Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time for a Recheck

Well, it doesn't happen much around here, but this week it did.  We all got sick.  Yep, all of us.  It started on the Friday before Thanksgiving when we were shopping.  Our sweet Naomi put her mouth on one of those carts in the store. Yuck!  It reminded me of the time when Marshall and I took all of our kids plus my niece and nephew across the country by car to Washington D.C. in order to see the sights.  Wouldn't you know that our sweet niece put her mouth on the handlebar in the metro train.  I was so grossed out. And, sure enough, within the week, she got sick and then it went around our whole family.  Fun summer that was.

So, our Naomi is the culprit, the one who started this whole business of being sick.  And, wouldn't you know the virus loves us so much that it has gone around the entire family.  If you are wondering why there haven't been any updates to our blog, that is the reason.  I am happy to say that we are on the mend and I am actually enjoying being in front of our computer writing to you.

Naomi's illness this week reminds me of the summer she came to visit us.  After she had been here about a week Naomi got really sick.  I mean the type of sick where you, as a parent, know in your heart that something is unmistakably wrong. Marshall and I rushed a lethargic Naomi to the emergency room (she had a fever of 104.6) and we waited for what seemed like hours.  Finally, we saw a doctor, who gave us the diagnosis - strep.  Naomi was put on antibiotics and then we prayed that the lovely strep bug wouldn't make its rounds to the rest of us in our family.  God heard our prayers and we were protected. More than that, Naomi was able to spend the rest of her 30 days healthy.  When we put her back on the airplane to the Philippines, she was completely healthy - or so we thought.
Naomi sick while visiting in the summer

When we were finally over in the Philippines "fetching" our daughter we were told that Naomi had been extremely ill since she had returned from America.  In fact, she had been hospitalized and given an IV to help her.  My mother gut told me that she had never fully recovered from the strep bug and, had she stayed here, I would have brought her back to the doctors for a recheck.  Instead of that recheck I had to put our sweet Naomi on a plane and send her back to her country without that second check.

I often think of how Naomi  looked and how fragile she was when she first came to our family.  If you look at pictures of her when she first got here in January 2010 you can't believe she is the same girl now.  It is totally amazing what being in a family does for a child.  We have the proof - the before and after - of what a family can do.  Every child regardless of age or background needs the chance for that recheck.  A chance to thrive and a chance to get healthy.  A chance to be loved and a chance to grow to be the person who God created them to be.

Naomi after her recheck

I know when Jacob comes home he will get sick. The viruses will visit our home again.  And he  will probably spend days on the couch doing nothing but resting and watching TV.  The main thing, however, is that Jacob will be given the chance to get well, to be loved and to thrive. He will be given the chance to grow up and become the man that God wants him to be.  He will be given that recheck whenever it is needed.

There are many, many children who wait. They wait for the opportunity to be in a family and they wait for the chance to thrive.  And, like so many Americans, we sit back and do nothing but think how unfortunate the situation is.  But, that is not the case here. Because of your faithfulness to our family, you are not like "so many Americans".  And, with that, we are forever grateful to you.  There will come a day when Jacob gets to see with his own eyes just how many people cared enough about his life to give him that chance- that recheck if you will.  


Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Parable of the Shutterfly Book

As Lorrie and I await the documents from the government of the Philippines that will set in motion the last bureaucratic step to bring Jacob home we're making him a book. Ever heard of shutterfly?  It's one of those cloud based services that enable users to upload photographs and create a photo book - think cyber scrap booking.

Over the last three weeks, I've been working on this book. Sorting through pictures, uploading them, arranging them and adding captions in such a way that I hope convey to Jacob something about this new life he's headed for.  I finished it Saturday.  The plan is to order it this Friday and send it to him.  We're hoping to give him something, anything that will help him wrap his 11 year old mind around the fact that he is really close to finally having a family that is forever.

Naomi Opens Her Book - 2009
Now can you imagine yourself as Jacob and you receive this book?

