My new blog location can be found at
Come check it out...I've already posted :o)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
My new blog location can be found at
Posted by Melissa at 4:00 PM
Friday, August 21, 2009
In case you haven't noticed, I haven't blogged much lately.
In case your wondering why, I'm going to tell you.
This blog was started as an adoption blog. The majority of the readers that I have (maybe I better say had) read because of the topic adoption.
Particularly Uganda adoption.
Well in case you haven't noticed, I'm no longer in the adoption process.
My children have been home a year.
When I look at them, I see my children. Not the children I adopted
When they are naughty, I see my children sinning. Not possible effects from being orphans.
When they succeed I see the joy of of being a mommy to children who work hard to accomplish hard things. Not children who have to overcome, because of hard beginnings.
We will not be adopting again...a least not any time in the near future. Lack of income prevents us from qualifying for visas. We are of course open for that to change...but as it stands it will not be happening.
With all this in mind, I still feel like I can't post here unless it is somehow linked to adoption. As a result many lovely posts, get left in the cold.
I don't like that.
So I think a new blog provider is in order. I have wanted to divorce the current one for quite some time. It is far too hard on the children to hear me screaming from the other room, every time blogger and I have a disagreement over it's lack of effort in providing me with spaces, along with many other irreconcilable differences. It is too hard on me listening to them erupt with laughter over my frustrations. I must leave and find a better more suitable means for sharing my thoughts.
I am currently trying to decide which service to go with.
Leaning toward one in particular, as it will better serve our needs for the business plan in the works.
Stay tuned for a new address.
That is if you want to still follow.
I might still talk about adoption.
Plus I still have the cute kids,
a witty sense of humor,
and most importantly a deep love for my Savior.
Posted by Melissa at 10:47 AM
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Apparently Noah and Kaleb were very excited to get to share the good news of visas to William and Marissa. They let them know that the Dodson's had received their visas and could now go get their friends and bring them home. Fantastic news!
Fast forward to today.
William just asked me, "So mama the Dodson's got their pizzas?"
I wonder if he has been thinking the last 24 or so hours, "Man we have pizza once a week, what's up with the Dodson's not being able to get it?" I'm also wondering if it all makes sense to him because we ate pizza in London, so surly you must need pizza in order to come to America.
Posted by Melissa at 6:27 PM
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I'm not trying to be a broken record here...it's just that THIS IS THAT IMPORTANT. Even if you have not adopted, or never intend to, you probably know a family that has or will...help secure their children's future in this country.
Copied from This blog
visit www.equalityforadoptedchildren.org for more information
Support the FACE and FFO Acts!
Exciting things are happening! Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to promote equal rights for adopted children.
The Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (FACE Act) has been introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives. The FACE Act will allow American families to bring their internationally adopted children home as American citizens instead of as immigrants.
The Families for Orphans Act (FFO Act) has been introduced into the House of Representatives. The FFO Act would establish the Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development within the Department of State and provide diplomatic authority to help the 30 million children orphaned worldwide and the 100 million plus vulnerable children who have lost one parent or are at risk of losing parental care.
What you can do:
Sign the petition here: http://www.gopetition.com/petiti... . This petition will be delivered to the U.S. Congress and Senate.
On July 7th, 8th, and 9th, call your three Members of Congress (two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives). You can find your Representative at www.house.gov . You can find your Senators’ phone numbers at www.senate.gov . Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff. For maximum effect, we are asking you to make these calls within this 72-hour window!
Get the word out! Send this email to friends and family. Post to your Facebook, My Space, Twitter, blog or website.
What should you say to your Members of Congress?
This is an issue that is critical to children in need, so speak from your heart. Tell them why ensuring that internationally adopted children have citizenship rights and more children have loving families is so important to you!
Ask your Senators and Representatives to become Co-Sponsors of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act and the Families For Orphans Act.Please feel free to use the following text as a guideline when speaking with your Member of Congress. “As a constituent of we are requesting that you support the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the legislation. For information on becoming a Co-Sponsor, please contact Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator James Inhofe, Representative Diane Watson or Representative John Boozman. Thank you for representing your constituents by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act. We also are requesting that you support the Families For Orphans Act by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the legislation. For information on becoming a Co-Sponsor, please contact Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator James Inhofe, Representative Diane Watson or Representative John Boozman. Thank you for representing your constituents by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the Families for Orphans Act.”
More about the FACE Act:
Spearheaded by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) and Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR), the FACE Act simplifies the acquisition of citizenship for internationally adopted children and removes these children of American citizens from the immigration process. As it stands now, the internationally adopted child of a U.S. citizen receives U.S. citizenship once the child enters the U.S. to reside permanently. If enacted, the FACE Act would allow such children to acquire U.S. citizenship at the time their adoptions are finalized in the country of the child’s birth. The child would then enter the U.S. as a U.S. citizen with citizenship documentation in hand.
“Passage of the FACE Act will eliminate the need for an immigration visa for internationally adopted children and instead will treat these children as children of American citizens, not immigrants subject to immigration regulations,” said McLane Layton, President of Equality for Adopted Children (EACH) and a member of the Families for Orphans Coalition. “Additionally, the FACE Act classifies internationally adopted children as “citizens from birth” just like children born of Americans overseas, thus providing them with equal rights of citizenship, including the right to run for President of the United States.” “Under current law, the type of immigration visa an adopted child is given to enter the United States determines whether the child receives U.S. citizenship upon entry. Those children who do not receive U.S. citizenship upon entry and whose parents overlook the bureaucratic steps necessary to secure citizenship for their children are often later denied scholarships, passports, and the right to serve in the U.S. military. Most tragically, some young adults who have lived in the United States with loving, American families their entire lives have been deported to their birth countries -- places they have no knowledge or memory of -- for committing minor juvenile offenses.
Half the children adopted internationally each year currently enter the States on the visa that places them at risk,” said Chuck Johnson, a Coalition member and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the National Council for Adoption. “The Face Act will resolve these issues and provide U.S. citizenship to all internationally adopted children of American citizens.” The FACE Act also provides older orphans the ability to be adopted – children who were overlooked in the Hague Treaty on Inter country adoption. “Prior to the Hague’s passage, children age 16 to 18 whose younger siblings had been adopted by an American were able to be adopted by the same American family,” said Terry Baugh, President of Kidsave. “The Hague eliminated all adoption opportunities for children 16 and over. The FACE Act will fix this oversight and expand the opportunity of a permanent family to all children up to age 18.” The full press release is available here http://www.equalityforadoptedchi... . For more information, go here http://www.kidsave.org/advocacy_... .
The Families for Orphans Act (FFOA) will empower the US government to proactively address a global gap in the most basic of human rights – a permanent family for every child. Spearheaded by Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR), The Families for Orphans Act would establish the Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development within the Department of State and provide diplomatic authority to help the 30 million children orphaned worldwide and the 100 million plus vulnerable children who have lost one parent or are at risk of losing parental care. The new office would be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to support diplomacy and policy focusing on the preservation of families and the provision of permanent families and legal, permanent relationships for orphans.
