12.28.2009

no ordinary girl


I am so very blessed to know some pretty amazing people! And my dear friend, Karen, is one of those amazing people!
I met her in 2004, and have had the opportunity to watch God morph her from a quiet chrysalis into a beautiful butterfly, not afraid to take flight.
Several years ago, Karen was over-weight. But she grew tired of all the baggage that came with the extra weight (including how it hindered her physically and emotionally from serving God completely).


So...205-pounds lighter, she took her first mission trip to Manzanillo, MX. She hasn't slowed down since.


And now, this once shy woman is departing on the 30th (with a group of strangers) to minister to the fatherless in Uganda and Ethiopia. Her first trip without the security of her church-family. Her first trip to Africa.
Way to go, Karen! We are so proud of you!!!
You are our hero!
You are a world-changer!!

12.25.2009

Blessed Christmas Morning!

Our first family-of-three-celebration of our Dear Savior's birth!

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:6












Richest blessings...grace and peace...
to you and your family on this most blessed day!

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Phil 2:5-11



12.19.2009

Celebration CARDS are here!!!!

Vince & I had been trying to think of something special for those you who have expressed interest in helping us bring Baby Judah home--and we thought this was a fantastic idea!

Celebration donation cards!!

Although I cannot take credit for the concept, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you from where I borrowed the idea! Click here to visit the blog of this adoptive family who is so generously sharing their blog (and ideas) to help other adoptive families raise money!
(BTW, I'm more than happy to give any adoptive family a pdf for any of the cards below, for your own adoption)

So what is a Celebration Card??

It's an opportunity for you to make a difference in the life of an orphan, and, show your gratitude to friends/family on special occasions. Below are some samples of cards that I've designed to be used for any occasion...birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, anniversary...

I will include on the card the person's/family name that your donation has been given in honor of, and mail it to them! The 4x6 photo announcement is mounted on complementing card stock and placed in matching envelopes. (you can click on images to enlarge)


C A R D # 1


C A R D # 2


C A R D # 3


C A R D #4


C A R D # 5

You can make a donation by clicking on our Chipin button (top, right). Our Chipin account uses PayPal, and allows you to provide a shipping address and special notes to name the honoree, occasion and card selection. Or, if you'd prefer to make a donation by check you can email me at

alisafmartin (at) yahoo (dot) com


12.16.2009

Judah??

Judah - Let Yah (Yahweh) Be Praised.

So you've probably picked-up on the *Baby Judah* thing by now. Some of you may have even wondered if there is a little person already named Judah that we've been matched with--but the answer is no.

With our first Ethiopian adoption Micah was our *Baby Martin*, so I felt our next little person needs their own identity...so, Baby Judah it is.

The name Judah may stick permanently, or, maybe not. Guess we'll wait to make that decision when we see his/her sweet little face.

12.15.2009

Oh, the things we do!

Sunday we took a whirl-wind trip to Nashville to have dinner with a group (a big group) of adoptive families who live in TN or near by. Three hours there, and three hours home...just to hang out with new and old friends for about 2 hours. Crazy, but so worth it!! We look forward to meeting up with them again soon! All the families are in various stages of Ethiopian adoptions -- so, of course we met for dinner at an Ethiopian Restaurant!

Here's the blog for the Nashville fellowship group...you can see more pics & more blogs.

This is Rachel! She lived in Ethiopia for about a year and managed our agency's transition home.
Unfortunately, she moved back to the states in Feb '09 --
we picked Micah up in Mar '09 --
so although she cared for Micah we weren't able to meet her.
But, surprise! We met her Sun night!
This is Rachel with Micah in Ethiopia exactly one year ago -- WOW, or what!!!



Traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony! Best coffee in the world!!

12.10.2009

just for fun!

http://www.mycrazyadoption.com/

Follow the link to check-out a great blog about life, children and adoption...
...and, enter a super-easy contest to win some cool stuff!!

Kari is a dear friend of our's from Branson, MO...so, show your love!!!

t-shirt-contest

12.06.2009

what do groceries & hair-cuts have in common??

Apparently a lot, according to Wal-Mart.
Yes, we got Micah's first hair cut at Wal-Mart. And I am totally at peace about it!!

Although, I had to beg Vince to get Micah's hair trimmed. Styling his hair was becoming way too traumatic for us both...his tangles and knots were totally out of control in the mornings...you can imagine all the yanking and crying!! Poor guy!

