Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mission Boss Your Heart Memorial Blitz

It was on this very day a year ago, April 19, 2010, that Chrissie went in for open-heart surgery.  If you didn't follow Chrissie's story in April 2010, you need to go read what God did during her 31-day battle.  There are SEVEN posts from last year written on April 19:  HERE is Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4, Post 5, Post 6, Post 7.  We had no idea Chrissie would die on this day, but we were so very grateful that God so graciously and miraculously give her back to us for another 30 days.

Today, without her in our arms, we must choose joy over sorrow, but it is hard.  So very hard.  There's simply no way we could do this without Him, the One who gives us hope like no other.  While Chrissie was in the hospital, she taught us how to boss our hearts.  We didn't realize how many times we'd have to remember those words, "boss your heart", as we learn to journey our earthly lives without our precious daughter.  We had no idea how important that phrase, "boss your heart", would become to us on a daily basis, just about every moment of every day.  We remember Chrissie's example as we work hard to boss our hearts in sync with His Word, to take our negative thoughts captive, to purposely choose joy when it would be much easier to choose not to get out of bed.  But we will NOT let Satan have his way.  He would like nothing more than for our family to be overcome by grief and believe his lies.  We, as a family, are choosing to boss our hearts instead.

As the anniversary of Chrissie's 31-day battle is upon us, whether we like it or not, we must face the reality of this date.  Since we have chosen to boss our hearts in Chrissie fashion, we are choosing to help others during this "Boss Your Heart" memorial month.  Let's call it "Mission Boss Your Heart Memorial Blitz".  We'll be focusing on a different need each week from April 19-May 19, the anniversary of Chrissie's 31-day battle.  It is our greatest desire to keep Chrissie's legacy alive by helping others, particularly orphans, heart patients, and the sick/weak, while giving God all the glory and honor for the great things He has done and continues to do.

Would you please prayerfully consider joining us as we support the families that we'll be introducing to you over the next 31 days?  We'll dedicate 7 days to each featured family/need, with prayer that God will lift up an army of support for each family. 

I pray that you will help us spread the word by re-posting each featured family/child/need on your blogs, Facebook, twitter, etc.  We're going to give away a Boss Your Heart book each week to one person from the comment list on this post, and to be eligible, you just have to help.  Every time you pray for the featured need of the week, leave a comment on THIS post.  Every time you share the featured need of the week (via Facebook, Twitter, etc.), leave a comment on THIS post.  Every time you donate to the featured need of the week, leave a comment on THIS post.  Be sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do, each time you do it.  We will use random.org to select a winner, and it's easiest to have all of the comments in the same place, with a separate comment for each thing you do because random.org selects the winner by using the number of comments.  There's no limit to the number of comments you may leave, just be honest. :-)

Without your support (your prayers, your donations, your help with spreading the word), we won't be able to fully witness what God plans to do with this.  It is OUR responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in Christ, it is OUR responsibility to help the orphan, feed the hungry, provide for the poor.  How will the world know this need if we don't take the time to share it?  How will this family's needs be met if we don't take responsibility, as the hands and feet of Christ, to give what we're able to help rescue Ian from life in an asylum?  Adoption is ridiculously expensive, and I hate that, but Satan loves it.  He tries to stop every single adoption, and finances is one way that he is sometimes victorious.  I hate that.  How can we let Satan win?  We simply cannot.  When a family is willing to adopt, the world should come alongside that family to help in any way possible.  Then no child would be left behind due to a family lacking the finances to provide the ransom.

God's Word tells us in Proverbs 24:12, "Once our eyes have been opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act."  Please help open the world's eyes to the needs of others, and join us in prayer that God will make Himself famous as we take responsibility in helping others, in memory of Chrissie, during "Mission Boss Your Heart Memorial Blitz"!

"When God measures man, He places the tape around his heart."  ~author unknown

It is  my great honor to introduce to you this week's featured child/need:  Ian, who is being adopted by The Stewart Family.  I was brought to tears when Gretchen Stewart contacted me a few weeks ago to let me know their story, which came about because of Chrissie.  Oh how I wish I could have a record of every family who was moved to adopt because of Chrissie!!!!!  Hearing stories like this is like a sweet salve to our hurting hearts.  I hope you'll be blessed by reading The Stewart's story, and I pray you'll bless them abundantly with your prayers and support!

