Monday, April 25, 2011

Home study happiness!!!

Did you hear an enormously loud squeal from Ohio around 2 pm EST??? If so, I 'fess up! I was in all out happy-land as I peeped out our front window and our mailbox was full of home studies!!! WOOT WOOT!!

The only sad thing was that it has been a most drenchy kind of day. The weather that makes you wonder how the skies could POSSIBLY have that much water to dump! That means our home study (especially the top copy) was SOAKING WET!

So we got out the hair dryer.


Within the hour it was in a new envelope on its way to Texas where the necessary people (Department of Homeland Security) will schedule us for our biometrics and we will begin waiting for that approval. This is where we petitition to make an orphan our immediate relative. That wording is crazy good!! Don't you think?

For some, the adoption process takes years. So far, we've only been at this since September of last year and have spent just shy of $3K. However, it FEELS like we've been at this for a lifetime (waiting does that!) and we have much much more money to spend!! We trust the Lord for him to bring in the needed money and to help us be patient in the interim.

Hoping to hear soon soon soon about the two children we are pursuing for adoption!

(Again, I put out a plea to anyone who might know what in tarnation is wrong with our blog to help me!! Please find me on Facebook--badge below--and send me a PM that you might know how to help!!)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April Update on our Adoption

I have been posting about others lately...and I think my blog is broken, but I honestly haven't had the time to look into figuring out how to fix it! If you have an idea why things that should click and link don't, please help me out! Send me a message on Facebook (my badge is below) and I'll be your friend forever!!

Perhaps our adoption process appears from afar to just be static. In reality, I work tirelessly toward the end goal. There are an incredible amount of ups and downs that truly, if I shared them all with you, you'd probably quit reading out of boredom! Many people are bottom the bottom line is: we are still waiting.

What are we waiting on?

Our home study. This is the official write up by the social worker who has interviewed us and our children, trained us, inspected our home, our finances, etc. The word is that it should arrive any day. This matter has been very drawn out and quite ridiculous, honestly. Most people get their home studies complete in 1-2 months. Ours has been FIVE and its still not here! At times I have been completely exasperated and every effort I make is simply futile. (I cannot control people's illness or vacation schedules!) Other times I see how fortunate we are that it's not yet done so we can make necessary amendments based on the things God shows us. One of these days...SURELY one of these days we are going to get this enormous stack of notarized home studies that we can begin to mail around the country and around the world! Who wants a copy?? haha

We are also waiting on the results to an ongoing orphan investigation for the 2 children we are hoping to adopt. I have been silent on so many fronts because, honestly, it just changes so quickly. However there is much need for prayer in this situation, so I ask you, even without many details, to please intercede for these children. At this writing, we should know something within 3 weeks. How's that for helpful? Sorry!

We are excited to celebrate Easter with our families and enjoy the goodness of God's great gift. What a wonderful season it is! That grace that our Father pours out on us is so incomprehensible. I am at a loss for words when I consider the gift that Jesus bought us through His death and that marvelous resurrection!

I wish you all a great Easter! Be blessed in His love!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Please Meet...Hamza! A street child no more!

This is the 2nd installment in my "Please Meet" series. I am so so excited to introduce you to my friend Hamza, a now 18 year old man living in Uganda. Get ready to have your heart warmed and your eyes opened to the reality of life for children who live in the streets as you read his story in his own words!

How did you go from being in a loving family to living on the streets?

I lived with my parents who loved me very much. They worked very hard. My mum passed away when I was about 4 years old.

I was living with my father and he married another woman. When my father was there she was nice to me but when he was away she badly mistreated me. 

She would not feed me and make me sleep outside. 

I told my father but he did not believe me because he only saw her loving me. 

My father worked away from home a lot so I suffered badly with my step mother.

One day she sent me to the markets to get food. I was very hungry. I saw people playing cards saying that I could double my money. I wanted to double my money to get some food for myself. I put all my money on the cards but I lost it. I stayed at the markets all day because I was too scared to go home. 

When I got home my step mother was very angry and she said she was going to kill me. 

When she learned that I did not have what she sent me for she got a big stick and chased me. I hid from her until late at night. When I went back home she was still waiting for me with the stick. That was when I knew she meant what she had said about killing me. 

I had to leave.   I was seven years old.

I walked and walked and walked in the direction that all the cars were going. I did not know what Kampala was like but I knew it when I reached it. 

At first I was happy to be in Kampala but then I started wondering what I would do. I kept walking around. I saw a boy like me and I asked him where I could get something to eat. He gave me something and then left me.

I slept on verandahs and woke up hungry. I went with other street kids to collect bottles and metal scraps. One boy ate food from the rubbish but I did not want to eat it.

