Friday, June 24, 2016

Blooming Where We are Planted Season 2---Day 2! :) :)

And so....I'm so sorry it's been so long since I've updated, but here you go!  From May 29th until June 14th, we were at Children's Hospital in NH with JoyAnna. She had her final foot renconstruction related surgery on May 27th. It was a day surgery, and we went home! The next day, she spiked a fever and Glenn took her to Concord Hospital. She was transported up to CHAD by ambulance and it was determined that she had a staph infection in her blood from the surgery. Jon and I stayed at David's House. We were able to meet and minister to and pray for soooooo many people during our time here. We kept people abreast of how to best pray. I would hashtag our time as:  #bloomingwhereweareplantedday____ and counting! 


We were at CHAD for 17 days! We went home on June 14th on one week of high powered IV antibiotics. Those ended on Monday, June 20th. On Tuesday, the 21st, she spiked another fever at home and she was direct admitted to Concord Hospital and then again, came up to CHAD by ambulance where we are right now! She still has an infection somewhere! Here is our update from today! Jon has titled our stay here this time as:  #bloomingwhereweareplantedSeason2Day___andcounting! Thank you so much for your prayers and support! 

   

(Now let us) have a little talk with Jesus
(Let us) tell Him all about our troubles
(He will) hear our fainted cry
(He will) answer by and by
(When you) feel a little prayer wheel turning
(And you) will know a little fire is burnin'
(You will) find a little talk with Jesus makes it right.

I may have doubts and fears, my eye be filled with tears
But Jesus is a friend who watches day and night
I go to him in prayer, He knows my every care
And just a little talk with my Jesus make it right

And that is exactly what I have done these last 2 days! I had a little talk with Jesus! I told him ALL about my troubles! My eyes were filled with tears! He truly did hear my fainted cry. And He truly has answered! You see, all the way up here, I cried out to Him! I said...."Jesus, WHY???? Why do I have to do this again, Jesus! Why?? I was just getting settled in back at home, in routine and schedule, all cozy and such...WHY?...I'm weak, and I don't know if I can handle this again...I really don't, Jesus...Why?" and He whispered to me...."My strength my dear child is made perfect in your weakness!...Go...Go and bloom again where you are re-planted!"........and this reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures...
."Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you GREAT and unsearchable things you do NOT know!" Jeremiah 33:3. And that's exactly what has happened this day that the Lord has made! 

You see...last night when I was changing Joy for bed, I noticed that her left leg was limp and like a dead weight, and she wasn't using it at all. She usually moves both legs around and twists them so much so that her nickname is "Little Miss Pretzel Legs! " Anyway...I thought that was strange and I made a note of that. She also had a fever last night of around 101. Last night, I "had a little talk with Jesus" and asked Him to reveal what was truly going on. To please show us things we could not see! 

Fast foward to this morning! I met with Dr. P, and we were able to talk about everything, and she explained what she was going to do today in surgery. Yesterday, the MRI showed questionable fluid in her left foot. So.....She is going to make 2 incisions in her left foot and try and explore further and aspirate any fluids for cultures. She is also going to look for other joints that may need a culture, too. Maybe her left knee and her left hip. And her port is going to be removed today, too, as it's been in almost 3 years. (It was put in in Bulgaria)...so that will remove any possibility of bacteria in those lines and such. So they will try and run an IV in her arm while the port site heals. They'll do that under anesthesia, too. 

Then I got a chance to explain the left leg to Dr. P. She manuevered her leg around and wasn't too convinced that the leg was having troubles, and then...the most amazing thing happened which was TOTALLY of the Lord! Dr. P. got to see Joy work super hard to roll over from her back to her belly and she did it totally without using her left leg at all. She had to struggle and try and try. Her left leg just stayed in a "chicken wing" position. Like a dead weight. It was truly the perfect display of what I was talking about!!

Dr. P then said..."Hmmm....Wow...That's something I did NOT even see or consider before. It is totally possible that the infection may be in her spinal cord area. Wow...that's really interesting....I'm so sorry that I did NOT even think of that before...but now I SEE it clearly. Wow...that makes sense that the infection could be there because she had an anesthesia block on May 27th in preparation for her pin removal surgery. Hmmm...wow....I just didn't even think about that or SEE that before!"......"So we will need to do an MRI of her spinal area to check that out!..Wow...I've never SEEN the signs of that before now!"

So you see....this is exactly as that scripture promises! "Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you GREAT and unsearchable things you do not know!"...and He did exactly that this morning! He answered my cry by showing this truth to Dr. Prince that she didn't consider before! ALL in His perfect timing, which I can SEE so clearly now, too! It took all of this to happen in order for this to be found out. This is ALL part of His plan! Including the gift to me and Jon and Joy of one week at home! Thank you Jesus! 

