Friday, December 30, 2011

Aiden's 9th Birthday

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Happy Birthday to our sweet, loving, generous, kind, insightful, helpful, energetic, passionate little man Aiden Michael. The Lord has created him with a unique set of personality traits and it brings such joy to my heart to watch him grow and mature into a wonderfully sweet young man. The Lord is already using Him to do great things for His kingdom and it is my heart's cry to watch him grow more and more in love with the Lord with each passing year.

Thank you for the joy you bring to our lives sweet Aiden!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Christmas 2011

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6   While this is a beautiful verse for Christmas, these attributes of our sweet Savior, Jesus, are the very living hope we cling to each day throughout the year.  As we reflect on the year, we humbly give God the glory for our joys as well as thank Him for His faithfulness in times where our posture brought us to our knees at the foot of the cross in complete dependence on Him.
We rejoiced in celebrating 15 wonderful years of marriage this year (19 years together); the fruits of hard work!  Thank you, Jesus, for your faithful presence in our lives and for your Word, which gives direction and life to marriage.  Joe continues to work for Kettering University as Facilities Architect & Planner and Angie continues to enjoy most days at home while also working as an occupational therapist 1 day/week for Rainbow Rehabilitation with traumatic brain injured clients.     
Our 6-pack of blessings continue to fill our lives with great joy and purpose!  We continue to home educate and started a Faith Community Homeschool this year with 13 other families.  We have been blessed beyond measure by this journey!  We spend 2 full days per week together learning history, literature, writing, church history and science through the lens of biblical worldview.  We are very proud of the spiritual and academic accomplishments of each of the kids. 
Muaz is nearly 11 years old, 5’2”, 95# and wearing a size 9 shoe.  He is a constant reminder to us that God is quickly growing our boys into young men. He picked up his soccer cleats again this year after taking a year to explore other sports.  The Lord has gifted him with great skills and as we watch his passion, dedication and drive mature, we praise the Lord for His work in Muaz’s life.  Ethan is nearly 11 and quickly catching up to his mama in height as well.  He has a competitive and hard working spirit and channels his athletic and leadership talents into football and baseball.  Aiden is nearly 9 and enjoys baking with mom, writing notes and playing baseball.  He has a sweet spirit and is a wonderful helper.  As the boys’ passion for athletics increases, so does their dependence on the Lord as the giver of their athletic gifts.  The Lord honors that which we commit to Him, and it was a blessing to pray the very same scriptures over them that they had committed to memory during their sports seasons this year. 
Eliana continues to enjoy American Heritage Girls, is a gifted reader and does very well in school.  Bereket has made great gains emotionally and developmentally this year – all glory to God for his progress.  He is doing well with his eye prosthesis and wearing glasses now as well.  Sweet Joey is the family comedian and is growing up way too fast.  The Asperger house is officially without diapers for the first time in 10 years…. (tear in mommy’s eye).
Life is good.  God is good.  Life is good because God is good.  We have been gifted with 6 precious children from 3 very different beginnings, which keeps us on our knees daily before a faithful Lord.  You can follow our journey at:  My New Year’s Resolution is to be a faithful blogger again, so subscribe to keep me accountable!  :o)
May the love of Jesus fill your hearts and homes this year…
In His Grip-
The Asperger 8

Friday, October 21, 2011

In The Trenches

The Asperger house is filled with a quiet stillness that begs me to bask in the silence and reflect on the journey of life...parenting...homeschooling...the gift of marriage...loving and serving a Sovereign Lord with every minute of every day.

Where do I begin to download...

I live in a house filled with noise...6 children often "make a joyful noise unto the Lord" and sometimes my 'sensory-sensitive self' finds it...very loud. Moments such as these, with 6 sleeping angels, leave me to my thoughts, which I often crave in the noise of a productive day. On this day, my thoughts are filled with joy, burden, deep love and sorrow all at the same time.

The past few weeks, I wish to label as "in the trenches" of parenting and life in general for the Asperger family. As an adoptive parent, I often wrestle with when to share the stories of my children and when to keep them private, but often I am prompted by the Lord that someone out there needs to know that they are not alone "in the trenches" of this blessed & difficult journey of redemption for our wounded children.

