Friday, March 23, 2012

A thought worth sharing...

A friend of mine forwarded me an email today that was so beautiful and thought provoking that I just have to share it. I'm not in any way suggesting by sharing this that if you don't adopt you're a "sinner". Let me be clear, because we know that adoption is what this blog is about. The reason I am sharing it is because I want to provoke people to ask themselves the question of "what should I do?" Look within yourself to see what you can do, and make the committment to do it! We all know how powerful social media has become, so if you can't take in one of these or the many other little darlings around the world, please use your social media skills to pass along the word about them. Spark a fire among your friends and family to share the messages in this blog. Circulate...circulate...circulate!! And, if you decide someday that adoption may be in your future, reach out to someone such as myself, who has done it, and ask all the questions you can imagine! Adoption has changed and shaped my life in a profound way. I have learned more about myself, both good and bad, by learning to love a stranger. First, with my husband...later, with my daughter. I love my biological boys immeasurably, but when you step out in faith to love a stranger by choice, God makes beautiful things happen!

Below is a devotional email sent out by Proverbs 31 Ministries, and written by Glynnis Whitwer, Director of Writing Team and Senior Editor of P31 Woman Magazine.


I Know What I Should Do, But...

23 Mar 2012

Glynnis Whitwer
March 23, 2012
I Know What I Should Do, But …
Glynnis Whitwer
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17 (NIV)
It was just like any other day when my friend felt a lump in her leg. Thinking it was nothing, she didn’t worry. A week later it was bigger. She didn’t ignore it any longer, but made an appointment with her doctor. Tests confirmed the quiet suspicions; it was cancer.

In the past five years, friends have rallied around her with prayer and practical support. For a while I was able to help intermittently. Then I went through a season of constant family and work needs, and neglected to contact my friend … for months.

Occasionally she would pop into my mind, and I would think of some way to bless her. I knew her family loved brownies, maybe I could bake some as a treat. Perhaps she’d like to get out and walk around the mall. A funny card would cheer her up.

But good intentions slipped away and rationalizations took their place.

One morning I read James 4:17. It was as if God took a highlighter, swiped it over the words and wrote my friend’s name in the margin:

“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

I immediately stopped reading and rushed to my computer. Fingers furiously typed an apology for being a distant friend, and asked if I could bring her lunch. We set a date and had a great time of catching up and prayer.

Thankfully God prompted me that day to follow through on my good idea. But my heart aches at the times I’ve either ignored or forgot those promptings. It’s so easy to find reasons why not to do something. Excuses pop up like weeds. However, today’s verse makes it clear that sometimes something else is at stake. It’s not like forgetting to buy milk at the store; if there is good God is calling us to do – and we don’t – it’s sin.

I’ve learned when I listen to the nudge in my spirit to do good, I’m always part of God’s bigger plan. It’s like God is assembling a jigsaw puzzle with a beautiful picture only He can see as He asks me to care for the needs of others. To do this, He needs me to listen for His direction, and then prioritize my obedience. Not question, dismiss or excuse it away.

I’ll be honest. Sometimes the needs of others overwhelm me. Without meaning to, I become numb, even to those around me. But then God reminds me I only have to do my part – and He’ll tell me what that is. Sometimes my part is to take a friend lunch. Sometimes my part involves more.

I wonder what would happen if I always obeyed? And what if I wasn’t the only one? What if everyone leaned in when God whispered, “Will you?” What if, instead of rationalizing why my little effort won’t make a big difference, I just trusted God had a bigger plan … and I simply obeyed.

It’s got to start with me. Today. And the good I know I should do. No more “buts” about it.
Dear Lord, thank You for never withholding good from me. Forgive me for the times I’ve minimized this in my own life, or found excuses of why I can’t do good for someone else. I long to be a woman who reflects You in all I do. Help me to follow through when I know I should. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

URGENT!!! URGENT!!! URGENT!!! - GRANT $$ AVAILABLE!!

(PHOTO REMOVED DUE TO PRIVACY)
Please email me for further info

SHEA, male, age 13, Asia
Special Need: Repaired Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate
WILL AGE OUT IN 6 MONTHS!

Finances: The $5600 ( approx.) orphanage fee is now waived. He has a $4200 Promise Child grant for families making less than an average of $125,000 the application fee is waived ($275) and the pre-approval fee ($500) is waived. Contact Ckids@wacap.org

Shea is an artist, musician, and he wants to dance like Michael Jackson! There are only months left for him to get adopted. He is a bright,  healthy 13 year old boy with a repaired cleft lip and palate.

Although  he will need some orthodontic work he speaks clearly and articulately.  He goes to 7th grade outside the orphanage where he is an average  student whose favorite subject is art. He presented us with a drawing  (please ask to see it) he had made, and colored, of his favorite cartoon  characters. It is clear from this work that he is very talented. He  also enjoys basketball and playing traditional drums. Shea describes  himself as being very honest and happy, and states that it makes him sad  when someone doesn't want to play with him. He is a soft-spoken, sweet,  young boy who would thrive in a family who can adopt him before he is 14 and becomes ineligible for adoption.  When asked if he could have  anything in the world he wanted, he replied that he would love to learn  to dance like Michael Jackson.

When our staff met him briefly she said  "he really seems like a great kid. He was rather shy, very polite with  lots of interests-drawing, music and dancing. He said he would like to  be adopted and I have no doubt it was a genuine and not a "rehearsed"  answer. I really enjoyed meeting him and I think any family would be lucky to have him."

