Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just show up

Things have been busy around the Worthey household.  I called my mom four days before Christmas and was discussing the holiday when she said, "what would you do if I just showed up at your door on Christmas Day?"  My response went something like..."seriously?  I would think that a little strange not letting me know". Fast forward to Christmas Day and guess what?  She showed up!

Now, that might the usual in your family, but not in ours.  You see, this is the very first time that my mother has spent any holiday with me in my home.  Marshall and I have been married almost 20 years and this is the year when she "just showed up".  Our children were in shock to see grandma in our driveway.  They were even more shocked to sit down at the dinner table with her over Christmas dinner.

We spent the last few days together laughing and yes, even dancing.  We took her to the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel and sang songs around the piano.  I got to see the joy in her eyes when she walked into a vacant ballroom at the Broadmoor and began to dance slowly to the Christmas music that was being played.  I can honestly say that the last few days have shown me a side to my mother that I have never seen.  What makes all of this extra special is the circumstances surrounding my mothers life the last few years.
My sweet mom with Hannah

You see, two years ago on January 31st when we were bringing our Naomi home, my mother's life changed forever. She was supposed to meet us at the Dallas airport to be introduced to her new granddaughter and visit with us for a few hours before we boarded the plane to Colorado Springs.  She never showed up.  The next morning I get a call from a friend in Texas asking me if my parent's were O.K. She then went on to tell me that my parents home had exploded and they were clinging to life in Parkland Hospital.

Before that moment, I had never experienced such emotions. It is hard to explain how you can go from being "on top of the world" bringing your new child home to the very bottom of the pit hearing that your parents are clinging to life.  My Stepfather ended up going home and my mom's life changed.  The last few years have been extremely difficult, but praise to our God she is recovering and even dancing in the vacant ballroom of the Broadmoor Hotel.

My mom "showed up" this Christmas.  After all the tragic life experiences she made it a priority to be part of our family this Christmas.  What a blessing to know that regardless of your life experiences, your past and all the "junk" you might carry around YOU can "just show up". As our family prepares for this next step in bringing Jacob home, we are praying that someone, somewhere will " just show up". Regardless of your circumstances you can make a difference and what a day it will be when Jacob can see with his own eyes how many people "showed up" to help him.  


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We're getting close!

If you're like us you have been uber-busy over the last two weeks.  But I wanted to take some time today in between visits with our relatives who are visiting to just say thank you to all of you who have been with us in this journey.

You have been with us in our highs and our lows and we love you guys so much.  That is why I wanted to share a huge milestone with all of you:


Mitzi's (Naomi's) sign at the Philippine Adoption Board
The signal  that it was official - It's coming Jacob - Hold on
You may notice that our chip in has changed.  It's your fault you know....We raised the money for the administrative costs with God's provision and your help.  All that remains is the travel so we wanted it to focus on those costs alone.  Over the past few months people have come from everywhere and have donated to raise funds for Jacob.  Many not thru the Blog - some have just waled up to us and said "here - bring that little boy home."  And now the administrative costs are covered.

Now we're at the last hurdle - travel costs.  As you can imagine - the cost to get to the Philippines  is pretty high - and flying standby times 6 is well, only a good idea if we want to have kids deposited all over the world (not good).  So we have to purchase the tickets when we get "the call".  This is the purpose of the new chip in.

We would not be at this stage if it were not for you.  More importantly Jacob would not be looking at a little shutterfly book and wondering what his new home IS going to be like without you guys stepping in.   I can't help but think about what he is wondering as he flips through the book.  I hope it's his best Christmas yet - knowing he's almost home.

So now we wait.  Wait for THE call.  And then it will be time.  Time for Jacob to be engulfed in the arms of the family that God (Using his People to Help) has provided him - never to be alone again.  And Time for us to remember when he called us to trust him, to step into the Jordan, to march around the city and stand still and see the Goodness of the Lord.

This is an  awesome God story - and you are in it.....


