Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How has adoption and special needs affected our biological children?

John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you
The big Elijah boy --these days so much stronger than 3 years ago.  No one that meets him today would ever imagine that he had a massive left sided stroke as infant and has CP.  Considering a special needs child does define who they are just a small part of them.

The cutest Christmas elf ever that loves to act and sing.

Our son Graedy that is becoming a great young man.
An official teenager!!  Learning to think of others in the age of "How will this affect ME?"

For the love of a dog.
Elise the girl that loves music, before her first concert.

Sneha the child that has transformed within a year with a family.  The authorities of India questioned how we could take in a child that has so many problems -microcephaly,delayed development,delayed milestones, and no speech.  They didn't even include seizure disorder, bilateral hearing loss and perforated  ears drums.  God sets the lonely in families and picks out their families if we hear his call to us.  He chose Sneha for us. 
A sight to behold-no longer one of the fatherless

Will adoption affect our birth children?

 Adoption is a family transformation with hills and valleys.  A journey to grow outside of the me, me, me, mentality.

Would I ever want to go back  to just a bio family?

Of all the decisions in life adoption is something I will never regret.

Why do we adopt from the US foster care system?

We have tried to pursue this on a few occasions and every time it  has failed and God has closed the doors.  This is a wonderful option for many families and great children are waiting for families here in  the US. or

How have special needs affected our family and life?

Is easy to imagine how someone with profound disabilities live, but until you are their provider the true importance of the body of Christ coming together for those in need is  so apparent.  We are His hands and feet, no one else.  With out us they perish.  Our birth children are learning that people do not choose to have disabilities and that they have value and worth on our earth.  All of our  children notice those with disabilities, but in a new light.

How has the "Sacrifice" changed our lives?

We can never go back to our "old" lives again.  We don't want and care about the same things anymore.  We are sad that this had distanced us from some, but also brought us closer to others.  We have laid the fleece out to our Lord one more time.  Now  we shall wait for our answer.  We look hopeful for the future.  We are so thankful what our family has learned through trials and "sacrifice".  We cannot wait for our chidren to love what God loves and for them to grieve for what grieves his heart.  Only then can we act.

Judges 6:39

Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.”

Lord hear our prayers to you!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010

Arnold Children Christmas 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3, 2010

Collecting trash outside of Sneha's orphanage
 Waiting for her mother  to come back and heal all her sickness and malnutrition
 Waiting  on the street for a hand out
 And so they wait----the older boys

My heart is so grieved that I can't do more each and every day. So many children and our own time and resources are so limited. We must stand together for the orphan and the fatherless. They aren't someone else's children they are all alone. If not our job than who's?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November 30, 2010

Elijah was evaluated at Shriner's Hospital in Salt Lake City in November.  They took x-rays of his entire body excluding his head.  Their findings were that his leg and foot do not need surgery at this time.  He needs to continue wearing his AFO on his leg and foot.  His spine does have a curve, but it is not due to his leg length difference.  He will need to have this evaluated yearly.  His left hand has weakness problems due to his stroke, but they will move his tendon in his thumb to increase his ability to grasp at things.  Hopefully this will happen in January in Salt Lake City.  Not a huge surgery considering he had one of the biggest a couple of years ago.  A cranioplasty with staples from ear to ear and an additional 11 staples while a wake.   He is very nervous at Dr. appointments considering all the appointments in the last 2 years.  Yesterday we went to Abilities Unlimited in Cherry Creek for a new AFO fitting.  This will help him to not have foot drop and to be able  to run better.  They are also lifting his arch with the AFO to support him better so his foot doesn't tire as easily.  When ever we venture to Denver we must visit our favorite restaurant in the entire world CAFE SKY where they have wonderful Korean food.  Kim chi is even growing on me, the more you eat it the better it is.  Elijah ate the largest bowl of soup that has egg, meat, sliced rice wedges, dumplings, leeks, sea weed, and many other yummy ingredients.  So after  our feast we went to our favorite market Hmart the Asian grocery. Here are just a few of the treats that we brought home.                                                               

Wonderful Asian Pears (tastes like a pear and apple  in one)

 Yummy short grain sticky rice

 Asian jelly,cucumbers, Korean soy sauce, and Elijah's favorite Lychee fruit

We are so thankful for the diversity our Asian son brings to our family.