The new office will elevate the plight of children, giving the US a clear, dedicated, diplomatic authority to represent the interests of orphaned children. The office will advise the Secretary of State and President in all matters related to global family preservation and permanent parental care for orphans, as well as developing global strategy, including the coordination of all foreign policy and assistance related to global family preservation. The new office will also conduct research designed to better understand the size of the population of children living without parental care and global efforts to support these children. “The Families for Orphans Act emphasizes that activities that keep a child in the country of birth through family preservation, domestic adoption, legal guardianship and kinship care, are always the preferred child welfare methods. However, when these are not timely options, a family through international adoption is clearly in the best interests of those children languishing in orphanages or living in temporary foster care,” said Chuck Johnson, Coalition member and Chief Operating Officer for the National Council For Adoption.
Posted by Melissa at 1:48 PM
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
My beloved and I have officially decided to pursue the start up of a business that will sell healthy hair and skin products, with a majority of the profits going toward helping to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education, and families to orphans. We still have many details to iron out, but are hopeful to have everything up and running in a handful of months. We need lots of prayer for direction and a name for the company.
Thus the need for an official contest.
Leave a comment with your suggestion for a company name, and maybe even a slogan.
If you are chosen I will send you some hair and skin products to sample...for free.
What will you get...
I don't know..but it will be good I promise :)
Posted by Melissa at 12:13 PM
Monday, July 6, 2009
Posted by Melissa at 9:58 AM
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
One year ago today, we landed in Houston with two very frightened little children, one very sick mama, and one daddy praising God we had all made it home.
It was one of those days that will forever be in my memory.
We spent way too long in immigration...with someone with masks and lung x-rays, coughing and hacking away. I remember thinking, great now I'm going to get TB along with everything else.
We got stopped to have our bags check THREE times. I now it was the 20 pounds of coffee that did us in. Apparently coffee is a favorite for covering drugs.
We had William and Marissa on the baggage cart, in front of all our bags. The children waiting for us couldn't see them, and for just a split second thought we had come home with out them.
While we were gone Grace grew a good two inches. So did Kaleb, in fact he surpassed me in height while we were gone. Noah's hands got bigger, a lot bigger. It's surprised me how much they had changed in such a short period of time.
William and Marissa, I think were in a state of shock...or post traumatic stress or something. They just stared at everything, no talking or eating with expressionless faces. Even though they had been looking at pictures of their siblings for weeks, it seemed to shock them that they were actually real, and going to be a part of their lives.
I had never been, nor will I ever be again, so happy to be in Texas.
These two children have brought so much joy to our family. The changes they have gone through in the last year amaze me.
I no longer get urinated on when someone is mad at me.
When they get in trouble the Ugandan mumble is mostly gone.
They eat our food with gusto, and if they don't like it, they no longer throw it on the floor.
William no longer cries at night from a vague pain that he couldn't say where it came from.
Marissa no longer has night terrors.
They love their dog.
They have learned what it means to be a part of a family.
They no longer hide food in their rooms and in the bathroom.
There is no longer jealousy of their siblings.
There are no more screaming fits when reprimanded or told no.
No more parasites.
No more fear.
No more anger.
So much laughter and joy.
In the past year they have got to experience for the first time: swimming, boating, being pulled around behind a boat, huge American playgrounds, fast food, presents on their birthdays and at Christmas, all sorts of decadent deserts, three HEALTHY square meals a day, owning their own clothes, shoes, underwear, and toys, pillows, socks, real ice cream, car seats with seat belts, snuggles from a mom and dad whenever they want, snow, fishing, the ocean, growing a garden, and so many wonderful new things I could never list them all.
They have also experienced sorrow and loss. Loosing a Grandpa they already loved and adored.
They left behind all they had ever known to come and be a part of a world where everything was new. I know I wouldn't have adjusted as well as they have.
I'm proud of them.
I'm even more proud to call them mine.
Posted by Melissa at 1:20 PM
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Today my oldest is fourteen years old! Yikes! Fourteen...
I love this guy.
He's a pretty cool guy.
He loves music, and has, from a very young age, been able to pick an instrument and learn to play it with very little effort.
He is passionate about life for the unborn. Few things hurt him more than the thought of millions of babies dying at the hands of those who should be protecting them.
He is also my politic buddy. We listen to some good talk radio together, and get all worked up together, and come back to the realization that God is sovereign together, every time.
He cracks me up because he thinks he's funny :)
He likes to cook and does a pretty good job at it too.
As our oldest he has been our guinea pig so to speak. We royally mess up with him everyday...then pray that God would just keep him somewhat safe from serious emotional damage from our parenting. Seriously he puts up with so much from me, and he is always ready to forgive.
He is also a very giving guy. Take today for example...he offered to babysit, gave Richard and I two tickets to a benefit concert He really wanted to attend, and some cash for dinner. A total night out for me and my beloved all on him. What fourteen year old does that? He has done things like this time and time again. Honestly, he was my life saver after we got back from Uganda. It was nearly two months before I felt well again, and he helped do so much around here during that time. When my dad died, he did the same thing. I am so grateful to the Lord for giving me such a loving and compassionate son. I pray the Lord has favor on Him and blesses him abundantly, all the days of his life.
Kaleb we love you so much. We are proud to be your parents. Continue to pursue the Lord with steadfastness. Hold on to your convictions. Love abundantly and give freely, because Christ has loved you with an everlasting love and freely given you all things. Live for his glory son, truly nothing else matters.
PS A piano????
Posted by Melissa at 10:47 PM
Friday, June 26, 2009
Full of laughs...
A couple of weeks ago Kaleb called in and commented on a local talk show, and won a pair of tickets to a concert that benefits the orphans of the tsunami. We headed out to San Antonio to pick them up today.
Thanks to Richard's father's day present, I figured I could nail this trip, on my own, with out the hubby. I should have known there would be problems when I punched the address into the GPS and it offered me a totally different location. I figured it was close enough. Sweet little Samantha (that's the GPS voices name) totally led us off track, due to road construction, then got all mad like it was my fault!!! I've never heard "recomputing" sound so harsh.
We arrived at the radio station, 45 minutes later than we should have, thanks to Samantha.
I was irritated.
I think the kids were waiting with bated breath to see if I was going to loose it.
I just kept telling them not to speak.
Anyway, so we get to station and not only do we get our concert tickets, but all sorts of other free goodies. Cd's, movies, books it was really quite a treat. Then I got to speak at length to our local talk show "celebrity" about adoption. He and his wife need to adopt...and I'm not just saying that in the way I think everyone needs to adopt...they really do. Then we got a tour of the radio station.
Once we got on the road again, I was not about to put our fate in the hands of Sam once more. I determined to find my own way to Chick-Fil-A for lunch.
I made another wrong turn.
Got stuck in traffic for another 30 minutes.
Again, I informed the children it would be in their best interest not to speak.
As William screams from the far back seat, "Moooooommmmmy, I saw a Chick-the-Lay right back there. Moooooommmmy, the Chick-The-Lay."
There were no less then 9000 people in the Chick-Fil-A when we arrived...all of them had 12 unruly and loud children with them.
I informed the children it would be best if they just didn't speak.
