Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Friday, February 8, 2013

Someone Is...

Having a Birthday!  It's not until Monday but we will be partying all weekend long.
The table is set.

The cake is baked!
(Josi LOVES Reese's Peanut Butter Cups so when I showed her a picture of this Peanut Butter Boston Creme Cake she wanted me to make it--I hope it tastes as good as it looks. yummo!)

The balloons are blown up and I even splurged for that extra inner coating stuff to make the balloons last all weekend on into her birthday on Monday the 11th! (It's probably a big, fat, gyp but I wanted to try it.)

And here she is!  The one whom we'll be celebrating this weekend!
15 years! WOW!
Looking forward to a weekend of good friends, family, and good times!
We love you Josi-girl!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Will He Or Won't He?

For those of you Groundhog's Day Enthusiasts, you know that tomorrow is the BIG DAY for that squatty-looking, furry figure to come out of his hollow and predict whether we will have 6 more weeks of winter (which I'm voting for), or an early end to winter (boo).

I actually have a friend whose favorite holiday is Groundhog's Day (yes, I know, I have weird friends...but in my sphere of influence, weird is actually a positive quality trait!).  His Mom used to make him a  groundhog cake to celebrate...not actually made out of groundhog...at least I don't think so! I've even come across a few Groundhog's Day Cards that I've sent to him over the years and I always try to call to let him know I'm thinking of him on this special day.  That's what friends do...at least the weird ones. :)

For those of you who aren't Groundhog's Day Enthusiasts, here are a few fun facts about tomorrow:

In an early morning ceremony, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will rise as he has for 125 years from his heated burrow at Gobbler’s Knob, Pa., and signal to his handlers whether or not he sees his shadow. No shadow means an early end to winter. And if the groundhog does see his shadow? Six more long weeks of the season. Over the years that the ceremony has taken place, Phil has seen his shadow 98 times and not seen it only 17. (Records don’t exist for every year.) In 2008, the crowd heartily booed the prospect of “six more weeks of winter”.

So the big question on everyone's minds tomorrow morning will be...."Will He or Won't He see his shadow?"

While this is all fun and good and I for one enjoy the lighter side of our human existence at times, it made me think of other situations where the same question is asked with greater consequences, "Will he or won't he?" (he will be used as the accepted generic he/she for the rest of this blog post)

"Will he pick me to be on his team during recess or will I be the last one picked again?"

"Will he pick me to be invited to his party everyone is talking about or will I be home alone again?"

"Will he ask what's bothering me or will I just be ignored as usual?"

"Will he pick me for the job or will I just get another rejection letter?"

Or the heavy-duty, gut-wrenching, unspoken question that anyone who's adopted from an orphanage has seen on the faces of the ones not yet chosen...

"Will he pick me this time or will I be passed over once again?"

No one who has entered into the stark rooms of an orphanage to pick up their child can EVER forget the looks on those faces, and the questions behind those haunting eyes....pleading, begging...and in some cases... dreadfully resigned to their hideous plight. 

Here are some facts compiled in 2012 regarding orphans:

It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.) The UNICEF orphan numbers DON’T include abandonment (millions of children) as well as sold and/or trafficked children. The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers…

According to data released in 2003 as many as eight million boys and girls around the world live in institutional care. Some studies have found that violence in residential institutions is six times higher than violence in foster care, and that children in group care are almost four times more likely to experience sexual abuse than children in family based care.

Every day 5,760 more children become orphans

Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen

Each day 38,493 orphans age out

Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home
Studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen
These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals

Another study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years…

No phone calls or cards to celebrate their homecoming.

No cakes being baked to let them know they are special.

So this begs yet another question: What can I do to help?

A lot of times the only thing standing between a family answering the, "Will He or Won't He?" question to adopt, is finances.  They are willing but not always able because of that one obstacle.  I think almost anyone reading this post could answer yes to being able to give something...anything...no matter how big or small....in order for a child to be given the answer they've been longing for as they languish in an orphanage day after day...YES HE WILL COME FOR ME!

We adopted through an organization called Reece's Rainbow.  If you click on that red link, you will find a tab for all the waiting children...hundreds of them...who could all use a donation in their account.  Your donation might just be the tipping point for a family whose been watching and praying over adopting that child to finally say YES, WE WILL!!

Yes, I'll be curious to find out if we have 6 more weeks of winter tomorrow morning, but I'll be over the moon excited to find out about that next child who has been committed to by a family who was willing AND able to do so!

Happy Groundhog's Day Todd, and hopefully Happy Gotcha Day to many, many children in this upcoming year!