Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry, Merry Christmas!!


 Dear friends,
We had one of the most lovely Christmas presents. A dear friend from church offered to convert our videos of Edward and Zoey to a format that my mac book pro will recognize. And guess what???? He's 14 years old! Sigh...for me...but, that's the body of Christ...many parts, all working together! Right?? Do I hear an amen?? That's the beauty of it. Thank you Uriah!!!



 Scroll down and enjoy the videos!






Introducing Edward...Our precious little guy!



Our Precious Zoey!



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday Sweet Girl of Ours!


Today our sweet, sweet Zoey turns 6 years old! Our dear friends Gary and Karis really took the words right out of our mouth with this precious message in my inbox this morning! 
"We are praying Birthday blessings over your daughter today, that she would feel and know God's presence, that she would sense the prayers that are going up on her behalf, and that she would experience the fruits of the spirit from those who interact with her on this day.  I pray that the workers at the orphanage would be filled with compassion for Zoey on this day and give her lots of snuggles and smiles.  This little one has made such a tremendous impact on Gary and I and we have FAITH (we are sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see) that her story will bring MANY to know of the Love of Christ and the gift of Salvation that can ONLY come through God's grace and Jesus's sacrifice.

We are celebrating with you today as you think of your girl and praying that mountains will be moved so you can go and get her quickly!

We look forward to Zoey celebrating many, many more birthdays in your household for years to come!  Praise God that THIS is her last birthday in the orphanage.  Her redemption story is already unfolding and we cannot wait to see what God has in store!"
Hang on sweet baby girl! We are coming for you! We love you soooooo much!
Love and hugs and kisses,
Mommy and everyone!
 
 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Praising God for Wonderful New Photos!!!

Join us in praising the Lord for some awesome new photos of our precious Zoey! Oh my goodness! They couldn't have come at a more perfect time! Such an incredible encouragement! They were just taken yesterday by the visiting team at Zoey's orphanage! Thank you God! Here is what our agency contact had to say about the ! We also got to amazing videos, too! I am not able to post them on here using my Macbook. I'll post them to the blog using my daughter's laptop tomorrow, hopefully!

 "Here are photos and  videos of Zoey that were taken yesterday. She is smiling, watching the people talking to her and she opens her hand when someone is rubbing her arm...which is a good indicator that a lack of physical therapy is probably a cause for the lack of arm movement.
She is beautiful!!!!
I am going to share one of these photos on my face book page for everyone who advocated for her to see. I will also share your blog link for those who want to "meet" her family :)"


This was the ONLY photo of Zoey when we committed to her! We fell in love with this tiny pink bundle. We actually thought she may be brown skinned by looking at this photo. What a difference a better photo makes!



Check out our beautiful little girl!!! She actually has blond hair, VERY fair skin, and HUGE eyes! Wow!!!
 Still super tiny, and still needing to be rescued as soon as possible, but we are so encouraged this day by these precious photos! They really are worth 1,000 words!
I'll try and get the videos up soon! You have GOT to see her beautiful smile!
Thank you Lord! This is an incredible Christmas gift! What a blessing to read and see that she is responding to people, and that she has arm movement, too!

Another blessing of the day of many blessings, is that our agency put me in touch with a woman who just brought a little 4 year old girl home from the same orphanage as Zoey. She has been home less than 1 month and her body has increased in size 30%! The Mom emailed me a before and after photo!  There is an incredible difference! Wow!! Again we stand amazed!! Thank you God!!

Love to you!

Mary for the Winslow Family

Angels Visited Us This Day!




Dear precious blog readers!
On Thursday, December 20th, God sent angels to our little home. These angels came in the form of Gary and Karis Pressler! 
We stand absolutely AMAZED at our God, and His perfect plan for our adoption!

In Webter's Dictionary, the word AMAZED means:  to be Surprised  greatly; to be filled with astonishment.

The word ASTONISHMENT means:  Surprise or impress (someone) greatly.

Our God LOVES to be the God of AMAZEMENT and the God of ASTONISHMENT! He LOVES to do things that NO man can take credit for! Yesterday was such a day at our little humble home here in Barnstead, NH. 

We first "met" Gary and Karis because they were called to give us a VERY generous gift of $500.00 on our chip in fund a little over a week ago. This precious young couple with a small daughter of their own live a great distance from us across our country. We sent them a thank you email, and this started a wonderful email dialogue with them. Turns out, Gary grew up in NH, and they were coming to visit his family over the Christmas week. We invited them to come over for lunch yesterday!