Then we went to Wal-Mart. My highly intelligent, home educated son, had to go to the bathroom. He was taking an unusual amount of time, so I sent his brother in after him. He came out to inform me, his brother was not in the bathroom. Panic just about set in, but then I saw him....coming out of the women's restroom.
I nearly collapsed from laughter.
Later I asked him if he wondered why there were no urinals.
He said yes.
Posted by Melissa at 9:59 PM
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
For my sweet Ugandan Princess,
Happy 4th birthday!
This girl is such a blessing to our family. She literally lights up the room when she walks in, with her big bright smile. She is loving, super affectionate, and extremely silly. A year ago, we were in Uganda, and I barley knew her. She has been through so much in the last 12 months, and she has proven herself to be extremely resilient. No matter what, it seems she is always looking on the bright side of things...she gets that from her daddy. Over the last year she has grown and blossomed in to a little girl who adores her siblings, and her daddy and mommy. She is always desires reconciliation when she has been naughty, it is in fact the only time she is not smiling and cheerful...when she knows that she has done wrong and there is separation between us. I love her dearly, and cannot fathom my life with out her. Though she has only been with us one year, it is hard to remember our family with out her. My only regret is that we missed her first three years. We are so thankful to our gracious Lord that HE chose us to be her parents. I pray she knows Him and loves Him all the days of her life, and that Richard and I will set an example for her of bringing our God glory all the days of our lives.
Happy Birthday Peanut! Daddy and Mommy love you!
Posted by Melissa at 11:44 AM
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
today we boarded a plane and left for Uganda. It's hard to believe it's been a year. On the other hand, William and Marissa are so much a part of us, it's hard to remember what life was like before they were here.
Posted by Melissa at 6:18 PM
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
It's almost been a year, a whole year, since we left for Uganda. In fact next week it will be one year since we dropped off the children and drove to Houston, to board the plane, that would take us to a place that would change our lives forever. One of the things that is most surreal about this, is watching my friend Laura, travel this same road. If all goes as it seems, her and her hubby will leave on the same day, one year later. It seems like half of the people I know in blog land are in Uganda or leaving for Uganda in the next week. I am only slightly jealous, and a heaping amount of thrilled for my friends. I know they face many hurdles to overcome, as I believe firmly that adoption is WAR. The enemy hates adoption and will fight them, tear at them, attempt to distract them, and do all he can to bring them down.
He won't win.
I know he tried desperately to destroy me and our children while in Africa, and has done many things since our coming home to continue the battle. Time and time again I am reminded that this is war, and we are not fighting against flesh and blood. We are fighting an unseen enemy that will use illness, governments, society, culture, family, friends, and even our church body in the fight against us in this war. I have often times in the last year been weary. I have watched as others who see adoption as part of the great commission be hammered over and over again with trials. All of them stopping to question, if it's all worth it.
He hasn't won.
I see these families fighting for children. Giving their time and resources for these children. Facing uncertainty and heartbreak for these children. All in an attempt to obey and bring glory to their Heavenly Father.
No the enemy will not prevail. Our Lord will always remain victorious. We need only find our strength in Him. He will make a way. He will provide. He will conquer and be glorified.
I love going back and reading my emails home from Uganda. They begin with me whining, and complaining. Begging for God to move and bring us home quickly. I wasn't prepared for the spiritual battle that would be thrown my way. I was prepared for many things, but NO ONE ever told me I would be in for the biggest spiritual battle of my life. Once I figured that out and found my footing in the Lord, my email changed to this...
"Hello to all, this will be my final email from Uganda.
We did in fact receive the visas and will be boarding a plane tomorrow morning. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!
I seem to have responded to the third (fourth in you count Malerone) malaria meds. I also think that the lovely amoeba that had taken up residence in my digestive system has received it's eviction notice and is leaving town. Here is a small bit of advice, take it or leave it. Do not get malaria. If you feel you must experience it, do not get a resistant strain. Never, never, never, never, never ever contract amoebic dysentery at the same time. Lastly, if you must do these things DON"T DO IT IT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, where cleanliness is unheard of. Unless like me, you wish to also develop a lovely case of phlebitis (sp?) to go along with it. This my dear loved ones is the best advice I could give you, second only to repent and believe the gospel :)
Really I am feeling so much better and have seen God's grace even during my suffering. In little things like probiotics and a nurse showing up at Patrick's at just the right time. Many more instances of His goodness to me. What a faithful and loving God we serve. Many times during this trip I have been reminded of His grace and it is more real to me now than ever.
Every time I would think I simply could not endure, He led me on still.
When I thought "I can't believe I have left my home to come here." He would remind me that he left Heaven to come for me.
When I would think "I miss my children so much, I will never make it another day" He would remind me that He left perfect fellowship with the Father for me.
When I would think of the sin around me and how disturbing it is, He would remind me of what it must have been like for Him: Holy and unstained, to come and not only dwell with sinful man, but to ultimately take that sin upon Himself, so that I might have His righteousness.
When I was is terrible pain, and more ill than I have ever been in my life. He lovingly brought me the cross, where He suffered immeasurably more that I will ever have to.
When William's heart hardens and he pulls away from me, and I wonder how I am ever going to be able to love him like I should. He reminds me that I harden my heart to Him, and yet He draws me in with His irresistible Grace. He brings me to repentance and restores me. He will give me the grace to do the same.
We serve an amazingly awesome God. Do you realize that if we had left when planned, I would have gotten malaria at home. It would have cost tens of thousands dollars to be in the hospital as they tried to deal a sickness they have no experience with. He is so very faithful, even when we are not. So Lord willing, we will be stepping off a plane in Houston with two precious children, ready to start their new life.
April and Denny, in case you have troubling recognizing me: I will be the woman with two children who look nothing like her. With a bewildered look in my eyes, that seems to be asking "Is it over yet?"
Please continue to pray for health and safety for us all. I love you all dearly. Your prayers have been precious jewels to us. We pray that or Lord has been glorified in our lives during this time, and we have made is love manifest.Take care and see you soon."
Posted by Melissa at 1:41 PM
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Several weeks ago, a huge wind blew our screen door right off the hinges. We have put off buying a door, because they are not cheap. I didn't really want to spend $200 for a screen door. Seemed so ridiculous, to spend that much money on a door. Alas, the Texas heat has set in, and we could not put it off no longer. So off we went to the Home Depot to drop an unnecessary amount of money on a door. I knew I wanted a white one, and they had one in stock, in just the right size. Right before pulling it out I noticed a bronze colored door. I asked the nice man to show me what that color looked like, and had the thought that white shows so much dirt. This color would be much better. They had one door left, it was the size we needed, so we scooped it up. We get to the check out and the door rings up $0.01. My husband, the
cheap frugal man that he is, was thrilled and exclaimed, "Yes, I'll swipe my card now, and be on my way!" The nice lady informed us she could not sell us anything for a penny, but would sell it to us at the cheapest price it had been sold. The $169 door cost us $44.
Posted by Melissa at 4:37 PM
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I stole this, it was too good not to.
