Friday, July 30, 2010

From the Inside Out

Lots of changes are happening within our family. Most of the change is occurring inside of us. We have been looking at our lives through a new set of spectacles - our hearts are changing. We have new rules in our house - rules that have to deal with respect for one another and we are working on new eating habits - habits that will help us take better care of our bodies.

Lately, the song, "From the Inside Out" by Hillsong has been our family's theme song. We are open to God changing us from the inside so that the change He has performed in us will help us better express His heart on the outside.

"From the Inside Out" began as mine and Samson's song.

Several months ago, I put in place a nap time routine with Samson that first began with the two of us dancing to music. I held him and danced in slow motion while we looked in each other's eyes. This was great for attachment purposes - good close body contact and eye contact.

One of the songs we danced to was "From the Inside Out". Then one day, Samson heard the song on the radio when we were driving in the car and he said, "Mommy! This is our song Mommy! This is our song!"

From then on, this is the only song we slow danced to before nap time. Each day, after we finished our lunch, I would play this song and we would dance together, looking in each other's eyes.

His Baptism day was approaching, so during one of our dances, I told him about his Baptism. Then I said, "Maybe they will play our song at your Baptism".

The Baptism service came and Samson was baptized at the beginning of the church service. After our family returned to our seats, the worship team sang "From the Inside Out." Steve was holding Samson at the time but he peered over his dad's shoulder with a big smile.

Now Samson doesn't take naps as often, so I try to grab my young man for a dance any opportunity I can get.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Want to help? Join the fight!

Go to their store and purchase a T-shirt! Although we are happy with the overall total sales so far, we did not meet our goal of selling over 60 the second week. But we are not losing hope because the sales still continue.

In case you are not familiar with Drawn From Water, let me update you...

Drawn From Water (DFW) is an organization that serves in Southern Ethiopia (just recently, they have been able to disclose their location). They rescue kids who would otherwise be drowned because of their tribe's superstitious beliefs. When a family from this tribe faces losing their child, they now have the option to have their child rescued by DFW. Finding and rescuing children from this fate is not easy and requires many resources.

One rescue, in particular, involved flying in by helicopter right to a hut in a remote place to rescue a child that had been in hiding until the DFW team could get to them. Unfortunately, there have been times the DFW team has been too late.

The profits from the sales of these T-shirts goes towards the costs of rescuing and caring for the children.

Our family has become passionate about helping this organization. We want to do all we can to help support their cause -  to help save lives.

Will you join us in this fight?

Not only does DFW get a big portion of each T-shirt sold, but wearing the shirt, gets people asking. They will ask about the organization and about the names. In return, some people will want to join you in this fight.

About the names on the T-shirt...
The first child rescued through their efforts was Bale. Bale's name is on the T-shirt with the next 8 children rescued. Just typing this, brings tears to my eyes. The children rescued each have a name and a face (see the DFW video). Right now, I am wearing the Caribbean colored shirt with the names of the first children rescued - who at one time faced a death sentence. They now have a future and with your support, you will give more children hope for a future.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Fun

I have had very little time to blog this summer. When the kids are home from school, I like to spend time with them. We have created so many fun memories so far as a family this summer.

First a couple weeks ago, we stopped by the Mehaber (an event for Ethiopian adoptive families put on by our agency) on our way up north for our vacation. We met up with one other family part of our travel group that we had not seen since we returned home. Pete, Paula, Michael and Sid, after all we experienced with them in Ethiopia, will always feel like family to us. We just wish we didn't have to cut our visit so short.

We also met many families that I recognized from the forum and spent a few minutes talking to Tanya and Eric and their 2 boys - so good to see their family again too! Again, wish we could have hung out longer but we had a 4 hour drive waiting for us.

Another fun moment for our family was when we recognized an older boy from the orphanage when we picked up Samson. We introduced ourselves to the family and both Samson and the Solomon remembered each other. It was clear by the looks on the boys' faces that they were a little confused.

Samson's favorite part of the event:

Free hair braiding:
Our agency had this beautiful display at a booth. So many items that brought back so many memories of Ethiopia.

Then, finally....our vacation up north!!! There is no place like Ely!!! We went boating, skiing, swimming, hiking, grilled, made smores over a wood burning fireplace, took very few showers, spent time in the Word, put together puzzles, played games, relaxed, napped, fished, sat in the sauna, shopped, drank coffee and watched beautiful sun sets.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Over 60!

10 days ago Drawn From Water launched the sale of their new T-shirts. In just 10 days, over 60 shirts have been sold and shipped to their new owners. Over 60 shirts are making their way to their new homes all over the US and one home in Canada!

I have a dear friend who processed each order as they were received and she reports how it brought her complete joy to see the interest from those who want to help promote Drawn From Water (DFW) by purchasing and wearing a T-shirt.

Our family has a special interest in this fundraiser. We are excited to watch the sales this week and continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support from Drawn From Water followers.

This week, the goal is to sell 60 more.

So, if you have not purchased a T-shirt, please consider doing so. If you don't wear T-shirts, buy one to give as a gift to someone who will wear one. They are only $23 and a big chuck of that goes to DFW.