Monday, March 12, 2012

This week's child: LAURA from ASIA

Laura, Female, DOB 11/2006
Special Need: multiple brown spots on body, Hep B+

It is very bittersweet for me to post about this week's featured child. I found Laura last week while browsing the new special focus files for Children's House International. Immediately I was connected to her in a very special way and spent half the night researching her needs. Unfortunately the time is not right for our family to adopt Laura, so I am making a plea to everyone out there in the advocacy community to spread the word for her. Laura has a family out there waiting for her and my heart would do good to know she has found them.

The information noted below under Laura's report has been approved to post by CHI, however I would like to add something about Laura's special need of being HepB+. First, please understand that I am NOT a medical professional. It would be necessary to have Laura's file reviewed by a medical professional such as your Pediatrician or International Adoption Specialist (there is a link on the right for the CCHMC International Adoption Clinic if you need to consult with someone). Now, all that being noted, what I have come to understand about Laura's condition is that she has repeatedly tested positive for HBsAb and positive for HBeAb.

What does HBsAB mean?
According to the Hepatitis B Foundation (www.hepb.org):
**"A "positive" or "reactive" HBsAB (or anti-HB's) test result indicate that a person has successfully responded to the Hepatitis B vaccine OR has recovered from an accute Hepatits B infection. This result means that you are immune to future hepatitis B infection and you are not contagious."

What does HBeAB mean?
**"The presence of HBeAb generally indicates that the patient is recovering from the acute stage of the illness. HBeAb detects the presence of HBeAb in human serum and helps determine whether the HBV infection is resolved. Presence of HBeAb suggests low or missing infectivity and serves as a measure of patient infectivity. In monitoring the cause of accute and chronic HBV infections, the occurence of HBeAb and disappearance of HBeAg are of prognostic value."

Laura's report from Children's House International:
Laura is a lovely little girl who enjoys being outside. Her pictures are quite somber and we are determined to help Laura find many reasons to grin and giggle. Laura was admitted to her SWI when she was approximately 8 months old. Laura is by nature shy and quiet but she does laugh and enjoys playing with other children. As she grows up she is getting more outgoing. She currently lives with a foster family. Her reports state:

“Laura was admitted when she was 8 months old. Her motor development was delayed somewhat compared to kids of similar age. In order for her to get more  loving care and nursing, Laura entered a foster family on the next day after admission. With the careful attention of her foster mom, she adapted to the new environment quickly. Her appetite became much better and her face became ruddy.

At the age of 9-11 months Laura could quickly find hidden toys. When being brought to play outdoors her beautiful eyes could look around and she looked very lovely. At the age of 12-15 months she understood some simple daily expressions said by adults, had a ready smile. She could drink water and milk by holding the cup with both hands. At the age of 15-18 months Laura could sit alone steadily, stand for a while by holding onto things, cooperate to dress or undress her, and button clothes.
At the age of 18-24 months she could walk around sitting in a walker, liked to watch cartoons, and could laugh aloud when teased by family members. At the age of 2-3 years she could say some simple daily expressions, imitate actions of adults, and liked to play with kids.

Now Laura is over 4 years old, she likes to smile better, becomes much more outgoing, shows more concern to things in the surroundings, likes to communicate with everyone. She also likes to do handiwork with her older foster brother, such as folding paper planes etc.
Laura’s staple food is rice and her supplementary foods are milk, fruit and eggs etc. She is not choosy about food and has a good appetite. She gets colds occasionally which can be cured once being treated. She had brain CT examination which showed no abnormal findings by cranium CT scanning. Five items of examination for HB showed positive HBsAb and positive HBeAb. (info from report dated January 8, 2011)

Anyone interested in learning more about Laura should contact Heidi Hawkins of Children's House International. Heidi can be reached by email at heidigoestochina@msn.com. For more information about Children's House International go to www.childrenshouseinternational.com. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

GIVEAWAY WINNER!!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO STACY HORTON!!! YOU ARE OUR GIVEAWAY WINNER!!!

Your name was drawn moments ago by my little helper, Cooper (he's the only one stubborn enough to still be awake at this hour)! I will be in touch to get further info from you. I promise you will LOVE Kay Bratt's book, Silent Tears!

PS to everyone...I am in the process of gathering further info on two different children and I'm hoping to be able to post more this week. One is more info on Peter (if it's approved for me to post) and the other is about a special little girl I found last week. More to come!!

Thanks to Stacy and everyone else for following the blog. Please remember to keep sharing on your Facebook, etc pages so we can spread the word!

~Shannon

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Perfectly Peter...our newest child of the week

I cannot share ALL the details of Peter's file at this time due to specific agency regulations, but I want to make sure to start getting the word out about this amazing little boy. Beyond the obvious reason of being an orphan, Peter is special to me for two reasons: 1) He shares the same birth date with my 3 year old Cooper...and, 2) He shares the same congenital birth defect as my 3 year old Jun.

Having adopted a child with PFFD, I can tell you that if I could, I would do it all over again. I think Greg would agree with me on this. Because we sought out MANY, MANY professional medical opinions, we prepared ourselves in the best way possible for what was to come. Having a child with a physical handicap can definitely have its challenges, but no different than the various challenges occassionally brought forward by our non-handicapped biological children. ;)

Peter will be 4 years old in May. I have been told that there has been little interest in his file. That makes me so sad, and in so many ways reminds me of our Jun...who I found by chance on our agency's waiting child list. Until Jun was brought to the US via adoption, she had never known what it felt like to walk...now she has all the ability in the world! Peter could have the same opportunity...if someone would just give him a chance.

Peter is currently available through WACAP...World Association for Children and Parents. www.wacap.org If you have interest in learning more about Peter, please contact me OR contact Andrea Carruthers at AndreaC@wacap.org.