Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Adoption Day Caroline!







Monday December 1st is Caroline's "Happy Adoption Day!" Five years ago we waited anxiously in the living room of the baby home at Hannah's Hope, Guatemala to meet our daughter for the very first time. She was gorgeous! It had been a long journey, but in that moment all the waiting seemed like nothing. It was worth it!







In typical "Holbrook" fashion, we're celebrating the entire weekend. Some adoptive families call it "gotcha day" - some call it "adoption day". We usually choose to celebrate with our immediate family. This year we're struggling for balance as our middle child who is 8 keeps asking why everything is about Caroline. He hears "Caroline's Promise" daily - and I think it's getting on his nerves. Yesterday he said he wished he was adopted so he could have two special days.
So this year we decided to make it more about family and not just about Caroline. She got to pick what we would do as a family and of course that involved her favorite place, the mall. Daddy was ecstatic - as you can see. The day after Thanksgiving at the mall. What fun!



Our first stop was Build a Bear where she got to pick out an outfit for a bunny that she already had. The boys had fun helping her choose and Daddy was amazingly patient. After dinner at the food court Cameron and Caroline talked to Santa. This was the first time since Caroline was 6 months old that she would get anywhere near Santa! To keep everything "fair" this year we ended up purchasing sweatshirts for the boys. In the end everyone had fun.














What would our life be without Caroline? It's hard to imagine. Thank you God!
















































Thursday, November 27, 2008

Give a gift that will reclaim hope for orphans!

Caroline's Promise is excited to offer you the opportunity to honor someone special this Christmas. With your gift of $10 or more we'll send a special Christmas card, acknowledging your gift in their honor. What a great gift for teachers, pastors, coaches, friends and family! All donations will go toward our Adoptive Family Grants.

Contact us at info@carolinespromise4u.org or by calling 336-669-7340. Donations can be made by check or debit/credit card - via phone or online at http://www.carolinespromise4u.org/donate.html

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What God can do with a dream in 5 years

It hit me this morning while listening to our local Christian Radio Station, WBFJ. It was like God stopped me in my tracks and said , "Look at what I've done Lisa."

The day before Thanksgiving, 5 years ago - I mailed the non-profit application to the IRS for Caroline's Promise. As usual, I was finishing it at the last moment. You see, I was on a deadline. The goal was to get that thing mailed before we boarded a plane the day after Thanksgiving. Where were we going? Guatemala! Why? To meet our daughter Caroline for the first time!

It was the start of a dream that God had given to David and me. Dreams are funny. Sometimes you wonder if they're your crazy ideas and often times you have to let them go - give them to God and see if He gives it back to you.

That's what happened the year before. It was November 2002 and we were ending a week of mission work in Guatemala. That last morning there God asked me to give up my dream of doing full time mission work in Guatemala. I released it. It was hard. Within an hour we were on a boat, crossing beautiful Lake Atitlan and I was confused and sad. Why had God given me a passion and burden for the fatherless children in Guatemala if He wasn't going to let me live there and help them?




Out of the blue a dear friend brought me her cd player and headphones and said, "Lisa - you have to hear this song!" She had no idea the inner struggle I was having. The song was by Yolanda Adams and it spoke right to my heart:






Never Give Up!
Visions that can change the world, trapped inside an ordinary girl

She looks just like me, too afraid to dream out loud

And though it's set for your idea it won't make sense to everybody

You need courage now If you're going to persevere

To fulfill your life's purpose you gotta answer when you're called

So don't be afraid to face the world Against all odds
Keep the dream alive, don't let it die

If something deep inside keeps inspiring you to try, don't stop

And never give up, don't ever give up on you. Don't give up...

Every victory comes in time. Work today to change tomorrow

It gets easier, who's to say that you can't fly

Every step you take, you get closer to your destination

You can feel it now. Don't you know you're alomost there
Chorus

Sometimes life can place a stubborn block in your way

But you've gotta keep the faith. Reap what's deep inside your heart to fly

And never give up, don't ever give up on you Don't give up

Who holds the pieces to complete the puzzle? The answer that can solve the mystery, yeah.. The keys that can unlock your understanding It's all inside of you You have everything you need....so...
It was like God was sitting right beside me on that boat. Giving me HIS dream for my life. But what was it? All I knew was that I had given Him my dream of serving the children of Guatemala and He was going to replace it with His dream for my life.

