Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hurry, sale ends tomorrow at midnight

Please remember that my 25% off sale in my Etsy shop, Luckybug Boutique, ends tomorrow. Let me know if there is something you have your eye on.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What happened?

This was my week to teach Sunday School at church. I only volunteer once a month because I am involved in other areas of ministry, but I do like the the one week a month that I get to be with the kiddos.

Normally I am in the 1st service with the 3-year-olds, but today I filled in in the 2nd service 2-year-old room. The service lasts about 1 hour 15 minutes. It isn't hard to stay busy for that short of a period of time. We did our craft, played outside, read a Bible story, had snack, played with the trains and the tools and the cars...good stuff.

So, church is released and all the parents return to pick up their children. All of the kids stand there waiting anxiously for their parents faces to appear in the doorway so they can be released. There was one little girl in class, however, that didn't look for her parents faces. She didn't seem interested at all in what was going on. She didn't talk. She just watched what I was doing and a couple of times lifted her arms to indicate she wanted to be picked up.

Her little name tag indicated she was a "guest." After a little digging, I learned that she had only be to our church with her parents a couple of times. She was beautiful. She had a perfect little round face and her curly hair was to die for.

Ok, back to the when the parents are there to retrieve their children. First, little Logan leaves, then Kaiden, then Silas...a few others leave and the only one left is little S. She doesn't seem sad that her parents aren't there. I released the assistant and S and I just played. She smiled for the first time the entire time I saw her when we built a huge tower out of soft blocks and crashed them down. She didn't know how to stack, but caught on really fast. She and I kept ourselves very entertained as we waited for her parents. Where were they?

First 10, then 20 minutes parents for S. Then 30 minutes. Still no parents. The director of the Sunday School program comes into the room to clean up and notices I am still there. She promptly reminds me that I can go, but I point over to S and said, "her parents didn't show up for you know where they are at?"

She was shocked...the church was basically cleared out. She suggested that maybe her parents were up front for prayer support and went to look for them. She returned telling me they were not in there. She talked to the other head lady and the two of them set out to search the entire church, every last room, looking for her parents...they returned with no results.

Beautiful, quiet, reserved little S was left behind. Tell me, how in the world can a set of parents forget their child? How? I mean, she was one of the sweetest little girls I have ever met. I fell in love almost could they just leave her behind?

Then about 35 minutes after church was done here come her parents...smiling and laughing. The dad was more interested in playing with the toys than he was in playing with S. She didn't seem all that excited to see them but did crawl up into her mothers arms fairly quickly. They never said anything about where they were or why they were late. They did comment, "oh, gosh...we are the last ones here, huh?"

They collected her belongings and away they went.

I spoke with the two ladies that were out on a hunt for this little girls parents and they were positive the parents must have gotten into their cars and left the church grounds either on purpose or on accident.

So what in the world happened? Did they just use the childcare at church as their babysitter while they went up the road and got groceries? Did they run errands rather than actually attend the church service? Did they honestly leave church and forget her?

I got into my car to head home and I just burst into tears for this darling little girl. If this happened today, what else has she endured? Is she safe? Is she healthy? Oh, I just want to tuck her in tonight and tell her everything is going to be ok, but I can't...I don't know if everything will be ok for her.

So, I cry and I pray...that is really all I can do. I pray for her little life and I cry for her at the same time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

25% Etsy special just for YOU!

I am offering an Etsy discount just for my blog readers through the remainder of July. If you click on the links to the left, it will take you to my Etsy shop or you can click here. If you see something you would like for yourself or as a gift, let me know you are a blog reader and I will discount your order by 25%. This discount will not be combined with the free shipping offer currently offered and the discount does not apply to shipping charges.

You can either make the purchase, pay and I will reimburse you via paypal the difference, or you can let me know what you want and I can adjust the listing to reflect the savings.

I am currently working on building up my stock for the fall/winter craft fair season, so if you don't see something you want, let me know what you are looking for...I may just have it already done.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another step in my adoption journey

I am about to embark on yet another step in my adoption journey. One that I never imagined, but I'm excited about it anyways.

