Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We Will Never Forget...Cockayne Syndrome

Over the years our family has had the honor of knowing so many precious children with Cockayne who have now gone to their forever home. Today we remember each and every one. Next month, on May 22, it will be six years since our own Emma danced her way into the arms of the Lord.
Do not lose heart....do not feel sad. Do not feel pity...because....
We rejoice knowing we will see her again.
And we know we are blessed to have
Held and Loved
Through her short life she taught us about what is really important in life, unconditional love, looking beyond the surface.
Holding Emma, you could feel the Love of the Lord pouring out of her tiny body.
Yes, we are thankful for sufferings, even for Cockayne.
Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Monday, April 25, 2011

And She Waits

How many more days, months will she have to wait for us to scoop her into our arms, whispering to her in a language she won't even understand "we have come for you".

                                                   Little One...we are coming for you.
But before we can get to her we have to raise money.

It is not impossible.
But friends, there is a mountain in front of us.
We have had several fundraisers and have basically broke even.
Some fundraisers haven't even raised a penny.
Not a single penny.
So, I am asking for your help. Ideas? Advice? Input for Fundraising.
I have considered selling t-shirts, having a yard sale, bake sale, selling enchiladas, doing an online auction but with goodness knows what...
the only thing we have right now is a autographed picture of Peyton Manning!

Every grant I have looked into we don't qualify for.

We don't have a ton of credit cards which is a good thing I guess but don't even have enough to get cash from!
Airline miles??? No clue how to go about that. All I know is we don't have any and don't have the contacts to advise us.

Time is running out.
And she waits.
It's looking bleak.
Not giving up hope. Praying for God to open a door and lead us.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Adopted...Children of God

A sweet adoptive mom with the most adorable children ever (no, seriously go to her blog and check out her kiddos and princess from a far away land, in fact from the SAME orphanage as Little One...adorable!) posted this song and info on her blog.
On this glorious Good Friday I can't even begin to tell you how this song resonates with me.
I HAD to share!
Christian music group Third Day is asking families who have adopted to send pictures of their family, children or adopted child with a sign that simply reads 'Adopted'. They will edit these pictures into a video to play behind them on stage while they sing this song!Adoptive families, CLICK HERE to visit Third Day's official website for more information, watch the music video and find out how to email them your own picture!

Have a blessed Easter weekend.
We are rejoicing here, thanking God for moving mountains.
For reminding us He has it all in His hands, down to the tiniest detail.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Our Ebenezer

It would be so easy to throw in the towel. Frustrations rise. They aren't moving fast enough...all the powers that be. It must be our fault for not saying the right thing to woo those into moving anything quicker.
And time seems to be a critical part of the journey to Little One.
Time. Timing. It's not about US.
Today a friend shared with me the Ebenezer stone.
For any of us struggling with Timing, waiting, over and over dying to self.
We have this as our reminder.
Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer—"the stone of help"—for he said,
 "Up to this point the Lord has helped us!" —1 Samuel 7:12, NLT

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood. —Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

We are HOLDING ON. We are raising our Ebenezer.
Up to this point the Lord has helped us.
He will never let us go.
He loves Little One more than we can fathom.
We have been convicted to let go of ALL of our fleshly desires to control
Circumstances We Don't LIKE.
Holding on to faith. We remain Steadfast. Our Ebenezer.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


"Love Grows"
That was Paige's answer to the social worker's question "what do you think about having another brother or sister?"  way back when we were having our home visit last winter.
Yes Paige, it does.
We have so much love to go around.
Somewhere in between piles of paperwork and waiting I find myself dreaming of the day Little One will be here. Another child added to the mix of chaos and calm (wait...calm? what am I talking about?)
I love the things my kids do (well, most of the time...)
When I find things like this...I have to grab my camera.
Someday I pray Little One will be right in the middle of the pictures...with Peyton and Paige.
I pray that soon we will be taking pictures of all the funny things she does. Like this...

Paige's imagination in action. Why are the babies covered in bandaids?

Little Mommy...she can't wait to have a little sister to love.

Christmas Eve...sprinkling "reindeer food" in the lawn for Santa's arrival. Will Little One be here this coming Christmas??

Paige's birthday...we look forward to the day we can sing Happy Birthday to Little One!

One of our very favorite family destinations...Destin, Florida! We go every summer. The kids
play in the sand, the water, the pool. It's a week of relaxing and so much fun. What will Little One think of the ocean?!

We are waiting for you Little One...waiting for the day you will tuck your own dollies into your own little bed.

Love Grows Little One.

