The Shaeffer Family

A look into all that god is doing in the Shaeffer family.

New Website December 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaefferfamily @ 11:25 pm

Thanks to our wonderful friend Jeremy Carter, we now have a website just for our adoption. We will use the new website for fundraising, recording each step of our adoption process, and also as our family blog. Please check out…

http://theshaefferfamily.com/

 

 

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Advent December 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaefferfamily @ 8:52 pm

This post is for Ashley…

I had a really fun time planning for the Christmas season this year. Cameron is at such a fun age and is capable of doing short activities. A few months ago I searched the Internet and collected all sorts of toddler activities that he could do. Then I made an advent calendar and began planning.

I am also starting a tradition that I know he’s not quite ready for, but I want him to always remember doing it. I have some “Proclamation Ornaments” that I got at Bellevue years ago. On one side it has the Old Testament reference about the coming Messiah and of the other side it has the New Testament reference where Christ is the fulfillment.

So, each day we take out the ornament and Cameron gets to put it on our special small tree just for those ornaments. Then he pulls out the activity card for that day and we do it. (of course he can’t read it, it’s more for me.)

Here is the list of our activities …
Day 1- put up Christmas tree and decorations as a family
Day 2- open and play with nativity set
Day 3- color Christmas picture (I bought a Sesame Street Christmas coloring book for this)
Day 4 – watch Charlie Brown Christmas
Day 5 – make Christmas cards for family.
Day 6 – make And decorate Christmas cookies
Day 7 – take cookies to neighbors.
Day 8- open and read Nativity Picture book.
Day 9 – watch Nativity cartoon
Day 10- paint with Christmas colors/shapes
Day 11- go through toys and pick ones to give away
Day 12- take toys to local Mission.
Day 13- make birthday cake for Jesus.
Day 14- make an ornament to add to tree
Day 15- make cards/presents for teachers at school
Day 16- Christmas party at MDO
Day 17- go look at Christmas lights
Day 18- play with Christmas color play-doh
Day 19- make thank you cards to send after Christmas
Day 20- make Pioneer Cinnamon Rolls to take to Memphis
Day 21- build gingerbread houses
Day 22- decorate wrapping paper to wrap family’s gifts.
Day 23
Day 24

I didn’t plan anything the last two days because I didn’t know when we were going home. Turns out that we’ll be here so I have to think of two more activities.

 

Our Process Begins! November 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaefferfamily @ 11:36 pm

In my last update I shared a little about the fact that Mike and I have felt led to adopt for a long time. The Lord has been moving in our hearts for the past several months and finally confirmed for us a few weeks ago that the time is NOW! First let me share a little about how this ever even started…

Before we were even married, I used to joke around with Mike and tell him that one day I wanted a kid from every country. He knew I was exaggerating, yet he also realized their was some truth behind it. It never scared him off. 🙂 About a month after we were married, we were leaders at a weekend student conference. One of the videos they showed during the conference was about a family that adopted from the Ukraine. I don’t even remember what organization it was, I just remember sitting their crying and thinking that this is what I wanted to do someday. I told Mike when we got home from that weekend that I really was serious about adopting, and for the first time he seriously talked about it with me and said that he could see us doing it someday. Fast forward about two years while we were in Louisville for Seminary. We started going to Highview Baptist Church and one of the first things we noticed about the church was their amazing heart for adoption. They had a thriving adoption ministry, the pastor had adopted a child from China and was in the process of adopting from Ethiopia (after we left they also adopted from the Phillipines), and the church as a whole just seemed to “get it”. We knew then and there that God was confirming this call in our lives and giving us the opportunity to see it lived out. We are so grateful that God gave us that time.

