Friday, December 31, 2010

Do all roads lead to Ethiopia??

Ethiopia.  All images of Ethiopia from my childhood bring up ideads of starving children with bloated bellies and flies swarming their hollow faces.  Ugly, grotesque, cruel - those are words that I might have used to describe this forbidden nation that plagued the news of the 1980's.  However, for some reason, this country continues to make headlines in my life even now.  Does God have some invisible thread connecting us to Ethiopia - who knows - only HE does and I have to remember that His ways are not our own.  In the last few months and in the weeks to come - we have 1 family we know who is taking a mission trip to Ethiopia in Feb, one man we know traveling in a few days to scope out the orphan situation and discover ways to help, another family we are acquainted with has adopted a baby from there, our pastor and his wife announced this week that they are adopting a baby from Ethipia, another dear family from Cape announced their Ethiopian adoption, I was sent a link to a wonderful (yet, heartbreaking) documentary made by a young man traveling to the city of Addis Ababa and showcasing the village of Korah, and I'm reading a book right now which gives a wealth of information on the plight of the orphan in Africa.  It makes us wander what the future holds.........................all I do know is that there is a lost and dying world out there.  As we approach 2011 - I encourage all of us to find ways to pray, give, help, serve, love.

A few of my favorite things

As I thought back on this year - I wanted to share just a few of my favorite things with you. Enjoy!

1. Chai tea - I discovered Chai tea this summer like a pirate discovers a lost treasure. Wow - I once described it as liquid pumpkin pie in a cup. Since that first amazing sip - I have tried many - and not a one has disappointed. Yum!

2. Harmony House - Although we have known of Harmony Outreach and their work through Harmony House for a few years - our lives were forever changed in January 2010 through their orphan ministry. By introducing us to Lori and asking us to be her forever family - they have been such an instrumental part of this beautiful journey called Adoption that we have trekked on this year. Thank you - from the very, very bottom of our hearts!

3. Tom Davis - I had the privilege of reading 3 books by Tom Davis this year. If you need a good read - I highly recommend his works. Priceless, Scared, and Fields of the Fatherless. Amazing, gut-wrenching stories. Excellent work written straight from his heart.

4. A house that doesn't make me sick - Most of you know that we moved to a bit smaller house in July. I had horrible allergy issues at our other house - and even though we didn't know that the house itself was causing it - since moving here - I can tell an amazing difference. What a blessing to wake up and be able to breathe through my nose! Wow - mouth breathing is for the birds!!!

5. Jesus - we continue to trust in the Lord to provide for this adoption, to give us wisdom as we make decisions for our family, to give us unending grace and mercy each day that we screw up, to open His words to us in new ways and shed light on His Will for our crazy lives, for the promise of salvation and the hope of being made more like Him through, and for the love he shares with others through us. Thank you, Jesus, for letting us be vessels. Let our lives bring you Glory and point others to the Cross!

May 2011 continue to bring us closer together as a family and May God use us as He pleases. I look forward to seeing all the little ones come home to their forever families and to seeing more and more people get involved in ways to help the orphans, widows, poor, helpless, hurting, hungry. May 2011 be a turning point in each of our families as we turn more and more toward the One that desires (and deserves) our undivided attention. To God be the Glory - Great things He has done!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What would it take?

What would it take for you, yes you, to get excited about adoption?  I am now reading Fields of the Fatherless by Tom Davis and once again, it is so obvious that adoption is all part of God's plan.  We are to take care of the widows and orphans - those without means of finding love and life-sustaining care.  So, I ask - what would it take for you to get involved?  There are so many beautiful, adorable children in the same orphanage as Lori waiting for a family.  Would you consider being one of those families?  I mean, really, would you send an email today and start the adoption process?  If your answer is yes - then visit or Holt International.  If your answer is no - then what's in the way?  I am begging for those of you who read this blog to get involved.  We make so many excuses and say nice, PC things like "adoption isn't for everyone" and "that's so great - but I've got may hands full with the 2 kids I already have".  You know - you've heard it or maybe even said it.   But, it's time to go "Vonnal Donnal" and take this bull by the horns.  I double - dog dare you!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Article 5

It's been a month since I sat down to update our blog.  We have enjoyed the Holidays with friends and family.  Beginning with Thanksgiving, working through Advent, and then basking in the wonders of Christmas - this last month has been very enjoyable. 

For those of you who bought sheets - we give you a big, huge "Thank YOU!"  I need to sit down and get a final count - but to the best of my knowledge - I think almost 500 sets have been sold and more are still scheduled to go out the door!!  Wow - we never expected to be in the Sheet Business - but it has been so fun and rewarding.  Our garage become a makeshift Sheet warehouse and our kids worked right along beside us stuffing boxes.  The sheets are still available and will be as long as we continue to get orders.   A few groups even did their own fundraisers using us as their supplier - so if you know of a 4-H, school group, youth group, or family who wants to do a fundraiser - I highly recommend the sheets.  Tell them to give us a call and we will help them get started.

I have picked up a few PRN hours at a local Nursing Home doing Speech Therapy.  I love, love, love working with the elderly - and even though I hate being away from the kiddos - the time with the older folks is very rewarding.  The extra income is intended to help with some things around the house that need tending to and to finish up our adoption funds.   We don't know how long the PRN hours will last - but we're trying to make th most of it.

Tomorrow is Annie's birthday.  Her last year as a child - next year she enters the teen years.  She is such a blessing to our family and we look forward to watching her learn and grow.  It's great to be surrounded by children that add so much to our home and family.  Happy Birthday to our beautiful Annie!

Now for the really big news - We received our Article 5 today.  Now, don't ask too many questions.  I'm not EXACTLY sure what this is  - but I do know that it begins our final countdown to our court dates in China.  At this point - we should go to China in 6-8 weeks to bring our sweet Lori home.  I am nervous about the flight and being away from the kids for 10-14 days - but we are all excited to meet Lori and get started with our life as a family of 8. 

Our house is a wreck.  Toys are scattered everywhere.  The boys got Legos for Christmas and these little critters seem to multiply like Gremlins.  They can be found in every nook and crevice of our house!!  The tree is put away but a few decorations remain.  Christmas seems to come and go so quickly.   We hope you have truly had a great year and look forward to 2011.    - Love The Lancasters