Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My orange boy

Greetings ~
Last week I introduced you to Yuri if you didn't read that post here it is for your (Yuri) and I also told you I had so many stories and feelings but I promised I was gonna get them up here to share.  So today I want to share with you about the boy I lovingly refer to as my sweet orange boy.

On our 1st full day in Rwanda we headed outside of Kigali to a city called Bugasera.  We were going to love on a group of school children and also do some home visits with the pastor from the local church.  As the bus pulled up the kids and their parents awaited our descent off the stairs.  Little brown hands grabbed for big white hands all the while saying mazunga mazunga mazunga (white person) as we scattered across the grass with coloring sheets, crayons, stickers and sharpies for nail polish I saw a sweet little boy in orange.  Now you may know that for the past 4 months my left foot has been in a boot from a car accident.  That boot was going to make it a wee bit tricky to sit on the grass and color so I did the next best thing - I took Emily's camera and started shooting.

Mama of the sweet boy in orange made sure at least a dozen times that her son got in front of my lens.  And while I knew he was not a school age child I obliged and shot photo after photo after photo.  When I put the camera down all the sweet orange boy wanted was for me to hold him and again I obliged.  He loves to laugh and to kiss and he sure LOVES to be snuggled.

As our time was coming to a close and as we gathered with all the children and parents to sing and rejoice in all HIS glory - that is when a much bigger than me part of the story came to life.
You see my sweet orange boy is Deaf - yes the boy I had snuggled on and kissed, and giggled with - who also loved to lick the inside of your nose if you were not quick enough was in so many ways just like Teddy.  Now when his mama brought him to me and placed him before the camera she had no way of knowing I understood her journey.  You see I had no idea why God had called me to Rwanda this summer and yet within 24hrs on the ground I sat with and laughed with talked with a mama who in some ways shared a common story.  This mama and my sweet orange boy with stay in my heart for the rest of my life.  

May you take a moment today and pray for this warrior mama as she continues to advocate and give her son the best possible life.  May you also pray for my sweet orange boy that he continues to know he is loved and cherished.

Yes my sweet sweet boy you are LOVED

My sweet orange boy - may you always know you are HIS chosen son

Even Brooklyn got in on the love and nose licking

Precious precious mama you are a warrior

Friday, August 22, 2014

This post is part of the Adoption Journey Series. See previous posts, “Adoption: 3 Ways to Prepare for the Journey” & "Adoption: 5 Funding Ideas that Work!". 


You made it. After all the paperwork, emails, phone calls, times of waiting and waiting and waiting, your child is finally forever home. Now what??

Being home together as a family may be all that you envisioned and expected, but most likely, there may be some challenges and adjustments to work through. Whether that be with your child you just brought into your home or your bio kids. Change can be tough, especially when your new forever child has come from a hard place and may have many emotional walls and culture barriers to break down. The good news? You're not in this alone.

Here are a few resources and ideas for families post-adoption...

4 Ways to Thrive Once They're Home

  1. Find a Support Group. During the transition, you will need godly friends and family surrounding and encouraging you, telling you, "I get what you're going through...We are praying." If your church does not have an adoption support group, talk to other adoptive families and start your own. Also, check with your adoption agency to see if they can connect you with someone in your area.
  2. Attend an Empowered to Connect ConferenceYep, it's that good that we're mentioning it twice. If you can't make a conference before your adoption, find the time to attend after your child is in your home. The insight and wisdom you will receive will encourage you as you parent a child from a hard places.
  3. Read Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive FamilyPacked with practical advice and ideas for families with an adopted child, this parenting handbook is unique in that it provides real-life solutions to common challenges. Bible-based and comprehensive, this Focus on the Family resource addresses the special challenges of adopted children and their parents from birth through adulthood.
  4. Call iCareAboutOrphans.org's Post Adoption Phone line. This ministry of Focus on the Family offers this service FREE for adoptive families! The phone number is 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) and is staffed Mon – Fri from 8am – 10pm EST by counselors who have been trained by Dr. Karyn Purvis.

What are some other ways that helped your family THRIVE once your child(ren) were forever home? Please join the conversation by commenting below.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Don't Forget Me ~

Greetings ~
Yes yes yes I know I have a TON to catch you up on and I promise I really am gonna get you all caught up on life here at the Hammons House BUT not today!!  Sorry!!  Today is the 20th day I have been home from Ethiopia and Rwanda almost and entire 3 weeks back in the good ole USA and there are so many stories to tell and so many emotions I still cannot wrap my head around (but I am working on it!!) But today my heart is heavy for a boy I only met but for a brief time in Kigali and his last words to me are what woke me up at 3:30am this morning.  "Please don't forget to pray for me"
I want you to meet Yuri

Yuri is a street boy|child in Kigali, Rwanda and I wanted to give you the best possible definition of what a street kid is in a 3rd world country so I reached out to my dear friend Tiffany Darling with Mercy Branch and here is here explaination "A child who, because of various circumstances, has been forced to make the street his or her home and/or source of survival. Many times, but not always, these children also suffer from being abandoned or orphaned and are therefore living independently of any adult protection or provision." - I only spent a morning with these boys - boys with no parents | no family - boys who are left to tend to themselves - boys with no direction as to their purpose - in other words the often forgotten about group.  And yet these boys will grow to be the next generation and they need our love, our guidance, our patience, they need to know the love of the Father and they are precious in his eyes.  So today 21 days after I have landed back in my sweet little town I want Yuri to know I have NOT forgotten him. I have NOT stopped praying for him.  I have NOT stopped praying for the wonderful mama Daphne who works with these boys on a daily basis showing them love and another way of life.  And while I do not know if I will ever see Yuri face to face again I do know that I will NOT forget him.
My question to you is will you NOT forget him either?  Will you pray for him and the hundreds of thousands of street kids around the world?

“Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.” Proverbs 24:12