Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Below is a list of some of my favorite quotes and such about adoption.  It seemed like a great way to end November.

"A Birthmother puts the needs of her child above the wants of her heart"--Skye Hardwick

For finding you mother,
There's one certain test.
You must look for the creature
Who loves you the best.--- David Kirk (Little Miss Spider)

KISSES IN THE WIND (The Waiting Child's Lullaby)
I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.
I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.
Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.
Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.
May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.
--- © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh

Some definitions:
Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial.
Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child.
Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.
By Rita Laws

If you have a favorite too, feel free to post it as a comment.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

What a fun, busy day!  Mr. Workman got up (let me sleep) and started the rolls and the turkey so when I got up I was actually feeling pretty rested.  Of course, we had all the trimmings, 2 types of stuffing, noodles, mashed potatoes, gravy, salads, cranberry sauce, and pies.  As is our tradition, before we ate 
A picture taken by Grace as we were getting the
table set to eat.  We get asked a lot,
"How big is your table?"
The answer: 120" long with 5 chairs,
one adaptive feeding chair, &
2 benches.
we each said one thing that we were thankful for this year. 
  • I said "living in a safe place" (thinking of Haiti and drought stricken west Africa ). 
  • Mr. Workman said "health"
  • David said "turkey"
  • Corrine said "family"
  • Vanessa said "sisters"
  • Matt said "poppy" (grand-dad). 
  • Hannah said "mac n cheese"
  • Jon just smiled big, and
  • Grace who went last said "that this activity is over so we can eat"! 
With that Mr. Workman prayed, and we ate A LOT of great food!  After dinner, there was football to watch and some movies for those who weren't interested in football.

Then after everyone was in bed, Mr. Workman and I planned the morning shopping trip for Christmas bargains.  Unfortunately, even with the best planning, I only got about 30% of our list....I'm afraid I have a lot of shopping ahead of me!  However, I did get one great bargain at Office Depot.  It was a 4-in-1 office machine for $29, which I really needed since the kids accidentally knocked my fax machine onto the ceramic tile floor.  This was a surprise buy that I had not seen in the ad, but it will be put to immediate use!

As another nice surprise, Mr. Workman and I got breakfast together at Cracker Barrel!  Just us (and the 1200 other people with the same idea)...it was crowded, but it was SO nice.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving's Past

In 2006, we had just moved into our current home and we were still in disbelief and amazement that God had helped us in finding an affordable house that was perfect for our needs...BUT we also wondered what God had in store for us next because obviously this house was too big for our family in 2006!  We had applied to adopt David and Vanessa and we were waiting for the paperwork to be complete, but we knew even they wouldn't fill this house.

In 2007, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving without my brother Daniel.  He had passed away in May of 2007, only days after being taken to the ER and a colloid cyst discovered on his brain.  We were all still adjusting to the changes and absence that this had brought to our lives.  Plus we were watching David and Vanessa continue to grow up in photos while we continued to wait for their adoptions to be complete.
In 2008, David and Vanessa celebrated their first Thanksgiving in our home.  Both had been here long enough for their English skills to be fairly good, and they understood when we went around the table and took turns listing something for which we are thankful.  Vanessa said "mom" and pointed to me as my heart melted.  David answered quickly and confidently, "refrig-errr'-lators" and went on to explain that you put food in them and it waits for you there....so there is always food.  From a child who had known so much physical hunger, that statement of thanksgiving was profoundly insightful!  A few weeks after Thanksgiving, Mr. Workman and I would make the prayerfully-considered decision to apply to adopt Jon whom we had met while in Haiti.

Then last year's Thanksgiving was over shadowed by the unknown.  Baby Nate and Vanessa were both having surgery in December and Nate was so sick and I was so exhausted by his round the clock feeding schedule...it really didn't fully seem like Thanksgiving.  We had a big meal and family came, but I fell asleep when I stretched out on the bed for a minute.  Ultimately I missed most of that afternoon.  Jon's adoption process was on hold due to issues in Haiti and we were doubting when and if he could join our family.

Mark (left) and Luke (right) at my mom's house tonight
just after their huge meal.

This year Jon is home.  PLUS Mark, Luke and Matt joined our family with him and they are all experiencing their first Thanksgiving with us.  None of them understand that they now have a FOREVER family and forever a place to gather with people who love them every Thanksgiving, but I understand and am so blessed!  They all  loved the busy crowded atmosphere at my mom's tonight with lots of family and friends ready to give them lots of attention and food!  I am constantly amazed at God's goodness to our family. 

