Sunday, June 27, 2010

50 Year Anniversary

We just got back from Maryland. Our family got together to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. What a legacy. As usual, it 2nds as a short family reunion where we get to see cousins and other family members we haven't seen in years/decades. The celebration was held and my sister, Tammy's house and we had 80 some people come to it and it was absolutely beautiful.

My parents have 5 children, 25 grand-children, and 5 great-grand-children. Here are some pictures (forgive the amateur quality). I'll add more if I get any from anyone else.


Monday, June 21, 2010


Whatever enters their (our sons and husbands) eye gates are forever etched in their brains and it becomes a struggle to erase those images. It's everywhere though ... billboards, magazines, tv, the grocery store, etc.... it's become an unavoidable aspect of our society.

I think that raising a pure child is the hardest calling on parents today. Not only are our little boys bombarded with s*x and lust, but our girls are being bombarded with the "I need to look this way" so boys will like me messages.

But. There is hope.

Fathers are the answer to this problem. Real fathers. Not merely a sperm donor one lonely night who somehow now has "rights" to a human being.

No. Real fathers.
Fathers that lead, guide, sacrfice, love, teach and discipline. They have a HUGE weight on them when it comes to how their son or daughter views the opposite s*x. The sad thing is that most don't even realize it - or care.
The importance of a father has somehow gotten lost in our nation.

In the book " Restoring The Christian Family" (Sanfords), they talk about research which demonstrated the importance of a father's role. They said, "We saw unequivically that unless the hearts of fathers were turned to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, it mattered little what else we taught or did in our churches!"

Furthermore, it was reported that, "between 90 and 95 percent of those in prison have never known the love of a father, and he referred simply to prisoners as 'the fatherless'."...

More recent surveys reveal that fatherless children are five times more likely to commit suicide, thirty-two times more likely to run away, twenty time more likely to have behaviorial disorders, fourteen times more likely to commit rape, nine times more likely to drop out of school, ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances, nine times more likely to end up in a state-operated instituation, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison." It says that today, 24 million ... or 34 % of American children ... are being raised without fathers.
The highest in the world.

So, on this 2010 Father's Day ...

I also challenge all of you dads reading this. I challenge you to start speaking words of blessings over your children - frequently- and watch what God does! Bring life to your kids. Bless them. Be there for them. Lead them. Put aside your selfish ambitions. And be a dad.

You may want to print this out and put it in your wallet. Pull it out from time to time, pull your child up on your lap or call them up on the phone (or if you want to be a techno dad- text him/her this message!), and pour the love of a Father into them:

My child, I love you! You are special. You are a gift from God. I thank God for allowing me to be a father to you. I bless you with the healing of all wounds of rejection, neglect and abuse that you have suffered. I bless you with overflowing peace, the peace that only the Prince of Peace can give, a peace beyond comprehension. I bless your life with fruitfulness—good fruit, much fruit and fruit that remains. I bless you with success. You are the head and not the tail; you are above and not beneath. I bless you with health and strength of body, soul and spirit. I bless you with overflowing prosperity, enabling you to be a blessing to others. I bless you with spiritual influence, for you are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. You are like a tree planted by rivers of water. You will prosper in all your ways. I bless you with a depth of spiritual understanding and a close walk with your Lord. You will not stumble or falter, for the Word of God will be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. I bless you with pure and edifying relationships in life. You have favor with God and man. I bless you with abounding love. You will minister God’s comforting grace to others. You are blessed, my child! You are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Little Sand Soccer!

Justin had SO much fun-- boy was he tired!
The Sabers cam in 2nd in the tournament! Way to GO boys!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

It has been 3 and 1/2 months....

It has been three and a 1/2 months and grief has not hit me lately with the hay-maker punch. But He comes in the form of a shadowy emptiness. He forces a few tears and then He leaves. But as far as I can tell there are only two options:

1)Run as hard as you can into the arms of Jesus and stare Grief down. LIVE
2)Dig a hole, crawl into it and cover yourself up. DIE

There is no second option for me.
The love I had for Heather as my daughter is irreplaceable. But now I must go on living. And I must learn how to live well. Yes, there is a time for grief and I know mine is not over. But everyday I walk in victory is one less day I fall in emotional defeat.