When they pulled into our driveway and I went out to great them, Karis and I embraced as though we had known each other our whole lives! Who but our great God could have orchestrated this wonderful visit?? No one, I say! 

They came in, and we immediately enjoyed the type of sweet intimate fellowship that can only come for the Lord!  We had a wonderful lunch together, and then they joined us in some gingerbread house making fun.

It was an amazing afternoon, and we give God all the honor and glory! Thank you God! As they were leaving, and we embraced, this sweet young couple handed us another check telling us that they wanted to continue to help out with bring Zoey and Edward home! Later that evening, Karis sent an email outlining the friends back in their home state and around the US that she was sharing our adoption story with. 

No MAN could do this, no MAN could have taken a young couple who were complete strangers to us, and bond them with us in such a way that we feel like we've always known them, and then only God could lead and direct them to share our story with sooooo many other people. All people who want to store up their treasures in heaven, where moth and rust will NOT destroy.

All God's people who want to obey Him, and be a HUGE part of rescuing these precious children and bringing them unto Himself, and building up His kingdom.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14. Thank you ALL for obeying this command!

Thank you father God for ALL you do for us!

We stand AMAZED, and ASTONISHED with ALL you do dear God!

We LOVE you so much Pressler family! We truly do!  You are such a blessing to us!

Photos of our wonderful afternoon! We started with some pressed cookies for our dessert! Thank you Glenn and Nicole!





 The big building project begins!









 The finished houses, aren't they beautiful??
Thank you sooo much God, and the Pressler family! What an amazing and astonishing day!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Help us bring Zoey and Edward home with......

Introducing the Winslow Warmer! This is VERY exciting! Our dear friend's cousin owns 2 candle companies, and has generously stepped out and wanted to help us with our adoption of Edward and Zoey and bringing our kiddos home!!


You can click here HERE and find out all of the wonderful details!

Thank you John!

"We thank God upon every remembrance of you!"  Philipians 1:3


Saturday, December 15, 2012

2 Babes in the Manger...A True Story

The older girls and I had the wonderful blessing of attending a ladies monthly scrapbooking night last night. They always do a devotional. They read 2 Christmas stories. One was The Crippled Lamb. Oh how I LOVE that story. We read it to our children every year! The next was a true story that I had never heard before, but thought was sooooo wonderful! I just had to share it with you all! Of course it made me cry buckets! Here it is:

Two Babies in a Manger

[Author Unknown] In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the
Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on
biblical principles) in the public schools. They were invited to teach
at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large
orphanage. About 100 boys and girls, who had been abandoned, abused,
and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage.

They relate the following story in their own words: It was nearing the
holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time,
the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph
arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a
stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger. Throughout
the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they
listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every
word.

Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of
cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper
square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper
was available in the city. Following instructions, the children tore the
paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares
of flannel [cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing
away as she left Russia], were used for the baby's blanket.

A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United
States. The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among
them to see if they needed any help. All went well until I got to one
table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about 6-years-old and had
finished his project. As I looked at the little boy's manger, was
startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called
for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the
manger.

Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger
scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a
young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the
happenings accurately -- until he came to the part where Mary put the
baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his
own ending to the story as he said, "And when Mary laid the baby in the
manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay.

I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don't have any
place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with Him. But I told him
I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift to give Him like everybody else
did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I
had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept Him

warm, that would be a good gift. "So I asked Jesus, 'If I keep you warm,
will that be a good enough gift?' And Jesus told me, 'If you keep Me
warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave Me.'

So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and He told me I
could stay with Him -- for always." As little Misha finished his story,
his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks.
Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his
shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found
someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay
with him -- for always!

And the Americans? They had learned the lesson they had come there to
teach -- that it is not what you have in your life, but WHO you have in
your life that really counts. We all should give thanks for the people
that "keep us warm" in life; and for all of God's many blessings to us:
freedom from want, life, love, togetherness, and for the enduring love
of Jesus Christ, the one person who keeps us warm and safe for always.

 

PRAYING FOR YOU!

Dear, dear families and friends in Connecticut, we are praying for you! Words can not express our grief. Please know that we are praying. That is what we can do.

