem.John puts it this way:
"He must become greater; I must become less."
As God reduces you He is increasing the amount of Him there is in the situation. He's been downsizing you so there can be more of Him, so He can show you a victory bigger than you ever thought you could be a part of. God isn't downsizing so you'll lose, He's downsizing you for a victory so big that only He can get the glory for it.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
We are going to take some of those large plastic tubs/containers and carry as much as we can with us. We need your help in supplying these things. We'll also need to have donations to help pay for the excess baggage cost, as well. Below is an abbreviate list, of things that are important and can fit in those containers:
Disposable latex gloves
Liquid vitamins with iron and/or anti-worming agent
Baby formula (powdered)
Baby toiletries (baby powder, soap, diaper rash ointment, lotion, etc)
Plastic baby bottles
Children underwear (either sex, all sizes)
Toothbrushes & toothpaste (children and adult staff)
Toiletries for the nannies and staff
Children's Christian DVDs (teaches English & ministers to them as well)
Zip Lock bags (from sandwich size to extremely large)
Vegetable seeds for their gardens
Twin bed sheets & pillow cases
Coloring books & Crayons
Small sturdy toys
Small kitchen utensils (vegetable peelers, small knives, serving spoons, dish cloths)
Along that same vein, Pam and I are still trying to raise funds for our adoption and trip. Right now we're about $5000 short. Since I lost my job, it's going to be even harder. If you want to help, you can give by using the Donate button on the right side of our blog. We are also going to need a few things for when we come back with the 3-2-B ours (Who will soon be 3-Who-R ours).
We don't know what sizes they are right now, just small.
Boys Jeans & T-Shirts (size 5-14)
Girls clothes (size 5-10)
Remember if you want to donate directly to CWA for Food4kids or any of their other projects, go to www.cwa.org.
Feel free to ask us for more information.