Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Need a Miracle again

Last night I redid all my figuring on the financial aspect of this adoption and realized we need more money than we thought! I had not included the children's airfare home (a slight miscalculation) and I had entered two deposits, two different times and had not budgeted to plan on possibly being there for 6 weeks ( I had only budgeted for 4 weeks) So we need $17,499.52! So that is where we are at and I'm bummed! We hope to leave by the first of Mach, so we have to make sure it all comes in by then.

The only things we still need are:

$8500 for our program fees
$3000 travel to the country
$6000 in country (travel, hotel, food, various expenses)

All other fees have been paid or there is money to pay them.

Homestudy (all fees involved including backgrounds)
Commitment fee
USCIS
Appostille fees
Shipping fees
Medical exams (for us)
Medicals (for our new children)
Visa applications (the children's)
Passports (for all of our children)
Fee for extra child
Translation Fee

So much is paid for, and we have only three things now to raise money for (although they are BIG things)

This whole step of faith has been a miracle. Every fee that is required at this point is paid for. God called us to this and he will provide the rest, I'm sure of it but I sure wish it would happen today:) That would make this faith walk a little less scary!

I don't want to be like the children of Israel...God would do a miracle for them and a few days later, they'd be right back to grumbling & complaining !!!! I don't want to grumble or complain. I want to trust God for His provision!!! So please pray for us that God will supply!

If you'd like to donate, please send donations to :
Grace Church
7060 Berry Road
Zephyrhills, Fl 33540 attn: Clanton family adoption

they are tax deductible!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Process

Sometimes when you are in the adoption process things begin to feel surreal. Right now with our main dossier in country & our homeland security approval coming very soon, most of my CRAZY running around is over. Now we are almost to the point of sitting back and waiting...waiting on that phone call that will turn our world upside down. With the way our children's country moves, we will probably go in the first of March. So between now & then, we raise our money and we wait...

I remember the wait and the frantic phone call December 31 2005....Yvonne "hello" Agency "we need you to leave for China by 5th" OMG!!!! I had to get a VISA for travel from Washington DC's Chinese Embassy & arrange my flight OVER New Years Holiday! I do not know how it all came together to this very day, it's a blur with just little pieces here & there...what a crazy 6 days! But it all came together! And on Jan 8th (Jan 7th here and that added to some confusion) I sat in a cold orphanage & waited. Waited for a lady to come in the door and hand me Shad. What a moment forever emblazoned on my mind.

With Steve, Sam & Shad those first few moments are like little videos in my brain. With all three, all I can remember of those moments are them! I don't know who handed them to me or even what they looked like, ALL I focused on was that child! So as with childbirth, adoption is 100% the same, you don't see nothing but the child! And it's shocking! I know when I was pregnant both times I was shocked to see a real baby:) I guess I thought ET was in there moving around or something. Well with adoption it is shocking to see that little person that you've fallen in love with from a picture, in real life! It is breathtaking!

So right now I'm in the stretch where it seems unreal. Will I really get to that child? This time around we have many more worries , both for the country and the changes that seem to come without warning and for the children's health & well being. We know more this time and it is scary...lots can go wrong just like in a pregnancy.

Things have moved at such speed for our adoption, that it is truly unreal. It certainly helped that we'd done an adoption before, already had a Social Worker who'd worked with us and had done home studies & post placement reports on us. But honestly I just did everything humanly possibly to speed things along. If it could be hand walked through I took it. I didn't give any allowances for human error or wasted time and that does help! Pretty sure we had so many paperwork errors that I'm responsible for killing a small forest! We had a friend of Jon's who is a notary that helped us so much, redoing everything and always being available for us! God provided for us.

So as committed as we are in our hearts, we are trying to hold back a little emotionally. We've seen other families lose their child(ren) due to other folks adopting that child or changes in that government's adoption laws ( they didn't affect us this time) The country we are adopting from does not allow the family to pre select a child and have that child held for them. China is different you don't have that concern. Of course it doesn't seem that children in institutions or with the various special needs our two have are really affected by that. They've both been waiting since they were 1 year old, so chances are no one else will come for them. The ones who seem to get adopted out like that are ones who have minor special needs & who are still in orphanages. So in one small way we are lucky. "So while it is not likely we'll have complications, it's still a scary thing that lurks in the back of my mind!

So we are just holding on, doing (or have done) everything we can do & praying that all goes well! Please continue to pray for our babies!!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

Last night my husband and I watched an old movie called "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness". It's about an English girl who wants to be a missionary to China back in the 1930's. She goes & endures so many hardships. In the end she rescues about 400 orphans from certain death by the Japaneses. To me the most touching scene is when the town elder tells everyone to leave town and go to the mountains to escape and he honors the missionary by putting it in the town's records, as they are closing down the town, that he has chosen to be a christian based on her life....she just sobs (and so do we) What a movie! Guess what, it was not a christian movie...rather it was a Hollywood film from the 60's! Pretty amazing to see how far we have fallen. We certainly do not have movies like that anymore! The movie was so inspiring to me. I had read about this missionary before (I can't remember her name this morning but I think I have a book on her) But what a life she led!

Jon kept comparing me to the lady,she was a bit headstrong! LOL She was told in England, by the experts, she could never be a missionary, she didn't have the right training. Then she was told she couldn't get there because of all the turbulence in the world but she just preserved on. I LOVE determination.

So many times I look at people who have gone no where in their lives, some had dreams but they were told it was impossible so they believed it and let their dreams go....That is sad but it also makes me mad!!

Recently my husband found an old list of mine. I had written it my first year in college (BTW, I had folks who told me I'd never make it in college! I had no support from anyone but a friend & her mom. But I made it!!) So I had written my life goals on the list......Dear God, I almost fell out!!!!!! So many of them I had achieved!!! Almost all of them!

The thing that makes me laugh is that for every one of those goals, I had people telling me I could NOT do it!!!!!! But with God's help and my determination I did!

My goals were to finish college & get my BA, marry a wonderful husband (I had all the qualities I wanted written down & Jon met them)! Travel, move to NYC & work in inner city ministry, have kids, adopt kids..etc.... I've met most of the dreams I had written down.

I want to encourage you to remember your dreams...no matter where you are in life, push forward with your dreams. don't let anyone stand in your way. You may have to work hard, I did, she did...She was a maid scrubbing the floors to save up the money to go to China. She didn't look so heroic then but each step was a step to her destiny.

Great movie, watch it if you have the chance. I'm going to try and track it down so I can buy it!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Do you get it??? And Update

I got hit by a troll on my blog. A troll is exactly what it sounds like , an ugly inside & out person, who hides out and doesn't make their identify known. The troll said something to the effect we should save our pennies if we wanted to buy a child & that we were participating in child trafficking....


Just to answer that trolls questions and any that anyone else has....

We personally were not expecting to adopt. We have our three boys including an adopted child, and were quite content with our life. Actually I had given away alot of our youngest child's things recently. (and yes I could kick myself now!) BUT God had a different plan than what we had!

Just by looking on an orphan listing site, our hearts were moved with compassion. We couldn't get away from what God was asking us to do. We're not saints but we try and listen to that small voice that leads us down life's path. That small voice told us to go and get these two precious children left to languish in a mental institution until they died. We understand children like them, our own son was born with similar if not the same condition. The difference is we took care of our son since the day he was born. We worked with him, got him medical care and most import, loved on him. So we know what these two particular children need medically, physically & emotionally. No we didn't have $30,000 saved up to rescue them but we know the same God who asked us to step forward, would ask others to step forward and be a part of this. It's been a beautiful thing to see.

As far as child trafficking...that's laughable. the two children we picked aren't going to grace the cover of American Baby or do photo shoots for Toys R Us. They don't have alot of what the world calls outward beauty. Folks will stare at them. We know that, people do with our son. We've found that people don't like any imperfection. We are not picking them because thy are the perfect blond haired, blue eyed children so prized by the world's standards. But to us, no one could be cuter:)

We want to be their parents to take care of them and bring them happiness. I don't think they've seen alot of happiness. WE can't wait to get them started in therapy and possibly have some eye operations to see if they can be given some sight. These two, so like our precious little boy , deserve more than lying in a bed until they die! They are God's creation.

