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Easter is coming and I'm not sure about you, but when I was little that was dress up time.   I'm a twin and my mom had fun dressing us up for any special occasion.  We even had hats, gloves and white patent leather shoes.  The dress in this picture was my favorite and as you can tell, it is a bit short, but I begged my mom to wear it on Easter Sunday. I'm not sure why I had my hands over my mouth, and the look on my older sister's face is classic.  I'm sure she was thrilled to be in a picture with the two of us.

forget the frock the real one

 

When I became a mom, I went a step further and made my girls dresses every Easter.  Oh, did I mention, I would make a matching one for me too?  Yeah, you won't see that one posted here.  But here is one of my girls.

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But things are different now.  The girls are all grown up, one with a family of her own.  Being on a church staff, I am on my feet all day long so these days I don tennis shoes instead of patent leathers shoes.  Then this year a special friend introduced me to a movement.

There are times in our lives where the call to do something is so strong you almost can't stand it.  And my friend, Emily was moved into action. She took James 1:27 to heart.

Religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence. (NCV)  James 1:27

My heart breaks when I hear of children who are orphaned or abandoned.  I have my own adoption story which you can read about here.  But I am moved to tears when I hear about hurting children.  

James 1:27  is true religion.  You may be asking yourself how can I help?  Not everyone feels called to adopt or run off to a third world country and bring home a child.

Well, there is a for you be involved.  It's called Forget the Frock.

Emily took James 1:27 to heart and made it really simple for us to get involved.  She's helping feed orphans.  And here is how can help.  Instead of purchasing a new Easter dress this year, purchase a t-shirt instead.  Send the money you would use for the fancy duds to Forget the Frock and they will send you a t-shirt to wear on Easter Sunday.  The proceeds from your purchase FTF uses to feed orphans.
FTF 2014 tshirt

It may seem like a small gesture but it's huge to a child who needs so much.  You can hear more of Emily's story at www.forgetthefrock.org.

Oh and I'll be wearing my T-shirt this Easter.  Will you join me?

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Sunrise Path

Turning the corner the pastor stopped the car.  At the end of this dirt road was the answer to my hopes and dreams.  It was what we had waited for all those years.  Prayed for, cried for.  At the end of this road.  He mumbled something about getting our composure.  Really?  Composure?  I'm ready to jump out of my skin!  Excited and fear filled my heart.  And the words "Is this really happening" kept running through my head like an overplayed song. 

Those were the first few moment before I met my daughter for the first time.  Excitement understandable, fear on the other hand?  Why fear? Becoming a parent?  To have an adoption process go bad (many had before)?  No my fear was following God's plan for my life, our life, her life.

Those fears washed away quickly as she was placed in my arms.  Such a beautiful baby.  How could we have been so blessed?  I remember whispering to her over and over "Hi, I'm or mom and this is your dad."  We were in love.

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That baby is now a mom of her own.  And yes, I am confident in saying, this was God's plan for her life and ours.  And she wasn't the only one, a few years later we adopted another girl.  We thought our family of four was complete.  But God has a great sense of humor and our family planning wasn't God's family planning.  3 more years and 2 pregnancies resulted in 2 boys.  Our family of 6 was complete.

We told our girls their adoption stories right from the beginning and often.  In fact, it was such a part of our family story that when our youngest son was about 4 he wanted to know who his birth mom was.  When I told him it was me, he protested.  "But I want a different birth mommy too!"  

Those growing up years were crazy busy and I loved every minute of it.  There were hard moments and there were moments I wish I could freeze in time.  Like when they would all play together during family vacations.  Brothers and sisters became best friends.

Our adoption stories didn't send us out of the country.  God's plan, as we would explained to our girls, was for them to be in our forever family.

I love hearing about people and their adoption stories.  I cry when I see videos of forever families meeting for the first time. 

And if you are so inclined and feel God tugging at your heart to do more, by all means listen!  There are children out there looking for forever families.  Who knows, you could be one of them.

photo credit: James Wheeler