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.--Psalms 136:1 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Preparations

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays although I have always found it a bit odd that it arrives during the least financially abundant times of the year in our household.  Thanksgiving coincides with the October medical bills from meeting our annual health insurance deductibles, the property tax bills, and my business' insurances.  However, maybe this is how it should be since it focuses us on all our blessings, not just material ones. Faith, family, friends, love, health, happiness, and being together top my thankfulness list.  I'm also thankful for wonderful people from church who brought us a turkey with lots of trimmings including fresh fruit and a gold fish (long story, but David is impressed....the fish is even front and center in the photo below).  What a blessing! 

In the mist of getting Thanksgiving preparations started, our hot water heater started acting up.  I was thinking that I'd have to wait to get it fixed until after Thanksgiving, but a friend came and fixed it today!   I was so happy! 

As of last night the cooking and meal prep has begun!  We are having Thanksgiving with my parents and family on Wednesday.  Since I am a highly committed cook (sarcasm), I signed up to bring the crudités.  However, I also put together a cheese tray and made some Chex snack mix. 

Then on Thursday, we will be home for our own family meal with friends.  It is good that we will be home because right now the weatherman is saying that there is a chance of snow on Thursday.  This year's is Jon, Matt, Mark and Luke's first Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

International Orphans

Today there are estimated to be over
143 million orphans in the world.

How many is 143 million?

If you had these orphans hold hands in a line, you would see over 1,700 orphans per mile.  If you were to follow that line of orphans holding hands, driving 60 mph, you could drive 24 hours a day seeing 1,700 orphans every mile, hour after hour, day after day without stopping for over two months, and you would still see orphans holding hands.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

US Adoption

In the United States:
  • Of the more than 500,000 children living in foster care, 129,000 cannot return to their families and are waiting to be adopted. Among these children:
    • Males outnumber females.
    • African American children are disproportionately represented.
    • Nearly two-thirds are age six or older.
  • The average length of stay in foster care for children awaiting adoption is 44 months.
  • More than 41 percent spend two to five years in foster care.
  • Nearly 20 percent are trapped in foster care for five years or more.

Focus on the Family president and chief executive Jim Daly said.
"I was one of those kids — a kid that doesn't have a mom and dad. I was never adopted, but I was very appreciative of the people who came along to mentor me.“
"If my Bible math is right, God reminds us 47 times to take care of widows and orphans. This country has something like 300,000 churches and 130,000 orphans. The math is pretty simple."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month and November 7th was Orphan Sunday so there has been a lot of emphasis and information on adoption in the media.  As part of this media coverage there has been a "sour" note in some of the coverage.  This "sour" note  is the idea that international adoption is "un-American" adoption option.   I would like to clean up these myths from my perspective.  However, before I get started I want to make one TRUTH clear--Neither international nor domestic adoption is right or wrong or better or worse.  It doesn't matter where an orphan comes from, if God calls you to meet a child's need in the form of adoption, then you have a responsibility to answer God's call...its not about being American.  Its about being a Christian.

Myth #1:  Adopting kids from the United States is the "American" thing to do.  Adopting internationally brings new "burdens" to the United States.

A reader's comment clipped from the
Joplin Globe online edition
      Right now the United States has many strong "anti-illegal immigration" beliefs and I think this often gets confused with adoption issues.  When a child is adopted from another country, that child's parents must seek permission for their child to enter the United States and become a citizen.  As part of gaining permission, the parents must prove the child was an orphan, prove the adoption is complete and show that they have the income to meet the child's needs without welfare and verify that no other child in their home is receiving welfare. 

    For Mr. Workman and I, adoption was not about nationality, it was about being called to adopt.  We tried domestic adoption and each time were told no.  We were told no on our first international attempt too, but God used all those "no's" to bring us to the child that He had for us.  We never considered what others would think of her nationality or race.  We loved her from the first picture and we knew we were supposed to bring her home. 
Myth #2:  Internationally adopted kids have less "problems" than kids available in the United States.

    Warning:  I'm about to be rudely blunt!  If you are looking for a child with less "problems" to adopt, then you need to be adopting a pet and not a kid.  All kids have "problems" no matter if adopted or by birth and it is the job of parents to help the child with the problems that they face as they grow.

    Now truthfully some childhood experiences of trauma, abuse, starvation, abandonment and neglect place scars on kids that only certain parents are ready to pray their way through.  No matter if adopting in the United States or internationally their are kids with all different backgrounds and families need to consider which backgrounds can be handled in their home.  Some kids should be an only child and others should be the youngest or other with a single mom, but these issues are not unique to a country.  These issues are unique to the child.

Myth #3:  International adoption has less requirements and less oversight than domestic adoptions.

    Each country has different amounts of oversight and different kinds of oversight.  Some might argue that the HIV, syphilis and TB tests that we had to have for Haiti is more oversight than the United States.  Others would think the fact we got to pick our social worker to be less oversight.  The bottom line is ALL adoptions have a home study by a licensed professional which will include proof of marriage, income, expenses, mental stability and explanation of the home environment. 

