Knowing that we were going to be adopting someday, we had several names picked out for our future children.
Genesis keeps the running list.
I have a girls name (I've had picked out since my teens) I cannot wait to use someday, but I am keeping it a secret so no one steals it! haha
We had several boys names, but two of them were our favorites.
Now I know that most everyone is use to calling "Gavin", Gavin. Most of my family said they prefer that name. But "Gavin" was only given to him as a screen name. And as much as it has grown on me, I kept thinking that just wasn't it.
After much thought, we decided to use our two favorite names. Which, as you will see are perfect for them.
Our "Gavin" will be
Gabe is derived from Gabriel. It's meaning is: to prevail, be mighty, have strength.
Very fitting I would say
And our second newest addition will be named
Levi means: to join, unite
I will be keeping their given names they have now as their middle names but I can't share those with you until the boys are legally ours:)
Gabe, you may be small, but I know you WILL prevail. You will grow up to be a mighty man of God full of strength and love. We cannot wait to hold you in our arms.
Levi, you waited so long to have a family of your own. One that loves you unconditionally. We cannot wait to be joined together soon! I also know that through you, many will be united together with Christ.
Tanya sent me this song last night. It was perfect for my boys. I just had to make a slide show for them:)
"Love Me" by JJ Heller
We are coming soon for you Gabe and Levi!
Friday, December 31, 2010
Knowing that we were going to be adopting someday, we had several names picked out for our future children.
We had hoped all along that we could bring home 2 children.
We had our eye on both Gavin and another little guy, we just were not sure if some legalities would work out for us to be able to get both.
Well, our dream has come true
Meet our son
He just turned 5 years old in December. His information says that he is a very active little boy, but is facing the institution VERY soon.
Hold on buddy, mommy and daddy are coming!
Posted by Lindy at Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I was riding in my friends van last night. It was a van full with my friend, her husband, and their three kids. Guy was at my parents house with the boys and Genesis was with me.
It was loud as any van ride with 4 children would be. Genesis and I were sitting in the back seat. It was nice outside so the windows were open and the wind was whipping our hair in all directions.
We were driving over a long bridge overlooking a huge body of water. The waves were crashing on the huge rocks.
I was trying to get Genesis to look at the water below but she couldn't hear me with all the noise. Finally she realized what I was showing her and she lifted herself to the big window to see.
Next thing I know she was falling out of the window and into the water below.
I screamed at my friends to stop so I could go save her. They were instantly concerned but continued to drive.
I kept trying to scream. It felt like I had been punched in the gut and couldn't get my words out.
My friends kept driving. Further away from my drowning daughter.
They wanted to help but instead of just turning around and going towards the water, they talked back and forth about what would be the best direction to take to get us there.
My daughter continued to struggle.
I kept yelling, no one payed any attention.
Finally they stopped the van. I jumped out and took off running towards the water. All along I was yelling for help but everyone was to busy to even listen. I frantically ran by people as they stood there. Some were enjoying a cup a coffee while others were in a group talking about how they could help me.
Eventually I made it to the water. I didn't see my daughter anywhere.
I climbed over the huge rocks and jumped in.
I heard a small voice crying for help and swam blindly towards it as fast as I could.
Reaching out my hands I felt her, pulled her to me tightly and started for the top of the water for life saving air.
I heard the little voice beside me and felt a hand tugging at my shirt.
I opened my eyes and saw Zane standing beside my bed.
It was 3:30AM and he wanted a cup of milk. He also had a big jar of peanut butter and large spoon on the floor ready for a middle of the night snack.
This nightmare would be the first of many I have had over the past year. Sometimes it's Jude, other nights, Zane. Usually drowning. Always I can hear their little voices, always I am struggling to get to them, always everyone around me is either too busy to help or wasting time discussing how to help. But no action.
This past week my nightmares were proven wrong.
This past week people from all over heard the cries of my son with me.
And you moved to action.
We have never met. I found her blog and followed her stories of rescuing her son and then advocating for Gavin.
Julia heard the desperate,little,drowning voice.