You know you are on the other side of the planet from the people in this book you're looking at.  What is it that you feel-Hope? Relief?  Skepticism? Loved? You wonder: Is it really possible that someone actually cares just about me? After all, my mother left me, then the family that I thought was going to love me left you're telling me that these people are different?  I hope so...I hope...As you look back at the book in your hands, you turn the pages, you read the words: " have a place are are matter".  Do I dare hope?

The hope against hope that I believe Jacob and other waiting children around the world have truly humbles me.  Jacob has seen his 'best friend' and many other children taken to a new life, a life with a family. We hope that this book placed in his hands will enable him to keep daring to hope. Daring even to believe that one day maybe even soon, it will be his turn.

As I write this the Lord is bringing this to mind:  "I sent you a have a place are are matter".   I love parables...


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Naomi and Hannah with Otis who is not amused
We were catching up on some emails today when Lorrie and I saw an add imploring us to "save a shelter cat" today.  Please note we have nothing against helping shelter cats - we have a cat ourselves but we are just of the school of thought that maybe, just maybe human children that are waiting on us to take bold action on their behalf are a bit more important.  As I read the subject line - it struck me that we are never spammed with emails imploring us to help a human being.  I wonder sometimes if we've totally lost our way as humans .  But then I remember all of you...

This thanksgiving - Lorrie and I want you to know that we are truly thankful for all of you.  We are thankful for your prayers for Jacob (and other orphans) -spending today in an orphanage once again, waiting for us to arrive.  We are thankful for your monetary support that is so crucial and needed to get this done.  We have a way to go but thanks to you we are so much further along than we would have been.  I thank you on behalf of Jacob- I think he would say to all of you "thank you - I have been waiting so long".  Most of all we thank our Jesus who adopted us.

Today as you reflect on what you are thankful for, remember the children across the globe that are waiting and hoping for someone to take bold action on their behalf.

Thank you for loving us so extravagantly.

Marshall and Lorrie

Monday, November 21, 2011

The love of a Mother...It will matter

Lorrie and I were asked to speak at our church (Woodland Park Community Church) yesterday at both services.Now we need to tell you all that we're not morning people - especially on the weekend.  You see - we're 11 o'clockers - that strain of believer that wants to be awake while we give praise to our Father.  Now for me the best part of going to the 8:30 service was:  " hi welcome to WPCC - are you new to the area?" - clearly demonstrating that the Worthey's like their rest and don't hang with those 8:30 folks too often.
Lorrie and Marshall - 1991

But what a blessing it was for us to be there and tell just a small part of one orphan's story - a story that is still unfolding - one of hopelessness dissolving into hope.  As I watched my wife Lorrie speak I thought to myself what an amazing mother this Jacob of ours (and all our kids have).  In the 20+ years we've been together I have watched this beautiful woman grow, learn and become over and over again.  Lorrie never ceases to amaze me.  

What's it going to be like for Jacob to go from having no mother, to having one like Lorrie?  I think it might be like having lived with only part of the sun's rays during your days and then stepping out into true daylight.  Kind of like discovering you really do matter for the first time.  


Friday, November 18, 2011

Sisters Forever

Sometimes things are both irritating and joyful at the same time.  Today I experienced one of those things.  When the girls woke up they came downstairs and sat on the couch.  This is not an unusual activity by any means.  As they were sitting there waking up slowly, conversations began.  Being the mom I am, I began listening in on their conversation.  It went something like this...

"Naomi, you can't use coupons that have expired."
"Yes, I can".
"Mom, can Naomi use coupons that have expired?"

I continued drinking my morning cup of coffee all the while, listening to the conversation continue.

"Hannah-don't do that! Stop it!"
"Naomi, you want to share this with me?"

The conversations between siblings can be both joyful and irritating for sure.  I am reminded of the years before Naomi joined our family.  I remember our little Hannah telling us how badly she wanted a sister.  She was sick and tired of playing light sabers with her brothers. I remember how sweet Hannah was as she went through her toys and willingly  chose which ones to give to Naomi. I watched as Hannah cleaned out one of her dresser drawers and arranged Naomi's clothes neatly in it.  It seems like only yesterday when our daughter so graciously gave up her big double bed and replaced it with twin beds and divided her small closet  for her new sister.  I also remember the look on Hannah's face as she walked into the orphanage to see Naomi for the first time since putting her on the plane back to the Philippines. And, I will never forget the tears that ran down Hannah's face as Naomi walked right on past us when she saw us for the first time.