Myth #4:  International orphans are not "really" orphans...their parents just cannot afford them. 

   This is a newer myth that comes largely from international aid groups who are trying to use orphans as a reason to leverage large amounts of money from the UN and countries like the US.  One group recently suggested that it could empty orphanages by offering families cash to take the children home, and I suspect that they are correct.  Extended family members and strangers would show up to claim their cash and their orphan, but I cannot let my mind think what would happen to that child next.

   Adoptive families must be a part of making sure their child's family was offered humanitarian aid and resources to keep the child.  Plus the adoptive family needs to check that the story of how the child became an orphan is true.  Parents should get the opportunity to meet the remaining members of the child's family and others who have been a part of the child's life.

Myth #5:  People who adopt internationally are just "showing off" and trying to be "trendy". 

   Oh, Brad and Angelina, you have supposedly made international adoption "cool".  (Shaking my head)

    Warning: I'm about to be rudely blunt AGAIN! If you are looking for a child to make you "cool", then you need to be adopting a pet and not a kid AND you need to go all out on the pet.  You should buy a purse for it to be carried in, and a diamond studded collar is not out of the question...just stay away from kids.

So this month, I'll be sharing some adoption facts and figures in my blogs...some international and some domestic because I don't know what God is calling you to do.  If you have questions about adoption in general or about our family's adoption experiences, please feel free to email me.  I'll try to answer your questions or get someone who can answer, if your questions are not within my expertise.
God sent him to buy freedom for us who were
slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us
as his very own children.--Galatians 4:5 NLT

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"After Mine Own Heart"

My first picture of David.  Someday he'll be
a grown man, but I'll still see this little boy.
I didn't even know his name and despite
knowing I shouldn't , I fell in love with this
little face that greeted me on my first visit
to the COTP web site. So I called Daddy to the
computer and we emailed COTP immediately.

Not long ago David asked me what his name meant. I reminded him about David in the Bible.  David said questioningly, "he killed some monsters and I get his name".  I reminded him, "Giants, not monsters" and  I explained to David that God had said Bible-David was a a man after His own heart.  (David, a typically 7 year old, said that sounded gross.)  I went on and explained it meant that Bible-David had a desire to love the same things that God loved.  David declared that his name was "cool", and he wanted to know if Bible-David ever killed any dinosaurs....oh, the theologically conversations that I could only have with a 7 year old boy!
On October 28th, I had a long day.  I left the house at 4:00am headed to St. Louis Children's Hospital for Jon's appointment.  Grace and David decided to come along since there was no school and they knew it would get them at least one restaurant meal.  The appointment and testing went slowly and we finally got home around 7pm...after 2 McD stops and one White Castle stop.  So at 7pm, the celebration of it being Hannah's 11th birthday got started.  After lots of celebrating, we started the bath line, put babies to bed and started the nightly routine.  

However, David in his usual quiet way, slipped up on my lap and said that "he wanted to say that prayer telling God that he loves Him and wants to live by His rules and be forgiven for his sins."  So we talked about what that prayer meant.  I asked him questions and he asked me some.  Finally, as David insisted that he was ready, we got Daddy to join us and David said his prayer.  He told us that he would tell the pastor on Sunday, but this was Thursday so we waited to see if he would be brave enough to go up and tell the pastor.

On Saturday David reminded us that he needed us to go to church the next day because he needed to tell the pastor and everyone about his prayer.  On Sunday as soon as he verified it was time, he took Daddy with him up to the front of the church to talk to the pastor!  ....Now Grace & Corrine were "saved" young and both waited a bit to be baptized so I figured David would wait too especially since he is very frightened of going under water...But he said he was ready to show people his decision by being baptized.  So on Sunday, my sweet little David was baptized.   

I've watched the Lord, reach out to David and answer his prayers in real ways so David would know God had heard him...I will always smile at David praying so earnestly for a baby brother (and I was trying to prepared David for a bigger kid since we had started Jon's adoption process) and rather suddenly we got Nate.  Then he started praying nightly for more baby brothers and God brought him more baby brothers!

Its my prayer that God will continue to reach out to David to help him and us as we try to disciple him in the truths of living a Christlike-life of obedience and service to God...Lord knows we are going to need LOTS of help...as I can hear the questions already..."Did Jesus kill any dinosaurs?"....Only our David. 

 the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and
the LORD hath commanded him [to be] captain over his people,
because thou hast not kept [that]
which the LORD commanded thee.--I Samuel 13:14b

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a
sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to
thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the
armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.--1 Samuel 17:45
(cooler than a dinosaur if you ask me...)