Friday, April 29, 2011

"I Don't Want No Patience!"

As quoted(shouted) by a little 3 or 4 year old boy sitting at the table next to us during lunch today.

His grandmother was telling him that they had to wait for their food and that they were having to learn some patience.

I know his feeling--I'm sometimes there myself.  But not today.

Today I just quietly smiled at the little boy's honest answer. :)

Today -- I --was -- productive!

I sanded and put the first coat of primer on Leighanne and Hannah's bunkbed.  Here's what I got accomplished . . .

 I actually completed the whole first coat of primer.  So one day next week hopefully it will be painted with the final coat of paint.

And then we will "patiently" wait for another warm body to fill it! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Another waiting child who needs a family

I've said before that I want to advocate for waiting children this year.  So when I got an e-mail asking me to get this sweet girl's story out--I just had to.

She is a beautiful 13 year old who will age out of the system in November. Here's her story.

"Sara turns 14 in November, and she must be adopted before then or she will lose the opportunity for a forever family.  She has a prosthetic eye, but her vision in her remaining eye is good. She was abandoned at birth and raised by the person who found her until he passed away in 2006.  She then came to live at the orphanage.  She has good scores every term in school. She respects teachers and gets along well with fellow students. She has good language expression capability. She studies hard and is good at imitating. She is popular among students and teachers. Since admission she can care for her own life and knows how to wash clothes with a washing machine. She does house cleaning and her personal hygiene regularly. She loves little animal and stuffed toys. Generally she is an active, restless, confident, easy-going and popular girl.

Update 2/2011:  She loves playing sports and drawing. She is active, lively and gets along well with other children. She is outgoing, active, extroverted and sociable. She enjoys playing with other children and gets along very well with them. She is in Grade 6 in school. She is kind to younger students and often helps others. She can also help teachers keep order of class.  She is willing to be adopted by a foreign family. She hopes for a better living, learning and home environment. She believes it’s very helpful for her development in the future. However, she worries a little about language obstacles. She hopes she will overcome difficulties by her efforts and adapt to foreign environment as soon as possible. She looks forward to a warm, loving family."

My impression of her is that she seems very social and may adjust quickly to a new life. She will, of course, need special care and emotional support as she has already gone through some big changes. But overall a typical 13 year old! Due to the short time frame, her best chance is to be adopted by a family who is already traveling to China to adopt in the near future, or has adopted within the past 12 months and can use a copy of their dossier.

**Note if you want more info.  send me an email at:

Please pray for this sweet girl to find a family.  I watched a video Sunday about a family who had adopted several children.  Here is a quote from a 13 year old who had been adopted by this family.  She said, "We always have room for one more."  I can't help to think that someone has room for this one.

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's in an Airplane!

And it's making its way to China.

And hopefully we will get our Log In Date this next week.

Yep--Our dossier is on it's way!  After many months of gathering all the documents--this phase of Hannah Grace's adoption is over.

SO WHAT'S NEXT?  I know many of you are like me--wanting to know what's around the corner.

Well we will wait anywhere from 5 weeks to 12 weeks for our official referral of Hannah Grace.

Then we will wait for our Travel approval (3 to 4 months)--and then we will prepare to travel. 

This would be a Great, Fantastic, Marvelous time for you to join us in prayer.

Seriously--if it's God's will, we would love to travel before all the shutdown time in October.  (This is our desire--it may not be God's)   Pray for God's will for our family.  Pray that if we don't travel before then, that he will make all of the provisions necessary for the additional paperwork that we will need to get.

Pray for us during this wait time.  While I am comitting to appreciate everyday that I have with my family, I am aching to kiss those cute cheeks, hold that little girl tight, snuggle with Hannah and Leighanne for story time, paint toenails and fingernails, go feed the ducks at our pond, go camping and sit around the fire, and pray over another little Agee child. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Caught a Small Glimpse . . .

of what our future will soon be like.

Austin in his JROTC Uniform
Over spring break, Austin, our Junior in high school, went to Paris Island, SC for mini-boot camp.   He loved it.  Okay--I don't think he really loved getting up at 4:45AM, but the rest of it was good.  He came home telling us stories about their activities, and the discipline that they were taught.  Some stories were comical, and others involved drill sergeants yelling(need I say more?). 

That week I was struck by the thought that these short, few days away from home are soon going to become our reality.  In the very near future--after graduation next year--Austin will join the military.  He has chosen this path all by himself and with God's guidance.  I'll have to admit I was a bit surprised, he had never expressed a desire to go down this path.  But--this past fall semester--he came home from school one day and said, "I need yall to sign this paper because I'm dropping a class and joining JROTC."  A sign of a young man making decisions about his future. 

