Thursday, September 30, 2010

Praise the Lord!

I'm so amazed that God raised over $20,000 for Yulia.  Blown away by how God works.  Sweet Adeye at No Greater Joy/Simple Surrender advocated for Yulia, trusting that God would show His glory through her advocacy.  God laid it on my heart to come alongside Adeye to simply advocate for Yulia as well.  I did nothing, other than donate and advocate.  That's it.  Some of you have asked how *I* did this, and *I* did NOTHING, other than come alongside Adeye to advocate.  I didn't even write up the story of Yulia.  I simply restated what Adeye shared from her heart; God did everything.  I don't even have a clue how many people donated in memory of Chrissie.  It doesn't matter.  What matters is that God broke a lot of hearts for Yulia, by whatever avenue He chose, and He is in the process of forever changing Yulia's future.  Praise Him!!! 

Would you please continue to pray that God would move mountains and unite Yulia with her forever family in GODSPEED?!?!  Yulia is running out of time and needs her family to rescue her SOON.  I've heard that a few families have expressed interest in Yulia (via Reece's Rainbow), but I'm waiting for the day that God announces His chosen family for Yulia. 

New topic:  I am sitting in a hotel room in Austin with 5 other adoption-loving women!  We are attending the Together for Adoption Conference (T4A), and oh what a joy it is to be surrounded by women who love God, love orphans, and live out James 1:27!  We spent the day today with Dr. Karyn Purvis (author of The Connected Child) learning how to parent children from hard places.  I just love her research and resonates well with me as I practiced "attachment parenting" (Dr. Sears) with my bio kids before I even knew that adoption would be in our future and before I had a clue how much attachment would become an integral part of my life in connecting with adopted kiddos.  I'm so blessed to be able to attend this conference (thanks Matt, Stephanie and kiddos for giving me this time here!).  I've met a few of you faithful and sweet blog readers here...thanks so much for taking the time to say hi!  I'm on the T4A featured blogger break-out (I think on Saturday), so if you're at the conference, stop by and say hi.  It's fun to meet those cyber-friends who have prayed for us.  What a blessing! :-)  And, if you're in the area, it's not too late to come to the conference!!!  Sign up HERE.
Dr. Karyn Purvis is the lady in the middle dressed in black.

Monday, September 27, 2010

$510 More Dollars to Raise for Yulia!!!

Are you as blown away as I am that sweet Yulia's adoption fund only needs $510 more dollars to meet the goal of $20K?!?!
 God has lifted up an army of financial donors who have so generously given to help save Yulia!!!
I have no clue who all has donated to Yulia's adoption fund; it may  not even be a single person who has donated in memory of Chrissie.  It doesn't matter WHO is donating or WHY, it matters that people are caring about Yulia and showing that her life matters.  If any of you reading this blog have donated to help save Yulia, I want to thank you.  Thank you for caring about a girl who is only known as an orphan right now.  We pray that Yulia will soon be CHOSEN by an earthly family who will change the orphan status to ADOPTED.  Yulia's life matters.  She is precious in His sight.  Who will answer the call to adopt Yulia?!?
Would you please spread the word to try to raise the last $510 for Yulia?!? 
Once the $20K goal is reached, we can focus our prayers solely on uniting Yulia with her forever family!
Donate to Yulia's adoption fund by clickin on the ChipIn below.
Thank you for helping live out James 1:27 and John 14:18.
Your heart for the orphan as you live out pure and undefiled religion will change Yulia's life forever.

11 More Days

11 more days
to help us wish Princess Chrissie a very happy heavenly birthday by rescuing Yulia!
Pray that Yulia will be united with her forever family!
Donate to Yulia's adoption fund by clickin on the ChipIn below.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

12 More Days

12 more days
to help us wish Princess Chrissie a very happy heavenly birthday by rescuing Yulia!
Pray that Yulia will be united with her forever family!
Donate to Yulia's adoption fund by clickin on the ChipIn below.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kisses FOR Chrissie

Chrissie's 5th birthday is October 8. I've been trying to figure out how to celebrate this day. I had really wanted to throw a princess ball to raise funds for orphans in Chrissie's memory, but my mind hasn't been organized (or available!) enough to get that together.