We love you!

The Winslow Family
NH

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tune In!

Howdy everyone! Thought you might like to tune in tomorrow morning! I've been asked by some dear friends to be on their radio program. We'll be chatting about homeschooling, having a big family, foster care, adoption, and many other things, too! I'd LOVE to have you join us!

You can click on the Sovereign family gadget by scrolling down and over to the right of the blog and listen in!

Love to you!

Mary

Check out this amazing give away to help the Angel Tree kids on Reece's Rainbow!

Will you join us in helping to raise money for the Angel Tree Kids on Reece's rainbow? Go to this link, and read all about it! Scroll down and then click on the Angel Tree link and donate away! The prizes are really cool, and better yet, you are storing up your treasures in heaven, where moth and rust will NOT destroy by helping these precious kiddos!

http://covenantbuilders.blogspot.com/2012/12/shock-and-awe.html

Love to you!

M for the Winslow gang

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Our Family Is Growing By Four Feet!


"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."  James 1:17



So who do these precious new feet belong to?? Will you join us in praising the Lord that He has seen fit in His glorious and perfect plan to match us with handsome and precious Edward. The first set of feet belong to an 8 year old little guy who has waited for a VERY long time for his family to be found. They are preparing to send his file back to the MOJ later on this month! Well my little man, God
led us to you, and we are all sooooo excited! Especially your big brother Edward! (yes..we already have an Edward at home, and well...from what the ministry team said about their visit with little Edward, they are a LOT alike!)

"Edward is doing VERY well. Our team in Bulgaria visited him and reported that he is quite a funny little guy...he was joking with them and talking up a storm. " Hang on 
                    dear   one, we are coming for you! God is guiding and directing our
                                     steps! 

We love you dear sweet Edward, with a love that grows stronger with each beat of our hearts!
 

Next is our beautiful little Zoey. Oh Zoey...our heart is aching to nuture you and love you. To provide for your every need. We love you so much dear Zoey. Please hang on our sweet, sweet littlest girl! Zoey will turn 6 on the 23rd of this month, and right now she weighs just 10 pounds!
 The ministry team hopes to have permission to get some more photos of Zoey sometime this month. I will share them as I can. Philipians 1:6 says:   "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. " 
 We are taking great comfort in the promises that can only be found in God's word!
There is NO doubt in our minds that God has begun this work, and He will continue His work with this adoption!

Oh dear readers...sooo much has happened since we stepped out in faith 8 weeks ago and said, "YES!" to God and His request that we adopt from Bulgaria. God "knows the plans he has for us (and these children), plans to prosper us and NOT to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future!" 

Would you please join us in praying. We truly covet your prayers!

*Would you pray that God would keep precious Zoey alive, and that His will be done, and that we would be able to rescue her?

*Would you please pray that Edward would be encouraged, and comforted during his waiting time?

*Would you please pray that our homestudy update would be completed in a fast track manner, and that our approvals would all go through quickly, so that we can rush to the care of dear Zoey, and Edward, too!

*Would you please pray that our faith wouldn't waiver, and that we would look back over the monuments that we've built to the Lord and all He has done for us!!

You see, on December 3rd, 2011, we stepped out in faith as a family, and God led us to do a private infant adoption in our own state. On February 14th, 2012, we got a call about a little girl, drug addicted, part hispanic baby that they couldn't find a home for. Would we take her?? You bet! Now our precious Rosie is 10 months old!

You see, on December 3rd, 2012, we stepped out in faith and were able to send out our commitment money for precious Zoey!

Oh dear sweet God, you are worthy to be praised. You alone have accomplished this mighty work in our family, and you are still at work! We trust you for the finances of this adoption. You have provided in a mighty way already...even using people who previously were COMPLETE strangers!

Thank you all for all of your support, and prayers and encouragement our dear friends! ! We couldn't have done this without you. Thank you for storing up your treasures in heaven, where moth and rust can NOT destroy, or thieves break in and steal! We hope to have our Reece's Rainbow fund raising set up very soon. We'll let you all know!

Every morning when my husband and I get up, and leave our bedroom and close the door, we pass a sign above our bedroom door that says..."now entering the mission field!" This is truly what our home is! Thank you Jesus!

 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5

I promise to keep you posted! We love you all!

The Winslow Family

 

How Do You Define It???