It has taken me a while to be okay with this decision.   I can not lie about it.  It is difficult for me to imagine my son fighting in a war somewhere so far away.  BUT then I had to remember the prayers that I have prayed for all of my children.  That God would direct their lives, that they would serve HIM faithfully no matter where life took them.  I had to realize again, that they are not mine, my children belong to God.  I had to remember the day that I prayed that God would use my children in mighty ways, even if it meant I would never see them on this side of Heaven again.  (okay little tears forming in my eyes--you may go away now!)

It was such a small glimpse, but it brought great perspective.   We only have a few short months left to make memories as the family that we are now.  Then Hannah will join our family, and we will become a new family with new memories.  Then Austin will graduate and begin his adult life, and we will make more adjustments.  All this change--in such a short time.

So today--I want to appreciate today for what it brings. 

And Austin--I'm PROUD of you son.  I respect your decisions for your future.  I know that God will continue to use you in mighty ways and that you will serve Him well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Simple E-mail

I got a simple e-mail the other day.

It sparked my interest because it was from someone wanting ideas about how to start an adoption/orphan ministry in their church.

For those of you that know me--this topic will catch my attention in a heartbeat. 

I  emailed this person back and I have committed to pray for this church and for the leaders undertaking this mission.

It's not a simple mission.

 If you've ever started an adoption/orphan ministry you probably know that some of your obstacles will come from within the building where the church meets.  Some Christians haven't had their eyes and hearts opened to the real need of the orphan.  They don't know that today--April 5, 2011 -- 26,000 children died or will die because they starved to death.  They don't know that today orphans all over the world will go to bed hungry, cold/hot and without someone to read a bedtime story to them.  They don't understand that boys and girls are being sold into the sex trade and will eventually die from the diseases they catch while being beaten and starved.  They don't understand that older orphans will age out of the orphanages around 16-18 years old with not much more than a few dollars and the clothes on their back be expected to make it on their own.  They don't know and sometimes, frankly, they don't want to know.

It's not fun to live with these stats--this is the kind of truth that will keep you up at night--praying to God to help you know what to do. 

It's the kind of information that will have you wondering--who will tell these children about Jesus?

As a child of God we are commanded to tell them about Jesus.  Some of these children live in the same neighborhoods with us--they are in our fostercare system.  Some of them are across the world.  Near or far, the command still stands--we are to tell them about Jesus. Sometimes this will mean meeting their physical needs while we share, but it really doesn't matter what platform you use to share the good news about Jesus--it's just imperative that we share.

So I'm committing to pray with this church for their orphan ministry--and I 'm going to ask you to pray for this church. 

  • Pray for the leaders organizing this ministry.  Pray for protection for their marriages and their ministry.  Pray for their families and homes.
  • Pray that God will lead them to the information they need to begin this ministry.
  • Pray that God will help them to have a clear direction and purpose for this ministry.
  • Pray that they will have unity and likemindness within their faith family.
  • Pray that they will keep the goal of sharing the good news about Jesus as their ultimate goal.
  • Pray that God will begin to work on the hearts of their faith family to soften their hearts towards orphans/adoption ministry.
  • Pray that God's will be done and that He alone will get the glory.
It's not an easy or simple mission to work towards, but what God leads us to do, He provides the resources.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I've been reading the book of Psalms--a lot lately.

I have yet to come away from reading this book where my heart need was not met.

Recently I read these words when I was praying for my brother-in-law David after his heart surgery, "My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever." Psalm 73:26

When I am thinking about Hannah Grace and all of the other 147 million orphans of the world, and I'm wondering, "God what else do you want me to do?"  These words usually come to mind: "Father to the fatherless, defender of widows--this is God, whose dwelling is holy.  God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy." Psalm 68: 5-6  I am reminded again that God is THE Father--he is sovereign--he is in control--he has a plan for every single life that is created.  We have to listen with open ears and an obedient mind to see what is our role and responsibility in making a difference.

When I want to take charge and rush off  to solve a problem--whether I'm supposed to or not . . .  I get reminded, "I wait quietly before God, for my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my fortress where I will never be shaken." Psalm 62: 1-2

When I lose focus about what's important in life, I go to these verses to be reminded of my brevity of life . . . "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered,  and that my life is fleeing away.  My life is no longer than the width of my hand.  An entire lifetime is just a moment to you: human existance is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.  We heap up wealth for someone else to spend.  AND SO, (Julie's emphasis) Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in YOU." Psalm 39: 4-7  I want my life to make a difference--to point others to God.  I know there have been many times when I have lost that focus and walked according to my wishes and my desires, so I constanlty need to be regrounded--refocused to God's ways.

If I need to be reminded of how to help guide my children and myself, I go to Psalm 119. "How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.  I have tried my best to find you--don't let me wander from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. " Psalm 119: 9-11

God speaks mightily through his word.  I personally like to read other books of the Bible and then spend a little bit of time in Psalm or Proverbs.  When I begin my day this way, I usually make better choices throughout my day.  When I miss my time in the word--well, let's just say that attitude is usaully lacking.

How has the Bible spoken to you lately?  Feel free to share in the comments.