Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Diapers, Diapers, Diapers.....

I have been thinking a lot more about them these days.

My oldest daughter wanted to do something to help the orphanage in Africa,(since she will never be the daughter who travels with me to far away places), so we reviewed the needs list and decided we could make diapers.

We went on a several day material procurement plan, and located flannel of all designs to begin our project.

We studied a few websites, then made our plan. Using a trifold diaper as a pattern, I began cutting material, placing doubled fabric in the center of each cut piece, and handed them over to Ash to stitch.

She recently worked as a factory seamstress, so she was able to figure out the most effective way of sewing each piece for maximum efficiency of time and material. I love the way her mind works!!

We have now finished stitching together over 10 dozen cloth diapers of some of the most colorful fabric I have ever seen! Now we have the task, in the next week, of sewing on the velcro strips that will allow for fastening on the children. I must say, it has been a big task, but each diaper has been sewn with the love and hopes it will be a practical blessing to each recipient.

Doing the math, that means in a week's time we have to sew 3 velcro strips on 120 (plus) diapers, making it 360 more details to finish before I can pack them for the trip to Liberia.

If I had calculated all the details from the beginning, I probably would have stopped before I started! (Ash wouldn't tho. She's determined like that!) I would have bought, maybe, 2 dozen diapers and packed them, feeling like I have done what I could do.

But with my daughters encouragement, we are now looking at many more useful items that are so needful, and all it took was time.

Now I know we all have restrictions on our time. My father-in-law used to say we all have 24 hours in every day. How do we used them?

Those of you who know me, know my heart is softened toward the orphaned child. I know it's where I want to focus my efforts and plan my giving. It's not because of me, I am not special in any way, but I really believe when I asked God to give me purpose, this was my answer.

I also know several people have said "you're crazy" or "what about children in America?" or "you can't save them all."

Yes, maybe I am a bit crazy. I do know there are children suffering in America (sad, but alot of them would suffer less if their parents made better choices, but that's not the subject of this post!), and my heart and efforts look for ways to help them too. And I realize, sadly, that I can not, in any way, save them all.

But what if a choice I made COULD help an orphan?
What if my efforts, big or small, made a difference for even just ONE child?
What if my friends, or family, could catch a bit of caring too, and help in a small way?
Could we all make a difference together?

Sewing diapers has been a good time for me to reflect. I am using my abilities (so far from perfect, but I am getting better at stitching!!) and I am seeing how much one, or two, of us can accomplish.

Many yards of material (on clearance!), a couple of hands and sewing machines humming together on my diningroom table, something we definately take for granted here (diapers)will be headed to Liberia to cover the tiny bottoms of babies who will feel the softeness and warmth from the work of our hands. I love that!

At one point I told Ash that I was getting into the whole cloth diaper thing, and it reminded me of when she was a baby. There were disposables back them, but it was much cheaper to wash and reused cloth diapers, and we needed everything cheaper back then! I was even contemplating making some for our new boys!

Who knows? I think we proved to ourselves that whatever you set out to do, if we do it will all our hearts, we can accomplish "great things!"

And to a wet baby, a nice, dry diaper is a great thing!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Liberia on my mind

Not that I am counting the days, but exactly 13 days from now, I will be in the air and on my way to meet my boys!!

I am sooooo excited!! I have been packing bags, making diapers to take to the babies, and deciding what else I can possibly fit in the suitcases that might be useful there.

I am also thrilled to finally meet the stateside director whom, until this trip, has only been an encouraging voice on the other end of the phone! I have enjoyed getting to "know" her, and now meeting her is going to be awesome!! I already love her concern and heart for the orphans, and she amazes me with all she does for "her kids."

Since our boys are housed in separate foster homes, I hope to spend as much time as possible with each little man, and get to know their individual foster families. I have a few gifts for the boys to take with me, but mostly, I am so thankful for the time to love them, hold them and get to know these little miracles that God has blessed us with.

We have a few items that are still hanging out there from the government before we can complete the adoption, but things are moving forward. Unfortunately, we can never guess what that time frame is, but we continue moving on until it's all complete.

I can't wait to look into my sons' deep brown eyes and do my best to convey our love to them. Although they are an ocean and many miles away, our hearts are connected to them and I hope they can feel the arms around them in our place as God's great love for them, protecting them and guiding their futures.

