Monday, December 2, 2013
Wow...we have come a long way in our adoption process since I last updated our blog. We prayed and prayed and prayed some more and we chose our adoption company. We are using Lifeline Children's Services in Birmingham. After we knew which agency we were using the next step was to fill out our application. We started filling it out and the first question was where are you adopting from. HA! Back to being still at Jesus's feet...we prayed some more. We printed out the country guideline sheet from our agency and reviewed every country and it's requirements and prayed over this decision. After praying and analyzing every route we felt led to adopt from China. It took us about two weeks to complete our application because it was so very detailed. However, we completed it and mailed in our application fee. I thought we had accomplished a lot...HA!!! After our application was processed and we were accepted into the China program I got a 136 page China manual, and an Alabama manual along with many other forms. I decided real quick like that that application I thought was so hard to complete was just the beginning of many. We had to fill out form after form after form. We had to be fingerprinted and mail that in...I did it all wrong and it had to be returned to me and we had to do it again :)We mailed in our for real first "big" payment and I have cried and jumped for joy. This is for real y'all...Wae and I have talked for years about adopting. Before Ian was even born we both wanted to adopt. You know how sometimes you just "talk" about doing something but never really do it. I was afraid that was how the adoption was going to be for us. But God finally equipped us both with the courage it requires to jump out on a leap of faith and trust His plan when we cannot see where we are going to land. This week on Wednesday at 8:30 we have our first part of our home study...a conference call. I have already lined up Wae's mom to babysit so we can focus all our attention on the call and I'm a nervous wreck. Please join us in praying for our social worker and for Wae and me. Please pray our nerves don't overtake the real us and that she can get to know our family. Asher is warming up to the thought of a baby sister more and more. We pray for her many times a day. Wae said he really wanted to name her so we can pray for her by name. We've asked Asher what he wanted to name baby sister and he informed us her name is BACON! I'm not thinking we will follow through with his name suggestions. We want a biblical name but there aren't many good girl names in the bible. My name is Mary Elizabeth so I already have two good bible names :) Wae likes Mary Magdalene so we are thinking right now about naming her Maggie. Maggie means pearl...and our sweet baby girl who we are desperately searching for is most definitely a pearl to us. We are just thinking out loud right now but Asher is getting pretty good at praying for Maggie so that name just might stick. It's much better than Bacon. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving but as always we missed our sweet boy Ian. I don't think there will ever be a holiday, a family picture, or a Christmas card when I don't miss Ian. I will always think at the holidays that I am missing a piece of my little family...I will always see the missing link in our family picture, and I hate to sign the Christmas card without Ian's name on it. However, by the grace of God we choose to focus on our blessings past and present and rejoice in Ian's healing. We still miss him though... I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope your Christmas is just perfect! Remember to enjoy your family on the holidays and don't take them for granted. You never know what tomorrow holds!
Saturday, November 9, 2013
It's been one month that Wae and I have known we were going to adopt. We have only been on this journey for one month. I'm sure by now you all know Wae and I both are not patient. We have gotten so cracked up at ourselves...we just knew we would follow God's calling and the baby would "fall out of the sky" into our "empty pouch" just like in the book we read with Asher. We think about all the children around the world living in orphanages and we know there are many children who need a mom and dad to love them. We just thought it would go something like this...God calls us to adopt, we follow the calling, we call an agency, they say here's the kid for you, and we bring her home. HA!!! Nope...it's NOTHING like that. We are determined to do this God's way and not our way. We are having to pray ourselves out of this process every day!!! I would have already completed the application with the first agency I found and be starting a home study. However, I am praying over every little thing we are doing. We do not want to go down the wrong path. I have never wanted to do something God's way as much as I want to do this His way. He has a certain child for our family. The child may be in China, or Kazakhstan, or Japan, or South Korea, or Thailand, or even in America. Today just might be his or her birthday! She might be laying alone by herself right now in an alley because her biological parents abandoned her. This thought haunts me!!! She might be crying in her bed in an orphanage because she just wants to be held. I don't know where she is but I want to find her!!! I want to pick her up and