October 8th is going to be a hard day for us. I think I've been wanting to pretend that it's not going to happen or that we could just "ignore" that day and not notice that we should be having a big birthday party with our Chrissie on that day. Since I know this day is inevitable, I've been praying and brainstorming ways we can celebrate Chrissie's special day. Our family has tickets to attend A Night With the Chapmans (Steven Curtis Chapman) on Oct. 7, so I know that will be another facet to our healing and the beginning to celebrating Chrissie's birthday.

But what about October 8? That's the special day. That's the day I'm concerned about.

God gave me an idea as I prayed and pondered His precious rainbow gifts to us Wednesday. There's so much that God has been teaching me about Heaven and earth and our relationship with Chrissie, how He's using Chrissie in Heaven, etc. One of the ways that I believe God is using Chrissie in Heaven is that she's interceding for orphans to unite them with forever families.

Stay with me...I'm getting around to how this relates to Chrissie's birthday celebration.

Chrissie sent us kisses from Heaven when the double rainbow stretched over Wimberley on Wednesday.

Let's send kisses back to Chrissie by making an eternal difference in the life of an orphan.  Not just any orphan.  An orphan who has very little chance of being adopted.  An orphan who desperately wants and needs to be CHOSEN.  Just like Chrissie desperately wanted and needed to be chosen.

I blogged about sweet Yulia on Wednesday and asked you all to donate, pray and spread the word about her in order to help her find her forever family. I am so excited to report that over $12,000 has been raised for Yulia in just TWO DAYS!!! Praise God, for He is GOOD! This is AMAZING, truly amazing.

But more must be done. Yulia needs atleast $25,000 to fully fund her adoption. And she needs a ton of prayer, asking God to unite Yulia with her forever family.

In memory of Chrissie's 5th birthday, I would like to ask YOU to help us celebrate by helping Yulia in honor/memory of Chrissie.

Changing Yulia's life forever would be the very best gift we could possibly give to Chrissie in celebration of her 5th birthday!!! I know God will allow Chrissie to see and receive this gift from her earthly family and friends. I can only imagine the smiles Chrissie will have on October 8th as she listens to us sing her happy birthday and tell her about how much money has been donated to save Yulia. And wouldn't it be AMAZING if we could send Chrissie the most amazing birthday gift ever...the news that a family committed to adopting Yulia?!? Would you please pray with me that God will speak directly and boldly to the family He has already chosen to be Yulia's forever family and that they would be joyfully obedient to His call?!? And would you please consider donating to Yulia's "Rescue" fund as a birthday gift to Chrissie? I truly cannot think of a better birthday gift for Chrissie than saving Yulia's life.

Would you please help us celebrate Chrissie's 5th birthday?!?
Click on the Chip-In to donate!
Pray for Yulia to be united with her forever family.
Spread the word!

Be sure to leave a comment on this blog post so we can read every comment to Chrissie on her birthday October 8!!!

Don't forget you'll be entered to win a FREE iPad if you donate via the ChipIn.  Any amount helps and any amount qualifies you for the iPad giveaway.

Yulia's life is precious in His sight.  Please make a difference in the life of a child.  Chrissie will be so excited!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kisses from Chrissie

Look closely and you'll see a double rainbow.

Remember how God always spoke to us in rainbows regarding Chrissie?

Today as Matt and I were driving home together after a day of errands (and work for Matt), Chrissie spoke boldly to our hearts.  We've both (Matt and I) been quite emotional lately.  Really missing Chrissie.  (September 19 was 4 months since Chrissie went to Heaven.)

Chrissie knows we're really missing her.  She may even see our tears at times.  So today, bless her precious heart, she wanted to lift our spirits by sending us huge hugs and kisses from Heaven.

A double rainbow stretched over Wimberley this afternoon.  We took photos with our phones since we didn't have a camera in the car.  I'm amazed that the photos turned out, and so grateful for the opportunity to catch the rainbows in pics.  (Wimberley residents...the photo above is right by Deer Creek.)