Why do I think God allows children to be born like this..I have lots of theological ideas about it , obviously we live in a fallen world, God's not a genie who makes everything perfect right now...etc etc.... But I know that God uses situations in our lives to help us to grow & learn compassion. Obviously I do not believe that God caused my son to be born the way he was, but God worked in our lives through those circumstances. He changed us & it's been a good thing! I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Sam's life has deepen mine! Would I have chosen for him to have all this...? Of course not! But we can't make everything right. But I love that God can be with us in our worst moments & speak comfort to our hearts. And because God has done that for us, we are equipped by God to be able to give two other children a home. Wow I love how God works. Ten years ago, I could not have done this! I wouldn't know where to start but since being taught by the Great Sam:) I know how to help a blind child. But don't let the fact that you have not had a child with a disability give you an excuse not to adopt. There are plenty children who do not have disablititles that are waiting for a home. Please you can learn how to take care of a child with a disability. God tell us to take care of the orphan.

It's funny, with our first adoption, we only had disagreeable remarks from some of my husband's family and a very rich man in our old church....Of course that was before FB, blogs etc... It shocks me that anyone could ever be against anyone rescuing a child. Our government and the child's government have the family to leap through lots of hoops (and that's a good thing!) They both want to know the family is in a position to take care of the child(ren) So anyone that gets oked to adopt internationally especially has had their backgrounds gone over with a fine tooth comb!!! And I'm all for that, it keeps out people who have any sort of background that is unstable. So who in their right minds would want to see a child lay in a bed until he/she dies rather than have a family, and medical. physical. and emotional help????? Some sort of freak!!!! Just ask my 8 year old if he is glad we came and got him!!! He'll tell you!!!!


NOW FOR OUR UPDATE


I got an email from our worker at Homeland Security that there was no problem with the financial part of our application. She just needs a few more documents and should have our fingerprint notification to us by Tuesday:) This is flying!! The lady we are working with is great! I'm so impressed by how prompt and helpful she is! I was hoping we'd have everything by the end of the year and we'll just miss it by 3 days. she thinks we'll have it by Jan 3rd! I'm happy! We have such a sense of urgency to get everything done. I believe God can work miracles but not if we sit on our butt! So I'm not sitting!!!!! I'm running & pushing ahead!! Please continue to pray for our two children, a half a world away.....some days they seem even further....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Galen

http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=galen&x=0&y=0

What a cute little boy. All he seems to need is a little eye surgery/patching & some therapy for his CP. The lady who sponsors Sarah prays for & is involved with Galen also. What a dear little guy. He understands and wants a family. Give him the best Christmas gift ever & step up for him! You'll never regret it!!!

Happy Birthday Sarah

We got an email yesterday that our USCIS/Homeland Security paperwork will be expedited! Thank you Lord! Can't wait to get that done!

The rest of our dossier got hand walked through the Appostille process in Tallahassee yesterday (by a dear friend!) and is on it's way back to me by today. When I get it, I will take it back to "Going Postal" (my new best friends) and it will be on it's way to Texas tonight to be hand delivered to our children's country by a family that is leaving Monday to pick up their children!!!! So by next Wednesday at the latest, it will be safe in our facilitator's hand! WOW!

Our grant application is in. All of our newsletters are out to friends/family who don't use the Internet. I'm even registered at Babies R Us!!! So we are flying.......

Today is Sarah's birthday. I don't know if anyone will wish her a Happy Birthday...there probably won't be a cake or presents....God be with her today & everyday, wrap your arms around her, speak peace to her little heart...give her hope to hang on until we get there.....Next year will be different, I promise!


I LOVE all the comments I get. For some reason I have a hard time responding to them so if you'd like me to respond to you, please include your email address!

Please keep our sweethearts in your prayers! Pray that all paperwork will be correct and there be no hindernaces & that we get the fastest date possible. Please pray that all our finances come in. Right now we need $13,820.25 You can give by going to

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Freecesrainbow.org%2F28647%2Fsponsorclanton&h=tAQHpEWzlAQHAcO9ap6HnTmLckCPpu7CPtzV-gKNwOBtu1g

or through our church Grace Church 7060 Berry Road, Zephyrhills Fl 33540 mark it Clanton Adoption:)

Thank you!!!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Michelle (6)

Michelle (6)


I thought this sweetheart had a family coming for her but she does not! PLEASE pray for her & someone needs to step forward & give her a life! she is in an institution now. From what I've heard about her, she does not seem cognitively delayed. She needs YOU!!!! Follow our example & take a leap of faith. I bet you will NEVER regret it!!!!!! I KNOW she won't!!!!

God will help you when you step out in faith. Not before but when you step out! Five weeks ago we didn't have any extra money BUT God moved when we moved!!!! Now we already have half of the money raised for our adoption! Don't be fearful, we serve a GREAT God who tells us to take care of the orphans. He will help you! We are proof of that help!!!!

You can give excuses to me and they maybe valid. Heck I have lots of excuses WHY we shouldn't, couldn't adopt any more kids....but we chose to step out and do it! You can too. You have so much to give! One day we all will stand befoe God and He will ask us what did we do "for the least of them"? What will you say???

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Paper chase almost done

Years ago I watched a show on tv about young law students. I don't remember any of the plots but they studied alot, as they were chasing their degree. The name of the show was "Paper Chase" or something like that. It made me feel very grown up to watch it...

Well I am so over that!!! The last 5 weeks I have been paper chasing as hard as I could possible do it! I'm so thankful to say that on Monday everything except for our USCIS/Homeland security will be on it's way to Tallahassee to get walk thru the Apostille Dept by a friend who will then send it back to me & I'll send it to a family who lives in Texas! They are leaving to go to our children's country on Monday (after Christmas) to adopt their children! So by next Wednesday, our paperwork will be in the hands of the person who will deal with it there!

If I told you ever step that I've had to take to get to this point, you wouldn't believe it (unless you've done an international adoption) and I don't want to remember it all! LOL But I can say I have literally gone without eating several days as I just didn't have time to eat, work on paperwork & take care of my other responsibilities! I have fallen in the bed at night, and fell asleep before the lights were out! But it is so worth it!

Our children's pediatrician wrote a letter for both children asking USCIS to move our paperwork along as fast as possible. I've also contacted our senator, Marco Rubio (who I voted for) & his office has been all over this! I am hoping we will have our fingerprints done by the end of December & our clearance soon after!!

We are down to needing $13,820.25! Please note when we started 5 weeks ago we basically needed $30,000! God is good & so are His people! I am amazed at what God has done for our sweet children!

So please keep praying! There are so many things going on right now in our children's country, pray that nothing will stop their adoption. We want to be their parents & give them the love they've not had yet. When God brings them to mind, please pray...believe me you have no idea of all that could stand in their way of having their own family. I do not ask for prayer lightly, I really mean we need your prayers, thank you!

A Special Child

You weren’t like other children,
And God was well aware,
You’d need a caring family,
With love enough to share.
... And so He sent you to us,
And much to our surprise,
You haven’t been a challenge,
But a blessing in disguise.
Your winning smiles and laughter,
The pleasures you impart,
Far outweigh your special needs,
And melt the coldest heart.
We’re proud that we’ve been chosen,
To help you learn and grow,
The joy that you have brought us,
Is more than you can know.
A precious gift from Heaven,
A treasure from above
,
A child who’s taught us many things,
But most of all- “Real Love

Dedicated to Sam! Sam has taught us so much in his 7 years. I thank God for him! He has changed my life around, got my priority's on track & made me more happier than you could imagine!

If you would have told me 10 or 13 years ago that I'd have a blind, mentally delayed child & I would be the happiest I've ever been in my whole life...I'd probably not believed you! But it is the truth! Sure we've cried some tears, we have some regrets for Sam but not for us! He is a joy! Pure Joy! And he keeps my look towards heaven. I'm not satisfied with this life, I have a hope that is eternal. And one day I'll hear my little man talk & see clearly and understand. So for now we enjoy the heck out of him & look forward to THAT DAY!!!!

Thank you God for sending me the son You promised to me! He has changed me & opened my heart to love other kids that aren't "perfect" in the world's eyes but perfect in our eyes!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Seth Job Clanton


Seth is officially on the Reece's Rainbow page "My Family found Me" so I can now publish his picture!!!!! We are looking forward to day that we can hold this little guy and take care of him! Please pray that all the paperwork moves quickly for these two precious children!!!!!

Paper chasing.... still

Sitting here waiting for our notary friend to come by and redo the last 4 pages on our dossier:) Still waiting for my homestudy, which is waiting for Jon's medical (for some reason they didn't check the paper for an HIV test and it had to be redone) Then we still wait on the USCIS (homeland security/immigration) background. As soon as I get my homestudy in hand, I'm going to be calling my senator to ask for the paperwork to be expiated!

We sent in the commitment pledge of $1000 for Dmitiry/Seth Can't wait until we are officially matched on Reece's Rainbow and are able to put up his picture too!!!