JoyAnna is doing GREAT today which is such a blessing! Smiling and joyful! Her true personality! 

And so.....Please continue to pray for God's will and wisdom for everyone! For strength and testimony for me and for Jon. God is at work! Not sure how long we'll be here! We'll SEE how long God has for "season 2" to last!  

As one of the comforts of home, I brought a painting that my dear friend Jordan made for me. I LOVE it! It's in the photo I've posted! 

Thank you ALL for your prayers and encouragement! It's a great blessing to us!   

Here are some other updates:

Please continue to pray for my dear friend Xaviera. (she is the one who gave birth to premature twins and one is in heaven) I got to see her last night and this morning. Her little baby, Adelina, is doing so well. She's gaining (she's almost 3 pounds) and she is now off the C-PAP machine, which is awesome! She is ready to be transfered to CMC in Manchester which will be closer for Xaviera and her family. Both parents need to be comfortable with this move, and the Dad is concerned about the length of the ambulance ride, and wants them to wait for a few more weeks. Xaviera is ready to be closer to home. Please pray for this precious family. 

I also got an update from Trisha. (this is the family who had their full term baby born and she's had complications and didn't move very much at first) Her little girl Loralai is doing really well! They got to take out the breathing tube which is such a blessing, and means that she can try and nurse! Her big sister Libby got to hold her, too, one time for almost a whole hour! That's soooooo awesome! They have a few prayer requests. Right now she is being fed by an NG tube, and Trisha is trying to nurse her. She latches on, but doesn't stay latched. It seems like she is having some troubles nursing. The doctor in the NICU that is on rounds this week wants to put in a g-tube. They have given the family until Friday to see if she will nurse, and if she won't, they'll do the surgery. Please pray! Pray for this little baby to be able to nurse! The family has also asked for a swallow study to be done to make sure she's able to swallow okay. The docs are resistant for some reason. The nurses are in favor of it. Please pray or favor and for God's will!  

It seems that my friend Laura who's cousin was the gestational carrier for her baby has gone home with her baby boy! She thought she would be going home pretty soon when she was here last! ! Praise God! Please pray for a smooth transition at home for them, and for peace for the cousin as she adjusts to life post birth!  

Signing off for now! 
 
#littleisMUCHwhenGodisinit
#bloomingwhereweareplantedSeason2day2andcounting
#seeingisbelieving
 

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Let's Help Alaya!!

It's time to be the hands and feet of Jesus here. I am at CHAD with this family RIGHT now! Let's rally around them and help them! This is their precious daughter. She's in a fight for her life! Please help them HERE....Please take time to read their story. Amazing family! Join me now!

Friday, May 06, 2016

A "different" kind of Mother's Day...and a bunch of other things running through my heart and head...



I spent last night at David's House in preparation for JoyAnna's 2nd foot reconstruction surgery today. We are staying in the insect room, which is lovely. We have stayed in that room before. It is bright and sunny and very comfy. I am incredibly thankful for David's House and their hospitality. What a blessing it has been to us. 

So last night I had a dream. In my dream, JoyAnna just stood up and walked. It was sooooooo real. Her surgeries were all completed in the dream and she had her braces on her feet and she was walking! This was such an encouragement to my heart as her Mom. I was shouting..."Arise and Shine JoyAnna! Arise and Shine!" Wow! 

"Will she ever walk?"...this is one of our number one questions that people ask us each day. And you know what??? I don't have the answer to that, but God does. God knows. I would LOVE to shout out, "YES! OF COURSE!"...to answer those questions, but I can't do that. I would love to think that after all that she's been through, that God is grooming her to be able to walk. That would be the coolest testimony to His healing of this precious little girl. But what if.....what if this whole process and all the people that we have seen and interacted with during these last 1.5 years...the Dr's...the surgeons, the nurses, the anesthesiologists, the receptionists, the physical therapists, the other hospital patients, the folks at David's House, the folks at Molly's Place.....ALL of them....what if this was all for them to meet JoyAnna, to hear about the plight of the orphans in Bulgaria and other places, and to have their eyes opened?? Is it still worth it? Could this really be God's plan?? The answer is "Yes". "Oh most definitely YES!"....

So right now JoyAnna is in surgery and Jon and I are hanging out and waiting. The waiting is hard. The unknown is always hard. The waiting is scary, to...the what ifs can be plaguing to me. I think other people here are feeling this same way....the air is heavy here...heavy with anticipation....wondering....prayer...most definitely lots of prayer...some tears...much emotion, lots of brokeness. Brokeness of families, relationships. You can see it in their eyes. 


