It's been an exciting week! Here's the ad going in our local paper for our Open House event! I am just so thrilled to have Renea as a partner on this journey! She is amazingly talented and makes everything we do... just that much better!
If you visit our website and go to the blog, you can see the video we made to share with churches.
Yesterday we joined the Mayor as she signed a proclamation designating the month of November, National Adoption Month, in the city of Trenton. This picture will appear in Monday's newspaper along with a press release! I'm adding the proclamation we wrote up at the bottom of this post, so if anyone is considering having your city do the same, please feel free to copy or modify this one.
We missed our other partner/founder/friend Melinda but I know she was with us in spirit! We love you Melinda!
We have had soooooooooooo many people comment on hearing the Open Line radio program. I am thrilled at the people it has reached! I never dreamed when we met for lunch just a few short weeks ago that we'd be where we are now! I can't wait to see where God takes us from here! We have been experiencing a few attacks from the advesary, but my mom sent me this scripture this AM...
2 Chronicles 20:12
...for we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.
Looking forward.... JMS
Whereas, there are more than 500,000 children in the foster care system, and more than 100,000 of those children are waiting to be placed in permanent homes; and
Whereas, there are 147 million orphans worldwide needing the care and love of a forever family; and
Whereas, statistics regarding the future prospects for children who emancipate from the orphanages or foster care system are profoundly bleak, and
Whereas, theft, prostitution, homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, and suicide affect the lives of the vast majority of children who grow up as orphans and never find permanent loving homes; and
Whereas, we recognize the compassion of adoptive and foster families as we seek to raise awareness of the need for every child to have a safe, loving, and permanent home; and
Whereas, we have joined with community and faith-based organizations to raise public awareness of the plight of the orphan and those awaiting adoption; and
Whereas, we will offer support to help families overcome the barriers of adoption and take steps to build a stronger, healthier, more diverse community; and
Whereas, may we honor foster and adoptive parents in our community who have shown the depth and kindness of the human heart. Their love and dedication inspire the next generation to achieve their dreams and demonstrate the true spirit of a community; and
Whereas, to help achieve this goal, Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry invites the city of Trenton, Missouri to participate in National Adoption Month.
NOW, THEREFORE, I Cathie Smith, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of Trenton, Missouri, do hereby proclaim the month of November as
NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH
In Trenton, Missouri and call upon the people of Trenton, Missouri to observe this month by supporting appropriate programs, activities and ceremonies advocating adoption and to help make a difference in the life of an orphan.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 29th day of October, 2009
Not all of you can handle this post. Not all of you should click on the links. WHY??? Because some of you will lose a huge chunk of your heart. If you feel like you can handle it... go ahead! But don't say you weren't warned! Get ready for some killer cuteness, and possibly a change in your life.
AAC - I already lost my heart to Lillian and Sophie. And I double dog dare you to check out Marcus and Wayne and not lose your heart. Ask yourself why you couldn't parent one of these cuties! You could be the one they're waiting on! And you can reveiw their file free!
Leslie over at Room for at Least One More has compiled an awesome list of agencies with waiting children. I can't tell you how amazing the experience of adoption is. It's addictive. You are changed. You just can't help but want, not only for these children to find their forever families, but the families to find their forever children. I can't imagine missing out on Jia if someone hadn't planted that seed of adoption. That is why I've worked so hard on Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry. I know once people open up their hearts and begin asking themselves if this is something they could do, the answer will be 'yes'!
Go ahead now and take a peek! Let me know which one you end up adopting! :-)
Things are really taking off with Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry! It has been an exciting couple of weeks! We met with the Trenton Ministerial Alliance October 13th and shared our vision with local pastors.
We had an entry in the Missouri Day's Parade in Trenton and it is a HUGE parade! It's also a band competition so people from all over come to this parade to support their kids. I believe this year there were over 50 bands participating. All throughout the parade people would applaud when they seen us! It was truly a great feeling.
This last Monday we were on our local radio station's Open Line program where approximately 5,000 listeners got to hear us speak about Foster Care and Adoption for 30 minutes! KTTN also offered us some free advertising so until November 8th you'll hear me doing a PSA for our Open House and then Renea will be doing a general PSA for National Adoption Month! This has really generated a lot of publicity for us. I checked my messages on the sidewalk in front of the radio station as soon as we were done and already had an email from someone offering us 'commercial space' to operate our ministry out of!
Also on Monday our new website went 'live' and it's awesome! When you first enter you immediately think 'fields of the fatherless'. Renea is our computer junkie and has done such a fabulous job on the website and blog. Be sure to check it out at http://www.jointheirsadoptionministry.org/
And, November 8th is our big open house!!! We have a lot of people coming to present information on international and domestic adoption, as well as foster care. So anything people want to know... there will be a professional from an agency there to answer it!
