Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today is her birthday..okay it is in 45 more mins

Okay, it's 11:16 PM.............44 more minutes and it is her birthday....give a girl some grace, would ya!!!!!  I'm excited!!!!

This precious little girl has waited so patiently for this day...she has longed for it cause she will be bigger.  She desperately wants to be bigger.  She has sat through Daddy's birthday, Ethan's Birthday, Momma's birthday and even Rea's....but the time has come.  TODAY IS HER DAY!!!!

I have so many emotions....I mean this week.......this week is big............Let me give you some background.....

Last year on Good Friday we were blessed beyond compare to see her sweet face........(yes, I know the actual dates are different - but I know God loves me enough to give me an amazing reminder, otherwise known as GOOD FRIDAY to remember clearly the date I first saw our precious girls' face.)  Combine that with her actual birthday and this girl is a MESS!!!!!

It's more emotional than I expected.....It's filled with more than I ever expected........I can't believe God loves me enough to allow and trust me to be her momma...........I'm simply so undeserving.......I mean, have you seen her? I don't know why He loves me enough to share her with our family........I don't mean to sound dumb and I definitely don't want to downplay the fact that at times it is hard, very hard..............but goodness gracious,  I love that girl.  I love her so big and with so much of me that at times it can physically be painful (it is like that with all three of my children)

Tonight as I tucked her in and we prayed I cried....(shocking, I know) but I cried for what birthdays will mean for her.......I know that as she grows she will wonder, she will question......she will mourn what could have been and what should have been, what I don't know....how I don't the time she was born....I don't know the details of her first moments, I don't have anything that will help with the first three years of her life .....then to top it off she will examine the selfless love that her birth momma gave her.  

I mean, come on - it's kinda obvious, I didn't carry her in my womb and I don't know her life prior to this moment.....(the pic below is from the day that we met her)

(maybe it's wrong but I do get a good laugh when people who don't know see us in Wal-mart and try to figure it out....come on people, white lady, black child.......it's not that complicated!)

but i know that at the very moment she was conceived - she was meant for our family!  The only answer for that is God's hand......I can't give you any other reason....and let's be truthful, there isn't one.  God had a plan for this girl before she was ever conceived in her birth momma's belly and it was to be our girl.  

I love this precious girl and it blows my mind that she loves us too...........

Monday, February 11, 2013

Defeated vs empowered

It's funny, I do this blog and well to be honest.....

and come on - if I am anything - it's honest

it's not self-promotion.......

I know, right?  that right there is shocking...........

it's really not.  As much as I love Fran (and I do love me some Fran Runner)

it's about the faces..........

Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms.  But once you do, everything changes.

I did that......I met them.  I held them.  I learned their names.  I loved on them.  I prayed over them.

yep, those faces.

I read something today that said, 'I don't do it for the attention'.

it kinda kicked me in the belly.........why exactly am I vocal about adoption, Maggie and our journey?

I did a little internal investigation - is it me that wants, that thrives on 'attention'

the answer to that is clearly, yes (PLEASE HEAR ME OUT)

it is - on a lot of things.............

this is not one.


Little beings in this world, (147 million) faced with doing it all - alone.........if I don't speak for them, can you tell me who will?

They simply can't.   You know why?  Cause they are trying to survive........

and me, well, I have more.  More than I need.  More than I deserve and enough to share.

With the grace and power of our God, I pray that maybe, God willing, me not being silent in order to avoid ruffling feathers of people..............allows children to not only have a voice, but find their forever home......

so you know what?  yeah, I'm not shutting up...........

one more thing....Easter Sunday we as American's go to church, spend more than the average family (globally) has in a weeks/month or years time on a special outfit........

this year - my family is going to spend it on buying outfits from local families adopting.........and guess what - we are gonna match!!!!  (yay us! - and yes, insert a lil' bit of sarcasm)

If you want to participate - buy from a family you know in the process

If you need some names - I got a few

The Pinnicks (they don't have a blog or a FB account - LAME - O) but you can respond here and I will hook you up!  (I love you Josh and Amanda - but come on get a stupid FB or blog already!)  :)

The Thompsons, (LOVE this couple) click here.....they will get you some t-shirts and will accept any help you can offer to help them bring their child home

The Davis's, (awesome people and friends)  They are waiting to be matched with a child (or children) from China - and well -  you would look cool sporting their shirt too.....email me and I will get them to you.  :)

I have a few more friends who may not have shirts yet, but they are on their way.......so pray about it..

