Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Karamajong Necklace

Sorry the picture quality is SO poor! I cannot use my camera and had to use my cel phone.
One of the organizations Sixteen Small Stones wishes to help is Amazima Ministries. We really want to sponsor a child. Unfortunately, at this time, our budget doesn't permit that kind of long-term commitment, along with the others we carry. It is sad, because it was one of the FIRST places we had looked at helping. :( Anyway, in case you don't all know, Amazima Ministries was started by a magnificent young woman, Katie Davis, whose blog has changed my life, really. She serves the people in Africa...and when I say "serves", I don't mean she is nice to the people there, or brings in one meal if someone has a sugary (the kind of "service" most of us immediately think of). She has DEVOTED every moment of her LIFE to the people there. I encourage you all to read her blog, from beginning to end, and see how her story can change you, even in the smallest way.

Two women who help organize and run Amazima from America started a GREAT company called 147 Million Orphans. They sell products that bring awareness to the orphan crisis around the world; for instance, t-shirts that say, "Feed 1" or "147 Million Orphans". ALL of the money they get from their products go to helping feed and care for the orphans in Africa through Amazima Ministries and Katie Davis' work. (You can also purchas their items at cost to use for fundraising for your own adoption! Amazing, huh?!)

In recent months, Katie has started caring for the people of a village in Uganda, the Karamajong Village (I surely hope I spelled that correctly!). The posts she wrote on her blog during those first few visits to that village were amazing. I hung on every word, and doubted if she would actually be able to help the people there! I was sure she would be badly hurt or even killed if she continued to venture into that village. Katie, I have no doubt, is attended to by angels, and through miracles, she has been able to continue serving the most destitute and desperate people, those in that village. Katie started a food program there to feed the families and children in that village. Katie has touched so many lives in that village through her service. Katie has SAVED so many lives there. To think of my doubt in the beginning about her even entering that village. She is a testament to me that God ALWAYS provides a way for His will to be accomplished...even in the most impossible situations, like Katie serving the people of the Karamajong. (Really, you MUST read her blog and read that story!!)

Katie has taught the woman of the Karamajong to make BEAUTIFUL, authentic African necklaces. 147 Million Orphans sells the necklaces and all of the money goes back to Katie's food program in that village. Needless to say, I have wanted one of those necklaces since they first were available to purchase! For Christmas, my Mom gave me the money and told me to order a necklace. After a horrible day yesterday at work, I came home to a package in the mail. Can you guess what it was?!

Knowing that I donated to that wonderful cause is enough. However, having a beautiful and well crafted necklace is exciting! I hold the beads and close my eyes, and I can see the woman making the beads. I can smell the dirt and the humidity of the jungle that surrounds them as they work. I can hear the children's voices. When I wear it, it reminds me of Katie's work. It reminds me of the doubt that any good could be done in that place. It reminds me of my own weakness and it reminds me to out my faith in a God who is bigger than me. It reminds me of a God who knows each of the people in that village, who knew that Katie would go there. He knew she would be frightened, and He planned a way for her to serve those people. This necklace reminds me of the work I must do, and that, even though I AM weak, I must not put my faith in my weakness, but put all of my faith in God's strength.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Get your "Mother Of The Year Award" voting ballads ready, because i am about to take the cake.

When Taiger was younger, some idiot lady came in to my work and told me that Taiger would never learn to talk with that "plug" in his mouth. I HATE people who judge me for Taiger having a binkey. Anyway, at that time he not only spoke English, but was also picking up a lot of Chinese (he also used a lot of sign language as an infant...I mean, more than just "please" and "more", but I digress). Anyway, that is not the point.

The point is, somehow, even with his binkey, Taiger somehow learned to talk. Since he was really little he would use ENORMOUS words, like "excellent", "amazing", and "genius" (while speaking of his bright mother, of course! HA HA!). He would ask about big words he would hear that other kids would not even realize they were hearing. His vocabulary never has lacked. In fact, the other day he told me something was "phenomenal"...which is phenomenal, I think, for a four year old.

Well, anyway, as a tiny child, his talking was rather charming. Everyone got a kick out of hearing him speak very clearly, articulating his feelings and thoughts well. We thought he was just so smart!

Then, he hit this month.

Okay, so he is still smart. But he NEVER. STOPS. TALKING.

No, really. NEVER. Sometimes, he talks in his sleep.

The other day, he went to Idaho, and Bryttan and I just sat on the bed without talking. Finally, we both agreed, "It is just so quiet without Taiger."

Last night, he wanted me to watch a movie with him. I was experiencing one of my massive headaches I get these days, and thought laying on the couch, snuggling with him, watching a movie, would not only be relaxing, but also good "bonding" time (okay, I know doing something productive or educational is BETTER bonding time...I said this was GOOD bonding time...as in, better than him being in one room and me being in anther....which, by the way, NEVER happens...).

Taiger talked through the ENTIRE movie. And I don't mean, visiting with me, or not being interested in the movie. He was GLUED to the movie...but never stopped talking. I thought I was going to DIE.

After the movie, we had to go back to the warehouse to pick up my Mom (long story). We got in the car, and he was STILL talking. He did not stop the entire 10 minuet ride to Murray.

And this is when you get to cast your votes! Best Mom in the WORLD coming at you, right here.

As he was jabbering (because that is what it is...not talking...just mostly jabbering), I picked up my ipod, stuck one of the ear buds in my ear, and turned on the soundtrack to Twilight. I just couldn't take it any more! At first, I just had one headphone in...so I could hear him and answer his questions. But after only a short moment, the other went in. I kept my "Mommy ears" open, so I could hear him if he needed me. But I totally was trying to block the rest out.

