Truth Be Told

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I wrote the following email in response to an email received by someone who has read our blog:
It is only slightly nuts around here lately. Between home school, dr appointments, fundraising, and paperwork, I am running myself ragged.  I guess if you want to know the truth….I don’t feel like I’m glorifying God much.  I am worrying too much, and putting my trust in my own abilities (scary, right?).  I haven’t had a break in a while, and I am stressed and tired.  It is so hard to remember God’s grace and faithfulness right now in the trenches, when I should be focused on it more than ever.  Honestly I feel frail and inadequate right now. I guess I am writing more than you bargained for, huh?
  Our son, Boden has been home for 11 months and 4 days. He was twelve when we adopted him from Eastern Europe.  He turned 13 in April.  He has made so much progress over the past 11 months, but he still is very autistic in nature. He has Down Syndrome, and he was transferred to an adult mental institution when he was four.  He was there for 8 years before we were able to bring him home.  He is nonverbal, but SO VERY loud.  I know institutionalization is mostly what we are dealing with, not his diagnosis.  He is such a joy, and has the best smile…with dimples!
We saw Pearson from RR while we were visiting Boden.  We saw him from a distance everyday, but one day I was able to talk with him.  I use that term loosely, as he spoke Russian, and I do not.  He was sitting (like they do all day, every day) on the ground to the side of the sidewalk, and as I walked past, the he stood up and stepped in my path.  Before the nanny could jerk him out of my way, I bent down and told him that he was very sweet.  He grabbed my face with both of his hands, and pulled me down until our foreheads were touching, and stared into my eyes for a second or two (which is remarkable in it’s own right….Boden still hardly makes eye contact), and then I kissed his cheek, and his whole freckled-face light up……………..and then I had to walk away.  It was the hardest thing that I’ve had to do.  It was like he knew he needed to take the chance; he was begging to be seen–desperate for a family.  One day, hopefully soon, he’ll know that I saw him. That I came back for him.
Due to Boden’s needs, and circumstances at the time, we couldn’t bring him home then, so he has just been sitting….waiting.  There’s not a day that goes by that I haven’t thought about him.  And I am so grateful that God chose us as his parents.  We are working hard to get back to him.
So yes, we are fundraising.  Last night we were even offered a $500 matching grant.  Our FSP has to read $1289.88 to meet it.  Our tshirts haven’t been very successful, and my sensory rice project was a flop.  And so I stay awake at night scheming, trying to figure out how to make a buck for him.  We started a FB auction today.  I need it to be a success.  There are very few grants that we qualify for, since his birth country is an independent country, and we don’t need an agency.  The ones that we can apply for are Christian grants, and they are hitting me in the gut.  They are shining a light on my weaknesses, and I stare at them, and then don’t fill them out.  I am not strong right now.  I am tired, and stressed (and losing sleep and clumps of hair!).  I don’t want to answer the question “Describe your daily walk with God,” Because in my sinfulness and self-dependence, I am failing at the moment.  I am praying though. Praying for God to grant me peace, praying that God would grow my faith, praying for God’s provision, praying that I will be content with His timing, and praying for His forgiveness.
I am so sorry if this has let you down….it’s where I am at in this exact moment. I want to glorify God through this adoption.  And I know that he brought us to Pearson, so that He may be glorified….I am sorry if I did the opposite of that.  As brothers and sisters in Christ, could you just lift us up?  We are so thankful to be a part of God’s redeeming work.  I am so grateful that God has broken our hearts for the lonely and forgotten.  It’s hard sometimes being in the trenches. But I cannot WAIT to have my son home!  We are so happy that he’s ours =)
Thank you so much for reaching out to us, and for your prayers and support!
Sorry I’m Crazy……ha!Soli Deo GloriaAnd God, with His perfect timing encouraged me through this person with this response: 

 

 

Remember God’s faithfulness in providing for your first adoption. We forget so easily what God has done for us in the past. He is also using this to sanctify you. I think he is showing you your weakness for your good. Your frailty and inadequacy is normal and good. Consider what Jesus did in Matthew 14:15-18:

Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.”
Jesus asked them to do the impossible, let them feel their insufficiency, then graciously supplied what they needed. He enabled them to obey his command.

God is glorified when his strength shines through your weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
You aren’t letting me down, and if you did, don’t worry about it. Our aim is to please God (2  Corinthians 5:9).
I hope I was able to encourage you in some way. Stay on your knees before God and trust in His provision and timing!
We will be praying for you. 

