Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gearing Up...

We are almost ready for our yard-sale fundraiser Friday and Saturday!

We have some signs still to make, and my husband is adamant on getting a permit, so I guess I will be making a trip to city hall. I was a bit reluctant about taking the time to do it, but he pointed out I could pay ten dollars for a permit, or pay a hundred dollar fine.

I chose the permit;)

Yesterday we drove to the desert to pick up more donated items for the sale. We are so thankful to the people who have contributed and for the people who have committed to pray.

Would you also join us in prayer for a successful sale? We are halfway to raising the $3,000.00 needed for the matching grant of $3,000.00!  Hoping that the yard sale will get us there or past it. I just got news this week that the first step in the paper work from Congo has been done, and we are just waiting on them to be translated!

Every step forward is a HUGE encouragement to us.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Thanks to O Hav Shalom and First Baptist of Lomita

A big thanks to O Hav Shalom for their invite and warm welcome to our family! Your love and generosity brings us closer to bringing home Maida. Thank you.

A big thanks also to our family's church, First Baptist of Lomita! Your contributions and donations are so appreciated. Thank you for taking in our family, and helping us to prepare for bringing another member home:)

I am seeing first hand how when Gods people set out to do what He has told them to do in His Word that He provides the means to obey. Lacking talents, skills or resources do not hinder any one from doing what God wants you to do. The only prerequisite for doing a thing or things that God has told us to do is obedience. When your going about doing someone elses business, they will supply you with what is needed when it is needed.

If you're looking to see the power of God move in your life, if you've waited your whole life to be used by God for something great; If your wanting to have more faith, and more trust... pick up the Bible. Find some place that tells you to do something and do it. Especially the things that you can't do alone or on your own. Something that seems insurmountable. Something hard. But it's there, in black and white telling you to do it. Dont wait, just obey. He'll supply you with what you need when you need it, and as He does your faith will grow, and as your faith grows, your trust in Him will also. When God does what you can't do, you are witnessing the power of God in your life.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Life Before Adoption

I sent off our I600A application off this week. Wow was I a nervous wreck! I went over it and over it, knowing any mistakes will cause a delay in the process.

So off to the post office I went, waiting till the last minute to seal the packet. As I stood in line (the only time I have been grateful for a long line!), I checked each section of the paper work for the hundredth time as I slowly made my way to the counter.
I glanced over to Tia who was with me and asked pensively should I seal it???? EEEKS... she of course rolled her eyes and said YES!

So off it went. But even though the packet is mailed, I'm still thinking about it!
After waking up the next morning and getting ready for my day I had this sudden panic attack; I don't remember signing it!" 
I know my husband signed it. He signed it twice. We did a practice application and then the real thing. I could only remember signing the practice one! So I have gone back in forth in my mind wondering if I even signed the thing! UUUGGGHHH.
My husband and daughters keep reassuring me I probably did, since I went over it a gazillion times. But even if I didn't, whats the worst thing that can happen? TIME is wasted! Time is a precious thing for a waiting mama who has a daughter thousands of miles away without a family.

 This is the second biggest step next to the homestudy on this continent in international adoption. The rest of the paper process will mostly be done in Congo now.
 So now I wait. Wait and Wait and Wait. Wait to see if I did it right, wait to see if our goverment is going to approve us to bring an orphan home with us from another continent. Our agency says it's just a formality, and not to sweat it. But thats what I do!

After my husband and I went to bed last night and I kept tossing and turning. I finally got up to go downstairs. My four oldest girls were still up, preparing something like Moose Munch with out the sugar:) at 11:00 at night? Any Harry and David patrons out there will know what Moose Munch is.

I plopped down on the family room couch and asked the girls, " so what did I do before adoption?" they laughed and said they couldnt remember.
I mean I must of read blogs that weren't related to adoption right? Read books other than books on attatchment and adopting kids from hard places?

