Sunday, October 30, 2011


Wild Man on a Mission

That's what I call this one. Colton is our youngest child (at least so far) and he is eating up the baby role (and truthfully, we let him because after all he is the baby). When I think about the fact that Caleb was this age when Colton was born and how much we told Caleb he was the "big brother" and such a "big boy" and now how much we baby Colton (at the same age), it's pretty funny. But, with 5 older brothers and sisters, it's almost unavoidable.

Colton is a ball of fire sometimes, but he's also a sweet cuddly little buddy. He lives life large-not afraid to climb up the slide and jump right off from the tippy top. He does somersaults without even putting his hands down-just throws himself on the floor and flips over. He rides his 4-wheeler like he was born doing it-taking the turns hard, without fear (definitely gets that adventurous side from daddy). That's why I call him my wild man.

He's also super smart-he'd have to be I guess after sitting through 2 years of preschool and 2 years of kindergarten with his older siblings. Without even directly teaching him, he's picked up colors, shapes, counting, letters and letter sounds......he surprises us sometimes with what he knows. One day we were going around the table and the kids were saying their bible verses. After the 5 older kids said theirs, Colton said, "my turn." He then went on to say all three verses we had learned. We had know idea he had memorized them.

Here he is doing one of his favorite things-digging in the dirt. Nick took these pictures one day while I was working. Today when I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said, "a scooper" so he could dig stuff.

We love you our sweet little digger!

pause music at bottom to hear Colton's verses

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sponsors Needed

Karen Wistrom is the sponsorship coordinator for two of Children's Hopechests' care points in Ethiopia. Trees of Glory is one of them-where our sponsor child Meseret is and she also coordinates for Kind Hearts. She and a team of 25 volunteers will be visiting both of these care points in just 3 weeks.

Today, she received the profiles of 7 more children at Kind Hearts that just enrolled and now need sponsor families. For just $34 a month, these kids are given the opportunity to go to school, receive nutritious meals, basic medical care and most importantly Christian discipleship.

Click here to visit her blog to see all of their precious faces.

Here's a sneak peak at these sweet little buddies:

Besufakad age 5

Yitbarek age 6

Both of these adorable boys and 5 other kids need a family to help provide for their basic needs. If you respond quickly, there is still time to send a care package along with the team and receive updated pictures when they travel next month.

Email Karen at for more information.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Christianity is Adoption

You'd think with a house full of kids that the last thing I'd be thinking of is more kids. But, I just can't shake the feeling that God is asking us to do more. To make room for more. To care about more. To advocate for more. To change the world for more...............

Our pastor has been preaching out of Acts-an awesome series that has taught me a ton in the last three weeks. Sunday, he preached from Acts 8 about (appropriately enough) Phillip and the ETHIOPIAN. Phillip is coming home from a long journey after being on the road preaching the gospel when all of a sudden an angel of the Lord said "go south" instead. Now, Phillip has put in some serious time already. He had planned to go home and rest and now God wants him to reroute his GPS and "go south."

He could have thought up a thousand good reasons why he shouldn't go, but Phillip said "yes" to God and obeyed. Because of that decision, "the Ethiopian" was changed and modern day Christianity can be traced all the way back to Ethiopia. All because Phillip was willing to forgo his own comfort to advance the kingdom of God.

And so I ask, how much comfort are we willing to forgo?

And you may ask, "How does this even relate to adoption?"

Well, adoption isn't easy. Plain and simple. The decision to adopt, the process, the circumstances that led to the child needing to be adopted in the first place, the financing, the transition and bonding period after the child comes home.....none of these things are particularly easy and one can think up countless reasons (even good reasons....logical ones) why you shouldn't do it.

I've heard lots of good ones:
it's too expensive (not in God's economy)
I don't think I could love a child that's not my own (A lie from the enemy. NEWS FLASH: none of "our" children are "our own." They are ALL God's children--we're just lucky enough to get to love them for a while).
what would______think (they'll probably think you've lost it, but who cares)
my husband/wife doesn't want to (pray for them)
I'm too old (read this blog)
I just haven't felt called (James 1:27).............................

I've thought of a few good ones myself:
you have six kids (true)
you have six kids (yep)
you have six kids (that's about all I've got)
**note: since first writing this post, we have started the process of adopting our 7th child
--a son--to God be the glory**

But, I can think of one really good reason to do it---God did it for us.

