Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Confession Time

I have to confess that recently I have been a little selfish and lazy.   Paperwork is stacking up, appointments need to be made, and the list goes on.  . . . .

Maybe it is the winter blues?  I don’t know, but I can not get motivated.  I have always been a very active person.  I love an adventure.  I am a go and do person.

I would love to blame it on the winter blues but honestly I think I have just been selfish.  I have found myself hiding my favorite snacks so the kids don’t ask for them.  They are MINE, MINE, MINE!!!  I have been dreaming of vacations that are totally beyond what we NEED because I WANT, WANT, WANT to go.   I have found myself thinking of my own desires above others WHY TO MUCH recently.   As I am sitting hear writing this I feel sinful and gross.  Funny, because my ONE goal this year was to serve others more and here I am.  The human nature is so sinful and focused on earthly desires. 

I know what you are going to say.  But you are such a giving person and I always see you serving your children.  Yes, you will see that but there is more.  It is a heart issue.  Every once in a while that little green monster appears and I get selfish.  I want the world to revolve around what I want.

Alright now that I have confessed it is time to move ahead with the battle.  I will not let “myself” interfere with the plans God has for me.  One of my favorite shirts is my Project Hopeful shirt that says “It’s not about me”.  Maybe I should wear it every day this week to remind myself.  It’s about God and serving Him and serving His people, especially the most vulnerable.   My rewards are in Heaven not on earth!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's Tortilla Tuesday

It's Tortilla Tuesday!!! Don't forget to send in your photos and stories to!

What difference does Lifesong Honduras really make in the lives of the 550 students we work with?

Nutritionally:  Every day students at Lifesong Honduras receive 3 balanced meals.  (Join us today for Tortilla Tuesday!  Confused?  Click HERE)

Educationally: The national average of students in public schools who go on to college in Honduras is around 1%.  At Lifesong Honduras, about 40% of students go on to college!

Economically:  In a country with a national unemployment rate of 70%, over 70% of Plan Escalon graduates have full-time jobs!

Spiritually:  2011 Vision Team member, Brian Kerz, speaks from what he saw first hand:

Isn't teaching the gospel message really what it's all about?  And after leaving Lifesong Honduras to live on their own, 90% of Escalon graduates still consider themselves Christians and 85% continue to attend church on a regular basis!

Lives are being changed.  Lives can continue to change because of the difference being made by people like you!

Our goal is:

We have two days left.
We need 63 commitments!

Will you help us continue to serve children in Honduras?

Can't commit to $30 p/mo? Give your best gift today... we can all make one sacrifice and come together as the body of Christ to make a big difference!

Contact us at to make your commitment AND be sure to tell them that we sent you from our blog!  Your donation will be doubled thanks to a gracious giver!

Your support makes these stories possible!
All administrative costs are covered, so 100% of your donation will go directly to helping orphans.

Check back tomorrow to see our family's pictures and stories from Tortilla Tuesday!!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Lifesong Honduras Day 7

Happy Monday, everyone!  Well, we are on day 7 of our blitz, with only 3 more days to go!

Today we're going to let Guy Henry, director of Lifesong Honduras, tell a little about Plan Escalon in his own words.

Plan Escalon from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

God is working in Honduras!  He is bringing up young men and women through hardship to a place of purpose and hope... and He is using the staff at Lifesong Honduras to do it!

But they can't do it alone.  Will you join us?
Our goal is:

So far we have 31 commitments.

We need 69 more.

That's about 23 commitments a day!

Please join us!  If you can't commit $30 a month, give what you can.  Let's come together to serve these kids in Honduras.  Let's change their lives.  Let's change their nation.
Don't forget to participate in tomorrow's Tortilla Tuesday! (Don't know what this is?  Click HERE)

Contact us at to make your commitment AND be sure to tell them that you came from our blog! Your donation will be DOUBLED thanks to a gracious giver!

