Monday, March 29, 2010

Memorial Box Monday: She Has A Family!

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I have mentioned before about a blog I follow called “A Place Called Simplicity.”  I have to admit to feeling out of my league when I read the faith, belief & trust this family has in the LORD.  I have a l-o-n-g way to go to even get near where they are.  Linny truly inspires me to be the best Christian I can be.  If you hop on over there you can read about how and why Memorial Box Monday got started.

I have decided that I need to start keeping track of the miracles and answered prayers that God has done in my life.  I have decided to start my own Memorial Box.  So, the first thing I thought of is, “what am I going to use for a Memorial Box?”  Then it occurred to me.  Several years ago for our wedding anniversary, Captain Daddy gave me a box.  At the time he said he didn’t know why he was giving it to me, but that I could use it for jewelry (like I have any).  The box clearly isn’t a jewelry box. 

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On the top it has a verse by K. Moon Winters titled “A Prayer Box For Your Precious Memories.”  I have some stuff in it, but it is just stuff.  I now know what this box is meant for.  It is not very big, but I am looking forward to the day when it is so crammed full that I will need a bigger box!

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For months I have been praying, advocating, and lamenting about a precious 8 year old girl listed with Christian World Adoption agency.  They had had her file since July 2009.  I feel in love with this precious child from the moment I laid eyes on her!  However, I also knew in my heart that we were not her family.  I have posted several times here and other places advocating for a family for her.  I was so afraid of her age and special need that her file would be returned and that the door to be adopted would close.  I prayed for her; how I prayed for her.  My dear cyber friend Annie joined me in this effort as well.

Yesterday I posted this message:

She Has A Family!

Y'all know that I have been praying and advocating for the past several months for a precious 8 year old girl listed with CWA. On Friday I went to look at "my" girl's photo listing as I have done everyday for the past 6 months. However, on Friday her photo listing was not accessible. I contacted CWA to find out if her file had been returned (due to be returned very soon) or whether she had been matched with a family. Yesterday, Carol with CWA contacted me with the news that she has her forever family!!!!!! Praise Jesus!!! Thank you to all who have helped me in prayer, in advocating, and in just being there while I lamented. I am thrilled that this child has a family! God is so good. He answers our prayers. He answered her prayers. God bless the little girl and her new family.

Today, I will put her photo into my Memorial Box.  God has answered not only my prayers, but the prayers of a family and a little 8 year old girl.

How Great Is Our God!!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

She Has A Family!!!!!!!!

Y'all know that I have been praying and advocating for the past several months for a precious 8 year old girl listed with CWA. On Friday I went to look at "my" girl's photolisting as I have done everyday for the past 6 months. However, on Friday her photolisting was not accessable. I contacted CWA to find out if her file had been returned (due to be returned very soon) or whether she had been matched with a family. Yesterday, Carol with CWA contacted me with the news that she has her forever family!!!!!! Praise Jesus!!! Thank you to all who have helped me in prayer, in advocating, and in just being there while I lamented. I am thrilled that this child has a family! God is so good. He answers our prayers. He answered her prayers. God bless the little girl and her new family.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Benjamin Boxes

One of my favorite children’s Easter stories is titled “Benjamin’s Box” by Melody Carlson.  It is about a little boy that lived during the time of Jesus and his first hand account of the last week of Jesus’ life.  I like this story for several reasons, beautiful illustrations, a gentle explanation of events, but mostly because you can also make a “Benjamin’s Box.” 

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I have used this story with my children’s church classes, as well as with my own children and their friends.  Similar to “Resurrection Eggs”, the box with items helps a child to remember the story, and it is a tool for explaining to other children the good news of Jesus.

The story goes that Benjamin’s grandfather gave him a special “treasure box.”  Inside was a piece of straw from the manger.  During Jesus’ last week, Benjamin collected items reflecting his encounters with Jesus.

Our boxes:

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Decorating our boxes involved lots of paint, glitter glue, and sparkly things! 

After the boxes were dry, I read the story to the kids and passed out mementos for them to put into their boxes.

