Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Making 1 Difference

The following post is copied from our Orphan Care Ministry--LOVEM Care Ministries found at

Please read and pray for God to send new 1's!


There is power in that number.

Because 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1
= Many Differences for Orphans

A real and lasting difference.

Food. Clothing. Shelter. Water. --The Basics of Life.

Love. Home. Family.-- The Heart of Living.

School. Education. Training.-- The Chance to Live with Purpose.

Bibles. Jesus. Forgivess. A relationship. -- The Gift of Eternal Life.

Discipleship. Growth. Evangelism. -- Living to make a Difference in Others.

These are the Differences You Can Make In a Child's Life.

The Difference between Life and Death exist in the number 1.

1 Person whom has been blessed with much can choose to give to 1 whom has little.

And together with our Christian brothers and sisters in other countries who are on the ground making differences daily, your 1 will provide a place for an orphan to live, to go to school, and to hear about Jesus.

This is from an update we received from our "House of Hope" in Central Asia. Because of the location of our house we can not provide specifics of locations or names. All names have been changed to protect the identity of the workers.

(This update is written by the house parent Scott.)
In October we celebrated Zane's birthday. It was a time of warm wishes and celebration. This was a stark contrast to his early life celebrations. When Zane was 6, his parents sent him, his brother and his sister to live in the orphanage here in town. Both of his parents were alcoholics and his father later died of alcoholism. His mother became homeless. In the orphanage Zane discovered he had the gift of drawing. He is a talented artist and has had his paintings in many exhibitions. In 2008 he finished school at the orphanage. Because he did not have anyplace to go, he came to live at House of Hope. Since then he has entered the University in our town. Even though he has lived with our family for four years, he has not wanted to have anything to do with the Bible Studies or church services that we have in our home. Within this past year he has begun to attend church services and Bible Studies. We are praying that he will soon give his life to Christ.

It has taken 4 years of food, clothing, shelter, love, relationship building, family, schooling, and much prayer to get Zane to the place in his life where he is ready to hear about Jesus. 4 years of many individual 1's making a combined difference.

This is just 1 example of the power of 1.

This year Lovem Care started a 2nd Transition Home in Central Asia and is on the beginning stages of work in India. We would love to continue to help our friends in Honduras also, but this year we have not had the extra funds to give. We are praying for God to send us more individuals, families who want to

MAKE 1 Difference in the year 2013.

Is God calling you to be that 1?

Most people who read this will think that they don't have enough money to help. Have you ever considered that the same God who fed 5,000 with a few loaves of bread and some fish can multiply your monthly gift of $5.00 to make a difference? I do! I've seen God multiply His money and meet the needs in ways that only He can do.

If 160 new 1's gave $5 a month, our new Transition Home in Central Asia would be fully funded each month.

If 130 new 1's gave $5 a month, the children in India at Love in Deed Foundation would be able to have some provisions for meals, education, rent, medicines and Bible study.

If 140 new 1's gave $5 a month, we would be able to fully fund a kids kitchen in Honduras and feed children daily with a healthy meal and the Word of God.

There is so much that 1 can do.

Will you be 1?

If you are feeling the call to be 1, then go to the donate page and begin making 1 difference today.

(By clicking on the donate it will open up a new page for you to be able to donate.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Light Night

I stole this idea from my friend Joli ---who stole it from Pinterest.

But it was a great idea--we had a wonderful time as a family.

We made treats yesterday after school--one of our kids favorites--chocolate spoons!

We eat them by themselves or we dip them in hot chocolate or coffee. Yummy!

Little did they know they were preparing part of their surprise for later--I told them we were getting them ready for our neighbors (and we did set some aside for that).

Then last night we made homemade pizza--another family favorite. Afterwards, after showers and pj's we sat around the family room and told the Christmas Story and put up our nativity set.  We then had the kids retell the story and I do believe we have the next segment for "Madea's Bible Lessons".  Somehow Moses entered the scene with the Wise Men, but anyways, after that was cleared up, we let them take turns adding the figures.


Then we sent Hannah and Leighanne to bed, but it wasn't long before they came out with this note.

After hot chocolate, chex mix , and slippers were gathered we got in the van and Zach's truck and drove around and looked at lights.

The kids finally got to bed around 10ish.  Sorry Mrs. Wagner and Mrs. Halstead--the girls may be a little tired today.

But oh--those memories sure are sweet!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Good Morning!

I want to show you something absolutely Beautiful!

My View on the way to Brunswick this morning . . .

Isn't that Gorgeous???  Breath Taking?  Inspired? 

I believe it's been a while since I have actually seen a sunrise. 

But today was a beautiful Blessing--just for me. (ok--and the other people on the road who took the time to notice)  But I really enjoyed every minute of it. 

But what made it even better was this . . .

10,000 Reasons by Matt Redmon was playing on the radio while I was riding along.  And I'm pretty sure I hit every note just as well as they did. :)

May you still be singing as the evening comes.



Friday, November 30, 2012

2 Birthdays, A Day of Thanks and a Homecoming!

Okay--I'm not even going to apologize anymore.

I have officially earned the title of "Worst Blogger of the Year!"

I'm actually not all that sad about it either. 

Cause that means I've been too busy to even sit down at the computer for several combined moments.

But today--I'm delaying my gym workout for one hour.

So here we go . . .

We celebrated my 43rd birthday on the 14th!  Yes--I am not even scared to put that out there.  I love birthdays--they give us another year to do more with the time we've been given.