This is the road that leads to our subdivision.  The rainbow touched down at the top of the hill directly in the center of the road.  We couldn't help but drive directly into it.  If you look closely, the double rainbow is still there, just very faint in this photo.

And look at how bold the colors are, captured with a phone camera!
This is the same road (that leads to our house) where God placed the rainbow that spoke peace to my heart before Chrissie's open-heart surgery.  Isn't God so kind to place another rainbow in the same location to remind us of His promise and fill our hearts with joy, Christyn Joy, sent straight from Heaven to give us angel kisses?!?  (Chrissie's not an angel, she's a saint in Heaven now, but we always called her our precious angel.)

So I wanted to take a moment to share Chrissie's kisses with you when God gave me this feeling that there was supposed to be something more with this post.

 Remember how God used Reece's Rainbow (special needs orphan advocacy) to bring Chrissie to our family?  (The word "rainbow", as in Reece's Rainbow, is yet another way God used rainbows to speak to us regarding Chrissie.)

Well, I think Chrissie wants YOU and ME to help another orphan.  A Reece's Rainbow orphan.  A 3-year-old girl named Yulia who is in Ukraine.  Yulia has a shortened life span, just like Chrissie.  We cannot let Yulia die an orphan.  We have to pray for God to send Yulia a family so He can fulfill His promise in John 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you."  Remember, the rainbow is a reminder of His promise, His covenant.  Yulia needs YOU.  She not only needs your prayers, but she needs your financial gift so that when a family steps up to adopt her, they won't be hindered by the financial burden of up front adoption costs, which will be about $25,000.  My bloggy friend, Adeye, is advocating for Yulia.  You'll want to read her post HERE.  Then you'll want to donate via Adeye's Chip-In button for Yulia.  And, if you donate before October 6, you'll be entered in Adeye's giveaway for a FREE iPad!!!

Yulia needs YOU!  Please donate, pray and spread the word!

Together we can stretch God's rainbow to Yulia! 
It's His promise.
John 14:18

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy 13th Birthday, Meribeth!

Mery Elizabeth Patterson
Born in Colombia, September 16, 1997
Born into The Patterson Family, November 10, 2008
We love you, Smiley!

Meribeth, you are such an amazing young woman.  I cannot believe you are a TEENAGER!  It seems like you have been a part of our family all of your life, and it hasn't even been two years yet that you've been with us! 

I know that it was very hard for you to come to Texas and be a part of our family. You still had older siblings in Colombia who you longed to be with.  Your mom and grandma were buried in Colombia, and that was the only world you had ever known.  It would be oh so difficult to leave your family, your friends, your culture, your Spanish language and move to Texas, but you said YES, even though it meant you would have to say goodbye to everything you knew and loved.

You courageously agreed to become a part of our family and move to America at the age of 11, even though it would be hard.  And it was so much harder than any of us ever imagined, wasn't it?!?  Oh, we were just so clueless about everything!  We had no idea what we were doing as first-time adoptive parents (of an older child on top of it!), so we apologize for all of the poor choices we made in parenting you.  We were learning right alongside you, Meribeth, and thank you for your grace while we learned how to parent an international, older-child, adoptee who had suffered more tragedy and tribulations than any person should ever have to endure.

Meribeth, I am so sorry that I missed out on your first eleven years, but God has made it feel like you've been with us forever, so I praise Him for that special gift.  You are a precious treasure, Meribeth.  It is beyond amazing to witness and experience first-hand how God has grown you (and us!).  I never thought we'd get to the point where we are today, where you are now known as "Smiley", full of joy, helpful, respectful, honest, kind, generous, selfless, hard-working, humble, bonded, connected, engaged, smart and beautiful in every way, inside and out.  Praise God for redemption, unconditional love and amazing grace!

Meribeth, you are such a blessing to our family.  We are so grateful that God chose YOU for our family.  You are the one He hand-picked out of 147 million orphans to be our very first adopted child.  You are CHOSEN, Meribeth.  Thank you for persevering through the hard times.  Thank you for allowing God into your heart, opening your broken heart to experience a meaningful and personal relationship with the King of Kings.  Thank you for allowing God to mold you into who you are today.  Thank you for loving Jesus.  Thank you for serving your family with joy.  Thank you for your smile, your joy, you laughter.  Thank you for being you, Meribeth.  You are lovely in every way. 

