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

Advertisements

Honor

This last week I was in an intensive at Uni, and we were studying ethics. As I am doing a ethics imagedegree in theology one of the major points that came up was that we are made in the image of God. It is this concept that should be a major aspect of how we interact with others and in how we are to make decisions. Though there will always be multiple considerations to be made in every situation it must not be forgotten that we carry with us the image of God.

I believe that this has relevance to the discussion of adoption. Despite the hardships, disabilities, and struggles that make up these children’s lives, they have worth. They are not just numbers in a world wide count or a series of names, or even a story that you hear and soon forget. These children have lives, no matter how challenging, and have so much worth. They are image bearers of God.

While looking at Reece’s Rainbow and praying for the kids I was struck by how behind each picture and silhouette there is a life. They are living each moment, they are not a still picture on a website but a child with hopes, dreams, and desires. One of these children is Honor. http://reecesrainbow.org/121853/honor

Honor-sm-200x300Honor is a girl living in South Asia. Her birthday is estimated to be in 2006 but she believes that she might be older than that. This is a girl with a lot of potential. Not only does she sometimes act as a translator between her native language and English but she also won the state championships in running in the partially blind category (she has limited vision in her right eye)!

Honor is described as being positive, energetic, fun loving, go-getting, and hard working. This shows a lot about how amazing she is! She is someone who is quick to grasp concepts but unfortunately she is the subject of teasing. This awful teasing has caused her schooling to suffer and has made it so that she dislikes going to school. How well would she do with encouragement and a stable environment where she can learn and grow!!!

Honor has craniofacial differences and has had to have a graft for a skull defect but this does not define her! She has so much potential and I pray that she will be able to grow up in a family that loves and cares for her. A family that can help her through the struggles and trials and support her so that she can be amazing young lady that she is. Please pray with me for her.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Honor. Thank you that she has talents and abilities. May she be able to use them for your glory. Please be with her and strengthen her when she has to face the bullies that tease her. They ignore her worth but she is so much more than they say she is. She is an image bearer of you!

Please bring a family forward to adopt her. Help them to show her her worth. Help her to know that she is amazing and that she is loved.

For your glory and your kingdom 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!

Sibling Group in Latin America

DSC_0447 (2)

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.

DSC_0813 (2)

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.

 

 

 

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

Tressa

Wow. It has been a busy but rewarding summer and now school is about to start!

This summer I worked with a good friend of mine and we coached a summer swim team in a town that is thirty minutes away. The kids were amazing! Some of them were going through tough times in their lives and others were giving the sport a try for the first time. We were so blessed to be apart of their lives and to see them grow as athletes and as people.

And now school is about to start. I am going to have such a full year but I am excited to see how God is going to lead me, use me, and grow me. I will be coaching a whole new group of kids in the town my university is in. Some of them I have coached before and others will be new. I am excited to be apart of their lives and am thankful for the opportunity.

I will also be completing my final year of my Masters degree which means that I will be writing and defending my thesis. Honestly, I am terrified but also waiting with expectation to see what God is going to teach me. It is my hope that what I have to write and say will make a positive impact on someone.

In addition to coaching and my own school work I will be working as a teaching assistant and as the vice president of the student association. All this is to say – I will be busy!!! However, I will do my utmost to continue to update this blog and bring forward children to the Lord in prayer. Which brings us to the point of why you are reading this in the first place! The kids. The wonderful and beautiful kids who are waiting for families to love and cherish them.

This week Tressa is the beautiful young girl that will be lifted up in prayer ( http://reecesrainbow.org/9688/tressa2006 ). Would you pray for her with me? She was first listed in 2010 and is still waiting. Tressa was born in January 2005 which makes her 12 years old. She is growing into a little lady without a family. Something that I hope will change soon!

Tressa has FAS and is living in Eastern Europe. Because of her age she is eligible for an older child grant from Reece’s Rainbow. She is also blessed to be available to be adopted by older parents and large families.

 

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Tressa. Thank you that you love her and have made it possible that she can be adopted. There are many kids out there who never get the chance to have a family who loves them and cares for them. It breaks my heart as I know it breaks yours that this is a reality for many. May it not be the case for Tressa. Please show your mighty hand and bring forward a family to be Tressa’s family. May they love her and help her to grow into the woman that you have in mind for her.

Thank you for those who care for her. May you give them wisdom in caring for Tressa and the other children that they are to look after. Please care for the other children and give them the opportunity to have a family.

In your name I pray,

Amen.