December 26, 2009

Redemption through Adoption

This was posted on my mom's loop. I know it's long, but what an incredible story of redemption! What an amazing adventure to truly follow the Lord's calling, even when it makes no sense to us...

I wanted to share a blog post written by Derek Loux as he sat in Ukraine last year during the process of adopting three of the beautiful Reece's Rainbow children.

This morning, Derek was killed in an automobile accident in Nebraska, leaving behind his wife and 11 children (after adopting the three boys from Ukraine, the couple almost immediately adopted two more from the Marshall Islands). Please keep them in your prayers.

Friday, December 12, 2008
Renee' and I are sitting in the office of a telephone company in Novograd Valenski, Ukraine, using wireless internet. We are in the middle of adopting three special needs boys from an orphanage here. Two of the boys have Down Syndrome. Roman is high functioning, energetic and happy. Dimitri has serious mental retardation, failure to thrive, and though he is five years old, he is the size of a 1 year old. He has sores on his face, a distinct smell of death on him, and yells out if we try to do anything with him other than hold him. Because he has less ability to respond and learn, he naturally gets less attention and care from the orphanage workers in this world of limited resources. The harsh reality of the "survival of the fittest" principle is a life and death struggle that this little boy is losing fast. Our third boy Sasha, is a brilliant six year old who has Spina Bifida (the condition our son Josiah died from in 1996). He is like a learning sponge that can't get enough! He is happy and alert and thirsty for knowledge and experience. So with two of our boys, we get an immediate return on any investment we make. With Dimitri, there's not much immediate gratification. In fact, it's unknown when and if there will be a return at all. This is the kind of situation that makes the carnal, fallen, human reasoning think, "Why try? What's the point? What will this produce? What good will this do? Why not select a boy who has more potential? This looks like a lost cause.

Two days ago we drove for hours into the Ukrainian countryside to the village where Dimitri was born. We met with officials there and signed papers and answered their questions. We also went and saw Dimitri's house. The day had been long, we were still recovering from jet lag, I was beginning to really miss my six daughters at home and all the familiar things our fragile human hearts entangle themselves with in feeble attempts to feel secure. Sitting in the dark on our very long drive back to Novograd that night, the Holy Spirit began to whisper to my heart, and new understanding about redemption began to take shape.

I was thinking, "Man, adopting this little boy has been so much work. This is exhausting, expensive, uncomfortable and it doesn't feel very rewarding right now." What am I doing in some little Soviet car in the dark, in the middle of rural Ukraine in frozen December, as the driver dodges cats and potholes? What if Dimitri doesn't improve at all? What if we get "nothing" out of this? Ahhh, there it was; that dark, fallen, unreedemed, selfish human love, rooted in the tree of the knowledge of "good and evil". The love the Greeks called "erao" love. The love where we treat someone as precious and treasured for what we can get out of it. This is unlike "agapeo" love, the God kind of love that treats someone as treasured and precious for their good, not for my good. It's when I love a person in order to meet their needs, having no expectation of them meeting any of my needs. At a whole new level, God is working His kind of love into my weak heart, and He's using little Dimitri to do it.

On the drive home that night, the Lord whispered in my ear, "This is Redemption. Derek, do you know how far I travelled to get you and bring you back? I had to be separated from my Son, in order to get you, just like you are separated from your children in order to get these boys. Do you know how expensive it was for Me to purchase you? It cost me everything. Do you know how broken, sick, damaged, twisted, dirty, smelly, and hopeless you were? And at the end of it all, you had nothing to give me or add to me. I did it for you. I emptied myself and became nothing so that you could have it all. This is redemption.

My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can't even really appreciate or comprehend it, just like Dimitri will never comprehend or fully appreciate what is about to happen to him, but he will live in the fruit of it. As his Daddy, I will never expect him to understand all of this or even to thank me. I just want to watch him live in the benefits of my love and experience the joys of being an heir in my family. This is how our heavenly "Papa" feels towards us.

Today, settle your busy heart down and rest in the benefits of redemption. Enjoy the fruits of His goodness, and stop trying to "pay Him back". You'll never get close, you goofy little kid.

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

It's a white Texas! Dad's home for a few days. We're warm, bellies are full, healthy, and so very blessed. Thank you. Lord for a great Christmas and a great year!
Merry CHRISTmas!! Rejoice! The KING is born!

December 10, 2009

Four Little Amigo's Looking for Mexican

So, we decided to continue the annual family tradition of packing up the mini and heading out to look at all of the beautiful lights. Since the kids are older, we thought we'd drive them into the big city and see all of the fancy lights. Our poor children are never out after dark, so this was a big experience for them. We caught the end of rush hour traffic and the kids were fascinated by all of the cars and lights. I told them we were stuck in traffic. Bubbie asked, "Does 'traffic' mean 'cars' in Spanish?" That's my little amigo!
Later on the trip, as we went way up high on a mix-master, Bubbie said, "WOW! We can see the whole city up here." My little know-it-all daughter responded, "NO it's NOT! If it was the whole city, we'd see Mexican. Do you see Mexican?" We have so much work to do.
Finally, we did arrive at the lights. Biggins was fast asleep, but I wasn't going to let him miss it. Gradually, his eyes started to open and when he finally figured out what was going on, all he could do was shout, " LOOK AT DAT!" "Do you see it?" His enthusiasm made it so worthwhile!

December 8, 2009

Here with Us

Here's a little Christmas Joy for you! Enjoy!


December 2, 2009

No Comment

Tiger's family Christmas card....

Saw this on Facebook and had to share. Don't know where it came from...

Because I'm Bored...

A friend started making these adorable dresses out of pillowcases. As usual, I got the "I can do that" thought. Here's my first two...

Got some more cute ideas and can't wait to see how they turn out!


A Holy Snow Man
So, this morning at 6:15 am, Bubbie comes flying into my bed. "MOMMY!! Wake up!! It's SNOWING!!!" Does this kid automatically wake up each morning and look out his tightly closed blinds or what? We spent 40 minutes running around finding warm clothes, gloves, etc. The kids did have a blast for the five minutes they stayed out in it. A nice way to start the winter season, for sure.

Turkey, Rock 'n Roll

Our dear Uncle Patrick brought his Rock Band game over for some Thanksgiving fun. We are now addicts. On our Black Friday outing, we found the whole game and the Beatles CD for $50. That is a little price to pay for some big family fun. It's a blast to relive those lovely 80's with my hubby. Our kids love playing the drums and guitar. Fortunately, they can't read all the words yet. :) We're looking forward to watching our extended families croon their hearts out over Christmas.