Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Blog

I am writing a new blog now - capturing the moments of the awesome everyday with my children.  Thank you for reading the posts in "Anchor Deep."  You read and commented and saw me go through some hard times.  I know that no life is storm proof, and Christ is always our Anchor.  I want to move forward now, not ignoring the storms, but also writing about the joy and hope and promise that we have with Him.  Everyday.  He loves us.

I call it "Keeping This Day"  because of the nautical meaning of keeping.  "The Keeper of the Stars" watched the night sky, charting the stars, to stay on course.  If a storm blew in, taking his ship off course, the sailor once again watched the night sky, keeping the stars, and got back on the course that would take him to home port.

As I go from day to day, I want to be keeping Christ, my Anchor, in my heart.  I want to keep the day safe from the ravages of depression.  I want to keep the day safe from anger, or bitterness, or wasted time.  I want to keep my children safe in a loving, helpful place, that is full of hope and open to their friends.  And I want to be keeping the memories for years to come.  Thus, my new blog.  I sure hope you come by for a visit.

www.keepingthisday.blogspot.com




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the call


"Yes, I know it's a zebra...it's stripes go different!"


"I shall not want..."
because when I do
I'm telling God
that I don't want the gifts He gave me -
I want
something else.
I take my eyes off the prize,
the Kingdom of Heaven,
and start to desire the things
of this passing empire,
Satan's footstool.

When I desire a gift
not on my table or in my possession,
I am telling God
that He isn't enough,
and I don't have enough
and somewhere He made a mistake.

I need to compare my want
with the glory of heaven
with the agony of Calvary
and the want
will disapate
into
glad obedience
and the
joy of the call.


This was not posed...our little man LOVES to read the paper with his Daddy :)




Saturday, August 4, 2012

Adoption Fundraiser ~ Will's Book for Sale ~


The book has a color front page, clear plastic cover, glued binding, and plastic back cover


Our 11 year old son has written a book, 37 pages long, with 4 full size illutstrations and dozens of small sketches throughout the story.  The story is set on the Frontier, with lots of action, drama, and heart warming details about two friends, Nick and Sam, who set out to make a wonderful life for themselves and others in the wilderness.  Will spent weeks writing this story, and almost as much time drawing all the illustrations.  As you read the story, it feels as if Nick and Sam are real people that must have lived out West at one time...

We are asking for a $10.00 donation for each book.  My friend, Amy,  will match every donation.  The money is being used to buy plane tickets to file paper work and bring his big sister, Mercy-Brian, home to her forever family.  We will need to make two trips to Ghana for the adoption - one to file paper work and meet Mercy-Brian (me for the second time, and Travis for the first time) and spend much wanted time with her.  The second trip will be to bring her HOME !

Your prayers for Mercy-Brian and your concern for her are very much appreciated.  She is 14, and has wanted a family for a very long time.  My prayer is that we fill her with so much love and comfort and acceptance that she feels very quickly at home, and knows beyond doubt that we are her family and will ALWAYS love her.

Thank you for coming by to read about our adoption story.  Thank you for your support and prayers.
Our children are blessed by the adult mentors and friends that have invested in their lives.

~

If you would like to purchase a book, would you please email us at:
TravisandDeborah@bellsouth.net 
and we will work out the details of address and payment through email. 
Thank you. Thank you. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Just as I am...

Rounding first, headed home !!
I saw her coming - long hair flying every which way - one shoe on, one shoe in her hand, dangling from the laces - running to come join the game of kickball.  We were towards the end of an afternoon with children to whom we serve a free lunch, and then have a Bible story, play games and make a craft.  "Lily," I'll call her, had not been in a long time.  She ran up to me, shoe in hand, out of breath..."Can you get this knot out?" 

I untied  the knot, but could not help her tie the shoe because I was holding a tired three year old.  I told her to go to my daughter who would help her.  "Does she know how to tie a shoe?" Lily asked me in all seriousness as she looked questioningly from me to my daughter.  "Yes."  I answered.  "She is eighteen and she can tie very well."

Lily marched over and got her shoe properly tied.  Well, the game was over.  It was a close one, both sides were yelling and running and all excited as the last runner kicked the ball.  In the midst of the confusion, I got my son's attention (he was the coach/all time pitcher) and pointed at Lily.  He gave me a nod that said he understood. 