We love you, Smiley! :-)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sweet Mercies

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, the mom who had scheduled an abortion for this past Wednesday has decided to keep the baby and not abort HER!  She had an ultrasound (praise God for this wonderful instrument in saving lives of His precious children), and God used this tool to show the mom that her baby is a GIRL, a healthy baby girl who is at about 21 weeks gestation.  Thank you so much for praying!  Please take a moment to praise Him for all He did to speak LIFE to this struggling mom.  Continue to pray for this mom as she walks this path, that she may come to know Him, trust Him, taste of His goodness and His sweet mercy.  And may she melt in His miracle as His CHOSEN Baby Mercy comes into this world.  May she seek His will for Baby Mercy and feel His peace, comfort and unconditional love.

Thank you for your grace as the blog has been so quiet this week.  We've been really busy, and my computer has had some issues, and I fell and either severely jammed or broke my finger, making it a little difficult to type. 

In fact, I wanted to document "the fall" here because I believe it has some significance in the healing path of walking through my grief.  Last Thursday, September 2, I was dragging our huge (industrial) mop bucket from our storage room into our mud room when I unexpectedly slipped (still don't really know how) and fell (HARD) down two very hard wooden stairs and landed on concrete, after hitting (HARD) both of the wooden stairs.  I knew I was hurt the moment I hit.  I've never EVER fallen like that.  Yes, I've fallen, but not like this.  I felt like I had slipped on ice.  The kind of fall when there's no time to react, no time to catch oneself, no time to cushion the blow.  My lower back hit against the edge of one of the hard wooden stairs, my tailbone crashed into the other stair, then my feet slid across the slippery concrete like it was a sheet of ice.  Somehow in this, my middle finger on my left  hand either broke or was severely jammed.  Little Kiefer was next to me, and his sweet, protective, empathetic spirit immediately comforted me.  He patted my back so gently and hugged and kissed my "boo-boo's".  I broke down into tears:  big huge crocodile tears, which then turned into moans, then cries and sobs as the pain escalated.

In this process of crying out in physical pain, my emotional pain was coming out, too.  I just needed a big, hefty, full-out cry...the kind of cry that one wants no one else to see.  I didn't even want to tell anyone what had happened.  (I did call my husband because I needed to alert him incase he felt I should see a doctor for my injuries.)  I even cried on the phone to my husband.  I am the type of person who doesn't cry easily.  I will try my hardest to be tough when it comes to physical or emotional pain.  I'm just that way.  (I've talked before about my heart and how I have prayed for years for God to circumcise my heart, according to Scripture; to make my heart more like His.)

I was also crying because I knew that my injuries were quite severe.  Not severe enough for me to be hospitalized, but severe enough to interrupt daily life.  I could no longer use my finger, which throbbed and swelled with pain.  I could hardly walk due to the pain in my back from the gash of the stair where I hit.  I was deeply bruised in several places, and I was reminded of those bruises with every move I made.  And I was frustrated because my husband's 40th birthday was the very next day, and I was going to surprise him with a stay at a bed and breakfast and try to do everything within my power to make his day perfect.  Now I would have a handicap of sorts, a thorn in my side, that would keep me from making his day as perfect as I could make it.

From my fall, the bruises were evident on the outside.  People could look at my finger or my back and see that I had been injured.  My finger was swollen and purple/red/blue.  My back had a cut and was physically bulging with edema (swelling), along with some scratches and more blue/red/black/purple bruising.  The pain could be seen by the human eye.  My kids and husband felt sorry for me and winced as they saw my injuries.  I physically hurt when I moved.  I couldn't walk, sit or lie down without being reminded of my pain.  I couldn't do anything with my left hand.  It was obvious that I was hurting.  No one could deny it.

