Friday, May 31, 2013

Enough Love to Go Around

Loving my kids, Down syndrome and all.  They give me more than I could ever give to them.

Thank you, Lord, for the rich blessings!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

That None Should Perish

For men, the thought of adopting sends shivers down our spines. Your family’s over, you think. You’ve already got your 2.7 children. (The poor .7 child!) You may already have your five biological children. So what in the world is my wife talking about?!

If there’s one thing I took away from Summit9 in Nashville last week, it’s the reminder that adoption is the model for how God includes US in the family of God.

"The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” ~Romans. 8:15

Without God adopting us, we are not “grafted in” with the seed of Abraham (Rom. 11:17), and therefore, we are not saved. Thank God for His grace! Thank God that He does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 2:9).

It is with that same heart that we adopt others who are perishing, so to speak. Not just in a spiritual sense, but a physical one as well. Adoption is a way that we can model to other Christians and to the world the heart of a living God.

When our “Christian” nation accepts as the norm a routine test (Trisomy 21) in utero to determine if an unborn child has Down syndrome, it allows a parent the option to abort the child because of such an abnormality. When we men not only advocate for, but also BRING INTO OUR FAMILY, a child with Down syndrome, people are perplexed. Some may even look at us with disgust (trust me, we’ve seen the glares). But we are merely grafting in that child, and in doing so, we often save their very lives.

 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” ~1 John 3:16

Adoption is a laying down of our lives so that others might live. Gee, who else did that?

Sure, God does not expect every Christian to adopt children. But He does mandate us to care for, visit, meet the needs of the orphan. And that will take time. That will take sacrifice. But most importantly, that will take a brave man to say, “Whatever YOU want, Lord.”

The 21st century Christian man must not ask what God can do for him, but ask what he can do for God. Men must be courageous enough to pray all of the scary prayers, like:

1. Lord, give me patience.
2. Lord, use me however you wish.
3. Lord, tell our family if you want us to adopt.

I liken the man who comes to the plate, not knowing all the in’s and out’s, not knowing what hardships may come, not knowing what life will look like years from now, as a true warrior.

Move over Gladiator.

Move over Braveheart.

With 163,000,000 orphans in the world, it takes a man with guts to model God’s heart of adoption through his own family…THAT NONE SHOULD PERISH!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy 16th Anniversary, Sweetie!




Tuesday, January 22, 2013

For Those Who Feel Orphans Have a Better Life in Their Orphanage...

A picture never lies...

This is our Hasya, whom we took to the hospital today for IV nourishment and Lord knows what else.

Hard to believe that next month she will be 15 years old.  The hospital put her weight today at a whopping 26 pounds.

Having lived in a crib for all of her 15 years, she cannot sit up, and if she does, she cries in misery because her bones, joints, and internal organs aren't used to it.

I liken her life up to now as an oak sapling placed in a small house pot.  The orphanage fed her nothing but formula her entire life, until recently before we picked her up.  That's when they splurged and fed her water-soaked bread three times a day.

Hasya will need copious amounts of therapies on every level.  How far she will go, we are not sure.  We just want her out of her constant state of pain.  That may take a very long time, but will make each day her most special day until that happens.

And we are so thankful that Hasya (which means "mercy of God") is ours. What a privilege to call her our daughter!

Grow, girl, grow.


And now for our Kael.

Here is a photo of him when he was still very, very young.  Probably not long after entering the orphanage in Sofia.

Look how plump and robust he is!  He could pass for any normal, healthy American little boy.

Kael was the third orphan to ever be up for adoption in Bulgaria.  And yet, no one was interested in him.  No one.  Not one.

So for the past year and a half, he has lived in an insane asylum with adults who are psychologically and possibly criminally insane.

It has taken its toll on poor Kael.  These are photos I took of him tonight while bathing him.  His body is literally a skeleton with skin...

It's hard to say how much of Kael's psychological quirks were acquired while either in the orphanage or in the asylum.

But what I really hope to convey by this post is not my deep hurt over the condition of our new children.  I want each and every one you, and as many of your friends and acquaintances as possible, to know that for every Hasya or Kael, there are literally TENS OF MILLIONS MORE!

Oh, what our eyes cannot see!  The only one who can see each one of these poor children at the same time is God Himself.  So can you imagine His heart over this global plight?  It makes you wonder when He's going to say, Enough is enough!

It just goes to show how profound His love is for those who have not made a decision for Him yet.

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

But that means allowing 163 million orphans to remain orphans.



Unless we, His hands and feet, do something about it!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Place Called "Here"

It happened instantaneously.

I thought about it when time froze still...

...When there was an anxious lull in the joking with some of my kids and good friends who came to the airport to share the moment with us.

...When we all felt the same racing in the middle of our chests, knowing it would be any second.

...When I lifted onto my tiptoes and craned over the heads of weary air travelers walking toward and past me, hoping to catch an early glimpse of my wife. 

One moment I was the father of seven children--three biological boys and four adopted girls.  The next moment, it was all about to change.

NINE children?  For real?

ME?  The former free-spirited fraternity boy who always got in trouble and never thought of the future?

I had in my mind that I would marry a hot babe and have two or three kids.  And that happened.  But then the number of beds grew...and grew...and grew.

Now I know why consulting fortune tellers is condemned in the Bible.  Because if I knew while in college what my future held, I WOULD RUN AWAY TO BORA BORA AND NEVER COME BACK!

Because that Scripture--you know the one?--that says God won't give us anything we can't handle, well, we wouldn't be able to handle it.

What if God told Saul while he was dragging Christians by the heels to prison that he would one day be imprisoned himself as one of them?

Or if Jesus concluded the Sermon on the Mount with--"Oh, by the way, the earth is round"?

Or if God told Nicole Kidman that she would marry Tom Cruise?

You're right.  We wouldn't handle that.

But God has us live in the moment.  In HIS moment.  Not ours.  Not our spouse's.

God has a way, if we let Him, of enabling us to do the impossible.  Not the impossible by Him, but by US.

If we live this way, moment by moment in God, we wake up one day and ask ourselves, "Wow, how did I get here?"  But it's a good place to be.  A place where our dreams and His dreams merge.  A place that brings us a sense of purpose, a sense of being smack in the middle of God's will, because we NEVER would've chosen to bring ourselves to this place on our own.

This is the place where the prophet Isaiah said, "HERE am I, send me" (Is. 6:8).  God brought Isaiah that that place called "Here"...and He's bringing you there, too...there to here.

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