kiss her cheeks and tell her everything will be ok. I want to tell her I love her and that she will never have to be scared again. Asher lays on me every night as I look through the album of waiting children looking for our sweet sister (we really want a sister) Tonight our sweet little two year folded his hands and said "Pray mommy, Jesus!" Then pointed to the screen. I explained to him that these boys and girls are living in orphanages and that they don't have mommies and daddies to love. I explained that Jesus wanted us to adopt one of these orphans into our family to love. I realized at the age of two Asher is already being effected by the path of adoption we are headed down. I know he will love to have a sister to play with and I pray God leads us to her. I can't imagine all the emotions we are going to have as we travel through this life experience. Please pray for us. We are trying to decide what country God wants us to adopt from. We have a few we are looking at and we have one we really, really both agree on. The country has suspended adoptions with the US at this time. The two countries are meeting this month and hoping to raise the suspension. Please pray with us that this happens. If the suspension is raised we will know God wants us to adopt from here. Please pray over the country of Kazakhstan that if it is God's will for us to adopt from this country that the suspension will be no more and that God lays out the path for us to follow to find our child. Also pray that if this is not the country for us that God clearly shows us where He has our child waiting for us. Your prayers will be heard and God will answer us...we appreciate your prayers more than you know. Our first prayer to be answered is what country and then we will move on to our next prayer...what agency do we use? Do we use one agency for the home study and then another agency for the placing agency??? You can feel free to start praying for our second step as well. Night all...going to sleep hugging our sweet Asher tonight more thankful than ever God blessed us with this ball of energy and praying for our sweet little girl to be safe in our Heavenly Father's arms!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Before Ian was born, during Ian's life, and after Ian's passing Wae and I have always thought we would adopt. Before Ian was born we knew we wanted to adopt because we wanted to help a child who wasn't being loved or cared for...a child who was possibly going to be aborted or a child who was living in an orphanage somewhere needing a mom and dad. When Ian was born and after he passed away we thought we would adopt and never have biological children because we were so terrified at the risk of RCDP occurring again. As you all know, God did bless us and we have a healthy biological child...our precious Asher. Our desire to adopt has not gone away. If anything, our desire to adopt has grown.We have been praying for quite some time now about God's will for our lives. I very selfishly have wanted to have another child in hopes of having a little girl who would be like me. (Asher is just like his dadddy :) However, after months of prayer and discussions between Wae and I God has confirmed time and time again that His will for our lives is for us to adopt. We recently started a new study at church. While reading my book I realized I had to abandon my own selfish desires in life. I was praying one morning when I was alone (that is rare all you moms know that!) I was praying out loud..."God, empty me and fill me up with you Lord. I want to abandon my own selfish desires for my life and I only want what you want Lord. Wae and I desperately want more children Lord but I don't want to do anything that is not Your will for our lives. Please just show us what to do Lord...please give us a sign. My heart is open...I am listening and waiting for You to reveal Your will for our lives." I went about my business and got ready that morning for church. Wae was already at church. Asher woke up about 30 minutes later and I got him up and started getting him ready for church. In the meantime I see him digging in a drawer he's never even opened in his chest of drawers in his room. It is full of books. I have a huge basket of books we read from but I had put the extras in this drawer. Now remember we NEVER get books from this drawer. Asher dug in this drawer and pulled out a book. It was Sunday morning...we were running late. Doesn't everyone run late on Sunday morning :) He insisted I read him this book. I finally agreed and sat down in the floor with him...plopped him in my lap and picked up the book. "Blessing from Above" I read the book with tears streaming down my face...it was about adoption!!! A mother kangaroo adopted a baby blue bird...it just fell out of the nest into her empty pouch. Remember one hour ago I prayed for God to show us what to do about children...I told Him my heart was open and that I was listening. He got me!!! He answered me within an hour. Wow! I took the book to church and made Wae look at it during church. I told him God sent us a letter and used Asher to deliver it. I tell you this story to let you know Wae and I are beginning the process of finding our third child. Our first child was a special miracle from God only loaned to us for a couple of years. He taught us how to love and about what was really important in life. Our second child