Friday, December 18, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!

The reason He came. He took part in the flesh because before He always was and always will be.
 He was born to raise us from the grave.
May the God that truly holds the whole world  in
His hands Bless you this Christmas season with His 
awe and love. 

Moose attempting to participate in family photos. I was the only willing family member!

The most handsome man I have ever seen with a tractor!

The two most powerful pint size worshipers of Jesus Christ I know with their new mini Piano!

Two brothers, two countries and too incredible a bond! God ...did..that!

Samuel gave Thomas the Lego car I gave him in Russia the day after he was adopted. Samuel 
gives with a humbling generosity like I have never seen. God..thank you!
I love him so much! knew it was coming. You see the that little guy being watched over by the big guy? That big guy waited too long to have a Christmas with a family. How I wish we had the chance to pour out the love of Christ in celebration to our big guy when he was so small! 
You want to change the world this Christmas...forever? 
Start with one. 
So many wait. So many just stand still.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Missing China

Hello readers! Yes I am afraid I am here again to squeeze you into my little world that is always focused on the passion Jesus Christ has placed in my heart...orphans. You caught  me at nap time blogging and even when my little ones sleep I miss them.

 I also miss the kids we left behind. Yes, we. We, being the extremely wealthy American family that adopted two kiddos last Christmas. We, being the employed husband and wife, daughter and son to the most high King of Kings. We, being the healthy, capable family with spare rooms, seats at the table and room on the couch. I write from a heart of conviction. Im not yelling at all. Im just heart broken. 
  When the world gets quiet ( nap time ) and the Lord pulls me close in worship, Bible study and thought I just can't help myself. Wealthy eh? Capable eh? Yes. Compared to so many in the world I am sure we are all these things. Maybe not by American comparison but to the the my Jesus...YES!  

So many people have written if they could only afford to adopt...if they only had the time...if they knew all the medical needs...if...if...if.

The sad part is most replies are from Christians.
You see, I think you better remember who created you and what you were created for! God has your back! He loves you and is going to provide! Remember Mary? She gave birth in a stable! It may not have been The White Swan Hotel in China but HE provided!

Stop counting your pennies and lean into him who knows your needs and loves you to DEATH. Even DEATH on a cross. If you want to adopt, money is not going to stand in your way.

Medical needs may be too much for Jesus to help you with though. Wait a minute. Remember Jesus had an incredible ministry of healing! You have the GREATEST physician ever! Im not joking, He can heal and He is so good to heal wonderfully! Let go and let God on this one! He is better at it anyway!

So, that is all I have really been led to blog about today. It just seems those two reasons keep stopping people from introducing Jesus to orphans through the love of a family. I know it is all really scary but God is REALLY BIGGER THAN THOSE REASONS. 

I dare you to move. So many just stand still. So many wait.

Friday, December 4, 2015

What is next? A year approaches...

( photo credit: Samuel Barros )

A sea of Chinese tassels. A thought provoking photo from The Lord to me...a reminder of the remaining orphans that wait for families all over the world.

  Hello readers, friends and family! Please forgive my severe neglect of this blog. As we approach ONE YEAR home with our two youngest from China, I feel inspired to write again. Truth be told there has been so much inspiration around here that as I gave each sweet Praise and thought to the Lord..I just never found the time to write it down! God has done oh so much in our lives and the lives of our three FORMER orphans. To no surprise, but many a grateful moment we have seen him heal, restore and even grow our children in miraculous ways! Wow, on second thought I kinda wish I had burned the midnight oil blogging here but rest is a sweet gift from The Lord right?

Samuel, Thomas and Faith have been in the midst of doing homeschool, learning the love of family and simply about one another. As Christmas comes and we glance over the year our kids are beginning to ask for something and it is not a traditional gift. Yeah, you probably know what I'm going to say right? Our Faith was reciting the scripture...For unto us a child is given...unto us a child is born and asked for a little sister. Thomas quickly followed suit and said another big brother will be good too. Wow, these arrows will pierce the heart of those wanting to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I think already God is moving our family to pray for what is next?

So now what? Well, in the meantime we will support adoption. We will pray. We will wait on Jesus to speak clearly through His word, worship and prayer as to when? So, if you see us working at Gracie Barra, selling Young Living Essential oils, praying, advocating and well just talking about adoption it is simply because God has broken our hearts...forever. How can we say no to His call to care for the Fatherless and pursue our dream..that our children will hear, believe and follow Jesus Christ forever.......we simply can't and with so many waiting....we won't. So, will you please pray for our family to Glorify Christ, work for His Glory and build on a foundation that will rise up and be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Once you have seen what we have seen it is impossible to pursue anything less.

