Aug 30, 2013

A chance to change a life.

Update: Thank you for all, who answered the call, and thanks be to God for providing this miracle! As always, You are faithful, and are are so fortunate to see these things happen. She desperately needed just 1 month worth of funds, but just in one day - she was set for 4 whole months! For more, please visit  Bible Orphan Ministry.

I honestly don't know if anyone reads my blog, but in an off chance that someone does, I am praying that this gets passed along.

From a fellow-blogger in Ukraine, they are asking for help for this sweet young lady. They only need 189.00$ to help her get an education. This is from Bible Orphan Ministry:

 This beautiful  young soul  this year just graduated an orphanage. Аll her childhood she spent away from the family, not knowing that such parental care and gentle mothering love. Throughout the years Olga was a good student and always did well with liability given to her assignments. She is always happy our arrival and came to Bible lessons or meetings. Olga is loving the Lord Jesus soul. She is a Christian who trusts the Lord that He will take care of her. In the daily prayers, she opens her heart to the Lord, pouring out all her heartaches and worries.
  This year, Olga faced with a huge challenge. Not one college and trade school did not want to take her, because she was in orphanage for children with special needs. Spent a lot of time and days in search of schools, who have agreed to receive this sweet girl. But it was all to no avail ... Imagine, what felt Olga at this point? What she thought?  Not being accepted from childhood she has still suffering from this terrible stain. "You are not like everyone ." 

In fact, Olya is smart girl and sometimes, when we saw her in orphanage. I always thought, what she was doing there? She probably got here by mistake of doctors. That unfortunately is very common. :( 

Honestly, I do not know why Olga came to the orphanage. But she would LOVE to study very much! Her dream is to get an education and to live an independent life.

I have been blessed to have a mother, who gave her all to raise me and give me an education. I might have not had the means to go to the best of colleges, but I have always had the opportunity to do so, if I put effort in it. But I cannot imagine to desperately want a chance for edication, and being told "no". They only need such a small amount. 

I know that there are countless needs, and asking for money is hard. But I honestly believe that when it all comes down, and you are asked to account for how we spent our time on earth, helping someone to acheive that should be a basic human right - its amazing. Its glorious. Its humane. 
If anyone reads my blogs - please help raise this miniscule amount. Just a tiny little drop. But what a lifetime of difference it would be for this young woman!

Donations can be made to Olga's fund under (PayPal).


Aug 23, 2013

So yes, Uganda!

Yes, its finally happening. The time is set, the ticket is purchased! I just have to get a little bit extra from the bank to cover the rest, but I finally am getting around to doing it - I am going to Uganda!

I am going with the Go Team - International Voice of the Orphans.  What can I say, I am so happy that things happen as they do. That I find an amazing group of people that knows what they are doing, have a purpose, a plan, and a passion. If you asked me a few years ago - what's one place you are least likely to go, it would be Africa.

Am I scared? Actually, I am more scared of telling my family that I am going. My husband knows, and he's been supportive with anything I set out to do, but the rest of the family - not so much. I know I will get a lot of negative comments and judgement, and its really stressing me out.

But no, I am most definitely not scared of Africa. Our fear of some place comes from lack of knowledge about the place. But the more you learn about something, the less scary it becomes. I hate flying, so that's probably will be the biggest challenge for me to overcome. On the plus side, we are not flying Delta. :D

So, yes, I am so thrilled and in disbelief that in less than a month, my feet will be touching Uganda's soil. How awesome is this?!

PS Perhaps one day it will be North Korea, or Pakistan, or even Iran. Who knows, right?

Aug 21, 2013

Don't let me be like that guy.

It's a funny thing, talking with God. This small, often invisible dialogue, that comes out from nowhere while you folding the laundry. The kind of talk, where you stop seeing the laundry, and instead you are being revealed a glimpse of possibilities. Or instead, something that was plain in front of you all this time. It just took His gentle nudging to let you see.

I want to start this off with "this guy", the kind of guy that I don't want to be.

Actually it all started with me freaking out over two palmetto bugs (if you are not familiar with these creatures, feel free to google them). It is sufficient to say, that there is little else that frightens me to the very core of my heart. They were not important, they were slain by my knight of a husband. But, out of their deaths came a heart's cry "If only." And the myriad of wishes started to pour in. "If only I was not scared of them." "If only they were bright green or blue." "If only."

Then a voice said, "If tonight, you could have one single wish granted, what would it be? Just like that: anything you ask right now, it would be given - what would it be?"
And my mind started to churn, weighing my heart, weighing my wants, and weighing my prayers. Riches, endless riches for me. "Is that really what you want?"

