Siblings

media-share-0-02-06-64ecf59403b5d5a6f4c11aa7cfa51a628c7082cd2b3e5caf1588e4d20c8b8b9e-f7cd31a4-cbea-40af-b51e-82bc520a895a (2).jpgI was reflecting on my family this week. It is an easy thing to do when your Dad is out of the country for work and you have finished your studies. I have been able to put more focus into helping my mum and my siblings.

They are amazing kids and I love them all so much. This time while Dad has been away it has been very hard for my youngest sister. Dad’s traveling is not an odd experience but this trip has been especially hard for her. While the others also find it tough they have been doing well.

As I was saying, my youngest sister has been struggling. Seeing how the others interact with her has shown me how much they have grown. It used to be that they didn’t understand why she would act differently or be “naughty” but they are starting to understand that she isn’t feeling well. They are also starting to understand what it looks like when she isn’t feeling well.

My youngest brother went up to her the other day and put his hand on her arm and told her that it was going to be OK. He had recognized that she was struggling and was choosing to share in her struggle. This is a big step for him as he is three years her junior and has to work through what it means to pass her developmentally.

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Additionally, my other sister, who is only a year older than her, has exhibited remarkable patience. She used to struggle with showing our youngest sister patience and forbearance. She would snap or loose her temper. Watching her over the last few weeks I have noticed a change in her. She will talk calmly when our sister is struggling and help my mother and I as we navigate different struggles and triggers.

In reflecting on my family I thought of sibling groups that are waiting for families. As I looked through the sibling groups on Reece’s Rainbow (https://reecesrainbow.org/category/waiting-children/siblings) I was shocked to see Hadden and Hadley. https://reecesrainbow.org/82877/hadden-and-hadley

boys1I remember seeing their faces on the site a few years ago and I was sure that they would have a family quickly. It broke my heart to see that they were still listed. These twin boys were listed in 2014!!! Their pictures are old. The only information that is given is that they were born in 2009 and that they have a hearing impairment. It is my hope that they will NOT have to wait much longer for a family. Will you pray with me for a family to open up their hearts and lives to them?

 

Dear Lord,

Thank you for families. Thank you for siblings. Thank you that we can have someone who is there for us and that we can be there for them when they need it. Please help us to be better siblings not only to our biological, adoptive, and foster siblings but also to our siblings in Christ. May our Church family be marked by the love, concern, and care of close siblings.

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I pray that Hadden and Hadley will be able to stay with each other. Many siblings are ripped apart in order to try and find them a family who will adopt them, please bring a family forward to love and care for them that will welcome both boys into their home.

I pray that the boys’ connection with one another will develop and strengthen. I pray that they will be able to rely on each other. I also pray that they will learn to trust and love the family that you have for them.

May you be glorified through our relationships and the decisions that we make. May you be the one we turn to when the going gets tough and when there is reason to celebrate.

Thank you for the lives of these young boys. May they be enveloped by the love of a family who will support them and care for them. May they get the help that they need to succeed. Please grant them a family soon so that they do not have to wait any longer. They have waited long enough. May the tide change and a family come.

Thank you,

Amen.

 

 

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South Asia

Olivia

So…. It’s been a while. I could blame it on finishing up my thesis or being sick or having to work on Sunday, while all of those things have happened and have made it challenging to write a blog post they shouldn’t be an excuse. The kids that wait for families spend each day going about their lives and each day that passes is another day that they don’t come home from school to a family that loves and supports them.

While I may not be in a position to adopt that does not mean that I should step back and not do anything in regard to these kids’ lives. As someone who is a Christian I have the knowledge of my salvation in Christ. This means that I am now a member of the family of God. I share this amazing status with everyone else who has been adopted into the family of God.

 

Zack

The thing is, along with the privileges that we have as children of God we also have responsibilities. We are not to shirk these responsibilities, therefore, I wish for us to turn our minds to what we can do for the children that wait for families.

