Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Raging War

I'm in a war, every minute.
I know for sure, I'll never win it.
I am David up against Goliath.

Those are lyrics from a beautiful song called "King of My Heart", by Love & the Outcome.  Life can be full of battles, can't it?  I can easily recall the big wounds of my 36 years whose scars still sting just a bit as they flash before my mind.  They make me cringe and I feel my stomach drop when I really mull over those memories.

Can you relate with me about those times when we cannot physically see the war raging, but can certainly feel them?  This is where we have been the past couple of months - in the middle of a battle that causes a sinking feeling in my chest almost every day.  

Let me just call it like it is:  it's the enemy.

I'm not exactly sure just what has rubbed him the wrong way.  It may be that he knows God has huge plans for our new little gal.  When we first started reviewing her medical file, I was hesitant.  While I absolutely adored her gentle nature and smile, she is almost 3 and unable to walk.  I was not sure if we were prepared to handle the life-long implications of a child, and eventually an adult, in a wheelchair.  I told my husband that if this child was able to walk someday, the family who adopted her was going to get to partake in a huge God-miracle.  My amazing hubby said, "You have to take big leaps of faith to see big miracles."  We do not know what God has in store for Hannah, but we are sure it's going to be beautiful.  

Maybe he is frustrated with our persistance to DO something for God's glory in this world.  Since God took us to El Salvador to aid orphanages and the homeless, we have not been content to just sit and feel "bad" about the atrocities in this world.  We found our passion and we're running with it - sometimes it leaves us breathless, but most often it leaves us so fulfilled.

Or it might be the recent revelation we have had about the ministry God has been preparing us for our entire lives.

Every parent has a ministry.  Every parent is discipling the children they are entrusted to raise, teaching them to grow into responsible and caring adults who make the world a better place.  
In the past several months, we have begun to realize that He intended for us to be parents of a large, adoptive family.  You're thinking, "Ha!  You just realized this?  You have 7 kids - you ARE a large adoptive family!!"  But as our adoption community friendships grow, we have discovered we are relatively small!!  God has prepared our steps, our whole lives, for the passion He planted in our hearts for children and adoption, and given us abilities and circumstances to make all this happen.  While I do expect it will be quite some time before we adopt again after Hannah, I know for sure it will happen.  Our retirement years will probably not look like the typical American scenario of rest, relaxation, and travel.  I envision us as parents with children the same age as our grandchildren!

Regardless of what fueled the fire of attacks, the enemy has been busy.  He has wrecked paperwork, distorted first impressions, planted roadblocks, flipped-out electronic equipment, closed hearts, misled minds, kinked our finances, caused confusion, and threatened every single stage of our process so far.  He has waited in the shadows, whispered, connived, and master-minded problems.  Even our sweet kiddos have seemingly had targets on their backs.

The enemy preys on every doubt, worry, fear, and anxiety we have.  He leaves us feeling beaten, exhausted, relentlessly drug down into a hole. If you're in the midst of an unseen battle, remember this wisdom from God's word:

Revelation 12:11: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."
Ephesians 6:11: "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil."
Ephesians 6:12: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
1 John 4:1: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
2 Corinthians 2:11: "In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware 
of his schemes."

And my favorite, Exodus 14:14 = "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Be strong, pray purposefully, read His Word relentlessly, and keep your faith.  The great I AM is going to overcome the enemy.  Spoiler alert:  the devil loses big time in the end!  I'll leave you with a line about our God from the chorus of the song I referenced above:


You. Are. Bigger than any battle I'm facing.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Home for Hannah!

This is an EASY way to be a part of Hannah coming home!  All you do is ask us for a sippy cup (or use a cup you have at home), then fill it with spare change. If we could have 85 people commit to filling small cups for us, we could raise approximately $1000! That could help us pay for the entire immigration approval process on the US Government side (USCIS fees)!! THEN, we'll be cleaning all the sippy cups and donating them to Hannah's orphanage! Would you please be a part of this simple fundraiser? Please share this event with everyone!





Contact us at hudsononline@bellsouth.net with any questions!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

AGAIN?!

You might have known it was coming . . . again.  :)

It really should not surprise you, if you know us, to hear we are adopting Hudson Little #8!!  Woo-hoooooo!  Thrilled doesn't begin to describe our excitement!!

Or maybe you are surprised.  After all, if you followed the little tidbits of our most recent process, you know our family struggled for quite a while.  It was the most difficult transition we've had.  As we tell our kids, sometimes the hardest things in life are those most worth the effort.

Or maybe you are surprised because you know how much time we have to dedicate to fundraising to pay for the process, and how impossible it would seem to do so when we are currently raising seven blessings.

But we actually knew all along we would adopt again, we just did not know the timing.  And I begged God . . . no, to be honest, I told God we would not adopt internationally again.  There was no way we had the literal time to fundraise.  Our last process stretched us way too thin and I felt like there were too many moments we deprived our kiddos already at home of our attention.

We looked into adopting from foster care, but were told Kentucky considers a home with five children "filled."  I guess they'd call us "overstocked," ha/ha!  And as God leads different families to adopt in ways that reach children all over the world, we know He gave us a heart for children living in orphanages.  Every child is a gift, regardless of where they come from, and this is just where He holds our hearts.  We cannot fight that.  We cannot stomp our foot emphatically and tell God it's not going to happen.