Tomorrow morning we are meeting with the mayor, who by the way has become a HUGE supporter! She is signing a proclamation designating November National Adoption Month for the city of Trenton. Who HOO! The local newspaper will be covering this.
I, literally, everyday have someone contact me asking me about adoption. I'm so excited to see what the next year brings. I know there are people in our community who are about to be called to adopt and I can't wait to see who it is. With God opening the doors and the exceptional reception from the community, I know this is a message Trenton needs to hear. I'm thrilled that God is using me to demonstrate His love for orphans and remind the Body of Christ that what concerns God, should concern them. I see great things happening!
Renea is also our local photographer, so anytime we get together, she has her big 'ole fancy camera to document it. Which means, we can never meet looking anything less than 'not too shabby'!!!! I know one day we'll be glad to have these photo's to back and see how it all began!
Enjoy the photo's and I promise a Jia update soon!
I was asked to be a panelist on a webinar hosted by our agency tonight. Other families beginning the adoption process or considering joining the special needs program logged in to hear how the process works.
At the end, they had a Q&A time with an family that had adopted from the SN program - Me!
Actually it was 'us' but Jack is relatively bashful and most likely would say anything. And Monday night I logged in and practiced with the agency representative, just to make sure everything worked right and Jia was right on my lap, pushing buttons, holding my face talking to me,etc... So Jack took the kids to McDonalds, then Grandma and Grandpas tonight!
Anyway, the family that we shared our 'gotcha day' with switched to SN after attending one of these very webinars where they learned how the program worked. They are thrilled to have their daughter with cleft lip and palet. So it was kind of special to be able to do this because I know it does make a difference in how people view special needs and in their decision to go with a SN child. I was honored to be asked and am always willing to do whatever I can to advocate for adoption!
Here's a picture of me with my headset on getting ready!
This is our slide! Sarah W., our agency rep, couldn't decide which picture she liked most to share, so she chose her top 3. She was so funny telling me how she saved her favorites then narrowed them down and still couldn't decide and had to narrow it down some more!
I can't tell you how much we LOVE our agency! Yes, even though we're done with the adoption process, they are still OUR agency. We love them and are forever grateful to them and will advocate for them until we can do so no longer. Every person we have dealt with at our agency has been genuinely kind and encouraging.
If you're considering adopting and looking into agencies.... please contact me so I can give you a very good recommendation!
And yes.... he brought her a toy! And he wonders why everyone thinks he's Santa! :-)
Jia enjoying some peaches! I have a whole bunch of photo's of her eating these peaches! She was so funny... and not very ladylike!
Momma wanted to see the Hannah Montana movie one night... so Jory and Jia got their popcorn and settled in for the night! They were so adorable!
And yes, I thought the movie was great!
When Jia takes a bath, I usually sit on the bed and read. This is the view from where I sit! She just peeks out and says "Mom, doing?" the ENTIRE time! So cute!
Jia LOVES to wear Daddy's glasses!
The weekend of my birthday we went to a balloon derby not far from our house. It was the most fabulous time. The weather was glorious! We were with great friends! It was just so relaxing to eat a picnic lunch on our blanket and watch the balloons come in! The kids all loved it and we can't wait to go next year! You're invited to join us!
Anyway, there was a man making balloon hats and Jory and Jia both got one! You can see all the balloons coming in, in the background.
Here are the balloons leaving... I love the sunset picture!
Jory was invited to go to the Omaha Zoo for the weekend. Thanks Cindy for this amazing photo! I love this sweet little face!
Jory and his friend Cole at the zoo!
Not too many photo's of Racin' Skatin' Jacen, but as you can see, he's as cool as ever!!! He is fixin' to play middle school basketball!
Jack had a birthday. I won't tell you how many, but the extra help with the candles was much needed! JK! Love you honey!
If you've heard me say it once, you've heard it a million times... Jia loves to perch herself on the kitchen counter while I'm working in there... usually she has my camera in hand saying "smile!". So here's a photo by Jia!
And all of this 'catch up' has worn poor Jory out!
I'll try not to take so long in between posts next time, but you'll soon find out what has been keeping me busy! I think this is enough catch up for one day though!