She put down her coffee and RAN
No time to discuss how
Just took off in an all out run for her life
For my sons life
Then you all joined her in the race
Friends, family, people I have never met or seen
Thank you for running with me
You gave over $5,000. WOW
This race isn't over
Thank you for continuing to run beside us
We will save Gavin
Together we will pull him from the drowning waters into the arms of the ones that love him
Posted by Lindy at Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Last week after we chose "Gavin" and were waiting for the paperwork in order to go public and be completely committed to him, I received an email from the director of Reece's Rainbow. It read, "Gavin is quite delayed, and has some sensory issues....you need to be prepared for these things. He has tremendous potential for blossoming and growth, but he is struggling right now."
She sent this picture that was taken just days before. He is going to be six in February. SIX.
That would be my Jude. THIS is a six year old.
My heart skipped a beat and fear set in instantly.
What in the world are we getting ourselves into?
Did we make the right choice?
Minutes later after almost letting those thoughts take over my mind, I talked to God about it.
I know, I'm brilliant.
PEACE. Instant peace. Completely took over.
YES, we made the right choice!
Life is full of questions. Nothing is guaranteed on this earth.
Should that stop us from doing what God calls us to do?
I remember when Guy and I had marriage counseling. Our good friends and mentors, Pastor Jeff and Cheryl asked me a question I will never forget.
They asked that if Guy never changed one bit from that moment, would I still what to marry him? And what if Guy completely changed after marriage, would I still want to be with him?
Lots of people go into marriage thinking, "Oh, after a few weeks my spouse will be doing things the way I want..."
Or, they think that their future spouse is going to be the same person 20 years from now and never change.
Boy are you in for a surprise if you go into marriage with these thoughts.
Marriage has many ups and downs. Lots of learning of each other, patience, love, commitment.
It's a covenant. You know that God brought you together and you must be faithful and put your trust in Him for all that lies ahead.
We know that God brought Gavin into our lives. We had our eyes on 2 other children but when we went to ask about them other families already committed to them.
I had been following Julia's blog as she brought her sweet Aaron home from the institution. Julia wrote stories of what she experienced and what the fate of Gavin would be if he gets transferred.
I sent her blog to Guy one day at work for him to read, along with a picture of Gavin.
Guy wrote back shortly and said, "Lets get him!"
We do need to work quickly. Gavin is next in line to be transferred out of the baby orphanage. We need to bring him home before that happens!
Guy and I feel more than ever that this is our son. We will work as hard as we can to raise the funds to bring him home.
We do not know all of Gavin's needs, but God does.
We will love him if he never changes.
We will love him if he changes completely.
He is our son.
Posted by Lindy at Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I have been waiting months for the day to come that I could finally announce that we will be adding another child to our home. I thought over and over about what I would write and now that it is here, I hardly know where to begin!
I think I will give you the short version right now and then come back later to tell the story from the beginning.
For now I will tell you that we are beyond thrilled to be adopting a little boy from Eastern Europe. He is a beautiful, blue eyed, blond hair, 5 year old boy with down syndrome.
Down syndrome, how exciting is that!!!
Yes, I said exciting!!!
Anyone that really knows me knows that I was always drawn to down syndrome. Ask my childhood friend Dawn, she will tell you that ever since I was little I would say that someday I would have a child with down syndrome.
And if you know me, you know that I always planned on adopting.
Then one day my friend Maria
posted a picture of a beautiful boy from Reece's Rainbow that needed to be rescued.
I fell in love.
I immediately went onto the Reece's Rainbow site and spent hours scrolling through all the different faces of the children.
I knew I would be adopting one of these children someday. That was about a year ago.
That someday is finally here!!!!
We have committed to adopting "Gavin" (not his real name) and so our adoption process will begin.
Our sweet boy
Our family's page on Reece's Rainbow
I cannot wait to see him smile
This is the part of the story where you all come in. And this part I will write about now because time is short and this is why.
By God's grace Gavin is still in the baby orphanage. But he will be transferred if we don't get him out of there QUICK.