 

When my family was still living in New Zealand, before we moved half-way across the world, my parents were in the process to adopt from a South East Asian country. While they did not end up adopting from this country but rather from an Eastern European one the children that are still waiting in South Asia are not far from our minds.

Penny

Reece’s Rainbow has a page of children who are in South Asia and are listed for adoption https://reecesrainbow.org/category/waitingbycountry/south-asia. While they cannot have their faces shown due to regulations, these precious children deserve to be seen and known as the wonderful people that they are. Children like Olivia, Penny, Connor, Jeanette, and Zack.

Would you please pray with me for the children of South Asia? That those who wait for a family will be seen and that they will be brought into a family soon?

Connor

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the people of South Asia. I thank you for those that have chosen you and are members of the family of God. I pray that they will be a light shining you to those around them.

Thank you for the children. Please guide them and lead them in your way. May they make an impact in their countries and towns. May they bring you glory and make your name known.

Lord, for those children that do not have the love and support of a family, I pray that you will provide for them so that they may have the necessities that they need. Please let them know that they are loved. May you also bring forward families to cherish them and to support them. May they know the love of a family.

For you and your kingdom,

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!

 

Ever Thankful

Recently my sister wrote a letter to the Central Authority, Children’s Services in her birth country. This is what she wrote….

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is A_______, I live in Canada. I am twelve years old. I was born in Lithuania. My Lithuanian name was E_______. I was adopted on May 19, 2014 by C_______ and A_______. I would like to thank you for finding me a family.

Sometimes we go out to the beach on family day when we celebrate becoming a family. We take photos there and play in the water. We may go to the movies, or the park where we have fun as a family. At meal time we eat together, and talk, and laugh. When we go to bed Mummy comes up to pray for us!

On Sundays we go to church and we pray. A person teaches us about Jesus. On Holidays like Easter and Christmas we remember Jesus. On Thanksgiving we sit at the table and talk about what we are thankful for. I am always thankful for my family and friends.

Once a week I go to Youth Group where I can spend time with my friends and do Bible study! Sometimes our friends come to our house to play. We play tag, hide-and-go-seek, and other running games. We have lots of fun.

In the summer time we play water fights and take turns on the swing. We climb trees and eat cherries off of the trees in the back yard. We also say hi to our rabbits, chickens, and our barn cats.

We stay at home and do school with Mum. We can do school as fast as we want or as slow as we need. Daddy buys us the supplies we need for schooling and then the delivery truck brings the books. I read history that is about wars and about how we got governments. We read the Bible; it tells us about Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and what miracles he has done! I read science books about how things work and where electricity comes from.

We also do drawing and art for school. I love to learn about different animals from all over the world. And on Fridays our friends come to do science experiments with us.

I love my family very much, I think being in a family is the most glorious thing there is. Thank you for finding me a family.

Sincerely,

A_______

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As we get closer to celebrating the birth of Jesus I am reminded that though the exact date of his birth is unknown we can still celebrate with joy. As my sister grows and learns what it means to be in a family she has shown joy and thankfulness for what she has. I think this is a testament for us this season. To be thankful for those around us that we celebrate with.

Though people we love may be missing this year and despite the hard financial times that many are in there is still a chance to be thankful. My sister has many things sheImage result for christmas could complain about and while she is not in a perpetual state of contentedness and thankfulness (who is?!) she does remind me of all the amazing things that I do have. Such as the great blessing of being able to call her my sister.

May this Christmas season find you ever thankful and looking to the One who given us so much to be thankful for.

Dear Lord,

Thank you that we can anticipate when Christ is coming again by celebrating when you sent your Son to us the first time. As we celebrate Jesus’ birth please helps us to remember why you sent him. So that we could call you Father. So that we can be joined in relationship with you as your children, saved and redeemed from the sin that had held us captive.

In your precious gift we have found life. May we be thankful for the life and for the love that you have shown. You gave Jesus, the eternal Son, so that we could be called children of God. You continually give us the Holy Spirit who cries “Abba, Father” with our spirits, testifying of who we are.