The conversations of sisters.  They can be both irritating and joyful.  As I listen to the words spoken by my daughters to each other joy fills my heart.  The sweet words that Naomi has learned and how quickly she has picked up our language only goes to show us how truly wonderful bringing her into our family is.  We would have missed out on so much had we not given this little one a chance.   The joys she brings to our family and the priceless conversations between sisters is what brings joy to my heart.

Sisters....forever together and forever in my heart.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We are not rescuers....We are rescued

Henry Mtns. Utah
So many people have approached us and told us something along the lines of..."you're doing a good thing" or that child is so lucky to have you"  and on and on.

I want you all to hear me right now.  We are the rescued.  Lorrie and I are the rescued. You are the rescued. We are only following our Father in what he has done for us -that's all.  He rescued us.  He adopted us.  He loves us.  Then he opened our eyes.  That is what adopting Jacob is all about.

Matthew 10:24 tells us that "..a servant is not above his master".  Our Master Jesus adopted us - we were all the things Jacob is:  'older child' ... 'special needs' ...we had baggage...we had pain...we were angry and hurt at being passed over...bitter.   Rescued.

How can we not love this child when God so clearly introduced us to him?  Give him the glory for all of this.  Watch and be amazed like we are.  This is really a parable - that Jesus is acting out through us and through you.

We love you all deeply,

Marshall and Lorrie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Six Little Words...

Noah - Keyhole Canyon, Zion NP
If you look at our son Noah there is no way you would ever believe that 15 years ago he was born three weeks early and weighed in at 6 lbs 11oz. There is something else special about our son Noah.  He was born with Verbal Apraxia.  After months of wondering why he wasn't speaking, we finally received the diagnosis that would put a name to the reason why Noah would mumble at us and throw his sippy cup up to the front of the car when it was empty.  Verbal Apraxia.  Big name for the fact that Noah had a stroke while he was in my womb.

After many years of fighting our insurance company to provide services to our son and spending countless hours in the car driving to multiple therapy appointments, Noah finally began to speak.   And, things haven't been the same since!   Our 15 year old son is 6 feet tall, 165 pounds and wears a size 13 shoe.  Did I mention that he talks to everyone he meets?

We have always known that God has special plans for all of our children. However, the circumstances surrounding Noah's first few years confirm the fact that God has extra ordinary plans for Noah.  And, the reality  is - Noah is the one God used to bring us to our son, Jacob.

We had no clue the exchange of words that occurred in the orphanage on that January day.  We wouldn't know until over a year later what was said between our Noah and this little boy whom we call Jacob.  We only found the two boys sitting on a bench outside the orphanage in deep conversation.  The boys had a small toy and were taking turns playing with it.  Noah later told us that  he and Jacob were talking about life at the orphanage.  Then Noah heard the truth from Jacob. " I wish you were my brother."  Those were his exact words to our son.  Who would have thought that those six words would have such an impact on our family?

This Sunday our family will be given 3-5 minutes to speak to our church about the God journey we are on. Three to five minutes to share with those present the reasons why we are going through the "process" all over again. It doesn't seem like much time to be able to truly share our heart.  However, words do speak truth and the truth is six words changed our life. Maybe that is all the time we need.

As always, please continue praying for our family. Specifically, as we prepare for Sunday.  There is so much we would love to talk about but will not have the time. Pray that our words will speak truth, that God would be glorified and that those listening will have willing hearts to join God in bringing one of His orphans home to their forever family.

I want to leave you with a verse that I came across as I was reading a blog from a family who is in the process of adopting their ninth child.  God keeps bringing this particular verse to my mind daily.  I pray that He would do the same for you.

    "Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we do not know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12


Friday, November 11, 2011

The best thing to do ....get out of the way

Naomi - Happy
You ever felt totally out of control?  - In a good way?  I never have either until this morning.  You see, as a "man"  I like my control.  My background as a soldier taught me to be assertive, to take the initiative and execute the mission.  But what happens when you start to realize that for  the 'mission' you are on ...well you're not the lead - you're following - heck you can't even keep up with what your leader is doing.  Today I realized that I am out of control in a good way.

