We got to see Aaron the other day and it was so great.
There was another program at his orphanage so we had just a short time to play before going to it.
We took advantage of the photo op in front of the tree. :)
I snapped a few pics on the way back from the orphanage of the countryside.
This was a beautiful view in real life..
Look at the back, do you see the line of trees?
Notice they are all about the same height.
As we were driving on the way back from Aaron's orphanage, I saw lots of trees.
It was amazing to me how they were all so close in stature.
They were like soldiers lined up in a row.
Row after row, after row.
They stood tall.
It reminded me of how we are to be in our Christian lives.
We are to stand tall, strong and together with one another.
There is a saying that says that you are who you hang around.
Well, these trees that were strong and tall, they weren't on their own.
They were next to other tall, strong trees.
There was a tree along the way that had been uprooted.
It was all alone in on the side of the pasture.
It was on it's side.
God reminded me that no matter how tall the tree is or how large and strong it may seem, it's the roots that matter.
If that tree's roots are not strong enough, deep enough and wide enough; it will fail.
That tree will not survive.
It will be uprooted and die.
Such is the same with our lives.
We must have our roots running deep.
We must KNOW who we are and where we belong.
We must trust our creator in his plans.
We must align ourselves with those of like minds and faith to help spur one another on to even greater faith and even greater things.
I know one thing for sure,
I do NOT want to be that uprooted tree!
I am going to make sure everyday that my roots are getting watered and plenty of SON shine!
I will do this by praying and reading my Bible everyday.
Not just to read it.
But to SOAK it up!
To take it in and take each life breathed scripture to heart and ask what can I do with this information to change my life to make a bigger, better impact on this world for Christ and my family?
And then, I will do it!
No more sitting by the wayside where strong winds may come and blow me over.
I want to be rooted in the Word and be surrounded by others who will help hold me up and keep me growing UP towards the woman of God that I am called to be!
I was in such awe of all the beautiful trees that surrounded me.
There were some tiny trees and some massive.
There were some that were beautiful and green, while others were barren and brown.
Still others were withering away.
That's what I want to be.
I want to be alive and growing and producing new growth all year round!
The most healthy evergreens were not only green, they had bright yellow-greenish growth on their ends that was making them reach farther, grow wider and taller.
There's a lot to learn from God's creation.
So glad he took the time to show me this beautiful thing!
As I said, we had only a short time to play before the program.
If I haven't mentioned it before, 99% of our visits take place in a tiny room that is about 6'x6'.
It has 4 little beds in it and a table in the middle which takes up any and all "free space" there might have been in the room.
Now, let that process for a minute.
6 feet by 6 feet room.
4 children in this room to sleep at night.
The other thing is the lock.
There is a lock on the door that has a key that can lock it from the inside or the outside.
I have tried not to think much about this, but these doors are always locked.
We have to get them unlocked each time we have a visit.
I can't imagine how horrible it must be to be a little person who is living in this tiny room with 3 other little people and being locked in there every night.
No bedtime prayers.
No bedtime stories or talks.
Going to bed with no love and no family and no hope and hearing that key turn and the lock engage as you are put away for the night.
It. breaks. my. heart.
I can't wait to bust these kids outta here!
My heart will forever be changed for all of the other kids left behind.
The ones who have no family that will even look at them because they are from overseas.
The ones who will never be tucked in at bed time.
The ones who wake up in the night with a bad dream and have no one to even cry out to for comfort.
The ones who wake up to pee in the middle of the night and cannot even leave their room to go so they urinate in the beds and roll over and go back to sleep.
Yes, this happens.
We've seen the pee pads.
We've been on the beds.
We've seen the locks.
We've spent time in the rooms.
I will never understand why.
I will never understand how people can justify that these children are useless.
I will never even begin to comprehend how these children are any less deserving of a family that loves them because they were born in a different country than America.
My. heart. breaks.
As we were taken to this room as we have been every other day, we were yelled at on the way.
We were instructed that it was not a room to play.
We were not to be loud laughing and playing.
No pillow fights.
No loud laughing and tickling.
No being loud playing with bubbles.
Be quiet and sit still.
That is what we were told to do on our visit or we would not be allowed in this room any more.
I'm sorry, allowed in this room?
This is a priviledge?
You stick 2 adults, one teen and 4 little kids in a 6 by 6 room and complain about anything that they do?
Don't be loud with bubbles?
Lord, help us.
We had a good time anyway.
We were not still and quiet by any stretch of the imagination.
But we didn't play bubbles or wrestle or pillow fight.
Since we only had a few minutes we mainly cuddled and colored.
I cannot wait till we can get him home!
We will SOOOO have pillow fights.
Our house will be FILLED with LOUD LAUGHTER!
That is the best sound in a home after all!!
We will blow lots of bubbles and we will wrestle and tickle and play!
We will eat yummy foods and we will tell funny stories.
We will cuddle, we will love, we will play.
We will read stories, play games and dance around as though no one is watching.
We will LIVE!
Here's what Ayden thought about those rules:
The big brothers were working on translating things.
Yeah, we've been here that long.
Austin and I know MOST of the cyrillic alphabet and can translate just about anything that is an English word originally.
Lou Lou being such a young lady!
She was having a snack :)
We made sure not to leave a single crumb behind.
We take snacks to every visit b/c he ALWAYS seems to be so HUNGRY.
He loves to see what Mommy brought today and chow down.
Here's all the boys:
Me and my little guys waiting for the performance to start.
ha ha- Crazy hair
When the performances are over, the people coming to do them (sometimes a church group or another orphanage) brings the kids a gift.
It is usually food of some sort.
It is usually food of some sort.
Today, however, it was tissues, a bag STUFFED FULL of candy and an apple.
They even gave our kiddos some b/c they had extras.
In case you were wondering...
YES, I let him dig in!
He ate his apple and then had a piece of candy too.
This time we pulled the candy from Adrian's bag so that he wouldn't get in trouble if he gave his bag back with it already open and missing some.
Just a little while longer buddy and we won't have to worry about this any more!
I love you!
I love you!
Can't wait to have you HOME!