A news video from the coast. I especially liked all the cute kids in personhood shirts.


live or blog

No time to do both.

I have ten children.

One of them is getting married.

One is in a courtship.

One of them is Josiah. Enough said.

Somebody remind me why we do this courtship thing. It must be so much easier to hand them car keys and let them go 😛

Personhood. 15 more days of signature collecting.

I don’t think I like cell phones.

The 150 or so yards of lace are taking form. Wow. My small darlings look like they stepped out of an old painting. My big darling does too. Or a big fluffy, silken cupcake. I can’t decide. Wasn’t it yesterday that I was adorning her smocked yokes with silk ribbon embroidery? And now it’s her wedding gown.

Sunrise, sunset.

I’ve been having a pity party. I have. I have been in a funk all week and giving way to many negative thoughts and lies of the enemy- one several levels. After reading this morning I was trying to think, I need someone to talk to, who can I spring a surprise visit on? Is it appropriate to talk this out? Maybe this is a heart pondering moment.

One thing I have been encouraging Emily about lately (and anyone else who might be considering marriage) is the necessity to NOT talk everything out with someone. I think the most common person young people would run to is Mom, and I’m not just talking about girls here- boys do this too. Sometimes you just want someone to talk things out with and, lets be honest here, we Moms are more than willing to listen to anything you will tell us. Not just listen- we are glad to tell you what to do & think and while we’re at it how bout we tell you what all is wrong with the other person (and right with you)? How’s that appeal to your flesh? Great. Except when we do this we are sowing seeds of destruction in our childrens marriages (or almost marriages)

*BUT if any young man might need to know this, ya know, in the future or something. If you need help understanding women (and you will) go to a man- preferably your Dad. He’s probably been married to a woman for a long time. I realize I’m shooting us Moms in the foot here, I want to hear the good stuff. But, I guess I have to admit- if you get all your advice about women from a woman (even Mom) you will learn to relate to a woman like a woman. Not good. No.

Sooo. Back to me. What do I need for today? When I was going over my Titus 2 arsenal in my mind and trying to decide who’s day I was going to disrupt- the Lord brought this to my mind and a quietness to my spirit.

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Jesus Christ died so I could come boldly to the Father as a beloved child why would I try to carry any burden myself? Because I am weak and foolish but He is strong and mighty to save. He will uphold me with His mighty right arm.

Our profile is being shown today. The last I heard two profiles are being shown- just like with Josiah. We will probably know by the end of next week which family she chose. I personally think she will want a smaller family. This childs future is in God’s hands and we rest secure in that. It also doesn’t hurt that we’re so busy & will have little time to obsess over this.

We are praying for peace and comfort for this young mother. She is about the same age as Emily & when I contrast their lives it breaks my heart. I can’t begin to imagine.

What’s a profile book? it is a scrapbook of sorts. There are pictures and a letter to the mother. It is intended to tell her about our family in snapshot form. I don’t really like the system but it is way better than how things used to be. She will also get a series of questions we answered about how we live and what we believe about just about everything and another series of questions specifically about trans-racial adoption. This baby is bi-racial.

I am told these books are very important to the mothers. We provide the agency with two so one can be given to the mother that chooses us & one can be kept on file. When Josiah’s birthmother went before the judge to terminate her parental rights she carried a dog-eared much used copy of our profile book with her. She rolled it up and held tightly onto it as she relinquished her baby forever…

More about DIA to come.

Let it Begin!

What is about to happen here? I have been collecting antique laces for 20 years waiting until the day my collections would be transformed into the trousseau of my daughters dreams.  This pile will become- a wedding dress, a bridesmaid dress, two flower girl dresses, a smocked dress for a 22 yo (yep, I’m smocking a dress for Emma) I know. You just can’t picture it. Just wait and see the vision of femininity she will be in a smocked, silk chiffon dress. There will will also be various more intimate garments. Like the ladies morning robe I am recreating from the Pink Palace Victorian wedding trousseau collection. Ohhh. This is going to be so fun.

Yards and yards of lily of the valley lace. French Lace! About 50 yards  of lily of the valley french lace! Insertion and edging. Oh. my. Can. you. believe. that?!?

No. I am NOT spending $200+ dollars to create the flower girl dresses. I got this lace at the Salvation Army super sale at the furniture mart. Thank you Heather for dragging me there & teaching me to thrift store shop like a pro! It was an unbelievable number of boxes filled with allot of junk and a few treasures. And I got this lace for seventy-five cents! SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS!

It will be tea dyed to give it an antique look & turned into flower girl confections. I’ll give you peeks into my sewing room as Emily permits.