And, much to Vince's relief, Micah still has his luscious locks. You probably wouldn't even noticed he had a trim, but I promise you he call tell the difference. From now on, I'll probably trim it myself. It looked easy enough, and because of his great curls you'd never know how uneven it was!

As you can see, Micah was a little apprehensive about the stranger with scissors -- but she did a great job!!!




12.05.2009

Coffee For You : Home For Baby : Fair Wages For Them

We just wanted to let everyone know about a fundraiser we've started to help generate funds for our adoption. We've teamed-up with Just Love Coffee Roasters--you can read their story here. The family that runs this coffee company has adopted from Ethiopia as well (with America World), and we're excited to work with them!


I met Rob at Together For Adoption, and got to sample some of the coffees.Excellent stuff...and that's coming from me--the coffee-snob!

For each bag of coffee purchased, $5 will be donated toward our adoption expenses. That may not seem like much, but if 300 of our bloggie friends purchase two bags each (one for you, one to give away), $3000 will be raised to help bring *Baby Judah* home! Wow!! And, I'm confident you will all become Just Love coffee junkies!!

Click here to visit our coffee store.

You can join our 2Buy2 Coffee Club, or scroll down to purchase individual bags.

...coffee is a perfect stocking-stuffer...the perfect gift for your work or Sunday School Christmas parties...AND, the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for the least of these!!

Thank you!!!

12.02.2009

Children's Hope Chest vision project

Adoption just ain't a one-time thing...

It bleeds into orphan-care...which spins your world permanently upside-down...in a beautiful way! You never again make a purchase or decision without considering, how will this purchase/decision affect my ability to care for the least of these, for the glory of God?

Some families that we know through our Ethiopia adoption are living this upside-downness in Ethiopia right now!! A group of average (well, heroes to me) moms and dads are traveling with Children's Hope Chest's Tom Davis to scout-out remote orphanages -- to establish sponsorship programs for the children in these orphanages.

Vince and I have already committed to participate in the sponsorship program, and hope to visit the orphanage(s) when we complete our 2nd ET adoption! We would have loved to join the vision team this time around, but finances were a little too tight as we save for *Baby Judah* (more on that later...).

Most of the team is blogging about their trip -- so I encourage you to follow their adventures...I AM!!

http://tomdavis.typepad.com/
(you can also read Micah's story on Tom's blog)
http://ethiopianadoptionspot.blogspot.com/
http://family-from-afar.blogspot.com/
http://afatherseyes.blogspot.com/
http://davidfamilyadventures.blogspot.com/
http://thefifthsparr.blogspot.com/
http://laughners.blogspot.com/

12.01.2009

WORLD AIDS DAY

Today is World Aids Day.

How has your understanding of the HIV/AIDS changed since the early '80s??

Hopefully, it has.
Don't be ignorant.
Educate yourself (and your family) about the disease's transmission and treatment.

Time to be apart of the solution...

http://www.worldaidsday.org/

11.29.2009

So, who are we BOYCOTTING this year???

Um...well...no one.

One of my least favorite things about Christmas time are the emails that circulate, describing and ridiculing pagans for acting, well, pagan. (Yes, if you're not a Christian, you are a pagan -- however, it's not meant as a slur. Feel free to look the definition up for yourself.)

Religious people (not necessarily Christ-followers) love to slam retail and food chains who choose to say "Happy Holidays", instead of "Merry Christmas" --- And I could gladly perch myself on a soap box about this for the rest of the evening, but I don't feel that would be a wise use of my time...Needless to say, my blog will be a "slam-free" zone this Christmas season. And if a company or individual does/says something I find deeply offensive, then I will quietly refrain from patronizing them. And not just during the month of December...silly!

So instead of forwarding emails and boycotting merchants, we're investing our energy in other ways this Christmas season. We're getting involved in ministries that God directs us toward, and teaching Micah about our Savior's birth.

Tonight we kicked-off Advent at the Martin house.

Advent is a period of spiritual preparation in which we prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate Jesus' birth. For many, Advent involves prayer, fasting, and scripture mediation, while anticipating unbelievable hope and joy. Advent not only turns our hearts to Jesus' birth, but also to His return. It's also a time of thanksgiving to God for giving us His Holy spirit to remain with us until the end.

We're reading Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration. Since it's a daily devotion that leads up to Christmas, we've decided to read it to Micah while he's in the bath tub -- his calmest, quietest time of the day. It actually worked very well!

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

11.28.2009

Thanksgiving, Bass Pro & Bon-Fires

Micah had a great Thanksgiving at Mimi & Papa's (Vince's parents) in Mississippi -- before long he'll be making his own smores, traipsing through the woods and shooting BB guns with his cousins.
(glad he's still little...mama wasn't ready for all that this year...oh dear...)










