Monday, April 30, 2012

A song borrowed from Hannah...

Yesterday we were re-united with Jacob.  Do you believe it!  God did yesterday -exactly what he said he would do.  He said he'd do it all - and he has. There is no way I can write how we feel about what he has accomplished.  I can't help but think about Samuels Mom this hot Filipino morning:

Naomi Returns to the Orphanage
Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.  "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. "Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.  "The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.  Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away.  "The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.  The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. "For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's; upon them he has set the world.  He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails;  those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed."

Exalting him this morning, humbled and still taking in the fact that - I'm the Dad of 5 (Five), Cinco, Fumpf, children....  

Exalt him this morning - or evening - because he accomplished this through his people - you.   

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Manila and the Unexpected

Manila.  I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to describe this city to you.  I'm sitting in the lobby of our hotel looking outside.  Jeepneys wizzing by playing chicken with each other, motorcycles always with two riders, ingenious, homemade tricycles - the like of which you have never seen.  It's an amazing place.

Robinsons Big Honkin Mall!
As we sat down for breakfast yesterday,  we were spotted through the window by some local vendors.  Now I know how a trout feels as a fly fisherman attempts to lure him out.  It was really funny, as we ate - they kept smiling, beckoning us to come out and sample the wares.

Yesterday we went to explore- with the vendors following us for 3-5 blocks - must have been trying to make a quota..   Now then for those of you who have been here  you know. But for those of you who have not picture this: a family of 6 walking around, through and almost over traffic (real sidewalks - no)  exploring.  Past the street vendors - purveyors of all kinds of stuff - knock off sunglasses, hats, guitars and many other things.

We wound up at the Mall....Huge.  Like the Mall of America looks like Delaware kind of big.  Now I'm a geographer and pretty good with direction - but we came real close to never getting out of that place.  So we come across these three guys - obviously Americans - so we go say hello.  We had a great conversation with them about what it's like for them to live here in Manila, how they got here and how to pronounce 'Taclobon'.  These guys, one a retired Marine, another retired out of Federal service and another a retired NFL player that played for the Broncos - no kidding.  What a neat bunch of fellas.

Americans once here - fall in love with the people here.  We met all kinds, expats, hipsters, some shady - most not - just trying to get by in a busy city.  What I remember most though is sitting outside the hotel last evening with the family as it was cooling down.... A little boy, no more than 5 walked up, alone and asked for something to eat. Naomi gave him her soy drink, he turned and slowly walked away.  The need is great.  The call is real.   - Look around you now.  You are blessed.

We fly to Taclobon today - the city where our son is.  We covet your prayers - for him and us.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Mabuhay!! From the Philippines!

We're here. We started at about 430 in the AM in Colorado and got here last night at 10PM.  LOOOOOONG Flight and uneventful - exactly the kind we'prefer!

So we're up it's about 9 AM here in Manila and - we're Hungry!   Thank you for your prayers and we'll post more later.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

From Impossible Call to the Airport.

Twenty four hours from now we will be on a plane.  The plane. Do you believe it? I'm chasing my tail this morning making sure nothing at work burns down while I'm gone.  Out of office replies, setting up meetings for when we return, verifying, checking flights, rides, and reservations.

Leaving with our precious Naomi
But you know what?  I'm choosing to stop a second right now and tell you what God has done.  This was an impossibility when we said yes to the "Go" call.  But yet here we are with a pile of bags, a son that wants to take a stack of 12 Narto comic books and has misplaced his I Pod.  We're here with a daughter about to be reunited with her "beeeest friend" (read the first post) and soon to be brother.  A whole family that said yes to an impossible "Go".

We want you to keep reading - we're going to be posting from Manila first, then from Leyte over the next 2 weeks.  Watch and see what the Lord is doing. Listen, if you don't know him. If you've doubted that He is who He says He is - watch over the next 2 weeks -keep reading.  If I know Jesus -you're about to see a parable of the good news acted out.  We want you to see it. And we want you to give him the credit for telling us to do the impossible and then giving us everything we need (through many of you) to 'Go'.

