Sunday, November 29, 2009

Newest Book Challenge

You guys all know how I like to read books that challenge.  The newest one I'm reading is The Outward Focused Life by Dave Workman, pastor of Vineyard Church in Cincinatti.  The subtitle is "Becoming a Servant in a serve-me world."  That says it all.  It isn't a great novel or literature masterpiece.  It is short vignettes about practical ways to be a servant; ways to show God's love in a practical way.    Here is a quote "Here's one difference between religion and relationship with Jesus:  religion can be calculated and measured;  Jesus is extravagant."
There are numerous stories of people doing small, selfless service for others.  For instance, pay for the car behind you in the fast food line and ask the cashier at the window to hand them a little card with your church's info,or maybe it just says "God loves you."  There are stories of handing out free things to homeless people.  It doesn't take an organization to do this, just do it yourself!  So, here is what  my Mother and sisters and I dreamed up while eating breakfast Friday.  We are going to buy big boxes of diapers at Sam's and separate them into stacks of 30.  We will tie them up with Christmas ribbon and place a little card on them that say something about how Jesus loves them.  Then, we are going to park in the WIC(Women's Infants and Children govt aide) parking lot and hand them out.  That's it, no strings, no gospel presentation with tracts---just people giving them a free gift and saying that Jesus loves them and so do we!  I'm so stinkin excited I can barely stand it!!!!!  I'll update you guys after it happens.  We have big plans for next year's Black Friday madness.  We are going to set up a table in Wal-Mart parking lot and give free hot chocolate and donuts to shoppers.  We will have our church's connect card to hand out too.  Yippeeee!  How fun.
Now your turn.  I challenge you to serve others in a practical way.  Take a load of NEW(don't give away your old junk) hats and gloves to an intersection in the city and hand them out.   After you've done so, email me or leave a comment to let me know what you did.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Hudson, and Thanksgiving Recap

Happy 2nd Birthday to Hudson!  We almost feel like you have been here forever--even though it has only been 11 weeks!  You are worth it, you are gifted, you are adorable, you make us laugh, you are special and God has an amazing plan for your life.  You had to wait for a family becuase we just weren't ready for you(God was working on us for a while!).  We are totally honored that our Heavenly Father picked us to be your family.  We love you!  And, as we celebrate your birthday, we remember you birthmother in Korea.  We are praying for her to have peace, healing, and to somehow know that you are well taken care of and happy. 

Thanksgiving was great!  We spent Thursday at my parent's home with a crowd of 37--including 3 international college students--2 from the Congo and 1 from India. The kids played outside all day.  Pictured above is my 94yr old grandmother holding my 3months old beautiful, blue-eyed neice.  Can you imagine how precious it is to have your 94yr old grandparents around??  And, their minds are sharp as tacks.  Grandad told us a story about selling a cow for 3 cents a pound and putting his money a savings account.  Then, the stock market crashed and the banks closed.  Amazing memories we are privelaged to hear!  That evening we went to Mike's mother's home.  You should have seen Hudson put on the charm.  He was saying "Na Na".  Of course, this thrilled Nana!!  He is really starting to like her a lot ;)  The next morning MIke and I  shopped Black Friday at 6am with my mother and sisters.  We had a blast and brainstormed random ministry ideas.  Which segways into my next book for you guys AND put it into action ideas, but today I'll focus on the last 2 days recap.  Watch for it tomorrow!!

We went to Mike's grandmother's sweet home in the country.  We LOVE to go there.  It is like therapy for us!  She cooked an old fashioned Thanksgiving meal and we ate way too much.  Mike, Carter, and Uncle Craig had "man time" and shot the gun at pumpkins around the tank(for non-Texans, that is a pond).  That afternoon they had an early birthday party for Dillon.  His birthday is December 14 and usually gets merged with Christmas activities.  He opened presents and instead of a cake(which he doesn't eat much of), we made ice cream sundaes.  We put his 7 candles in the ice cream.  It was really cute.  Oh, a funny on him.  Grandma 's gift had pink and orange dotted tissue paper.  When Dillon opened the box, he pulled the tissue paper and said "I no like pink paper!"  That is one of the funny aspects of his special needs.  He doesn't give a hoot about social rules of niceties.  He is polite and sweet, but you always know exactly where he stands!!!

