Monday, June 4, 2012

All for One Treasured Princess

I love the variety of families God has introduced me to via the adoption community.  I also love how God connects so many of us via the Internet, so much so that many times we feel we have close “family” members whom we’ve never even met in “real” life.  That’s God for you!

When we pray for others, we can’t help but feel a connection to them.  So, naturally, the more we pray for someone (whether we’ve ever met them in real life or not), we feel like we know them.  I love how God does that for us.  He creates close family/friends through prayer, and as we deepen our relationship with Him, He deepens our relationship with them (the ones we’re praying for). 

Back in the summer of 2009, God used a lady named Jenny to lead us to our beloved daughter, Chrissie.  You can read God’s miraculous story HERE, which lists Jenny by name, in the telling of how God led us to Chrissie.  Jenny’s also my friend who gave me the idea of how to do Ella’s hair

Even though I’ve never met Jenny in “real” life, I love her in a way that only God is capable of creating.  My heart holds a little piece of Jenny in it simply because she is the earthly vessel God used to get Chrissie into our family.  Never did I imagine that God would give me an opportunity to bless Jenny the way He used her to bless our family.

Today, my friends, I not only have the honor of introducing you to Jenny (who just started her very own blog), but I also have the great privilege of asking you to surround Jenny with prayer and support as God is unfolding a mighty miracle in Jenny’s life, the life of her ever-growing family of 16 17, and the life of a radiant forgotten Ugandan treasure named Esther . 
God has placed before us an amazing opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to my precious friend, Jenny, as He leads the way to bring sweet Esther home in His Godspeed fashion.  You see, Jenny and her family just heard about Esther mere weeks ago.  They were required to go to Uganda to meet Esther before they would be allowed to officially commit to pursuing her adoption (which isn’t normally required).  In a matter of days, our Jehovah Jireh provided everything necessary for Jenny and her husband to go to Uganda to meet Esther.  They knew all along Esther was/is their daughter, but God used this trip to Uganda to do more than solidify this family’s commitment to adopting Esther.

God used this normally-not-required-trip to Uganda to orchestrate a JUNE COURT DATE for Esther to be adopted and get HOME!!!!!!!!  This is nothing short of  a miracle unfolding before our very eyes.  The Ugandan courts close in July and August.  There are families who’ve been waiting for many months, some for years, to get their Ugandan court date.  This is ALL God, ALL for His glory, ALL to rescue sweet Esther and save her life.  (Not to discourage you if you’re one of those waiting families; trust in God’s sovereignty and perfect timing, always, even when it doesn’t feel that way.  This case is truly an exception.)

Esther has a host of medical issues, including life-threatening seizures, and the sweet princess is in desperate need of Jenny and her husband to get her home quickly to get her much-needed proper medical care.  God has orchestrated the timing of everything with such Godspeed that there’s absolutely no way for Jenny and her husband to raise the necessary funding on their own, which I happen to love, because this is an amazing opportunity for God to show off.  And I know He will.  We must step in and help since we are His hands and feet on earth.  He commands us to care for the orphan (James 1:27).  He has set before us a unique opportunity to make His name famous, to illustrate how the body of Christ comes together to raise the ransom for ONE, to donate to bring Esther home, to spread His story far and wide of how He’s orchestrated such miracles for Esther and Jenny and Brad and their entire family.  His stories are always the best stories.  Please be a part of it!

He’s not done writing this story, in fact, it’s just the beginning.  I urge you to partake in this unfolding miracle by praying, donating, and sharing Esther and Jenny’s story far and wide. 
Donations are tax-deductible through Project Hopeful, and if you donate right now, there’s an incredible giveaway being hosted on Love’s site (Esther’s greatest earthly advocate).  A generous, Jesus-loving friend of mine in real life has donated an iPad 3, plus there are lots of other great prizes in the giveaway as an incentive and reward to motivate you to give, give, give, and share, share, share!!!  Make sure to read the giveaway rules and leave a comment HERE to be entered in the awesome giveaway, which ends in one week from today on June 11.

Donations are tax-deductible, and there are earthly incentives to motivate you to GIVE!
Here’s Jenny’s testimony of her amazing family and how God led them to adopt sweet Esther (as written by Jenny):

We are the Groothuis family, just your typical family of 16 17, with half of our children adopted from Africa! We are a dancing, silly, somewhat loud, Jesus-loving family. We homeschool, live in Iowa, and love to celebrate the goodness of God and His great love to us!  We had 5 sons and then adopted 5 daughters in 2005 from Liberia West, Africa. One of our girls died the day before we flew home from Liberia and the others were quite sick. In 2008 we adopted 3 more Liberian children, this time from a disruption. Some of these children had very intense medical needs, had life-threatening complications and surgeries. We have seen miracles and the children are thriving today. A child that couldn’t talk for years…now verbal! A child with a very damaged anti-viral that has stopped the damage. A child that couldn’t swallow or eat for having oral intake! Broken hearts mended, diseases goes on!

So here’s what led up to Esther. Last December we updated our homestudy, thinking we would do an easy special need like HIV. Well then we were contacted by a girl who used to live with us when she ran away and came to Iowa from a residential treatment center in South Chicago. She found out she was pregnant and HIV positive and needed help. I know a fabulous QUEEN OF HIV adoptions (Carolyn Twietmeyer of Project Hopeful) in Chicago who took her under her wing and helped her out......and told me about a little girl named Esther in Uganda who really needed a family and introduced me to an adoptive mama who had been advocating for Esther for a long time, her name was Love

Now a couple years ago one of our biological sons started having tonic-clonic seizures out of no where. Perfectly healthy kid and at age 7...seizures became a huge part of our life. For 2 years much of his life revolved around seizures...and then God healed him. He has been seizure free and medication free for a year and a half. Not so much as a headache. Hallelujah!  So I have this drawer full of rescue medication to stop status seizures and I wondered what I was going to do with all that?! When I heard about Esther and her seizures I thought, “Hey, we know seizures!” and she was non-verbal and I thought, “We’ve done non-verbal!” and I heard a few other possible labels kicked around and I thought, “We know hypothetical labels!” and then I saw the photos and a video link that some amazing mamas had made to advocate for her and I knew. This is our daughter! 

I had a dream that she was in a crib banging her head (either from a seizure or from self-soothing) I and went in and she stood up in the crib and reached her arms out to me and I picked her up.  When we told our other children about Esther they were quite concerned she didn’t have hair. Hair braiding and weaving is one of our main crafts/hobbies and because one of our daughters always stayed on the pediatric oncology ward at our children’s hospital when she was there, they were concerned Esther must have cancer! We assured them they just shaved their heads at the orphanage, but soon she too would be introduced to the wonders of beads, braids, and all things fabulous for her hair! 
Now that we’ve met Esther and held Esther and prayed over Esther we are even more in love than ever. She is a delight, a treasure, and we thank God over and over we get to be her parents! Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who never gave up praying for her, advocating for her, being her voice, and being a channel of God’s grace to our family!!! We are all in awe and wonder at how the Author and Finisher of our faith can write such a page-turner! His love and favor are all over little Miss Esther and the next chapters of her life will be full of divine reversals and new victories! How great is our GOD!
Please, please, please share Jenny’s story, pray for them, and donate to rescue His beloved Esther.  I can’t wait to see God raise this ransom!

Remember, donations are tax-deductible.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway HERE.

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