A great opportunity (served with a side of panic!)

April 27, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Posted in adoption resources, family, Prayer | 1 Comment

The Harding family is going to experience a first this Thursday morning.

Through a friend’s recommendation, we’re being interviewed by Charlene Israel of CBN (the Christian Broadcasting Network) as part of their coverage of this week’s Christian Alliance for Orphan’s Summit VI in the Minneapolis area.

Yes, I’m excited and a little freaked out.   Actually, kind-of a lot freaked out.

The film crew arrives early Thursday morning and will catch us in action as we get ready for our day.    Microphones will be attached and cameras will be rolling as we scurry and eat and get along with each other beautifully just like we always do.   (ahem)

They said, “Just be yourselves.”   So…. for the last few days we’ve been plotting how we’ll  ‘just be ourselves’.   It’s not as easy as you might think.

Anyway – we’ll keep you posted.   I have no idea what to expect but we are really pumped about having an opportunity to tell a little bit of our family’s story and, more importantly, to talk about one of our favorite topics ~ adoption!

Pray for us…. would ya?


broken hearts

February 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Posted in adoption issues, Prayer, secure relationships | 1 Comment

When the cupboard is empty, I go to the grocery store and within minutes, I’ve fixed that problem.

When a kid needs their school uniform ready, I get it spinning in the machines and …. Voilà!…. it appears folded for them shortly.   Problem fixed.

When the teenager is running errands and realizes her bank account is empty, a few clicks online put her back in shape.   Problem fixed.

From rides to project-poster-boards, from bake sale brownies to late night counseling sessions, I’m the go-to person around here.   And, frankly…. I deliver just about all the time.

But I’m finding that there are some problems that I just can’t fix.   Specifically:  Broken, fearful little hearts.

Children who have experienced early childhood risk factors (such as neglect or living in an orphanage setting, etc)  sometimes come with lingering issues that are very present and real.   So real, in fact, that these kids are classified as ‘special needs kids’ by developmental experts.   They’ve been harmed by their early circumstances and they’ve suffered losses.   Even if a child was pre-verbal at the time of the harm, the impact of these risk factors is profound on his brain chemistry.

Tender hearts learn the unspoken rules about what it means to live on this planet very early on.

We see this often as tears and frustrations continue to be part of the daily rhythm of our son’s life.   Without being able to articulate why,  disappointment lands on him like an avalanche of pain and distress.   He wails and seemingly overreacts to almost every situation.   There’s a ‘sense’ of uncertainty in his experience, even though he IS secure now.     There’s a ‘sense’ of danger, even though he IS very safe and very loved.   There’s a ‘sense’ of helplessness that informs his perspectives and shapes his responses to the regular stimulus of daily life.   He gets these inaccurate, but powerful perspectives from a deeper place that imprinted on him long before we ever met.   It’s a message that repeatedly tells him, “Life is not safe.   Life = despair.   It’s hopeless.”

How great it would be if I could just go to a psychological ATM and withdraw the amount of security and confidence that he needs.  Or if I had the right pills or better yet, a time machine to go back and eliminate the issues to begin with!    How I wish I could fix what ails him.

What I can do, is coach and reassure and walk with him through it, praying that the ‘sense’ he has will eventually shift to one of peace.  I need to be reminded often that God:

“heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”  Ps 147:3

I can’t fix my little guy’s problems.   (and I’ve been trying for a while now..)   But my maternal heart rests more knowing that even as I type this, God is on the case.   He’s healing and He’s binding up the broken, cracked emotional and psychological places deep below the surface.    There’s hope in that.

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 10, 2009 at 10:44 am | Posted in adoption issues, Prayer | 5 Comments

This is the first year that I will celebrate being the mother to seven wonderful kids!   I’m still shocked at that reality.   I never thought I’d be ‘one of those people’ with a giant family!   We’ve also computed that by the time Zachary goes to college, I will have been mothering children at home for 41 years.   Yikes!    I guess that would make ‘mothering’ my life-time career choice and I am blessed beyond words.

Did you know ~ Mother’s Day is not just an American holiday but is celebrated in many other countries across the globe, including Uganda.      Today, I am very aware that there are two women out there who birthed two little boys back in 2006 and 2007.   There is no way for them to know what happened to the sons they last saw so long ago.   Since maternal death is a primary reason for children becoming orphans in the first place it is very likely that they are no longer living.    But, even though we will never know their stories –  today I am deeply grateful for the two African women who birthed my two youngest children.    And I’m grateful to God for the miraculous ways that He forms families.     He can break down all barriers and cross the globe to bring together people who otherwise would NEVER have been connected.   And to His great glory, He sets the lonely in families.  (Ps. 68.6)

Would you pray for the millions of children in Uganda today who do not have their mothers with them?     Pray that God provide guardians for these precious children, either within their own birth families, within their communities, through a local orphanage or through adoption.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

ta da!

January 1, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Posted in family, Prayer | 2 Comments

Here we are….. the Harding family!

If we ever get your Christmas card done, you’ll actually receive a copy of this in the mail.   But for now – enjoy it here.


Also – please pray for baby Zach that the parasite in his gut will be diagnosed quickly and then die quickly!   (yuck)

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