JCPenney says they need your money for a fancy outfit...........but come on!  they just spread the greed..........let's spread the love......... help bring a kid home to love, shelter, food, nourishment and above all Jesus...........and wear it on Easter Sunday.  If you want to read what ignited this fire....click here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Look at it this way, I don't want you to miss out on a blessing, your welcome :)


There are moments when I realize that people can say things much better than I....this is one.  I hope you enjoy!  You know me, so if I made a comment in this blog post I it will look like this  :)

if you would like to read the blog post directly from the source and miss out on my random comments, click here....  PS so we are clear - I realize a good majority of you would wish I would just stop talking about adoption......sorry!

Look at it this way, I don't want you to miss out on a blessing, your welcome :)

Forgotten Fridays: A broken system full of brokenness

Today I want to deal with the call to foster care and adoption(international, domestic, 
and any other way it can happen).  This is a ministry
I feel many are called to, yet few answer the call. 

Often times we think or say "It is a broken system full of corruption, 
how can I make a difference?"  Well you can be the one that isn't corrupt.  
If it is international adoption you can make sure that your child isn't a 
trafficked child.  You can do this by making sure your agency is upstanding and 
does due diligence some people even hire their own personal private investigator. 
check out LifeLine and ask for Leslie :) If you are going to adopt domestically 
through the foster care system you can be that safe family.  You can be the 
one that stands up for what is right.  The LORD never 
promised that when he called us into ministry it would be safe.  
In fact it is just the opposite.  We are living a life devoted to the LORD.  
It isn't comfortable or safe when you love with your whole heart, but it is 
full of purpose and blessings.  In Roman times unwanted children were left to 
die in fields and on the side of roads, Christians adopted these children and 
at the risk of death.  I think that the risks we are taking are far smaller then 
some of our ancestors. 

In response to fear we should turn to God's word for answers.

Isaiah 41:10  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, 
for i am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you 
with my righteous hand.

Isaiah 41:13  For I am the LORD your God, who takes hold of your right 
hand and says to you Do Not Fear; I will  help you.

Isaiah 43:1-2 But now, this is what the LORD says he who created you, 
O Jacob, he formed you, O Israel: "Fear not for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When 
you pass through the waters , I will be with you; and when you pass 
through the rivers they will not sweep over you.  when you walk through 
the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Do you believe these promises? (ouch!)  If you do then the call should 
not bring up fear, but anticipation for what the LORD will do through you.

International or domestic you are dealing with a broken system because this
 is a broken world.  Don't run the other way because the system is broken.  
The children in the system need you. They need love, they need hope, 
they need healing.  Brokenness should draw you in because 
the answer to brokenness lives in you and through you.

I could put all the verses that talk about defending the fatherless 
and taking care of the orphan but you already know that list is endless.  
So I will just put one verse up that I think sums it all up.

James 1:27a  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and 
faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...

I was at an adoption prayer group the other day and two ladies shared 
what their husbands said about adopting "Our lives are too easy, 
our lives are not meant to be easy."  I thought this was 
such a neat way to look at life.  Why are we always looking to make 
our lives easier?  The LORD did not call us to an easy life. 
He did not call us to a life free from hurts. What He did promise was to 
redeem and bring beauty from ashes.  He also promised to be with us as
we walked through trials.

The orphan issue can be overwhelming when we look at the numbers, 
so don't look at the numbers anymore just resolve to make a difference
in just one orphans life.  I challenge you to just take in one orphan if you 
are feeling called.  Maybe it will be through foster care, or maybe you will travel to 
Ethiopia or Russia.  It may be a baby or a teenager.  Maybe you know a teenager 
who may not be up for "adoption" in the legal sense but you know they are 
lacking a family.  There are so many ways this can look. (I do always lean on -
 both husband and wife have to agree that they want to adopt - no forcing or guilt trips -
patience Grasshopper.   It took a year of prayers from my hubby and God to 
open my heart.)  

You can adopt not because you have the ability or the time but because 
The LORD will equip you.

I will give you an out - if you know that adoption isn't right for you and if you live in 
Bardstown or surrounding area - you can help 
support Maggie's Hope.  If you want to give a tax deductible donation simply 
send a check to Lifesong For Orphans to help fund grants or no interest loans 
(If you want it to go to Christian Families in our local area please
put P335 in the memo and help Parkway Baptist Church grow their fund!)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

6 months and a video!