And this physical outward bruising is so similar to the bruises in my heart, except one is evident on the exterior and one isn't.  My heart is deeply bruised, and *I* cannot deny that. Even if I try to be tough and not cry, the bruises are still there, on the inside, deep within my heart where others cannot physically see the pain, but the pain still resides in my heart.  And I am reminded of the internal heart pain with every move I make, just as I was reminded of my outward physical pain from the fall with every move I made.  With every move I make, I am reminded of Chrissie, which palpates the bruising in my heart.  Every room in my house holds a memory of Chrissie which brushes up against the bruise.  Every store I enter, I see something that reminds me of Chrissie, from girly clothes, sweet hair bows, darling little girl's shoes to chocolate that Chrissie would have loved which makes my heart want to cry.  I cannot move without being reminded of the pain in my heart, just as I could not move after my fall without being reminded of the pain in my body. 

After my fall, I wanted my body to heal QUICKLY.  I didn't want to be inconvenienced; I didn't want to hurt.  I wanted to regain use of my finger, immediately.  I wanted to be able to move without hurting in my back and tailbone, and I didn't want to be slowed down.  Which also brings me back to my heart.

The only One capable of healing the bruising in my heart is God.  I have no doubt that my heart will heal, but this healing won't be in such a way that I will eventually just forget about the pain or forget my sweet Princess Chrissie.  The bruising won't just disappear overnight.  I will actually never stop missing Christyn "Jewelry" (Joy) Patterson, until I'm in Heaven with her.  The healing of my heart will be a slow process, not anything instantaneous.  Some days may have less pain than other days, some days I may feel more healed than other days.  Some days I may just break out into tears, telling others that I'm still hurting, while other days I may feel like everything's OK.  Since others cannot physically see the bruising of my heart, it may not be as evident as the outward bruising caused by my fall.  It hurts the same, regardless of how evident it may or may not be.

But our Lord is faithful, He is sovereign, He is trustworthy, He is good, He is merciful, He is powerful, He is mighty, and He loves me and my broken heart.  He knows the condition of my heart.  I have asked Him to search it, to change it, to heal it, and to make it more like His.  And just like Kiefer was right by my side when I physically fell, immediately there to pat me, hold me, kiss me and love on me without judgment, my God is right here by my side, always, instantly, to pat me, hold me, kiss me and love on me.  He tenderly holds my heart in the palm of His mighty  hand.  He is the Healer of my heart.  My Jehovah Rapha.  As He gracefully holds the pieces of my heart in His hand, He is at work daily, reassembling things and remodeling my heart to be more like His.  His grace is sufficient for me.  He is my Rock, my Fortress, my Shield, my Strength.  I don't want my broken heart to feel like an inconvenience (the way my finger was from my fall).  I want to embrace this brokenness and bruising, trusting wholeheartedly in God's sovereignty, even though I don't understand and would have chosen a different ending than the one God has written.  I want to praise God in this storm, even though I'd rather be playing in the sunshine.  This is not a fall.  This is faith.  And God, please continue to pour out your sweet mercies upon my broken heart and continue allowing me to walk in faith, holding Your hand as You so faithfully help me along this healing path.  Thank you God for Your healing and for Your sweet mercies.  We praise Your precious name, Abba Father.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable."
~CS Lewis, The Four Loves

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Advocating for Precious Lives

UPDATE 9/16/10:  You can view a video of Gage by clicking HERE!

I need your help advocating for several precious lives.  Lives that are at great risk right now.  Lives that if someone doesn't step in FAST, these precious lives are in danger of no longer be lived here on earth.  These children need your prayers and your advocacy.  Thanks for answering His call to care for orphans.  Your prayers are powerful, your advocacy raises awareness for lives of little ones who are PRECIOUS in His sight.  Thank you!

1.  The first life is that of an unborn child who is scheduled to be aborted this Wednesday, September 8.  The baby is about 17-18 weeks in utero, and this precious little one has an adoptive family already waiting to unconditionally love and cherish this chosen baby.  If you'd like to sign up to pray and intercede for this baby's life, please contact Melissa at  Melissa is organizing a round-the-clock prayer chain to intercede for this precious life.
Update 9/16/10:  Baby Mercy is a GIRL and birth mom is not aborting her!  Praise God for His mercy and keep birth mom in your prayers.
2.  Gage. BOY, born November 26, 2005 SIGNIFICANT RISK, PLEASE ADOPT ME SOON!! Gage is a very intelligent, happy, and affectionate young man! 