 

Please pray for us as we fight for our child.  It feels like war. It is spiritual warfare….This is hard. But it is a hard that is so worth doing.  It’s a good kind of hard. A hard that’s ordained by God the Father, And though I may be weak……….

Tshirt Fundraiser is here.
FB Auction is here.
Christmas shop is here.
And here is our Family Sponsorship Page on RR where you can make a tax deductible donation towards our adoption.

Chugging along…

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Something pretty awesome happened today.  We have lived in this house for the past 8 years.  We have broke even or had an escrow shortage and had to pay in every single year.  Today, I received a check for an escrow overage! How cool is that?!  Totally a God thing.  I have to keep telling myself, He will provide, He will provide.
Truth be told, I have been so discouraged lately.  I kind of feel like I am screaming in a crowded room, and no one is looking at me.  I think that I was putting my faith in people, and in myself, instead of God.  Please join me in praying for God’s provision.
We could travel to Pearson so fast. But the way our funds are, I haven’t started a lot of the paperwork because I don’t want it to expire. That’s hardly fair to someone that has been abandoned and parentless his whole life.
Please Help us get our Lost Boy! 8 days to sell 33 more shirts. Three people will win $10 gift cards when/if we hit our goal. I was going to say iTunes, but we could also do Amazon, or Target. PLEASE BUY A SHIRT!https://www.bonfirefunds.com/the-drake-family-for-pearson

Or if you would rather just donate to our FSP on Reece’s Rainbow, you can do that, too.   http://reecesrainbow.org/82284/sponsordrake-2

SHOP TIL YOU DROP

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If you are not on Facebook, and you would like to shop from our One Stop Christmas Shop, here are the links you follow to each “party.”

https://audreybraman.scentsy.us/?partyId=259739597 This is the link to our Scentsy Fundraiser.  We get 25% of all sales through this link.

https://v3726.myubam.com/64299  This is the link to our USBORNE fundraiser.

rasheffield.myrandf.com  This is the link to our RODAN+FIELDS fundraiser.

http://www.Origami4Orphans.origamiowl.com/parties/4Orphans488909/collections.ashx  This is the link to our ORIGAMI OWL fundraiser.

https://www.mythirtyone.com/shop/catalog.aspx?eventId=E5048667&from=DIRECTLINK&extern=true&verify=true This is the link to our THIRTY-ONE fundraiser.

www.pamperedchef.biz/askewacres  This is the link to our PAMPERED CHEF fundraiser.  You must put DRAKE ADOPTION as the hostess

http://horvath.jamberrynails.net/party/?uid=9e6e152f-d05d-47ca-ba43-57904d33abe1This is the link to our JAMBERRY fundraiser.

http://www.norwex.biz/PublicStore/event/572589/default.aspx  This is the link to our NORWEX fundraiser

youngliving.org This is the link to our YOUNG LIVING fundraiser. You must use this ID code for us to get credit: 1569871

Happy shopping!!!! =)

Or if you would rather buy a T-shirt, you can do so here.
Or if you would rather make a tax deductible donation, you can do so here

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Fundraiser Update

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Our USA Map fundraiser is doing great! This is where we are at:

new update
So we don’t lack too much with it! You can donate  $10 here and email me at mehgandrake@yahoo.com or comment to let me know if you sponsored a state.

However, our T-shirt sales have not been quite as successful. We have only sold 11 shirts.  One more shirt, and I will share a new picture of Pearosn!!! You can buy a shirt here:  https://www.bonfirefunds.com/the-drake-family-for-pearson
We only have 13 days to reach 50 shirts, or no one gets shirts, and we don’t get donations.
Also our Christmas Shop is still going on now through October 31st!!
Thank you for all your prayers and support!! We are working hard to bring home our son!! =)

US Geography–Enter to Win a $50 Gift Card

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Here is a United States map:

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But, it is no ordinary map.  You see this map will magically help bring our son home. This is how it works.  People from around the country–THAT’S YOU– will (Lord willing) donate $10 to sponsor a state.  Your name will then appear on your state.  When the map is full, we will have $500 for our adoption, and one lucky winner will be drawn to receive a $50 GIFT CARD!!!  (This gift card can be to anywhere of the winner’s choosing)

Please donate to our FSP.  Then comment here, email me at mehgandrake@yahoo.com, or if we are friends on FB send me a message and let me know what state, or states, you are sponsoring! Thank you so much! And feel free to share!

Also, don’t forget about our Tshirt fundraiser we have going on now through October 29th.

