Monday, March 23, 2009

Please pray for baby Stellan

Hi all,
I have several favorite blogs - my husband will forever regret introducing me to the blogging world! Well, several have posted about baby Stellan today. Please pray for this little guy - at first there were serious concerns when we was in utero, and now he is several months old, but having heart trouble. It sounds like it came on unexpectedly, but is very serious. Please pray for this little guy and his family. Their story and blog can be found at Baby Stellan. It is an amazing story of faith and love, and they are in a hard spot right now.

It reminds me that many of the things that I worry about are completely in God's hands, and I need to let him handle it. But to do that with grace, me the control freak???? If something needs to be done, well, just let me get on it. Sometimes I think God is teaching me something about that through our entire family journey. I need to do all that I can, and leave the rest up to God. Unfortunately, I am a really hard worker, so I come up with lots that I can do! Oh, well, I am moving along, really I am. I keep trying.

So, please pray for baby Stellan, and hug all your little ones tonight (or not so little ones as my growing boys like to keep reminding me - but I am still taller than they are!!!). God loves us all and he promises us a hope and a future, but sometimes it doesn't come out the way we thought it would. Actually, hubby and I had a great time laughing about that on Sunday as Pastor Mark was preaching about change that is forced on us - as we all see in today's current economic climate lots of change is forces upon us - but we have seen so many changes in our life that had you asked us even ten years ago - we would have never believed it. And I am so grateful. But many of the changes are things we didn't sign up for - or were results that we didn't see coming from things we did sign up for. And we are different people because of it. And I am so glad. I hope we are more interesting!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why there is so much to do...

I was just reading a blog of a woman who recently returned from Ethiopia after adopting three sisters. She expressed very well what I have had such a hard time facing and putting into words.

We long ago knew that we were supposed to be "the hands and feet of Christ", that for our family, that meant action. I'm not very good at sitting still - now all my friends can quit laughing or shaking their heads. I don't understand theory, but I do understand action. If there is a problem, well, something must be done. I get very frustrated with discussing things. Committees are not something I can be part of - the hands on action - oh, yes, but talking about it, no.

When we adopted Zeri and Solly, our eyes were opened to the intense needs all over the world. We had always known of them in a vague sense, but this was concrete. It see it, to smell it, to be right there and be unable to do anything (though many argued that we were doing something), it was so hard. And to come home to our affluence (even though we are far from it by American standards, we live very simply and like it that way, well, it was overwhelming. And to have the resources that we have - our home, our knowledge, my specialty with special needs kids, all of that - left us feeling that we were not done. And we aren't. I don't know that means. It does mean that we are on our way for A and A. It seems to move at a snail's pace some days, but that is the way it goes. I know that we can offer help for the older A. I know that what is truly a life threatening disease (diabetes) is manageable here, not well at all there. And without the hope of an adoption, eventually, A would be turned out, and I don't know that he could get the insulin his life depends on. What is so frustrating is that our fridge stores several vials of insulin, sitting right here! We have all the syringes, the testing supplies, everything (Kiley uses them, but we could so easily have enough for both within days). And I cannot get to him fast enough. As we see Kiley go through things, I think constantly of A - what care is he getting, how are they handling these things for him? I just cannot even ask. I know his prescriptions, and I know that he is terribly thin. I know that this is a result of very high blood sugars and I know what it is doing to his body for both the short and long term. And the need to rush is so intense.

So, all I feel that I can do right now is to raise awareness for other kids, to work my butt off (really tired right now as I have the opportunity to work extra hours - every hour moves us closer to bringing the boys home), to spread the word of the need of all these kids. Please pray for all the kids all over the world who suffer, here and all over. Please pray that we all will be able to look beyond what seems to make sense in our affluent life. The wealth that we all have, even when it doesn't feel like it in these economic times, is life for so many. I know that there are so many kids who will be left behind, because they aren't perfect or have issues, they will be determined to be unadoptable and left behind, sometimes to die. Please pray, please allow God to speak to you about what you can do, please show support for families who are stepping out to do this. I have such a hard time explaining why we would do this - knowingly adopt a child with needs, knowingly adopt older children instead of a baby, why even with five kiddos, two already adopted as older kids, and one bio kid with medical needs - haven't we done enough?

No.

What if we could save one more? What if one more could know the love of a family, the hope for a future, the opportunity to grow up in faith? How could anyone turn away? If it means that we don't have new furniture? If it means that we don't have new TV's or fancy clothes? If it means we live in a house that we are working on? If we don't have the fanciest or the newest thing? If it means that we budget carefully? It is a no brainer. Of course we don't need those things. What a blessing of growing children, growing in faith and in love. Nothing material will ever be an even exchange - it is just stuff, transitory.

So please go to this blog link, as she shares her heart so well. I wish I did. It is all so hard, and I can only face trying to put it into words a little at a time. There is a video at the end that is truly heartbreaking, but really puts it into perspective about doing "something". Everyone can do something, no matter where they are, no matter their situation. Sometimes it is just hard to see.
Putting it into words

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Winter must come to an end, but in the meantime...

Tomorrow, or at worst case on Thursday, we again begin our last ditch effort to make winter go away. We have discovered winter sowing.

Winter sowing is a method of allowing nature to take its course, and still get your plants going for early gardening. And heaven knows, here in WI, we really need to maximize our growing seasons! LOL!

So we will break out all the milk jugs we have saved (the one up side to being out of fresh goat milk - we have accumulated these) and begin the process. It is best to totally empty the kitchen table first, and get all the leaves in the table to maximize space.

Step 2 - gather all the kids around the table and divy up seed packets.

Step 3 - get out the bag of potting soil - Mom gets control otherwise we really have a horrible mess. I don't mind cleanup, but I would prefer that it not be on the ceiling fan!

Step 4 - cut open the milk jugs, leaving one end attached so it can be taped shut again - a mini greenhouse.

Step 5 - put soil in the milk jugs, soak the soil.

Step 6 - gently put seeds in the dirt - read the planting directions, but mostly they just get lightly pressed into the soil.

Step 7 - push the top of the milk jug back into place and duct tape it gently closed.

Step 8 - put the entire contraption (label it somehow so you will know what it is - and permanent marker fades in the sunshine - we discovered this last year with a lot of plants we ended up having to figure out what they were!) out in a snowbank somewhere . At our house that means away from where the dogs will knock them over, away from where the chickens investigate too thoroughly, and where they won't get trampled when we all get to feel some warmth in the air.

This year we are planning along one side of the house - the porch didn't work last year at all, they got knocked over too many times.

Then you just let nature take its course - the natural freeze and thaw will remind the seeds when they are really supposed to sprout, for their own type. As the weather warms and things become more temperate, simply start making holes in your little greenhouse. By the time it is just full of holes, your plants should be hardened off enough that you can simply take the top off. Let it sit like that a little longer and then transplant into your garden! Ta-da!

So, then you will have early started plants, to really get you off to a good start on your garden. I like the idea, but we are working out the bugs for what works for us at our place.

It makes for a great "wishing for spring" activity for everyone. I end up totally planning out my garden, and then changing my mind about where I want things put, but it sure makes it feel like it is around the corner. Some folks start in January, but we are just doing it now, and we have enough winter left here anyway.

There are some great websites about winter sowing, so do a google search and have fun! And enjoy fresh produce from your own garden this summer for a fraction of the price of greenhouse plants.