Monday, March 30, 2009

Prayer Request

Please join me in praying for precious Maggie Oatsvall!

Her head was badly burned in China when she was an infant. She has recently had a scalp extender inserted into her head to prepare her skin for reconstructive surgery.

She has developed an infection and is now in the hospital.

Please... lift this precious child up to the Great Physician... lift her family up to our loving Father... lift the doctors up to our mighty God so that they would have wisdom...

On behalf of the Oatsvall's... "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

One True God

My girls and I LOVE this song. I wanted to share it with you :)

Listen to the words... really listen... let the truth sink into your heart...

It's the beautiful truth. HE remains the ONE true God!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Heart Beat

I love this picture...

our good friend, Andy, playing the drums with our son...laughing together...

I love my boy's smile... I can't wait to have him home...

It amazes me that I can be so in love with a child that I have barely met...

God is amazing... to speak to my heart... so quietly...

telling me... "Here is your son."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Today we received our I-171H approval! We are SO excited!
I know some of you are thinking... what?!? Simply put... the government has approved Gary and I to adopt. To be parents... "it has been determined that you are able to furnish proper care for an orphan or orphans." It's nice to have an official piece of paper that says we are worthy of parenthood. Our seven children will be thrilled that we now have documentation to back us up. I kid.

This is one of those moments that make the journey to adoption seem a little more real for me... like it's not just some fairy tale dream. It's really happening.

Thank you for praying for us as we travel this road... we are SO happy and blessed to have you journey with us.

Ok... but... WOO HOO!! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On my Mind

I have Uganda on my brain... on my heart.

Did you know??? There are an estimated 2.4 million orphans in Uganda due to AIDS, war and poverty... and that Uganda is the size of Oregon. 2.4 MILLION orphans!

annnnndddd... Did you know???

That 50% of Uganda's population is under 15 years of age. 15 years of age! Who's loving these children?? Talking and listening to them?? Hugging and encouraging them?? Protecting them?? Directing them??

I have two children living there... waiting... for a Mom and Dad... for us... to bring them home... to love them, to take care of them... they are "waiting" for a family.

How many children will grow up with NO family?? NO Mom and Dad?? No one that will tell them they are special and that they matter!

HOW can I HELP them!?! How can YOU help them? Aren't we called as Christians to help them? Aren't we ALL called "to look after the orphans"... to "to feed the hungry"... "I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was Me -- you did it to Me."

Our trip to Uganda was life changing... and I am forever grateful to be changed. This quote sums up the spirit of the children that we met and loved on...
" In Africa, we must choose faith over despair. We must believe that life has meaning. We must believe that we can create meaning in our own lives by virtue of our actions. And we must believe that our actions can create positive meaning in the lives of others. That is what the orphans of Uganda taught me. They have chosen faith over despair, and in the process, they turned tragic lives into lives of meaning." Douglas Menuez

"You see that a person is justified by what he does...not by faith alone."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Night Friends and FUN

I LOVE it when the children invite friends over to hang out.... it's one of my favorites!

The night began with a fierce game of volleyball...

Then it was time for pizza.
Katherine and her girlies are ready to eat...

Back outside for some 4-square fun...

And then it was time for ice cream!
Elizabeth and her friends enjoyed their treats...

Abigail had a good time swinging on the hammock with her friends...

and Nathaniel and his buddies enjoyed hanging out...

The night came to an end with a game of "spoons"...
It doesn't get much better than this!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Permit Granted

Today my beautiful Katherine reached another milestone in her life...

One of those accomplishments that remind me of the undeniable fact... she IS growing up!

She got her driver's permit!!

Congratulations Katherine! I'm so proud of you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

a Thought

I recently read something from a Christian brother that has me thinking...

I know this truth in my head... but I want to make sure that I am aware of how I actually live this...

"Nothing we do is done in a vacuum. Everything we do affects others. Following Jesus is a narrower path than most of us would like to think."