"A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said, "Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 yr. old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together." So the doctor said, "OK and what do you want me to do?" She said, "I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this." The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady, "I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too." She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request. Then he continued, "You see, in order for you not to have to take care of 2 babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms." The lady was horrified and said, "No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!" "I agree," the doctor replied. "But you seemed to be ok with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution." The doctor smiled realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that's still in the womb. The crime is the same!"
Posted by Melissa at 12:08 PM
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I have had the most terrible time of adapting back to a "normal American" life. It has been nearly a year since we left for Africa, and my eyes were further opened. I cannot shake form my mind the images of poverty, illness, starvation, and orphaned children. The images of human suffering are always there, always on my heart. The I read articles like this one
I live in such extravagance. They with such want.
My children eat three healthy meals everyday. They are lucky to eat a meal every couple of days.
My children have clean water, with the turn of a faucet. They have filthy water, that cause them to have severe illness and disease. Because of their water, their babies have little chance of survival to age 5.
My children have access to excellent medical care. Their children die, because they can't afford a couple of dollars for malaria medication.
I can take my children for $20 in ice cream. There are people who have to survive on a $1.00 worth of millet, for their entire family for over a week.
I have a home, that shelters my children from the harsh elements. They sleep on streets, dirt floors, and live in squalor.
We have clothing and shoes that fit. They are neither too small or too large. When they get worn, I don't even repair them. I buy new. They wear the same worn clothes day after day. Shoes are a luxury, having shoes that actually fit is a rarity.
Yes, it's hard to adjust back to a normal American life, when you know people created in God's image suffer so much. Die each day, horrible preventable deaths...with out the gospel.
It's hard to adjust.
I don't know if I want to.
Posted by Melissa at 10:17 AM
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I gotta tell ya, my children out did themselves this Mother's Day. I woke up to breakfast. They had prepared me scrambled eggs and made from scratch french toast. Later we came home from church and they had prepared pot roast and mashed potatoes and gravy (I had to do the gravy). Then, my eldest cooked dinner for the younger ones and provided child care, while my beloved took me out to eat at Olive Garden.
Posted by Melissa at 9:27 PM
Saturday, May 9, 2009
William hates having hair. He is always asking me, "Mommy, you make my hair all gone?" I always ask, "Do you want me to cut it shorter?" To which he replies, "No, cut it all gone."
Today, I finally got around to fulling his quest for a bald head.
Later I thought I would have a nice deep probing conversation with him, as he is quite willing to share these days.
I asked, "William, what makes you happy?"
"Having my hair all gone."
"Really? What makes you sad?"
"Letting my hairs grow and grow."
Oh to be five, and have your happiness hang in the balance of hair growth.
Posted by Melissa at 5:13 PM
Friday, May 8, 2009
I loaded up the brood, and took them to Marble Slab today. Had me a hankerin' for some sweet cream with sprinkles for quite some time now. Quite frankly, after the week I had, I deserved some good ice cream. The very sweet man behind the counter asked, "Do you have a school or something?" I love this question, as if five children makes for a school. Of course in our case it actually does...but that's beside the point. I laughed, then told him, that they are in fact all mine. Then I told him about our little Ugandan ones. He asked a bunch of questions, then said, "That is fabulous. I love it. The world needs more people like you." Um, no the world does not need more people like me. I'm just not sure the world could handle another me. Trust me I have issues, but again that is beside the point. I told him, "Yes, the world does need more people who will adopt, there is such a huge need." As I was paying our bill, trying to remember how I justified this extravagant ice cream trip ($20 for ice cream...seriously what was I thinking...oh yes, I was thinking I somehow deserved it) the nice man behind the counter said, "I want you to pick two pints from the freezer, from me, for the children."
Free Marble Slab???
For the children????
Somehow, he must have figured out that I was the blessed one...because he sure didn't give ME any ice cream. But that's beside the point.
Posted by Melissa at 5:32 PM
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
or something else...
Have much to say...just trying to process it all in my sweet little head...it's a slow process :)
Posted by Melissa at 9:22 AM
Thursday, April 23, 2009
or if you're me a full belly, sliding down off of my seat, snorting laugh.
I was eating dinner with my beloved tonight at a local place, when I felt the need to lament to him the fact that I am feeling very bloated and gassy.
"This too, shall pass."
He's so punny..that's why I love him.
Posted by Melissa at 8:36 PM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Posted by Melissa at 4:57 PM
Monday, April 20, 2009
Glen Beck, filmed his show live. We were on TV, did you see us?
Old rocker dude, helped out. They tell me his name is Ted Nugent.
Janine Turner, I only know her for her role in Northern Exposer. I think she is beautiful. By the way, Janet, I see a resemblance between the two of you. Maybe it's the hair??? Except, I am sure she is normal, and drinks coffee in her really nice mug, never ever tea. She had her equally beautiful and passionate daughter with her.
This young man, eighteen years of age, gave some convincing arguments of the duties of a US citizen, as well as some sobering statistics on how many people are actually living up to those duties. He would do a far better job running this country that the last three or four guys have done.
A couple of fed up local mama's gave some speeches about the local government and the local concerns of San Antonio. Both did a fabulous job.
Doug Phillips from Vision Forum Ministries gave the final speech of the evening. If was God honoring and powerful. He did a great job reminding everyone that our God reigns, and we have an obligation to reign in our government. At the foundation of freedom is Christ. Thankfully, even if earthly tyranny prevails, we can have ultimate freedom in Christ. Always knowing that one day, He will bring Justice to the oppressor. Mr. Phillips speech was fantastic, it made me remember why America is where it is, and why we should fight to keep her free. He had a few choice words in there for the FEDs too. I think they were somewhere along the lines of, "COME AND GET IT."
Steve Vaus, closed the party up with his song Take America Back.
And some random pictures of San Antonio...
Posted by Melissa at 12:58 PM
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Our family attended the San Antonio Tea Party yesterday. After I dutifully sent off our check to the Internal
Robbing Revenue Service, we headed out, all five children in tow, to brave the crowds at the Alamo. As usual, the liberal media is practically ignoring this event. I swear the San Antonio Express News is one of the most liberal rags in this country, but I digress. We had a wonderfully long day. Police estimated that 16,000 people attended this event. A peaceful and encouraging event. Which one really should not expect from extremists, such as those who attended this event. One would have expected much more violence and anarchy out of such gun toting terrorists.
I will be breaking this day up into two separate posts. I took way too many pictures and have way too much to say, thus the need for two posts. The first will consist of my favorite signs. This was a peaceful demonstration, afforded us by our great constitution, that the leaders in this country seem to have forgotten about, again I digress. As a peaceful demonstration, many attendees had signs of various designs.
Some like these, made me laugh.
Some had simple messages. So simple in fact, that it seems that some of the "less extreme" among us can't seem to grasp the message.
Some were down right poignant. Like this one. Yes, it looks like a bloody mess (that's bloody as in BLOOD by the way, not a British derogatory term) but the symbolism behind it, all I can say is WOW! This is a flag tradtioanlly flown in Goliad, TX. If you don't know your Texas history, this one is worth looking up. At any rate, the idea behind the flag is that they would have rather cut off their arm, than suffer under tyranny. In other words, the men of Texas would rather sacrifice life and limb for the cause of freedom, rather than continue to suffer under an oppressive government.
