Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Challenge

I want to share two books that I think are worth reading..... 

A book that defines adoption and delves into the biblical theology of why we need to understand the importance of adoption.  It's thought-provoking, eloquently written, and a must read for anyone considering adoption or already in the process. 

Orphanology is a recently published book about the call to the church to care for the orphan. The authors, Morton and Merida, give practical direction to how to implement this in churches and in your individual life.  Both men have adopted children internationally and have thriving adoptive ministries in their respective churches.  It's a must read for churches starting adoption/orphan care ministries, individuals wondering how they can do more, or families that are considering adoption.  

If you're at the place where you not sure whether adoption is for your family-  I challenge you to read one of these books.

If you've thought about starting an adoption ministry at your church, but question whether you're qualified to do it- I challenge you to read Orphanology.

If you have never, ever thought about adoption-- I challenge you to read Adopted for Life.  

These are books that truly challenged my thinking and encouraged me to do something. 

And I want to challenge you because I know some of you are where I've been the past few months. Wanting to do more and feeling totally inadequate to do anything.  For about a year, God has been formulating some things on my heart about creating a community in our church that supports families that are adopting or fostering children and truly cares for the orphan. 

 For a long time, I wanted someone else to do something about it.  

The reason? Because I don't have kids yet, which makes me totally ill-equipped to tell other people that they should adopt or foster. 

Yet, God still kept calling me to do something. 

And I still said nope.  No way. 

And then... I finally said okay. But if this thing tanks, it's all on you God. 

I guess that's the way it should be though.  He's in control, He's got a plan, and we are to be the hands and feet of that plan.  I'm ill-equipped, but He is sovereign.  

I've joined up with a few other folks to start something at our church.  Big things are happening and we can't wait to see what God is going to do in our church to reach the orphan. 

For you Frazer folks, May 11th is our ONEfamily launch. 

Adoption, Foster Care, Orphan Care. 

We're about to start doing something.  And it's scary and exciting. 

So what about you? 

Is it time to do something? 

What's God been challenging to you to do that you've been ignoring? 

I can't wait to hear about it! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Good Week

Some pretty exciting things happened this week.  

1.  My husband and I got to spend a few days away in the beautiful city of Charleston celebrating our second anniversary.  This first half of the 2011 has gotten a little crazy for us; with Brian in seminary part-time and a student pastor full-time while I've been working two part-time jobs with crazy hours.  Getting some "quality time" with one another has been tough and we knew it would be going into January.   So we were both really excited to get away for a few days.

Our hotel concierge was awesome.  He sat with us for an hour and helped us plan out our trip. One idea he gave us was a list he had created of the top 20 places to take photographs in the historic district of Charleston.

So what did these two Type-A personalities proceed to do?  That's right.  We found everyone last one of them.  It took us two days, but we did it.  The concierge told us no one had ever cared that much about finding all of the locations.  That's because he'd never met the Words. We're competitors. Sure, no one was competing against us, but that didn't matter. We had the Word family name at stake.

I learned this trip that my husband really does not like fancy-schmancy restaurants where the menu replaces words like "cheese" with "Gruyere."  Give him a good ol' burger and fries and he's good.

This week reminded me that time away for us is so healthy and necessary.  We were very thankful for the ability to leave town for a few days to relax, unwind, and just get to hang out with one another.  No emails to reply to or phone calls to answer.

We can't let our "quality time" be once a year, though.  Our vacation was a reminder that we need it consistently.  We won't always be able to get a few days away, but "time away" could mean turning off our technology and meeting in a coffee shop for an hour, or spending an entire Saturday or just a night and simply hanging out with one another in our house.  Whether it's an hour, a night, all day- specific time with one another is good for our marriage.  And I would venture to guess that it's needed for your marriage too.  So, if it's something you haven't carved out in your schedule recently, I'd highly recommend it!

2.  As of this past Tuesday, we are Homestudy Approved!!! 

Woohoo!  We have our completed homestudy in hand, almost four months to the day we started the homestudy process.  Next step- sending our homestudy and I600a form to the USCIS. We'll then get an appointment to get biometrically fingerprinted in Birmingham, AL.

From what I've been reading, it's about a two month wait time for this paperwork to be completed, which is basically asking U.S. Immigration to adopt any child from a specific country.   After that- we send our Dossier to our agency and get on the wait list.  Small steps, but we're moving forward!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

DOING something

A few months ago I wrote about a post about DOING something, anything, in the realm of orphan care.  I just had to share something that came out of that post...

In the post, I wrote about the organization SixtyFeet,  currently serving in Uganda.  They are ministering to children that are held in "remand centers," which are basically prisons for children who have been abandoned or given up by their parents.  There is much to be done for these children, as they sleep on the concrete floors, eat one meal a day (at most), and suffer daily with unclean water and widespread  disease and infections.

