KIARA This sweetie remains happy and content most of the time. She blends in so well into our family. We are so thankful for how well the bonding is going! We can’t wait for you all to meet her!
VISA Yippie Kiara has her passport and visa and is all approved to travel to the USA! We are all super excited!
MALL All of the younger kids were able to take pony and zebra rides at the mall! What an innovative idea!
KFC just came to Tirana recently! It is funny we have never eaten at KFC in the States but since it is familiar food we decided to try it. While it is not Chick Fil A it was a yummy dinner the other night!
BUS RIDES Lauren, Megan, Emily, Kiara and I all rode the bus to the mall for a girls afternoon of shopping. We had a lot of fun!
TURKEYS I saw a man herding his turkeys through the streets of Sauk. He was kind and let me take a photo of him with his turkeys. He had about 30 Thanksgiving dinners with him!
HALLOWEEN Because of Western influence some Albanians now celebrate Halloween, a day to celebrate death! How sad that our nation shared this tradition. May we share the love of Christ instead. Conner and I passed out gospel tracks at the mall and at the park today. Please pray for these seeds of truth to reap a harvest of righteousness!
SPECTACULAR VIEWS High hills equal beautiful views! Lauren and I took a prayer walk yesterday and we made it to the highest hill near us. We enjoyed God’s beautiful handiwork of the sculpted mountains! The view reminded me of Matthew 17:20 “He said to them, because of your little faith. For truly I say to you if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain move from here to there and it will move and nothing will be impossible.”
MIRACLES In over 22 years of adoption in Albania the adoption team here has never seen so many miracles for one family!
LAKE and LADIES We enjoyed a beautiful walk near a lake today with Bob and Cathy our Bethany hosts. We also enjoyed letting the kids play on a truly innovative playground! The USA should take notes…it was a very fun park! While at the park three park employees engaged in a conversation with Cathy and I had the opportunity to tell them why we adopt and to clearly share the gospel with them. Two curious medical students joined in the conversation and they have already become friends with Lauren on Facebook. Lauren hopes to have continued opportunity to share Jesus with them. We shared a track with all of them. Oh how we pray that our journey here with so many kiddos and our love for Jesus would reap a harvest of believers for the kingdom!
HIS LITTLE FEET The other day Wyatt asked me if he could take a photo of Kiara’s feet and text them to His Little Feet a beautiful choir of international orphans. We saw this concert perform this summer and Wyatt thought it would be really neat for them to know that our family adopted two more little feet!
SEA SHELLS We were blessed to visit the Adriatic Sea! While visiting we had time to dig in the sand and wade in the water. I even had a chance to take Kiara and Juliana on a short walk searching for seashells….she found the prettiest whitest shells ever! It was so nice to have some one on one time with just Juliana!
PRAYER REQUESTS Thank you for praying for us so far in this journey! Please pray for the following as the Lord brings us to mind.
Just two more nights and one more day and we will be on our way home!!! Yippie!!!
In the grip of His grace,
One week ago we arrived at the Bethany Christian Services compound in a town just outside of Tirana Albania, for the very last leg of our trip! It is a huge house with 20 beds, two levels and lots more room for the little kids to run around and play. Being here allows us to be closer to the places that my mom and Kiara need to go, like medical appointments. Also, being near Tirana allows us to be able to go on some field trips with two very nice missionary families. We all really needed a change of pace and moving here provided that. We only had 5-6 hours of notice to pack up in Elbassan. This also included washing and drying the linens of the apartment, washing the dishes, and cleaning. Also amid the chaos of all the packing and cleaning Conner was working on making a gospel tract in Albanian with the help of our Grandmother and a missionary friend here in Albania. We wanted to give them out to all the people we bought fruits, vegetables, and food from for weeks and all the people we walked past on our way to and from Kiara’s orphanage.
There wasn’t enough room in one van for all of us to go together, so Megan, Juliana and I went on the first trip with a lot of the luggage. The rest of the family stayed back to finish up with the apartment and take a walk to give out the gospel tracts. Please pray for the people who received the good news, that seeds would have been planted!
This morning a big frozen bottle fell on my mom’s toe and caused her a lot of pain. But she still went on her daily morning walk for exercise! It was a bit bruised and swollen when I looked at it. Please pray that it wouldn't cause her any more pain. She is doing fine now!
This afternoon we had a bit of trouble with the police. Conner was innocently flying his drone outside the house we are staying in. But little did he know, the palace of the president of Albania is practically in our back yard, and he was flying his drone by it! 13 police and security came and surrounded him. They came from every direction, even climbing over the fence. Thankfully one of the missionaries here and a man who works with Bethany came to explain and translate. Conner had to go for questioning and they took his drone too. My mom couldn’t go but the man who works with Bethany went with him. The police are keeping his drone for a couple of days. (Since the writing of this they have had the drone for 1 week and they are continuing to investigate, we had to give power of attorney to someone to handle this once we leave) Please pray that they are gracious and give it back within the next 40 hours! We are trusting that this happened for a reason, that God will get the glory, and that many will come to Christ through this!
We enjoyed two sightseeing trips (see our next blog post) with two very sweet adoptive missionary family here in Tirana. We are very excited to be coming home soon! Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support, it has made the time go by sweeter and quicker!
Why do we sit on our phones, drink coffee , buy toys, and receive presents only to complain that we need more to be happy. I think most of us are selfish, including me and my family. We have so much, too much! We don’t take the time to think of the poor and helpless. At least before this trip I know I didn’t! May God move all of our hearts to compassion.
Day after day and night after night babies cry longing for human interaction, asking for love and attention. Three newborn babies are locked away behind doors, crying! Nobody holds them. Their bottles are propped and they only get held when they are changed. The one to two year olds are left in a big empty room with only a few blocks and old stuffed animals. They have nobody to play with them or to stop fights or to love them. The 3 to 6 year olds go to school in the mornings and get to play on the slides and swings in the afternoon but what they really want is to be held, to sing and to play. Some speak a little English and we have taught them songs like this little light of mine, wheels on the bus and head ,shoulders, knees and toes. The hard thing is that some of the children have parents who visit them on the weekends and when their parents leave they cry.
A little blind girl rolls on the floor looking for the sunlight. She loves to be held and she smiles when we talk and sing to her. It makes me so heartbroken! Today Conner and I went to the orphanage to play with the kids. Oh what they all need are moms and dads. I believe that we as the church have failed. Many of us, our family included care more about ourselves and our families rather than caring about the poor, needy, and helpless.
God commands us in James 1:27 to visit the widow and orphans in their affliction. How many of us do that? I know until this trip I didn’t. Adoption is one way to do this. We listened to a sermon by Francis Chan and he said, “Unless God specifically tells you not to adopt a child you should adopt.” I think that that is a great idea. Please consider adopting a baby or child today. There are orphans waiting all over the world for a home like your home. I am glad that my parents chose to adopt Kiara and in the process they have instilled the idea of adoption in my heart.
Mother of 13 and writes this blog.