Sunday, March 17, 2013

Prayer is not only asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. ~ Oswald Chambers

Adoption is a long grueling process. I'm one who hates asking for help. I'm like a two year old perpetually yelling "I do it" because I'd rather do it all myself.

(This is Layla In recent "me do it" situation. She is hopelessly just short of reaching the water despite a deep stretch while on a stool. But she refuses to let me lift her. Notice how much water has accumulated in the sink as he tries to make herself just millimeters longer.

Me do it doesn't really get us anywhere.)

Im Not this way because I think I can do everything better than everyone but because I'm quite insecure and find myself undeserving of help. I feel like an enormous bother and rather than impose my needs on others, ill just do it.

And yes, in some cases it's because it's so much easier to just do it myself. Mark an "n" for needs improvement on my report card under "works well with others" .

God is teaching me now to stop that because adoption is a process in which you need support and must be willing to accept it.

The most important way you can help us is in prayer.

I don't know about you but oftentimes when people ask me to pray for them, especially in situations that don't involve a clear cut need like say a physical healing (those are usually self explanatory) I sometimes feel lost and praying generic prayers.

To help you - and myself - I feel led after a long crying prayer session myself, to write down specific areas In which we can use your prayers what specifically you can list in those prayers.

The adoption process in general.

That God will open doors and lead us to people who will best facilitate each aspect of the process.

That we will hear him clearly on decisions.

For all paperwork to be processed correctly and quickly.

For us to find favor in the process with the various people who have to handle each step of the process and sign off on things and that each phase pass quickly without any roadblocks . ( doesnt hurt to ask right!)

Pray we hear clearly when we are given files of children that we know whom he's chosen for us.

Some may say , that its not a needle in a haystack it could be any kid.

But I know differently. I know God called us when he did, to the country he did and pressed upon us a certain adoption agency to sign with all that will lead to a child he has chosen for us.

His word says:

God places the lonely in families.

He doesn't just throw things together and leave things to chance.

Could be you or you or you in that complete other country over there.


He places.

That speaks to a deliberate act.

He is placing this lonely child in our family.

Pray we hear clearly (I'm confident we will) when the time comes for us to review files of kids.

That verse aside , I know he has called us to certain child. I feel it in my bones that's how he works.

If I needed proof I could look no further than my beautiful nephew .

My best friends adopted son is a perfect match to that family. He may not have been born to them but God had him for them. He fits in beautifully.

Gods handiwork is always beautiful.

For all of the Haitian side of this to be done correctly - that our child's paperwork is in order and undeniably declared an orphan from the onset. This often proves to be a major roadblock in adoptions.

Speaking of roadblocks-

That God remove any mountains in our path now, before we even encounter them!

Here's a big mountain:

For God to be in our finances.

We didnt seek this out and don't have some secret adoption nest egg squirlled away. We are a one income family as I stay home and home school the girls.

God reminds me he owns the cattle on a thousand hills and that he's called to us so not to stress on finances.

Still adoption is a big expense. It's hard for my human mind to not dwell on numbers.

Pray for my faith to strengthened and trust Him for the finances! (I say my not our because tony seems cool as a cucumber but pray for his faith too)

Pray for our fundraising endeavors to find favor and be well received and successful. That God will give us creative ideas to help bring in funds.

That he will bring into our lives people willing to help, whether it be donations, people supportive of our fundraising endeavors or willing to donate their time and talents to help.

On that note, if you have any good ideas please feel free to let us know! We are receptive to suggestions! And if you have a talent or skill, that you'd like to use to help us, that's awesome too!

That we could qualify for grants and low interest loans provided by various Christian adoption charities.

We need work in our own hearts and minds as we prepare for this. We are far from perfect, just like Everyone else.

Pray that God uses the time of the process to prepare us and make us better people.

To prepare our hearts and minds to be in the right place

Tend to our hearts like a garden and weed out anything that will hinder us ministering to our child, anything that will keep us from adapting to being adoptive parents or keep us from helping our own kids prepare for and through the transition.

That God will plant in us now the seeds of traits we need to posses to weather the trials in the process and be ready in our hearts and minds to give this child, our child, a secure home where her needs can be met and her wounds healed.

That we are ready to minister to a wounded child.

Can you imagine the pain a small child endures as an orphan? The thoughts that haunt their mind? The pain In their heart?

Neither can I.

Pray that God gives us the ability to speak healing to her brokenness. That we can understand her needs and fulfill them.

For our marriage

That the various trials and stresses that come with adoption would not strain our marriage but instead strengthen it and bring us closer to each other.