You have heard me say that this adoption is something we were called to do, something we're following Jesus on.  Nice churchy words those are - are they not?  So often we just say those things.  But my eyes have been opened to something as of late....Without waiting on me Jesus is leading and honestly I can't keep up with this Warrior God of mine!  Over the last two days (and during this whole process really)  I have watched him move the hearts of people who are not even reading this blog, in fact - people we haven't spoken with in some time.  Lorrie got a call this morning from an old homeschooling buddy - while on the phone she says to Lorrie - "God laid you on my heart this week - I heard you are adopting again and I want to send you something to help get  him home".  This kind of thing has NOT been the exception - but the rule since we stepped out on faith, since we said "ok God but YOU are going to have to do it - we can't:"

I really believe the best thing I've done in this journey is to get out of God's way, get my soldier, assertive initiative taking self out of His way - He's got this.  And here's the beauty of it - he's got Jacob.  He's got me and He's got you.  So if you are being called, wooed into taking bold action on behalf of an orphan - do it.  Don't sweat the resources, don't worry about how .  My eyes are now open to the fact that if He's asked you ( or me ) to do something - he's going to equip you, train you and love you enough to see it through.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh, how they grow up so fast!

Oh, the joys of children!  Sometimes I get so caught up in the day to day that I fail to see, or notice if you will, the wonders of childhood.  As our children get older and have more responsibility it can seem as though we are in a zoo.  Literally!  

Yesterday our oldest child was sworn into "almost adulthood".  By that I mean..he got his drivers license. The day Joshua had been dreaming about since he was at least 13 finally came into being.  I took the children down to the local DOR (Department of Revenue) office and waited...and waited...and waited.  Finally, our number was called and Joshua and I approached the nice lady behind the counter.  Becky, was her name.  Becky and I really hit it off because she informed Joshua and me that , according to Colorado law, Marshall and I can revoke Joshua's driving license at anytime.  Anytime!  While I was listening intently, it seemed as though Joshua was getting smaller and smaller.  I wanted to hear more.  Her words were directed to me."If Joshua rolls his eyes at you, forgets your birthday or to clean his room , makes bad grades or doesn't do his chores - you may, mom take his license away.".  I love it!  Really?  Now, I feel back in control.
Remembering when Joshua was little

On the days when I feel like I am out of control because the children are growing up so quickly I can be sure that the time spent with them is well worth it.  To see Naomi thrive in our family confirms the fact that all children need a place  to call theirs. ALL children, regardless of anything, need a family.  The problem occurs when we begin to think that there is nothing at all we can do to help these children out.  We become so caught up in our life and our problems that pretty soon we become numb to the real issue.-the issue that every child should have the exact opportunity to thrive as our Naomi has.  

I am convinced that once your eyes have been opened to the need and you have stepped out of your comfort zone you can't go back to living the life you were before.  For me, my eyes were opened way before we chose to adopt Naomi. For some of you, your eyes have been opened for the first time.  You are following our blog and beginning to see the tremendous need - God is working on your heart too!  Many of you are stepping out of your comfort zone and supporting our family by sending us a check or by donating through ChipIn.  One dear friend went as far as to put something on her own blog letting her readers know about our need.  Whatever you have chosen to do the truth is God has opened your eyes and there is no turning back.  Even if you don't pray for our family or support our family financially, the fact remains that , because you are reading this blog, your eyes are now open. And, if your heart is changed simply by reading our blog then everything we are going through to get our Jacob home is well worth it.

We know that this adoption is bigger than anything Marshall and I can imagine.  I don't know what God has in store for us in the future, but I do know that our God has a remarkable story to share with Jacob.  The story of how 11 years ago, a little boy was born in the Philippines , abandoned at one year of age and then spoke the words to a couple who had a willing heart to listen to him..."I love America , take me with you"  Every orphan has a story. The question is.."what roll will you play in their story?"

