Saturday, July 28, 2012

You can help make a difference.....

This may end up being one of the hardest posts that I have to write.  I feel very uncomfortable when it comes to asking for help.  Especially when it comes to money.  This is the first time in our 15 years of marriage that Curtis and I have had to ask for this type of help.  We are by no means wealthy, nor does it mean that we have always had things handed to us.  Quite the opposite.  We have sacrificed sacrifice, squeaked, squeak by, and know that it is by the grace of God that we survive every day.

We are entering a journey where we are humbling having to ask people to come around us in order to bring Porter home.  God made it very clear to me a few weeks ago that He could have given us everything we needed to do this on our own.  But - He also shared that this is more than just about rescuing a little boy from a lonely place.  This is about people....the more people that are involved, the more people that will be blessed. 

Right now we have a couple of different ways people can help contribute to Porter's rescue fund.  Reece's Rainbow, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, has set up a grant fund for our family.  Donations made through Reece's Rainbow are tax deductible and those funds will be made available to us towards the end of our adoption.  The funds will be used for our travel and our expenses while we are in country.

We have also set up a ChipIn account.  Donations made through ChipIn are not tax deductible, but are available to be used immediately.  We have many expenses that have and will need to be paid out before we travel.  We were able to sell our truck and Curtis received a small "bonus" this month and those funds have enabled us to move forward with the necessary fees and paperwork needed to begin Porter's adoption.

Curtis and I are in awe in the response we have received so far.  Complete strangers are having yard/moving sales and donating their profits to us.  Donations to our Reece's Rainbow account have been made without even asking.  Why?  Because people believe in a little boy and know that his life deserves more than what he has experienced so far!

Now comes the part where I need your input.  Curtis and I are thinking about having a yard sale and including a bake sale to help raise money.  We do not have enough to make a great sale, but are wondering if people would be interested in donating items that we could sale.  We were given a suggestion to add a bake sale along with our yard sale.  Would anyone be willing to donate baked goods to sell?  If we are off our rocker, let us know!  If you think this could be a success and want to help, I would love to hear from you!!

Thank you in advance for all of your prayers and support.  We are on a mission and we are believing that many lives will be changed as a result!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why do this?

The last few weeks have been spent running around gathering copious amounts of official documents to verify our very existence!  The preparation needed to bring Porter home is overwhelming, time consuming, and expensive.  Why do this?  Because a precious young boy sits in a very lonely place surrounded by unfamiliar faces, noises, smells, and who knows what else.  What Curtis and I are sacrificing pales in comparison to what Porter is enduring this very moment.

Porter has been transferred to a mental institution in a rural part of his country.  The video we have of him shows Porter dancing and full of life.  His life was turned upside down the day he arrived at his current institution.  Only two boys living in this place have ever been adopted.  Porter will be the third.  I have spoken with the families of those two boys and they have given us a glimpse of what Porter is experiencing.  The place he is now living has limited funding and the caretaker/child ratio is high (2 caretakers for every 20 boys). The caretakers not only have to care for the boys but they also do all the cleaning, gardening, laundry etc. All the boys have special needs and range in age from 3-18. They rank the boys according to function (walking ability) so most likely Porter is in the highest functioning group which means he is in a group with the oldest boys.  Porter is not being underfed but getting just what he needs. The facilities are primitive but he does have running water in his building (some of the buildings do not). They have no toys, therapy, books, TV's or any kind of stimulus. They keep the boys in outside sheds to contain them and keep the sun off of them. Porter does nothing all day every day.

To say that we can't get to him fast enough is an understatement.  But I do know that God has a special plan for Porter and he wasn't transferred to this place by mistake.  Porter is bringing light to a dark place and this is an opportunity.  Do we know exactly what God has planned?  NO!  But we will continue to walk in obedience and trust that He has Porter in the palm of His hand.

I am asking for your continued prayers.  Not only are your prayers over Porter and our family needed, but also for the caretakers and the director of his institution.  They are doing the best with what they have been given.  Pray for wisdom, support, and strength for these people.  They need us!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Which way is up?

Am I upside down, right side up, or sideways???? 

I have been busy working on our home study paperwork and preparing for our dossier.  Lauren is getting ready to leave for camp this weekend and we are busy getting everything in order for her.  I am working on an exciting opportunity for my business and have an order that needs to be made and shipped.  Summer has arrived and the kids ask everyday if they can go to their grandparents and swim.  Swimming everyday doesn't get to happen and I feel bad because I am either to busy or too pooped out to go anywhere.  I need two of me!