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I also included a little paper with the list of items and their meaning to the story.

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The items are:

Straw – Stable of Jesus’ birth

Donkey Fur – Jesus enters Jerusalem

Coin – Judas’ blood money

Cup – The Last Supper

Twig – Jesus praying in Garden of Gethsemane

Leather Strip – Jesus was beaten

Nail – Jesus’ crucifixion

Spear – Soldiers pierce Jesus’ side

Die – Soldiers used to divide Jesus’ things

White Cloth – Jesus’ burial cloth

Stone – Stone in front of Jesus’ tomb

Empty Box – Jesus’ empty tomb and resurrection

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The beautiful thing is when your child tells you the story and takes out all of the items, the box is empty!  Just like the tomb.  Jesus overcame death, appeared to His followers, and ascended into heaven.  He did all of this so that we may have eternal life.  There is no greater love than this.

Jesus said, “I’ll tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”  Matthew 18:2-5.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Arrow of Light

This week Godzilla and the boys in his Cub Scout den received their Arrow of Light award.  This is the highest award in Cub Scouts is earned by Webelos II that have been active participants in their den and are ready to join a Boy Scout troop.

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The Cub Scout Pack had a special ceremony just for these boys.  We are very proud of all the boys in the den for achieving this award.  We wish them all the best as they move on into Boy Scouts.  We also appreciate all of the leaders in the den that worked so hard on preparing these boys and getting them through the requirements.

Of course there was cake.  I promise this will be my last “cake” post for a while.  The Pack ordered a huge sheet cake for those attending the ceremony.  We ordered a special cake for the boys from a good friend that makes the BEST cakes in these parts.  She came up with a beautiful, tasty cake for the celebration.

II was ever so careful with the cake when I picked it up from her.  She had the cake box lid propped up so it wouldn’t fall down on top of the cake and mess up the design.  Since it was a warm day I brought the cake into the house and set it in the middle of the dining room table so nothing could happen to it.  Or so I thought…

About 5 minutes before we left the house for the ceremony, I decided to take a photo of the cake for my son’s scrapbook.

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Lovely…Wait a minute!  What is this?  What happened to the cake?

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WHO MESSED WITH THE CAKE???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am panicked!  I rounded up the usual suspects:

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Can you guess who messed with the cake?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Captain Daddy!

Today is Captain Daddy's birthday. Because we have had so many birthdays in the past few months, and because it is tax season, we will likely celebrate his birthday AFTER April 15th. His birthday officially ends the chain of birthdays in the family. We'll start all over again in September.
I also know that the girls in his office and/or clients will provide him with enough carrot cake to feed an army. I did not make him a birthday cake, but instead decided to celebrate what looks to be spring outside my door. I made Taste a Rainbow cupcakes and topped them with That's The Best Frosting I've Ever Had.
Took a little work or rather a lot of bowls, spoons etc. to make. But they are pretty....


pretty tasty that is!!

Well, you can see that it is definitely the best frosting The Princess has ever had! Believe me it is! It has FLOUR in the frosting! Who ever heard of FLOUR in the frosting. Tastes like whipped cream. Dangerous stuff!



Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Place Called Simplicity

Have you noticed that some blogs are addictive? You stumble upon them, glance around, quickly become enthralled with something, and poof! An hour has passed. Here is such a blog. It is my joy to introduce you to A Place Called Simplicity.

A pastor. His amazing wife. And their ten kids. Their hearts for LIFE will thrill you. Their honesty will surprise and delight you. And their call to adoption will challenge and bless you.

Today Linny has posted a message that everyone should hear.  You can read it here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Open Letter to “My CWA Girl”

To “My CWA Girl”:

A few months ago I was helping a friend of mine learn to “navigate” through various adoption agencies special needs children lists. I was do this for my friend, not for me. I have learned much about the adopting a child from China having adopted twice. I like to help others and to use this knowledge that I have acquired.