Because SixtyFeet knows that not everyone has the ability to be on the ground in Uganda with the children, they thought of an amazing way for families, including those with small children to be a part of caring for the Orphan.  On April 16th they hosted a nationwide Cupcake Sale.  Anyone, anywhere, was invited to participate.

Leesa, a friend of mine from my Messiah College days, (go Falcons!) read the post and really connected with what SixtyFeet is doing in Uganda.  So she decided to DO something.

She and some other friends hosted a SixtyFeet cupcake party- take a look here to see what they did.  In one day they raised $1200 for SixtyFeet!!!!   That's enough to provide ten beds and ten blankets for children in these centers.   Amazing.

Over $28, 618 was raised in one day across the country through cupcake sales.  Don't think that you can DO anything? I beg to differ.

Sad that you missed out on the cupcake sale? You can still help SixtyFeet by "virtually" buying a cupcake here.

On another note....

Do you live in Alabama? I've got an awesome opportunity for you to DO something for foster care children.

Summer is coming up and everyone in Alabama knows that the only place you want to be when it's 120 degrees and 150% humidity is in the swimming pool.

For the thousands of kids in foster care, that a activity that isn't always easy, for a simple fact- most of these kids don't come to their foster homes with many, if any, personal items.  Bathing suits aren't normally a personal item that they get to take with them.  Big House Foundation wants to DO something for these foster children in Alabama by giving them something personal, a brand-new bathing suit and towel with their name monogrammed on it.  Click here to see how you can help.

***If you live in the Montgomery area, please bring your suits and towels to First Baptist Church and leave them at the reception desk by May 1st.  Any size from infant to size 16.  For girls suits, please give a one-piece or tankini.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The North and the South

I was born and raised in New Jersey and spent all of my life there until right after college.  I grew up loving any Philadelphia sports team, water ice, and the jersey shore, (not the one you see on tv).

I pronounced that clear liquid you drink "wooder" and if I referred to you, it would be in the form of "you guys." 

Then I moved to Atlanta. And I spent ten years in that city where my Southern girl friends worked very hard to "Southernize" me.  I started using the word "ya'll" in a context that didn't include making fun of southerners.  I ate petit fours at baby showers.  The fifth grade curriculum that I taught included the Civil War- and the Southern perspective of how it all went down seemed MUCH different than what I learned in elementary school.  I had always thought that the war was over.   

I feel that since I have spent a good portion of my life in both parts of the continental U.S., I now have the authority to explain some differences between them, in case you weren't aware. 

1.  Baby and Bridal Showers

Northerners LOVE to throw surprise showers.  In fact, surprise showers are the ONLY kind we do.  We hope to catch you looking as nasty and unshowered as possible, surround you with thirty of your closest friends looking their absolute cutest, and then take as many pictures as possible.   And we love Tulle.  We especially love to decorate that "special" chair you sit in to open your gifts with tulle.  Lots of it.

Southerners LOVE to throw "Teas."  You must be wearing a dress and heels and eat lunch before, because the amount of cheese straws and petit fours you will have to consume to fill up is just not lady-like.  Southerners also love to throw "Couples Showers," in which everyone gets to come!  It's a guarantee that the husband will try really hard to find ways to get out of it because no man enjoys watching a woman open gifts that include spatulas or baby wipes. 

2.  Football

Northerners, especially where I'm from, care about one kind of football-- the NFL.  Most people own a jersey and sport it proudly on Sunday.  Going to football games involves wearing the most clothes as possible to keep warm and wearing gloves that allow for you to enjoy that hot dog and ice cold beverage.  (In the case of Philadelphia Eagles fans, most wear gloves that allow them to throw their beer easily at each other, too.) 

Southerners care about one kind of football--College Football- specifically the SEC.  At birth, before the baptism or naming of the child, it is bestowed on them which team they will pledge allegiance to and some children are then subsequently named after said team.  Going to games involves looking as cute as possible in your team colors.  The most preferred attire is a strapless dress or skirt. Big, chunky necklaces and earrings displaying your team logo is strongly suggested.

3.  Cuisine

Northerners call it Cream of Wheat.       
Southerners call it Grits. 

Northerners refer to grilling hamburgers and hot dogs as a "Barbeque"

Southerners refer to pulled pork and chicken as "Barbeque" 

Northerners have never seen nor eaten one
Southerners call them cheese straws

There has got to be some things that can unite us, right?  

One thing for sure is that no matter where you live, a live television news report will only interview the person with the least amount of teeth, the craziest hair, and the smallest vocabulary.  

Speaking of hair..... it seems the North and the South DO have something in common...

The North has the "Donald"

The South has Bama Bangs (aka The Southern Swoop)

In either part of the country,  it's just a bad combover.