Wow, WOW!!!! Everything we do with this ministry, it's as if God as already been there and paved the way! We got the same response from the newspaper as we did from the radio! Renea has created the awesome logo you see below and got a business to set us up a free flash website with a years worth of hosting!!!! I've seen a preview of it and it literally took my breath away! I can't wait to share it with you! Our signature verse is Matthew 25:40 Inasmuch as you do to the least of these My brethern, you do unto Me. Melinda, Renea and I are so excited and thrilled to be taking this journey together! Here is the latest from Renea, she keeps me sooooo excited! "It's almost like God has said..."I knew putting you three together would be great, but this is incredible! I've got to find a bigger way for you to be heard! We start with the pastors, you girls can handle that hands down. Then it's their job to share with their churches. If they don't know me well enough to understand their command for this then I'll just have to deal with them later. Then it's on to the tri-county area, people need to HEAR you. HEAR your voices, your heart, your love for my people, our orphans. Then where will we go? I bet you'd all love to know...I'll get back to you girls. For now, get busy with this!" Since this blog is about Jia, and I do have a few new photo's of her, I'll post them tomorrow! I gotta keep you coming back don't I???
I've been away for a while but trust me, I've been very busy on a very worthwhile project! Before I explain what's going on, let me set the scene... Imagine being at an amusement park, wanting to get on this big terrifying roller coaster. You're nervous and afraid, hoping that someone else will show up and go with you. I mean, this roller coaster is big! Bigger than any you've ever ridden, and it promises a ride like none other. It's intimidating and it feels like it's sitting there just laughing at you.... "Go ahead and get on, I dare ya!" But oh, how you want to get on and ride... how you wish you could be brave enough to conquer the ride. Perhaps even, you've gotten in line to ride and chickened out... defeated by the enormous unknown. Finally, Someone comes along and takes your hand, promising to go with you. Encouraging you, telling you "You can do this! You can do this! I will help you!" So you determine you can do it with someone holding your hand. You get in line, still nervous by the way! You wait until your turn comes up to get on, STILL nervous! Whew this is going to take courage! Then it's your turn... you timidly put one foot inside the ride... not bad. Then you take the first step to get on the ride... AND THE THING TAKES OFF!!!!! You're trying to get set down, strap in, hold on... all that stuff, but the ride isn't waiting! It promised you one thrill after another and the Person holding your hand it saying "YIPPEE!!!! TRUST ME!!!! IT'S GOING TO BE GREAT!!!! That is what the last week of my life has been like! I've wanted to do an outreach to churches and bring awareness to National Adoption Month. I want to get churches involved in taking care of orphans. But the task seemed too big, and daunting, and overwhelming... My friend Renea, (Renea who took the lovely photo's of Jia!) has a great desire to adopt. She went on a mission trip to Haiti this summer and I believe she left a piece of her heart there as well. She had a desire to hold an open house where community members can come and learn about all areas of adoption. So we've put our two desires together and have been emailing back and forth for a couple of weeks now. We had made plans to meet today and get together a plan. Earlier this week, my friend Melinda sent me this email regarding November being National Adoption Month... "Anyway, this may sound ridiculous, but lately I've felt like I need to do something, but I haven't quite figured out what it is yet. " Hmmmm.... coincidence? I think not. So now we have Melinda, Renea and myself and I'm quoting the scripture in Ecclesiastes about a strand of 3 is not easily broken! So lunch today was amazing! So many thoughts were shared and ideas passed around that Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry was born! Before leaving work, I had someone call the office asking to speak with "Jia's mom"! It was someone wanting to ask questions about adoption! The ideas flowing at lunch truly proved God was involved. So many things we're excited about! We are having an Open House for our community November 8th, National Orphan Sunday, and we were able to reserve the location for that today. Renea had an appointment with a lady today to go through photo's and they never got to it! Renea had shared with her where she had been all afternoon and the lady is a member of our local quilting bee. She thought their group would be willing to make a quilt to raffle off for money at our open house! Then Renea called the radio station to ask about advertising costs. They were so intrigued and impressed with our vision they said they would advertise anything we need for FREE! Then they asked Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry to be their guests on Open Line October 26th to talk about our ministry! We've contacted the lady in charge of the Ministerial Alliance in our community to see if we can be added to their agenda for the October meeting as well. That way we can share our vision with many different Pastors at once and share our vision! We literally just today got started on this and God had it all worked out! It's all falling into place and I feel like we haven't done anything... other than be obedient... and get on the ride! Here's how Renea put it..."So it goes.... we've started that movement Joy!!! And so far it feels like a snowball headed downhill! God nudged us all in the same direction, now I feal like he set us all on this same sled and said hang on girls!! This is going to be fun! I can't feel anything but positive knowing we are doing what He asks of us. " I'll keep sharing as things evolve, but please keep us all in your prayers! Since Renea is the local photographer... she happened to have her camera along! We got a photo of the 3 founders at our very first meeting! By the way, check out Renea and Melinda's blogs by clicking on their names in my post!