Saturday, December 13, 2008

So Excited To Share

For a little more than a year now, I've been following the adventures and excitement over at Ni Hao Y'all. In typical blog-addicted fashion, I can't really remember how I found Stefanie but once I started reading, I was hooked. I was so hooked, in fact, that I literally spent hours poring over her archives and reading through the adoption sites she had for her individual children. Hours of laughing and crying and delighting in the story of this big, happy, multi-cultural family of hers. Hours of winter and spring afternoons paging through her very prolific and hysterically funny wrap-ups of their various happenings and mis-adventures. Hours of being lost in her witty story-telling and heart-tugging advocacy for adoption and special needs children.

Okay, so at this point, I feel I must confess.

My name is Gang's Momma and I'm addicted to Ni Hao Y'all.

Further, I am Stefanie's own personal blog stalker. I think I am addicted to Stefanie herself. It's an innocent addiction (and harmless, I promise, Stefanie. IF I may be so lucky as to have you chance upon this humble blog. Oh, vapors and frenzy at the thought!), but serious nonetheless. For example, this summer, the four kids all stood by the sliding glass doors sunscreened-up and towels at the ready. Waiting for me to finish reading the posts I'd been unable to get to earlier in that week. They stood there, calling to me of their readiness for an afternoon in the pool. Growing increasingly impatient with my "Just one more minute, please!" They stood there, antsy and pinching each other when tempted to interrupt me just one more time. At one point, I'm certain that little legs fell asleep and testosterone-raging violence broke out. The details are fuzzy, as I was engrossed in the day's events in Stefanie's house.

All of this is to say that in Stefanie's blog posts, (look at me throwing her name around like I'm a close personal friend or something. I'm shameless!) I have found a kindred spirit, IF I may be so bold (OH, the boldness!). Her heart leaks out all over her posts. Her heart for her hubby. Her passion for her kids. Her mission to share the word with the world about adoption. Her zeal and drive to see special needs kids from all over the world find loving and godly homes. Her consuming desire to make a difference in the lives of as many of these precious kids as possible. Her challenge to the church to BE the church to a child. It's all there - and all wrapped up in each post is her overwhelming need to do it all in a manner that brings the most glory and honor to Our Father.

This woman, to me, is the embodiment of James 1:27:

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless
is this: to look after orphans and widows
in their distress and to keep oneself
from being polluted by the world."

Yeah, she could be my next celebrity crush. She's that amazing to me. Which is why I am so excited to share with you a new site that she and several other adoptive moms have launched. It's actually been up and running for a few weeks now, but I've been having a hard time finding time to put thoughts together (I've been relying heavily on my Post Options to schedule posts in advance and pounding out several posts at one sitting lately. Don't you just love that option?!).


No Hands But Ours

This new site exists to be a clearing house of sorts. A place where anyone interested in adoption, specifically special needs adoptions, can come and gain insight from other families who have been there, who are there and who are making it work. A place where you can read helpful information from the point of view of professionals AND those of us who live with various special needs every day. Where you can read inspiring and amazing stories of families that God has knit together from over the world. Where you can be encouraged and make contact with adoption agencies, specialists, experienced parents and others who can partner with you at any particular phase of your adoption or parenting journey. It's beautiful, it's hopeful, and it's exactly what I would expect from a woman of excellence like Stefanie. (Again with the familiarity, like I actually know this woman! Who am I kidding?!)

As a brand-new mom of a daughter with special needs, I find myself poring over this site frequently. I have gleaned so much from these moms and their stories. In fact, one of my most favoritest gals, Kateri (from Blessed Beyond Measure) has already shared her family story here. I am so excited to know that some day, I might actually be able to be a support for another mom who has been where I am now. I might actually be able to help connect families with resources that will enable them to parent with excellence as they meet the needs of their precious little gifts. (OMIGOSH! I just skipped over to the new site to grab the code for their button, and my little blog is listed under family blogs related to hearing issues. I'm on their radar - Stefanie knows about me. Little Ole Me!)

This site is worth every minute you will spend surfing around on it. But be forewarned. Once you start reading the stories, once you start looking at the little faces who have been given the precious gift of a loving family and a "brand new start," you will totally get sucked in. Your family might not see your face for hours. And when they do, it might be splotchy and red and your eyes might be swollen from the tears you shed while you read. Unless you are one of those really, really annoying people who can cry pretty and dainty. (But that's a whole 'nuther post, isn't it?!)

Go now. Read now. And give Stefanie and the gals some bloggy love. Let them know that you are standing with them in their mission. I'm so excited that I get to share the news with you!


Aus said...

Gang Momma - you are well and truely trying to suck what last few minutes of my life I had for my life out of my life, are you not?

Blessing on you for finding and sharing this - oh - and I'd rate your last post a perfect 10 (with shades of 12ness) as posts go!

hugs -

aus and co.

The Gang's All Here! said...

Aus, is that a good thing or a bad thing? I'm not totally sure what I did or didn't do - am I sucking time from your day? If so, welcome to my life :) Am I sucking air from your lungs by the sheer brilliance of my writing and my pithy insights to the world around me? If so, thank you. It's a gift. If none of the above, I apologize. It sounds horrible. :)

Kateri said...

You are so good! I just stuck the new button on the side of my blog and never said a word to about it to my small, but lovely readership. How good of you to take the time to drool over Stefanie and the new site. Oh, and incidently, she ranks in my top 5 too. I love her too!!
Nice post!! And thanks for linking to our story. I forgot to tell you that Stefanie put it up a week or so ago.

julie said...

I just spent the last hour clicking on all your links. I read the info on every waiting child. Just makes you want to fly on over and bring them all home. I really have to go to bed now.