Thursday, September 20, 2012

Heart, Health, and Hair

On the ride home from church last night I was trying to sort through priorities in caring for Maida. You know, things to focus on.

 I am a goal setter, a task driver my kids would say;), but I like to know what the need is, what needs to be done, and then get busy in meeting those needs.

I've determined for Maida, initially, it is her:




                                                                                       and Hair    

So much could be said about the heart of this precious child.
 Not enough could be said on how important it is to nurture and care for it.

 Every childs heart should be a priority to its parents. Parents need to live intentional lives, and make decisions that show their children they are loved and how to love. Too often it seems, parents are focused on what their children become in regards to an occupation or accomplishments rather than focusing on who they are, and who they will become as an individual; a person.

I've told my children repeatedly that who they are is more important to me that what they do. I am the first to brag on their accomplishments and achievements. But their greatest achievements and how I measure how they are doing in life is this: Do they know they are loved? Are they secure in that?  Do they love others? Will they give their shirt off their back when someone else needs it? Are they committed to family?  To their faith and Creator? Can they forgive? Do they have empathy and compassion and have the courage to act upon those sentiments for the sake of another? Are they courageous to stand up for whats right, and for the rights of others? Are they kind, and caring to not only those who are easy to love, but those whom it takes effort to?

All of those traits are important for a healthy society, a healthy community, a healthy church. We do need carpenters,pastors, politicians, Dr.s, nurses ect. But if all we have is people providing a service without those traits, without healthy hearts we have an empty society. Empty homes, empty communities, empty churches and empty people.

My first job as Maida's mom is to convince her I love her, and that she can trust me. Thats what we do with children who come to us through birth. Responding to their needs. Showing them through the expressions on our face we think they are amazing and wonderful. Again and again and again. For birth children it doesn't take long to gain their trust if you are responding to them and their needs with love, enthusiasm, compassion and faithfulness. But it will be our job for the rest of their lives to prove to them that we love them, that we can be counted on being there for them when they need us. That responsibility never ends.  Because we will always be their parents. We will always have a job to do towards our children. Things do change and should change as they get older, and get married and move on with their own lives and families. But we will be their parents for the rest of our lives. And we will always need to take the time to show them we love them based upon who they are and what their needs are. Not our own.

For Maida, it will most likely take much longer for her to trust me and our family. She has learned at a very early age that life is hard and unpredictable and grownups come and go and her needs are not important to anyone. She has learned something that no one should ever have to learn:
 I have no one for me.

That is a terrible thing, and nothing any child or any person should ever have to feel. When people don't have healthy hearts they have nothing of great value to offer another. The greatest gift Maida can ever give to someone else is her heart. The only way that can ever happen is if she gets a healthy heart and that responsibility is mine. My husbands. Our family's. Our God.
I am HUMBLED beyond words that God would give me the privelege of pouring out His love for me into the heart of another. His first opportunity to show He loved me was through the love of my own parents for me and my brothers and sister. How cool is that? He always has set up for us provision for when we need it. At birth was my first opportunity to know what love was. For many, too many, parents abdocate that responsibility and the first opportunity to develop a healthy heart in their child is gone. That is not God's fault. That is peoples fault. Parents fault. Families fault. All my children were and are gifts. Gifts that come with responsibility. If we are faithful to that responsibility we are blessed immeasureably with a mutual loving relationship with our children.
Maida most probably was loved by her birth mom. I will believe that Maida was allowed to be adopted because her mom loved her and wanted whats best for her. I know she wanted to protect her. Otherwise she would of been left on the streets. She wasn't. That is a good start for Maida. Since then though, she has experienced the loss of family and being a special someone, to someone. There may be many obstacles that we must face as a family to build a bridge of trust in Maida towards us, so that she will allow her heart to feel, and grow, and regain lost ground in having a healthy, trusting, loving heart. Maida's little heart has been handed from one momma to another. I take that job seriously and with joy, humility and appreciation.

Next in line, which is just about as important to me as her heart;
Her health.
She will need first and foremost to be checked out by a doctor or several doctors to assess her overall health. No one  who lives in the DRC has an optimal diet. Without proper nutrition over a long period of time there are sure to be ramifications somewhere. We need to know if and where those ramifications have manifested in her sweet precious little body. So this mama is all gung ho to do everything in her power to heal her  body of it's deficits nutritionally. For anyone who knows me, you know what myself and my family eat and drink is EXTREMELY important. Again, if you love your child you do whats best for them, and commericial pre-packaged food is not food! Yes it takes more time, more thought and more preperation which equals more work, and sometimes more money if it's completely impossible for you to grow your own food in order to feed them with God's provision, rather than the quick heat and eat solution our multi-billionaire food corporations hand out to you.

Mothers (or dads), were meant to feed their children with Gods provision. NOT C.O.R.P.O.R.A.T.I.O.N.S! If you are too busy to feed your family well, shuffle busy to the bottom of the list of priorities when it stands in the way of doing whats best and needed. It can be done! Your talking to a mom who had five children (all homeschooled) to care for without a husband or the helping physical hands of extended family because they lived out of state for most of the 9years I was a single mom. Start a community garden project in your neighborhood if you don't have the room to grow some of your own food, and buy from local farmers instead of giant food chains. Trust me, their money and time is not with the health of you and your family in mind:/

There are common ingredients in almost all commericial food that is the underlying cause of cancer, diabetes, heart diesease, allergies, and mood/thought impairments and obesity. Seriously, pick up something from the soup aisle then go to another aisle and another and see what ingredients are listed commonly in them all.! TIP: they sometimes change the names of ingredients but if you study you will find out it is the same thing!
 As a mom I wanted to know what was in things and why they were there and are they truly healthy if they are not a direct food source but an ingredient that has been heated up, blown up and made in a lab rather than a kitchen and then synthetic additives added to ensure a long shelf life, addiction and cheap commodities so that people will think they are getting a DEAL. NOT.