I went to local markets and a lady gave me food. I knew that I was a street kid when I started talking to other kids. I had to start eating scraps from the rubbish. 

I lived a good life but it was very hard.

I had some friends who loved me but some kids harassed me when I had money or metal scraps. Older kids would beat me and take my money or scraps. I didn’t like sleeping on the streets because it was always hard to find somewhere to sleep. 

It was very cold and police or security guards would beat you or take you to jail. When it rained was when I hated it most because there was no shelter.

There were a lot of drugs on the street. Whenever I got money I would get fuel to sniff so that I could feel good. I liked it at first but after a while I didn’t like it anymore. 

Those days were very miserable. 

If the police found you doing drugs they would arrest you. 

I was taken to remand homes so many times I lost count. 

One time I stayed in prison for two years. We only got fed once a day and we would have to work from about 4.30 in the morning until late at night. 

(Click Here to read about Sixty Feet and their work in the remand homes of Uganda.)

I escaped with some other boys and went back on to the streets.

When I was back on the streets an older boy told me to stay with him and his friends. They were thieves who entered people’s houses. They used me because I was very small and could get into houses easily. 

One night one of the boys was caught by the owner of a house and was beaten to death. 

For some reason I had known not to go into the house that night so that is when I knew I had to stop. I went back on to the streets and life was very hard.

How did you get off the streets?

One day I was walking in the slums with my scrap metal. I saw all the street kids going to a place where these men were giving them medical care, food and were talking with them. 

I didn’t talk to them the first time but they came back again. 

I spoke to one of the men but he could not help me. Next time I spoke to Uncle Paul. He asked me a lot of questions. I asked him his story and he told me. 

He had a similar story and he told me to believe in myself.

Every time he came to the slums he would talk to me and give me some money. 

One day he told me he wanted to start an organisation. I went with him but it was not established so I left. 

Next time he saw me he convinced me to go back. He constructed a small papyrus structure and that is where I slept. Now I could clean my clothes and look smart.

The organisation grew from nothing. I saw how my life was changing and I decided then I was never going back to the streets. Uncle Paul and Uncle Martin started bringing in other boys and we got bigger and bigger.

The uncles enrolled us in school but it was hard for me because I had only gone to Primary 3. 

I went into Primary 5 and did poorly but I studied very hard and read my books every day. 

By second term I was second in my class and by third term... I was first. 

Hamza receives a new shirt.
I always listened to Uncle Paul because he always told me that I could achieve more than I thought. 

He gave me courage to learn to speak English, from then I always studied hard so that I would come first.

Because of this I was included in a program called ‘Connecting Classrooms’ which operated in UK, Senegal and Uganda. I worked hard in reading and Music, Dance and Drama. Before the end of the year we had an exchange with them and I was selected to go to the UK. 

I told Uncle Paul I needed a passport and he spoke to a sponsor so that I could get one. 

I had a chance to go in a plane something I never thought I would be able to do when I was living on the streets. When I was sitting on the plane I knew that if you believed in something enough you could succeed. 

Now you are eighteen years old and in school at Mackay College! What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

In my future I have two things I would like to be. 

First is a doctor 
                                   and then in my spare time I want to create art

You remember Joyce and Edward from the last entry...
Hamza is pictured here in the red shirt cleaning the wounds of these needy sweet children!

I want to be a doctor to help people who are suffering.

I want to take my message of thanks to the world. I want to thank Uncle Paul. He is my best friend and my only parent I have known to guide me along the way. I want to thank PCA  (Peace for Children Africa: Click here To visit their website) because it has given me so much. I don’t have a lot of materialistic things but I have so much.

I want to thank everyone who has left their countries to come and help us at PCA. 
Hamza having fun!

I hope in the future there are no street kids.

What would you like to share about your faith in God with us?

I am so thankful to the Almighty God for my life and the lives of other street children. Like He said, He knew us before we were born, I will always trust in Him to pave the way for my life!!

God bless you, "Feet2ourFaith" readers and Amy!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Please Meet...Joyce and Edward

I have been completely blown away by what I have learned, who I have met and what I have seen (in pictures only at this point) along the path of adoption. I decided that these blessings have been so numerous that I want to share them with you too.

Not everyone that I am going to feature in "Please Meet" series will need financial support, but ALL will need your prayers. These are all REAL PEOPLE and they either are living on the front lines of battle against the evil one or they are being consumed by the evil one. Both groups need you to fight on your knees for them. Some will come with an opportunity to give financially. You are not to give unless God prompts you. This is not a blog of manipulation...rather a place to record our journey as we follow Jesus and a place to educate others on the things I am learning as we go.