We are adopting from Ethiopia. We got our hearts set on Ethiopia when, like I just mentioned, we were in Louisville and watched our Pastor adopt from there. It first just started because his little girl had to be the cutest thing I had ever laid eyes on. My response was something like, “I want a kid like her”! We also found out that Ethiopia was one of the quickest and cheapest programs to go with (That was of course over 3 years ago – things have changed). Our reasoning quickly became less trivial. Through some research we learned about the unthinkable numbers of orphans in Ethiopia, we learned of the malnutrition, short life expectancy, and the unreal amount of people infected with HIV/AIDS. We knew that this was where we would someday adopt.

So, we have officially started! We registered with our agency today. We will be filling out paperwork and raising money for months and months. Then, we will WAIT and WAIT and WAIT to get our referral and see the beautiful face of the child God has chosen for us. Then, of course, MORE WAITING, until we get to finally bring him or her home. We know that this is a long process and that we will be stretched even more than we are anticipating. However, we also know that every bit of the journey we are beginning will be worth it when we are able to become a family with a child who otherwise wouldn’t have one.

Mike and I went back and forth about when to tell people we were doing this. We couldn’t decide if it was like pregnancy when they suggest you wait 12 weeks? And we were concerned about telling people right at the beginning considering how long this process will take. But, the more we thought/talked about it we realized that we want as many people praying with us as possible. We want people praying for the process we are about to go through and for our sweet child and the circumstances that are going to bring them in need of a family. So we’re telling the world from the VERY BEGINNING! 🙂

Stay tuned for what is to come…

 

What’s Going On… October 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaefferfamily @ 8:32 pm

Well, I have failed again. It’s been quite a long time since I last posted. I am going to give a quick run down of all that has been going on…

1.) Sick, Sick, Sick – I last posted about my pneumonia experience. Well, right about the time I was starting to feel like myself again, Cameron and I both got a virus. We were hit with congestion, sore throat, and fever. It lasted about a week. Just as we were getting over that, Cameron came home from Mothers Day Out with a stomach virus. He was sick with it for about 3 days. As soon as he got over it, Mike and I both got it. Today is the first day I have actually felt 100% since the beginning of September. Needless to say, we are praying that this is the end of our bout with illness.

2.) Mother’s Day Out (MDO) – For the past 2 months, Cameron has been going to MDO on Mondays. He absolutely loves it. He knows the names of all of the kids in his class and his teachers. On Monday mornings when I tell him we’re getting ready for school, he starts clapping and yelling “YAY”. I’m so glad that he loves it. I don’t just love that he is having fun, I love the free day. So far, I have been sick for most of them, but I have been using the day to clean the house uninterrupted. I hope to eventually begin using this time to volunteer at a local Middle School.

Cameron's first day of MDO (also Teddy Bear day).

3.) Africa – For 10 days in September, Mike went to Kenya with Compassion International. The idea of the trip was to take ministers from churches all over the country to see for themselves what sponsoring a compassion kid actually does. He was able to watch actual sponsored kids and families as they participated in the programs. The hope is that after the ministers experience the program hands on that they will return to their home church and spread the excitement and get people to support Compassion. Mike would be the first to tell you IT WORKED!! He came back home so inspired by all that Compassion International does. He got to talk to people whose lives have been changed through the program. One day they visited the biggest slum in Africa. He said that it was very overwhelming. These people are the poorest of the poor, yet they were mostly happy. He said that it was very convicting concerning how materialistic we as Americans are. The same day that they went to the slum, they did a complete emotional 180, as they were taken on a Safari and treated like royalty. He said that it was amazing to see all of those animals we only see in zoos, just walking around. I would have loved to see it.

The Slum.

Masai selling handmade souvenirs

Safari!

Masai Women.

As many of my readers know, Mike and I have felt called to someday adopt from Ethiopia for a very long time. I think this trip has increased Mike’s desire and increased his feeling of urgency. The kids he watched and talked to look just like our future child will. Ethiopia borders Kenya, so the land and culture are similar. Just being there and knowing that he was just a days drive away from where we will one day pick up our child made things more real for him. Now it’s just a waiting game to see when it is time for us to go down that road. We’re patiently waiting for God’s guidance.

