Thursday, November 19, 2009


There has been so much money flowing into our home for Sweet Darya that we haven't even stopped to count it all. Overwhelmed, that is what we are. We heard from our local Fox News station this morning; they want Lydia to appear on Thanksgiving morning to talk about her story. Again, overwhelmed. Would you be surprised if I told you children were sending their allowance money? We received a bag of change today. Would you be surprised to learn a twelve year old girl gave Darya $100.00 of her babysitting money? She did....with a bright smile on her face. How about if I told you an elderly lady walked slowly and carefully all the way up our driveway and sidewalk because she wanted to hand us $100.00 and say "May God Bless Your Efforts" personally? It happened.

Do these stories bless you? Then you can imagine how we, the recipients, feel. I have decided to wait and give a running total on Monday. Until then, we will wait and watch with anticipation. I am beginning to feel like Lydia is feeling.....God is doing something through the life of Darya. She may be stuck in a crib all day without any attention from the orphanage workers, but I have a hunch the King of Kings has been speaking to her about what is going on here.

He shows up in the most unlikely places, doesn't He? In Bethlehem tucked into a lowly manger surrounded by homeless shepherds, having a meal with tax collectors who were considered cheats, healing the demon-possessed and diseased no one else would touch, and hanging on an old wooden cross......always bringing the gift of hope to the hopeless.

Darya is one of the hopeless, and He is using many to bring hope to her. Can you feel His presence? He is bringing hope to us too. Have you stopped to fathom that you are a playing a part in saving the life of one who has been left behind....unwanted....forgotten? Can you grasp that He already knew ahead of time you would give? When we received the bag of change today from the two little boys who gave their savings, I knew Lydia would raise the $20,000.00. That money is going to come, and God has already accounted for every penny. The bag of change is part of His plan and is needed just as much as the $100.00 checks. When God starts using children, I have learned He is getting ready to show up BIG!

I quoted from Oswald Chambers a couple of days ago, and if you'll indulge me, I want to quote from him again. In a sermon about my favorite disciple, Peter, jumping out of the boat and walking on water when he saw Jesus, Oswald Chambers writes:

"If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, "Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?" Be reckless immediately---totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything---by casting your all upon Him. You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him."

Two days ago, Lydia came to me and said: "Darya needs a family, mom. We can be her family." I immediately thought of one of my favorite verses: Proverbs 24:12 "Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know and holds us responsible to act." So, the realization of God comes.....and Lydia recklessly abandons herself to Him. And He is meeting her there.

At eleven, Lydia doesn't fully conceive the enormity of $20,000.00. In her innocence, she only sees that God is looking for a willing family....and then, He will do the rest. As she skips out to the mailbox every 30 minutes to see if another family has left a check for Darya, I marvel. Most of the time she comes back empty-handed, but when she comes back with a check in her hand, she shouts: "I told you so, Mom!" I can't help but laugh out loud. And cry. I have to admit, every time I see a car stop at our mailbox, I put my head down and cry out loud. Overwhelmed.


  1. Hello Melanie, my name is Lauren Hammersley and I live in Southern California. My mother-in-law recently showed me your blog and I have been so encouraged by it and by you and your family's hearts. I just wanted to tell you that I happen to attend the church where Francis Chan (the author of Crazy Love) is the pastor. I know that he would feel extremely encouraged to know how God has used his book in your family and I was wondering if I could share your story with him and our body? If so, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can maybe even send some help for Darya and Nadine. Hope the Lord continues to astound you and I cannot wait to hear an update!

  2. Hi! I just wanted to let you know that you and your efforts will be in my prayers. We took that same step a little over a year ago and have stood back amazed at God and His hand in it all. I thought the money would be the thing holding us back and it seems like I was wrong. We are waiting on the Ecuador Govt to sign off on our adoption. They have had our dossier since April. Our little one turns 4 on the 24th of Nov. It breaks our heart to think that we wont be there with her. I know that God can do a miracle and am waiting on him. Read Exodus 22:22-23

  3. I don't know where to begin to express my feelings right now. I'm friends with Ondrea and she led me to your blog; I am awestruck by you and your family. Thank you for your humility and willingness to answer the call; what an honor it is to know you thru this blog. You have inspired me.

  4. I am in awe of you guys. Will you adopt me, can I be part of your family? I still have a surprise for Lydia, just working on finishing it up. I will definitely get it to you before Thanksgiving. Hugs to everyone.

  5. Melanie, would it count towards Lydia's $20 000 if I (or other people, too!)put money directly into Darya's Reece's Rainbow fund? I can do that internationally through PayPal . . .

  6. i am soooo full of joy and hope after reading this...i remember our adoption journeys being such a time of knowing and feeling god in ways like i had never experienced. i miss that in my every day life sometimes for the "normality" of things. i pray for you and your fam...knowing the lord of lords will provide in a mighty way when there seems to be no way...just like he promises in his word. thank you. thank you. thank you.

  7. Lydia, You are one fantastic young woman. What a blessing to others is your life. I know one thing for sure. God has great things in store for you in your lifetime. Your heart is so open to Him and doing His will that He will lead you into unimaginable, joyful experiences, blessing you as you bless others. He will never fail you. I know you will continue to inspire others as you are doing right now, with no thoughts of praise for your efforts. I, too, will send money for the adoption if I can find out your address. Love, Lois