Monday, November 23, 2015

Wanna Come to a PJ Party?

 First, forgive the atrocious lack of blogging. We lived life, rather intensely, this spring and summer (except for gardening, and none of that actually occurred, though I kept the deck plants alive.) I will retrospectively review the very, very busy season we've been through, but for know, I have an exciting idea to share.

  I have a chance to travel to Bulgaria this December. Primarily, I am travelling to assist the Horton Family bring their tiny (tiny!) sweet new daughter safely home. I also have the opportunity to go back to Pleven and see the progress made and visit a little ones who continue to wait for their forever families (here, and here, and here, and HERE, just to list a few-feel free to share liberally!) Given it's Christmas, and the building is older and chilly, I asked if pajamas were a need for any of the children. Little did I know, the Holy Spirit was hard at work behind my inquiry.

Cause there certainly is a need.

A need for 90 pair, in fact.  80 regular 1 piece "footie" jammies, and 10 pair of 2 piece types with nice thick socks, more suitable for the older, and more contractured children, for whom footie jammies are just impractical.

The director had reached out to another charity, unbeknownst to me, or my in-country contact. But she'd not gotten a response.

It's funny how God works like that...

So, it appears, we are going to have a Pleven PJ party. And I would really, really love you to come!! And I want to see this need met in a God-sized way, abundantly more. I would like to bless each child with a new pair of pajamas, and a small candy gift or toy (depending upon ability.) I would also like to bring a small platter for the staff on each shift in time for Christmas.  At ~$12-15/pair, plus a little treat, and the staff blessing, I'm fully anticipating ~$1200-1400 total cost (inquiries are already out regarding the possibility of bulk purchasing discount, and this is a priority prayer request.) Any funds raised over and above will be earmarked towards the purchase of formula for older children with specialized feeding needs.

How can you help?

1. Pray-pray for provision, for favour with suppliers, and for the ability to actually transport all of this over. Especially that!

2. Keep following me here and on Facebook! Share our party, our prayer requests, and opportunities to give.

3. Give as you are able. This is a sizable need, and falling the time of year when budgets are generally getting maxed out. But any amount is a blessing.  Donates may be made via PayPal to Alternatively, a check may be sent payable to Hanover Evangelical Friends Church (HEFC on the payable to line is ok) with "Pleven PJ Project" on the memo line:

Hanover Evangelical Friends Church
6420 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Mechanicsville, VA 2311

With GoFundMe snagging a good 10% of every donation, I'd honestly love to avoid it; that 10% can go to it's best use buying PJs! If possible, we'd love to be fully funded by 12/10/15, so I have time to purchase and pack!  Thank you so much!!

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 100:4-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Second Half

Of the year in review....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One Year Later....

Occasionally, I'm inclined to believe that's how long I lag between posts. Despite uploading mobile blogger, which hates me, and my phone, in even measure, I suspect, I'm still not more faithfully blogging. I am living, so to choose, that's my go-to. ;) But the title is not a stab at self-deprecating humor....

One year ago, today, two little girls ceased to be orphans. Instead, they became precious, cherished, children. Sisters. Granddaughters. Friends. Classmates. .....

I remember trudging though, what seriously had to be, 3 feet of snow, in Fanny's little home town. (After a three plus hour drive, punctuated by every 45 minute stops....) Tearfully hugging her foster mom. Bringing along a reluctant little one.

And then climbing the stairs of the orphanage for Penny. Cold and forlorn, down a side street. Yet, though its history's dark, and its harm irreversibly done, there was warmth in her send off. 

We survived a week, cooped in a hotel room, with fevers and food refusals, uncertain if our collective sanity would hold up. Then the fevers broke, and the weather too. As though a hug from God Himself, we enjoyed a 50-60*'s mini-spring reprieve.  Found street level pizza, underground shops, ancient churches, and that Bulgarian sidewalks eat strollers. Fell head over heels in love, with two tiny girls, and their home country, and its people.

To bring the trip itself full circle, we arrived home, toe touching down in Dulles airport as newly minted American citizens AND the 1,000 & 1,001 Reece's Rainbow babies home, and then drove home in a blizzard by anyone's standards, stopping every 45 minutes so I could work out the last of the motion sickness from the flight's descent, in the form of vomiting up what felt like my very toe nails. *bleh*  (Marty, you're vindicated, just saying.)

The year has flown by, emotionally rising and falling like the waves of the ocean. Simultaneously exceeding expectations, and realizing that some things can never be restored this side of heaven.  Cheering victories, no matter how seemingly insignificant to the uninitiated observer, and weeping as I've held a child screaming and raging for hours on end, at an utter loss as to why the pain, and completely unable to relieve it. Learning first hand that every wound is not visible, and the invisible sometimes are the worst. We welcomed another sister, a 4th precious daughter, who loves Penny unconditionally, and unabashedly best. Word 3, before even Mama or Dada consistently? Peh-Peh.

We've had first times, and good times. Beaches, fairs, fire pits, and back yard BBQ's. Holidays and Christmas trees. Meeting cows, and other barnyard critters, as any once removed Farm girl Mama, is intentional about exposing her babies to. And we've cried with friends, who've said good bye to their precious Pleven treasures, cementing in our minds' and souls' that each day is a gift....and none is guaranteed.

So it has looked a little like this:

And that's only the first half of the year.....

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3 v1-8 (NKJV)