Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ornament Fundraiser! Apparent Project

Beautiful Artisan Christmas Ornaments!

This fundraiser is near and dear to our hearts. As you probably know, our son Asher was born in Haiti. Helping the people of Haiti is a burden on our hearts. Since we can not physically go there at this time we LOVE knowing we can still help.

This fundraiser will not only benefit our adoption, but half of the proceeds will go back into the pockets of the Haitian aritists who made the ornaments-this helps them to earn an income and feed their children, and keep their families together. All these beautiful ornaments were skillfully created by Haitian Artisans. 

Check out Apparent Project to find more about what they are doing!

Please email me your total order at jonesy4him@comcast.net BEFORE using PayPal. If sending a check I will supply you with my address.
All ornaments are $8 each
plus shipping, see below for shipping cost.
For your convenience you can use paypal or pay by check.



Please include shipping for online orders
USPS First Class 1-4 ornaments $2.50
USPS First Class 5-8 ornaments $5.00
Priority Mail for any amount of Ornaments $5.60


Email me at jonesy4him@comcast.net with your order, and for our address...

Thank you so much for your support!






Sunday, August 24, 2014

Higher Thoughts


 It's too easy for me to just stream into the day each morning mentally listing all the things I need to do without a thought of You Lord. Without seeking you. Making my own plan...

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Lead me today and be formost in my mind and ever-present in my heart. Show me your higher way, and impart to me your higher thoughts. "Train me up" Lord and teach me what it means to truly live a life sold out for Jesus. I want to be your hands and feet - Beautiful feet - taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ unto all the world (Romans 10:15).

Forever Family Heart!

Such an attractive photo of Chinese food!
Evan's 8th anniversary for Forever Family Day!
I know this has been on FB, but for the record of my diary I wanted to share it here too. This year, I really wanted the kids to know how important it is that they are part of our family.
So Chinese food of Evan's choosing was on the menu...
 As well as a marathon game of Monopoly Star Wars that has taken 3 days to finish! and we aren't exactly finished yet! But most important of all, we all just wanted to be together. These are cherished moments we are experiencing, and I know all too well that someday it will be gone and they will be taking care of their own families, just as our eldest children are. So I'll take it anyway, or anytime I can get it. 
They grow up too fast! 

Evan's adoption paved the way for Asher and Arielle to come home. It took the fear out of it all. We never expected to adopt 2 more times after Evan... and now working on the fourth! But God moved in our hearts and opened our eyes to the orphan. His heart for the orphan is huge! And spreading awareness about the thousands of orphaned children worldwide is the main goal and purpose of this blog. So as we celebrate Evan's homecoming, we continue to be moved for those who are still left behind. 
God you are a Faithful Father. You never leave or forsake Your children, You promised! Be with us as we set out on a new journey, one that takes us beyond our comfort zone, beyond what the eyes can see. One that ventures into the very heart of our Father God. So that when we stand before You, we will hear You say, "well done good and faithful servent"...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Adoption: 4 Ways to Thrive Once They're Home

This post is part of the Adoption Journey Series. See previous posts, “Adoption: 3 Ways to Prepare for the Journey” & "Adoption: 5 Funding Ideas that Work!". 

artz16

You made it. After all the paperwork, emails, phone calls, times of waiting and waiting and waiting, your child is finally forever home. Now what??

Being home together as a family may be all that you envisioned and expected, but most likely, there may be some challenges and adjustments to work through. Whether that be with your child you just brought into your home or your bio kids. Change can be tough, especially when your new forever child has come from a hard place and may have many emotional walls and culture barriers to break down. The good news? You're not in this alone.

Here are a few resources and ideas for families post-adoption...

4 Ways to Thrive Once They're Home

  1. Find a Support Group. During the transition, you will need godly friends and family surrounding and encouraging you, telling you, "I get what you're going through...We are praying." If your church does not have an adoption support group, talk to other adoptive families and start your own. Also, check with your adoption agency to see if they can connect you with someone in your area.
  2. Attend an Empowered to Connect ConferenceYep, it's that good that we're mentioning it twice. If you can't make a conference before your adoption, find the time to attend after your child is in your home. The insight and wisdom you will receive will encourage you as you parent a child from a hard places.
  3. Read Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive FamilyPacked with practical advice and ideas for families with an adopted child, this parenting handbook is unique in that it provides real-life solutions to common challenges. Bible-based and comprehensive, this Focus on the Family resource addresses the special challenges of adopted children and their parents from birth through adulthood.
  4. Call iCareAboutOrphans.org's Post Adoption Phone line. This ministry of Focus on the Family offers this service FREE for adoptive families! The phone number is 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) and is staffed Mon – Fri from 8am – 10pm EST by counselors who have been trained by Dr. Karyn Purvis.