I own one of each color. I have worn mine several times and they wash up beautifully. My family traveled up north last week where there were cooler temperature days and I wore my Caribbean blue shirt with a long sleeve white T underneath. So, don't be nervous about Fall coming because they look great layered as well.

You can't go wrong with either color choice. Trust me, when I say that they look even more beautiful in person!

Go to the store to order yours today!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Drawn From Water T-shirts!!!!

Our family has been abundantly blessed with the addition of our new son and brother. Now, we have the opportunity to give back to our son's homeland by partnering with an organization that serves there.
The name of the organization is Drawn From Water (DFW). If you don't already know their story, please go to their website to learn more.

In short, DFW rescues children from tribes who face the death penalty because of superstitious tribal practices. DFW now runs an orphanage for the children they have rescued and continue their rescuing efforts. A few of the children have already been placed with their forever adoptive families. They currently care for more than 20 children in their orphanage.

The first children were literally rescued from the very same river where they would have been drowned, which is how they chose the name, Drawn from Water.

Now, for the first time, they are offering T-shirts for sale!!

The T-shirt is the outline of Africa with "It Began with Bale", the first child rescued, at the top of the continent, followed by the next 8 children rescued after Bale.

Take a Look at what God has done by checking out the new on-line store and the new T-shirts!! They are very cool!! The shirts are only $23, which includes shipping in the U.S.!! Buy one of each color for yourself. Buy one of each color for your spouse. Buy them as gifts for friends and family.

Please join me and help spread awareness of this organization by posting this on your blogs, Facebooks or any other way you prefer to communicate on-line. 100% of the profits will go to DFW and towards their efforts to rescue children!!
Go visit the store to learn all the details.

 They offer the shirt in two brilliant colors:

                            Caribbean Blue                                                                    


Smoke Grey

Save this site in your favorites or link it to your blog. There are more items coming to the store soon!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A few things...

Many of you have been following Drawn From Water and their efforts to literally rescue kids who will be killed by their tribes. Levi recently wrote a great post titled "The African Myth". Please take a minute to read Levi's post and the great conversation following it through the comments. Our family struggles with what to do with this very same thing.

However, we have found one way to help an organization serving in Africa. Like I have mentioned before, we have partnered with a few other families to create something. When I was first given this opportunity, I was overwhelmed because I have never done anything like this before. Each piece of this project has been something I have had to learn and rely on God to help me through.

If it was something that I had experience with, I would not need God. My plan would most certainly get in the way of God's plan. God pulled this project together so that we have no one to glorify but Him.

That's why I struggle with sharing this news. It is such an amazing experience to watch God orchestrate
and pull this entire project together. I don't mean to sound so mysterious but I'm struggling with the announcement of this project because I don't want it to look like I'm tooting my own horn or that I'm saying "Look what I have done!"

However, I would like ALL of you to have an opportunity to join me on this endeavor, so when I show you what I God have has been up to, I'll present it as, "Look what God has done!" And just so you know,  God will be wrapping this up for the big reveal very very soon!

Also, just a quick update on our attachment progress...

We can almost see the finish line with the sun shining bright in the background at the end of our marathon run. Our first 8 months home, we ran some very long uphill miles in stormy weather. After 9 months home, we ran these miles in more mild weather. Now, almost 11 months home, I can say with much confidence that our stormy days are over. We feel a weight lifted and so good about the progress we have made with attachment.

Those of you who have been home fewer months than 10 or 11, please do not lose hope. Keep working hard at attachment and you will be in this place soon.

The first 8 - 9 months, these two struggled to get along. But look at them today! It was Samson's idea to crawl into this sleeping bag with Avery to snuggle. These two are now inseparable:

And Samson has become very accustomed to being "Daddy's Boy":

One last thing..

Happy 4th of July!!
(Stay Cool)

Friday, July 2, 2010

"Lord I'm Amazed By You"

I want to share with you a project that our family and a few other families have been working on but it's not quite time to make public yet. I'm waiting on one more thing and can't wait to show you!! Maybe today - if not today, then soon!

So in the meantime, I wanted to share a story of something that happened shortly after we returned home with Samson. Yesterday, while I was driving, I heard the song, "Lord I'm Amazed by You" and I was reminded of this...

Samson and I joined a local adoptive family play group that meets at McDonald's once a month. Our first time there, only a few weeks home, I was sitting chatting with the mothers while the kids were playing in the playground. Samson had bravely ventured off to the playground with a new friend.

As the mothers and I were chatting, I heard a child singing at the top of their voice, "Lord I'm Amazed By You". It was beautiful! The child sang these words over and over. I smiled to myself because I play this song a lot in the car.

Then it dawned on me, this was Samson singing!! This was my son singing in this amazing loud and beautiful voice!! My son who knew very little English at the time sang the words with much clarity.

I looked up to find his face peering down right at me from a window in one of the climbing things. When he saw I noticed, he stopped singing, blushed and came running to me.

He knew very little English but he heard this song often enough that the words had grown on him.

Isn't our God Amazing?!!