Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Will Get You Here!!

So, nearly a year ago I went to a Student Life Missions Camp with the youth group from our church Newspring. At that camp many things happened to change the lives of the teens in our youth group called Clayhouse. They were wonderful things, that caused them to grow and streach in their Christian walk as we ministered to kids in a low income apartment complex. I was blessed to lead two little girls to Christ on that trip.

I feel horrible that I can't remember both of their names, but one of them was named Sarah. She's the one in the baby blue t-shirt! I just can't remember the name of the little indian girl in the pic. But when I talked with Ashley Matz, the lady we worked with from the church that provides lunches for these kids each day during their summer vacations; she told me it was HUGE for her to finally accept Christ as her Savior! And it made my day, week and well...even my year!! And this trip streached me in ways I couldn't imagine as our youth pastor at the time, Sean Sorensen, asked me to be in charge of the Bible story we told the kids each day, and the craft project. I guess it was right up my ally since I work with the 4 & 5 year olds each week at church and at the time I was still working at Michaels. But one of the kids was a challenge to deal with...his name was Cole. Cole was cute! And really, he just wanted to be loved on! Once I knew the way into his little heart, we got along just fine. I think it helped that I had helped when him when he cut his foot. In this picture I'm helping him with the craft project for the day.

The way he looked actually reminded me some of my own nephew, Mako. Who is my brother's little boy. He was even the same age as Cole was when we were there working with them! But this post isn't just to let you know about what I was doing last summer at this missions camp, it is leading up to tell you how I came to know of a very talented man of God named Aaron Ivey! He was our worship leader for the week we were at camp, and for the first time since we started attending church at Newspring, I felt at home some where that wasn't home, while Aaron was leading worship! And to be honest, I'm kinda picky about how someone leads worship because I LOVE TO WORSHIP!! And I'm not one to stand still....I move, I jump, I dance and I sing my heart out when I worship my LORD!! So I bought one of his CD's before I left camp that week. I have to be honest and say, I've listened it to it, and I liked it, but things have changed for me after I have had the chance to learn more about Aaron Ivey and his special family!! I started out by friending Aaron on facebook! And he would share fun little snippets into his life and family there, and on twitter. So, as I result I discoverd his wife's blog. And learned way more about their fun, happy and very blessed family. Aaron works as one of the worship pastor's to a church in Austin, Texas called The Austin Stone Community Church. They have 4 kids, one biological son, 2 adopted sons, and one adopted daughter. One of the boys, Amos and the daughter, Story were adopted from Haiti!! And back in 2009, before they got to bring them both home to Texas from Haiti he wrote a song for them called "Amos Story." I had listened to the song before, but really hadn't LISTENED to the lyrics before. But before I get too far ahead of myself, I need to back up a little. And tell you that after I started reading Jamie Ivey's blog, I started following her on Twitter. Then since we started our journey of trying to become foster parents to Mia, and quite possibly her adopted parents I thought I'd should friend her on Facebook too! Which leads me to why I wanted to blog about this today!!

Aaron & Jamie Ivey had been in the process of adopting their son Amos from Haiti when the huge earthquake struck back in January of 2010! Even though they had started the adoption process with their daughter Story after, they did with Amos; Amos was still in Haiti when the the earthquake struck! I know it was very scary for them, and you can watch an amazing video about their homecoming with Amos here. The song playing in this video is the song that Aaron wrote and is called "Amos Story." And Jamie posted this video on her facebook today. Now, anytime I get to see people bring home their adopted children to their forever home it makes me cry, but today, was the first time I really sat and listened to the lyrics! I was just bawling because it made me miss Mia with all my heart!!! Now, just thinking about it I'm ready to bawl like a baby again!! So first I'll share a couple of my favorite pictures that I took of me with Mia sleeping on me.

I love these pictures so much!! Mainly because there is nothing like having a baby fall asleep on you! The only camera I had anywhere near me was on my phone. So these were taken with the Retro Camera app on my Droid2 phone. I actually LOVE this app, and if you have a Droid based phone I highly recommend you download this nifty app!  (You can see more of my fav shots using this app on my flickr.) But what kills me the most about these pic's are her sweet chubby cheeks and the way she is holding onto my shirt. She's always loved to hold onto your shirt whenever you hold her. But while I was listening to the music in the video, I knew I needed to blog about these amazing people God has brought into my life, from going to camp as a youth leader/counselor! Who knew, that an adult's life could be changed by going to church camp?! I was surprised!! I also knew I needed to share the words of Aaron's song with the blogging world! So other's that are longing to bring their forever children home, can be encouraged by the words of this song! And not just adoptive parents, but to encourage foster parents...to encourage foster to adopt parents and too also encourage those parents, that for whatever reason have lost custody of their children to work hard to BRING THEM HOME!! So here are the lyrics first.


