Thursday, May 27, 2010

Family in Great Need of Prayer - Will you pray for Eden?

At the beginning of our adoption journey I came across the story of a family that was so unique and impressive to me. As many of you know my sister is getting ready to have baby number eleven in a couple of weeks, which in today's society is a unique family size, but we love her little ones everyone and they are such a great mom and dad. Well, the family that caught my attention started with three children, adopted a sibling group of three, and were on their way back to Ethiopia to adopt another sibling group of three.

I was amazed by this families faith in God as he covered all of the fees they needed to adopt all six children and their persistent faith in proclaiming, "Our life is not our own!" How true this is, as Christians we know that our life is to be lived to the glory of God and to reach others for His kingdom. The last post I had read on the family, they had just arrived home with their second set of three and were now a family of eleven.

In getting wrapped up in our adoption and the many Korean adoptee blogs that I follow, I had not visited their site for many months, but last night on facebook, I saw through the Just Love Coffee site a fundraiser for this family, titled, "Finding Eden". I immediately recognized the last name and it struck terror in my heart to think that something had happened with one of their children and that they were needing to raise funds for their medical care. For some reason, I immediately thought cancer, but after bouncing from site to site (and learning baby #10 is on the way soon for them) I landed to their note on facebook as to what has transpired in their lives over the past 10 months.

Thankfully, I can say that none of their kids have cancer, however, I have been deeply sorrowed and saddened in the past 24 hours with their desperate plea for the people of God to uplift their daughter in prayer. I think partly a situation in our lives with one of my family members impacted the compassion I have for this family, but also as a future adoptive parent my heart just breaks for them.

Finding Eden - This is a link to their story (it will link you to her Notes in Facebook titled Finding Eden), I will warn you it will break your heart, but their faith and hope is inspiring.

If you can or would like to help this family in their time of need, there is a link on my site to be able to give to help their daughter Eden with the care she needs. As they say to have redemptive grace abound in her life and that she may return to them healthy and healed.

If you would like to read about their adoption journies, you can visit their blog at: Blessings from Ethiopia

Thank you for taking the time to pray for this family as they seek God's direction for their family. I pray you will be blessed and if are led perhaps can be a blessing for this family!

(If you have trouble with either of the above links, email me at and I will send it to you via email.)

Have a wonderful weekend.

The Ragsdales

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Five Months

Today we hit the five month mark in waiting for our referral. The time has passed so quickly, school is out for our son, June is upon us soon, and still we wait.

Waiting for this adoption has helped us to grow. Although we did not specifically pray and ask God to teach us to be patient. I think anyone going into adoption will be blessed with a journey to learn patience.

Not just waiting, but to learn grace in times of waiting.

Not just waiting, but to be fruitful in time of waiting.

Not just waiting, but living your life to the fullest in times of waiting.

Not just waiting, but to bless others, to be a blessing in times of waiting.

Not just waiting, but prayerfully listening in times of waiting.

Psalm 27:14 (NKJV) "Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, And he shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say on the LORD!"

Psalm 39:7 (NKJV) "And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You."

Psalm 40:1 (NKJV) " I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry."

Psalm 130:5 (N KJV) "I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope."

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) "But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."

Romans 8:25 (NKJV) "But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perserverance."

Do you have something you are waiting for? How are you spending your time in waiting?

Have a blessed week!

The Ragsdale Family

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dream a little dream...

Last Saturday we were at my in-laws we looked at pictures of the family with hubby's grandma. There is a really cute picture of hubby, his brother, and his sister...hubby is sporting this cute little bowl cut, that was so the style in the early 80s. :) She keeps this picture in the dining room, so we see it every time we are there.

I share this as I think it was the inspiration to a very interesting or you might say bizarre dream I had that night....

Sunday morning I woke up startled and a little shook up! My hubby asked me what was the I shared the dream I had with him...I think by the time I as done, he would have rather not known!

I was in Korea with our oldest son and a group of parents also picking up their babies. They gave me a child that snuggled against me so sweetly. As we walked out another mother asked me why I was so upset when I had my baby, I should be happy. I turned and told her, "I was here to get my Annalee, but they gave me Johnathan. I'm not upset I just don't understand."

At that point the Korean Agency worker told me, "You have to take Johnathan first, then you can come back and get Annalee, she's not ready yet." All the while this sweet tall, lanky four year old boy, with a shiny black bowl cut hair and round big brown eyes (not the typical Korean eyes), hugged me and looked up at me as I held him. The other adoptive mother, said "...and see he loves you so much already. He hasn't even cried a bit."