Click HERE to learn more about me!  I'll be turning 5 this year, the day after the American Thanksgiving, in my orphanage in Eastern Europe.  I don't have much to be thankful about since I will be moved to an institution (where I will die) just after my 5th birthday if someone doesn't commit to adopting me right now.  I have a $4,500 grant toward my adoption, and people who have met me say I'm a ray of sunshine, a bundle of joy, precious and full of lifePlease somebody, please help me!!!

And click HERE to see a video of me!!!  (update added 9/16/10)

3Mason.  BOY, born Born March 14, 2007. Mason is an orphanage favorite!! Isn't he darling?

Click HERE to learn more about me!  I'm in the same orphanage as Gage where we've lived like brothers together.  Gage is almost 5 and I'm 3.  Perfect ages to be forever brothers!  We can even be adopted together, and we both have sizable grants!  Oh please won't someone choose us?!?  God has promised me He won't leave me as an orphan.  (Mark 14:18)  Who will answer His call?

4Sandra.  Girl, born June 22, 2006.  Look how precious this blonde-haired, brown-eyed cutie is!

Click HERE to learn more about me.  I just turned 4.  I'm in the same orphanage as Gage and Mason and we could all be adopted together if there's a family out there who would like to adopt 3 cuties and save our lives forever.  Wouldn't it be fun to have a 3, 4 and 5 year old?!?  Of course, we can all be adopted individually, too.  We just need a forever family.  Could I belong to you?

5Sutton.  Boy, born July 9, 2009.  Good gracious, what a GORGEOUS child!!!

Click HERE to learn more about me.  I just turned ONE year old, and I really need a forever family to save my life.  I'm in Eastern Europe, but not in the same orphanage as the other kids listed above.  So, I really  need a family who wants a precious baby boy because God tells me I'm precious.  Do you agree?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ahoy There and Happy 40th, Matey!

Happy 40th Birthday, Matt!
I love you more than yesterday!

My 40-year-old husband is the love of my life, and I'm beyond blessed that God chose him for me.  I cannot even dream of having a better husband.  Matt is wholeheartedly devoted to God, me, and his children.  Matt is the spiritual leader of our home, and he seeks to serve and honor God in everything he thinks, says, and does.  Matt works hard to provide abundantly for his family, and he not only supports, but enables and praises, my staying at home to care for our family.  Matt loves to spend time with his family.  He's the kind of dad who comes home from work (often times early) so that he can play with his kids.  He has an amazing relationship with each of us...a relationship that is special, unique, and one-of-a-kind.  The type of relationship that makes each of us feel like we're the most important person on the face of the earth.  And Matt extends his tender heart to others.  He's always helping others, even people he doesn't know and will never meet.  He anonymously does things to help others, too.  He's not looking for praise or recognition (ever!), but I think he's well-deserving of it as we celebrate his 40th birthday! 

And I just HAVE to share this AWESOME birthday gift from Chrissie, sent straight from Heaven from a beautiful brown-eyed girl sending angel kisses to her daddy on his 40th birthday! 

Do you remember MARIA?!?  (Hint:  click on her name or look at the Maria button on the blog!)  Well, Princess Maria has a forever family!!!  Little Maria is the sweet princess who we chose to receive Chrissie's memorial donations that so many of you sent to Reece's Rainbow when Chrissie went to Heaven.  Oh praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow...Maria is CHOSEN!!!  God says in Mark 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."  Thank you, God, for coming to rescue Maria, for hand-picking her forever family, for all of the generous donors who gave to Reece's Rainbow in memory of Chrissie, and, of course, for our Princess Chrissie whose legacy continues through the adoption of Princess Maria.  And thank you, God, for sending this amazing birthday wish to Matt on his 40th birthday.  Please, Father, give Chrissie a great big hug with a brownie batter kiss (and squeeze her neck and pinch her precious cheeks while you're at it) for us.  Thank you, Abba Daddy!  WOW!  What a special surprise and everlasting birthday gift!  Thank you, Maria's family, for choosing life for Maria.  If you'd like to visit Maria's new family, just click HERE.    (Please keep the Christopherson family in your prayers, as well as their special princess.  They'll need lots of prayer (and donations!) to get their daughter home quickly!)