Of course, there was my personal favorite. Not directed to our out of control government, spending my children's money like they are a five year old, in the dollar store with two bucks burning a hole in their pocket. No, directed instead to my least favorite people on the planet. Loved the sign, and if you don't get it, then clearly you didn't watch any news this week.
More to come on the speakers and message of the event...and some AWESOME pictures of San Antonio...as well as my sweet little, flag wavin', newly immigrated, American citizens.
Posted by Melissa at 5:46 PM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Posted by Melissa at 10:42 AM
Fun Kiss My Face giveaway...details can be found here. Good stuff.
Posted by Melissa at 10:12 AM
Monday, April 6, 2009
I love reading this blog. Not just because she is a fellow Uganda mama, although that is why I started reading her story to begin with. I am continually blessed by her faith and her love for Jesus. So I read. Every Monday she writes a memorial box Monday post. Their family has a memorial box, in which they place items that specifically remind them of God's faithfulness in their lives. On Monday's she has been writing about the items in their box. Starting today, I am going to be doing the same. It is so important to remember and look back upon God's faithfulness to us. In both the small and large things He remains faithful. Remembering His past faithfulness is an encouragement for us during current trials. Calling them to mind, will hopefully, for me, make me more aware of His every day faithfulness.
Memorial Box Monday
Our last week in Uganda I got sick. REALLY sick. I was infected with a drug resistant strain of Malaria. Despite the fact that I had taken Malerone and covered myself from head to toe in off everyday. I ended up in the hospital for iv treatment. While there, I also came down with amoebic dysentery. Not a pleasant experience in and of itself...coupled with Malaria, it was brutal. As I was waiting for Richard to come back from the embassy, so I could finally get back to our guest house, I was praying. I was lamenting to the Lord that I really wished I had brought some good probiotics with me. I was certain that if I could just have some probiotics I would feel so much better. Knowing full well that I wasn't going to find anything like that in Uganda, I looked forward to being home in four days, so I could have some. Hoping that my stomach would then be able to mend. We returned to the guest house and a missionary team had just arrived from the states. One of the team members, Harriet, said to me, "I brought some probiotics with me, I think they would really help you. Would you be willing to take some?" Would I be willing? Every time I think of her, which is quite often, I thank God for using her. I didn't even have the faith to ask the Lord for them, just complain to Him about my lack of forethought and planning. He saw fit to bless me, and remind me yet again of His love. He knew I was going to get sick. He knew what I was going to need. He knew I would lack the faith to ask. He knew He would bring me some all the way from Pennsylvania. He knew, at that very moment, I was going to feel so unbelievably loved by my Savior.
That is why when we finally get our memorial box, it will contain porbiotics.
Posted by Melissa at 2:03 PM
Friday, April 3, 2009
The day we arrived in Uganda, we learned that our judge assignment had been changed. I quickly thought to my self, "No problem...not a big deal." Then we were told that the judge we had been assigned to, had just begun a month long vacation that day. Not good. I am such a worse case scenario kind of gal, so at this point I'm thinking, we will in fact be in Uganda forever, and by the time I see my children at home they will be grown with children of their own. OK, so that's not exactly worst case scenario...as it is completely unrealistic, but I wasn't hopeful for a good outcome.
This my fellow adoptive mommies (and daddies) is Africa. The only thing you can expect in Africa is the unexpected. NOTHING will go as planned. Well, like we have it planned anyway...it ALWAYS goes the way the Lord plans.
Thus began our first week in Uganda. Fast forward over the weekend to Monday. Our court hearing is scheduled for Monday morning. Our newly assigned judge has agreed to work over her vacation, and hear our case. We breathe a great big sigh of relief when she shows up, on time, Monday morning.
I must say our judge was wonderful...and I'm not just saying that because I know (well I am pretty darn sure) the Ugandan g*vernment regularly reads this blog. She really did a wonderful job. She took time over her vacation to work to get us all the paperwork that was needed. We received both our court order and ruling quickly. I can honestly say we had no complaints whatsoever about our judge or the job she did. We are greatful for work she did, and continues to do for the children of Uganda.
We head back to Jinja that afternoon, everyone very happy with the outcome of the happenings of the day. I however am beginning to experience this vague sense of panic. At least it feels like panic. It really is a feeling I had never had before. Looking back, I think it was a combination of several factors...
- Jet Lag
- Culture Shock
- PMS (yes that's right, I wrote that..because let's be serious this can be a MAJOR problem for us gals)
- Having a full grasp of how far out of MY control things were
- Already missing my children at home, and knowing we had only just began
- The constant and nagging thought of not knowing when this would all be over
- Mostly, I think it was PMS cause it mysteriously went away after a couple of days :)
Monday night was going to be the first night William and Marissa stayed with us. They were thrilled...Richard was thrilled...I was scared to death. It was similar to the feeling I had while pregnant with Grace. I was sitting in the hospital holding my friend's new born, thinking to myself, "Dear God what have we done?" Here I was a gazillion miles away from home (have I mentioned how much of a home body I am?) at the mercy of a foreign government, with these two children....who are supposed to be mine. I kept telling myself, "I want this. I have worked for this. I want them. I love them. I can do this." Like a chant over and over again in my mind. In the moment I was fine. If I, even for a split second, looked into the next days and weeks, I became so completely and utterly overwhelmed, all I could do was cry.
While I am repeating to myself, "I want this. I have worked for this. I want them. I love them. I can do this." The enemy of my soul was screaming, "This isn't what you wanted. You can't do this. Go home." There was a war going on within me, like nothing I have ever experienced before.
"We fight not against flesh and blood, but princes and pricipalities."
Up until this point, I feel I am winning the battle.
Then we got William and Marissa ready for bed.
We took off William clothes, and for the first time saw how absolutely tiny he was. I couldn't breathe. This one thing, this one small and insignificant thing, totally sent me off the edge. All at once my thoughts changed to the enemy's. "This isn't what I wanted. I can't handle this. I can't mother these children, they need more than I can give them. I have to get out of here."
Richard, ever a rock, was dealing with me as he usually does. He would tell me that I could do this, and that this is what we wanted. He told me leaving was not, nor would it ever become an option. These were our children and we would do whatever it took, for as long as it took, to bring them home. I thank God for my husband, for a multitude of reasons, but the fact that he would not let me walk away is one I am most thankful for. I'm not sure he had ever seen me in such a state of panic, but he knew me well enough to know that I loved these children, and that I only need a few days to regroup and focus.
Sure enough a few days later, I knew there was no way I would ever leave my children. I would just as soon die, then walk away from them.
Nevertheless, I still experienced a prolonged period of "post adoption depression." This often ignored, and not spoken of, aspect of adoption hit me fairly hard. I don't know what makes some people more prone to this than others, but it is a very real aspect of adoption. Just like postpartum depression is a very real aspect of giving birth. It doesn't happen to everyone, but when it does happen, the feelings experienced, leave a mother feeling guilty and alone. It's not about whether or not you love the child...you do. At least I did. There was just this...emotional fog.