If you are reading this thinking about adopting an older child that everyone else has abandoned, passed over or rejected, if you are considering taking a step to love those the world calls 'un-lovable' and you think you can't - think again.  Because if you are even thinking about it...I have a bit of truth for you....The fact that you're thinking about it...and have 'been thinking' about it....well, listen to what the Lord says about that:

"...for it is God working in you to will and to act  (in you) according to his good purpose..."  Phil 2:13.

That means that the very thing we're thinking about doing is well.....something we should do.  And if you've been following us - you know that God has broken down walls, parted waters and enabled us... to 'Go'.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work in us (and you), to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Eph 3:20-21.

-Pray for a straight path for us and for safety.  Above all pray for Jacob's heart to be prepared for us and that the Lord would receive all the glory for what he's doing.


The Worthey's

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blessings Come at the Most Unexpected Times

Blessings often come when you least expect them.  That happened to us yesterday.  As you know, we found out that our children's passports expired within six months of when we will be in the Philippines.  According to Philippine law, you must have at least that amount of time left on your passport to be allowed to enter the country.  So, to take care of that little issue we had to come up with $500.00 on top of the very expensive airfare we paid to book our tickets for next week.  Needless to say, we were feeling a little overwhelmed.

God shows up when we are overwhelmed.  Yesterday, out of the blue, we were blessed with a check for $300.00 to "cover our passports".  Those were the actual words written on the memo line.  Money just for covering our passport fees. What a blessing that was.  God showed up at just the right time.  His ways are always perfect and His timing is always best.

Throughout this whole adoption God has taught us so many lessons.  One of the biggest lessons we have learned is to step out even when it seems impossible.  Marshall and I have grown so much in our faith throughout this whole adoption.  If you want to witness a miracle start doing something that will change your life forever and bring glory to our Heavenly Father.  Make that something that stretches you, and causes you to ultimate dependence on someone other than yourself. Step out on faith and do something hard.  God will get the ultimate glory from your faithfulness to Him.

Next week our family will get on an airplane for a 23 hour flight to the home country of our adopted children.  There will be many emotions going through each of us as we walk back through the same doors we did two years ago when we met our daughter.  As I reach down to hug my new son, I will remember the many blessings given to us throughout this journey.  Because so many of you have faithfully prayed for us and faithfully given our family financial gifts, our son will finally be "home."
We will walk this same sidewalk in a week to get our son 
 May God pour out His mighty blessings on you because of what you have done to help bring one more child to his forever family. I know many new blessings await....


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Passport Class 101

Adoption has opened our eyes to so many things.  Things we were really unaware of before we took the "plunge" into this exciting world.  This week we learned so much more...

Our adoption agency called this week asking if we had our travel plans laid out.  As you have read from previous posts, there were several things hindering our travel plans. One being the election, the other being the fact that when we got "the call" it was over Holy Week in the Philippines.  If you are not familiar with the Philippine culture let me just tell you that during Holy Week everything - I mean everything - gets put on hold and doubles in price .  An airline ticket that might cost you $1200.00 goes up to around $2000.00.  If you are lucky enough to find a hotel room at all you are going to pay high season rates.  So, you obviously don't want to travel to the Philippines over Holy Week. After the realization that we were not going to travel right away we began looking a little further out in time.  We finally found a flight that worked with our schedule and it was around the price we were hoping for.  So, we booked that flight and began the process of looking into places to stay.  Let me just say that trying to figure all of this out has been stretching both Marshall and me so much.  Trying to book hotel rooms, flights from Manila down to Jacob's homeland, and drivers has been very stressful.

However, there was more stress to come - in another form.  Back to that phone call from our adoption agency.  Our sweet wonderful adoption consultant just happens to ask.."are your passports up to date"?  I reply back saying "sure- the kids don't expire until October 29th".  There was silence. 
 "Lorrie, let me check on something".
 "OK"  more silence on the phone. Now come the dreaded words.
"You guys are going to need to get the kids new passports".
"WHAT?" "Seriously"?
"I just checked and the Philippines won't allow you to enter the country if you don't have six months left on your passport."

I seriously could have hurt someone right then and there.  Fortunately, I was in the car and there was nothing within reach for me to attack. So, I did the next best thing - laughed.  I have found through the years that if you are faced with something like this you can either laugh or cry.  I chose to let my laughter fill the car. Naomi thought I had seriously gone over to the other side.