Hear personal stories & follow the progress on our blog!
Your support makes these stories possible!
All administrative costs are covered, so 100% of your donation will go directly to helping orphans.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lifesong in Honduras - Part 3

Edmund Gives Back from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

Edmund is just one example of many who have been helped by Lifesong Honduras, and are now giving back.  I love how he obviously cares for these kids and even gives what little he has away so they can have shoes!  What a great example.

Here’s a question for you… How many pairs of shoes do you have?.

10? 20? 30? (eek!)

The kids at Lifesong Honduras have one pair each… sometimes two (a pair of boots to serve in).  Wow.

This Saturday join us for Shoe Saturday.  Simply count your shoes… and get your kids in on it too.  Have them count theirs.  And then tell them about the children in Honduras.  Tell them about Edmund who sacrifices his own money so children in the village can have something on their feet.  Then as a family pray.  Thank God for His faithfulness and His blessings on your family.  Thank Him for raising up men and women and children in Honduras to care for the poor, the orphaned, the vulnerable.  Ask Him to continue to provide and watch over them.  Ask Him raise up supporters so Lifesong can continue to serve in Honduras.

We are reaching for a goal:

Please pray that we can reach this goal?   Maybe God wants to use you?  Will you prayerfully consider joining us?

Maybe you can't give $30 a month... Maybe you can give more.  Today we want to encourage you to give your best!

One commitment we've received was a one time gift... Another commitment was matched by the donor's employer... meaning his gift has now quadrupled!  We are so excited to see people rise up and give what they can!

Thank you to those who have committed so far.

We have 15.5 commitments.

Can we make 100?

We have 7 days... 84.5 commitments to go.

With your help we can do it!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lifesong Honduras

Honduras Blitz from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

What if every time you gave a dollar to orphans it became one more? 

One more dollar towards food, education, shelter?

One more dollar towards sharing the Gospel and providing Biblical mentorship?

One more dollar towards changing the life of a child?

I love to use this platform to advocate for those in need... and thanks to a generous donor every dollar given to Lifesong Honduras will be matched… up to $120,000!  We praise the Lord for this amazing gift and invite you to be a part of it.

Over the next 10 days we are teaming with Lifesong and are hoping for 100 1-year commitments of $30 a month.  Just think, for about $1 a day a life in Honduras can be forever changed.

Partnering with Tree of Life Missions in Honduras, Lifesong for Orphans is able to work toward providing hope to the hopeless, help to the helpless and healing to the hurting.  TOLM reaches kids through a program called Plan Escalon.  (Escalon is translated "escalator" and is used to describe the children's escalator out of poverty/brokenness.) 
Through this program we strive toward:
  • Providing an education to the poorest of youth
  • Providing food to the poorest of youth
  • Providing vocational training & micro-business opportunities
  • Providing free medical and dental clinics to those in need
  • Training young people to give back to their communities
  • Reaching people in the jungles of the Mosquito Coast 
Stay tuned for stories, personal testimonies, and fun ways to spread awareness and instill a heart of giving in your kids!

Our goal is:
Will you help us?  100 commitments in ten days is no small feat, but with God it is possible.  We have seen Him move mightily in His people to serve orphans and we pray that this ten weeks will be a testimony of that!  Together we can make a difference in the lives of these kids!  Together we can do more to bring joy and purpose to orphans!

Contact Lifesong at to make your commitment AND be sure to tell them that we sent you from our blog!

Hear personal stories & follow the progress on our blog all this week!

Check back often to hear personal stories and get updates on the progress.  Please join us in prayer as we ask the Lord to raise up 100 commitments!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Tortilla Tuesday

Tortilla Tuesday!!

Today we will be kicking off an exciting 10 day blog-a-thon to spread the word about what's going on at Lifesong Honduras.  We will be sharing personal testimonies from changed lives, peeking into everyday Honduran life, and giving some tools to spread awareness in your families.
One of these tools is a little something we like to call (da-daDAAA!):

Tuesday, March 29th we will be dedicating 1 meal to eat what the children in Honduras eat on a daily basis... and we want you to be a part of it!  We will also provide some great topical questions and discussion guides for you to share with your kids on what life is like for children in another culture.

