Friday, October 29, 2010

Mommy and Daddy LOVE Overcomer

Mommy and Daddy LOVE Overcomer!
We are his parents, he is our son!
We love him so very much!

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land." - Psalm 68:5-6

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Yes, We Were in Ghana!

Friends, we just returned from Ghana. Yes, we really did!
Our trip was extremely eventful. In fact, I've had several people tell me I should write a book about our adventure! Reid and I returned last Thursday still processing our week. After some time to reflect on our trip, I'm ready to share a few nuggets with you about our week in Africa.
First, we LOVE our son! He captured our heart immediately. His personality came alive while he was with us. Laughter filled our hotel room because of his antics. He is absolutely a miracle. Reid and I have realized that WE are the ones who are blessed! Overcomer is going to fill our life with so much JOY! We thank God for the privilege of joining our lives together!
Second, thank you for praying. We were granted a full adoption decree! Overcomer is officially our child according to the Ghanaian government. Oh, what a wonderful addition to our family. Five boys! Oh my!
Third, we were able to take gifts of flip-flops, diapers, and gift bags to share in Ghana. They were all dsitributed where needed and everyone was extremely grateful for the gifts. Thank you, generous friends, who provided all of these goodies!

We will be returning soon, Lord willing, to bring Overcomer home. A children's home in Ghana has specifically requested twin bed sheets and bath towels. Larger sized children's clothing is also a need. If you would like to send some items with us, please let us know. We will deliver it.

Daily life in Ghana is difficult for many. Yet, the people are some of the happiest I have met in my 40+ years of life. They laugh instead of cry. They compliment rather than complain. They welcome friends instead of shunning strangers. Their life philosophy was a breath of fresh air.

Reid and I took some food to the children's homes we visited. Rice and oil are staple items. At one home, I even learned to cook cassava on their outdoor fire pot. Incredibly, all of the daily food for 27 children is cooked outside over a fire! Without our modern conveniences, the workers in this home seem to strive to give what they can to the children. (Below is the market where we purchased the rice.)

Finally, our time in country held some unexpected surprises, but our God was faithful. There were times we were uncertain - able to cling only to God - while our new son clung to us. We were planted in a faith-growing garden for several days! (Literally, I lost 10 pounds on this seven day trip! The stress was a great diet for me!)
God gave verses of comfort during this time:
"The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent." Exodus 14:14
"The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name." Exodus 15:3
"Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle." Psalm 24:8
Because of our experience in Ghana, we will not be posting much about Overcomer until he is here with us. For all of us, we feel this would be best. To avoid miscommunicating, please note we were never in any physical danger.
Whatever our circumstances, we are reminded to count our blessings. This Ghanaian van says it best...

God is good...All the time...and...All the time...God is good!

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We Are Family! I Got All My Cousins and Me!

Hugs! Laughter! Silliness!
A typical day with our family.

We celebrated Caleb and Braden's birthdays. Reid and I shared everything we could think of about Overcomer. Oh, his cousins are so excited to meet him! We even shared our pictures from Africa on the Wii. (For once, I'm thankful for the gaming system!)

Thanks Mom and Dad for the wonderful welcome home!

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Cor. 13:11

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Order the style you want AND the color you want AND help our family with adoption costs at the same time. What a bargain!
Four Styles, Four Colors
All to help raise orphan awareness and give a child a home!


Front and Back - Shown in Heather Indigo

(Ladies Sizes Only)
(Ladies Sizes Only)
(All Sizes - Adult and Children)
(All sizes - Adult and Children)

Color - Stone

You can order these shirts on the side-bar! EASY!
First shipment will be the week of Nov. 14.
In time for Christmas! Worldwide Adoption Awareness! Great gift!
(Sorry, our surprise trip to Ghana postponed things a bit. However, these shirts will be worth the wait! Very nice!)

Please help raise orphan awareness and help bring a child home at the same time.
These shirts are an amazing price for an adoption t-shirt. Our goal is to RAISE AWARENESS of all the different ways people can help. Let's join together to love these children.


Simply post the link to our blog and info about the shirts on Facebook, your Blog or website!
Be sure to let me know where it is posted for your name to be entered.
We will draw the names of one winner on November 7th!
Please help us promote this new shirt, raise awareness of the plight of orphans and assist in bringing Overcomer home! You are a blessing! Thank you for your prayers!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

First Sunday Back Home

Arriving back home after a week in Ghana stirred numerous emotions. Although we were anxious to be with our church family, God provided a unique opportunity for our family to minister together our first Sunday home.

