Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hope in Orphan Care

At the beginning of this month, I had the incredible opportunity to go to Maria's Big House of Hope in Luoyang, China.

Maria's Big House of Hope, for those who don't know, is a special care center that cares for special needs orphans under the age of five.

Having already been to Peru, and absolutely loved it, I was curious to see how China would compare.

We arrived at Maria's late a night, and so we couldn't play with the children. I took the elevator up to the sixth floor with the rest of my teammates, marveling that the other five floors were filled with special needs orphans being taken care of as they should be taken care of.

I woke up at 5:30 the next morning and went to play with the kids before breakfast. I remember feelings as if I was in a dream. The sun shone through the windows, illuminating the gorgeous paintings and the sheer joy of the place.

I took the elevator down to the first floor and stood outside a room for quite some time. I was nervous to go in, though I couldn't explain why. Maybe I was afraid I'd meet another Carmencita, and that it would hurt too much. Maybe I just didn't want to interrupt the nannies' schedules.

But as I was standing outside, worrying about going in the room, a little boy wheeled past me in a wheelchair. His nanny stood behind him. To my surprise, he stopped outside the door of the room I was standing in front of. He must live in that room. He looked at me for a minute, and then waved his hands for me to come in. "C'mere," he said.

I stood in shock. This little boy had just spoken to me. In English. "C'mere, c'mere, c'mere."

So I followed him into the room, where he immediately had me unbuckle him from his wheelchair and threw his arms around my neck.

After going from room to room that morning, and seeing the precious smiles of the special needs kids at Maria's, I went to breakfast with the rest of team. I told our leader,

"I feel like I'm in heaven. It's five floors of special needs orphans being taken care of. Five floors of special needs orphans that I can show love to for eight straight days."

The only part of the trip that wasn't incredible was that I got sick. About three days into being at Maria's, I started to go South. Then I was completely down for about two days - congestion, coughing so hard I couldn't breathe well, crazy sore throat. By the time I was well enough to play with the kids (with a surgical mask on) it was our last day. God taught me even through sickness, though.

After going to Maria's, I know without a shadow of a doubt that my calling is to care for special needs orphans. There is absolutely no question about it. Maria's Big House of Hope lived up to it's name. It gave me incredible hope in orphan care, but at the same time, it made me realize how hard hope is. Because I realized that Carmencita, my precious baby from Peru, would never be taken care of like this. That millions of orphans all around the world would never get the care that these kids did.

But then I thought, who says? Who says that those kids can't get the same care? Who says that special needs orphans can't be well taken care of? Who says that there can't be Big Houses of Hope everywhere?

While I didn't love China, the country, I did love the orphans there. With everything in me. And I can't wait to see where God calls me next.

And, because Caleb always does a slideshow for everything, I thought I'd do the same this time!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Soon to Come!

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know we ARE still here! We're gonna have lots of updates and new things coming on soon- but I'm (Caleb, and the entire rest of my family) going to most likely be out of commission for a while. I'm going on Vacation! Literally! And that includes (drum roll) the first official Reece's Rainbow Family Get-together! It WILL be awesome, and I AM going to bring back plenty of photo/video! Can I expect to see any of you there? If you do follow the blog and you see a 6 ft. Giant with an equally big camera, come over  and say hi! So, is there the possibility I'll be making a Montage/Slideshow? DEFINITELY! If I can get a wi-fi connection up at the campsite where RR is holding the get-together, I am gonna try and update the site if we have a bad-weather day or something and we're stuck inside. In the mean time though, keep praying for Shawna, Lindsay, Jonah... You know what? Just go to the Our Orphan Loves and Children We Are Praying Home Pages. You'll find plenty of children and/or their adoptive families that are in need of a couple prayers!

 More is to come! There ARE some posts on the way, and plenty of things to update and renew. So rest assured, despite the insanity of our schedules this past month or so, we are STILL SPEAKING FOR THE SILENT AND LOVING IT!!!!!! Thank you all for your support and continued prayers for us, our mission, and the goals we are trying to achieve. We appreciate each and every one of you so MUCH!!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Catching Up

For those of you who thought we'd disappeared off the face of the earth, we are still here! All of us have been mega busy. Tori just got back from a rockin' time in China with the cuties at Maria's Big House of Hope, and me (Caleb) and Josh have been wrapping up schoolwork so we're already for the Reece's Rainbow get-together up at Pathfinders in a couple weeks. Can I count on meeting up with some fellow Speakers up there? ;)

Anyway, I am fully aware my website has fallen into an obsolete state of updates and I fully intend to fix it soon! Now that they are official, I am SO glad to announce the Eubanks family who are adopting our precious Lindsay and Shawna! The S4TS team has been in all of their prayers and efforts for the last month or two, and we have been SO honored they told us early! You can find their link here, and we'll have it posted to our Children We Are Praying Home page very soon. we are beyond excited for them!

Another big happening has been dear friends of ours, the Spitzes, have stepped forward in faith less than six months after their last international adoption to start AGAIN! I have to be honest when I say they are just such a funny, Godly family, and they're one of the few blogs I faithfully follow (although 20+ isn't exactly few...)! I am SO looking forward to meeting them and their precious Bella in a couple weeks, and there's a chance we might hear from them on here... stay tuned!