So, as I prepare for my trip, I have alot on my mind. I am excited about the donations that have come in for the ministry that houses my boys (and 15 other special needs children!) and know they eek out as much benefit as they can from each penny!

My heart cry is that no child would be without.
Without parents.
Without a home.
Without food and water.
Without love and care.

I know in an imperfect world, there are those who suffer.
But I thank my Heavenly Father every day that two more orphans are coming home.
And I am so very blessed to be making this trip to Africa to meet the boys who have captured our hearts and prayers.

Soon, dear baby boys, I will be back to bring you home! But for now, I just can't wait to meet you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Puerto Rico

Well, the time I dreaded is here and gone. My grandsons are now in Puerto Rico.

I fought it, I dreaded it, and now it's done. Am I thrilled about it? NOPE!

I have come to terms with their move in one way. I believe it is exactly where God has placed them, regardless of how much I wish they were closer.

I know when my first grandson was born nearly six years ago that he had ambitious parents who would do everything in their power to create a good life for him.

When baby number two was born, his parents, my son, Scotty, and his wife, Britt, were already living a full life in New Jersey, with Scotty as a thriving member of the US Coast Guard. They welcomed their third child in Jersey too, and will continue their adoption path to welcome, perhaps a girl, to their lives while in PR.

We have been thrilled to be a part of every one of the boys births, even managing visiting them two or more times a year. Somehow we will do our best to get to Puerto Rico to welcome baby #4 when she/he joins their family and keep up the tradition of being on the spot when the baby arrives!

We loved vacationing in Jersey, meeting their friends and being a part of their lives. We knew the time was waning for their stay in Jersey, and saying our goodbyes to their friends was sad for us too! Of course, the appeal of Jersey, to us, was not the shore. It held our grandsons, which is exactly where we wanted to be as often as we could get there. The friendships we made along the way was icing on the cake!!

Yet, nothing could have prepared us for the goodbyes at the airport. The tears are not because we won't see them again, it's just that we got so used to them being close by and now we are not sure when we can see them again.

I am glad for texting, for SKYPE and all the phone calls we maintain contact through.
I am sad that you can not feel a hug or wipe a tear over a computer screen.

I am happy for the opportunity they have to explore a beautiful island and live among a beautiful group of people. I am sad it is that much farther away.

I am proud of the good work my son has completed as a Coastie. He has made us proud with his accomplishments, and we believe Puerto Rico got one of the best!
I am just sad that we can not be closer to his family.

As always, my God has soothed my fears, and dried my tears. I have no doubt that Scotty, Britt and those beautiful boys are in the hands of an almighty God who will care for them and love them even more than I can. And I am convinced HE has a great plan for them there.

It will be exciting to hear how HE meets their needs, gives them hope and builds them up to serve in a new capacity. As they meet friends, we know they will be building wonderful relationships because of the wonderful friendships they had in Jersey. They are stronger for all they have seen and done this far, and will continue to grow and learn.

Kaiden starts a full day of school next month! He will be bilingual much sooner than I could ever be!! He will make friends and experience a part of life that will be including all he has learned to love so far: sand, sun and surf!

Keegy and Keane will grow up near a rainforest, and experience tropical lives!! How cool is that??

So as I miss them all terribly, I know they will live an enriched life that no one else in our family has gotten to experience yet!! Life in Puerto Rico!!

Thanks for prayers for their safety. My grandsons may not be close to home right now, but they will always be closest in my heart.

And NOTHING can separate that!
Gramma loves you, Kaid, Keegy and Keano.
Never forget, no matter how far you roam, home is always where you are loved. And for you, that is alot of places already!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I am still in a bit of a fog...I booked my first flight to Liberia!!

The significance of it is that I finally get to meet the loves of my heart, the two boys that have captured my focus completely for the last several months.

I talked to the director of the foster home where they are living, and asked her if I would be referred to as their Mommy. YES!! I am just so excited to take pictures to them of their siblings, to hold them, to read books to them, to LOVE them!

I know the week will be full of adventure, but mostly, I am excited that I will be able to physically connect with my babies, and assure them that I will be back soon to bring them home!!

I love traveling, but this has to be the icing on the cake for me! Prayers are appreciated, as always, until the time they are here with the rest of us!

Of course, photos are coming soon!!