That we would pray for and with each other and speak openly about our concerns and needs. Help us to act with grace and love with each other in both the everyday doldrums and the trials and stresses we may encounter.

For us as parents

That we are able to effectively prepare our kids hearts and minds for adoption. They already are compassionate but that they can understand the strains and sacrifices involved not just in the process of getting through the process but the ongoing issues once the child is home.

That we can prepare them for a different scenario than the idyllic pink tinted, frilly dresses, hugs all around, instant sisters riding unicorns through a ticker tape parade dream they envision of our child coming into our home.

Pray against fear and feelings of displacement or jealousy and insecurity in Ella, Laci, and Layla - but that they would have expectations based in reality and prepared for the possible difficulties associated with bringing an unknown child into our family and teaching her what family is.

Pray for me,- and probably Tony he doesn't mention it but I'm sure he experiences this too, as God continually breaks our hearts for fatherless. It's a heavy burden he's placed on us and I find it hard to even pray many times because it seems he breaks my heart even more during prayer .

It spurs me on to continue the long process and while I feel weak I know he's strengthening me because the passion it inspires in my heart chases off all feelings of wanting to turn back and forget and to instead continue in our self centered life of ease and excess.

I know I need this continual painful reminder of the ugly reality of 153 million orphans in the world but it hurts.

Pray that we stay inspired and uplifted at the same time.

Pray that we know how to pray for the lonely, the broken hearted , the fatherless effectively.

Pray that we hear clearly from God on how he wants us to use what he's placed on our hearts to further his work other than just this adoption.

Pray that God be glorified through every part of this process.

This was his plan not ours.
We are not amazing- we are ordinary.

We are not exceptionally compassionate- we are greedy.

We did not seek this out.
He placed it mightily upon our hearts.

The only way he could have been more forceful and clear on what we were to do, from my experience with how I was led to this, would be if He came to me in physical form and shook me.

As it was he spiritually shook me. He wrecked me. There was no quiet leading, no still small voice. It took grand acts of convincing on His part to lead me here.

And even still I convinced myself we didn't have to.

Until he campaigned the entire next day to prove otherwise.

This is not us. It is him.

It's not our love.

It's His living in us, working through us.

We are merely vessels.

God is Father to the fatherless.
He places the lonely in families.

Nowhere in there does it mention the action of man.

This is him.
His love.

Pray for our child's mother.

If she's already given her up, pray peace and comfort upon her. Pray for confidence she did what was best for her child. Pray that she knows a loving family is waiting now to take her daughter in. praying now for her child.

Pray restoration upon her life. Let her rise from this stronger and that people be placed in her life to better her future. That one day she can have a family and not be forced to relinquish children for them to have a life because she will be able to provide that life for them.

Pray for the emptiness in her heart to be filled.
I don't know how you get over the pain of giving up a child but I pray she can go on.

I'm assuming a lot in this. That she gave the child up for virtuous reasons, but she's her mother and should be respected for giving her life. Life in Haiti is painfully difficult, and I can't cast aspersions on the decisions anyone makes there because I am blessed to not live in the poorest country in the world where i would be forced with the same situations making the same decisions.

For whatever the reason she relinquished the child we take into our family, I pray she find emotional and spiritually healing. She may be sick in body, and physically unable to care for her child or herself- pray for her physical healing.

Pray that she find Gods grace and his salvation above all else.

In the event she's passed away, pray that all the relevant family have been found and have properly and willingly with full understanding signed all paperwork before we are matched with our child. (This often holds up adoptions)

And mostly

Pray for our child.

Adoption begins in loss.

She has lost her family, whether she was old enough to know them or not.

She will be losing her crèche (orphanage) relationships with her nunu (what the kids call the caretaker in the crèche we are adopting from) her friends and the people she considers family in the crèche.

She will be leaving her country and everything she has ever known to live with people she's barely met, who look nothing like her and don't speak her language except for the poorly pronounced phrases I will have learned in kreyol by then. ;)

She will move to a strange country of abundance the likes of which she probably couldn't have imagined and a way of life she's never seen.

She will meet girls who consider her a sister even though she's never seen them.

She will move into a home with a family while she has
no concept of family.

She will be without anyone she's known among parents and children they've raised and loved since birth.

Pray that she has peace. Pray that God prepares her even now for the whirlwind of change she will experience in the coming months (18-24+) .

Pray for her as she resides in the crèche that she finds favor and is shown love and care. That her belly not feel the pangs of hunger nor her tears roll down her cheeks unnoticed.