A part of me, was tempted to  say "YES!" To go on a mission trip without worrying about the money, to help anyone with adoption, HECK, to do something HUGE and MEANINGFUL with all that money and help SO many people. But the other part of me, the part that's a little bit more honest said "Not really. You know you. You will not do those things you think you will do. You will be forever changed from what you could be." So, no Money wasn't it.

Of course. Complete and immediate cure to all the "butterflies" in the world (the EB kids and adults that weigh so heavy on my heart). No doubt in my mind. right now, yes, a 100 times YES!
But what about the rest, that suffer too? The hidden away in cages of the EE orphanages? The abused in the crack houses? The ones that are raped over and over day after day in Thailand by rich western tourists? the ones that are dying of starvation and HIV in the refugee camps of Rwanda? The North Koreans? The ones that...and the weight started to add up. And the atrocities of our kind started to flood my heart. WHICH wrong will you choose to right, right now?!

How do I choose. And that is when, the answer was clear. Don't be "that guy". The weight of this world is not for your shoulders, child. You are not fit for it. You were not meant to bear it. The cross is NOT YOURS TO BEAR.

  You are not the Atlas. You are being carried on MY shoulders. Since before you were born, and until your last breath. That is why there is no "one wish". But there is no limit on prayers. There is no limit on how many things I choose to break your heart with, because your prayers reach me. You don't understand the why, but I do. You may not accept "no", but I want you to know that I know when you are praying for them. And one day you might understand the reason and see My plan.

I am not Atlas, and God is not a genie. He is God. Always sovereign. Always listening.
And just to clear any misunderstanding, at no point I thought that God was about to grant me magic wishes, and I valiantly turned down to be a millionaire. I knew all along that he was being hypothetical. In like, 3D!

Jul 30, 2013

I'll be blunt.

A few posts ago, I have posted about a fundraiser for Baby N. My heart breaks to peices. This is from N's mommy:

"I must say, some days are harder then others. Tonight my heart feels shattered, and the tears wont seem to stop.
I have watched, through photos over the past months, a baby fighting to stay alive. I have loved him. I have dreamt of him. I have prepared in every way to have him enter in our family. We have been blessed with so much love and support through all of this but I have also been greeted with doubt and a lack of support on many occasions, and by many people that I would never have thought would question me. I have faced set back after set back with a smile and a broken heart, I have answered numerous questions, and fielded many hurtful comments, I have tried to make the best decisions I can make to somewhat protect the child I so much love, and have cried so many tears for.

I am sad tonight, I am sad because we are NO WHERE near reaching our goal to bring him home to our family. I am sad because I feel like I am watching this child die and will never get the chance to hold him, to kiss him, and to just let him know that he is loved, by his parents, his sisters, his brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. HE IS LOVED.

I am in no way giving up on him or giving up bringing him home. but I personally am done with online fundraisers, with sharing our story, with laying my heart out to every one. ALL I want is to get him home, to help him heal, to teach him love and what a family can be.

We are going to do everything we can do to get him home. It will take us time. we know that. We are not wealthy, but we LOVE. we do not have $50,000 sitting in the bank, but we are working hard. It will take us some time. Sadly, time that I know he does not have. But we will NOT ever stop trying to get him here.

Thank you all for your continued support, I can't even express to you how much we appreciate every prayer, every thought, all the kind words, and many donations. We hope that one day we can share his first family photo with you all!"
 If you are an adoptive parent, or have been involved in adopting family's story, you know how frustrating it is to just get through to people. To literally beg for ransom money for your child. And all you are met with is cold, heart, stone indifference. I'll be blunt friends. This child is dying. He has a terminal disease for which there is no cure. He might live a couple of more years, or just a couple of more weeks. I don't know what his condition is right now.
But all I know is that he is someone's son. He is someone's precious little creature that is suffering, and whether he is bound for this world for a year, or for a week - he deserves to be given a chance to live it loved and cared for. He deserves to be given medical care, clean bandages, and pain relief. 
There are days where I just want to throw my monitor our the window. I have mailed at least 30 bloggy friends. Begging for the to spread the word about Baby N. I have gotten 2 replies. 2 faithful warriors - I bow to you deeply. WHERE ARE THE REST OF YOU, WARRIORS?! Is this child NOT worthy of our attention?! Is HIS life not worth of you just MENTIONING him on your blogs?!Are his pictures too graphic to be shared?
I will be blunt. I am begging you on my knees. Please write about him. Just mention him on your blogs. That's all I am asking for. 

I am begging for ransom for this poor child. 1$, 5$, 10$ - anything at all.

Jul 28, 2013

Hope in Russia.

