Visiting Lalibela

Visiting Lalibela

Friday, September 23, 2011

T-shirts for a great cause!

Mike, Micah, Janika, Elli and Kael are headed to Ethiopia in November on a mission trip with Childrens Hopechest. While in ET, they will get to spend 3 days with Antenne, the little boy we sponsor. Karen Wistrom is the coordinator for the carepoints our crew will be visiting. She is also a fellow adoptive Mom.

Check out her blog, Family from Afar, to see some awesome t-shirts she is selling to raise money for this mission trip. You can either click on the button to the right that says, "I sponsor a child at Kind Hearts" or go to my blogroll and click on Family from afar. Either way, I hope you'll join us in buying these shirts, which will in turn, benefit several hundred children in Ethiopia.

I haven't written much about the famine and drought in Ethiopia. Our Gavin is from the very area where some of the worst conditions exist. As I look at him each day, I am amazed that he is here, playing soccer, learning in school, getting enough food and learning about how much our Savior loves him. It is also a constant reminder that there are thousands if not millions of Gavins out there, unable to get the food they need each day. Contributing to this mission trip is just one way to help beautiful kids like Gavin..Sponsoring a child through Childrens Hopechest means they are guaranteed at least one meal per day. It also means they will get to go to school and learn about Jesus' love for each of them. Many more kids will be needing sponsors at the two carepoints that our family will be visiting. Please keep following Karen's blog for information on these kids over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

an update

We spoke with our child who is at the Ranch for Kids on Monday night. For the first time, we heard genuine remorse in the child's voice and words. Our child is definitely missing home and family, which are very good. All the other kids got to say a quick "Hi," which was hard but good for everyone. Our child is learning so much at the Ranch and starting to heal. We are more hopeful and thankful than ever before. Some of the behaviors that precipitated our child going to the Ranch are beginning to diminish. This is still a long process, as our child learns what triggers those behaviors and learns other ways to deal with the triggers.

We know God is doing an amazing work in our child. We still really appreciate your prayers, for all of us as we navigate this road of healing for everyone. Please also continue to lift up the staff at the Ranch for the work they do.

Personally, I have had to deal with the sin of judgement through all of this. A year ago, we knew of another family needing to utilize the Ranch for healing for one of their children. I honestly couldn't imagine taking one of my own children there and yet here we are, needing the resources that the Ranch has to offer. Over the past few months, I have read and heard story after story of families living with really tough outcomes after adopting older children. These families need support, through prayer, through meals, through watching other children. Sometimes loving a child from hard places is like fighting a war...I've heard it's harder than actually going into a mission field in a foreign country and yet God calls..He calls us to love the children that He loves. He calls us to live "my life is not my own." He calls us not to judge. He has called us to love our child who is not at home right now and is allowing this love to grow in us until we are reunited. We serve an awesome God!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

a big laugh

Sometimes we will be cruising along with life and I forget that our kids haven't been here that long. Sometimes, though, like tonight, we remember and have to laugh.

We were watching an old Steve Martin movie tonight. Steve Martin proceeds to kiss his "wife" in the movie. One of our kids said, " Why is he kissing that woman when he already has a wife?" She was referring to the wife in Father of the Bride, a completely different movie. It hit us that this child didn't know that all of the movies we watch are fictitious. I guess reality tv makes it even more confusing, when we watch shows like the DUggars, as the cameras follow everyday families through their lives. She just assumed that everytime the cameras are rolling, real life is happening...

We got a big chuckle out of it, as we explained the difference..

We had a great day enjoying our company, Summit Energy today...If anyone from Summit reads this, we are so very proud to have the team we have here in ND. Williston hosted an energy festival, celebrating all of the energy work that is here. It really was impressive watching the parade, with all of the big oil companies driving all of their big equipment down Main Street. One of our employees, Lacey, won Miss Williston Basin Energy. She is an amazing young lady, beautiful, well spoken and tough as nails, working on our one of the pipeline crews, using big equipment better than most men could. LB got to ride in the parade with her, as our LIttle Miss Summit. She was the perfect representative of our family in the parade.. She is such a miracle as is this company.

Monday, September 12, 2011

how are we doing?

We have settled into a new normal at our house and that normal includes GREAT PEACE. School is going extremely well, with my friend teaching my curly headed kiddos SO MUCH everyday. They absolutely love her and school this year and E,J, and K and I are booking through Algebra, US History, Writing and Science. They are working on Spanish, with Rosetta Stone. My newest kiddos are making HUGE strides in both reading and math. Layne and Gavin are flying through 2nd grade math and reading at a 3rd grade level. I am only stating these things because God deserves praise in all of this!! When LB was a baby, we weren't sure she would ever be able to learn, much less learn as quickly as she does at 6 years of age.

Cross-country is in full swing, so our weekends are spent going from meet to meet and loving every minute of it. The kids are doing well and making some great friends. On Saturday, Janika was in 3rd (over 100 runners), when she tripped over a tree stump that was right in the middle of the path. She went down, twisting her ankle pretty badly. Mike happened to be standing right there and asked her if she could walk. She replied, "It hurts!!" He said, "Run! You can think about it later." She started running again and finished in 9th!! We all learned a bit about courage watching her gut it out. Our little Gavin had every Williston parent yelling for him as he booked it to an 8th place finish in the elementary race. You can't help but cheer for him when he runs because he smiles so big while he's passing kids twice his size- he loves to run and we love to watch him. Our other three runners did equally as well--

Our new normal also consists of weekly calls to the Ranch for Kids. Last night was our first night to talk to our child who is there. We are learning so much through this process, especially about our own prayer life. We would love continued prayers for our child who is not with us right now, prayers for the child to know the love of Jesus. You see, with Jesus, all the other stuff should be so much easier.