Running

DSC_0789 (2)This week has been a challenge for my family. My brother ran away in a heat warning with only a pair of shorts on and my Aunt died. While my Aunt isn’t going to come back I am relieved to say that my brother did come home. We had to call the police and thankfully he came home before search and rescue came.

It was stressful not just for us and our friends as we looked for him but also for my youngest siblings. They have a fear of the police due to being removed from their home by the police in their birth country. My youngest sister burst into tears just at the mention of them coming. However, when they did come, the kids were very brave and I am so proud of them.

Despite the struggles that this week has brought it has reminded me of the importance of family and the reality of running away. Don’t we all run from something? We run from our fears and from uncertainty. We run to escape and sometimes in hope of finding something new.

Running away is not just running in the sense of hitting the pavement, it might be, but more often we run in other ways. We might run by pushing ourselves into our work or losing ourselves in books, tv, or video games. Running is not just about running or losing ourselves in harmful substances.

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I wonder what or who we are running towards. When we run do we have someone to run towards? I’m ever thankful that my brother came back. Though he left in anger and a whirlwind of emotions he knew he could come back. He knew where he was loved and would be safe. He knew where he could run to. Sometimes we run from the very places that we should be running to. I wonder how many times I’ve run from God only to realize that he is the very place I need to be running towards.

A greater concern for me at this moment is the thought of those kids who don’t have a place they can run towards. They don’t have the arms of someone who loves them that they know they can return to, who can hold them tight and safe. Someone they know that they can run towards.

It’s not just adoptive parents who can be this place of refuge for kids who used to have no one. We can all be a place that someone can run towards. That might just be a kind word or a helping hand or it might be something much bigger. Whatever the case might be, we can mirror the acceptance, hope, and love that we find in Christ. We now have a place of safety in the presence of our Father.

IMG_1309There is a little boy that I have talked about before – Zaki (https://reecesrainbow.org/76448/zaki). I’m writing about him again at the request of my youngest brother. It has been more than two years since I told him about Zaki and he still prays for him every night. The two boys were born in the same year (2009) and though being born in different countries (Eastern Europe and The People’s Republic of China) my brother feels a connection.

My brother periodically asks me if Zaki has been adopted yet, he’s worried that Zaki will not get adopted and will die. He remembers the time when he was still in the orphanage and was very sick, a far cry from today where he is healthy and flourishing. He fears that his future as it stood without a family will be Zaki’s future. A future that has changed and opened up to encompass many possibilities.

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My brother has even promised to go to China and adopt Zaki himself if he doesn’t get a family. Though this is not a possibility it shows the dedication that he has to this other little boy. Would you pray with me that Zaki will get a family soon? That he will have a safe place to run to? That there would be good news to give to two boys who are on either side of the planet?

Dear Lord,

Thank you that you are a place of safety and refuge. Thank you that we can run to you even if we were first running from you. Please help us to model you and also be a place of safety and refuge for others.

Lord, I pray for Zaki. He has been listed for more than four years and has yet to have a family come forward to call him their own. Please bring a family forward for him. A family that can love and support him. A family that can provide a place of refuge for him.

You know that my own brother has loved him and petitioned you for the life and future of Zaki. May his prayers be answered and a joyous sound be heard around the planet.

In your name, I pray,

Amen

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Grayson

I’m back! Finishing up my Masters degree has been a challenge but I am finally at the end of it. Hopefully this will allow for more consistent updates.

You may be wondering why I have a picture of one of the best superheros ever at the top of the page (Ok, I admit it. I love DCU and Nightwing is at the top of my list of my all time favorite characters). The young man that I am going to pray for today is Grayson. Seeing his name reminded me of Richard “Dick” Grayson aka the first Robin and then later Nightwing (he has also been Batman when Bruce Wayne was unable to be located). All that to say, this character, who lost his parents at a young age, became a hero, a leader, a protector of the innocent.