My friends, I have to admit, that being involved in the stories of so many adoptive parents in US, especially those that adopt children with special needs from Russia, I often find myself asking - what is Russia doing? Do the people of Russia and other EE countries simply not care? Is there no living breathing human beings left, who are heartbroken for those who are left to live out their short lives in the orphanages?

The answer presented itself. I would like to introduce you to Natalya Vodyanova.
Stunningly beautiful young lady, a Russian supermodel, who, after the terrible massacre in Beslan , was aching to help the children who survived the nightmare. She also knows all too well the struggles of those children, who were born "less than perfect", according to the general opinion of the people. She helped organize the Naked Hearts Foundation.

The foundation is dedication to not only build parks for children of all socioeconomic levels to have a safe place to learn, heal and grow emotionally, but also educate families with Russia that special needs child is not a curse, but a blessing. They also work with government officials to provide education and financial help to those families, that either adopt a special needs child or decide to raise him/her themselves, instead of sending the child off to an orphanage.

Just last week, the foundation raised 3.2Mil Euros for financial help for the families, who are raising kids with Special needs. One of the  foundation's missions are:

"We aim to make sure that no child with living parents ends up in an orphanage or a children’s home. We are working to tackle the stigma of disability, so that no parent feels pressured to give up a disabled child. And we’re working with families who have made the challenging decision to keep their disabled child at home, in order to give them free access to a full range of services and the support of specialists familiar with international best practice and modern technology."

My heart rejoices. There is hope. My dream is that one day there would be no need for adoption. That the kids with special needs, born into poverty, born in families with substance abuse, those bereaved of family, have a chance to find a loving family within their own country. 

There are people with open hearts towards orphans in Russia, just like there are everywhere in the world. They are fighting on the front-lines just like us, educating, standing their ground, and using their God-given gifts to truly make a difference in this world. My prayers go out to Natalya and her team at the NHO. May there be no orphanages one day.

Jul 19, 2013

Call for action - Linny

This sweet angel, who shares the name with a dear friend of mine, desperately needs a family. Another blogger has been pationately praying and advocating on her behalf.

She was born in 2010, and while at a foster home, suffered a frightful injury, which left her unable to move in her right side.
Her eyes are captivating. So much sadness. No child should have eyes like that.

I ask for prayer on her behalf and on behalf of her family, who have yet to find her. I ask for my advocate friends to help me spread the word, to shake up the rusty gates and help her come home.

You can find out more about Linny at "Stop for Snowdrops".  My fellow warrior Johanna, posted more direct information on her current developmental challenges, and condition. Her Reese's Rainbow site is here. Lets do this, friends. Lets be a part of this.

Some questions answered about her:

How does she communicate? Can she speak? How many words?
She is burbling, not really talking.
What is her favorite toy to play with? Her favorite thing to do?
She doesn’t really play with toys. But she really loves snack (fruit, cracker, candy, etc).
Can she move around on her own? How?
She can’t move well. She is not walking. She is not crawling well.
Does she like to play with the other children? Does she have a best friend?
She doesn’t play with other children much. She would stay aside and look when other children are playing. Sometimes she smiles.
What is her personality like?
Fairly quiet.
What is she learning right now?
She is not in school/class.
Is she toilet trained? Does she have control of her bowels and bladder?
She can’t control yet, she is still in diaper. Her nanny is potty training her.
What does she do when she’s happy? excited? sad? angry?
She smiles when she is happy. She claps her hands when she is very happy/excited. She cries when she is sad/angry.
Does she like music? What does she do when she hears it?
She likes music She waves her hands when she hears music.
Her updated measurements
Height: 79cm; Weight: 9kg; Head: 44cm

Jul 17, 2013

Teaching this old dog new tricks - Freedom Fridays

After getting inspired (thanks Youtube), I have decided to pick up a new craft. Card-making!
I bought some strter supplies, and was so excited to start the first project.
I quickly discovered that I lack fundamental skills, like, basic math. The measuring and cutting of the appropriate length of paper was a major task.
Gluing things, is something apparently, I skipped in elementary school, because the glue stick that claimed to be "extra strong" did not want to glue anything.
Stamping? Yep, did it wrong.
Glue dots? HAHAH.
Sparkles? Yep, my hair is sparkly, but the card looked like a slug-fairy crawlled all over it.

But overall, an enjoyable experience, very tranquil for some reason, despite the stress. I produced 3 cards: not stellar, but they are going into my "beginner's hall of fame". One issue that I came across, and maybe some of you experienced card makers could help me with this: My brand new Fiskars paper cutter, leaves the decorative paper frayed after cutting. It's the kind of paper that they sell in large bundles or peel off binders at the scrapbooking section. It's rather thing, and I'm sure not of the best quality. The cutter has no issues with cardstock paper.
You might be able to see the edges on the color parts - they are not very crisp.
Anyone have any idea on what to do?