So as you can see, lots of new things in the offing (as the British would put it) and plenty of things to do and yep, you guessed it, pray for! Hope to see some of you in person up at Pathfinders, love e-mailing with a bunch of you, and honestly, this ministry is what keeps me going, because it's just so full of God and His workings! Plenty of Heart Movers to help along the way,. plenty of families to support and pray home, so many great things! And have no fear, this blog is not gonna stay outdated for long :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Open Floodgates (Courage to move)

Well, last post I promised a LOT of big news, and here it is! Here it goes, let's open the floodgates and let it ALL OUT!

So firstly, as many of you probably know already, JONAH HAS A FAMILY!!!!! YAY!!!!!!

So happy for this little cutie. So Cute! (redundant much?) Anyway, what's even cooler is that the family that wants to adopt him is actually in-country, which means he'll be home MEGA soon! And it is certainly a possibility this could keep him from imminent transfer! Praise God! I'll have his family's info up as soon as I can! In the mean time, just keep praying for him!

Adding cars to the prayer request train, one of our team members at S4TS is on a mission trip this week! Tori, resident Missionary buff here at S4TS (and Shining City Teens, and Show Hope!) is over in China with Show Hope (find their website link above and in the Charities we Love page) at their Special Needs Care facility. I am SO happy for her, and I'm kind of anticipating her coming back and telling all of her stories not only to hear about what I'm sure has been an awesome experience, but also because...

I'm hopefully going there next summer!

Yep, There's a chance I could be going on a mission trip! I am SO hoping that I can make it! The trip itself will be great (I'm sure), but its going to be an exercise in Trust of God- because it costs $3500 to go(mainly because of airfare). I am REALLY trusting though, that if it's God's will I should go, the money will be there. It will probably be Early/Mid June of 2012 that I'd be going, so if you'd be willing to pray for me, I'd be MUCH appreciative!

But arguably the biggest peace of news I have- is that Shawna and Lindsay are BOTH on the My Family Found Me Page of RR! I've gotten official permission from the family to link you to their blog, and  I can tell you they are GREAT people! SO thankful that God has inspired someone to bring these girls home! So their Blog link is right here. Shawna and Lindsay's new family contacted me close to a month ago when they began praying about those two precious Gems. I was SO honored to be among the first to know, but I felt obligated to keep things under wraps until it was official. But my heart is with y'all as well, and it is honestly a JOY to share this with you! God is Good!

Above all though, all of these events show the courage to move. To follow God's call no matter the cost. Now THAT is truly inspiring.

The floodgates have opened indeed, and where the waters will take us, nobody knows....

Friday, June 3, 2011

We're All Connected

S4TS (the acronym for our little ministry) has taken off beyond my highest expectations. I've had a good 4 or 5 adoptive families e-mail me as well as plenty of Advocates. It's great! Most of the time though, I like to keep my private life erm, private and my ministry life open, since it's part of my ministry. I'm also asked (most of the time anyway) to keep the info I get in confidence, for the privacy of the family. But this was one story I had to share, AND was asked to:

So as many (if not all) of you know, I got a chance to go on a 10-day mission type trip to Ukraine, to see the sites, take some pictures, adopt one special little baby girl that "rocks an extra chromosome" as some of you Adoptive moms say it!

So on this trip, I met one mom (who is actually getting ready to leave for Ukraine AGAIN for ANOTHER adoption!) who was adopting one little boy and had a friend tagging along with her to help her out. Now for those of you who have never been involved with adoption trips, they're an absolute blast. All of us are like one big family. we help each other out, we share meals, we share conversations, heck, we share plane flights! It's great. One night at dinner me and my dad got talking with this mom and her friend. Fantastic People. But little did I know what role they would play a little later on, once I had started a small orphan advocacy and begun the journey God was calling me to.

So y'all remember this little munchkin, Antonio?

Precious beyond belief, I know. He was one of the first kids we here at Speaking for the Silent prayed for. Hence, we were so happy to see him get a family.

But I'm getting off topic. Back to the story. One day as I was doing my schoolwork, I got two rapid-succession e-mail text message alerts. Each was a separate comment on each of S4TS's formats, Facebook and Blogger. First I checked Facebook- it was a comment under Antonio's picture (we have a couple small photo albums on FB), reading "So glad to see our son here!" After I picked my jaw up off the floor I went to blogger to see what the buzz was over there. It was a comment from the friend of the mom I had met over in Ukraine, asking me to e-mail her ASAP so she could tell me something amazing. I instantly reacted. In case it isn't evident, I'm a sucker for inside scoops :D Anyway, I e-mail her. Come to find out that her adventure with Mrs. Birschbach (the adoptive mom) drew her Son and Daughter-in-Law to adopt a certain little boy with Down Syndrome. 

I was awestruck and amazed to find out I had seen part of this little boy's story coming into formation long before Orphan Care was my everything. It truly reminded me how we are all children of God, connected to each other through ha love like no other that holds all the universe together.Their blog is here. They are an awesome young couple, and I just love reading their stuff and following their exciting journey!

And if you thought THIS was exciting news, well, you'll just have to check back again in a couple of days ;)