11.25.2009

One Year Ago, TODAY!!!!!

This sweet baby was in our in-box:
And, here he is today!!!




Blessed be the LORD forever!
Amen and Amen.
Ps. 89:52


11.24.2009

ready for HOMES

For those of you considering an adoption from Ethiopia, our agency has children 4-years old and older ready for placement. If you would like more info, please email me at themartins@awaa (dot) org.

11.23.2009

Despite the surprises...

...we strive forward in the call of adoption. Eyes wide-open, yet hearts tender. We have witnessed the need--it is now carved into our souls. Yet, instead of closing the blinds, we have flung-wide our doors...Heavenly Father, make Your home with us...and bring whomever you shall.

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

11.21.2009

surprising difficulties of international adoption, #4

The final surprise (at least, that I'm sharing in this series) that we experienced with Micah happened during our first several weeks with him.

Again, the best comparison I can make is to that of an engagement. Over the years, Vince and I have had the privilege of counseling engaged couples as they prepare for marriage. And the reality is for most couples, their unfolding marriage is not what they were expecting...sometimes it's better, easier than expected...but, most often it's much more difficult. Difficult doesn't equal bad. Difficult simply reflects the fact that humans are physically, emotionally and spiritually-complex beings -- therefore, marriage is a complex institution. Multi-dimensional.

The same goes for bringing a child into your family through adoption. (NOTE: even though we do not have biological children, families who do have bio children have also experienced this scenario that I am about to describe with their adopted children.)

Prior to meeting your child/ren, you've bonded with their photos...and you've bonded with the child that your imagination has created. It is impossible to predict personality and temperament from pictures, so your mind connects a personality and temperament to the child/ren according to how you brain reads the limited data captured on film.

The real child is much different than the two-dimensional, glossy child. Much more complex.

You've been full-steam ahead...focused intensely on meeting your sweet child. Um, well, your imagined child, that is. But when you're united, the imagined child crashes into the real child -- and you immediately enter what is best described as a fog.

Once you're back to the familiarity of your own home, you do emerge from the fog. But not really as mommy, more like baby-sitter -- because you do not know this child.

I think I read about this phenomenon in adoptive-parenting books. But like the dreamy-eyed lover, I must have ignored all that I read because this stage caught me off-guard. I truly felt like Micah's baby-sitter. Jet-lag and Micah's anxiety about his new surroundings didn't help matters either. I grieved and experienced intense guilt because of what I was feeling: was there something wrong with me because I did not have an instantaneous and deep emotional bond with him??

The answer is: NO!!!

What I was experiencing was completely normal. Social workers affirmed that it was normal. Other adoptive families who were united with their children after us also experienced the very same thing. Now, I know some of you who are reading this are thinking: Nope! Won't be me. I'll just read more books, pray harder. I will instantly bond with my children. None of this "baby-sitter" nonsense for me. All I can say is, keep me posted. Let me know if you do by-pass the baby-sitter season. Well, never mind -- don't bother. I probably won't believe you. I'll probably just attribute your victory to a "referral euphoria" relapse.

I don't share this (or surprises #1-3) to scare you, or deter you. It's just the way it is. You will over-come each surprise that you experience in your adoption...some later than sooner. But you will be stronger, more informed because of each surprise you encounter. So don't dread them, or even worse, deny them...embrace them. You are human -- your child/ren is human. All human relationships develop in a linear fashion -- and include the linear elements of time and experience. And this will hold true for your adoption...it will hold true for you, and your child. So give yourself, and your child, time and space to grow.

That's what adoption is: the process of fulfilling a life-long commitment. Through your obedience to your commitment, life-long blessing will follow.

Indescribable blessing.

11.17.2009

surprising difficulties of international adoption, #3

In-Country Experience:

This was another one that caught me off-guard. From the first moment we arrived in Ethiopia, I felt totally conspicuous. Of course, for obvious reasons: two white faces in a sea of brown ones. I had experienced this before during our travels to China and Central America. But this time my self-awareness was a little harder to brush-off.

Much of what I wrestled with was probably my own imagination. However, I simply couldn't keep from thinking that every set of chocolate eyes which glanced our direction pegged us as an adoptive family. No, "adoptive family" isn't a bad word -- but it is probably a painful reminder.