Maggie has officially been in the states for 6 months!!!!  Can I say, we love her.  I often hear how amazing it is that she seems to have been created for us.  It's true, she fits perfectly into our lives - we have been blessed.
She is sassy, strong-willed and such a little girl.

Blake Sapp (one of my most favorite college students made this video for us!) I had to share.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Seriously....this stuff ain't for the weak of heart

Wow, do I know how to title a blog post or what?

Let me paint a picture of the last week.......

  • 3 out of 5 Runner's got a stomach bug (I know, it wasn't all of us and for that I am GRATEFUL!)
  • Last night I met a little girl that made me realize a few things....more on that later.....
  • I am reading this book by Jen Hatmaker.....7....yeah, um....if you don't have it - I can't sugar coat it for you, I believe with everything in me - you should.  I promise you will laugh out loud one minute and then next - throw the book and tell her to get out of your business and to stop meddling because you got a good thing going.  
  • I am going to leave you a video that was up on my iPad the other night when I came home.....yeah, I got nothing....blessings to you my friend......I will leave it at the end - where it should be.....

Okay, back to that little girl that made me realize a few things.......I met this sweet little girl with the biggest smile you have ever seen.  She came to a family whom I adore, as a foster child.  See here is where I come clean you all.....here is where you see how completely lacking I am........

Remember all 80 some blog posts that I talk about how God changed my families heart for the fatherless.....well it was all true, so please hear that.  I MEAN it.  He changed us, changed us forever and for that I am so grateful.  I love that little girl that hugs me, rubs my hair and calls me momma more than I could ever imagine or explain........no lie. I could just eat her - she's so cute!  (figuratively not literally) :)  

I hear about foster care, I have friends that are social workers (who paint a very clear picture for me) the picture in my mind was scary..........I was thinking of what it would cost me....what if I get attached?  what if there are kids in and out of my house?  what if? what if? what if?  

How about these what if's.....what if there is no where to go?  what if there are not people that will step out in faith?  what happens when I put me above a child in need?  Geez louise!  I'm a grown woman...okay, I get attached to a child and they leave.  They go home to a biological parent or relative....Really?  I won't open my heart or my home cause I don't want to be sad!  My family will survive.....we will continue to live...and we can be grateful that for whatever reason God placed a child in our home it was because that is where they needed to be......

Here I am telling people don't be afraid of my lil' Ethiopian princess and to be honest not even comprehending or understanding when they were...............and well.....Hello, pot meet kettle! 

I do believe with everything in me that not everyone is called to the same thing and my heart is very deeply engrained with Ethiopia.  I love it.  I love the country, the people, the smells, the food......I want nothing more than to go back...... but last night I couldn't escape the brutal fact that this girl needed a home and my friends opened theirs....they don't know what tomorrow holds but they trust and love nonetheless.  People these are kids that may be living a few miles up the road!!!!!  

Then I come home open the iPad to escape.  To read Facebook.  To mindlessly go through Pintrest and this what is there.....Really?  

It's just a few minutes, I would encourage you to try to watch it - if you make it through - I understand when you defriend me on FB or no longer stop to talk to me at Wal-mart - heck I don't even want to talk to me anymore.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What if?

Actual conversation.....

What if our church could build an orphanage?

What if our church could empty one?

Maggie's Hope will be selling items Saturday, November 10th 9:00AM - 3:00 PM @ St. Gregory School/Church

ALL proceeds go to families in our local area adopting.....consider how you can help

There are three ways to do this:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Throughout this whole adoption thing....I have felt.....how do you say it???......ill-equipped.....

so if you are interested, below is a listing (in order) of my ill-equippness.....(is that a even a word?) ....I digress, here is the list:

1.  i am ill equipped to adopt a child..........a child that needs good parents...I mean like Leave It to Beaver parents.....that's not me.  That's not us!  Not even close!

2.  Paperwork - seriously, I am beyond ill equipped to do all this paperwork.......I don't have the know-how.  I don't know how to make myself sound like I am equipped to do this............How do I let all these adoption 'authorities' know that I can do this?  Can I do this?

3.  Okay, this is getting serious.........we are in the middle of this whole adoption thing..........what the heck am I doing?....I mean, I got two kids who on occassion remind me that I don't do a lot of things right and that I yell way more than I should...........