So in coming posts I hope to write more about it. In hopes that other mama's will know they are not alone. While you probably will not ever hear (read) me telling intimate details about my children and their past, I do want to have an open and honest dialog about adoption. My experience during adoption. Not just the lovely, yummy parts (of which there are many) but also the difficult parts. The purpose of this blog is to encourage others in this process. I really feel, when we only tell each other how great things are, we not only deprive each other, but miss out on showing the world how GOD redeems and heals. When people read blog after blog and story after story of all the feel good aspects of adoption and never hear any of the struggles...what happens when they have struggles of their own? My fear is that those parents may think they are in the minority, that something is wrong with them...their family. I fear some may think they might have made the wrong choice. My hope is that we will all realize that we are weak, but HE is strong. That He will give us the strength to do all things. That He called us to adopt, which will have bountiful blessings...and moments of struggle. I pray we will all realize that those difficulties do not put us in a minority....just a SILENT majority.
Posted by Melissa at 4:33 PM
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Thank you so much for all of you who donated to the Gaunt family's adoption fund. Through your generous gifts $1,135 was raised to help this family bring their children home!
I emailed all the names over to Keltie this morning so they could do the drawing for the winner of the ipod touch. So with out further ado, it is my pleasure to announce the winner of the ipod touch.
Drum roll please......
And the winner is: Deanna L.
If you remember correctly there was also to be a drawing for a book, for those who helped to promote the fundraiser on their blog or facebook page. Well, only one person emailed to let me know that it was on her blog. Well, actually she left it in a comment. I did however see it on a few others...because I read their blogs. All of these people KNOW I read their blogs, so I am going to ASSUME they thought I would see it up there, and therefore did not feel the need to let me know. So I went ahead and placed their name in the drawing too...just cause I am nice like that....and the winner of the book "There is No Me Without You" is.......
April from www.pembertonevansonline.blogspot.com
Congratulations April, you can email me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can get this book out to you.
Thanks again to all of you who helped to make this happen. Please continue to lift the Gaunt family up in prayer as they are still a long way from their goal.
Posted by Melissa at 11:37 AM
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I feel I need to dispel some commonly held myths...
- I have not fallen off the face of the earth.
- I have not given up blogging.
- I am not a pathological liar
- Neither am I avoiding writing my post about our first week in Uganda
Now, I know you thought all of those things were true...but seriously they are not. It is just that life happens around here at break neck speeds...and I have had my plate beyond full.
I just dropped my mom off at the airport. We thoroughly enjoyed her WAY too short visit...and I miss her already.
I am STILL working on our taxes...April 15 is still weeks away...right??? At any rate I am thrilled that it APPEARS, at this time, my check to the IRS this year will NOT CONTAIN A COMMA....oh the joy!!!! While we will still be be writing a check..the fact that it lacks a comma is simply a miracle.
Yesterday was my birthday...and I have some of the sweetest and best friends a gal could have. They came to my house picked up my mom and I, and took us out for some yummy Mexican food. They sweetly obliged my craving for a chimichunga, EVEN THOUGH they all wanted to go some place much more refined and eat some silly salad....I won't hold it against them though :) Cause I love them all so much....and they gave me cool gadgets for herb preparation and cooking.
I am about to get on the doctor treadmill again...we will have five doctors/dentist appointments this week...um...I thought we didn't go to the doctor at our house????? At any rate can you guess why I call it a treadmill????? Think REAL hard, I bet you can.
Speaking of doctors and STRANGE medical anomalies...which we have a multitude of around here...any of you adoptive mama's have issues with blisters...well I guess any mama really...Marissa gets blisters...pretty big ones too. They look like burn blisters, but she has not been burned. Looking for some direction to point the doctor to when we go...so maybe that visit will actually produce some results. ANYONE????
Did I mention that I got to spend some much needed time with my much missed friend, Emily? Ah, it was so nice to hang out with her again. I love friends that you can see rarely and it still feels like you never missed a day....although I prefer friends I can see whenever I want :) So she should move back here...or something like that anyway.
Post about Uganda coming soon...I PROMISE!!!
This is the last day for you to donate to the Guant family adoption fund for a chance to win and ipod touch....you can still give after today...but you aren't gonna have a chance to win this nifty little gadget...that to be honest with you I just don't understand...but I hear people want them??? So get in while you can...and GIVE and help bring two children home...help to give them a forever family...store up for yourself a little treasure that will last :) Keltie and Blake will draw the winning name tomorrow...so HURRY it's almost too late....
Posted by Melissa at 12:09 PM
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
This post is part of "Laughter Lives! Tuesday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Laughter Lives!" post.
When my daughter was about two, she loved to put on lotion...or ocean as she called it. She was constantly hunting down my bottles of lotion and slathering her self with it.
One day I put her down for a nap in her room. I went into check on her a bit later, and sure enough she was sound asleep. Although her room smelled heavily of Elmer's glue. Upon closer inspection I found an open and empty bottle of glue, and my daughter fast asleep glued to her bed. I had to peel her off the sheets and clean her up. When I asked her why she put glue all over her body, she simply smiled and said, "Ocean."
Posted by Melissa at 7:53 AM
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The Gaunt family received VERY discouraging news today. You can read about it here. Long story short, the are officially out $23, 000. They have lost two children they love, and an enormous sum of money. Now they have two other children waiting for them, and because of this they cannot go and bring their children home. Please, if you can, hit that donate button over there on the right and give to help them bring their children home. It is only $15...that's it. It isn't much, but when we all chip in it makes a world of difference. I know many of you are adopting yourselves, and I KNOW first hand how expensive that is... but would you please consider giving. $15 will most certainly not make a difference at all in bringing your children home...but when we all work together it WILL make a huge difference in Keltie's children coming home. Please, pray for this family, and please consider giving.
Posted by Melissa at 2:57 PM
Friday, March 20, 2009
Today is my Grandma's birthday...my mother's mom. I adore this woman. I was going to post a picture so the world could see how beautiful she is, but sadly, I discovered all my pictures from December have been deleted, so I don't have one handy.
As a child, like all kids, I adored my grandma. I loved spending time at her house. Thankfully I got to spend plenty of time over there because we would go over there every Friday night. I loved her as a child for all the normal grandma type reasons. She was kind, gentle, a great cook, and she loved me. As I grew up I began to see her in a very different light. I still thought she was all those wonderful things, but I began to think more about her life, and gained a whole new respect for her.
You see she has known her share of struggles and hardship. She raised six children, for the most part, by herself. She worked hard to provide for them, and worked diligently to teach them to always do what's right. She knows the deep pain of loosing a child, and having to face life when you just don't want to. I am amazed at what she has accomplished. While she might not say she has accomplished much, I see a woman who has accomplished much more than most could ever hope to. She has accomplished those things which matter most. I can honestly say I have absolutely zero negative memories of my grandma. She has always been cheerful and kind. I can't ever remember seeing her loose her temper. She has set an example of hard work and perseverance. She has made me laugh and loved me when I was entirely unlovable. Now that I am a woman, with a large family of my own, I am even more in awe of her. She has set for me an example of a life well lived. A life laid down for those around her. A life given in sacrifice. Not to mention she gave me my mommy...whom I love dearly. I have watched her stand by my mom and love her through the most difficult time in her life. My grandma is strong and loving as ever.