Please continue praying for our family.  The needs are still there - specifically, we need $3,500 to finish up the adoption paperwork and then the plane tickets to and from the Philippines.  God is faithful and He will provide through His people - you.  

I want to leave you with the picture of Naomi and Hannah meeting for the first time here in Colorado.  Everything was new to Naomi, but the expression on both faces says, "your ok and welcome to America".


Monday, November 7, 2011

Kidnapped, Ransomed and Redeemed

Naomi's day in court - Final!
We sent a BIG check (thanks to you guys)  via Fedex to our adoption agency today.  This is money that went  to pay the country and program fees that will in turn, release Jacob's paperwork to our adoption agency and allow us to start the final portion of his adoption here as soon as it arrives.  As I watched the Fedex envelope go I wondered to myself..."could this be considered ransom?"

This ain't our first adoption rodeo you know.  But I never cease to be amazed at the wickets everyone has to go through to rescue an orphan and tell them " matter, you are loved".  Why is caring for the orphan so hard? I think maybe it's because of the nature of our fallen world.

Along time ago, the apple of God's eye (You and Me) was stolen.  Kidnapped if you will by the enemy.  Locked up, oppressed, exploited, hope stolen.  And then Jesus opens up his ministry by making a bold statement:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn {in} Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

Then he says to the Synagogue rulers:  "You're lookin at him buddy"  (that's a Marshall paraphrase) ...Bold action on behalf of someone who needed it.   I was a prisoner, I was in great need, oppressed  and brokenhearted. I was adopted and freed from all of that.  Adoption...Yeah it's like that.
Naomi's First Activity with Her Brothers - Bubbles

To those of you that have contributed over the last couple of months - know that the 'ransom' sent today brings him closer to home. We still have a long way to go...more fees...then paying for 6 over and 7 back from the the orphanage to bring Jacob home.  But do you see what we're (All of us with a heart for the Orphan) acting out?  We're bringing good news on behalf of our Abba to a child that matters. That's enough for us - we're keeping on.   For those of you on your own adoption journeys - you keep matters.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday

Today is orphan Sunday.  A day with a theme.... but if you are the orphan today - it's just another day.  Another day of wondering if anyone truly cares for you.  Another day being alone.  Another day waiting...for someone - anyone to look at you and value you.  Another day to wonder..."do I matter?"

As I write this our Jacob is waiting,  he's been told...someone wants you - they are coming.  HOPE! At last, "maybe I do matter" "maybe I am worth something".  He has hope after 11 years of rejection and abandonment.  Hope - finally.  One day (soon hopefully) that hope will pass into a blessed reality -to belong at last.

Today remember those millions of orphans that are still looking, still hoping for home, for someone to step up and say "you matter".  You matter.  Today there is a live event to be webcast (click here for the link) focused on this need - watch it.  Get involved however you can. 

We love you guys

Marshall and Lorrie

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Affirmation comes in the darndest places....

Affirmation.  It's what we all need whenever we're doing something hard. It usually comes in measured instances, sometimes its even rare - but when it comes its just what you need and right when you need it.  Today Lorrie and I dedicated much of the day to find out exactly what we had to do to get our first child from the Philippines (Naomi) her US passport.  We'd been told by some:  "...ohhh yeah... you got to fill this out then that takes about 6 months to approve and then you can apply for a passport and that takes a couple of months so yeah uh 6-8 months..."

You see Naomi is going with us to get her brother Jacob along with everyone in our family.  The rationale:  we want Jacob to see the family not just Lorrie and I but all of us when he meets us again.  We want him to know we're all in, we all love him and he belongs.  Picture this: We arrive at the orphanage Jacob comes into the room where we are...he sees...Naomi....Naomi his friend now his sister.  I can't get that out of my head - it is going to be the end of not belonging, being abandoned, not having a place - forever.

So really - we just don't have time for that 6-8 months.  So we head up to immigration prepared to drop 500 bucks on filing a lengthy form for some nameless, faceless bureaucrat to approve when they get around to it.  We arrive cynical (well me because Lorrie is too sweet to be cynical) not expecting much but waiting and hoping the time for them to do their thing will be shorter than what we heard.

