Trials are not enemies of faith but are opportunities to prove
God's faithfulness. -- Author Unknown

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one
to say 'thank you?' -- William A. Ward

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I rarely ever post.  I do have the defense that we are very busy with 4 treasures and most of the time I don't have much to say.  Tonight I just need to wander through my thoughts for a while.  There's a lot going on.  More throwing ourselves out there and praying that we are following the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Wandering where this adventure is going to lead us.  Its always an amazing journey.  Interesting too.
We are staring at a mountain.  Or at least I am.  I am definitely the planner around here.  I'm staring at this mountain and wondering how on earth we are ever going to reach the top.  We've climbed this mountain 3 times.  We have just barely made it back down again.  Its funny, some days I thought that last battle was just going to be too much.  3 years.  I'm still amazed I made it without have to admit I finally was going to lose it.  I figured I'd need counseling and medication.  Lots of medication.  But I look back and I just think "Wow.  That wasn't so bad".  You know.  It wasn't.  I stopped fighting and just let God teach me all kinds of stuff.  I hope I really have grown as much as I feel like I have.  I'm still adjusting as to how to make those lessons be part of the lifestyle our family has going.  That's actually the hardest part.  Readjusting to life after climbing the mountain.
And here we go up again.
I'm drowning right now in paperwork.  Oh how I hate it.  Only second to having to make phone calls.  Luckily this journey doesn't require too many of those.
I'm overwhelmed.  We have a specific need right now.  Oddly enough, its already been met.  The problem is that it is met for the end result and we have to fill in the gap to get there.  Then there's the fact that it may be met or God may have another plan and we will travel a different path.
I know I've grown because I can without a doubt say that it isn't stressing me to think that God may push us another way.  One mountain may be very special and important, but if God says "No not this one", well we are going to be obedient and turn to the next.  We are climbing regardless.
Already we've been stopped.  5 weeks we waited for the go ahead.  We got it and then something changed.  I was about panicked for an hour trying to figure out what happened.  Then it was ok again.
I have such a love hate relationship with this journey.  13 months, 18 months, then 36 months (24 on a specific journey).  They are telling me "this is a long journey.  Are you sure you want to do this?"  I just snicker.  If the journey was short, I might be willing to wait a little while before setting out.  I mean, I do realize how crazy my life is.  I do see all the plates I'm spinning.  I do acknowledge how easily they could start to fall.
I'll just say it.  We just adopted a 9 year old who is developmentally delayed and is adjusting more slowly than my other kids have.  I have 3 kids with significant disabilities.  We chose to homeschool and may lose our therapy services very soon.  I've got 2 kids that need to learn to read.  I've got a high schooler that we are trying to guide into adulthood.  On top of all this, I have a full time job.  More times than I would like to admit, I just don't do anything because I can't figure out what the heck I should be doing.  I'm overwhelmed sometimes.
What everyone doesn't know is that I can just take a deep breath.  My kids are really smart.  They are still young and we have time.  All of them are doing more amazing than I would have expected.  My high schooler is pretty normal.  We have the same issues most families do with teenagers.  He is great with his siblings.  I see the responsible side peaking out.  Its all good.  Our family gets closer to each other every day.  I might not be able to doing everything by myself, but together we can make this happen.  I'm content to look up at the mountain and barely see the top.  I've got loads of things to keep me busy on the way up.
The best part of climbing this mountain is knowing that there is a cute little face at the end.  Its knowing that the climb down may be pretty rough to start out but God will help me grow now to handle that.  Its knowing that even before we leave the bottom of this mountain that there's probably another right next to it we'll be hiking up later.  It is so worth it that it doesn't matter how hard it is, how impossible it seems, how frustrated or broken we get along the way.  We may still be looking from the mountain top just to find another to climb.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Angel Tree--It's time to give back!!!!

Meet Vaughn.
This precious little guy needs a family.  He lives in South America.  He is such a cutie.
We are working with Reeces Rainbow's Angel Tree this year to raise $1000 for his adoption fund.  I'd love to raise more than that but I'm determined that we will get to $1000.
I don't need to tell many of you that the average cost of adoption is about $25,000.  I don't know many people that have that much money just sitting around.  It's a lot of money.
I do, however, know that God blesses families tremendously as they step out to adopt.  I want to help bless a family.  I want to help ease their burden, as well as their mind, as they try to raise funds to adopt.
This $1000 might pay for this little man's plane ticket home or for the immigration fees to get his visa into the country.  This $1000 actually won't cover a whole lot, but its a piece of the puzzle.  It's a drop in the bucket.
I like to break challenges into manageable pieces.  It's eating the elephant.  One bite at a time.
Here is how I've broke this challenge down.
$1000 raised in 61 days. That is $16.40 per day.
Can I get any volunteers to sponsor 1 day?  Just click here and make a donations.  It will make my day to see Vaughn's grant fund increase by $1.
Anyone willing to give up a Starbuck's for my little buddy?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Biltmore Trip

