Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Terrible Blooger

I’ve been a terrible, terrible blogger lately. And I just typed “blooger” by accident. I s’pose I’m a terrible blooger too though. You know, sinuses and such.

There’s not too much going on right now with the adoption. It’s the waiting game. Which I hate. It takes patience and I’m hungry. Wow. That just happened. I was thinking “impatient”, but my fingers typed “hungry”. But I mean, I AM hungry, y’all so I’m going to let that one ride.

We are meeting Lisa, our social worker, Friday for our finalized homestudy. Next week I am mailing our I-600A application to the USCIS for “Advance Processing of Orphan Petition”. That’s basically assurance that the US gubment will grant citizenship to any child we adopt. And it’s $890.00. Nice, huh?

In the meantime, MP and I have been looking at airline costs and trying to determine the best time for us to go back to UG. Right now, it’s a cointoss between January and March. At that time, we’ll be supporting our Sixty Feet family there, as well as, visiting remand homes and orphanages AND our attorney. Hopefully since we’ll be “paper-ready” (more or less), we can expedite the process. I told you, I’m not very patient. And still very hungry. It’s not that we want to “rush” the process exactly: we don’t. But we ARE adopting a waiting child. We aren’t waiting for an infant to be born. Our child is THERE. RIGHT. NOW. living in conditions that are less than desirable. My wanting to “rush” things is more of a “sense of urgency” to get him/her into our family home. It’s the Mama Bear in me.

So there’s that. That’s our current update. I’m sorry there’s not much more to report, but I hope to book our tickets next week so maybe that’ll put a little pep in our step. And just then, I accidentally typed “poop in our step”. No one wants to step in poop. That would be gross.

1-     It’s not too late to donate to Sixty Feet for the purchase of land!
2-     It’s not too late to order a cross from me and MP!! Order by 12/9/11 for Christmas!
3-     It’s not too late to sign up for a “Cuttin’ Corners” coupon class: Monday, 12/5/11 6:30 @ Corner Bakery. $10 CASH and ALL proceeds will benefit our Adoption! Taught by the fabulous, Emily Tate! Email me for details:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Kubler-Ross Model

I’ve not written much about my experience in Uganda, mainly because I don’t like the emotions it stirs within me. My trip evokes denial, anger, bargaining and depression. Basically it’s the Kubler-Ross Model, known as the Five Stages of Grief, yet I never make it to Acceptance. That’s because I refuse to. It’s like my eyes have been opened to a world that shouldn’t be. I will not accept this. I have seen firsthand the starving children that Sally Struthers talked about. I’ve met them. I’ve kissed them. I’ve held them. They have been beaten, abandoned, degraded and often by the very ones who we'd expect to love them the most. They are not just a face on a "Feed Africa" campaign. They have names like, Claire and Peter and Samuel and Abraham and Aklim and Vivian and William and Fred and some more Freds, and Aron and Tracy and Ronald and Robert and Jovia. They are in need of the very things you and I take for granted: familes, love, clothing, food, clean water, soap. These kids have stories to be told, but no one to listen to them. They carry burdens that they shouldn't even know about. They need to be allowed to just be children. They need mamas and daddies or someone to look after them. They need someone to cook their meals, mend their clothes, kiss a boo-boo, comfort a nightmare. They don't belong in the prisons I visited them in, they need to be in a loving home or a loving foster home.

So what if you could help them get that? Would you do it? If you knew that $5 USD would feed YOUR children for a week, would you sacrifice your Starbucks this morning for them? If you knew that $30 USD would send YOUR child to school for an entire month, would you decrease your cable package to cover it? How about doing it for a child that doesn’t have parents willing to sacrifice for them? I would.

Matthew 25:40 says, “The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.””

You guys, when I die, I don’t want to be known as the girl who talked about all the good things I could do. I want to be known as the girl that did great things. God has blessed us beyond measure and so often we fail to see it. More often, we fail to use our blessings where it matters most and here's a hint: expensive shoes and designer purses aren't it. He has commanded all of us to look after orphans and widows in James 1:27. Let’s all put some action in those words and help them. And no, that doesn't mean we ALL have to adopt one...

Sixty Feet has been given an opportunity to acquire land on Lake Victoria and to build a home for these very children. See below the exact words from my internet friend, Shelly’s, site or visit her directly at

“Dare to Dream

What if the youngest, most vulnerable, most desperate children at M1 and the other facilities didn’t have to be there? What if they could live in a place filled with hope, where they could grow to know and love God, where they would be deeply cared for, where they could receive an education and have a future? What if…

Since SixtyFeet first began, we’ve dreamed of purchasing land and building a home so we can remove the most vulnerable children who live in the M facilities. We can all agree, these children shouldn’t be in these conditions.

Late last year, we had a matching donation to raise funds so we could acquire land. The land was to be used as the site for a home where the youngest and most vulnerable children at M1 could live in a loving, nurturing family-like environment. Some of you may be wondering what happened to that.

Well, we were blown away by your generosity, as usual, and you sailed past the $10,000 match raising a total of $30,000. That money, unfortunately is still sitting in the bank – set aside and earmarked for the home we so very much want to build.

