Monday, October 31, 2011

If You Are what You Eat Then I'm A Fishken

I have been going to Quick weight Loss for 10 weeks now, and I have lost 38 lbs.  I feel great and I have started jogging and walking (OK mostly walking).  The only thing is I am totally burned out on chicken and fish.  Under dietary guidlines I can have grilled, boneless chicken breast.  I can't have sauce on it such as BBQ or Teriyaki, nor can I have any spice rubs that contain salt or sugar.  So for the most part I have grilled chicken breast (or fish) with Mrs. Dash. or garlic and pepper.  Quite frankly, I think I am about to sprout feathers.  My goal is to get down to 150 lbs. by Christmas which is exactly eight weeks from today.  I have been thinking alot about food and though I will spend the following year going to QWL to manage and stabalize my weight, I will be allowed to eat pretty much anything I want.....just not so much of it.  Right now though if you are what you eat, I am totally a Fishken, which made me wonder what the rest of the family are if they are what they eat.
Carrie-eats lots of popcorn and cheese which I guess makes her a Cheesepop.
Grace- loves Nutella as well as Ramen noodles, so I guess she's a Noodlenut.
Haven- goes crazy for yogurt drinks and baked potatoes, so he must be a Yogurtato.
JoJo - scarfs down bananas and grapes so I suppose he is a Grapana
Manny- hmm, Manny likes everything so I guess he is a kitchen sink.
So there you have it.  The Wood Family, also known as the Fishkencheesepopnoodlenutyogurtatograpanakitchensinks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Know a Man

I know a man who represents the Kingdom of Heaven.
I can't tell you his name, or where he lives or even what he does for a living.  It's too dangerous.
I have met this man personally and my family has been blessed by his actions.
Here is what I can tell you about him:
He works three jobs, well in excess of 80 hrs. per week.
He lives on a dirt road and raw sewage runs along side of it.
His house is made of cement and cinder block and the roof is made of sheet metal.
His windows do not have glass or until recently even screen, and there is no indoor bathroom.
He doesn't have a refrigerator or microwave. Such things would be useless since there are only a few hours of electricity per week.
He doesn't own a car, he rides in crowded cabs and buses everywhere he goes.
He has nine children, six of whom still live in his house, and did I mention that he shares his house with another family?
Despite all of this he has cared for more than 20 foster children.
For the past two years he has provided a home for at least 5 foster kids at any given time.
For a while last spring he had nine foster children in his house.
He has spent countless hours on hot crowded buses and cabs without air conditioning, breathing astoundingly polluted air in the process of walking nearly 100 families through the adoption process.
He has escorted, translated, interpreted for and protected scores of families as they visited his country.
He has delivered several tons of aid to more than ten orphanages in his country.
He, along with his wife, has nursed several children back to health from the brink of death.
He and his family have suffered from diseases that were transmitted from the children that he has cared for.
He has spent countless hours waiting outside of offices and waiting rooms on behalf of people he has never met.
He has worked through the night many times and no one really knows the last time he took a day off.

Despite all of the discomfort that this man experiences in life, he is willing to continually sacrifice his time, energy and resources on behalf of orphans and strangers.  Unless you have met this man personally, unless you have been to his country, been to his house and met his family, you can not appreciate his personal sacrifice.  Why would he do this, why would he make such sacrifices when nobody would blame him to seek comfort and diversion (beer consumption in his country is extreme).  Why? Because this man is a follower of Christ.  He truly understands what it means to emulate Christ. He LIVES the sermon on the mount. The reality is he is surrounded by poverty, violence, corruption and evil.  Despite this he works fervently to push forward another reality, the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven. 

This man is my hero.  This man saved Haven's life. 
For that I will be forever grateful.

Thank You and your family

Amen and Amen


Friday, October 7, 2011

Bits and Pieces

So yesterday marked week 8 of my attempt to lose weight through Quick Weight Loss Center.  I have lost 31 lbs.  I am doing this because I know that at age 48, I need to get serious about taking care of myself if I'm going to be around to raise my children.  This morning I was reminded of just how old I'm getting when I hurt my back.  Would you like to guess how?  Below are several choices.  Try to guess how I got hurt.
A. Picking up lots and lots of toys off of the floor.
B. Taking out the Trash
C. Stooping over to clean up Skipper Puke
D. Picking up one of my four children.
E. Sneezing

Words of Wisdom by Grace Wood:
Ducks do not eat clouds.  They eat bread.
Ants do not drink milk.  It is too yucky

Right now as I write this, Manny is wearing one of Carrie's underwear around his neck like a cloth necklace.