I wanted to paint a sign, and hang it around my neck, saying:
...We're not rich Americans who are adopting because it's the cool thing to do!!
...We love Ethiopia, and we will teach our son his culture and traditions!!
...We are doing more than adopting, but in ways you cannot see! We are supporting projects in Ethiopia to promote spiritual and social improvements!
...We value the people of Ethiopia, and want to see your nation conquer poverty, famine and disease!!

The glances that most often sent my own eyes toward the ground were the ones from women...especially, young women. Some of them probably weren't married, so not having children of their own. Or, maybe they did have children...but unable to care for them. And here I am with this beautiful Ethiopian child...
The whole experience just made my heart ache...in ways that I am unable to put into words.

And then came time to board our flight...to the US...on the other side of the world. It was all I could do to remain composed as we stood in line to check our luggage...more heavy glances. I grieved for the people of Ethiopia...I grieved for my son. Sin is a wicked thing -- no one is beyond its devastation. Except Jesus, and oh, how I praise God for that!!

The people of Ethiopia are most gracious. And I do know they understood what we were doing, and why it was so. But the fact that it was so...that's what ripped my heart.

But even in our own lives, it's often hard to perceive how God is redeeming the devastation that sin has left us with. But, one-child by one-child...whether through adoption, sponsorship, or able-biological families...I believe God is redeeming the devastation that has swept Africa. I believe that He is using His Own Adopted Children to "repay" this beautiful, precious continent for "the years that the locust have eaten." It may be generations before we see the effects. Or like Abraham, we as adoptive parents my not live to see the effects...but I still trust that salvation has come to Africa -- and as arrows in a quiver, God will release His Children...our children...to proclaim freedom to the captives!
Hallelujah!

Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the latter rain, as before.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,

the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
Joel 2:23-27

11.12.2009

surprising difficulties of international adoption, #2

Court (this one may be Ethiopia-specific):

When you finally submit your dossier (application and documentation) to the country you wish to adopt from, you become increasingly obsessed with receiving a referral (ie- matched with a child/ren). It's practically all you can think about -- kind of like a bride anticipating her wedding day. (And we've all known an obnoxious bride, or two.) And to intensify matters, family and friends are constantly asking, "any news yet?" So, really, there are very few moments when you're not actively anticipating the call from your agency.

You begin to tell yourself (and even begin to tell God): if we could just get our referral I'll be able to handle anything that follows. Ohhhh, waiting for our referral is the hard part...once I finally see that face, my referral-day euphoria will enable me to patiently wait for months before I hold him/her.

(Hang on -- I need to laugh out loud for a moment before I continue -- hahahahahahahahahaha -- OK, I'm composed now)

Referral-day euphoria? Unfortunately, it's not long-lived. You kick into high-gear preparing for you child. All the while, realizing -yes- this is really happening. Kind of like the first week back from your honeymoon: your sweet hubby really does expect dinner on the table every night.
Day-dreamin' is over.
Although you're more than happy to have dinner ready by 5pm every night, it's still a good dose of reality! And same goes for adoption. There is an ebb-and-flow of this is really happening!

And then in the midst of frantically getting ready for your trip and your child, another reality sets in: court. What?? You mean our adoption is not down-hill from here...didn't accepting our child's referral finalize the adoption?? uh...NO! You've thought little about court before the referral; it wasn't a major source of anxiety. At least not until now. Isn't funny how we always default to: yeah, x-y-z may have been a nightmare for that family, but it won't be for us. No worries.

Well, you're assigned a court date, and as that day approaches, you do begin to fret!!
Oh no, maybe we will be that family with the nightmare story.

Referral-day euphoria? What's that?

OK, I realize I'm sounding really dramatic at this point, but this was completely what I experienced. Anticipating court was terrifying for me. There were so many variables that had to be in place. I just couldn't imagine how they could all come together like they needed to.

And do you know what? They didn't.

Let me deflate the drama. Our adoption was finally granted on our 4th court appearance (actually, our agency's 4th appearance, with our POA). It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. Yes, we had signed our acceptance letter -- but the Ethiopian judge had the final decision. There was a chance our adoption request could have been denied. Albeit a slim one, but still... Ethiopian courts don't arbitrarily grant or deny adoptions -- they make their decision based on the facts. Is there sufficient evident to prove this child/ren is an orphan? And, in our case, it took several weeks to gather sufficient evidence.

In hind-sight, we are thankful for how Micah's story unfolded. The court delays and evidence gathered will help Micah process his story. And, oh how did God stretch, deepen our faith. We would not trade the journey through court with our Heavenly Father for any other senario. But needless to say, the whole court thing was surprisingly difficult.