Monday, December 19, 2011


When you're passionate about pursuing a child as you must be during an adoption process it's inevitable that you develop a myopia of sorts. We are so living in the expectancy of bringing Jacob home.  We're so close - like "creation being more or less held back" in anticipation.  Myopia.  Jacob's ongoing story even though its our world right now is just one story- one in a sea of over 26 million orphans in this world we live in.

Lonely Juniper - Utah
Sunday morning our friend Anne-Marie reminded me...there are more stories. She told me about little 'J'.  His story reminds me of our Jacob - but on steroids.  J is in a group home today.  He's a 10 year old energetic little boy that has a 'history'.  Hard things happened to him. Abandoned - he has no one.  Pulled out of a 'bad-situation' at home, placed in the system...adopted twice...and given up on -twice.  He's been given the message: you're too broken...we give up - twice.  Returned to the system like that sweater you don't like - twice.  He's there and he has no one today.

As my the fog of my myopia lifted - I looked around and saw the Lord's people and thought if not us - who? There are at least ten churches within 10 miles of where 'J'  lays his head each night   -he's alone.  I can assure you that across our nation there are children right under our noses and we drive past their world each day-oblivious.

What would it look like if one family from each church in the US stepped out, took a risk and "visited an orphan"- there would be no more 'J's in 'the system' in our country.  I wonder what would happen if we- the body of Christ wherever we are sought out the 'broken' children around us.

I'm not naive.   I know that not all of us can bring a child into our home - for a variety of reasons.  But I do know there are some who can and want to.  If you can't -its ok.  But we can all be "doers of the word" an encouragement, an enabler for those who are open but lack what they need to bring a child home, we can visit 'J' in his distress by helping those that can and want to bring a child home- THAT is James 1:27 in action.  What will we do?  A "great cloud of witnesses" watches.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Adoption Blues

The last couple of days have been emotional around the Worthey home.  It all began Monday morning when we turned on the computer.  There was an e-mail from the folks at Affording Adoptions.  We had applied for a grant with them awhile back.  The e-mail read that we had not been chosen to receive any funding to help bring Jacob home.  For some reason, I really thought we had a good chance at getting a little something.  However, the bottom line is we are like so many people.  We are middle class.  We make just enough to live on, but to much to receive any help.  It was like that in college - my folks made just enough to put us "over the limit" for any scholarship money.

So, that was the beginning of my week.  Of course when you get news like that, the enemy begins his work.  My mind began to think of how much time we put in to gather all the needed papers, get the letters of recommendation and sign on the dotted lines before the cutoff date.  I thought about the remaining funds we need and how draining going through the adoption process is.  Sometimes, it is all you can do to turn on your computer and pray that someone, somewhere gets it.  I mean really gets it.

After my Monday morning pouting party, God showed up.  I know He was always there, but sometimes I am so blind to His work.  I turned on my computer and would you know that there was an e-mail from our friends who are in the Ukraine meeting their new daughter.  Reading their story and seeing the pictures of them in the orphanage blowing bubbles with their little child brought tears to my eyes.  God showed me then that what we are going through, all the unknowns and all the "bad news" we might receive - everything is in His hands.  God brought us to this place, introduced us to our son and will provide for all of our needs.  It is all worth it.

Adoption blues are real.  You have good days and you have bad days. I am so thankful that God allows us to see little reminders of His faithfulness. Whether it be by seeing a picture, reading a blog or having someone you don't even know give to your family, those are God's blessings.  That, my friend, is what all of this is all about.

 I am sure the adoption blues will visit our home again.  God did not say that changing a life would be easy and that things would happen quickly or even the way we would hope.  God did promise, however, that whenever we begin to question, doubt and wonder if we are doing the right thing that He would show up in the most unexpected places.  Please know that our family cherishes your prayers for those days when we are wondering how things could possibly ever work out- when the adoption blues come again.