We are working on all the funding, have some letters/emails out, knowing that the God of this Universe will provide for these kids!!!!

This is the most emotional thing I have ever done in my life. We didn't have to be vulnerable and love these kid but we made the choice to and it hurts. It hurts because we care for them and want to take away their hurt and give them love and a full belly, and we can't yet. We have a son like them, we know their vulnerability and needs, probably more than most. It's hard because we know how loving we've taken care of Sam since his first breath. We've taken him to every specialist and tried to meet all his needs and anticipate his wants as he doesn't communicate verbally. So it hurts to think of two children, lost in a dark world with no one to be their parents. Oh God protect them until we can be there for them!

Please pray for them whenever you think of them.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

For all you who thought I was a saint...I ain't LOL

Today has been crazy...got LOTS of work done on the adoption. I'm trying to make sure everything is in for the homestudy, do the USCIS/Homeland Security stuff & the "pre dossier" and the dossier....and raise money ALL at the same time. All are inter related yet separate... Then today the "pre dossier" (for lack of a better term) changed. Well I hadn't done it yet anyhow, I was waiting for the change BUT there came an urgency with the change to get certain documents in. Just so you know getting an adoption document in, doesn't just mean signing it and mailing it...OH NO that would be TOO easy! It means signing it, getting it notarized, faxing it to the agency for approval, getting approved and then sending it to Tallahassee for it to be "apostilled" a fancy name for the notary's seal to be verified ON EACH SHEET OF PAPER!!!! For a charge of course! Then it has to be sent back to us, mailed to the agency and sent to the country!! So I'm stressing!

Then to finish up the paperwork for our homestudy that might be finsihed by Monday I had to drive to Tampa, find the Dept of Children & Families to get our child abuse clearance...(to make sure we haven't been abusing our kids. My son threatened me and told me I had to get him pizza or he'd tell on me lol since he is way bigger than me....)

So I FINALLY find the place and as I'm getting my documents out of the van, a older lady pulls up and tells me "you are in a handicapped parking spot" I said "i know" and just continue getting my stuff. She then told me to move. Ok I sorta lost it at that point and I told her in a slightly louder than normal voice that I have a handicapped child in the car & would she like to see his Florida ID????? THEN she says "lady you don't hae to get all huffy & be rude to me" At that point I reminded her who began the conversation..... She moved. Then I saw her come in the office I was in and go in the employee door....don't you LOVE state workers like that? Reminds me of bratty girls who loved to tell on other children to get them in trouble (and yes I have someone in mind as I write LOLOL)

Anyhow just wanted all my new readers know I'm not always a saint:) What a day!!!!! And I still have stuff to do tonight, I feel like I have a paper to write (even tho it's not that bad) Then Jon & I have early medical appointments in the morning, then I'm sending in our commitment promise on Seth, Steve has to get his bottom braces, we have a ton of stuff to get notarized, faxed and checked. I'm going to wait to over night it to my friend in Tallahassee who is going to walk it through the appostille process and send it back the same day, till I get the homestudy so it can all go together. so many things to come together in the next few days.....

BTW, we did get pizza tonight in Tampa, a Pizza Hut right next to an adult bookstore....what a day!!!! But we are doing it all for two little ones so it's worth it!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Good News

Just a short blog to let you know how things are going. On Monday a dear couple gave us a gift of $1000 towards our adoption. Then on Tuesday a close friend & her hubby gave us a gift of $1000! So today is Wednesday and I'm still waiting for my daily $1000 gift to our adoption:) God is good and so are His people!!!!

Reece's Rainbow has given us permission to commitment to the little boy! They are not confident that we will be approved but we are going to do all our paperwork and pray that the country will grant us favor! I'll be sending in our commitment fee & then I can officially post his picture on here!!!!! We are willing to be his parents if God will grant us the favor of the government !!! Please pray, he's been listed for over 3 years, is in the same mental institution as Sarah and only 5 yrs old. We want to give him a wonderful life with lots of love, something he has never had. We've seen a few pictures of him and he is never smiling...Jon said he can't wait to tickle him till he laughs a belly laugh" We want to bring laughter into his life...pray that we will be able to!!!!!


Doing paper chasing every day. I write a 3 day list at a time and make sure I can mark all the things off on a daily basis for example my list thus far has been....
Monday-
Set up Physicals
write & print the adoption appeal letter
get a copy of deed on property

Tuesday-
Go to Bartow pick up birth certificates & marriage certificates
Balance & enter all transactions on the adoption gifts, make copies and file receipts

Wednesday
Talk to Social Worker
email RR
fill out INS

As you can see somethings require many steps but thankfully I've met my goals for the past 3 days! And still have done all my other chores like laundry , cleaning & eyedrops! Please pray that I can stay focused and get done what I need to do!

Tomorrow I am going to Tampa to find the children & Family office to get our Abuse clearance backgrounds done. I think it will be faster to hand walk it through!!!!

So right now this is my life....can't wwait till the paperwork is done!!!!

Contacts

I LOVE getting comments from so many of you and I really want to comment back but for some reason I can't put a comment in my comment section!!! so if you'd like a reply please post me your email address with your comment:) Thanks

Saturday, November 26, 2011

To set the record straight.....dedicated to Mr or Ms Annymous

Mr or Ms Anonymous,

I want to set the record straight for you.....

Adopting a child is not buying a child! Yes there are fees that must be paid to government agencies, there is travel for the family, there are document fees...but it's not buying a child. It's no different than having a child and paying the hospital. It's about the same amount of money. So is birthing a child "buying a child"? Guess so since there is money involved. Guess no one should have a baby then??? Nothing in life is free...there is no free lunch OR FREE child! just remember that!

Adopting can be a wonderful thing for everyone involved. I'm so very thankful I am basically an adopted child. It was a "in family" adoption, my great aunt & uncle took me as a newborn and raised me. We are the proud parents of an adopted child from China. A little boy who was left on the side of the road because he was blind in one eye! He is now a happy, well adjusted , straight A 8 yr old who is so glad we "bought" him! In fact he told me just today "Mom I'm so glad you came and got me!" So put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!! Makes you think about what is important.



Mr or Ms Anonymous, have you ever walked into an orphanage and seen babies lying in one crib after another? Seen your breath because it was so cold in that baby room in January? Maybe if you get off your self satisfied behind and see some of the horrible things in this world, then you might, you just might be moved with compassion to want to rescue a child.

Heck I don't even like going to the pound...should we not have more respect & compassion for a life of a human than an animal??? (And I'm quite the animal lover & rescuer!Pretty sure I've got you beat there too)

Are we glad we "bought" him, glad we chose him over buying a new car? YES!!!! What is a human life worth?


The Bible talks about how Jesus came and bought us, He paid our redemption on the cross. The term "bought" is used throughout the Old and New testament. I'm so glad that Jesus "bought" me out of sin....

So no we don't have $25,000 lying around but check back on my blog in a few months and I can promise you the God of the Universe will provide what we need to go and bring those kids home! And it will be to HIS glory. You can have a hard heart but guess what? One day we will all stand before God and he will ask us what we've done "to the least of them" And that is quoting Jesus.... I want to say I did what He laid on my heart to do and was obedient to it. What about you???

BTW, if you're ever going to post on my blog again, you will have to have a name to do it! Don't be a wuss, if you want to post something nasty, have enough backbone to put your name to it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In the Middle of a Miracle!




In the middle of a miracle is where we are right now!

Just to put this story in perspective....Let me give you all the details....

A few weeks ago someone posted a blog on FB about a family adopting a very special needs child who had been malnourished terribly. I read their story with horror! This child is 9 yrs old and weighs about 12 pounds....She is safe and now with her family thank God! You can read their story at http://theblessingofverity.com/ The mom mentions Reece's Rainbow in her blog. I looked on there....it's a ministry that is not an adoption agency but they help people find international Special Needs children to adopt. I,of course searched for blind kids, and find several, one who looks JUST like Sam. Her head was shaved so I thought she was a little boy...she had already been transferred from a baby orphanage to a mental institution. I clicked off and went to bed. The image and the awfulness of the whole thing just weighed on my mind and I cried out to God for that child and the 2 other ones who had caught my eye. That night I found it hard to sleep! After that I didn't go back to that website. It was too real, that child looked so much like Sam all it did was make me think of how awful Sam's life would be if he was in that type of situation.

