Friday, April 30, 2010

Vacation - Day 1

For as long as I can remember, the kids have always wanted to go to Washington, DC.



I'm not sure why, but for years, it's been their dream destination.



So we decided to take them during their school break...



We spent the weekend in PA visiting Grandmom and friends, then headed off to Washington on Monday morning.



We arrived on Monday and spent the afternoon at the Museum of American History, where we learned about...um...everything! That place is HUGE! ...but the most important lesson of all was that we forgot Amaya's stroller at home and needed to procure another one before Day 2.


...to be continued...
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hanging on every word

I consider it a huge blessing to be able to communicate, e-mail, skype, and send packages to my far away son. God wrote his name on my heart and then provided a way for us to communicate, even though he lives in an orphanage in an impoverished country on the other side of the planet.

One of the ways I am able to communicate with him is by sending small packages with families who travel over to Ethiopia (usually to bring back their newly adopted children). The standard "rule" is that you can pack a 1 gallon ziplock bag for your child. It's amazing to tap into this network of families - I just sent a package off to TX, which will be delivered to BAM some time in May.

There isn't much you can put in these bags, I mean, I'd like to fit a bed in there with soft, plush blankets and a big fluffy pillow, sneakers that never wear out, warm clothing for the rainy season, our whole family...you get the idea. But what I usually squeeze in is a shirt, candy, a healthy snack like raisins or granola, scripture cards, a hand-written letter, paper and pens, and a small toy or video or a book about astronomy. That's about it.

The payoff is when the family travels to Ethiopia and sends photographs of him.

Most recently, two of my dear "warrior girls" traveled to Ethiopia...and they gave him so much more than a package...they gave him love from me. Hugs and the hope that I will be there to see him as soon as I can.

Here is the payoff:



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Erin!!! I'm sending two emails with pictures of B. He is such a GOOD boy!! He's shy but funny and that smile...oh that SMILE! I literally hung on him for two hours. I'm sure he appreciated that. :) I just couldn't NOT have my arms around him. I kept telling him how much you guys loved him and how you wanted to be there and that you would come. He showed me his room and he showed me how he does a typing game on the computer...he's getting good!

The boys had a total blast at the pizza party and I think they loved the fruit just as much! Everyone of course wanted their picture taken. Once I find time here soon to blog I'm going to do a Kolfe Pizza Party post which will have more information. I felt like Santa Claus being there, giving the boys stuff and getting to meet B. It was surreal. Oh, I just love him and he is ingrained on my heart even more than he was before. :) I'm so happy he has you guys. Seriously. What a freaking blessing!

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Thanks Amy!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Does Slavery Still Exist?

About a year and a half ago I heard an astounding fact on the radio (Christian radio)...they said that there were something like 20 million people living in slavery today. TODAY as in this present day - 2009, now 2010.

I couldn't believe it. I remember thinking "where are these people and why don't we rescue them?" I mean, aren't there rules somewhere that say this is not allowed? Doesn't the UN have some sort of oversight committee for this? Can't we sick OSHA on them? I mean, if OSHA can ensure that we use rubber-backed floor mats to prevent slips and falls in the workplace - can't we get them to ensure that people aren't being used and abused?

Then it vanished. Poof. Gone. I didn't think about it again. Nor did I want to.

About six months ago, Dirt and I watched an awesome movie, Taken. It was crazy good...and the Liam Neeson was a total badass. Dirt and I loved him and rewound several parts of the movie just to watch his badassness. I remember saying how crazy that story line was, and Dirt was like, "That really happens". [me = dumbfounded] What? How can that happen? Then, a few weeks later we watched Man on Fire (Denzel Washington), and kids were getting kidnapped in Latin America - and again, Dirt tells me that this really happens. What?! How can this happen in real life?

I've been seeing a lot more about human trafficking lately. People blogging about it and trying to raise awareness, but I have to be honest, I have kept away from it. Purposefully steered clear. If I'm honest I'll admit that I just don't want to get involved. I think things like, "let someone else care about it", and "I'm already broken over orphans and poverty, I really don't want to think about kids getting sold for sex". It's too much. It's more than I can bare.

But my willful ignorance doesn't change the reality. Those orphans that I love, that I care about - guess what happens to them? They get lured or abducted and sold as sex slaves. [tears welling]. I mean, the evil behind this is devastating. It happens around the world...and it happens here in America.