I am sad that you can't see her in all her silver haired beauty. I am even more sad you haven't been blessed to know her as I have.
Happy Birthday Grandma...I love you so very much.
Posted by Melissa at 8:39 PM
Friday, March 13, 2009
It has been a while since I posted about our experience in Uganda. When last I wrote, it was our first day in Uganda, and we had just met our children for the first time. Why did I quit writing you ask? I know all you mama's waiting on your call to go are wondering why I stopped, and are hungry for info. Well, I'll tell you why...because my first week in Africa was hard. Real hard. Like having a nervous breakdown, loosing it hard. The rest of the time wasn't a walk in the park, but that first week was brutal. I haven't known how to put it all down in writing...but I am going to try. Because I need to, and because I keep telling my friend Laura that this is hard. I want her to be prepared for when she leaves to bring her little people home. My spoken words often times fail, so I want to write them out for her, myself, and anyone else who might experience similar feelings during their adoption process. So in the next week or so I hope to get through that first week...but first a little detour...sort of.
Did you know that pain during child birth (stay with me here, I promise it applies and is good) is actually is an integral part of the mother bonding with her child? It's true, the pain of labor builds up a ton of hormones, and once you deliver, that flood of hormones is released. Once those hormones are released, they help the mother feel all lovey toward this person who was just the cause of the most indescribable pain they will ever experience. Studies have actually been done that show when mothers do not feel that pain, and therefore the hormones are not released, bonding can be and often times is inhibited to some extent. It is really just another amazing design by our infinitely wise and awesome God.
What does this have to do with adoption you ask?
While we were in the midst of our USCIS drama, thinking just maybe this adoption wasn't going to happen, I watched a documentary called The Business of Being Born. This film talked briefly about that flood of hormones that the pain of child birth brings on. Those hormones that cause mothers to think that red, screaming, squished up baby with a pointy head is the sweetest thing on earth. Right there in the middle of watching this documentary on giving birth, it seemed like the Holy Spirit was saying to me, "See, this is my plan. It works, this pain you are feeling now, this hurt, is only going to serve to bond you with these children. If this were easy, if there were no pain, you would never love them they way I want you too." I cried. I was beginning to understand the gift in adoption being heart wrenching. I remember telling our home group one night, after the kids were home that adopting these children was so unnatural and yet so natural at the same time. Another great paradox of faith. Nothing in my flesh, would ever want to travel half way around the world, pay tens of thousands of dollars, leave behind my home and children, and struggle and fight for five weeks in a third world country, to bring home a raise children that I did not give birth to. That is why it so good that this happens because of the grace of God, not my flesh. All I know is this....all that pain, all that waiting, all that we endured in Africa only served to help me to love these children to bond me to them. You don't easily give up on someone you have fought so hard for. Please realize that I am not saying had it been easy I could have walked away...that is not at all what I am trying to get across. I am simply trying to convey, that the difficulties only helped to make me stronger as well as ready to be a mama to these children.
Later I was talking to a friend about the movie...not what I felt the Lord was telling me, just about the how cool God's design is. She began to cry, and told me how beautiful it was the the Lord was doing the same thing for me in our adoption. Allowing pain, so that the bond would be strong. Totally blew me away. Confirmation that what I was thinking and feeling earlier was real.
God is constantly preparing us for what is to come. He knows exactly what we will need, when we will need, and is the Great Provider. He knew the difficulties I was going to endure, and knew exactly what I needed to press on. In His faithfulness, He prepared me, like He has so many times before.
Adoption is hard. I don't have to tell any of you who have been though it or who are in the midst of it that truth. You already know it all too well. You also know that no matter how hard it is, God meets us. He provides grace in abundance. Be encouraged, and take heart. The pain of the labor, to bring your children home, is indeed a gift. Those of you right now who have breaking hearts, wondering when you will have your children in your arms...rest in the arms of your Heavenly Father. He will finish what He began. His will cannot be thwarted. His plans are exceedingly wonderful and His love exceedingly extravagant.
Posted by Melissa at 10:28 AM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Oh, what a day. A day I am so thankful for. March 12, 1973. The day my beloved came screaming into this world. I love this guy, and not just because I have to.
I am so blessed to have been chosen as his bride. I cannot even begin to count all the ways he has blessed me. Those of you reading this who know me in real life, know that this man adores me in ways that I do not deserve. He truly does his best to daily love me the way Christ loves the church. He is ever so patient with me...and believe me that is a feat.
I have had the joy of watching this man fall in love with Jesus and as a result reaped so many rewards. I am constantly amazed at the work the Lord has done in his life.
His father died when his mother was just five months pregnant with him. He never knew him. Despite this, the Lord has shaped him into a wonderful father, who adores his children. As my sons are getting older, I see in them the example of their dad. They are respectful of women, kind and compassionate, have a witty sense of humor, are not afraid to try new tasks. They are hard working, and are constantly coming up with new ideas never afraid of failure. All traits passed on to them by their father. I am thrilled to look at them, and know that the example they have as young men is of one who loves the Lord and strives daily to bring Him glory in all he does.
Richard is not often loud and boisterous about his faith. He just has a quite resolve to know and enjoy God. He trusts the Lord whole heartily, and often has humbled me with his faith.
My beloved is however very outspoken about about what he believes is right. He is never afraid to stand up for what he believes in.
He is such a hard worker. He would prefer to spend his days with his wife and children, but knows he can't make a living doing it..so he goes out day after day, doing back breaking work, to provide for us, and making a way for me to stay at home and do the work I so dearly love.
He puts up with my wild out bursts, my political frustrations, my mood swings, my lack of faith, and my temper. He laughs at my jokes. Is an endless source of encouragement. Always points me back to my Savior. He is my dearest earthly friend and he is a hottie too. I am so thankful for this man, my husband, the father of my children, my beloved.
The greatest part of all, is that when he reads this, he will simply reply, "It is all the Lord's work in me. What a Savior I have, to love me enough to save me and change me."
I love you Stitch...even though you snore....Happy Birthday :)
Posted by Melissa at 10:58 PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The other day I totally rocked on the Wii ski. Got first place I did. Cheering myself on, I said to William, "Oh yeah William, who rocks!!??" To which he replied, "Jesus!"
My sweet Grace lost three more teeth this past week. Cuteness personified. My friend Kori was right, no awkward stage for this girl.
My Ugandan children love the Sound of Music. Marissa cracks me up, she can act out nearly every scene. Now if it would only help her language skills.
I attended one of the best weddings I have ever been to on Saturday. All I can say is wow...this is how a wedding should be. Complete with an awesome worship time, a God honoring sermon, and the pastor calling the groom an idiot. Doesn't get any better than that. Loved it, made me want to get married all over again. This time with a clue of what marriage is supposed to be about. Giving the world a picture of Christ and His church.
Daylight savings time sucks, it takes me forever to adjust.