Grief is real and He has visited my house and will continue to periodically. However, I refuse to allow him to throw his black cape around me causing my world to darken with hopelessness. No, isn't this one of the main reasons our precious Lord came? Didn't He come to overcome Death and Grief? Then why should I allow them to permeate and dictate my quality of life? But I must choose Life.
I will never completely get over my young daughter dying, But I will learn to be victorious over the sting of such. I will live, love, and laugh. And I plan to view this horrible ordeal as a training ground to learn more of HIM. His Grace is taking many forms these days and currently He is expediting time for my deeply wounded soul to fully recuperate. Whatever tomorrow holds, I plan to hold tightly to His hand. And no, "I'm not merely trying to be "strong" for everyone else. This is really how I feel. I have decided to no longer lock Grief out of my life nor to dread His uninvited visitation. I open the door and welcome Him inside. His bite is not as bad as his bark, although it can be extremely painful. Each time He comes for a visit, he wields less and less power over me. This can only be because Christ has already visited with me before Grief gets there. And that is the key to healing. When Christ carries you, there is nothing you cannot face nor overcome. Oh, how I love Life. It is still good. :)

Heather--- Immediately all kinds of memories and emotions flood the minds of those who knew her well. To craft in words a fully composite picture of who she was would be nearly impossible. Just as impossible is grasping how many lives she affected and touched throughout her own. I will always remember my daughter as a woman who loved life. Her energy was infectious and it was hard for anyone to be around her for very long without being encouraged and uplifted. Her laugh, her smile, and her love for everyone around her is unforgettable and inspiring.

My daughter was one of the most generous and giving individuals I have ever known. Her love for others, her zeal for life, and her determination to drink it all in was founded on her love for others. What a Great example she set in life and love!
She taught me so much about life and how to live well. She taught me about inner strength, boldness, how to think critically,and how to love others.
I miss you Heather.
Love, your Mom

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Growing Up

Our beautiful little tom-boy is growing up! Here she is going to her first dance!

And I made her little party dress! She had a great time at the dance. Lots of girls dancing!

This gal amazes me- I love it and Her! She won the Presidents award this year. That means that she was on the honor roll all of 6th grade, all of 7th grade and the first 2 marking periods of the 8th grade- which that is an achievement- but she came to the US in 5th grade not speaking a word of English and made all A's the following year- We are so proud of her and so happy that she is so well adjusted. ;)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One Year Later..........

I am not sure I will ever get the hang of putting pictures in and having them match what I am writing about!! Oh well-

This is our first breakfast as a whole family at home. My daughter and her husband and my beautiful grand kids were here to meet us and to have the long weekend at the beach! It was so much fun having them get to see first hand the first few days being home with kids that did not speak a word of English! This was the best! Some of our friends drove in from the beach to pick us up at the airport and take us home- The new kids got to meet the old kids! We were all so tired at this point- I will have to say- the kids did great on the trip home- Little Zoe' was so afraid of the airplanes. Daddy did a lot of holding her.

This is daddy and mom with the kids at the Ethiopian airport. We were there several hours- It looks like a lot of bags to bring home- but you should have seen what we took! So many of our friends helped us "bless" the orphanage in Adis. We took several hundreds of pounds of baby goods- milk, diapers, wipes, toys, meds. It was so much fun seeing the directors face!

We were blessed with several "coffee ceremonies" You start with raw coffee beans, grind them, cook them, and make coffee with them! The coffee is SO GOOD-- Can I go back just for some coffee???

This is the famous museum with the "Lucy bones" I really wanted to see them- and what a disappointment! Really only a few bones- not enough to be any body- or even a part of a body- ???

This is just a view on one of our little trips around the city of Adis.

This is dad and mom getting to meet the kids for the first time- and getting to hug them. See how small they are! The banner picture is form just a few weeks ago- they have all grown so much! They love being here- We do have our issues just like any family- and as ours is so large and so diverse- we have some issues that are only common to international adoption (from a third world nation) We have the kids in counseling. (and mom and dad are too!)
This past year has been a journey....
We feel like Chesapeake will be home for a long time. (we have been here just under a year) All of the kids like the schools they are in and are making friends at school and around the house.
We have found a wonderful church. (finally!!!) We feel so at home at it and love how they have embraced us and our kids!
Blessings, Pamela Dawn