Can you see why he came back eager?!? So CUTE!

4.) Middle School Retreat – The week after Mike got back from Africa, it was time to take the Middle School students on our fall retreat. When Mike started planning this 8 months ago, he estimated about 60-70 kids would go. When he got back from Africa, he found out that 95 students had signed up. So, after grabbing more chaperones, we took off for Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas. The kids had a great time and everything went really well. Our good friend Ryan Mullins came as our Retreat Speaker. This is good because 1.Ryan is a great speaker and our students were challenged by him and 2. this meant that Anne and Max got to come play with me and Cameron. It was a great weekend being with students, catching up with dear friends, and watching Cameron have a BLAST in the water park. He LOVED it. He even went down the slides in the kiddie area all by himself. I was so proud!

Cameron and Max watching cartoons before we headed out to Grapevine.

Students during worship.

5.) TWO – Well, this one hasn’t happened yet, but on Saturday my baby boy will be TWO!!!! I’m going to be cliche’ and say, “I just can’t believe it!” We are having his party in Memphis with all of our family and some close friends. I will make sure and put up pictures after the party and tell you all that my sweet, smart boy is up to these days!

Lastest picture of my 'nearly' 2 year old. (This was when he was sick - he doesn't normally lay around in just a diaper - haha).

 

 

Crazy Weekend September 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaefferfamily @ 10:31 pm

I returned home from Memphis last Saturday evening (Sept. 4th). The next day I told Mike that I thought I was about to get sick. I just felt like my chest was starting to get congested. I wasn’t too concerned because Mike has been coughing for over a month and I figured I just had finally gotten it from him. Well, on Wednesday I started running fever. It was pretty low grade at first so I wasn’t that worried, but by the time I went to bed it was up to 102. When I woke up on Thursday my fever was still high so my good friend Cary agreed to take Cameron so I could rest. Friday was more of the same. From Wednesday to Saturday morning my temp. stayed around 101 – 102. I was only able to get it to break twice, and both times it was going back up within 30 minutes. By Saturday morning I knew that I had to go to the Dr. to get some medicine.

Soon into the doctor’s appointment it was obvious that this was worse than I thought. She told me that my vitals didn’t look good and she was going to do some blood work, start an IV (I was very dehydrated), and do a chest x-ray. When they did the IV I started to pass out and throw up. I never do that. Then they took me for the chest x-ray and saw that I had pneumonia in one long and she suspected it was in the other one too. She told me that I would probably need to be admitted to the hospital. She decided to let the IV fluids run for awhile and if I improved then she would let me go home instead. Well, after about 45 minutes, my vitals just kept going down. She decided not only did I have to be admitted, but I had to go by ambulence so they wouldn’t have to take my IV out. So, I called Mike, who was home with Cameron, and tell him he had to figure out a way to get him taken care of and meet me at the hospital. They made me stay overnight so they could do another chest x-ray after I was rehydrated. I did end up having pneumonia, but only in one lung. They sent me home with some powerful anitbiotics and strict instructions to REST.

Mike’s mom was already going to be coming down here in a week so she went ahead and came early to help me with Cameron this week. It has been such a blessing. It’s nice to have someone take care of you. It has surprised me how tired and weak feeling I still am. I definitely don’t feel like myself, but each day I get a little better. I think the hardest thing will be to still take it easy when I’m feeling much better. The doctor said I need to be careful for several weeks in order not to relapse.

Needless to say, this is not how I expected last weekend to go. I didn’t think I’d be in a hospital again until we have another baby. Hopefully that will be the case from this point on.