The boy that loves to sing and makes us so proud to watch him and see him thrive.  I am so  thankful that he has so many opportunities available to him.  Not just a child with a disability in a country without a future any more.  He will grow up to do great things.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

1.Deuteronomy 4:9

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them

Are we staying locked behind the wall to keep us safe?
I hope we can open the gate and take the steps out side the wall?
Is the fear of a traffic jam holding us back from life?
Do we fear  the beware of dog sign without knowing what is really behind it?
What is really worth fearing?  Looks pretty innocent to me.

Let's get on the bus and take a wild ride through life.
Let's not fear what is different.
 The unknown can open  our eyes.
 Please do not let us forget what we have seen, never forget........
All I know  and I have said it before that  I never wanted to go to India.  I had a whole list of complaints about it before ever even going there. As a teenager China was on the go to list and India brought vision of masses of people in slums and bathing in the Ganges.  I do know that my plans are not my own.  When I have time to reflect on life I just cannot forget India and my heart longs to go back.  Maybe it is because my own little piece of India reminds me of it every day.  I have to say that there are challenges to adopting the older child, but there are also many positives. We brought a person with another culture into our home. Adopting a baby or young child from another country they look like those of their native land, but do not know the culture.  Sneha will never forget where she came from and that she is Indian through and through.  She may live in America today, but when she dances it is from a far away land and a different  time.  She has opened my eyes and heart more than I ever knew a person could.

Proverbs 24:12 (New International Version 1984)

 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 9, 2010 National Adoption Month

These are just two faces who were part of the 147 million orphans.  I am so thankful that they are no longer called ORPHAN.  What we can do to help- pray, act, sponsor, and adopt.  If everyone just did a small part in the big picture a difference would be made. 

Orphan Sunday was a couple of days ago and I was at home taking care of sick kids.  My prayer is that every church would remember orphan sunday every year.  I feel very frustrated that  most  people  don't hear their cries and realize that they are just as precious as  the kids that we tuck in at night.  They don't  have time, and we don't have time to waste , just waiting for the right time.  The  right time to act will never come!!!The perfect job, the perfect car,  the perfect timing,  these things do not exist on planet earth.

Please visit this blog

Sponsor or  adopt

Or just pray for the lonely  you may be the only one praying on their behalf.  Visit these sites for their vision for our Christian nation and church

Psalm 9:18  But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Directions-Why don't we have on star for every day life???? Oh I guess we do we just have to listen.

Swaziland Africa 

Habakkuk 2:19

Woe to him who says to wood, 'Come to life!' Or to lifeless stone, 'Wake up!' Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.

Direction as defined by Merriam-Webster

: the line or course on which something is moving or is aimed to move or along which something is pointing or facing .

 : a guiding, governing, or motivating purpose

Let us contemplate for just a moment the true definitions of direction.  The line or course on which something is moving or aimed.  It  doesn't say our end destination.  Why are we so focused on the end of our route.  The time and space of the in between journey matter, the space between the starting dot and the ending dot.  The next  part of the definition a guiding, governing, or motivating purpose.  We have the motivating purpose but why is it so difficult  to get from point A  to point B.  Reaching the "half way point" of life this year reminds me that time flies by and I must not let even one day  go by without being intentional in everything.  I never want to waste time again on the unimportant.  I don't know if everyone has a said life list, but I need to get going to accomplish what is on the list and  more.  Of course with time the list has changed and been added to.   Some times God adds to our list which should ultimately be his list.  On my "own" list travel  to China.  I started to love China at 15 years of age and I traveled at 38 years of age.  Not on my "own" list INDIA.  Well now India is forever in my heart.  God placed India on the list and I look forward to traveling there for the 3rd time in the new year.  One thing that I have  learned from moving soooo much is that life does not always follow our projected direction of travel.  Did I ever mention how many times Brent and I have moved in 18 years?  Take a guess.......I had to take a break to count only 9 times and many to different towns.  Not as many as it feels like.  Along the way we have met great people and made good friends, but always to leave.  The good news is that with the Heavenly Good News we will meet up with many on heavens side.  Not forgotten and not gone forever, just waiting to meet up later.  To make a long story short for the next 40 years I want to have so many memories and adventures that I won't even be able to remember them all, too many to count. On the list, travel to  Swaziland Africa the nation one of the most aids affected nations on the earth 25% of  people in country are living with the virus. We cannot turn away from  those most in need.  Let the praise, glory, and honor be to our Father in Heaven.