Sara's birthday was the 19th. She turned 15!!  Of course the subject of driving came up. AND we gladly made a deal with her.  When she can pass the written test required by Georgia--she can get her permit.  That seems fair and it comes with a little more inspiration to learn more English.

Next came Our Day of Thanks.  We have had much to be thankful for this past year.  We had a lovely dinner with friends and family.  We were missing one however--Austin was still in Chicago.  AND sorry Vicky and Brook--I don't think yall had arrived when I was running around taking pics.

Next came a very sweet homecoming.  Austin came home on Monday the 26th.  Oh my was it GREAT to give my oldest child a hug. I must admit I've called him a couple of times since then just to hear him answer the phone because I couldn't for so many months.  Seeing him walk down the hallway towards our family was just a very precious reunion.  Loved that!  (It also made me just that much more appreciative of all the men and women who do this year in and year out.  The sacrifice is amazing.  Thank you to those of you who defend our nation.)


Finally, We now have another 18 year old in the house!!

Yep--our Jordan Ross Agee turned 18 on the 28th.  He helped grill the steaks with Ben.  He gave specific marinating instructions--Jordan's special recipe.  And this year he asked for strawberry cheesecake for dessert--great choice.

Sure am amazed that 18 years have passed since this sweet boy turned man entered into our lives.


And if you are still reading this really long blog that should have been written on 4 separate days--well then, you are truly a good friend. 

Hugs to all,


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Beautiful Things

We have been home a year today!

I can hardly believe it--so much can happen in a year.

Change occurs.  Some by our choice and some forced upon us.

But none the less--it happens.

I put together this video because I wanted to look back and "see" the visible differences in Sara and Hannah. 

When you look at the beginning pictures--note the uncertainty in their faces.  You can almost feel the anguish of embracing this new normal in their lives.  A move that affected every aspect of their lives.  There was a cultural shift, a food shift, and heaven knows there was the dynamics of their new place in a family.

Then watch closely as their facial expressions begin to slowly gain confidence and acceptance.  You begin to get a sense that they are comfortable in their skin. They have found their "place" and have settled in.


It Is A Beautiful Thing!!!

This is Forever!!

This is the face of Adoption. 

This is a Family.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Working Out!

Okay--I'm putting this out in bloggy land.

I've been working out for about 13 weeks. 

Trying to lose weight and tone up.

Apparently--my attempts to push myself have not been tough enough.

I have lost some weight, and I have begun to see a difference in my clothes.

But not to the degree I am content to stay at.

AND THEN . . .

Last night I joined a group of teens and college kids from church for their workout.

Lord help me now!!!

I ran/walked 1 1/2 miles and then attempted this workout that just about made me think they were touture techniques.

Apparently it was a shock to my system--I do not have the body of a 20 year old!!!

But afterwards when it was finished--on the ride home and when the pain eased up, I actually started feeling pretty good about the attempt.

I'm thinking about going back on Thursday night--I guess I need some more torture, pain, training!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Our first ever Birthday with Hannah!

We missed her birthday by 10 days last year.  I almost couldn't stand the thought last year--but now I can look back and see that God orchestrated everyday of this child's life for his purpose.  For whatever reason that He has--he arranged for this year--her 9th--to be the first one for us to rejoice over and to spend together.

I love that this girl loves life and is full of energy.  She is curious and loves to laugh.  Her personality is cheerful and she is one big question waiting to be answered. 

AND . . . deep inside, in her secret place is some unfinished grief.  She is the child that you learn about in the adoption classes that you take before you can complete an adoption.  The child that grieves with every life milestone.  You never know exactly what it's going to look like, but at some point it shows up and you realize--Oh, She's grieving for what was. 

I'm trying to be REAL here.  For those future parents of older adopted children, this may just be a part of your child's life.   Hannah was out of sorts for part of the day on Saturday.  She was irritable, and grumpy.  That by itself is not necessarily a grieving symptom, but then she started telling me that she wanted to go back to China and be with her Foster mom.  A light bulb went off and I realized- she is missing her life in China and that's why she had been so moody.

For some of you, you might be thinking, doesn't that hurt your feelings, or how could you take her away from her China Mom?
As her mother, I realize that these are real feelings, and they are healthy because she had a healthy attachment with her foster family.  The second question is harder to answer.  Unfortunately, we don't know what her future would have been like had she remained in China, but we do know that the foster family she was with could not have ever adopted her and she eventually would have been placed back in the orphanage.  I also know that even though her birth parents were not able to parent her, that God took a situation and turned it into a wonderful plan.  A plan for her to join our family.  To become our daughter--loved forever.

And so, on her first ever birthday with us--we kept it all in the family.  Small and full of celebration. We had 2 small parties--one in Georgia and one in Alabama.  She had 2 cakes and lots of ice cream.  Chinese food made by Sara in Georgia and  a lot of good food in Alabama.  Presents in both--I think she made up for missing last year!
Choosing her earrings
Ready ...


I think this was good . . .

Happy with Nana and Papa

The Gang!

Yummy Chinese Food!

And the gifts begin

2nd Yummy Cake!

Loving time with Bum Bum and Granny Bum

Hardest balloons to blow up!

To my youngest daughter Hannah--I thank God for you and the blessing you are to our family.  Your smile lights up a room and my heart.  I love you to the moon and back!

Julie aka--MOM