Monday, February 28, 2011

Never a Dull Moment




We have had yet another MAJOR change in our schedule.  Sera's hand/foot surgery was scheduled for later this month so I called today just to confirm.  The surgery scheduler says, "I have been trying to get ahold of you for a while".  Really,  I have not gotten any messages from you.  She says,"well, I don't really like leaving messages."  So, OK?  How am I supposed to know to call you?  Anyway, long story short.  There was a last minute event scheduled that ALL doctors have to attend so there will be no surgeries that day.  I explain that we have been jumping through hoops for a year to get that surgery scheduled and getting two surgeons scheduled is very difficult.  She says looking at her calender, "it will probably at least be May before they can schedule both surgeons but I will see what we can do."

We have been putting life on hold due to our current adoption and this surgery.   Now, they have both been put off without a certain reschedule date.  We have still been unable to confirm whether our case has actually been submitted to court yet.  We were kinda at peace with the adoption delay because we were a little nervous that the surgery and court would be around the same date.  Now they have both been delayed!  What is up with that?

I know for sure that God has a plan but right now I am not seeing it.  Can't wait to look back and say, "ahh, that makes sense."  Never a dull moment!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sometimes Parenting Just Hurts

I don't keep a journal. This blog has really been the only place I have ever taken the time to write my thoughts down.  Please bare with me because I know sometimes I ramble. 

Well, it has been about five days since we were told that our precious Sera would be loosing her sight very soon.  Many thoughts have gone through my head.  How do we prepare ourselves?  How do we prepare Sera?  How do we prepare the other kids?  Do we need to make changes in our home to make it safer for her?  Will she be scared?  How will I explain to her what is going on?

I think more than anything I am scared for her.  What will it be like when everything begins to go dark?  I can only imagine she will be scared.  But she is only two years old and is developmentally delayed.  How do you explain to a child of her cognitive ability that she is going to be OK.  I can only place her in the hands of our Heavenly Father.  I know that He is the only one that can give true comfort and security. 

As I watched her today walking with her cane tears flowed.  At times she walked with such confidence and then at times with uncertainty.   She is such a strong little girl.  I can't wait to see how God uses her in the future.  I know He has big plans for our little girl. 

Just what I have been thinking today.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Update from Lifesong

OCA is a multi-church alliance in the Louisville/Southern Indiana area.  Adoption funding is just one part of their ministry.  Their many outreaches include recruiting and training foster parents, mentoring local foster children, assistance for local churches in launching orphan ministries, international orphan care, and more!  They are also a part of Lifesong's Outside the Walls Network, which connects churches to serve orphans more powerfully together than they could on their own

When Josh and Jenn Philpot felt God's nudging toward adoption they weren't sure where they would get the money.  They received a matching grant through the Orphan Care Alliance (OCA), turning the $6,000 they had raised into $10,000, and making it possible for them to bring home not just one child but two!
Jenn: "And we're just so thrilled that our family can be a picture of that to the world!  And just like we would never question our true son-ship to God the Father, it's been an encouragement to us to think about, we really don't have to question whether these kids are our true children... cause they are!"
Josh: "As unbelievers, we are aliens.  We are strangers.  We are separated from God.  But God has come in and adopted us, through Christ, to be in His family."
They sat in the studio with an expectant glow as they spoke about their children they had yet to meet, but who they claimed as their very own... 
OCA Mission Moments from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Adoption Update - BAD NEWS/GOOD NEWS

Apparently there are some issues with communication between us and our adoption agency.  After waiting 5 weeks after we had been "submitted" to court I contacted the agency to check on our status.  The agency said they were unaware that our case had been submitted to court.  I referred to the email I received 5 weeks ago stating our case had been submitted.  Apparently, our case was submitted but the courts rejected it asking for an additional document.  So our case was never actually filed in court. Unfortunately, the agency did not convey that information to us.  So for the last 5 weeks we have been anticipating our court date. 

