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answering your questions

Wow, you guys!  Thank you so very much for your generous giving to the orphans of Bulgaria.  I am overwhelmed by your hearts and the love you have poured out for these precious children.  I can hardly wait to see updates on what God is about to do in their lives.  I will absolutely keep you all posted.  Please continue to pray for these sweet children–pray that many, many of them will be available for adoption, that they will receive adequate nutrition, and that where the light of Christ shines brightly into that place, the enemy will flee.

I realized today how terribly neglected my camera has been these days.  I have been awful about taking pictures.  Life has just been so crazy busy and some days I forget to capture the moments that happen in my home. Since we moved back here last November things have been so, so busy.  Night school, getting the kids sorted out with new therapists (I will share on that soon), so many doctors appointments, Anthony has been working hard, on and on.  It sure has been a busy season.  I just blinked and March is here.  Crazy.  For the sake of my family who lives overseas and needs to see pictures, I must to get back into the habit of capturing my beautiful blessings on camera more often again.

Tonight I thought I would finally start answering some of the questions you all asked me here

You advocate for so many children and bring an awareness to so many desperate situations, but I don’t see you adopting any more children.  Why not?

Well, that’s easy to answer.  If you have followed my blog for a while you will know that we have not qualified for an adoption in the last 18 months.  Trust me, our hearts are wide open and if God makes a way for us to go and rescue another child, we would say yes in a heartbeat!  Until that happens, we do what we can to advocate, raise an awareness, and help others fulfill the call to adopt by fundraising. 

I would love to hear more about South Africa and where you are from.  How was it growing up there…did you visit other countries in Africa…was it safe, etc…Also, just wondering have you ever felt a calling to adopt from Africa?

I miss my home country something awful!  I miss Africa, its people, its beauty, and the very laid back way of life.  There truly is just something special about Africa.

I was born and raised in South Africa and spent the first thirty years of my life as an African girl.  Growing up there was so wonderful. I actually grew up in the 80’s in a small, independent homeland within South Africa. The Transkei, as it was formerly known, had its own government and was autonomous from South Africa. The beauty of my childhood was that I was completely oblivious of the apartheid regime in South Africa. I had a very carefree childhood.  At that time there was hardly any crime and we spent our days riding around our neighborhood, swimming, spending holidays in shacks on the Wild Coast (which is a breathtakingly stunning part of the country where we also spent our honeymoon), and just being kids.

The Transkei was such a diverse homeland–rich in many, many different cultures and people from all over the world who immigrated there as business people and store owners. I remember having people of so many different countries and backgrounds in my school. I had no idea about segregation and some of my best friends were black people–which was unheard of in the rest of S.A. at that time. I was so blessed.

Everything changed, of course, when I got into high school and attended an all-girls boarding school (I lasted all of one year in an all-girls school!) in South Africa.  I was shocked that there were no black people in my class–to me it was the strangest thing.  Thankfully, all that changed so radically just a few years later as my country went through major political changes.

South Africa definitely has been through its ups and downs over the years.  There have been a few occasions when we have seriously considered moving back there as missionaries again (we would absolutely love that!), but for some reason the timing has never been right and God has kept us right here in America.  He is obviously not done with us here yet.

I do miss my friends and family something ridiculous.  I have an adorable little niece who I have only seen once.  One of the hardest parts about turning forty last month was realizing once again just how fast time flies.  It really makes me ponder about the years which go by that I don’t get to see one single member of my family.  It hurts. God has been so good to me though.  I have been so blessed to be able to see the ones I love fairly regularly over the last decade–He always makes a way, somehow. 

As far as countries that I have visited in Africa–not many actually.  I have only been to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland.  Pretty pathetic since I have visited about 40 countries around the world so far in my lifetime, and only 5 of those are in Africa.

Adopting from South Africa?  Gosh, I would absolutely love that!  The need is just so, so dire there.  But I don’t even think it’s possible to live here and adopt from there.  I have never heard of it being done.  America has such strict adoption laws and only allow certain children into the country.

How do you handle negative comments on your blog?  I know people can be so mean.

One word.  Delete!

When I started blogging almost four years ago and I got one single negative comment, it would crush me.  I would seriously have sleepless nights and it would eat me alive.  But four years of blogging and sharing my heart here have definitely toughened me up.  I have learned to let things go.  I have learned that some people take pleasure in hiding behind a computer and spewing hatred (always anonymously, of course).  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with someone differing in opinion and sharing it with kind words and decency–but nastiness, making fun of my children who have special needs (yes, they do that), and just plain meanness–it will never be tolerated or published on my blog.  Bring on comment moderation.

Do you believe that every family must adopt a child?

No!  Absolutely not. 

I believe with all my heart that the requirement to care for the orphan (James 1:27) is for each and every Christian.  However, that “caring” looks different for all of us.  Not everyone is called to grow their family through adoption (although I do believe we must all prayerfully consider it).  Some are called to adopt, others are called to sow financially into someone’s adoption, some are called to be a support and an encouragement, while others are called to go on short-term missions to serve children in impoverished orphanages. There are just so, so many ways that we can ALL make a profound difference in the life of a child. The wonderful thing is that when we all do something, together it makes a huge difference.  Just look at all the funds which have come in for the Bulgarian orphans.  Some people donated the small seed they were able to, and the LORD multiplied it into something so glorious, so amazing.

Can we follow you on Facebook, or is that for people who you know in real life?

You are welcome to follow along. 

Have you settled back in your old house?

Yes, we have.  There is still so much painting that I am itching to do–but I’ll get there eventually.

What is your favorite movie?

Funny.  I am so not a movie or TV kinda girl.  If I had to pick one movie which I absolutely loved it would probably be My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I know–deep, thought-provoking, and very profound stuff, huh?

Do you think that you will homeschool all your kids through high school?

Goodness, I have no idea.  I just take one year at a time and trust God to lead and guide when it comes to schooling our children.  I will say that I absolutely love homeschooling.  I love having my children here at home with me.  But I also know that nothing is ever etched in stone and that life changes so quickly.  I am open to whatever the Father has for us.  For now, we will continue to enjoy every day that we have together at home and remember that our plans for next year are in His hands, not ours.

I would love to know what kind of church you attend?

Since moving back here, we are still so unsure of where the Lord is going to plant us regarding a church to call home.  While we wait for His guidance, we have been gathering in our home with other believers on a Sunday.  We have been in and served in so many churches since getting married.  There are some things that, for us, are non-negotiable as far a church goes. 

~~~  The church MUST have a vibrant missions department.  We are commanded to “Go into all the nations and make disciples of all men.”  Having been missionaries, we are passionate about churches getting behind those who are called to go and enabling them to spread the Gospel far and wide. 

~~~  Money which comes into the church must go out of the church to support missionaries, local outreach programs, the poor, the needy, the orphan, the widow.

~~~  The church must embrace adoption as part of its outreach.  Too often we hear, “Well, we cannot support your adoption because that means we would have to do it for everyone!”  Huh?  Heck, yeah!  Support each and every family stepping out in faith to bring a child home.  It’s a command! 

~~~  Sow money into people, not building funds!

For now, house church is working well.  We love the intimacy of sitting on the floor in our living room, with our children all gathered around us, and sharing hearts.  We love including our children in what we are talking about and getting them to share too.  It is so sweet to see little ones praying out loud for their unsaved friends and bigger kids having ah-ha moments when they finally get an understanding of something in the Word of God.  Church pretty much lasts all day because we just love fellowshipping and spending time with each other.  For now, it is where God has us.

As with everything in our lives, we’ll take things one step at a time and trust the Lord to lead and guide us in all these things.

Blessing the name of the Lord.