As I was scanning through the listings, I came upon you. I stopped. I looked into your face. I left your listing and continued to show others to my friend. When my friend left, I came back to you. There was just a sweetness about you. I read the information provided by the agency:

c0907-25

Female. Type B Mediterranean anemia.
DOB: 9-5-2001

“She was sent to the children welfare center on Sept 29, 2001, now she is living with foster family. She is a student of first grade. She is a little slow in learning but she is a hard working girl. She is serious about learning. She can manage her daily life and also tries to help sometimes such as washing clothes, sweeping the floor, cleaning dishes. She is a cheerful girl and loves to laugh. She likes to do rope skipping with other kids; she likes to play with dolls and other kids’ games. She is a polite girl and is polite with others. She loves to help other kids. She respects teachers in school. All teachers, foster parents and other students love her very much.”

Your birthday is a few days earlier than The Queen’s. That makes you 8 years old, well 8.5 years old. You would fall between Godzilla (11 years old) and The Queen (5 years old). You would be a nice fit in the family. I watched the video of you. You seemed so shy, but not in a scared way. Just shy. The woman in the video let you pick a hair barrette out of a bag and you picked a tao mei (strawberry). Tao mei is one of the few Chinese words I can understand when spoken. I have learned what I call “toddler Chinese” having taken lessons with The Queen when she was younger. The lady put the barrette in your hair and you just beamed! What a pretty little girl you are!

I could not get you off my mind. I still can't. This is not a good thing for me because, as Captain Daddy puts it, “We are done.” And we should be as we have 4 children with one starting college next year. But, I know those words don’t mean anything to you because you don’t need and excuse, you need a family.

For the past the past 5 months I have visited you on the agency list almost everyday. I shouldn't, but I have imagined you in our family. I wonder where you are in China. What is your name? What would would you like your name to be? I wonder how you are feeling. If you are well. Are you being taken good care of? I worry about you. How would you like having big brothers and younger sisters? Knowing we "are done" I have advocated for you on my blog as well as other Yahoo! groups. My cyber-friend Annie has advocated for you as well. I have given your information to a friend hoping maybe that her family is meant to be your family. I pray for you every night. I know God cares deeply about orphans. It was one of the few things He directed us to do, “to look after orphans and widows in their distress. (James 1:27)”

All I can say to you is that I am ashamed and I am sorry. I am sorry that you haven’t found your family. I am sorry that we won't be your family. I am ashamed because I feel that adopting you is an impossibility for our family. I have limited God not to do the absolutely impossible in my life. Like the children of Israel, I have seen God do the impossible in my life, yet I fail to believe He can. It is my stupidity or my lack of faith. I fail to even ask Him to do the impossible. All of the responsible arguments come to mind, "we have 4 children with one going to college in the fall", "the econmomy is so bad, we are lucky to keep our head above water", "the direction of health care in this country is scary and you will need health care", "how can we afford adoption now", "we are done." More excuses.

I feel our time together is short as the CCAA is changing how the Special Needs program works. Maybe you will have a better chance at finding your family with the new system. That is if your file gets re-listed.

So my prayer for you is not just that you will get a family. My prayer is that God will do the absolutely impossible in your life.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lobbying for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit

People often ask, "How much did it cost to adopt?" While I don't like to discuss the money issue, there are financial costs to adopt a child, domestically or internationally. I would venture to guess that most families that adopt aren't filthy rich. They are just everday people. I would also venture to guess that the cost of adoption probably sends people running away. There currently is a Federal "Adoption Tax Credit" that has helped many a family to make adoption a reality. The tax credit helped us twice to offset the cost of adoption somewhat and to make adoption more affordable. The adoption Tax credit is due to expire December 2010 unless Congress votes to continue it. What worries me is that this current Congress seems to be doing everything anti-family, so I am not hopeful that this is something they will extend. That is unless we do something now, before it is too late.
The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee of 2009, H. R. 213 would keep the adoption tax credit from being repealed, and may make the tax credit measure permanent.
It only takes a few minutes to call or email your senators and congressmen - it's imporatnt for them to hear how this tax credit has impacted not only families, but all of the children that have found forever families.
I wish that there were no orphan children in the world. I wish a few more could find there way to our home. This tax credit should be made permanent to help more children find forever families.