One of the orphanages in China....babies sleeping in the warmer sunshine.

An older orphan also with CP approached me while talking with my Faith. In other photos the young girl has her arms wrapped around my neck and spoke to me saying I love you mama. My heart sank so much that sharing the pictures is too difficult. Her shadow WAS MY DAUGHTER'S likely future. God was showing me that EVERY child is worth HIS love. DO NOT let CP or any other special need make these kids lose the chance of a family and being introduced to the eternal gift of salvation through Jesus Christ! 

Another orphan....Just waiting

   I held her so tight that day as I wanted her to know that her and the ones she had to say goodbye to will not be forgotten.


oh the beauty of older child adoption..I speak from experience.


.....a whole lot more just waiting. 
Perhaps they are waiting for you to say Yes. 

Pray, Give generously, Adopt

I love you. Thank you for all you have done to see our kiddos HOME!

His Love is so Grand.
NOEL- The light of the world given for us.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Our Youngest Birthday Boy!

You have the ability to absolutely drive me crazy and melt my heart with that smile! I do believe Thomas that you were meant to be my lil guy! Our son! Im truly thankful on my knees to Jesus that He alone sent you into the arms of our family from so very far away! You were and always will be my surprise! I absolutely adore you and know that Christ adores you too! I am pretty sure that He created you laughing and smiling the whole time! Your Joy is contagious. Your ability to memorize scripture and use it to encourage me is a miracle! You love your sister so much and I am so grateful that you have her and she has you to tumble together through the years! As you chase your big brothers very big footsteps, don’t forget to reach up and ask for a kiss. He likes you just as much as you Love him. I pray God will continue to grant you vision and you will sing it with that incredible voice He gave you. You worship our Creator as if you had a choir to lead and you are only today turning Four! You are the little son that I am sure bounced into my heart and filled a dream I did not even know I had! Life without you falling into my lap and kissing my lips would be so dull. I deeply love you! Always remember that God ALWAYS has a better plan! I am deeply grateful that the Lord put you in our arms forever. 
Thomas, God Bless your first Birthday in your forever family. 

Happy Birthday Thomas

Just Four Years Home, our sweet son!

      I have been so busy at all the happenings around here that I have failed to write so many things! This August our first child and oldest celebrated being in our family for four years. Although he has been in our hearts forever it seems like just yesterday he came home.

    We tucked in our then fourteen year old Samuel for the first time in his life as his forever and very new parents. It took a total of two and a half years to bring him home from Russia. His entire journey to us and ours to him is nothing short of miracle after miracle! God is so very Faithful!

    The reward of parenting him has never ended. Even as his age by our world standards pegs him as a young adult, he is still our treasured son, dearly loved, guided and encouraged by us. We celebrated very simple this year with a pancake breakfast and family time at a nearby lake. His ability to love us and serve as a valued family member has and always will be a joy. We hope as he pursues graduating next year from High school that God will continue to reveal His Glory in Samuel’s life.

     Our family is by God’s good grace closely knit and we have no plans of tossing out our kiddos at any age. Although some may look forward to an empty nest, we value our young adults company, love and contribution to our family until they are called away to take care of their very own.  Learning to be in a family and take care of a family are still very new after just four years. Sometimes we forget that because we have been so blessed by our young man! May God grant him wisdom, purity and grace in his young adult years! Happy Anniversary sweet son and welcome home!


Monday, May 25, 2015

The Daughter of my dreams

I serve a Mighty God. His love is so intimate and faithful. He even gave me a gift so incredible that my heart beat rapidly changes when I am brought to the reality that I am not dreaming. Oh my dear God, I love this little girl! I love her more every day and your unfailing love brought her and I together. Two sinners saved by Grace from your death on the cross! You redeemed me to introduce YOU to her! Thank you! My Birthday wish for her is so simple. May she bow at your feet and dance for Joy in the freedom and fear of you Lord Jesus. May she seek you and be saved to tell the world that you are her King Jesus! May her peace and contentment be found in NOTHING else but her purpose through you, her Joy never ending and her Faith that will move mountains forever….
I love you Faith
Your adopted forever mama

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

In love with The Father of Orphans

     Yesterday our two youngest had a fight. It was full of animated body language, loud and intense three year old vocabulary. The fight lasted almost all day and well into the evening routine. 
Okay, so it wasn’t really a fight. It was more like an argument. 