So a few weeks went by and then it was the first Sunday in November, official Orphan Sunday. Our sweet church took up an offering and I thought I'd look back on Reece's Rainbow and find that child and put the money on her for a grant (that's RR's ministry, people can give to that child, for his/her adoption- it's called an adoption grant so even if you can't adopt that child you can make it easy for someone else to adopt him/her) So I found those three children again and realized Genesis was a little girl not boy despite her shaved head. That was the afternoon of November 6th, just two weeks ago! We didn't quite have $300 from the offering so I sat there that afternoon and felt inspired to raise the money needed for all three of them to have full adoption grants! I even shared with some of our congregation that night at a small group about it! On Tuesday I spoke to the director of RR and told her several times we were NOT thinking of adoption....just wanted to raise money for these children! By Wednesday/Thursday we WERE thinking of adoption!!!!!!! By last Friday we had committed in our hearts to adopt her. I emailed the director back sure that by this time she thinks I'm some crazy, half baked person who is wasting her time!!!! She asked if we had the money for all the up front costs, about $3000...I told her yes but honestly in our checking account we had about $82 to last a week.... I wasn't lying, I think she phrased the question like" Will you have the up front money?" Well I knew God could do it if He was in it!

So one of my friends encouraged me to ask for donation on FB. I did without giving hardly any details this past Monday...by Thursday $2004 had come in, just what we needed for the Reece's Rainbow fees, the home study & some background fees! Our social worker had a cancellation and was able to see us on Friday and we sent in all the paperwork, some to local law enforcement and some to Reece's Rainbow! Saturday morning I woke up to a ton of emails and the official notice we were pre approved by RR! They had put our story up on their new family page and the emails started coming! Several families had been so touched by her plight that they'd prayed about taking her but it just wasn't to be for them! One family wrote the sweetest blog and prayer for her ON THE VERY SAME DAY I called RR to tell them we wanted to raise money for her... That family saw on RR that we had committed to her and called me yesterday and have pledged to send the money for the INS fees, something we need to get in this month! They'd been praying for her! Read their blog at http//adoptionbeginnings.blogspot.com/2011/11/genesis.html ! It will blow your mind!!!!!! My husband is reading their blog at the prison and our church this morning! God never forgot her!!!!!

Then they tell me of a woman who has been paying for someone to go in the institution and take care of her and another little boy on an individual basis! WHAT???? I got to talk to her last night and I'm just blown away by how God put Sarah on so many people's heart! she was never forgotten by the God of this Universe.....We are so thankful!!!!!!

This all is so holy & precious...please know we are not saints or angels(especially not me) but we are willing servants...who are saying YES! to God's plan for our lives and for her life! We have Sam, we know what to expect, we know we need to be prepared to see that she has life long care...we're not looking through rose colored glasses here...But it is all done "as onto the Lord" In God's sovereign plan for our lives, He allowed Sam to be born...that changed our lives & focus...then He allowed us to adopt Shad & change his life from living in a sad, cold orphanage in China. Now He has opened our eyes to this child who is need of a family who can cope with her medical/physical/mental issues....we have our PhD in "Samology" LOL, so we are prepared by Sam for her diagnosis and prepared by Shad for the experience of adoption:)

We feel she has Peter's Anomaly and our dear Dr A does too. I sent him the pictures we have and all he said was "When are you bringing her??" We LOVE him!!! He feels she will be able to be help visionally just like Sam was by the corneal implant!!!!!!!

This post has probably been the most important post I've ever written. I want to stress how we feel we are walking "in the middle of a miracle" at this moment! I'm not one who has to go on "feelings" but I sense the nearness of God, the preciousness of His spirit, right now in such a holy way. I just want to die to myself and do His will!

I almost hesitate in sharing this next little bit but.....there is a little boy , at the same institution, turning 6 yrs old in December, Dmitriy....he almost surely has Peter's Anomaly too. We have not committed to him but we are doing our homestudy & INS immigration for TWO children...it would only be about $5000 more to adopt him too. We are praying about it, it could make a real difference in his little life for eternity. I'm sure he'd be a candidate for eye surgery too (won't Dr A love us bringing all these little ones in to see him???) We are open to adopting him if we could be approved by that government. Again we are not saints or anyone special...we are just doing what we can do to serve God. Because of Sam, there are things we can't do like travel the world and be missionaries or do crusades like Billy Graham...but there are things we can do that others can't do because of our experiences..... When we stand before God, we want to know we did all we could while on this earth to reach others. I think of the story of the little boy who was running down a beach, frantically tossing starfish back into the sea so the heat of the sun wouldn't kill them. An old man said "hey kid, you can't save them all" the little boy said as he picks up another one "no but I can save this one" That is how we feel...we can do our part to touch little lives and love them so they know they have a family who loves them

So if you'd like to be a part of this you can give through our church, it's tax deductible... Grace Church 7060 Berry Road, Zephyrhills Fl 33540 or you can give to Reece's Rainbow, we won't get the funds till we travel but that's fine. http://reecesrainbow.org/28647/sponsorclanton

To be on the safe side we probably need to raise about $22,000 especially if we adopt this little guy too. We will also need expenses to go to NY for their surgeries and all the out of pocket fees for their surgeries...But God is so faithful, I know He will provide!!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BIG NEWS!!!!

What a difference a week makes....a week ago I wrote how we are raising money to help put grants on three orphans to help families adopt them...well this week I'm writing that we have committed to one of them!!!!!!!

I've found when I listen closely to what God is telling me to do, sometimes it's shocking! I called the ministry on Monday or Tuesday and told the lady our plans to help out the orphans. She was happy of course. I told her several times we were NOT adopting just helping out.... By Thursday Jon and I were talking about adopting....I was scared, a few years ago we tried to adopt a blind baby from India. We had all the fees paid, waiting for travel when we found out she was completely deaf! At that time, Sam was still in and out of the hospital and we did not feel we could handle the situation so we backed out of the adoption. It was awful and I have ALWAYS felt guilty about it! All the fees that we had paid in remained on her account and one great thing happened, an English christian couple fostered her in India and ended up adopting her. Because we had started the process of adopting her, that agency had found a foster home for her to help her learn to live in a family. So I feel God used us to help her anyhow & it even paid some of her fees. But it was a terribly traumatic situation for us/me. It was like a miscarriage to me. So that has always been in the back of my mind.

Of course now as we have had more experience with Sam (who has some hearing loss) I feel that I could cope with whatever happens with this new adoption. We are assuming she will be as delayed as Sam is and are prepared for that. If she is not, then we'll be thankful. When we adopted Shad, we thought he was COMPLETELY blind. All the paperwork had that on it...then I got him at the orphanage and found he was ONLY blind in one eye. Big difference & what happiness we had about that!

International adoption is not safe nor is it easy. You don't know much about the child and just have to go on faith. We are committed to this child no matter what issues/diagnosis she has. I can't share anymore info about her until we have all our pre approval paperwork in so I'll soon be able to give her name and show her picture.

Please pray that God will provide the funds. We of course have no savings but God hears the cry of the orphans and I know we experienced miracles of provision in Shad's adoption and in the other adoption that didn't work out (but God still used our willingness) The funny thing is in that adoption, we actually had the money for it and some folks did give but we could have probably scrimped and done it ourselves- with Shad and this one, we have NO resources to do it!!! But God is able If you 'd like to give our address is Grace Church 7060 Berry Road, Zephyrhills, Fl 33540. You can give through our church just mark clearly it is for the Clanton adoption & you will get tax credit at the end of the year. thank you

Monday, November 7, 2011

Here are the three children

http://reecesrainbow.org/3145/dmitriy114



http://reecesrainbow.org/11275/genesis118
http://reecesrainbow.org/11275/genesis118


http://reecesrainbow.org/853/michelle-6


Sorry I can't get the pics to post but you can go and look at them. Please help these kids!!!!

Stepping out in Faith!



Since having Sam, my world has, been turned upside down in a good way! The reality of the sancity life is greater and the reality that life is precious for EVERYONE has been seared into my heart by this special and perfect little boy! I wouldn't trade this journey for anything in the world.

When Sam was little we came across a picture of the child that would become our newest family member, Shad. When we saw his sweet but sad picture we knew God wanted us to adopt him. Thankfully at the time, we didn't know how delayed Sam was going to be and we stepped out and adopted Shad. Looking back I think if we'd known all of Sam's issues, we'd probably been too overwhelmed to adopt another child. But thankfully we listened to God and moved forward & despite everything that was against us, in only 9 months, we had raised all the money, got all the paperwork done and had our son!

Again I feel God is telling us to step out in faith! Not to adopt ourselves but to raise money to help other families adopt. What is the one thing that keep many Christian families from adopting? Finances!