We had a fun day at Biltmore House a few weeks ago.  I loved the trip and Patrick wants to make it a yearly trip.  We just spend the day  wandering around the grounds.  Its great.  I love getting to take pictures there.  The mountains are beautiful.  All the kids did well.  Varsha walked alot.  Anthony ended up carrying her down the stairs in the house because she walks down stairs very slowly.  Its cute to watch him look after her like that.
These 3 are entertaining to say the least.  They play together sometimes.  I'm just happy that Varsha hasn't developed an obsession with the broom yet.  The other 2 fight over it constantly.  We even have 2 and they still fight.
Varsha is doing incredible.  She is opening up more every day.  She gives lots of hugs.  She has 2 favorite words.  Jump and music.  She likes to jump on the mini trampoline while the other 2 have therapy.  She loves to listen to music on my phone.  She uses the sign and the word.  I only showed her the sign once before she used it on me.
We are getting geared up for her birthday tomorrow.  She will be 10.  Her first birthday no longer an orphan.  It is awesome.  We have our meeting with our SW on Sunday for our final post placement.
Well I'm going to run.  Not enough hours in the day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Pictures

I'm sure I could say something, but I've got 3 loads of laundry calling my name and a million things on my mind.  All is well on the homefront.  Varsha is amazing us daily.  Talking some and adjusting so well.  She seems to understand our routines and such.  We just keep working toward the next thing, with each child and as a family.  Excited about all the things to come.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

5 Weeks

So we've been home for 5 weeks.  Or something like that.  It seems like forever.  We have that all too familiar feeling like Varsha has always been with us.  Other times reality is strong.  The language barrier is killing me.  Her  adjustment is killing me.  Thinking about it too much makes me want to cry.  This poor girl tries so hard to just roll with the punches.  The problem is that most times she doesn't know what is going to happen or what is expected of her.  At this point, there isn't a good way to explain everything.  Right now we are on a family vacation.  Our first in 4 years.  Thankful for my mom for pulling this together and helping us when all of my planning fell apart.
Bonding is going very well.  I mean as well as you would expect for a 9 year old  who is developmentally a 4 year old who doesn't speak english and is still trying to figure out what is going on.  She hugs and kisses us.  I feel special.  Then we go somewhere and she will hug and kiss someone that I stop to talk to.  She is bonding really well with Prasun and Ananya.  They are thick as thieves some days.  She also spends alot of time isolated.  She goes into her head and I'm not quite sure what is going on in there.  We can pull her back out fairly easily.  She does play with the other kids.  The other day she decided she wanted a piggy back ride.  From Prasun.  I about couldn't save him because I was laughing so hard.  The 18 or so months age difference shows in their size. 
We are adjusting to life.  Varsha is getting used to our house.  She isn't terrified of the little dog and cats anymore.  The big dogs are another story though.  Heavens.  Terrified is the perfect word to describe it.  She freaks. She does however love to ride on the dirt bike with Grandpap.  She conned him into a second trip through the back yard.  She is very good during car trips (thankfully.  it took several hours longer than it should have to reach our destination so the kids were in the car for pretty much 2 days.)  She seems to be willing to go with the flow.  She could also get lost in the chaos very easily.  Some behaviors could be pushed off to just being "Varsha" but need to be addressed. Thats what we are working on right now.  If I notice eye contact isn't really happening, I have to stop and make it happen.  If she is twirling around, I have to sit with her for a few minutes.  If our day is getting crazy, I have to try my hardest to make our routine at least similar to our "normal" day.  I'm going to have to come up with a picture chart for Varsha and Prasun.  Kind of like a calendar, but to just show the sequence of how our day should go.  Prasun craves routine and I think Varsha will as well.  I think it will help her cope.
We've been busy lately.  We've been to the dentist (thank you Jesus, it wasn't as bad as I thought.  No cavities).  We've been to the ENT.  Two rounds of antibiotic ear drops and 1 round of oral antibiotics.  Hoping this ear infection will finally clear up to see if she needs tubes.  We've been to the eye doctor.  Got glasses.  We'll be working on adjusting to them in the next few weeks.  We've been swimming two times. We spent a day partying with Grandma and Grandpap before I went back to work (BOOOOO!).
Right now we are just hanging out.  Spending time doing things for Varsha that she can probably do for herself.  Walking her through each day.  Just building trust and taking it from the beginning when she needs us to.  Everyone that's done this knows the first 6 months are rough.  It's easier than I thought it would be, but its still not blissfully happy all the time (real life never is). 
I can tell you for certain that this girl was meant to be in our family.  We are so happy that she is home and is a Phillips for life.  She stuck with us now.

Friday, May 25, 2012

We Left 2 Babies Behind...