In the next few months He made it clearer. David started asking "I wonder how many Christians would adopt if they just had some financial support? Why don't we do one fundraiser a year and give it to a couple that's adopting?" Of course God's dream was much bigger than that. His dream for us was Caroline's Promise. He wanted to give me a passion for all orphans. Not just those living in Guatemala.

Sometimes I wonder where we'd be if I hadn't given God my dream and let him replace it with His? It didn't make sense.....to us. But 5 years later - it's so obvious what God was up to.

In my busyness and drive to make a difference in the lives of orphans I can forget to stop and thank God for all He has done. Wow! We never would have dreamed that He would bless Caroline's Promise like He has.

Do you have a dream? Are you willing to ask God if it's yours or His? Even though it doesn't make sense to anyone else, if God has given it to you......don't give up!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lysa TerKeurst to share adoption story on Focus on the Family

Don't miss Focus on the Family's radio broadcast on November 20 and 21st. Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries will share her family's adoption story. http://listen.family.org/daily/A000001606.cfm

Check your local Christian Radion Station for times:

WBFJ - Triad http://www.wbfj.fm/ 5:00am and 9:00pm
HIS Radio - Raleigh http://www.hisradio.com/common/contenthottop.asp?PAGE=361 2pm & 9pm

Or listen online anytime at http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about_us/broadcasts.aspx

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Need some ideas for Christmas?

Do you ever feel like you give a gift at Christmas just to be giving it? I mean really, how many of us really need anything? Caroline's Promise wants to help you this Christmas season! When you make a donation of $10 or more you can honor someone special! We'll even send them a special Christmas card, notifying them of your gift.

It's easy! Just contact us at info@carolinespromise4u.org or 336-669-7340. You can write a check or pay by debit/credit card. And your gift is 100% tax deductible! Your shopping will be done, the receipient will be blessed and hope will be reclaimed for orphans!

If you're looking for tangible gifts to give, visit our website www.carolinespromise4u.org. We have plenty of inspiring books and t-shirts at great prices!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Adoptive Mom Uses Her Gifts to Support Orphans

Erin & her husband Scott served at an orphanage in Uganda when they were first married. Little did they know that God would lead them to adopt two of the most precious kids - Mary Cameron & Jackson!
Now that they're home and settling in, Erin's passion for Africa and orphans has not slowed. Although she'd probably love to live in Uganda - she's learning that God can use her here! Erin has helped many non profit ministries, including Caroline's Promise set up blogs, websites and facebook pages.
In fact, Erin set up this blog and the google group for The Triad Network for Orphan Care & Adoption!
Erin is a beautiful example of God using "ordinary" people to reclaim hope for orphans. How does God want to use your gifts?










Monday, November 10, 2008

Have you always wanted to go on a mission trip?

So many people have told me - "I've always wanted to go on a mission trip." My question back to them is "What's stopping you?"


There are plenty of things to keep us from answering God's call to short term missions. Finances, work, family, fears. If God seems to be tugging at your heart every time you hear about a short term mission trip, I encourage you to take the plunge! Visit the Caroline's Promise site for our list of 2009 trips. http://www.carolinespromise4u.org/index.htm



This week is your last week to enter "Survivor Guatemala" and win a trip with Tami from WBFJ. http://www.wbfj.fm/. Special thanks to Rob Mitchell, author of Castaway Kid for sponsoring this contest and WBFJ for their support or orphans!


First Day at the Holbrook Academy - Never say never!

Oh my friends are laughing! And I'm sure God is smiling. For years I've admired my friends who homeschool their children. I've seen the positive impact that it's made. But I've NEVER wanted to do it myself. In fact, I think the quote has always been "I'll NEVER homeschool unless God moves us to a third world country where there is no other choice. And then I think David would be much better at it than I."

Never say never.
Our kids attend a wonderful public, magnet school with a focus on Spanish Immersion. Although not a perfect school, it's been a great fit for our children. This year we had to make the difficult decision to take our middle child, Cameron out of the program. He was struggling with English and it just became evident that he was not going to excel at both languages. Of course, his solution to this problem was to move to a Spanish speaking country and forget all this need for English:)

After months of prayer and checking into several private school options, we've decided to homeschool Cameron for the rest of the year. I'm amazed at the peace that David and I feel about this decision. And I'm encouraged by the way that God has directed us. We survived the first day. Of course Cameron reminded me that the best days of school are always the first and the last. We appreciate your prayers and look forward to experiencing God's favor.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

An adoptive mom - reclaiming hope for orphans!