Cast vote now. You read that correctly. I was TRYING to BLOCK out most of my son's JABBERING.

What kind of mother am I?!

The kind who is just plain tired of LISTENING!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


UNICEF (yeah, UNICEF) has stopped ALL adoptions out of Haiti, including the adoptions that were already being processed before the earthquake. This means, children who were already orphans, who deffinately ARE orphans, and who have families WAITING for them in other countries (including America) can't get out. Families who have done the entire adoption process and just need to go pick their child up and bring them home, cannot. WHY??!!??!?!?!? I can see not letting just any child who cannot find their parents in all the chaos leave to a different country. That makes sense. But children who have been orphans for years (or for their entire lives), who were already being legally adopted?

UNICEF, you suck.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Seth's Memorial Library

Our volunteer group has ties with a wonderful orphanage in Ghana. This orphanage, the people adopting from there, and the children there are very important to me and so dear to my heart. One family has been working hard for MONTHS to bring home one special little boy, Seth, from Lucky Hill. The adoption had gone through, and the family was waiting to receive his passport, when Seth died suddenly. It was tragic and heartbreaking. Seth's family has amazing faith, and despite their great loss and deep, deep sorrow, they have reached out to help other children still waiting at Lucky Hill, AND the surrounding area.

Seth LOVED books and LOVED to read and be read to! In memory of their sweet son, this family is opening a library at Lucky Hill! This library will allow other children at Lucky Hill orphan home to enjoy looking at books as much as Seth did. Their plans have extended to building an orphanage to accommodate families in the area who otherwise may never have the chance to read books!

This library is dependant on donations. Let us honor this sweet little boy's short life by reaching out to hundreds of children and enriching their lives through this library! Please click on the button to the right of this screen to learn more about Seth, this memorial library, and to make a donation. Remember, any small amount will help bring books to hundreds of children in Ghana!

With gratitude,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Helping An Orphanage In Haiti!!

One of the orphans we are helping!

We have an amazing opportunity to help an orphanage in Haiti! If you want to learn more, or if you want to see ways to help, visit our blog at sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com! We will use that blog to update our journey to helping these children, so if you want to follow us as we work with this orphanage, again, visit sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com

This is the orphanage director and his family.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

147millionorphans.com and helping the orphans in Haiti

Go buy some AWSOME clothes that SHOUT to the world your concern and support of the orphans and starving children around the world, WHILE ACTUALLY HELPING THEM via the money used to purchase those clothes! Everybody wins! :D
(Just so you all know: I trust these women with my money to know it is going to the right place. They are wonderful mothers and women who serve the Lord and His children. Although Sixteen Small Stones is donating money through the LDS Church, I trust this site to send the money to the children and not "pocket" it!)

My other blog, sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com

I wanted to copy everything from my other blog onto this one, but my computer isn't working, so I am using my sister's, which doesn't have all that I need it to in order to post that post here. SO, if you are interested, please read my other blog, sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com. You can link to it from my sidebar. This post is titled "Christ's Love and Haiti". Feel free to leave comments here or on that one...I will see them either place.

Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I kept thinking I should blog, but didn't get around to it. There is was much to say, updates to give...

and then The Earthquake hit...THE ONE...if you haven't heard of the earthquake in Haiti, please go read about it! To be honest, I have read very, very little about it. I am hiding from the pain. I am hiding from the images of children weeping, of mothers dying. I am plugging my ears against their cries, going up to God from the dust of the earth. I will hide from the anguish...but I cannot turn away from it. I cannot look away. My heart breaks for them. My arms yearn to reach out to them.

A few years ago, I read about a woman who started an orphanage in Haiti. That short story changed my life. _I_ wanted to help! "Anyone can open an orphanage? Just any caring person can start bringing home needy children and caring for them? Then that is what I will do!" And that is how my vision for my orphanage began. Since then, things have changed, politics played a minor roll in my plans, but I still think of that woman all the time. I wonder how she is doing. I wonder about the children for whom she cares. I remember her story of them all sleeping on the concrete floor of the orphanage because they had no beds. (It inspired me and made me realize I don't have to have EVERYTHING in order to do SOMETHING). I remember her story of their leaking pipes.

I wanted to adopt from Haiti. Last year, I actually turned in my information and was on the verge of BEGGING to be allowed to adopt. I found three brothers and knew...KNEW...they were to be my sons. I cried for them. I prayed for them. In the end, I accepted God's will and His timing and let a piece of my heart go to be with them in Haiti rather than bringing them home to my arms.

Today, I think of that woman. I think of those three brothers. I picture Haiti...then...and then the haunting pictures I have seen of Haiti now...today.

My body aches for the people of Haiti.

I knew how much money was in my paypal account. People, brave and humble people, have donated money to Sixteen Small Stones, with the purpose of feeding the children at Luckyhill. ALL of the money is to be used strictly for food for the children in Ghana. Today, I was wishing that Sixteen Small Stones could do something for the people of Haiti. I knew how much was in my account. When I went to send some money to Ghana, the amount in my Paypal account was far above what it had been the last time I checked! In fact, it had nearly DOUBLED. I want to thank everyone who donates money, so I quickly checked my sss email to find out who donated the money. No new messages. No new donations to SSS. From where did the money come? I have no idea! To where will the money go? I have no doubt. Tomorrow, it will be sent directly to Haiti through the LDS website, www.give.lds.org/emergencyresponse.

God is good. God is ALWAYS good. He knows our hearts, and He knows our trials. He hears the cries of His children, and although there is suffering and pain, He will not leave us. He will come to us.