I Hate the Doorbell
As I stated earlier, I am a little over weight and therefore always hot.  When I am home I generally wear a pair of shorts and nothing else.  The youngest two usually are in a pair of diapers and nothing else, and Grace though very skinny is also very hot natured so she usually wears only underwear around the house.  See a trend here?  Haven, because he is potty training usually wears a shirt and nothing else (a black sheep in every family I guess).  Generally I don't mind that we are not wearing alot of clothing since I am also the one who does the laundry.  That is until the doorbell rings.  Then all hell breaks loose.  The dog starts barking.  The littles start running in circles yelling dada bobobo.  Grace and Haven run to the door but can't unlock the deadbolt, so they are screaming at me as if I didn't know what just happened, and I go running for the closet for a shirt.  Now of course I am tempted to not answer it but the circus inside is a dead giveaway that somebody is home.  So after at least a minute I open the door to find that no one is standing there.  Just a package from the Package Fairy.  I hate the Package Fairy.....unless she is here to deliver something to me!

Keeping the floor picked up is like using a pushbroom to keep back the ocean tide.
JoJo only likes to poop in diapers that he has been wearing for five minutes or less.
Manny, drinks milk like he is training for the beer chugging contest at the fraternity house.
Manny and JoJo can tell when I am getting a jug of milk out of the fridge (as opposed to something else).
What is it about toilet water that Manny finds to fascinating?  Today he was dipping Grace's comb in it.
We have what seems like a hundred movies on DVD for the kids, yet Grace and Haven can't seem to find ONE that they both want to watch.

I hurt my back sneezing.

Have a wonderful weekend and God bless.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It Takes a Community of Faith

We all know the saying "It takes a village to raise a child".  Well I would like to propose a new one, "It takes a community of faith to bring home an orphan".   In our case it is taking THREE communities of faith to bring home the twin girls that we are adopting.  Three communities but one faith, faith in Christ, faith that we are living a life pleasing to the one who gave us life eternal.  More about these communities in a minute, but first an explanation as to why we need the help in the first place.

Raising children is expensive for sure.  The exact amount can vary quite a bit based on calculations that may or may not differentiate between what kids need and what kids want (I will discuss this topic in a future blog post).  So yes, raising children costs some money but adopting a child costs A LOT of money and pretty much all at once.  With what we have spent on the first three adoptions, we could have paid off our house, or bought three nice cars (with cash). The range varies quite a bit but I would say that the average adoption runs around $25,000.  It will take a little bit less than that to bring each of our girls home because they are twins and because the country from which we are adopting is not one of the more expensive ones from which we could have adopted.  With the first three adoptions we were able to spend money that we had saved, however, our savings account is pretty much empty, so in order to complete this adoption we have had to become resourceful.

We are having garage sales, and auctions. We are selling T-shirts, jewelry and blankets on line.  Basically we are doing anything (legal) that we can imagine to raise the money for the adoption.  Quite frankly, if you have an idea for raising money, please let us know, we are open to all (again legal) ideas.  With all of this we still would be struggling to complete this adoption without these three communities of faith:

The L-Group (bible study group) - Carrie and I have had the God given privilege of knowing the Ls for over 10 years.  The Ls and the rest of the members of this group have been so supportive to us the past three years. They have provided a place for us to have a garage sale to raise money for the two Little's that came home in April and now they have volunteered to do it again.  Other members in this small group have provided items to sell as well.  One member of this small group even created a part time position working for him in order to help us with our finances. I would like to think that I earned the money that he paid me but that would be highly unlikely.  These families have been such an unbelievable blessing to us.  They may not have been called to adopt, but they sure have answered the call to support those who were. This is the way the citizens of the Kingdom of God work together to bring the Kingdom a little closer.

Trinity Vinyard Church- We only joined this church a year ago. We love this community, and in part because adoption plays such an important role in their lives.  When this community found out that we were adopting, all sorts of people asked us how they could help.  They have rallied around us and have shown us such love.  I have never before seen such a church who truly love Christ and want to bring his Kingdom to the here and now.

Our Family in Africa- visit OFA's website at  We came into contact with this group when Carrie was looking for adoption agencies for our second adoption, which ended up being Haven. It turns out that OFA is not an adoption agency at all, but rather a group of awesome volunteers who work together to improve the lives of hundreds of orphaned children and along the way help a few to find their forever families.  The one thing that all of these families have in common is that they have all adopted children from Africa.  These wonderful folks volunteer by helping raise money, provide information and write newsletters, travel to Africa to deliver aid and of course help other families adopt children from Africa.  We travelled with several of these families and we became such great friends as we congregated in the "Room of the Scabies Rug" and loved and laughed as we waited for two governments to allow us to bring our children home.  What I love about this group above all else is the way they have all rallied around each other when a family is in need.  So many people have offered to help us raise money for this adoption that I can't possibly attempt to list them for fear that I would forget someone.

Two years ago, I heard a sermon in which the pastor suggested that we ask God to reveal his glory to us. I prayed that prayer.  I asked God to please reveal His glory to me, and you know what, He did it.  I have seen His Kingdom in these people.  I have seen a sample of how His Kingdom is infiltrating this world and I can't wait until the day that His Kingdom finally and forever bursts forth into the present.

Amen and Amen