The Christmas shopping has started, albeit a little late.
This is a special Christmas for us this year. Jael is in our arms and our family is all in one country. Do you remember this day last year for our family? (Hint: If you scroll down to the end after clicking the below link, you can see the video of our meeting Jael for the first time.)
"God Keeps His Promises"
Sarah, Anna, I were across the world…meeting our newest Asian princess.
The Christmas presents God gives are THE BEST. Last year’s gift is now giggling and chasing her brother.
Sometimes it does not occur to us that the gifts that are wrapped different, that may not be easily unwrapped (wrapped with the equivalent of duct tape) are opened to reveal the coolest blessings.
GOD wraps presents like no other. We may look at them, tilt our head, and wonder if it’s advisable to open.
You see, God’s presents are like stepping off a cliff knowing you will be caught at some point, knowing they will hold adventure and often…. things that will painfully grow us…. inside. Yet these gifts ARE SO COOL!
Do you want to open them up? Ummmmm…God’s gifts are life changing. We should always want to, but in our human nature….we don’t always REALLY want to.
We had a gift under our family tree this year. It was shaped different and lies in a very dark place. Yet, when you (you know you do this) peel back the wrappings a little and take a peek, this HUGE BRIGHT LIGHT shines out.
This dark place isn’t common under our tree, COVERED with ornament after ornament and filled with lights. Then again, Eastern Europe isn’t a commonly underneath any part of our tree….or even most trees.
In an adult mental institution in Eastern Europe our present sits…and a bright light shines in the darkness. If you look really close, many bright lights shine. Our present is an eight year old boy named Jonathan, though others know him by another name. He looks to be tiny, the size of a toddler. He’s frail and only residing in this darkness because he has Down Syndrome. He’s not mobile or most likely verbal. His hunger has led to immobility.
Darkness, abuse, bruises, neglect….no touch or sensation other than self created…and many other things….. reside in this dark place where our son is. Yes, we said it…our son.
As we sit around our Christmas dinners this year, our son is hungry. We didn’t plan to set another place; we prayed and planned for SOMEONE ELSE to set another place. There are so many SOMEONE ELSE’S in the world, surly there was one for this unusual and precious gift.
After all, our table is full, our arms are weighted with beautiful blessing. HE had to be SOMEONE ELSE’S gift.
As many walked past this gift though, ignoring its worth, we kept looking and praying that SOMEONE ELSE would pick it up. Until my husband and I looked at each other and saw a sign, hanging around each other’s necks that said, “SOMEONE ELSE”. God placed it there while we weren’t looking. We are “SOMEONE ELSE”.
So this Christmas, we celebrate a gift…another one that we don’t deserve. While others may worry about Jonathan being “too hard” or “too much”….we have tossed out any crazy ideas of life being easy.
Long ago, wise men followed a star to a gift that altered ALL our lives forever. Jesus, the ultimate gift (which NOTHING can compare) did not come to earth for ease….and neither do we.
Please join us as we celebrate another child, a deserving and blessed child of God.
*PLEASE READ BELOW INFORMATION AND READ INCLUDED LINKS BEFORE RESPONDING.
*…..For Jonathan, that God’s sustains him and touches hearts around him. That he dreams of us and God prepares him to attach and heal, even beyond what is expected.
*….against satan’s attacks. They have already started…the same day we had planned to “officially” announce Jonathan. It is whispers from satan already starting. Even our daughter said, “Wow, these are starting early mom.” Please specifically pray against not only physical attacks, but ESPECIALLY for our children as satan knows attacks against our kids are some of the most painful. Please pray our children are completely protected and against emotional and physical attacks.
*Please pray blessings on this process. That all papers are correct, medicals are wonderful, evaluations and homestudies go great….and for blessing and speed that can only come from God.
*Please pray God uses this journey to touch hearts around the world and to ignite a new fire for orphans.
Information we ask you to read before responding….
*Jonathan is in Eastern Europe. Many of you coming from the advocacy site may know him by another name. In order to respect the country of Jonathan’s birth and their rules we are sharing little information about him or where he is.
*Yes, he is in an adult mental institution. In many Eastern European nations, special needs children are often transferred to ADULT mental institutions around the age of five. Eighty percent die within the first year. Yes, that statistic is rarely debated and there is no guarantee that Jonathan’s little light will not wane before we arrive. He is also thought to be in a laying room….a room where children are never expected to leave except by death.
*Jonathan is at a place where “the Lost Boys go”. That is what is said about this place. Children are not heard from unless they are adopted. Two…two children have exited this institution…two.
*God has spoken to our hearts, our lives, and our friends, of that we are 100% confident that we are not trying to lead God…but HE has led us. We started reticent and we have ended up blessed.
*Our kids are worried…worried that Jonathan will survive…worried that we won’t get there soon enough. They are NOT worried that they may have to sacrifice as we fight for Jonathan’s life. They are NOT worried about sharing us. They know they are cherished. They know we are there when they need us (and many times when they feel they don’t…giggle).
*We ask you to read the following two links. This MAY be the condition Jonathan is in.
The parents of these children (who are also in large families) I consider personal blessings. They have offered us much guidance and the possibilities of what we MAY expect.
*Some may ask, “Why you?” There is only one answer we can give that is truthful….because God said “GO”. For those who think it may be too hard, God does not lead and not provide. God did not say, “GO and because I am speaking everyone will understand.” God’s work is filled with those who may not understand.
*For those who would like to genuinely question with love, feel free. Please read THIS first and remember that Jonathan is not a statistic. We’ve had many many months of trying to find Jonathan a family and then many many months of prayer….until God shared with us that we ARE that family. We understand that it took us many months to realize God’s will and we hope to show that mercy to others. Remember we are human though and, as our daughter said, “Mom, I’m afraid I may not always react in a Christian way…the way I should…. if someone tells us we should leave Jonathan there.” Please show us mercy as well.
*For those who are wondering how they might help, please see the following blog post.
When we follow God, He has always provided in the most miraculous ways.
When we follow God, He has always provided in the most miraculous ways.
"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" II Corinthians 9:15