Another new craft that I am slowly picking up is jewelry making. I started with purse charms, because I found some awesome acrylic charms on sale, and I am much better with a pair of needlnosed plies than papercutter. They came out looking really nice!

So, that's what I'm up to lately. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

My Turn for us

Jul 1, 2013

Battle-horn has sounded for Baby N

Dear friends, I come to you with a prayer request, as well as an opportunity to be  apart of an awesome battle, that the Lord is fighting for a little boy. Little baby N (as you well know that to protect the children, and adoption, the kids are not called by their full names.)Currently, this sweet little boy lives in an orphanage. To make matters and the situation more dire, he is suffering from EB (Epydermolysis Bullosa), which is a rare and deadly genetic skin disease. It is called "the worst disease you never heard of", and I fully agree.. Lets come together and be a part of another miracle. There is a family that's working to bring this precious little boy home. His time is literally running out - he needs adequate medical care, while he waits for a cure.

So, friends, visitors, I lay my heart down before you and plead to spend some time with God, and talk with him. Pray on N's behalf, pray for his family, pray for the officials to grant the adoption. I also ask to be able to give, even as little as a few dollars, towards this adoption. We have seen mountains move. We have seen impossible odds being beat. This is NOT impossible. This is love.

If you want to find out a bit more, or to offer a donation, pleas follow this fundraiser link: Baby N's hope.

Update: I do beleive I forgot to mention, that at the end of the month, the creators of the fundraiser will be picking a random contributor's name, for a winning chance fpr an iPad mini!

Baby N

Jun 22, 2013

In the waiting room...

A friend of mine and a brother in Christ recently painted a beautiful picture :In the waiting room of unanswered prayer:

"The hurt’s so heavy, but the waiting room’s so full. There’s not a chair in sight. So many needs.
And so you slide down the wall to the floor, and hug your chin to your knees, and the nurse calls another, and someone else takes their seat.
It happens over and over, and you watch as each leaves in laughter."

I have to admit, this could not have been written at a better time, because I have been in this waiting room for sometime now. I have to admit, my friends, my heart's been so heavy lately. Unanswered prayers: one of the biggest conundrums that I have faced. Why not me? Why not answer my prayer? Why not hear my meek little gasps for help? Not for my sake, but for those I am praying for.

It's hard friends. It's so hard to be faithful when I live without a care in a world, but others suffer so. It's hard to pray for a "new day", yet wake up and read another horror post on Facebook. And the hurt is not even mine, the pain isn't mine, and it's not about how I feel. It's hard being faithful and realize fully that I have no control over this. I cannot do anything to fix it.

I know God is faithful, and He does things in His own time. But my heart is breaking. Another friend of mine, wrote an awesome series on prayer:  A Place Called Simplicity. And I cannot help but feel - if it "ME" Lord? Am I not asking earnestly enough? But you know my heart, and you know that this is something I wish most of all. Am I not "good enough" to be granted my prayer with a "yes"? But I will never be, that's why I need you.

I've been praying for a miracle, a cure, a complete an utter miracle - eradication of Epydermolysis Bullosa from the face of this world. This wretched, twisted, wicked thing that crept up in our world, and continues to torture and kill the most vulnerable of all. What I can I do, Father? How will you bless me to be a part of this plan? Why this? Why for them? Its so unfair.

Should you read these words, please speak a prayer on my behalf. Perhaps the Father will hear our voices together. I know there are hundreds praying, no - HOLLERING for mercy! Please grant them mercy. Please grant them rest. Please let this horror be over.

I will continue to pray, continue to beg, continue to let my heart be broken again and again. The answer sometimes is "No.", but it never is "Please stop asking". So I won't, Father.

May 25, 2013

An Update

Sorry, my friends, I've been away for far too long. Just to update briefly on what's going on lately.
I am still planning to go to Uganda, that faraway land is calling my name.
Unfortunately, every-time I plan to go, the circumstances are against me. But I am not giving up, and have already started planning and saving for the next opportunity that comes along.

I do plan to join the International Voice of the Orphan's GO team - awesome bunch of people that I cannot wait to meet.

I had my new son, who is now 5 months old - very exciting. Been continuing to work with the Orphanwares (and learned some new exciting things to make in the process!) Got into couponing and saved a bunch of money. I actually created a blog about it, because what do you do when you get into something? You blog about it!

So, just wanted to say "Hi, I'm back!" Hope to see you all back here as well.


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