Today I would like to introduce you to two children who live in a remote village in Uganda.
This is 2 year old Edward

This is his older sister, Joyce.

Edward and Joyce both have been medically neglected. Their mother is penniless and sick herself, their father gone. Grandparents have tried to care for them, but have been unable. As is often in Africa, children contract the HIV virus at no fault of their own. Sometimes just by breastfeeding from their HIV+ mother they contract the virus. Left untreated, it develops into AIDS. Both Edward and Joyce were tested for HIV. Edward's test came back positive but Joyce's did not. You might think this is reason for the two of them have been moved into an African foster family...but due to their malnutrition, the medicines for HIV are not easily taken into the body. And the saddest news of all is that Joyce's test results were negative because she already (at age 7) has full blown AIDS.

My friend Lara went to their village and found them in this state. She immediately cleaned and bandaged their wounds...

You can see the small frames they have at age 7 and 2.

...and gave them clothing:

Now the two children have been taken to a hospital, shown love and received the medical care they so desperately needed. Family situation/relations are challenging and they all need prayer. Although Joyce has AIDS and Edward only has HIV, because of some other health issues he is at a higher risk. When Lara found them he had the flu, telltale swelling in his jaw and other sores related to the untreated virus, a bloated belly from severe malnutrition and was too weak to even walk.

Here is Edward just a few days ago after yet another doctor appointment:

His cheek is deformed from the lack of treatment from his HIV virus. 
But because of sponsorship and care he is on the road to recovery.

I wanted to introduce them to you because the people who have been involved in his care are special to me. Perhaps I will blog on them and their work someday. (Incredible!) My purpose in today's post is to have you meet and see the real need and give you an opportunity to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in their lives. My friends have involved themselves already so that Edward and Joyce are not another African statistic that you may or may not hear...but the story is not over. 

Edward and Joyce still need $195 per month to continue staying at their foster family, receiving the medical treatment necessary to help save their little lives. What I think is so wonderful is that we over here in our everyday American lives can reach out and help save REAL PEOPLE like Joyce and Edward. Obviously we do not know how long Joyce will have, but Edward could live a long, healthy life once he is receiving constant good nutrition, love, and the ARV drugs necessary to keep his viral load low. Who knows? Edward might become a great physician who helps find a cure for cancer or he might become a great runner and compete in the Olympics. Their lives have great value!

If you would want to be part of Edward and Joyce's story you can click here to go to where you can join their sponsorship team. They are both under Edward's name: Edward Segawa in group A of children. 

Thank you for "meeting" these children and for your prayers and any financial involvement you might choose to have. Blessings!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jensi's Thank You Letters from Samaritan's Purse

I was so proud of Jensi when she first thought of her service idea...then when she worked tirelessly to find an earring that would work...then when she raised 4x her goal amount...but when she received this letter from Samaritan's Purse... I think my proud Momma heart swelled the MOST. :)

If you missed Jensi's project, go here and then the follow up here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Anneli's baptism!

It's a wonderful, glorious and much-prayed over moment when your child chooses on her own to follow Jesus. Our Anneli did that at the tender age of 4 1/2! Last weekend, at age 9, she followed through in being baptized. We have faithfully prayed for each of our children, led them to see who Jesus is and explain the gospel message to them in thousands of ways, trained them in Scripture and then waited on the Holy Spirit to draw them. We have never pushed being baptized upon our children but rather have waited until they are self-motivated to declare their faith to the world.

We believe that following Jesus' example and command to be baptized is to show the world publicly that we follow Him and have given Him control of our lives. Going under the water is akin to being one with Christ in His death for our sins and the rising up from the water (no, Anneli, they don't leave you under for long!) is symbolic of our joining Christ in His resurrection. One day, no one will be locked in the grave but we will ALL rise and meet Jesus in the air!

Enjoy some pictures of our Sweet Anneli showing the world that she follows Jesus!
Anneli boldly takes the microphone and shares her testimony with the entire congregation. 

I adore the look of affirmation on Daddy's face!

Daddy prays over Anneli.

Getting in the baptistry

Affirming her faith by answering some questions from Pastor Kent Norr

"I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and in the Holy Spirit!"

"Oh! I've been baptized!"
Celebration apple pie!!

Friday, April 1, 2011


Last week I had the privilege of taking my eldest two daughter to a concert. Josh Wilson opened and he gripped my heart when he sang this song:

Sometimes I
I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone's alright
When I know they're not

This world needs God
But it's easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on
Like nothing's wrong

But I refuse
'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of You, oh God

So, if You say move
It's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
Show them who You are

I hope you delight in this song and are moved at the core of your being! The adventure awaits you...

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