The whole idea of Christianity rests on the truth that as Christians, we've all been adopted into God's family.

And let me tell you, our adoption was HARD. Our adoption COST more than we could ever calculate. Our adoption took SACRIFICE.

But most of all, our adoption into God's family took great LOVE.

If God can do that for us......why is it so hard for us to do this today for the more than 147 million orphan children around the world???

I recently read an article entitled, "Steve Jobs Changed the World: Adoption Changed His." I have to admit that I didn't even know who Steve Jobs was (I'm so out of the technology loop), but the adoption part caught my eye. It notes how foreign the idea of adoption is to most Christians.

Did you know that if just 7% of Christians adopted just one child, there would be NO MORE ORPHANS in the world???? That's just crazy when you think about it. The fact is however, that we are more inclined to tell others what not to do than to actual do something that can make a difference. If you asked a Christian if abortion was right or wrong, it would be a no brainer. Yet for every 340 abortions, only one mother is referred for adoption. The fact is that it's easier to point the finger than to actually be the change. Christians line up to protest, but far fewer line up to protect and provide.

Truthfully, it would be far easier and a lot more comfortable and way less complicated to say no to God's command to care for the orphans and the widows in their distress. Satan wants you to believe that as well. Remember, the bible says, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." This couldn't be more true than it is with adoption. He hates seeing lives redeemed. But think about those that will miss out because of our decisions to play it safe.

Steve Jobs, Babe Ruth, Jesse Jackson, John Lennon and Nelson Mandela were all adopted. The world could have totally missed these influential people had someone not stepped up to raise these orphans up.

You never know who will be the next Mother Teresa, Billy Graham or Martin Luther King, Jr.

Worse than that though. Think of the little ones that will go to bed hungry or cry themselves to sleep tonight without the hope of a family.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has called me to adopt, advocate for adoption, care for orphans and needy children, and serve the orphans of this world. I feel so lucky that God has made that clear to me. Our pastor said, "God often chooses to use the ordinary people to do extraordinary things." We'll, I couldn't be more ordinary and I pray that he will use my life to impact those around me for his glory.

Too much is at stake for us not to act.

True Religion from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Love Moments Like These

We instituted a buddy system when the two girls came home so that when we were out, the kids would always know whose had to hold and I could keep better track of everyone. I put an older kid with a younder kid so they could work together on chores or projects.... Caleb and Meron, Hermela and Caroline and me and Colton were buddies. When we added Rahel to the mix, we did a little buddy shuffle. Now, Hermela and Colton, Rahel and Caroline, and Caleb and Meron are buddies. Today, while I went to finish getting myself ready for the day, I assigned their reading work. I was delighted when I came out to catch them in these acts of sweetness:

Hermela had finished reading to Colton, so she entertained him with our Potato Head collection (she has by far the most challenging buddy to keep up with, but she does it well and with a smile-most of the time). She'll be a great mom one day.

Rahel has fallen into her role of big sister beautifully (she was the youngest child in her Ethiopian family). She and Caroline have had a special bond ever since she got home.

Caleb is my super reader, so he's working to teach Meron her word family sight words.

Somedays, I come out to a crayon (or sharpy) masterpiece on the wall (compliments of my littlest Picaso) or a giant mess or some other kind of chaos. So, I'm especially thankful for moments like these when all is well.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Got It

Well, I finally got a group shot of all my soccer players together (it only took 4 weeks). Not the best shot, but I've learned to aim low with group photography of more than 2 kids-if every one is in the shot, then that's pretty good--if you can catch every one looking, smiling and with eyes opened--that'll earn you some bonus points.

Here's team Orange Crush

The Marooned Pirates

Rahel is on team Aqua (no cute names in her age division I guess).

Anyway, there you have it. I've got lots of other things I want to blog about like the awesome sermon series our pastor is doing on Acts, a biography about George Mueller that I just finished along with the foreword of "Crazy Love" (haven't stated reading the book yet, but so far, looks really good). Alas, I have no time for that now--don't know when I will--but hopefully I"ll be able to get some of these thoughts out of my head soon. It helps me to sleep. Otherwise, I go to sleep and wake up with my head spinning.