Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary Melissa! I love you very much and I am grateful to God that He chose you to be my wife. These have been 20 wonderful years and I look forward to many more to come!

The natural man would think that sharing your love with such a large family would reduce my portion, but just the opposite seems to occur. With the addition of each child it seems that your love for me grows. Even though Misha requires much of your attention at present, I can feel that your love for me continues to grow.

I love you, and may God continue to bless our marriage,
Your Husband

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Initial Spark

Over six months ago, our family decided to pursue becoming host parents for a disabled child from Russia. Here's the beginning of our journey with Misha.

During the first days of March 2008, my husband, Philip, was traveling home from work and listening to Christian Talk Radio. Alexandra Goode was the guest speaker and she was sharing about her ministry to the disabled orphans of Russia. Around the dinner table that night, Philip began sharing with our family what he had heard, and our children excitedly replied, "Dad, please call and find out if we could become a foster family!"

Philip and I have always dreamed of "one day" helping orphans. At first glance, we might not appear to be the sort of family who would be interested in taking on more children. Having had eight children, three of which are now grown, one would think that I should be longing for the day my nest would be empty and I could finally have a little "me time". I admit, the thought of kicking back and relaxing sounds very appealing, but what would I do after that? I've often thought of many things I could pursue. I love archeology and have several books I hope to be able to write some day. Yet, after giving everything much thought and prayer, I could think of nothing more suitable for me than investing my life into the lives of children. My life has grown so accustomed to serving my family that I can't imagine how lonely it would be to no longer hear the precious voices that echo on the walls around me. Children are our only hope for the future. Investing in the lives of the next generation is the only way we can help instill values in our posterity. Contrary to what our culture tries to portray, I have found the life of motherhood very rewarding.

Listening to Alexandra that day sparked a dream that had lain dormant while we changed diapers and wiped dirty noses of the children God had blessed us with. It occurred to us that our youngest was now ten, and that maybe the time had come to pursue that dream. Philip made the call.

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