In Eastern Europe they only keep the children in the baby orphanage until about the age of 4 or 5. After that time they transfer them to an institution at which point 80% of them die within the first year.
Please read about this from a family that recently rescued their son and witnessed the institutions first hand.
The Sad Reality
This journey we are about to be on is going to be rough at times.
It cost around $25,000 to complete the adoption.
(I will post a break down of the cost soon)
We also only have one car, and as nice of a car as it is, complete with my sons name on it,
it only seats five. So we will also need to raise money to purchase a van.
I know, if I didn't loose you at the "adopting a child with down syndrome" part,
you are now thinking we have totally lost our minds.
How in the world do we expect to raise over twenty-five thousand dollars!?!?!? In a few short months no less.
I know someone.
And this SOMEONE owns a cattle on a thousand hills.
$25,000 = A drop in the bucket for Him
Van = Drop - in - the - bucket
I KNOW that this is God's will for us.
Actually, it is God's will for EVERYONE to care for the orphan.
The particular way in which a Christian feels led to care for orphans is
'optional' (adoption, sponsorship, volunteering, etc)
CARING for them is not.
We will be doing many things to raise our money fast.
I have already been taking on as many photo shoots as possible and 100% of the money is going towards our adoption.
Lindy House Photography
I plan on selling T-shirts, jewelery, etc. And some of my prints like this one
Guy and I are no strangers to fund-raising. We have done more car washes with our youth groups then I care to think about.
But we will do whatever it takes to save our son. Our SON!!! :)
If you are a parent, you know exactly what I am talking about. You know that if your child was hurt, sick, kidnapped, you would do ANYTHING to help them and get them HOME.
Whatever it takes.
We would love for you to join us on this journey.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE watch this below
(Scroll to the bottom of my page and pause the music box first)
If you want to jump right in and start helping, please visit Julia's blog where she has already been raising funds for Gavin before anyone ever committed to him. Isn't that awesome?!?! Julia blesses my socks off.
You can enter your name in a drawing with as little as $5 to win an iPad!!!!
"House, family of SIX"
Posted by Lindy at Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Have you ever given something up for a cause?
How about gone for a month without, say, chocolate. Or TV.
We do these things sometimes so we can focus on what's important. Maybe we feel that we have too much of one thing in our life and it's distracting us or holding us back.
Maybe we feel we need to retrain our bodies and our minds to not have to have certain things all the time.
Does it mean that chocolate is a bad thing? Absolutely not. And the darker the chocolate the better:)
Does it mean that the people around us that are eating the chocolate are horrible people? Absolutely not.
This December 25th we as a family have decided to give up Christmas as we've known it.
Are we not celebrating Christmas all together? Absolutely not.
We love the family and friend gatherings, the lights, and of course the eggnog!
I feel as a parent it is my responsibility to train my children. MINE. And if I don't, the world is more than happy to do it for me.
The world says that my kids need more toys. They need to open 10 presents on Christmas morning. They need to know the happiness that comes from walking into the living room in their cute PJs anxious to tear into all their gifts.
Am I saying all of that is wrong? No.
I say they must know that the Bible says,
"He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?"
- Jeremiah 22:16
They must know that JOY comes when we are helping others.
And for the Word to really sink in deep I feel that we will need to give up Christmas for the Cause this year.
I know that history tells us that many of the things we practice at Christmas were pagan. I know that Jesus was not actually born on December 25th. It was not even in the winter time. The three wise men did not come to see Him the night of His birth.
And so we teach our children the truth.
I also know though that this is the one time of year that most of the world see's as a time of Jesus's birth. So I don't think we should ignore that. We instead should take the opportunity to be an example of God's love at a time when people are more open.
What did happen the night our savior was born was an angel appeared to the shepherds and said,
"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people"
Then, a whole group of angels came and said,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests"
"When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them"
THIS is what we want to do with our Christmas.
Spread the word about the saviors birth.
It was a celebration the day Jesus was born.
But how should we celebrate? By making Him a cake and singing happy birthday?