   Do you want to know what it was about? They were fighting over who they belonged too. Our former orphan daughter was screaming, “ Mama’s Faith! “ Thomas quickly yelled back, “Thomas’s Mama!” It was even more comical when they began to yell, “Samuel’s Mama!” I think I laughed more than I ever have. Their vocabulary only multiplied when daddy came home for lunch! Then it was, “ Thomas’s Baba!” and “ Faith’s Baba!” Laughter, drooling and even stumbling followed! Both of them, overjoyed at the freedom and reaction when we kept confirming this very solid truth. 

They have a family….forever.

After I cleaned up my overjoyed little ones and tucked them in I had a permanent smile on my face.

So, naturally, I began looking at pictures of how far they have come in the bonding process and the taking off of their status and putting on the sonship that Christ created in adoption. I could see their little hearts being covered with royalty and beauty. The pain of being an orphan is beginning to subside.

I thanked God because only by HIS adoption of me, a great sinner could I see that adoption here and now is Jesus’s heart. 

So, why blog about it?
It is pretty personal.
Because I’m tired of the photos of countless orphans waiting. Im tired of watching them languish in orphanages while families pinch pennies to bring them home. Im tired of hearing about the doors closing while families almost…got…them..home. 

Im ready for more.
Im ready for more families to see the value in these precious little ones! Im ready to see The Church, like ours unite with families and give generously to bring these kiddos home! Im ready to send a family to wherever with our own money to embrace a child/older child or children into their forever family!

Im ready because IM IN LOVE! Im in love with The Father our Lord Jesus Christ and He adopted me!

Are you ready?

First ..Lets Pray! 
This is the biggest thing we can do!

Second…Lets give! 
There are so many families adopting from the USA and International all around us! 
Adopting families often spend countless days in paper work, selling things, taking extra jobs, pulling life savings or whatever it takes! Give generously if God motivates it! Trust me when I say for some families it is THE DAY that a document was due or THE DAY they got the call to fly! Maybe they have the money though…SO WHAT! Can you think of a better way to invest in the lives of people?

Adoption can be HARD. These families need your prayers, kind words and love. Be the light in the room when you see them! Light up and be excited for them! They are pouring out so much and need your encouragement!

Inspired? Good! Now get to it! 

The doors to Russia are now closed to International Adoption. Can you imagine? Don’t wait. Pray, Give and Encourage!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

“Yes, they are brother and sister!” as well as answers to many other personal questions…

As much as I prayed and prepared for the rude and sometimes just curious questions regarding our now obvious adopting family, I was caught off guard recently. Don’t worry I prayed before I decided to blog about this matter too!

   It was a nice day to take the kids out grocery hauling and before I could purchase my delightfully yummy groceries It happened. For those in the adopting community you just moved in closer to the computer, I can feel it! Yes, because you too have been there. As a famous pastor now serving in Zambia once said, “ Well, you asked for it when you decided to adopt so you better be prepared!” Yes, it happened in the ever so articulate fashion I was questioned about the cost, fertility between my husband and I as well as the famous, “ why did you get a girl instead of a boy?” as well as, “ so, what is wrong with them?” Lets not leave out, “ Do you have any real children? “ … “ wow they are so lucky!”  Oh and the kicker and most frequent., “ Are they brother and sister?”

  Now, before you remind me that I asked for it, I will tell you… absolutely that you are correct. We did, Marcos and I totally did. Even Samuel knew it was coming and said YES to adoption and becoming an older brother! So in a sense he was prepared to be salt and light with all of God’s favor in each moment of heart breaking questions. In light of that I questioned even blogging about it but then I remembered something.

   I had a friend named Clara ( changed name for a reason ) when I was little. She smelled funny. She really smelled kinda like cat pee. Her hair was often full of lice and she would spit when she spoke. Her double jointed frame and stained clothes made her the object of many jokes in 5th grade. I was not her friend by choice. My mother educated me on something about Clara’s life. She took me into her home and showed me what poverty in the USA looked like. I was changed and although I still struggled being a good and kind friend to Clara, I was no longer ignorant of her situation. I did not point out her differences and ask her rude questions. My mother taught me compassion. She taught me some hard lessons most parents duck away from. She taught me what not to say and why!

 So, I guess I have some sense of expecting that from people when it comes to my kiddos. However, I realized maybe everyone needs my mom to teach them something. Maybe today I need to be like my mom and post so people can learn that questions can hurt kids and families no matter how much mom trusts Jesus to repair the damage.

  So, please educate yourself on what to say to disabled people, adopted kids even people of low income. Curious questions and heart felt motives are way different then being plain Rude with my kids in earshot. It does not matter how old they are either.