So now that most of my paper work is done, and I can't do anything but wait to hear back from USCIS, it's time to get back to day to day life... I just can't remember what that is!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Great News!

When things look their bleakest God shines His brightest doesn't He?!

I was so discouraged Friday with "our" fundraising. (See the problem???)  Last week I started thinking about my desire to have faith like George Mueller. A desire I have verbalized more than once:/

Your wondering well whats the problem? The problem is George Mueller was greatly tested in his faith. Thats how his faith grew.
How naive it was of me to think I wanted to be like him, without thinking of the process of getting there.

Once I recognized what it was I wanted, and what it may cost to get there, I seriously thought about taking back my words.

I saw the dots being connected with what I wanted and how things were going in this adoption and the fundraising for it. You don't throw things like that out at God without Him taking full opportunity to do just that.
So I started to get a little scared last week. The ramifications of wanting something that would cause me to be tested in unknown ways began to concern me just a little;)

As things began to look hopeless last week in getting over one of the many financial hurtles that is involved in adopting, I realized I have been under the impression our great ideas for fundraising and the hearts of others would be the provider for this adoption. WRONG. God is the provider. He is JEHOVAH JIREH, my provider, the provider of my family, the provider for Maida. We work, we strive to do all we can with our physical bodies to be obedient to the call of caring for the orphans, the caring of our family;to be living sacrifices. But God is the provider. His provision, and His answers, are blessings to our obedience.
My thinking was wrong. (nothing new). And as I began to see I can do nothing but do all I can to obey God in loving others, in caring for my neighbors, in helping in the plight of the widow and orphans and then TRUST HIM to provide... HE DID!

On Saturday, a family came to us and told us if we can raise $3,000.00 they will donate another $3,000.00 which will almost pay for our next payment that is due with our adoption agency!

Someone asked me, "Do you think you can raise the other three thousand by the time your payment is due"? My reply was,
No I can't, but God can. He can raise it in a day. He just did:)


Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Paper Pregnancy

So this is why they call international adoption the "Paper Pregnancy". And this is only the first leg of it!
This week I am hoping to send in our USCIS application with all the required documents, and get all my packets together for our Dossier, our agency packet, and our personal packet done.

I am very nervous about each and every step. I always want things done perfectly, so the results end up perfectly. HAH!
Instead, what I am finding, is that screw ups arent always screw ups; they are Gods intervention to save me from myself because His ways are better and His results are perfect and mine are not. SURPRISE SURPRISE!

So like I've said before... this is a faith and patience building opportunity from God to me. Let's hope I stay conscience and grateful of what He's trying to accomplish :)


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We Need Your Help!

Hello everyone,

 First of all I want to thank all of you who have been praying, helping, and encouraging us in our adoption! Secondly I would like to ask for your help. To take the next step in the adoption process (in bringing Maida home) we need to raise $6700 in just two weeks! We can't do this alone and so are asking you, our friends and family, for your help.

How you can help:
1. Buy a Handmade African Paper necklace or bracelet.
2. Buy some chocolate bars
3. Donate things (clothing, furniture, toys...etc) to put in our fundraiser yard sale on June 1st and 2nd
4. Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about donating for our yard sale and buying our products
5. Commit to helping us by selling a box of candy bars or five bracelets and necklaces to your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
What is impossible for just our family to do alone is more than possible if our friends and family come along beside us! E-mail me for more information :)


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thank You Praise Orchestra Members!

For any Praise Orchestra members who may be reading this;

 My family and I just want to say thank you so much for your love and support and interest in our adoption of Maida.

You have been very good to us, and the girls and we so appreciate it. The girls love you all so much and have enjoyed their time with you both in practice, performances and in the Chile trip:)

Because of your love for Christ you have used so many different opportunities and gifts to bring the hope of Christ and the love of Christ to others.

Thank you for extending that goodness and that hope to Maida. She will be brought up to know who Christ is, and to know it was because of the love of others and their obedience to God that she knows who He is too.