"Only 7 years..."
A phrase spoken by my 10 year old Ethiopian son a few weeks ago that continues to resonate to my very soul. In the midst of a busy morning, a casual conversation ensued about what time mom went to bed last night. I honestly stated that it was about 12:00 am when mom went to bed and I arose to the alarm at 5:45. My oldest boys commented that "you must be tired", "do you wish you got more sleep" and I honestly replied that it is ok..."I only get 18 years to parent each of you as my children and I will have plenty of time to rest when you are grown". At this very moment, the Lord directed my gaze to my 10 year old Ethiopian son. I looked into his eyes and stated, "and I have only been given the gift of 11 with you, so I don't want to waste a minute of it". We exchanged a smile and then I saw a look on his face that I have grown to love and dread at the same time. After a few thoughtful moments, his reply was, " mama Medina only got 7 years...". This is my son, whom I know, beyond the shadow of doubt, loves and is fully bonded to us as his parents. I also know, beyond the shadow of doubt, that he has another mom, in Ethiopia, of whom the Lord Himself chose for Him to born to, that he loves and should not be denied the gift of loving still.
In the routine of a typical busy morning, for a brief moment, we shared a quick moment that I have grown to love in this journey of redemption for my wounded children...our eyes met and I said to my son, " are right honey...and I am so glad that we know she accepted Jesus as her Savior so we can spend eternity with her in heaven. The bible states that when we get to heaven, this time on earth will feel like the blink of an eye..." We exchanged a smile that cannot be described in words...time did not stand still...the noise did not cease in the house...but, the Spirit of the Lord was upon us.
Parenting wounded children is Holy ground. I do not know how one would tread this water without full, undeniable trust in the Lord because every moment counts and there is often no time to ponder over the best response or read up on the latest literature. It is in the moment that it counts and I praise the Lord that I can fully rely upon His Spirit at work in me to adequately do the job He has called me to do.
In those moments I find myself loving mama Medina with a depth that has no earthly comprehension. She has given me the gift of another level of accountability that I do not have to entertain with my biological children. I am always accountable to God for parenting all of my children with intention and purpose to bring Him glory. However, I met mama Medina...I hugged her with my own arms...I watched her face light up when she saw her sons and held them in her arms...I heard her pleas for their well being with my own ears...and I watched her walk out the orphanage gates and leave her sons with us as our son (hers & ours) stood, silently weeping as she walked away... I cannot deny her mother's heart and I have chosen to be accountable to her as well as the Lord. I think of her with every decision we make for our is painful and it is good. It is the cry of my heart that I will be able to embrace her this side of heaven and thank her for her presence in my life. She has left a 'heart-print' that will eternally impact the way I parent all of our children.

"Why didn't she stop to help me?!"
One evening last week, I stopped in Eliana's room to help her clean up before bed. Out of nowhere she stated, "I miss Guatemala". Eliana arrived home at 6 months of age and has no intentional recollection of Guatemala...but her soul continues to beg for answers to the pain of abandonment she carries deep in her heart.
"What do you mean?" I ask her, always waiting to hear her heart versus putting thoughts into her head. She breaks down into sobbing tears and says, "I miss mama Elvira". "What do you mean?" I ask. "I am sad that she didn't get to be my mom...I wanted her to be able to be my mom". Once again, Eliana loves us and is fully bonded to us, but children becoming orphans was not part of God's glorious design...sin entered the world and there begins the plight of the orphan. I give her the standard line, "Eliana...mama Elvira could not take care of you and she loved you enough that she did the very best thing for you...God chose us to be your parents and we are so blessed that He chose us." Eliana's response (still sobbing), "I know, BUT...Why didn't she stop to help me? I needed her to help me and to be my mommy!" These are the moments that my heart shatters into a million pieces. I can love her...nurture her...hug her...tell her I love her...adore her, but it will never take away the deep wound of abandonment in her heart. I cannot fix that for her. So I sit on her floor, rocking her in my arms, tears running down my face...grateful that our Abba Father is cradling both of us in His arms as we rock back and forth... In time, as she grows closer to the Lord, I pray that she will find rest in knowing Her Savior "never left her or forsake her", but for now...I pray the Lord can use my human-ness to show her His redeeming love.

Although, at times I am weary "in the trenches"... I am forever grateful that God called me to this journey. For if I had never sat in the trenches with His children, I may never have known the "love the Father has lavished upon us", I may never have learned to trust Him the way I do today and I would have never witnessed the courage that He has given my precious children on their redemption journies... thank you Jesus for your Holy ground... and for each and every moment you craddle us through...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"Orphanology" Musings

It is summer time and I have been enjoying the leisure activity of reading (something unrelated to our homeschool subject matter) this past week. Thanks to the book, Orphanology, by Tony Merida & Rick Morton, I have been given the gift of weeping for the orphan many times this week. Summer is a down time for our orphan ministry and often a time of reflecting and planning for the upcoming year. The gift of weeping for the orphan ignites a passion that God has placed deep in my soul. Passion (the whisper/shout of the Lord) + Action (choosing to BE the hands & feet of Christ) = Life Change (hope renewed, the gospel lived out)

During the school year, it is difficult for me to find time to sit, ponder and process be still in the presence of the Lord and feel Him tug my heart. My days are filled with purpose and service to Him through my children, my husband, my patients, our orphan ministry...all good wonderful things. But, my soul grows hungry for time to be still with the Lord and bask in His presence. I crave time to think; without being rushed or preoccupied with the list of items (though necessary & good) begging to be completed in order to ensure that life runs smoothly. Sadly, that is the 'Martha' versus 'Mary' in me that I often pray to find a better balance between in my life.

Orphanology is a book about the theological basis for adoption and the responsibility of the church to respond to the orphan crisis. I will be blogging as the Lord speaks to me through this powerful book, but here is a quote to wet your palate...
"Jesus Christ alone had all the right qualifications to save us and make us children of God. Only Jesus was qualified to redeem and adopt me because only He is the God-man." I am adopted into God's family only through the death of my Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross and my decision to accept Christ as my Savior. Without my adoption, I would be lost to sin and spend eternity in hell. Adopting children into loving families is the passion of my heart, but experiencing the love of a family here on earth pales in comparison to the gift of spending eternity in heaven. Fatherless children deserve to be adopted into christian homes ... they deserve the gift of eternal life...