Oct 26, 2010
Yesterday, the day before Daniel's funeral was incredibly sad. Watching kids grieve kids, seeing family I love hurting breaks my heart. Daniel had an outgoing, energetic personality that drew people to him. Seeing the crowd of teens at his visitation was wonderful, yet it also reminded me how many people are hurting today.
Thank you for praying for Daniel's friends and family.
As we grieve the loss of Daniel, God has reminded me of many of the children whom I met in Ethiopia. Kids who were the only surviving member of their family. In Texas, we are surrounded by family and friends. They are doing this alone. I can't even imagine.
Our daughter Hannah has been home with us almost three years. For three years we have listened to stories about her life in Ethiopia. We have laughed and cried with her. The story is hers to share if she chooses but no one is brought to live at an orphanage without a story that will bring tears to your eyes. She arrived there alone and scared. Hannah has an innate confidence. She is a born leader, who loves to help and teach others. Almost nothing makes her feel unsure and fearful. Being a seven year old girl, brought to live with a group of strangers did.
Do you know what her some of her favorite memories are? They are the people who left their comfortable lives in America and reached out to her and the other children in her orphanage. They held her while she was grieving, played with her and laughed with her.
A wonderful friend of mine is giving away a mission trip to Ethiopia. Would you take just a minute to read about what she is doing? http://mycrazyadoption.org/biggest-craziest-giveaway-ever
Oct 25, 2010
I waited to post this until I was sure it was okay with my Aunt.
My 17 year old cousin, Daniel was killed in a car accident this weekend. His mom (my Aunt Carol) was pregnant with Daniel when I was pregnant with Garrett. They were friends their whole lives. Daniel was one of Garrett's best friends, if not his very best.
My Aunt is anguished. His whole family is hurting and in shock. Please pray for my Aunt Carol and all of Daniel's friends and family.
Today I'm traveling to Texas for the funeral, which takes place tomorrow. Please pray for the safety of those who will be traveling and for strength and peace for those who will be saying goodbye.
Brent is at home with Abby, Landis and Hannah. He is a world class multi-tasker. The kids will do great but I know he will be tired.
Thank you for praying.
Oct 16, 2010
You know Jessica now, right? If not, read the last couple of posts.
We live in a superficial, physical-beauty-driven world. Children with facial abnormalities are particularly prone to the relentless cruelty of the most cruelest of all groups: school kids. There is no doubt that Jessica has endured or will endure taunts, whispers, looks and insult... this won't end with school... adults are pretty petty and cruel too.
Should Jessica be rescued or sheltered from it? No. She should not be subjected to it unnecessarily but enduring this will make her sensitive to others and emotionally mature. We used to think that overcoming adversity built character... but that was before psychobabble took over our culture.
Jessica will be just fine. She's got great parents and God's watchful care. My only motive for rallying people to her photo was simple: compassion. She'll get plenty of difficulty to deal with... compassion compels us balance the account to some degree.
Hey, want to have some real fun and show some extravagant love for Jessica? Let's do a Jessica is Beautiful Blog Hop and see if we can create a whole nest of blogs to bless her with kindness and love.... do this to participate:
- Create blog post ON YOUR BLOG with note or blessing or message or photo just for Jessica.
- Come back here, and add your link and short message to the Linky Tools list below.
- Get the BLOG HOP CODE at the bottom of the Linky list and put that code IN YOUR BLOG POST. This will make the list appear on your blog, so that your readers can join in. Be sure to tell your readers what is going on, and why they should join in.
- Go say "LIKE IT" again! Why not?!? click here.
JESSICA IS BEAUTIFUL BLOG HOP
(you don't have to have a Linky Tools account to do this)
Oct 15, 2010
If you haven't read the last post, go do that first, then come back here.
The little princess you voted "I Like" for? You made her day. We started with 34 votes and today there is 567! You guys ROCK!!!
Maybe her year. I didn't feel comfortable sharing why this meant so much to her but her Mom wrote me and wants to share the story with you, so you can be part of the blessing. Here is her note:
As Jessica’s mother I wanted to take a moment to thank Brent, Michelle and their blog friends with all my heart.Isn't she beautiful? Makes you want to go give her another "I Like!" Why don't you? Click here...
My daughter Jessica has been the victim of teasing at school because of her facial difference. When we go out in public she is keenly aware of other children staring at her face.
Jessica is adopted from China and this summer had her first trip to Disneyland. Yesterday she asked if we could send a picture into the Disney memories website – we did and it was published this morning. Jess was thrilled beyond words that not only was her picture on the website but also that TWO whole people liked it – she thought that was the most amazing thing ever.
Last night she looked and 30 people liked it…”Mommy, THIRTY… thirty people like my picture” she was in happy tears. She asked yesterday if she could go to Disneyland on Christmas day…explaining that it could be her birthday AND her Christmas present…well that’s not possible… BUT seeing that so many people like her picture has brought her such joy.