I believe that every kid has the potential to be a hero. It might look different for each kid but I think that they can change the world. Changing the world happens in different ways. It can be through a change in reality for a group of people or it can be a change for a single person. For that person the world is changed; their outlook has changed and hope can become tangible. We each have a role in changing the world, fighting for justice, and bringing hope into someone’s life.

It is my hope that Grayson will have a family to call his own. A family that will support him and encourage him.  A family that will help him be a hero!

Grayson was born in 2008 in the People’s Republic of China. He has congenital heart defects and has had three surgeries to date. He is described as being positive, active, smart, respectful, and loving. He attends school and the orphanage and is said to be doing well. https://reecesrainbow.org/124757/grayson-2

Will you pray for him with me?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Grayson. Thank you for the interactions and impact that he has. I pray that he will grow into a strong young man who brings hope to others as you will bring him hope.

May those who care and teach for him show him love and care. May they have patience and the knowledge how to help Grayson and the others that they teach and care for.

I pray for the family that will open up their family to him and welcome him in as a beloved child. May you prepare their hearts and minds as you prepare Grayson’s.

Thank you for the grace and strength that you give to each one of us. May we participate with you as you care and love for people. May we participate in changing the world for one person and for all people. May your will be done and your love be known.

Amen.

A New Year + Kieran

abbey and levi Xmas

I pray that everyone’s Christmas season was one of joy and peace. It is my hope that as we reflect upon Christ and what He has done for us in His birth, life, death, and resurrection that we will be strengthened in our faith and inspired to live a life devoted to God.

I do understand that Christmas is often hard for many people. I think of a young man that I have known since I moved to this country seven years ago. He died two nights ago. As I try to process this, my thoughts turn to his family and the sports teams that we were both heavily involved in. This will be a hard time for many. Instead of rejoicing as the New Year rolls in there will be heart break that at 22 he was unable to see another year.

Despite the hardship there is a few things that warm my heart. First, that his long battle and suffering in the grip of cancer is no more. Second, that our university was able to give him an early graduation – he was able to experience this achievement that he had worked towards. Third, and most important of all, he joined the family of Christ and can now see his Savior face to face. Fourth, I know his family was with him in the end. I pray that they may be comforted in this time and that his witness will also bring them into the House of the Lord.

I come now to my greatest hope. That in times of struggle, hardship, and yes, even death, we will have those that love and care for us by our side. It breaks my heart that many children, and adults, do not know the love and support of a family. May we, the Church, those of the family of God, stand alongside these people in 2018 and beyond. May we be family for these people. And for children like Kieran/Wesley who wait for a family. https://reecesrainbow.org/122861/kieran-3

Kieran was born in 2014 with Spinal Meningocele which has resulted in delayed psycho-motor development. He is able to be adopted and has $495 donated to help pay for some of the fees. Would you pray for Kieran with me?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Kieran. Thank you for his smile. I pray that you will bring him into a family. A family that will care for him and protect him. A family that will help him to grow and reach his greatest potential.

Please prepare his heart and the hearts and minds of the family that you will call forward. May you provide support and care for them so that they may weather the hard times that are sure to come. But also have friends and family around them so that they may rejoice at the blessings and victories that will also come.

Please prepare us and show us how to be the support and care for others. Help us to know what it means to be a family and to be in a family.

For you and for your glory I pray,

Amen

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May you all have a blessed New Year!

 

Aging out with CP

As I was deciding on who I would pray for this week I thought of the children who are running out of time. And then my mind turned to one of my friends at school. She has recently graduated with her Masters of Divinity and has returned to school to earn her Masters of Arts. She is a lot of fun to be around, she loves God, and is passionate about ministering to those with special needs. She just so happens to have Cerebral Palsy herself.

There are kids who are waiting to be adopted who also have CP. They have big dreams and unlike my friend they might never get the chance to fulfill them. These kids wait for families. Some of them age out as young as fourteen, others have until they are sixteen. These teenagers need families and time is running out.