I pray that as we celebrate this year we will not forget those that still wait for families. My we show love and life to them as you have shown it for us.

Thank you,

In Jesus Christ’s holy name,

Amen.

 

We must not forget

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Though I have not posted in a few weeks due to sickness and a heap of coursework that I am slowly making my way through, I don’t want to give the impression that I have forgotten why I do this. Why I write and pray.

Unfortunately, I think forgetting is something that we are all guilty of. The busyness of life catches up and we find ourselves trying to just stay afloat, and that which is close and dear to our hearts gets choked out, pushed to the side, and forgotten. But we must not forget!

amberWhile I may not be posting as much with the busyness of life I am striving not to forget those that have been forgotten by many in the world. In tears and joy there is prayer for those that are still waiting. Not a prayer given in haste once a week or once a month but a heart-felt yearning shared with our Father in heaven for those that wait.

As we approach a time of year that is marked with busyness, whether in school, work, or life, please join me in remembering those that have been forgotten. Pray for them, talk about them, decide how you will remember them.

In the world of orphan care there is many ways in which we can remember. We can advocate, support, sponsor, pray, foster, or adopt. No doubt that there are other ways in which we can remember. So in this season of busyness please remember.

 

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your gifts of grace. Thank you that you are with us wherever we go and whatever we do. Please help us to make a difference in other people’s lives. Thank you for those that you have placed on our path so that we may walk with them.

As we get busy and find ourselves overwhelmed please grant us peace and strength for your name’s sake. Please cause us not to forget those that are downtrodden and forgotten by others of this world. May we be a beacon of light in their lives and within the world.

Please bring children home, bring light into their lives, give them a chance to see that they are loved and have immeasurable worth.

To you be the glory forever,

Amen.

Levi and christmas

 

Layla

The other evening I was eating dinner with the four little kids, and the conversation turned to what they would do if they were in charge of the government. Keep in mind that they range in age from 8 to 13.

lil' kiddosThe answers ranged from caring for the poor, and making sure that everyone had enough food to eat and had a place to live (you can see how their past influenced their thoughts).

But the responses that most struck me were comments like, “everyone has a family”, “everyone gets adopted”, and “no one is abandoned”. I think this shows where their hearts are. They love being able to have a family. This does not mean that they don’t struggle with having been abandoned before or with the years they lived in the orphanage. But it does show how important having a family is for them. parliament-clipart-mp-list-of-LSRS

My youngest sister worries about kids who don’t have somewhere safe to sleep. My youngest brother is sad every time I have to give the answer that the little boy he prays for still isn’t adopted.

It is my greatest hope that my siblings will not only experience the love of God and enter into a new Spiritual family but will also be empowered to make a difference in other people’s lives. They have big hearts, great potential, and I believe that they will make an impact on the world around them. May we all strive to make an impact – whether we have a part in the government or not.

There are many other children awaiting adoption who have the potential to change the layla-sm-154x300world. But may never get the chance if they don’t have a family to support them and to make sure that they get the health care and education they need to succeed.

Layla is one of these kids. Though Reece’s Rainbow has no further information on her other than her HIV diagnosis and the year of her birth (2012) this does not mean that she doesn’t have hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes, and the desire to be loved.

Layla is available to be adopted by large families and older parents. http://reecesrainbow.org/121867/layla Would you please pray for her with me?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Layla. Thank you for your hand in her life. May you bring a family forward to adopt her. To help her see that she is loved and to help her reach her potential.

May her family teach her to respect others, and love all people and creatures, and to make an impact on the world. Please guide her, and those that care for her now, and those that will care for her in the future. May you be glorified through your work in their lives. May they make a difference to the people around them and to the world.

Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for the gifts that you have given each person. May we use these gifts for your glory, for the protection of others, and so that others may know of your grace.

In your name, I pray,

Amen

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!