Would YOU join us?

We'll share more as we get closer to the 29th, so mark your calendars, get your camera ready and head to the store to get tortillas, rice, and beans for the whole family!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Faith

Faith is a spirited little girl.  She is full of giggles and smiles.  She loves dressing up and being girly.  The only thing she asked for her birthday was a tiara.  Of course she got one!!

Faith's(Xing Fu Xiang) Baby Picture

Faith Today

Faith in her Birthday Tiara


Friday, March 18, 2011

Understanding Sera

Yesterday Sera's therapist through VIPS had a session with ALL the kids.  Well, everyone except Faith because she was at school.  Ms. Dixie brought some special glasses so we could understand what life was like for Sera.  The glasses allowed us to only see through a small hole in the center.  Then all the kids put on blindfolds to see what it will be like when Sera cannot see anything.  They had to walk around the house and find their way to their rooms and pick up an object and bring it back to the living room.  Then everyone had to guess what object they had picked up.  They also ate a snack with the blindfold on.  We took them outside and had them try to play without being able to see.  Then they had to find their way back into the house.

Of course the little ones cheated. I do think it really helped the big kids understand Sera a little better.  We talked about ways we can help Sera when she looses all her vision.  Most importantly for the kids we talked about keeping our toys picked up so Sera does not trip over them and hurt herself.  It was a really good session.

I have no idea why this photo slideshow is not working. If you click on the blank space that should be the slideshow it will take you to the site to see the pics.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Praying Them Home

One of my favorite blogs is A Place Called Simplicity.  Today Linny encouraged families currently in the adoption process to write a post about their current adoption needs.  We are going to pray for each other's specific adoption needs.  Please stop by her blog and pray for the families who linked up.


I have always been told that your eyes are the window to your soul.  Her eyes say so much to me.  They are beautiful and deep.  We are not ready to tell ALL of her story.  We have "known" this beautiful child, through photos,  for over two years.  She is nine years old and HIV+.   Our adoption case has finally been submitted to court in Ethiopia.  We are currently waiting to be assigned a court date. 

What can you do to support our family?

1.  Pray for the officials in Ethiopia who make decisions regarding adoption.  There are lots of changes being discussed.

2.  We covet the prayers of our friends and family.  We are currently praying for our daughter, her health and God's perfect timing.  We are also praying about getting a larger vehicle.  We are needing a 15 passenger van that can be made handicap accessible to accomodate our growing family and our son in a wheelchair.

3.  If you feel called to support our adoption financially you may do so HERE.  Please indicate "Maas Adoption #989" in the purpose section.  If you would like to support or encourage our family in another way you can always email me using the link on the right sidebar. 


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Thoughts This Morning

I have been lacking in anything valuable to say so it has been a few days since I posted.   I really feel the need to post something so here are my thoughts this morning.

3 sick grumpy kids

sick me
(just a sinus infection but irritating still)

grateful for medication

heart heavy for the people of Japan

ready to see the sun shine outside

sad that my daughter continues to sit in Ethiopia waiting

frustrated with the lack of information I get from the adoption agency

thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

wondering what countries allow concurrent adoptions


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Communication is a Gift

Communication.  It makes life much easier when a person is able to communicate his/her needs and wants.  We have four children with varying communication concerns.  Faith, who is 5, has a repaired CL/CP.  She has been home for 3 years and is still receiving speech therapy.  I can understand the majority of what she says.  She has come a long way and we are so proud of her.

Gabriel, who is 4, tends to use screaming or grunting instead of using his words.  Mind you while playing he has a wonderful vocabulary, however, when expressing himself to others we tend to get grunts and screams. 

There is Sera, who is 32 months old.  Sera has a significant speech delay.  Sera is able to mimic others and name several objects independently.  Sera is still unable to communicate her needs independently.  Sera can use "more" and "help" and that is about it. 

Then there is sweet Jacob.  Jacob is 3 years old and has CP.  Jacob has lots to say but his little body will just not let him speak.  This has probably been the most frustrating because Jacob is smart and knows what he wants but is unable to verbalize those needs.  We have tried a few different methods for communication but Jacob's body is just not cooperating. 