Pray that even if she feels no arms around her that she feels held, by our love.

By Gods.

Pray against sickness and pain.

Cholera rips through crèches claiming countless victims. Pray for her protection and health.

Pray for her emotional scars and wounds, that they be ministered to even now through loving caring words. Let her caretakers understand her needs and that we would as well so we can continue her process of healing from abandonment.

Pray for her to know hope.

I can't forget my best friend calling me after her first trip to Uganda to meet her son. She had taken with her bracelets that said hope that we all wore In support of her sons endlessly difficult adoption and to remind us to pray

Having to leave him until their return for their next court date when they'd take him home, she gave him a hope bracelet. She also gave one to another little boy. She told him what it said "hope" .

Not only did he not have any, he didnt even know what hope was.

I remember getting off the phone sitting on a couch looking out a balcony to the beautiful beach and listening to waves roar (we were on vacation. How blessed are we in this country?) and crying and crying over the dark picture of little children who have no hope to the point of the concept being as foreign to them as the white lady standing before them handing out the bracelets.

It . Broke. Me.

And it should you too.

Jesus came to give hope to the hopeless.

We need to be actively sharing it.

Wow. That's a lot!

If you've read all of that thank you :) you're awesome.

That could be a long prayer session in itself let alone all your needs and thanksgiving!

Maybe, if you're willing to partner with us in prayer, you could dedicate each individual point to one day of the week, if you don't feel up to the lump sum of it daily.

One day, finances, one day, process, one day our child Etc.

If nothing else- just pray for our child. She needs the prayers and to feel Gods presence and love more than us.

If you remember nothing else, remember her.

God did.

He saw her abandoned and raised up a family for her.

Pray for her as we fight to get to her.

Thank you so much <3

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Life changing news for the Carey family

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet
– Frederick Buechner

Until recently, this quote probably wouldn't have meant much to me. I didn't think much of the world.

I live a pretty insular life here on the farm. We homeschool so that takes a lot of our time and outside church commitments and dance, we stay home.

I haven't thought far from this farm let alone to other parts of the world. I mean I'm well aware that or life does not mirror the life of most but I haven't had time to ponder that let alone feel deeply for it.

Having three kids home 24/7 pretty much occupies all my mental and emotional energy and leaves little room for philanthropic daydreaming.

The last few months God has change that.

Ironically, the biggest change in my and I'm fairly certain my husbands Christian life came during a month we were absent from church.

Through mid December to mid January my family took turns being sick, with the the main event occurring starting Christmas Eve (of course ) through Christmas week.

That combined with family visits , we were out of church for a least a month.

Being absent from a church building doesn't mean anything, because in that time God wrecked us.

(To those not in with contemporary Christian speak ;) we young people often say God wrecked us when he really moves on us, Changing our hearts our minds. Kind of wrecks you off the course you've been plodding upon so to speak)

He began pounding and tenderizing our hearts, breaking us.

I don't know why. I honestly find formal prayer times - where I get alone and seek His face to be rare. *See above homeschooled children.

My prayer is more casual conversational throughout the day with Him.

I haven't had big "God moments" lately, except maybe sometimes at youth (we were youth helpers until the last week or so) at the altar just soaking in His presence and praying some.

I imagine during one of those times I offered myself up to be used by Him as he sees fit, as I have throughout my life. Idk, maybe He was cashing in on previous offers Ive made. My Christian walk hasn't required much of me since entering the motherhood portion of my life . Basically helping out with things In church Sunday school, youth - things I consider entry level duties of Christians in church - despite my pledging my all to His disposal continually.

I have a feeling God may have a sort of coupon book of my pledges up there and is starting to tear off years worth Hes stockpiled and he's Beginning to cash in.

However it may be, He began to wreck me, soften my heart. I found myself hurting for people around the world.

Heartsick. I know what that word feels like now.

I spent the majority of December and January crying daily. Sobs. Copious amounts of tears rushing down my face.

Unprovoked. Unannounced.

Hurting for those he cries for.

My Facebook status a few weeks ago was

"We often ask God to break our hearts for what breaks His. But be warned - when he actually does - it is overwhelming"

I think we all go on our Christian walks thinking we feel for the causes we are called as Christians to be sensitive to. That we "care"

I've learned in the last month that we don't. At least not me- at least not in the way we need to. I think it holds true for most.

When God really breaks your heart for the things that break his it's hard to ignore. Impossible actually. I can't even explain it other than during the last two months God has been so near and so persistent and so heavy that it was almost too much! I even said I'm only a person I can't take more. At one point.

