Count of Chicks for Children

God's Plan For Us

This is our journey - God's incredible plan for our lives. When we followed the moving of the Holy Spirit, He opened the windows of Heaven and poured out upon us blessings we never dreamed of! Indescribable joy!

" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, September 19, 2014

Living in an Upside-Down World


We live in an upside-down world.

Why is it, that when you tell someone you’re adopting, you MANY TIMES get either a negative response or an indifferent one?

If I was telling someone I was buying a new car, moving to a new house, my husband was getting a promotion, a raise, or even won a trip in some give-away, they’d be excited.

But telling people you’re adopting usually seems to go something like this:

“Really? How many will that make?”

 “How in the world are you going to pay for that?”

“You’re a little old for that..”

“Are you sure you have thought this through?”

“Where in the world are you going to put them?”

“Don’t you think you have enough?”

“Why?”

There are also the looks of surprise, the looks that say we’re crazy, the long pause on the other end of the phone while they try to think of something to say, etc.

I usually move on without answering the questions, or give a quick answer, and try to change the subject. But today my heart wants to say what it is feeling.

How many -This will make me the mother of NINE children. Three are now grown, but I am fully aware that I have five at home and adding one more will make six.

Paying for it- We have been married 31 years. We have paid our bills on time – every time- by God’s grace Virgil has held a steady job throughout our marriage. We didn’t have much money when first married, and we learned quickly to budget. Though the pay has increased, our desire to live on a budget, and within our means, has remained. We do not have a lot of debt and we try to be good stewards of the money God gives us. God has provided in different ways for our other adoptions, and since He is calling us to do this, we know He’ll continue to be faithful in providing.

Besides all that – I am almost 50 years old and Virgil will soon be 52. We are not children who haven’t considered the financial part of things.

Also, since I am on the subject of age-
Yes, I am quite aware of my age. I realize that as our children grow into adulthood, that I may not be around to hold their children. Even so, I HAVE HELD MY CHILDREN, and they in turn will know how to love and nurture their own. None of us is guaranteed another day on this earth. For as long as I am here, I will love and encourage my children, and when I am gone, they will still have a large extended family that will continue to love them.

Thinking it through- We have thought this through more times than you can imagine. We have looked at all the facets, counted all the costs (I’m not just talking financial), and prayed over this decision for a while. This is not a flippant decision made on a whim. We are fully aware of the changes this will make. After all, we are the ones living it. We aren’t new to adopting, and we’re not new to children with special needs. I am the one who cares for the kids every day, takes them to every doctor appointment, sits through every surgery, wipes away the tears, fixes every meal, and washes every piece of clothing a family of our size goes through in a day. I am not wearing rose-colored glasses.

Room for another- our newest daughter will share a bedroom with her sisters that are almost the same age. I’d venture to guess that many other people shared bedrooms growing up and turned out fine. We’re probably one of the very few countries in the world that have such large houses for so few people. A smaller house allows us to be together more. We make efficient use of the space we have.

Enough kids- When I was growing up, I planned on having 3 kids. That held true for many years. But God had other plans. If you came to our house, you would see joyful children who love life. If you asked them, they would tell you they are LOVED. In many cultures a large family is a blessing. In our home, A LARGE FAMILY IS A BLESSING!!!!!!!

How many is enough? However many God says is enough. He now sets the number for the size of our household. Granted, our girls may not be able to do dance lessons, take lots of trips, or a plethora of other things kids in a smaller household could afford to do, but at the end of life, they will be able to say that we introduced them to God, tried to be a godly example for them, and encouraged them to live life fully.

Let’s also remember that if they hadn’t been adopted, they would never have had those opportunities either, and I can guarantee that those aren’t the things they were wanting.

THEY WERE WANTING A FAMILY! THEY WERE WANTING TO KNOW THAT SOMEONE CARED ABOUT THEM! THAT THEY MATTERED!!!

Which leads me to the why- When I am asked “why?” what I want to reply back with is
WHY NOT?

 Why not open our hearts and homes to a child who has waited years for love? Why not spend our money to make a difference instead of on that new car, or new home, or vacation? All those things will be gone in the blink of an eye. Only the difference we make in another’s life can last through eternity.

Showing them Christ’s love – there is no better thing we can do with our time and money.