I am SUPER EXCITED about what has been happening in our house in the last week.  First, we were given a wonderful gift of an iPad.  Thank you sweet friends!  You know who you are.  I have been playing with it the last few days and I am so excited about the possibilities with this device.  Now, to find the right applications.  If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.  Seriously, would love to have a few more of them.  It is amazing the uses for communication and learning!

I am also EXCITED about Jacob's speaking device.  Jacob has had his Dynavox communication device for about a year.  Although Jacob understands how to use the device and wants to use it he has had difficulty getting his arms to cooperate with him.  Jacob's head stability has improved a great deal in the last year so we decided to try out the EyeMax attachment for the Dynavox.  Seriously, brought me to tears.  He was able to communicate ON HIS OWN with no assistance at all.  The EyeMax uses Jacob's eye gaze to make a choice on the screen and then the device speaks whatever Jacob has chosen.  It was so fun to watch him!  The funniest part was when Jacob found the "fart" sound on the machine.  Yes, the Dynavox will produce ANY sound a typical person will make.  Jacob thought it was so funny because we kept laughing.  So Jacob kept choosing the fart sound over, and over, and over.  It will take several months to get his new device.  There are many hoops to jump through with insurance and medicaid.  Please pray that we are able to get this wonderful new device for Jacob.

I had a cute video of Jacob testing the EyeMax but I could not get it to load.  SORRY


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sera Is In The News

 The Lexington Herald Leader wrote an article about a wonderful program that links inmates at the local prison to children with visual impairments.  GREAT STORY!!  Click on Sera's picture to be taken to the article in the Lexington Herald Leader.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tough Day & Other News

Yesterday was a tough day.  I had two computers crash.  Our main computer was hacked and it was a mess to clean up.  So I was using an old laptop that had been given to us to search how to fix our main computer. We use the laptop when we travel overseas and I take it to long appointment days for entertainment.  As soon as I got the computer fixed I went to update the security on the laptop and discovered it had been infected.  It was much worse and we lost EVERYTHING!!!  Black screen- no processing system found.  SERIOUSLY??? 

AND I have a few kids not feeling well with colds and congestion.

THEN, at lunch Sera got choked on her cookie.  This happens periodically so I knew exactly what to do.  Out comes a probably 1 1/2 inch glob of food she had stuffed in her mouth. 

Everything went down hill from there . . .


Sera's surgery to remove the extra digits from her hands & feet has been rescheduled for May 5th. 

We do believe our adoption case has now been submitted to court.  I will believe it when I see a court date.

Also, if you are an adopting family who is currently fundraising leave me a comment with a link to your fundraiser.  I am going to add a page to list fundraising families.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Superbowl Party with the Pros

Last month we were blessed to take part in a fundraiser for Visually Impaired Preschool Services. Yearly the Kentucky Retired Professional Football Players sponsor a superbowl event to raise funds for VIPS. We have become actively involved in the VIPS program since Sera came home a year ago. We are so thankful for this organization and there dedication to children with visual impairments.

Thank you guys for making this a special time for the kids.  Thank you for your dedication to give back and help children.

Picture of the kids with some of the football players


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Adopting Out of Birth Order

There are many thoughts on adopting out of birth order.  In fact there are some agencies that will absolutely NOT allow adopting out of birth order.   So here is our story . . .

When we began our last adoption we requested to adopt a daughter between the ages of 6-8.  All of our previously adopted children had been 12-24 months old when they came home.  Our oldest birth daughter had been asking for a sister her age.  When we received our referral it was obvious to us the girl in the photo was much older than the 7 years they had put as her age.  However, she was a child needing a family and we were a family wanting a child.  After she came home and we had a bone scan done we found out she was at least 10-11 years old.  My guess is she is 12-13 years old.  Anyway, we gave her a birth date making her 10 years old. 

So how does our birth daughter feel about having an older sister?

This picture was taken last week before the father/daughter dance.