After the winning run came in, and in the middle of all the yelling and happiness, he called her name, "Lily, you're up!"  She thought they were yelling for her.  She didn't know that she wasn't on a team.  She kicked with all her might in her new little pink shoes, and then headed for the bases....backwards.  She rounded third, and headed for second.  My son didn't say a word.  The kids were frantically trying to get the ball, telling my son she was confused... She just kept running.  Rounding first...and on to home...at that point one little guy had the ball and threw it so that it would have perfectly hit her leg and made her "out," but my son (somehow...smile) got in the way, and Lily made it home.  He cheered.  We all cheered.  Lily was the happiest.  "Game over!" my son announced.  "Time for crafts!"

Tired, sweaty children gladly headed to the air conditioning. They were happy, anticipating cold juice and a cool space to sit and draw.    I was happy because I had just seen a picture of God's grace, God's acceptance and  His amazing crazy love. 

Does she know how to tie shoes?
The kick ball star didn't know what to draw, so she traced TL's hand.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Out of the Eddy

Have you ever had a day when no big huge thing is wrong, but just lots of things beyond your control are swirling in your mind like an eddy, and on the inside you're treading water like a wild woman?  I had one such day.  It's no fun. 

I wrote this poem at the end of that day.  I realized that I want Christ to be my hero, but I don't go to Him with my problems.  I tell myself everything is ok, everything will work out, I'm fine.  And that's great - until I've shoved so much pain to the back of my mind that I can't think straight.  I don't want to admit that something is painful.  I don't like to admit that something is wrong - that I am wrong.  Let's just keep this ship moving, and everything will be just fine.  That's me.  That's also wrong. 

Christ is there, by me, with me, and He wants to help me.  But first I have to give Him the problem, and even before that, I have to admit that there is a problem.  My family is with me.  They love me, and they need to know what is going on inside my head.  What lie am I believing?  What am I worried about?  They want to know: how can they help?

I hope this helps someone today.  There is a peace over my heart this morning that passes any understanding.  God IS here.  And He loves us so much.

How can I praise Him for the sun
when I've never seen the rain
How can I cherish joy
when I've never felt pain...


How can He rescue me
if I don't step out of the boat
touch His hem
scream out His name
fall before Him
climb a tree to see Him.


And where He puts me
where He tells me to go -
that's just the beginning
of His love story for me
He'll be there
He'll be the hero.


And I'll praise Him for the sun
in the midst of the rain
I'll cherish joy
in spite of the pain.


He never left me
He never let me go
he brought me where I ought to be
and he lets me know
He is my hero.

I don't know why I don't run to God with my heartaches
when I live with the miracle of adoption.
I do know that His mercies are new every morning.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Summer Day in the Life of Jesse...

Once upon on time, there was a little boy
who came into my life by adoption,
and brought me abundant joy and wonderful hugs.

He loves to be just like his big brother...
who wants to teach him everything important to know and to love.

He wants to be a big boy.
He wants to be the number one helper.
He loves everything about growing a garden and raising animals.
He loves to put food in the freezer.

He sings "Jesus loves me" with passion.
He treats little guys tenderly.

His abilities and determination are gifts.
He is strong in body and in spirit.

Here he is with his brothers, ready to go out for "Brother Night,"
a gift from their big sister.
He puts energy into our family, and spreads joy like nobody's business.
How I cherish my Baby Boy,
a gift from the Heavenly Father
Who knew our family needed Jesse.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adoption Update

The next few steps for our family are exciting, to say the least.   Right now, the courts in Ghana are preparing paper work that we will need to present to the Embassy to request Mercy-Brian's visa.

When that paper work is finished, Travis and I will make arrangements and travel to Ghana to file the petition.  Yes - Travis and I!  I am beyond happy that Mercy-Brian will meet me as her mother for the first time, and meet her Daddy for the first time ever.  The details for this visit are not in place - just in my dreams.  But our plans are to go, file the paper work, and visit our new daughter, Lord willing.

After the visit, Travis and I will come home.  The visa process takes approximately 60 to 90 days to complete.  As soon as Mercy-Brian's visa is given to our AAI representative, she can come home!  The plan right now is that we will fly to Ghana again to bring her home.  Who the "we" is isn't exactly certain yet, but it may be three of us...more on that later.

Right now this minute in Ghana, Mercy-Brian is a Smith.  She is our daughter.  She is part of our family, and we are just waiting on the next steps in the journey to bring her home.  God is so faithful.  He has used the hands and feet and hearts and prayers of lots of friends and loved ones to make this adoption a miraculous reality.  "Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow..."

This was taken in 2009 at Eban House. 
Mercy-Brian is holding the baby
that Anita adopted.