We are heading to Denver on Monday praying that we can get expedited passports for our children. We have been going through documents today trying to find all the needed forms.  One would think you could just bring your old passport as proof of needing a new one.  Of course, our government makes everything much harder than necessary.  We have to have the original birth certificates, and documentation that we are heading to the Philippines.  So much to do...  And, of course, there are the fees associated with the passports.  The fee for a passport normally is around 100.00 per person.  Now, add the fees associated with getting it made in a few days and we are looking at around $200.00 per person per passport.  Can everyone just say "ouch" right now?

Yes, our eyes are opened to so many things we never thought possible.  Adoption isn't easy. Adoption isn't cheap.  But adoption is so very worth it.  What a joy to say that we have gone through all this "stuff" and have been given the greatest gift of all - a life.  A life that will be forever part of us.  A life that will bring us so much joy - in ways we can't even begin to imagine. So, all the passport stuff we have to contend with is just that - stuff.  And we are one day closer to giving our son the biggest hug in the world.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Step Out and Do Something Hard

Sometimes all you need to do is step out and attempt something that seems totally impossible.  That's what happened to me this week.  I was elected Mayor of our town. Yep, the people spoke and here I am.  The funny thing about it is I never thought, in my wildest dreams, I would be given the opportunity to do something like this.  But, the timing was right and I stepped out.  Now, the fun begins!

Adoption is like that as well.  You might think that "we could NEVER do something like adopt".  You might be thinking,  "I am so thankful God called them to do that, its such a wonderful thing". OR,  "Our finances are not where they should be and we are just so close to paying off our truck and our house." What amazes me the most are those people who really think they have NO money but yet are able to send their children to private schools and have their house almost paid off.  Seriously, NO money?  You might think that I am sounding a little to harsh or mean.  Well, maybe I am.  Let me just say...there will never be a "good" time to change a life.  There is never a perfect time to adopt.  If that is what you are waiting for, it will never come.  My suggestion to you is to do the hard thing.  I loved the saying we use to say in MOPS.  God doesn't call the equipped.  He equips the called.  So true with everything in life.  If you wait until you are financially set or when you have added on that extra room in your house - quite simply, you will miss out;especially when it comes to adoption.

Our Jacob waits for our arrival.  He knows that a family, whom he spent less than 12 hours with, is coming to get him and bring him home to his forever family.  I can only imagine what must be going through his mind as he goes to bed each night and wakes up each day with us not being there.  I  watch our children anxiously counting down the days until we are able to get on the plane and walk through the doors of the orphanage where they first met their sister.  The day is drawing near.  We are leaving on the 26th of April.  That is the day when the airline tickets went down from $1500.00  to $1100.00 a piece.
Easter egg decorating at the Worthey home

We have been given the "go" - paid for our plane tickets and for some reason the majority of those we know honestly think that we "are done".  Well, the truth is,  we are far from being done. We still have hotel rooms while in the Philippines, gifts for the workers and the children at the orphanage and meals for our family. We are far from not needing any assistance.When Marshall and I began this adoption we said, "Lord, use us to touch other lives."  We have said from the beginning that any "extra" that we are given would be used to help others who might be looking into adoption, but don't have the funds for the "first step".

 Here is where the stepping out comes in.  Maybe you are in a "hard" place. Maybe you can't afford to give hundreds of dollars to our family, but from a personal place, I know that all of us have an extra $10.00 to give. So, that is what we are asking - praying for.  Would you please join us in bringing Jacob home and possibly touching another child's life?  It is Easter weekend.  The time when we celebrate our risen Savior. A time when we reflect on all that our Lord has done for us.  A time to make a difference in the life of a child.  From the beginning of this adoption we knew that God had called us to step out - to do something hard. He also called us to ask for help from His people-you. So, we continue asking.."would you be able to donate $10.00 to bring Jacob home? It might be hard for you, but as I have learned this week, stepping out and doing something you never thought you could will change your life.

We wish all of you a wonderful weekend with your family rejoicing in the knowledge that our Lord is risen - He is alive!