This is not a contest, she doesn’t win a prize or a trip to Disneyland. She is just a little girl very conscious of her lip deformation (from a cleft) and the fact that people like her picture makes her heart sing. They only see the Princess not the broken lip.
Oct 14, 2010
Hey, do me a big favor. Would you take a few seconds, visit the link below, and click the "LIKE IT" button to the right of the photo.
This precious little orphan sweetheart will be thrilled beyond your wildest imagination for reasons her mom shared with me that I don't want to share publicly.
Just trust me on this one and take joy in the blessing you'll bestow on this tender little heart.
Here's the link:
Let's run the "LIKE THIS" counter up a couple of thousand and bring some incredible happiness to this little doll.
Oct 13, 2010
Holy cow!!! I've done tornadoes and hurricanes my whole life (Oklahoma and Florida). But an earthquake?
We just had an EARTHQUAKE in Washington, OK!!! Not bad. No damage but everyone is "buzzing" right now... our next door neighbor has lived here 60 years and never felt one.
Wow... I can see why people are so scared of them. You are totally helpless as the ground moves below you...
Oct 11, 2010
Many of you have been faithfully praying for Abby as she tried to catch up in school. Abby started the summer testing 2 years behind academically. Obviously not good but with all of the time and energy spent fighting cancer it is understandable.
Your suggestions on resources worked beautifully. They made "playing" school at home loads of fun. Abby didn't let the medical problems/distractions that filled her summer slow her down one bit. She was having too much fun and was very proud of the progress she was making.
A few weeks ago the school retested her and she was caught up with her peers academically. We were thrilled with the results. Thank you so much for all of your help and prayers.
Abby is still testing behind in speech and with her (not so) fine motor skills. She loves her speech therapist and occupational therapist. With their help at school and ours at home, she is making progress there too.
In the Riggs clan, ability to communicate is based solely on ones ability to make others laugh. Since she came up with these gems over the weekend, I think she is well on her way:
We were in the kitchen getting supper ready and Brent was horsing around as usual. Abby chimed in with perfect timing: DADDY, YOU'RE INSUFFERABLE.
Yes, she said that. No, we don't know if that's what she actually said or meant to say. She probably said something more akin to her 5 years of age but it sounded perfectly like "Dad, you're insufferable." So we're sticking with that!
Repeat After Me
We were coming home from church and Abby said, "Dad, let's go to a restaurant."
No response so she repeated, "Dad... let's go to a restaurant."
After a 2nd lack of response from Brent, Abby got his attention: "Dad! Repeat after me... LET'S-GO-TO-A-RESTAURANT..."
She got a good laugh, but no restaurant.
A reader commented (politely) that while it's obvious we are good parents, it seems like we (ie. Brent) are always criticizing everyone and not admitting our own mistakes or weaknesses.
If you've read our blog(s) for very long you'll find that we are pretty open about our own shortcomings and freely admit mistakes, both as parents and as bloggers. I don't think anyone who has been around any of my blogs long would argue with my willingness to admit weakness or mistakes. We have NO problem admitting failures... we make plenty. We're just normal folks. I don't claim some magical status as never wrong, or a know-it-all. On the other hand, it's not my calling as a writer, teacher or leader to hide or be timid about sharing advice or wisdom. That would be a waste of my life and gifts.
Our relativistic society evokes immediate suspicion (and criticism) of anyone giving the impression that they are confident they are "right" about something. Having said that, what the reader defined as "criticism" I would propose is simply plainly stated public opinion. I have Biblical and old-fashioned ideas about parenting, marriage and life. Those views are often controversial nowadays (though they worked quite well for a couple hundred years). I'm not shy about them in a world that lacks courageous leadership. I don't equivocate, I don't apologize for my views and I'm not intimidated by politically-correct peer pressure. I CAN see why someone would call my writing style "criticism" given our cultural inability to simply call it what it is: OPINION. Or disagreement.
If it's politically correct, it's a "viewpoint". If it's Biblical or conservative it's "criticism" or "judgment" of the opposing view. My observations and advice are not "criticism" (in the negative intolerant sense that word is tossed around today). My opinions are... my opinions. They are just stated with confidence and without apology for the benefit of whoever feels they are helped by them. Otherwise, they are worth approximately... squat.
FYI... I'm not being sarcastic about the reader being polite. They really were. I took the comments at face value: polite and sincere.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
We haven't taken a lot of photos lately. Hopefully we'll find more time.
Here's Abby going to Cowboy Day at school.
Oct 1, 2010
Was working on some stuff and found a couple of good Friday reading posts for you. They might make you laugh, might make you think and will probably make some people mad at me (as if that's a rare occurrence).
Read this one about sissy baseball, pimp mobiles, self esteem and raising whiners.
Read this one about excuse-making-parents, signs of the times and girly men.
Just didn't want to let the week slip by without stirring the pot a little!