Answering the Call

“If the orphan care movement is going to be successful, it cannot be a movement. It has to bubble up out of real churches. It’s can’t be a special interest group competing with other groups. If it becomes a group movement like Homeschoolers, then it is not calling us to what the doctrine of adoption is about in the first place. We are not adopted because of what we have done based on deeds, how cool we are for adopting, or for what we have accomplished. We cannot get prideful and frustrated by those who don’t ‘get it’ or share our vision of adoption care but rather we know that we are saved by grace and so we can extend grace to those who ‘don’t get it.’”

” Adoption and orphan care is not about finding babies for infertile people. Adoption and orphan care is about saying to the powers of this age, “you can’t have them”, because Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Based on Darwinian theory we shouldn’t love them, but we love them because of the Spirit of Christ.Russ Moore at Together for Adoption Conference

I think the thing that I found most encouraging about the conference were the hundreds of young couples and families we encountered there. The face of orphan care and adoption is changing in the in the church. Young families are stepping out and being used of the Lord- not because they are set financially or because they have come to a time in their lives where it will be easy but because they have heard the call and they are answering in faith and obedience. That is so awesome! It is so exciting for me to hear my children discuss their future families as if adoption is a given.

Last week a friend put a disscussion on Facebook from her oh-so-cute boys about us. One of the boys exclaimed, upon hearing of our adoption plans, that the Riley’s must be rich. Wow, we got a good laugh out of that one!

“I will live in a trailer park for the rest of my life so that I can care for orphans…I will forgo having a second car…who needs cable T.V. when there are orphans in the world…When we start to see that kind of movement, not a Pharisaical, imposing on on another, but when we see people freely and joyfully saying “This is worth it to have another seat at the table” ”

To listen to the sermon in it’s entirety (way worth your time) and to get the context of what he’s saying listen here Adoption and the Renewal of Creation


I had way more to say but I have to finish my profile book. Humm. It’s a dilemma, blog about adopting or do the paperwork 🙂

Oh. And, our agency emailed yesterday that they are ready to show profiles & we need to get ours updated and sent in ASAP. I am completely caught off guard & have to scramble to get it done. Did you notice I said profiles and not profile? God is raising up a people. I’ll fill in blanks AFTER I finish my work.

Give me Your heart


if there be any reserve in my giving to

Him who so loved that He gave

His dearest for me;

if there be a secret “but” in my


“Anything but that, Lord,”

then I know nothing of Calvary love.

~Amy Carmichael

The Lord’s dealings with an ordinary family

Have you ever felt the sure call of God to something and you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, you are not equal to this new call.

Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Adoption is one of the most intense things we have ever done. We have always accepted children as a blessing from God. He tells in His word that a full quiver is a blessing and we find Him faithful to His word. It is very freeing actually. Some of the hardest decisions a newly married couple will face is the question of when, how & how many children to have. We never struggled with that. But. Adoption forces you to make decisions. You have to make the decision to schedule the home study, fill out the applications, have the blood tests, get fingerprinted and all the other stuff that goes along with it. All the sudden we are faced with choices. Onion rings or fries with that? White baby, black baby, tannish baby. Baby with one arm? Crossed eyes? heart condition? Cleft palate? Maternal drug abuse? These decisions have to be made. You get a form and you must check the boxes you will “accept” It just leaves you feeling sort of…yucky. I will drive you to your knees. How can you make such a decision? I guess the reality is- God places different callings on our lives. I guess. I’m thinking there is nothing special about us. YOU can do this. If God places the call to adopt on your family, He will provide all you need. That’s another post.

When we filled out the form we checked every box except two. We checked all sorts of conditions, maternal drug abuse, unknown birthfather, even maternal alcohol abuse. Two things we just weren’t sure we could handle were mental illness and HIV. But- we wanted to pray about it so we asked that the agency call if the situation arose. They called. They had a woman making an adoption plan with a mental illness and a long family history of mental illness. We prayed, we sought counsel both from our spiritual leaders and doctors. We agreed- if this was the baby God had for our family he would be all we needed no matter what. He was the baby had for us. Can you even imagine our family without Josiah? The love God has poured out on us through this precious boy. The lessons he’s taught us about His love, His eternal plan of redemption through adoption. O.K. Now tears…. ohhh, I would have every family I know adopt! God has chosen some of you, even if you don’t know it yet.

So we were driving down Hwy 334, in March 2008 when Les told me to make the call and tell our social worker we had prayed about it and we were open to anything. “You mean anything but….” “No, I mean anything” “But..” “Anything”   Give me Your eyes so I can see.


A beautiful little girl Trey fell in love with in Ethiopia. A little girl who has been given a home, a family. A little girl who is HIV positive.

“In You the orphan finds mercy.” Hosea 14:3

“I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.” John 14:18

“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families;” Psalm 68:5