God really was at work in a major way in rending our hearts into something that could be used for his purpose.

Through much of it - I was clueless.

Ok God I'm utterly broken over your making my heart sensitive to this plight. What can I do?

I felt trapped by living in a prospered country. I wanted to really give it all away and move my family to some third world county and make a difference in lives for God.

Softly ( which was strange being that his working thus far was no less than overwhelmingly relentless) He began to speak to my nearly pulverized heart.

First in thoughts, that I passed off. Then in pictures posted by a friend living out the Bible in a foreign land.

A tiny beautiful face , in a dirty pink shirt. No smile.

A little girl in a Haitian orphanage, sick with severe malnutrition and anemia.

After her a tiny 10 lb boy. 2 years old.

I cried all evening.

My husband was away on a youth trip in Ohio. I stayed behind sick with a sudden flu. Left with updates on missionary life in a Haitian orphanage to keep me company.

I felt God speak.

I tried to ignore Him.

He doesn't take well to that.

The next day when Tony was home I asked if he had seen the pictures I had sent to him (and about ten other people. That little girl deeply moved me, but I didn't know why) and he said yes. We talked about how awful the situation of the children in the world are. Just baffled by such suffering.

Seeing an opening and feeling like I needed to say it, I told him what I felt God had been speaking to me.

He agreed and that was it. No definitive talk just a sometime thing that we both felt led to.

Over the course of the next week I feel like God really we t into overdrive. There wasnt a moments escape from thoughts of suffering, lonely children. It brought me to tears continually.

I couldn't get any peace from the thoughts. The Western worlds normal escapism into mindless reading, net surfing and trash tv provided no respite.

God wouldn't be ignored.

In the meantime Tony and I didn't really talk more of it. I believe there was one more two minute conversation, promoted by me sharing some stuff from a book I was reading.

With trepidation I broached the topic again that God had laid on my heart. Again tony agreed and again no specifics were discussed other than perhaps sometime in the next couple years this would come to fruition.

With more of a sure footing that Tony was feeling the same thing I began to pray to God for clarity and specifics.

I began to feel certain that He meant this for the immediate future not a distant one.

That following weekend was Ella's birthday party and after the haze of decorating and kid wrangling was over I feel exhausted into bed .

I was praying and telling God a multitude of reasons why I must be hearing wrong. How this wasnt for us and detailing the ways it would not could not work.

Satisfied I'd convinced not only myself but the Almighty Himself that we were both mistaken in this prompting, I finally fell asleep.

The next morning was Sunday, and I would find that not only had He not been so convinced as I but also Sunday does not mean he rests from working on mans heart!

The whole way to church I didn't speak. Sometimes God just comes on me in a way that I feel like I'm just kind of not plugged into what's going on around me -I'm present but absent. And quiet.

That morning was one of those times.

I sat watching out the car window as God quickly and decisively dismantled EVERY. SINGLE.ARGUMENT. I had made the night before .

Every argument was dashed by bringing a scripture to mind proving the opposite.

I cried.

The whole way to church I cried.

I felt him working on my heart and I felt like a fool with trying to not only convince myself that I hadn't heard clearly before but that He wasn't really telling me what he was telling me...

I managed to pull myself together before getting into church despite knowing the course of my family's life had just been drastically altered.

In fact it wasn t ignorance nor lack of clarity that had led me to the previous nights denial of call and listing of all the reasons it could not be so-

It was selfishness.

What he's called us to do is going to take a lot from not just me, not just my husband - but from my kids.

It's going to require from all the resources we give our children - time, money, housing, emotional energy and the list goes on.

But he has called is all to sacrifice.

That day in church while i was able to gather myself in the parking lot, I cried all through the worship service. God kept speaking to me, more in the loving father way this time reassuring me he works all things for the good of those who love him and while what he was asking seems to be monumental and impossible it will be such a blessing.

I was ok again by the time the preaching portion rolled around and in the middle of the sermon, I had a sudden coughing fit. I left for two minutes to get a drink of water, and when I came back Tony was crying.

I was Completely confused by the emotion from my husband, the lack of any from anyone else during what was not a tear jerking sermon - preaching about various things he sees as signs of the end times.

I couldn't figure out what was going on with Tony.
And he wouldn't tell me.

So when the service was finally over and my husband had composed himself which was a refreshing change for me to be the dry eyed one I immediately started asking him repeatedly in the car what had him so worked up.

Finally he quoted to me a passage in The first chapter of Isaiah which had been apparently said while i was getting my water.

Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.

Wow. That is one powerful passage of scripture.