Yesterday was World Orphan Day. Our church took up an offering to give to a ministry Reece's Rainbow that coordinates adoptions & grants for special needs kids. So I spent the afternoon trying to figure out which child to put our $248 on....I couldn't pick just one, instead I picked THREE!!! Of course $248 is NOT going to go far on three children's adoptions! So as I was looking at the pictures, my heart heavy, my head throbbing, I felt God speak to my heart to raise the money for these three visionally impaired SN kids to get adopted AND to help find families to adopt them!!!!! The ministry doesn't raise money for some of the start up adoption cost like the home study so I'm figuring I'd need to raise around $60,000 maybe a little less. Two of the three children have already been placed in institutions, not orphanages so you can imagine how bad it is for them. They are all younger than Sam. How heartbreaking!!!!

So I'm ready to see God start doing miracles for these orphans! I saw what God did for Shad and I know he loves these three children just as much! Please pray and please consider giving. It doesn't matter if it's only $1 anything helps! God gave me so much faith when we adopted Shad and I believe He can do it again! I feel all trembly inside and rather foolish at this time BUT GOD is so much bigger than me or my silly pride of failing. I remember when we signed the paperwork for Shad accepting his file, I felt like a FRAUD! We had NO money and a sick baby BUT GOD came through in such a mighty way!!! I'm feeling kinda like a fraud right now...no money, lots of bills $60,000 is alot BUT GOD can do it! I'm just gonna do my best and let God work on the behalf of these children! They NEED homes!!!!! I think of how much we love Sam and how we want to meet all his needs and love on him so he knows he has a mommy & daddy and then I think about these lonely children, stuck in beds,in orphanages/institutions with no one to love them or to hold them....oh my God it breaks my heart!!!

So pray about how you can help these children. I will be putting up their pictures soon as well as figuring out the best way to send in the monies. I think at this point we'll just run it through our church, so if you want to give, please make your check out to Grace Church 7060 Berry Road, Zephryhills Fl 33540, mark Orphan ministry and you will get tax credit for it.

Please pray for them that God will soothe their hearts and keep them safe until their forever families come and get them! Dmitriy, Michelle and Genesis need someone to care for them!!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

What is a child's life worth?????




Our first picture together




Shad on the day he was found abandoned & was taken to the orphanage...he looks so sad




The first picture we saw of Shad




Shad today surrounded by some of his birthday presents



Today we were driving home and swerved to miss a turtle. I wanted so badly to get him out of the road but it was too dangerous & it literally hurt my heart as I said a prayer for him to get safely across....ok I'm weird, I save spiders, frogs, all kinds of bugs....but I hate for anything to die!

So tonight again I read a blog of a family who was blessed with a daughter with Downs and is in the process to adopt another little girl from a country that has to remain unnamed at this time. The little girl they are adopting is 9 years old and weighs about 12 pounds. Yes you read correctly...less than 12 pounds!!! WHY??? Because she has been on a starvation diet for years. Not just her but many children in that country. I want to save children like that!!!!!

When we adopted Shad, he was not in good shape. In fact our pediatrician said he was the 2nd sickest international child he'd ever seen. Shad was 2 yrs old, weighed 19 pounds (that was after being fed by me for over 2 weeks in China), had worms & was in the beginning stages of malnutrition. Our peds said that if we hadn't adopted Shad, he'd probably would have ended up getting some type of sickness & wouldn't have had the strengh to fight it and would have died. That's an overwhelming feeling knowing that you stepped into a situation (God lead you into a situation) and a child's life was probably saved! It's very humbling.

So tonight I want to share with you this blog www.theblessingofverity.com Go there, let your heart be moved.....

Then go to http://reecesrainbow.org and see the pictures of some of these kids who need to be rescued!!!

I read a statistic somewhere that if every christian family would adopt one orphan, then there would be no orphans left in the world. Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing????

Some people ask me why not adopt from the USA? There are needy kids here BUT we have a social support group in place here that might not be perfect but I can promise you with 100% certainty, that chances are the child will not die here! Sure there are the weird foster family who are awful here & there but thankfully most of them get caught! In other countries .....you have no idea unless you've walked in to a dirty stinky orphanages in the middle of winter & you could see your breath in the air...INSIDE THE CHILDREN'S ROOMS!!!!!!!! That's where my son was living!!! And compared to some of the stories I've recently heard, he had it better than most....

When I hold Sam our biological son with SNs and I think of what his fate would have been had he been placed in one of those places....my stomach literally drops with fear! Oh my God...there are so many little Sam's & Shad's out there who need homes!!

So if you are thinking of adopting, think internationally. You can go back & read our story...we had NO money, God supplied everything! I believe when you obey God by trying to take care of the orphans...God will take care of YOU! And He will provide for their care! If you just can't adopt....give to someone who is. I can put you in contact with several wonderful families... What is a child's life worth??

So I still hope Mr Turtle made it safely across the road but I PRAY that God will touch hearts who will go and adopt children who need a mom and a dad!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Leave it There

Leave It There- thoughts on my 46th bday

Today our music minister sang one of my favorite songs. He sang it specifically because it was my bday. The words of the song's last verse had us rolling on the floor....

"When your youthful days are gone, and old age is stealing on, And your body bends beneath the weight of care, He will never leave you then, He'll go with you to the end: Take your burdens to the Lord & leave it there"

He realized it right before service as he was practicing it real quick. Thankfully it was before service & we were able to somewhat behave ourselves during the service LOL!

But to me the song "Leave It There" copyright 1916 speaks so loud to my heart!!! It was written & arranged by Charles Albert Tindley. Let me share the verses with you ....


"If the world from you withhold of its silver & its gold & you're forced to get along with meager fare. Just remember in His Word how He feeds the little bird, take your burdens to the leave & leave it there

If your body suffers pain & your health you can't regain, And Your soul is almost sinking in despair. Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save & He can heal, take your burden to the Lord & leave it there

When your enemies assail & your heart begins to fail. Don't forget that God in heaven answers prayer. He can make a way for you & will lead you safely thro: Take your burden to the Lord & leave it there

When your youthful days are gone, and old age is stealing on, And your body bends beneath the weight of care, He will never leave you then, He'll go with you to the end: Take your burdens to the Lord & leave it there

Leave it there Leave it there Take your burden to the Lord & leave it there. If you trust & never doubt He will surely bring you out, take your burdens to the Lord & leave it there!"

Love that song! Doesn't it address almost every problem we have in life? Then it reminds us to take it to the Lord & leave it there. The writer wrote these words almost 100 years ago but they ring as true as something written just this afternoon!

so I encourage you to take your burdens, whatever they are, to the Lord & leave them there!!!!

http://youtu.be/Bpi0xw20isQ

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Niagara Falls





I just love Niagara Falls & I love this picture of me & Jon:) I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. What a perk that we have to go to Rochester NY every year for Sam's eye check up... We've been to NF 4 times now & I just don't tire of it. It's magical to me...a preview of heaven. It's one of my favorite places on earth!

Friday, September 9, 2011

September 11, 2001




A post on Facebook :If you asked me if I remembered what I did last Tuesday, I couldn't tell you. But if you asked me if I remembered what I did 10 years ago on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I could tell you exactly what I was doing. REPOST THIS for our fallen heroes and let's NEVER FORGET!




Is that true or what? I'll never ever forget....

Jon & I lived and worked in NYC during the 90's as staff at Teen Challenge & City Church. I loved NYC. My oldest son was born there at St Luke's right off Central Park. I lost my twins there also at the same hospital. Some of the best & some of the worst of my life experiences happened while we lived there. I have a special love for anything NYC...always have. Did my college internship at Metro Assembly of God, a church/outreach in the middle of Brooklyn 1986. I've rode the subways all over the city, love that place......

That morning of 9/11, I like so many others who lost their lives that day, was just doing my job. I was interviewing a detainee at the detention center & a staff mentioned to me as I was leaving to go back to my office that a small plane had just hit one of the Twin Towers. I turned the radio on in my car as I was driving back & called my husband who wasn't at work yet. He was working as a chaplain at Arcadia- Desoto Correctional- and wasn't leaving until 10 or so to go there. As we were talking on the phone, the second plane hit!

I hurried into my office, telling staff as I went that something was going on as we all hurried in to the break room & turned on the the old tv that sat on top of the fridge...The buildings were smoking...we were all in shock, except for one idiot I worked with who began saying STUPID stuff. ( you always have an idiot in the bunch) as she was saying ridiculous things, the first tower started to fall. Up until that point, I was trying to keep my composure but I just started crying & saying "Jesus be with them" as I knew thousands were dying in that moment....and it was a holy moment. After the first tower fell & the idiot girl kept talking, I turned on her & told her to shut the h___ up!!! One friend later told me she thought I was about to sock her in the mouth!

