Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September Summer Fun Wrap Up

Mercy meditating to keep her mind off of the boo boo on her foot ;-) ...












Tutus and Teddy Bears






Owasso Community Center


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Day Trip to SDC

Steve's parents are so sweet and generous & have given us season passes to Silver Dollar City every Easter for many, many years now. We go every year in November when their Christmas season starts then we usually like to go at least once or twice during the spring and fall. We had a free day recently so we took advantage of the beautiful weather and headed to Branson. We missed Kenzie going with us but she had to work. However; Abby's friend, Emily, also joined us in the fun...
















Thursday, July 27, 2017

Uganda Education Fundraiser

Friends, I have created sets of "Uganda ABC flash cards" and would like to sell them to raise $ for our Ugandan friend, Francis Onyinge, to go to college. I met Francis back in 2012 on my second trip to Uganda. He was our driver and we fell in love with him from the first minute we met him. He continued to be one of our favorite drivers on my next three trips to UG & his family became a part of ours. He and his sweet wife, Harriet, have amazing testimonies. It's been so neat to see how God has used them & continues to bless their lives.











So to the point of this blog post... Francis only has one more year to finish college then he can fulfill his lifetime dream of being a teacher in Uganda. Selling these cards are just one small way I thought we could all help him accomplish his goal. The flash cards are about 4"x6" and are printed on card stock, then laminated. I am asking a minimum donation of $25 (Francis will receive $10 plus any extra donations that are given for each set sold. This cost includes shipping.)




If you'd like to purchase a set, please fill out the google form at this link and I will be in touch with you as soon as your cards are made. (And thank you for your patience as I complete the orders. I thought I'd only have a few but I received about 22 orders the first day I posted about them. It takes me about half an hour to complete one set so delivery dates are currently about 2-3 weeks out.)

I came up with the idea for these cards because our family has two adopted kiddos from Uganda. We also homeschool and I thought this would be a fun way for them to learn their letters & sounds & to remember important parts of their culture. I also recently sent a set with a team from Project Hope Worldwide to use at their school in northern Uganda. 


It was so neat to be sent this photo of one of the children using the cards. I hope it makes learning a little more fun for them!


Thank you for your purchases and for giving Francis hope for a better future!

#lovebig #educationgiveshope #Uganda #beaworldchanger

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Refugee Crisis Resources

Our oldest daughter, Kenzie, and I had the opportunity last night to welcome eight Burmese refugees that arrived at the Tulsa Airport.




Fox 23 News asked us a few questions for a facebook live video. I know I shouldn't be, but I am shocked at the hateful comments on this video. Comments like "Send them back!", "We can't even take care of our own vets, why should we take care of you?!", "We don't need refugees! Our teachers need help!" One lady even said (speaking of Kenzie and I), "If them girls love these people so much MOVE OVER THERE!" Wow. All I can say is wow.




Yes, we have to be smart about who comes into our country. And yes, we should do background checks and take necessary precautionary measures to keep our nation strong and protected. But we can not and should not rob families of hope for a better future. It's only by God's providence that American citizens are living in the States & have the privileges we do. We do not pick the family we are born into. Of course if you lived in another country where you were persecuted, poor, or lived in an unsafe area, you would want a better life, too. And you would probably do whatever you could to save your family.

That's what these people are doing. They are not here illegally. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Tulsa are helping these sweet families and local families help sponsor them so they are not taking money away from education or from our State as so many people think. Put yourself in their position. Educate yourself and stop the hate.

Kenzie wrote the following  last night after reading a lot of the hateful comments on the Fox 23 live facebook video. I think she's got a lot of wisdom that adults could definitely gleam from...

"Tonight I had the privilege of welcoming Burmese refugees who had been waiting approval to immigrate to our country. Let me tell you, it was beautiful. In our society today we put labels on immigrants saying that all come to destroy America. Not all come with that intention! The two families that were welcomed tonight had been fleeing persecution! They had to wait for months and months to be approved to come here.

These are the stories we need to hear. These are the people that need opportunities. Yes, there are bad foreigners, but there are good foreigners as well. Love has come down for all. The orphaned, the widowed, the impoverished, the persecuted, the marginalized. Jesus died for every soul on this earth and everyone needs Him. America supports freedom of religion and these refugees had been denied of that. Just as these amazing people have new opportunities at life in the land of the free and the home of the brave, they are now free to worship their Creator! America was built on refugees who craved freedom. Yes there are exceptions to who we let in, but many refugees want to come to America because of persecution. This is what our founding fathers came for. Why should it be different for those now?