Patrick and I both enjoyed spending time at the orphanage.  We really did.  The kids were great.  I got to hold some babies.  Always a favorite past time of mine.  I'd spend my life holding babies if I could.
The first day we were there, Patrick found a little boy all by himself in the play room.  He was just sitting there. No toys.  No friends.  Just sitting there.  Patrick sat down with him.
We found out that this cutie's name is N.  He stole Patrick's heart.
You see N is 9 years old and he has cerebral palsy.  He has tight muscles like Prasun and decreased use of his arms and problems speaking like Ananya.  He is just like our kids.  He could be our kids if God hadn't brought them into our family.

The thing about N is that you can see a GLOW in his eyes when you talk to him.  He listens and just eats it all up.
We learned that N doesn't go to school.  You see, in India there aren't laws that mandate an education for disabled children like in the US.  N also hasn't been getting the therapy that he needs.  I'm not entirely sure why.  I'm guessing that cost is the issue.  N is an orphan and doesn't have a mom and dad to fight for him. N lives in a country where there isn't an early intervention program.
N is precious to our family.  We want to help him.
The second day we were at the orphanage, I found a little baby (or so I thought) biting her arm.  I went to her because I couldn't not stop her.  She had cloth tied over her forearms.  It was apparent that the staff was trying to keep her from hurting herself.  I adjusted her "sleeves" and talked to her for a few minutes.  Then I went to find Varsha.  I was standing in the doorway of the nursery.  This precious girl could see me down the hall and started crying.  Well, I did what any momma would do.  I went and scooped her up.  She snuggled right into my arms.  She quit biting herself.  Immediately.

I found out that this precious girl was found and brought to the orphanage by the police 2 years ago.  They said at that time she was 4 years old.  She weighed about 7kg at that time (let me convert that for you that is 15.4 POUNDS).  Now Ananya weighed a little more than that when she came home at 2 years old. She was underweight.  This little girl now weighs close to 14 kg (about 30 pounds).  She was severely malnourished.  They told me she was severely mentally retarded.  All I could think was "well of course, she almost starved to death.  no telling how long she was in that condition".
Patrick and I would wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning for the rest of our trip thinking of nothing but N and A.  These 2 babies.  We would love to save them.  I'm hoping we can at least make a difference.  We are working on figuring out how to get the funds to add another caregiver to the orphanage for just these 2.  They would grow and develop so much with just a caregiver for these 2.
I would love to find a mom and dad for both of these kids.  I will be honest though.  It won't be for the faint of heart.  These 2 have physical disabilities.  It's going to take a significant amount of time to rehab them.  Even then, I can't say that they will meet developmental milestones.  I would expect N needs surgery.  Probably more than 1.  His family would need a home that is wheelchair accessible.  They would have to understand the difficulties of raising a child with speech problems.  Its not easy.
I will also say that both of these children deserve a family to protect them.  They need brothers and sisters to depend on.  They need a mom and dad to love them.  They need a future.
I can also guarantee that the family that adopts either of these children will gain far more than they put in.  That family will be better people with lots of faith.  Their kids will show personal growth that no one would believe. Its not an easy road. Its stressful.  Most days you want to pull your hair out.  Alot of those days aren't because of your children but because of all the people who are supposed to be helping you, but really just make your life difficult.
Its a hard road, but it is more than worth it.
Even if I found a family or 2 today for these 2, it would be awhile before they came home.  India is reorganizing their adoption program.  I really think that it will be great for special needs kids once it is up and running.  Unfortunately, they are working on getting started.  There is no program yet to match families with special needs children that are identified.  I'm sure it will come with time.  But for now, these 2 babies that my family is claiming as our own to simply be their protectors (we have no plans to adopt either of them because of circumstances during Varsha's adoption that make it seem unlikely we would be approved for either of them).
I just wanted to fill everyone in a little more on our trip.  Please pray for N and A.  I'll post more later when we have an idea of how much money we need to raise.  I'll be begging for your pennies later.  Maybe begging for a family for them soon.
***If you are interested in more information about these children, you can contact me.  I'll give you what information and impressions I have and forward you to Dillon International who has tons of experience in working with India.***

Sunday, May 13, 2012

By the pool

You Can't take my picture!!!

Are you still trying?

Fine.  Just one.

I said ONE!!
First time in the pool with daddy.

Not sure about this.

I can REALLY splash???

I can kick too?

still loving on daddy

Having fun
This is how she tells us she wants back in

Maybe you misunderstood me.

I said I want to swim more

Come on woman.  I don't have all day.

Gained enough confidence to go in alone.
As you can see, this girl is a trip.  She just ate the biggest pile of french fries.  She wanted to finish my spaghetti too.  We may go swimming again later if it doesn't rain again.  She is doing so good.  I do really hope that the airlines get us 3 seats together.  It really would be best.
Tomorrow we'll go out and do some sightseeing.  Then tuesday hang around and gather our stuff.  I can't believe the trip is almost over.  I knew it would fly by when we finally got here.  Its been a great trip with a great baby.