Then in sorrow we watched the 2nd tower fall....my heart just broke! All I wanted to do was to go pick up my son from school & go home to be safe. We didn't know what else was going to happen as we were beginning to see images of the Pentagon & the newscasters were saying there were more airplanes up in the air with problems....

(I find out later that my son's kindergarten teacher's husband was supposed to be on the plane that hit the 2nd tower...he missed it...)

We began getting all kinds of calls/emails etc...remember I was a probation officer...we didn't know if the state was targeted...who knew what was happening?

Finally Governor Jeb Bush told all non essential workers to go home. I was already out the door. At that moment the only essential thing I was, was Steve's mom! I rushed to his school, got him & went home. I put him in the living room of our little townhouse, turned on Scobby Doo & went in our bedroom to watch continuing coverage....


That night our church had, along with so many others, a special prayer service. It seemed all of America was turning to the God of the Bible for comfort, for help...I even remember our local Hooters had up on their sign "Pray for the USA". I remember thinking "it's bad when HOOTERS is telling folks to pray!!!"

What an horrific terrible time that we all went through as a country. Our hearts were broken, I think because so many of the stories were about average people, like you or me, going about their day, never knowing that some crazy Muslim killers were going to take their lives that day! I hate the men who did it! I get a sense of satisfaction that they are burning in hell. If I'm wrong, so be it!

For me Flight 93 that went down in the field in rural Pennsylvania spoke the strongest to my heart. Here these brave men & women were beginning to understand something MAJOR was going on & they tried with everything within them to make a difference! They didn't save their lives that day (and so many times I have wished somehow that they did!!) but they saved so many others...what heroes!!!!

I wish we could all go back to September 10, 2001 and everything was fixed...somehow the government stopped the terrorists and no one ever knew the extent of what could have happened...but we can't go back...we can only go forward.

As we see the foolishness that is going on with the various 9/11 remembrances, it's a slap in all of our faces, especially the men & women who died on that day. We all cried out to God then, now there's "no time" to do so in the remembrances. That day, the police, fire & rescue folks came Uninvited & GAVE their very lives, now there's no room for them....what a mess! But even all this foolishness can not take away the sacredness of that awful day...May we never let our hearts grow hard nor forget that awful day....



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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

End of Summer






I thought that was a fitting title as I wrote a blog at the begining of summer:) What a GREAT summer we've had!!!

Steve did tutoring & has gotten (or will have got by Thursday) a FULL math credit! He also finished what his school calls Word Building/Etymology books for good! He also did his Drug & Alcohol Class on on line to get his driver's license & is doing the practice tests to get ready to do the test on line. And he finished a grueling 8 week Trilation class & was schedule to do a Tri last weekend but it got postponed till October. So he has been so productive this summer! WOOHOO!

Sam was blessed to get lots of hours of therphy this summer from the school board. I didn't even have to fight for it! What's up with that? He got his fav teacher Ms Heather for speech & a new male teacher Mr David for VT/Academics. It was all done at home & went well.

Shad had a a regular 7 yr old boy's summer! Yeah!!! He loved all our beach trips. We tried to go to the beach almost every Friday (Jon's day off) We rediscovered our love for Honey Moon Island! WOW! Is that a great beach or what? We also went to Green Key off New Port Richey. Sam can't go in the pool but thankfully we can take him in the ocean although we avoid getting him spalshed (eye infection)

Next week we are headed out on an adventure! Sam has his appointment with Dr Aquvella in Rochester Ny so we are off on a road trip! We drive for several reasons, it's cheaper & I HATE to fly!!!!! No, one main reason is Sam has glaucoma 7 an artificial cornea & given that his pressure could go up, it's probably the best idea to drive....So we have a trip planned!

First night we are driving to Chattanooga Tn & the next morning going to Lookout Mt! Jon & I went there years ago & took my grandmother. We're also gonna SEE RUBY FALLS & SEE ROCK CITY! Next day we are driving to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky! I went there once in college. It will be fun to take the kids thee, they are hoping for bats! LOl! Then we drive on to Niagara Falls, spend the night (get to see it at night ) & the next day before hitting Rochester & the wonderful Ronald McDonald House!!!!!! I can't say enough about RMH in rochester, they are wonderful:)


Saturday we are going with some dear friends from college Dan & Charlene Wallenbeck to Letchworth State Park south of Rochester. We went there a few years ago & it is almost as pretty as NF! Sunday Jon is preaching at one of our snowbird's ( couples who come down here for the winter) church. Then we are going on a picnic & seeing a Lighthouse on Lake Ontario! Monday we'll actually slow down as Sam has appointments and Tuesday he has his exam under anesthesia ( EUA). I'm so nervous, it's been 9 months since his last exam & that is the longest he has ever gone. Praying that all is well. Everything looks ok to me but things can be wrong, pressure could be up...but we think all is well...I can't help it, some fear clutches my heart when I know an exam is coming!!!!!

We also get to meet a family who adopted a little girl with Peter's from China. she will be having the kpro (cornea implant) done right after Sam's exam. We have corresponded back & to with this sweet family & are praying that Abby will get the gift of sight! So glad we could be a little part of it!

If all goes well we'll leave on Wed morning & drive to Philly to spend some time with some dear friends we worked with in ministry in NYC! George & Ruth Valco! And we'll get a tour of Philly, none of us have ever gone there so we're excited! We'll be there a couple of days then back home & back to school! We may miss the first day of school...oh well I'll make sure they get some good history lessons in Philly!!!!

Although we are going in a more indirect route, it's coming out to about the same amount of miles...how weird is that? Glad that on this trip we don't have to drive I-81 at all! I HATE that road!!!!!!!

And our neice Anna is coming with us:) YEAH we are gonna show her a good time...of course she is gonna need a vacation when she gets home! We kinda don't go for relaxing trips:)

So pray that all goes well on this LOOOOONG road trip & that all goes well with Sam! I'll probably be more likely to post on his caringbridge site...Its www.caringbridge.org/visit/samclanton

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Personal Responsibility & Honesty

Where has Personal Responsibility gone to??? In today's world, everything is someone else's fault. If you gain weight, it's McDonald's fault, if your kids are a mess it's their friend's fault, If you get caught doing something wrong (like Weiner) it's the media's fault for catching you.....it goes on & on....If you've been told to evacuate your town because there is a hurricane coming, and you don't, it's the government's fault....if you're depressed & can't work it's someone's fault & the government should pay you to stay home....

Personal Responsibility does anyone take responsibility for their own lives anymore????? Between the news, reading facebook & blogs...I feel like slapping somebody! But they made me do it Officer.... Remember the old show where the guy would say "the devil made me do it"?

I absolutely HATE how the world & America is becoming! Few people have personal integrity. I can think of a few people who if they say they are going to do something, they will do it come hell or high water. They take respondsibity for their actions & even to some degree for their families' actions. Isn't that how we are supposed to be?

Quit the blame game!!!! Everything is someones else fault....Nope that is not true. YOU are responsible for yourself. Between being a minister's wife for 22 years & spending 13 years working as a probation officer, I think I have heard every excuse under the sun! People blaming other's for their horrible lives....GET OVER IT!!!!!

Life is life, you get ONE time around. If you want to screw up your life by wasting it blaming others & circumstances for your crappy life, go for it! I absolutely chose not to do that!!!!!!!

I think I can say this because if you knew my background I've got plenty of reason to whine! Not too many people can top my background, growing up years & personal tragedies. But I don't blame the past or other people for my actions. I can look at things objectively & realize why I've done some of the things I have done because of my past but I don't blame my past! There have been times in the past when I blamed circumstances on why I was doing something & even gave myself permission to do things because I was angry...but I learned from that ! I'm not saying I'm healed or perfect at all but I am saying if I can get past the past, you can too!!!!!

Recently we had an issue with one of our kids. I was talking to someone about it & she suggested it happened because of a friend. (don't get me wrong I know that "bad company corrupts good morals") but in this case, I didn't buy it at all! I feel it was my child's fault for his actions. In his favor he didn't blame anyone else & did take responsibility & is facing the consequences. That is what I want to teach my kids!

People be responsibility! Get back to some values. Quit being wishy-washy! Say what you mean & mean what you say!

