This is blog was created to share some tidbits of our daily lives

and advocate on behalf of the 143 million orphans around the world!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ethiopian Play Date

Our family was invited to an "Ethiopian" play date with some families that live nearby. We were hosted by the sweetest family that made some delicious authentic food for all of us.(and by authentic, I mean...they were from Ethiopia and moved to the states some years ago.) Here's what was on my plate. I wasn't great with my camera..just snapped a shot here and there..sad I didn't get to snap all of the sweet families that were there..but here are just a few...
Check out these sweet boys!!!

And precious girlies! (This was the best shot I was able to slobbery bib, snot and all! ha)
This little one was too cute in her pink boots!
These boots were made for walkin'!
And yes, we attempted to capture a shot of all of the kiddos...I think they did quite well for 14 of them! Ha!!!
Felt so blessed to fellowship with other families who "look like ours" ...sort of. I know how important it is for my girls to get together with children from their birth country and celebrate their heritage and culture.
Red and Yellow black and white...they are precious in his sight!!!
Love love love this picture and hope to share and fellowship with these beautiful people again soon!
Be the HOPE 4 Orphans!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I've been "WOWed"!

I read a lot of blogs out there, but wanted to direct you to one incredible family. I do not know this family personally, but am inspired daily by their obedience to Christ and His call on their lives. I read their "Because He said so" post and was totally blown away. Check them out here. Hopefully by reading this, they can inspire all of us to listen to what God is calling us to do..and actually do SOMETHING about it!
Is God calling you to do something "BIG" for His kingdom??

Be the Hope 4 Orphans!
btw- this family used the same agency as we did with Lola Joy..Celebrate Children International

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lily's Surgery and Happy Thanksgiving!

Okay, where do I begin. was our sweet little girl right before her surgery..obviously she had no idea what was coming. :(Here she is making her sad face with her Daddy. Right before her surgery...Too funny.
The day of her surgery was one of the toughest days for me as her Momma. Doug and I felt so helpless as we tried to comfort and console this little one. It was obvious that she was in so much discomfort. She as also mad at the world over the arm splints and wanted her thumb!! The next day started to perk up a bit and wanted to do something other than look at us in that room. (We requested a larger bed...the bed they provided looked a bit like an orphanage bed and Lily SCREAMED when she saw it. ) We were able to sleep with her to comfort her. As far as eating went, she would eat a little bit of jell-o but really didn't want to drink. We really had to work at it to get her to eat and to drink.

She was doing pretty well and came home rather quickly. She blew us away at how she adapted to using her hands even though she couldn't bend her arms. (And she was able to take the arm splints off very easily..and they come off throughout the night as well...ugh!!!) Then, the rough part started. She became very clingy and lethargic. She had a fever and wouldn't eat anything..but would only drink. I was worried she had gotten strep throat..from Doug. We kept calling the hospital and they assured us that as long as she was drinking, she'd be fine. Well, this went on for days and I couldn't take it any longer. We took her to the dr. on Monday and discovered that she, in fact, had strep. We later found out that same day that Lola, Bryson and I all had it as well!!!! NO WAY! Needless to say, it has been MISERABLE this week!!! Lily has NOT SLEPT hardly at all and when she sleeps she is laying on our chest. Doug and I take of us sleeps with her, then we switch half way through the night.'s been in sane! Throughout the days, we've had a team of family to come and help me with the kiddos...and we've had some really sweet friends and family make us some meals which we cannot say thank- you enough to.

Here's my Mom trying to occupy the girls to give me some time to get well myself!

Mamaw Jean has been here to the rescue as well!