is a double portion of pure happiness. God chose to bless us with Asher when the medical world said it was impossible. I cannot wait to see what our third child will be...a chosen blessing who I am praying for day and night. We aren't sure which direction we will head. We are praying and praying and praying looking for God to point us in the right direction...DHR adoption/foster care, private domestic adoption or international adoption. I have always wanted to adopt a sweet little girl from China. We don't have a clue what we are doing and we are fully trusting in God's guidance. If you have any advice please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org If you know of someone who is pregnant or hear of a baby up for adoption please think of us. You just might be the way God helps us find our sweet child. We would appreciate your prayers as we begin this journey that can last for years. I am not known for my patience but I know this new journey will require a lot of patience and prayer. Thank you in advance for your prayers for our new family... Just a few pics from the past few weeks...dove hunting with daddy, kisses for mommy, and admiring the sunflowers on Ian's 6th birthday in his sunflower field PapE plants us every year.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
I am laying in the bed beside my wild man while he naps. Yes...I lay down with him every day in order to get him asleep. Yes...I have done this since birth. And no I do not regret it :) I usually get up and get a lot of housework done while he is napping but today I am choosing to snuggle and update "Bubba's" page. I wish you could all know Asher. This sweet little boy is such a mess. At church last night I asked are all boys this active?!? Do they all go, go, go and never stop? Are they all so rough?!? Do they just run in circles and scream from excitement. Asher is the perfect mix of sweet and full of personality. He is so loving...hugs everyone and kisses all the girls. (Oh me...I'm in trouble) But then the little booger has a streak of meanness about him too. He's just so wild I don't know how to calm him down. I know what you're thinking..."Give him a spanking!" Surprisingly we do...maybe too many. I spank this poor child many times a day. Thing is he knows he shouldn't bite or pinch or hit but sometimes his emotions get the best of him :) God love him...I'm sure he'll "outgrow" it. I've heard this a million times. But the Asher Wae and I and close friends and family see is mainly pure sweetness. He will ask to pray for his friends. He wants to love on everybody and hug and kiss and let you know just how much you mean to him. He wants everybody he loves to think they are his #1 favorite person in the world. He loves so BIG! I love that about Asher. He has recently gotten to know Tracey (Jackson Thomas's mom...the other little boy in AL with RCDP) Sweet Jack Jack passed away in February of this year. Lately Asher has been asking to pray for Tracey and Jack Jack and he will tell me that Tracey is "sad" I don't know how our little boy knows this but it shows me his heart. That he cares for others and their happiness. He talks about his bubba a lot and he only knows Ian through pictures. However, he knows he has a bubba and that bubba is with Jesus. He knows where we go to visit bubba and he will hug and kiss bubba's pictures. His heart is pure sweetness and I hope he stays that way. He just turned two and we had a big tractor birthday party. He is OBSESSED with tractors. I have never seen a two year old so excited about his birthday. He was crazy running everywhere saying "Tractor, big tractor!" It was one of the happiest days of my life. We had a hayride on a tractor, big tractors everywhere, and Asher got a John Deere tractor to drive for his birthday present from all his friends. He was truly excited about getting "presents" He can tell me who gave him what presents and it cracks me up! I am still a stay at home mommy and I love it. Many moms tell me they could never do it but I don't know how I could do anything else. It's my dream come true every day...spending all day with my healthy little boy! We play outside, we have "mommy school" we snack, we watch Rio a million times a day, we play tractors and more tractors, we put together puzzles, we paint and color, we snuggle and we love each other. I love every second of it and I'm so thankful God has blessed me with this opportunity. Just wanted to share our sweet Asher with you and update you on his silliness. Maybe it won't take me so long next time.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