So with much enthusiasm... food and nutrition is a priority in preparing for Maida:) I am trying to keep the type of foods she is currently eating (fish, rice, beans), available to her, but a little more healthier and cleaner and slowly add in some good fats, like avocado, cod liver oil, nuts and protien from free range meat and wild caught fish. Greens, greens, greens, is the super food, and will juice for her kale, and spinach, beets, ginger, celery and carrots with apple. Very slowly.
 I hope to limit her completely from any sugar, but know many parents will take lollipops and treats as a means to foster some willingness to walk off with strangers when they are picked up from their orphanage.. (ugg doesn't that sound horrible?)
I am SURE I will have some on hand  if the need arises. I do have conflicted feelings about taking it and giving them out to the other children while visiting her orphanage. It's so hard! I wish there was a better way and healthier way to give them a sweet special treat. Their health is already so compromised and then to throw sugar on top of an already compromised body... hhmmmm..... I think I will look to the advice and thoughts from others who have gone before us on this one...

Last that leaves us with Hair!

I am studying up like crazy! Even though my children are biracial I still have much to master so that Maida will not be embarassed by her white mamas incompetencies regarding her hair:) I aim to not humiliate her or myself, so I am learning a great deal at www. I want her to like her hair, and be proud of it and not be annoyed with me or herself for the care it requires.
I am working on getting educated, and geared up with products but I am hoping for some grace time to grow into it when she first gets home. I think that shaved head she was sporting a couple of months ago may be a good thing after all!


Monday, September 17, 2012


Last week we were told our i600 approval could take 75 days! I was so heartbroken I spent the day in bed.
Our file had not even been assigned to an officer yet when I made that call. Well guess what people?!

 God stepped in...


 We got our approval today! Five days later! Not 75!

Our last fundraiser in Palm Springs over the weekend was a miracle in itself. So much planning and preperation and sacrifice from the musicians and their families. Hardly anyone came, and one of the groups who volunteered to play who are very  special to us had one of their cars loose a transmission on the way down to Palm Springs and they still came to play and almost NO ONE but a couple families showed up! I was heart broken but mostly for them. You do not know how much you missed by not being there to listen to amazing young talent that God has given to these kids.

Event tho it was a flop attendence wise, $1500.00 was raised by the few who came! Talk about humbling.

Moving on... with this new development we have an URGENT need of $5,000. Someone has stepped in and contributed for our air fare. $5,000 is all we have left to raise. We have come so far and are so close, but we must raise this money and soon!

A thousand of that five is Maida's ticket fare!

Please, tell your friends to come to this blog and donate! Just click on the button at the top left. $5, $10, $20, $50. Any amount helps!

We also have six boxes of candy bars left. They are $96. each. You could buy one and turn around and sell them each for $2 and not of lost ANYTHING. Please pray for us and help us in anyway you can.

The Lyles Family

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Music Benefit Concert

Tonight is our last Music Benefit Concert in Palm Springs!
Here is a sneak peak of some of  the musicians you will be seeing...

My daughter Kadeeja featured at 0:30

and friend/teacher (playing on the left):

a flautist friend James who is playing the flute at 1:14 in this David Choi music video!

And some new friends of ours with a wonderful testimony: DeliverUs:

Hope to see you there!

Our Saviors Lutheran Church
1020 E. Ramon Rd.
Palm Springs, Ca

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Digging In and Getting Serious

Everyday we are closer to bringing home a little girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo! Not just any girl mind you... our girl:)

Our family and friends are feeling the excitement and we are all working together very hard to raise the remaining funds to bring this precious little gem home.

(Maida eating rice and cassava leaves)

We are out almost daily selling candy bars and promoting the next Music Benefit Concert which is coming up this Saturday at Our Saviours Lutheran Church in Palm Springs, Ca

We need your help! Please share our story and our need with your friends, family, co-workers and church. At this point not a day can be wasted! We are running out of time. We must have the final funds sent to our agency and the money to book our flights for when that call comes.

Our goal this week is to sell 20 boxes of Helen Grace candy bars by Friday! A box is $96.
There are 48 in a box and each box contains a variety of flavors. If you would like to help but can't afford to buy a whole box, ask some friends to go in with you and you can divvy them up, give them away or use them for all the harvest festivals that will be coming up.

All you have to do is contact me and say YES! I want to help you bring home Maida! Send me a box!
Payments can be made with just a click on the paypal button on the top right hand corner of this blog. Email me how many boxes you want, your address and phone number and make the payment here on my blog! Easy Peesey Right??

My email is:

I need 20 people, businesses or churches to send me an email saying YES! by Friday night at midnight. Will you be one of those people?


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Updates on God's Blessings

You all need to know how God has blessed us these past couple weeks!

1. We have Maida's passport so we were able to send off our 1600! It is a form that asks our U.S. government to classify her as an immediate relative. Once we have that, it will only be weeks before we can travel to be united with her.

2. First music fundraiser was amazing in so many ways! Our family has been blessed beyond measure by many wonderful and gifted musicians who have collaborated with our daughters to give of their time and talents.

3. Yard sale was a success! Thank you everyone for your help and contributions!

4. Total raised:$3000.00. Praise the Lord!

I'm waiting on video and photographs from the first fundraiser. As soon as I get them I will share with you too:)

Until then, enjoy a picture of our sweet little girl across the sea...