Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Life IS Precious!

I know we all know this--but having just recently returned from Macon, GA having spent 7 days with my brother-in-law David and my sister, Kelley,  I now KNOW how precious Life really is.

One February 10th my brother-in-law started feeling like he was having a heart attack while driving from a client back to his office.  He felt so unusual that he called his office and asked them to call 911 and have an ambulance waiting for him when he returned to the office.  He was taken to one hospital then later transferred to another hospital that same day.  He wasn't diagnosed with a heart attack--his test kept coming back normal.  They decided to do a precautionary hearth cath because his enzymes finally showed abnormal.  Before the doctor went back, he told my sister Kelley that he would be able to let her know something at about 11 am.

At 11:02am--Kelley said she saw nurses start running back to the operating room --she knew it wasn't good news.  About 2 minutes later the doctor said, "We have to move him to the Coliseum Hospital right now--he has to have emergency open heart surgery."

David was diagnosed with an ascending aneurysm.  If you are in the medical field--you know this isn't good.  We now know that this kind of aneurysm is called, "the widow maker".  Most people that have this kind of emergency operation don't live to talk about it.

David was rushed from Warner Robins to Macon and in the operating room by 11:48.  One of the nurses later told us that they never stopped at ER--just strait to OR. 

The doctor told Kelley that the operation would last between 6 - 8 hours.  Prayers were going up all across Georgia and other states.  David's life was literally in the hands of Jesus.

I know many of you were praying--I just want to think you so much.

When the doctors were finished removing the aneurysm, they discovered that David had a Bicuspid aortic valve, and had to replace it.  Amazingly his heart was working at 30%.

It was a long day for everyone.  We arrived at the hospital around 7:45 pm.  When we got there the doctor had just told Kelley that even though surgery was finished, David wasn't doing well and was bleeding alot.  His blood pressure was going up.  David again was in for the fight for his life.

A few minutes later a nurse came in and told us that he was stable and okay.  That his blood pressure had settled down.

My sister Karen and I stayed with our sister Kelley in the CVICU waiting room--it was a long night.  Kelley was able to go back and see David around 1:30 am.  He was resting/sleeping.

Over the next few days David received 4 more pints of blood, and his kidneys were not functioning properly.  But through it all, God continued to work and David's hemoglobin and kidneys finally made a turn around.

David was able to go home on Sunday the 20th.  That is a miracle all in it's self. 

What some of you may not know is that Kelley and David were in the process of moving when all of this happenend.  It was amazing when the school that Kelley works at came in and packed up most of the house, and then Kelley and David's church moved the furniture and everything else during the time they were in the hospital.  God worked things to give a sweet blessing to my sister and brother-in-law.

Please continue to pray for God to use their testimony for His Glory.  Pray that lives will be changed.  Pray that David and Kelley get to have special bonding time during the recovery time.  Pray for their four boys as they go through this--that God will use this in a mighty way.  Pray for me that I will remember daily that Life is Precious and not take that for granted.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Waiting Angel in China . . .

I want to be better about advocating for children in need--this just came across my inbox.

This 13 year old only has a few months left before it will be too late for her to find a forever family.  I do not know any more about her than this information that was sent to me--but God knows all about her and her needs.  We know that she needs a family--now.  Pray about opening your home--we've all been blessed to bless others.  See if God is calling you to be her Mom and Dad.

Makayla was born August, 1997. She must be adopted before her 14th birthday, or she will no longer be eligible to find a forever family. She can use her legs well, but her upper arms are difficult for her to use. She has learned to use her feet to do things instead of her hands. We have some amazing photos of her coloring, using a computer, and completing household tasks. She can read the numbers 1-1000 and do calculations. She knows Pin-yin, can read well, understands the use of more than 500 Chinese characters, and knows color, shape and direction. She can eat, drink, wash her hands and face, take a bath and dress herself without help. She can write and draw with her foot, sweep the floor, put her things in order, and change the bed cover. She communicates with others freely and gets along well with everybody. She adapts to new environments quickly and can express her feelings and needs. She also has a strong sense of morality and is kind to everyone. She focuses carefully on whatever she is doing and is good at observing and describing her surroundings. She is cooperative with adults and helpful with the younger children. She is a Great Wall Special Focus child. She is #944 on our photo list.