Philippians 1:20

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

If you want to help or learn  more about Swaziland visit:  or .  Tom Davis is the  CEO of Childre's Hope Chest and author of many life changing books."Red Letters, Fields of the Fatherless, Sacred, and Priceless".  He loves the orphan and helps churchs come together to help the orphan, widow, and fatherless.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sacrifice..........October 25, 2010 Do we ever????

Yesterday at church we heard about sacrifice, but do we really ever sacrifice anything?  I think that we are always so caught up in our wants and needs that we always have an ulterior motive.  We humans are just so human.  Thinking back to 2007 when we first saw our little Sneha's picture on   We knew God was calling us to this little girl across the world.  We thought the battle to bring her home was difficult, but I am so glad it was and it somewhat prepared us for the battles in raising a special needs older child.  We will never know what she has been  through in the past.  When a child is mainly non-verbal convention  parenting goes out  the window.  I remember before  my first trip to go meet  Sneha  I talked  with someone  who had met her and her observations were crushing to my heart.  I knew that God chose her for us, but she will never  be independent.  The lady that met her said she will never be able to sit down and read a novel.   I cried tears over our possible losses, not over her losses.  Crying over sadness for ourselves for the commitment and the long road ahead.  I cried for her misfortune, sickness, and tremendous sadness.   I thank our Father in Heaven for pushing us along the path to India.  People have said to me, "I could never do what you do."  Honestly with out Jesus guiding my every step I cannot do what I have to do.  I have never  had to try to  teach someone that doesn't want to learn  or try.   I think so much sadness and loss breaks a person so that they will give up.  I am so glad that God has the ultimate plan for success for Sneha.   Somedays we go two step forward, but the next day it may be five backwards. We need to follow the path and the results are left to God, not us.  We need to be patient and give her time to learn in her own time. She is home with a forever family and now there is no rush.  We are thankful that our fears of the unknown did not consume us and that God did not give up on urging and reminding us about the lonely, sickly, nonverbal child tucked away in an orphanage across the world.  She is so worth it!

Psalm 119:105
 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful thursday October 21, 2010

 Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace

I am thankful for such a great  brother and his family.  I really wish that they lived closer,but I don't  know if I lived  in a vacation paradise 24/7 if I could move away.  We were just so glad that could visit in August. 
Family that had never met our two new additions.  We were so glad to finally meet their little doll.  Time flies by way too fast.  A time for everything..........

The best brother in the world

 Such a cute face dear niece
 Cousins not by blood, but so alike
 The girl that could climb and out hike adults at 4 years old
 My Elise
 A wonderful sister-in law that we miss so much.
 All children need  to be part of a family, what is life without family??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lord keep my eyes open and focused October 19, 2010



Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.
Mother Teresa

The concept of the orphan  has changed here in the US.  There are still orphans  just without the orphanage, living in homes where parents are paid to care for them.  On, the website  features children in the foster care system waiting for forever families. There are 14,520 children waiting today because of abuse, neglect, and an array of medical and psycological labels placed  on them to define their behavior.  When they age out of the system where  do they go for holiday dinners?  Who comes to their side when they have surgery, is anyone in the waiting room?  I do suppose that we all  have labels if evaluated long enough.  How would I act if my parents did drugs in front of me and smacked me when I asked  for  a snack.  Could I possibly behave in class and pretend everything is ok?  I would be marched to the behavior specialist and asked why I act the way I do?????  Just a few thoughts for today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday...........October 14, 2010

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be
their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."


"One of the greatest diseases is  to nobody to anybody."  Mother Teresa

"If you can't feed one hundred people then feed  just one."  Mother Teresa