At this point my hubby woke me to get ready for church. So, the thing that initially had me startled when I woke up was, who is Johnathan? Not a typical Korean name and we have never picked the name Johnathan as a name we would use. Our alternative boy names were Samuel Godfrey or Daniel Zellar. The other thing that was startling was how vivid the dream was...I could picture this child, it was so detailed!

So to add to the weirdness of this whole thing, at church that morning. The pastor spoke on Johnathan and David and how David took Johnathan's relative in his home as his own. The message was on goodness and kindness, he ended the sermon asking if God was drawing anyone to act in kindness, to take a step of faith...maybe adopt a child...

So, needless to say my hubby did not find my dream amusing or think it was funny when I underlined, Johnathan, in my sermon notes. Of course we are longing for a daughter to be added to our family...but it does make one think!

Of course I shared my dream with the adoption forum and found that bizarre dreams are just par for the course. I think one mom indicated she dreamed she picked up her daughter to only find it was an elderly man! So, waiting can do strange things to your dream can adorable pictures of bowl cuts (of course my hubby is a red head, so not sure how that translated)!

Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Celebrating a Beautiful Life

The past five days we have spent with my husband's family processing the loss of the foundation of the family and celebrating the 90 wonderful years his grandmother was on this earth!

It is never easy to have a loved ones life end here on earth, but what a glorious day when that person meets their Savior! We spoke of how she was reunited with her husband, parents, and all of the grandbabies that we longed to hold, but they went onto heaven before we could hold them. She has left a godly heritage with her family and as my husband said, "she probably was with grandpa now, dancing an Irish jig!"

Granny Ragsdale welcomed me into the family from the day I met her. I enjoyed the many visits when we just chatted, since all of my grandparents have been deceased for many years, my hubby's grandma's have been so special to me. I think when we have family visits I would enjoy visiting with them and learning about the family, their lives, and just visiting in general as much if not more than anyone else! There is something so wonderful about talking with someone who has lived through so many changes our world has seen in the past 75-100 years and still have such a strong moral fiber and godly perspective to share.

I hope you all have someone in your life that can share these lifelong lessons and values. If you do, take a moment today to let them know how much you care!

The Ragsdales

Monday, May 10, 2010

Amazing Blessings

There is so much to share regarding the blessings God has bestowed upon us in the past days!

If you read our last post you know that we received our I600A approval, which is a huge step in the paperwork process of adopting our daughter!

Thursday a friend and I went for lunch at a little Korean diner, Tinytown Carryout. It was such a delightful surprise. The menus were in Korean & English. I ordered Bulgolgi, which was wonderful. They also served the food in the traditional Korean style with the eight dishes of kimchi. I tried seven of the dishes with two being my favorites.

However, the highlight of the lunch is when a soldier and his party sat at the table next to us to dine. He told his friends that he was adopted from Korea when he was eight years old and his parents let him choose his name. He chose to keep his Korean name, however, he retained very little of his native language. He loved growing up in Middle Tennessee and his adoptive family. I hung on his every word, while still not trying to appear as eavesdropping!

I told the waitress that I would be visiting Korea that we were adopting a daughter. As we went to leave, she met me at the register and said, "Next time you bring her, you show me your girl." She continued to ask me to bring my daughter and show her as she walked with me to the door with her hand on my arm. It was so nice, even my friend commented on how nice to see her so interested in our sweet Korean daughter!

Friday brought another pleasant surprise, less than a month after applying for our passports that came in the mail! Now we are ready to go to Korea to bring our girl home!

Saturday was the culmination of many weeks of blessings as our families and friends donated items for our yard sale, prayed for us, lent us tables & clothes racks, and helped us along the way! As one friend was dropping off items they jokingly told me if they didn't know we were having a yard sale, then they would nominate us for the show about hording stuff!

Here are some pictures of the house and stuff we collected for the sale:

We started our day bright and early at about 4:30 am and finally had everything out of the house in the driveway and yard by 8:30-9am. We are so thankful my parents came to help...I don't think we could have done it without them! The crowd was steady and we sold, sold, sold!

At the end of the sale, we raised $735 and we donated two truckloads of items to the members of the Jamaica mission team at our church, gifted several boxes of clothes to friends & family members, donated three boxes of items to a group that reads to those in need at the Salvation Army and plays with the kids. We also saved back some of the nice household items for families that lost all they had in the recent flooding.

We were so thrilled to raise so much toward our adoption, but were equally glad that the donations and items we cleaned out of our house can continue to bless others. It is amazing to see God work and multiply the generosity of the many people that blessed us!

At the end of the day we were al exhausted, sore, and decided to find a spot to just lounge for a while! Needless to say we all slept very well Saturday evening!

Have a very blessed week and remember to be a blessing to someone this week!