We ended the holiday with Carter playing his guitar, the girls(my 2 neices and Abby) singing and then the silly dancing broke out, complete with Alyssa and Dillon doing a Dancing With The Stars routine!!  What a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Oh how we are blessed.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure it is all real. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Amazing testimony for parents/teachers of special needs kids

Listen to this lady's testimony. You will be so encouraged. As a momma of a child with special needs, I am super pumped to keep praying for my Dillon. Like her, he has a thick file of testing, diagnosis, evaluations, and educational goals. No matter what those files say, God has a great plan for Dillon and we believe He will use his life to bring great glory to Himself! Watch the video and then re-read Psalm 139 verse 14.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A sweet day

Today was Parent/Child Dedication at church.  It was very special for us.  We had a huge group of family and friends(thanks guys for driving over!).  The ceremony was short and sweet and just perfect, and we had a great worship and teaching time.  Then, everyone headed to our house for Hudson's birthday lunch.  We had a Pororo cake made.  If you are new to the blog, Pororo is a cute little penguin that is super popular in Korea(like Barney here).  I'm so thankful to the people who have donated to Dillon International's OrphanCare in honor of Hudson's birthday.  143 million children in the world have no family to call their own.  No gift could make me happier!

On to my new book. I just finished reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan.  WOW!  The first 2 chapters were slow for me, stuff I've read before.  Then it got good.  I love love love reading about people unafraid to live radically and challenge Christians who have all the resources they need, are overfed, happy to sit on their hineys and do nothing for others.  This really challenged me since I like safety and planning.  Here is a quote that is challenging me.

   Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe;  they are slaves to the god of control.  This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Well---he's a normal toddler

All of my kids were obsessed with unrolling the TP.  I don't really get the fascination, but apparently it is super fun!  This little man is so funny.  He is a parrot and copies everything Dillon does.  Today Dillon said something about his backpack and a little voice piped up after that saying "Ba pack".  He loves to "honk" my nose, give slobbery kisses, open and close the cabinets five billion times, sings constantly, and always wants to go outside.  Hudson loves his daddy now and runs to him.  This Sunday at church is our parent/child dedication.  It will be really precious.
Here is the verse we are using.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How do you do it?

I was asked that yesterday.  A coworker asked me out of the blue, "Libby, how do you do it?'  I knew what she meant, but I acted like I didn't.  She went on to ask how do I work, adopt children, take care of all my kids and patients at work, smile, be friendly, not lose my cool, have energy.   First off, I'm totally normal.  There isn't a super human woman lurking inside my body.  I get super tired and irritable at times.  I CRAVE alone time.  I must have some quiet alone time or I'll lose my cool.  There are those days when I think "If one more person says Momma, will you____?  I'll go nuts!"  So, the answer to the question:  Jesus Christ.  That's right, I take no credit.  My personal relationship with Jesus gets me through and drives my passions.  I'm praying to be renewed everyday and to become more like Jesus.  No amount of church-going, good deeds, donating money,rituals, baptisms, memorized prayers and Scriptures will ever cut it!  It is a daily choice to be a follower of my Savior Jesus. 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In honor of Hudson

Hudson Lee will be turning 2 in 2 weeks.  I have a request.  If his story has touched your life, please consider making a donation to Dillon International's Building Families Fund.  You see, we were awarded a very very generous grant through this fund when adopting Hudson.  Honestly, we didn't have near the funds we needed when God called us on this adventure.  We stepped out in faith and said yes.  The grant we received from the Building Families Fund made up a very big  hole in our funds.  So, in honor of precious little Hudson, we ask for others to donate to the fund.  Help other families just like us be able to bring home sweet angels waiting for a family to call their own.  I'll never know who did or didn't so no pressure :)
Here is the link to copy and paste in your browser bar.