So true... so true.

so... What has you thinking about how you are living your life?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Remembering Timothy

March 13, 1998
When I became pregnant with Timothy, I have to admit I felt overwhelmed at first. He was my sixth pregnancy. Our son, Nathaniel, was not even a year old at the time. I cried. I cried because I was tired. I cried because I was selfish. I cried. I didn't want to be pregnant again... at least not yet.

It didn't take long for me to remember the blessing children are and that I would love this baby with all my heart. I remembered that my Father is good and that He would be my strength.

During my third month of pregnancy Gary and I went to our scheduled sonogram. During this appointment we were told that we needed to see a specialist. We knew that something was wrong. Any parent understands the heart stopping fear that is immediately felt when seeing a specialist is recommended. It was confirmed later that day that our son's heart was not formed correctly and that his chances for survival were slim.

We were told that our baby most likely would not survive to full term. We were then told that we could have the pregnancy terminated. Or... we could continue with the pregnancy with the likelihood our son would pass away in my womb. Our choice was never a question. We would walk by faith and trust in the One that gives life. We would trust the Great Physician with the hope that He would heal our baby.

We gathered our children together once we returned home and told them what was happening. Their little hearts were so grieved, even with their limited understanding. We had always taken it for granted... having healthy babies. We prayed together. We cried together.

I went through a period of feeling guilty. I was ashamed of my first response to being pregnant. I felt like I had somehow caused this to happen because of my sinful attitude. I am so grateful that my Lord doesn't give me what I deserve... but He shows great mercy because of His love for me.

Months went by. We continued praying with hope. I stood firm in the fact that my Father was in control of ALL things and I rested in the presence of His peace. I trusted that no matter the outcome, whether our son was born with medical problems or he passed away, my God was good ALL the time.

Although this had been the most difficult pregnancy, both physically and emotionally, I was thankful for it... I was thankful for my son. During my seventh month of pregnancy, our sweet baby boy's heart stopped. He was stillborn on March 13th.

During the days and months that followed my sweet Jesus continued to comfort me. Through the outpouring of love from our friends and family, and with His unfailing love.

A very dear friend wrote a song in Timothy's honor called "In the Arms of Jesus". It is a beautiful song stating the undeniable truth that our baby boy is resting in the arms of Jesus. Sweet Timothy is in his heavenly home and we delight in the knowledge that we will someday be with him again.

Remembering you, Timothy... with much love. We miss you... always.

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail." Lam. 3:22

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This Picture

...makes me smile.
Not only are there three "beautiful girls" standing under this tree... but there is one very special "daughter"... she is wearing a red shirt with her little blue jumper...
and she is precious...
and I am so in love...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Brandon's Visit

I love it when Brandon comes home to spend a few days. It's such a joy to have him around.

He is truly a remarkable young man.

We are SO proud of him!

We all got together for burgers...

So I decided to take a picture of our beautiful children ALL TOGETHER!

I didn't even ask them to dress up...

I just wanted ONE picture...

who knows when we'll ALL be together again... Right?
It's easy... just LOOK at the camara... 1... 2... 3...
Come on... FOCUS people!

Are you seeing what I have to work with here??!!
I love um'... but seriously...

Is it too much to ask for ONE...

Look at me and say "cheese"...

hang on the wall worthy picture??!
I give up...

Friday, March 6, 2009


The NEED is overwhelming...

So MANY children are orphaned... starving... sick... homeless...

But I AM encouraged...

This little boy has been SAVED...

He has been sponsored through Christian Life Ministries. He has shelter and food now. He can get medicine if he's sick. He goes to school and has a future. He has someone to hold him and love him. He is being taught about the love of Jesus.

While visiting Uganda, we were able to hug and love on him. We saw where he lives. We watched him play and laugh. We witnessed the blessing this ministry is to these children and the widows that care for them.

One thing that we realized, while we visited "our children" that live in Adventure Village, is that... they consider us family. They don't get busy and forget about us. They realize that we are providing for them. And they are so VERY grateful! It is a humbling thing to have a child tell you "thank you... because of you, I am not hungry anymore." Truly humbling...

These children are being saved because of people like YOU. Please JOIN me. Consider sponsoring a child. You CAN save a life.

"You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he DID." James 2:22