Or is there something bigger. Something more lasting then that.
Is it wrong to exchange gifts with the ones we love? No.
For me this year I feel we have enough. MORE than enough. We are blessed.
When almost half the people on earth are living on less than $2.00 a day
We are BLESSED.
My children are BLESSED.
So now, am I going to judge everyone around me who is celebrating Christmas different than us? No. I promise.
Why even share this then?
I debated for months over sharing this. (ETA - I actually wrote this months ago and left it unpublished until now.)
Then I thought that maybe, maybe we can start something here.
Maybe we can challenge others to make our Saviors birth something far more than eggnog and presents. You may not need to go to the extreme that we are this year with no gift exchange, but maybe there is something you can add or change.
Maybe when December comes around our children will talk about the excitement and joy of feeding the poor or making a list of ways they can collect money for orphans, instead of a list of all the toys they want.
Maybe it's a long shot.
But we are giving it a try this year.
It's not what you believe that counts; it's what you believe enough to DO.
With some two billion Christians in the world, almost one-third of the population, changing the world by addressing poverty and injustice does not seem by any means beyond our grasp. - The Hole in our Gospel
I hope your holidays are filled with family, friends, and great memories. And most of all, that God will really shine through all that you do.
Lindy, Guy, Genesis, Jude & Zane
Posted by Lindy at Monday, November 22, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Whatever You're doing inside of me,
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
But I'm giving into something Heavenly
2 years ago these words to a song by Sanctus Real played loudly in my head.
After 6 years of being out of full time paid ministry (I say it like that because I believe every Christian is in ministry in some way, just not always as a vocation) we agreed it was time to return to that call on our lives.
We accepted a position at a church in East TN for a full time youth pastor.
Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will?
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills?
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything
I believe with all my heart that it was truly Gods plan for us to be here in TN these last 16 months. Was the plan what we had envisioned? No. It was so much better.
Our family grew tremendously in this short amount of time. God revealed many things to us for our present and future. We are stronger for the time we have had here. We have a passion like never before. I feel so honored and blessed that God would allow us to come to these beautiful mountains and reveal Himself to us.
Now, it is time for us to move on.
Those that know us know our track record for moving.
Some people have a big spring cleaning day once a year.
With every move I have said I just want to settle down. I want to have a home and stay there!
This year I decided that if God wants to move me, then so be it.
Sorry to my family that is sick and tired of packing and unpacking us. Maybe you should start putting money away every month and just buy us movers???
Speaking of family. I would always struggle when we moved to be away from family.
My family is very close.
I have dreams of sipping coffee with Tanya as we watch our children run around and play. Luke teaching Zane to play the drums. The kids tent making & Mario playing with Kara and Adam. Genesis and Nana sitting side by side with their ipods for hours. The boys sitting on Papa's lap at his desk.....
I would always say, God gives you the desires of your heart. And my hearts desire is to be with my family.
God, you know that so why do you move us away?!?!?
This year, I finally learned what God meant in Luke 14:26
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple."
I had never understood this verse before.
It was actually one of the verses I tried to pretend I didn't see in the Bible.
It made NO sense to me.
No I don't hate my family, even if they did say they will never move us again;)
I found out that the love I have for my Father is so deep that the love I have for my family is like hate compared to it.
I could finally say to God that I want what HE has for me.
Whatever that is.
Wherever that is.
And THAT would be the desire of my heart.
We had several interviews and offers. We turned them all down. I knew that the next place God had for us was crucial. For what He has in store for our family and what He is going to do in the community we were headed to.
I do believe that too many times we are waiting for God's perfect will and therefore we sit around being ineffective. His word has it in black and white. No need to wait.
But this time, I felt that there was a specific plan in store.
So we continued to fast and pray.
And guess where God has us going?
Sorry Luke, it's not Colorado. you will have to find other friends to visit there.
We accepted a position at Ridge Manor Church in Brooksville FL.
Now I know that it would seem obvious that we would take a position there. Honestly though, I fought it.