The Stewart's Adoption Story
Written by Gretchen Stewart

Her smile saved him – and us!

I first came across the world of blogs in 2006, after my son Ari was born with some special needs. I was searching for answers on how other parents lived life with a special child. 4 years later, after turning reading blogs once a week, into a daily habit, I came across a small button for a little girl with a big smile, asking for prayer. Her name was Chrissie. Her smile had me hooked, and before my head knew what my hand was doing, I clicked.

That one click brought me here, to Lorraine’s blog. That one click also changed the lives of my family and many of my friends. I followed Chrissie’s story, sometimes 3 times a day while she fought the most elegant of princess battles, while she bossed her heart – and reached out to so many others to actually change their life paths. I went back and read through the Patterson’s blog, I learned all about Chrissie. I learned she was adopted, and I found a link there amidst her story, and before my head knew what my hand was doing, I clicked on Reece’s Rainbow.

Then…Chrissie went to heaven. Her presence though, never left me, nor the many images of her joyful smile. The pain her family felt when she had to go, and the victory they found to get back up and keep on going…I knew that had to result in something really positive. So, with the mantra, “Boss your Heart” playing over and over in my head, and with princess Chrissie smiling down at what I felt like was our family, we stepped out beyond what we thought was the limit of our faith, and we answered the call to rescue another.

This is Ian. He just turned 5. He has been an orphan since birth. Cast away because he has Down Syndrome, because of his ethnic heritage, and because of his bad heart. His chances for adoption? Millions and millions to one. The chances I would fall in love with Chrissie’s smile and her story, and be so moved by it that we too would adopt a child? Who even knows?  But odds, when GOD is a part of what is happening in your life, are not important. God knew it would be Chrissie that would shine a light from heaven to lead us here.

Last week we met Ian for the very first time. Our son. Chrissie’s memory was never far, as we crossed over and back more than 10,000 miles. This incredible gift, the life that Chrissie’s story and legacy has brought to us by helping us to have the will and faith to adopt an orphan with special needs, is something I can never tell that sweet girl thank you, thank you, thank you, for enough. Adoption changes you, forever. Orphan adoption changes you in ways you never imagined. Our family has been so blessed through this incredible journey, and it never would have happened without me seeing Chrissie’s sweet smile one day almost a year ago.

We didn’t know until last Monday that Ian’s little heart needs help. We thought it was taken care of in infancy, we thought he was good to go. He’s not. We were asked to make an on the spot decision – to refuse or accept heart surgery for him there, in Russia. We refused. Reece’s Rainbow has seen the loss of several children recently who had families coming for them, but who faced heart surgery under archaic conditions. Ian is thin, small, and needs to come home to get fed up, get loved up, and get seen by American doctors to prepare him, and us, for his own heart battle.

Our prayer now is that Ian’s heart will wait until we can return to complete his adoption. How long? Well, that depends on all of us. We have USCIS approval and our court dossier is ready for submission. All we lack now is the remaining money to free our boy and bring him home. Russian adoptions are some of the most expensive out there, and for Ian’s life, we are glad to lay before him $47,566.00. Today, we remain $18,000.00 short. We cannot return for Ian until we raise that amount. If we can raise it fast, like before the end of May, Ian will come home this summer, before the doctors try to operate on him there.

We humbly invite you to help! and we thank you too, for sharing in another one of Chrissie’s powerful works, so that we might save Ian and get him home in the next 2-3 months.

We have a unique and beautiful fundraiser happening right now for Ian. Our perfectly imperfect fundraiser can be found on our blog, where you can also see video of our little man dancing to the a,b,c’s the first time we met him!

or here

Ian has an extensive website too, that loves to be shared!

In Him,
Gretchen, Craig, and Ari – The Stewart Family

To DONATE to help Ian come home, click HERE!

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