God has called us to adopt again. We live in a world that thinks this is foolish, but-

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” 1 Cor 1:27

We are thankful and EXCITED to bring another child home. Soon there will be ONE LESS ORPHAN!!!

 

 

Another daughter coming home!

We are excited to announce -that hopefully sometime next summer- we will be adding another precious daughter to our family!!!! Her name will be Ettamei , and will be called Meimei (which is Chinese for little sister). She will turn 6 in a couple of months. She is from the same province as Xiaoyun. We are at the very beginning of our paper pregnancy, but it makes it so much easier already knowing the steps in the process. The girls are all very excited to bring Meimei home. We can't post a picture yet, but she is adorable!!

Soon there will be ONE LESS ORPHAN!!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Nini is doing well 4 weeks post surgery

Nini went back to the surgeon for a follow-up and all is looking great. The surgery has taken care of one of her main issues, and we are so thankful for that answered prayer!! I have been so surprised by how well she has done since the surgery. For a girl who likes to show me every boo-boo (real or perceived ;-)  ) she complained very little following the surgeries. Her hair is growing back quickly-which is a good thing. She has decided she doesn't like her 'Baba hair' and wants her long like the other girls. Thank you to all who have prayed for her and we ask that you continue to do so!! Blessings, Cindy

Lifeline is hosting children from China who need families

 
My friend, Annie, wants to get the word out about an opportunity (for people considering adoption) to meet some of the incredible kids waiting for families from China. If you know someone interested please share this info with them. Wouldn't it be wonderful if each of these children went back to China only long enough for their paperwork to be completed, and then back here to their forever families? What a blessing that would be!!
 



"Southern Hospitality 2014" Hosting Program
 
 
Lifeline Children's Services is excited to announce that we will be hosting twelve children from Kunming City, China as part of our first ever hosting program! The hosting program, "Southern Hospitality 2014," will be held in Hattiesburg, MS on October 12-26, 2014.
 
We are inviting families to join us in Hattiesburg to help us make "Southern Hospitality" a memorable experience for the children. The children, with ages ranging from six to thirteen years old, will be staying all together in one hosting home with translators and a representative from the orphanage. Families will be visiting with all of the children in the home, learning about them and their culture, and participating in activities throughout the week. Families will also have the opportunity to meet with a representative from the Kunming orphanage and interact with the Lifeline China team. As a part of the hosting program, the children will also be seen by a medical doctor associated with the International Adoption Clinic in Birmingham, AL.
 
Our goal in this endeavor is to shower these children with love, introduce them to the culture of the southern United States, and provide them with some unique experiences. This event is also an important element in our on-going development of our orphanage partnerships in China. Through our partnership orphanages we are able to serve the children of China, both adoptable and unadoptable, orphanage staff, directors, and government officials. We are grateful to be able to participate in an opportunity such as this one. Please join us in making this an unforgettable and life-changing experience for these precious children!
 
DATES: The dates families will be attending the program will be either 10/15-10/19 or 10/21-10/25; families will attend only one session (these dates are subject to change depending on the travel schedules of the children).

WHERE: Hattiesburg, Mississippi

CHILDREN PARTICIPATING: There will be twelve boys and girls, ages six to thirteen years old, with mild to moderate medical special needs.

FAMILY PARTICIPANT REQUIREMENTS: 
  • ALL families must have an accepted Lifeline application on file at the Lifeline offices.
  • Families must have a finalized home study from a Hague/COA agency.
  • If you do not have a finalized home study, there are requirements that will need to be met before you will be able to participate in the hosting program. These requirements will include FBI clearances, Adam Walsh clearances, medical statement, home inspection, etc.
  • These children will need to be adopted through Lifeline Children's Services. Lifeline will not be able to transfer these files to another agency.
  • Prior to the camp, we will be developing pools of interest for each child. We will not be matching children until the program has been completed. Once the camp has been completed, we will look at the pools of interest for each child and matches will be made in the best interest of each child.
  • Families will be responsible for their own travel/lodging/food/activity expenses. Lifeline has secured a block of hotel rooms in Hattiesburg where all participating families will stay. This information will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
For information on the twelve children and to find Frequently Asked Questions about the program, visit our website HERE.
 
If you are a family interested in participating in the hosting program, please contact Karla Thrasher at: 205.967.0811 or by e-mail at karla.thrasher@lifelinechild.org