Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nearly a year has gone by....

and I can hardly believe the changes in Marina, and Evan too for that matter. Just yesterday Marina and Evan were headed to the car pool line to get in my car and Marina was just full of herself! Evan looked totally dejected and on the edge of tears...this has all been brought about because Marina lost yet another tooth yesterday! Evan's are loose, but Marina does not say a word about her teeth being loose and before you know it, she has two missing from the front and another that will come out this week on the bottom. This is devastation for a 6 year old boy for some reason. It is now his obsession so I feel sure he will wiggle his own tooth out this week as well. I am simply thankful that apple season came early and halloween is over...these kids love apples and are starting to look like little jack o lanterns! I have noticed Marina being much less feisty in the last couple of weeks. Less spitting, less lashing out...and FULL of hugs and love. She signs she loves me when she heads to the swingset out the back door. Evan has taught her this and I am grateful. I sit here typing and I am full of LOVE for these two amazing children who tenderize my heart just looking at them. I used to keep a verse in my bathroom taped to the mirror about how sorrow would be replaced by joy. I actually got it from a church mission group who came to the hospital during Cay's leukemia battle and church missionaries brought things to strangers who were there (maybe toiletries or something like that) and anyhow this handwritten verse was tucked in whatever it was that I got. I found it in my things after we left the hospital and Cay had used another portal to I taped it to my mirror in the bathroom and I cannot tell you how many times I mocked that verse and begged God to make it happen at the same time. Well, it has happened. Yes I see Caylyn when I look at Marina...and had I known Marina existed, I would have seen her when I looked at Cay. They are terribly similar, and vastly different. Yes, joy has replaced my sorrow. There are things I am sure of now that have become rock solid within. I am sure Caylyn is safe and a mighty force still being used by God. I am sure Marina is safe and a mighty force being used by God...and I am seeing adoption take root in my son's heart as a true concern and I really hope it will shape how he changes the world as well, because I know he is going to. We all do in some way every single day.
So we have been busy as always. Evan is a tiger cub scout and Marina would not miss a scout meeting if the sky were falling...the kids are doing well in school too. We went to San Juan on a quick 3 day trip last week when the kids had an extra day off (groupon coupons rock!)The leaves had started to change and the nights were cold and we had not been to the beach as a family all year, so we hopped on a plane and enjoyed simply building castles and jumping waves. I could not tell you much about the country other than the water is perfect and the hotel was 5 minutes from the airport. Both kids had runny noses when we left, and the ocean was the remedy that healed most of that! I feel sure it was the least expensive trip we have ever gone on. It is because of this perk that I love my job at USAir! Marina attended her first Buddy walk and took to the front of the line for photos (shocking!!). We have attended Rachels Run and spoken to families about reaching out to make a difference.
I personally have battled and battled with the fact that our USCIS immigration approval will expire in December for adopting a second child from Ukraine and it is killing me inside that we are leaving someone behind. Yes, I can start over but WHY? Tully has said not right now and it is not sitting well with me at all. I have such a restlessness about this. But it seems like it will not be anything I can fix at this juncture in time. I cannot extend our time without another home study, and that window is closing fast since it has to go through DSS again. I would appreciate prayers for peace over this. I am working in other ways though to make a difference as opportunities arise. I have been part of a growing orphan ministry at our church and we will officially launch this soon which is very exciting! I hope to host a shoe drive for orphans pretty soon. I went to Jim DeMints conference on orphans and adoption and it was totally amazing. I found a post yesterday from another mom and I will add it here: I think it is similar to how I feel about urgency. If it does not show up which is often the case with blogger for some reason, go to and spend a minute with words from Adeye--she is really amazing. So I am one but there are more. Maybe God will channel some of this mad hatter feeling in me about the obvious fact that every month even here in South Carolina 60 children will age out of the foster system without a permanent family they can count on...what do those kids do for holidays and hope and strength now that the state has graduated them to the street? And you wonder why the jails are full of youth? Were YOU ready to live life on your own at 18? Why has the church turned over the command to care for orphans and widows to the state and when will we reclaim this as our right and responsibility? Honestly I promise this is not where I thought this post was headed...but these are things that we have to stop turning our eyes away from. 147 million orphans worldwide is an epidemic. It is in our back yard as well as across the oceans where we do not let our minds wander for long because we want to scamper back to where it is safe here in America and we do not treat our orphans poorly, do we? Do we? And yet you know we do when you read the paper or see the news. It has to change. I am we are more.
And so it has been a year since we first met Marina, and when you go back to the first pictures of Marina and compare them to now, can you see what being a member of a family who loves her has done? Does not every child deserve to be loved? I cannot forget the alternative for her had we not gone. That alternative is a reality and a majority of what is happening to little children as our lives go on and we do not think about it or consider it because it is too sad or too difficult. But it is still real whether we admit it to ourselves or not.

Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. Not everyone can adopt, but everyone can help. I hope that during Orphan awareness month you will be not just more aware, but will find a way to help be the voice of a child. I put this as a starting point just to make it easy for you. I know for a fact that these grants DO get handed to a family who will travel to bring a child home. Every dollar helps. It made it all possible for us.

I know the world is full of needs. I just can't think of one more important than helping a child who has no voice. When I think of the amount of money we spend here in America to dress our dogs for halloween I am utterly heart broken. This does not set well with me. No it is not my money to redistribute and delegate for the least of these... but it says alot about how callous our hearts have become in this world and our hearts need to be broken for these lost children...every single one of them. Together we can make a difference. I appreciate everyone who helped us bring Marina home. Instead of her sitting in an institution drugged and drooling, she is running in the surf and learning in a school surrounded by people who love her where she is a best friend to little girls named Mary, Nancy and Candace. She is a sister to Evan and a daughter to us. She is a cousin to Cole, Laurel, Leela Mae, CJ Mayfield and Forest, as well as those in Colorado she has not met yet. She is a grand-daughter who is doted on. She shares a joy that is indescribably rich about how her life is going to turn out now. That is a polar opposite to where she would be today had we not moved when God made a way. She had only a week before she would have been transferred to the mental institution, her original destiny. God is mighty, He can make a way for anyone to save a child from hopelessness. I am humbled and honored that He made a difference for Marina through us. Adding her to this family is the reason my sorrow has turned to joy as she joins hands with Evan walking down the hall at school and adds chaos and laughter as well as tears and teaching to our lives...she has been a gift from God to us, each of us. And we are a gift to her. There are more waiting for the gift of a family and the teaching of Love. Orphan awareness, the time to be aware is now.

1 comment:

  1. Cathy, your posts always touch my heart...what a gift to use your way with words to help the world's orphans by your strong, sensitive advocacy - thank you so much.

    You know how much Marina means to me (and Evan, too, of course!). These latest pictures are beautiful, as is your description of the children - all three of them.

    I just came from looking over this year's Angel Tree children - was it two or three years ago that Marina was my AT child?? Seeing her at home with her family, and knowing how close she came to being sent away...makes both the potential and the plight of the waiting children very, very real.

    Thank God for Marina. Thank God for Evan, and thank God for Caylyn...and thank God for you and Tully.

    Blessings all-around, infinitely and eternally...

    Much love from Susan in Ky
    Cousin to 2 from Marina's birth country...