Would you pray with me that families will step forward and give these kids a chance at a family? That they will have the support that they need? The love they deserve? A hope of working towards their dreams?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the beautiful faces of the children in these pictures. Some of these photographs are years old but that doesn’t change the need that they have for families.

Lord, their time is running out. Please don’t let them fall away without a chance of having a family. Please bring forward families from across the globe to step forward and bring these children home. May they be made sons and daughters.

I pray that they will be given the opportunity to be all that they can be. That they may get the therapy that they need to navigate this world and make a difference. That they will put a bright spark in this world with their love, determination, and life.

May your will be done. May your name be known through these children’s lives. May you show them love through their families.

For your kingdom, I pray,

Amen

The children:

Perry – http://reecesrainbow.org/120814/perry

Pia – http://reecesrainbow.org/117129/pia

Donahue – http://reecesrainbow.org/118705/donahue

Simeon – http://reecesrainbow.org/12544/simeon4207

Miles – http://reecesrainbow.org/102315/miles

Sherman – http://reecesrainbow.org/86954/sherman

Frieda – http://reecesrainbow.org/49201/frieda

Anastasia – http://reecesrainbow.org/1698/anastasia4605

Sarah Anne – http://reecesrainbow.org/77082/sarah-anne

Nicki – http://reecesrainbow.org/77067/nicki

Shirley – http://reecesrainbow.org/73136/shirley

Sarina – http://reecesrainbow.org/69764/sarina

Ellie – http://reecesrainbow.org/66260/ellie-2

Fabio – http://reecesrainbow.org/59315/fabio

Jessica – http://reecesrainbow.org/47096/jessica

Austyn

Austyn is from the People’s Republic of China. He was born in August of 2007 but it wasn’t until 2016 that he was listed with Reece’s Rainbow.

Austyn has Albinism as well as significant motion and intelligence delays. Thankfully he has made great improvement since he moved from an institutionalized setting to the New Day Foster home! What is really cool is that the foster home has a blog so you can have a look at what the kids are doing. http://newdayfosterhome.blogspot.com/search/label/Austyn

It is said that Austyn loves music. If you are interested in finding out more about him Reece’s Rainbow has a synopsis of a description from a special education teacher from the foster home. http://reecesrainbow.org/105940/austyn

Austyn also has over $500 gifted to him on Reece’s Rainbow so hopefully that will help the family that will come forward to adopt him. Would you pray with me for Austyn?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Austyn. Thank you for his smiles and his love of music. Lord please bring a family forward for him. May he know the love of a family. I pray that they will help him to continue to make improvement and grow into the amazing person that you have planned.

Thank you so much for the nannies, medical staff, and volunteers at New Day Foster home. Please give them wisdom to continue to care for the children in the home. Please bless them and help them to be encouraged by the improvement that they see in the kids.

In Your name I pray,

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.

Gunther

Gunther started his life off in a hard way. At approximately three days old this little guy was found abandoned and brought to an orphanage (2011), shortly after he received surgery for  his anal atresia.Gunther was also diagnosed with a congenital heart defect but he has not received any surgery, medicine, or treatment for it and the orphanage that he is at has considered to have healed itself.

Gunther also does not receive treatment for his scoliosis but he can still walk, run, and dance! It is also said that he likes to play with other kids. This adorable little boy also has a scar on his face from treatment for a hemangioma. It is reported that Gunther has normal intelligence, though, he has been described as being clever.gunther-joh1-248x300

Gunther has a page on Reece’s Rainbow and I would love it if you would join me in praying for him. http://reecesrainbow.org/100715/gunther

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Gunther. Thank you for his smile. Thank you for creating him in Your image. I pray that You will bring forward a family who will love him and support him. That this family will help him to get any medical treatment that he requires.

Please look after Gunther as he waits for a family. Please keep the smile on his face despite the hardships that he may face. Please use him to shine a light in many people’s lives. Please use him to bless others. I pray that You will be known through the awesome works that You will do in his life.

I pray for Your protection and blessing over this wonderful boy,

In Your name I pray,

Amen.