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’
For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.”’
And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Luke 18:1-8

11.10.2009

surprising difficulties of international adoption, #1

Age and Gender :

Since our first adoption would also be our first experience parenting, it made sense that we would request to adopt an infant (~0-12mos). Even our social worker and agency encouraged us in this decision. I believe most social workers/adoption agencies recommend families to adopt children within age-ranges that they've had previous experience with -- however, there are always exceptions to this recommendation.

Vince and I were confident that adopting an infant was the right decision for us. That said, our firm decision still did not shelter us from sadness. Sadness that our narrow age-range EXCLUDED SO MANY CHILDREN. There was a hint of consolation because we did not specify a gender, but the age-range request still left a sinking feeling in my stomach.

We had to put this request in writing with China, Ethiopia, and once again with our 2nd Ethiopia adoption. The third-time around, it was even harder. Probably because we've seen first-hand the children whose chances of being adopted grow slimmer and slimmer every morning that they rise...because they are one day older.

Vince and I had a serious discussion about this very heart-ache just last week. Vince feels that at this point, that it's important to establish a birth-order for our children. And I agree. At least I think I do?? For for some reason, I continue to be haunted by that "check here for infant". I suppose my struggle is really more of a spiritual one: how can we trust God to sovereignly place an infant into our family, but not trust Him to be sovereign over an older child joining our family. Somehow, that our adopting an older child is beyond His realm of expertise?? I know. That's ridiculous! Birth order is not sovereign...God is sovereign.

But, that said, we continue to move ahead, establishing a birth order. At least for now. We do trust God's discernment and wisdom, and we do believe His discernment and wisdom have led us to our decision. We also trust...anticipate...our concern for older children is a seed He has planted. And when the time is right, He will cause that seed to bloom. We have no idea what the blossom will look like. But for now He has left us with an aching, a longing for older children without families -- and we fully expect that our Heavenly Father will graciously put this aching into action according to His perfect will!

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isa 55:8-11




11.08.2009

it's time : ORPHAN SUNDAY!!!

Today :
Pray for orphans

Today :
Commit to financially support orphans (www.my2999.blogspot.com)

Today :
Commit to support emotionally, prayerfully, financially someone you know who is adopting/fostering

11.04.2009

Cut Loose

Before I dive into the difficulties of international adoption (as promised), I thought I'd start off by describing as least one of the joys. FYI, they do out-number the difficulties.
One of the most amazing experiences (as least for me--every journey is different) I am actually finding very hard putting into words.

Cut-loose. Freed.

There's a part of me that's always been very driven toward materialism/consumerism/what-do people-think-about-me-ism. It's not that I've cared so much about keeping up with The Jones--again, finding it hard to put what was into words. I've just always liked stuff and it's cheap thrills.

But through our adoption and our trip to Ethiopia (and even prior mission trips) this shallowness has gradually been replaced with more a enduring and meaningful pursuit.

I guess another way to describe it is like a leaving-and-cleaving from secular culture...in the world, but no longer of the world. Guess it's what Scripture calls "death to self". And this experience hasn't been painful at all! It's been liberating!! My thoughts and desires have been liberated...no longer concerned...consumed...with the American Dream (whatever that is). God is giving my existence more and more fully to His work. Decisions that once were difficult are now becoming no-brainers. Living is just becoming more simple--not always easier--just more simple. I don't have as many options suffocating me.

Oh, I hope I am making a grain of sense. Yes, bringing Micah home has been an experience beyond words, but he has been the floor of my experience...the ceiling is still out of sight! Everyday, my moments with Micah God uses to redeem and refocus my thoughts, desires, pursuits...it's all been just the beginning of a much bigger picture!!

But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”––
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them
because they are spiritually discerned.
The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
2 Cor 2: 9-13

11.03.2009

10.31.2009

health care...DISASTER

OK, so I don't typically use my blog to discuss public policy/politics, of course unless it directly pertains to orphans. However, this issue it too serious...I am unable to keep quite.

Do we need health care reform?
Absolutely!!

Is socialized health care, national health care, a public-option...or whatever you prefer to call it the best solution?
Not by a long-shot!!

Why, you say?
-It gives gov'mt more control over the free-market. Sadly, our gov'mt is notorious for wasteful spending and inefficiency. I know the gov'mt acts like they had nothing to do with our current recession...better save my thoughts on that for another post. They can't even operate medicare successfully (meaning in-the-black) -- how in the world are they going to run health care for the entire nation. Not to mention, how are they...uh, I mean WE...going to pay for it???