5.  Holy CRAP!!!!!  we have a child.....a new one...........I get to see her face...........I get to 'meet' her......WHOA NELLY!!!!!  (not the rapper) I can't do this!!!!  What the heck?!?

6.  Okay.....we are going to Ethiopia.......yep, plane tickets bought.............ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!! Have you met me???  I am not third world material.....I am more Gucci on a budget material............................Okay.....seriously, I am ill-equipped!

7.  Yep, I'm here....I'm in Africa............I AM IN FREAKING AFRICA!!!!!!!  Do you know how far away from Kentucky that is????   7576.2 Miles!  For the love of Pete and everything holy.........I haven't even been to Florida!!! I'm not kidding!  Never. Been.To.Florida!!!!!

8.  Well, there she is..........a little girl....a precious lil' girl............when I think of what she may have been through, I can hardly breathe..........how do I do this?  how do I raise her and ensure that I don't mess her up?  How do I make sure that she gets everything she needs?  How do  I make sure that I respect her birth momma?........and love her and do everything in my  power to make sure she knows that we love her......that this is right, that this is what we are supposed to do.  I want her to know that from the very moment I saw her face I knew she was mine......without a doubt, she is mine?  How do  I do this?

9.  I have to leave her?????  What did you just tell me?!?......she can't go home with me?  I met this lil girl....I stood in court in a third world country and I don't get to take her with me!!!!!  Really?!? Okay....I'm a rule follower.....these are the rules.....I can do this....no, I can't.  I am so ill-equipped!!!!

10.  I get to go back!!!!  Oh my gosh, I get to go back!!!!!!  

11. It's time to go back home to Kentucky!!!!!   Oh my gosh, I get to go back!!!!!!  

12.  Picture it.....Ethiopian airport........Me, Eric and this kid......this lil' girl......running around like she may be on crack.....hating every Ethiopian woman that she sees (insert Eric and I smiling politely at every woman and trying really hard to make her kiss and hug them as we leave their country)  AWKWARD is an understatement.....What are we doing?  HOLY CRAP - WHAT ARE WE DOING!!!!!!

14.  We land in the US......Airport bathroom, hair washing............I'm not gonna touch that, but if you heard the story laugh now and realize.....wow!  Fran is WAY ill-equipped!

13.  So this is it.........this is our new normal........three kids - one of them who is learning English....and who talks A LOT!.........wowza..........I am ill-equipped!

Tonight, I sat and looked through pictures of our last trip to Ethiopia...........the one where we she came home with us............I see the difference,  I see the difference in my face.........fear to FEAR!!!!

Please do not mishear me......I am thankful for her.  I love her like she is my own....it's almost comical how since the time we came home I have never looked at her as anything but...........without hesitation, she is my girl. 

but there are moments when I realize just how ill-equipped I am..........I am raising a child that was born by another woman who loved her more than I can imagine.........so much she gave her up for adoption........as the file clearly states............'so she can have a better life than I can provide'.....

my stomach hurts..............

really............our family equals a better life?  If you have seen us in Wal-Mart - you are laughing hysterically right now......

sheesh.......I feel the pressure...............I am SO ill-equipped.........it is devastating!  

But you know what......she calls me momma just like the other two.....she smiles (occassionally) when I come into the room.......she says, 'I lub you' 

my heart melts.......I'm ill-equipped.....

Praise God!  He equips me when I realize without a shadow of a doubt I am the most ill-equipped person for the job!  I am gonna let them down.......I know it, they know it and let's face it, you know it.  I want to be the person that says, 'I got this.'  'I am gonna handle it like nobody's business.'  but let's face it - we all know that I am a big ol' hot mess!!!!  I'm gonna screw it up....every.single.time.

God has purposed us....God has called us - each in individual ways...........some of us are adopting.....some of my friends are in the process......some of us are supporting those that are.....some of us are learning what it all means.....

I want to tell you I am a spiritual giant and say, 'I had faith and trust the whole way.'   

that would be a lie......I questioned..........I was scared.............I still am some days.....................

but I invite you to walk with me as I learn to trust and learn to be fearless for God is with me........
I am still ill-equipped - but how beautiful is that?  I don't have to have the right qualities or abilities....cause HE does!  and He leads me. How beautifully it highlights my inability......(thank goodness something does!)