Our case is now filed in court as of yesterday.  At least now that means our tax return should be here before we travel. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Mother's Heart is Never Prepared to Hear These Words

Although I had prepared my brain with research and possible diagnosis, when I sat down across from the Doctor and he said, "I wish I had better news for you" my heart cried out.  I can say a mother's heart can never be prepared to hear those words. 

Sera did awesome with her eye procedure today.  They were able to do all the tests they needed to give us a definite prognosis for her vision.  One of the test they did was called a electroretinography, which measures the electrical responses of the retina.   The doctor did not get any response from either retina which confirmed the diagnosis similar to Retinitis Pigmentosa,  a Progressive Cone-Rod Retinal Dystrophy.  Sera's case is on the extreme side.  Many children will begin to lose partial vision at puberty and then may or may not lose total vision by the time they are an adult.  At the age of two Sera has already progressed quickly.  The doctor expects Sera to lose her remaining vision fairly quickly, probably within the next year or two.    Because her case is on the extreme end it is expected that she will lose ALL her vision.

Right now I am really just trying to process all this in my head and my heart.  Although we were prepared that she would probably lose most of her vision we certainly thought that was many years down the road.  How do you prepare a two year old to never see again?  How do you explain safety issues to a child that is developmentally delayed?  Sera has an amazing attitude and spirit about her.  I know she will do great!  She is an amazing little girl who has already overcome so much.  She is truly a beautiful creation of God and a wonderful gift to our family.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Tomorrow I take Sera to Cincinnati Children's Hospital to have extensive testing on her eyes.  She will be put to sleep and they will do several tests on her eyes.  The procedures takes 1 1/2 hours.  She has had a little congestion due to a cold so I have been praying that God will still allow this test to happen tomorrow.

The genetic disorder that Sera has been diagnosed with generally causes total loss of vision by puberty.  They begin to loose vision around 7-9 years old beginning with loss of vision in low light.  Sera, at age 2, has already lost her low light vision, depth perception, and peripheral vision.  From these tests the doctor should be able to tell us where she currently is with her vision and what to expect in the future.   This is a big deal for us!  This information will help us prepare for Sera's future needs. 

This picture is from this summer.  I just thought a fun picture was in order!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Prayer Request Update

PRAISING GOD this morning to hear that my friend's son has been taken off the ventilator.  He still has a long road to recovering but he is able to breathe on his own now.  God is listening to our prayers!!!

Our daughter Sera is sick again with respiratory junk.  She has a major medical test scheduled for Wednesday so we need her well.  The procedure has already been rescheduled once.  It takes a good month to get back on the schedule. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Heart is Heavy Today

Right now I have so many friends who are in pain or struggling and my heart is heavy.  I have never done this before but I am coming to you asking for prayer for my friends.  These do not include some things going on with our family right now.  Please keep our family in your prayers.  There is a lot going on right now.

1.  A friend's child is seriously ill and on a ventilator. 

2.  A friend's husband is in a difficult working environment.  He really needs a new job. 

3.  Baby Sonia in Haiti continues to hang in there.  She is stable.  So far they have been unable to find free medical care for her.  There are many hospitals considering taking her case but none have committed to helping her.

4.  My father had surgery on his foot a year ago.  It was supposed to be a miracle surgery and allow him to walk without pain.  Well, the surgery went VERY bad, this could have been for numerous reasons.   He is now in more pain than before and will need surgery to correct what went wrong. 

5.  My mom is recovering from surgery she had two days ago. 

6.  Several friends are in the process of adopting children and they are feeling satan's attacks on their family.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Do you LOVE purses. totes, a fun bags of all sizes???

Do you LOVE to support adoptive families?

If so, I have a deal for you.

A friend has offered to donate the proceeds from her current Thirty-One Party to our adoption fund.

You get a fabulous purse, tote or bag AND you get to help bring home our daughter!

The online party ends this Monday, February 21st so get shopping and have fun!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We make them every day.

At the grocery – paper or plastic?

Do I stop at my favorite drive-through for a snack?
eat the granola bar in my purse?

Sometimes we have trivial choices to make
White or tan paint for the living room?

Sometimes we have to make hard choices
Pay rent or feed our family?