Various obstacles prevented us from moving forward with our original plans (we’re learning that sometimes we just need to be still and wait on the Lord). So that’s what we’ve been doing. But we never gave up hope. Ever since then, we have been praying that we would be able to raise the remaining funds to start this home.

Recently, several incredible donors have stepped forward to offer a whopping $60,000 as a matching gift in order to make this dream a reality. Yes, that was not a typo and you read it correctly. Every dollar we are able to raise between today and December 31, 2011 – up to $60,000 – will be matched, dollar for dollar.

So what does this mean for SixtyFeet and the children? With the $30,000 that was raised last year, we are hoping and praying that by January we will have $150,000 in order to purchase land, build a home and have a place where we can nurture these precious children. But we’re not just thinking land and a home. We’re thinking bigger… way bigger – as in community. We want to build something sustainable.

Given the size of this gift, we also pray we can use a portion of the funds to expedite our plans to remove and house many of the older children at the M facilities. We hope to establish multiple homes for boys and girls 10 and older where they can live with up to 20 other children and be mentored by young adults, who themselves have been in similar situations but who now have a heart to give back and serve.

So as we enter this holiday season, please dare to dream with us. Dare to dream of the eternal impact this will have in the Kingdom and in the lives of the children of M. Dream of the children who may arise from these homes. The leaders, the doctors, the pastors, the educators. All of whom may ultimately come from M and go on to serve and do amazing things in the name of Christ. Just imagine it.”

To donate to this amazing cause, to have your donation matched dollar for dollar, and to make a big difference this Christmas, click

Please, please, please visit It's my birthday today and I double dog dare you.....with a cherry on top.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Home Grown and Flown Home: Creating Our Family Through Adoption

Home Grown and Flown Home: Creating Our Family Through Adoption
**Recap of 5/4/11 post"

“In you, the orphan finds mercy” Hosea 14:3
“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.” Matthew 18:5

Well. There are so many other people in the world that can do that. You know, people with no kids already. There are plenty of people with more money, bigger homes, etc? I mean, I want to help, but I’m sure it would be a lot easier for other people.

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17

Oh, I WILL! I will tell others about these afflicted children. Surely, I can raise awareness. I’ll talk about them and pray for them. I might even buy a cute tee shirt that says something catchy, like “I HEART Orphans!” You know, with “heart” SPELLED OUT! Ha! Cute.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

Well, I suppose I could send a little money each month. I would go on a Mission trip, but I only have so much vacation time this year, so you know, there’s that. But maybe next year, when we haven’t already planned a vacation, then we’ll talk about going. Ooh, maybe Mexico? NO, THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC! Yes! THAT’S where we’ll “mission”.

“A Father to the fatherless, defender of widows is God in His Holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families.”
Psalm 68:5-6

“Set the lonely IN FAMILIES”? Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Slow your roll, Haus Cartwright. You mean BRING ONE HERE?! You want us to take in a “lonely?" Sure I saw the documentary about the Ugandan Children’s Prisons, but see -I already have two kids. And my husband and I both work full time. Mornings are crazy enough with the two kids we have. And kids ain’t cheap, yo. And, AND! Do you know how much church we would miss with THREE KIDS?! Yeah, I just don’t think we’re cut out for adoption. It’s just not “for us”.

“He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.” Ephesians 1:5

Oh. Well….I never really thought about “Christians” as being adopted thru Jesus. But what would our friends and family say? What about strangers at WalMart? Think about this- a Ugandan child living in an all white family in MISSISSIPPI? What would people think?!

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27

Honestly, I am scared. The process is time consuming and confusing. There is a huge language barrier. We would have to fly to Africa. That’s like, 8,000 miles away from my home, my kids, and my Keurig coffee maker. You are asking us to bring back a child that A- has never been to America and B-speaks no English. That’s a lot of change. And I don’t really like “change”, per se. Right now, we’re a typical “All American” four unit family. And it’s easy. Having another child is more expense, more time consuming, more kids fighting at one time. We already don’t get to sleep in our own beds most nights.

“For you did not receive a spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry, “Abba, Father””. Romans 8:15

Yeah, but….

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

I’m afraid I may not love this child like my own. How can I? Sure they came from someone’s womb, but it wasn’t mine. Of course, Your Word doesn’t specify they would come from “my” womb either. But, I didn’t feel them kick and move. I didn’t get the “pregnancy glow” or the stretch marks now that I think about it...hmm? Regardless, I didn’t birth them. They won’t even look like me?! How will I know that this child is even mine?

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.” Isaiah 43:5

Yeah...well....I get that all believers are called to aide the orphans and widows, but not everyone is actually called to adopt. Some people just can’t for very valid reasons, such as health conditions, finances, etc. If not everyone is called to adopt, then why do I feel like we should?

“For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”
2 Corinthians 8:12

Yeah, but wha…..

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

What if I just don’t? What if I like having all this extra money and extra time? What if I prefer to keep the extra rooms in my large house as extras? What if I don’t want to share my family or our wealth or our resources? What if I consider vacations and deer camp as necessity rather than luxury? What if I’m not ready to give up more of ME for someone else?

“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food and prosperous ease, but did not aide the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.”
Ezekiel 16:49-50

Blink. Blink.
Gulp. Blink.
That pretty much settles it then.