I am thankful for my life. I am thankful I have grown up in America where I am free. I am even more thankful I have grown up in a small town in Alabama where Christian values are the norm. I am thankful for the blessings God has given our family. I am also ashamed that I do not do more for others. I am ashamed there are children going to sleep hungry tonight and I have done NOTHING to help them. I haven't witnessed to their families, I haven't helped them get food, I haven't bought them clothes, or taken them the clothes I have "outgrown" :) I've sat here in my "comfortable" life and continued to do things to make myself and my family happy. I haven't went on a mission trip and served others and I haven't given any effort to making a difference. Wae has just returned from Brazil on a mission trip. Before he left I was terrified! I was scared he would die in a plane crash, I was scared he would be murdered there for sharing his faith, I was scared he would get sick there, I was scared. I should not have been so afraid...I should have PRAYED!!! I was scared he would come home and say we had to go back and adopt all the children he met and just to be honest I was scared he would say to pack my bags that we were going to become full time missionaries. I wasn't worried about me being so touched and changed by the stories he would tell me. I have soaked in every story he has shared and I have loved listening to him share about people accepting Christ. I didn't realize that I should be scared that HIS experience would change MY life! I love children! I have a very soft spot for them and I have always known that my calling in life involved working with kids. I CANNOT stand the thought of a child going to bed hungry. It makes me sick to think that a child is living on the street tonight alone and afraid about what their next few hours of life might entail. And it infuriates me to no end that there are children being prostituted in countries. There are kids who have no toys and probably don't even know what a matchbox car is. What can I do? How can I help? Ian's Reason...when Ian was born his "reason" was to help other Rhizo families. We did that with Tracey as we started Rhizo Kids and brought families together from around the world. This is still a ministry of ours but we are not as involved now that Ian is no longer here. I know there is more to "Ian's Reason" I have been praying for so long for God to reveal my purpose in life. Am I supposed to return to teaching God?!? Father, do you want me to be a mom and only a mom...forever?!? Lord Jesus do you want me to go back to school and get a new degree?!? OR...do you want me to simply serve you?!? I have prayed and prayed along with Wae I'm sure that we would know God's will for our lives. I have a stirring in my heart and a yearning in my soul to not let Ian's Reason die. I want our sweet child to make a difference even though he is no longer with us. I want to start something through God's calling on our life. I am waiting...I am feeling a push to start a program "Ian's Reason" Maybe this will be here at home or in Brazil where Wae went on his mission trip. Maybe we can send Christmas boxes of presents there for children or maybe we can start a program to sponsor children there. Maybe even bigger...could we open a place for children to go as a refuge if they are homeless so they don't have to be afraid at night...so they don't have to be prostitutes?!? We could minister to these children and tell about our Lord and Savior and try to make a difference in their lives. Dreams can start small and grow big right?!? I'm just tired of watching others follow God's direction and me just sitting...and sitting...and sitting!!! When I stand in front of MY Savior I want to know that I used all He gave me while I was here! Please join me in praying that God's will for our lives would be revealed and that I will only pursue this if it is God's will. As I am scared again as I try to listen and follow God I will remember what we taught our kids at VBS this week. "God helps me. I will not be afraid!"
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Once a year I get to put aside all things from my new "normal" and do something for Ian. Once a year for about a week or two I get to do something for Ian and I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to spend some time on doing things for him. It's that time again...Rhizo Kids Conference 2013. We are expecting around 75 people!!! There are 14 families coming and there will be 13 Rhizo Kids. We have families coming from all over...Texas, Tennessee, Canada, Ohio, and many more. There are five doctors coming who all have some great advancements for RCDP to tell us about. Although we are all so excited about being with our Rhizo family for 5 whole days there is also sadness looming. As we left the conference last year with many tears there was the unspoken fear in all of us. "Whose child won't be here next year?" IT's a dreaded thought for the Rhizo family, but when you are dealing with a fatal disorder it is inevitable. This year it is our sweet Jack Jack who won't be there. Our house won't be the same without his sweet self there. I always loved the fact that if you said "No, no, no, no, no" to Jack he would just laugh and laugh. He was such a hoot! I tell you all of this to ask that you all pray for Tracey. The conference is so hard to attend when you don't have your child. I always dread the moment we take the mom group picture because I don't have Ian to hold. Tracey's hurt is so fresh I believe she is going to need a lot of prayers. Please join me in praying for strength, courage, peace, and understanding for Tracey. If you would like to do something to help with the conference we would love to let you offer your kindness to our Rhizo family. We could use drinks. We need canned drinks and waters. We could also use some prepackaged snacks for the kids. You could drop off any donations at my parent's office in Centre by next Wednesday. If you'd like to contact me you can email me at email@example.com Please be in prayer for the conference. We will start on Wednesday preparing all the houses and final touches before the families arrive on Thursday. We will have medical meetings Thursday-Sunday. Please pray for compassionate hearts from our doctors, safe travels for the families, and health for the precious kids. Thank you for loving Ian then and now and for supporting our mission through prayer. We can feel them.