I am proud of my children and how they are stepping up to help out.  Johnathan has been so helpful working in the yard watering, picking up dog poop, and filling in holes that Chloe has dug.  He does this all on his own without prompting.  I was watching him from the house last week.  He had is iPod in his ears, gloves on and working so hard.  My heart smiled and swelled!  He is only six years old, but such a young man.  The girls have been helping around the house.  Lauren has even made dinner a couple of times.  She makes a killer BLT!

The kids are so excited to bring Porter home.  They have been gathering things that they think he would like and putting them in a special box.  Johnathan told me that he prays for Porter everyday and can't wait to teach him how to ride a bike!  The girls will enjoy having another brother to boss around....sorry Porter. :(

Am I overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done?  Yes.  Is it worth the late nights, early mornings, and upset stomach?  TOTALLY!  I'm expecting and this one is no different than my other pregnancies....other than I don't have the excuse to eat two bowls of cereal at night. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Inconceivable but not impossible.....

I woke up on the morning of June 25th from a vivid dream.  You see, I often dream, but most of the time can't tell you 30 seconds after waking up what exactly I had been dreaming of.  But this morning was different.  I dreamt that I was pregnant, but knew that it was not possible for me to conceive anymore.  My husband was sitting down in a chair with his back to me.  I walked up behind him, wrapped my arms around him and whispered in his ear, "I'm pregnant."  He turned and looked at me with a big smile and said, "WOW, that is great!"  I kept saying to him, "How, how, HOW?!"  That is when I woke up.  Curtis was kissing me good-bye before he left for work.  I normally don't even open my eyes and half-consciously say, "Have a good day.  Love you!"  But this time I opened my eyes and sat up.  I told him that I dreamt I was pregnant.  I shared how vivid it was and that I kept asking how?  Curtis listened, smiled, kissed me again and left for work.  I couldn't go back to sleep, so I got up and made myself breakfast.  I sat down at the computer to read the blogs that I follow.  While reading I was hit in the face with pictures and a video of an incredibly sweet young boy.  There was a common thread with a few of the blogs that I follow; the same boy was looking back at me each time I clicked on a new blog.  I started to cry and ask tell the Lord, "What can I DO?  I don't have any money! I already have three kids that I can barely keep up with.  I can pray."  I don't take praying lightly, I KNOW the power in prayer.  So when I told the Lord that I would pray, I meant it, but deep down in my stomach I knew that wasn't all that God wanted for me to do.

This wasn't the first time I had a deep down aching for an orphan.  A few months ago I contacted Reece's Rainbow about "Jack".  My heart was immediately taken after reading about him on a blog.  My husband and I had discussed adoption when we were first married, but it had gone off our radar after having three children of our own.  The thought of even wanting to pursue "Jack" surprised me.  I didn't know where that thought came from.  It hit hard and fast.  I prayed and cried and told God that I would be open to what ever He had for Curtis and I.  Later that evening when Curtis came home from work I shared about "Jack".  I told him that I was confused and not sure why I was even thinking about adoption.  We prayed that night and both committed our hearts and heads to be open to anything!  The next day I started asking questions about "Jack" and after some research, we found that we did not qualify for his region.  My husband has type 1 diabetes and that was an automatic disqualification.  After accepting that we couldn't adopt, we committed to praying and supporting those who were pursuing adoption.

Even knowing that adoption was a long shot for us, I emailed RR to see where "Porter" was located.  I received the email back stating where he was and the requirements for his region.  Even though his region was more relaxed on health conditions, I still needed to have it verified.  I needed to get a hold of Curtis' doctor to have him code his condition and have it checked to see if we would qualify.  The doctor responded with the information that evening and I forwarded it on to RR.  The very next day I had an email saying that his health would NOT be a problem.  WHOLLY SMOKES BATMAN!  I didn't know if I should feel excited or scared. What was God doing?

A little background on me....
I am a reluctant obedient child.  Ever heard the phrase, "God can open doors".  Well, I actually prefer the "closed doors".  I reluctantly walk up, knock on the door, and them sheepishly wait to see if God opens it.  If He doesn't, I feel a sense of relief.  I say to myself, "Well I didn't run away from the door, I knocked and waited.  But THANK YOU JESUS that it wasn't for me!"  Ughh...then I beat myself up.  Why don't I boldly stand and knock on those doors waiting for God with confidence that He has my best interest in mind. Why oh why do I do this?!  God so graciously spoke and said "it doesn't matter how you knock, I just need you to knock.

When Curtis and I started discussing the idea of pursuing "Porter" our biggest question was "how"? Just like my dream, I kept repeating to God, "how, how, HOW? How can we do this? I have my hands full with my new business, three kids to keep up with, and we don't even have one penny to be able to put towards this!" God reminded me that all of that didn't matter. He just needed us to say "yes" and He would take care of the rest.

Waiting on you Lord.......