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You can also shop at our One Stop Christmas Shop now through October 31st.  You can browse through Norwex, Jamberry, Thirty-One, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Usborne, Origami Owl, and Rodan +Fields.  Representatives from each of these companies have generously offered to donate their commissions to Pearson’s adoption.

Please shop, donate and share to help us bring home our little man!  We have a short process this go ’round, as we already have immigration approval and a home study, but we can not go to him until we are financially able.  We are working hard, and we are ready to have our boy home!
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Lost Boys’ Home

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I had someone ask about where my boys are from. And this is what I sent her:

Hi! Yes, both of my boys were Lost Boys. The term was coined from a mother, because her son was the first boy to come out of this orphanage. It is blogged about here and you can read about my Boden there as well.  His name was Heath on RR.  It was a level 4 mental institution in a very small, rural village. Boden spent 8 years of his life there….he was sent there when he was 4. The whole time he was there, he shared a wheelchair with another boy, and had absolutely no stimulation or education at all. When we met him, just coming into the office where we were so completely overwhelmed him. He was constantly yelling and making noises, his hands were constantly squeezing and pinching. He terrified me. He couldn’t even make eye contact or look at anything. He didn’t take notice of anything….not even bubbles. So much so that I thought he had vision problems.
No toys. No playing. nothing. They sat in the metal sheds with the doorway blocked by benches, or they sat off to the side of sidewalks, waiting for the next time to eat.
It’s not that the director or nannies were mean. Quite the opposite actually. You could tell that most of the staff genuinely cared for the boys there. The director was a sweet Christian woman. But they are underfunded, and overworked. There would be two nannies in charge of about 30 boys. Most of whom needed diapers, needed to be spoon fed, and would hit themselves or others. So toys were dangerous. Toys got dirty, and there wasn’t time to keep up with them.
Boys that could walk away were drugged. I am thankful that Boden wasn’t. But I think they were all drugged at bedtime.
They were only allowed one or two diapers a day. So they sat on buckets for hours at a time. They were dehydrated purposefully.
I am not mad at the nannies. Boden looked like a holocaust picture when I bathed him on the night of Gotcha Day. Even though they had three meals and two snacks, the group of about thirty boys would finish lunch very quickly. And most of them had to be spoon fed, so they probably didn’t get very much. Although I must say I was impressed, that the kitchen staff worked very hard, cooking from scratch all day for the boys. This situation isn’t unique to their institution. They caregivers are doing the best they can with what they have…or lack thereof.
I saw some boys raking leaves, carrying the potty buckets, pushing wheelchairs, etc. It gave them jobs…it gave them purpose. There was so much that we didn’t see. There are laying down rooms that no one is supposed to know about. IDk how many kids have died in there. Alone and forgotten.
This orphanage was pretty much closed. It’s not that the director is a harsh woman and doesn’t want good things for the boys. She is scared, because she does care for the boys. There is fear in letting people in, fear of the unknown. Especially when it is your job to protect kids who can’t protect themselves. Every once in a while she opens up and lets one couple that we know come in and minister to the boys. Then, only the most “normal” are allowed to listen to music, open presents (only to have them taken away) and hear about Jesus.
That’s what we know about the orphanage. But when we were there, it seemed pleasant enough, strange to say, I know. They are doing the best they can with no special training, no dr., and no money. There was mischief from some of the boys….one that would break away from the group to snatch walnuts off the ground (sometimes eating the shell, too!), we saw a boy hide a kitten under his coat and smuggle it inside (we saw it make an escape later). One boy that I affectionately refer to as my friend with Down Syndrome always wore a sport coat. He blew me kisses, and showed me the work he was doing and the apple he had, and the cut on his finger. He would always wave and blow me a kiss.
One boy would always grab me and mumble loudly, IDK what….But more than once a nanny had to get him off me and tell him “She’s not your mama!” It both scared me and broke my heart. You wouldn’t believe the cheers and smiles and excitement from the boys when they were paraded from their sitting places into the dining room. They loved seeing us. We caused a stir with our presence, and I am sure it made the nannies’ jobs harder, but oh the joy from the boys! Lots of smiles, waving, and excited jumping….
That’s our Lost Boys’ home.

This is why it is important to care for the orphans.  If you can’t adopt, give.  Donate to missions. Donate to families like us who are working to bring our kids home.  If you can’t donate, advocate. Yell for these kids, share fundraisers, spread the word.
Here is where you can give a tax deductible donation to our adoption to bring home our Lost Boy.