Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Prayer for Haiti

Today is a crucial day for the orphans of Haiti. Officials are meeting to decide whether or not to allow families with biological children to adopt these precious children. My friend Shelley, her husband Corrigan, and their two children are in the long process of adopting two boys from this impoverished country. They recently returned from there, where they met face to face these two little ones, Woodelson, 2, and Denilson, 8. I've seen their pictures, heard bits of their stories, listened incredulously as Shelley has spoken of the conditions of the orphanage; fifty children are cared for in a three bedroom home. And these fifty are blessed, because unlike so many other orphans in Haiti, they have a home. They are not roaming the streets begging for food; they are relatively safe and cared for compared to the many others who are not.
Thankfully, all fifty of the children in this particular orphanage are in the process of being adopted. Shelley told me though, that like them, around 75% of the families seeking to adopt these precious little ones have biological children. Many of these families have been to Haiti, have begun to establish love and trust with these children, and are now facing, through no decision of their own, the possibility of having to leave them orphans once again. My thoughts turn to Woodelson and Denilson; I see their smiling brown faces, the depth of their dark eyes, and I know that the love of God and of Shelley and Corrigan would give them a home, a family. And they are only two of the countless children in Haiti who could be left orphans if this decision is made today. Only two, out of fifty, out of so, so many.
Will you please join me in praying for God to have mercy on these children? Will you pray that as the rivers of water, He will turn the hearts of the officials toward them? And that instead of more delays, He will expedite the lengthy process of uniting these precious ones with the forever families that are waiting, loving, and praying for them? Thank you! And, if you are praying, please stop over at Shelley's blog and encourage her today as well. You can also see the many great shirts and things she's designed that celebrate adoption here. All proceeds will help bring their children home!
Finally, I want to share with you the words that Peregrine prayed this morning: "Dear Lord, please help all the orphans in Haiti to have food, and give them all families. And please help the people in the meeting to be right, and make it so people with kids already can adopt them. Amen" And amen!

Monday, December 17, 2007

On Becoming a Fish

"If only I had waterproof eyes!"

In these busy, and happy days leading up to the celebration of our Lord's birth, I hope you are all abiding in His joy and peace! Here are a few tidbits from life in our family:
  • Erik got the final installment of our Mexico pictures online. You can see them here.
  • I had this conversation with Peregrine while driving the other day: "Mom, I'm going to pray that God will turn me into a fish." I think my response was something along the lines of "Oh, why do you want to become a fish?" to which he replied "So that I can be a really good swimmer" And then, "Do fish have waterproof eyes?" I affirmed that yes, fish have waterproof eyes. "Good," said he, "then I'll pray that God will make me into one." He then asked if I'd like to become a fish too, but I said I was pretty happy being a human mama. To that he said "Well, you won't have a boy anymore." The next morning my boy, who was thankfully still a boy, asked me if fish have birthdays. I said that they have hatchdays, but they don't pay any attention to them; fish don't get to have hatchday parties, or presents, or cake. After a brief pause Peregrine said "Well, I guess I'll stay a boy then." I was quite relieved. I like fish and all, but I really like my boy. And I guess he weighed it out and decided that birthdays are even better than waterproof eyes.
  • I'm twenty-five weeks pregnant, and so thankful that everything is going well. "Pepito" is a very active little guy, and his kicks and thumps make me so happy and thankful. For those of you who know my sister Gloria, she and Okon are also having a baby, just a few weeks after we are! Thankfully, her pregnancy is also going well. And if that weren't enough, my sister Alyssa and her husband have begun the process of adoption, and hope that God will put two more children in their family in the next while. So we are all happily "expecting"!
  • Speaking of adoption, my friend Shelley has designed all sort of great shirts and other products that celebrate adoption. She and her husband have two beautiful boys in Haiti who are waiting to come home. If you or someone you know is adopting, has adopted, is adopted, or just wants to show their support of adoption, go and see! And if an order is placed by 3PM on Wednesday they will give you a free shipping upgrade so it can still be there in time for Christmas. The proceeds will help to finance their adoption.
Have a wonderful week preparing for Christmas!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Prayer for Saint Nicholas Day

Happy Saint Nicholas Day! (This is a repost from two years ago, but, other than the fact that my boy is five now, not three, and today we'll make muffins instead of cookies, it's still applicable. Look at how little he was!)

Today is Saint Nicholas Day, the day set aside by the ancient church to honor the life of Nicholas of Myra, a godly man who took the words of Jesus to heart. He inherited a large amount of money from his parents as a young man and used his means to help the poor and needy. He died on this day in 343 and is remembered as one whose life points to the Saviour.
I've always said that I would like to teach my children about the real Saint Nicholas and now my time has come! It's exciting for me to get to learn and teach all at the same time. And teaching a three year old really makes me have to find practical ways to demonstrate what we are learning. I've been trying to tell him how God blesses us not only so we can enjoy His gifts but so that we can share what He has given us with others. So this morning we baked cookies together for an upcoming outreach to the homeless in our community. It's so fun to watch Peregrine beginning to grasp these truths. I'm thankful for Saint Nicholas, and that instead of just ignoring Santa Claus we can teach our children about a real man who loved God and followed after Him. It is my prayer for myself and for my children that we, like Nicholas, would truly learn that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
"Almighty God,
who in your love gave to your servant Nicholas of Myra
a perpetual name for deeds of kindness on land and sea:
Grant, we pray,
that your Church may never cease to
work for the happiness of children,
the safety of sailors,
the relief of the poor,
and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever." (Contemporary Eastern Othodox Prayer)