Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Paige in Our Story

Is it just us, or does the joy in that little face tug your heartstrings?
This is the "Paige" in our story that I want to share with you.  We are part of a facebook group that advocates for waiting children.  Most have special needs.  Many are older.  Every one of them is an important little human being, waiting for the family they deserve.  Their stories are shared in the hopes of giving life to their photos and files.  Once in a while, one of these children will cause us to stop in our tracks.  Demanding a deeper look, our hearts are stirred and the little face is burned into our memories, constantly in our thoughts.  That's what happened with Samantha, as she was advocated for within our facebook group.  (And even though we didn't find Lily through this group, there was just something about her that spoke to our hearts...)
God spoke to our hearts again when the joyous smile of sweet little "Paige" (as we'll call her) lit up my computer screen.  I found myself smiling back at her picture.  At the beginning of the year, her orphanage believed she was being adopted!  An American family living in China was asked to foster her to help begin teaching her English and to start her in school, in preparation for her adoption this summer.  Yes, I said start her in school.  As a 10-year-old with a special need, she had never been allowed in school.  More on that in a moment.
Sadly, the orphanage recently found out they were mistaken about her being adopted.  For now, this means she will have to move back into the orphanage sometime soon.  Paige was so overjoyed to know she had a family, and the news that there would not be an adoption was devastating.
Now we're trying to help find her a family as soon as possible.  As incredulous as it may seem considering we are already simultaneously bringing home our 6th and 7th children sometime this year, we contacted our agency.  Could we bring home a third unrelated child at the same time?  No, our agency simply does not allow it, nor do we know if we would even qualify in the future.  China has already waived the income requirement for us twice, and the second time was very much a miracle.  Could you be this gentle girl's family?  Here is what her foster mother says about her:
Paige has grown and changed rapidly in our home.  She has a tender heart for loving on 
and serving others.  She is a great help with the babies in our home. 
She has been all giggles and excited to be in our family - the first family she ever remembers. 
She has a great sense of humor, is always teasing us and making us laugh with her silliness. 
She is so eager to learn.  She loves Tinker Bell, coloring and drawing,
and putting spicy red pepper flakes on everything she eats! 
She has been such a blessing to our home!

Paige is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.  She has never been given therapy, and cannot walk.  She crawls everywhere, including up the four flights of stairs to her foster family's home, and can stand as well.  Her left side is primarily affected, but who knows her potential at the hands of an excellent therapy program!  Her self-care skills are completely independent:  she uses the commode by herself, washes her hands, feeds herself, etc.

If you would like more information about this child or know someone else who would, please contact me!  I'll connect you with her foster family and share any details that I can.  She is currently listed with WACAP adoption agency.  We want her to have a home.  A chance at therapy.  A family.  Love.

Or, if you happen to know a wealthy person who has a passion for orphans, but does not or can not adopt, and they would generously be willing to pay for us to return to China and bring her home,  contact me!!!  The expensive adoption process means fundraising for us.  It's time-consuming, exhausting work.  We don't have any issues with working hard, but it has now gotten to the point where it takes an insane amount of time away from our precious kiddos already at home.  The time I've missed with them these past two years of fundraising brings me to tears.  The incredible four kiddos we have gained/are gaining were worth every bit of the effort, but we just cannot lose anymore time discipling and loving on our kiddos.  At this junction in our lives, we feel God is telling us it's okay to ask for BIG miracles if adoption is in His plan again.
(Based on two comments below, this paragraph was grossly mis-read and misinterpreted.  I'm leaving the original text, but just desire to clarify.) 
EDITED TO ADD:  The preceding paragraph is noting that we wish WE could be the ones to adopt Paige - to "return to China and bring her home."  I meant bring her to OUR home because we would be the ones adopting her!!  I believe a reader thought we were suggesting we are looking for someone to pay us to go to China and bring her back for them!!!!  This is why I went on to say it would take a financial miracle for us to go through the adoption process again after Samantha and Lily come home this year.  We are at a point where the time spent fundraising for adoption expenses would be detrimental to our children already at home.  But we also know God works in miraculous ways.  I light-heartedly asserted that if a reader knew a rich person who wanted to donate to OUR adoption expenses for us to bring Paige into our family, get them in touch with me.  This was not in any way, shape, or form suggesting that I wanted someone wealthy to adopt Paige, or that we would go to China and bring her back for money!  Anyone who knows our family is laughing out loud at the very idea!
Our prayer for her is a LOVING family who also strives to meet her medical needs and can adopt her as soon as possible.  In addition, it is not in any way "trafficking" to advocate for an orphan.  Our adoption agency, WACAP, has given us permission to advocate for this sweetheart.  There are certain portions of her information I am restricted to share, and I have not shared any of it.  I thought our affection for this child was obvious in what I wrote, but it was commented that I have no regard for her privacy.  If we keep silent and do not share the stories of children like Paige, how will anyone know of the need?  Advocates are telling the world why these children are priceless, not treating them as worthless.  Adoptive parents are naturally going to need to know medical details to assess their ability to care for a child.  I was trying to show that despite being unable to walk, this child can do SO much!  Her potential is limitless!  :)

Please feel free to share about darling Paige!  One more thing I'll leave you with - photos BEFORE she was placed with the foster family.  There is a visible difference in her joy!  THAT, my friends, is what having a family will do for you!

Edited to ADD:  This sweetheart is now listed on Reece's Rainbow, a non-profit organization that helps raise funds for children to be adopted!!  Let's find her family!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

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


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 (!
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.