Naomi's Adoption Day!  Great reminder that there will be a time when Jacob will be here

Thank you for being part of our adoption journey. Praying that this Christmas season brings life, joy, and happiness to your family.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Naomi's Day

Naomi enjoying her Birthday meal
Yesterday was a milestone in our family.  Naomi turned 10!  That's right...she is now and forever double digit. Unless, of course, she lives to be 100.  No more going back from this day forward. She began her day by eating her star muffin that is a tradition around here on birthdays. We then waited for her "birthday dinner".  This year Naomi chose tacos.  Yep, that's right - not adobo like last year.  Tacos...a good old American thing.  Her dinner was served on the Star plate complete with candles lighting the table.  She ate tacos with beans and meat, queso and even guacamole. Good ole fashion dinner for our family- we just love Mexican food around here!  I can't forget to mention the ice cream cake that Naomi chose -chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream served with chocolate syrup drizzled on it. Yummy!

Part of birthday celebrations in the Worthey family consist of the children choosing an activity to do with the family.  Naomi chose to go rock climbing in an indoor gym.  She has seen the pictures of her family doing that activity and , for about a year now, has said she "wants to do that".  So, this afternoon we are venturing off to spend the day in an indoor climbing gym.  I can't wait to watch our little 4'5 inch 42 pound Filipina put on a harness and rope and begin the adventure of climbing up a wall.  Memories will be made and pictures will follow.

Naomi having fun on her birthday
As we sat around the dinner table last night celebrating Naomi, my mind began to think of the many people who have had an impact in Naomi's life.  I wondered how her foster parents in the Philippines  felt yesterday knowing it was Naomi's birthday. I wondered if the memories of the days when she was with them came pouring back.  I wondered if they missed the sounds of the children running around in the yard and the laughter that comes with a child's birthday party.  By the looks of the pictures we are blessed to have of Naomi when she was younger, I  know that her foster parents made Naomi's birthdays super special.

We are forever grateful to a young girl who chose to have a child 10 years ago. We are forever grateful to the doctors, teachers, adults, cousins and friends who had an influence in our daughters life before we knew her.  We are forever grateful to our Lord who numbers our days and knows everything about us before we are ever born.

We wait for the day when Jacob will be eating his birthday dinner around a table with his family who loves him.  I picture the look on his face when he sees his siblings banging their forks on the table wishing him a happy birthday.  For now, though, we are grateful for the caregivers who are watching over him.  For all the adults in Jacob's life who we might never get the opportunity to meet, we say "thanks".  Thanks for taking care of our son while we wait until the day when we can tell him face to face...happy birthday Jacob!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Letters to Jacob

Well today was an exciting day around here.  We finished up the very last piece of the paperwork needed to bring Jacob home.  We are praying that everything is filled in correctly with all the signatures in place.  There is nothing quite like filling out government papers.  It can really give you a headache.

The paperwork was not nearly as fun as what came next - each of us writing letters to Jacob so that he can begin to get to know our family.  It was so fun watching the kids sit down and write, draw pictures and put stickers all over their paper that will soon be in the hands of our little boy.  All of the children had something special to say in their own way.  Joshua wrote about being over in the Philippines and eating all the good food that we are going to experience while there.  Noah wrote about sharing a room with Jacob and Jacob sleeping on the top bunk.  You know how special top bunks are!  Hannah spelled out "I love you and I am your big sister" with letter stickers.  And, Naomi, that little one, wrote the words " you have a mom and a dad - I miss you and can't wait to see you."

All of the letters were so special to me as a mom.  Special because I get to watch our children be part of this journey.  You see, the journey is theirs as well. So often we are asked why we need to spend "so much money" on airfare for all of us to go get Jacob. We must.  There is no option.  This journey is all of ours.  Jacob is all of ours.  There is no way we could ever pick or choose which children get the joy of going over and meeting their own brother for the first time.  So, we have chosen to step out on faith and trust that the Lord, who is over all things, will provide for us.

We have had some set backs with that decision.  One being, we were told by a pilot that you really don't want to fly on "buddy" passes or on stand-by when you have so many in one group and when you are traveling internationally.  It isn't like flying across America on stand-by, which in itself, can be very frustrating.  We also found out that you can't depend on miles.  Our original thought was that people could donate some airline miles to our family. There are so many people who fly often and have tons of extra miles. Well, the airlines make that nearly impossible as well.  We found out that you can only donate up to so many miles to one person at a time.  And, it cost up to $100.00 for the transfer!  Seriously? That put a damper on things.