I'm thankful as I sit here...thankful for so many things....thankful for my family back at home, that are able to fill in for me while I'm gone...thankful for my Jonnie Boy...my pal...my "CHAD buddy"...who likes to be paid in poptarts for his services! :) :) Just today, as I was explaining to the anesthesia team about JoyAnna and her orphanage and her past, one of the women who knows us already said..."That Jon, he's such a blessing isn't he?"..."Yes"...he is. I love him so much! Thankful for my hubby...my hard working Mr. Steady hubby. Oh how I love him. I miss him so much when I'm here. 

We'll be here for many days as JoyAnna recovers. We are praying for a better pain management plan than last time. Yes, I will be here for Mother's Day....Does that make me any less a mother or any more a hero?? Nope..it doesn't...it's just going to be different, that's all. Just plain different...not bad...just different. 

Glenn is giving the message at our church Sunday. Mother's Day. The topic of his message:  "Little is Much When God is in it!" Such power in those words...such truth.  Elisha and Nicole are going to hand out flowers to all of the ladies there in honor of the special day.  I would LOVE to be there. I've cried a bunch already about not being able to be there. And yes, I've thrown myself a big ole pity party about it...but God reminded me of something.....God reminded me that for months Glenn and I have been praying for divine scheduling, for JoyAnna, for our adoption and travels, and for our family. So....God reminded me that He's in charge of my schedule and He will have me RIGHT where He wants me on this Mother's Day. Right here at CHAD where I'm sitting right now. This is our mission field as of late. We spend a GREAT deal of time here. It's time to bloom where we are planted! 

Now don't go feeling all sorry for me or anything. Lord willing, Glenn is going to be bringing the other kiddos up here that afternoon and he hopes to take us out to dinner here that evening. That will be a blessing! A big one! 

Of course I miss my Mom as Mother's Day approaches, too. I miss her soooooo much. I miss her smile and her listening ear. 

I was just writing back and forth with a friend and we were talking about our special needs children and the cry of our hearts for them and the wonderings we have about their future. Life can be hard....life can be tough....I cry a lot. Mostly every day for one reason or another...some tears happy and joyful, and some scared and tired and discouraged. 

God is my encourager, though, and He's always reminding me of this. This morning in my devotion time I read John 16:32-33. I was reminded that I am NOT to be discouraged even in trials and tribulations, because God has overcome the world! He's got this! Oh how my enemy hates when I am reminded of this! 

On the way over this morning in the van, we were listening to the Casting Crowns cd: Thrive. One of my favorite songs on that CD is Just Be Held. I LOVE it! It's truly a song about me.....

"Hold it all together, everybody needs you calm"
"Then life hits you out of no where and barely leaves you holding on"
"When you are tired of fighting, chained by your control"
"There is freedom in surrender, lay it down and let it go"

"When you're on your knees and answers seem so far away"
"You're not alone stop holding on and just be held"
"Your world's not falling apart it's falling into place"
"He's on the throne stop holding on and just be held"

So that's my theme for this very different mother's day and mothering season I'm in right now...

Just be Held. I'm going to let go and just be held.

Thank you Jesus...

Thank you....

I promise to keep you posted! 











Wednesday, April 13, 2016

FULLY FUNDED!!!!

Praising God this morning that we are MORE than fully funded for our adoption of Little Miss AnnaBella! What an amazing blessing from the Lord! Thank you Jesus! We got accepted last night by Gift of Adoption for an amazing grant, and along with VERY generous donations over the last 2 weeks, that puts us MORE than over the top which will allow us to get some important things we need to help get things ready for her when she gets home! God is good! ALL the time! ALL the time...God is good!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good bye for now our little one...






Yesterday we said goodbye to our precious little AnnaBella. She blew us kisses from the doorway and waved to us as we got into the taxi. It was hard, but we are grateful for the 
wonderful care she will receive until we come and pick her up in a few short months. So for now our treasure:

обидам те


 
виждате много скоро
виждате много скоро


translation:  We love you! See you very soon!






Thursday, March 24, 2016

God has truly added! To God be the Glory!

Our God is an awesome God! He is good, He is sovereign, and he truly has added an enormous blessing to our family in this little one. We have completed 3 days of visits with her and will have today and tomorrow as well.
Let me tell you a little bit about her. She is fiesty, she is full of joy, she LOVES to laugh and smile and run. She is determined, and she LOVES both Glenn and I as though she knows we are her parents, after only 3 days maybe a total of 9 hours or so of visits. She knows. She feels that there is something about us.