Webster's Dictionary defines it in this way:
Necessity:  something necessary or indispensable: food, shelter, and other necessities of life.

A picture truly is worth 1,000 words! I can't think of anything else to say. Burn this image into your heart this Christmas season and ALL year long!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Thanking God for His encouragement!

Have you ever needed encouragement and wondered where it would come from, or if it would come?? Well...God knew we needed such encouragement at "such a time as this", and He gave it to us in the form of an email. Here it is, see for yourself.

We aren't sending out the newsletter until Monday morning but it is uploaded to our site.  I wrote about your family at the top.  You may want to read it.  I hope it blesses all of you.
www.homeboundmissions.org  then click on December newsletter in the tool bar.

Love you all,
Kathy


And so we clicked on it, and read the sweet, sweet words of encouragement that were put in place just for us, and just for this special time in our lives!

Homebound Missions December 2012 Newsletter

Never have I examined the plight of children as closely as I have in November.  It almost seemed hopeless to me as I researched and viewed site after site pleading the cause of children.  Often times I was brought to tears as I saw little ones just waiting to die as though a family would never come.
Then I started to discover something that truly brought hope to my heart.  Families, yes families completely embracing the orphans; not one, not two, but three and four and five and six.  Families with a vision; on a mission to serve God and to serve the orphan.  Families who didn't have moms and dads that wanted to adopt, but rather families who had moms and dads and all their children ready to embrace, one more.  And then, we got to visit with one of those familes.
Magnalie (our Haitian daughter) has a sister (Grace) who was adopted into just such a family. This is the Winslow Family. Interestingly, the dad in this family was at first reluctant to embrace the orphan ministry family concept, but his daughter's Grace and Maddie petitioned him with such heart felt passion that he could say nothing less than yes.  They now have two birth children, 6 adopted children; two from Haiti, four from foster care, and are now looking to adopt a special needs child from Bulgaria.  So what does a family that adopts children as ministry look like?  It looks a lot like LOVE.
We had a wonderful visit with the Winslows and were deeply affected by this family. Tyler and I were perplexed, in awe, moved, in wonderment.  There was so much love in this place; such a spirit of helpfulness, a peace.  We had brought a guest from Hong Kong with us.  She was so affected by this family that she couldn't speak about them without weeping.  To say this family was salt and light seems an understatement, and then I considered all the other families I had seen and I found hope.  Can you imagine a church that looks like this?
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.
I found this at  Building The Blocks blogspot
"Sometimes I would like to ask God, why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world, when He could do something about it...but I am afraid He might ask me the same question."  Anonymous

You can read their whole newsletter here:
http://www.homeboundmissions.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=92&Itemid=97
And so we remain encouraged, and will "not grow weary while doing good, because in due season we shall reap, if we don't lose heart!

Love to you!

M

Ever Heard of UNH's Poinsettia Trials???

I received this email a week or so ago from our local homeschool group:


UNH Poinsettia Fair!  (free and open to the public)
Thurs, Fri and Sat (Nov. 29,30 and Dec. 1)
Over 100 different kinds of poinsettias—vote for your favorite ones!!  Coloring sheets for kids.  And all grown by homeschool Dad, Jonathan Eba, who is (obviously) homeschool-friendly and would welcome small or large batches of kids in the greenhouses.  

I thought...how cool is that?? We were going to be in the Durham, NH area today, and so I decided we'd check it out!





First we had to pick our favorite poinsettias in a variety of styles and colors.



We had to pick our first, second and third choices in those categories.









This was Grace and Jon's overall favorite. We called it the curly que poinsettia.

This was mine and Elisha's overall favorite. It was bright red with bright pink in the leaves!


Once we did the survey, we went into the big display where there were tons of the poinsettias we had seen and we could actually see the names of them!







Then we went into the conservatory. Here is a bird of paradise plant! The kids LOVED this one!


Grace really enjoyed this conservatory. She recognized lots of tropical plants including a hibiscus and a banana tree, too!





It was truly a wonderful stop and we'd do it again next year! The whole "point" of the poinsettia trials was to see how the many types of poinsettias grow in the NH growing season and growing conditions. Then, to see what the people in this area really liked. This is helpful for the different greenhouses in NH! At the end of the tour, there was a spot you could purchase a poinsettia, too.  

This was a colorful way to bring in December! And better yet...one of the heads of it is a homeschool Dad! Yeah!!!