There is something inside me that makes me be responsible even when I don't want to be! Sometimes I wish I could shut it off to be quite honest. I'm not trying to toot my own horn and maybe I have too big of a dose but there are some folks I'd like to give a dose to! I can promise you that if I say something, I'll do it or at least try my best to do it even if I don't necessarily want to do it! That's just who I am. And I take responsibility for my actions. I'm not perfect but I won't hide behind an excuse either. If I do something wrong, I pray & ask God to forgive me & I try & make it right if it pertains to another person. Unfortunately I have a a very hard time lying. LOL not that I'm a saint, sometimes a half truth might be better than the whole truth. But for some reason I can't do that either. A friend of mine called me "honest to a fault" LOL that's usually what gets me in the most trouble is my honesty. I tend to say the things most people won't. Not to be mean to someone but just to be real about a situation, even if the honesty reflects badly on me.

Did you ever see that movie "Liar Liar"? I think that was the name. Anyhow this guy is a lawyer & a terrible liar, something happens & he can't lie anymore. Everything that comes out of his mouth is the truth even when he doesn't want it to be. I feel quite like that much of the time! LOL I just can't be a social liar! I don't get it, can't understand it but...that is just me! I try to stay silent when I possibly can but many times, I can't stay silent! So if you don't want the truth, don't talk to me about your life. I have a minor in counseling but I can tell you I am NOT a counselor!!! I think I've seen so much in my life, so many horrible examples that it is hard for me to stay quiet. I can restrain myself if you don't talk to me about something but if you do....well.... We all think we are unique creatures but I hate to tell you "there is nothing new under the sun" Your life story is often quite like someone else's & your problems are no different than any other's. Your circumstances or location may be different but the human patterns are all so the same old, same old! So when I see someone rushing headlong into a situation I've seen happen over & over again, I want to stop them. But I have learned something over the years, I can't change anyone. That doesn't mean I'm not gonna deliver my heart to them & tell them what I think if I'm engaged in conversation but people tend to have to make mistakes for themselves. Sometimes they continue making the same mistake over & over again before they learn if ever.....I feel I have a respondibity in my sphere of influence to share God's truth & real life applications with others but only that person can change their lives by submitting to God on the spiritual level & following Godly patterns in the practical level.

All my years of working with delinquents showed me how so alike we humans are....I still shared with them about how the path they were on would end up, that was my moral & ethical duty but I can't say it made any or much of a difference. Most of them had to hit the rock bottom I told them about before they ever wanted a real change in their lives. I see the same thing today with people I deal with. If you keep making worldly choices, then you are gonna reap what you sow! It's a principal that is true in my life & in yours too! I've made my choice to live as close to God's word as possible to ensure that I nor my family will wind up shipwrecked! I've seen so many many many lives shipwrecked...it scares me! i don't want to end up like that nor will I!!!! I have the confidence I won't because of the choices I've made. I can't say my kids will never get in trouble or go out in the world but I can promise you that Jon & I will make it hard for them to get there! We will stand in their way! What I mean is we stand in their way by watching who they hang out with, where they go, what they listen to, what they watch on tv....we are not permissive. I can promise you I'll never give my kids a drop of alcohol, or a cigarette, or allow a girlfriend over to spend the night or even to hang out at our house.... they won't be watching bad movies in our home. I can't make their choices for them but believe me until they are old enough to take the responsibility for their choices, we're gonna help them with those choices!!!

I feel like we need to "man up" & do the right thing even if it's tough. Take responsibility for your actions & life. Be a person who is dependable. I sitting here thinking of all my friends & family, and folks I know, and I hate to say it there are alot of folks who I don't really think of as being dependable. Some are dependable to be undependable....truth hurts....

I want to be a person of integrity that is known to be who & what she says she is. Not perfect but responsible & truthful. I don't want to blame (in my case) Pepsi & Pizza Hut, cause I'm not a size 5! I also do NOT have hormonal problems!!!! Can I just say here for the heck of it...Do NOT tell me you have an hormonal imbalance & can't lose weight while you are eating doughnuts, sitting on the couch watching a soap opera!!!!!! Quit blaming everything & everyone but yourself!!!!

And I really hate the blame game in the church world! The devil did NOT make you do it! A scripture that gets misquoted all the time is "God will not give you anymore than you're able to bear..." People tell me that verse ALL the time & ALL the time I correct them!!! They look at my situation with Sam & think they are being comforting by telling me God won't give me any more of a burden than what I'm able to bear but the Bible doesn't promise us that anywhere! It's actually from a verse in 1Corinthians 10:13 which reads "No temptation has over taken you except such as is common to man but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear but with the temptations will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it" So basically don't blame your sin on God or anything in your life because if you trust in Him, He will make a way of escape from that temptation! So whether the temptation is anger, overeating, sex, whatever...He will make a way of escape. YOU have just got to take that way of escape! The bible tells us to FLEE youthful lusts, FLEE fornication and the principle is there to FLEE any kind of sin!

I love what a pastor friend said one time as several of us were discussing, via a text, alcohol consumption..." No no never, give place to the devil"! So don't give any place to the devil in your life, man up, be responsible & do right!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

SUMMER!!!!





Yeah it's summer, school is out (sorta) around here!

Steve is doing an Algebra class to make sure he gets all his maths for high school-he needs 5! He goes 3 days a week. We hope he will get ahead & be able to do college courses his senior year. He is also working on getting his Driver's License. He is almost finished with that class...Yikes! He started training for a Triathlon at the YMCA. he goes 3 days a week & is doing great! His last timed 1 mile run was 8:14! Woohoo! I told him it is the summer of Steve with all his activities!

Sam has summer services through the school board. His wonderful speech teacher comes for 1 1/2 hours a week & he gets VT/academics for 4 hours a week. I've also started him at a low vision clinic where he gets 2 hours bi weekly. And he just got an evaluation for Ot & PT just got to get him a place to go to. So he has remained busy!

Shad is enjoying summer with no stress:)

We will be taking Sam to NY for an exam probably in August. We are probably not going to be taking him to Miami anymore. We feel it is better to see the doctor who is an expert in PA/Kpros...long story....But we are looking forward to our trip, seeing all our dear friends who live in the Rochester area & doing some fun things while we are there!

We hope to also have a real family vacation. We had hoped to go to the Grand Canyon but that doesn't look like it's gonna happen. We will have our NY trip & hopefully a week somewhere in Florida on a beach maybe St Augustine....We are trying to take advantage of our close beaches weekly! Why live in Florida & not go to the beach right???? Sam is not allowed in a pool, he could get an eye infection but the salt water is ok although of course we are so careful with him!

All the work is done on the church & it looks great!!! So glad it is beautiful & so glad it is finished!!!

So life has remained busy but all is well:)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

RAPTURE~End of the World????

So today at 6 pm EST Jesus is supposed to come back & the tribulation begin.....
Do I believe Jesus has his watch set for 6 pm tonight? NO but I do believe He is coming back again!!!!

I wrote this on my Facebook page last night....Just imagine IF the Rapture prediction came TRUE! ONE day it will! It may not (probably won't be) tomorrow But JESUS said He WILL return! What a WONDERFUL day that will be! One day the trumpet will sound, the dead in Christ will be raised & we (believers) who are alive will be caught up to be with the Lord FOREVER!! Comfort one another with these words (I Thes 4)
This guy is a nut who is predicting Jesus's return now at 2am EST but even tho he is a fruit cake he will not prevent the REAL rapture from taking place some day!!! I say get ready spiritually, be about the Father's business & remember that HOPE!!!! And it is my HOPE! Can't wait for that day! I have alot to look forward to, what about you????"


In NYC on the streets of Chinatown you can find $20 "Rolex" watches. Obviously they are fake BUT you can go to some of the expensive jewelry stores in NYC & find REAL Rolex watches. So does the fact that there are street vendors selling fake ones take away from the REAL? NO!

Just because there is a nut setting a date, that does NOT take away from the fact that the REAL rapture will take place! God promised it in his word. Read 1 Thes 4...it's a comfort, a hope for all believers!

I've heard a few dates set in the past before the Internet, facebook but now with all the social medias, it has even got air time on all tv networks! It's caused alot of discussions. God can even use this misguided soul to start folks thinking about the afterlife. Because whether or not the rapture happens in our lifetime or not, we ALL will die one day & stand before God.

One thing has bothered me, the edgy, sharp sarcastic remarks made about this prediction by Christians. While I'll be the FIRST person to say the guy is off (the bible says NO man knows the day or the the time) STILL we should be looking FORWARD to that day!!! In some remarks, it almost seems the person is making fun of the whole idea of the rapture. That bothers me.