When we come in she runs to us at full speed with her arms in the air. She LOVES to be held. The first 2 days she truly favored Glenn. It was absolutely the sweetest thing. If he puts one arm down, she grabs it and puts it around her. She takes his hand and puts it on her face and makes it go up and down. She loves to be loved! 


She also LOVES to hold hands and walk. Here we had taken her out to get her visa photo taken.
Then yesterday, she wanted me to hold her, and me to hug her and she kept wrapping her hands around my neck and then placing my arms around her neck and squeezing me so hard. She is making up for lost time! 


Dear blog readers, she is in a wonderful place. She was moved there in November of 2014. When she came there, she didn't walk, and she didn't really make any sounds at all. Now she is running and jumping and communicating very well, not with words but definitely with gestures and sounds. She is ready to explode with learning! Of course it will be very hard to say goodbye for now to her on Friday morning, but we rejoice that her care is exceptional and she is LOVED here, she truly is. Of this we are extremely thankful! And so...we'll say our tearful goodbyes and then come home and wrap up the rest of our US side of things as quickly as possible and get the ball rolling back to Bulgaria for the final process. How long?? We don't know.

Would you like to help out? We sure could use prayers, as well as some additional funding, too! On the side of our blog are 2 ways to contribute. You could give a tax deductible donation to our Reece's Rainbow family support page, HERE or you could give to our You Caring Page  HERE. Either one is fine! 

You may wonder why none of the photos on the blog show her face?? That is because we are not allowed to show her face on a public media setting until after the court in Bulgaria declares her our daughter which will be in a few months from now.

Until then, please pray, and of course give generously, and from the heart!

Thank you all sooooooo much! 

For now, from Bulgaria!! Much love! 



Monday, March 14, 2016

This happens when we LOVE the least of these! Check it out!

Please watch this video, and ponder the lyrics! This is precious, and such a blessing! Would you consider helping us to reach our goal for our littlest blessing? You could give a tax deductible donation to our FSP on Reece's rainbow to the right on our blog or click HERE or directly to our checking account at our You Caring Page: HERE









Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me

Will we leave behind the innocent to grieve

On the road, on the run when their lives have only begun

These could be our daughters and our sons

And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating

I know my God won't let them be defeated

Every child has a dream to belong and be loved



[Chorus:]

Boys become kings, girls will be queens

Wrapped in Your majesty

When we love, when we love the least of these

Then they will be brave and free

Shout Your name in victory

When we love, when we love the least of these

When we love the least of these



Break our hearts once again

Help us to remember when

We were only children hoping for a friend

Won't you look around

These are the lives that the world has forgotten

Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open



[Chorus]



If not us, who will be like Jesus

To the least of these

If not us tell me who will be like Jesus

Like Jesus

To the least of these



Boys become kings, girls will be queens

Wrapped in Your majesty

When we love, when we love the least of these

Then they will be brave and free, shout Your name in victory

When we love, when we love the least of these

We will love the least of these

We will love the least of these

We will love the least of these

We will love the least of these

We will love the least of these





Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Jesus Hears the Orphan


We have our referral of precious AnnaBella! We'll take our first trip to meet her March 19th-26th!!! We'd be honored if you would partner with us!!! Check out our blog side bar! You can give tax deductible donations to our FSP at Reece's Rainbow, or our You Caring Page!!!

Thank you! 

We sure do LOVE you!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Our little "son"flower!



Our JoyAnna LOVES to look at the sun! She can be really fussy and restless, and then when we sit her in the rays of sunshine, she calms right down and just seems to look up and soak it all in.       
What an encouraging example she is to me. 

At the Created For Care adoption conference that I went to recently, the focus was "SHINE". As in Isaiah 60:1-3. 

We also studied Psalm 119:130..."The entrance of Your words give light Oh Lord, it gives understanding to the simple."

It truly makes so much sense to look up, to look toward the Light, the one TRUE Light, the author and finisher of our faith. Just like a sunflower. Just like our JoyAnna.
Thank you for that reminder this day, JoyAnna, I truly thank you!




Thursday, January 21, 2016

The value of a life...

This day, January 21st, 2016, our precious Rosalinda Marguerite Winslow turns 4. The photo on the left is when we first met her at the Elliot hospital in Manchester. She was 5 weeks old, and rejected. 

You see, sweet Rosie was born drug addicted. Her mama, (who had already had 5 other children before), had NO pre-natal care and came into the hospital on the 21st of January, 2012, had Rosie, and left the next day. Abandoned her to return to her life on the streets. So Rosie was loved on and cared for by the nurses in the intensive care unit. She had 5 hard weeks of withdrawing from the drugs in her little body. How horrible it must have been for her. She did NOT choose this, it was chosen for her.  Child and family services had stepped in and thought it would be very easy to find a home for this little one. One by one they called their waiting list people, and one by one they were told, "No"...Why?? "because she was drug addicted and because she was part Hispanic"...2 strikes against her. You see, everyone was looking for the "perfect white baby", and they didn't see the value of this little life.