-With a public-option, the long-term effect that you won't see until after 2013 (hmmm, after the next presidential election) is that you will be forced out of your private policy. Why? Either the premiums will become too expensive, or you will be unable to afford the additional tax (applied to your private policy) that you will soon owe the government.

-And, the premiums for the public-option are pretty pricey. You will be taxed an estimated 10-12% per family to paticipate...so if you make $50,000 a year, your premiums could run $850-plus/month. Of course, that's just where it will start. Sky's the limit with big gov'mt. Can you afford that?? Well, you won't have a choice. I think some people think the public-option will be free...uh, noooooooooo!

Be careful!! Everything sounds OK now, but most of the items in the bill aren't scheduled to happened immediately...that's how they can say "of course, you'll get to keep your private insurance".

So what do you need to do??
Contact your senator: click here.
Contact your state rep: click here.

Let them know you support health care reform, but NOT the bill being voted on next week!! Let's not cram a 2000 page bill down congress's throat, giving them only 72 hours to read the final version before voting. This is simply too much, too fast! What's all the rush?? I remember how Congress just had to pass the stimulus package...like right now. But if it was so critical to pass, why has only a fraction of the $$ been distributed?
Yes, let's tackle health care reform! But first stop, tort reform!!

Better yet, accept Michele Bachmann's invitation to the Capitol this Thurs to let Congress know your opinion--face-to-face!! Read more here.

OK. There. I've done my research. I've hopefully caused you to at least consider the topic. By the way, all senators and house reps in AL are opposed to this bill. Kudos, AL!!

Courtesy of Politico.com:
"The House health care bill unveiled Thursday clocks in at 1,990 pages and about 400,000 words. With an estimated 10-year cost of $894 billion, that comes out to about $2.24 million per word."

10.30.2009

2nd Ethiopia Adoption

We're almost on the paper-chase again!

We've been accepted back into AWAA's Ethiopia program, but we must also be re-approved to adopt concurrently. Translation: we need a letter from our social worker, stating she sees no problem with us pursuing an adoption from Ethiopia while remaining on China's waiting list. We had to provide this recommendation when we started our journey to Micah as well...so no biggie.

We can't submit our dossier to Ethiopia until Micah has been home one year (3.28.10), but that will be here before we know it.

As I am prepping myself for the mental anguish (ha ha) of the paper-chase and wait for our referral, I've been reflecting on some of the difficulties of international adoption...at least, for me. Check back over the next several weeks, and I will share them with you.

10.28.2009

what will YOU do with your WATER today?

I just have to share this. A fellow-adoptive parent passed it along. It is WELL worth your time to read...and to ponder.

"Will the beautiful women of the world please stand up. "
an excerpt:
...This is when I met Helen Apio. While most women hung back politely, Helen jumped toward me and screamed two inches from my face. Technically, it was singing. But the high-pitched shrieking was so loud and reverberated with such energy and emotion, I knew I had to talk with her.

She told me about the new freshwater well in her village.

“I am happy now,” Helen beamed. “I have time to eat, my children can go to school. And I can even work in my garden, take a shower and then come back for more water if I want! I am bathing so well.”

A few of the men chuckled to hear a woman talk about bathing. But all I noticed was Helen's glowing face, the fresh flowers in her hair, and the lovely green dress she wore for special occasions. Touching her forearm, I replied, “Well, you look great.”

“Yes,” she paused. Placing both hands on my shoulders and smiling, she said, “Now, I am beautiful.”

That really hit me.

My job is to focus on sustainable development, health, hygiene and sanitation; to make sure charity: water’s projects are working in 20 years. But nowhere on any of my surveys or evaluations was a place to write, “Today we made someone feel beautiful.”

CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO READ THE FULL STORY!

10.21.2009

ORPHAN SUNDAY: where will you be 11.8.09?

Sunday : November 8 : 2009

Orphan Sunday is the designated Sunday of the year for churches around the world to join voices and forces, raising awareness regarding the need and number of orphans world-wide.

I hope you've found an event to attend in your city, if not click here to find one.

If you're in the Birmingham area, please stop by Hunter Street Baptist Church during the month of November -- you'll be able to see pictures and read stories of adoptive families in our church.


Hunter Street is also hosting this live event, via webcast, on Orphan Sunday at 4pm : featuring Steven Curtis Chapman! Anyone is welcome to join us for this free event!!

An Orphan's Ticket Home

An Orphan's Ticket Home
Click here to Donate Today!!!