Sometimes we make life changes choices
Getting married
Having children
Changing jobs

I think we forget how often our choices affect other people.  
Do I pay for a monthly gym membership I never use?
Do I get a new car when my car is only a few years old ? 
Do I take my family on our dream vacation?

So how do those choices affect others?
 Instead of a gym membership you could sponsor a child.
Instead of a new car maybe you could adopt a child.
Instead of a dream vacation maybe you could feed the homeless.

I am not saying that having nice things or doing nice things for ourselves is the wrong choice.   In fact, God wants to bless us with gifts.  He wants us to have a blessed life.

I do think we need to stop before making a choice and say, “can I do this in Jesus name?”  Is this the choice HE wants me to make right now.  God maybe saying yes to the gym membership.  He might use you to touch the life of someone at that gym.  The key is we have to stop and ask God if this choice is "in Jesus name" or " in (insert your name here) name"

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

For example, I REALLY want to take a nice family vacation this year.  Honestly, our typical vacations are a lot of work.  We usually go camping but with one child in a wheelchair, one visually impaired, and two with sensory issues it is not a “vacation” for mom and dad.  However, we always have lots of fun and never regret doing it!!

I would really like to use part of our tax refund for a nicer vacation this year.  BUT, every time my husband and I discuss it we don’t get a peaceful feeling.  I can’t say that we would be doing it "in Jesus name".  If God is not going to bless that vacation then I don’t want to be there.  

God is leading us to use those resources for something else.  When the time is right I will let you know where God is leading us to use our current resources. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Sweet Valentine

Today our daughter, home one year from Ethiopia, looked at a wedding picture on our wall and said, "who is in that picture"?  I said, "that is me and daddy when we got married".  She responds, "that is not you, she is too pretty".   I said, "I promise that is me but I was much younger than".  She says, "mama, marriage has not been good to you.  I don't think I will get married".  HAHA!!! 

Shorty after that my handsome husband came home with beautiful roses and a card that says, "for my wife, you're not just cute, you're HOT! and you're not just HOT, you're SIZZLING HOT! and you're not just SIZZLING HOT, you're SMOKIN'!  I am so glad that after 13 years of marriage he still thinks I am as hot as the day he met me.  Babe, I think your SMOKIN' too!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Parenting Children from Hard Places and Lying

Parenting is hard!  I am not going to lie, sometimes parenting a child who comes from a difficult background is overwhelming.  Most of our adopted children come from difficult backgrounds.  We have bad days and we have great days.  Some of their habits are more tolerable than others.  One of our girls, adopted at 20 months old, has some significant attachment issues. I would not classify her in the realm of RAD but we do have some work to do together. The orphanage described her as, " obstinate and impatient" It was obvious when reading the reports from the orphanage she was the "black sheep" in the orphanage. Every picture we received of her she was either crying or had no expression. When talking with the orphanage they said, "we did not think we would be able to find a family that would make her happy". There are a lot of things about our daughter's orphanage life I will not share here.

We have come a long way. She has been home for 3 years and the night terrors are not as frequent. She comes to us when she gets hurt and is now allowing us to just sit and love on her. This is wonderful progress. There are new obstacles that appear now and then. Right now I am dealing with lying. Lying to the point that I wonder if she even knows what the truth is. Lying about insignificant things that she would not have gotten in trouble for telling the truth. At first, there was no remorse. Now, at least there is an "I'm sorry" but the lying still continues. I struggle with how to deal with the lying.

I don't have the answer. I am not a perfect parent. I am always learning from others who have walked in my shoes ahead of me. Here are some of them . .

The Post Institute

Empowered to Connect

Here is a video from one of my favorite crazy adoptive moms. You can find her at

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Believe in Miracles!

I am a "do" person.  If there is a need I will work and work to try to take care of that need.  I am good at it!  However, I struggle with letting go and letting God work the miracles.  I KNOW that God can do miracles.  I BELIEVE with my whole heart that God can do miracles.  My problem is when it comes down to me being still and waiting and praying for God to do the miracles.  It takes away my "DO".   It requires me to give it ALL over to Him. 