Another photograph to wrestle in my head
Another sleepless night on concrete featherbed
These thoughts of you like bullets to my soul
We’ve got to find a way to get you home

I’ll find a way to get you here
If it takes my fleeting breath
Another sunrise hits the ground
And it’s a dark lonely sight
Lightyears away I hope you know
There is somebody searching
For the way to get you here

I will get you here

Throw the clocks away and run out to the street
We’ll fly to distant clouds where it’s just you and me
A day will come when all of this is gone

You’ve got to find a way to believe

I’ll find a way to get you here
If it takes my fleeting breath
Another sunrise hits the ground
And it’s a dark lonely sight
Lightyears away I hope you know
There is somebody searching
For the way to get you here
I will get you here

Close your eyes and dream of a better day with me
As angels hold you tight, may you sleep in peace tonight

So dream, dream, dream my child
Hear the whisperings of hope

It’s a song that you can sing, as you sleep in peace tonight

And now I'd like to share the music video that Aaron made for this song! It makes me cry too....but not quite as much as watching the video of Amos' homecoming.

And even though I had to take a huge break in the midst of this blog post to go to my foster parent classes tonight, I'm encouraged! Today I got to see Ashley, Mia's mother. And she willingly took my hugs, and hugged me back! I miss her so much!! Not just because she's not here, with her baby, but because...she is just a child herself still, and needs a mother's loving touch and ear! She was in really good spirits today. And she is realizing now, that I'm not intent on taking her baby away...but in doing what is best for her precious baby that we all love!! Things went so well today that she is actually allowing me to take her to her scheduled visit with Mia tomorrow! And I won't lie....I'm so OVERJOYED!! GOD IS SO GOOD!! Much more than I deserve!!

And so, on that note, I will end this post! Thanks to all of you that have been praying for us!! We can definately feel them working and see them working!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Little Things in Life

I belong to this group on facebook called the "Book of Romans Bible Study." It was started by this sweet lady named Sarah Misch. This group was started with the intention of us studying the book of Romans together. But it has evolved into so much more. It has become a community of wonderful Christian sisters and a couple of brothers too! We really do need some more brothers to join! But one of these sisters shared the following today (well really yesterday now....I'm up way too late); and I wanted to share it here on my blog. I am definately one of those people that gets impatient while stuck in traffic....or can't find my keys. Recently (this past Wednesday) I was really frustrated that I was blocked in my garage by my daughter's boyfriend's car. He was all the way on the other side of town (about a half hour away), and ofcourse had his keys with him, so I couldn't just go move the car. I was trying to leave to go up to church to be there for the weekly meeting of our high school youth group, Clayhouse. I volunteer as a leader for this group. Well...it was rather frustrating at first, then funny, because just the week before that I was a half hour late for the same weekly meeting. I couldn't find my keys. I tore the house up looking for them, and they were in my purse the whole time!! Talk about feeling like a dork. But then I read this post and it made me rethink these annoying, yet funny situations. God might very well have been protecting me from something. This will make sense once you read what was posted to the group.

The little things in life
As you might remember, the head of a company survived 9/11 because his son started kindergarten. Another fellow was alive because it was His turn to bring donuts. One woman was late because her Alarm clock didn't go off in time. One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident. One of them Missed his bus. One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change. One's car wouldn't start. One couldn't get a taxi. The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning, Took the various means to get to work but before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid. That is why he is alive today.. Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to answer a ringing telephone ...all the little things that annoy me. I think to myself, this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment.. Next time your morning seems to be going wrong , you can't seem to find the car keys, you hit every traffic light, don't get mad or frustrated; it May be just that God is at work watching over you. May God continue to bless you with all those annoying little things and may you remember their possible purpose. Pass this on to someone else, if you'd like. There is NO LUCK attached. AMEN!!

So, I post this with thankfulness in my heart! God had me in the right place, at the right time! I may never know what those reasons are...but maybe God will let me know someday! But even if I don't, I'm fine with that now! And I want to remember this when I find myself getting frustrated, or stressed out over being late, or not being able to find my keys! God might very well be protecting me!!

Thank you Father God for loving me and protecting me!!
Jeremiah 29:11 (New Living Translation)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Starting Fresh

I haven't really ever used this blog before. I used to use this other blog over at blog.com but it was always so hard to use. This one has become way easier to use. On top of that I haven't blogged since sometime in 2008!! http://kristinschadwickcreations.blog.com/ So it's been 3 years since I've posted a new blog. I also used to primarily blog about my art. But my life has changed so much snce I first got a blog. So I'm going to post some about how life has changed since I last blogged.

My kids are all grown up and out of highschool! My son, Bryce, now lives in another state! I truly never thought I'd be saying that! But back in December 2010 he moved to Denver, Colorado. I miss him so much, but I am so proud of him! Especially since he dropped out of highschool before graduation. So to be living out on his own, in an apartment with room mates and he doesn't just have one job, but two! And for the last couple of weeks he was even been working three jobs! If you would have told me this right after he dropped out, I would have told you that was insane!! But here he is, being a grown up!! And I couldn't be prouder! This was me getting a hug, from my "Big Guy" before he got on the plane to Denver.