My three oldest men are gone to the youth retreat. I am missing them, but noticed despite the fact that my two big helpers were gone...the house stayed remarkably clean. Hmmm.
Our lawyer told us yesterday that our mediator is a very generous Jewish man, that loves to wear sweaters. Can't wait to meet him.
I get to take care of several of my dear friend's children this week. I am so excited to have them. I am going to talk one of them into learning how to do corn rows while she is here. Plus I get to be mama to 10 children this week...I'll have to see how well I can handle it :)
Cold front is a comin'. Whoo hoo for what will probably be the last one we get for a VERY long time.
I talked Richard in to taking me to watch Slum Dog Millionaire the other day. He wasn't real thrilled with the title, and thought for sure he was going to hate it. Especially when Jake told us it was a musical...because all movies about India are musicals. Fabulous movie, loved it. Gives you a great picture of what life is like for the children in the slums of India. Richard loved it too...especially when he realized it was not a musical.
Our neighbor just sold their house in less than two months for their asking price. Gives me high hopes that we will be able to sell ours quickly, and not loose too much money on it.
Several people have donated to the Gaunt family for their adoption of two Ugandan cuties...don't forget to donate, and get entered to win an ipod touch.
Posted by Melissa at 7:58 PM
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I know you thought I forgot about my giving Thursday post...but I didn't.
This Thursday I wanted to highlight a way to give that is very near and dear to our hearts. Giving to help give children families. Adoption is expensive. Some would argue that it shouldn't be as costly as it is, that things have gotten out of control. There is some truth to that, but it does not provide an excuse not to adopt or not support those who are. The expense of adoption is a huge barrier for most families. I know when you are looking at adoption expenses that reach five digits it can be so overwhelming. Most of us never have a clue how God is going to bring the money. Sometimes He provides through income increases, sometimes it is a windfall of money, sometimes people obtain loans, sometimes He provides through His people.
Scripture is so clear that we ARE to care for orphans and widows. We are all in some way to be involved in visiting them in their distress. While some may open their hearts and homes others can make their call a reality by giving financial support. I believe I can say with certainty, that the blessing that the adoptive parents and children receive on earth, pales in comparison to the reward those who give will receive in heaven. The financial gifts make it possible for children to have a family, and I believe that this is PLEASING to the Father. This is one of the many ways that God gives us the opportunity to store up treasure in Heaven. I remember one day at home group, Gabriel (a sweet little guy who is five years old) came running up to us excited as can be. In his hand he held some change. He gave it to us with such joy. He wanted to help, in his words, "Bring our black babies home." I proudly deposited that change into our adoption account knowing that Jesus was well pleased with little Gabriel's giving. It may not of been much in an earthly sense, but I am thinking all of heaven rejoiced at this little boys obedience and faith. I believe one day he will receive a rich reward from his Heavenly Father for helping to give two orphans a family. I just want to encourage everyone to do the same. Find an adoptive family to support with prayers and some of what God has blessed you with.
In light of this weeks idea for giving, I wanted to have a contest for a particular family. I have a friend, whom I have never met, but love nonetheless. We share the common bonds of shared faith and a passion for orphans. Her name is Keltie and her blog can be found here. Her and her husband are in the process of their second adoption, and like their first adoption, this one has been filled with numerous challenges and disappointments. During this adoption they have lost a referral of two children they had grown to love and had to choose another adoption organization to work with. As you can imagine, they have lost a lot of money during this process. Our family has wanted to do something to help theirs for quite some time.
A while back I came across this website. This story has left a permanent impression on me. Long story short, this pastor preached a sermon on the parable of talents and then gave everyone in the congregation a small amount of money, based on their age. He encouraged them to use their talents, to grow them. Then they would bring the money back in six months and see what God had done. They had given out $16,000 and six months later
had $280,000. They used this money to start an adoption ministry. This is quiet a story and I encourage you to read it in it's entirety. This story coupled with another woman who raffled off an ipod on her blog, was the inspiration for this idea.
As I said, Richard and I really wanted to give something to this family, even before they had the problems that they recently encountered. It seemed to us though, that while our small donation would help (and I know they would be incredibly grateful), in the grand scheme...the big picture of that 5 digit number, it seemed that our money wasn't even going to be a drop in the bucket. We wondered how we might "multiply our talents." Thus the idea was born, that we would take the money we were going to give them, and purchase a prize that would be given way via my blog.
So here is the scoop:
I have brand new, never been out of the box, 8GB ipod touch I would like to give away to someone. On the side bar of this blog will be a button so that you can donate to help this family bring home their two beautiful children from Africa. For every $15 you donate to their adoption fund, I will place one ticket with your name on it, into the drawing. If you give $15 you get one ticket, $30 two tickets...and so on. I will run this contest until midnight March 31. On April 1, 2009 I will have the drawing to pick the winner of the ipod touch, and announce the total amount raised as well as the winner on this blog. I am not sure how I will do the drawing just yet, but I know it will be in a group setting, so that everyone knows that the drawing was fair. Make sure that your name and email are included in the note when you donate, so that I know who the tickets belong to, and so I can email you for your address should you be the blessed winner of this very cool prize...an ipod touch!!
Here is where I need your help (well I need you donate too), you see that blog button on the top right of your screen(thank you to my eldest for making that for me), it is big on purpose. I am asking you to put that on your blog too. Maybe even write a post about this contest, and send people over to donate to the this family's adoption. The blog badge is integral, because once I post a new post, the old ones rarely get looked at. So in order to keep people giving for the full duration of the contest, we have to get the word out and keep it in the forefront, so that people can continue to give...and get more chances to win this ipod touch. If you link to this contest on your blog, by placing the button at the top of your page, email me your blog, and I will enter your name into a separate drawing for the book "There is No Me Without You." Sorry, no ipod for linking to the contest, only a chance to win a fantastic book.
So one more time here are the rules: For a chance to win an ipod touch
- Donate and get 1 ticket in the drawing for every $15 donation
- 1 winner will be drawn on April 1, 2009
- No one who lives in my house is allowed to join in this contest (much to their dismay)
- ipod touch will be shipped to the winner on or before April 4, 2009
- Include name and email in the note of your donation
Rules to win a copy of the book There is No Me Without You
- Place the blog button at the top of your blog and leave it there for the duration of the contest, and get one ticket in the drawing to win the book.
- Write a blog post about the contest and receive another ticket to win the book.
- Post about it on your facebook account and get another ticket.
- Email me your blog address so I can confirm you have posted.
- Winner for the book will be drawn on April 1, 2009
- Book will be shipped on or before April 4, 2009
- No one who lives in my house is allowed to join this contest either
Please remember that I am just one woman, trying to do the best I can. I will do all I can to run this contest with the up most integrity in an effort to serve the God I love so very much. If you have questions or need to let me know you have posted the contest link on your blog, you can email me at email@example.com
To donate and enter to win click the donate button, on the top right of this page. You do not have to have a pay pal account to donate. At the left there is a place to click if you don't have a pay pal account.
Thank you for your participation! We are looking forward to watching what God will do through His people.
Posted by Melissa at 9:59 AM