Bridgette and her husband adopted their 2 precious boys from Guatemala. Through that process they met a Guatemalan attorney, Marilu who is passionate about the needs of children in that country. When adoptions closed this year, Marilu knew she had to do more for these kids who had no place to go. So she opened a children's home - "Luces de Esperanza".

Meanwhile Bridgette was asking God how she could help. Little by little the plan became clearer. Bridgette contacted her friends and began collecting items that Marilu would need. Before long God connected her with a shipping company that reduced their rate. Bridgette even had a yard sale and collected donations to cover the shipping costs.

I believe we've only seen the beginning of what God is going to do through Bridgette. An "ordinary" mom - doing extraordinary things to reclaim hope for orphans!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Jr. Dragsters Promote Caroline's Promise

We met so many great people at the Dixie Classic Fair. One of them was Denise. Her kids are Jr. Dragracers! How cool! Denise helped organize the Jr. Shootout at Farmington Dragway and was looking for a way to encourage the kids to think about others. She put some Caroline's Promise materials in each racer's bag and our family set up a booth at the event. We had so much fun! Thanks Denise and Jr. Dragsters. Keep up the good work!


video

Scrapbooking in Guyana

Since it's National Adoption Awareness Month, I've decided to highlight some "ordinary" people who are reclaiming hope for orphans!

Rob & Su Soutter from Raleigh, NC received a grant from Caroline's Promise to assist with their adoption of their precious Jonathan from Guatemala. The entire Soutter family has gotten involved with the ministry of Caroline's Promise. Su is incredibly gifted with crafts. This woman can do anything! She used her gifts and creativity to help us purchase scrapbook supplies for the children's home in Guyana, South America. We were amazed at what she put together! The Asst. Director of the home, Angie - had a dream for the children to create Life Books.

Our 2008 team did not have time to work with the children on their Life Books but God knew that. He knew that there would be team members from the Hayworth Wesleyan Church team - High Point, NC that loved to scrap! I've loved reading Angie's blog about how God has used "ordinary" people this week to help heal the hurts of some precious kids.
"We had a big day of memory making with scrapbook pictures making their debut. It took a few down around some emotional curves and so I wanted to check on them like a mother hen tonight. I found the big girls in the room with the new auntie reading a book together. That pleased my heart like the greatest gift in the world. I gave her a high five for the extra touch. I was beat, totally beat. So I curled up on one of the girls beds who was looking through her picture book and fixing pictures back. I put her pillow under my head and told her to wake me if I slept or slide on in. She smiled big as we talked about her pictures. One by one the girls came around the bed and curled up and we just talked about their pictures. All were happy more than sad and that eased me out. After a long time with them Auntie and I put them to bed and I went to kiss the small girls good night. To my surprise three were still awake. So I loved on them and one asked me to read a story. I also asked them if the pictures made them happy or sad. They all said happy. So I sat on the child’s bed who requested a book and just sang songs over them and rubbed her back till she fell asleep."
After her 2nd short term trip with Caroline's Promise, an "ordinary" girl from Colfax, NC answered God's call to give up everything and minister to the fatherless in Guyana, South America. An "ordinary" adoptive mom from Raleigh, NC used her God given gifts to find the prettiest scrapping supplies. "Ordinary" people from High Point, NC gave up time, money and energy to help complete the project. That's the Body of Christ!
God won't call everyone to adopt. But He DOES call everyone to reclaim hope for orphans! Ask Him how He can use you.




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

30 Ways to Celebrate Adoption!

Here's a great way to celebrate National Adoption Month. Adoptive Families Magazine has a document with a different way to celebrate every day of November.
I recommend this magazine to any adoptive family. If you're waiting for your child to come home, this is a great time to subscribe. I learn something from every issue. If you subscribe or renew be sure to mention Caroline's Promise! We'll get a donation each time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why adopt outside of your race/ethnic group?

Our family went to Greenville, SC this weekend to participate in the Together for Adoption Conference. Saturday was a great day - hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones. I'm always amazed at how creative God is. He opens people's eyes to the orphan crisis and then He gives them the most creative ways to meet needs. I love the Body of Christ!

One of the speakers addressed the question that we've heard so many times...."Is it okay to adopt outside of your race/ethnic group?" We obviously think it's right - but I've never had a good answer beyond "that's what I think." The speaker made it so simple when he said, "God does it, so why shoudn't we?" God adopts us into His family - every tribe, race, ethnic group.

The focus of the conference was on OUR adoption by God. It got me thinking......how many of you have ever heard a sermon on OUR adoption?