What are some other ways that helped your family THRIVE once your child(ren) were forever home? Please join the conversation by commenting below.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Show me Your glory!

I was reading in Exodus 33 this morning where Moses asked for God's presence to go with him. He said that without it, there was nothing to distinguish them from the rest of the world (v15 and 16). He said to God "Show me Your glory", and God was pleased- so He did. 

Lord, I pray for Your presence within this home, within my life. May we not seek our own way, but seek Your way, so that we are distinguished from the rest of the World by Your indwelling. Be with us Lord, and may everyone we meet encounter You. 

Show me Your glory Lord!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Spread it Around

About 5 or 6 years ago I received a bag of flower seeds in the mail. They were Johnny Jump-Ups... And I planted them with my toddler son to teach him how things grow from seeds into beautiful creations. 

I never planted another Johnny jump-up seed thereafter. But every spring since sowing those first seeds, these tiny beauties pop-up wherever the wind plants them the year before. The petite purple and yellow flowers are found growing everywhere there is good soil: throughout the lawn, in my vegetable garden, even in potted plants on the deck. They are broadcasting themselves year after year!

.. and it all started with a few little seeds sown into good soil and a little effort.

Lord, I pray that you help me to be faithful sowing Your seed. To spread around the seeds of Love, Kindness and Encouragement. Seeds that build up, and not tear down. Seeds that can save a life... seeds from the Giver of all good things. The seeds of Life Eternal, the Word of God. And I pray that those good seeds will spread all over the world to bring Hope, Truth, and Salvation through Jesus Christ.

Luke 13:18 "...What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden and it grew and became a tree and the birds of the air nested in its branches."

Romans 10:15 "How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News of Good Things!"

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Horizon for the Sickle Cell Warrior

If you want to know more about sickle cell disease you can read this fact sheet...
And also a really simple explanation for kids

This time last year Asher had a very serious sickle cell crisis called acute chest syndrome (ACS) . During that time in ICU his blood pressure spiked extremely high, due to pain, that he also had 2 seizures. He was there for 2 1/2 weeks. 

We decided after that event to start him on a medication called Hydroxyurea - a medication that boosts the production of fetal hemoglobin that does not sickle. This medicine has proved to help many who suffer excruciating painful crises like acute chest syndrome. But it also can come with side effects. But, due to the severity of Asher's ACS, and the frequency, we decided to give it a try. 

Transfusion has always been challenging for him due to small veins and difficult access to them. We discussed a port (a device implanted under the skin that gives direct access to a larger vein), but the doc was concerned about infection. So we were willing to try hydroxyurea.

He started in October and all was well until January. As soon as his low dose was increased I began to see changes. 

In February he developed strep... was hospitalized in March due to it... then came tonsillitis... then mononucleosis. Both with additional hospital stays in April and the end of May.

There were also changes in his temperament and mental/cognitive changes. He became tired, angry, depressed, and confused at times... he walked around in a fog. I feel like we lost an entire school year. And by May I often felt I was losing my little boy's loving carefree personality.

So after careful research, much prayer, and seeking advice from those who have lived with sickle cell first hand, I approached Asher's hematologist to have him taken off hydroxyurea and to begin to have him chronically transfused.

I talked to older sicklers who have had ports for years with no infections. So the doctor is on board and we are going to give transfusion a try. He will need to go to the transfusion room at duPont/Nemours at least once a month but I think in the long run it will keep him out of the hospital with an emergency such as ACS.



So in about a week, Asher will have the procedure done to insert a port under his skin so he can be chronically transfused. He'll be there for about 3 days... the insertion is a pretty quick procedure but they need to transfuse him before he gets it done due to the "surgery" part. They watch for infection after. Everything is just a bit more complicated. 

I'm feeling really good about this decision and I'm excited about our new school year :) Praying!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lioness



Lioness for Jesus, Hardworking, Joyful, Resilient, Methodical, Loving, Compassionate, Astute, Family-Focused, Loyal, Obedient, Lover-of-Food, Strong, Sensitive Arielle
I believe that one day she will own her own business and be a master chef of Asian cuisine.


Monday, August 4, 2014

New Horizon

 Ready to embark on a new medical journey... A little nervous but I am pretty sure this is going to turn out really good. 

It involves (maybe) a bit more time at duPont Children's but I'm sure in the long run it will mean less time worrying and less time in crisis mode.

Praying he has more energy and that this upcoming school year will open up a whole new world for this kid!

My super hero :)

More later... Sickle Cell Warrior!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Righteous Warrior

Righteous Warrior, Sensible, Loyal, Intelligent, Brave, Leader, Discerning, Kind, Sensitive, 
Law-and-orderly, Aware, Enduring, Professor-of-marine biology, Jesus-Loving, Evan!
I believe he will one day find a cure for sickle cell disease! And learn how to communicate with dolphins :)