Well, God knew one month before Rosie's birth, we would step out in faith and visit an attorney and start a private adoption process. This attorney told us that she NEVER gets NH babies, but that we should pray for one anyway, and so we did. Do you see the storyline developing?

You can read about it here at:  Rosie's Story It's really such a blessing! There are also photos of Rosie's first birthday with us.

God knew He wanted Rosie to be with us. God valued her life GREATLY!!! We are so thankful to her mama that she actually gave birth to her, and didn't choose to end Rosie's life.

We are so thankful that God chose us to be her family! 










Monday, January 18, 2016

Yes....my life is forever changed...and so am I...

I know I haven't written in a bit...I'm sorry for that. Let me help you to get caught up! ...

I was chatting with my Dad the other day. I was talking with him while here at the children's hospital in NH with JoyAnna. He wanted to know how she was recovering from her surgery. (she just had her first of several foot reconstruction surgeries on Friday) As I was sharing with him all that we had gone through in such a short time, and how hard it was for me to have JoyAnna in so much pain he said to me with tears in his eyes... ( he had such an incredibly tender heart toward our precious little girl!)...

"Mary....you life has changed so much, hasn't it?"


(tears are always in my eyes readily these days) "Yes, Dad", I answered, it has and I wouldn't trade it for anything! 

I'm writing this blog post from my little twin sized bed in the "insect" room at David's House. Each room has a theme and is decorated accordingly.

My home away from home right now while JoyAnna is recovering from her first foot reconstruction surgery. Jon and I are sharing this room, with butterflies and caterpillers on the walls, and pretty lady bug bed spreads.

 It's so peaceful and quiet here. It's absolutely beautiful, this home. Lots of love and caring here, and I am so very thankful for it. This home where you can stay as long as you need at no cost at all. This home that is run by volunteers. Sweet wonderful people who are so kind and caring, who come in daily to clean and make meals..  The other night I spoke with the program manager here for an hour or so. She was asking me about my family, and so of course I got out my i-Pad and showed her everyone and told her all about each one. (My husband has a joke with me....he'll start to watch the time when I start chatting with someone and he says it's just a matter of a minute or so before I get out a photo, and then hand out our business card, etc. I LOVE doing this! )So when I got to sharing about JoyAnna, and Jerry, and of course Zoey, and I shared with her where the girls had come from and how Zoey died before we could come and bring her home, she cried and just kept saying over and over..."I had NO idea, how can this be happening, this is criminal, I really had NO idea"....This is such a common answer. This is when I gently say to folks..."well, now that you know.....there are many ways to help and be a blessing"...and then I give out our family business card and share about our blog and such. Planting seeds...sharing truth...showing God's love. She cried when I showed her this photo of Jerry and JoyAnna at one year home! She was shocked and she herself said..."their lives are forever changed!"...yes, Susan, they are, but so are ours, too. So are ours...



This is the first time I haven't stayed right in the hospital room with JoyAnna. It was recommended that I sleep here since I'd have Jon with me to help for transporting Joy to the surgery and coming home. I'm thankful for the good night's sleep that I'm sometimes getting, but I sure do miss not being there with her. 

I'm remembering this verese..."I lift my eyes up to the Lord, where does my help come from, it comes from You Lord, the maker of heaven and earth!" Psalm 123:1

This has by far been her hardest hospital stay. I have NOTHING to compare in my life to the pain this little ray of sunshine has experienced in her life already, and NOTHING to compare to the pain she is having from her foot surgery. Bone surgery is the most painful surgery to recover from. The first 3 days are the worst, and we are just completing day 2.  I don't have any experience with this type of pain, but dear readers, Jesus sure does, doesn't He? And so does my Heavenly Father, too. 


Oh dear blog readers...Can I confess something to you....?? I'm struggling with such anger issues toward her orphanage, and those people to contributed to the reason why she even needs this surgery to begin with...I find this anger rising up out of seemingly nowhere...especially when JoyAnna is screaming out in pain......UGH.........but that isn't going to help JoyAnna right now, nor will it help those all around her. And so....I must nail that anger to the cross, and I ask Jesus day in and day out to remove this anger from me, and allow me to love these people.... I pray that God will give me a spirit of reconciliation...."that I will love my enemies, and bless them that curse me, and do good to them that hate me and pray for them that despitefully use me,.....that I may be a child of my father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:44-45 You know something, too, JoyAnna really has no anger toward her caregivers...maybe fear...but no anger. Maybe post traumatic stress related to medical care...but no anger. Lord, please do NOT allow me to teach this to her. PLEASE!!