If you have read this post about baby Sonia then you know that my heart if breaking for this little girl.  I have spent hours and hours making phone calls, sending emails and thinking about ways to help her get medical care.  I have been in constant prayer that doors would open for her to receive medical care.  Those are all things I can "DO".   I have spent hours making sure I have done everything I could possibly do.  Then on Sunday I went to church and realized I have failed to "DO" something major.  I cannot heal Sonia.  I can not open the hearts of the doctors and hospital management.  I have failed to stop, pray, and wait for a miracle. Only God can do miracles!!  

Phenomenon from Southland Christian Church on Vimeo.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Heart is Breaking

Children are suffering and children are dying.  My heart has been broken so deeply this week I honestly can not find the words to express my thoughts.  I know this is not a new revelation but sometimes my little heart can not stand the pain. 

I shared in this post about a little girl who desperately needs to come to America for surgery.  This is life saving surgery!  She is thought to have Down Syndrome, of course there is no way to do the testing in her birth country.  She has some issues with her heart and needs to have surgery.  People all across the USA have been looking for a medical facility who can take her as a "charity" case.  I thought we were so close.  A local hospital was considering her case.   All the surgeons and staff were excited to help and offered to donate their services.  We had support services and therapist in place also.  However, the hospital was unable to take on another "charity" case at this time.  I must insert that this hospital does do a lot of charity cases so I can not blame them for that.  It will cost approximately $200,000 for her to have the surgery that she needs.  So our options are 1. continue to look for a hospital to take a "charity" case. (which we are doing)   2.  raise $200,000 to pay for the surgery.

What breaks my heart more than anything is the fact that two children in her orphanage passed away this week.  Fransisca and Tania went to be with their Heavenly Father.  What is even more heart breaking is there are millions of other children around the world who are suffering and dying too.  My heart is heavy!

The orphanage where these girls are from in Haiti is wonderful.  They are taking in the most medically fragile children and providing them with the best chance of survival.  I encourage you to go to their website and read more about their programs.

Then I hear about a little girl named Masha.  Masha just turned four year old but she is the size of a two year old.  Beautiful little girl with a sweet personality.  Time is running out for Masha.  Masha is being transferred from an infant orphanage to a mental institution where she will remind for the rest of her life.  If an adoptive family does not find Masha soon she will live the rest of her life in an adult mental institute.  I can't even wrap my mind around that.  There is still hope for Masha.  Some wonderful people have supplied an adoption grant of $17,000 to help with her adoption cost.

Every time I talk about helping a precious child who is suffering I get, "you can't save them all".  My response, "I am not going to save any children, that is the work of God".  However, I am a vessel being used by God to be His hands and feet.   The next question I get is, "haven't you done enough to help".  My response, "no, as long as their are children suffering and dying I have not done enough.  Our job is not done". 

So, I will continue to allow God to break my heart for these children.  I will continue to advocate for those who can not speak for themselves.  At the end of my life I want my Heavenly Father to look at me and say, "well done, my good and faithful servant".

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Life of a Child = PRICELESS

I love the MasterCard "Priceless" commercials.  Some of them are funny and some of them will touch your heartstrings. 

Over the last two weeks I have been diligently working to find medical care for a little baby girl in Haiti.  This little girl has some significant health issues and will likely not survive if she does not receive medical care.   She desperately needs to come to America where she can get her medical issues resolved.  In order to come to America she must arrive on a medical visa.  To receive a medical visa you have to show proof that the medical services will be covered by the facility providing services or an individual.   I have contacted four local children's hospitals and have received the same response each time, "we have limited charity budget and all funds have already been allocated for the year".

Every time I received that response I thought of the MasterCard priceless commercials.  What price can you put on the life of a child.  My understanding is that it would cost around $184,000 to provide the needed medical services to this little baby.  So is that the cost of a child's life?  $184,000?  Is there a number that we would place on our own children's lives?  Or would we go to the ends of the earth to get our children medical care?

I don't know what to say. 

 I am at a loss for words.

the life of a child = $184,000

The Life of a Child in God's Eyes = PRICELESS