Thankful

There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! I am thankful for thought provoking classes. I am thankful for amazing professors and mentors. I am thankful to be able to coach an awesome swim team and work with some great students as their TA. I am also thankful for good friends and amazing family (my parents have been married 25 years this month!).

Speaking of my family, there are some challenging circumstances that they are going through at the moment. It has been and will continue to be a hard time in my family but I want to say that I am exceedingly proud of all of them. They have truly shown what it means to be gracious under pressure.

Kiddos

As we continue to walk through this challenging time in life I am exceedingly thankful to our Father who is heaven. Despite our circumstances and those times our actions are less than gracious He continues to love and care for us. In His gracious love and mercy He has given us the gift of salvation through Christ and continues to sustain us through the Spirit.

Truly God is a good God. He is holy and His holiness perfects His love; a love which He chooses to show to us despite the trials we may face. For this I am so very thankful. I choose to rest in His love and strength as I walk with my family through this time and as I work towards the completion of my thesis.

These three are Sophie, Bronson, and Brenna (http://reecesrainbow.org/category/sponsorafamily/newcommitments). They have families that have committed to them and beginning the process of bringing them home. They are embarking on a long hard journey that won’t end when their children come home. Lives will be changed and it will not come easy but that does not mean that it is not worth it.

This year many beautiful children have made it home (http://reecesrainbow.org/category/sponsorafamily/alreadyhome2017). Surely this is a wonderful thing! May God be praised for His provision! Daniel, Mikayla, and Poppy Mae are among these children that are now home. Would you pray with me for God’s continual providence over their lives and their families? Would you also join me in a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness?

Dear Lord,

You have done great things this year. You have shown Your love and mighty power in the lives of children like Daniel, Mikayla, and Poppy Mae. Thank You that they now have a family to call their own. May You be glorified through their lives.

Please be with them and their families as they learn what it means to be a member of a family and what it means to love and be loved. Please be with them and strengthen them. May they know that You are with them both through the times of hardship and the times of great joy.

To You be the glory forever!

Amen

I just want to make one more comment – I am extra thankful for my wonderful sister. We are very close and though it has been hard since she got married and moved with her husband (a wonderful man) to the other side of the country she has remained a rock in my life. I am eternally grateful that God has blessed me with her. She is a great encouragement in my life and I do not know what I would do without her.

Tori and Nick

May we always be thankful!

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Sibling Group in Latin America

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The picture above is of my four youngest siblings during the time my Mum and Dad were in country to adopt them. I look at this picture from three years ago and I am blown away by how much they have grown. Not only physically but also emotionally. They have adapted to a whole new way of life and a brand new language.

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We have become a family group that is learning to help each other through the hurts of the past and the struggles of the present. To accept our differences and love our ‘weirdness’. It is my hope and desire that children will not be left behind to work through their pains and struggles alone.

We have not been designed to be alone but to be in community. To have family and friends and people that we can rely on. At church this morning the sermon was on the hope that we have in God and how we can rely on His faithfulness. He is faithful through His promises.

As a children of God we can rely on our Father’s faithfulness but we are also called to action. We are to be people of faithfulness, not only faithful towards our God but faithful to other people. In our love of others we are to act as someone who they can rely on.

It is my hope that we can follow God’s example of faithfulness and be a faithful people. A people that children who are hurt and broken and looking for love can rely upon.

5-sibs-LA There is a sibling group in Latin America that is waiting for a family. They need the faithfulness of a family. Of parents who they can rely on to support them through the past hurts and the present struggles. A family that can help them cling to hope and grow into faithful people. http://reecesrainbow.org/121366/5siblings

Would you please pray with me that a family will come forward and bring these children into their home and call them beloved.

Dear Lord,

Thank You for Your love towards us. Thank You for Your faithfulness and for Your grace towards those that You have welcomed into Your family. Please help us to act in the same love, to act with faithfulness towards others in times of great joy and great sorrow.

I thank You for the close relationship that these beautiful children have with each other. I thank You for their love of art and sports. I thank You that they have the opportunity to attend school.

Please bring these children into a family so that they may continue to grow in their relationship with each other and have the support that they need. May You be glorified through their lives and through Your work in bringing them into a family of love and support.

May Your name be praised!

Amen.

 

Marielli

Matt and Amber

I was talking with my youngest sister today and I was struck by how thankful she is. She was drawing a picture of a character she remembered from a book in her orphanage. She told me that the picture that she drew really wasn’t her picture because the book hadn’t been hers. She went on to matter-of-factually say that she didn’t have anything.

I mentioned how she now had her own things and instead of being sad about her past she gave me a huge smile (her smiles light up a room) and nodded. This is her through and through. She is thankful for what she now has and is excited by it.

I love how she is thankful but it hurts my heart that she knew a reality in which she never had anything to call her own. There are other children who are waiting for families and they are the same. They don’t get to experience owning and caring for something that is theirs.