Doug's Mom has been over to help with the girls, but I didn't get a pic of her:(...thanks to you Momaw Donna. And Doug's sister, Deana came over to help out. I couldn't have made it without these amazing women to help us through this. Lily is finally beginning to get better, although she is not back to her old self yet. We did take her arm splints off today, but she is still not sleeping without laying on us and she wakes up all throughout the night. More than that though, we discovered on Monday that she has developed a hole in her palate again. :((( The dr. told us after the surgery that there was a chance that she might develop a hole due to an underdeveloped artery in her palate. Our hearts sunk when he told us and they TOTALLY SUNK when we saw the hole. We got in the car and just sobbed, actually. We were devastated that she will have to endure another surgery in 6-12 months. We were simply broken hearted for our little girl. Hasn't she endured enough? This really got us down and just made us look up and ask "WHY, God?" Then we were reminded that He loves her more than we do. That it could be a lot worse. That when we suffer, we rely on Him more.That God is a healing God.(thx aunt janie) And that He will never leave us or forsake us..and that He chose US to be Lily's parents..NO MATTER We're not exactly sure what this means for Lily, we will see the plastic surgeon on Dec. 3rd, I believe. So, please, please pray for Lily Hope. Pray that the dr's will be able to help her and that the "Great Physician", our God will heal our little girl. We will keep you posted...

And as for THANKSGIVING...

Tonight, I am reflecting on all I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful to have my sweet hubby to walk alongside of me on this wild ride called life.

I'm thankful for my FOUR beautiful children that the Lord has loaned to us and blessed us with. So thankful that Lily Hope was able to be with us this Thanksgiving. Thankful that we were able to be there for her through this surgery to comfort her, as we cannot imagine what her last surgery might have been like .alone. Thankful that God has opened our eyes to see beyond ourselves, but overwhelmed at the task ahead of us to do something about what He has revealed to us. Thankful for our family who showed up for us in a real way during this rough week. Thankful for Best and TRUE friends to walk through life with. And most of all...thankful for God. A loving God. Who loves me. Cares for me. Comforts me. Rocks me. Heals me. Even though I know I don't deserve it.
Wishing you and your family and BLESSED Thanksgiving!

ps. If you're feeling super blessed this year as well...

do you have room in your heart for an orphan who
needs a family?

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" 1 John 3:17

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fun at home with the kiddos and Lily's surgery

One evening we were hanging out at home..and I caught some random cuteness!!!
The girls leanin' in for a little smooch! awww!!! Melt this Momma's heart!
Look at those smiles! Like my hair??

Sweetness to the CORE!

I looked in the kitchen and found these it!

Then I heard laughing coming from this direction and found these two!

I am completely blown away by the transformation happening in front of my eyes daily. Lily Hope is doing so, so well!!! We fall more and more in love each day. She is just such a sweet, sweet little soul!!! She is really coming out of her shell! She smiles all the time with us...and laughs with us. I will hear laughter amongst the little girls and look and they'll be chasing each other around the house, or playing's simply AMAZING and MIRACULOUS! I can honestly say that the girls are bonding so well with one another. Lola ALWAYS asks for Lily first thing in the morning..or yells "Lil...Lil!" It's priceless! Lily follows Lolee around everywhere...and the girls are of course SO FOND of their big bros. Lola yells, "BOYS!" through the house until she finds them. They ALWAYS make time for the little sis'. It's precious. I am so blessed and so thankful that these four children have bonded together by Christ's hand! He has placed his healing hand on our little HOPERS and she is a treasure! We are so thankful He chose US to be her forever fam!!!!
Lily has her cleft palate repaired on Tuesday. We ask that you keep our sweet angel in your prayers. This is a tough surgery for any little please pray for rapid healing, for a successful repair, and for our baby as she will miss sucking her right thumbie for an extended period of time due to these little arm splints she will have to wear. :-( Lily will be in the hospital until she can eat (pureed foods) and drink on her own. I will be staying with her in the evenings at the hospital for as long as she has to stay and Doug will be home with the other troops at home. We covet your prayers and will try to update on the surgery with pics when we can.
Be the HOPE 4 Orphans!

Halloween Costume Pics

I am so behind on posting pics and updating, but a lot has been going on since my last post. One being, I have gone back to work. Being a stay-at-home Momma has always been my dream, but I have wrestled with God about this and He is still placing me in the classroom, so that's where my mission field is...til HE moves me. :-) So here are a few pics of my kiddos dressed up for Halloween.
We had a Strawberry Fairy Princess and a Pumpkin Fairy Princess. (no smiles)

I took about 30 pics of them sitting here hoping to get a smile, but NO SMILES. ha.
BTW, this is the first year my boys asked to dress up in something scary...and as much as I did NOT want them to...they did. :-)(Bren reminded me that he was 10 and 1/2 and that he didn't want to look cute.) Boys will be boys. LOVE THEM!