A church in our community recently suffered a tragedy. The pastor unexpectedly died and the congregation was left grappling with the circumstances of his departure. Upon learning what had taken place, Reid called and offered to help with a Sunday service to help relieve some of the burden. He offered to preach and have the boys lead music.

Reid spoke on the HOPE we have in Christ alone. He is our JOY, our ROCK, our EVERYTHING. What a timely sermon. Reid even preached in his Kente shirt sharing about some of our trip to Africa.

(Please note I took all of these pictures before the service started. My camera was in tow, so I decided to record the day. )

Mason ministering with his music.
Reid sharing.
What's your aim?
Dad and Mom joined us for the service. I'm so thankful for family.

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
Mark 1:38
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Back to HomeCELLing

Home less than 24 hours from Ghana, and it's time to work on a homeschool project! Franklin had to create a 3-D cell model. After some thought, he decided it would be fun to make it out of candy. Braden wanted to make one too. (Wonder why?)

The finished model. YUM-YUM!
Franklin's larger version to share with his class. FYI, the Airheads and Peppermint Patty were class favorites!
This was one SWEET project!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sowing Tears, Reaping JOY

I awoke yesterday (Monday) morning thinking about all of the unexpected tears that have flowed recently. On Sunday alone, my eyes stung three times from tears I was fighting back. Why? Where were they coming from? My heart was close to a breaking point longing for my son in Ghana. It's hard to explain, but with every passing day apart, love for this child has grown immeasurably.

A friend called yesterday at 7:30 am, and as I hung up my phone buzzed to let me know there was a message. Soon I realized that our court date in Ghana was soon - very, very, VERY soon! I screamed and called the boys in to let them know. We called Reid at work to let him know. We were all ecstatic! The first day we've been awaiting is upon us. Thank you, Lord, for your perfect timing!

Kristie came over yesterday to help us fill out visa paperwork. Janet shopped for food supplies at Sams. Paige offered to help with the kids. My mom transported the boys to their different activities. Three friends willingly offered to sub for my classes. Juggle, juggle, juggle...but we accomplished what was needed yesterday. Visa applications were mailed.

However, our boys are broken-hearted because they will be unable to travel with us this trip. Please pray for them. Our two oldest shed tears like I've never seen before. Mason would not speak to us for three hours. They anxiously await Overcomer too! Please pray for them. The short-timeframe was not what we expected or anticipated. Yet, we are forever grateful to see God is moving to bring Overcomer home! Because of the logistics we are trying to piece together, the price of our plane tickets, and other parameters - it simply did not make sense to take the boys with us this time. Please pray for all of us.

My friend, Amy, reminded me this morning that this is God's work. The urgency comes from Him as He orchestrates altering all of our lives to join us as a family. This is another call to TRUST completely in Him. Amy read Psalm 126 to me this morning. How fitting is the passage.

When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed.

Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.
Psalm 126
Friends, once again, we greatly covet your prayers. The specifics we would like to ask you to pray for are as follows:
1.) For God's glory alone
2.) For the hearts of our five sons
3.) For our visas to be granted in time for us to travel
4.) For our reunion with Overcomer - meeting him for the first time
5.) For us to receive a full adoption decree in hand
6.) For Overcomer's understanding of our love for him

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Backyard Transformation

Friends, this was our backyard at 10:30 am...
Can you believe it?

At 4:00 pm, the boys set up all of their equipment on the driveway to practice for Sunday morning.  They were preparing for worship at my parent's church tomorrow morning.

While Lamar rode the bike around the driveway, our neighbors came over to listen, and the trash was piled up around them; the boys were able to focus and refine the song.  I'm amazed at their stamina.  If only, their dear old (well kind of old) Mom could take some of their endurance.  I love to see them give of themselves to bless others.  I'm blessed to see all that God is doing in their lives.   How I love to hear them praising the Lord in song!  O, my God, you are great and doing great things in our children!

For the grave cannot praise you,

death cannot sing your praise;
those who go down to the pit
cannot hope for your faithfulness.
The living, the living—they praise you,
as I am doing today;
fathers tell their children
about your faithfulness.
The LORD will save me,
and we will sing with stringed instruments
all the days of our lives
in the temple of the LORD.
Isaiah 38:18-20
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