Marielli is one of those kids that are waiting for a family. She has been waiting for years. I remember seeing her face as I looked on Reece’s Rainbow years ago and it saddens me to know that she is Marielli-2still waiting. Her post is also old, the latest update is from 2015! http://reecesrainbow.org/101065/marielli

This beautiful little girl was born in 2011 in the People’s Republic of China with a cleft palate. She was blessedly apart of the cleft exchange in 2012 that was run by Love Without Boundaries. This means that her cleft palate is post-operative. However, in the 2015 update it was stated that she did have a small hole in her palate.

When Marielli was first listed she was described as a social and active little girl who loved to splash in the bath. In the 2015 update she was described as a cooperative introverted little girl. Thankfully as of 2015 she was living in a foster family.

Would you please pray for her with me?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Marielli. Thank you that she is important and that you have a plan for her. Lord, I pray that you will bring a family forward for her. May they help her to grow in life and in love.

May she get the surgeries she needs for her palate and the help she needs to develop to the best of her ability.

I pray that she is still in a good foster family that will show her love and show her her worth. May you protect the family and help them to live out their roles with wisdom and patience.

May your name be praised for the work that you will do in this little girl’s life. May you show your love and power.

In your name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

 

A Time to Celebrate

Yesterday was a big day in my family. My sister was married!!! It has gone so fast and to see her continue to grow and become an amazing steadfast strong woman is wonderful. Her and her new husband are now embarking on their new journey as a married couple. I am excited to watch them as they grow in love together and show their commitment to each other through the way they live.

In celebration of this new time in their lives I decided to do my blog on some of the kids who now have families coming for them. On Reece’s Rainbow there is a page for all the kids who have families who are going through the process to adopt them ( http://reecesrainbow.org/category/rescued#top ). These children will soon be embarking on their new journey. A life with a family! Just like my sister and her husband are beginning a new journey as a family, these children will also get to explore the new dynamics that come with being loved and learning to love.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for kids like Hank Alan, Eliza, Lylah, Mayson, Wrayna, and Oliver . Thank you that they are about to experience the new life of a family. Thank you for the families that have come forward. I pray that as they continue to wait for their families to complete the process to bring them home that the children will have hope.

Please help the families to give themselves grace as they adjust to their new normal and learn who their children are – what they like and don’t like, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, what their favorite food is, and what they wouldn’t touch in a million years.

Please help the children learn to love and trust. Please help them to feel safe. Thank you for the support around the families, please give the friends and family the wisdom to know how to help and when to give the new families space.

Thank you for all that You have done. May You be glorified through these adoptions and through the new futures that have opened up to these families.

In Your name I pray,

Amen

Single Mums

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Timothy John

A few weeks back I did a post on adopting as a single dad. In the case of single mothers there are more countries that are open to allowing adoptions by single mums. Just as Reece’s Rainbow has a page for the children that can be adopted by single dads there is also a page that is especially for single mums. http://reecesrainbow.org/category/singlemoms There are a number of children on this page, ranging from young children to those kids who are about to age out. Also, individual children and sibling groups.

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Kenzie

With Mother’s day coming up in a week, here in Canada, I thought it would be right to showcase some kids who don’t have a mum. They aren’t able to make a fun little card, or cover themselves in glue trying to make something for mum. They aren’t going to wake up at some ungodly hour and run into their mum’s room to plant wet kisses on their mum’s face. They also don’t get those day to day moments of cuddling in their mother’s lap and listening to a story or watching a movie. They don’t get to hold their mum’s hand as they cross the street and know that she loves them. They don’t get to be held and allowed to cry when they hurt themselves or when they have had a bad dream.

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Charlie

A mum is so important and I know I wouldn’t be who I am without my mum. Sure we’ve had fights and sure there are times when we don’t get along but I love her with all my heart. She is so supportive and even when she disagrees with a decision that I’ve made I can trust that she is still there loving me and there for me. I can’t imagine what it’s like to not have a mum and I am cut to the heart about the idea that there are kids who will never know the love of a mum or dad.

Please pray with me for the kids who are still waiting for a mum, dad, or both. Kids who are waiting or have given up hope or have never known a life where they have a mum or dad who loves them. Thank you.

Dear Lord,

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Elsie and Evie

My sister told me the other night that she would never have a family and while that is not true she still struggles with the fear of what she was told. She struggles to understand that a mum and dad can love her and won’t hurt her or leave her. Lord, I pray for other children around the world who think that they will never get a family or who think that family means someone who hurts you or the people you love. Please give these kids hope and strength. Please show them that they are wrong. Please get kids out of bad places and into families who love them.

So many of Your children have come from bad places. We didn’t know what it meant to be loved or how to love or how to accept love and yet You chose to love us. Please help

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Jais

these kids to also know what it means to be loved, supported, and seen as important. Please help them to have a new future. A future where they can feel safe and know that they have a family – a family that cares and a family that loves.

Lord, in order for these kids to have families people have to step forward. They have to choose to be that family that loves and cares. That family that supports and protects. That family that loves even when the children push back against the love in fear. Please bring people forward and equip them to be these families.

