A Father’s love

Last Sunday was father’s day.

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This week I have been thinking on who my father is and all that he has done for me over my life. I think of the early morning drives to practice at 5 am and of the weekends he gave up so that I could go to meets. I think of the decisions and sacrifices that he made so that I could get a unique and lasting education, one that prepared me academically and spiritually for the wide range of information and circumstances that are out there in the world. I think of the dedication that he has shown me through example and the God centered choices he has made despite the challenges these decisions have made. I know that I wouldn’t be me without who Dad has been in my life.

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Reflecting on who my Dad is and the influence that he has on me caused me to think on the responsibilities that we have and the influences that we have on others. In this regard, all of us have a responsibility to those around us. To show others, especially those who are younger and look up to us, what it means to be a child of God. To be steadfast in our faith, to be kind and wise, to be strong and gentle, and to show love to all. We have a great responsibility as daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, mentors, coaches, and friends. It is my hope that those who do not yet have a family to call their own will soon find themselves among a family that examples to them what it means to be a child of God.

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Please pray with me,

Dear Lord,

Thank you for my Dad. Thank you for the dads and dad figures around the world who give an example of what it means to walk in accordance to your will. The dads who show us how to love and care for others, to be strong and gentle, and to be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

Lord, I pray that there will be many birth-dads, adoptive-dads, foster-dads, and dad-figures that will step up and show girls what a man should be like, kind, respectful, strong, encouraging, God-fearing etc. I pray that they will also an example to boys in what they should strive to be like as they grow older and into men of God.

For those that have yet to have a positive father-figure or a family I pray that they will soon have a man in their lives who will support and encourage them. Who will show them love and will have their backs as they navigate life.

Lord, I pray most of all that we will recognize you as our Father. Our perfect Father who has shown us great love and who will never abandon us nor forsake us. Though we may fight you and push away from your love you stand steadfast in your promises and care for us in a way that no earthly father can. I pray that we will always look to you for the ultimate example and to Jesus Christ your Son.

In your name I pray,

Amen

 

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Georgie

There are times when we blind to the atrocities to the world and to the needs and cares for others. While there are people in the world who lack physical sight it is often those of us who can see that are blind. Each of us may be blind to a different aspect of reality, be it our own selfishness, the plight of a neighbor, or the mindset of our cultural group.

It is my belief and hope that as we open ourselves up to Christ and direct ourselves to God that our eyes will be open to others. May we be like Christ in championing the downtrodden. May we allow our eyes to be opened to the injustices of the world and participate in the renewing of creation, both humanity and nature, as we are renewed by the power of the Spirit.

I rejoice that someone could see the neglect and under-stimulation that Georgie was experiencing in his old orphanage. It was because it was seen that action could be made in his new environment, action that has allowed him to radically develop since he was relocated in April. Born in 2014 this sweet and gentle boy still has a long way to go.

Though being functionally blind with very little light perception I hope that he will never be blind in the ways that we often are. I pray that he will not only receive the direction and care that he sorely needs to continue developing but he will also be exampled care and compassion. An example that will help him to grow into a man of purpose and hope for others. A child of God that allows his heart and mind to be open to others in this world.

Would you pray for Georgie with me?

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Georgie, thank you for his sweet and social nature. I pray that it will continue to develop so that he might use it for the care of others and development of himself.

I thank you that he is in a better environment where he can develop and grow stronger. May his caregivers continue to provide the care he needs. Please give them the wisdom and patience that they need to care for Georgie and the other children that they are responsible for.

Please bring a family forward to call Georgie their son. May they show him love and compassion, steadfastness in the face of trial, and a desire to stand with those in need. May they learn from Georgie as much as I pray he learns from them.

I pray that you may be present in their midst. Strengthening and upholding; encouraging them to develop in a way that is honouring and uplifting to you and others. Thank you for this little boy, may he receive the love, support, and care that every child should have.

In your name I pray,

Amen

https://reecesrainbow.org/125056/georgie

A busy week and a fuller heart

Commissioning

 

This last week has proved to be busy but also gratifying. It started off with Commissioning for the graduating students within the faculty of Theology. I was privileged to be one of those reading the Scripture. It was especially meaningful as I was one of the students who were graduating.

This brings me to the next exciting thing that happened. Graduation!

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I almost can’t believe that I made it. I am truly indebted to my family, friends, and professors.

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This week has also been marked by traveling with family (my Aunt and Uncle came for a visit and for graduation from New Zealand) and finally by celebrating Family Day.

Family Day is the day that my family celebrates the day my youngest four siblings legally became apart of the family. Family Day is usually marked with ice cream, a visit to the beach, and mixed feelings. There is excitement at another year together and thankfulness at being together but there is also some sorrow and anger at what once was and what could have been.

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Despite the mixed feelings it was a great day. I got to spend time with my family and celebrate that we don’t have to be biologically connected in order to be connected in the best of senses. It is about sharing and being with one another through good times and bad. I think families with adopted children see this reality regularly. There needs to be an acceptance of differences and a celebration of our uniqueness that comes together to make a wonderful whole.

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Dear Lord,

Thank you for families. Thank you for the ones who stand beside us. Thank you for the ones who support us and are there when times get tough. Thank you for the people who love us and care for us. Thank you for the ones that we can laugh with and and be silly with. Thank you for the ones that we can be ourselves with.

Lord, I pray that the children around the world who wait for families will not have to wait much longer. I pray that they will know what it means to be apart of a family that loves, laughs, and lives together.

In your name and for your glory I pray,

Amen.

May we show others what it means to be in a family and to care for one another whether or not blood connects us.

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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.

 

 

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.

Lochland

This little guy will be entering double digits this year! Lochland was born in 2008, he lived with his birth family until 2016, and in 2017 he moved to a group home for boys with learning and emotional difficulties. Lochland has dyslexia and has been labeled with low intelligence. There are many successful people who have dyslexia. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Lochland could be adopted and be given the support to flourish and achieve his best in whatever area he loves?

He could join the ranks of Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Spielberg, Keira Knightly, and Jamie Oliver as someone who has not been defined by dyslexia. Like these well known people, Lochland can impact the world and reach his potential.

Whoopi
http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/success-stories/whoopi-goldberg

He has gown so much during his time in the group home. He meets with a psychologist monthly to talk about his birth parents, his past behavior, and to prepare him for adoption.

Lochland is described as being lively, active, popular with his peers, and helpful to his teacher. He enjoys football, Legos, and watching TV. For more information you can visit the Reece’s Rainbow:¬†https://reecesrainbow.org/124327/lochland

Lochland has expressed a desire to be adopted and believes that he will be adopted soon. It would be awesome if his wish could come true! Would you pray with me that he will have a family soon?

Dear Lord,

Thank you that you have given us skills and talents. Thank you for the people that have shaped the world and have brought joy, knowledge, and feeling into our lives. Thank you that we do not have to be defined by a diagnosis but by how you see us. Thank you that we can make an impact on the world.

Lord, I pray that Lochland will soon have his wish of a family. Please bring a family forward that can support him and help him to flourish. Irr-Lochland-2 pray that he will make an impact on this world, that he will not be defined by dyslexia but will be defined by who he is.

Thank you that he is doing well in the group home. I pray that the staff will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of many young boys. May they be equipped to show love and support the boys that come into the home and may they in turn be supported to do their work.

In your holy name I pray,

Amen.

 

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.