I look forward to many families receiving a wonderul gift because of you!

Phillipians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Crime Scence

Dillon is very rarely deceitful or deliberately rebellious.  He generally just has a thought or impluse---acts on it-- you know, no filter.  Tonight I walked into my room and saw this on my bedspread and Dillon standing close by with child scissors in his hand.  I said "what did you cut"?  He simply said "Hair."  He cute a long piece out of the top of Hudson's hair.  Fortunately, it blends in well and you can't tell.  You know, I've been saying for 2 weeks now that Hudson needed a hair cut.  I guess Dillon was going to help save me a trip.  When Abby was about 5, she gave herself a really good trim!  I'm talking mullet style.  Then, she tried to hide the evidence under a stool in the bathroom and acted like nothing was askew ;)  I can't get too upset.  I was truly, the worst child ever.  I know you are shocked!  Libby ever be non-conformist or rebellious?  No way!  Well, yep, I was.  I remember my mom dragging me out of a store with me screaming "You're not my mother!!!"  Amazingly enough, nobody came to my rescue.  I would cut anybody's hair who would sit still enough.  I colored my furniture, ran away frequently, and such craziness.  Good thing I turned perfect later ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fiction Series that changed my life

My sister blogged about this a few days ago.  My mom, sisters, and buds are all into this series.  It is Christian Fiction and it is wonderful!!  I know, it sounds ridiculous to say that a fiction series changes you, but this one has changed how I look at my "religious" background, how I view other races and their worship styles, service, and prayer.   There are 7 books in this series.  I highly recommend them, especially if you are white, middle class, raised in the church!  Gonna step on some toes here(ya'll know I love to do that anyway), but growing up white, middle class, in the church kinda gives you permanent blinders to the world beyond, know what I mean??  Anyway, read the series.  Please leave me a comment if you've read them and how it changed your perspective!!

Quote from book 4
   "Funny thing about miracles though--they're uncomfortable; they upset the natural oder.  One hardly knows what to do with them; they don't come with instructions."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kids! Such stinkerpots

I guess the honeymoon is over for Dillon. Two days ago I was walking with Dillon and Hudson to the playground. Dillon announced "I want Hudson go nother house!" I said "Hudson is your little brother, you want him to leave?" No hesitation, he said "Yes." Dillon's been so focused on for many many years, I'm thinking he is just realizing how much his life has changed these last 2 months :)

As for Hudson, he is a funny little booger. I worked Saturday 7a-7p, off Sunday, worked yesterday 7a-7p. This morning when he came toddling into the kitchen, he went straight for daddy. He would not come hug me and even closed his eyes at me when I'd try to talk to him. Seems that he was punishing me for being gone so much! I'm thankful he bonded with Daddy though. I'm off til Friday, I'll re-establish my reign as favorite parent!
We have decided that Hudson is most likely allergic to milk. He had been drinking soymilk since coming home because it is very common for Asian children to be lactose intolerant. I'd just gone ahead and started him on it. Well, we ran out early last week and I thought I'd try regular milk. Immediately the thick congestion came back and he had diarrhea, and a scalded bottom. Guess we will stick with soy a while. Funny thing, yogurt doesn't bother him.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Today is Orphan Sunday!!!

Facts taken from the website

Over 140 million orphans and waiting children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents.i

Over 13 million double orphans under the age of 18 have lost both parents.ii

Sub-Saharan Africa, with 48.3 million orphans, has the highest proportion of children who are orphans at 12%

Asia has the largest total number of orphans with 73.7 million orphans, which represents 6% of all children

Latin America and the Caribbean has 10.7 million orphans, also representing 6% of all children.iii

Over 15 million children have lost a parent due to AIDS, and that number is expected to rise to over 20 million by 2010.iv

Without AIDS, the total number of double orphans in sub-Saharan Africa would have declined between 1990 and 2010. AIDS, however, will push the number of double orphans in the region from 9 million to more than 10 million by 2010.v