I think I mentioned a while back that I am on the steering committee for an orphan care ministry that was started earlier this year. It is really getting legs and I can see great things starting to come about in this group. I know that God is involved and I believe that He will use this group to get "hard-to-place" children out of the foster care system and into permanent, loving homes.

Ok, now to get to the point of this post. A few weeks back I received an email from the owner of a local adoption agency. She sent the email to myself and the others that are on the orphan care ministry steering committee. The email basically stated that she received a grant to set up a Board of Directors and she was interested in having someone from our orphan care group on the board.

Now instantly when I read this post, I was interested. However, I have a habit of getting myself signed up for too many things and spreading myself too thin. So, I emailed her letting her know that I am interested, but wanted to pray about it to make sure that it was Gods plan for me to be involved, not just my own.

She was on vacation for a week and a half and then when she returned I emailed her letting her know that I would like more info (time commitment, responsibilities, etc.) She called me today to say that she was hoping and praying that I would respond. She figured I would fit into the Board for a couple of reasons. First, she wanted to have an adoptive parent on the board...check! Second, she wanted someone from the orphan care ministry group on the board....check! So, as of this afternoon I agreed to be on the board of directors for this agency.

Now, on a side note about this agency...they are NOT the agency that we used to adopt Lil Princess. They are almost the complete opposite in many ways. First, they are extremely interested in setting up parenting plans for expectant moms. Second, they are only interested in doing what is right for ALL parties involved...not what is right for their pocketbook (which generally means only doing what is right for the adoptive parents since they are the ones paying the bills). Third, they are all about educating prospective adoptive parents about what adoption really looks like and feels like...not just the sunshine and puppy dogs version.

We probably would have used this agency when we adopted had we known it existed. I only learned about it 1/2 way through our wait and although I contacted her at that point, we were not going to switch out of the program we were currently in (but we were extremely tempted!) The owner, Cathy, is a Christian and acts as such. She doesn't have "christian" in the name of her agency, but she acts much more christian than the adoption agency we used which does have "christian" in their name.

So, I have no idea what is in store for me, but I look forward to it. I'll keep you in the loop of what it looks like to be on the board of an adoption agency. :)

Miracles can be a process

Sometimes I think that people forget about all of the miracles that have happened in Lil Bugs life. When I was pregnant I would often pray that she would be born whole, with no hole in her spine. I prayed to God that she would come out with no brain damage, no spinal damage, no nerve damage. I used to bargain with God by praying things like, "I know you can do this, so if you do it for her, just think of the people that will be in awe of your work and turn their lives to you." Well, obviously when she was born, she was not born whole. I was a bit surprised, I will not lie, because I honestly thought she would be born healed. I really did think that God would perform one huge miracle and she would be completely healthy. She wasn't. I wasn't mad at God, but disappointed that my greatest hope didn't happen. I sort of figured that I must not have prayed hard or long enough. I couldn't see the big picture at the time.

Now, nearly 4 years after her birth I have a much clearer mind and can really break down and analyze what and how God has worked in and through my life and Bugs life. First, I noticed that people that are around Bug often forget the many, many miracles that God has already performed on her. Remember that according to her brain scans, she has scrambled eggs for brains and by no right should she be able to talk...however, by the grace of God she never stops! So often, her voice, her language is taken for granted. There are a ton of stories like that about Bug that I could go back and retell (I have mentioned most of them in prior posts, so if you are bored or interested, feel free to dig around for them!)

But, as each miracle unfolds, it is a reminder of the fact that our God is a living, breathing God and constantly at work. He is always doing things to and for Bug and I love that I can see things as they unfold. For example, last week Bug had an appointment with her orthotics specialist. Her current set of A.F.O's (ankle-foot orthotics, or "leg braces") are about 6 months old, so they reevaluate to see if they are still doing their job or if a new set must be constructed for her. As it turns out, she needs a new set. For one, she is getting bigger...her feet grew 1.75 shoe sizes in 6 months. Second, God performed yet another miracle and her old braces were actually working against that! Since her feet have no feeling, she wears the braces. Since she wears the braces, her muscles don't get used in the lower parts of her legs and in her feet. Since those muscles don't get used, they are very weak and don't go the direction they are supposed to. One curves out and the other curves in making them both go the same direction. The braces help keep them aligned so when she is standing, she is not causing damage to the rest of her body, like her spine. Anywho, the orthotics dude took off her braces and he couldn't believe his eyes...her right foot has completely straightened out! That's more curving. In fact, she can even stand up without braces now. We don't let her because it is not safe, but she can if she has to. It is amazing. God is amazing.