My daughter, Sarah, has been a working girl for sometime now! She went to work with me at Michaels Arts & Crafts shortly after graduating from high school back in May of 2009. It was fun to have her working with me! I had been working there since the Christmas season of 2007, took a bit of a break and then went back the Christmas season of 2008. In fact I just recently left working there back in January of this year. Anyway, at the beginning of 2010, we went through a ton of changes at work. The first one being that our super experienced manager got transferred to help open a new store. Our new manager was not the best in knowledge, but right when things were really starting to improve, he quit! So we had to break in another new manager within just 4 months. And it was frustrating and stressful for those of us that had been working there way longer than the managers had been. So when I had the chance to transfer to the store my old manager was now working at I transferred in October of 2010. So in November, when Sarah had the chance to leave to go work at Sally's Beauty Supply, she left. And someone that I had worked with at Michaels was working there, so she put in a good word for Sarah. At first it was a wonderful job! And a great change for Sarah after the stress of working at Michaels. But once her current manager felt comfortable she has started slacking off and making trouble for Sarah and her co-workers. It's actually worse than it was for her at Michaels! But she may go back to Michaels! Especially since the original manager that hired Sarah and I is back at the store! Sarah is still dating the boy that she started dating just before her senior year of high school started and so she has her special memories of senior year with him. And they are talking marriage! He just needs to find a steady job before they actually get formally engaged and hitched! Which in today's economy has been a bit of a challenge for him, but we like him a lot and approve! But the most exciting recent news for my Sarah is that she finally got a car of her own!! We were able to help her out with getting it, by using our tax return money on it for her. It's a '94 Mercury Tracer, and it's just perfect for her!! And she might be moving in with a friend in their own apartment soon too!

On the hubby front...Mark and I celebrated being married for 20 years on September 29th, 2010! And it we decided to celebrate by getting matching tattoos! That Mark designed and I helped tweak until we got this design we loved! 

And here we are, sporting our new tats!!
This was my fourth tattoo, but it was Mark's first! And was such a worthy thing to celebrate our 20 years of marriage! I won't lie, we got married young, so we had growing pains and things we had to work through, but I would do it all over again if I had the chance! But our most recent exciting news is that we might be foster parents to this precious little sweetheart!

This is Mia Jo Baker, and she entered our lives back in August of 2010, when she was just 3 wks old. Her mother Ashley is a girl I got to know through working with the high school youth group at church called Clayhouse.  And she also became fast friends with my daughter Sarah. So when Ashley and her baby needed some place to live we offered out home to her rent free, and with free babysitting when she needed it! I already had a very special place in my heart for Ashley, but when Mia moved in she quickly got a special place too! I love them both so much! They are like family to Mark and I!! But when Ashley's older sister Amanda got out of prison things weren't going so well for Mia, and I had to call Child Protective Services (CPS) on Ashley. Of course this made Ashley very angry and she and Mia moved out the weekend I made my formal report. I wouldn't have done it if Ashley had decided to make the right choices to protect and care for Mia before her own wants and needs, but she wouldn't. And it was good insight on my part, as Ashley was arrested for child endangerment just a little over a week later. She had Mia out at 3:30 in the morning, dressed in nothing but a diaper and a t-shirt. The car they were in was being driven by a drunk driver, and had open containers of alcohol in it along with drug paraphernalia. Mia was not in a car seat, and the only reason why they got stopped was because the car was involved in a hit and run accident and the police had to pursue them in a high speed chase! It was totally God's hand in the situation that protected Ashley and Mia. So now, we are fighting to get the courts to recognize that we have an established relationship, and bond with Mia. Because Ashley's parents are both remarried and have kids in their home, that would make it hard for them to take Mia. Mia's biological father is not in the picture, and is a known felon and is currently out of state anyway. But his mother is trying to get custody of her until Ashley either gets her back or loses her parental rights altogether. There is a new law that says that we have a right over family that the foster care system, and possibly the courts are not recognizing at present, so we are praying!! And trusting God with this whole thing! I'm leaning heavily on the following verses:

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New Living Translation)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
      and he will show you which path to take.

Jeremiah 29:11 (New Living Translation)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (New Living Translation)

9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

And I'm praying this prayer a LOT!!

Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

I'm thinking about hosting some kind of blog giveaway here in the next week or so. I really need to get my creative juices flowing again, and I'm thinking I might be doing a give away for each week that we have to wait until we know for sure if we can have Mia come home to us or not.  So keep watching my blog and my facebook for details! I'm also going to spend the next day or so getting all of my links, etc moved over from my old blog so check back, soon!