The Lord has blessed our family greatly both through adoption and birth. And because there are so many personalities in our family there is much to think about. This blog is a way to put some of those thoughts down and share our journey.

I hope that my words spur you on, encourage you on a so-so day, and point you to the Lord.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jesus Wants the Rose

When we first stepped on this crazy road that the Lord directed us to it was met with many different responses. People said the normal stuff like, "Are you sure?, What about your children?, Don't you have enough on your plate?" Others told us that foster kids were bad kids. Someone told us that these children were "damaged" children.

Not everything is about fostering or adoption. But so much of fostering and adoption leads me back to the realities of my own adoption by God. For in my damaged state the Lord brought me in with loving arms into His family forever.

As I listened to this video this morning I thought of some of those comments. I couldn't help but think - Yes! Jesus wants that rose! This clip is not about the adoption of children into my family, but about the adoption of all of us into His.

Lord, may I present your gospel as you desire it to be presented. Amen

Monday, May 2, 2011

Foster Kids Should Not Be Forgotten

Over 15,000 kids who wind up in the foster care system in the state of IL often wait hours in an uninviting, outdated room as DCFS searches for a placement. Visit rooms are also used when a child in care meets with their parent/s each week for their time together. We have an incredible opportunity to renovate the DCFS room in downtown Peoria to make these kids feel special and loved.

The Forgotten Initiative is an arm of Lifsong for Oprhans and is raising $3000 for new books, toys and furniture. Will you help? Necessities like a changing table, sleeping mats, and high chairs will also be purchased. We hope to complete this project in June 2011, with a tentative target date set of June 1, 2011.

If you'd like to add your personal touch to this project, please contact Amy @ levisix@frontier.com and I will put you in touch with Catherine. Catherine is in the process of getting the word out to raise funds to make this dream of blessing these kids a reality.

Checks can be make payable to:
Lifesong for Orphans (re:Forgotten Initiative-Peoria)
PO Box 40 · 202 N. Ford St
Gridley, IL 61744 T

Thank you! for Catherine Cambra

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Our Christmas Letter 2010

"I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!" ~The Rabbit

So this isn’t how a Christmas letter usually begins, but this year we’re happy to get a letter sent out. As we look over the past 12 months we are so thankful for God’s provision for our family. Joel and Allison took part in a mission trip to London, 3 went to summer camp, we stained our house, kept track of 3 soccer teams and the cross country squad, and have learned many lessons this year as a family. Our dog is a little tuckered out (Sophie-10 ½).

As for our 7 blessings they have been busy as always:

Allison (20) – is mid-way through her junior year of college. Finding her niche she is loving reaching out to a building of young ladies and is learning to balance her time.

Joel(18) – Actually finished high school this month, (will walk through ceremonies in May). He is taking a couple of college classes this semester and helping out our youth pastor while making pizzas for some $. He is waiting to hear from his first college choice mid-January. Joel has finished this leg of his journey well.

Daniel (almost 15) – is learning the ropes as a freshman. He enjoys reading about faraway places and animals. He is working on making his room ‘more grown-up’.

Natalie (13) – Natalie and Amy started the year with a cake decorating class, we didn’t eat cake/frosting for months afterward.  Nat is enjoying helping at a Good News Club weekly with Joel in a impoverished area. Youth group is a highlight!

Molly (9) – A reluctant pianist Molly is everything girlie. Soccer kept her busy in the fall.

Brandon (7) – Soccer in the fall, looking forward to basketball starting in January.

Nathan (3) – Loves the attention of his siblings and is adjusting to wearing glasses. Recently he is a little dismayed to hear that he shares his mom with others.

Ken and Amy – Ken continues as an engineer and Amy is the home manager. Keeping our family on track and our house in order is where we spend most of our time. We are all learning much about life these days and are very thankful to know firsthand how faithful our God is!

A Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Beginnings of Christmas

Molly's piano teacher gave students the opportunity to play Christmas music at a nearby nursing home in early December.
Molly played two songs and did a great job!

The 2nd and 3rd graders presented a wonderful Christmas progam with song
and even learned to sign "Silent Night".

Here is Brandon's class dressed as snowmen.
They also did a great job and even kept their stuffing in place!

When the children were done singing the music teacher said a few words that included telling the audience that she hoped they knew The One that we celebrate this Christmas season.

It was a great start to our family's celebration of Jesus' birth!

Happy 18th Birthday Joel!

Per Joel's request we celebrated Joel's 18th birthday with an apple pie and vanilla ice cream.

Okay, so this isn't the most flattering picture of Joel, but he said I could keep it on here. We celebrated Joel's birthday with Chinese take-out, yummy. He also started a new job that same day, preparing to be done with high school mid-December and planning a busy semester for January.

Joel is a wonderful young man with a deepening relationship with the Lord. We enjoy him greatly! He possesses a dry sense of humor that we all enjoy.

Happy Birthday Joel!

Chicago in October

My mom has been part of a clinical trial to treat her cancer at the University of Chicago. This means that frequently we make the trek to Chicago very early in the morning. Much of the time we have been a trio as Mom, Nathan, and myself have ventured out together. Nathan has even made himself a tiny little fan club of some of the staff. Nathan has been a great traveler and a nice distraction during a not so fun trip. My sister Valerie has helped out in between working and doing an internship for her class.

In mid-October the kids had the day off school on Mom's clinic day so Ken joined us and we all made the trip at 5:30am. Ken and the kids spent the morning at the Field Museum of Natual History while mom and I were at her appointment. When we were done we joined them down by Lake Michigan and had a picnic lunch. It was a beautiful day!

Nathan mugging for the camera in front of the lake.

Daniel in all his coolness.

Molly and Dad checking out the water.

M0lly and Daniel keeping a close eye on Nathan.
(There are several very wide stairs in front of them you can't see.)

While going to Chicago has lost some of its beauty for me due to the frequency of our trips, it has been very nice to be able to spend time with my mom. My mom is a lovely lady whom I admire greatly. It has been an honor to honor my mom in this way.
"Honor your father and your mother,
so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you."
Exodus 20:12

Friday, December 17, 2010

Running Fast and Far

Joel has run Cross Country the last two years. He enjoys the discipline and distance. (He is his father's son in that area.)

The group of seniors out of approximately 50 runners.

Two great coaches that we are very thankful for.

Guys in black on Awards Night.

Way to go Joel!