We continue to put our trust in God who knows all of us by name and knows all of our needs before they are even spoken.  We (our family) have needs.  God knows them and you know them as well.  You have been following our journey, seen the pictures and prayed fervently for Jacob.  Will you continue praying and getting the word out?  Our family will be traveling in an airplane soon and will be able to hand deliver the other letters that will be written in the future.  Thanks to you.

I wanted to leave you with a picture of the Christmas ornament we bought for Jacob this year.  A plane -how fitting.

Jacob - we are coming air!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

All we really want for Christmas...

The Girls, Noah, Smokey
Cold.  Really cold today.  But you guessed it - it didn't stop us.  Today was the day to go and get the tree.  This afternoon Dad, Mom, Joshua, Noah, Hannah and Naomi set out to trudge through the forest in search of the 'perfect' tree.

So we bundle up, make a thermos of hot chocolate grab a bow saw and we're ready.  We head to the USFS check point to purchase a tree cutting permit -sort of a tradition for us.   Smokey the bear (Pike Hotshot in a suit) is there and while I'm purchasing the permit, Naomi cautiously approaches the bear in the hat.  Pictures - really awesome ones too.  As we saddle up and get ready to go and a familiar voice, a friend of ours Terri Miller calls out " you're not going there to cut a tree are you?"

So that settled it - we're headed to Kevin and Terri's - because they have lots of trees and none of them are "Charley Browns".  Such awesome generosity.  We follow them home and they  lay it out:  where the best trees are, where to stay away from and that's it -they turn us loose.  Question: how many of you would turn us loose on your property with a saw?  So we trudge about -and locate the perfect tree.

They invite us in when we arrive half frozen from the forest  to warm up (right in front of their lunch I might add). Almost immediately Terri, Kevin and their guests (we go to church with all of them) Scott and Hermie want to know - How is it going with bringing Jacob home.  I love that about brothers and sisters in Christ - how are you - does it go well?  It was a great but short visit (we did not want to crash lunch - even though it looked yummy). But how cool is that?  " How are you? - When do you bring him (Jacob) home?"  The body (the church) is a beautiful thing.
The Worthey Christmas Band

So we collect our tree and we go straight to tree modification.  This involves a drill, extra tree parts and artist's eye.  As the family unpacked the ornaments  I was busily creating a "bionic" tree where holes are drilled in the tree and extra branches are carefully filled in -grafted into the trunk.  Then on to decorating the tree with the family - what a great time the Lord blessed us with today.

As we spent time together Lorrie and I looked at each other often and we knew what the other was thinking: "we're one short", "I wonder what our son Jacob is doing".  It's a beautiful time of year -Christmas - celebrating the birth of our king.  For those of you who are Steven Curtis Chapman fans - "... all we really want for Christmas - is Jacob - home.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Phone Rang Today

We just wanted to give you a quick family update.  Today our family got a call from our adoption agency saying they needed us to call them.  For those of you who have adopted before you know that call.  Your thoughts begin to go wild..." is it good news - what do they want?"  Well, I called our agency back and waited for the words.  I then heard-..

"I just wanted to let you know that Jacob's papers are on their way to my office here in Colorado."
"You mean, they are in the states?"
" Yes, they were sent to our main office and I am expecting them either tomorrow or Monday."
"Seriously ?  Oh my exciting!"

That is it.  Jacob's paperwork is on its way.  Much faster than anyone expected.  In fact, the only explanation at all is that our Lord heard our cry and is working on our behalf.  Our means you.  Your prayers, your support and your love for our family have been heard by our amazing God.  He wants Jacob home - sooner more than later.

There are still hoops to go through, papers to sign and money to be raised.  However, God is working and with your continued prayers and support we just know that Jacob will be home soon.

May God continue to pour out His blessings and may all know of His goodness.

It might be cold outside, but our hearts are singing praises today!

Lorrie and Marshall