We are waiting to wrap you up in our arms and never let you go.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Up. Down. Steadfast.

 turbulence [ˈtɜːbjʊləns] rarely, turbulency
1. a state or condition of confusion, movement, or agitation; disorder, anything characterized by abrupt and extreme changes

We began this journey in faith and will continue in faith. We knew there would be turbulence with an unclear ending yet....we remain steadfast. What this news means we don't know yet. This news is from the US Department of State with names taken out for confidentiality. This was released as an alert not a notice. Alerts (according to the website) are "to caution American citizens about adopting from a certain country. Adoption Alerts may notify that a country has suspended adoptions or that the United States cannot process adoptions from that country."
"On the evening of April 7, 2011, the President of Little One's country signed a Decree transferring all functions of the current central adoption authority of the country to a different authority. We do not yet know how the implementation of this transfer will affect processing of adoption cases. Whether old adoption authority will be able to continue processing currently filed cases remains unclear.
The Presidential Decree will become effective immediately upon its publication in the Government's official newspapers, which may be as early as Monday, April 11.According to the old adoption authority there are now 134 U.S. families registered, some of them already in-country."

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1Cor 15:58

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love ... Psalm 33:18

Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. Psalm 112:6-8

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

We remain steadfast in the Lord, trusting Him and not our own understanding. We will continue to put one foot in front of the other. If it is meant to be we will someday get there. Such a long road but we already love her so very much. We will wait...however long it takes.

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10:39

Saturday, April 9, 2011

On My Mind...

Three little girls.
On my mind, their families in my prayers. 
Only one did I get to meet here on earth, one I got to call my own "little bit"
There are times you know God has orchestrated meeting others as part of His great plan.
Two years ago I stumbled upon a website called "Hanna's Dream" and the picture of a little girl, Hanna stopped me. There was something in Hanna's smile, a light in her eyes which drew me in. 
 I continued to read about Hanna's dream and ultimately, the tragedy which took Hanna's life on
April 17, 2009.
I saw the date of Hanna's birth and knew why God had led me there.
May 22, 2002.
Emma passed away on May 22nd.
I wrote Hanna's mom, Robin and after some time I heard from her.
Robin is one of those people you just feel like you have known forever.
We were connected by a date in time, and our girls who dance in heaven.
There are times I am driving and literally see Hanna's face.
I don't know yet why God led me to Robin and to know about Hanna but I know it is for a
Next week, on Sunday, April 17th it will be the two year anniversary of Hanna passing away.
My prayers and thoughts are and will be with my sweet friend Robin. Please keep her in your prayers. She continues to do wonderful work in Hanna's memory through their non-profit organization - Hanna's Dream. Hanna dreamed this organization to life when she was just SIX years old.
 An amazing little girl.
Hanna May Cini
Walk slowly now, small soul, by the edge
  of the water. Choose carefully
  all you are going to lose, though any of it would do.
Jane Hirshfield

Emma Catherine Houser our "Little Bit"
"The truest measure of life is not in its length but the fullness in which it is lived."

Today I am keeping one family close in prayer. The Dahlen family's little girl Abigal would be turning three today. She went to the Lord two days after her birthday last year after a tragic accident.
My heart has mourned for this family and the pain they are walking through.
The first year after a child passes away is perhaps the most excruciating pain and honestly
it defies human words.
Simply...there are no words for a heart which is ripped out of one's body.
It is a primal, horrifying brokenness one never ever wants another parent to experience.
I don't talk much here about the darkness which is the loss of a child. But I am so thankful for how
the Lord has grown and stretched my image of motherhood over the years since Emma passed away.
The Lord has never left us, never forsaken us and from pain so much
JOY has come.
I am praying for the Dahlen family today, for their sweet children who will forever miss their sibling.
Praying for them to have comfort knowing the heavens are singing a glorious song today, Abigal's birthday.
Happy Birthday in Heaven, Abigal.
To offer the Dahlen support please visit their blog at

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Full Circle

Last fall it all began...I received a seemingly benign text message "there is a little girl with cockayne on a website for adoption"

I wrote back "how can you be sure she has cockayne?"

"oh...she does...go look"

When I first saw her little face I knew. She does have Cockayne.  And my heart broke. Would she ever, ever find her way to the arms of a mommy and a daddy? Who would come forward and say "this is my child." I spent hours sobbing, praying and felt God moving in my heart, burdening and breaking my heart for what breaks His.
Then something AMAZING happened. Through a beautiful woman named Adeye, God raised 20,000 in less than a week for Julia's adoption. Before the money was even raised one sweet hearted mama happened to be led to Adeye's blog. She had never read it before. She saw Julia's face and knew.
Julia was her child.
The Schwenzer family then embarked on a wild race to get to Julia. Along the way they realized they had not one but TWO precious children they would be bringing home.
They have been in Julia and Aaron's country for the past weeks and finally
the story has come full circle. Julia and Aaron are no longer orphans.
They are a daughter, a son, a brother, a sister, a granddaughter, a grandson.
No longer will Julia spend her days in a crib.
No longer will Aaron have to say he has been waiting his entire life for a family.

They are loved.

They are part of a FAMILY.
God has used this story of redemption for
His Glory.

Two more children forever held in the embrace of a family.
Praise God.
"And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. "