And speaking of donations, would you please consider donating to help an orphan in honor of Matt's 40th birthday?  If you choose to donate in honor of Matt, please leave a comment here to let us know.  If you'd like to join me to extend your birthday greetings to a very special man, here's a list of things you can do that would make Matt feel oh-so-special on his 40th birthday:
  • Facebook friend Matt Patterson (He's getting a surprise Facebook profile for his 40th b-day, so he doesn't have any friends yet and you could make his day by starting him out with lots of friends on his new Facebook profile!)  Click HERE to Facebook friend Matt (and be sure to leave him a b-day wish on his wall!)
  • Facebook "like" Matt's insurance agency, Matt Patterson Insurance Agency, Inc.  (I set this page up for him as well as part of his b-day surprises!)  Click HERE to "like" Matt Patterson Insurance Agency, Inc.  (And, even if you don't have your insurance with Matt, I promise you would like his agency!  He's been voted "Best Insurance Agency in Hays County" too many times for me to keep up with it! :-)
  • Leave a comment here on the blog to wish Matt a happy b-day!  (Just go down to the "leave a comment" link at the very bottom of this blog post.
  • Donate to help orphans in honor of Matt, in any denomination of "40" (40 cents, $4, $ get the picture!  And, really, any amount will help on orphan...just trying to have fun with the 40 theme!)
    • Click HERE to donate to Princess Maria (Jillian Christyn Maria Christopherson), the sweet princess who received Chrissie's memorial fund on Reece's Rainbow
    • Click HERE to donate to "Abby's Wish" (our friends The Riggs' adoption fund; there's also a place to donate in my sidebar on the right side of the blog)
    • Click HERE to donate to the "Pass It Forward" adoption fund (our friends, The Blocks, who are raising money to pass on to another adoptive family; there's also a place to donate in my sidebar on the right side of the blog)
    • Click HERE to donate to "Show Hope" (Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth's, orphan ministry)
    • (I chose those 4 ways to donate because those are the 4 that are nearest and dearest to Matt's heart...and it's 4 ways, as in the BIG 40 (divided by 10 of course, which gives you 4...4 great ways to donate to help orphans and tell Matt how special he really is!!!)
Don't forget to leave a comment on the blog if you donate!  In fact, I'd like to do a GIVEAWAY in honor of Matt's 40th birthday!  For everyone who donates to any of the 4 orphan ministries listed above (and leaves a comment here to tell us that you donated), your name will be entered in our birthday GIVEAWAY!  We'll keep the giveaway open for the weekend, and we'll close it at midnight on Labor Day, September 6.  And a special bonus:  If you donate $40 (or more), we'll throw your name into the pot 40 times!!!  WOW!  The winner will be able to choose any one of the following books:  Have Heart by Steve and Sarah Berger, Heaven by Randy Alcorn, My Dream of Heaven by Rebekah Ruter Springer, or Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman.  Don't forget to leave a comment! :-)

We love you, Big Daddy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


What if Jesus had turned His back on us because we were too risky, too messed up, too old, too hurt, too abused?

What if Jesus denied us because we might be a threat to His family?

What if we had told Chrissie no because our youngest wouldn't be 10-15 years older than her? (She would have died an orphan and Mark 14:18 wouldn't have been true for Chrissie. )

What if we had told Meribeth no because she was the same age as our Mattie?

What if we had told Naomi no because she was older than our other kiddos?

What if we had told Asher no because he was too risky?

What if we had told Kiefer no because we are still in our child-bearing years?

The Bible tells us to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Mark 14:18 says, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you."

Aren't you glad that Jesus didn't listen to man and be persuaded to reject and deny us?