We thought we'd be able to go home today (Sunday), but that was not to be. It's not looking good for going home tomorrow, either. Her pain needs to be under
 control, and she needs to be able to sit up and tolerate that for a good length of time.

She had about 3 good hours in a row today where she was comfortable.  This is progress, but it's not enough progress. Her night last night was really restless. She had many night terrors, my dear friend Chloe told me tonight. (Chloe is a nurse's aid we've had all 3 times we've been here overnight and we love her! She is like an angel from heaven just for JoyAnna!) 


This morning was really hard, too. And there have been many, many people that just don't understand what it means to not be able to have a voice like you and I have. JoyAnna isn't able to answer the question..."on a scale of 1 to 10, what is your pain like?" as we would answer it. Instead she indicates her pain level with the type of cry she has. I know her cries VERY well. I know when she's hungry, or tired, or frustrated, or grumpy, or even when she is faking it. I also know VERY well, when she's in pain. 

JoyAnna spent 7 long years with NO ONE answering her cries. Not many people caring enough to even determine what kind of cry it was. But I know, I know those cries  very well, and so does everyone in my family. And you know what?? The wonderful nurses at the hospital are beginning to know those cries, too. What a blessing it was for me to run into two of my favorite nurses tonight before I left. One of them came up to me and just hugged me and hugged me and said..."Oh Mary, she looks so good, she's doing so well! You have done such an amazing job with her!" This precious nurse has seen JoyAnna when she first came home, really at her worse since she came here! Thank you dear Chloe for your wonderful words, like a balm to my soul this night. 

I am clinging to this verse given to me by a dear, dear friend this week:  
"but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 4:31

Dear God, renew my strength, dear Lord...I am weary....I am so weary....But I have the power living within me that has raised Christ from the dead! For this reason I will NOT grow weary while doing good! I will NOT lose heart! I know that God promises that I will reap! 

So very thankful to have her big brother Jon here on this trip with me. What a wonderful young man he has become. So kind and loving and helpful to me and to JoyAnna. He's a HUGE blessing! Love you Jonnie, and so does Joy! Don't you think??


So to answer your question Dad....my life is NOT my own. This world is NOT my home. This life has changed so much, and therefore so have I, and because God entrusted us with this precious little girl rightly named Joy, I am forever changed and continually blessed. Trusting in the God who promises to restore what the locusts have eaten...

Good bye for now! 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A gift opens the way!!.....




I'm pleading with God to do what only He can do!

The count down is on! These are the final hours to give a tax deductible donation to help bring AnnaBella home! We sure do thank God for you! Look to the right of the blog. 

You can give a tax deductible donation in 2 ways:
#1. ---(most important!!)  Our Life song matching grant! This is a way to double your money! That's right! The money will be matched! Check it out: HERE Click on donate to an adopting family and then put in our account number which is 5534, and put in our name:  Winslow.  Right now we need $1,100.00 to meet our grant of $3,500.00. That's only 11 people to give 100.00!!! This will give us $7,000.00 which is what is due for our agency fees! What a blessing that would be!! 

2.  Our Reece's rainbow account.  This is money that will be used in traveling and in country. We'd love for that to read $4,000.00 before we take our first trip! That would be such an encouragement to us! You can check that out HERE

You can give to our You Caring Page HERE. This goes directly into our checking account and can be used for anything we need! This is NOT tax deductible! 

Thank you so much! We truly could NOT do this without you ALL!!! 
"A gift opens the way
and ushers the giver into the presence of the great." Proverbs 18:16




Tuesday, December 29, 2015

This is the heart of Jesus!



Have you ever found yourself longing to make a difference in the life of a child? 


 
Christians have a clear command to care for orphans, and there are many ways to get involved—praying, giving, mobilizing your church or adopting. Whichever you decide, you can walk down this incredibly rewarding path. Our hope is that you begin to see the face of Christ in these children in one way or another! 

We have been blessed with a really great gift! We have a matching grant with Lifesong for Orphans. That's right----matching!!! Lifesong will give us $3,500.00 once we raise $3,500.00! And you know what?? We are almost there! We only have $1,300.00 to go! We are just about 2/3 there! That's only 13 people giving $100.00, or 26 people giving 50.00, or 52 people giving $25.00!!

The end of the year is approaching, and ALL of these donations are fully tax deductible!!  The donation just needs to be post marked by December 31st!!!

Would you be willing to make a difference and help us to meet our grant?

That would be awesome! Thank you so very much! 

You could give in one of two ways....