Yes my family is there and some of my best friends. But I wanted to be SO sure that I was going for God and not for me.
God begin to make it VERY clear that this was HIS choice for us.
Is it the easiest place of all the choices? No. We will be stretched and challenged.
But that will keep us right were God wants us, on our knees.
I will miss these mountains. Being able to walk to the creek with the kids.
Watching summer turn to fall and all it's beautiful colors.
I will miss it all.
I am grateful for the time I did have here. We can't always live the kind of life we dreamed of on this earth because it's not about us.
This is not our home.
Whatever You're doing inside of me,
It feels like chaos but I BELIEVE
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life
I cannot wait to tell you the things that we are embarking on soon.
TN Photo Album
"Whatever You're Doing" by Sanctus Real
*Scroll to the bottom of this page and pause the music player first*
Posted by Lindy at Monday, October 11, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
All of you that know my 3 year old know that he is pretty much Mario crazy.
You also know that he could totally take you in a game.
I don't know if I should be proud of that or seek help.
If you ask him his name he will probably say something like this
Sometimes he's just Mario and some days he is just SOOOONNNNIIIIC!!!
But everyday he is my
And because he loves his mommy SO much he happily allowed me to practice on him for a few minutes tonight before bed, with my new lens.
Mosquitoes and all.
I'm sure the lollipop played no part in his cooperation.
Oh those beautiful Blues
And because I can never decide between color or black and white
I love you Zane Man Mario Sonic House
Posted by Lindy at Monday, August 02, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
On Thursday, May 20th we were at our church for a staff meeting. Our kids were playing house and Jude decided to push a table over for their "home". Zane was standing there watching in his bare feet as the table landed right on his little foot. His foot swelled immediately and began to bruise. I held him as he cried and he soon fell asleep.
I figured we would know if it was serious when Zane woke up. If it wasn't, he would have forgot about it and would be off playing as usual. Well, as soon as I put him down he instantly held up his sore foot and cried out that it hurt. This must be more then a bruise.
I had Jude, Genesis, and their friend pray for him. Such sweet prayers:)
We were able to get a script to go straight to X Ray at the Hospital.
The report? A broken foot. The 2nd metatarsal.
We were told by his Pediatrician that they take these breaks very seriously in young children because their bones are not fully developed, and if not set right he could have problems later on. We were set to see a specialist in Knoxville the following Monday.
As I was talking on the phone to my mom about all that happened she asked me, "Why don't you take Zane up front on Sunday so the Elders and Pastors can pray for him?" Now why didn't I think of that?
I know many of the healings in the Bible were specifically for the unbelievers that were standing by observing. I started to excited at the thought. I told the kids to remember that through their prayers and our faith as a family to believe God for a miracle, God may just heal Zane's foot. I really wanted them to know and see God in an awesome way.
Zane continued through the weekend not ever setting his foot down. He would wince if anyone touched it by accident. His mood was great though the whole time, such a tough boy. He figured out how to crawl around to get what he needed.
Sunday at the end of the service we took Zane to the front and Pastor laid hands on him and prayed for a healing.
James 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.
Monday afternoon we went to Zane's specialist. They needed to take more X Rays since they didn't have the original from Thursday. The Doctor came in and started talking about how Zane may have a break in his leg which was causing his pain. I was so confused. I asked him what about the break in his foot? He said there wasn't one.
I asked again.
He looked right at me and said (kind of aggravated) "There ISN'T one".
But what about the first X Ray? He said he doesn't know, but what he knows is there is absolutely no broken bone in his foot.
He wanted another X Ray of his leg because he said there could be a break there. They see that sometimes due to the child turning sharply when a heavy object falls on them.
Well, that X Ray came back and again NO breaks! It was a strange feeling of, I knew it! and WOW.
The Doctor suggested a cast for just 2 weeks because Zane still had bruises and he didn't want him to re-injure himself. I agreed mostly because Zane was so excited about getting a blue boot!!