I'm not sure how much attention I've paid to it in the past because I've probably just read about it in the context of God being frustrated with Israel.

But it applies to us all.

What good are our offerings, our church services while we ignore the world around us.

We have blood on our hands.

We don't seek justice for the oppressed.

We don't care for the widow or the orphan...

After tony recited the verse I don't think I waited a best before hearing the last word before declaring (the first time with certainty)

"We are supposed to adopt"

At which point he started crying again, as did I. Full I emotion and clarity of purpose.

To which I added - "soon"

He nodded.

And so after a day of starting with me crying, then Tony crying, we both sobbed the entire way home.

I later came to find out Tony had felt this call for us awhile ago , but was praying God would reveal it to me because he knew how much stress Layla can cause me and I'm the one home with the kids so a big portion of this will fall on my shoulders and he was hoping he wouldn't have to be the one to break it to me!

Maybe that is why I felt God so strongly on it , I don't know.

All I know is this is what He has called to.

It's nothing we sought out.

We weren't planning on more kids bio or otherwise! Layla while adorable is the kind of child that ends your desire to add more!

This was all God. It's His plan.

As I've read more on adoption - in his word and elsewhere I've really begun to question church in the way we do it here in the US.

Even a rudimentary reading reveals that God calls his people to Go and do serve and give all.

What do we do?

We build buildings in His name .... And then we sit in them. And then we build additions. And we sit in those too.

And that's about the extent in a majority of church people's lives today.

And yes churches do programs and outreaches for time to time but I think for the most part we are all missing so much of what God has called us to do.

All of us.

Caring for orphans is one majorly neglected area.

147 million orphans.

Overwhelming right?

Not really.

If only 8% of Christians adopted one orphan- there would Be. No. Orphans .

We need to do more.

And now my Family is going to be part of that 8%.

I don't say that condescendingly or as though we are better.

It quite literally took God ripping my heart to pieces to make me even open to this call.

We didnt come into this because we are so spiritual and so sacrificial.

This was God.

If He didnt pursue so relentlessly I'd still be living in my own littler world.

I'm glad He doesn't tire out quickly.

We would have missed what He has for us.

It's been just a month now since we came to the realization that this is what we were being called to.

Our next step was to seem Him for clarity on country.

That came quickly.


Also we got clarity on gender- a little girl.

Poor Tony.

I was (although everyone knows I have no Desire to have a Boy based on the fact that everyone who has me me has asked this because I have three girls) open to either gender it as I'd pray for our child in a gender neutral way I felt God saying "her " she" when I'd say "him or her" or "the child"

I told Tony and the poor guy admitted he had felt the same.

Four girls.

So within a week we got confirmation on being called to adopt, from where and what child (gender/age wise) .

We are now in the process of choosing an agency. I have it narrowed down , I just have to finish phone calls. Most have been in haiti recently due to many legal changes concerning adoption and its been hard to finalize details.

So within a couple weeks we will have signed with an agency and be on our way officially.

Isaiah 58: 6

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?"

We would appreciate your prayer through this time as we make decisions and raise funds.

We will need those prayers

I've read that adopting is paying a ransom.

Just like any prisoner, the orphan is bound in chains- chains made of poverty, abandonment, pain, loneliness, despair, sickness, and more.

Just like any prisoner a price - or ransom - must be paid.

For the orphan this is paid through the obvious - the high monetary of cost paid to governments for fees- but also every adoptive family I've spoken with or read experiences from say they pay a ransom through the pain and heartache of the adoption process. Add onto that our enemy the devil does not want to see precious children being loosed from their chains of despair and placed in families by God - adoptive families become a big target.

For that reason please keep us covered in prayer and pray for our child, yet unknown to us but loved even still.

The cost- monetary, emotional and spiritual- is worth it.

How could we not when we ourselves had a ransom paid for us.

God sent his son Jesus to die a brutal death on the cross to pay the ransom for our so and death.

Adoption is a reflection of that as in His sacrifice our ransom was paid and we were adopted into the family of God.

So much more could be said but I will close with this verse that has been burned into our souls over the last month

"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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Friday, March 1, 2013

Insta friday February

Haitian food click the hyper link to read why.

My sister is dating a fire man. A big Win for the kids of the family.

Praying for Haitians during the Haitian meal.

Ella driving the fire truck

Chalkboard painted my fridge. This is illegal use of it and blatant self promotion.

All in pink and says she's a flamingo....

Found them passed out together. Thank you God . I got a whole hour in bed alone.

More of flamingo girl...

I'm way behind on insta Friday these are valentine shots.


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