And, to be honest, if God would have answered my original prayer, which was to instantly heal her before birth, I can not say for certain that my faith would have grown as it has. My relationship with Him would probably be much weaker than it is now. I get to get excited over and over again when I see the miracles and healing he sends her way as he answers my prayers. I get to blog about it and spread my infectious love for Him. I get to shout out that our God is a living God who hears our prayers!

So, Bug is a miracle in the works. I still have no doubt that she will be 100% healed when all is said and done (I mean before she gets to Heaven because, of course, she will be whole there). I am just enjoying the fact that her miracles are a process and not a one time experience and I am so thankful for that! I hate that she has had to suffer from her birth defects, but I am thankful for what God has taught me along this journey.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Easy way to raise money for shunt research!

There is a small charity organization located on the other side of our state called STARS (Seeking Techniques Advancing Research in Shunts). Last October they held their first ever walk-a-thon (well, first for this area) and Bug and I were supposed to walk except the weather was awful, so I walked with my dad and left Bug behind (with her grandma).

The purpose of the organization is just as the name raise money for research. As it stands, there is currently NO public funding for shunt research. Right now there is a 60-70% failure rate during the first year of placement. I can't be the only one who things that is a ridiculously HUGE number of failures? Bugs didn't "fail" per se, but she did outgrow it and had to have a revision last year. We are talking about brain surgery here, so not something we want to mess around with unless we have to.

So, here is where you come in...maybe you could change your search engine from Google to It is that simple. Every time you use for your legitimate search, they donate money to any charity they have an affiliation with (the list is VERY long) and you can view how much they have donated to date. If you don't have another charity that is near and dear, would you mind using and selecting Seeking Techniques Advancing Research in Shunts - STARS Kids (Livonia, MI) ID: 875762

Here is an excerpt from their site:
Here's a new easy way to raise money for your favorite cause. Just start using as your search engine and online shopping mall. Every time you search the Internet or make an online purchase at one of their partner merchants, GoodSearch makes a donation to your favorite nonprofit or school and it's powered by Yahoo! so you get great search results!

I am a Google addict, so switching was going to be a bit of a challenge for me. To solve the problem I just made it my homepage. Now, as soon as I open my browser it is the first thing I see, hence reminding me regularly to use it rather than Google for my searches.

Bug and I both thank you!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

An award??? Well, thank you very much! :)

A big thank you to Lisa who has honored me with an award from Arte y Pico. Lisa has been a Voyage follower for a long time and I appreciate her friendship, blogship and words of encouragement. Also, check out her blog...she and her hubby are this close to being a waiting adoptive family. WOOHOO! And, for those that are curious...they are going to make awesome parents!!!

And the rules to go along with this award are:
1. Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself. Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award (

Ok, so my five picks are...

1) Rachel @ maydaygirl - after a roller coaster of emotions and medical intervention, she is nearly 1/2 way through her first pregnancy. She is a riot to read.

2) Lee @ bert, bean, rockstar & schmoozer- She is an awesome mommy to her crew of kids (some of which have special needs)

3) Sherri @ From the mind of a bmom- One of the coolest people I have ever met! I adore her and don't spend nearly enough time talking to her anymore :( Oh, and she is a birthmom (duh! Like you couldn't tell from the title of her blog.)

4) Anita @ Meek, the Jerks and Me-She was already given the award by Lisa, but I wanted to list her here too...her blog is funny, emotional, educational and loving. She rocks and I cannot wait until her child(ren) are home with her forever!!!

5) Sarah @ elliskees...a new day- Sarah and her husband and son experienced a loss far greater than anything I have experienced...they lost their beautiful little Ellie to childhood cancer. I have followed her blog for a long time and if you take the time to read, you will find that Sarah is a woman of faith...a child of God. She is inspirational, witty and beautiful, both inside and out.

I want to thank each of these woman for opening their hearts with me (and all the other readers). Because of your words, I am a stronger woman.