1.  You could donate through paypal online. You can find the link HERESelect “Give to an Adoptive Family.” Complete the online form and fill in “Family Account Number” which is 5534 and “Family Name” fields which is Winslow. Note PayPal charges an administrative fee (2.9% + $.30 USD per transaction). Your donation will be decreased by the amount of this fee.

2.  You could mail them a check, post marked by December 31st!! 
Checks should be payable to “Lifesong for Orphans. In the memo, note “family name” and “family account number(Winslow / #5534) to assure it goes to the correct account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744. Lifesong has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption

Truly, helping the orphan and helping us to rescue our precious  AnnaBella (listed as Claire on Reece's Rainbow) is  the heart of Jesus! He says so in His word!!!

We sure do love you! 

Philippians 1:3--"We thank our God upon every remembrance of you!"




 

Friday, December 04, 2015

1 day and 13 hours left to give!

Just a quick reminder that on the 5/5/5 Reece's rainbow, the link is HERE....there is just one day and 13 hours left to give to the 5 families and one of them is us!!! 

Please take a moment and consider giving to help these 5 families rescue their precious children! 


It's tax deductible and would be an amazing blessing! Please give and share!! 

Thank you!!

It truly is a way of storing up your treasures in heaven...where moth and rust will NOT destroy! And truly a wonderful Christmas gift in honor of our Lord and Savior! :) :) :) 

Monday, November 23, 2015

"Joyfully" blessed today!

Just had to share this video with you! Our precious JoyAnna has been home for 15 months now! Here is a side by side photo of her. On the left in the orphanage and on the right from last week!



This little gal has been through soooooo much! Unnecesary surgeries, tied to a crib, infrequent human interaction. 

The difference is astounding!

This video is from this morning:



video
Are you interested in helping us to make this kind of difference in the life of another little girl?? Check out the side of the blog. There are MANY ways to help!!! 

Thank you! To God be the Glory! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I Got Mail!!!

Yesterday was a very hard day on many levels. VERY hard. Some days are just like that. That's the reality of my life here. 

But you know what?? God knows ALL of that, and His Grace is sufficient for me, and His power is made perfect in my weakness! 

And so I brought my weary body to my bed last night finally around 11:30 and found this card on my pillow. 
It's from my 16 year old daughter Elisha. We rescued Elisha from foster care when she was 10. She and her twin brother. She is an amazing young woman! She has an incredible gift of encouragement. You can ask so many people about that! She has over 35 penpals! Let me share with you what this card says:  On the front it says:  Praying for you, and then it says:  Sometimes it's hard to understand why God allows us to go through certain situations...

On the inside it says:  Dear Mom, I was just wanting you to know I'm praying for you. I was also just realizing how MANY things you do each and every day to keep this place running smoothly. So many things you do that go unnoticed, or unrealized. You are an amazing Mom. I honestly coudn't and wouldn't ask for another one! You've done so much to invest in my life. And not just my life...All of us! And you don't just teach me daily chores and things! You also instill in me Biblical character and qualities that'll last forever!! I'm so thankful for you and all that you've done to invest in me! I love you so much Mom! May the Lord richly bless you as you seek to serve, honor, and glorify Him! 
Little is Much when God is in it! I love you! Elisha Winslow

printed on the inside of the card is:  but please remember that no matter what, God is there with you through it all and that others who care are keeping you in their prayers!

Bible verse:  "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not!" Jeremiah 33:3

Of course I cried buckets, got down on my knees and thanked my God for giving us Elisha, and then went upstairs and woke her up to hug her and thank her! 

What a blessing! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

These Are The Heroes!

These are the heroes...








Just ordinary people....












Lying down their lives 












like angels in disguise.




They're weak but ALWAYS willing...




They dare to do the hard things...







And in the dark and desperate places

NO ONE else goes....





You'll find the heroes. 

These photos represent the real heroes! Let's love them, and support them! 

Want to know more? Want to help?

Help the Horton Family as they rescue their Victoria on in a few short weeks! 

They have a GREAT need! They need about $7,000.00 more to be fully funded! Their support page needs to read $25,000.00!

We can do this! I know we can! Let's be the hands and feet of Jesus and truly help this orphan in her distress! Please also pray without ceasing!



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thank you Lowman Family! Our new prayer warriors!

Rainbow Family Warrior for the Winslow Family

See this big ole family....they are our dear friends in
Real Life.

Doing life with this gang is always part of OUR
 adventure....
their daughter Grace teaches piano to our kiddos,
 some of their
daughters run Bright Lights that our daughter
Kiara is a part of,
camping trips, Alert Cadet trios together,
retreats, and even home
 school days together.  But.....
the coolest thing about their family
and ours is our LOVE for Jesus
and the Orphan!