I am still sickened over the advice of a godly man in the ministry. (see yesterday's post entitled Man vs. God if you don't know what I'm talking about!)

I am sitting on the side of the road tyoing this message as I could not go on about my day until I stopped to thank Jesus for His mercy, love, grace and redemption. I am not worthy, I am high risk, yet He chose my regardless. Thank you Jesus!

This message is sent to you via the blessing of Lorraine's cell phone. :-)

Man vs. God

"Never adopt children even close to the age of your own. You should be past child bearing age, and your children should be at least 10-15 years older than the adopted kids. I don't think there is any such thing as an orphanage raised child who has not been a participant in sexual perversion. If you are older and your kids are grown, it is a wonderful, full time ministry to adopt foreign kids. You will experience heartache, possibly failure, but you may just save a soul from sure destruction. But if there is failure, at least your kids will not go down with them."

"Foster parenting is for people whose children are grown or for families with older children who take in the very young." 
Comments written by Michael Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries.

I am nauseated by these words.  Sick.  I had a prospective adoptive family contact me in fear after they read this article.  I preached my opinion, based upon God's Word and my personal experience, to this sweet mom.  Then I went to the site that ignited her fears, and I felt sad, sick, and frustrated beyond words. 

I left a comment on Mr. Pearl's sight in response to his advice for families.  Below are my thoughts to Mr. Pearl and the other parents who have left comments on Mr. Pearl's article, the very parents who may be timid toward adoption due to fears that man has set in their hearts.  I don't know if Mr. Pearl will post my comments on his site, but I do not want any of you to read his words of caution and be turned away from the very heart of God with His command to care for orphans and widows in their distress.  Here's a copied/pasted version of the comment I left for Mr. Pearl and his readers:

I am so sad to see such a negative viewpoint toward adoption and fostering with so many parameters being set up by man with regards to orphan care and fostering. It is God's command to care for orphans and widows in their distress. This, according to Scripture, is pure and undefiled religion. Nowhere in the Bible does it set parameters on WHO should care for orphans (older couples past child-bearing years, etc.), nor does it set parameters on the value of the life of an orphan (regardless of the child's history or being raised in an orphanage). All children are precious in His sight, regardless of what country they live in or whether they were orphaned or have lived in an orphanage or have suffered abuse. They are valued by God and He asks us to care for them. No child ever asks to be hurt/molested (including our bio kids), and all children (and adults) are valued and redeemable. His blood is our redemption. There is no sin too great for redemption, but if we all turn our backs on the orphans who God calls us to care for, they may never know redemption.
I am deeply saddened to see you scare off families from living out James 1:27 by setting your own parameters upon adoption and fostering. I would like to answer each and every one of you who have questioned whether or not you should adopt or foster to not be influenced by man, but to seek God, seek His Word, ask for His wisdom, be obedient to His call. Do not allow man to keep you from obedience to our Father's Word. I agree that not everyone is capable of adopting or fostering, but if God calls you, He will equip you to do His will. If God calls you to adopt and/or foster, He wants your obedience, regardless of the age of your bio children, regardless of where you are in your child-bearing years, regardless of man's fear and warnings.
I highly recommend Dr. Karyn Purvis' book The Connected Child if you are considering adoption or fostering. It is a Christian book with much insight and help for families caring for orphans.
We've broken all of the "rules" set by Mr. Pearl here. We've adopted children the exact same age as our bio children, we've adopted children older than our bio children, we've adopted children who no one else has wanted to adopt, and we are allowing God to write our story instead of disobeying His direct call and writing our own story. A story not authored by God Himself is not one we are interested in. We have witnessed redemption first-hand, and it is glorious. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a child who was once discarded, unloved and abused flourish into a God-fearing young woman who adores the Lord and serves Him wholeheartedly. Saved. Redeemed by the blood of the lamb through the obedience of a family who wasn't afraid of man's warnings, a family who has allowed God to write our story and display redemption first-hand.
Delayed obedience is disobedience. Partial obedience is disobedience. Do not let man sway you from obeying God. Seek Him first.
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