He was hilarious while the nurse put it on. He kept making her laugh by making sound effects as she wrapped the tape. He excitedly wiggled his toes and squealed, "Look, I can walk now!!" He got off the table and INSISTED on WALKING out of the Doctors office. I asked him if his foot was all better and he said yes. I reminded him how we prayed, and reminded Jude and Genesis how they prayed, and Jesus healed him.
Now this may sound like a small miracle, if there ever really could be such a thing. But I believe that God showed up. My children got to witness His power from their simple faith.
I also remembered how God showed up 2 years ago when Genesis was in the Hospital diagnosed with Lemierre's syndrome. She is perfectly healthy today. And the time that while I was pregnant with Jude they found a cyst on his kidney during my first ultrasound. After the prayers of many I went back for another ultrasound and the tech said. "I don't know what they saw, but there is absolutely no cyst here".
What an AWESOME God we have. I thank Him for showing up so that maybe someone that is reading this will be encouraged or even come to know Him for the first time.
I'm thankful that my children will know Who to put their faith in.
I Love God.
Not for what He does, but Who He is.
Because if He chooses to never do another miracle in our lives I will still know that He is in control.
Posted by Lindy at Friday, June 04, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Our family just sponsored a 10 year old little girl through Compassion International. Her information will be here in two weeks!!
We sat down as a family today and I asked the kids if they would want to sponsor a child from another country. I told them that for just $38.00 a month (the equivalent of a wii game, for Jude's understanding) we could help 1 child with food, education, medical care, and more.
They happily agreed, and then Jude ran back off to play with Zane.
Genesis excitingly sat down at my computer and browsed all the waiting children. She finally decided on 10 year old Awino Agatha from Uganda.
She was hesitant at first because Agatha has 9 other siblings in her little hut. Genesis didn't want the other children to be left out.
"What about her brothers and sisters, who will help them?"
She liked that Agatha had similar interest as her like art, singing, and playing with dolls.
That will give them a lot to write about:)
Here's the thing. I grew up in church. So of course I heard all about sponsoring children. Heck, even if you don't go to church you hear about it on TV or at concerts.
Well, for some reason, I always had the idea that when you sent money only a few dollars actually went to the child. I also thought that they really didn't care about letters you may send since they couldn't read them anyway.
After researching Compassion International, I learned that is so far from the truth. Over 80 percent of your donation goes to the child. And they LOVE to receive your letters. Most of them keep them for years and even memorize every word.
Check out this awesome story. Watch to the end, and have tissues ready!
(Scroll to the bottom of this page and pause the music player)
God has really been shaking my world this past month. I have so much to share, but will wait for the right time.
Until then, I will leave you with some great reading found on these blogs:
Kisses from Katie
We are that family
And a great book - "Crazy Love"
Posted by Lindy at Monday, March 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Ten. Count them, all your fingers. That is how old my first born is today. TEN.
That's three short years from being a teenager.
Five years from driving.
And lets just stop there, I don't even want to think about the rest.
Genesis. Her name simply means "Beginning"
She was our beginning. Our first little bundle of joy. And now she is 10. Wow
We love you so much Genesis. You are sweet and kind. You love to give and create new things. You are are wonderful big sister to your brothers, they miss you terribly when you are not around. We are blessed to have you in our family.
Thank you God for such a wonderful beginning.
Posted by Lindy at Thursday, January 21, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
I was really hoping to get some good shots of my kids in the snow today.
I had to pull out all the bribes. You can't really blame them for not being overly excited being that it was only 10 degrees outside.
AND they couldn't wear their jackets.
It's all about "The Shot" hehehe
OK, so we were only out there MAYBE 10 minutes and they had many layers on.
The funny thing is, they were in tears within 5 seconds. Seriously. BUT, later that day they had no problem throwing themselves down the snowy hill for almost an hour. The whole time getting snow in their clothes, freezing their little toes and fingers.
I guess my camera just can't compete with a flying saucer.
I think my camera is a ton of fun :)
And this is what Zane thought about it
I hope you are all enjoying your winter as much as we are!
Posted by Lindy at Friday, January 08, 2010