Ironically, you all are practicing the music from the Selfish Giant. It is my favorite childrens book, and the girls are going to bring it in next practice so anyone who hasn't read it can read it.

The main point of the story, is there was an ogre who didn't want to share what he had with children.
So he closed off his beautiful gardens to them because his wanted it all for himself.  Eventually, he came around and saw he was blessed by sharing with them all he had.

One day, and the most beautiful part of the story, is that there was a little boy in the garden that wasn't big enough to climb up into a beautiful tree. The other children were able, but this little boy wasn't. He was too little. Too helpless. So the giant came and lifted him up so he could experience the same joy the other children experienced in the beautiful trees.

Here; better yet is the section from the book:

"It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. "Climb up! little boy", said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too tiny.
And the giant's heart melted as he looked out. "How selfish I have been!" he said; "now I know why Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the garden wall, and my garden shall be the children's playground for ever and ever". He was really very sorry for what he had done.

And when the people were going to market at twelve o'clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.
All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.
"But here is your little companion?" he said "the boy I put into the tree".
But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with teh Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. "How I would like to see him!" he used to say.
Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He cound not play about any more, so he sat in a huge arm-chair and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. 'I have many beautiful flowers," he said; but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all."

One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate teh Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.
Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder and looked and looked.
It certainly was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.
Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across teh grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, "Who hath dared to wound thee?" cried the giant; "tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him".
"Nay!" answered the child; "but these are the wounds of Love."
"Who art thou?" said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, "You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise."

You are that giant for Maida.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Since you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:40

Thank you!

Beth and Family

Monday, May 14, 2012

Steven Curtis Chapman - One Little Heartbeat at a Time

I dedicated this song to my mom yesterday for Mothers Day. She asked me if I would put it up on her blog so she could dedicate it to all the Mothers who are here on her blog, but I unfortunately here it is a day later. Happy Mothers day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Family Builder

I've dubbed where we are in the process as the "pregnancy stage"; waiting for delivery day.

Ironically I did much better with delivery days rather than the pregnancy stage with all six of my biological kids. I think it's going to be the same with my new daughter:/

As a mom of many it is easy to see the correlation between the two different ways of bringing your child home:

First there is deciding whether or not to concieve;

Then deciding when;

Planning on and expecting an easy and timely conception; An easy and timely pregnancy, And a delivery day that can't come soon enough with no hiccups or uncomfortable speed bumps!

If your anything like our family, there are your plans; and then there are God's:)

We had decided we would "conceive" in adopting and WHEN we would.
 We had  mapped it out like lots of families do when growing their family. But then God stepped in like He so often does and revealed a different timeline...His.

We are learning, slowly, that He is the family builder and not us.

We are also learning, slowly, His ways are so much better than our own. His timing is perfect, ours is not.
We try to plan when, how many, what gender, and who and what our children should be when they grow up. You'd think after six children I would have this "let go and trust God" thing down in having and building family. Not really.

I think by God showing up and out doing us in managing our life it makes us more in awe of who He is and how small we are. And it builds our faith while at the same time growing our families.
In every facet of family life He has His purpose and will. Our job is to just submit to that and leave the results up to The One who knows us best and loves us most.

Sometimes that is easier said then done. Trust me I know.

  We have so much to be grateful for in each stage of every one of our children's lives/stories. We can already see how everything thus far has been what was best for us as a family.

 If we did not have the delays we've had in this adoption, we would not of had this home we just purchased, which was waaaayyy better than the one had thought we wanted.

  We would not of had the social worker who did our home study, or the placing agency we are working with, OR the child we have been matched with!

Please remind me of all this while I am waiting on this slow and trying process of bringing home Maida.

The hard part is when I was pregnant with my bio kids they were with me. I could be with them and feel some control in their well being. With this child, Im keenly aware that God is the ONLY one who is keeping her, and not me, myself,or I.

I am being very tested in my faith and confidence in the builder of families; but I know it is what is needed and in the end, not only will I have a new daughter, but I will also have a stronger faith.

Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it:... Psalms 127: 1a


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Truly Scrumptious... A song for Maida Grace

(Be sure to pause the music on my playlist at the bottom of the page before playing the youtube video;)

Yesterday we watched  video footage of the orphanage Maida Grace is in. We only are able to see a tiny glimpse of her, as she is behind many other children. But as I watched it over and over again all I could think  was, " Truly Scrumptious". A song from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that Bella and I watched recently. These words are my favorite and I think of the day we will be able to scoop Maida up and her sisters and I sing it to her. Ohh I can't wait!

"Toot sweets sound like what they are
So do lollys in a lollypop jar
Gingerbread men have a gingerbread sound, we've found
Sugar plum cinnamon and lemon tart
tell you what they are right from the start
And your name does the same for you
By coincidence, Truly Scrumptious
You're truly truly scrumptious
Scrumptious as a cherry peach parfait
When you're near us
It's so delicious
Honest Truly, you're the answer to our wishes
Truly Scrumptious
Though we may seem presumptuous
Never, never, ever go away
Our hearts beat so unruly
Because we love you truly
Honest Truly, we do"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Apart from the Gospel... there is no hope.

Last week my daughter Gabriella and I attended Summit VIII. A huge conference that Christian Alliance For Orphans put on.

Churches, adoptive families, social workers, christian non profits and those who are concerned about the plight of the widow and orphans here in the U.S. and around the world attended.

It was so amazing to be so close to so many who are living advocates for the "least of these".
I learned a great deal. Primarily I learned that there is no pat solution to the orphan crisis.
 Or to world hunger; or to foster kids who never get adopted; or inhumane living existence for many men, women, and children. That the problems that cause these circumstances are complex, and that the solutions are complicated.
After hearing from so many who are on the ground working directly with these problems, I realized my american mom mindset was and is very limited in really unerstanding what the problems are and how they might be solved.

 I see everything from an american standpoint, from a moms standpoint.I see a need and a problem and want to solve it. I want to take away the pain of others and the solutions seem so simple. But I learned they are not.

The greatest lesson I learned while I was there was from Kimberly Smith. She is co-founder of Makeway Partners. I asked her, what is the hope for Sudan? She told me, "We do not live in heaven; Apart from the Gospel, there is no hope".

That statement and hearing from many from all around the world has reshaped my mind and how I think about pain, and heartache. I want to end pain and suffering, including my own. But sometimes pain and suffering last a lifetime. Because of sin. Either our own or the sin of others.

I realized Psalms 23 is promise of God being with us. He is our green pastures, our still waters. The greatest need you can meet in the lives of others is giving them the gospel because the hell they are living in is only temporary if they know Christ and if they don't, they will never have relief from suffering and terror. Ever. It will follow them into eternity.

We must meet the needs of people, one person at a time, one opportunity at a time. Pray for those opportunities. People need to be fed, goverments need to be overhauled, children need homes and stability. Do all you can to do those things. We are commanded to. But dont do it apart from giving them Jesus, because as long as we live on this earth, sin and it's effects will be with us. For some, pain will not end until heaven. So give people that hope.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

He Will Provide

Today we are sending off a great deal of money to our agency.  Twenty eight years of work and dedication from my husband to his employer is how we have the means for this initial payment. Are we worried that we are compromising our future financial security? No:)

The money is not ours it's HIS.

It is so easy to evaluate what and if we should do something based upon what WE can afford. That is saying the money is ours.
When we see it as God's money, and provision for us to accomplish what His will is for our life, w'ere reminded that it's not ours. We're just stewards over it. We must use it for what He wants us to use it for, and trust that when more is needed the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills will provide it.

I hope to have the faith and confidence in God's provision as George Mueller did. I know it takes one step of faith at a time to get there.

Our family is taking that first step; gathering all we have as a family, thanking God for what He has already provided and trusting He will provide the rest to bring Maida Grace home.