Monday, May 26, 2008

Tribute to Petey

Micah and I "adopted" our beagle Petey when he was just a puppy. We were barely engaged at the time, so you could say that Petey has pretty much been there with us since the beginning. He was an extremely mischievous puppy, as beagles often are, and got himself into numerous predicaments! Most of these involved his need to eat various things... such as the wood siding off of our first townhome, his entire doggy bed, and a couple of Micah's ASU textbooks! Needless to say, he is now almost 6 years old and has definitely calmed down some in his older age (but he can still run to play fetch with the best of 'em!).

For those of you who have pets and kids (if you had the pet before the kids), you know that your pet is usually treated as your "first child." But, the poor pet is often rudely removed from their throne as soon as that first baby comes home :) This definitely held true with Petey and he was a bit shocked to have to take the back seat around here. Now Eli is getting old enough to enjoy playing with Petey (mostly wrestling and throwing his ball), although sometimes he's still a little too rough. Eli's first household chore, besides picking up his toys, is too feed Petey. He needs some help, but he does a great job and enjoys it!

Anyhow, I was looking back through some old pictures of Petey tonight and thought I would create a little slideshow to pay tribute to our favorite furry friend...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Beginning a Journey...

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and blameless is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress..." (James 1:27a)

Micah and I have each had a calling on our lives to make a difference in the lives of children and youth. We both love working with kids/teens, as is evident in our choice of careers. However, we know that we can do more! God makes it known throughout the Bible that the care of orphans is extremely important to Him, and we believe that He is calling us to care for children who are uncared for or unwanted. We are reminded of His words in Mark chapter 9:

"Taking them in His arms he said to them, 'Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me."

About six months ago we first had a conversation about the possibility of opening our home to foster or adopt a child. We feel that we have been blessed in so many ways and the Lord is calling us to use what we have been given to serve the needs of others, and most importantly, to share the love of Christ. Granted, there are many ways people can do this without bringing a child into their home, but we truly feel that great sacrifices must be made in order to have the greatest impact. We definitely do not feel that we have the "parenting thing" mastered :) But, we do know that we have a safe, Christ-centered home, where children can find refuge, people who will care for and love them, and learn about God's amazing love for them.

"If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:3

At this point in time we are at the VERY early stages of trying to determine exactly what God might be calling us to do. We know we are to do something, we're just not sure what that looks like right now. We are open to the ideas of fostering or adopting children from here in the U.S., or possibly even adopting internationally. This week we attended an orientation session regarding the steps to become a licensed foster parent, or certified adoptive parent, in the state of Arizona. We will probably continue to follow through with this process and see where it takes us. The next thing to do is to determine what agency we will use to complete our training, home study, etc. The entire process usually takes 6-9 months.

Most importantly, we will be continuing to pray that God will lead us in the direction we are supposed to go and that we will have open ears and hearts to listen and follow Him. We ask that you would begin praying for us as well, and partner with us as we begin this journey. I will try to keep everyone updated through this blog as to how things progress from here and what we sense God doing in our lives. As I have shared this already with a few people, here are some of the most common questions I have been asked:

Q: Does that mean you aren't going to have anymore of your own children?
A: No, we will likely still have more of our own children. We just believe that we it doesn't need to stop there :) We are just trying to be open to what God is calling us to do, and what His timing is for everything.

Q: Are you looking to foster/adopt a certain age or gender of child?
A: No, we are just being open. We believe God already knows who the child (or children) might be, and His plans will prevail.

Q: You're considering foster care, are you crazy???
A: Yes, maybe :)

Q: What about Eli?
A: We definitely feel that God has a special plan for Eli in all of this. We know that our decision will greatly impact him, but we hope that it will be chance to teach him about God's love and what it means to truly love and serve others. We know that he will have his own incredible impact on whatever children may come into our house. Our home will be a mission field, and Eli will play a firsthand role in everything that happens! (Not to mention other children we may have! Who knows?!?)

I am sure many more questions will be raised as we continue to navigate through this process. Some we will find answers for, and some we may not. What we do know is that there are so many children out there who have been neglected, hurt or abandoned by the people who are supposed to love them the most. I can't begin to imagine the impact that must have on a child. God cares about those children and believe He has called us to care as well... not just from the sidelines.

"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."
Matthew 18:10


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Graduation

Congratulations Micah!! Last night Micah graduated from ASU with his degree in Business Administration. This has been a long time coming and he has worked so hard. It's been a slow road trying to juggle a full-time ministry job, a wife, and a child, while at the same time staying up late to study and complete homework assignments. But he has done an amazing job of balancing everything, and continuing his classes even when it was really stressful at times to do so. The ceremony was beautiful and we enjoyed a great evening with friends celebrating at Macayo's afterwards. Way to go Micah, we are so proud of you!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cabin in Pinetop

This weekend we were fortunate to be able to stay in the cabin of some of our friends from church - thank you Torres family! It was so nice of them to "loan" it to us :) We had a great time enjoying the cool weather and relaxing. We even took Eli on his first go-kart experience. He wasn't very happy about it at first, but once we got going he had a great time! He was being a "momma's boy" though, so he would only ride with mommy. Daddy was probably grateful though, for the chance to ride his go-kart FAST! Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures of the go-kart riding, but we did get quite a few others during our visit. Enjoy the slideshow!!