Monday, February 20, 2012

Replacing Soda with Prayer

Please forgive me for starting this post with the ever-so-cliche "It's been a while since I've written."

I've even had exciting things to post about (trip to Hawaii, anyone?!?).  And, yes, Mom, I promise that I'll post (especially photos) about the Hawaii trip.

Not today though.  Today I'm going to post about the fact I've felt 'blah' for a while (woohoo...the blahs...what an exciting topic).

As I've mentioned previously, I spend a lot of time looking at "waiting children" sites and reading adoption blogs.  Sometimes it gets overwhelming because it seems there are soooo many waiting children and sooo few willing families.  Most of the families that are adopting are willing to wait 2+ years for a baby as young and as healthy as possible while amazing children are waiting 15+ years in an orphanage for a family.

Usually I can deal with it, but, lately, it's been getting me down as it doesn't always seem like there's a whole lot I can do.  I can spread the word about kids that need families.  I can donate money to help families that are ready to bring kids home.  I's it.

Or is it?

One thing I've only done a couple times is pray regularly for specific kids.  And, to be honest, both times, a family had committed to adopt the children within 6 months.  This includes one little boy that I thought was so broken that it was unlikely anyone would ever be courageous enough to take him in.

I'm short sighted, but, God's not.  He knows who's out there and He knows their hearts.  He also knows where their families have a child shaped hole just perfect for an 11-year old boy or a 6-year-old girl or a 5-month-old baby.  He knows.

So, I've decided to get myself out of my funk by combining two things that I need to do.  One, I need to do more - pray specific prayers for specific children.  The other I need to do less - drink soda (did I mention my 60-oz per day habit?).

So, I've decided that I'm going to give up soda for Lent and replace it with prayers for my first group of kids.  Cravings for the wonderful, bubbly sweetness of Mountain Dew will now be seen as reminders that I need to pray.  Caffeine headaches (which will hopefully only last the first day or so) will also be seen as reminders that I need to pray (and hopefully a reminder not to get hooked on another stimulant because they're a pain in the you-know-what to kick).

So, without further ado (and because this is already really long), here are the four kids I'm going to pray for over the next 40 days (or however long Lent is because, quite honestly, I have no idea).
Tyler was born in October 1999 (1 month into my freshman year of college).  He's one of the oldest waiting children on Reece's Rainbow.

 He's most likely in the orphanage because he was born with spina bifida which caused damage to his spinal cord leaving him with reduced function in his pelvic organs and with lower paraplegia.  The country he's in actively encourages parents to abandon 'imperfect' children.

The people that have met with him have said that he's an incredible kid.  He is organized and takes care of his belongings.  He LOVES to read (especially fiction).  An adoptive family that was there this month (Feb 2012) said "We've seen him with the younger kids, they all treat him like a big brother and he is so kind and gentle with them.   Like the others we've met here, he seems very emotionally healthy- it's just his legs that aren't working, not his heart, mind and soul.  He would just thrive in a family!"  The hardest part of the visit for that family was when Tyler asked how long it would be before "his family comes to get him from America".

That family can't say where Tyler's family is and when they'll come for him, but God knows.

Alexis was born in March of 2000.  She is confined to a wheelchair due to a condition called arthrogryposis which affects all of her limbs (though she's able to feed herself, drink from a cup without assistance and roll her wheelchair around).  The people around her have said that she's very easygoing and quick to laugh

She is in the same orphanage as Tyler (they can be adopted together!) and the family above provided an update on her as well. They said, "We have GOT to help Alexis get a family...she's so sweet and funny and played so nicely with the other kids, even the younger ones. But she watched us with sad eyes- she was so longing for a family of her own, you could see it all over her face."

I live 2000 miles away from my family and even though I hear from them regularly and see them at least once a year, I still get really sad that I can't be with them all the time.  I can only imagine that Alexis feels that times a million when she thinks of the family she's never had (but that God is surely preparing for her).


Monique was born in 2002 and was abandoned in some bushes shortly after birth.  She has spent her entire life in an orphanage.

Her native language is Moore but she's also learning to speak French.  She is healthy (except for the occasional bout of malaria).  According to her caretakers, she never complains and she gets along wonderfully with the other children in the orphanage and in her school.

Her country has only recently become open to international adoption, so, for the first time, children like Monique have a chance to find a family.  According to the people familiar with Monique she has legally been declared an abandoned child and desperately needs a family.


Last, but certainly not least, is Jack.  Jack is also an October baby (born in 2000).  He has a chronic blood condition but is in very good health.  He likes insects and worms but does not like scary movies.  His caregivers say he's responsible, obedient and kind.  He is never rough with the younger kids and is always willing to share his toys (even something cool like a scooter).

Like many boys his age, he's smart but  doesn't put much effort into his school work.  Moms of boys around the world know exactly what he needs....a mom to be on his case about his homework! :)

Before being transferred from the 'baby house' to the older child orphanage he asked a visitor "Do you know anyone who would like to take a boy like me. I would really like for a visitor at least, because I am all alone and I have no one."  Perhaps even sadder is the fact that he bursts into tears when he sees people coming for the younger children and not for him.  He asked one visitor, "What do I need to do for a Mom to come? Do you know where she is? Is she looking for me?"

So, there you have it.  These are the 4 kids that I'm going to pray into a family.  These are the 4 kids that I am going to think about any time I've got a craving for some soda.  I will think about them double when the craving is for some Mountain Dew!

If you feel so moved, please join me (in the praying, you don't have to give up the soda, unless you want to).

You can pray for one (or more!) of my kids.

Or you can go to Reece's Rainbow and choose a child of your own to pray home.

P.S.  I must admit that when I wrote this up I had no idea when Lent actually started.  For some reason I thought it was in mid-March and that I had a couple of weeks to prepare.  Imagine my surprise to discover that it starts Wednesday!  It's probably best I won't have much time to "stock up" and drink a ton of soda knowing I'll be giving it up soon (because that is exactly what I was planning on doing!).


  1. Great blog. Lil and I are thinking about adopting down the road. Too many amazing kids out there need a family. Have you thought about adopting one of these kids? River would love to have another cousin!

  2. Ah, and I are right at the same place! What more can we do?!? It is such a large amount of children and every single one of them needs a family to call their own! I haven't had a chance to look at RR in a while since we are obviously quite immersed in our own adoption. I was just horrified to see the same faces staring back at me...the same ones that were there when we started this process a year ago. I found myself yelling at the computer saying that I just didn't understand, where is their families?!? I just wanted to tell you thank you for all you do! I know it has meant so much to me and our carried us through some tough times! I can only imagine how much you have helped others. Let us both keep advocating and praying until there is not a single child in need!
    Sending my love and appreciation to you!!! :-)