     As our culture goes, sometimes I think we just need to teach each other to simply not be rude. If people outside of our culture are the ones asking the questions I also feel as an American that we should educate them in the moment as well. After all, Love is not rude. I love my kids and correct them when they are rude.

Monday, April 6, 2015

In love with our faithful King Jesus

Psalm 9:10 
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cocoon Update

Psalm 127

127 Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To [a]retire late,
To eat the bread of [b]painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
Behold, children are a [c]gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

  Hello Family and friends from the cocoon! We are doing well and the kids are really blooming! Thank you for the immense PRAYER COVER to our amazing Jesus! The King of Glory has touched our home with Worship, laughter, love and many moments of repentance due to self. We are seeing the beauty of adoption and all the hard things that also accompany any big family changes. God has been faithful. Hasn't He always though? 

  Thomas continues to surprise us! Trust is building but we still need more time to show him that we are his forever family. He is joy filled, adorable, LOVES his baby sister and food! He also enjoys hugging me and has a beautiful singing voice! He is a tank and not frail! I adore his strength and willingness to pray at any given moment! Separation from everything he has known has taught him to be charming and run to any stranger before seeking the wisdom and protection of mom and dad. Pray for him, that his heart will melt into trust and a we will gain WISDOM that God gives to encourage him.  We also have several medical appointments and of course the regular vaccinations and medical "stuff" that comes with caring for little ones. Thomas has some vision issues and will need glasses.  He is going to look so handsome! Of course there are many other appointments but that just goes hand in hand with adoption. 

  Faith has really bloomed! She is very funny! Her determination was obvious in China but now more than ever we see her courage. What a gift from the Lord dwelling within our little girl! Her CP continues to challenge her ability to walk without some equipment but she is making strides. Her heart is making even greater leaps and bounds! She is NOT the little frail and afraid baby we held in our arms in China. She is full of Joy and wonder! She also lost so much and so many people she loved in China. We will continue to pray and seek the Lord while getting to know her even better during this sweet cocoon time. We praise GOD for what He is already doing!

 Samuel is the best big brother ever and learning to laugh at all the antics of his new siblings. Life is not so structured and serious around here anymore! He is getting to know them just like we are and giving them all of his time. He is so generous with every moment. We are truly blessed to see them start to build a relationship. He is very protective of them and likes to make sure they always have rice or a familiar food from China. I love his compassion for them. He is also learning that Thomas is watching and learning from Samuel's servant like heart! I told him our little guy was caught red handed unloading two bags of groceries! Samuel just smiled and said. " I guess he likes to help! " 

  Pray for us that the desire to please people will not consume us. We need to put our families needs first. It isn't easy to Cocoon when you really miss many people you love. Its also a bit difficult when people do not understand boundaries with our kiddos. I try to explain it in such a way that doesn't offend but telling people not to touch your kids can never sound kind. Its especially hard when they are reaching out to hug them and you need to real them back in and remind them that the Scheels shoe salesman is probably a GREAT dad...just not your dad! We almost got those sneakers for half off though!

 Thank you for all your texts, prayers and gifts! Faith has colored every page, the toy truck and zoo animals are all called by name and the wooden pizza has been served to me daily! Mom and DAD, the walker gave her a freedom she has never had and Harris family we are so blessed by you! We hope to build this family on the only foundation that will stand, May God continue to lift us up and HELP us to love as He loves. To God be the Glory. We cannot do this without the Lord!

 All of us (:


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Christmas Miracle

 Our children were in our arms Christmas day in China. 

We had two days notice to fly with the option of waiting after Christmas. We chose to pack like maniacs, schedule a two hour Christmas and jump on a plane Christmas eve. God is so incredible in the way He moves in the lives of very ordinary people. We are humbled to have been home since and seen all the healing, learning and dying that is so required in adoption. Every day God opens more of our hearts and our two youngest that exposes how we can deny ourselves and seek Christ to love one another as our family changes. 

We are very honored to have Thomas and Faith in our family and are taking ample time to press in and get to know them daily. Some call this cacooon time. The distractions are minimal and the focus has been learning, lots of praying and loads of laughing! Your prayers moved mountains in the journey to China and even now as we see our children heal daily. Will you continue to pray for our family please? We long to honor God and gain wisdom!  We are new parents yet again to kiddos that have lost more than most can understand.  Thank you so much for your prayers. 

Galations 6:7-9 has been our families verse during our cacoon. It sure is good to hear that we should never grow tired of doing good and that we will reap a harvest if we do not give up! Praise God for His promises and the way He loves us!

God Bless you ! 

Love and gratitude,
 Jamie...( beloved to Marcos and mom of three from the Lord ( : )