Do you think God wants us to turn our back on this horror? Do you think He wants us to comfortably sip tea on our front porch and pretend like this doesn't exist? I'm pretty sure that the God I serve cares deeply about this, and I think He wants me to care about the things He cares about.

Read this story by Anne Jackson...it's insane. If you want more, check out Tom Davis' blog, he's broken over this issue.

If you want to learn more or get involved, there are several organizations out there who are trying to help. I just heard that only 1% of kids that get involved in the sex trade get rescued. It's different than handing out food to people, this kind of work needs people who will bust down doors and rescue girls from the most evil men alive. Maybe you can't bust down doors, but see what you can do to support organizations like IJM, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, or Children's HopeChest.

Or pray. If you are interested in joining a prayer call on Wednesdays, let me know and I'll get you the call in number. We can't underestimate the power of the prayer!

Oh, and one more thing you can do:
buy one of these. ---->


Hurry...tomorrow is the last day to order!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Routine

A while ago a friend of mine posted this video on her blog. I think about it often.

I wonder what my routine looks like from Heaven.

I imagine it's not too impressive.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We're Going Back To Africa!

Ethiopia again. October 2010.
Why?

Because...

We love it there. We love the people. We love the kids. We love the opportunity to be a part of what God is already doing there.

Stay tuned in on the Lobsters blog for more details.
Oh, and let us know if you want to come!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Decisions, decisions...


I recently read an excerpt from Russell Moore's book, Adopted for Life. This passage stuck with me, and over the last 10 days since I first stumbed across it, I have re-read it several times.

One’s life story is typically made up of little decisions. Think about how different your life would be now if you hadn’t make a decision, maybe one that came to you in a matter of seconds. Think about all the decisions made for you – decisions that you probably never noticed or thought about – decisions that have formed who you are and what you’re doing. If your grandfather hadn’t noticed that girl at the picnic or if he’d been too shy to say anything to her, you wouldn’t exist. All of human history is like that. Providence moves forward mysteriously as God works through billions of seemingly inconsequential decisions. “If one Egyptian tailor hadn’t cheated on the threads of Joseph’s mantle, Potiphar’s wife would never had been able to tear it, present it as evidence to Potiphar that Joseph attacked her, gotten him thrown in prison, and let him be in a position to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, win his confidence, advise him to store seven years of grain, and save his family, the seventy original Jews from whom Jesus came", apologist Peter Kreeft writes. “We owe our salvation to a cheap Egyptian tailor”.


Jermaine and I have never been real good at making decisions. We have a bad track record. We let our 2nd child leave the hospital without a name, then changed it...twice. We hem and haw over things until fatigue sets in and we throw our hands up in the air and say "whatever!". We pray and seek guidance from the Lord and then sit paralized until He forces His will on us.

However, I rest in knowing that no matter where we are, we aren't out of God's sight. He's got us. Good decision, bad decision, or no decision - we're in His almighty hands. Romans 8:28 tells me that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I tend to believe that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tennis!

On Saturday the kids had their first tennis lesson.
Which means that on Sunday, we found ourselves at the tennis court

I don't really know anything about tennis, except that the kids consistently beat me in the wii version

but I'm pretty sure that it's not suppose to look like this

Or like this.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One day

I'll be able to hand deliver one of these to him
on that day, my words will be spoken, instead of written

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I'll see his smile, not just a photograph of it

I'll wrap my arms around him, instead of asking friends to do so

That day will likely be October 9th.
I am dreaming of that day.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Shoes

Today is a day without shoes

I dare you to try it. Not in your house, where you have clean carpeted floors - walk down the street, over pebbles and dirt, over broken glass, in the heat, in the cold, with no water to wash them off at the end of the day.

Pray for those who live without shoes every day.

Give if you can.

Or just care.

Thanks.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I wonder

what you would've thought about turning 63 today
or what you would have thought about having seven grandchildren

or all of us living back up in New England again, going to basketball games and t-ball games together

or what you would've thought about Amaya and Beckett - who you never got to meet.

I tend to think you'd really be pleased with how things turned out.
I miss you dad.
Happy Birthday.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Outfits

Today is Easter Sunday.


The Bunny usually brings the kids new bathing-suits for Easter


I love that about the Easter Bunny - so pragmatic.



But they usually don't get to wear them for several months




Usually.





Today was different.




75 degrees and perfectly sunny!




So the kids got to wear their new suits early.

Happy Easter!