In Your name I pray.

For Your glory and Your kingdom,

Amen.

 

 

 

Remember to Celebrate!!!

 

Yay! It is always a good time to celebrate when a child comes home. So far this year twelve children who were listen on Reece’s Rainbow have been welcomed into families and are now home with them. They are now sons and daughters!!!

It can be easy to get lost in the overwhelming numbers of children still waiting for families but seeing those that have come home gives cause to celebrate and reminds all of us advocating and praying that there is hope. Every child counts and every child that comes home has a new life before them.

Anna Mae, Amos, Daisy, Lee, Lanikai, Audrey, Violet, Domenic, Naomi, Ryan, Dex, and Linny all have new names, new identities, and a new hope for the future.They have a new country to call home along with their birth countries of China, Ukraine, and Vietnam. Another country to love, another place that will shape them into who they will be in the future.

This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy. Oh no! The hard work has just begun. The kids and the families have to learn what their new “normal” is. There will be tears, there will be fits, there will be bruises, and there will be times in which everyone will not know if they can go on.

But! That’s not the whole story. There will also be, hugs, kisses, laughs, and some amazing memories that are made. After a child is adopted prayer is so vitally important. Will you pray with me?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for every single one of these children who have come home in the last month. I pray that many more children will be welcomed into families this year. Please make this year an amazing year where you show Your mighty hand in families’ lives. Bringing families together from across the globe.

As the new families learn new things about each other everyday and transverse the rocky road of being an adopted family I pray that You will infuse joy into their homes. Please give them patience for when times are tough. Please help them to see the small moments of calm and peace among the storm. Help them to see the growth that happens everyday and enjoy the small moments.

I pray that You will use these families to influence others and help them see what adoption is. And that by watching others will also see how You have acted in our lives. How You have adopted us. How You chose us and loved us.

Thank you for these families and thank you for my family. For my biological siblings and my adopted siblings and my siblings made through the sacrifice of Christ.

For Your glory and Your kingdom!

Amen.

You Say You’re Pro-Life – But Are You Really?

I think this post below goes well with the thoughts that I was speaking to on Monday.

I agree wholeheartedly – Christians are called to be lights, to show life. Life encompasses more than just birth. Life includes every part of one’s existence, both physical and spiritual. Jesus brought life – He brought life in the spiritual sense, bringing back those who believe from spiritual death to life. But He also brought physical life – Jesus healed people!

Adoption is apart of the Christian’s call to be the light and salt in the world. Adoption is hard but fighting for life is hard. Jesus, in order to bring life, died. He endured great suffering; He was persecuted, ridiculed, and ultimately was sentenced to the death reserved for the lowest of the low, for insurrectionists and the like.

As a Christian I am called to be continually set apart for God (it is the process of sanctification). This setting apart does not mean that I (or any other Christian) am to shun the world and everything in it. Rather, I am to live in the world – to be the light and life of Christ to those around me.

Humanity was created as BOTH physical and spiritual beings. There cannot be a disconnect between the physical and spiritual. Christians are call to be light and life to both the physical and spiritual aspects of others.

Adoption speaks to both of these points – the physical and the spiritual. Physically, for many children, adoption brings life. The kids now have access to medical care, food, schooling, and family. Adoption also gives the children a chance at spiritual life. No one should force another to accept a belief system but through adoption the child has an opportunity to accept and hear the Christian message.

My siblings would never have been presented with who Christ is and what He has done if they had not been adopted. They would also have been physically so much more unhealthy. No one would have known one of my brothers has dislocated elbows since infancy, no one would have known of my sister’s dental issues or her struggles with sensory processing, no one would have known about my brother’s dairy allergy. Health wise they are so much better! I see them today and I see new life flowing through them.

Just look at this little guy. Even in the first photo he had changed so much from the day my parents picked him up from the orphanage. But the change just a few months later is amazing!

It is the Christian’s call to bring life. There are so many ways that God calls us to bring life. God has created us all differently and those differences are so beautiful! There is a need for us to embrace these differences and to use them to bring life. There are so many ways that adoption can be supported. Use your differences, use your uniqueness, use your gifts to support adoption and to bring life.

To Him be the Glory!

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I don’t do politics. Politics is ugly. Especially this election, yeesh. It seems, that one of the major divisive talking points is the pro-choice vs pro-life argument. The more and more rhetoric I hear, I want to ask you (challenge you even) Pro-Lifer, are you truly truly pro-life or are you simply anti-abortion?

What happens when this child you fought to be born needs routine well checks and immunizations and their parents need help affording it? What happens when the child turns out to have more complex medical needs like Down Syndrome, congenital heart defect, or osteogenesis imperfecta? Are you supporting programs like Medicaid? Are you supporting or contributing to local doctors who provide free or reduced services for low income families? You should be. Access to healthcare greatly increases one’s quality of life. And you said you were pro life.

What happens when this child you fought to be born grows into a toddler…

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