Our journey began around those last two 
things and we have walked
 along side their family through 
all of their adoptions....
it has been fun to see them
 grow in size as well as experienc
What does that mean?

Our job is to support them in prayer...
.we are working 
on a prayer team right now to lift up their 
needs as they come in.

They have stepped up to bring 
home this little sweetheart
 and make her a part of their family.





We thought it would be fun to step up 
for them to be 
their Reece's Rainbow
 Family Warriors....

What does that mean?

Our job is to support them 
in prayer....we are working 
on a prayer team right now to 
lift up their needs as they come in.

We also put their financial needs out there....
did you see their blog?  
They have a matching grant 
right now from LifeSong...
.it needs some boosting folks!  
There is a deadline on that..
.what a GREAT 
way to double your money ...
more bang for your buck!

We are also working on a fund raiser.
...look for that soon.  

Check out their blog at .
winslowsix.blogspot.com

So....check back often for
the latest and greatest on this
 new endeavor at our home ....
so excited for the
Winslow Gang and their new sweetheart..
..oh, and
I thought I would add this
 photo from our camping trip
together this summer at Moosehillock in NH.







Tuesday, November 10, 2015

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO??

Got this note today from my friend Elizabeth in Texas: 

This evening I got a phone call that changed my life. My sweet, precious Heavenleigh is dancing with Jesus. My heart is shattered, but she is whole and so very loved.
Last night, I posted a question about her on a baby wearing Facebook page, and since, my blog has had over 15,000 views. People saw my baby. People saw the darkness. 
She is a world changer and I am so very thankful for her.
I love you, baby girl.

Dear friends....she was in the same orphanage as our Zoey and our JoyAnna. Please read what another adoptive friend has said...it's the truth:

Heavenleigh died.
Unless you are part of a very small group of people, this probably doesn’t mean anything to you.

Heavenleigh died never knowing the love of a Mom or Dad. She died alone, without the comfort of a family, or a circle around her of friends and loved ones. No one ever got to tell her that someone, somewhere loved her so much that they were coming to take her home, forever.
The saddest part might be that there was a family desperately working to get to her in time, but that the process and the finances got in the way. Elizabeth Sherley and her family did everything in their power to bring her home in time, and are heartbroken at her loss. 
But I don't let this affect me. I’m too good at shutting things out to let it. I just do the same thing as everyone else – focus on the rest of my life: my family, my work, my hobbies. Because I know that if I think too much about all the children in need it will make me upset, and there’s no way to do anything about it anyway, because there are just too many of them. Besides, I’m too young to adopt, I can’t afford it, I don’t know anything about kids and I definitely don’t have time to take care of a kid.
At least, those were my excuses, but then I’ll also be the first person to tell you that I am a selfish, egotistical, arrogant jerk. I have a temper, I have a drinking problem and I have serious issues with authority. But none of those things disqualify me in God’s eyes from doing what he has called us all to do.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 NIV
Please, please don’t think that I am trying to hold myself up as an example of someone who is getting it “right.” The point that I’m trying to make is that if someone as screwed up as me could try get half of the first part of this verse right, then just about anyone could do even better than me.
To backtrack a little: there are too many. Way too many. Some estimates are that there are 130 million or more orphans in the world right now. So go ahead and insert your own Mother Theresa or Gandhi quote here, because we’ve all heard them. But it’s as simple as this: if it were your child, or your nephew or grandchild, wouldn’t you want someone to help them? Wouldn’t you give everything you had to keep them healthy, safe and feeling loved?
Heavenleigh didn’t die from medical complications, a disease or a chronic condition – she died from starvation and neglect, in an orphanage. She was 5 years old and weighed 10 pounds. 
Orphanages are not acceptable homes for children. They’re not a safe place for them to wait for years and years. They should be a temporary place for a couple of kids to be cared for and loved while their families book their flights to come get them. 
5 years old. 10 pounds. 
This needs to end. 
Get involved: Adopt. If you can’t adopt, Foster. If you can’t Foster, Sponsor. If you can’t Sponsor, Volunteer. If you can’t Volunteer, Donate. If you can’t donate, Educate.

This is a picture of my daughter Nicole when she first came to our home. She was 5 years old! She was 50 lbs! NOT 10 pounds! 



Dear, dear, friends...this is real...this is true...WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?? YOU NOW KNOW THE TRUTH AND YOU CAN NOT HIDE FROM IT ANY LONGER!!! WHAT, WHAT, WHAT, WHAT, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?????? This is National Adoption Month!!! 

DO SOMETHING!! DO IT NOW!!!!