Naomi and Hannah - Sandblasted, Great Sand Dunes NP
I love God.  He shows up in the weirdest places.  So we get this former Marine helping us and he says - "you don't need this form to get a passport - really you don't"   Lorrie and I were stunned - really!?  The guy goes onto say - "you can go to this address and go get it right now if you have all your documents"  Lorrie and I:  Really !? Really!?  So we are out... we head over to the passport place (having kept the 500 bucks that it would have cost to file the form to use toward more pressing adoption fees).

Now get this...We just want to find out what to bring when we apply for Naomi's passport and how long it will take etc.  So the guy that helps us - Adopted from the Philippines from the same adoption agency we're working with a boy now 11 from the same region as our Jacob.  Of course he's animated as he starts to help us understand what we need to do to get Naomi's passport.  Today we went from an expected 6-8 months to a week.

I don't do coincidences.  But I do recognize God showing up.  And today he did.  He affirmed what we are doing,  I believe he is "well pleased".  We needed his affirmation today and he gave it.  Never subscribe to coincidences, chance or fate.  Know that God speaks through his word, through people and through your circumstances - you my friend are never alone.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Snow Day!

Well, we woke up this morning to snow.  Actually, I woke up to my phone vibrating in my purse letting me know that I had a text.  The text said, "no school today due to the weather."  So much for sleeping in on a snow day. 

One of the children's favorite activities is sledding.  We are fortunate that we have a very nice neighbor who allows the children the freedom to use their yard as a sledding hill.  So, almost every time it snows, the kids ask if they can call and get permission to go sledding.  It is always a funny thing to see Naomi, especially, dressed up in her "snow gear".  She truly LOVES the snow.  Funny for someone coming from a place where it NEVER snows!

I wonder what Jacob is going to say the first time he sees the snow, puts on hats and gloves and attempts to slide down a hill on a sled.  Little did I know that after almost 20 years of marriage we would be doing the "firsts" with the children all over again.  First time to see snow, first time to touch a big dog, first time to go swimming, first time to go to a movie theater. You name it there are so many first that come with adopting an older child from another country.  Makes you stop and think about how fortunate the children are who grow up in a family and get to experience those first at a young age.

Speaking of growing up - I wanted to answer the question some of you have asked,"why are you adopting an older child"? Well, to be quite honest, when we decided to adopt Naomi I really was over the diaper stage.  Marshall and I had been out of diapers for about 7 years and we really didn't want to go through the baby stage again. You have to remember that we had 3 in diapers at the same time.  We actually had a party when the last one was out of diapers.  We really enjoy being able to go out on dates and the little bit of freedom we have since the children are older.  When we began our first adoption journey those were the reasons.  Now, it is a different story....

We realize the magnitude of the need for older child adoptions.  Millions of children are passed over due to the fact that they are older. I heard that in some places of the world, there are predators lurking outside the orphanages just waiting for the day the children are released so that they can "have them".  You know what that means?  For girls, it may mean becoming prostitutes, for boys there is nothing left but getting involved with drugs or a gang.  You name it, the bad people have their eyes on the kids and they know their names.

When we got matched with Jacob last week we were given his updated information.  We found out that Jacob is now the oldest child in the orphanage.  He watches day after day as the younger children leave with a family. All the while, our son waits and more often than not, wonders if he will ever have that family.  But, there IS hope.  With God's help, your prayers and your sacrificial giving to our family, Jacob WILL have a family.  Jacob will never have to experience falling prey to the predators that wait. 

We are so very thankful that, with your help, we are able to write the first check to bring Jacob home - one step closer.  We will be mailing that check tomorrow via  priority mail.  We called out and you answered.  Many of you have donated your time and your money to bring our Jacob home.  With that, may you know that you will have a part of Jacob's life. Forever.

There are still hurdles to jump over,and mountains to climb. One of the biggest ones is air fare for 6 going to the Philippines and 7 coming home.  We stand at the base of the mountain and know that our God will provide and He will answer our cries for help. If you have ever doubted God's provision, just keep reading our blog -starting from the beginning - and I promise you will see God work.