Then it dawned on us.

He knows the time we do or do not have available to raise adoption funds.  He knows how much our children at home need us.  He can still work miracles and provide.

In a super cool twist, God is also allowing us to go through this process with my brother and sister-in-law!!  While the chances of our timelines remaining the same throughout the journey would be as rare as a rainbow unicorn, we both received Pre-Approval from the Chinese government on the same day!  Our sweet daughter, Hannah, will turn three in a few months, and they will be bringing home an amazing 9-year-old boy named Henry.  How awesome is that?!

Our adoption agency caseworkers have had in-depth conversations with us about our family growing so quickly with special needs children in such a short time.  They think we're crazy.

Maybe you think so, too.  Just know these decisions we make are always preceded by intense prayer, conversation, and Bible study.

Also, you should know we are definitely crazy.

Crazy for Jesus.

Crazy for kids.

Crazy for family.

And we are totally okay with that.  Again.  :)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Family (and Kiddos) ROCK!

During our last adoption process, we designed and sold my favorite t-shirt ever.  Recently, there has been new interest in this fun design.  We decided to have them printed again and use all the shirt profits to help an adoptive family!  Taking orders through JANUARY 20th!

If you are thankful for your family, this is YOUR shirt!!  There are three design options, and some color variations!  The tees are a super-soft and very nice Next Level brand tee that are the most comfortable we have found.  The hoody is a lighter weight and very soft style, and the long-sleeve is also comfy!  Here are the designs:
"My Family Rocks"

"My Kids Rock, and yes, ALL these kids are mine."  (front and back)


"My Kids Rock" (front only)






CLASSIC TEE comes in Warm Gray or Royal Blue  $18
LADIES CUT TEE available in Lush (the dark pink), Royal, or Warm Gray   $20
BOYS in Royal or Charcoal   $18
GIRLS in Raspberry   $18

LONG-SLEEVE Jerzees brand, Charcoal or Royal Blue    $25
HOODED SWEATSHIRT Fruit of the Loom Soft Spun, Charcoal Heather Gray or Royal    $35

WE WILL SHIP!
$5 for the first tee, $2 for each additional
For those large families buying 5 or more items, get 1 classic tee free or FREE shipping!!

Contact me via fb message or at hudsononline@bellsouth.net

It would be so cute to have your little guys in blue "my family rocks" tees, and the girls in the raspberry version, with Mom and Dad in grey!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

We Gave BOTH Hands!! (Part 2: Photos)


WE GAVE BOTH HANDS!!!


























Thursday, April 30, 2015

We Gave BOTH HANDS!! (Part 1: Recap)

 Here is the FANTASTIC group of people who have servant hearts and gave 100% on our BOTH HANDS Project,
expecting nothing in return but glorifying God and helping others!! 
   I am telling you, the people in this photo ROCK!  Not pictured, but equally as awesome for their dedication to all the pre-project work,
are Ben and Mindy Brown.  Thank you to each and every one of you!
 
Click this link to see a short 3-minute recap video of our project.
 
PRE-PROJECT:  This group mailed out over 570 letters to friends and family asking for sponsorship that would benefit our adoption expenses!  $7560 has been raised to date through this project!!!  They visited or called local businesses to ask for donations, secured equipment resources invaluable to our efforts, evaluated the work to be done, and corresponded with our widow to reassure her of the days events.
 
PROJECT DAY(s):  Our team removed bushes, did landscape work, repaired several dangerous spots on a deck, corrected a major drainage issue, cleaned gutters, removed a stump and rotting timbers, and most importantly, spread the love of Christ.  They took initiative, were patient and flexible, and super supportive!  The weather forecast for our project day was 90% rain with a tornado watch!  Although we had a rain date scheduled, the major equipment we were using would no longer be available on that day.  We were determined to do as much as possible for Mrs. Beumel and her son, so we felt the rain date reschedule was not an option.  We ended up working a day early (Friday) from 4 to 10 p.m., and on project day from 11:00 to 4:00.  People came straight from their places of employment on Friday, already having completed a full day of work, and happily and wholeheartedly worked at the residence.  God held back the rains and storms until the very moment every project was complete on Saturday!!!!!  Amazing!  
 
POST-PROJECT:  About $7000 is still needed to pay our adoption expenses.  We are SO close, and it's not too late to donate!  You can click here to make a tax-deductible donation to LifeSong for Orphans that will directly benefit our family's adoption expenses.  (Once you click the link, use the "Give" button on the right side of the screen.)  Or contact us for info on mailing a donation check (hudsononline@bellsouth.net)!
   
 
 
BEFORE & AFTER of the front porch area


 BEFORE & AFTER of the area to the right of the porch
 
BEFORE & AFTER deck stairs
 
 
 BEFORE & AFTER lattice on deck
 


About Me

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Two grateful children of God who are head-over-heels for one another, best friends and partners in this crazy world!  Parents striving to disciple our five incredible children who arrived in our arms in different ways, but fill our hearts with an uncompromising love.  Full of imperfections, but trying our best every day . . . well, almost every day (that goes back to the imperfections).  THANKFUL, THANKFUL, THANKFUL to know the love of our Savior and our precious family.