I look forward with GREAT Hope to that day! Just think we'll get to see Jesus, be with all our loved ones who are gone before us, be done with the strife of this world...what's not to look forward to???? The Rapture is a wonderful Hope of the believer!!!

I've got dear friends and my TWINS to see!!!!! And I'll get to see Sam healed & whole on that day!!!!! Wow could anything be better than that??? Really??? What is there in this world to hold me? What else could be so wonderful??? It's not an old fable to me. It's a PROMISE that resounds throughout the New Testament!

I think the "old time " Christians understood the hope of glory way better than we do! We have it so easy, no hard labor, pain killers & medicine when we are sick, tv & movies for our past time, cars instead of walking...etc....They knew there was a better place to be. We get so comfortable in our happy every day lives that we do not treasure that hope. A friend said to me one time she didn't get the song "I'll fly Away" an old spiritual...Granted it's not full of deep theological meaning but it was the writer's hope that caused him to write that song.."Some glad morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away, to a land on God's celestial shore I'll fly away...Just a few more weary days & then I'll fly away...to a land where joys shall never end I'll fly away" That's someone who has known the trials of life & are looking ahead to that day when all will be made right.

I remember in the 80's & 90's when we were all "King's Kids" & the era of big hair & TV evangelists...I was in church & we were told to sing "just a few more HAPPY days & then I'll fly away..." I don't know about you but the days are weary for me. Sure there is lots of happiness & I LOVE my family & the place in life God has me but WHAT can compare to be in Jesus' presence??? NOTHING!

The whole world seems to be crying out right now. The earth is shaking, floods are happening, political turmoil all around....the whole earth groans for redemption ( Romans 8:22 & 23) Many feel in their heart what they can't even express, maybe that is the interest in this whole My 21st rapture date... the earth KNOWS something is going to take place!!

I've never been one to jump on bandwagons but in my heart, I feel that the coming of the Lord is soon! The end of time is at hand, the final prophecies will be fulfilled...are you ready? If not you can be by asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins & begin walking with Him.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Garden & Produce





Just some pictures of my garden and what I picked today:) Also of my grapevines.

I truly have enjoyed having a veggie garden. This is only my 2nd year & I've learned so much. I never saw myself as any type of gardener. It started with having to clean up the parsonage yard. so I did some flowers for a couple of years. Then I decided we needed to become more self sufficient. So I heard about Square Foot Gardening & started 6 beds last year. The eds were easier for me to deal with. I also did the upside down tomato plants. This year I doubled the garden. I learned so much last year like not to put the big tomato plants in the boxes. They needed room to grow. so this year I did the tomatoes, corn, green peppers hot & mild peppers out in the ground. I covered the ground with a weed tarp & then with mulch to make it look nicer & have less weeds. So I have the 6 beds, 4 upside down plants, 3 fig trees, 4 white grape vines, 1 purple grape vine, an orange tree, a lemon tree & a kiwi vine plus rows of corn, okra, peppers & tomatoes. So much fun:) Plus good healthy veggies & some exercise!

POOP

Today I found a knot on the side of Sam's neck. It had been there off & on for awhile but after the whole chromonsal deletion thing ~ with Sam having a tumor inhibitor deleted (see Sam's caring bridge page for more caringbridge.org/visit/samclanton ) I was nervous!

So I called on my way to pick up the boys from school. The nurse said to come in, it was a slow day. I had gone walking this morning & between Sam wanting my attention & that I was planning on doing some gardening, I hadn't taken a shower or changed out of my work out clothes. Well I only had 45 min to get there so I figured I'd just run him in...NOT! When we got there, I got lucky & got a handicapped parking spot right in front of the door...(that'll make it even better) I run in & check him in. I NEVER set in the waiting room with him, too afraid of germs. I go back outside to get the kids out of the van & smell something. I took Sam out of his carseat & there is POOP all in it! How did that happen??? I never notice anything on a 45 min drive! Did he poop that quick??? And it's the gooey runny poop!!! UGH!!!!!!!!!

I end up having to carefully undress him, so afraid I'm gonna get poop on his face (have to watch those million dollar eyes) Of course I have NO extra clothes for him! Me, who is usually so organized...the carseat is ruined, tried to clean him up & the car seat & my hands...YUCK! They gave me bags, a gown for Sam to wear, stuff to line the carseat so we could get home....

We saw the doctor & the whole while for some reason, Sam is biting on me. He is happy as a lark , thought everything was the funniest thing in the world. when he gets really happy & sleepy ( it was nap time) he bites, kinda just chews on us....don't ask me why, he just does & there is nothing to do about it. He also thinks it's funny so he is as happy as he can be knawing on me, I look like crap then he poops crazy again in the office, basically chocolate pudding...the poor doctor...

After all that, there was no reason for alarm, thank God! He is fine. Me...totally stressed:) I'm glad I had Steve with me as I went through a BOX of wipes!!! He kept handing me wipes & telling me where I missed it! Did I mention we were right in front of the GLASS doors?????? Just lovely & I looked like something the cat drugged in!!! Good thing I'm not real prideful, I think this afternoon took me down a few notches LOL!!!

I really think the car seat is just beyond redemption! I can't have him in something that I can't get cleaned & I'm not sure about the straps. We have Shad's old car seat but I think I'll buy him a new one. this one is about 3 or 4 years old. When you don't grow, you tend to wear things out! We've gone through 3 strollers (now on his 4th which is a BOB!!! Cost more than my first car but comes with a 5 yr warranty!) He has had the same bed (which was used to begin with) for 7 yrs & I think we're gonna buy him a new crib soon. Anyhow with a little midget, he wears things out & they start looking dingy! Today he was right at 3 ft, & 33 pounds...the size of a small 2 yr old...but it's so sweet to keep my little baby. I pray he never grows physically, makes life easier :) So my little guy kept it interesting again:)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ray Stevens - Osama (Yo' Mama)

Bin Laden

Ok I know this is so far after the whole story but I had to blog about it...

I am glad he is dead! I am not lying in bed at night & worrying about him being in hell either. If that makes me a terrible christian...oh well.....

The night that the news came out about his death, my bro in law called woke us up & told us to turn on the tv. I had goosebumps watching the folks in the streets chanting "USA USA USA!" I didn't hear anything about Bin Laden himself nor did I see anyone buring a Koran or even a picture of Bin Laden (which of course never happened). I just saw the heart of the nation healing after JUSTICE was finally served!!! Bin Laden paid for & instructed his followers to do what they did on Sept 11th to civilians. President Bush made a promise "America is coming for YOU!" It took awhile but America came for Bin Laden!

So the next morning I get on Facebook & I am BLOWN away by the remarks on there!! Probably 1/4 of my christian friends are on there fretting about his demise!!! Maybe I'm just a blood thirsty knuckle head but I couldn't believe the posts & remarks! Wonder if FB existed back in 1945 would we have seen remarks about Hitler like that? I think NOT1 I think folks back then understood the world/Christianity ion a whole different way!!!

I can't help but say this...if you are so worried NOW about Bin Laden's eternal soul, WHY didn't YOU get on an airplane years ago & go look for him to witness to him????

So I made my first remarks without reading anyone else's that morning....then I began reading & I have to say I was rather disgusted by some of the remarks I read!!! Oh the scriptures that were being tossed about...love love love....REALLY???

Read the Old Testament, where the Jews fought & rejoiced as a nation when they won over their physical enemies. Read how the people rejoiced when David killed Goliath Read the book of Revelation where the false prophet & the anti-christ are thrown into hell...

My husband was also shocked over various remarks on Fb. He laughed & said tell them the tory of David & Goliath...David came with 5 stones to give not a tract!!!!

Sure there are scripture about not being glad when your enemy stumbles but anone that has any real biblical training understands that is clearly talking about personal enemies not a national one.

So WHY did some of America's Christians feel they had to react like they did? Is it being PC (politically correct)? Is it because he was a muslim & we all have to be friends? I truly do NOT understand WHY I saw & read some of the posts I read!

God is all about justice. I read one post that so beautifully explained how important it was to rejoice as a nation tha a terrible enemy was gone. I wish I would have copied it, the guy said it so good. He wrote that basically we LONG for justice, we long for the day that all will be made right again, we long for the day God will reign. So that Sunday night was just a small taste of that great day when the devil & his evil demons & all who chose to wreak havoc on this world will be sentenced to eternal hell.

So am I sleepless about Bin Laden's fate? NO! He made his choice many years ago & I am sure he hardened his heart in so many ways over the years. I still have concerns over some things I read that people posted, I can only think they must be misguided kind folks who have sympathy for the wrong person!