Orphaned children are much more likely than non-orphans to be working in commercial agriculture, as street vendors, in domestic service and in the sex

Orphans are more vulnerable and at risk of becoming victims of violence, exploitation, trafficking, discrimination, or other abuses.vii

Domestic Orphans

More than 500,000 children are in United States foster care.viii

Over 120,000 children in foster care are waiting to be adopted.ix

Only around 50,000 children, or 18% of those waiting in foster care, are adopted every year.x

On average, children in foster care wait over 2 years to be adopted.xi


Over one-third of Americans have ever considered adopting, but no more than 2 percent of Americans have actually adopted.xii

Friday, November 6, 2009

Who is that man in my minivan??

Well, not exactly a man, but a nearly grown man!!  A few nights ago we all got in the minivan for an errand.  I was stopped somewhere and looked in my rear view mirror.  Jumbled up in the way back seat was a stranger with knees sticking awkwardly out to the side, hairy legs and a handsome young man face.  The voice coming from that young man was part-time kid, part-time adult.  Where did my little red head son go???  This isn't right!  We pray for our teen as he navigates the rough waters of becoming a man.  We pray that God would make him into a mighty man of valor.  He is a precious gift.  Ohhh, to have one day back with that funny little boy who got lost all the time!!  Treasure your days people.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Can you help kids like Carlos?

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2009) – His name is Carlos Daniel, and at just 6 years old his mother died and he became an orphan. After living on the streets in cardboard boxes for several years, this little boy has finally found a “home” and the chance to dream at an orphanage supported by Food For The Poor in the Dominican Republic.

Instead of begging on the streets for food, Carlos now enjoys playing sports with other boys his age in his new home. With newfound hope, Carlos says he wants to be a pastor when he grows up.

Through a new monthly program established by the South Florida-based Christian charity, we can all learn more about Carlos Daniel and other children Food For The Poor helps by participating in “Child of the Month” — a new giving program beginning November 2nd

I cut and pasted the above picture and article piece from Food For The Poor, an organization we support monthy.  It is a pitiful 12.00 a month that we have deducted from our checking account.  Twelve measely dollars that we dont even miss.  Heck, last night was 1.49 kid meal deals at Sonic and we spent 10.50 just in one night on kid burgers. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So thankful

I have so much to be grateful for:  1. I got a raise yesterday! A good raise! I go back to work this week(just 2 twelve hour shifts). Amazingly enough, I miss my job and am excited to be back at work.  2. Hudson went to the sitter all day yesterday, for the first time. He did great. The sitter was surprised at how easy he was. I had been so worried that he might think "Oh, great, here we go again with a new family!". I prayed and prayed for the Spirit to speak peace to his heart.  3. We paid off our credit card. We want to live according to God's budget plan and do what we can to give to others. And, that leads me to say, once again, a HUGE thank you to all who selflessly gave us money to help with Hudson's adoption. From the anonymous person who paid for our homestudy, to Dillon International's Building Families Fund, to the several individuals who gave us donations. I'm truly humbled by your generosity. I've prayed that God would return those blessings upon you ten-fold. And, once we get our savings a little beefed up, we plan to do exactly what you all did--give to other families adopting.

As for an update on the little fella, well, he is amazing. He is so darn cute and kissable. His cheeks are probably calloused from me kissing them all the time. He sings and jabbers from the minute his eyes are open in the morning, to the minute they close for sleep. He copies big bro Dillon. He has added the sign for "eat" to his sign language vocab. The only troubling issue is his eating. He will shove every bite on his plate into his mouth until he chokes or vomits. We can only give him a few little bites at a time, check to see that he has swallowed the food and then give him more. All the while he is furiously signing "MORE." I am writing a letter to his foster mother and birthmother today. His foster mother must miss him terribly. She will enjoy the pics I'm going to send her. As for Hudson's birthmother, she may never get the letter or pictures. But, I my heart says that I must send them to the agency in Korea. If she never comes to read his file, at least Hudson will grow up knowing that we respect her and love her and realize the huge sacrifice she has given up.