If you want more info. on how to contact Great Wall let me know.

PLEASE PRAY for Makayla to find a home.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Have you ever been guilty of having "little" faith?

I have--I don't like to admit it--because it feels bad.

When God opened up the world to Hannah--I have to admit I was scared and hopeful all at the same time.  You know we have been on this adoption journey 4 times. 

Leighanne's adoption journey began in 2000 and was fulfilled in November 18, 2002 when she was placed in our arms and we completed the paperwork hours later.

November 18, 2002 Changsha, China
 When Leighanne had been in our home around 10 months, God opened our eyes to a beautiful 13 year old who wanted a family--and we felt God saying, "Take this journey again."  And boy was that a journey--down some roads that openend our eyes widely to corruption in the adoption world and pain and heartache.  We completed 4 dossiers and went through a job loss, a move and finally her city closed down adoptions before her paperwork could be processed-- and still Madina was not able to join our family.  At the same time however, God was opening our eyes to the millions of children who never get a forever family--and over time and many months of prayer and faith and hope, God made something good come out of that journey to Madina--a transition home for orphans who graduate out of the orphanage was opened and is still open today.  Over the years, 6 young ladies and 1 male (in December 2010) have come into a relationship with Christ.  That still makes me sit back and say, "WOW!"

August of 2003 when Madina stayed with us for 4 weeks
Then in 2009, God nudged us again.  "Take another walk with me."  So we did and this time it led us to Foster Care here in the United States.  We were hoping to Foster/Adopt another little girl--Taylor, but again we ran into obstacles when her biological Father came into the picture.  Taylor now lives with her biological dad and stepmom and from what we hear she is doing ok.  And we are thrilled for her.

Our Family pictures with Taylor in 2009

So why after all of these journeys do I sometimes have little faith?  I know how faithful God has been to me.  He has proven Himself over and over.  He has led us down roads that I haven't always wanted to walk down, and sometimes they were scary, but oh the peace that has been there from knowing that we were In God's will.

So today I confess my weakness of having doubts--of asking, "God are you really going to let Hannah come home?"  and  I will take my eyes off of Me--and just be thankful for getting to walk on another journey.  A journey that has ups and downs and turns and twists.  And I will ask God for more Faith when mine seems to wander.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ME, ME, ME... Oh yeah--ME!

Before you think I've lost my mind (and I know some of you just might), I want to tell you about what God has really been showing me for a while.

I've been apart of a Women's Bible Study and for the last few months we have been going through a book called, Radical by David Platt. (DO NOT READ IT UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE CHALLENGED)

We finished Chapter 4 today--do you want to know what is making me think???

This . . .

"God loves ME" is NOT the essence of biblical Christianity.  Because if "God loves ME" is the message of Christianity, then who is the object of Christianity?" ME--ME--ME...Oh yeah--ME!

"The message of biblical Christianity is not "God loves me, period," as if we were the object of our own faith. The message of biblical Christianity is "God loves me so that I might make Him--His ways, His salvation, His glory, and His greatness--known among ALL nations."  (From Radical)

 This means that God is the focus--and well--He's God--He should be the focus!  If He doesn't get the focus in our lives then we are getting the focus and--we haven't done anything to deserve the focus.

When you think about your life and you look at it through this view--you have to start asking questions a little differently.  "Where should I live?" changes to "Where does God want me to live that will bring Glory to Him and make Him known among All nations?  The focus shifts--it's not about ME anymore it's about God!

I'm not sure what changes this will bring to our family--We've certainly stopped trying to guess when our family size will stop changing--but who knows what other opportunities God might put on the table?

The answer:  God, God, God ... Oh yeah--only God knows the Answers!