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Do you have a weakness in your life? A soft spot in your heart that the devil knows if he messes with it that he will get to you. Something that he knows if you are headed in a direction that's a path from the Lord that he better hit your soft spot to divert your attention. I have many weaknesses in my own life but one weakness is different. It is personal...it is something I guard with all my heart. All I ever wanted to be when I "grew up" was a momma. I dreamed of being a teacher and a wife but my heart was all about being a mom! That dream was kind of changed (for lack of a better word) when Ian was born. I had to become a mom, a Dr., a hospice nurse, an advocate, a researcher, an organizer, etc. I wasn't able to be "just a mom" to Ian. I embraced what motherhood was with Ian though and I loved every second of it. However, when I became a mom for the second time I became "just a mom!" I was able to be normal and enjoy no worries...so I thought! The devil picked up real quick that Asher was my soft spot...Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for hope and a future." I claimed this verse on Asher's life from conception. I have prayed this verse over this child so many times I cannot even count them. I recite it over and over and over. God has great plans for Asher! The devil tries to invade my thoughts and make me visualize bad things as if that's what we deserve. However, God blessed us with Asher Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." God has a hope and a future for Asher. I tell the Devil this when he puts the horrible, awful doubts and questions in my head. I pray for God to banish the evil thoughts from my head that Satan is placing there. I 100% believe he is trying to sabotage my happiness and faith in Jesus Christ. He will not win!!! Asher has been sick with cold symptoms since about his 1st birthday. I just thought he had seasonal allergies like the rest of us and we went on our merry way. A few weeks ago I went to the doctor for yet another cold with Asher. His doctor gave him steroids for one week and breathing treatments every four hours for a week. He said he was 99% sure Asher had Asthma. Disheartening...my normal life was getting a little tainted with worries over the asthma. I let myself go to those bad places Satan wanted me to go. We did the treatment for a week, he was better, made the Dr. think even more that it was asthma. Boo! Two days later he's sick...AGAIN! It's viral infection this time 103.7 fever for a couple days no fun! I got worried...he's been sick too much. Somethings not right?!? I go to Asher's ENT who gave him ear tubes and explained what all had been happening. He says let's do allergy testing. We do that and we are positive for a peanut allergy! NO!!! Once again...the devil gets me. "Why wouldn't God just let you have one completely healthy child? Why can't he let you be worry free?!? Why would you worship a God like that who won't reward you with health for Asher?" This is what the devil is placing in my head! Along with every worry that can come with a peanut allergy. It can be a very serious allergy. I continue to try not to freak out. I meet with his dr and discover that his overall allergy test score was high so he's allergic to more stuff we just don't know what yet. Will do more testing soon. I can't wait now. I'm a wreck! Reading labels, watching Asher's reactions to foods, crazy lady here I'm telling you! So I tell you all this to say the devil has found my weak spot. Asher's well being means the world to me. I want nothing more than for him to be healthy and carefree. The devil may be trying to divert me from following God's plan but he doesn't know that I know that God keeps his promises. God has a plan for Asher. He knew that plan before he was even formed in my womb. He set this child apart a long time ago and he has plans for a hope and a FUTURE for Asher. You know it could be worse. It could be cancer, RCDP, something fatal, etc. He's just allergic to peanuts for goodness sake Mary! He can't eat Reece cups or homemade chocolate oatmeal cookies. Big deal, who cares! He can move his arms, he can run and play, he can reach around my neck and hug me! Get a grip!!! I tell you all this to say please pray for the battle in my mind. Please pray the rational, Christ following, God fearing mind to win and that the irrational, question asking, worried momma loses!!! Asher will be fine...we will make adjustments. I will educate myself on this and life will be good. Just pray the devil loses and that I am NOT diverted from the path God intends for our lives. I WANT to follow Him!!! I will let you knew about our further testing and ask you join me in praying for no additional allergies. These are just a few pictures from around Mother's day and just general life at our house. We take many "rides" and swing for hours per Asher's requests. He loves to play with his cousins and has a fit when they come over. "Boat...Pops" are his two favorite words and that my friends is music to my daddy's ears. Hope you enjoy the pics.