 

Convicted August 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaefferfamily @ 3:44 pm

I was recently touched/amazed/convicted by something that I heard said by a missionary. Every month, at church, we have a “Missions Lunch”. During this time we hear from or about missionaries that are serving from our church, ways we can help, or prayer needs that they have. This past month a wonderful family came and spoke about their work with an Unreached People Group in Turkey. While sharing about the few Christians who live in the area in which they serve, they told one man’s story and how he came to know Christ. The man sat down on a park bench one day and someone had left a Bible there. He picked it up and started to read it. He was so gripped by the Word that he couldn’t put it down. He knew, just after a short time reading the Word, that he HAD to have a relationship with Christ. He believed what the Word said, repented, and his life has never been the same since.

I immediately teared up when I heard this. Right now Mike and I have about 25 Bibles in our house. There are many days where I get “too busy” to pick my Bible up and read it. And, all too often, the days that I do sit down to read my Bible I am distracted and think about what I have going on that day. After about 30 minutes (you know enough time to make my conscience feel all good and like I’ve checked something off of a list) I put it down and move on with my day. Hearing this man’s story left me feeling so convicted. When is the last time I have sat down and have become completely engrossed in the Word, like the Turkish man did? How often am I really using the time that I read scripture as a time to truly open myself up for the Lord to change me, rather than crossing something off of my list? I just kept thinking about how amazing it was that the Bible the man came across was so rare. That he was an adult and had never come in contact with the Word. (I won’t even go into what all the Lord has been teaching me about reaching people who have never heard of Him before – that’s for another post) We live in a culture that has become so insensitive to the Word. We not only have Bibles available in tons of stores, you can find free ones in hotels and many of us probably have about 10 of those little green Gideon Bibles in our house right now. We use vinyl letters to put scripture on our walls. We can go to any Christian bookstore and get a painting, crocheted pillow, blanket, tissue box cover, plate, license plate cover, stickers,…(I think you get the point) with Scripture on it. Now don’t get my wrong, I am not saying that any of those things are wrong. I like a lot of them (the tissue box cover – not so much). I’m just saying that I realized I have let The Bible become too commonplace in my life. I long to be like that Turkish man. I want to be just as moved as he was EVERY time I open the Word.

I loved everything that the missionaries from Turkey had to share. Please be praying for them and for the people they are working with. If you want more information about what they are doing let me know and I’ll e-mail you the info. (I’m not sure what can be shared publicly.)


 

Humbled August 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — shaefferfamily @ 12:19 pm

For the majority of my life I have been RIDICULOUSLY impatient. When I want something, I want it NOW! When I’m going somewhere, I need to get there ASAP! You get the idea. Well God, in his wisdom and mysterious ways, saw to it that I married the most patient man on Earth. He can wait in traffic and never get frazzled. He can wait weeks for someone to answer a question and never once complain. Well, after 11 years of being together ( married almost 6) his art of patience has really worn off on me. And most importantly I have prayed that God would mold me into a patient person, especially where being a wife and mom are concerned. In fact last time my Mom came in town, she commented on how she could tell a difference. I was so proud!
However, God has a great way of not letting us get to full of ourselves! Yesterday, we had a busy day planned that included lunch with sone Middle School students. I neglected my quiet time in the morning and rushed on with our morning. Cameron decided that it wasn’t the best day to cooperate, that just set it all into a nose dive. We left a few minutes later than I wanted, I turned down the wrong street, and got stopped at every red light. This all made me feel anxious and frazzled. So, I started driving like a mad woman to get to lunch. I was speeding, rolling through stop signs, and overall just being ridiculous. I pulled into a parking spot and felt the conviction pour over me. How crazy to get so bent out of shape for trivial things and let them lead to more sin. I prayed about it and was excited about moving on with my day.
As Cameron and I walked into the mall, my favorite girls in the world, the Nichols girls, were waiting on me. Mattison greeted me by saying, ” You drive like a crazy person!” Turns out they had been following me the whole time. BUSTED! I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t believe they had witnessed the whole thing!
Overall lesson is that I will forever be an impatient person. When I take my eyes of Christ, neglect my time with Him, and think that I can do it on my own, He will humble me and remind me that it is by HIS power that I display fruit, not my own. What a humbling experience!