I also posted this to remind everyone that not all live in a nation that can do whatever they want. Some are trapped, threatened, and forced to do things they don't want to do. So I post this to say please be thankful that you live here. Most of you are not being murdered or persecuted for the way you live or your lifestyle. So be grateful and show love because you can.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always PERSEVERES." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 @ Tulsa International Airport

If you would like to learn more about refugees coming into our country & how we can support them, please check out these resources...

ARTICLES:




CONFERENCES/AWARENESS OPPORTUNITIES:




ORGANIZATIONS: 









Ali is 13 years old and a child refugee from Syria. He and his family were forced to flee from their homeland by the violence and bombings of the civil war. Now Ali lives in a tented settlement in Lebanon. (Video by WorldVision)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Adoption & Foster Care Resources

I have several friends who are currently considering adopting or fostering or are new to it, so I thought I'd gather a few helpful resources for anyone interested in learning more. These resources are also great for those who have already adopted and/or fostered, as well.

(And please leave a comment if you have an adoption, foster care, or orphan care resource you'd like to share, too! )

As a personal testimony, I never considered adoption for our family up until about 5 or 6 years ago when I was in my early 40's. After I went on my first trip to Uganda, Africa, my eyes were opened. I began to hear how there were so many kids in orphanages around the world and I began to think about how wrong that is. Kids need to be in families, not orphanages. And kids everywhere deserve families, no matter where they live.

Not everyone is called to foster or adopt but there is something everyone can do to help promote good and appropriate orphan care practices. And if you can make room in your house and in your hearts, why not consider it? We can't imagine life without our two little ones! They've changed us forever! <3


ADOPTION CONFERENCES & EVENTS:

(CAFO - typically held in May)

(Typically in February & March in Buford, GA)

(Typically in April)

(Saturday before Thanksgiving)

(Typically in October in Irving, TX)

(Nov. 9th)


BLOGS:

(Our adoption story about bringing home our son, Asher, in April 2013)

(Our adoption story about bringing home our daughter, Mercy, in March 2016)






BOOKS ON ADOPTION & ORPHAN CARE:







FUNDRAISING:


(Breakfast Fundraiser in Owasso, OK)












LOCAL TO OKLAHOMA ADOPTION AGENCIES:



ORPHAN CARE:


(Saddleback Church)






PODCASTS & SERMONS:

(Voddie Baucham)


(John Piper)








SUPPORT GROUPS IN THE TULSA AREA:

ECHO
(Support group that meets in Tulsa at Southern Hills Baptist Church on Wednesdays at 6:30-8pm, Room 202)

The Legacy Network
(Support group that meets in Owasso)

Tulsa Area Adoptive Moms
(Facebook support page)


TULSA AREA ADOPTION ATTORNEYS:

Becki Murphy

Paul E. Swain

Stacy Acord


TULSA AREA HOMESTUDY & POST-PLACEMENT REPORT PROVIDERS:

Cathy Chalmers

Dillon International

Jennifer Giles

Nightlight Christian Adoptions


VIDEOS:



(Rick & Kay Warren)
SaveSave

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016 Celebrations

Christmas Celebration #1:


Our first celebration was with my mother, sister, & her boys a few days before Christmas...




Christmas Celebration #2:


Asher & Mercy were so excited Christmas morning to open their stockings and gifts. It's so fun to experience this special holiday through the eyes of a young child once again...

Christmas Eve - leaving cookies & milk for Santa

"Helping" Abby fix breakfast


The Christmas Story according to Asher and Mercy...



Christmas Celebration #3:


Christmas afternoon was spent at Steve's aunt's house in Claremore. They always have such delicious food & it's always fun to catch up with all of his extended family. Unfortunately, no pics were taken but yummy food was consumed ;-)

Christmas Celebration #4:


We celebrated with Steve's family the day after Christmas. My favorite part is always receiving homemade gifts from the kids that they made with their Nanny and Poppy and Steve's mother always gives me something she made, as well...














Christmas Celebration #5:

Our last Christmas celebration was at my parent's house in OKC. It was so great to see my Uncle David & Aunt Barbara from San Antonio. I haven't seen them in many years and it was their first time to meet Asher and Mercy. It was also good to see my four sisters and the cousins had fun playing outside as it was a very nice, warm winter day...







We have so much to be thankful for this Christmas season but especially for our little Mercy. This time last year she was in a babies home in Africa. It was the only life she ever knew. Now she has a family that loves her a ton and hope for a better future. She's our Christmas miracle.